(477) In a review of the edition of the Works of Mason which appeared in 1816, the quarterly Review, after expressing a wish that this and the Heroic Epistle to Sir William Chambers had been included in the collection, says, “The Archaeological Epistle was an hasty but animated effusion, drawn forth by the Rowleian Controversy, and dressed in the garb of old English verse, in order to obviate the argument drawn from the difficulty of writing in the language of the fifteenth century. The task might indeed have been per; formed by many; but the sentiments accorded with the known declarations of Mason.” Vol. xv. p. 385.-E.
You are always kind to me, dear Sir, in all respects, but I have been forced to recur to a rougher prescription than ass’s milk. The pain and oppression on my breast obliged me to be blooded two days together, which removed my cold and fever; but, as I foresaw, left me the gout in their room. I have had it in my left foot and hand for a week, but it is going. This cold is very epidemic. I have at least half a dozen nieces and great-nieces confined with it. but it is not dangerous or lasting. I shall send you, within this day or two, the new edition of my Anecdotes of Painting; you will find very little new: it is a cheap edition for the use of artists, and that at least they who really want the book, and not the curiosity, may have it, without being forced to give the outrageous price at which the Strawberry edition sells, merely because it is rare.
I could assure Mr. Gough, that the Letter on Chatterton cost me 6 very small pains. I had nothing to do but recollect and relate the exact truth. There has been published another piece on it, which I cannot tell whether meant to praise or to blame me, so wretchedly is it written; and I have received another anonymous one, dated Oxford, (which may be to disguise Cambridge) and which professes to treat me very severely, though stuffed with fulsome compliments. It abuses me for speaking modestly of myself—a fault I hope I shall never mend; avows agreeing with me on the supposition of the poems, which may be a lie, for it is not uncharitable to conclude that an anonymous writer is a liar; acquits me of being at