(50) In a letter to Walpole, Madame du Deffand thus speaks of this work:—“Il m’arrive une bonne fortune apr`es laquelle je soupirais depuis longtemps: c’est un livre qui me plait infiniment; il est de M. Gaillard; il a Pour titre ’Rivalit`e de la France et de l’Angleterre;’ il est par chapitres, et chaque chapitre est les `ev`enemens du r`egne d’un Roi de France et d’un Roi d’Angleterre contemporains. Il est bien loin d’`etre fini; il n’en est qu’a Philippe de Valois et Edouard Trois. Il n’y a que trois volumes; il y en aura peut-`etre douze ou quinze.” The work, which was not completed till the year 1774, extended to eleven Volumes.-E.
It is a great satisfaction to Me to find by your letter of the 30th, that you have had no return of your gout. I have been assured here, that the best remedy is to cut one’s nails in hot water. It is, I fear, as certain as any other remedy! It would at least be so here, if their bodies were of a piece with their understandings; or if both were as curable as they are the contrary. Your prophecy, I doubt, is not better founded than the prescription. I may be lame; but I shall never be a duck, nor deal in the garbage of the Alley. I envy your Strawberry tide, and need not say how much I wish I was there to receive you. Methinks, I should be as glad of a little grass, as a seaman after a long voyage. Yet English gardening gains ground here prodigiously-not much at a time, indeed—I have literally seen one, that is exactly like a tailor’s paper of patterns. There is a Monsieur Boutin, who has tacked a piece of what he calls an English garden to a set of stone terraces, with steps of turf. There are three or four very high hills, almost as high as, and exactly in the shape of, a tansy pudding. You squeeze between these and a river, that is conducted at obtuse angles in a stone channel, and supplied by a pump, and when walnuts Come in I suppose it will be navigable. In a corner enclosed by a chalk wall are the samples I mentioned: there is a stripe of grass, another of corn, and a third en friche, exactly in the order of beds in a nursery. They have translated Mr. Whately’s book,(51) and the Lord knows what barbarism is going to be laid at our door. This new anglomanie will literally be mad English.
New arr`ets, new retrenchments, new misery, stalk forth every day. The Parliament of Besan`con is dissolved; so are the grenadiers de France. The King’s tradesmen are all bankrupt; no pensions are paid, and every body is reforming their suppers and equipages. Despotism makes converts faster than ever Christianity did. Louis Quinze is the true rex Ckristianissimus, and has ten times more success than his dragooning great-grandfather. Adieu, my dear Sir! Yours most faithfully.