Frances [Fanny] Burney [D'Arblay]

The Journals and Letters of Fanny Burney (Madame d'Arblay), Vol. 4: West Humble 1797–1801: Letters 251–422

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323[West Humble, 26 May 1799]To Mrs. Phillips

A.L. (rejected Diary MSS. 5760–[3], Berg), n.d.

Double sheet large 4to 4 pp. red wafer

Addressed: Mrs. Phillips, / Belcotton— / Drogheda.

Edited by FBA, p. 1 (5760), annotated and dated: West Hamble, May 26.—99

Edited by CFBt and the Press.

I have just heard that our dearest Mrs. Locke will send a pacquet to my most loved Susan on Tuesday,—for which I shall seize time to write a sheet with all speed, which must be sent by a conveyance that offers for Arnold1 this Evening, to be forwarded with a basket of Flowers for Manchester Square. I find my enormous pacquet is not yet received,2 & therefore am not tempted to regret having no more journal ready, as I dare not risk two following on insecure premises, lest their contents should suddenly appear in some Irish magazine.—Mrs. pg 295 Locke has kindly sent me my Susan's May 10th3—& I thank God this time I have escaped the horrour of the fear of Invasion, by the immediate assertions I received, with the first news that reached us of the sailg of the Brest Fleet, that it was making towards the mediterranean.4 But ever, my dearest love, write as quickly as you can, upon any alarm, as it is not one time in a thousand that I am spared every sort of horrid fear which suspence & dread can give me. I know well your invariable fortitude, as far as regards your mere self,—but I cannot adopt it for You—so don't expect it!—But I am much disappointed Norbury is not with you; I had built, from a passage in your last, upon his being now arrived at Belcotton. I must share your reliance upon Mr. Maturin,5 who will surely never let him travel alone, if any disturbance is to be apprehended.—My Susan will know, by the great pacquet, that I have done with Camilla.—How kind to give us all the comfort you can as to the Climate! Indeed it is literally | all that softens the sad feelings hanging on all else. I dare not give way to hope about the L. suit6—dare not subject myself to what I should feel upon a disappointment if I listened to hope.—I can only hope in Providence—which I thankfully feel assured will yet unite us— yet give us the exquisite—unspeakable delight of again meet-ing! — — — I told our dearest Father you pined, though never re-pined at his long silence—for just as you had told me you had not heard from him for half a year, came a Letter from him, in which he tenderly bewails your lengthened absence, & adds—nor have I even seen her hand since Christ-mas.—I told him of the pacquet Mrs. Lock was preparing; & I hear from her he has made use of it.7

We are quite solaced you are to see Mrs. Disney,8—do try to present something to her from me, in such a way as may be received favourably,—though I am half vexed to be made love pg 296 her & esteem her & like her so entirely, now I no longer see her the support & constant comfort I had pictured her. I have not your generosity—yet I am truly glad she is happy—but I wanted her to be happy with you—not away—We cannot learn with certainty where Mesdames now are; the news papers are contradictory, but all concur that they have left Sicily.9 How earnestly I wish their route may be where M. de Narbonne may have the exquisite & long-sighed for pleasure—bliss, rather, of seeing them! They could not, I feel sure, behold— without feeling all their tenderness revive. But what I conclude still separates them, is Me. La Comsse & her beau,10 who are with them, & whose own tale, self-told, has probably been of a nature to banish him who could not be heard without banishing them.

323 To Mrs. Phillips

I am always extremely glad when I hear of Mrs. Hill. I ima-gine Mrs. Barnewall11 is still at Bath. As you mention a Letter of James May 2d—I hope it is such a one as to give some conso-lation to you—You will receive some, I know, to hear his long | promised Letter to me is at length arrived, & is all that can be pg 297conciliatory & conceding. I hope to Copy it for you, as I know you will like to see his own words, in my next pacquet. I have not now time for this must go as quick as possible, no oppor-tunity of sending occurring for to-morrow. But I will not ever hold back intelligence upon this subject which with you, as with me, keeps I know its first place of importance. M. d'A is a little afraid he did not begin what he copied of the schotffe at the right place. Pray say. He has taken the amazing trouble & toil of copying the whole, from the pleasure the interview gave him! though he may always re-hear it de vive voix! Alex. makes no great progress in embonpoint, but his appetite mends, & his strength is surprising, his slight make viewed & con-sidered. I wish you could see Adrienne12—'tis one of the most winning Children I ever beheld. not to quite love her is im-possible. She is gentle, yet arch, sensible, yet simple, & so fat & babyish, that she is delightful; while, though not really hand-some, she has Eyes of so touching an expression, & a voice so melodiously sweet, that you must only once look at her, & once hear her, & take her to your arms & heart. She is all that can reward,—nay amply reward the even exquisite goodness of Mrs. Locke, who now doats upon her. Poor M. de Chavagnac! what a treasure & a blessing is yet in reserve for him should his un-happy life be spared for the meeting! I have seen nothing I should so much like to consider as the future partner of my Alex. —our dearest Father enjoys excellent health & public spirits—& I believe banishes all he can that depresses in private. Resent-ment is a powerful diminisher of sorrow, in diminishing the feelings that first excited it, of wounded esteem, & disappointed expectations. | I wish I could tell your good Susan news of her sister,13 but I have not heard of her within a month; She was then quite well. I shall endeavour next Sunday to see her, in my way from Church.—How can you ever name Mr. Windham, my dearest Susan! except to rejoice he causes me the peace of mind I feel in sending you pacquets. But we have only you to buy hearing from—You have all else but us!—& I often think of that with pain, & always try to get something besides my own inserted within my Cover. If you knew—& saw how we buy news pg 298 of you!—if you could see—not me alone—but us—when a Letter from you arrives—you would say indeed this is very cheap pay for delight so extreme!—I expect now to hear before this arrives— but remember, my best beloved Susanna, if the Brest Fleet make any circuit, & turn, at last, for Ireland—for god's sake endeavour to cope with every difficulty in coming to us quick— quick—quick! & write instantly, & often, however briefly, I conjure you. This is from no real suspicion of such an event, but merely because we all know the first wish of the French is to land in Ireland, & therefore that if it should be possible, it will be done. But I suspect them now seeking to recover Buonaparte, all their Generals having failed them.14 Is Mrs. Wall15 returned to Ireland? We have never heard of her since her little short visit. We had no means to return it at Epsom. Pray say so, with all sort of regrets, if you write. I esteem & like both Mother & Daughter & should be glad to hear the amiable son is happy. Heaven bless my beloved Susan! & Her's. ever! ever! |

