My Lucan is finished, but will not be published till after Christmas, when I hope you will do me the favour of accepting one, and let me know how I shall Convey it. The Anecdotes of Painting have succeeded to the press: I have finished two volumes, but as there will at least be a third, I am not determined whether I shall not wait to publish the whole together. You will be surprised, I think, to see what a quantity of materials the industry of one man (Vertue) could amass and how much he retrieved at this late period. I hear of nothing new likely to appear; all the world is taken up in penning addresses, or in presenting them;(118) and the approaching elections will occupy the thoughts of men so much that an author could not appear at a worse era.
(118) On the then recent accession of George iii.-E.
letter 59 To George Montagu, Esq. Arlington Street, Dec. 11, 1760. (page 106)
I thank you for the inquiries about the painted glass, and shall be glad if I prove to be in the right.
There is not much of news to tell you; and yet there is much dissatisfaction. The Duke of Newcastle has threatened to resign on the appointment of Lord Oxford and Lord Bruce without his knowledge. His court rave about Tories, which you know comes with a singular grace from them, as the Duke never preferred any. Murray, Lord Gower, Sir John Cotton, Jack Pitt, etc. etc. etc. were all firm whigs. But it is unpardonable to put an end to all faction, when it is not for factious purposes. Lord Fitzmaurice,(119) made aide-de-camp to the King, has disgusted the army. The Duke of Richmond, whose brother has no more been put over others than the Duke of Newcastle has preferred Tories, has presented a warm memorial in a warm manner, and has resigned the bedchamber, not his regiment-another propriety.
Propriety is so much in fashion, that Miss Chudleigh has called for the council books of the subscription concert, and has struck off the name of Mrs. Naylor.(120) I have some thoughts of remonstrating, that General Waldegrave is too lean for to be a groom of the bedchamber. Mr. Chute has sold his house to Miss Speed for three thousand pounds, and has taken one for a year in Berkeley Square.
This is a very brief letter; I fear this reign will soon furnish longer. When the last King could be beloved, a young man with a good heart has little chance of being so. Moreover, I have a maxim, that the extinction of party is the origin of faction.” Good night.
(119) Afterwards Earl of Shelburne, and in 1784 created Marquis of Lansdowne.-E.
(120) A noted procuress.-E.
Sir, I stayed till I had the Lucan ready to send you, before I thanked you for your letter, and for the pane of glass, about which you have given yourself so much kind trouble, and which I have received; I think it is clearly Heraclitus weeping over a globe.