If I might advise, I would recommend Mr. Burrell to command the fleet in the room of Sir Charles Hardy. The fortune of the Burrells is powerful enough to baffle calculation. Good night, Madam!
P. S. I have not written to Mr. Conway since this day sevennight, not having a teaspoonful of news to send him. I will beg your ladyship to tell him so.
I am concerned, dear sir, that you gave yourself the trouble of transcribing the catalogue and prices, which I received last night, and for which I am exceedingly obliged to you. Partial as I am to the pictures at Houghton, I confess I think them much overvalued. My father’s whole collection, of which alone he had preserved the prices, cost but 40,000 pounds; and after his death there were three sales of pictures, among which were all the whole-lengths of Vandyke but three, which had been sent to Houghton, but not fitting any of the ,spaces left, came back to town. Few of the rest sold were very fine, but no doubt Sir Robert had paid as dear for many of them; as purchasers are not perfect connoisseurs at first. Many of the valuations are not only exorbitant, but injudicious. They who made the estimate seem to have considered the rarity of the hands more than the excellence. Three-The, Magi’s Offering, by Carlo Maratti, as it is called, and two supposed Paul Veronese,-are very indifferent copies, and yet all are roundly valued, and the first ridiculously. I do not doubt of another picture in the collection but the Last Supper, by Raphael, and yet this is set down at 500 pounds. I miss three pictures, at least they are not set down, the Sir Thomas Wharton, and Laud and Gibbons. The first is most capital; yes, I recollect I have had some doubts on the Laud, though the University