I am very sorry you have been at all indisposed. I will take the utmost care of your fifty-ninth volume (for which I give you this receipt), and will restore it the instant I have had time to go through it. Witness my hand.
(413) See vol. i. p. 243, letter 61.-E.
I had not time, dear Sir, when I wrote last, to answer your letter, nor do more than cast an eye on your manuscripts. To say the truth, my patience is not tough enough to go through Wolsey’s negotiations. I see that your perseverance was forced to make the utmost efforts to transcribe them. They are immeasurably verbose, not to mention the blunders of the first copyist. As I road only for amusement, I cannot, so late in my life, purchase information on what I do not much care about, at the price of a great deal of ennui. The old wills at the end of your volume diverted me much more than the obsolete politics. I shall say nothing about what you call your old leaven. Every body must judge for himself in those matters: nor are you or I of an age to change long-formed opinions, as neither of us is governed by self-interest. Pray tell me how I may most safely return your volume. I value all your manuscripts so much, that I should never forgive myself, if a single one came to any accident by your so obligingly lending them to me. They are great treasures, and contain something or other that must suit most tastes: not to mention your amazing industry, neatness, legibility, with notes, arms, etc. I know no such repositories. You will receive with your manuscript Mr. Kerrick’s and Mr. Gough’s letters. The former is very kind. The inauguration of the Antiquated Society is burlesque and so is the dearth of materials for another volume; can they ever want such rubbish as compose their preceding annals?
I think it probable that story should be stone: however, I never piqued myself on recording every mason. I have preserved but too many that did not deserve to be mentioned. I dare to say, that when I am gone, many more such will be added to my volumes. I had not heard of poor Mr. Pennant’s misfortune. I am very sorry for it, for I believe him to be a very honest good-natured man. He certainly was too lively for his proportion of understanding, and too impetuous to make the best use of what he had. However, it is a credit to us antiquaries to have one of our class disordered by vivacity. I hope your goutiness is dissipated, and that this last fine week has set you on your feet again.