The Dumenil is still the Dumenil, and nothing but curiosity could make me want the Clairon. Grandval is grown so fat and old, that I saw him through a whole play and did not guess him. Not one other, that you remember on the stage, remains there.
It is not a season for novelty in any way, as both the court and the world are out of town. The few that I know are almost all dispersed. The old president Henault made me a visit yesterday: he is extremely amiable, but has the appearance of a superannuated bacchanal; superannuated, poor soul! indeed he is! The Duc de Richelieu is a lean old resemblance of old General Churchill, and like him affects still to have his Boothbies. Alas! poor Boothbies!
I hope, by the time I am convalescent, to have the Richmonds here. One of the miseries of chronical illnesses is, that you are a prey to every fool, who, not knowing what to do with himself, brings his ennui to you, and calls it charity. Tell me a little the intended dates of your motions, that I may know where to write at you. Commend me kindly to Mr. John, and wish me a good night, of which I have had but one these ten days.
(898) “I scarcely ever,” says Gibbon, who happened to dine in the company of Wilkes in September 1762, “met with a better companion; he has inexhaustible spirits, infinite wit and humour, and a great deal of knowledge; but a thorough profligate in principle as in practice; his life stained with every vice, and his conversation full of blasphemy and indecency."-E.
Though I begin my letter to-day, Madam, it may not be finished and set out these four days; but serving a tyrant who does not allow me many holiday-minutes, I am forced to seize the first that offer. Even now when I am writing upon the table, he is giving me malicious pinches under it. I was exceedingly obliged to Miss Hotham for her letter, though it did not give me so good an account of your ladyship as I wished. I will not advise you to come to Paris, where, I assure you, one has not a nip less of the gout than at London, and where it is rather more difficult to keep one’s chamber pure; water not being reckoned here one of the elements of cleanliness. If ever my Lady Blandford and I make a match, I shall insist on her coming hither for a month first, to learn patience. I need have a great stock, who have only travelled from one sick bed to another; who have seen nothing; and who hear of nothing but the braveries of Fontainbleau, where the Duc de Richelieu, whose year it is, has ordered seven new operas besides other shows. However, if I cannot be diverted, my ruin at least is protracted, as I cannot go to a single shop.