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were to marry her to some little marchand, the honestest I could find,-and I was determined to give her a portion of deux mille écus : - a young lady, you see, of great beauty and fortune, for whom we wanted a man, and the Abbé Raynal had promised to look out for one for me. But, behold, she has found a parti for herself; a parti with whom she says she shall be very happy ; and as she is sure I wish her happy she should not have made so heavy a fuss as she did about making me acquainted with it, and fearing my anger, and I do not know what; especially as she is going to be married to heaven. All the portion she asks is only my picture on a snuffbox. I I suppose I must make a little addition, and put something in the box, as I do not know whether they have agreed to find her in snuff and pin-money.
You will suppose that the dialogue between the Protestant Divine and his newly-converted sister was curious.
When one knows so many good people of her religion, how could one be angry? She was lately at confession, it seems, at St. Eustache,* when I passed through the church,
* The church of St. Eustache is situated at the eastern end of the Rue Coquillière in Paris, and is the parish church of the third arrondissement. It is the largest place of worship in Paris, except Notre Dame, and is considered as the finest specimen in the French capital of the style known in France as la Renaissance des Arts, and in England as the Elizabethan Italic.
and was in terrors lest I should discover her. Pauvre fille !
My grief upon the occasion was sooner got the better of than my bad cold ; and her sisters and nephews will not, I apprehend, be quite inconsolable when they learn that she can inherit nothing of the petit paquet that is to be divided amongst them when I tip off the perch. I wish the thing were done, for fear of accidents, though perhaps it were better done at any time than when I am in Paris, lest it should ever come to be known where it ought not; but to slight such an opportunity, would it not be irreligious ?
The good man I am so much obliged to, who has taken the pains to convert her, and find her this place, where she is to be made a nun for nothing, is gone to Amiens to be made a chanoine ; I wish he were made a bishop. He is to return at the Purification, on the 2nd of February, soon after which the holy knot is to be tied. I may one of these days, perhaps, have the pleasure of bringing her to dine with you in her habit. You see, sir, she is provided for for life; and, faith, according to her account, not uncomfortably. At this place they are not prevented from going out; there are no austerities; and, above all, none of those infernal midnight watchings, usually attached to the celestial life. If
you take this in your pocket to the House of Lords, you will be pleased to drop it, having first
subscribed it with my name, upon the Bishop's bench. But if you do not do that, I wish you not to drop it anywhere, either by deed or word, as I believe it will be best to keep it as snug as we can, and enjoy the luck in silence.
THE REV. DR. WARNER TO GEORGE SELWYN.
Sunday evening, January 31, 1779. DEAR SIR,
How I wish that my letters and your answers could fly ociores euro, instead of being confined to the wretched pace of the tardy ungrateful post !
Sir! your humble servant! I wish you a good night;—for, as the Nabob of Arcot said, what can I say more?
Well ! if I must go on, you will let me badiner for a page or two first, and play my mad gambols, however awkward they
But I see you are angry, and I shall incur the mortal sin of being witty. Pray then, sir, begin, if you please, with being in a rage with me because I could not alter the days of the post, because I cannot change the course of the Seine, draw down the moon, and do things impossible. As well may I be in a rage because your letter, for which I am outrageous, is not come to-day.
Now, sir, what say you to the Doctor ?* Shall I
* Dr. Gem.
observe? Shall I dilate ? Shall I amplify? Shall I launch forth in the flowing periods of Cicero? Or shall I dress my thoughts in the short-skirted sentences of Sallust?
66 Neither one
nor the other; but damn you, sir, go on!”. I thought as much.
You are very hasty, sir !
ma reine," as she is called by the Abbess,— who still flatters her with the idea of being gouvernante.
But the Doctor says, “ No!” He believes that Julie, like her namesake of old, may be a very good thing to make love to, but not fit for the post proposed.
He had Julie with him an hour the other day,--and laissez faire au Docteur,—he manages to keep every thing in admirable tune, with his skill and douceur ; and will not have Julie, and you will not offend either by not having her.
Oh! sir, is it not monstrous that your letters do not come? I am to the last degree impatient for them," that the Doctor may see the handsome things you say of him; for I would not for the world that a shadow of suspicion should flit across his mind, even though it should pass as lightning, that I am such a villain as not to do him justice.
If there were not a great many other good points about the Doctor, I should love him for loving you so much.
I believe no great
* Apparently a young lady, who had been recommended to George Selwyn as a governess for “ Mie Mie.”
man can boast of having a duet of doctors in his suite, who more wish to please him and one another. And two curious doctors they are; each despising his own profession and that of the other, and both thanking God that they are not so great rogues as the lawyers.
I am coming home, sir, by the first of April.. “ Cursed impudent!” you will say; and so it would be, if it were not followed up quick by what is coming on the other side. The doctor will go with you, - Voilà! Yes! I touched the chord, and found it vibrated sweet music ; for he would go with the greatest pleasure, and should like to go; and if you say, " yes,” he will take care to have no engagement, like that which, to his severe mortification, hindered him from going with us to Milan. I am ashamed and vexed that my affairs call me just at that period; but these shall not interfere, as I said before, in case, by an accident, you should not be able to go yourself. In such a case, I step in with my consequence, as the only fit person in the world to go with Mrs. Webb for your Mie Mie; for the poor little soul does not like to have her people changed upon her; and I can talk a language which my learned brother does not understand,—cry
hoop” to her till her eyes twinkle with joy, and make her send like a lapwing when she found me. Is not it true? Poor little Pelle Pellastro, Pelle Pellin! I reckon you would have