I am very seriously glad of the birth of your nephew,(101) my lord; I am going this evening with my gratulations’; but have been so much absent and so hurried, that I have not yet had the pleasure of seeing
Lady Anne,(102) though I have called twice. To Gunnersbury I have no summons this summer: I receive such honours, or the want of them, with proper respect. Lady Mary Coke, I fear, is in chace of a Dulcineus that she will never meet. When the ardour of peregrination is a little abated, will not she probably give in to a more comfortable pursuit; and, like a print I have seen of -the blessed martyr Charles the First, abandon the hunt of a corruptible for that of an incorruptible crown? There is another beatific print just published in that style: it is of Lady Huntingdon. With much pompous humility, she looks like an old basket-woman trampling on her coronet at the mouth of a cavern.-Poor Whitfield! if he was forced to do the honours of the spelunca!—Saint Fanny Shirley is nearer consecration. I was told two days ago that she had written a letter to Lady Selina that was not intelligible. Her grace of Kingston’s glory approaches to consummation in a more worldly style. The Duke(103) is dying, and has given her the whole estate, seventeen thousand a-year. I am told she has already notified the contents of the will, and made offers of the sale of Thoresby. Pious matrons have various ways of expressing decency.
Your lordship’s new bow-window thrives. I do not want it to remind me of its master and mistress, to whom I am ever the most devoted humble servant.
(101) A son of John Earl of Buckingham, who died young.
(102) Lady Anne Conolly.
(103) The Duke of Kingston died on the 22d of September, when all his honours became extinct.-E.
I am very sorry, my dear lord, that you are coming towards us so slowly and unwillingly. I cannot quite wonder at the latter. The world is an old acquaintance that does not improve upon one’s hands: however, one must not give way to the disgusts it creates. My maxim, and practice, too, is to laugh, because I do not like to cry. I could shed a pailfull of tears over all I have seen and learnt Since my poor nephew’s misfortune-the more one has to do with men the worse one finds them But can one mend them? No. Shall we shut ourselves up from them? No. We should grow humourists-and of all animals an Englishman is least made to live alone. For my part, I am conscious of so many faults, that I think I grow better the more bad I see in my neighbours; and there are so many I would not resemble, that it makes me watchful over myself You, my lord, who have forty more good qualities than I have, should not seclude yourself. I do not wonder you despise knaves and fools: but remember, they want better examples; they will never grow ashamed by conversing with one another.