I every day intended to thank you for the copy of Nell Gwyn’s letter, till it was too late; the gout came, and Made me moult my goosequill. The letter is very curious, and I am as well content as with the original. It is lucky you do not care for news more recent Than the Reformation. I should have none to tell you; nay, nor earlier neither. Mr. Strutt’s(186) second volume I suppose you have seen. He showed me two or three much better drawings from pictures in the possession of Mr. Ives. One of them made me very happy; it is a genuine portrait of Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester, and is the individual same face as that I guessed to be his in my Marriage of Henry VI. They are infinitely more like each other, than any two modern portraits of one person by different painters. I have been laughed at for thinking the skull of Duke Humphrey at St. Albans proved my guess; and yet it certainly does, and is the more like, as the two portraits represent him very bald, with only a ringlet of hair, as monks have. Mr. Strutt is going to engrave his drawings. Yours faithfully.
(186) His " Complete Views of the Manners, Customs, Arms, Habits, etc. of the Inhabitants of England from the arrival of the Saxons till the reign of Henry the viii.; with a short Account of the Britons during the Government of the Romans."-E.
You have made me very happy by saying your journey to Naples is laid aside. Perhaps it made too great an impression on me; but you must reflect, that all my life I have satisfied myself with your being perfect, instead of trying to be so myself. I don’t ask you to return, though I wish it: in truth there is nothing to invite you. I don’t want you to come and breathe fire and sword against the Bostonians, like that second Duke of Alva, the inflexible Lord George Germain; or to anathematize the court and its works, like the incorruptible Burke, who scorns lucre, except when he can buy a hundred thousand acres from naked Caribs for a song. I don’t want you to do any thing like a party-man. I trust you think of every party as I do, with contempt, from Lord Chatham’s mustard-bowl down to Lord Rockingham’s hartshorn. All, perhaps, will be tried in their turns, and yet, if they had genius, might not be Mighty enough to save us. From some ruin or other I think nobody can, and what signifies an option of mischiefs? An account is come of the Bostonians having voted an army of sixteen thousand men, who are to be called minute-men, as they are to be ready at a minute’s warning. Two directors or commissioners, I don’t know what they are called, are appointed. There has been too a kind of mutiny in the fifth regiment.