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spirit of the two, and both danced incessantly all night long. For him, he is a thin ill-made man, extremely tall and awkward, of a most unpromising countenance, a good deal resembling King James the Second, and has extremely the air and look of an idiot, particularly when he laughs or prays. The first he does not often, the latter continually. He lives private enough with his little court about him, consisting of Lord Dunbar, who manages every thing, and two or three of the Preston Scotch Lords, who would be very glad to make their peace at home.

We happened to be at Naples on Corpus Christi Day, the greatest feast in the year, so had an opportunity of seeing their Sicilian Majesties to advantage. The King walked in the grand procession, and the Queen (being big with child) sat in a balcony. He followed the Host to the church of St. Clara, where high mass was celebrated to a glorious concert of music. They are as ugly a little pair as one can see: she a pale girl, marked with the small-pox; and he a brown boy with a thin face, a huge nose, and as ungain as possible.

We are settled here with Mr. Mann in a charming apartment; the river Arno runs under our windows, which we can fish out of. The sky is so serene, and the air so temperate, that one continues in the open air all night long in a slight nightgown without any danger; and the marble bridge is the resort of every body, where they

hear music, eat iced fruits, and sup by moonlight; though as yet (the season being extremely backward every where) these amusements are not begun. You see we are now coming northward again, though in no great haste; the Venetian and Milanese territories, and either Germany or the South of France, (according to the turn the war may take) are all that remain for us, that we have not yet seen; as to Loretto, and that part of Italy, we have given over all thoughts of it.


Bond Street, June 5, 1740.

I LIVED at the Temple till I was sick of it: I have just left it, and find myself as much a lawyer as I was when I was in it. It is certain at least, I may study the law here as well as I could there. My being in chambers did not signify to me a pinch of snuff. They tell me my father was a lawyer, and, as you know, eminent in the profession; and such a circumstance must be of advan


tage to me. My uncle too makes some figure in Westminster hall; and there's another advantage: Then my grandfather's name would get me many friends. Is it not strange that a young

* Sir Thomas Burnet.

fellow, that might enter the world with so many advantages, will not know his own interest? &c. &c.-What shall I say in answer to all this? For money, I neither doat upon it, nor despise it; it is a necessary stuff enough. For ambition, I do not want that neither; but it is not to sit upon a bench. In short, is it not a disagreeable thing to force one's inclination, especially when one's young? not to mention that one ought to have the strength of a Hercules to go through our common law; which, I am afraid, I have not. Well! but then say they, if one profession does not suit you, you may choose another more to your inclination. Now I protest I do not yet know my own inclination, and I believe, if that was to be my direction, I should never fix at all: There is no going by a weathercock.—I could say much more upon this subject; but there is no talking tête-à-tête cross the Alps. Oh the folly of young men, that never know their own interest! they never grow wise till they are ruined! and then no body pities them, nor helps them. Dear Gray! consider me in the condition of one that has lived these two years without any person that he can speak freely to. I know it is very seldom that people trouble themselves with the sentiments of those they converse with; so they can chat about trifles, they never care whether your heart aches or no. Are you one of these? I think not. But what right have I to

ask you this question? Have we known one another enough, that I should expect or demand sincerity from you? Yes, Gray, I hope we have; and I have not quite such a mean opinion of myself, as to think I do not deserve it. But, Signor, is it not time for me to ask something about your further intentions abroad? Where do you propose going next? an in Apuliam? nam illò si adveneris, tanquam Ulysses, cognosces tuorum neminem. Vale. So Cicero prophesies in the end of one of his letters *—and there I end. Yours, &c.


Florence, July 16, 1740.

You do yourself and me justice, in imagining that you merit, and that I am capable of sincerity. I

This letter, written apparently in much agitation of mind, (which Mr. West endeavours to conceal by an unusual carelessness of manner) is chiefly inserted to introduce the answer to it; which appears to me to be replete with delicate feeling, manly sense, and epistolary ease. If the reader should think as highly of it as I do, let me remind him that the writer was not now quite four and twenty years old.--Mason.

In the Gent. Mag. for March 1783, (See Select. from G. Mag. vol. iii. p. 66.) is a letter from Mr. Williams, who had been Secretary to Chancellor West in Ireland, to West's mother, whom he afterwards married, showing

have not a thought, or even a weakness, I desire to conceal from you; and consequently on my side deserve to be treated with the same openness of heart. My vanity perhaps might make me more reserved towards you, if you were one of the heroic race, superior to all human failings; but as mutual wants are the ties of general society, so are mutual weaknesses of private friendships, supposing them mixt with some proportion of good qualities; for where one may not sometimes blame, one does not much care ever to praise. All this has the air of an introduction designed to soften a very harsh reproof that is to follow; but it is no such matter: I only meant to ask, Why did you change your lodging? Was the air bad, or the situation melancholy? If so, you are quite in the right. Only, is it not putting yourself a little out of the way of a people, with whom it seems necessary to keep up some sort of inter

great solicitude about the prospects of young West, giving very sound advice with regard to his choice of a profession, attempting to overcome his dislike of the law, and from his own experience drawing a picture of the uncertainty, disappointment, and wretched dependence, that generally attend those bred to diplomatic pursuits. This was written the year preceding the Letter to Gray on the same subject. It appears from a Letter to Horace Walpole in June, 1741, that West thought of going into the army; as he applies to Walpole for his interest to procure a commission for him. See Walpole's Works, vol. iv. p. 461.-Ed. See Gutch's Collectanea Curiosa, vol. ii. p. 347. See also Gent's. Mag. Nov. 1789, p. 1029.

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