Lord Edgecumbe has had a fit of apoplexy; your brother Charles(166) a bad return of his old complaint; and Lord Melcombe has tumbled down the kitchen stairs, and—waked himself.
London is a desert; no soul in it but the king. Bussy has taken a temporary house. The world talks of peace-would I could believe it! every newspaper frightens me: Mr. Conway would be very angry if he knew how I dread the very name of the Prince de Soubise.
We begin to perceive the tower of Kew(167) from Montpellier in a fortnight you will see it in Yorkshire.
The Apostle Whitfield is come to some shame: he went to Lady Huntingdon lately, and asked for forty pounds for some distressed saint or other. She said she had not so much money in the house, but would give it him the first time she had. He was very pressing, but in vain. At last he said, “There’s your watch and trinkets, you don’t want such vanities; I will have that.” She would have put him off- but he persisting, she said, “Well, if you must have it, you must.” About a fortnight afterwards, going to his house, and being carried into his wife’s chamber, among the paraphernalia of the latter the Countess found her own offering. This has made a terrible schism: she tells the story herself—I had not it from Saint Frances,(168) but I hope it is true. Adieu, my dear lord!
P. S. My gallery sends its humble duty to your new front, and all my creatures beg their respects to my lady.
(165) At Sion-hill, near Brentford.
(166) Charles Townshend, married to Lady Greenwich, eldest sister to Lady Strafford.
(167) The pagoda in the royal garden at Kew.
(168) Lady Frances Shirley.
My dearest Harry, How could you write me such a cold letter as I have just received from you, and beginning Dear sir! Can you be angry with me, for can I be in fault to you? Blamable in ten thousand other respects, may not I almost say I am perfect with regard to you’? Since I was fifteen have I not loved you unalterably? Since I was capable of knowing your merit, has not my admiration been veneration? For what could so much affection and esteem change? Have not your honour, your interest, your safety been ever my first objects? Oh, Harry! if you knew what I have felt and am feeling about you, would you charge me with neglect? If I have seen a person since you went, to whom my first question has not been, “What do you hear of the peace?” you would have reason to blame me. You say I write very seldom: I will tell you what, I should almost be sorry to have you see the anxiety I have expressed about you in letters to every body else. No; I must except Lady Ailesbury, and there is not another on earth who loves you so well, and is so attentive to whatever relates to you.