The changes I should think now would be few. They are not yet known; but I am content already, and shall go to Strawberry to-morrow, where I shall be happy to receive you and Mr. John any day after Sunday next, the twenty-seventh, and for as many days as ever you will afford me. Let me know your mind by the return of the post. Strawberry is in perfection: the verdure has all the bloom of spring: the orange-trees are loaded with blossoms, the gallery all sun and gold, Mrs. Clive all sun and vermilion— in short, come away to Yours ever.
P. S. I forgot to tell you, and I hate to steal and not tell, that my ode is imitated from Fontaine.
(967) Mr. Pitt was gazetted, on the 30th of July, Viscount Pitt, of Burton Pynsent, and Earl of Chatham. The same gazette contained the notification of his appointment as lord privy seal in the room of the Duke of Newcastle. “What shall I say to you about the ministry?” writes Gray to Wharton: “I am as angry as a common-councilman of London about my Lord Chatham, but a little more patient, and will hold my tongue till the end of the year. In the mean time, I do mutter in secret, and to you, that to quit the House of Commons, his natural strength, to sap his own popularity and grandeur, (which no man but himself could have done,) by assuming a foolish title; and to hope that he could win by it, and attach him to a court that hate him, and will dismiss him as soon as ever they dare, was the weakest thing that ever was done by so great a man. Had it not been for this, I should have rejoiced at the breach between him and Lord Temple, and at the union between him and the Duke of Grafton and Mr. Conway: but patience! we shall see!” Works, vol. iv. p. 83.-E.
Dear Sir, Your set of literary friends are what a set of literary men are apt to be, exceedingly absurd. They hold a consistory to consult how to argue with a madman; and they think it very necessary for your character to give them the pleasure of seeing Rousseau exposed, not because he has provoked you, but them. If Rousseau prints, you must; but I certainly would not till he does.(969)
I cannot be precise as to the time of my writing the King of Prussia’s letter; but I do assure you with the utmost truth that it was several days before you left Paris, and before Rousseau’s arrival there, of which I can give you a strong proof; for I not only suppressed the letter while you stayed there, out of delicacy to you, but it was the reason why, out of delicacy to myself, I did not go to see him, as you often proposed to me, thinking it wrong to go and make a cordial visit to a man, with a letter in my pocket to laugh at him. You are at full liberty, dear Sir, to make use of what I say in your justification, either to Rousseau or any body else. I should be very sorry to have you blamed on my account;