(200) Afterwards second Earl of Dorchester-E.
(201) His Royal Highness survived this illness more than thirty years.-E.
(202) This committee was wittily called by Mr. Burke, and afterwards generally known as “the committee of oblivion."-E.
(203) Afterwards Earl of Derby-E.
(204) The Right Hon. William Dowdeswell, of Pull Court, member for the county of Worcester. He died at Nice, whither he had gone for the recovery of his health.-E.
(205) The Hon. Thomas Hervey, second son of John first Earl of Bristol.-E.
I thank you, dear Sir, for your kind letter., and the good account you give of yourself-nor can I blame your change from writing that is, transcribing, to reading—sure you ought to divert yourself rather than others-though I should not say s, if your pen had not confined itself to transcripts.
I am perfectly well, and heed not the weather; though I wish the seasons came a little oftener into their own places instead of each Other’s. From November, till a fortnight ago, we had much warmth that I should often be glad of in summer—and since we are not sure of it then, was rejoiced when I could get it. For myself, I am a kind of delicate Hercules; and though made of paper, have, by temperance, by using as much cold water inwardly and outwardly as I can, and by taking no precautions against catching cold, and braving all weathers, become capable of suffering by none. My biennial visitant, the gout, has yielded to the bootikins, and stayed with me this last time but five weeks in lieu of five months. Stronger men perhaps would kill themselves by my practice, but it has done so long with me, I shall trust to it.
I intended writing to you on Gray’s Life,(206) if you had not prevented me. I am charmed with it, and prefer it to all the biography I ever saw. The style is excellent, simple, unaffected; the method admirable, artful, and judicious. He has framed the fragments, as a person said, so well, that they are fine drawings, if not finished pictures. For my part, I am so interested in it, that I shall certainly read it over and over. I do not find that it is likely to be the case with many yet. Never was a book, which people pretended to expect so much with impatience, less devoured-at least in London, where quartos are not of quick digestion. Faults are found, I hear, at Eton with the Latin Poems for false quantities-no matter-they are equal to the English -and can one say more?
At Cambridge, I should think the book would both offend much and please; at least if they are as sensible to humour as to ill-humour; and there is orthodoxy enough to wash down a camel. The Scotch and the Reviewers will be still more angry. and the latter have not a syllable to pacify them. So they who wait for their decisions will probably miss of reading the most entertaining book in the world—a punishment which they who trust to such wretched judges deserve; for who are more contemptible than such judges, but they who pin their faith on them?