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(title page) Letters of the Late Ignatius Sancho, An African. In Two Volumes. To Which Are Prefixed, Memoirs of His Life, Vol. 1
(spine) Sancho's Letters
lvii, 204 p., ill.
Printed by J. NICHOLS: And sold by J. DODSLEY, in Pall Mall; J. ROBSON, in New Bond Street; J. WALTER, Charing-Cross; R. BALDWIN, Paternoster Row; and J. SEWELL, Cornhill.
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THE Editor of these Letters thinks proper to obviate an objection, which she finds has already been suggested, that they were originally written with a view to publication. She declares, therefore, that no such idea was ever expressed by Mr. Sancho; and that not a single letter is here printed from any duplicate preserved by himself, but all have been collected from the various friends to whom they were addressed. Her motives for laying
them before the publick were, the desire of shewing that an untutored African may possess abilities equal to an European; and the still superior motive, of wishing to serve his worthy family. And she is happy in thus publicly acknowledging she has not found the world inattentive to the voice of obscure merit.
"Quamvis ille niger, quamvis tu candidus effes."
THE extraordinary Negro, whose Life I am about to write, was born A. D. 1729, on board a ship in the Slave-trade, a few days after it had quitted the coast of Guinea for the Spanish West-Indies, and, at Carthagena, he received from the hand of the Bishop, Baptism, and the name of Ignatius.
A disease of the new climate put an early period to his mother's existence; and his father defeated the miseries of slavery by an act of suicide.
At little more than two years old, his master brought him to England, and gave him to three maiden sisters, resident at Greenwich; whose prejudices had unhappily taught them, that African ignorance was the only security for his obedience, and that to enlarge the mind of their slave would go near to emancipate his person. The petulance of their disposition surnamed him Sancho, from a fancied resemblance to the 'Squire of Don Quixote.
But a patron was at hand, whom Ignatius Sancho had merit enough to conciliate at a very early age.
The late Duke of Montagu lived on Blackheath: he accidentally saw the little Negro, and admired in him a native frankness of manner as yet unbroken by servitude, and unrefined by education--he brought him frequently home to the Duchess, indulged his turn for reading with presents of books, and strongly recommended to his mistresses the duty of cultivating a genius of such apparent fertility.
His mistresses, however, were inflexible, and even threatened on angry occasions to return Ignatius Sancho to his African slavery. The love of freedom had increased with years, and began to beat high in his bosom.--Indignation, and the dread of constant reproach arising from the detection of an amour, infinitely criminal in the eyes of
three Maiden Ladies, finally determined him to abandon the family.
His noble patron was recently dead.--Ignatius flew to the Duchess for protection, who dismissed him with reproof.--He retired from her presence in a state of despondency and stupefaction.
Enamoured still of that liberty, the scope of whose enjoyment was now limited to his last five shillings, and resolute to maintain it with life, he procured and old pistol for purposes which his father's example had suggested as familiar, and had sanctified as hereditary.
In this frame of mind the futility of remonstrance was obvious. The Duchess secretly admired his character;
and at length consented to admit him into her houshold, where he remained as butler till her death, when he found himself, by her Grace's bequest and his own oeconomy, possessed of seventy pounds in money, and an annuity of thirty.
Freedom, riches, and leisure, naturally led a disposition of African texture into indulgences; and that which dissipated the mind of Ignatius completely drained the purse. In his attachment to women, he displayed a profuseness which not unusually characterizes the excess of the passion.--Cards had formerly seduced him, but an unsuccessful contest at cribbage with a Jew, who won his cloaths, had determined him to abjure the propensity which appears to be innate among his countrymen.--A French
writer relates, that in the kingdoms of Ardrah, Whydah, and Benin, a Negro will stake at play his fortune, his children, and his liberty. Ignatius loved the theatre to such a point of enthusiasm, that his last shilling went to Drury-Lane, on Mr. Garrick's representation of Richard.--He had been even induced to consider the stage as a resource in the hour of adversity, and his complexion suggested an offer to the manager of attempting Othello and Oroonoko; but a defective and incorrigible articulation rendered it abortive.
He turned his mind once more to service, and was retained a few months by the Chaplain at Montagu-house. That roof had been ever auspicious to him; and the present Duke soon placed him
about his person, where habitual regularity of life led him to think of a matrimonial connexion, and he formed one accordingly with a very deserving young woman of West-Indian origin.
Towards the close of the year 1773, repeated attacks of the gout and a constitutional corpulence rendered him incapable of farther attendance in the Duke's family.
At this crisis, the munificence which had protected him through various vicissitudes did not fail to exert itself; with the result of his own frugality, it enabled him and his wife to settle themselves in a shop of grocery, where mutual and rigid industry decently maintained a numerous family of children, and where a life of domestic virtue
engaged private patronage, and merited public imitation.
In December, 1780, a series of complicated disorders destroyed him.
Of a Negro, a Butler, and a Grocer, there are but slender anecdotes to animate the page of the biographer; but it has been held necessary to give some sketch of the very singular man, whose letters, with all their imperfections on their head, are now offered to the public.
The display those writings exhibit of epistolary talent, of rapid and just conception, of wild pariotism, and of universal philanhropy, may well apologize for the
protection of the great, and the friendship of the literary.
The late Duchesses of Queensberry and Northumberland pressed forward to serve the author of them. The former intrusted to his reformation a very unworthy favoutite of his own complexion.--Garrick and Sterne were well acquainted with Ignatius Sancho.
A commerce with the Muses was supported amid the trivial and momentary interruptions of a shop; the Poets were studied, and even imitated with some success;--two pieces were constructed for the stage;--the Theory of Music was discussed, published, and dedicated to the Princess Royal;--and Painting was so much within the circle of Ignatius Sancho's judgement and
criticism, that Mortimer came often to consult him.
Such was the man whose species philosophers and anatomists have endeavoured to degrade as a deterioration of the human; and such was the man whom Fuller, with a benevolence and quaintness of phrase peculiarly his own, accounteth
"God's Image, though cut in Ebony."
Of those who have speculatively visited and described the slave-coast, there are not wanting some who extol the mental abilities of the natives. D'Elbée, Moore, and Bosman, speak highly of their mechanical powers and indefatigable industry. Desmarchais does not scruple to affirm, that their ingenuity rivals the Chinese.
He who could penetrate the interior of Africa, might not improbably discover negro arts and polity, which could bear little analogy to the ignorance and grossness of slaves in the sugar-islands, expatriated in infancy, and brutalized under the whip and the task-master.
And he who surveys the extent of intellect to which Ignatius Sancho had attained by self-education,
will perhaps conclude, that the perfection of the reasoning faculties does not depend on a peculiar conformation of the scull or the colour of a common integument, in defiance of that wild opinion, "which," says a learned writer of these times, "restrains the operations of the mind to particular regions, and supposes that a luckless mortal may be born in a degree of latitude too high or too low for wisdom or for wit."
TO MR. J-- W----E.Charles Street, Feb. 14, 1768.
MY WORTHY AND MUCH RESPECTED FRIEND,
"Men change with fortune, manners change with climes;
"Tenets with books, and principles with times."
YOUR friendly letter convinced me that you are still the same--and gave in that conviction a ten-fold pleasure:--you carried out (through God's grace) an honest friendly heart, a clear discerning head, and a soul impressed with every humane feeling.--That you are still the same--I repeat it--gives me more joy--than the certainty would of
your being worth ten Jaghires:--I dare say you will ever remember that the truest worth is that of the mind--the blest rectitude of the heart--the conscience unsullied with guilt--the undaunted noble eye, enriched with innocence, and shining with social glee--peace dancing in the heart--and health smiling in the face.--May these be ever thy companions!--and for riches, you will ever be more than vulgarly rich--while you thankfully enjoy--and gratefully assist the wants (as far as you are able) of your fellow creatures. But I think (and so will you) that I am preaching. I only meant in truth to thank you, which I most sincerely do, for your kind letter:--believe me, it gratifies a better principle than vanity--to know that you remember your dark-faced friend at such a distance; but what would have been your feelings--could you have beheld your worthy, thrice worthy father--joy sitting triumphant in his honest face--speeding from house to house amongst his numerous friends,
with the pleasing testimonials of his son's love and duty in his hands--every one congratulating him, and joining in good wishes--while the starting tear plainly proved that over-joy and grief give the same livery?
You met with an old acquaintance of mine, Mr. G----. I am glad to hear he is well; but when I knew him he was young, and not so wife as knowing: I hope he will take example by what he sees in you--and you, young man, remember, if ever you should unhappily fall into bad company, that example is only the fool's plea, and the rogue's excuse, for doing wrong things:--you have a turn for reflection, and a steadiness, which, aided by the best of social dispositions, must make your company much coveted, and your person loved.--Forgive me for presuming to dictate, when I well know you have many friends much more able from knowledge and better sense--though I deny--a better will.
You will of course make Men and Things your study--their different genius, aims, and passions:--you will also note climes, buildings, soils, and products, which will be neither tedious nor unpleasant. If you adopt the rule of writing every evening your remarks on the past day, it will be a kind of friendly téte-a-téte between you and yourself, wherein you may sometimes happily become your own Monitor;--and hereafter those little notes will afford you a rich fund, whenever you shall be inclined to re-trace past times and places.----I say nothing upon the score of Religion--for, I am clear, every good affection, every sweet sensibility, every heart-felt joy--humanity, politeness, charity--all, all, are streams from that sacred spring;--so that to say you are good-tempered, honest, social, &c. &c. is only in fact saying you live according to your DIVINE MASTER's rules, and are a Christian.
Your B---- friends are all well, excepting the good Mrs. C----, who is at
this time but so, so. Miss C---- still as agreeable as when you knew her, if not more so. Mr. R----, as usual, never so happy, never so gay, nor so much in true pleasure, as when he is doing good--he enjoys the hope of your well-doing as much as any of your family. His brother John has been lucky--his abilities, address, good nature, and good sense, have got him a surgeoncy in the batalion of guards, which is reckoned a very good thing.
As to news, what we have is so incumbered with falshoods, I think it, as Bobadil says, "a service of danger" to meddle with: this I know for truth, that the late great Dagon of the people has totally lost all his worshipers, and walks the streets as unregarded as Ignatius Sancho, and I believe almost as poor--such is the stability of popular greatness:
"One self-approving hour whole years outweighs
"Of idle starers, or of loud huzza's," &c.
Your brother and sister C--d sometimes look in upon us; her boys are fine, well, and thriving; and my honest
cousin Joe increases in sense and stature; he promises to be as good, as clever. He brought me your first letter, which, though first wrote, had the fate to come last: the little man came from Red-Lion-Court to Charles Street by himself, and seemed the taller for what he had done; he is indeed a sweet boy, but I fear every body will be telling him so. I know the folly of so doing, and yet am as guilty as any one.
There is sent out in the Besborough, along with fresh governors, and other strange commodities, a little Blacky, whom you must either have seen or heard of; his name is S----. He goes out upon a rational well-digested plan, to settle either at Madrass or Bengal, to teach fencing and riding--he is expert at both. If he should chance to fall in your way, do not fail to give the rattle-pate what wholesome advice you can; but remember, I do strictly caution you against lending him money upon any account, for he has every thing but--principle; he will never pay you; I
am sorry to say so much of one whom I have had a friendship for, but it is needful; serve him, if you can--but do not trust him.--There is in the same ship, belonging to the Captain's band of music, one C-- L--n, whom I think you have seen in Privy Gardens: he is honest, trusty, good-natured, and civil; if you see him, take notice of him, and I will regard it as a kindness to me.--I have nothing more to say. Continue in right thinking, you will of course act well; in well-doing, you will insure the favor of GOD, and the love of your friends, amongst whom pray reckon
TO MR. M----.August 7, 1768.
LORD! what is Man?--and what business have such lazy, lousy, paltry beings of a day to form friendships, or to make connexions? Man is an absurd animal--yea, I will ever maintain it--in his vices, dreadful--in his few virtues, silly--religious without devotion--philosophy without wisdom--the divine passion (as it is called) love too oft without affection--and anger without cause--friendship without reason--hate without reflection--knowledge (like Ashley's punch in small quantities) without judgement--and wit without discretion.--Look into old age, you will see avarice joined to poverty--letchery, gout, impotency, like three monkeys, or London bucks, in a one-horse whisky, driving to the Devil.--Deep politicians
with palsied heads and relaxed nerves--zealous in the great cause of national welfare and public virtue--but touch not--oh! touch not the pocket--friendship--religion--love of country--excellent topics for declamation!--but most ridiculous chimera to suffer either in money or ease--for, trust me, my M----, I am resolved upon a reform.--Truth, fair Truth, I give thee to the wind!--Affection, get thee hence! Friendship, be it the idol of such silly chaps, with aching heads, strong passions, warm hearts, and happy talents, as of old used to visit Charles Street, and now abideth in fair G--h House.
I give it under my hand and mark, that the best recipe for your aching head (if not the only thing which will relieve you) is cutting off your hair--I know it is not the ton; but when ease and health stand on the right--ornament and fashion on the left--it is by no means the Ass between two loads of hay--why not ask counsel about it? Even the young part of the faculty were formerly obliged to
submit to amputation, in order to look wise.--What they sacrificed to appearances, do thou to necessity.--Absalom had saved his life, but for his hair. You will reply, "Cæfar would have been drowned, but his length of hair afforded hold to the friendly hand that drew him to shore." Art, at this happy time, imitates Nature so well in both sexes, that in truth our own growth is but of little consequence. Therefore, my dear M--, part with your hair and head-achs together;--and let us see you spruce, well shorn, easy, gay, debonnair--as of old.
I have made enquiry after L----'s letter. My friend R---- went to demand the reason for omitting to publish it, and to reclaim the copy. The publisher smiled at him, and bid him examine the M. C. of J. 13, where he would find L. and the same paper of the 20th instant, where he would also find P---- B----'s very angry answer.--Indeed the poor fellow foams again, and appears as indecently dull as malice could wish him.
I went to the coffee-house to examine the file, and was greatly pleased upon the second reading of your work, in which is blended the Gentleman and the Scholar. Now, observe, if you dare to say I flatter, or mean to flatter, you either impeach my judgement or honesty--at your peril then be it.--For your letter of yesterday, I could find in my conscience not to thank you for it--it gave a melancholy tint to every thing about me. Pope had the head-ach vilely--Spenser, I have heard, suffered much from it--in short, it is the ail of true geniuses.--They applied a thick wreath of laurel round their brows--do you the same--and, putting the best foot foremost--duly considering the mansion--what it has suffered through chance, time, and hard use--be thankfully resigned, humble, and say, "It is well it is no worse!"
I do not wish you to be any other than nice in what new acquaintance you make--as to friendship--it is a mistake--real friendships are not hastily made
--friendship is a plant of slow growth, and, like our English oak, spreads, is more majestically beautiful, and increases in shade, strength, and riches, as it increases in years. I pity your poor head, for this confounded scrawl of mine is enough to give the head-ach to the strongest brain in the kingdom--so remember I quit the pen unwillingly, having not said half what I meant; but, impelled by conscience, and a due consideration of your ease, I conclude, just wishing you as well as I do my dear self,
Your cure, in four words, is
TO MR. M----.Sept. 17, 1768.
I AM uneasy about your health--I do not like your silence--let some good body or other give me a line, just to say how you are--I will, if I can, see you on Sunday;--it is a folly to like people and call them friends, except they are blest with health and riches.--A very miserable undone poor wretch, who has no portion in this world's goods, but honesty and good-nature in the article of covering, has applied to me.--I do know something of her--no greater crime than poverty and nakedness.--Now, my dear M----, I know you have a persuasive eloquence among the women--try your oratorical powers.--You have many women--and I am sure there must be a great deal of charity amongst them--Mind, we ask no money--only rags
--mere literal rags--patience is a ragged virtue--therefore strip the girls, dear M----, strip them of what they can spare--a few superfluous worn-out garments--but leave them pity--benevolence--the charities--goodness of heart--love--and the blessings of yours truly with affection, or something very like it,
TO MR. M----.Sept. 20, 1768.
OH! my M----, what a feast! to a mind fashioned as thine is to gentle deeds!--could'st thou have beheld the woe-worn object of thy charitable care--receive the noble donation of thy blest house!--the lip quivering, and the tongue refusing its office, thro' joyful surprize--the heart gratefully throbbing--overswelled with thankful sensations
--I could behold a field of battle, and survey the devastations of the Devil, without a tear--but a heart o'ercharged with gratitude, or a deed begotten by sacred pity--as thine of this day--would melt me, altho' unused to the melting mood. As to thy noble, truly noble, Miss----, I say nothing--she serves a master--who can and will reward her as ample--as her worth exceeds the common nonsensical dolls of the age;--but for thy compeers, may they never taste any thing less in this world--than the satisfaction resulting from heaven-born Charity! and in the next may they and you receive that blest greeting--"Well done, thou good and faithful," &c. &c. Tell your girls that I will kiss them twice in the same place--troth, a poor reward;--but more than that--I will respect them in my heart, amidst the casual foibles of worldly prejudice and common usage.--I shall look to their charitable hearts, and that shall spread a crown of glory over every transient defect.--.The poor woman brings this
in her hand;--she means to thank you--your noble L----, your good girls--her benefactors--her saviours. I too would thank--but that I know the opportunity I have afforded you of doing what you best love, makes you the obliged party--the obliger,
Your faithful friend,
TO MR[.] K----.Richmond, Oct. 20, 1769.
