[101] and all the rocky extent of territory which borders the Tuscan sea. How many times have we watched the Sun’s going down, and wistfully pursued his retiring gleams! How many times have we longed to follow him, and visit the other hemisphere, there to remain on the banks of Oronooko, or at the base of the Andes. Will you join this solitary Scheme and consent to be forgotten and unknown? I care not a grain of millet whether my name be engraven on marble or graces the annals of a Kingdom, not I. Give me but a secure retirement with those I love, surround me with impervious forests and keep off the world: Keep off Ministers, Generals, Senators, Sportsmen, Courtiers, Pedants & Sectaries. Give me ignorance and tranquillity, those may take science and labour that chuse. I envy not their portion. Let me dream away my existance in the lap of illusions. Let me fancy nature ten thousand times more lovely than she is, and don’t tell me there are any higher spectacles than the setting sun, or any worthier occupations than calmly contemplating it. – Flatter my lasiness and tell me I am like one of those plants which bloom in a sequestered crevice of the rocks and which, but few are destined to discover, that amuse the eye with their flowers, but afford no fruit to refresh a weary traveller. I shall be contented with such commendations slight as they are. If ever you see ambition beginning to fire my bosom, quench the flame and continually [102] repeat that it is better to be mearly happy than illustriously miserable. I have never greater need to be reminded of this belief, than during some moments of Pacchiarotti’s declamation which breathes such exalted heroism, that forgetting my peaceful schemes I start up, grow restless, stride about and begin to form ambitious projects. Musick raises before me a host of phantoms which I pursue with eagerness, my blood thrills in my veins, its whole current is changed and agitated. I can no longer command myself and whilst the frenzy lasts would willingly be devoted to destruction. – These are perilous emotions and would lead me cruelly away. You see how perfectly our modern Timotheus is my sovereign and therefore as my friend, advise him to change the louder tones of his harmony for such arcadian measures as persuade to the enjoyment of a rural life. If he takes your council, we shall pass many an hour in the woods and mountains, devoted to the worship of the good old Sylvanus – if not throw open the barrier and let me run my race, whatever oppose my progress.
Tomorrow we set off for Leghorn thro’ Pisa, which last mentioned city I am quite wild to see; M.r L., who went there t’other day, having related such [103] wonders of its Cathedral and Campo santo. Had I not hopes of hearing Pacchiarotti again at Venice during the carnival this would not be my last epistle from Lucca. Adieu remember me sometimes, and recollect, when you enjoy the Sun–set from Windsor, and walk thro’ the meads in the glow he leaves behind him, that I am similarly employed.

Lady Craven Rome 29 June 1782

Comme je suis brusque je vous ai quitté brusquement, mais vous qui êtes brusque aussi & folle et sage et douce et fiere & vive & tendre et melancolique — universelle enfin — vous me pardonnerai.
— Ma charmante Arabe votre Lettre m’a fait presque autant de bien que l’aspect de S.t Pierre & le murmure de ses fontaines. Mille et dix mille fois ai je pensè a vous, à vos yeuxs à nos droles de diners, à notre Comedie a nos ballets, à nos rencontres chez la Fée au Paravents — mille fois ai je pensè a tout ceci & toujours avec interet. Le passé m’affecte comme la douce lueur du Soleil couchant — en retracant nos follies — toutes follies qu’elles ont été j’ai laissé quelques fois tomber des larmes. Ce pays de Ruines me touche infiniment — Ces vastes plaines ces collines arides — ces peupliers qui tremblent au moindre Vent m’inspirent une melancolie [104] que je me garderai bien de vous communiquer. Vous en avez assez dans votre Isle. Que fait Milord Paget: ses petits se portent bien j’espere? Ce Soir grand feu d’artifice au Chateau S.t Ange, grand musique, foule immense et chaleur etouffante. Pourquoi n’etes vous pas ici avec le petit Louis — qui serai fou je suis sure de la Girandola. Figurez vous quinze mille fuzèes pour le moins tout serpentant tout eclatant à la fois la plus haute Region des airs. — Mon Dieu j’aurai furieusement envie de monter ce califourchon sur une de ces machines & faire une voyage aux Astres. Louis m’accompagnerà til? Demandez lui je vous prie — A ca j’ai une vilaine plume & de l’encre qui seche sans me demander permission. — Dans deux ou trois jours je vais à Naples jouir des beaux clairs de Lune de ce Climat fortunè. Pendant que les Chenilles et les brouillards vous ofusquent sans misericorde je jouirai des oranges & des jasmins sur le coteau de Posilippe, mais je ne jouirai pas de votre Societé laquelle sans vous flatter infiniment il me semble me tiendrai bien de toutes les fleurs & les fruits du jardin des Hesperides. — Vous avez donc revé a Vathek. — Quel Caliphe! pardonnez ma vanité j’avoue que je suis un peu fier de son voyage. — Je l’ai meme damné avec assez de magnificense. Je vous prie faites [105] lire ce conte a Louis. Je serai curieux de scavoir ce qu’il en penserai. Ou est Madame Dominon ou Thominot ça je n’oublierai jamais ces demèles avec ce morveux de Fitzroyal Adieu je vous baise les mains, les bras & le front. Ne soyez pas fachez car je m’engoue toujours de l’ivoire. — Adieu encore il faut que je vous quitte pour recevoir la benediction du S.t Pere. Donnez moi de vos nouvelles gentille Arabe je vous supplie. —

