(313) Of Ailesbury.
(314) Miss Anne Seymour Conway.
(315) Elizabeth Rich, second wife of George Lord Lyttelton.
My dear lord, I have waited in hopes that the world would do something worth telling you: it will not, and I cannot stay any longer without asking you how you do, and hoping you have not quite forgot me. It has rained such deluges, that I had some thoughts of turning my gallery into an ark, and began to pack up a pair of bantams, a pair of cats, in short, a pair of every living creature about my house: but it is grown fine at last, and the workmen quit my gallery to-day without hoisting a sail in it. I know nothing upon earth but what the ancient ladies in my neighbourhood knew threescore years ago; I write merely to pay you my pepper-corn of affection, and to inquire after my lady, who I hope is perfectly well. A longer letter would not have half the merit: a line in return will however repay all the merit I can possibly have to one to whom I am so much obliged.
The most important piece of news I have to tell you is, that the gallery is finished; that is, the workmen have quitted it. For chairs and tables, not one is arrived yet. Well, how you will tramp up and down in it! Methinks I wish you would. We are in the perfection of beauty; verdure itself was never green till this summer, thanks to the deluges of rain. Our complexion used to be mahogany in August. Nightingales and roses indeed are out of blow, but the season is celestial. I don’t know whether we have not even had an earthquake to-day. Lady Buckingham, Lady Waldegrave, the Bishop of’ Exeter, and Mrs. Keppel, and the little Hotham dined here; between six and seven we were sitting in the great parlour; I sat in the window looking at the river: on a sudden I saw it violently agitated, and, as it were, lifted up and down by a thousand hands. I called out, they all ran to the window; it continued; we hurried into the garden, and all saw the Thames in the same violent commotion for I suppose a hundred yards. We fancied at first there must be some barge rope; not one was in sight. It lasted in this manner, and at the farther end, towards Teddington, even to dashing. It