WHAT, my honest friend K----, I am heartily glad to see you, quoth I--long look'd for, come at last.--Well, we will have done with that;--you have made ample amends for your silence--have approved yourself, what I ever esteemed you--an honest hearty good lad.--As to your apologizing
about your abilities for writing--'tis all a humm--you write sense;--and verily, my good friend, he that wishes to do better must be a coxcomb.--You say you was thrown from your horse but once--in my conscience I think once full oft enough--I am glad, however, you escaped so well.--The description of your journey I return you thanks for--it pleased me much--and proved that you looked rather farther than your horse's head.--A young man should turn travel--home--leisure--or employment--all to the one grand end of improving himself:--from your account of Dalkeith, I now view it "in my mind's eye" (as Hamlet says) and think it a delightful spot.--I was wrong, I find, in my notions of the Edinburghers--for I judged them the grand patterns for--cleanliness--politeness--and generosity. Your birth-day entertainments made a blaze in our papers, which said, amongst other things, that the puncheons of rum stood as thick in your park as the trees--oh! how I licked my lips, and
wished the distance (400 miles) less between us.--You do not say a word about coming back again.--Poor Pat has paid his last debt--peace and bliss to his spirit! rest to his bones!--his wife and daughter (both with child) and his youngest child all came down;--what a scene had I to be spectator of!--trust me, James, I cry'd like a whipt school-boy--but then my noble master--Great God! reward him!--tell me not of ninety covers--splendour--and feasting--to wipe away the tears of distress, to make the heart of the widow to sing for joy.--May such actions ever (as they have long been) be the characteristic of the good Duke of M----! Dr. James, thy favorite, twice came here;--at his first visit he gave no hope--the next day he came, and poor Pat had resigned up his spirit two hours before he got here;--his Grace paid him the tribute, the rich tribute, of many tears--and ordered me to get a lodging for his widow and children:--in the evening he ordered me to
go to them from him--and acquaint Mrs. W---- how very sensible he was of her great loss, as well as his own--that he would ever be a friend to her--and as to the boy--though he was perfectly well satisfied with his conduct in his place--yet, if he would like any trade better than continuing his servant--he would put him out, and support him through his apprenticeship;--and he would give him a year to consider it.--Pat has chose to stay, and his Grace promises whoever uses him ill shall be no servant here:--on the night of his interment, after all was over, the Duke wrote to the widow himself, and enclosed a twenty-pound bill--and repeated his promises.--Your own heart my dear James, will make the best comment--which is grandest--one such action--or ten birth days--though in truth the latter has its merit;--it creates business, and helps the poor.--I suppose you will expect me to say something of our family. Her Grace, I am truly sorry to say it, has been but poorly for some
time--and indeed is but indifferent now--God of his mercy grant her better health! and every good that can contribute to her happiness.--The good Marquiss is with us--and has been ever since you left us.--Are not you tired? This is a deuced long letter.--Well, one word more, and then farewell. Mrs. M---- is grown generous--has left off swearing and modelling. S---- is turned Jew, and is to be circumcised next Passover. W---- is turned fine gentleman--and left off work-and I your humble friend, I am for my sins turned Methodist.--Thank God! we are all pretty hobbling as to health.--Dame Sancho will be much obliged to you for your kind mention of her--she and the brats are very well, thank Heaven! Abraham gives up the stockings--and monkey Tom his box--they both, with all the rest, join in love and best wishes to your worship.--I, for my own share, own myself obliged to you--and think myself honored in your acknowledging yourself my pupil;--were I an ambitious
man I should never forgive you,--for in truth you by far excel your master:--go on, and prosper, "Render unto Coesar the things which are Coesar's;"--laugh at all the tall boys in the kingdom.--I rest, dear Jemmy, thy true friend and obliged fellow servant,
TO MRS. F----.Richmond, Oct. 20, 1769.
I SENT you a note in Mrs. Sancho's name this day fortnight--importing that she would hope for the pleasure of seeing you at Richmond before the fine weather takes its leave of us;--neither hearing from nor seeing you--though expecting you every day--we fear that you are not well--or that Mr. F---- is unhappily ill--in either case we shall be
Hoping you are as well as you with your friends, I am, honoured Sir,
Your most obedient and grateful
humble servant to command,
TO MR. M----.March 21, 1770.
"He, who cannot stem his anger's tide,
"Doth a wild horse without a bridle ride."
It is, my dear M----, the same with the rest of our passions;--we have Reason given us for our rudder--Religion is our sheet anchor--our fixed star Hope--Conscience our faithful monitor--and Happiness the grand reward;--we all in this manner can preach up trite maxims:--ask any jackass the way to happiness--and like me they will give vent to picked up common-place sayings--but mark how they act--why just as you and I do--content with acknowledging a slight acquaintance with Wisdom, but ashamed of appearing to act under her sacred guidance.--You do me much more honor than I deserve,
in wishing to correspond with me--the balance is entirely in your favor--but I fancy you were under the malady of your country, hypp'd for want of fresh air and exercise--so sitting in a pensive attitude, with lack-lustre eye, and vacant countenance--the thought obtruded on your fancy to give Sancho a letter--and after a hard conflict 'twixt laziness and inclination--the deed was done.--I verily believe you commit errors--only for the sake of handsomely apologizing for them, as tumblers oft make slips to surprize beholders with their agility in recovering themselves.--I saw Mr. B---- last night--who by the way I like much--the Man I mean--and not the Genius (tho' of the first rate)--he chatted and laughed like a soul ignorant of evil. He asked about a motley creature at----. I told him with more truth than wit--that you was hypp'd.--I enclose you a proof print:--and how does Mad. M----, &c. &c.? Is Miss S---- better.--Is Mrs. H----, Mrs. T----, Mrs. H----. Lord preserve me! what in the name
of mischief have I to do with all this combustible matter? Is it not enough for me that I am fast sliding down the vale of years? Have not I a gout? six brats, and a wife?--Oh! Reason, where art thou? you see by this how much easier it is to preach than to do--but stop--we know good from evil; and, in serious truth, we have powers sufficient to withstand vice, if we will choose to exert ourselves. In the field, if we know the strength and situation of the enemy, we place out-posts and centinels--and take every prudent method to avoid surprize. In common life we must do the same;--and trust me, my honest friend, a victory gained over passion, immorality, and pride, deserves Te Deums, better than those gained in the fields of ambition and blood.--Here's letter for letter, and so farewell,
Yours--as you behave,
TO MR[.] K----.Dalkeith, July 16, 1770.
ALIVE! alive ho!--my dear boy, I am glad to see you.--Well, and how goes it?--Badly, sayest thou--no conversation, no joy, no felicity!--Cruel absence, thou lover's hell! what pangs, what soul felt pangs, dost thou inflict!--Cheer up, my child of discretion--and comfort you self that every day will bring the endearing moment of meeting, so much nearer--chew the cud upon rapture in reversion--and indulge your fancy with the sweet food of intellectual endearments;--paint in your imagination the thousand graces of your H----, and believe this absence a lucky trial of her constancy.--I don't wonder the cricket match yielded no amusement--all sport
is dull, books unentertaining--Wisdom's self but folly--to a mind under Cupidical influence.--I think I behold you with supple-jack in hand--your two faithful happy companions by your side--complimenting like courtiers ever puppy they meet--yourself with eyes fixed in lover-like rumination--and arms folded in sorrow's knot--pace slowly thro' the meadows.--I have done--for too much truth seldom pleases folks in love--We came home from our Highland excursion last Monday night, safe and well--after escaping manifold dangers.--Mesdames H----, D----, and self, went in the post-coach, and were honor'd with the freedom of Dumbarton. By an overset the ladies shewed their--delicacy--and I my activity * * Mr. Sancho was remarkably unweildy and in active, and never gave a greater proof of it than at this overset, when he and a goose-pye were equally incapable of raising themselves.
--Mr. B-- his humanity;--all was soon to rights-nothing broke--and no one hurt--and laughter had its fill.--Inverary is a
* Mr. Sancho was remarkably unweildy and in active, and never gave a greater proof of it than at this overset, when he and a goose-pye were equally incapable of raising themselves.
charming place--the beauties various--and the whole plan majestic;--there are some worthy fouls on the spot, which I admire more than the buildings and prospects.--We had herrings in perfection--and would have had mackarel; but the scoundrels were too sharp for us--and would not be caught. The Loch-Loman--Ben-Loman--Domiquith--and Arsenhoe--with Hamilton and Douglas houses--are by much too long for description by letter.--We paraded to Edinburgh last Friday in a post coach and four;--H---- D----, Mrs. M----, house-keeper, and self, were the party;--we saw the usual seeings, and dined at Lord Chief Baron's, but--dare I tell you?--H----'s figure attracted universal admiration.--True!--Alas, poor K----!--but, man, never fret--my honesty to a rotten egg--we bring her home sound.--We read a shocking account in the papers of a storm of rain at Richmond Gardens, and distress, &c. &c. is it true? if so, why did not you mention it? H---- sends her service to
you, M---- his best respects--and all their best wishes to you and birds.--Your confounded epistle cost me seven pence;--deuce take you, why did not you enclose it?--So you do not like Eloisa--you are a noddy for that--read it till you do like it.--I am glad you have seen Cymon;--that you like it--does but little credit to your taste--for every body likes it.--I can afford you no more time--for I have three letters to write besides this scrawl.--I hear nothing of moving as yet--pray God speed us southward! though we have fine weather--fine beef--fine ale--and fine ladies.
Lady Mary grows a little angel;--the Dutchess gets pretty round--they all eat--drink--and seem pure merry--and we are all out of mourning this day--farewell.
Yours, &c. &c.
TO MISS L----.August 31, 1770.
Do not you condemn me for the very thing that you are guilty of yourself;--but before I recriminate--let me be grateful, and acknowledge that heart-felt satisfaction which I ever feel from the praise of the good.--Sterne says--every worthy mind loves praise--and declares that he loves it too--but then it must be sincere.--Now I protest that you have something very like flattery;--no matter--I honestly own it pleases me--Vanity is a shoot from self-love--and self-love, Pope declares to be the spring of motion in the human breast.--Friendship founded upon right judgement takes the good and bad with the indulgence of blind love;--nor is it wrong--for as weakness and error is the lot of humanity--real friendship
must oft kindly overlook the undesigning frailties of undisguised nature.--My dear Madam, I beg ten thousand pardons for the dull sermon I have been preaching:--you may well yawn.--So the noble! the humane! the patron! the friend! the good Duke leaves Tunbridge on Monday--true nobility will leave the place with him--and kindness and humanity will accompany Miss L---- whenever she thinks fit to leave it.--Mrs. Sancho is pretty well, pretty round, and pretty tame!--she bids me say, Thank you, in the kindest manner I possibly can--and observe, I say, Thank you kindly.--I will not pretend to enumerate the many things you deserve our thanks for:--you are upon the whole an estimable young woman--your heart is the best part of you--may it meet with its likeness in the man of your choice!--and I will pronounce you happy couple.--I hope to hear in your next--(that is, if--) that you are about thinking of coming to town--no news stirring but politics--which I deem very
unfit for ladies.--I shall conclude with John Moody's prayer--"The goodness of goodness bless and preserve you!"--I am dear Miss L----'s most sincere servant and friend,
TO MR. S----N.Dalkeith, Sept. 15, 1770.
IT was kindly done of my worthy old friend to give me the satisfaction of hearing he was well and happy.--Believe me I very often think of and wish to be with you;--without malice, I envy you the constant felicity of being with worthy good children--whose regards and filial tenderness to yourself--and christian behaviour to each other--reflect honor to themselves and credit to you--but the thing I have much at heart you are provokingly silent about
--is my sweet Polly married yet? has she made Mr. H---- happy? May they both enjoy every comfort God Almighty blesses his children with! And how comes it my dear Tommy does not give me a line? I hope he is well--hearty--and happy, and honest downright Sally also;--tell Tommy he has disappointed me in not writing to me.--I hope Mrs. Sancho will be as good as her word, and soon pay you a visit.--I will trust her with you, though she is the treasure of my soul--We have been a week in the Highlands, and a fine country it is.--I hear nothing of coming home as yet--but I fancy it will not be long now.--Mrs. H---- sends her love to you and yours--and I my double love to self and the four young ones--with my best wishes and respects to Mrs. B----y, tell her I am half a Methodist;--here is a young man preaches here, one of those five who were expelled from Oxford--his name is M----n, he has a good strong voice--much passion--and preaches three times a day--an hour and a half
each time;--he is well-built--tall--genteel--a good eye--about twenty-five--a white hand, and a blazing ring--he has many converts amongst the ladies;--I cannot prevail on Mrs. H--to go and hear him--I have been four or five times, and heard him this day--his text was the epistle in the communion service.--I am, dear friend, yours sincerely, and all your valuable family's sincere well-wisher--and, were it in my power, I would add friend,
Their Graces are all well--and lady Mary grows every day--she is a sweet child.--Remember me to Mrs[.]----, and tell her Mrs. M---- is quite the woman of fashion:--she is pretty well in every thing except her eyes, which are a little inflamed with cold--and she does not forget they are so. Once more my cordial love to the girls, and to the worthies Tommy, Mr. H---- B---- and self. Adieu.
TO MRS. H----.Richmond, Dec. 22, 177
You cannot conceive the odd agreeable mixture of pleasure and pain I felt on the receipt of your favor;--believe me, good friend, I honor and respect your nobleness of principle--but at the same time greatly disapprove of your actions.--My dear Madam, bribery and corruption are the reigning topics of declamation;--and here, because I happen to be a well-wisher, you are loading us with presents.--One word for all, my good Mrs. H---- must not be offended when I tell her it hurts my pride--for pride I have too much, God knows--I accept your present this time--and do you accept dame Sancho's and my thanks--and never aim at sending aught again.--Your daughter Kate
brought me your letter--she seemed a little surprized at my being favor'd with your correspondence--and I am sure wished to see the contents.--As I from my soul honor filial feelings--it hurt me not to gratify her honest curiosity--but I do not chuse to let her know any thing of the matter--to save her the anxiety of hope and fear. She is very well, and rules over us not with an iron sceptre--but a golden one--we tell her we love her too well--in truth I can never return her a tithe of the kindnesses she has shewn my family--but what's all this to you?--I shall tire you with a jargon of nonsense, therefore I shall only with you all many happy returns of this season--good stomachs--good cheer--and good fires.--My kind remembrance to Madam Tilda--tell her, if she's a good girl, I will try to recommend her to Mr. G---- the painter, for a wife;--he is really, I believe, a first rate genius--and, what's better, he is a good young man--and I flatter myself will do honor to his science and credit to his friends.
--Kitty looks like the Goddess of Health--I am sure every drop of blood in her honest heart beats for the welfare and happiness of her parents.--Believe me ever your obliged servant and friend,
TO MR. B----.London, July 18, 1772
MY DEAR FRIEND,
NOTHING could possibly be more welcome than the favor of your truly obliging letter, which I received the day before yesterday.--Know, my worthy young man--that it's the pride of my heart when I reflect that, thro' the favor of Providence, I was the humble means of good to so worthy an object.--May you live to be a credit
to your great and good friends, and a blessing and comfort to your honest parents!--May you, my child, pursue, through God's mercy, the right paths of humility, candour, temperance, benevolence--with an early piety, gratitude, and praise to the Almighty Giver of all your good--gratitude--and love for the noble and generous benefactors his providence has so kindly moved in your behalf; ever let your actions be such as your own heart can approve--always think before you speak, and pause before you act--always suppose yourself before the eyes of Sir William--and Mr. Garrick.--To think justly--is the way to do rightly--and by that means you will ever be at peace within.--I am happy to hear Sir W---- cares so much about your welfare--his character is great--because it is good;--as to your noble friend Mr. Garrick--his virtues are above all praise--he has not only the best head in the world, but the best heart also;--he delights in doing good.--Your father and mother called on me last week, to
shew me a letter which Mr. Garrick has wrote to you--keep it, my dear boy, as a treasure beyond all price--it would do honor to the pen of a divine--it breathes the spirit of father--friend--and christian!--indeed I know no earthly being that I can reverence so much as your exalted and noble friend and patron Mr. Garrick.--Your father and mother, I told you, I saw lately--they were both well, and their eyes overflowed at the goodness of your noble patrons--and with the honest hope you would prove yourself not unworthy of their kindness.
I thank you for your kindness to my poor black brethren--I flatter myself you will find them not ungrateful--they act commonly from their feelings:--I have observed a dog will love those who use him kindly--and surely, if so, negroes--in their state of ignorance and bondage will not act less generously, if I may judge them by myself--I should suppose kindness would do any thing with them;--my soul melts at kindness--but the contrary--I own with
shame--makes me almost a savage.--If you can with conveniency--when you write again--send me half a dozen cocoa nuts, I shall esteem them for your sake--but do not think of it if there is the least difficulty.--In regard to wages I think you acted quite right--don't seek too hastily to be independent--it is quite time enough yet for one of your age to be your own master.--Read Mr. Garrick's letter night and morning--put it next your heart--impress it on your memory--and may the God of all Mercy give you grace to follow his friendly dictates!--I shall ever truly rejoice to hear from you--and your well-doing will be a comfort to me ever;--it is not in your own power and option to command riches--wisdom and health are immediately the gift of God--but it is in your own breast to be good--therefore, my dear child, make the only right election--be good, and trust the rest to God; and remember he is about your bed, and about your path, and
spieth out all your ways.--I am, with pride and delight,
Your true friend,
TO MR. S----E.Richmond, Oct. 11, 1772.
YOUR letter gave me more pleasure than in truth I ever expected from your hands--but thou art a flatterer;--why dost thou demand advice of me? Young man, thou canst not discern wood from trees;--with awe and reverence look up to thy more than parents--look up to thy almost divine benefactors--search into the motive of every glorious action--retrace thine own history--and when you are convinced that they (like the All gracious Power they serve) go about in mercy doing good--retire
abashed at the number of their virtues--and humbly beg the Almighty to inspire and give you strength to imitate them.--Happy, happy lad! what a fortune is thine!--Look round upon the miserable fate of almost all of our unfortunate colour--superadded to ignorance,--see slavery, and the contempt of those very wretches who roll in affluence from our labours superadded to this woeful catalogue--hear the ill-bred and heart-racking abuse of the foolish vulgar.--You, S----e, tread as cautiously as the strictest rectitude can guide ye--yet must you suffer from this--but armed with truth--honesty--and conscious integrity--you will be sure of the plaudit and countenance of the good;--if, therefore, thy repentance is sincere--I congratulate thee as sincerely upon it--it is thy birth-day to real happiness.--Providence has been very lavish of her bounty to you--and you are deeply in arrears to her--your parts are as quick as most mens; urge but your speed in the race of virtue
with the same ardency of zeal as you have exhibited in error--and you will recover, to the satisfaction of your noble patrons--and to the glory of yourself.--Some philosopher--I forget who--wished for a window in his breast--that the world might see his heart;--he could only be a great fool, or a very good man:--I will believe the latter, and recommend him to your imitation.--Vice is a coward;--to be truly brave, a man must be truly good;--you hate the name of cowardice--then, S----e, avoid it--detest a lye--and shun lyars--be above revenge;--if any have taken advantage either of your guilt or distress, punish them with forgiveness--and not only so--but, if you can serve them any future time, do it--you have experienced mercy and long-sufferance in your own person--therefore gratefully remember it, and shew mercy likewise.
