(1014) Gray, in his answer of the 6th of March, says—“Guthrie, you see, has vented himself in the Critical Review. His History I never saw, nor is it here, nor do I know any one that ever saw it. He is a rascal; but rascals may chance to meet with curious records.” Works, vol. iv. p. 116.-E.
(1015) “The Praise of King Richard the Third,” which was published by Sir William Cornwallis, Knight, the celebrated “Essayist,” in 1617, is reprinted in the third volume of the Somers’ Collection of Tracts.-E.
(1016) From this roll were taken the two plates of portraits in the Historic Doubts.
The house, etc. described in the enclosed advertisement I Should think might suit you; I am sure its being in my neighbourhood would make me glad, if it did. I know no more than what you will find in this scrap of paper, nor what the rent is, nor whether it has a chamber as big as Westminster-hall; but as you have flown about the world, and are returned to your ark without finding a place to rest your foot, I should think you might as well inquire about the house I notify to you, as set out with your caravan to Greatworth, like a Tartar chief; especially as the laws of this country will not permit you to stop in the first meadow you like, and turn your horses to grazing without saying by your leave.
As my senatorial dignity is gone,(1017) and the sight of my name is no longer worth threepence, I shall not put you to the expense of a cover, and I hope the advertisement will not be taxed, as I seal it to the paper. In short, I retain so much iniquity from the last infamous Parliament that you see I would still cheat the public. The comfort I feel in sitting peaceably here, instead of being at Lynn in the high fever of a contested election, which at best would end in my being carried about that large town like the figure of a pope at a bonfire, is very great. I do not think, when that function is over, that I shall repent my resolution. What could I see but sons and grandsons playing over the same knaveries, that I have seen their fathers and Grandfathers act? Could I hear oratory beyond my Lord Chatham’s? Will there ever be parts equal to Charles Townshend’s? Will George Grenville cease to be the most tiresome of beings? Will he not be constantly whining, and droning, and interrupting, like a cigala(1018) in a sultry day in Italy.
Guthrie has published two criticisms on my Richard;(1019) one abusive in the Critical Review; t’other very civil and even flattering in a pamphlet; both so stupid and contemptible, that I rather prefer the first, as making some attempt at vivacity; but in point of argument, nay, and of humour, at which he makes an effort too, both things are below scorn. As an instance of the former, he says, the Duke of Clarence might die of drinking sack, and so be said to be drowned in a butt of malmsey; of the latter sort, are his calling the Lady Bridget Lady Biddy, and the Duke of York poor little fellow! I will weary you with no more such stuff!