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MR. GIBBON TO MR. HOLROYD.

Boodle's, 10 o'clock, Monday night, Feb. 3d, 1772. I love, honour, and respect, every member of Sheffield Place; even my great enemy Datch *, to whom you will please to convey my sincere wishes, that no simpleton may wait on him at dinner, that his wise papa may not show him any pictures, and that his much wiser mamma may chain him hand and foot, in direct contradiction to Magna Charta and the Bill of Rights.

It is difficult to write news, because there is none. Parliament is perfectly quiet; and I think that Barré, who is just now playing at whist in the room, will not have exercise of the lungs, except, perhaps, on a message much talked of, and soon expected, to recommend it to the wisdom of the house of commops to provide a proper future remedy against the improper marriages of the younger branches of the royal family. The noise of Lutterel is subsided, but there was some foundation for it. The colonel's expenses in his bold enterprise were yet unpaid by government. The hero threatened, assumed the patriot, received a sop, and again sunk into the courtier. As to Denmark, it seems now that the king, who was totally unfit for government, has only passed from the hands of his queen wife to those of his queen mother-in-law. The former is said to have indulged a very vague taste in her amours. She would not be admitted into the Pantheon, whence the gentlemen proprietors exclude all beauty, unless

* The name by which Mr. Holroyd's son called himself.

VOL. VI.

H

unspotted and immaculate (tautology, by the by). The gentlemen proprietors, on the other hand, are friends and patrons of the leopard beauties. Advertising challenges have passed between the two great factions, and a bloody battle is expected Wednesday night. Apropos, the Pantheon in point of ennui and magnificence, is the wonder of the eighteenth century and of the British em, pire. Adieu.

MR. GIBBON TO MR. HOLROYD.

Boodle's, Saturday night, Feb. 8th, 1772. THOUGH it is very late, and the bell tells me that I have not above ten minutes left, I employ them with pleasure in congratulating you on the late victory of our dear mamma, the Church of England. She had last Thursday seventy-one rebellious sons who pretended to set aside her will on account of insanity: but two hundred and seventeen worthy champions, beaded by Lord North, Burke, Hans Stanley, Charles Fox, Godfrey Clarke, &c., though they allowed the thirtynine clauses of her testament were absurd and unreasonable, supported the validity of it with infinite humour. By the by, Charles Fox prepared himself for that holy war, by passing twenty-two hours in the pious exercise of hazard ; his devotion cost bim only about 5001. per hour -in all 11,0001. Galy lost 50001. This is from the best authority. I hear too, but will not warrant it, that W. H. by way of paying his court to L. C. has lost this winter 12,0001. How I long to be ruined !

There are two county contests, Sir Thomas Egerton and Colonel Townley, in Lancashire, after the county had for some time gone a begging. In Salop, Sir Watkin, supported by Lord Gower, happened by a punctilio to disoblige Lord Craven, who told us last night that he had not quite 90001. a year in that county, and who has set up Pigot against him. You may suppose we all wish for Got Almighty * against the black devil.

I am sorry your journey is deferred. Compliments to Datch. As he is now in durance, great minds forgive their enemies, and I hope he may be released by this time.-Coming, sir. Adieu.

You see the princess of W, is gone. Hans Stanley says it is believed the empress queen has taken the same journey.

MR. GIBBON TO MR. HOLROYD.

Boodle's, ten o'clock, Thursday evening, Dec. 1772. DEAR HOLROYD, My schemes with regard to you have been entirely disappointed. The business that called me to town was not ready before the twentieth of last month, and the same business has kept me here till now. I have, however, a very strong inclination to eat a Christmas mince pie with you; and let me tell you that inclination is no small compliment. What are the trees and waters

• Alluding to the Welsh opinion that Sir Watkin was in Wales nearly as great a personage.

of Sheffield Place, compared with the comfortable smoke, lazy dinners, and inflammatory Junius's, which we can every day enjoy in town? You have seen the last Junius. He calls on the distant legions to march to the capital, and free us from the tyranny of the Prætorian guards. I cannot answer for the ghost of the hic et ubique, but the Hampshire militia are determined to keep the peace, for fear of a broken head. After all, do I mean to make you a visit next week ? Upon my soul, I cannot tell. I tell every body that I shall : I know that I cannot pass the week with any man in the world with whom the pleasure of seeing each other will be more sincere or more reciprocal. Yet, entre nous, I do not believe I shall be able to get out of this town before you come into it. At all events, I look forwards, with great impatience, to Bruton Street * and the Romans +. Believe me most truly yours.

MR. GIBBON TO MR. HOLROYD.

Bentinck Street, Dec. 16th, 1773. To the vulgar eye of an idle man, London is empty ; but I find many pleasant companions, both dead and alive. · Two or three days ago I dined at Atwood's with a very select party. Lord G. Germaine was of it, and we communed a long time. You know Lord Holland is paying Charles's debts. They amount to 140,0001. At a meeting

* Where Mr. Holroyd's family passed a winter.
+ The Roman Club.

of his creditors, his agent declared, that after deducting 60001. a year settled on Ste*, and a decent provision for his old age, the residue of his wealth amounted to no more than 90,0001. The creditors stared, till Mr. Powell declared that he owed every thing to the noble lord; that he happened to have 50,0001. in long annuities, and begged that he might be permitted to supply the deficiency. How generous !

Yet there are people who say the money only stood in his name. My brother Ste's son is a second Messiah, said Charles the other day. How so? Because born for the destruction of the Jews.

MR. GIBBON TO MRS. GIBBON,

DEAR MADAM,

London, August, 1775. Will you accept my present literary business as an excuse for my not writing ? I think you will be in the wrong if you do; since I was just as idle before. At all events, however, it is better to say three words, than to be totally a dumb dog. Apropos of dog, but not of dumb: your Pomeranian is the comfort of my life; pretty, impertinent, fantastical, all that a young lady of fashion ought to be. I flatter myself that our passion is reciprocal. I am just at present en. gaged in a great historical work; no less than a History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire ; with the first volume of which I may possibly oppress the public next winter, It

# Lord H.'s eldest son.

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