I am pleased with the subject of your last--and if your conversion is real, I shall ever be happy in your correspondence--but at the same time I cannot
afford to pay five pence for the honour of your letters;--five pence is the twelfth part of five shillings--the forty-eighth part of a pound--it would keep my girls in potatoes two days.--The time may come, when it may be necessary for you to study calculations;--in the mean while, if you cannot get a frank, direct to me under cover to his Grace the Duke of _____. You have the best wishes of your sincere friend (as long as you are your own friend)
You must excuse blots and blunders--for I am under the dominion of a cruel head-ach--and a cough, which seems too fond of me.
TO MR. M----.Nov. 8, 1772.
BRAVO! my ingenious friend!--to say you exceed my hopes, would be to lye.--At my first knowledge of you--I was convinced that Providence had been partial in the talents entrusted to you--therefore I expected exertion on your side--and I am not disappointed; go on, my honest heart, go on!--hold up the mirror to an effeminate gallimawfry--insipid, weak, ignorant, and dissipated set of wretches--and scourge them into shame--the pen--the pencil--the pulpit--oh! may they all unite their endeavours--and rescue this once manly and martial people from the silken slavery of foreign luxury and debauchery--thou, my worthy M----, continue thy improvements;
and may the Almighty bless thee with the humble mein of plenty and content!--riches ensnare--the mediocrity is Wisdom's friend--and that be thine!--When you see S----, note his behaviour--he writes me word that he intends a thorough and speedy reformation;--I rather doubt him, but should be glad to know if you perceive any marks of it.--You do not tell me that you have seen Mr. G----; if you have not, I shall be angry with you--and attribute your neglect to pride;--pray render my compliments most respectful and sincere to Mrs. H----, and the little innocent laughing rose-bud--my love to my son.--I am heartily tired of the country;--the truth is--Mrs. Sancho and the girls are in town;--I am not ashamed to own that I love my wife--I hope to see you married, and as foolish.
I am yours, sincerely, &c. &c.
TO MRS. H----.Charles Street, Nov. 1, 1773.
MY DEAR AND RESPECTED MADAM,
I HAVE sincere pleasure to find you honor me in your thoughts--to have your good wishes, is not the least strange, for I am sure you possess that kind of soul, that christian philanthropy, which wishes well--and, in the sense of scripture, breathes peace and good-will to all.--Part of your scheme we mean to adopt--but the principal thing we aim at is in the tea, snuff, and sugar, with the little articles of daily domestic use--in truth, I like your scheme, and I think the three articles you advise would answer exceeding well--but it would require a capital--which we have not--so we mean to cut our coat according to our scanty quantum--and creep with hopes of being enabled hereafter to
mend our pace.--Mrs. Sancho is in the straw--she has given me a fifth wench--and your worthy Kate has offered her the honor of standing for her sponsor, but I fear it must be by proxy.--Pray make my respects to Mrs. Matilda--I hope she enjoys every thing that her parents wish her.--I shall dine with Mr. Jacob some day this week--I saw him at Dodd's chapel yesterday--and if his countenance is to be believed, he was very well--I could not get at him to speak to him;--as soon as we can get a bit of house, we shall begin to look sharp for a bit of bread--I have strong hope--the more children, the more blessings--and if it please the Almighty to spare me from the gout, I verily think the happiest part of my life is to come--soap, starch, and blue, with raisins, figs, &c.--we shall cut a respectable figure--in our printed cards.--Pray make my best wishes to Mr. H----; tell him I revere his whole family, which is doing honor to myself.--I had a letter of yours to answer,
which I should have done before, had my manners been equal to my esteem.--Mrs. Sancho joins me in respectful love and thanks: I remain ever your much obliged servant to command,
TO MRS. H----.February 9, 1774.
IT is the most puzzling affair in nature, to a mind that labours under obligations, to know how to express its feelings;--your former tender solicitude for my well-doing--and your generous remembrance in the present order--appear friendly beyond the common actions of those we in general style good sort of people;--but I will not teaze you with my nonsensical thanks--for I believe such kind of hearts as you are
blest with have sufficient reward in the consciousness of acting humanely.--I opened shop on Saturday the 29th of January--and have met with a success truly flattering;--it shall be my study and constant care not to forfeit the good opinion of my friends.--I have pleasure in congratulating you upon Mrs. W----'s happy delivery and pleasing increase of her family;--it is the hope and wish of my heart--that your comforts in all things may multiply with your years--that in the certain great end--you may immerge without pain--full of hope--from corruptible pleasure--to immortal and incorruptible life--happiness without end--and past all human comprehension;--there may you and I--and all we love (or care for) meet the follies--the parties--distinctions--feuds of ambition--enthusiasm--lust--and anger of this miserable motley world--all totally forgot--every idea lost and absorbed in the blissful mansions of redeeming love.
I have not seen Sir Jacob near a fortnight--but hope and conclude him well.--R---- is well, and grows very fat--an easy mind--full purse--and a good table--great health--and much indulgence--all these conduce terribly to plumpness.--I must beg when you see Mr.----, if not improper or inconvenient, that you will inform him--that where there is but little--every little helps;--I think he is too humane to be offended at the liberty--and too honest to be displeased with a truth--I am, with grateful thanks to Mr. H----, your sincerely humble servant and poor friend,
My best half and Sanchonetta's are all well.
TO MR. S----.Charles Street, Nov, 26, 1774.
YOUNG says, "A friend is the balsam of life"--Shakspeare says,--but why should I pester you with quotations?--to shew you the depth of my erudition, and strut like the fabled bird in his borrowed plumage--in good honest truth, my friend--I rejoice to see thy name at the bottom of the instructive page--and were fancy and invention as much my familiar friends as they are thine--I would write thee an answerer--or try, at least, as agreeably easy--and as politely simple.--Mark that; simplicity is the characteristic of good writing--which I have learnt, among many other good things, of your Honor--and for which I am proud to thank you;--in short I would write like you--think
like you (of course); and do like you; but as that is impossible, I must content myself with my old trick;--now what that trick is--thou art ignorant--and so thou shalt remain--till I congratulate you upon your recovery--A propos, you begun your letter ill, as we do many things in common life;--ten days elapsed before you finished it--consequently you finished it well.--My dear friend, may you, thro' God's blessing, ever finish happily what you undertake--however unpromising the beginning may appear to be!--I want you much in town--for my own sake--that's a stroke of self-love.--And do you mean to bring any candles up with you?--that's another!--I do not wonder at your making your way amongst the folks of Hull--although there are four of the same profession;--we love variety.--I will give them credit for admiring the Artist;--but if they--that is two or three of them--have penetration to look deeper--and love the Man--then I shall believe that there are souls in Hull.--So
--my cramp epistle fell into the hands of thy good and rev. father--tant pis--why he must think me blacker than I am.--Mons. B-- goes on well:--I suppose you know he has opened an Academy in St. Albans Street--at two guineas a year--naked figures three nights a week--Mr. Mortimer--and several eminent names upon his list--and room left for yours--he hops about with that festivity of countenance--which denotes peace and good-will to man.--I have added to my felicity--or Fortune more properly has--three worthy friends--they are admirers and friends of Mortimer and Sterne;--but of this--when we meet.--You are expected at B---- House upon your return--and I hope you will call on them, if consistent with your time--and agreeable to you.--My friend L---- is in town, and intends trying his fortune among us--as teacher of murder and neck-breaking--alias--fencing and riding.--The Tartars, I believe, have few fine gentlemen among them--and they can ride
--though they have neither fencing nor riding masters;--and as to genteel murder--we are mere pedlars and novices--for they can dispatch a whole caravan--or a hoorde--and eat and drink--wench and laugh--and, in truth, so far they can match our modern fine gents.;--they have no acquaintance with conscience--but what's all this to you?--nothing--it helps to fill up the sheet--and looks like moralizing;--the good-natured partiality of thy honest heart will deem it--not absolutely nonsense.--Alas!--thus it often happens--that the judgement of a good head is--bumfiddled--and wrong biass'd by the weakness of a too kind heart;--under that same weakness let me shelter my failings and absurdities--and let me boast at this present writing--that my heart is not very depraved--and has this proof of not being dead to virtue;--it beats stronger at the found of friendship--and will be sincerely attached to W---- S----, Esq--while its pulsations continue
to throb in the breast of your obliged
Do pray think about returning--the captain--the girls--the house--the court, stand all--just where they did--when you left them.--Alas! Time leaves the marks of his rough fingers upon all things--Time shrivels female faces--and fours small-beer--gives insignificance, if not impotency, to trunk-hose--and toughness to cow-beef.--Alas! alas! alas!--
TO MRS. C----.Charles Street, July 4, 1775. DEAR MADAM,
IT would be affronting your good-nature to offer an excuse for the trouble I am going to give you--my tale is short.--Mrs. O---- is with us
--she was, this day, observing poor Lydia with a good deal of compassion--and said she knew a child cured by roses boiled in new milk;--observed that you had, at this very time, perhaps bushels of rose-leaves wasting or the ground.--Now my petition is--that you would cause a few of them to be brought you--(they will blush to find their sweetness excelled by your kindness) they are good dryed, but better fresh--so when you come to town think of honest Lydia.--Mrs. O---- this morning saw your picture in Bond Street.--She approves much--and I fancy means to sit--the thinks that you inriched me with the strongest likeness--but the whole length the best.--have the honor to transmit the compliments of Mesdames A-- and Sancho--to which permit me to add mine with the most grateful sensibility for the recent favor of favors.--I am, dear madam,
Your most obliged,
TO MISS L----.July 26, 1775.
I HAVE just now had the pleasure of seeing a gentleman who is honored in calling you sister.--He suspended the pain in my foot for full five minutes, by the pleasing account he gave of your health.--I delivered my charge* * Miss L----'s picture.
safe into his hands--he viewed it with an eye of complacency--from which I conclude he is not unworthy your sister's hand;--we commonly behold those with a sort of partiality--who bring good tidings from our friends--in that view I could not forbear thinking him a very good kind of man. I have to thank you for a very obliging and friendly letter--which I should have done much sooner, could I have complied with
* Miss L----'s picture.
your kind wishes in giving a better account of myself;--my better self has been but poorly for some time--she groans with the rheumatism--and I grunt with the gout--a pretty concert!--Life is thick-sown with troubles--and we have no right to exemption.--The children, thank God! are well--your name-sake gets strength every day--and trots about amazingly.--I am reading Bossuet's Universal History, which I admire beyond any thing I have long met with: if it lays in your way, I would wish you to read it--if you have not already--and if you have, it is worth a second perusal. Mrs. Sancho rejoices to hear you are well--and intrusts me to send you her best wishes.--I hope you continue your riding--and should like to see your etiquette of hat, feather, and habit.--Adieu.--May you enjoy every wish of your benevolent heart--is the hope and prayer of your much obliged humble servant,
If the Universal History of Bossuet Bishop of Meaux, and Preceptor to Louis XV. should be difficult to find at Tunbridge--when you return to town, and give us the pleasure of seeing you--he will be exceeding proud of the happiness (and what Frenchman would not?--although a bishop) of riding to Bond Street in your pockets.
TO MISS. L----.Charles Street, June 20, 1775.
I PROTEST, my dear Madam, there is nothing so dangerous to the calm philosophic temper of fifty--as a friendly epistle from a pretty young woman;--but when worth--benevolence--and a train of amiabilities--easier felt than described--join in the attack,--the happy receiver of such an epistle must feel much in the same manner as your humble servant did this day;--but I did not mean
to write a starch complimentary letter--and I believe you will think I have flourished rather too much;--here then--I recover my wits--and the first use I make of them is to thank you, in Mrs. Sancho's name, for your friendly enquiries--and to assure you, we both rejoice that you had so pleasant a passage--and that you enjoy your health. We hope also, that your young gallant will repay your humane attentions--with grateful regard--and dutiful attachment.--I beg your pardon, over and over, for my blundering forgetfulness of your kind order--it was occasioned by being obliged to say good-bye.--Taking leave of those we esteem is, in my opinion, unpleasant;--the parting of friends is a kind of temporary mourning. Mrs. Sancho is but indifferent--the hot weather does not befriend her--but time will, I hope;--if true worth could plead an exemption from pain and sickness--Miss L---- and Mrs. Sancho would, by right divine, enjoy the best health--but, God be blessed, there is a reward
in store for both, and all like them--which will amply repay them for the evils and cross accidents of this foolish world. I saw Miss and Mrs. S----, and Johnny, at church last Sunday--they all looked pleasant, and told me they had heard you were well.--I would recommend a poem, which, if you have not--you should read, it is called Almeria; I have not read it--but have heard such an account of it as makes me suspect it will be worth your notice. This end of the town is fairly Regatta-mad--and the prices they ask are only five shillings each seat.--They are building scaffoldings on Westminster-Hall--and the prayers of all parties is now for a fine evening.--May your evenings be ever fair--and mornings bright! I should have said nights happy--all in God's good time! which, you must be convinced, is the best time.--Lydia mends--she walks a little--we begin to encourage hope.--Kitty is as lively as ever--and almost goes alone--the rest are well.--Mrs. Sancho joins me in
cordial wishes for your health and wealth.--I am, dear Madam,
Your most sincere friend,
and obliged humble servant,
TO MR. R----.
MY DEAR FRIEND,
THOU hast an honest sympathizing heart--and I am sure will feel sorrow to hear poor Mr. W ---- has paid the debt to Nature:--last Sunday heaven gained a worthy soul--and the world lost an honest man!--a Christian!--a friend to merit--a father to the poor and society--a man, whose least praise was his wit--and his meanest virtue, good humour;--he is gone to his great reward;--may you, and all I love and
honor, in God's good time, join him!--I wish to hear about you--how you all do--when you saw Johnny--and whether Mrs. O.---- holds in the same mind--if so, she is on the road for London, and Johnny on the road for B----. Pray have you heard from Mr. L----? A spruce Frenchman brought me a letter from him on Thursday; he left him well and in spirits--he wishes we would enquire for a place for him--he longs to be in England;--he is an honest soul, and I should feel true pleasure in serving him;--pray remember he wants a place.--I know not what words to use in way of thanks to Mrs. C---- for the very valuable present of her picture--I have wrote to her--but my pen is not able to express what I feel--and I think Mr. Gardner has hit off her likeness exceeding well--my chimney-piece now--fairly imitates the times--a flashy fine outside--the only intrinsic nett worth, in my possession, is Mrs. Sancho--who I can compare to nothing so properly as to a diamond in
the dirt--but, my friend, that is Fortune's fault, not mine--for, had I power, I would case her in gold.--When heard you from our friend Mr. J---- N----? when you see or write to him--tell him we still care for him--and remember his easy good-nature and natural politeness.--I will trouble you with the inclosed without any ceremony--for I have been so often obliged to you, that I begin now to fancy I have a right to trouble you. Commend me to squire S----, and all worthy friends.--Lydia sends her love to you--she trots about amazingly--and Kitty imitates her, with this addition, that she is as mischievous as a monkey.--Mrs. Sancho, Mrs. M----, and Mrs. B----, all think well of you, as well as yours,
TO MRS. C----.Charles Street, July 31, 1775
IF aught upon earth could make mortals happy--I have the best right to believe myself so--I have lived with the great--and been favoured by beauty--I have cause to be vain--let that apologize for my boasting--I am to thank you for the best ornament of my chimney-piece.--Your picture, which I had the joy to receive from Mr. Gardner, and which (exclusive of the partiality I have to your resemblance) I think a very good one;--it proves, unquestionably, three things;--your goodness--Mr. Gardner's skill--and my impudence!--in wishing so pleasing a prize.--If Kitty should live to woman's estate--she will
exultingly tell folks--that's my godmother's picture--and the next generation will swear the painter was a flatterer--and scarce credit there was ever a countenance so amiably sweet--in the days of George the Third--except a Hamilton or Lady Sarah.--Mrs. Sancho desires her thanks may be joined with mine--as the thanks of one flesh.--Mr. M---- is well--and hopes, in concert with the Sanchos, that you had a pleasant journey--and good health your companion.--That health and pleasure--with love and friendship in its train--may ever accompany you--is the wish, dear Madam, of your greatly obliged humble servant,
TO MISS L----.Charles Street, August 7, 1775.
I NEVER can excuse intolerable scrawls--and I do tell you that for writing conversable letters you are wholly unfit--no talent--no nature--no style--stiff--formal--and unintelligible--take that--for your apology--and learn to be honest to yourself.--The Dutchess of Kingston and Mr. Foote have joined in a spirited paper-war--(I should have said engaged) but I fear her Grace will have the worst of it--had she either the heart or head of our friend Miss L----, I should pity her from my soul--and should muster up gallantry enough to draw a pen (at least) in her defence; as it is--I think--in principles they are well matched--but as her Grace appears to me--to want temper--I think the Wit will be too hard for her.--I am
pleased with the Tunbridgians for their respectful loyalty--on his Royal Highness's birth-day;--it is too much the fashion to treat the Royal Family with disrespect.--Zeal for politics has almost annihilated good-manners.--Mrs. Sancho feels the kindness of your good wishes--but we hope you will be in town before she tumbles in the straw, when a Benjamin mess of caudle will meet your lips with many welcomes.--Mrs. Sancho is--so, so--not so alert as I have known her--but I shall be glad she holds just as well till she is down.--My silly gout is not in haste to leave me--I am in my seventh week--and in truth am peevish--and sick of its company.--As to Dr. D----, the last I heard of him--was that he was in France;--he has not preached for these nine Sundays at Pimlico.--You did not tell me the name of your Suffolk preacher--I fancy it is Dr. W--ll--ton--who is reckoned equal to D----; I am glad you have him--as I would wish you to have every thing that God can give
you conducive to your love and pleasure.--Mrs. Sancho joins me in respects and thanks--good wishes, &c. &c.
I am, dear Madam,
Your ever obliged, humble servant,
TO MR. B----.August 12, 1775.
