I sent Lady Ailesbury the “Orpheline Legu`ee:” a poor performance; but the subject made me think she would like to see it. I am over head and ears at Count Caylus’s(915) auction, and have bought half of it for a song—but I am still in greater felicity and luck, having discovered, by mere accident, a portrait of Count Grammont, after having been in search of’ one these fifteen years, and assured there was no such thing. Apropos, I promised you my but besides that there is nobody here that excels in painting skeletons, seriously, their painters are bitter bad, and as much inferior to Reynolds and Ramsay, as Hudson to Vandyck. I had rather stay till my return. Adieu!
(915) The Count de Caylus, member of the Royal Academy of Inscriptions and Belles-lettre, honorary member of the Royal Academy of Painting and Sculpture, and author of the “Recueil d’Antiquit`es Egyptiennes, Etrusques, Grecques, Romaines, et Gauloises,” in seven volumes, 4to., died at Paris in September 1765, in the sixty-third year of his age. He was said to be the protector of the arts and the torment of the artists; for though he assisted them with his advice, and, better still, with his purse, he exacted from them, in return, the greatest deference to his opinion. Gibbon, in his Journal for May, 1763, thus speaks of the Count:—“Je le vis trois ou quatre fois, et je vis un homme simple, uni, bon, et qui me temoignoit une bont`e Extreme. Si je n’en ai point profits, je l’attribue moins `a son charact`ere qu’`a son genre de vie. Il se l`eve de grand matin, court les atteliers des artistes pendant tout le jour, et rentre chez lui `a six heures du soir pour se mettre en robe de chambre, et s’enfermer dans son cabinet. Le moyen de voir ses amis?"-E.
I have not above a note’s worth to say; but as Lord Ossory sets out to-morrow, I just send you a line. The Dauphin, if he is still alive, which some folks doubt, is kept so only by cordials; though the Bishop of Glandeve has assured the Queen that he had God’s own word for his recovery, which she still believes, whether her son is dead or not.
The remonstrance of the Parliament of Paris, on the dissolution of that of Bretagne, is very decent; they are to have an audience next week. They do not touch on Chalotais, because the accusation against him is for treason. What do you think that treason Is? A correspondence with Mr. Pitt, to whom he is made to say, that “Rennes is nearer to London than Paris.” It is now believed that the anonymous letters, supposed to be written by Chalotais, were forged by a Jesuit—those to Mr. Pitt could not have even so good an author.