I am here all in ignorance and rain, and have seen nobody these two days since I returned from Park-place. I do not know whether the mob hissed my Lord Bute at his installation,(241) as they intended, or whether my lord Talbot drubbed them for it. I know nothing of the peace, nor of the Havannah; but I could tell you much of old English engravers, whose lives occupy me at present. On Sunday I am to dine with your prime minister Hamilton; for though I do not seek the world, and am best pleased when quiet here, I do not refuse its invitations, whet) it does not press one to pass above a few hours with it. I have no quarrel to it, when it comes not to me, nor asks me to lie from home. That favour is only granted to the elect, to Greatworth, and a very few more spots. Adieu!
(241) The ceremony of the installation of Prince William and Lord Bute, as knights of the garter, took place at Windsor on the 22d of September.-E.
To my sorrow and your wicked joy, it is a doubt whether Monsieur de Nivernois will shut the temple of Janus. We do not believe him quite so much in earnest as the dove(242) we have sent, who has summoned his turtle to Paris. She sets out the day after to-morrow, escorted, to add gravity to the embassy, by George Selwyn. The stocks don’t mind this journey of a rush, but draw in their horns every day. We can learn nothing of the Havannah, though the axis of which the whole treaty turns. We believe, for we have never seen them, that the last letters thence brought accounts of great loss, especially by the sickness. Colonel Burgoyne(243) has given a little fillip to the Spaniards, and shown them, that though they can take Portugal from the Portuguese, it will not be entirely so easy to wrest it from the English. Lord Pulteney,(244) and my nephew,(245) Lady Waldegrave’s brother, distinguished themselves. I hope your hereditary Prince is recovering of the wounds in his loins; for they say he is to marry Princess Augusta.
Lady Ailesbury has told you, to be sure, that I have been at Park place. Every thing there is in beauty; and, I should think, pleasanter than a campaign in Germany. Your Countess is handsomer than Fame; your daughter improving every day; your plantations more thriving than the poor woods about Marburg and Cassel. Chinese pheasants swarm there. For Lady Cecilia Johnston, I assure you, she sits close upon her egg, and it will not be her fault if she does not hatch a hero. We missed all the glories of the installation, and all the faults, and all the frowning faces there. Not a knight was absent but the lame and the deaf.
Your brother, Lady Hertford, and Lord Beauchamp, are gone from Windsor into Suffolk. Henry,(246) who has the genuine indifference of a Harry Conway, would not stir from Oxford for those pageants. Lord Beauchamp showed me a couple of his letters, which have more natural humour and cleverness than is conceivable. They have the ease and drollery of a man of parts who has lived long in the world—and he is scarce seventeen!