Documenting the American South Logo

Letters of the Late Ignatius Sancho, An African.
In Two Volumes. To Which Are Prefixed, Memoirs of His Life.
Vol. 2:

Electronic Edition.

Sancho, Ignatius, 1729-1780

Funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities
supported the electronic publication of this title.

Text transcribed by Apex Data Services, Inc.
Images scanned by Lee Ann Morawski
Text encoded by Apex Data Services, Inc., Lee Ann Morawski and Natalia Smith
First edition, 2001
ca. 270K
Academic Affairs Library, UNC-CH
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill,

No Copyright in US

Source Description:
(title page) Letters of the Late Ignatius Sancho, An African. In Two Volumes. To Which Are Prefixed, Memoirs of His Life, Vol. 2
(spine) Sancho's Letters
Ignatius Sancho
224 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.

Call number CT 788 .S168 A32 v.2 (Rare Book Collection, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)

        The electronic edition is a part of the UNC-CH digitization project, Documenting the American South.
        The text has been entered using double-keying and verified against the original. The text has been encoded using the recommendations for Level 4 of the TEI in Libraries Guidelines.
        The long s, which was used routinely in eighteenth-century English printing, but which looks like an f to today's reader, has been printed as an s in the text of this electronic edition.
        Original grammar, punctuation, and spelling have been preserved. Encountered typographical errors have been preserved, and appear in red type.
        All footnotes are inserted at the point of reference within paragraphs.
        Any hyphens occurring in line breaks have been removed, and the trailing part of a word has been joined to the preceding line.
        All quotation marks, em dashes and ampersand have been transcribed as entity references.
        All double right and left quotation marks are encoded as " and " respectively.
        All single right and left quotation marks are encoded as ' and ' respectively.
        All em dashes are encoded as --
        Indentation in lines has not been preserved.
        Running titles have not been preserved.
        Spell-check and verification made against printed text using Author/Editor (SoftQuad) and Microsoft Word spell check programs.

Library of Congress Subject Headings, 21st edition, 1998

Languages Used:

LC Subject Headings:

Revision History:


[Spine Image]


[Half-Title Page Image]



LONDON. Published 4th Jan. 1782, by J. Nichols Red Lion Passage Fleet Street.

[Frontispiece Image]


[Title Page Image]


To which are prefixed,

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.

Page 1



TO MR. J-- W--E.


        YOUR good father insists on my scribbling a sheet of absurdities, and gives me a notable reason for it, that is, 'Jack will be pleased with it.'--Now be it known to you--I have a respect both for father and son--yea for the whole family, who are every soul (that I have the honour or pleasure to know any thing of) tinctured--and leavened with all the obsolete goodness of old times--so that a man runs some hazard in being seen in the W--e's society of being biassed to Christianity.--I never see your poor Father--but his eyes betray his feelings--for the hopeful youth in India--a tear

Page 2

of joy dancing upon the lids--is a plaudit not to be equalled this side death!--See the effects of right-doing, my worthy friend--continue in the tract of rectitude--and despise poor paltry Europeans--titled--Nabobs.--Read your Bible--as day follows night, God's blessing follows virtue--honour--and riches bring up the rear--and the end is peace.--Courage, my boy--I have done preaching.--Old folks love to seem wife--and if you are silly enough to correspond with grey hairs--take the consequence.--I have had the pleasure of reading most of your letters, through the kindness of your father.--Youth is naturally prone to vanity--such is the weakness of Human Nature, that pride has a fortress in the best of hearts--I know no person that possesses a better than Johnny W--e--but although flattery is poison to youth, yet truth obliges me to confess that your correspondence betrays no symptom of vanity--but teems with truths of an honest affection--which merits praise--and commands esteem.

Page 3

        In some one of your letters which I do not recollect--you speak (with honest indignation) of the treachery and chicanery of the Natives*.

        * Extracts of two letters from Mr. W--e to his Father, dated Bombay, 1776 and 1777.

        "1776. I have introduced myself to Mr. G--, who behaved very friendly in giving me some advice, which was very necessary, as the inhabitants, who are chiefly Blacks, are a set of canting, deceitful people, and of whom one must have great caution."

        "1777. I am now thoroughly convinced, that the account which Mr. G--gave me of the natives of this country is just and true, that they are a set of deceitful people, and have not such a word as Gratitude in their language, neither do they know what it is--and as to their dealings in trade, they are like unto Jews."

--My good friend, you should remember from whom they learnt those vices:--the first christian visitors found them a simple, harmless people--but the cursed avidity for wealth urged these first visitors (and all the succeeding ones) to such acts of deception--and even wanton cruelty--that the poor ignorant Natives soon learnt to turn the knavish--land diabolical arts which
Page 4

they too soon imbibed--upon their teachers.

        I am sorry to observe that the practice of your country (which as a resident I love--and for its freedom--and for the many blessings I enjoy in it--shall ever have my warmest wishes--prayers--and blessings); I say it is with reluctance, that I must observe your country's conduct has been uniformly wicked in the East--West-Indies--and even on the coast of Guinea.--The grand object of English navigators--indeed of all christian navigators--is money--money--money--for which I do not pretend to blame them--Commerce was meant by the goodness of the Deity to diffuse the various goods of the earth into every part--to unite mankind in the blessed chains of brotherly love--society--and mutual dependence:--the enlightened Christian should diffuse the riches of the Gospel of peace--with the commodities of his respective land--Commerce attended with strict honesty--and with Religion for its companion--would be a

Page 5

blessing to every shore it touched at.--In Africa, the poor wretched natives--blessed with the most fertile and luxuriant soil--are rendered so much the more miserable for what Providence meant as a blessing:--the Christians' abominable traffic for slaves--and the horrid cruelty and treachery of the petty Kings--encouraged by their Christian customers--who carry them strong liquors--to enflame their national madness--and powder--and bad fire-arms--to furnish them with the hellish means of killing and kidnapping.--But enough--it is a subject that fours my blood--and I am sure will not please the friendly bent of your social affections.--I mentioned these only to guard my friend against being too hasty in condemning the knavery of a people who bad as they may be--possibly--were made worse--by their Christian visitors.--Make human nature thy study--wherever thou residest--whatever the religion--or the complexion--study their hearts.--Simplicity, kindness, and charity be thy guide--with these even Savages

Page 6

will respect you--and God will bless you!

        Your father--who sees every improvement of his boy with delight--observes that your hand-writing is much for the better--in truth, I think it as well as any modest man can wish:--if my long epistles do not frighten you--and I live till the return of next spring--perhaps I shall be enabled to judge how much you are improved since your last favour:--write me a deal about the natives--the soil and produce--the domestic and interior manners of the people--customs--prejudices--fashons--and follies.--Alas! we have plenty of the two last here--and what is worse, we have politics--and a detestable Brother's war--where the right hand is hacking and hewing the left--whilst Angels weep at our madness--and Devils rejoice at the ruinous prospect.

        Mr. R-- and the ladies are well.--Johnny R-- has favoured me with a long letter--he is now grown familiar with danger--and can bear the whilstling

Page 7

of bullets--the cries and groans of the human species--the roll of drums--clangor of trumpets--shouts of combatants--and thunder of cannon--all these he can bear with soldier-like fortitude--with now and then a secret wish for the society of his London friends--in the sweet blessed security--of peace--and friendship.

        This, young man, is my second letter--I have wrote till I am stupid, I perceive--I ought to have found it out two pages back.--Mrs. Sancho joins me in good wishes--I join her in the same--in which double sense believe me,

Yours, &c. &c.


        Very short.


        It is with sincere pleasure I hear you have a lucrative establishment--which will enable you to appear and act with decency--your good sense will naturally

Page 8

lead you to proper oeconomy--as distant from frigid parsimony, as from a heedless extravagancy--but as you may possibly have some time to spare upon your hands for necessary recreation--give me leave to obtrude my poor advice.--I have heard it more than once observed of fortunate adventurers--they have come home enriched in purse--but wretchedly barren in intellects--the mind, my dear Jack, wants food--as well as the stomach--why then should not one wish to increase in knowledge as well as money?--Young says--"Books are fair Virtue's advocates, and friends"--now my advice is--to preserve about 20 l. a year for two or three seasons--by which means you may gradually form a useful, elegant, little library--suppose now the first year you send the order--and the money to your father--for the following books--which I recommend from my own superficial knowledge as useful.--A man should know a little of Geography--History, nothing more useful, or pleasant.

Page 9

        Robertson's Charles the 5th, 4 vols.

        Goldsmith's History of Greece, 2 vols.

        Ditto, of Rome, 2 vols.

        Ditto, of England, 4 vols.

        Two small volumes of Sermons useful--and very sensible--by one Mr. Williams, a dissenting minister--which are as well as fifty--for I love not a multiplicity of doctrines--a few plain tenets--easy--simple--and directed to the heart--are better than volumes of controversial nonsense.--Spectators--Guardians--and Tatlers--you have of course.--Young's Night-Thoughts--Milton--and Thomson's Seasons were my summer companions--for near twenty years--they mended my heart--they improved my veneration to the Deity--and increased my love to my neighbours.

        You have to thank God for strong natural parts--a feeling humane heart--you write with sense and judicious discernment--improve yourself, my dear Jack, that if it should please God to return you to your friends with the fortune of a man in upper rank, the embellishments

Page 10

of your mind may be ever considered as greatly superior to your riches--and only inferior to the goodness of your heart. I give you the above as a sketch--your father and other of your friends will improve upon it in the course of time--I do indeed judge that the above is enough at first--in conformity with the old adage--"A few Books and a few Friends, and those well chosen."

Adieu, Yours,



TO MR. M--.

July 26, 1773.


        S* * * is a riddle--I will serve him if I can--were I rich, he should have no reason to despise me--but he must learn to try to serve himself--I wish you would throw your good sense upon paper for him--advice from one of his own years would sink deeper than the fusty phlegmatic

Page 11

saws of an old man--do in charity give him half an hour's labour--I do really think that you and S*** have sense enough for a dozen young fellows--and if it pleased God it were so divided--they would each be happier, wiser, and richer than S* * * or M--, and this by the way of thanking you--pooh--I will do that when I see you--and if that never happens, a good action thanks itself.--Mr. Garrick called upon S-- on Tuesday night, and won his heart; he called to pay poor de Grote's lodgings, sat with him some time, and chatted friendly.

        I admire your modesty in grudging me two letters for one--and greasing me with the fulsoms of sneering praise--Sirrah, be quiet--what, you Snoodlepoop! have you any care--wife--or family? You ought to write volumes--it gives expansion to your thoughts--facility to your invention--ease to your diction--and pleases your Friend,


Write Knave--or--or--or--

Page 12


TO MRS. C--.

July 23, 1778.


        SHALL I acknowledge myself a weak superstitious Fool? Yes, I will tell the honest truth--you have this foolish letter in consequence of a last night's dream--Queen Mab has been with me--aye, and with Mrs. Sancho too--for my part, I dare not reveal half my dream--but upon telling our night's visions over the tea-table at breakfast--it was judged rather uncommon for us all to dream of the same party.--Now I own I have great reason to dream of you waking--for you have been a very true and uncommon friend to me and mine--neither have I the least objection to these nightly visits, so as I have the pleasure to meet you (though but in vision) in good health--thy health is the very thing that I doubt about--therefore

Page 13

graciously let us know by the next post that you are well, and mean to take every prudent step so to continue--that you have left off tea, I do much approve of--but insist that you make your visitors drink double quantity--that I may be no loser--I hope you find cocoa agree with you--it should be made always over night, and boiled for above fifteen minutes--but you must caution Miss C-- not to drink it--for there is nothing so fattening to little folks--the R--ns way-laid my friend R--, and pressed Dame Sancho and self into the service last Sunday--we had a good and social dinner, and Mrs. Sancho forced me to stay supper--I think the Doctor looks as well as I ever saw him--indeed I could read in his chearful countenance that he left you well--I do not doubt but you have paid a visit to the camp--and seen brother O-- in his glory--I hope he will have regard to his health, and for profit I do think it must answer better to him than to (almost) any other man in the country--pray be so kind to

Page 14

make our best respects to Miss A--s, and to every one who delighteth in Blackamoor greetings.--We have no news but old lies--scoured and turned like misers coats which serve very well. We gape and swallow--wonder and look wife--conjurers over a news-paper, and blockheads at home.--Adieu! let me hear that you are very well; it will please Mrs. Sancho, and if I know any thing of her husband, it will be no less pleasing to your much obliged humble servant and friend,


N. B. I walk upon two legs now.

        Our best respects to Miss C--, hope she is intent upon camp fashions; but caution her in my name to be on her guard; Cupid resides in camp by choice. Oh, Miss C--! beware--beware of the little God.

I. S.

Now this is writing to Miss C--.

Page 15


TO MR. K--.

July 23, 1778.

        I RECEIVED yours with satisfaction, as it gave me a certainty of your being (upon the whole) much better. As to your saying you are not girlishly inclined--why--I give you credit--for it--thou must watch--and--pray--for Satan is artful, and knoweth all our weak parts--and that dirty little blind feathered, shouldered scoundrel of a boy, master Cupid--lurks couchant--in the pupil of an eye--in the hollow of a dimple--in the cherry ripe plumpness of a pair of lips--in the artfully timid pressure of a fair hand--in the complimentary squeeze of a farewell--in short, and in one word, watch--watch.

        So you forgot all I said about Charles the 5th--well, you give your reasons--

Page 16

but when you have got through your sugar works--I hope you will give due attention to Robertson:--his first volume is the most learned, and the dryest, yet absolutely necessary to be read with great attention--as it will--render the other much more easy--clear and intelligible make yourself--tolerably acquainted with the feudal system of Europe, which you will find explained in his first volume--the rest will amply reward you--I recommend to you to make extracts upon the passages which strike you most--it will be of infinite use to you--as I trust you will find it as much a history of Europe during two centuries, as of Charles the 5th.--After all--I shall fume and scold if you do not read this work--and abuse you, if you do not relish it.--You flatter my vanity very agreeably--in ever supposing that any hints of mine should conduce to the culture of your little farm:--be that as it may--I am happy in the certainty of never intentionally misleading or misadvising any male youth--I wish I could

Page 17

say, Virgin!--farewell! read, reflect! then write, and let me have your opinions.

Yours sincerely,



TO MR. R--.

July 31, 1778.


        THANKS for your very valuable letter, and its obliging companion--your brother writes in good spirits--but I fear the m--n--ty members were right in their predictions of the success of the commissioners--Alas! what desolation--destruction and ruin--bad hearts or bad heads--have brought upon this poor country!--I must, however, give Mr. J--R--another letter, he fluctuates so terribly in his opinions--as you will see by the contents of his letter to me--

Page 18

which I hope you will soon enable me to shew you.--Yes, I must and will give him a flogging, which you will say is extreamly gtateful, and a civil return for his kindness in thinking of me.--I have had a very kind and good letter from the little wren--we were pleased to hear Mrs. C--had enjoyed so great a share of health--she, who is lovely even in sickness, with the additional roseat bloom of health and flow of spirits, will be almost too much for meer mortals to bear--tell her from me to get sick before she comes up in pity to the beaux.--Mrs. Sancho is better; poor Kitty goes on after the old sort--the happiest, my R--, in this life, have something to sigh for--alas! I have enough--I feel much pleasure in the happy view Mr. and Mrs. R--n have before them--I have no sort of doubt but they will be successfully happy--I should have true pleasure to see my friend Mr. J. R--in as likely a road--I have spoke, and wrote to Mr. W-- to look out sharp.--Time, which ripens revolutions,

Page 19

and murders empires, time will, I hope, produce happiness and content to us all.--Your coming to town will give me spirits; for, large as the town is, I cannot say I have more than one friend in it--come, you and I shall be rich indeed, for, I believe few of the sons of Adam can boast of having more than two real friends.--The best respects to Mrs. C--, and the amiable little C--,

From yours, &c.




Sept. 4, 1778.

        FOR this month past--we have wished--to hear something about you--and every day for these two past weeks have I had it in serious contemplation--

Page 20

to put the question--not to the amiable Miss C--but to my friend R--who--notwithstanding your friendly excuse--is, I do think, rather culpable for his silence.--But hang recrimination--your goodness is more than sufficient to exculpate a thousand such sinners; we thank you, with heart-felt pleasure, for the information of our and your dear friend Mrs. C--'s health--which I hope she will be careful of--for our--and many sakes--I have a favour to beg of her--through your mediation, which is this--I have a pair of Antigua turtles--the gift of Mr. P--who kindly burthened himself with the care of them--the true property is vested in Kitty--but so it is--we having neither warmth nor room, and Kitty's good godmother having both--and that kind of humanity withal which delighteth in doing good to orphans--I, in the name of Kate and her doves, do through you--our trusty council--petition Mrs. C--in behalf of said birds.--Were I poetically turned--what a glorious field for fancy

Page 21

flights--such as the blue-eyed Goddess with her flying carr--her doves and sparrows, &c. &c.--Alas! my imagination is as barren as the desert sands of Arabia--but in serious truth--the shop--(the only place I have to put them in) is so cold--that I shall be happy to billet them to warmer quarters--which shall be done--as soon as Mrs. C--announces her consent--and empowers Molly to take them in.--As to news--we have none worth heeding--your camps have ruined all trade--but that of hackney men.--You much supprize us in the account of your late fair visitant--but pleased us more in the account of O--'s success--the season has been, through God's blessing, as favourable as his friends--he is a lucky soul.--The S--s are both well, I hope--to whom pray be so kind to remember us:--as to friend R--, tell him, that whatever censure his omissions in writing may draw upon him--when the goodness of his heart--and urbanity of soul is slung into the other scale--the faulty scale

Page 22

kicks the beam--we forgive, because we love--and love sees no faults.

        Mrs. Sancho joins me in love and good-wishes to both of you--Kitty has been very poorly for above a month past--and continues but very so, so--Betsy mends fast--Billy needs no mending at all--the rest are well--and all join in respects and compliments to Nutts.

I am,
Dear Miss C-- and Co's.
Most obliged,
humble servant,


Page 23


TO MR. M--.

Sept. 16, 1778.


        YOURS just received--and by great good luck I have found Mr. B--'s list which I inclose--and God speed your labours! Poor -- sets off this evening for--to take one parting look of his--, and on Monday sets off fresh for--Mr. H--'s anxieties end in good luck at last--he also on Monday enters in one of the best houses in the city.--On Thursday I hope you will succeed in your affair--and then my three Geniuses will be happy--I have had plague and perplexity enough with two of you.--When do you think of coming to town? In my last was some of the best poetry--that has--or was--aye, aye. Pray, Sir, read it over once more. Well, what do you, or can you, say to it? Oh, envy--

Page 24

envy!--but, Mr. Monkey, the wit and true poetry of that billet must make amends for the shortness of it.--This is Saturday night--consequently it must be esteemed a favour that I write at all--my head aches--and, though my invention teems with brilliancies, I can only remember that I am very much





October 1, 1778.

        IT is recorded of some great personage--I forget who, that they had so pleasing a manner in giving a refusal--that the Refused--has left them with more satisfaction under a rejection--than many have experienced from receiving a favour conferred with perhaps more kindness than grace.--So it fares with me--I had

Page 25

anticipated the future happiness of my new friends--the comforts of warmth--the pleasures of being fed and noticed, talked to and watched by the best heart and finest face within a large latitude--but I am content--I am certain of the inconveniency--and my best thanks are due, which I pray you make with our best wishes.--I am sorry both for O-- and my friend's sake that the camp breaks up so soon--as to brother O--, his harvest has, I hope, been plentiful and well got in--my friend poor S--, like most modest men of merit, is unlucky--he set out before I got either my friend R--'s or your letter--his best way is to turn about--and may good luck over-take him--detain him--fill his pockets--and send him in glee home again--this is more to be wished than expected--if he falls in your way, I shall envy him--he will meet hospitality and the graces.--Betsy and Kitty are both invalids--Mrs. Sancho is well, and joins me in every good wish--next month I hope brings you all to town--bring

Page 26

health and spirits with you.--We have no news--no trade! consequently no money or credit.

