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Title: Private letters of Edward Gibbon (1753-1794) Volume 2 (of 2)
Author: Gibbon, Edward, 1737-1794
Language: English
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  PRIVATE LETTERS

  OF

  EDWARD GIBBON.

[Illustration: SILHOUETTE PORTRAIT OF EDWARD GIBBON.
  _Frontispiece, Vol. II._]

  PRIVATE LETTERS

  OF

  EDWARD GIBBON

  (1753-1794).

  WITH AN INTRODUCTION BY

  THE EARL OF SHEFFIELD.

  EDITED BY

  ROWLAND E. PROTHERO,

  BARRISTER-AT-LAW, SOME-TIME FELLOW OF ALL SOULS' COLLEGE, OXFORD.

  VOL. II.

  LONDON:
  JOHN MURRAY, ALBEMARLE STREET.
  1896.



  LONDON:
  PRINTED BY WILLIAM CLOWES AND SONS, LIMITED.
  STAMFORD STREET AND CHARING CROSS.



GIBBON'S CORRESPONDENCE.

1753-1794.



  418.

  _To his Stepmother._


  Bentinck Street, July 3rd, 1781.

  DEAR MADAM,

Though your kind impatience might make the time appear tedious, there
has been no other delay in my business, than the necessary forms of
Election. My new constituents of Lymington obligingly chose me in my
absence. I took my seat last Wednesday, and am now so old a member
that I begin to complain of the heat and length of the Session. So
much for Parliament. With regard to the board of trade, I am ignorant
of your friend's meaning, and possibly she may be so herself. There
has not been (to my knowledge) the most distant idea of my leaving
it, and indeed there are few places within the compass of any
rational ambition that I should like so well.

In a few days, as soon as we are relieved from public business, I
shall go down to my Country house for the summer. Do not stare.
I say my Country house. Notwithstanding Caplin's very diligent
enquiries, I have not been able to please myself with anything in the
neighbourhood of London, and have therefore hired for three months
a small pleasant house at Brighthelmstone. I flatter myself that in
that admirable sea-air, with the vicinity of Sheffield place, and a
proper mixture of light study in the morning and good company in the
evening, the summer may roll away not disagreably.--As I know your
tender apprehensions, I promise you not to bathe in the sea without
due preparation and advice.

Mrs. Porten has chosen, not for health but pleasure, a different
sea-shore: she has been some weeks at Margate, and will scarcely
return to town before my departure. I sincerely sympathize in all
the melancholy scenes which have afflicted your sensibility, and am
more particularly concerned about poor Miss Gould, to whom I wish
to express the thoughts and hopes of friendship on this melancholy
occasion. Lady Miller's[1] sudden death has excited some attention
even in this busy World, her foibles are mentioned with general
regard. Adieu, Dear Madam, and do not let Mrs. Ravaud tempt you into
Elysium: we are tolerably well here.

  I am
  Ever yours,
  E. GIBBON.

  [1] Anna, Lady Miller (1741-1781), author of _Letters from Italy,
  by an Englishwoman_ (1776), a verse-writer and a well-known
  character at Bath, held a literary salon at her villa at
  Batheaston. She held, writes Walpole, January 15, 1775, "a
  Parnassus-fair every Thursday, gives out rhymes and themes, and
  all the flux of quality at Bath contend for the prizes." An
  antique vase, purchased in Italy, was placed on a modern altar
  decorated with laurel, and each guest was invited to place in
  the urn an original composition in verse. The author of the one
  declared to be the best was crowned by Lady Miller with a wreath
  of myrtle. Selections from these compositions were published at
  intervals. "Nothing here," said Miss Burney in 1780, "is more
  tonish than to visit Lady Miller." Lady Miller died suddenly at
  Bristol Hot Wells on June 24, 1781. Her husband, Sir John Riggs
  Miller, died in 1798.



419.

_To his Stepmother._


  Bentinck Street, July 9th, 1781.

  Dear Madam,

Nothing but my absence (on a visit to Mr. Jenkinson[2] in Surrey)
should have prevented me from writing by the _first_ post to
remove those fears which could be suggested only by too exquisite
a sensibility. I am well and happy; the modest expression of
_tolerably_ was intended to express a very high degree of content,
and I most sincerely assure you that my journey to Brighthelmstone is
in search not of health but of amusement and society.

  I am, Dear Madam,
  Ever yours,
  E. GIBBON.

  [2] Probably C. Jenkinson, M.P. for Saltash and Secretary at War;
  afterwards Earl of Liverpool.



420.

_To his Stepmother._


  Brighthelmstone, July 26th, 1781.

  DEAR MADAM,

[Sidenote: HIS HOUSE AT BRIGHTON.]

After a short visit to Sheffield I came to this place last Sunday
evening, and think it will answer my expectations. My house, which is
not much bigger than yours, has a full prospect of the sea and enjoys
a temperate climate in the most sultry days. The air gives health,
spirits and a ravenous appetite. I walk sufficiently morning and
evening, lounge in the middle of the day on the Steyne, booksellers'
shops, &c., and by the help of a pair of horses can make more distant
excursions. The society is good and easy, and though I have a large
provision of books for my amusement, I shall not undertake any deep
studies or laborious compositions this summer. You will rejoyce, I am
sure, in hearing so favourable an account of my situation, and I wish
I could propose to you to share it with me.

  I am, Dear Madam,
  Most truly yours,
  E. GIBBON.



421.

_To his Stepmother._


  Brighthelmstone, August 24th, 1781.

  DEAR MADAM,

Of all mortals I have the least right to complain of a friend's
silence, but yours has been so _long_ and so _unnatural_ that I am
seriously alarmed. If you can assure me by a line that it does not
proceed from want of health or spirits, I shall be perfectly at
ease. Notwithstanding our princely visitors (the Cumberlands) who
are troublesome, I like the air and society so well that I shall
certainly stay here at least till the end of September. Adieu.

  I am, Dear Madam,
  Ever yours,
  E. G.



422.

_To Lord Sheffield._


  Brooke's, Thursday Evening, 1781.

What I _hear_ would fill volumes, what I _know_ does not amount to
half a line.--All is expectation: but I fear that our enemies are
more active than our friend. _He_[3] is still at Bushy; a meeting
is held next Saturday morn at eleven o'clock, but I think you need
not hurry yourself. According to Louisa's phrase, I will be your
grandfather. The black Patriot[4] is now walking and declaiming in
this room with a train at his heels. Adieu. No news.

  E. G.

If there is another meeting Sunday evening you shall find a note. I
have not seen Lord Loughborough, but understand he has preached war
and any coalition against the Minister.

  [3] Lord North resided at Bushy, Lady North having been appointed
  in July, 1771, Keeper and Ranger of Bushy Park.

  [4] Probably C. J. Fox.



423.

_To Lord Sheffield._


  1781.

Mrs. Williams, No. 8, Downing Street, will embrace Lord S., Mr.
Purden and Co. for two Guineas and a half per week. The stables
and _Coach houses_ will be empty, and Mr. Collier will provide
the needful refreshments.--Sir R[ichard] W[orsley] has opened the
trenches in Doctors Commons, and cryed down his wife's credit with
tradesmen, &c. I supped last night at Lord L[oughborough]'s with Mrs.
Abingdon,[5]--a judge and an actress; what would Sir Roger Hill[6]
say? Dinner will be on table at five o'clock next Monday in Bentinck
Street.

Saturday night. Brookes's absolutely alone. The town even yet very
empty.

  [5] Fanny Barton, Mrs. Abington, first appeared on the stage at
  the Haymarket in 1755. Her great success was, however, gained at
  Drury Lane, after her return from Dublin, from 1764 onwards. She
  was the first Lady Teazle, and acted Ophelia to Garrick's Hamlet.
  She died in 1815.

  [6] Sir Roger Hill was a Baron of the Court of Exchequer at the
  time of the Commonwealth, and therefore, it is suggested, would
  have shrunk from contact with a player. He was an ancestor of
  Lady Sheffield.



424.

_To Lord Sheffield._


  Friday, two o'clock, 7th Sept., 1781.

[Sidenote: FRENCH AND SPANISH FLEETS IN THE CHANNEL.]

Lord Hillsborough[7] tells me that himself and Co. believe that the
combined fleets are gone into Brest. Expresses that left Bristol
yesterday, and Plymouth, Wednesday, cannot give the least account of
them, and a Portuguese ship from Lisbon the 23rd last month, beat
several days between Scilly and the Land's end without seeing or
hearing of them. However, at all events more than twenty-five swift
sailing vessels had been sent out to meet and warn the West India
fleets. Adieu.

We shall meet at Brighton on Monday.

  E. G.

  [7] Wills Hill, second Viscount Hillsborough, in 1789 created
  first Marquis of Downshire (1718-1793). In November, 1779, he
  succeeded Lord Weymouth as Secretary of State for the northern
  department, and held that office till the resignation of the
  Government in March, 1782. Walpole, writing on September 11, says
  the combined French and Spanish fleets were at the entrance of
  the Channel, "where they certainly will not venture to stay long."



425.

_To Lady Sheffield._


  Bentinck Street, Friday evening, ten o'clock, 1781.

*Oh, ho! I have given you the slip; saved thirty miles, by proceeding
directly this day from Eartham to town, and am now _comfortably_
seated in my library, in _my own_ easy chair, and before _my own_
fire; a style which you understand, though it is unintelligible to
your Lord. The town is empty; but I am surrounded with a thousand old
acquaintance of all ages and characters, who are ready to answer a
thousand questions which I am impatient to ask. I shall not easily
be tired of their Company; yet I still remember, and will honourably
execute, my promise of visiting you at Brighton about the middle of
next month. I have seen nobody, nor learned anything, in four hours
of a town life; but I can inform you, that Lady * * * [erased] is
now the declared mistress of Prince Henry of Prussia, whom she
encountered at Spa; and that the Emperor has invited this amiable
Couple to pass the winter at Vienna; fine encouragement for married
women who behave themselves properly! I spent a very pleasant day in
the little paradise of Eartham, and the hermit expressed a desire
(no vulgar compliment) to see and to know Lord S. Adieu. I cordially
embrace, &c.*



426.

_To his Stepmother._


  Bentinck Street, October 6th, 1781.

  DEAR MADAM,

I have meditated a letter many posts, and the bell of Saturday
evening now admonishes or rather reproaches. Allow me only to say
that I am perfectly well, and expect very soon some more lines. The
season no longer invites me to Brighthelmston, but the Sheffields,
&c., insist on my passing another fortnight there, which will carry
me (as I shall not go till Sunday seven-night) to the end of the
month.

  I am, Dear Madam,
  Ever yours,
  E. GIBBON.



427.

_To Lord Sheffield_.


  Bentinck Street, Oct. 21st, 1781.

The last ten years by your advice I ensured my farm buildings at
Buriton and no accident happened. This year after your example I have
ceased my insurance, and--read Hugonin's two letters, which I have
just received and answered. I thank him for undertaking the necessary
work, press for Harris's immediate resignation, and propose to weigh
during the Winter the choice of tenants and the scale of repairs. The
present rent is only £50.--If any ideas occur to you, communicate
your instructions, and _he_ will receave them with deference, but
the subject makes _me heavy_. The time is ill chosen. If you go to
Coventry you must pass through town--when? But I have _almost_ done
with Hampton Court. I may see Lord Beauchamp, but do not understand
that I have anything to say to him from you. His brother may be a
tolerable accession to the Party,[8] and let me tell you it is no
contemptible one. I mean the party of the H. of C. If we ever meet at
S. P. you will introduce me to the Lady of whom I hear a very amiable
character. Adieu. I arrived this morn from Eden's. Lord Loughborough
does not arrive this week. From Cambridge I understand that you have
suffered by the fatigues of the Camp.

Inform me of your health.

  E. G.

  [8] The Hon. William Conway, afterwards Lord Sheffield's
  colleague in the representation of Coventry.



428.

_To his Stepmother._


  Brighthelmstone, Nov. 2nd, 1781.

  DEAR MADAM,

If I had not been fortified by the friendly assurances which you sent
me, I should indeed have been alarmed by the melancholy account that
I heard of your health as soon as I arrived in Sussex. Since that
time (an interval somewhat too long) I have been gradually better
satisfied with the frequent and favourable dispatches from Bath, and
I have now the satisfaction to find (however I might suspect your own
friendly dissimulation) that even in Mr. H.'s apprehensive fancy you
have in a great measure recovered that situation which I wish you
long to preserve.

[Sidenote: BRIGHTON IN NOVEMBER.]

*I returned to this place with Lord and Lady Sheffield, with the
design of passing two or three weeks in a situation which had so
highly delighted me. But how vain are all sublunary hopes! I had
forgot that there is some difference between the sunshine of August
and the cold fogs (though we have uncommon good weather) of November.
Instead of my beautiful sea-shore, I am confined to a dark lodging
in the middle of the town; for the place is still full, and our time
is now spent in the dull imitation of a London life. To compleat my
misfortunes, Lord S. was hastily ordered to Canterbury, to suppress
smuggling, and I was left almost alone with My Lady, in the servile
state of a married man. But he returns to-day, and I hope to be
seated in my own library by the middle of next week. However, you
will not be sorry to hear that I have refreshed myself by a very
_idle_ summer, and indeed a much idler and more pleasant winter than
the house of Commons will ever allow me to enjoy again.*

I hear of no public changes of administration, but you are perhaps
already informed that a grand officer of my household (Mrs. Ford) at
length retires on a pension, her wages for her life, with which she
seems well contented, though I am ignorant of her plans. Mrs. Porten
opened the business to her, but I have not yet sustained the last
tender interview which I really dislike very much. Caplin assumes
with pleasure the office of prime minister, and we hope that some
lessons at White's will turn the housemaid (Edward's sister) into a
good Cook for private ordinary days.

*I had almost forgot Mr. Hayley; ungratefully enough, since I really
past a very simple, but entertaining day with him. His place, though
small, is elegant as his mind, which I value much more highly.* And
Adam might be happy if Eve had never been admitted into the paradise
of Eartham. She is resolved (the air of Eartham after fifteen years'
residence is found to be too cold) to eat another Bath apple, which
as you properly apprehend will not be very wholesome either for her
fame or his fortune. *Mrs. H. wrote a melancholy story of an American
mother, a friend of her friend, who in a short time had lost three
sons: one killed by the savages, one run mad from the fright at that
accident, and the third taken at sea, now in England a prisoner in
Forton hospital. For _him_ something might perhaps be done. Your
humanity will prompt you to obtain from Mrs. H. a more accurate
account of names, dates, and circumstances; but you will prudently
suppress my request, lest I should raise hopes which it may not be in
my power to gratify. Lady S. begs to send her kindest Compliments to
you.* The persons of Bath by whom and to whom I wish to be remembered
are Mrs. Ravaud and the Goulds. What is become of poor Sir John
Miller? I foresee very little prospect of visiting Bath at Christmas,
but I depend, perhaps with too much confidence, on next Easter.

  I am, dear Madam,
  Ever yours.



429.

_To Lord Sheffield._


  Bentinck Street, ¼ before five, 1781.

[Sidenote: HIS ADVICE IN A QUARREL.]

I have seen the General. You are both wrong; he first in lending your
papers without _special_ leave, and then in the real or apparent
slight of your messages; you in the serious anger which you expressed
on so trifling a business. Unless you wish that this slight scratch
should inflame into an incurable sore, embrace the lucky opportunity
of his illness and confinement, which will excuse your dignity and
should assuage your resentment. Call on him this evening, give and
receive, between jest and earnest, a volley of _damns_, and then let
the whole affair be no more remembered than it deserves. _Dixi et
liberavi animam meam._



430.

_To Lord Sheffield._


  Bentinck Street, November 20th, 1781.

I came yesterday from Jenkinson's (near Croydon), where I had spent
two very agreeable days. We all tremble on the edge of a precipice,
and whatever may be the event, the American war seems now to be
reduced to very narrow compass both of time and place.

This morning Caplin was sent to reconnoitre: he reports that
the _stables_ are empty, but as the _coach-house_ is full, the
close alliance between carriage and horses will render the former
circumstance of little avail. Nothing can be had in Parliament
Street or the large streets adjoining except one whole house at four
Guineas per week. In Fludyer and Downing-streets several indifferent
and gloomy lodgings are at your service, but as I should prefer a
Pall Mall, &c. situation, Caplin has paused till you send him more
peremptory commands.--Your Monday dinner will be ready at five, and
Adam, perhaps Batt, will be of the party.

Your Greeks were not carried from Brighton through carelessness, but
as you are _seriously_ absurd about lending books, I have directed
Caplin to send them to S. P. per coach. By way of revenge I may
inform you that I have now purchased a copy of Stephen's Greek Poets
compared to which yours is very little more than waste paper. Adieu.

I embrace my Lady. I do not approve of her being called _Cat_.

  E. G.



431.

_To his Stepmother._


  H. of Commons, December 6th, 1781.

  DEAR MADAM,

I wish most sincerely that it were in my power to give you or myself
any comfort on the present state of public affairs, which is indeed
deplorable and I fear _hopeless_. But at last I can send you a
favourable account of myself: the late, hot, melancholy hours of the
house of Commons,[9] which seem to oppress every body round me, have
no effect on my health or spirits, and I feel myself heartily tired
(_ennuyé_) without being in the least fatigued. Of Mrs. P. I shall
say nothing, as by this time you will have seen her brother and his
wife, who set out this morning for Bath. A month without business
will be a new and wholesome scene for Sir Stanier. I hear nothing,
and want to hear something of Mrs. Hayley. You have heard of Lady
Worsley; your old acquaintance Sir Richard labours with copious
materials for a divorce.

  I am, Dear Madam,
  Ever yours,
  E. G.

Thanks for the Carpet.

  [9] Parliament met November 27, 1781, and sat till December 20.



432.

_To his Stepmother._


  Bentinck Street, December 26th, 1781.

  DEAR MADAM,

Will you excuse my only transmitting the _needful_, with the
necessary assurance that I am well and happy, and the unnecessary
addition, that I wish you long to remain so? I envy Sir Stanier
and Lady Porten the pleasure which I shall not enjoy till Easter:
pray give my love to them. I pity poor Delacour and his friends,
above all his Christian wife or daughter. Give my compliments to
Mrs. Hayley, and tell her that both song and music have been much
applauded. Will she accept this notice as a letter? Adieu, Dear
Madam. Believe me,

  Most truly yours,
  E. GIBBON.



433.

_To Lady Sheffield._


  Bentinck Street, Dec. 29, 1781.

[Sidenote: NOISE AND NONSENSE OF PARLIAMENT.]

As Sheffelina has modernized herself by securing an unknown Cicisbeo,
I have a great mind to propose a partie quarrée which might be easily
furnished from Ickworth. If that project is rejected and I must
make a solitary visit, I shall still obey the gracious mandate, but
instead of the third day of the year (may it be more auspicious)
1782, I must delay my attendance till about the 8th or even the
tenth, which will still allow me eight or ten days of fresh air and
friendly converse, before I again descend into the noise and nonsense
of the Pandemonium. At present we are as quiet in London as you can
be in Sussex. Mrs. Stuart's shocking adventure is the only event
that enlivens conversation; the family whisper insanity (a terrible
resource), and strive without success to persuade that the whole
scene passed only in her imagination--yet she certainly passed the
whole night abroad. I did suppose that the Baron would be tired of
his home in a week, but as this visit to the Regiment will abridge
the remaining interval he may possibly support it. I hear nothing
more of the house in D. S., but still believe that the minister will
retire before your superior majesty;[10] the last time I saw him he
expressed great apprehension of your displeasure. I too am in pursuit
of a house, in Harley Street, somewhat further in the country than
my own: it has but one fault, a steep narrow staircase, but where
must we seek (except at ----) either a house or a wife without _one_
fault? I embrace the Angels, Princesses, &c. I believe the elder had
rather be a Princess than an Angel. Adieu.

  LE GRAND GIBBON.

  [10] Lord North, while his own house was under repair, occupied
  Lord Sheffield's house in Downing Street.



434.

_To his Stepmother._


  Jan. 23rd, 1782.

  DEAR MADAM,

I am not sorry that the indiscretion of certain female correspondents
should give the opportunity of sending you a very fair but not
flattering picture of myself.--It is very true that I have had a fit
of the Gout; but if the name of agreable can ever be applied to the
ugly monster, my Gout has deserved it on this occasion. It lasted on
the whole no more than ten days, attacked only one foot, was attended
with scarcely any fever, loss of appetite, or lowness of spirits, and
has left me in perfect health both of mind and body.--Our busy scene
commences to-morrow;[11] and I am now entering into the hurry of the
winter: but I will write again soon.

  I am
  Most truly yours,
  E. G.

  [11] Parliament met January 21, 1782.



435.

_To his Stepmother._


  March 2nd, 1782.

  DEAR MADAM,

I am much afraid that I have lost all credit by repeated promises and
repeated neglects, yet I still persuade myself that you are glad to
hear, though in two lines, of my health and good spirits, and that
you will postpone more ample conversations to the Easter Holydays,
when I can talk more in an hour than I could write in a month.
Perhaps I should even have delayed this scrap of an Epistle, were I
not apprehensive that the parliamentary events of this week would
have given you some uneasiness both on a private and public account.
Though I am not in the secret, especially of the adverse party, yet I
know more than it is proper to trust to paper.[12]

The situation of the administration, though dangerous, is not
_absolutely_ desperate, and with some concessions I still think that
Lord N. may survive the impending storm of the next fortnight. At all
events, if we fall (for, inconsiderable as I am, I am sure of being
one of the first victims) I shall meet my fate with resolution.--I
remember you asked me an age ago about a report of my having got a
house in Harley Street and a wreck of wine on the Coast of Sussex:
the former was a fruitless negociation, the latter related to my
aunt's manor of Newhaven, but the wine is contested by the King's
officers, and the litigation, if pursued, may cost her more than
the object is worth. Adieu. My Dear Madam, on every account I am
impatient for the Easter holydays.

  I am
  Ever yours,
  E. G.

  [12] Lord North resigned on March 20, and the new ministry, with
  the Marquis of Rockingham as first Lord of the Treasury, was
  finally settled on Sunday, March 24.

  The new Cabinet consisted of the following ministers:--

  Marquis of Rockingham              First Lord of the Treasury.
  Lord Thurlow, to continue Lord Chancellor.
  Earl of Shelburne }                Principal Secretaries of State.
  Charles James Fox }
  Lord J. Cavendish                  Chancellor of the Exchequer.
  Admiral Lord Keppel                First Lord of the Admiralty.
  Duke of Grafton                    Lord Privy Seal.
  Lord Camden                        President of the Council.
  Duke of Richmond                   Master-General of the Ordnance.
  General Conway                     Commander-in-Chief.
  John Dunning (Lord Ashburton)      Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster.



  436.

  _To his Stepmother._


  March 20th, 1782.

  MY DEAR MADAM,

  [Sidenote: FALL OF LORD NORTH'S MINISTRY.]

  All is now over, and Lord North is no more. This day when the
  armies in the H. of C. were ready to engage, he gave solemn
  notice that the whole administration was dissolved, and the
  House has adjourned till Monday next to allow time for the new
  arrangements. Complaints are vain and useless for the past, and
  futurity is dark and dismal. It is my intention, unless I should
  be detained either by _serious_ business, or by some threatening
  symptoms of the Gout, to visit Bath about Sunday sennight, when
  we may discuss freely and fully the strange events of the times.
  Till then Adieu. Remember me to Mrs. Hayley. The Eliots whom I
  see _sometimes_ are well, and as you may suppose triumphant.

  I am, Dear Madam,
  Ever yours,
  E. G.



  437.

  _To his Stepmother._


  Bentinck Street, March 28th, 1782.

  DEAR MADAM,

  In our common disappointment you will be pleased to hear that
  the Gout has totally left me, and that it is only the extreme
  shortness of our adjournment and the busy uncertainty of the
  times that have prevented my Easter visit to Bath. I am satisfied
  that Bath is very pleasant in the months of May and June, and
  you may be assured that I will come down, as soon as our fate is
  determined and the busyness of parliament has begun to subside.
  Pray give my compliments to Mrs. Hayley. I fear she will be gone
  before my arrival.

  I am, Dear Madam,
  Ever yours,
  E. G.



  438.

  _To his Stepmother._


  May 4th, 1782.

  DEAR MADAM,

  [Sidenote: HIS LOSS OF OFFICE.]

  The thunder-bolt has fallen, and I have received one of the
  circular letters from Lord Shelburne to inform me that the board
  of trade will be suppressed and that his Majesty has no further
  occasion for my services. I have been prepared for this event
  and can support it with firmness. I enjoy health, friends,
  reputation, and a perpetual fund of domestic amusement: I am
  not without resources, and my best resource, which shall never
  desert me, is in the chearfullness and tranquillity of a mind
  which in any place and in any situation can always secure its
  own independent happyness. The business of the House of Commons
  still continues, and indeed encreases, and though I am heartily
  tired of the scene, some serious reasons prevent me from retiring
  at the present season. Yet I still cast a longing eye towards
  Bath, and though I find it difficult, or rather impossible, to
  fix the moment of my summer visit, I can most sincerely promise
  that it will be the first use which I shall make of my freedom.
  As I have only _one_ object, it will be perfectly indifferent
  to me whether the place be full or empty, dully or lively. Mrs.
  Holroyd, I suppose, has found, and Mrs. Hayley has left, you. Are
  you acquainted with Lady Eliza Foster,[13] a bewitching animal?
  You have heard of my Gouts, they are vanished, and I feel myself
  five and twenty years old. Can you say as much? I hope you can.
  Adieu. Recommend me to the Goulds.

  I am
  Most truly yours,
  E. G.

  Next Wednesday I conclude my forty-fifth year, and in spite of
  the changes of Kings and Ministers, I am very glad that I was
  born.

  [13] Lady Elizabeth Hervey, daughter of Frederick, Earl of
  Bristol, and Bishop of Derry, married, in 1776, John Thomas
  Foster. Her father, says Walpole to Mann in December, 1783,
  though a rich man, allowed her to be governess to a natural
  daughter of the Duke of Devonshire. Lady Elizabeth Foster, writes
  Miss Burney (_Diary and Letters of Madame d'Arblay_, vol. v. p.
  225), "has the character of being so alluring, that Mrs. Holroyd
  told me it was the opinion of Mr. Gibbon no man could withstand
  her, and that, if she chose to beckon the Lord Chancellor from
  his woolsack, in full sight of the world, he could not resist
  obedience." Lady Elizabeth, who, in October, 1809, married as her
  second husband William, fifth Duke of Devonshire, died March 30,
  1824.



439.

_To his Stepmother._


  Bentinck Street, May 29th, 1782.

  DEAR MADAM,

From the very strong expressions of _anxious expectation_and frequent
disappointments, I must think that I am much more guilty than I
conceived myself to be on account of my silence. Your apparent
indulgence had taught me to believe that you were accustomed to my
faults, that you kindly forgave them, and that without the aid of the
pen or the post your own heart would inform you of the sentiments of
mine. Since my last letter nothing has happened, indeed nothing can
happen to affect my situation: in the midst of a plague (such is the
present influenza) my health and spirits are perfectly good, and in
that tranquil state Saturdays and _Mondays_ pass away without waking
me from my gentle slumber. Even my curiosity is not excited, as I
have frequent opportunities of hearing circumstantial and impartial
accounts of the only object that interests me at Bath.

You ask with some anxiety when you may hope to see me. I know
not what to say. Though I always foresee and recollect with
heartfelt satisfaction the time which I spend at the Belvidere,
yet the convenient season of my visit seems to retire before me.
Public events have immoderately protracted the present session of
Parliament; it will certainly continue the whole of June and a
considerable part of July, and as it was my intention to attend it
to the last, I began to think that you would excuse me if I delayed
my journey (which would suit me far better) till the beginning of
Autumn. But if you have any particular reasons that make you wish to
see me sooner, say it in ten lines, and I will set off in ten days.
I rejoyce in every subject of your joy both private and public, and
I am better pleased to hear that you are free from pain than that
Rodney has destroyed a French fleet.[14] Alas! had he done it two
months sooner our poor administration would have stood. Every person
of every party is provoked with our new Governors for taking the
truncheon from the hand of a victorious Admiral, in whose place they
have sent a Commander without experience or abilities.[15] To-morrow
they will be exposed to a small fire in the H. of C. on that popular
topic. Adieu, Dear Madam, in this sickly season all my acquaintance
(masters, mistresses and servants) are laid up except _young_ Mrs.
Porten and myself.

  I am
  Most truly yours,
  E. G.

  [14] On April 12, 1782, Admiral Sir George Rodney "broke the
  line," and defeated the French under the Comte de Grasse in the
  West Indies, the French Admiral and his flagship the _Ville de
  Paris_, the largest ship afloat and the present of the city of
  Paris to Louis XVI., being taken. "The late Ministry are thus
  robbed of a victory that ought to have been theirs; but the mob
  do not look into the almanac" (Walpole to Sir H. Mann, May 18,
  1782).

  [15] Rodney was superseded by Admiral Pigot, who was one of the
  Lords of the Admiralty in the new administration.



440.

_To his Stepmother._


  July 3rd, 1782.

  DEAR MADAM,

[Sidenote: DEATH OF LORD ROCKINGHAM.]

*I hope you have not had a moment's uneasiness about the delay of my
Midsummer letter. Whatever may happen, you may rest fully secure,
that the materials of it shall always be _found_. But on this
occasion I have missed four or five posts; postponing, as usual, from
morning to the evening bell, which now rings, till it has occurred to
me, that it might not be amiss to inclose the two essential lines,
if I only added that the Influenza has been known to me only by
the report of others. Lord Rockingham[16] is at last dead; a good
man, though a feeble minister: his successor is not yet named, and
divisions in the Cabinet are suspected. If Lord Shelburne should be
the Man, as I think he will, the friends of his predecessor will
quarrel with him before Christmas. At all events, I foresee much
tumult and strong opposition, from which I should be very glad to
extricate myself, by quitting the H. of C. with honour and without
loss. Whatever you may hear, I believe there is not the least
intention of dissolving Parliament, which would indeed be a rash and
dangerous measure.

I hope you like Mr. Hayley's poem;[17] he rises with his subject, and
since Pope's death, I am satisfied that England has not seen so happy
a mixture of strong sense and flowing numbers. Are you not delighted
with his address to his mother? I understand that She was, in plain
prose, every thing that he speaks her in verse. This summer I shall
stay in town, and work at my trade, till I make some Holydays for my
Bath excursion. Lady S. is at Brighton, and he lives under tents,
like the wild Arabs; so that my Country house is shut up. Kitty
Porten is gone on a fortnight's frolick to lodge at Windsor.

  I am, Dear Madam,
  Ever yours.

  [16] The Marquis of Rockingham died July 2, 1782, aged fifty-two.

  [17] The poem to which Gibbon alludes is the _Essay on Epic
  Poetry in five Epistles to the Rev. Mr. Mason_ (London, 1782).
  Hayley's mother was Mary Yates (1718-1775), who married Thomas
  Hayley in 1740, and died in 1775. The lines to which Gibbon
  alludes occur in the fourth epistle (ll. 439 to end).

    "Nature, who deck'd thy form with Beauty's flowers,
    Exhausted on thy soul her finer powers;
    Taught it with all her energy to feel
    Love's melting softness, Friendship's fervid zeal,
    The generous purpose, and the active thought,
    With Charity's diffusive spirit fraught;
    There all the best of mental gifts she plac'd,
    Vigor of judgment, purity of Taste,
    Superior parts, without their spleenful leaven,
    Kindness to Earth, and confidence in Heaven."



  441.

  _To Lord Sheffield, at Coxheath Camp._


  Saturday night, Bentinck Street, 1782.

  *I sympathise with your fatigues; yet Alexander, Hannibal, &c.
  have suffered hardships almost equal to yours. At such a moment
  it is disagreeable (besides laziness) to write, because every
  hour teems with a new lye. As yet, however, only Charles[18] has
  formally resigned; but Lord John, Burke, Keppel, Lord Althorpe,
  &c. certainly follow; your Commander-in-chief stays, and they are
  furious against the Duke of Richmond.*[19] Why will he not go
  out with Fox? said somebody; because, replies a friend, he does
  not like to _go out_ with any man. *In short, three months of
  prosperity has dissolved a Phalanx, which had stood ten years'
  adversity. Next Tuesday, Fox will give his reasons, and possibly
  be encountered by Pitt, the new Secretary, or Chancellor, at
  three and twenty. The day will be rare and curious, and, if
  I were a light Dragoon, I would take a gallop on purpose to
  Westminster. Adieu. I hear the bell. How could I write before I
  knew where you dwelt?*

  E. G.

  [18] On the death of Lord Rockingham, Fox endeavoured to force on
  the King, as the new Premier, the Duke of Portland, "a dull man,
  but a convenient block to hang Whigs on." Failing in his attempt,
  he resigned.

  [19] Lord John Cavendish and Lord Althorpe, two of the Lords of
  the Treasury, Burke, Paymaster-General, Lord Duncannon and the
  Hon. John Townshend, Lords of the Admiralty, retired with Fox.
  Lord Keppel and General Conway continued in office; also the Duke
  of Richmond, Fox's uncle.



442.

_To Lord Sheffield._


  July 10th, 1782.

[Sidenote: LORD SHELBURNE'S MINISTRY.]

_Authentic List._[20]

  Treasury           {Lord S[helburne].
                     {W. Pitt, Chancellor [of the Exchequer].
                     {James Grenville.
                     {Richard Jackson.
                     {Ed. Eliot, Junior, of Port Eliot.
  Admiralty          {Aubrey    Duncannon     } Lord Keppel has
                     {      vice              }
                     {Pratt     Jack Townshend} not yet resign'd
  Secretaries of     {Lord Grantham.
  State              {T. Townshend.
  ---- of War.        Sir George Young.
  Treasurer of Navy.  Barré remain.
  Paymaster.          Perhaps Advocate.
  Ireland.            Lord Temple.

Yesterday _was_ a rare day.

  Vera Cop,
  E. G.

  [20] Parliament was prorogued on July 11 till December 5, 1782.
  Gibbon's list of the new Ministry is accurate, except that the
  Lord Advocate, the Hon. Henry Dundas (afterwards Lord Melville),
  became Treasurer of the Navy, _vice_ Colonel Isaac Barré,
  who became Paymaster of the Forces. "Places are cheaper than
  mackerel," writes Lord Loughborough to his cousin William Eden,
  July 4, 1782 (_Lord Auckland's Journal and Correspondence_, vol.
  i. p. 2).



443.

_To Lord Sheffield._


  July 23rd, 1782.

The papers say you are at Coxheath. Write. Bad news from India; I am
afraid that we have lost a ship and that Hyder has won a battle.[21]
None, therefore good, from Lord Howe since every day fortifies
him.[22] Within this last fortnight prodigious exertions by the
Admiralty, till then they were fast asleep. The Advocate arrived last
night, but has not _yet_ accepted. To-morrow I visit Eden at his
farm near Bromley. If you and my Lady could give me a meeting in a
_house_, I would run down even for three or four days: but I do not
admire canvass. Adieu.

  E. G.

Aunt Hester seems to want some intelligence.

  [21] Gibbon probably refers to the defeat of Colonel Brathwaite
  in the Tanjore district (February, 1782), by Tippoo, Hyder's son,
  and M. Lally.

  [22] The combined French and Spanish fleets were collected in the
  Channel, intending to prevent the relief of Gibraltar and effect
  a junction with the Dutch. Lord Howe had already driven the Dutch
  into the Texel, and he now sailed to protect the Jamaica convoy,
  and watch the enemy, single ships being sent to reinforce him
  as they could be made ready. On September 11, Lord Howe sailed
  with a powerful fleet for the relief of Gibraltar, and landed his
  troops and stores October 13-18.



444.

_To his Stepmother._


  August 10th, 1782.

  DEAR MADAM,

A person whom you would scarcely suspect, General Conway as commander
in Chief, is the real author of my silence, which as usual has
insensibly lasted far beyond my first intentions. Lord Sheffield is
a slave, his master's resolutions are obscure and fluctuating, and I
have waited from post to post till he could mark some week for our
meeting in Sussex, which might leave the rest of my time at liberty
for my Bath expedition. Though I can obtain no satisfaction from
him, I must not suffer another _Monday_ to slide away without saying
that I am alive, well, and unless the Arab should seize (_he_ has no
choice) that particular moment, in full expectation of gratifying my
wishes by a visit to Bath about the 20th of next month. I flatter
myself that I shall find you not affected by the long winter which we
still feel, though a friend of mine, an Astronomer, assured me that
yesterday was the last of the dog days.

It is impossible to know what to say of our public affairs, and the
most knowing are only such by the knowledge of their ignorance. The
next session of Parliament will be the warmest and most irregular
battle that has ever been fought in that place, and each man
(except some leaders) is at the moment uncertain of the party which
inclination, opinion, or connection will prompt him to embrace. You
see that Mr. Eliot, or at least his family, are become courtiers; his
son (a very unmeaning youth) is a Lord of the Treasury, an office
which was formerly the reward of twenty years' able and faithful
service. The Minister has not lost, for he never possessed, the
public confidence, and Lord N[orth], if he chuses to act, has the
balance of the country in his hands. A propos of the Eliots they are
still in town. We meet seldom, but with the utmost propriety and
equal regard.

[Sidenote: IMMERSED IN THE ROMAN EMPIRE.]

My private life is a gentle and not unpleasing continuation of my
old labours, and I am again involved, as I shall be for some years,
in the decline and fall of the Roman Empire. Some fame, some profit,
and the assurance of daily amusement encourage me to persist. I
am glad you are pleased with Mr. Hayley's poem; perhaps he might
have been less diffuse, but his sense is fine and his verse is
harmonious.--Mrs. Porten is just returned from a six weeks' excursion
in lodgings at Windsor, which she enjoyed (the Terrace, the Air, and
the Royal family) with all the spirit of youth. Her elder brother is
quiet in his new employment and apartments in Kensington palace. I
envy him the latter, and had there been no Revolution I might have
obtained a similar advantage. At present I am on the ground, but the
weather may change, and compared with recent darkness, the clouds are
beginning to break away.

  I am, Dear Madam,
  Ever yours,
  E. G.



445.

_To his Stepmother._


  Bentinck Street, Sept. 14, 1782.

  DEAR MADAM,

As you suffered by the long winter, I may reasonably, as I warmly,
hope that your health and spirits have been permanently restored by
the milder Spring or Autumn which this month has introduced:--For
many reasons you will be surprised, though I think pleased, to hear
that I have fixed myself for this season in a country villa of
Hampton court. My friend Mr. Hamilton (I must distinguish him by the
impertinent epithet of 'single speech') has very obligingly lent me a
ready furnished house close to the Palace, and opening by a private
door into the Royal garden, which is maintained for my use but not
at my expence. The air and exercise, good roads and neighbourhood,
the opportunity of being in London at any time in two hours, and the
temperate mixture of society and study, adapt this new scene very
much to my wishes, and must entirely remove your kind apprehensions
of my injuring my health (which I have never done) by excessive
labour. I find or make many acquaintance, and among others I have
visited your old friend Mrs. Manhood (Ashby) at Isleworth in her
pleasant summer-house on the Thames. She overwhelms me with civility,
but you need not indulge either hopes or fears: as I hear she is
going to accept Sir William Draper[23] for her third husband.

You will naturally suppose, and will not I think be displeased that
I should enjoy this new and unexpected situation as long as the fine
weather continues, and our past hardships encourage us to depend
on the favour, at least the first favours of the month of October.
Beyond that period the prospect in every sense of the word is cloudy,
and my future motions will be partly regulated by parliament, and
the intanglement of some private pursuits with public affairs. I
still flatter myself with the hope of securing two or three weeks
for Bath; but if I should _again_ delay that visit till Christmas, I
shall prove my perfect confidence in your indulgent friendship, and
in your firm belief of my tender attachment, which can alone justify
such freedom of conduct. Of the Sheffields I know little, seldom hear
from, and am totally ignorant when I shall see them. The Eliots are
gone into Cornwall. They _say_ that the son is going to marry Lady
Sarah Pitt,[24] sister to his intimate friend the Chancellor of the
Exchequer.

From the little I have read I agree with you about Gilbert
Stuart's[25] book, but I cannot forgive your indifference and almost
aversion to one of the most amiable men, and masterly compositions in
the world.

  I am, Dear Madam,
  Most truly yours,
  E. G.

I lay in town last night, and am just setting out for Hampton Court.

N.B.--I never travel after dark, but our dangers are almost over.

  [23] General Sir William Draper is best known from the attack
  upon him by Junius, his share in the defence of Fort St. Philip
  in Minorca (1781-2), and his subsequent charges against the
  Governor. He was twice married, but, after the death of his
  second wife in 1778, remained a widower. He died at Bath in 1787.

  [24] Edward James Eliot married, in September, 1785, Lady Harriet
  Pitt, second daughter of the first Earl of Chatham. She died
  September 25, 1786, leaving a daughter, born September 20, 1786.
  Edward Eliot died in 1797, predeceasing his father.

  [25] Gilbert Stuart (1742-1786) published in 1780 his _History
  of the Establishment of Religion in Scotland_, 1517-1561; and in
  1782 the _History of Scotland from the Reformation till the Death
  of Queen Mary_. His best-known work was his _View of Society in
  Europe_ (1778). The story of his attack on Robert Henry, and his
  attempt to ruin him, are related in Disraeli's _Calamities of
  Authors_. If Gibbon alludes to Stuart, Mrs. Gibbon seems to have
  been justified in her prejudice.



446.

_To Lord Sheffield._


  September 29th, 1782.

[Sidenote: HIS HAMPTON COURT VILLA.]

I should like sometimes to hear whether you survive the scenes of
action and danger in which a Dragoon is continually involved. What a
difference between the life of a Dragoon and that of a Philosopher!
and I will freely own that I (the Philosopher) am much better
satisfied with my own independent and tranquil situation, in which
I have always something to do, without ever being obliged to do any
thing. The Hampton Court Villa has answered my expectation, and
proved no small addition to my comforts; so that I am resolved next
summer to hire, borrow, or steal, either the same, or something of
the same kind. Every morning I walk a mile or more before breakfast,
read and write _quantum sufficit_, mount my chaise and visit in
the neighbourhood, accept some invitations, and escape others, use
the Lucans as my daily bread, dine pleasantly at home or sociably
abroad, reserve for study an hour or two in the evening, lye in
town regularly once a week, &c. &c. &c. I have anounced to Mrs. G.
my new Arrangements; the certainty that October will be fine, and
my encreasing doubts whether I shall be able to reach Bath before
Christmas. Do you intend (but how can you _intend_ any thing?) to
pass the winter under Canvas? Perhaps under the veil of Hampton Court
I may lurk ten days or a fortnight at Sheffield, if the enraged Lady
or cat does not shut the doors against me.

The Warden[26] passed through in his way to Dover. He is not so
fat, and more chearful than ever. I had not any private conversation
with him; but he clearly holds the balance; unless he falls asleep
and lets it fall from his hand. The Pandæmonium (as I understand)
does not meet till the 26th of November. I feel with you that a
nich is grown of higher value, but think _that_ only an additional
argument for disposing of it. And so by this time Lord L.[27] is
actually turned off. Do you know his partner (Miss Courtenay, the
Lord's sister), about thirty, only £4000, not handsome, but very
pleasant. I am at a loss where to address my condoleance, I would say
congratulation. Town is more a desert than I ever knew it. I arrived
yesterday, dined at Sir Joshua's with a tolerable party; the chaise
is now at the door; I dine at Richmond, lye at Hampton, &c. Adieu.

  E. G.

  [26] Lord North was Warden of the Cinque Ports.

  [27] Lord Loughborough married as his second wife, on September
  12, 1782, the Hon. Charlotte Courtenay, daughter of the first
  Viscount Courtenay.



447.

_To his Stepmother._


  Hampton Court, October 1st, 1782.

  MY DEAR MADAM,

I feel your anxiety, and am impatient to assure you that the report
of your officious visitor is absolutely without foundation. I had
not any complaints when I came down to this place; but the air,
exercise and dissipation have given me fresh spirits; and I should be
apt to fix on the last month as the part of my life in which I have
enjoyed the most perfect health. You may depend on my word of honour,
that in case of any real alarm, you shall hear from myself or from
Caplen.--Excuse brevity, as I save a day, perhaps more, by sending
Caplen with Duplicates to London, one copy for the post, the other to
take the chance of greater dispatch by the coach. I wish to know what
you think of me and my schemes; if you are not perfectly satisfied
with my confidence, you may be somewhat displeased with my seeming
neglect. I fear we shall not meet till Christmas.

  I am
  Ever yours,
  E. GIBBON.



448.

_To Lord Sheffield at Coxheath Camp._


  Bentinck Street, October 14th, 1782.

[Sidenote: RELIEF OF GIBRALTAR.]

*On the approach of winter, my paper house of Hampton becomes less
comfortable; my visits to Bentinck Street grow longer and more
frequent, and the end of next week will restore me to the town,
with a lively wish, however, to repeat the same, or a similar
experiment, next Summer. I admire the assurance with which you
propose a month's residence at Sheffield, when you are not sure of
being allowed three days. Here it is currently reported, that Camps
will not separate till Lord Howe's _return_ from Gibraltar,[28]
and as yet we have no news of his arrival. Perhaps, indeed, you
have more intimate correspondence with your old school-fellow, Lord
Shelburne, and already know the hour of your deliverance. I should
like to be informed. As Lady S. has entirely forgot me, I shall have
the pleasure of forming a new acquaintance. I have often thought of
writing, but it is now too late to repent.

I am at a loss what to say or think about our Parliamentary state. A
certain late Secretary of Ireland,[29] the husband of Polly Jones,
reckons the House of Commons thus: Minister 140, Reynard 90, Boreas
120, the rest unknown, or uncertain. The last of the three, by self
or agents, talks too much of absence, neutrality, moderation. I still
think he will discard the game.

I am not in such a fury with the letter of American independence;[30]
but it seems ill-timed and useless; and I am much entertained with
the Metaphysical disputes between Government and secession about the
meaning of it. Lord Lough[borough] will be in town Sunday sen-night.
I long to see him and Co. I think he will take a very decided part.
If he could throw aside his Gown, he would make a noble Leader. The
East India news are excellent; the French gone to the Mauritius,
Heyder desirous of peace, the Nizam and Mahrattas our friends, and
70 Lack of Rupees in the Bengal treasury, while we were voting the
recall of Hastings.[31] Adieu. Write soon.

  E. G.

  [28] Lord Howe arrived at Gibraltar early in October. On
  September 13 the final effort of the French and Spaniards to
  capture the Rock had been repulsed by Sir George Eliott, who
  destroyed their floating batteries. Lord Howe returned to
  Portsmouth November 15, 1782.

  [29] Probably William Eden, who had been secretary to the Earl of
  Carlisle during his Lord-Lieutenancy of Ireland. But he married
  Eleanor, daughter of Sir Gilbert Elliot, and sister of the first
  Earl of Minto. Eden, who was created Lord Auckland in the Irish
  peerage in 1789, was advanced to an English peerage in 1793, and
  died in 1814.

  [30] The reference probably is to the letter which Fox, before
  his resignation, wrote to the American agents in Paris, offering
  "_to recognize the independence of the United States in the
  first instance, and not to reserve it as a condition of peace_."
  Fox interpreted this as an absolute recognition of American
  independence; Lord Shelburne and his colleagues held that it was
  a conditional recognition dependent on peace being concluded.

  [31] In September, 1780, Hyder Ali invaded the Madras district;
  Warren Hastings at once negotiated peace with the Mahrattas in
  order that he might send all available troops to Madras. Sir
  Eyre Coote defeated Hyder at Porto Novo (July 1, 1781) and at
  Pollilore (August 27). The full Treasury was the result of the
  recent overthrow of Cheyte Singh, Rajah of Benares, and the
  spoliation of the Begums of Oude. In the summer of 1782 the
  House of Commons resolved that it was the duty of the Court of
  Directors to recall Hastings. In compliance with this resolution
  the directors voted an order of recall, but afterwards rescinded
  it and maintained the Governor-General at his post. See note to
  Letter 487, on page 85 of this volume.



449.

_To Lady Sheffield._


  Bentinck Street, October 31st, 1782.

Although I am provoked (it is always right to begin first) with your
long and unaccountable silence, yet I cannot help wishing (a foolish
weakness) to learn whether you and the two infants are still alive,
and what have been the summer amusements of your widowed and their
orphan state. Some indirect intelligence inclines me to suspect that
the Baron himself has quitted before this time a house of Canvas
for one of brick, and that he enjoys a short interval between the
fatigues of War and those of Government. Should he happen to find
himself in your neighbourhood you may inform him that Hugonin (good
creature) came to town purposely on my business and passed three
hours with me this morning. Harris has resigned his Case of the
conflagration, and either by a sale to Lord Stawell or by a new
Tenant we shall make it rather a profitable affair.

[Sidenote: ENTHUSIASM FOR SIR GEORGE ELIOTT.]

You have doubtless received very accurate accounts of my proceedings
from the Cambridges by which channel I have likewise obtained very
frequent narratives of your life and conversation, and this mutual
Gazette has contributed not a little to stifle the reproaches of my
conscience. In my excursions round the Hampton neighbourhood, I have
often visited and dined with them, and found him properly sensible of
his happyness in the absence of his wife: indeed I never saw a man
more improved by any fortunate event. My campaign, and it has been
a pleasant one, is now closed, but in the time which remains before
the opening of our Pandemonium, I should not dislike to breathe for a
week or ten days the air of Sheffield Place, and as the Lord will be
accessible in town before Christmas, my attack (according to modern
rules) will be chiefly designed for the Lady. About Wednesday or
Thursday next would be the day that I should think of moving, but I
wish to be informed how far such a plan may consist (as the Scotch
say) with other arrangements. Adieu. Is not Elliot[32] a glorious old
fellow? We suspend our judgment of Lord Howe, yet I like the prospect.

  I embrace, &c.,
  E. G.

  [32] Sir George Augustus Eliott, created Lord Heathfield for his
  defence of Gibraltar.



450.

_To his Stepmother._


  November 7th, 1782.

  DEAR MADAM,

Last week I finished my Hampton Court expedition, and think myself
obliged to the person and to the accident which have thrown that
unexpected but not unpleasing variety into my Summer life. I am now
fixed in town till Christmas, or if Lord Sheffield who has quitted
his camp should drag me into Sussex, it can be only for three or four
days.

The Parliamentary campaign is approaching very fast,[33] and a very
singular one it must be from the conflict of _three_ parties, each of
which will be exposed in its turn to the direct or oblique attacks
of the other two. As a matter of curiosity I shall derive some
gratification from my silent seat, but at present I do not perceive
its use in any other light. From honour, gratitude and principle I am
and shall be attached to Lord N., who will lead a very respectable
force into the field, but I much doubt whether matters are ripe for
either conquest or coalition, and the havock which Burke's bill has
made of places, &c., encreases the difficulties of a new arrangement.
However a month or two may change the face of things, and the faces
of men.

[Sidenote: WILLIAM PITT AND MRS. SIDDONS.]

Among those men surely Will Pitt the second is the most
extraordinary.[34] I know you never liked the father, and I have
no connection public or private with the son. Yet we cannot refuse
to admire a youth of four and twenty whom eloquence and real merit
have already made Chancellor of the Exchequer without his promotion
occasioning either surprize or censure.

We are much indebted to your Bath Theatre for Mrs. Siddons:[35]
two years ago, and in the part of Lady Townley, she did not strike
me: but I saw her last night with the most exquisite pleasure. She
gave sense and spirit to a wretched play (the Fatal Marriage), and
displayed every power of voice, action, and countenance to a degree
which left me nothing to wish. To-morrow I promise myself still more
satisfaction from Jane Shore, as the character is more worthy of
her talents. Adieu, Dear Madam. Inform me that the beginning of the
winter has not affected your health. Whatever may be the state of my
namesake, I hope at Christmas to bring you a sound body, and a mind
not dissatisfied with external things, because it is not dissatisfied
with itself.

  I am
  Ever yours,
  E. G.

  [33] Parliament, which had been prorogued to November 26, was
  further prorogued to December 5, in order that the negotiations
  for peace might be completed. Peace was provisionally signed with
  the United States at Paris on November 30, 1782.

  [34] Pitt's first meeting with Gibbon is thus described by Sir
  James Bland Burges, Bart. (_Letters and Correspondence_, pp.
  59-61). The dinner was given in Lincoln's Inn to the officers of
  the Northumberland Militia, who were quartered in the Inn during
  the Gordon Riots.

  "I invited the four military gentlemen, our committee, and six
  other persons the best qualified I could meet with, among whom
  were my father, Lord Carmarthen, and Mr. Gibbon, the historian,
  who was then at the zenith of his fame, and who certainly was not
  at all backward in availing himself of the deference universally
  shown to him, by taking both the lead, and a very ample share
  of the conversation, in whatever company he might honour with
  his presence. His conversation was not, indeed, what Dr. Johnson
  would have called _talk_. There was no interchange of ideas, for
  no one had a chance of replying, so fugitive, so variable, was
  his mode of discoursing, which consisted of points, anecdotes,
  and epigrammatic thrusts, all more or less to the purpose, and
  all pleasantly said with a French air and manner which gave
  them great piquancy, but which were withal so desultory and
  unconnected that, though each separately was extremely amusing,
  the attention of his auditors sometimes flagged before his own
  resources were exhausted.... He had just concluded, however, one
  of his best foreign anecdotes, in which he had introduced some of
  the fashionable levities of political doctrine then prevalent,
  and, with his customary tap on the lid of his snuff-box, was
  looking round to receive our tribute of applause, when a
  deep-toned but clear voice was heard from the bottom of the
  table, very calmly and civilly impugning the correctness of the
  narrative, and the propriety of the doctrines of which it had
  been made the vehicle. The historian, turning a disdainful glance
  towards the quarter whence the voice proceeded, saw, for the
  first time, a tall, thin, and rather ungainly-looking young man,
  who now sat quietly and silently eating some fruit. There was
  nothing very prepossessing or very formidable in his exterior,
  but, as the few words he had uttered appeared to have made a
  considerable impression on the company, Mr. Gibbon, I suppose,
  thought himself bound to maintain his honour by suppressing such
  an attempt to dispute his supremacy. He accordingly undertook
  the defence of the propositions in question, and a very animated
  debate took place between him and his youthful antagonist, Mr.
  Pitt, and for some time was conducted with great talent and
  brilliancy on both sides. At length the genius of the young man
  prevailed over that of his senior, who, finding himself driven
  into a corner from which there was no escape, made some excuse
  for rising from the table and walked out of the room. I followed
  him, and, finding that he was looking for his hat, I tried to
  persuade him to return to his seat. 'By no means,' said he. 'That
  young gentleman is, I have no doubt, extremely ingenious and
  agreeable, but I must acknowledge that his style of conversation
  is not exactly what I am accustomed to, so you must positively
  excuse me.' And away he went in high dudgeon, notwithstanding
  that his friend [Lord Sheffield] had come to my assistance."

  [35] Mrs. Siddons first appeared on the London stage in December,
  1775, when she acted Portia at Drury Lane. She gained no great
  success, and in June, 1776, received her dismissal from the
  managers. In the provincial theatres, and especially at the
  Bath Theatre, then managed by Palmer, she became famous. At
  Bath, in 1780, she had twice acted the part of Lady Townly in
  Vanbrugh's and Cibber's play of _The Provoked Husband_. In 1782
  she reappeared in London (October 10) at Drury Lane, in the part
  of Isabella in Southerne's tragedy of _The Fatal Marriage_. On
  October 30 she took the part of Euphrasia in Murphy's _Grecian
  Daughter_. On November 8 she played Jane Shore in Rowe's tragedy
  of that name. W. Hamilton's picture of Mrs. Siddons as Isabella
  belongs to the nation.



451.

_To his Stepmother._


  December 21st, 1782.

  DEAR MADAM,

I write a little letter on little paper because I shall soon have
the pleasure of conversing with you in a less laborious manner. Next
Thursday I propose to begin my journey for Bath, but as the times (in
a public and private light) are very _hard_, I shall travel with my
own horses, lye two nights on the road, and reach the Belvidere for a
late dinner Saturday. You will be so good as to secure me a lodging;
the nearness to your house will be its best recommendation, as you
are my sole inducement. If any business should detain me two or three
days longer in town, you may depend on the earliest notice.

  I am, Dear Madam,
  Ever yours,
  E. G.



452.

_To his Stepmother._


  Bentinck Street, December 26th, 1782.

  DEAR MADAM,

It was not in my power to set out this morning (Thursday), and
therefore I cannot hope to reach Bath Saturday. I am not perfectly
sure whether Sunday or Monday will be the day of my arrival: for
which reason I shall eat a mutton chop at the Devizes, and beg you
would not wait dinner for me.

  I am
  Most truly yours,
  E. G.



453.

_To Lord Sheffield._


  Tuesday evening, 1782.

[Sidenote: THE DEARTH OF NEWS.]

*I have designed writing every post.--The air of London is admirable;
my complaints have vanished, and the Gout still respects me. Lord L.,
with whom I passed an entire day, is very well satisfied with his
Irish expedition, and found the barbarous people very kind to him:
the castle is strong, but the volunteers are formidable. London is
dead, and all intelligence so totally extinct, that the loss of an
army would be a favourable incident. We have not even the advantage
of Shipwrecks, which must soon, with the society of Ham[ilton]
and Lady Shelley, become the only pleasures of Brighton. My lady
is precious, and deserves to shine in London, when she regains
her palace. The workmen are slow, but I hear that the Minister
talks of hiring another house after Christmas. Adieu, till Monday
seven-night.* Shall Caplin get you a lodging?



454.

_To his Stepmother._


  Bentinck Street, Jan. 16th, 1783.

  DEAR MADAM,

I reached London after an easy and pleasant journey, and am now
seated in my library before a good fire, and among three or four
thousand of my old acquaintance. The prospect of my future life is
not _gloomy_: yet I should esteem myself a very happy man indeed, if
every fortnight could be of as pure a white as the last which I have
spent at Bath in the society of the most sincere as well as amiable
of my friends.

  I am, Dear Madam,
  Ever yours,
  E. G.



455.

_To Lord Sheffield._


  January 17th, 1783.

*As I arrived about five o'Clock on Wednesday last, we were some
time in town in mutual ignorance. Unlucky enough: yet our loss will
be speedily repaired. Your reason for not writing is worthy of an
Irish Baron. You thought Sarah might be at Bath, because you directed
letters to her at Clifton, near Bristol; where indeed I saw her in
a delightful situation, swept by the winter winds, and scorched by
the summer sun. A nobler reason for your silence would be the care
of the public papers, to record Your steps, words, and actions. I
was pleased with your Coventry oration: a panegyric on the Hertford
family[36] is a subject entirely new, and which no orator before
yourself would have dared to undertake. You have acted with prudence
and dignity in casting away the military yoke,* yet even if I _had_
a right I should try to moderate my indignation. *This next summer
you will sit down (if you can sit) in the long-lost character of a
country Gentleman.

For my own part, my late journey has only confirmed me in the
opinion, that No. 7 Bentinck-street is the best house in the World. I
find that peace and war alternately, and daily, take their turns of
conversation, and this (Friday) is the pacific day. Next week[37] we
shall probably hear some questions on that head very strongly asked,
and very foolishly answered. I embrace, &c. Give me a line by return
of post, and possibly I may visit Downing-street on Monday evening;
late, however, as I am engaged to dinner and cards. Adieu.*

  E. G.

  [36] The "Hertford family" included Francis, first Earl and
  Marquis of Hertford; his brother, General Conway; his eldest son,
  Lord Beauchamp, M.P. for Orford; and his youngest son, William
  Conway, who was at this time standing at a by-election for
  Coventry.

  [37] The preliminaries of peace were signed at Versailles with
  France and Spain, January 20, 1783, and Parliament met, after the
  Christmas recess, January 21.



456.

_To his Stepmother._


  Feb. 19th, 1783.

  DEAR MADAM,

On Monday or rather Tuesday last we gave the first blow to Lord S.'s
Government by a majority of sixteen in the House of C. on the Peace,
which will be followed by new and decisive attacks.[38] The victory
was obtained by the union of Lord North with Fox and the Rockingham
party.--You would have blamed me for going, or rather being carried,
down with flannels and crutches, and sitting all night till past
eight in the morning: but I have the pleasure of assuring you that
the heat and fatigue have done me no harm, that I have already
changed my two crutches into a single stick, which I hope to throw
away in three or four days. This fit of the Gout, though severe, has
been short, regular, and I think beneficial. Adieu.

  I am
  Ever yours,
  E. GIBBON.

  [38] On Monday, February 17, 1783, an address of thanks to his
  Majesty for the peace was moved by Thomas Pitt, M.P. for Old
  Sarum, and William Wilberforce, M.P. for Kingston-upon-Hull.
  Amendments were moved by Lord J. Cavendish and Lord North, which
  were carried at 8 a.m. on Tuesday, February 18, by 224 to 208. On
  February 21, a resolution, proposed by Lord J. Cavendish, that
  the concessions made to the United States were excessive, was
  carried by 207 to 190.



457.

_To his Stepmother._


  March 29th, 1783.

  DEAR MADAM,

[Sidenote: RESIGNATION OF LORD SHELBURNE.]

Will you credit and excuse the cause of my delay? I came home
late and found your letter on my table: meaning to read it the
next morning, I slipt it into my drawer, and till this moment it
escaped my memory and my eye.--I would not bribe you to prefer my
silence, yet you may always take it as an assured proof that the
body Gibbon is in a perfect state of health and spirits, as it is
most truly at the present moment, and since the entire retreat of
my Gout. The state of public affairs is Anarchy without example and
without end,[39] and if the King does not decide before Monday, the
consequences to the House of Commons will be fatal indeed. Every
day produces its own lye, and nothing that is probable is true. Yet
I believe that Pitt will not accept, and that the Coalition must
succeed.

  I am, Dear Madam,
  Ever yours,
  E. GIBBON.

  [39] On February 24, 1783, Lord Shelburne resigned office in
  consequence of the vote of February 21; and Pitt, as Chancellor
  of the Exchequer, publicly stated that he only retained his post
  till his successor was appointed. On March 24, Mr. Coke, M.P. for
  Norfolk, moved and carried an address to the king, asking for the
  appointment of a new administration.



458.

_To his Stepmother._


  March 31st, 1783.

  DEAR MADAM,

[Sidenote: THE COALITION MINISTRY.]

In my last, written like this in a very great hurry, I used (if I am
not mistaken) an expression which at a distance might alarm you too
much. The _fatal_ Monday is past without any _fatal_ consequences,
yet no Administration is appointed; but as Pitt has formally
resigned,[40] the K. will probably yield without expecting a second
and more serious address on Thursday.--I rejoyce to hear that you
have surmounted your complaint, and hope you will feel every day the
genial influence of the spring.

  I am
  Ever yours,
  E. G.

  [40] Pitt, on March 31, resigned the office of Chancellor of the
  Exchequer. On April 2 the new administration was formed; the
  principal members were--

  The Duke of Portland     First Lord of the Treasury.
  Lord North  }            Secretaries of State.
  Mr. Fox     }
  Lord J. Cavendish        Chancellor of the Exchequer.
  Lord Keppel              First Commissioner of the Admiralty.
  Lord Stormont            President of the Council.
  Lord Carlisle            Lord Privy Seal.
  Lord Townshend           Master of the Ordnance.
  Mr. Burke                Paymaster-General.
  Lord Northington         Lord Lieutenant of Ireland.

  The Great Seal was put in commission. The first seven formed the
  Cabinet.

  Lord Townshend said "he had always foreseen the Coalition
  Ministry could not last, for he was at Court when Mr. Fox kissed
  hands, and he observed George III. turn back his eyes and
  ears just like the horse at Astley's, when the tailor he had
  determined to throw was getting on him" (_Correspondence of C. J.
  Fox_, vol. ii. p. 28).



459.

_To his Stepmother._


  May 5th, 1783.

  DEAR MADAM,

My cousin Robert Darrel gave me great pleasure by the information
that he thought you perfectly recovered from your late indisposition.
I depend on his testimony, which removed all my doubts and suspicions
of your giving too favourable an account of yourself. For my own
part, after paying my annual tribute to the gout, I find myself in
the same even course of health and spirits which I have enjoyed for
many years. The business of the house of Commons has been postponed
by waiting first for peace and afterwards for Government; the long
hot days will be crowded, and we shall wrangle with a strong June
sun shining through the windows to reproach our folly.[41] I
have already made one short visit to my Cottage at Hampton Court;
I propose every week to steal away like a Citizen from Saturday
till Monday, and persuade myself that I shall be revived by such
excursions. You express a kind indignation against the persons for
whose sake I acted the devil upon two sticks. Notwithstanding their
apparent neglect I have reason to think them well inclined towards
me, and have even received some assurances, but as every thing that
depends on ministers is precarious and uncertain, I would not raise
too much either your hopes or my own. If any situation[42] permanent
and proper could be obtained, incompatible with a seat in parliament,
I should retire from that Assembly without the least reluctance.

  I am, Dear Madam,
  Ever yours,
  E. G.

  [41] The session closed July 16, 1783.

  [42] "Gibbon and I," writes Lord Sheffield to William Eden (_Lord
  Auckland's Journal and Correspondence_, vol. i. p. 53), "have
  been walking about the room and cannot find any employment we
  should like in the intended establishment. He agrees with me that
  the place of dancing-master might be one of the most eligible for
  him, but he rather inclines to be painter, in hopes of succeeding
  Ramsay."



460.

_A M. Deyverdun, à Lausanne._


  A Londres, ce 20 Mai, 1783.

*Que j'admire la douce et parfaite confiance de nos sentimens
réciproques! Nous nous aimons dans l'éloignement et le silence, et
il nous suffit à l'un et à l'autre, de savoir de tems en tems des
nouvelles de la santé et du bonheur de son ami. Aujourd'hui j'ai
besoin de vous écrire; je commence sans excuses et sans reproches,
comme si nous allions reprendre la conversation familière du jour
précédent. Si je proposois de faire un _compte rendu_ de mes études,
de mes occupations, de mes plaisirs, de mes nouvelles liaisons, de
ma politique toujours muette, mais un peu plus rapprochée des grands
événemens, je multiplierois mes _in quarto_, et je ne sais pas encore
votre avis sur ceux que je vous ai déjà envoyés. Dans cette histoire
moderne, il seroit toujours question de la décadence des empires; et
autant que j'en puis juger sur mes réminiscences et sur le rapport
de l'ami Bugnon, vous aimez aussi peu la puissance de l'Angleterre
que celle des Romains. Notre chute, cependant, a été plus douce.
Après une guerre sans succès, et une paix assez peu glorieuse, il
nous reste de quoi vivre contens et heureux; et lorsque je me suis
dépouillé du rôle de Membre du Parlement, pour redevenir homme,
philosophe, et historien, nous pourrions bien nous trouver d'accord
sur la plupart des scènes étonnantes qui viennent de se passer devant
nos yeux, et qui fourniront une riche matière aux plus habiles de mes
successeurs.

Bornons nous à cette heure à un objet moins illustre sans doute, mais
plus intéressant pour tous les deux, et c'est beaucoup que le même
objet puisse intéresser deux mortels qui ne se sont pas vûs, qui à
peine se sont écrit depuis--oui, ma foi--depuis huit ans. Ma plume,
très paresseuse au commencement, ou plutôt avant le commencement,
marche assez vîte, lorsqu'elle s'est une fois mise en train; mais une
raison qui m'empêcheroit de lui donner carrière, c'est l'espérance
de pouvoir bientôt me servir avec vous d'un instrument encore plus
commode, la langue. Que l'homme, l'homme anglois, l'homme Gibbon, est
un sot animal! Je l'espère, je le désire, je le puis, mais je ne sais
pas si [je] le veux, encore moins si j'exécuterai cette volonté.

Voici mon histoire, autant qu'elle pourra vous éclairer, qu'elle
pourra m'éclairer moi-même, sur mes véritables intentions, qui me
paroissent très obscures, et très équivoques; et vous aurez la bonté
de m'apprendre quelle sera ma conduite future. Il vous souvient,
Seigneur, que mon grandpère a fait sa fortune, que mon père l'a
mangée avec un peu trop d'appétit, et que je jouis actuellement du
fruit, ou plutôt du reste, de leurs travaux. Vous n'avez pas oublié
que je suis entré au Parlement sans patriotisme, sans ambition,
et que toutes mes vues se bornoient à la place commode et honnête
d'un _Lord of Trade_. Cette place, je l'ai obtenue enfin; je l'ai
possédée trois ans, depuis 1779 jusqu' à 1782, et le produit net,
qui se montoit à sept cens cinquante livres sterling, augmentoit mon
revenu au niveau de mes besoins et de mes désirs. Mais au printems
de l'année précédente, l'orage a grondé sur nos têtes: Milord North
a été renversé, votre serviteur chassé, et le _Board_ même, dont
j'étois membre, aboli et cassé pour toujours par la réformation de M.
Burke, avec beaucoup d'autres places de l'Etat, et de la maison du
Roi.

[Sidenote: HIS VIEW OF ENGLISH POLITICS.]

Pour mon malheur, je suis toujours resté Membre de la Chambre
basse: à la fin du dernier Parlement (en 1780) M. Eliot à retiré sa
nomination; mais la faveur de Milord North a facilité ma rentrée,
et la reconnoissance m'imposoit le devoir de faire valoir, pour son
service, les droits que je tenois en partie de lui. Cet hyver nous
avons combattu sous les étendards réunis (vous savez notre histoire)
de Milord North et de M. Fox; nous avons triomphé de Milord Shelburne
et de la paix,* et mon ami (je n'aime pas à profaner ce nom) a
remonté sur sa bête en qualité de secretaire d'Etat. C'est à présent
qu'il peut bien me dire ç'etoit beaucoup pour moi, ce n'etoit rien
pour nous, et malgré les assurances les plus fortes, j'ai trop de
raison pour avoir de la foi. *Avec beaucoup d'esprit, et des qualités
très respectables, notre homme* a la demarche lente et le cœur froid.
Il *n'a plus ni le titre, ni le crédit de premier ministre; des
collègues plus actifs lui enlèvent les morceaux les plus friands,
qui sont aussitôt dévorés par la voracité de leurs créatures; nos
malheurs et nos réformes ont diminué le nombre des graces; par
orgueil ou par paresse, je solicite assez mal, et si je parviens
enfin, ce sera peut-être à la veille d'une nouvelle révolution, qui
me fera perdre dans un instant, ce qui m'aura coûté tant de soins et
de recherches.

Si je ne consultois que mon cœur et ma raison, je romprois sur
le champ cette indigne chaine de la dépendance; je quitterois le
Parlement, Londres, l'Angleterre; je chercherois sous un ciel plus
doux, dans un pays plus tranquille, le repos, la liberté, l'aisance,
et une société éclairée, et aimable. En attendant la mort de ma
belle-mere et de ma tante je coulerois quelques années de ma vie
sans espérance, et sans crainte, j'acheverais mon histoire, et je ne
rentrerois dans ma patrie qu'en homme libre, riche, et respectable
par sa position, aussi bien que par son caractère. Mes amis, et
surtout Milord Sheffield, (M. Holroyd) ne veulent pas me permettre
d'être heureux suivant mon goût et mes lumières. Leur prudence
exige que je fasse tous mes efforts, pour obtenir un emploi très
sûr à la vérité, qui me donneroit mille guinées de rente, mais qui
m'enleveroit cinq jours par semaine. Je me prête à leur zèle, et je
leur ai promis de ne partir qu'en automne, après avoir consacré l'été
à cette dernière tentative. Le succès, cependant, est très incertain,
et je ne sais si je le désire de bonne foi.

Si je parviens à me voir exilé, mon choix ne sera pas douteux.
Lausanne a eu mes prémices; elle me sera toujours chère par le doux
souvenir de ma jeunesse. Au bout de trente ans, je me rappelle
les polissons qui sont aujourd'hui juges, les petites filles de
la société du Printems, qui sont devenues grand-mères. Votre pays
est charmant, et, malgré le dégoût de Jean Jacques, les mœurs, et
l'esprit de ses habitans, me paroissent très assortis aux bords du
lac Léman. Mais un trésor que je ne trouverois qu'à Lausanne, c'est
un ami qui me convient également par les sentimens et les idées,
avec qui je n'ai jamais connu un instant d'ennui, de sécheresse,
ou de réserve. Autrefois dans nos libres épanchemens, nous avons
cent fois fait le projet de vivre ensemble, et cent fois nous avons
épluché tous les détails du Roman, avec une chaleur qui nous étonnoit
nous mêmes. A présent il demeure, ou plutôt vous demeurez, (car je
me lasse de ce ton étudié,) dans une maison charmante et commode;
je vois d'ici mon appartement, nos salles communes, notre table,
et nos promenades; mais ce marriage ne vaut rien, s'il ne convient
pas également aux deux époux, et je sens combien des circonstances
locales, des goûts nouveaux, de nouvelles liaisons, peuvent s'opposer
aux desseins, qui nous ont paru les plus agréables dans le lointain.
Pour fixer mes idées, et pour nous épargner des regrets, il faut
me dévoiler avec la franchise dont je vous ai donné l'exemple, le
tableau extérieur et intérieur de George Deyverdun. Mon amour est
trop délicat, pour supporter l'indifférence et les égards, et je
rougirois d'un bonheur dont je serois redevable, non à l'inclination,
mais à la fidélité de mon ami.

[Sidenote: PROPOSES TO SETTLE ABROAD.]

Pour m'armer contre les malheurs possibles, hélas! peut-être trop
vraisemblables, j'ai essayé de me détacher de la pensée de ce projet
favori, et de me représenter à Lausanne votre bon voisin, sans être
précisément votre commensal. Si j'y étois réduit, je ne voudrois pas
tenir maison, autant par raison d'économie, que pour éviter l'ennui
de manger seul. D'un autre côté, une pension ouverte, fut-elle montée
sur l'ancien pied de celle de Mesery, ne conviendroit plus à mon
age, ni à mon caractère. Passerois-je ma vie au milieu d'une foule
de jeunes Anglois échappés du collège, moi qui aimerois Lausanne
cent fois davantage, si j'y pouvois être le seul de ma nation? Il me
faudroit donc une maison commode et riante, un état au dessus de la
bourgeoisie, un mari instruit, une femme qui ne ressembleroit pas à
Madame Pavilliard, et l'assurance d'y être reçu comme le fils unique,
ou plutôt comme le frère de la famille. Pour nous arranger sans gêne,
je meublerai très volontiers un joli appartement sous le même toit,
ou dans le voisinage, et puisque le ménage le plus foible laisse
encore de l'étoffe pour une forte pension, je ne serois pas obligé de
chicaner sur les conditions pécuniaires. Si je me vois déchu de cette
dernière espérance, je renoncerois en soupirant à ma seconde patrie,
pour chercher un nouvel asyle, non pas à Genève, triste séjour du
travail et de la discorde, mais aux bords du lac de Neufchatel, parmi
les bons Savoyards de Chamberry, ou sous le beau climat des Provinces
Méridionales de la France. Je finis brusquement, parceque j'ai mille
choses à vous dire. Je pense que nous nous ressemblons pour la
correspondance. Pour le bavardage savant ou même amical, je suis de
tous les hommes le plus paresseux, mais dès qu'il s'agit d'un objet
réel, d'un service essentiel, le premier courier emporte toujours ma
réponse. A la fin d'un mois, je commencerai à compter les semaines,
les jours, les heures. Ne me les faites pas compter trop long tems.
Vale.*



461.

_M. Deyverdun à M. Gibbon._


  Strasbourg, le 10 Juin, 1783.

*Je ne saurois vous exprimer, Monsieur et cher ami, la variété, et
la vivacité, des sensations que m'a fait éprouver votre lettre. Tout
cela a fini par un fond de plaisir et d'espérance qui resteront dans
mon cœur, jusqu'à ce que vous les en chassiez.

Un rapport singulier de circonstances contribue à me faire espérer
que nous sommes destinés à vivre quelque tems agréablement ensemble.
Je ne suis pas dégoûté d'une ambition que je ne connus jamais; mais
par d'autres circonstances, je me trouve dans la même situation
d'embarras et d'incertitude où vous êtes aussi à cette époque. Il y
a un an que votre lettre, mon cher ami, m'auroit fait plaisir sans
doute, mais en ce moment, elle m'en fait bien davantage; elle vient
en quelque façon à mon secours.

Depuis mon retour d'Italie, ne pouvant me déterminer à vendre ma
maison, m'ennuyant d'y être seul (car je suis comme vous, Monsieur,
et je déteste de manger sans compagnie) ne voulant pas louer à des
étrangers, j'ai pris le parti de m'arranger assez joliment au premier
étage, et de donner le second à une famille de mes amis, qui me
nourrit, et que je loge. Cet arrangement a paru pendant longtems
contribuer au bonheur des deux parties. Mais tout est transitoire sur
cette terre. Ma maison sera vuide, selon toute apparence, sur la fin
de l'été, et je me vois d'avance tout aussi embarrassé et incertain,
que je l'étois il y a quelques années, ne sachant quelle nouvelle
société choisir, et assez disposé à vendre enfin cette possession qui
m'a causé bien des plaisirs et bien des peines. Ma maison[43] est
donc à votre disposition pour cet automne, et vous y arriveriez comme
un Dieu dans une machine qui finit l'embroglio. Voilà, quant à moi;
parlons de vous maintenant avec la même sincérité.

  [43] Part of the grounds of M. Deyverdun's house at Lausanne,
  in which Gibbon lived from 1783 to 1793, is now occupied by the
  Hôtel Gibbon. Henry Mathews (_Diary of an Invalid_, p. 317)
  speaks of a visit to the house paid in June, 1818. "Paid a visit
  to the house in which Gibbon resided. Paced his terrace, and
  explored the summer-house, of which he speaks in relating, with
  so much interesting detail, the conclusion of his historical
  labours."

Un mot de préambule. Quelque intéressé que je sois à votre
résolution, convaincu qu'il faut aimer ses amis pour eux-mêmes,
sentant d'ailleurs combien il seroit affreux pour moi de vous voir
des regrets, je vous donne ici ma parole d'honneur, que mon intérêt
n'influe en rien sur ce que je vais écrire, et que je ne dirai pas
un mot que je ne vous disse, si l'hermite de la grotte étoit un
autre que moi. Vos amis anglais vous aiment pour eux-mêmes; je ne
veux moi que votre bonheur. Rappellez-vous, mon cher ami, que je
vis avec peine votre entrée dans le Parlement, et je crois n'avoir
été que trop bon prophète; je suis sûr que cette carrière vous a
fait éprouver plus de privations que de jouissances, beaucoup plus
de peines que de plaisirs; j'ai cru toujours, depuis que je vous
ai connu, que vous étiez destiné à vivre heureux par les plaisirs
du cabinet et de la société, que tout autre marché étoit un écart
de la route du bonheur, et que ce n'étoit que les qualités réunies
d'homme de lettres, et d'homme aimable de société, qui pouvoient
vous procurer gloire, honneur, plaisirs, et une suite continuelle
de jouissances. Au bout de quelques tours dans votre salle, vous
sentirez parfaitement que j'avois bien vu, et que l'événement a
justifié mes idées.

[Sidenote: DEYVERDUN'S OFFER OF HIS HOUSE.]

Lorsque j'ai appris que vous étiez _Lord of Trade_, j'en ai été
faché; quand j'ai su que vous aviez perdu cette place, je m'en suis
réjouis pour vous; quand on m'a annoncé que Milord North étoit
remonté sur sa bête, j'ai cru vous voir très mal à votre aise, en
croupe derrière lui, et je m'en suis affligé pour vous. Je suis donc
charmé, mon cher ami, de vous savoir à pied, et je vous conseille
très sincèrement de rester dans cette position, et bien loin de
solliciter la place en question, de la refuser, si elle vous étoit
offerte. Mille guinées vous dédommageront-elles de cinq jours pris
de la semaine? Je suppose, ce que cependant j'ai peine à croire, que
vous me disiez que oui: et la variété et l'inconstance continuelle
de votre ministère, vous promettent-elles d'en jouir long tems
constamment, et n'est-il pas plus désagréable, mon cher Monsieur,
de n'avoir plus 1000 livres sterl. de rente, qu'il n'a été agréable
d'en jouir? D'ailleurs ne pourrez-vous pas toujours rentrer dans
la carrière, si l'ambition, ou l'envie de servir la patrie, vous
reprennent; ne rentrerez-vous pas avec plus d'honneur, lorsque
vos rentes étant augmentées naturellement, vous serez libre et
indépendant?

En faisant cette retraite en Suisse, outre la beauté du pays, et les
agrémens de la société, vous acquererez deux biens que vous avez
perdus, la liberté et la richesse. Vous ne serez d'ailleurs point
inutile; vos ouvrages continueront à nous éclairer, et indépendamment
de vos talens, l'honnête homme, le galant homme, n'est jamais inutile.

Il me reste à vous présenter le tableau que vous trouveriez. Vous
aimiez ma maison et mon jardin; c'est bien autre chose à présent. Au
premier étage qui donne sur la descente d'Ouchy, je me suis arrangé
un appartement qui me suffit, j'ai une chambre de domestique, deux
sallons, et deux cabinets. J'ai au plein pied de la terrasse, deux
autres sallons dont l'un sert en été de salle à manger, et l'autre de
sallon de compagnie. J'ai fait un nouvel appartement de trois pièces
dans le vuide entre la maison et la remise, en sorte que j'ai à vous
offrir tout le grand appartement, qui consiste actuellement en onze
pièces, tant grandes que petites, tournées au Levant et au Midi,
meublées sans magnificence déplacée, mais avec une sorte d'élégance
dont j'espère que vous seriez satisfait. La terrasse a peu changé;
mais elle est terminée par un grand cabinet mieux proportionné que
le précédent, garnie tout du long, de caisses d'orangers, &c. La
treille, qui ne vous est pas indifférente, a embelli, prospéré,
et règne presqu'entièrement jusqu'au bout; parvenu à ce bout,
vous trouverez un petit chemin qui vous conduira à une chaumière
placée dans un coin; et de ce coin, en suivant le long d'une autre
route à l'anglaise, le mur d'un manège. Vous trouverez au bout, un
châlet avec écurie, vacherie, petite porte, petit cabinet, petite
bibliothèque, et une galerie de bois doré, d'où l'on voit tout ce
qui sort et entre en ville par la porte du Chêne, et tout ce qui se
passe dans ce Faubourg. J'ai acquis la vigne au-dessous du jardin;
j'en ai arraché tout ce qui étoit devant la maison; j'en ai fait un
tapis vert arrosé par l'eau du jet d'eau; et j'ai fait tout autour
de ce petit parc, une promenade très variée par les différens points
de vue et les objets même intérieurs, tantôt jardin potager, tantôt
parterre, tantôt vigne, tantôt prés, puis châlet, chaumière, petite
montagne; bref, les étrangers viennent le voir et l'admirent, et
malgré la description pompeuse que je vous en fais, vous en serez
content.

N. B. J'ai planté une quantité d'excellens arbres fruitiers.

       *       *       *       *       *

Venons à moi; vous comprenez bien que j'ai vieilli, excepté pour la
sensibilité; je suis à la mode, mes nerfs sont attaqués; je suis plus
mélancolique, mais je n'ai pas plus d'humeur; vous ne souffrirez de
mes maux que tout au plus négativement. Ensemble, et séparés par nos
logemens, nous jouirons, vis-à-vis l'un de l'autre, de la plus grande
liberté. Nous prendrons une gouvernante douce et entendue, plutôt
par commodité que par nécessité; car je me chargerois sans crainte
de la surintendance. J'ai fait un ménage de quatre, pendant quelque
tems; j'ai fait le mien, et j'ai remarqué que cela marchoit tout
seul, quand c'étoit une fois en train. Les petites gens qui n'ont
que ce mérite, font grand bruit pour rien. Mon jardin nous fournira
avec abondance de bons fruits et d'excellens légumes. Pour le reste
de la table et de la dépense domestique, je ne demanderois pas mieux
que de vous recevoir chez moi, comme vous m'avez reçu chez vous; mais
nos situations sont différentes à cet égard; cependant si vous étiez
plus ruiné, je vous l'offrirois sans doute, et je devrois le faire;
mais avec les rentes que vous aviez, quand j'étois chez vous, en les
supposant même diminuées, vous vivrez très agréablement à Lausanne.
Enfin à cet égard nous nous arrangerons, comme il vous sera le plus
agréable, et en proportion de nos revenus. Toujours serez vous ainsi,
à ce que j'espère, plus décemment et plus comfortablement, que vous
ne seriez par tout ailleurs au même prix.

[Sidenote: SOCIETY AT LAUSANNE.]

Quant à la société, quoique infiniment agréable, je commence ce
chapitre par vous dire que j'éviterois de vous y inviter, si vous
étiez entièrement désœuvré; les jours sont longs alors, et laissent
bien du vuide; mais homme de lettres, comme vous êtes, je ne connois
point de société qui vous convienne mieux. Nous aurons autour de nous
un cercle, comme il seroit impossible d'en trouver ailleurs dans
un aussi petit espace. Madame de Corcelles, Mademoiselle Sulens,
et M. de Montolieu, (Madame est morte,) Messrs. Polier et leurs
femmes, Madame de Severy, et M. et Madame de Nassau, Mademoiselle de
Chandieu, Madame de St. Cierge, et M. avec leurs deux filles jolies
et aimables, Mesdames de Crousaz, Polier, de Charrières, &c. font
un fonds de bonne compagnie dont on ne se lasse point, et dont M.
de Servan est si content qu'il regrette toujours d'être obligé de
retourner dans ses terres, et ne respire que pour s'établir tout à
fait à Lausanne. Il passa tout l'hyver de 1782 avec nous, et il fut,
on ne peut plus, agréable. Vous trouverez les mœurs changées en bien,
et plus conformes à nos ages, et à nos caractères; peu de grandes
assemblées, de grands repas, mais beaucoup de petits soupers, de
petites assemblées, où l'on fait ce qu'on veut, où l'on cause, lit,
&c. et dont on écarte avec soin les facheux de toute espèce. Il y a
le Dimanche une société, où tout ce qu'il y a d'un peu distingué en
étrangères et étrangers, est invité. Cela fait des assemblées de 40
à 50 personnes, où l'on voit ce qu'on ne voit guères le reste de la
semaine, et ces espèces de _rout_ font quelquefois plaisir. Nous sommes
fort dégoûtés des étrangers, surtout des jeunes gens, et nous les
écartons avec soin de nos petits comités, à moins qu'ils n'ayent du
mérite, ou quelques talens. A cet égard un de nos petits travers,
c'est l'engouement; mais vous en profiterez, mon cher Monsieur,
comme Edward Gibbon, et comme mon ami; vous serez d'abord l'homme à
la mode, et je vois d'ici que vous soutiendrez fort bien ce rôle,
sans vous en fâcher, dût on un peu vous surfaire. _Je sens que tu me
flattes, mais tu me fais plaisir_, est peut-être le meilleur vers de
Destouches.

Voilà donc l'hyver; l'étude le matin, quelques conversations, quand
vous serez fatigué, avec quelque homme de lettres, ou amateur, ou
du moins qui aura vu quelque chose; à l'heure qu'il vous plaira un
dîner, point de fermier général, mais l'honnête épicurien, avec
un ou deux amis quand vous voudrez: puis quelques visites, une
soirée, souvent un souper. Quant à l'été, vu votre manière d'aimer
la campagne, on diroit que ma remise a été faite pour vous; pendant
que vous vous y promènerez en sénateur, je serai souvent en bon
paysan Suisse, devant mon châlet, ou dans ma chaumière; puis nous
nous rencontrerons tout à coup, et tâcherons de nous remettre au
niveau l'un de l'autre. Nous fermerons nos portes à l'ordinaire,
excepté aux étrangers qui passent leur chemin; mais quand nous
voudrons, nous y aurons tous ceux que nous aimerons à y voir; car
on ne demande pas mieux que d'y venir se réjouir. J'ai eu, un beau
jour d'Avril ce printems, un déjeûner, qui m'a coûté quelques Louis,
où il y avoit plus de 40 personnes, je ne sais combien de petites
tables, une bonne musique au milieu du verger, et une quantité de
jeunes et jolies personnes dansant des branles, et formant des
chiffres en cadence; j'ai vu bien des fêtes, j'en ai peu vu de
plus jolies. Quand mon parc vous ennuyera, nous aurons, ou nous
louerons ensemble (et ce sera ainsi un plaisir peu cher) un cabriolet
léger, avec deux chevaux gentils, et nous irons visiter nos amis
dispersés dans les campagnes, qui nous recevront à bras ouverts.
Vous en serez content de nos campagnes; toujours en proportion vous
comprenez, et vous trouverez en général un heureux changement pour
les agrémens de la société, et une sorte de recherche simple, mais
élégante. Les bergères du _Printems_, excepté Madame de Vanberg, ne
sont sans doute plus présentables, mais il y en a d'autres assez
gentilles, et quoiqu'elles ne soyent pas en bien grand nombre, il
y en aura toujours assez pour vous, mon cher Monsieur. Peu à peu
mon imagination m'a emporte, et mon style s'égaye, comme cela nous
arrivoit quelquefois dans nos châteaux en Espagne. Il est bien tems
de finir cet article, résumons nous plus sérieusement.

Si vous exécutez le plan que vous avez imaginé, j'aimerois même à
dire que vous embrassez, surtout d'après ce que vous marquez vous
même, _Si je ne consultois que mon cœur et ma raison, je romperois
sur le champ cette indigne chaine_, &c. Eh! que voulez-vous
consulter, si ce n'est votre cœur et votre raison? Si, dis-je, vous
exécutez ce plan, vous retrouverez une liberté et une indépendance,
que vous n'auriez jamais dû perdre, et dont vous méritez de jouir,
une aisance qui ne vous coûtera qu'un voyage de quelques jours, une
tranquillité que vous ne pouvez avoir à Londres, et enfin un ami
qui n'a peut-être pas été un jour sans penser à vous, et qui malgré
ses défauts, ses foiblesses et son infériorité, est encore un des
compagnons qui vous convient le mieux.

Il me reste à vous apprendre pourquoi je vous réponds si tard: vous
savez déjà actuellement que ce n'est pas manque d'amitié et de zèle
pour la chose; mais votre lettre m'a été renvoyée de Lausanne ici,
à Strasbourg, et je n'ai passé qu'une poste sans y répondre, ce qui
n'est pas trop, vous l'avouerez, pour un pareil bavardage. Je suis
parti de Lausanne la veille de Pâques pour venir voir un M. Bourcard
de Basle, fort de mes amis; il est ici auprès du Comte de Cagliostro,
pour profiter de ses remèdes. Vous aurez entendu parler peut-être de
cet homme extraordinaire à tous égards. Comme j'ai été assez malade
tout l'hyver, je profite aussi de ses remèdes; mais comme le tems du
séjour du Comte ici n'est rien moins que sûr, le mieux sera que vous
m'écriviez _à M. D. chez M. Bourcard du Kirshgarten, à Basle_.

Vous comprenez combien à tous égards, il est nécessaire m'écrire sans
perte de tems, dès que vous aurez pris une résolution. Adieu, mon
cher ami.*



462.

_A M. Deyverdun._


[Sidenote: HIS GRATITUDE TO DEYVERDUN.]

*Je reçois votre lettre du 10 Juin, le 21 de ce mois. Aujourd'hui
Mardi le 24, je mets la main à la plume (comme dit M. Fréron) pour
y répondre, quoique ma missive ne puisse partir par arrangement des
postes, que Vendredi prochain, 27 du courant. O merveille de la grace
efficace! Elle n'agit pas moins puissamment sur vous, et moyennant le
secours toujours prêt, et toujours prompt de nos couriers, un mois
nous suffit pour la demande et la réponse. Je remercie mille fois le
génie de l'amitié, qui m'a poussé, après mille efforts inutiles, à
vous écrire enfin au moment le plus critique et le plus favorable.
Jamais démarche n'a répondu si parfaitement à tous mes vœux et à
toutes mes espérances. Je comptois sans doute sur la durée et la
vérité de vos sentimens; mais j'ignorois (telle est la foiblesse
humaine) jusqu'à quel point ils avoient pu être attiédis par le tems
et l'éloignement; et je savois encore moins l'état actuel de votre
santé, de votre fortune et de vos liaisons, qui auroient pu opposer
tant d'obstacles à notre réunion.

Vous m'écrivez, vous m'aimez toujours; vous désirez avec zèle, avec
ardeur, de réaliser nos anciens projets; vous le pouvez, vous le
voulez; vous m'offrez dès l'automne votre maison, et quelle terrasse!
votre société, et quelle société! L'arrangement nous convient à tous
les deux; je retrouve à la fois le compagnon de ma jeunesse, un sage
conseiller, et un peintre qui fait représenter et exagérer même
les objets les plus rians. Ces exagérations me font pour le moins
autant de plaisir que la simple vérité. Si votre portrait étoit tout
à fait ressemblant, ces agrémens n'existeroient que hors de nous
mêmes, et j'aime encore mieux les retrouver dans la vivacité de votre
cœur et de votre imagination. Ce n'est pas que je ne reconnoisse
un grand fond de vérité dans le tableau de Lausanne; je connois le
lieu de la scène, je me transporte en idée sur _notre_ terrasse,
je vois ces côteaux, ce lac, ces montagnes, ouvrage favoris de la
nature, et je conçois sans peine les embellissemens que votre goût
s'est plu y ajouter. Je me rappelle depuis vingt ou trente ans les
mœurs, l'esprit, l'aisance de la société, et je comprends que ce
véritable ton de la bonne compagnie se perpétue, et s'épure de père
en fils, ou plutôt de mère en fille; car il m'a toujours paru qu'à
Lausanne, aussi bien qu'en France, les femmes sont très supérieures
aux hommes. Dans un pareil séjour, je craindrois la dissipation
bien plus que l'ennui, et le tourbillon de Lausanne étonneroit un
philosophe accoutumé depuis tant d'années à la tranquillité de
Londres. Vous êtes trop instruit pour regarder ce propos, comme une
mauvaise plaisanterie; c'est dans les détroits qu'on est entrainé
par la rapidité des courans: il n'y en a point en pleine mer. Dès
qu'on ne recherche plus les plaisirs bruyans, et qu'on s'affranchit
volontiers des devoirs pénibles, la liberté d'un simple particulier
se fortifie par l'immensité de la ville. Quant à moi, l'application
à mon grand ouvrage, l'habitude, et la récompense du travail, m'ont
rendu plus studieux, plus sédentaire, plus ami de la retraite. La
Chambre des Communes et les grands dîners exigent beaucoup de tems;
et la tempérance d'un repas anglois vous permet de goûter de cinq ou
six vins différens, et vous ordonne de boire une bouteille de claret
après le dessert. Mais enfin je ne soupe jamais, je me couche de fort
bonne heure, je reçois peu de visites, les matinées sont longues,
les étés sont libres, et dès que je ferme ma porte, je suis oublié
du monde entier. Dans une société plus bornée et plus amicale, les
démarches sont publiques, les droits sont réciproques, l'on dîne
de bonne heure, on se goûte trop pour ne pas passer l'après-midi
ensemble; on soupe, on veille, et les plaisirs de la soirée ne
laissent pas de déranger le repos de la nuit, et le travail du
lendemain.

[Sidenote: HIS HESITATION TO ACCEPT.]

Quel est cependant le résultat de ces plaintes? c'est seulement que
la mariée est trop belle, et que j'ose me servir de l'excuse honnête
de la santé et du privilège d'un homme de lettres; il ne tiendra qu'à
moi de modérer un peu l'excès de mes jouissances. Pour cet engouement
que vous m'annoncez, et qui a toujours été le défaut des peuples les
plus spirituels, je l'ai déjà éprouvé sur un plus grand théâtre.
Il y a six ans que l'ami de Madame Necker fut reçu à Paris, comme
celui de George Deyverdun pourroit l'être à Lausanne. Je ne connois
rien de plus flatteur que cet accueil favorable d'un public poli et
éclairé. Mais cette faveur, si douce pour l'étranger, n'est-elle pas
un peu dangereuse pour l'habitant exposé à voir flétrir ses lauriers,
par la faute ou par l'inconstance de ses juges? Non; on se soutient
toujours, peut être pas précisément au même point d'élévation. A
l'abri de trois gros volumes in-quarto en langue étrangère, encore
ce qui n'est pas un petit avantage, je conserverai toujours la
réputation littéraire, et cette réputation donnera du relief aux
qualités sociales, si l'on trouve l'historien sans travers, sans
affectation et sans prétentions.

Je serai donc charmé et content de votre société, et j'aurois pu dire
en deux mots, ce qui j'ai bavardé en deux pages; mais il y a tant
de plaisir à bavarder avec un ami! car enfin je possède à Lausanne
un véritable ami; et les simples connoissances remplaceront sans
beaucoup de peine, tout ce qui s'appelle liaison, et même amitié,
dans ce vaste désert de Londres. Mais au moment où j'écris, je
vois de tous côtés une foule d'objets dont la perte sera bien plus
difficile à réparer. Vous connoissiez ma bibliothèque; mais je suis
en état de vous rendre le propos de votre maison _c'est bien autre
chose à cette heure_; formée peu à peu, mais avec beaucoup de soin
et de dépense, elle peut se nommer aujourd'hui un beau cabinet de
particulier. Non content de remplir à rangs redoublés la meilleure
pièce qui lui étoit destinée, elle s'est débordée dans la chambre sur
la rue, dans votre ancienne chambre à coucher, dans la mienne, dans
tous les recoins de la maison de _Bentinck-street_, et jusques dans
une chaumière que je me suis donnée à _Hampton Court_.

    J'ai mille courtisans rangés autour de moi:
    Ma retraite est mon Louvre, et j'y commande en roi.

Le fonds est de la meilleure compagnie Grecque, Latine, Italienne,
Françoise, et Angloise, et les auteurs les moins chers à l'homme
de goût, des ecclésiastiques, des Byzantins, des Orientaux, sont
les plus nécessaires à l'historien de la Décadence et de la Chute,
&c. Vous ne sentez que trop bien le désagrément de laisser, et
l'impossibilité de transporter cinq ou six milles volumes, d'autant
plus que le ciel n'a pas voulu faire de la Suisse un pays maritime.
Cependant mon zèle pour la réussite de nos projets communs, me fait
imaginer que ces obstacles pourront s'applanir, et que je puis
adoucir ou supporter ces privations douloureuses. Les bons auteurs
classiques, la bibliothèque des nations, se retrouvent dans tous
les pays. Lausanne n'est pas dépourvu de livres, ni de politesse,
et j'ai dans l'esprit qu'on pourroit acquérir pour un certain tems,
quelque bibliothèque d'un vieillard ou d'un mineur, dont la famille
ne voudroit pas se défaire entièrement. Quant aux outils de mon
travail, nous commencerons par examiner l'état de nos richesses;
après quoi il faudroit faire un petit calcul du prix, du poids et de
la rareté de chaque ouvrage, pour juger de ce qu'il seroit nécessaire
de transporter de Londres, et de ce qu'on acheteroit plus commodément
en Suisse; à l'égard de ces frais, on devroit les envisager comme les
avances d'une manufacture transplantée en pays étranger, et dont on
espère retirer dans la suite un profit raisonnable. Malheureusement
votre bibliothèque publique, en y ajoutant même celle de M. de
Bochat, est assez piteuse; mais celles de Berne et de Basle sont
très nombreuses, et je compterois assez sur la bonhommie Helvétique,
pour espérer que, moyennant des recommendations et des cautions, il
me seroit permis d'en tirer les livres dont j'aurois essentiellement
besoin. Vous êtes très bien placé pour prendre les informations,
et pour faire les démarches convenables; mais vous voyez du moins
combien je me retourne de tous les côtés, pour esquiver la difficulté
la plus formidable.

[Sidenote: HIS FRIEND AND VALET.]

Venons à présent à des objets moins relevés, mais très importans
à l'existence et au bien-être de l'animal, le logement, les
domestiques, et la table. Pour mon appartement particulier, une
chambre à coucher, avec un grand cabinet et une antichambre, auroient
suffi à tous mes besoins; mais si vous pouvez vous en passer, je me
promenerai avec plaisir dans l'immensité de vos onze pièces, qui
s'accommoderont sans doute aux heures et aux saisons différentes.
L'article des domestiques renferme une assez forte difficulté, sur
laquelle je dois vous consulter. Vous connoissez, et vous estimez
Caplen mon valet de chambre, maître d'hotel, &c. qui a été nourri
dans notre maison, et qui comptoit d'y finir ses jours. Depuis votre
départ, ses talens et ses vertus se sont dévelloppés de plus en plus,
et je le considère bien moins sur le pied d'un domestique, que sur
celui d'un ami. Malheureusement il ne sait que l'Anglois, et jamais
il n'apprendra de langue étrangère. Il m'accompagna, il y a six ans,
dans mon voyage à Paris, mais il rapporta fidèlement à Londres toute
l'ignorance, et tous les préjugés d'un bon patriote. A Lausanne il
me coûteroit beaucoup, et à l'exception du service personnel, il ne
nous seroit que d'une très petite utilité. Cependant je supporterois
volontiers cette dépense, mais je suis très persuadé que, si son
attachement le portoit à me suivre, il s'ennuyeroit à mourir dans un
pays où tout lui seroit étranger et désagréable. Il faudroit donc
me détacher d'un homme dont je connois le zèle, la fidélité, rompre
tout d'un coup de petites habitudes qui sont liées avec le bien-être
journalier et momentané, et se résoudre à lui substituer un visage
nouveau, peut-être un mauvais sujet, toujours quelque aventurier
Suisse pris sur le pavé de Londres. Vous rappellez-vous un certain
George Suess qui a fait autrefois avec moi le voyage de France et
d'Italie? Je le crois marié et établi à Lausanne; s'il vit encore, si
vous pouvez l'engager à se rendre ici, pour me ramener en Suisse, la
compagnie d'un bon et ancien serviteur ne laisseroit pas d'adoucir
la chute, et il resteroit peut-être auprès de moi, jusqu'à ce que
nous eussions choisi un jeune homme du pays, adroit, modeste et bien
élevé, à qui je ferois un parti avantageux.

Les autres domestiques, gouvernantes, laquais, cuisinière, &c. se
prennent et se renvoyent sans difficulté. Un article bien plus
important, c'est notre table, car enfin nous ne sommes pas assez
hermites, pour nous contenter des légumes et des fruits de votre
jardin, tout excellens qu'ils sont; mais je n'ai presque rien à
ajouter à l'honnêteté de vos propos, qui me donnent beaucoup plus
de plaisir que de surprise. Si je me trouvois sans fortune, au lieu
de rougir des bienfaits de l'amitié, j'accepterois vos offres aussi
simplement que vous les faites. Mais nous ne sommes pas réduits à ce
point, et vous comprenez assez qu'une déconfiture angloise laisse
encore une fortune fort décente au Pays de Vaud, et pour vous dire
quelque chose de plus précis, je dépenserois sans peine et sans
inconvénient cinq ou six cens Louis. Vous connoissez le résultat
aussi bien que les détails d'un ménage; en supposant une petite table
de deux philosophes Epicuriens, quatre, cinq, ou six domestiques, des
amis assez souvent, des repas assez rarement, beaucoup de sensualité,
et peu de luxe, à combien estimez-vous en gros la dépense d'un mois
et d'une année? Le partage que vous avez déjà fait, me paroît des
plus raisonnables; vous me logez, et je vous nourris. A votre calcul,
j'ajouterois mon entretien personnel, habits, plaisirs, gages de
domestiques, &c. et je verrois d'une manière assez nette, l'ensemble
de mon petit établissement.

[Sidenote: HIS HOPES OF A POLITICAL PLACE.]

Après avoir essuyé tant de détails minutieux, le cher lecteur
s'imagine sans doute que la résolution de me fixer pendant quelque
tems aux bords du Lac Léman, est parfaitement décidée. Hélas! rien
n'est moins vrai; mais je me suis livré au charme délicieux de
contempler, de sonder, de palper ce bonheur, dont je sens tout le
prix, qui est à ma portée, et auquel j'aurai peut-être la bêtise
de renoncer. Vous avez raison de croire, mais vous ignorez jusqu'à
quel point vous l'avez, que ma carrière politique a été plus semée
d'épines que de roses. Eh! quel objet, quel motif, pourroit me
consoler de l'ennui des affaires, et de la honte de la dépendance?
_La gloire?_ Comme homme de lettres, j'en jouis, comme orateur je ne
l'aurai jamais, et le nom des simples soldats est oublié dans les
victoires aussi bien que dans les défaites. _Le devoir?_ Dans ces
combats à l'aveugle, où les chefs ne cherchent que leur avantage
particulier, il y a toujours à parier que les subalternes feront
plus de mal que de bien. _L'attachement personnel?_ Les ministres
sont rarement dignes de l'inspirer; jusqu'à présent Lord North n'a
pas eu à se plaindre de moi, et si je me retire du Parlement, il lui
sera très aisé d'y substituer un autre muet, tout aussi affidé que
son ancien serviteur. Je suis intimément convaincu, et par la raison,
et par le sentiment, qu'il n'y a point de parti, qui me convienne
aussi bien que de vivre avec vous, et auprès de vous à Lausanne; et
si je parviens à la place (_Commissioner of the Excise or Customs_)
où je vise, il y aura toutes les semaines cinq longues matinées, qui
m'avertiront de la folie de mon choix. Vous vous trompez à la vérité
à l'égard de l'instabilité de ces emplois; ils sont presque les seuls
qui ne ressentent jamais des révolutions du ministère.

Cependant si cette place s'offroit bientôt, je n'aurois pas le bon
sens et le courage de la refuser. Quels autres conseillers veux-je
prendre, sinon mon cœur et ma raison? Il en est de puissans et
toujours écoutés: les égards, la mauvaise honte, tous mes amis, ou
soi-disant tels, s'écrieront que je suis un homme perdu, ruiné, un
fou qui se dérobe à ses protecteurs, un misanthrope qui s'exile au
bout du monde, et puis les exagérations sur tout ce qui seroit fait
en ma faveur, si surement, si promptement, si libéralement. Mylord
Sheffield opinera à me faire interdire et enfermer; mes deux tantes
et ma belle mère se plaindront que je les quitte pour jamais, &c.
Et l'embarras de prendre mon bonnet de nuit, comme disoit le sage
Fontenelle, lorsqu'il n'etoit question que de decoucher, combien de
bonnets de nuit ne me faudra-t-il pas prendre, et les prendre tout
seul? car tout le monde, amis, parens, domestiques, s'opposera à ma
fuite. Voilà à la vérité des obstacles assez peu redoutables, et en
les décrivant, je sens qu'ils s'affoiblissent dans mon esprit. Grace
à ce long bavardage vous connoissez mon intérieur, comme moi même,
c'est à dire assez mal; mais cette incertitude, très amicale pour
moi, seroit très facheuse pour vous. Votre réponse me parviendra vers
la fin de Juillet, et huit jours après, je vous promets une réplique
nette et décisive: _je pars_ ou _je reste_. Si je pars, ce sera au
milieu de Septembre; je mangerai les raisins de votre treille les
premiers jours d'Octobre, et vous aurez encore le tems de me charger
de vos commissions. Ne me dites plus, _Monsieur, et très cher ami_;
le premier est froid, le second est superflu.*



463.

_M. Deyverdun à M. Gibbon._


*Me voilà un peu embarrassé actuellement; je ne dois vous appeller
ni Monsieur, ni ami. Eh bien! vous saurez qu'étant parti Samedi de
Strasbourg, pendant que je venois ici, votre seconde lettre alloit
là, et qu'ainsi je reçus votre troisième, Dimanche, et votre seconde,
hier. La mention que vous y faisiez du Suisse George, dont je n'ai pu
rien trouver dans la première, m'a fait comprendre qu'il y en avoit
une seconde, et j'ai cru devoir attendre un courier, la troisième
n'exigeant pas de réponse.

Pour votre parole, permettez que je vous en dispense encore, et
même jusqu'au dernier jour, je sens bien qu'un procédé contraire
vous conviendroit; mais certes il ne me convient pas du tout. Ceci,
comme vous le dites, est une espèce de mariage, et pensez vous que
malgré les engagemens les plus solemnels, je n'eusse pas reconduit
chez elle, du pied des autels, la femme la plus aimable qui m'eut
temoigné des regrets? Jamais je ne me consolerois, si je vous voyois
mécontent dans la suite, et dans le cas de me faire des reproches.
C'est à vous à faire, si vous croyez nécessaire, des démarches de
votre côté, qui fortifient votre résolution; pour moi, je n'en ferai
point d'essentielles, jusqu'à ce que j'aye reçu encore une lettre de
vous. Après ce petit préambule, parlons toujours comme si l'affaire
étoit décidée, et repassons votre lettre. Tout ce que vous dites
des grandes et petites villes, est très vrai, et votre comparaison
des détroits et de la pleine mer, est on ne peut pas plus juste et
agréable; mais enfin, _comme on fait son lit, on se couche_, disoit
Sancho Pancha d'agréable mémoire, et qui peut mieux faire son lit à
sa guise qu'un étranger, qui, n'ayant ni devoirs d'état ni de sang
à remplir, peut vivre entièrement isolé, sans que personne y puisse
trouver à redire? Moi même, bourgeois et citoyen de la ville, je
suis presqu'entièrement libre. L'été, par exemple, je déteste de
m'enfermer le soir dans des chambres chaudes, pour faire une partie.
Eh bien! on m'a persécuté un peu la première année; à présent on
me laisse en repos. Il y aura sans doute quelque changement dans
votre manière de vivre: mais il me semble qu'on se fait aisément à
cela. Les dîners, surtout en femmes, sont très rares; les soupers
peu grands; on reste plutôt pour être ensemble, que pour manger, et
plusieurs personnes ne s'asseyent point. Je crois, tout compté et
rabattu, que vouz aurez encore plus de tems pour le cabinet qu'à
Londres; on sort peu le matin, et quand nos amis communs viendront
chez moi, et vous demanderont, je leur dirai; "ce n'est pas un oisif
comme vous autres, il travaille dans son cabinet," et ils se tairont
respectueusement.

Pour les bibliothèques publiques, votre idée ne pourroit, je pense,
se réaliser pour un lecteur ou même un écrivain ordinaire, mais un
homme qui joue un rôle dans la république des lettres, un homme aimé
et considéré, trouvera, je m'imagine, bien des facilités; d'ailleurs,
j'ai de bons amis à Berne, et je prendrai ici des informations.

Passons à la table. Si j'étois à Lausanne, cet article seroit plus
sûr, je pourrois revoir mes papiers, consulter; j'ai une chienne de
mémoire. A vue de pays cela pourra aller de 20 à 30 Louis par mois,
plus ou moins, vous sentez, suivant la friandise, et le plus ou moins
de convives. Marquez moi dans votre première combien vous coûte le
vôtre.

[Sidenote: SOCIAL HABITS AT LAUSANNE.]

Je sens fort bien tous les bonnets de nuit: point de grands
changemens sans embarras, même sans regrets; vous en aurez
quelquefois sans doute: par exemple, si votre salle à manger, votre
salle de compagnie, sont plus riantes, vous perdrez pour le vase de
la bibliothèque. Pour ce qui est des représentations, des discours
au moins inutiles, il me semble que le mieux seroit de masquer vos
grandes opérations, de ne parler que d'une course, d'une visite
chez moi, de six mois ou plus ou moins. Vous feriez bien, je pense,
d'aller chez mon ami Louis Teissier; c'est un brave et honnête homme,
qui m'est attaché, qui aime notre pays; il vous donnera tout plein de
bons conseils avec zèle, et vous gardera le secret.

Vous aurez quelquefois à votre table un poëte;--oui, Monsieur, un
poëte:--nous en avons un enfin. Procurez vous un volume 8vo. _Poësies
Helvétiennes, imprimées l'année passée chez Mouser, à Lausanne._[44]
Vouz trouverez entr'autres dans l'épitre au jardinier de la grotte,
votre ami et votre parc. Toute la prose est de votre très humble
serviteur, qui désire qu'elle trouve grace devant vous.

Le Comte de Cagliostro[45] a fait un séjour à Londres. On ne sait qui
il est, d'où il est, d'où il tire son argent; il exerce _gratis_ ses
talens pour la médecine; il a fait des cures admirables; mais c'est
d'ailleurs le composé le plus étrange. J'ai cessé de prendre ses
remèdes qui m'échauffoient--l'homme d'ailleurs me gâtoit le médecin.
Je suis revenu à Basle avec mon ami. Adieu; récrivez moi le plutôt
possible.*

  [44] _Poésies Helvétiennes._ Par M. B * * * * * (_i.e._ J. P. L.
  Bridel). Lausanne. 1782. 8^o. Épître au Jardinier de la Grotte,
  pp. 66-72.

    "Que j'ai passé de charmantes veillées,
    Dessous ce chaume au fond de ton verger!
    Loin du fracas d'un monde mensonger,
    Par le plaisir elles etaient filées.

       *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *

    Tantôt quittant ce chaume solitaire,
    Asyle heureux qu'un palais ne vaut pas,
    Sur ta terrasse accompagnant tes pas,
    Nous contemplions les jeux de la lumière;
    L'astre des nuits à nos yeux se levant
    Se dégageait lentement des montagnes,
    Poursuivait l'ombre au travers des campagnes;
    Et scintillait dans les eaux du Léman."