How charming are the traits & accounts you give Amelie of the poor around You! & how it consoles me You are in such a vicinity!16

Notes Settings


Editor’s Note
323. 1 Edward Arnold (c. 1738–1816), described in the parish records (Mickleham) as 'Bailiff to Mr. Lock' and mentioned in a codicil (1806) of his will (P.C.C. Collingwood 554), probated 3 Nov. 1810, for £125. The 5th or 6th Edward, he was descended from one of the oldest families in Mickleham, there being sixty-eight Arnolds baptized between 1549 and 1635. See Samuel Woods, Mickleham Records (1900).
Editor’s Note
2 That containing L. 320 and other enclosures.
Editor’s Note
3 Possibly extant in the Locke Papers.
Editor’s Note
4 The Times (3, 8, 10, 11, 14, 18 May), speculating on the destination of the Brest Fleet, which had sailed on 26 Apr., had as late as 14 May considered Northern Ireland a distinct possibility. Only on 22 May were they able to report themselves 'in possession of something in the shape of positive information'. The Fleet had been sighted 'off the Tagus, steering to the South East', with the intention, it was thought, to join the Spanish forces at Cadiz.
Editor’s Note
7 Possibly CB's letter of [25 May 1799] (Eg. 3960, ff. 100–1b).
Editor’s Note
8 Née Jane Brabazon (iii, L. 222 n. 20).
Editor’s Note
9 The daughters of Louis XV, Marie-Adélaïde de France (1732–1800) and Victoire-Louise-Marie-Thérèse de France (1733–99), half-sisters of the comte de Narbonne-Lara (ii, Intro., p. xiv). The sisters and their retinues, having been forced by the advances of the Republican armies to leave Rome, had taken refuge at Caserta (24 Dec. 1797) under the protection of the Queen of Naples, who, however, abandoned them in her flight of 22 Dec. 1798 to Sicily. The sisters then crossed Italy in the unusually cold December of that year, and from Manfrédonia embarked in such ships as were procurable for Trieste, where Madame Victoire died of cancer on 7 June 1799. The harrowing tale of their distresses (a garbled account of which FBA may have seen in The Times, 19 Feb.) is supplied by the comte de Chastellux (below), Relation du voyage de Mesdames, tantes du Roi… (1816); by the comtesse de Narbonne-Lara (below), a paper 'Discours de Réception' presented by M. le Bon Lombard de Buffières and printed in Annales de l'Académie de Maçon (Société des arts, sciences, belles-lettres et d'agriculture), 2nd series, vii (Maçon, 1890); and by Casimir Stryieński (below).
Editor’s Note
10 According to Casimir Stryieński, Mesdames de France (2nd edn., 1911), p. 272, Mme la duchesse de Narbonne-Lara (ii, Intro., p. xiv), dame d'honneur de Madame Adélaïde, 'ayant plus de quarante ans de services', wielded an influence over her mistress much resented by the rival suite, namely: Henri-Georges-César, comte de Chastellux (1746–1814), maréchal de camp (1788), chevalier d'honneur de Madame Victoire; his wife (m. 1773), Angélique-Victoire de Durfort (1752–1816), dame d'honneur de Madame Victoire; and Mme la comtesse Louis de Narbonne-Lara, dame d'honneur de Madame Victoire.
It may have been in conflicts between the suites and their rival purposes that the comte de Narbonne's character was reviewed and his interests damaged.
Editor’s Note
11 Formerly Elizabeth and Marie-Theresa Kirwan (iii, L. 216 n. 3; L. 275 n. 2).
Editor’s Note
12 Adrienne de Chavagnac, now 4 years old, daughter of Louis-Vigile, comte de Chavagnac (iii, L. 201 n. 5; L. 215 n. 12).
Editor’s Note
14 For instance, the defeats of Jourdan at Stockach (25 Mar.); of Schérer at Magnano (5 Apr.); and of Moreau at Gassano (28 Apr.).
Editor’s Note
15 For the Wall family, see iii, L. 203 n. 6; L. 222 n. 4.
Editor’s Note
16 Possibly extant in the Angerstein Papers.
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