Arlington Street, May 31.
Well! I saw Hinchinbrook this morning. Considering it is in Huntingdonshire, the situation is not so ugly nor melancholy as I expected; but I do not conceive what provoked so many of your ancestors to pitch their tents in that triste country, unless the Capulets(299) loved fine prospects. The house of Hinchinbrook is most comfortable, and just what I like; old, spacious, irregular, yet not vast or forlorn. I believe much has been done since you saw it—it now only wants an apartment, for in no part of it are there above two chambers together. The furniture has much simplicity, not to say too much; some portraits tolerable, none I think fine. When this lord gave Blackwood the head of the Admiral’ that I have now, he left himself not one so good. The head he kept is very bad: the whole-length is fine, except the face of it. There is another of the Duke of Cumberland by Reynolds, the colours of which are as much changed as the original is to the proprietor. The garden is wondrous small, the park almost smaller, and no appearance of territory. The whole has a quiet decency that seems adapted to the Admiral after his retirement, or to Cromwell before his exaltation. I returned time enough for the opera; observing all the way I came the proof of the duration of this east wind, for on the west side the blossoms were so covered with dust one could not distinguish them; on the eastern hand the hedges were white in all the pride of May. Good night!
Wednesday, June 1.
My letter is a perfect diary. There has been a sad alarm in the kingdom of white satin and muslin. The Duke of Richmond was seized last night with a sore throat and fever; and though he is much better to-day, the masquerade of to-morrow night is put off till Monday. Many a Queen of Scots, from sixty to sixteen, has been ready to die of the fright. Adieu once more! I think I can have nothing more to say before the post goes out to-morrow.
(295) The seat of the Duke of Manchester.-E.
(296) Sister of the Duke of Manchester.-E.
(297) Queen Catherine of Arragon, after her divorce from Henry the Eighth, resided some time in this castle, and died there in 1536.-E.
(298) The seat of the Earl of Sandwich.-E.
(299) As opposing in every thing the Montagus.