I am much beholden to you, dear Sir, for your remarks; they shall have their due place whenever the work proceeds to a second edition, for that the nature of it as a record will ensure to it. A few of your notes demand a present answer: the Bishop of Imola pronounced the nuptial benediction at the marriage of Henry VII., which made me suppose him the person represented.(223)
Burnet, who was more a judge of characters than statues, mentions the resemblance between Tiberius and Charles ii.; but, as far as countenances went, there could not be a more ridiculous prepossession; Charles had a long face, with very strong lines, and a narrowish brow; Tiberius a very square face, and flat forehead, with features rather delicate in proportion. I have examined this imaginary likeness, and see no kind of foundation for it. It is like Mr. Addison’s travels, of which it was so truly said, he might have composed them without stirring out of England. There are a kind of naturalists who have sorted out the qualities of the mind, and allotted particular turns of features and complexions to them. It would be much easier to prove that every form has been endowed with every vice. One has heard much of the vigour of Burnet himself; yet I dare to say, he did not think himself like to Charles ii.
I am grieved, Sir, to hear that your eyes suffer; take care of them; nothing can replace the satisfaction they afford: one should hoard them, as the only friend that will not be tired of one when one grows old, and when one should least choose to depend on others for entertainment. I most sincerely wish you happiness and health in that and every other instance.
(223) In the picture by Mabuse of the marriage of Henry VII. Whatever was Mr. Zouch’s correction (in which Mr. Walpole seems to acquiesce), no alteration seem,- to have been made in the passage about the Bishop of Imola. This curious picture is at Strawberry Hill, and should be in the Royal Collection.-C.
You may fancy what you -will, but the eyes of all the world are not fixed upon Ireland. Because you have a little virtue, and a lord-lieutenant(224) that refuses four thousand pounds a-year, and a chaplain(225) of a lord-lieutenant that declines a huge bishopric, and a secretary(226) whose eloquence can convince a nation of blunderers, you imagine that nothing is talked of but the castle of Dublin. In the first place, virtue may sound its own praises, but it never is praised; and in the next place, there are other feats besides self-denials; and for eloquence, we overflow with it. Why, the single eloquence of Mr. Pitt, like an annihilated star, can shine many months after it has set. I tell you it has conquered Martinico.(227) If you will not believe me, read the Gazette; read Moncton’s letter; there is more martial spirit