Dear Sir, I must never send you trifles; for you always make me real presents in return. The beauty of the coin surprises me. Mr. White must be rich, when such are his duplicates. I am acquainted with him, and have often intended to visit his collection; but it is one of those things one never does, because one always may. I give you a thousand thanks in return, and what are not worth more, my own print, Lord Herbert’s Life, (this is curious, though it cost me little,) and some orange flowers. I wish you had mentioned the latter sooner: I have had an amazing profusion this year, and given them away to the right and left by handfuls. These are all I could collect to-day, as I was coming to town; but you shall have more if you want them.
I consign these things as you ordered — I wish the print may arrive without being rumpled: it is difficult to convey mezzotintos; but if this is spoiled you shall have another.
If I make any stay in France, which I do not think I shall, above six weeks at most, you shall certainly hear from me but I am a bad commissioner for searching you out a hermitage. It is too much against my interest- and I had much rather find you one in the neighbourhood of Strawberry. Adieu!
As my letters are seldom proper for the post now, I begin them at any time, and am forced to trust to chance for a conveyance. This difficulty renders my news very stale: but what can I do? There does not happen enough at this season of’ the year to fill a mere gazette. I should be more sorry to have you think me silent too long. You must be so good as to recollect, when there is a large interval between my letters, that I have certainly one ready in my writing-box, and only wait for a messenger. I hope to send this by Lord Coventry. For the next three weeks, indeed, I shall not be able to write, as I go in a few days with your brother to Chatsworth and Wentworth Castle.
I am under more distress about my visit to you—but I will tell you the truth. As I think the Parliament Will not meet before Christmas, though they now talk of it for November, I would quit our Politics for a few weeks; but the expense frightens me, which did not use to be one of my fears. I cannot but expect, knowing the enemies I have, that the treasury may distress me.(633) I had laid by a little sum which I intended to bawble away at Paris; but I may have very serious occasion for it. The recent example of Lord Holderness,(634) Who has had every rag seized at the Custom-house, alarms my present prudence. I cannot afford to buy even clothes, which I may lose in six weeks. These considerations dispose me to wait till I see a little farther into this chaos. You know enough of the present actors in the political drama to believe that the present system is not a