Politics have been the only language, and abuse the only expression of the winter, neither of which are, or deserve to be, inmates of your peaceable hermitage. I wish, however, they may not have grown so serious as to threaten every retreat with intrusion! I will let you know when I am settled at Strawberry-hill, and can look over your kind collections relating to Mr. Baker. He certainly deserves his place in the Biographia, but I am not surprised that you would not submit to his being instituted and inducted by a Presbyterian. In troth, I, who have not the same zeal against dissenters, do not at all desire to peruse the History of their Apostles, which are generally very uninteresting.
You must excuse the shortness of this, in which, too, I have been interrupted: my nephew is as suddenly recovered as he did last time; and, though I am far from thinking him perfectly in his senses, a great deal of his disorder is removed, which, though it will save me a great deal of trouble, hurries me at present, and forces me to conclude.
I thank you, dear Sir, for the notice of William Le Worcestre’s(293) appearance, and will send for my book as soon as I go to town, which will not be till next week. I have been here since Friday as much a hermit as yourself. I wanted air and quiet, having been much fatigued on my nephew’s amendment, trying to dissuade him from making the campaign with his militia; but in vain! I now dread hearing of some eccentric freak. I am sorry Mr. Tyson has quite dropped me, though he sometimes comes to town. I am still more concerned at your frequent disorders-I hope their chief seat is unwillingness to move.
Your Bakeriana will be very welcome about June: I shall not be completely resident here till then, at least not have leisure, as May is the month I have most visits from town. As few spare hours as I have, I have contrived to go through Mr. Pennant’s Welsh Tour, and Warton’s second Volume;(294) both which come within the circle of your pursuits. I have far advanced, too, in Lord Hardwicke’s first volume of State Papers.(295) I have yet found nothing that appears a new scene, or sets the old in a new light; yet they are rather amusing, though not in proportion to the bulk of the volumes. One likes to hear actors speak for themselves; but, on the other hand, they use a great many more words than are necessary: and when one knows the events from history, it is a little tiresome to go back to the details and the delays.
I should be glad to employ Mr. Essex on my offices, but the impending war with France deters me. It is not a season for expense! I could like to leave my little castle complete; but, though I am only a spectator, I cannot be indifferent to the aspect of the times, as the country gentleman was, who was going out with his hounds as the two armies at Edge-hill were going to engage. I wish for peace and tranquillity, and should be glad to pass my remaining hours in the idle and retired amusements I love, and without any solicitude for my country. Adieu!