For the faults of impression, they were owing to the knavery of a printer, who, when I had corrected the sheets, amused me with revised proofs, and never printed off the whole number, and then ran away. This accounts, too, for the difference of the ink in various sheets, and for some other blemishes; though there are still enough of my own, which I must not charge on others.
Ubaldini’s book I have not, and shall be pleased to see it; but I cannot think of robbing your collection, and am amply obliged by the offer. The Anecdotes of Horatio Palavacini are extremely entertaining.
In an Itinerary of the late Mr. Smart Lethiullier, I met the very tomb of Gainsborough this winter that you mention; and, to be secure, sent to Lincoln for an exact draught of it. But what vexed me then, and does still, is, that by the defect at the end of the inscription, one cannot be certain whether he lived in CCC. or CCCC. as another C might have been there. Have you any corroborating circumstance, Sir, to affix his existence to 1300 more than 1400? Besides, I don’t know any proof of his having been architect of the church: his epitaph only calls him Caementarius, which, I suppose, means mason.
I have observed, since my book was published, what you mention of the tapestry in Laud’s trial; yet as the Journals were by authority, and certainly cannot be mistaken, I have concluded that Hollar engraved his print after the restoration. Mr. Wight, clerk of the House of Lords, says, that Oliver placed them in the House of Commons. I don’t know on what grounds he says so. I am, Sir, with great gratitude, etc.
(232) Anecdotes of Painting.
I am diverted with your anger at old Richard. Can you really suppose that I think it any trouble to frank a few covers for you? Had I been with you, I should have cured you and your whole family in two nights with James’s powder. If you have any remains of the disorder, let me beg you to take seven or eight grains when you go to bed: if you have none, shall I send you some? For my own part, I am released -again, though I have been tolerably bad, and one day had the gout for several hours in my head. I do not like such speedy returns. I have been so much confined that I could not wait on Mrs. Osborn, and I do not take it unkindly that she will not let me have the prints without fetching them. I met her, that is, passed her, t’other day as she was going to Bushy, and was sorry to see her look much older.