You drive your expectations much too fast, in thinking my Anecdotes of Painting are ready to appear, in demanding three volumes. You will see but two, and it will be February first. True, I have written three, but I question whether the third will be published at all; certainly not soon; it is not a work of merit enough to cloy the town with a great deal at once. My printer ran away, and left a third part of the two first volumes unfinished. I suppose he is writing a tragedy himself, or an epistle to my Lord Melcomb, or a panegyric on my Lord Bute.
Jemmy Pelham(209) is dead, and has left to his servants what little his servants had left him. Lord Ligonier was killed by the newspapers, and wanted to prosecute them; his lawyer told him it was impossible—a tradesman indeed might prosecute, as such a report might affect his credit. “Well, then,” said the old man, “I may prosecute too, for I can prove I have been hurt by this ’report I was going to marry a great fortune, who thought I was but seventy-four; the newspapers have said I am eighty, and she will not have me.”
Lord Charlemont’s Queen Elizabeth I know perfectly; he outbid me for it; is his villa finished? I am well pleased with the design in Chambers. I have been my out-of-town with Lord Waldecrave, Selwyn, and Williams; it was melancholy the missing poor Edgecombe, who was constantly of the Christmas and Easter parties. Did you see the charming picture Reynolds painted for me of him, Selwyn, and Gilly Williams? It is by far one of the best things he has executed. He has just finished a pretty whole-length of Lady Elizabeth Keppel,(210) in the bridemaid’s habit, sacrificing to Hymen.
If the Spaniards land in Ireland, shall you make the campaign? No. no, come back to England; you and I will not be patriots, till the Gauls are in the city, and we must take our great chairs and our fasces, and be knocked on the head with decorum in St. James’s market. Good night!
P. S. I am told that they bind in vellum better at Dublin than any where; pray bring me one book of their binding, as well as it can be done, and I will not mind the price. If Mr. Bourk’s history appear,-, before your return, let it be that.
(209) The Hon. James Pelham, of Crowhurst, Sussex. He had been principal secretary to Frederick Prince of Wales, and for nearly forty years secretary to the several lords-chamberlain.-E.
(210) She was daughter of the Earl of Albemarle, and married to the Marquis of Tavistock.
We have had as many mails due from Ireland as you had from us. I have at last received a line from you; it tells me you are well, which I am always glad to hear; I cannot say you tell me much more. My health is so little subject to alteration, and so preserved by temperance, that it is not worth repetition; thank God you may conclude it is good, if I do not say to the contrary.