I congratulate your lordship on the discovery of the Scottish monarch’s portrait in Suabia, and am sorry you did not happen to specify of which; but I cannot think of troubling your lordship to write again on purpose; I may probably find it mentioned in some of the papers I shall receive.
There is one passage in your lordship’s letter in which I cannot presume to think myself included; and yet if I could suppose I was, it would look like most impertinent neglect and unworthiness of the honour that your lordship and the society have done me, if I did not at least offer. very humbly to obey it. You are pleased to say, my lord, that the members, when authors, have agreed to give copies of such of their works as any way relate to the objects of the institution. Amongst my very trifling publications, I think there are none that can pretend even remotely to that distinction, but the Catalogue of Royal and Noble Authors, and the Anecdotes of Painting, in each of which are Scottish authors or artists. If these should be thought worthy of a corner on any shelf of the society’s library, I should be proud sending, at your lordship’s command, the original edition of the first. Of the latter I have not a single set left but my own. But I am printing a new edition in octavo, with many additions and corrections, though without cuts, as the former edition was too dear for many artists to purchase. The new I will send when finished, if I could hope it would be acceptable, and your lordship would please to tell me by what channel.
I am ashamed, my lord, to have said so much, or any thing relating to myself. I ask your pardon too for the slovenly writing of my letter; but my hand is both lame and shaking, and I should but write worse if I attempted transcribing.
I have the honour to be, with great respect, my lord, your lordship’s most obedient and obliged humble servant.
P. S. It has this moment started into my mind, my lord, that I have heard that at the old castle at Aubigny, belonging and adjoining to the Duke of Richmond’s house, there are historic paintings or portraits of the ancient house of Lennox. I recollect too that Father Gordon, superior of the Scots College at Paris, showed me a whole-length of Queen Mary, young, and which he believed was painted while she was Queen of France. He showed me too the original letter she wrote, the night before her execution, some deeds of Scottish kings, and one of King (I think Robert) Bruce, remarkable for having no seal appendent, which Father Gordon said was executed in the time of his so great distress, that he was not possessed of a seal. I shall be happy if these hints lead to any investigations of use.
(460) Now first collected.
(461) The surrender of the British army at Yorktown. See ant`e, p. 296, letter 234.-E.