  [45] Cagliostro, whose real name is said to have been Giuseppe
  Balsamo, came to Strasbourg in 1780. Jean Benjamin de la Borde,
  in his _Lettres sur la Suisse_ (published 1783), expresses
  enthusiastic admiration for his skill and character. For his
  share in the Necklace Scandal at Paris in 1785-6, Cagliostro
  was banished from France. He left the country, saying that he
  should not return till the Bastille was _une promenade publique_.
  At Rome he was condemned in the Papal Court to perpetual
  imprisonment, and died, it is said, in 1795.



464.

_A. M. Deyverdun._


  Hampton Court, ce 1 Juillet, 1783.

[Sidenote: HIS DECISION TO LEAVE ENGLAND.]

*Après avoir pris ma résolution, l'honneur, et ce qui vaut encore
mieux l'amitié, me défendent de vous laisser un moment dans
l'incertitude. JE PARS. Je vous en donne ma parole, et comme je
suis bien aise de me fortifier d'un nouveau lien, je vous prie très
sérieusement de ne pas m'en dispenser. Ma possession, sans doute,
ne vaut pas celle de Julie; mais vous serez plus inexorable que St.
Preux. Je ne sens plus qu'une vive impatience pour notre réunion.
Mais le mois d'Octobre est encore loin; 92 jours, et nous aurons
tout le tems de prendre, et de nous donner des éclaircissemens dont
nous avons besoin. Après un mûr examen, je renonce au voyage de
George Suess, qui me paroît incertain, cher et difficile. Après tout
mon valet de chambre et ma bibliothèque sont les deux articles les
plus embarrassans. Si je ne retenois pas ma plume, je remplirois
sans peine la feuille; mais il ne faut pas passer du silence à un
babil intarissable. Seulement si je connois le Comte de Cagliostro,
cet homme extraordinaire, &c. Savez vous le Latin? oui, sans doute;
mais faites, comme si je ne le savois point. Quand retournez vous
à Lausanne vous même?* Je pense que vous y trouverez une petite
bête, bien aimable mais tant soit peu mechante, qui se nomme My lady
Elizabeth Foster, parlez lui de moi, mais parlez en avec discretion,
elle a des correspondences partout. *Vale.*



465.

_To Lord Sheffield._


  July 10th, 1783.

*You will read the following lines with more patience and attention
than you would probably give to a hasty conference, perpetually
interrupted by the opening of the door, and perhaps by the quickness
of our own tempers. I neither expect nor desire an answer on a
subject of extreme importance to myself, but which friendship alone
can render interesting to you. We shall soon meet at Sheffield.

It is needless to repeat the reflections which we have sometimes
debated together, and which I have often seriously weighed in my
silent solitary walks. Notwithstanding your active and ardent spirit,
you must allow that there is some perplexity in my present situation,
and that my future prospects are distant and cloudy. I have lived too
long in the world to entertain a very sanguine idea of the friendship
or zeal of Ministerial patrons; and we are all sensible how much the
powers of patronage are reduced.*

The source of pensions is absolutely stopped, and a double list
of candidates is impatient and clamourous for half the number of
desirable places. A seat at the board of customs or excise was
certainly the most practicable attempt, but how far are we advanced
in the pursuit? Could we obtain (it was indeed unprecedented) an
extraordinary commission? Have we received any promise of the _first_
vacancy? how often is the execution of such a promise delayed to
a second or third opportunity? When will those vacancies happen?
Incumbents are sometimes very tough. Of the Excise I know less, but I
am sure that the door of the Customs (except when it was opened for
Sir Stanier by a pension of _equal_ value) has been shut, at least
during the last three years. In the meanwhile I should be living in
a state of anxiety and dependence, working in the illiberal service
of the House of Commons, my seat in Parliament sinking in value every
day and my expenses very much exceeding my annual income. *At the end
of that time, or rather long before that time (for their lives are
not worth a year's purchase), our ministers are kicked down stairs,
and I am left their disinterested friend to fight through another
opposition, and to expect the fruits of another revolution.

But I will take a more favourable supposition, and conceive myself,
in six months, firmly seated at the board of Customs; before the end
of the next six months, I should infallibly hang myself. Instead
of regretting my disappointment, I rejoyce in my escape; as I
am satisfied that no salary could pay me for the irksomeness of
attendance, and the drudgery of business so repugnant to my taste,
(and I will dare to say) so unworthy of my character. Without looking
forwards to the possibility, still more remote, of exchanging that
laborious office for a smaller annuity, there is surely another
plan, more reasonable, more simple, and more pleasant; a temporary
retreat to a quiet and less expensive scene. In a four years'
residence at Lausanne, I should live within my income, save, and even
accumulate, my ready money; finish my history, an object of profit
as well as fame, expect the contingencies of elderly lives, and
return to England at the age of fifty, to form a lasting independent
establishment, without courting the smiles of a minister, or
apprehending the downfall of a party. Such have been my serious sober
reflections.

[Sidenote: PLAN OF JOINING DEYVERDUN.]

Yet I much question whether I should have found courage to follow my
reason and my inclination, if a friend had not stretched his hand
to draw me out of the dirt. The twentieth of last May I wrote to
my friend Deyverdun, after a long interval of silence, to expose my
situation, and to consult in what manner I might best arrange myself
at Lausanne. From his answer, which I received about a fortnight ago,
I have the pleasure to learn, that his heart and his house are both
open for my reception; that a family which he had lodged for some
years is about to leave him, and that at no other time my company
would have been so acceptable and convenient. I shall step, at my
arrival, into an excellent apartment and a delightful situation; the
fair division of our expences will render them very moderate, and I
shall pass my time with the companion of my youth, whose temper and
studies have always been congenial to my own. I have given him my
word of honour to be at Lausanne in the beginning of October, and no
power or persuasion can divert me from this IRREVOCABLE resolution,
which I am every day proceeding to execute.

I wish, but I scarcely hope, to convince you of the propriety of
my scheme;[46] but at least you will allow, that when we are not
able to prevent the _follies_ of our friends, we should strive to
render them as easy and harmless as possible. The arrangement of my
house, furniture and books will be left to meaner hands, but it is
to your zeal and judgment alone that I can trust the more important
disposal of Lenborough and Lymington. On these subjects we may go
into a Committee at Sheffield-place, but you know it is the rule of
a Committee not to hear any arguments against the _principle_ of
the bill. At present I shall only observe, that neither of these
negociations ought to detain me here; the former may be dispatched as
well, the latter much better, in my absence. _Vale._*

  [46] Lord Sheffield, however, was convinced of the wisdom of
  Gibbon's plan. "Gibbon," he writes to Mr. Eden, August 7, 1783,
  "has baffled all arrangements; possibly you may have heard at
  Bushy or Bedford Square, of a continental scheme. It has annoyed
  me much, and of all circumstances the most provoking is, that
  he is right; a most pleasant opportunity offered. His seat in
  Parliament is left in my hands. He is here [Sheffield Place]. In
  short, his plan is such, that it was impossible to urge anything
  against it" (_Lord Auckland's Journal and Correspondence_, vol.
  i. p. 56.)



466.

_To his Stepmother._


  Bentinck Street, July 26th, 1783.

  MY DEAR MADAM,

You have so long been acquainted with my indifference or rather
dislike to the house of Commons, that you will not be much surprized,
that I should entertain a thought or indeed a resolution of vacating
my seat. Your vain hope (a kind and a friendly vanity) of my making
a distinguished figure in that assembly has long since been extinct,
and you are now convinced by repeated experience that my reputation
must be derived solely from my pen. A seat in parliament I can only
value as it is connected with some official situation of emolument:
that connection which has fortunately subsisted about three years
is now dissolved, and I do not see any probability of its being
_speedily_ restored. Whatever may be the wishes or sentiments of my
political friends, their patronage has been extremely circumscribed
by the double list of candidates, the reduction of places and the
suppression of pensions. The most solid and attainable things (at
the boards of Customs or Excise) are incompatible with a seat in
parliament, and my prævious retreat (by taking from them a motive
of delay) will promote rather than obstruct the accomplishment of
my hopes and their promises. Thus restored for some time to the
enjoyment of freedom, I propose to spend it in the society of my
friend Deyverdun at Lausanne, who presses me in the kindest manner
to visit him in the house and garden which he possesses in the most
beautiful situation in the World.

I intend going about the middle of September, and though it is not
possible to define precisely the time of my absence, it is not likely
that I shall pass less than a year in Switzerland. I shall exchange
the most unwholesome air (that of the house of Commons) for the
purest and most salubrious, the heat and hurry of party for a cool
litterary repose; and I have little doubt that this excursion, which
will amuse me by the change of objects, will have a lasting and
beneficial effect on my health. The lease of my house expires next
Christmas, and I shall take the opportunity of disengaging myself
from an useless expence, and of removing to a hired room my books,
and such part of my furniture as may be worth keeping. You will be
pleased to hear that the faithful Caplen accompanies me abroad.

[Sidenote: HIS DEPARTURE A NECESSITY.]

Such is the light in which my journey should be represented to those
friends to whom it may be advisable to say any thing of my motives.
Every circumstance which I have already stated is strictly true,
but you will too easily conceive that it is not the _whole truth_:
that this step is dictated by the hard law of æconomy or rather of
necessity, and that the moment of my return will not entirely depend
on my own choice. You have not forgot how a similar intention some
years ago was superseded by my appointment to the board of trade.
Perhaps it would have been wiser if I had left England immediately
after the loss of my place, and the sense of this imprudent delay
urges me more strongly every day to avoid the difficulties of a still
longer procrastination. By this resolution I shall deliver myself at
once from the heavy expence of a London life, my friend Deyverdun
and myself shall join in a moderate though elegant establishment at
Lausanne; and I can wait without inconvenience for one of the events,
which may enable me to revisit with pleasure and credit my country,
and the person, whom in that country, I most value, I mean yourself.
Allow me to add (though I know such thoughts will be absorbed in your
mind by higher and more tender sentiments), yet allow me to add that
at the stated days of Midsummer and Christmas, you may regularly
draw for your half year's annuity on Messieurs Gosling in Fleet
Street, and that effectual steps shall be taken to secure you from
a possibility of disappointment. It would not be my absence, but my
stay in England that could create any delay or difficulty on that
subject.

And now, my dear madam, let me submit to your consideration and final
decision, a question which for my own part I am unable to determine,
whether I shall visit Bath before I leave England. If I consulted
only my wishes, the mere expence and trouble of the journey would be
obstacles of small account, but I much fear, that on this occasion,
prudence will dissuade what inclination would prompt, and that a
meeting of three or four days (for it could be no more) would tend
rather to embitter than to alleviate our unavoidable separation. If
you decide for my coming down, it will probably take place between
the 20th and 30th of next month, and I must beg that little, or
nothing, may be said on the subject of my approaching journey, and
that we may (silently) turn our thoughts to the happiness of seeing
each other, after an interval of time, less considerable perhaps than
those which commonly elapse between my Bath expeditions.

  I am, my Dear Madam,
  Ever most truly yours,
  E. G.



467.

_To Lord Sheffield._


  Thursday night, 1783.

Elmsley[47] and self have been hard at work this afternoon, and about
ten quintals are preparing for foreign service. Can you save me ten
pounds per annum, such is the rent of a good and safe room in the
Strand? You offered me a room in Downing Street (did you mean an
entire room?) for plate, china, &c. Is it the apartment on the ground
floor from whence you was expelled by odours? If you can lodge my
books you must give me a line per Saturday's coach, with a mandate to
the maid that she may not scruple to shew and receive. Time presses
and Elmsley is on the wing. Pelham[48] is appointed Irish Secretary
in the room of Wyndham[49] who pleads bad health, but who had written
very indiscreet letters at the general election. Adieu. I want to
hear of My Lady, her tender frame has been too much agitated.

  [47] Peter Elmsley (1736-1802) succeeded Paul Vaillant as a
  bookseller opposite Southampton Street, in the Strand. His
  special department was the importation of foreign books. He was
  a man of great general knowledge, and possessed a remarkable
  knowledge of the French literature and language. Gibbon died at
  his house, 76, St. James's Street, at the corner of Little St.
  James's Street.

  [48] Thomas Pelham, M.P. for Sussex (afterwards second Earl of
  Chichester) (1756-1826), served as Irish Secretary under Lord
  Northington in the Coalition Government from 1783 to 1784.

  [49] William Windham (1750-1810), M.P. for Norwich, resigned the
  Irish Secretaryship in 1783. He was Secretary at War from 1794 to
  1801, and War and Colonial Secretary 1806-7. He was a powerful
  speaker, a brilliant talker, a patron of pugilism, and, from his
  irresolution and love of paradox, nicknamed "Weather-cock."



468.

_To his Stepmother._


  Sheffield-place, August 8th, 1783.

  DEAR MADAM,

[Sidenote: HIS REASONS FOR LEAVING LONDON.]

Your truly _maternal_ letters (which I have repeatedly perused) have
agitated my mind with a variety of pleasing and painful sensations. I
am grieved that you should contemplate my departure in so melancholy
a light, but I shall always revere the affection which prompts your
anxiety, and magnifies the evil. I receive with more gratitude than
surprise your generous offer of devoting yourself and so large a
portion of your income to my relief, and I am concerned to find on
calmer reflection that such a project is attended with insuperable
difficulties. After the mutual and unpleasant sacrifice of our habits
and inclinations, I could not, even with your assistance, reduce the
expence of a London life to the level of my present income, and the
two hundred a year which you so nobly propose would be exhausted by
the single article of a Coach.

With regard to the delays which you suggest, you may be assured that
I shall take no material step without consideration and advice. Had
I staid in London, I should have removed from Bentinck Street. On
my return another house may at any time be procured, and I shall
carefully preserve the most valuable part of my furniture, plate,
linnen, china, beds, &c. My seat in Parliament cannot be vacated till
the next Session, and I shall leave the disposal of it to our friend
Lord Sheffield, in whose zeal and discretion we may safely confide.
On his own account he regrets my departure, but he has been forced to
give a full though reluctant approbation to my design. I wish it were
in my power to remove all your kind apprehensions which relate to the
length of my absence and the choice of my residence. I certainly do
not entertain a very sanguine idea of political friendship, but I am
convinced that such persons as really wish to serve me will not be
discouraged by my temporary retreat to Switzerland. In the leisure
and quiet which I shall enjoy at Lausanne, I shall prosecute the
continuation of my history, and the care of publishing a work, from
whence I may expect both honour and advantage, will secure, within
a reasonable space, my return to England. Your idea of the climate
of Switzerland is by many degrees too formidable; the air though
sometimes keen, is pure and wholesome, the Gout is much less frequent
on the Continent than in our Island, and the provoking luxury of
London dinners is much more likely to feed that distemper, than the
temperance and tranquillety of Lausanne. In the society of my friend
Deyverdun, I hope to spend some time with comfort and propriety, but
my affections are still fixed in England, and it will be my wish and
endeavour to shorten the term of this necessary separation, and in
the meanwhile you may depend on the most regular communication of
every circumstance that affects my health and happiness.

  I am, my Dear Madam,
  Ever yours,
  E. G.

I have some questions to ask you about the disposal of certain pieces
of furniture, such as the Clock and Carpet, but I would not mix those
trifles with the more serious purpose of this letter.



469.

_To Lord Sheffield._


  Monday, August 18th, 1783.

*In the preparations of my journey I have not felt any circumstance
more deeply than the kind concern of Lady S[heffield], and the
silent grief of Mrs. Porten. Yet the age of my friends makes a very
essential difference. I can scarcely hope ever to see my aunt again;
but I flatter myself, that in less than two years, my _sister_[50]
will make me a visit, and that in less than four, I shall return it
with a chearful heart at Sheffield-place. Business advances; this
morning my books were shipped for Rouen, and will reach Lausanne
almost as soon as myself. On Thursday morning the bulk of the library
moves from Bentinck-street to Downing-street. I shall escape from
the noise to Hampton Court, and spend three or four days in taking
leave. I want to know your precise motions, what day you arrive in
town, whether you visit Lord Beauchamp before the races, &c. I am now
impatient to be gone, and shall only wait for a last interview with
you. Your medley of Judges, Advocates, politicians, &c., is rather
_useful_ than pleasant. Town is a vast solitude. Adieu.*

  [50] Meaning Lady Sheffield.



470.

_To Lord Sheffield._


  Bentinck-street, Wednesday night, August 20th, 1783.

*I am now concluding one of the most unpleasant days of my life.
Will the day of our meeting again be accompanied with proportionable
satisfaction? The business of preparation will serve to agitate and
divert _my_ thoughts; but I do not like your brooding over melancholy
ideas in your solitude, and I heartily wish that both you and my dear
Lady S. would immediately go over and pass a week at Brighton. Such
is our imperfect nature, that dissipation is a far more efficacious
remedy than reflection. At all events, let me hear from you soon. I
have passed the evening at home, without gaining any intelligence.*



471.

_To Lord Sheffield._


  Friday, August 22nd, 1783.

[Sidenote: PREPARATIONS FOR DEPARTURE.]

*I am astonished with your apparition and flight, and am at a loss
to conjecture the mighty and sudden business of *Coventry,* which
could not be delayed till next week. _Timeo_ *Conways,* their
selfish cunning, and your sanguine unsuspecting spirit. Not dreaming
of your arrival, I thought it unnecessary to apprize you, that I
delayed Hampton to this day; on Monday I shall return, and will
expect you Tuesday evening, either in Bentinck or Downing-street,
as you like best. Yon have seen the piles of learning accumulated
in your parlour; the transportation will be atchieved to-day, and
Bentinck Street is already reduced to a light, ignorant habitation,
which I shall inhabit till about the 1st of September; four days
must be allowed for clearing and packing; these I shall spend in
Downing-street, and after seeing you a moment on your return, I shall
start about Saturday the 6th. London is a desert, and life, without
books, business, or society, will be somewhat tedious. From this
state, you will judge that your plan coincides very well, only I
think you should give me the whole of Wednesday in Bentinck-street.
With regard to Bushy, perhaps as a compliment to Lord L. you had
better defer it till your return.[51]*

You have not forgot the model of a letter for Sainsbury, Way, Hearne,
&c., with the 200 Guineas reward for the proper sale of Lenborough.
I return your three letters with a fourth not less curious, which
I have not yet answered. Mrs. G.'s pride is not inferior to her
tenderness. *I admire Gregory Way,[52] and should envy him, if I
did not possess a disposition somewhat similar to his own. My lady
will be reposed and restored at Brighton; the torrent of Lords,
Judges, &c. a proper remedy for you, was a medicine ill-suited to her
constitution. I _tenderly_ embrace her.*

  [51] _I.e._, probably, before applying direct to Lord North
  (Bushey), wait to see what Lord Loughborough may do.

  [52] Gregory Lewis Way, son of Lewis Way by his second wife, was
  half-brother to Lady Sheffield.



472.

_To his Stepmother._


  Hampton Court, August 25th, 1783.

  MY DEAREST MADAM,

I can easily attribute your silence to the true motive, the
difficulty (of which I am likewise conscious) of our present
situation. The subject which occupies our minds has been reciprocally
exhausted: it is unpleasant to resume a melancholy train of ideas,
and it is impossible to write with ease and chearfullness on
indifferent subjects. Yet I almost flatter myself that if you are not
satisfied with my reasons, you are at least disposed to acquiesce in
a resolution which is the offspring of necessity, and will I trust be
the parent of happiness. I repeat my promise that distance shall only
render me a more punctual correspondent, and I must again intreat
that you would turn your thoughts from the moment of our separation
to that of our reunion.

After sending two boxes of books to Lausanne I have deposited the
remainder of my library in Lord Sheffield's capacious mansion in
Downing Street, whither I shall send next week my plate, linnen,
beds, &c. I expect your commands with regard to the Clock and
Carpet: if you have not room or occasion for them at Bath, I should
probably dispose of the first, as it might be damaged by neglect,
but the latter I shall carefully preserve both as your workmanship
and as your gift. If among the China, &c. there should be any things
you would desire to select, Lord S., their Guardian and mine, is
instructed to obey your commands. As far as I can calculate I shall
be ready to set out about the 6th of September, the end of next week,
but I propose writing to you again before my departure.

  I am, my Dear Madam,
  Ever yours,
  E. G.



473.

_To Lady Sheffield._


  Bentinck Street, August 30th, 1783.

  MY DEAR FRIEND,

[Sidenote: FAREWELL TO SHEFFIELD PLACE.]

*For the names of Sheffelina, &c. are too playful for the serious
temper of my mind. In the whole period of my life I do not recollect
a day in which I felt more unpleasant sensations, than that on which
I took my leave of Sheffield-place. I forgot my friend Deyverdun, and
the fair prospect of quiet and happiness which awaits me at Lausanne.
I lost sight of our almost certain meeting at the end of a term,
which, at our age, cannot appear very distant; nor could I amuse
my uneasiness with the hopes, the more doubtful prospect, of your
visit to Switzerland. The agitation of preparing every thing for my
departure has, in some degree, diverted these melancholy thoughts;
yet I still look forwards to the decisive day (to-morrow Se'nnight)
with an anxiety of which yourself and Lord S. have the principal
share.

Surely never any thing was so unlucky as the unseasonable death
of Sir John Russell,[53] which so strongly reminded us of the
instability of human life and human expectations. The inundation
of the Assize must have distressed and overpowered you; but I hope
and I wish to hear from yourself, that the air of your favourite
Brighton, the bathing, and the quiet society of two or three friends,
have composed and revived your spirits. Present my love to Sarah,
and compliments to Miss Carter, &c. Adieu. Give me a speedy and
satisfactory line.*

  I am
  Most truly yours,
  E. GIBBON.

P.S.--You will find in Downing Street the _Histoire des Voyages_ and
the musical clock. During my absence I entrust them both to your
care, but I desire that neither of them may be removed to Sheffield
Place. You must direct to Downing Street, which I shall occupy next
Monday.

  [53] Sir John Russell, Bart., died on his way to Sheffield Place,
  August 8, 1783.



474.

_To his Stepmother._


  Downing Street, Monday, Sept. 8th, 1783.

  DEAR MADAM,

I am confined to this place (a better place than Dover) by the winds,
and they likewise detain two Flanders mails by which I expect a
letter from Deyverdun. I thought this advertisement necessary for
fear you should suppose me tossing on the seas. I hope to get away by
Friday, but you may rest assured that both for your sake and my own I
will take very good care of my person.

  I am, Dear Madam,
  Ever yours,
  E. GIBBON.



475.

_To Lord Sheffield._


  Downing Street, September 8th, 1783.

[Sidenote: THE PEACE OF VERSAILLES.]

*As we are not unconscious of each other's feelings, I shall only
say, that I am glad you did not go alone into Sussex. An American
rebel[54] to dispute with, gives a diversion to uneasy spirits,
and I heartily wished for such a friend or adversary during the
remainder of the day. No letter from Deyverdun; the post is arrived,
but two Flanders mails are due. Æolus does not seem to approve of my
designs, and there is little merit in waiting till Friday. I should
wait with more reluctance, did I think there was much chance of
success. I dine with Craufurd,[55] and if anything is decided will
send an extraordinary Gazette. You have obliged me beyond expression,
by your kindness to Aunt Kitty; she will drink her afternoon tea
at Sheffield next Friday. For my sake, Lady S. will be kind to the
old Lady, who will not be troublesome, and will vanish at the first
idea of Brighton; has not that salubrious air already produced some
effects? Peace will be proclaimed to-morrow;[56] odd! as War was
never declared. The buyers of stock seem as indifferent as yourself
about the definitive Treaty. Tell Maria, that though you had
forgotten the _Annales de la Vertu_, I have directed them to be sent,
but know nothing of their plan or merit. Adieu. When you see Mylady,
say everything tender and friendly to her. I did not know how much
I loved her. She may depend upon my keeping a separate, though not,
perhaps, a very frequent account with her. _Apropos_, I think aunt
Kitty has a secret wish to lye in my room; if it is not occupied, she
might be indulged. Once more, adieu.*

  E. G.

  [54] Mr. Silas Deane.

  [55] Probably "Fish" Crauford, a friend of C. J. Fox, and
  distinguished by his Eton nickname, given him for his curiosity,
  from his brother "Flesh" Crauford.

  [56] The treaties of peace with the United States, France, Spain,
  and Holland were signed at Versailles, September 2, 1783.



476.

_To Lord Sheffield._


  Tuesday Night [September 9], 1783.

It is singular, or rather it is natural that we should both entertain
the same idea, for I give you my word that I was very near running
down to Sheffield and staying there till Wednesday. Another day,
and no letter from Deyverdun; indeed the two Flanders mails are
still due. I have written to him this post. To-morrow Crauford dines
again with the Secretary, and the business is to be decided.[57]
I find Storer is now likely to succeed not so much from the zeal
and activity of Lord's N.'s friendship, as because he could resign
a place which Fox wants for Colonel Stanhope, to whom however he
has given Thomas's company in the Guards. I will write another line
to-morrow. Adieu.

  E. G.

Newton, I think with reasons postpones any special power of Attorney
till we are farther advanced, either with Cromwell's Client or some
other purchaser: he says there will be sufficient time to send and
return one while the title is under examination.

  [57] Gibbon hoped that he might be appointed either a
  Commissioner of Excise, or secretary to the British Legation at
  Paris, where the Duke of Manchester was at this time ambassador.
  The latter post was given to Anthony Morris Storer, M.P. for
  Morpeth, one of the Admirable Crichtons of the day, celebrated as
  a dancer, skater, gymnast, musician, and writer of Latin verse.
  His magnificent library he left to Eton College at his death in
  1799. Fox, no doubt, used his influence on this occasion against
  Gibbon. His lines have been already quoted. Another illustration
  of his impression that Gibbon was bought by a place is afforded
  by the following extract from Walpole's _Journal of the Reign
  of King George III. from the Year 1771 to 1783_, vol. ii. p.
  464. "June 28, 1781: Last week was sold by auction the very
  valuable library of an honourable representative" (C. J. Fox) "of
  Westminster, and which had been taken, with all his effects, in
  execution. Amongst the books there was Mr. Gibbon's first volume
  of the _Roman History_, and which appeared by the title-page
  to have been given by the author to his honourable friend, who
  thought proper to subscribe the following anecdote:--'The author
  at Brookes's said, there was no salvation for this country until
  six heads of the principal persons in Administration were laid
  on the table. Eleven days after, this same gentleman accepted
  a place of Lord of Trade under those very Ministers, and has
  acted with them ever since.' Such was the avidity of bidders for
  the smallest production of so wonderful a genius, that by the
  addition of this little record the book sold for three guineas."



477.

_To Lord Sheffield._


  Thursday, September 11th, 1783.

*The scheme (which you may impart to My lady) is compleatly vanished,
and I support the disappointment with Heroic patience. Crauford
goes down to Chatsworth to-morrow, and Fox does not recommend my
waiting for the event; yet the appointment is not yet declared, and
I am ignorant of the name and merits of my successful competitor.
Is it not wonderful that I am still in suspense, without a letter
from Deyverdun? No, it is not wonderful, since no Flanders mail is
arrived: to-morrow three will be due. I am therefore in a miserable
state of doubt and anxiety; in a much better house indeed than my
own, but without books, or business, or society. I send or call
two or three times each day to Elmsley's, and can only say that I
shall fly the next day, Saturday, Sunday, &c. after I have got my
_quietus_.*

Aunt Kitty was delighted with Mylady's letter; at her age, and in
her situation, every kind attention is pleasant. I took my leave
this morning; and as I did not wish to repeat the scene, and thought
she would be better at Sheffield, I suffer her to go to-morrow. Your
discretion will communicate or withhold any tidings of my departure
or delay as you judge most expedient. Christie writes to you this
post; he talks, in his rhetorical way, of many purchasers. Do you
approve of his fixing a day for the Auction? To us he talked of an
indefinite advertisement.

*No news, except that we keep Negapatnam.[58] The other day the
French Ambassador mentioned that the Empress of Russia, a precious
B----, had proposed to ratify the principles of the armed neutrality,
by a definitive treaty, but that the French, obliging creatures! had
declared that they would neither propose nor accept an article so
disagreable to England. Grey Elliot was pleased with your attention,
and says you are a perfect master of the subject.[59] Adieu. If I
could be sure that no mail would arrive to-morrow, I would run down
with my aunt. My heart is not light. I embrace My lady with true
affection, but I need not repeat it.

  E. G.

  [58] By Article IV. of the Treaty with the United Provinces.

  [59] The policy of Great Britain towards America in matters of
  trade, on which Lord Sheffield had spoken in April, 1783, and,
  later in the same year, published a pamphlet.



478.

_To Lord Sheffield._


  Downing Street, Friday, September 12th, 1783.

[Sidenote: DEPARTURE DELAYED.]

*Since my departure is near, and inevitable, you and Lady S. will be
rather sorry than glad to hear that I am detained, day after day,
by the caprice of the winds. _Three_ Flanders mails are now due. I
know not how to move without the final letter from Deyverdun, which
I expected a fortnight ago, and my fancy (perfectly unreasonable)
begins to create strange fantoms. A state of suspense is painful,
but it will be alleviated by the short notes which I mean to write,
and hope to receive, every post. A separation has some advantages,
though they are purchased with bitter pangs; among them is the
pleasure of knowing how dear we are to our friends, and how dear they
are to us. It will be a kind office to soothe Aunt Kitty's sorrows,
and to "rock the cradle of declining age." She will be vexed to hear
that I am not yet gone; but she is reasonable and chearful.* I am
grateful for Maria's attention to me or my corpse. Adieu.

  Most truly yours,
  E. G.



479.

_To Lord Sheffield._


  Downing Street, Saturday, September 13th, 1783.

*_Enfin la Bombe a crevé._--The three Flanders mails are arrived this
day, but without any letters from Deyverdun. Most incomprehensible!
After many adverse reflections, I have finally resolved to begin
my journey on Monday; a heavy journey, with much apprehension, and
much regret. Yet I consider, 1st, That if he is alive and well,
(an unpleasant _if_,) scarcely any event can have happened to
disappoint our mutual wishes; and, 2dly, That, supposing the very
worst, even that worst would not overthrow my general plan of living
abroad, though it would derange my hopes of a quiet and delightful
establishment with my friend.* Upon the whole, without giving way to
melancholy fears, my reason conjectures that his indolence thought
it superfluous to write any more, that it was my business to act and
move, and his duty to sit still and receive me with open arms. At
least he is well informed of my operations, as I wrote to him (since
his last) July 31st, from Sheffield-place; August 19th; and this
week, September 9th. The two first have already reached him.

As I shall not arrive at, or depart from, Dover till Tuesday night,
(alas! I may be confined there a week,) you will have an opportunity,
by dispatching a parcel _per_ post to Elmsly's, to catch the Monday's
post. Let us improve these last short moments: I want to hear how
poor Kitty behaves. I am really impatient to be gone. It is provoking
to be so near, yet so far from, certain persons. *London is a
desert.* I dine to-morrow with the Paynes, who pass through. Lord
Loughborough was not returned from Buxton yesterday.* Sir H[enry]
C[linton][60] found me out this morning; with very little trouble My
Lady might rival Betsy; he talks with rapture of visits to be made
at Sheffield, and returned at Brighton. I envy him those visits more
than the red ribbon* or the glory of his American campaigns.

  Adieu.

  [60] Sir Henry Clinton succeeded Sir William Howe as
  commander-in-chief in America in 1778. He was severely blamed for
  leaving Cornwallis unsupported in the Southern Colonies, and for
  the disaster at York Town in 1781. He died in 1795, as governor
  of Gibraltar. His son, General Sir William Clinton, who served
  with distinction in the Peninsular War, married Lord Sheffield's
  second daughter, Lady Louisa Holroyd.



480.

_To his Stepmother._


  Downing Street, Saturday, Sept. 13th, 1783.

  MY DEAR MADAM,

You will be surprized to receive another letter from this place,
but I have been detained this whole week unpleasantly enough by the
daily expectation of a Flanders mail, though considering the state
of the winds and weather it is better to be detained in a good house
in Downing Street, than at the Ship at Dover. My departure is now
finally determined for Monday morning, and I travel with my own
horses. I shall lye at Sittingbourne, and not reach Dover till the
afternoon of the next day; my farther progress must depend on the
caprice of Neptune and Æolus, but the moment I have escaped from
their power I will send a line by the return of the packet.

Lord Sheffield spent two or three days with me in his way from
Coventry races into Sussex.

[Sidenote: KINDNESS OF THE SHEFFIELDS.]

Nothing could exceed, both in word and deed, his kindness and that
of his consort on the present occasion, which has indeed shewn me
how dear I am to my real friends. They have taken poor Mrs. Porten
down to Sheffield, and I am sure will contrive every thing that can
support and dissipate her spirits. They both expressed to me in
the most obliging terms how glad they should have been of a visit
from you; but your mind is firmer, and your prospects are far more
chearful than those of my poor Aunt. Adieu, my Dear Madam; though
I go with pleasure from party and dependence to a Philosophical
retreat, I cannot measure without a sigh the difference (in some
degree imaginary) between one, and six, hundred miles.

  Ever yours,
  E. G.



481.

_To Lord Sheffield._


  Dover, Wednesday, September 17th, 1783,
  Ten o'clock in the morning.

*The best laws are useless without proper guardians. Your letter
_per_ Sunday's post is not arrived, (as its fate is uncertain, and
irrevocable, you must repeat any material article,) but that _per_
Monday's post reached me last night. Oliver[61] is more insolent
than his grandfather; but you will cope with one, and would not have
been much afraid of the other. Last night the wind was so high, that
the vessel could not stir from the harbour; this day it is brisk and
fair. We start about one o'clock, are flattered with the hope of
making Calais harbour by the same tide, in three hours and a half;
but any delay will leave the disagreable option of a tottering boat
or a tossing night. What a cursed thing to live in an island! this
step is more awkward than the whole journey. The Triumvirate of
this memorable embarkation will consist of the grand Gibbon, Henry
Laurens,[62] Esquire, President of Congress, and Mr. Secretary,
Colonel, Admiral, Philosopher Thompson,[63] attended by three horses,
who are not the most agreeable fellow-passengers. If we survive, I
will finish and seal my letter at Calais. Our salvation shall be
ascribed to the prayers of My lady and Aunt; for I do believe they
both pray.


  Boulogne, Thursday morning, ten o'clock.

Instead of Calais, the wind has driven us to Boulogne, where we
landed in the evening, with much noise and difficulty. The night is
passed, the Customhouse is dispatched, the post-horses are ordered,
and I shall start about eleven o'clock. I had not the least symptom
of sea sickness, while my companions were spewing round me. Laurens
has read the pamphlet,[64] and thinks it has done much mischief--a
good sign! Adieu, the Captain is impatient. I shall reach Lausanne by
the end of next week, but may probably write on the road.*

  [61] Mr. Oliver Cromwell, a solicitor with whom Gibbon and
  Lord Sheffield had business transactions. The Protector's son,
  Henry Cromwell, married Lady Elizabeth Russell, and had, among
  other children, a son, Henry, who was born in 1658. This son,
  afterwards Major Henry Cromwell, married Mary Hewling. Their
  grandson was this Mr. Oliver Cromwell of Cheshunt (1742-1821),
  the great-great-grandson of the Protector.

  [62] Henry Laurens had been detained as a prisoner in the Tower
  since his capture in 1779.

  [63] Sir Benjamin Thompson, Count of Rumford (1753-1814), was
  born in Massachusetts. He was Secretary to the Province of
  Georgia, and afterwards Under Secretary of State under Lord G.
  Germain. He fought on the Loyalist side as a Colonel of Dragoons,
  and also served as a volunteer on board H.M.S. _Victory_,
  under Sir C. Hardy. His _Essays, Political, Economical, and
  Philosophical_, were published at London in 1796-1802. He was
  knighted by George III. in 1784, and became a Count of the Holy
  Roman Empire in 1791.

  [64] _Observations on the Commerce of the American States._ The
  pamphlet was written by Lord Sheffield, but published anonymously
  (London, 1783, 8vo). It reached a sixth edition in 1784, and was
  translated into both French and German. In it Lord Sheffield
  opposed Pitt's plan of relaxing the navigation laws in favour of
  America.



482.

_To Lord Sheffield._


  Langres, September 23rd, 1783.

[Sidenote: HIS JOURNEY THROUGH FRANCE.]

*Let the Geographical Maria place before you the map of France, and
trace my progress as far as this place, through the following towns:
Boulogne, (where I was forced to land,) St. Omer, (where I recovered
my road,) Aire, Bethune, Douay, Cambray, St. Quentin, La Fère, Laon,
Rheims, Chalons, St. Dizier, and Langres, where I have just finished
my supper. The Inns, in general, more agreable to the palate, than
to the sight or smell. But, with some short exceptions of time and
place, I have enjoyed good weather and good roads, and at the end of
the ninth day, I feel so little fatigued, that the journey appears
no more than a pleasant airing. I have generally conversed with
Homer and Lord Clarendon, often with Caplin and Muff;[65] sometimes
with the French postillions--of the above-mentioned animals the
least rational. To-morrow I lye at Besançon, and, according to the
arrangement of post or hired horses, shall either sup at Lausanne on
Friday, or dine there Saturday. I feel some suspense and uneasiness
with regard to Deyverdun; but in the scale both of reason and
constitution, my hopes preponderate very much above my fears. From
Lausanne I will immediately write. I embrace my lady. If Aunt Kitty's
gratitude and good breeding have not driven her away upon the first
whisper of Brighton, she will share this intelligence; if she is
gone, a line from you would be humane and attentive. "_Monsieur, les
Chevaux seront prêts à cinq heures._"--Adieu. I am going into an
excellent bed, about six feet high from the ground.*

  [65] Gibbon's dog.



483.

_To Lord Sheffield._


  Lausanne, September 30th, 1783.

*I arrived safe in harbour last Saturday, the 27th instant, about ten
o'Clock in the morning; but as the post only goes out twice a week,
it was not in my power to write before this day. Except one day,
between Langres and Besançon, which was laborious enough, I finished
my easy and gentle airing without any fatigue, either of mind or
body. I found Deyverdun well and happy, but much more happy at the
sight of a friend, and the accomplishment of a scheme which he had so
long and impatiently desired. His garden, terrace, and _park_, have
even exceeded the most sanguine of my expectations and remembrances;
and you yourself cannot have forgotten the charming prospect of the
Lake, the mountains, and the declivity of the Pays de Vaud. But as
human life is perpetually checquered with good and evil, I have found
some disappointments on my arrival. The easy nature of Deyverdun,
his indolence, and his impatience, had prompted him to reckon too
positively that his house would be vacant at Michaelmas; some
unforeseen difficulties have arisen, or have been discovered when it
was already too late, and the consummation of our hopes is (I am much
afraid) postponed to next spring. At first I was knocked down by the
unexpected thunderbolt, but I have gradually been reconciled to my
fate, and have granted a free and gracious pardon to my friend. As
his own apartment, which afforded me a temporary shelter, is much too
narrow for a settled residence, we hired for the winter a convenient
ready furnished apartment in the nearest part of the Rue de Bourg,
whose back door leads in three steps to the terrace and garden, as
often as a tolerable day shall tempt us to enjoy their beauties;
and this arrangement has even its advantage, of giving us time to
deliberate and provide, before we enter on a larger and more regular
establishment.

[Sidenote: THE ABBÉ RAYNAL.]

But this is not the sum of my misfortunes; hear, and pity! The day
after my arrival (Sunday) we had just finished a very temperate
dinner, and intended to begin a round of visits on foot, _chapeau
sous le bras_, when, most unfortunately, Deyverdun proposed to show
me something in the Court; we boldly and successfully ascended a
flight of stone steps, but in the descent I missed my footing, and
strained, or sprained, my ancle in a painful manner. My old latent
Enemy, (I do not mean the Devil,) who is always on the watch, has
made an ungenerous use of his advantage, and I much fear that my
arrival at Lausanne will be marked with a fit of the Gout, though it
is quite unnecessary that the intelligence or suspicion should find
its way to Bath. Yesterday afternoon I lay, or at least sat, in state
to receive visits, and at the same moment my room was filled with
four different nations. The loudest of these nations was the single
voice of the Abbé Raynal,[66] who, like your friend, has chosen
this place for the azylum of freedom and history. His conversation,
which might be very agreable, is intolerably loud, peremptory, and
insolent; and you would imagine that he alone was the Monarch and
legislator of the World.

Adieu. I embrace My lady, and the infants.* Inform Maria that my
accident has prevented me from looking out for a proper spot for my
interment. *With regard to the important transactions for which you
are constituted Plenipotentiary, I expect with some impatience, but
with perfect confidence, the result of your labours. You may remember
what I mentioned of my conversation with Charles Fox about the place
of Minister at Bern: I have talked it over with Deyverdun, who does
not dislike the idea, provided this place was allowed to be my Villa,
during at least two-thirds of the Year; but for my part, I am sure
that* a thousand guineas *is worth more than Ministerial friendship
and gratitude; so I am inclined to think, that they are preferable
to an office which would be procured with difficulty, enjoyed with
constraint and expence, and lost, perhaps, next April, in the annual
Revolutions of our domestic Government. Again Adieu.*

  [66] The Abbé Raynal (1713-1796) published in 1770 his _Histoire
  philosophique des établissements et du commerce des Européens
  dans les deux Indes_. The work was put on the Index for its
  anti-religious tendency. His book, says Michelet, was for
  twenty years the Bible of two worlds. Toussaint l'Ouverture
  learned passages from it by heart; Bernardin de St. Pierre was
  inspired by it; to its author Napoleon Bonaparte dedicated in
  1787 his manuscript _Essai sur l'histoire de la Corse_. Dr.
  Johnson, according to Hannah More, refused to shake hands with
  the Abbé. "Sir," he said to a friend, "I will not shake hands
  with an infidel!" Raynal published a new edition in 1780, which
  was still more outspoken in its religious and political views.
  In consequence he was obliged to leave France, and settled in
  Switzerland. In 1788 he returned to France, and died in 1796.



484.

_To his Stepmother._


  Lausanne, September 30th, 1783.

  DEAR MADAM,

As I know you prefer a speedy to a long letter, I write by the
first post to inform you that after an easy and pleasant journey
of thirteen days, I arrived here on Saturday the 27th instant in
perfect health both of mind and body. You will not expect that I
should inform you how far my expectations are answered in any or in
every respect. The very novelty and beauty of the scene would give a
pleasing colour to every object, and the satisfaction of meeting and
conversing with an old friend like Deyverdun is alone worth a journey
of six hundred miles. He has not forgot his obligations to you, and
begs me in his name to say everything that is kind and grateful.
We have been so compleatly taken up and satisfied with each other
that as yet I have scarcely stirred from home, and as this is the
season of the vintage the town is remarkably empty. But the weather
is good, and our terrace now affords such a prospect of the lake
and mountains, as cannot perhaps be equalled in the World. I most
sincerely wish that you were walking there, and you would soon forget
the more humble beauties of your Belvidere. But I must content myself
with the hope, and not a distant hope, of seeing you again on the
hills, not of Switzerland but of Bath.

  I am, Dear Madam,
  Ever yours,
  E. G.

That we may never resume the indelicate subject, I shall say once for
all that every Christmas and Midsummer Day, without expecting any
draught from me, you need only send your commands to Messrs. Gosling,
Bankers in Fleet Street, as thus, Pay to Mr. ---- the sum of one
hundred and fifty pounds, and place to the account of E. G., Esq.,
for D. G. They are properly instructed.



485.

_To Lady Sheffield._


  Lausanne, October 28th, 1783.

*The progress of my Gout is in general so regular, and there is
so much uniformity in the history of its decline and fall, that I
have hitherto indulged my laziness, without much shame or remorse,
without supposing that you would be very anxious for my safety, which
has been sufficiently provided for by the triple care of my friend
Deyverdun, my humbler friend Caplin, and a very conversable Physician
(not the famous Tissot[67]), whose ordinary fee is ten Batz, about
fifteen pence English. After the usual encrease and decrease of my
member (for it has been confined to the injured foot), the Gout has
retired in good order, and the remains of weakness, which obliged me
to move on the rugged pavement of Lausanne with a stick, or rather
small crutch, are to be ascribed to the sprain, which might have been
a much more serious business.

[Sidenote: THE CHARMS OF LAUSANNE.]

As I have now spent a month at Lausanne, you will inquire with much
curiosity, more kindness, and some mixture of spite and malignity,
how far the place has answered my expectations, and whether I do not
repent of a resolution which has appeared so rash and ridiculous
to my ambitious friends? To this question, however natural and
reasonable, I shall not return an immediate answer, for two reasons:
1. _I have not yet made a fair tryal._ The disappointment and delay
with regard to Deyverdun's house, will confine us this winter to
lodgings, rather convenient than spacious or pleasant. I am only
beginning to recover my strength and liberty, and to look about
on persons and things; the greatest part of those persons are in
the Country taken up with their Vintage: my books are not yet
arrived, and, in short, I cannot look upon myself as settled in
that comfortable way which you and I understand and relish. Yet the
weather has been heavenly, and till this time, the end of October,
we enjoy the brightness of the sun, and somewhat gently complain of
its immoderate heat. 2. If I should be too sanguine in expressing my
satisfaction in what I have done, you would ascribe that satisfaction
to the novelty of the scene, and the inconstancy of man; and I deem
it far more safe and prudent to postpone any positive declaration,
till I am placed by experience beyond the danger of repentance and
recantation.

Yet of one thing I am sure, that I possess in this Country, as
well as in England, the best cordial of life, a sincere, tender,
and sensible friend, adorned with the most valuable and pleasant
qualities both of the heart and head. The inferior enjoyments of
leisure and society are likewise in my power; and in the short
excursions which I have hitherto made, I have commenced or renewed
my acquaintance with a certain number of persons, more especially
women, (who, at least in France and this country, are undoubtedly
superior to our prouder sex,) of rational minds and elegant manners.
I breakfast alone, and have declared that I receive no visits in
the morning, which you will easily suppose is devoted to study. I
find it impossible, without inconvenience, to defer my dinner beyond
two o'Clock. We have got a very good Woman Cook. Deyverdun, who is
somewhat of an Epicurean Philosopher, understands the management
of a table, and we frequently invite a guest or two to share our
luxurious, but not extravagant repasts. The afternoons are (and will
be much more so hereafter) devoted to society, and I shall find it
necessary to play at cards much oftener than in London: but I do not
dislike that way of passing a couple of hours, and I shall not be
ruined at Shilling whist. As yet I have not supped, but in the Course
of the winter I must sometimes sacrifice an evening abroad, and in
exchange I hope sometimes to steal a day at home, without going into
Company.*

[Sidenote: A _PENSION_ FOR MISS HOLROYD.]

As every idea which relates to you and yours is always uppermost
in my mind, I have not forgot our schemes to finish in this School
of freedom and equality the education of the future Baroness of
Roscommon,[68] and Deyverdun agrees with me in thinking that a
couple of years spent at Lausanne would be of infinite service to
her. But as I am convinced that she has attained the age in which
it would be the most beneficial and the least dangerous, I would
recommend speedy and decisive measures. If you could be satisfied
with an ordinary plan (I hate the name and idea of a boarding school)
Maria might be entrusted to a Madame Ostervald (Lord S. knew and
liked her under the name of Mademoiselle Bourgeois), who educates
with reputation and success several young ladies of fashion. But as
your daughter deserves a special and superior guide, we have cast
our eyes (without knowing whether she would accept it) on a lady,
who, by her birth, station, connections, understanding, knowledge,
and temper, appears, in the judgment of Deyverdun, her particular
friend, to be not unworthy to supply your place. She lives next door
to us, and _our_ eyes and ears (two pair) would be continually open.
If you found an opportunity of sending Maria in the spring with any
proper travellers, We would meet her at Geneva, Lyons, &c. With
such a hostage, I should be sure of seeing Lord S. and yourself,
and a year's trial would determine you to leave or remove her. If
you listen seriously to this idea, I will send you more particular
accounts, and take every proper step. If you cannot resolve, accept
this _bavardage_ as a proof of love and solicitude.

*I have all this time been talking to Lord S.; I hope that he has
dispatched my affairs, and it would give me pleasure to hear that I
am no longer member for Lymington, nor Lord of _Lenborough_. Adieu.
I feel every day that the distance serves only to make me think with
more tenderness of the persons whom I love.*

On reading what I have written, I must laugh at my sudden and
peremptory recommendations about Maria, yet I coolly think it the
best scheme. You oblige me beyond expression by your kindness to Aunt
Kitty. N.B. I always desire double letters.--I find I shall have
some commissions for you (Sheffelina), but I do not suppose you in
town till after Christmas.

  [67] Simon André Tissot (1728-1797) was one of the most skilful
  physicians of the day, excelling, says Madame de Genlis, alike in
  the theory and practice of his art. Among his voluminous works
  in Latin and French were _Avis au peuple sur sa santé_ (1761),
  and _De valetudine litteratorum_ (1766), which he translated into
  French under the title of _De la santé des gens de lettre_ (1769).

  [68] Baron Sheffield of Dunamore (1781) was, in September, 1783,
  created Baron Sheffield of Roscommon, with remainder to his
  daughters severally. His heir was at this time his daughter, the
  Hon. Maria Holroyd, afterwards Lady Stanley of Alderley.



486.

_To Lord Sheffield._


  Lausanne, November 14th, 1783.

*Last Tuesday, November 11th, after plaguing and vexing yourself all
the morning about some business of your fertile creation, you went
to the House of Commons, and passed the afternoon, the evening, and
perhaps the night, without sleep or food, stifled in a close room by
the heated respiration of six hundred politicians, inflamed by party
and passion, and tired of the repetition of dull nonsense, which,
in that illustrious assembly, so far outweighs the proportion of
reason and eloquence. On the same day, after a studious morning, a
friendly dinner, and a chearful assembly of both sexes, I retired to
rest at eleven o'Clock, satisfied with the past day, and certain that
the next would afford me the return of the same quiet and rational
enjoyments. _Which has the better bargain?_

Seriously, I am every hour more grateful to my own judgment and
resolution, and only regret that I so long delayed the execution of
a favourite plan, which I am convinced is the best adapted to my
character and inclinations. Your conjecture of the revolutions of my
face, when I heard that the house was for this winter inaccessible,
is probable, but false. I bore my disappointment with the temper of a
Sage, and only use it to render the prospect of next year still more
pleasing to my imagination. You are likewise mistaken, in imputing
my fall to the awkwardness of my limbs. The same accident might have
happened to Slingsby himself, or to any _Hero_ of the age, the most
distinguished for his _bodily activity_. I have now resumed my entire
strength, and walk with caution, yet with speed and safety, through
the streets of this mountainous city. After a month of the finest
autumn I ever saw, the _Bise_[69] made me feel my old acquaintance;
the weather is now milder, and this present day is dark and rainy,
not much better than what you probably enjoy in England. The town is
comparatively empty, but the Noblesse are returning every day from
their Chateaux, and I already perceive that I shall have more reason
to complain of dissipation than of dulness.

[Sidenote: OLD ACQUAINTANCES AT LAUSANNE.]

As I told Lady S., I am afraid of being too rash and hasty in
expressing my satisfaction; but I must again repeat, that appearances
are extremely favourable. I am sensible that general praise
conveys no distinct ideas, but it is very difficult to enter into
particulars where the individuals are unknown, or indifferent to our
correspondent. You have forgotten the _old_ Generation, and in twenty
years a new one is grown up. Death has swept many from the World,
and chance or choice has brought many to this place. If you enquire
after your old acquaintance Catherine Crousaz, you must be told, that
she is solitary, uggly, blind, and universally forgotten. Your later
flame, and our common Goddess, the Eliza,[70] passed a month at the
Inn. The greatest part of the time either in fit or taking the air
on horseback. She came to consult Tissot, and was acquainted with
Cerjat, but she appears to have made no conquests, and no fountain
has been dedicated to her memory.*

And now to business. By this time those who would give me nothing
else have nobly rewarded my merit with the Chiltern Hundreds. I
retire without a sigh from the Senate, and am only impatient to
hear that you have received the sum, which your _modesty_ was
content to take for my seat. Sir Andrew[71] is an honourable man,
yet I am satisfied that you have not neglected any of the necessary
precautions. It will be advisable to have the odd hundred in
Gosling's shop and to pay the thousand to Messrs. Darrel, Winchester
Street, who will vest it for me in the three per cent. We must take
advantage of this stupendous fall of the Stocks, which amazes and
frightens many poor souls here who apprehend that poor old England is
on the brink of ruin. But this same circumstance is equally hostile
to the sale of Lenborough, and though £200 or 300 a year and some
part of my tranquillity depend on being released from the claws of
my Mortgagee, yet I am much afraid that in the present state of
things an _equal_ purchaser will not easily be found. But your
native vigour excited by friendship will remove mountains and perform
impossibilities. My salvation would be more assured if I had half as
much faith in any body else.

*With regard to meaner cares, these are two, which you can and will
undertake. 1. As I have not renounced my Country, I should be glad to
hear of your Parliamentary squabbles, which may be done with small
trouble and expence. After an interesting debate, Miss Firth or My
lady in due time may cut the speeches from Woodfall. You will write
or dictate any curious anecdote, and the whole, inclosed in a letter,
may be dispatched to Lausanne. 2. A set of Wedgewood China, which we
talked of in London, and which would be most acceptable here. As you
have a _sort_ of a taste, I leave to your own choice the colour and
the pattern; but as I have the inclination and means to live very
handsomely _here_, I desire that the size and number of things may be
adequate to a plentiful table.

If you see Lord North, assure him of my gratitude; had he been a
more successful friend, I should now be drudging at the board of
Customs, or vexed with business in the amiable society of *the Duke
of M[anchester].* To Lord Loughborough present a more affectionate
sentiment; I am satisfied with his intention to serve me, if I had
not been in such a fidget. I am sure you will not fail, while you are
in town, to visit and comfort poor Aunt Kitty. I wrote to her on my
first arrival, and she may be assured that I will not neglect her.*
Any occasional hints from Bath will be wellcome, but nothing from
hence must ever transpire. *To My lady I say nothing; we have now our
private Correspondence, into which the eye of an husband should not
be permitted to intrude. I am really satisfied with the success of
the Pamphlet;[72] not only because I have a sneaking kindness for the
author, but as it shows me that plain sense, full information, and
warm spirit, are still acceptable to the World. You talk of Lausanne
as a place of retirement; yet from the situation and freedom of the
Pays de Vaud, all nations, and all extraordinary characters, are
astonished to meet each other. The Abbé Raynal, the grand Gibbon, and
Mercier,[73] author of the Tableau de Paris, have been in the same
room. The other day, the Prince and Princess de Ligne,[74] the Duke
and Dutchess d'Ursel, &c. came from Brussels on purpose (literally
true) to act a comedy at d'Hermanches's, in the Country. He was
dying, and could not appear; but we had Comedy, ball, and supper. The
event seems to have revived him; for that great man is fallen from
his ancient glory, and his nearest relations refuse to see him. I
told you of poor Catherine's deplorable state; but Madame de Mesery,
at the age of sixty-nine, is still handsome. Adieu.*

  [69] The north-east wind.

  [70] Lady Elizabeth Foster.

  [71] Sir Andrew Snape Hamond, R.N., created a baronet in
  December, 1783, for his services in the American War, was
  apparently treating for the seat of Lymington.

  [72] Lord Sheffield's _Observations_. See note to Letter 481.

  [73] Sébastien Mercier (1740-1814) was the author, among other
  works, of _L'An 2440_, a dream of the future (1771), and of the
  _Tableau de Paris_ (1781), in which he advocated many useful
  reforms. For this latter work he was prosecuted, and took refuge
  in Switzerland.

  [74] The Prince de Ligne (1735-1814) served with distinction as
  a general of the Austrian troops in the Seven Years' War and the
  War of Bavarian Succession. He was noted for his wit, and was
  a voluminous author both in prose and verse. He died at Vienna
  during the Congress in 1814.



487.

_To Lord Sheffield._


  Lausanne, December 20th, 1783.

*I have received both your Epistles; and as any excuse will serve
a man who is at the same time very busy and very idle, I patiently
expected the second, before I entertained any thoughts of answering
the first.*

[Sidenote: SALE OF LENBOROUGH.]

And so poor Lenborough is at length sold; poor indeed I may call,
for I must confess that I am most woefully disappointed in the
price. Without going back to the Golden Age in which we looked down
with disdain on the round twenty, you may remember that even this
summer we scarcely allowed our most timid expectations to sink below
seventeen, and this sum for which it is now sold falls £1400 short of
that amount, without deducting the promised gratuity to Christie.

You might indeed reckon on my impatience to be delivered from a
heavy burden both of fortune and of mind which I have often deplored
with so much energy, but that burthen was much alleviated by my
_rational_ retreat from a scene of tumult and expence, and I always
understood that we should take the chance of the winter and of the
rise of stocks before we tryed the decisive and almost irrevocable
measure of an auction. However the blow is struck, and I have already
reconciled my mind to this new loss. I should have been afraid of
writing thus much to Hugonin, but your nerves are more firmly strung,
and through these expressions of disappointment, you discern, that
instead of being displeased with your conduct, however inadequate to
my hopes, I feel myself inexpressibly obliged to your pure fervent
and persevering friendship. You will watch over the conclusion of
this business, and whatever steps on my side may be necessary shall
be diligently executed as soon as you send me the proper papers and
instruction. When the money is paid (in February) you will leave
the residue, a wretched fragment, in the hands of the Goslings on
my account. I have not absolutely determined how I shall employ it.
Something must be done in the way of annuity, and the French funds
which are very fashionable in this country are wonderfully tempting
to a poor man by the high interest, but I am aware of their slippery
foundation, and you may be assured that I shall do nothing of that
kind without full and mature and even cautious investigation. For
the same reason, instead of paying the money to Darrel, I could wish
that the £1100 or £1000 for Lymington (for we must not haggle about
trifles) may likewise slumber for a little while in the shop in Fleet
Street. Yet I should not be sorry to hear that the direction comes
too late and that they are already more actively employed.

Sure I have been particularly unfortunate in my connections
of business, for in good truth, Winton, Lovegrove, and Sir H.
Burrard[75] are more than should fall to the share of one man.

[Sidenote: PRIDE IN FOX'S FAME.]

Yet the last mentioned beast is no fool, and when that affectionate
kinsman has squeezed the Minister to the utmost, he will be satisfied
with _all_ that he can get, and will not suffer his farm to lye
fallow without being of any value either to landlord or tenant. *I
therefore conclude, on every principle of common sense, that, before
this moment, his own interest and that of the Government, stimulated
by your active zeal, have already expelled me from the House, to
which, without regret, I bid an everlasting farewell. The agreeable
hour of five o'Clock in the morning, at which you commonly retire,
does not tend to revive my attachment; but if you add the soft hours
of your morning committee,[76] in the discussion of taxes, customs,
frauds, smugglers, &c., I think I should beg to be released and
quietly sent to the Gallies, as a place of leisure and freedom. Yet I
do not depart from my general principles of toleration; some animals
are made to live in the water, others on the Earth, many in the air,
and some, as it is now believed, even in fire. Your present hurry of
Parliament I perfectly understand; when opposition make the attack--

                                  ----Horæ
    Momento cita mors venit, aut victoria læta.

But when the Minister brings forward strong and decisive measure, he
at length prevails; but his progress is retarded at every step, and
in every stage of the bill, by a pertinacious, though unsuccessful,
minority. I am not sorry to hear of the splendour of Fox; I am proud,
in a foreign Country, of his fame and abilities, and our little
animosities are extinguished by my retreat from the English Stage.
With regard to the substance of the business, I scarcely know what to
think: the vices of the Company,[77] both in their persons and their
constitution, were manifold and manifest; the danger was imminent,
and such an Empire, with thirty millions of subjects, was not to be
lost for trifles. Yet, on the other hand, the faith of Charters,
the rights of property! I hesitate and tremble. Such an innovation
would at least require that the remedy should be as certain as the
evil, and the proprietors may perhaps insinuate, that _they_ were as
competent Guardians of their own affairs, as either *George North or
L. Lewisham.[78]* Their acting without a salary seems childish, and
their not being removable by the Crown is a strange and dangerous
precedent.

But enough of politics, which I now begin to view through a thin,
cold, distant cloud, yet not without a reasonable degree of curiosity
and patriotism. From the papers (especially when you add an
occasional slice of the Chronicle) I shall be amply informed of facts
and debates; from you I expect the causes rather than the events, the
true springs of action, and those interesting anecdotes which seldom
ascend the garret of a Fleet-Street editor.

[Sidenote: LORD NORTH'S INSIGNIFICANCE.]

You say that many friends (alias acquaintance) have expressed
curiosity and concern; I should not wish to be immediately forgot.
That others (you once mentioned Gerard Hamilton) condemn Government
for suffering the departure of a man who might have done them some
credit and some service, perhaps as much as Antony Storer himself.
To you, in the confidence of friendship, and without either pride or
resentment, I will fairly own that I am somewhat of Gerard's opinion;
and if I did not compare it with the rest of his character, I should
be astonished that Lord N[orth] suffered me to depart, without even
a civil answer to my letter. Were I capable of hating a man, whom
it is not easy to hate, I should find myself most amply revenged
by the insignificance of the creature in this mighty revolution of
India, his own peculiar department. But the happy Souls in paradise
are susceptible only of love and pity, and though Lausanne is not
a paradise, more especially in Winter, I do assure you, in sober
prose, that it has hitherto fulfilled, and even surpassed, my warmest
expectation. Yet I often cast a look toward Sheffield-place, where
you now repose, if you can repose, during the Christmas recess.

Embrace My Lady, the young Baroness, and the gentle Louisa, and
insinuate to your silent Consort, that separate letters require
separate answers. Had I an air balloon, the great topic of modern
Conversation, I would call upon you till the meeting of parliament.
_Vale._*

  [75] Sir H. Burrard, Bart., the proprietor of the preponderating
  interest in borough of Lymington.

  [76] Lord Sheffield was sitting on a Select Committee appointed
  to inquire into frauds committed on the revenue.

  [77] Early in 1781 two committees of the House of Commons were
  appointed to inquire into the affairs of India. One, a Select
  Committee, considered the best means of governing the British
  possessions in the East Indies; the other, a Secret Committee,
  inquired into the causes of the war in the Carnatic, and the
  condition of the British possessions in those parts. On April 9,
  1782, the Lord Advocate, Henry Dundas, the chairman of the Secret
  Committee, moved that the reports of that committee be referred
  to a committee of the whole House. On April 25 he laid three sets
  of resolutions on the table. The first set, which were postponed,
  related to the general misconduct of the Company; the second set,
  condemning the administration of the Presidency of Madras, was
  voted; the third, containing criminal charges against Sir Thomas
  Rumbold, the President of the Madras Council, was also voted. On
  these two sets of resolutions was founded a Bill of pains and
  penalties (April 29) against Rumbold; but on July 1, 1783, a
  motion was carried to adjourn the further consideration of the
  Bill till October 1. The proceedings, therefore, fell to the
  ground and were not resumed.

  Meanwhile, the resolutions as to the general misconduct of the
  Company were severally agreed to by the House on May 28, 1782. On
  them was founded a resolution, calling on the directors to remove
  Warren Hastings, Governor-General of India, and William Hornsby,
  President of the Council of Bombay. This resolution being
  carried, the directors passed an Order of Recall; but the order
  was rescinded on October 31 by the General Court of Proprietors.

  Side by side with these proceedings, the reports of the Select
  Committee were also considered. On April 24, 1782, their
  chairman, General Smith, presented a series of resolutions which
  were carried, and on them an address was presented to the king to
  recall Sir Elijah Impey, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of
  Bengal.

  On November 20 and 26, 1783, Fox brought in two India Bills:
  (1) vesting the affairs of the Company in the bands of seven
  commissioners; (2) providing for the better government of the
  territorial possessions of the Company. The first Bill passed the
  House of Commons on a division of 208 to 102, after long debates,
  in which the House frequently sat till 5 a.m., on December 8,
  1783, and was carried up to the House of Lords on December 9. The
  first reading took place on December 9, and the second reading
  on December 15. A motion for adjournment was carried against the
  ministers by 87 to 79, and on December 17 the Bill was rejected
  by 95 to 76.

  On the following day the king called upon the Secretaries of
  State to resign their seals; and on the 19th the rest of the
  Cabinet were dismissed.

  The new Ministry was thus composed:--

  William Pitt                 First Lord of the Treasury and
                                     Chancellor of the Exchequer.
  Earl Gower                   President of the Council.
  Lord Thurlow                 Lord Chancellor.
  Lord Sydney           }      Secretaries of State.
  Marquis of Carmarthen }
  The Duke of Rutland          Lord Privy Seal.
  Lord Howe                    First Lord of the Admiralty.
  Duke of Richmond             Master of the Ordnance.
  Henry Dundas                 Treasurer of the Navy.

  The first seven on the list formed the Cabinet.

  The Duke of Dorset replaced the Duke of Manchester as Ambassador
  at Paris, and Daniel Hailes succeeded Anthony Storer as Secretary
  to the Legation.

  Lord Temple, the "stormy petrel" of politics, accepted office as
  Secretary for the Foreign Department on December 19, but resigned
  on December 22.

  [78] The Hon. George Augustus North (afterwards Lord Guilford)
  and Lord Lewisham were two of the seven commissioners named in
  Fox's India Bill.



488.

_To his Stepmother._[79]


  Lausanne, December 27th, 1783.

  DEAR MADAM,

Were we strangers to each other, I might amuse myself with deducing
the causes of my silence; the long expectation of your answer
and the propriety of taking a clear view of the ground on which I
stood before I could transmit a just and satisfactory account of my
situation. But it will be better to acknowledge that the old man, my
ancient and habitual enemy, touched me with his wand, and that I am
just awakening from the enchanted slumber. My silence however may be
fairly interpreted as an evidence of content. Indeed, my Dear Madam,
I _am_ happy, with as few exceptions as the condition of human Nature
will allow, and among the first of these exceptions I reckon the
interval of time and space which separates me from Bath.

Since I formed and executed this plan of retiring into Switzerland
I have not once repented, I have not felt a single moment of
disappointment, and my only regret is the having so long neglected
to obey the dictates of my reason; a more early obedience would have
saved me some years of dependance, of anxiety, and of indiscretion. I
have always valued far above the external gifts of rank and fortune
two qualities for which I stand indebted to the indulgence of Nature,
a strong and constant passion for letters, and a propensity to view
and to enjoy every object in the most favourable light. The first has
composed the daily happiness of my life and ensured the perpetual
enjoyment of the most pleasing labours; the success of my works has
given me a pure and extensive, perhaps a permanent reputation, and
if the more substantial rewards have too easily slipped through
my hands, I must ascribe their loss to the obstinancy with which
I struggled to support a style of life to which the remains of my
fortune were no longer adequate.

My propensity to be happy has been exercised on the most unfavourable
materials; you have commonly seen a smile on my conversation and my
letters, and as you never distrusted the sincerity of my professions
you must have been surprized at the success of my endeavours. Yet
what could be more adverse to my character than the life which for
some years past I have led in London. With the warmest love of
independence I have stooped the slave of Ministers. Without talents,
or at least without resolution for a public life, I have consumed
days and nights a silent spectator of noisy and factious debates.
Conscious that true happiness is founded on œconomy, the disorderly
state of my affairs has never allowed me to measure my income and my
expence, and I have never dared to cast my eyes on the disbursment
of the past or the supplies of the future year. How different is
the prospect which I now enjoy. I find myself in a state of perfect
independence and real affluence, and if I continue to enjoy a
tolerable state of health, I cannot easily discover what event is
capable of disturbing my tranquillity.

Among the ingredients of happiness you will agree with me in giving
the preference to a sincere and sensible friend; and though you are
not acquainted with half his merit, you will believe that Deyverdun
answers that description. Perhaps two persons so perfectly fitted for
each other were never created by Nature and education. Our studies,
occupations, and reflexions have been sufficiently various to ensure
a constant fund of entertainment; the lights and shades of our
respective characters are happily blended; freedom and confidence are
the basis of our union, and a friendship of thirty years has taught
us to enjoy and to support each other. You have often read and heard
the descriptions of this delightful Country, the banks of the lake
of Geneva, and indeed it surpasses all description. A stranger is
struck with surprize and admiration, and it is endeared to me by the
remembrance of my youth and the lively attachment which I have always
retained for the place and the people. Our autumn has been beautiful,
and the winter has not hitherto been severe, but the season of rural
enjoyments is for some time suspended and our comforts are confined
to the fireside. M. Deyverdun's house is spacious and convenient, and
his garden, which spreads over a various and extensive spot, unites
every beauty and advantage both of town and country. But into this
paradise we are not yet introduced; the family to whom he had lent or
let the larger part of the house have started some difficulties about
the time of their removal, and till the month of March or April we
are obliged to content ourselves with a convenient ready furnished
lodging. When to this disappointment I add that my boxes of books
which were sent through France still loiter on the road, you will
confess that my felicity in the approaching year is more likely to
encrease than to diminish.

[Sidenote: DAILY LIFE AT LAUSANNE.]

With regard to the daily enjoyments of life, which rolls away in
a quiet uniform tenor, they are made to be felt rather than to be
related. I rise before eight, and our mornings are commonly invisible
to each other. At two (an hour somewhat too early) we dine, one,
two, or three agreably very often enliven our board, which is served
with decent elegance. From four to between six and seven we read
some amusing book, play at chess, retire to our rooms, look into the
Coffee house, or make visits. The assemblies are numerous, and I
play my three rubbers at shilling or half-crown whist with tolerable
pleasure. They end between nine and ten, and a bit of bread and
cheese, with some friendly converse, sends us to bed about eleven.
This sober plan is indeed interrupted by too frequent suppers,
which I want resolution to refuse, though I behave with exemplary
temperance. Instead of lolling in a coach I walk the streets at all
hours wrapped in a fur Cloak--the exercise is wholesome, and in my
life I never enjoyed more perfect health and spirits. May you be
able to say as much! If vanity and Deyverdun do not deceive me, I am
already a general favourite, and as likings or dislikes are commonly
mutual, I am pleased with the manners of the place, and the worthy
and amiable characters of many individuals of both sexes.

Believe me, My dear Madam, I never cast a look on the politics or
the amusements of London. The mob of political connections or casual
acquaintance are unworthy of the regret of a rational mind. But in
the midst of a very pleasant life and society I am not insensible of
my separation from yourself, the Sheffields, and two or three real
friends. If their zeal should succeed in procuring me any adequate
office which I could accept with propriety and exercise without
disgust, if Government should find any situation in which I could do
them service and myself credit, I would quit (perhaps with a sigh)
this agreable retreat, and obey without hesitation the calls of
friendship, of honour, and of my Country.

  [79] This letter, as printed here, was written by Edward Gibbon
  to his stepmother; a similar letter, in which some of the same
  phrases are repeated, is printed in Lord Sheffield's edition
  of Gibbon's _Miscellaneous Writings_ (vol. ii. pp. 340-344),
  addressed to his aunt, Miss Catherine Porten.



489.

_To Lord Sheffield._


  Lausanne, January 24th, 1784.

*Within two or three days after your last _gracious_ Epistle, your
Complaints were silenced, and your enquiries were satisfied, by an
ample dispatch of four pages, which overflowed the inside of the
cover, and in which I exposed my opinions of things in general,
public as well as private, as they existed in my mind, in my state
of ignorance and error, about the eighteenth or twentieth of last
month. Within a week after that date I epistolised, in the same rich
and copious strain, the two venerable females of Newman-street and
the Belvidere,[80] whose murmur must now be changed into songs of
gratitude and applause. My correspondence with the holy Matron of
Northamptonshire[81] has been less lively and loquacious. You have
not forgotten the Atheist's vindication of himself from the foul
calumnies of pretended Christians; within a fortnight after his
arrival at Lausanne, he communicated the joyful event to Mrs. G.
She answered _per_ return of post, both letters at the same time,
and in very dutiful language, almost excusing her advice, which was
intended for my spiritual, as well as temporal, good, and assuring me
that _nobody should be able to injure me with her_. Unless the Saint
is an hypocrite, possible enough, such an expression must convey a
favourable and important meaning: at all events, it is worth giving
_ourselves_ some trouble about her, without indulging any sanguine
expectations of inheritance.

[Sidenote: DELIGHT IN LORD SHEFFIELD'S LETTERS.]

So much for my females. With regard to my male Correspondents, you
are the only one to whom I have given any signs of my existence,
though I have formed many a generous resolution. Yet I am not
insensible of the kind and friendly manner in which Lord Loughborough
has distinguished me: he could have no inducements of interest, and
now that I view the distant picture with an impartial eye, I am
convinced that (for a Statesman) he was sincere though not earnest
in his wishes to serve me. When you see _him_, the Paynes, Eden,
Crauford, &c., tell them that I am well, happy, and ashamed. On your
side, the zeal and diligence of your pen has surprized and delighted
me, and your letters, at this interesting moment, are exactly such as
I wished them to be--authentic anecdotes, and rational speculations,
worthy of a man who acts a part in the great theatre, and who fills a
seat, not only in the general Pandæmonium, but in the private council
of the princes of the infernal Regions. With regard to the detail of
Parliamentary operations, I must repeat my request to you, or rather
to Miss Firth, who will now be on the spot, that she will write, not
with her pen, but her Scissars, and that, after every debate which
deserves to pass the Sea and the Mountains, she will dissect the
faithful narrative of Woodfall,[82] and send it off by the next
post, as an agreeable supplement to the meagre accounts of our weekly
papers.

The wonderful revolutions of last month[83] have sounded to my ear
more like the shifting scenes of a Comedy or Comic Opera, than like
the sober events of real and modern history; and the irregularity of
our winter posts, which sometimes retarded, and sometimes hastened,
the arrival of the dispatches, has encreased the confusion of our
ideas. Surely the Lord has blinded the eyes of Pharaoh and of his
servants; the obstinacy of the last spring[84] was nothing compared
to the headstrong and headlong madness of this Winter. I expect
with much impatience the first days of your meeting: the purity
and integrity of the Coalition will suffer a fiery tryal; but if
they are true to themselves and to each other, a Majority of the
House of Commons must prevail; the rebellion of the young Gentlemen
will be crushed, and the Masters will resume the Government of the
School. After the address and answer,[85] I have no conception that
Parliament can be dissolved during the Session; but if the present
Ministry can outlive the storm, I think the death Warrant will
infallibly be signed in the summer. _Here_ I blush for my Country,
without confessing her shame. Fox acted like a man of Honour, yet
surely his union with Pitt affords the only hope of salvation. How
miserably are we wasting the season of peace!

[Sidenote: THE SALE OF HIS SEAT.]

I have written three pages before I come to my own busyness and
feelings. In the first place, I most sincerely rejoyce that I left
the ship, and swam ashore on a plank; the daily and hourly agitation
in which I must have lived would have made me truly miserable, if I
had obtained a place during pleasure, Storer's for instance. On the
first news of the dissolution, I considered my seat as so totally
and irrecoverably gone, that I have been less affected with Sir
Harry's obstinacy.* Yet his absolute refusal to treat throws us
at least for the present into a very uncomfortable situation, and
besides the danger of shipwreck, every day's voyage diminishes the
value of the ship and cargo. You say you are schemeless. I can think
only of two expedients.

1. You know or can know Sir Andrew Hammond, who is a fair and
honourable character. Talk over the business and kinsman fairly with
him, and tempt him to exert himself by the lowness of the price. I
should consider even five or six hundred pounds as so much saved
out of the fire, and a part of that sum would be most deliciously
employed in the embellishment of my new habitation.

2. The other scheme is somewhat more delicate, yet I cannot esteem
myself as bound to sacrifice my essential interest to that motley
crew surnamed a Coalition, nor does this superiority in Parliament
depend on the loss of _half-a-vote_. Perhaps the new Minister would
give Sir Harry for his relations those scandalous jobs which our late
friends more conscientiously refused, and many a Candidate would
purchase their effectual recommendation by giving me the £1000 or
£1200. On this occasion remember you are acting for a _poor_ friend;
dismiss a little of the spirit of faction and patriotism, and stoop
to a prudential line of conduct, which in your own case you might
possibly disdain. If you attempt the negociation you will easily
find the proper instruments, but I should think James Grenville,
the Lord of the Treasury, a safe and convenient channel, and I am
persuaded that he would embrace the opportunity of serving his party
and obliging _me_ at the same time. In the business of Lenborough you
may be active, but I can only be passive to convey a fair Estate, and
to receive a miserable pittance of three thousand and some pounds.
I hope nothing will happen to perplex the title or to delay the
payment, and that the sum will be safely lodged for my account and in
Gosling's hands before the end of February.

*Perhaps you will abuse my prudence and patriotism, when I inform
you, that I have already vested a part (30,000 Livres, about £1300)
in the new loan of the King of France. I get eight per Cent. on
the joint lives of Deyverdun and myself, besides thirty tickets
in a very advantageous Lottery, of which the highest prize is
an annuity of 40,000 Livres (£1700) a year. At this moment, the
beginning of a peace, and probably a long peace, I think (and the
World seems to think) the French funds at least as solid as our
own. I have empowered my Agent, M. de Lessart, a capital banker at
Paris, to draw upon Gosling for the money two months hence; and
to avoid all accidents that may result from untoward delays, and
mercantile churlishness, I expect that you will support my credit
in Fleet-street with your own more respectable name.* Moreover
when Lenborough purchase money is paid, I wish it were possible to
withhold £1000 or 1500 of their mortgage on our joint bond; I could
employ it to my satisfaction at present, and should certainly repay
it in three or four years on the conclusion of my History. Perhaps
you will be better reconciled to my pecuniary arrangements by the
proposal which I seriously make of purchasing Lee's farm at Buriton,
if it can be obtained for 25 years' purchase after deducting the Land
Tax. My interest without principal will be compensated by principal
without interest (you remember Soame Jenyns's definition), and
whatever becomes of my French Creditor, my Hampshire acres will be
safe, compact, and in due time clear of all incumbrances. You may
consult with Hugonin, propose and conclude.

*What say you now? Am I not a wise Man? My letter is enormous,
and the post on the wing. In a few days I will write to my Lady
herself, and enter something more into the details of domestic life.
Suffice it to say, that the scene becomes each day more pleasant
and comfortable, and that I complain only of the dissipation of
Lausanne. In the course of March or April we shall take possession of
Deyverdun's house. My books, which by some strange neglect, did not
leave Paris till the 3rd of this Month, will arrive in a few weeks;
and I shall soon resume the continuation of my history, which I
shall prosecute with the more vigour, as the completion affords me a
distant prospect of a visit to England.* A-propos, if the box which I
left in Downing Street for the Swiss Carrier be not already departed,
I hope Elmsley and yourself will give it a speedy and vigorous shove;
when you see Elmsley ask him whether he has answered my letters: he
is almost as lazy as myself. To my Lady's taste I shall entrust the
Wedgewood's ware, which in the course of the spring or summer may
accompany some other boxes of plate, linnen, books which I shall
probably invoke. Adieu. I embrace my Lady and Infants.

  Ever yours,
  E. G.

  [80] His aunt, Miss Porten, and his stepmother.

  [81] His aunt, Miss Hester Gibbon.

  [82] William Woodfall, formerly assistant editor of the _Public
  Advertiser_, was at this time editor of the _Morning Chronicle_.
  He was called "Memory Woodfall" from his accuracy in remembering
  the speeches in Parliament, of which no notes were then allowed
  to be taken. He was, it is said (_Auckland Correspondence_, vol.
  iii. p. 165), for many years paid £400 a year, "for giving the
  speeches of Mr. Fox and Mr. Sheridan much more at length and
  better than he did those of Mr. Pitt and Mr. Dundas." He was
  afterwards editor of a paper called _The Diary_, which failed. He
  died in 1803. His brother, Henry Woodfall, published the _Letters
  of Junius_.

  [83] The fall of the Coalition. See note to Letter 487.

  [84] The long delay in accepting the Coalition Cabinet. See note
  to Letter 487.

  [85] The House of Commons, after deferring the third reading of
  the land-tax Bill, and addressing the king against dissolving
  Parliament, adjourned from December 26 to January 12, 1784.



490.

_To Lord Sheffield._


  Lausanne, February 2nd, 1784.

  BARON!--

*After my last enormous dispatch, nothing can remain, except some
small gleanings, or occasional hints; and thus in order: I am not
conscious that any of your valuable MSS. have miscarried, or that I
have omitted to answer any essential particulars. They stand in my
Bureau carefully arranged, and docketed under the following dates;
September 23, October 23, November 18, December 2, December 15,
December 19, December 23, December 29, January 16, which last I
have received this day, Febr. 2nd. For greater perspicuity, it will
not be amiss (on either side) to number our future Epistles, by a
conspicuous Roman character inscribed in the front, to which we may
at any time refer. But instead of writing by Ostend, the shorter
and surer way, especially on all occasions that deserve celerity,
will be to direct them to my Banker, M. de Lessert, at Paris, who
will forward them to me. Through Germany the passage by Sea is more
uncertain, the roads worse, and the distance greater: we often
complain of delay and irregularity at this interesting moment.

[Sidenote: A FACTIOUS OPPOSITION.]

By your last I find that you have boldly and generously opened a
treaty with the Enemy, which I proposed with fear and hesitation.
I impatiently expect the result; and again repeat, that _whatever_
you can obtain* for the seat, *I shall consider it as so much saved
out of the fire, &c. &c.* I shall then have completely secured a
tranquil though humble station, and my personal happiness will no
longer hang in suspense upon every change of Ministry, and every vote
of Parliament. I am not surprized that you grow sulky: your free and
liberal spirit must disdain a set of Men, whose aim is their own
restoration to power, and whose means may affect the principles of
the Constitution.[86] *Do you remember Dunning's motion[87] (in the
year 80) to address the Crown against a dissolution of Parliament? a
simple address we rejected, as an infringement on the prerogative;
yet how far short of these strong Democratical measures, for which
you have probably voted, as I should probably have done: such is the
contagion of party. Fox drives most furiously, yet I should not be
surprized if Pitt's moderation and character should insensibly win
the Nation, and even the house, to espouse his cause.*

Lenborough is a melancholy and unpleasant subject. I am grateful for
your endeavours, and lament that your reflexions on the value of
land and money are but too true and sensible. Greatly as I have been
disappointed in the price, I should now be sorry that anything should
happen to break the bargain or to delay the payment. The surmise of
such a possible event obliged me to repeat my commands that you would
instruct Gosling (in your own name) to accept M. de Lessert's draught
on the 20th of March for 30,000 French Livres (about £1300). Whatever
you may think of my economical measures, the deed is done, and my
honour is now pledged for the performance. The other sum, £1000
or 1500 of the Lenborough price which I wished to deduct from the
mortgage, is a more indifferent speculation, which should only take
place as far as it is agreable to all parties.

[Sidenote: ARRIVAL OF HIS LIBRARY.]

*Unless when I look back on England with a selfish or a tender
regard, my hours roll away very pleasantly, and I can again repeat
with truth, that I have not regretted a single moment the step which
I have taken. We are now at the height of the Winter dissipation, and
I am peculiarly happy when I can steal away from great assemblies,
and suppers of twenty or thirty people, to a more private party, of
some of those persons whom I begin to call my friends. Till we are
settled in our house little can be expected on our side; yet I have
already given two or three handsome dinners; and though everything
is grown dearer, I am not alarmed at the general view of my expence.
Deyverdun salutes you; and we are agreed that few married Couples
are better entitled to the flitch of bacon than we shall be at the
end of the year. When I had written about half this Epistle my books
arrived; at our first meeting all was rapture and confusion, and two
or three posts, from the 2nd to this day, the fourteenth, have been
suffered to depart unnoticed. Your letter of the 27th of January,
which was not received till yesterday, has again awakened me, and I
thought the surest way would be to send off this single sheet without
any farther delay.

I sincerely rejoice in the stability of Parliament;[88] and the first
faint dawn of reconciliation, which must however be effected by the
equal balance of parties, rather than by the wisdom of the Country
Gentlemen.[89]*


  MISS FIRTH,

After due salutations I trouble you with three or four Commissions,
which I should not presume to offer to the greatness of the Baron
or the delicacy of My Lady, but which I am persuaded you will
chearfully undertake to oblige an old and sincere friend. 1. The
employment which I have already hinted of your scissars in carving
and despatching occasional debates from Woodfall's paper. 2. You are
desired to call on Elmsley to ask him from time to time when he wrote
to me last, and to urge him about taking and sending a Catalogue of
my library with all convenient or inconvenient speed. 3. As many
things will be deficient and as carriage will be less expensive than
purchase, I propose sending for my plate, linnen, and China which
now lye in Downing Street. My Agent Prendergast, an honest Cabinet
maker, has received his instructions from Caplen, and I only desire
that when he calls for that purpose he may have free permission to
examine, pack, export, &c. A list was entrusted to Lord Sheffield
which might be compared, copied, signed by him and transmitted by the
post to me.


  MY LADY!--

But it would be highly incongruous to begin my letter at the bottom
of the page. Adieu, therefore, till next post.

  [86] As soon as Parliament reassembled after the Christmas recess
  (January 12, 1784), the House of Commons resolved itself into
  a committee on the state of the nation in order to prevent an
  immediate dissolution. Two resolutions were carried: (1) that to
  pay out public money before the same was appropriated by Act of
  Parliament was a high crime and misdemeanour; (2) that the Mutiny
  Bill be postponed till February 23. It was further resolved,
  that an Administration, which commanded the confidence of the
  House, was peculiarly necessary in the present situation of the
  kingdom, and that the late ministerial changes had been preceded
  and accompanied by reports and circumstances which alienated
  the confidence of the House. On January 14, Pitt proposed his
  India Bill, which was rejected (January 23) by 222 to 214. On
  January 16 a resolution was carried, by 205 to 184, that the
  continuance of the present ministers in office was "contrary to
  constitutional principles and injurious to the interests of his
  Majesty and his people."

  [87] Dunning's motion, here referred to, was proposed April 24,
  1780, and rejected by 254 to 203.

  [88] On December 22, 1783, Mr. Bankes, M.P. for Corfe Castle,
  an intimate friend of William Pitt, assured the House that the
  Government did not intend to advise the king to dissolve or
  prorogue Parliament, and that the Chancellor of the Exchequer,
  if such advice were offered, would oppose it, and, if it were
  accepted, would resign.

  [89] On January 16, 1784, Mr. Powys, M.P. for Northamptonshire,
  proposed a compromise by a coalition between the contending
  parties. Fox, however, declared that no compromise was possible
  till Pitt had resigned. The idea of a compromise was taken up on
  the 20th by the "country gentlemen." Stormy scenes took place on
  January 23, when Pitt declined to make any statement as to the
  advice which he might offer the king. But on Saturday, January
  24, he stated that, while refusing to pledge himself further,
  the House should not be dissolved till it had met on Monday, the
  26th. Advantage was taken of this statement to call a meeting,
  attended by seventy members of the "country gentlemen" party, at
  the St. Alban's Tavern, to consider the possibility of compromise
  on the basis of a "Broad Bottom administration." The plan proved
  futile, and was abandoned February 18. The proceedings closed
  with a dinner given to the seventy members at Carlton House by
  the Prince of Wales on March 10, 1784.



491.

_To Lord Sheffield._


  Lausanne, March 2nd, 1784.

Your despatch of Feb. 13th arrived safe yesterday, March 1st, and
notwithstanding the winter obstacles of seas and roads there is, upon
the whole, more delay than danger in the transactions of the posts.
I am glad that my last appearance in Downing Street put an end to a
course of abuse; but in spite of my profound veneration for dreams
and omens, I flatter myself that the silence of _one month_ will not
always be interpreted as a certain testimony that I no longer exist.
Before I quit the subject of dispatches, one word on Miss Firth's
scissors whose operation you have so prudently checked. Their use was
not intended to be daily but occasional, on some great and memorable
debate in the Pandemonium. Such occasions might occur twenty or
thirty times in the winter, and at one shilling each time the annual
expence might have exceeded _one_ Guinea. I had computed that such
expence might be supported; but if you persist in a contrary opinion,
I must submit.

You had given me notice that the purchase money of Lenborough would
be paid in February, and as the title was so perfectly clear, I
suppose the surplus (far beyond the amount of the Paris draught)
is already in Gosling's hands, payable to my order. In that case I
shall have no obligations to them for obeying my Commands. But as I
was aware of the delays of the law, and of their narrow mercantile
temper, I did conceive that they might scruple paying Mr. de
Lessert's draught for 30,000 Livres _some days_ before my money was
actually in their shop. The French banker will draw at sight, but
instead of the 20th of March, I have postponed his draught till the
20th of April. In due time I shall write to the Goose to give them
notice not to ask a favour. It is to you only that I wish to be
obliged, and if you inform them that you consider yourself as answer
for the money, I cannot suspect that even their grovelling spirit
will have any scruples. If instead of your word they should require
your bond, you can give it in five minutes, and a few days when the
purchase money is paid will release you from the obligation. The
general comparison of the French and English funds I have not time
to discuss. I think them more able, and ourselves more willing, to
support our national faith, but if a man must trust his money to
the Ocean, I think it more advisable to embark it on two separate
bottoms. With regard to the scruples of the two Tabbies, I can
only say that first they need not know anything of the matter, and
secondly they will be so good as to allow me to think and act for
myself.

[Sidenote: A HAPPY WINTER OF STUDY AND SOCIETY.]

With regard to the purchase of Lee's farm I am serious, and if
I am abused for my follies I must have some credit for the more
rational parts of my Conduct. At least you will give me credit when I
declare that in a happy winter of study and society I have not once
regretted the noise of St. Stephen's and the tiresome suspense of
your incomprehensible politics, but I do most sincerely regret the
decreasing value of my Senatorial commodity. As soon as you can, and
as much as you can, is the advice which you will follow without my
having the trouble of giving it. But in the meanwhile do not let us
quarrel about the disposal of the Bearskin. I am not mad, nor do I
mean to settle here for life. A small part of the indefinite price
of my seat was destined to embelish my habitation, and if, after
enjoying the comforts three or four years, I should leave my friend's
house somewhat improved, I can see nothing very extravagant in the
idea.

Thus far I have written before the departure of the post, and am
preparing to pass the evening at a private representation of the
Barbier de Seville, which will be followed by a lively and excellent
supper. Embrace My Lady. I think of her often, especially every
post day. Say a kind word to Kitty, I shall soon dream that she is
dead likewise.--Gosling need not be apprized of the object of the
Paris draught.--The additional £1500 which I wished to retain is
superfluous, as I have already observed in my last.

You are or will be astonished with some farther orders for the march
of plate, linnen, books, &c., but I am of opinion that the present
moment is worth enjoying, and that carriage, even double carriage, is
less expensive than purchase.--You have nothing to do with Wedgewood,
but I shall soon consult My lady. The spring is delightful. I often
snatch a walk on Deyverdun's terrace, and visit my books, which are
already deposited, but I fear the house will not be accessible before
the first of May. He says I am not patient, I say he is indolent; you
know that the most harmonious pairs will sometime squabble.



492.

_To Lord Sheffield._


  Lausanne, April 31st, 1784.

Not a post has elapsed without my thinking of Sheffelina and
intending her separate letter. This day which had been peremptorily
fixed is now so far advanced that I have barely time to relieve my
mind from some anxious _English_ thoughts, the only ones that disturb
the tranquil, chearful scenes of my well-judged retreat.--I have this
moment perused the last English papers of the 20th instant, which
contain by the bye your smart and as it seems successful dispute with
the Minister.

Your adversaries (I fear they are the King, Lords and People)
have now conquered, but at this distance I cannot discern the
consequences of their victory, whether it will lead to treaty or
dissolution.[90] If the latter, adieu once more to my poor seat and
all my little hopes of compensation. Can nothing, nothing be done
in any way by direct or indirect, by humble or strenuous measures?
Upon my soul, I should consider my election dinner, £100, or 200
pounds as a tolerable conclusion of my cursed political life. But
in this business perhaps you can do nothing. I therefore turn to
another, which would seriously alarm me, had I less confidence in
your friendship. You know (and the Goslings are apprized) that on the
20th of April M. de Lessert of Paris will draw upon them for 30,300
French Livres, and I should feel the deepest shame and affliction if
his draught in my name should meet with an unfavourable reception.
I am in your hands, and can say no more. Perhaps I have been too
hasty, yet you cannot forget that I might reasonably act on your
assurance of the Lenborough purchase money being paid before the end
of February. Since that notice you have never said a word on the
subject. Is the business concluded? what occasions a delay? Have
any difficulties arisen? Adieu. You grow an idle correspondent.
The winter has been long but not extremely rigorous.--The person
who occupies Deyverdun's house is an invalid; yet I think we shall
migrate before my birthday, the 8th of May.

  E. G.

  [90] An address to his Majesty was presented on February 25,
  1784, asking the king to take measures for the formation of such
  an united administration as the House of Commons had declared
  to be necessary. The king replied (February 27) that he did
  not think the dismissal of his present ministers would promote
  such union. A second address, asking the removal of the present
  ministers, was carried (March 1) by a majority of twelve, and
  presented March 4. The king's answer was practically a repetition
  of his former reply. A representation on the affairs of the
  nation, addressed to the king, was carried by 191 to 190 on March
  8, and, with this last effort, the opposition subsided. The
  Mutiny Bill passed without a division on March 10, and on March
  25 Parliament was dissolved.



493.

_To Lord Sheffield._


  Lausanne, May 11th, 1784.

[Sidenote: DISSOLUTION OF PARLIAMENT.]

*Alas! alas! alas! We may now exchange our mutual condolence, and
encourage each other to support with becoming fortitude the stroke of
fate. Last Christmas, on the change of administration, I was struck
with the thunderbolt of the unexpected event, and in the approaching
dissolution I foresaw the loss of* the little but precious stock
which I had so foolishly embarked in the parliamentary bottom. *The
long continuance and various changes of the tempest rendered me by
degrees callous and insensible: when the art of the Mariners was
exhausted, I felt that we were sinking; I expected the ship to
founder; and when the fatal moment arrived, I was even pleased to be
delivered from hope and fear, to the calmness of despair.

I now turn my eyes, not on the past, but on the present and the
future; what is lost I try to consider as if it never had existed;
and every day I congratulate my own good fortune, let me say my
prudence and resolution, in migrating from your noisy stage to a
scene of repose and content. But even in this separate state, I was
still anxious for my friend upon English Earth, and at first was much
delighted with your hint, that you were setting off for Coventry,
without any prospect of an opposition. Every post, Wednesdays and
Saturdays, I eagerly looked for the intelligence of your victory; and
in spite of my misbehaviour, which I do not deny, I must abuse _My
Lady_, rather than you, for leaving me in so painful a situation.
Each day raised and increased my apprehension; the Courier de
l'Europe first announced the contest, the English papers proclaimed
your defeat, and your last letter, which I received four days ago,
showed me that you exerted first the spirit, and at last the temper,
of a hero. Lord B[eauchamp] behaved as I should have expected, and
I am not much surprized that you should have been swept away in the
general unpopularity, since even in this quiet place, your friends
are considered as a factious crew, acting in direct opposition both
to the King and People.[91]

For yourself I am at a loss what to say. If this repulse should
teach you to renounce all connexion with Kings and Ministers, and
patriots, and parties, and parliaments; for all of which you are by
many degrees too honest; I should exclaim, with Teague,[92] your
respectable countryman, "By my Shoul, Dear Joy, you have _gained_
a loss." Private life, whether contemplative or active, has surely
more solid and independent charms; you have _some_ domestic comforts;
Sheffield is still susceptible of useful and ornamental improvements,
(alas! how much better might even the last £1500 have been laid out!)
and if these cares are not sufficient to occupy your leisure, I can
trust your restless and enterprizing spirit to find new methods of
preserving yourself from the insipidity of repose. But I much fear
your discontent and regret at being excluded from that Pandæmonium
which we have so often cursed, as long as you were obliged to attend
it. The leaders of the party will flatter you with the opinion of
their friendship and your own importance; the warmth of your temper
makes you credulous and unsuspicious; and, like the rest of our
species, male and female, you are not absolutely blind to your own
merit, or deaf to the voice of praise. Some place will be suggested,
easy, honourable, certain, where nothing is wanted but a man of
character and spirit to head a superior interest; the opposition, if
any, is contemptible, and the expence cannot be large. You will go
down, find almost every circumstance falsely stated, repent that you
had engaged yourself, but you cannot desert those friends who are
firmly attached to your cause; besides, the Money you have already
spent would have been thrown away; another thousand will compleat the
business: deeper and deeper will you plunge, and the last evil will
be worse than the first.

[Sidenote: A FREE-SPOKEN COUNSELLOR.]

You see I am a free-spoken Counsellor; may I not be a true prophet!
Did I consult my own wishes, I should observe to you, that as you
are no longer a Slave, you might soon be transported, as you seem to
desire, to one of the Alpine hills. The purity and calmness of the
air is the best calculated to allay the heat of a political feaver;
the education of the two princesses might be successfully conducted
under your eye and that of my Lady; and if you had resolution to
determine on a residence, not a visit, at Lausanne, your worldly
affairs might repose themselves after their late fatigues. But you
know that _I_ am a friend to toleration, and am always disposed to
make the largest allowance for the different natures of animals; a
lion and a lamb, an eagle and a Worm. I am afraid we are too quiet
for you; here it would not be easy for you to create any business;
you have for some time neglected books, and I doubt whether you would
not think our suppers and assemblies somewhat trifling and insipid.

For myself I am happy to tell, and you will be happy to hear,
that this place has in every respect exceeded my best and most
sanguine hopes. How often have you said, as often as I expressed
any ill-humour against the hurry, the expence, and the precarious
condition of my London life, "Ay, that is a nonsensical scheme of
retiring to Lausanne that you have got into your head--a pretty
fancy; you remember how much you liked it in your youth, but you have
now seen more of the World, and if you were to try it again, you
would find yourself most woefully disappointed"? I had it in my head,
in my heart; I have tryed it; I have not been disappointed; and my
knowledge of the World has only served to convince me, that a Capital
and a Crowd may contain much less real society, than the small circle
of this gentle retirement. The winter has been longer, but, as far
as I can learn, less rigorous than in the rest of Europe. The spring
in all its glory is now bursting upon us, and in our garden it is
displayed in all its glory. I already occupy a temporary apartment,
and we live in the lower part of the house; before you receive this
our lodgers will be gone and we shall be in full possession. We have
much to enjoy and something to do, which I take to be the happiest
condition of human life.

Now for business, the kind of subject which I always undertake with
the most reluctance, and leave with the most pleasure.* I do not
thank you for standing between me and Gosling, you would despise my
thanks. I know your sentiments, and you are not ignorant of mine. But
the step on your side was necessary: even with your security Gosling
has not done the thing in a graceful way, and even the letter which
informs me that he will honour M. de Lessert's draught is written
with unnecessary pertness. In a post or two I shall probably hear the
payment acknowledged from Paris. The Goose hopes he shall soon be
reimbursed: so do I likewise, and as no difficulties can arise with
regard to the title, I should imagine that before you leave town the
business, that is the payment, may be finally concluded.

[Sidenote: ENGLISH FRIENDS AT LAUSANNE.]

Of the persons who already cast a Hawk's eye on the poor surplus.
There is one Harris whose bond, since he calls for it, must
undoubtedly be discharged, though I should be glad if you could
persuade him to be contented with the interest, and trust me some
time longer with the principal. I write to Whitehead, the hirer of
horses, by this post, and suppose you will hear no more of him. But I
must confess that Richard Way's demand of one hundred Guineas fills
me with surprize and indignation, and, unless you are decidedly of a
contrary opinion, I do most absolutely refuse it. Had he only been
useless something might be pleaded; but if you recollect that his
entire service was the recommending me to Lovegrove, it would not
be easy to compute the damages (for thousands) for which I might
equitably sue that Land Jobber. Though I am not very favourably
disposed to the Goslings, the surplus money, when the just demands
are cleared, must be left in their hands, till I can employ it, but I
am serious in my hint about Lee's farm, and wish you would correspond
with Hugonin in the summer; by the bye, he has not pressed my tenants
this winter. A Swiss Carrier by name Pache will call in a few days
to send away the boxes of plate, linnen, china, which are probably
packed for foreign service. The ornamental China was never intended
to be sent.

Postscript.

I cannot as yet hear anything of a certain box left at my departure
in Downing-place, and repeatedly and vainly demanded; by this time
I hope that it is on the road. Elmsley, to whom it was peculiarly
committed, is an ingenious, an honest, but a very idle fellow. The
box contains some absolute necessaries, such as paper in particular,
and you are a sufferer by the delay, as you will pay a double letter
for the value, or at least the size, of a single one. The stationer's
paper here is so extremely thin that I turned over two leaves at
once, and the error is now irreparable. Adieu.

*And now, My Lady.

Let me approach your gentle, not grimalkin, presence, with deep
remorse. You have indirectly been informed of my state of mind and
body; (the whole winter I have not had the slightest return of the
Gout, or any other complaint whatsoever;) you have been apprized,
and are now apprized, of my motions, or rather of my perfect and
agreeable repose; yet I must confess (and I _feel_) that something
of a direct and personal exchange of sentiment has been neglected on
my side, though I still _persuade_ myself that when I am settled in
my new house I shall have more subject, as well as leisure to write.
Such tricks of lazyness your active spirit is a stranger to, though
Mrs. Frazer complains that she has never had an answer to her last
letters.* That aforesaid little Donna Catharina arrived here three
or four days with her sister Miss Bristow: the widow is impatient
to reach England: the maiden, who is much better, proposes staying
here the whole summer with her dear Doctor Tissot, and returning on
the approach of Winter to pass another season at Nice. *Poor Lady
Pembroke![93] _you_ will feel for her; after a cruel alternative of
hope and fear, her only daughter, Lady Charlotte, died at Aix at
Provence; they have persuaded her to come to this place, where she
is intimately connected with the Cerjat family. She has taken an
agreeable house, about three miles from the town, and lives retired.
But I have seen her; her behaviour is calm, but her affliction----

I accept with gratitude your friendly proposal of Wedgewood's ware,
and should be glad to have it bought and packed, and sent without
delay through Germany.* To you I leave the absolute and _sole_
command, but if you have a mind to consult the Baron with regard to
the ornamental, the creature is not totally devoid of taste: the
number, choice, pattern, sizes, &c. you will determine, and *I shall
only say, that I wish to have a very compleat service for two courses
and a desert, and that our suppers are numerous, frequently fifteen
or twenty persons. Adieu. I do not mean this as your letter. You are
very good to poor Kitty. With you I do not condole about Coventry.*

May 11th, 1784. I wrote the first page of my letter last week.

  [91] Upwards of one hundred and sixty members lost their seats,
  and of these almost all had supported the Coalition of Fox and
  North. Among "Fox's Martyrs" was Lord Sheffield. Sir Sampson
  Gideon, afterwards Lord Eardley, and Mr. John Wilmot were elected
  for Coventry, the seat previously held by Lord Sheffield and Mr.
  Conway.

  [92] Teague is the Irish servant of Hermes Wouldbe in Farquhar's
  play of _The Twin Rivals_.

  [93] Lady Charlotte Herbert, daughter of Lady Pembroke (formerly
  Lady Elizabeth Spencer), was born July, 1773, and died in April,
  1784.



494.

_To his Stepmother._


  Lausanne, May 28th, 1784.

  DEAR MADAM,

*I begin without preface or Apology, as if I had received your letter
by the last post. In my own defence I know not what to say; but if I
were disposed to recriminate, I might observe that you yourself are
not perfectly free from the sin of laziness and procrastination. I
have often wondered why we are not fonder of letter-writing: we all
delight to talk of ourselves, and it is only in letters, in writing
to a friend, that we can enjoy that conversation, not only without
reproach or interruption, but with the highest propriety and mutual
satisfaction; sure that the person whom we address feels an equal,
or at least a strong and lively interest in the consideration of the
pleasing subject. On the subject therefore of _self_ I will entertain
a friend, to whom none of my thoughts or actions, none of my pains
or pleasures can ever be indifferent.

When I first cherished the design of retiring to Lausanne, the
loss I can hardly call it of your society, but at least of your
neighbourhood, and the fear of your anxiety and disapprobation have
always stood before me as the most powerful objections, and I was
much more apprehensive of wounding your tender attachment, than of
offending Lord Sheffield's manly and vehement friendship. In the
abolition of the board of trade, the motives for my retreat became
more urgent and forcible; I wished to break loose, yet I delayed
above a year before I could take my final resolution; and the letter
in which I disclosed it to you cost me one of the most painful
struggles of my life. As soon as I had conquered that difficulty, all
meaner obstacles fell before me, and in a few weeks I found myself at
Lausanne, astonished at my firmness and my success.

[Sidenote: THE REIGN OF SINECURES AT AN END.]

Perhaps you still blame or still lament the step which I have taken.
If on your own account, I can only sympathize with your feelings,
the recollection of which often costs me a sigh; If on mine, let
me fairly state what I have escaped in England, and what I have
found at Lausanne. Recollect the tempests of this winter, how many
anxious days I should have passed, how many noisy, turbulent, hot,
unwholesome nights, while my political existence, and that of my
friends, was at stake; yet these feeble efforts would have been
unavailing; I should have lost my seat in Parliament, and after the
extraordinary expence of another Year, I must still have pursued
the road of Switzerland, unless I had been tempted by some selfish
Patron, or by Lord S.'s aspiring spirit, to purchase at a most
inconvenient price a new seat; and once more, at the beginning of an
opposition, to engage in new scenes of business. As to the immediate
prospect of any thing like a quiet and profitable retreat, I should
not know where to look; my friends are no longer in power. With
*Pitt* and his party I have no connection; and were he disposed to
favour a Man of letters, it is difficult to say what he could give,
or what I would accept. The reign of pensions and sinecures is at
an end, and a commission in the Excise or customs, the summet of my
hopes, would give me bread at the expence of leisure and liberty.
When I revolve these circumstances in my mind, my only regret, I
repeat it again and again, is, that I did not embrace this salutary
measure three, five, ten years ago.

Thus much I thought it necessary to say, and shall now dismiss this
unpleasing part of the subject. For my situation here, health is the
first consideration, and on that head your tenderness had conceived
some degree of anxiety. I know not whether it has reached you that
I had a fit of the Gout the day after my arrival. The deed is true,
but the cause was accidental; carelessly stepping down a flight of
stairs, I sprained my ancle; and my ungenerous enemy instantly took
advantage of my weakness. But since my breaking that double chain, I
have enjoyed a winter of the most perfect health that I have perhaps
ever known, without any mixture of the little flying incommodities
which in my best days have sometimes disturbed the tranquillity of my
English life. You are not ignorant of Dr. Tissot's reputation, and
his merit is even above his reputation. He assures me, that in his
opinion, the moisture of England and Holland is most pernicious, the
dry pure air of Switzerland most favourable, to a Gouty constitution:
that experience justifies the Theory; and that there are fewer
martyrs of that disorder in this, than in any other country in Europe.

[Sidenote: HIS HOUSE, TERRACE, AND GARDEN.]

[Illustration: THE PAVILION AND TERRACE, LAUSANNE.

  _To face p. 108, Vol. II._
]

This winter has every where been most uncommonly severe; and you seem
in England to have had your full share of the general hardship: but
in this corner, surrounded by the Alps, it has rather been long than
rigorous; and its duration stole away our spring, and left us no
interval between furs and silks. We now enjoy the genial influence of
the Climate and the Season; and no station was ever more calculated
to enjoy them than Deyverdun's house and garden, which are now become
my own. You will not expect that the pen should describe, what
the pencil would imperfectly delineate. A few circumstances may,
however, be mentioned. My library is about the same size with that
in Bentinck Street, with this difference, however, that instead of
looking on a paved court twelve feet square, I command a boundless
prospect of vale, mountain, and water, from my three windows; my
apartment is compleated by a spacious light closet, or store-room,
with a bed-chamber and dressing-room. Deyverdun's habitation is
pleasant and convenient, though less extensive: for our common use we
have a very handsome winter apartment of four rooms; and on the
ground-floor, two cool saloons for the summer, with a sufficiency,
or rather superfluity, of offices, &c. A Terrace, one hundred yards
long, extends beyond the front of the House, and leads to a close
impenetrable shrubbery; and from thence the circuit of a long and
various walk, carries me round a meadow and vineyard. The intervals
afford abundant supply of fruit, and every sort of vegetables; and
if you add, that this villa (which has been much ornamented by my
friend) touches the best and most sociable part of the town, you will
agree with me, that few persons, either princes or philosophers,
enjoy a more desirable residence.

Deyverdun, who is proud of his own works, often walks me round,
pointing out, with knowledge and enthusiasm, the beauties that
change with every step and with every variation of light. I share,
or at least I sympathize, with his pleasure: he appears content
with my progress, and has already told several people, that he does
not despair of making me a Gardener. Be that as it may, you will
be glad to hear that I am, by my own choice, infinitely more in
motion, and in the open air, than I ever have been formerly. Yet my
perfect liberty and leisure leave me many studious hours; and as the
circle of our acquaintance retire into the Country, I shall be much
less engaged in company and diversion. I have seriously resumed the
prosecution of my history; each day and each month adds something to
the completion of the great work. The progress is slow, the labour
continual, and the end remote and uncertain. Yet every day brings
its amusement, as well as labour; and though I dare not fix a term,
even in my own fancy, I advance, with the pleasing reflection, that
the business of publication (should I be detained here so long) must
enforce my return to England, and restore me to the best of mothers
and friends.

With health and competence, with a full independence of mind and
action, a delightful habitation, a true friend, and many pleasant
acquaintance, you will allow, in the meanwhile, that I am rather
an object of envy than pity; and if you were more conversant with
the use of the French language, I would seriously propose to you
to repose yourself with us in this fine country. But my indirect
intelligence (on which I sometimes depend with more implicit faith
than on the kind dissimulation of your friendship) gives me reason to
hope that the last winter has been more favourable to your health
than the preceding one. Assure me of it yourself honestly and truly,
and you will afford me one of the most lively pleasures* that I am
capable of receiving. Write soon, and _indeed_ I will not be so tardy
in my answer. Caplin presents his duty to you. You will be sorry to
hear that he _seems_ tolerably satisfied, and talks French (when I am
not present) like a magpye. The English who have passed the Winter
at Nice, Lady Pembroke, &c., are flocking here. I am civil without
living among them, but you will rejoyce to hear that Mr. and Madame
Necker pass the summer in our neighbourhood. I must request a short
delay in your Midsummer draught as I am ignorant whether some money
is paid in, but it need not exceed a fortnight or three weeks. Adieu.



495.

_To Lord Sheffield._


  Lausanne, June 19th, 1784.

The Goslings cannot do a handsome thing with a tolerable grace. They
have accepted and paid Lessert's draught, but instead of taking
your word or note or bond, for the entire sum as a separate loan,
they have eked it out by squeezing to the last drop of between £300
and 400 of my cash in their hands without leaving me a shilling to
supply the necessary and current demands. Alas, poor Lymington!! By
this post I write to them, as well as to the Darrels, and one way
or another I must create some temporary credit till the business of
Lenborough is settled. When in the Devil's name (for to him most
rightfully belong all money transactions) will it be concluded?
Originally the purchase-money was to be paid in February, we are now
in the middle of June. You have never suggested any impediments;
even in your last you say it is in a fair way, yet surely four or
five extraordinary months exceed even the common forms and delays of
lawyers, auctioneers, and all that unfeeling race of men. I cannot
suspect your friendship or diligence, yet possibly the Coventry
election and your more early retreat to Sheffield may have thrown
you a little out of the road: but I trust that you will soon recover
your lost ground (if any) and finish the race with speed and success.
You are sensible that it will deliver me from the remnant of my
Worldly anxieties. If the purchaser is an honest and responsible man,
might he not be persuaded to advance £500 on the purchase-money; no
uncommon favour, and which now would be most singularly acceptable.
If, on the other hand, he shuffles through weakness of mind or purse,
I could support (in my present regular economy) the idea of reserving
the Estate till more prosperous times, and of finding some real or
_personal_ security for the money which the Goslings have advanced.

[Sidenote: HIS HOSPITALITIES.]

*In this glorious season I frequently give tea and supper to a dozen
men and women with ease and reputation, and heartily wish you and My
Lady were among them. In this corner of Europe we enjoy, or shall
speedily enjoy, (besides threescore English, with Lady Pembroke,
and forty French, with the Duchess de Sivrac at their head), M. et
Madame Necker, the Abbé Raynal, the Hereditary prince of Brunswick,
Prince Henry of Prussia,[94] perhaps the Duke of Cumberland; yet I am
still more content with the humble natives, than with _most_ of these
_illustrious names_. Adieu. The post is on the wing, and you owe me a
long Epistle. I am, as usual, in the firm intention of writing next
week to my lady.* I hear from Ostend of the landing of four boxes:
but I know not whether the Wedgewood is among them. If not, I hope it
will soon follow. Adieu.

Could you not write to Gosling to release my poor Cash, and to take
the whole of Lessert's sum on yourself?

  [94] Prince Henry of Prussia, brother of Frederick the Great,
  was one of the most brilliant soldiers of the day. His relief of
  Breslau (1760) and victory at Freyberg (1762) were turning-points
  in the Seven Years' War. In the War of Bavarian Succession he
  maintained his position in Bohemia against the Austrian troops
  (1778-9). He was offered the crown of Poland in 1764, and in 1784
  had been envoy at the court of Louis XVI. He died in 1802.



