(482) The Comte de Grasse, the admiral of the French fleet which Rodney defeated on the 12th of April, 1782, and who had struck his flag in that engagement to the Barbeur, and surrendered himself to Sir Samuel Hood, landed at Portsmouth, as a prisoner of war, on the 5th of August.-E.
You know I am too reasonable to expect to hear from you when you are so overwhelmed in business, or to write when I have nothing upon earth to say. I would come to town, but am to have company on Thursday, and am engaged with Lady Cecilia at Ditton on Friday, and On Monday I am to dine and pass the day at Sion-hill; and, as I am twenty years older than any body of my age, I am forced to rest myself between my parties. I feel this particularly at this moment, as the allied houses of Lucan and Althorpe have just been breakfasting here, and I am sufficiently fatigued.
I have not been at Oatlands for years; for consider I cannot walk, much less climb a precipice; and the Duke of Newcastle has none of the magnificence of petty princes in a romance or in Germany, of furnishing calashes to those who visit his domains. He is not undetermined about selling the place; but besides that nobody is determined to buy it, he must have Lord Lincoln’s consent.
I saw another proud prince yesterday, your cousin Seymour from Paris, and his daughter. She was so dishevelled, that she looked like a pattern doll that had been tumbled at the Custom-house.
I am mighty glad that war has gone to sleep like a paroli at faro, and that the rain has cried itself to death; unless the first would dispose of all the highwaymen, footpads, and housebreakers, or the latter drown them, for nobody hereabouts dare stir after dusk, nor be secure at home. When you have any interval Of Your little campaigns, I shall hope to see you and Lady Ailesbury here.
(483) Now first printed.
I congratulate your lordship on the acquisition of a valuable picture by Jameson. The Memoirs of your Society I have not yet received; but when I do, shall read it with great pleasure, and beg your lordship to offer my grateful thanks to the members, and to accept them yourself.
No literature appears here at this time of the year. London, I hear, is particularly empty. Not only the shooting season is begun, but till about seventeen days ago, there was nothing but incessant rains, and not one summer’s day. A catalogue, in two quartos, of the Manuscripts in the British Museum, and which thence does not seem to contain great treasures, and Mr. Tyrwhitt’s book on the Rowleian controversy, which is reckoned completely victorious, are all the novelties I have seen since I left town. War and politics occupy those who think at all-no great number neither; and most of those, too, are content with the events of the day, and forget them the next. But it is too like an old man to blame the age; and, as I have nothing to do with it, I may as well be silent and let it please itself. I am, with great regard, my lord, yours, etc.