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THREE days ago as I was in the Coffee House very deep in advertisements, a servant came in and waked me (as I thought) with the name of Mr. Chute; for half a minute I was not sure, but that it was you transported into England, by some strange chance, the Lord knows how, till he brought me to a coach that seem'd to have lost its way, by looking for a needle in a bottle of hay. In it was a lady who said she was not you, but only a near relation, and was so good to give me a letter, with which I return'd to my den, in order to prey upon it. you but a few days ago, and am glad of so good an excuse to do it again, which I may the better do, as my last was all out, and nothing to the purpose, being design'd for a certain Mr. Chute at Rome, and not him at Florence.

I had wrote to

I learn from it that I have been somewhat smarter than I ought, but (to shew you with how little malice) I protest I have not the least idea what it was. My memory would be better, did I read my own letters so often as I do yours: you must attribute it to a sort of kittenish disposition that scratches, where it means to caress.


ever, I repent neither, if 'tis that has made you write. I know, I need not ask pardon, for you have forgiven me: nay, I have a good mind, to complain myself-How could you say, that I designed to hurt you, because I knew you could feel. I hate the thoughts of it, and would not for the world wound anything that was sensible. 'Tis true, I should be glad to scratch the careless, or the foolish; but no armour is so impenetrable as indifference, and stupidity, and so I may keep my claws to myself. For another instance of the shortness of my memory, would you believe, I have so little knowledge of the Florentine History, as not to guess who the Lady Errant is, you mention? sure it can't be the Rdi. and her faithful swain, or may be M. Gdi. and the little abbé; what you do there so long I have no conception; if you stay at other places in proportion, I despair of ever seeing you again. 'Tis true indeed Mr. Mann is not every where; I am shock'd to think of his sufferings, but he of all men was born to suffer with a good grace. He is a Stoick without knowing it, and seems to think pain a pleasure. I am very sorry to compliment him upon such an occasion, and wish with all my heart, he were not so pleased. I much fear his books are gone already; but if not, to be sure he shall have Middleton and the Sofa ;* it seems most people here are not such admirers of it as I was: but I wont give up an

*The Sofa of Crebillon, see p. 179.-Ed.

inch of it, for all that. Did I tell you about Mr. Garrick, that the town are horn-mad after : there are a dozen Dukes of a night at Goodmansfields sometimes, and yet I am stiff in the opposition. Our fifth Opera was the Olympiade, in which they retained most of Pergolesi's songs, and yet 'tis gone already, as if it had been a poor thing of Galuppis'. Two nights did I enjoy it all alone, snug in a nook of the gallery, but found no one in those regions had ever heard of Pergolesi, nay, I heard several affirm it was a composition of Pescetti's. Now there is a 6th sprung up, by the name of Cephalo and Procri. My Lady of Queensbury is come out against my Lady of Marlborough, and she has her spirit too, and her originality, but more of the woman, I think, than t'other. As to the facts, it don't signify two pence who's in the right; the manner of fighting, and character of the combatants is all: 'tis hoped old Sarah will at her again. A play of Mr. Glover's I am told, is preparing for the stage, call'd Boadicea; it is a fine subject, but I have not an extreme opinion of him. The invalides at Chelsea intend to present Ranelagh Gardens, as a nuisance, for breaking their first sleep with the sound of fiddles; it opens, I think, to-night. Messieurs the Commons are to ballot for 7 persons to-morrow, commission'd to state the public accounts, and they are to be such, who have no places, nor are any ways dependent on the King. The Committee have petitioned for all

papers relating to the Convention. A bill has pass'd the lower house, for indemnifying all who might subject themselves to penalties, by revealing any transaction with regard to the conduct of my Lord Orford, and to-morrow the Lords are summon'd about it. The wit of the times consists in Satyrical Prints; I believe there have been some hundreds within this month. If you have any hopeful young designer of caricaturas, that has a political turn, he may pick up a pretty subsistence here: let him pass thro' Holland to improve his

taste by the way. We are all very sorry for poor Queen Hungary: but we know of a second battle, (which perhaps you may never hear of, but from me) as how Prince Lobbycock came up in the nick of time, and cut 120,000 of them all to pieces; and how the King of Prussia narrowly escap'd aboard a ship, and so got down the Dannub to Wolf-in-Bottle, where Mr. Mallyboyce lay encamped; and how the Hannoverians, with Prince Hissy-Castle, at their head, fell upon the French Mounseers, and took him away with all his treasure, among which is Pitt's diamond, and the great cistern—all this is firmly believed here, and a vast deal more upon the strength of which we intend to declare war with France.

You are so obliging as to put me in mind of our last year's little expeditions; alas! Sir, they are past, and how many years will it be, at the rate you go on, before we can possibly renew

them in this country: in all probability I shall be gone first on a long expedition to that undiscover'd country, from whose bourn no traveller returns however, (if I can) I will think of you, as I sail down the River of Eternity. I can't help thinking, that I should find no difference almost between this world, and t'other, (for I converse with none but the dead here,) only indeed I should receive nor write no more letters, (for the Post is not very well regulated). If you see the King of Naples, pray talk with him on this subject, for I see he is upon settling one between his country and Constantinople, and I take this to be but a little more difficult.

My dab of Musick, and Prints, you are very good to think of sending with your own, to which I will add a farther trouble, by desireing you to send me some of the roots of a certain Flower, which I have seen at Florence. It is a huge white Hyacynth tinged with pink, (Mr. M. knows what


mean, by the same token that they grow sometimes in the fat Gerina's Boosom,) I mean if they bear a reasonable price, which you will judge of for me but don't give yourself any pains about it, for if they are not easily had, and at an easy rate, I am not at all eager for them. Do you talk of Strumming? ohi me! who have not seen the face of a Haspical, since I came home; no! I have hang'd up my Harp on the Willows: however, I look at my musick now and then, that I

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