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I have been for a few days this week at lord Thomond's; by making a river-like piece of water, he has converted a very ugly spot into a tolerable one. As I was so near, I went to see Audley Inn* once more ; but it is only the monument now of its former grandeur. The gallery is pulled down, and nothing remains but the great hall, and an apartment like a tower at each end. In the church I found, still existing and quite fresh, the escutcheon of the famous countess of Essex and Somerset.
Adieu ! I shall expect you with great pleasure the beginning of next month.
To The Rev. MR. COLE.
Strawberry-hill, May 20, 1762. DEAR SIR,
You have sent me the most kind and obliging letter in the world, and I cannot sufficiently thank you for it; but I shall be very glad to have an opportunity of acknowledging it in person, by accepting the agreeable visit you are so good as to offer me, and for which I have long been impatient. I should name the earliest day possible ; but, besides having some visits to make, I think it will be more pleasant to you a few weeks hence (I mean any time in July,) when the works, with which I am finishing my house, will be more advanced, and the noisy part, as laying floors, and fixing wainscots, at an end, and which now make me
* In Essex, formerly the largest palace in England. It was built out of the ruins of a dissolved monastery, near Saffron Walden, by Thomas, second son of Thomas, duke of Norfolk, who married the only daughter and heir of lord Audley, chancellor to king Henry VIII. This Thomas was summoned to parliament in queen Elizabeth's time as lord Audley of Walden, and was afterwards created earl of Suffolk by James I., to whom he was lord chancellor and lord high treasurer. It was intended for a royal palace for that king, who when it was finished was invited to see it, and lodged there one night on his way to Newmarket: when, after having viewed it with great surprise and astonishment, he was asked how he approved of it—he answered, “very well, but troth man, it is too much for a king; but it
do for a lord high treasurer,” and so left it upon the earl's hands. It was afterwards purchased by Charles II., but, he never being able to pay the purchase-money, was restored to the family by William III. [Ed.]
in a deplorable litter. As you give me leave, I will send you notice.
I am glad my books amused you;5 yet you, who are so much deeper an antiquarian, must have found more faults and omissions, I fear, than your politeness suffers you to reprehend; yet you will, I trust, be a little more severe. We both labour, I will not say for the public, (for the public troubles its head very little about our labours,) but for the few of posterity that shall be curious; and therefore, for their sake, you must assist me in making my works as complete as possible. This sounds ungrateful, after all the trouble you have given yourself ; but I say it to prove my gratitude, and to show you how fond I am of being corrected.
For the faults of impression, they were owing to the knavery of a printer, who, when I had corrected the sheets, amused me with revised proofs, and never printed off the whole number, and then ran away.
This accounts, too, for the difference of the ink in various sheets, and for some other blemishes; though there are still enough of my own, which I must not charge on others,
Ubaldini's book I have not, and shall be pleased to see it; but I cannot think of robbing your collection, and am amply obliged by the offer.
The Anecdotes of Horatio Palavicini are extremely entertaining
In an Itinerary of the late Mr. Smart Lethiullier, I met the very tomb of Gainsborough this winter, that you mention; and, to be secure, sent to Lincoln for an exact draught of it. But what vexed me then, and does still, is, that by the defect at the end of the inscription, one cannot be certain whether he lived in CCC, or CCCC, as another C might have been there. Have you any corroborating circumstance, sir, to affix his existence to 1300 more than to 1400 ? Besides, I don't know any proof of his having been architect of the church : his epitaph only calls him Cementarius, which, I suppose, means Mason.
I have observed, since my book was published, what you mention of the tapestry in Laud's trial: yet, as the Journals were my authority, and certainly cannot be mistaken, I have con
On Painting. [Or.)
cluded, that Hollar engraved his print after the Restoration. Mr. Wright, clerk of the House of Lords, says, that Oliver placed them in the House of Commons. I don't know on what grounds he says so.
I am, sir, with great gratitude,
Your most obliged humble servant.
To GEORGE MONTAGU, Esq.
Strawberry-hill, May 25, 1762. I am diverted with your anger at old Richard ; can you really suppose that I think it any trouble to frank a few covers for you? Had I been with you, I should have cured you and your whole family in two nights with James's powder. If you have any remains of the disorder, let me beg you take seven or eight grains when you go to bed: if you have none, shall I send you some ? For my own part, I am released again, though I have been tolerably bad, and one day had the gout for several hours in my head. I do not like such speedy returns. I have been so much confined, that I could not wait on Mrs. Osborn, and I do not take it unkindly, that she will not let me have the prints without fetching them. I met her, that is, passed her, t'other day as she was going to Bushy, and was sorry to see her look much older.
