If it had not been for this ball, I don’t know how I should have furnished a decent letter. Pamphlets on Mr. Pitt are the whole conversation, and none of them worth sending cross the water: at least I, who am said to write some of them, think so; by which you may perceive I am not much flattered with the imputation. There must be new personages at least, before I write on any side. Mr. Pitt and the Duke of Newcastle! I should as soon think of informing the world that Miss Chudleigh is no vestal. You will like better to see some words which Mr. Gray has writ, at Miss Speed’s request, to an old air of Geminiani: the thought is from the French.
Thyrsis, when we parted, swore
Ere the spring he would return.
Ah! what means yon violet flower,
And the buds that deck the thorn?
’Twas the lark that upward sprung,
’Twas the nightingale that sung.
Idle notes! untimely green!
Why this unavailing haste?
Western gales and skies serene
Speak not always winter past.
Cease my doubts, my fears to move;
Spare the Honour of my love.
Adieu, Madam, your most faithful servant.
(201) Lady Cecilia Johnston.
(202) lady Mary Coke.
I am much obliged to you, Sir, for the specimen of letters(204) you have been so good as to send me. The composition is touching, and the printing very beautiful. I am still more pleased with the design of the work; nothing gives so just an idea of an age as genuine letters; nay, history waits for its last seal from them. I have an immense collection in my hands, chiefly of the very time on which you are engaged: but they are not my own.
If I had received your commands in summer when I was at Strawberry Hill, and at leisure, I might have picked you out something to your purpose; at present I have not time, from Parliament and business, to examine them: yet to show you, Sir, that I have great desire to oblige you and contribute to your work, I send you the following singular paper, which I have obtained from Dr. Charles lyttelton, Dean of Exeter, whose name I will beg you to mention in testimony of his kindness, and as evidence for the authenticity of the letter, which he copied from the original in the hands of Bishop Tanner, in the year 1733. It is from Anne of Denmark, to the Marquis of Buckingham.
“My kind dogge, if I have any power or credit with you, let me have a trial of it at this time, in dealing sincerely and earnestly with the King, that Sir Walter Raleigh’s life may not be called in question. If you do it, so that the success answer my expectation, assure yourself that I will take it extraordinarily kindly at your hands, and rest one that wisheth you well, and desires you to continue still as you have been, a true servant to your master.”