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To MY FRIEND AT PARIS.
UT why will you not come to London I am anxious to anxious to repay.
you the civilities you fhewed me at Paris. You hate England, but you love the English: I love France as little as you do England; but I affure you I most
fincerely esteem a number of your countrymen, and none of them more fincerely than yourself. You will not come, you fay, 'till the peace is made. I hope, for your fake, we fhall beat you; for if we do, you will be better received.
As Le Roi, is the grand idea that fills. your mind at home, fo I take it for granted our King is the firft object that will engage your attention here. I think I can tell pretty nearly what you will fay of him on your return, as well as of our capital. You will let me know after if I have gueffed right.
You will fay then, that he reprefents majefty better than any Sovereign you have feen except the Pope. Thus far only you can judge for yourfelf. The reft
reft of your judgements must be collected from the opinions of the different claffes of his fubjects. The people here don't flatter; but always give their worst of thoughts the worst of words. You may truft their account of him implicitly; and it is indeed a very flattering account for him. They will tell you that he has all manner of good qualities, and no bad ones; that he is humane and pious that he loves his Queen, his children, and his people; that he is very benevo lent, and never did nor faid an ill-natured thing; to which they add, that he has no capricious expences, and that he is very temperate in his manner of living. Thus far the people. Men of letters and artifts praise him because he
encourages genius, and rewards with royal munificence every fpecies of fuperior merit. Perfons of rank, who fee him nearer, fay, that his manners are obliging; his understanding, folid; his tafte, good; and that he is poffeffed of very extenfive knowledge.
To all this they add but one fhade; they fay he is obftinate. Obftinacy, in the language of courtiers, you know, is fteadiness. Where one ends, and the other begins, is not perhaps fo eafy to determine. The excefs of a virtue is generally a fault; and as the people, who have nothing to hope or fear, and who really love the King, fay he is obftinate, you will probably be rather inclined
clined to believe them than the cour tiers.
Upon the whole, you will find him a great and amiable Prince; and you will regret, as I did, that he had not a friend in the No-popery mob to burn St. James's (1) palace, for he is, without exception, the worst-lodged Sovereign in Europe.
After le Roi you will no doubt think of la Reine. Our Queen is neither a Wit nor a Beauty. She is prudent, well-informed, has an excellent underftanding, and is very charitable. I spent three months in the country where the
(1) It is doing great violence to language to call this building a palace: it looks like the offices to Marlborough-palace.