The Bolognese school is my favourite, though I do not like Guercino, whom I call the German Guido, he is so heavy and dark. I do not, like your friend, venerate Constantinopolitan paintings, which are scarce preferable to Indian. The characters of the Italian comedy were certainly adopted even from the persons of its several districts and dialects. Pantaloon is a Venetian, even in his countenance; and I once saw a gentleman of Bergamo, whose face was an exact Harlequin’s mask.
I have scarce a penfull of news for you; the world is at Weymouth or Newmarket. En attendent, voici, the Gunnings again! The old gouty General has carried off his tailor’s wife; or rather, she him, whither, I know not. Probably, not far; for the next day the General was arrested for three thousand pounds, and carried to a spunginghouse, whence he sent cupid with a link to a friend, to beg help and a crutch. This amazing folly is generally believed; perhaps because the folly of that race is amazing—so is their whole story. The two beautiful sisters Were going on the stage, when they are at once exalted almost as high as they could be, were countessed and double-duchessed; and now the rest of the family have dragged themselves through all the kennels of the newspapers! Adieu! forgive all my pouts. I will be perfectly good-humoured when I have nothing to vex me!
As I am sure of the sincerity of your congratulations,(835 I feel much obliged by them, though what has happened destroys my tranquillity; and, if what the world reckons advantages could compensate the loss of peace and ease, would ill indemnify me, even by them. A small estate, loaded with debt, and of which I do not understand the management, and am too old to learn; a source of lawsuits among my near relations, though not affecting me; endless conversations with lawyers, and packets of letters to read every day and answer,—all this weight of new business is too much for the rag of life that yet hangs about me, and was preceded by three weeks of anxiety about my unfortunate nephew, and daily correspondence with physicians and mad-doctors, falling upon me when I had been out of order ever since July. Such a mass of troubles made me very seriously ill for some days, and has left me and still keeps me so weak and dispirited, that, if I shall not soon be able to get some repose, my poor head or body will not be able to resist. For the empty title, I trust you do not suppose it is any thing but an incumbrance, by larding my busy mornings with idle visits of interruption, and which, when I am able to go out, I shall be forced to return. Surely no man of seventy-four, unless superannuated, can have the smallest pleasure in sitting at home in his own room, as I almost always do, and being called by a new name! It will seem personal, and