I have gone through the six volumes of Leicester. The author is so modest and so humble, that I am quite sorry it is so very bad a work; the arrangement detestable, the materials trifling, his reflections humane but silly. He disposes all under reigns of Roman emperors and English kings, whether they did any thing or nothing at Leicester. I am sorry I have such predilection for the histories of particular counties and towns: there certainly does not exist a worse class of reading.
Dr. E. made me a visit last week. He is not at all less vociferous for his disgrace. I wish I had any Guinea-fowls. I can easily get you some eggs from Lady Ailesbury, and will ask her for some, that you may have the pleasure of rearing your own chicks—but how can you bear their noise? they are more discordant and clamorous than peacocks. How shall I convey the eggs?
I smiled at Dr. Kippis’s bestowing the victory on Dean Milles, and a sprig on Mr. Masters. I regard it as I should, if the sexton of Broad Street St. Giles’s were to make a lower bow to a cheese-monger of his own parish than to me. They are all three haberdashers of small wares, and welcome to each other’s civilities. When such men are summoned to a jury on one of their own trade, it is natural they should be partial. They do not reason, but recollect how much themselves have overcharged some yards of buckram. Adieu!
P. S. Mr. Pennicott has shown me a most curious and delightful picture. It is Rose, the royal gardener, presenting the first pine-apple ever raised in England to Charles ii. They are In a garden, with a view of a good private house, such as there are several at Sunbury and about london. It is by far the best likeness of the King I ever saw; the countenance cheerful, good-humoured, and very sensible. He is in brown, lined with orange, and many black ribands, a large flapped hat, dark wig, not tied up, nor yet bushy, a point cravat, no waistcoat, and a tasselled handkerchief, hanging from a low pocket. The whole is of the smaller landscape size, and extremely well coloured, with perfect harmony. \It was a legacy from London, grandson of him who was partner with Wise.
You compliment me, my good friend, on a sagacity that is surely very common. How frequently do we see portraits that have catched the features and missed the countenance or character, which is far more difficult to hit; nor is it unfrequent to hear that remark made.