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PREFACE

TO THE SEVENTH VOLUME.

The station assigned to “ The Fudge Family," in the following pages, immediately after Lalla Rookh, agrees but too closely with the actual order in which these two works were originally written and published. The success, far exceeding my hopes and deserts, with which Lalla Rookh was immediately crowned, relieved me at once from the anxious feeling of responsibility under which, as my readers have seen, that enterprise had been commenced, and which continued for some time to haunt me amidst all the enchantments of my task. I therefore in the true holyday mood, when a dear friend, with whose name is associated some of the brightest and

was

pleasantest hours of my past life *, kindly offered me a seat in his carriage for a short visit to Paris. This proposal I, of course, most gladly accepted ; and, in the autumn of the year 1817, found myself, for the first time, in that gay capital.

As the restoration of the Bourbon dynasty was still of too recent a date for any amalgamation to have yet taken place between the new and ancient order of things, all the most prominent features of both régimes were just then brought, in their fullest relief, into juxtaposition; and, accordingly, the result was such as to suggest to an unconcerned spectator quite as abundant matter for ridicule as for grave political consideration. It would be difficult, indeed, to convey to

those who had not themselves seen the Paris of that period, any clear notion of the anomalous aspect, both social and political, which it then presented. It was as if, in the days succeeding the Deluge,

* Mr. Rogers.

cause,

a small coterie of antediluvians had been suddenly evoked from out of the deep to take the command of a new and freshly starting world.

To me, the abundant amusement and interest which such a scene could not but afford was a good deal heightened by my having, in my youthful days, been made acquainted with some of those personages who were now most interested in the future success of the Legitimate

The Comte D'Artois, or Monsieur, I had met in the year 1802-3, at Donington Park, the seat of the Earl of Moira, under whose princely roof I used often and long, in those days, to find a most hospitable home. A small party of distinguished French emigrants were already staying on a visit in the house when Monsieur and his suite arrived; and among those were the present King of France and his two brothers, the Duc de Montpensier, and the Comte de Beaujolais.

Some doubt and uneasiness had, I remember, been felt by the two latter brothers, as to the reception they were likely to encounter from the new guest; and as, in those times, a cropped and unpowdered head was regarded generally as a symbol of Jacobinism, the Comte Beaujolais, who, like many other young men, wore his hair in this fashion, thought it, on the present occasion, most prudent, in order to avoid all risk of offence, not only to put powder in his hair, but also to provide himself with an artificial queue. This measure of precaution, however, led to a slight incident after dinner, which, though not very royal or dignified, was at least creditable to the social good-humour of the future Charles X. On the departure of the ladies from the diningroom, we had hardly seated ourselves in the oldfashioned style, round the fire, when Monsieur, who had happened to place himself next to Beaujolais, caught a glimpse of the ascititious tail, - which, having been rather carelessly put on, had a good deal straggled out of its place. With a sort of scream of jocular pleasure, as if delighted at the discovery, Monsieur seized the stray appendage, and, bringing it round into full view, to the great amusement of the whole company, popped it into poor grinning Beaujolais' mouth.

On one of the evenings of this short visit of Monsieur, I remember Curran arriving unexpectedly, on his way to London; and, having come too late for dinner, he joined our party in the evening. As the foreign portion of the company was then quite new to him, I was able to be useful, by informing him of the names, rank, and other particulars of the party he found assembled, from Monsieur himself down to the old Duc de Lorge and the Baron de Rolle. When I had gone through the whole list, “ Ah, poor fellows !” he exclaimed, with a mixture of fun and pathos in his look, truly

“Poor fellows, all dismounted cavalry ! On the last evening of Monsieur's stay, I was made to sing for him, among other songs, “ Farewell, Bessy !" one of my earliest attempts at musical composition. As soon as I had

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