(368) Where Lord Hertford had then a villa.
You ought not to accuse yourself only, when I have been as silent as you. Surely we have been friends too long to admit ceremony as a go-between. I have thought of writing to you several times, but found I had nothing worth telling you. I am rejoiced to hear your health has been better: mine has been worse the whole summer and autumn than ever it was without any positive distemper, and thence I conclude it is a failure in my constitution-of which, being a thing of course, we will say no more-nobody but a physician is bound to hear what he cannot cure-and if we will pay for what we cannot expect, it is our own fault.
I have seen Doctor Lort, who seems pleased with becoming a limb of Canterbury. I heartily wish the mitre may not devolve before it has beamed substantially on him. In the meantime he will be delighted with ransacking the library at Lambeth; and, to do him justice, his ardour is literary, not interested.
I am much obliged to you, dear Sir, for taking the trouble of transcribing Mr. Tyson’s Journal, which is entertaining. But I am so Ignorant as not to know where Hatfield Priory is. The three heads I remember on the gate at Whitehall; there were five more. The whole demolished structure was transported to the great Park at Windsor, by the late Duke of Cumberland, who intended to re-edify it, but never did; and now I suppose
Its ruins ruined, as its Place no more.
I did not know what was become of the heads, and am glad any are preserved. I should doubt their being the works of Torregiano. Pray who is Mr. Nichols, who has published the Alien Priories; there are half a dozen or more pretty views of French cathedrals. I cannot say that I found any thing else in the book that amused me-but as you deal more in ancient lore than I do, perhaps you might be better pleased.
I am told there is a new History of Gloucestershire, very large, but ill executed, by one Rudder(369)—still I have sent for it, for Gloucestershire is a very historic country.
It was a wrong scent on which I employed you. The arms I have impaled were certainly not Boleyn’s. You lament removal of friends -alas! dear Sir, when one lives to our age, one feels that in a higher degree than from their change of place! but one must not dilate those common moralities. You see by my date I have changed place myself. I am got into an excellent, comfortable, cheerful house; and as, from necessity and inclination, I live much more at home than I used to do, it is very agreeable to be so pleasantly lodged, and to be in a warm inn as one passes through the last Vale. Adieu! Yours ever.
(369) “The History and Antiquities of Gloucestershire; comprising the Topography, Antiquities, Curiosities, Produce, Trade, and Manufactures of that County:” by Samuel Rudder, printer, Cirencester, folio.-E.