The Sunday’s paper announces a dismal defeat of Clairfait; and now, if true, I doubt the French will drive the Duke of York into Holland, and then into the sea! Ora pro nobis!
P. S. If this is not a long letter, I do not know what is. The story of the ghost should have arrived on this, which is St. Goose’s-day, or the commemoration of the ignoble army of martyrs, who have suffered in the persecution under that gormandizing archangel St. Michael.
(889) The Right Rev. Sir William Ashburnham, Bart, his lordship died at a very advanced age, in September 1797. He was the father of the bench, and the only bishop not appointed by George the Third.-E.
(890) Entitled “Impromptu, suggested by a view, in 1766, of the seat and ruins of a deceased Nobleman, at Kingsgate, Kent.” See Gray’s Works, vol. i. p. 161, ed. 1836.-E.
Your answer, which I own arrived a day sooner than I flattered myself it would—I wish it could have told me how you passed the storm of Sunday night it has not only relieved me from all anxiety on the subject, but has made me exceedingly happy; for though I mistook you for a moment, it has proved to me, that I had judged perfectly right of your excellent and most uncommon understanding. Astonished I was, no doubt, while I conceived that you wished to be placed in a situation so unworthy of your talents and abilities and knowledge, and powers of conversation.(891) I never was of a court myself; but from my birth and the position of my father, could but, for my first twenty years, know much of the nature of the beast; and, from my various connexions since, I have seldom missed farther opportunities of keeping up my acquaintance even with the interior. The world in general is not ignorant of the complexion of most courts; though ambition, interest, and vanity, are always willing to leap over their information, or to fancy they can counteract it: but I have no occasion to probe that delusion, nor to gainsay your random opinion, that a court life may be eligible for women. Yes, for the idle ones you specify, perhaps so;-for respectable women I think much less than even for men. I do not mean with regard to what is called their character; as if there were but one virtue with which women have any concern-I speak of their understanding, and consequential employment of their time. In a court there must be much idleness, even without dissipation; and amongst the female constituents, much self-importance ill-founded; some ambition, Jealousy, envy-and thence hatred, insincerity, little intrigues for credit, and—but I am talking as if there were any occasion to dissuade you from what you despise and I have only stated what occasioned my surprise at your thinking of what you never did think at all. Still, while I did suppose that in any pore of your