496.

_To Lord Sheffield._


  Lausanne, October 18th, 1784.

*Since my retreat to Lausanne our Correspondence has never received
so long an interruption; and as I have been equally taciturn with
the rest of the English World, it may now be a problem among that
sceptical nation, whether the historian of the decline and fall be a
living substance or an empty name. So tremendous is the sleepy power
of laziness and habit, that the silence of each post operated still
more strongly to benumb the hand, and to freeze the _Epistolary_ ink.
How or when I should have naturally awakened, I cannot tell; but the
pressure of my affairs, and the arrival of your last letter, compell
me to remember that you are entrusted with the final amputation of
the best limb of my property. The subject is in itself so painful,
that I have postponed it, like a child's physic, from day to day;
and losing whole mornings, as I walked about my library, in useless
regret and impotent resolution. You will be amazed to hear that
(after peeping to see that you were well, and returned from Ireland)
I have not yet had the courage to peruse your letter, for fear of
meeting with some gloomy intelligence; and I will now finish what I
have to say of pecuniary matters, before I know whether its contents
will fortify or overthrow my unbyassed sentiments.*

About three weeks ago I received the conveyance of Lenbourough, and
immediatly executed the deeds in the presence of the Hon^{ble} and
Reverend Edward Conway, and Mr. Jones of Ireland, a nephew of Lord
Tyrone. A coach was setting off, and the writings properly packed
were directed to Mr. Elmsley, and in the inner Cover to L^d Sheffield
to be left till called for: before this time they should be safe in
London; the purchaser is said to be impatient. I am so likewise, and
nothing (I should apprehend) can prevent you from delivering the
land and receiving the Money. The miserable state of the funds must
excuse the lowness of the price, and annihilate any probable benefit
of a short delay: but when I look back (a foolish retrospect!) to our
moderate expectation of £20,000 and calculate the interest, money,
costs, vexations, &c., of eleven Years, I cannot look upon myself
as a _very_ successful man. Consider that since my departure I have
fairly or foully lost at least £2000 on which I might depend with the
most rational confidence, £1000 on the abatement of the Lenborough
price, and £1000 by the dissolution of Parliament. *To what purpose
(you will say) are these tardy and useless repinings? To arraign your
manager? No, I am satisfied with the skill and firmness of the pilot,
and only complain of the untoward violence of the tempest. To repent
of your retreat into Switzerland? No, surely, every subsequent event
has tended to make it as necessary as it has proved agreeable. Why
then these lamentations? Hear and attend.

[Sidenote: HIS PECUNIARY AFFAIRS.]

It is to interest (if possible more strongly) your zeal and
friendship, to justify a sort of avarice, of a love of money, very
foreign to my character, but with which I cling to these last
fragments of my fortune.* According to the terms of the conveyance,
£12,000 are destined for the Goslings and £3500 for me, in all
£15,500: yet I am almost sure that you mentioned £15,650 as the
entire price. Of this remainder, Gosling will instantly seize his
reimbursement of the Paris sum, £300 bond and, as I fear, some small
arrears of interest. Besides this Harris's heirs have made a just
claim; Way's damned hundred Guineas I cannot digest, and a long
unknown bill of Newton rises to my imagination in all its horrors.
Of tradesmen's debts I have left none behind me except about 300
pounds for the hire of horses to Whitehead and the purchase of books
to Elmsley. When all these demands are summed and discharged, I
tremble at the balance, and indeed I have found through life that I
had always more to pay, and less to receive, than I expected. *As
far as I can judge from the experience of a year, though I find
Lausanne much more expensive than I imagined, yet my style of living
(and a very handsome style it is) will be brought _nearly_ within my
ordinary revenues. I wish our poor Country could say as much! But it
was always my favourite and rational wish, that at the winding up of
my affairs I might possess a sum from one to two thousand pounds,
neither buried in land, nor locked up in the funds, but free, light,
and ready to obey any call of interest, or pleasure, or virtue;
to defray any extraordinary expence, support any delay, or remove
any obstacle. For the attainment of this object, I trust in your
assistance.*

First, I must desire you to call in the bills (particularly Newton's)
to cast up the amount of all the deductions on the £3500, and to send
me the list, but to pay as little of it as you possibly can (except
the Goslings), till you have heard again from me. I am sensible
however that the residue can scarcely by any contrivance be brought
even to the smallest of the above-mentioned sums (£1000), and here
your friendship must again interpose to engage the Goslings to
supply that deficiency on our Joint-bond. The money (I could wish it
were £1500 in all) I should probably vest in India bonds, and the
difference of ½ or of 1 per Cent. would be no formidable tax. At
the end of three or four years I should be sure of replacing the
principal from the profits of my history, without indulging any
fanciful expectations from Aunt Hester, who complains a little of
your silence. *Thus much of this money transaction; to you I need add
no other stimulative, than to say that my ease and comfort very much
depend on the success of this plan.*

I have now opened your letter; send them to the Devil if they talk of
their moneys lying dead. Have I not been saddled with the interest
of my mortgage? From whom has the delay proceeded? did _they_ not
insist on sending the deeds to Lausanne? Have _I_ not returned them
with uncommon diligence? Since Hugonin will not write to me himself,
I must press and conjure him through you to get the rents paid on
or before the 1st of December. I know not what may be this College
business, but am glad to hear no more of the scruples of the Chief
tenant. Cannot Hug. pick me up some odd money from Wooddyer?

On folding my Epistle, it turned out so minute that a cover became
decent, and you will expect a few lines for your additional postage.
First of _me_. I cannot esteem myself totally foolish when I reflect
on the success of a scheme executed in opposition to the wisest of
my friends. I have now given this place a year's tryal, and find
that the climate agrees with my health, (I have not had a single
return of the gout) and the people, their manners, their way of life,
are suited to my Genius: some rubs will intervene, and even in my
domestic life neither Deyverdun nor myself are Angels, but on the
whole, I shall number _this_ among, or rather above, the Happiest of
my years, and nothing but your salutary hand to clear and establish
my pecuniary concerns is now wanting.

*As I thought every man of sense and fortune in Ireland must be
satisfied, I did not conceive the cloud so dark as you represent it.*
If the growth of the Papists could awaken the fears and prejudices
of the Protestants, it might be lucky, and the discovery of French
gold would do more good than mischief. *I will seriously peruse the
8^o, and in due time the 4^o Edition; it would become a Classic book,
if you could find leisure (will you ever find it?) to introduce
some kind of order and ornament. You must negotiate _directly_ with
Deyverdun; but the State will not hear of parting with their only
Reynolds.[95] I embrace My Lady; let her be angry, provided she be
well. Adieu. Yours.

P.S. The saving Ireland[96] may have amused you in the Summer; but
how do you mean to employ the Winter? Do you not cast a longing,
lingering look at St. Stephen's Chappel? With your fiery spirit, and
firm judgment, I almost wish you there; not for your benefit, but for
the public. If you resolve to recover your seat,* pay a specific sum
for a certain election,--rather than *listen to any fallacious and
infinite projects of interest, contest, return, petition, &c. Dixi.*

  [95] His picture by Sir Joshua Reynolds.

  [96] The Constitution of 1782 had not satisfied Ireland. The cry
  was raised for parliamentary reform, and for the extension of
  the franchise to Roman Catholics. Napper Tandy and his friends
  held meetings with French emissaries; and an attempt was made to
  convene a Congress of three hundred representatives at Dublin in
  October, 1784, backed by the volunteers. The Lord Lieutenant, the
  Duke of Rutland, acted with vigour, and the proposed Congress
  collapsed. Lord Sheffield had taken part in the proceedings
  against the magistrates of Roscommon and Leitrim, who had called
  the meetings of representatives and signed the resolutions in
  favour of parliamentary reform during the summer of 1784.



497.

_To Lady Sheffield._


  Lausanne, October 22nd, 1784.

*A few weeks ago, as I was walking on our Terrace with Mr. Tissot,
the celebrated Physician, Mr. Mercier, the author of the Tableau de
Paris; the Abbé Raynal, Mr., Madame, and Mademoiselle Necker,[97] the
Abbé de Bourbon, a natural son of Lewis the fifteenth, the hereditary
prince of Brunswick, Prince Henry of Prussia, and a dozen Counts,
Barons, and extraordinary persons, among whom was a natural son of
the Empress of Russia----

Are you satisfied with this list? which I could enlarge and
embellish, without departing from truth; and was not the Baron of
Sheffield (profound as he is on the subject of the American trade)
doubly mistaken with regard to Gibbon and Lausanne? Whenever I used
to hint my design of retiring, that illustrious Baron, after a
proper effusion of damned fools, condescended to observe, that such
an obscure nook in Switzerland might please me in the ignorance of
youth, but that after tasting for so many years the various society
of Paris and London, I should soon be tired with the dull and uniform
round of a provincial town. In the winter, Lausanne is indeed reduced
to its native powers; but during the summer, it is possibly, after
Spa, one of the most favourite places of general resort. The voyage
of Switzerland, the Alps, and the Glaciers, is become a fashion;
Tissot attracts the Invalids, especially from France; and a Colony of
English have taken up the habit of spending their winters at Nice,
and their summers in the Pays de Vaud. Such are the splendour and
variety of our summer Visitors; and _you_ will agree with me more
readily than the Baron, when I say that this variety, instead of
being a merit, is, in my opinion, one of the very few objections to
the residence of Lausanne. After the dissipation of the winter, I
expected to have enjoyed, with more freedom and solitude, myself, my
friend, my books, and this delicious paradise; but my position and
character make me here a sort of a public character, and oblige me to
see and be seen. However, it is my firm resolution for next summer to
assume the independence of a Philosopher, and to be visible only to
the persons whom I like.

[Sidenote: MDLLE. NECKER AND PRINCE HENRY OF PRUSSIA.]

On that principle I should not, most assuredly, have avoided the
Neckers and Prince Henry. The former have purchased the Barony of
Copet near Geneva; and as the buildings were very much out of repair,
they passed this summer at a country-house at the gates of Lausanne.
They afford a new example, that persons who have tasted of greatness,
can seldom return with pleasure to a private station. In the moments
when we were alone he conversed with me freely, and I believe truly,
on the subject of his administration and fall; and has opened several
passages of modern history, which would make a very good figure in
_the_ American book. If they spent the summers at the Castle of
Copet, about nine leagues from hence, a fortnight's or three weeks'
visit would be a pleasant and healthful excursion; but, alas! I fear
there is little appearance of its being executed. _Her_ health is
impaired by the agitation of her mind: instead of returning to Paris,
she is ordered to pass the winter in the southern provinces of
France, and our last parting was solemn; as I very much doubt whether
I shall ever see her again. They have now a very troublesome charge,
which you will experience in a few years--the disposal of a Baroness.
Mademoiselle Necker, one of the greatest heiresses in Europe, is now
about eighteen--wild, vain, but good-natured, and with a much larger
provision of wit than beauty; what encreases their difficulties is
their Religious obstinacy of marrying her only to a Protestant. It
would be an excellent opportunity for a young Englishman of a great
name and a fair reputation. Prince Henry must be a man of sense;
for he took more notice, and expressed more esteem for me, than any
body else. He is certainly (without touching his military character)
a very lively and entertaining companion. He talked with freedom,
and generally with contempt, of most of the princes of Europe; with
respect of the Empress of Russia; but never mentioned the name of his
brother, except once, when he hinted that it was _he himself_ that
won the battle of Rosbach.

His nephew, and our nephew, the hereditary prince of Brunswick, is
here for his education, a soft and heavy piece of German dough. Of
the English, who have lived very much as a national colony, you will
like to hear of Mrs. Fraser and _one_ more. Donna Catherina pleases
every body by the perfect simplicity of her state of Nature, and I am
glad to see that her giddyness is often checked by a sad remembrance
of the General. You know she has had resolution to return from
England (where she told me she saw you) to Lausanne, for the sake of
Miss Bristow, who is in a very bad way, and in a few days they set
off for Nice. _The other_ is the Eliza; she passed through Lausanne,
in her road from Italy to England; poorly in health, but still
adorable, (nay, do not frown!) and I enjoyed some delightful hours by
her bedside. She wrote me a line from Paris, but has not executed her
promise of visiting Lausanne in the month of October.

My pen has run much faster, and much farther, than I intended on
the subject of others; yet, in describing them, I have thrown some
light over myself and my situation. A Year, a very short one, has
now elapsed since my arrival at Lausanne; and after a cool review of
my sentiments, I can sincerely declare, that I have never, during
a single moment, repented of having executed my _absurd_ project
of retiring to Lausanne. It is needless to dwell on the fatigue,
the hurry, the vexation which I must have felt in the narrow and
dirty circle of English Politics. My present life wants no foil, and
shines by its own native light. The chosen part of my library is now
arrived, and arranged in a room full as good as that in Bentinck
Street, with this difference indeed, that instead of looking on a
stone Court, twelve feet square, I command, from three windows of
plate glass, an unbounded prospect of many a league of vineyard,
of fields, of wood, of lake, and of mountains; a scene which Lord
S. will tell you is superior to all you can imagine. The climate,
though severe in Winter, has perfectly agreed with my constitution;
and the year is accomplished without any return of the gout. An
excellent house, a good table, a pleasant garden, are no contemptible
ingredients in human happiness. The general style of society
hits my fancy; I have cultivated a large and agreeable circle of
acquaintance, and am much deceived if I have not laid the foundations
of two or three more intimate and valuable connections; but their
names would be indifferent, and it would require pages, or rather
volumes, to describe their persons and characters.

With regard to my standing dish, my domestic friend, I could not
be much disappointed, after an intimacy of eight and twenty years.
His heart and his head are excellent; he has the warmest attachment
for me, he is satisfied that I have the same for him: some slight
imperfections must be mutually supported; two batchelors, who have
lived so long alone and independent, have their peculiar fancies and
humours, and when the mask of form and ceremony is laid aside, every
moment in a family life has not the sweetness of the honey moon, even
between the husbands and wives who have the truest and most tender
regard for each other.

Should you be very much surprized to hear of my being married?
Amazing as it may seem, I do assure you that the event is less
improbable than it would have appeared to myself a twelfthmonth ago.
Deyverdun and I have often agreed, in jest and in earnest, that a
house like ours would be regulated, and graced, and enlivened, by
an agreeable female Companion; but each of us seems desirous that
his friend should sacrifice himself for the public good. Since my
residence here I have lived much in women's company; and, to your
credit be it spoken, I like you better the more I see of you. Not
that I am in love with any particular person. I have discovered about
half a dozen _Wives_ who would please me in different ways, and by
various merits: one as a Mistress (a Widow, vastly like _the_ Eliza:
if she returns I am to bring them together); a second, a lively
entertaining acquaintance; a third, a sincere good-natured friend; a
fourth, who would represent with grace and dignity at the head of my
table and family; a fifth, an excellent economist and housekeeper;
and a sixth, a very useful nurse. Could I find all these qualities
united in a single person, I should dare to make my addresses, and
should deserve to be refused.*

[Sidenote: THE LOSS OF HIS VALET.]

In the meanwhile I have experienced a separation from a more humble
companion with whom I expected to pass the remainder of my life: in
a few days Caplin departs for England. He had long complained of
his health, and though he made some progress in French, he could
not reconcile himself to the people and country, and his personal
attachment to me was less forcible than gratitude perhaps would have
required. As he has saved some money in my service he proposes to set
up in London in the Upholstery business, and will be a very useful
correspondent, as he has been a very able assistant here in my first
arrangements. I shall advise him to go down to Sheffield, and you
may question him about a thousand little particulars. It is an heavy
loss, yet I have the good luck to procure in his place a Valet de
Chambre, a man of substance and reputation of this Country, but who
has lived some years at Paris: he has passed three months in the
school of Caplin, and as I am assured of his honesty and diligence I
have very good hopes of his address and intelligence.

*You hint in some of your letters, or rather postscripts, that you
consider me as having renounced England, and having fixed myself
for the rest of my life in Switzerland, and that you suspect the
sincerity of any vague or insidious schemes of purchase or return.
To remove, as far as I can, your doubts and suspicions, I will
tell you, on that interesting subject, fairly and simply as much
as I know of my own intentions. There is little appearance that I
shall be suddenly recalled by offer of a place or pension. I have
no claim to the friendship of your young Minister, and should he
propose a Commissioner of the Customs, or Secretary at Paris, the
former objects of my low ambition, Adam in Paradise would refuse them
with contempt. _Here_ therefore I shall certainly live till I have
finished the remainder of my history; an arduous work, which does
not proceed so fast as I expected amidst the avocations of Society,
and miscellaneous Study. As soon as it is compleated, most probably
in three or _four_ years, I shall infallibly return to England,
about the month of May or June; and the necessary labour of printing
with care two or three quarto Volumes, will detain me till their
publication, in the ensuing Spring. Lord Sheffield and yourself will
be the loadstone that most forcibly attracts me; and as I shall be a
vagabond on the face of the earth, I shall be the better qualified to
domesticate myself with you, both in town and country. Here, then,
at no very extravagant distance, we have the certainty (if we live)
of spending a year together, in the peace and freedom of a friendly
interest; and a year is no very contemptible portion of this mortal
existence.

[Sidenote: HIS INVITATION TO THE SHEFFIELDS.]

Beyond that period (I mean of the year, not of the existence, though
it be true enough of that likewise) all is dark, but not gloomy.
Whether, after the final completion of my history, I shall return
to Lausanne, or settle in England, must depend on a thousand events
which lye beyond the reach of human foresight, the state of public
and private affairs, my own health, the health and life of Deyverdun,
the fate of two elderly Ladies, the various changes which may have
rendered Lausanne more dear, or less agreeable, to me than at
present. But without losing ourselves in this distant futurity, which
perhaps we may never see, and without giving any positive answer to
Maria's parting question, whether I should be buried in England or
Switzerland, let me seriously and earnestly ask you, whether you do
not mean to visit me next summer? The defeat at Coventry would, I
should think, facilitate the project; since the Baron is no longer
detained the whole winter from his domestic affairs, nor is there any
attendance on the house that keeps him till Midsummer in dust and
dispute. I can send you a pleasant route, through Normandy, Paris,
and Lyons, a visit to the Glaciers, and your return down the Rhine,
which would be commodiously executed in three or four months, at
no very extravagant expence, and would be productive of health and
spirits to you, of entertainment to you both, and of instruction to
the Baronessa. Without the smallest inconvenience to myself, I am
able to lodge Yourselves and family, by arranging you in the winter
apartment, which in the summer season is not of any use to us. I
think you will be satisfied with your habitation, and already see you
in your dressing-room; a small but pleasant room, with a delightful
prospect to the West and South. If poor Aunt Kitty (you oblige me
beyond expression by your tender care of that excellent Woman) if she
were only ten years younger, I would desire you to take her with you,
but I much fear we shall never meet again.

You will not complain of the brevity of this Epistle; I expect,
in return, a full and fair account of yourself, your thoughts and
actions, soul and body, present and future, in the safe, though
unreserved, confidence of friendship. The Baron in two words hinted
but an indifferent account of your health; you are a fine machine;
but as he was absent in Ireland, I hope I understand the cause and
the remedy. Next to yourself, I want to hear of the two Baronesses.
You must give me a faithful picture (and though a mother you can
give it) of their present external and internal forms; for a year
has now elapsed, and in _their_ lives a year is an age.* Has the
gentle Louisa (though you had discovered some marks of fire) expanded
as much as you could expect in knowledge and understanding? I see
Maria an accomplished and elegant young Woman, and only wish to know
whether you have smoothed away some of the asperities of that fine
diamond. Adieu.

Remember me to Miss Firth: My Wedgewood's China. But Caplin will put
everything in motion.

  Ever yours,
  E. GIBBON.

I hear from Mrs. Frazer but an indifferent account of Mrs. Holroyd
of Bath. I want to have a _cool_ and faithful state of Mrs. G., her
health and spirits: our correspondence is languid, but indeed it is
rather her fault than mine.

  [97] Jacques Necker (1734-1804), appointed Director-General of
  Finance in 1777, published, in 1781, his _Compte Rendu_. In the
  same year he was compelled to resign his office. In 1784 he
  published his _Administration des Finances_. He was recalled to
  office as Director of Finances in August, 1788, was dismissed
  July 11, 1789, recalled July 16 in the same year, and finally
  retired in September, 1790. "M. Necker est parti. Il a eu une
  si belle peur de la menace d'être pendu, qu'il n'a pu résister
  à la tendresse de sa vertueuse épouse qui le pressoit d'aller
  aux eaux." Madame Elisabeth à Madame de Bombelles, Sept. 6,
  1790 (Feuillet de Conches, vol. i. p. 348). Necker's work, _Sur
  l'Administration de M. Necker, par lui-même_, was published in
  1791. His daughter mentioned here was afterwards Madame de Staël.



498.

_To his Stepmother._


  Lausanne, October 27th, 1784.

  MY DEAR MADAM,

If ever the excuse of procrastination be allowable it is when we
ourselves are expecting a letter to which we are entitled in the due
course of correspondence. Not that among friends the cold ideas of
form and duty of debt and payment call find any admittance; but that
every post that approaches and flyes away, seems to mark and postpone
the natural opportunity of writing by alternately raising and
disappointing our hopes. I am not indeed either surprized or angry
at your long silence; the correspondence of distant friends will
inevitably languish without any diminution of their mutual affection:
their sentiments are still the same but their ideas become different;
they no longer think or read or converse or act in the same sphere,
and the object of their intercourse will be at last reduced to the
reciprocal desire of being informed of each other's health and
happiness. Could we persuade ourselves to convey that information
every week or month in a billet of four lines, each friend would be
satisfied: but the distance seems to require a longer Epistle, and
the obligation of writing a great deal prevents us from writing at
all, and leaves our friend in the doubt (which I now most anxiously
feel) whether that silence be not occasioned by the want of health or
spirits.

It is more particularly in a situation like ours that we are not
prompted to write by the agitation and variety of the scenes which
surround us. Nothing can be more uniform and tranquil than your
Bath Life, except it be that which I lead at Lausanne. A regular
alternative of Study and society carries away the hours and days
in a smooth and pleasant Revolution, and I have scarcely commenced
a month before I am astonished to find myself at the end of it--a
sure indication of a quiet and domestic state of happiness. I am
well satisfied with my union with a known and tryed friend, though
(such are the infirmities of human nature) all our moments cannot
partake of the Honey-moon. Among the people of the Country I have
found some, I have formed many more Connections; their manners, their
conversation, their style of living are perfectly adapted to my
taste, and the sameness of the company is relieved in the Summer by a
concourse of strangers whom health or curiosity or fashion invite to
consult Tissot or to visit the Alps.

[Sidenote: A TEMPERATE DIET AND EASY MIND.]

As a kind of public character, a live Author, I am a little too
much exposed to visits and compliments, but I was much delighted
with the unexpected meeting of the Neckers. Tired of greatness and
ambition (a polite phrase for a disgraced minister), they purchased
an estate in Switzerland, and while the Castle was repairing they
passed the summer in a country-house near Lausanne. Their society
might diversify my life with occasional excursions; but, alas! _her_
health is very much affected, and I think it extremely doubtful
whether she will be able to revisit this country again. Of myself
I can give you a much more pleasing account, nor do I remember a
year in which I have enjoyed a more perfect state of health; the
air though sharp is pure; it may be dangerous for weak lungs, but
is excellently suited to a gouty constitution, and during the whole
twelfth month I have never once been attacked by my old Enemy. Of
Dr. Cadogan's three rules, I can observe two, a temperate diet and a
easy mind. I am not agitated by the hopes and fears, and _regrets_
of my London life, and whatever cares still pursue and overtake me
are blown over by an English wind. I am afraid you sometimes sigh
over me as an Exile. If I were fixed as a foreign Minister at Naples,
or Petersburgh, you would be reconciled to my situation, yet such a
splendid situation would be corroded by many a secret anxiety, and
content is surely preferable to greatness. Adieu, My Dear Madam; give
me a _satisfactory line_, and ever believe me,

  Yours,
  E. G.



499.

_To Lord Sheffield._


  Lausanne, March 13th, 1785.

*My long silence (and it has been long) must not, on this occasion,
be imputed to lazyness, though that little Devil may likewise have
been busy. But you cannot forget how many weeks I remained in
suspence, expecting every post the final sentence, and not knowing
what to say in that passive uncertainty. It is now something more
than a fortnight since your last letter, and that of Gosling
informed me of the event. I have intended every day to write, and
every day I have started back with reluctance and disgust, from the
consideration of the wretched subject. Lenborough irrecoverably gone,
for three-fourths of its real, at least of its ancient, Value; my
seat in Parliament (for the subject now presses home upon me) sunk
without the smallest equivalent in the abyss of your cursed politics,
and a balance neatly cyphered and summed by Gosling, which shews me a
very shallow purse, in which others have a clearer right to dip than
myself.


  March 21st.

Another week has now elapsed, and though nothing is changed in this
too faithful state of my affairs, I feel myself able to encounter
them with more spirit and resolution; to look on the future, rather
than the past; on the fair, rather than on the foul side of the
prospect. I shall speak in the confidence of friendship, and while
you listen to the more doleful tale of my wants and wishes, You will
have the satisfaction of hearing some circumstances in my present
situation of a less unpleasing nature.

1. In the first place, I most heartily rejoyce in the sale, however
unfavourable, of the Bucks Estate. Considering the dullness of the
times, and the high interest of money, it is not a little to obtain
even a tolerable price, and I am sensible how much your patience and
industry have been exercised to extort the payment* from a knavish
or obstinate purchaser. Without supposing a shilling of balance in
Gosling's hands, my circumstances are improved by the sale to the
annual amount of £150; of £50 which I was obliged to add for the
interest of the mortgage, of £100 which I received from my French
annuity.

*2. Your resistance to my Swiss expedition was more friendly than
wise. Had I yielded, after eighteen months of suspense and anxiety,
I should now, a still poorer man, be driven to embrace the same
resource, which has succeeded according to, or even beyond, my
most sanguine expectation. I do not pretend to have discovered
the terrestrial paradise, which has not been known in this World
since the fall of Adam; but I can truly declare, (now the charms of
novelty are long since faded,) that I have found the plan of life
the best adapted to my temper and my situation. I am now writing
to you in a room as good as that in Bentinck Street, with three
large windows of plate glass which command the country, the lake,
and the mountains, and the opening prospect of the spring. The
aforesaid room is furnished without magnificence, but with every
conveniency for warmth, ease, and study, and the walls are already
covered with more than two thousand volumes, the choice of a chosen
library. I have health, friends, an amusing society, and perfect
freedom. (A Commissioner of the Excise! the idea makes me sick).*
Even in Trifles, though it is not a Trifle, I have been singularly
lucky, and you will conceive an high opinion of Blondel, my new
Valet de Chambre, when I assure you that, except in the knowledge
of books and the Upholstery business, I no longer regret Caplen.
He probably related all the minute circumstances of my state, and
I find, that without any prejudice for the Country and people, he
has not represented them in an unfavourable light. *If you ask me
what I have saved by my retreat to Lausanne, I will fairly tell you
(in the two great articles of a Carriage and a house in town, and
breathing place at Hampton Court, both which were indispensable, and
are now annihilated, with the difference of Clubs, public places,
servants' wages, &c.) about four hundred pounds, or Guineas, a year;
no inconsiderable sum, when it must be annually found as addition to
an expence which is somewhat larger than my present revenue.

[Sidenote: HIS ESTABLISHMENT AT LAUSANNE.]

3. _"What is then," you will ask, "my present establishment?"_ This
is not by any means a cheap Country; and, except in the article of
wine, I could give a dinner or make a coat, perhaps for the same
price in London as at Lausanne. My chief advantage arises from the
things which I do not want; and in some respects my style of living
is enlarged by the encrease of my relative importance--an obscure
batchelor in England, the master of a considerable house at Lausanne.
Here I am expected to return entertainments, to receive Ladies, &c.
and to perform many duties of society, which, though agreeable enough
in themselves, contribute to inflame a Housekeeper's bills. From the
disbursements of the first year I cannot form any just estimate; the
extraordinary expences of the journey, carriage of heavy goods from
England, the acquisition of many books, which it was not expedient to
transport, the purchase of furniture, wine, fitting up my library,
and the irregularity of a new Ménage, have consumed a pretty large
sum. But in a quiet, prudent, regular course of life, I think I can
support myself with comfort and honour for six or seven hundred
pounds a year, instead of a thousand or eleven hundred in England.* I
can look forward with strong and rational hope. The departure of the
two matrons, or not to build on the ice, the mere suppression of the
Bath jointure will give me more than that income, which may even be
enlarged by turning Buriton into an annuity.

*Besides these uncertainties, (uncertain at least as to the time,)
I have a sure and honourable supply from my own pen. I continue my
history with pleasure and assiduity; the way is long and laborious,
yet I see the end, and I can almost promise to land in England next
September twelfthmonth, with a Manuscript of the current value of
three thousand pounds, which will afford either a small income
or a large capital. It is in the meanwhile that my situation is
somewhat painful and difficult.* From the French and English funds
and the various produce on my Copper share, I receive between two
or three hundred pounds: the rent of Buriton is between six and
seven hundred, but when you have deducted taxes, repairs, Mrs. G.'s
jointure (£300 clear) &c., weigh the residue; it will not break down
the scale. It happens unluckily enough that this year there will be
an extraordinary deduction (at least one hundred guineas) of the
fine which is paid every seven years for the renewal of Horn farm.
Since my arrival here, I have never received a line from Hugonin,
to whom I wrote a long letter last summer, and I fear his eyes and
infirmities disqualify him a little for business. The sums which he
has remitted to Gosling the last and the present winter fall below
the most moderate computation, and I see no reason or account of the
deficiency. I wish you would write to him in my name or your own,
and make yourself master of that same part of my affairs. Richard
Andrews, an honest attorney of Petersfield, is allowed my quitrents
for holding my courts, and he might surely, without more trouble or
wages, receive and remit the rents of three or four farms.

*Such are the services and revenues of the year; proceed we now,
in the style of the budget, to the ways and means of extraordinary
supplies.* Payne's valuation of the remaining part of my library
has not perfectly answered my expectation. Yet it is approved by my
friend, Elmsley, who offers on his own account to change the pounds
into Guineas, and as I want the money, and esteem his integrity,
I shall signify my acceptance if he will allow me to make another
moderate draft from the Catalogue. That transaction (all accounts
settled) will put some money in my pocket: but as I understand that
kind of business I will not trouble you or myself with any farther
details. A circumstance which surprized me in Gosling's account is
the last six months from Lady day to Michaelmas last, during which
I pay interest for the Mortgage without receiving rent from the
Estate: surely that is not just or reasonable. If that half year is
properly excepted in the Conveyance, you my omnipotent Attorney may
draw it from the tenants, and it will serve at least to discharge
Harris's bond. If it is not, I must submit with a sigh to this new
deduction of two or three hundred pounds from the poor price of
poor Lenborough. But this deficiency must somewhere be supplied: as
I now pay interest to the _Job_ for my horses, I can make the man
wait a Couple of years till my return. But this cursed account of
Newton! He is pathetic, you say, on the score of money advanced; a
draft for £200 which I send you inclosed would surely discharge that
advance, and you will try to manage him to stay till my labours are
finished for the payment of his own. Yet perhaps the clearest and
most honourable way would be to borrow £500 of the Goslings on my
account and your own bond. *I will not affront your friendship, by
observing that you will incur little or no risk on this occasion.
Read, consider, act, and write.

[Sidenote: PITT A FAVOURITE ABROAD.]

It is the privilege of friendship to make our friend a patient
hearer, and active Associate in our own affairs; and I have now
written five pages on my private affairs, without saying a word
either of the public, or of yourself. Of the public I have little to
say; I never was a very warm Patriot, and I grow every day a Citizen
of the World. The scramble for power and profit at Westminster or
St. James's, and the names of Pitt and Fox, become less interesting
to me than those of Cæsar and Pompey. You are not a friend of the
young Minister, but he is a great favourite on the Continent, as
he appears to be still; and you must own that the fairness of his
character, his eloquence, his application to business, and even his
youth, must prepossess at least the ignorant in his favour. Of the
merit or defects of his administration I cannot pretend to speak;
but I find, from the complaints of some interested persons, that
his restraints on the smuggling of tea have already ruined the East
India Companies of Antwerp and Sweden, and that even the Dutch will
scarcely find it worth their while to send any ships to China. Your
Irish friends appear to be more quiet, at least the Volunteers and
national Congress seem to subside. How far that tranquillity must be
purchased on our side, by any pernicious sacrifices, you will best
decide; and from some hints in your last letters, I am inclined to
think that you are less affected than might be supposed with national
or local prejudice. Your introduction I have attentively read; the
matter, though most important in itself, is out of the line of
my studies and habits, and the subordinate beauties of style and
arrangement you disclaim. Yet I can say with truth, that I never met
with more curious and diligent investigation, more strong sense, more
liberal spirit, and more cool and impartial temper in the same number
of pages.[98]

By this time you have probably read Necker's book on the Finances.
Perhaps for you there is too much French enthusiasm and paint; but in
many respects you must have gained a knowledge of his country, and on
the whole, you must have been pleased with the picture of a great and
benevolent mind. In your attack on Deyverdun for my picture I cannot
promise you much success; he seems resolved to maintain his right
of possession, and your only chance would be a personal assault.
The next summer (how time slips away!) was fixed for your visit to
Lausanne. We are prepared at all points to receive _you_, My lady,
and a princess or two, with their train; and if you have a proper
contempt for St. Stephen's chappel, you are perfectly free, and at
leisure (can you ever be at leisure?) for the summer season. As you
are now in a great measure disengaged from my affairs, you may find
time to inform me of your proceedings and your projects. At present
I do not even know whether you pass the winter at Sheffield-place or
in Downing-street. My lady revenges herself of my long silence. Yet
I embrace her and the Infants. In a few weeks we expect Miss Bristow
and Mrs. Fraser from Nice. Adieu. You have deranged the decline and
fall this morning. I have finished my Epistle since dinner, and am
now going to a pleasant party and good supper.*

I send you enclosed a promissory note for £500. If you do not borrow
the money of Gosling, you may throw it into the fire; if you do, in
case of death it will serve as a remembrance. You will find that
before and since the receipt of their balance I have drawn this year
for £300. The change is most amazingly in my favour, and a banker of
credit and substance at Lausanne allows me 4 per Cent. for all the
money I leave on his hands.

  [98] Lord Sheffield published, in 1785, his _Observations on the
  Manufactures, Trade, and Present State of Ireland_.



500.

_To his Stepmother._


  Lausanne, July 15th, 1785.

Indeed and indeed, my Dear Madam, I will never go to sleep again;
my next letter shall be short and speedy, and I will not always put
myself under the shameful necessity of employing the first page in
worthless Apologies. On the present occasion I will not excuse myself
by saying (what is true enough) that I waited week after week in
hopes of hearing from you. As our last letters crossed each other,
you might reasonably entertain the same expectation, and thus it is
that poor miserable mortals try to provide a decent colour for their
own lazyness. You will expect some account of the time of silence,
and that account will be short and satisfactory. I am no longer in
the illusions of the Honey-moon, when every deformity is concealed,
and a smooth deceitful gloss is given to every object.

[Sidenote: A YOUNG MAN AT FIFTY.]

In the space of two and twenty months, the Climate and Society of
Lausanne, my own situation and expence, the character of my companion
and of my looser connections of both sexes are perfectly understood.
The Climate in these two Winters has shewn itself to all Europe, more
strongly perhaps to us, under the most hideous form, severe cold,
and a continuance or repetition of snow till the middle of April. In
general my health has perfectly sustained the rigour of the season;
good spirits, good appetite, good sleep are my habitual state, and
though verging towards fifty I still feel myself a young man. I was
in hopes that my old Enemy the Gout had given over the attack, but
the Villain, with his ally the winter, convinced me of my error, and
about the latter end of March I found myself a prisoner in my library
and my great chair. I attempted twice to rise, he twice knocked me
down again, and kept possession of both my feet and knees longer (I
must confess) than he had ever done before. My recovery has been
proportionably tedious, and I am hardly yet in possession of my full
strength; this admonition calls for some extraordinary care, and
without running into sudden extremes, I consult both my reason and
my taste by abstaining at night from wine and meat, and contenting
myself with a bason of milk.

Such are the drawbacks on the comforts of life, yet I am pleased
to think that my gout, though it has adhered somewhat longer than
usual, is neither sharp nor frequent, and respectfully confines
itself to the lower extremities of the Machine. Of the Country I must
not complain, this dry Climate is particularly favourable to gouty
constitutions; Dr. Tissot and my own observation inform me that it is
rare among the natives, and among my acquaintance I can only name one
old Gentleman, who by free living acquired it about the age of three
score. My unpleasant and sometimes painful confinement was soothed
not only by the mercenary aid of Servants and Physicians (the fee
of a visit is about half a crown), but by the assiduous offices of
my friends, and instead of the lonesome time an invalid who has not
a family must pass amidst the crowds of London, I had the frequent
visits of agreable men and women and a party of cards every evening
that I chose it.

I do not suppose that real affection, especially to a stranger, is a
very plentiful commodity, but here there are much fewer avocations
of business or pleasure, and my style of living, my house, my table,
&c., make me a man of mark and consequence. With the recovery of my
strength, I now return civilities, relax my studies, and visit my
acquaintance who are not gone; but so well do I like this habitation,
and such is my sedentary disposition, that I have not yet lain from
Home, nor gone five miles from Lausanne. You will give me credit
when I say, that, though a lover of society, my library is the room
to which I am the most attached. I almost hesitate whether I shall
tell you that the prospect and furniture are equally agreable, that
a reasonable number of my books is arrived from England, and that
my whole establishment is formed upon a comfortable yet œconomical
plan: in the single articles of house-rent, carriage, servants'
wages, clubs, and public places I save between four and five hundred
a year. And let me appeal to your reason and spirit whether such a
saving be not as real and a much more honourable addition of income,
than a pityful, precarious place or pension to be held or lost by
the caprice of a Minister or the Revolutions of politics. When I was
flattered with a _distant_ hope of a seat at the boards of customs
or excise, I was told that I need not work above five days in the
week, and that I should sometimes enjoy the respite of Holydays and
Vacations. Without any attendance or obligation I have given myself
a state of leisure and independence, in which my labour is only
employed on litterary pursuits, the objects of my choice and the
foundation of my fame.

As every white spot in this life is clouded with a shade of black, I
can only lament that this state is so far remote from the best and
most faithful of my friends, so faithful and so true that they will
enjoy my happiness though they cannot be witnesses or partakers of
it. On my side, I think _of_ them much oftener than I write _to_
them, and warmly cherish the hope of an English Journey to them; the
time must depend on the completion of my history, and I am sorry to
observe that as I advance on my Journey "New Alps on Alps arise;" and
I know not when I shall reach the shelter of my Inn.

[Sidenote: CHANGES IN ENGLISH POLITICS.]

After yourself and Mrs. Porten, Lord and Lady Sheffield are the
persons whom I most desire to see. Among my companions of the World
are undoubtedly several whom I regard and of whose good wishes I am
persuaded; yet those slighter tyes are insensibly relaxed by the
distance of time and place, by the interposition of new objects. My
political connections have undergone such astonishing changes, a new
Parliament, a new Administration, Patriots whom I left Ministers,
Ministers whom I left Boys, the whole Map of the Country so totally
altered, that I sometimes imagine I have been ten years absent from
England. That incessant hurry of Politicks was indeed one of the
things which disgusted the most, and there is nothing pleases me
so much in this country as to enjoy all the blessings of a Good
Government without ever talking or thinking of our Governors. In my
domestic Government a great though not unexpected Revolution has
happened. Caplen, unable to accustom himself to the language or
manners of this country, resigned his employments and returned to
England the beginning of last winter. You may easily conceive my loss
and apprehension, and you will rejoyce in my good fortune that I was
able to fill his place with no unworthy successor; a servant of this
country, but who had lived with a Lady at Paris till her death--a
man of substance and reputation, and who on the tryal of some months
appears to deserve my confidence and good opinion. We are already
thoroughly accustomed to each other. Adieu. My Dear Madam, may our
correspondence be more frequent, and may I find you on my return in
the possession of every blessing.

  Most truly yours,
  E. G.



501.

_To Lord Sheffield._


  Lausanne, September 5th, 1785.

*Extract from a weekly English paper, September 5th, 1785.--"It is
reported, but we hope without foundation, that the celebrated Mr.
Gibbon, who had retired to Lausanne in Switzerland to finish his
valuable history, lately died in that city."

The hope of the News writer is very handsome and obliging to the
historian; yet there are several weighty reasons which would incline
me to believe that the intelligence may be true. _Primo_, It must
one day be true; and therefore may very probably be so at present.
_Secundo_, We may always depend on the impartiality, accuracy, and
veracity of an English newspaper. _Tertio_, which is indeed the
strongest argument, we are credibly informed that for a long time
past the said celebrated historian has not written to any of his
friends in England; and as that respectable personnage had always
the reputation of a most exact and regular correspondent, it may be
fairly concluded from his silence, that he either is, or ought to be,
dead. The only objection that I can foresee, is the assurance that
Mr. G---- himself read the article as he was eating his breakfast,
and laughed very heartily at the mistake of his brother historian;
but as he might be desirous of concealing that unpleasant event, we
shall not insist on his apparent health and spirits, which might be
affected by that subtle politician. He affirms, however, not only
that he is alive, and was so on the fifth of September, but that his
head, his heart, his stomach, are in the most perfect state, and that
the Climate of Lausanne has been congenial both to his mind and body.
He confesses, indeed, that after the last severe winter, the Gout,
his old enemy, from whom he hoped to have escaped, pursued him to
his retreat among the mountains of Helvetia, and that the siege was
long, though more languid than in his precedent attacks; after some
exercise of patience he began to creep, and gradually to walk; and
though he can neither run, nor fly, nor dance, he supports himself
with grace and firmness on his two legs, and would willingly kick the
impertinent Gazetteer; impertinent enough, though more easily to be
forgiven than the insolent Courier du Bas Rhin, who about three years
ago amused himself and his readers with a fictitious Epistle from Mr.
Gibbon to Dr. Robertson.

[Sidenote: A CURIOUS QUESTION OF PHILOSOPHY.]

Perhaps now you think, Irish Baron, that I shall apologize in humble
style for my silence and neglect. But, on the contrary, I do assure
you that I am truly provoked at your Lordship's not condescending to
be in a passion. I might really have been dead, I might have been
sick; if I were neither dead nor sick, I deserved a volley of curses
and reproaches for my infernal laziness, and you have defrauded me
of my just dues. Had I been silent till Christmas, till Doomsday,
you would never have thought it worth your while to abuse me. "Why,
then," (let me ask in your name and language, 'you damned beast'),
"did you not write before?" That is indeed a very curious question
of natural and moral Philosophy. Certainly I am not lazy; elaborate
quartos have proved, and will abundantly prove my diligence. I _can_
write; spare my modesty on that subject. I like to converse with my
friends by pen or tongue, and as soon as I can set myself a going, I
know no moments that run off more pleasantly. I am so well convinced
of that truth, and so much ashamed of forcing people that I love to
forget me, that I have now resolved to set apart the first hour of
each day for the discharge of my obligations; beginning _comme de
raison_, with yourself, and regularly proceeding to Lord Loughborough
and the rest. May Heaven give me strength and grace to accomplish
this laudable intention! Amen.

Certainly (yet I do not know whether it be so certain) I should write
much oftener to you, if we were not linked in business, and if my
business had not always been of the unpleasant and mortifying kind.
Even now I shove the ugly monster to the end of this epistle, and
will confine him to a page by himself, that he may not infect the
purer air of our correspondence. Of my situation here I have little
new to say, except a very comfortable and singular truth, that my
passion for my wife or mistress (Fanny Lausanne) is not palled by
satiety and possession of two years. I have seen her in all seasons
and in all humours, and though she is not without faults, they are
infinitely over-balanced by her good qualities. Her face is not
handsome, but her person, and every thing about her, has admirable
grace and beauty: she is of a very chearful, sociable temper; without
much learning, she is endowed with taste and good sense; and though
not rich, the simplicity of her education makes her a very good
economist; she is forbid by her parents to wear any expensive finery;
and though her limbs are not much calculated for walking, she has not
yet asked me to keep her a Coach.

Last spring (not to wear the metaphor to rags) I saw Lausanne in a
new light, during my long fit of the Gout; and must boldly declare,
that either in health or sickness I find it far more comfortable than
your huge metropolis. In London my confinement was sad and solitary;
the many forgot my existence when they saw me no longer at Brookes's;
and the few, who sometimes cast a thought or an eye on their friend,
were detained by business or pleasure, the distance of the way, or
the hours of the house of commons; and I was proud and happy if I
could prevail on Elmsley to enliven the dullness of the Evening. Here
the objects are nearer, and more distinct, and I myself am an object
of much larger magnitude. People are not kinder, but they are more
idle, and it must be confessed that, of all nations on the globe,
the English are the least attentive to the old and infirm; I do not
mean in acts of charity, but in the offices of civil life. During
three months I have had round my chair a succession of agreeable
men and women, who came with a smile, and vanished at a nod; and as
soon as it was agreeable I had a constant party at cards, which was
sometimes dismissed to their respective homes, and sometimes detained
by Deyverdun to supper, without the least trouble or inconvenience
to myself. In a word, my plan has most compleatly answered; and I
solemnly protest, after two years' tryal, that I have never in a
single moment repented of my transmigration.

[Sidenote: HIS COUNTRYMEN AT LAUSANNE.]

The only disagreeable circumstance is the encrease of a race of
animals with which this country has been long infested, and who are
said to come from an island in the Northern Ocean. I am told, but
it seems incredible, that upwards of 40,000 English, masters and
servants, are now absent on the continent; and I am sure we have
our full proportion, both in town and country, from the month of
June to that of October. The occupations of the Closet, indifferent
health, want of horses, in some measure plead my excuse; yet I do
too much to please myself, and probably too little to satisfy my
Countrymen. What is still more unlucky is, that a part of the Colony
of this present year are really good company, people one knows, &c.;
the Astons,[99] Hales, Hampdens, Trevors,[100] Lady Clarges[101]
and Miss Carter (_her Sappho_), Lord Northington,[102] &c. I have
seen Trevor several times, who talks of you, and seems to be a more
exact correspondent than myself. _His wife_ is much improved by her
diplomatic life, and shines in every company, as a woman of fashion
and elegance. But those who have repaid me for the rest were Lord and
Lady Spencer.[103] I saw them almost every day, at my house or their
own, during their stay of a month; for they were hastening to Italy,
that they might return to London next February. He is a valuable man,
and where he is familiar, a pleasant Companion; she a charming woman,
who, with sense and spirit, has the simplicity and playfulness of a
child. You are not ignorant of her talents, of which she has left me
an agreable specimen, a drawing of the Historic muse, sitting in a
thoughtful posture to compose.

So much of self and Co. Let us now talk a little of your house and
your two Countries. Does my Lady ever join in the abuse which I
have merited from you? Is she satisfied with her own behaviour,
her unpardonable silence, to one of the prettiest, most obliging,
most entertaining, most &c. Epistles that ever was penned since the
Epistles of Paul of Tarsus? Will she not _mew_ one word of reply?
I want some account of her spirits, health, amusements, of the
womanly accomplishments of Maria, and the opening graces of Louisa:
of yourself I wish to have some of those details which she is much
more likely to transmit. Are you patient in your exclusion from the
House? Are you satisfied with legislating with your pen? Do you pass
the whole winter in town? Have you resumed the pursuits of farming,
&c.? What new connexions, public or private, have you formed? A tour
to the Continent would be the best medicine for the shattered nerves
of a soldier and politician. By this expression you will perceive
that your letter to Deyverdun is received; it landed last post,
after I had already written the two first pages of this composition.
On the whole, my friend was pleased and flattered: but instead of
surrendering or capitulating, he seems to be making preparations for
an obstinate defence. He already talks of the right of possession,
of the duties of a good Citizen, of a writ _ne exeat Regno_, and
of a vote of the two hundred, that whosoever shall, directly or
indirectly, &c., is an Enemy to his Country. Between you be the
strife, while I sit with my scales in my hand, like Jupiter on Mount
Ida.

[Sidenote: SENSE OR NONSENSE OF IRISH PARLIAMENTS.]

I begin to view with the same indifference the combat of Achilles
Pitt and Hector Fox; for such as it should now seem, must be the
comparison of the two Warriors.* Lord Northington, who is firm in his
party, assures me that the popularity of the young Minister, and even
the opinion of his abilities, have considerably diminished; but he
confesses that such, or much greater, diminution will not weaken his
influence in the Parliament, and must tend to promote his favour and
confidence in a certain place. *At this distance I am much less angry
with bills, taxes, and propositions, than I am pleased with Pitt for
making a friend and a deserving man happy, for releasing poor Batt
from the shackles of the law, and for enhancing the gift of a secure
and honourable competency, by the handsome unsolicited manner in
which it was conferred. This I understand to be the case, from the
unsuspicious evidence of Lord N. and Chief Baron Skinner; and if I
can find time (_resolution_) I will send him a hearty congratulation;
if I fail, you may at least communicate my intentions. Of Ireland I
know nothing, and while I am Writing the decline of a great Empire,
I have not leisure to attend to the affairs of a remote and petty
province. I see that your friend Foster[104] has been hooted by
the Mob, and unanimously chosen Speaker by the House of Commons.
How could Pitt expose himself to the disgrace of withdrawing his
propositions after a public attempt?[105] Have ministers no way of
computing beforehand the sense or nonsense of an Irish parliament?
I am quite in the dark; your pamphlet, or book, would probably have
opened my eyes; but whatever may have been the reason, I give you
_my word of honour_ that I have never seen nor heard of it. Here we
are much more engaged with Continental politics. In general we hate
the emperor,[106] as the enemy of peace, without daring to make War.
The old Lyon of Prussia[107] acts a much more glorious part, as the
Champion of public tranquillity, and the independence of the German
states.

And now for the bitter and nauseous pill of pecuniary business, upon
which I shall be as concise as possible in the two articles of my
discourse, land and money.* And concise indeed I may be according
to the slender proportion of either that is now left. You sometimes
accuse me of not reading or remembering the most important points of
your despatches: may I not equally complain that you pass in silence
all my enquiries and requests on the subject of Buriton? In the
space of two years I have never received a line of intelligence from
Hugonin concerning the state of that last and dearest possession. And
as far as I can judge from Gosling's confused account, which records
only dates and names, a portion, not a very small one, of the rent
remains unpaid, or has been sunk in unknown charges and expences. Let
me therefore repeat perhaps more clearly what I have already desired.

1. That you would correspond with Hugonin, and obtain from him a
correct mercantile account of debtor and creditor of rents and
payments for the aforesaid two years.

2. That if there remains any arrears, you would propose and enforce
the most vigorous measures for my prompt and entire satisfaction.

3. That as there must be deducted from this year's rents a
considerable fine to Magdalen College for Horn, Hugonin at your
instigation would cast about to see whether he cannot perceive any
extraordinary means of supply in the timber way. A dozen years
have now elapsed since the first Cut of the Hanger. May not those
_underwoods_ be again ripe for the Axe? You know I consider only
present profit, and disregard all future improvements and rural
beauty. A beast, you will say. Alas, why do hard circumstances force
me to be one?

4. That you would manage, if it can be done without _offence_ or
expence, the substitution of Richard Andrews, in the place of
Hugonin, a clear-sighted Agent for a blind Gentleman. I fear nothing
more is to be expected from Lenborough, but as you seem quiet, I
entertain a faint hope that Harris's bond has been discharged from
the rent or purchase money. You have done no more than I expected
in assuring me that the £500 shall be ready at Goslings', but I
should be sorry to distress you, or to lay your generous spirit
under any obligations to a purse-proud Cit. If they will readily
take your bond, and allow me credit for the sum before the 1st of
December for January next, it will be the readiest and most private
way. Otherwise I can have recourse to another expedient, of desiring
the Darrels either to sell an equivalent part of my short annuity,
or, if the funds are too low, to advance me the _desideratum_ on a
security which is in their own hands. When I am possessed of the
money in one way or another I will take a view of my former credit
with Gosling (a small credit, I trow) of this additional supply of
my debts, expences, and resources, and I hope I shall be able to
discharge at least the remainder of Newton's bill. But I must not
impoverish myself too, and I have some thoughts of keeping the rest
of my library (if not troublesome to Downing Street) till my return
to England.

[Sidenote: DELAYS IN HIS HISTORY.]

*It is impossible to hate more than I do this odious necessity of
owing, borrowing, anticipating; and I look forwards with impatience
to the happy period when the supplies will always be raised within
the year, with a decent and useful surplus in the treasury. Had it
not been for the cursed dissolution of Parliament, such would already
have been the case. I now trust to the conclusion of my History, and
it will hasten and secure the principal comforts of my life. You will
believe I am not lazy; yet I fear the term is somewhat more distant
than I thought. My long gout lost me three months in the spring;
in every great work unforeseen [obstacles], and difficulties, and
delays will arise; and I should be rather sorry than surprized if
next autumn was postponed to the ensuing spring. If My Lady (a good
creature) should write to Mrs. Porten, she may convey news of my life
and health, without saying anything of this _possible_ delay. Adieu.
I embrace, &c.*

  [99] Sir Willoughby Aston, the last baronet, married, in 1772,
  Lady Jane Henley, sister of Lord Northington, and died in 1815,
  without children.

  [100] The Hon. John Hampden Trevor, second son of Lord Hampden,
  was British Envoy at the Court of Turin, 1783-99. He married, in
  1773, Harriot, only daughter of the Rev. Daniel Barton, Canon of
  Christ Church.

  [101] Lady Clarges (_née_ Skrine) was the widow of Sir Thomas
  Clarges, third baronet, M.P. for Lincoln, who died in 1783.

  [102] Second Lord Northington, formerly M.P. for Hampshire.

  [103] Lord Spencer, who succeeded his father as second Earl
  Spencer in 1783, married Lady Lavinia Bingham, eldest daughter of
  the first Earl of Lucan.

  [104] The Right Hon. John Foster, Lord Oriel (1740-1828),
  Chancellor of the Exchequer in Ireland (1784), Speaker of the
  Irish House of Commons (1785-1800), was the author of the Irish
  Corn Law of 1784, the founder of the National Bank, and closely
  connected with Lord Sheffield by their common interests in
  commercial and financial questions. He was elected Speaker August
  15, 1785.

  [105] Commissioners had been appointed to draw up a scheme for
  regulating the commercial intercourse of Great Britain and
  Ireland. Pitt's eleven propositions for the development of Irish
  Trade, in their original form, were practically rejected by the
  Irish Parliament in February, 1785. Remodelled, and increased
  to twenty, they were laid before the English House of Commons
  in May, 1785, and a Bill based on them was read the first time
  in July. This Bill was then introduced into the Irish House on
  August 12; but it was carried by so small a majority (127 to 108)
  that it was abandoned.

  [106] The Emperor Joseph II., "à qui jamais rien n'a réussi,"
  reigned 1780-1790. His attempted reforms in the Low Countries
  created a revolution against Austria; the two insurgent parties
  of the _Statistes_ and _Vonckistes_,--the one conservative and
  aristocratic, the other commercial and resembling in their views
  the French Constitutionalists,--made common cause and expelled
  the Austrian governor, the Duke of Saxe-Teschen. "Vôtre pays,"
  said Joseph, a few days before his death, to the Prince de
  Ligne, "m'a tué. La prise de Gand a été mon agonie; l'abandon de
  Bruxelles, ma mort."

  [107] Frederick II. of Prussia died August 17, 1786. He had
  recently endeavoured to mediate between the Republican party
  in Holland and the Stadtholder, who was, in 1786, deprived
  of the government of the Hague and of his military powers as
  captain-general. He had also, in 1778 and 1785, interfered to
  prevent Austria's designs upon Bavaria.



502.

_To Lord Sheffield._


  Lausanne, January 17th, 1786.

*Hear all Ye nations! An Epistle from Sheffield-place, received the
17th of January, is answered the same day; and to say the truth,
this method, which is the best, is at the same time the most easy
and pleasant. Yet I do not allow that in the last past silence and
delay you have any more right to damn than myself. Our letters
crossed each other, our claims were equal, and if both had been
stiffly maintained, our mutual silence must have continued till the
day of judgment. The balance was doubtless in my favour, if you
recollect the length, the fullness, the variety of pleasant and
instructive matter of my last dispatch. Even at present, of myself,
my occupations, my designs, I have little or nothing to add; and can
only speak dryly and briefly to very dry and disagreeable business
demands and want of money. But we shall both agree that the true
criminal is My Lady; and though I do suppose that a letter is on
the road, which will make some amends, her obstinate, contumacious,
dilatory silence, after so many months or years since my valuable
letter, is worthy not of a Cat but of a Royal Tygress.

Notwithstanding your gloomy politicians, I do love the funds; and
were the next war to reduce them to half, the remainder would be a
better and pleasanter property, than a similar value in your dirty
acres. We are now in the height of our winter amusements; balls,
great suppers, comedies, &c.; and, except St. Stephen's, I certainly
lead a more gay and dissipated life here, among the Alps, (by the
bye, a most extraordinary mild winter,) than in the midst of London.
Yet my mornings, and sometimes an afternoon, are diligently employed,
my work advances, but much remains, indeed much more than I imagined;
but a great book, like a great house, was never yet finished at the
given time. When I talk of the spring of '87, I suppose all my time
well bestowed; and what do you think of a fit of the gout, that
may disqualify me for two or three months? You may growl, but if
you calmly reflect on my pecuniary and sentimental state, you will
believe that I most earnestly desire to compleat my labour, and
_visit_ England. Adieu.*

With regard to the three old Ladies, I behave like a fool to one, and
like a beast (though they too are silent) to the other two. But all
shall be speedily rectified. The portrait seems to be firmly rooted
here. You know you have no right, and Deyverdun seems not disposed to
shew you any indulgence.

  Yours,
  E. G.

I shall probably hear from you and the Goslings before the end of
next month, and you may depend on an immediate answer. You will
probably have corresponded with Hugonin. It is surely hard to
be obliged to a man, who in two years and four months, has not
condescended to send me a line of information or account. If you talk
of credit, you must allow that it is unpleasant to desire the Darrels
to sell a part of my short Annuity.



503.

_To his Stepmother._


  Lausanne, May 3rd, 1786.

  DEAR MADAM,

Shall I begin by a complaint or an apology? Without much injustice
I might complain of your long silence, which between other
correspondents than ourselves might seem to indicate some degree
of forgetfulness, the too frequent consequences of absence and
distance. Between us, however, it indicates no such thing, and in
the confidence of our mutual regard our silence is more eloquent
than the loquacity of others. I might even add that the constant
expectation on every post-day of a letter from Bath, has suspended
my not very vigorous efforts to renew the correspondence. Some
truth there undoubtedly may be in this assertion, but you will much
more readily believe, that in my strange compound of industry and
lazyness, I have very often formed the design, and as often found
some excellent reason of delay till the very next post, when I would
most undoubtedly write to the best and dearest of my friends. Perhaps
it would not be a bad method on both sides, a note of four lines, a
certificate of health and remembrance, without computing of debtor or
creditor, or any formal attempt to produce a regular Epistle. But as
even this project may fail, I must seriously beg that you would never
allow yourself to be made uneasy by any flying reports, or newspaper.
Be assured that if any untoward accident should stop my breath, or
disable my hand, my friend M. Deyverdun will send the early and
authentic Gazette to Sheffield place, from whence it will be imparted
with proper speed to my other friends in England. At the same time,
I can affirm with truth, that my sole reason for this advertisement
is derived from some foolish Articles, that were very familiar last
year to the home and foreign papers. Since I have known you or myself
I never had more pleasing inducements to cherish life, or less
apprehension of too speedily quitting it.

[Sidenote: IMPROVEMENT IN HIS HEALTH.]

My health is certainly better than when I left England, and this
improvement I partly ascribe to the climate, and partly to the
temperance of my diet. I had long ago shaken off the bad habits of
the Hampshire Militia, but a London life, in the best Company, is
a life of fullness and intemperance; which cannot be separated from
the lateness and irregularity of our hours, the variety of wines
and dishes, and the English practise of setting after dinner, with
the bottle and glasses on the table. Since my last fit of the Gout,
I avoid the temptation without losing the pleasure of suppers, by
confining myself to a mess of boiled milk, and in companies of twenty
or thirty men and women, my frugal bason has often been placed on the
tables: my dinners are moderate, and breakfast still continues to be
my favourite repast. This regimen appears to have succeeded; I have
passed the winter without hearing of the enemy, and last month, after
a short and slight visit or rather menace, he politely retired, and
has left me free to enjoy the beauties of an incomparable spring,
which rapidly treads on the heels of a very mild winter.

The glories of the landskip I have always enjoyed; but Deyverdun has
almost given me a taste for minute observation, and I can dwell with
pleasure on the shape and colour of the leaves, the various hues of
the blossoms, and successive progress of vegetation. These pleasures
are not without cares; and there is a white Acacia just under the
windows of my library, which in my opinion was too closely pruned
last Autumn, and whose recovery is the daily subject of anxiety and
conversation! My romantic wishes led sometimes to an idea which was
impracticable in England, the possession of an house and garden,
which should unite the society of town with the beauties and freedom
of the country. That idea is now realized in a degree of perfection
to which I never aspired, and if I could convey in words a just
picture of my library, apartments, terrace, wilderness, vineyard,
with the prospect of land and water, terminated by the mountains; and
this position at the gate of a populous and lively town where I have
some friends and many acquaintance, you would envy or rather applaud
the singular propriety of my choice.

During the first year of my residence I often compared the tumult
of London and the house of Commons, with the studious social
tranquillity of Lausanne, and felt with complacency that I had
chosen the better part. Those busy scenes are now far from me,
like the remembrance of a noisy and troublesome dream, and though
I possess from nature or reflection a happiness of temper that can
be easy almost in any situation, I am at a loss to conceive how I
could support so long a way of life so ill-suited to my mind and
circumstances. What I particularly disliked was the alternative of a
batchelor, large accidental dinners abroad, or my solitary chicken at
home. Here I can keep a regular table and establishment equal to the
best families of the place; we seldom dine alone, and I have often
agreable suppers of men and women. The habits of female conversation
have sometimes tempted me to acquire the piece of furniture, a wife,
and could I unite in a single Woman, the virtues and accomplishments
of half a dozen of my acquaintance, I would instantly pay my
addresses to the Constellation.

[Sidenote: A MINISTRY OF RESPECTABLE BOYS.]

In the mean while I must content myself with my other wife, the
decline and fall of the Roman Empire, which I prosecute with pleasant
and constant industry. I had some hopes of compleating it this year,
but let no man who builds a house, or writes a book, presume to say
when he will have finished. When he imagines that he is drawing
near to his journey's end, Alps rise on Alps, and he continually
finds something to add, and something to correct. Yet I _now_ think
myself sure of bringing over two or three Volumes in quarto (down
to the taking of Constantinople by the Turks) in the course of next
summer, I mean the summer of eighty-seven, and as the business of
impression will require many months, I may long enjoy the company
of my English friends. Of private friends I hope to find many in
the _vulgar_, and some in the _pure_ and _genuine_ sense of the
word, but I shall be totally bewildered. About three months after
my departure, an Earthquake threw down all the men and systems of
which I had any knowledge, and the country seems to be governed by a
set of most respectable boys, who were at school half a dozen years
ago. I see in the papers that young Eliot is become the brother and
privy-Counsellor of Pitt, and that the independent father has no
objection either to titles or places.

And now, My Dear Madam, after so much about myself, let me conclude
with a word of enquiry on a subject very near to my heart, your
health and happiness. The only apprehension from your silence relates
to want of activity and spirits, and from those fears I hope you can
honestly deliver me. Remember me with kindness to Mrs. Gould, and
Mrs. Holroyd, and let me hear if any thing good has befallen them,
more especially the former, whose situation was more susceptible of
change: when I mention her I include her family. Is Mr. Melmoth still
alive? I saw young Coxe last year, with a very decent and reasonable
Bear, whom he leads from North to South. Adieu, Dear Madam, my paper
fails.

  Most truly yours,
  E. G.



504.

_To Lord Sheffield._


  Lausanne, May 10th, 1786.

[Sidenote: THE DEATH OF "AUNT KITTY."]

*By the difference, I suppose, of the posts of France and Germany,
Sir Stanier's letter, though first written, is still on the road,
and yours, which I received yesterday morning, brought me the first
account of poor Mrs. P[orten]'s departure. There are few events
that could affect me more deeply, and I have been ever since in a
state of mind more deserving of your pity than of your reproaches.
I certainly am not ignorant that we have nothing better to wish for
ourselves than the fate of that best-humoured woman, as you very
justly style her. A good understanding, and an excellent heart,
with health, spirits, and a competency, to live in the midst of her
friends till the age of fourscore, and then to shut her eyes without
pain or remorse. Death can have deprived her only of some years of
weakness, perhaps of misery; and for myself it is surely less painful
to lose her at present, than to find her in my visit to England next
year sinking under the weight of age and infirmities, and perhaps
forgetfull of herself and of the persons once the dearest to her.

All this is perfectly true: but all these reflections will not
dispell a thousand sad and tender remembrances that rush upon
my mind. To her care I am indebted in earliest infancy for the
preservation of my life and health. I was a puny child, neglected by
my Mother, starved by my nurse, and of whose being very little care
or expectation was entertained; without her maternal vigilance I
should either have been in my grave, or imperfectly lived a crooked
ricketty monster, a burthen to myself and others. To her instructions
I owe the first rudiments of knowledge, the first exercise of reason,
and a taste for books, which is still the pleasure and glory of
my life; and though she taught me neither language nor science,
she was certainly the most useful preceptor I have ever had. As I
grew up, an intercourse of thirty years endeared her to me, as the
faithful friend and the agreeable companion. You have seen with what
freedom and confidence we lived together, and have often admired
her character and conversation, which could alike please the young
and the old. All this is now lost, finally, irrecoverably lost! I
will agree with My Lady, that the immortality of the soul is on some
occasions a very comfortable doctrine. A thousand thanks to her for
her constant kind attention to that poor woman who is no more.

I wish I had as much to applaud and as little to reproach in my own
behaviour towards Mrs. P. since I left England; and when I reflect
that my letters would have soothed and comforted her decline, I
feel more deeply than I can express, the real neglect, and seeming
indifference, of my silence. To delay a letter from the Wednesday
to the Saturday, and then from the Saturday to the Wednesday,
appears a very slight offence; yet in the repetition of such delay,
weeks, months, and years will elapse, till the omission may become
irretrievable, and the consequence mischievous or fatal. After a long
lethargy, I had rouzed myself last week, and wrote to the three old
Ladies; my letter for Newman Street went away last post, Saturday
night, and yours did not arrive till Monday morning. Sir Stanier will
probably open it, and read the true picture of my sentiments for a
friend who, when I wrote, was already extinct. There is something
sad and awful in the thought, yet on the whole, I am sorry that even
this tardy Epistle preceded my knowledge of her death. But it did
not precede (you will observe) the information of her dangerous and
declining state, which I conveyed in my last letter, and her anxious
concern that she should never see or _hear_ from you again.

This idea, and the hard thoughts which you must entertain of me,
press so hard on my mind, that I must frankly acknowledge a strange
and inexcusable supineness, on which I desire you would make no
comment, and which in some measure may account for my delays in
corresponding with you. The unpleasant nature of business, and
the apprehension of finding something disagreeable, tempted me to
postpone from day to day, not only the answering, but even the
opening, your penultimate epistle; and when I received your last,
yesterday morning, the seal of the former was still unbroken. Oblige
me so far as to make no reflections; my own may be of service to me
hereafter. Thus far (except the last sentence) I have run on with
a sort of melancholy pleasure, and find my heart much relieved by
unfolding it to a friend. And the subject so strongly holds me, so
much disqualifies me for other discourse, either serious or pleasant,
that here I would willingly stop, and reserve all miscellaneous
matter for a second volunteer Epistle. But we both know how frail
are promises, how dangerous are delays, and there are some pecuniary
objects on which I think it necessary to give you an immediate,
though now tardy, explanation.

I do not return you any formal thanks for* securing me the £500
at Gosling's. We are sufficiently acquainted with each other's
sentiments, nor can I be surprized that you should do for me what
in a similar situation you would have found and accepted without
hesitation on my part. But I must remove the appearance of duplicity
which might not give you pleasure, that I should complain of urgent
poverty, and doubt whether my draught would be paid, while I had
£400 in Gosling's hands. A part of this wealth is only ideal, as
I had reckoned on Mrs. Gibbon's Christmas half-year (£150), which
was really drawn for a few days afterwards. For the rest of the
difference, I can only say that I reckoned from memory (having
mislaid their last year's account), that my fears preponderated, and
that I am glad to find myself for once, a richer man than I expected.
To show you that I am in earnest, as I shall not want to draw for
some months, I am very willing that you should divert a part of your
supply to the most pressing occasions. Of that nature is certainly
the Buckinghamshire bond to the man who married Harris's daughter,
and I beg you would pay both principal and interest immediately. The
Jobbman for horses should, I think, be the next, and when these two
are satisfied, upwards of £200 must remain. When I consider the large
amount and easy earning of Newton's bill, he surely may wait for my
return. If you are too much plagued with his importunities, silence
him with another sop of £100. Whatever you do, you will send me the
account, that I may know the exact quantity of my provision. You know
my attachment to my little deposit in the funds, but if I should
be pressed before my return by any further expences or demands, I
will transact the business with the Darrels either by sale or loan.
Apropos of Newton, were it perfectly convenient, I would not clear
his whole bill, till I had extracted from his hands all the writings
of my Hampshire Estate. I wish you would seriously undertake that
extraction, the importance of which you feel more strongly than
myself.

I have really an hundred things to say of myself, of you and Co., of
your works, of mine, of my books in Downing Street, of Lausanne, of
Politicks, &c. &c. After this, some Epistolary debts must and SHALL
be paid; and to proceed with order, I have fixed this day fortnight
(May 25th) for the date and dispatch of your second Epistle. Give me
credit once more. Pray, does My Lady think herself absolved from all
obligation of writing to me? To _her_, at least, I am not in arrear.
Adieu.



505.

_To Lord Sheffield._


  Lausanne, July 22nd, 1786.

[Sidenote: BOOKS LONGER IN MAKING THAN PUDDINGS.]

This general order will, I presume, remove all the unforeseen
difficulties, which I should have thought must have given way to your
name, and the knowledge of our connection. Use the power according
to your own discretion, even to the full amount of your £500 which I
have not yet violated, but remember not to satisfy Newton till he has
disgorged my writings, of which, as you will easily believe, I have
no list. *I suppose you have sworn (I have sworn myself) at my long
silence and delay. The _plena Epistola_ I have postponed from post
to post, and as I see no end of waiting (though I think it will not
run beyond the end of the month), it seemed most prudent to dispatch
this needful missive. I am well, happy, and diligent; but your kind
hint of the London house is perfectly superfluous; as instead of the
_spring_, we must already read the _summer_ of next year.* Do not be
childish or passionate; trust me, I wish to appear in England; but it
must be with my book in my hand; and a book takes more time in making
than a pudding. Adieu. Will my Lady never write?

  E. G.

*Since I have another page, and some leisure moments, we may as well
employ it in friendly converse; the more so, as the great letter
to which I alluded is most wonderfully precarious and uncertain;
the more so likewise, as our correspondence for some time past
has been of an abrupt, dark and disagreeable cast. Let us first
talk of Sheffield's works; they are of two sorts: _primo_, two
nymphs, whom I much desire to see; the stately Maria and the gentle
Louisa. I perfectly represent them both in the eye of fancy; each of
them accomplished according to her age and character, yet totally
different in their external and internal forms. _Secundo_, three
pamphlets; pamphlets I cry you mercy; three weighty treatises, almost
as useful as an enquiry into the state of the primitive Church; and
here let me justify, if I have not before, my silence on a subject
which we authors do not easily forgive. The first, whose first
editions had seen the light before I left England, followed me here
in a more compleat condition; and that Treatise on the American
Trade has been read, judged, approved, and reported. The second, on
Ireland, I have seen by accident, the copy you had sent Mr. Trevor,
who passed last summer (85) in this [place]. The third, and in my
present situation the most interesting, on the French Commerce,[108]
I have not yet seen by any means whatsoever, and you who know what
orders you have given to Elmsley or others, will best discern on whom
should be laid the fault and the blame.* By the bye, Mrs. Trevor
is now here without her husband--so much the better--and I am just
going to see her, about a mile out of town: she is judged elegant and
amiable; but in health and figure most lamentably declined since last
year. *But to return to your books, all that I have seen must do you
honour, and might do the public service; you are above the trifling
decorations of style and order, but your sense is strong, your views
impartial, and your industry laudable. I find that your American
tract is just translated into German.

[Sidenote: HIS CONTEMPLATED VISIT TO ENGLAND.]

Do you still correspond with* Eden?[109] *If he could establish a
beneficial intercourse between the two first nations in the World,
I could excuse him some little political tergiversation. At some
distance of time and place, those domestic squabbles lose much of
their importance; and though I should not forgive him any breach
of private friendship or confidence, I cannot much blame him if he
chose rather to serve his family and his country, than to persevere
in a hopeless and, as I suspect, an unpopular opposition. You have
never told me clearly and correctly how you support your inactive
retreat from the house of Commons; whether you have resumed your
long forgotten taste for rural and domestic pleasures, and whether
you have never cast a look towards Coventry, or some other borough
equally pure and respectable. In the short space that is left I will
only repeat more distinctly, that in the present contemplation of
my work, June or July of next year is the earliest term at which I
can hope to see England*; and if I have a fit of the Gout--I have,
indeed, been free from the monster this last twelvemonth; but he is
most arbitrary and capricious. Of my own situation let me say with
truth that it is tranquil, easy, and well adapted to my character.
All enthusiasm is now at an end; I see things in their true light,
and I applaud the judgment and choice of my retirement.

You see why I have left a blank in the first page; and when I begun
I had no design of going beyond it; and now, unless I have some
extraordinary fit of diligence and zeal, shall probably wait till
the return of your Epistle. A word before we part, about the least
unpleasant of my business; my library in Downing-street. Excuse the
accidental derangement; I shall send for no more books, and only beg
you to give them shelter in your stinking parlour till my arrival.
Two or three mornings will suffice for a personal review, and the
subsequent steps of sale or travel will most properly be executed
under my own eye. Ours and the foreign papers announce the distress
and reformation of the P. of W.[110] Are you one of the Noblemen who
offer him their houses? As papa is tenacious and poor, I suppose Fox
next session will celebrate his economy, and Parliament will pay his
debts. Once more adieu.

  [108] Lord Sheffield did not _publish_ his _Observations on the
  French Treaty and Commerce_. [S.]

  [109] On August 18, 1787, the Right Hon. W. Eden (afterwards
  Lord Auckland) was appointed Ambassador Extraordinary and
  Plenipotentiary to the King of Spain; but he was at this time
  in Paris, assisting the Duke of Dorset in negotiating a Treaty
  of Commerce with France. His conduct in accepting from Pitt the
  mission to France was severely condemned by the old followers of
  Lord North. Among the numerous squibs which his action provoked,
  the following may be quoted:--

    "A mere affair of trade t' embrace,
    Wines, brandies, gloves, fans, cambrics, lace;
      For this on me my Sovereign laid
      His high commands, and I obey'd--
    Nor think, my Lord, this conduct base.

    "Party were guilt in such a case,
    When thus my country, for a space,
      Calls my poor skill to Dorset's aid,
                      A mere affair of trade!

    "Thus Eden, with unblushing face,
    To North would palliate his disgrace:
      When North, with smiles, this answer made:
      'You might have spar'd what you have said--
    I thought the business of your place
                      A mere affair of trade!'"

  [110] In 1787 the Prince of Wales, after authorizing Fox to make
  a public denial of his rumoured marriage with Mrs. Fitzherbert,
  received an additional £10,000 a year, £161,000 to pay his debts,
  and £20,000 for the repair of Carlton House.



506.

_To Lord Sheffield._


  Lausanne, Jan. 20th, 1787.

*After some sallies of wrath, you seem at length to have subsided
in sullen silence, and I must confess not totally without reason.
Yet if your mind be still open to truth, you will confess that I am
not quite so black as I appear. 1. Your Lordship has shewn much less
activity and eloquence than formerly, and your last letter was an
answer to mine, which I had expected some time with impatience. Bad
examples are dangerous to young People. 2. Formerly I have neglected
answering your Epistles on essential, though unpleasant, business;
and the _Res-publica_ or _-privata_ may have suffered by my neglect.*
At present, when you have paid away the £500 of your own creation in
Gosling's hands, satisfied Newton and _Job_ (I do not mean the most
patient of men), and withdrawn my writings from the Attorney's paw,
I do not recollect any matter of interest remaining in your hands to
exercise your industry, vex my temper, or sully your dispatches. That
sum of £500 you will find entire and intact in Fleet Street; you may
exhaust, but in spite of my general credit I hope you will not exceed
it.

*Supposing, therefore, we had no transactions, why should I write so
often? To exchange sentimental compliments, or to relate the various
and important transactions of the Republic of Lausanne? As long as
I do not inform you of my death, you have good grounds to believe
me alive and well: you have a general, and will soon have a more
particular, idea of my system and arrangement here. One day glides
away after another in tranquil uniformity. Every object must have
sides and moments less luminous than others; but, upon the whole,
the life and the place which I have chosen are most happily adapted
to my character and circumstances; and I can now repeat, at the end
of three years, what I soon and sincerely affirmed, that never, in
a single instant, have I repented of my scheme of retirement to
Lausanne; a retirement which was judged by my best and wisest friend
a project little short of insanity. The place, the people, the
climate, have answered or exceeded my warmest expectations: and I
truly rejoice in my approaching visit to England. Mr. Pitt, were he
your friend and mine, would not find it an easy task to prevent my
return.

[Sidenote: BUILDING A GREAT BOOK.]

3. And now let me add a third reason, which often diverted me from
writing; namely, my impatience to see you this next summer. I am
building a great book, which, besides the three stories already
exposed to the public eye, will have three stories more before we
reach the roof and battelments. You too have built or altered a great
Gothic Castle with Baronial battlements; did you finish it within
the time you intended? As that time drew near, did you not find a
thousand nameless and unexpected works that must be performed; each
of them calling for a portion of time and labour? and had you not
despised, nobly despised, the minute diligence of finishing, fitting
up, and furnishing the apartments, you would have discovered a new
train of indispensable business. Such, at least, has been my case. A
long while ago, when I contemplated the distant prospect of my work,
I gave you and myself some hopes of landing in England last Autumn;
but, alas! when autumn grew near, hills began to rise on hills, Alps
on Alps, and I found my journey far more tedious and toilsome than I
had imagined.

When I look back on the length of the undertaking, and the variety
of materials, I cannot accuse, or suffer myself to be accused, of
idleness; yet it appeared that unless I doubled my diligence, another
year, and perhaps more, would elapse before I could embark with my
complete manuscript. Under these circumstances I took, and am still
executing, a bold and meritorious resolution. The mornings in winter,
and in a country of early dinners, are very concise; to them, my
usual period of study, I now frequently add the evenings, renounce
cards and society, refuse the most agreeable evenings, or perhaps
make my appearance at a late supper. By this extraordinary industry,
which I never practised before, and to which I hope never to be again
reduced, I see the last part of my history growing apace under my
hands; all my materials are collected and arranged; I can exactly
compute, by the square foot, or the square page, all that remains
to be done; and after concluding text and notes, after a general
review of my time and my ground, I can now decisively ascertain the
final period of the decline and fall, and can boldly promise that
I will dine with you at Sheffield-place in the month of August, or
perhaps of July, in the present year; within less than a twelfthmonth
of the term which I had loosely and originally fixed; and perhaps
it would not be easy to find a work of that size and importance in
which the workman has so tolerably kept his word with himself and
the public. But in this situation, oppressed with this particular
object, and stealing every hour from my amusement, to the fatigue of
the pen and the eyes, you will conceive, or you might conceive, how
little stomach I have for the Epistolary style; and that instead of
idle, though friendly, correspondence, I think it far more agreeable
to employ my time in the effectual measures that may hasten and
exhilarate our personal interview.

About a month ago I had a voluntary, and not unpleasing Epistle
from Cadell; he informs me that he is going to print a new octavo
edition, the former being exhausted, and that the public expect with
impatience the conclusion of that excellent work, whose reputation
and sale increases every day, &c. I answered him by the return of
the post, to inform him of the period and extent of my labours, and
to express a reasonable hope that he would set the same value on
the three last as he had done on the three former Volumes. Should
we conclude in this easy manner a transaction so honourable to the
author and bookseller, my way is clear and open before; in pecuniary
matters I think I am assured for the rest of my life of never
troubling my friends, or being troubled myself; a state to which I
aspire, and which I indeed deserve, if not by my management, at least
by moderation.

[Sidenote: A CITIZEN OF THE WORLD.]

In your last, you talk more of the French treaty[111] than of
yourself and your wife and family; a true English _Quid nunc_! For my
part, in this remote, inland, neutral country, you will suppose, that
after a slight glance on the papers, I have neither had the means or
the inclination to think very deeply about it. As a Citizen of the
World, a character to which I am every day rising or sinking, I must
rejoyce in every agreement that diminishes the separation between
neighbouring countries, which softens their prejudices, unites their
interest and industry, and renders their future hostilities less
frequent and less implacable. With regard to the present treaty, I
hope both nations are gainers; since otherwise it cannot be lasting;
and such double mutual gain is surely possible in fair trade, though
it could not easily happen in the mischievous amusements of war and
gaming.* I am much pleased with our great patriots who write to you
for sense as schoolboys on an exercise day. *What a delightful hand
have these great statesmen made of it since my departure! without
power, and, as far as I can see, without hope. When we meet I shall
advise you to digest all your political and commercial knowledge,
(England, Ireland, France, America,) and, with some attention to
style and order, to make the whole a Classic book, which may preserve
your name and benefit your Country. I know not whether you have
seen Sir Henry Clinton since his return: he passed a day with me,
and seemed pleased with my reception and place. We talked over you
and the American War. Mrs. Trevor passes the winter here: she is
pleasing and fashionable. I embrace the _silent My Lady_ and the two
honourable Misses, whom I sigh to behold and admire. Adieu. Ever
yours.*

I have three or four things to add of meaner importance.

1. My Journey to England costs me a good servant: he has a farm, a
shop, and a wife: absence from these frightens him, and he takes this
opportunity of retiring from the domestic state.

2. *Though I can part with land, you find I cannot part with books:
the remainder of my library has so long embarrassed your stinking
room that it may now await my presence and final judgment.*

3. All my coloured handkerchiefs are worn out: I wish My Lady would
get me a couple of dozen of the best sort from Ireland: an elegant
Poplin would likewise be acceptable for a fur Coat. *Has the said
My Lady read a novel intitled Caroline de Lichfield, of our home
manufacture? I may say of ours, since Deyverdun and myself were
the judges and patrons of the Manuscripts. The author, who is since
married a second time, (Madame de Crousaz, now Montolieu), is a
charming woman.[112] I was in some danger.* Once more, bar a long fit
of the Gout, and the historian will land at Dover before the end of
July. Adieu.

  [111] A Treaty of Commerce and Navigation between Great Britain
  and France was signed at Versailles on September 26, 1786, and a
  Supplementary Convention was signed between the same powers on
  January 15, 1787. Both treaties were signed on behalf of Great
  Britain by William Eden.

  [112] Jeanne Pauline Polier de Bottens, afterwards successively
  Madame de Crousaz, and Madame de Montolieu, was the daughter
  of the Pastor at Lausanne, and was descended from an ancient
  family in Languedoc which had emigrated at the time of the
  Reformation. She was a voluminous writer. One of her best-known
  works is a continuation of the _Swiss Family Robinson_. Madame
  de Genlis, who claims to have been the _éditeur_ of _Caroline
  de Lichtfield_, tells the following story of Gibbon falling
  on his knees and proposing to Madame de Crousaz, afterwards
  Madame de Montolieu. She refused him. "M. Gibbon prit un air
  consterné, et cependant il restait à genoux, malgré l'invitation
  réitérée de se remettre sur sa chaise; il était immobile et
  gardait la silence. 'Mais, monsieur,' répéta Madame de Crouzas,
  'relevez-vous donc.'--'Hélas! madame,' répondit enfin ce
  malheureux amant, '_Je ne peux pas._' En effet, la grosseur de
  sa taille ne lui permettait pas de se relever sans aide. Madame
  de Crouzas sonna, et dit au domestique qui survint: '_Relevez M.
  Gibbon_'" (_Souvenirs de Félicie_, p. 279). Madame de Montolieu,
  it should be added, stated that the anecdote was entirely without
  foundation (Rossel, _Histoire Littéraire de la Suisse_, vol. ii.
  p. 275).

  The same story is told in verse by George Colman the younger in
  "The Luminous Historian; or, Learning in Love" (_Eccentricities
  for Edinburgh_, pp. 67-91).

  _Caroline_, par Madame de * * *, was published at Lausanne in
  1786. At Paris, in the same year, a new edition appeared, under
  the title of _Caroline de Lichtfield, avec des corrections
  considérables_. It was translated into English by Thomas
  Holcroft, and published by the Minerva Press. The Lausanne
  edition has on the title-page the following lines, which may
  allude to Gibbon:--

    "Idole d'un cœur juste et passion du sage,
    Amitié que ton nom soutienne cet ouvrage;
    Regne dans mes écrits, ainsi que dans mon cœur,
    Tu m'appris à connaître, à sentir le bonheur."

    (Voltaire, _Mélanges de Poésies_.)



  507.

  _To Lord Sheffield._


  Lausanne, June 2nd, 1787.

  [Sidenote: INTENTION TO ARRIVE IN LONDON.]

  *I begin to discover that if I wait till I could atchieve a just
  and satisfactory Epistle, equally pleasant and instructive, you
  would have a poor chance of hearing from me. I will therefore
  content myself with a simple answer to a question, which (I love
  to believe) you repeat with some impatience: "When may we expect
  you in England?" My great building is, as it were, compleated,
  and some slight ornaments, the painting and glazing of the last
  finished rooms, may be dispatched without inconvenience in the
  autumnal residence of Sheffield-place. It is therefore my sincere
  and peremptory intention to depart from Lausanne about the 20th
  of July, and to find myself (_me trouver_) in London on or before
  the glorious first of August. I know of nothing that can prevent
  it but a fit of the gout, the capricious tyrant, who obeys
  no laws either of time or place; and so unfortunately are we
  circumstanced, that such a fit, if it came late and lasted long,
  would effectually disable me from coming till next spring; since
  thereby I should lose the season, the monsoon, for the impression
  of three quarto volumes, which will require nine months (a
  regular parturition), and cannot advantageously appear before the
  beginning or middle of May.

  At the same time do not be apprehensive that I mean to play
  you a dog's trick. From a thousand motives it is my wish to
  come over this year; the desire of seeing you, and the _silent
  sullen_ My lady; the family arrangements, discharge of servants,
  which I have already made; the strong wish of settling my three
  youngest children in a manner honourable to them and beneficial
  to their parent. Much miscellaneous matter rises to my pen, but
  I will not be tempted to turn the leaf. Expect me therefore at
  Sheffield-place, with strong probability, about the 15th of
  August.* You say nothing of your final settlement with Newton: if
  the Attorney refuses to give parchments for money he must have
  some bad intention. Adieu. Yours.



  508.

  _To his Stepmother._


  Lausanne, July 21st, 1787.

  DEAR MADAM,

  After a long silence which I will no longer attempt to excuse,
  I have the pleasure of informing you that when you receive this
  letter I shall be on my way to England, and that I hope to reach
  London on or before the 9th of next month. I need not say that
  by the first post you shall be apprized of my arrival. I bring
  over the remainder of my history, and only regret that instead
  of running down to Bath, the necessary cares of an author will
  detain me in the neighbourhood of London and the press. But my
  impatience will be alleviated by the convenience of a near and
  frequent intercourse, and I sincerely hope that you can return
  the assurance which I give, that I have been long happy and am
  now well.

  I am, My Dear Madam,
  Ever yours,
  E. G.



  509.

  _To Lord Sheffield._


  Lausanne, July 21st, 1787.

  *The 20th of July is past, and I am still at Lausanne; but the
  march of heavy bodies, such as armies and historians, can seldom
  be foreseen or fixed to a precise day. Some particular reasons
  have engaged me to allow myself another week; and the day of
  my departure is now (_I believe_) determined for Sunday the
  29th instant. You know the road and the distance. I am no rapid
  English traveller, and my servant is not accustomed to ride post.
  I was never fond of deeds of darkness, and if the weather be
  hot, we must repose in the middle of the day. Yet the roads are
  in general good: between Sun and Sun the interval is long; and,
  barring the accidents of winds and waves, I think it possible
  to reach London in ten or twelve days; _viz._ on or before
  the ninth of August. With your active spirit, you will scarce
  understand how I can look on this easy journey with some degree
  of reluctance and apprehension; but after a tranquil, sedentary
  life of four years, (having lain but a single night out of my own
  bed,) I see mountains and monsters in the way; and so happy do I
  feel myself _at home_, that nothing but the strongest calls of
  friendship and interest could drag me from hence.*

  [Sidenote: HIS ARRIVAL IN LONDON.]

  You ingeniously propose that I should turn off at Sittenbourn,
  and seem to wonder what business I can find, or make, for an
  immediate residence in the Capital. Have you totally forgot that
  I bring over three quarto volumes for the press? and are you
  ignorant that not a moment must be lost, if we are desirous
  of appearing at a proper season? I must ratify and sign my
  agreement with Cadell and Strahan, deliver the first part of
  the manuscript, settle some preliminaries with the printer and
  corrector, revise the first sheets, procure some necessary books,
  consult others, and set the machine in motion before I can secede
  to Sheffield-place with an easy mind, and for a reasonable term.
  Of this be assured, that I shall not be less impatient than
  yourself, and that, of human two-legged animals, yourself and
  yours are the first, though not the sole, whom I shall wish to
  see in England.

  For myself, I do not regret the occupancy of Downing Street;[113]
  in my first visit to London, a lodging or hotel in the Adelphi
  will be more convenient; but I have some anxiety about my books,
  and must try whether I can approach those holy relicks, without
  offending the delicacy of an amiable Dutchess.

  Our interview is so near, that I have little more to add, except
  a single caution about my own concerns, in which you will
  confess, that from Lovegrove, and Winton, to Newton, I have been
  generally unlucky. If any thing remains, present or future, it
  must be agitated and decided; but all retrospects are useless and
  painful, and we have so many pleasant subjects of conversation,
  that all such odious matters may be buried in oblivion. Adieu.
  I embrace My Lady and Louisa, but I no longer presume, even on
  paper, to embrace the tall and blooming Maria.

  Ever yours,
  E. G.

  Let me find a letter at Elmsley's, and inform me of the direction
  of your agent Purden. I may possibly have a commission for him.

  [113] Lord Sheffield had let his house in Downing Street to the
  Duchess of Gordon. "The Duchess of Gordon will dance my house in
  Downing Street down" (Lord Sheffield to William Eden, February
  27, 1787: _Auckland Correspondence_, vol. i. p. 405).



510.

_To Lord Sheffield._


  Adelphi Hotel, August the 8th, 1787.

*Intelligence extraordinary.--This day (August the 7th) the
celebrated E. G. arrived in the Adelphi with a numerous retinue
(one Servant). We hear that he has brought over from Lausanne the
remainder of his history for immediate publication. The post had left
town before my arrival. I am pleased, but indeed astonished, to find
myself in London, after a journey of six hundred miles, and hardly
yet conceive how I had resolution to undertake it. I find myself
not a little fatigued, and have devoted this hot day to privacy and
repose, without having seen any body except Cadell and Elmsley,
and my neighbour Batt, whose civility amounts to kindness and real
friendship. But you may depend on it, that instead of sauntering in
town, or giving way to every temptation, I will dispatch my necessary
work, and hasten with impatience to the groves of Sheffield-place;
a project somewhat more rational than the hasty, turbulent visit
which your vigour had imagined. If you come up to quicken my
diligence,[114] we shall meet the sooner; but I see no appearance of
my leaving town before the end of next week. I embrace, &c. Adieu.*

  [114] "I went to London," writes Lord Sheffield to William Eden
  from Sheffield Place, on August 22, 1787, "for a few days to
  conduct the Gibbon to this place. The Gibbon is settled here till
  winter; he will reside with us in Downing Street in winter and
  spring. The three quartos will appear in the spring, but as to
  remaining in this country, he has not the slightest notion of it.
  I have not yet succeeded in infusing a proper political zeal into
  him" (_Lord Auckland's Journal and Correspondence_, vol. i. pp.
  435, 436).



511.

_To his Stepmother._


  Adelphi Hotel, August 9th, 1787.

  MY DEAR MADAM,

At length, after a pleasant journey, I again breathe the air of my
native country; and though I quitted with some regret my friends,
my house, my garden, my library at Lausanne, I already find many
objects that compensate my losses. I reached the Adelphi Hotel
_Wednesday_ the 8th instant, after the departure of the post.
The first arrangements of my litterary business, and some social
meetings will detain me here till the middle or end of next week,
after which I shall bury myself at Sheffield-place to revise and
correct. The printer mutters some complaints of the distance, but it
is not possible at this time of year to confine myself to a sultry
and solitary metropolis. Adieu, my dear Madam, let me soon have an
account, and a favourable account, of yourself.

  I am
  Ever yours,
  E. G.



512.

_To Lord Sheffield._


  Tuesday, 1787.

Two lines to say that you dine with Mrs. Hanley Thursday, visit Pall
Mall between eight and nine in the evening, and dine on Friday with
Lord L[oughborough]. Lady L., if agreable, will be glad to see Maria,
and to call on her in her carriage. All's well. Adieu. I wish we had
My lady with us. I am impatient to see her.



513.

_To his Stepmother._


  Sheffield-place, Sept. 23, 1787.

  MY DEAR MADAM,

[Sidenote: THE TWO MR. GIBBONS.]

I am extremely happy that by Mrs. Holroyd's kind enquiries in my
name, the veil is at length withdrawn, and a mistake is removed which
has given us, with an appearance of reason, some mutual anxiety. No
one doubtless is less entitled than myself to confound the indolence
of the pen with the coldness of the heart, yet I must confess that
I was surprized and grieved, that you should not take the smallest
notice of the letter in which I had announced my arrival in England.
Each post encreased my uneasiness, which was at the same time
aggravated and soothed by the assurance from Mrs. H. that illness
could not be the cause of your silence, and this day was the last
which I had fixed for asking the favour of a line of comfort and
explanation. By this you will understand that I have never received
your kind answer directed to me in town, and, though the loss of
a letter by the post is a rare, and to many, an incredible event,
I can explain it in this instance by a singular concurrence of
circumstances. Two Hotels which bear the name of the Adelphi stand
opposite to each other, and two Mr. Gibbons were lodged at the same
time in the adverse houses, as Lord Sheffield perceived on his coming
up to find me out. Your direction was applied to my rival, and as
he had already departed into the country, his letter must have been
sent after him, and he alone is guilty for not acknowledging and
rectifying the error.

I have now passed some weeks with our friends Lord and Lady
Sheffield, who wish me to express in their name every sentiment of
attachment and regard; they both lament the disappointment of their
wishes of enjoying your company in this place, and would promise that
during your stay, it should not be profaned by any American rebels,
or any fashionable females whose conduct may be less calculated to
edify than to please. I am here, very idle and very busy. After
building a great house, a thousand little alterations, improvements
and ornaments present themselves to the architect, and besides the
trouble of painting and glazing some of the last apartments, I have
the daily duty of receiving, correcting, and returning a printed
sheet which is sent me from London. Impatient as I am to visit Bath,
I must defer my journey till I am in a great measure got out of
my litterary brick and mortar; and if I can postpone it till the
beginning of December, Lord Sheffield gives me hopes of his company.
The moments I can pass with you will be some of the most pleasing
of my life, and it will give me real concern, that I shall find it
impossible to prolong my visit as I could wish, much less to fix my
winter residence at Bath.

  I am, Dear Madam,
  Most truly yours,
  E. GIBBON.



514.

_To his Stepmother._


  Sheffield-place, Nov. 11th, 1787.

  DEAR MADAM,

[Sidenote: HIS VISIT TO MRS. GIBBON.]

Besides my usual dislike to letter-writing for which you so
obligingly account, I have had an additional reason or excuse for my
silence in the weekly dispatches which are transmitted from hence
to Bath, and by which you are frequently apprized of my health and
good spirits, the only circumstances which I could transcribe from
this peaceful and uniform scene. It is with real pleasure that
I see the approaching period of my journey to Bath. I leave this
place next Sunday, and as I hope that a fortnight _may_ suffice for
some litterary business (consulting books, &c.) which can only be
dispatched in town, I reckon with confidence on the satisfaction
of embracing you at the Belvidere within a month from the present
time. As to my old enemy the gout, it is impossible to answer for
his motions, but I have not the slightest grounds to suspect him of
any hostile intentions. Lord Sheffield wishes to accompany me in
the journey and return, but so many obstacles may impede a man of
business, that I must not depend on him with any degree of assurance.
Will you be so good as to inform his sister how much I am obliged to
her for thinking so often and so kindly of me?

I wish it were in your power to give me a more favourable account
of your health, or at least of your strength, for I flatter myself
that it is in the latter you are chiefly deficient. I am not without
apprehension that the sight of a long-lost friend may exhaust your
spirits by too much painful pleasure. Be persuaded, my Dear Madam,
that you are the sole object of my journey, that I most sincerely
request that you will not contrive any dinners or parties for
my amusement, that my time will be most agreably spent in your
conversation, and that I could wish to enlarge the number of days
which my avocations in life and litterature will allow me to enjoy
at Bath. Do not give yourself the trouble of an answer, and expect a
line from town, as soon as I can fix the exact time of my departure.

Lord and Lady Sheffield wish me to convey in their names every wish
and sentiment of friendship.

  I am, Dear Madam,
  Ever yours,
  E. G.



515.

_To Lord Sheffield._


  Wednesday, Nov. 27.

The assurance that neither giants nor dragons were to be feared
between Sheffield Place and Pall Mall had induced me to leave to your
fancy or judgment the well-known circumstances of changing horses,
alighting from the chaise, surveying the lodging (bad and dear),
ordering a fowl from the Cocoa-tree, &c., &c., and I feel every day
the awkwardness of the six o'clock post. The first evening I passed
at home and had scarcely dined when the Poet Hayley was announced: he
embraced, forgave me, and we entered on a pleasant conversation of
two hours. I mentioned to him your Christmas plan: he is grateful,
but seems to decline it. However I shall see him again, and possibly
he may fall in your way.

You would make me vain; nor am I less touched by the growlings of my
lady, than by the praises of the Maria, whose probable excursion I
applaud. As yet I have chiefly attended to my litterary concerns, and
have only seen Crauford, the Lucans, Sir Joshua, &c. I have knocked
without success at Lord Loughborough's door, but shall dine with him
before the end of the week, perhaps with M. de Calonne,[115] who is
a favourite with all parties. Pitt in the _general_ opinion seems
to be the Hero of the day, and Lord Lucan, fresh from Paris, says
that nothing can equal the conscious shame of the French, except
their public abhorrence of the Queen, and their wild resolutions of
freedom. Take care of Severy,[116] I had rather he did not go to
Lewes: a set of drunken dragoons.

As I may not write again (do not be furious) I can positively say
that my departure for Bath is fixed for Saturday sennight, and that I
shall expect you, &c., on Thursday at latest. For the possession of
your house, I believe the Dutchess would scruple at few sacrifices
either pecuniary or _personal_. Could you resist? Do not imitate my
negligence in forgetting the herald John G.[117] He will make a great
figure at Bath. Adieu.

  [115] Charles Alexandre de Calonne (1734-1802) was
  Director-General of Finances from 1783 to 1787. By his advice
  the Assembly of Notables was convened on February 22, 1787.
  He laid before it the financial condition of the kingdom, and
  proposed, among other measures, a land tax, the taxation of the
  lands of the clergy, and, generally, the equalization of public
  burdens. So great was the clamour against him, that in April he
  resigned and took refuge in England. "I am entertained," writes
  Lord Sheffield to William Eden, November 2, 1787, "with the
  reception Calonne meets with in London. Lately he was the most
  terrible peculator" (_Auckland Correspondence_, vol. i. p. 444).
  He was succeeded by Cardinal de Brienne, Archbishop of Toulouse,
  afterwards Archbishop of Sens.

  [116] Wilhelm de Severy, the son of Gibbon's friends at Lausanne,
  had, at his suggestion, paid a visit to England.

  [117] John Gibbon, the herald, was Bluemantle Pursuivant at Arms,
  1671-1718. He died August 2, 1718.



516.

_To Lord Sheffield._


  Monday afternoon, 1787.

[Sidenote: A MISERABLE CRIPPLE.]

*I precipitate! I inconvenience! Alas! alas! I am a poor miserable
cripple, confined to my chair. Last Wednesday evening I felt some
flying symptoms of the gout: for two succeeding days I struggled
bravely, and went in a chair to dine with Batt and Lord Loughborough:
but on Saturday I yielded to my conqueror. I have now passed three
wearisome days without amusement, and three miserable nights without
sleep. Yet my acquaintance are charitable; and as virtue should
never be made too difficult, I feel that a man has more friends in
Pall Mall than in Bentinck Street. This fit is remarkably painful;
the enemy is possessed of the left foot and knee, and how far he may
carry the war, God only knows. Of futurity it is impossible to speak;
but it will be fortunate if I am able to leave town by the end,
not of this, but of the ensuing week. Pity me, magnanimous Baron;
pity me, tender females; pity me, Swiss exile,[118] and believe me,
it is far better to be learning English at Uckfield. I write with
difficulty, as the least motion or constraint in my attitude is
repeated by all the nerves and sinews in my knee. But* in the daily
papers *you shall find each day a note or bulletin of my health.
To-morrow I must give pain to Mrs. G. Adieu.* Caplin's servant has
other offers, and grows impatient for a speedy and final answer.

  Ever yours,
  E. G.

  [118] M. Wilhelm de Severy.



517.

_To his Stepmother._


  Saturday, Nov. 30th, 1787.

  DEAR MADAM,

I must reluctantly mention, what I could still wish to conceal:
but the month of December approaches, and I may have been already
betrayed by the Sheffield gazette. Your suspicions were but too
just, and both my feet have been for some days past in the iron
fetters of the gout. This obstacle must retard, though it shall not
prevent my journey to Bath, and as soon as I am able to travel I
shall summon Lord S., who with his daughter Maria is impatient to
start. No term can be possibly assigned, but I feel with pleasure
that the bitterness of the fit is past or passing, and the gouty tide
now appears to ebb; whether its retiring motions will be slow or
rapid, fluctuating or regular, I cannot foresee, but I wish you to
believe that my pain is not a little aggravated by my disappointment.
You will excuse my brevity, as I cannot write in a pleasant attitude,
but in the course of next week you shall receive some account of my
proceedings, either from me or Caplen. Adieu.

  Ever yours,
  E. G.



518.

_To Lord Sheffield._


  Saturday, Dec. 1, 1787.

I resume the pen for a few moments, and with some difficulty, to
say that I am not insensible of the complaints, exclamations,
projects, &c., of the natives of Sheffield. Your daily missives have
been uncomfortable, but when things are at the worst they begin
to mend, and I flatter myself that the gouty tide is now ebbing.
Last night (with some foreign aid) was the best I have known, and
this day my pain is rather less severe. *What may be the future
progress, whether slow or rapid, fluctuating or steady, time alone
will determine, and to that master of human knowledge I must leave
our Bath journey.*--Adieu. Lord Guilford is neither dead nor has
been ill.--The D[uchess] of G[ordon] is in treaty for a house in
Piccadilly.--The public voice is harmony and applause. Remember me to
Severy. Perhaps next week.

I hear this moment from my landlady, Mrs. Crauford, the Gordon
milliner, that the Dutchess has absolutely taken the house, and is
removing without delay from Downing Street. Huzza.



519.

_To Lord Sheffield._


  Saturday, 8th December.

[Sidenote: DISARRANGEMENT OF HIS PLANS.]

I thought we might have safely depended on Caplin's _daily_
diligence, but you could fairly conclude from his silence that we
advance with a fair wind. The venom of the Gouty humour is almost
dispelled, and I am going on to reduce the size and recover the
strength of my feet. Mama cannot be more impatient than myself for
the signal of weighing anchor: this unlucky check has disarranged
all my social and litterary projects: in a lodging I am destitute
of a thousand comforts: my books are few, my society precarious, my
days long and often tedious, nor is any thing less pleasant than to
be left solitary and motionless while the world is flying round and
round me. In point of kind, civil, assiduous attendance of male and
female friends Lausanne had quite spoilt me.

In the course or chain of my winter designs, I most ardently wish
to hasten the Bath journey, that I may urge our family settlement
in Downing street, for I have felt by experience the difference
between town and country with regard to the press. But wishes are not
hopes, nor are hopes equivalent to assurances. Yet I think (should
no reverse of fortune take place) that I can promise to ascend my
post-chaise painfully enough either Friday or Saturday next, the 14th
or 15th instant, and therefore, if you hear nothing to the contrary,
your Lordship _cum mamma amabili_ may find yourself in town the
Wednesday or Thursday, and we will contrive, if I am strong enough,
some dinner with Lord L., Batt, or elsewhere. I am much obliged to
Severy for his letter and Lausanne news. I hope he is somewhat less
miserable. Adieu, I am tired. Salutations to My lady, &c. Do you know
anything more of the house?



520.

_To his Stepmother._


  Dec. 10th, 1787.

  DEAR MADAM,

I have the pleasure of informing you, that according to our last
arrangements Lord S. comes to town next Thursday with Maria: that
on Saturday we set out for Bath, and that on Sunday, about four or
five o'clock, I hope to have the pleasure of visiting the Belvidere.
This gouty impediment has been most unseasonable and disarranges the
whole chain of my projects: but you may rest assured that I am not
rash or precipitate: the disorder is leaving me in the most gentle
and regular manner; the easy journey must do me good and cannot do
me any possible harm, and I shall have the benefit of the adroit and
faithful services of Caplen, who accompanies me. It is only unlucky
that my old lodgings should be taken; but your prime minister will
provide me with others as near as possible to the sole object of my
journey.

  I am, Dear Madam,
  Ever yours,
  E. G.

Depend on my taking the utmost care of myself.



521.

_To Lady Sheffield._


  Bath, December 18th, 1787.

*Alas! alas! alas! How vain and fallacious are all the designs of
man. This is now the 18th of December, precisely one month since
my departure from Sheffield-place; and it was firmly my wish, my
hope, my resolution, that after dispatching some needful business
in London, and accomplishing a pious duty at Bath, I should by this
day be restored to the tranquil leisure, and friendly society, of
S. P. A cruel tyrant has disconcerted all my plans; my business in
town has been neglected, my attendance at Bath is just begun, and my
return is yet distant. I was not a little edified to hear of some
expressions of regret and discontent on my departure; and though I
am not able to produce as good evidence, you will perhaps believe
that in the solitude of a London lodging I often railed at the gout
for maliciously delaying his attack till I was removed from a place
where my sufferings would have been alleviated by every kind and
comfortable attention. I grew at last so desperately impatient, as
to resolve on immediate flight, without waiting till I had totally
expelled the foe, and recovered my strength. I performed the journey
with tolerable ease, but the motion has agitated the remains of
the humour. I am very lame, and a second fit may possibly be the
punishment of my rashness.

[Sidenote: AN ACT OF DUTY AT BATH.]

As yet I have seen nothing of Bath except Mrs. G.; and weakness,
as well as propriety, will confine me very closely to her.* I am
carried over the way in a chair about one o'clock, maintain a
conversation till ten o'clock in the evening, and am then reconveyed
to my lodging. *Lord S., with Mrs. Holroyd and Maria, dined with us
yesterday* on the haunch of venison, but such reliefs are not always
to be expected, and I chearfully perform an act of duty which is
necessary and cannot be long. I am astonished to see Mrs. Gibbon
so well, and though undoubtedly weaker, she seems in the last five
years to be very little altered either in mind or person. *We begin
to throw out hints of the shortness of our stay, and indispensable
business; and, unless I should be confined by the gout, it is
resolved in our cabinet to leave Bath on Thursday the 26th, and
passing through Lord Loughborough's and town, to settle at Sheffield,
most assuredly, before the end of the year.* Maria, to whom every
object is new and pleasant, and who begins to undraw the curtain of
the great theatre, wonders and almost murmurs at our impatience.
*For my own part I can say with truth, that did not the press loudly
demand my presence, I could, without a sigh, allow the Dutchess to
reign in Downing Street the greatest part of the winter, and should
be happy in the society of two persons (no common blessing) whom
I love, and by whom I am beloved.* I understand with pleasure and
gratitude that with the assistance of two Ushers (Miss Firth and Mrs.
Moss) you have undertaken the care of Severy's English studies, from
whence I expect a most rapid progress. I know not whether yours in
Trisset will be equal. Pray inform our pupil, that I shall write from
hence to his parents, that I am much obliged to him for his letter,
which I hope to answer in a fortnight at Sheffield-place.

*Adieu, Dear Madam, and believe me, with the affection of a friend
and brother, ever Yours.*



522.

_To Lady Sheffield._


  Bath, January 4th, 1788.

I congratulate you and myself on what I now consider as certain,
the evacuation of Downing Street. Col. Fullarton, a cousin of the
Dutchess, informed me yesterday, that after sending her children I
know not where, perhaps to the parish, she had indignantly fled into
the country. By this day's post I expect an official confirmation
from Lord S., and as he will probably reach you as soon as this
letter, the communication will inform him of my intended motions.
You will admire the triumphant Maria, and your observation will
soon discern whether it will be easy to brush the powder out of her
hair, and the world out of her heart, or to shut her eyes after
they have been once opened to the light of pleasure. This excursion
will render our scheme still more necessary, and in my letter from
hence I sound Madame de S. on the subject: the more I revolve it,
I think the exchange will be pleasant and beneficial to my English
and Swiss friends, whose mutual advantage I shall have the advantage
of promoting. You have already understood that my precipitation in
leaving London has been justly punished by a second and worse fit of
the gout and a fortnight's confinement.

I now begin to crawl again on two crutches, and my first sally in a
chair will be to return the charitable visits of the Dutchess and
her friend the Ætherial of poor Lord North, &c. Were I capable of
listening to experience or common sense, I should remain here a week
or ten days longer; but I am so impatient to leave this place and to
reach London and S. P. that I mean to escape next Monday: Tuesday
afternoon and all Wednesday will be the least that my litterary
business in town will require, and I have hopes of dining at S. P.
on Thursday the 10th instant, after an absence twice as long and ten
times as disagreeable as I expected. As I now run, not from you,
but to you, you will view my rashness with indulgence, and nurse my
infirmities with compassion.--Excuse me to Severy for not answering
his two letters, and let him be in readiness to receive me. Adieu.

  Ever yours,
  E. G.



523.

_To his Stepmother._


  Tuesday, the 14th January, about 1788.

Andover five o'Clock in the afternoon.--Safe, well, and hungry. Not a
single Lyon or Giant to be seen on Salisbury plain.--Very odd!



524.

_To Lady Sheffield._


  Bentinck Street, Thursday, Feb. 24th.

The Gibbon with his friend Nic (a very proper companion) still
proposes to visit Sheffield Place, on Saturday next the 26th instant,
but as he travels slowly and prudently with his own horses, they dine
at Godstone and cannot reach the mansions of bliss before the dusk of
evening. The Gibbon presume that the most amiable Lara means to allow
_him_ some extraordinary days.



525.

_To his Stepmother._


  Downing Street, March 1st, 1788.

  MY DEAR MADAM,

[Sidenote: HIS WORK AND FRIENDS.]

As long as it was necessary that you should be informed of my
motions and those of the gout, my letters succeeded each other with
sufficient rapidity. The establishment of my health and strength
has allowed me, from these unnatural efforts, to sink into my usual
indolence, but I now begin to feel that my silence has lasted too
long, and that you may entertain some doubts of my present state,
unless I assure you by a line that it still continues easy and
prosperous. I use with moderation the society of this great town, and
although I do not lead a solitary life, yet my principal attention
is bestowed on my domestic friends, and on the progress of my work,
which is drawing fast to a conclusion. My own brevity will encourage
you not to fatigue yourself by a long letter, but I wish to hear
directly from _you_ and about _yourself_, the object most truly
interesting to your filial friend.

  I am, Dear Madam,
  Ever yours,
  E. GIBBON.



526.

_To his Stepmother._


  Downing Street, May 28th, 1788.

  DEAR MADAM,

Both as an author and as a friend I am delighted with your kind
approbation: and I enjoy the pleasing assurance that the perusal
of my history[119] may sometimes beguile a solitary hour, and
recall the historian still more forcibly to your mind. For my own
part I now feel as if a mountain was removed from my breast; as
far as I can judge, the public unanimously applauds my compliment
to Lord North,[120] and does not appear dissatisfied with the
conclusion of my work. I look back with amazement on the road which
I have travelled, but which I should never have entered had I been
previously apprized of its length.

