(399) In the last letter Madame du Deffand ever wrote to Walpole, dated the 22d of August, she thus describes her situation:—“Je vous mandai dans ma derni`ere que je ne me portais pas bien; c’cst encore pis aujourd’hui. Je suis d’une faiblesse et d’un abattement excessifs; Ma voix est `eteinte, je ne puis me soutenir sur mes jambes, je ne puis me donner aucun mouvement, j’ai le coeur envolopp`e; j’ai de la peine `a croire que cet `etat ne m’annonce une fin prochaine. Je n’ai pas la force d’en `etre effray`ee; et, ne vous devant revoir de ma vie, je n’a rien `a regretter. Divertissez-vous, mon ami, le plus que vous pourrez; ne vous affligez point de mon `etat; nous `etions presque perdus l’un pour l’autre; nous ne nous devions jamais revoir! vous me regretterez, parce qu’on est bien-aise de se savoir aim`e. Peut-`etre que par la suite Wiart vous mandera de mes nouvelles; c’est une fatigue pour moi de dicter.” From this day she kept her bed. On the 8th of September Mr. Walpole had written to her, expressing his great anxiety for her. To his inquiries she was unable to dictate an answer. Her anteroom continued every day crowded with the persons who had before surrounded her supper-table. Her weakness became excessive; but she suffered no pain, and possessed her memory, understanding, and ideas till within the last eight days of her existence, when a lethargic insensibility took which terminated in death, without effort or struggle, on the 24th of September. She was buried, according to her own direction, in the plainest manner, in her parish church of St. Sulpice. To Mr. Walpole she bequeathed the whole of her manuscripts, papers, letters, and books, of every description; with a permission to the Prince of Beauvau to take a copy of any of the papers he might desire.-E.
I did not go to Malvern, and therefore cannot certify you, my good Sir, whether Tom Hearne mistook stone for brass or not, though I dare to say your criticism is just.
My book, if I can possibly, shall go to the inn to-morrow, or next day at least. You will find a great deal of rubbish in it, with all your partiality—but I shall have done with it.
I cannot thank you enough for your goodness about your notes that you promised Mr. Grose; but I cannot possibly be less generous and less disinterested, nor can by any means be the cause of your breaking your word. In short, I insist on your sending your notes to him—and as to my Life of Mr. Baker, if it is known to exist, nobody can make me produce it sooner than I please, nor at all if I do not please; so pray send your accounts, and leave me to be stout with our antiquaries, or curious. I shall not satisfy the latter, and don’t care a straw for the former.
The Master of Pembroke (who he is, I don’t know(400)) is like the lover who said,