There is indeed a natural warmth in this country, which, as you say, I am very glad not to enjoy any longer; I mean the hothouse in St. Stephen’s chapel. My own sagacity makes me very vain, though there was very little merit in it. I had seen so much of all parties, that I had little esteem left for any; it is most indifferent to me who is in or -who is out, or which is set in the pillory, Mr. Wilkes or my Lord Mansfield. I see the country going to ruin, and no man with brains enough to save it. That is mortifying ; but what signifies who has the undoing it? I seldom suffer myself to think on this subject: my patriotism could do no good, and my philosophy can make me be at peace.
I am sorry you are likely to lose your poor cousin Lady Hinchinbrook;(1031) I heard a very bad account of her when I was last in town. Your letter to Madame Roland shall be taken care of; but as you are so scrupulous of making me pay postage, I must remember not to overcharge you, as I can frank my idle letters no longer; therefore, good night!
P. S. I was in town last week, and found Mr. Chute still confined. He had a return in his shoulder, but I think it more rheumatism than gout.
(1031) Elizabeth, wife of John Viscount Hinchinbroke, afterwards fifth Earl of Sandwich, was the only surviving daughter of George, second and last Earl of Halifax. Her ladyship died on the 1st of July 1768, leaving a son, George Viscount Hinchinbroke, who died sine prole, in 1790.-E.
I am glad you have writ to me, for I wanted to write to you, and did not know what to say. I have been but two nights in town, and then heard of nothing but Wilkes, of whom I am tired to death, and of T. Townshend, the truth of whose story I did not know; and indeed the tone of the age has made me so uncharitable, that I concluded his ill-humour was put on, in order to be mollified with the reversion of his father’s place, which I know he has long wanted; and the destination of the Pay-office has been so long notified, that I had no notion of his not liking the arrangement. For the new Paymaster,(1033) I could not think him worth writing a letter on purpose. By your letter and the enclosed I find Townshend has been very ill-treated, and I like his spirit in not bearing such neglect and contempt, though wrapped up in 2700 pounds a-year.
What can one say of the Duke of Grafton, but that his whole conduct is childish, insolent, inconstant, and absurd—nay, ruinous? Because we are not in confusion enough, he makes every thing as bad as possible, neglecting on one hand, and taking no precaution on the other. I neither see how it is possible for him to remain minister, nor whom to put in his place. No government, no police, London and Middlesex distracted, the colonies in rebellion,