IF I knew a better man than yourself--you wou'd not have had this application--which is in behalf of a merry--chirping--white tooth'd--clean--tight--and light little fellow;--with a woolly pate--and face as dark as your humble;--Guiney-born, and French-bred--the sulky gloom of Africa dispelled by Gallic vivacity--and that softened again with English sedateness--a rare fellow!
--rides well--and can look upon a couple of horses--dresses hair in the present taste--shaves light--and understands something of the arrangement of a table and side-board;--his present master will authenticate him a decent character--he leaves him at his own (Blacky's) request:--he has served him three years--and, like Teague, would be glad of a good master--if any good master would be glad of him.--As I believe you associate chiefly with good-hearted folks--it is possible your interest may be of service to him.--I like the rogue's looks, or a similarity of colour should not have induced me to recommend him.--Excuse this little scrawl from your friend, &c. IGN. SANCHO.
"For conscience like a fiery horse,
"Will stumble if you check his course;
"But ride him with an easy rein,
"And rub him down with worldly gain,
"He'll carry you through thick and thin,
"Safe, although dirty, to your Inn."
TO MRS. C----.August 14, 1775.
I AM happy in hearing that the bathing and drinking has been of real service to you.--I imagine I see you rise out of the waves another Venus--and could wish myself Neptune, to have the honor of escorting you to land.--Mr. P---- has sent me a pretty turtle, and in very good condition.--I must beg you will do me the honor to accept of it--it will attend you at Privy Gardens, where (had turtles a sense of ambition) it would think itself happy in its destination.--Pray my best respects to their honors R---- and Squire S----. I live in hopes of seeing you all next week.
I am, dear Madam,
Your much obliged,
TO MISS L----.August 27, 1775.
JUST upon the stroke of eleven--as I was following (like a good husband) Mrs. Sancho to bed--a thundering rap called me to the street door--a letter from Tunbridge, Sir--thanks, many thanks--good night.--I hugged the fair stranger--and--as soon as up stairs--broke ope the seal with friendly impatience--and got decently trimmed, for what? why, truly, for having more honesty than prudence.--Well, if ever I say a civil thing again to any of your sex--but it is foolish to be rash in resolves--seriously, if aught at any time slips from my unguarded pen, which you may deem censurable--believe me truly and honestly--it is the error of uncultivated nature--and I will trust the candour
of friendship to wink at undesigned offence;--not but I could defend--and would against any but yourself--the whole sad charge of flattery--but enough.--I paid a visit in Bond-Street this morning.--Your sister looked health itself--she was just returned from the country, and had the pleasure to hear from you at her first entrance.
Your friendly offer for the little stranger is in character--but if I was to say what my full heart would dictate--you would accuse me of flattery.--Mrs. Sancho is more than pleased--I won't say what I am--but if you love to give pleasure, you have your will.--Are you not pleased to find Miss Butterfield innocent?--it does credit to my judgement, for I never believed her guilty--her trial proves undeniably that one half of the faculty are very ignorant.--I hear she intends suing for damages--and if ever any one had a right to recover, she certainly has;--and were I to decree them--they should not be less than 400l. a year for life, and 5000l. pound
down by way of smart-money.--In my opinion, the D--ss of K---- is honored to be mentioned in the same paper with Miss Butterfield.--You should read the St. James's Evening papers for last week--you will easily get them at any coffee-house--the affair is too long for a letter--but I will send you some black poetry upon the occasion:
With Satire, Wit, and Humour arm'd,
Foote opes his exhibitions;
High-titled Guilt, justly alarm'd,
The Chamberlain petitions.
My Lord, quoth Guilt, this daring fiend
Won't let us sin in private;
To his presumption there's no end,
Both high and low he'll drive at.
* Dr. Dodd.
Last year he smoak'd the cleric * gown;
A D--ss now he'd sweat.
The insolent, for half a crown,
Would libel all the Great.
* Dr. Dodd.
What I can do, his Lordship cries,
Command you freely may,
Don't licence him, the Dame replies,
Nor let him print his play.
Poor Lydia is exceedingly unwell.--They who have least sensibility are best off for this world.--By the visit I was able to make this morning--you may conclude my troublesome companion is about taking leave.--May you know no pains but of sensibility!--and may you be ever able to relieve where you wish!--May the wise and good esteem you more than I do--and the object of your heart love you--as well as you love a good and kind action!--These wishes--after the trimming you gave me in your lest--is a sort of heaping coals on your head--as such, accept it from your sincere--aye--and honest friend,
Mrs. Sancho says little--but her moistened eye expresses--that she feels your friendship.
TO MISS L----.Sept. 12, 1775.
THERE is nothing in nature more vexatious than contributing to the uneasiness of those, whose partiality renders them anxious for our well-doing--the honest heart dilates with rapture when it can happily contribute pleasure to its friends;--you see by this that I am coxcomb enough to suppose me and mine of consequence--but if it is so--it is such as you, whose partial goodness have grafted that folly on my natural trunk of dullness.--I am, in truth, in a very unfit mood for writing--for poor Lydia is very so, so--Mrs. Sancho not very stout;--and for me, I assure you, that of my pair of feet--two are at this instant in pain--this is the worst side--butcourage! Hope! delusive cheating Hope! beckons Self-love, and enlists him of her side--and, together, use their friendly eloquence to persuade me that
better times are coming.--Your beloved wife (cries Self-love) will have a happy time, and be up soon, strong and hearty.--Your child (cries Hope) will get the better of her illness--and grow up a blessing, and comfort to your evening life--and your friend will soon be in town and enliven your winter prospects.--Trust, trust in the Almighty--his providence is your shield--'tis his love, 'tis his mercy, which has hitherto supported and kept you up.--See, see! cries Hope! look where Religion, with Faith on her right--and Charity on her left--and a numerous train of blessings in her rear, come to thy support.--Fond foolish mortal--leave complaining--all will be right--all is right.--Adieu, my good friend--write me something to chace away idle fears--and to strengthen hope.--Too true it is, that where the tender passions are concerned, our sex are cowards,
Mrs. Sancho sends her best wishes.
TO MISS L----.Charles Street, Oct. 4, 1775.
Just as the twig is bent, the tree's inclin'd,
'Tis education forms the tender mind.
So says POPE.
Children like tender osiers take the bow,
Aud as they first are fashion'd, always grow.
THE sense of each is just the same, and they both prove an opinion, which I have long been grounded in--that the errors of most children proceed in great part from the ill cultivation of their first years.--Self-love, my friend, bewitches parents to give too much indulgence to infantine foibles;--the constant cry is, "Poor little soul, it knows no better!"--if it swears--that's a sign of wit and spirit;--if it fibs--it's so cunning
and comical;--if it steals--'tis only a paw trick--and the mother exultingly cries--My Jacky is so sharp, we can keep nothing from him!--Well! but what's all this to you?--You are no mother.--True, my sincerely esteemed friend--but you are something as good--you are perhaps better--much better and wiser I am sure than many mothers I have seen.--You, who believe in the true essence of the gospel--who visit the sick, cover the naked, and withdraw not your ear from the unfortunate:--but I did not intend to write your elogium--it requires the pen of one less interested--and perhaps less partiality and more judgement would also be requisite.--Jacky S---- is the occasion of this prefatory vast shew of learning. I do believe him a fine child spoil'd for want of proper management--he is just now in high disgrace--he is wrong enough in all conscience, I believe--but are they, who are about him, right? We will talk about this matter when I have the pleasure of seeing you;--
you shall forgive my impertinent meddling--I will ask pardon, and sin again--so we serve Heaven--so complain, if you dare.--Mrs. Sancho is yet up;--if I pray at all, it's for the blessing of a happy moment, with little pain for her;--as to what she brings, I care not about its sex--God grant safety and health to the mother--and my soul and lips shall bless his Holy name.--We cannot remove till after Mrs. Sancho is up--The house will not be ready till towards Christmas, which is not the most desirable time of the year for moving--but we must do as we can, not as we would.
At Charlotte Chapel.---- We had last Sunday a most excellent discourse from Mr. H----n, whom I suppose you have heard preach--if not, he is well worth hearing--to please me--or, to the best of my knowledge, he reads prayers better than most--Mr. B---- not excepted;--there is a dignity of expression in his Psalms, which catches
the whole attention--and such an animated strength of devotion in his Litany, as almost carries the heart to the gates of Heaven--he is fine in the pulpit;--but comparisons are unfair--if H_____ reads prayers, and D_____ preaches at the same church--I should suppose greater perfection could not be found in England.--I have to thank you for the honor of your correspondence--and can laugh in my sleeve like a Dutch Jew--to think that I get sterling sense for my farrago of absurdities--but you will, I hope, soon be in town.--Mrs. Sancho joins me in every sentiment of gratitude and sincerity.--I am, as much as a poor African can be, sincerely
Yours to command,
We are in great hopes about poor Lydia.--An honest and ingenious motherly woman in our neighbourhood
has undertaken the perfect cure of her--and we have every reason to think, with God's blessing, she will succeed--which is a blessing we shall owe entirely to the comfort of being poor--for had we been rich--the doctors would have had the honor of killing her a twelvemonth ago.---- Adieu.
TO MISS L----.Thursday Morning, Oct. 16, 1775.
MY worthy and respected friend, I hear, has protracted her stay.--I am greatly obliged to Miss L----'s goodness, who has given me this opportunity of addressing my good friend.--I am very low in heart.--Poor Mrs. Sancho is so indifferent--and Lydia, tho' upon the whole better, yet weak and poorly.--I am sufficiently acquainted with care
--and I think I fatten upon calamity.--Philosophy is best practised, I believe, by the easy and affluent.--One ounce of practical religion is worth all that ever the Stoics wrote.--Mrs. Sancho smiles in the pains which it has pleased Providence to try her with--and her belief in a better existence is her cordial drop.--Adieu; bring health with you, and the sight of you will glad us all.
TO MR. R----.Oct. 18, 1775.
I BEGIN to fear with you that our friend L---- is sick or married--or--what I would rather hope--is on his way to England.--Thanks to our Suffolk
friends--you take care we shall not starve.--I was for five minutes, when dinner was on table, suspended, in inclination, like the ass between the two loads of hay--the turtle pulled one way, and a sweet loin of pork the other--I was obliged to attack both in pure self-defence;--Mrs. Sancho eat--and praised the pork--and praised the giver.--Let it not, my worthy R----, mortify thy pride--to be obliged to divide praise with a pig;--we all echoed her--O---- and R---- were the toasts--I know not in truth two honester or better men--were your incomes as enlarged as your hearts--you would be the two greatest fortunes in Europe; but I wrote merely to thank you--and to say Mrs. Sancho and Mrs. M---- are both better than when I wrote last night--in short Mrs. M---- is quite well--I pray God to send my dear Mrs. Sancho safe down and happily up--she makes the chief ingredient of my felicity--whenever my good friend marries--I hope
he will find it the same with him.--My best respects to Mesdames--C. and C. and take care of my brother.--I fear this will be a raking week.--Compliments to Master S---- and the noble Mr. B----
TO MISS L----.Friday, Oct. 20, 1775.
IN obedience to my amiable friend's request--I, with gratitude to the Almighty--and with pleasure to her--(I am sure I am right)--acquaint her, that my ever dear Dame Sancho was exactly at half past one, this afternon, delivered of a--child.--Mrs. Sancho, my dear Miss I----, is as well as can be expected--in truth, better than I feared
she would be--for indeed she has been very unwell for this month past--I feel myself a ton lighter:--In the morning I was crazy with apprehension--and now I talk nonsense thro' joy.--This plaguy scrawl will cost you I know not what--but it's not my fault--'tis your foolish godson's--who, by me, tenders his dutiful respects. I am ever yours to command, sincerely and affectionately,
TO MISS L----.Charles Street, Dec. 14, 1775.
THERE is something inexpressibly flattering in the notion of your being warmer--from the idea of your much obliged friend's caring for you;--in truth we could not help caring about you--our thoughts travelled with
you over night from Bond Street to the Inn.--The next day at noon--"Well, now she's above half way--alas! no, she will not get home till Saturday night--I wonder what companions she has met with--there is a magnetism in good-nature which will ever attract its like--so if she meets with beings the least social--but that's as chance wills!"--Well, night arrives--and now our friend has reached the open arms of parental love--excess of delightful endearments gives place to tranquil enjoyments--and all are happy in the pleasure they give each other.--Were I a Saint or a Bishop, and was to pass by your door, I would stop, and say, Peace be upon this dwelling!--and what richer should I leave it?--for I trust where a good man dwells, there peace makes its sweet abode.--When you have read Boffuet, you will find at the end, that it was greatly wished the learned author had brought the work down lower--but I cannot help thinking he concluded his design as far as he originally meant.--Mrs. Sancho
thank Heaven, is as well as you left her, and your godson thrives--he is the type of his father--fat--heavy--seepy--but as he is the heir of the noble family, and your godson, I ought not to disparage him.--The Dutchess of K---- is so unwell, that she has petitioned for a longer day--they say that her intellects are hurt;--tho' a bad woman, she is entitled to pity.--Conscience, the high chancellor of the human breast, whose small still voice speaks terror to the guilty--Conscience has pricked her--and, with all her wealth and titles, she is an object of pity.--Health attend you and yours!--Pleasure of course will follow.--Mrs. Sancho joins me in all I say, and the girls look their assent.--I remain--God forgive me! I was going to conclude, without ever once thanking you for your goodness in letting us hear from you so early--there is such a civil coldness in writing, a month perhaps after expectation has been snuffed out, that the very thought is enough to chill
friendship--but you, like your sister Charity, as Thomson sweetly paints her (smiling thro' tears), delight in giving pleasure, and joy in doing good.--And now farewell--and believe us in truth, our dear Miss L----'s
obliged and grateful friends
ANNE and I. SANCHO.
TO MR. M----.Jan. 4, 1776.
I KNOW not which predominates in my worthy friend--pride or good-nature--don't stare--you have a large share of both;--happy it is for you--as well as your acquaintance--that your pride is so well accompanied by the honest ardor of youthful benevolence.--You would, like the fabled pelican--
feed your friends with your vitals--blessed Philanthropy! oh! the delights of making happy--the bliss of giving comfort to the afflicted--peace to the distressed mind--to prevent the request from the quivering lips of indigence!--but, great God!--the inexpressible delight--the not-to-be-described rapture in soothing, and convincing the tender virgin that "You alone," &c. &c. &c. (Prior's Henry and Emma see)--but I think you dropt a word or two about flattery.--Sir--honest friend--know once for all--I never yet thought you a coxcomb--a man of sense I dare not flatter, my pride for bids it--a coxcomb is not worth the dirty pains.--You have (through the bounty of your great Creator) strong parts, and, thank the Almighty--goodness, an honest sincere heart--yes, you have many and rare talents, which you have cultivated with success--you have much fire, which, under the guidance of a circumspect judgement, stimulates you to worthy acts--but do not say that I flatter in
speaking the truth--I can see errors even in those I half reverence--there are spots in the Sun--and perhaps some faults in Johnny M----who is by far--too kind--generous--and friendly to his greatly obliged friend,
P. S. I tell you what--(are you not coming to town soon?)--F_____ and venison are good things, but by the manes of my ancestors--I had rather have the pleasure of gossipation with your sublime highness.--What sketches have you taken?--what books have you read?--What lasses gallanted?--The venison is exceeding sine, and the cleanest I ever saw--to-morrow we dress it--a thankful heart shall be our sweet sauce:--were you in town, your partaking of it would add to its relish.--You say I was not in spirits when you saw me at G_____; why, it might be so--in spight of my philosophy--the cares and anxieties
attendant on a large family and small finances sometimes over-cloud the natural chearfulness of your truly,
N. B. A very short P----S----
TO MR. R----.June 25, 1776.
YOU had a pleasant day for your journey--and after five or six miles ride from town--you left the dust behind you--of course the road and the country also improved as you drew nearer B----. I will suppose you there--and then I will suppose you found Mrs. C---- well in health, and the better for the preceding day's motion--she and Miss C---- meet you
with the looks of a Spring-morning.--I see you meet in fancy--I wish I could see you in reality--but of that hereafter.--I want to know how Mrs. C---- does--and what Miss C---- does--what you intend to do--and what Mr. S---- will never do.--This letter is a kind of much-ado-about--what--I must not say nothing--because the ladies are mentioned in it.--Mr. and Mrs. B---- have a claim to my best respects;--pray say what's decent for me--and to the respectable table also--beginning with my true friend Mrs. C----, and then steering right and left--ending at last with your worship.--Tell Mrs. C---- that Kitty is as troublesome as ever--that Billy gets heavier and stronger.--Mrs. Sancho remains, thank God, very well--and all the rest ditto.--Let me know how you all do--and how brother O---- does.--As to news, all I hear is about W--kes--he will certainly carry his point--for administration are all strongly in his interest--betts run much in his
favor--for my part I really think he will get it--if he can once manage so--as to gain the majority.----I am, my dear R----, your--(much more than W--kes's--or indeed any man, O----'s excepted) in love and zeal,
TO MR. STERNE.July, 1776.
IT would be an insult on your humanity (or perhaps look like it) to apologize for the liberty I am taking--I am one of those people whom the vulgar and illiberal call "Negurs."--The first part of my life was rather
unlucky, as I was placed in a family who judged ignorance the best and only security for obedience.--A little reading and writing I got by unwearied application.--The latter part of my life has been--thro' God's blessing, truly fortunate, having spent it in the service of one of the best families in the kingdom.--My chief pleasure has been books.--Philanthropy I adore.--How very much, good Sir, am I (amongst millions) indebted to you for the character of your amiable uncle Toby!--I declare, I would walk ten miles in the dog-days, to shake hands with the honest corporal.--Your Sermons have touch'd me to the heart, and I hope have amended it, which brings me to the point.--In your tenth discourse, page seventy-eight, in the second volume--is this very affecting passage--"Consider how great a part of our species--in all ages down to this--have been trod under the feet of cruel and capricious tyrants, who would neither hear their cries, nor pity their distresses.--Consider slavery--what it is
--how bitter a draught--and how many millions are made to drink it!"--Of all my favorite authors, not one has drawn a tear in favour of my miserable black brethren--excepting yourself, and the humane author of Sir George Ellison.--I think you will forgive me;--I am sure you will applaud me for beseeching you to give one half hour's attention to slavery, as it is at this day practised in our West Indies.--That subject, handled in your striking manner, would ease the yoke (perhaps) of many--but if only of one--Gracious God!--what a feast to a benevolent heart!--and, sure I am, you are an epicurean in acts of charity.--You, who are universally read, and as universally admired--you could not fail--Dear Sir, think in me you behold the uplifted hands of thousands of my brother Moors.--Grief (you pathetically observe) is eloquent;--figure to yourself their attitudes;--hear their supplicating addresses!--alas!--you cannot refuse.--Humanity must comply--
in which hope I beg permission to subscribe myself,
Reverend, Sir, &c.
