(1012) To this Gray replies—,’Mr. Boswell’s book has pleased and moved me strangely; all, I mean, that relates to Paoli. He is a man born two thousand years after his time! The pamphlet proves what I have always maintained, that any fool may write a most valuable book by chance, if he will only tell us what he heard and saw with veracity. Of Mr. Boswell’s truth I have not the least suspicion, because I am sure be could invent nothing of this kind. The true title of this part of his work is a Dialogue between a Green Goose and a Hero.” Works, vol. iv. p. 112.-E.
I plague you to death, but I must reply a few more words. I shall be very glad to see in print, and to have those that are worthy, see your ancient Odes; but I was in hopes there were some pieces. too, that I had not seen. I am sorry there are not.(1013)
I troubled you about Perkin’s Proclamation. because Mr. Hume lays great stress upon it, and insists, that if Perkin affirmed that his brother was killed, it must have been true, if he was true Duke of York. Mr. Hume would have persuaded me that the Proclamation is in Stowe, but I can find no such thing there; nor, what is more, in Casley’s Catalogue, which I have twice looked over carefully. I wrote to Sir David Dalrymple In Scotland, to inquire after it; because I would produce it if I could, though it should make against me: but he, I believe, thinking I inquired with the contrary view, replied very drily, that it was published at York, and was not to be found in Scotland. Whether he is displeased that I have plucked a hair from the tresses of their great historian; or whether, as I suspect, he is offended for King William; this reply was all the notice he took of my letter and book. I only smiled; as I must do when I find one party is angry with me on King William’s, and the other on Lord Clarendon’s account.
The answer advertised is Guthrie’s, who is furious that I have taken no notice of his History. I shall take as little of his pamphlet; but his end will be answered, if he sells that and one or two copies of his History.(1014) Mr. Hume, I am told, has drawn up an answer too, which I shall see, and, if I can, will get him to publish; for, if I should ever choose to say any thing more on this subject, I had rather reply to him than to hackney-writers:—to the latter, indeed, I never will reply. A few notes I have to add that will be very material; and I wish to get some account of a book that was once sold at Osborn’s, that exists perhaps at Cambridge, and of which I found a memorandum t’other day in my note-book. It is called A Paradox, or Apology for Richard the Third, by Sir William Cornwallis.(1015) If you could discover it, I should be much obliged to you.