You are so good to me, my dear Sir, that I am quite ashamed. I must not send back your charming present, but wish you would give me leave to pay for it, and I shall have the same obligation to you, and still more. It is beautiful in form and colours, and pleases me excessively. In the mean time, I have in a great hurry (for I came home but at noon to meet Mr. Essex) chosen out a few prints for you, Such as I think you will like, and beg you to accept them: they enter Into no one of my sets. I am heartily grieved at your account of yourself, and know no comfort but submission. I was absent to ’General Conway, who is far from well. We must take our lot as it falls! joy and ’sorrow is mixed till the scene closes. I am out of spirits, and shall not mend yours. Mr. Essex is just setting out, and I write in great haste, but am, as I have so long been, most truly yours.
I wrote to you yesterday, dear Sir, not only in great haste, but in great confusion, and did not say half I ought to have done for the pretty vase you sent me, and for your constant obliging attention to me. All I can say is, that gratitude attempted even in my haste and concern to put in its word: and I did not mean to pay you, (which I hope you will really allow me to do) but to express my sensibility of your kindness. The fact was, that to avoid disappointing Mr. Essex, when I had dragged him hither from Cambridge, I had returned hither precipitately, and yet late, from Park-place whither I went the day before to see General Conway, who has had a little attack of the paralytic kind. You, who can remember how very long and dearly I have loved so near a relation and particular friend, and who are full of nothing but friendly sensations, can judge how shocked I was to find him more changed than I expected. I suffered so much in constraining and commanding myself, that I was not sorry, as the house was full of relations, to have the plea of Mr. Essex, to get away, and came to sigh here by myself. It is, perhaps, to prevent my concern that I write now. Mr. Conway is in no manner of danger, is better, his head nor speech are affected, and the physicians, who barely allow the attack to be of the paralytic nature, are clear it is local, in the muscles of the face. Still has it operated such a revolution in my mind, as no time, at my age, can efface. It has at once damped every pursuit which my spirits had even now prevented me from being weaned from, I mean a Virt`u. It is like a mortal distemper in myself; for can amusements amuse, if there is but a glimpse, a vision, of outliving one’s friends? I have had dreams in which I thought I wished for fame—it was not certainly posthumous fame at any distance: I feel,