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"May 19th. We had a fine assembly last night indeed in my best days I never had finer; there were near a hundred people in the rooms which were besides much admired."
1788, January 1st.-How little I thought this day four years that I should celebrate this 1st of January, 1788, here at Bath, surrounded with friends and admirers? The public partial to me, and almost every individual whose kindness is worth wishing for, sincerely attached to my husband."
"Mrs. Byron is converted by Piozzi's assiduity, she really likes him now: and sweet Mrs. Lambert told everybody at Bath she was in love with him."
"I have passed a delightful winter in spite of them, caressed by my friends, adored by my husband, amused with every entertainment that is going forward: what need I think about three sullen Misses? . and yet!"
"August 1st.-Baretti has been grossly abusive in the European Magazine' to me: that hurts me but little; what shocks me is that those treacherous Burneys should abet and puff him. He is a most ungrateful because unprincipled wretch; but I am sorry that anything belonging to Dr. Burney should be so monstrously wicked."
1789, January 17th.-Mrs. Siddons dined in a coterie of my unprovoked enemies yesterday at Porteous's. She mentioned our concerts, and the Erskines lamented their absence from one we gave two days ago, at which Mrs. Garrick was present and gave a good report to the
Blues. Charming Blues! blue with venom I think; I suppose they begin to be ashamed of their paltry behaviour. Mrs. Garrick, more prudent than any of them, left a loophole for returning friendship to fasten through, and it shall fasten: that woman has lived a very wise life, regular and steady in her conduct, attentive to every word she speaks and every step she treads, decorous in her manners and graceful in her person. My fancy forms the Queen just like Mrs. Garrick: they are countrywomen and have, as the phrase is, had a hard card to play; yet never lurched by tricksters nor subdued by superior powers, they will rise from the table unhurt either by others or themselves
I have run risques to be sure,
played a saving game.
that I have; yet —
"When after some distinguished leap
She drops her pole and seems to slip,
She rises higher half her length ;'
and better than now I have never stood with the world in general, I believe. May the books just sent to press confirm the partiality of the Public!"
"1789, January.—I have a great deal more prudence than people suspect me for: they think I act by chance while I am doing nothing in the world unintentionally, and have never, I dare say, in these last fifteen years uttered a word to husband, or child, or servant, or friend, without being very careful what it should be. Often have I spoken what I have repented after, but that was want of judgment, not of meaning. What I said I
meant to say at the time, and thought it best to say, I do not err from haste or a spirit of rattling, as people think I do: when I err, 'tis because I make a false conclusion, not because I make no conclusion at all; when I rattle, I rattle on purpose.'
"1789, May 1st. Mrs. Montagu wants to make up with me again. I dare say she does; but I will not be taken and left even at the pleasure of those who are much nearer and dearer to me than Mrs. Montagu. We want no flash, no flattery. I never had more of either in my life, nor ever lived half so happily: Mrs. Montagu wrote creeping letters when she wanted my help, or foolishly thought she did, and then turned her back upon me and set her adherents to do the same. I despise such conduct, and Mr. Pepys, Mrs. Ord, &c. now sneak about and look ashamed of themselves - well they may!"
"1790, March 18th.-I met Miss Burney at an assembly last night — 'tis six years since I had seen her: she appeared most fondly rejoyced, in good time! and Mrs. Locke, at whose house we stumbled on each other, pretended that she had such a regard for me, &c. I answered with ease and coldness, but in exceeding good humour and we talked of the King and Queen, his Majesty's illness and recovery and all ended,
as it should do, with perfect indifference."
"I saw Master Pepys* too and Mrs. Ord; and only see how foolish and how mortified the people do but look."
*This is Sir W. Pepys mentioned antè, p. 252.
'Barclay and Perkins live very genteelly. I dined with them at our brewhouse one day last week. I felt so oddly in the old house where I had lived so long." "The Pepyses find out that they have used me very . I hope they find out too that I do not Seward too sues for reconcilement underhand so they do all; and I sincerely forgive them
- but, like the linnet in Metastasio'
"Cauto divien per prova
Nè più tradir si fà.’
"When lim'd, the poor bird thus with eagerness strains, Nor regrets his torn wing while his freedom he gains: The loss of his plumage small time will restore,
And once tried the false twig-it shall cheat him no more.'”
"1790, July 28th.-We have kept our seventh wedding day and celebrated our return to this house * with prodigious splendour and gaiety. Seventy people to dinner. Never was a pleasanter day seen, and at night the trees and front of the house were illuminated with coloured lamps that called forth our neighbours from all the adjacent villages to admire and enjoy the diversion. Many friends swear that not less than a thousand men, women, and children might have been counted in the house and grounds, where, though all were admitted, nothing was stolen, lost, or broken, or even damaged a circumstance almost incredible; and which gave Mr. Piozzi a high opinion of English gratitude and respectful attachment."
"1790, December 1st. - Dr. Parr and I are in correspondence, and his letters are very flattering: I am proud of his notice to be sure, and he seems pleased with my acknowledgments of esteem: he is a prodigious scholar but in the meantime I have
lost Dr. Lort.”*
In the Conway Notes, she thus sums up her life from March 1787 to 1791:
"On first reaching London, we drove to the Royal Hotel in Pall Mall, and, arriving early, I proposed going to the Play. There was a small front box, in those days, which held only two; it made the division, or connexion, with the side boxes, and, being unoccupied, we sat in it, and saw Mrs. Siddons act Imogen, I well remember, and Mrs. Jordan, Priscilla Tomboy. Mr. Piozzi was amused, and the next day was spent in looking at houses, counting the cards left by old acquaintances, &c. The lady-daughters came, behaved with cold civility, and asked what I thought of their decision concerning Cecilia, then at school. No reply was made, or a gentle one; but she was the first cause of contention among us. The lawyers gave her into my care, and we took her home to our new habitation in Hanover Square, which we opened with music, cards, &c., on, I think, the 22nd March. Miss Thrales refused their company; so we managed as well as we could. Our affairs were in good order, and money ready for spending. The World, as
• He died November 5th, 1790,