In your last letter you express some joy at the approach of summer,
as it is connected with my second visit to Bath which I had promised
to make before my departure for the Continent. On my side the promise
will be most chearfully performed, and in the prospect of embracing
a dear and valuable friend I shall ever esteem fatigue and expence
as of small account. The Sheffields leave town in the beginning of
next week; I must continue some days after them to pack up my books
and dispatch some necessary business, and in about a fortnight I
could undertake the journey to Bath. Yet before you resolve, I wish
you coolly to weigh whether prudence should advise us to gratify
or restrain our inclination. In my Christmas visit, confined as I
was by the gout, I could not but observe how much my presence and
your desire of inviting company to amuse me deranged the privacy of
your life and the distribution of your hours. Delicate health and
spirits like yours are agitated even by the pleasure, the tumultuous
pleasure, of an interview; and that pleasure is embittered by the
painful foresight of an approaching separation. According to my
arrangements, which it is no longer in my power to break, I _must_
return to Lausanne early in the month of July, nor can I indulge
my wishes at the Belvidere beyond the term of a week. That week is
perfectly at your service, and I only hope to receive your commands
as soon as possible. Lord and Lady S. beg to be remembered to you in
the kindest manner.

  I am, Dear Madam,
  Ever yours,
  E. G.

  [119] Vols. iv., v., and vi. of the _Decline and Fall_ were
  published in April, 1788.

  [120] The preface to the last three volumes of the _Decline
  and Fall of the Roman Empire_ contained the following eulogium
  on Lord North: "Were I ambitious of any other Patron than the
  public, I would inscribe this work to a Statesman, who, in a
  long, a stormy, and at length an unfortunate administration,
  had many political opponents, almost without a personal enemy;
  who has retained, in his fall from power, many faithful and
  disinterested friends; and who, under the pressure of severe
  infirmity, enjoys the lively vigour of his mind, and the felicity
  of his incomparable temper. Lord North will permit me to express
  the feelings of friendship in the language of truth; but even
  truth and friendship should be silent, if he still dispensed the
  favours of the Crown."



527.

_To Lord Sheffield._


  Hampton Court, Wednesday, June 16th, three o'clock.

Whether you mean to abuse or applaud me, you must postpone that
pleasure from Sunday the 20th to Saturday the 26th. I have some
literary accounts to settle before I shut my shop for some months,
and they have run, as it commonly happens, to a greater length than I
had expected. This delay happens likewise to be very convenient to my
agreeable companion Mr. Nicholls, who salutes the whole Barony with
proper respect.



528.

_To Lord Sheffield._


  Downing-street, Saturday (June 17th, 1788).

[Sidenote: HORRORS OF SHOPPING AND PACKING.]

*I have but a moment between my return home and my dressing, and
heartily tired I am; for I am now involved in the horrors of
shopping, packing, &c.; yet I must write four lines to prevent a
growl and a damn, which might salute the arrival of an empty-handed
post on Sunday. I hope the whole caravan, Christians and pagans,
arrived in good health at the castle; that the Turrets begin to rise
to the third Heaven; that each has found a proper occupation; and
that Tuft[121] enjoys the freedom and felicity of the lawn.

Yesterday the august scene was closed for this year. Sheridan
surpassed himself;[122] and though I am far from considering him as
a perfect orator, there were many beautiful passages in his speech,
on justice, filial love, &c.; one of the closest chains of argument
I ever heard, to prove that Hastings was responsible for the acts of
Middleton; and a compliment, much admired, to a certain historian of
your acquaintance. Sheridan, in the close of his speech, sunk into
Burke's arms; but I called this morning, he is perfectly well.* A
good Actor![123]

*I fear that I shall not be able to dine at home a single day.
To-morrow Severy and myself go to Bushy. I hope to be with you by
Sunday the 22nd Instant,* but I find I have much to do, and the most
important business of my Magdalen farms is not concluded. You know
Hugonin's method of writing most when there is least occasion for it.
I have not had a line from him since I sent the College license. *The
casing of my books is a prodigious operation. Adieu.*

  [121] Lady Sheffield's lapdog.

  [122] "We were kept in London about twelve days by Mr. Sheridan's
  speeches. One day would have sufficed me, who have heard many
  long speeches: but the ladies rebelled, the Gibbon supported
  them, and thus we were detained till towards the middle of June"
  (Lord Sheffield to William Eden, July 29, 1788: _Lord Auckland's
  Journal and Correspondence_, vol. ii. p. 219).

  [123] The trial of Warren Hastings began in Westminster Hall
  on February 13, 1788. Sheridan's speech on the Begums of Oudh
  was delivered on June 3, 6, 10, and 13. The trial was adjourned
  on June 14 till the following session. "Mr. Sheridan," writes
  Horace Walpole, June 5, 1788, "I hear, did not quite satisfy
  the passionate expectation that had been raised; but it was
  impossible he could, when people had worked themselves into an
  enthusiasm of offering fifty--ay, _fifty_ guineas for a ticket
  to hear him." Macaulay's account of Sheridan's knowledge of
  stage-effect, and of his sinking back, "as if exhausted, into the
  arms of Burke," is based on this letter of Gibbon. Sir Gilbert
  Elliot, however (_Life and Letters_, vol. i. pp. 206-219), gives
  a different account. "Burke caught him in his arms as he sat
  down, which was not the least affecting part of the day to my
  feelings, and could not be the least grateful testimony of his
  merit received by Sheridan. I have myself enjoyed that embrace
  on such an occasion, and know its value." In his speech, as
  reported in the _Morning Chronicle_ for June 14, 1788, Sheridan
  said that "nothing equal in criminality was to be traced either
  in ancient or modern history, in the correct periods of Tacitus
  or the luminous page of Gibbon." The story, told by Moore in
  his _Memoirs_ of Sheridan, that the orator really used the word
  "voluminous," is repudiated by Mr. Fraser Rae (_Sheridan_, vol.
  ii. p. 69).



529.

_To Lord Sheffield._


  Downing-street, June 21st, 1788.

[Sidenote: DINNER WITH WARREN HASTINGS.]

*Instead of the historian, you receive a short letter; in your eyes
an indispensable tribute. This day, at length, after long delay and
frequent expostulation, I have received the writings, which I am
now in the act of signing, sealing, and delivering, according to
the lawyer's directions.* They return to-night by the Mail Coach
into Hugonin's hands, from which they will not depart till the money
is paid. I hope to receive it next Tuesday; next Wednesday must be
employed with the Darrels in proper investments, and the Thursday I
hope to be at Sheffield. *You see my departure is not postponed a
moment by idleness or pleasure, but the precise day still hangs on
contingencies, and we must all be patient, if our wishes should be
thwarted. I say our wishes, for I sincerely desire to be with you.
I have had many dinners, some splendid and memorable, with Hastings
last Thursday, with the Prince of Wales next Tuesday,* both by
special desire. *But the town empties, Texier is silent, and in an
evening, I _desiderate_ the resources of a family or a club. Caplen
has finished the Herculean labour, and seven Majestic boxes will
abdicate on Monday your hall. Severy has likewise dispatched his
affairs, and secured his Companion Clarke, who is arrived in town;
but his schemes are abridged by the inexorable rigour of Lord Howe,
who has assured our great and fair Intercessors, that by the king's
orders the dock-yards are shut against all strangers. We therefore
give up Portsmouth, and content ourselves with two short trips;
one to Stowe and Oxford, the other to Chatham; and if we can catch
a launch and review, _encore vit-on_. He (Severy, not Lord Howe)
salutes with me the Christians and Pagans of the family. Adieu.
Yours.*



530.

_To Lord Sheffield._


  Downing street, Saturday, June 25th, 1788(?).

*According to your imperious law I write a line, to postpone my
arrival to Friday, or perhaps Saturday, but I hope Friday, and I
promise you that not a moment shall be wasted.

And now let me add a cool word as to my final departure, which is
irrevocably fixed between the 10th and 15th of July. After a full
and free enjoyment of each other's society, let us submit, without a
struggle, to reason and fate. It would be idle to pretend business
at Lausanne; but a compleat year will elapse before my return.
Severy and myself are now expected with some impatience.* I desire
to see _my own_ house; _my own_ library; _my own_ garden, whose
summer beauties are each day losing something. *I am thankful for
your hospitable entertainment; but I wish you to remember Homer's
admirable precept:

  "Welcome the coming, _speed_ the parting guest."

Spare me, therefore, spare yourself, the trouble of a fruitless
contest, in which (according to a great author) I foresee a certain
loss of time, and a probable loss of temper. The Petersfield business
is terminated, and I have received the money; but Darrel will not
come to town from Richmond. I believe we shall have both Craufurd and
Hugonin at Sheffield-place. Adieu.*



531.

_To his Stepmother._


  Sheffield place, June 29th, 1788.

  MY DEAREST MADAM,

I must indeed be incorrigible, since I could delay an answer to your
last kind and generous letter: but you will again exercise that
kind indulgence, nor shall I aggravate my old offence by a formal
and foolish apology. I am now at Sheffield-place preparing for my
departure, which is only delayed by an excursion of my young friend
to Oxford and perhaps to Bath, in which case he will certainly
request of Mrs. Holroyd the favour of presenting him to you. The
Sheffields have not been so firm and reasonable as yourself, and
in the bitter mixture of our last interview I strongly feel the
propriety of your choice.--I propose setting out between the 10th
and 15th of next month, and, as long as the journey can inspire you
with the smallest doubt or apprehension, you may depend on hearing
punctually from me. After I subside in the calm of a Lausanne life,
my diligence will probably be relaxed: yet I hope more than I dare
promise.

[Sidenote: POSSIBLE SALE OF BERITON.]

With Lord Sheffield's advice I begin to entertain some thoughts of
disposing of Buriton. A landed Estate, to me an useless incumbrance,
is attended with many drawbacks and expences: and as several rich
neighbours, Lord Egremont, Lord Stawell, and Mr. Bonham are eager
for the purchase, it is probable that while I diminish my cares, I
may almost double my income. Before any serious steps are taken in
the business, your ease and interest will be first consulted, and
as I propose leaving a considerable part of the purchase money on
the Estate, your jointure may be secured on the same kinds as firmly
as before. Lord Sheffield, in whose honour and abilities you have
a perfect confidence, will correspond with you on the subject, and
you may be assured that nothing shall be done without your full and
chearful approbation. Lord and Lady Sheffield beg me to communicate
in their name all the wishes of regard and friendship.

  I am, Dear Madam,
  Ever yours,
  E. GIBBON.



532.

_To his Stepmother._


  Sheffield-place, July the 18th, 1788.

  MY DEAR MADAM,

A kind and generous behaviour is what I always expect from you; and
your obliging condescension with regard to Buriton, the sale of which
would place me in so desirable a situation, excites rather gratitude
than surprize in my breast. I agree with you in wishing to refer the
detail of this business to your correspondence with Lord Sheffield,
who will weigh every circumstance and every objection, who will
consider in the first place your satisfaction, and my interest in
the second. Let me only say that the idea of a Mortgage was partly
for your security and partly from an apprehension of trusting my
whole fortune to the public credit; that such an investment of money
unites, when it is carefully made, the solidity of land with the
clear ready payment of the funds, and that I am not less averse than
yourself to any connection, open or clandestine, with the member for
Petersfield.

To-morrow I shall leave this place, where I have been detained much
longer than I intended by an indisposition of poor Severy which
prevented him from waiting on you at Bath. I dine to-morrow at
Tunbridge-Wells with Lord North, reach Dover Sunday, pass the water,
if possible, Monday, and repose myself at Lausanne about Wednesday
sevennight the 30th instant. You are too well acquainted with the
World and with me not to smile at the report of my approaching
marriage, of which you might be sure of having the earliest and
most direct information. Cadell is too discreet to have opened his
mouth on a subject, on which for particular reasons we had mutually
promised secrecy. The public, where it costs them nothing, are
extravagantly liberal; yet I will allow with Dr. Johnson "that
booksellers in this age are not the worst patrons of litterature."

  I am, Dear Madam,
  Ever yours,
  E. G.



533.

_To Lord Sheffield._


  Lausanne, July 30, 1788.--Wednesday, 3 o'clock.

*I have but a moment to say, before the departure of the post, that,
after a very pleasant journey, I arrived here about half an hour
ago; that I am as well arranged, as if I had never stirred from this
place; and that dinner on the table is just announced. Severy I
dropt at his country-house about two leagues off. I just saluted the
family, who dine with me the day after to-morrow, and return to town
for some days, I hope weeks, on my account. The son is an amiable and
grateful Youth; and even this journey has taught me to know and to
love him still better. My satisfaction would be compleat, had I not
found a sad and serious alteration in poor Deyverdun; but thus our
joys are checkered! I embrace all; and at this moment feel the last
pang of our parting at Tunbridge. Convey this letter or information,
without delay, from Sheffield-place to Bath. In a few days I shall
write more amply to both places.*



534.

_To his Stepmother._


  Lausanne, August the 16th, 1788.

  DEAR MADAM,

[Sidenote: RETURN TO LAUSANNE.]

The day and indeed the moment of my arrival in this place I announced
the event by a short missive to Sheffield-place, and desired that the
intelligence might be forwarded without delay to the Belvidere. The
perils of the ocean and the road, imaginary perils, are now over, and
I am again seated in the elegant repose of my library and garden:
free to enjoy all the pleasures of study, my first pleasures, but no
longer chained to the regular performance of a laborious task. At
this time of the year small as well as great cities are emptied of
their most dignified inhabitants: yet if I were not rather disposed
to a sedentary life, I could find in the town and adjacent country
what Mr. Christie (?) calls a very respectable vicinage. But their
names and characters would be uninteresting to you, and with the best
intentions a correspondence with a distant friend must degenerate
into mutual questions and answers concerning each other. The only
person here with whom you are acquainted, poor Deyverdun, is, I much
fear, in a state of decline, though I hope not of actual danger: that
would indeed be a loss.

Present my kindest remembrance to Mrs. Holroyd, and if they are with
you, to the Goulds. I lament that I never saw them during my stay in
England.

  I am, Dear Madam,
  Ever yours,
  E. GIBBON.



535.

_To Lord Sheffield._


  October 1, 1788.

*After such an act of vigour as my first letter, composed, finished,
and dispatched within half an hour after my landing, while the dinner
was smoaking on the table, your knowledge of the animal must have
taught you to expect a proportionable degree of relaxation; and you
will be satisfied to hear, that, for many Wednesdays and Saturdays,
I have consumed more time than would have sufficed for the Epistle,
in devising reasons for procrastinating it to the next post. At this
very moment I begin so very late, as I am just going to dress, and
dine in the Country, that I can take only the benefit of the date,
October the first, and must be content to seal and send my letter
next Saturday.


  October the 4th.

Saturday is now arrived, and I much doubt whether I shall have time
to finish. I rose, as usual, about seven; but as I knew I should have
so much time, you know it would have been ridiculous to begin any
thing before Breakfast. When I returned from my breakfast-room to
the library, unluckily I found on the table some new and interesting
books, which instantly caught my attention; and without injuring my
correspondent, I could safely bestow a single hour to gratify my
curiosity. Some things I found in them insensibly led me to other
books, and other enquiries; the morning has stolen away, and I shall
be soon summoned to dress and dine with the two Severys, father and
son, who are returned from the Country on a disagreeable errand, an
illness of Madame, from which she is, however, recovering. Such is
the faithful picture of my mind and manners, and from a single day
_disce omnes_.

[Sidenote: ILLNESS OF DEYVERDUN.]

After having been so long chained to the oar, in a splendid galley
indeed, I freely and fairly enjoy my liberty as I promised in my
preface; range without controul over the wide expanse of my library;
converse, as my fancy prompts me, with poets and historians,
philosophers and Orators, of every age and language; and often
indulge my meditations in the invention and arrangement of mighty
works, which I shall probably never find time or application to
execute. My garden, _berceau_, and pavillion often varied the
scene of my studies; the beautiful weather which we have enjoyed
exhilarated my spirits, and I again tasted the wisdom and happiness
of my retirement, till that happiness was interrupted by a very
serious calamity, which took from me, for above a fortnight, all
thoughts of study, of amusement, and even of correspondence.
I mentioned in my first letter the uneasiness I felt at poor
Deyverdun's declining health, how much the pleasure of my life was
embittered by the sight of a suffering and languid friend. The joy
of our meeting appeared at first to revive him; and, though not
satisfied, I began to think, at least to hope, that he was every
day gaining ground; when, alas! one morning I was suddenly recalled
from my berceau to the house, with the dreadful intelligence of an
Apoplectic stroke; I found him senseless: the best assistance was
instantly collected; and he had the aid of the genius and experience
of Mr. Tissot, and of the assiduous care of an ordinary Physician,
who for some time scarcely quitted his bedside either night or day.*
You will understand his danger when I recapitulate the operations of
a few hours--leeches, six bleeding vomits, purges, clysters, blisters
to his thighs, warm baths, and mustard to his feet. *While I was in
momentary dread of a relapse, with a confession from his physicians
that such a relapse must be fatal, you will feel that I was much more
to be pitied than my friend. At length, Art or Nature triumphed over
the enemy of life. I was soon assured that all immediate danger was
past: and now for many days I have had the satisfaction of seeing
him recover, though by slow degrees, his health and strength, his
sleep and appetite. He now walks about the garden, and receives his
particular friends, but has not yet gone abroad. His future health
will depend very much upon his own prudence: but, at all events, this
has been a very serious warning; and the slightest indisposition will
hereafter assume a very formidable aspect.

But let us turn from this melancholy subject.--The man of the
people[124] escaped from the tumult, the bloody tumult of the
Westminster Election,[125] to the lakes and mountains of Switzerland,
and I was informed that he was arrived at the Lyon d'Or. I sent a
compliment; he answered it in person;* we returned together to the
Inn, brought away the fair Mrs. Armstead,[126] *and settled at
my house for the remainder of the day. I have eat and drank, and
conversed and sat up all night with Fox in England; but it never has
happened, perhaps it never can happen again, that I should enjoy him
as I did that day, alone,* for his fair Companion was a cypher,* from
ten in the morning till ten at night. Poor Deyverdun, before his
accident, wanted spirits to appear, and has regretted it since. Our
conversation never flagged a moment; and he seemed thoroughly pleased
with the place and with his Company. We had little politicks; though
he gave me, in a few words, such a character of Pitt, as one great
man should give of another his rival: much of books, from my own,
on which he flattered me very pleasantly, to Homer and the Arabian
nights; much about the country, my garden (which he understands far
better than I do), and, upon the whole, I think he envies me, and
would do so were he Minister. The next morning I gave him a guide to
walk him about the town and country, and invited some company to meet
him at dinner. The following day he continued his journey to Berne
and Zurich, and I have heard of him by various means. The people gaze
on him as a prodigy, but he shows little inclination to converse with
them.* The wit and beauty of his Companion are not sufficient to
excuse the scandalous impropriety of shewing her to all Europe, and
you will not easily conceive how he has lost himself in the public
opinion, which was already more favourable to his Rival. Will Fox
never know the importance of character?

Far different has been the conduct and success of *our friend
Douglas;[127] he has been curious, attentive, agreeable; and in
every place where he has resided some days, he has left acquaintance
who esteem and regret him: I never knew so clear and general an
impression.

After this long letter I have yet many things to say, though none of
any pressing consequence. I hope you are not idle in the deliverance
of Buriton, though the late events and edicts in France begin to
reconcile me to the possession of dirty acres. What think you of
Necker[128] and the States generals? Are not the public expectations
sanguine? Adieu. I will write soon to My Lady separately, though I
have not any particular subject for her ear.

  Ever yours,*
  E. GIBBON.

  [124] C. J. Fox.

  [125] In 1788, on a by-election caused by Lord Hood's acceptance
  of office as one of the Commissioners of the Admiralty, Lord John
  Townshend won the seat against Hood. In Bond Street there was a
  battle between Lord Hood's sailors and the Irish chairmen and
  butcher-boys. Several were killed and wounded.

  [126] Charles James Fox married Elizabeth Bridget Cane, otherwise
  Mrs. Armitstead, at Wyton, Huntingdonshire, on September 28,
  1795. She survived her husband. In 1799, on his fiftieth birthday
  (January 24), Fox addressed to her the following lines:--

    "Of years I have now half a century past,
    And none of the fifty so blessed as the last.
    How it happens my troubles thus daily should cease,
    And my happiness thus with my years should increase,
    This defiance of nature's more general laws
    You alone can explain, who alone are the cause."

  [127] Sylvester Douglas, afterwards Lord Glenbervie (1743-1823),
  who married, in September, 1789, Catherine, eldest daughter of
  Lord North. He was educated at Leyden as a doctor, a circumstance
  to which Sheridan alludes in the lines--

    "Glenbervie, Glenbervie,
    What's good for the scurvey?
    For ne'er be your old trade forgot."

  He became a barrister, reported in the King's Bench, and was made
  a K.C. After his marriage he left the Bar for a political career,
  and held several minor appointments.

  [128] Brienne retired to Italy in August, 1788, and Necker was
  recalled in the same month. He at once took steps for summoning
  the States-General which met at Versailles, May 4, 1789.



536.

_To Lord Sheffield._


  Lausanne, Nov. 29, 1788.

[Sidenote: INSANITY OF GEORGE III.]

*As I have no Correspondents but yourself, I should have been reduced
to the stale and stupid communications of the papers, if you had not
most gloriously dispatched me a sketch of the* strange revolution
that three Kingdoms should depend on the brain of one man![129] *In
so new a case the _Salus populi_ must be the first law; and any
extraordinary acts of the two remaining branches of the Legislature
must be excused by necessity, and ratified by general consent.* Yet I
cannot any more than yourself understand this speedy and peremptory
sentence of the Medical tribe. The apprehension or rather hope of his
death may admonish the reigning ministers not to irritate the heir
apparent: otherwise, since they have a Majority, what should prevent
them from shackling him with a Counsel, or from tacking to the
address of support a request that he would not change his servants?
They have the confidence (aye growl) of the Country and of Europe:
by _them_, I mean Pitt. *Till things are settled, I expect a regular
Journal.

From kingdoms I descend to farms,* and the latter in a selfish
consideration are not the least important and interesting. You seem
to have made a considerable progress in the Buriton affair, since you
would not have fixed the price without a careful survey and valuation
of each particular founded on your own judgement and that of some
able professor. You do not however mention that you have employed
any such person. I submit to your science, but I cannot say that I
am fond of this mode of auctions: besides the publicity, which on
this occasion may be dangerous, you expose yourself either to let
the estate go for an inadequate price or to an improper purchaser;
or else by purchasing it in, you incur the expences, tax, &c., to
a large amount. Since we know the persons whom Buriton best suits,
suppose Bonham, Lords Stawell, and Egremont, might not the same end
be answered with less inconvenience by writing at the same time a
public circular letter to each, and desiring that by a certain day
they would send in sealed proposals? Would they not have the same
inducement to bid against one another? Upon the whole the 18,000
pounds would make me happy for life. Yet I would not proceed hastily
in this momentous business. What is the motive of Hugonin's sudden
migration, is it health, distress, fancy? Where does he settle? Who
will take care of my affairs? A year's rent is now due, besides some
arrears.

I have written to my two old Ladies without receiving answers. What
are your accounts from Bath? I hope you have satisfied _her_ about
the sale of Buriton, which I would much sooner delay than give her
any uneasiness. I wish we had a correspondent at Stamford (that
Attorney whose name I have forgot, who called upon me in Downing
Street) to give you notice in case it should please Almighty God,
&c.--Deyverdun is not worse. Yet I much doubt whether you will see
him next year. Do you still persist? Thinking as you do, I feel the
force of a certain objection, and must own that a small circle is
often more dangerous than a large one. I likewise fear for yourself
the want of occupation in winter, and am now apprehensive of the
views of Parliament, office, &c., that may open themselves under a
new and friendly reign. As soon as you are _absolutely_ determined
let me know; as the arrangement of a proper house would not be easy.

The Severys are well and _all_ impatient to see you. I have passed
three weeks with them at Rolle, as comfortably as at S.P.: we made
a tour to Geneva. The youth is perfectly reconciled to his little
Country. If My Lady, in the paradise of Brighton, could find leisure
for a line, it would be gracious. Adieu.

  [129] In the summer of 1788 George III. showed symptoms of
  mental derangement; but he had signed a warrant for the further
  prorogation of Parliament from September 25 to November 20.
  In that interval he grew rapidly worse, and was placed under
  restraint. The evidence of the king's physicians was laid
  before the Privy Council and Parliament, and a motion was made
  in the Lower House for a committee to search for precedents
  of proceedings in the case of the interruption or suspension
  of the royal authority. Pitt, on December 16, 1788, moved
  three resolutions: (1) that the personal exercise of the royal
  authority was interrupted; (2) that the two Houses have the right
  to supply this defect of the royal authority; (3) that it was
  necessary to determine the means by which, during the continuance
  of the king's incapacity, the royal assent should be given to
  bills passed by the two Houses. The resolutions were carried
  in both Houses. The plan of a regency was then submitted to
  the Prince of Wales, and five resolutions embodying the scheme
  were proposed and carried in January, 1789. On February 5,
  1789, the Regency Bill was introduced in the House of Commons,
  carried, and sent up to the Lords. It was still under discussion
  when, on February 19, the Lord Chancellor announced the king's
  convalescence, and further proceedings were suspended.



537.

_To Lord Sheffield._


  Lausanne, Dec. 13, 1788.

[Sidenote: DEATH OF HUGONIN.]

Poor Hugonin! I can assure you that my thoughts, my first thoughts at
least when I read your letter, turned much more on himself. I knew
him from my youth: he was an honest useful friend, and though he
could never be much of a companion to me, I always loved and esteemed
him. His death is a loss if an auction at Petersfield was ever an
advisable measure. You have considered and must have determined
before this can reach you. But if it be not too late, revolve the
advantages and inconveniences of auctions.

Buriton is no elegant villa which may catch the eye and fancy of a
stranger; it is an heap of dirty acres which can only derive their
extraordinary value from local merit. Will any man give so much as
Mr. Bonham and Lord Stawell, and in that case would not a private
treaty with them be more easy and effectual? I again repeat that Mrs.
Gibbon must be perfectly satisfied. I hope you will not let it go
under £18,000. We once talked of twenty.

*Of public affairs I can only hear with curiosity and wonder:
careless as you may think me, I feel myself deeply interested. You
must now write often; make Miss Firth copy any curious fragments;
and stir up any of my well-informed acquaintance, Batt, Douglas,
Adam, perhaps Lord Loughborough, &c., to correspond with me; I _will_
answer them.

We are now cold and gay at Lausanne. The Severys came to town
Yesterday. I saw a good deal of Lords Malmsbury[130] and Beauchamp
and their Ladies; Ellis,[131] of the Rolliad, was with them; I like
him much: I gave them a great dinner.

Adieu for the present. Deyverdun is not worse.*

Will you direct Richard Andrews to collect and remitt my year's rent
which is now payable? I suppose he can be trusted, and that you can
authorize him. H.'s departure seems to be a new reason for disposing
of Buriton.

  [130] James, first Earl of Malmesbury, the distinguished
  diplomatist, married Harriet Mary, daughter of Sir G. Amyand,
  Bart.

  [131] George Ellis (1753-1815) is best known for his _Specimens
  of the Early English Poets_ (1790) and his _Specimens of Early
  English Romances in Metre_ (1805). He was, wrote Sir Walter
  Scott, "the first converser I ever saw. His patience and good
  breeding made me often ashamed of myself, going off at score upon
  some favourite topic." To him Scott addresses the lines in the
  fifth canto of _Marmion_, beginning--

    "Thou who canst give to lightest lay
      An unpedantic moral gay," etc.

  He had been employed in diplomatic work by Lord Malmesbury at the
  Hague in 1784, and accompanied him for the same purpose to the
  Lille Conference in 1797. He was at this time travelling on the
  Continent with Lord and Lady Malmesbury. The lines on Pitt in
  Number ii. of the _Rolliad_ are attributed to him--

    "Pert without fire, without experience sage,
    Young, with more art than Shelburne glean'd from age,
    Too proud from pilfer'd greatness to descend,
    Too humble not to call Dundas his friend,
    In solemn dignity and sullen state,
    This new Octavius rises to debate!" etc., etc.



  538.

  _To Lord Sheffield._


  December 31st, 1788.

  [Sidenote: HUGONIN'S DISHONESTY.]

  This moment I receive and answer your Epistle. We are in the
  midst of the hardest winter I ever felt, and three English mails
  are arrived at once this morning. A black prospect indeed of
  public and private affairs, and such is my patriotism that I
  must fairly own the latter are predominant in my thoughts. Is it
  possible that my old friend poor Hugonin should turn out a rogue?
  I thought him both an honest and a frugal man, but the facts you
  mention are strongly against him. Is it possible that his landed
  property, which was considerable, should be insufficient to
  satisfy my demands and those of all his creditors? Is it possible
  that, living retired in the Country, he should have deranged
  his affairs? I still flatter myself that his executors must and
  can repay any sums which he may have _borrowed_ in my name, and
  though there should be some delay, I still hope that, with proper
  steps on your side, there will not finally be much loss. If all
  is indeed desperate down to Hugonin's strange receipt in full, it
  is not a year but a year and a half's rent that I have miserably
  lost, as I had been persuaded or compelled to allow six months'
  grace, and to be satisfied with receiving before Christmas the
  year's rent which had been due the preceding Lady-day. There is
  besides some arrear of rent from the College farms which was due
  at the time of the sale, and which Hugonin has never clearly
  settled. Such a blow, at least of seven or eight hundred pounds,
  will most essentially distress me, and derange those schemes of
  comfort and order which I now thought most firmly established.
  You are my only refuge. Could I hope (I may wish, I must not
  ask) that you would get into your post-chaise in Downing Street
  and run down to Petersfield? Your eagle-eye and active firmness
  would see more and do more in eight and forty hours than all the
  agents and letters in the World. If this be too much, a man of
  confidence (is Purden fit for the commission?) might be sent to
  make a full observation and report of the state of accounts, and
  of the farm at Beriton with respect both to present arrangements
  and final operations. Andrews has a fair character, but an
  Attorney!

  This unforeseen and unfortunate blow encreases my desire of
  getting rid of such dangerous and ungovernable property; and
  from the produce of any sum between 18 and 15,000 pounds I
  could certainly draw a larger and safer income than I enjoy
  at present. But how to proceed. Is Mrs. G. of Bath perfectly
  satisfied? I have not heard from her nor do you mention her name.
  Have you heard of the Northamptonshire Saint? You wait for my
  instructions, I can send none. You are an able and active friend,
  and I shall acquiesce in all you think right, even in the
  auction, which does not thoroughly suit my taste. I should prefer
  a fair Gentlemanlike private address to Bonham either by letter
  or in person. For God's sake, or rather for friendship's sake,
  comfort and extricate me. I am in low spirits. Adieu.

  Ever yours,
  E. G.

  Write soon--I think the earliest and most vigorous steps should
  be taken for making my demand on H.'s executors. Is there no
  allusion between him and the Tenant? if there is would it not
  invalidate his _unusual_ receipt?



  539.

  _To Lord Sheffield._


  Lausanne, Feb. 4th, 1789.

  If Hugonin's debt be desperate I must submit, but there is no
  _imbecillity_ in saying that the loss will derange my plans,
  since I must sell out of the funds to supply the deficiency.
  The amount of my fruitless demand I cannot specify, but you
  may easily make it out by comparing Hugonin's remittances to
  the Goslings with the rent-roll of the Estate. Mrs. G. of Bath
  must doubtless be satisfied and secured in any way and on any
  fund which her prudence or fancy may prefer. You had once dropt
  something of giving _her_ a security on your Estate. That method,
  which could not be attended with any risk or inconvenience to
  yourself, would perhaps be most agreable to all parties. I
  most sincerely hope that the sale may be already dispatched by
  private contract, before the decisive 18th of February. Why
  should you confine yourself to so short a day, since the town is
  equally full in March and April? and you are sensible how much
  the failure of the auction would blast any other operations. Is
  it yet too late for a delay? I mean only of some weeks, for I
  am very desirous of terminating this winter, in the _present_
  prosperous state of the Country: and indeed so desirous that I
  could patiently submit to a much larger abatement, to be at last
  possessed of a much better income free from those accidents and
  deductions to which land is so woefully exposed. You talk of
  £18,000, but if you could not get more than 17 or even 16, I
  might afterwards repent your refusal. I would certainly vest part
  in a mortgage, but I would rather chuse my man and my county, and
  should like to have the security of a larger estate than that
  of Buriton. While such an one was looking for, the part of the
  purchase money not secured to Mrs. G. might lye safely in the
  funds.

  I have not heard from either of the old Ladies, and wish you
  could inform yourself of the state of the Northamptonshire Saint.
  If you will apply to my good friend Lord Spencer, he could easily
  find you a correspondent in that neighbourhood who without noise
  or scandal might send you regular and early notice of her decline
  and fall.--On smaller matters you are too earnest and almost
  angry: the continuance of the foreign papers I could not foresee
  and will try to rectify. Jones's bill, a trifle of about ten
  pounds, I will settle----

  Had I the least idea of the 25 guineas of the Royal society, I
  should not have solicited so useless a title: but the dye is
  now cast, and I will write to Elmsley to satisfy that demand as
  well as the Antiquarian and African. I certainly did not give
  him any orders about newspapers, magazines, &c., as I cannot
  devise any method of getting them in any reasonable time without
  an extravagant expence. Your copiousness on my affairs makes
  you concise on those of the public. The debates and the outside
  transactions I can read in English and foreign papers, but from
  you, as Cicero says to his friend Cœlius (ad familiares, L. ii.
  Ep. 8) _nec præterita nec præsentia, sed ut ab homine longe in
  posterum prospiciente futura exspecto, ut ex tuis litteris, cum
  formam Rei publicæ viderim, quale ædificium futurum sit scire
  possim_. Above all I wish to hear what part you are likely
  yourself to act in the new regency, your hopes, your wishes, and
  whether you intend next winter to breathe the free and pleasant
  air of Lausanne or to tug at the parliamentary and official oar,
  amid the fogs of London.

  [Sidenote: DEYVERDUN'S SECOND ATTACK.]

  Of my book I have not leisure or inclination to talk. Its genuine
  reputation will rise or fall without any regard to the barking
  critics who always attend the heels of any popular work. Two
  translations are printing at Paris, and two English editions in
  Germany. I embrace My lady, &c., and still hold my _intention_
  of writing. Adieu. Severy tells his own story. I believe he is
  a tolerable correspondent. Poor Deyverdun has had another, a
  slighter, attack; he is now better, but I fear that his days will
  be neither long nor happy. A melancholy theme. Once more Adieu.

  E. G.



  540.

  _To his Stepmother._


  Lausanne, February 28th, 1789.

  DEAR MADAM,

  Immediately on my return to this place, I wrote to inform you
  of my safe arrival: but some months have now elapsed without
  hearing from you. I should not have patiently acquiesced under
  this silence, had I not in the mean time obtained, through the
  channel of Mrs. Holroyd and Lord Sheffield, such frequent and
  authentic information as gave me tolerable though not perfect
  satisfaction on the very interesting subject of your health and
  happiness. With regard to my own I have no reason to complain. I
  have supported without inconvenience the short but severe cold of
  this winter; the gout has not yet invaded my tranquillity, and I
  again enjoy the life of society and study which renders Lausanne
  so agreable to my taste. The heaviest drawback is the state of
  poor Deyverdun. Besides a gradual and visible decline he has had
  two strokes of an Apoplexy, and as these dreadful warnings cannot
  teach him a lesson of temperance, his physicians do not allow me
  to entertain a hope of his recovery.

  My desire to get rid of Buriton is much confirmed by a very
  disagreable proof of the danger of distant and landed property.
  Hugonin is just dead, and dead insolvent: his real estate is
  entailed on his brother, his personals will not satisfy his bond
  creditors, and as he had given receipts to my tenants down to
  Michaelmas last, I must lose without hopes of redress the rent
  and arrears of a year and a half. An heavy and unseasonable loss!
  Yet notwithstanding my ardour to shake off the incumbrance, I
  have made it my first condition with Lord Sheffield that in
  the progress of the business he shall obtain not only your
  legal consent, but your free and chearful approbation. Since
  you dislike a mortgage, the security of your jointure may be
  transferred to an adequate part of the purchase money, vested in
  the funds, or if you prefer land I am persuaded that Lord S. will
  not refuse the broad basis of his Sussex estate. May you long
  enjoy an income which I have often wished it were in my power to
  enlarge to the full measure of my affection.

  Let me hear from you soon; if writing be inconvenient, I am
  persuaded that Mrs. or Miss Gould would discharge with pleasure
  the office of secretary.

  I am, Dear Madam,
  Ever yours,
  E. G.



  541.

  _To Lord Sheffield._


  Lausanne, April 25, 1789.

  [Sidenote: THE SALE OF BERITON.]

  *Before your letter, which I received yesterday, I was in the
  anxious situation of a King, who hourly expects a courier from
  his general, with the news of a decisive engagement. I had
  abstained from writing, for fear of dropping a word, or betraying
  a feeling, which might render you too cautious or too bold. On
  the famous 8th of April, between twelve and two, I reflected
  that the business was determined; and each succeeding day I
  computed the speedy approach of your messenger, with favourable
  or melancholy tidings. When I broke the seal I expected to
  read, "What a damned unlucky fellow you are! Nothing tolerable
  was offered, and I indignantly withdrew the estate." I _did_
  remember the fate of poor Lenborough, and I was afraid of your
  magnanimity, &c.* Well, then, I have £16,000 pounds instead of
  Buriton! upon the whole I rejoyce in the exchange, although the
  sum has fallen short of our expectations, and I feel the weight
  of the reasons which kept it down. But if Lord Stawell was the
  only bidder, why in God's name could he not make the same offer
  by private contract, and save me the expences of the Auction,
  which I fear are considerable? Pray who pays the tax, the buyer
  or the seller, and what deduction will occur on the gross sum?

  What I am specially pleased with is the character of the
  purchaser, or rather of his agent, whom I still suppose to be my
  old acquaintance, Mr. Sainsbury, a man of sense, experience, and
  a fair reputation. He was bred an Attorney at Petersfield, knows
  every inch of the estate, and would not have suffered his Lord
  to purchase without having the money, or to give a price above
  the real value. From him we shall have no captious difficulties
  or evasive delays--he will be content with a fair title, and I
  flatter myself that the whole business will be terminated with
  ease and despatch. But as many things fall out between the cup
  and the lip, your friendship I am sure will not be asleep, you
  will goad the slow-paced lawyers, and settle Mrs. G.'s security
  for her jointure in the manner most convenient and agreable for
  herself. By what time do you probably suppose that I may have the
  money in my pocket? It would be generous, too generous perhaps,
  in Lord S. and his agent, if they would make the payment and
  take possession of the estate on your act and guarantee without
  waiting for the return of the writings from Lausanne. I have
  sketched a short paper which you may shew them if you think it
  will be of any use.

  *It is whimsical enough, but it is in human nature, that I now
  begin to think of the deep-rooted foundations of land, and the
  airy fabrick of the funds. I not only consent, but even wish,
  to have eight or ten thousand pounds on a good mortgage; but I
  think the whole of that sum too large for Buriton, and conceive
  that Lord Stawell should reinforce it by some collateral
  security.* How often have I regretted my dear New-river share
  which the Goslings so rudely tore from me. I should not be
  unwilling to repurchase it for the same money, I mean instead of
  the mortgage.--I forgot to say, indeed it is needless, that I
  suppose all proper care has been taken about a deposit, and to
  secure my receipt of the rents till the payment of the money. A
  propos of the rents, half a year is now due since that worthy
  general discharge of last Michaelmas, and I desire that Andrews
  may instantly exact it, it will be a seasonable supply, and if
  Heartfee suffers any inconvenience it will be no more than a just
  punishment for his scandalous and manifest collusion with poor
  Hugonin, whose merits I am more inclined to remember than his
  faults.

  Mrs. G[ibbon] of Cliffe has not answered my letters, and I am
  anxious to learn the state of her health. Her correspondent in
  town is Mr. Law, I know not of what trade, in Sun Court, Cornhill
  or Cheapside: if you call on him in one of your morning walks
  you may gain and transmit some information.--When you see your
  Madeira friends (is not his name Millighan?) of John Street, pray
  thank him in my name; the wine proves excellent, it is a credit
  to my table, and a comfort to my health. I want a pipe that he
  can answer for, and as bottles almost double the expence, I
  think it should be packed carefully in a double cask, and sent
  with all convenient speed to Messieurs Romberg at Ostend, the
  greatest voituriers in Europe: they must be instructed to forward
  it with all proper precaution to their correspondent at Basil or
  Basle in Switzerland, who must keep it safe till he has received
  from me a permit for its admission into the Canton of Berne,
  which I shall be able to send beforehand if Messieurs Romberg
  inform me of his name and direction. For want of such a permit my
  former wine *was seized, and would have been confiscated, if the
  Government of Berne had not treated me with the most flattering
  and distinguished civility: they not only released the wine, but
  they paid out of their own pocket the shares to which the Bailiff
  and the informer were entitled by law. I should not forget that
  the Bailiff refused to accept of his part.

  Poor Deyverdun's constitution is quite broken; he has had two or
  three attacks, not so violent as the first: every time the door
  is hastily opened, I expect to hear of some fatal accident: the
  best or worst hopes of the Physicians are only that he may linger
  some time longer; but, if he lives till the summer, they propose
  sending him to some mineral waters at Aix, in Savoy. You will
  be glad to hear that I am now assured of possessing, during my
  life, this delightful house and garden. The act has been _lately_
  executed in the best form, and the handsomest manner.

  [Sidenote: RECOVERY OF GEORGE III.]

  I know not what to say of your miracles at home: we rejoyce in
  the king's recovery, and its ministerial consequences; and I
  cannot be insensible to the hope, at least the chance, of seeing
  in this Country a first Lord of trade, or Secretary at War. In
  your answer, which I shall impatiently expect, you will give me
  a full and true account of your designs, which by this time must
  have droppt, or be determined at least, for the present year. If
  you come, it is high time that we should look out for a house--a
  task much less easy than you may possibly imagine.*

  I embrace My Lady with warm affection, and still cherish the
  firm intention of writing to her soon. But the Dame pays more
  attention to the Epistles which she does not, than to those
  which she does, receive. At her request Madame de Severy wrote
  her a long letter about the two _Tufts_ and many other important
  matters, and Mademoiselle at my desire added a scrap for
  Mademoiselle. They begin to wonder at her silence, and accuse
  the negligence of the post. By her correspondence with Severy I
  rejoyce to find that the clouds are dispelled, and hope that she
  leads Maria into the winter pleasures of the World.

  *Among new books, I recommend to you the Count de Mirabeau's
  great work, _sur la Monarchie Prussienne_;[132] it is in your own
  way, and gives a very just and compleat idea of that wonderful
  machine. His _Correspondence secrette_ is diabolically good.
  Adieu. Ever yours.*

  [132] _De la monarchie Prussienne sous Frédéric le Grand_
  (1788, 4^o); and _Histoire Secrète de la Cour de Berlin, ou
  Correspondance d'un voyageur Français_ (1789, 8^o). Both books
  were by Honoré Gabriel Riquetti, Comte de Mirabeau.



542.

_To Lord Sheffield._


  Lausanne, June 13, 1789.

*You are in truth a wise, active, indefatigable, and inestimable
friend; and as our virtues are often connected with our faults, if
you were more tame and placid, you would be perhaps of less use
and value. A very important and difficult transaction seems to be
nearly terminated with success and mutual satisfaction: we seem to
run before the wind with a prosperous gale; and, unless we should
strike on some secret rocks, which I do not foresee, we shall, on or
before the 31st July, enter the harbour of content; though I cannot
pursue the metaphor by adding we shall _land_, since our operation
is of the very opposite tendency. I could not easily forgive myself
for shutting you up in a dark room with parchments and attornies,
did I not reflect that this probably is the last material trouble
that you will ever have on my account; and that, after the labours
and delays of near twenty years, I shall at last attain what I have
always sighed for, a clear and competent income, above my wants, and
equal to my wishes. In this contemplation you will be sufficiently
rewarded. I hope Sainsbury will be content with our title-deeds, for
I cannot furnish another shred of parchment.*

[Sidenote: ANXIETY FOR HIS STEPMOTHER.]

What difficulty can arise about our family Wills? My father made
none, and I took out letters of administration as heir at law: my
grandfather's may be found at the Commons for a shilling: but it is
not worth that shilling, since I joyned on coming of age with my
father to cut off the entail. Our fine and recovery (in the year
1758) are doubtless registered in the proper courts. I as little
understand the want of my father's marriage settlement. With his
first wife? she has been dead above forty years, and I am her sole
representative. With his second, the present Mrs. Gibbon? From her it
may be easily procured, and you are not ignorant that *her jointure
of £200 a year is secured on the Buriton estate, and that her legal
consent is requisite for the sale. Again and again I must repeat my
hope that she is perfectly satisfied, and that the close of her life
may not be embittered by suspicion, or fear, or discontent. What new
security does she prefer,--the funds, the mortgage, or your land?
At all events she must be made easy. I wrote to her again some time
ago, and begged that if she were too weak to write, she would desire
Mrs. Gould or Mrs. Holroyd to give me a line concerning her state of
health. To this no answer; I am afraid she is displeased.* By the
channel of Mrs. H. you might convey some idea of my _real_ anxiety.

The Saint seems ripe for heaven: could you not learn from Law,
what people are about her, and what measures can be taken to have
the earliest intelligence of her departure to prevent a Will being
secreted, &c.? Yet I am her heir-at-law.

*Now for the disposal of the money: I approve of the £8000 mortgage
on Buriton; and honour your prudence in not showing them, by the
comparison of the rent and interest, how foolish it is to purchase
land.* If you can obtain from Lord S[tawell] the four and a half,
_tant mieux_. In case you cannot, I will suggest an odd but I think
a rational scheme. Let four and a half, or rather five per cent.
be stipulated in the mortgage deed, with a proviso in a separate
act that, as long as the interest shall be paid on or before the
day appointed, I will be satisfied with four per cent. As long as
Lord S. is punctual (and this will be a stimulus) he will pay no
more; and should I ever be forced by his neglect to transfer the
mortgage, which will, I suppose, be in my power, I shall easily find
a substitute at the advanced interest. For how many years do I lend?
Do I reserve a right of putting in my own receiver? Six thousand more
will be vested in the three per cents, and if Mrs. G. chuses them,
that sum will not be too large a basis for her jointure of £200 a
year. The additional hundred which I pay her is a separate account.
The remainder, between two and three thousand, may be trusted to
private security.

Did you wish for the whole, or part, or more? it is perfectly at your
service; but as you are indifferent, I write to you in the third
person.

"I have some knowledge of the Lord Sheffield whom you mention, and
though he is poor, I believe him to be honest, and I should therefore
prefer his four and a half regularly paid at Gosling's, without
trouble or application, to a more doubtful five per cent. which might
perhaps be found on bond security."

But I had rather wait some weeks before I absolutely determine, as
*there is a chance of my drawing the greatest part of the sum into
this country, for an arrangement which you yourself must approve,
but which I have not time to explain at present. For the sake of
dispatching, by this evening's post, an answer to your letter which
arrived this morning, I confine myself to the _needful_, but in the
course of a few days I _will_ dictate to Severy a more familiar
Epistle. I embrace, &c. Adieu. Ever yours.*



543.

_To Lord Sheffield._


  Lausanne, July 14, 1789.

[Sidenote: DEATH OF DEYVERDUN.]

*Poor Deyverdun is no more: He expired Saturday the 4th instant:
and in his unfortunate situation, death could only be viewed by
himself, and his friend, in the light of a consummation devoutly to
be wished for. Since September he has had a dozen Apoplectic strokes,
more or less violent: in the intervals between them his strength
gradually decayed; every principle of life was exhausted; and had
he continued to drag a miserable existence, he must probably have
survived the loss of his faculties. Of all misfortunes this was what
he himself most apprehended: but his reason was clear and calm to the
last; he beheld his approaching dissolution with the firmness of a
philosopher. I fancied that time and reflection had prepared me for
the event; but the habits of three-and-thirty years' friendship are
not so easily broken. The first days, and more especially the first
nights, were indeed painful. Last Wednesday and Saturday it would
not have been in my power to write. I must now recollect myself,
since it is necessary for me not only to impart the news, but to ask
your opinion on a very serious and doubtful question, which must be
decided without loss of time. I shall state the facts, but as I am
on the spot and as new lights may occur, I do not promise implicit
obedience.

Had my poor friend died without a Will, a female _first_ cousin
settled somewhere in the north of Germany, and whom I believe he had
never seen, would have been his heir at law. In the next degree he
had several cousins; and one of these, an old companion, by name Mr.
de Montagny, he has chosen for his heir. As this house and garden
was the best and clearest part of poor Deyverdun's fortune; as there
is an heavy duty or fine (what they call _Lods_) on every change of
property out of the legal descent; as Montagny has a small estate
and a large family, it was necessary to make some provision in his
favour. The will therefore leaves me the option of enjoying this
place during my life, on paying the sum of £250 (I reckon in English
money) at present, and an annual rent of £30; or else of purchasing
the house and garden for a sum which, including the duty, will amount
to £2500. If I value the rent of £30 at twelve years' purchase, I
may acquire my enjoyment for life at about the rate of £600; and
the remaining £1900 will be the difference between that tenure and
absolute perpetual property. As you have never accused me of too
ardent a zeal for the interest of posterity, you will easily guess
which scale at first preponderated. I deeply felt the advantage of
acquiring, for the smaller sum, every possible enjoyment, as long as
I myself should be capable of enjoying: I rejected, with scorn, the
idea of giving £1900 for ideal posthumous property; and I deemed it
of little moment whose name, after my death, should be inscribed on
my house and garden at Lausanne. How often did I repeat to myself the
philosophical lines of Pope, which seem to determine the question:

  Pray Heaven, cries Swift, it last as you go on;
  I wish to God this house had been your own.
  Pity to build without or son or wife:
  Why, you'll enjoy it _only_ all your life.
  Well, if the use be mine, does it concern one,
  Whether the name belong to Pope or Vernon?

In this state of self-satisfaction I was not much disturbed by the
unanimous advice of all my real or nominal friends, who exhort me to
prefer the right of purchase: among such friends, some are careless
and some are ignorant; and the judgment of those, who are able
and willing to form an opinion, is often byassed by some selfish
or social affection, by some visible or invisible interest. But my
own reflections have gradually and forcibly driven me from my first
propensity; and those reflections I will now proceed to enumerate:

1. I can make this purchase with ease and prudence. As I have had the
pleasure of _not_ hearing from you very lately, I flatter myself that
you advance on a carpet-road, and that almost by the receipt of this
letter (July the 31st) the acres of Buriton will be transmuted into
Sixteen thousand pounds: If the payment be not absolutely compleated
by that day, Sainsbury will not scruple, I suppose, depositing the
£2500 at Gosling's, to meet my draught. Should he hesitate, I can
desire Darrel to sell off _quantum sufficit_ of my short annuities.
As soon as the new settlement of my affairs is made, I shall be able,
after deducting this sum, to square my expence to my income.* The
decay of the Belvidere[133] _must_ place me in easy, and the bounty
of the Cliffe[134] _may_ establish me in affluent circumstance. If
this Lausanne purchase should seem a violent measure, at the worst
I can make Cadell repay me the money in three or four years. I am
revolving the means. I am beginning to be a rich man.

*2. On mature consideration, I am perhaps less selfish or less
philosophical than I appear at first sight: Indeed, were I not so,
it would now be in my power to turn my fortune into life-annuities,
and let the Devil take the hindmost. I feel, (perhaps it is foolish,)
but I feel that this little paradise will please me still more
when it is absolutely my own; and that I shall be encouraged in
every improvement of use or beauty, by the prospect that, after my
departure, it will be enjoyed by some person of my own choice. I
sometimes reflect with pleasure that my writings will survive me: and
that idea is at least as vain and chimerical.

[Sidenote: "FIERCE AND ERECT, A FREE MASTER."]

3. The heir, Mr. de Montagny, is an old acquaintance* of mine. I
_believe_ him to be a man of honour: but I _know_ him to be a man
of a passionate quarrelsome disputatious temper. *My situation of a
life-holder is rather new and singular in this country: the laws have
not provided for many nice cases which may arise between the Landlord
and tenant: some I can foresee, others have been suggested, many
more I might feel when it would be too late. His right of property
might plague and confine me: he might forbid my lending to a friend,
inspect my conduct, check my improvements, call for securities,
repairs, &c. But if I purchase, I walk on my own terrace, fierce and
erect, the free master of one of the most delicious spots on the
Globe.*

4. You will perhaps think £2500 a very smart price for a moderate
house and three or four acres of land (I fancy that is about the
measure). You will be much more surprized to hear that poor Deyverdun
has valued it in my favour at least £1000 below the real value and
market price. Of this I must inform myself more correctly, but I
am much inclined to believe it, from the general opinion, from the
comparison of other sales and purchases, from the peculiar merits of
the situation, and from the scarcity of ground. If it were divided
into three houses and gardens and sold to builders, I know not what
it would produce.

*Should I ever migrate homewards, (You stare, but such an event is
less improbable than I could have thought it two years ago,) this
place would be disputed by strangers and natives, and the difference
would perhaps clear the expences of my removal.

Weigh these reasons, and send me without delay a rational, explicit
opinion, to which I shall pay such regard as the nature of
circumstances will allow. But, alas! when all is determined, I shall
possess this house, by whatsoever tenure, without friendship or
domestic society. I did not imagine, six years ago, that a plan of
life so congenial to my wishes, would so speedily vanish. I cannot
write upon any other subject. Adieu, yours ever.*

  [133] His stepmother, Mrs. Gibbon.

  [134] His aunt, Miss Hester Gibbon.



544.

_To Lord Sheffield._


  July 22nd, 1789.

Am I not an exact man! The power is executed, attested, and
dispatched the same day (July 22) on which it was received. The
appearance of liberality confirms my belief that we are transacting
with a fair willing purchaser, and inclines me to hope that the small
defects of deeds will be supplied or excused. Surely a great part of
our strict formalities is calculated for the emolument of the lawyers
rather than the security of the parties. In this simple country
we are far less rigid, and a quiet possession of some years (all
mortgages are registered) is admitted as a sufficient title. But at
all events, as this letter will not reach you before the third or
fourth of next month, I see that the day of payment will be postponed
beyond the 31st of July. Before this time you will have received,
weighed and answered my important missive of the 15th. I am still in
a state of doubt and suspense from which your opinion may possibly
relieve me, but I must know whether, in case of farther delay,
Sainsbury will advance the £2500, or rather £2800, and whether I may
draw on the Goslings, from whom I must never expect any favour.

You say nothing of the Belvidere. Have you her legal acquiescence?
What security has she chosen? I think she cannot last very long,
but I should be hurt if her last days were embittered by any fears
or scruples. As to the money destined for the funds you had better
consult with David. He is friendly and knowing.

I embrace my lady, but no longer dare talk of writing to her. Maria
must now be in all the glories of Lewes races. At Severy's we often
talk of the _famille_. I rejoyce in the Douglas match: it is just
such a wife as I should chuse,[135] but I hope she will still live
with her father.--Is your picture on the road? Mine shall set out
whenever you please. Are you not amazed at the French revolution?
They have the power, will they have the moderation to establish a
good constitution? Adieu.

  Ever yours,
  E. G.

  [135] It may be mentioned that Lord Sheffield married, in
  January, 1798, as his third wife, Lady Anne North, daughter of
  the Earl of Guilford, and sister of Lady Catherine Douglas.



545.

_To Lord Sheffield._


  Lausanne, July 25th, 1789.

[Sidenote: DEFECTIVE TITLE TO BERITON.]

*After receiving and dispatching the power of attorney, last
Wednesday, I opened, with some palpitation, the unexpected missive
which arrived this morning. The perusal of the contents spoiled my
breakfast: they are disagreeable in themselves, alarming in their
consequences, and peculiarly unpleasant at the present moment, when
I hoped to have formed and secured the arrangements of my future
life. I do not perfectly understand what are these deeds which are
so inflexibly required; the wills and marriage-settlements I have
sufficiently answered. But your arguments do not convince Sainsbury,
and I have very little hope from the Lenborough search. What will
be the event? If his objections are only the result of legal
scrupulosity, surely they might be removed, and every chink might be
filled, by a general bond of indemnity, in which I boldly ask you
to joyn, as it will be a substantial important act of friendship,
without any possible risk to yourself or your successors. Should
he still remain obdurate, I must believe what I already suspect,
that Lord Stawell repents of his purchase, and wishes to elude the
conclusion. Our case would be then hopeless, _Ibi omnis effusus
labor_, and the Estate would be returned on our hands with the taint
of a bad title. The refusal of mortgage does not please me; but
surely our offer shows some confidence in the goodness of my title.
If he will not take £8000 at _four per cent._ we must look out
elsewhere; new doubts and delays will arise, and I am persuaded that
you will not place an implicit confidence in Woodcock or any other
Attorney. I know not as yet your opinion about my Lausanne purchase.

If you are against it, the present posture of affairs gives you
great advantage, &c., &c.* The purchase money of Buriton will not be
paid in time. Sainsbury, if false, will not advance a shilling, and
with the prospect of living or rather starving on a landed estate,
I cannot afford to sell out £2500 of my short annuities. For my own
part I hang in suspense, but if the money could be easily found I
rather incline to the _property_ as simple and beneficial.

I am ignorant of your picture: mine shall depart by the first proper
occasion: but should not some precautions be taken with regard to
duties? the importation of foreign pictures is heavily taxed, but a
work of Sir Joshua's may surely return home.

*The Severys are all well; an uncommon circumstance for the four
persons of the family at once. They are now at Mex (pronounce May), a
country-house six miles from hence, which I visit to-morrow for two
or three days: they often come to town, and we shall contrive to pass
a part of the Autumn together at Rolle. I want to change the scene;
and beautiful as the garden and prospect must appear to every eye,
I feel that the state of my own mind casts a gloom over them; every
spot, every walk, every bench, recalls the memory of those hours,
of those conversations, which will return no more. But I tear myself
from the subject. I could not help writing to-day, though I do not
find I have said any thing very material. As you must be conscious
that you have agitated me, you will not postpone any agreeable, or
even _decisive_ intelligence. I almost hesitate, whether I shall not
run over to England, to consult with you on the spot, and to fly
from poor Deyverdun's shade, which meets me at every turn. I did not
expect to have felt it so sharply. But six hundred miles! why are we
so far off?

Once more, what is the difficulty of the title? Will men of sense,
in a sensible Country, never get rid of the tyranny of lawyers? more
oppressive and ridiculous than even the old yoke of the Clergy. Is
not a term of seventy or eighty years, near twenty in my own person,
sufficient to prove our legal possession? Will not the record of
fines and recoveries attest that _I_ am free from any bar of entails
and settlements? Consult some Sage of the Law, whether their present
demand be necessary and legal. If our ground be firm, force them to
execute the agreement or forfeit the deposit. But if, as I much fear,
they have a right, and a wish, to elude the consummation, would it
not be better to release them at once, than to be hung up five years,
as in the case of Lovegrove, which cost me in the end four or five
thousand pounds? You are bold, you are wise; consult, resolve, act.

In my penultimate letter I dropped a strange hint, that a migration
homeward was not impossible. I know not what to say; my mind is all
afloat; yet you will not reproach me with caprice or inconstancy.
How many years did you damn my scheme of retiring to Lausanne! I
executed that plan; I found as much happiness as is compatible with
human nature, and during four years (1783-1787) I never breathed a
sigh of repentance. On my return from England the scene was changed:
I found only a faint semblance of Deyverdun, and that semblance was
each day fading from my sight. I have passed an anxious year, but my
anxiety is now at an end, and the prospect before me is a melancholy
solitude. I am still deeply rooted in this country; the possession
of this paradise, the friendship of the Severys, a mode of society
suited to my taste, and the enormous trouble and _expence_ of a
migration. Yet in England (when the present clouds are dispelled) I
could form a very comfortable establishment in London, or rather at
Bath; and I have a very noble country-seat about ten miles from East
Grinstead in Sussex.[136] That spot is dearer to me than the rest of
the three kingdoms; and I have sometimes wondered how two men, so
opposite in their tempers and pursuits, should have imbibed so long
and lively a propensity for each other.

[Sidenote: IDEA OF ADOPTING CHARLOTTE PORTEN.]

Sir Stanier Porten[137] is just dead. He has left his widow with a
small pension, and two children, my nearest relations: the eldest,
Charlotte, is about Louisa's age, and one of the most amiable,
sensible young creatures I ever saw. I have conceived a romantic idea
of educating and adopting her; as we descend into the vale of years,
our infirmities require some domestic female society: Charlotte would
be the comfort of my age, and I could reward her care and tenderness
with a decent fortune. A thousand difficulties oppose the execution
of this plan, which I have never opened but to you; yet it would
be less impracticable in England than in Switzerland. Adieu. I am
wounded, pour some oil into my wounds: Yet I am less unhappy since I
have thrown my mind upon paper. Adieu, ever yours.*

  [136] Alluding to Sheffield Place.

  [137] Sir S. Porten died June 7, 1789.



546.

_To Lord Sheffield._


  Lausanne, Sept. 9, 1789.

*Within an hour after the reception of your last, I drew my pen for
the purpose of a reply, and my exordium ran in the following words:
"I find by experience, that it is much more rational, as well as
easy, to answer a letter of real business by the return of the post."
This important truth is again verified by my own example. After
writing three pages I was called away by a very rational motive,
and the post departed before I could return to the conclusion. A
second delay was coloured by some decent pretence: three weeks have
slipped away, and I now force myself on a task, which I should have
dispatched without an effort on the first summons. My only excuse
is, that I had little to write about English business, and that I
could write nothing definitive about my Swiss affairs. And first, as
Aristotle says, of the first,

1. I was indeed in low spirits when I sent what you so justly
style my dismal letter; but I do assure you, that my own feelings
contributed much more to sink me, than any events or terrors relative
to the sale of Buriton. But I again hope and trust, from your
consolatory epistle, that* the purchasers are willing and honest,
that the deeds have been produced or excused, and that on or before
the reception of this despatch (alas, it will be the 23rd perhaps of
September) the money has been paid. In all this I must be passive,
but with regard to Mrs. Gibbon's, before it is again vested, I am
sure she will be satisfied with your security, as mine on the stock
which I already hold would require new powers of Attorney, and must
be productive of fresh delay. But it is a whimsical circumstance in
my fate, that I happen to receive the largest sum which can ever fall
to my lot at the time, when money is the most plenty and consequently
bears the lowest value, when good mortgages are so difficult to be
found, and when the funds scarcely yield four per cent. interest. I
wish Lord Stawell would take the £8000 on Buriton even at four per
cent., perhaps his proud stomach may be come down. Should he still
disdain it, I listen with pleasure and gratitude to the proposal of
your Yorkshire mortgage on the same terms, though in general it is
more advisable for friends to abstain from any pecuniary concerns
with each other. If you no longer adhere to that idea, some sound
good mortgage, if possible in a register county, must be found, and
I would even stretch the loan to £10,000, in which case my property
would be nearly divided between landed and monied security without
reckoning my copper share or my poor annuity in the French funds. In
the meanwhile, that the portion destined to the mortgage may not lye
dead, I suppose with you that there is nothing more commodious than
India-bonds. Will you consult Darrel?

[Sidenote: LIFE-INTEREST IN DEYVERDUN'S HOUSE.]

*2. My Swiss transaction has suffered a great alteration. I shall
not become the proprietor of my house and garden at Lausanne, and
I relinquish the fantom with more regret than you could easily
imagine. But I have been determined by a difficulty, which at first
appeared of little moment, but which has gradually swelled to an
alarming magnitude. There is a law in this country, as well as in
some provinces of France, which is styled "_le droit de retrait, le
retrait lignager_" (Lord Loughborough must have heard of it), by
which the relations of the deceased are entitled to redeem an house
or estate at the price for which it has been sold; and as the sum
fixed by poor Deyverdun is much below its known value, a crowd of
competitors are beginning to start. The best opinions (for they are
divided) are in my favour, that I am not subject to "_the droit de
retrait_," since I take not as a purchaser, but as a legatee. But
the words of the Will are somewhat ambiguous, the event of law is
always uncertain, the administration of justice at Berne (the last
appeal) depends too much on favour and intrigue; and it is very
doubtful whether I could revert to the life-holding, after having
chosen and lost the property. These considerations engaged me to open
a negotiation with Mr. de Montagny, through the medium of my friend
the Judge; and as he most ardently wishes to keep the house, he
consented, though with some reluctance, to my proposals. Yesterday he
signed a covenant in the most regular and binding form, by which he
allows my power of transferring my interest, interprets in the most
ample sense my right of making alterations, and expressly renounces
all claim, as landlord, of visiting or inspecting the premisses. I
have promised to lend him 12,000 Livres, (between seven and eight
hundred pounds), secured on the house and land. The mortgage is four
times its value; the interest at four per cent. will be annually
discharged by the rent of thirty guineas, and I shall have an
additional hold on his good behaviour. So that I am now tranquil
on that score for the remainder of my days. I hope that time will
gradually reconcile me to the place which I have inhabited with
my poor friend; for in spite of the _cream_ of London, I am still
persuaded that no other residence is so well adapted to my taste and
habits of studious and social life.

Far from delighting in the whirl of a Metropolis, my only complaint
against Lausanne is the great number of strangers, always of
English, and now of French, by whom we are infested in summer. Yet
we have escaped the _damned_ great ones, the Count d'Artois,[138]
the Polignacs,[139] &c. who slip by us to Turin. What a scene is
France! While the assembly is voting abstract propositions, Paris is
an independent Republic; the provinces have neither authority nor
freedom, and poor Necker[140] declares that credit is no more, and
that the people refuse to pay taxes. Yet I think you must be seduced
by the abolition of tythes. If Eden goes to Paris you may have some
curious _confidential_ information. Give me some account of Mr. and
Mrs. Douglas; do they live with Lord North? I hope they do. When will
parliament be dissolved? Are you still Coventry mad? I embrace My
Lady, the stately Maria, and the smiling Louisa. Alas! Alas! you will
never come to Switzerland. Adieu, ever yours.*

  [138] The Comte d'Artois (1757-1836), brother of Louis XVI., and
  afterwards Charles X., was one of the earliest _émigrés_.

  [139] Yolande Martine Gabrielle de Polastron, Duchesse de
  Polignac (1749-1793), was the most intimate friend of Marie
  Antoinette. To her and her royal mistress public opinion
  attributed many of the worst evils of the monarchy. When the
  daughter of the duchess married the Duc de Guiche (afterwards
  Duc de Grammont), the king gave the bride a dower of 800,000
  _livres_. "Mille écus," said Mirabeau, "à la famille d'Assas
  pour avoir sauvé l'État, un million à la famille de Polignac
  pour l'avoir perdu." (The Chevalier d'Assas lost his life in an
  heroic action at Klostercamp, October 15-16, 1760. The Government
  of Louis XV. allowed him to go unrewarded. Louis XVI., at the
  instigation of Marie Antoinette, conferred on his family a
  perpetual pension of 1000 _livres_.) The duchess emigrated with
  her husband shortly after the taking of the Bastille. She died at
  Vienna in December, 1793, her death being, it is said, hastened
  by the murder of Marie Antoinette. Her second son, afterwards
  Prince de Polignac, was the favourite minister of Charles X.

  [140] Necker was dismissed July 11, 1789, and ordered to quit the
  kingdom.



547.

_To Lord Sheffield._


  Lausanne, Sept. 25th, 1789.

  *Alas! what perils do environ
  The man who meddles with cold iron.

Alas! what delays and difficulties do attend the man who meddles
with legal and landed business! yet if it be only to disappoint
your expectation, I am not so very nervous at this new provoking
obstacle. I had totally forgotten the deed in question, which was
contrived by the two trustees to tye his hands and regulate the
disorder of his affairs (in the last year of my father's life); and
which might have been so easily cancelled by Sir Stanier, who had
not the smallest interest in it, either for himself or his family.
The amicable suit which is now become necessary must, I think, be
short and unambiguous, yet I cannot help dreading the crotchets that
lurk under the Chancellor's great wig; and, at all events, I foresee
some additional delay and expence. The golden pill of the £2800 has
soothed my discontent; and if it be safely lodged with the Goslings,
I agree with you in considering it as an unequivocal pledge of a fair
and willing purchaser. It is, indeed, chiefly in that light that
I now rejoyce in so large a deposit, which is no longer necessary
in its full extent. You are apprized by my last letter that I have
reduced myself to the life enjoyment of the house and garden, and,
in spite of my feelings, I am every day more convinced that I have
chosen the safer side. I believe my cause to have been good, but it
was doubtful: law in this country is not so expensive as in England,
but it is more troublesome. I must have gone to Bern, have solicited
my Judges in person--a vile custom! the event was doubtful, and
during at least two years, I should have been in a state of suspense
and anxiety: till the conclusion of which it would have been madness
to have attempted any alteration or improvement.

According to my present arrangement I shall want no more than eleven
hundred pounds of the £2000, and I suppose you will direct Gosling
to lay out the remainder in East India bonds, that it may not lye
quite dead, while I am accountable to Sainsbury for the interest.*
I presume that I am entitled till the consummation to the rents
of Buriton: a little drop of honey is collected from Lady-day to
Michaelmas, and Andrews is I hope instructed to squeeze the bag
without delay or mercy: the Tenant deserves none.

[Sidenote: THE AUTHORITY OF BLACKSTONE.]

*The elderly Lady in a male habit, who informed me that Yorkshire is
a register County, is a certain Judge, one Sir William Blackstone,
whose name you may possibly have heard. After stating the danger
of purchasers and creditors, with regard to the title of estates
on which they lay out or lend their money, he thus continues: "In
Scotland every act and event regarding the transmission of property
is regularly entered on record; And some of our own provincial
divisions, particularly the _extended county of York_ and the
populous county of Middlesex, have prevailed with the Legislature to
erect such registers in their respective districts." (Blackstone's
Commentaries, Vol. ii. p. 343, Edition of 1774, in quarto.) If I am
mistaken, it is in pretty good company; but I suspect that we are all
right, and that the register is confined to one or two Ridings. As we
have, alas! two or three months before us, I should hope that your
prudent sagacity will discover some sound land, in case you should
not have time to arrange your own Mortgage.

I now write in a hurry, as I am just setting out for Rolle, where I
shall be settled with cook and servants in a pleasant apartment till
the middle of November. The Severys have a house there, where they
pass the Autumn. I am not sorry to vary the scene for a few weeks,
and I wish to be absent while some alterations are making in my house
at Lausanne. I wish the change of air may be of service to Severy
the father, but we do not at all like his present state of health.
How compleatly, alas, how compleatly! could I now lodge you: but
your firm resolve of making me a visit seems to have vanished like
a dream. Next summer you will not find five hundred pounds for a
rational friendly expedition: and should parliament be dissolved, you
will perhaps find five thousand for ****. I cannot think of it with
patience. Pray take serious strenuous measures for sending me a pipe
of excellent Madeira in cask, with some dozens of Malmsey Madeira. It
should be consigned to Messrs. Romberg, Voituriers, at Ostend, and I
must have timely notice of its march. We have so much to say about
France, that I suppose we shall never say anything. That country is
now in a state of _dissolution_. Adieu.*



548.

_To his Stepmother._


  Lausanne, December 5th, 1789.

  MY DEAR MADAM,

I need not repeat what we have both so often felt and acknowledged,
that between us silence is never the effect of coldness or
forgetfulness, yet when I recollect that your second letter is
still unanswered, a conscious blush rises to my cheek. Our mutual
friendship we have no occasion to express, of our health and
situation we may have frequent accounts by the channel of Lord
Sheffield and Mrs. Holroyd; mere topics of Epistolary conversation
do not readily occur between distant friends, but you ask me some
questions of an interesting nature and your kind curiosity it is
incumbent on me to satisfy.

The disposal of Buriton I think you cannot disapprove. A distant
landed estate is the worst kind of property, and you will not be
surprized to hear that after the payment of every expence and every
deduction, the remainder of the clear income was little more than
sufficient for the annual supply, which I hope will be long, very
long, offered to the Belvidere at Bath. The neglect, I will not
give it an harsher name, of Hugonin cost me last year above seven
hundred pounds; yet after his death, where could I have found a more
creditable agent? At sixteen thousand pounds Lord Sheffield does not
think Buriton ill sold, especially as four or five thousand more
must be added which I had already received from the sale of Horn and
Harris's farms. Some forms of law have delayed the final conclusion,
but I expect to hear every post of the payment of the money, and
you will rejoyce to hear, what I assure on my honour is true, that
every shilling is my own, and that prudence, without any pressure of
distress or debt, is the sole motive of my conduct. The entire sum I
mean to divide between the stocks and a good mortgage, that at all
events I may have a sound leg to stand upon. I hope you are satisfied
with the arrangement of your jointure: Lord Sheffield cannot forget
the burthen of every one of my letters, "Unless Mrs. G. be safe and
easy, I cannot be so."

[Sidenote: IRREPARABLE LOSS OF A FRIEND.]

When I had the pleasure of seeing you at Bath two years ago, you may
remember the melancholy account which I gave you of poor Deyverdun.
On my return to Lausanne I found him much altered for the worse; he
was attacked by a succession of Apoplectic fits, and after a general
decay, he died last July, when his life could be no longer desirable
for himself or his friends. The loss of a friend of five and thirty
years is irreparable, and each day I feel the comfortless solitude
to which I am reduced. By his will he designed that I should possess
the delightful house and garden which I inhabit: and which have not,
I believe, their equal in Europe; by a subsequent arrangement with
his heir, in which both find their advantage, I have secured the
free and indisputable enjoyment for my life, and have already made
some agreable and useful alterations. I still like the people and
the country, and here I shall probably spend the latter season of
life, with the resolution however of visiting England every three or
four years. I have often regretted that your imperfect knowledge of
the French language never allowed me to seduce you to this place. I
am sure you would have pleased and been pleased in the circle of my
familiar acquaintance.

My health was never so good as it is at present, and since my
unseasonable attack at Bath I have not felt the slightest return
of the gout. You may possibly hear that Mr. Gibbon has undertaken
some new history; be persuaded, if I know his intentions, that
after six weighty quartos, he now reads and writes for his own
amusement, though I will not answer for what those amusements may
one day produce. You may likewise hear of tumults and rebellions in
Switzerland. Be persuaded, that the popular madness of France and
Flanders has not reached these tranquil regions, and that the Swiss
have sense enough to feel and maintain their own happiness, which is
endeared to them by the disorders of the neighbouring countries.

Adieu, Dear Madam; I grieve for you and for myself that we are now
entering into the cold and dreary season, but I sincerely hope that
you will find strength and spirits to lay this and many other winters
at your feet.

  Ever yours,
  E. G.



549.

_To Lord Sheffield._


  Lausanne, December 15th, 1789.

*You have often reason to accuse my strange silence and neglect in
the most important of _my own_ affairs; for I will presume to assert,
that in a business of yours of equal consequence, you should not
find me cold or careless. But on the present occasion my silence
is, perhaps, the highest compliment I ever paid you. You remember
the answer of Philip of Macedon: "Philip may sleep, while he knows
that Parmenio is awake." I expected, and, to say the truth, I wished
that my Parmenio would have decided and acted, without expecting my
dilatory answer, and in his decision I should have acquiesced with
implicit confidence. But since you will have my opinion, let us
consider the present state of my affairs. In the course of my life
I have often known, and sometimes felt, the difficulty of getting
money, but I now find myself involved in a much more singular
distress, the difficulty of placing it, and if it continues much
longer, I shall almost wish for my land again.

I perfectly agree with you, that it is bad management to purchase
in the funds when they do not yield four per cent.,* and I incline
every day more and more to the encrease of the mortgage. I am much
mistaken if in my last letter I did not extend the sum as £10,000
pounds, which would make, as I remember to have said, about an
equal partition of my property. Can that sum be called, even in
your wealthy island, so very inconsiderable? I would even give
somewhat larger latitude (even as far as £12,000 if I preserve a
right of calling in a fourth or a moiety on reasonable notice). Is
it possible that in seven or eight months no good and clear security
can be found, especially if I am forced to be content with the
scanty interest of four per cent.? Yet I approve your diffidence and
caution: in the concerns of our friends even cowardice is a virtue.
The doubtful title of a mortgage might distress and perplex me for
the remainder of my life, and you would not easily forgive yourself
for having been the innocent author of my calamities. Rather than
expose myself to such a risk, I would try whether some _great_ banker
would not be disposed to give low interest and firm security for my
money till it should be called for, or at all events I would deposit
it in the Bank for six months or a year, and live on the principal
till you could find an unquestionable opportunity of placing it
on landed property. *Some of this money I can place safely and
advantageously by means of my banker here; and I shall possess, what
I have always desired, a command of cash, which I cannot abuse to
my prejudice, since I have it in my power to supply by my pen any
extraordinary or fanciful indulgence of expence. And so much--much,
indeed--for pecuniary matters.

[Sidenote: GLORIOUS OPPORTUNITY OF FRANCE.]

What would you have me say of the affairs of France? we are too
near, and too remote, to form an accurate judgment of that wonderful
scene. The abuses of the court and government called aloud for
reformation; and it has happened, as it will always happen, that an
innocent, well-disposed prince has paid the forfeits of the sins
of his predecessors; of the ambition of the Lewis XIV., of the
profusion of Lewis XV. The French nation had a glorious opportunity,
but they have abused, and may lose their advantages. If they had
been content with a liberal translation of our system, if they had
respected the prerogatives of the crown, and the privileges of the
Nobles, they might have raised a solid fabric, on the only true
foundation, the natural Aristocracy of a great Country. How different
is the prospect! Their King brought a captive to Paris, after his
palace had been stained with the blood of his guards; the Nobles
in exile; the Clergy plundered in a way which strikes at the root
of all property; the capital an independent Republic; the union of
the provinces dissolved; the flames of discord kindled by the worst
of men; (in that light I consider Mirabeau;) and the honestest of
the Assembly a set of wild Visionaries, (like our Dr. Price,[141])
who gravely debate, and dream about the establishment of a pure
and perfect democracy of five-and-twenty millions, the virtues of
the golden age, and the primitive rights and equality of mankind,
which would lead, in fair reasoning, to an equal partition of lands
and money. How many years must elapse before France can recover
any vigour, or resume her station among the powers of Europe! As
yet, there is no symptom of a great man, a Richelieu or a Cromwell,
arising, either to restore the Monarchy, or to lead the Commonwealth.
The weight of Paris, more deeply engaged in the funds than _all_ the
rest of the Kingdom, will long delay a bankrupcy; and if it should
happen, it will be, both in the cause and effect, a measure of
weakness, rather than of strength.

[Sidenote: FRENCH EXILES AT LAUSANNE.]

You send me to Chamberry, to see a prince and an Archbishop. Alas!
we have exiles enough here, with the Marshal de Castries[142] and
the Duke de Guignes[143] at their head: and this inundation of
strangers, which used to be confined to the summer, will now stagnate
all the winter. The only ones whom I have seen with pleasure are
M. Mounier,[144] the late president of the National Assembly, and
the Count de Lally;[145] they have both dined with me. Mounier, who
is a serious dry politician, is returned to Dauphiné. Lally is an
amiable man of the World, and a poet: he passes the winter here with
his _female friend_ the Princess d'Hénin.[146] You know how much I
prefer a quiet select society to a crowd of names and titles, and
that I always seek conversation with a view to amusement rather than
information. What happy countries are England and Switzerland, if
they know and preserve their happiness.

I have a thousand things to say of My Lady, Maria, and Louisa, but I
can add only a short postscript about the Madeira and picture.

1. Good Madeira is now become essential to my health and reputation.
May your hogshead prove as good as the last; may it not be
intercepted by the rebels or the Austrians. What a scene again in
that country! Happy England! happy Switzerland!* I again repeat I
must have early notice of my wine's approach, that I may send a
permit to meet it at Basil.

2. To whom did you entrust the picture[147] and Rennel's[148] maps?
I have not heard of either. Was it to Elmsley? I have expected these
many months a box of books, &c., which he announced. Will you not
clear up the point? My picture expects a safe occasion. Adieu.

  [141] Richard Price, D.D. (1723-1791), the celebrated
  mathematician and economic writer (_Observations on Reversionary
  Payments, Annuities_, etc., 1769; _Appeal on the Subject of the
  National Debt_, 1772), the opponent of Dr. Priestley (_A Free
  Discussion of the Doctrine of Materialism and Philosophical
  Necessity_, 1778), was also a voluminous political writer, a
  champion of the cause of American Independence, and an advocate
  of principles then regarded as revolutionary. His _Observations
  on the Nature of Civil Liberty_ (1776) procured him an invitation
  from Congress to come and reside in America. In 1789 he published
  his _Discourse on the Love of our Country_, severely criticized
  by Burke in his _Reflections on the Revolution in France_. His
  last work, _Britain's Happiness_, was published in 1791, the year
  of his death.

  [142] The Marquis de Castries (1727-1801), Marshal of France
  (1783), had served in the Seven Years' War, was Ministre de la
  Marine 1780-87, and in 1792 held a command in the Prussian army
  of invasion. He died at Wolfenbuttel in 1801.

  [143] Adrien Louis de Bonnières, Comte, afterwards Duc, de
  Guines (1735-1806), had been ambassador in England, 1770-76.
  As ambassador at Berlin he had been a favourite with Frederick
  the Great, with whom he played the flute. He emigrated at the
  beginning of the Revolution.

  [144] J. Joseph Mounier (1758-1806), the author of
  _Considérations sur le gouvernement qui convient à la France_
  (1789), was a prominent champion of constitutional liberty in the
  States-General and the National Assembly. He emigrated at the end
  of 1789.

  [145] Gérard, Marquis de Lally-Tollendal (1751-1830), the son
  of the unfortunate governor of the French possessions in India,
  emigrated after the events of October 5-6, 1789. Returning to
  France in 1792, he was arrested after August 10, and imprisoned
  in the Abbaye; he escaped and took refuge in England.

  [146] Étiennette de Montconseil, daughter of the Marquis de
  Montconseil, married, in 1766, Charles Alexandre Marc Marcellin
  d'Alsace-Hénin-Liétard, Prince d'Hénin, brother of the Prince
  de Chimay and Madame de Cambis, and nephew of the Maréchale de
  Mirepoix and the Prince de Beauvau. The princess was appointed
  in 1778 _dame du palais_ in the household of Marie Antoinette.
  Her intimate relations with Lally-Tollendal were well known.
  Madame D'Arblay, who knew her well, says of her, twenty years
  later, that "Lally was her admiring and truly devoted friend, and
  by many believed to be privately married to her. I am myself of
  that opinion" (_Diary and Letters_, vii. 89). The Prince d'Hénin
  was captain of the body-guard of the Comte d'Artois. He played a
  conspicuous part in the _chronique scandaleuse_ of the day. His
  affection for Sophie Arnould gave rise to the following verses of
  the Marquis de Louvois:--

    "Chez la doyenne des catins
      Ta place est des plus minces.
    Tu n'es plus le prince d'Hénin,
      Mais bien le nain des princes."

  [147] Probably Lord Sheffield's portrait, painted by Sir Joshua
  Reynolds in March, 1788.

  [148] Major James Rennell (1742-1832) had already published his
  Maps of Bengal and of the Mogul Empire. His geographical work on
  Africa and map appeared in 1790.



550.

_To Lord Sheffield._


  Lausanne, January 27th, 1790.

*Your two last epistles, of the 7th and 11th instant, were somewhat
delayed on the road; they arrived within two days of each other, the
last this morning, (the 27th); so that I answer by the first, or at
least by the second post. Upon the whole, your French method, though
sometimes more rapid, appears to me less sure and steady than the old
German highway.*

I will not deny (for it was probably too visible) that your proposal,
which arose from the kindest motives, of your Yorkshire mortgage
embarrassed me from the beginning, and whatever faint signs of
acquiescence I may have given, they proceeded from the apprehension
of wounding your honourable feelings by anything that might bear
the appearance of doubt and distrust. I could not reconcile the
two characters of debtor and friend, and I was shocked by the
idea, however distant or unlikely, that in a serious concern our
interests might possibly become opposite to each other. Your first
letter relieved me from that weight, and I viewed with much less
horror the chance of leaving the purchase money for some time idle
and unproductive in the bank: yet I could not entirely subscribe
to your charge that I had changed my _principles_. Eight thousand
pounds had been always designed for the mortgage: you object (to my
great surprize) that good landed security cannot easily be found
for so _small_ a sum; I agree to enlarge it; where is the change or
contradiction? I confess however that the very high price of the
Stocks has rendered me less eager for an investment which at present
will not even produce the four per cent., and which rather affords
the danger of a fall than the hopes of a rise. You are likewise
inaccurate when you accuse me of having already drawn near £2000 of
the purchase money.

But enough of these altercations. *A new and brighter prospect seems
to be breaking upon us, and few events of _that kind_ have ever given
me more pleasure than your successful negotiation and Sainsbury's
satisfactory answer. The agreement is, indeed, equally convenient for
both parties: no time or expence will be wasted in scrutinizing the
title of the estate; the interest will be secured by the clause of
five per cent., and I lament with you, that no larger sum than £8000
can be placed on Beriton, without asking (what might be somewhat
impudent) a collateral security, &c., &c.* As I do not mean to entrap
them, the allowance of a month is perfectly right and in truth
immaterial. As the purchase money is by this arrangement very much
reduced, they will now pay it, I suppose, whenever you please, and
perhaps (you will judge) it may be as well to consummate on Lady Day,
that I may be entitled to another half year's rent from the Tenant.
The power of calling in the Mortgage, I only meant as a superfluous
precaution, but I suppose there will be some restraint on their
paying it off whenever they please, perhaps at a time inconvenient to
the creditor. After Lord Stawell has paid or secured £10,800 there
will still remain (subject to I know not what charges) £5200. While
the stocks are so very high as not to yield four per cent., might it
not be expedient to trust it in two or three loans in good personal
bond security at four and a half? Would not the Goslings for the
consideration of the half per cent. bind themselves to answer for
the interest and principal. In their business they have always a
command of money, and if the security be such as I ought to accept,
the risk for themselves must be very inconsiderable. *But I wish you
to chuse and execute one or the other of these arrangements with sage
discretion and absolute power.

[Sidenote: DIRTY LAND AND VILE MONEY.]

I shorten my letter, that I may dispatch it by this post. I see the
time, and I shall rejoyce to see it at the end of twenty years,
when my cares will be at an end, and our friendly pages will be no
longer sullied with the repetition of dirty land and vile money;
when we may expatiate on the politics of the World and our personal
sentiments. Without expecting your answer of business, I mean to
write soon in a purer style, and I wish to lay open to my friend the
state of my mind, which (exclusive of all worldly concerns) is not
perfectly at ease. In the mean while, I must add two or three short
articles. 1. I am astonished at Elmsly's silence, and the immobility
of your picture. Mine should have departed long since, could I have
found a sure opportunity.* It had almost started last week had I not
been afraid of rolling it, but I think that a person on whom we may
depend will undertake the journey and commission about the middle
of next month. 2. I shall expect the Madeira with impatience if it
is remarkable. I have not any objection to the _two_ hogsheads, but
perhaps one may suffice, as I have a promise from Sir Ralph Payne,
with whom you may confabulate on the subject if you excurse to
London. 3. Give me some account of the two old Ladies. I no longer
write to Cliffe, as I suppose her (perhaps erroneously) incapable
of correspondence. I embrace My Lady, &c. When shall I see them at
Lausanne or Sheffield Place? the one must take place if the other
does not. Adieu.

  Yours,
  E. G.

P.S.--If you met with another neat, safe, little mortgage of £2000 I
have no objection. Since I have again opened my letter, I will ask
you how the property of an Ecclesiastical differs from that of a lay
Corporation, and whether you think Parliament could legally seize and
appropriate the lands of the City of London. If either Corporation
was mischievous, Government might indeed extinguish it in time, by
prohibiting a supply of new members, and the vacant property would
perhaps devolve to the public. No change of events or opinions in
France: next month will be critical from the Provincial Assemblies.



551.

_To Lord Sheffield._


  Lausanne, May 15th, 1790.

[Sidenote: LEGAL FORMS BENEFIT LAWYERS.]

*Since the first origin (_ab ovo_) of our connection and
correspondence, so long an interval of silence has not intervened, as
far as I remember, between us.* Yet on the present occasion neither
is materially to blame, nor has either been materially injured.
My conscience was easy, since my last letter, I felt myself in the
proud security of a creditor, and though after a certain space I
waited every post for an answer, yet I waited with little impatience
and no anxiety, in the firm persuasion that Lady-day would finally
settle the whole transaction of the mortgage and the payment. I now
find that the delay is involuntary and indefinite, and that it is
not so easy to escape even from the amicable grip of the Court of
Chancery. Can such superstitious forms be of any use except to the
Lawyers? whose bill I much apprehend. Might not such an obsolete
deed which I had perfectly forgot, have been thrown into the fire
with the consent of all parties? However we must follow the stream,
and I trust that neither Sussex nor Africa, nor Reading nor Bristol
will relax your diligence in the cause of your friend. In the winding
up an arrangement of twenty years, it is vexatious to be stopped by
a little knot: but otherwise my nerves are not so much discomposed
as you might suspect. As I believe the purchasers to be honest and
sincere, the difference is only between the rent and the interest:
the tenant deserves no mercy, and I hope your orders are absolute
for distraining the next day on failure of payment. I trust that the
£8000 mortgage is settled with Sainsbury, nor do I dislike your last
resolution of pouring the whole residue into the funds.

*From my silence you conclude that the moral complaint, which I had
insinuated in my last, is either insignificant or fanciful. The
conclusion is rash. But the complaint in question is of the nature of
a slow lingering disease, which is not attended with any immediate
danger. As I have not leisure to expatiate, take the idea in three
words: "Since the loss of poor Deyverdun, I am _alone_; and even in
paradise, solitude is painful to a social mind. When I was a dozen
years younger, I _scarcely_ felt the weight of a single existence
amidst the crowds of London, of Parliament, of Clubs; but it will
press more heavily upon me in this tranquil land, in the decline of
life, and with the encrease of infirmities. Some expedient, even the
most desperate, must be embraced, to secure the domestic society of
a male or female companion. But I am not in a hurry; there is time
for reflection and advice." During this winter such finer feelings
have been suspended by the grosser evil of bodily pain. On the ninth
of February I was seized by such a fit of the Gout as I had never
known, though I must be thankful that its dire effects have been
confined to the feet and knees, without ascending to the more noble
parts. With some vicissitudes of better and worse, I have groaned
between two and three months; the debility has survived the pain,
and though now easy, I am carried about in my chair, without any
power, and with a very distant chance, of supporting myself, from
the extreme weakness and contraction of the joints of my knees. Yet
I am happy in a skilful physician, and kind assiduous friend: every
evening, during more than three months, has been enlivened (except
when I have been forced to refuse them) by some chearful visits, and
very often by a chosen party of both sexes. How different is such
society from the solitary evenings which I have passed in the tumult
of London! It is not worth while fighting about a shadow, but should
I ever return to England, Bath, not the Metropolis, would be my last
retreat.

Your portrait is at last arrived in perfect condition, and now
occupies a conspicuous place over the chimney-glass in my library. It
is the object of general admiration; good judges (the few) applaud
the work; the name of Reynolds opens the eyes and mouths of the
many; and were not I afraid of making you vain, I would inform you
that the original is not allowed to be more than five-and-thirty.
In spite of private reluctance and public discontent, I have
honourably dismissed _myself_.[149] I shall arrive at Sir Joshua's
before the end of the month; he will give me a look, and perhaps a
touch; and you will be indebted to the president one guinea for the
carriage. Do not be nervous, I am not rolled up; had I been so, you
might have gazed on my charms four months ago. I want some account
of yourself, of My lady, (shall we never directly correspond?) of
Louisa, and of the soft, the stately Maria. How has the latter since
her launch supported a quiet Winter in Sussex? I so much rejoice
in your divorce from that b---- Kitty Coventry,[150] that I care
not what marriage you contract. The second City in England would
suit your dignity, and the duties of a Bristol Member, which would
kill me in the first session, would supply your activity with a
constant fund of amusement. But tread softly and surely; the ice is
deceitful, the water is deep, and you may be soused over head and
ears before you are aware. Why did not you or Elmsly send me the
African pamphlet[151] by the post? it would not have cost much. You
have such a knack of turning a nation, that I am afraid you will
triumph (perhaps by the force of argument) over justice and humanity.
But do you not expect to work at Beelzebub's sugar plantations in the
infernal regions, under the tender government of a negro-driver? I
should suppose both My lady and Miss Firth very angry with you.

As to the bill for prints, which has been too long neglected, why
will you not exercise the power, which I have never revoked, over
all my cash at the Goslings'? I have no further claims either for
quarto or octavo copies, but I am persuaded that Cadell's liberality
will credit your applications in my name for one of each. The
Severy family has passed a very favourable winter; the young man is
impatient to hear from a family which he places something above the
Holy family: yet he will generously write next week, and send you a
drawing of the alterations in the house. Do not raise your ideas;
you know _I_ am satisfied with convenience in architecture, and some
elegance in furniture. I hear nothing decisive either from Sir Ralph
Payne about Madeira, and if I do not receive a supply in the course
of the summer, I shall be in great shame and distress. I would write
to the Bath Knight if I knew his address. That is serious business,
but I admire the coolness with which you ask me to epistolize Reynell
and Elmsly, as if a letter were so easy and pleasant a task; it
appears less so to me every day.*

  [149] His portrait.

  [150] At the general election for 1790, Lord Eardley and John
  Wilmot were returned for Coventry, and the Marquis of Worcester
  and Lord Sheffield for Bristol. Lord Sheffield sat for Bristol
  from 1790 to 1802, when he was summoned to the British House of
  Peers.

  [151] Lord Sheffield's pamphlet, _Observations on the Project for
  Abolishing the Slave Trade_, was published anonymously in 1790.
  The second edition (1791) bore the author's name.



552.

_Lord Sheffield to Edward Gibbon._


  Sheffield Place, 28th July, '90.

[Sidenote: LORD SHEFFIELD RETURNED FOR BRISTOL.]

I wish I had better paper, but this is good enough for a foreigner.
At length I have obtained an attested copy of Hester's Will, but no
further letter or information from Mr. Law.

I find the Will was made in November, 1786, and is of considerable
length, altho' her nephew Edward Gibbon takes up not much more than
two lines of it. The rest says much about the family of Law, and
the heirs of the Rev. Wm. Law. It gives the Sussex Estate to Edward
Gibbon and his heirs for ever, and one thousand pounds to the said
Edward, and one hundred pounds to her niece Lady Eliot, but the _chat
d'enfer_, by a codicil dated 18th February, 1788, when her nephew
resided in Downing Street, took the trouble of reducing the thousand
pounds to one hundred pounds, to be paid within 12 months after her
decease. When there is an opportunity I shall send the composition
to you. And now you are once more a landed man. But I wonder I
have not had a summons lately to attend Messrs. Sainsbury and
Rhodes to conclude the Buriton business. I have furnished them with
every paper, &c., they have desired, and I verily believe they are
proceeding, yet it seems in a truly Chancery style. They plagued me
lately about a deed for which it was necessary to ransack the boxes.

My last letter was from Clifton near Bristol (I believe) after
my return from Coventry, and I also believe I therein mentioned
Proceedings at Reading, Bristol, and Coventry. I was detained some
time among my constituents for the purpose of incorporating a due
quantity of Turtle, and on leaving them I subscribed somewhat above
£300 to Infirmary, Magdalens, Small Debtors, &c. but that was all my
expence at Bristol. I suppose I mentioned in my last that my expences
at Coventry did not exceed £150.

Sir Joseph Banks[152] and family have been here several days, and
inquired much after you. They are just gone, and Batt is just
arrived, and stays till Brighthelmstone Races next week. Lord North
and family are at Tunbridge Wells, and will make a visit here as soon
as we are settled after Races.

[Sidenote: HESTER GIBBON'S WILL.]

Perhaps it may be needful to mention to you that the rent of your
Newhaven, alias Meeching Farm, is £225. The Manor is considerable,
the quit-rents and profits above £40--the latter uncertain. The
deductions on account of Land-tax and Sackville College rent and
expenses of collecting quit-rent about £29. I shall not readily
approve of your selling it, but if you should be desperately
disposed to increase your income, what do you think of taking double
or treble the clear rent for your life, for the said Estate? I
suppose about £550 per annum, which allows for outgoings, including
repairs of sea-walls and every deduction but moderately--they have
been of late years somewhat immoderate.

If you do not think of making little ones, it may suit you and it
would me, although I am poor, because it would be a very respectable
addition to my Sussex Estate. It would give me marshland of which I
have none, also the mouth of the River Ouse, &c.: and perhaps a small
house on the sea-shore. I do not know that it would be a good bargain
for you and your heirs, but I think it would be a good one for the
House of Holroyd, except that I should not like to be benefitted by
the Devil taking you--yet I do not suspect I should wish it. In case
of his taking me or not, you would have a collateral security besides
that of the Estate itself. The best argument for your doing it is
that I shall with-hold my consent to your selling it. On this subject
you will give your mind without ceremony. It will furnish you with
subject matter for a letter.

  Yours ever,
  S.

Remember us to the house of Severy.

  [152] Sir Joseph Banks (1743-1820) sailed with Captain Cook in
  the _Endeavour_ in 1768. He was President of the Royal Society
  from 1778 to 1820.



553.

_To Lord Sheffield._


  Lausanne, August 7, 1790.

*I answer at once your two letters; and I should probably have taken
earlier notice of the first, had I not been in daily expectation of
the second. I must begin on the subject of what really interests
me the most, your glorious election for Bristol. Most sincerely
do I congratulate your exchange of a cursed expensive jilt, who
deserted you for a rich Jew, for an honourable connection with a
chaste and virtuous matron, who will probably be as constant as she
is disinterested. In the whole range of election from Caithness to
St. Yves, I much doubt whether there be a single choice so truly
honourable to the member and the constituents. The second Commercial
city invites, from a distant province, an independent Gentleman,
known only by his active spirit, and his writings on the subject
of trade; and names him, without intrigue or expence, for her
representative: even the voice of party is silenced, While factions
strive which shall applaud the most.

You are now sure, for seven years to come, of never wanting food--I
mean business; what a crowd of suitors or Complainants will besiege
your door! what a load of letters and memorials will be heaped on
your table! I much question whether even you will not sometimes
exclaim, _Ohe! jam satis est!_ but that is your affair. Of the
excursion to Coventry I cannot decide, but I hear it is pretty
generally blamed: but, however, I love gratitude to an old friend;
and shall not be very angry if you damned them with a farewell to all
eternity. But I cannot repress my indignation at the use of those
foolish, obsolete, odious words, Whig and Tory. In the American War
they might have some meaning; and then your Lordship was a Tory:
since the coalition, all general principles have been confounded;
and if there ever was an opposition to men, not measures, it is the
present. Luckily, both the Leaders are great men; and, whatever
happens, the country must fall upon its legs. What a strange mist of
peace and war seems to hang over the ocean! We can perceive nothing
but secrecy and vigour; but those are excellent qualities to perceive
in a Minister. From yourself and politics I now return to my private
concerns, which I shall methodically consider under the three great
articles of mind, body, and estate.* And first, as Aristotle says, of
the first.

[Sidenote: COMFORTLESS STATE OF DOMESTIC SOLITUDE.]

*1. I am not absolutely displeased at your firing so hastily at the
hint, a tremendous hint, in my last letter. But the danger is not so
serious or imminent as you seem to suspect; and I give you my word,
that, before I take the slightest step which can bind me either in
law, conscience, or honour, I will faithfully communicate, and we
will freely discuss, the whole state of the business. But at present
there is not any thing to communicate or discuss; I do assure you
that I have not any particular object in view: I am not in love with
any of the Hyænas of Lausanne, though there are some who keep their
claws tolerably well pared. Sometimes, in a solitary mood, I have
fancied myself married to one or other of those whose society and
conversation are the most pleasing to me; but when I have painted
in my fancy all the probable consequences of such an union, I have
started from my dream, rejoyced in my escape, and ejaculated a
thanksgiving that I was still in possession of my natural freedom.
Yet I feel, and shall continue to feel, that domestic solitude,
however it may be alleviated by the world, by study, and even by
friendship, is a comfortless state, which will grow more painful
as I descend in the vale of years. At present my situation is very
tolerable; and if at dinner-time, or at my return home in the
evening, I sometimes sigh for a companion, there are many hours,
and many occasions, in which I enjoy the superior blessing of being
sole master of my own house. But your plan, though less dangerous,
is still more absurd than mine: such a couple as you describe could
not be found; and, if found, would not answer my purpose; their
rank and position would be awkward and ambiguous to myself and my
acquaintance; and the agreement of three persons of three characters
would be still more impracticable. My plan of Charlotte Porten
is undoubtedly the most desirable; and she might either remain a
spinster (the case is not without example,) or marry some Swiss of
my choice, who would increase and enliven our society; and both
would have the strongest motives for kind and dutiful behaviour. But
the mother has been indirectly sounded; and will not hear of such a
proposal for some years. On my side, I would not take her, but as a
piece of soft wax which I could model to the language and manners of
the Country: I must therefore be patient.

2. Young Severy's letter, which may be now in your hands, and which,
for these three or four last posts, has furnished my indolence with
a new pretence for delay, has already informed you of the means and
circumstances of my resurrection. Tedious indeed was my confinement,
since I was not able to move from my house or chair, from the ninth
of February to the first of July, very nearly five months. The first
weeks were accompanied with more pain than I have ever known in the
Gout, with anxious days and sleepless nights; and when that pain
subsided, it left a weakness in my knees, which seemed to have no
end. My confinement was however softened by books, by the possession
of every comfort and convenience, by a succession each evening of
agreeable company, and by a flow of equal spirits and general good
health. During the last weeks I descended to the ground floor, poor
Deyverdun's apartment, and constructed a chair like Merlin's, in
which I could wheel myself in the house and on the terrace. My
patience has been universally admired; yet how many thousands have
passed those five months less easily than myself. I remember making
a remark perfectly simple, and perfectly true: "At present," I said
to Madame de Severy, "I am not positively miserable, and I may
reasonably hope a daily or weekly improvement, till sooner or later
in the summer I shall recover new limbs, and new pleasures, which I
do not now possess: have any of you such a prospect?" The prediction
has been accomplished, and I have arrived to my present condition of
strength, or rather of feebleness: I now can walk with tolerable ease
in my garden and smooth places; but on the rough pavement of the town
I use, and perhaps shall use, a sedan chair. The Pyrmont waters have
performed wonders; and my physician (not Tissot, but a very sensible
man) allows me to hope, that the term of the interval will be in
proportion to that of the fit.*

3. And so Aunt Hester is gone to sing Hallelujahs, a glory which
she did not seem very impatient to possess. I received the news of
this dire event with much philosophic composure: she might have
done better, she might have done worse, and I was always prepared
for the worst. By this time you have probably a copy of the Will,
and will take (as I suppose you are authorized) the proper and
necessary steps. I most wish to learn whether she has left me the
fee simple, the absolute disposal of her Sussex estate; the power of
selling or the necessity of keeping that costly piece of property
will make a wonderful difference in the value of her gift. From
a motive of curiosity I wish to learn what she has done with her
personal fortune; her four copper shares were worth at least five
or six thousand pounds. Has she given them to the Laws? If in the
bequeathing what was absolutely in her power she has postponed
relations for friends, I think her determination both honourable
and wise. If in the entailed estate she has preferred a poor though
unbelieving nephew to a rich niece, she was likewise right. I speak
with the impartiality of a third person.

And now let me seriously address you on the most important of my
temporal concerns, Buriton. You will do me the justice to allow that
I have not been either impatient or nervous: but the Estate was sold
in April, 1789: this is now August, 1790, and the money is not yet
paid, nor the purchase concluded. Is Lord Stawell perfidious, is he
poor, is he unwilling? is the delay only produced by the ingenious
forms of the lawyers? How many terms do they require for an amicable
suit in Chancery? In the meanwhile I lose interest, the estate must
suffer by neglect, and what will be the event? Exert your vigour,
argue, persuade, consummate! On the 10th of November next my father
will have been dead twenty years: let it not be said that with the
counsel and aid of such a friend, I have not been able to settle
my affairs in twenty years. What can I say more? the conclusion an
Indian Epistle.

Yes, I have more or rather nothing more to say about the disposal of
the money. I hope the Buriton mortgage for £8000 still holds: nothing
else can be so easy or good. The remainder you will throw into the
funds, and I wish we could take advantage of the present fall, but if
a sure bond or neat mortgage from £2500 to £4000 should offer itself,
I should be very well pleased.

[Sidenote: SWISS SENSIBLE OF THEIR HAPPINESS.]

*Have you read in the English papers, that the Government of Bern is
overturned, and that we are divided into three Democratical leagues;
true as the Gospel: true as what I have read in the French papers,
that the English have cut off Pitt's head, and abolished the house
of Lords. The people of this country are happy; and in spite of some
malcontents, and more foreign Emissaries, they are sensible of their
happiness.*

My MADEIRA is almost exhausted, and I must receive before the end
of the Autumn a stout cargo of wholesome exquisite wine with proper
_previous_ notice which may prevent all accidents at the Custom
House. Your Bristol connection must give you great advantages, but
(if I could procure his direction) I would not neglect Sir Ralph
Payne's favours.

*Inform My lady, that I am indignant at a false and heretical
assertion in her last letter to Severy, "that friends at a distance
cannot love each other, if they do not write." I love her better than
any woman in the world; indeed I do; and yet I do not write. And she
herself--but I am calm. We have now nearly one hundred French exiles,
some of them worth being acquainted with; particularly a Count de
Schomberg, who is become almost my friend; he is a man of the World,
of letters, and of sufficient age, since in 1753 he succeeded to
Marshal Saxe's regiment of Dragoons. As to the rest, I entertain
them, and they flatter me: but I wish we were reduced to our Lausanne
society. Poor France! the state is dissolved, the nation is mad!
Adieu.*



554.

_Lord Sheffield to Edward Gibbon._


  Sheffield Place, 21st Sept., '90.

I approve your observations on the Bristol Election, and I do not
believe you heard the Excursion to Coventry pretty generally blamed.
I knew nothing of an Opposition till two days after the Poll began. A
man who had been useful to me in the same line being concerned, I had
no difficulty nor hesitation as to what was to be done.

On the subject of Buriton I acknowledge you have been as Philosophic
as could be expected. There seems to be something supernatural
attending all your worldly concerns. In answer to a repeated
remonstrance to Mr. Sainsbury, the last information is from Mr.
Rhodes the Attorney, dated Sept. 4th instant. He says (Mrs. Sainsbury
desired him to write, Mr. Sainsbury being in Ireland), "The matter
in Chancery remains unfinished by the Master. When we obtained the
Deed and laid it before him, he said that he had then so many other
reports to prepare that he was apprehensive that he should not be
able to prepare ours. We said and did everything in our power to
induce him to do it, but we could not prevail. He has promised to
let us have it before the ensuing Term, which will begin on the 6th
of November next, and the other business cannot be completed before
the first week in the term." It is difficult to believe these delays
are intentional, as a considerable sum remains dormant as to the Land
in the hands of the Auctioneers, Messrs. Skinners, and as so great
a proportion of the purchase money is to remain in Mortgage. The
only thing I can firmly object to, is an over nicety on the part of
Sainsbury or his Lawyers as to the title, but I shall go to London
as soon as Term begins and reiterate every measure that can speedily
bring matters to a conclusion. In the meantime I shall be very
troublesome until I am assured every paper is ready for signature. As
to the Estate it does not suffer by neglect; a new Tenant recommended
by Sainsbury has taken it from the poor flimsy creature that held it
in a fright, and Andrewes stoutly exacts the rent when due.

[Sidenote: LORD SHEFFIELD'S OFFER FOR NEWHAVEN.]

We almost howled when we read the tremendous account of nearly
five months' confinement--the weakness in your traces affrighted me
most, but I rejoiced exceedingly in your last, which says that you
have advanced to nearly your usual condition of strength. I never
heard of Pyrmont waters for the gout--but I grieve to tell you that
notwithstanding repeated applications I find your Hogshead of Madeira
(which is on its travels) may not arrive sooner than 4, 5, or 6
months. I must spare you all I can of my Old Madeira which is in
London, but I do not know that it will amount to a quantity worth the
trouble of sending. I shall make every effort and inquire everywhere
for you. As to Sir Ralph Payne, surely a letter directed to him in
London would find him, if you think that mode preferable.

Your plan as to Charlotte Porten might be the most desirable, but
nothing could be more fancifull than to suppose it could possibly
succeed, unless you could send a Demon cracked from Paris to hang the
mother to a Lanthern.

My last letter answers your question whether Hester had left you
the fee-simple of the Sussex Estate. I have learned nothing more
concerning that Holy woman since the receipt of the Copy of her Will,
nor am I likely, unless I should find some of the family of the Laws
in London next winter. I think you should inclose to me an order to
the Executors, Messrs. William Law, Senior, of Kings Cliffe, and
William Law of Stamford, to deliver to me all the Writings, Papers,
Surveys, Plans, &c., relating to the Sussex Estate, and you may add,
those which relate to the Family of Gibbon.

When Batt was here not long since, I mentioned to him your old Aunt's
Bequest and my proposition to you; at first, he did not object,
but next day he scouted my folly and extravagance in diminishing
my Income. My observations that I should and could easily cut down
annually more timber than would pay the difference, and that in case
I went to glory, those who came after me would be fully compensated
in the end for loss of Income--I say, these observations seemed to
make little impression on him. However, I was somewhat chilled, yet I
cannot help thinking it or something of the kind might answer to both
of us, if you should be desperately disposed to sell to increase your
Income. I should acquire a position on the Sea-Shore--but you may
have thought of something that would answer your purpose better.

You admire the Minister's secrecy and vigour. There is no secrecy in
the case, but surely he has made a desperate plunge, and it appears
to me a very wanton one--and if it is right to take an advantage, he
is losing the opportunity.[153] It is difficult to suppose that Spain
will engage _single-handed_ with us, but we may bully them into it,
and although France cannot at present do much, yet the adherence of
the National Assembly to the Family compact may help the Spaniards
to be stout, and above all it would be good policy in the French
Aristocrats to dash France into a war at all events.

You are incorrigible, but we desire that you will encourage De Severy
to write. It is surprising he can write and remember English so well.
The alterations in your Chateau pleased us very much. I have enquired
more than once whether you would have the provision for Mrs. Gibbon
to be £200 or £300. You pay the latter, but I understand.

Everybody is looking into Bruce's Travels.[154] Part takes the
attention, but they are abominably abused. Banks objects to the
Botany, Reynell to the Geography, Cambridge to the History, The
Greeks to the Greek, &c., &c.; yet the work is to be found on every
table. Bruce printed the work, and sold 2000 copies to Robertson for
£6000. He sells to the booksellers at 4 guineas, and they to their
customers at 5 guineas.

  [153] In May, 1790, a message from the king was delivered to the
  House of Commons by Pitt, informing them that two British ships
  had been seized in Nootka Sound off the coast of California by
  two Spanish men-of-war, that satisfaction had been demanded,
  that Spain claimed exclusive rights in those waters, and was
  making active preparations for war. Spain, relying on the family
  compact, asked aid from France, and Louis XVI. communicated the
  demand to the National Assembly, asking that a fleet should be
  equipped to send assistance. Preparations were made at Brest to
  send assistance; but the mutinous conduct of the French sailors
  apparently alarmed the Spanish Government, which withdrew its
  claims, restored the property seized, and offered compensation.
  The Convention between England and Spain was signed October 28,
  1790. "The first and great news is the pacification with Spain.
  The courier arrived on Thursday morning with a most acquiescent
  answer to our ultimatum" (Walpole to the Miss Berrys, November 8,
  1790).

  [154] James Bruce of Kinnaird, F.R.S., published in 1790 his
  _Travels to discover the Sources of the Nile_, in five quarto
  volumes.



555.

     _This letter is apparently written to M. Langer, the Librarian
     of the Ducal Library of Wolfenbuttel. A translation of part of
     it was found with Gibbon's manuscript of the_ Antiquities of the
     House of Brunswick, _and published by Lord Sheffield_ (Gibbon's
     Miscellaneous Works, vol. iii. pp. 353-558).


  À Rolle, ce 12 Octobre, 1790.

[Sidenote: M. LANGER AT WOLFENBUTTEL.]

Je vous aurois plutot remercié, Monsieur, des soins obligeans que
vous avez bien voulû vous donner pour me procurer les Origines
Guelficæ,[155] si d'un côté notre honnête libraire Mr. Pott ne
m'avoit pas appris que vous etiez en voyage, si de l'autre je n'avois
pas été moi même en proye à l'acces de goutte le plus rigoureux et le
plus long que j'aye encore éprouvé.

Nous revoici à present dans notre état ordinaire, je marche, et vous
ne courez plus. Je vous suppose bien etabli, bien enfoncé dans votre
immense bibliotheque dans un endroit qui fournit peut-être un choix
plus étendu et plus interessant des morts que des vivans. Comme
vous êtes également propre à vivre avec les uns et les autres, je
desirerois pour votre bonheur aussi bien que pour celui de vos amis,
que vous pûssiez enfin executer comme moi le projet de chercher une
douce retraite sur les bords du lac Leman. Il s'en faut de beaucoup
que vous n'y soyez oublié: nous parlons souvent de vous surtout
dans la famille de Severy, nous regrettons votre absence et en nous
rappellant l'aimable franchise, la vivacité piquante de _l'Esclave_,
nous cherisons l'esperance de vous revoir parmi nous en homme libre,
ne dependant que de vos gouts et pouvant vous donner tout entier aux
lettres et à la societé.

