(816. Mr. Fawkener was the son of Sir Everard Fawkener, He was one of the principal clerks of the privy council, and had been sent on a secret mission to Russia.-E.
No letter from Florence this post, though I am wishing for one every day! The illness of a friend is bad, but is augmented by distance. Your letters say you are quite recovered; but the farther you are from me, the oftener I want to hear that recovery repeated: and any delay in hearing revives my apprehensions of a return of your fever. I am embarrassed, too, about your plan. It grows near to the time you Proposed beginning your journey. I do not write with any view to hastening that, which I trust will entirely depend on the state of your health and strength; but I am impatient to know your intentions: in short, I feel that, from this time to your arrival, my letters will grow very tiresome. I have heard to-day, that Lord and Lady Sheffield, who went to visit Mr. Gibbon at Lausanne, met with great trouble and impertinence at almost every post in France. in Switzerland there is a furious spirit of democracy, or demonocracy. They made great rejoicings on the recapture of the King of France. Oh! why did you leave England in such a turbulent era! When will you sit down on the quiet banks of the Thames?
Since I began my letter, I have received yours of the 2d, two days later than Usual; and a most comfortable one it is. My belief and my faith are now of the same religion. I do believe you quite recovered. You, in the mean time, are talking of my rheumatism-quite an old story. Not that it is gone, though the pain is. The lameness in my shoulder remains, and I am writing on my lap: but the complaint is put upon the establishment; like old servants, that are of no use, fill up the place of those that could do something, and yet still remain in the house.
I know nothing new, public or private. that is worth telling. The stocks are transported with the pacification with Russia, and do not care for what it has cost to bully the Empress to no purpose; and say, we can afford it. Nor can Paine and Priestley persuade them that France is much happier than we are, by having ruined itself. The poor French here are in hourly expectation of as rapid a counterrevolution as what happened two years ago. Have you seen the King of Sweden’s letter to his minister, enjoining him to look dismal, and to take care not to be knocked on the head for so doing? It deserves to be framed with M. de Bouill`e’s bravado.(817) You say you will write me longer letters when you know I am well. Your recovery has quite the contrary effect on me: I could scarce restrain my pen while I had apprehensions about you; now you are well, the goosequill has not a word to say. One would think it had belonged to a physician. I shall