TO MR. M----.August 12, 1776.
"We have left undone the things we should
"have done," &c. &c.--
THIS general confession--with a deep sense of our own frailties--joined to penitence--and strong intentions of better doing--insures poor sinners forgiveness, obliterates the past, sweetens the present, and brightens the future;--in short, we are to hope that it reconciles us with the Deity--and if that conclusion is just, it must certainly reconcile us in part to each other.--Grant me that, dear M--, and you have no
quarrel towards me for epistolary omissions;--look about you, my dear friend, with a fault-searching eye--and see what you have left undone!--Look on your chair--those cloaths should have been brushed and laid by--that linen sent to wash--those shoes to be cleaned.--Zooks! why you forget to say your prayers--to take your physick--to wash your----. Pray how does Mrs. H----? Lord, what a deal of rain! I declare I fear it will injure the harvest.--And when saw you Nancy?--Has the cat kittened?--I suppose you have heard the news:--great news!--a glorious affair! (and is two ff's necessary)--O! Lord Sir!--very little bloodshed--pity any shou'd, how!--do not you admire!--How so?--Why this, Sir, is writing, 'tis the true sublime--and this the stuff that gives my friend M---- pleasure:--thou vile flatterer!--blush! blush up to thine eyelids!--I am happy to think I have found a flaw in thee--thou art a flatterer of the most dangerous sort, because agreeable--I have often observed
--there is more of value in the manner of doing the thing--than in the thing itself--my mind's-eye follows you in the selecting the pretty box--in arranging the picked fruit.--I see you fix on the lid, drive the last nail, your countenance lit up with glee, and your heart exulting in the pleasure you were about giving to the family of the Sancho's--and then snatch the hat and stick, and walk with the easy alacrity of a soul conscious of good;--but hold, Sir, you were rather saucy in a part or two of your letter--for which reason I shall not thank you for the fruit--the good woman and brats may--and with reason, for they devoured them--the box, indeed, is worth thanks, which, if God, gout, and weather permit, you may probably hear something of on Sunday next, from yours, with all your sins, &c. &c.
TO MR. K----.August 28, 1776.
MY WORTHY FRIEND,
I SHOULD have answered your billet, as soon as received--but I wanted to know the quantum that I was to wish you joy of--as nothing has yet for certainty transpired.--I will hope your legacy from Mrs.---- is handsome:--you can easily imagine the pleasure I felt--in finding she had so amply remembered poor Mrs. M---- that one act has more true generosity in it, aye, and justice perhaps, than any thing I ever knew of her in her long life:--it has removed an anxiety from me (which, in spite of self-felt poverty--and the heart-felt cares of a large family) troubled me greatly;--as to myself, she used to promise largely formerly,
that she would think of me;-- as I never believed--I was not disappointed.--More and more convinced of the futility of all our eagerness after wordly riches, my prayer and hope is only for bread, and to be enabled to pay what I owe;--I labour up hill against many difficulties--but God's goodness is my support--and his word my trust.--Mrs. Sancho joins me in her best wishes, and gives you joy also; the children are all well--William grows, and tries his feet brifkly--and Fanny goes on well in her tambour-work--Mary must learn some business or other--if we can possibly atchieve money--but we have somehow no friends--and, bless God!--we deserve no enemies. Trade is duller than ever I knew it--and money scarcer;--foppery runs higher--and vanity stronger;--extravagance is the adored idol of this sweet town.--You are a happy being;--free from the cares of the world in your own person--you enjoy more than your master--or his master into the bargain.
--May your comforts know no diminution, but increase with your years!--and may the same happen, when it shall please God, to your sincere friend I. Sancho and his family!
TO MR. M----.September 1, 1776.
YOU have the happiest manner of obliging;--how comes it that--without the advantages of a twentieth generationship of noble blood flowing uncontaminated in your veins--without the customary three years dissipation at college--and the (nothing-to-be-done without) four years perambulation on the Continent--without all these needful appendages--with little more than plain sense--sheer good-nature--and a right honest heart--thou canst--
"Like low-born Allen, with an aukward shame,
"Do good by stealth, and blush to find it fame."
Now by my grandame's beard--I will not thank you for your present--although my ears have been stunned with your goodness and kindness----the best young man!----and, good Lord! how shall we make him amends? &c. &c.----Phaw! simpleton, quoth I, do you not plainly ken, that he himself has a satisfaction in giving pleasure to his friends which more than repays him?--so I strove to turn off the notion of obligation--though I must confess, my heart at the same time felt a something, sure it was not envy--no, I detest it--I fear it was pride--for I feel within myself this moment, that could I turn the tables in repaying principal with treble interest----I should feel gratified--though perhaps not satisfied.--I have a long account to balance with you--about your comments upon the transcript;--you are a pretty fellow to dare put in your claim--to better sense--deeper thinking--and stronger reasoning than my wife self----to tell you the truth (tho' at my own expence) I read
your letter the first time with some little chagrin;--your reasoning, tho' it hurt my pride--yet almost convinced my understanding.--I read it carefully a second time--pondered--weighed--and submitted--whenever a spark of vanity seems to be glowing at my heart--I will read your letter--and what then?--Why then humbled by a proper sense of my inferiority--I shall still have cause for pride----triumph----and comfort----when I reflect that my valued Confort--is the true friend of his sincerely affectionate
TO MR. M----.Dec. 4, 1776,
I FORGOT to tell you this morning--a jack-ass would have shewn more thought--(are they rationals or not?) the best recipe for the gout, I am informed--is two or three stale Morning-Posts;--reclined in easy chair--the patient must sit--and mull over them--take snuff at intervals--hem--and look wife;--I apply to you as my pharmacopolist--do not criticize my orthography--but when convenient--send me the medicine--which, with care and thanks, I will return,
Pray how do ye do?
TO MR. M----*.January 4, 1777.
* On reading the Tragedy of Semiramis, from the French of Mons. Voltaire.
I HAVE read, but have found nothing of the striking kind of sentimental novelty--which I expected from its great author--the language is good in most places--but never rises above the common pitch.--In many of our inferior tragedies--I have ever found here and there a flower strewn, which has been the grace and pride of the poetic par terre, and has made me involuntary cry out, Bravo!--from dress--scenery--action--and the rest of play-house garniture--it may shew well and go down--like insipid fish with good sauce;--the Prologue is well--the Epilogue worth the whole--such is my criticism--read
--stare--and conclude your friend mad--tho' a more Christian supposition would be--(what's true at the same time) that my ideas are frozen, much more frigid than the play;--but allowing that--and although I confess myself exceeding cold, yet I have warmth enough to declare myself yours sincerely,
Love and many happy new years to the ladies.
TO MR. M----.February 9, 1777.
ZOUNDS! if alive--what ails you? if dead--why did you not send me word?--Where's my Tristram?--What, are all bucks alike?--all promise and no--but I won't put myself in a passion--I have but one foot and no head--
go-to--why, what a devil of a rate dost thou ride at anathematizing and reprobating poor--! pho! thou simpleton--he deserves thy pity--and whoever harbours a grain of contempt for his fellow creatures--either in the school of poverty or misfortune--that Being is below contempt--and lives the scorn of men--and shame of devils.--Thou shalt not think evil of----; nor shall he, either by word or thought, dispraisingly speak or think of M----.
In regard to thy N----, thou art right--guard her well--but chiefly guard her from the traitor in her own fair breast, which, while it is the seat of purity and unsullied honor--fancies its neighbours to be the same--nor fees the serpent in the flowery foliage--till it stings--and then farewell sweet peace and its attendant riches.
I have only time to thank you for the leaves, and to lament your want of perspicuity in writing.--My love to George when you see him--and two
loves to Nancy--tell her I could fold her to my bosom with the same tender pressure I do my girls--shut my eyes--draw her to my heart--and call her Daughter!--and thou, monkey-face, write me a decent letter--or you shall have another trimming from yours,
Look'ye Sir, I write to the ringing of the shop-door bell--I write--betwixt serving--gossiping-and lying. Alas! what cramps to poor genius!
The outline of a plan for establishing a most respectable body of Seamen, to the number of 20,000, to be ever ready for the manning a fleet upon twelve days notice.
THE proposer is humbly of opinion, that his plan is capable of many wholesome improvements, which he thinks would prove no unprofitable study, even to the Lords of the Admiralty.
Ist, Let the number of seamen, now upon actual service, be each man inrolled upon his Majesty's books, at the rate of 51. per annum for life; let them also receive the same quarterly, or half yearly, upon personal application.
IIdly, Let books be opened for them in all his Majesty's different yards and sea ports, and there their dwelling, age, time they have served, &c. to be fairly
entered; each man to bring a certificate from his ship, signed by the captain, or some one he shall please to depute.
3dly, As an encouragement to his Majesty's service and population at the same time, let there be instituted in each of the ship yards, or ports, &c. of these Kingdoms, a kind of asylum, or house of refuge, for the sons of these honest tars, to be received therein at the age of six years; there to be taught navigation, or after the common school learning, to be bound to such parts of ship-building as they by nature are most inclined to; such as chuse sea service, to be disposed on board his Majesty's ships at fifteen years old, and to be enrolled upon the pension books after ten years faithful service, unless better provided for.
Might not there be some plan hit on to employ the daughters, as well as sons of poor sailors? Does not our Fisheries (if they should ever happen
to be attended to) open many doors of useful employment for both sexes.
To defray the above, I would advise the following methods:
First, The pension of 5l. per man for 20,000, amounts only to 100,000l.; let this be taken from the Irish list, it will surely be better employed, than in the present mode for Pensioners of noble blood.
Secondly, Let the book and office-keepers at the different yards, ports, &c. be collected from under-officers who have served with reputation; it will be a decent retreat for them in the evening of life, and only a grateful reward for past service.
May some able hand, guided by a benevolent heart, point out and strongly recommend something of this sort, that the honoured name of England may be rescued from the scandalous censure of man-stealing, and from the ingratitude also of letting their preservers perish in the time of peace!
I am, Sir, yours, &c.
TO MR. M----.July 27, 1777.
Go-to!--the man who visits church twice in one day, must either be religious--curious--or idle--which ever you please, my dear friend--turn it the way which best likes you--I will cheerily subscribe to it.--By the way, H----n was inspired this morning--his text was from Romans--chapter the--verse the--both forgot;--but the subject was to present heart, mind, soul, and all the affections--a living sacrifice to God;--he was most gloriously animated, and seemed to have imbibed the very spirit and manners of the great apostle.--Our afternoon Orator was a stranger to me--he was blest with a good, clear, and well-toned articulate voice;--he preached from the Psalms--and took great pains
to prove that God knew more than we--that letters were the fountain of our knowledge--that a man in Westminster was totally ignorant of what was going forward in Whitechapel--that we might have some memory of what we did last week--but have no sort of conjecture of what we shall do to-morrow, &c. &c.--Now H----n's whole drift was that we should live the life of angels here--in order to be so in reality hereafter--the other good soul gave us wholesome matter of fact--they were both right--(but I fear not to speak my mind to my M---- who, if he condemns my head, will, I am sure, acquit my heart.)--You have read and admired Sterne's Sermons--which chiefly inculcate practical duties, and paint brotherly love--and the true Christian charities in such beauteous glowing colours--that one cannot help wishing to feed the hungry--cloathe the naked, &c. &c.--I would to God, my friend, that the great lights of the church would exercise their oratorical powers upon Yorick's
plan;--the heart and passions once listed under the banners of blest philanthropy--would naturally ascend to the redeeming God--flaming with grateful rapture.--Now I have observed among the modern Saints--who profess to pray without ceasing--that they are so fully taken up with pious meditations--and so wholly absorbed in the love of God--that they have little if any room for the love of man;--if I am wrong, tell me so honestly--the censure of a friend is of more value than his money--and to submit to conviction, is a proof of good sense.--I made my bow to-night to Mrs. H----; the rest of the rogues were out--bright-eyed S---- and all.--Mrs. H---- says that you are hypped--nonsense!--few can rise superior to pain--and the head, I will allow, is a part the most sensible if affected--but even then you are not obliged to use more motion than you like--though I can partly feel the aukward sensations and uneasy reflections, which will often arise upon the least ail of so precious a
member as the eye--yet certain I am, the more you can be master of yourself (I mean as to chearfulness, if not gaiety of mind) the better it will of course be with you.--I hope G---- is well--and that you ride often to see him I make no doubt--I like the monkey--I know not for why, nor does it signify a button--but sure he is good-tempered and grateful--but what's that to me?--Good night--the clock talks of eleven.
TO MR. M----.July 23, 1777.
YES--too true, it is--for the many (aye, and some of those many carry their heads high) too true for the miserable--the needy--the sick--for many, alas! who now may have no helper--for the child of folly poor S----, and even for thy worthless friend Sancho.--It is too true that the Almighty has called to her rich reward--she who, whilst on earth, approved herself his best delegate.--How blind, how silly, is the mortal who places any trust or hope in aught but the Almighty!--You are just, beautifully just, in your sketch of the vicissitudes of worldly bliss.--We rise the lover--dine the husband--and too oft, alas! lay down the forlorn widower.
--Never so struck in my life;--it was on Friday night, between ten and eleven, just preparing for my concluding pipe--the Duke of M----'s man knocks.--"Have you heard the bad news?"--No--"the Duchess of Queensbury died last night."--I felt fifty different sensations--unbelief was uppermost--when he crushed my incredibility, by saying he had been to know how his Grace did--who was also very poorly in health.--Now the preceding day, Thursday (the day on which she expired) I had received a very penitential letter from S----, dated from St. Helena;--this letter I inclosed in a long tedious epistle of my own--and sent to Petersham, believing the family to be all there.--The day after you left town her Grace died--that day week she was at my door--the day after I had the honor of a long audience in her dressing-room.--Alas! this hour blessed with health--crowned with honors--loaded with riches, and encircled with friends--the next reduced to a lump of poor clay--a tenement for
worms.--Earth re-possesses part of what she gave--and the freed spirit mounts on wings of fire;--her disorder was a stoppage--she fell ill the evening of the Friday that I last saw her continued in her full senses to the last.--The good she had done reached the skies long before her lamented death--and are the only heralds that are worth the pursuit of wisdom:--as to her bad deeds, I have never heard of them--had it been for the best, God would have lent her a little longer to a foolish world, which hardly deserved so good a woman;--for my own part--I have lost a friend--and perhaps 'tis better so.--"Whatever is," &c. &c.--I wish S---- knew this heavy news, for many reasons.--I am inclined to believe her Grace's death is the only thing that will most conduce to his reform.--I fear neither his gratitude nor sensibility will be much hurt upon hearing the news--it will act upon his fears, and make him do right upon a base principle.--Hang him! he teazes me whenever I think of him.--I supped
last night with St.----; he called in just now, and says he has a right to be remembered to you.--You and he are two odd monkeys--the more I abuse and rate you, the better friend you think me.--As you have found out that your spirits govern your head--you will of course contrive every method of keeping your instrument in tune;--sure I am that bathing--riding--walking--in succession--the two latter not violent, will brace your nerves--purify your blood--invigorate its circulation--add to the rest continency--yes, again I repeat it, continency;--before you reply, think--re-think--and think again--look into your Bible--look in Young--peep into your own breast--if your heart warrants--what your head counsels--act then boldly.--Oh! apropos--pray thank my noble friend Mrs. H--for her friendly present of C-- J--; it did Mrs. Sancho service, and does poor Billy great good--who has (through his teeth) been plagued with a cough--which I hope will not turn to the whooping
sort;--the girls greet you as their respected school-master.--As to your spirited kind offer of a F----, why when you please--you know what I intend doing with it.
Poor Lady S----, I find, still lingers this side the world.--Alas! when will the happy period arrive that the sons of mortality may greet each other with the joyful news, that sin, pain, sorrow, and death, are no more; skies without clouds, earth without crimes, life without death, world without end!--peace, bliss, and harmony, where the Lord--God--All in all--King of kings--Lord of lords--reigneth--omnipotent--for ever--for ever!--May you, dear M----, and all I love--yea the whole race of Adam, join with my unworthy weak self, in the stupendous--astonishing--soul-cheering Hallelujahs!--where Charity may be swallowed up in Love--Hope in Bliss--and in Faith in glorious Certainty!--We will mix, will mix, my boy, with all countries, colours, faiths--see the countless multitudes of the first world--the myriads
descended from the Ark--the Patriarchs--Sages--Prophets--and Heroes! My head turns round at the vast idea! we will mingle with them, and try to untwist the vast chain of blessed Providence--which puzzles and baffles human understanding. Adieu.
TO MR. M.----August 8, 1777.
"Know your own self, presume not God to scan;
"The only science of mankind, is man."