        Give Mr. R--my thanks for his friendly letter in your kindest manner--and say all to our worthy esteemed friend Mrs. C--that gratitude can conceive and friendship dictate--in the names of all the Sancho's, and at the head place

Yours, &c. &c.



TO MR. S--.

Yours just received Thursday,
Oct. 4, 1778.

                         "Whatever--is--is Right--the world, 'tis true,
                         "Was made for Cæsar--and for Billy too."

        POVERTY and Genius were coupled by the wisdom of Providence for wise and good ends, no doubt--but

Page 27

that's a mystery.--I feel for and pity you--a pox upon pity and feelings--say I, they neither fill the belly, nor cloath the body--neithey will they find lodging--or procure an inside birth in a rascally stage--thee and I too well know all this--but as I am at this present moment--thank fortune! not quite worth ten shillings--pity--cursed foolish pity--is, with as silly wishes, all I have to comfort you with.--Were I to throw out my whole thoughts upon paper, it would take a day's writing, and thou wouldst be a fool to read it--one dawn of hope I enjoy from the old saw--that "gloomy beginnings are for the most part blessed with bright endings;"--may it be so with you, my friend!--at the worst you can only face about--and your lodgings--and old friends will cordially receive you--for my part, I have use for every mite of my philosophy--my state at present is that of suspense--God's will be done!

        This letter will reach you by the hands of a friend indeed--the best and

Page 28

truest I ever found--a man who if the the worth of his heart were written in his face--would be esteemed by the whole race of Adam--he will greet you kindly from the benevolence of his nature--and perhaps will not dislike you the more for the attachment which for thee is truly felt by thy sincere friend,


Mrs. Sancho is well--Kitty mends very slow--Billy improves in sauciness--the girls are pretty good--Monsieur H-- rides uneasily--his saddle galls him--his beast is resty--I fear he will never prosecute long journeys upon him--he is for smoother roads--a pacing tit--quilted saddle--snaffle bridle with silken reins, and gold stirrups.--So mounted we all should like; but I query albeit, though it might be for the cafe of our bodies--whether it would be for the good of our souls! Adieu.

Should you be so lucky to see B--, the house of the worthy Baronet Sir C--B--, mind I caution thee to

Page 29

guard thy heart;--you will there meet with sense that will charm exclusive of beauty--and beauty enough to subdue--even were sense wanting--add to this, good-nature, and all the charities in one fair bosom.--Guard! guard thy heart!


TO MR. S--.

October 15, 1778.

        YOU want a long letter--where am I to find subject? my heart is sick--with untoward events--poor Kitty is no better--the Duke of Queensbury ill--dangerously I fear--the best friend and customer I have--.M-- is just now come in--nay he is at my elbow--you know I wish you well--and that we all are well, Kitty excepted--so let M--conclude for your loving friend,


Page 30

        The above you are to consider as bread and cheese, M-- will give you goose stuffed with grapes*.

        * Alluding to Mr. S--'s last letter, wherein he had informed Mr. Sancho, that that epicurean morsel was one of the many dishes with which he had been regaled at a place where he had lately dined.

Mr. H-- called here last night, and read yours:-- he is worked sweetly--what with his office late hours, and his family's odd humours--but all is for the best.


TO MR. R--.

October 16, 1778.


        ACCEPT my thanks!--my best thanks for your kind readiness--in obliging and serving my friend S--. --He has sense, honour, and abilities--these we should naturally suppose would insure

Page 31

him bread--but that is not always the case:--in the race of fortune, knaves often win the prize--whilst honesty is distanced--but then, mark the end--whilst the knave full often meets his deserved punishment--Honesty yoked with Poverty hugs Peace and Content in his bosom.--But truce with moralizing--though in serious truth my heart and spirits are low--the noble and good Duke of Queensbury is, I fear, very dangerously ill: exclusive of gratitude for past favours, and my own interest in the hope of future--I grieve for the public loss in him--a man who ennobled his titles, and made greatness lovely by uniting it with goodness:--if he dies--his gain is certain, for he has served a master--who will not wrong him--but the world will lose a rare example! and the poor a friend! he never knew a day's illness till now for fifty years past--his regularity of life and serenity of mind are in his favour--but his advanced life is against him--80 odd--the great fear is a mortification in his

Page 32

leg--the K--g and Q--n paid him a visit, as the prints must have informed you--he came to town on purpose to present himself at the levee--to thank them for the honour done him--he was taken ill the Sunday after their majesties visit--and came to town the Tuesday after--I have been or sent daily to enquire about him--and was there about two hours ago--the faculty are pouring in the bark--and allow his grace strong wines as much as he can drink.--God's will be done!

        Mr. S--n writes in raptures of you all.--I wonder not at him--I only wish for the good of mankind such characters as B-- house contains were more plenty--poor Kitty continues much the same--the rest are, thank God, well.--Mrs. Sancho joins me in cordial wishes to self and ladies. Adieu,

Yours sincerely and gratefully,


Page 33


TO MR. S--.

October 22, 1778.


        HAVE you never beheld a bust with double--no, not double--but with two very different profiles? one crying--and one laughing--that is just my situation at present--for poor de Groote--huzza!--is presented to the Charter-house--by--bless him! the good archbishop of Canterbury--but by a standing law--he cannot be admitted till a fresh quarter begins--and as he says--he may be dead by that time--we will hope not--well, this is the laughing side.--The Duke of Queensbury died this morning:--Alas! "I ne'er shall look upon his like again!"--the clearest head, and most humane of hearts--I have in common with many--many--a heavy

Page 34

loss--I loved the good Duke--and not without reason:--he is gone to reap a reward--which St. Paul could not conceive in the flesh--and which I will be bold to say--they both perfectly enjoy at this moment--God of his mercy grant!--that thee and I--and all I love--yea--and all I know--may enter eternity with as promising hopes--and realize the happiness--in store for such as the Duke of Queensbury!

        Lord Lincoln died on his passage--the news came last night--but he has left a son and daughter.--T--is well--but still plagued with his uncouth kinsfolk.

Adieu, Yours, &c. &c.


Kitty very poorly, the rest all well.

Page 35


TO MR. S--.

Charles Street, Westm. Nov. 29, 1778.


        YOURS, dated from Madrass, came safe to hand--I need not tell you that your account pleased me--and the style of your letter indicated a mind purged from its follies--and a better habit of thinking, which I trust happily preceded a steadier course of action--I know not whether or not Providence may not in your instance produce much good out of evil--I flatter myself you will yet recover and stand the firmer in your future life from the reflection (bitter as it is) of your former.--I have no doubt but you received my letter charged with the heavy loss of your great, your noble friendly benefactress, and patroness, the good Duchess of Q--y; she entered

Page 36

into bliss, July 17, 1777, just two days after you failed from Portsmouth.--I have now to inform you, that his Grace followed her October 21st this year; just fifteen months after his good Duchess--full of years and honors--he is gone to join his Duchess, and share in the rewards of a righteous God, who alone knew their merits, and alone could reward them.

        Thus it has pleased God to take your props to himself--teaching you a lesson at the same time, to depend upon an honest exertion of your own industry--and humbly to trust in the Almighty.

        You may safely conclude now, that you have not many friends in England--be it your study, with attention, kindness, humility, and industry, to make friends where you are--industry with good-nature and honesty is the road to wealth.--A wife oeonomy--without avaricious meanness--or dirty rapacity will in a few years render you decently independent.

Page 37

        I hope you cultivate the good-will and friendship of L--; he is a jewel--prize him--love him--and place him next your heart--he will not flatter or fear you--so much the better--the fitter for your friend--he has a spirit of generosity--such are never ungrateful--he sent us a token of his affection, which we shall never forget.--Let me counsel you for your character's sake, and as bound in honour; the first money you can spare--to send over 20 l. to discharge your debt--at Mr. P--'s, the sadler--it was borrowed money, you know.--As for me, I am wholly at your service to the extent of my power--but whatever commissions you send over to me--send money--or I stir none--thou well knowest my poverty--but 'tis an honest poverty--and I need not blush or conceal it.--You also are indebted to Mr. O--, Bond-street--what little things of that kind you can recollect--pay as soon as you are able--it will spunge out many evil traces of things past--from the hearts and heads of your enemies--

Page 38

create you a better name--and pave the way for your return some years hence into England--with credit and reputation.--Before I conclude, let me, as your true friend, recommend seriously to you to make yourself acquainted with your Bible:--believe me, the more you study the word of God--your peace and happiness will increase the more with it.--Fools may deride you--and wanton youth throw out their frothy gibes;--but as you are not to be a boy all your life--and I trust would not be reckoned a fool--use your every endeavour to be a good man--and leave the rest to God.--Your letters from the Cape, and one from Madeira's, I received; they were both good letters--and descriptions of things and places.--I wish to have your description of the fort and town of Madrass--country adjacent--people--manner of living--value of money--religion--laws--animals--fashions--taste, &c.&c.--In short, write any thing--every thing--and above all, improve your mind with good reading--converse with men of

Page 39

sense, rather than with fools of fashion and riches--be humble to the rich--affable, open, and good-natured to your equals--and compassionately kind to the poor.--I have treated you freely in proof of my friendship--Mrs. S--, under the persuasion that you are really a good man--sends her best wishes--when her handkerchief is washed, you will send it home--the girls wish to be remembered to you, and all to friend L--n.

Yours, &c. &c.



TO MR. I--.

Jan. 1, 1779.

        IN compliance with custom--I beg leave to wish Mr. and Mrs. I-- happy years--many or few, as the Almighty shall think fit--but may they be happy

Page 40

--as I wish it sincerely, their obligation is of course the greater--and to oblige them yet more--I will put it in their power to oblige me--which they can do by lending me the volume of Annual Registers (I think it is that of 1774), which has Goldsmith's Retaliation in it.--I hope Mr. and Mrs. I-- have no complaints--but the general one, extreme coldness of the weather--which, though happily exempted themselves from much suffering, by good fires and good cheer, yet I am sure their sympathizing hearts feel for the poor.--I find upon enquiring, that ten o'clock in the morning will best suit Mr. L--; I will be in Privy Gardens just five minutes before Mr. and Mrs. I-- and Mr. Mortimer--I hope Mrs. I-- will not pretend to repent--Sunday is a lazy morning. If Mrs. I-- has not read Ganganelli, it is time she should. I therefore take the liberty to send them--them, Mr. I-- will say, is bad grammar--he is, madam, a good-natured critic--I address myself to you therefore, because my heart tells me--you will be

Page 41

a successful advocate for the blunders of a true Blackamoor.--I have had the confidence to mark the passages that pleased me most in my post-haste journey through the good Pontiff's letters--and I shall be vain, if Mrs. I-- should like the same passages--because it would give a sanction to the profound judgement of her most obedient servant,


Note, The sixteenth letter, 1st verse, is a kind of stuff which would almost turn me to the Romish--there is every thing in it which St. Paul had in his heart.

Page 42


TO J.-- S--, ESQ.

Charles Street, Jan. 1779.

                         "Beyond the fix'd and settled rules
                         "Of Vice--and Virtue in the schools,
                         "Beyond the letter of the Law,
                         "Which keeps mere formalists in awe
                         "The better sort do set before 'em
                         "A Grace--a manner--a decorum;
                         "Something that gives their acts a light;
                         "Makes 'em not only just--but bright,
                         "And sets 'em in such open fame,
                         "Which covers--quality--with shame."

        JUDICIOUSLY elegant Prior has befriended me--and described my honoured friend Mr. S--. I wish I knew which way to shew my gratitude--the only method I can think of--is to enjoy the benefits with a thankful heart--and leave God in his own good time to reward you.

        I should last night have gratefully acknowledged the receipt of your letter and

Page 43

note--but I hoped for a frank--I am disappointed, and a longer delay would be unpardonable.--Be assured, dear Sir, I shall (with all the alacrity of a heavy man) bestir myself in the execution of your generous order.--I hope Mrs. S--and every one of your family--enjoy health and every good--Mrs. Sancho joins me in respects and thanks to Mrs. S-- and yourself.

I remain, dear Sir,
Your very obliged
and faithful servant,



TO MR. F--.

Jan. 1779.


        I HAVE just received your favour of the 20th instant. As to the letters in question; you know, Sir, they are not now

Page 44

mine, but the property of the parties they are addressed to.--If you have had their permission--and think that the simple effusions of a poor Negro's heart are worth mixing with better things--you have my free consent to do as you please with them--though in truth there wants no increase of books in the epistolary way, nor indeed in any way--except we could add to the truly valuable names of Robertson--Beattie--and Mickle--new Youngs--Richardsons--and Sternes.--Accept my best thanks for the very kind opinion you are so obliging to entertain of me--which is too pleasing (I fear) to add much to the humility of,

Dear Sir,
Yours, &c.


Page 45


TO MRS. I--.

Charles Street, Jan. 21, 1779.


        MY wife wishes to see Cymon--and my wishes (like a civil husband) perfectly correspond with hers--I had rather be obliged to you--than any good friend I have;--for I think you have an alacrity in doing good-natured offices--and so I would tell the Q--n--if she dared dispute it:--you are not so great indeed--but I am sure you are as good--and I believe her to be as rich in goodness as she is high in rank--if my request is within the limits of your power, you will favour us with the order soon in the day.-- I have looked abroad for the wonder you wished to be

Page 46

procured for you--but have met with nothing likely hitherto.

Yours most gratefully,



TO MRS. H--.

Charles Street, Feb. 9, 1779.


        I FELICITATE you in the first place--on the pleasing success of your maternal care--in restoring your worthy son to good health--he looks now--as well--fresh--and hearty--as love and friendship can wish him.--Mrs. Sancho joins me in hearty thanks--for your kind attention to our well-doing--and your goodness in the very friendly order--which I have endeavoured to execute with attention and honesty.--As to news,

Page 47

there is none good stirring--trade is very dull--money scarce beyond conception--fraud! perfidy! villiany! from the highest departments to the lowest--the K--g, God bless him, is beset with friends--which he ought to fear.--I believe he has--one true friend only--and that is the Q--n, who is the ornament and honour of her sex.--Pray, dear Madam, make my best respects to your good son and daughter, Mr. J--, and all I have the honour to know; our best best thanks and wishes attend Mr. H-- and yourself, and believe me

Yours, &c.


Page 48


TO MR. G--.

Feb. 1779.


        THE very handsome manner in which you have apologized for your late lapse of behaviour does you credit -- Contrition--the child of conviction--serves to prove the goodness of your heart--the man of levity often errs--but it is the man of sense alone who can gracefully acknowledge it.--I accept your apology--and if in the manly heat of wordy contest aught escaped my lips tinged with undue asperity--I ask your pardon--and hope you will mutually exchange forgiveness with


Page 49


TO J-- S--, ESQ.

March 9, 1779.

        IT has given me much concern, dear Sir, the not having it in my power to make my grateful acknowledgements sooner, for your very kind letter and friendly present which accompanied it.--My first thanks are due to heaven--who for the example, as well as service, of mortals, now and then blesses the world with a humane, generous Being.--My next thanks are justly paid to you--the are pleased to rank me and mine in the honoured class of those you wish to serve:--for these six past weeks, our days have been clouded by the severe illness of a child--whom it has pleased God to take from us: and a cowardly attack of the gout at a time when every exertion was needful--I have as yet but very little use of my hand--but I am

Page 50

thankful to have sufficient to exculpate me from the vice of ingratitude--which my long silence might lay me under the imputation of.--Mrs. Sancho begs me to express her sense of your kindness--and joins me cordially in the most respectful sensations and best wishes to Mrs. S--and yourself. I am, dear Sir,

        (and with very great reason)

Your much obliged
humble servant,



TO MR. S--.

March 11, 1779.


        I RECEIVED yours about three hours since--I give you due credit for your sympathizing feelings on our recent very distressful situation--for thirty nights

Page 51

(save two) Mrs. Sancho had no cloaths off--but you know the woman. Nature never formed a tenderer heart--take her for all in all--the mother--wife--friend--she does credit to her sex--she has the rare felicity of possessing true virtue without arrogance--softness without weakness--and dignity without pride--she is--'s full sister without his foibles--and to my inexpressible happiness, she is my wife--and truly best part--without a single tinge of my defects.--Poor Kitty! happy Kitty I should say, drew her rich prize early--wish her joy! and joy to Mortimer! he left life's table (before he was cloyed or surfeited with dull sickly repetitions)--in prime of years--in the meridian of character as an artist--and universally esteemed as a man--he winged his rapid flight to those celestial mansions--where Pope--Hogarth--Handel--Chatham--and Garrick, are enjoying the full sweets of beatific vision--with the great Artists--Worthies--and Poets of time without date.--Your father has been exceeding kind--this very

Page 52

day as Mr. W--, of Retford, called on me--a goodly looking gentleman: he enquired after you with the anxious curiosity of a friend--told me your father was well--and by his account--thinks by much too well of me;--friend H-- shall produce the things you wot of--and brother O-- bring them in his hand;--H-- is a very silly fellow--he likes silly folks--and, I believe, does not hate Sancho.--To-morrow night I shall have a few friends to meet brother O--, we intend to be merry--were you here, you might add to a number, which I think too many for our little room.--So I hear that the -- No, hang me! if I say a word about it--well, and how do you like the company of Monsieur Le Gout? shall I, in compliance with vulgar custom, wish you joy? Pox on it, my hand aches so, I can scrawl no longer.--Mrs. Sancho is but so, so--the children are well--do write large and intelligible when you write to me, I hate fine hands and fine

Page 53

language--write plain honest nonsense, like thy true friend,



TO MR. W--E.

Charles Street, March 31, 1779.

        YOU wish me to write a consolatory letter to Mrs. W--e,--my good friend.--What can I possibly write--but your good sense must have anticipated? the soul-endearing soothings of cordial love have the best and strongest effects upon the grief-torn mind:--you have of course--told her that thanks are due--greatly so!--to a merciful God--who might have bereaved her of a child--instead of a worthy cousin--or that she ought to feel comfort--and to acknowledge divine mercy--that it was not her husband:--that to lament the death of that amiable girl--is false sorrow in the extreme:--why lament the great bliss and choice prize of what we love?--

Page 54

what is it she has not gained by an early death?--You will say--she was good--and will suppose that in the tender connexions of wife--friend--and mother--she would have been an honoured and esteemed example.--True--she might--and it is as true--she might have been unhappily paired--ill matched to some morose, ill-minded, uneven bashaw--she might have fell from affluence to want--from honour to infamy--from innocence to guilt:--in short, we mistake too commonly the objects of our grief--the living demand our tears--the dead (if their lives were virtuous) our gratulations;--in your case all that can be said is--earth has lost an opening sweet flower (which had it lasted longer, must of course soon fade)--and heaven has gained an angel--which will bloom for ever.--So let us hear no more of grief--we all must follow:--no! let us rejoice! with your worthy friend Mrs.--*,

        * This union was remarkable for disparity of years; the bridegroom being 78, the bride in the bloom of youth.

joy to the
Page 55

good couple! may they each find their respective wishes! may he find the grateful acknowledgement of obliged and pleasing duty!--and she, the substantial--fond--solid rewards--due to arectitude of conduct--marked strongly with kindness and wisdom! and may you, my friend!--but my leg aches--my foot swells--I can only say, my love to the C--ds, and to poor Joe and Frank.--Read this to Mrs. W--e. My silly reasoning may be too weak to reach her;--but, however, she may smile at my absurdities--if so--I shall have a comfort--as I ever wish to give pleasure to her dear sex--and the pride of my heart is ever to please one--alas!--and that one a--wife.--So writes thy true friend,


Mr. W--e comes as far as P--Gardens--but cannot reach Charles Street.
How's that?
I hear my scheme of taxation was inserted directly, and should be glad to see the paper if easily got.