Well ! to-morrow is fixed for that phenomenon, the duke of Newcastle's resignation. He has had a parting levée ; and as I suppose all bishops are prophets, they foresee that he will never come into place again, for there was but one that had the decency to take leave of him after crowding his rooms for forty years together; it was Cornwallis. I hear not even lord Lincoln resigns. Lord Bute succeeds to the treasury, and is to have the garter, too, on Thursday with prince William. Of your cousin I hear no more mention, but that he returns to his island. I cannot tell you exactly even the few changes that are to be made ; but I can divert you with a bon-mot, which they give to my lord Chesterfield. The new peerages being mentioned, somebody said, “ I suppose there will be no duke made ;" he replied, “ Oh yes, there is to be one."-"' Is ? who?”- Lord Talbot:
he is to be created duke Humphrey, and there is to be no table kept at court but his.” If you don't like this, what do you think of George Selwyn, who asked Charles Boone if it is true that he is going to be married to the fat rich Crawley? Boone denied it. “ Lord !” said Selwyn, “I thought you were to be Patrick Fleming on the mountain, and that gold and silver you were counting!
P.S. I cannot help telling you how comfortable the new disposition of the court is to me; the king and queen are settled for good and all at Buckingham-house, and are stripping the other palaces to furnish it. In short, they have already fetched pictures from Hampton-court, which indicates their never living there ; consequently Strawberry-hill will remain in possession of its own tranquillity, and not become a cheese-cake house to the palace. All I ask of princes is, not to live within five miles
To GEORGE MONTAGU, Esq.
Strawberry-hill, Wednesday night, June 1. Since you left Strawberry, the town (not the king of Prussia) has beaten count Daun, and made the peace, but the benefits of either have not been felt beyond Change-alley. Lord Melcomb is dying of a dropsy in his stomach, and lady Mary Wortley of a cancer in her breast.
Mr. Hamilton was here last night, and complained of your not visiting him. He pumped me to know if lord Hertford has not thoughts of the crown of Ireland, and was more than persuaded that I should go with him : I told him what was true, that I knew nothing of the former; and for the latter, that I would as soon return with the king of the Cherokees. When
i Three Cherokee Indian Chiefs arrived in London from South Carolina, in June, 1762, and became, of course, the lions of the day. [Ed.]
England has nothing that can tempt me, it would be strange if Ireland had. The Cherokee majesty dined here yesterday at lord Macclesfield's, where the Clive sang to them and the mob don't imagine I was there, but I heard so at my lady Suffolk's.
We have tapped a little butt of rain to-night, but my lawn is far from being drunk yet. Did not you find the Vine in great beauty? My compliments to it, and to your society. I only write to enclose the enclosed. I have consigned your button to old Richard. Adieu !
To GEORGE MONTAGU, Esq.
Strawberry-hill, June 8, 1762. WELL, you have had Mr. Chute. I did not dare to announce him to you, for he insisted on enjoying all your ejaculations. He gives me a good account of your health and spirits, but does not say when you come hither. I hope the general, as well as your brother John, know how welcome they would be, if they would accompany you. I trust it will be before the end of this month, for the very beginning of July I am to make a little visit to lord Ilchester, in Somersetshire, and I should not like not to see you before the middle or end of next month.
Mrs. Osborn has sent me the prints ; they are woeful; but that is
my fault and the engraver’s, not yours, to whom I am equally obliged; you don't tell me whether Mr. Bentley's play was acted or not, printed or not.
There is another of the queen's brothers come over. Lady Northumberland made a pompous festino for him t'other night ; not only the whole house, but the garden, was illuminated, and was quite a fairy scene. Arches and pyramids of lights alternately surrounded the enclosure; a diamond necklace of lamps edged the rails and descent, with a spiral obelisk of candles on each hand; and dispersed over the lawn were little bands of kettle-drums, clarionets, fifes, &c. and the lovely moon, who came without a card. The birth-day was far from being such a show; empty and unfine as possible. In truth, popularity does not make great promises to the new administration, and for