14th.—Oh! I interrupt my reflections—there is another bit of a victory! Prince Henry, who has already succeeded to his brother’s crown, as king of the fashion, has beaten a parcel of Wirternberghers and taken four battalions. Daun is gone into Bohemia, and Dresden is still to be ours. The French are gone into winter quarters—thank God! What weather is here to be lying on the ground! Men should be statues, or will be so, if they go through it. Hawke is enjoying himself in Quiberon Bay, but I believe has done no more execution. Dr. Hay says it will soon be as shameful to beat a Frenchman as to beat a woman. Indeed, one is forced to ask every morning what victory there is, for fear of missing one. We talk of a con(,,ress at Breda, and some think Lord Temple will go thither: if he does, I shall really believe it will be peace; and a good one, as it will then be of Mr. Pitt’s making.
I was much pleased that the watch succeeded so triumphantly, and beat the French watches, though they were two to one. For the Fugitive pieces: the Inscription for the Column(10) was written when I was with you at Florence, though I don’t wonder that you have forgotten it after so many yeirs. I would not have it talked of, for I find some grave personages are offended -with the liberties I have taken with so imperial a head. What could provoke them to give a column Christian burial? Adieu!
(7) Wife of the English consul at Leghorn, where, when she was learning Italian by grammar, she said, “Oh! give me a language in which there are no verbs!” concluding, as she had not learnt her own language by grammar, that there were no verbs in English.
(8) Dr. Treviger.
(9) It was not Frederick’s fault; he was not there ; but that of General Finek, who had placed himself so injudiciously, that he was obliged to capitulate to the Austrians with fourteen thousand men.
(10) The inscription for the neglected Column in St. Mark’s Place at Florence.-E.
How do you do? are you thawed again? how have you borne the country in this bitter weather? I have not been here these three weeks till to-day, and was delighted to find it so pleasant, and to meet a comfortable southeast wind, the fairest of all winds, in spite of the scandal that lies on the east; though it is the west that is parent of all ugliness. The frost was succeeded by such fogs, that I could not find my way out of London.
Has your brother told you of the violences in Ireland? There wanted nothing but a Massaniello to overturn the government; and luckily for the government and for Rigby, he, who was made for Massaniello, happened to be first minister there. Tumults, and insurrections, and oppositions,
“Like arts and sciences, have travelled west.”