Diary from the French Court, Book VI

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This is book 6 from the personal diary of Fannys own life and experience at the time of the French Revolution

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Royal Generosity to Mrs. Delany.

St. James’s-Place, Aug. 24.

I must tell you, dearest sir, a tale concerning Mrs. Delany, which I am sure you will hear with true pleasure. Among the many inferior losses which have been included in her great and irreparable calamity, has been that of a country house for the summer, which she had in Bulstrode, and which for the half of every year was her constant home.

The Duke of Portland behaved with the utmost propriety and feeling upon this occasion, and was most earnest to accommodate her to the best of his power, with every comfort to which she had been accustomed; but this noblest of women declared she loved the memory of her friend beyond all other things, and would not suffer it to be tainted in the misjudging world by an action that would be construed into a reflection upon her will, as if deficient in consideration to her. She steadily, therefore, refused all offers, though made to her with even painful earnestness, and though solicited till her refusal became a distress to herself

This transaction was related, I believe, to their majesties and Lady Weymouth, the duchess’s eldest daughter, was commissioned to wait upon Mrs. Delany with this message, That the queen was extremely anxious about her health, and very apprehensive lest continuing in London during the summer should be prejudicial to it: she entreated her, therefore, to accept a house belonging to the king at Windsor, which she should order to be fitted up for her immediately; and she desired Lady Weymouth to give her time to consider this proposal, and by no means to hurry her; as well as to assure her, that happy as it would make her to have one she so sincerely esteemed as a neighbour, she should remember her situation, and promise not to be troublesome to her. The king, at the same time, desired to be allowed to stand to the additional expenses incurred by the maintenance of two houses, and that Mrs. Delany would accept from him 300 pounds a year.

It would be needless to tell you how Mrs. Delany was touched by this benevolence. Yet she dreaded accepting what she feared would involve her in a new course of life, and force her into notice and connexions she wished to drop or avoid. She took the time the queen so considerately gave her for deliberation, and she consulted with some of her old friends. They all agreed there must be no refusal, and Lady Weymouth was made the messenger of her majesty’s offer being accepted.
The house, therefore, is now fitting up, and the king sees after the workmen himself.

A few days ago, Miss Planta3 was sent from the queen, with very kind inquiries after Mrs. Delany’s health, and information that she would receive a summons very soon. She told her, also, that as the house might still require a longer time in preparation than would suit Mrs. Delany to wait in London, the queen had ordered some apartments in the Castle, which lately belonged to Prince Edward, to be got ready with all speed, that she might reside in them till her own house was finished.
This is the state of her affairs. I am now with her entirely. At first I slept at home; but going after supper, and coming before breakfast, was inconvenient, and she has therefore contrived me a bed-room. . . .

St. James’s-Place, Aug. 29.

All our movements are at present uncertain; Mrs. Delany’s Windsor house is still unfinished, but I suppose it will be fit for her reception by the beginning of next week, and I have the happiest reasons for hoping she will then be fit for it herself. Her maid has been to see what forwardness it is in, and this was her report:—She was ordered to wait upon Miss Goldsworthy,4 by the king’s direction, who heard of her being sent to inspect the house; and there she received commands, in the name of both king and queen, to see that Mrs. Delany brought with her nothing but herself and clothes, as they insisted upon fitting up her habitation with everything themselves, including not only plate, china, glass, and linen, but even all sort of stores—wine, sweetmeats, pickles, etc. Their earnestness to save her every care, and give her every gratification in their power, is truly benevolent and amiable. They seem to know and feel her worth as if they had never worn crowns, or, wearing, annexed no value to them.

A Visit

to Mrs. Delany.

Windsor, Saturday, Nov. 25

I got to Hounslow almost at the same moment with Mrs. Astley, my dear Mrs. Delany’s maid, who was sent to meet me. As soon as she had satisfied my inquiries concerning her lady, she was eager to inform me that the queen had drunk tea with Mrs. Delany the day before, and had asked when I should come, and heard the time; and that Mrs. Delany believed she would be with her again that evening, and desire to see me. This was rather fidgetting intelligence. I rather, in my own mind, thought the queen would prefer giving me the first evening alone with my dear old friend. I found that sweet lady not so well as I had hoped, and strongly affected by afflicting recollections at sight of me. With all her gentleness and resignation, bursts of sorrow break from her still whenever we are alone together, for the Duchess of Portland was a boson’ friend to her.

Miss Port (5) who is a truly lovely girl, received me with her usual warmth of joy, and was most impatient to whisper me that “all the princesses intended to come and see me.” She is just at the age to doat upon an ado, and nothing so much delights her as the thought of my presentations.
Mrs. Delany acquainted me that the queen, in their first interview, upon her coming to this house, said to her, “Why did not you bring your friend Miss Burney with you?”

My dear Mrs. Delany was very much gratified by such an attention to whatever could be thought interesting to her, but, with her usual propriety, answered that, in coming to a house of her majesty’s, she could not presume to ask anybody without immediate and express permission. “The king, however,” she added, “made the very same inquiry when I saw him next.”

Sunday, Nov. 26.

So now the royal encounters, for a while at least, are out of all question. Nobody came last night, though Mrs. Delany I saw, and Miss Port. I heard, in continual expectation; but this morning, Mr. Battiscombe, apothecary to the household, called, and said that an express arrived from Germany yesterday afternoon, with an account of the death of the queen’s youngest brother.
The queen,—whose domestic virtues rise upon me every hour, is strongly attached to all her family, and in much affliction at this news; for though this brother was quite a boy when she left Germany, he has twice been to visit her in, England. None of the royal family will appear till the mourning takes place; the queen, perhaps, may shut herself up still longer.

At night, quite incog. quite alone, and quite privately, the king came, and was shut up with Mrs. Delany for an hour. It is out of rule for any of the family to be seen till in mourning, but he knew she was anxious for an account of the queen. I had a very narrow escape of being surprised by him, which would have vexed me, as he only meant to see Mrs. Delany by herself, though she says he told her he was very glad to hear I was come.

Royal Curiosity about Miss Burney.

Thursday, Dec. 1.

To-day the queen sent Miss Planta to tell Mrs. Delany that if she would not yet venture to the Lodge, she would come to her in the evening. Mrs. Delany accepted the gracious offer, and, at tea-time, she came, as well as the king, and spent two hours here.
Mrs. Delany told me afterwards, that the queen was very low-spirited, and seemed to wish for nothing but the solace of sitting perfectly quiet. She is a sweet woman, and has all the domestic affections warm and strong in her heart.

Nevertheless they talked of me, she says, a good deal—and the king asked many questions about me. There is a new play, he told Mrs. Delany, coming out; “and it is said to be Miss Burney’s!” Mrs. Delany immediately answered that she knew the report must be untrue. “But I hope she is not idle?” cried the king. “I hope she is writing something?”
What Mrs. Delany said, I know not; but he afterwards inquired what she thought of my writing a play?
“What,” said he, “do you wish about it, Mrs. Delany?”
Mrs. Delany hesitated, and the queen then said,

“I wish what I know Mrs. Delany does—that she may not; for though her reputation is so high, her character, by all I hear, is too delicate to suit with writing for the stage.”

Sweet queen! I could have kissed the hem of her garment for that speech, and I could not resist writing it.
Mrs. Delany then said,

“Why My opinion is what I believe to be Miss Burney’s own; that It is too public and hazardous a style of writing for her quiet and fearful turn of mind.”
I have really the grace to be a little ashamed of scribbling this, but I know I can scribble nothing my dear father will be more curious to hear.

Saturday, Dec. 3

This morning we had better news of the princess—and Mrs. Delany went again to the Lodge in the evening, to the queen. When Mrs. Delany returned, she confirmed the good accounts of the Princess Elizabeth’s amendment. She had told the queen I was going tomorrow to Thames Ditton, for a week; and was asked many questions about my coming back, which the queen said she was sure I should be glad to do from Mrs. Walsingham to Mrs. Delany. O most penetrating queen!
She gratified Mrs. Delany by many kind speeches, of being sorry I was going, and glad I was returning, and so forth. Mrs. Delany then told her I had been reading “The Clandestine Marriage” to her, which the queen had recommended, and she thanked her majesty for the very great pleasure she had received from it.
“O then,” cried the queen, “if Miss Burney reads to you, what a pleasure you must have to make her read her own works!”
Mrs. Delany laughed, and exclaimed,

“O ma’am! read her own works!—your majesty has no notion of Miss Burney! I believe she would as soon die!”
This, of course, led to a great deal of discussion, in the midst of which the queen said,
“Do you know Dr. Burney, Mrs. Delany?
“Yes, ma’am, extremely well,” answered Mrs. Delany.
“I think him,” said the queen, “a very agreeable and entertaining man.”
There, my dear father! said I not well just now, O most penetrating queen?
So here ends my Windsor journal, part the first. Tomorrow morning I go for my week to Thames Ditton.

Windsor, Wednesday, Dec. 14

Yesterday I returned to my dear Mrs. Delany, from Thames Ditton, and had the great concern of finding her very unwell. Mr. Bernard Dewes, one of her nephews, and his little girl, a sweet child of seven years old, were with her, and, of course, Miss Port. She had been hurried, though only with pleasure, and her emotion, first in receiving, and next in entertaining them, had brought on a little fever.
She revived in the afternoon, and I had the pleasure of reading to her a play of Shakspeare’s, that she had not heard for forty years, and which I had never read since I was a child,—“The Comedy of Errors;"—and we found in it all the entertainment belonging to an excellent farce, and all the objections belonging to an indifferent play, but the spirit with which she enters into every part of everything she hears, gives a sort of theatric effect to whatever is read to her; and my spirits rise in her presence, with the joy of exciting hers.
But I am now obliged, by what follows, to confess a little discussion I have had with my dear Mrs. Delany, almost all the time I spent with her at first, and now again upon my return, relative to the royal interview, so long in expectation.

Immediately upon my arrival, she had imagined, by what had preceded it, that a visit would instantly ensue here, and I should have a summons to appear; but the death of the queen’s brother, which was known the very night I came, confined her majesty and all the family for some days to the Lodge; and the dangerous illness of the Princess Elizabeth next took place, in occupying all their thoughts, greatly to their credit.

My dear old friend, however, earnest I should have an honour which her grateful reverence for their majesties makes her regard very highly, had often wished me to stay in the room when they came to see her, assuring me that though they were so circumstanced as not to send for a stranger, she knew they would be much pleased to meet with me. This, however, was more than I could assent to, without infinite pain, and that she was too kind to make a point of my enduring.
Yesterday, upon my return, she began again the same reasoning; the Princess Elizabeth had relapsed, and she knew, during her being worse, there was no chance the queen would take any active step towards a meeting. “But she inquires,” continued Mrs. Delany, “so much about you, and is so earnest that you should be with me, that I am sure she wants to see and converse with you. You will see her, too, with more ease to yourself by being already in the room, than from being summoned. I would not for the world put this request to you, if I were not sure she wishes it.”

There was no withstanding the word “request” from Mrs. Delany, and little as I liked the business, I could not but comply. What next was to be done, was to beg directions for the rencounter.

Now though you, my dear father, have had an audience, and you, my dear Susan, are likely enough to avoid one, yet I think the etiquettes on these occasions will be equally new to you both; for one never inquired into them, and the other has never thought of them. Here, at Windsor, where more than half the people we see are belonging to the Court, and where all the rest are trying to be in the same predicament, the intelligence I have obtained must be looked upon as accurate, and I shall, therefore give it. In full confidence you will both regard it as a valuable addition to your present stock of Court knowledge, and read it with that decent awe the dignity of the topic requires!


the Blanket of night and dream is where tomorrows amber day field is born

. . . To come, then, to those particular instructions I received myself, and which must not be regarded as having anything to do with general rules.
“I do beg of you,” said dear Mrs. Delany, “When the queen or the king speak to you, not to answer with mere monosyllables. The queen often complains to me of the difficulty with which she can get any conversation, as she not only always has to start the subjects, but, commonly, entirely to support them: and she says there is nothing she so much loves as conversation, and nothing she finds so hard to get. She is always best pleased to have the answers that are made her lead on to further discourse. Now, as I know she wishes to be acquainted with you, and converse with you, I do really entreat you not to draw back from her, nor to stop conversation with only answering ‘Yes,’ or ‘No.’”

