Jerningham’s brother, the Chevalier, is arrived from Paris, and does not diminish the horrors one hears every day. They are now in the capital dreading the sixteen thousand deserters who hover about them. I conclude that when in the character of banditti the whole disbanded army have plundered and destroyed what they can, they will congregate into separate armies under different leaders, who will hang Out different principles, and the kingdom will be a theatre of civil wars; and, instead of liberty, the nation will get petty tyrants, perhaps petty kingdoms: and when millions have suffered, or been sacrificed, the government will be no better than it was, all owing to the intemperance of the `etats, who might have obtained a good constitution, or at least one much meliorated, if they had set out with discretion and moderation. They have left too a sad lesson to despotic princes, who will quote this precedent of frantic `etats, against assembling any more, and against all the examples of senates and parliaments that have preserved rational freedom. Let me know when it will be convenient to you to receive me. Adieu!
(679) Her ladyship, who was the daughter of Sir Edward Walpole and the first wife of Lionel, fourth Earl of Dysart, died on the day this letter was written.-E.
I know whence you wrote last, but not where you are now; you gave me no hint. I believe you fly lest I should pursue, and as if you were angry that I have forced you to sprout into laurels. Yet you say you are vain of it, and that you are no philosopher. Now, if you are vain I am sure you are a philosopher; for it is a maxim of mine, and one of my own making, that there never was a philosopher that did not love sweetmeats. ou tell me too, that you like I should scold you but since you have appeared as Bonner’s ghost, I think I shall feel too much awe; for though (which I never expected would be in my power) I have made you stand in a white sheet, I doubt my respect is increased. I never did rate you for being too bad, but too good: and if, when you make up your week’s account, you find but a fraction of vanity in the sum total, you will fall to repenting, and Come forth On Monday as humble as * * *. Then, if I huff my heart Out, you will only simper, and still wrap yourself up in your obstinate goodness. Well! take your own way; I give you Up to your abominable virtues, and will go answer the rest of your letter.
I congratulate you on the demolition of the Bastille; I mean as you do, of its’ functions.(680) For the poor soul itself, I had no ill will to it: on the contrary, it was a curious sample of ancient castellar dungeons, which the good folks the founders took for palaces: yet I always hated to drive by it, knowing the miseries it contained. Of itself it did not gobble up prisoners to glut its