THERE is something so amazingly grand--so stupendously affecting--in the contemplating the works of the Divine Architect, either in the moral, or the intellectual world, that I think one may rightly call it the cordial of the soul--it is the physic of the mind--
and the best antidote against weak pride--and the supercilious murmurings of discontent.--Smoaking my morning pipe, the friendly warmth of that glorious planet the sun--the leniency of the air--the chearful glow of the atmosphere--made me involuntarily cry, "Lord, "what is man, that thou in thy mercy "art so mindful of him! or what the son "of man, that thou so parentally carest "for him!" David, whose heart and affections were naturally of the first kind (and who indeed had experienced blessings without number) pours fourth the grateful sentiments of his enraptured soul in the sweetest modulations of pathetic oratory;--the tender mercies of the Almighty are not less to many of his creatures--but their hearts--unlike the royal disposition of the shepherd King, are cold, and untouched with the sweet ray of gratitude.--Let us, without meanly sheltering our infirmities under the example of others--perhaps worse taught--or possessed of less leisure for self-examination--let us, my dear
M----, look into ourselves--and by a critical examination of the past events of our lives, fairly confess what mercies we have received--what God in his goodness hath done for us--and how our gratitude and praise have kept pace in imitation of the son of Jesse.--Such a research would richly pay us--for the end would be conviction--so much on the side of miraculous mercy--such an unanswerable proof of the superintendency of Divine Providence, as would effectually cure us of rash despondency--and melt our hearts--with devotional aspirations--till we poured forth the effusions of our souls in praise and thanksgiving.--When I sometimes endeavour to turn my thoughts inwards, to review the power or properties the indulgent all-wife Father has endow'd me with, I am struck with wonder and with awe--worm, poor insignificant reptile as I am, with regard to superior beings--mortal like myself.--Amongst, and at the very head of our riches, I reckon the power of reflection:--Where? where,
my friend, doth it lie?--Search every member from the toe to the nose--all--all ready for action--but all dead to thought--it lies not in matter--nor in the blood--it is a party, which though we feel and acknowledge, quite past the power of definition--it is that breath of life which the Sacred Architect breathed into the nostrils of the first man--image of his gracious Maker--and let it animate our torpid gratitude--it rolls on, although diminished by our cruel fall, through the whole race--"We are fearfully and wonderfully made," &c. &c. were the sentiments of the Royal Preacher upon a self-review--but had he been blessed with the full blaze of the Christian dispensation--what would have been his raptures?--the promise of never, never-ending existence and felicity, to possess eternity--"glorious dreadful thought!"--to rise, perhaps, by regular progression from planet to planet--to behold the wonders of immensity--to pass from good to better--increasing in goodness--knowledge--love--to glory
in our Redeemer--to joy in ourselves--to be acquainted with prophets, sages, heroes, and poets of old times--and join in symphony with angels.--And now, my friend, thou smilest at my futile notions--why preach to thee?--For this very good and simple reason, to get your thoughts in return.--You shall be my philosopher--my Mentor--my friend;--you, happily disengaged from various cares of life and family, can review the little world of man with steadier eye, and more composed thought, than your friend, declining fast into the vale of years, and beset with infirmity and pain.--Write now and then, as thought prompts, and inclination leads--refute my errors--where I am just give me your plaudit.--Your welfare in truly dear in my fight--and if any man has a share in my heart, or commands my respect and esteem, it is I---- M----.
Witness my mark,
TO MR. M----.August 14, 1777.
MY dear M----, I know full well thy silence must proceed from ill health. To say it concerns me, is dull nonsense--self-love without principle will inspire even Devils with affection;--by so much less as thou apprehendest thy friend has diabolical about him--so may'st thou judge of his feelings towards thee.--Why wilt thou not part with thy hair? most assuredly I do believe it would relieve thee past measure--thou dost not fancy thy strength (like Sampson's the Israelite) lieth in thy hair. Remember he was shorn thro' folly--he lost his wits previous to his losing his locks--do thou consent to lose thine, in order to save thy better judgement.--I know no worse soul-sinking
pain than the head-ach, though (thank heaven) I am not often visited with it.--I long to see thee--and will soon--if in my power;--some odd folks would think it would have been but good manners to have thank'd you for the sawn--but then, says the punster, that would have been so like fawn-ing--which J. M---- loves not, no, nor Sancho either--'tis the hypocrite's key to the great man's heart, 'tis the resource of cowardly curs--and deceitful b--p--s--it is the spaniel's sort--and man's disgrace--it is--in short, the day is so hot--that I cannot say at present any more about it--but that the sawn was large, fresh, and worthy the giver, the receiver, and the joyous souls that eat it.--Billy has suffered much in getting his teeth--I have just wished him joy by his mother's desire, who says that he took resolution at last, and walked to her some few steps quite alone;--albeit, it gave me no small pleasure;--yet, upon consideration, what I approve of
now, perhaps (should I live to see him at man's estate) I might then disapprove--unless God's grace should as ably support him through the quick-sands--rocks--and shoals of life--as it has happily, the honest being I am now writing to.--God give you health!--your own conduct will secure peace--your friends bread.--As to honours, leave it with titles--to knaves--and be content with that of an honest man,
"the noblest work of God."
Farewell, yours sincerely,
TO MISS C----.August 15, 1777.
I WAITED, in hopes that time or chance might furnish me with something to fill a sheet with better than the praises of an old man.--What has youth and beauty to do with the squabbling contentions of mad ambition?--Could I new-model Nature--your sex should rule supreme--there should be no other ambition but that of pleasing the ladies--no other warfare but the contention of obsequious lovers--nor any glory but the bliss of being approved by the Fair.--Now confess that this epistle opens very gallant, and allow this to be a decent return to one of the best and most sensible letters
that L---- Wells has produced this century past.--I much wish for the pleasing hopes raised by your obliging letter--that my good friend's health is restored so fully, that she has by this time forgot what the pains in the stomach mean;--that she has sent all her complaints to the lake of Lethe--and is thinking soon to enliven our part of the world, enriched with health--spirits--and a certain bewitching benignity of countenance--which cries out,--dislike me if you can.--I want to know what conquests you have made--what savages converted--whom you have smiled into felicity, or killed by rejection--and how the noble Master of Ceremonies acquits himself, John S---- Esq. I mean.--I hear my friend R---- will be in town this week, to my great comfort--for, upon my conscience, excepting my family, the town to me is quite empty.--Mrs. R---- is gone to Bury--and the good man is toiling a lonely and forlorn object.--Mrs. Sancho joins in every good and grateful
wish for your amiable friend, with, dear Miss C----, your obliged friend and humble servant,
TO MR. M----.August 25, 1777.
MY gall has been plentifully stirred--by the barbarity of a set of gentry, who every morning offend my feelings--in their cruel parade through Charles Street to and from market--they vend potatoes in the day--and thieve in the night season.--A tall lazy villain was bestriding his poor beast (although loaded with two panniers of potatoes at the same time) and another of his companions, was good-naturedly employed in whipping the poor sinking
animal--that the gentleman-rider might enjoy the two-fold pleasure of blasphemy and cruelty--this is a too common evil--and, for the honor of rationality, calls loudly for redress.--I do believe it might be in some measure amended--either by a hint in the papers, of the utility of impressing such vagrants for the king's service--or by laying a heavy tax upon the poor Jack-asses--I prefer the former, both for thy sake and mine;--and, as I am convinced we feel instinctively the injuries of our fellow creatures, I do insist upon your exercising your talents in behalf of the honest sufferers.--I ever had a kind of sympathetic (call it what you please) for that animal--and do I not love you?--Before Sterne had wrote them into respect, I had a friendship for them--and many a civil greeting have I given them at casual meetings--what has ever (with me) stamped a kind of uncommon value and dignity upon the long ear'd kind of the species, is, that our Blessed Saviour, in his day of worldly triumph, chose to use that in preference
to the rest of his own blessed creation--"meek and lowly, riding upon an ass." I am convinced that the general inhumanity of mankind proceeds--first, from the cursed false principle of common education--and, secondly, from a total indifference (if not disbelief) of the Christian faith;--a heart and mind impressed with a firm belief of the Christian tenets, must of course exercise itself in a constant uniform general philanthropy--such a being carries his heaven in his breast--and such be thou! therefore write me a bitter Philippick against the misusers of Jack-asses--it shall honor a column in the Morning Post--and I will bray--bray my thanks to you--thou shalt figure away the champion of poor friendless asses here--and hereafter shalt not be ashamed in the great day of retribution.
Mrs. Sancho would send you some tamarinds.--I know not her reasons;--as I hate contentions, I contradicted not--but shrewdly suspects she thinks you want cooling;--do you hear, Sir? send
me some more good news about your head.--Your letters will not be the less welcome for talking about J---- M----, but pray do not let vanity so master your judgement--to fancy yourself upon a footing with George for well-looking--if you were indeed a proof sheet--you was marred in the taking off--for George (ask the girls) is certainly the fairest impression.
I had an order from Mr. H---- on Thursday night to see him do Falstaff--I put some money to it, and took Mary and Betsy with me--it was Betty's first affair--and she enjoyed it in truth--H----'s Falstaff is entirely original--and I think as great as his Shylock;--he kept the house in a continual roar of laughter;--in some things he falls short of Quin--in many I think him equal.--When I saw Quin play, he was at the height of his art, with thirty years judgement to guide him. H----, in seven years more, will be all that better--and confessedly the first man on
the English stage, or I am much mistaken.
I am reading a little pamphlet, which I much like: it favours an opinion which I have long indulged--which is the improbability of eternal Damnation--a thought which almost petrifies one--and, in my opinion, derogatory to the fullness, glory, and benefit of the blesses expiation of the Son of the Most High God--who died for the sins of all--all--Jew, Turk, Infidel, and Heretic;--fair--sallow--brown--tawney--black--and you--and I--and every son and daughter of Adam.--You must find eyes to read this book--head and heart--with a quickness of conception thou enjoyest--with many--many advantage--which have the love--and envy almost of yours,
Respects in folio to Mrs. H----.
TO MR. R----.August 27, 1777.
WHETHER this finds you officially parading on Newmarket turfs--or in the happier society of the good geniuses of B---- House--may it find you well--in good joyous spirits--gay, debonnair--happy at heart--happy as I have seen my meaning express'd in the countenance of my friend Mrs. C----, where humanity--humility--and goodwill--have outshone beauty--in one of the finest faces of your country--but this between ourselves;--and pray how does the aforesaid lady do?--does she ride, walk, and dance, with moderation?--and can you tell me that she continues as well as when she first went down?--
and still finds good from her western expedition--and the little Syren Miss C----?--Have there no letters, sent by Cupid's post, sticking on the arrow's point, been picked up about your grounds, blown by western breezes across the country?--Tell her nothing can ever hurt her but Love and Time.--May Love bring her happiness, and Time honour!--As to wealth--may she have no more than she can manage with comfort and credit!--Monsieur L----'s letter is a good one--and I think it would make one laugh even in the gout.--God bless his old boy--for he is a true type of beggarly pride--cunning--narrow-hearted--vain and mean--one of Satan's dupes--who do his dirty work for a little worldly trash--and cheat themselves at last.--I know a man who delights to make every one he can happy--that same man treated some honest girls with expences for a Vauxhall evening.--If you should happen to know him--you may tell him from me--that last night--three great girls-- a
boy--and a fat old fellow--were as happy and pleas'd as a fine evening--fine place--good songs--much company--and good music--could make them.--Heaven and Earth!--how happy, how delighted, were the girls!--Oh! the pleasures of novelty to youth!--We went by water--had a coach home--were gazed at--followed, &c. &c.--but not much abused.--I must break off before I have half finished--for Mr. ---- is just come in--you are not the first good friend that has been neglected for a fop.
TO MR. M----.September 3, 1777.
I FEEL it long since I heard from you--very long since I saw you--and three or four days back had some notion--I should never, in this paltry world, see thee again--but (thanks to the Father of Mercies!) I am better, and have a higher relish of health and ease, from contrasting the blessings with the pains I have endured.--Would to God you could say that your dizzy dismal head-achs were flown to the moon, or embarked for Lapland--there to be tied up in a witch's bag--and sold to Beelzebub with a cargo of bad winds--religious quarrels--politics--my gout--and our American grievances.--But what are you about in your last (where
you dropt the candid friend and assumed the flatterer).--You hinted as if there was a chance of seeing you in Charles Street: I wish it much.--My friend, I have had a week's gout in my hand, which was by much too hard for my philosophy.--I am convinced, let the Stoics say what they list--that pain is an evil;--in short I was wishing for death--and little removed from madness--but (thank heaven) I am much better--my spirits will be mended if I hear from you--better still to see you.--I find it painful to write much, and learn that two hands are as necessary in writing as eating.--You see I write, like a lady, from one corner of the paper to the other.--My respects--and love--and admiration - and compliments--to Mrs.----, and Mrs. and Miss----, tell M----l, he kept his word in calling to see us before he left town!--I hope confound the ink! what a blot! Now don't you dare suppose I was in fault--no, Sir, the pen was diabled--the paper worse, there was concatenation
of ill-sorted chances--all--all--coincided to contribute to that fatal blot--which has so disarranged my ideas--that I must perforce finish before I had half disburthened my head and heart:--but is N---- a good girl?--And how does my honest George do? Tell Mrs. H---- what you please in the handsome way of me.--Farewell, I will write no more nonsense this night--that's flat.
How do you like the print?--Mr. D---- says and his wife says the same--that you are exceedingly clever--and they shall be happy to do any thing, which is produced by the same hand--which did the original--and if Mr. D---- can be of any service to you in the etching--you may command him when you please.
TO MR. M----.September 16, 1777.
SIR, he is the confounded'st--dunderhead--sapscull--looby--clodpate--nincompoop--ninnyhammer--booby-chick--farcical--loungibuss--blunderbuss--this good day in the three kingdoms!--You would bless yourself, were it possible for you to analyze such a being--not but his heart is susceptible of a kind of friendly warmth--but then so cursed careless--ever in a hurry--ever in the wrong, at best but blundering about the right.--Why now, for example, wen you sent the----, I can make oath, if need be--that the dunce I speak of, longed more for a letter than the animal--the basket was searched with hurry--not care;--no letter! well it can't be help'd--his head ach'd--he
had not time, &c. &c.--the P----was disengaged from the basket--the straw consigned to the chimney;--this being rather a coolish morning--a little fire was thought necessary--and in raking up the loose dirty waste stuff under the grate--there appeared a very bloody letter, which seemed unopened;--your hand-writing was discernible through the dirt and blood;--curiosity and affection ran a race to pick up and examine it--when, behold it proved to be the companion of the P----, but so effaced with blood--that very--very little of my friends good sense could be made out.--Your poor letter is a type of what daily happens--merit oppressed and smothered by rubbish.--Alas! poor letter, it shared the fate, the poor world, which we inhabit, will hereafter undergo--one bright gleam of imitation of the mind that dictated it--some few sparks.--Alas! alas! my poor letter--pass but a few years--perhaps a few months--thy generous friendly compost may--thy friend whose heart glows while he writes
--who feels thy worth--yea, and reveres it too.--Nonsense, why we know the very hinges of our last cradles will rust and moulder;--and that, in the course of another century, neither flesh, bone, coffin, nor nail--will be discernible from mother earth.--Courage--while we live--let us live--to Virtue--Friendship--Religion--Charity--then drop (at death's call) our cumbrous (you are thin) load of flesh, and mount in spirit to our native home.--Bless us, at what a rate have I been travelling!--I am quite out of breath--Why! my friend, the business was to thank you for the pig.--Had you seen the group of heads--aye, and wife ones too--that assembled at the opening of the fardel--the exclamations--oh! the finest--fattest--cleanest--why, sir, it was a pig of pigs;--the pettitoes gave us a good supper last night--they were well dressed--and your pig was well eat--it dined us Sunday and Monday.--Now, to say truth, I do not love pig--merely pig--I like not--but pork coined--alias--
salted--either roast or boiled--I will eat against any filthy Jew naturalized--or under the bann.--On Saturday-night the newsman brought me the two papers of J -- 13th and 20th;--right joyful did I receive them--I ran to Mrs. Sancho--with I beg you will read my friend's sensible and spirited defence of--of, &c.--She read--though it broke in upon her work--she approved;--but chance or fortune--or ill-luck--or what you ever mean by accident--has played us a confounded trick--for since Saturday they have--both papers--disappeared--without hands--or legs--or eyes--for no one has seen them;--bureau--boxes--cupboards--drawers--parlour--chamber--shop--all--all has been rummaged--pockets--port-folio holes--corners--all been searched;--did you see them?--did you?--Where can they be?--I know not--nor I--nor I--but God does!--Omnipotence knoweth all things.--It has vexed me--fretted dame Sancho--teazed the children--but so it;--hereafter I suppose they
will be found in some obvious (though now unthought of) place, and then it will be, Good Lord, who could have thought it!
Where is the Jack ass business--do not be lazy--I feel myself a party concerned--and when I see you, I have a delicious morsel of true feminine grace and generosity to shew you.--I shall not apologize for this crude epistle--but mark and remark--I do thank you in the name of every Sancho, but--self--they eat, and were filled;--I have reason to thank you--but--as I do not affect pig--in a piggish fense--I hold myself excepted;--and, although I did eat--and did also commend, yet I will not thank you, that's poss.
The papers are found, as you will see--here is one, and a piece, it has suffered through ignorance;--but what cannot be cured, must be endured.
TO MR. R----.September 17, 1777.
MY RESPECTED FRIEND,
I FEEL myself guilty of an unmannerly neglect--in delaying to give my good Mrs. C---- some account of the little commissions she honored me with.--You must exert your friendly influence, in making my peace with her--not but that I well know mercy has the blest preponderancy in her scale--nor can kindness or mercy be lodged in a fairer breast;--in faith I am scarce half alive--yet what really is alive about me--hungers to hear news from B----: first how Mrs. C---- got down--and her good companion--how her health is; tell her, I hope she left all her pains behind her--if so, I believe I
have taken possession of them all--alas, my friend, I never was but half so bad before--both feet knocked up at once, plenty of excruciating pains, and great lack of patience.--Mrs. Sancho has had a blessed week of it--for my companion did not contribute much to the sweetening my temper--it was the washing-week, which you know made it a full chance and half better.--She was forced to break sugar and attend shop.--God bless her and reward her!--she is good--good in heart--good in principle--good by habit--good by Heaven! God forgive me, I had almost sworn.--Tell me how the ladies got down--how they do?--and what they do?--how you do?--and how----feels, now the broom is hung on his door-top.--The certainty that B---- and its connexions are all alive and merry--will be a cure for my gout--and thou shalt be sole doctor--as well as first friend to thy ever obliged true friend,
TO MR. M----.September 20, 1777.
"What Reason warrants, and what Wisdom "guides,
"All else is towring frenzy, or rank folly,"
so says ADDISON.
