Yesterday, the courier brought the order of St. Stephano, from the Emperor, for the Prince Ausberg, and the King was desired to invest him with it. As soon as the King received it, he ran into the Prince’s room; whom he found in his shirt, and without his breeches: and, in that condition, was he decorated with the star and ribbon by his Majesty, who has wrote the whole circumstance to the Emperor.
Leopold may, perhaps, not like the joking with his first order. Such nonsense should, certainly, be done with solemnity; or it becomes, what it really is, a little tinsel, and a few yards of broad ribbon.
The Prince, entre nous, is not very wise; but he is a good creature and we are great friends.
I have wrote to Mrs. Dickinson. I forget whether you have, or not: if not, pray do it soon; for, you know, she is a good friend of your’s.
I have just received your good letter. I am glad they have taken the Guarda patana’s son-in-law. I insist upon Smith’s letting the Regent of the Vicaria know of his having stabbed my porter. He ought to go to the gallies; and my honour is concerned, if this insult offered my livery is unnoticed. The girl had better cry, than be ill-used, and her father killed.
Adieu, my sweet Em. Your’s, with all my heart,
Persano, Friday Evening.
[Jan. 6th, 1792.]
I Inclose our friend Knight’s admirable letter to you. I could not refrain reading it; and, I am sure, it was his intention I should do so, having left it unsealed. He is a fine fellow; it was worth going to England, to secure such a sensible friend.
You will probably have seen General Werner last night; this is Friday night, and he will have told you I am well.
We have been out all day in the rain; I killed none, and the King and party but few. Such obstinate bad weather I really never experienced, for so long a time together.
You did perfectly right in buying the lamps; and I am glad the Prince asked to dine with you. I am sure, he was comfortably received by you.
You see what devils [there are] in England! They wanted to stir up something against me; but our conduct shall be such as to be unattackable: and I fear not an injustice from England. Twenty-seven years service—having spent all the King’s money, and all my own, besides running in debt, deserves something better than a dismission!
The King has declared, he will return to Naples next Saturday se’n-night; so you know the worst, my dear Emma. Indeed, I shall embrace you most cordially; for I would not be married to any woman, but yourself, on earth, for all the world.
Lord A. Hamilton’s son, you see, recommends a friend of his; who, I suppose, is arrived: if so, receive him well.
Adieu, again! Your’s, ever,