(1029) This is in reply to one of Mr. Cole’s letters, wherein he had informed Mr. Walpole, that he had undertaken to write the history of some of’ the Bishops of Ely for the History of Ely Cathedral, and requested some particulars relating to Cardinal Lewis de Luxembourg; and to be informed the meaning of the French word sotalle or sotelle. Mr. Cole also proposed to controvert an opinion of Mr. Walpole’s respecting Cardinal Morton.
(1030) This appears, from the copy of Cole’s previous letter, to have been an engraving done by Mr. Tyson of Bennett’s College, from the picture in the Provost’s lodge.
No, I cannot be so false as to say I am glad you are pleased with your situation. You are so apt to take root, that it requires ten years to dig you out again when you once begin to settle. As you go pitching your tent up and down, I wish you were still more a Tartar, and shifted your quarters perpetually. Yes, I will come and see you, but tell me first, when do your Duke and Duchess travel to the north? I know that he is a very amiable lad, and I do not know that she is not as amiable a laddess, but I had rather see their house comfortably when they are not there.
I perceive the deluge fell upon you before it reached us. It began here but on Monday last, and then rained near eight-and-forty hours without intermission. My poor hay has not a dry thread to its back. I have had a fire these three days. In short, every summer one lives in a state of mutiny and murmur, and I have found the reason: it is because we will affect to have a summer, and we have no title to any such thing. Our poets learnt their trade of the Romans, and so adopted the terms of their masters. They talk of shady groves, purling streams, and cooling breezes, and we get sore throats and agues with attempting to realize these visions. Master Damon writes a song, and invites Miss Chloe to enjoy the cool of the evening, and the deuce a bit have we of any such thing as a cool evening. Zephyr is a northeast wind, that makes Damon button up to the chin, and pinches Chloe’s nose till it is red and blue; and then they cry, this is a bad summer! as if we ever had any other. The best sun we have is made of Newcastle coal, and I am determined never to reckon upon any other. We ruin ourselves with inviting over foreign trees and make our houses clamber up hills to look at prospects. How our ancestors would laugh at us, who knew there was no being comfortable, unless you had a high hill before your nose, and a thick warm wood at your back! Taste is too freezing a commodity for us, and, depend upon it, will go out of fashion again.