Our war still hangs by a hair, they say; and that this approaching week must terminate its fluctuations. Brabant, I am told, is to be pacified by negotiations at the Hague. Though I talk like a newspaper, I do not assume their airs, nor give my intelligence of any sort for authentic, unless when the Gazette endorses the articles. Thus, Lord Louvain is made Earl of Beverley, and Lord Earl of Digby; but in no Gazette, though still in the Songs of Sion, do I find that Miss Gunning is a marchioness. It is not that I suppose you care who gains a step in the aristocracy; but I tell you these trifles to keep you au courant, and that at your return you may not make only a baronial curtsey, when it should be lower by two rows of ermine to some new-hatched countess. This is all the, news-market furnishes. Your description of the National Assembly and of the Champ de Mars were both admirable; but the altar of boards and canvass seems a type of their perishable constitution, as their air-balloons were before. French visions are generally full of vapour, and terminate accordingly. I have been at Mrs. Grenville’s(707) this evening, who had a small party for the Duchess of Gloucester: there were many inquiries after my wives.
(705) Mrs. Damer was going to pass the winter at Lisbon, on account of her health.
(706) This was his “Lettre sur l’`Etat de la France, pr`esent et `a venir;” of which a translation appeared in the following year.-E.
(707) Margaret Banks, widow Of the Hon. Henry Grenville, who died in 1784. Their only daughter was married, in 1781, to Viscount Mahon, afterwards Earl Stanhope.
No letter since Pougues! I think you can guess how uneasy I am! It is not the fault of the wind; which has blown from every quarter. To-day I cannot hear, for no post comes in on Mondays. What can have occasioned my receiving no letters from Lyons, when, on the 18th of last month, you were within twelve posts of it? I am now sorry I came hither, lest by change of place a letter may have shuttlecocked about, and not have known where to find me; and yet I left orders with Kirgate to send it after me, if one came to Strawberry on Saturday. I return thither to-morrow, but not till after the post is come in here. I am writing to you now, while the company are walked out, to divert my impatience; which, however, is but a bad recipe, and not exactly the way to put you Out Of my head.
The first and great piece of news is the pacification with Spain. The courier arrived on Thursday morning with a most acquiescent answer to our ultimatum: what that was I do not know, nor much care. Peace contents me, and for my part I shall not haggle about the terms. I have a good general digestion, and it is not a small matter that will lie at my stomach when I have no hand in dressing the ingredients.