If this letter reaches your lordship, I believe it must be conveyed by a dove; for we are all under water, and a postman has not where to set the sole of his foot. They tell me, that in the north you have not been so drowned, which will be very fortunate: for in these parts every thing is to be apprehended for the corn, the sheep, and the camps: but, in truth, all kinds of prospects are most gloomy, and even in lesser lights uncomfortable. Here we cannot stir, but armed for battle. Mr. Potts, who lives at Mr. Hindley’s, was attacked and robbed last week at the end of Gunnersbury-lane, by five footpads who had two blunderbusses. Lady Browne and I do continue going to Twickenham park; but I don’t know how long it will be prudent, nor whether it is so now.
I have not been at Park-place, for Mr. Conway is never there, at least only for a night or two. His regiment was reviewed yesterday at Ashford-common, but I did not go to see it. In truth, I have so little taste for common sights, that I never yet did see a review in my life: I was in town last week, yet saw not Monsieur de Grasse;(482) nor have seen the giant or the dwarf.
Poor Mrs. Clive is certainly very declining, but has been better of late; and which I am glad of, thinks herself better. All visions that comfort one are desirable: the conditions of mortality do not bear being pryed into; nor am I an admirer of that philosophy that scrutinizes into them: the philosophy of deceiving one’s self is vastly preferable. What signifies anticipating what we cannot prevent?
I do not pretend to send your lordship any news, for I do not know a tittle, nor inquire. Peace is the sole event of which I wish to hear. For private news, I have outlived almost all the world with which I was acquainted, and have no curiosity about the next generation, scarce more than about the twentieth century. I wish I was less indifferent, for the sake of the few with whom I correspond,-your lordship in particular, who are always so good and partial to me, and on whom I should indubitably wait, were I fit to take a long journey; but as I walk no better than a tortoise, I make a conscience of not incommodating my friends, whom I should Only Confine at home. Indeed both my feet and hands are so lame, that I now scarce ever dine abroad. Being so antiquated and insipid, I will release your lordship; and am, with my unalterable respects to Lady Strafford, your lordship’s most devoted humble servant.