Though I have stocked myself with such a set of visions for the event either way, I do not pretend to foresee what will happen. Penetration argues from reasonable probabilities; but chance and folly are apt to contradict calculation, and hitherto they seen) to have full scope for action. One hears of no genius on either side, nor do symptoms of any appear. There will perhaps: such times and tempests bring forth, at least bring out, great men. I do not take the Duke of Orleans or Mirabeau to be built du bois dont on les fait; no, nor Monsieur Necker.(651) He may be a great traitor, if he made the confusion designedly: but it is a woful evasion, if the promised financier slips into a black politician! I adore liberty, but I would bestow it as honestly as I could; and a civil war, besides being a game of chance, is paying a very dear price for it.
For us, we are in most danger of a deluge; though I wonder we so frequently complain of long rains. The saying about St. Swithin is a proof of how often they recur; for proverbial sentences are the children of experience, not of prophecy. Good night! In a few days I shall send you a beautiful little poem from the Strawberry press.
(650) For an interesting account of the storming and destruction of the Bastille, on the 14th of July, see Mr. Shobert’s valuable translation of M. Thiers’s “History of the French Revolution,” vol. i. p. 59.-E.
(651) “It was in vain,” says Sir Walter Scott, “that the Marquis de Bouill`e pointed out the dangers arising from the constitution assigned to the States General, and insisted that the minister was arming the Popular part of the nation against the two privileged orders, and that the latter would soon experience the effects of their hatred, Necker calmly replied, that there was a necessary reliance to be placed on the virtues of the human heart—the maxim of a worthy man, but not of an enlightened statesman, who has but too much reason to know how often both the virtues and the prudence of human nature are surmounted by its prejudices and Passions.” Life of Napoleon Buonaparte, vol. i, p, 107, ed. 1834.-E.
My excellent friend, I never shall be angry with your conscientiousness, though I ) do not promise never to scold it, as you know I think you sometimes carry it too far; and how pleasant to have a friend to scold on such grounds! I see all your delicacy in what you call your double treachery, and your kind desire of connecting two of your friends.(652) The seeds are sprung up already; and the Bishop has already condescended to make me the first, and indeed so unexpected a visit, that, had I in the least surmised it, I should certainly, as became me, have prevented him. One effect, however, I can tell you your pimping between us will have: his lordship has, to please your