Frances [Fanny] Burney [D'Arblay]

The Journals and Letters of Fanny Burney (Madame d'Arblay), Vol. 8: 1815: Letters 835–934

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844[8, rue de Miromênil, Paris, pre 22 February 1815]Conjointly with M. d'A'rblay To Charles Burney

A.L.S. & A.L.S. (Osborn), n.d.

Double sheet small 4to 4 pp.

pmk T.P.P./U. 22 FE 1815 black seal

Addressed: Revd Dr. Burney, / Rectory House / Deptford—

[By M. d'Arblay]

In the middle of all your fine library,1 my dear Charles, you cannot have any idea of the many misfortunes I have had to encounter since I left England. In less than ten minutes I was almost drowned, with my backbone broken and knocked down, by the beam of a cart, drawn by a nearly galopping horsone (id est) very big & stout horse. After five days of tenderest care from my almost dying Nurse, we left Calais, but we were not able to go beyond Boulogne, in which town we should have been both burn't alive,2 if we had not been preserved by a kind of miracle, to which you owe the eloquent scribble I send you, in spite of a pretty bad pain pretty lower than my shoulders God knows when we shall meet again, if those bad times don'tpg 35 become milder. We hope however to see again at the end of the summer your little tidy Island. Our intention has been to pay it a new visit sooner, but we must renounce it, because I must, for this year, be garrisoned in aprii May & June; at the end of which I shall be obliged to serve July & August | at the thuilleries.3 September being the properest time for great manoeuvres, I am afraid I must again spend it at Senlis residence of our Corps. Thus we could not enjoy our liberty before october. But I hope to obtain to see you before that time. Amen, Amen! Till that time be so kind to give us some good account of your health, and of that of Sister Rosette.4 How are our Greenwichich friends? pray, be so good to give them my best compliments & whishes, and believe me in Saecula Saeculorum Yours,

Al. d'Ay

[By Madame d'Arblay]

We have heard so late, my dear Carlos, of this opportunity,5 that I have but time to greet you with a chaste salutation, & to entreat to receive from you some symptom of remembrance. The cruel accidents, which the chief sufferer has so philo-sophically rendered ludicrous for your amusement, but which have robbed us both of health & enjoyment, & nearly of existence, since we parted from you at Deptford, will now cease, I hope, to exercise any longer their malignant influence. | I attempt not any account of them, as I am sure our sister Esther will give you their outline, which your own imagination will easily fill up with probable colouring. But I am quite tired of the subject, though, alas! it is still fresh in its consequences, for we both continue Invalides, though not BOTH Hermits; for M. d'A. is obliged to go abroad, & to brave, occasionally, the Elements, & to bustle in the World. But I, who, when at my best, rarely go forth but from some necessity, have kept by our fire side almost entirely from the time of my return to it. I would I could turn aside from our own evils to a gayer pros-pect of your felicity!6 But Alexander gives me the melancholypg 36 intelligence that poor dear Rosette is—WAS, let me hope— very ill when he saw you at Cambridge. I earnestly wish for better news. Are you planning any new publication? Alex: says you were examining Athenaïs,7 & deep in learned huntings while at the university. I wish for some account of the colated Evangelists8—& their result. The reverend Dr. Retardy9 is rather too vellum-like10 for my taste. Will nobody give him a hint how he may make himself more agreeable ? I am anxious for information relative to the Museum. I entreat that whatever you may have for me, either from that learned body, or Mr. White, or Mr. Leigh, may be paid to | Messrs Hoare, who will give you a receipt in our names.11 They have both commission & directions for placing all that we do not appropriate to our Alex, through the hands of our sister Broome. We always build upon returning in the autumn, though we are yet un-certain for what for what time. But I must be much more established than I feel at present, ere I can brave again the stormy main—dreadful indeed were the sufferings I owed to it during my last passage. I hope my dear Charles & his Fanny are as well as when I left them at Greenwich.12 I am sorry I did not see Bright Blossom & my God child elect.12 I have had pg 37no news of her Christianism yet. How is Lady Crewe?13 Pray do not let her quite forget me. Her kindness to me, & her Friend-ship through life for my dearest Father will keep her constantly a high place in my Memory. I often think with real & great regret of the unfortunate concatenation of events that im-peded my availing myself of the goodness of Lady Spencer.14 The whole time I spent in England was a period of hurry, disturbance, anxiety, or illness: & it has left me nothing but pardons to beg—that I could find no time for enjoyment or comfort.

