Your parties do not tempt me, because I am not well enough to join in them: nor yet will they stop me, though I had rather find only you and Lady Ailesbury and Mrs. Damer. I am not seriously ill; nay, am better upon the whole than I was last year: but I perceive decays enough in myself to be sensible that the scale may easily be inclined to the worst side. This observation makes ’me very indifferent to every thing that is not much at my heart. Consequently what concerns you is, as it has always been for above forty years, a principal object. Adieu!
Strawberry Hill, Sunday, August 27, 1783. (page 331)
Though I begin my letter on and have dated it Sunday, I recollect that it may miss you if you go to town on Tuesday, and therefore I shall not send it to the post till to-morrow. I can give you but an indifferent account of myself. I went to Lord Dacre’s: but whether the heat and fatigue were too much for me, or whether the thunder turned me sour, for I am at least as weak as small-beer, I came back with the gout in my left hand and right foot. The latter confined me for three days; but though my ankle is still swelled, I do not stay in my house: however I am frightened, and shall venture no more expeditions yet; for my hands and feet are both so lame, that I am neither comfortable to myself or any body else, abroad, when I must confine them, stay by myself or risk pain, which the least fatigue gives me. At this moment I have a worse embargo even than lameness on me. The Prince d’Hessenstein has written to offer me a visit—I don’t know when. I have just answered his note, and endeavoured to limit its meaning to the shortest sense I could, by proposing to give him a dinner or a breakfast. I would keep my bed rather than crack our northern French together for twelve hours.