I believe the less that our opinions will coincide, as you speak so slightingly of the situation of Lee, which I admire. What a pretty circumstance is the little river! and so far from the position being insipid, to me it has a tranquil cheerfulness that harmonizes with the house, and seems to have been the judicious selection of a wealthy abbot, who avoided ostentation, but did not choose austere gloomth. I do not say that Lee is as gay as a watering-place upon a naked beach. I am very glad, and much obliged to you for having consented to pass the night at Lee. I am sure it made Mr. Barrett very happy. I shall let him know how pleased you was; and I too, for his attentions to you.
The mass of politics is so inauspicious, that if I tapped it, I should not finish my letter for the post, and my reflections would not contribute to your amusement; which I should be sorry to interrupt, and -which I beg you to pursue as long as it is agreeable to you. It is satisfaction enough to me to know you are happy; and it is my study to make you so, as far as my little power can extend: and, as I promised you on your Condescension in leaving Italy at my prayer, I will never object to whatever you like to do, and will accept, and Wait with patience for, any moments you will bestow on your devoted Orford.
I do beg and beseech you, good Sir, to forgive me, if I cannot possibly consent to receive the dedication you are so kind and partial as to propose to me. I have in the most positive, and almost uncivil manner, refused a dedication or two lately. Compliments on virtues which the persons addressed, like me, seldom possessed, are happily exploded and laughed out of use. Next to being ashamed of having good qualities bestowed on me to which I should have no title, it would hurt to be praised on my erudition, which is most superficial; and on my trifling writings, all of which turn on most trifling subjects. They amused me while writing them; may have amused a few persons; but have nothing solid enough to preserve them from being forgotten with other things of as light a nature. I Would not have your judgment called in question hereafter, if somebody reading your Aulus Gellius should ask, “What were those writings of Lord O. which Mr. Beloe so much commends? Was Lord O. more than one of the mob of gentlemen who wrote with ease?” Into that class I must sink; and I had rather do so imperceptibly, than to be plunged down to it by the interposition of the hand of a friend, who could not gainsay the sentence.