Page 56


TO MR. L--.

May 4, 1779.


        I AM truly sorry to address this letter to you at this season in the English channel--the time considered that you have left us, you ought in all good reason to have been a seasoned Creole of St. Kitt's;--but we must have patience--what cannot be cured--must be endured.--I dare believe you bear the cruel delay with resignation--and make the best and truest use of your time--by steady reflection and writing.--I would wish you to note down the occurrences of every day--to which add your own observation of men and things--the more you habituate yourself to minute investigation, the stronger you will make your mind--ever taking along with you in

Page 57

all your researches the word of God--and the operations of his divine providence.--Remember, young man--nothing happens by chance.--Let not the levity of frothy wit--nor the absurdity of fools break in upon your happier principles--your dependence upon the Deity--address the Almighty with fervor--with love and simplicity--carry his laws in your heart--and command both worlds;--but I meant mere fatherly advice, and I have wrote a sermon.--Dear boy, 'tis my love preaches; N--begged me to write a line for him, as he said you wanted news.--I have none but what you know as well as myself--such as the regard and best wishes of Mrs. Sancho--the girls and myself--such as wishing a happy end to your long-protracted voyage--and a joyful meeting with your worthy and respectable family;--and in order to leave room for friend N--, I here assure you I am your affectionate friend,


Page 58


TO MR. R--.

May 1779.


        YOUR letter was a real gratification to a something better principle than pride--it pleased my self-love--there are very few (believe me) whose regards--or notice I care about--yourself--brother--and O--, with about three more at most--form the whole of my male frindly connexions.--Your brother is not half so honest as I thought him--he promises like a tradesman, but performs like a lord.--On Sunday evening we expected him--the hearth was swept--the kettle boiled--the girls were in print--and the marks of the folds in Mrs. Sancho's apron still visible--the clock past six--no Mr. R--. Now to tell the whole truth, he did add a kind of clause, that in case nothing material happened

Page 59

of hospital business, he would surely do himself the &c. &c. &c.--So upon the whole, I am not quite clear that he deserves censure--but that he disappointed us of a pleasure I am very certain of.--You don't say, you have seen Mr. P--. I beg you will, for I think he is the kind of soul congenial to your own.--Apropos the right hand side (almost the bottom of Gray Street), there is a Mrs. H--, an honest and very agreeable northern lady, whom I should like you to know something of--which may easily be done--if you will do me the credit just to knock at her door when you go that way--and tell her, there is a Devil that has not forgot her civilities to him--and would be glad to hear she was well and happy.--Mr. R--called on me in the friendly style--when I say that, I mean in the R--manner--he asked a question--bought some tea--looked happy--and left us pleased :--he has the graces--The gout seized me yesterday morning--the second attempt--I looked rather black all day :--tell Mrs.

Page 60

C--, I will lay any odds that she is either the handsomest or ugliest woman in Bath--and among the many trinkets she means to bring with her--tell her not to forget health.--May you all be inriched with that blessing--wanting which, the good things of this world are trash.--You can write tiresome letters! Alas! will you yield upon the receipt of this?--if not--that palm unquestionably belongs to your friend,



TO I-- S--, ESQ.

Charles Street, June 16, 1779.


        IN truth I was never more puzzled in my life than at this very present writing--the acts of common kindness, or the effusions of mere common good-will,

Page 61

I should know what to reply to--but, by my conscience, you act upon so grand a scale of urbanity--that a man should possess a mind as noble and a heart as ample as yourself! before he attempts even to be grateful upon paper.--You have made me richer than ever I was in my life--till this day I thought a bottle of good wine a large possession. Sir, I will enjoy your goodness with a glad heart--and every deserving soul I meet with shall share a glass with me, and join in drinking the generous donor's health. Mrs. Sancho's eyes betray her feelings--she bids me thank you for her--which I do most sincerely, and for myself,


Page 62


TO MRS. H--.

June 17, 1779.


        YOUR son, who is a welcome visitor wherever he comes, made himself more welcome to me--by the kind proof of your regard he brought in his hands.--Souls like yours, who delight in giving pleasure, enjoy a heaven on earth; for I am convinced, that the disposition of the mind in a great measure forms either the heaven or hell in both worlds.--I rejoice sincerely at the happiness of Mrs. W--, and may their happiness increase with family and trade--and may you both enjoy the heartfelt delight of seeing your children's children walking in the track of grace!--I have, to my shame be it spoken, intended writing to you for these twelve months past--but in truth I was deterred through a fear of giving pain:--our history has had little in it but cares and anxieties--which (as it is the well-experienced

Page 63

lot of mortality) we struggle with it, with religion on one hand, and hope on the other.

        Mr. W--, whose looks and address bespeak a good heart and good sense, called on me.--I will not say how much I was pleased--pray make my kindest respects to your good partner, and tell him, I think I have a right to trouble him with my musical nonsense.--I wish it better for my own sake--bad as it is, I know he will not despise it, because he has more good-nature:--I hear a good report of Mr. S--, and that his humanity has received the thanks of a community in a public manner.--May he! and you! and all I love, enjoy the blissful feelings of large humanity!--There is a plaudit--as much superior to man's as heaven is above earth! Great God, in thy mercy and unbounded goodness, grant that even I may rejoice through eternity with those I have respected and esteemed here!--Mrs. Sancho joins me in love to yourself and Mr. H--. Your son Jacob is the delight of my girls--

Page 64

whenever he calls on us, the work is flung by, and the mouths all distended with laughter:--he is a vile romp with children.--I am, dear Madam, with true esteem and respect,

Your obliged servant,



TO I-- S--, ESQ.

June 29, 1779.

        A LITTLE fish--which was alive this morn--sets out this eve for Bury--ambitious of presenting itself to Mrs. S--: is it should come good, the Sancho's will be happy;--in truth, Mr. S--ought not to be displeased--neither will he, I trust, if he considers it--as it really is--a grain of salt:--in return for favors received of princely magnitude--and deeply engraven in the hearts of his much obliged and faithful servants,

He and She SANCHO's.

Page 65


TO MR. M--.

August 1, 1779.
Coat and Badge.

        BRAVO! So you think you have given me the retort courteous--I admit it--Go to! you are seedy, you are sly--true son in the right direct line of old Gastpherious Sly.--Your letter to S--n makes ample amends for your impudence in presuming to mount my hobby--yes, I do affirm it to be a good, yea, and a friendly letter--the leading-string thought is new, and almost poetic;--I watched him while he read it--he read it twice--I judge he felt the force of your argumentation:--may he avail himself of your friendly hints! and may you have the heart-felt satisfaction of finding him a wiser being than heretofore! How doth George's mouth?

Page 66

--I honor you for humane feelings--and much more for your brotherly affection;--but do not Namby-Pamby with the manly exertions of benevolence--what I mean is--ah me! poor George--to be sure 'tis well its no worse--but then the loss of a tooth and a scar are so disfiguring--Pooh, simpleton, if his heart is right, and God blesses him with health--his exterior will ever be pleasing in spight of the gap in his gums--or scar above his chin;--G-- likely--the rogue has a pleasing, cheery phiz--neither so old--nor so mouldy as some folks, not having been rocked in the cradle of flattery--he has consequently more modesty than his elders.--I could easily fill the sheet in contrasting the merits of the two lads--but then it would (I plainly foresee) turn out so much to the disadvantage of Prince Jacky--that in mere charity I forbear--and shall conclude with wishing both your heads to agree, as well in good health--as in the many good qualities which I have not time to enumerate.

Page 67

        Mrs. Sancho is pretty well--the girls and Billy well--I am sometimes better--sometimes so, so.--I should have answered you sooner--but yesterday was obliged to write all day--though fast asleep the whole time--perhaps you will retort--that it is the case with me at this present writing--false and scandalous.--I declare I was never more awake--remember me to Mr. S--, the ladies, and to thyself, if thou knowest him.

Farewell. Thine, &c. &c. &c.



TO MR. I--.

August 3, 1779.


        I MUCH wish to hear that Mrs. I-- is quite recovered--or in the best possible way towards it.--I have next to thank

Page 68

you for your princely present--and to say I feel myself rich and happy in the splendid proofs I have of your regard.

        You love a pun almost as well as Dennis.--I shall contrive to be in your debt as long as I live--and settle accounts hereafter--where I know no more than the pope;--but if you, Sterne, and Mortimer, are there, sure I am, it will be the abode of the blest.--But to business--I am commissioned to get as good an impression as possible of St. Paul preaching to the Britons--shall esteem it a fresh obligation, if you will be kind enough to chuse one, and send by the bearer.--I return faith for pudding--and Mr. Sharpe's strictures upon Slavery--the one may amuse, if not edify--the other I think of consequence to every one of humane feelings.--Do pray let me know how Mrs. I-- does--with thanks, respects; and why not friendship?

I am, dear Sir,
Yours, &c.


Page 69


TO MR. M--.

August 14, 1779.

        YOU kindly gave me liberty to bring Mr. S--: the proposal did honor to your heart--and credit to your judgement;--but an affair has rendered that part of your invitation inadmissible--now pox take bad quills--and bad pen-makers.--Sir, it was fifty pound to a bean-shell, but that you had had a blot as big as both houses of parliament in the very fairest, yea, and handsomest part of this epistle--my pen, like a drunkard, sucks up more liquor than it can carry, and so of course disgorges it at random.--I will that ye observe the above simile to be a good one--not the cleanliest in nature I own--but as pat to the purpose as dram-drinking to a bawd--or oaths to a serjeant of the guards--or--or--dullness

Page 70

to a Black-a-moor--good--excessive good:--and pray what?--(oh! this confounded pen) what may your Worship's chief employ have been?--you have had your Devils dance--found yourself in a lazy fit--the inkstand, &c. staring you full in the face--you yawned--stretched--and then condescended to scold me for omitting what properly--and according to strict rule--you should have done yourself a month ago.--Zounds!--God forgive us!--this thought oversets the patience--coat and lining--of your right trusty friend,



TO MR. M--.

August 20, 1779.

        IN all doubtful cases--it is best to adhere to the side of least difficulty.--Now whether you ought to have shewn

Page 71

the politesses of the Ton in making enquiry after my Honor's health--and travels--or whether my Honor should have anticipated all enquiry--by sending a card of thanks for more than friendly civilities--is a very nice point, which, for my part, I willingly leave to better casuists;--and as I honestly feel myself the obliged party--so I put pen to paper as a testimonial of the same.--I will suppose your head improved--I mean physically: I will also hope your heart light--and all your combustible passions under due subordination--and then adding the fineness of the morning--from these premises I will believe that my good friend is well and happy.

        I hope George effected his wish in town, if he has to do with people of feeling--there is a something in his face which will command attention and love--the boy is much handsomer than ever you were; and yet you never look better than when you look on him--would to God you were as well settled!

Page 72

        The stage contained five good souls, and one huge mass of flesh*:

        * Mr. Sancho was remarkable for corpulency.

--they, God bless them, thought I took up too much room--and I thought there was too little--we looked at each other, like folks dissatisfied with their company--and so jolted on in sullen silence for the first half hour;--and had there been no ladies, the God or Goddess of silence would have reigned the whole way:--for my part, quoth I to myself, I have enjoyed true pleasure all day--the morning was bright, refreshing, and pleasant, the delicious bowl of milk, the fresh butter, sweet bread, cool room, and kind hostess--the friendly converse, the walk--the animated flow of soul in I--M-- the little, but elegant, treat high-seasoned with welcome.--Oh! Sancho, what more could luxury covet, or ambition wish for? True, cries Reason--then be thankful:--Hold! cries Avarice, with squinting eyes and rotten stumps of teeth--hungry, though ever cramming--it cost thee one
Page 73

shilling and nine pence, one shilling and nine pence I say.--What of that, cries oeconomy, we eat fairly half a crown's worth.--Aye, cries Prudence, that alters the case--od-so, we are nine pence in pocket, besides the benefit of fresh air, fresh scenes, and the pleasures of the society we love.--The sky was cloudless, and, to do me a particular favour, the moon chose to be at full--and gave us all her splendor;--but our envious Mother Earth (to mortify our vanity) rose up--rolling the whole way in clouds of dust.--Contention flew in at the coach-windows, and took possession of both the females:--"Madam, if you persist in drawing up the glass, we shall faint with heat."--"Oh dear! very sorry to offend your delicacy; but I shall be suffocated with dust--and my cloaths.--" "I have cloaths to spoil as well as other folks, &c. &c. &c."--The males behaved wisely, and kept a stricter neutrality than the French with the Americans.--I chewed the cud of sweet remembrance, and with a heart and mind in pretty

Page 74

easy plight, gained the castle of peace and innocence about nine o'clock.--Well, Sir, and how do you find yourself by this time?--I sweat, I protest--and then the bright God of day darts his blessings full upon my shop-window--so intensely, that I could fancy myself St. Bartholomew broiling upon a gridiron.

        Oh! thou varlet--down--down upon thy knees, and bless thy indulgent stars for the blessings--comforts--beauties, &c.--of thy situation, the Land of Canaan in possession--milk and honey--shady trees--sweet walks covered with the velvet of nature--pleasant views--cool house--and the superintendency of the sweet girls--to whom my love and blessings--and sirrah!--mark what I say, and obey me without reply:--there is a plump good-natured looking soul--I think you called her Patty--my conscience tells me, that I owe her something more than kind words and cool thanks;--therefore tell her, a man that notes particularly the welcome of the eye--and saw plainly good-will and good-nature

Page 75

in the expression of her honest countenance--sends her a dish of tea--which she must sweeten by her cheery acceptance of it--from one who knows not how to return the many, many obligations he has received from the he's and she's of P-- house--exclusive of what he owes--and shall be content ever to owe--the saucy rogue he addresses.

Farewell. Yours, &c.



TO MRS. C--.

Charles Street, Aug. 25, 1779.


        IN the visions of the night--behold I fancied that Mrs. Sancho was in Suffolk--that she saw strange places--fine

Page 76

sights--and good people--that she was at B-- amongst those I love and honor--that she was charmed and enraptured with some certain good folks who shall be nameless--that she was treated, caressed, and well pleased--that she came home full of feasts--kindness--and camps--and in the conclusion dunned me for a whole month to return some certain people thanks--for what?--why, for doing as they ever do--contrive to make time and place agreeable--truly agreeable to those who are so lucky to fall in their way:--in truth, so much has been said, and description has run so high--that now I am awake--I long for just such a week's pleasure--but time and chance are against me.--I awake to fears of invasion, to noise, faction, drums, soldiers, and care:--the whole town has now but two employments--the learning of French--and the exercise of arms--which is highly political--in my poor opinion--for should the military fail of success--which is not impossible--why, the ladies must take the field, and scold

Page 77

them to their ships again.--The wits here say our fleet is outlawed--others have advertised it--the republicans teem with abuse, and the K--g's friends are observed to have long faces--every body looks wiser than common--the cheating shop-counter is deserted, for the gossiping door-threshold--and every half hour has its fresh swarm of lies.--What's to become of us? We are ruined and sold, is the exclamation of every mouth--the monied man trembles for the funds--the landholder for his acres--the married men for their families--old maids--alas! and old fusty batchelors--for themselves--for my part I can be no poorer--I have no quarrel to the Romish religion--and so that you come to town in health and spirits, and occupy the old spot--so that the camp at Cavenham breaks not up to the prejudice of Johnny O--, and my worthy R--is continued clerk at --: in short, let those I love be uninjured in their fortunes, and unhurt in their persons.--God's will be done! I rest perfectly satisfied,

Page 78

and very sincerely and cordially,

Dear Madam, Yours,
and my sweet little miss C--'s,
most obedient
and obliged servant,


I should have said a deal about thanks and your kindness--but I am not at all clear it would please you.--Mrs. Sancho certainly joins me in every good wish--the girls are well--and William thrives--our best respects attend Mr. B--and his good Lady--Mr. and Mrs. S--. Adieu!

Pray make Mr. William Sancho's and my compliments acceptable to Nutts.--We hope he is well, and enjoys this fine weather unplagued by flies, and unbitten by fleas.

Page 79


TO MR. S--.

August 31, 1779.

        You have made ample amends for your stoical silnce--insomuch that like Balaam--I am constrained to bless--where peradventure I intended the reverse.--For hadst thou taken the wings of the morning--and searched North, East, South, and West--or dived down into the sea, exploring the treasures of old Ocean--thou could'st neither in art or nature have found aught that could have made me happier--gift wise--than the sweet and highly finished portrait of my dear Sterne;--but how you found it--caught it--or came by it--heaven and you know best!--I do fear it is not thy own manufacturing.--Perhaps thou hast gratified thy finer feelings at an expence--which friendship would blush for.--"But what have you to do with

Page 80

that?" True--it may appear impertinent; but could aught add to the value of the affair--it would be--its having you--for its father;--but I must hasten to a conclusion.--I meant this--not as an epistle of cold thanks--but the warm ebullitions of African sensibility.--Your gift would add to the pride of Cæsar--were he living, and knew the merits of its original--it has half turned the head of a Sancho--as this scrawl will certify. Adieu! The hen and chicks desire to be remembered to you--as I do--to all!--all!--all!

I. S.


TO MR. I--.

Sept. 2, 1779.

        IN truth I know myself to be a very troublesome fellow--but as it is the general fate of good-nature to suffer through the folly they countenance--I

Page 81

shall not either pity or apologize.--I have to beg you just to examine my friend Laggarit's petition:--Mr. P-- does not seem to approve of it--but is for expunging almost the best half.--My friend has tried to get the great E--B--'s opinion--but has met with a negative--he being too busy to regard the distresses of the lowly and unrecommended:--for my part, I have as much faith in Mr. I--'s judgement as in--, and a much higher opinion of his good-will;--and as Mr. P-- may be partly hurried away by leaning rather too much to republican modes--I dare say, if he finds that your opinion coincides with the sense of the petition as it now stands, he will not be offended at its being presented without his mutilations.--Mr. Laggarit is fearful of offending any way--and has every proper sense of Mr. P--'s zeal, and good-will.--I dare say it will strike you as it does me--that in the petitionary style every term of respect is necessary; and although some of the titles are rather profane, and others farcical--yet custom

Page 82

authorizes the use, and it is a folly to withstand it.

Yours to command,


I hope Mrs. I-- is well as you would wish her.


TO MR. S--.

Charles Street, Sept. 2, 1779.


        YOU can hardly imagine how impatient I was to hear how they behaved to you at B--h. I must confess you give a rare account of your travels. I am pleased much with all the affair, excepting the cellar business--which I fear you repented rather longer than I could wish.--I had a letter from my honest L--n, who takes pride to himself in the honor you did him, and says

Page 83

Mr. S--pleases himself in the hope of catching you on your return--when they flatter themselves the pictures will merit a second review:--but beware of the cellar!--I hope you are as well known at Scarborough as the Wells, and find more employment than you want, and that you get into friendly chatty parties for the evenings;--if I might obtrude my silly advice--it should be to dissipate a little with the girls--but for God's sake beware of sentimental ladies! and likewise be on thy guard against the gambling Dames, who have their nightly petite parties at quadrille--and, with their shining faces and smooth tongues, drain unwary young men's pockets, and feminize their manners.--But, why do I preach to thee, who art abler to instruct grey hairs--than I am to dust my shop?--Vanity! which has gulled mighty statesmen, misled poor me, and for the sake of appearing wiser than I am--I pray you--"set me down an ass!" I enclosed a petulant billet to your Reverend Sire--which I hope he did not send you.--

Page 84

There is no news worth talking about in town, excepting that it rains frequently, and people of observation perceive that the days are shorter.--Mrs. Sancho and children all well--and I dare swear--wish you so--in which they are heartily seconded by

Yours sincerely,


How shall I know whether you get this scrawl, except you send me word?


