You are grown so good, and I delight so much in your letters when you please to write them, that though it is past midnight, and I am to go out of town tomorrow morning, I must thank you.
I shall put your letter to Rheims into the foreign post with a proper penny, and it will go much safer and quicker than if I sent it to Lord Hertford, for his letters lie very often till enough are assembled to compose a jolly caravan. I love your good brother John, as I always do, for keeping your birthday; I, who hate ceremonious customs, approve of what I know comes so much from the heart as all he and you do and say. The General surely need not ask leave to enclose letters to me.
There is neither news, nor any body to make it, but the clergy, who are all gaping after or about the Irish mitre,(725) which your old antagonist has quitted. Keene has refused it; Newton hesitates, and they think will not accept it; Ewer pants for it, and many of the bench I believe do every thing but pray for it. Goody Carlisle hopes for Worcester if it should be vacated, but I believe would not dislike to be her Grace.
This comes with your muff, my Anecdotes of Painting, the fine pamphlet on libels, and the Castle of Otranto, which came out to-day. All this will make some food for your fireside. Since you will not come and see me before I go, I hope not to be gone before you come, though I am not quite in charity with you about it. Oh! I had forgot; don’t lend your Lord Herbert, it will grow as dirty as the street; and as there are so few, and They have been so lent about, and so dirtied, the few clean copies will be very valuable. What signifies whether they read it or not? there will be a new bishop, or a new separation, or a new something or other, that will do just as well, before you can convey your copy to them; and seriously, if you lose it, I have not another to give you; and I would fain have you keep my editions together, as you had the complete set. As I want to make you an economist of my books, I will inform you that this second’ set of Anecdotes sells for three guineas. Adieu!