You take my philosophy very kindly, as it was meant; but I suppose you smile a little in your sleeve to hear me turn moralist. Yet why should not I? Must every absurd young man prove a foolish old one? Not that I intend, when the latter term is quite arrived, to profess preaching; nor should, I believe, have talked so gravely to you, if your situation had not made me grave. Till the campaign is ended, I shall be in no humour to smile. For the war, when it will be over, I have no idea. The peace is a jack o’ lanthorn that dances before one’s eyes, is never approached, and at best seems ready to lead some follies into a woful quagmire.
As your brother was in town, and I had my intelligence from him, I concluded you would have the same, and therefore did not tell you of this last resolution, which has brought Mr. Fox again upon the scene. I have been in town but once since; yet learned enough to confirm the opinion I had conceived, that the building totters, and that this last buttress will but push on its fall. Besides the clamorous opposition already encamped, the world talks of another, composed of names not so often found in a mutiny. What think you of the great Duke,(254) and the little Duke,(255) and the old Duke,(256) and the Derbyshire Duke,(257) banded together against the favourite?(258) If so, it proves the Court, as the late Lord G * * * wrote to the mayor of Litchfield, will have a majority in every thing but numbers. However, my letter is a week old before I write it: things may have changed since last Tuesday. Then the prospect was des plus gloomy. Portugal at the eve of being conquered—Spain preferring a diadem to the mural crown of the Havannah—a squadron taking horse for Naples, to see whether King Carlos has any more private bowels than public, whether he is a better father than brother. If what I heard yesterday be true, that the Parliament is to be put off till the 24th, it does not look as if they were ready in the green-room, and despised catcalls.
You bid me send you the flower of brimstone, the best things published in this season of outrage. I should not have waited for orders, if I had met with the least tolerable morsel. But this opposition ran stark mad at once, cursed, swore, called names, and has not been one minute cool enough to have a grain of wit. Their prints are gross, their papers scurrilous: indeed the authors abuse one another more than any body else. I have not seen a single ballad or epigram. They are as seriously dull as if the controversy was religious. I do not take in a paper of either side; and being very indifferent, the only way of being impartial, they shall not make me pay till they make me laugh. I am here quite’ alone, and shall stay a fortnight longer, unless the Parliament prorogued lengthens my holidays. I