Robert Pigott Esq.r Chateau de le Tour
26 Feb. 1786

Dear Pigott, I envy not your Temple of Apollo nor the tiresome Levels & vineyards of Burgundy. Calmly resigned to my present situation I cling fast to my tutelary Mountains. When shall we see you again at their Base? I take for granted you propose returning to the shade of your plane trees in the Spring. – We continue the favourites of Heaven in respect to Weather, have violets & wall–flowers in profusion, Flies buzzing a summer song almost every day on the Terrace & now & then a butterfly by way of regale. Are you not astonished & have we not reason to adore the great Mithra! I find by y.r Letters just rece.d that you have enjoyed at Dijon the same blessed Sunshine which has been cheering the solitary expanse of our Lake & gilding the Snows of our Mountains. I learn also to my great surprise that you are going to breathe the freshness of Paris & the vernal exhalations of the [106] Rue Platriere where the grand Coll: you talk of will be exposed. I have long since been favored with a Catalogue & have sent commissions particularly for the L. Boileau and Fontenelle, twenty or thirty Vols: & some volumes on the black Art. – Our Balls continue quite amusing – a fine shew of young innocent Tits, in the first heyday of Spirits & tender Inclinations, prancing, & curvetting & giggling & whiskering from one room to another. No Papas, no Mamas, no Uncles. A long range of Apartments, animating Musick, flowing drapery, snug corners in the Windows – four feet dee – Rare work for young fellows you must allow & nice hotbeds for expanding the hearts of these lovely Blossoms. – I leave you to imagine the wriggling Waist & languishing eyes of Mad.lle de B. – endowed as well as most of her fair Companions with an exquisite sensibility for lyrical performances. ___

[107] Ly Craven Madrid 30th May 1788

And so I have been in Spain & have been in Love over head & ears which is still more extraordinary. – Perhaps you knew at Vienna the Mother of my flame the Comtesse de Walstein a Sister of the Lichtensteins. Don’t let y.r imagination loose upon Spain – it is an hideous parched up Country with only here & there a tolerable spot like the Temple of Jupiter Ramshorn in the deserts of Lybia. – Where are you Superior Being when shall we meet. When will the hour of entire Confidence arrive when the secrets of both our hearts will be mutually laid open. – I long to see y.r glorious eyes once more & talk to you about Portugal – a pleasanter region than Spain & in which I was also up to the neck in adventures. V: always gay amusing & the best company in the World is never tired & doing you justice & telling all there who have ears to hear that there exists but one Lady Craven. What are you about? – gathering roses perhaps or composing Pastorals full of grace & sprightliness. I am ten times more musically given than ever & quite wild with hearing Seguidillas & Fandangos. – Did you receive my scrawl from Lisbon – if you did you deserve to be hoodwinked for not having answered it...... – Your Dutchess of Villa–hermosa is gone stark staring mad fancies herself a Cat & hunts her Husband over Chairs & under Tables declaring before Aunts, Uncles and Physicians that he is a Mouse to all intents & purposes.
Your nibbling Torment I fear is but too well & lively. Such Creatures never die. Has he given any fresh disturbance lately? Remember I have not forgotten the comfortable hours we passed at Paris & that I am all impatience to learn from you when I may look [108] for a Chance of renewing them. Mother Starck never writes to me. I suppose her lost in doating fondness for the youthful Partner of her fusty Bed. – Is she not a most Husbandrious Animal? – Et a son age – fi donc – – – Don’t let us talk however – God knows what we may come to.
x x x x x ... Adieu I am & ever shall be yrs with delight & admiration.

