If you should ever follow me here, I flatter myself you will find, that I have, to the best of my poor abilities, made such a sketch of men and things on this side of the water, that you will be able to discover some likeness to the originals. A bad painter often hits the general features, though he fall ever so short of the graces of Titian, or the Morbidezza of Guido. I am sure, therefore, you and every man of candour, will make allowances for the many inaccuracies, defects, &c. which I am sensible these letters abound with, tho’ I am incapable of correcting them. My journey, you know was not made, as most travellers’ are, to indulge in luxury, or in pursuit of pleasures, but to soften sorrow, and to recover from a blow, which came from a mighty hand indeed; but a HAND still MORE MIGHTY, has enabled me to resist it, and to return in health, spirits, and with that peace of mind which no earthly power can despoil me of, and with that friendship and regard for you, which will only cease, when I cease to be
Calais, Nov. 4,
P.S. I found Berwick’s regiment on duty in this town: it is commanded by Mons. le Duc de Fitz-James, and a number of Irish gentlemen, my countrymen, (for so I will call them.) You may easily imagine, that men who possess the natural hospitality of their own country, with the politeness and good-breeding of this, must be very agreeable acquaintance in general: But I am bound to go farther, and to say, that I am endeared to them by marks of true friendship. The King of France, nor any Prince in Europe, cannot boast of troops better disciplined; nor is the King insensible of their merit, for I have lately seen a letter written by the King’s command from Comte de St. Germain, addressed to the officers of one of these corps, whereby it appears, that the King is truly sensible of their distinguished merit; for braver men there are not in any service:—What an acquisition to France! what a loss to Britain!
As the Marquis of Grimaldi is retired from his public character, I am tempted to send you a specimen of his private one, which flattering as it is to me, and honourable to himself, I should have withheld, had his Excellency continued first minister of Spain; by which you will see, that while my own countrymen united to set me in a suspicious light, (though they thought otherwise) the ministers politeness and humanity made them tremble at the duplicity of their conduct; and had I been disposed to have acted the same sinister part they did, some of them might have been reminded of an old Spanish proverb,
“A las malas lenguas tigeras”