This was a most tremendous injunction; however, I could not but promise her I would do the best I could.

To this, nevertheless, she readily agreed, that if upon entering the room, they should take no notice of me, I might quietly retire. And that, believe me, will not be very slowly! They cannot find me in this house without knowing who I am, and therefore they can be at no loss whether to speak to me or not, from incertitude.

A Panic.

In the midst of all this, the queen came!

I heard the thunder at the door, and, panic struck, away flew all my resolutions and agreements, and away after them flew I!
Don’t be angry, my dear father—I would have stayed if I could, and I meant to stay——but, when the moment came, neither my preparations nor intentions availed, and I arrived at my own room, ere I well knew I had left the drawing-room, and quite breathless between the race I ran with Miss Port and the joy of escaping, Mrs. Delany, though a little vexed at the time, was not afterwards, when she found the queen very much dispirited by a relapse of the poor Princess Elizabeth. She inquired if I was returned, and hoped I now came to make a longer stay.

Friday, Dec. 16.

Yesterday morning we had a much better account of the Princess Elizabeth; and Mrs. Delany said to me,
“Now you will escape no longer, for if their uneasiness ceases, I am sure they will send for you, when they come next.”

To be sent for, I confessed to her, would really be more formidable than to be surprised; but to pretend to be surprised would answer no purpose in making the meeting easy to me, and therefore I preferred letting the matter take its chance.

After dinner, while Mrs. Delany was left alone, as usual, to take a little rest,—for sleep it but seldom proves,—Mr. B. Dewes, his little daughter, Miss Port, and myself, went into the drawing-room. And here, while, to pass the time, I was amusing the little girl with teaching her some Christmas games, in which her father and cousin joined, Mrs. Delany came in. We were all in the middle of the room, and in some confusion;—but she had but just come up to us to inquire what was going forwards, and I was disentangling myself from Miss Dewes, to be ready to fly off if any one knocked at the street-door, when the door of the drawing-room was again opened, and a large man, in deep mourning, appeared at it, entering, and shutting it himself without speaking.

A ghost could not more have scared me, when I discovered, by its glitter on the black, a star! The general disorder had prevented his being seen, except by myself, who was always on the watch, till Miss Port, turning round, exclaimed, “The king!—aunt, the king!”

“The King!”

Aunt, the King!

O mercy! thought I, that I were but out of the room! which way shall I escape? and how pass him unnoticed? There is but the single door at which he entered, in the room! Every one scampered out of the way: Miss Port, to stand next the door; Mr. Bernard Dewes to a corner opposite it; his little girl clung to me; and Mrs. Delany advanced to meet his majesty, who, after quietly looking on till she saw him, approached, and inquired how she did.
He then spoke to Mr. Bernard, whom he had already met two or three times here.
I had now retreated to the wall, and purposed gliding softly, though speedily, out of the room; but before I had taken a single step, the king, in a loud whisper to Mrs. Delany, said, “Is that Miss Burney?”-and on her answering, “Yes, sir,” he bowed, and with a countenance of the most perfect good humour, came close up to me.

A most profound reverence on my part arrested the progress of my intended retreat.
“How long have you been come back, Miss Burney?”
“Two days, sir.”

Unluckily he did not hear me, and repeated his question and whether the second time he heard me or not, I don’t know, but he made a little civil inclination of his head, and went back to Mrs. Delany.
He insisted she should sit down, though he stood himself, and began to give her an account of the Princess Elizabeth, who once again was recovering, and trying, at present, James’s powders. She had been blooded, he said, twelve times in this last fortnight, and had lost seventy-five ounces of blood, besides undergoing blistering and other discipline. He spoke of her illness with the strongest emotion, and seemed quite filled with concern for her danger and suffering.

Mrs. Delany next inquired for the younger children. They had all, he said, the whooping-cough, and were soon to be removed to Kew.

“Not,” added he, “for any other reason than change of air for themselves; though I am pretty certain I have never had the distemper myself, and the queen thinks she has not had it either:—we shall take our chance. When the two eldest had it, I sent them away, and would not see them till it was over; but now there are so many of them that there would be no end to separations, so I let it take its course.”
Mrs. Delany expressed a good deal of concern at his running this risk, but he laughed at it, and said, he was much more afraid of catching the rheumatism, which has been threatening one of his shoulders lately, However, he added, he should hunt, the next morning, in defiance of it.
A good deal of talk then followed about his own health, and the extreme temperance by which he preserved it. The fault of his constitution, he said, was a tendency to excessive fat, which he kept, however, in order, by the most vigorous exercise and the strictest attention to a simple diet.

Mrs. Delany was beginning to praise his forbearance, but he stopped her.

“No, no,” he cried, “’tis no virtue; I only prefer eating plain and little to growing diseased and infirm.”
During this discourse, I stood quietly in the place where he had first spoken to me. His quitting me so soon, and conversing freely and easily with Mrs. Delany, proved so delightful a relief to me, that I no longer wished myself away; and the moment my first panic from the surprise was over, I diverted myself with a thousand ridiculous notions, of my own situation.

The Christmas games we had been showing Miss Dewes, it seemed as if we were still performing, as none of us thought it proper to move, though our manner of standing reminded one of “Puss in the corner.” Close to the door was posted Miss Port; opposite her, close to the wainscot, stood Mr. Dewes; at just an equal distance from him, close to a window, stood myself. Mrs. Delany, though seated, was at the opposite side to Miss Port; and his majesty kept pretty much in the middle of the room. The little girl, who kept close to me, did not break the order, and I could hardly help expecting to be beckoned, with a PUSS! PUSS! PUSS! to change places with one of my neighbours.

This idea, afterwards, gave way to another more pompous. It seemed to me we were acting a play. There is something so little like common and real life, in everybody’s standing, while talking, in a room full of chairs, and standing, too, so aloof from each other, that I almost thought myself upon a stage, assisting in the representation of a tragedy,—in which the king played his own part, of the king; Mrs. Delany that of a venerable confidante; Mr. Dewes, his respectful attendant; Miss Port, a suppliant Virgin, waiting encouragement to bring forward some petition; Miss Dewes, a young orphan, intended to move the royal compassion; and myself,—a very solemn, sober, and decent mute.
These fancies, however, only regaled me while I continued a quiet spectator, and without expectation of being called into play. But the king, I have reason to think, meant only to give me time to recover from my first embarrassment; and I feel infinitely obliged to his good breeding and consideration, which perfectly answered, for before he returned to me, I was entirely recruited.
To go back to my narration.

When the discourse upon health and strength was over, the king went up to the table, and looked at a book of prints, from Claude Lorraine, which had been brought down for Miss Dewes; but Mrs. Delany, by mistake, told him they were for me. He turned over a leaf or two, and then said—
“Pray, does Miss Burney draw, too?”
The too was pronounced very civilly.

“I believe not, Sir,” answered Mrs. Delany “at least, she does not tell.”
“Oh!” cried he, laughing, “that’s nothing; she is not apt to tell! she never does tell, you know!—Her father told me that himself. He told me the whole history of her ‘Evelina.’ And I shall never forget his face when he spoke of his feelings at first taking up the book!—he looked quite frightened, just as if he was doing it that moment! I never can forget his face while I live!”

The King Categorically Questions Miss Burney.

Then coming up close to me, the king said—
“But what?—what?—how was it?”
“Sir”—cried I, not well understanding him.
“How came you—how happened it—what?—what?”
“I—I only wrote, Sir, for my own amusement,—only in some odd, idle hours.”
“But your publishing—your printing,—how was that?
“That was only, sir,—only because—”

I hesitated most abominably, not knowing how to tell him a long story, and growing terribly confused at these questions;—besides,—to say the truth, his own “what? what?” so reminded me of those vile “Probationary Odes,” that, in the midst of all my flutter, I was really hardly able to keep my countenance.
The What! was then repeated, with so earnest a look, that, forced to say something, I stammeringly answered—
“I thought-sir-it would look very well in print!”
I do really flatter myself this is the silliest speech I ever made! I am quite provoked with myself for it; but a fear of laughing made me eager to utter anything, and by no means conscious, till I had spoken, of what I was saying. He laughed very heartily himself,—well he might—and walked away to enjoy it, crying out,

“Very fair indeed! that’s being very fair and honest.”

Then, returning to me again, he said,
“But your father—how came you did not show him what you wrote?”
“I was too much ashamed of it, sir, seriously.”
Literal truth that, I am sure.

“And how did he find it out?
“I don’t know myself, sir. He never would tell me.”
Literal truth again, my dear father, as you can testify.

“But how did you get it printed?”
“I sent it, sir, to a bookseller my father never employed, and that I never had seen myself, Mr. Lowndes, in full hope by that means he never would hear of it.”
“But how could you manage that?”
“By means of a brother, sir.”
“O!—you confided in a brother, then?”
“Yes, sir,—that is, for the publication.”
“What entertainment you must have had from hearing people’s conjectures, before you were known! Do you remember any of them?”
“Yes, sir, many.”
“And what?”
“I heard that Mr. Baretti6 laid a wager it was written by a man for no woman, he said, could have kept her own counsel.”

This diverted him extremely.
“But how was it,” he continued, “you thought most likely for your father to discover you?”
“Sometimes, sir, I have supposed I must have dropt some of the manuscript; sometimes, that one of my sisters betrayed me.”
“O! your sister?—what, not your brother?”
“No, sir; he could not, for—”
I was going on, but he laughed so much I could not be heard, exclaiming,
“Vastly well! I see you are of Mr. Baretti’s’mind, and think your brother could keep your secret, and not your sister?”

“Well, but,” cried he presently, “how was it first known to you, you were betrayed?”

“By a letter, sir, from another sister. I was very ill, and in the country; and she wrote me word that my father had taken up a review, in which the book was mentioned, and had put his finger upon its name, and said—‘Contrive to get that book for me.’”
“And when he got it,” cried the king, “he told me he was afraid of looking at it! and never can I forget his face when he mentioned his first opening it. But you have not kept your pen unemployed all this time?”
“Indeed I have, sir.”
“But why?”
“I—I believe I have exhausted myself, sir.”

He laughed aloud at this, and went and told it to Mrs. Delany, civilly treating a plain fact as a mere bon mot.
Then, turning to me again, he said, more seriously, “But you have not determined against writing, any more?”
“N-o, sir”
“You have made no vow—no real resolution of that sort?”
“No, sir.”
“You only wait for inclination?”
“No, sir.”

A very civil little bow spoke him pleased with this answer, and he went again to the middle of the room, where he chiefly stood, and, addressing us in general, talked upon the different motives of writing, concluding with,
“I believe there is no constraint to be put upon real genius; nothing but inclination can set it to work. Miss Burney, however, knows best.” And then, hastily returning to me, he cried, “What? what?”

“No, sir, I—I-believe not, certainly,” quoth I, very awkwardly, for I seemed taking a violent compliment only as my due; but I knew not how to put him off as I would another person.

He then made some inquiries concerning the pictures with which the room is hung, and which are all Mrs. Delany’s own painting and a little discourse followed, upon some of the masters whose pictures she has copied. This was all with her; for nobody ever answers him without being immediately addressed by him.
He then came to me again, and said,
“Is your father about anything at present?”
“Yes, sir, he goes on, when he has time, with his history.”
“Does he write quick?”

“Yes, sir, when he writes from himself; but in his history he has so many books to consult, that sometimes he spends three days in finding authorities for a single passage.”
“Very true; that must be unavoidable.” He pursued these inquiries some time, and then went again to his general station before the fire, and Mrs. Delany inquired if he meant to hunt the next day. “Yes,” he answered; and, a little pointedly, Mrs. Delany said,
“I would the hunted could but feel as much pleasure as the hunter.”
The king understood her, and with some quickness, called out, “Pray what did you hunt?”
Then, looking round at us all,—

“Did you know,” he said, “that Mrs. Delany once hunted herself?—and in a long gown, and a great hoop?”
It seems she had told his majesty an adventure of that sort which had befallen her in her youth, from some accident in which her will had no share.

