I must beg, Sir, that you will tell Mr. Pinkerton, that I am much obliged to him for the honour he is willing to do me, though I must deg his leave to decline it. His book(527) deserves an eminent patron: I am too inconsiderable to give any relief to it, and even in its own line am unworthy to be distinguished. One of my first pursuits was a collection of medals; but I early gave it over, as I could not afford many branches of virt`u, and have since changed or given away several of my best Greek and Roman medals. What remain, I shall be glad to show Mr. Pinkerton; and, if it would not be inconvenient to him to come hither any morning by eleven o’clock, after next Thursday, that he Will not only see my medals, but any other baubles here that can amuse him. I am, Sir, your most obedient humble servant.
(526) Now first collected.
(527) The first edition of Pinkerton’s “Essay on Medals” was published by Dodsley, in two volumes octavo, in this year, without the name of the author.-E.
As Lady Cecilia Johnston offers to be postman, I cannot resist writing a line, though I have not a word to say. In good sooth, I know nothing hear Of nothing but robberies and housebreaking; consequently never think of ministers, India directors, and such honest men. Mrs. Clive has been broken open, and Mr. Raftor miscarried, and died of the fright. Lady Browne has lost all her liveries and her temper, and Lady Blandford has cried her eyes out on losing a lurch and almost her wig. In short, as I do not love exaggeration, I do not believe there have been above threescore highway robberies within this week, fifty-seven houses that have been broken open, and two hundred and thirty that are to be stripped on the first opportunity. We are in great hopes, however, that the King of Spain, now he has demolished Algiers, the metropolitan see of thieves, will come and bombard Richmond, Twickenham, Hampton-court, and all the suffragan cities that swarm with pirates and banditti, as he has a better knack at destroying vagabonds than at recovering his own.
Ireland is in a blessed way; and, as if the climate infected every body that sets foot there, the viceroy’s aides-do-camp have blundered into a riot, that will set all the humours afloat. I wish you joy of the summer being come now it is gone, which is better than not coming at all. I hope Lady Cecilia will return with an account of your all being perfectly well. Adieu! Yours ever.
I am much obliged to you, Sir, for the pieces you have sent me of your own composition.(529) There is great poetic beauty and merit in them, with great knowledge of the ancient masters and of the best of the modern. You have talents that will succeed in whatever you pursue, and industry to neglect nothing that will improve them. Despise petty critics, and confute them by making your works as perfect as you can.