(286) An old lion there, so called.
Dear sir, I promised you should hear from me if I did not go abroad, and I flatter myself that you will not be sorry to know that I am much better in health than I was at the beginning of the winter. My journey is quite laid aside, at least for this year; though as Lord Hertford goes ambassador to Paris, I propose to make him a visit there next spring. As I shall be a good deal here this summer, I hope you did not take a surfeit of Strawberry Hill, but will bestow a visit on it while its beauty lasts; the gallery advances fast now, and I think in a few weeks will make a figure worth your looking at.
“On vient de nous donner une tr`es jolie f`ete au ch`ateau de Straberri: tout etoit tapiss`e de narcisses, de tulipes, et de lilacs; des cors de chasse, des clarionettes; des petits vers galants faits par des f`ees, et qui se trouvoient sous la presse; des fruits `a la glace, du th`e, du caff`e, des biscuits, et force hot-rolls.”—This is not the beginning of a letter to you, but of one that I might suppose sets out to-night for Paris, or rather, which I do not suppose will set out thither: for though the narrative is circumstantially true, I don’t believe the actors were pleased enough with the scene, to give so favourable an account of it.
The French do not come hither to see. A l’Anglaise happened to be the word in fashion; and half a dozen of the most fashionable people have been the dupes of it. I take for granted that their next mode will be `a l’Iroquaise, that they may be under no obligation of realizing their pretensions. Madame de Boufflers(287) I think will die a martyr to a taste, which she fancied she had, and finds she has not. Never having stirred ten miles from Paris, and having only rolled in an easy coach from one hotel to another on a gliding pavement, she is already worn out with being hurried from morning till night from one sight to another. She rises every morning so fatigued with the toils of the preceding day, that she has not strength, if she had inclination, to observe the least, or the finest thing she sees! She came hither to-day to a great breakfast I made for her, with her eyes a foot deep in her head, her hands dangling, and scarce able to support her knitting-bag. She had been yesterday to see a ship launched, and went from Greenwich by water to Ranelagh. Madame Dusson, who is Dutch-built, and whose muscles are pleasure-proof, came with her; there were besides, Lady Mary Coke, Lord and Lady Holderness, the Duke and Duchess of Grafton, Lord Hertford, Lord Villiers, Offley, Messieurs de Fleury, D’Eon,(288) et Duclos. The latter is author of the Life of Louis