The Queen appears upon the Scene.

While this was talking over, a violent thunder was made at the door. I was almost certain it was the queen. Once more I would have given anything to escape; but in vain. I had been informed that nobody ever quitted the royal presence, after having been conversed with, till motioned to withdraw.
Miss Port, according to established etiquette on these occasions, opened the door which she stood next, by putting her hand behind her, and slid out, backwards, into the hall, to light the queen in. The door soon opened again, and her majesty entered.
Immediately seeing the king, she made him a low curtsey, and cried,—
“Oh, your majesty is here.”
“Yes,” he cried, “I ran here, without speaking to anybody.”
The queen had been at the lower Lodge, to see the Princess Elizabeth, as the king had before told us.
She then, hastened up to Mrs. Delany, with both her hands held out, saying,
“My dear Mrs. Delany, how are you?”

Instantly after, I felt her eye on my face. I believe, too, she curtsied to me; but though I saw the bend, I was too near-sighted to be sure it was intended for me. I was hardly ever in a situation more embarrassing——I dared not return what I was not certain I had received, yet considered myself as appearing quite a monster, to stand stiff-necked, if really meant.
Almost at the same moment, she spoke to Mr. Bernard Dewes, and then nodded to my little clinging girl.

I was now really ready to sink, with horrid uncertainty of what I was doing, or what I should do,—when his majesty, who I fancy saw my distress, most good-humouredly said to the queen something, but I was too much flurried to remember what, except these words,—“I have been telling Miss Burney—”

Relieved from so painful a dilemma, I immediately dropped a curtsey. She made one to me in the same moment, and, with a very smiling countenance, came up to me; but she could not speak, for the king went on talking, eagerly, and very gaily, repeating to her every word I had said during our conversation upon “Evelina,” its publication, etc. etc.

Then he told her of Baretti’s wager, saying,—“But she heard of a great many conjectures about the author, before it was known, and of Baretti, an admirable thing!—he laid a bet it must be a man, as no woman, he said, could have kept her own counsel!”
The queen, laughing a little, exclaimed—
“Oh, that is quite too bad an affront to us!—Don’t you think so?” addressing herself to me, with great gentleness of voice and manner.
I assented; and the king continued his relation, which she listened to with a look of some interest; but when he told her some particulars of my secrecy, she again spoke to me.
“But! your sister was your confidant, was she not?”
“Yes, ma’am.”
My sisters, I might have said, but I was always glad to have done.

“Oh, yes!” cried the king, laughing, “but I assure you she is of Baretti’s opinion herself; for I asked her if she thought it was her sister or her brother that betrayed her to her father?—and she says her sister, she thinks.”
Poor Esther!—but I shall make her amends by what follows; for the queen, again addressing me, said—
“But to betray to a father is no crime-don’t you think so?”
I agreed; and plainly saw she thought Esther, if Esther it was, had only done right.

The king then went on, and when he had finished his narration the queen took her seat. She made Mrs. Delany sit next her, and Miss Port brought her some tea.

“Miss Burney plays—but not to acknowledge it.”

The king, meanwhile, came to me again, and said,—“Are you musical?”
“Not a performer, sir.”
Then, going from me to the queen, he cried,—“She does not play.” I did not hear what the queen answered——she spoke in a low voice, and seemed much out of spirits.
They now talked together a little while, about the Princess Elizabeth, and the king mentioned having had a very promising account from her physician, Sir George Baker and the queen soon brightened up.
The king then returned to me and said,—

“Are you sure you never play?—never touch the keys at all.”
“Never to acknowledge it, sir.”
“Oh! that’s it!” cried he; and flying to the queen, cried, “She does play—but not to acknowledge it!”

I was now in a most horrible panic once more; pushed so very home, I could answer no other than I did, for these categorical questions almost constrain categorical answers; and here, at Windsor, it seems an absolute point that whatever they ask must be told, and whatever they desire must be done. Think but, then, of my consternation, in expecting their commands to perform! My dear father, pity me!

The eager air with which he returned to me fully explained what was to follow. I hastily, therefore, spoke first, in order to stop him, crying—“I never, sir, played to anybody but myself!—never!”
“No?” cried he, looking incredulous; “what, not to—
“Not even to me, sir!” cried my kind Mrs. Delany, who saw what was threatening me.
“No?—are you sure?” cried he, disappointed; “but—but you’ll—”

“I have never, sir,” cried I, very earnestly, “played in my life, but when I could hear nobody else—quite alone, and from a mere love of any musical sounds.”
He repeated all this to the queen, whose answers I never heard; but when he once more came back, with a face that looked unwilling to give it up, in my fright I had recourse to dumb show, and raised my hands in a supplicating fold, with a most begging countenance to be excused. This, luckily, succeeded; he understood me very readily, and laughed a little, but made a sort of desisting, or rather complying, little bow, and said no more about it.
I felt very much obliged to him, for I saw his curiosity was all alive, I wished I could have kissed his hand. He still, however, kept me in talk, and still upon music.
“To me,” said he, “it appears quite as strange to meet with people who have no ear for music, and cannot distinguish one air from another, as to meet with people who are dumb. Lady Bell Finch once told me that she had heard there was some difference between a psalm, a minuet, and a country dance, but she declared they all sounded alike to her! There are people who have no eye for difference of colour. The Duke of Marlborough actually cannot tell scarlet from green!”
He then told me an anecdote of his mistaking one of those colours for another, which was very laughable, but I do not remember it clearly enough to write it. How unfortunate for true virtuosi that such an eye should possess objects worthy the most discerning—the treasures of Blenheim! “I do not find, though,” added his majesty, “that this defect runs in his family, for Lady Di Beauclerk, draws very finely.”

He then went to Mr. Bernard Dewes.

Almost instantly upon his leaving me, a very gentle voice called out—“Miss Burney!”
It was the queen’s. I walked a little nearer her, and a gracious inclination of her head made me go quite up to her.
“You have been,” she said, “at Mrs. Walsingham’s?”
“Yes, ma’am.”
“She has a pretty place, I believe?”
“Yes, ma’am.”
“Were you ever there before?”
“Yes, ma’am.”

Oh, shocking! shocking! thought I; what will Mrs. Delany say to all these monosyllables?
“Has not she lately made some improvements?”
“Yes, ma’am; she has built a conservatory.”

Then followed some questions about its situation, during which the king came up to us; and she then, ceasing to address me in particular, began a general sort of conversation, with a spirit and animation that I had not at all expected, and which seemed the result of the great and benevolent pleasure she took in giving entertainment to Mrs. Delany.

A Drawing-room during a Fog.

The subject was the last Drawing-room, which she had been in town to keep on Thursday, during the dense fog.
“I assure you, ma’am,” cried she to Mrs. Delany, “it was so dark, there was no seeing anything, and no knowing any body. And Lady Harcourt could be of no help to tell me who people were, for when it was light, she can’t see and now it was dark, I could not see myself. So it was in vain for me to go on in that manner, without knowing which I had spoken to, and which was waiting for me; so I said to Lady Harcourt, ‘We had better stop, and stand quite still, for I don’t know anybody, no more than you do. But if we stand still, they will all come up in the end, and we must ask them who they are, and if I have spoken to them yet, or not: for it is very odd to do it, but what else can we manage?’”
Her accent is a little foreign, and very prettily so; and her emphasis has that sort of changeability, which gives an interest to everything she utters. But her language is rather peculiar than foreign.
“‘Besides,”’ added she, with a very significant look, “‘if we go on here in the dark, maybe I shall push against somebody, or somebody will push against me—which is the more likely to happen.’”

She then gave an account of some circumstances which attended the darkness, in a manner not only extremely lively, but mixed, at times, with an archness and humour that made it very entertaining. She chiefly addressed herself to Mrs. Delany; and to me, certainly, she would not, separately, have been so communicative; but she contrived, with great delicacy, to include me in the little party, by frequently looking at me, and always with an expression that invited my participation in the conversation. And, indeed, though I did not join in words, I shared very openly in the pleasure of her recital.
“Well,” she continued, “so there was standing by me a man that I could not see in the face; but I saw the twisting of his bow; and I said to Lady Harcourt, ‘I am sure that must be nobody but the Duke of Dorset.’—‘Dear,’ she says, ‘how can you tell that?’—‘Only ask,’ said I; and so it proved he.”
“Yes,” cried the king, “he is pretty well again; he can smile again, now!”

It seems his features had appeared to be fixed, or stiffened. It is said, he has been obliged to hold his hand to his mouth, to hide it, ever since his stroke,—which he refuses to acknowledge was paralytic.
The queen looked as if some comic notion had struck her, and, after smiling a little while to herself, said, with a sort of innocent archness, very pleasing,
“To be sure, it is very wrong to laugh at such things,—I know that; but yet, I could not help thinking, when his mouth was in that way, that it was very lucky people’s happiness did not depend upon his smiles!”
Afterwards, she named other persons, whose behaviour and manners pointed them out to her, in defiance of obscurity.
“A lady,” said she, “came up to me, that I could not see, so I was forced to ask who she was; and immediately she burst into a laugh. ‘O,’ says I, ‘that can be only Mrs. De Rolles!’—and so it proved.”

Methinks, by this trait, she should be a near relation to my Miss Larolles!7

When these, and some more anecdotes which I do not so clearly remember, were told, the king left us, and went to Mr. Bernard Dewes. A pause ensuing, I, too, drew back, meaning to return to my original station, which, being opposite the fire, was never a bad one. But the moment I began retreating, the queen, bending forward, and speaking in a very low voice, said, “Miss Burney!”—and, upon my coming up to her, almost in a whisper, cried, “But shall we have no more—nothing more?”
I could not but understand her, and only shook my head. The queen then, as if she thought she had said too much, with great sweetness and condescension, drew back herself, and, very delicately, said,
“To be sure it is, I own, a very home question, for one who has not the pleasure to know you.”

I was quite ashamed of this apology, but did not know what to say to it. But how amiable a simplicity in her speaking of herself in such a style,—“for one who has not the pleasure to know you.”
“But, indeed,” continued she, presently, “I would not say it, only that I think from what has been done, there is a power to do so much good—and good to young people, which is so very good a thing—that I cannot help wishing it could be.”

I felt very grateful for this speech, and for the very soft manner in which she said it; and I very much wished to thank her and was trying to mutter something, though not very intelligibly, when the king suddenly coming up to us, inquired what was going forward.

To stand with

Kings and Queens

The queen readily repeated her kind speech.
The king eagerly undertook to make my answer for me, crying, “O, but she will write!—she only waits for inclination—she told me so.” Then, speaking to me, he said, “What—is it not so?”
I only laughed a little; and he again said to the queen,
“She will write. She told me, just now, she had made no vow against It.”
“No, no,” cried the queen, “I hope not, indeed.”
“A vow!” cried dear Mrs. Delany, “no, indeed, I hope she would not be so wicked—she who can so do what she does!”
“But she has not,” said the king, earnestly; “she has owned that to me already.”
What excessive condescension, my dear padre!
“I only wish,” cried Mrs. Delany, “it could be as easily done, as it is earnestly and universally desired.”
“I doubt it not to be so desired,” said the queen.

I was quite ashamed of all this, and quite sorry to make no acknowledgment of their great condescension in pressing such subject, and pressing it so much in earnest. But I really could get out nothing, so that’s the truth; and I wish I could give a better account of my eloquence, my dear padre and I cannot, however, in justice any more than in inclination, go on, till I stop to admire the sweetness of the queen, and the consideration of the king, in each making me a party in their general conversation, before they made any particular address to me.

A Musician, with a Proboscis.

They afterwards spoke of Mr. Webb, a Windsor musician, who is master to the young princesses, and who has a nose, from some strange calamity, of so enormous a size that it covers all the middle of his face. I never saw so frightful a deformity. Mrs. Delany told the queen I had met with him, accidentally, when he came to give a lesson to Miss Port, and had been quite startled by him.
“I dare say so,” said her majesty. “I must tell Miss Burney a little trait of Sophia, about Mr. Webb.”
A small table was before the queen, who always has it brought when she is seated, to put her tea or work upon, or, when she has neither, to look comfortable, I believe; for certainly it takes off much formality in a standing circle. And close to this, by the gracious motion of her head, she kept me.

