What I should have suffered, if your letters, like mine, had wandered through Germany! I, you was sure, had written, and was in no danger. Dr. Price, who had whetted his ancient talons last year to no purpose, has had them all drawn by Burke, and the Revolution Club is as much exploded as the Cock-lane Ghost; but you, in order to pass a quiet winter in Italy, would pass through a fiery furnace. Fortunately, you have not been singed, and the letter from Chamberry has composed all my panics, but has by no means convinced me that I was not perfectly in the right to endeavour to keep you at home. One does not put one’s hand in the fire to burn off a hangnail; and, though health is delightful, neither of you were out of order enough to make a rash experiment. I Would not be so absurd as to revert to old arguments, that happily proved no prophecies, if my great anxiety about you did not wish, in time, to persuade you to return through Switzerland and Flanders, if the latter is pacified and France is not; of which I see no likelihood.
Pray forgive me, if parts of my letters are sometimes tiresome; but can I appear only always cheerful when you two are absent, and have another long journey to make, ay, and the sea to cross again? My fears cannot go to sleep like a paroli at faro till there is a new deal, in which even then I should not be sure of winning. If I see you again, I will think I have gained another milleleva, as I literally once did; with this exception, that I was vehemently against risking a doit at the game of travelling. Adieu!
(714) Little Strawberry Hill, which he had then thus named.
(715) M. de Conzies. This amiable prelate declined, in 1801, the Parisian archiepiscopacy, proffered him by Buonaparte, and died in London, in December 1804, in the arms of Monsieur, afterwards Charles the Tenth.-E.
(716) Madame du Deffand.
)717 Afterwards Mrs. Mee.
I am waiting for a letter from Florence, not with perfect patience, though I could barely have one, even if you did arrive, as you intended, on the 12th; but twenty temptations might have occurred to detain you in that land of eye and ear sight; my chief eagerness is to learn that you have received at least some of my letters. I wish too to know, though I cannot yet, whether you would have me direct Par Paris, or as I did before. In this state of uncertainty I did not prepare this to depart this morning; nor, though the Parliament met yesterday, have I a syllable of news for you, as there will be no debate till all the members have been sworn, which takes two or three days. Moreover, I am still here: the weather, though very rainy, is quite warm; and I have much more agreeable society at Richmond, with small companies and better hours, than in town, and shall have till