I find one must cast you into debt, if one has a mind to hear of you. You would drop one with all your heart, if one would let you alone. Did not you talk of passing by Strawberry in June, on a visit to the Bishop? I did not summon you, because I have not been sure of my own motions for two days together for these three months. At last all is subsided; the administration will go on pretty much as it was, with Mr. Conway for part of it. The fools and the rogues, or, if you like proper names, the Rockinghams and the Grenvilles, have bungled their own game, quarrelled, and thrown it away.
Where are you? What are you doing? Where are you going or staying? I shall trip to Paris in about a fortnight, for a month or six weeks. Indeed, I have had such a loss in poor Lady Suffolk,(991) that my autumns at Strawberry will suffer exceedingly, and will not be repaired by my Lord Buckingham. I have been in pain, too, and am not quite easy about my brother, who is in a bad state of health. Have you waded through or into Lord Lyttelton?(992) How dull one may be, if one will but take pains for six or seven-and-twenty years together! Except one day’s gout, which I cured with the boolikins, I have been quite well since I saw you: nay, with a microscope you would perceive I am fatter. Mr. Hawkins saw it with his naked eye, and told me it was common for lean people to grow fat when they grow old. I am afraid the latter is more certain than the former, I submit to it with a good grace. There is no keeping off age by sticking roses and sweet peas in one’s hair, as Miss Chudleigh does still.
If you are not totally abandoned, you will send me a line before I go. The Clive has been desperately nervous; but I have convinced her it did not become her, and she has recovered her rubicundity. Adieu!
(991) “Votre pauvre sourde!” writes Madame du Deffand to Walpole, on the 3d of August. “Ah! mon Dieu! que j’en suis f`ach`ee; c’est une veritable perte, et je la partage: j’aimais qu’elle v`ecut; j’aimais son amiti`e pour vous; j’aimais votre attachement pour elle: tout cela, ce me semble, m’`etait bon."-E.
(992) His “History of the Life of King Henry the Second, and of the Age in which he lived,” in four volumes quarto.-E.
As I am turned knight-errant, and going again in search of my old fairy,(993) I will certainly transport your enchanted casket, and will endeavour to procure some talisman, that may secrete it from the eyes of those unheroic harpies, the officers of the customhouse, you must take care to let me have it before to-morrow se’nnight.