“When first,” continued she, “Mr. Webb was to come to Sophia, I told her he had had some accident to disfigure his whole face, by making him an enormous nose; but I desired her to remember this was a misfortune, for which he ought to be pitied, and that she must be sure not to laugh at it, nor stare at it. And she minded this very well, and behaved always very properly. But, while Lady Cremorne was at the Lodge, she was with Sophia when Mr. Webb came to give her a lesson. As soon as he was named, she coloured very red, and ran up to Lady Cremorne, and said to her in a whisper, ‘Lady Cremorne, Mr. Webb has got a very great nose, but that is only to be pitied—so mind you don’t laugh.’”
This little princess is just nine years old!

The king joined us while the queen was telling this, and added, “Poor Mr. Webb was very much discountenanced when he first saw me, and tried to hide his nose, by a great nosegay, or I believe only a branch, which he held before it: but really that had so odd a look, that it was worse, and more ridiculous, than his nose. However, I hope he does not mind me, now, for I have seen him four or five times.”

General Conversation: Royalty Departs.

After this, Mrs. Delany mentioned Madame de la Fite and her son.
The queen said, “He is a pretty little boy; and when he goes to school, it will do him good.”
“Where will she send him?” said the king.
The queen, looking at me, with a smile answered,
“To the school where Mr. Locke puts his sons. I know that!”
And where is that?”
“Indeed I don’t know; where is it, Miss Burney?”
“At Cheam, ma’am.”
“Oh, at young Gilpin’s?” cried the king. “Is it near Mr. Locke’s?”
“Yes, sir; within about six miles, I believe.”
The queen, then, with a little arch smile, that seemed to premise she should make me stare, said,
“It was there, at Mr. Locke’s, your sister laid in?”
“O yes, ma’am!” cried I, out of breath with surprise.

The king repeated my “O yes!” and said, “I fancy—by that O—you were frightened a little for her? What?”

I could not but assent to that; and the king, who seemed a good deal diverted at the accident—for he loves little babies too well to look upon it, as most people would, to be a shocking business—questioned me about it.
“How was it?” said he,—“how happened it? Could not she get home?”
“It was so sudden, sir, and so unexpected, there was no time.”
“I dare say,” said the sweet queen, “Mrs. Locke was only very happy to have it at her house.”
“Indeed, ma’am,” cried I, “her kindness, and Mr. Locke’s would make anybody think so but they are all kindness and goodness.”
“I have heard indeed,” said the queen, “that they are all sensible, and amiable, and ingenuous, in that family.”
“They are indeed,” cried I, “and as exemplary as they are accomplished.”
“I have never seen Mrs. Locke,” said the king, “since she was that high;"—pointing to little Miss Dewes.

“And I,” said the queen “I have never seen her in my life; but for all that, from what I hear of her, I cannot help feeling interested whenever I only hear her name.”
This, with a good deal of animation, she said directly to me.
“Mr. William Locke, ma’am,” said Mrs. Delany, “I understand from Miss Burney, is now making the same wonderful progress in painting that he had done before in drawing.”
“I have seen some of his drawings,” said the queen, “which were charming.”

“How old is he?” cried the king.
“Eighteen, sir.”
“Eighteen!” repeated the king—“how time flies!”
“Oh! for me,” cried the queen, “I am always quarrelling with time! It is so short to do something, and so long to do nothing.”
She has now and then something foreign to our idiom, that has a very pretty effect.
“Time,” said the king, “always seems long when we are young, and short when we begin to grow old.”

“But nothing makes me so angry,” said the queen, “as to hear people not know what to do! For me, I never have half time enough to do things. But what makes me most angry still, is to see people go up to a window and say, ‘what a bad day!—dear, what shall we do such a day as this?’ ‘What?’ I say; ‘why, employ yourselves; and then what signifies the bad day?’”

Afterwards, there was some talk upon sermons, and the queen wished the Bishop of Chester would publish another volume.
“No, no,” said the king, “you must not expect a man, while he continues preaching, to go on publishing. Every sermon printed, diminishes his stock for the pulpit.”
“Very true,” said the queen, “but I believe the Bishop of Chester has enough to spare.”
The king then praised Carr’s sermons, and said he liked none but what were plain and unadorned.
“Nor I neither,” said the queen; “but for me, it is, I suppose, because the others I don’t understand.”
The king then, looking at his watch, said, “It is eight o’clock, and if we don’t go now, the children will be sent to the other house.”
“Yes, your majesty,” cried the queen, instantly rising.

Mrs. Delany put on her majesty’s cloak, and she took a very kind leave of her. She then curtsied separately to us all, and the king handed her to the carriage.
It is the custom for everybody they speak to to attend them out, but they would not suffer Mrs. Delany to move. Miss Port, Mr. Dewes, and his little daughter, and myself, all accompanied them, and saw them in their coach, and received their last gracious nods.
When they were gone, Mrs. Delany confessed she had heard the king’s knock at the door before she came into the drawing-room, but would not avow it, that I might not run away. Well! being over was so good a thing, that I could not but be content.
The queen, indeed, is a most charming woman. She appears to me full of sense and graciousness, mingled with delicacy of mind and liveliness of temper. She speaks English almost perfectly well, with great choice and copiousness of language, though now and then with foreign idiom, and frequently with a foreign accent. Her manners have an easy dignity, with a most engaging simplicity, and she has all that fine high breeding which the mind, not the station, gives, of carefully avoiding to distress those who converse with her, or studiously removing the embarrassment she cannot prevent.
The king, however he may have power, in the cabinet, to command himself, has, in private, the appearance of a character the most open and sincere. He speaks his opinions without reserve, and seems to trust them intuitively to his hearers, from a belief they will make no ill use of them. His countenance is full of inquiry, to gain information without asking it, probably from believing that to be the nearest road to truth. All I saw of both was the most perfect good humour, good spirits, ease, and pleasantness.

Their behaviour to each other speaks the most cordial confidence and happiness. The king seems to admire as much as he enjoys her conversation, and to covet her participation in everything he either sees or hears. The queen appears to feel the most grateful regard for him, and to make it her chief study to raise his consequence with others, by always marking that she considers herself, though queen to the nation, only to him, the first and most obedient of subjects. Indeed, in their different ways, and allowing for the difference of their characters, they left me equally charmed both with their behaviour to each other and to myself.

Monday, Dec. 19

In the evening, while Mrs. Delany, Miss Port, and I were sitting and working together in the drawing-room, the door was opened, and the king entered.
We all started up; Miss Port flew to her modest post by the door, and I to my more comfortable one opposite the fire, which caused me but a slight and gentle retreat, and Mrs. Delany he immediately commanded to take her own place again.
He was full of joy for the Princess Elizabeth. He had been to the lower Lodge, and found her in a sweet sleep, and she was now, he said, in a course of James’s powders, from which he hoped her perfect restoration. I fear, however, it is still but precarious.
Mrs. Delany congratulated him, and then inquired after the whooping-cough. The children, he said, were better, and were going to Kew for some days, to change the air. He and the queen had been themselves, in the morning, to Kew, to see that their rooms were fit for their reception. He could not, he said, be easy to take any account but from his own eyes, when they were sick. He seems, indeed, one of the most tender fathers in the world.
cannot pretend to write this meeting with the method and minuteness of the first; for that took me so long, that I have not time to spare for such another detail. Besides the novelty is now over, and I have not the same inducement to be so very circumstantial. But the principal parts of the conversation I will write, as I recollect.

Our party being so small, he made all that passed general; for though he principally addressed himself to Mrs. Delany, he always looked round to see that we heard him, and frequently referred to us.

I should mention, though, the etiquette always observed upon his entrance, which, first of all, is to fly off to distant quarters—and next, Miss Port goes out, walking backwards, for more candles, which she brings in, two at a time, and places upon the tables and pianoforte. Next she goes out for tea, which she then carries to his majesty, upon a large salver, containing sugar, cream, and bread and butter, and cake, while she hangs a napkin over her arm for his fingers.
When he has taken his tea, she returns to her station, where she waits till he has done, and then takes away his cup, and fetches more. This, it seems, is a ceremony performed in other places always by the mistress of the house; but here neither of their majesties will permit Mrs. Delany to attempt it.
Well; but to return. The king said he had just been looking over a new pamphlet, of Mr. Cumberland’s, upon the character of Lord Sackville,
“I have been asking Sir George Baker,” he said, “if he had read it, and he told me, yes, but that he could not find out why Cumberland had written it. However, that, I think, I found out in the second page. For there he takes an opportunity to give a high character of himself.”

He then enlarged more upon the subject, very frankly declaring in what points he differed from Mr. Cumberland about Lord Sackville; but as I neither knew him, nor had read the pamphlet, I could not at all enter into the subject.
Mrs. Delany then mentioned something of Madame de Genlis,9 upon which the king eagerly said to me,
“Oh, you saw her while she was here?”
“Yes, sir.”
“And—did she speak English?”
“Yes, sir.”
“And how?”
“Extremely well, sir; with very great facility.”
“Indeed? that always surprises me in a foreigner that has not lived here.”
Her accent is foreign, however; but her language is remarkably ready.
He then spoke of Voltaire, and talked a little of his works, concluding with this strong condemnation of their tendency:—
“I,” cried he, “think him a monster, I own it fairly.”
Nobody answered. Mrs. Delany did not quite hear him, and I knew too little of his works to have courage to say anything about them.

He next named Rousseau, whom he seemed to think of with more favour, though by no means with approbation, Here, too, I had read too little to talk at all, though his majesty frequently applied to me. Mrs. Delany told several anecdotes which had come to her immediate knowledge of him while he was in England, at which time he had spent some days with her brother, Mr. Granville, at Calwich. The king, too, told others, which had come to his own ears, all charging him with savage pride and insolent ingratitude.
Here, however, I ventured to interfere; for, as I knew he had had a pension from the king, I could not but wish his majesty should be informed he was grateful to him. And as you, my dear father, were my authority, I thought it but common justice to the memory of poor Rousseau to acquaint the king of his personal respect for him.
“Some gratitude, sir,” said I, “he was not without. When my father was in Paris, which was after Rousseau had been in England, he visited him in his garret, and the first thing he showed him was your majesty’s portrait over his chimney.”

The king paused a little while upon this; but nothing more was said of Rousseau.

George iii. On Plays and Players.

Some time afterwards, the king said he found by the newspapers, that Mrs. Clive (10) was dead.
Do you read the newspapers? thought I. O, king! you must then have the most unvexing temper in the world, not to run wild.
This led on to more players. He was sorry, he said, for Henderson,11 and the more as Mrs. Siddons had wished to have him play at the same house with herself. Then Mrs. Siddons took her turn, and with the warmest praise.

“I am an enthusiast for her,” cried the king, “quite an enthusiast, I think there was never any player in my time so excellent—not Garrick himself—I own it!”
Then, coming close to me, who was silent, he said,—“What? what?”—meaning, what say you? But I still said nothing; I could not concur where I thought so differently, and to enter into an argument was quite impossible; for every little thing I said, the king listened to with an eagerness that made me always ashamed of its insignificancy. And, indeed, but for that I should have talked to him with much greater fluency, as well as ease.
From players he went to plays, and complained of the great want of good modern comedies, and of the extreme immorality of most of the old ones.
“And they pretend,” cried he, “to mend them; but it is not possible. Do you think it is?—what?”
“No, sir, not often, I believe;—the fault, commonly, lies in the very foundation.”

“Yes, or they might mend the mere speeches—but the characters are all bad from the beginning to the end.”
Then he specified several; but I had read none of them, and consequently could say nothing about the matter—till, at last, he came to Shakspeare.
“Was there ever,” cried he, “such stuff as great part of Shakspeare only one must not say so! But what think you?—What?—Is there not sad stuff? what?—what?”
“Yes, indeed, I think so, sir, though mixed with such excellences, that——”
“O!” cried he, laughing good-humouredly, “I know it is not to be said! but it’s true. Only it’s Shakspeare, and nobody dare abuse him.”
Then he enumerated many of the characters and parts of plays that he objected to—and when he had run them over, finished with again laughing, and exclaiming,
“But one should be stoned for saying so!”

