(424) Walpole had printed fifty copies of"The Mysterious Mother” at Strawberry Hill as early as the year 1765; but a surreptitious edition of it being announced in 1781, he consented to Dodsley’s publishing a genuine one.-E.
(425) In his reply to this letter, of the 7th of May, the worthy antiquary says-"I congratulate the little Parisian dog, that he has fallen into the hands of so humane a master. I have a little diminutive dog, Busy, full as great a favourite, and never out of my lap: I have already, in case of an accident, ensured it a refuge from starvation and ill-usage. It is the least we can do for poor harmless, shiftless, pampered animals that have amused us, and we have spoilt.” A brother antiquary, on reading this passage, exclaimed, “How could Mr. Cole ever get through the transcript of a Bishop’s Registry, or a Chartulary, with Busy never out of his lap!"-E.
I supped With your Countess on Friday at Lord Frederick Campbell’s, where I heard of the relief of Gibraltar by Darby. The Spanish fleet kept close in Cadiz: however, he lifted up his leg, and just squirted contempt on them. As he is disembarrassed of his transports, I suppose their ships will scramble on shore rather than fight. Well, I shall be perfectly content with our fleet coming back in a whole skin; it will be enough to have outquixoted Don Quixote’s own nation. As I knew, your Countess would write the next day, I waited till she was gone out of town and would not have much to tell you—not that I have either; and it is giving myself an air to pretend to know more at Twickenham than she can at Henley. Though it is a bitter northeast, I came hither to-day to look at my lilacs, though `a la glace; and to get from pharaoh, for which there is a rage. I doted on it above thirty years ago; but it is not decent to sit up all night now with boys and girls. My nephew, Lord Cholmondeley, the banker `a la mode, has been demolished. He and his associate, Sir Willoughby Aston, went early t’other night to Brookcs’s, before Charles Fox and Fitzpatrick, who keep a bank there, were come; but they soon arrived, attacked their rivals, broke their bank, and won above four thousand pounds. “There,” said Fox, “so should all usurpers be served!” He did still better; for he sent for his tradesmen, and paid as far as the money would go. In the mornings he continues his war on Lord North, but cannot break that bank. The court has carried a secret committee for India affairs, and it is supposed that Rumbold is to be the sacrifice; but as he is near as rich as Lord Clive, I conclude he will escape by the same golden key.