I forgot to tell you, that you need be in no disturbance about M`untz’s pictures; they were a present I made you. Good night!
(11) Lord Lyttelton married a daughter of Sir Robert Rich.
Sir, I own I am pleased, for your sake as well as my own, at hearing from you again. I felt sorry at thinking that you was displeased with the frankness and sincerity of my last. You have shown me that I made a wrong judgment of you, and I willingly correct it.
You are extremely obliging in giving yourself the least trouble to make collections for me. I have received so much assistance and information from you, that I am sure I cannot have a more useful friend. For the Catalogue, I forgot it, as in the course of things I suppose it is forgot. For the Lives of English Artists I am going immediately to begin it, and shall then fling it into the treasury of the world, for the amusement of the world for a day, and then for the service of any body who shall happen hereafter to peep into the dusty drawer where it shall repose.
For my Lord Clarendon’s new work(12) of which you ask me, I am charmed with it. It entertains me more almost than any book I ever read. I was told there was little in it that had not already got abroad, or was not known by any other channels. If that is true, I own I am so scanty an historian as to have been ignorant of many of the facts but sure, at least, the circumstances productive of, or concomitant on several of them, set them in very new lights. The deductions and stating of arguments are uncommonly fine. His language I find much censured—in truth, it is sometimes involved, particularly in the indistinct usage of he and him. But in my opinion his style is not so much inferior to the former History as it seems. But this I take to be the case; when the former part appeared, the world was not accustomed to a good style as it is now. I question if the History of the Rebellion had been published but this summer, whether it would be thought so fine in point of style as it has generally been reckoned. For his veracity, alas! I am sorry to say, there is more than one passage in the new work which puts one a little upon one’s guard in lending him implicit credit. When he says that Charles I. and his queen were a pattern of conjugal affection, it makes one stare. Charles was so, I verily believe; but can any man in his historical senses believe, that my Lord Clarendon did not know that, though the Queen was a pattern of affection, it was by no means of the conjugal kind.(13) Then the subterfuges my Lord Clarendon uses to avoid avowing that Charles ii. was a Papist, are certainly no grounds for corroborating his veracity.(14) In short, I don’t believe him when he does not speak truth; but he has spoken so much truth, that it is easy to see when he does not.