I hope I have done well for you, and that you will be content with the execution of your commission. I have bought you two pictures. No. 14, which is by no means a good picture, but it went so cheap and looked so old-fashionably, that I ventured to give eighteen shillings for it. The other is very pretty, no, 17; two sweet children, undoubtedly by Sir Peter Lely. This costs you four pounds ten shillings; what shall I do with them— how convey them to you? The picture of Lord Romney, which you are so fond of, was not in this sale, but I suppose remains with Lady Sidney. I bought for myself much the best picture in the auction, a fine Vandyke of the famous Lady Carlisle and her sister Leicester in one piece: it cost me nine-and-twenty guineas.
In general the pictures did not go high, which I was glad of; that the vulture, who sells them, may not be more enriched than could be helped. There was a whole-length of Sir Henry Sidney, which I should have liked, but it went for fifteen guineas. Thus ends half the glory of Penshurst! Not one of the miniatures was sold.
I go to Strawberry to-morrow for a week. When do you come to Frogmore? I wish to know, because I shall go soon to Park-place, and would not miss the visit you have promised me. Adieu! Yours ever, H.W.
My dear lord, I am just come home, and find a letter from you, which gives me too much pain(609) to let me resist answering it directly though past one in the morning, as I go out of town early to-morrow.
I must begin with telling You, let me feel what I will from it, how much I admire it. It is equal to the difficulty of your situation, and expressed with all the feeling which must possess you. I will show it your brother, as there is nothing I would not and will not, do to preserve the harmony and friendship which has so much distinguished your whole lives.
You have guessed, give me leave to say, at my wishes, rather than answered to any thing I have really expressed. The truth was, I had no right to deliver any opinion on so important a step as you have taken, without being asked. Had you consulted me, which certainly was not proper for you to do, it would have been with the utmost reluctance that I should have brought myself to utter my sentiments, and only then, if I had been persuaded that friendship exacted it from me; for it would have been a great deal for me to have taken upon myself: it would have been a step, either way, liable to subject me to reproach from you in your own mind, though you would have been too generous to have blamed me in any other way. Now, my dear lord, do me the justice to say, that the part I have acted was the most proper and most honourable one I could take. Did I, have I dropped a syllable, endeavouring to bias your judgment one way or the other? My constant language has been, that I could not think, when a younger brother had taken a part disagreeable to his elder, and totally opposite, even without consulting him, that the elder, was under any obligation to relinquish his own opinion, and adopt the younger’s. In my heart I undoubtedly wished, that even in party your union should not be dissolved; for that Union would be the strength of both.