interview followed, during which conversation the poor king poured out his heart to her.1 Mrs. Masefield says:
"It has been suggested that Fanny could be sly upon occasion, and that she may have courted some of the incidents which she pretended to endure with so much trepidation (such as George III's chase of her in Kew Garden)." * But Fanny's behaviour during this strange adventure, as described in the Diary, seems perfectly natural.
Fanny's respect for rank greatly increased during her residence at court. It was her kind heart that made her so devoted to the unhappy queen during the king's illness, but it seems to have been her heart only that led her. When she gives her opinion upon matters of state, it is obvious that she is strongly under the influence of the general feeling at court. According to her, the people had no right whatever to inquire into the state of the king. She shudders to hear the Regency Bill named.3 In the trial of Warren Hastings, too, her partiality is tremendous. It was a happy choice of the queen's when she sent Miss Burney to Westminster Hall in order to attend the trial and to report to her afterwards. Fanny was glad to meet old friends there, and this was the only duty during her court career which really suited her. From her fine descriptions in the Diary we can see how very capable she was of giving an interesting and vivid account. Timid Fanny found it a formidable task to give a report, and we find expressions of dissatisfaction with her performance, as:
"I was called upon, on my return, to relate the day*s business. Heavy and lame was the relation; but their majesties were curious and nothing better suited truth." *
But after a victory of Mr. Hastings' she came home
1 Diary and Letters, Febr. 2, 1789.
' Mrs. Ch. Masefield: Diary and Letters of Madame d'Arblay, p. 8.
* Diary and Letters, Febr. 6, 1789.
* Op. cit. Febr. 16, 1790.