My beloved spouses, whom I love better than Solomon loved his one spouse—or his one thousand. I lament that the summer is over; not because of its uniquity, but because you two made it so delightful to me, that six weeks of gout could not sour it. Pray take care of yourselves-not for your own sakes, but for mine: for, as I have just had my quota of gout, I may, possibly, expect to see another summer: and, as you allow that I do know my own, and when I wish for any thing and have it, am entirely satisfied, you may depend upon it that I shall be as happy with a third summer, if I reach it, as I have been with the two last.
Consider, that I have been threescore years and ten looking for a society that I perfectly like; and at last there dropped out of the clouds into Lady Herries’s room two young gentlewomen, who I so little thought were sent thither on purpose for me, that When I was told they were the charming Miss Berrys, I would not even go to the side of the chamber where they sat. But, as Fortune never throws any thing at one’s head without hitting one, I soon found that the charming Berrys were precisely ce qu’il me fallait; and that though young enough to be my great-grand-daughters, lovely enough to turn the heads of all our youths, and sensible enough, if said youths have any brains, to set all their heads to rights again. Yes, sweet damsels, I have found that you can bear to pass half your time with an antediluvian, without discovering any ennui or disgust; though his greatest merit towards you is, that he is not one of those old fools who fancy they are in love in their dotage. I have no such vagary; though I am not sorry that some folks think I am so absurd, since it frets their selfishness. The Mackinsys, Onslows, Miss Pelham, and Madame de Cambis have dined here; and to-morrow I shall have the flamptonians and other Richmondists. I must repeat it; keep in mind that both of you are delicate, and not strong. If you return in better health, I shall not repine at your journey. Good night!
(855) The Miss Berrys were at this time in Yorkshire.
Every thing has gone au mieux. The rain vented itself to the last drop yesterday; and the sun, as bright as the Belvedere, has not had a wrinkle on his brow since eight o’clock this morning; nay, he has been warm, and gilded the gallery and tribune with sterling rays; the Thames quite full with the last deluges, and the verdure never fresher it was born. The Duchess of York arrived punctually at twelve, in a high phaeton, with Mrs. Ewert, and Bude on horseback. On the step of the gate was a carpet, and the court matted. I received