Well, I believe you do not regret being neither in parliament nor in administration! As you are an idle man, and have nothing else to do, you may sit down and tell one a remedy for all this. Perhaps you will give yourself airs, and say you was a prophet, and that prophets are not honoured in their own country. Yet, if you have any inspiration about you, I assure you it will be of great service-we are at our wit’s end-which was no great journey. Oh! you conclude Lord Chatham’s crutch will be supposed a wand, and be sent for. They might as well send for my crutch; and they should not have it; the stile is a little too high to help them over. His Lordship is a little fitter for raising a storm than laying one, and of late seems to have lost both virtues. The Americans at least have acted like men,(172) gone to the"bottom at once, and set the whole upon the whole. Our conduct has been that of pert children: we have thrown a pebble at a mastiff, and are surprised that it was not frightened. Now we must kill the guardian of the house which will be plundered the moment little master has nothing but the old nurse to defend it. But I have done with reflections; you will be fuller of them than I.
(172) “I have not words to express my satisfaction,” says Lord Chatham in a letter of the 24th, “that the Congress has conducted this most arduous and delicate business with such manly Wisdom and calm resolution, as do the highest honour to their deliberations. Very few are the things contained in their resolves, that I could wish had been otherwise.” Correspondence, vol. ii, p. 368.-$.
I begin my letter to-day, to prevent the fatigue of dictating two to-morrow. In the first and best place, I am very near recovered; that is, though still a mummy, I have no pain left, nor scarce any sensation of gout except in my right hand, which is still in complexion and shape a lobster’s claw. Now, unless any body can prove to me that three weeks are longer than five months and a half, they will hardly convince me that the bootikins are not a cure for fits of the gout and a Very short cure, though they cannot prevent it: nor perhaps is it to be wished they should; for, if the gout prevents every thing else, would not one have something that does? I have but one single doubt left about the bootikins, which is, whether they do not weaken my breast: but as I am sensible that my own spirits do half the mischief, and that, if I could have held my tongue, and kept from talking and dictating letters, I should not have been half so bad as I have been, there remains but half due to bootikins on the balance: and surely the ravages of the last long fit, and two years more in age, ought to make another deduction. Indeed, my forcing myself to dictate my last letter to you almost killed me; and since the gout is not dangerous to me, if I am kept perfectly quiet, my good old friend must have patience, and not insist upon letters from me but when it is quite easy to me to send them. So much for me and my gout. I will now endeavour to answer such parts of your last letters as I can in this manner, and considering how difficult it is to read your writing in a dark room.