When I cast up your account as it now stands, I rejoice to see the balance so much in your favor; and that the items per contra are so few, and of such a nature, that they may be very easily cancelled. By way of debtor and creditor, it stands thus:
Creditor. By French Debtor. To
This, my dear friend, is a very true account; and a very encouraging one for you. A man who owes so little can clear it off in a very little time, and, if he is a prudent man, will; whereas a man who, by long negligence, owes a great deal, despairs of ever being able to pay; and therefore never looks into his account at all.
When you go to Genoa, pray observe carefully all the environs of it, and view them with somebody who can tell you all the situations and operations of the Austrian army, during that famous siege, if it deserves to be called one; for in reality the town never was besieged, nor had the Austrians any one thing necessary for a siege. If Marquis Centurioni, who was last winter in England, should happen to be there, go to him with my compliments, and he will show you all imaginable civilities.
I could have sent you some letters to Florence, but that I knew Mr. Mann would be of more use to you than all of them. Pray make him my compliments. Cultivate your Italian, while you are at Florence, where it is spoken in its utmost purity, but ill pronounced.
Pray save me the seed of some of the best melons you eat, and put it up dry in paper. You need not send it me; but Mr. Harte will bring it in his pocket when he comes over. I should likewise be glad of some cuttings of the best figs, especially la Pica gentile and the Maltese; but as this is not the season for them, Mr. Mann will, I dare say, undertake that commission, and send them to me at the proper time by Leghorn. Adieu. Endeavor to please others, and divert yourself as much as ever you can, in ‘honnete et galant homme’.
P. S. I send you the inclosed to deliver to Lord Rochford, upon your arrival at Turin.
London, August 6, O. S. 1750
My dear friend: Since your letter from Sienna, which gave me a very imperfect account both of your illness and your recovery, I have not received one word either from you or Mr. Harte. I impute this to the carelessness of the post simply: and the great distance between us at present exposes our letters to those accidents. But when you come to Paris, from whence the letters arrive here very regularly, I shall insist upon you writing to me constantly once a week; and that upon the same day, for instance, every Thursday, that I may know by what mail to expect