We have at last had some rains, which I hope extended to Yorkshire, and that your lordship has found Wentworth Castle in the bloom of verdure. I always, as in duty bound, wish prosperity to every body and every thing there, and am your lordship’s ever devoted and grateful humble servant.
Your last account of yourself was so indifferent, that I am impatient for a better: pray send me a much better.
I know little in your way but that Sir Richard Worseley has just published a History of the Isle of Wight, with many views poorly done enough.(434) Mr. Bull(435) is honouring me, at least my Anecdotes of Painting, exceedingly. He has let every page into a pompous sheet, and is adding every print of portrait, building, etc. that I mention, and that he can get, and specimens of all our engravers. It will make eight magnificent folios, and be a most valuable body of our arts. Nichols the printer has published a new Life of Hogarth,(436) of near two hundred pages--many more, in truth, than it required: chiefly it is the life of his works, containing all the variations, and notices of any persons whom he had in view. I cannot say there are discoveries of many prints which I have not mentioned, though I hear Mr. Gulston(437) says he has fifteen such; but I suppose he only fancies so. Mr. Nichols says our printsellers are already adding Hogarth’s name to several spurious. Mr. Stevens, I hear, has been allowed to ransack Mrs. Hogarth’s house for obsolete and unfinished plates, which are to be completed and published. Though she was not pleased with my account of her husband, and seems by these transactions to have encouraged the second, I assure you I have much more reason to be satisfied than she has, the editor or editors being much civiller to living me than to dead Hogarth—yet I should not have complained. Every body has the same right to speak their sentiments. Nay, in general, I have gentler treatment than I expected, and I think the world and I part good friends.