Ten months are gone of the longest year that ever was born—a baker’s year, for it has thirteen months to the dozen! As our letters are so long interchanging, it is not beginning too early to desire You will think of settling the stages to which I must direct to you in your route. Nay, I don’t know whether it is not already too late: I am sure it will be, if I am to stay for an answer to this; but I hope you will have thought on it before you receive this. I am so much recovered as to have been abroad. I cannot say my arm is glib yet; but, if I waited for the total departure of’ the rheumatism, I might stay at home till the national debt is paid. My fair writing is a proof of my lameness: I labour as if I were engraving; and drop no words, as I do in my ordinary hasty scribbling.
Lady Cecilia tells me that her nephew, Mr. West,(812) who was with you at Pisa, declares he is in love with you both; so I am not singular. You two may like to hear this, though no novelty to you; but it will not satisfy Mr. Berry, who will be impatient for news from Birmingham: but there are no more, nor any-whence else. There has not been another riot in any of the three kingdoms. The villain Paine came over for the Crown and Anchor;(813) but, finding that his pamphlet had not set a straw on fire, and that the 14th of July was as little in fashion as the ancient gunpowder-plot, he dined at another tavern with a few quaking conspirators; and probably is returning to Paris, where he is engaged in a controversy with the Abb`e Sieyes, about the plus or minus of rebellion. The rioters in Worcestershire, whom I mentioned in my last, were not a detachment from Birmingham, but volunteer incendiaries from the capital; who went, according to the rights of men, with the mere view of plunder, and threatened gentlemen to burn their houses, if not ransomed. Eleven of these disciples of Paine are in custody; and Mr. Merry, Mrs. Barbauld, and Miss Helen Williams will probably have subjects for elegies. Deborah and Jael, I believe, were invited to the Crown and Anchor, and had let their nails grow accordingly: but, somehow or other, no poissonni`eres were there, and the two prophetesses had no opportunity that day of exercising their talents or talons. Their French allies, cock and hen, have a fairer field open; and the Jacobins, I think, will soon drive the National Assembly to be better royalists than ever they were, in selfdefence.