(237) At the taking of which Mr. Conway had assisted.
My dear lord, As you have correspondents of better authority in town, I don’t pretend to send you great events, and I know no small ones. Nobody talks of any thing under a revolution. That in Russia alarms me,.lest Lady Mary should fall in love with the Czarina, who has deposed her Lord Coke, and set out for Petersburgh. We throw away a whole summer in writing Britons and North Britons; the Russians change sovereigns faster than Mr. Wilkes can choose a motto for a paper. What years were spent here in controversy on the abdication of King James, and the legitimacy of the Pretender! Commend me to the Czarina. They doubted, that is, her husband did, whether her children were of genuine blood-royal. She appealed to the Preobazinski guards, excellent casuists; and, to prove Duke Paul heir to the crown, assumed it herself. The proof was compendious and unanswerable.
I trust you know that Mr. Conway has made a figure by taking the castle of Waldeck. There has been another action to Prince Ferdinand’s advantage, but no English were engaged.
You tantalize me by talking of the verdure of Yorkshire; we have not had a teacupfull of rain till to-day for these six weeks. Corn has been reaped that never wet its lips; not a blade of grass; the leaves yellow and falling as in the end of October. In short, Twickenham is rueful; I don’t believe Westphalia looks more barren. Nay, we are forced to fortify ourselves too. Hanworth was broken open last night, though the family was all there. Lord Vere lost a silver standish, an old watch, and his writing-box with fifty pounds in it. They broke it open in the park, but missed a diamond ring which was found, and the telescope, which by the weight of the case they had fancied full of money. Another house in the middle of Sunbury has had the same fate. I am mounting cannon on my battlements.
Your chateau, I hope, proceeds faster than mine. The carpenters are all associated for increase of wages; I have had but two men at work these five weeks. You know, to be sure, that Lady Mary Wortley cannot live. Adieu, my dear Lord!
Sir, As I had been dilatory in accepting your kind offer of coming hither, I proposed it as soon as I returned. As we are so burnt, and as my workmen have disappointed me, I am not quite sorry that I had not the pleasure of seeing you this week. Next week I am obliged to be in town on business. If you please, therefore, we will postpone our meeting till the first of September; by which time, I flatter myself we shall be green, and I shall be able to show you my additional apartment to more advantage. Unless you forbid me, I shall expect you, Sir, the very beginning of next month. In the mean time, I will only thank you for the obliging and curious notes you have sent me, which will make a great figure in my second edition.