When your ladyship has hung up all your trophies, I will come and make you a visit. There is another ingredient I hope not quite disagreeable that Mr. Hervey has brought with him, un-Lacedaemonian too, but admitted among the other vices of our system. If besides glory and riches they have brought us peace, I will make a bonfire myself, though it should be in the mayoralty of that virtuous citizen Mr. Beckford. Adieu, Madam!
(248) General William Hervey, youngest son of Lady Hervey; who had just returned from the Havannah.
(249) Lady Anne Lenox, Countess of Albemarle, had three sons present at the taking of the Havannah. The eldest, Lord Albemarle, commanded the land forces; the second, afterwards Lord Keppel, was then captain of a man of war; and the third was colonel of a regiment.
I am concerned to hear you have been so much out of order, but should rejoice your sole command(250) disappointed you, if this late cannonading business(251) did not destroy all my little prospects. Can one believe the French negotiators are sincere, when their marshals are so false? What vexes me more is to hear you seriously tell your brother that you are always unlucky, and lose all opportunities of fighting. How can you be such a child? You cannot, like a German, love fighting for its own sake. No: you think of the mob of London, who, if you had taken Peru, would forget you the first lord mayor’s day, or for the first hyena that comes to town. How can one build on virtue and on fame too? When do they ever go together? In my passion, I could almost wish you were as worthless and as great as the King of Prussia! If conscience is a punishment, is not it a reward too? Go to that silent tribunal, and be satisfied with its sentence.
I have nothing new to tell you. The Havannah is more likely to break off the peace than to advance it.(252) We are not in a humour to give up the world; anza, are much more disposed to conquer the rest of it. We shall have some commanding here, I believe, if we sign the peace. Mr. Pitt, from the bosom of his retreat, has made Beckford mayor. The Duke of Newcastle, if not taken in again, will probably end his life as he began it-at the head of a mob. Personalities and abuse, public and private, increase to the most outrageous degree, and yet the town is at the emptiest. You may guess what will be the case in a month. I do not see at all into the storm: I do not mean that there will not be a great majority to vote any thing; but there are times when even majorities cannot do all they are ready to do. Lord Bute has certainly great luck, which is something in politics, whatever it is in logic: but whether peace or war, I would not give him much for the place he will have this day twelvemonth. Adieu! The watchman goes past one in the morning; and as I have nothing better than reflections and conjectures to send you, I may as well go to bed.