If the event is but too true, pray add to this melancholy service, that of telling me any circumstance you know of his death. Our long, very long friendship, and his genius, must endear to me every thing that relates to him. What writings has he left? Who are his executors?(58) I should earnestly wish, if he has destined any thing to the public, to print it at my press—it would do me honour, and would give me an opportunity of expressing what I feel for him. Methinks, as we grow old, our only business here is to adorn the graves of our friends, or to dig our own! Adieu, dear Sir! Yours ever.
P. S. I heard this unhappy news but last night; and have just been told, that Lord Edward Bentinck goes in haste to-morrow to England; so that you will receive this much sooner than I expected: still I must desire you to direct to Arlington-street, as by far the surest conveyance to me.
(58) His executors were, Mason the poet and the Rev. Dr. Brown, master of Pembroke Hall. “He hath desired,” wrote Dr. Brown to Dr. Wharton, “to be buried near his mother, at Stoke, near Windsor, and that one of his executors would see him laid in the grave; a melancholy task, which must come to my share, for Mr. Mason is not here.” Works, vol. iv. p. 206.-E.
I have passed my biennial six weeks here, my dear lord, and am preparing to return as soon as the weather will allow me. It is some comfort to the patriot virtue, envy, to find this climate worse than our own. There were four very hot days at the end of last month, which, you know, with us northern people compose a summer: it has rained half this, and for these three days there has been a deluge, a storm, and extreme cold. Yet these folks shiver in silk, and sit with their Windows open till supper-time. Indeed, firing is very dear, and nabobs very scarce. Economy and retrenchment are the words in fashion, and are founded in a little more than caprice. I have heard no instance of luxury but in Mademoiselle Guimard, a favourite dancer, who is building a palace: round the salle `a manger there are windows that open upon hot-houses, that are to produce flowers all winter. That is worthy of * * * * * *. There is a finer dancer, whom Mr. Hobart is to transplant to London; a Mademoiselle Heinel or Ingle, a Fleming.(59) She is tall, perfectly made, very handsome, and has a set of attitudes copied from the classics. She moves as gracefully slow as Pygmalion’s statue when it was Coming to life, and moves her leg round as imperceptibly as if she was dancing in the zodiac. But she is not Virgo.
They make no more of breaking parliaments here than an English mob does of breaking windows. It is pity people are so ill-sorted. If this King and ours could cross over and figure in, Louis xv. would dissolve our parliament if Polly Jones did but say a word to him. They have got into such a habit of it here, that you would think a parliament was a polypus: they cut it in two, and by next morning half of it becomes a whole assembly. This has literally been the case at Besan`con.(60) Lord and Lady Barrymore, who are in the highest favour at Compiegne, will be able to carry over the receipt.