I must finish, as I have so much business before I set out; but I must repeat, how lucky the arrival of your letter was, how glad I was to hear of your intended journey, and how much I wish it may take place directly. I will only add that the court goes to Fontainbleau, the last week in September, or first in October, and therefore it is the season in the world for seeing all Versailles quietly, and at one’s ease. Adieu! dear sir, yours most cordially.
Beau Cousin, I have had a very prosperous journey till just at entering this city. I escaped a Prince of Nassau at Dover, and sickness at sea, though the voyage lasted seven hours and a half. I have recovered my strength surprisingly in the time; though almost famished for want of clean victuals, and comfortable tea and bread and butter. half a mile from hence I met a coach and four with an equipage of French, and a lady in pea-green and silver, a smart hat and feather., and two suivantes. My reason told me it was the Archbishop’s concubine; but luckily my heart whispered that it was Lady Mary Coke. I Jumped out of my chaise—yes, jumped, as Mrs. Nugent said of herself, fell on my knees, and said my first ave Maria, grati`a plena. We just shot a few politics flying—heard that Madame de Mirepoix had toasted me t’other day in tea—shook hands, forgot to weep, and parted; she to the Hereditary Princess, I to this inn, where is actually resident the Duchess of Douglas. We are not likely to have an intercourse, or I would declare myself’ a Hamilton.(860)
I find this country wonderfully enriched since I saw it four-and-twenty years ago. Boulogne is grown quite a plump snug town, with a number Of new houses. The worst villages are tight, and wooden shoes have disappeared. Mr. Pitt and the city of London may fancy what they will, but France will not come a-begging to the Mansion-house this year or two. In truth. I impute this air of opulence a little to ourselves. The crumbs that fall from the chaises of the swarms of English that visit Paris, must have contributed to fatten this province. It is plain I must have little to do when I turn my hand to calculating: but here is my observation. From Boulogne to Paris it will cost me near ten guineas; but then consider, I travel alone, and carry Louis most part of the way in the chaise with me. Nous autres milords Anglais are not often so frugal. Your brother, last year, had ninety-nine English to dinner on the King’s birthday. How many of them do you think dropped so little as ten guineas on this road? In short, there are the seeds of a calculation for you, and if you will water them with a torrent of words, they will produce such a dissertation, that you will be able to vie with George Grenville next session in plans of national economy-only be sure not to tax travelling till I come back, loaded with purchases; nor, till then, propagate my ideas. It will be time enough for me to be thrifty of the nation’s money, when I have spent all my own.