“The rest of his conversation was extremely gay. The various things he has seen has given him a superficial universal knowledge. He really knows most of the modern languages, and if I could believe him, can read Arabic, and has read the Bible in Hebrew. He said it was impossible for him to avoid going back to Paris; but he promised me to lie but one night there, and go to a town six posts from thence on the Flanders road, where he would wait your orders, and go by the name of Mons. du Durand, a Dutch officer; under which name I saw him. These are the most material passages, and my eyes are so much tired I can write no more at this time. I gave him 240 livres for his journey.”
No amount of admonition had any effect upon Edward. At the age of thirty he was as irresponsible as he was when he was thirteen years old. He promised his mother at Avignon most solemnly to reform, and at once got into mischief. “I am persuaded,” Lady Mary said, “whoever protects him will be very soon convinced of the impossibility of his behaving like a rational creature.”
Avignon, November 20, 1743.
“As to my son’s behaviour at Montelimart, it is nothing more than a proof of his weakness; and how little he is to be depended on in his most solemn professions. He told me that he had made acquaintance with a lady on the road, who has an assembly at her house at Montelimart, and that she had invited him thither. I asked immediately if she knew his name. He assured me no, and that he passed for a Dutch officer by the name of Durand. I advised him not go thither, since it would raise a curiosity concerning him, and I was very unwilling it should be known that I had conversed with him, on many accounts. He gave me the most solemn assurances that no mortal should know it; and agreed with me in the reasons I gave him for keeping it an entire secret; yet rid