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what with visitors and visitings, that it was not in my power sooner to sit down and acknowledge the favour of your obliging letter: and to thank you for the most friendly motives which led you to write it: I am not much in pain upon what gives my kind friends at Stillington so much on the chapter of Noses — because, as the principal satire throughout that part is levelled at those learned blockheads who, in all ages, have wasted their time and much learning upon points as foolish it shifts off the idea of what you fear to another point, and 'tis thought here very good, 'twill pass muster, I mean not with all; no, no! I shall be attacked and pelted, either from cellars or garrets, write what I will and besides, must expect to have a party against me of many hundreds, who either do not, or will not, laugh. 'Tis enough if I divide the world; at least, I will rest contented with it. I wish you was here to see what changes of looks and political reasoning have taken place in every company and coffeehouse since last year; we shall be soon Prussians, and Anti-Prussians, B-S and Anti-B-s, and those distinctions will just do as well as Whig and Tory; and for aught I know, serve the same ends. The king seems resolved to bring all things back to their original principles, and to stop the torrent of corruption and lazi
He rises every morning at six to do business, rides out at eight to a minute, returns at nine to give himself up to his people. By persisting, 'tis thought he will oblige his ministers and dependants to dispatch affairs with him many hours sooner than of late, and 'tis much to be questioned whether they will not be enabled to wait upon him sooner by being freed from long levees of their own, and applications; which will,
mu all likelihood, be transferred from them directly to himself, the present system being to remove that phalanx of great people, which stood betwixt the throne and the subjects, and suffer them to have immediate access without the intervention of a cabal
(this is the language of others): however, the king gives every thing himself, knows every thing, and weighs every thing maturely, and then is inflexible this puts old stagers off their game
how it will end we are all in the dark.
'Tis feared the war is quite over in Germany; never was known such havoc amongst troops told yesterday, by a colonel from Germany, that, out of two battallions of nine hundred men, to which he belonged, but seventy-one are left! Prince Ferdinand has sent word, 'tis said, that he must have forty thousand men directly to take the field -- and with provisions for them too, for he can but subsist them for a fortnight. I hope this will find you all got to York. I beg my compliments to the amiable Mrs. Croft, &c.
Though I purposed going first to Golden-Square, yet fate has thus long disposed of me
so I have never been able to set a foot towards that quarter.
I am, dear Sir,
(About January, 1761.) MY DEAR SIR, I HAVE just time to acknowledge the favour of yours, but not to get the two prints you mention
which shall be sent you by next post - I have bought
them, and lent them to Miss Gilbert, but will assuredly send for them and enclose them to you: I will take care to get your pictures well copied, and at a moderate price. And if I can be of further use, I beseech you to employ me; and m time to time will send you an account of whatever may be worth transmitting. The stream now sets in strong against the German war. Loud complaints of
making a trade of the war, &c. &c.; much expected from Ld. Granby's evidence to these matters, who is expected every hour: the King wins every day upon the people, shews himself much at the play (but at no opera), rides out with his brothers every morning, half-an-hour after seven, till nine returns with them, spends an hour with them at breakfast and chat and then sits down to business. I never dined at home once since I arrived - am fourteen dinners deep engaged just now, and fear matters will be worse with me in that point than better. As to the main points in view, at which you hint all I can say is that I see my way, and unless Old Nick throws the dice shall in due time come off winner. Tristram will be out the twentieth There is a great rout about him before he enters
whether this will be of use or no, I can't say — some wits of the first magnitude here, both as to wit and station, engage me success
time will shew
TO THE SAME.
(March, 1761.) DEAR SIR, SINCE I had the favour of your obliging letter nothing has happened, or been said one day, which has not been contradicted the next; so, having little certain to write, I have foreborne writing at all, in hopes every day of something worth filling up a letter. We had the greatest expectations yesterday that ever were raised of a pitched battle in the House of Commons, wherein Mr. Pitt was to have entered and thrown down the gauntlet, in defence of the German war. There never was so full a house the gallery full to I was there all the day
when lo! a political fit of the gout seized the great combatant entered not the lists Beckford got up, and begged the house, as he saw not his right honorable friend there, to put off the debate – it could not be done, so Beckford rose up, and made a most long, passionate, incoherent speech, in defence of the Germaric war but very severe upon the unfrugal manner it was carried on
in which he addressed himself principally to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, and laid him on terribly. It seems the chancery of Hanover had laid out 350,000 pounds on account, and brought in our treasury debtor
and the grand debate was for an honest examination of the particulars of this extravagant account, and for vouchers to authenticate it. Legge answered Beckford very rationally and coolly. Lord N. spoke long — Sir F. Dashwood maintained the German war was most pernicious -- Mr. C-, of Surry, spoke well against the account, with some others. L. Barrington at last got up, and spoke half
an-hour with great plainness and temper explained a great many hidden springs relating to these accounts, in favour of the late King, and told two or three conversations which had passed between the King and himself, relative to these expenses
which cast great honour upon the King's character. This was with regard to the money the King had secretly furnished out of his pocket to lessen the account of the Hanoverscore brought us to discharge.
Beckford and Barrington abused all who sought for peace, and joined in the cry for it; and Beckford added that the reasons of wishing a peace now were the same as the peace of Utrecht, that the people behind the curtain could not both maintain the war and their places too, so were for making another sacrifice of the nation to their own interests. After all, the cry for a peace is so general that it will certainly end in one. Now for myself.
One half of the town abuse my book as bitterly as the other half cry it up to the skies, the best is, they abuse and buy it, and at such a rate that we are going on with a second edition as fast as possible.
I am going down for a day or two with Mr Spencer to Wimbleton; on Wednesday there is to be a grand assembly at Lady N— I have enquired every where about Stephen's affair, and can hear nothing. My friend, Mr. Charles Townshend, will be now Secretary-at-war* - he bid me wish him joy of it, though not in possession - I will ask him – and depend, my most worthy friend, that you shall not be ignorant of what I learn from him. Believe me ever, ever,
L. S. * He was appointed secretary-at-war the 24th of March, 1761.