Sir, On coming to town, I did myself the honour of waiting on you and Lady Hester Pitt: and though I think myself extremely distinguished by your obliging note, I shall be sorry for having given you the trouble of writing it, if it did not lend me a very pardonable opportunity of saying what I much wished to express, but thought myself too private a person, and of too little consequence, to take the liberty to say. In short, Sir, I was eager to congratulate you on the lustre you have thrown on this country; I wished to thank you for the security you have fixed to me of enjoying the happiness I do enjoy. You have placed England in a situation in which it never saw itself—a task the more difficult, as you had not to improve, but recover.
In a trifling book, written two or three years ago,(4) I said (speaking of the name in the world the most venerable to me), “sixteen unfortunate and inglorious years since his removal have already written his eulogium.” It is but justice to you, Sir, to add, that that period ended when your administration began.
Sir, do not take this for flattery: there is nothing in your power to give that I would accept; nay, there is nothing I could envy, but what I believe you would scarce offer me—your glory. This may seem very vain and insolent: but consider, Sir, what a monarch is a man who wants nothing! consider how he looks down on one who is only the most illustrious man in England! But Sir, freedoms apart, insignificant as I am, probably it must be some satisfaction to a great mind like yours to receive incense, when you are sure there is no flattery blended with it; and what must any Englishman be that could give you a moment’s satisfaction and would hesitate?
Adieu! Sir. I am unambitious, I am uninterested, but I am vain. You have, by your notice, uncanvassed, unexpected, and at a period when you certainly could have the least temptation to stoop down to me, flattered me in the most agreeable manner. If there could arrive the moment when you could be nobody, and I any body, you cannot imagine how grateful I would be. In the mean time, permit me to be, as I have been ever since I had the honour of knowing you, Sir, your most obedient humble servant.
(3) Now first collected.
(4) His “Catalogue of Royal and Noble Authors."-E.
here is a victory more than I promised you! For these thirteen days we have been in the utmost impatience for news. The Brest fleet had got out; Duff, with three ships, was in the utmost danger—Ireland ached—Sir Edward Hawke had notice in ten hours, and sailed after Conflans—Saunders arrived the next moment from Quebec, heard it, and sailed after Hawke, without landing his glory. No express arrived, storms blow; we knew not what to think. This morning at four we heard that,