TO MR. M--.

Sept. 4, 1779.

        THE Lamb*

        * Mr. M--'s Sister.

just now kindly delivered to the Bear**

        ** Meaning himself.

the Monkey's***

        *** Mr. M--, to whom he often gave that title.

letter.--I am glad at heart that the forced exercise did thy hip no hurt--but that
Page 85

M--of thine--I do not like such faces--if she is half what she looks, she is too good for any place but heaven--where the hallelujahs are for ever chanting by such cherub-faced sluts as she--thank God! she is neither daughter nor sister of mine--I should live in perpetual fear.--But why do I plague myself about her? she has a protector in you--and foul befall the being (for no man would attempt it) that wishes to injure her!--Mrs. D--I could like so well--that I wish to know but very little of her;--strange, but true--and when you have been disappointed in your schemes of domestic happiness--and deceived in your too hasty-formed judgements to the age of fifty, as oft as your friend, you will fully enter into my meaning.

        She looks open--honest--intelligently sensible--good-natured--easy--polite and kind--knowledge enough of the world to render her company desireable--and age just sufficient to form her opinions, and six her principles;--add to all this an agreeable face, good teeth,

Page 86

and a certain Je ne sai quoi (forgive the spelling, and do not betray me):--but I say again, and again--when one has formed a great opinion of either male or female--'tis best for that opinion's sake--to look no further--there, rogue!

        I shall take no notice of the tricking fraudulent behaviour of the driver of the stage--as how he wanted to palm a bad shilling upon us--and as how they stopped us in the town, and most generously insulted us--and as how they took up--a fat old man--his wife fat too--and child--and after keeping us half an hour in sweet converse of the--of the blasting kind--how that the fat woman waxed wrath with her plump master, for his being serene--and how that he caught choler at her friction, tongue-wife--how he ventured his head out of the coach-door, and swore liberally--whilst his--in direct line with poor S--n's nose--entertained him with found and sweetest of exhalations.--I shall say nothing of being two hours almost on our journey--neither do I remark

Page 87

that S--n turned sick before we left G--, nor that the child p--upon his legs:--in short it was near nine before we got into Charles Street.

        Sir, the pleasures of the day made us more than amends--for the nonsense that followed.--Receipt in full.


My best respects to Mr. Y--; and my love, yea, cordial love to Nancy--tell her--no--if I live to see her again--I will tell her myself.

Observe, we were seven in the coach--the breath of the old lady, in her heat of passion, was not rose-scented;--add to that, the warmth naturally arising from croud--and anger--you will not wonder at S--t--'s being sick.--And he S-- wanted to be in town rather sooner.--My compliments to George.-- Mr. L-- is so kind to promise to call for this scrawl--thank him for me, as well as for thyself.--Adieu.--Mrs. S-- pretty well, the two Fanny's and Kitty but indifferent.

Page 88



Charles Street, Sept. 5, 1779.


        YOUR wonder will be equal to your indignation--when--(after due apologies for the liberty of this address--and a few good-natured protestations of friendship and so forth--with an injunction to strict secresy) I inform you that it is absolutely necessary for your immediate setting out for Red-lion Court.--Your good man--is only running after all the young gypsies about the neighbourhood--all colours--black or fair--are alike--this is the effect of country air--and your nursing:--the good man made his appearance on Thursday evening last--the glow of health in his face--joy in his eyes.--"Wife, Joe, and little Frank all well, and myself never

Page 89

better in my life;"--a pretty girl he led by the hand--and as if one petticoat plague was not enough--he insisted upon taking away two of mine--and carried his point against every reasonable odds:--away they all went to the play--and God only knows where else--I threatened him with a modest report to Melchbourn, but he seemed to care very lightly about it:--so I humbly advise, as your best method of taming him, either to insist upon his speedily coming down to you--or el--e your immediate setting out for home:--at present he only attempts our daughters--but should you be absent a month longer, I tremble for our wives;--for my part, I have some reason, for here both wife and daughters are as fond of Mr. W--e as they dare own.--Seriously, I think, you should coax him down, if only for a fortnight;--for it is amazing how much better he is for the short time he was absent--and this I take to be the pleasantest and wholesomest time for the country:--if the evening dews are carefully guarded against--

Page 90

I shall advise him strongly to take the other trip--and I trust your documents with the innocent simplicity of all around him--fine air--exercise--new milk--and the smell of new hay--will make him ten thousand times worse than he is--you won't like him the worse for that. My love attends cousins I-- and F--.

I am, dear Madam,
most sincerely yours to command,


Mrs. Sancho joins me in every thing but the abuse of Mr. W--e.

Page 91


TO MR. R--.

Sept. 7, 1779.


        WE are all in the wrong--a little.--Admiral Barrington is arrived from the West-India station--and brings the pleasant news--that d'Estaigne fell in with five of our ships of the line--with the best part of his sleet. We fought like Englishmen--unsupported by the rest:--they fought till they were quite dismasted--and almost wrecked;--and at last gave the French enough of it--and got away all, though in plight--bad enough:--but the consequence was, the immediate capture of the Grenadas.--Add to this--Sir Charles Hardy is put into Portsmouth, or Gosport;--and although forty odd strong in line of battle ships--is obliged to give up the sovereignty

Page 92

of the channel to the enemy.--L--d S--h is gone to Portsmouth, to be a witness of England's disgrace--and his own shame.--In faith, my friend, the present time is rather comique.--Ireland almost in as true a state of rebellion as America.--Admirals quarrelling in the West-Indies--and at home admirals that do not chuse to fight.--The British empire mouldering away in the West--annihilated in the North--Gibraltar going--and England fast asleep.--What says Mr. B-- to all this?--he is a ministerialist:--for my part it's nothing to me--as I am only a lodger--and hardly that.--Give my love and respect to the ladies--and best compliments to all the gentlemen with respects to Mr. and Mrs. I--.

        Give me a line to know how you all do--the post is going--only time to say God bless you.--I remain

Yours affectionate,


Past eleven at night.

Page 93



Charles Street, Sept. 11, 1779.

        I CANNOT forbear returning my dear Miss L-- our united thanks for her generous present--which came exactly in time to grace poor Marianne's birth-day, which was yesterday:--the bird was good, and well dressed; that and a large apple-pye feasted the whole family of the Sancho's. Miss L-- was toasted; and although we had neither ringing of bells, nor firing of guns, yet the day was celebrated with mirth and decency--and a degree of sincere joy and urbanity seldom to be seen on R--I birth-days.--Mary, as queen of the day, invited two or three young friends--her breast filled with delight unmixed with cares--her heart danced in her eyes--and she looked the happy mortal.--Great

Page 94

God of mercy and love! why, why, in a few fleeting years are all the gay day dreams of youthful innocence to vanish? why can we not purchase prudence, decency, and wisdom, but at the expence of our peace? Slow circumspect caution implies suspicion--and where suspicion dwells, confidence dwells not.--I believe I write nonsense--but the dull weather, added to a dull imagination, must, and I trust will, incline you to excuse me:--if I mistake not, writing requires--what I could tell you, but dare not--for I have smarted once already.--In short, I write just what I think--and you know Congreve says somewhere, that

        "Thought precedes the will,"


        "Error lives are Reason can be born."

        Now Will--Reason--and Gratitude, all three powerfully impel me to thank you--not for your goose--nor for any pecuniary self-gratifying marks of generosity--but for the benevolent urbanity of your nature--which counsels

Page 95

your good heart to think of the lowly and less fortunate.--But what are my thanks, what the echoed praises of the world, to the heart-approving sensations of true charity!--which is but the prelude to the divine address at the last day--"Well done, thou good," &c. &c.--That you and all I love--and even poor me--may hear those joyful words, is the prayer of

Yours, &c. &c.



TO MR. I--.

October 3, 1779.


        YOU will make me happy by procuring me an order from Mr. H--for three any night this week--'tis to oblige a worthy man who has more wants than cash--believe me there is more of vanity than good-nature in my request--for I have boasted of the honor of being

Page 96

countenanced by Mr. I--, and shall ostentatiously produce your favor--as a proof of your kindness--and my presumption:--thanks over--and over--for Sir H-- Freeman's letters, which I will send home in a day or two:--I return the Sermons, which I like so well, that I have placed a new set of them by Yorick's, and think they will not disagree.--I pray you to send by the bearer the bit of honored Mortimer you promised for friend M--, who though he called some few mornings since on purpose--yet was so plagued with the mauvaise hondt (I believe I spell it Yorkshirely, but you know what I mean), that the youth could not for his soul--say what he was looking after:--if you accompany it with the sea-piece you kindly offered me--I shall have employment in cleansing and restoring beauties which have escaped your observation--and I shall consider myself

Your much more obliged,


Page 97


TO MR. M--.

October 5, 1779.

        YOU mistake--I am neither sick-idle--nor forgetful--nor hurried--nor flurried--nor--lame--nor am I of a fickle mutable disposition.--No! I feel the life-sweetening affections--the swell of heart-animating ardor--the zeal of honest friendship--and what's more--I feel it for thee.--Now, Sir, what have you to say in humble vindication of your hasty conclusions? What, because I did not write to you on Monday last? but let a week pass without saying (what in truth I know not how to say, though I am now seriously set about it); in short, such hearts and minds (if there be many such, so much the better), such beings I say as the one I am now scribbling to--should make elections of wide different beings--than Blackamoors for

Page 98

their friends:--the reason is obvious--from Othello to Sancho the big--we are either foolish--or mulish--all--all without a single exception.--Tell me, I pray you--and tell me truly--was there any Blackamoors in the Ark.--Pooh! why there now--I see you puzzled--well--well--be that as the learned shall hereafter decide.--I will defend and maintain my opinion--simply--I will do more--wager a crown upon it--nay, double that--and if my simple testimony faileth--Mrs. Sancho and the children five-deep will back me--that Noah, during his pilgrimage in the blessed Ark--never with wife and six children set down to a feast upon a bit of finer--goodlier--fatter--sweeter--salter--well-fed pork; we eat like hogs.

        When do your nobles intend coming home?--the evenings get long, and the damps of the park after sun-set--but a word to the wife.

        Oh! I had like to have almost forgot--I owe you a dressing for your last letter--there were some saucy strokes of

Page 99

pride in it--the ebullitions of a high heart--and tenderly over-nice feelings--go to--what have I found you? My mind is not rightly at ease--or you should have it--and so you would not give me a line all the week--because--but what? I am to blame--a man in liquor--a man deprived of reason--and a man in love--should ever meet with pity and indulgence:--in the last class art thou!--nay, never blush--plain as the nose in thy face are the marks--refute it if you are able--dispute if you dare--for I have proofs--yea, proofs as undeniable as is the sincerity of the affection and zeal, with which thou art ever regarded by thy


How doth the ladies--and Mr. M--? Mind, I care not about -- so tell her, and lye.--You may tell George the same story--but I should like to hear something about you all.

Page 100


TO MR. M--.

October 9, 1779.

        MY friend Mr. I--, who--like a simple fellow with a palish phiz--crazy head--and hair of a pretty colour--an aukward loon--whom I do sometimes care about--who has more wit than money--more good sense than wit--more urbanity than sense--and more pride than some princes--a chap who talks well--writes better--and means much better than he either speaks or indites.--A careless son of nature, who rides without thinking--tumbles down without hurt--and gets up again without swearing--who can--in short, he is such an excentric phizpoop--such a vessel!--a new skin full of old wine is the best type of him--know you such a one? No! I guessed as much--nay--nay--if you think for a twelvemonth and a day, you will never be a jot the

Page 101

nearer--give it up, man.--Come, I will solve the mystery--his name is --. I will tell you anon--but as I was saying--for I hate prolixity--as I was saying above--Mr. I-- (in initiation of the odd soul I have laboured to describe) wishing to do me honor as well as pleasure--came in person twice, to insist accompanying he and she and two more, to see Mr. H-- take possession of the throne of Richard--into the boxes (I believe box is properer) we went--the house as full, just as it could be, and no fuller--as hot as it was possible to bear--or rather hotter.--Now do you really and truly conceive what I mean? Alas! there are some stupid souls, formed of such phlegmatic, adverse materials, that you might sooner strike conception into a flannel petticoat--or out of one--(now keep your temper I beg, sweet Sir) than convince their simple craniums that six and seven makes thirteen.--It was a daring undertaking--and H-- was really awed with the idea of the great man, whose very robes he was to wear--

Page 102

and whose throne he was to usurp.--But give him his due--he acquitted himself well--tolerably well--he will play it much better next time--and the next better still; Rome was not built in six weeks--and, trust me, a Garrick will not be formed under seven years.--I supped with his Majesty and Mr. and Mrs. I--, where good-nature and good-sense mixed itself with the most chearful welcome.

        And pray, how is your head by this time?--I will teach you to wish for pleasure from Blackamoor dunderheads:--why, Sir, it is a broken sieve to a ragged pudding-bag, by the time you have gone through this scrawl--you will be as flat, dull, and tedious, as a drunken merry-andrew--or a methodist preacher--or, a tired poor devil of a post-horse; or to sum up all in one word, as your most--what you please,


Is pesorpher Quidois.
Your true friend and so forth.

Page 103

Zounds, Sir! send me a good handsome epistle--such as you were wont to do in peaceful days before * * * had warped your faculties, and made you lazy.--Why you--but I will not put myself in a passion.--Oh! my M--, I would thou wert in town--but its no matter--I am convinced in our next habitation there will be no care--love will possess our souls--and praise and harmony--and ever fresh rays of knowledge, wonder, and mutual communication will be our employ. Adieu.

The best of women--the girls--the boy--all well. I could really write as long a letter on a taylor's measure, as your last hurry-begotten note.

Page 104


TO MR. M--.

October 17, 1779.

        No! you have not the least grain of genius--alas! description is a science--a man should in some measure be born with the knack of it.--Poor blundering M--, I pity thee--once more I tell thee--thou art a bungler in every thing--ask the girls else.--You know nothing of figures--you write a wretched hand--thou hast a nonsensical style--almost as disagreeable as thy heart--thy heart, though better than thy head--and which I wish from my soul (as it now is) was the worst heart in the three kingdoms--thy heart is a silly one--a poor cowardly heart--that would shrink at mere trifles--though there were no danger of fine or imprisonment:--for example--come, confess now--could you lie

Page 105

with the wife of your friend? could you debauch his sister? could you defraud a poor creditor? could you by gambling rejoice in the outwitting a novice of all his possessions?--No! why then thou art a silly fellow--incumbered with three abominable inmates;--to wit--Conscience--Honesty--and Good-nature--I hate thee (as the Jew says) because thou art a Christian.

        And what, in the name of common sense, impelled thee to torment my soul, with thy creative pen drawing of sweet A--r--bn--s? I enjoyed content at least in the vortex of smoak and vice--and listed my thoughts no higher than the beauties of the park or--gardens.--What have I to do with rural deities? with parterres--fields--groves--terraces--views--buildings--grots--temples--slopes--bridges--and meandring streams--cawing rooks--billing turtles--happy swains--the harmony of the woodland shades--the blissful constancy of rustic lovers?--Sir, I say you do wrong to awaken ideas of this sort:--besides, as

Page 106

I hinted largely above--you have no talent--no language--no colouring--you do not groupe well--no relief--false light and shadow--and then your perspective is so false--no blending of tints--thou art a sad fellow, and there is an end of it.

        S--n, who loves fools (he writes to me) but mum; S--n wishes to have the honor of a line from quondam friend M--: now M-- is an ill-natured fellow, but were it contrariwise--and M-- would indulge him--I would enclose it in a frank--with something clever of my own to make it more agreeable.--Sirrah! refuse if you dare--I will so expose thee--do it--'tis I command you:--S--n only intreats--you have need of such a rough chap as Sancho to counterpoise the pleasures of your earthly paradise.--Pray take care of your Eve--and now, my dear M--, after all my abuse, let me conclude

Yours affectionately,


Page 107

The tree of knowledge has yielded you fruit in ample abundance:--may you boldly climb the tree of life--and gather the fruits of a happy immortality--in which I would fain share, and have strong hope, through the merits of a blessed Redeemer--to find room sufficient for self--and all I love--which to say what I glory in comprehend the whole race of man--and why not? Namby-Pamby. M-- cannot write to S--n till I have your letter to enclose to him--if there is any delay, the fault is not mine.


TO MR. R--.

October 20, 1779.

        ZOUNDS, Sir! would you believe--Ireland has the * * * to claim the advantages of a free unlimited trade--or

Page 108

they will join in the American dance.--What a pack of * * * are * * *! I think the wisest thing administration can do (and I dare wager they will) is to stop the exportation of potatoes--and repeal the act for the encouragement of growing tobacco * * *. It is reported here (from excellent authority) that the people at large surrounded the Irish parliament, and made the members--the courtiers--the formists and non-cons--cats--culls--and pimpwhiskins--all--all subscribe to their--.--Well, but what says your brother--no better news I much fear from that quarter.--Oh, this poor ruined country!--ruined by its success--and the choicest blessings the Great Father of Heaven could shower down upon us--ruined by victories--arts--arms--and unbounded commerce--for pride accompanied those blessings--and like a canker-worm has eaten into the heart of our political body.--The Dutch have given up the Serapis and the Scarborough, and detained Paul Jones twenty-four hours after their failing:--

Page 109

how they will balance accounts with France, I know not; but I do believe the Mynheers will get into a scrape.

        Tell Mr. B-- the Pyefleets fluctuate in price like the stocks, and were done this morning, at Billingsgate change, at I l. 6 s. 8 d. per bushel; but I have sent them this evening properly directed--also a book of Cogniscenti dilitanti divertimenti.--As for the ladies, I cannot say any thing in justice to their merits, or my own feelings:--therefore I am silent--write soon--a decent, plain, and intelligible letter--a letter that a body may read with pleasure and improvement--none of your circumround-abouts for


Page 110


TO MR. R--.

Nov. 1, 1779.


        I SHOULD on Saturday night have acknowledged your kindness, but was prevented by weakness!--idleness!--or some such nonsense!--Were you here, Mrs. Sancho would tell you I had quacked myself to death.--It is true, I have been unwell--from colds and from a purging!--which disorder prevails much in our righteous metropolis--and perhaps from quacking; but of this when we meet.--I was much pleased with my letter from Sir John--in which there is very little news--and less hope of doing any thing to the purpose--either in the conquering, or conciliating mode, than in any letter I have been favoured with.--He makes no mention of receiving

Page 111

any packets from me, and I have wrote six or eight times within the last twelve-months--so you see plainly the packets are either lost, or his letters stopt.--I shall give him a line by Wednesday's post--and let it try its fortune.--I enclose you some American congress notes--for he does not say he has sent you any--though he mentions the news-papers.

