(607) On this occasion, Lord Hertford, the Duke of Devonshire, and Mr. Horace Walpole (each without the knowledge of the others) pressed General Conway to accept from them an income equivalent to what he had lost.-C.
(608) Within little more than a year Mr. Conway was secretary of state, and leader of the House of Commons.-E.
I rejoice that you feel your loss so little. That you act with dignity and propriety does not surprise me. To have you behave in character, and with character, is my first of all wishes; for then it will not be in the power of man to make you unhappy. Ask yourself—is there a man in England with whom you would change character? Is there a man in England who would not change with you? Then think how little they have taken away!
For me, I shall certainly conduct myself as you prescribe. Your friend shall say and do nothing unworthy of your friend. You govern me in every thing but one: I mean, the disposition I have told you I shall make. Nothing can alter that but a great change in your fortune. In another point, you partly misunderstood me. That I shall explain hereafter.
I shall certainly meet you here on Sunday, and very cheerfully. We may laugh at a world in which nothing of us will remain long but our characters. Yours eternally.
I wrote a letter some days ago from the country, which. I am sorry to find, does not set out till to-,day, having been given to M. des Ardrets by Horace Walpole, as it was one I did not choose to send by the post just at this time, though God knows there was less in it, I think, than almost any but myself would have said on such an occasion. I am sorry it did not go, as it must seem very strange to you to hear on that subject from any body before me: had it been possible, at the same time, I should have wished not to write to you upon it at all. It is a satisfaction, in most situations, certainly, to communicate even one’s griefs to those friends to whom one can do it in confidence, but it is a pain where one thinks it must give them any; and I assure you, I feel this sincerely from the share I know your goodness will take in this, upon my account; as well as that which, in some respects, it may give you on your own: as ’the particular distinction with which I am honoured beyond so many of my brother officers who have so much more directly, declaredly, and long been in real opposition to the ministry, has great unkindness in it to all those friends of mine who have been acting in their support. However, I would not, on any account, that you or any of them should, for my sake, be drove a single step beyond what is for their actual interest and inclination. Nay,