AND so well knoweth my friend I. M.----. Well, and what then? why it follows of course--that, instead of feeling myself delighted and gratefully thankful, for--I will and must speak out--yet if these kindnesses cost the pocket of my friend--they are not kindnesses to the Sanchos.--For innate goodness of heart--greatness of spirit--urbanity--humanity--temperature--justice--with the whole sweet list of Heaven-born manly virtues--I do, without flattery, give thee (and with pride do I avouch it) credit--I respect thy person,
and love thy principles;--but, my good M----, there is a prior duty--which I dare believe you will never willingly be deficient in--and yet your generosity of soul may let even such a worm as I break into it;--now, that should not be--for take me right--I do not mean any thing derogatory to your rank in the world--or to the strength of your finances--what Sterne said of himself, that think I of you--that you are as good a gentleman as the King--but not quite so rich.--I honor thy feelings--and am happy that I can honestly say, that I conceive them;--the joy of giving and making happy is almost the attribute of a God--and there is as much sweetness conveyed to the senses by doing a right well-natured deed, as our frame can consistently bear--so much for chastisement--a pretty way of thanking.--Well, I have critically examined thy song--some parts I like well--as it is a maidenhead it should be gently treated--but why, N----? oh! Nature, a true passion is jealous even of the
initials of its mistress's name.--Well, N---- let it be--I will certainly attempt giving it a tune--such as I can--the first leisure--but it must undergo some little pruning when we meet.--I have had another little visit from the gout--and my hand yet remembers the rough salute;--my spirits have been rather low.--Young's ninth night, the Consolation, has been my last week's study--it is almost divine;--how many times has it raised, warmed, and charmed me!--and is still new.--I hope you found your mother and honest George as well as you wished--and had the full enjoyment of maternal and filial affections.--The girls are rampant-well--and Billy gains something every day.--The rogue is to excess fond of me--for which I pity him--and myself more.--My respects and kind enquiry to your old horse.--Tell him I wish him better--and am a real friend to honest brutes--some I could almost envy.--To say I am rejoiced to hear you are better, is telling you no news--be but as well as I wish
you--as rich--and as good--Sampson, Solomon, and the Duke de Penthievre, will never be comparisons more.--Adieu,
I am as melancholy--as a tea-kettle when it sings (as the maids calls it) over a dead fire.
Oh!--but is it N_____ indeed?--now don't you be after humming me; believe me, honey--if I never find out the truth, I shall know it for all that.
TO MR. S----.October 24, 1777.
I DENY it--that I ought to have acknowledged your favour two weeks ago I confess--but my silence was not so long--nor broad--nor rusty--nor fusty as yours.--Blithe health--festive hours
--and social mirth--be thine, my friend!--thy letter, though late, was truly welcome--it unbended the brow of care--and suspended, for some hours, disagreeable thoughts.----By St. Radagunda! quoth I--(ramming my nostrils with Hardham) he has catched the mantle.--Alas, poor Yorick! oh! that thou hadst, by divine permission, been suffered a little--little longer, amongst the moon struck children of this namby-pamby world:--Father of light and life! thy will be done;--but surely--half the wit--half the good sense--of this present age--were interred in Sterne's grave;--his broad philanthropy--like the soul cheering rays of the blessed Sun, invested his happy spirit, and soared into Heaven with it--where, in progressive rise from bliss to bliss, he drinks-in large draughts of rapture, love, and knowledge, and chants the praises of redeeming love, with joy--unbounded and unceasing vigour.--Your invocation has mounted me, Merry Andrew like, upon stilts.--I ape you as monkeys ape men, by walking
upon two.--That you have recovered the true tone of your health and spirits, I rejoice--to be happy in despight of fortune shews the Philosopher--the Hero--the Christian.--I must confess, my fortitude (which is wove of very flimsy materials) too oft gives way in the rough and unfriendly jostles of life:--Madam Fortune, who by the way is a bunter--(and such I love not) has been particularly cross and untoward to me since you left us--they say she is fond of fools--'tis false and scandalous--she hates me--and I have the vanity to say and believe--that if folly, sheer folly had any charms--I should stand as fair in her esteem--as A.B. C.D. E.F.--or any of Folly's family through the whole alphabet.--You halted at Burleigh--you did just what I wished you to do--and left it, I trust, as well in health as you entered that sweet mansion--stopp'd at Retford--and found your venerable parents well--and contributed to their happiness--increased their felicity by the many nice little attentions
of filial love--which the good heart delights in--and even angels approve.----And how do the worthy souls of Hull and its environs?--Do they credit themselves by esteeming a good-enough kind of mortal!--You cannot imagine what hold little Billy gets of me--he grows--prattles--every day learns something new--and by his good-will would be ever in the shop with me--the monkey! he clings round my legs--and if I chide him or look sour--he holds up his little mouth to kiss me;--I know I am the fool--for parents weakness is child's strength:--truth orthodox--which will hold good between lover and lovee--as well as----------. Mrs. Sancho and her virgins are so, so--Mrs. Sancho--the virgins--well as youth and innocence--souls void of care and consciences of offence can be.--Dame Sancho would be better if she cared less.--I am her barometer--if a sigh escapes me, it is answered by a tear in her eye;--I oft assume a gaiety to illume her dear sensibility with a smile
--which twenty years ago almost bewitched me;--and mark!--after twenty years enjoyment--constitutes my highest pleasure!--Such be your lot--with a competency--such as will make oeconomy a pleasant acquaintance--temperance and exercise your chief physician--and the virtues of benevolence your daily employ--your pleasure and reward;--and what more can friendship wish you?--but to glide down the stream of time--blest with a partner of congenial principles, and fine feelings--true feminine eloquence--whose very looks speak tenderness and sentiment.--Your infants growing--with the roseate bloom of health--minds cultured by their father--expanding daily in every improvement--blest little souls!--and happy--happy parents!--such be thy lot in life--in marriage;--but take a virgin--or a maiden--to thy arms;--but--be that as thy fate wills it.--Now for news.--Two hours ago (in tolerable health and cheary spirits) considering his journey not so fatigued as might be expected
--followed by four superb carriages--their Royal Highnesses the Duke and Dutchess of Gloucester arrived in town. As to America, if you know any thing at Hull, you know more than is known in London.--Samuel Foote, Esq; is dead--a leg was buried some years since--and now the whole foote follows.--I think you love a pun.--Colman is the gainer, as he covenanted to give him 16001. per annum, for his patent;--in short, Colman is happy in the bargain--and I trust Foote is no loser.--I have seen poor Mr. de Groote but once--and then could not attend to speak with him--as I had customers in the shop.--I waited by appointment for Mr.----, to get your honor's address--and then three weeks before I could get the franks--a fortnight since for Mr.---- writing to you--I call this a string of beggarly apologies.--I told M---- you expected a line from him--be wanted faith.--I made him read your letter--and what then? "truly he was not capable--he had no classical education--you write with
elegance----ease----propriety."----Tut, quoth I, pr'ythee give not the reins to pride--write as I do--just the effusions of a warm though foolish heart:--friendship will cast a veil of kindness over thy blunders--they will be accepted with a complacent smile--and read with the same eye of kindness--which indulges now the errors of his sincere friend,
A true Genius will always remember to leave a space--unwritten--to come in contact with the wax or wafer--by which means the reader escapes half an hour's puzzle to make out a sentence;--and ever while you live--never omit--no--not that--what?--what!--dates! dates!--am not I a grocer?----Pun the Second.
To MRS. C----.Charles Street, Nov. 5, 1777.
Now, whether to address--according to the distant, reserved, cold, mechanical forms of high-breeding--where polished manners, like a horse from the manage, prances fantastic--and, shackled with the rules of art--proudly despises simple nature;--or shall I, like the patient, honest, sober, long-ear'd animal--take plain nature's path--and address you according to my feelings?--My dear friend--you wanted to know the reason I had never addressed a line to you;--the plain and honest truth is, I thought writing at--was better than writing to you--that's one reason;--now a second reason is--I know my own weakness too well to encounter with
your little friend--whom I fear as a critic--and envy as a writer:--another reason is--a case of conscience--which sometime or other you may have explained:--reason the fourth--a secret--and so must be--till the blessed year 1797--and then if you will deign to converse with an old friend--you shall know all.--Kitty sends her respects to Nutts--and her duty to her godmother.--Billy looks wisely by turns--and will speak for himself--if you should ever come to town again.--The girls all improve in appetite.--Mrs. Sancho is tolerably well--and I am yours, very seriously,
P. S. I wrote to my friend R----, and then made some modest demands upon your good-nature.--There are a sort of people in the world (one or two in a large extent of country) rare enough to meet with--and you are one--whom nature hath left intirely defenceless to the depredations of knaves--for my part, I own I have no remorse when
I tax your good-nature--which proceeds from your having obliged me so much--that I think with the street paupers--when they cry--"Good your ladyship, give me something--you always used to remember your poor old woman;"--well, but to conclude--we courtiers are all alive upon this great good news--the Queen, God bless her--safe;--another Princess--oh the cake and cawdle--then the defeat of Washintub's army--and the capture of Arnold and Sulivan with seven thousand prisoners--thirteen counties return to their allegiance--all this news is believed--the delivery of her Majesty is certain--pray God the rest may be as certain--that this cursed carnage of the human species may end--commerce revive--sweet social peace be extended throughout the globe--and the British empire be strongly knit in the never-ending bands of sacred friendship and brotherly love!--Her good Grace of P---- is just arrived--the Gardens would look as they were wont--but for you;--but to conclude--the little
dance (which I like because I made it)--I humbly beg you will make Jack play--and amongst you contrive a figure.--The Dutchess of----visits the Queen this evening--which being a piece of news you may credit--and of the utmost consequence--I close my very sensible decent epistle with--and so God bless you.--Pray tell Mr. K---- my thanks for his obliging letter--and that I join him and all his friends in honest gladness--upon his brother's account.--I fear, also, he has had, and still has, too much practice.--I have this opinion of him--that his humanity will ever be found equal to his skill--and that he will be a credit to his profession--as well as a blessing to his patients.--My humble respects and best wishes attend Miss---- and Messieurs B---- and S----, &c.
The grand news is not yet officially authenticated--as no express is yet arrived from the Howes--the His man of war, which is supposed to have the dispatches, not being got in;--but the K---- and cabinet believe the news
to be true, though brought by hear-say--at sea.
TO MR. S----.December 20, 1777.
WITH the old story of the Season, &c. &c. most sincerely, and amen.
When Royal David--in the intoxication of success--and fullness of pride--imprudently insisted upon the numbering of his people--we are told, the Prophet was sent to announce the Divine displeasure--and to give him the choice of one of the three of the Almighty's heaviest punishments:--in his choice--he shewed both wisdom and true piety--you know the rest.--Now my friend--thou knowest my weakness;--I sincerely believe the Sacred Writ--
and of course look upon war in all its horrid arrangements as the bitterest curse that can fall upon a people--and this American one--as one of the very worst--of worst things;--that it is a just judgement, I do believe--that the eyes of our rulers are shut--and their judgements stone-blind--I believe also.--The Gazette will give you a well-drest melancholy account--but you will see one thing in it which you will like--and that is, the humane solicitude of General Burgoyne--for the safety and good treatment indiscriminately of all his camp-artificers and attendants;--he is certainly a man of feeling--and I regard him more for the grandeur of his mind in adversity--than I should in all the triumphal pomp of military madness.--But let me return, if possible, to my senses;--for God's sake! what has a poor starving Negroe, with six children, to do with kings and heroes, and armies and politics?--aye, or poets and painters?--or artists--of any sort? quoth Monsieur S----. True--indubitably
true.--For your letter, thanks--it should have come sooner--better late, &c. &c.--What have I to do with your good or evil fortune--health or sickness--weal or woe?--I am resolved, from henceforth, to banish feelings--Misanthrope from head to foot!--Apropos--not five minutes since I was interrupted, in this same letter of letters, by a pleasant affair--to a man of no feelings.--A fellow bolted into the shop--with a countenance in which grief and fear struggled for mastery.--"Did you fee any body go to my cart, Sir?"--"No, friend, how should I? you fee I am writing--and how should I be able to fee your cart or you either in the dark?"--"Lord in heaven pity me! cries the man, what shall I do? oh! what shall I do?--I am undone!--Good God!--I did but go into the court here--with a trunk for the lady at Captain G----'s (I had two to deliver) and somebody has stole the other;--what shall I do?--what shall I do?"--"Zounds, man!--who ever left their cart in the night with goods in it, without leaving
some one to watch?"--"Alack, Sir, I left a boy, and told him I would give him something to stand by the cart, and the boy and trunk are both gone!"--Oh nature!--oh heart!--why does the voice of distress so forcibly knock at the door of hearts?--but to hint to pride and avarice--our common kindred--and to alarm self-love.--Mark, I do think, and will maintain it--that self-love alone--if rightly understood, would make man all that a dying Redeemer wills he should be.--But this same stolen trunk;--the ladies are just gone out of my shop--they have been here holding a council--upon law and advertisements;--God help them!--they could not have come to a worse--nor could they have found a stupider or sorrier adviser:--the trunk was seen parding between two in the Park--and I dare say the contents by this time are pretty well gutted.--Last Sunday I met, coming from church, Mr. C----; he looks well, better than when you left him.--I took occasion, as we were prating about
and about your worship--to pin Mr. de Groote's interest upon the skirts of his feelings;--he desired, when I saw him next, I would send him into Crown-street--which I religiously performed--but have not seen Mr. de Groote since;--in truth, there is (despight of his nose) so much of the remains of better times--somewhat of the gentleman and artist in ruins--something creative of reverence as well as pity--that I have wished to do more than I ought--though at the same time too little for such a being to receive--without insult from the hands of a poor negroe--(pooh, I do not care for your prancings, I can see you at this distance);--we have agreed upon one thing;--which is, I have undertaken to write to Mr. G---- for him, in the way of local relief;--I will wager a tankard of porter, I succeed--in some sort;--I will aim at both sides of him--his pity and his pride--which, alas!--the last I mean, finds a first-floor in the breast of every son of Adam.--S---- called on me this
day, and left a picture for you at your lodgings--and a very spirited head in miniature, of your own doing, with me--which I like so well--you will find it difficult to get it from me--except you talk of giving me a copy--self-love again.--How can you expect business in these hard times--when the utmost exertions of honest industry can scarce afford people in the middle sphere of life daily provisions?--When it shall please the Almighty that things shall take a better turn in America--when the conviction of their madness shall make them court peace--and the same conviction of our cuelty and injustice induce us to settle all points in equity--when that time arrives, my friend, America will be the grand patron of genius--trade and arts will flourish--and if it shall please God to spare us till that period--we will either go and try our fortunes there--or stay in Old England and talk about it.--While thou hast only one mouth to feed--one back to cloath--and one wicked member to indulge
--thou wilt have no pity from me--excepting in the argument of health--may that cordial blessing be thine--with its sweet companion ease!--Peace follows rectitude--and what a plague would'st thou have more?--Write soon if thou dar'st--retort at thy peril--boy--girls--and the old Duchess, all pretty well--and so, so, is yours,
TO J. S----, Esq.Charles Street, December 26, 1777.
I HAD the favor of a letter--replete with kindness which I can never deserve--and have just now received the valuable contents--of which said letter was harbinger--without either surprize or emotion--save a kind of grateful tickling of the heart--the child of respect
--and I believe twin-brother of gratitude.----Now had I heard of an A--h--b--p (at this sacred season especially)--gladdening the hearts of the poor, aged, and infirm--with good cheer--informing the minds of the young with Christian precepts--and reforming his whole See--by his pious example--that would have surprized me:--had I been informed of a truly great man--who, laying aside party and self-interest--dared to step forth the advocate of truth--and friend to his country; or had any one told me of a lord--who was wise enough to live within bounds--and honest enough to pay his debts--why it would have surpriz'd me indeed.--But I have been well informed there is a Mr. S---- at Bury--and I think I have seen the gentleman--who lives in a constant course of doing beneficent actions--and, upon these occasions--the pleasure he feels--constitutes him the obliged party.--You, good Sir, ought of course to thank me--for adding one more to
the number you are pleased to be kind to--so pray remember, good Sir, that my thanks--(however due in the eye of gratitude) I conceive to be an act of supererogation--and expect that henceforth you will look upon the Sancho's--as a family that have a rightful call upon your notice.--Mrs. Sancho joins me in repetition of the customary wishes.--Give me credit for having a heart which feels your kindness as it ought.--That Heaven may lengthen your days for the good of mankind--and grant every wish of your heart--is the true conclusion of
Your greatly obliged
and respectful humble servant,
To MR. F----.Charles Street, January 27, 1778.
FULL heartily and most cordially do I thank thee--good Mr. F----, for your kindness in sending the books--that upon the unchristian and most diabolical usage of my brother Negroes--the illegality--the horrid wickedness of the traffic--the cruel carnage and depopulation of the human species--is painted in such strong colours--that I should think would (if duly attended to) slash conviction--and produce remorse in every enlightened and candid reader.--The perusal affected me more than I can express;--indeed I felt a double or mixt sensation--for while my heart was torn for the sufferings--which, for aught I know--some of my nearest kin might have undergone--my bosom,
at the same time, glowed with gratitude--and praise toward the humane--the Christian--the friendly and learned Author of that most valuable book.--Blest be your sect!--and Heaven's peace be ever upon them!--I, who, thank God! am no bigot--but honour virtue--and the practice of the great moral duties--equally in the turban--or the lawn-sleeves--who think Heaven big enough for all the race of man--and hope to see and mix amongst the whole family of Adam in bliss hereafter--I with these notions (which, perhaps, some may style absurd) look upon the friendly Author--as a being far superior to any great name upon your continent.--I could wish that every member of each house of parliament had one of these books.--And if his Majesty perused one through before breakfast--though it might spoil his appetite--yet the consciousness of having it in his power to facilitate the great work--would give an additional sweetness to his tea.--Phyllis's poems do credit to nature--and
put art--merely as art--to the blush.--It reflects nothing either to the glory or generosity of her master--if she is still his slave--except he glories in the low vanity of having in his wanton power a mind animated by Heaven--a genius superior to himself--the list of splendid--titled--learned names, in confirmation of her being the real authoress.--alas! shews how very poor the acquisition of wealth and knowledge are--without generosity--feeling--and humanity.--These good great folks--all know--and perhaps admired--nay, praised Genius in bondage--and then, like the Priests and the Levites in sacred writ, passed by--not one good Samaritan amongst them.--I shall be ever glad to see you--and am, with many thanks,
Your most humble servant,
TO MR. W----E.Charles Street, March 12, 1778.