        We talk of sending over a vast force next spring. Why G--m--t will so madly pursue a losing game is amongst the number of things that reason can never account for--and good sense blushes at:--it is reported in the city, that our safety this summer was purchased of d'Orvilliers and Monsieur Sartine:--it is certain (although a vote of credit was granted for a million) that there is no money in the Exchequer--and that the civil list is 800,000l, in arrears.--This looks dark--whilst Ireland treats us rather laconic--Scotland not too friendly--America speaks, but too plainly:--but what a plague is all this to you and me? I am doomed to

Page 112

difficulty and poverty for life--and let things go as they will, if the French leave us Newmarket--they will not ruin my friend.--I hope the good ladies are well, and preparing for London.--Squire S--and his good woman well--also he in the enjoyment of his gun--and she in the care of the sweet children.--My best respects to Mr. and Mrs. B--, and I should be a beast to neglect my worthy friend Mr. S--k. Now I have a scheme to propose to the electors of Great Britain, to take Sir C-- and Mr. S-- for their patterns--and at the general election (if they can find as many) to return 300 such--it would immortalize them in the annals of this country for their wisdom of choice--and what's much better, it would perhaps (with God's blessing) save Old England.--We want, alas!--only a few honest men of sound principles and good plain understandings--to unite us--to animate with one mind!--one heart!--one aim!--and to direct--the rouzed courage of a brave people properly--

Page 113

then we might hope for golden times--and the latter end of the present reign, emulate the grand close of the last.

        I got a very pretty young lady to chuse this inclosed ticket--meaning to baffle ill-luck; for, had I chose it myself, I am certain a blank would have been the consequence.--May it be prosperous!--Mrs. Sancho joins me in every thing--love to O--; the girls giggle their respects to Mr. R--; Billy joins in silence, but his love to Nutts is plain, How does he do?




TO MR. S--.

Nov. 14, 1779.


        YOURS by my brother gave me money--and, what was more pleasing to me, a tolerable account of your success

Page 114

--the lateness of the season considered.--Come, brighten up; my brother P--has left us much happier than he found us.--We have succeeded beyond our expectation--humility is the test of Christianity--and parent of many--if not of all the virtues--but we will talk this over, when you return from grape-stuffed geese and fine girls.--H--seems to be in better favour with her goddessship lady Fortune--his affair will do--he will stand a fair chance of rising:--I wish from my soul something good in the same line was destined for you--but have courage--time and patience conquer all things.--I hope you will come home soon--and leave a foundation for better fortune next year at B--, and its friendly neighbourhood.--Kitty is very poorly--God's will be done!--I have a horrid story to tell you about the--Zounds! I am interrupted.--Adieu! God keep you!

Yours, &c. &c.


Page 115

Mrs. Sancho, and girls, and Billy, send their compliments, &c. and pray all our respective loves and best wishes to the friendly circle at B--, and every where else.


TO MR. S.--.

Nov. 16, 1779.

        YOU have missed the truth by a mile--aye and more--it was not neglect--I am too proud for that--it was not forgetfulness, Sir--I am not so ungrateful;--it was not idleness--the excuse of fools--nor hurry of business--the refuge of knaves;--it is time to say what it was.--Why, Mrs. D--was in town from Tuesday till Monday following--and then--and not till then--gave me your letter--and most graciously did I receive it--considering that both my feet were in flannels--and are so to this

Page 116

luckless minute.--Well, Sir, and what have you to say to that? Friend H--has paid for them.--I pay him again--and shall draw upon you towards Christmas--never poorer since created--but 'tis a general case--blessed times for a poor Blacky grocer to hang or drown in!--Received from your good reverend parent (why not honored father?) a letter, announcing the approach of a hamper of prog--which I wish you was near enough to partake.--Your good father feels a satisfaction in doing--I think a wrong thing--his motive is right--and, like a true servant of Christ, he follows the spirit--not the letter--he will be justified in a better world--I am satisfied in this--and thou wilt in thy feelings be gratified.--Huzza!--we are all right--but your father pays the piper. How doth Squire G--? odso--and his pretty daughter?--kiss the father for me--and drink a bottle with the fair lady.--I mean as I have wrote--so tell them--and do what's best in thy own and their eyes.--When you see brother O--,

Page 117

my love to him and his household.--I have no spirits when the gout seizes me--pox on him!--Great news from Sir Charles Hardy--huzza for ever--all mad--nothing but illuminations--out with your lights--bells ringing, bonfires blazing--crackers bouncing--and all for what?--what?--The girls open-mouthed--Billy stares--Mrs. Sancho rubs her hands, the night indeed is cold, but Billy must go to bed--the noisy rogues with the Gazette extra--stun our ears. Adieu!

Yours, &c. &c.


I should have enclosed a paper, but it will cost the devil and all--my family all join in customary customs.

Page 118


TO I-- S--, ESQ.

Charles Street, Nov. 21, 1779.


        WE are happy to hear by brother O-- that you and Mrs. S-- enjoy good health--may God preserve it, and increase your every comfort!

        I am far from being sorry that you have not been in town this autumn--for London has been sickly--almost every body full of complaint--add also that the times are equally full of disease--Luxury! Folly! Disease! and Poverty! you may see daily riding in the same coach--the doors ornamented with the honours of a virtuous ancestry topped with coronets; surrounded with mantle ermined--and, alas! Corruption for the supporters.

        Now, my good Sir, you can have no real pleasure but what must arise from

Page 119

your own heart were you amongst us--and that would be in pitying our weakness, and sighing over distresses your benevolence of heart could not alleviate;--and yet I fear--if you keep from town till times mend--I shall have no chance of seeing you this side eternity--you should come up for a day or two, were it only to be witness to the roguery of M--rs and lottery-office-keepers--and the madness of the dupes of each.--I have much to thank you for--which I will not forget in a better world, if I see you not in this.--We have eat your turkey to-day--it is a joke to say it was good--bad things seldom, if ever, come from Mr. S--. Mrs. Sancho joins me in thanks to Mrs. S--, who we hope will not be always unknown.--The customary wishes of the approaching sacred season to you and all your connexions.--Pray excuse blunders, for I am forced to write post--as I expect O-- every moment--as I write first, and think afterwards my epistles, are commonly in the Irish fashion. You, who prefer the heart to

Page 120

the head--will overlook the error of the man who is, and ever will be, very sincerely and gratefully,

Your much obliged
friend and servant,


It is expected the whole M--y will run from their posts before Friday next; L--d S--h and L--d N--h excepted. Now I have a respect for L--d N--h, he is a good husband! father, friend, and master--a real good man--but I fear a bad m--r.



Dec. 5, 1779.


        I HAVE just now received your too valuable favor--forgive me, good Sir, if I own I felt hurt at the idea of the

Page 121

trouble and cost you (from a spirit too generous) have been put to--and for what, my good Sir? Your son shewed me many kindnesses--and his merits are such as will spontaneously create him the esteem of those who have the pleasure of knowing him--it is honouring me to suppose I could be of service to him.--Accept then, good Sir, of my thanks, and Mrs. Sancho's--and be assured you have sevenfold overpaid any common kindness I could render your deserving son and my friend.--I wish he was here to partake of your bountiful treat--for well do I know his filial heart would exult, and his eyes beam with love and respect.--Mrs. Sancho joins me in respectful acknowledgements and thanks to Mrs. S--and self.

We are, dear Sir,
Your most obliged servants,


Page 122


TO MR. S--.

Dec. 14, 1779.


        I EXPECT an answer.


        I. S.

        Our friend H--'s head and heart are fully occupied with schemes, plans, resolves, &c. &c. in which (to his immortal honour) the weal and welfare of his S--are constantly considered:--the proposal which accompanies this letter, from what little judgement I have, I think promises fair.--You will, however, give it a fair examination--and of course determine from the conviction of right reason.--If as a friend I might presume to offer my weak opinion--I freely say, I think in every light it seems eligible--the circle of your acquaintance is at present circumscribed--I mean in the artist line:--now in case you connect

Page 123

yourself in a business which requires constant daily perambulation--the chances are on your side for forming acquaintance--perhaps friendships--with men of genius and abilities, which may happily change the colour of your fortunes--the old proverb is on your side--"two heads," &c.--and very fortunately in your case, where in fact one has wit, and the other judgement--the chair of interest will have its compleat furniture in the two top ornaments--and honesty for its basis. So much for Mons. H--, and now I have to reckon with you. How could you be so preposterously wrong to trouble the repose of your worthy father and mother about me? Surely you must think me exceedingly interested--or your heart must be a very proud one;--if either--in the first instance you did me a wrong--in the last perhaps I may wrong you;--be it as it may--I know it gave me real vexation.--Your father sent such a basket, as ten times repaid the trifling service I had the honour as well as pleasure in rendering a man of merit,

Page 124

and my friend;--believe me, I never accepted any present with so ill a will--with regard to them, every thankful acknowledgement was due.--I wrote a very embarrassed letter of thanks--with a resolution to give you a chastisement for laying me under the necessity.--I hear with pleasure that you have enough to do.--H--declares he is sorry for it--as he wants and wishes you in town. Pray give my best wishes to Mess. B--and S--w, and my love to O--. If you should happen to know a Miss A--, a rich farmer's daughter, remember me to her--were you not widow witched, she or some other heavy-pursed lass might be easily attainable to a man of your--aye, aye, but that, says--, will not be, I fear.--For I verily believe that * * * * * for the * * * * and by the same token do you not * * * * * * *? but this is matter of mere speculation.--God bless you! Yours sincerely--cordially--and sometimes offensively--but always friendly,


Page 125


TO D-- B--E, ESQ.

Dec. 17, 1779.


        A STRANGER to your person (not to your virtues) addresses you--will you pardon the interested intrusion? I am told you delight in doing good.--Mr. W--e (who honours me with his friendships, by whose persuasion I presume to trouble you) declares--you are no respecter of country or colours--and encourages me further--by saying, that I am so happy (by the good offices of his too partial friendship) to have the interest and good wishes of Mr. B--e.

        Could my wish be possibly effected to have the honour of a General-post-office settled in my house, it would certainly be a great good--as (I am informed) it would emancipate me from the fear of serving the parish offices--for which I

Page 126

am utterly unqualified through infirmities--as well as complexion.--Figure to yourself, my dear Sir, a man of a convexity of belly exceeding Falstaff--and a black face into the bargain--waddling in the van of poor thieves and pennyless prostitutes--with all the supercilious mock dignity of little office--what a banquet for wicked jest and wanton wit--as needs must, when, &c. &c.--Add to this, my good Sir, the chances of being summoned out at midnight in the severity of easterly winds and frosty weather--subject as I unfortunately am to gout six months in twelve--the consequence of which must be death:--death! now I had much rather live--and not die--live indebted to the kindness of a few great and good--in which glorious class, you, dear Sir, have the pre-eminence--in the idea of

Your most respectful
and obliged humble servant,


Page 127


TO MR. B--.

Charles Street, Dec. 20, 1779.


        THE Park guns are now firing, and never was poor devil so puzzled as your humble Sancho is at this present moment.--I have a budget of fresh news--aye, and that of consequence--and a million of stale thanks--which perhaps you will think of no consequence.--Impelled by two contrary passions, how should a poor Negro know precisely which to obey? Your turkey and chine are absolutely as good, as fine, and as welcome--as nobly given--and as gratefully accepted--as heart can wish, or fancy conceive:--then on the other hand--the news is as glorious--as well timed and authenticated--as pleasing--as salutary in the ministerial way--as much

Page 128

wanted--and as welcome--as the turkey and chine--to a certain sett I mean--of king's friends and national * * * * *. The said turkey and chine will keep fresh and good--and chear some honest hearts (I trust) on Christmas-day.--The news, good as it is, may half of it prove false by Christmas--and the true part will be stale news by that time--much of it will be liable to doubt and malicious disquisition:--now, on the other hand, the turkey and its honest sat companion are bettering every day--and feast us by anticipation.--But again, the news will come with a handsome face--attested by a Gazette extraordinary, garnished by the happy flourishes of news-paper invention;--then there is the speech of the noble Sir C--; I meant to say much upon that score, you have read it without doubt--so have I more than once or twice--and I find the same fault with it that the majority and minority do--which is neither more nor less than what's exceeding natural to both parties.--The majority detest it for its truth--

Page 129

the minority would have better liked it--had it not been so d--n'd honest. Now (between ourselves) I do confess to you, my worthy friend, strip this famed speech of its truth and honesty, there will very little worth notice remain--excepting candour, a spice of benevolence, and perhaps too much charity;--but as the above are the vices only of a very few, we may the better endure it in Sir C--. There is certainly an express arrived this day with very comfortable news--plenty of killed and wounded--plenty of prisoners--and (as it always happens) with little or no loss on our side--but dear me--how I have run on!--I protest the sole business of this letter was to ease my mind--by unburthening my head and heart--of some weighty thanks, which, for aught I know, except very decently managed, are more likely to give pain than pleasure to some odd-constructed minds, men who fatten upon doing good--and feel themselves richer in proportion to their kindness:--such beings are the S--s,

Page 130

the B--s, the R--hs, O--ns, &c. &c.--whom God mend--in the next world I mean:--so wishing you every felicity in this, and every comfort attendant on the approaching festival, with love and good-will to all friends, especially to Mrs. B--n, the worthy Mr. S--'s family, Squire S--ns, and his mate, in which Mrs. Sancho claims her full share, I remain, dear Sir, (I fear I tire you)

Your most obliged
humble servant,



TO MR. B--.

Dec. 24, 1779.

        LOSERS have the privilege to rail.--I was taking the benefit of the act, upon my seeing Johnny O--, when

Page 131

he abruptly (and not disagreeably) stopped my mouth--with saying, he had just loaded a stout lad--in the name of Mr. B--, and dispatched him to Charles Street:--now this same spirit of reparation may suit well--with both the in and outside of Mr. B--; and those who know the man will not marvel at the deed--for my own part, I have been long convinced of the blindness, and more than Egyptian stubbornness, of repiners of every sect.--For how can we say but that seeming evils in the seed--with the cultivation of benevolence--mark that--may yield an abundant crop of real substantial good?--The confounded lurches, and four by honors--trimmed me of ten pieces:--ten pieces! quoth I, as I was preparing for bed--better been at home:--ten pieces, quoth Prudence, you had no business to play:--so much good money flung away, cries Avarice.--Avarice is a lying old grub--I have pork worth twice the money--and the friendly wishes--of a being--who looks hospitality and good-will.--The blessings of

Page 132

the season attend you--may you have the pleasure and exercise of finding out want--and relieving it--and may you feel more pleasure than the benefited!--which I believe is mostly the case in souls of a kind, generous, enlarged structure.--My respects attend the gun and dog of Squire S--, which being the things of most consequence, I name before Mrs. S-- or himself.--They and every one connected with B-- house have my best wishes--and you, my good Sir, the thanks of

Your most humble servant,



TO MRS. M--.

Christmas-Day, 1779.

        MAY this blest season bring every pleasure with it to my kind and worthy Mrs. M--! and may the coming

Page 133

year bless the good and happy man of her heart with the possession of her person! and may every future one, for a long period of time, bring an increase to her joys and comforts!--So pray the Sancho's--and also join in thanks to Mrs. M-- for her friendly present.--Will Mrs. M-- be so kind to say all that's civil and thankful to Mrs. W--e, for her kindness in sending me a bottle of snuff?--and also make my respectful compliments to Mr. L--? God keep you all.

Yours I remain, much
obliged and thankful,



TO MR. W--.

Dec. 26, 1779.

        IT is needless, my dear Sir, to say how pleasingly the news of your great good fortune affected us;--for my part, I

Page 134

declare (self excepted) I do not know, in the whole circle of human beings, two people whom I would sooner wish to have got it;--neither in my poor judgement could it have fallen with a probability of being better used in any other hands--the blessings of decent competency you have been used to from early childhood:--your minds have been well cultivated--virtuous and prudent in your conduct, you have enjoyed the only true riches (a good name) long;--your power of doing good will certainly be amply increased; but, as to real wealth, I will maintain it, you were as rich before.--You must now expect a decent share of envy--for, as every one thinks pretty handsomely of self, most of the unfortunate adventurers of your acquaintance will be apt to think how much pleasanter it would have been to have had twenty thousand pounds to themselves.--Avarice will groan over his full bags, and cry, "Well, I never had any luck." Vanity will exclaim, "It is better to be born lucky than rich."

Page 135

Whilst Content, sheltered in her homely hovel, will cry, "Blessings on their good hearts! aye, I knew their good parents--they were eyes to the blind, and feet to the lame, and made the orphan's and the widow's hearts sing for joy; God will prosper the family."--But while I am prating away, I neglect to thank you, which was the chief business of this letter--to thank you, and to admire that rectitude of temper which could in the full tide of worldly good fortune remember the obscure, the humble old friend:--accept my thanks and the plaudit also of a heart too proud to court opulence--but alive to the feelings of truth, sacred friendship, and humanity.--Mine and Mrs. Sancho's thanks for your genteel present attend you, Mrs. W--, and the worthy circle round!--may every year be productive of new happiness in the fullest sense of true wisdom--the riches of the heart and mind!--So wishes thy obliged sincere friend,


Page 136


TO D. B--E, ESQ.

Dec. 30, 1779.


        PERMIT me to thank you--which I do most sincerely--for the kindness and good-will you are pleased to honor me with.--Believe me, dear Sir, I was better pleased with the gracious and soothing manner of your refusal--than I have been in former times with obligations, less graciously conferred.--I should regret the trouble I have given you--but that my heart feels a comfort, and my pride a gratification, from the reflection, that I am cared for--and not unnoticed--by a gentleman of the first worth and highest character. I am, dear Sir, with profound respect and gratitude,

Your most obliged
and humble servant,


Page 137


TO MR. I--.

Dec. 1779.


        THE bearer of this letter gives himself a very good report--he is certainly the best judge--he can cook upon occasion--dress and shave--handle a salver with address--and clean it too:--he is but little in make--and I hope not great in opinion:--examine his morals--if you can see through so opaque a composition as a Bengalian.--Was he an African--but it's no matter, he can't help the place of his nativity. I would have waited upon the worthy circle yesterday--but the day was so unfriendly, I had not the heart to quit the fire-side.--I hope you and Mrs. I--have as much health and spirits as you can manage--I have had a pretty smart engagement with the gout, of which I can give a better account than Sir Charles

Page 138

Hardy can of the combined sleet.--I wish to place you, Sir, in the Censor's chair--for the which purpose, I most pressingly beg the favor of your company--to morrow, Friday the 19th in the afternoon--to meet a young unfledged genius of the first water--who, as well as myself, is fool enough to believe you possess as much true taste as true worth:--be that as God pleases--if you delight to do me honor, comply with this request, and imagine Sterne would have done as much for



TO MR. R--.

Last Day, 1779.


        I WISH I could tell you--how much pleasure I felt in the reading your chearful letter--I felt that you was in

Page 139

good health, and in a flow of chearfulness, which, pray God, continue to you.--I shall fancy myself amongst you about the time you will get this--I paint in my imagination the winning smiles, and courteously kind welcome, in the face of a certain lady, whom I cannot help caring for with the decent pleasingly demure countenance of the little C-- Squire B--, with the jovial expression of countenance our old British freeholders were wont to wear--the head and heart of Addison's Sir Roger de Coverly; S--tipsy with good will, his eyes dancing in his head, considering within his breast every species of welcome to do honor to his noble master, and credit to the night; and, lastly, my friend looking more kindness than his tongue can utter and present to every individual, in offices of love and respect.--My R--, what would I give to steal in unseen--and be a happy spectator of the good old English hospitality--kept up by so few--and which in former times gave such strength and

Page 140

consequence to the ancestry of the present frivolous race of Apostates!--Honoured and blest be Sir C-- and his memory, for being one of those golden characters that can find true happiness in giving pleasure to his tenants, neighbours, and domestics!--wherever such a being moves--the eyes of love and gratitude follow after him--and infant tongues, joining the voice of youth and maturer years, fill up the grand chorus of his praise.--I inclose without apology a billet for --: he well knows how prone I naturally am to love him;--but love is untractable, there is no forcing affections--but I, perhaps too quickly, feel coldness.--has a noble soul--and he has his foibles;--for me, I fling no stone--I dare not; for, of all created beings, I know none so truly culpable, so full of faults, as is your very sincere friend and obliged servant,


As we commonly wish to ourselves, you may believe that we cordially

Page 141

join in wishing every good either in in health, wealth, or honour, to the noble owner of B-- Hall--to the thrice dearly respected -- guess who! to you and all--and all and you.--Billy loves flesh--Kitty is a termagant--Betsy talks as usual--the Fanny's work pretty hard. Adieu! I conclude 1779 with the harmony of love and friendship.