Vous aurez sans doute appris la perte irreparable que j'ai faite du
pauvre Deyverdun. En vertu de son testament et de mes arrangemens
avec son heritier Mr. le Major de Montagny, je me suis assuré ma
vie durant la jouissance de sa maison et de son jardin. Vous en
connoissez tous les agrémens qui se sont encore augmentés par une
dépense assez considerable et assez bien tendu que j'y ai faité
depuis sa mort. Je dois être content de ma position mais on ne peut
pas remplacer un ami de trente ans. Votre curiosité, peut-être
votre amitié, desirera de connoitre mes amusemens, mes travaux, mes
projets pendant les deux ans qui se sont écoulé depuis la dernière
publication de mon grand ouvrage. Aux questions indiscretes qu'on
se permet trop souvent vis-à-vis de moi, je responds avec une mine
renfrognée et d'une manière vague, mais je ne veux rien avoir de
caché pour vous et pour imiter la franchise que vous aimez, je vous
avouerai naturellement que ma confidence est fondée en partie sur le
besoin que j'aurai de votre secours.

Après mon retour d'Angleterre les premiers mois ont été consacrés à
la jouissance de ma liberté et de ma bibliotheque, et vous ne serez
pas étonné si j'ai renouvellé une connoissance familière avec vos
auteurs Grecs et si j'ai fait vœu de leur reserver tous les jours
une portion de mon loisir. Je passe sous silence ces tristes momens
dans lesquels je n'ai été occupé qu'à soigner et à pleurer mon ami:
mais dès que j'ai commencé à me retrouver un esprit moins agile,
j'ai cherché à me donner quelque distraction plus forte et plus
interessante que la simple lecture. Le souvenir de ma servitude de
vingt ans m'a cependant effrayé et je me suis bien promis de ne plus
m'embarquer dans une entreprise de longue haleine que je n'acheverois
vraisemblablement jamais. Il vaut bien mieux, me suis je dit,
choisir, dans tous les pays et dans tous les siecles, des morceaux
historiques que je traiterai separément suivant leur nature et selon
mon gout. Lorsque ces opuscules (je pourrai les nommer en Anglais,
_Historical Excursions_) me fourniront un volume, je le donnerai au
public: ce don pourroit etre renouvellé jusqu'a ce que nous soyons
fatigués ou ce public ou moi même: mais chaque volume, complet par
lui même, n'exigera point de suite, et au lieu d'être borné comme la
diligence au grand chemin, je me promenerai librement dans le champ
de l'histoire en m'arrêtant partout où je trouve des points de vue
agreables. Dans ce projet je ne vois qu'un inconvenient,--un objet
interessant s'étend et s'aggrandit sous le travail: je pourrois être
entrainé au dela de mes bornes, mais je serai doucement entrainé sans
prevoyance et sans contrainte.

[Sidenote: THE HISTORY OF THE GUELFS.]

Mes soupçons ont été vérifiés dans le choix de ma première
_excursion_. Ce que j'avois si bien prevu n'a pas manqué d'arriver à
mon premier choix et ce choix vous expliquera pourquoi j'ai demandé
avec tant d'empressement les Origines Guelficæ. Dans mon histoire
j'avois rendu compte de deux alliances illustres, d'un fils du
Marquis Azo d'Este avec une fille de Robert Guiscard,[156] d'une
princesse de Brunswick avec l'Empereur Grec. Un premier appercu de
l'antiquité et de la grandeur de la maison de Brunswick a excité ma
curiosité, et j'ai cru me pouvoir interesser les deux nations que
j'estime le plus par les mémoires d'une famille qui est sortie de
l'une pour regner sur l'autre. Mes recherches, en me devoilant la
beauté de ce sujet, m'en ont fait voir l'étendue et la difficulté.
L'origine des Marquis de Ligurie et peut-être de Toscane a été
suffisament eclaircie par Muratori et Leibnitz; l'Italie du moyen
age, son histoire et ses monumens, me sont très connus et je ne suis
pas mécontent de ce que j'ai déjà écrit sur la branche cadette d'Este
qui est demeurée fidelle a garder ses cendres casanières. Les anciens
Guelfs ne me sont point étrangers, et je me crois en etat de rendre
compte de la puissance et de la chute de leurs heritiers, les Ducs de
Bavière et de Saxe.

La succession de la maison de Brunswick au trône de la Grande
Bretagne sera très assurément la partie la plus interessante de mon
travail; mais tous les materiaux se trouvent dans ma langue, et un
Anglois devroit rougir s'il n'avoit pas approfondi l'histoire moderne
et la constitution actuelle de son pays. Mais entre le premier Duc et
le premier Electeur de Brunswick il se trouve un intervalle de quatre
cent cinquante ans, je suis condamné à suivre dans les tenèbres un
sentier étroit et raboteux, et les divisions, les sous divisions,
de tant de branches et de territoires repandent sur ce sentier la
confusion d'un labyrinthe Genealogique. Les événemens sans éclat
et sans liaison sont bornés à une province d'Allemagne et ce n'est
que vers la fin de cette periode que je serois un peu ranimé par la
reformation, la guerre de trente ans, et la nouvelle puissance de
l'Electorat. Comme je me propose de crayonner des Memoires et non pas
de composer une histoire, je marcherois sans doute d'un pas rapide,
je presenterois des resultats plutot que des faits, des observations
plutot que des récits: mais vous sentez, combien un tableau general
exige de connoissances particulières, combien l'auteur doit être plus
savant que son livre.

Or cet auteur, il est à deux cent lieues de la Saxe, il ignore la
langue et il ne s'est jamais appliqué à l'histoire de l'Allemagne.
Eloigné des sources, il ne lui reste qu'un seul moyen pour les faire
couler dans sa bibliotheque. C'est de se menager sur les lieux même
un correspondant exact, un guide eclairé, un oracle enfin qu'il
puisse consulter dans tous ses besoins. Par votre caractère, votre
esprit, vos lumières, votre position, vous êtes cet homme precieux
et unique que je cherche, et quand vous m'indiquerez un _suppléant_
aussi capable que vous même je ne m'addresserois pas avec la même
confiance à un étranger. Je vous accablerois librement de questions,
et de nouvelles questions naitroient souvent de vos reponses;
je vous prierois de fouiller dans votre vaste depôt; je vous
demanderois des notices, des livres, des extraits, des traductions,
des renseignements sur tous les objets qui peuvent intéresser mon
travail. Mais j'ignore si vous êtes disposé à sacrifier votre loisir,
vos études chéries à une correspondance pénible sans agrémens et
sans gloire. Je me flatte que vous feriez quelque chose pour moi,
vous feriez encore davantage pour l'honneur de la maison à laquelle
vous êtes attaché, mais suis-je en droit de supposer que mes ecrits
puissent contribuer de quelque chose à son honneur?

J'attends, Monsieur, votre reponse qu'elle soit prompte et franche.
Si vous daignez vous associer à mon entreprise, je vous envoyerai
sur le champ mon premier interrogatoire. Votre refus me decideroit à
renoncer à mon dessein, ou du moins à lui donner une nouvelle forme.
J'ose en même tems vous demander un profond secret: un mot indiscret
seroit repeté par cent bouches et j'aurois le desagrement de voir
dans les journaux, et bientôt dans les papiers Anglois, une annonce,
peut-être défigurée, de mes projets littéraires, qui ne sont confiés
qu'à vous seul.

  J'ai l'honneur d'être,
  E. G.

  [155] _Origines Guelficæ, quibus potentissimæ gentis primordia,
  magnitudo, variaque fortuna exhibentur._ Opus præeunte G. G.
  Leibnitii stilo J. G. Eccardi literis consignatum, postea a J. D.
  Grubero novis probationibus instructum. (Ad finem perduxit atque
  edidit C. L. Scheidius. Accedit duplex index, etc., curante J. H.
  Jungio.) Hanoveræ, 1750-80, fol.

  [156] _Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire_ (edition of 1862),
  vol. vii. p. 119.



556.

_To Lord Sheffield._


  [Oct. 17, '90.]

[Sidenote: SERVITUDE TO LAWYERS.]

You call me incorrigible: but I never was less disposed than at
present to plead guilty. Have you forgot the general picture of mind,
body and estate which I sent you since my recovery? in the tranquil
life of Lausanne a long interval might elapse without affording any
features to alter or any colours to vary. On the most interesting
topic, poor Buriton, it is mine to hear rather than to write, and
most ardently indeed do I now desire to hear of the conclusion of
that incomprehensible business. Is it possible, are we under such
servitude to the lawyers that an obsolete act without force or
meaning should have hung us up for a year in Chancery? If I do not
learn before the end of the year that the money is paid and placed,
I shall be as miserable as pecuniary events can make me; when it
is done I am easy and happy for life. In the midst of your arduous
affairs I do not suspect any failure of zeal, but I now call upon
you to redouble your speed, and to strain every nerve till we have
reached the goal. Till the present business I never imagined that it
was difficult to find people who would take your money. It is lucky
that Sainsbury has consented to leave £8000 on Buriton: with regard
to the remainder I leave it absolutely to your judgement, but since
you distrust with reason private bond security, I see no other way
than throwing it into the funds; a short delay might be allowed in
expectation of their sinking, but the rise and fall are so uncertain,
that it might be the 'rusticus expectat dum defluat amnis.' In the
mean while Buriton rent must be paid, and as the two quarters due
at Lady day had been neglected, the whole year till last Michaelmas
must be rigorously exacted. I do not believe (though I would not give
a gentleman the lye) that you ever asked me the question about Mrs.
G.'s jointure: it will be an handsome, an easy compliment to give her
a right to the three hundred which I pay her in fact.

Let us now make a tour to Newhaven. Upon the whole I am very well
satisfied. You remark that about February, 1788, the old Saint
decimated her nephew: but have you forgot that her atheistical nephew
had neglected to accept her invitation and would not even write her a
civil letter? surely _he_ has no right to complain. I am ignorant of
the character and behaviour of the Laws, but in the general principle
of preferring friends to relations, I think her perfectly right.--You
were not surely impatient for an answer to your proposal: it demands
the coolest deliberation, and there cannot be the smallest occasion
for dispatch. I will however impart such ideas as have arisen.

1. I agree with Batt in thinking it an unwise measure for yourself.
Is this a time to diminish your income when you must enlarge or at
least support your expence, when you know that for seven years to
come you will not enjoy the benefit of a single winter fallow? If you
have timber it will be sufficiently wanted for your annual supplies.

2. The balance of my fortune and my wishes depends on a contingency
which I have neither power nor inclination to hasten. As soon as
the Belvidere subsides, I am rich beyond all my plans of expence at
Lausanne. Every winter such an event is probable, and it is highly
probable that it will happen in three or four winters. It is indeed
possible that a fine thread may be drawn to a great length without
breaking, and if I turned a landed estate into an annuity, I should
never be at a loss to employ the superfluity. If my heir, the
creature of my choice does not think he has enough, the dog has too
much.



557.

_Lord Sheffield to Edward Gibbon._


  Sheffield Place, 3rd Jan., 1791.

It occurs to me in the midst of much hurry, that you may have a
wish for further information on the subject of the Madeira. It was
shipped for Ostend on the 3rd Dec., with full and ample instructions
(according to your own directions) for its conveyance to Basle, where
it is to wait your further orders. I suppose that on the receipt of
my former letter you wrote to your correspondent there.

The Wine is gone in one hogshead and one tierce, marked & No. E. G.
No. 1 & 2.

The Bill as follows--

                                             £    _s._   _d._
  No. 1. 6 doz. finest Malmsey sealed red--
    on board                                17     4      0
        6 doz.  Bottles                      1     1      0
  No. 2. One Hogshead best Old Madeira--
    on board                                39     0      0
        1  Hogshead--1 Tierce--1 Case &
            Bills of Lading                  1    10      8
                                            ---------------
                                            59     5      8

Probably it is the best wine of the kind that ever reached the
centre of Europe. You will remember that an Hogshead is on his
travels through the torrid zone for you. I suppose you do not mean to
decline it when it arrives. No wine is meliorated to a greater degree
by keeping than Madeira, and you latterly appeared so ravenous for
it, that I must conceive you wish to have a stock.

I have had a Congress with Sainsbury, &c. The business has been
referred to the Master of the Rolls. I have talked with the Master.
It seems in good train. The conveyance is preparing. The message
of young Porten is very troublesome. Sainsbury wished to avoid
taking the £8000 on mortgage. I remonstrated strongly. He agreed,
handsomely, to take it rather than embarrass. I have promised £4000
on a Yorkshire mortgage. I have been very busy in Town. I am glad I
cannot finish _the Paper_, because you are such a worthless fellow,
that you do not answer even on business.

  Yours ever,
  S.

N.B.--The Birth of Maria, & the Justices are waiting for me at the
Inn.



558.

_To Lord Sheffield._


  1791.

[Sidenote: GIBBON'S SERIOUS ILLNESS.]

*Your indignation will melt into pity, when you hear that for several
weeks past I have been again confined to my chamber and my chair.
Yet I must hasten, generously hasten, to exculpate the Gout, my
old enemy, from the curses which you already pour on his head. He
is not the cause of this disorder, although the consequences have
been somewhat similar.* After some days of fever and a most violent
oppression in my head and stomach, the morbid humour forced itself
into my right leg, which was covered from my knee to my toe with a
strong inflammatory _Erisipèle_ or Rash. I was gradually relieved by
a plentiful discharge of pus _atque Venenum_ (excuse the indelicacy)
which, according to my Physician, has surpassed that of fifty
blisters. The skin has been compleatly renewed, and I now crawl about
the house upon two sticks. *I am satisfied that this effort of nature
has saved me from a very dangerous, perhaps a fatal, crisis; and I
listen to the flattering hope that it may tend to keep the Gout at a
more respectful distance.* You will determine whether it ought to
raise or sink the purchase of my annuity.

I must confess that I am disappointed, vexed, harrassed, fatigued
with the strange procrastination of the Buriton affairs which are
now verging to the end of the second year. In former transactions
while we were fighting with knaves and madmen nothing could surprise,
but in this amicable connection with a willing and able purchaser,
it is indeed provoking that term after term we should be hung up (a
most proper expression) in the forms of the Court of Chancery. You
are now on the spot, and I conjure you by every tye of friendship
and humanity to steal some moments from the service of Bristol, to
strain every nerve of your active genius, and to send me a speedy and
satisfactory account that the business is terminated, and the money
paid. The funds are indeed so very high, that I agree with you in
preferring a clear four per cent. which _they_ do not yield, on the
solid basis of the Earth, I mean on good landed security. I therefore
much approve of your holding Sainsbury to his engagement of retaining
the £8000 on the mortgage of Buriton's own self, and hope you will
not fail of success in registering £4000 more in Yorkshire. Should
any loose hundreds remain, they may be best added to my India bonds
in Gosling's hands. I much fear that another half year from Buriton
will become due (at Lady-day), and hope you will order Andrews to
exact it without mercy or delay.

I feel myself much embarrassed how to define or establish my claims
on Hugonin. We always treated with the confidence of friends,
and the ease of Gentlemen, and his short accounts, from art or
accident, were always so vague, that I could never discern to what
half year his remittances applied. I am satisfied that two years
or at least eighteen months have never been accounted for; but on
the most moderate footing I may demand the year's rent which ended
at Michaelmas 1788, and which was not paid when I left England.
The agency of Hugonin will not be disputed, the Tenant's receipt
will prove that it was paid into his hands, and even the silence of
Gosling's books will afford some evidence that it never was remitted
for my use. Besides, will not the _onus probandi_ rest on Hugonin's
heirs, who ought to produce my discharge? On recollection I may even
state my damages at eighteen months, since according to a vile
abuse, the tenant only paid at Michaelmas the year's rent which had
been due the previous Lady-day.

[Sidenote: ACCEPTS ANNUITY FOR NEWHAVEN.]

I now proceed to the important business of Newhaven, and am not sorry
that we have both of us taken sufficient time to avoid the reproach
of rash and precipitate measures. As you are not an infant I will
decline any farther remonstrance of what may be proper or improper
for yourself, and will think solely of my own interest. After mature
consideration I am _resolved_ to amplify my income by the sale of
Newhaven, leaving one half of the purchase money to sink in an
Annuity and the other half to swim in a Mortgage. My old scruples
against pecuniary transactions with a friend are much diminished
by my experience of the delays and difficulties which occur in a
treaty with a stranger, and I flatter myself that you will not think
it necessary to ascertain my title to the Estate by an amicable
suit in Chancery. Your statement is impartial and your terms are
liberal: Twenty-eight years' purchase appears a fair price for an
Estate circumstanced like mine, and I am not ambitious of paying more
than twelve years for the chance of my earthly existence. But I do
not perfectly acquiesce in your striking off the casual profits to
balance the casual losses and repairs, and I must request that you
would try a very simple calculation: Supposing the three per Cents at
eighty, your landed estate, after deducting every possible outgoing,
would pay you as good interest as your money in the funds. Is such an
equality reasonable? Should you pay nothing for the solid security of
land? Is the National Debt less exposed than the Sussex acres to be
swallowed in the Ocean? The calculation is easy.

                                              £     _s._    _d._
  Clear rent of Newhaven after deducting
    Land-tax and quitrents                   234     17      10

  Interest paid by the Tenant on £154 at
    4 per cent.                                6      0       0

  Casual profits on an average                19     13       4
                                            -------------------
                                            £260     11       2
                                              28
                                           ------
                                           £7280, of which

                        £            £
                      4000 mortgage 160
                      3280 annuity  273
                                   ----
                                   £433

Suppose we reduce this sum to £7000 and divide it equally, the
produce will be £430 (£140 for the Mortgage, £290 for the Annuity).
I cannot think my expectations quite unreasonable, but I leave the
final arbitration to yourself, as if we were treating with a third
person, and I authorize you to conclude with Lord Sheffield on such
conditions as I ought to ask and he will be disposed to give. The
farm itself will never answer for the Mortgage, and you will obtain
a good and sufficient security for the annuity. In the meanwhile I
should be glad to know when I may expect the payment of some rent,
and from what date it will begin to accrue to me.

N.B.--Your own offer is £4200, the Mortgage; £280 Annuity. But
arithmetic is erroneous: 3052 divided by 12 do not produce 280 but
only 254. You are a pretty man of business. So much for Newhaven.

Since we are talking of Wills, I must request that you would commit
mine to the flames. By the first opportunity I will send you the
duplicate of another which I have constructed on more rational
principles. You will not disapprove the preference which I now give
to the children of Sir Stanier Porten: they are the nearest, the most
indigent and the most deserving of my relations.

*The whole sheet has been filled with dry selfish business; but I
must and will reserve some lines of the cover for a little friendly
conversation. I passed four days at the castle of Copet with Necker;
and could have wished to have shown him, as a warning to any aspiring
youth possessed with the Dæmon of ambition.[157] With all the means
of private happiness in his power, he is the most miserable of
human beings: the past, the present, and the future are equally
odious to him. When I suggested some domestic amusements of books,
building, &c. he answered, with a deep tone of despair, "Dans l'état
où je suis, je ne puis sentir que le coup de vent qui m'a abbattu."
How different from the careless chearfulness with which our poor
friend Lord North supported his fall! Madame Necker maintains more
external composure, _mais le Diable n'y perd rien_. It is true that
Necker wished to be carried into the Closet, like old Pitt, on the
shoulders of the people; and that he has been ruined by the Democracy
which he had raised. I believe him to be an able financier, and know
him to be an honest man; too honest, perhaps, for a minister. His
rival Calonne has passed through Lausanne, in his way from Turin;
and was soon followed by the Prince of Condé, with his son and
grandson;[158] but I was too much indisposed to see them. They have,
or have had, some wild projects of a counter-revolution: horses
have been bought, men levied, and the Canton of Berne has too much
countenanced such foolish attempts which must end in the ruin of the
party.

[Sidenote: PRAISE OF BURKE'S _REFLECTIONS_.]

Burke's book[159] is a most admirable medicine against the French
disease, which has made too much progress even in this happy country.
I admire his eloquence, I approve his politics, I adore his chivalry,
and I can forgive even his superstition. The primitive Church,
which I have treated with some freedom, was itself at that time
an innovation, and I was attached to the old Pagan establishment.
The French spread so many lyes about the sentiments of the English
nation, that I wish the most considerable men of all parties and
descriptions would join in some public act, declaring themselves
satisfied with and resolved to support our present constitution. Such
a declaration would have a wonderful effect in Europe; and, were I
thought worthy, I myself should be proud to subscribe it. I have a
great mind to send you something of a sketch, such as all thinking
men might adopt.

I have intelligence of the approach of my Madeira, and on its receipt
will despatch a draught for the payment. I accept with equal pleasure
the second, now in the torrid zone. Send me some pleasant details of
your domestic state, of Maria, &c. If my lady thinks that my silence
is a mark of indifference, my lady is a goose. I _must_ have you
all at Lausanne next summer.* Apropos, I must have £3000 on Annuity
and £3000 on Mortgage: the surplus you may divide as you like best.
I wish you would not enclose your letters to Paris. I have no longer
any connections with Lessert, and they desire not to be troubled with
them.

  [157] "Mr. Gibbon writes that he has seen Necker, and found him
  still devoured by ambition, and I should think by mortification
  at the foolish figure he has made" (Walpole to the Miss Berrys,
  February 28, 1791).

  [158] Louis Joseph, Prince de Condé (1736-1818), was the son of
  the Duc de Bourbon who was minister to Louis XV. He had served in
  the Seven Years' War, and commanded the _émigrés_ on the banks
  of the Rhine, who were known as the _armée de Condé_. Both his
  son and grandson died by violence. His son, the Duc de Bourbon
  (1756-1830), was found hanged in his room. Suspicion, probably
  without reason, fell on his mistress, Madame de Feuchéres. With
  him was extinguished the family of Condé, for the grandson here
  mentioned was the Duc d'Enghien (1772-1804) who was shot at
  Vincennes in 1804.

  [159] Burke's _Reflections on the Revolution in France_ were
  published in October, 1790. "Gibbon admires Burke to the skies,
  and even the religious parts, he says" (Walpole to the Miss
  Berrys, February 28, 1791).



559.

_Lord Sheffield to Edward Gibbon._


  Downing Street, 5th Feb., 1791.

We remained in the country to the last moment, & I came to Town
furious against you on account of your neglect of writing, but on
reaching Lord Guilford,[160] I learned that you had been very ill, &
I was completely softened and no longer abusive. His information came
from Major Frank North, who added that you were recovering.

Now are you not a damned good-for-nothing fellow for not recollecting
that we might hear you were ill, & therefore not desiring De Severy
to write a line to mention that you were recovering? I have for a
long time exhorted my Lady to write to him. I think she will now
favour him with a Philipick. What has been the matter? for my account
does not say whether it has been the gout only or something more.
I shall be really sulky if you do not write one line. We are much
annoyed. I went to Elmsley & he knew nothing.

[Sidenote: THE CORN LAWS AND SLAVE TRADE.]

I will not write to you on business until a fragment arrives from
you, except to say the Business has stopped in hopes of information
from you relative to the amount of Hugonin's debt to you. You know
I had nothing to do with the affairs between you and him, and of
course could not make out the ballance. Andrews has stated it to me
at £347 2_s._ 3_d._ I supposed it to be more, therefore waited to
hear from you; but I have an Affidavit ready prepared to make before
a Master for that amount; that operation is necessary before any
further progress can be made. In addition to my other occupations I
am more busied than ever I was in my life about a Corn Bill[161]
now depending, (as great a business as I have ever undertaken).
I examined it well during the Recess, and made ample notes on my
arrival; I have shewn them to Batt and Sir Joseph, and they recommend
strenuously that I should publish them with my name. They say it is
too argumentative, it requires too much consideration, for a speech.
They think it will do me great credit. They add it is impossible even
for a very able man in the art of speaking and in the habit, to do it
justice in a speech. In short, I am obliged to undertake publication
in such an hurry as will not produce your commendation. The question
comes on in a week. I find the first Edition of my _Observations on
the Project for Abolishing the Slave Trade_[162] was not sent to you.
I have delivered the second Edition to Elmsley to be forwarded when
there is an opportunity. I learned from him that you had not received
Burke's _Pamphlet_.

If you had not been ill I should have talked to you as you deserve
about the addition to your History. It is as it should be, that I
am to hear of that addition for the first time from Newspapers or
accidental correspondents. I did not believe the circumstance until
everybody was convinced of it, and Mr. Cadell's information was
general. It is intolerable.

  [160] The Earl of Guilford (1704-1790) died August 4, 1790, and
  was succeeded by his eldest son Frederick, better known as Lord
  North.

  [161] Lord Sheffield's _Observations on the Corn Bill now
  depending in Parliament_ was published in 1791. The Corn
  Regulation Bill was introduced early in that year. The House went
  into committee on the Bill on February 22, 1791, Lord Sheffield
  protesting against its principle, but not dividing the House.
  Lord Sheffield twice beat Pitt (March 11 and April 11) on the
  question of warehousing foreign corn. He also argued for 52_s._
  instead of 48_s._ as the lowest price at which, in the interest
  of farmers, it was possible to admit foreign corn (April 4).

  [162] Lord Sheffield opposed Wilberforce's motion (April 18,
  1791) for the Abolition of the Slave Trade on the ground that the
  West Indian Assemblies alone could deal with the question fairly
  in all its bearings.



560.

_Lord Sheffield to Edward Gibbon._


  Downing Street, 15th March, 1791.

Your manuscript at last received exhilarated us very considerably. We
heard you were better, but did not exactly know the state of things.
We had almost made up our minds to go to see you in a snug party for
a month or two in the summer, but now you are well we do not care so
much about you. Maria says the allowance of a year's purchase is a
fair offer, and my Lady is still more eager to go than Maria.

I know not how I made the mistake in saying the annuity should be
£280 instead of £254, but on the receipt of your letter, I desired
Woodcock to make out the conveyance for £3000 in an annuity at 12
years' purchase (£250) and £4000 on Mortgage at 4 per cent., £160
together with £410. You will observe that I have somewhat diminished
the sum to be laid out on an annuity and encreased the sum on
Mortgage, thinking it better for you. Unfortunately for you, since
the above arrangement, I have discovered that besides the outgoings I
mentioned to you there is a Fee Farm rent of £5 8_s._ 0_d._ payable
out of the Estate, which at 28 years' purchase makes a deduction of
£151 4_s._ 0_d._ Be assured that you are a damned Jew, otherwise you
would have been content with the £6700 which I profferred to you,
and I think you ought still. I propose that the annuity and mortgage
interest shall begin from Lady-day ensuing, and the Deeds shall be
sent to you whenever I can prevail on Woodcock to prepare them. The
Annuity shall be payable out of certain farms at Sheffield, and
the £4000 mortgage shall be on the Newhaven Estate. The Mortgage
Deeds, &c., shall be left in Batt's hands for your account. It is
observable that I am paying you £4000 for the reversion of the
Estate, and in the meantime more than the annual clear income of it.
I am purchasing Lord Heathfield's House and Estate in Sussex, 14
miles from Sheffield, for Sir Henry Clinton. Only 25 years' purchase,
deducting every outgoing, is asked, and the timber (which will be
very advantageous) is rated very moderately.

You have often remarked how singular your ill-luck is as to sales
and titles to Estates. Be it known to you that the conveyance of
the Newhaven Estate to your Grandfather is lost. All the other old
writings belonging to it were found carefully tyed up and transmitted
to me by Mr. Law. The Lawyers say, as I know the circumstances of
the Estate and Family, it is such a title as I may take if I please.
Yet that I should not be able to sell it again but to disadvantage.
I answer that I do not wish it to be sold again. Thus it appears you
could not easily sell to anybody but me. As to the Buriton business,
I have been almost afraid to tell you that it is still hung up. It is
again referred to a Master in Chancery. However, there is no step
neglected that can bring it to a conclusion, and I hope it cannot
hold on much longer. I have made out that Hugonin was indebted to you
to the amount of a year and a half of Buriton. I have sworn to the
account, and you will receive at least ten shillings in the pound.
Hugonin, his Mistress and daughter are all dead within two years. You
will have £8000 on Mortgage in Hampshire, £4000 in Sussex, and £4000
in Yorkshire. All good strings to your bow.

[Sidenote: THE LABOURING OAR IN THE HOUSE.]

The account of your undergoing a drain equal to fifty blisters
furnishes me with some satisfaction, as we think it will be
serviceable to your fat carcase. You have proven me busy, but I was
comparatively at leisure. I have illuminated the Corn Laws. The
subject was not understood. The Pamphlet written in a few days is in
great repute. You will abuse it because I only attended to the sense
in writing it. I have the labouring oar in the House of Commons. I
shall write again soon. In the meantime you must write by return of
post, if you wish any other distribution of the money.

I am on a Committee every day from ten to four.



561.

_To Lord Sheffield._


  Lausanne, April 9th, 1791.

I _will_ say no more, because I can say no more on the unfortunate
subject of Buriton, the most unlucky because the least expected of
all my worldly embarrassments. Tell me fairly whether you suspect
any secret management, or any legal chicanery, &c., on the side of
the purchasers. If they are sincere and willing as ourselves, what
hinders that we should give possession, we of the land and they of
the money, and let the Master in Chancery make his report whenever
it may amuse him? If such a scheme be impracticable, goad, I conjure
you, the lawyers and fix a day, a definite day, a short day for the
final conclusion, for my release from a state of suspense which keeps
me hanging between heaven and earth.

You say nothing of what rent may be due from Newhaven, and of the
payment of my wretched legacy. My repairs and improvements have now
run away with a great deal of money, and my cash account with the
Goslings has seldom been so low. It would, however, suffice to pay
for the Madeira which is arrived in perfect health: but with my usual
accuracy I have lost the account.

After mature consideration I accept your terms of £250 annuity
and four thousand mortgage with the security which you propose;
the former on some farms at Sheffield (doubtless of a more ample
produce), the latter on the Newhaven estate, the imperfect title of
which it will not become me to dispute. Notwithstanding your recent
discovery of a fee farm rent, I think you will still have a very good
bargain; but if you are obstinate, you may strike off ten pounds a
year from the Annuity, for your chance of getting back any money
would be a very poor one indeed.--With regard to the writings, I
have no objection to the method which you propose of lodging them
in Batt's hands. I do not recollect anything more on the subject
of business, since I have already approved of the distribution of
the purchase money. £8000 on Buriton, £4000 in Yorkshire, the loose
residue, if any, in the funds. We may therefore proceed to more
interesting and less interested topics.

*First, of my health; It is now tolerably restored: my legs are still
weak, but the animal in general is in a sound and lively condition;
and we have great hopes from the fine weather and the Pyrmont waters.
I most sincerely wished for the presence of Maria, to embellish a
ball which I gave the 29th of last month to all the best company,
natives and foreigners, of Lausanne, with the aid of the Severys,
especially of the mother and son, who directed the œconomy, and
performed the honours of the _Fête_. It opened about seven in the
evening; the assembly of men and women was pleased and pleasing, the
music good, the illumination splendid, the refreshments profuse:
at twelve, one hundred and thirty persons sat down to a very good
supper; at two, I stole away to bed, in a snug corner; and I was
informed at breakfast, that the remains of the Veteran and young
troops, with Severy and his sister at their head, had concluded
the last dance about a quarter before seven. This magnificent
entertainment has gained me great credit; and the expence was more
reasonable than you can easily imagine. This was an extraordinary
event, but I give frequent dinners; and in the summer I have an
assembly every Sunday evening. What a wicked wretch! says Lady
Pantile.

I cannot pity you for the accumulation of business, as you ought
not to pity _me_, if I complained of the tranquillity of Lausanne:
we suffer or enjoy the effects of our own choice. Perhaps you
will mutter something of our not being born for ourselves, of
public spirit (I have formerly read of such a thing), of private
friendship, for which I give you full and ample credit, &c. But your
parliamentary operations, at least, will probably expire in the month
of June; and I shall refuse to sign the Newhaven conveyance, unless
I am satisfied that you will execute the Lausanne visit this summer.
On the 15th of June, suppose lord, lady, Maria, and maid, (poor
Louisa!) in a post coach, with Etienne on horseback, set out from
Downing-street, or Sheffield-place, cross the Channel from Brighton
to Dieppe, visit the national assembly, buy caps at Paris, examine
the ruins of Versailles, and arrive at Lausanne, without danger or
fatigue, the second week in July; you will be lodged pleasantly and
comfortably, and will not perhaps despise my situation. A couple of
months will roll, alas! too hastily away: you will all be amused by
new scenes, new people; and whenever Maria and you, with Severy,
mount on horseback to visit the country, the Glaciers, &c., My lady
and myself shall form a very quiet tête-à-tête at home. In September,
if you are tired, you may return by a direct or indirect way; but I
only desire that you will not make the plan impracticable by grasping
at too much. In return, I promise you a visit of three or four
months in the autumn of ninety-two: you and my booksellers are now
my principal attractions in England. You had some right to growl at
hearing of my supplement in the papers: but Cadell's indiscretion was
founded on a loose hint which I had thrown out in a letter, and which
in all probability will never be executed. Yet I am not totally idle.
Adieu.*



562.

_Lord Sheffield to Edward Gibbon._


  Downing Street, 21st April, 1791.

[Sidenote: A BARGAIN WITH THE SHEFFIELDS.]

At length the Buriton business is almost concluded, and all your and
my cares on that subject will be at an end, the moment I receive the
Deeds which were sent to you early this morning for signature. The
Masters in Chancery are the Devils, and I should not have expressed
myself much more amiably of the Master of the Rolls, if he had not
been at last particularly attentive to my exhortations to dispatch.
All difficulties are at end, the conveyances, &c., engrossed, and one
part of them are gone to you, because Lord Stawell's Lawyers wish you
to sign that part, notwithstanding they drew up the Power of Attorney
which you signed to enable me.

At the same time are gone the Deeds which convey Newhaven from
Ed. Gibbon to Lord Sheffield, reciting the £4000 on Mortgage and
the annuity of £250 per Ann. The conveyance is to J. T. Batt to
the use of Lord Sheffield. Batt is Trustee; and the Deeds, when
returned with the other writings belonging to the Estate, must be
left in his hands as such, not only on account of the Mortgage of
£4000, but also because the Newhaven Estate is made subject to the
Annuity, notwithstanding a greater proportion of the Sheffield
Estate is chargeable with it than is necessary to pay the whole. It
was unnecessary to send you the Deed which grants the Annuity of
£250 chargeable on Sheffield and Newhaven. It is signed by me and
left in Batt's hands. He has perused and examined the drafts of the
Conveyance and of the grant of the annuity before they were engrossed.

There are four deeds sent for your signature--and with them
directions as to the parts where to be signed, which parts are marked
with pencil. It is also mentioned that you should have English
witnesses. Frank North might be one, and I suppose you may find at
any time another fit English witness at Lausanne. You will despatch
as soon as you can and return the writings immediately. If you give
me a line of notice as soon as they are signed it will be still
better, and will forward, and in reality conclude, matters.

[Sidenote: SNUGNESS OF GIBBON'S AFFAIRS.]

We have not been able to get any intelligence of the conveyance of
the Newhaven Estate to your Grandfather, which is somewhat strange.
I mentioned in my last that I had given directions for forming the
conveyance from you to me, previous to the discovery of a Quit-rent,
and that I thought you had better pay me the value of that Quit-rent
than alter the even sum of £4000 Mortgage or £250 annuity. I must
therefore take 28 years' purchase for the Quit-rent, and I flatter
myself you are too much of a gentleman and too little of the Jew to
make any objection. You have a good bargain, and I would sooner have
seen you at the Devil than have given you so much, if you did not
seem to be under my direction in these matters.

I almost envy you the snugness of your affairs. You will be a rich
fellow. What a damned long letter on such matter, to make things easy
to the meanest capacities.

Perhaps I may write soon on the Russian War, the Slave Trade, and
the Corn Bill. The first has been an extraordinary business. On the
second I was a considerable prop to good sense against nonsense and
the most eloquent declamation on humanity. What think you of shutting
the Ports of the West Indies? It would not have succeeded better than
the experiment at Boston. I have beaten Pitt 3 times on the Corn Bill.



563.

_Lord Sheffield to Edward Gibbon._


  Downing Street, 13th May, 1791.

Nothing could be more unfair and insidious than the proposition
that you would come here in 1792, if we would go to you in 1791.
It raised the whole Family, and everybody one knows, against me.
It raised me against myself. It is true in a weak season, when we
supposed you poorly, I exhibited a disposition to go to you, but
when you recovered _insurmountable_ difficulties occurred. The
Great Navigation in Sussex which is at its crisis depends on me,
and a thousand other matters, besides expence when I have not got
a shilling to spare. However, the Idea is entertained. I am much
conciliated, as I should be to anything that binds you to a compact
to be here in 1792. I cannot prevail on myself at once to say--I
will, altho' I apprehend I must. Therefore say by the return of the
post, whether you can accommodate the Louisa, if she should make
a fifth in the Coach with My Lady, her woman, Maria and myself. I
suppose she might, if necessary, sleep with Maria or the Woman. I
have not mentioned this letter to the Ladies, but Maria is anxious
that Louisa should go, and we think she is at an age to receive
improvement even in a visit for a couple of months. I cannot go
sooner than the beginning of July, and I must be here early in
October. Desire our Friend De Severy to write detail to me on the
subject of the journey.

It just occurred to write this letter. A Committee is waiting for me,
but to make you amends, I send you Woodfall's account of one of the
most extraordinary debates in Parliament.[163]

  Yours ever,
  S.

  [163] This was probably the debate of May 6, 1791, when Burke
  declared that, even if loss of friends were the consequence,
  he would still, with his latest breath, exclaim, "Fly from the
  French Constitution!" "There is no loss of friends," said Fox.
  "Yes, there is," retorted Burke. "I know the price of my conduct!
  I have indeed made a great sacrifice: I have done my duty, though
  I have lost my friend." Burke's speech was made on the Quebec
  Bill, and Lord Sheffield moved, and was supported by Fox, that
  dissertations on the French Constitution were not pertinent to
  the question before the House. Fox's panegyric on the French
  Revolution, to which Burke's speech was a reply, was delivered on
  the treaty between Russia and the Porte.



564.

_To Lord Sheffield._


  Lausanne, May 18th, 1791.

[Sidenote: DANGER OF RUSSIAN WAR.]

*I write a short letter, on small paper, to inform you, that the
various deeds, which arrived safe and in good condition, have
this morning been sealed, signed, and delivered, in the presence
of respectable and well known English witnesses,* though out of
compliment to you I inserted one Irish evidence, a protégé of
Sarah's, and considering all things a very pretty gentleman. I
am very well behaved to him. *To have read the aforesaid acts,
would have been difficult; to have understood them, impracticable.
I therefore signed them with my eyes shut, and in that implicit
confidence, which we freemen and Britons are humbly content to yield
to our lawyers and ministers. I hope, however, most seriously hope,
that every thing has been carefully examined, and that I am not
totally ruined. It is not without much impatience that I expect an
account of the payment and investment of the purchase-money,* and am
somewhat afraid of the high charges of auctioneers and attornies.
The writings well secured are delivered to a trusty carrier, who
promises to begin his Journey Monday next, the 23rd instant, and to
deposit them in Downing Street about a fortnight afterwards. *It was
my intention to have added a new edition of my Will: but I have an
unexpected call to go to Geneva to-morrow with the Severys, and must
defer that business a few days, till after my return. On my return
I may possibly find a letter from you, and will write more fully in
answer: my posthumous work, contained in a single sheet, will not
ruin you in postage. In the meanwhile, let me desire you either never
to talk of Lausanne, or to execute the journey this summer; after
the dispatch of public and _private_ business, there can be no real
obstacle but in yourself, and if you deceive me I shall insist on
the additional year's purchase for Newhaven, which I had given up in
consideration of the visit. Pray do not go to War with Russia:[164]
it is very foolish: I am quite angry with Pitt. Adieu.* Pray inform
Mrs. G. of our conclusion and her security. I write to her this post
after a long pause. I am a sad dog.

  [164] In the spring of 1791 war with Russia seemed probable.
  Catharine had in the preceding year concluded peace with Sweden,
  and the winter campaign of 1790-91 placed the Ottoman Porte
  at her mercy. Great Britain endeavoured to secure favourable
  terms for Turkey, and made active preparations to enforce her
  efforts. The king's message to the House of Commons (March
  28, 1791) asked for an increase to the navy in order to bring
  pressure to bear on Russia. But Great Britain was without allies.
  Prussia was irresolute, Sweden exhausted, Denmark unwilling to
  quarrel with Russia, Austria intent on recovering the Austrian
  Netherlands. Her protest was, however, not without effect.
  Catharine refused to recognize Great Britain as a mediator or to
  recede from her demands. But she made peace with Turkey at Galacz
  in August, 1791, restoring all her conquests except Otchakov
  and the surrounding territory between the Bug and the Dniester.
  The strong opposition to war with Russia doubtless influenced
  Pitt. But it is said that the opinion of the Dutch Admiral,
  Kingsbergen, that Sebastopol, not Otchakov, was the real danger
  to Turkey, finally changed his view. The Duke of Leeds resigned
  the Secretaryship of State on the question, and was succeeded by
  H. Dundas.



565.

_To his Stepmother._


  Lausanne, May 18th, 1791.

  DEAR MADAM,

*As much as I am accustomed to my own sins, I am shocked, really
shocked, when I think of my long and most inexcusable silence; nor do
I dare to compute how many months I have suffered to elapse without
sending a single line--(Oh shame! shame!)--to the best and dearest
of my friends, who indeed has been very seldom out of my thoughts.
I have sometimes imagined, that if the opportunities of writing
occurred less frequently, they would be seized with more diligence;
but the unfortunate departure of the post twice every week encourages
procrastination, and each short successive delay is indulged without
scruple, till the whole has swelled to a tremendous account. I will
try, alas! to reform; and although I am afraid that writing grows
painful to you, I have the confidence to solicit a _speedy line_,
to say that you love and forgive me. After a long experience of the
unfeeling doubts and delays of the law, you will probably soon hear
from Lord S. that the Buriton transaction is at last concluded, and
I hope you will be satisfied with the full and firm security of your
annuity. That you may long continue to enjoy it is the first and most
sincere wish of my heart.

[Sidenote: LIKE ADAM ALONE IN PARADISE.]

In the placid course of our lives, at Lausanne and Bath, we have
few events to relate, and fewer changes to describe; but I indulge
myself in the pleasing belief that we are both as well and as happy
as the common order of Nature will allow us to expect. I should
be satisfied, had I received from time to time some indirect, but
agreeable information of the general state of your health. For
myself, I have no complaint, except the Gout; and though the visits
of my old enemy are longer, and more enfeebling, they are confined
to my feet and knees; the pain is moderate, and my imprisonment to
my chamber, or my chair, is much alleviated by the daily kindness of
my friends. I wish it were in my power to give you an adequate idea
of the conveniency of my house, and the beauty of my garden: both of
which I have improved at a considerable expence since the death of
poor Deyverdun. But the loss of a friend is indeed irreparable, and
I sometimes feel, that like Adam I am alone in Paradise. Were I ten
years younger, I might possibly think of a female companion; but the
choice is difficult, the success doubtful, the engagement perpetual,
and at fifty-four a man should never think of altering the whole
System of his life and habits. The disposal of Buriton, and the death
of my aunt Hester, who has left me a small estate in Sussex, makes me
very easy in my worldly affairs; my income is equal to my expence,
and my expence is adequate to my wishes. You may possibly have heard
of litterary projects which are ascribed to me by the public without
my knowledge: but it is much more probable that I have closed the
account: and though I shall never lay aside the pleasing occupations
of study, you may be assured that I have no serious settled thoughts
of a new work. Next year I shall meditate, and I trust shall execute,
a visit to England, in which the Belvidere is one of my powerful
loadstones. I often reflect, with a painful emotion, on the imperious
circumstances which have thrown us at such a distance from each other.

In the moving picture of the World, you cannot be indifferent to the
strange Revolution which has humbled all that was high, and exalted
all that was low, in France. The irregular and lively spirit of the
Nation has disgraced their liberty, and instead of building a free
constitution, they have only exchanged Despotism for Anarchy. This
town and country are crowded with noble Exiles; and we sometimes
count in an assembly a dozen princesses and dutchesses. Burke, if I
remember right, is no favourite of yours; but there is surely much
eloquence and much sense in his book. The prosperity of England forms
a proud contrast with the disorders of France; but I hope we shall
avoid the folly of a Russian War. Pitt, in this instance, seems too
like his father.*

  I am, My Dearest Madam,
  Ever most affectionately Yours,
  E. GIBBON.



566.

_To Lord Sheffield._


  Lausanne, May 31st, 1791.

*At length I see a ray of sunshine breaking from a dark cloud. Your
Epistle of the 13th arrived this morning, the 25th instant, the day
after my return from Geneva; it has been communicated to Severy; we
now believe that you intend a visit to Lausanne this summer, and
we hope that you will execute that intention. If you are a man of
honour, you shall find me one; and, on the day of your arrival at
Lausanne, I will ratify my engagement of visiting the British isle
before the end of the year 1792, excepting only the fair and foul
exception of the Gout. You rejoyce me by proposing the addition
of dear Louisa; it was not without a bitter pang that I threw her
overboard, to lighten the vessel and secure the Voyage: I was fearful
of Mrs. Moss, a second carriage, and a long train of difficulty
and expence, which might have ended in blowing up the whole scheme.
But if you can bodkin the sweet creature in the coach, she will
find an easy welcome at Lausanne. The first arrangements which I
must make before your arrival, may be altered by your own taste,
on a survey of the premises, and you will all be commodiously and
pleasantly lodged. You have heard a great deal of the beauty of my
house, garden, and situation; but such are their intrinsic value,
that, unless I am much deceived, they will bear the test even of
exagerated praise. From my knowledge of your Lordship, I have always
entertained some doubt how you would get through the _French_
society of a Lausanne winter: but I am satisfied that, exclusive of
friendship, your summer visits to the banks of the Leman Lake will
long be remembered as one of the most agreeable periods of your life;
and that you will scarcely regret the amusement of a Sussex Committee
of Navigation in the dog days. You ask for details: what details?
a map of France and a post-book are easy and infallible guides. If
the Ladies are not afraid of the Ocean, you are not ignorant of the
passage from Brighton to Dieppe: Paris will then be in your direct
road; and even allowing you to look at the Pandæmonium, the ruins of
Versailles, &c., a fortnight diligently employed will clear you from
Sheffield-place to Gibbon Castle. What can I say more?

As little have I to say on the subject of my worldly matters,
which seems now, Jupiter be praised, to be drawing towards a final
conclusion; since, when people part with their money, they are indeed
serious. I do not perfectly understand the ratio of the precise
sum which you have poured into Gosling's reservoir, but suppose
it will be explained in a general account;* as that reservoir is
unproductive, I hope the Yorkshire mortgage will soon be in motion. I
had not a doubt of the Law's (in either sense of the word) delaying
to the last moment the payment of Hester's paltry legacy, but I
conceive that you are in possession of Newhaven, and that you have
obtained for me the year's or at least the nine months' rent to
which I must have been entitled last Lady-day. I do not perfectly
understand whether my share of Hug, or to what amount, has actually
been paid. By this time you must have received the Deeds.--_Act._

[Sidenote: BURKE A RATIONAL MADMAN.]

*You have been very dutiful in sending me, what I have always
desired, a cut Woodfall on a remarkable debate; a debate, indeed,
most remarkable! Poor Burke is the most eloquent and rational madman
that I ever knew. I love Fox's feelings, but I detest the political
principles of the man, and of the party. Formerly you detested them
more strongly, during the American War, than myself. I am half afraid
that you are corrupted by your unfortunate connections. Should you
admire the National assembly, we shall have many an altercation,
for I am as high an Aristocrate as Burke himself; and he has truly
observed, that it is impossible to debate with temper on the
subject of that cursed Revolution. In my last excursion to Geneva I
frequently saw the Neckers, who by this time are returned to their
Summer residence of Copet. He is much restored in health and spirits,
especially since the publication of his last book,[165] which has
probably reached England. Both parties who agree in abusing him,
agree likewise that he is a man of virtue and Genius: but I much fear
that the purest intentions have been productive of the most baneful
consequences. Our military men, I mean the French, are leaving us
every day for the camp of the princes at Worms, and support what is
called ----[166] representation. Their hopes are sanguine; I will
not answer for their being well grounded: it is _certain_, however,
that the emperor had an interview the 19th instant with the Count of
Artois at Mantua; and the Aristocrates talk in mysterious language
of Spain, Sardinia, the empire, four or five armies, &c. They will
doubtless strike a blow this summer: May it not recoil on their own
heads! Adieu. Embrace our female travellers. A short delay.*

  [165] Probably his treatise _De l'administration de M. Necker,
  par lui-même_.

  [166] The words in the original letter are torn out by the seal.



567.

_To Lord Sheffield._


  Lausanne, June 12th, 1791.

*I now begin to see you all in real motion, swimming from Brighton
to Dieppe, according to my scheme, and afterwards threading the
direct road which you cannot well avoid, to the turbulent capital
of the late Kingdom of France. I know not what more to say, or what
further instructions to send; they would indeed be useless, as you
are travelling through a country which has been sometimes visited
by Englishmen: only this let me say, that, in the midst of Anarchy,
the roads were never more secure than at present. As you will wish
to assist at the national assembly, you will act prudently in
obtaining from the French in London a good recommendation to some
leading member; Cazalès,[167] for instance, or the Abbé Maury.[168]
I soon expect from Elmsly a cargo of books; but you may bring me
any new pamphlets of exquisite flavour, particularly the last works
of John Lord Sheffield, which the dog has always neglected to send.
You will have time to write once more, and you must endeavour, as
nearly as possible, to mark the day of your arrival. You may come
either by Lyons and Geneva, by Dijon and Les Rousses, or by Dole and
Pontarlière. The post will fail you on the edge of Switzerland, and
must be supplied by hired horses. I wish you to make your last day's
journey easy, so as to dine upon the road, and arrive by tea-time.*
I rejoyce in the approaching conclusion of my affairs, though the
residue of the purchase money has suffered and will suffer most heavy
evacuations.

*The pulse of the contre-Revolution beats high, but I cannot send you
any certain facts. Adieu. I want to _hear_ My lady abusing me for
never writing. _All_ the Severys are very impatient.

Notwithstanding the high premium, I do not absolutely wish you
drowned. Besides all other cares, I must marry and propagate, which
would give me a great deal of trouble.*

  [167] Jacques Marie de Cazalès (1752-1805), whom Madame Roland
  called, for his ability, the "astonishing" Cazalès, was an
  eloquent defender of the Monarchy. Suspected of conniving at the
  king's escape from Paris in June, 1791, he was arrested, and was
  possibly in prison at the time when Gibbon's letter reached Lord
  Sheffield. After the capture of Louis XVI. at Varennes, he left
  France, and, as an _émigré_, took part in the campaign of 1792.

  [168] The Abbé Maury (1746-1817), one of the supporters of the
  Church and the Monarchy in the States-General, left France
  in September, 1791, after the dissolution of the Constituent
  Assembly. Made by Napoleon Archbishop of Paris (1810-14), he was
  deprived of episcopal authority by the Pope, who had previously
  given him a cardinal's hat. At the fall of the Empire he was
  summoned to Rome, and confined for some months in the Castle of
  St. Angelo.



568.

_Lord Sheffield to Edward Gibbon._


  Downing Street, Tuesday, 14th June, 1791.

Your letter of May 31 was received last Friday. As soon as this
letter is finished the Family is to set out for Sheffield Place,
and from thence we shall move as soon as we can towards Lausanne.
We are pressed to pass through France before the Confederation or
Commemoration of the 14th July, and if possible we shall be with you
before that day. I have much to do in Sussex, but I shall hasten.
I shall wish to pass one day at Rouen and three or four at Paris.
I hope to quit Sheffield Place about the 28th instant. We expect
the Borders of France to be troubled, perhaps Besançon may not be
perfectly tranquil. Take care to send a few lines to meet me at the
Post Office, Paris.

Louisa is delighted with your _empressement_ to see her. All My
Lady's sagacious friends have assured her that it is absolutely
necessary to have two men servants on our Travels. Etienne was
dismissed six months ago on account of his indecorous conduct towards
My Lady's woman. A Swiss was hired in his place, in Livery, another
is now hired out of Livery, both of them of the neighbourhood of
Lausanne. One may be dismissed when we arrive there, if we can get a
place for him.

The chief disagrement I experience is a disappointment about your
£4000 mortgage in Yorkshire. The owner sold the Estate. However I
insist on compensation, he having engaged the money. I am in treaty
about a mortgage near my Yorkshire Estate for £3000. I must do the
best I can with the other £1000. It will be extravagant to buy into
the Stocks. They never will be higher, and are likely to be lower. If
I could get £1000 Subscriptions in the Lewes Navigation at 5 pr. Ct.,
it would be well secured and well paid, but money is too plentiful; I
fear I shall not be able to get it.

[Sidenote: LORD SHEFFIELD AN ANTI-DEMOCRAT.]

You exceedingly mistake my Politicks. I am as great an Anti-Democrat
as Mr. Burke, and so are most of the party; but you are deceived by
Burke's speeches. I hold the French proceedings in such abhorrence
and dislike as an English Politician, that I shall be in danger of
the Lantern.

Remember us with many thanks to de Severy.

  Yours ever,
  S.

The Ladies are impatient for their voyage. The writings were not
received till three days ago, and it is impossible for the greatest
Philosopher to have signed them with a greater degree of ignorance,
&c. Especially those relating to Buriton I must carry to you again.



569.

_Lord Sheffield to Edward Gibbon._


  Sheffield House, 27th June, 1791.

Your letter of the 12th June was graciously received two days ago,
and notwithstanding the intelligence we received yesterday morning
of the Royal Escape,[169] and notwithstanding the probable confusion
and warfare that will take place in France, the ardour of the Ladies
to go to you is redoubled. My Lady seems scared lest prudence should
induce me to halt for intelligence, and cannot endure a delay even
for the packet, which will sail on Saturday. No, we must set out
after dinner for Brighton, and sail from thence to-morrow for Dieppe.
This I should not have undertaken if I had not received a letter from
Pelham dated Paris, two days after the elopement, which mentioned
that on the second day all was quiet, the National Assembly cool
and united, but that he should take care a letter should meet me at
Rouen, which would inform me whether it would be advisable to pass
thro' Paris. He thinks it may not be easy to get from thence. It is
probable I shall be glad to avoid Paris, if so, I may be at Lausanne
in a very short time, especially if I find a tolerable road from
Rouen to Fontainebleau. From thence I have travelled to Dijon and
Besançon to Lausanne. I think there is most danger of difficulty in
passing thro' a considerable garrison such as Besançon. If we can
approach you we shall wish to arrive in the evening at the time you
mention.

Finally, such an undertaking just at this moment will not allow us to
be deemed by our acquaintance _compos mentis_, but we are going to
you and may arrive sooner than this letter. I shall write from Rouen
however, where I shall stop one day at least.

  Yours ever,
  S.

Alas! just after I had finished I heard the King and Queen are
captives. I must go to Rouen before I determine, but I incline to a
rapid pass thro' France.

  [169] On Saturday, June 25, news reached London that Louis XVI.,
  his wife and children, had on the previous Tuesday escaped from
  Paris. They travelled with a passport made out for the Baroness
  de Korff, obtained at the request of M. Simolin, the Russian
  Ambassador, who was ignorant of the use to which it was to be
  put. The king intended to reach Montmédy, and there place himself
  under the protection of the Marquis de Bouillé, who commanded the
  army of the Meuse and Moselle. At Ste. Menehould the fugitives
  were recognized by the Postmaster Drouet, arrested at Varennes,
  and brought back to Paris.



570.

_To Lord Sheffield._


  Lausanne, July 1st, 1791.

[Sidenote: FLIGHT AND ARREST OF LOUIS XVI.]

*In obedience to your orders, I direct a flying shot to Paris,
though I have not any thing particular to add, excepting that our
impatience is increased in the _inverse ratio_ of time and space.
Yet I almost doubt whether you have passed the sea. The news of the
King of France's escape must have reached you before the 28th, the
day of your departure, and the prospect of strange unknown disorder
may well have suspended your firmest resolves. The Royal animal is
again caught, and all may probably be quiet. I was just going to
exhort you to pass through Brussels and the confines of Germany; a
fair Irishism, since if you read this, you are already at Paris. The
only reasonable advice which now remains, is to obtain, by means of
Lord Gower,[170] a sufficiency, or even superfluity, of forcible
passports, such as leave no room for cavil on a jealous frontier. The
frequent intercourse with Paris has proved that the best and shortest
road, instead of Besançon, is by Dijon, Dole, Les Rousses, and Nyon.*
As my larder cannot always be furnished for the doubtful day of your
arrival, I must desire that you would make your first appearance, not
at dinner time, but at the hour of tea; you may dine at Rolle or
Morges. *Adieu. I warmly embrace the ladies. It would be idle now to
talk of business.*

  [170] The ambassador at Paris.



571.

_Lord Sheffield to Edward Gibbon._


  Paris, Tuesday, 5th July, 1791.

[Sidenote: THE CRISIS IN PARIS.]

Neither the Royal Flight or Capture prevented or even interrupted
for a day our travels to the Historian. We passed two nights at
sea, and we have passed two nights at the Castle of Navarre with
the Duke of Bouillon, near Evreux, much more to our satisfaction.
Nothing could be more handsome than our reception there. I was glad
of the opportunity of shewing to the Ladies, the style of living of
one of the first men in France, and at one of the finest places.
I came here last night. I have already had an opportunity of good
intelligence. Matters of the highest consequence are _this moment_
in agitation.[171] _They_ are determined to get rid of the King, but
how, is not so easy a business. Many of his enemies are sorry he was
retaken, because they know not what to do with him (a Council will
be appointed). I believe they would be glad to let him go, if they
did not fear the Parisian mobility. The Judges agree that the Gardes
de Corps,[172] who acted as couriers, cannot be tried. They will be
suffered to depart whenever it will be safe. As to the Queen, when
I said I was surprised they did not send her home (that is to the
Pais Autrichiennes) to avoid mischief to her Person, and also to
avert a disagreeable demand, I was told there is no doubt that she
will be allowed to go if she pleases. De Bouillé[173] has emitted
an invitation to Officers and Soldiers to join him. His letter to
the National Assembly might have been well enough for a Captain
of Grenadiers, but it does not smell of the grand Politician. I
understand that scarce a General Officer remains with the Army on
the Austrian Border towards ----, and that numbers, even whole corps
of officers, have deserted, but this I know not with any precision.
I think we may go from hence in 4 or 5 days. Matters are coming to
a Crisis--therefore you may be sure I shall not stay long lest we
should be stopped and not suffered to go from this city, but I expect
an introduction to Cazalès, La Fayette, and some others.

Lausanne has the honour of containing Lady Webster[174] before this
time. People are apt to spoil her. I desire you will not, because it
gives me a great deal of trouble to set her right afterwards. Milady
writes to her. She and her daughters are well and entertained. We are
just come from the Comédie Francoise.

  Yours ever,
  S.

I shall not write again before our departure.

  [171] On June 26, 1791, a plan was presented to the National
  Assembly for the prosecution of the king and of those who
  assisted him in his escape. After a warm debate, commissioners
  were nominated to inquire into the events of June 20-21, and
  three commissioners were separately appointed to take the signed
  declarations of the king and queen. The proposal to distinguish
  the case of the king and queen from that of inferior persons was
  unsuccessfully opposed by Robespierre.

  [172] The three Gardes du Corps, brought back on the top of
  the royal carriage, bound with ropes, were MM. de Valery, de
  Moustier, and de Malden. The two former published accounts of the
  flight to Varennes.

  [173] François Claude Aymour, Marquis de Bouillé (1739-1800),
  born at the Château de Cluzel in Auvergne, died at London in
  1800. He had distinguished himself both in the Seven Years'
  War and in the American War of Independence. In 1790 he became
  governor of the provinces of les Trois Évêchés, Alsace, Lorraine,
  and Franche Comté, and commander-in-chief of the army of the
  Meuse, Sarre-et-Moselle, with his head-quarters at Metz. His
  letter to the National Assembly was written, as he states, to
  divert the wrath of the Assembly from the king to himself. In it
  he assumed the whole responsibility for the affair. His letter,
  says M. Feuillet de Conches (_Louis XVI., Marie Antoinette
  et Madame Elisabeth_, vol. iv. pp. 469-471), produced a deep
  impression throughout Europe. Three autograph letters, addressed
  by Louis XVI., and the Kings of Sweden and Prussia, to the
  marquis, are there quoted. After the arrest of Louis XVI. at
  Varennes he fled to Coblentz, summoning officers and men to join
  him. He served in the army of the Prince of Condé in 1791, and
  in that of the Duke of York in 1793. He afterwards retired to
  England, where his _Mémoires sur la Révolution_ were published in
  1797.

  [174] Elizabeth Vassall, a West Indian heiress, married, May 27,
  1786, Sir Godfrey Webster, Bart., of Battle Abbey, Sussex. She
  was divorced from her husband on July 3, 1797, and, three days
  afterwards, married the third Lord Holland.



572.

_Lord Sheffield to Edward Gibbon._


  Paris, July 8th, 1791.

The system of getting rid of the King will not do. The night before
last the principal men of the Committees, the Chiefs of the National
Assembly, about 100 in number, met, and after a considerable debate,
they resolved that the Constitution should be maintained, and that
the person of the King is inviolable. Only two of them, Messrs.
Dumont and Petier, were of a different opinion, and they argued for
a tryal. La Clos,[175] the friend of the Duke of Orleans, the night
preceding the Jacobins, vigorously insisted on a Tyral and a Regency,
but it is known that a great majority of the National Assembly wish
to restore the King and to put him in the situation he held before
his flight, and to give him a Council. The Queen not being a part of
the Constitution, they do not intend to take any notice of her; much
management is necessary to keep the people quiet, and the Chiefs dare
not as yet bring forward moderate measures. The National Guard wish
to get rid of the King. The resolution I mention in the beginning of
this letter is intended to be kept secret as much as possible for the
present. The measure will be carried with some difficulty. I have
scarce a moment. On Monday we attend the Apotheosis of Voltaire.[176]
On Tuesday next we go to the National Assembly for the last time
(having the President's Box), and on Wednesday we talk of setting out
for La Suisse, but I must stop a day or two at Dijon and one or two
perhaps at Besançon. We suppose the Websters lost, because we have
not heard from them.

  Yours,
  S.

  [175] François Choderlos de Laclos (1741-1803), novelist, poet,
  and soldier, was at this time editor of the _Journal des amis de
  la Constitution_. He helped Brissot to draw up the petition for
  the deposition of Louis XVI., July 17, 1791.

  [176] Voltaire died at Paris in May, 1778. His body, lest burial
  should be refused, was carried to the Abbey of Scellières. Thence
  the remains were brought, Sunday, July 10, 1791, to the ruins of
  the Bastille, and placed the next day in the Pantheon.



573.

_Lord Sheffield to Edward Gibbon._


  Paris, 13th July, 1791.

[Sidenote: LORD SHEFFIELD AT THE JACOBINS.]

We are going at 8 o'clock this morning to the Assembly, lest we
should be too late for places to hear the report and debate on the
King's Flight.[177] It is not likely to finish in one day, but we
are not disposed to stay more than 2 or 3 days longer on any account.
It will be proper to remain here a day or two just to see whether
they really will cut one another's throats. I do not expect it.
It does not seem to be their genius to do more than Fishwomen, to
scratch and tear one or two to pieces in a cattish fury. Since my
last the Democratic _enragé_ seems to have gained ground. I have been
placed high on a chair next the President at the Jacobins, having
been introduced by Noailles as a good English Patriot amidst much
_applaudissement_. Brissot de Warville[178] made (as _on m'a dit_)
the greatest speech that ever was heard. It was well calculated to
inflame Frenchmen, but he forgot to use any argument, and utterly
omitted to shew that the King had committed any crime against the
Law, and finished by moving that the King should be tried. The word
_enragé_ does not half describe a French Democrate. The modern men
think the speech has made a great impression, and think matters are
not in so good train for the King as they were. I have not a moment
to say more than that I have seen men and things to great advantages,
and I shall write again.

  Yours,
  S.

  [177] On Wednesday, July 13, 1791, the report of the seven
  committees on the affairs of the king was read before the
  National Assembly, detailing the circumstances of the king's
  escape, and stating the manner in which, by the laws of the
  Constitution, the Assembly should conduct itself towards the
  king. Practically, the report was in favour of the inviolability
  of the king's person. In this sense it was adopted on July 15,
  1791, and against it was held the meeting of the Champs de Mars
  on July 17.

  [178] J. Pierre Brissot (_de Warville_) (1754-93) was at this
  time a supporter of the Duc d'Orléans. He afterwards led the
  _Brissotins_ against the _Montagnards_, and was guillotined with
  the Girondists in October, 1793.



574.

_The Hon. Maria Holroyd to Edward Gibbon._


  Berne, Oct. 7th, 1791.

The truth is, that I attempted to write to you, the day we arrived
here, & found myself unequal to a longer account of things, than
just to say--we are eighteen Leagues from Lausanne, & I have made
the family lift up their hands & eyes in astonishment, by wishing
to walk back that distance. I ought to express my Gratitude for all
the kindness and attentions we have met with, during our stay in
Switzerland, & if I was less sensible of it, I could compose a fine
speech--but I can only say, I can feel, & I hope you will never find
me ungrateful. Tuesday we slept at Avenches & arrived here at two
o'clock on Wednesday. If you wish to know how we amused ourselves
on the Road, I will tell you, by Meditation & Silence. If you wish
to know what was the Subject of our Meditations I will answer for
myself--Lausanne. Indeed, my Thoughts have not quitted that place,
for five minutes, & I begin to wonder, whether I shall ever think of
any thing else. Our horse, that had one Wooden & one broken Leg, fell
down, & rather damaged a third Leg--so that, as Papa thought if any
accident should happen to the fourth, we might find some difficulty
in proceeding on our journey, & being rather indignant at their slow
method of moving, he has dismissed them, rather too precipitately, as
we are now uncertain whether we shall leave this Town to-morrow or a
fortnight hence. No horses to be had at present.

Yesterday we went to the Lac de Thun--the day was very fine, & we
crossed the Lake to Mr. Fischer's house, where we found his Lady
and Mother. We stopped at Mr. de Mulhinen's house in our return--&
saw Mad^{e}. de Mulhinen, who is a very pleasing Woman. Papa was so
much pleased with the Lake that he lamented very much that he had
not persuaded you & Severy to come with us there & stay two or three
days. Perhaps you might have been inexorable, but I wish the other
part of the scheme had been thought of a little sooner. I liked
the expedition upon the lake very well, but it was not the Lake of
Geneva, nor was the Boat St. J. Legard's; & yet, as there was a Lake
& a Boat, there was resemblance enough, for me to make comparisons,
to the disadvantage of the present time. Mr. Coxe gave Papa a Letter
to Mr. Wyttenbach; he has been here, & walked about the Town with us
on Wednesday evening, & has made me very happy by promising to send
me a Collection of Alpine Plants. He is to take us this morning to
shew us the World. Papa is gone with Mr. Fischer on horseback to see
Farms. After dinner we are to go to the library, & to-morrow, if we
can get horses, we shall go to Bienne. Mon^{r}. Fredennick was here
this morning, & every body seems to try who shall pay most attention.
I wish they would try & be disagreeable, to make me rejoice at being
on my return to England. Mon^{r}. Wyttenbach is come & prevents me
adding any more, than to assure you that I am your ever obliged &
affec.

M. T. HOLROYD.



575.

_The Hon. Maria Holroyd to Edward Gibbon._


  Strasbourgh, Thursday, Oct. 13th, '91.

[Sidenote: SAFE IN THE LAND OF LIBERTY]

I felt a strong inclination to write from Basle, but as you said,
Berne _or_ Basle & not Berne _&_ Basle, I was afraid of being
troublesome. However I take the first moment of my arrival at the
next station from whence you desired to hear from me, to tell you we
are safe in the Land of Liberty, where the People may sing _Ça ira_
all day & all night, if they like it. Friday, the day I wrote from
Berne, we went to Wyttenbach's house, to see his curiosities--& he
has made me _Wild_ again about Botany, by giving me a Collection of
Alpine Plants--so that now, instead of admiring Nature in general, I
have no eyes but for Weeds, & I have made a considerable Collection
in my Journey from Lausanne here. The Advoyer came before dinner, &
from his suit of Black Powdered Wig & Gold headed cane, I began to be
afraid I was ill, & that the Physician was come to give his Opinion.
Mr. Fischer dined with us, Mr. Fredennick came after dinner, and they
went with us to the Library & walked upon the ramparts. In a part
of the Ditch we saw two of the Sovereign Lords of the Pays de Vaud.
Their Excellencies were very quiet and rather Rheumatic, but there
were two young ones very frisky and playful.

Saturday. We were rather unfortunate in a very rainy Day--& in one
of the Springs of the Carriage breaking near Arberg, which delayed
us some time. If it had been a fine day, we should have been very
disagreeable, but as it was impossible to go to the Island of St.
Pierre[179] that day, we made up our minds very tolerably. Sunday.
The Weather was very favorable, & we went upon the Island, wrote our
names in Rousseau's Bed chamber, returned to Bienne to dinner, &
went to Moutier the same day. Mama had an opportunity of shewing her
heroism--for the last three Leagues we performed by moonlight, &
Coxe describes the Road as so narrow, that one Wheel rubs against the
Rocks & the other hangs over the Precipice--though this description
is poetical, yet there is some foundation for it. We regretted
passing thro' such picturesque scenes in the dark, but the next day
the Country we passed thro' from Moutier to Basle was exactly the
same. I thought after the Tour to the Glaciers, that I should think
nothing equal to that part of the World, but the Valley of Munster
pleased me more than anything I have seen. Tuesday, we saw the
Gardens of Arlesheim, the Library & the dance of death. Mr. Ochs was
the only one of Mr. Levade's friends who was at Basle--the others
were both in France. The _higgledy-piggledy_ Party came to Basle on
Tuesday & were very much in our way on the Road. Papa determined to
go to Strasbourgh on the french side of the River, as the Horses on
the other side are quite knocked up by transporting Aristocrates to
Coblentz. The Craven family with their Guardians, Lord Molyneux and
Mr. Nott, took all the horses at the first Post, & tho' they left
Basle two hours before us, when we got to St. Louis we were obliged
to wait an hour and a half, for the return of the horses--during
which time we amused ourselves by walking to Huningue--which I was
very glad of, as it gave me a better Idea of Scarps & Counter-Scarps,
Ravelines & Bastions, than I should have had without it.

[Sidenote: STRANGE CHARM IN SWITZERLAND.]

This day's journey was rather long. We left Basle at eight o'clock
& we arrived at Krafft, where we slept, at ½ past eleven--quite
in despair at the dirt of the French Inns; having met with such
excellent ones in Switzerland, we had quite forgot what a bad Inn
was. We are just arrived here to breakfast, & expect to meet with
some information as to the superiority of Navigation over Land
carriage. Papa was so much out of humour with the delay, occasioned
by want of horses upon the road yesterday, that he is very much
inclined to take a Boat here. The people at Lausanne, judging I
suppose by themselves, assured me I should forget that place by the
time I got to Basle. I am at Strasburgh, which is still farther;
and I can say from Experience, which is the only thing that ever
convinces me, that notwithstanding the variety of Scenes that I have
passed through, & the amusement I have found on the road, I _still_
regret the Terrace & the Pavillion. I do not know what strange Charm
there is in Switzerland that makes everybody desirous of returning
there; you know I did not go there with any prejudice in its favor.
As to Mama, she owes it such a Spite for fascinating you, that she
will never do it common Justice, till the Democrates have obliged you
to be content with our little Island; then perhaps her obligations to
them will change her sentiments.

Indeed I am ashamed of myself, to have taken up so much of your
time. You will, I am afraid, repent of our Engagement, & think that
reading my Letters is even more tremendous than answering them. I
live in hopes, that we shall hear something of, or from, you at
Coblentz. Remember us all, but me in particular, to every one of
the Severy family. _Et dite à ma chère Angletine que je pense bien
souvent d'elle & du dernier jour que nous avons passées ensemble._
I dread exposing even that short sentence to your criticizing eye,
but I wish to shew her that, in promising to write to her, I have
undertaken what I am very unequal to perform, in order to keep up
some remembrance of me. I cannot bear the thoughts of being forgot by
those I love. Mama desires to be most affectionately remembered to
you.

  Believe me,
  Ever sincerely & affec^y yours,
  MARIA T. HOLROYD.

I just find I am too late for the Post to-day, & that my Letter must
wait till Saturday. To-morrow we stay here. Papa is happy in the Idea
of seeing the Troops exercise.

  [179] On the Island of St. Pierre, in the Lake of Bienne, J. J.
  Rousseau lived in 1765.



576.

_The Hon. Maria Holroyd to Edward Gibbon._


  Coblentz, Oct. 21st, 1791.

Our Adventures since I wrote from Strasbourgh have been very
numerous, & if every body had been equally disposed with myself to be
entertained with them, they would have lost much of their unpleasant
circumstances. Papa had determined to go from Strasburgh to Manheim
by Rastadt; but the Inn keeper advised us to go on the other side
of the Rhine, as we should find the Inns all full in Germany & the
Post horses very bad. The Rain was incessant all day & had continued
for two days before. We found the Roads very bad & lost our way in a
large forest; quite dark; amidst many ejaculations from Mama. When
we at last arrived at Girmenheim, where we were to sleep, we found
the Inn quite full. A Commission was there from Manheim to keep the
Rhine in order, who has heard so much lately of Liberty on both
sides, that he had a mind to make the experiment, & has strayed over
the neighbouring meadows, unmindful of the excellent Caution given
to a Brother River--"Thames, ever while you live, keep between your
banks." We were put into a small room, where a Company had just
finished supper. Travellers are not often, I imagine, so unfortunate
as to go that road, if I may judge from the astonishment and, I hope,
admiration our Appearance caused. The Doors were opened and the Room
was lined with Spectators, who gazed at us in silence for near a
quarter of an hour--more to my amusement than Mama's. There was only
one Room where we could sleep--& we _all_ arranged ourselves in three
Beds, after having quieted some delicate scruples of Papa's, who
proposed sleeping in the Coach--however by putting out the Candles
nobody found it necessary to blush.

We left this charming place very early, breakfasted at Spire and
arrived at Manheim early enough to see all the Lyons before dinner.
I was much entertained with the Gallery of Pictures in the Elector's
Palace. It was much superior to anything I had seen. The Library
is very handsome. Papa went to the Play in the evening & made an
acquaintance there, who he brought home with him, & talked Commerce
and Agriculture, till near one in the morning. The next day we went
to Mayence, & the day after saw the Castle, the Provost's house, the
Cathedral, &c., and left Mayence at two o'clock in a very tolerable
Boat. But the Wind was quite contrary, & it was very late when we
arrived at Bingen. Mama did not take a fancy to Navigation in the
least. For my part I enjoyed it very much, as the Banks of the Rhine,
particularly from Bingen to Coblentz, are very picturesque. The great
number of Castles made me imagine myself in the Age of Chivalry, &
I almost persuaded myself I was a distressed Damsel carried away
against my Will. The next thing, of course, was to expect a brave
Knight to set me free, but as none made their appearance, I was
obliged to quit my romantic Ideas, & my _Castles in the Air_, of
which I had plenty, as well in my head, as around me. In plain
English, I was much pleased with the day's journey, & Mama was pretty
well reconciled to seeing Water all round her, which was at first a
great grievance.

[Sidenote: COBLENTZ AND WHITE COCKADES.]

Our famous Adventures begin here. We arrived at Coblentz[180] at
five o'clock last Wednesday, & found every Inn in the Town full
of _Panaches blancs_. After staying three hours in the Boat, with
difficulty Papa found one Room, with one Bed, without Curtains & no
other furniture of any kind in it. We preferred this to sleeping
in the Boat, the only alternative, & accordingly we females slept
on Mattresses upon the ground. As there were no curtains it was
impossible to admit Papa of the Party, & he remained all Night in
the Boat. The Account that was brought us of the Room we were to
sleep in, was that between forty and fifty Officers were in two
Rooms at each end of ours, which opened with Folding Doors. Upon a
nearer enquiry, the number was reduced between 10 & 20--but they
are tolerably quiet, considering they are _Frenchmen_. Yesterday
was passed enquiring for Lodgings, & by the help of the Duc de
Guiche,[181] the Woman of the house was prevailed upon to give us
three Garrets, perfectly unfurnished--but this we considered as
charming accommodation compared to the _higgledy piggledy_ Style we
had been accustomed to--but the Ground is still our Bed.

Papa has found out a great deal of amusement for himself. He was
presented yesterday to the Elector,[182] Monsieur,[183] Madame, the
Comte d'Artois, the P. of Condé and his Son; to-day he dined at
a very large dinner at the Prince of Nassau's[184]--& is now at
the Play in Mad^{e}. de Nassau's Box, who was very desirous of our
Company, but Mama is not fond of _violent measures_. The Comte de
Romanzov[185] is here, Ambassador to the Princes from the Empress
Cat. The Bishop of Arras[186] is not here; but the Duc de Guiche is
every thing that is delightful, & Papa has not been at a loss for
the Bishop. Our amusements may be mentioned in very few words. We
have seen the citadel. We go from here early to-morrow morning--in
our Boat. The Weather is very unfavorable to us. Only that you might
justly make the Observation, "If you are sensible of your fault, why
do you continue to offend?" I would apologize for the length of my
Letter. But while you allow me to write to you, I do not think I have
quite left Lausanne--& I never know how to leave off. Distribute our
Love and comp^{ts} properly.

  Believe me
  Ever affec. yours,
  MARIA T. HOLROYD.

I forgot to say we found our Letters here. Mama desires her Love to
Severy & many thanks for his Letter. I have taken a great deal of
pains to persuade her to write to him; but she has not resolution
enough to take up her pen. I must whisper to you we were disappointed
at not hearing a few lines from you.

  [180] After the meeting of the Emperor of Austria and the King
  of Prussia at Pilnitz, Coblentz became the rallying-point of the
  _émigrés_--"a small extra-national Versailles: a Versailles _in
  partibus_."

  [181] The family of Guiche were descended from _la belle
  Corisande_, who, left a widow at twenty-six by the death of her
  husband, the Comte de Guiche, became the mistress of Henry IV.,
  then only King of Navarre. The Duc de Guiche (afterwards Duc
  de Grammont) married, in 1779, a daughter of the Duchesse de
  Polignac, and to her interest he owed his place as captain of the
  Villeroy Company of the Gardes du Corps. He was also colonel of
  the _Dragons de la Reine_. The duke is a "good-natured young man"
  (_Lord Auckland's Journal and Correspondence_, vol. i. p. 412).

  [182] Charles Theodore, Elector of Bavaria and of the Palatinate.

  [183] Monsieur, the title given to the eldest brother of the
  reigning King of France, was the Comte de Provence, afterwards
  Louis XVIII. (1755-1824). Madame, his wife, was Maria Josephine
  Louisa, daughter of Victor Amadeus III. of Sardinia. They escaped
  from Paris on the same night as Louis XVI.

  [184] The Prince of Nassau-Siegen sailed round the world with
  Bougainville (1766-69), served in the Spanish army at the siege
  of Gibraltar, then entered the service of the Empress Catharine,
  and, as an admiral, commanded the Russian fleet against Turkey
  and afterwards against Sweden.

  [185] Count Nicholas Romanzov, son of the distinguished Russian
  general.

  [186] Marc Hilaire de Conzie (1732-1805), Bishop of St. Omer,
  became, in 1769, Bishop of Arras. With his brother, who succeeded
  him as Bishop of St. Omer, he administered the province of
  Artois. He followed the Comte d'Artois in his flight to Italy,
  and at London was afterwards his chief political adviser.
  He was a friend of Madame du Deffand, who writes of him
  enthusiastically. The Duc de Lévis (_Souvenirs et portraits_)
  speaks of him less favourably: "Il ne fit que du mal à son parti."



577.

_The Hon. Maria Holroyd to Edward Gibbon._


  Brussels, October 29th, 1791.

It is probable that this my fourth Letter may remain unopened in your
Pocket, but I shall leave that to Fate, & only think of convincing
you, that I still remember Lausanne & my promise. I like to let
People know how _unreasonable_ I am, & therefore I will tell you
I had faint hopes of finding a few Lines here, either written or
dictated by you. I frequently ask Mama, do you think they are talking
of us at Lausanne? & she generally answers--I daresay not; so I
should have had a great deal of satisfaction in shewing her, that you
thought so much of us as to make a _violent effort_ to tell us so.
We have proceeded on our journey with great success from Coblentz to
Brussells, & to-morrow go to Antwerp. We arrived here on Thursday
from Louvain--the Road was so bad & the Post-horses moved in such a
_Swiss_ manner, that we were four days coming from Cologne.

The first day we slept at Juliers, the second at Liège, the third
at Louvain, & the fourth (as I had the _honour_ of telling you) we
came to Brussells, & fortunately arrived at 'L'Imperatrice,' the only
Hotel where there was a single Room unoccupied, just as the Princesse
de Salms was moving off--& took possession of her apartments with
great satisfaction, as we expected Coblenz accomodations.

[Sidenote: THE SIGHTS OF BRUSSELS.]

We stayed but one night at Cologne, as the Maréchal de Castries was
not there, & the Town possessed no other Charms to tempt us to stay,
for it is the most dismal place I have seen. The Maréchal is here,
& Papa has had a long conference with him. Luckily for us, Papa has
neither met with a Quarter Master nor a Commercial man, nor a Farmer
here, so we have seen a great deal and been very much amused. We saw
the Palace of the Archduchess, a league out of Town, yesterday--&
it is fitted up with more Taste than any thing we have seen in
our travels. The rest of our time has been spent in Churches, the
Arsenal, & some good Collections of Pictures. I have not time to be
_prolix_ in my narration, which you will perhaps not be sorry for, as
you are not as fond of a long letter as I am. Mama is pretty well,
but will not be sorry to find herself at her own fire side again.

Remember us to those who remember our existence--you will not have
much trouble, for I suppose you will only deliver the message to
yourself--I suspect nobody else of thinking of us. Louisa desires I
will not forget her best Comp^{ts} to _M. Mentrond_; she does not
choose to suppose he can _forget her_. I expect to hear a great deal
of _Mrs. Wood_--or if any body else has supplied her place in your
_heart_. When you do write, if such an unlikely event should ever
take place, pray tell me something of everybody; I shall like to
see the names of those I was acquainted with, & while I read y^{r}
letter, shall fancy myself at Lausanne.

  Believe me,
  Ever sincerely y^{rs},
  MARIA T. HOLROYD.

I write in such haste that you must excuse faults of Style, Writing,
&c.



578.

_Lord Sheffield to Edward Gibbon._


  Calais, 5th Nov., 1791.

After various and sundry embarrassments, here we are safe. The
pleasure of the visit being over and the sorrow of departure come
on, it naturally occurred in aid of my concern what a damned Fool
I was to undertake such an operation. To correct such cogitation,
the _distractions_ of the Rhine were some relief. The state of its
neighbourhood is at this time very interesting. It was curious to
find the Princes and prime Nobility of France thankfull to be allowed
to exist on a small angle formed by the Moselle and the Rhine. An
army of officers, but not a common man. For the sake of visiting
the Garrisons of Alsace, I went the whole length of that Province.
Levade's letters were of essential service to me. I thankfully wrote
to him when I had proceeded far down the Rhine. Probably I furnished
some details, with which he probably has furnished you. I know not
whether I mentioned that Huninge and Brisach are in good condition.
An incompleat Regiment of two battalions in each place and some
Dragoons, not sufficient garrisons, but some cantoned Troops might be
thrown in if required.

[Sidenote: MILITARY FORCES ON FRENCH FRONTIER.]

The Regulars at Strasburgh are 6760, including 1100 Horse and 1300
artillery. They say they have some 7000 National Guards, I doubt
it. They are the best I have seen; and yet they are very poor stuff
for Soldiers, and many are not cloathed. I dined with the Colonel
of Carbineers, and saw the finest regiment of France in detail,
and also a Swiss Regiment (Viguier), one of the best. Some of the
regiments are not more soldier-like than the National Guards. The
Democrates say that the officers, being Aristocrates, neglect the
men on purpose, and wish the regiments to be ruined; 40 officers had
quitted one regiment in Alsace. In short, only seven remained with
it, including the Colonel. The Park of Artillery at Strasburgh seems
very compleat. It is the second in the Kingdom. A Train is ready for
40 Battalions. The Province of Alsace is at least half Aristocrate.
I passed the evening and supped at the Mayor's while at Strasburgh.
He and his Lady (a clever dame) thorough Republicans. Observe the
Regulars in the two departments of the Rhine are commanded by a
German,[187] and the National Guards by a Lt.-Colonel who is a
Livonian. Mirabeau's Corps seems a miserable collection; several
deserters came from it while I was at Strasburgh. Finally I flattered
myself there would be a compleat _Brouillerie_ between the regulars
and the National Guards before I left that place. The officers of the
latter are naturally disposed to be very absurd. The double pay of
these troops _soldès_ is likely to have an excellent effect on the
_Troupes de ligne_. I found about 100 French officers at Manterin.
Towards 900 at Worms. Bouillé and a certain number are at Mayence.

Including upwards of 900 of the Gardes du Corps and near 20 Generals,
there are 2500 Officers at Coblentz. I was very graciously received
by the Princes. They give a supper every night, where I had the
amusement of being introduced to Marshal Broglie,[188] &c., &c. The
Prince of Condé and Duc de Bourbon were there on a visit. Romanzov
has brought credentials and two millions of livres French from
the Empress; Calonne is at Baths not far distant for his health;
Burke's son had been sometime at Coblentz and was gone to England
with Cazalés. Our King has written a very amicable letter to the
Princes promising neutrality. I went to Cologne to see the Marshal de
Castries. He was gone to Brussels, where I found him. At every inn I
found 20 or 30 French Officers, the road is covered with them from
Brussels to Coblentz. Nothing can be worse timed than this desertion.
It is a Phrenzy and was like wildfire. They would be much better
with their regiments and ready in the country to protect Friends
and to avail themselves of circumstances. The most sensible of the
French disapprove this migration. The officers leave their Regiments
without concert with the Princes, who have not lately encouraged it.
There seems to be no particular plan at present but to wait events. I
unfortunately missed the Abbé Maury passing to Coblentz. I wished to
know him. He is a Cardinal _in petto_. He is to have the Arch-Bishop
of Sens's Hat. The regular regiments were long ago ordered to be
completed to the war establishment, but on an average they have
not above half their complements, and on the frontier of the Low
Countries there is not an officer left except Soldiers of Fortune.

_L'Esprit de Revolution_ is not likely to flourish again for some
time in the Pais Bas. I found Imperial and Electoral troops in
possession of Liège, and new taxes laid to pay expenses, viz. on
Dogs, Servants, bachelors, &c. The Discontents in the Austrian
Netherlands are not likely to be of much consequence, a great part
of the country was miserably duped and the whole thrown into such an
execrable state, that none but the lowest of the creation can wish
for another experiment at a Revolution. The leading party among the
enemies of the House of Austria being Clergy and Aristocrates cannot
coalesce easily with the Democrates of France. All the Provinces
except Brabant are content. Many say a counter-revolution in France
is impossible, because the Mass of the People are of one mind. Not
near so much as the Austrian Netherlands were. There almost every
man was a Patriot, yet the moment an army appeared there was not a
struggle. The different extent of country, &c., prevent a correct
comparison.

However, it may be observed that France has not a neighbour that is
not unfriendly to the Revolution. I have the worst opinion of the
French Army. The National Guard behaved execrably at Nancy, where
alone they have been tried. We indeed were told the contrary. Some
Swiss officers (Democrates) who acted against the regiment of Chateau
Vieux[189] have given me details. You may be sure that the Regulars
and National Guards will not agree. I am satisfied that of those
officers who remain with the Regiments, almost all except soldiers of
fortune are aristocrates. The soldiers do _not desert_, but they say
they will go to Paris. They will enter into the _Gardes Nat. soldès_,
and they go where they please; nobody can stop them. Yet with such a
King the situation of the Aristocrates is very difficult. Divisions
will naturally take place, the Kingdom is _en traine_ to be torn to
pieces. A foreign army on the Frontier or advancing to Paris might
unite them, therefore it may be better to wait events. At the same
time I have not a notion that a French army would fight under its
present circumstances.

[Sidenote: THE MEETING AT PILNITZ.]

It was a comfort to see the excellent Bohemian and Hungarian Infantry
in the Austrian Netherlands. They are in fine order. The Treaty of
the 23rd of July last between the Emperor and the King of Prussia has
been well concealed.[190] It is defensive. The supposition is that
Prussia is dissatisfied with England. If Russia should accede to the
Treaty (which is not thought unlikely), we shall be compleatly left
in the lurch.

Maria has been alert and well-disposed to your correspondence. She
seemed pleased with the office, but she will expect an answer. She
has saved me from writing sooner. From Brussels we went to Antwerp,
Ghent, Bruges, Ostende, and Dunkirk to this place. Mi Ladi continues
the same. I should have stopped more than three days at Brussels if I
had not been afraid of the division of Mrs. Maynard. Say everything
kind for us to the de Severy family. If Mi Ladi does not reply
soon to the Fils, I shall. I found letters at Brussels by which I
learn that your £2000 is accepted by the Navigation Society, that
Mr. Taylor has found a mortgage for £5000 in Yorkshire. He says
somewhat of its being more convenient if the money is not paid till
a little time hence, and I also learn that my worldly affairs, and
the Navigation, have gone on as badly as might be expected from my
absence.

Remember us to Mrs. Grevers.

  [187] The Baron de Luckner (1722-1794), a Bavarian, entered the
  French service after the Seven Years' War, was made a marshal in
  1791, and guillotined in 1794.

  [188] The Duc de Broglie (1718-1804), one of the most
  distinguished of the French generals during the Seven Years' War,
  was made a marshal in 1759. Louis XVI. appointed him in 1789
  Minister of War; but he was among the earliest of the _émigrés_.
  He entered the Russian service in 1794.

  [189] In August, 1790, the Swiss Regiment of Château-Vieux
  mutinied at Metz, demanding arrears of pay. They fired upon
  the National Guard, seized the regimental treasury, and killed
  Desilles. The outbreak was quelled by Bouillé. Of the survivors
  of the Regiment of Château-Vieux, twenty-three were hanged,
  and forty-one sent to the galleys. These galley-slaves were
  subsequently released; a _fête_ in their honour was decreed by
  the Assembly; their chains hung up as trophies in the Jacobin
  Club at Brest, and the men carried through Paris in triumph on
  April 15, 1792.

  [190] The meeting of the King Frederick William of Prussia and
  the Emperor Leopold of Austria at Pilnitz in 1791, excited the
  greatest interest in Europe. It was supposed at the time that the
  second partition of Poland was there concerted. But no definite
  declaration in common seems to have been signed at that time
  by the two sovereigns, except an engagement to make certain
  representations to the French Government as to Louis XVI., the
  Monarchy, and the restoration of property to the _émigrés_, and
  to invite an European concert for the purpose of enforcing these
  representations.



579.

_Lord Sheffield to Edward Gibbon._

[Incomplete in original.]


The increase of Mi Ladi's woman, and apprehensions thereon, made it
necessary to shorten my visits. You have heard of the little accident
on board the Packet. You know dear Puff has a great dislike to cats.
About midnight, midway between France and England, an hideous noise
like that of a cat in the act of being strangled was heard. Puff
barked and was furious. I looked out of my den, and beheld it was
an human kitten that proceeded from Mrs. Maynard who was prostrate
on the floor. My Lady also incumbent there. Maria contemplative and
Louisa astonished. Not a creature on board the Packet but ourselves
and the crew. We never know what we may come to, and above all we
should not have guessed that Mi Ladi was to become a mid-wife. The
mother and child could not have been better, (and have continued
so,) if all the obstetric Faculty of Paris and London had attended.
The mother was so well that she expressed the greatest anxiety to go
with us the day following above 80 miles across the country to this
place. We left her in good lodgings and in good care. The want of her
prevented the Ladies from passing two days at Lord Guilford's. We
found two letters from him at Dover and a dozen messages. I went and
had a pleasant dinner with him, and returned at night to the Ladies.

I must now come to the unpleasant part, your business. Immediately on
my return I wrote to Taylor about the £5000 mortgage. I have a letter
full of disappointment. The person to be paid off has accepted low
interest. He complains of being frequently thus treated. Don't bother
yourself. I still hope soon to settle the business.

I wrote you a long letter from Calais.



580.

_The Hon. Maria Holroyd to Edward Gibbon._


  Sheffield Place, Nov. 13th, 1791.

It is with a mixture of satisfaction & regret, that I complete my
part of our engagement in writing this Letter. I find great pleasure
in being returned to dear, precious Sheffield, & in telling you so,
because I am sure you will be glad to hear we are safe and well;
but writing to you the last letter is like a second taking leave,
& tho' I have been near six weeks upon the journey from Lausanne,
that moment is still as fresh in my memory as it was the next day,
& the recollection of it as unpleasing. If I _dared_ I would ask to
be allowed to tell you we were alive, now & then when Papa & Mama
were in an idle mood, & to be allowed to _hope_ for an answer _once_
in _two_ or _three years_, in your own hand or not, as you thought
proper or found convenient.

[Sidenote: DISTRESSES UPON THE SEA.]

I was very glad Papa wrote a long letter from Calais, as his
information about things in general would be more interesting to you
than mine, as I suppose he gave you a full account of our route from
Brussells to Calais. I will only tell you that I was very much amused
at Antwerp, & that I _catch_ myself, now & then, _making believe_ to
know a good Picture from a bad one--having seen so many excellent
ones lately. We left Calais last Sunday at 9 in the morning, having
waited three days for a favorable wind, & at last in despair, set off
in a perfect Calm, which prolonged our passage 24 hours--which was
uncommonly tedious, & very bad luck, as our Passage from Brighton was
as tiresome in coming over. However to pass the time, or to diversify
the amusements of the Passage, which from the sickness of the Company
would have preserved some degree of sameness, Mrs. Maynard with
Mama's assistance, half way between Calais & Dover, presented the
cabbin boy with a _Sea Nymph_; which with its Mother are now _as well
as can be expected_, at Cap^n Sampson's house at Dover. I have heard
that Sailors, when they come from a voyage, find great pleasure in
talking of & recollecting Toils & Dangers past--such is our case;
for we have laughed very heartily here, at our Distresses upon the
Sea--which certainly at the time was no laughing matter.

We found the inhabitants of S. P. in excellent preservation & quite
rejoyced to see us returned--most of them, when we left England,
being convinced we should be all massacred by the National Assembly
in a very short time. I hope the quiet life of this place will soon
restore Mama's health & spirits, who desires her kindest remembrances
to you & those we love at Lausanne. Do not let anybody forget us, for
we forget nobody.

  Ever much y^{rs},
  M. T. HOLROYD.



581.

_Lord Sheffield to Edward Gibbon._


  Sheffield Place, 13th Dec., 1791.

My Lady is getting quite well. Bratts very fond of their Swiss Tour.
I have passed a week very pleasantly in London. King apparently
quite well. Lally a great favourite with Lord Loughborough. He
assisted at a copious dinner at Batt's, and said he never enjoyed
one more interesting. He saw Lord Guilford on his passage through
London, who was well pleased with him, as also is Douglas. Tell Mr.
Trevor good care will be taken of him. La Comtesse de Lally seems
to preserve a strict incognito. Lady Loughborough visits her. I
can only collect that she doth not appear to like to go out. It
is said, she has not confined her practices to Lally. Introduced
him to Burke, who says the said Lally persists in his errors, and
justifies all his mischievous conduct in the beginning, and the said
Burke is as ridiculous and as absurd as may be imagined.[191] I have
been presented to Cazalés (who resides with Burke), but I had not
an opportunity of seeing anything of him. England has supplied and
has been paid for 36,000 stand of arms for the Emigrants. The Corps
Diplomatique at London says that Spain has sent 5 millions of livres
to the Princes, and Portugal 4 millions--Berlin 2 millions.

I have expectation of seeing Batt and Lally here at Christmas. Tell
Levade I have only just learned where to find his son-in-law. I hope
also to see him here. People begin to talk of 3½ per Cent. for
money.

  [191] In his _Letter to a Member of the National Assembly_, dated
  January 19, 1791 (_Works_ (1855), vol. ii. pp. 546, 547), Burke
  spoke severely of Mounier and Lally. He took up the position of
  a French aristocrat, and treated the English Constitution as
  unsuited to France. Lally replied to him in his _Lettre au très
  hon. Edm. Burke, membre du parlement d'Angleterre_ (June 20,
  1791), and in his _Seconde lettre_ in 1792. In these letters he
  defended the aims of the constitutional reformers in France.



582.

_Lord Sheffield to Edward Gibbon._


  Sheffield Place, 25th Dec., 1791.

I am obliged to write to you, otherwise it would not be proper,
because we are determined to starve you into a more decent
deportment; not a fragment from you except the medley to Maria.
She has been so zealous in your service, that she deserved more
notice. The obligation to write is that a pipe of Madeira (which has
travelled and is very good) is ordered to set out for Lausanne by the
same consignment and way as the last, _ergo_ you must give notice to
your correspondent at Basle, &c.

[Sidenote: MARRIAGE, BATTLE, FIRE, AND SCANDAL.]

Nothing extraordinary has occurred in this family since my last.
My Lady is better. We expect Batt to-morrow, probably Lally, and
also Mr. Levade's son-in-law, with whom I have corresponded. The
Duchess of York[192] almost smothered the French Revolution in this
country; Lord Cornwallis's operations[193] almost suppressed the
Duchess of York, and I daresay the Duke of Richmond's fire[194]
has afforded some relief to Lord Cornwallis. I should be happy to
furnish you with as much scandal as possible, but I know of no event
of the kind worth record, unless Lady Belmore's[195] trip to the
Continent incontinently with Lord Ancrum should be deemed so, and
Lady Tyrconnell's[196] Flight to Glamis Castle with Lord Strathmore.
These amiable women have left behind them grown daughters. May the
Mamas----

I have secured for you the famous Shakespear; Boydel[197] is
satisfied that I subscribed for two setts. It is by far the finest
book ever printed. I have your first number and 5 large and 5 small
prints in my possession, but I shall not send them--you must come for
them.

As you care nothing about the good of the nation, it is almost
unnecessary to mention that the gross produce of the Permanent
Revenue last year, including Land and Malt, amounted to £20,355,380
exclusive of fines, forfeitures, Taxes on Places, First Fruits,
&c., amounting to £125,476 and the profit of the Lottery. The Gross
Excise last year £9,054,850, encrease this year £1,200,000, of which
£800,000 are old and £400,000 new Duties. The British Shipping has
increased 318,522 tons since 1773. The whole tonnage of France is not
much more than a fourth more. Their tonnage in 1787 was little more
than a fifth of ours.

Lord Cornwallis[198] has been marching about in Tippoo's country
for six weeks to prove that it was not the monsoon that obliged
him to quit Seringapatam. Was it not a curious omission to have
neither a minister nor a spy in the Maratta Camp, and was it not
an extraordinary folly to risk an engagement for the purpose of
besieging Seringapatam 9 days before there was an absolute famine
in the English Camp? Abercrombie's cattle were all swept away by
Tippoo's General, and neither Abercrombie nor any of his officers
have a second coat or shirt.

We never had cavalry in an Indian Army before. It was the great
strength of this famous army. It is all ruined.

  [192] On October 1, 1791, the Duke of York was married at Berlin
  to the Princess Frederica of Prussia. On November 23 they were
  remarried, at seven o'clock in the evening, at "the Queen's
  house" in London.

  [193] In India against Tippoo. See note at the end of the letter.

  [194] Between 9 and 12 a.m. on December 21, 1791, the Duke of
  Richmond's house in Privy Gardens, now called Whitehall Gardens,
  was almost completely destroyed by fire.

  [195] Henrietta, daughter of John, second Earl of Buckinghamshire
  (born 1762), married, in 1780, Armar Corry, Earl of Belmore, from
  whom she was divorced in 1792. She afterwards, April 16, 1793,
  married William, Earl of Ancram.

  [196] The Countess of Tyrconnel, the second wife of the Earl
  of Tyrconnel, was the youngest daughter of Lord Delaval, and
  therefore a niece of the notorious Sir Francis Delaval. Rumour
  had coupled her name with that of the Duke of York (Wraxall's
  _Posthumous Memoirs_, vol. iii. p. 192).

  [197] John Boydell, in 1786, began to prepare his illustrated
  edition of Shakespeare, and built a gallery in Pall Mall for the
  exhibition of the pictures painted for the work. The work was
  published in eighteen parts, of which the first appeared in 1791,
  and the whole was completed in 1802.

  [198] The third Mysore war began with the invasion of the
  protected district of Travancore in 1789 by Tippoo, who laid
  waste the Carnatic almost to the gates of Madras. The war lasted
  for three years. Lord Cornwallis, in April and May, 1791,
  advanced from Bangalore to Seringapatam, and drove Tippoo's
  army before him into the capital (May 15). General Abercromby,
  advancing towards the same point from the west, reached
  Periapatnam. But, owing to the difficulty of crossing the swollen
  Cavery, the two forces could not unite. A few days later, the
  heavy rains and want of provisions compelled Cornwallis (May
  26) to retire, leaving the greater part of his heavy artillery.
  At the same time Abercromby retreated to Tellicherry on the
  east coast. Near Bangalore, Cornwallis unexpectedly encountered
  the Mahratta horse advancing to his assistance. In the autumn
  and winter months many hill-forts were reduced on the road to
  Seringapatam, and on February 5, 1792, Cornwallis once more
  arrived before its walls. Tippoo, on March 18, 1792, signed a
  peace by which he surrendered half his territories, paid a war
  indemnity, and gave up two of his sons as hostages for the due
  performance of the treaty.



583.

_To Lord Sheffield._


  Lausanne, December 28th, 1791.

[Sidenote: THE DEMON OF PROCRASTINATION.]

*Alas! alas! the Demon of procrastination has again possessed me.
Three months have nearly rolled away since your departure; and seven
letters, five from the most valuable Maria, and two from Yourself,
have extorted from me only a single epistle, which, perhaps, would
never have been written, had I not used the permission of employing
my own tongue and the hand of a secretary. Shall I tell you, that,
for these last six weeks, the eve of every post day has witnessed a
_firm_ resolution, and the day itself has furnished some ingenious
delay? This morning, for instance, I had determined to invade you as
soon as the breakfast things should be removed: they were removed;
but I had something to read, to write, to meditate, and there was
time enough before me. Hour after hour has stolen away, and I finally
begin my letter at two o'Clock, evidently too late for the post, as
I must dress, dine, go abroad, &c. A foundation, however, _shall be_
laid, which will stare me in the face; and next Saturday I shall
probably be rowzed by the awful reflection that it is the last day in
the year.

After realizing this summer an event which I had long considered as
a dream of fancy, I know not whether I should rejoyce or grieve at
your visit to Lausanne. While I possessed the family, the sentiment
of pleasure, with some occasional shades, highly predominated; and
the last weeks of harmony and content were those which I the most
truly enjoyed, when, just as we had subsided in a regular, easy,
comfortable plan of life, the last trump sounded, and, without
speaking of the pang of separation, you left me to one of the most
gloomy, solitary months of October, which I have ever passed.

For yourself and daughter, however, you have contrived to snatch
some of the most interesting scenes of this World. Paris, at such
a moment, Switzerland, and the Rhine, have suggested a train of
lively images and useful ideas, which will not be speedily erazed.
The mind of the young Damsel, more especially, will be enlarged and
enlightened in every sense; in four months she has lived many years;
and she will much deceive and displease me, if she does not review
and methodize her journal, in such a manner as she is capable of
performing, for the amusement of her particular friends. Another
benefit which will redound from your recent view is, that every
place, person, and object, about Lausanne, are now become familiar
and interesting to you. In our future correspondence (do I dare
pronounce the word correspondence?) I can talk to you as freely of
every circumstance as if it were actually before your eyes.

And first, of my own improvements.--All those venerable piles of
ancient verdure which you admired, have been eradicated in one fatal
day. Your faithful substitutes, William de Severy and Levade, have
never ceased to persecute me, till I signed their death warrant.
Their place is now supplied by a number of picturesque naked poles,
the foster fathers of as many twigs of platanuses and acacias, which
may afford a grateful but distant shade to the founder, or to his
_seris nepotibus_. In the meanwhile I must confess that the terrace
appears broader, and that I discover a much larger quantity of snow
than I should otherwise do. The workmen admire your ingenious plan
for cutting out a new bed-chamber and book-room; but, on mature
consideration, we all unanimously prefer the old scheme of adding
a third room beyond the library, with two spacious windows, and a
fire-place between, on the Terrace. It will be larger (28 feet by
21), and pleasanter, and warmer: the difference of expence will be
much less considerable than I imagined: the door of communication
with the library will be artfully buried in the wainscot; and, unless
it be opened by my own choice, may always remain a profound secret.
Such is the design; but as it will not be executed before next
summer, you have time and liberty to state your objections. I am much
colder about the staircase, but it may be finished, according to your
idea, for thirty pounds; and I feel they will persuade me. Am I not a
very rich man? When these alterations are compleated, not forgetting
the watercloset, few authors of six Volumes in quartos will be more
agreeably lodged than myself.

Lausanne is now full and lively; all our native families are returned
from the Country; and, praised be the Lord, we are infested with few
foreigners, either French or English. Even our Democrates are more
reasonable or more discreet; it is agreed to wave the subject of
politics, and we all seem happy and cordial. I have a grand dinner
this week, a supper of thirty or forty people on Twelfth-day, &c.;
some concerts have taken place, some balls are talked of; and even
Maria would allow (yet it is ungenerous to say even Maria) that the
winter scene at Lausanne is tolerably gay and active. I say nothing
of the Severys, as Angletine has epistolized Maria last post. She has
probably hinted her brother meditates a short excursion to Turin;
that worthy creature Trevor has given him a pressing invitation to
his own house. Mrs. Trevor, who is one of us, does not envy him.

[Sidenote: PEACE OR WAR IN EUROPE?]

In the beginning of February I propose going to Geneva for three or
four weeks. I shall lodge and eat with the Neckers; my mornings will
be my own, and I shall spend my evenings in the society of the place,
where I have many acquaintance. This short absence will agitate my
stagnant life, and restore me with fresh appetite to my house, my
library, and my friends. Before that time, the end of February, what
events may happen, or be ready to happen! The National assembly[199]
(compared to which the former was a Senate of heroes and Demigods)
seem resolved to attack Germany _avec quatre millions de bayonettes
libres_; the army of the princes must soon either fight, or starve,
or conquer. Will Sweden draw his sword?[200] will Russia draw her
purse?[201] an empty purse! All is darkness and anarchy: neither
party is strong enough to impose a settlement; and I cannot see a
possibility of an amicable arrangement, where there are no heads (in
any sense of the word) who can answer for the multitude. Send me your
ideas, and those of Lord Guildford, Lord Loughborough, Fox, &c.

Before I conclude, a word of my vexatious affairs.--Shall I never
sail on the smooth stream of good security and half-yearly interest?
Will every body refuse my money? I had already written to Darell and
Gosling to obey your commands, and was in hopes that you had already
made large and salutary evacuations. During your absence I never
expected much effect from the cold indifference of agents; but you
are now in England--you will be speedily in London; set all your
setting dogs to beat the field, hunt, enquire,--why should you not
advertise? And let not the Goslings dine at my expence. I know not
what to say at present of India bonds--do they not Sink? Our affairs
in that Country seem in a very ticklish situation. At all events
consult with Darrel, he has knowledge of that sort and is a real
friend. Yet I am almost ashamed to complain of some stagnation of
interest, when I am witness to the natural and acquired philosophy of
so many French, who are reduced from riches, not to indigence, but
to absolute want and beggary. A Count Argout has just left us, who
possessed ten thousand a-year in the Island of St. Domingo;[202] he
is utterly burned and ruined; and a brother, whom he tenderly loved,
has been murdered by the Negroes. These are real misfortunes.

[Sidenote: AN AMAZING PUSH OF REMORSE.]

I have much revolved the plan of the Memoirs I once mentioned; and,
as you do not think it ridiculous, I believe I shall make an attempt:
if I can please myself, I am confident of not displeasing; but let
this be a profound secret between us: people must not be prepared to
laugh; they must be taken by surprize. Have you looked over your, or
rather my letters? Surely in the course of the year, you may find a
safe and cheap occasion of sending me a parcel; they may assist me.
Adieu. I embrace My Lady: send me a favourable account of her health
and spirits. How happy might we have been, could she have preserved
them at Lausanne! I kiss the Marmaille. By an amazing push of remorse
and diligence I have finished my letter, three pages and a half, this
same day since dinner; but I have not time to read it. Ever yours.*

  half past six.

  [199] The States-General met May 5, 1789. On June 17, 1789, the
  Third Estate formed itself into a National Assembly, which was
  dissolved September 30, 1791. The Legislative Assembly, also
  constituted a National Assembly, sate from October 1, 1791, to
  September 21, 1792. In December, 1791, Louis XVI. threatened
  that, if the Electors of Trèves and Mayence did not prevent the
  assembly of troops in their territories, he would declare war. On
  March 1, 1792, the Emperor Leopold II. died, and was succeeded,
  as King of Hungary and Bohemia, by his son Francis Joseph.
  Against him France declared war, April 20, 1792.

  [200] Gustavus III., King of Sweden (1746-1792), was assassinated
  by Anckarström in March, 1792. He had offered his services
  against France as generalissimo of the forces of the Allied
  Powers.

  [201] Russia, after withdrawing her ambassador from Paris,
  ordered the French minister to leave St. Petersburg in August,
  1792.

  [202] The negroes in the French or western part of the Island of
  St. Domingo rose against the whites in August, 1791. In September
  the General Assembly of the island appealed to the National
  Assembly at Paris for aid, by a letter detailing the horrors of
  the insurrection, and later (November 30) by sending a deputy,
  who was heard in the National Assembly. The insurrection was the
  first step in the independence of Hayti, which was recognized by
  the French in 1825. A Comte d'Argout succeeded the Comte d'Ennery
  as governor of the colony in 1777.



584.

_To Lord Sheffield._


  Lausanne, December 31st, 1791.
  To-morrow a new year, _multos et felices_.

*I now most sincerely repent of my late repentance, and do almost
swear never to renounce the amiable and useful practice of
procrastination. Had I delayed, as I was strongly tempted, another
post, your missive of the 13th, which did not reach me till this
morning (three mails were due), would have arrived in time, and I
might have avoided this second Herculean labour. It will be, however,
no more than an infant Hercules. The topics of conversation have been
fully discussed, and I shall now confine myself to the needful of
the new business. _Felix faustumque sit!_ May no untoward accident
disarrange your Yorkshire Mortgage; the conclusion of which will
place me in a clear and easy state, such as I have never known since
the first hour of property.*

Considering the fragment which we had recovered from Hugonin's
shipwreck, and the large autumnal payments, I should have imagined
that the Goslings would have been somewhat fatter: your lawyers'
bills, the last (as I flatter myself) that I shall ever know, must
have cut deeper than you expected; but I shall see the detail of
their account. If the Yorkshire friend should like £6000 instead of
£5000, and if the estate would afford adequate and ample security,
why should you not desire Darrel to sell the amount of £3800? I
should then have exactly £20,000 firmly seated on land and water,
besides your annuity of £250, and I would not touch the moderate
residue of my short annuities, till poor Mrs. G.'s dismission from
below (which cannot be a very distant event) shall release me from
her annual tribute of £300.

*The three per cents are so high, and the country is in such a damned
state of prosperity under that fellow Pitt, that it goes against me
to purchase at such low interest. In my visit to England next autumn,
or in the spring following, (alas! you _must_ acquiesce in the
alternative,) I hope to be armed with sufficient materials to draw
upon Cadell for a loose sum of £1000 perhaps or £1500, which may be
employed as taste or fancy shall dictate, in the improvement of my
library, a service of plate, &c. I am not very sanguine, but surely
this is no uncomfortable prospect.

This pecuniary detail, which has not indeed been so unpleasant as it
used formerly to be, has carried me farther than I expected. Let us
now drink and be merry. I flatter myself that your Madeira, improved
by its travels, will set forwards for Messrs. Romberg, at Ostend,
early in the spring; and I should be very well pleased if you could
add a hogshead of excellent claret, for which we should be entitled
to the Drawback. They must halt at Basle, and send notice to me for a
safe conduct. Have you had any intelligence from Lord Awkland about
the wine which he was to order from Bourdeaux, by Marseilles and
the Rhone? The one need not impede the other; I wish to have a long
stock. Corea has promised me a hogshead of his native Madeira, for
which I am to give him an order on Cadell for a copy of the Decline
and Fall: he vanished without notice, and is now at Paris. Could
you not fish out his direction by Mrs. Wood, who by this time is in
England? I rejoice in Lally's prosperity, but cannot think Burke
so very mad. Have you reconsidered my proposal of a declaration
of constitutional principles from the heads of the party? I think
a foolish address from a body of Whigs to the national assembly
renders it still more incumbent on you. The intelligence of my Lady's
amendment has given us all most heartfelt pleasure. How very unlucky
was the moment! Achieve my worldly concerns, _et eris mihi magnus
Apollo_. Adieu, ever yours.*



585.

