Yet Fanny did not break off her connections with all the French friends in this nnpleasant manner. From the very beginning she had been charmed with M. d'Arblay. Before Fanny's stay at Norbury Park, Susan had given her a description of M. d'Arblay:
"I was extremely pleased at his coming, and more and more pleased with himself every moment that passed.
"He seems to me a trué militaire, franc et loyal — open as the day — warmly affectionate to his friends — intelligent, ready, and amusing in conversation, with a great share of gaieté de coeur, and, at the same time, of natveté and bonne foi."
Shortly after her arrival, Fanny mentioned him in a letter to her father: "This latter is one of the most delightful characters I have ever met, for openness, probity, intellectual knowledge, and unhackneyed manners."1 In another letter to Dr. Burney she says:
"M. d'Arblay is one of the most singularly interesting characters that can ever have been formed. He has a sincerity, a frankness, an ingenuous openness of nature, that I had been unjust enough to think could not belong to a Frenchman. With all this, which is his military portion, he is passionately fond of literature, a most delicate critic in his own language, well versed in both Italian and German, and a very elegant poet."*
We cannot be surprised that such a character appealed to Fanny, and their friendship soon became more intimate. They exchanged English and French lessons and in a letter written at Mickelham to Mrs. Locke Fanny speaks of "this enchanting M. d'Arblay." Soon afterwards M. d'Arblay made her an offer of marriage and, in spite of the objections of Dr. Burney, it was accepted. This marriage was a romantic one and, for the first time in her life, Fanny op-
1 Op. cit. Febr. 4, 1793. * Op. cit. Febr. 29, 1793.