By your gambols, as you call them, after the most ungambolling peeress in Christendom, and by your jaunts, I conclude, to my great satisfaction, that you are quite well. Change of scene and air are good for your spirits; and September, like all our old ladies, has given itself May airs, and must have made your journey very pleasant. Yet you will be glad to get back to your Cowslip-green, though it may offer you nothing but Michaelmas daisies. When you do leave it, I wish you could persuade Mrs. Garrick to settle sooner in London. There is full as good hay to be made in town at Christmas at Hampton, and some hay-makers that will wish for you particularly. Your most sincere friend.
(623) Ann Yearsley. See ant`e, p. 395, letter 313.-E.
(624) In the letter to which this is a reply, Miss More had said— “in vain do we boast of the enlightened eighteenth century, and conceitedly talk as if human reason had not a manacle left about her, but that philosophy had broken down all the strongholds of prejudice, ignorance, and superstition: and yet at this very time Mesmer has got an hundred thousand pounds by animal magnetism in Paris, and Mainanduc is getting as much in London. There is a fortune-teller in Westminster who is making little less. Lavater’s Physiognomy-books sell at fifteen guineas a set. The divining-rod is still considered as oracular in many places. Devils are cast out by seven ministers; and, to complete the disgraceful catalogue, slavery is vindicated in print, and defended in the House of Peers.” Memoirs, vol. ii. P. 120.-E.
It is agreeable to your ladyship’s usual goodness to honour me with another letter; and I may say, to your equity too, after I had proved to Monsieur Mercier, by the list of dates of my letters, that it was not mine, but the post’s fault, that you did not receive one that I had the honour of writing to you above a year ago. Not, Madam, that I could wonder if you had the prudence to drop a correspondence with an old superannuated man; who, conscious of his decay, has had the decency of not troubling, with his dotages persons of not near your ladyship’s youth and vivacity. I have been of opinion that few persons know when to die; I am not so English as to mean when to despatch themselves—no, but when to go out of the world. I have usually applied this opinion to those who have made a considerable figure; and, consequently, it was not adapted to myself. Yet even we ciphers ought not to fatigue the public scene when we are become lumber. Thus, being quite out of the question, I will explain my maxim, which is the more wholesome, the higher it is addressed. My opinion, then, is, that when any personage has shone as much as is possible in his or her best walk, (and, not to repeat both genders every minute, I will