“Madame de Genlis, sir,” said I, “had taken such an impression of the English theatre, that she told me she thought no woman ought to go to any of our comedies.”
This, which, indeed, is a very overstrained censure of our dramas, made him draw back, and vindicate the stage from a sentence so severe; which, however, she had pronounced to me, as if she looked upon it to be an opinion in which I should join as a thing past dispute.
The king approved such a denunciation no more than his little subject; and he vindicated the stage from so hard an aspersion, with a warmth not wholly free from indignation.

This led on to a good deal more dramatic criticism; but what was said was too little followed up to be remembered for writing. His majesty stayed near two hours, and then wished Mrs. Delany good night, and having given me a bow, shut the door himself, to prevent Mrs. Delany, or even me, from attending him out, and, with only Miss Port to wait upon him, put on his own great coat in the passage, and walked away to the lower Lodge, to see the Princess Elizabeth, without carriage or attendant. He is a pattern of modest, but manly superiority to rank. I should say more of this evening, and of the king, with whose unaffected conversation and unassuming port and manner I was charmed, but that I have another meeting to write,—a long, and, to me, very delightful private conference with the queen. It happened the very next morning.

Tuesday, Dec. 20.

1st, summons; 2ndly, entree.
“Miss Burney, have you heard that Boswell is going to publish a life of your friend Dr. Johnson?”
“No, ma’am.”
“I tell you as I heard. I don’t know for the truth of it, and I can’t tell what he will do. He is so extraordinary a man, that perhaps he will devise something extraordinary. What do you think of Madame de Genlis’ last work?”
“I have not read it, ma’am.”
“Not read it?”
(I believe she knew my copy, which lay on the table.)
I said I had taken it to Norbury, and meant to read it with Mrs. Locke, but things then prevented.
“Oh! (looking pleased) have you read the last edition of her ‘Adele?’”12
“No, ma’am.”
“Well, it is much improved; for the passage, you know, Mrs. Delany, of the untruth, is all altered—fifteen pages are quite new; and she has altered it very prettily. She has sent it to me. She always sends me her works; she did it a long while ago, when I did not know there was such a lady as Madame de Genlis. You have not seen ‘Adele,’ then?”
“No, ma’am.”
“You would like to see it. But I have it not here. Indeed, I think sometimes I have no books at all, for they are at Kew, or they are in town, and they are here; and I don’t know which is which. Is Madame de Genlis about any new work?”
“Yes, ma’am—one which she intends ‘pour le peuple.’”

“Ah, that will be a good work. Have you heard of—” (mentioning some German book, of which I forget the name).
“No, ma’am.”
“O, it will be soon translated; very fine language,—very bad book. They translate all our worst! And they are so improved in language; they write so finely now, even for the most silly books, that it makes one read on, and one cannot help it. O, I am very angry sometimes at that! Do you like the ‘Sorrows of Werter?’”
“I—I have not read it, ma’am, only in part.”
“No? Well, I don’t know how it is translated, but it is very finely writ in German, and I can’t bear it.”
“I am very happy to hear that, for what I did look over made me determine never to read it. It seemed only writ as a deliberate defence of suicide.”
“Yes; and what is worse, it is done by a bad man for revenge.”
She then mentioned, with praise, another book, saying,
“I wish I knew the translator.”
“I wish the translator knew that.”
“O—it is not—I should not like to give my name, for fear I have judged ill: I picked it up on a stall. O, it is amazing what good books there are on stalls.”
“It is amazing to me,” said Mrs. Delany, “to hear that.”
“Why, I don’t pick them up myself; but I have a servant very clever; and if they are not to be had at the booksellers’, they are not for me any more than for another.”
She then spoke of Klopstock’s “Messiah,” saying it contained four lines most perfect on religion.
“How I should like to see it. Is it translated?” asked Mrs. Delany, turning to me.
“In it,” said her majesty: “there is a story of Lazarus and the Centurion’s daughter; and another young lady, Asyddel, he calls her; and Lazarus is in love;—a very pretty scene—no stopping;—but it is out of place;—I was quite angry to read it. And a long conversation between Christ and Lazarus—very strange!”
“Yet Milton does that.”

The Queen on Roman Catholic Superstitions.

And then she went on discussing Milton; this led to Wickliffe and Cranmer; and she spoke of the Roman Catholic superstitions.
“O, so odd! Can it signify to God Almighty if I eat a piece of fish or a piece of meat? And one of the Queen of France’s sisters wears the heel of her shoe before for a penance; as if God Almighty could care for that!”

“It is supposing in Him the caprice of a fine lady.”

“Yes, just so. Yet it is amusing, and pretty too, how sincere the lower people are, of the Catholics. I was with my mother at—a Catholic town, and there was a lady we knew, had a very bad tooth-ache; she suffered night and day, and we were very sorry. But, over the river there was a Virgin Mary of great fame for miracles, and, one morning, when I wanted to get up, our maid did not come, and nobody knew where she was, and she could not be found. At last she came back with a large bouquet, which she had carried over the river in the night and got it blessed, and gave it to the lady to cure her tooth-ache. But we have Protestant nunneries in Germany. I belonged to one which was under the Imperial protection; there is one for royal families—one for the noblesse,—the candidates’ coats of arms are put up several weeks to be examined, and if any flaw is found, they are not elected. These nunneries are intended for young ladies of little fortunes and high birth. There is great licence in them. They have balls, not at home, but next door; and there is no restriction but to go to prayers at eight, at nine, and at night,—that is very little, you know,—and wear black or white, The dress consists of three caps, one over the forehead, one for the back, one up high, and one lower, for the veil; very pretty; and the gown is a vest, and the skirt has I don’t know how many hundred plaits. I had the cross and order, but I believe I gave it away when I came to England—for you may transfer; so I gave it to the Countess of a friend of mine.”

I could not help saying, how glad we all were that she was no nun!

“Once,” she continued, “I wanted to go to a chapel in that Catholic town, and my mother said I should go if I would be sure not to laugh at anything; and I promised I would not; so, I took care to keep my eyes half shut, half open, thus, for fear I should see something to make me laugh, for my mother told me I should not come out all day if I laughed. But there was nothing ridiculous.”
[The memorandum of the above conversation breaks off abruptly.]

On Being Presented.

Fanny Burney to Mrs. Burney.
Windsor, Dec. 17

My dearest Hetty,

I am sorry I could not more immediately write; but I really have not had a moment since your last.
Now I know what you next want is, to hear accounts of kings, queens, and such royal personages. O ho! do you so? Well.
Shall I tell you a few matters of fact?—or, had you rather a few matters of etiquette? Oh, matters of etiquette, you cry! for matters of fact are short and stupid, and anybody can tell, and everybody is tired with them.

Very well, take your own choice.
To begin, then, with the beginning.
You know I told you, in my last, my various difficulties, what sort of preferment to turn my thoughts to, and concluded with just starting a young budding notion of decision, by suggesting that a handsome pension for nothing at all would be as well as working night and day for a salary.

This blossom of an idea, the more I dwelt upon, the more I liked. Thinking served it for a hothouse, and it came out into full blow as I ruminated upon my pillow. Delighted that thus all my contradictory and wayward fancies were overcome, and my mind was peaceably settled what to wish and to demand, I gave over all further meditation upon choice of elevation, and had nothing more to do but to make my election known.
My next business, therefore, was to be presented. This could be no difficulty; my coming hither had been their own desire, and they had earnestly pressed its execution. I had only to prepare myself for the rencounter.
You would never believe—you, who, distant from Courts and courtiers, know nothing of their ways—the many things to be studied, for appearing with a proper propriety before crowned heads. Heads without crowns are quite other sort of rotundas.

Now, then, to the etiquette. I inquired into every particular, that no error might be committed. And as there is no saying what may happen in this mortal life, I shall give you those instructions I have received myself, that, should you find yourself in the royal presence, you may know how to comport yourself.

Directions for Coughing, Sneezing, or Moving before the King and Queen.

In the first place, you must not cough. If you find a cough tickling in your throat, you must arrest it from making any sound; if you find yourself choking with the forbearance, you must choke—but not cough.
In the second place, you must not sneeze. If you have a vehement cold, you must take no notice of it; if your nose membranes feel a great irritation, you must hold your breath; if a sneeze still insists upon making its way, you must oppose it, by keeping your teeth grinding together; if the violence of the repulse breaks some blood-vessel, you must break the blood-vessel—but not sneeze.
In the third place, you must not, upon any account, stir either hand or foot. If, by chance, a black pin runs into your head, you must not take it out. If the pain is very great, you must be sure to bear it without wincing; if it brings the tears into your eyes, you must not wipe them off; if they give you a tingling by running down your cheeks, you must look as if nothing was the matter. If the blood should gush from your head by means of the black pin, you must let it gush; if you are uneasy to think of making such a blurred appearance, you must be uneasy, but you must say nothing about it. If, however, the agony is very great, you may, privately, bite the inside of your cheek, or of your lips, for a little relief; taking care, meanwhile, to do it so cautiously as to make no apparent dent outwardly. And, with that precaution, if you even gnaw a piece out, it will not be minded, only be sure either to swallow it, or commit it to a corner of the inside of your mouth till they are gone—for you must not spit.

I have many other directions but no more paper; I will endeavour, however, to have them ready for you in time. Perhaps, meanwhile, you would be glad to know if I have myself had opportunity to put in practice these receipts?

Sunday, May 21, 1786.

I have now quite a new business to write upon. Late on Saturday night news reached my father of the death of the worthy Mr. Stanley, who has been long in a declining state of health. His place of master of the king’s band my dear father had been promised formerly.
Now he was once more to apply for it; and early on Sunday morning he went to Mr. Smelt, to beg his advice what way to proceed.

Just as I was at the door, and going to church, my father returned, and desired me to come back, as he had something to communicate to me. Mr. Smelt, he then told me, had counselled him to go instantly to Windsor, not to address the king, but to be seen by him. “Take your daughter,” he said, “in your hand, and walk upon the Terrace. The king’s seeing you at this time he will understand, and he is more likely to be touched by a hint of that delicate sort than by any direct application.”

My father determined implicitly to follow this advice. But let me not omit a singular little circumstance, which much enlivened and encouraged our expedition. While I was changing my dress for the journey, I received a letter from Miss Port, which was sent by a private hand, and ought to have arrived sooner, and which pressed my visit to my dear Mrs. Delany very warmly, and told me it was by the queen’s express wish. This gave me great spirits for my dear father’s enterprise, and I was able to help him on the road, from so favourable a symptom.
When we got to Windsor, my father saw me safe to Mrs. Delany’s, and then went himself to Dr. Lind’s. With what joy did I fly into the dear, open arms of this most venerable of women! Her reception had all the warm liveliness of pleasant surprise, added to its unfailing kindness.

Miss Port, with her usual partiality, was in high glee from the surprise. I dined and drank tea with them. Mrs. Delany related to me the most flattering speech made to her by the queen, about my coming to her as “the friend best suited to solace her in her disturbances,” and assured me she had quite interested herself in pressing Mrs. Delany to hasten me.
’Tis very extraordinary what a gracious disposition towards me this sweet queen always manifests, and what peculiar elegance there is in the expressions she makes use of in my favour. They were now particularly well-timed, and gave me most pleasant hopes for my dear father. He came to tea at Mrs. Delany’s, and, at the proper hour, went to the Terrace, with the good-natured Dr. Lind, who is always ready to oblige. I waited to go with a female party, which was arranged for me by Mrs. Delany, and soon followed.

