I have resumed Mr. Baker’s life, and pretty well arranged my plan; but I shall have little time to make any progress till October, as I am going soon to make some visits. Yours ever.
(323) His valuable Collections, in about a hundred volumes, in folio fairly written in his own band, Mr. Cole, on his death in 1782, left to the British Museum, to be locked up for twenty years. His Diary, as will be seen by a specimen or two, is truly ludicrous:—Jan. 25, 1766. Foggy. My beautiful Parrot died at ten at night, without knowing the Cause of his illness, he being very well last night.—Feb. 1. Fine day, and cold. Will. Wood carried three or four loads of dung Baptized William, the son of William Grace, blacksmith, whom I married about six months before. March 3. I baptized Sarah, the bastard daughter of the Widow Smallwood, of Eton, aged near fifty, whose husband died about a year ago.—March 6, Very fine weather. My man was blooded. I sent a loin Of pork and a spare-rib to Mr. Cartwright, in London.—27. I sent my two French wigs to my London barber to alter, they being made so miserably I could not wear them.—June 17. I went to our new Archdeacon’s visitation at Newport-Pagnel. took young H. Travel with me on my dun horse, in order that he might hear the organ, he being a great psalm-singer. The most numerous appearance of clergy that I remember: forty-four dined with the Archdeacon; and what is extraordinary, not one smoked tobacco. My new coach-horse ungain.—Aug. 16. Cool day. Tom reaped for Joe Holdom. I cudgelled Jem for staying so long on an errand,” etc.-E.
I have run through the new articles in the Biographia, and think them performed but by a heavy hand. Some persons have not trusted the characters of their ancestors, as I did my father’s, to their own merits. On the contrary, I have met with one whose corruption is attempted to be palliated by imputing its punishment to the revenge of my father-which, by the way, is confessing the guilt of the convict. This was the late Lord Barrington,(324) who, i believe, was a very dirty fellow; for, besides being expelled the House of Commons on the affair of the Harburgh lottery, he was reckoned to have twice sold the Dissenters to the court; but in short, what credit can a Biographia Britannica, which ought to be a standard work, deserve, when the editor is a mercenary writer, who runs about to relations for direction, and adopts any tale they deliver to him? This very instance is proof that it is not a jot more creditable than a peerage. The authority is said to be a nephew of Judge Foster, (consequently, I suppose, a friend of Judge Barrington), and he pretends to have found a scrap of paper, nobody knows on what occasion written, that seems to be connected with nothing, and is called a palliative, if not an