(340) On the 1st of January, 1779, London was visited by one of the most violent tempests ever known. Scarcely a public building in the metropolis escaped without damage.-E.
(341) The memorable storm here alluded to took place in November, 1703, and Bishop Kidder and his lady perished in their bed at the episcopal palace at Wells by the fall of a stack of chimneys. They were privately interred in the cathedral; and one of his daughters, dying single, directed by her will a monument to be erected for her parents.-E.
(342) Robert, sixth Earl Ferrers. He had just succeeded to the title, by the death of his brother Washington, vice-admiral of the blue,; who had begun to rebuild the mansion of Stanton Harold, in Leicestershire, according to a plan of his own, and lived to see it nearly finished.-E.
Your flight to Bath would have much surprised me, if Mr. Churchill, who, I think, heard it from Stanley, had not prepared me for it. Since you was amused, I am glad you went, especially as you escaped being initiated in Mrs. Miller’s follies at Batheaston,(343) which you would have mentioned. She would certainly have sent some trapes of a Muse to press you, had she known what good epigrams you write.
I went to Strawberry partly out of prudence, partly from ennui. I thought it best to air myself before I go in and out of hot rooms here, and had my house thoroughly warmed for a week previously, and then only stirred from the red room to the blue on the same floor. I stayed five days, and was neither the better nor the worse for it. I was quite tired with having neither company, books, nor amusement of any kind. Either from the emptiness of the town, or that ten weeks of gout have worn out the patience of all my acquaintance, but I do not see three persons in three days. This gives me but an uncomfortable prospect for my latter days: it is but probable that I may be a cripple in a fit or two more, if I have strength to go through them; and, as that will be long life, one outlives one’s acquaintance. I cannot make new acquaintance, nor interest myself at all about the young, except those that belong to me; nor does that go beyond contributing to their pleasures, without having much satisfaction in their conversation-But-one must take every thing as it comes, and make the best of it., I have had a much happier life than I deserve, and than millions that deserve better. I should be very weak if I could not bear the uncomfortableness of old age, when I can afford what comforts it is capable of. How many poor old people have none of them! I am ashamed whenever I am peevish, and recollect that I have fire and servants to help me.
I hear Admiral Keppel is in high spirits with the great respect and zeal expressed for him. In my own opinion, his constitution will not stand the struggle. I am very uneasy too for the Duke of Richmond, who is at Portsmouth, and will be at least as much agitated.