As she passes through Paris we get a glimpse of her in the Memoirs of that agreeable rattle, Arnauld de Jouy:—
“I must not forget to tell of an amusing little comedy of error played at the Opera-house this season (1752). All Paris was agog to see the famous English—or rather Irish—beauty, my Lady Coventry, newly arrived in the Capital. She was one of the Gunning sisters, over whom all London had already lost its head so wildly that I am assured a shoemaker made no small sum by exhibiting their pantoufles to the porters and chairmen at three sous a gaze. . . . On a certain night, then, it was rumoured that she would pay her first visit to the Opera, but none could say whose box she intended to honour. . . . It turned out to be the Duc de Luxembourg’s, and upon my lady’s entrance—a little late—the whole audience rose to its feet in homage, though Visconti happened just then to be midway in an aria. The singer faltered at the interruption, perplexed; her singing stopped, and lifting her eyes to the lines of boxes she dropped a sweeping curtsy—to the opposite side of the house! . . . All eyes turn, and behold! right opposite to Beauty Number One, into the box of Mme. the Marechale de Lowendahl there has just entered a Beauty Number Two, not one whit less fair—so regally fair indeed that the audience, yet standing, turn from one to the other, uncertain which to salute. Nor were they resolved when the act closed.
“Meantime my Lady Coventry (for in truth the first-comer was she) has sent her husband out to the foyer, to make enquiries. He comes back and reports her to be the lady of Sir Oliver Vyell, a great American Governor [But here we detect de Jouy in a slight error] newly arrived from his Province; that she is by birth an American, and has never visited Europe before. ’She must be Pocahontas herself, then,’ says the Gunning, and very prettily sends across after the second Act, desiring the honour of her acquaintance. Nay, this being granted, she goes herself to the Marechale’s box, and the pair sit together in full view of all—a superb challenge, and made with no show (as I believe, with no feeling) of jealousy. The audience is entranced. . . . Report said later that my Lady Coventry, who was given to these small indiscretions, asked almost in her first breath, yet breathlessly, her rival’s age. Her rival smiled and told it. ‘Then you are older than I—but how long have you been married?’ This, too, her rival told her. ‘Then,’ sighed the Gunning, ’perhaps you do not love your lord as I love my Cov. It is wearing to the looks; but ‘faith, I cannot help it!’”
From Lisbon Sir Oliver paid several flying visits to England, where his suit against Lady Caroline still dragged. Nor was it concluded until the summer of 1754, when the Gentleman’s Magazine yields us the following:—