I have had much conversation with your brother James, and intend to have more with your eldest, about your nephew. He is a sweet boy, and has all the goodness of dear Gal. and dear you in his countenance. They have sent him to Cambridge under that interested hog the Bishop of Chester,(66) and propose to keep him there three years. Their apprehension seems to be of his growing a fine gentleman. I could not help saying, “Why, is he not to be one?” My wish is to have him with you—what an opportunity of his learning the world and business under such a tutor and such a parent! but they think he will dress and run into diversions. I tried to convince them that of all spots upon earth dress is least necessary at Florence, and where one can least divert oneself. I am answered with the necessity of Latin and mathematics-the one soon forgot, the other never got to any purpose. I cannot bear his losing the advantage of being brought up by you, with all the advantages of such a situation, and where he May learn in perfection living languages, never attained after twenty. I am so earnest on this, for I doat on him for dear Gal.’s sake, that I will insist to rudeness on his remaining at Cambridge but two years; and before that time you shall write to second My motions.
The Parliament is up, and news are gone out of town: I expect none but what we receive from Germany. As to the Pretender, his life or death makes no impression here when a real King is so soon forgot, how should an imaginary one be remembered? Besides, since Jacobites have found the way to St. James’s, it is grown so much the fashion to worship Kings, that people don’t send their adorations so far as Rome. He at Kensington is likely long to outlast his old rival. The spring is far from warm, yet he wears a silk coat and has left off fires.
Thank you for the entertaining history of the Pope and the Genoese. I am flounced again into building—a round tower, gallery, cloister, and chapel, all starting up—if I am forced to run away by ruining myself, I will come to Florence, steal your nephew, and bring him with me. Adieu!
(65) The following verses are said to have been found in Lord Ferrers’s apartment in the Tower:
“In doubt I lived, in doubt I die,
Yet stand Prepared the vast abyss to try.
And undismay’d expect eternity!"-E.
(66) Dr. Edmund Keene, brother of Sir Benjamin, and afterwards Bishop of Ely.