_Lord Sheffield to Edward Gibbon._


  Sheffield Place, 16th January, 1792.

The circumstance of your being already damned (in the opinion of all
good people) has often checked expectoration, and has often been so
far inconvenient as to deprive me of an Exordium, which occasion and
fine feelings inspired. I have been boiling for some time, and was
meditating some eminent degree of abuse when your letters of the 28th
and 31st ultimo arrived this morning. They have so far softened, as
to save me the trouble of examining your impudent excuses. Seven to
one are great odds, especially in letter writing.

[Sidenote: THE CAPACITY OF MARIA HOLROYD.]

As to Lausanne, I do not like to talk of my visit there. I do not
think I enjoyed it half enough. It is true I contrived to snatch
some of the most interesting scenes of this world. France and Paris
at such a moment--the truly Sovereign Proceedings of Berne.[203] It
was a comfort to see the whiskered Germans, that excellent contrast
to the French National Guards. The Rhine and Austrian Flanders,
though last, did not promote and assist less lively images or less
usefull ideas. The young ladies are still full of their excursion,
and they seem even more delighted with the recollection than they
were with the enjoyment. I am glad you recommended to Maria to review
and methodise her journal. Her capacity, if well directed, is equal
to anything. I hear a superlative account from various parts of the
letters she wrote to England. I have not seen them. I hear a good
deal also of my own, and I wish I had some long letters I wrote to
the Duke of Portland, Lord Guilford, and Lord Loughborough. I have no
journal or memoranda of the subjects of them.

We have had some extra encitements to think of Lausanne. First came
Francillon, smart, pleasing, and attentive, and although he has not
a very imposing Parsonick gravity, I think I discover that he is a
diligent pastor. There is a small matter which I flatter myself I
may be able to do for him by means of the Arch-Bishop of Canterbury.
N.B.--Levade's letter was a great treat to us, and Lavater's
manuscript is considered by the Family as an acquisition. I shall
write to the former speedily.

[Sidenote: LALLY TOLLENDAL AT COURT.]

Francillon stayed here about ten days, but before his departure, the
Lally Tollendal arrived. That lively, miserable, pleasant, mortified,
pious, and ingenuous man has been here above a fortnight, and what is
still more miraculous, he does not seem to have the least disposition
to go; and yet I have walked him on foot over ploughed fields when
very wet, and I have trotted him on horseback in the roughest lanes
when frozen as hard as possible. He is delighted with the Library,
where he finds a great variety of books he had not seen. He has made
exhilirating discoveries in respect to Strafford,[204] and he is
become the most profound Antiquarian in Parliamentary history that I
know. As it is not customary for him to wear breeches until he goes
out, which is always late, or until he comes to dinner, I have just
received a note from his apartment, which states that not being in
condition to enter the Library (Mrs. Poole in her 83rd year is there)
he prays me to send him certain folios. Poor fellow, his nerves are
in a horrid state, but he says not worse than they have generally
been since he had the small pox. Tell Mrs. Trevor I am particularly
attentive to his health. I recommend regular meals instead of one
enormous dinner, and earlier times of going to and rising from bed,
to which in some degree he attends. My Lady, (who is infinitely
better) takes to him amazingly, but that seems the custom with all
Ladies. I have only one objection to him, namely, he reads in Bed and
is eminently _distrait_; I am sorry, as it is a rule with me never to
solicit a second visit from a person who has that practice, because
there is some inconvenience in having the house burnt down in the
middle of the night, unless it could be so contrived that all the
inhabitants should be burnt at the same time without knowing anything
of the matter. I wish his Malkin was re-established at Tournay--and
so I believe does he. The expectations from the uncles are not
flattering. I fancy he would like best to be with his Princesses of
the Desert and Madame Trevor. Lord Loughborough is extremely pleased
with him and is uncommonly kind to him. Lord Guilford likes him, and
Lally was much satisfied with his visit of two days to Bushey Park.
The King took a great deal of notice of him, and talked to him a
long time. They conversed on the _Renversement de toutes les Idées
que caracterisait La Revolution Francaise_. Lally said, _"Sire, Je
quitte un des sujets de vôtre Majestie et certainement des plus
distingués. Il a caracterisè à merveille par une seule plaisanterie
ce que nous arrive." "Qui?" "M. Gibbon." "Et que dit il?" "Il dit,
que la Revolution Francaise lui rappelle le tems de son enfance, où
on lui faisait voir dans une grande estampe un cochon faisant rôtir
un Cuisinier."_ Lally adds, "_Sa Majestie Brittanique a ri de ce rire
inextinguible que Homer nous donne pour un attribut des Dieux._"

Finally, the Count is likely to pass his time in London as well
as can be expected in his burdened state. Everybody interests
themselves about him. Yet I can discover no symptom of a commodious
arrangement for him. I thought he would have gone to the Queen's
Naissance,[205] but I think he will now stay here till Parliament
meets, viz. the 31st instant. On his passage to this Island, he had
a long conversation with De Bouillè at Mayence. You will remember I
have abused that general for not attempting to retake the King. I
was unjust. He followed him with one thousand cavalry nine leagues
in what is stated an incredibly short time (yet four hours are
mentioned), and was stopped by a river,[206] like Lord Cornwallis
going to join Abercrombie, who complains that he had not been told
of that river; but if they were afraid of being drowned _à la nage_,
500 of them might have gone into the river, and by holding themselves
and their horses in a proper direction might have formed a temporary
bridge for the other 500.

The flight failed through the King's departure a day later than he
proposed. The attendance of a democratic woman on the Dauphin was
to end on the day which had been fixed. The King had announced to
Bouillè that it would be better to delay till the woman's time was
out, but too late for him to give notice to the Person and Troops he
had posted. Charles Damas and Choiseul[207] had advanced to meet the
King. He not coming on the day he was expected, they supposed the
enterprise had failed, and retired two hours only before the King
arrived. He expected to find a relay of horses on the Paris side
of Varrennes. The horses were waiting on the other side, of which
the King had no information. The Postillions would not pass the
stage. The King, not meeting those persons he expected, despaired.
The Queen was impatient, got out of the carriage, enquired at
different places for the relay. Thence suspicions arose. Damas and
Choiseul finding they had caused some jealousy, had returned by a
cross road, otherwise the King would have overtaken them. They came
into Varrennes after the King was seized. Bouillè says the flight
was entirely planned by the King, that the Emperor had pressed the
attempt. He excuses his letter, &c., by saying "His object was
to turn the thoughts of the people from the King on him." What a
reverse for poor Bouillè! If the King had reached Montmedi, I have
not a doubt of his having been joined by the Army and of his being
now re-established at Paris. Bouillè would have been in the highest
situation. Now he is a vagabond in Germany.

[Sidenote: THE HIDEOUS PLAGUE IN FRANCE.]

Letters from Paris represent Pitt as the vilest Machiavel in respect
to French affairs. Perhaps France has no great right to complain.
When lately in London I dined in company with the Duke of Richmond,
and was sitting next him. I whispered that the Princes were very
well satisfied with our King's friendly letter to them, which
promised neutrality on the part of Britain. The Duke said, twice,
with eagerness, "No, no. It promised nothing." If the plague,
comparatively a trifling misfortune, had broke out in France, the
neighbouring countries would have formed a cordon round it--but now,
when the most hideous plague that can be imagined, rages there, which
no cordon ever will be able to contain, if it should continue, but
which inevitably will spread over and contaminate all Europe, it is
treated as a matter of ordinary policy. I do not understand these
precious Sovereigns. They deserve their fate, and their ministers
to be hanged, but I object to the several countries being torn to
pieces; at the same time I must say that I do not see that there is
sufficient ground to believe our ministers are acting a double part
as is supposed. Finally, it is obvious that there is not at present
the possibility of an arrangement between the two parties of France,
because neither party can govern or answer for the multitude. Lally
talks with much satisfaction of the manner in which Lord Guilford
expressed himself in respect to Necker, his honour, honesty, &c., &c.
He is greatly struck with his candour, moderation and good sense.
Remember me in an handsome manner to M. and Madame Necker when you
see them.

As you talk of being restored to your pristine tranquility at
Lausanne, and that Politicks are waved, I suppose Mr. Commissioner
Fischer is gone. Rather than part with him, I should have been
content with your alarms and your Politicks. I should even have
regretted the whiskers and my Friend Meluner. Maria says the
Commissioner is gone, because you presume to mention a Ball. I hope
Wilhelm de Severy was not obliged to make verses. Remember us to his
excellent Pere, Mere, & Sœur.

Luckily it is not necessary to reserve much space for your affairs.
They are in good train. It is a satisfaction when I can observe in
you a dawning of intelligence in such matters, and that you see there
is an advantage of 15 per cent. in changing at this time from the
Funds to a Mortgage, besides the security against depreciation. I
have already written to desire that your Fund in Yorkshire may be
increased if it should suit. I should have remembered the Dowager.
However, the interest of Stock now due and the money you have at
Lausanne will be enough for two months. Remember it will be little
more before considerable payments will be made. You are a rich old
fellow. I shall leave the India Bonds if the price should be bad. The
Lawyers' bills paid are only those I showed to you. I apprehend the
Madeira has begun its travels. I think I discovered when I saw Lord
Auckland lately, that he had done nothing respecting the claret, but
I believe I can provide for you by another channel.

I have an imperfect recollection of having mentioned in a late letter
some instances of British prosperity, but I know not what. The gross
produce of the permanent Revenue of the year ending 5^{th} Jan^y,
1791, including Land-Tax and Annual Malt, amounted to £20,355,380,
exclusive of casual revenue, such as seizures, fines, taxes on Places
& Pensions, First fruits, &c., amounting to £125,476, and exclusive
also of the profits of the Lottery. The actual receipt of the

  Excise for the same year was £9,054,850
  Resting to be accounted for     194,245
                               ----------
                               £9,249,096

Expense of management, £505,014. But allowances, Exports, Bounties,
&c., reduced the nett payment into the Exchequer to £7,689,973;
notwithstanding this ample amount, the net increase of the excise for
the year ending 5^{th} Jan^y, 1792, will not be less than £1,200,000,
of which £800,000 are old, and £400,000 are new duties. The general
expence of collecting all the Taxes is £5 13_s._ 7_d._ per cent. I
understand the expence of collecting the Revenue in France previous
to the Revolution was £11 17_s._ 0_d._ per cent.

You recollect that we ought to have been ruined by the Independence
of America--_selon tous les regles_, except mine and a few
others--yet since 1773, when the troubles in America began, the
export of British manufactures have gradually increased upwards
of four millions annually. British built commercial tonnage has
increased since that period 318,522 tons, which is more than
three-fourths of the whole Commercial tonnage of France. Thanks to
that illustrious writer the Lord Sheffield. The total of French
commercial tonnage is 426,121. Total of English, 1,527,240, English
coasting tonnage 3,711,135, French ditto 1,004,729. There is more
Foreign than French shipping employed in the trade of France. When
their silly and crazy patriots have ruined their West India trade,
they will have little occasion for sailors. Such considerations are
beneath such elevated minds.

[Sidenote: MASSA KING WILBERFORCE.]

We are going to send 300 dismounted Light Dragoons to Jamaica and
600 foot from Nova Scotia. Hitherto all has been quiet there, but
3000 Negroes assembled in the parish of Westmoreland to celebrate
Massa King Wilberforce's Birthday,[208] lately raised some alarm.
Happily they were quietly dispersed. Have you observed that the
estimated expence of France for the last year was about 26 millions
sterling, and the Ways and Means about 24 millions? (It is rather
awkward to set out with a deficit of 2 millions.) On the 31st October
last, only about 2,700,000 had been received, and it was not even
supposed then that more than 2,400,000 more would be paid before the
end of the year. The Arrear of Taxes since the Revolution is about
70,000,000. The Land-tax however is not to be considered as all lost.
The imperfect receipt of it arises from an incomplete arrangement, I
understand, as to the mode of collection. About 12 millions of that
tax are behind.

I have not thought so bad of your taste, since I heard the vile
unmeaning masses are removed from your Terrace, and I hope most of
the vulgar flower-pots. You have not given a tolerable reason for
preferring a bed-chamber which cannot have a good approach, without
indeed a very great expence. What I propose, may be done without
spoiling your Library, and without disturbing you in that comfortable
room.

I have not forgot your poultry, I could have done the needfull for
£7, instead of £70. You did not want a menagerie. The alteration of
the staircase would do away the most awkward entrance I ever saw
into an House at a very small expense--but if the French Revolution
is not checked, I must flatter myself your Books will be used for
cartridges. As to the letters, I thought you expressed indifference
about them before I left you. I shall examine, altho' I do not
believe there are many except of a late Times. Assure the Duchess
of Biron[209] (she is a great favourite here) that the parcel for
Madame de Cambis was received safe.

  [203] A commission presided over by M. Fischer, supported by
  two or three thousand militia of the Canton of Berne, was sent
  to inquire into the attempts to introduce the principles of the
  French Revolution into the Pays de Vaud. Several persons were
  arrested, and secretly examined. MM. Rosset and La Motte were
  confined in the Castle of Chillon, and being afterwards condemned
  to a long period of imprisonment for correspondence with the
  French, were transferred to the Castle of Arbourg, whence they
  escaped.

  [204] Lally's tragedy of _Strafford_, in five acts and verse,
  was printed at London in 1795. His _Essai sur la vie de Thomas
  Wentworth, Comte de Strafford_, was published at London in the
  same year. Madame d'Arblay, in February, 1792, speaks of Miss
  Fanshawe having heard "the famous M. Lally Tolendahl read a
  French tragedy upon an English subject written by himself! The
  subject was the death of Strafford." Lally was probably attracted
  to the subject by the circumstances of his own father's execution.

  [205] Marie Antoinette was born November 2, 1755.

  [206] Bouillé, warned by a messenger from Choiseul that the
  king was detained at Varennes, rode from Dun-sur-Meuse, about
  twenty-two miles from Montmédy, to within sight of the village,
  but could not cross the Aire; thousands of the National Guard had
  mustered, and the king was already on his return journey to Paris.

  [207] The Comte de Damas, who was stationed on the Ste. Menehould
  side of Varennes, joined the king at Clermont-en-Argonne, where
  the road westward from Ste. Menehould strikes to the north to
  Varennes and Montmédy. The Duc de Choiseul and his hussars, who
  had been posted on the Montmédy side of Varennes, also joined the
  king at Varennes. But their troops refused to act against the
  National Guard. The relays were stationed at the further side of
  the bridge over the Aire, which had been blocked by Postmaster
  Drouet.

  [208] In Westmoreland County, Jamaica, "particularly in the
  parish of St. Elizabeth, there have been nightly meetings of the
  Negroes, where they have not hesitated to call Wilberforce their
  King, by the name (in their way) of _King Wilberforce_." (Extract
  from a letter quoted in the _Gentleman's Magazine_ for February,
  1792, vol. 62, p. 174.)

  [209] Amélie de Boufflers, only daughter of the Duc de Boufflers,
  was born in 1751. J. J. Rousseau speaks enthusiastically of her,
  when he saw her as a girl at the house of her grandmother, the
  Maréchale de Luxembourg. She married, in 1766, Armand Louis de
  Gontaut, Duc de Lauzun, who succeeded his uncle as Duc de Biron.
  Dissolute and a spendthrift, the duke hated the king and queen
  because he had not been appointed to succeed his uncle as Colonel
  of the Guards (_Souvenirs et Portraits_, par le Duc de Lévis, pp.
  191-201). He joined the extreme revolutionary party. His wife,
  who had lived apart from him for many years, in 1791-2 passed
  some months at Lausanne. She returned to France from England in
  November, 1792, was arrested and released at the intercession of
  her husband, whom she had not seen for fifteen years. In England
  she lived with the Princesse d'Hénin till October, 1793, when she
  again returned to France. She was arrested and guillotined in
  1794. The Duc was executed in December, 1793.



586.

_To Lord Sheffield._


  Lausanne, April 4th, 1792.

*For fear you should abuse me, as usual, I will begin the attack,
and scold at you, for not having yet sent me the long-expected
intelligence of the completion of my mortgage. You had positively
assured me that the second of February would terminate my worldly
cares, by a consummation so devoutly to be wished. The news,
therefore, might reach me about the 16th; and I argued with the
gentle logic of lazyness, that it was perfectly idle to answer your
letter, till I could chaunt a thanksgiving song of gratitude and
praise. As every post disappointed my hopes, the same argument was
repeated for the next; and twenty empty-handed postilions have blown
their insignificant horns, till I am provoked at last to write by
sheer impatience and vexation.

_Facit indignatio versum. Cospetto di Baccho_; for I must ease myself
by swearing a little. What is the cause, the meaning, the pretence,
of this delay? Are the Yorkshire Mortgagors inconstant in their
wishes? are the London lawyers constant in their procrastination? Is
a letter on the road, to inform that all is concluded, or to tell me
that all is broke to pieces? In sober truth I am out of humour to
think of all the dinners that the Goslings have given at my expence.
Had the money been placed in the three per Cents last May, besides
the annual interest, it would now have gained by the rise of stock
nearly twenty per Cent. Your Lordship is a wise man, a successful
writer, and a useful Senator; you understand America and Ireland,
Corn and Slaves, but your prejudice against the funds, in which I am
often tempted to joyn, makes you a little blind to their encreasing
value in the hands of our virtuous and excellent minister. But our
regret is vain; one pull more and we reach the shore; and our future
correspondence will be no longer tainted with business. But shall I
then be more diligent and regular? I hope and believe so; for now
that I have got over this article of worldly interest, my letter
seems to be almost finished.

A propos of letters, am I not a sad dog to forget My Lady and Maria?
Alas! the dual number has been prejudicial to both. How happy could
I be with either, were t'other dear charmer away. I am like the Ass
of famous memory; I cannot tell which way to turn first, and there
I stand mute and immoveable. The Baronial and maternal dignity
of My Lady, supported by twenty years' friendship, may claim the
preference. But the five incomparable letters of Maria!--Next week,
however.--Am I not ashamed to talk of next Week?

[Sidenote: A MONTH WITH THE NECKERS.]

I have most successfully, and most agreeably, executed my plan
of spending the month of March at Geneva, in the Necker house,
and every circumstance that I had arranged turned out beyond my
expectation; the freedom of the morning, the society of the table
and drawing-room, from half an hour past two till six or seven; an
evening assembly and card-party, in a round of the best company, and,
except one day in the week, a private supper of free and friendly
conversation. You would like Geneva better than Lausanne; there is
much more information to be got among the men; but though I found
some agreeable women, their manners and style of life are, upon the
whole, less easy and pleasant than our own. I was much pleased with
Necker's brother, Mr. de Germani,[210] a good-humoured, polite,
sensible man, without the genius or fame of the statesman, but much
more adapted for private and ordinary happiness.

Madame de Stael is expected in a few weeks at Copet, where they
receive her, and where, "to dumb forgetfullness a prey," she will
have leisure to regret the pleasing anxious being, which she
enjoyed amidst the storms of Paris. But what can the poor creature
do? her husband is in Sweden,[211] her lover is no longer Secretary
of War,[212] and her father's house is the only place where she
can reside with the least degree of prudence and decency. Of that
father I have really a much higher idea than I ever had before; in
our domestic intimacy he cast away his gloom and reserve; I saw a
great deal of his mind, and all that I saw is fair and worthy. He
was overwhelmed by the hurricane, he mistook his way in the fog,
but in such a perilous situation, I much doubt whether any mortal
could have seen or stood. In the meanwhile, he is abused by all
parties, and none of the French in Geneva will set their foot in
his house. He remembers Lord Sheffield with esteem. His health is
good, and he would be tranquil in his private life, were not his
spirits continually wounded by the arrival of every letter and
every newspaper. His sympathy is deeply interested by the fatal
consequences of a Revolution, in which he had acted so leading a
part; and he feels as a friend for the danger of Mr. de Lessart,[213]
who may be guilty in the eyes of the Jacobins, or even of his judges,
by those very actions and dispatches which would be the most approved
by all true Lovers of his Country.

[Sidenote: THE MARCH OF THE MARSEILLAIS.]

What a momentous event is the Emperor's death![214] In the forms of
a new reign, and of the Imperial election, the Democrates have at
least gained time, if they knew how to use it. But the new Monarch,
though of a weak complexion, is of a martial temper; he loves the
Soldiers, and is beloved by them; and the slow, fluctuating politics
of his uncle may be succeeded by a direct line of march to the gates
of Strasburgh and Paris. It is the opinion of the master-movers
in France, (I know it most certainly,) that their troops will not
fight, that the people have lost all sense of patriotism, and that on
the first discharge of an Austrian cannon the game is up. But what
occasion for Austrians or Spaniards? the French are themselves their
greatest enemies; 4000 Marseillais are marched against Arles and
Avignon, the _troupes de ligne_ are divided between the two parties,
and the flame of civil war will soon extend over the southern
provinces.[215] You have heard of the unworthy treatment of the Swiss
regiment of Ernst. The canton of Bern has bravely recalled them, with
a stout letter to the King of France, which must be inserted in all
the papers.

I now come to the most unpleasant articles, our home politics. Rosset
and La Motte are condemned to five and twenty years imprisonment in
the fortress of Arbourg. We have not yet received their official
sentence, nor is it believed that the proofs and proceedings against
them will be published; an awkward circumstance, which it does not
seem easy to justify. Some (though none of note) are taken up,
several are fled, many more are suspected and suspicious. All are
silent, but it is the silence of fear and discontent; and the secret
hatred which rankled against Government begins to point against the
few who are known to be well-affected.

I never knew any place so much changed as Lausanne, even since
last year; and though you will not be much obliged to me for the
motive, I begin very seriously to think of visiting Sheffield-place
by the month of September next. Yet here again I am frightened, by
the dangers of a French, and the difficulties of a German, route.
You must send me an account of the passage from Brighton, with an
itinerary of the Rhine, distances, expences, &c. As usual, I just
save the post, nor have I time to read my letter, which, after
wasting the morning in deliberation, has been struck off in a heat
since dinner. No news of the Madeira. The views of Sh.-pl. are just
received; they are admired, and shall be framed. Severy has spent the
Carnival at Turin. Trevor is only the best man in the World.*

  [210] Louis Necker (1730-1801), elder brother of Jacques Necker
  the statesman, assumed the name of de Germanie on succeeding to
  an estate of that name which he inherited from his father. He had
  made a fortune as a banker at Marseilles.

  [211] The Baron de Staël-Holstein was Swedish Ambassador at Paris
  from 1783 to 1792.

  [212] M. de Narbonne-Lara was Minister of War from December,
  1791, to March, 1792. Born in 1755, he is said to have been
  the son of Madame Adelaide and the Comte de Narbonne, her
  chamberlain. He was one of the few persons who, according to
  Talleyrand, were completely in the confidence of Mirabeau. "Le
  Comte Louis de Narbonne est enfin ministre de la guerre, d'hier,"
  wrote Marie Antoinette to Count Fersen. "Quelle gloire pour
  M^{me} de Stael, et quel plaisir pour elle d'avoir toute l'armée
  ... à elle!" (Klinckowström, _Le Comte de Fersen et la Cour de
  France_, i. 269). After the insurrection of August 10, 1792,
  Narbonne was saved by Madame de Staël and M. Bollmann, and took
  refuge in England.

  [213] Antoine de Lessart, Minister of the Interior and of Foreign
  Affairs (1791-2), was accused of corresponding with the _émigrés_
  and the emperor, tried before the High Court of Orleans for
  treason, and murdered in the September massacres of 1792.

  [214] The Emperor Leopold II. died March 1, 1792, and was
  succeeded by his son Francis Joseph, who, pending his election as
  emperor, took the title of King of Bohemia and Hungary.

  [215] Taine traces to the action of Marseilles in the autumn
  of 1791 the first crop of the "arbre révolutionnaire" (_La
  Révolution_, vol. ii. c. vi.). Marseilles, in fact, became a
  Republic which undertook the conquest of southern provinces.
  In February, 1792, four thousand Marseillais marched upon Aix,
  and disarmed and pillaged the Swiss Regiment of Ernest. In
  the following March, they made themselves masters of Arles.
  Their troops, "vraie Sodome errante," pillaged the country,
  and plundered, outraged, or massacred peaceful inhabitants.
  Avignon, which with the Comtat Venaissin was united to France
  in September, 1791, was the next object of their attack. It had
  been, in October, 1791, the scene of the horrible massacres of La
  Glacière perpetrated by Jourdan _Coupe-Tête_ and the "Brigands
  of Avignon." Jourdan's cruelties had produced a reaction. But in
  April, 1792, he was carried in triumph by the Marseillais through
  the streets of the city, and restored to his usurped position as
  governor and commander-in-chief. Jourdan, it may be added, was
  guillotined in May, 1794.



587.

_Lord Sheffield to Edward Gibbon._


  Downing Street, 18th April, 1792.

You will readily guess that I do not write to you because the
Mortgage was not finished, but I cannot readily guess the cause
of your not answering my letter, which according to the best of
my recollection was long and amiable. Be assured that you are a
worthless fellow.

When the Yorkshire business is finished you will have £20,000 as well
placed as can be. N.B. The Buriton interest is not yet paid, but I
suppose will in a few days. I have been at Sheffield Place near a
fortnight during Easter.

I am engaged in numberless matters before the Commons, British
business is not slack. I have been all night at a Ball. I am just
returned from a Congress with Mr. Secretary Dundas on the subject of
his Slave Bill.[216] He and I are likely to agree. The innocence
of Captain Kimber[217] will be made as clear as will the extreme
rascality of his surgeon who accuses. Louisa settled at Bath with
Aunt about the middle of Febry. It was the best that could be done.
Mrs. Moss set out this day for the neighbourhood of Geneva, where she
is to pass the summer. She carries a letter to you in case she should
pass thro' Lausanne, that you might show such attention to her as
you can by selfe, Levade, or De Severy. She carries also 14 of your
letters of the years 77, 78, 79.

  [216] In April, 1792, Wilberforce brought forward his annual
  motion for the abolition of the slave trade. Pitt made one of
  his most eloquent speeches in its support. Dundas moved as
  an amendment a gradual measure of abolition. His amendment,
  though opposed by Fox, was carried (April 2) by 193 to 125. He
  subsequently (April 23) moved a series of resolutions to effect
  a gradual abolition. These were taken up by Pitt, and, with some
  amendments, carried. In the Lords a proposal to receive evidence
  on the subject was carried (May 8), and there for the time
  proceedings stopped. The Bill for the general abolition of the
  slave trade received the royal assent in March, 1807.

  [217] On June 7, 1792, Captain John Kimber was tried at the Old
  Bailey for the murder of a negro girl on board the _Recovery_. He
  was acquitted, and two of the witnesses for the prosecution were
  committed for trial for perjury. On February 19, 1793, Surgeon
  Dowling, the principal witness against Kimber, was convicted of
  perjury. The charge against Kimber was urged by Wilberforce in
  his speech of April 2, 1792.



588.

_Lord Sheffield to Edward Gibbon._


  Downing Street, 14 May, 1792.

[Sidenote: AN ASYLUM AT BERNE.]

The Plot thickens. Some information induces me to think that
Switzerland, till lately the happy and peaceful, may be disquieted,
especially the countries bordering on France. I can conceive it
possible that the insane discontents of the Pais de Vaud may render
Lausanne not altogether an eligible and comfortable residence to
you. We hear that the National Guards have assembled on the borders
towards Geneva and are trying to perform some manœuvres. I can
suppose it reasonable for you to think of this Isle sooner than you
intended,--that the border may be disquieted and travelling for
such an unweildy creature neither commodious nor delightful. It is
possible the Borders may be less tempting for Travellers at present
than some time hence. In such case, if anything like turbulence
should exist at Lausanne, Berne may afford you the best Asylum
till the journey to old England may be safe and sure, that is void
of embarrassments which might annoy you, altho' they might appear
only curious events and agreeable Episodes to me and some others. I
apprehend that a journey by Germany, unless you make a great detour,
would be troublesome.

When we joked last Autumn about whiskers and Jacobins and the great
utility of books for making cartridges, I did not think you so near
disturbance as you possibly may be. The annihilation of your books
might be a proper judgement upon you for the damned, parson-minded,
inglorious idea of leaving books to be sold. A trumpery fellow, that
after having made a good collection had not the idea of keeping
them together by leaving them to Sheffield Place, where they would
involve the books already there, and the whole be handed down _seris
nepotibus_ as the Gibbonian Library! I could hardly contain my
indignation when you mentioned your sniverling notion. I have often
fully and duly anathematized you since, but I do not flatter myself
that barbarism is as yet arrived at the trouble of attacking the
Library of an Aristocrate.

You will discover that I want to hear of you. At such a time a few
lines might have been expected even from you--or anything ten times
worse than you. How are the De Severy's? I should have attempted
to make amends for my Lady's neglect of writing, if I had not been
bothered in the extreme. I wish also to write to Levade. Is Mrs.
Moss arrived? Altho' the new French art of War tends to enable to
fight another day, yet it is to be hoped the execrable troops will
not take that trouble. After I left you and had seen those warriors
in Alsace, &c., I transmitted my opinion that they would take the
very first opportunity of running away and murdering their officers.
Our Associations here have now received a good brush. Your idea of
signing Declarations would be adopted by many, if there was not an
apprehension that Democrates would represent it as an Aristocrate
Association against the People. Your Yorkshire Mortgage draws towards
a conclusion. I have had an excellent letter of many pages from Lally
at Paris which I must forthwith answer.



589.

_To Lord Sheffield._


  Lausanne, May 30th, 1792.

[Sidenote: DEMOCRATIC PROCESS IN ENGLAND.]

*After the receipt of your _penultimate_, eight days ago, I expected
with much impatience, the arrival of your next-promised Epistle.
It arrived this morning, but has not compleatly answered my
expectations. I wanted, and I hoped for a full and fair picture of
the present and probable aspect of your political World, with which,
at this distance, I seem every day less satisfied. In the slave
question you triumphed last session; in this you have been defeated.
What is the cause of this alteration? If it proceeded only from an
impulse of humanity, I cannot be displeased, even with an error;
since it is very likely that my own vote (had I possessed one) would
have been added to the Majority. But in this rage against slavery,
in the numerous petitions against the Slave trade, was there no
leaven of new democratical principles? no wild ideas of the rights
and natural equality of man? It is these I fear. Some articles in
newspapers, some pamphlets of the year, the Jockey Club,[218]--have
fallen into my hands. I do not infer much from such publications; yet
I have never known them of so black and malignant a cast. I shuddered
at Grey's motion,[219] disliked the half-support of Fox, admired the
firmness of Pitt's declaration, and excused the usual intemperance of
Burke. Surely such men as* Grey, Sheridan, Erskine, *have talents for
mischief.

I see a Club of reform[220] which contains some respectable
names. Inform me of the professions, the principles, the plans,
the resources of these reformers. Will they heat the minds of the
people? Does the French democracy gain no ground? Will the bulk
of your party stand firm to their own interest, and that of their
country? Will you not take some active measures to declare your
sound opinions, and separate yourselves from your rotten members?
or if you allow them to perplex government, if you trifle with this
solemn business, if you do not resist the spirit of innovation in the
first attempt, if you admit the smallest and most specious change
in our parliamentary system, you are lost. You will be driven from
one step to another; from principles just in theory, to consequences
most pernicious in practice; and your first concessions will be
productive of every subsequent mischief, for which you will be
answerable to your country and to posterity. Do not suffer yourselves
to be lulled into a false security; remember the proud fabric of the
French Monarchy. Not four years ago it stood founded, as it might
seem, on the rock of time, force, and opinion, supported by the
triple Aristocracy of the Church, the Nobility, and the Parliaments.
They are crumbled into dust; they are vanished from the earth. If
this tremendous warning has no effect on the men of property in
England; if it does not open every eye, and raise every arm, you will
deserve your fate. If I am too precipitate, enlighten; if I am too
desponding, encourage me.

My pen has run into this argument; for, as much a foreigner as you
think me, on this momentous subject I feel myself an Englishman.

The pleasure of residing at Sheffield-place is, after all, the first
and the ultimate object of my visit to my native country. But when
or how will that visit be effected? Clouds and whirlwinds, Austrian
Croats, and Gallic cannibals, seem on every side to impede my
passage. You appear to apprehend the perils or difficulties of the
German road, and French peace is more sanguinary than civilized War.
I must pass through, perhaps, a thousand Republics or municipalities,
which neither obey nor are obeyed. The strictness of passports,
and the popular ferment, are much encreased since last summer:
Aristocrate is in every mouth, Lanterns hang in every street, and
an hasty word or a casual resemblance, may be fatal. Yet, on the
other hand, it is probable that many English, men, women, and
children, will traverse the country without any accident before next
September; and I am sensible that many things appear more formidable
at a distance than on a nearer approach. Without any absolute
determination, we must see what the events of the next three or
four months will produce. In the mean while, I shall expect with
impatience your next letter: let it be speedy; my answer shall be
prompt.

[Sidenote: GALLIC WOLVES PROWL ROUND GENEVA.]

You will be glad, or sorry, to learn that my gloomy apprehensions are
much abated, and that my departure, whenever it takes place, will
be an act of choice, rather than of necessity. I do not pretend to
affirm, that secret discontent, dark suspicion, private animosity,
are very materially asswaged; but we have not experienced, nor
do we now apprehend, any dangerous acts of violence, which may
compell me to seek a refuge among the friendly Bears,[221] and to
abandon my library to the mercy of the Democrates. The firmness
and vigour of Government have crushed, at least for a time, the
spirit of innovation; and I do not believe that the body of the
people, especially the Peasants, are disposed for a revolution.
From France, praised be the Demon of Anarchy! the insurgents of the
pays de Vaud could not at present have much to hope; and should the
_Gardes nationales_, of which there is little appearance, attempt
an incursion, the country is armed and prepared, and they would be
resisted with equal numbers and superior discipline. The Gallic
wolves that prowled round Geneva are drawn away, some to the south
and some to the north, and the late events in Flanders seem to have
diffused a general contempt, as well as abhorrence, for the lawless
savages, who fly before the enemy, hang their prisoners, and murder
their officers.[222] The brave and patient regiment of Ernest is
expected home every day, and as Bern will take them into present
pay, that veteran and regular corps will add to the security of our
frontier.

I rejoyce that we have so little to say on that subject of Worldly
affairs.* Since the interest of the Yorkshire is due from the mouth
of February my complaints are silenced, but I am desirous of the
consummation of the business. You seem to applaud your good fortune
in finding an excellent settlement for £3000, with which you have
purchased three unexceptionable Debentures, but you forget to mention
who are my Creditors and in what part of the Globe my landed security
is placed. I must confess some fears of Ireland or the West Indies,
with neither of which I would willingly have any connection. As my
property is now divided, I should much wish that you would draw up
and sign a regular statement of the several objects, stating in
whose hands and where the respective title deeds are deposited. With
regard to those which are entrusted ----[223] it could not surely be
offensive to ask him for a written acknowledgment. I have no evidence
whatsoever to produce to his Executors; this thought sometimes
makes me rather uneasy. I thank you for the offer of supporting my
Credit at Gosling's; but the stream now begins to flow faster than
I draw, and they have been instructed to keep £500 India bonds from
your talons. Notwithstanding the Darrel's caution, I wish you had
seized the propitious moment when stocks were so ridiculously high.
I am much surprized to have no account whatsoever of the approach
of my Madeira, which has been so injudiciously paid for beforehand;
enquiries must be made. Will you likewise inform yourself of the
Wedgewood, why I have not been able to obtain their old account
which was solicited by letter, a strong measure from me, when I
paid Severy's bill two or three years ago? If they have waited
scandalously for their money, it is not my fault; but I do not like
it myself, as it is the only debt I have in the World. Mrs. Moss saw
my house and garden in a rainy day, and her passage was so rapid that
I could not even give her a dish of tea: she seems pleased with her
situation at Geneva.

*This summer we are threatened with an inundation, besides many
nameless English and Irish; the Dowager Lady Spencer is arrived, the
Dutchess of Ancaster is expected, but I am less anxious about those
matrons, than for the good Dutchess of Devonshire and the wicked
Lady Elizabeth Foster, who are on their march. Lord Malmsbury, the
_audacieux_ Harris,[224] will inform you that he has seen me: _him_ I
would have consented to keep.*

[Sidenote: THE DESTINY OF HIS LIBRARY.]

Before I absolutely conclude, I must animadvert on the whimsical
peroration of your last Epistle concerning the future fate of my
library,[225] about which you are so indignant. I am a friend
to the circulation of property of every kind, and besides the
pecuniary advantage of my poor heirs, I consider a public sale as
the most laudable method of disposing of it. From such sales my
books were chiefly collected, and when I can no longer use them they
will be again culled by various buyers according to the measure
of their wants and means. If indeed a true liberal public library
existed in London, I might be tempted to enrich the catalogue and
encourage the institution: but to bury my treasure in a _country_
mansion under the key of a jealous master! I am not flattered by
the Gibbonian collection, and shall own my presumptuous belief that
six quarto Volumes may be sufficient for the preservation of that
name. If however your unknown successor should be a man of learning,
if I should live to see the love of litterature dawning in your
grandson---- In the meanwhile I admire the firm confidence of our
friendship that you can insist, and I can demur, on a legacy of
fifteen hundred or two thousand pounds without the smallest fear of
offence.

*One word more before we part; call upon Mr. John Nichols,[226]
bookseller and printer, at Cicero's head, Red-Lion-passage,
Fleet-street, and ask him whether he did not, about the beginning of
March, receive a very polite letter[227] from Mr. Gibbon of Lausanne?
To which, either as a man of business or a civil Gentleman, he
should have returned an answer. My application related to a domestic
article in the Gentleman's magazine of August, 1788, (p. 698,)[228]
which had lately fallen into my hands, and concerning which I
requested some farther lights. Mrs. Moss delivered the letters into
my hands, but I doubt whether they will be of much service to me; the
work appears far more difficult in the execution than in the idea,
and as I am now taking my leave for some time of the library, I shall
not make much progress in the memoirs of P. P. till I am on English
ground. But is it indeed true, that I shall eat any Sussex pheasants
this autumn? The event is in the book of Fate, and I cannot unroll
the leaves of September and October. Should I reach Sheffield-place,
I hope to find the whole family in a perfect state of existence,
except a certain Maria Holroyd, my fair and _generous_ correspondent,
whose annihilation on proper terms I most fervently desire. I must
receive a copious answer before the end of next month, June, and
again call upon you for a map of your political World. The Chancellor
roars; does he break his chain? _Vale._*

  [218] _The Jockey Club; or, A Sketch of the Manners of the
  Age_ (Parts i., ii., iii.), by Charles Pigott, is an attack on
  monarchy and aristocracy, a defence of the French Revolution, and
  an appeal to Fox to use his influence in favour of France in a
  war which is "the general cause of all human nature. It is the
  cause of sovereigns and certain individuals enjoying exclusive
  privileges to the injury of the rest, against the combined
  immortal cause of the whole world."

  [219] On April 30, 1792, Mr. Grey, in consequence of a resolution
  adopted by the "Friends of the People," gave notice of his
  intention to move for an inquiry into the representative system.
  On this notice a debate followed. Grey was supported by Fox.
  Pitt, on the other hand, declared that if ever there was a time
  when such a question should not be raised, the present was
  that time. Burke spoke in the same sense, attacking Paine's
  _Rights of Man_, and all clubs and societies which recommended
  the principles of that work. On May 6, 1792, Grey presented a
  petition from the "Friends of the People," in which the abuses of
  the electoral system were exposed, and moved that it be referred
  to a committee. After a debate of two nights, he found only
  forty-one supporters.

  [220] Gibbon probably refers to the "Friends of the People," an
  association for the reform of the representative system, to which
  Lord Lauderdale, Grey, Sheridan, Erskine, and twenty-five other
  members of Parliament belonged.

  [221] Berne.

  [222] Dumouriez, in April, 1792, despatched three armies to
  invade Belgium. The column directed against Tournay dispersed,
  and murdered Dillon, their commander. That which marched against
  Mons fled as soon as they came in sight of the Austrians near
  Jemappes.

  [223] Name erased.

  [224] "Cet audacieux et rusé Harris" is the phrase used by
  Mirabeau of Lord Malmesbury (_Cour de Berlin_, _Lettre_ xxxvii.,
  vol. ii. p. 13).

  [225] Gibbon's library at Lausanne was bought, in 1796, from
  Lord Sheffield by Beckford for £950. Beckford shut himself up in
  it "for six weeks, from early in the morning until night, only
  now and then taking a ride," and read himself "nearly blind"
  (Cyrus Redding's "Recollections of the Author of Vathek," _New
  Monthly Magazine_, vol. lxxi. p. 307). Growing tired of it, he
  gave it to Dr. Scholl, a physician at Lausanne. Miss Berry, who
  visited the library in July, 1803 (_Journals and Letters_, vol.
  ii. p. 260), says, "It is, of all the libraries I ever saw, that
  of which I should most covet the possession--that which seems
  exactly everything that any gentleman or gentlewoman fond of
  letters could wish." "Gibbon's library," says Henry Mathews in
  1818 (_Diary of an Invalid_, p. 318), "still remains, but it is
  buried and lost to the world. It is the property of Mr. Beckford,
  and lies locked up in an uninhabited house at Lausanne." In 1830
  the library was divided into two parts. Half was sold for £500
  to an English gentleman; the other half went at the same price
  to a bookseller at Geneva. The half which was sold to an English
  purchaser was, in 1876 (_Notes and Queries_, 5th series, vol.
  v. p. 425), still kept together in the possession of a Swiss
  gentleman near Geneva.

  [226] John Nichols, F.S.A. (1745-1826), the author of numerous
  works of great literary and historical value, and from 1778 to
  1826 printer, proprietor, and, from 1792, sole manager of the
  _Gentleman's Magazine_, to which he constantly contributed.

  [227] The letter is published in the _Gentleman's Magazine_ for
  January, 1794.

  [228] The letter referred to in the _Gentleman's Magazine_ is
  signed "N. S." It gives the Gibbon pedigree from 1596 down to the
  historian. It no doubt at first attracted Gibbon's attention from
  the circumstance of its immediately preceding a communication
  entitled "Strictures on Some Passages in Mr. Gibbon's History."
  The article in the _Gentleman's Magazine_ was by Sir Egerton
  Brydges, whose grandmother was a Gibbon, the heiress of Edward
  Gibbon of West Cliff, and first cousin to the South Sea director
  who was the historian's grandfather. Gibbon's letter on the
  subject to Sir Egerton Brydges is quoted by the latter in his
  _Autobiography_ (vol. i. pp. 225-227).



590.

_Lord Sheffield to Edward Gibbon._


Your former letter said you should be very sure, very high & select.
You now say you are not merchants, &c. General Bude[229] (a Genevois)
recommended Dergueuse. The Duke of Leeds, hearing that he was known
to me, desired Glover to enquire of me by letter. I advised Leigneur
not to propose or trouble himself about terms, but to let General
Bude do whatever was necessary of that kind. He has been at Moins
sometime. He came from thence here, and is much pleased with his good
fortune. Lord Carnarvon is older than we imagined. If there are the
means at Lausanne of interesting Genl. Bude in favour of S[every], it
might be usefull. I should make an agreement for S. or not according
to the rank or character of the Principles; but I really do not
know what salary should be thought of--you should give me some hint
thereon. When I answered Glover, I told him if he should hear of any
considerable Family who wished to have a friend to attend a son, that
you and I could recommend one that would be very desireable. You are
so awkward and careless about letters that I do not like to write to
you except about matters that might be published at Charing-cross.

As to your £3000 debentures, I apprehend I have explained them to
you before. Hammersley's Banking House has advanced £40,000 on Lord
Barrymore's Estate in Ireland (£10,000 per annum at least); they have
6 per cent., and have raised the money by Debentures, giving the
same security and £20,000 in the funds in addition. Their house and
the £20,000 answerable for the interest. It is thought an _excellent
thing_, and Pelham transferred it to me as a Friend. If you do not
like it at any time you may have premium on selling. I wish you to
indulge your own notions as to this matter and not to mind mine. I
am not fond of being responsible as to other property than land. The
Debentures are in the custody of Goslings, to enable them to receive
at Hammersley's the interest half yearly.

[Sidenote: GIBBON'S TABBY APPREHENSIONS.]

Your Tabby apprehensions about your writings are silly enough--you
have none except the mortgage on Buriton and Newhaven, and those
being blended in your conveyance of the Estates, the Title of the
purchaser and your security are the same, and if your counterpart
were lost, the Title of the Purchaser would be your security. The
Mortgage Deeds of Buriton are in my archive, very properly as
Trustee. Instead of your curious notion of sending the writings in
Batt's custody for the sake of safety to Lausanne, it will be better
to send them in their Box to Gosling's Iron-room, to appease your
fears. I had settled with Batt to examine the List when I go next to
Town. Your Navigation Mortgage is in Gosling's hands. I had lately
heard of a £3000 mortgage in this county that I thought would do, but
they talked of only 3½ per Ct.

I have had a new care lately which has occupied me as much as
possible. I mean the French clergy; above 1200 have landed in this
country. I have exerted myself in their favour; I have succeeded
pretty well in obviating prejudice in respect to the rise of
provisions by the arrival of so many friends. There is little in
respect to the arrival of so many popish priests.

Tell Lady Eliza I have written a very pretty letter long ago, & I am
surprised she has not received it.

  [229] Probably General Budé, who is mentioned by Madame d'Arblay
  as holding an appointment about the court at Windsor (_Diary and
  Letters_, iii. 40).



591.

_Lord Sheffield to Edward Gibbon._


  Sheffield Place, 30 July, 1792.

If I had not been bothered in a superlative degree since my return
from London with much company, Navigation and County Meetings, &c.,
I should have favoured you with my opinion on the state of things.
Twice each week I intended so to do at some length, and now I begin
just before I set out for the Camp at Bagshot.[230]

I have watched the origin, impression and progress of the French
Revolution, both in France and in the other Governments in Europe,
and I am fully convinced that if our Good Old Island had been drawn
into the torrent of the new Philosophy, Holland, Germany, Spain,
&c., would have followed her, and we should have seen all Europe
involved in the extravagances of irreligion, immorality, anarchy,
and barbarism. Our nature being at all times essentially the same, I
presume that after a certain period of ferociousness and horrors, a
resettlement of some sort, probably of the most despotic governments,
would have taken place. The devastation of the Species might be
repaired, and at the end of a couple of centuries it is possible that
Science, the fine Arts, and the politeness and gentleness of Society,
might again have been brought to the point at which they now are.
Perhaps you may recollect that on the Decline and Fall of the Roman
Empire a greater number of centuries were necessary for restoration.
I really believe there is nothing exaggerated in this speculation.

[Sidenote: OPPOSITION AND GOVERNMENT.]

Having these opinions, I highly approved and cordially promoted the
conduct of Opposition at such a crisis. They have come to the Aid
of Government fairly and unreservedly, and many, even zealously,
particularly the Dukes of Portland, Devonshire, Lord Fitzwilliam,
Guilford, Spencer, Egremont, Ashburnham, Stormont, Loughborough,
Windham of Norfolk, Sir Gilbert Elliott, in short almost everybody
except about a score who had committed themselves with Mr. Grey,
many of whom are heartily sick of the business.[231] The attempt at
an Association has in truth had an excellent effect. It has alarmed,
roused and combined men in support of the Constitution and of good
order. It will at last appear that there exists no great object or
principle of party difference. It may lead to the formation of the
strongest administration this country has ever known, and at a time
when there should be no risk. It should be the first of all objects
in these feverish times to guard against all possibility of phrenzy.
At present there is very little amiss among men of property. The
Dissenters however wait a good occasion for some change.[232] The
great care should be to prevent the mass of the people from being
inflamed and made the tools of those who would risk anything to gain
certain points or situations. It is essential to engage, to occupy
the best of those.

There never was such an opportunity as at present of forming a
good administration. Several openings can be easily made in the
Cabinet and elsewhere without essential derangement. Lord Thurlow is
gone,[233] Lord Campden wishes to go, Marquis of Stafford is willing
to go, and Dundas is only _locum tenens_.[234] The concurrence in
favour of the Constitution has greatly softened the asperity of
party. I never observed so great a change, and I am convinced a
junction would be generally liked by the respectable men of all
parties and descriptions.

[Sidenote: CAN PITT AND FOX COMBINE?]

There is a difficulty and that is great. Whether insurmountable
I cannot say. How to arrange Pompey and Caesar--Pitt and Fox.
Government has candidly said it is not strong enough, the candour
of the avowal has tended rather to conciliate than to animate
opposition. Lord Loughborough has had a conversation with Pitt and
Dundas.[235] I scout the idea of the Party coming in without Fox. He
has behaved, at all times, honourably to them and they will behave
honourably towards him. Even if they were capable of quitting him, it
would be foolish to leave him to bear the discontent of the country.
Neither Fox nor Pitt should be suffered to be in that situation.
Even if the King were to send for the Duke of Portland and desire him
to form an administration, the best answer would be that he could
not, without Mr. Pitt, form one which would be sufficiently firm and
strong enough to carry on business as it should be, especially at
this time. Both parties are too strong to suffer Government to go on
efficaciously without them: but how to arrange Fox & Pitt, so that
one should not seem to yield too much to the other, there is the rub.
I should think it the most patriotick act to settle that matter. I
discover no animosity, no rancour, no interest likely to make the
parties disagree if once united, nothing that would dispose them to
circumvent. I think it the interest of both our Orators to unite.
I never supposed I should find it the wish of so many of the first
men of the Country as I do. It appears to me to be greatly Pitt's
interest. The regret of both King and Queen on the dismission of the
Chancellor is well known. If Pitt should make an handsome fair offer
to Fox (I do not know the latter is averse) and he should refuse,
especially after the late business of Grey, it will prejudice Fox
much with his party. If, on the other hand, Pitt should directly or
indirectly aim at excluding him, the overture that has been made and
the evident want of strength in Government would exasperate some,
and encourage others to a redoubled spirit of opposition. Pitt must
see that, if such an administration could be formed, there would be
scarce a great family in opposition, and that distinction of party
in that administration would soon be lost. Although the business is
difficult I do not think it impossible. It is rather suspended than
broke off. I should have supposed the Duke of Richmond most likely of
all to be averse to it, but I find him much disposed to a junction.

Maria amuses herself very much with my conciliating and amiable
moderation, but you will discover that my present disposition is
perfectly consistent with the opinion I always had of the advantage
to the Country at all times, and the necessity in these times, of a
firm and strong Government.

I have now inflicted on you and myself a large _dose_.

Give us intelligence of you forthwith. When you set out. Which road
you take. The French subject is too much to begin on. The Jacobins
are _au comble_. Such execrable animals should be extirpated.

Pray acquaint Lady Elizabeth that I have this moment rec^{d}. her
letter, that we wished it had been longer, and that I shall endeavour
to collect something for her amusement very speedily. Present my best
compliments also to the Duchess.

  [230] A large number of troops were assembled at Bagshot Camp on
  July 23, and were reviewed by the king on July 26, and engaged in
  sham-fights on July 27, 30, 31.

  [231] On May 21, 1792, the king issued a proclamation against
  tumultuous meetings and seditious writings. Both Houses concurred
  in an address of thanks to the king for the proclamation (June
  1). The question divided the Whig party, the majority of which
  from this time supported Pitt. Fox for the next few years
  scarcely mustered fifty followers.

  [232] Lord Sheffield expressed an opinion which at the time was
  common. The sympathy which was avowed by leading Nonconformists
  with some of the objects of the Revolution was not unnaturally
  misinterpreted at a period of public excitement. Dr. Price was
  chairman of the Revolution Society, which corresponded with
  various societies in France. Their correspondence with French
  clubs was published in 1792; but it is significant that the
  letters on the king's escape and subsequent arrest, sent to the
  Jacobin Club in 1791, the existence of which was revealed by
  the answer of the Jacobins, were omitted from the publication.
  Dr. Priestley, subsequently elected to the National Convention,
  presided at the meeting of the Unitarian Society at the King's
  Head Tavern, in February, 1791, when, among other toasts, "Thomas
  Paine and the Rights of Man," and "The National Assembly of
  France, and may every tyrannical government undergo a similar
  revolution," were drunk with enthusiasm. Such distinguished
  Nonconformists as Dr. Kippis, Dr. Rees, and Dr. Towers were also
  prominent members of these or similar societies. The Society of
  Constitutional Whigs, who addressed the National Assembly in
  the autumn of 1792, declaring that, if any attempt were made to
  enslave the French people, they would die in their defence, also
  appealed to Dissenters. In _A Few Queries to the Methodists in
  General_ occurs the following:--"_Query_: Does not both reason
  and revelation teach us, that in order to lay the axe at the root
  of the tree of wickedness, we must begin with kings and princes,
  and bishops and priests?"

  [233] Lord Chancellor Thurlow, whose influence with the king was
  immense, and whose intrigues with Fox at the time of the Regency
  Bill were well known, opposed Pitt's Sinking Fund and the Bill
  for the encouragement of the growth of timber in the New Forest,
  and denounced his colleagues as traitors to the interest of their
  sovereign. He was dismissed from the Lord Chancellorship in June,
  1792.

  [234] The actual fusion of parties did not take place till July,
  1794, when Lord Camden had died and Lord Stafford retired, and
  Dundas, retaining the Colonies, resigned the Secretaryship at
  War to Windham. It was delayed by the indecision of the Duke of
  Portland, of whom Lady Malmesbury said, "The Duke of Portland is
  our Duke of Brunswick--no party will be led to victory by either"
  (_Life and Letters of Sir G. Elliot_, vol. ii. p. 72).

  [235] Lord Loughborough, Lord Malmesbury, the Duke of Portland,
  and Dundas attempted to effect a coalition between Pitt and Fox
  in the summer and autumn of 1792. The negotiations failed. "Fox,"
  says Lord Malmesbury (July 30, 1792), "made Pitt's quitting the
  Treasury a _sine quâ non_, and was so opinionative and fixed
  about it, that it was impossible even to reason with him on the
  subject." "You see how it is," said Burke; "Mr. Fox's coach stops
  the way."



592.

_To his Stepmother._


  Lausanne, August 1st, 1792.

  MY DEAREST FRIEND,

Notwithstanding all the arts of our great Enemy, the Demon of
procrastination, I should not have postponed for so many months a
pleasing duty, which may at any time be performed in a single hour,
had I not for some time past entertained a lively and probable
hope of visiting you this autumn in person; had I not flattered
myself, that the very next post I might be able to fix the day of my
departure from Lausanne, and almost of my arrival at the Belvidere.
That hope is now vanished, and my journey to England is unavoidably
delayed till the spring or summer of next year. *The extraordinary
state of public affairs in France opposes an insuperable bar to my
passage; and every prudent stranger will avoid that inhospitable
land, in which a people of slaves is suddenly become a nation
of tyrants and cannibals. The German road is indeed safe, but,
independent of a great addition of fatigue and expence, the armies of
Austria and Prussia now cover that frontier; and though the Generals
are polite, and the troops well disciplined, I am not desirous of
passing through the Clouds of Hussars and Pandours that attend their
motions. These public reasons are fortified by some private motives,
and to this delay I resign myself with a sigh for the present, and a
hope for the future.

[Sidenote: TAINT OF DEMOCRATICAL INFECTION.]

What a strange wild World do we live in! You will allow me to be a
tolerable historian, yet, on a fair review of ancient and modern
times, I can find none that bear any affinity with the present.
My knowledge of your discerning mind, and my recollection of your
political principles, assure me, that you are no more a _Democrat_
than myself. Had the French improved their glorious opportunity to
erect a free constitutional Monarchy on the ruins of arbitrary
power and the Bastile, I should applaud their generous effort; but
this total subversion of all rank, order, and government, could be
productive only of a popular monster, which after devouring every
thing else, must finally devour itself. I was once apprehensive that
this monster would propagate some imps in our happy island, but they
seem to have been crushed in the cradle; and I acknowledge with
pleasure and pride the good sense of the English nation, who seem
truly conscious of the blessings which they enjoy: and I am happy
to find that the most respectable part of opposition has cordially
joyned in the support of "things as they are." Even this country has
been somewhat tainted with the Democratical infection: the vigilance
of Government has been exerted, the malecontents have been awed, the
misguided have been undeceived, the feaver in the blood has gradually
subsided, and I flatter myself that we have secured the tranquil
enjoyment of obscure felicity, which we had been almost tempted to
despise.

You have heard, most probably, from Mrs. Holroyd, of the
long-expected though transient satisfaction which I received from
the visit of the Sheffield family. He appeared highly satisfied
with my arrangements here, my house, garden, and situation, at once
in town and country, which are indeed singular in their kind, and
which have often made me regret the impossibility of showing them
to my dearest friend of the Belvidere. Lord S. is still, and will
ever continue, the same active being, always employed for himself,
his friends, and the public, and always persuading himself that
he wishes for leisure and repose.* He has now a new care on his
hands, the management and disposal of his eldest daughter, who is
indeed a most extraordinary young woman. *There are various roads
to happiness; but when I compare his situation with mine, I do not,
upon the whole, repent that I have given the preference to a life
of celibacy and retirement. Although I have been long a spectator
of the great World, my unambitious temper has been content with the
occupations and rewards of study; and although my library be still
my favourite room, I am now no longer stimulated by the prosecution
of any litterary work. The society of Lausanne is adapted to my
taste; my house is open to many agreeable acquaintance, and some real
friends; the uniformity of the natives is enlivened by travellers of
all nations; and this summer I am happy in a familiar intercourse
with Lady Spencer, the Dutchess of Devonshire, Lady Elizabeth
Foster, and Lady Duncannon, who seems to be gradually recovering
from her dreadful complaints. My health is remarkably good. I have
now enjoyed a long interval from the gout; and I endeavour to use
with moderation Dr. Cadogan's best remedies, temperance, exercise,
and cheerfulness. Adieu, Dear Madam; may every blessing that Nature
can allow be attendant on your latter season! Your age and my habits
will not permit a very close correspondence; but I wish to hear, and
I _presume_ to ask, a speedy _direct_ account of your own situation.
May it be such as I shall hear with pleasure! Once more Adieu; I live
in hopes of embracing you next summer at the Belvidere, but you may
be assured that I bring over nothing for the press.*



593.

_To Lord Sheffield._


  Lausanne, August 23rd, 1792.

*When I inform you that the design of my English expedition is at
last postponed to another year, you will not be much surprized. The
public obstacles, the danger of one road, and the difficulties of
another, would alone be sufficient to arrest so unwieldy and inactive
a Being; and these obstacles on the side of France, are growing every
day more insuperable. On the other hand, the terrors, which might
have driven me from hence, have in a great measure, subsided; our
state prisoners are forgot; the country begins to recover its old
good humour and unsuspecting confidence, and the last revolution
of Paris appears to have convinced almost every body of the fatal
consequences of Democratical principles, which lead by a path of
flowers into the Abyss of Hell. I may therefore wait with patience
and tranquillity till the Duke of Brunswick shall have opened the
French road. But if I am not driven from Lausanne, you will ask, I
hope with some indignation, whether I am not drawn to England, and
more especially to Sheffield-place? The desire of embracing you and
yours is now the strongest, and must gradually become the sole,
inducement that can force me from my library and garden, over seas
and mountains. The English World will forget and be forgotten, and
every year will deprive me of some acquaintance, who by courtesy
are styled friends: Lord Guilford[236] and Sir Joshua Reynolds![237]
two of the men, and two of the houses in London, on whom I the most
relied for the comforts of society.*

Even the satisfaction which I promised myself at Sheffield would at
present be----


  September 12th, 1792.

[Sidenote: BRUNSWICK MARCHES ON PARIS.]

*Thus far had I written in the full confidence of finishing and
sending my letter the next post; but six post-days have unaccountably
slipped away, and were you not accustomed to my silence, you would
almost begin to think me on the road. How dreadfully, since my last
date, has the French road been polluted with blood! and what horrid
scenes may be acting at this moment, and may still be aggravated,
till the Duke of Brunswick[238] is master of Paris! On every rational
principle of calculation he must succeed; yet sometimes, when my
spirits are low, I dread the blind efforts of mad and desperate
multitudes fighting on their own ground. A few days or weeks must
decide the military operations of this year, and perhaps for ever;
but on the fairest supposition, I cannot look forwards to any firm
settlement, either of a legal or an absolute government. I cannot
pretend to give you any Paris news. Should I inform you, as we
believe, that _Lally[239] is still among the cannibals_, you would
possibly answer, that he is now sitting in the library at Sheffield.
Madame de Stael,[240] after miraculously escaping through pikes
and poniards, has reached the castle of Copet, where I shall see
her before the end of the week. If any thing can provoke the King
of Sardinia and the Swiss, it must be the foul destruction of _his_
cousin Madame de Lamballe, and of _their_ regiment of guards.[241] An
extraordinary council is summoned at Berne, _but resentment may be
checked by prudence_. In spite of Maria's laughter, I applaud your
moderation, and sigh for a hearty union of all the sense and property
of the country. The times require it; but your last political letter
was a cordial to my spirits. The Duchess of D. rather dislikes a
coalition: amiable creature! The Eliza (we call her Bess) is furious
against you for not writing. We shall lose them in a few days;
but the motions of Bess and the Duchess for Italy or England, are
doubtful. Ladies Spencer and Duncannon certainly pass the Alps. I
live with them.*

The interesting subjects of our late correspondence seem to have
obliterated all memory of my private concerns, which have suffered
as usual a rub when we thought them finally terminated. Although
my ideas about money matters are grown somewhat confused, I do
not believe there is much _caput mortuum_ left, and have no doubt
that the different channels of interest will be properly filled at
Michaelmas, but I should be glad to see the greatest part of my
decreasing short annuities well secured in a mortgage, and I flatter
myself that yourself and agents are alive to that pursuit. But I
must again put you in mind of two interesting queries to which I
have not yet received any answer. 1. What is the nature of the three
thousand pounds debentures which you purchased last Winter? Who is
my debtor? and what and where is my security? Surely this is no
idle curiosity on my side. 2. I wished to know in what hands the
different deeds of my property are vested, and to possess something
like a written attestation. The Buriton Mortgage and the aforesaid
debentures are very properly, as I suppose, in Lord Sheffield's iron
chest. _Fort bien._ My short annuities in their own books and in
Mr. E. Darrel's--_pas mal_; my Sussex Navigation and India Bonds
with Gosling, _passe encore_: but my claims on you, the Newhaven
Mortgage and the Annuity are delivered--are they not, to Mr. Batt, an
honourable but a sickly man? Should he fail, have we any to exhibit
to his unknown heir? If delicacy, false delicacy, forbids your asking
for a receipt, or taking them, which I should like better, into your
own custody, I must seriously desire they may be sent over to me. Did
I not express some anxiety on this head, you would have a right to
call me a very careless fellow.

There are some minor matters which you may find in my long
letter;[242] such as a request to settle a shameful obsolete bill,
my only one, at Wedgwood's, and to enquire whether Mr. John Nichols,
bookseller in Red Lion Passage, Fleet Street, did not receive a
letter from me last March which he has never answered. But I must
insist on a hogshead of Madeira announced, shipped, and, I believe,
paid six months ago, but which has never reached my lips or my
cellar. This must be explored. *Adieu. Since I do not appear in
person, I feel the absolute propriety of writing to my lady and
Maria; but there is far from the knowledge to the performance of a
duty.*

  Ever yours,
  E. G.

  [236] Lord Guilford, better known as Lord North, died August 5,
  1792.

  [237] Sir Joshua Reynolds died February 23, 1792.

  [238] The Duke of Brunswick, as commander-in-chief of the
  combined armies of Austria and Prussia, issued his manifesto on
  July 25, 1792, before crossing the French frontier and directing
  his march on Paris.

  [239] Lally left France for Switzerland after October, 1789, and
  thence passed to England. Realizing the dangerous position of
  the king and royal family, he returned to Paris in May, 1792,
  and with Bertrand-Molleville, Malouet, La Fayette, and others,
  endeavoured to effect the escape of the king and queen. On August
  10, 1792, he was arrested and imprisoned in the Abbaye. On August
  22, 1792, ten days before the September massacres, the French
  Minister of Foreign Affairs informed the National Assembly that
  Lally Tollendal demanded a passport for England, of which country
  he had become a naturalized subject. He also produced a letter
  from Lord Gower claiming Lally as a British subject. According to
  Madame de Staël he owed his escape to Condorcet.

  [240] Madame de Staël, in her _Considérations sur la Révolution
  Française_ (ed. 1818, tom. ii. ch. x.), describes her appearance
  before Robespierre at the Hôtel de Ville in the Place de Grève,
  and attributes her escape, on September 2-3, 1792, to Manuel.

  [241] Marie Thérèse de Savoie-Carignan married, in 1767, Louis de
  Bourbon-Penthièvre, Prince de Lamballe. She was murdered at La
  Force in the September massacres of 1792, and her head, raised
  on a pike, was paraded before the windows of the Temple where
  the queen was confined. The Swiss Guard, nearly eight hundred in
  number, were massacred in the attack upon the Tuileries on August
  10, 1792. Of the few who escaped, fifty-four were murdered in the
  Abbaye at the September massacres. Their death is commemorated by
  Thorwaldsen's lion at Lucerne.

  [242] See letter of May 30, 1792.



594.

_To Mr. Cadell._


  Lausanne, Sept. 28th, 1792.

  DEAR SIR,

[Sidenote: EVERY DAY MORE SEDENTARY.]

As you must have been informed by Lord Sheffield of my approaching
arrival, I trust that you will feel some disappointment when you
are told by myself that my journey to England is delayed to another
year. The cause of this delay proceeds solely from the troubles of
the continent. It would be madness to venture my life in the land
of Cannibals, and the circuitous route by Germany would be attended
with a large increase of trouble and expense. I grow every day more
sedentary, and could I have the pleasure of shewing you my house, my
library, and my garden, you would not be surprised that I should quit
them with some reluctance. You may perhaps be likewise disappointed
at hearing that I shall probably come empty-handed. A variety of
untoward circumstances have contributed to encrease my indolence.
I cannot please myself with the choice of a subject, and it may be
prudent to enjoy rather than expose my historical fame.

Several months ago I wrote a very civil letter to _Mr. John. Nichols,
Bookseller at Cicero's head, Red Lion Passage, Fleet Street_, which
(had he received it) I can scarcely persuade myself he would have
left without an answer. It related to a very curious paper about the
Gibbon family inserted in the Gentleman's Magazine, August, 1788, p.
698, which had just fallen into my hands. I wished to know the author
and by what means I could correspond with him on the subject. Perhaps
you may be able, and I am sure you are willing, to clear up that
point and put me in a proper channel by a personal application either
to the aforesaid John Nichols or to some other person concerned in
the Gentleman's Magazine.

Be so kind as to inform Elmsley of what he will hardly believe,
that I am preparing materials for a letter to him, with a long list
of commissions. Among these I wish you boldly to introduce the
works of merit, history, travels, literature, philosophy, and even
extraordinary novels which bear your authentic stamp.

My best compliments to Mr. Strahan.



595.

_To Lord Sheffield._


  Lausanne, October 5th, 1792.

[Sidenote: FRENCH INVASION OF SAVOY.]

*As our English newspapers must have informed you of the invasion of
Savoy[243] by the French, and as it is possible that you may have
some trifling apprehensions of my being killed and eaten by those
Cannibals, it has appeared to me that a short extraordinary dispatch
might not be unacceptable on this occasion. It is indeed true, that
about ten days ago the French army of the south, under the command of
Mr. de Montesquiou, (if any French army can be said to be under any
command,) has entered Savoy, and possessed themselves of Chamberry,
Montmelian, & several other places. It has always been the practise
of the King of Sardinia to abandon his transalpine dominions; but on
this occasion the Court of Turin appears to have been surprized by
the strange eccentric motions of a Democracy, which always acts from
the passion of the moment; and their inferior troops have retreated,
with some loss and disgrace, into the passes of the Alps. Mount Cenis
is now impervious, and our English travellers who are bound for
Italy, the Dutchesses of Devonshire, Ancaster, &c., will be forced to
explore a long circuitous road through the Tirol. But the Chablais is
yet intact, nor can our telescopes discover the tricolor banners on
the other side of the lake. Our accounts of the French numbers seem
to vary from fifteen to thirty thousand men; the regulars are few,
but they are followed by a rabble rout, which must soon, however,
melt away, as they will find no plunder, and scanty subsistence, in
the poverty and barrenness of Savoy. N.B. I have just seen a letter
from M. de M., who boasts that at his first entrance into Savoy he
had only twelve battalions. Our intelligence is far from correct.

The Magistrates of Geneva were alarmed by this dangerous
neighbourhood, and more especially by the well known animosity of
an exiled citizen, Claviere,[244] who is one of the six ministers
of the French Republic. It was carried by a small Majority in the
general council, to call in the succour of three thousand Swiss,
which is stipulated by ancient treaty. The strongest reason or
pretence of the minority, was founded on the danger of provoking the
French, and they seem to have been justified by the event; since the
complaint of the French resident amounts to a declaration of War.
The fortifications of Geneva are not contemptible, especially on
the side of Savoy; and it is much doubted whether M. de Montesquiou
is prepared for a regular siege; but the malcontents are numerous
within the walls, and I question whether the spirit of the citizens
would hold out against a bombardment. In the meanwhile the diet
has declared, that the first canon fired against Geneva will be
considered as an act of hostility against the whole Helvetic
body. Berne, as the nearest and most powerful Canton, has taken
the lead with great vigour and vigilance; the road is filled with
the perpetual succession of troops and artillery; and, if some
disaffection lurks in the towns, the peasants, especially the
Germans, are inflamed with a strong desire of encountering the
murderers of their Countrymen. Mr. de Watteville, with whom you dined
at my house last year, refused to accept the command of the Swiss
succour of Geneva, till it was made his first instruction that he
should never, in any case, surrender himself prisoner of War.

In this situation, you may suppose that we have some fears. I have
great dependence, however, on the many chances in our favour, the
valour of the Swiss, the return of the Piedmontese with their
Austrian allies, 8 or 10 thousand men from the Milanese, a diversion
from Spain, the great events (how slowly they proceed) on the side of
Paris, the inconstancy and want of discipline of the French, and the
near approach of the winter season. I am not nervous, but I will not
be rash. It will be painful to abandon my house and library; but if
the danger should approach, I will retreat before it, first to Bern,
and gradually to the North. Should I even be forced to take refuge
in England (a violent measure so late in the year) you would perhaps
receive me as kindly as you do the French priests--a noble act of
hospitality! Could I have foreseen this storm, I would have been
there six months ago; but who can foresee the wild measures of the
Savages of Gaul? We thought ourselves perfectly out of the Hurricane
latitudes. Adieu. I am going to bed, and must rise early to visit
the Neckers at Rolle, whither they have retired, from the frontier
situation of Copet. Severy is on horseback, with his dragoons: his
poor father is dangerously ill. It will be shocking if it should be
found necessary to remove him. While we are in this very awkward
crisis, I will write at least every week.

  Ever yours,
  E. G.

Write instantly, and remember all my commissions.

I will keep my promise of sending you a weekly journal of our
troubles, that, when the piping times of peace are restored, I may
sleep in long and irreproachable silence; but I shall use a smaller
paper, as our military exploits will seldom be sufficient to fill the
ample size of an English quarto.*

  [243] On September 21, 1792, without any declaration of war,
  Montesquieu entered Savoy, seized Montmélian and Chambéry, and in
  a few days overran the whole duchy. In Piedmont the French troops
  under General Anselme, supported by Admiral Truguet and the
  Toulon fleet, captured Nice and Villa Franca. The Duchy of Savoy
  was incorporated with France in November, 1792, as the Department
  of Mont-Blanc, and the Comté of Nice as the Department of the
  Maritime Alps.

  [244] Etienne Clavière (1735-1793), formerly a banker in Geneva,
  had been banished in 1784 for his writings. As a member of the
  Executive Council, he urged upon his colleagues the attack upon
  Geneva, and orders to that effect were given to Montesquieu by
  Servan, the Minister of War. Geneva appealed for aid to Zurich
  and Berne under a treaty of 1584, and prepared for defence. A
  treaty was signed, October 22, 1792, between Montesquieu and the
  Republic of Geneva, slightly modified by a fresh treaty signed
  on November 2. By its terms the French troops were to withdraw,
  and the Swiss troops, sent by the cantons of Zurich and Berne,
  were to evacuate Geneva by December 1, 1792. Clavière committed
  suicide in 1793.



596.

_To Lord Sheffield._


  October 13th, 1792.

[Sidenote: GENEVA THREATENED.]

*Since my last of the 6th, our attack is not more imminent, and our
defence is most assuredly stronger, two very important circumstances,
at a time when every day is leading us, though not so fast as our
impatience could wish, towards the unwarlike month of November;
and we observe with pleasure that the troops of M. de Montesquiou,
which are chiefly from the southern provinces, will not chearfully
entertain the rigour of an Alpine Winter.

The 7th instant, M. de Chateauneuf, the French resident,[245] took
his leave with an haughty mandate, commanding the Genevois, as
they valued their safety and the friendship of the Republic, to
dismiss their Swiss allies, and to punish the Magistrates who had
traiterously proposed the calling in these foreign troops. It is
precisely the fable of the Wolves, who offered to make peace with
the sheep, provided they would send away their dogs. You know what
became of the sheep. This demand appears to have kindled a just and
generous indignation, since it announced an Edict of proscription;
and must lead to a Democratical revolution, which would probably
renew the horrid scenes of Paris and Avignon. A General assembly of
the Citizens was convened, the message was read, speeches were made,
oaths were taken, and it was resolved, with only three dissentient
votes, to live and dye in the defence of their country. The Genevois
muster above three thousand well-armed citizens; and the Swiss, who
may easily be encreased, in a few hours, to an equal number, add
spirit to the timorous, and confidence to the well-affected: their
arsenals are filled with arms, their magazines with ammunition, and
their granaries with corn. But their fortifications are extensive
and imperfect, they are commanded from two adjacent hills; a French
faction lurks in the City; the character of the Genevois is rather
commercial than military; and their behaviour, lofty promise, and
base surrender, in the year 1782,[246] is fresh in our memories.
In the meanwhile, 4000 French at the most are arrived in the
neighbouring camp, nor is there yet any appearance of mortars or
heavy artillery. Perhaps a haughty menace may be repelled by a firm
countenance.

[Sidenote: GIBBON PREPARED FOR FLIGHT.]

If it were worth while talking of justice, what a shameful attack
of a feeble unoffending state! On the news of their danger, all
Switzerland, from Schaffouse to the Pays de Vaud, has risen in
arms; and a French resident, who has passed through the country,
in his way from Ratisbon, declares his intention of informing and
admonishing the National convention. About eleven thousand Bernois
are already posted in the neighbourhood of Copet and Nyon; and new
reinforcements of men, artillery, &c., arrive every day. Another army
is drawn together to oppose Mr. de Ferrieres, on the side of Bienne
and the Bishoprick of Basle; and the Austrians in Swabia would be
easily persuaded to cross the Rhine in our defence. But we are yet
ignorant whether our sovereigns mean to wage offensive or defensive
War. If the latter, which is more likely, will the French begin the
attack? Should Geneva yield to fear or force, this country is open
to an invasion; and though our men are brave, we want Generals; and
I despise the French much less than I did two months ago. It should
seem* from Trevor's letters, who is indeed low-spirited, *that our
hopes from the King of Sardinia and the Austrians of Milan are faint
and distant; Spain sleeps, and the Duke of Brunzwick (amazement!)
seems to have failed in his great project. For my part, till Geneva
falls, I do not think of a retreat; but, at all events, I am provided
with two strong horses, and a hundred Louis in gold. Zurich would
be probably my winter quarters, and the society of the Neckers
would make any place agreable. Their situation is worse than mine:
I have no daughter ready to lye in;[247] nor do I fear the French
aristocrates on the road.

Adieu. Keep my letters; excuse contradictions and repetitions. The
Dutchess of Devonshire leaves us next week. Lady Elizabeth abhorrs
you.*

  Ever yours,
  E. G.

  [245] At Geneva.

  [246] At Geneva the Government was vested in the two hundred and
  fifty citizens who composed the _Petit Conseil_ and the _Conseil
  des Deux-Cents_. Against this hereditary oligarchy Rousseau gave
  the signal of revolt by his _Lettres de la Montagne_ (1764).
  Two parties were formed: one, the _Représentants_, demanding a
  revision of the constitution; the other, _Négatifs_, opposing it.
  In 1781 the popular party gained the upper hand. The aristocratic
  party, appealing to the treaty of 1738, which only allowed
  constitutional changes to be made with the sanction of France
  and Sardinia, demanded the help of those two powers. A combined
  Swiss, French, and Sardinian force was sent, and in July, 1782,
  the popular party, who had promised to emulate the citizens
  of Saguntum, surrendered the city without a struggle, and the
  aristocratic constitution was restored. Brissot de Warville,
  as _le Philadelphien à Genève_, and Mallet du Pan were both
  eye-witnesses of the events of the revolution.

  [247] Albert, the second son of Madame de Staël, was born at this
  time.



597.

_Lord Sheffield to Edward Gibbon._


  Sheffield Place, 17th Oct., '92.

I have not patience to talk with you on the state of things, I am
lamentably disappointed. De Custine's successful incursion[248] into
Germany, to which he seems to have been invited by the placing a
large Magazine with a small guard in an unarmed town within a day's
march of the large garrison of Landau. In short, that circumstance
and the negociations at St. Menehould and the retreat of the combined
armies[249] have totally deranged all my notions of dignity,
generalship, preponderance of military discipline, &c., &c., and all
my speculations, moral, religious, political, and military, are sent
into a troubled sea without rudder or compass. I had always some
anxiety concerning the subsistence of a very large army from the
Frontier to Paris, if the French should make up their mind to, and
they could, lay waste the country, destroying forage, &c.; but I had
never supposed the enterprise would end so abruptly in disgrace and
calamity. I now see no prospect of any speedy settlement of French
disturbances. The miscreants at Paris, encouraged by an appearance
of success, will be active to extend their mischiefs, and my
apprehensions are by no means quiet with respect to our own affairs.

Among the Dissenters it is thought there are a great many disposed to
change. I am very far from satisfied with Charles Fox, much less with
Gray, Lord Lauderdale, &c. Even in the trumpery town of Lewes there
are some who hold meetings and correspond with certain Societies
of the worst kind in the Borough, and of which you have probably
heard; one of the creatures at Lewes said lately that, if the French
business succeeded in any degree, it was perfectly sure that England
would be in the same state as France is now in, before the end of ten
years, and another declared that England would never do well until
5000 of the Nobility & Gentry were hung up.

[Sidenote: DISCONTENT IN IRELAND.]

Ireland is in no slight degree of alarm.[250] The Roman Catholicks
are much discontented. A ship-load of arms was lately landed for
the discontented in the North. They have the impudence to exercise
even in the neighbourhood of Drogheda. The natives return to their
old tricks of shooting _Christians_ in a most treacherous manner,
and even in what is called the most civilized parts, and of houghing
_Protestant cattle_. If the Government of Ireland continues to be
feeble and not to act with firmness it may be difficult to say how
matters will end--but there never was a time less favourable to the
insurrection of Roman Catholicks, than the moment when it will not be
possible for them to have assistance from foreign countries.

I am sorry the early meeting of Parliament which I announced to you,
is not confirmed, yet I think it would have been a wise measure
to have brought men together early, and not to have suffered the
impressions made by the extravagance and cruelty of the Jacobins to
wear out, or perhaps to receive a contrary direction. The worst cause
when it seems fortunate will find defenders perhaps, but certainly
will not want partisans.

Mrs. Moss[251] has sent us a curious account of the dismay which took
place in the Geneva State on the incursion into Savoy; but amidst
all the calamities, we are glad to find from her, you are in good
condition. I consider the French affairs so far out of the line of
common Politicks, that I wish the whole world to declare against
them, and run them down as pestiferous wolves, and therefore I wish
all Switzerland to join against them; but I doubt whether it will
be the policy of that country to engage in offensive war; and I
suppose Geneva will not admit Swiss troops, if it will bring on a
bombardment. I cannot conceive why some of the passes into Savoy were
not defended. I long to hear that the retreat of the French is cut
off. I am sorry I can see no prospect of the interference of this
country. I think we might at least tell them, they must not fit out
fleets against Nice or any place. Among many correspondents, and some
of them the best informed, I find there is not the most distant guess
of the intentions of Government. Perhaps they have no plan.

I believe my last mentioned that I have been much employed, by an
attention to the poor refugees. Lally has been here and is gone, to
return in a few days with the princess d'Henin and the Pauline.[252]
We have had the most curious details, and just now, from some
respectable priests who were shut up with the Archbishop of Arles,
&c., when the latter were massacred. Possibly you may not have so
good an account at Lausanne, therefore I shall urge Maria to write it
to you. The late massacres[253] are infinitely more execrable than
any French or English paper have stated.

We are exceedingly sorry to hear by Mrs. Moss, that M. de Severy is
ill. You shall hear no more from hence untill you write to us.

  [248] Adam de Custine (1740-1794), a veteran of the Seven Years'
  and American Wars, commanded part of the French army of the
  Rhine. He made himself master of Spire, Worms, Mayence, and
  Frankfort; but was afterwards driven out of the two latter places
  by the Prussians. He was executed at Paris January 3, 1794.

  [249] The Prussian army, entangled in the wood of Argonne between
  the Meuse and the Marne, were outgeneralled by Dumouriez and
  Kellerman. The Duke of Brunswick, after the battle of Valmy
  (September 20), opened negotiations with Dumouriez (September
  22-28) at Ste. Menehould, and then (October 1) retreated across
  the French frontier. The Austrians failed to take Lille, and,
  at the approach of Dumouriez, retired into the Low Countries
  (October 8). Dumouriez, following them, won the battle of
  Jemappes (November 6), and overran Belgium. At the same time the
  French troops were masters of Savoy and Nice, and of the country
  between the Rhine and the Maine. Fox rejoiced at the flight of
  the invaders. "No public event, not excepting Saratoga and York
  Town, ever happened that gave me so much delight" (C. J. F. to
  Lord Holland, October 12, 1792).

  [250] The French Revolution had stirred the political spirit of
  the Irish nation as, ten years before, it had been aroused by
  the American War. It appealed most strongly to the people by the
  abolition of tithes and all religious disqualifications. The
  Presbyterians of the North were Republican in their sympathies,
  and ready to make common cause with the Roman Catholics for the
  repeal of all penal laws and the extension of the franchise. The
  United Irishmen were the growth of this approximation of parties.
  Among the Roman Catholics also there was a rapid spread of the
  democratic spirit. The English Government was ready to grant a
  liberal measure of Catholic relief and to extend the suffrage
  to the Roman Catholics. At first the Irish Government strongly
  opposed any change which threatened the maintenance of Protestant
  ascendency. But the danger of union between the Protestant
  Republicans and the Catholic democrats became apparent, when
  the Catholic Convention met at Dublin in December, 1792, and a
  Relief Bill, repealing many oppressive enactments and conceding
  the franchise, was carried, almost without opposition, in the
  beginning of 1793. The Roman Catholics, it may be added, were
  excluded from the Irish Parliament in the reign of William III.
  (3 W. & M. c. 2) and deprived of the franchise in that of George
  II. (1 Geo. II. c. 9). Lord Sheffield, as a later letter shows,
  agreed with the Lord Lieutenant, Lord Westmorland, in advocating
  resistance to the Catholics "_in limine_ and _in toto_," and in
  thinking that the suspicion, that the "British Government means
  to take up the Catholics, and to play what is called a Catholic
  game," would disastrously weaken the hold of the Government upon
  the country. Burke (_Correspondence_, vol. iv. p. 32) seems to
  suggest that Lord Sheffield was prejudiced by the possession of
  Irish property in the county of Louth.

  [251] Miss C. Moss, a frequent visitor at Sheffield Place.

  [252] Mdlle. Pauline de Pully.

  [253] The massacres of September, 1792.



598.

_To Lord Sheffield._


  October 20th, 1792.

*Since my last, our affairs take a more pacific turn; but I will not
venture to affirm that our peace will be either safe or honourable.
Mr. de Montesquiou and three Commissioners of the Convention, who
are at Carrouge, have had several conferences with the Magistrates
of Geneva; several expresses have been dispatched to and from Paris,
and every step of the negotiation is communicated to the deputies of
Bern and Zurich. The French troops observe a very tolerable degree of
order and discipline: and no act of hostility has yet been committed
on the territory of Geneva.*



599.

_The Hon. Maria Holroyd to Edward Gibbon._


  Oct. 24th, '92.

[Sidenote: THE ARMÉE MONTESQUIEU.]

The amiable family at S. P. being infinitely delighted with your
welcome dispatch, & still more so with the promise of writing _every
week_, have had a dispute amongst themselves, who was to have the
honor of answering you, & reminding you of that promise. I have
gained permission to be the happy person, & happy I shall think
myself, if you should direct _one_ of the promised Letters to me. We
talk and think of nothing but foreign news, & Mama is very abusive
of the Jacobins. Massacres have sometimes enraged me a little, but I
have borne every thing with tolerable patience, except that Wretches,
who have no other idea of liberty, than the liberty of murdering
defenceless prisoners, should dare to think of attacking a Nation,
whose Ideas of freedom are not so _refined_ as theirs, & whose valour
is almost proverbial. Though I am perfectly satisfied that the
tricolor Banner will never be erected in the town of Lausanne, yet I
am very anxious to hear what becomes of the _Armée Montesquiou_. I am
always wishing myself the guardian Angel of the Pais de Vaud. If I
was, I am sure I should be inspired to do wonders. But, alas! I am a
poor Mortal, & can only assist that Country by my best Wishes for its
safety & prosperity.

How I wish you had let us remain & vegetate in our own little Island.
I should have felt no other Interest in what is passing in your part
of the World, than joy that you would be obliged to return to your
native Country. You have likewise to answer for making me disatisfied
with the famous Lakes & Rivers in the County of Sussex; & for
shewing me a Country to which no other can compare, & which to see
again I would give all my share of My lord's Sheep and Oxen, Ponds
& Rivers. I do not know how to reconcile my wishes for the peace
of Switzerland, with those for your return to England--as you seem
resolved not to indulge us with your company, unless you are forced
from your residence by a few thousand Marseillois. I cannot tell
you how much I was disappointed when I was obliged to give up all
expectation of seeing you this year. I wrote to Angletine a fortnight
ago. I am very sorry indeed to hear her father is in a bad state of
health. I hope you will be able to give a good Account of him, when
you write next. Pray remember me to them very particularly, though
I wish you had never made me acquainted with people I may probably
never see again & yet cannot forget.

Papa is gone down the River Ouse, & ordered me to give you an
account of the Emigrants; he would not think I had obeyed him very
exactly, if he was to see my Letter--he would probably call it Stuff
and Nonsense. I hope _you_ will not, tho' I always feel myself so
unworthy to write to you, that I generally suspect my poor Letters
meet with a degree of criticism I am sure they cannot bear.

[Sidenote: DISTRESS OF FRENCH REFUGEES.]

Now for Papa's Emigrants. The Duc de Liancourt,[254] who will have
(when he can get it) the most considerable estate in France by the
death of the Duc de Rochefoucauld, has been waiting for some weeks to
come here, till Arthur Young should find it convenient to set off,
as he had offered the Duke a seat in his Post chaise; he is in such
distressed circumstances that his present plan is to go & settle in
America. Mad^e. de Biron, who came over with so much difficulty and
danger, that she lost her senses from fright and alarm, is returned
to France to avoid the confiscation of her Estates. The same reason
existing for her remaining there when she left the Country, it seems
an extraordinary resolution to take, her returning, when she will
be in as great danger as before. Mad^e. d'Henin[255] is settled at
Richmond, & Mad^{lle}. de Pully is arrived in England--we expect them
here every day. Lally told us, when he was here, D. of Fitzjames[256]
was living in Germany upon _quinze sous par jour_, & saving out of
that pittance to send something to her sons in the Army. A great
number of french Priests have landed on our Coast.[257] I suppose my
lord informed you of the arrival of two here who had escaped from the
Massacre at _les Carmes_--the detail of the death of the Archbishop
of Arles is horrid, but too long for a Letter. The subscriptions in
London are very great--one for the Clergy only, amounts to £12,000,
& that for both Clergy and Laity to upwards of £4000. The latter has
enabled some Swiss officers to reach their own Country, who intended
to beg their way thro' Holland, & supports some french Ladies of
fashion who had nothing but what they got by their needlework. Burke
& Papa have had a vigorous correspondence on the subject--the former
is very indignant that a case he had drawn up about Atheists calling
themselves Philosophers in France was not received.

I do not dare _expect_, but I will _hope_ to hear from you. Will you
be so good as to remember me to M. & M^e. Levade? Do you know where
the Legards and Grimstones are? Mama has some doubts, as to how she
shall receive you; if you are obliged to fly to England, I shall be
too well pleased with the effect to think of the cause.

Mama desires a great many pretty things to you. She is quite well &
in good spirits; how unlucky we could not say the same last year.
Louisa is still at Bath. I am in hopes of paying her a visit there
next month. She _raves_ about Switz. _almost_ as much as me.

  [254] The Duc de Liancourt (1747-1827) took the title of
  Rochefoucault-Liancourt on succeeding to his cousin, the Duc
  de la Rochefoucault who was murdered at Gisors in September,
  1792. He had been a distinguished member of the Feuillants, or
  constitutional reformers. He escaped to England and thence to
  the United States. On his return to France he occupied himself
  with philanthropic works and the management of his estates. Both
  he and his cousin were generous patrons of Arthur Young during
  his travels in France (1787-89), and promoted that revival
  of agriculture at the close of the eighteenth century which
  corresponded with the similar movement in England.

  [255] The Princesse d'Hénin was rescued from Paris by Madame de
  Staël (Forneron, _Hist. des Emigrés_, vol. i. p. 244). It was at
  her house that Malouet, La Fayette, and the Constitutionnels had
  planned an escape for Louis XVI. in May, 1792.

  [256] The Duchess of Fitzjames was the daughter of the Comte
  de Thiars, and _dame de palais_ in the household of Marie
  Antoinette. Charles, her eldest son, died with the army of the
  princes. Edward, her second son, who succeeded to the title,
  distinguished himself by his oratorical powers in the Chamber of
  Peers at the Restoration, and in that of the Deputies under Louis
  Philippe.

  [257] On September 17, 1792, seventy-six French priests, and
  among them the Bishop of Avranches, landed at Hastings.



600.

_To Lord Sheffield._


  October 27.

*My usual temper very readily admitted the excuse, that it would
be better to wait another week, till the final settlement of our
affairs. The treaty is signed between France and Geneva; and the
ratification of the Convention is looked upon as assured, if any
thing can be assured in that wild Democracy.[258] On condition that
the Swiss Garrison, with the approbation of Berne and Zurich, be
recalled before the first of December, it is stipulated that the
independence of Geneva shall be preserved inviolate; that M. de
Montesquiou shall immediately send away his heavy artillery; and
that no French troops shall approach within ten leagues of the
city. As the Swiss have acted only as auxiliaries, they have no
occasion for a direct treaty; but they cannot prudently disarm,
till they are satisfied of the pacific intentions of France; and
no such satisfaction can be given till they have acknowledged the
new Republic, which they will probably do in a few days, with a
deep groan of indignation and sorrow; it has been cemented with
the blood of their countrymen! But when the Emperor, the King of
Prussia, the first General, and the first army in Europe have
failed, less powerful states may acquiesce, without dishonour, in
the determination of fortune. Do you understand this most unexpected
failure? I will allow an ample share to the badness of the roads
and the weather, to famine and disease, to the skill of Dumourier,
a heaven-born General, and to the enthusiastic ardour of the new
Romans; but still, still there must be some secret shameful cause at
the bottom of this strange retreat.[259]

[Sidenote: A TUTORSHIP FOR SEVERY.]

We are now delivered from the impending terrors of siege and
invasion. The Geneva _Emigrés_, particularly the Neckers, are
hastening to their homes; and I shall not be reduced to the hard
necessity of seeking a winter azylum at Zurich or Constance: but I
am not pleased with our future prospects. It is much to be feared
that the present Government of Geneva will be soon modelled after
the French fashion; the new Republic of Savoy is forming on the
opposite bank of the lake; the Jacobin Missionaries are powerful and
zealous; and the Malcontents of this country, who begin again to rear
their heads, will be surrounded with temptations, and examples, and
allies. I know not whether the pays de Vaud will long adhere to the
dominion of Berne; or whether I shall be permitted to end my days in
this little paradise, which I have so happily suited to my taste and
circumstances.

Last Monday only I received your letter, which had strangely loitered
on the road since its date of the 29th of September. There must
surely be some disorder in the posts, since the Eliza departed
indignant at never having heard from you.*

I still am of opinion that it is both unseemly and unusual for _us_
to propose any specific terms. You must hear the ideas of the parents
or guardians. You must consider on the behalf of your client, how far
a moderate interest may be enhanced by rank and character, how far a
deficiency (less desirable) in those qualifications may be varnished
with gold. If everything should unite, you may boldly accept; if you
hesitate you must take the matter ad referendum, and they must expect
our answer by the return of the post. You will say perhaps that the
parties may be impatient, and that delay may be productive of danger.
This I must acknowledge, nor is it only in this respect that I feel
the disadvantage of his not being on the spot.--I much regret the
M[arquis] of C[armarthen], his father the D[uke] of L[eeds] is a
fair and honourable man. Your hint of General Bude (of whom I had
never heard) shall not be neglected: when the Duchess of D. returns
to England next year, I hope she will be able and willing to assist
the young man, to whom she expressed much friendship, and whom she
appointed her chevalier sans peur and sans reproche by the delivery
of a feather and a cockade. He is now on service with his dragoons,
but will probably be soon disbanded.

Without confessing that my fears and scruples were quite so _anile_
as you are always disposed to think them, I am now in a great measure
satisfied. I wish you may find a secure mortgage at four per cent.;
but though I do not perfectly like the Debentures (which you never
explained before), I cannot think they run much risk till our next
meeting in England.

The case of my Wine I think peculiarly hard; to lose my Madeira,
and to be scolded for losing it. Please to remember that the Wine
Merchant never sent me any letter of advice, as he ought to have
done, of the time and manner of its departure; and that when I first
expressed my astonishment to you (in my great letter of at least four
months ago) you were too much engrossed with a more interesting
subject to return any answer. What could I do? my part was entirely
passive, to expect its arrival, which I still expect. Yet I have now
directed proper enquiries to be made at Basle and Ostend; the London
Merchant must trace it forwards, and the last person in whose hands
it has been must be responsible for the wine or its value. Whatsoever
may be right, I have no intention of seeking a legal remedy; but on a
similar occasion, I hope we shall never repeat the liberal confidence
of such premature payment.

*I am much indebted to Mr. Nichols for his Genealogical
communications, which I am impatient to receive; but I do not
understand why so civil a Gentleman could not favour me, in six
months, with an answer by the post: since he entrusts me with
these valuable papers, you have not, I presume, informed him of my
negligence and awkwardness in regard to Manuscripts. Your reproach
rather surprizes me, as I suppose I am much the same as I have been
for these last twenty Years. Should you hold your resolution of
writing only such things as may be published at Charing-cross, our
future correspondence would not be very interesting. But I expect and
require, at this important crisis, a full and confidential account of
your views concerning England, Ireland, and France. You have a strong
and clear eye; and your pen is, perhaps, the most useful quill that
ever has been plucked from a goose. Your protection of the French
refugees is highly applauded. Rosset and La Motte have escaped from
Arbourg, perhaps with connivance to avoid disagreeable demands from
the Republic. Adieu.*

  Ever yours,
  E. G.

  [258] The report of the French Diplomatic Committee upon the two
  treaties of October 22 and November 2 was delivered by Brissot
  on November 21. It neither ratified nor rejected the treaties,
  reserving the question whether a free people could bind itself
  by treaties. At the same time the Convention ordered the French
  troops to respect the neutrality of Geneva, if the Swiss troops
  evacuated the city by December 1, 1792.

  [259] The Duke of Brunswick was charged with being bribed to
  retire. No ground for the accusation has ever been alleged,
  except that, on the duke's return, he paid off heavy debts.
  The charge was made by Talleyrand in 1802. It is repeated by
  both Lacretelle and Thiers in their histories. It is omitted
  by Michaud in his article on Brunswick, which appeared in the
  _Biographie Universelle_ in 1812; but it is given in the articles
  which the same writer contributed on Dumouriez and Drouet to
  the supplementary volume (1837). It is also made by the Comte
  d'Allonville in his _Mémoires Secrets_ (vol. iii. pp. 94-97).



601.

_Lord Sheffield to Edward Gibbon._


  Bath, 5th Nov., 1792.

Among the whimsical events of the last three years, none is more
extraordinary than an Hebdominal letter from you. Your character
however is so bad on that head, that there is not much dependance on
your perseverance, but it produces a desire and resolution in the
Family to address you weekly as long as you give such encouragement.

[Sidenote: THREE LATE FRENCH MINISTERS.]

Here I am, not on account of my eyes (which continue very weak),
but to attend the Mayor's Feast at Bristol this day. I arrived
last night. I was but one night in London. I found the Hotel in
Downing Street occupied by the Princess d'Henin, the Beautiful
Comtesse Charles de Noailles,[260] the Pauline, the Prince de
Poix,[261] Gouvernet,[262] Lally, &c. I proceeded in the morning to
Bulstrode[263] to hold a conversation with the Duke, and from thence
I moved to this place with the Maria, whom I shall leave with Aunt
while I go through the necessary duties at Bristol, which will at
least engage me till the 13th instant. Talking of Downing Street,
I should mention the extraordinary _occurrence_ in the dining-room
there a few days since, of the three late French Ministers, St.
Croix,[264] Monciel,[265] Bertrand[266] and also Malouet,[267]
Gilliers,[268] Gouvernet, Prince de Poix and Lally. They were in
Committee on their deplorable affairs. For the sake of my eyes I
shall give this to be finished by Maria. No man has a guess at the
intentions of Gouvernment. There is not the slightest expectation
that they will take the least part in the affairs of France. All
those members of Opposition for whom you or others have respect
are seriously well disposed to a junction of parties, and I am
convinced, indeed I know, they would be very reasonable in their
expectations. Pitt has said he could act in great confidence with
Fox, notwithstanding sparrings which have taken place, and Charles
Fox has said that a junction is so right a thing, that he cannot
see otherwise than that it must take place. Yet there are great
difficulties, and I am not sanguine. I shall have no opinion of
Pitt's judgment or disposition if he does not remove them.

Poor Mrs. Gibbon was given over last week, a bilious attack. She has
miraculously recovered, but the man who has bodily care of her, says
she is so worn, she cannot pass the winter.

I should have added above that I fear Fox will be still _detestable_
on the subject of French affairs. Pitt is suspected of Democracy, and
it is said by some lately that he will himself move a Plan of Reform
next Sessions.

[Sidenote: JACOBIN SOCIETIES IN ENGLAND.]

My Lord is gone to nurse his poor dear eyes, and leaves me to inform
you of some of those extraordinary things to which I hardly expect
you to give credit, but I shall name my authorities. Mr. Batt told
us last Friday that the Attorney General had had information of the
following event at Manchester, and that the said Attorney General
had mentioned it to the _said_ Mr. Batt. A person (we did not hear
his name) at that place invited a number of people to dinner, among
others the officers of the Scotch Greys, the day of the King's
Accession, giving them notice there would be a _ceremony_. When
the company was assembled there was an Ass brought into the room,
dressed in a Blue Ribband, Crown and Sceptre, &c., which after
many ridiculous formalities was killed, cut in pieces, and sent to
different Societies in this Kingdom. I do not know if Lewes had a
portion, but I know there is a Jacobin Society there. Burke called
here yesterday evening to talk of a Plan for permanent relief of the
poor priests, giving up all hopes of their returning to their native
country. He proposed with the money in the hands of the Committee
(£10,000) if Government would give any assistance towards settling
them in the _Crimea_, Canada or Maryland,[269] as the subscription
cannot afford them subsistence in this country for three months
longer.

Mrs. Moss is arrived in England. Have you received Lally's vessel
which she sent you from Berne? How do the _Acacias_, &c., flourish
upon the terrace?

  [260] The Comtesse Charles de Noailles, _née_ Nathalie de
  Laborde, the daughter of the banker of that name, married in 1790
  Charles de Noailles, son of the Prince de Poix.

  [261] Louis Philippe Antoine de Noailles, Prince de Poix, eldest
  son of the Maréchal and Maréchale de Mouchy, who were guillotined
  on July 22, 1794. He commanded the Noailles Company of the Royal
  Body-guard. He was arrested in August, 1792, but escaped on his
  way to the Abbaye. He married Anne de Beauvau, who died in 1834.

  [262] The Comte de la Tour-du-Pin Gouvernet had been aide-de-camp
  to Bouillé at the repression of the mutiny at Nancy. He was
  entrusted with the task of opening the plan, formed for the
  rescue of the king and royal family in the early summer of
  1792, to Marie Antoinette. Her distrust of La Fayette caused
  its failure. "Plutôt périr qu'être sauvé par La Fayette et les
  Constitutionnels!" was her well-known exclamation. Gouvernet
  subsequently went to America, and died at Lausanne in 1837.

  [263] The seat of the Duke of Portland.

  [264] Bigot de Sainte Croix, Minister for Foreign Affairs, was
  one of the agents in the schemes for the rescue of Louis XVI.

  [265] Terrier de Monciel, a member of the Constitutional
  party, Minister of the Interior from June 18 to July 9, 1792,
  endeavoured to organize a military force for the protection of
  the king which should be disassociated from the foreign allies of
  the _émigrés_. It was the discovery of this and other schemes for
  the king's rescue, in which Bertrand, Malouet, Mallet du Pan, and
  Clermont-Tonnerre were the leaders, that led to the disbanding of
  the Constitutional Guard, and the insurrections of June 20 and
  August 10, 1792. Monciel died in 1831.

  [266] The Marquis de Bertrand-Molleville (1744-1818) was
  _Ministre de la Marine_ in 1791. He took refuge in England in
  1792, and there wrote his _Mémoires_ and his _Histoire de la
  Révolution de France_.

  [267] Victor Malouet (1740-1814), distinguished by his
  explorations and his services in the French colonies (see his
  _Collection des Mémoires sur l'administration des colonies_,
  Paris, 1802, 5 vols.), was a bold and skilful supporter of Louis
  XVI. in the Constituent Assembly. He returned to France in 1801,
  and was employed by Napoleon in the administration of the navy.
  He was appointed Ministre de la Marine by Louis XVIII. in 1814.

  [268] Probably the Baron de Gilliers, whose estates were
  near Romans in Dauphiné, and of whom Rivarol tells a story
  to illustrate the suspicion with which every aristocrat was
  regarded. Suspected of a royalist plot, the baron was charged
  with manufacturing cannon when he was only making drain-pipes;
  his house was occupied by hundreds of armed men, and his family
  narrowly escaped with their lives. He was gentleman-in-waiting to
  Madame Elizabeth.

  [269] Burke's plan for the settlement of the refugees in Maryland
  is discussed by him in a letter to his son, dated November 2,
  1792 (_Correspondence_, vol. iv. pp. 25, 26).



602.

_To Lord Sheffield._


  November 10th, 1792.

*Received this day, November 9th, a most amiable dispatch from the
too humble secretary[270] of the family of Espee,[271] dated October
24th, which I answer the same day. It will be acknowledged, that I
have fulfilled my engagement with as much accuracy as our uncertain
state and the fragility of human nature would allow.

I resume my narrative. At the time when we imagined that all was
settled by an equal treaty between two such unequal powers, as the
Geneva flea and the Leviathan France, we were thunderstruck with the
intelligence that the Ministers of the Republic refused to ratify the
conditions; and they were indignant, with some colour of reason, at
the hard obligation of withdrawing their troops to the distance of
ten leagues, and of consequently leaving the Pays de Gex naked, and
exposed to the Swiss, who had assembled 15,000 men on the frontier,
and with whom they had not made any agreement. The Messenger who was
sent last Sunday from Geneva is not yet returned; and many persons
are afraid of some design and danger in this delay. Montesquiou has
acted with politeness, moderation, and apparent sincerity; but he
may resign, he may be superseded, his place may be occupied by an
_enragé_,[272] by Servan, or prince Charles of Hesse,[273] who would
aspire to imitate the predatory fame of Custine in Germany.

In the mean while, the General holds a wolf by the ears; an officer
who has seen his troops, about 18,000 men (with a tremendous train
of artillery), represents them as a black, daring, desperate crew of
buccaneers, rather shocking than contemptible; the officers (scarcely
a Gentleman among them), without servants, or horses, or baggage,
lying _higgledy piggledy_ on the ground with the common men, yet
maintaining a rough kind of discipline over them. They already begin
to accuse and even to suspect their General, and call aloud for blood
and plunder: could they have an opportunity of squeezing some of the
rich Citizens, Geneva would cut up as fat as most towns in Europe.
During this suspension of hostilities they are permitted to visit the
City without arms, sometimes three or four hundred at a time; and the
Magistrates, as well as the Swiss Commander, are by no means pleased
with this dangerous intercourse, which they dare not prohibit. Such
are our fears; yet it should seem on the other side, that the French
affect a kind of magnanimous justice towards their little neighbour,
and that they are not ambitious of an unprofitable contest with
the poor and hardy Swiss. The Swiss are not equal to a long and
expensive War; and as most of our Militia have families and trades,
the country already sighs for their return. Whatever can be yielded,
without absolute danger or disgrace, will doubtless be granted; and
the business will probably end in our owning the Sovereignty, and
trusting to the good faith of the Republic of France: how that word
would have sounded four years ago! The measure is humiliating; but
after the retreat of the Duke of Brunswick, and the failure of the
Austrians, the smaller powers may acquiesce without dishonour.

[Sidenote: ENGLAND THE LAST REFUGE OF LIBERTY.]

Every dog has his day; and these Gallic dogs have their day, at
least, of most insolent prosperity. After forcing or tempting the
Prussians to evacuate their country, they conquer Savoy, pillage
Germany, threaten Spain: the Low Countries are ere now invaded; Rome
and Italy tremble; they scour the Mediterranean, and talk of sending
a squadron into the South Sea. The whole horizon is so black, that I
begin to feel some anxiety for England, the last refuge of liberty
and law; and the more so, as I perceive from Lord S.'s last epistle
that his firm nerves are a little shaken; but of this more in my
next, for I want to unburthen my conscience.

If England, with the experience of our happiness and French
calamities, should now be seduced to eat the apple of false freedom,
we should indeed deserve to be driven from the paradise which
we enjoy. I turn aside from the horrid and improbable, (yet not
impossible) supposition, that, in three or four years' time, myself
and my best friends may be reduced to the deplorable state of the
French emigrants: they thought it as impossible three or four years
ago. Never did a revolution affect, to such a degree, the private
existence of such numbers of the first people of a great Country:
your examples of misery I could easily match with similar examples in
this country and the neighbourhood; and our sympathy is the deeper,
as we do not possess, like you, the means of alleviating, in some
degree, the misfortunes of the fugitives. But I must have, from the
very excellent pen of the Maria, the tragedy of the Archbishop of
Arles; and the longer the better. Madame de Biron has probably been
tempted by some faint and (I fear) fallacious promises of clemency to
the Women, and which have likewise engaged Madame d'Aguesseau and her
two daughters[274] to revisit France. Madame de Bouillon[275] stands
her ground, and her situation as a foreign princess is less exposed.
As Lord S. has assumed the glorious character of protector of the
distressed, his name is pronounced with gratitude and respect. The D.
of Richmond is praised, on Madame de Biron's account. To the Princess
d'Henin, and Lally, I wish to be remembered.

The Neckers cannot venture into Geneva, and Madame de Stael will
probably lye in at Rolle. He is printing a defence of the King,
&c., against their Republican Judges;[276] but the name of Necker
is unpopular to all parties, and I much fear that the Guillotine
will be more speedy than the press. It will, however, be an eloquent
performance; and, if I find an opportunity, I am to send you one,
to you, Lord S., by his particular desire: he wishes likewise to
convey some copies with speed to our principal people, Pitt, Fox,
Lord Stormont, &c. But such is the rapid succession of events, that
it will appear, like the 'Pouvoir Executif,' his best Work, after the
whole scene has been totally changed.*

Shall you never be able to place my £3000 on good Security? Was there
ever before a two years' fruitless chace after a Mortgage? We are in
hot pursuit from all quarters of my Madeira, and unless already drunk
by the Hussars it must emerge.

  Ever yours,
  E. G.

P.S.--*The Revolution of France, and my triple dispatch by the same
post to Sheffield-place, are, in my opinion, the two most singular
events in the eighteenth Century. I found the task so easy and
pleasant, that I had some thoughts of adding a letter to the gentle
Louisa.* And a note to the most respectable Tuft. I should not have
forgot Miss Firth, but I hear she is leaving you. Is she going to be
married? *I am this moment informed, that our troops on the frontier
are beginning to move, on their return home; yet we hear nothing of
the treaty's being concluded.*

  [270] Miss Holroyd.

  [271] Sheffield Place.

  [272] Joseph Servan (1741-1808), author of the _Soldat Citoyen_
  (1780), Minister of War in the Girondin administration (March
  to June, 1792). Dismissed by Louis XVI., he was restored to his
  office after August 10, 1792. He resigned his post in October,
  1792, and afterwards commanded the troops which opposed the march
  of the Spaniards upon Bayonne in April, 1793.

  [273] Prince Charles of Hesse-Rheinfels-Rothenburg (1752-1821)
  entered the French service as a young man. He was made a
  lieutenant-general in 1792, and took up the command at
  Besançon, where he was received with enthusiasm as the
  _citoyen-général-philosophe_. He accompanied his words with
  gestures which were almost convulsive in their violence, and
  closed his sentences by grinding his teeth, "un tigre doué de
  la parole." As a journalist (1795-99) he came into collision
  with the Government, and was imprisoned for several years in the
  island of Rhé. He died at Frankfort in 1821.

  [274] Henriette d'Aguessau, who married the Duc d'Ayen, was, like
  Madame de Biron, guillotined.

  [275] Marie, Princess of Hesse-Rheinfelz, married the Duc de
  Bouillon, the head, and last direct representative, of the family
  of La Tour d'Auvergne. She was by her marriage connected with
  the Princesse de Poix, and her cousin, the Princesse d'Hénin.
  The three ladies were known as _les trois princesses combinées_.
  Madame de Bouillon and her husband both died in exile.

  [276] Necker's _Réflexions offertes à la nation française_
  appeared in November, 1792.



603.

_To Lady Sheffield._


  Lausanne, November 10, 1792.

[Sidenote: NEITHER MONSTER NOR STATUE.]

*I could never forgive myself, were I capable of writing by the same
post, a political Epistle to the father, and a friendly letter to the
daughter, without sending any token of remembrance to the respectable
Matron, my dearest My lady, whom I have now loved as a sister
for something better or worse than twenty years. No, indeed, the
historian may be careless, he may be indolent, he may always intend
and never execute, but he is neither a monster nor a statue; he has
a memory, a conscience, a heart, and that heart is sincerely devoted
to Lady S. He must even acknowledge the fallacy of a sophism which he
has sometimes used, and she has always and most truly denied; that,
where the persons of a family are strictly united, the writing to one
is in fact writing to all; and that consequently all his numerous
letters to the husband, may be considered as equally addressed to
the wife. He feels, on the contrary, that separate minds have their
distinct ideas and sentiments, and that each character, either in
speaking or writing, has its peculiar tone of conversation. He agrees
with the maxim of Rousseau, that three friends who wish to disclose a
common secret, will impart it only _deux à deux_; and he is satisfied
that, on the present memorable occasion, each of the persons of
the Sheffield family will claim a peculiar share in this triple
missive, which will communicate, however, a triple satisfaction. The
experience of what may be effected by vigorous resolution, encourages
the historian to hope that he shall cast the skin of the old serpent,
and hereafter show himself as a new creature.*

And first let me congratulate yourself and your friends on the
present happy state of your mental and corporeal faculties, of which
I have gained the pleasing intelligence, not only from the hints in
Lord S. and Maria's letters, but still more clearly from your own
long and spirited Epistle to young Severy, which he received with
gratitude and will answer with speed.

*I lament, on all our accounts, that the last year's expedition to
Lausanne did not take place in a golden period;* the more familiar
and cheerful intercourse with Madame de Severy would have opened your
hearts to each other. I should have escaped many moments of painful
though silent sympathy, and every object in Nature and society would
have appeared to your eyes with a different aspect and colour.
*But we must reflect, that human felicity is seldom without alloy;
and if we cannot indulge the hope of your making a second visit
to Lausanne, we must look forwards to my residence next summer at
Sheffield-place, where I must find you in the full bloom of health,
spirits, and beauty. I can perceive, by all public and private
intelligence, that your house has been the open hospital Azylum of
French fugitives; and it is a sufficient proof of the firmness of
your nerves, that you have not been overwhelmed or agitated by such a
concourse of strangers. Curiosity and compassion may, in some degree,
have supported you. Every day has presented to your view some new
scene of that strange tragical romance, which occupies all Europe so
infinitely beyond any event that has happened in our time, and you
have the satisfaction of not being a mere spectator of the distress
of so many victims of false liberty. The benevolent fame of Lord S.
is widely diffused.

