Lausanne, September 12th 1792
Letters(2), From Gibbon's Autobiography Edited by Lord Sheffield

Thus far had I written in the full confidence of finishing and sending my letter the next post; but six post-days have unaccountably slipped away, and were you not accustomed to my silence, you would almost begin to think me on the road. How dread. fully, since my last date, has the French road been polluted with blood! and what horrid scenes may be acting at this moment, and may still be aggravated, till the Duke of Brunswick is master of Paris! On every rational principle of calculation he must succeed; yet sometimes, when my spirits are low, I dread the blind efforts of mad and desperate multitudes fighting on their own ground. A few days or weeks must decide the military operations of this year, and perhaps for ever; but on the fairest supposition, I cannot look forwards to any firm settlement, either of a legal or an absolute government. I cannot pretend to give you any Paris news. Should I inform you, as we believe, that Lally is still among the cannibals, you would possibly answer, that he is now sitting in the library at Sheffield. Madame de Staël, after miraculously escaping through pikes and poignards, has reached the castle of Copet, where I shall see her before the end of the week. If anything can provoke the King of Sardinia and the Swiss, it must be the foul destruction of his cousin Madame de Lamballe, and of their regiment of guards. An extraordinary council is summoned at Berne, but resentment may be checked by prudence. In spite of Maria's laughter, I applaud your moderation, and sigh for a hearty union of all the sense and property of the country. The times require it; but your last political letter was a cordial to my spirits. The Duchess of Devonshire rather dislikes a coalition: amiable creature! The Eliza is furious against you for not writing. We shall lose them in a few days; but the motions of the Eliza and the Duchess for Italy or England are doubtful. Ladies Spencer and Duncannon certainly pass the Alps. I live with them. Adieu. Since I do not appear in person, I feel the absolute propriety of writing to my Lady and Maria; but there is far from the knowledge to the performance of a duty.

Ever yours.