페이지 이미지
PDF
ePub

had been talking,) were answerable for shortening his life one week a-piece'; for, says he, you will allow Xenophon to be good authority; and he lays it down, that suppose a man is dying, nobody has a right to kill him. He set out in this vein, and continued all the stage in his cheerful and talking humour. It was a fine day, and we went on to Durham--from that to Darlington, where we passed the night.

“ In the evening, Mr Hume thinks himself more easy and light, than he has been any time for three months. In the course of our conversation we touched upon the national affairs. He still maintains, that the national debt must be the ruin of Britain ; and laments that the two most civilized nations, the English and French, should be on the decline; and the barbarians, the Goths and Vandals of Germany and Russia, should be rising in power and renown. The French king, he says, has ruined the state by recalling the parliaments. Mr Hume thinks that there is only one man in France fit to be minister, (the Archbishop of Toulouse,) of the family of Brienne. He told me some curious anecdotes with regard to this prelate; that he composed and corrected without writing ; that Mr Hume had heard him repeat an elegant oration of an hour and a quarter in length, which he had never written. Mr Hume, talking with the Princess Beauvais about French policy, said that he knew but one man in France capable of restoring its greatness; the lady said she knew one too, and wished to hear if it was the same. They accordingly named each their man, and it was this prelate.”

66 Thursday, 25th. “LEFT Darlington about nine o'clock, and came to North Allerton. The same delightful weather. A shower fell that layed the dust, and made our journey to Borough-Bridge more pleasant. Mr Hume continues very easy, and has a tolerable appetite ; tastes nothing liquid but water, and sups upon an egg. He assured me, that he never possessed his faculties more perfectly ; that he never was more sensible of the beauties of any classic author than he was at present, nor loved more to read. When I am not in the room with him he reads continually. The post-boys can scarcely be persuaded to drive only five miles an hour, and their horses are of the same way of thinking! The other travellers, as they pass, look into the chaise, and laugh at our slow pace. This evening the post-boy from North Allerton, who had required a good deal of threatening to make him drive as slow as we desired, had no sooner taken his departure to go home, than he set off at full speed. . Pour se dedommager,' said David.”

Friday, 26th, Borough-bridge. “ MR HUME this morning not quite so well. He observes, and I see it, that he has a good day and a bad one. His illness is an internal hemorrhage, which has been wasting him for a long time. He is so thin that he chooses to have a cushion under him when he sits upon an ordinary chair. He told me to-day, that if Louis XV. had died in the time of the regency, the whole French nation were determined to bring back the King of Spain to be King of France, so zealous were they for preserving the line of succession. This evening Mr Hume not quite so well, and goes to bed at a more early hour than he used to do.”

Ferry Bridge, Sunday, 28th. .“ MR HUME much better this morning. He told me, that the French nation had no great opinion of Cardinal Fleury; that the English had extolled him, in opposition to their own minister Sir Robert Walpole ; but that Fleury was a little genius, and a cheat. Lord Marischal acquainted Mr Hume with a piece of knavery, which his lordship said nobody but a Frenchman and a priest could have been guilty of. The French ambassador at Madrid came to Lord Marischal one day,

mo)

and told him, that he had a letter from the French minister at Petersburgh, acquainting him that General Keith was not pleased with his situation in Russia, and wished to return to the Spanish service, (where he had formerly been ;) that it would be proper for Lord Marischal to apply to the court of Spain. Lord Marischal said nothing could be more agreeable to him than to have his brother in the same country with him ; but that, as he had heard nothing from himself, he could not make any application in his name. The French minister still urged him to write to the Spanish minister, but in vain.' When the brothers met, several years after, they explained this matter. Keith had never any intention of coming into the Spanish service again; and if Lord Marischal had applied to the court of Spain, measures were taken to intercept the letter, and send it to the court of Russia. General Keith, who commanded the Russian army in the field against the Swedes, would have been arrested, and sent to Siberia ; and the moment he had left the army, the Swedes were to attack the Russians. Mr Hume told me, talking of Fleury, that Monsieur Trudent, who was his eleve, acquainted him with an anecdote of that minister, and the late French king, which he, Mr Hume, believes Trudent had never ventured to tell to any body but him ; and he (David) had never told it to any body but me. Now, since Fleury, Trudent, and Lewis are all dead, it may be told. Trudent took the liberty of observing to Fleury, that the king should be advised to apply a little more to business, and take some charge of his own affairs. Fleury, the first time Trudent spoke to him upon this subject, made him no answer ; but upon his speaking again on the same subject, he told him, that he had entreated the king to be a man of business, and assured him that the French did not like an inactive prince; that in former times, there had been a race of indolent princes who did nothing at all, and were called Les Rois Faineants ; that one of them had been put into a convent. The king made no reply; but some time afterwards, when Fleury resumed the subject, the king asked him, whether or no the prince that was put into the convent had a good pension allowed him ?

“ Mr Hume this day told me, that he had bought a piece of ground; and when I seemed surprised that I had never heard of it, he said it was in the New Church-yard, on the Calton Hill, for a burying-place; that he meant to have a small monument erected, not to exceed in expence one hundred pounds; that the inscription should be

[merged small][ocr errors]

“I desired him to change the discourse. He did so; but seemed surprised at my uneasiness,

« 이전계속 »