From Angletine's last letter to Maria, you have already some idea of
the melancholy state of her poor father. As long as Mr. de Severy
allowed our hopes and fears to fluctuate with the changes of his
disorder, I was unwilling to say anything on so painful a subject;
and it is with the deepest concern that I now confess our absolute
despair of his recovery. All his particular complaints are now lost
in a general dissolution of the whole frame: every principle of life
is exhausted, and as often as I am admitted to his bed-side, though
he still looks and smiles with the patience of an Angel, I have the
heartfelt grief of seeing him each day drawing nearer to the term of
his existence. A few weeks, possibly a few days, will deprive me of
a most excellent friend, and break for ever the most perfect system
of domestic happiness, in which I had so large and intimate a share.
Wilhelm (who has obtained leave of absence from his military duty)
and his sister behave and feel like tender and dutiful children;
but they have a long gay prospect of life, and new connexions, new
families will make them forget, in due time, the common lot of
mortality. But it is Madame de Severy whom I truly pity; I dread the
effects of the first shock, and I dread still more the deep perpetual
consuming affliction for a loss which can never be retrieved.

[Sidenote: GIBBON'S ALTERED SITUATION.]

You will not wonder that such reflections sadden my own mind, nor can
I forget how much my situation is altered since I retired, nine years
ago, to the banks of the Leman lake. The death of poor Deyverdun
first deprived me of a domestic companion, who can never be supplied;
and your visit has only served to remind me that man, however amused
and occupied in his Closet, was not made to live alone. Severy will
soon be no more; his widow for a long time, perhaps for ever, will be
lost to herself and her friends, the son will travel, and I shall be
left a stranger in the insipid circle of mere common acquaintance.
The Revolution of France, which first embittered and divided the
Society of Lausanne, has opposed a barrier to my Sussex visit, and
may finally expell me from the paradise which I inhabit. Even that
paradise, the expensive and delightful establishment of my house,
library, and garden, almost becomes an incumbrance, by rendering it
more difficult for me to relinquish my hold, or to form a new system
of life in my native Country, for which my income, though improved
and improving, would be probably insufficient. But every complaint
should be silenced by the contemplation of the French; compared with
whose cruel fate, all misery is relative happiness. I perfectly
concurr in your partiality for Lally; though Nature might forget some
meaner ingredients, of prudence, economy, &c., she never formed a
purer heart, or a brighter imagination. If he be with you, I beg my
kindest salutations to him. I am every day more closely united with
the Neckers. Should France break, and this country be over-run, they
would be reduced, in very humble circumstances, to seek a refuge;
and where but in England? Adieu, dear Madam: there is, indeed, much
pleasure in discharging one's heart to a real friend.*

  Ever yours,
  E. G.



604.

_To the Hon. Maria Holroyd._


  Lausanne, Nov. 10, 1792.

In dispatching the weekly political journal to Lord Sheffield, my
conscience (for I have some remains of conscience) most powerfully
urges me to salute, with some lines of friendship and gratitude, the
amiable secretary, who might save herself the trouble of a modest
apology. I have not yet forgotten our different behaviour after the
much lamented _separation_ of October the 4th, 1791, your meritorious
punctuality, and my unworthy silence. I have still before me that
entertaining narrative, which would have interested me, not only in
the progress of the _carissima famiglia_, but in the motions of a
Tartar camp, or the march of a caravan of Arabs; the mixture of just
observation and lively imagery, the strong sense of a man, expressed
with the easy elegance of a female. I still recollect with pleasure
the happy comparison of the Rhine, who had heard so much of liberty
on both his banks, that he wandered with mischievous licentiousness
over all the adjacent meadows. The inundation, alas! has now spread
much wider; and it is sadly to be feared that the Elbe, the Po,
and the Danube, may imitate the vile example of the Rhine: I shall
be content, however, if our own Thames still preserves his fair
character of

  Strong without rage, without o'erflowing full.

These agreeable epistles of Maria produced only some dumb intentions,
and some barren remorse; nor have I deigned, except by a brief
missive from my chancellor, to express how much I loved the author,
and how much I was pleased with the composition. That amiable author
I have known and loved from the first dawning of her life and
_coquetry_, to the present maturity of her talents; and as long as
I remain on this planet, I shall pursue, with the same tender and
even anxious concern, the future steps of her establishment and life.
That establishment must be splendid; that life must be happy. She
is endowed with every gift of nature and fortune; but the advantage
which she will derive from them, depends almost entirely on herself.
You must not, you shall not, think yourself unworthy to write to
any man: there is none whom your correspondence would not amuse and
satisfy.

I will not undertake a task, which my taste would adopt, and my
indolence would too soon relinquish; but I am really curious, from
the best motives, to have a particular account of your own studies
and daily occupation. What books do you read? and how do you employ
your time and your pen? Except some professed scholars, I have often
observed that women in general read much more than men; but, for
want of a plan, a method, a fixed object, their reading is of little
benefit to themselves, or others. If you will inform me of the
species of reading to which you have the most propensity, I shall be
happy to contribute my share of advice or assistance.

I lament that you have not left me some monument of your pencil.
Lady Elizabeth Foster has executed a very pretty drawing, taken
from the door of the green-house where we dined last summer, and
including the poor Acacia, (now recovered from the cruel shears of
the gardener,) the end of the terrace, the front of the Pavilion,
and a distant view of the country, lake, and mountains. I am almost
reconciled to d'Apples' house, which is nearly finished. Instead of
the monsters which Lord Hercules Sheffield extirpated, the terrace is
already shaded with the new acacias and plantanes; and although the
uncertainty of possession restrains me from building, I myself have
planted a bosquet at the bottom of the garden, with such admirable
skill that it affords shade without intercepting prospect.

[Sidenote: SOCIETY OF LADY E. FOSTER.]

The society of the aforesaid Eliza, of the Duchess of Devonshire,
&c. has been very interesting; but they are now flown beyond the
Alps, and pass the winter at Pisa. The Legards, who have long since
left this place, should be at present in Italy; but I believe Mrs.
Grimstone and her daughter returned to England. The Levades are
highly flattered by your remembrance. Since you still retain some
attachment to this delightful country, and it is indeed delightful,
why should you despair of seeing it once more? The happy peer or
commoner, whose name you may assume, is still concealed in the book
of fate; but, whosoever he may be, he will cheerfully obey your
commands, of leading you from ---- Castle to Lausanne, and from
Lausanne to Rome and Naples. Before that event takes place, I may
possibly see you in Sussex; and, whether as a visitor or a fugitive,
I hope to be welcomed with a friendly embrace. The delay of this year
was truly painful, but it was inevitable; and individuals must submit
to those storms which have overturned the thrones of the earth.

The tragic story of the Archbishop of Arles I have now somewhat a
better right to require at your hands. I wish to have it in all its
horrid details; and as you are now so much mingled with the French
exiles, I am of opinion, that were you to keep a journal of all the
authentic facts which they relate, it would be an agreeable exercise
at present, and a future source of entertainment and instruction.

I should be obliged to you, if you would make, or find, some excuse
for my not answering a letter from your aunt, which was presented to
me by Mr. Fowler. I shewed him some civilities, but he is now a poor
invalid, confined to his room. By her channel and yours I should be
glad to have some information of the health, spirits, and situation
of Mrs. Gibbon of Bath, whose alarms (if she has any) you may dispel.
She is in my debt. Adieu; most truly yours.



605.

_The Hon. Maria Holroyd to Edward Gibbon._


  Sheffield Place, November, 1792.

Your three letters received yesterday caused the most sincere
pleasure to each individual of this family so highly favoured by
you--but to none more than myself. I flatter myself that I despise
general compliments as they deserve, but praise (tho' I fear, beyond
my deserts) from one whose opinion I so highly value, and whose
esteem I so much wish to gain, is more pleasing than I can describe,
& I really think, thus encouraged, & with your _example_ before
me, to shew _bad habits may_ be conquered. I had not neglected to
make the collection of facts which you recommend, and which the
great variety of unfortunate persons whom we see, or with whom we
correspond, enables me to make.

As to the other part of your letter about _my studies_, I can only
say, the slightest hint on that subject will be always received with
the greatest gratitude, and attended to with the utmost punctuality.
French history I am most acquainted with--English, I am ashamed to
say, I am much less versed in. I have read Hume, but not since I came
to years of discretion, & what is read as a _task_ seldom is well
attended to. I am now reading a _certain_ work, in 6 Vols. Quarto or
12 Duodecimo, which I was acquainted with before, only by reading it
after supper, frequently with long interruptions caused by Company,
&c., & which only raised my curiosity to give it more attention. It
would be Impertinence or at best but a Drop in the Ocean to add my
mite to the opinion of the generality of the World, & say how much
the Subject interests or the Style delights me. When this work is
read thro', I intend to proceed with English history. I again repeat,
if you condescend to favour me with any directions on this subject, I
shall follow them with the greatest pleasure; but if you should not,
I am much flattered that you should desire to hear from me, & should
have sent you the horrid account of the massacre aux Carmes before,
if I had thought you would have been desirous of it. I have not seen
the details in any newspaper, & one of the eight Priests, who dined
here, & had escaped from the massacre, related the whole with such
simplicity & feeling, as to leave no doubt of the truth of all he
said.

[Sidenote: MURDER OF THE ARCHBISHOP OF ARLES.]

On the 2^d of Sep^{ber} they went into the garden, as usual, to
walk at five o'clock in the evening. They expressed their surprize
at several large pits, which had been digging for two or three days
past. They said to each other, "The day is almost spent, & yet
Manuel[277] told a person who interceded for us, last Thursday, that
on the Sunday following not one should remain in captivity--we are
still Prisoners." Soon after, they heard shouts, and some musquet
shots were fired into the Garden. A number of National Guards, some
Commissaires _de Sections_, & several Marseillois, rushed in. The
unhappy victims who were dispersed about the Garden, assembled under
the Walls of the Church, not daring to enter, least it should be
polluted with blood. One, who was behind the rest, was shot dead.
_Point de coups de fusil_ said some of the Chiefs of the assassins,
thinking this death too merciful. A number of them called for the
Archbishop of Arles,[278] & insisted that he should be given up to
them, the Priests all crowded round him, & determined to defend him
with their Lives. The Archbishop then said, "Let me pass; if we must
all perish, it is of little consequence whether I die first or not,
& if my death will appease them, is it not my duty to preserve your
Lives at the expense of my own?" He asked the eldest of the Priests
to give him Absolution--he knelt to receive it, & when he rose,
advanced, with his arms crossed on his breast, towards the People.
His appearance was so dignified & noble, that for ten minutes not one
of these Wretches had courage to raise their hand against him. They
reproached each other with cowardice & advanced--one look from the
venerable Prelate struck them with involuntary awe, & they retired.
At last, one of the assassins struck off his Cap with a Pike--their
fury returned when they saw respect once violated, & another struck
him on the head with a Sabre, & laid open his scalp. The Archbishop
only said, "O mon Dieu!" & put up his right hand to his eyes. A
second blow cut off this hand--he repeated his exclamation & raised
the other. A third stroke left him sitting, & a fourth extended him
lifeless, when all the Miscreants pressed forwards, to bury their
Poniards in his bosom.

The Priests all agreed that the Archbishop of Arles was one of the
most amiable men in France--his only _crime_ was having parted with
most of his private fortune to support the necessitous Clergy of his
Diocese, since the beginning of the Revolution. When he was murdered,
the National Guards made all the Priests go into the Church, telling
them they should appear, one after another, before the _Commissaires
du Section_, who would try them and determine their fate. They had
hardly entered, before the People impatiently called for them to
shew themselves--upon which, all kneeling before the Altar, they
received Absolution from the B^p of Beauvais--& then, two by two,
passed before one of the commissaires, who did not question, but
only counted his victims. In this manner, perished 120 Priests,
amongst whom were the Bishops of Beauvais and Xaintes, both of the
Rochefoucauld family.[279] _Our friends_ escaped by getting over the
Wall.

I am afraid I have tired your patience, & that you did not expect
such a tedious history. Mad^{e}. d'Hénin & Pauline are at Boulogne;
they have gained nothing by going there, & are afraid they may
find it difficult returning to England. The seal of the Nation is
put on all Mad^{e}. d'Hénin's effects; she is not able to keep a
single servant--she says, Pauline & she must wait on each other.
Papa, who is more alarmed than I ever saw him, will write to you
soon, _politically_. Mama will likewise answer your letter, & in
the mean time desires many thanks for it. Will you say everything
affectionate to Angletine for her letter? I feel sincerely for the
situation of that family, & if you can send any good news of M. de
Severy's amendment, I trust you will write. It was particularly kind
of Angletine to write when her mind must be so ill at ease--but it is
not flung away upon me. I am anything but _une Ingrate_. Mrs. Moss
is here, & speaks with delight of your house, your terrace, & of the
great civility you showed her. Judge if Lausanne is ever the subject
of our conversation.

We left Louisa & Aunt at Bath very well, they both desire to be
remembered to you when we wrote. Mrs. Gibbon looks as well as ever,
but is really very unwell.

  [277] Louis Pierre Manuel (1751-1793) was one of the leaders
  in the insurrections of June 20 and August 10, 1792. He was
  at this time _procureur_ of the Commune of Paris. At the
  king's trial he defended Louis XVI., and, accused of being a
  counter-revolutionist, was guillotined in November, 1793.

  [278] Jean Marie François Dulau.

  [279] They were brothers, and belonged to the family of
  Rochefoucauld-Bayers.



606.

_Lord Sheffield to Edward Gibbon._


  Bristol, 14th Nov., 1792.

[Sidenote: A FOOLISH GAME IN IRELAND.]

I snatch an interval likely to be very short, to acknowledge you
have some merit in a 14th day epistle, although you fasted as to
your 7th day. I was glad to hear of the agreement on the subject of
Geneva. As the French troops were immediately to return 10 leagues,
and before the evacuation, I think it honourable, but my political
barometer never was so low. During the last 35 years on no occasion
it had materially sunk. It never experienced any great depression
till the wonderful and in some degree inexplicable phenomena of the
later part of last September. I had some hope that Europe would see
the necessity of making a common cause against the Disturbers of the
World. But I have not a ray of hope. The failure of the combined army
has of course encouraged and increased a bad spirit in this country,
but it has not as yet shewn itself except in some towns. And in such,
mischief always begins. The respectable and considerable men of both
parties among my constituents are right. Government had risked a
foolish game in Ireland, playing Roman Catholics against Protestants,
and openly supporting the former, granting too much, and giving
further hopes, which has produced sedition and brought them to the
brink of rebellion, but within a few weeks it has been determined to
go no farther and to support the Protestant Ascendency--better late
than never, but some knocks probably will ensue.

I believe I forgot to assure you in my last that Newspaper account
of our friend Lord L.[280] and his acceptance of Seals is premature,
and that there is no prospect of such an event unless with the
concurrence and accession of the Mass of the party. I rather
suspect some of our friends have more of the shew than the reality,
of wishing or expecting, or promoting healthy conjunction of
parties--but they are few.

I scolded you about the Madeira because I thought it lost thro'
your neglect of writing, but I have the pleasure of finding that
it was only delayed, and is now on its road. So writes Muligan's
correspondent in Holland. I shall send this to Maria to finish. My
eyes are very weak.

I do not know what to add to Papa's _croaking_ Epistle, except to ask
if you will give us an Asylum at Lausanne when this country is in
the state of France. If you should answer in the affirmative, I am
afraid you would make me an enemy to my country and wish it very ill.
_I_ think Papa very _ungrateful_ for your very great kindness and
attention in writing so frequently--at a time so very interesting,
but I believe he is afraid of praising you too much, least you should
think you have done enough. If you were a witness of the pleasure
your letters give all the family, I think you would not talk of
sinking into a _long and irreproachable silence_. Mama assures me you
will not write to me. Pray make her say the thing that is not, for
once in her life. We leave Bath next Sunday, after having enjoyed the
gaieties of the place a fortnight. Louisa is to remain here all the
Winter. She desires to be particularly remembered to you. Switzerland
is our daily subject of conversation and regret. Witness our hands
this 15th day of November.

  MARIA JOSEPHA HOLROYD,
  LOUISA DOROTHEA HOLROYD.

  [280] Lord Loughborough accepted the Great Seal as Lord
  Chancellor in January, 1793.



607.

_To Lord Sheffield._


  Lausanne, Nov. 25th, 1792.

*After the triple labour of my last dispatch, your experience of the
creature might tempt you to suspect that it would again relapse into
a long slumber. But, partly from the spirit of contradiction, (though
I am not a lady) and partly from the ease and pleasure which I now
find in the task, you see me again alive, awake, and almost faithful
to my hebdomadal promise. The last week has not, however, afforded
any events deserving the notice of an historian. Our affairs are
still floating on the waves of the convention, and the ratification
of a corrected treaty,[281] which had been fixed for the 20th, is
not yet arrived; but the report of the diplomatic committee has
been favourable, and it is generally understood that the leaders of
the French Republic do not wish to quarrel with the Swiss. We are
gradually withdrawing and disbanding our militia. Geneva will be left
to sink or swim, according to the humour of the people; and our last
hope appears to be, that by submission and good behaviour we shall
avert for some time the impending storm.

[Sidenote: FLIGHT OF A FRENCH GENERAL.]

A few days ago, an odd incident happened in the French army; the
desertion of the general. As the Neckers were sitting, about eight
o'clock in the evening, in their drawing-room at Rolle, the door
flew open, and they were astounded by their servant's announcing
_Monsieur le General de Montesquiou_! On the receipt of some secret
intelligence of a _decrét d'accusation_, and an order to arrest
him, he had only time to get on horseback, to gallop through
Geneva, to take boat for Coppet, and to escape from his pursuers,
who were ordered to seize him alive or dead. He left the Neckers
after supper, passed through Lausanne in the night, and proceeded
to Berne and Basle, whence he intended to wind his way through
Germany, amidst enemies of every description, and to seek a refuge
in England, America, or the moon. He told Necker, that the sole
remnant of his fortune consisted in a wretched sum of twenty thousand
livres; but the public report, or suspicion, bespeaks him in much
better circumstances. Besides the reproach of acting with too much
tameness and delay, he is accused of making very foul and exorbitant
contracts:[282] and it is certain that new Sparta is infected
with this vice beyond the example of the most corrupt monarchy.
Kellerman[283] is arrived to take the command; and it is apprehended
that on the first of December, after the departure of the Swiss, the
French may _request_ the permission of using Geneva, a friendly city,
for their winter quarters. In that case, the democratical revolution,
which we all foresee, will be very speedily effected.[284]

I would ask you, whether you apprehend there was any treason in the
Duke of Brunswick's retreat, and whether you have totally withdrawn
your confidence and esteem from that once-famed general? Will it
be possible for England to preserve her neutrality with any honour
or safety? We are bound, as I understand, by treaty, to guarantee
the dominions of the King of Sardinia and the Austrian provinces
of the Netherlands. These countries are now invaded and over-run
by the French. Can we refuse to fulfil our engagements, without
exposing ourselves to all Europe as a perfidious or pusillanimous
nation? Yet, on the other hand, can we assist those allies, without
plunging headlong into an abyss, whose bottom no man can discover?
But my chief anxiety is for our domestic tranquillity; for I must
find a retreat in England, should I be driven from Lausanne. The
idea of firm and honourable union of parties pleases me much; but
you must frankly unfold what are the great difficulties that may
impede so salutary a measure: you write to a man discreet in speech,
and now careful of papers. Yet what can such a coalition avail if
Fox be detestable and Pitt democratical? Where is the champion
of the constitution? Alas, Lord Guildford! I am much pleased with
the Manchester ass. The asses or wolves who sacrificed him have
cast off the mask too soon; and such a nonsensical act must open
the eyes of many simple patriots, who might have been led astray
by the specious name of reform. It should be made as notorious as
possible. Next winter may be the crisis of our fate, and if you begin
to improve the constitution, you may be driven step by step from
the disfranchisement of Old Sarum to the king in Newgate, the lords
voted useless, the bishops abolished, and a house of commons without
articles (_sans culottes_).

[Sidenote: MADAME DE STAEL.]

Necker has ordered you a copy of his royal defence, which has met
with, and deserved, universal success. The pathetic and argumentative
parts are, in my opinion, equally good, and his mild eloquence may
persuade without irritating. I have applied to this gentler tone some
verses of Ovid (Metamorph. 1. iii. 302, &c.[285]) which you may read.
Madame de Stael has produced a second son. She talks wildly enough
of visiting England this winter.* Her friend the Vicomte de Narbonne
is somewhere about Dorking. If you could shew him any civilities she
would thank us both. She is a pleasant little woman.

No news from Basil or Ostend of my Madeira. Pray contrive to get me
a mortgage; there is nothing like land or landed security. Poor Mrs.
G. in such a state! I can only wish her an easy dismission. I wish
the same to poor Severy, whose *condition is hopeless. Should he drag
through the winter, Madame de S. would scarcely survive him. She
kills herself with grief and fatigue. What a difference in Lausanne!
I hope triple answers are on the road. I must write soon; the _times_
will not allow me to read or think. Ever yours.*

No. 6 (I believe). Send me a list of these letters, with their
respective dates.

  [281] _I.e._ the treaty of November 2.

  [282] The report of the Diplomatic Committee (November 21) on the
  treaties which Montesquieu had signed with Geneva, speaks of him
  as a man who "had put his name to many fraudulent and usurious
  proceedings, and who appeared to regard the Revolution as a
  speculation and a new kind of stock-jobbing."

  [283] François Christophe de Kellerman (1735-1820) was the hero
  of the battle of Valmy. In 1804 he was created Duc de Valmy by
  Napoleon.

  [284] Gibbon's surmise proved correct. On December 3, and again
  on December 27, the _Représentants_ rose in arms, threatened to
  call in the aid of the French army if they were opposed, and
  replaced the Petit Conseil and the Conseil des Deux-Cents by two
  committees, organized on a popular basis, who exercised all the
  powers which were previously in the hands of the aristocracy.

  [285]

    Quà tamen usque potest, vires sibi demere tentat.
    Nec, quo centimanum dejecerat igne Typhœa,
    Nunc armatur eo: nimiùm feritatis in illo.
    Est aliud levius fulmen; cui dextra Cyclopum
    Sævitiæ, flammæque minus, minus addidit iræ:
    Tela secunda vocant Superi.



  608.

  _To his Stepmother._


  Lausanne, Nov. 25, 1792.

  MY DEAREST MADAM,

  My friend Lord Sheffield has just informed of your late illness
  and happy recovery, and though I will not oppress you by a long
  letter, I cannot refrain from writing six lines to express my
  concern for the one and my joy for the other. It is my intention
  (if any road be open) to reach England early next summer, when
  I shall hasten to Bath, and hope to find you perfectly revived
  in health and spirits. We have had some slight alarms in this
  country, but they are now past, and amidst the general hurricane
  we hope to sleep without any troublesome dreams. Adieu, my Dear
  Madam; if your hand be too feeble to write yourself, could you
  not employ that of a friend to send me a short and sincere
  account?

  I am
  Ever yours,
  E. GIBBON.



  609.

  _Lord Sheffield to Edward Gibbon._


  Downing Street, 14 Dec., 1792.

  Being harrassed in an extraordinary degree, I with ease persuaded
  myself that it should be better to delay my letter till this
  day, that I might say what passed in opening the Parliament
  yesterday.[286] Your extraordinary effort to write so much
  would have immediately forced me to answer if I had not known
  that Maria had despatched a packet, and that My Lady threatened
  another. I must acknowledge that Maria pressed me every post to
  take up the political part of the correspondence. But you will be
  satisfied with my occupation lately.

  [Sidenote: THE CONSTITUTION IS THE FRENZY.]

  Government had information (I know it to be very serious, and
  not from them). The sudden withdrawing of the Troops from the
  coast to the City, the extraordinary assembling of Parliament,
  the calling out of a part of the Militia, of course caused great
  alarm, but the effect was good. The middle ranks in town proposed
  Associations.[287] I believe we began in Sussex. I instantly took
  to it, gave a right direction, limited the business to support
  of Constitution as now established, and of exerting the Civil
  power which should be found necessary at this extraordinary
  crisis instead of patchwork and partial association by Towns.
  I have promoted one in each of the twelve Divisions of the
  County. My Division meets first. The Plan ran like wild-fire.
  The Constitution is the phrenzy more than Liberty, property and
  no excise, or coalition ever was. All the parishes in London are
  associating.

  I had written the first page when the Princess d'Henin, who
  left Boulogne yesterday, entered my room, and the now immediate
  departure of post only allows me to say that Charles Fox on
  moving the amendment of the Address[288] uttered the most
  mischievous doctrines, principles, &c., that could at this
  time be invented, declaring himself, however, a friend to the
  Constitution, yet admitting the necessity of some changes. We
  (Country Gentlemen) opposed him, 290 to 50.[289] Lord Lansdown's
  men included in the latter. Most of the others were only with him
  because they thought it better not to throw him out of all chance
  of control. Just as I came into this house I met Lord Bute, who
  told me the Irish Catholicks were in arms. Whether we shall have
  war with France is far from settled.

  I shall write by next post.

  [286] On December 1 an Order in Council was passed, calling
  out part of the militia. Another portion was called out on the
  western and southern coasts by a second Order of December 5.
  Parliament met on December 13 to ratify the step taken by the
  Government, within the fourteen days required by statute.

  [287] An association was formed, in November, 1792, at the St.
  Alban's Tavern, of members of Parliament and other persons of
  influence, including Lord Sheffield. A declaration was issued,
  stating that, in the opinion of those who signed it, it was in
  the present moment incumbent upon us "to give to the executive
  government a vigorous and effectual support, in counteracting the
  numerous efforts of sedition, in detecting and bringing to legal
  punishment the persons concerned therein, and in suppressing in
  their beginnings all tumults or riots, on whatever pretence they
  may be excited." Another association at the Crown and Anchor,
  presided over by Mr. Reeves, a barrister, and containing in the
  list of signatures the name of J. T. Batt, Lord Sheffield's
  friend, issued a similar declaration. Other associations were
  formed with the same object by the merchants and bankers of
  London, by the merchants, etc., at Lloyd's, by the general body
  of Protestant Dissenters in London and Westminster, by many of
  the Livery Companies, and by the Corporation of the City of
  London. The declaration to be signed in the county of Sussex is
  quoted in full at the beginning of the _Gentleman's Magazine_
  for July to December, 1792. The following note is added:
  "Association, on the best principle, is taking place throughout
  England, and nowhere in a better form than in Sussex, under the
  auspices of Lord Sheffield."

  [288] Fox, on December 13, declared the calling out of the
  militia to be a "ministerial manœuvre," and moved as an amendment
  to the address, "That his Majesty's faithful Commons, assembled
  in a manner new and alarming to the country, think it their first
  duty, and will make it their first business, to inform themselves
  of the causes of this measure, being equally zealous to enforce
  a due obedience to the laws on the one hand, and a faithful
  execution of them on the other."

  [289] Lord Malmesbury thus analyzes the minority: "21 were
  reformers, 4 Lord Lansdowne's members, and the rest people
  personally attached to Fox, and who, from this feeling, and
  _against their sentiments_, voted with him. Such were Crewe,
  Lord Edward Bentinck, Lord George Cavendish, Lord Milton, Lionel
  Damer, and others" (_Diaries and Correspondence_, vol. ii. p.
  476).



610.

_Lord Sheffield to Edward Gibbon._


  Sheffield Place, 20th Dec., '92.

[Sidenote: JACOBINISM IN ENGLAND.]

I wrote in much haste to you last Friday, and I know not at this time
what I wrote. I suppose I mentioned to you that Fox had, contrary
to the opinion of all the considerable and respectable men of the
Party, uttered everything that his worst enemy could wish, and
avowed everything which he seemed to keep back last Sessions. It is
impossible to imagine anything more injudicious or more mischievous
at this time. Every man in the street asked, "Is he mad?" On the
report of the address he maintained still more extravagant language
than the day before. The next day, Saturday, he moved an Address to
the King to acknowledge and send an Embassy to the Republic, or to
that effect.[290] I had been considerably _elevated_ by his speeches
of the preceding day, and just before I came down to the House, I
heard that Brissot had announced in his newspaper of the 10th, as a
measure of Opposition, the acknowledgment of the Republic and an
Embassy. I did not suppose that Fox had any communication with him,
but it seemed that somebody who was in his councils had connection
with Brissot. Thus figged, the moment Fox sat down, I burst, and
expressed myself pretty vigorously, and I was not sorry for the
opportunity, as I knew the country gentlemen were properly disposed,
and I was glad to shew a _good example_. Some followed strongly
against Fox's conduct. The speeches are wretchedly given in the
common newspapers, but there is a good report of what I said in the
Diary and Morning Chronicle, and if there should be room, Maria shall
copy it at the end of this letter, as it is not long.

Your last letter of the 26th Nov. is not the 6th, but the 5th
Bulletin of affairs in your neighbourhood. While you continue to
write you shall have frequent accounts from hence.

I had not an opportunity of learning distinctly whether Pitt has at
last positively declined the admission of Fox into Administration. I
have heard it said that he had, and that he had not, both seemingly
from good authority, but in truth I forgot to enquire from the
only quarter that could inform. The Duke of Portland is greatly
distressed by Fox's conduct--if he were to be desired, he might
become more desperate.--Lord Loughborough is more vigorous in his
opinion of the matter. There seems at present no probability of his
accepting the Great Seal. It would be a situation of uncertainty,
his acceptance would be reprobated, and he would involve himself in
much more trouble and difficulty than at present; yet I do not see
how Government can go on without a considerable addition of force.
It seems to me, however, agreed among the better part of us in
Opposition not to distress or obstruct Government by opposition at
this time. The business is too serious. Jacobinism had lately slid
rapidly through many parts of the country. Emissaries of all sorts
and in great numbers have been very busy, and at a great expence.

I believe that I mentioned in a late letter that the Chief of
the Propaganda was here.--Rotombeau,[291] the most execrable of
wretches, is here, and bragged that with his own hand he had murdered
the Lamballe and 38 persons in one day. Many Frenchmen landed upon
different parts of our coast with arms. Some imported them regularly
and paid duty for them. Several men landed even near Ipswich with
Fire-locks, Side-arms, and a dagger. The officer commanding took them
from them, and the Mayor ordered them to be stored. The numbers in
London were very great--a very considerable number of persons there,
and especially in the Borough, were in concert with them. However
wild it may appear, the Plan was to surprize the Tower and to deliver
the hundred thousand muskets in the Armoury to the people, who they
supposed would follow them. The number who have associated in the
several clubs is said to consist of many thousands. Government had
notice that an attack would be made on Sat. the 1st Decr. All the
night of Friday Artillery and Artillery-men were marching to the
Tower from Woolwich, and before day-break it was well-guarded. All
this I know and not from friends of Government. The Tower has since
been much strengthened; the gates fortified, the Ditch cleansed,
and a considerable body of men is now there. All the Cavalry and
Regulars within a hundred miles of London, were brought to its close
neighbourhood.

[Sidenote: FOX'S MISCHIEVOUS SPEECHES.]

The country was of course alarmed, the shopkeepers at Lewes proposed
Association in favour of the Constitution, the same disposition
seems to have arisen at the same time in different parts of England.
Finding it likely to run, I have been very active in giving it a
direction. It appeared to me that nothing could be more advantageous
than arranging the minds of the people under a good Principle,
while they were in a ferment, and when once committed by their
signature, it was likely they would be strenuous for measures which I
endeavoured to make their own, as much as possible. Every division of
this county is forming Associations to support the Civil Power, and
declaring in favour of a Government by King, Lords and Commons. The
spirit is going through the whole kingdom. The Jacobins seem to be
totally crushed and dismayed. Many French fled to the Ports to secure
a passage. Whether C. Fox's speeches will revive them, I do not yet
know, but they certainly will encourage many of the miscreants within
the country. I do not know whether I mentioned to you the great
facility with which several people, even in this county, talk of the
foolish expence of maintaining a royal family. Association, giving an
opportunity to such an immense proportion of the people to shew their
attachment to the Constitution, has an excellent effect, and I have
no doubt that the French Devils on the excellent appearance of things
will give up their machinations. On the late explosion Rotombeau made
an attempt to fly--he was told he would be safer in London. He is
well _spied_--he sees four hundred persons in a day. I believe he is
now gone.

I came here on Sunday to attend a great meeting of Associations
(which I had promoted) on Monday. I intended to return, but on
Tuesday I wrote to the D. of Portland & to Lord Loughborough, and
told them I was so disgusted with Fox's conduct that I thought they
would agree with me, that I had better remain at Sheffield Place till
Parliament meets for business after Christmas. That I was sure a
very small number of members indeed would follow him in his present
career. That, as a well-wisher to the tranquility and safety of the
country, I need not be apprehensive of any mischief, except what may
arise from the language he holds, which cannot be prevented. That
I do not like to seem separate from men with whom I have zealously
acted ten out of the thirteen years of my political life.


(_Continued by the Hon. Maria Holroyd._)

My Lord's Speech, taken from the Diary--he rose immediately after
Mr. Fox's motion for an Embassy to France. "It is impossible to
be silent. Are we then in that deplorable situation? Are we the
vilest and most contemptible of nations? Are we to be the first to
acknowledge, and cringe to these cut-throats and robbers, who have
not the recommendation of being able to controul their own Banditti?
Are we to league with them, to act in concert with them? How soon
they may be invited here, he should not then attempt to guess--or
to say how soon our gaols may be filled with the most respectable
persons of the Nation, for the purpose of murdering them in cold
blood without a trial--or how soon the most amiable of our women and
of the highest ranks may lie on straw crowded in the most loathsome
gaols, as in France, with the lowest dregs of the people, faultless
however, except that their fathers, husbands, or sons may have
ventured to maintain the constitution; he should leave to others more
able than he was to detail the mischiefs of the monstrous proposition
that had been made. He was too much agitated to attempt it. He was
almost ashamed of the enthusiasm he had hitherto felt in favour of
the Right Honourable Mover. It is true he had made much enquiry, but
he hoped other country gentlemen would communicate what they knew
of the state of the country. In respect to war, he believed every
man wished to avert it. That the surest means of avoiding it would
be by vigorous preparation for it, and if it could not be avoided,
that it would be better policy to meet it, than wait for it. That the
Disturbers of the World when they had over-run other nations, envying
and dreading our prosperity, would not fail with double force to
visit us. His Lordship concluded with some observations on the late
measures, and told the Ministers, that although he commended their
promptness and vigour, yet he could not approve their unjustifiable
interpretation of the word--Insurrection. They would have done much
better if they had acknowledged that, in consequence of some uncommon
danger which impended, they had for the public good laid themselves
under the necessity of applying to the Legislature for indemnity, but
that he had not objected to the Address or supported the Amendment,
because he would not seem to countenance the many mischievous
principles and suggestions which had been heard in that House the
last two days from the Mover of the Amendment."

  [290] On Saturday, December 15, Fox moved that an address be
  presented to his Majesty, "that a minister may be sent to Paris
  to treat with those persons who exercise provisionally the
  functions of executive government in France." The motion was
  negatived without a division.

  [291] "Some of the very worst of the French murderers on the 10th
  of August and beginning of September have been here, particularly
  one _Rotundo_, who was a principal performer in the massacres
  of the prisoners on the 2nd and 3rd of September. He was one of
  the executioners of Madame de Lamballe, of which I understand he
  boasted when in England, for I hear he is gone back" (_Life and
  Letters of Sir Gilbert Elliot_, vol. ii. p. 91). It is difficult
  to trace the foundation for the statement. One Petit Mamin was
  accused of having boasted that he had killed the princess; but he
  denied having made the boast, and proved, to the satisfaction of
  the jury, that he was not in Paris at the time (Mortimer-Ternaux,
  _Histoire de la Terreur_, 1792-94, vol. iii. pp. 632, 633).
  In Lescure's _Vie de la Princesse de Lamballe_ (pp. 426-428)
  the names of the murderers are given as Charlat and Grison. M.
  Feuillet de Conches (_Louis XVI., Marie Antoinette, et Madame
  Elisabeth_, vol. vi. p. 316) says that Gonchon was the name of
  the man who first struck down the princess.



611.

_To Lord Sheffield._


  Lausanne, Dec. 14th, 1792.

*Our little storm has now completely subsided, and we are again
spectators, though anxious spectators, of the general tempest that
invades or threatens almost every country of Europe. Our troops
are every day disbanding and returning home, and the greatest part
of the French have evacuated the neighbourhood of Geneva. Monsieur
Barthelemy,[292] whom you have seen secretary in London, is most
courteously entertained, as ambassador, by the Helvetic body. He is
now at Berne, where a Diet will speedily be convened; the language
on both sides is now pacific, and even friendly, and some hopes are
given of a provision for the officers of the Swiss guards who have
survived the Massacres of Paris.

  [292] François, Marquis de Barthélemy (1750-1830), concluded
  three treaties at Basle in 1795--with Prussia, the United
  Provinces, and Spain. He was a member of the Directory; but,
  suspected for his moderation, was sent, first to Cayenne, then to
  Sinnamari. Thence he escaped to England. He assisted in drawing
  up the charter at the restoration of Louis XVIII.


  January 1st, 1793.

[Sidenote: REVOLUTION AT GENEVA.]

With the return of peace I have relapsed into my former indolence;
but now awakening, after a fortnight's slumber, I have little or
nothing to add, with regard to the internal state of this country,
only the revolution of Geneva has already taken place, as I
announced, but sooner than I expected. The Swiss troops had no sooner
evacuated the place, than the _Egaliseurs_, as they are called,
assembled in arms; and as no resistance was made, no blood was shed
on the occasion. They seized the gates, disarmed the garrison,
imprisoned the magistrates, imparted the rights of citizens to all
the rabble of the town and country, and proclaimed a _national_
convention, which has not yet met. They are all for a pure and
absolute Democracy; but wish to remain a small independent state,
whilst others aspire to become a part of the republic of France; and
as the latter, though less numerous, are more violent and absurd than
their adversaries, it is highly probable that they will succeed.
The Citizens of the best families and fortunes have retired from
Geneva into the Pays de Vaud, but the French methods of recalling
or proscribing emigrants will soon be adopted. You must have
observed, that Savoy has now become _le Department du Mont Blanc_. I
cannot satisfy myself whether the mass of the people is pleased or
displeased with the change; but my noble scenery is clouded by the
democratical aspect of twelve leagues of the opposite coast, which
every morning obtrude themselves on my view. I here conclude the
first part of the history of our Alpine troubles, and now consider
myself as disengaged from all promises of periodical writing. Upon
the whole, I kept it beyond our expectation; nor do I think that you
have been sufficiently astonished by the wonderful effort of the
triple dispatch.

You must now succeed to my task, and I shall expect, during the
winter, a regular political journal of the events of your greater
world. You are on the theatre, and may often be behind the scenes.
You can always see, and may sometimes foresee. My own choice has
indeed transported me into a foreign land; but I am truly attached,
from interest and inclination, to my native country; and even as a
Citizen of the World, I wish the stability and happiness of England,
the sole great refuge of mankind against the opposite mischiefs of
despotism and Democracy. I was indeed alarmed, and the more so, as I
saw that you were not without apprehension; but I now glory in the
triumph of reason and genuine patriotism, which seems to pervade the
country; nor do I dislike some mixture of popular enthusiasm, which
may be requisite to encounter our mad or wicked enemies with equal
arms.

The behaviour of* Fox *rather afflicts than surprises me. You may
remember what I told you last year at Lausanne, when you attempted
his defence, that his inmost soul was deeply tinged with Democracy.
Such wild opinions cannot easily be reconciled with his excellent
understanding, but ''tis true 'tis pity, and pity 'tis, 'tis true.'
He will surely ruin himself in the opinion of the wise and good men
of his party. You have now crushed the daring subverters of the
Constitution, but I now fear the moderate well-meaners--reformers.
Do not, I beseech you, tamper with Parliamentary representation. The
present House of Commons forms in _practice_ a body of Gentlemen who
must always sympathize with the interest and opinions of the people,
and the slightest innovation launches you without rudder or compass
on a dark and dangerous ocean of Theoretical experiment. On this
subject I am indeed serious.

Upon the whole, I like the beginning of '93 better than the end
of '92. The illusion seems to break away throughout Europe. I
think England and Switzerland are safe. Brabant adheres to the old
constitution. The Germans are disgusted with the rapine and insolence
of their deliverers. The Pope is resolved to head his armies, and
the Lazzaroni of Naples have presented St. Januarius with a gold
fuzee, to fire on the Brigands Français. So much for politics, which
till now never had such possession of my mind. Next post I will write
about myself and my own designs. Alas, your poor eyes! make the Maria
write; I will speedily answer her. My Lady is still dumb. The German
posts are now slow and irregular. You had better write by the way of
France, under cover, directed to _Le Citoyen Rebours, à Pontarlier,
France_. Adieu.*

  Ever yours,
  G.



612.

_To Lord Sheffield._


  Lausanne, Jan. 6th, 1793.

[Sidenote: OF HIMSELF AND HIS OWN PLANS.]

*There was formerly a time when our correspondence was a painful
discussion of my private affairs; a vexatious repetition of losses,
of disappointments, of sales, &c. These affairs are now decently
arranged: but public cares have now succeeded to private anxiety, and
our whole attention is lately turned from Lenborough and Beriton, to
the political state of France and of Europe. From these politics,
however, one letter shall be free, while I talk of myself and of my
own plans; a subject most interesting to a friend, and only to a
friend.

I know not whether I am sorry or glad that my expedition has been
postponed to the present year. It is true, that I now wish myself in
England, and almost repent that I did not grasp the opportunity when
the obstacles were comparatively smaller than they are now likely to
prove. Yet had I reached you last summer before the month of August,
a considerable portion of my time would be now elapsed, and I should
already begin to think of my departure. If the Gout should spare me
this winter, (and as yet I have not felt any symptom,) and if the
spring should make a soft and early appearance, it is my intention to
be with you in Downing-street before the end of April, and thus to
enjoy six weeks or two months of the most agreeable season of London
and the neighbourhood, after the hurry of parliament is subsided,
and before the great rural dispersion. As the banks of the Rhine
and the Belgic provinces are completely overspread with anarchy and
war, I have made up my mind to pass through the territories of the
French Republic. From the best and most recent information, I am
satisfied that there is little or no real danger in the journey; and
I must arm myself with patience to support the vexatious insolence
of democratical tyranny. I have even a sort of curiosity to spend
some days at Paris, to assist at the debates of the Pandæmonium, to
seek an introduction to the principal Devils, and to contemplate a
new form of public and private life, which never existed before, and
which I devoutly hope will not long continue to exist. Should the
obstacles of health or weather confine me at Lausanne till the month
of May, I shall scarcely be able to resist the temptation of passing
some part at least of the summer in my own little paradise.

But all these schemes must ultimately depend on the great question
of peace and War, which will indeed be speedily determined. Should
France become impervious to an English traveller, what must I do?
I shall not easily resolve to explore my way through the unknown
language and abominable roads of the interior parts of Germany,
to embark in Holland, or perhaps at Hamburgh, and to be finally
intercepted by a French privateer. My stay in England appears not
less doubtful than the means of transporting myself. Should I arrive
in the spring, it is possible, and barely possible, that I should
return here in the autumn; it is much more probable that I shall
pass the winter, and there may be even a chance of my giving my own
country a longer tryal. In my letter to My Lady I fairly exposed
the decline of Lausanne; but such an establishment as mine must not
be lightly abandoned; nor can I discover what adequate mode of life
my private circumstances, easy as they now are, could afford me in
England. London and Bath have doubtless their respective merits, and
I could wish to reside within a day's journey of Sheffield-place.
But a state of perfect happiness is not to be found here below; and
in the possession of my library, house, and garden, with the relicks
of our society, and a frequent intercourse with the Neckers, I may
still be tolerably content. Among the disastrous changes of Lausanne,
I must principally reckon the approaching dissolution of poor Severy
and his family. He is still alive, but in such hopeless and painful
decay, that we no longer conceal our wishes for his speedy release. I
never loved nor esteemed him so much as in this last mortal disease,
which he supports with a degree of courage, patience, and even
chearfulness, beyond all belief. His wife, whose whole time and soul
are devoted to him, is almost sinking under her long anxiety. The
children are most amiably assiduous to both their parents, and at all
events, his filial duties and worldly cares must detain the son some
time at home.

[Sidenote: A LITERARY SECRET.]

And now approach, and let me drop into your most private ear, a
literary secret. Of the Memoirs little has been done, and with that
little I am not satisfied. They must be postponed till a mature
season; and I much doubt whether the book and the author can ever
see the light at the same time. But I have long revolved in my mind
another scheme of Biographical writing: the lives, or rather the
characters, of the most eminent persons in arts and arms, in Church
and State, who have flourished in Britain from the reign of Henry
VIII. to the present age. This work, extensive as it may be, would
be an amusement rather than a toil: the materials are accessible
in our own language, and for the most part ready to my hands: but
the subject, which would afford a rich display of human nature and
domestic history, would powerfully address itself to the feelings of
every Englishman. The taste or fashion of the times seems to delight
in picturesque decorations; and this series of British portraits
might aptly be accompanied by the respective heads, taken from
originals, and engraved by the best masters. Alderman Boydell,[293]
and his son-in-law, Mr. George Nicol, bookseller in Pallmall, are
the great undertakers in this line;* but your negociation with them
will require the dexterity of an Auckland or a Malmsbury, as it is
most essential that I be solicited, and do not solicit. In your walk
through Pall Mall, you may call on the bookseller, who appeared to
me an intelligent man, and after some general questions about his
Edition of Shakespeare, &c., you may open the British portraits as an
idea of your own to which I am perfectly a stranger. If he kindles
at the thought, and eagerly claims my alliance, you will begin to
hesitate. "I am afraid, Mr. Nichols, that we shall hardly persuade
my friend to engage in so great a work. Gibbon is old, and rich, and
lazy. However, you may make the tryal, and if you have a mind to
write to Lausanne (as I do not know when he will be in England), I
will send the application."

On the receipt of his proposal, the business will come properly
before me, and it will then be in my power to deliberate, to demur,
to state observations, and to prescribe terms. Should Nichols or
Boydell be cool, you will be still colder; I shall hear from you the
tone and motives of their refusal, and on my arrival in England I
shall be free to consider, whether it may suit me to proceed in a
mere literary work without any other decorations than those which
it may derive from the pen of the author. *It is a serious truth,
that I am no longer ambitious of fame or money; that my habits of
industry are much impaired, and that I have reduced my studies to be
the loose amusement of my morning hours, the repetition of which will
insensibly lead me to the last term of existence. And for this very
reason I shall not be sorry to bind myself by a liberal engagement,
from which I may not with honour recede.

Before I conclude, we must say a word or two of Parliamentary and
pecuniary concerns. 1. We all admire the generous spirit with which
you damned the Assassins, but I hope that your abjuration of all
future connection with Fox was not quite so peremptory as it is
stated in the French papers. Let him do what he will, I must love
the dog. The opinion of Parliament in favour of Louis XVI. was
declared in a manner worthy of the representatives of a great and
wise nation.[294] It will certainly have a powerful effect; and if
the poor King be not already murdered, I am satisfied that his life
is in safety: but is such a life worth his care? Our debates will
now become every day more interesting; and as I only expect from
you opinions and anecdotes, I most earnestly conjure you to send me
Woodfall's Register, with the margins cut close, as often (and that
must be very often) as the occasion deserves it.* My direction, more
distinctly than in my last letter, must be under cover to Le Citoyen
le Rebours, Maitre de Poste a Pontarlier, dans le department du
Doubs. *I now spare no expense for news.*

2. Will it never be possible to get me a good Mortgage for my £3000?
I believe it may be advisable to change my stock from the Short
Annuities, the value of which is wearing every day, to the 3 per
Cents., which are now so low. Notwithstanding Sainsbury's death,
I hope the Buriton interest is regularly paid; when there is a
stoppage, the Goslings might give you or me notice that I may not
be exposed to the danger of overdrawing. I want to have Caplin's
direction, as I may have some orders that should be executed before
my arrival. We have written twice to Ostend without obtaining an
answer. Have you had no better success? I tremble for my Madeira.

*I want some account of Mrs. G.'s health. Will my lady never write?
How can people be so indolent! I suppose this will find you at
Sheffield-place during the recess, and that the heavy baggage will
not move until after the birthday. Shall I be with you by the first
of May? The Gods only know. I almost wish that I had accompanied
Madame de Staël.*

  Ever yours,
  E. G.

  [293] Boydell was Lord Mayor in 1790-91.

  [294] On December 21, 1792, a copy was read to the House of
  Commons of the instructions sent to Earl Gower, the British
  Ambassador at Paris, signifying his recall in August on the
  ground that, as the executive power was withdrawn from Louis
  XVI., the credentials under which the ambassador acted were no
  longer available. In the instructions, the king, while "adhering
  to the principles of neutrality in respect to the settlement of
  the internal government of France," considered it "no deviation
  from those principles to manifest, by all the means in his power,
  his solicitude for the personal situation of their most Christian
  majesties, and their royal family; and he earnestly and anxiously
  hopes that they will, at least, be secure from any acts of
  violence, which cannot fail to produce one universal sentiment of
  indignation through every country of Europe." It was unanimously
  resolved that the paper should remain on the table of the House.
  The king was sentenced to death by the Convention, January 17,
  1793. His appeal to the nation was rejected, January 19-20, and
  the final sentence announced to him on Sunday, January 20. He was
  executed the following day.



613.

_Lord Sheffield to Edward Gibbon._


  Sheffield Place, Jan. 23rd, 1793.

Your silence, which seemed long after your extraordinary epistolary
efforts, threw the family into a state of revolt; we abjured writing
to you until we had further information of your state, &c. Your
letters of the 1st & 6th (the latter rec^{d}. this day) promoted an
immediate search for this large sheet of paper.

[Sidenote: LORD SHEFFIELD ON SWISS POLITICS.]

In respect to the French Revolution at Geneva, I consider it in a
very serious light. I am perfectly satisfied that if a War with
England does not take place, that the execrable french demons will
produce the same Revolution in the Pays de Vaud. From what has
passed lately, I have entirely changed my opinion of the Swiss
character. I no longer expect that noble resistance which was
supposed characteristic of them. This mortifies me, but I see a
greater probability of your re-establishment in England than I had
flattered myself with before. I acknowledge that no creature could
leave your spot without deep regret. It is eminently beautiful and
pleasant. Its convenience is of your own creation, your books are
there--but tho' the translation of them to this island might cost you
£400, it would not be impossible expence.

But war between this country and France is more certain than you
seem to think it. You could not have read Lord Grenville's notice of
Chauvelin's Paper.[295] I like it much, it seemed to show that War is
inevitable--indeed letters received this day mention it as certain,
and Chauvelin's departure is immediately expected. The Devils seem
damnably afraid of us, and I hope with reason. There can be little
doubt that Spain and Holland will heartily join and compleat the
Circle of Fire, except on the frontier of your poor Swiss. Surely
it will be more politick and more economick for us to engage, when
backed by all Europe, than to fight them single-handed hereafter. Our
merchants however affect to be panic-struck on Acct. of our Turkey
fleet, which they say is worth a million sterling. I should not
forget a strange dilemma in which we find ourselves through a most
extraordinary neglect of that essential naval store--cordage. All
the Rope-yards in England will not in a considerable time be able to
supply the quantity that is wanted. I have the pleasure however of
observing that the War is not likely to be unpopular. Charles F. and
they who bellowed most against it certainly most wish it, because it
is the only thing that can eventually overturn the Administration.
But you remark how few join in the cry against War. None of the
innumerable declarations of Associations give the smallest hint of
disapprobation.

[Sidenote: FOX AND THE DUKE OF PORTLAND.]

I believe I mentioned that I thought, if C. Fox should manage
prudently, that the Party would not suffer essentially. But he seems
totally to have discarded all attention to that respectable and most
necessary though vulgar condescension. In the Debate,[296] when Sir
Gilbert Elliot stated that the Duke of Portland entirely differed
from C. Fox, the latter distinctly said, that he had no reason to
think so, but if that was the case, there was nothing left for him
to do, but either to carry on the most fruitless opposition or to
quit Parliament. It is said he went next morning to the Duke and
repeated his threat to quit Parliament. The Duke was induced to send
the Marquis of Titchfield to the House of Commons to contradict in
a degree, or at least give a different colour to what Sir Gilbert
had said, although the latter had taken down in writing the Duke's
sentiments which he had delivered to the House. It is a most serious
business to cast off or deny the Leader of the Party in the House of
Commons, and such a man as Fox, with whom he has always acted. But
it seems probable from the spirit of the times that the Duke will
ruin himself with the Publick by adhering to him. It is probable
that he will still remain enthralled with a connection which at this
moment is neither consistent with his opinions, his interest, nor
his estimation with those who have hitherto highly respected him;
should that happen, it is impossible to unite two confidences so
entirely opposite to each other, and no party can hold men together
whose views for the Publick Interest are so totally different. The
state of the times will accelerate decision. The ambiguous state
in which things were left at the time of the Recess, must in some
way be cleared up before our meeting, which is to take place a week
hence.[297]

Every appearance indicates War--a War for the very existence of the
Constitution--half measures cannot be pursued with safety or honour.
Charles seemed disposed to support the enemies of the country,
against the country, as he and his Party did the last War. You will
recollect how it used to affect my nerves, and how I used to execrate
the conduct of Opposition. The second attempt at the same vile game
revolts me in the highest degree, and I think it will be impossible
for me ever to follow such a leader. I have kept out of the way, yet
I find the Country Gentlemen and many others much disposed to follow
the style I took up so vigorously on the proposition being made to
acknowledge the Republick. What I then said is _vaunted_ throughout
Europe far beyond what it deserves. It has been nobly seconded by the
Country Gentlemen. It certainly was not pronounced with indifference,
but with the most hearty zeal. It was a natural effort, and probably
the best of the kind I had ever made, and the friends of Government
said it was the best and most useful speech that will probably be
made this Sessions.

I hear since my absence that others and of high consequence are tired
and disgusted with the uncertainty of the situation in which some of
our friends have placed themselves, and with the multiplied intrigues
that have been used to keep them in that state. In the country, by
all accounts, and certainly in town, there has been a very general
consent to the measures which have been taken to resist all that
torrent of evil which was pouring in upon us from France; and it is
truly mortifying, that those, who have done great good by their early
favor to those measures, should suffer their conduct to be obscured
and lose the credit of their good intentions. I believe I mentioned
that I had reason to suppose L^d. L. would not accept the Seals,
unless there should be something like a general coalition. But this
was before the meeting of Parliament. Several of my correspondents
say that he is certainly to have them immediately. The _disorganized_
state of the Party and the wrong-headedness of a Chief among the
Commons have perhaps promoted it.

In respect to your passage to this country. War renders it very
difficult. After a declaration, you, especially a notorious
aristocrate, will hardly venture it--a degree of acrimony is to be
expected, and ought to be promoted by us between the two countries.
The Rhine will not be a desireable route for such an unweildy
personage, who could not easily shift as difficulties arose, but you
might travel the road by which Mrs. Moss returned,--by Stutgard and
Frankfort, without touching upon the Rhine till she came to Cologne.
From Cologne or Dusseldörf you might find your way to the Hague, and
there our friend Lord Auckland would contrive to amuse you till he
could find a passage in a Frigate for you to England. I by no means
intend to recommend this route to you early in the Spring, but in
Summer, when the invading armies will probably have left the Rhine in
their rear. But until they have left its neighbourhood--Frankfort,
&c., I do not see a chance of even a more active person passing that
way without disagrement. In short, I should think you rather wild if
you attempted to go to Paris, even if there were not war; and if you
were there, the uncivilized crowding at the Pandemonium would not
delight you.

[Sidenote: EXECUTION OF LOUIS XVI.]

Since this was began a letter from the D. of Richmond announces the
horrid account received yesterday from Paris, that, the King was
condemned to death on Sunday, was to be executed on Monday,[298]
and that a general massacre of his friends was expected. I have not
words to express myself. Life cannot be desireable to the unfortunate
man--the abomination will in the end be useful--the execration of the
World will be uniform and the extirpation of the miscreants surely
must and will follow. The abhorrence of their principles will be
compleat check to the further spreading of the greatest evils we have
ever heard of, and on account of the odium which shall fall on their
whole system. I rejoice that the worse than savage act should be done
by the Assembly rather than by a tumultuous mob. I can hardly think
on any other subject.

Another letter acquaints me that Parliament will meet for business
sooner than I expected. Dundas has given notice of a message to come
down on Monday the 31st, equivalent to a declaration of War.[299]

I shall send the diary as you desire; I was astonished to receive
your letters with the Pontarlier post-mark. You may know best; I
should not have supposed France the surest way for them, as the War
cannot last. I shall not think of selling your stock to lay it out on
a Mortgage at present. I shall consult Darrell on the rational plan
of exchanging the short annuities into 3 per Cents. I have told you
more than once that I had information of your Madeira, and that it
was moving towards you at last. Whether de Custine has since tasted
it, I cannot say, but I shall enquire. I fear some letters must have
miscarried. Mention dates.

I shall never consent to your dropping the Memoirs. Keep that work
always going; but you should decide whether the book and the author
are to see the light together, because it might be differently
filled up according to that decision. A man may state many things
in a posthumous work, that he might not in another; the latter
often checks the introduction of many curious thoughts and facts.
But I like your Biographical plan very much. It will give great
satisfaction, and it may last as long as yourself. What think you
of the manner of Plutarch? I shall mention the matter to Nicholls.
Well-engraved portraits is a decoration that will be desired by
all. We have a slight work by Birch[300] which you know, and which
accompanies some very good portraits.

We hear with most sincere concern of the state of that eminently
honest _gentleman_, poor de Severy, and were highly concerned for the
family. It must be obvious to you that a tolerable situation for the
son, in the way you wish, becomes every day more unpromising. Nothing
but the North and part of Germany is open, and the passage there
during the war will not tempt our great people to send their sons,
and I know and you may readily suppose that the market is overstocked
in the greatest degree by the numberless Frenchmen of fashion who are
soliciting for the office on any terms. So many solicit for them,
Severy has scarce a chance during War.

I saw in a Newspaper some time ago a Paragraph which stated several
circumstances concerning your present situation at Lausanne, and
added that the account came from a noble Lord. I was a good deal
annoyed, altho' the circumstance of great incorrectness proved that
it did not come from me.

  [295] Chauvelin had been accredited by Louis XVI. in May, 1792.
  But he now (December 27) addressed a note to Lord Grenville, as
  agent of the Executive Council of the French Republic, asking
  whether Great Britain was to be considered as a belligerent or
  as a neutral power. Lord Grenville declined (December 31) to
  acknowledge his official position, but explained the policy of
  the British Government. On January 18, 1793, Lord Grenville
  replied to M. Chauvelin that the British Government would
  continue its preparations to protect the country and its allies,
  and to oppose a barrier to French views of aggrandizement and
  the propagation of destructive principles. On January 24, M.
  Chauvelin was ordered to leave the kingdom within eight days. He
  left on January 25. The Convention declared war against England
  and Holland, February 8, 1793, and against Spain, March 7.

  [296] Lord Sheffield alludes to the debate on the second reading
  of the Alien Bill (December 28, 1792). Fox opposed the Bill; Sir
  Gilbert Elliot spoke for it, and stated that the Duke of Portland
  was in its favour, and that the majority of the Opposition,
  of which the duke was the leader, intended to support the
  Government. After the debate, Elliot, Wyndham, and Fox met at
  the Duke of Portland's, when the duke stated that Sir Gilbert
  had correctly expressed his views. Fox, however, recovered
  his ascendency over the Duke of Portland, who authorized the
  Marquis of Titchfield (December 31), his eldest son, M.P. for
  Buckinghamshire, to confine the support of the Opposition to this
  particular measure. The marquis ended his speech with an attack
  upon the individual ministers, a passage added, it is said, by
  Fox, which neutralized the effect of his support (_Diaries and
  Correspondence of Lord Malmesbury_, vol. ii. pp. 494, 495).

  [297] The Parliamentary recess lasted from January 4 to January
  28, 1793.

  [298] Louis XVI. was executed in the Place de la Révolution at
  10.22 in the morning of Monday, January 21, 1793.

  [299] The message was delivered on January 28, laying before the
  House the correspondence between Lord Grenville and M. Chauvelin,
  and asking for an augmentation of the forces by sea and land.

  [300] _The Heads of Illustrious Persons of Great Britain, with
  their Lives and Characters_, 2 vols. fol., 1743-52, by the Rev.
  Thomas Birch, D.D. The engravings are by Houbraken, Gravelot, and
  Vertue.



614.

_Lord Sheffield to Edward Gibbon._


  Downing Street, 29th Jan., '93.

Yesterday I dined with the Lord High Chancellor Loughborough and his
Lady just as he had returned from the Queen's House with the Seals.
I came from the country the day before to attend the King's message,
which you will see in the papers. I am provoked to write to you a
post sooner than I intended by letters from a miserable Frenchman
in Switzerland, who signs himself Naijeiraud, chez Madame Lizardex,
née Valtravers, au Bureau d'Avis, à Lausanne. He dates his letter
from Payerne and Friburg. They contain expressions of the greatest
distress. He supposes me the Director of all the hospitable measures
in England. Enquire for him immediately, do something for him
immediately, and learn whether he does not merit more. His letters
are shocking to read. I shall not dislike to pay you; yet as you are
a rich old fellow, I am of opinion you will take an opportunity of
doing something yourself or of ordering some subscriptions in your
name in this country.

[Sidenote: FOX AND HIS FOLLOWERS.]

I observe no others going into office with Lord Loughborough. The D.
of Port. is enthralled by Charles Fox, notwithstanding he declares
he thinks as we do on the present topics, who do not mean to follow
Ch. Fox again. Many adhere to D. of Portland however, yet highly
disapproving C. Fox's conduct. The latter, Erskine and Grey, &c.,
were daily and publickly with Chauvelin, &c., before his departure.

Maret[301] is just come with credentials from the Republick, and it
is said with _carte blanche_, and to enquire whether we will receive
Dumouriez; offers to withdraw Troops from all the countries attacked,
to do what we please in respect to Commercial Treaty, and to abide
our arrangement of Peace with Europe. If this be true, it may
embarras ministers here how to treat with Pache[302] or men who may
not exist two days. Would it not be infamous in respect to all Europe
to treat with them at all?

  [301] Hugues Bernard Maret, afterwards Duc de Bassano
  (1763-1839), was editor of the _Bulletin_ in which were reported
  the debates of the National Assembly. He had served in Belgium in
  concert with Dumouriez. He had already been sent to England by
  the Convention. He now returned with fuller powers. He remained
  in London till February after the dismissal of Chauvelin, and
  only left when the war was declared. He was a favourite of
  Napoleon, and Minister of the Interior under Louis Philippe.

  [302] Jean Nicolas Pache (1740-1823) replaced Servan as Minister
  of War in October, 1792. In February, 1793, he became Mayor of
  Paris, and was responsible for many of the worst horrors of that
  year.



615.

_Lord Sheffield to Edward Gibbon._


  D. S., 5th Feb., '93.

I obey your orders in sending the account of the last great
debate,[303] by the first post. Poor Woodfall is in a strait
waistcoat, but the account is not badly given, & I have examined
and find it the best. Charles F. told us distinctly that the
Sovereignty was absolutely in the people, that the Monarchy was
elective, otherwise the Dynasty of Brunswick had no right, and that
the majority of the people, whenever they thought proper to change
the form of Government, had a right to cashier the King. Perhaps the
late conduct of the Prince of Wales (you know he has discarded Fox,
Sheridan, Erskine, &c.) has promoted the utterance of these things.
That which was called Opposition seems suspended in a comical state.
The Duke of Portland adheres to Fox, and all the party disapprove
Fox's conduct and almost all vote against him. I see no symptom as
yet of anybody taking office with Lord Loughborough. I believe he is
delicate in saying anything lest he should appear to use means to
take from the Duke of P. The war is popular except among merchants,
and those of London consider it as an unavoidable calamity. We are
sending Artillery to the coasts of Sussex and Kent, and an Expedition
to the West Indies. The beginning, particularly, of Pitt's speech was
very fine. Fox's not so good as usual; and as to Windham, I should
think he is become the best, at least the most sensible speaker of
the whole.

  [303] The debate on the king's message for the augmentation
  of the forces took place on February 1. Fox spoke against the
  increase. It may be added that Mr. Whitbread, speaking on the
  same side, and alluding to the Duke of Brunswick's manifestos,
  said that they breathed the spirit of Attila, "who, in the
  emphatical words recorded by Mr. Gibbon, had said, 'Where
  Attila's horse sets his foot, the grass never grows.'"



616.

_To Lord Sheffield._


  Begun Feb. 9,--ended Feb. 18, 1793.

[Sidenote: DEATH OF M. DE SEVERY.]

*The struggle is at length over, and poor de Severy is no more! He
expired about ten days ago, after every vital principle had been
exhausted by a perpetual complication of disorders, which had lasted
above five months: and a mortification in one of his legs, that
gradually rose to the more noble parts, was the immediate cause of
his death. His patience and even chearfulness supported him to the
fatal moment; and he enjoyed every comfort that could alleviate his
situation, the skill of his physicians, the assiduous tenderness of
his family, and the kind sympathy not only of his particular friends,
but even of common acquaintance, and generally of the whole town.
The stroke has been severely felt, yet I have the satisfaction to
perceive that Madame de Severy's health is not affected; and we may
hope that in time she will recover a tolerable share of composure and
happiness. Her firmness has checked the violent sallies of grief;
her gentleness has preserved her from the worst of symptoms, a dry,
silent despair. She loves to talk of her irreparable loss, she
descants with pleasure on his virtues; her words are interrupted with
tears, but those tears are her best relief; and her tender feelings
will insensibly subside into an affectionate remembrance. Wilhelm is
much more deeply wounded than I could imagine, or than he expected
himself: nor have I ever seen the affliction of a son and heir more
lively and sincere. Severy was indeed a very valuable man: without
any shining qualifications, he was endowed in a high degree with good
sense, honour, and benevolence; and few men have filled with more
propriety their circle in private life. For myself, I have had the
misfortune of knowing him too late, and of losing him too soon. But
enough of this melancholy subject.

The affairs of this theatre, which must always be minute, are
now grown so tame and tranquil, that they no longer deserve the
historian's pen. The new constitution of Geneva is slowly forming,
without much noise or any bloodshed; and the patriots, who have
staid in hopes of guiding and restraining the multitude, flatter
themselves that they shall be able at least to prevent their mad
countrymen from giving themselves to France, the only mischief
that would be absolutely irretrievable. The Revolution of Geneva
is of less consequence to _us_, however, than that of Savoy; but
our fate will depend on the general event, rather than on these
particular causes. In the meanwhile we hope to be quiet spectators
of the struggle of this year; and we seem to have assurances that
both the Emperor and the French will compound for the neutrality
of the Swiss. The Helvetic body does not acknowledge the Republic
of France; but Barthelemy, their Ambassador, resides at Baden, and
steals, like Chauvelin, into a kind of extra official negociation.
All spirit of opposition is quelled in the canton of Bern, and the
perpetual banishment of the Van Berchem family has scarcely excited
a murmur. It will probably be followed by that of Colonel Polier,
&c.; the crime alledged in their sentence is the having assisted
at the federation dinner at Rolle two years ago; and as they are
absent, I could almost wish that they had been summoned to appear,
and heard in their own defence. To the general supineness of the
inhabitants of Lausanne I must ascribe, that the death of Louis XVI.
has been received with less horror and indignation than I could have
wished. I was much tempted to go into mourning, and probably should,
had the Dutchess been still here; but as the only Englishman of any
mark, I was afraid of being singular; more especially as our French
emigrants, either from prudence or poverty, do not wear black, nor do
even the Neckers. Have you read his discourse for the King? It might
indeed supersede the necessity of mourning.

[Sidenote: FRENZY-FEVER OF THE FRENCH.]

I should judge from your last letter, and from the _Diary_ (alas,
poor Woodfall!), that the French declaration of war must have rather
surprised you. I wish (though I know not how) it could have been
avoided, that we might still have continued to enjoy our safe and
prosperous neutrality. You will not doubt my best wishes for the
destruction of the miscreants; but I love England still more than I
hate France. All reasonable chances are in favour of a confederacy,
such as was never opposed to the ambition of Louis XIV.; but, after
the experience of last year, I distrust reason, and confess myself
fearful for the event. The French are strong in numbers, activity,
enthusiasm; they are rich in rapine; and although their strength may
be only that of a frenzy-feaver, they may do infinite mischief to
their neighbours before they can be reduced to a strait wastecoat.
I dread the effects that may be produced on the minds of the people
by the increase of debt and taxes, probable losses, and possible
mismanagement. Our trade must suffer; and though projects of invasion
have been always abortive, I cannot forget that the fleets and armies
of Europe have failed before the towns in America, which have been
taken and plundered by a handful of Buccaneers. I know nothing of
Pitt as a War Minister; but it affords me much satisfaction that
the intrepid wisdom of the new Chancellor is introduced into the
Cabinet. I wish, not merely on your own account, that you were placed
in an active, useful station in Government. I should not dislike you
Secretary at War.

I have little more to say of myself, or of my journey to England:
you know my intentions, and the great events of Europe must
determine whether they can be carried into execution this summer.
If * * * * *[304] has warmly adopted _your_ idea, I shall speedily
hear from him; but, in truth, I know not what will be my answer:
I see difficulties which at first did not occur: I doubt my own
perseverance, and my fancy begins to wander into new paths. The
amusement of reading and thinking may perhaps satisfy a man who
has paid his debt to the public; and there is more pleasure in
building castles in the air than on the ground. I shall contrive
some small assistance for your correspondent, though I cannot learn
any thing that distinguishes him from many of his countrymen. We
have had our full share of poor emigrants; but if you wish that any
thing extraordinary should be done for this man, you must send me
a measure. Adieu. I embrace My lady and the Maria, as also Louisa.
Perhaps I may soon write, without expecting an answer.*

  Ever yours,
  E. G.

  [304] Probably Mr. George Nicol. See p. 359.



617.

_Edward Gibbon to Lord Chancellor Loughborough._[305]


  Rolle, February 23rd, 1793.

  *MY LORD,

I do not merely congratulate your lordship's promotion to the
first civil office in the kingdom; an office which your abilities
have long deserved, and which your temperate ambition, if I am not
mistaken, had repeatedly declined. My satisfaction does not arise
from an assurance of the wisdom and vigour which administration will
derive from the support of so respectable an ally. But as a friend
to government in general, I most sincerely rejoice that you are now
armed in the common cause against the most dangerous fanatics that
have ever invaded the peace of Europe; against the new barbarians,
who labour to confound the order and happiness of society; and who,
in the opinion of thinking men, are not less the enemies of subjects
than of kings. The hopes of the wise and good are now fixed on the
success of England; and I am persuaded that my personal attachment
to your lordship will be amply gratified by the important share
which your counsels will assume in that success. I could wish that
some of your former associates possessed sufficient strength of mind
to extricate themselves from the toils of prejudice and party. But
I grieve that a man, whom it is impossible for me not to love and
admire, should refuse to obey the voice of his country; and I begin
to fear that the powerful genius of Mr. Fox, instead of being useful,
will be adverse to the public service. At this momentous crisis we
should inlist our whole force of virtue, ability, and spirit; and
without any view to his private advantage, I could wish that our
active friend, Lord Sheffield, might be properly stationed in some
part of the line.

[Sidenote: LORD CHANCELLOR LOUGHBOROUGH.]

M. Necker, in whose house I am now residing on a visit of some days,
wishes me to express the sentiments of esteem and consideration which
he entertains for your Lordship's character. As a friend to the
interest of mankind, he is warmly attached to the wellfare of Great
Britain, which he has long revered as the first, and, perhaps, as the
last azylum of genuine liberty. His late eloquent work, _du Pouvoir
Executif_, which your lordship has assuredly read, is a valuable
testimony of his esteem for our constitution; and the testimony
of a sagacious and impartial stranger may have taught some of our
countrymen to value the political blessings which they have been
tempted to despise.

I cherish a lively hope of being in England, and of paying my
respects to your lordship before the end of the summer: but the
events of the year are so uncertain, and the sea and land are
encompassed with so many difficulties and dangers, that I am doubtful
whether it will be practicable for me to execute my purpose.

I am, my lord, most respectfully, and your lordship will permit me
to add most affectionately, your most obedient and faithful humble
servant.*

  [305] This letter is printed in Lord Campbell's life of Lord
  Chancellor Loughborough as from the Rosslyn Manuscripts, and Lord
  Campbell remarks in a note that in 1796, when about to publish
  the first edition of Gibbon's miscellaneous works, Lord Sheffield
  applied to Lord Loughborough for permission to include this
  letter, but was refused. He made a second application, offering
  to erase his name and the name of his office (which in effect
  was done), but "Lord Loughborough was sensitive upon the subject
  of his coalition with Mr. Pitt, and he remained inflexible."
  However, the letter _does_ appear in the first edition, a fact
  which must have escaped Lord Campbell's attention.



618.

_Lord Sheffield to Edward Gibbon._


  D. S., 15th March, '93.

We had intelligence of poor de Severy's death two or three weeks
before the receipt of your letter. I had always thought of him as you
describe him, "honourable, benevolent, and sensible." His family must
lament him for ever, and I know none more likely to feel the loss.

As to the Pais de Vaud, the thorough diversion caused by the War
with England will leave it in a sort of humiliated security, but
I have little doubt, if that event had not taken place, that the
revolutionary principle would have been insinuated thro' Geneva to
the Pais de Vaud. The dereliction of character, to which the Swiss
have thought it expedient to submit, subjects them to the whims
of fortune and of nations. Perhaps, if the World should recover
its senses, it may find itself nearly as it was, except what its
dignity may have suffered; but you do not deserve to be a nation,
wretches so compleatly in awe of the _sans cullotes_, that they
did not dare even to wear mourning. As for you, you are a damned,
unworthy, temporizing son of a bitch, and shall only be deemed a
renegado Englishman in future. Never was a mourning so general in
England.[306] I did not (who seldom wore it in the morning before)
quit it for a quarter of a moment. I was glad to see the lower
ranks indignant, although to be sure Louis XVI.'s fort was being
a martyr. It may be also added that a more innocent man was never
more undeservedly put to death. I should have been indeed astonished
that the Neckers did not wear mourning, if the panic meanness had
not been so general in your parts. Although I may not flatter myself
that _sans culotterie_ will be suppressed in one campaign, yet I
have few doubts in respect to the success of the Armies which attack
France, especially after the experience of last campaign. It will not
be necessary to take the beast by the horns and attack artillery in
front, &c. In such a country as where war now flourishes, it will be
easy to turn an enemy, and when an Army like that of France in such a
case is obliged to make a movement, it is undone. As to the equipment
of fleets, we seem to make a poor business of it.[307] Lord Sandwich
in a fortnight did much more than we have done in three months and an
halfe; a timid style in respect to pressing produces the evil.

I manœuvred your business in respect to Nichols in my best possible
manner. In return to my wishing he could tempt you and that I
would second, he talked most feelingly that he and Boydell had
£40,000--everything--involved in the Shakespear. He seemed to wish to
talk over such a subject when you come to England. He thought such
a work would be more than you could undertake, suggested the idea
of your being the Chief--shewed me the Life of Milton by Hailey,
prefixed to Mr. Cowper's edition, and said that kind of writing was
his fort. Persevere; as you may be in England in a few months it is
unnecessary to say more at present.

I have sent by Seigneux, Lally's defence of Louis XVI., and Le
Songe d'un Anglois;[308] you will be pleased with both. I sent
'Modern Gardening,'[309] and the 'Standing Orders of my Regiment,'
to Meluner, the Captain of Highlanders, with whom we were so much
pleased. I sent in the same parcel a number of odd things relative
to Establishments, Insurance, &c., which Commissioner Fischer might
like, but I was obliged to reduce the parcel on account of its size,
and I know not whether the remainder is worth sending to him--but you
will judge.

[Sidenote: MADAME DE STAEL IN ENGLAND.]

Madame de Stael[310] has lived in the neighbourhood of Dorking
with Miss Burney, not forgetting M. de Narbonne. She is lately
come to town; we endeavour to be civil. I am to conduct her to the
Tower, &c., and she and some of her friends are to dine here. Small
assistance will be sufficient for my correspondent, of whom I know
nothing but his letter, and you say he has nothing to distinguish
him. I have applied to those who were likely to be useful on the
subject of what you mentioned for Wilhelm de S., but as yet without
a glimpse of success. The market is over-stocked. The travelleable
country is greatly circumscribed, and the measure of sending a leader
is greatly exploded. I spoke to Lord Porchester,[311] and he with
great satisfaction asserted the excellence of the line he had pursued
of sending his son with his schoolfellow. As speaking to people on
these matters does not make so much impression as writing, I have
applied to some by letter.

  [306] "All ranks of people have put on mourning for the
  unfortunate king." Lady Malmesbury to Lady Elliot, January 28,
  1793 (_Life and Letters of Sir G. Elliot_, vol. ii. p. 110).

  [307] Throughout 1793, and especially in September, Lord Chatham
  as First Lord of the Admiralty was in dispute with the Master of
  the Ordnance, the Duke of Richmond. One alleged that the fleet
  was ready but that the guns were not; the other stated that the
  ships were not ready to take the guns. Lord Sandwich was Lord of
  the Admiralty during the American War.

  [308] The _Songe d'un Anglois_ and the _Plaidoyer pour Louis
  XVI._, both by Lally Tollendal, are printed in the second volume
  (pp. 251-286 and 357-388) of the "Collection des meilleurs
  ouvrages qui ont été publiés pour la Défense de Louis XVI.," par
  A. J. du Gour: Paris, 1796. From an autograph letter in George
  III.'s copy of _Strafford_, it appears that Lally, through Lady
  Sheffield, presented a copy of the _Plaidoyer_ to the king.

  [309] Probably Horace Walpole's _Essay on Modern Gardening_,
  which was written in 1770, and printed at the Strawberry Hill
  Press in 1785 (4to), with a French translation on opposite pages
  by the Duc de Nivernois.

  [310] "Madame de Staël, daughter of M. Necker, is now at the head
  of the colony of French noblesse, established near Mickleham. She
  is one of the first women I have ever met with for abilities and
  extraordinary intellect." Miss Burney to Dr. Burney, February 4,
  1793 (_Diary and Letters_, vol. v. p. 394).

  [311] Lord Porchester, son of Gen. the Hon. W. Herbert, fifth son
  of the Earl of Pembroke, was created Earl of Carnarvon in July,
  1793.



619.

_Lord Sheffield to Edward Gibbon._


  D. S., 26th March, '93.

My letter of last week did not enter on your affairs of money because
Darell had not given me a final opinion; yesterday we had a full
discourse thereon. The 3 per cents may sink more in proportion than
the short annuities. The latter have fallen more than Mr. Darell
expected, which he acknowledged when I remarked the opinion he had
formerly given you. On the other hand, the 3 per cents are (for
war-like times) surprisingly high. The constant regular purchase of
one million of the stocks in the course of a year takes the whole of
the floating stock; the great bankruptcies which have taken place,
and the shyness of our monied men to discount Bills,--all these
circumstances keep up the Funds. The extravagant extension of credit
have produced the evil that was expected. It has been carried beyond
anything that was ever known before. The War has helped to bring
forward the crisis, but is not the cause of the mischief.

We seem to be _en train_ to receive good tidings by every mail, but
I cannot be content on the subject of our Fleet. The Publick begins
to arraign the First Lord of Admiralty in respect to alertness and
attention. It is extraordinary that John Bull bore so long the
alarming state of the Mediterranean, 52 French ships of war of all
sizes riding triumphant and insulting all nations in that sea--a
superior French Fleet also in the West Indies. I flatter myself
however we are going to do something there; nothing can prove the
abject state of Holland more than the extreme joy on receiving the
pitifull succour of 2000 English troops. The circumstance of sending
the King's son[312] had the greatest effect, and proved that England
was in earnest.

Your late neglects have almost obliterated your famous three letters.
You do not say whether you have received any letters from us; not the
least notice is taken of Maria's or my letters. She wrote a good deal
on our Politicks, she sent my _much admired_ Foxippic copied from the
Newspaper, also a detail of the massacre of the priests aux Carmes,
and other matters. The Chancellor leaned from the Woolsack a few
days ago, to tell me he had a letter from you, and asked where was
Rolle. I am so abominably engaged that we seldom meet.

We had a very pleasant party here at dinner last Saturday to meet
Madame de Stael, the Prince de Poix, Lally Tollendal, Princess
d'Henin, Malouet, Baron de Gillier. Narbonne was invited, but
engaged. We all went in the evening to Lady Catherine Douglas, where
Madame de Stael rather astonished the Chancellor. In conversation
she disputed every principle of Government and Politicks--a kind of
tête-à-tête. There is a great prejudice against her. She is supposed
to be the most intriguing democrate likely to set the Thames on
fire. I can hardly get people to agree that she is eminently lively,
pleasant, endowed with extraordinary mental ability, though somewhat
ridiculous. She goes out of Town Tuesday, and talks of going soon to
Switzerland.

You do not mention whether you have rec^d. your Madeira. I have heard
nothing lately of Mrs. Gibbon. I have hopes you will soon have a
clear country to Frankfort, Cologne, and the Hague. My Lady and Maria
contrive to go out daily. The latter not well.

  [312] The Duke of York.



620.

_To Lord Sheffield._


  Lausanne, April 27, 1793.

*My Dearest Friend, for such you most truly are, nor does there exist
a person who obtains, or shall ever obtain, a superior place in my
esteem and affection.

[Sidenote: DEATH OF LADY SHEFFIELD.]

After too long a silence I was sitting down to write, when, only
yesterday morning (such is now the irregular slowness of the English
post) I was suddenly struck, indeed struck to the heart, by the fatal
intelligence[313] from Sir Henry Clinton and M. de Lally. Alas!
what is life, and what are our hopes and projects! When I embraced
her at your departure from Lausanne, could I imagine that it was
for the last time? When I postponed to another summer my journey
to England, could I apprehend that I never, never should see her
again? I have often deplored the nervous complaints which so deeply
affected her happiness and spirits, but I always hoped that she would
spin her feeble thread to a long duration, and that her delicate
frame would survive (as is often the case) many constitutions of a
stouter appearance. In four days! in your absence, in that of her
children! But she is now at rest; and if there be a future state,
her mild virtues have surely entitled her to the reward of pure and
perfect felicity. It is for you that I feel; and I can judge of your
sentiments by comparing them with my own. I have lost, it is true,
an amiable and affectionate friend, whom I had known and loved above
three and twenty years, and whom I often styled by the endearing name
of sister. But you are deprived of the companion of your life, the
wife of your choice, and the mother of your children--poor children!
The energy of Maria, and the softness of Louisa, render them almost
equally the objects of my tenderest compassion. I do not wish to
aggravate your grief; but, in the sincerity of friendship, I cannot
hold a different language. I know the impotence of reason, and I much
fear that the strength of your character will serve to make a sharper
and more lasting impression.

The only consolation in these melancholy tryals to which human life
is exposed, the only one at least in which I have any confidence, is
the presence of a real friend; and of that, as far as it depends on
myself, you shall not be destitute. I regret the few days that must
be lost in some necessary preparations; but I trust that to-morrow
se'nnight (May the fifth) I shall be able to set forwards on my
journey to England; and when this letter reaches you, I shall be
considerably advanced on my way. As it is yet prudent to keep at
a respectful distance from the banks of the French Rhine, I shall
incline a little to the right, and proceed by Schaffhausen and
Stutgard to Frankfort and Cologne: the Austrian Netherlands are now
open and safe, and I am sure of being able at least to pass from
Ostend to Dover; from whence, without passing through London, I shall
pursue the direct road to Sheffield-place. Unless I should meet with
some unforeseen accidents and delays, I hope, before the end of the
month, to share your solitude, and sympathise with your grief. All
the difficulties of the journey, which my indolence had probably
magnified, have now disappeared before a stronger passion; and you
will not be sorry to hear, that, as far as Frankfort to Cologne,
I shall enjoy the advantage of the society, the conversation, the
German language, and the active assistance of Severy. His attachment
to me is the sole motive which prompts him to undertake this
troublesome journey: and as soon as he has seen me over the roughest
ground, he will immediately return to Lausanne. The poor young man
loved Lady S. as a mother, and the whole family is deeply affected
by an event which reminds them too painfully of their own. Adieu. I
could write Volumes, and shall therefore break off abruptly. I shall
write on the road, and hope to find a few lines à poste restante at
Frankfort and Brussells. Adieu; ever yours.*

  [313] Lady Sheffield died April 3, 1793. Her death is said to
  have been occasioned by her attendance upon the sick _émigrés_ at
  Guy's hospital (_Gentleman's Magazine_ for 1793, part i. p. 379).



621.

_To Lord Sheffield._


  Lausanne, May, 1793.

  *MY DEAR FRIEND,

[Sidenote: ADVICE FOR FRIENDS IN GRIEF.]

I must write a few lines before my departure, though indeed I
scarcely know what to say. Nearly a fortnight has now elapsed
since the first melancholy tidings, without my having received the
slightest subsequent accounts of your health and situation. Your
own silence announces too forcibly how much you are involved in
your own feelings; and I can but too easily conceive that a letter
to me would be more painful than to an indifferent person. But that
amiable man, Count Lally, might surely have written a second time;
but your sister, who is probably with you; but Maria, alas! poor
Maria! I am left in a state of darkness to the workings of my own
fancy, which imagines every thing that is sad and shocking. What can
I think of for your relief and comfort? I will not expatiate on those
common-place topics, which have never dryed a single tear; but let me
advise, let me urge, you to force yourself into business, as I would
try to force myself into study. The mind must not be idle; if it be
not exercised on external objects, it will prey on its own vitals.

A thousand little arrangements, which must precede a long Journey,
have postponed my departure three or four days beyond the term
which I had first appointed; but all is now in order, and I set off
to-morrow, the ninth instant, with my Valet de Chambre, a courier
on horseback, and Severy, with his servant, as far as Frankfort.
I calculate my arrival at Sheffield-place (how I dread and desire
to see that mansion!) for the first week in June, soon after this
letter; but I will try to send you some later intelligence. I never
found myself stronger, or in better health. The German road is
now cleared, both of enemies and allies, and though I must expect
fatigue, I have not any apprehensions of danger. It is scarcely
possible that you should meet me at Frankfort, but I shall be much
disappointed at not finding a line at Brussels or Ostend. Adieu. If
there be any invisible guardians, may they watch over you and yours!
Adieu.*



621*.

_To Lady Elisabeth Foster._


  Lausanne, May the 4th, 1793.

I know not whether you are already informed of the sudden death of
poor Lady Sheffield after four days' illness; but I am sure that your
feeling affectionate mind will not be surprized to hear that I set
out for England next week, and that in a journey undertaken at the
call of friendship all the dragons of the way have already vanished.
I go by Basle, Frankfort, Cologne, Brussels, and Ostend, and I
flatter myself that the success of our allied arms will contribute
every week to open my passage; it is even possible, though scarcely
probable, that I may embark from the English town of Calais. Your
answer to my last letter is doubtless on the road and will follow me:
but you must write immediately to Sheffield place, and I promise you
a speedy and sincere account of our afflicted friend. I wish to hear
of your motions and projects; I now sigh for your return to England,
and shall be most bitterly disappointed if I have not the pleasure
of seeing you in that happy island, yourself and the most amiable
of Dutchesses before the end of the autumn: I cannot look with
confidence beyond that period.

My friend and your Chevalier[314] will guard me as far as Cologne
or Frankfort; his tender attachment to his mother who is still very
melancholy will recall him from thence to Lausanne; but in the course
of next winter he has thoughts of visiting England. The circumstances
of the times which impoverish every one, have persuaded him to
listen to my advice of conducting on his travels some English pupill
of fashion and fortune. Such a pupill will be fortunate in finding a
real Gentleman, and I trust that the Dutchess and yourself will exert
your omnipotence in providing some connection equally honourable and
advantageous for my friend, and your sincere Votary. Adieu. Excuse
brevity and address a Classic prayer in my behalf before some statue
of Mercury the God of travellers.

  [314] Wilhelm de Severy.



622.

_To his Stepmother._


  Lausanne, May the 8th (my fifty-seventh birthday), 1793.

  DEAR MADAM,

[Sidenote: JOURNEY TO ENGLAND.]

I have the pleasure of acquainting you that to-morrow, the 9th
instant, I set forwards for England, but the pleasure of revisiting
my friends and my native country is deeply embittered by the
melancholy tidings from Downing Street, which have fixed and hastened
my Journey. I travel by the way of Frankfort and Brussells, and
your tenderness should not feel the slightest apprehension for my
safety. Every enquiry is made, every convenience is provided, every
precaution is taken, and though there will undoubtedly be some
fatigue, I can assure you with truth, that there does not remain
the shadow of a danger. I may expect to reach Sheffield-place the
first week in June, from whence I will immediately give you a line.
My first cares must be devoted to poor Lord S., whose grief I feel
and even fear, but I shall be impatient to see the Belvidere and the
maternal countenance of my most faithful friend. May the progress of
fine weather confirm your health and spirits. My own are perfectly
good, and I never, in my whole life, found myself better qualified
for a long Journey.

  I am, Dear Madam,
  Ever most affectionately yours,
  E. GIBBON.



623.

_Lord Sheffield to Edward Gibbon._


  Mercer's Hall, 14th May, 1793.

We shall ever acknowledge that you are a right good friend. I was
hardly able to read your letter. This is the first foreign post
since its arrival. I had hopes you would come forthwith, but hardly
expected such an effort as your speedy departure required. Maria &
Louisa rejoice at your approach, Sarah is with us. Your apartment
will be prepared; your letter arrived too late for me to write to
you at Francfort. I shall address this to Brussels. All Friends wish
me to involve myself as much as possible in business; I am so with a
vengeance in a commission[315] (at the Head of which I am) for the
Issue of 5 millions of Exchequer Bills for the relief of Commercial
Credit--a matter very interesting indeed, & which I flatter myself
will be of great service. I pass the day at Mercer's Hall with my
fellow Commissioners--16 of the chief men of the City, excellent men,
and four others.

  Yours ever,
  S.

  [315] A select committee appointed (April 25, 1793) to consider
  the state of commercial credit reported (April 29), recommending,
  _inter alia_, that five millions should be issued in Exchequer
  Bills for the relief of credit. The report was considered on
  April 30; a resolution, and subsequently a Bill, were carried
  for the issue of the Bills. A commission was appointed (May 3),
  with Lord Sheffield at the head of it, to effect the necessary
  arrangements.



624.

_To Lord Sheffield._


  Frankfort, May 19th, 1793.

[Sidenote: FRENCH COURAGE DESERVES BETTER CAUSE.]

*And here I am, in good health and spirits, after one of the
easiest, safest, and pleasantest journies which I ever performed
in my whole life; not the appearance of an enemy, and hardly the
appearance of a War. Yet I hear, as I am writing, the canon of the
siege of Mayence,[316] at the distance of twenty miles; and long,
very long, will it be heard. It is confessed on all sides, that
the French fight with a courage worthy of a better cause: the town
of Mayence is strong, their artillery admirable; they are already
reduced to horse-flesh, but they have still the resource of eating
the inhabitants, and at last of eating one another; and, if that
repast could be extended to Paris and the whole country, it might
essentially contribute to the relief of mankind. Our operations are
carried on with more than German slowness, and when the besieged are
quiet, the besiegers are perfectly satisfied with their progress.
A spirit of division undoubtedly prevails; and the character of
the Prussians for courage and discipline is sunk lower then you
can possibly imagine. Their glory has expired with Frederic. I am
sorry to have missed Lord Elgin,[317] who is beyond the Rhine with
the King of Prussia. As I am impatient, I propose setting forwards
to-morrow afternoon, and shall reach Ostend in less than eight
days. The passage must depend on winds and packets; and I hope to
find at Brussels or Dover a letter which will direct me to S. P. or
Downing-street. Severy goes back from hence. Adieu: I embrace the
dear Girls.

  Ever yours,
  E. G.*

  [316] Mayence was invested by the Prussian and Austrian forces
  early in April, 1793. It was surrendered July 22, 1793.

  [317] Thomas, Lord Elgin, was appointed in August, 1792, Envoy
  Extraordinary at Brussels. Subsequently appointed Ambassador at
  Constantinople in 1799, he collected the Elgin marbles.



625.

_To Lord Sheffield._


  Brussels, May 27, 1793.

*This day, between two and three o'Clock in the afternoon, I am
arrived at this place in excellent preservation. My expedition, which
is now drawing to a close, has been a journey of perseverance rather
than speed, of some labour since Frankfort, but without the smallest
degree of difficulty or danger. As I have every morning been seated
in the Chaise soon after sun-rise, I propose indulging to-morrow
till eleven o'Clock, and going that day no farther than Ghent: on
Wednesday the 29th instant I shall reach Ostend in good time, just
eight days, according to my former reckoning, from Frankfort. Beyond
that I can say nothing positive; but should the winds be propitious,
it is possible that I may appear next Saturday, June 1st, in Downing
Street. After that _earliest_ date, you will expect me day by day
till I arrive. Adieu. I embrace the dear Girls, and salute Mrs.
Holroyd. I rejoyce that you have anticipated my advice of plunging
into business; but I should now be sorry if that business, however
important, detained us long in town. I do not wish to make a public
exhibition, and only sigh to enjoy you and the precious remnant in
the solitude of Sheffield-place.

  Ever yours,
  E. G.

If I am successful I may outstrip or accompany this letter. Yours and
Maria's waited for me here, and overpaid the Journey.*



626.

_To his Stepmother._


  Downing Street, June 13th, 1793.

  DEAR MADAM,

As you know that I am now safe, well and happy at my friend Lord
Sheffield, you will easily excuse a delay of some days in my promised
letter.

As long as I was on the road, and it was a long time, your
apprehensions, I am much afraid, were awakened not so much in
proportion to the real magnitude of the danger, as to the exquisite
sensibility of your own feelings. For my own part, though the scene
was nearer and more familiar to me, I must fairly own, that I saw
through a magnifyer, and that my resolution to visit Lord Sheffield
in his state of affliction was an effort of some courage. But I
was most agreably surprized to find the Lyons whom I had seen at
a distance become little gentle lap-dogs on a nearer approach. I
wheeled round behind the armies by the way of Basel, Frankfort,
Cologne, Brussells, and Ostend, without meeting with any hostile
impediment, and indeed without seeing the face of a Soldier. My
passage from Ostend was short and prosperous, and I reached Downing
Street not in the least affected by the fatigue of a rough and
tedious journey. I found Lord S. much better and even more chearful
than I could have expected: he feels his loss, but the new scenes of
public business in which he verily wisely engaged have alleviated
his grief by occupying his mind. The Ladies are gone into the
Country, and he proposes to follow them next week. I could much have
wished to visit Bath without delay: but Lord S. will not hear of so
early a separation, and as he is the immediate object of my journey,
I must submit, unless you particularly desire to see me very soon.
Adieu.

  Dear Madam,
  I am ever yours,
  E. GIBBON.



627.

_Mrs. Gibbon to Edward Gibbon._


  Thursday Noon.

  MY DEAREST SIR,

[Sidenote: MRS. GIBBON'S JOY.]

I truely rejoice, & congratulate you on your being once more safely
arrived in your native Country; may health & happiness attend you
in it. I am so happy that you have escaped all the evils I foresaw
& dreaded, that I find myself better then I have been this year,
& this letter is a proof of it; my last but one was to you, as a
complaint in my head frighted me from attempting to use a pen, & I
hope the forbearance has cured it. I wish'd to tell you so yesterday,
but the joy your letter gave would not suffer my hand to be steady
enough to write. I thank you most sincerely for writing so soon, &
shall impatiently expect the letter you promise me. I am glad you
are with Lord Sheffield. When you write tell me how he does; & the
young ladies are. I shall soon acknowledge Mrs. Holroyd's kindness in
writing to me; make best & kindest Compliments for me, & believe me,

  My Dear Sir,
  Most affectionately yours,
  D. GIBBON.



628.

_Mrs. Gibbon to Edward Gibbon._


  Belvedere, Bath, August 29, '93.

MY DEAR SIR,

I have but one excuse for not answering your last letter, to wit, not
being able, as I could not hold a pen steady enough to write; yet
I never felt myself happier, because I never was so miserable, as
from the time those vile miscreants the french Democrats was within
forty miles of Lausanne, till you arrived safe in England. Many has
been the disappointments I have borne with fortitude, but the fear of
having my last & only friend torn from me, was very near overseting
my reason: my aggitation prevented my feeling my excessive weakness,
till after I had answered your letter, which gave me a joy I shall
never again experience, at least I hope not, as I trust you will not
be any more expos'd to such eminent danger.

If I have the satisfaction of seeing you next month, I shall be
more able to enjoy your Conversation, as my health & strength are
wonderfully improv'd within this fortnight; but as much as I long
to see you, I would not be the cause of bringing you from agreeable
partys & places you like, till it is convenient to you to come. I
have not been out this twelve month, dare not encounter the heat, &
have little company at home. Your friend Mrs. Gould is as agreeable
as ever, Mrs. R. grows old, Mrs. Shelly just as usual. Madame Ely &
Mrs. Bonfoy are here. Mrs. Holroyd has probably told you that Miss
Gould is now Mrs. Horneck. I wish she had been Mrs. Gibbon.

I am very sorry to hear Miss Louisa Holroyd's health is so
indifferent, she is a charming girle, & her sister a very fine one,
pray say every thing that is kind to both the Ladies for me; make my
best compliments to Lord Sheffield, I make my own to Mrs. Holroyd;
let me know when I may hope to see you, and believe me to be,

  My Dear Sir,
  Your most affectionate
  D. GIBBON.



629.

_To his Stepmother._


  Sheffield Place, Sept. 3, 1793.

  DEAR MADAM,

Many days have passed away, since I have received any letter so
truly, so dearly acceptable as your last. I had no occasion indeed
for any fresh assurances of that regard and tenderness which I have
invariably known and felt during the space of thirty-five years: but
I was delighted at seeing under your own hand, and again confirmed by
your letter of the same date to Mrs. Holroyd, the clearest evidence
of your health, spirits, and strength, and I am still more persuaded
that some minds will rise superior to the infirmities which Nature
has attached to the advanced period of human life.

[Sidenote: ANXIETY TO SEE MRS. GIBBON.]

My own inclinations would immediately have carried me to the
Belvidere from Dover or London; but reason compelled me to
acknowledge that, as Lord Sheffield's unexpected misfortune had
prompted me to undertake a Journey more hazardous in appearance
than in reality, my first attention was due to him, and that it
was incumbent on me to try how far the society of a friend might
contribute to his relief and amusement. In the three months which we
have now spent together I have had the satisfaction of finding that
my labours have not been unsuccessful. Our domestic society, which is
much improved by the presence of Mrs. Holroyd, some chosen company
in the house, the seasonable diversion of Camps and visits, and
above all, the very important business of the Exchequer bills which
frequently calls him to Mercer's hall, have seconded my endeavours,
and I shall leave him in a placid and even chearful temper of mind.
As I now find myself of less use, I had fixed my departure about
the 15th or 20th instant, but he absolutely insists on keeping me
here till the end of the month; and as we expect a very agreable
friend, Mr. Douglas, who married Lady Catherine North, I am almost
inclined to yield to his importunity. At all events, as I shall only
pass three or four days in town, you may depend on seeing me at Bath
in the first week of October. I remember that your elegant little
mansion will not admit of an additional inhabitant, though I may be
perfectly accommodated as heretofore either in your court or over
the way. But I am likewise ignorant whether our dining together, at
my Lausanne hours of two or three o'Clock, may not be too great an
exertion for your returning strength. Should you content yourself
with receiving my morning and afternoon visits (and perhaps such an
arrangement would be the most prudent), I might be tempted to prefer
the Hotel, from whence a chair would convey me in a few minutes to
the Belvidere. I shall expect on that subject a line from yourself or
our old friend Mrs. Gould. Lord S., who is gone to town this morning,
and the young Ladies beg to be kindly remembered to you. Mrs. H.
will soon answer your obliging letter. I have a thousand things
to say, but they will be best deferred for our interview, which I
impatiently desire.

  I am, Dear Madam,
  Ever yours,
  E. GIBBON.



630.

_To Lord Sheffield._


  October 2nd, 1793.

*The Cork Street hotel has answered its recommendation; it is clean,
convenient, and quiet,* but the expence for a Winter residence,
five guineas per week for two small rooms and closet, would much
surpass that of a similar lodging without affording any superior
advantages. *My first evening was passed at home in a very agreeable
_tête-à-tête_ with my friend Elmsley. Yesterday I dined at Craufurd's
with an excellent set, in which were Pelham and Lord Egremont. I dine
to-day with my Portuguese woman[318] at Grenier's, most probably
with the well-washed feet of Lady W[ebster], whom I met last night
at Devonshire-house; a constant, though late, resort of society. The
Duchess is as good, and Lady Elizabeth as seducing, as ever. No news
whatsoever. You will see in the papers Lord Hervey's Memorial.[319]
I love vigour, but it is surely a strong measure to tell a gentleman
you have _resolved_ to pass the winter in his house. London is not
disagreeable; yet I shall probably leave it Saturday. If any thing
should occur, I will write.* Douglas with the Doctor, &c., called on
me this morning. *Adieu; I embrace dear little Aunt and la Marmaille.
Ever yours.*

P.S.--I have not had your letter, and if you could impart
particulars, they should be entrusted only to Vulcan.

  [318] Madame de Sylva.

  [319] John Augustus, Lord Hervey, a captain in the Royal Navy,
  second son of the Bishop of Derry, and brother to Lady Elisabeth
  Foster, was ambassador at Florence from 1787 to 1794. In 1793
  he insisted in a violent note on the dismissal of the French
  Minister, La Flotte, from the court of the Grand Duke of Tuscany.
  "It was generally supposed," writes Lord Holland, (_Memoirs of
  the Whig Party_, p. 56), "in the _maldicente_ city of Florence,
  that resentment at the French Minister for having supplanted
  him in the good graces of a lady quickened his hatred of the
  French Republick, or at least gave it the turn of insisting on
  the dismissal of his rival." Lord Hervey, in consequence of the
  affair, was recalled from Florence in 1794.



631.

_To his Stepmother._


  Cork Street Hotel, Friday, October 4th, 1793.

  DEAR MADAM,

[Sidenote: FROM LONDON TO BATH.]

I propose to reach Bath next Monday for a _very_ late dinner at
York-house, where my old friend Will Budd will be so good as to
secure me a bed-chamber and dining-room on the same floor with
accommodations for two servants. I am very impatient to embrace you,
but must postpone that pleasure till the _usual_ time of your rising
next day: for not the minutest circumstance of your life must be
disarranged on my account, as I mean to leave you in every point of
health and spirits at least as well as I find you.

  I am
  Ever yours,
  E. G.



632.

_To Lord Sheffield._


  York-house, Bath, October 9th, 1793.

*Sunday afternoon I left London, and lay at Reading, and Monday in
very good time I reached this place after a very pleasant airing; and
am always so much delighted, and improved, with this union of ease
and motion, that, were not the expence enormous, I would travel every
year some hundred miles, more especially in England. I passed the day
with Mrs. G. yesterday. In mind and conversation she is just the same
as twenty years ago. She has spirits, appetite, legs, and eyes, and
talks of living till ninety. I can say from my heart, Amen. We dine
at two, and remain together till nine; but, although we have much to
say, I am not sorry that she talks of introducing a third or fourth
actor. Lord Spenser expects me about the 20th; but if I can do it
without offence, I shall steal away two or three days sooner, and you
shall have advice of my motions.

The troubles of Bristol[320] have been serious and bloody. I know
not who was in fault; but I do not like appeasing the mob by the
extinction of the toll, and the removal of the Hereford militia, who
had done their duty. Adieu. The Girls must dance at Tunbridge. What
would dear little Aunt say if I was to answer her letter? Drop in my
ear something of your secret conversations.

  Ever yours, &c.,
  E. G.

I still follow the old style, though the Convention has abolished the
Christian Era, with months, weeks, days, &c.*

  [320] New toll-gates had been placed on the bridge at Bristol;
  but they were burnt by a mob which, from September 30 to October
  3, attacked the toll-houses, and broke the windows of the
  Guildhall and Council-house. The Herefordshire Militia were twice
  called out and ordered to fire on the mob; eleven rioters were
  killed and forty-five wounded. The attempt to raise a toll was
  abandoned.



633.

_To Lord Sheffield._


  York-house, Bath, October 13th, 1793.

*I am as ignorant of Bath in general as if I were still at Sheffield.
My impatience to get away makes me think it better to devote my whole
time to Mrs. G.; and dear little aunt, whom I tenderly salute, will
excuse me to her two friends, Mrs. Hartley and Preston, if I make
little or no use of her kind introduction. A _tête-à-tête_ of eight
or nine hours every day is rather difficult to support; yet I do
assure you, that our conversation flows with more ease and spirit
when we are alone, than when any auxiliaries are summoned to our aid.
She is indeed a wonderful woman, and I think all her faculties of the
mind stronger and more active than I have ever known them. I have
settled, that ten full days may be sufficient for all the purposes
of our interview. I should therefore depart next Friday, the 18th
instant, and am indeed expected at Althorp on the 20th; but I may
possibly reckon without my host, as I have not yet apprized Mrs. G.
of the term of my visit; and will certainly not quarrel with her for
a short delay. Adieu. I must have some political speculations. The
Campaign, at least on our side, seems to be at an end. Ever yours.*



634.

_To his Stepmother._


  Star Inn, Oxford, Friday evening, Oct. 18, 1793.

  DEAR MADAM,

If true friendship were not always a coward, it would be almost
useless to say that after a very pleasant airing I am arrived here
without accident or fatigue. By the first post you shall hear of me
from Althorp.

  I am
  Ever yours,
  E. G.



635.

_To his Stepmother._


  Althorp, Oct. 20th, 1793.

  DEAR MADAM,

[Sidenote: MRS. GIBBON'S MENTAL YOUTH.]

The remainder of my Journey has been as easy and prosperous as the
beginning, and I am now most agreably settled for a fortnight at this
place. The society of a very pleasing and friendly family does not
however make me forget the Belvidere, and I wish that I could have
given myself a larger scope for my visit to Bath. Yet I have the
satisfaction of thinking, that of the narrow span I did not lose any
part, and as you were my sole object, I never deviated into any other
company or amusement. As we were almost always alone, we enjoyed
perhaps as much of each other's society in ten days, as we should
have had with the common dissipations of the World in ten weeks. I
had the satisfaction of finding and leaving you in a state of health,
spirits, and even _mental_ youth, which you have the fairest prospect
of preserving to a very late period of life, and what more can either
yourself or your friends desire? My best compliments to Mrs. Gould.

  I am, Dear Madam,
  Ever yours,
  E. G.



636.

_To Lord Sheffield._


  Althorpe library, Tuesday, four o'clock, Nov., '93.

*We have so completely exhausted this morning among the first
editions of Cicero, that I can only mention my departure hence
to-morrow, the sixth instant. I lye quietly at Woburn, and reach
London in good time Thursday. By the following post I write somewhat
more largely. My stay in London will depend, partly on my amusement,
and your being fixed at Sheffield-place; unless you think I can be
comfortably arranged for a week or two with you at Brighton.* An
insignificant Minister is often soothed by sops and jobbs. *The
military remarks seem good; but now to what purpose! Adieu. I embrace
and much rejoyce in Louisa's improvement. Lord Ossory was from home
at Farning Woods.*



637.

_To Lord Sheffield._


  London, Friday, Nov. 8th, four o'clock.

*Walpole has just delivered yours, and I hasten the direction, that
you may not be at a loss. I will write to-morrow, but I am now
fatigued, and rather unwell. Adieu. I have not seen a soul except
Elmsley.*



638.

_To Lord Sheffield._


  St. James's Street, Nov. 9th, 1793.

*As I dropt yesterday the word _unwell_, I flatter myself that the
family would have been a little alarmed by my silence to-day. I am
still awkward, though without any suspicions of gout, and have some
idea of having recourse to medical advice. Yet I creep out to-day
in a chair, to dine with Lord Lucan. But as it will be literally my
first going down stairs, and as scarcely any one is apprized of my
arrival, I know nothing, I have heard nothing, I have nothing to
say. My present lodging,[321] a house of Elmsley's, is chearful,
convenient, somewhat dear, but not so much as a Hotel: a species of
habitation for which I have not conceived any great affection. Had
you been stationary at Sheffield, you would have seen me before the
twentieth; for I am tired of rambling, and pant for my home, that is
to say, for your house. But whether I shall have courage to brave
*P. of W.* and a bleak down, time only can discover. Adieu. I wish
you back to S.-pl. The health of dear Louisa is doubtless the first
object; but I did not expect Brighton after Tunbridge. Whenever dear
little aunt is separate from you, I shall certainly write to her; but
at present how is it possible?*

  Ever yours,
  E. G.

  [321] 76, St. James's Street.



639.

_To Lord Sheffield._

[Most private.]


  St. James's Street, Nov. 11th, 1793.

[Sidenote: IN THE HANDS OF THE SURGEONS.]

*I must at length withdraw the veil before my state of health, though
the naked truth may alarm you more than a fit of the gout. Have you
never observed, through my _inexpressibles_, a large prominency
_circa genitalia_, which, as it was not at all painful, and very
little troublesome, I had strangely neglected for many years?[322]
But since my departure from Sheffield-place it has increased, most
stupendously, is increasing, and ought to be diminished. Yesterday I
sent for Farquhar,[323] who is allowed to be a very skilful surgeon.
After viewing and palping, he very seriously desired to call in
assistance, and has examined it again to-day with Mr. Cline,[324]
a surgeon, as he says, of the first eminence. They both pronounce
it a _hydrocele_ (a collection of water), which must be let out by
the operation of tapping; but from its magnitude and long neglect,
they think it a most extraordinary case, and wish to have another
surgeon, Dr. Bayley, present. If the business should go off smoothly,
I shall be delivered from my burthen, (it is almost as big as a small
child), and walk about in four or five days with a truss. But the
medical gentlemen, who never speak quite plain, insinuate to me the
_possibility_ of an inflammation, of fever, etc. I am not appalled
at the thoughts of the operation, which is fixed for Wednesday next,
twelve o'clock; but it has occurred to me that you might wish to be
present, before and afterwards, till the crisis was past; and to give
you that opportunity, I shall solicit a delay till Thursday, or even
Friday. In the mean while, I crawl about with some labour, and much
indecency, to Devonshire-house, where I left all the fine ladies
making flannel waistcoats;[325] Lady Lucan's, &c. Adieu. Varnish the
business for the ladies; yet I am afraid it will be public;--the
advantage of being notorious. Ever yours.*

  [322] Gibbon had, in 1761, consulted Mr. (afterwards Sir Cæsar)
  Hawkins, the surgeon, who wished to see him again. But he never
  returned, or consulted any other medical man till November, 1793.

  [323] Sir Walter Farquhar, Bart. (cr. 1796), was originally an
  army doctor. He died in 1819.

  [324] Henry Cline (1750-1827) was a pupil of Hunter, and at this
  time surgeon of St. Thomas's Hospital.

  [325] For the soldiers serving in Flanders under the Duke of York.



640.

_To his Stepmother._


  St. James's Street, No. 76, Nov. 21, '93.

  MY DEAR MADAM,

My friend Lord S. having left me to return into Sussex, I thought you
would not be sorry to receive a short assurance of my health under
my own hand. You may justly reproach me with the long neglect of a
growing complaint, but I am now in the hands of the most skillful
physicians and surgeons, who have given me immediate relief, and
promise me a safe and radical cure. With their approbation I live as
usual, and dine abroad every day, and in a fortnight, when my friends
return from Brighton, I shall meet them at S. P. and remain there
till after Christmas.

  I am
  Ever yours,
  E. G.



641.

_To Lord Sheffield._


  St. James's, Nov. 25, '93.

[Sidenote: A SECOND OPERATION NEEDED.]

*Though Farquahar has promised to write you a line, I conceive
you may not be sorry to hear directly from me. The operation of
yesterday was much longer, more searching and more painful than the
former, but it has eased and lightened me to a much greater degree:
no inflammation, no feaver, a delicious night, leave to go abroad
to-morrow and to go out of town when I please _en attendant_ the
future measures of a radical cure. If you hold your intention of
returning next Saturday to S. P., I shall probably join you about the
Thursday following, after lying two nights at Beckenham.[326] The
Devons are going to Bath, and the hospitable Craufurd follows them.
Yet I do not want dinners. I passed a delightful day with Burke; an
odd one with Monsignor Erskine, the Pope's Nuncio.--Of public news,
you and the papers know much more than I do. We seem to have strong
sea and land hopes; nor do I dislike the Royalists having beaten
the _Sans-Culottes_ and taken Dol. How many minutes will it take to
guillotine the seventy-three new members of the Convention who are
now arrested? Adieu. I embrace the Ladies.*

  Ever yours,
  E. G.

