(613) A comedy, called “False Appearances” translated from L’Homme du Jour of Boissy. It was first acted at the private theatre at Richmond.house, and afterwards at Drury-lane.-E.
I am soundly rejoiced, my dear Madam, that the present summer is more favourable to me than the last: , and that, instead of not answering my letters in three months, you open the campaign. May not I flatter myself’ that it is a symptom of your being in better health? I wish, however, you had told me so in positive words, and that all your complaints have left you. Welcome as is your letter, it would have been ten times more welcome bringing me that assurance; for don’t think I forget how ill you was last winter. As letters, you say, now keep their coaches, I hope those from Bristol will call often at my door.(614) I promise you I will never be denied to them.
No botanist am I; nor wished to learn from you, of all the Muses, that piping has a new signification. I had rather that you handled an oaten pipe than a carnation one; yet setting layers, I own, is preferable to reading newspapers, one of the chronical maladies of this age. Every body reads them, nay quotes them, though every body knows they are stuffed with lies or blunders. How should it be otherwise? If any extraordinary event happens, who but must hear it before it descends through a coffee-house to the runner of a daily paper? They who are always wanting news, are wanting to hear they don’t know what. A lower species, indeed, is that of the scribes you mention, who every night compose a journal for the satisfaction of such illiterati, and feed them with all the vices and misfortunes of every private family; nay, they now call it a duty to publish all those calamities which decency to wretched relations used in compassion to suppress, I mean self-murder in particular. Mr. -Is was detailed at length; and to-day that of Lord — and -. The pretence is, in terrorem, like the absurd stake and highway of our ancestors; as if there were a precautionary potion for madness, or the stigma of a newspaper were more dreadful than death. Daily journalists, to be sure, are most respectable magistrates! Yes, much like the cobblers that Cromwell made peers.