(648) “You will think me a great brute and savage, dear Sir, for not having directly thanked you for your letter, till you have read my piece justificative, and then you will think I should have been a greater brute and savage if I had; for the very day I received it, a very amiable neighbour, coming to call on us, was overturned from her phaeton into some water, her husband driving her. The poor lady was brought into our house, to all appearance dying. I thank God, however, she is now out of danger; but our attendance, day and night, on the maimed lady and the distressed husband banished poetry from my thoughts, and suspended all power of writing nonsense.” Miss More to Walpole. Memoirs, vol. ii. p. 160.-E.
(649) Mrs. Garrick was a Roman Catholic.-E.
Letter 335 To The Hon. H. S. Conway.
Strawberry Hill, Wednesday night, [July 15, 1789.] (Page 425)
I write a few lines only to confirm the truth of much of what you will read in the papers from Paris. Worse may already be come, or is expected every hour. Mr. Mackenzie and Lady Betty called on me before dinner, after the post was gone out; and he showed me a letter from Dutens, who said two couriers arrived yesterday from the Duke of Dorset and the Duchess of Devonshire, the latter of whom was leaving Paris directly. Necker had been dismissed, and was thought to be set out for Geneva. Breteull, who was at his country-house, had been sent for to succeed him. Paris was in an uproar; and, after the couriers had left it, firing of cannon was heard for four hours together. That must have been from the Bastille,(650) as probably the tiers `etat were not so provided. It is shocking to imagine what may have happened in such a thronged city! One of the couriers was stopped twice or thrice, as supposed to pass from the King; but redeemed himself by pretending to be despatched by the tiers `etat. Madame de Calonne told Dutens, that the newly encamped troops desert by hundreds.
Here seems the egg to be hatched, and imagination runs away with the idea. I may fancy I shall hear of the King and Queen leaving Versailles, like Charles the First, and then skips imagination six-and-forty years lower, and figures their fugitive majesties taking refuge in this country. I have besides another idea. If the Bastille conquers, still it is impossible, considering the general spirit in the country, and the numerous fortified places in France, but some may be seized by the dissidents, and whole provinces be torn from the crown! On the other hand, if the King prevails, what heavy despotism will the `etats, by their want of temper and moderation, have drawn on their country! They might have obtained many capital points, and removed great oppression. No French monarch will ever summon `etats again, if this moment has been thrown away.