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letter, where you leave it to his determination, how long I shall stay with him, provided it be no ways inconvenient. He assured me with the same obliging air of sincerity and goodness as you are charmed with in his letter, that it was not in the least so; and that my company again at Soissons would be the greatest relief and pleasure to him; with many other kind expressions, which you would be glad to hear, but which I cannot repeat. I have a thousand thanks to pay you, sir, for so kindly preventing my desires, and continuing me in the possession of a happiness which I was afraid was almost at an end. The time I spend with Mr. Poyntz is certainly the most agreeable, as well as the most improving, part of my life. He is a second father to me, and it is in his society that I am least sensible of the want of yours.
I find you are uneasy at the situation the king's speech bas left us in; but depend upon it, notwithstanding the little triumph that the enemies of the government may show upon the present seeming uncertainty of affairs, they will be concluded to their confusion, and to the honour of the councils they oppose. The greatest mischief that has been done us, and which perhaps you are not sensible of, was full of false and malicious insinuations, which being translated and shown to foreign ministers, unacquainted with the lenity of our constitution and the liberty of scandal it allows, made them think that the nation would disavow the measures taken by the court, and were the principal cause of the delays and difficulties that retard the public peace. The vigo. rous resolutions of both houses, to support his
majesty in luis councils, will, no doubt, undeceive them, and contribute very much to bring affairs to that decision we desire. Adieu, my dear sir; and believe me to be your dutiful son, &c.
MR. LYTTLETON TO SIR THOMAS LYTTLETON.
Paris, March 11. The affair of the Gosport man of war has raised a most extravagant spirit of resentment in the French. They talk of nothing less than hanging their own officer, and seem to expect that ours should come off as ill. I have talked to his excellency about it: he says he has had no account of it from England; bat desires me to tell you, that he is in hopes the French officer has made a false report; and that, if nothing very extraordinary has been done, as the case must have happened frequently, he should think it very proper, that as many precedents as can be found should be collected and sent him over. He apprehends as much as you a popular declamation from the Craftsman on this unlucky subject. The embark. ation you speak of is uncertain (as far as I can know from him), and intended only to reinforce onr garrisons. Perhaps there may be more in it, which he does not think fit to trust me with, though I hardly imagine so; because I have such marks of his confidence, as convince me he does not doubt of my discretion.
Love to my brother ; I dare say he will be a gainer in the end by this warm action, though it happened to be ill-timed. I am glad the young fellow has so much of the martial spirit in him. What you tell me of
I shall obey your advice, in being cautious how I think any man my friend too soon; since he, whose affection I was so sure of, has so injuriously convinced me of my mistake. I confess, I thought malice or ill-nature as great strangers to him as
-; but what are the judgments of young men? Indeed, my dear sir, we are very silly fellows.
I cannot help transcribing a few lines of my sister's letter of the 10th, to show you that
your goodness to your children meets at least with a grateful return :
“ We should pass our time but ill, if the goodhumour of my mother did not make us all cheerful, aud make amends for the loss of those diversions which London would atford us. The oftener I converse with her, the more I love her; and every one of her actions shows me a virtue I wish to imitate. This you must be sensible of as well as I: but there is such a pleasure in praising those we love, that I must dwell a little upon the subject, which, I dare say, will be as grateful to you as it is to me. How happy are we with such parents! When I see my father almost spent with the cares of his family; my dear mother contined here, for the good of her children; I
am overpowe ered with gratitude and love! May you and they continue well! and I want nothing else to com. plete my happiness."
This, sir, is a faithful extract, and speaks the language of all our hearts. Adieu, dear sir. I remain your dutiful son, &c.
MR. LYTTLETON TO SIR THOMAS LYTTLETON.
Haute Fontaine, near Soissons, DEAR SIR,
May 27. I HAVE letters from my lord
and his governor, in which they both express the highest sense of the friendship you have shown them, and acknowledge the advantages they owe to it; my lord, particularly, is charmed with the good-natured service you did his relation, and speaks of it as the greatest obligation. My friend Ascough too boasts of your protection, and professes that veneration for your character, that it makes me proud of being your son. It is now my duty to return you thanks for all these favours, bestowed on others, and meant to me; and I do it with all the pleasure of a grateful mind, which finds itself honoured in the obligation. I believe, there is no young man alive, who has more happiness to boast of than myself; being blessed with a sound constitution, affectionate friends, and an easy fortune; but of all my advantages; there is none of which I have so deep a sense, as the trust and amiable harmony between the best of fathers and myself.
This is so much the dearer to me, as indeed it is
the source of all the rest; and, as it is not to be lost by misfortune, but dependent upon my own behaviour, and annexed to virtue, honour, and reputa. tion, I am persuaded, that no weaknesses or failings, which do not injure them, will occasion the withdrawing it from me; and therefore I consider it as secure; because I have used my mind to look upon dishonesty and shame as strangers it can never be acquainted with: such an opinion is not vanity, but it is setting those two things at a necessary distance from us; for it is certain, that the allowing a possibility of our acting wick. edly, or meanly, is really making the first step towards it. I have received many civilities from Mr. Stanhope, who is here with Mr. Poyntz. Mr. Walpole has invited me to Compeigne, where I am going for two or three days. Affairs are now almost at a crisis, and there is great reason to expect they will take a happy turn. Mr. Walpole has a surprising influence over the cardinal : so that whether peace or war ensue, we may depend upon our ally. In truth, it is the interest of the French court to be faithful to their engagements, though it may not entirely be the nation's. Emulation of trade might incline the people to wish the bond that ties them to us were broke ; but the mercantile interest has at no time been much considered by this court. If you reflect upon the apprehensions of the government from the side of Spain, and their very reasonable jealousy of the emperor, you will not wonder at their managing the friendship, and adhering to the alliance of Great Britain. The supposition, that present advantage is the basis and end of state