Mr. Granger,(1049) of Shiplake, is printing his laborious and curious Catalogue of English heads, with an accurate though succinct account of almost all the persons. It will be a very valuable and useful work, and I heartily wish may succeed; though I have some fears. There are of late a small number of persons who collect English heads but not enough to encourage such a work: I hope the anecdotic part will make it more known and tasted. It is essential to us, who shall love the performance, that it should sell: for he prints no farther at first than to the end of the first Charles: and, if this part does not sell well, the bookseller will not purchase the remainder of the copy, though he gives but a hundred pounds for this half’; and good Mr. Granger is not in circumstances to afford printing it himself. I do not compare it with Dr. Robertson’s writings, who has an excellent genius, with admirable style and manner; and yet I cannot help thinking, that there is a good deal of Scotch puffing and partiality, when the booksellers have given the Doctor three thousand pounds for his Life of Charles V., for composing which he does not pretend to have obtained any new materials.
I am going into Warwickshire; and I think shall go on to Lord Strafford’s, but propose returning before the end of September. Yours ever.
(1049) The Rev. James Granger, Vicar of Shiplake in Oxfordshire; where he died in 1776. See post, May 27, 1769.-E.
I give you a thousand thanks, my dear Lord, for the account of the ball at Welbeck. I shall not be able to repay it with a relation of the masquerade to-night;(1050) for I have been confined here this week with the gout in my foot, and have not stirred off my bed or couch since Tuesday. I was to have gone to the great ball at Sion on Friday, for which a new road, paddock, and bridge were made, as other folks make a dessert. I conclude Lady Mary Coke has, and will tell you of all these pomps, which Health thinks so serious, and Sickness with her grave face tells one are so idle. Sickness may make me moralize, but I assure you she does not want humour. She has diverted me extremely with drawing a comparison between the repose (to call neglect by its dignified name) which I have enjoyed in this fit, and the great anxiety in which the whole world was when I had the last gout, three years ago—you remember my friends were then coming into power. Lord Weymouth was so good as to call at least once every day, and inquire after me; and the foreign ministers insisted that I should give them the satisfaction of seeing me, that they might tranquillize their sovereigns with the certainty of My not being in any danger. The Duke and Duchess of Newcastle were So kind, though very nervous themselves, as to send messengers and