« السابقةمتابعة »
very convenient, and if you can get rid of all your feeling and morality before my next letter arrives, you may put it in practice, as probably it has not yet been introduced into Ireland. Believe me to be, my dear lord,
TOPHAM BEAUCLERK, ESQ. TO THE EARL OF
Muswell Hill, Summer Quarters, July 18th, 1774. MY DEAR LORD, That it was my full intention to visit you in Ireland, and that it still remains so, is as true as that I love and esteem you more than any man upon this earth; hut various accidents have hitherto hindered me, the last of which has been a violent illness, which obliges me to a constant attendance on Doctor Turton; but, in spite of him or nature itself, I will very soon pay you a visit. Business, it is true, I have none to keep me here ; but you forget that I have business in Lancashire, and that I must go there when I come to you. Now you will please to recollect, that there is nothing in this world I so entirely hate as business of any kind, and that I pay you the greatest compliment I can do, when I risk the meeting with my own confounded affairs in order to have the pleasure of seeing you ; but this I am resolved to do. The D is quite a new acquaintance; he says he a scholar, and I believe him to be so. He seemed a good
natured man, and a man of parts, and one proof I am sure he gave of his understanding, by expressing a strong desire to be acquainted with you.
I had recollection enough, however, not to give him a letter to you, as I suspect that a certain thing, called politics, might be the cause of a difference between you, particularly as he told me that he was an intimate friend of Rigby's. And if the old proverb is true, Noscitur à socio, I guessed that he was not a man after your own heart. Wby should you be vexed to find that mankind are fools and knaves ? I have known it so long, that every fresh instance of it amuses me, provided it does not immediately affect my friends or myself. Politicians do not seem to me to be much greater rogues than other people; and as their actions affect, in general, private persons less than other kinds of villany do, I cannot find that I am so angry with them. It is true, that the leading men, in both countries, at present, are, I believe, the most corrupt, abandoned people in the nation ;—but now that I am upon this worthy subject of human nature, I will inform you of a few particulars relating to the discovery of Otaheite, which Dr. Hawkesworth said placed the king above all the conquerors in the world ; and if the glory is to be estimated by the mischief, I do not know whether he is not right. When Wallis first anchored off the island, two natives came alongside of the ship, without fear or distrust, to barter their goods with our people. A man, called the boat-keeper, who was in a boat that was tied to the ship, attempted to get the things from them without payment. The savages resisted, and he struck one of them with the boat-hook, upon which they paddled away. In the morning great numbers came in canoes of all sizes about the ship. They behaved, however, in the most peaceable manner, still offering to exchange their commodities for any thing that they could obtain from us.
The same trick was played by attempting to take away their things by force. This enraged them, and they had come prepared to defend themselves with such weapons as they had ; they immediately began to fling stones, one of which went into the cabin window. Wallis, on this, ordered that the guns, loaded with grape shot, should be fired; this you may imagine immediately dispersed them. Some were drowned, many killed, and some few got on shore, where numbers of the natives were assembled. Wallis then ordered the great guns to be played, according to his phrase, upon them. This drove them off ; when he still ordered the same pastime to be continued, in order to convince them, as he says, that our arms could reach them at such a distance. If you add to this, that the inhabitants of all these islands are eat up with vile disorders, you will find that men may be much worse employed than by doing the dirtiest job that ever was undertaken by the lowest of our clerk-ministers. These particulars I had from a man who went the last voyage, and had them from the gunner of Wallis's ship. We have one of the natives here, who was wounded in that infernal massacre. There is another curiosity here, Mr. Bruce. His drawings are the most beautiful things you ever saw,
and his adventures more wonderful than those of Sinbad the sailor, and perhaps as true. I am much more afflicted with the account you send me of your health, than I am at the corruption of your ministers; I always hated politics, and I now hate them ten times worse, as I have reason to think that they contribute towards your ill health. You do me great justice in thinking that whatever concerns you must interest me ; but as I wish you most sincerely to be perfectly happy, I cannot bear to think that the villanous proceedings of others should make you miserable; for, in that case, undoubtedly you will never be happy.-Charles Fox is a member at the Turk's Head, but not till he was a patriot, and you know, if one repents, &c.—There is nothing new but Goldsmith's Retaliation, which you certainly have seen. Pray tell Lady Charlemont, from me, that I desire she may keep you from politics, as they do children from sweetmeats, that make them sick. Believe me to be, &c.
THE EARL OF CHATHAM TO THE HON. W. PITT.
Burton Pynsent, Oct. 9, 1773. THURSDAY's post brought us no letter from the dear traveller: we trust this day will prove more satisfactory; it is the happy day that gave us your brother, and will not be less in favour with all here, if it should give us about four o'clock an epistle from my dear William. By that hour, I reckon, we shall be warm in our cups, and shall not fail to pour forth, with renewed joy, grateful libations over the much-wished tidings of your prosperous progress towards your destination. We compute that yesterday brought you to the venerable aspect of alma mater (Cambridge): and that you are invested to-day with the toga virilis. Your race of manly virtue and useful knowledge is now begun, and may the favour of Heaven smile upon the noble career.
Little was really disappointed at not being in time to see you, a good mark for my young vivid friend. He is just as much com. pounded of the elements of air and fire as he was. A due proportion of terrestrial solidity will, I trust, come and make him perfect. How happy, my loved boy, is it, that your mamma and I can tell ourselves, there is at Cambridge one,
without a beard, “ and all the elements so mixed in him, that Nature might stand up and say, This is a man, I now take leave for to-day, not meaning this for what James calls a regular letter, but a flying thought, that wings itself towards my absent William. Horses are ready, and all is birthday.
Bradshaw has shone this auspicious morning, in a very fine speech of congratulation, but I foresee “ his sun sets weeping in the lowly west;" that is, a fatal bowl of punch will, before night, quench this luminary of oratory. Adieu again, and again, sweet boy; and if you acquire health and strength every time I wish them to you, you will be a second Samson, and, what is more, will, I am sure, keep your hair.