I have found the whole set of my Painters, and will send them the first time I go to town: and I will have my papers on Chatterton transcribed for you, though I am much chagrined at your giving me no hope of seeing you again here. I will not say more of it; for, while it is in my power, I will certainly make you a visit now and then, if there is no other way of our meeting Mr. Tyrwhit, I hear, has actually published an Appendix, in which he gives up Mr. Rowley. I have not seen it, but will. Shall I beg you to transcribe the passage in which Dr. Kippis abuses my father and Me;(306) for I shall not buy the new edition, only to purchase abuse on me and mine: I may be angry with liberties he takes with Sir Robert, but not with myself; I shall rather take it as a flattery to be ranked with him; though there can be nothing worse said of my father than to place us together. Oh! that great, that good man! Dr. Kippis may as well throw a stone at the sun.
I am sorry you have lost poor Mr. Bentham. Will you say a civil thing for me to his widow, if she is living, and you think it not improper? I have not forgotten their kindness to me. Pray send me your papers on Mr. Prior’s generosity to Mr. Baker.(307) I am sorry it was not so. Prior is much a favourite with me, though a Tory, nor did I ever hear any thing ill of him. He left his party, but not his friends, and seems to me to have been very amiable. Do you know I pretend to be very impartial sometimes. Mr. Hollis(308) wrote against me for not being Whig enough. I am offended with Mrs. Macaulay(309) for being too much a Whig. In short, we are all silly animals, and scarce ever more so than when we affect sense. Yours ever.
(305) Dr. Edmund Keene-E.
(306) See ant`e, p. 155, letter 108.
(307) The Biograpbia Britannica had asserted, that Prior ceded to Mr. Baker the profits of his fellowship after his expulsion.-E.
(308) Thomas Hollis, Esq. the editor of Toland’s Life of Milton; Algernon Sidney’s Discourses on Government; Algernon Sidney’s Works, etc. He died in 1774.-E.
(309) The celebrated Catherine Macaulay, well known by her “History of England."-E.
I am quite astonished, Madam, at not hearing of Mr. Conway’s being returned! What is he doing? Is he revolting and setting up for himself, like our nabobs in India? or is he forming Jersey, Guernsey, Alderney, and Sark, into the united provinces in the compass of a silver penny? I should not wonder if this was to be the fate of our distracted empire, which we seem to have made so large, only that it might afford to split into separate kingdoms. I told Mr. C. I should not write any more, concluding he would not stay a twinkling; and your ladyship’s last encouraged my expecting him. In truth, I had nothing to tell him if he had written.