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(thanks to the Quarterly Review) obtained the reward of my calligraphic and orthographic acquirements. As it foretold, I am become, in spite of the “ seven deadly sins” it laid to my charge, “ not indeed a good writer of novels,” but, I trust,“ a respectable,” and, I am sure, “ a happy mistress of a family.” . In the fearful prophecy so long made, that I should never write a good novel, the Quarterly Review, in its benevolence, will at least not be displeased to learn that I have written some that have been successful; and that while my Glorvinas, Luximas, and Lolottes, have pleaded my cause at home, like “ very Daniels,” they have been received abroad with equal favour and indulgence; and that O'Donnel has been transmitted to its author in three different languages. Having thus, I hope, settled "my long arrear of GRATITUDE with Alonzo," I am now ready to begin a new score ; and await the sentence of my quondam judge, in the spirit of one
" Who neither courts nor fears
His favour nor bis hate.” In a work which bears the sweeping title of “ France,” (a title adopted by necessity, because none other was left me), it would be a strange solecism to omit all notice of the jurisprudence, medical science, and finance of that country; subjects connected with its most vital existence, but far beyond my limited sphere of enquiry. At my request, my husband has undertaken to furnish some sketches on these points, which form the pages of the appendix to the second volume.
For the authenticity of the great mass of anecdotes with which I have endeavoured to relieve the weariness of narrative, I can no further vouch, than that I obtained them from persons distinguished by their rank, talents, and high respectability ; and that I give them as I heard them in the saloon or the boudoir. I have omitted many that were doubtful, even though they were amusing; and I have transcribed few that were not corroborated by persons of very different principles and interests. My object was to come at the truth, and I trust I have pretty generally succeeded.
The rapid and unhoped for demand of a new edition of “ France," within a few days after the publication of the first, together with circumstances, over which I have no control, obliges me, once more, to appeal to the indulgence of the public, to apologize for typographical errors, and to notice some historical inaccuracies which escaped my observation in the ardour of a first composition. In Book iv. p. 235, I have confounded anecdotes of the two Princes De Condé, who were successively imprisoned in the Castle of Vincennes. It was the father of the great Condé, whose misfortunes originated in the beauty of his wife, and the passion of his powerful but unsuccessful rival, Henri IV. It was “A GRAND CONDE” himself, who wiled away the hours of his captivity by cultivating
flowers through the bars of his prison window, while his young duchess was leading the factious citizens of Bourdeaux, with the intrepid cry of " qui m'aime me suive." When this circumstance was related to the illustrious prisoner, he laughingly observed, “ Qui auroit cru, que j'arroserois des fleurs, pendant que ma femme fait le guerre."
In Book vii. p. 116, the name of CARDINAL RICHELIEU is by mistake inserted for that of MAZARÍN; and by misprint Louis XIV. appears for Louis XIII. in Book viii. p. 150. . :
By an awkward collocation of the particle's $0," in the concluding paragraph of the First Book, it should appear that I expressed a wish that the Peasantry of France might continne more prosperous than the same class of society in England and Scotland. I trust, however, that I shall not be mistaken, and that the error will not be attributed to the sentiment of the author, but to the loose construction of the paragraph, which includes more than one clause; and which, in expressing an hope that the French peasant may enjoy his present improved condition, involves an intervening assertion, referable to its superiority over that of the peasant population of Great Britain. If there must
be an inequality amongst nations, nature and interest, no less than national pride, must induce the hope that the balance may be in favour of that country, which the heart claims as its home.
For the rest : placed at too considerable a distance from the metropolis, to judge of the reception of a book, thus given, “ with all its imperfection on its head,” otherwise than by the unexpected rapidity of its sale, I have as yet reeceived but few of the details of censure or of praise. Few corrections or alterations have consequently been made; and a second edition of “ France” is therefore now presented to the public with all the embarrassment of feeling which accompanied the publication of the first.
Dublin, Kildare Street,