I am grieved, and feel for your gout; I know the vexations and disappointments it occasions, and how often it will return when one thinks it going or gone: it represents life and its vicissitudes. At last I know it makes me content when one does not feel actual pain,—and what contents may be called a blessing; but it is a sort of blessing that extinguishes hopes and views, and is not so luxurious but one can bear to relinquish it. I seek amusements now to amuse me; I used to rush into them, because I had an impulse and wished for what I sought. My want of Mr. Essex has a little of both kinds, as it is for an addition to this place, for which my fondness is not worn out. I shall be very glad to see him here either on the 20th or 21st of this month, and shall have no engagement till the 23d, and will gladly pay his journey. I am sorry I must not hope that you will accompany him.
I was very glad to receive your letter, not only because always most glad to hear of you, but because I wished to write to you, and had absolutely nothing to say till I had something to answer. I have lain but two nights in town since I saw you; have been, else, Constantly here, very much employed, though doing, hearing. knowing exactly nothing. I have had a Gothic architect from Cambridge to design me a gallery, Which will end in a mouse, that is, in an hexagon closet, of seven feet diameter. I have been making a beauty-room, which was effected by buying two dozen of small copies of Sir Peter Lely, and hanging them up; and I have been making hay, which is not made, because I put it off for three days, as I chose it should adorn the landscape when I was to have company; and so the rain is come, and has drowned it. However, as I can even turn calculator when it is to comfort me for not minding my interest, I have discovered that it is five to one better for me that my hay should be spoiled than not-, for, as the cows will eat it if it is damaged, which horses will not, and as I have five cows and but one horse, is not it plain that the worse my hay is the better? Do not you with your refining head go, and, out of excessive friendship, find out something to destroy my system. I had rather be a philosopher than a rich man; and yet have so little philosophy, that I had much rather be content than be in the right.
Mr. Beauclerk and Lady Di.(254) have been here four or five days -so I had both content and exercise for my philosophy. I wish Lady Ailesbury was as fortunate! The Pembrokes, Churchills, Le Texier, as you will have heard, and the Garricks have been with us. Perhaps, if alone, I might have come to you—but you are all too healthy and harmonious. I can neither walk nor sing -nor,