I forgot to tell you, that in the screen of York Minster there are most curious statues of the Kings of England, from the Conqueror to Henry VI.; very singular, evidently by two different hands, the one better than the other, and most of them I am persuaded, very authentic. Richard ii., Henry iii., and Henry V., I am sure are; and Henry Iv., though unlike the common portrait at Hampton-court, in Herefordshire, the most singular and villanous countenance I ever saw. I intend to try to get them well engraved. That old fool, James I., is crowded in, in the place of Henry vii., that was taken away to make room for this piece of flattery; for the chapter did not slight live princes. Yours ever.
(79) Mason was a residentiary of York cathedral; as well as prebendary of Duffield, and rector of Aston.-E.
Dear Sir, Your repentance is much more agreeable than your sin, and will cancel it whenever you please. Still I have a fellow-feeling for the indolence of age, and have myself been writing an excuse this instant for not accepting an invitation above threescore miles off. One’s limbs, when they grow old, will not go any where, when they do not like it. If yours should find themselves in a more pliant humour, you are always sure of being welcome here, let the fit of motion come when it will.
Pray what is become of that figure you mention of Henry vii., which the destroyers, not the builders have rejected? and which the antiquaries, who know a man by his crown better than by his face, have rejected likewise? The latter put me in mind of characters in comedies, in which a woman disguised in man’s habit, and whose features her very lover does not know, is immediately acknowledged by pulling off her hat, and letting down her hair, which her lover had never seen before. I should be glad to ask Dr. Milles, if he thinks the crown of England was always made, like a quart pot, by Winchester measure? If Mr. Tyson has made a print from that little statue, I trust he will give me one; and if he, or Mr. Essex, or both, will accompany you hither, I shall be glad to see them.
At Buckden, in the Bishop’s palace, I saw a print of Mrs. Newcome: I Suppose the late mistress of St. John’s. Can you tell me where I can procure one? Mind, I insist that you do not serve me as you have often done, and send me your own, if you have one. I seriously will not accept it, nor ever trust you again. On the staircase, in the same palace, there is a picture of two young men, in the manner of Vandyck, not at all ill done; do you know who they are, or does any body? There is a worse picture, in a large room, of some lads, which, too, the housemaid did not know. Adieu! dear Sir, yours ever.