Perhaps it is impertinent to trouble your lordship with my creed, it is certainly of no consequence to any body; but I have nothing else that could entertain you, and at so serious a crisis can one think of trifles? In general I am not sorry that the nation is most disposed to trifle; the less it takes part, the more leisure will the ministers have to attend to the most urged points. When so many individuals assume to be legislators, it is lucky that very few obey their institutes.
I rejoice to hear of Lady Strafford’s good health, and am her and your lordship’s most faithful humble servant.
(511) In the course of a debate in the Irish House of Commons, on the 28th of October, upon Sir Henry Cavendish’s motion for a retrenchment of the public expenditure violent altercation had taken place between the rival orators. While Mr. Grattan animadverted, with disgraceful bitterness, on the " broken beak and disastrous countenance” of his opponent, and charged him with betraying every man who trusted in him, Mr. Flood broadly insinuated that Mr. Grattan had betrayed his country for a sum of gold; and, for prompt payment, had sold himself to the minister.-E.
(512) They assembled at Dublin on the 10th of November, when a plan of reform was produced and considered by them; and on the following day Mr. Flood moved, in the House of Commons for leave to bring in a bill for the more equal representation of the people in Parliament. The motion was rejected by 157 votes to 77.-E.
Your lordship is so partial to me and my idle letters, that I am afraid of writing them; not lest they should sink below the standard you have pleased to affix to them in your own mind, but from fear of being intoxicated into attempting to keep them up to it, which would destroy their only merit, their being written naturally and without pretensions. Gratitude and good breeding compel me to make due answers; but I entreat your lordship to be assured, that, however vain I am of your favour, my only aim is to preserve the honour of your friendship; that it is all the praise I ask or wish; and that, with regard to letter-writing, I am firmly persuaded that it is a province in which women will always shine superiorly; for our sex is too jealous of the reputation of good sense, to condescend to hazard a thousand trifles and negligences, which give grace, ease, and familiarity to correspondence.(513) I will say no more on that subject, for I feel that I am on the brink of a dissertation; and though that fault would prove the truth of my proposition, I will not punish your lordship only to convince you that I am in the right. The winter is not dull or disagreeable; on the contrary, it is Pleasing, as the town is occupied on general subjects, and not, as is too common, on private scandal, private vices, and follies.