Life And Letters Of Maria Edgeworth/Volume 2/Letter 14

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SMETHWICK GROVE, Oct. 25, 1821.

Here we are, my dear Honora, once more at the dear, hospitable Moilliets'; Emily making tea at the same well-furnished board, with her near-sighted, beautiful eyes picking her way among the cups.

We missed, by not arriving last night, a Frenchman who has been seventeen years learning to play on the flute, and cannot play, and who has been ten years learning to speak English, and yet told Mrs. Moilliet that he had a letter to Lord Porcelain, to whom his mother is related, meaning the Duke of Portland. He left this, determined to see the residence of "Lord Malbrouke." Mrs. Moilliet endeavoured to put him right, and to put the song, "Va-t-en Malbrouke" out of his head; but he quoted it with the authority of an old legend. "Blenheim," Mr. Moilliet told him, was the name of the Duke of Marlborough's place. "Ah, oui, yes; Blenheim, I know that is the inn." He would have "Malbrouke" as the name of the place.