All the royal family were already on the Terrace before we arrived. The king and queen, and the Prince of Mecklenburg, and her majesty’s mother—walked together. Next them the princesses and their ladies, and the young princesses, making a very gay and pleasing procession, of one of the finest families in the world. Every way they moved, the crowd retired to stand up against the wall as they passed, and then closed in to follow. When they approached towards us, and we were retreating, Lady Louisa Clayton placed me next herself, making her daughters stand below—a politeness and attention without which I had certainly not been seen; for the moment their majesties advanced, I involuntarily looked down, and drew my hat over my face. I could not endure to stare at them, and, full of our real errand, I felt ashamed, even of being seen by them. The very idea of a design, however far from illaudable is always distressing and uncomfortable. Consequently, I should have stood in the herd, and unregarded; but Lady Louisa’s kindness and good breeding put me in a place too conspicuous to pass unnoticed. The moment the queen had spoken to her, which she stopped to do as soon as she came up to her, she inquired, in a whisper, who was with her; as I know by hearing my own name given for the answer. The queen then instantly stepped nearer me, and asked me how I did; and then the king came forward, and, as soon as he had repeated the same question, said, “Are you come to stay?”
“No, sir, not now.”
“No; but how long shall you stay?”
“I go to-night, sir.”
“I was sure,” cried the queen, “she was not come to stay, by seeing her father.”

My father

had been


I was glad by this to know my father had been observed.
“And when did you come?” cried the king.
“About two hours ago, sir.”
“And when do you return again to Windsor?”
“Very soon, I hope, sir.”
“And—and—and—” cried he, half laughing, and hesitating, significantly, “pray, how goes on the Muse?”
At first I only laughed, too; but he repeated the inquiry, and then I answered, “Not at all, sir.”
“No? But why?—why not?”
“I—I—I am afraid sir,” stammered I, and true enough, I am sure.
“And why?” repeated he, “of what?”

I spoke something,—I hardly know what myself,—so indistinctly, that he could not hear me, though he had put his head quite under my hat, from the beginning of the little conference and, after another such question or two, and no greater satisfaction in the answer, he smiled very good humouredly, and walked on, his charming queen by his side. His condescension confuses, though it delights me.
We stayed some time longer on the Terrace, and my poor father occasionally joined me; but he looked so conscious and depressed, that it pained me to see him. There is nothing that I know so very dejecting, as solicitation. I am sure I could never, I believe, go through a task of that sort. My dear father was not spoken to, though he had a bow every time the king passed him, and a curtsey from the queen. But it hurt him, and he thought it a very bad prognostic; and all there was at all to build upon was the graciousness shewn to me, which, indeed, in the manner I was accosted, was very flattering, and, except to high rank, I am told, very rare.
We stayed but a very short time with my sweet Mrs. Delany, whose best wishes you are sure were ours. I told her our plan, and our full conviction that she could not assist in it; as the obligations she herself owes are so great and so weighty, that any request from her would be encroaching and improper.
We did not get home till past eleven o’clock. We were then informed that Lord Brudenel had called to say Mr. Parsons had a promise of the place from the lord chamberlain. This was not very exhilarating.

A Visit to Warren Hastings and his Wife.

I had been invited by Mr. Cambridge to pass a day at Twickenham with Mr. and Mrs. Hastings, who had proposed to carry me with them: accordingly, on May 24th, Mrs. Hastings sent her carriage here before ten o’clock. I made her and Mr. Hastings a visit of about half an hour previously to our journey. I am quite charmed with Mr. Hastings, and, indeed, from all I can gather, and all I can observe,—both which are but little,—he appears to me to be one of the greatest men now living, as a public character; while as a private one, his gentleness, candour, soft manners, and openness of disposition, make him one of the most pleasing.

The little journey was extremely agreeable. He spoke with the utmost frankness of his situation and affairs, and with a noble confidence in his certainty of victory over his enemies, from his consciousness of integrity and honour, that filled me with admiration and esteem for him. Mrs. Hasting’s is lively, obliging, and entertaining, and so adored by her husband, that, in her sight and conversation he seems to find a recompense, adequate to all his wishes, for the whole of his toils, and long disturbances and labours. How rare, but how sweet and pleasant, the sight of such unions.

A Proposal from the Queen.

Monday, June, 1786.

. . . Yesterday evening, while I was with Mrs. Delany, Mr. Smelt arrived from Windsor, and desired a private conference with her; and, when it was over, a separate one with me: surprising me not a little, by entreating me to suffer some very home questions from him, relative to my situation, my views, and even my wishes, with respect to my future life. At first, I only laughed: but my merriment a little failed, me, when he gave me to understand he was commissioned to make these inquiries by a great personage, who had conceived so favourable an opinion of me as to be desirous of undoubted information, whether or not there was a probability she might permanently attach me to herself and her family.
You cannot easily, my dear Miss Cambridge, picture to yourself the consternation with which I received this intimation. It was such that the good and kind Mr. Smelt, perceiving it, had the indulgence instantly to offer me his services, first, in forbearing to mention even to my father his commission, and next in fabricating and carrying back for me a respectful excuse. And I must always consider myself the more obliged to him, as I saw in his own face the utmost astonishment and disappointment at this reception of his embassy.
I could not, however, reconcile to myself concealing from my dear father a matter that ought to be settled by himself; yet I frankly owned to Mr. Smelt that no situation of that sort was suited to my own taste, or promising to my own happiness.

He seemed equally sorry and surprised; he expatiated warmly upon the sweetness of character of all the royal family, and then begged me to consider the very peculiar distinction shown me, that, unsolicited, unsought, I had been marked out with such personal favour by the queen herself, as a person with whom she had been so singularly pleased, as to wish to settle me with one of the princesses, in preference to the thousands of offered candidates, of high birth and rank, but small fortunes, who were waiting and supplicating for places in the new-forming establishment. Her majesty proposed giving me apartments in the palace; making me belong to the table of Mrs. Schwellenberg, with whom all her own visitors—bishops, lords, or commons—always dine; keeping me a footman, and settling on me 200 pounds a year. “And in such a situation,” he added, “so respectably offered, not solicited, you may have opportunities of serving your particular friends,—especially your father,—such as scarce any other could afford you.”
My dear Miss Cambridge will easily feel that this was a plea not to be answered. Yet the attendance upon this princess was to be incessant,—the confinement to the court continual; I was scarce ever to be spared for a single visit from the palaces, nor to receive anybody but with permission,—and, my dear Miss Cambridge, what a life for me, who have friends so dear to me, and to whom friendship is the balm, the comfort, the very support of existence!

Don’t think me ungrateful, meanwhile, to the sweet queen, for thus singling out and distinguishing an obscure and most unambitious individual. No indeed, I am quite penetrated with her partial and most unexpected condescension; but yet, let me go through, for her sake, my tasks with what cheerfulness I may, the deprivations I must suffer would inevitably keep me from all possibility of happiness.
Though I said but little, my dear Mrs. Delany was disturbed and good Mr. Smelt much mortified, that a proposition which had appeared to them the most flattering and honourable, should be heard only with dejection. I cast, however, the whole into my father’s disposal and pleasure.
But I have time for no more detail, than merely to say, that till the offer comes in form, no positive answer need be given, and therefore that I am yet at liberty. Write to me, then, my dearest Miss Cambridge, with all your fullest honesty, and let me know which you wish to strengthen—my courage in making my real sentiments openly known, or my fortitude in concealing what it may be right I should endure. . . .

Monday Night,

I have now to add, that the zealous Mr. Smelt is just returned from Windsor, whither he went again this morning, purposely to talk the matter over with her majesty. What passed I know not,—but the result is, that she has desired an interview with me herself; it is to take place next Monday, at Windsor. I now see the end—I see it next to inevitable. I can suggest nothing upon earth that I dare say for myself, in an audience so generously meant. I cannot even to my father utter my reluctance,—I see him so much delighted at the prospect of an establishment he looks upon as so honourable. But for the queen’s own word “permanent,”—but for her declared desire to attach me entirely to herself and family!—I should share in his pleasure; but what can make me amends for all I shall forfeit? But I must do the best I can.
Write me a comforting and strengthening letter, my dearest Miss Cambridge. I have no heart to write to Mickleham, or Norbury. I know how they will grieve:—they have expected me to spend the whole summer with them. My greatest terror is, lest the queen, from what Mr. Smelt hinted, should make me promise myself to her for a length of years. What can I do to avoid that? Anything that has a period is endurable but what can I object that will not sound ungrateful, to the honour she is doing me and meaning me? She has given the most highly flattering reasons for making this application, in preference to listening to that of others; she has put it upon terms of commendation the most soothing; she is, indeed, one of the sweetest characters in the world. Will you, too, condemn me, then, that I feel thus oppressed by her proposal? I hope not,—I think not;—but be very honest if you really do. I wish I could see you! It is not from nervousness;—I have always and uniformly had a horror of a life of attendance and dependence. . . .

Monday, June 19.

How great must have been your impatience, dearest sir but my interview has only this morning taken place. Everything is settled, and tomorrow morning I go to the queen’s Lodge, to see the apartments, and to receive my instructions.
I must confess myself extremely frightened and full of alarms at a change of situation so great, so unexpected, so unthought-of. Whether I shall suit it or not, heaven only knows, but I have a thousand doubts. Yet nothing could be sweeter than the queen,—more encouraging, more gentle, or more delicate. She did not ask me one question concerning my qualifications for the charge; she only said, with the most condescending softness, “I am sure, Miss Burney, we shall suit one another very well.” And, another time, “I am sure we shall do very well together.”
And what is it, dear Sir, you suppose to be my business? Not to attend any of the princesses—but the queen herself! This, indeed, was a delightful hearing, reverencing and admiring her as I have so sincerely done ever since I first saw her. And in this, my amazement is proportioned to my satisfaction; for the place designed me is that of Mrs. Haggerdorn, who came with her from Germany, and it will put me more immediately and more constantly in her presence than any other place, but that of Mrs. Schwellenberg, in the Court.
The prepossession the queen has taken in my favour is truly extraordinary, for it seems as if her real view was, as Mr. Smelt hinted, to attach me to her person. She has been long, she told Mrs. Delany, looking out for one to supply the place of Mrs. Haggerdorn, whose ill health forces her back to Germany; “and I was led to think of Miss Burney, first by her books; then by seeing her—then by always hearing how she was loved by her friends; but chiefly by your friendship for her.”

I fancy my appointment will take place very soon.


June 20.

Most dear Sir,
I am sure you will be glad to hear I have got one formality over, that was very disagreeable to my expectations. I have been introduced to Mrs. Haggerdorn whom I am to succeed, and to Mrs. Schwellenberg, whom I am to accompany. This passed at the queen’s Lodge, in their own apartments, this morning. I cannot easily describe the sensation with which I entered that dwelling,—the thoughts of its so soon becoming my habitation,—and the great hazard of how all will go on in it—and the sudden change!

Everything was perfectly civil and easy; the queen had herself prepared them to receive me, and requested me to go. They made no use of the meeting in the way of business it was merely a visit of previous ceremony. . . .

The utmost astonishment will take place throughout the Court when they hear of my appointment. Everybody has settled some successor to Mrs. Haggerdorn; and I have never, I am very sure, been suspected by a single person. I saw, this morning, by all that passed with Mrs. S., how unexpected a step her majesty has taken. The place, she told me, has been solicited, distantly, by thousands and thousands of women of fashion and rank. . . .

St. Martin’s-Street, June 27.

. . . Her majesty has sent me a message, express, near a fortnight ago, with an offer of a place at Court, to succeed Mrs. Haggerdorn, one of the Germans who accompanied her to England, and who is now retiring into her own country. ’Tis a place of being constantly about her own person, and assisting in her toilette,—a place of much confidence, and many comforts; apartments in the palace; a footman kept for me; a coach in common with Mrs. Schwellenberg; 200 pounds a-year, etc.

I have been in a state of extreme disturbance ever since, from the reluctance I feel to the separation it will cause me from all my friends. Those, indeed, whom I most love, I shall be able to invite to me in the palace——but I see little or no possibility of being able to make what I most value, excursions into the country. . . . I repine at losing my loved visits to Mickleham, Norbury, Chesington, Twickenham, and Ayle sham; all these I must now forego. . . .

