I am heartily glad, for your lordship’s and Lady Anne Conolly’s sakes, that General Howe(263) is safe. I sincerely interest myself for every body you are concerned for. I will say no more on a subject on which I fear I am so unlucky as to differ very much with your lordship, having always fundamentally disapproved our conduct with America. indeed, the present prospect of war with France, when we have so much disabled ourselves, and are exposed in so many quarters, is a topic for general lamentation, rather than for canvassing Of Opinions, which every man must form for himself: and I doubt the moment is advancing when we shall be forced to think alike, at least on the present.
I have not yet above a night at a time in town—but shall be glad to give your lordship and Lady Strafford a meeting there whenever you please. Your faithful humble servant.
(263) General Sir William Howe, brother of the Admiral, was then commander-in-chief of the British forces in America. He was married to a daughter of Lady Anne Conolly, and consequently to a niece of Lord Strafford.-E.
I know you love an episcopal print, and, therefore, I send you one of two, that have just been given to me. As you have time and patience, too, I recommend you to peruse Sir John Hawkins’s History Of Music.(264) It is true, there are five huge volumes in quarto, and perhaps you may not care for the expense; but surely you can borrow them in the University, and, though you may no more than I, delight in the scientific, there is so much about cathedral service, and choirs, and other old matters, that I am sure you will be amused with a great deal, particularly the two last volumes, and the facsimiles of old music in the first. I doubt it is a work that will not sell rapidly, but it must have a place in all great libraries.
(264) A work full of amusement, and deserving of Walpole’s good word, notwithstanding the witty criticism which Dr. Calcott passed upon it in his well known catch, “Have You Sir John Hawkins’s History?” in which he makes the name of the rival work, “Burney’s (Burn-his) History,” express the fate which Hawkins’s volumes deserved.-E.
Dear Sir, You are always my oracle in any antique difficulties. I have bought at Mr. Ives’s(265) sale (immensely dear) the shutters of the altar at Edmondsbury: Mr. Ives had them from Tom Martin,(266) who married Peter Leneve’s widow; so you see no shutters can be better descended on the mother’s side. Next to high birth, personal merit is something: in that respect, my shutters are far from defective: on the contrary, the figures in the inside are so very good, as to amaze me who could paint them here in the reign of Henry VI.; they are worthy of the Bolognese school—but they have suffered in several places, though not considerably. Bowes is to repair them, under oath of only filling up the cracks, and restoring the peelings off, but without repainting or varnishing.