Letter 108 To The Rev. Mr. Cole.
Strawberry Hill, June 1, 1776. (page 154)
Mr. Granger’s papers have been purchased by Lord Mount Stewart,(252) who has the frenzy of portraits as well as I; and, though I am at the head of the sect, I have no longer the rage of propagating it, nor would I on any account take the trouble of revising and publishing the manuscripts. Mr. Granger had drowned his taste for portraits in the ocean of biography; and, though he began with elucidating prints, he at last only sought prints that he might write the lives of those they represented. His work was grown and growing so voluminous, that an abridgment only could have made it useful to collectors. I am not surprised that you wilt not assist Kippis;(253) Bishop Laud and William Prynne could never agree. You are very justly more averse to Mr. Masters who is a pragmatic fellow, and at best troublesome.
If the agate knives you are so good as to recommend to me can be tolerably authenticated, have any royal marks, or, at least, old setting of the time, and will be sold for two guineas, I should not dislike having them — though I have scarce room to stick a knife and fork. But if I trouble you to pay for them, you must let me know all I owe you already, for I know I am in your debt for prints and pamphlets, and this new debt will make the whole considerable enough to be remitted. I have lately purchased three apostle-spoons to add to the one you was so kind as to give me. What is become of Mr. Essex? does he never visit London? I wish I could tempt him thither or hither. I am not only thinking of building my offices in a collegiate style, for which I have a good design and wish to consult him, but am actually wanting assistance at this very moment, about a smaller gallery that I wish to add’ this summer; and which, if Mr. Essex was here, he should build directly.
It is scarce worth asking him to take the journey on purpose, though I would pay for his journey hither and back, and would lodge him here for the necessary time. I can only beg you to mention it to him as an idle jaunt, the object is so trifling. I wish more that you Could come with him: do you leave your poor parishioners and their souls to themselves? if you do, I hope Dr. Kippis will seduce them. Yours ever.
(252) John Lord Mountstuart; in March 1796, created Marquis of Bute. He died in Geneva in November 1814, when the marquisate descended to his grandson.-E.
(253) Dr. Andrew Kippis, well-known for the active part he took in producing the second edition of the” Biographia Britannnica, of which he was the editor, and in a great measure the writer. He had applied to ’Mr. Cole for assistance; and Walpole’s satisfaction at Cole’s refusal is to be accounted for by the fact of Kippis having threatened to expose Sir Robert Walpole in the course of that work. Walpole had called the " Biographia Britannica” an apology for every body. This Kippis happened to hear of; upon which he is said to have retorted, “that the Life of Sir Robert Walpole should prove that the Biographia was not an apology for every body.’-E.