(420) “Walpoliana; or a few Anecdotes of Sir Robert Walpole”—an agreeable little collection of anecdotes relative to Sir Robert Walpole, made by Philip second Earl of Hardwicke; printed in quarto, but never published.-E.
You are so good-natured that I am sure you will be glad to be told that the report of Mr. Pennant being disordered is not true. He is come to town—has been with me, and at least is as composed as ever I saw him. He is going to publish another part of his Welsh Tour, which he can well afford; though I believe he does not lose by his works. An aunt is dead, exceedingly rich, who had given some thousands to him and his daughter, but suddenly changed her mind and left all to his sister, who has most nobly given him all that had been destined in the cancelled will. Dr. Nash has just published the first volume of his Worcestershire. It is a folio of prodigious corpulence, and yet dry enough; but then it is finely dressed, and has many heads and views.(421) Dr. Lort was with me yesterday, and I never saw him better, nor has he been much out of order. I hope your gout has left you; but here are winds bitter enough to give one any thing. Yours ever.
(421) Dr. Threadway Nash’s “Collections for the History of Worcestershire;” 1781-1799; in two volumes, folio.-E.
I am very sorry, dear Sir, that, in my last letter but one, I took notice of what you said of Lord Hardwicke; the truth was, I am perfectly indifferent about what he prints or publishes. There is generally a little indirect malice but so much more dulness, that the latter soon suffocates the former. This is telling you that I could not be offended at any thing you said of him, nor am I likely to suspect a sincere friend of disobliging me. You have proved the direct contrary these forty years. I have not time to say more, but am ever most truly yours.
I shall not only be ready to show Strawberry Hill, at any time he chooses, to Dr. Farmer, as your friend, but to be honoured with his acquaintance, though I am very shy now of contracting new. I have great respect for his character and abilities and Judicious taste, and am very clear that he has elucidated Shakspeare(422) in a more reasonable and satisfactory manner than any of his affected commentators, who only complimented him with learning that he had not, in order to display their own.
Pray give me timely notice whenever I am likely to see Dr. Farmer, that I may not be out of the way when I can have an opportunity of showing attention to a friend of yours, and pay a small part of your gratitude to him. There shall be a bed at his service; for you know Strawberry cannot be seen in a moment, nor are Englishmen so liants as to get acquainted in the time they are walking through a house.