TO -- MR. S--.

1780, January the 4th day.


        YOUR have here a kind of medley, a heterogeneous, ill-spelt, heteroclite, (worse) excentric sort of a--a--; in short, it is a true Negroe calibash--of ill-sorted, undigested chaotic matter. What an excellent proem! what a delightful sample of the grand absurd!--

Page 142

Sir--dear Sir--as I have a soul to be saved (and why I should not--would puzzle a Dr. Price), as I have a soul to be saved--I only meant to say about fifteen words to you--and the substance just this--to wish you a happy New-year--with the usal appendages--and a long et cætera of cardinal and heavenly blessings:--à propos, blessings--never more scanty--all beggars by Jove--not a shilling to be got in London;--if you are better off in the country, and can afford to remit me your little bill, I inclose it for that good end.--H--is--but he can better tell you himself what he is; for in truth I do think he is in love, which puts the pretty G--into my head--and she brings her father in view.--My love and respects to each.--Mrs. Sancho joins me; and the girls, her--and God keep you!

Yours sincerely,


Page 143


TO MR. I-- W--E.

Charles Street, Jan. 5, 1780.


        WERE I as rich in worldly commodity--as in hearty will--I would thank you most princely for your very welcome and agreeable letter;--but, were it so, I should not proportion my gratitude to your wants;--for, blessed be the God of thy hope!--thou wantest nothing--more than--what's in thy possession--or in thy power to possess:--I would neither give thee Money--nor Territory--Women--nor Horses--nor Camels--nor the height of Asiatic pride--Elephants;--I would give thee Books--

        "Books, fair Virtue's advocates and friends."

but you have books plenty--more than you have time to digest:--after much writing--which is fatiguing
Page 144

enough--and under the lassitude occasioned by fatigue--and not sin--the cool recess--the loved book--the sweet pleasures of imagination poetically worked up into delightful enthusiasm--richer than all your fruits--your spices--your dancing girls--and the whole detail of eastern, effeminate foppery--flimsy splendour--and glittering magnificence--so thou thinkest--and I rejoice with thee and for thee:--shall I say what my heart suggests? No, you will feel it praise--and call it flattery--shall I say?--Your worthy parent read your filial letter to me--and embalmed the grateful tribute of a virtuous son with his precious tears.--Will you believe?--he was for some minutes speechless through joy:--imagine you see us--our heads close together--comparing notes;--imagine you hear the honest plaudits of love and friendship--sounding in thy ears;--'tis glory to be proud on such occasions--'tis the pride of merit--and as you allow me to counsel you with freedom--I do strongly advise you to love praise--to

Page 145

court praise--to win it by every honest, laudable exertion--and be oft--very often jealous of it:--examine the source it proceeds from--and encourage and cherish it accordingly;--fear not--mankind are not too lavish of it--censure is dealt out by wholesale--while praise is very sparingly distributed--nine times in ten mankind may err in their blame--but in its praises the world is seldom, if ever, mistaken.--Mark--I praise thee sincerely, for the whole and every part of thy conduct, in regard to my two sable brethren*.

        * Mr. W--e having wrote word, that if any European in India associated with those of that complexion, it would be considered as a degradation, and would be an obstacle to his future preferment: he laments in very strong terms the cruelty of such an opinion, hopes not to forfeit Mr. Sancho's good opinion from being compelled to comply with the custom of the country, with repeated assurances of serving them, if in his power; though he must remain unknown to them.

I was an ass, or else I might have judged from the national antipathy and prejudice through custom even of the Gentoos towards their woolly-headed
Page 146

brethren, and the well-known dignity of my Lords the Whites, of the impropriety of my request.--I therefore not only acquit thee honourably--but condemn myself for giving thee the trouble to explain a right conduct.--I fear you will hardly make out this scrawl, although it is written with a pen of thy father's--a present mended from a parcel of old quills by his foreman, or brother C--d.--Your honest brother Joseph came post with your letters--good-will shining in his face--joy in his innocent eyes:--he promises to be as much a W--e as his Indian brother:--you flatter my vanity in supposing my friendship of any utility to Joe;--he has in his good father Moses and the Prophets--which you have had--and availed yourself well of the blessing--and I trust Joe will do the same--besides having precept and example from a worthy and loving brother.--Poor M--, your favourite--I scarce knew her--she was as pure within, as amiable without--she enriches the circle of the blest--and you have a friend in heaven.

Page 147

        I hope you sometimes--aye often--consult with Dr. Young's Night Thoughts--carry him in your pockets--court him--quote him--delight in him--make him your own--and laugh at the wit, and wisdom, and fashion of the world:--that book well studied will make you know the value of death--and open your eyes to the snares of life;--its precepts will exalt the festive hour--brighten and bless the gloom of solitude--comfort thy heart, and smooth thy pillow in sickness--and gild with lustre thy prosperity--disarm death itself of its terrors--and sweetly soften the hour of dissolution.--I recommend all young people, who do me the honour to ask my opinion--I recommend, if their stomachs are strong enough for such intellectual food--Dr. Young's Night-Thoughts--the Paradise Lost--and the Seasons;--which with Nelson's Feasts and Fasts--a Bible and Prayer-book--used for twenty years to make my travelling library--and I do think it a very rich one. I never trouble my very distant

Page 148

friends with articles of news--the public prints do it so much better--and then they may answer for their untruths--for among the multitude of our public prints, it is hard to say which lyes most.

        Your enclosed trust was directly delivered to the fair hands it was addressed to;--I have the authority to say, it gave great pleasure to both the ladies and your friend Mr. R--, who wears the same cordial friendly heart in his breast as when you first knew him.--Your friend Mr. John R-- is still at New York with the guards--where he is very deservedly honoured, loved, and esteemed:--he corresponds with his old acquaintance--and does me the honour to remember me amongst his friends:--our toast in P. Gardens is often the three Johns--R--, W--e, and O--, an honest--therefore a noble triumvirate.

        I feel old age insensibly stealing on me--and, alas! am obliged to borrow the aid of spectacles, for any kind of

Page 149

small print:--Time keeps pacing on, and we delude ourselves with the hope of reaching first this stage, and then the next;--till that ravenous rogue Death puts a final end to our folly.

        All this is true--and yet I please and flatter myself with the hope of living to see you in your native country--with every comfort possessed--crowned with the honest man's best ambition--a fair character:--may your worthy, your respectable parents, relations, and friends, enjoy that pleasure! and that you may realize every fond hope of all who love you, is the wish of

Your sincere friend,


This letter is of a decent length--I expect a return with interest.--Mrs. Sancho joins me in good wishes, love, and compliments.

Page 150


TO MR. S--.

Charles Street, Jan. 11, 1780.


        MR. R--faithfully discharged his commission--paid me the desirable--and intrusted me with ten guineas--to pay on demand;--and here he comes, faith--as fresh as May--and warm as friendly zeal can make mortality--to demand the two letters--which he will deliver himself--for his own satisfaction;--I wish from my soul, that Chancellors--Secretaries of State--Kings--aye--and Bishops--were as fond of doing kind things--but they are of a higher order.--Friend R-- is only a Christian--I give you credit for your promises of reformation in the epistolary way--and very glad am I to hear of your success.

Page 151

--Know your own worth--honour yourself--not with supercilious pride--but with the decent confidence of your own true native merit--and you must succeed in almost any thing you chuse to undertake: so thinks Sancho.--As to what you request me to do by way of inspecting your goods and chattels in your late lodging;--I must beg to decline it--as I feel it aukward--to insinuate the least deficiency in point of attention to your interests in such a heart as H--s--a heart which to my knowledge feels every sentiment of divine friendship for you--an heart animated with the strongest zeal and slowing ardor to serve you, to love you.

        The kindness of you and your two friends exceedingly embarrass me--I would not wish to appear to any one either arrogant, vain, or conceited--no--nor servile, mean, or selfish;--I grant your motive is friendly in the extreme--and those of your companions as nobly generous--but--but what?--Why this--and the truth--were I rich,

Page 152

I would accept it, and say--thank ye, when I chose it;--as I am poor--I do not chuse to say--thank ye--but to those I know and respect;--you must forgive me--and call it the error of African false principle--call it any thing but coldness and unfeeling pride--which is in fact ingratitude in a birth-day suit.--As to the grand Turk of Norfolk, if it comes--we will devour it--and toast Don S-- and the unknown giver.--Thou, my S--, hast (oh! prostrate, and thank the giver) a noble and friendly heart--susceptible of the best--the greatest feelings.--H-- is thy twin brother--perhaps he has more fire in his composition;--Woman apart--he is a glorious fellow;--* * * * apart--Alas! alas! alas!--* * * * apart, what might--not be hoped expected--from * * * * * * so the poor boy flew his kite--but the tail was lost.--Poor H--has a book and a fair-one to manage--ticklish--very ticklish subjects--either--and your worship has a book to castrate--and a Fandango to dance--with a

Page 153

Tol de le rol, de le lol.--Your reason for postponing your journey to town is wisely great, or greatly wife;--it does you honour, because it is founded in equity. I am glad to hear the Rev. Mr. S--is better.--I love and venerate that good man;--not because he begat you, but for his own great parts and many virtues--(by the bye) I know more of him than you think for;--tell brother O--I am glad to hear he is well, and Mrs. O-- better;--and tell him the name of the Bishop's lady's dog (that was lost, and has been missing these two months) is Sherry*.

        * Mr. O-- had promised Mr. Sancho two months before to send him immediately a present of Sherry.

When you see Mr. S--, the good, the friendly, generous Mr. S--, my and mine--make the respects of--we wish him many happy years and his family.--To Mr. G-- and his amiable daughter--say all that's right for me;--and now to conclude with thanks, &c. &c. I and we--that's spouse and self--remain, &c. &c. &c. &c. &c. &c.


Page 154


TO MR. S--.

Charles Street, Jan. 17, 1780.


        I RECEIVED, as you taught me to expect last week, a very fine * * * and after it as kind a letter--in name of a Mr. E-- W-- of Norfolk, near Houghton-Hall, &c.--I have bespoke a frank, and mean to thank him--as I also thank you, whom I look upon as the grand friendly mover of the generously handsome act.--You have your reward, for you had a pleasure in doing it;--and Mr. W--has his, if he believes me honest.--Could I any way retaliate, I should feel lighter--that's pride--I own it.--Humility should be the poor man's shirt--and thankfulness his girdle;--be it so--I do request you to thank Mr.

Page 155

W--for me, and tell him he has the prayers--not of a raving mad whig--nor fawning deceitful tory--but of a coal-black, jolly African, who wishes health and peace to every religion and country throughout the ample range of God's creation!--and believes a painter may be saved at the last day--maugre all the Miss G--s and widows in this kingdom. I have done nothing in the shoe affair yet--for which I ought to ask poor C--'s pardon as well as yours:--the rogue has left the court, and gone to live in Fish-market, Westminster-bridge;--I shall ferret him out, and make him bless his old master.

        I inclose your receipts in proof of my honesty--a rare virtue as times go!-- M--has wrote to you--left his letter with me--and I, like a what you please, let it slip into the fire--with a handful of company he had no business to be amongst:--he shall write you another--you will both be angry--but you will both forgive, as good Christians ought--accidents--I am sorry.--I will say no

Page 156

more, than God keep you and direct your goings!

Yours, &c. &c.


When you see the honourable Mr. B--, give our loves and best wishes to him and Mrs. B--, and Squire S--and his good dame also.--Salute the home of G--for me.


TO MR. W--E.

Charles Street, March 1, 1780.


        I WISH to interest you in behalf of the inclosed book--wrote by a greatly-esteemed friend--a young man of much merit--and a heart enriched with every virtue:--the book I beg you will snatch time to read with attention.--It is an

Page 157

answer (as you will see) to a flaming bigoted Mongrel against Toleration;--Swift says, "Zeal is never so pleased as when you set it a tearing." He says truly. Could you get the pamphlet (whose title I forget), you would be better enabled to judge of the force, truth, and strength of my friend's answer:--for my part, I love liberty in every sense, whilst connected with honesty and truth:--it has been shewn a bookseller, but he happened to be the very man who had just published a flimsy answer to the same;--consequently would not encourage my friend's, lest it should injure the sale of his other.--Understand, my good friend, that the author is very ill-calculated for bookseller's and printer's jockeyship; which, to a liberal mind fraught with high and generous ideas, is death and the devil.

        I own I was guilty of teazing him into the finishing this little work, with a view of having it printed.--Now my friend is not richer than poets commonly are--and in short will not run any

Page 158

risks--I would gladly stand the expence of printing--but I am not richer than he;--I want it printed--and request of you, if, upon perusing it, you do not find it inimical, either to Religion, Country, or Crown, that you contrive to push it into the world without delay; but if, upon mature deliberation, you find it dangerous--with washed hands send it me back, and set me down for an ass--in the trouble I have given thee and myself.--Perhaps, jaundiced by prejudice, I behold it with too partial eyes; for I verily believe it will not discredit the printer:--suppose you shew it in confidence to the greatly, amiable, the good Mr. B--e.--I mention him in particular--for sure I am his nobly benevolent soul would start at the bare idea of religious persecution:--he would, I trust, feel the full force of my friend's reasoning--and his good opinion would be the best sanction for endeavouring to push the work forward.

        I had the pleasure of meeting a gentleman in our street one day last week,

Page 159

who seemed to be so goodly a personage--that I said to myself, there's Sir Charles Grandison--his figure was noble--his eye brightened with kindness--the man of fashion and of sense was conspicuous in him:--think how I stared, when the gentleman accosted me--said, he knew me through my friend W--e;--his name was * * * *. I bowed and stammered some nonsense--I was taken by surprize.--I am in such a hurry, and the pen is naught, that I fear you will scarcely understand this scrawl;--remember I give you full powers over this work;--do what you can, but do it soon, and make your report to your friend,


        * The book alluded to in this letter was printed under the title of, "An Answer to the Appeal from the Protestant Association."

Page 160


TO MRS. H--.

Charles Street, March 23, 1780.


        I AND mine have a thousand things to thank you for--shall I say the plain truth, and own I am proud to know that you care for me and my little ones? your friendly attention to our interests proves it--but mortals of your cast are oftener envied than loved:--the majority, who are composed chiefly of the narrow-minded or contracted hearts, and of selfish avidity, cannot comprehend the delight in doing as they would be done by--and consequently cannot love what they do not understand.--Excuse my nonsense, I ever write just what I think:--my business was to give you some account why I delayed the teas, and to thank you for your very noble

Page 161

order.--Sir Jacob was here this afternoon, and if his looks tell truth, he is exceeding well:--H-- desires his love to you and the worthy partner of your heart, to whom I join with my spouse in wishing every earthly felicity--heavenly, you have both insured by being faithful stewards.--Sir Jacob hath sent a parcel--which accompanies the teas--which I hope will reach you safe and right, as they set out to-morrow noon:--tell Mr. H--, I pray you, that the winter has used me as roughly as it has him--I never have been so unwell for these four months past;--but, alas! one reason is, I do believe, that I am past fifty;--but I hope with you, that spring will set us all right.--As to complaints in trade, there is nothing else--we are all poor, all grumblers, all preaching oeconomy--and wising our neighbours to practise it;--but no one but the quite undone begin at home. We are all patriots, all politicians, all state quacks, and all fools:--the ladies are turned orators, and declaim in public,

Page 162

expose their persons, and their erudition, to every jackanapes who can throw down half a crown:--as to the men, they are past saving--as I can say no good, I will stop where I am.--And is my good friend Mr. S-- unmarried still? fie, fie upon him! how can he enjoy any good alone? He should take a partner, to lead him gently down the hill of life--to superintend his linen and his meat--to give sweet poignancy to his beverage--and talk him to steep on nights.--Pray tell him all my say--and also that the majority are killing up the minority as fast as they can:--nothing but duels, and rumours of duels.--But is it not time to finish? Dear Madam, forgive all my impertinences; and, believe me, dame Sancho and self have a true sense of your goodness, and repeatedly thank you both for your kindness to,

Yours in sincerity,
and greatly obliged friends,


Page 163



April 29, 1780.


        "IN the multitude of Counsellors there is wisdom," sayeth the preacher--and at this present crisis of national jeopardy, it seemeth to me befitting for every honest man to offer his mite of advice towards public benefit and edification.--The vast bounties offered for able-bodied men sheweth the zeal and liberality of our wise lawgivers--yet indicateth a scarcity of men. Now, they seem to me to have overlooked one resource (which appears obvious); a resource which would greatly benefit the people at large (by being more usefully employed), and which are happily half-trained already for the service of their country--by being--powder proof--light, active, young fellows:--I dare say you have anticipated

Page 164

my scheme, which is to form ten companies at least, out of the very numerous body of hair-dressers--they are, for the most part, clean, clever, young men--and, as observed above, the utility would be immense:--the ladies, by once more getting the management of their heads into their own hands, might possibly regain their native reason and oeconomy--and the gentlemen might be induced by mere necessity to comb and care for their own heads--those (I mean) who have heads to care for.--If the above scheme should happily take place, among the many advantages too numerous to particularize, which would of course result from it--one not of the least magnitude would be a prodigious saving in the great momentous article of time;--people of the ton of both sexes (to speak within probability) usually losing between two or three hours daily on that important business.--My plan, Mr. Editor, I have the comfort to think, is replete with good--it tends to serve my king and country in the first instance--

Page 165

and to cleanse, settle, and emancipate from the cruel bondage of French, as well as native frizeurs, the heads of my fellow-subjects.

Yours, &c.



TO MRS. H--.

Charles Street, May 20, 1780.


        YOUR goodness is never tired with action--how many, very many times have I to thank you, for your friendly interesting yourself in our behalf!--You will say, thanks are irksome to a generous mind--so I have done--but must first ask pardon for a sin of omission.--I never sent you word that your good son, as friendly as polite, paid me the note directly--and would not suffer it to run its sight;--they that know Sir Jacob

Page 166

will not wonder, for he is a Christian--which means, in my idea, a gentleman not of the modern sort.--Trade is at so low an ebb, the greatest are glad to see ready money--in truth we are a ruined people--let hirelings affect to write and talk as big as they please--and, what is worse, religion and morality are vanished with our prosperity--every good principle seems to be leaving us:--as our means lessen, luxury and every sort of expensive pleasure increases.--The blessed Sabbath-day is used by the trader for country excursions--tavern-dinners--rural walks--and then whipping and galloping through dust and over turnpikes drunk home.--The poorer sort do any thing--but go to church--they take their dust in the field, and conclude the sacred evening with riots, drunkenness, and empty pockets:--the beau in upper life hires his whisky and beast for twelve shillings; his girl dressed en militaire for half a guinea, and spends his whole week's earnings to look and be thought quite the thing.--

Page 167

And for upper tiptop high life--cards and music are called in to dissipate the chagrin of a tiresome, tedious Sunday's evening.--The example spreads downwards from them to their domestics;--the laced valet and the livery beau either debauch the maids, or keep their girls--thus profusion and cursed dissipation fill the prisons, and feed the gallows.--The clergy--hush! I will not not meddle with them--God forbid I should! they are pretty much the same in all places;--but this I will affirm, wherever a preacher is in earnest in his duty, and can preach, he will not want for crouded congregations.--As to our politics--now don't laugh at me--for every one has a right to be a politician; so have I; and though only a poor, thick-lipped son of Afric! may be as notable a Negro state-botcher as * * * * *, and so on for five hundred--I do not mean B--e, S--lle, B--e, nor D--n--g. Mind that--no, nor N--th, G--m--e, J--k--n, nor W--dd--ne, names that will shine in history when the marble monuments

Page 168

of their earthly flatterers shall be mouldering into dust.--I have wrote absolute nonsense--I mean the monuments of N--h, G--m--e, &c. and not of their flatterers--but it is right I should give you an apology for this foolish letter.--Know then, my dear Madam, I have been seriously and literally fast asleep for these two months;--true, upon the word of a poor sufferer, a kind of lethargy--I can sleep standing, walking, and feel so intolerably heavy, and oppressed with it, that sometimes I am ready to tumble when walking in the street.--I am exceeding sorry to hear Mr. H--is so poorly--and hope, through God's mercy, the waters will have the wished effect;--for my own part, I feel myself ten years older this year than the last.--Time tries us all--but, blessed be God! in the end we shall be an over-match for Time, and leave him, scythe and all, in the lurch--when we shall enjoy a blessed Eternity.--In this view, and under the same hope, we are as great--yea, as respectable and consequential--as Statesmen! Bishops!

