I know nothing of news and of the world, for I go to Albemarle-Street early in the morning, and don’t come home till late at night. Young Mr. Pitt has been dying of a fever in Bedfordshire. The Bishop of Carlisle,(269) whom I have appointed visiter of Strawberry, is gone down to him. You will be much disappointed if you expect to find the gallery near finished. They threaten me with three months before the gilding can be begun. twenty points are at a stand by my present confinement, and I have a melancholy prospect of being forced to carry my niece thither the next time I go. The Duc de Nivernois, in return for a set of the Strawberry editions, has sent me four seasons, which, I conclude, he thought good, but they shall pass their whole round in London, for they have not even the merit of being badly old enough for Strawberry. Mr. Bentley’s epistle to Lord Melcomb has been published in a magazine. It has less wit by far than I expected from him, and to the full as bad English. The thoughts are old Strawberry phrases; so are not the panegyrics. Here are six lines written extempore by Lady Temple, on Lady Mary Coke, easy and genteel, and almost true:
She sometimes laughs, but never loud;
She’s handsome too, but somewhat proud:
At court she bears away the belle;
She dresses fine, and figures well:
With decency she’s gay and airy;
Who can this be but Lady Mary?
There has been tough doings in Parliament about the tax on cider; and in the Western counties the discontent is so great, that if Mr. Wilkes will turn patriot-hero, or patriot-incendiary in earnest, and put himself at their head, he may obtain a rope of martyrdom before the summer is over. Adieu! I tell you my sorrows, because, if I escape them, I am sure nobody will rejoice more.
(269) Dr. Charles Lyttelton, consecrated Bishop of Carlisle in 1762, in the room of Dr. Osbaldiston, translated to the see of London.-E.
Amidst all my own grief, and all the distress which I have this moment left, I cannot forget you, who have so long been my steady and invariable friend. I cannot leave it to newspapers and correspondents to tell you my loss. Lord Waldegrave died to-day. Last night he had some glimmerings of hope. The most desponding of the faculty flattered us a little. He himself joked with the physicians, and expressed himself in this engaging manner: asking what day of the week it was; they told him Thursday: “Sure,” said he, “it is Friday.” “No, my lord, indeed it is Thursday.” “Well,” said he, “see what a rogue this distemper makes one; I want to steal nothing but a day.” By the help of opiates, with which, for two or three days, they had numbed his sufferings, he rested well. This morning he had no worse symptoms. I told Lady Waldegrave, that as no