I have vented what I had at my heart, and feel relieved. Do not take ill a word I have said. Be assured I can love you as much as ever I did, and do; and though I am no longer so Unjust as to prefer my own satisfaction to yours. Here I drop the subject; before Tuesday, perhaps, I shall be able to talk on some other.
Though the Parliament is met, and the town they say, full, I have not heard a tittle of news of any sort; and yet my prison is a coffeehouse in a morning, though I have been far from well this whole week. Yesterday and Saturday the gout was so painful in my right shoulder, that I could not stoop or turn round. To-day it is in my left elbow, and, I doubt, coming into my right foot: in short, it seems to be going its circle over again. I am not very sorry; sufferings reconcile one to parting with one’s self.
One of our numerous tempests threw down Mrs. Damer’s chimney last week, and it fell through her workshop; but fortunately touched none of her own works, and only broke two or three insignificant casts. I suppose you know she returns through Spain. This minute I have heard that Lord Lothian’s daughter, Lady Mary St. John, and daughter-in-law of Lady Di Beauclerc, died yesterday, having been delivered of a fine boy but the day before. As you are curious to know the chief topic of conversation, it is the rival Opera-houses, neither of which are opened yet; both saying the other is fallen down. Taylor has published a pamphlet that does not prove that the Marquis(730) is the most upright Chamberlain that ever dropped from the skies, nor that the skies are quite true blue. Adieu! if no postscript tomorrow. None.
(730) of Salisbury.
I have received your two letters of January 17th and 24th with an account of your objects and plans; and the latter are very much what I expected, as before you receive this you will have seen by my last, No. 18. Indeed, you most kindly offer to break so far into your plan, as to return at the beginning of next winter; but as that would, as you say, not only be a sacrifice, but risk your healths, can any thing upon earth be more impossible than for me to accept or consent to such a sacrifice? Were I even in love with one of you, could I agree to it? and, being only a most zealous friend, do you think