  [326] At Lord Auckland's, at Eden Farm.



642.

_Lord Sheffield to Edward Gibbon._


  Brighton, Tuesday, Nov. 26, 1793.

We are very much content with the account of you, especially Mr.
Farquar's. His is really excellent. As this air does not particularly
suit Louisa, & as I brought a bowel complaint with me from London and
cannot bathe, the Ladies will settle at Sheffield Place to-morrow & I
shall settle there on Thursday. We shall expect you on the Thursday
following, at furthest, perhaps sooner. I suppose you write to Mrs.
Gibbon, but I do not know why I suppose it. There is little or no
Society here. I have had one pleasant dinner with Gerrard Hamilton,
who is tolerably well, and am to dine with him to-morrow.

I have seen an officer just come from Portsmouth, who says that
the Fleet, with Sir Charles Grey,[327] dropped down to St. Helens
yesterday, & that Lord Moira[328] has ordered all his officers to
be on board to-morrow. I understand that Lord Moira will have from
ten to fifteen thousand troops. They are to rendezvous at Jersey, &
afterwards, if circumstances are favourable, their destination is
somewhere about Cancale. There are good accounts of the encreasing
scarcity of provisions among the Infidels & murderers. The garrison
at Fort Louis[329] have judiciously preferred the surrendering
prisoners of War to the deadly privilege of going home.

A letter from Lord Auckland talks of going for three or four days to
Lambeth soon. I have mentioned in a letter that you proposed to pass
two nights with him. I shall be sorry if you should not see him.

  Ever yours,
  SHEFFIELD.

Aunt shall be much obliged if Mr. G. can obtain for her Louisa _Les
pensees de Paschal_[330] in one Vol. to bring down with him.

  [327] Sir Charles Grey, afterwards first Earl Grey (1729-1807),
  sailed November 23, in joint command with Jervis, afterwards Earl
  St. Vincent, on an expedition against the French West Indian
  Islands.

  [328] Francis Rawdon Hastings, second Earl of Moira and first
  Marquis of Hastings (1754-1826), had served with distinction
  in the American War. The expedition here alluded to was that
  which sailed in December, 1793, to aid the French royalists in
  Brittany. The expedition returned without effecting anything.

  [329] Fort Louis, part of the position held by the French army
  in Alsace, was besieged by the Austrians, November 10, 1792. It
  surrendered on November 14, and the four thousand French troops
  who formed its garrison became prisoners of war.

  [330] Gibbon was a diligent student of Pascal, and his irony
  was cultivated by constant reading of his works. One curious
  parallel may be noted in their writings. "Abu Rafe," writes
  Gibbon (_Decline and Fall_, ed. 1862, vol. vii. p. 252), "was an
  eye-witness, but who will be witness for Abu Rafe?" Similarly
  Pascal, in the _Lettres Provinciales: neuvième lettre_, p. 154
  (ed. Firmin Didot, 1853), writes, "'Mais, mon père, qui nous a
  assuré que la Vierge en répond?' 'Le père Barry,' dit-il, 'en
  répond pour elle.' 'Mais, mon père, qui répondra pour le père
  Barry?'"



643.

_To Lord Sheffield._


  St. James's Street, Nov. 30, '93.

[Sidenote: DINNER WITH THE CHANCELLOR.]

*It will not be in my power to reach S. P. quite so soon as I
wished and expected. Lord Auckland informs me that he shall be at
Lambeth[331] next week Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday: I have
therefore agreed to dine at Beckenham on Friday. Saturday will be
spent there, and, unless some extraordinary temptation should detain
me another day, you will see me by four o'clock Sunday the ninth of
December. My conversation with the Ambassador in what relates to you
shall be _proper_: but a Swiss Philosopher is not a match for his
Excellency. I dine to-morrow with the Chancellor[332] at Hampstead,
and what I do not like at this time of the year, without a proposal
to stay all night. Yet I would not refuse, more especially as I had
denied him on a former day.--My health is good but I shall have a
final interview with Farquhar before I leave town.--We are still in
darkness about Lord Howe[333] and the French ships: but hope seems to
preponderate.--Adieu, nothing that relates to Louisa can be forgot.*

  Ever Yours,
  E. G.

  [331] Dr. John Moore (1730-1805), Archbishop of Canterbury
  (1783-1805), was, by his marriage to Catherine Eden, daughter of
  Sir Robert Eden, connected with Lord Auckland.

  [332] Lord Loughborough.

  [333] Richard, Earl Howe (1726-1799), had sailed (November 9) in
  search of the French; but he was compelled to return to Spithead
  (November 29) without bringing them to action. "We continue in
  the same eternal state of anxious expectation of news from Lord
  Howe. Nothing is yet heard" (Lord Auckland to Lord H. Spencer,
  December 3, 1793: _Correspondence_, iii. 151). Gibbon did not
  live to hear of the victory of June 1, 1794.



644.

_To Lord Sheffield._


  St. James's Street, Dec. 6th, 1793.
  16 du mois Frimaire.

The man tempted me and I did eat--and that man is no less than the
Chancellor, whose frigid reserve has thawed into sudden kindness
and civility. I dine and lye to-day, as I intended, at Beckenham:
but he recalls me (the third time this week) by a dinner to-morrow
(Saturday) with Burke and Windham, which I do not possess sufficient
fortitude to resist. Sunday he dismisses me again to the aforesaid
Beckenham, but insists on finding me there Monday, which he will
probably do supposing there should be room and wellcome at the
Ambassador's.[334] I shall not therefore arrive at Sheffield till
Tuesday the 10th instant, and though you may perceive that I do not
want society or amusement, I sincerely repine at the delay. You
will likewise derive some comfort from hearing of the spirit and
activity of my motions. Farquhar is satisfied, allows me to go, and
does not think I shall be obliged to precipitate my return. Shall we
never have anything more than hopes and rumours from Lord Howe? Pray
embrace the Ladies for me, and assure Mr. Greg. Way of my concern
that our different arrangements have not permitted us to meet at
Sheffield.

  Ever yours,
  E. G.

  [334] Gibbon met Pitt at Eden Farm. "He was much pleased," writes
  Lord Sheffield, December 17, 1793, of this stay at Beckenham,
  "with his visit there, and his occurrence with the minister,
  in a family way, was a great satisfaction to him" (_Auckland
  Correspondence_, iii. 158).



645.

_To his Stepmother._


  Sheffield-place, Dec. 12, 1793.

  MY DEAR MADAM,

I should have continued to write from London, if the state of my
health, or rather my particular complaint, on the subject of which
it is not easy to be explicit, had afforded any events. But you may
rest assured that I am now in the best hands, and that my occasional
relief will be concluded in due time by a safe and radical cure.
I have not been advised to make any change in my way of life, and
after enjoying as usual the best Society in London, my physician has
allowed me to visit Sheffield-place. I arrived here yesterday, and
shall remain in this quiet retirement till the middle of January.
Lord Sheffield is nervous and rather low-spirited, complains of his
eyes and bowels, and appears to me more affected with his loss than
he was some months ago. The three Ladies pass the winter in the
Country, but he will frequently visit town and the house of Commons.
They all wish to be remembered to you, and Mrs. H. has enclosed
a letter for her maid. Adieu, my Dear Madam, believe me with the
warmest feelings of affection and gratitude,

  Ever Yours,
  E. GIBBON.



646.

_Mrs. Gibbon to Edward Gibbon._


A thousand thanks to you, my Dear Sir, for your very kind letter;
none ever gave me so much joy. I truly congratulate you on your
recovery, and sincerely hope it will improve every day to good &
lasting health, yet I fear you will make too free with the liberty
you have obtain'd, & therefore beg you to remember it is the middle
of winter; I am too happy at present to reproach you, & too much
rejoiced to express myself as I wish. I love L^d. Sheffield dearly,
indeed I cannot say how much, & shall be glad to hear you are at S. P.

I cannot help thinking you have had some share in certain appearances
at Court. Has L^d. S. refused the Irish vice royalty? Next to you,
I think of my Country. Ah, what a falling off from Roman Fortitude.
I shall add no more, but that I hardly know myself how much I am
interested in your health & happiness; may both attend you, & alway
think of me as

  Your most affectionate
  D. GIBBON.



647.

_To Lord Sheffield._


  St. James's Street, four o'clock, Tuesday, Jan. 7, 1794.[335]

[Sidenote: RETURN TO LONDON.]

*This date says every thing. I was almost killed between
Sheffield-place and East Grinsted, by hard, frozen, long, and cross
ruts, that would disgrace the approach of an Indian wigwam. The rest
was something less painful; and I reached this place half dead, but
not seriously feverish, or ill. I found a dinner invitation from
Lord Lucan; but what are dinners to me? I wish they did not know of
my departure. I catch the flying post. What an effort! Adieu, till
Thursday or Friday.*

       *       *       *       *       *

Gibbon died at 76, St. James's Street, on January 16, 1794. He was
buried in Lord Sheffield's family burial-place in Fletching, Sussex.

[Sidenote: LAST MOMENTS OF GIBBON.]

The following account of his last moments is given by Lord Sheffield
in his edition of Gibbon's _Miscellaneous Works_ (1814), vol. i. pp.
422-425:--

"After I left him on Tuesday afternoon, the fourteenth, he saw some
company, Lady Lucan and Lady Spencer, and thought himself well
enough at night to omit the opium draught, which he had been used
to take for some time. He slept very indifferently; before nine the
next morning he rose, but could not eat his breakfast. However, he
appeared tolerably well, yet complained at times of a pain in his
stomach. At one o'clock he received a visit of an hour from Madame de
Sylva, and at three, his friend, Mr. Craufurd, of Auchinames, (for
whom he had a particular regard,) called, and stayed with him till
past five o'clock. They talked, as usual, on various subjects; and
twenty hours before his death, Mr. Gibbon happened to fall into a
conversation, not uncommon with him, on the probable duration of his
life. He said, that he thought himself a good life for ten, twelve,
or perhaps twenty years. About six, he ate the wing of a chicken, and
drank three glasses of Madeira. After dinner he became very uneasy
and impatient; complained a good deal, and appeared so weak, that his
servant was alarmed. Mr. Gibbon had sent to his friend and relation,
Mr. Robert Darell, whose house was not far distant, desiring to
see him, and adding, that he had something particular to say. But,
unfortunately, this desired interview never took place.

"During the evening he complained much of his stomach, and of a
disposition to vomit. Soon after nine, he took his opium draught,
and went to bed. About ten, he complained of much pain, and desired
that warm napkins might be applied to his stomach. He almost
incessantly expressed a sense of pain till about four o'clock in
the morning, when he said he found his stomach much easier. About
seven, the servant asked, whether he should send for Mr. Farquhar?
he answered, no; that he was as well as he had been the day before.
At about half past eight, he got out of bed, and said he was '_plus
adroit_' than he had been for three months past, and got into bed
again, without assistance, better than usual. About nine, he said
that he would rise. The servant, however, persuaded him to remain in
bed till Mr. Farquhar, who was expected at eleven, should come. Till
about that hour he spoke with great facility. Mr. Farquhar came at
the time appointed, and he was then visibly dying. When the _valet
de chambre_ returned, after attending Mr. Farquhar out of the room,
Mr. Gibbon said, '_Pourquoi est-ce que vous me quittez?_' This was
about half past eleven. At twelve, he drank some brandy and water
from a tea-pot, and desired his favourite servant to stay with him.
These were the last words he pronounced articulately. To the last he
preserved his senses; and when he could no longer speak, his servant
having asked a question, he made a sign, to shew that he understood
him. He was quite tranquil, and did not stir; his eyes half-shut.
About a quarter before one, he ceased to breathe.

"The _valet de chambre_ observed, that Mr. Gibbon did not, at any
time, shew the least sign of alarm or apprehension of death; and it
does not appear that he ever thought himself in danger, unless his
desire to speak to Mr. Darell may be considered in that light."

  [335] "The Gibbon is better, but I am by no means without
  inquietude on his account. It is thought necessary that he should
  go to London on Tuesday; probably I shall follow him shortly
  for two days, for I shall be impatient to see how he goes on"
  (Lord Sheffield to Lord Auckland, January 5, 1794: _Auckland
  Correspondence_, iii. 168).



INDEX.

     [Names, etc., marked with an asterisk occur only in the notes;
     where names occur in both text and note (on different pages),
     the numerical note-references are printed in italics.]


  A

  Abercromby, General, ii. 276, 285

  Abingdon, Earl of, i. 90

  Abingdon, Lady, i. 90

  Abington, Mrs. (Fanny Barton), ii. 4

  Abolition of Slave Trade, the, ii. 239, 294

  Acland, Colonel John Dyke, i. 325

  *Acland, Sir Thomas, i. 273

  Acton, Dr., his kindness to Gibbon, i. 36, 37;
    his misfortunes, i. 67

  Acton, Mrs., Gibbon's opinion of, i. 38

  *Acton, Lord, i. 37

  *Acton, Sir John F. E., i. 37

  Adam, Père, i. 92

  Addington, Dr. Anthony, attends Gibbon's father, i. 122;
    predicts recovery of George III., i. _122_;
    attends Godfrey Clarke, i. 238, 241

  *Adelaide, Madame, i. 326; ii. 292

  *Aitken ("John the Painter"), the Bristol incendiary, i. 301

  Albemarle, Lady, i. 207

  Alien Bill, the, ii. 363

  *Allen, Ethan, i. 270

  Almack's Club, i. 283

  Althorpe, Lord, ii. 18

  America, resolutions of Congress, i. 242;
    Declaration of Independence, i. _283_;
    troubles with, i. 249-251, 256-265 _passim_, 270, 272, 278,
          284, 287 _et seq._, 316, 324, 325, 329; ii. 9, 25, 69,
          151;
    treaty with France, i. 333

  Amherst, Colonel, i. 174

  *Amory, Thomas, _The Life of John Buncle_, i. 189

  *Amyand, Sir George, ii. 184

  Ancaster, Duchess of, ii. 300, 315

  Ancram, Earl of, ii. 275

  Andrews, Richard, ii. 126, 138, 184

  *_Annual Register_, quoted, i. 17, 108, 146, 156, 220, 371

  *Anselme, General, ii. 314

  Apsley, Lord, i. 149

  *Arbuthnot, Admiral, i. 363, 384

  Arles, Archbishop of. _See_ Dulau, J. F. M.

  Armitstead, Mrs., marries C. J. Fox, ii. 179

  *Arnold, Benedict, i. 270, 275, 294

  *Arnould, Sophie, ii. 211

  Arras, Bishop of (M. H. de Conzie), ii. 266

  *Articles, Parliament and the XXXIX., i. 147

  Ashburnham, Lord, i. 225; ii. 305

  Ashburton, Lord, i. 90, 238;
    Madras Council prosecution, i. _362_;
    Chancellor of Duchy of Lancaster, ii. 13, 96

  Ashby, Mrs., i. 253, 287; ii. 22

  Associations, formed to support the Government, ii. 349, 352

  *Astley, Sir John, i. 148

  Aston, Lady, i. 38; ii. 135

  Aston, Sir Willoughby, i. 38; ii. 135

  Atwood's Club, Gibbon joins, i. 152

  Auckland, Lord (William Eden), American Commissioner, i. _332_;
    Gibbon's colleague on Board of Trade, i. _366_;
    his advice to Gibbon, i. 387;
    M.P. for Woodstock, i. 390;
    created a peer, ii. 25;
    squib on his mission to France, ii. 148;
    signs treaty between England and France, ii. _152_;
    Gibbon's claret, ii. 282, 288;
    at the Hague, ii. 365;
    Gibbon's host at Beckenham, ii. 395, 397;
    his _Journal and Correspondence_ quoted, ii. _19_, _35_,
          _57_, _92_, _157_, _158_, _162_, _172_, _265_,
          _397-399_

  Augusta, Princess (Duchess of Brunswick), i. 65, 149

  Austria, Emperor Leopold of, his meeting with King of Prussia at
        Pilnitz, ii. 271

  Austria, Empress Maria Theresa of, i. 394

  *Autobiography, Gibbon's, quoted, i. 25, 29, 173

  *Avranches, Bishop of, ii. 324


  B

  Bach, Johann Christian, appointed Director of Public Concerts in
        London, i. 204

  *Baddeley, Mrs., i. 146

  Bagshot camp, review at, ii. 304

  Baker, the Jesuit, receives Gibbon into Roman Catholic Church, i. 1

  *Ball, Dean of Chichester, i. 399

  Balsamo, Giuseppe. _See_ Cagliostro, Comte de

  Baltimore, Lord, i. 91

  *Bankes, Mr., M.P. for Corfe Castle, ii. 97

  Banks, Sir Joseph, ii, 218, 226, 239

  Barazzi, M. (Banker at Rome), i. 71, 72

  Barbary, and Spain, i. 265

  Barré, Colonel Isaac (the Black Musqueteers), i. 26, 145, 238,
        240, 250;
    Paymaster of the Forces, ii. 19

  *Barri, Madame du, i. 313, 314

  *Barrington, Viscount, i. 349

  *Barrington, Sir J., i. 89

  Barrington, Shute (Bishop of Durham), i. 195

  Barrymore, Lord, ii. 303

  Barthélemy, Marquis de, ii. 355, 370

  Bartoli, M., i. 59

  Barton, Mr., i. 142, 193

  Barton, George (Lord Sheffield's footman), i. 250, 252

  Bassano, Duc de, ii. 367

  Bathurst, Earl, i. _341_, 393

  Batt, John Thomas ("Lawyer Batt"), Master in Chancery, and
        Commissioner for auditing Public Accounts, i. 191, 196,
        216, 240, 261, 265, 273, 279, 390; ii. 136, 158, 163,
        218, 225, 239, 244, 313, 330, 349

  Batten, Mr., i. 162

  *Bavaria, Elector of, i. 334

  Bavois, Madame de (Miss Comarque), i. 82, 83, 220

  Bayley, Mr., i. 17, 119, 152, 249

  Bayley, Dr., ii. 394

  Beauchamp, Lord, i. 247, _393_; ii. 6, _32_, 102

  Beauclerk, Lady Diana, i. _82_, 279, 304, 348

  Beauclerk, Topham, i. _82_, 279, 280, 299, 304, 333, 348

  *Beaumarchais, i. 371

  *Beaumont and Fletcher's _Knight of the Burning Pestle_, i. 284

  Beauvais, Bishop of, ii. 342

  Beauvau, Princess de, i. 314, 319

  *Beckford, Lord Mayor, presents "Remonstrance" to King, i. 113

  *Beckford, Mr., and Gibbon's library, ii. 300

  Bedford, Duchess of, i. 262

  Bedford, Duke of, ambassador to France, i. 30, 32, 35;
    and the British Coffee-House, i. _201_

  *_Bedford Correspondence_, the, quoted, i. 28

  Belmore, Lady, ii. 275

  *Belmore, Lord, ii. 275

  Bellamont, Lord, his duel with Lord Townshend, i. 180, 182

  *Benfield, Paul, i. 308

  *Bengal, famine in, i. 184

  *Bentinck, Lord Edward, ii. 350

  Beriton, Gibbon's Hants Estate, i. 128, 153; ii. 6, 138, 175,
        182, 189, 199 _et seq._, 222 _et seq._, 227, 234, 240

  Berkeley, Lord, i. 58, 74

  Berne, Canton of, ii. 283, 295, 299, 316, 370

  *Berry, Miss, on Gibbon's library, ii. 301

  Bertrand-Molleville, Marquis de, ii. _311_, 329

  Besançon, Gibbon at, i. 36

  *Besson, Madame, i. 60

  *Best's _Personal and Literary Memorials quoted_, i. 396

  *_Biographie Universelle_, ii. 326

  Birch, Rev. Dr. Thomas, ii. 366

  *Biron, Duc de, ii. 290

  Biron, Duchesse de, ii. 289, 324, 333

  Black Musqueteers, the, i. 26

  Blackstone's _Commentaries_, quotation from, ii. 205

  Blessington, Earl of, i. 2

  Blondel, Gibbon's valet, ii. 124, 131

  Board of Trade, Gibbon appointed Commissioner of, i. 354, 366;
    vote passed against: Burke on value of, i. 378;
    suppressed, ii. 14

  Bobbin, Benjamin, i. 35

  Boissier, i. 94, 105

  Bolingbroke, Lady (Lady Diana Spencer), i. 82, 85

  Bolingbroke, Lord, "the Bully," i. 82, 85, _312_

  *Bollmann, M., ii. 292

  Bolton, Duke of, i. 39, 44, _153_

  Bolton, Theophilus, i. 81

  *Bombelles, Madame de, ii. 115

  *Bondeli, Julie von, her account of Gibbon and Mdlle. Curchod, i. 40

  *Bonfoy, Captain Hugh, R.N., i. 189, 265

  Bonfoy, Mrs. Hugh (_née_ Eliot), i. 189, 220, 266; ii. 386

  Bonham, Mr., ii. 175, 182

  Bontemps, Madame, i. 31, 35

  Boodle's Club, Masquerade given by, at the Pantheon, i. 212, 215

  Bordot, M., i. 22

  Borromean Islands, i. 57

  Boston, attack upon the teaships in the harbour, i. _205_;
    Port Bill, i. 206, 208;
    investment of, i. 257, 258

  *Boswell's _Life of Johnson_ quoted, i. 273

  *Boufflers, Duc de, ii. 289

  *Boufflers, Marquise de, i. 312

  Bouillé, Marquis de, ii. 254, 256, _270_, 285, 286, _329_

  Bouillon, Duc de, ii. 256, _334_

  Bouillon, Madame de, ii. 334

  Boulogne, Gibbon at, i. 27

  Bourbon, Abbé de, ii. 115

  Bourbon, Duc de, ii. _237_, 269

  Bourcard, M., ii. 45

  Boydell, John (Lord Mayor), his edition of Shakespeare, ii. 276,
        359, 374

  Bradley, Thomas, i, 35

  *Bramston's _The Man of Taste_, i. 124

  *Brandt, i. 143

  *Brathwaite, Colonel, ii. 19

  *Brentès, Madame de, i. 81

  Bricknall, Mr. Gibbon's lawyer, i. 131, 133, 141, 150, 153

  Bridgewater, Duke of, i. 27, 28

  *Brienne, Cardinal de (Archbishop of Sens), ii. 162, 181

  Brighton, Gibbon's house at, ii. 3, 7

  Brissoné, Madame de, i. 2

  Brissot, J. Pierre (de Warville), ii. _258_, 259, _318_, _325_, 350

  *Bristol, Earl of, i. 21, 265; ii. 15

  Bristol, Countess of. _See_ Kingston, Duchess of

  Bristol, toll-gate riots at, ii. 390

  Bristow, Miss, ii. 105, 117

  British coffee-house, the resort of Scotchmen, i. 201

  Broglie, Duc de, ii. 269

  Bromwich, Mr., i. 93

  *Brooke, Member of Madras Council, i. 362

  *Brooklyn, battle of, i. 287

  *Brooks's Club, i. 283, 376

  Brown, Lancelot (the landscape gardener known as "Capability Brown"),
        i. 203

  Bruce, James, of Kinnaird, ii. 226

  Brunswick, Antiquities of the House of, ii. 228-232

  Brunswick, Hereditary Prince of, ii. 115, 117

  Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel, Duchess of, (Princess Augusta of Wales),
        i. 65, 149

  Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel, Duke of, i. _149_, _272_, 277;
    Commander-in-Chief of Austrian and Prussian armies, ii. 311, 319;
    his retreat, ii. 319, 326, 346;
    his manifestoes, ii. 368

  *Brydges, Sir Egerton, ii. 302

  Buckinghamshire, Lord, i. 394; ii. 275

  Budé, General, ii. 302, 327

  *Bull, Lord Mayor, i. 201

  *Burges, Sir James Bland, his account of Gibbon's first meeting
        with Pitt, ii. 28

  Burgoyne, General John, his motion on the E. I. Co., i. 184;
    in America, i. 249, 291;
    his surrender at Saratoga, i. 324, 325;
    refused admission to Court, i. 338

  *Burgoyne's _Maid of the Oaks_, i. 219

  Buriton. _See_ Beriton

  Burke, Edmund, i. 148;
    Goldsmith's Epitaph, i. _202_;
    meeting at Captain Horneck's, i. 207;
    description of, in Goldsmith's _Retaliation_, i. _210_;
    "a watermill of words and images," i. 240;
    "a Committee of Oblivion," i. 248;
    the New York Remonstrance. i. 256;
    on E. I. Co., i. 294;
    Tickell's _Anticipation_, i. 348;
    the Madras Council prosecution, i. 362;
    his Establishment Bill, i. 376; ii. 28;
    on literary value of Board of Trade, i. _378_;
    Paymaster-General, ii. _18_, _34_;
    Sheridan sinks into arms of, ii. 172;
    criticises Dr. Price's work, ii. 210;
    his _Reflections on the Revolution in France_, ii, 237, 249;
    Gibbon's opinion of, ii. 237, 251;
    his speech on Quebec Bill, ii. _246_;
    his strictures on Lally, ii. 274;
    attacks Paine's _Rights of Man_, ii. 297;
    "Mr. Fox's coach stops the way," ii. _306_;
    Irish Roman Catholics, ii. _321_;
    Philosophers in France, ii. 325;
    plan for settlement of French refugees, ii. 331

  *Burney, Dr., ii. 375

  *Burney, Miss, i. 148;
    on Miss Sarah Holroyd, i. 181;
    Lawyer Batt, a "prime favourite" of, i. 240;
    on Lord Eliot, i. 273;
    her reference to "Pliny" Melmoth, i. 326;
    her opinion of Lord Sheffield, i. 392;
    Lady Miller at Bath, ii. 2;
    Lady E. Foster, ii. 15;
    Madame de Staël at Dorking, ii. 375

  Burrard, Sir H., ii. 84, 93

  Burtenshaw's Manifesto, i. 221, 228

  *Burton, Rev. David, Canon of Christ Church, ii. 135

  Bute, Lord, i. _45_, _50_, _82_;
    the Ministerial Club, i. _84_;
    the Irish Catholics in arms, ii. 350

  Byng, John, i. 60

  *Byron, Lord, his definition of "ridotto," i. 124;
    his attack on Hayley, i. 398


  C

  Cadell, Thomas, Gibbon's publisher, i. 222, 279, 282, 285, 364;
        ii. 152, 157, 158, 176, 243, 282;
    Gibbon's letter to, ii. 313

  Cadogan, Dr., ii. 123, 310

  Cagliostro, Comte de (Giuseppe Balsamo), ii. 45, 54

  Calonne, Chas. Alexandre de, ii. 162, 237, 269

  Cambis, Madame de, i. 312; ii. 290

  *Cambis, Vicomte de, i. 312

  Cambridge, Richard O., i. 108, 279; ii. 226;
    his family called by Gibbon "eloquent nymphs of Twickenham,"
          i. 192, 197;
    "the Cantabs," i. 228, 233

  Camden, Lord, i. 149, 333;
    President of the Council, ii. _13_, 306

  *Campazas, Friar Gerund de, i. 144

  *Campbell, Lord, and the Rosslyn MSS., ii. 372

  Cane, Eliz. Bridget (Mrs. Armitstead), ii. 179

  Caplin, Gibbon's servant, i. 197, 230, 248; ii. 8, 9, 59, 110,
        119, 131, 166

  *Carey, General, i. 282

  *Carhampton, Earl of, i. 146

  Carleton, Sir Guy (Gov.-General of Canada), i. _270_, _276_, 277,
        286, 290;
    siege of Ticonderoga, i. 294

  Carlisle, Lord, his opinion of Madame Geoffrin, i. _29_;
    appointed American Commissioner, i. 332;
    Lord Privy Seal, ii. _34_

  Carmarthen, Marquis of, ii. _28_, _86_, 327

  Carnarvon, Marquis of, i. 39, _44_; ii. 303

  *Carnatic, Nabob of the, i. 209, 308

  Carter, Miss, ii. 135

  Castries, Marquis de, ii. 210, 267, 269

  Catch Club, The Noblemen and Gentlemen's, i. 200, 283

  Catherine, Empress of Russia, i. _158_, 270; ii. 247

  *Cavendish, Lord George, i. 232; ii. 350

  Cavendish, Lord John, his amendment on American affairs, i. 240,
        _273_; ii. _32_;
    Chancellor of Exchequer, ii. _13_, 18, _34_

  Cazalès, Jacques Marie de, ii. 252, 269, 274

  Celesia, Madame (_née_ Mallet), i. 18, 21, 62, 124

  Celesia, Pietro Paolo, i. _18_, 20, 62

  Chandieu, Mdlle. de, ii. 43

  *Charlemont, Lord, i. 85

  *Charles Emanuel III., King of Sardinia, i. 58

  Charles X. (Comte d'Artois), ii. 203, _204_, 251, _266_

  Charrières, Madame de, ii. 43

  Chateauneuf, M. de, French Resident at Geneva, ii. 317

  Chateau-Vieux, Swiss regiment of, ii. 270

  *Chatham, Earl of, returns to public life, i. 112;
    his American Bill, i. 251;
    his boast, i. 290;
    conciliation for America, i. 324;
    his death, i. 338

  Chatillon, Marie Jeanne de. _See_ Bontemps, Madame

  Chauvelin, M., ii. 362, _366_, 367, 370

  Chelsum, Dr. James, on _Decline and Fall_, i. 295

  *Chermont d'Amboise, Marquis de, i. 314

  Chesterfield, Lord, i. _25_, 150, 158;
    his _Letters_, i. 195;
    his _Portraits_, i. _313_

  *Cheyte Singh, Rajah of Benares, ii. 26

  Chichester, Earl of (Lord Pelham of Stanmer), i. 200

  Chichester, Lady, i. 200

  *Child, Mr., author of _English and Scottish Popular Ballads_,
        i. 283

  *Chimay, Prince de, i. 312

  Choiseul, Duc de, i. 312, _314_, 318; ii. 286

  Cholmondeley, Earl, i. 262

  Christian VII., King of Denmark, i. 143

  Christie, Mr., ii. 69, 83

  *Chudleigh, Miss. _See_ Kingston, Duchess of

  *Cibber and Vanbrugh's _The Provoked Husband_, i. 366; ii. 29

  *Clare, Lord, i. 132

  Clarges, Lady (_née_ Skrine), ii. 135

  *Clarges, Sir Thomas, ii. 135

  Clarke, Godfrey Bagnal, Gibbon's intimate friend, i. 144, 148, 155,
        201, 205, 208, 211, 214, 219, 222-224, 229, 232, 238, 241,
        244

  Clarke, George Hyde, i. 61

  *Clarke, Jervoise, i. 89, 90

  Clavière, Etienne, ii. 315

  *Cleland, John, i. 53

  *Clermont-Tonnerre, ii. 329

  Cline, Henry, ii. 393

  Clinton, Sir Henry, i. _349_, 384; ii. 71, 153, 240, 377

  Clinton, General Sir William, i. 249, 300; ii. _71_

  Clive, Lord, i. _184_, 238

  Clive, Mrs., i. 175

  Coalition Ministry, the (1783), ii. _34_, 86, 92

  Cobham, Lady, i. _314_, 316

  *Coblentz, the rallying-point of the _Emigrés_, ii. 265

  Cocoa-Tree Tavern, i. 84

  *Coke, T. W., M.P. for Norfolk, ii. 33

  Coleraine, Lord, i. _146_, 148, 310

  Colman, George, "The Luminous Historian," etc., i. _59_; ii. _154_;
    Gibbon's opinion of _The Man of Business_, i. 202;
    his description of Gibbon in _Random Records_, i. _213_

  Comarque, Miss. _See_ Bavois, Madame de

  Concord, the March to, i. 257

  *Conches, M. Feuillet de, ii. 257, 352

  Condé, Louis Joseph, Prince de, ii. 237, 265, 269

  Congress, American, i. 242, 250

  Conway, General, i. 84, _85_, _287_;
    Commander-in-Chief, ii. _13_, 18, 20, _32_

  Conway, Hon. and Rev. Edward, ii. 112

  Conway, Hon. William, ii. _7_, _18_, 20, 32

  Conway, T., i. 247

  Conzie, Marc Hilaire de (Bishop of Arras), ii. 266

  *Cook, Captain, ii. 218

  *Cooke, Dr., Provost of King's, Cambridge, i. 108, 157

  *Cooke, Thomas, known as "Hesiod" Cooke, i. 284

  *Cooper, John, M.P. for Downton, i. 250

  *Coote, Sir Eyre, ii. 26

  Corcelles, Madame de, ii. 43

  *Corisande, La belle, ii. 265

  *Cork, Earl of, i. 34

  Corn Regulation Bill, ii. 239

  *Cornelys, Mrs. Theresa, and the Soho Masquerades, i. 131

  Cornwallis, Hon. F. (Archbishop of Canterbury), i. 319

  Cornwallis, Lord, in America, ii. _171_;
    campaign against Tippoo, ii. 275, 285

  Courtenay, Hon. Charlotte, ii. 24

  Courtenay, Harry, i. 18

  Courtenay, Lord, ii. 24

  Coventry election petition, i. 393

  Cowper, Earl, i. 65

  *Cowper, William, i. 83

  Coxheath Camp, i. 340, 346;
    Lord Sheffield at, ii. 18, 25

  *Cradock, Joseph, i. 143

  *Craon, Prince de, i. 314

  Crauford, "Fish," ii. 67

  *Crauford, "Flesh," ii. 67

  Crauford, Mrs., Gibbon's landlady, ii. 164

  Craufurd of Auchinames, ii. 388, 400

  Craven, Lord, i. 148

  *Crewe, Lord, ii. 350

  *Cromwell, Major Henry, ii. 72

  Cromwell, Oliver (solicitor), ii. 72

  *Crosby, Lord Mayor Brass, i. 130

  Crousaz, Catherine, ii. 81

  Crousaz, Madame de. _See_ Montolieu, Madame de

  Cumberland, Duchess of (Mrs. Horton), i. _146_, 150, 154

  Cumberland, Duke of, i. _146_, _149_, 150, 154; ii. 3, 111

  *Cumberland's _Fashionable Lover_, i. 143

  *Cunningham, Captain, i. 310

  Curchod, Mdlle. Suzanne. _See_ Necker, Madame

  Custine, Adam de, his incursion into Germany, ii. 319, 332

  Cuthbert, Dr., attends Gibbon's father, i. 115


  D

  d'Agnesseau, Madame, ii. 333

  *d'Allonville, Comte, ii. 326

  Dalrymple, Sir John, _Memoirs of Great Britain and Ireland_, i. 131

  Damas, Comte, ii. 286

  Damer, Hon. John, i. 139, 144, 287

  *Damer, Hon. Lionel, ii. 350

  *d'Arblay, Madame, _Diary and Letters_, quoted, i. 108; ii. 15,
        211, 284, 302

  Darby, Captain, i. 257, 258, 260

  *d'Argenteuil, M., i. 294

  d'Argout, Comte, ii. 280

  Darrel, Mr., i. 7, 20, 74

  Darrel, Mrs., i. 7, 17, 38

  Darrel, Robert, ii. 34, 280, 376, 400

  Dartmouth, Lord, i. 258, _278_

  d'Artois, Comte (Charles X.), ii. 203, _204_, 251, _266_

  *d'Assas, Chevalier, ii. 204

  d'Augny, M., i. 31, 35

  *d'Aunoy, Madame, _Mémoires de la Cour d'Espagne_, quoted, i. 202

  *Davis, Henry Edward, i. 355

  *Davy, Sir Humphrey, i. 139

  Dawkes, Mrs., i. 204

  *d'Ayen, Duc, i. 305; ii. 333

  *Dean, Sir Robert, i. 85

  Deane, Silas, i. _301_, 334; ii. 66

  _Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, History of_, i. 259, 261,
        264, 275, 277, 279, 285, 295, 304, 342, 355, 366, 396;
        ii. 21, 119, 143, 152, 170, 230

  Deffand, Madame du, on Madame Geoffrin, i. _29_;
    on Voltaire's _La Princesse de Babylone_, i. _91_;
    her reference to the Neckers, i. _281_;
    her life in Paris described by Gibbon, i. 312;
    on Gibbon and Madame de Cambis, i. _313_;
    on Bishop of Arras, ii. 266

  *Deffand, Marquis du, i. 312

  *Defoe's _Memoirs of Captain Carleton_, i. 273

  *de la Borde, Jean Benjamin, ii. 54

  Delacour, Dr., i. 268, 304, 336, 337, 394; ii. 10

  *Delaval, Lord, ii. 275

  *Delaval, Sir Francis, ii. 275

  *de la Warr, Lord, i. 107

  *d'Enghien, Duc, ii. 237

  Denhoff, Countess, i. 149

  Denmark, Christian VII., King of, i. 143

  Denmark, Juliana Maria, Queen Dowager of, i. 143

  Denmark, Queen Caroline Matilda of, i. 143

  Denmark, Revolution in, i. 143, 144, 146, 149

  *d'Ennery, Comte, ii. 280

  Denton, Mrs., i. 130

  Denys, Madame (Voltaire's niece), i. 43, 92

  *Derry, Bishop of, ii. 15, 388

  d'Estaing, Comte, i. 337, 350, 370, _384_, 395

  Devonshire, Duchess of, i. _33_, 370; ii. 300, 310, 312, 315,
        319, 327, 339, 388

  Devonshire, Duke of, ii. _15_, 305

  Deyverdun, George, Gibbon's intimate friend, i. 82, 83, 110, 158,
        188-214 _passim_, 232, 236, 255, 262, 291;
    offers his house to Gibbon, ii. 41, 108;
    his description of Lausanne society, ii. 43;
    Gibbon's host at Lausanne, ii. 75 _et seq._;
    Gibbon's opinion of, ii. 89, 118;
    his illness, ii. 176, 179, 188;
    and death, ii. 194, 207, 229;
    Gibbon's letters to, ii. 35, 45, 54;
    his letters to Gibbon, ii. 39, 52

  *d'Haussonville, M., his _Salon de Madame Necker_, i. 40, _41_

  *d'Hénin, Prince, ii. 211

  d'Hénin, Princess, ii. 211, _290_, 322, 324, 329, 334, 342, 349, 377

  _Diary_, the (newspaper), ii. 351, 370

  *_Dictionary of National Biography_ quoted, i. 283

  Digby, Captain, i. 334

  *Dillon, Mr., i. 180

  *Dillon, General, murdered, ii. 299

  *Disraeli's _Calamities of Authors_ quoted, i. 23

  *Dodsley's tragedy of _Cleone_, i. 18

  Dorchester, Earl of, i. 139; ii. _350_

  d'Orleans, Regent Duc, i. _312_, 326

  Dorset, 1st Duke of, i. 139

  Dorset, 3rd Duke of, Ambassador at Paris, i. 226; ii. _86_

  *d'Orvilliers, Count, i. 349

  Douglas, Lady Catherine, ii. 377, 387

  *Dowling, Surgeon, ii. 295

  Down, Charles, i. 244

  Downes, Rev. Dr. Dive, i. 205

  Downshire, Marquis of, ii. 5

  Draper, General Sir William, ii. 22

  *Drouet, Postmaster, ii. 254, 326

  Drummond, Andrew, i. 71

  Duane, Mr., i. 201, 218, 226, 234, 261, 264

  Dulau, J. F. M. (Archbishop of Arles), ii. 322, 325;
    his murder described, ii. 333, 341

  *Dummer, Thos. Lee, i. 90, 250

  Dumont, M., ii. 258

  Dumouriez, M., ii. _299_, _319_, 326, 368

  Duncannon, Lady, ii. 310, 312

  Duncannon, Lord, ii. _18_, 19

  *Duncombe, Thomas, i. 250

  Dundas, Hon. Henry (afterwards Lord Melville), Treasurer of Navy,
        ii. _19_, _86_;
    Lord Advocate, ii. _85_;
    Secretary of State, ii. _247_, 306;
    Abolition of Slave Trade, ii. 294;
    suggests coalition between Pitt and Fox, ii. 306;
    king's message for augmentation of forces, ii. 365

  Dunning, John. _See_ Ashburton, Lord

  d'Ursel, Duke, ii. 83

  Dutch, fears of war with, i. 348, 353

  Dutens, Louis, i. 56, 59

  *_Dutensiana_, i. 314

  Dux, George, i. 52


  E

  *Eames, John, i. 89

  Eardley, Lord (Sir Sampson Gideon), i. 225, 332; ii. 216

  East India Company, the, i. 184, 186, 209, 308; ii. 85

  *_Eccentricities for Edinburgh_ quoted, i. 59

  *Eden, Sir Robert, ii. 397

  Eden, William. _See_ Auckland, Lord

  Egerton, Sir Thomas, i. 148

  Egremont, Lord, i. 247, 249; ii. 175, 182, 305, 388

  Elgin, Thomas, Lord, Envoy at Brussels, ii. 383

  Elkin, Sir George, i. 16

  Eliot, Captain John, i. 62

  Eliot, Hon. Edward James, i. 390, 394; ii. 19, 20, 22, 143

  Eliot, Hon. John, i. 217, 229, 380

  Eliot, Lady, i. 98, 110, 122, 131, 132, 365

  Eliot, Lord (of St. Germans), i. 70, 84, 183, 188, 193, 228, 230,
        231, 254, 273, 342, 367, 369, 374;
    Gibbon's appeal to and defence, i. 385, 389

  Eliott, Admiral Sir George A. _See_ Heathfield, Lord

  Elizabeth, Queen, story of Lord Essex's ring, i. 276

  Elliot, Grey, ii. 69

  *Elliot, Lady, ii. 374

  Elliot, Sir Gilbert, i. 251;
    on treaty between France and U. S. A., i. _333_;
    his daughter's marriage, ii. 25;
    his _Life and Letters_ quoted, ii. _172_, _306_, _351_, _374_;
    his support of Government, ii. 305;
    Duke of Portland's views of Alien Bill, ii. 363

  Ellis, George, editor of _Fabliaux_, etc., i. _139_;
    Sir Walter Scott on, ii. 184;
    lines on Pitt in _Rolliad_, _ibid._

  Ellis, Governor Henry, i. 73

  *Elliston, Mrs., of South Weald, i. 70

  Elmsley, Peter, the bookseller, i. 372; ii. 60, 94, 105, 113, 126,
        158, 214, 314, 388

  *Elstob, Lewis, i. 118, 372

  Elstob, Mrs., i. 372

  Ely, Lady, i. 266

  Ely, Lord, i. 265

  Ely, Madame, ii. 386

  Erskine, ii. 297

  _Essai sur l'étude de la Littérature_, Gibbon's first published
        work, i. 20, 80

  Essex, Earl of, i. 276

  Establishment Bill, i. 376

  Etienne, Gibbon's valet, ii. 243, 253

  Exchequer Bills, issue of, ii. 382

  Exeter, Lord, i. 65

  Exilles, Fort, i. 59

  *Eyre, Mr., printer, i. 263


  F

  *Falkland, Lord, i. 282

  *Fanshaw, Miss, ii. 284

  Farquhar, Sir Walter, ii. 393, 395, 398, 401

  *Farquhar's _The Twin Rivals_, ii. 102

  Faukier, Mr., i. 163

  Featherstonhaugh, Lady, i. 232, 235, 246, 249

  Featherstonhaugh, Sir H., i. 162, 214, 235, 247, 249

  Featherstonhaugh, Sir M., i. 56, _67_, 83, 84, 131, 162, _247_

  Fenestrelle, Fort, i. 59

  *Ferguson, Lieut. James, killed by Captain Roche, i. 209

  Ferrières, M. de, ii. 318

  *Fersen, Comte de, ii. 292

  *Feuchéres, Madame de, ii. 237

  Firth, Miss, ii. 82, 91, 98, 334;
    Gibbon's letter to, ii. 98;
    and Severy's studies, ii. 167

  Fischer, M., ii. 260, _283_, 375

  *Fitzherbert, Mrs., ii. 150

  Fitzjames, Duchess of, ii. 324

  Fitzmaurice, Lord. _See_ Shelburne, Earl of

  Fitzpatrick, Lady Mary. _See_ Holland, Lady

  Fitzroy, Mrs., i. 90

  Fitzwilliam, Lord, ii. 305

  Flanders, invasion of, ii. 299

  *Fleming, Sir John, i. 261

  Flood, Henry, i. 264

  Florence, Gibbon at, i. 63

  *Floyer, Mr., Member of Madras Council, i. 362

  Foley, Mr., English banker at Paris, i. 33, 36

  Foote, Samuel, his _Bankrupt_, i. 192;
    _A Trip to Calais_ stopped by Duchess of Kingston, i. 265

  Ford, Mrs., Gibbon's housekeeper, i. 192; ii. 8

  Fordwich, Lord. _See_ Cowper, Earl

  Fort Louis, surrender of garrison to Austrians, ii. 396

  Foster, Lady Elizabeth, described by Gibbon as "a bewitching
        animal," "goddess," "still adorable," "Bess," etc., ii. 15,
        81, 117, 300, 308, 310, 312, 319, 339, 388;
    Gibbon's letter to, on Lady Sheffield's death, ii. 380

  Foster, John. _See_ Oriel, Lord

  *Foster, John Thomas, ii. 15

  Fothergill, Dr., i. 177

  Fowler, Mr., ii. 340

  Fox, Charles James, supports Church of England, i. 148;
    Royal Marriage Bill, i. 151;
    his debts, i. 198, 264;
    on troubles with America, i. 249, 256, 303, _324_, _328_;
    the king's debts, i, 308;
    on the Canadian Expedition, i. _333_;
    Tickell's _Anticipation_, i. 348;
    his lines on Gibbon as Commissioner of Trade, i. 354;
    on Sheffield's Regiment of Horse, i. _380_;
    M.P. for Westminster, i. 388, 390;
    "the black Patriot," ii. 4;
    Secretary of State, ii. _13_, _34_;
    resigns office, ii. 18;
    and American independence, ii. 25;
    George III.'s behaviour to, ii. _34_;
    sale of his library, ii. _68_;
    his two India Bills, ii. _86_;
    Gibbon's opinion of, ii. 85, 92, 96, 251, 356, 360, 372;
    suggested union with Pitt, ii. 92, 306, 307, 330;
    no compromise, ii. 97;
    his "Martyrs," ii. 102;
    "the man of the people," ii. 179;
    his marriage, _ibid._;
    twelve hours' talk with Gibbon, ii. 180;
    speech on treaty between Russia and Turkey, ii. 246;
    on Abolition of Slave Trade, ii. _294_;
    his half-support of Grey's motion, ii. 297, 320;
    "but fifty followers," ii. 305;
    rejoices at retreat of Prussians, ii. _320_;
    "detestable" on French affairs, ii. 330;
    on the calling out of the Militia, ii. 349, 350;
    his motion for an Embassy to France, ii. 350, 353;
    opposes Alien Bill, ii. 364;
    Duke of Portland's adherence to, ii. 367, 368;
    opposes augmentation of forces, ii. 368

  Fox, Hon. Stephen. _See_ Holland, 2nd Lord

  France, fears of war with, i. 289, 317;
    treaty with America, i. 333;
    war with, i. 339; ii. 362, _374_;
    treaty with England, ii. _152_;
    war declared against Francis Joseph, ii. _279_;
    war with Austria and Prussia, ii. 319;
    treaty with Geneva, ii. 325, 331, 345;
    war with England, Holland, and Spain, ii. 362, 374

  Francillon, M., ii. 283

  *Francis Joseph, of Austria, ii. 279, 292

  Frankland, Miss Anne (Lady Chichester), i. 200

  *Frankland, Sir Thomas, i. 200

  Franklin, Dr., i. 162, _243_, 310, 313

  Fraser, General, i. 264, 299, 363

  Fraser, General Simon, i. 325

  Fraser, Mrs., "Donna Catherina," i. 300; ii. 105, 117

  Fredennick, M., ii. 260

  *Frederick the Great, i. 158; ii. 210

  Frederick II. of Prussia, i. 143; ii. 137

  Frederick William of Prussia at Pilnitz, ii. 271

  French Revolution, ii. _246_, 249, 270, 287, 293, 311;
    massacres of September, 1792, ii. 312, 321, 351;
    and Ireland, ii. 320;
    murder of Louis XVI., ii. 360, 365

  Frey, M., escorts Gibbon to Lausanne, i. 1

  *"Friends of the People," an association for reform of
        representative system, ii. 297

  Fullarton, Colonel, ii. 168

  Fuller, Miss, called "Sappho" by Gibbon, i. 196, 198, 202, 208, 241

  Fuller, Rose, i. _196_, 208


  G

  Gage, General, i. 206, 257, 258, 260, 266

  Gage, William Hall, Viscount, "the green plumb," i. 225, 227

  *Galovkin, Comte Fédor, i. 81

  *Gansel, Major-General, i. 109

  Garrick, David, as "Sir John Brute," i. 19;
    Gibbon a friend of, i. 201, 289, 333;
    in _Hamlet_, i. 203;
    letter from Gibbon to, quoted, i. _317_

  Gascoyne, Bamber, i. 366

  *Gates, General, i. 325

  _Gazette_, the, i. 257, _392_

  *_Gazetteer_, the, i. 146

  Gee, Mr., i. 3, 6

  *Genlis, Comte de, i. 326

  Genlis, Madame de, her opinion of Madame de Cambis, i. _313_;
    of Princesse de Beauvau, i. _314_;
    on _Decline and Fall_, i. 326;
    on Dr. Tissot's skill, ii. _77_;
    her story of Gibbon and Madame de Montolieu, ii. 154

  Geneva, threatened by French, ii. 317, 322;
    the Government at, ii. 318;
    treaty with France, ii. 325, 331, 345;
    new constitution of, ii. 370

  Genoa, Gibbon at, i. 61

  _Gentleman's Magazine_ cited, ii. _289_, _301_, 302, 314, _349_

  Geoffrin, Madame, i. 29

  *George II., ii. 321

  George III., i. _45_;
    grants pension to M. de Viry, i. _56_;
    his intervention in Denmark, i. 143;
    Royal Marriage Bill, i. 154;
    reviews fleet at Spithead, i. _186_;
    the King's speech and America, i. 238;
    negotiates for hire of Russian mercenaries, i. 270;
    and Sir H. Palliser's leg, i. _356_;
    his behaviour to Fox, ii. _34_;
    refuses to dismiss ministers, ii. 100;
    his illness and recovery, ii. _181_, 191;
    and Lally, ii. 285;
    reviews troops at Bagshot, ii. _304_;
    proclaims tumultuous meetings, etc., ii. _305_;
    Lally's _Plaidoyer_, ii. _375_.

  George IV. _See_ Wales, Prince of

  Germain, Lady George, i. 328

  Germain, Lord George. _See_ Sackville, Lord

  *Germain, Sir John, i. 198

  Germanie, M. de, ii. 291

  *Gibbon, Mrs., _née_ Porten (Gibbon's mother), i. 2

  Gibbon, Mrs., _née_ Patton (Gibbon's stepmother), her opinion
        of Miss Catherine Porten, i. 2;
    marries Gibbon's father, i. 7;
    Gibbon's inquiries about, i. 8;
    subjects of Gibbon's letters to:--
      Dr. Turton, i. 16, 114, 150, 371;
      money troubles, i. 19, 352, 359;
      his own health, i. 83, 114, 150, 158, 246, 321, 322, 371,
            377-379, 399; ii. 12, 108, 129, 141, 166, 248;
      his father's accident, i. 26;
      Paris and the Parisians, i. 28-32, 315, 320;
      Duke of Bedford, i. 30, 32;
      M. d'Augny: Madame Bontemps, i. 31;
      Dr. Acton at Besançon, i. 36;
      his life at Lausanne, i. 39, 42, 49, 50; ii. 76, 88-141
            _passim_, 177;
      Mdlle. Curchod, i. 40;
      Voltaire, i. 43, 91;
      Lady M. W. Montagu's _Letters_, i. 53;
      his tour in Italy, i. 63;
      English visitors at Lausanne, i. 65;
      Rome to Naples, i. 73;
      Venice, i. 75;
      Deyverdun and Miss Comarque, i. 83;
      the "School of Vice," i. 84;
      Ranelagh Gardens, i. 89;
      his father's reproaches, i. 98;
      his father's illness and death, i. 97, 105, 106, 118;
      fall of the ministry, i. 112;
      the "Remonstrance" debate, i. 113;
      Lenborough, i. 126, 158, 182, 185, 187, 210, 289;
      Beriton, i. 128, 153; ii. 175, 206, 248;
      "the formal Mr. Bricknall," i. 131-133, 141;
      Danish revolution, i. 143;
      Royal Marriage Bill, i. 154;
      house-hunting in London, i. 171, 172, 175, 179;
      James Scott's death, i. 177;
      the Townshend-Bellamont duel, i. 180, 182;
      his "notions" of London life, i. 188;
      his friend Deyverdun, i. 188, 210, 262; ii. 89 _et seq._,
            177, 207;
      "an approaching daughter-in-law," i. 197;
      Johann C. Bach, i. 204;
      masquerade at Pantheon, i. 215;
      "Mrs. Gibbon of Northamptonshire, not of Bath," i. 216;
      Madame de Bavois, i. 220;
      offer of a seat in Parliament, i. 230, 231;
      M.P. for Liskeard, i. 234;
      Godfrey Clarke's illness and death, i. 238, 244;
      his Parliamentary life, i. 248, 253, 289, 325, 331, 365, 373;
      his History, see _Decline and Fall_;
      story of Essex's ring, i. 276;
      the Neckers, i. 283, 306, 320; ii. 122;
      Garrick, i. 289;
      two answers to his History, i. 295;
      Dr. Hunter's Anatomy Lectures, i. 304;
      her groundless fears, i. 305, 306;
      his Paris friends, i. 315;
      Duke of Richmond, i. 316;
      Madame de Genlis, i. 326;
      at Coxheath Camp, i. 346;
      his views on matrimony, i. 351;
      a Lord of Trade, i. 366, 378;
      Lord Eliot, i. 369, 374, 386, 391;
      his _Mémoire Justificatif_, i. 371;
      Mrs. Williams, i. 372, 374;
      Irish trade, i. 373;
      Lord Sheffield's first speech, i. 380;
      a dissolution expected, i. 380;
      the Gordon riots, i. 381, 382;
      Sheffield and the Northumberland Militia, i. 381;
      Sir Henry Clinton, i. 384;
      weary of political life, i. 391;
      George Scott's death, i. 393;
      M.P. for Lymington, ii. 1;
      at Brighthelmstone, ii. 3, 7;
      Hayley, the poet, ii. 8, 17;
      North's resignation, ii. 13;
      Board of Trade suppressed, ii. 14;
      Lady Elizabeth Foster, ii. 15;
      Rockingham's death, ii. 17;
      at "Single-Speech" Hamilton's house, ii. 21;
      Mrs. Ashby, ii. 22;
      Pitt, ii. 28;
      Mrs. Siddons, ii. 29;
      the Coalition Ministry, ii. 34;
      retires from Parliament, ii. 58;
      his Lausanne plans, ii. 58, 61, 64, 71;
      his propensity for happiness, ii. 88;
      society at Lausanne, ii. 89, 90, 122;
      climate at Lausanne, ii. 129;
      changes in English politics, ii. 131;
      a regimen of boiled milk, ii. 142;
      his house and garden, ii. 142, 248;
      a ministry of respectable boys, ii. 143;
      intention to visit England, ii. 155;
      the two Mr. Gibbons, ii. 159;
      Sheffield Place, ii. 160;
      Bath, ii. 161;
      his compliment to Lord North, ii. 170;
      Cadell's discretion, ii. 176;
      Hugonin's neglect, ii. 207;
      the French Revolution, ii. 249, 308;
      the Sheffields' visit to Lausanne, ii. 309;
      her illness and recovery, ii. 348;
      his return to England, ii. 381, 384;
      at Althorp, ii. 391;
      his illness, ii. 394, 398.
    Her letters to Gibbon, ii. 385, 399

  Gibbon, Edward (father), subjects of his son's letters to:--
      First impressions of Lausanne, i. 1;
      Voltaire, i. 5;
      a stepmother, i. 10;
      studies under Pavillard, _ibid._;
      proposed Swiss tour, i. 13;
      Holland, i. 15;
      Sir George Elkin's marriage, i. 16;
      the Lottery, i. 17;
      King's Scholars' play, i. 18;
      the Celesias, i. 18, 62;
      Dr. Maty: Mdlle. de Vaucluse and M. Celesia, i. 20;
      his London friends, i. 21;
      hopes of Parliament, i. 23, 45;
      paternal doubts and suspicions, i. 34;
      Taafe, i. 35;
      gambling losses, i. 36, 47;
      Dr. Acton and Besançon, i. 37;
      the Swiss Militia, i. 38;
      financial troubles, i. 45-48, 51, 52, 55, 69, 71, 73, 93-107
            _passim_;
      Mont Cenis, i. 55;
      Turin, i. 56;
      Venice, i. 61;
      his friend Guise, i. 62;
      Rome, i. 66;
      Trajan's Pillar, i. 67;
      Barazzi the banker, i. 71;
      Sir T. Worsley, i. 78;
      a burgess of Newtown, i. 88;
      the Putney Writings, i. 93;
      Gosling's mortgage, i. 94, 95.
    His death, i. 117

  Gibbon, Edward--
    1753-1772.
      Under Pavillard's care at Lausanne, i. 1;
      a gambling scrape: his appeal to Aunt Catherine, i. 3, 4;
      Voltaire at Geneva, i. 5, 43;
      his father's second marriage, i. 7;
      his plans and studies, i. 9-11;
      his father's silence, i. 13;
      returns to England, i. 15;
      the Lottery, i. 17;
      the Celesias, i. 18, 20;
      distressed for money, i. 19;
      his quarrel with Dr. Maty, i. 21;
      a seat in Parliament--ambitions, hopes, and fears, i. 23, 45;
      in the Hants Militia, i. 25, 87;
      at Boulogne, i. 27;
      friends and acquaintances in Paris, i. 28, 33;
      Thomas Bradley's affair, i. 35;
      Dr. Acton at Besançon, i. 36;
      with his old acquaintance at Lausanne, i. 38 _et seq._;
      Mdlle. Curchod, i. 40, 81;
      the fall of our tyrant, i. 44;
      unhappy circumstances of our estate, i. 47;
      a mixture of books and good company, i. 49;
      Lady M. W. Montagu's _Letters_, i. 53;
      proposed tour in Italy, i. 54;
      Turin, i. 55, 58;
      Borromean Islands, i. 57;
      his snuff box and the King of Sardinia's daughters, i. 58;
      Milan, i. 60;
      Genoa, i. 61;
      Florence, i. 63;
      Englishmen at Florence, i. 65;
      Rome, i. 67 _et seq._;
      ways and means, i. 69, 100 _et seq._, 127, 136, 165-170;
      the very worst roads in the universe, i. 73;
      least satisfied with Venice, i. 75;
      Austrian etiquette, i. 80;
      separations increase daily, i. 82;
      the "School of Vice," i. 84;
      "Monsieur Olroy's" marriage, i. 85;
      a burgess of Newtown, i. 88;
      Ranelagh Gardens, i. 89;
      Voltaire ruined, i. 91;
      the Putney Writings, i. 93, 105;
      paternal doubts and suspicions, i. 98;
      the deed of trust, i. 99, 101;
      Wentzel, the oculist, i. 105;
      the plain dish of friendship, i. 108;
      the "Remonstrance" debate, i. 113;
      his father's illness and death, i. 115, 117, 121, 122;
      Aunt Hester's kind letter, i. 121;
      detained by Ridottos, i. 124;
      the Soho masquerade, i. 131;
      the eternal Bricknall, i. 133;
      "Farmer Gibbon of no use!" i. 138;
      "Quis tulerit Gracchos," i. 140;
      these Denmark affairs, i. 143, 149;
      Royal Marriage Bill, i. 146, 151, 154;
      the Pantheon, i. 147;
      Worthy Champions of the Church, i. 148;
      the business of Lord and Lady Grosvenor, i. 149;
      Dr. Nowell's sermon, i. 151;
      Sir R. Worsley, i. 153;
      Lord Sheffield's editorial methods, i. _155_;
      Deyverdun's arrival, i. 158 (_see also_ Deyverdun, George);
      Master Holroyd's death, i. 160;
      a sprained ankle, i. 161;
      the loud trumpet of advertisements, i. 163;
      a tenant for Beriton, i. 165;
      Lady Rous' house, i. 171-175;
      North's somnolence, i. 173;
      James Scott's death, i. 177
    1773-1783.
      Bellamont-Townshend duel, i. 180;
      a due mixture of study and society, i. 183;
      the E. I. Co., i. 184, 186, 209, 308; ii. 85;
      sale of Lenborough, i. 186; ii. 83;
      Hume: W. Robertson, i. 190;
      Foote's _Bankrupt_, i. 192;
      the beauties of Cornwall, i. 194;
      declines publication of Chesterfield's _Letters_, i. 195;
      an approaching daughter-in-law, i. 197;
      Fox's debts, i. 198;
      Kelly's _School of Wives_, i. 199;
      a dinner at the "Breetish" Coffee House, i. 201;
      Colman's _Man of Business_, i. 202;
      heads of a convention, i. 205;
      Boston Port Bill, i. 206;
      Mrs. Horneck, i. 207;
      great news from India, i. 209;
      receiving one friend and comforting another, i. 210;
      Johnson and Gibbon--a contrast, i. 213;
      Boodle's triumph, i. 215;
      all the news of Versailles, i. 218;
      Lord Stanley's fête champêtre, i. 219;
      Madame de Bavois, i. 220;
      Godfrey Clarke's illness and death, i. 223, 238, 244;
      a new man for the county, i. 225;
      Romanzow's victory, i. 227;
      offer of a seat, i. 228;
      M.P. for Liskeard, i. 229;
      dissolution and election, i. 231;
      Wilkes at the Mansion House, i. 231;
      a visit to Bath, i. 231;
      his anxiety for Mrs. Holroyd, i. 237;
      deep in America, i. 243 (_see also_ America);
      a party of foxhunters, i. 247;
      troops for America, i. 249;
      North's conciliatory scheme, i. 251;
      a silent member, i. 253;
      presentation at Court, i. 255;
      the march to Concord, i. 257;
      a great historical work, i. 259;
      his History going to press, i. 261;
      nothing new from America, i. 265;
      his dog the comfort of his life, i. 267;
      his stepmother's small-pox, i. 268;
      difficulty in raising troops, i. 271;
      at work on his History, i. 273;
      the book almost ready, i. 275;
      story of Essex's ring, i. 276;
      his History published, i. 279;
      the Neckers in London, i. 281, 282;
      poor Mallet, i. 283;
      Dr. Porteous, i. 285;
      an Irish edition of the _Decline and Fall_, i. 288;
      fears of French war, i. 289;
      Howe's proclamation, i. 291;
      Suard translates his History, i. 293;
      two answers to his book, i. 295;
      Septehênes' translation of _Decline and Fall_, i. 297;
      a war of posts, i. 299;
      "John the Painter," i. 301;
      his uniform life, i. 302;
      Hunter's Lectures, i. 304;
      his stepmother's groundless fears, i. 306;
      starts for Paris, i. 309;
      pleasures and occupations in Paris, i. 311;
      his success in French society, i. 313;
      his friends and acquaintances, i. 315;
      no risk of war with France, i. 317;
      Duc de Choiseul, i. 318;
      a martyr to gout, i. 321;
      weary of the war, i. 323;
      Saratoga, i. 324;
      Madame de Genlis, i. 326;
      London a dead calm and delicious solitude, i. 327;
      conciliation for America, i. 329;
      suing for peace, i. 331;
      war with France, i. 333;
      his private affairs, i. 335;
      "in attendance of my Mama," i. 336;
      d'Estaing's fleet, i. 337;
      Keppel and the French frigates, i. 339, 343;
      Coxheath Camp, i. 340, 346;
      Brighton unsuitable, i. 345;
      Paul Jones, i. 347;
      battle of Ushant, i. 349;
      an effort of friendship, i. 351;
      advice to his stepmother, i. 352, 362;
      prospect of a place, i. 355;
      Palliser and Keppel, i. 356;
      his plans of economy, i. 359;
      Parliament and the Roman Empire, i. 361;
      a crestfallen ministry, i. 363;
      at work on his second volume, i. 365;
      a Lord of Trade, i. 366, 373;
      disclaims the _History of Opposition_, i. 369;
      his _Mémoire Justificatif_, i. 371;
      Holroyd for Coventry, i. 375;
      Rodney's victory, i. 376;
      "a mighty unrelenting tyrant, called the Gout," i. 377;
      Gordon Riots, i. 380;
      his two volumes in the press, i. 382;
      his seat uncertain, i. 385;
      another seat promised, i. 387;
      M.P. for Lymington, i. 387, 400; ii. 1;
      defends his conduct in Parliament, i. 389;
      weary of political life, i. 391;
      the Coventry election, i. 393;
      Holroyd created Lord Sheffield, i. 395;
      the reception given to his two volumes, i. 397;
      his annual Gout-tax, i. 399;
      his house at Brighton, ii. 3;
      French and Spanish ships in the Channel, ii. 5;
      Brighton in November, ii. 7;
      William Hayley, ii. 8, 17;
      his advice in a quarrel, ii. 9;
      noise and nonsense of Parliament, ii. 11;
      fall of North's ministry, ii. 13;
      his loss of office, ii. 14;
      Rockingham's death, ii. 17;
      Shelburne's ministry, ii. 19;
      immersed in the Roman Empire, ii. 21;
      his Hampton Court Villa, ii. 23;
      Lord Loughborough's marriage, ii. 24;
      relief of Gibraltar, ii. 25;
      enthusiasm for Sir George Eliott, ii. 27;
      Pitt, ii. 28;
      Mrs. Siddons, ii. 29;
      the dearth of news, ii. 31;
      Shelburne resigns, ii. 33;
      Coalition Ministry, ii. 34;
      his view of English politics, ii. 37;
      proposes to settle abroad, ii. 38;
      Deyverdun offers his house, ii. 41;
      Lausanne society, ii. 43;
      his gratitude to Deyverdun, ii. 45;
      his hesitation to accept, ii. 47;
      his friend and valet, ii. 49;
      hopes of a political place, ii. 51;
      social habits at Lausanne, ii. 52;
      decides to leave England, ii. 55;
      plan of joining Deyverdun, ii. 57;
      his departure necessary, ii. 58;
      his reasons, ii. 61;
      his preparations, ii. 63;
      farewell to Sheffield Place, ii. 65;
      the Peace of Versailles, ii. 67;
      his departure delayed, ii. 69;
      the Sheffields' kindness, ii. 71
    1783-1794.
      His journey through France, ii. 73;
      the Abbé Raynal, ii. 75;
      the charms of Lausanne, ii. 77;
      a _pension_, for Miss Holroyd, ii. 79;
      proud of Fox, ii. 85;
      North's insignificance, ii. 87;
      his daily life, ii. 89;
      the zeal and diligence of Sheffield's pen, ii. 91;
      sale of his seat, ii. 93;
      a factious opposition, ii. 95;
      arrival of his books, ii. 97;
      a happy winter, ii. 99;
      Parliament dissolved, ii. 101;
      a free-spoken counsellor, ii. 103;
      English friends, ii. 105;
      the reign of sinecures over, ii. 107;
      his house and garden, ii. 108;
      his hospitalities, ii. 111;
      his pecuniary affairs, ii. 112;
      a list of his acquaintances, ii. 115;
      Prince Henry of Prussia and Mdlle. Necker, ii. 117;
      thoughts of marriage, ii. 118, 220;
      loses Caplin, ii. 119;
      invites the Sheffields, ii. 120;
      a temperate diet and an easy mind, ii. 123;
      his establishment at Lausanne, ii. 125;
      Pitt a favourite abroad, ii. 127;
      a young man at fifty, ii. 129;
      changes in English politics, ii. 131;
      his reported death, ii. 132;
      a curious question of philosophy, ii. 133;
      his countrymen at Lausanne, ii. 135;
      Achilles Pitt and Hector Fox, ii. 136;
      his History delayed, ii. 139;
      his health improved, ii. 141;
      "glories of the landskip," ii. 142;
      Aunt Kitty's death, ii. 144;
      books longer in making than puddings, ii. 147;
      hopes to visit England, ii. 149, 155;
      building a great book, ii. 151;
      a citizen of the world, ii. 153;
      his arrival in London, ii. 157;
      the two Mr. Gibbons, ii. 159;
      visits his stepmother, ii. 161;
      a miserable cripple, ii. 163;
      an unlucky check, ii. 165;
      an act of duty at Bath, ii. 167;
      his work and friends, ii. 169;
      the horrors of shopping and packing, ii. 171;
      dines with Warren Hastings, ii. 173;
      sale of Beriton, ii. 175, 189;
      back at Lausanne, ii. 177;
      Deyverdun ill, ii. 179, 187;
      George III. insane, ii. 181;
      Hugonin dead, ii. 183;
      Hugonin's deceit, ii. 185;
      George III. recovers, ii. 191;
      "the Saint ripe for heaven," ii. 193;
      Deyverdun's death, ii. 194, 207;
      "fierce and erect, a free master," ii. 197;
      a defect in Beriton title, ii. 199;
      his idea of adopting Charlotte Porten, ii. 201;
      a life interest in Deyverdun's house, ii. 203;
      the authority of Blackstone, ii. 205;
      Deyverdun's loss irreparable, ii. 207;
      France's opportunity, ii. 209;
      French exiles at Lausanne, ii. 210;
      "dirty land and vile money," ii. 213;
      legal forms benefit lawyers, ii. 215;
      Sheffield M.P. for Bristol. ii. 216;
      Aunt Hester's will, ii. 218, 225;
      a comfortless state, ii. 221;
      his Madeira almost exhausted, ii. 223;
      Bruce's _Travels_, ii. 226;
      M. Langer, ii. 227;
      history of the Guelphs, ii. 229;
      servitude to lawyers, ii. 231;
      seriously ill, ii. 233;
      an annuity for Newhaven, ii. 235, 240;
      Burke's _Reflections_, ii. 237;
      Corn Law and Slave Trade, ii. 239;
      a bargain with the Sheffields, ii. 243;
      snugness of his affairs, ii. 245;
      danger of Russian war, ii. 247;
      effects of French Revolution, ii. 249;
      Burke a rational madman, ii. 251;
      Sheffield an anti-democrat, ii. 253;
      flight and arrest of Louis XVI., ii. 255, 286;
      the crisis in Paris, ii. 257;
      Sheffield at the Jacobins, ii. 259;
      safe in the land of liberty, ii. 261;
      Switzerland's strange charm, ii. 263;
      Coblentz and white cockades, ii. 265;
      the sights of Brussels, ii. 267;
      military forces on French frontier, ii. 269;
      the Pilnitz meeting, ii. 271;
      a distressful voyage, ii. 273;
      Lally, ii. 274;
      the demon of procrastination, ii. 277;
      peace or war in Europe? ii. 279;
      an amazing push of remorse, ii. 281;
      Maria's capacity, ii. 283;
      Lally Tollendal, ii. 284;
      the hideous plague in France, ii. 287;
      Massa King Wilberforce, ii. 289;
      a month with the Neckers, ii. 291;
      Jacques Necker, ii. 292;
      the march of the Marseillais, ii. 293;
      an asylum at Berne, 295;
      democratic progress in England, ii. 297;
      Gallic wolves prowl round Geneva, ii. 299;
      the destiny of his library, ii. 301;
      his Tabby apprehensions, ii. 303;
      Opposition and Government, ii. 305;
      the attempted Pitt-Fox union, ii. 306;
      taint of democracy, ii. 309;
      Brunswick's march on Paris, ii. 311;
      every day more sedentary, ii. 313;
      French invasion of Savoy, ii. 314;
      Geneva threatened, ii. 316;
      prepared for flight, ii. 319;
      the Irish at their old tricks, ii. 321;
      the liberty of murdering defenceless prisoners, ii. 323;
      Sheffield's emigrants, ii. 324;
      Brunswick's strange retreat, ii. 326, 346;
      occupants of the hotel in Downing Street, ii. 329;
      the Geneva flea and the Leviathan France, ii. 331;
      the Gallic dogs' day, ii. 333;
      neither a monster, nor a statue, ii. 335;
      Severy's state hopeless, ii. 336;
      France's cruel fate, ii. 337;
      Archbishop of Arles' murder, ii. 339-342;
      common cause against the Disturbers of the World, ii. 343;
      Montesquieu's desertion, ii. 345;
      Necker's defence of the king, ii. 347;
      associations in London, ii. 349, 353;
      "Is Fox mad?" ii. 350;
      Sheffield's speech, ii. 353;
      the _Egaliseurs_, ii. 355;
      the great question of peace and war, ii. 358;
      the Memoirs must be postponed, ii. 359;
      a word or two of Parliamentary and pecuniary concerns, ii. 362;
      Duke of Portland and Fox, ii. 363, 367;
      Louis XVI. condemned to death, ii. 365;
      a miserable Frenchman, ii. 367;
      poor de Severy is no more, ii. 369;
      his letter of congratulations to Loughborough, ii. 372;
      the Pays de Vaud, ii. 373;
      Madame de Staël at Dorking, ii. 375;
      a pleasant dinner-party in Downing Street, ii. 377;
      Lady Sheffield's death, ii. 379;
      the cannon of the siege of Mayence, ii. 382;
      safe, well, and happy in London, ii. 384;
      intends to visit Bath, ii. 387, 389;
      Lord Hervey's Memorial, ii. 388;
      a _tête-à-tête_ of eight or nine hours daily, ii. 390;
      at Althorpe, ii. 391;
      a serious complaint, ii. 393;
      hopes of a radical cure, ii. 395;
      in darkness about Lord Howe, ii. 397;
      reaches St. James's Street half-dead, ii. 400;
      account of his last moments, ii. 400, 401

  Gibbon, Miss Hester (Gibbon's aunt), "the Northamptonshire Saint,"
        i. 7, 134, 244, 295, 398; ii. 91, 185, 187, 190, 193, 218,
        222, 225;
    Gibbon's letters to, i. 15, 121

  Gibbon, John, Bluemantle Pursuivant at Arms, ii. 162

  Gibraltar, relieved by Rodney, i. _276_;
    by Howe, ii. 19, 25, 27;
    defended by Lord Heathfield, ii. 25

  Gideon, Sir Sampson (Lord Eardley), i. _225_, 332; ii. _216_

  Gilbert, Mr., of Lewes, i. 244, 248, 295

  Gilbert, Bett, i. 7

  Gilliers, Baron de, ii. 330, 377

  Glenbervie, Lord (Sylvester Douglas), ii. 180

  Gloucester, Duchess of, i. 173

  *Gloucester, Duke of, i. 131;
    his clandestine marriage, i. 146;
    on _Decline and Fall_, i. 396

  Glynn, Serjeant, the advocate of Wilkes, i. 90

  Godolphin, Lord, i. 172

  Goldsmith, Oliver, Gibbon's friendship with, i. 191, 202;
    his "Captain-in-Lace," i. _207_;
    quotation from his _Retaliation_, i. _210_

  *Gonchon, M., ii. 352

  Gordon, Duchess of, ii. _157_, 164, 168

  Gordon, Lord George, i. _376_;
    "No Popery" riots, i. 380;
    sent to the Tower, i. 382

  Gordon Riots, the, i. 381

  Gosling, the banker, i. 94, 126, 166-168, 332; ii. 110. 281

  Gosling's mortgage, i. 94, 116, 126, 166, 187

  Gould, Colonel. i. 114, 159, 274

  Gould, Mrs., i. 114, 159, 272, 274; ii. 386

  Gouvernet, Comte de la Tour-du-Pin, ii. 329

  Gower, Lord, i. 148; ii. _86_, 255, _311_, 360

  *Grafton, Duchess of, i. 27

  Grafton, Duke of, i. _26_, 90, _112_, _278_, 377;
    Lord Privy Seal, ii. _13_

  *Grammont, Duc de (de Guiche), i. 89; ii. 203, 265, 266

  *Granby, Marquis of, i. 192

  Grand, M., banker at Lausanne, i. 4, 61, 74, 81

  Grand, Mdlle. Nanette. _See_ Prevôt, Madame

  Grantham, Lord, ii. 19

  *Grasse, Comte de, ii. 16

  Graves, Admiral Lord, i. 384

  Gray, Booth, i. 254, 264

  Grenville Act, the, i. 233

  *_Grenville Correspondence_, i. 44

  *Grenville, George, i. 45, 85, 233, 243

  Grenville, James, ii. 19, 93

  Grenville, Lord, ii. 362, _366_

  *Greville, Hon. Charles, i. 366

  Grey, Mr., and the "Friends of the People" resolution, ii. 297,
        305, 320

  Grey, Sir Charles (afterwards 1st Earl), ii. 396

  Grey, Sir W. de. _See_ Walsingham, Lord

  *Grey, Thomas de, i. 366

  *Grimaldi, Marquis Jeronymo, i. 30

  Grimstone, Mrs., ii. 339

  Grosvenor, Lady, i. 149

  Grosvenor, Lord, i. 82, 149

  Guiche, Duc de. _See_ Grammont, Duc de

  Guilford, 1st Lord, ii. 86, 164, 238

  Guilford, 2nd Lord. _See_ North, Lord

  Guines, Duc de, ii. 210

  Guise, Sir William (Gibbon's intimate friend), i. 40, 50, 56, 61,
        63, 79, 80, 82, 87, 195

  Gunning, Sir Robert, British Envoy at Petersburg, i. 270

  *Gustavus III., King of Sweden, ii. 279


  H

  Hague, the, Gibbon at, i. 15

  *Hailes, Daniel, ii. 86

  *Hales, Sir Philip, i. 250

  Hall, James, i. 26

  *Hallifax, Sir Thomas, i. 393

  *Hamilton, Emma, Lady, i. 74, 214

  *Hamilton, Lord Archibald, i. 148

  Hamilton, Sir William, British Minister at Naples, i. 74

  Hamilton, William Gerard ("Single-Speech"), i. 343;
        ii. 21, 31, 396

  Hammersley's Bank, ii. 303

  Hamond, Sir Andrew Snape, R.N., ii. 81, 93

  Hampden, Lord, ii. 135

  Hampshire Militia, i. _25_, 109;
    Gibbon major in, i. 51;
    colonel, i. 87;
    "father" of, i. 346

  Hanger, William (Lord Coleraine), i. _146_, 148, 310

  Hanley, Mrs., ii. 159

  Harbord, Hon. Harbord (afterwards Lord Suffield), i. 250, 252

  Harcourt, Earl of, i. 9

  Harcourt, Mr., i. 232, 233

  Hardy, Sir Charles, i. 347; ii. _72_

  Hare, James, politician and wit ("the Hare and many Friends"),
        i. 201

  Harris, John, Lenborough Estate Agent, i. 95, 127, 165, 167,
        170; ii. 104

  Harrison, John Butler, Gibbon's opinion of, i. 27

  Harrison, Mrs., i. 87

  Hartley, David, M.P. for Kingston-upon-Hull, i. 240

  Harvey, Stephen, i. 95

  Hastings, Marquis of. ii. 396

  Hastings, Warren, i. _209_, _349_;
    Governor-General of India, ii. _26_, _85_;
    his trial, ii. _172_;
    Gibbon dines with, ii. 173

  *Hawkins, Sir Cæsar, ii. 393

  Hayes, Mrs., i. 21

  Hayley, Mrs., i. _399_; 11, 14

  *Hayley, Thomas, ii. 17

  Hayley, William, i. _398_; ii. 8, 162;
    his _Essay on Epic Poetry_, etc., ii. 17, 21

  *Hayti, independence of, ii. 280

  *Hazlitt, on Thos. Amory, i. 189

  Heathfield, Admiral Lord, his defence of Gibraltar, ii. 25, 27;
    his Sussex estate, ii. 240

  Heberden, Dr. William, called by Dr. Johnson "Ultimus Romanorum,"
        i. 83

  Helvétius, Claude Adrien, author of _De L'Esprit_, i. 29

  *Hénault, President, i. 312

  Henley, Lord. _See_ Northington, Lord

  *Henry, Robert, ii. 23

  Herbert, Lady Charlotte, ii. 106

  *Herbert, General the Hon. W., ii. 375

  Herefordshire Militia, and the Bristol riots, ii. 390

  *Hertford, Lord, i. 190; ii. 32;
    interdicts Foote's _The Capuchin_, i. 265

  Hervey, Lady ("Molly Lepel"), i. 21, 29

  Hervey, Lady Elizabeth. _See_ Foster, Lady Elizabeth

  *Hervey, Bishop (of Derry), ii. 388

  *Hervey, Lord, the "Sporus" of Pope's Prologue to the _Satires_,
        i. 21

  Hervey, John Augustus, Lord, Ambassador at Florence, ii. 388

  Hesse, Landgrave of, i. _272_, 277

  Hesse-Rheinfels-Rothenburg, Prince Charles of, ii. 332

  *Hill, Dr. G. B., i. 83, 273

  Hill, Sir Roger, i. _139_; ii. 4

  Hillsborough, Lord (Marquis of Downshire), ii. 5

  Hobart, Harry, i. 212

  Hobson, Mrs. (Miss Comarque and Madame de Bavois), i. 82, 83, 220

  *Holcroft, Thomas, ii. 154

  Holland, Lady (Lady Mary Fitzpatrick), i. 247

  Holland, Lady (Elizabeth Vassall), ii. 257

  Holland, 1st Lord, i. 198

  Holland, 2nd Lord (Stephen Fox), i. 198, _247_

  *Holland, 3rd Lord, ii. 257

  Holland, Gibbon in, i. 15;
    fears of war with, i. 348, 353;
    war with France, ii. 362;
    "abject state" of, ii. 376

  *Holland's _Memoirs of the Whig Party_ quoted, ii. 388

  Holmes, Mayor of Newtown, i. 88

  *Holmes, Sir Robert, i. 89

  Holmet, i. 89

  Holroyd, Hon. Maria (afterwards Lady Stanley of Alderley), her
        letters to Gibbon, ii. 157, 167, 216, 245, 271, 273, 322,
        340, 353;
    Gibbon's letters to, ii. 259-266, 337

  Holroyd, Isaac, i. _180_, 237

  Holroyd, J. B. _See_ Sheffield, Lord

  Holroyd, John William, i. 160

  Holroyd, Miss Sarah M., i. _180_, 237, 336, 342, 345

  Holroyd, Mrs. (Sheffield's mother). Gibbon's letter to, i. 160

  Home, John, author of _Douglas_, etc., i. 202

  *Hood, Lord, ii. 179

  Horneck, Captain Charles, i. 207

  Horneck, Mrs., i. 207

  *Hornsby, William, President of Bombay Council, ii. 85

  Horton, Mrs. (Duchess of Cumberland), i. _146_, 150, 154

  *Hotham, Commodore, i. 349

  Howe, Admiral Lord, i. _283_, 291, _332_;
    the relief of Gibraltar, ii. 19, 25, 27;
    First Lord of Admiralty, ii. _86_;
    dock-yards shut to strangers, ii. 173;
    his search for the French fleet, ii. 397

  Howe, General Sir William, his campaign in America, i. 249, 287,
        300, _303_;
    his American mission, i. _283_, _332_;
    occupies New York, i. 290;
    captures Fort William, i. _298_;
    captures Philadelphia, i. 323

  Howe, Thomas, i. 91

  Hugonin, Francis, i. 7, 128, 157, 163-165, 196, 199, 213, 246, 277,
        344, 348; ii. 138, 183, 185, 234

  Hume, David, i. 8, 22;
    referred to in Mason's satire, i. 190;
    his essay on _Polygamy and Divorces_, i. 202;
    his _Philosophical Works_ quoted, i. _203_;
    Parisian civilities to, i. 307

  Hume, Sir Abraham, i. 201, 255, 261

  Hunter, Dr. John, his Lectures on Anatomy attended by Gibbon,
        i. 302, 304, 307

  Huntingtower, Lord, i. 2

  *Hutcheson, Archibald, M.P. for Hastings, i. 398

  Hutcheson, Mrs., i. 398

  Hutchinson, Governor Thomas, _History of the Colony of
        Massachusetts_, i. _206_, _240_, 243, 247, 257, 258

  Hyder, Ali, i. _209_; ii. 26

  *Hylton, Sir R., i. 111


  I

  *Impey, Sir Elijah, ii. 86

  India, i. 349, 350, 357; ii. 280

  Ireland, debates on, i. 338, 373; ii. 115, 137;
    effects of French Revolution on, ii. 320;
    Roman Catholics _v._ Protestants, ii. 320, 343, 350

  Irish Parliament, i. 196

  *Irnham, Lord (Earl of Carhampton), i. 146

  *Irvine, Lord, i. 247

  Italy, Gibbon's tour in, i. 64


  J

  Jackson, Richard, ii. 19

  *Jacobin Club, the, ii. 305

  Jamaica, Light Dragoons for, ii. 289

  Jenkinson, Charles. _See_ Liverpool, Lord

  Jenyns, Soame, i. _366_, _391_; ii. 94

  *Jephson, Robert, author of tragedy of _Braganza_, i. 252

  "John the Painter" (Aitken), i. 301

  Johnson, Dr. Samuel, on Lord Bolingbroke, i. _8_;
    his description of Dr. Maty, i. _18_;
    on courts and camps, i. _25_;
    Lady Diana Beauclerk, i. _82_;
    Dr. Heberden, i. _83_;
    on Sir John Dalrymple's style, i. 131;
    Goldsmith's epitaph, i. _202_;
    George Colman on, i. 213;
    his publishers, i. _222_;
    _Taxation no Tyranny_, i. _271_;
    his friend Lord Eliot, i. _273_;
    "Single-Speech" Hamilton, i. _343_;
    and Abbé Raynal, ii. 75

  Johnson, Sir William, i. 291

  *Johnston, Governor George, i. 308, 332

  Jolliffe, William, M.P. for Petersfield, i. 111, 153, 171, 247,
        346, 366

  Jones, Paul, i. _317_, 347

  Joseph II., Emperor, i. 158, 313; ii. 137

  *Jourdan _Coupe-Tête_, ii. 293

  *Journal, Gibbon's, quoted, i. 27, 35, 40, 50, 57, 84

  Junius, Letters of, i. 108, _146_; ii. _22_, _92_


  K

  Keene, Colonel, i. 302

  *Kellerman, F. C. de, ii. 319

  *Kelly, Hugh, _School of Wives_, i. 199

  Keppel, Admiral Lord, and the French fleet, i. 339, 340, 343;
    Palliser's charges against, i. 349, 356, _357_;
    M.P. for Surrey, i. 388;
    First Lord of Admiralty, ii. _13_, 18, _34_

  Keppel, General, i. 346

  Kimber, Captain John, ii. 295

  *Kingsbergen, Admiral, ii. 247

  *Kingston, Duchess of, i. 265, 281

  *Kingston, Duke of, i. 265

  *Kippis, Dr., ii. 305

  Knight, Gowin, i. 18

  *Kolbel, Baron, i. 319

  *Korff, Baroness de, ii. 254


  L

  *Laborde, M. de, ii. 329

  La Brunette, Fort, i. 59

  Laclos, François C. de, ii. 258

  *Lacretelle, ii. 326

  *Ladbroke, Sir R., i. 201

  La Fayette, Marquis de, i. 305; ii. 311, _324_, _329_

  Lake, Miss, Gibbon's landlady in St. James's Place, i. 82, 83

  Lally, Comtesse, ii. 274, 284

  Lally-Tollendal, M., ii. _19_, 211;
    Burke's opinion of, ii. 274;
    Gibbon's opinion of, ii. 284, 337;
    his _Strafford_, ii. 284;
    at English Court, ii. 285;
    his opinion of Lord North, ii. 287;
    his escape to England, ii. 311;
    at Sheffield Place, ii. 322, 324;
    his _Songe d'un Anglois_ and _Plaidoyer pour Louis XVI._,
          ii. 375;
    Sheffield's guest in Downing Street, ii. 377

  *Lamballe, Prince de, ii. 312

  Lamballe, Princesse de, ii. 312, 352

  La Motte, i. 34; ii. 283, 293, 328

  La Motte Piquet, i. 334

  *Langara, Admiral, i. 376

  Langer, M., ii. 227

  Langlois, Benjamin, M.P. for St. Germains, i. 391

  Lansdowne, Lord, ii. 350

  Lascelles, Mr., i. 140, 191, 216, 240

  Lauderdale, Lord, ii. _297_, 320

  *Laudohn, Field-Marshal, i. 158

  Laurens, Henry, ii. 72

  Lausanne, Gibbon at, i. 1-14, 37-55; ii. 74-157, 176-217, 219-223,
        227, 241, 246-252, 255, 277-282, 290, 296, 308-319, 322, 325,
        331-340, 345-348, 354-361, 369, 377-381

  *Lauzun, Duc de (Duc de Biron), ii. 290

  Lauzun, Duchesse de (Duchesse de Biron), ii. 289, 324, 333

  Lavington, Lady, i. 319, 336

  Lavington, Lord, i. _319_, 336; ii. 214

  Law, Rev. William, author of the _Serious Call_, i. 7, 398; ii. 218

  Lee, Arthur, i. 334

  Lee, Captain, i. 89

  Lee, General, i. 284, 302

  Lee, Mrs., i. 126, 184, 199, 201, 208

  Leeds, Duke of, ii. _247_, 302, 327

  Leigh, Mr., i. 27

  *Le Marchant, Sir Denis, i. 91

  Lenborough Manor, Gibbon's Bucks estate, i. 69, 186, 384; ii. 64,
        81, 83, 93, 96, 112, 124.
    _See also_ Lovegrove, Mr.

  Lennox, Lord George H., i. _225_, 226, 232

  Leopold II., Emperor of Austria, at Pilnitz, ii. 271;
    his death, ii. _279_, 292

  *Lepel, General Nicholas, i. 21

  Lepel, Molly (Lady Hervey), i. 21, 29

  Le Rebours, Postmaster at Pontarlier, ii. 357, 361

  Lescure's _Correspondence Secrète sur Louis XVI._, etc., i. 314;
    _Vie de la Princesse de Lamballe_, ii. 352

  Lessart, Antoine de, Minister of Interior and Foreign Affairs,
        ii. 292

  Lessart, M. de, Paris banker, ii. 94, 99

  Lethieullier, Benjamin, M.P. for Andover, i. 240, 247

  *Lethieullier, Smart, i. 240

  Levade, M., ii. 268, 275, 339

  *Lévis, Duc de, ii. 266, 290

  Lewisham, Lord, ii. 86

  *Leycester, Sir Peter, i. 90

  Liancourt, Duc de (Rochefoucault), ii. 324

  *Library, Gibbon's, its fate, ii. 300, 301

  Lichfield, Earl of, Jacobite leader, i. 34

  Ligne, Prince de, ii. 83, 137

  *Ligonier, Lord, i. 180

  Lincoln, Lord, i. 388

  Lisburn, Lord, i. 376

  Liskeard, Gibbon M.P. for, i. 229, 234

  Liverpool, Lord (Charles Jenkinson), i. _264_;
    Secretary at War, _349_; ii. 2;
    Gibbon's host, ii. 9

  Llandaff, Bishop of, i. 240

  Lockwood, Mr., i. 134

  *Loftus, Rev. Smyth, i. 328

  *_London Evening Post_, i. 130, 180

  *Long, Dudley, i. 391

  Lonsdale, Earl of (Sir James Lowther), i. 82

  Loughborough, Lord. _See_ Rosslyn, Earl of

  *Louis XV., i. 218

  Louis XVI., i. _218_, _334_; ii. _204_, _226_, _252_;
    his escape and recapture, ii. 254 _et seq._, 285, 286, _311_, 324;
    declares war against Francis Joseph, ii. _279_;
    defended by Manuel, ii. 341;
    his murder, ii. 360, 365, 374;
    England's mourning for, ii. 374;
    Lally's _Plaidoyer_, ii. 375

  Louis XVIII., ii. 265

  *Louis Philippe, i. 326

  *Louvois, Marquis de, ii. 211

  *Lovat, Lord, i. 264

  Lovegrove, Mr., tenant of Lenborough, i. 186, 201, 205, 207, 210,
        235, 239, 261, 286; ii. 84

  Lowther, Sir James (Lord Lonsdale), i. 82

  Lucan, Earl of, ii. 135, 162, 392

  Lucan, Lady, ii. 400

  Lucca, the Opera at, i. 66

  *Luckner, Baron de, ii. 269

  Luff, Mr., i. 138, 167

  Luna, Miguel de, i. 243

  Luttrell, Colonel, i. _91_, 146, 247, 249

  *Luxembourg, Maréchale de, ii. 289

  *Luynes, Madame de, i. 314

  Lymington, Gibbon M.P. for, i. 387, 400; ii. 1

  Lyons, Gibbon at, i. 77

  Lyttelton, Lord, i. 65

  Lyttleton, Hon. William, i. 273


  M

  Macartney, Lord, i. _220_;
    Governor of Caribbee Islands, i. 369

  *Macaulay, Lord, on Sheridan's knowledge of stage-effect, ii. 172

  *Mackay, member of Madras Council, i. 362

  *Mackenzie, Hon. Stuart, i. 56

  Macpherson, James, author of _Fragments of Ancient Poetry collected
        in the Highlands_, etc., i. 202;
    _History of Opposition_, i. 369

  Madras Council, arrest of Lord Pigot, i. _308_, 362

  Mahrattas insurrection, the, i. 349, 350;
    peace with, ii. _26_

  Maine, Sir William, i. 240

  *Malden, M. de, ii. 256

  Mallet, Arabella. _See_ Williams, Mrs.

  Mallet (or Malloch), David, author of the ballad _William and
        Margaret_, i. _8_, 283;
    his tragedy _Eurydice_, i. 19

  Mallet, Dorothea. _See_ Celesia, Madame

  *Mallet du Pan, ii. 318, 329

  Mallet, Mrs., i. 31, 34, 315

  Malmesbury, James. Earl of, ii. 184;
    "the _audacieux_ Harris," ii. 300;
    on Fox, ii. _306_;
    his _Diaries and Correspondence_ quoted, ii. _350_, _363_

  *Malmesbury, Lady, on Duke of Portland, ii. 306;
    on England's mourning for Louis XVI., ii. 374

  Malouet, Victor, ii. _311_, _324_, 329, 377

  Manchester, Duke of, i. 154; ii. _67_, 82, 86

  Mann, Sir Horace, i. 65

  Mansfield, Lord, Royal Marriage Bill, i. 154;
    Sayer's alleged plot, i. _272_;
    on war with France, i. 339;
    trial of members of Madras Council, i. _362_

  Mansfield, 2nd Lord, President of Council under Pitt, i. 333, 383

  Manuel, Louis Pierre, ii. _311_, 341

  Maret, Hugues B. (Duc de Bassano), ii. 367

  Maria Theresa, Empress of Austria, i. 394

  *Marie Antoinette, ii. 203, 285;
    her letter to Comte de Fersen quoted, ii. 292;
    her distrust of La Fayette, ii. 329

  Marriage Bill, Royal, i. 146, 151, 154

  Marseillais, march of the, ii. 293

  Martin, Samuel, his duel with Wilkes, i. _50_, 51

  Marvell, Andrew, i. 284

  *Mason's satire, _An Heroic Epistle_, etc., i. 190

  Masquerade, the Soho (Carlisle House), i. 131

  Massachusetts Charter Act, i. _329_, 331

  Massey, Miss, i. 118, 119

  Massey, Mrs., i. 352

  *Mathews, Henry, _Diary of an Invalid_, ii. 40;
    on fate of Gibbon's library, ii. 301

  Matthews, Mr., i. 200, 207, 235, 269

  Maty, Dr., i. 18, 20;
    quarrels with Gibbon, i. 21

  Mauduit, Isaac, author of _Considerations on the Present German
        War_, i. 240, 243, 247

  Maury, Abbé, ii. 252, 270

  Mayence, siege of, ii. 382

  Maynard, Mrs., ii. 271-273

  Melmoth, William ("Pliny"), i. 326

  Meluner, Captain, ii. 375

  Melville, Lord. _See_ Dundas, Hon. Henry

  _Mémoire Justificatif_, Gibbon's, i. 371

  *_Mémoires Littérraires de la Grande Bretagne pour l'An 1767_,
        by Gibbon and Deyverdun, i. 82

  Mentrond, M., ii. 267

  Mercier, Sebastien, author of _Tableau de Paris_, ii. 82, 115

  *Meredith, Sir W., i. 147

  Mesery, M. de, i. 40

  Mesery, Madame de, ii. 83

  *Michaud, ii. 326

  *Michelet, ii. 75

  *Middleton, Dr., i. 83

  Midleton, Lord, i. 210, 232, 236

  Milan, Gibbon at, i. 60

  Milbank, Sir Ralph, i. 344

  Militia Bill, New, i. 366

  Militia, calling out of the, ii. 348

  *Millar, Andrew, i. 222

  Miller, Anna, Lady, _Letters from Italy by an Englishwoman_, ii. 2

  Miller, Sir John, i. 159

  Miller, Sir John Riggs, ii. _2_, 8

  Miller, Sir Thomas, M.P. for Lewes, i. 240, 247

  Milner, Sir William, i. 19

  Milton, Lord (afterwards Earl of Dorchester), i. 139; ii. _350_

  *Ministerial Club, the, i. 84

  *Minto, Earl of, ii. 25

  Mirabeau, Marquis de, i. 35;
    his _La Monarchie Prussienne_, ii. 192;
    a king's dowry, ii. _203_;
    his "corps," ii. 269;
    and M. de Narbonne, ii. _292_;
    his description of Lord Malmesbury, ii. _300_

  *_Miscellaneous Works_, Gibbon's, referred to, i. 20, 84, 375;
        ii. 87, 400

  Moira, Lord (afterwards Marquis of Hastings), ii. 396

  Molesworth, Sir J., i. 273

  Molyneux, Lord, ii. 262

  Monciel, Terrier de, ii. 329

  Monkeith, Mr., i. 168

  Mont Cenis, i. 55

  Montagny, M. de, i. 61; ii. 195, 203, 229

  Montagu, Lady Mary Wortley, Gibbon's opinions of her _Letters_,
        i. 53

  *Montagu, Wortley, i. 6

  *Montague, Mrs., i. 294

  *Montconseil, Marquis de, ii. 211

  Montesquieu, his invasion of Savoy, ii. _314_, 315-317, 322, 326;
    escapes from arrest, ii. 345;
    report of the Diplomatic Committee on, ii. _346_

  *Montgomery, General, i. 275

  Montolieu, Madame de, ii. 43, 154

  Montolieu, M. de, ii. 43

  *Moore, Dr. John, Archbishop of Canterbury, ii. 397

  *Moore's _Memoirs of Sheridan_, ii. 172

  *Mordaunt, Hon. and Rev. George, i. 19

  *More, Hannah, ii. 75

  *_Morning Chronicle_ cited, i. 212; ii. 91, 172, 351

  _Morning Post_, i. 291

  *Mortimer-Ternaux, his _Histoire de la Terreur_ quoted, ii. 352

  Moss, Mrs., ii. 167, 249, 295, 300, 321, 331, 343

  *Mouchy, Maréchal de, ii. 329

  *Moultou, Pastor, i. 41

  Mounier, J. Joseph, ii. 211, _274_

  Mountstuart, Lord, i. 56

  Mouschkin Pouschkin, i. 227

  *Moustier, M. de, ii. 256

  Mulgrave, Lord, i. 376

  *Munro, Sir Hector, i. 349

  *Murphy's _Grecian Daughter_, ii. 29

  Murray, John, Resident at Venice, and Ambassador at Constantinople,
        i. 76

  *Mutiny Bill, the, ii. 95, 101

  *Mysore, third war in, ii. 276


  N

  Naijeiraud, ii. 367

  Napier, Sir Gerard, i. 25

  Naples, Gibbon at, i. 72

  *Napoleon Bonaparte, _Essai sur l'Histoire de la Corse_, ii. 75

  Narbonne-Lara, Comte de, ii. 292, 347, 375

  Nassau, Madame de, ii. 43, 266

  Nassau-Siegen, Prince of, ii. 265

  National Assembly, the, ii. 279, _280_;
    and English Nonconformists, ii. _305_

  Necker, Jacques, i. _41_, 81;
    Directeur Général, i. 304; ii. 115;
    Mrs. Mallet's resentment, i. 316;
    "no sign of jealousy," i. 320;
    his _Administration des Finances_, ii. _115_, 128;
    and the States-General, ii. 181;
    ordered to quit France, ii. 204;
    Gibbon's opinion of, ii. 237;
    his treatise, ii. 251;
    North's opinion of, ii. 287;
    his defence of the king, ii. 334, 347, 370;
    warmly attached to England, ii. 373

  Necker, Louis (Germanie, M. de), i. 291

  Necker, Madame (Suzanne Curchod), Gibbon engaged to, i. _40_, _41_;
    her description of Gibbon's visit, i. 81;
    Gibbon's friendship for, i. 281, 283, 306, 312;
    Mrs. Gibbon's suspicions, i. 306;
    at Lausanne, ii. 111, 115, 116, 122;
    Gibbon at Geneva with, ii. 291;
    Montesquieu's surprise visit to, ii. 345

  Neville, Mr., i. 28, 30, 370

  _New Monthly Magazine_, ii. 301

  New River Share, the, i. 100, 167, 168, 335, 344; ii. 190

  *Newcastle, Duke of, i. 50

  Newhaven Estate (Meeching Farm), Gibbon's, ii. 218, 235, 240, 242,
        244, 250

  Newton, Mr., Gibbon's solicitor, i. 127, 132, 169, 205-207, 227,
        261, 269; ii. 113, 127, 139, 146

  Nicholls, Mr., ii. 169, 171

  *Nichols' _Literary Anecdotes of the Eighteenth Century_ quoted,
        i. 7, 263

  Nichols, John, ii. 301, 313, 314, 328

  Nicol, George, ii. 359, 374

  Nivernois, Duc de, i. _31_, 314; ii. _375_

  "No Popery" riots, the, i. 380-382

  *Noailles, Comte Charles de, ii. 329

  Noailles, Comtesse Charles de, ii. 329

  Noailles, Marquis de, French Ambassador, i. 305, 333; ii. 259

  Noblemen and Gentlemen's Catch Club, The, i. 200, 283

  Nonconformists and the American war, i. 271;
    relief from Sacramental test demanded, i. 373;
    their sympathy with the French Revolution, ii. 305, 320;
    and Pitt, ii. 305, 320

  *_North Briton_, the, i. 50, 91

  *North, Lady, ii. 4

  *North, Lady Anne, ii. 198

  North, Lord, Prime Minister, i. 112;
    his opponent Barré, i. _145_;
    his support of Church, i. 148;
    Royal Marriage Bill, i. 151;
    his somnolence, i. 173;
    proposed reconstitution of E. I. Co., i. _184_;
    Boston Port Bill, i. 206, 208;
    conciliation for America, i. 250, 251, 271, _324_, _329_, 331;
    Gibbon's opinion of, i. 255; ii. 82, 87;
    his illness, i. 303;
    on Irish trade, i. _338_, 373;
    on Sussex Militia, i. 341;
    his windows broken by mob, i. _356_;
    Madras Council prosecution, i. 362;
    the Militia Bill, i. 366;
    on Burke's Establishment Bill speech, i. 376;
    a seat for Gibbon, i. 387;
    at Bushey, ii. 4;
    Sheffield's guest in Downing Street, ii. 11;
    resigns office, ii. 12;
    "balance of the country in his hands," ii. 21;
    Warden of Cinque Ports, ii. 23;
    Gibbon's attachment to, ii. 28;
    union with Fox and Rockingham, ii. 32;
    Secretary of State, ii. _34_;
    eulogised in preface to _Decline and Fall_, ii. 170;
    succeeds to Earldom of Guilford, ii. 238;
    his kindness to Lally, ii. 285, 287;
    his death, ii. 311

  North, Major Frank, ii. 238, 244

  Northington, Lord, i. _142_; ii. _34_, _60_, 135, 136

  *Northumberland, Duke of, i. 82

  Northumberland Militia and the Gordon Riots, i. 381; ii. _28_

  Norton, Sir Fletcher (Speaker), i. 238

  *_Notes and Queries_, ii. 301

  Nott, Mr., ii. 262

  Nottingham, Countess of, and Lord Essex's ring, i. 276

  Nowell, Rev. Dr., i. 151

  Nugent, Lieut.-Colonel, i. 132

  Nuneham, Lord (Earl of Harcourt), i. 9


  O

  Ochs, M., ii. 262

  *Oglander, Sir J., i. 90

  *Oliver, Alderman Richard, i. 130

  *Oliver, Lieut.-Governor Andrew (Massachusetts), i. 205, 240, 243

  Oliver, Mr., i. 177

  Onslow, Mr. and Mrs., i. 83

  Orford, Lord. _See_ Walpole, Horace

  Oriel, Lord (John Foster), i. 200, 261, 269; ii. 136

  _Origines Guelficæ_, ii. 227

  Osborne, Sir George, i. 91

  Ossory, Earl of, i. 27, _274_, 296, 333, _373_

  Ostervald, Madame, ii. 79

  Oude, Sujah Dowlah, Nawab of, i. 187, 209


  P

  Pache, Jean Nicolas (Mayor of Paris), ii. 368

  Palliser, Sir Hugh, his charges against Admiral Keppel,
        i. 349, 356, _357_

  Palmer, Mr., arbitrator in Lenborough dispute, i. 205, 207

  Palmerston, Lord (father of Prime Minister), i. 50;
    member of the Catch Club, i. 283

  *Panin, M., Russian Foreign Minister, i. 270

  Pantheon, the, _The Pantheon Rupture_, etc., i. 146;
    Boodle's masquerade at, i. 212, 215

  Paris, Gibbon in, i. 28-36, 311-320;
    Treaty of, i. 28;
    Gibbon's opinion of, i. 317

  *Parker, George Lane, i. 90

  Parsons, Sir William, i. 204

  Pascal, a parallel between his and Gibbon's writings, ii. 396

  Patton, Miss Dorothea. _See_ Gibbon, Mrs. (stepmother)

  Patton, W., i. 30, 51, 169

  Pavillard, M., Gibbon's tutor, etc., at Lausanne, i. 1 _et seq._,
        40;
    his description of Gibbon, i. _2_

  *Payba, Abraham, i. 6

  Payne, Lady. _See_ Lavington, Lady

  Payne, Sir R. _See_ Lavington, Lord

  Peachy, Lady, i. 162

  Peachy, Sir James, i. 162, 234

  Pearson, General Sir Richard, i. 397

  Pechell, Master in Chancery, i. 102

  Pelham of Stanmer, Lord (Earl of Chichester), i. 200

  Pelham, Thomas (2nd Earl of Chichester), ii. 60

  *Pembroke, Earl of, ii. 375

  Pembroke, Lady, ii. 106, 110

  *Penthièvre, Duc de, i. 326

  *Percy's _Reliques_ quoted, i. 284

  *Peterborough, Earl of, i. 19

  Petier, M., ii. 258

  *Petit Manin, ii. 351

  Philadelphia, capture of, i. 323

  Pigot, Admiral, i. 362; ii. _16_

  Pigot, Lord, Governor of Madras, i. 308, 362

  Pigott, Charles, _The Jockey Club; or, A Sketch of the Manners
        of the Age_, ii. 297

  Pilnitz, meeting of King of Prussia and Emperor of Austria at,
        ii. 271

  Pitman, Mr., i. 197, 267

  Pitt, General, i. 247

  Pitt, George (Lord Rivers), i. 54, 56

  *Pitt, Lady Harriet, ii. 22

  Pitt, Mrs., i. 247

  *Pitt, Thomas, M.P. for Old Sarum, ii. 32

  Pitt, William, i. _45_, _50_;
    and the Stamp Act, i. 84, _85_;
    Chancellor of Exchequer, ii. 19;
    Gibbon's opinion of, ii. 28, 127;
    resigns office, ii. 34;
    Prime Minister, ii. _86_, _97_;
    suggested union with Fox, ii. 92, 306, 307, 330;
    his moderation, ii. 96;
    his silence, ii. _97_;
    waning popularity, ii. 136;
    scheme for Irish trade, ii. 137;
    "the Hero of the day," ii. 162;
    Fox's opinion of, ii. 180;
    the Regency Bill, ii. _181_;
    Ellis' lines in _Rolliad_ on, ii. _184_;
    a desperate plunge, ii. 226;
    Corn Regulation Bill, ii. 239, 245;
    on war with Russia, ii. 247, 249;
    French view of, ii. 286;
    Abolition of Slave Trade, ii. _294_;
    the representative system, ii. 297;
    supported by Whigs, ii. 305;
    his rumoured Plan of Reform, ii. 330;
    meets Gibbon at Eden Farm, ii. 398

  Poix, Prince de, ii. 329, 377

  *Poix, Princesse de, i. 314; ii. 334

  Poland, partition of, i. 158

  *Poland, Stanislaus Poniatowski, King of, i. 29, 158

  Polier, Colonel, ii. 43, 370

  Polignac, Duchesse de, ii. 203

  *Polignac, Prince de, ii. 204

  *Pompadour, Madame de, i. 313

  Ponsonby, William, Lord, i. 65

  Porchester, Lord (afterwards Earl of Carnarvon), ii. 375

  Porten, James, i. _2_, _7_, 101, 124

  Porten, Lady (Mary Wibault), i. 220, 246, 250

  Porten, Miss Catherine (Gibbon's aunt), i. 2, 17, 182, 220, 235,
        241, 288, 304; ii. 1, 18, 21, 69, 82, 91, 121, 144;
    Gibbon's letters to, i. 2, 5

  Porten, Miss Charlotte, ii. 201, 221

  Porten, Miss Judith. _See_ Gibbon, Mrs. (mother)

  Porten, Sir Stanier (Gibbon's uncle), i. 177, 204, 220, 246, 250,
        266; ii. 10, 201

  Porteous, Dr. Beilby (Bishop of London), i. 285

  *Porter, General, M.P. for Stockbridge, i. 149

  Portland, Duke of, i. 231; ii. _18_, _34_, 305;
    Lady Malmesbury's opinion of, ii. _306_;
    Lord Sheffield's host at Bulstrode, ii. 329;
    on Fox's conduct, ii. 351;
    supports Alien Bill, ii. 363;
    enthralled by Fox, ii. 367, 368

  Pouschkin, Mouschkin, Russian Ambassador in London, i. 227

  *Powell, Harcourt, M.P. for Newtown, i. 89

  Powell, Mr., his offer to pay Fox's debts, i. 198

  *Powney, Portlock, M.P. for Windsor, i. 388

  *Powys, M.P. for Northamptonshire, i. 331; ii. 97

  Poyntz, Mrs., i. 33

  *Poyntz, Stephen, i. 33

  *Pratt, Lord Chief Justice, i. 51

  Prevôt, Lieut.-Colonel, i. 81

  Prevôt, Madame, i. 81

  Price, Dr. Richard, ii. 210;
    Chairman of the Revolution Society, ii. _305_

  *Priestley, Dr., ii. 210, 305

  Provence, Comte de (Louis XVIII.), ii. 265

  Prowse, Mr., i. 33

  Prussia, Prince Henry of, ii. 5, 111, 115-117

  Prussia, King Frederick William of, his meeting with Emperor of
        Austria at Pilnitz, ii. 271

  *_Public Advertiser_, Letters of Junius first published in, i. 108;
    Woodfall assistant editor of, ii. 91

  Pully, Mademoiselle de, ii. 324

  Putney Writings, the, i. 93, 106


  Q

  Quebec Bill, i. 256


  R

  *Rae, Fraser, ii. 172

  Ragobat or Ragonant Ráo, i. 349, 350

  Ranelagh Gardens, i. 89

  *Ranelagh, Lord, i. 89

  Ravaud, Mrs., ii. 2, 8

  *Ravensworth, Lord, i. 27

  Raynal, Abbé, ii. 75, 82, 111, 115

  *Réaux, Taboureau des, i. 304

  *Redding, Cyrus, _Recollections of the Author of Vathek_, ii. 301

  *Rees, Dr., ii. 305

  *Reeves, Mr., ii. 349

  *Regency Bill, ii. 181, 306

  Remonstrance Debate, the, i. 113

  Rennell, Major James, ii, 212, 226

  Revenue Returns (1798), ii. 276, 288

  Reynolds, Sir Joshua, Queen of Denmark's portrait, i. _143_;
    Colonel Barré's, i. _145_;
    Mrs. Bonfoy's, i. _189_;
    Gibbon's companion, i. 191; ii. 24, 162;
    Goldsmith's epitaph, i. _202_;
    a friend of Eliot, i. _273_;
    Gibbon's portrait, i. _364_; ii. 114;
    Lord Sheffield's, ii. 212, 214, 216;
    his death, ii. 311

  Rhodes, Mr., ii. 224

  Richardson, Mr., and S. Sayer's arrest, i. 272

  Richmond, Duke of, his reception of Gibbon at Paris Embassy,
        i. 30, 32, 35;
    his influence in Sussex, i. 225;
    at Madame du Deffand's, i. _312_;
    his popularity in Paris, i. 316;
    his slight skirmishes with Gibbon, i. 317;
    in Sussex Militia, i. _336_, 342;
    Master-General of Ordnance, ii. _13_, 18, _86_, _374_;
    his house burnt, ii. 275;
    on French affairs, ii. 286;
    the Pitt-Fox