Adio, my deares[t Carl]ucci—ever & 〈aye〉

Yours F B d'A.

Notes Settings


Editor’s Note
844. 1 CB Jr. had one of the finest classical libraries of his age, nearly 14,000 volumes and many manuscripts, including a fine manuscript of Homer. See The Annual Biography and Obituary for the Year 1819 (1819), p. 222; also Scholes, ii. 237–8.
Editor’s Note
2None of the Boulogne newspapers for this period mentions such a fire and the editors have been unable to find any other explanations for M. d'A's remark.
Editor’s Note
3 The artillery company with which M. d'A alternated between garrison life at Senlis, guard duty at the Tuileries (during which time the company lived in the barracks of the Hotel des Gardes on the Quai d'Orsay), and autumn manoeuvres with the other artillery units of the royal army. See also the Waterloo Journal, L. 924 below.
Editor’s Note
4CB Jr.'s wife, Sarah née Rose, called 'Rosette' (L. 838 n. 31).
Editor’s Note
6Perhaps the prospect of an additional living (see L. 869 n. 8).
Editor’s Note
7 This would seem to be Athenaeus, the Greek rhetorician and grammarian (fl. A.D. 200), whose Deipnosophistae, a hodgepodge of dinner-table wisdom cast in the form of a dialogue within a dialogue, may have appealed to the voluptuary in Charles as it interested the scholar.
Editor’s Note
8In 1812, as FBA mentions in her Memoirs (iii. 410) of her father, CB Jr. had done some work toward 'collating a newly found manuscript Greek Testament'; for this he was given the degree of Doctor of Divinity by the Archbishop of Canterbury, at whose request the work had been undertaken. In conferring this degree the Archbishop was taking unusual advantage of the ancient and somewhat anomalous powers vested in his office (Scholes, ii. 236). According to FBA, CB Jr. was to have undertaken shortly before his death on 28 Dec. 1817 'an examination of a Fac Simile of the Alexandrine MSS of the Greek Scriptures which the Trustees of the British Museum have been lately engaged in Printing'. See copy of letter (Barrett, Eg. 3699B, ff. 66–7) to George Cambridge, 12–13 Feb. 1818, and further, x, L.1116 n. 12.
Editor’s Note
9FBA encouraged CB Jr.'s cultivation of 'Dr. Retardy', that is, Charles Manners-Sutton (1755–1828), Archbishop of Canterbury (1805). Cf. vii, L. 750 n. 3; L. 804 n. 11. This sobriquet she again used in her congratulations when CB Jr. became Rector of Cliffe at Hoo in Kent (1815): 'the Good Archy is no longer the naughty Retardy' (L. 922 n. 2).
Editor’s Note
10'Vellum-like' is an allusion to the tedious and methodical steward in Addison's The Drummer or the Haunted House (1716). Like 'Dr. Retardy' in this passage, Vellum was noted for pomp and procrastination. As his impatient master says of him, 'Thou'rt the fittest fellow in the world to be a master of ceremonies to a conjuror' (III. i).
Editor’s Note
11For business concerning the sale of CB's library and effects, see L. 838 nn. 14, 15, 18.
Editor’s Note
12 CB Jr.'s son Charles Parr Burney (1785–1864) had taken over the headmaster-
Editor’s Note
13Frances Anne née Greville (i, L. 1 n. 10 and passim) was the daughter of CB's early patron Fulke Greville, a woman of great beauty, a brilliant hostess at Crewe Hall to the political and cultural talents of her time, and a lifelong friend of the Burneys. In CB's will she was left 'my Nephew Edward's Copy of Sir Joshua Reynolds's Sleeping Child …' (Scholes, ii. 265).
Editor’s Note
14Eldest daughter of Charles Bingham (1730–99), 1st Earl of Lucan, Lavinia (1762–1831) had married in 1781 George John Spencer (1758–1834), 2nd Earl Spencer. For Lady Spencer's invitations to FBA to accompany CB Jr. to Althorp, see vii, L. 730 n. 3 and passim.
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