(192) Madame du Deffand, writing of General Conway to Walpole, had said—“Savez-vous combien il connait d`ej`a de personnes dans Paris? Quatre.vingt dix. Il n’est nullement sauvage."-E.
(193) The Duc du Choiseul.
(194) The Life of Ninon de l’Enclos.
(195) The account of the revolution in Russia which placed Catherine ii. on the throne, by M. de la Rulhi`ere, afterwards Published. Mr. Conway had heard it read in manuscript in a private society.
(196) Sir Charles Hanbury Williams.
(197) This alludes to circumstances Mr. Conway mentions as having taken place at a ball at Versailles.
After the magnificent overture for peace from Lord Chatham, that I announced to Madame du Deffand, you will be most impatient for my letter. Ohin`e! you will be sadly disappointed. Instead of drawing a circle with his wand round the House of Lords, and ordering them to pacify America, on the terms he prescribed before they ventured to quit the circumference of his commands, he brought a ridiculous, uncommunicated, unconsulted motion for addressing the King immediately to withdraw the troops from Boston, as an earnest of lenient measures. The Opposition stared and shrugged; the courtiers stared and laughed. His own two or three adherents left him, except Lord Camden and Lord Shelburne, and except Lord Temple, who is not his adherent and was not there. Himself was not much animated, but very hostile; particularly on Lord Mansfield, who had taken care not to be there. He talked of three millions of Whigs in America, and told the ministers they were checkmated and had not a move left to make. Lord Camden was as strong. Lord Suffolk was thought to do better than ever, and Lord Lyttelton’s declamation was commended as usual. At last, Lord Rockingham, very punily, and the Duke of Richmond joined and supported the motion; but at eight at night it was rejected by 68 to 18, though the Duke of Cumberland voted for it.(199)
This interlude would be only entertaining, if the scene was not so totally gloomy. The cabinet have determined on civil war, and regiments are going from Ireland and our West Indian islands. On Thursday the plan of the war is to be laid before both Houses. To-morrow the merchants carry their petition; which, I suppose, will be coolly received, since, if I hear true, the system is to cut off all traffic with America at present—as, you know, we can revive it when we please. There! there is food for meditation! Your reflections, as you understand the subject better than I do, will go further than mine could. Will the French you converse with be civil and keep their countenances?
George Damer(200) t’other day proclaimed your departure for the 25th; but the Duchess of Richmond received a whole cargo of letters from ye all on Friday night, which talk of a fortnight or three weeks longer. Pray remember it is not decent to be dancing at Paris, when there is a civil war in your own country. You would be like the Country squire, who passed by with his hounds as the battle of Edgehill began.