The weather is a thought warmer to-day, and I am as busy as bees are about their hay. My hayssians(274) have cost me as much as if I had hired them of the Landgrave.(275)
I am glad your invasion(276) is blown over. I fear I must invite those flat-bottomed vessels hither, as the Swissess Necker has directed them to the port of Twickenham. Madame de Blot is too fine, and Monsieur Schomberg one of the most disagreeable, cross, contemptuous savages I ever saw. I have often supped with him at the Duchess de Choiseul’s, and could not bear him; and now I must be charm`e, and p`en`etr`e, and combl`e, to see him: and I shall act it very ill, as I always do when I don’t do what I like. Madame Necker’s letter is as affected and pr`ecieuse, as if Marmontel had written it for a Peruvian milk-maid. She says I am a philosopher, and as like Madame de S`evign`e as two peas—who was as unlike a philosopher as a gridiron. As I have none of Madame de S`evign`e’s natural easy wit, I am rejoiced that I am no more like a philosopher neither, and still less like a philosophe; which is a being compounded of D’Urfey and Diogenes, a pastoral coxcomb, and a supercilious brute.
(272) The first wife of Sir William Hamilton, envoy extraordinary at the court of Naples. She was a Miss Barlow-E.
(273) M. le Chevalier d’Agincourt, a French antiquary, long settled in Italy. 1. B. L. Seroux d’Agincourt, born at Beauvais in 1730, died at Rome in 1814, having, during thirty-six years, laboured assiduously in the composition of his grand work, “Histoire de l’Art par les Monumens depuis sa D`ecadence au Quatri`eme Si`ecle jusqu’`a son Renouvellement au Seizi`eme”. Of this splendid book, in six vols. folio, which was not published until 1823, nine years after the death of the author, an interesting review will be found in the seventh volume of the Foreign Quarterly Review.-E.
(275) An allusion to the seventeen thousand which had been hired for the American service, by treaties entered into the preceding year with the Landgravine of Hesse Cassel, the Duke of Brunswick, and the Hereditary Prince of Hesse Cassel.-E.
(276) A party of French nobility then in England, who were to have made a visit at Parkplace.
You have perhaps, Sir, paid too much regard to the observations I took the liberty to make, by your order, to a few passages in “Vitellia,” and I must hope they were in consequence of your own judgment too. I do not doubt of its success on the stage, if well acted but I confess I would answer for nothing with the present set of actors, who are not capable in tragedy of doing any justice to it. Mrs. Barry seems to me very unequal to the principal part, to which Mrs. Yates alone is suited. Were I the author, I should be very sorry to have my tragedy murdered,