Et simili frondescet Virga metallo.”
I endeavoured to give our antiquaries a little wrench towards taste—but it was in vain. Sandby and our engravers have lent them a great deal—but there it stops. Captain Grose’s dissertations are as dull and silly as if they were written for the Ostrogoth maps of the beginning of the new Topography: and which are so square and incomprehensible, that they look as if they were ichnographics of the New Jerusalem. I am delighted with having done with the professions of author and printer, and intend to be most comfortably lazy, I was going to say idle (but that would not be new) for the rest of my days.
If there was a peace, I would build my offices—if there is not soon, we shall be bankrupt—nay, I do not know what may happen as it is. Well! Mr. Grose will have plenty of ruins to engrave! The Royal Academy will make a fine mass, with what remains of old Somerset-house.
Adieu! my good Sir. Let me know you are well. You want nothing else, for you can always amuse Yourself, and do not let the foolish world disturb you. Yours most sincerely.
(401) The Hon. Daines Barrington, fourth son of John first Viscount Barrington, second Justice of Chester, and author of “Observations on the Statutes,” etc. He was eminent in natural history, and in several branches of literature; and died in 1800.-E.
I am sorry, my dear Sir, that you should be so humble with me, your ancient friend, and to whom you have ever been so liberal, as to make an apology for desiring me to grant the request of another person. I am not less sorry that I shall not, I fear, be able to comply with it; and you must have the patience to hear my reason,,-,. The first edition of the Anecdotes was of three hundred, of the two first volumes; and of as many of the third volume, and of the volume of Engravers. Then there was an edition of three hundred of all four. Unluckily, I did not keep any number back of the two first volumes, and literally have none but those I reserved for myself. Of the other two I have two or three: and, I believe, I have a first, but without the cuts. If I can,.with some odd volumes that I kept for corrections, make out a decent set, the library of the University shall have them; but you must not promise them, lest I should not be able to perform.