While they are getting my dinner, I continue my journal. The Duchess of Douglas (for English are generally the most extraordinary persons that we meet with even out of England) left Amiens before me, on her way home. You will not guess what she carries with her—Oh! nothing that will hurt our manufactures; nor what George Grenville himself would seize. One of her servants died at Paris: she had him embalmed, and the body is tied before her chaise: a droll way of being chief mourner.
For a French absurdity, I have observed that along the great roads they plant walnut-trees, but strip them up for firing. It is like the owl that bit off the feet of mice, that they might lie still and fatten.
At the foot of this hill is an old-fashioned ch`ateau belonging to the Duke of Fitz-James, with a parc en quincunx and clipped hedges. We saw him walking in his waistcoat and riband, very well powdered; a figure like Guerchy. I cannot say his seat rivals Goodwood or Euston.(861) I shall lie at Chantilly to-night, for I did not Set Out till ten this morning—not because I could not, as you will suspect, get up sooner—but because all the horses in the country have attended the Queen to Nancy.(862) Besides, I have a little Underplot of seeing Chantilly and St. Denis in my way: which you know one could not do in the dark to-night, nor in winter, if I return then.
H`otel de feue Madame l’Ambassadrice d’Angleterre,
Sept. 13, seven o’clock.
I am Just arrived. My Lady Hertford is not at home, and Lady Anne(863) will not come out of her burrow: so I have just time to finish this before Madame returns; and Brian sets out to-night and will carry it. I find I shall have a great deal to say: formerly I observed nothing, and now remark every thing minutely. I have already fallen in love with twenty things, and in hate with forty. Adieu! yours ever.
(860) The memorable cause between the houses of Douglas and Hamilton was then pending.-E.
(861) The Duc de Fitzjames’s father, Mareschal Berwick, was a natural son of James ii. Mr. Walpole therefore compares his country-seat with those of the Dukes of Richmond and Grafton, similar descendants from his brother, Charles ii.-E.
(862) Stanislaus King of Poland, father to the Queen of Louis xv. lived at Nancy.-E.
(863) Lady Anne Seymour Conway, afterwards married to the Earl of Drogheda.-E.