Before long, the Subsidy Treaty being now out, and the Wyndham topic new again, London Society reads, in the same Newspaper, a Documentary Piece, calculated to help in its commentaries. There is good likelihood of guess, though no certainty now attainable, that the "English Lady" referred to may be Miss Bab. herself;--of whose long-vanished biography, and brisk, airy, nomadic ways, we catch hereby a faint shadow, momentary, but conceivable, and sufficient for us:--
"TO THE AUTHORS OF THE LONDON CHRONICLE.
"The following Account, which is a real fact, will serve to show with what punctuality and exactness the King of Prussia attends to the most minute affairs, and how open he is to applications from all persons.
"An English Lady being possessed of actions [shares] in the Embden Company, and having occasion to raise money on them, repaired to Antwerp [some two years ago, as will be seen], and made application for that purpose to a Director of the Company, established there by the King of Prussia for the managing all affairs relative thereto. This person," Van Erthorn the name of him, "very willingly entered into treaty with her; but the sum he offered to lend being far short of what the actions would bring, and he also insisting on forfeiture of her right in them, if not redeemed in twelve months, --she broke off with him, and had recourse to some merchants at Antwerp, who were inclinable to treat with her on much more equitable terms. The proceeding necessarily brought the parties before this Director for receiving his sanction, which was essential to the solidity of the agreement; and he, finding he was like to lose the advantage he had flattered himself with, disputed the authenticity of the actions, and thereby threw her into such discredit, as to render all attempts to raise money on them ineffectual. Upon this the Lady wrote a Letter by the common post to his Majesty of Prussia, accompanied with a Memorial complaining of the treatment she had received from the Director; and she likewise enclosed the actions themselves in another letter to a friend at Berlin. By the return of the post, his Majesty condescended to answer her Letter; and the actions were returned authenticated; which so restored her credit, that in a few hours all difficulties were removed relating to the transaction she had in hand; and it is more than probable the Director has felt his Majesty's resentment for his ill-behavior.--The Lady's Letter was as follows:--
"'ANTWERP, 19th February, 1756.
"'SIR,--Having had the happiness to pay my court to your Majesty during a pretty long residence at Berlin [say in Voltaire's time; Miss Barbara's "Embden Company," I observe, was the first of the two, date 1750; that of 1753 is not hers], and to receive such marks of favor from their Majesties the Queens [a Barbara capable of shining in the Royal soirees at Monbijou, of talking to, or of, your Voltaires and lions, and investing moneys in the new Embden Company] as I shall ever retain a grateful sense of,--I presume to flatter myself that your Majesty will not be offended at the respectful liberty I have taken in laying before you my complaints against one Van Erthorn, a Director of the Embden China Company, whose bad behavior to me, as set forth in my Memorial, hath forced me to make a very long and expensive stay at this place; and, as the considerable interest I have in that Company may farther subject me to his caprices, I cannot forbear laying my grievances at the foot of your Majesty's throne; most respectfully supplicating your Majesty that you would be graciously pleased to give orders that this Director shall not act towards me for the future as he hath done hitherto.
"'I hope for this favor from your Majesty's sovereign equity; and I shall never cease offering up my ardent prayers for the prosperity of your glorious reign; having the honor to be, with the most respectful zeal, Sir, your Majesty's most humble, most obedient, and most devoted servant, * * *'
"'POTSDAM, 26th February, 1756.