A week has finished my curiosity fully; I return to Strawberry to-morrow, and I fear go next week to Houghton, to make an appearance of civility to Lynn, whose favour I never asked, nor care if I have or not; but I don’t know how to refuse this attention to Lord Orford, who begs it.
I trust you will have approved my behaviour at court, that is, my mixing extreme politeness with extreme indifference. Our predecessors, the philosophers of ancient days, knew not how to be disinterested without brutality; I pique myself on founding a new sect. My followers are to tell kings, with excess of attention, that they don’t want them, and to despise favour with more good breeding than others practise in suing for it. We are a thousand times a greater nation than the Grecians: why are we to imitate them! Our sense is as great, our follies greater; sure we have all the pretensions to superiority! Adieu!
P. S. As to the fair widow Brown, I assure you the devil never sowed two hundred thousand pounds in a more fruitful soil: every guinea has taken root already. I saw her yesterday; it shall be some time before I see her again.
I am not gone to Houghton, you see: my Lord Orford is come to town, and I have persuaded him to stay and perform decencies. King George the Second is dead richer than Sir Robert Brown, though perhaps not so rich as my Lord Hardwicke. He has left fifty thousand pounds between the Duke, Emily, and Mary; the Duke has given up his share. To Lady Yarmouth a cabinet, with the contents; they call it eleven thousand pounds. By a German deed, he gives the Duke to the value of one hundred and eighty thousand pounds, placed on mortgages, not immediately recoverable. e had once given him twice as much more, then revoked it, and at last excused the revocation, on the pretence of the expenses of the war; but owns he was the best son that ever lived, and had never offended him; a pretty strong comment on the affair of Closterseven! He gives him, besides, all his jewels in England; but had removed all the best to Hanover, which he makes crown jewels, and his successor residuary legatee. The Duke, too, has some uncounted cabinets. My Lady Suffolk has given me a particular of his jewels, which plainly amount to one hundred and fifty thousand pounds. It happened oddly to my Lady Suffolk. Two days before he died, she went to make a visit at Kensington, not knowing of the review; she found herself hemmed in by coaches, and was close to him, whom she had not seen for so many years, and to my Lady Yarmouth; but they did not know her: it struck her, and has made her very sensible to his death. The changes hang back. Nothing material has been altered yet.