At the

Queens Lodge

You may believe how much I am busied. I have been presented at the queen’s Lodge in Windsor, and seen Mrs. Haggerdorn in office, and find I have a place of really nothing to do, but to attend; and on Thursday I am appointed by her majesty to go to St. James’s, to see all that belongs to me there. And I am now “fitting out” just as you were, and all the maids and workers suppose I am going to be married, and snigger every time they bring in any of my new attire. I do not care to publish the affair till it is made known by authority; so I leave them to their conjectures, and I fancy their greatest wonder is, who and where is the sposo; for they must think it odd he should never appear!

1 “Memoirs of Dr. Burney,” vol. iii. p. 87. Fanny had, however, to assist in dressing the queen. See postea, P—345.]
2 The death of the Duchess dowager of Portland.]
3 Miss Planta was English teacher to the two eldest princesses.—ED.]
4 One of the governesses to the princesses.—ED.]
5 Georgina Mary Anne Port, grandniece of Mrs. Delany, by whom she was brought up from the age of seven until Mrs. Delany’s death. She was born in 1771, and mairied, in 1789, Mr. Waddington, afterwards Lord Llanover. She was for many years on terms of friendship with Fanny, but after Madame D’Arblay’s death, Lady Llanover seized the opportunity of publishing, in her edition of Mrs. Delany’s Correspondence, an attack upon her former friend, of which the ill-breeding is only equalled by the inaccuracy. The view which she there takes of Fanny is justly characterised by Mr. Shuckburgh as “the lady-inwaiting’s lady’s-maid’s view.” (See Macmillan’s magazine for February, 1890.)—ED.]
6 Joseph Baretti, author of an Italian and English Dictionary, and other works; the friend Of JOhnson, well known to readers of Boswell. He had long been acquainted with the Burneys. Fanny writes in her “Early Diary” (March, 1773): “Mr. Baretti appears to be very facetious; he amused himself very much with Charlotte, whom he calls Churlotte, and kisses whether she will or no, always calmly saying, ‘Kiss a me, Churlotte!’” Charlotte Burney was then about fourteen; she was known after this in the family as Mrs. Baretti.—ED.]

7 A character in “Cecilia.”—ED.]

8 Mrs. Phillips (Susan)—ED.]
9 Madame de Genlis had visited England during the spring of 1785, and made the acquaintance of Dr. Burney and his daughter Fanny. In July Fanny writes of her as “the sweetest as well as the most accomplished Frenchwoman I ever met with,” and in the same month Madame de Genlis writes to Fanny: “Je vous aime depuis l’instant ou j’ai lu Evelina et Cecilia, et le bonheur de vous entendre et de vous conneitre personellement a rendu ce sentiment aussi tendre qu’il est bien fonde.” The acquaintance, however, was not kept up.—ED.]
10 The famous actress, Kitty Clive. She had quitted the stage in 1760. Genest says of her, “If ever there was a true Comic Genius, Mrs. Clive was one.”——ED.]
11 John Henderson was by many people considered second only to Garrick, especially in Shakspearean parts. He too was lately dead, having made his last appearance on the stage on the 8th of November, 1785, within less than a month of his death.—ED.]
12 “Adele et Theodore, ou Lettres sur l’education” by Madame de Genlis, first published in 1782.—ED.]
13 We shall hear again of ‘Mr. and Mrs. Hastings, and of the scandal which was caused by the lady’s reception at Court. She was bought by Hastings of her former husband for 10,000 pounds. The story is briefly as follows:—
Among the fellow-passengers of Hastings on the ship which conveyed him to India in 1769, were a German portrait-painter, named Imhoff, and his wife, who were going out to Madras in the hope of bettering their circumstances. During the voyage a strong attachment sprang up between Hastings and the lady, who nursed him through an illness. The husband, it seems, had as little affection for his wife as she had for him, and was easily prevailed upon to enter into an amicable arrangement, by virtue of which Madame Imhoff instituted proceedings for divorce against him in the German courts. Pending the result, the Imhoffs continued to live together ostensibly as man and wife to avoid scandal. The proceedings were long protracted, but a decree of divorce was finally procured in 1772, when Hastings married the lady and paid to the complaisant husband a sum, it is said, exceeding, 10,000 pounds.
The favourable reception accorded by the queen to Mrs. Hastings, when, in 1784, she returned to England as wife of the Governor-general of Bengal, passed not without public comment. Her husband, however, was in high esteem at Court from his great services, and she had an additional recommendation to the queen’s favour in the friendship of Mrs. Schwellenberg, the keeper of the robes, whom she had known before her voyage to India.—ED.]

14 Fanny’s sister Charlotte, who had married Clement Francis, Feb. 11, 1786. They were now settled at Aylesham, in Norfolk, where Mr. Francis was practising as a surgeon.—ED.]

Diary of French court


Madame Darblay

Author(s) and photography

Fanny Burney
Michael Koontz

To the daisy that is my sun and inspiration

   Author page, Michael A Koontz
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    Or has this well established scientific fact actually changed in the last 100 years?.

    Read on beyond the break and dig deeper into our fitness school question before you pony up the right answer.

  • The scientific correlation between our food choices environmental impact and bad human health.

    Quality time needed: 1 minute

    Fitness is a science driven journey.
    And so is sustainability.

    So let us get it out of the way right away.
    Poor food choices remain a leading worldwide cause of mortality and bad health. But, poor food choices doesn't just harm our own health and longevity, bad food choices and the production that is needed to create the lackluster food that so many bases their entire food life on causes huge, unnecessary environmental degradation as well.

    So much so that the much needed (read essential to do) UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Climate Agreement is virtually impossible to fulfill unless we, as a global species make the switch to healthier, plant-based food choices.
    This article will display how different food groups directly connect 5 health outcomes and 5 aspects of environmental degradation with each other.

  • Available Fine Art & Lifestyle products. Art, design and photography by M & M. Our products are produced and sold by #Society6.

    Quality time needed: 8 minutes

    Your life is your on going art and history
    Contemporary art & products for a healthy fit life and planet.

    Each of us is the mere sum of our unique life choices, our thoughts, and way.
    Be it in person, or through the way we shape life around us. This uniqueness is evident even in our own persona, our style and life choices that takes place on this endless every day path that we call life.It is as such, ever-present in the way we build and shape the castle and life which we call our home.
    You can feel and see it, in the choices of your clothes, and other peoples fitness regime.
    It is persistent through our art choices and the way we train and live our very own healthy fit life.

    It is forever present inside our deeply individual thoughts, and it is perpetually stamped in the essence of our unique nature. Read on beyond the break and step into our lifestyle store where you can buy clothes and fine art and other lifestyle products, with art, design and photography by M & M.

  • Fitness school, question 44: What is the actual weight of one cm3 lean muscle mass, and will that weight per cm3 be able to also differ ever so minuscule between fit people and out of shape people (generally speaking that is).

    Quality time needed: 1 minute

    A healthy life is a daily process created by making healthy science based choices.
    Do you know the right answer?.

    Question number 44 in our School of Fitness.
    Time for a short and sweet little one.
    As stated in the subject line, lean muscle mass has another weight/density ratio than fat, so a body mass that is made up of more fat and less lean muscle mass will display a bigger mass at a lower body weight, while a body that has a greater amount of lean muscle mass will actually have a higher body weight compared to what its body mass might make you believe.

    Read on beyond the break and dwell deeper down into today's fitness school question.

  • Pressmeddelande: Biologiska mångfaldens dag 2019 tar en tur i naturen för en stund med naturfoto och fitness prat i Höga Kusten.

    Quality time needed: 1 minute

    a Norse View & Scandinavian.fitness.
    Biologiska mångfaldens dag 2019, Höga Kusten, Sverige.

    Humlesafari, fladdermuslyssning, fjärilsbingo, krypletning och fågelvandring – den 22 maj uppmärksammas den internationella FN-dagen Biologiska mångfaldens dag med en mängd olika evenemang runt om i Sverige.

    Den årligen återkommande bmf dagen är numera en av Sveriges största naturhögtider och 2019 arrangerar naturorganisationer, kommuner, skolor, myndigheter,företag och privatpersoner över 200 aktiviteter runt om i landet, från Kiruna i norr till Ystad i söder. Det görs både för att visa upp vår artrika natur och för att uppmärksamma en av vår tids stora ödesfrågor – den oroväckande snabba förlusten av biologisk mångfald.

    I Höga Kusten arrangerar Mike från a Norse View och Scandinavian.fitness en dagstur ut i naturen där vi blandar naturfoto i en vacker insjömiljö och faktabaserat prat om kost, träning och hälsa.

  • 'The solitude of lonesome birds nest and winters white caress'.. Thoughts from a moment in life, spring 2019.

    Quality time needed: 1 minute

    You are life itself.
    And life resonates in response to you....

    At any point in time there is a history of past moments, both lived and never experienced which all lead up to and beyond the here and now.
    Strings of time and lives stretching further out from this particular point in time as wilderness own roadside of multiplying pathways reaches out, leading perpetually forward and away into the branching future.

  • Fitness school, question 43: Will a daily shower of daylight increase your body's capacity to deal with a long range of biological issues?

    Quality time needed: 1 minute

    Fitness is built upon the science of you.
    Do you know the right answer?.

    Question number 43 in our School of Fitness.
    You already know that getting outside for your daily daylight shower is tremendously good for #VitaminD production and keeping your circadian clock healthy & primed.
    But that is not all.

    Getting out and about in daylight also boost your t cell capacity.

    But what exactly does that mean?, read on beyond the break and dwell deeper down into today's fitness school question.

  • Fitness school, question 42: Will maintained fitness reduce menstrual pain for the majority of women?

    Quality time needed: 1 minute

    Fitness is built upon the science of you.
    Do you know the right answer?.

    Question number 42 in our School of Fitness.
    Fitness has been established in scientific studies in the last few years as a health-improving daily life painkiller.
    Making it even better is the fact that it comes completely free of cost and nerve-wracking & time-consuming doctors appointment and unhealthy side-effects. Lowering pain and debilitating health issues such as arthritis while fortifying your lifespan and health.

    But is that tremendous gratis painkiller effect applicable to menstrual pain too?.

  • Wildlife Facts: Camelopardalis, 'The camel that could have been a leopard'.. What animal am I talking about right now?

    Quality time needed: 9 minutes




     Arctic Sunrise - Year 4.5 Billion
    The camel that could have been a leopard.


    One of planet Earth´s most unique land-living animals still roaming about in the wild also happens to be one of the cutest and most enchanting, and gentle colossuses that have ever existed. Yet, somehow, despite the towering size and unique characteristics of these majestic critters they are also one of the lesser talked about wildlife stars. And so it happens that by now they are like so many other species highly endangered without anyone really paying attention.

    But perhaps that is the reward that life gave these majestic beings that float across the land they call home as if they are majestic land dwelling whales. A backseat in the human consciousness as we proceeded to decimate their global population with 40 or so % in less than 30 years.

  • Fitness school, question 41: The science of our human fitness anatomy. Scalenus Anterior, medius and posterior.

    Quality time needed: 1 minute

    Fitness is built upon your own anatomy.
    Do you know the right answer?.

    Question number 41 in our School of Fitness.
    Beneath the tasty, delicious joy and sexiness of a life built on plant-based food and fitness, the weights you lift, the miles you walk and run. The mountains you climb, and the sandbags you punch and kick there is not just a burning passion and increased life quality. Nor is it just a question of the enhanced health and joy you can touch and feel deep inside both body & mind.
    No, there is also this marvelously progressive thing called science. Because all the physical fitness things, the sweat and healthy living discipline that others see are ultimately powered by the all-encompassing facts of biological life.

  • Fitness school, question 40: The science of sugar and intestine tumors... In both mice & men.

    Quality time needed: 8 minutes

    Yet another study on food & health.

    Looking at the impact of sugar in food and beverages.

    Sugar is a much beloved sweetener. Craved like a lovers touch by most biological beings that dare to ever look into the abyss and allow its tastebuds to grace this natural force of addiction.

    But as much as all things living seemingly enjoy the taste of sugar and more modern artificial sweeteners. Scientifically speaking the bad health impact of sugar ( from obesity to diabetes and cancer risk, poor dental health and non existing nutritional value ) and other sweeteners have thankfully turned countless of humans into die hard "no sugar" please sentinels. So let us take a brief look at a brand new 2019 study and let us find out if this study too will add even more reasons to say no to sugar and other sweeteners in your food and beverages.

