(672) A landscape executed in worsteds by Lady Ailesbury. It is now at Strawberry Hill.
Sir, I am extremely obliged to you for the favour of your letter, and the enclosed curious one of Sir William Herbert. It would have made a very valuable addition to Lord Herbert’s Life, which is now too late; as I have no hope that Lord Powis will permit any more to be printed. There were indeed so very few, and but half of those for my share, that I have not it in my power to offer you a copy, having disposed of my part. It is really a pity that so singular a curiosity should not be public; but I must not complain, as Lord Powis has been so good as to indulge my request thus far. I am, Sir, Your much obliged humble servant, H. W.
My dear lord, Though I wrote to you but a few days ago, I must trouble you with another line now. Dr. Blanchard, a Cambridge divine, and who has a good paternal estate in Yorkshire, is on his travels, which he performs as a gentleman; and, therefore, wishes not to have his profession noticed. He is very desirous of paying his respects to you, and of being countenanced by you while he stays at Paris. It will much oblige a particular friend of mine, and consequently me, if you will favour him with your attention. Every body experiences your goodness, but in the present case I wish to attribute it a little to my request.
I asked you about two books, ascribed to Madame de Boufflers. if they are hers, I should be glad to know where she found, that Oliver Cromwell took orders and went over to Holland to fight the Dutch. As she has been on the spot where he reigned (which is generally very strong evidence), her countrymen will believe her in spite of our teeth; and Voltaire, who loves all anecdotes that never happened, because they prove the manners of the times, will hurry it into the first history he publishes. I, therefore, enter my caveat against it; not as interested for Oliver’s character, but to save the world from one more fable. I know Madame de Boufflers will attribute this scruple to my partiality to Cromwell (and, to be sure, if we must be ridden, there is some satisfaction when the man knows how to ride). I remember one night at the Duke of Grafton’s, a bust of Cromwell was produced: Madame de Boufflers, without uttering a syllable, gave me the most speaking look imaginable, as much as to Say, Is it possible you can admire this man! Apropos: I am sorry to say the reports do not cease about the separation,(673) and yet I have heard nothing that confirms it.