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married to Lieutenant Colonel Prevost. Grand wrote to me; and by the next post I congratulated both father and daughter. There is exactness for you. The Curchod (Madame Necker) I saw at Paris. She was very fond of me, and the husband particularly civil. Could they insult me more cruelly? Ask me every evening to supper; go to bed, and leave me alone with his wife—what an impertinent security! it is making an old lover of mighty little
consequence. She is as handsome as ever, and much genteeler; seems pleased with her fortune rather than proud of it. I was (perhaps indiscreetly enough) exalting Nanette d'Illens's good luck and the fortune. What fortune? (said she, with an air of contempt)—not above twenty thousand livres a-year. I smiled, and she caught herself immediately." What airs I give myself in despising twenty thousand livres a-year, who a year ago looked upon eight hundred as the summit of my
wishes." I must end this tedious scrawl. Let me hear from you: I think I deserve it. Believe me, dear Holroyd, I share in all your pleasures, and feel all your misfortunes. Poor Bolton !* I saw it in the
* Theophilus Bolton, Esq. a very amiable man, of considerable talents, descended from Sir Richard Bolton, Lord Chancellor of Ireland in the reign of Charles I. and great nephew to Theophilus Bolton, Archbishop of Cashel. He made the tour with Major Ridley and Mr. Holroyd from Lausanne as far as Naples. On the road from Rome to Cajeta, he broke a blood vessel. After passing some time at Naples, the physicians recommended to him a sea
newspaper. Is Ridley* with you? I suspect not: but if he is, assure him I do not forget him though he does me. Adieu; and believe me, most affectionately yours,
E. GIBBON, Junior.
No XIX. EDWARD GIBBON, Esg. to J. HOLROYd, Esq. DEAR HOLROYD,
Beriton, April 29, 1767. I HAPPENED to-night to stumble upon a very odd piece of intelligence in the St. James's Chronicle; it related to the marriage of a certain Monsieur Olroy, f formerly Captain of Hussars. I do not know how it came into
head that this Captain of Hussars was not unknown to me, and that he might possibly be an acquaintance of yours. If I am not mistaken in my conjecture, pray give my compliments to him, and tell him from me, that I am at least as well pleased that he is married as if I were so myself. Assure him, however, that though as a philosopher I may prefer celibacy, yet as a politician I think it highly proper that the species should be propagated by the usual method; assure him even that I am convinced, that if celi
voyage. Commodore Harrison most kindly took him and Mr. Holroyd on board the Centurion man of war; and two days after their arrival in the harbour of Genoa, Mr. Bolton died of a con sumption.
* Son of Sir Mathew Ridley of Northumberland, Baronet, Major in the Welsh Fusileers. He had served during the seven years war under Prince Ferdinand in Germany.
+ The name was so spelt in the newspapers. VOL. II.
bacy is exposed to fewer miseries, marriage can alone promise real happiness, since domestic enjoyments are the source of every good. May such happiness, which is bestowed on few, be given to him; the transient blessings of beauty, and the more durable'ones of fortune, good sense, and an amiable disposition.
I can easily conceive, and as easily excuse you, if you have thought
mighty little this winter of your poor rusticated friend. I have been confined ever since Christmas, and confined by a succession of very melancholy occupations. I had scarcely arrived at Beriton, where I proposed staying only about a fortnight, when a brother of Mrs. Gibbon's died unexpectedly, though after a very long and painful illness. We were scarcely recovered from the confusion which such an event must produce in a family, when my father was taken dangerously ill, and with some intervals has continued so ever since. I can assure you, my dear Holroyd, that the same event appears in a very different light when the danger is serious and immediate; or when, in the gaiety of a tavern dinner, we affect an insensibility that would do us no great honour were it real. My father is now much better; but I have since been assailed by a severe stroke-the loss of a friend. You remember, perhaps, an officer of our militia, whom I sometimes used to compare to yourself. Indeed, the comparison would have done honour to any one.
His feelings were tender and noble, and he was always guided by them: his principles were just and generous, and he acted
to them. I shall say no more,
will excuse my having said so much, of a man with whom you were unacquainted; but
mind is just now so very full of him, that I cannot easily talk, or even think, of any thing else. If I know you right, you will not be offended at
weakness. What rather adds to my uneasiness, is the neces: sity I am under of joining our militia the day after to-morrow. Though the lively hurry of such a ., scene might contribute to divert my ideas, yet every circumstance of it, and the place itself, (which was that of his residence,) will give me many a painful moment. I know nothing would better raise my spirits than a visit from you; the request may appear unseasonable, but I think I have heard you speak of an uncle you had near Southampton. At all events, I hope you will snatch a moment to write to me, and give me some account of your present situation and future de signs. As you are now fettered, I should expect that you will not be such a hic et ubique,* as you have been since your arrival in England. I stay at Southampton from the first to the twenty-eighth of May, and then propose making a short visit to town: if you are any where in the neighbourhood of it, you may depend upon seeing me. I shall then concert measures for seeing a little more of you next winter, than I have lately done, as I hope to take a pretty long spell in town. I sup
. * The motto of the regiment alled Royal Foresters, in which Mr. Holroyd had been Captain.
pose Guise has often fallen in your way: he has never once written to me, nor I to him : in the country we want materials, and in London we want time. I ought to recollect, that you even want time to read my unmeaning scrawl. Believe, however, my dear Holroyd, that it is the sincere expression of a heart entirely yours.
EDWARD GIBBON, Esquire, to GEORGE LEWIS
Scott, Esquire. DEAR SIR, As I know the value of your time, and as I have already borrowed some of it, I will not increase the debt by an idle preamble.
When I was in Switzerland, I contracted an intimate friendship with Mr. Deyverdun, a young gentleman of one of the best families of that country. Misfortunes have since that time ruined his fortune, and he is at present in a situation very inadequate to his birth and merit, a clerk in one of our Secretaries of State's offices. As the dull mechanic labour of his post still leaves him many leisure hours, he has formed a design of filling them by a work of which he is very capable, and which will perhaps do him some honour. Observing that since the time Dr. Maty discontinued his Journal Britannique, foreigners have often complained they had no tolerable account of English literature, he purposes supplying that deficiency. His understanding (I think I do not indulge a friend's