I have but two or three words more. Remember my parcel of letters from Madame du Deffand,(177) and pray remember this injunction not to ruin yourselves in bringing presents. A very slight fairing of a guinea or two obliges as much, is much more fashionable, and not a moment sooner forgotten than a magnificent one; and then you may very cheaply oblige the more persons; but as the sick fox, in Gay’s Fables, says (for one always excepts oneself),
“A chicken too might do me good.”
i allow you to go as far as three or even five guineas for a snuff-box for me; and then, as ***** told the King, when he asked for the reversion of the lighthouse for two lives, and the King reproached him, with having always advised him against granting reversions; he replied, “Oh! Sir, but if your Majesty will give me this, I will take care you shall never give away another.” Adieu, with my own left hand.
(173) The Prince de Conti.
(174) The Hon. James Luttrell, fourth son of Lord Irnham, a lieutenant in the navy.-E.
(175) She became Duchesse de Biron upon the death of her husband’s uncle, the Marechal Duke de Biron. See vol. iii., Letter to John Montagu, Feb. 4, 1766, letter 294. Her person is thus described by Rousseau:—“Am`elie de Boufflers a une figure, une douceur, une timidit`e devierge: rien de plus aimable et de plus int`eressant que sa figure; rien de plus tendre et de plus chaste que les sentiments qu’elle inspire."-E.
(176) Madame de Prie was the mistress of the Regent Duke of Orleans. A full account of her family, character, etc. will be found in Duclos’s Memoirs.-E.
(177) At Walpole’s earnest solicitation, Madame du Deffand returned by General Conway all the letters she had received from him. In so doing, she thus wrote to him:—“Vous aurez longtemps de quoi allumer votre feu, surtout si vous joignez `a ce que j’avais de vous avez de moi, et rien ne serait plus juste: mais je m’en rapporte `a votre prudence; je ne suivrai pas l’exemple de m`efiance que vous me donnez."-E.
No child was ever so delighted to go into breeches, as I was this morning to get on a pair of cloth shoes as big as Jack Harris’s: this joy may be the spirits of dotage-but what signifies whence one is happy? Observe, too, that this is written with my own right hand, with the bootikin actually upon it, which has no distinction of fingers: so I no longer see any miracle in Buckinger, who was famous for writing without hands or feet; as it was indifferent which one uses, provided one has a pair of either. Take notice, I write so much better without fingers than with, that I advise you to try a bootikin. To be sure, the operation is a little slower; but to a prisoner, the duration of his amusement is of far more consequence than the vivacity of it.