(23) Now first collected.
(24) “Fragments of Ancient Poetry, collected in the Highlands of Scotland, and translated from the Gaelic, or Erse Language,” the production of James Macpherson; the first presentation to the world of that literary novelty, which was afterwards to excite so much discussion and dissension in the literary world.-E.
(25) Dr. Johnson was pretty much of Walpole’s opinion. “Of The Fleece,” he says, “which never became popular, and is now universally neglected, I can say little that is likely to call it to attention. The woolcomber and the poet appear to me such discordant natures, that an attempt to bring them together is to couple the serpent with the fowl."-E.
herculaneum is arrived; Caserta(26) is arrived: what magnificence You Send me! My dear Sir, I can but thank you, and thank you— oh! yes, I can do more; greedy creature, I can put you in mind, that you must take care to send me the subsequent volumes of Herculaneum as they appear, if ever they do appear, which I suppose is doubtful now that King Carlos(27) is gone to Spain. One thing pray observe, that I don’t beg these scarce books of you, as a bribe to spur me on to obtain for you your extra-extraordinaries. Mr. Chute and I admire Caserta; and he at least is no villanous judge of architecture; some of our English travellers abuse it; but there are far from striking faults: the general idea seems borrowed from Inigo Jones’s Whitehall, though without the glaring uglinesses, which I believe have been lent to Inigo; those plans, I think, were supplied by Lord Burlington, Kent, and others, to very imperfect sketches of the author. Is Caserta finished and furnished? Were not the treasures of Herculaneum to be deposited there?
I am in the vein of drawing upon your benevolence, and shall proceed. Young Mr. Pitt,(28) nephew of the Pitt, is setting out for Lisbon with Lord Kinnoul, and will proceed through Granada to Italy, with his friend Lord Strathmore;(29) not the son, I believe, of that poor mad Lady Strathmore(30) whom you remember at Florence. The latter is much commended; I don’t know him: Mr. Pitt is not only a most ingenious Young man, but a most amiable one: he has already acted in the most noble style-I don’t mean that he took a quarter of Quebec, or invaded a bit of France, or has spoken in the House of Commons better than DemostheneS’S nephew: but he has an odious father, and has insisted on glorious cuttings off of entails on himself, that his father’s debts might be paid and his sisters provided for. My own lawyer,(31) who knew nothing of my being acquainted with him, spoke to me of him in raptures—no small merit in a lawyer to comprehend virtue in cutting off an entail when it was not to cheat; but indeed this lawyer was recommended to me by your dear brother