Page 169

Chancellors! Popes! Heroes! Kings! Actors of every denomination--who must all drop the mask--when the fated minute arrives--and, alas! some of the very high be obliged to give place to Mr. and Mrs. H--. May you and yours enjoy every felicity here! every blessing hereafter! wish thy much-obliged friends!



TO J-- S--, ESQ.

Charles Street, June 6, 1780.


        IN the midst of the most cruel and ridiculous confusion--I am now set down to give you a very imperfect sketch of the maddest people--that the maddest times were ever plagued with.--The public prints have informed you (without doubt) of last Friday's transactions;

Page 170

--the insanity of Ld G. G. and the worse than Negro barbarity of the populace;--the burnings and devastations of each night--you will also see in the prints:--this day, by consent, was set a part for the father consideration of the wished-for repeal;--the people (who had their proper cue from his lordship) assembled by ten o'clock in the morning.--Lord N--, who had been up in council at home till four in the morning, got to the house before eleven, just a quarter of an hour before the associators reached Palace-yard:--but, I should tell you, in council there was a deputation from all parties;--the S-- party were for prosecuting Ld G--, and leaving him at large;--the At--y G--l laughed at the idea, and declared it was doing just nothing;--the M--y were for his expulsion, and so dropping him gently into insignificancy;--that was thought wrong, as he would still be industrious in mischief;--the R--m party, I should suppose, you will think counselled best, which is, this day to expel him the

Page 171

house--commit him to the Tower--and then prosecute him at leisure--by which means he will lose the opportunity of getting a seat in the next parliament--and have decent leisure to repent him of the heavy evils he has occasioned.--There is at this present moment at least a hundred thousand poor, miserable, ragged rabble, from twelve to sixty years of age, with blue cockades in their hats--besides half as many women and children--all parading the streets--the bridge--the park--ready for any and every mischief.--Gracious God! what's the matter now? I was obliged to leave off--the shouts of the mob--the horrid clashing of swords--and the clutter of a multitude in swiftest motion--drew me to the door--when every one in the street was employed in shutting up shop.--It is now just five o'clock--the ballad-singers are exhausting their musical talents--with the downfall of Popery, S--h, and N--h.--Lord S--h narrowly escaped with life about an hour since;--the mob seized his chariot going to the

Page 172

house, broke his glasses, and, in struggling to get his lordship out, they somehow have cut his face;--the guards flew to his assistance--the light-horse scowered the road, got his chariot, escorted him from the coffee-house, where he had fled for protection, to his carriage, and guarded him bleeding very fast home. This--this--is liberty! genuine British liberty!--This instant about two thousand liberty boys are swearing and swaggering by with large sticks--thus armed in hopes of meeting with the Irish chairmen and labourers--all the guards are out--and all the horse;--the poor fellows are just worn out for want of rest--having been on duty ever since Friday.--Thank heaven, it rains; may it increase, so as to send these deluded wretches safe to their homes, their families, and wives! About two this afternoon, a large party took it into their heads to visit the King and Queen, and entered the Park for that purpose--but found the guard too numerous to be forced, and after some useless attempts gave it up.--It is reported,

Page 173

the house will either be prorogued, or parliament dissolved, this evening--as it is in vain to think of attending any business while this anarchy lasts.

        I cannot but felicitate you, my good friend, upon the happy distance you are placed from our scene of confusion.--May foul Discord and her cursed train never nearer approach your blessed abode! Tell Mrs. S--, her good heart would ach, did she see the anxiety, the woe, in the faces of mothers, wives, and sweethearts, each equally anxious for the object of their wishes, the beloved of their hearts. Mrs. Sancho and self both cordially join in love and gratitude, and every good wish--crowned with the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, &c.

I am, dear Sir,
Yours ever by inclination,


The Sardinian ambassador offered 500 guineas to the rabble, to save a painting

Page 174

of our Saviour from the flames, and 1000 guineas not to destroy an exceeding fine organ: the gentry told him, they would burn him if they could get at him, and destroyed the picture and organ directly.--I am not sorry I was born in Afric.--I shall tire you, I fear--and, if I cannot get a frank, make you pay dear for bad news.--There is about a thousand mad men, armed with clubs, bludgeons, and crows, just now set off for Newgate, to liberate, they say, their honest comrades.--I wish they do not some of them lose their lives of liberty before morning. It is thought by many who discern deeply, that there is more at the bottom of this business than merely the repeal of an act--which has as yet produced no bad consequences, and perhaps never might.--I am forced to own, that I am for an universal toleration. Let us convert by our example, and conquer by our meekness and brotherly love!

Eight o'clock. Lord G-- G-- has this moment announced to my Lords the mob--that the act shall be repealed

Page 175

this evening:--upon this, they gave a hundred cheers--took the horses from his hackney-coach--and rolled him full jollily away:--they are huzzaing now ready to crack their throats
I am forced to conclude for want of room--the remainder in our next.


TO J.-- S--, ESQ.

Charles Street, June 9, 1780.


        GOVERNMENT is sunk in lethargic stupor--anarchy reigns--when I look back to the glorious time of a George II. and a Pitt's administration--my heart sinks at the bitter contrast. We may now say of England, as was heretofore said of Great Babylon--"the "beauty of the excellency of the Chaldees

Page 176

--is no more;"--the Fleet Prison, the Marshalsea, King's-Bench, both Compters, Clerkenwell, and Tothill Fields, with Newgate, are all slung open;--Newgate partly burned, and 300 felons from thence only let loose upon the world.--Lord M--'s house in town suffered martyrdom; and his sweet box at Caen Wood escaped almost miraculously, for the mob had just arrived, and were beginning with it--when a strong detachment from the guards and light-horse came most critically to its rescue--the library, and, what is of more consequence, papers and deeds of vast value, were all cruelly consumed in the flames.--Ld. N--'s house was attacked; but they had previous notice, and were ready for them. The Bank, the Treasury, and thirty of the chief noblemen's houses, are doomed to suffer by the insurgents.--There were six of the rioters killed at Ld M--'s; and, what is remarkable, a daring chap escaped from Newgate, condemned to die this day, was the most active in mischief

Page 177

at Ld. M--'s, and was the first person shot by the soldier; so he found death a few hours sooner than if he had not been released.--The ministry have tried lenity, and have experienced tis inutility; and martial law is this night to be declared.--If any body of people above ten in number are seen together, and refuse to disperse, they are to be fired at without any further ceremony--so we expect terrible work before morning;--the insurgents visited the Tower, but it would not do--they had better luck in the Artillery-ground, where they found and took to their use 500 stand of arms; a great error in city politics, not to have secured them first.--It is wonderful to hear the execrable nonsense that is industriously circulated amongst the credulous mob--who are told his M--y regularly goes to mass at Ld. P--re's chaple--and they believe it, and that he pays out of his privy purse Peter-pence to Rome. Such is the temper of the times--from too relaxed a government;--and a King and

Page 178

Queen on the throne who possess every virtue. May God in his mercy grant that the present scourge may operate to our repentance and amendment! that it may produce the fruits of better thinking, better doing, and in the end make us a wife, virtuous, and happy people!--I am, dear Sir, truly Mrs. S--'s and your most grateful and obliged friend and servant,


The remainder in our next.
Half past nine o'clock.
King's-Bench prison is now in flames, and the prisoners at large; two fires in Holborn now burning.

Page 179


June 9, 1789.


        HAPPILY for us the tumult begins to subside--last night much was threatened, but nothing done--except in the early part of the evening, when about fourscore or an hundred of the reformers got decently knocked on the head;--they were half killed by Mr. Langdale's spirits--so fell an easy conquest to the bayonet and but-end.--There is about fifty taken prisoners--and not a blue cockade to be seen:--the streets once more wear the face of peace--and men seem once more to resume their accustomed employments;--the greatest losses have fallen upon the great distiller near Holborn-bridge, and Lord M--; the former, alas! has lost his whole fortune;--the latter, the greatest and best collection of manuscript

Page 180

writings, with one of the finest libraries in the kingdom.--Shall we call it a judgement?--or what shall we call it? The thunder of their vengeance has fallen upon gin and law--the two most inflammatory things in the Christian world.--We have a Coxheath and Warley of our own; Hyde Park has a grand encampment, with artillery, Park, &c. &c. St. James's Park has ditto--upon a smaller scale. The Parks, and our West end of the town, exhibit the features of French government. This minute, thank God! this moment Lord G. G. is taken. Sir F. Molineux has him safe at the horse-guards. Bravo! he is now going in state in an old hackney-coach, escorted by a regiment of militia and troop of light horse to his apartments in the Tower.

        "Off with his head--so much--for Buckingham."

We have taken this day numbers of the poor wretches, in so much we know not where to place them. Blessed be the Lord! we trust this affair is pretty well
Page 181

concluded.--If any thing transpires worth your notice--you shall hear from

Your much obliged, &c. &c.


Best regards attend Mrs. S--; his lordship was taken at five o'clock this evening--betts run fifteen to five Lord G-- G-- is hanged in eight days:--he wished much to speak to his Majesty on Wednesday, but was of course refused.


TO I-- S--, ESQ.

June 13, 1780.


        THAT my poor endeavours have given you information or amusement, gratifies the warm wish of my heart;--for as I know not the man to

Page 182

whose kindness I am so much indebted--I may safely say, I know not the man whose esteem I more ardently covet and honour.--We are exceeding sorry to hear of Mrs. S--'s indisposition, and hope, ere this reaches you, she will be well, or greatly mended.--The spring with us has been very sickly--and the summer has brought with it sick times--sickness! cruel sickness! triumphs through every part of the constitution:--the state is sick--the church (God preserve it!) is sick--the law, navy, army, all sick--the people at large are sick with taxes--the Ministry with Opposition, and Opposition with disappointment.--Since my last, the temerity of the mob has gradually subsided;--numbers of the unfortunate rogues have been taken:--yesterday about thirty were killed in and about Smithfield, and two soldiers were killed in the affray.--There is no certainty yet as to the number of houses burnt and gutted--for every day adds to the account--which is a proof how industrious they were in their short reign.--

Page 183

Few evils but are productive of some good in the end:--the suspicious turbulence of the times united the royal brothers;--the two Dukes, dropping all past resentments, made a filial tender of their services:--his Majesty, God bless him! as readily accepted it--and on Thursday last the brothers met--they are now a triple cord--God grant a blessing to the union! There is a report current this day, that the mob of York city have rose, and let 3000 French prisoners out of York-castle--but it meets with very little credit.--I do not believe they have any thing like the number of French in those parts--as I am informed the prisoners are sent more to the western inland counties--but every hour has its fresh cargo of lies. The camp in St. James's Park is daily increasing--that and Hyde Park will be continued all summer.--The K--g is much among them them--walking the lines--and examining the posts--he looks exceeding grave. Crowns, alas! have more thorns than roses.

Page 184

        You see things, my dear Sir, with the faithful eye which looks through nature--up to nature's God--the sacred page is your support--the word of God your shield and armour--well may you be able so sweetly to deduce good out of evil--the Lord ordereth your goings--and gives the blessing of increase to all your wishes. For your kind anxiety about me and family, we bless and thank you.--I own, at first I felt uneasy sensations--but a little reflection brought me to myself.--Put thy trust in God, quoth I.--Mrs. Sancho, whose virtues outnumber my vices (and I have enough for any one mortal) feared for me and for her children more than for herself.--She prayed too, I dare say--and her prayers were heard.

        America seems to be quite lost or forgot amongst us;--the fleet is but a secondary affair.--Pray God send us some good news, to chear our drooping apprensions, and to enable me to send you pleasanter accounts;--for trust me, my worthy friend, grief, sorrow, devastation,

Page 185

blood, and slaughter, are totally foreign to the taste and affection of

Your faithful friend
and obliged servant,


Our joint best wishes to Mrs. S--, self, and family.


TO I-- S--, ESQ.

June 15, 1780.


        I AM exceeding happy to inform you, that at twelve this noon Lord L-- arrived express from Sir H-- C-- with the pleasing news, that, on the 12th of April, Charles Town with its dependencies capitulated to his Majesty's arms, with the loss of only 200 men on

Page 186

our side.--By which fortunate event, five ships of war, besides many frigates and one thousand seamen, were captured; and seven thousand military, which composed the garrison.--You will have pleasure, I am sure, in finding so little blood shed--and in the hope of its accelerating the so much wished for peace.--Inclosed is a list of the prisoners, which is from Lord Lincoln's account--at least I am confidently told so--and more than that, it is said the late terrible riot was on a plan concerted between the French and Americans--upon which their whole hope of success was founded--they expected universal bankruptcy would be the consequence with despair--and every sad concomitant in its train.--By God's goodness, we have escaped.--May we deserve so great mercy!

Prays sincerely yours,


        The Gazette will not be out in time, but you shall have one to-morrow without

Page 187

fail.--As soon as this news was announced--the Tower and Park guns confirmed it--the guards encamped in the parks fired each a grand feu de joye--to-night we blaze in illuminations--and to-morrow get up as poor and discontented as ever.--I wish, dear Sir, very much to hear Mrs. S--is quite recovered--it would indicate more than a common want of feeling, were not my wife and self anxious for the health and repose of such very rare friends.--Indulge us, do, dear Sir, with a single line, that we may joy in your joy upon her amendment, or join our wishes with yours to the God of mercy and love, for her speedy recovery.--I inclose you an evening paper--there is not much in it.--Upon consideration, I have my doubts concerning the French and Americans being so deep in the plan of our late riots;--there requires, I think, a kind of supernatural knowledge to adjust their motions so critically--but you can judge far better than my weak intellects;--therefore I will not pretend

Page 188

to affirm any thing for truth, except my sincere desire to approve myself most gratefully

Your obliged servant,



TO I-- S--, ESQ.

June 16, 1780.


        AS a supplement to my last--this is to tell you a piece of private news--which gives ministry high hopes in the future. General Washington, who was anxiously watching Sir H. Clinton, no sooner saw with certainty his intention--but he struck his camp, and made the most rapid march to New York--they expected it;--but as he was in superiour force--they felt their danger.--Sir H. Clinton, as soon as he could possibly settle the garrison of Charles Town, embarked

Page 189

with seven thousand men, and got to New York in time to save it;--and if he can possibly bring Washington to a battle, it is thought the fate of America will be soon decided.--Thank God! the sky clears in that quarter--but we look rather lowering at home.--Ministry wish now too plainly to disarm the subjects.--Last year, under dread of a French invasion, the good people were thanked for their military favour.--Master tradesmen armed their journeymen and apprentices--and the serjeants of the guards absolutely made little fortunes in teaching grown gentlemen of all descriptions their exercise--in fancied uniforms, and shining arms, they marched to the right, wheeled to the left, and looked battle-proof;--but now it seems they are not only useless, but offensive.--How the affair will end, God only knows!--I do not like its complexion.--Government has ordered them to give up their arms--if they do, where is British liberty? if they refuse, what is administration? Many are gentlemen of

Page 190

large property--Inns of Court Members, Lawyers, &c. dangerous people.--Time will unveil the whole.--May its lenient powers pour the balm of healing councils on this once glorious spot!--and make it as heretofore the nurse of freedom!--Europe's fairest example--the land of truth, bravery, loyalty, and of every heart-gladdening virtue. That you and Mrs. S-- may, surrounded with friends, and in the enjoyment of every good, live to see the completion of my wishes--is the concluding prayer of,

Dear Sir,
Yours ever, &c.


Page 191


TO I-- S--, ESQ.

June 19, 1780.


        I AM sorry to hear by brother O-- that Mrs. S-- yet continues but poorly--may she be soon perfectly well--and health attend you both! We remain pretty quiet--the military are so judiciously placed, that in fact the whole town (in despight of its magnitude) is fairly overawed and commanded by them.--His M--y went this day to the house--and gave them the very best speech, in my opinion, of his whole life: I have the pleasure to inclose it.--If I err in judgement, I know you more the true candid friend, than the severe critic--and that you will smile at the mistake of the head--and do justice to the heart of

Your ever obliged,


Page 192

There is a report, that the Quebec Fleet, escorted by two frigates, are entirely captured by a French squadron.--I hope this will prove premature.


TO MR. J-- W--E.

Charles Street, Westm. June 33, 1780.


        HOW do you do? is the blessing of health upon you? do you eat moderately? drink temperately, and laugh heartily? sleep soundly? converse carefully with one eye to pleasure, the other fixed upon improvement? The above is the hope and wish of thy friend, friend to thy house, and respector of its character.--You, happy young man, by as happy a coincidence of fortune, are like to be the head of the W-- family:--may riches visit you, coupled with honour and honesty!--and then

Page 193

sweet peace of mind shall yield you a dignity--which kings have not power to confer:--then will you experience that the self-ennobled are the only true noble:--then will you truly feel those beautiful lines of Pope's:

                         "One self-approving hour whole years outweighs
                         "Of idle starers, or of loud huzza's;
                         "What can ennoble sots, or slaves, or cowards?
                         "Alas! not all the blood of all the Howards."
Your father, I trust, will send you some public prints, in which you will see the blessed temper of the times:--we are (but do not be frightened) all, at least two thirds of us, run mad--through too much religion;--our religion has swallowed up our charity--and the fell demon Persecution is become the sacred idol of the once free, enlightened, generous Britons.--You will read with wonder and horror the sad, sad history of eight such days--as I wish from my soul could be annihilated out of Time's records for ever.

        That poor wretched young man I once warned you of is I find (from under his

Page 194

own hand) now resident at Calcutta:--'tis not in the power of friendship to serve a man who will in no one instance care for himself:--so I wish you not to know him--but whatever particulars you can collaterally glean of him, I shall esteem it a favour if you would transmit them to

Your sincere friend,


Mrs. Sancho joins me cordially in every wish for your good.


TO J-- S--, ESQ.

June 27, 1780.


        THERE is news this day arrived, which, I believe, may be depended upon--that Rodney brought the French admiral to a second engagement about the 26th of May; it unluckily fell calm,

Page 195

or the affair would have been decisive.--The van of Rodney, however, got up to Mons. Guichen's fleet's rear, and gave it a hearty welcome.--Rodney still keeps the seas, and prevents the French fleet getting into Martinique.--The account says, the enemy had the advantage of six ships of the line more than Rodney--and a report runs current, that Walsingham has fallen-in with the Dominica fleet, consisting of thirty merchantmen and two frigates, and taken most of them--but this wants confirmation.--Dear Sir, I hope Mrs. S-- is better than mending--quite well--to whom our most sincere respects.--Your order, good Sir, is compleated, and, please God, will be delivered to to-morrow's waggon.

