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tions. Next Friday I shall see the regiment reviewed by General Serbelloni. Perhaps I may write a particular letter about it. From Milan we proceed to Genoa, and thence to Florence. You stare :--but really we find it so inconvenient to travel like mutes, and to lose a number of curi. ous things for want of being able to assist our eyes with our tongues, that we have resumed our original plan, and leave Venice for next year. I think I should advise you to do the same.
Milan, May 18th, 1764. The next morning was not fair, but however we were able to take a view of the islands, which, by the help of some imagination, we conclude to be a very delightful, though not an enchanted place. I would certainly advise you to go there from Milan, which you may well perform in a day and a half. Upon our return, we found Lord Tilney and some other English in their way to Venice. We heard a melancholy piece of news from them : Byng died at Bologna a few days ago of a fever. I am sure you will be all very sorry to hear it.
We expect a volume of news from you in relation to Lausanne, and in particular to the alliance of the Duchess with the Frog. Is it already concluded? How does the bride look after her great revolution ? Pray embrace her and the adorable, if you can, in both our names; and assure them, as well as all the Spring *, that we talk of them very often, but particularly of a Sunday; and that we are so disconsolate, that we have neither of us commenced cicisbeos as yet, whatever we may do at Florence. We have drunk the duchess's health, not forgetting the little woman, on the top of Mount Cenis, in the middle of the Logo Maggiore, &c. &c. I expect some account of the said little woman. Who is my successor ?. I think Montagony began to supplant me before I went. I expect your answer at Florence, and your person at Rome ; which the Lord grant. Amen.
* A society of young ladies.
MR. GIBBON TO MR. HOLROYD, AT BERLIN.
Beriton, Oct. 31, 1765. Why did I not leave a letter for you at Mar. seilles ? For a very plain reason : because I did not go to Marseilles. But, as you have most judiciously added, why did not I send one ? Humph! I own that nonpluses me a little. However, hearken to iny history. After revolving a variety of plans, and suiting them as well as possible to time and finances, Guise and I at last agreed to pass from Venice to Lyons, swim down the Rhone, wheel round the south of France, and embark at Bourdeaux, Alas! At Lyons I received letters which convinced me that I ought no longer to deprive my country of one of her greatest ornaments. Unwillingly I obeyed, left Guise to execute alone the remainder of our plan, passed about ten delicious days at Paris, and arrived in England about the end of June. Guise followed me about two months
afterwards, as I was informed by an epistle from him, which, to his great astonishment, I immediately answered. You will perceive there is still some virtue among men. Exempli gratiâ, your letter is dated Vienna, October 12th, 1765 ; it made its appearance at Beriton, Wednesday evening, October 29th. I am at this present writing, sitting in my library, on Thursday morning, between the hours of twelve and one. I have ventured to suppose you still at Berlin; if not, I presume you take care that your letters should follow you. This ideal march to Berlin is the only one I can make at present. I am under command : and were I to talk of a third sally as yet, I know some certain people who would think it just as ridiculous as the third sally of the renowned Don Quixotte. All I ever hoped for was, to be able to take the field once more, after lying quiet a couple of years. I must own that your executing your tour in so complete a manner gives me a little selfish spleen. If I make a summer's escape to Berlin, I cannot hope for the companion I flattered myself with. I am sorry, however, I have said so much ; but as it is difficult to increase your honour's proper notions of your own perfections, I will e'en let it stand. Indeed, I owed you something for your account of the favourable reception my book has met
I see there are people of taste at Vienna, and no longer wonder at your liking it. Since the court is so agreeable, a thorough reformation must have taken place. The stiffness of the Austrian etiquette, and the haughty magnificence of the Hungarian princes, must have given way
to more civilized potions. You have (no doubt) informed yourself of the forces and revenues of the empress. I think (however unfashionably) we always esteemed her. Have you lost or improved that opinion ? Princes, like pictures, to be admired, must be seen in their proper point of view, which is often a pretty distant one. afraid you will find it peculiarly so at Berlin.
I need not desire you to pay a most minute attention to the Austrian and Prussian discipline. You have been bit by a mad serjeant as well as myself; and when we meet, we shall run over every particular which we can approve, blame, or imitate. Since my arrival, I have assumed the august character of major, received returns, issued orders, &c. &c. &c. I do not intend you shall have the honour of reviewing my troops next summer. Three fourths of the men will be recruits ; and during my pilgrimage, discipline seems to have been relaxed. But I summon you to fulfil another engagement. Make me a visit next summer. You will find here a bad bouse, a pleasant country, in summer, some books, and very little strange company. Such a plan of life for two or three months must, I should imagine, suit a man who has been for as many years struck from one end of Europe to the other, like a tennis ball. At least I judge of you by myself. I always loved a quiet, studious, indolent life; but never enjoyed the charms of it so truly as since my return from an agreeable but fatiguing course of motion and hurry. However I shall hear of your arrival, which can scarcely be so soon as January, 1766, and shall probably have the misfortune of meeting you in town soon after. We may then settle our plans for the ensuing campaign.
En attendant (admire me, this is the only scrap of foreign lingo I have imported into this epistle -if you had seen that of Guise to me!) let me tell you a piece of Lausanne news. Nannette Grand is married to Lieutenant Colonel Prevost. Grand wrote to me; and by the next post I congratulated both father and daughter. The Cur (Madam Necker) I saw at Paris. She was very fond of me, and the husband particularly civil. Could they insult me more cruelly? Ask me every evening to supper ; go to bed, and leave me alone with his wife—what an impertinent security! it is making an old lover of mighty little consequence. She is as handsome as ever, and much genteeler ; seems pleased with her fortune rather than proud of it. I was (perbaps indiscreetly enough) exalting Nannette d'Illens's good luck and the fortune. “ What fortune ? (said she, with an air of contempt)-not above twenty thousand livres a year." I smiled, and she caught herself immediately." What airs give myself in despising twenty thousand livres a year, who a year ago looked upon eight hun. dred as the summit of my wishes !”
I must end this tedious scrawl. Let me hear from you. I think I deserve it. my dear Holroyd, I share in all your pleasures, and feel all your misfortunes. Poor Bolton! I saw it in the newspaper. Is Ridley with you ? I suspect not: but if he is, assure him I do not forget him, though he does me. Adieu ; and believe me, most affectionately yours,
E. GIBBON, JUNIOR.