Mrs Hervey
Paris 9th April 1789

Mr xxxx .. is the fulsomest of all God’s Creatures when he talks or looks Love & Marriage. Your recollection of the water–gruel Ara made me laugh. – You have capital recollections. How can you have the courage to put me in mind of Hag’s–eyes after the fatal dance they ... have been leading me. – Do they get out a little again let me know. The Luminaries you enquire after are immensely large & brilliant; but cannot boast that roving wildness that fascinating languor which Solomon runs mad about in his song. You see sacred ideas are always uppermost ... with y.r holy Brother who receives every day fresh invitations to come & rejoice in the Lord with the faithful in Portingal. I long to shew you the journal of my adventures in that strange .... corner of Europe, perhaps it may afford you better amusement than M. xxx compilations. He is a fine, sly smirking Gentleman that has no genius. I think Piety seems to have taken refuge ... in England. The Papers are choakfull of devout ejaculations, extracts from Sermons & commendations of Chapel goers & Chapel Musick. S.t Pauls I hear is dusting out for a very grand and pious occasion. I should like to see how the cloak of Religious Enthusiasm sits upon my Lord Chancellor’s sturdy shoulders. I would not come within whine of L.y Eff: .... [109] Lady Stafford or Lady Euphemia for a thousand pounds. Protestant Calvinistical Cantings will not sit upon my stomach. Neither Prudence nor Propriety c.d prevent my throwing them up with loud & bitter reachings. I pray in vain to Saint Anthony to beg fair Weather of the powers above. Nothing can be fouler than the Sky or more filthy than the Land several new species of noxious reptiles are said to have made their first appearance above ground to the confusion of Farmers & the joy of Naturalists. Tho there is allowed to be nothing new under the Sun you see clouds & darkness have been productive of some novelty. I have been greatly disordered by the unwholesome dampness of the Atmosphere my guts growl & grumble incessantly. I read from Morn: till Night having purchased at the Soubise Sale a a number of original, out of the way Authors which delight & surprise me beyond measure. – I have thirty or forty Volumes in Latin, Spanish & Portuguese about China and Japan full of the rarest Stories imaginable of Castles, Treasures and miracles. – Pray did not I leave in your hands three volumes of Madame du Boccage & a little book of Mother Starcks called the Contes du Serrail? – L.y C. – continues pressing me to come to Anspach & I am half inclined to postpone my visit to the Rocks of Meillerie & accept her invitation. She honours me with the title of Arabian tho’ I confess I have done but little to deserve it. The M: like a lump of dough takes what form she pleases. I am sorry to hear of my Babe with the hidious mane’s yellowness because I am certain it will torment my Mother. I beg you will let me know particularly how she does & that you will believe me most sin.y & affectionately y.rs ...

[110] Mons.r Verduil London Feb.y 4th 1790

Il est très vrai, mon cher Monsieur que je m’ennuie en tout bien & en tout honneur dans ce beau pays. La Reine de France ne mene pas une vie plus triste, plus monotnone ni plus langoureuse que moi. Mes très dignes & très illustres Parents me font l’honneur de me veiller de bien pres & de me tenir Compagnie de la manniere du monde la plus exacte & la plus exemplaire, .... Les Musiciens, les Pacchiarotti, les Artistes enfin sont bannis de chez moi. Le vieux Laque & la nouvelle Musique sont egalement en Correuil. On ne parle que de Blackstone de Rapin & de Handel — Ce Trio ne vaut pas celui de Madrid .... le cher Buffo, la voluptueuse Galli et le tendre Joaquinito. — Nos petits Concerts de la Cruz de Malta etaient bien plus aimables. — Telle est l’ennuie de ma position actuelle que je ne cesse de regretter la nullité des Amis de ...... & lignorance de ceux de Madrid. Je preferre les sables d’Hortaleza à la verdure de West-end & je vous avoue que le miserable ruisseau d’Alcantara me fera plus de plaisir que les belles Eaus de Fonthill Je vous croyez a Nice & je suis bien faché d’apprendre la desagréable Cause de votre séjour dans la Ville des tumultes. — je ne crois pas l’affaire finie il s’en faut de beaucoup — Que pensezvous de létat des finances? Jéspere que le Brame Pigott malgré ses sublimes reveries aura pris quelques precautions humaines pour se mettre a ’labris d’une Banque route Vous avez donc revu l’aimable B— j’aime mieux que vous le voyez que moi — C’est un vilain Animal a qui je fermerai soignieusement ma porte si par


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