BECKFORD'S FAVOURITE PROPENSITY (1791)
HESTER LYNCH THRALE PIOZZI 17511821)
I have been reading Vathek, ’tis a mad Book to be sure, and written by a mad Author, yet there is a Sublimity about it particularly towards the Conclusion.
Mr Beckford’s favourite Propensity is all along visible I think; particularly in the luscious Descriptions given of Gulchenrouz: but his Quarantine seems to be performed, & I am told he is return’d quietly to Fonthill. When we were at Milan Mr Bisset brought over the news how he was hooted from Society by my Lord Loughborough, who threatened corporal or legal Punishment for Mr Beckford’s Violation of young Courtenay Brother to Lady Loughborough [Beckford’s aunt]. at Lausanne no Englishman would exchange a Word with the Creature; & charming Doctor Fisher’s charitable Heart pitied his wretched exclusion from the World.
But since Courtenay came to his Estate and Title, and I suppose treated the whole Business as a Joke, or common Occurrence, all is over; and I hear nothing said of Mr Beckford but as an Authour. what a World it is!!!!
[SOURCE: Thraliana: The Diary of Mrs. Hester Lynch Thrale, 2 vols, 2nd edn, ed. Katharine C. Balderston (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1951), 3 January 1791, vol. 2, p. 799]
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