“I’m weary of conjectures—this must end them;”
that is, the sword:—and never, I believe, did a Country Plunge itself into such difficulties step by step, and for six years, together, without once recollecting that each foreign war rendered the object of the civil war more unattainable; and that in both the foreign wars we have not an object in prospect. Unable to recruit our remnant of an army in America, are we to make conquests on France and Spain? They may choose their attacks: we can scarce choose what we will defend.
Ireland, they say, is more temperate than was expected. That is some consolation-yet many fear the Irish will be tempted to unite with America, which would throw all that trade into their convenient harbours; and I own I have apprehensions that the Parliament’s rising without taking a step in their favour may offend them. Surely at least we have courageous ministers. I thought my father a stout man:—he had not a tithe of their spirit.
The town has wound up the season perfectly in character by a f`ete at the Pantheon by subscription. Le Texier managed it; but it turned out sadly. The company was first shut into the galleries to look down on the supper, then let to descend to it. Afterwards they were led into the subterraneous apartment, which was laid with mould, and planted with trees, and crammed with nosegays: but the fresh earth, and the dead leaves, and the effluvia of breaths made such a stench and moisture, that they were suffocated; and when they remounted, the legs and wings of chickens, and remnants Of ham (for the supper was not removed) poisoned them more. A druid in an arbour distributed verses to the ladies; then the Baccelli(363) and the dancers of the Opera danced; and then danced the company; and then it being morning, and the candles burnt out, the windows were opened; and then the stewed-danced assembly were such shocking figures, that they fled like ghosts as they looked.—I suppose there will be no more balls unless the French land, and then we shall show we do not mind it.
Thus I have told you all I know. You will ponder over these things in your little distant island, when we have forgotten them. There is another person, one Doctor Franklin, who, I fancy, is not sorry that we divert ourselves so well. Yours ever.
(363) After the departure of Mademoiselle Heinel, no dancing so much delighted the frequenters of the Opera as that of Mademoiselle Baccelli and M. Vestris le jeune.-E.