        Excuse my scrawling hand--in truth my eyes fail me, I feel myself since last winter an old man all at once--the failure of eyes--the loss of teeth--the thickness of hearing--are all messengers sent in mercy and love, to turn our thoughts to the important journey which kings and great men seldom think

Page 196

about:--it is for such as you to meditate on time and eternity with true pleasure;--looking back, you have very much to comfort you;--looking forward, you have all to hope.--As I have reason to respect you in this life, may I and mine be humble witnesses in the next of the exceeding weight of bliss and glory poured out without measure upon thee and thine!



TO MR. O--.

July 1, 1780.


        SHALL I rejoice or condole with you upon this new acquaintance you have made? How the devil it found you out, I cannot imagine--I suppose the father

Page 197

of mischief sent it to some richer neighbour at a greater house; but as Johnny O--was a character better known, and much more esteemed, the gout thought he might as well just take a peep at F--m, liked the place, and the man of the place--and so, nestling into your shoe, quite forgot his real errand:--thy guardian angel watched the whole procedure--quoth he, "I cannot wholly avert evils--but I can turn them into blessings.--This transitory pain shall not only refine his blood, and cleanse him from other disorders--it shall also lengthen his life, and purify his heart:--the hour of affliction is the seed-time of reflection--the good shall greatly overbalance the evil."--As I am unfortunately an adept in the gout, I ought to send you a cart-load of cautions and advice--talk nonsense about tight shoes, &c. with a farrago of stuff more teazing than the pain;--but I hear the ladies visit you--and, what's better, friendship in the shape of Messieurs S--k and B--n were seen to enter the palace of

Page 198

F--. I supped last night with Dr. R--, your health was drunk, and your gout pretty freely canvassed.

        God orders all for the best.

Yours, &c.



TO J-- s--, ESQ.

July 5, 1780.


        I RECEIVED yours this morning from the hands of a gentleman, who would not stay to be thanked for the invaluable letter he brought me.--You truly say, that cold lowness of spirits engender melancholy thoughts;--for my part, I should be a most ungrateful being to repine--for I have known good health--and even now, though not well, far from being ill, and have the friendship of Mr. S--, and one or two more who do

Page 199

honour to human nature.--But the purpose of this scrawl is to confirm to you a piece of good news this day arrived--which is, that both the Carolinas, and best part of Virginia, are all come into their allegiance.--The back settlers have rose, and mustered the reluctant:--thus the three richest and strongest provinces are now in the King's peace--for which, God make us thankful.

        Adieu, dear Sir,--Mrs. Sancho (whose eyes kindle with pleasure while she speaks) begs to be joined with me in the most respectful manner to Mrs. S-- and yourself--hope Mrs. S-- is quite as well as you can wish her.

I am ever yours,
Dear Sir, to command,


Page 200


TO J-- S--, ESQ.

Charles Street, August 18, 1780.


        MY long silence was the effect of a dearth of news--I could have wrote, it's true--but you would have ill relished a mass of thanks upon favours received.--Minds like yours diffuse blessings around; and, like parent heaven, rest satisfied with the heart.--Your goodness, dear Sir, is registered there--and death will not expunge it.--No; it will travel to the throne of grace, and the Almighty will not wrong you.--I am just risen from table with my friend R--, and we have toasted you most cordially in conjunction with the amiable partner of your heart, whom I hope in some happy time to see--I may say, hunger and thirst to see--it's the wish of my heart.--Providence has indulged me with many, and I will hope for the completion

Page 201

of this.--But to the point:--a gentleman in administration (with whom I am upon good terms) about an hour since called upon me, to give me some fresh news just arrived from Admiral Geary's fleet--an engagement between a new French frigate, pierced for 44 guns, mounting 32, called the Nymphe, and the Flora English frigate, Capt.*

        * Capt. Peer Williams is first cousin to Lady N--; and he will not fare the worse for that.

Peer Williams, of 36 guns; the Flora was peeping into Brest harbour, when the Nymphe was coming out full of men;--they were both in the right mind for engagement--to it they went--the Frenchman began the affair at two cables length distance.--Williams reserved his fire till they were within half-cable's length--it lasted with the obstinacy of two enraged lions for above two hours.--A French cutter came up to teaze, but was sent off soon with a belly-full:--at last the French captain, at the head of his men, attempted boarding--when our English hero met him--ran him
Page 202

through the body--drove back his men--put them under hatches--struck the colours--when she was on fire in four different places.--This affair happened the 10th ult. and he has gallantly brought his prize into Plymouth.--This is the greatest affair, take the number of guns, men, &c. altogether that has happened this war. I am sorry to remark, that if the French fleets in general behave so well, it will be a service of danger to meddle with them.

        When Capt. Williams had conquered the crew, they found sixty dead upon deck;--the two ships exhibited a scene more like a slaughter-house, than any thing imaginable--These, oh Christians! are the features of war--and thus Most Christian K--gs and Defenders of Faith shew their zeal and love for the dying commands of their Divine Master--Oh! friend, may every felicity be shine, and those beloved by thee! may the heartfelt sigh arise only at the tale of foreign woes!--May the sacred tear of pity bedew the cheek for misfortunes only such

Page 203

as humanity may soften!--Mrs. Sancho joins me in sincere and grateful respects to Mrs. S--and self.

Yours truly,


Sancho begs his respects to Mr. and Mrs. C--; love to Sir J-- O--, and all who enquire after Blackamoors.


TO MRS[.] C--.

Charles Street, Sept. 7, 1780.

        MY greatly esteemed and honoured friend, if my pen doth justice in any sort to my feelings, this letter will not be a complimentary one.--I look upon such letters as I do upon the ladies winter nosegays, a choice display of vivid colouring, but no sweetness.--My friend Mr. R--says, I stand condemned in the opinions of two ladies for

Page 204

an omittance in writing: believe me, my sorrow for incurring the censure is much more real than the crime; for when the heart is overcharged with worldly care, the mind bending also to the pressure of afflictive visitations--add to that the snow-tipt hairs announcing fifty odd--the fire of fancy is quite extinguished--Alas! alas! such being the true state of the case--I dare abide by the jury of your noble and equitable hearts, to be brought in not guilty.--The shew of hands was greatly in favour of Mr. C--F--x and Sir G--R--y; they will carry it all to nothing, is the opinion of the knowing.--Lord L--met with a coarse reception, at which he was a little displeased.--Mr. B--g spoke like the pupil of eloquence;--but the glorious F--x was the father and school of oratory himself--the Friend! the Patron! the Example!--There now--I attended the hustings from ten to half past two--gave my free vote to the Honourable C--J--F--x and to Sir G--R--y; hobbled home full

Page 205

of pain and hunger.--What followed after, you shall know in my next. At present I have only to declare myself

Yours and Miss C--'s
most obedient, faithful,
humble servant,



To J-- S--, ESQ.

Sept. 9, 1780.


        WE are all election-bewitched here--I hope Sir C-- B-- meets with no opposition--he is so worthy a character, that, should he be ill supported, it would impeach the good sense and honesty of his constituents.--Mrs. S--and yourself, I pray God, may both enjoy health and every good.--I here inclose you this evening's paper, by which you will see how the F--x is

Page 206

like to lead Ad--n. He and Sir G-- B-- R-- had my hearty vote, and I had the honour of his thanks personally.--And in writing also, I have to thank you for a thousand kind things, which I wish from my soul I could any way ever deserve.--May health and every blessing bestrew your paths--and those of all you love!--is the prayer and wish of

Your much obliged
humble servant,




Saturday, Sept. 9, 1780.


        I HAVE the honour to address you upon a very interesting, serious, critical subject.--Do not be alarmed! it is an affair which I have had at heart some days past--it has employed my meditations more than my prayers.--Now I

Page 207

protest I feel myself in the most aukwark of situations--but it must out--and so let it.--But how does my good, my half-adored Mrs. C--? and how does Miss A--? and when did you see my worthy Mrs[.] R--? Are they all well, and happy as friendship could wish them? How is the Doctor and Beau S--, all well?--Well, thank God--and you your dear self are well? Honey, and was not Lord N-- an Irish title? true, but the chield is Scotch born.--Pray give my best affections to Mrs. C--, and acquaint her with the state of the poll for the ancient city and liberty of Westminster which I inclose.--I would not wish you to mention what I so boldly advanced in the beginning of this letter.--No; let it die away like a miser's hope.

Your most obedient,
most humble servant,
I remain, dear Miss C--,


The remainder in our next.

Page 208


TO I-- S--, ESQ.

Sept. 23, 1780.


        I RECEIVED this evening one of the kindest letters that ever friendship dictated--for which I rejoice that the time draws near, when I shall have the delight to amend my health--and see the few true good friends--such as my soul delighteh to honour.--I inclose you an evening paper--Thank God! although the people have been a little irritated, every thing appears quiet, and I hope will remain so.--The week after next, I hope to see the good Mrs. S-- and your worthy self, to whom Mrs. Sancho joins me in best wishes.

I am, dear Sir,
Your most obedient
humble servant,


Page 209

The principal business I had to write about had like to have escaped me, which is your kindness in offering your house for head quarters; which I would embrace, had not brother O-- the right of priority.



Charles Street, Westm. Oct. 13, 1780.


        WERE I to omit my thanks--poor as they are--for a single post--your honest, and more sensible dog, would be ashamed of me.

        "A merciful man is good to his beasts."

The friendly hand which strokes, and rewards his attentions, that same friendly hand has prescribed for my good--and under God has much benefited my health;--the eye of kindness, which animates the poor animal to deeds almost
Page 210

beyond instinct--hath beamed upon me also, and given me the pleasing assurance of new health.--I wish, dear Sir, for just as much credit in the point of gratitude, as you will allow to fall to the share of any poor honest dog.--For so much, and no more, prayeth, dear Sir,

Your most obedient
and grateful servant,



TO J-- S--, ESQ.

Friday, Oct. 13, 1780.


        I SHOULD esteem myself too happy, were I at this moment certain that Mrs. S-- were as much better as I find

Page 211

myself;--but when I consider the professional skill, as well as the interest Dr. N-- has in the welfare of you and yours, I sit down satisfied in full hope that Mrs. S-- is at this moment better--much better--and as one spirit animates your both--you are better too. May health diffuse itself throughout thy house! and gladden all around it! I am better, my dear Sir.--Tell my good Mrs. S--, I shall live to see her, and to thank her too most cordially in my child's name: for my part, your liberality in constant flow has tired me out with thank ye's. Adieu, dear Sir.--I never left a place with so much regret as you made me leave B-- with -- nor ever met with the whole family of the Charities, but at thy house.--Mrs. Sancho joins me in acknowledgements to self, good Mrs. S--, and Dr. N--f--d.

We are, dear Sir,
Yours gratefully,


Page 212


TO MR. S--.

Friday, Oct. 18, 1780.

        POOH, no, thou simpleton! I tell thee I got no cold, neither is my breath one jot the worse.--I wish I knew that you suffered as little from break of rest, and raw air.--I am glad I have left you, for your sake as well as my own, my dear Stee.--The corks flew out of thy bottles in such rapid succession, that prudence and pity held a council upon it.--Generosity stepped in, followed by a pert coxcomb, whom they called Spirit--and God knows how the affair is to end.--I intend to write a line to the worthies of your town, the good Mr. S--and Dr. N--f--d. Oh, Stee! had I thy abilities, I would say what should credit my feelings, though it

Page 213

fell far short of the merits of such friends to mankind--and

YOUR IGN. SANCHO, in particular.

Love and respects to thy generous scholars--the Greens--the Browns, &c. &c. to reverends Mess. Prettyman, and the other gentleman with pretty wife, whose name is deserted from the silly pate of thy true friend Sancho.--I have not seen Mr. J-- H--, but they are all well, as Mr. Anthony has just announced.
Say handsomely to the Greens--and much as you please to the Prettymans.


TO MR. L--.

October 25, 1780.


        THIS is to thank you kindly for the affectionate mark of your remembrance of your old friend.--After a long

Page 214

tedious voyage, you happily reached the haven of your repose--found your friends well--and rejoiced their hearts by presenting, not a prodigal, but a duteous, worthy, and obedient child;--theirs be the joy--but yours will be the gain.--As sure as light follows the rising of the sun, and darkness the setting of it;--so sure is goodness even in this life its own reward.--Of course you are in the militia--that will do you no harm;--spirit and true courage in defence of our country is naturally and nobly employed.--We are in the upper world playing the old foolish game--in the same foolish way--and with the same foolish set that trod the ministerial boards when you left us. Your friend D--tries expedients, and gets nothing;--he is very deep in my debt; but as he has nothing, I can expect nothing--for I never will consent to do that to others, I would not they should do unto me.--N--does better, and grows proud--I wish him joy.--My dear youth, be proud of nothing but an

Page 215

honest heart.--Let the sacred oracles be your morn and evening counsellors--so shall you truly enjoy life, and smile at the approach of death.--I have been exceedingly ill since you left us;--but thank God! I have got a fair fit of the gout, which will, I hope, cleanse me from my whole budget of complaints.--I shall live, I hope, till your good present arrives;--and then I shall live indeed.--Send the girls some cherry nuts, if easy to be procured.--Mrs. S--joins me in love, good will, and good wishes for thy peace, health, and prosperity.

Adieu, Yours affectionately,


Page 216


TO J--S--, ESQ.

Nov. 1, 1780.


        I TRUST, in God's good providence, this will find Mrs. S--in perfect health; and you so well, that it shall remain a doubt which is heartiest.--I am in the way of being well--the gout in both feet and legs--I go upon all fours--the conflict has been sharp, I hope the end is near--I never remember them to have swelled so much.--I believe my preserver, Dr. N--f--d, would allow it to be a decent fit;--my grateful respects attend him: the issue is deferred till the gout subsides, and I find my breath somewhat better; but I can find no position easy.--I inclose you the topic of the day.--Mrs. Sancho joins me in every wish for the felicity of our much-loved friends, yourself, and better self.


Page 217


TO MRS. O--.

Charles Street, West. N° 19. Nov. 5, 1780.


        I PRAY thee accept the inclosed as a mite of thanks and gratitude for the tender care and true friendly obligingness, which a wife could only equal, and which I never expected to find from home.--I feel and acknowledge your kindness--that, and the uncommon goodness of some of the best of human nature, shall be cherished in my heart while it continues to beat.--Every body tells me I am better--and what every one says must be true;--for my part, I feel a very slow amendment; my cough is pretty stubborn; my breath very little better; body weak as water--add to this, a smart gout in both legs and feet.--Your sister joins me in love and repeated

Page 218

thanks for all favours shewn to her poor, worn out, old man.



TO J-- S--, ESQ.

Nov. 18, 1780.


        IT is a week this blessed day since that I ought, according to every rule of gratitude, love, and zeal, to have thanked my best friends for a plenty of some of the best wine, which came in the best time true kindness could have contrived it.--I should also have congratulated the many anxious hearts upon the happy recovery of yourself, and my thrice good Mrs. S--. I waited from post to post to be enabled to send a tolerable account of myself--the gout has used me like a tyrant--and my asthma, if possible, worse.--I have swelled gradually all over.--What a fight! Dr. J--bb will not suffer me to make an issue yet, as he would not wish to disturb

Page 219

the gout.--In truth, my best friend, I never truly knew illness till this bout.--Your goodness greatly lessened my anxiety.--I find in it the continual flow of more than parental kindness:--as God gave the heart, he must and alone can give the reward!--Our joint best love, and most respectful thanks, attend you both, from

Yours gratefully,



TO J-- S--, ESQ.

Charles Street, Nov. 27, 1780.

        MY friend, patron, preserver I were the mind alone sick--God never created--since the blessed Apostles days--a better physician than thyself--either singly, or in happy partnership with the best of women--not only so, but your blessed zeal, like the Samaritan's, forgetful of self-wants--poureth the wine and oil, and bindeth up the wounds

Page 220

of worldly sickness--then leaving with reluctance the happy object of thy care to the mercy of an interested host--with money in hand you cry--"Call help, spare no expence--and when I return, I will repay you." Indulge me, my noble friend, I have seen the priest, and the Levite, after many years knowledge--snatch a hasty look--then with averted face, pursue their different routes: and yet these good folks pray, turn up their eyes to that Heaven they daily insult, and take more pains to preserve the appearances of virtue, than would suffice to make them good in earnest.--You see, my good Sir, by the galloping of my pen, that I am much mended.--I have been intolerably plagued with a bilious colic, which, after three days excruciating torments, gave way to mutton-fat-broth clysters.--I am now (bating the swelling of my legs and ancles) much mended--air and exercise is all I want--but the fogs and damps are woefully against me.--Mrs. Sancho, who reads, weeps, and wonders, as the

Page 221

various passions impel, says, she is sure the merits of your house would save B--, were the rest of the inhabitants ever so bad;--she joins me in every grateful thought.--In good truth, I have not language to express my feelings.--Dr. R-- hurries me. Blessed couple, adieu!




TO J-- S--, ESQ.

Charles Street, Dec. 1, 1780.

        WHY joy in the extreme should end painfully, I cannot find out--but that it does so, I will ever seriously maintain. When I read thy effusions of goodness, my head turned;--but when I came to consider the extensive and expensive weight and scope of the contents, my reason reeled, and idiotism took possession of me--till the friendly tears, washing away the mists of doubt, presented you to me as beings of a purer,

Page 222

happier order--which God in his mercy perhaps suffers to be scattered here and there--thinly--that the lucky few who know them may, at the same time, know what man in his original state was intended to be.--I gave your generous request a fair hearing--the two first proposed places would kill me, except (and that is impossible) Mrs. Sancho was with me.

        Inclination strongly points to the land of friendship--where goodness ever blossoms--and where N--f--d heals. At present I take nothing, but am trying for a few days what honest nature unperplexed by art will do for me.--I am pretty much swelled still, but I take short airings in the near stages, such as Greenwich, Clapham, Newington, &c. &c. Walking kills me.--The mind--the mind, my ever dear and honoured friends--the mind requires her lullaby;--she must have rest--ere the body can be in a state of comfort, she must enjoy peace, and that must be found in still repose of family and home.--Mrs. Sancho, who

Page 223

speaks by her tears, says what I will not pretend to decypher;--I believe she most fervently recommends you to that Being who best knows you--for he gave you your talents.--My most grateful and affectionate respects, joined with Mrs. Sancho's, attend the good Mrs. S--, thyself, and all thy connexions. I cannot say how much we are obliged to you; but certainly we were never so much nor so undeservingly obliged to any before. God keep you in all your doings--prays thine--



TO J-- S--, ESQ.

Dec. 7, 1780.


        I AM doubly and trebly happy, that I can in some measure remove the anxiety of the best couple in the universe. I set aside all thanks--for were I to enter into the feelings of my heart for the past and present, I should fill the sheet: but you would not be pleased.--In good

Page 224

truth, I have been exceeding ill--my breath grew worse--and the dropsy made large strides.--I left off medicine by consent for four or five days, swelled immoderately:--the good Dr. N--f--d eighty miles distant--and Dr. J--bb heartily puzzled through the darkness of his patient.--I began to feel alarm--when, looking into your letter, I found a Dr. S--th recommended by yourself. I enquired--his character is great--but for lungs and dropsy, Sir John E--t, physician extraordinary, and ordinary to his Majesty, is reckoned the first. I applied to him on Sunday morning--he received me like Dr. N--f--d;--I have faith in him.--My poor belly is so distended, that I write with pain--I hope next week to write with more ease. My dutiful respects await Mrs. S-- and --elf, to which Mrs. Sancho begs to be joined by her loving husband, and

Your most grateful friend,


        Mr. Sancho died December 14.