Have you seen Hasted’s new History of Kent?(345) I am sailing through it, but am stopped every minute by careless mistakes. They tell me the author has good materials, but is very negligent, and so I perceive, He has not even given a list of monuments in the churches, which I do not remember in any history of a county; but he is rich in pedigrees; though I suppose they have many errors too, as I have found some in those I am acquainted with- It is unpardonable to be inaccurate in a work in which one nor expects nor demands any thing but fidelity.(346)
We have a great herald arising in a very noble race, Lord de Ferrers. I hope to make him a Gothic architect too, for he is going to repair Tamworth Castle and flatters me that I shall give him sweet counseil! I enjoin him to kernellare. Adieu! Yours ever.
(344) “A Letter to the Editor of the Miscellanies of Thomas Chatterton.” Strawberry Hill, 1779, 8vo.-E.
(345) “The History and Topographical Survey of the County of Kent; by Edward Hasted,” four volumes, folio, 1778-1799. A second and improved edition, in twelve volumes, octavo, appeared in 1797-1801. Mr. Hasted died in 1812 at the age of eighty.-E.
(346) in a memoir of himself, which, he drew up for the Gentleman’s Magazein, to be published after his death, he says, “his laborious History of Kent took him more than forty years; during the whole series of which he spared neither pains nor expense to bring it to maturity."-E.
I have received this moment from your bookseller, Sir, the valuable present of the second volume of your “Annals,” and beg leave to return you my grateful thanks for so agreeable a gift, of which I can only have taken a look enough to lament that you do not intend to continue the work. Repeated and severe attacks of the gout forbid my entertaining- visions of pleasures to come; but though I might not have the advantage of your labours, Sir, I wish too well to posterity not to be sorry that you check your hand.
Lord Buchan did me the honour lately of consulting me on portraits of illustrious Scots. I recollect that there is at Windsor a very good portrait of your countryman Duns Scotus,(348) whose name struck me on just turning over your volume. A good print was made from that picture some years ago, but I believe it is not very scarce: as it is not worth while to trouble his lordship with another letter for that purpose only, may I take the liberty, Sir, of begging you to mention it to his lordship?
(347) Now first collected.
(348) Granger considers the portrait of Windsor not to be genuine. Of Duns Scotus, he says, “It requires one half of a man’s life to read the works of this profound doctor, and the , other to understand his subtleties. His printed works are in twelve volumes in folio! His manuscripts are sleeping in Merton College, Oxford. Voluminous works frequently arise from the ignorance and confused ideas of the authors: if angels, says Mr. Norris, were writers, we should have few folios. He was the head of the sect of schoolmen called scotists. He died in 1308."-E.