I wrote to You last post on the very day I ought to have received yours; but being at Strawberry, did not get it in time. Thank you for your offer of a doe; you know when I dine at home here, it is quite alone, and venison frightens my little meal; yet, as half of it is designed for dimidium animae meae Mrs. Clive (a pretty round half), I must not refuse it; venison will make such a figure at her Christmas gambols! only let me know when and how I am to receive it, that she may prepare the rest of her banquet; I will convey it to her. I don’t like your wintering so late in the country. Adieu!
I am going to eat some of your venison, and dare to say it is very good; I am sure you are, and thank you for it. Catherine, I do not doubt, is up to the elbows in currant jelly and Gratitude. I have lost poor Louis, who died last week at Strawberry. He had no fault but what has fallen upon himself, poor. soul! drinking: his honesty and good-nature were complete; and I am heartily concerned for him, which I shall seldom say so sincerely.
There has been printed a dull complimentary letter to me on the quarrel of Hume and Rousseau. In one of the reviews they are so obliging as to say I wrote it myself: it is so dull, that I should think they wrote it themselves—a kind Of abuse I should dislike much more than their criticism.
Are not you frozen, perished? How do you keep yourself alive on your mountain! I scarce stir from my fireside. I have scarce been at Strawberry for a day this whole Christmas, and there is less appearance of a thaw to-day than ever. There has been dreadful havoc at Margate and Aldborough, and along the coast. At Calais, the sea rose above sixty feet perpendicular, which makes people conclude there has been an earthquake somewhere or other. I shall not think of my journey to France yet; I suffered too much with the cold last year at Paris, where they have not the least idea of comfortable, but sup in stone halls, with all the doors open. Adieu! I must go dress for the drawing-room of the Princess of Wales. Yours ever.
Mr. Walpole has been out of town, Or should have thanked Dr. Ducarel sooner for the obliging favour of his most curious and valuable work,(988) which Mr. Walpole has read with the greatest pleasure and satisfaction. He will be very much obliged to Dr. Ducarel if he will favour him with a set of the prints separate; which Mr. Walpole would be glad to put into his volumes of English Heads; and shall be happy to have an opportunity of returning these obligations.