WILL you forgive me--if I take the liberty to trouble you with getting my enclosed plan inserted in the General Advertiser, or Morning Intelligencer, as speedily as they conveniently can, if, after you have perused it, you think it admissable--if not, destroy it; for I have not yet vanity sufficient to think whatever I privately approve, must of course be approveable--I send you the copy of what real affection made me draw up for the late unfortunate Dr. Dodd* * Mr. Sancho also wrote to Dr. Dodd when in prison.
(which, as it never was inserted, I must believe the learned editor thought it too
* Mr. Sancho also wrote to Dr. Dodd when in prison.
insignificant for the laudable service it was meant to help.--My respects attend your whole family.--I am, dear Sir,
Yours, &c. &c.
I prefer Mr. Parker's paper for many reasons:--let me have your opinion of my plan--for in serious truth I think it ought to be put into execution.
Palace-Yard, March 12, 1778.
THE Romans were wont to decree public honors on the man who was so fortunate as to save the life of a citizen--a noble act of policy, founded on true humanity, to stimulate the endeavours of every individual towards acts of benevolence, and brotherly regard
for each other. Actuated by zeal to my prince, and love to my country, I mean to deserve well of both, by publishing, through the channel of your paper, a plan for greatly diminishing the national debt, or, in case a war with the House of Bourbon should be inevitable, for raising three or four years supplies, without oppressing the merchant, mechanic, or labouring husbandman; in short, without abridging one needful indulgence, or laying any fellow-subject under the least self-denying restraint.
Mr. Editor, we all know that in noble families plate is merely ideal wealth--and in very many houses of your first connections and over-grown fortunes, there are vast quantities of it old and useless, kept merely for the antiquity of its fashion, and the ostentatious proof of the grandeur of ancestry. Our neighbours the French (if I mistake not) in the last war, had the spirit (when the treasures of their Grand Monarque were nearly exhausted) to send their plate
generously to the mint, in aid of national honour and security. Their churchmen have often shewed the laity, the glorious example of aiding the state. We, to our immortal honor, have never yielded them the palm in courage, wisdom, or gallantry. Let every gentleman, whose landed property exceeds 500l. per annum, give up, without reserve, his useless family plate, all except knives, forks, and spoons, which may be deemed useful and necessary. I trust, such is the exalted spirit of the British nobility and gentry, that they will resign with chearfulness what they can so very well do without. Should this meet (as I hope it will) with the chearful assent of the public, let the quantities, so nobly given, be printed against the names of the patriotic donors, as a lasting testimony of their zeal for the public good, and a glorious proof of the internal riches of this queen of isles!
I AM one of the many who have been often edified by the graceful eloquence and truly Christian doctrine of the unfortunate Dr. Dodd:--as a Divine, he had, and still has, my love and reverence; his faults I regret; but, alas! I feel myself too guilty to cast a stone: Justice has her claims--but--Mercy, the anchor of my hope, inclines me to wish he might meet with Royal clemency--his punishments have already been pretty severe--the loss of Royal favor--the cowardly attacks of malicious buffoonry--and the over-strained zeal for rigid justice in the prosecution.--Oh! would to God the reverend bishops, clergy, &c. would join in petitioning the throne for his life!--it would save the holy order from indignity, and even the land itself from the reproach of making
too unequal distinctions in punishments. He might, by the rectitude of his future life, and due exertion of his matchless powers--be of infinite service--as chaplain to the poor convicts on the river, which would be a punishment, and, at the same time, serve for a proof or test of his contrition--and the sincerity of a zeal he has often manifested (in the pulpit) for the service of true Religion--and he may rise the higher by his late fall--and do more real service to the thoughtless and abandoned culprits, than a preacher, whose character might perhaps be deemed spotless: if this hint should stimulate a pen, or heart, like the good B----p of Chester's, to exert itself in the behalf of a man who has formerly been alive to every act of Heaven-born charity--the writer of this will have joy, even in his last moments, in the reflection that he paid a mite of the vast debt he owes Dr. Dodd as a preacher.
TO MRS. H----.Charles Street, April 9, 1778.
I HAVE to thank you for repeated favors--and I do most sincerely.--You have a pleasure in doing acts of kindness--I wish from my soul that your example was more generally imitated.--I have given to the care of Mr. W---- one of Giardini's benefit tickets--which I present not to you--Madam--but to Mr. H----, that he may judge of fidlers' taste and fidlers' consequence in our grand metropolis--the ticket was a present from the great Giardini--to the lowly Sancho--and I offer it as a tribute of musical affection to thy worthy partner--and with it--to both the sincerest best wishes and respects of their much obliged servant,
TO MR. J---- W----E.May 4, 1778.
MY DEAR W----E,
YOUR short letter gave me much pleasure--which would have been enlarged had your epistle been longer--but I make allowances--as I ought--for the number of friends who wish equally with me--and expect to be gratified. You are greatly fortunate in enjoying your health--for which I doubt not but you are truly thankful to the Almighty Giver.--As to your success, it is the best comment upon your conduct;--for rectitude of principle and humble deportment, added to strict attention and good-nature--must make even fools and knaves wish you well--though envy will mix itself with the transient kindness of such--but with such noble natures as you went out happily
connected with--you are every day sowing the good seeds of your future fortune.--I hope to live to see you return--the comfort and honor of your good father and family;--but observe--I do not wish you half a million--clogged with the tears and blood of the poor natives;--no--a decent competence got with honesty--and that will keep increasing like the widow's cruse, and descend down to posterity with accumulated blessings.--You desire to transfer your share in me to your brother Joe;--now be it known to you--Joe has interest sufficient in his own natural right with me, to secure him every attention in my poor power--but you flatter--my good friend--though your flattery carries a good excuse with it--you flatter the poor.
I say nothing of politics--I hate such subjects;--the public papers will inform you of mistakes--blood--taxes--misery--murder--the obstinacy of a few--and the madness and villiany of a many.--I expect a very, very long letter from
you--in answer to a sermon I wrote you last year.--Miss------is still divinely fair;--she's a good girl, but no match for Nabobs.--Mrs. C---- is as handsome as ever--and R---- as friendly. God bless them! feasting or fasting--sleeping or waking!--May God's providence watch over and protect them--and all such!--Your brother Frank is a sweet boy--a painter, who would wish to draw a cherub, will find no fitter subject.--The C----ds--but what have I to do with good people, who will of course all write for themselves?--so let them.--Your father--Oh Jack! what a cordial!--what a rich luxury is it to be able to contribute, by well-doing, to a father's, nay a whole family of kindred love, and heart-felt affection! what a bliss to add to all their happiness--and to insure your own at the same time!--May this high pleasure be thine! and may the God of truth and fountain of all good enrich thy heart and head--with his spirit and wisdom--crown your labours with success--and guard
you from avarice--ambition--and every Asiatic evil--so that your native land may receive you with riches and honor--your friends with true joy--heightened with sincere respect. So wishes--so prophesies--thy true friend and obliged servant,
Charles Street, May 9, 1778.
TO MISS C----.
THE Sanchos--in full synod--humbly present their respectful compliments to the good Mrs. C---- and Miss--what a--C----! are happy in hearing they got well into Suffolk--that they continue so--and enjoy the beauties of this sweetest of seasons--with its attendant dainties--fresh butter--sweet milk--and the smiles of boon nature--on hill
and dale--fields and groves--shepherds piping--milk-maids dancing--and the chearful respondent carolings of artless joy in the happy husbandmen.--Should you perchance rise early in pursuit of May dew--I earnestly make it my request--you will save--and bring to town a little bottle of it for my particular use.--Happy--thrice happy nymphs--be merciful to the poor hapless swains--the powerful little god of mischief and delight--now at this blest season--prunes his beauteous wings--new feathers--and sharpens his arrows--tight strings his bow--and takes too sure his aim.--Oh! lads, beware the month of May;--for you blest girls--nature decked out--as in a birth-day suit--courts you with all its sweets--where-e'er you tread--the grass and wanton flowerets fondly kiss your feet--and humbly bow their pretty heads--to the gentle sweepings of your under-petticoats--the soft and amorous southern breezes--toy with your curls--and uncontroul'd steal numberless kisses--the blackbirds and
thrushes suspend their songs--and eye beauty and humanity with pleasure;--and could their hearts be read--thank most sincerely the generous fair hands that fed them in the winter;--the cuckoo sings--on every tree--the joys of married life--the shrubery throws out all its sweets to charm you--tho', alas! an unlucky parciplepliviaplemontis seizes my imagination--my brains are on the ferment.--Miss C---- will excuse me.--Make my best wishes to Mrs. C----, tell her I hope she rides and walks in moderation--eats heartily, and laughs much--sleeps soundly, dreams happily--that she--you--my R---- and your connexions--may enjoy the good of this life without its evil--is the true Black-a-moor wish of
Now mark, this is not meant as a letter--no--it is an address to the ladies.--Pray our best respects to Mr. and Mrs. B_____; it is an address to Spring-birds and flowers--and when you see Johnny, our loves--it is a caution to
the swains against the popery of Love;--The K---- and Q---- are just now returned from Portsmouth.--I said nothing in regard to the month--by way of advice to the ladies.--The Spectator--blessings on his memory--has--. They say the Royal chaise was covered with dirt--even the very glasses--Quirini--was found very late last night.--Nothing broke--except the hemmings of advantage.--They say--the Queen never look'd better.--But what amazed most people--both the Royal postilions rode the off horses--which it is expected the Gazette of this night will explain.--Adieu.
Is not that--a good one.
May 13th, 1778.
Inserted unknown to Mr. Sancho.
TO MR. B----.
I COULD not see Mr. de Groote till this morning--he approached the threshold--poor man--in very visible illness;--yet, under the pressure of a multitude of infirmities--he could not forget his recent humane benefactor.--With faultering speech he enquired much who you were--and, in the conclusion, put up his most earnest petitions to the Father of Mercies in your behalf--which (if the prayers of an indigent genius have as much efficacy as those of a fat bishop) I should hope and trust you may one day be the better for.--He is in direct descent from the famous Hugo Grotius
by the father's side.--His own mother was daughter to Sir Thomas Hesketh.--He married the widow Marchioness de Malaspina.--His age is 86, he had a paralytic stroke--and has a rupture.--His eyes are dim, even with the help of spectacles.--In truth, he comes close to Shakespeare's description in his last age of man--"Sans teeth--"sans eyes--sans taste--sans every "thing."
He has the honour to be known to Dr. Johnson--and the luck to be sometimes remembered by Mr. Garrick.--If you help him--you do yourself a kindness--me a pleasure--and he, poor soul, a good--which he may one time throw in your teeth--in that country where good actions are in higher estimation than stars--ribbons--or crowns.
Yours, most respectfully,
He lodges at N° 9, New-Pye-Street, Westminster.
TO MR. R----.
MY good friend, take my thanks for your kind attention--and believe me, I am exceedingly mortified at being thus thrust forward in the public prints.--You may observe, by what has happened to me, how very difficult it is to do even a right thing--so as to escape uneasiness.--Trust me, this same letter (though wrote, I dare say, with the kindest intention imaginable) will do me hurt in the opinion of many--I therefore repeat, I like it not--and dare own to my friend R---- it hurts my pride.--You may laugh--but it's truth.--The drawing was gone to my friend S----, but I recovered it in time.--Hope the ladies are well--and that it will amuse them for a few moments.
The young man who invented the design is no artist--but I think he has genius.
TO MISS C----.May 14, 1778.
WHAT terms shall I find to express my gratitude to the obliging, the friendly Miss C----, for the pleasure we enjoy'd from the contents of the best letter that has been wrote this good year?--You, who delight to please, will also feel high satisfaction in knowing you have succeeded.--We hope the change of weather has had no ill effect upon our friend--and that she will adhere to her promise in remembering how ill she has been--and that it is too probable any cold got by over exertion or fatigue may occasion a relapse.--We have had much thunder and rain this morning--
and, if old saws say true, we are to expect a continuance of about thirty-seven days good ducking weather;--we will leave it to the all-wise Disposer of events--with this comfortable reflection--that whatever he wills--is best.--We are happy to hear so good an account of the----; she especially, as very likely a good course of fatigue, sweetened with gain, may contribute as much to her health as her pleasure--and re-establish her perfectly.--We have nothing stirring in the news way, or any other way--the town is literally empty, saving a few sharks of both sexes, who are too poor to emigrate to the camps or watering places, and so are forced to prey upon one another in town.--I protest, it is to me the most difficult of things to write to one of your female geniuses--there is a certain degree of cleverality (if I may so call it), an easy kind of derangement of periods, a gentleman-like--fashionable--careless--seesaw of dialogue--which I know no more
of than you do of cruelty.--I write as I think--foolishly--and you write well--why?--because you think well.--So much for praise--compliment--flattery, &c.--My respects attend Mr. B---- and Mrs. S---- and Mrs----; tell Miss A----s, one of us will come to see her--perhaps.--I have received a kind letter from my good friend the doctor--and one also from the surgeon to the guards, dated New York, June 12;--he thinks the commissioners might have saved themselves the trouble--as they are like to come back--just as wife as they went.--The Panton-Street good folks are well for what I know--not having seen them since I last had the honor of addressing Mrs. C----. Adieu--our best respects--with Kitty's and Billy's in particular--attend Monsieur Nuts* * A favorite Spaniel.
--pray tell him so--with all civility--he deserves it on the score of his own merits--were it not
* A favorite Spaniel.
even so--yet surely, I think, we should regard him for the sake of our friend.
Mrs. Sancho joins me, in every thing to Self and Co.
Yours, dear Miss C----, with zeal and esteem,
TO MR. J----.May 22, 1778.
I CLAIM your indulgence--and modestly insist upon your help.--The companions to this billet are the hobby horses of a young man that I respect.--Darly has used him with less attention than he ought--having kept the press affair above a month--and done nothing--
so he is (of course) out of favor.--I want first your approbation--that gained--I wish your interest to get them speedily into the world;--there are some inaccuracies in both--which any regular artist will amend.--As my friend is self-taught, his errors must be excused.--I wish I could wait upon you--but my stiff joint--my leg--is so unwell, that at present I must give up any hopes of that pleasure.--I hope Mrs. I----'s health is perfectly restored.--I should wish to win her over to our interests in the affairs before you;--in good faith, I like the subject myself--and can fancy I discern something like wit in both of them.--Forgive and assist yours faithfully,
SANCHO the Big.
TO MR. H----.Charles Street, Westminster, May 31, 1778.
THE Sanchonian chapter of enquiries, dictated by an esteem nearly bordering upon affection (perhaps as warmly sincere as most modern friendships) runs thus--How do you do? Are you the better for your journey? Did the exercise create any amendment of appetite? Was your travelling party agreeable? And how did you find the good couple?--The sweet sensations arising from the sight of those we love, the reviewing the places, either houses, fields, hedges, stiles, or posts of our early morn of life acquaintance, the train of pleasurable ideas awakened, are more salutary than the whole college of grave faces.--Tell me much about yourself--and more about your honored parents,
whom I hope you found as well as you wished--your kindred at Lancaster, to whom my hearty wishes--and to all who have charity enough to admit dark faces into the fellowship of Christians.--Say much for me to your good father and mother--in the article of respect thou canst not exaggerate;--excepting conjugal, there are no attentions so tenderly heart-soothing as the parental.--Amidst the felicity of thy native fields may'st thou find health, and diffuse pleasure round the respectable circle of thy friends!--No news--but that Keppel is in chace of de Chartres.
If you can afford a line, enclose it in the enclosed.--Mrs. Sancho and girls wish you every pleasure.
TO MR. M----.June 10, 1778.
" 'Tis with our judgements as our watches--none
"Go just alike--yet each believes his own."
So, my wife critic--blessings on thee--and thanks for thy sagacious discovery!--Sterne, it seems, stole his grand outline of character from Fielding--and who did Fielding plunder? thou criticizing jack ape!--As to S--perhaps you may be right--not absolutely right--nor quite so very altogether wrong--but that's not my affair.--Fielding and Sterne both copied Nature--their pallettes stored with proper colours of the brightest dye--these masters were both great originals--their outline correct--bold--and free--Human Nature
was their subject--and though their colouring was widely different, yet here and there some features in each might bear a little resemblance--some faint likeness to each other--as for example--in your own words--Toby and All-worthy--the external drapery of the two are as wide as the pole--their hearts--perhaps--twins of the same blessed form and principles;--but for the rest of the Dramatis Personæ, you must strain hard, my friend, before you can twist them into likeness sufficient to warrant the censure of copying.--Parson Adams is yet more distant--his chief feature is absence of thought--the world affords me many such instances--but in the course of my reading, I have not met with his likeness, except in mere goodness of heart--in that perhaps Jack M--may equal him--but then he is so confounded jingle-headed!--Read boy, read--give Tom Jones a second fair reading!--Fielding's wit is obvious--his humour poignant--dialogue just--and truly dramatic--colouring quite
nature--and keeping chaste.--Sterne equals him in every thing, and in one thing excels him and all mankind--which is the distribution of his lights, which he has so artfully varied throughout his work, that the oftener they are examined, the more beautiful they appear.--They were two great masters, who painted for posterity--and, I prophesy, will charm to the end of the English speech.--If Sterne has had any one great master in his eye--it was Swift, his countryman--the first wit of this or any other nation;--but there is this grand difference between them--Swift excels in grave-faced irony--whilst Sterne lashes his whips with jolly laughter.--I could wish you to compare (after due attentive reading) Swift and Sterne--Milton and Young--Thomson and Akenside--and then give your free opinion to yours ever,
I want a handful or two of good fresh peach leaves--contrive to send me them when opportunity serves--and word, at the first leisure period, how Miss Anne Sister-like--George Grateful-look--Mrs. &c. &c.--and how your worship's hip does.--You had set up my bristles in such guise--in attacking poor Sterne--that I had quite forgot to give you a flogging for your punning grocery epistle--but omittance is no quittance.--Swift and Sterne were different in this--Sterne was truly a noble philanthropist--Swift was rather cynical;--what Swift would fret and fume at--such as the petty accidental sourings and bitters in life's cup--you plainly may fee, Sterne would laugh at--and parry off by a larger humanity, and regular good will to man. I know you will laugh at me--do--I am content;--if I am an enthusiast in any thing, it is in favor of my Sterne.
END OF THE FIRST VOLUME.