(755) The fire took place on the morning of the 2d of March. There was no reason for any particular suspicion, except the general dislike in the lower classes of the people, arising from a notion, that the undertaking enhanced the price of corn and decreased the value of labour.-E.
(756) Sir Joseph Banks, while President of the Royal Society, had a weekly evening reception of all persons distinguished in science or the arts.
(757) A celebrated opera.
I did not begin my letter on customary Friday , because I had nothing new to tell or to say. The town lies fallow—not an incident worth repeating as far as I know. Parliament manufactures only bills, not politics. I never understood any thing useful; and, now that my time and connexions are shrunk to so narrow a compass, what business have I with business? As I have mended considerably for the last four days, and as we have had a fortnight of soft warm weather, and a southwest wind to-day, I have ventured hither for change Of air, and to give orders about some repairs at Cliveden; which, by the way, Mr. Henry Bunbury, two days ago, proposed to take off my hands for his life. I really do not think I accepted his offer. I shall return to town on Monday, and hope to find a letter to answer—or what will this do?
Berkeley Square, Monday evening.
I am returned and find the only letter I dreaded, and the only one, I trust, that I shall ever not be impatient to receive from you. Though ten thousand times kinder than I deserve, it wounds my heart: as I find I have hurt two of the persons I love the best upon earth’, and whom I am most constantly studying to please and serve. That I soon repented of my murmurs, you have seen by my subsequent letters. The truth, as you may have perceived, though no excuse, was, that I had thought myself dying, and should never see you more; that I was extremely weak and low, when Mrs. Damer’s letter arrived, and mentioned her supposing that I should not see you till spring twelvemonth. That terrible sentence recalled Mr. Batt’s being the first to assure me of your going abroad, when I had concluded you had laid aside the design. I did sincerely allow that in both instances you had acted from tenderness in concealing your intentions; but, as I knew I could better bear the information from yourselves than from others, I thought it unfriendly to let me learn from others what interested me so deeply: yet I do not in the least excuse my conduct; no, I condemn it in every light, and shall never forgive myself if you do not promise me to be guided entirely by your own convenience and inclinations about your return. I am perfectly well again, and just as likely to live one year as half an one. Indulge your pleasure in being abroad while you are there.