  • Fitness school, question 39: Telomeres, the fancy sounding tail that connects healthy fit aging with fitness activities. Dive right in as we take a look at recent studies.

    Quality time needed: 13 minutes

    Fitness School
    Do you know the right answer?.

    Question number 39 in our School of Fitness.
    I have talked about telomeres in years past, and fitness too obviously :).
    But such is the world of fitness, science, and health, it often revisits old "truths" and sometimes upends them because our knowledge has deepened, while new studies at other times will simply fortify and acknowledge what we already knew to be true.
    So what will happen today as we travel back to the world of that peachy sounding telomeres thingy that keeps wiggling its cute little tail inside of us? Let us find out.
    My Question:.
    For this particular study, published in European Heart Journal, Nov 2018, we´ll uncover what happens to the length of our telomeres when we do long distance endurance training, high-intensity sprint intervals, nothing at all or lift weights in a so-so way in the gym ( yeah, color me unimpressed by the strength plan in this study, but hold on to that thought as you read on because I will get back to the fairly inadequate strength training and why that too matters. ).
    The question, which option is the best for maintaining the length of our telomeres and what is the worst?.

  • Anthropocene & the survival of our brilliant but simpleminded species. Just another morning.

    Quality time needed: 5 minutes

    Breakfast stuff and morning thoughts.

    climate inaction is an existential threat.

    Nothing fancy or big worded to say today, I am just drinking some tasty fresh black coffee while various death metal songs keep pumping through my livingroom gear.
    Yes, what a glorious morning :).
    But while I am enjoying my morning routine, getting ready for the gym and my own workouts as well as the health and fitness regimes of today's PT clients I am also reading up on science and sustainability from around the world. And one of the pieces that stand out is a tonally laid-back piece by Swedish outlet DN. They spent the better part of a month or so following Swedish sustainability advocate Greta as she continues her quest to bring much-needed awareness to the sad state of the world and the essential, deep-rooted changes we as a species and global civilization urgently need to undertake.

  • Fitness school, question 38. Is obesity itself tied to diabetes type 2 and coronary artery disease?. Yes or no?.

    Quality time needed: 5 minutes

    Fitness School
    Do you know the right answer?.

    Question number 38 in our School of Fitness.
    Time for a short one.
    Obesity is no friend of the bettering of our health and longevity.
    Just as how the old school act of serious bulking never did anyone's health and fitness levels any favors. And pointing this scientific reality out is not about fat shaming. It´s about helping the world and its individuals turn the tide toward better health, and better fitness. And doing so does not remove peoples individual right to pick whatever body size and fat percentage that they so prefer.
    My Question:.
    We already know that obesity ( and a fat powered high BMI ) increases unhealthy factors such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol. And it often increases depression, drowsiness and general sedentary choices. Which indirectly leads to worse health in numerous ways. But if a person with a high fat powered BMI is deemed healthy as far as those traditional markers are concerned is excess fat itself still bad?
    Put in another way, will a higher amount of excess body fat still lead to worse health even if your bloodwork turns out ok and you do not feel depressed and drowsy and you do hit the gym?.

  • Fitness school, question 37: Can something as simple as a reduction of daily walking decrease our lean muscle mass in a noticeable way in just 2 weeks time?

    Quality time needed: 8 minutes

    Fitness School
    Do you know the right answer?.

    Question number 37 in our School of Fitness.
    Yes, it is once again time for you to put your thinking cap on before you proceed without hesitation through the hallway of healthy fit wonders and science :).
    You already know that keeping fit and lifting your weekly weights and doing your daily cardio is nothing but a rejuvenating choice. It's good for your strength, duh.. It is wondrously good for your harty heart health, and it aids your cognitive and creative processes. It scientifically speaking lowers depression and tardy drowsiness. And if you have been keeping up with me over the years, you also know that keeping fit on a regular weekly basis also lowers your physical age by quite a noticeable margin too.
    But even small ordinary things like taking a daily walk carries with it a huge life long health and fitness impact.

    My Question:.
    What happens with our skeletal lean muscle mass for people above 70 years of age if they take a few thousand steps more or less per day for 2 weeks time?.
    Read on to reveal just how big the impact of that tiny change can be below the break.

  • Fitness School, Question 36, Will lifting weights 1-3 days per week be enough to lower cardiovascular related mortality?.

    Quality time needed: 3 minutes

    Fitness School
    Do you know the right answer?.

    Question number 36 in our School of Fitness.
    All forms of fitness activity is a tiny little pill of good health no matter who you are.
    But is the simple act of lifting weights one to three days per week enough to substantially lower the risk of cardiovascular related mortality?.
    Yup, that is how easy and straightforward question number 36 turned out to be. And why? Because we have a brand new study to lean back on when it comes down to the (obvious) answer.
    Read on to reveal the complete Q and A below the break.

  • Going beyond 1.5C. Our world and daily life behind the IPCC report.

    Quality time needed: 27 minutes

    Cause & Consequence.

    Life on Earth laid bare by the IPCC report.

    But before we head on over to the meaty real life data of our reckless modern day life, which the 2018 IPCC report painfully laid bare, walk with me as I step out on frosty cold northern shores for my morning walk.

    Just a Thursday, spent on northern shores.
    And this is the way I started this gorgeous little Autumn day.

  • Roundabouts in the milky way galaxy. The duality of a sustainable earth, and interplanetary living.

    Quality time needed: 14 minutes

    Walking through the gates of autumn.

    We see a brand new dawn.

    Life itself is this majestic mirror world of brilliance and incompetence. Eternally merging and reflected, individually disengaged yet perfectly synchronized and attached to each other and everything else.

    Like the leaf that finds itself stranded on the wayward peaks of a stormy ocean. They are each others counterpart, yet entirely different. Individual objects, entwined and interconnected. Disengaged and perfectly unique.

  • Into Autumn, the spider´s lullaby. Random thoughts on life from another gorgeous day.

    Quality time needed: 5 minutes

    Walking through the gates of autumn.

    Together with a tiny little spider.

    And today, there´s officially a full-blown Autumn song playing out there in nature. Gorgeous and sunny, on a Sunday =). Wind free, except for the tiniest of breeze that you can almost not see or feel as it slowly makes it way through the crown of leaves that towers above.

    But it is, none the less, Autumn.
    The colors of the trees reveal it. The pale blue September moon that hangs high up in the middle of the day is another telltale.

  • The anatomy and fitness function of our gorgeous human ass ( The mighty three we call the Gluteus ).

    Quality time needed: 9 minutes

    The gorgeous strength of Gluteus Maximus, Medius and Minimus.

    The science of health and fitness should always be your lifelong guide.

    Fitness is as wonderful for your health as it is for landing you a more sculpted and capable body over time.
    But that will never change that even fit people (quite a lot of them) are doing the right things for the wrong reasons. Case in point the fit and good looking girl you can see in the IG video I am linking to, she obviously trains hard and regular while being in great shape, and she does know quite a few things about the body and the science of staying healthy and fit.
    Which is wonderful on all counts.
    But like so many other gym goers she is seemingly misinformed about a few things too ( on the other hand, so are we all :P ). Allowing wrongful information and knowledge to shape her choices and the choices of other people that gulps up everything we fit people believe to be true. However, if you are willing to listen to it the beautiful science of health and fitness will guide you towards a better body and better health and better workouts if you pay attention to real fitness science instead of personal opinions. You see, there is nothing wrong with the exercises she is doing. But outside of the wonderful world of human anatomy, there is no such thing as an upper or lower butt muscle as far as your exterior appearance goes, nor is there a meaningful difference as far as your practical fitness capacity and workout goes.

    Click through and let us talk about Gluteus Maximus, Medius and Minimus.

  • Earth over shoot day is one of many events and situations during the year that signals the mindless gluttony of our evolving hybrid species.

    Quality time needed: 8 minutes

    Planet Earth - studies & life in the Anthropocene.

    A new way of life is needed.

    But what is it exactly? And why is something that sounds so cute something truly terrible that we need to take seriously as a global whole.
    To most people, it is more than likely just another ridiculous phrase keyboard warriors throw around once a year while they too waste this world to the point of no return.
    But this ever-moving yearly event day is anything but deadly essential.

    Every year this day signals the point in that year where we have used up all the naturally replenishing resources of this planet.
    And beyond this point, the planet is losing its inventory for the next year(s) ahead and it's capacity to restock.

    Which if we are talking about corporations and business leaders is something that would cause pretty much every corporate leader out there to die from a heart attack if it persistently happened to their business. But when its Earth, people just shrug their mindless shoulders and look the other way as if the greenhouse we are subsisting in isn't the singular thing that feeds and house us all.

  • Fitness facts: How and why does the range of motion in any given strength exercise matter?.

    Quality time needed: 10 minutes

    Diving down into a range of motion and squat study.

    The science of health and fitness should always be your gym guide.

    Right now, if you enter any given gym, the wonderful world of barbells will conjure up as many opinions as there are fitness girls on Instagram, no matter the subject.
    And plenty of opinions are exactly that, personal opinions, formed by peer pressure in the gym, on social media, or by fit vixens looking to make a bigger following by posting daily stuff which may or may not be factually correct.

    There are out of date school gym coaches still living in the past, badly informed parents, friends, big brothers, big sisters, commercial interests only looking out for the next conference call, as well as uninformed writers working for big tabloids which just happened to draw the assignment to make a puff piece on fitness.

    So let us instead look at science and what it actually has to teach us about the range of motion for any particular exercise. And for the purpose of this article, let us focus on a Squat centric use case since legs and ass are thankfully all the rage anyway :).

  • Moments from the Anthropocene, the fox and my morning coffee.

    Quality time needed: 6 minutes

    The scent of black coffee.

    And wild breakfast companions.

    'Today' (another today ) while enjoying my first cup of coffee standing outside on my sun-drenched porch, I could hear something sneakily make its way through the underbrush and thick tall grass and florals that intermix with the deep dark, and thankfully, untouched old forest at the edge of my property.

    Fast forward just a little bit and I could start to see the movement in the thin youngling trees and the tall flowers. Something was out there, touching here and there making the wild plants and florals sway as it drew nearer me.

  • The savagery that is the carnivore dietary plan vs the science of health and fitness.

    Quality time needed: 15 minutes

    The error of your way.

    Could be spelled 'the carnivore diet'..

    A growing number of people in the world adopt healthy, fit living by going increasingly more vegetarian for a long range of personal reasons and or due to scientific reasons. Some of those reasons often include the substantial increase in cancer and diabetes risk that eating red meat and highly processed foods causes, or the impossible mathematics behind an entire world eating ever higher amounts of meat, or the incredible amount of pollution that animal food production causes.

    And facts are, that all those reasons are equally good, sound and true, so it does not even matter why you do it. It is a good and healthy choice to eat less red meat, and by doing so you will contribute towards a healthier you, and a healthier world.

  • Anthropocene: 12 vaquitas left in the world before they too face the ultimate end of line which is called extinction.

    Quality time needed: 5 minutes

    The vaquitas are sadly not alone.

    This is the Lost World of Planet Earth.

    Around the world, the vaquitas are sadly not alone, there are countless of animal species, plants and all that´s facing the threat of extinction in ever greater numbers. And the pace is accelerating, so it´s not business as usual.
    Worse, this is all down to man-made issues.
    It got nothing to do with prey and predatory fluctuations. And it got nothing to do with natural events and Earths naturally changing cycles.

  • Let us talk about the concept of 'Half Earth' and why both Dr Cristiana Pașca Palmer, UN and I share the opinion that it is all about 'Whole Earth'.

    Quality time needed: 7 minutes

    People & Planet is just a mutual ecosystem.

    The Lost World.

    A long and well established connective tissue in the way I talk and write, and think about health & fitness is that we are all connected through this global ecosystem we all share.
    Which is why I have over the years pointed out that living in a sustainable way is ultimately all about health. Individual health & planetary health. People that are opting to eat shit just isn't healthy.
    Neither from a planetary or individual perspective.

    Just as how healthy fit people that´s living unsustainable, just isn't healthy living people either.

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