Internal ID: 1091 [see the .xml file]
Identifier: WCRO CR2017/ TP 189, 17

Condition: there is a slight tear on the seal

Editors: Transcribed by Ffion Mair Jones; edited by Ffion Mair Jones; encoded by Vivien Williams. (2019)

Dear Sir.

Having little excuse for troubling you till now, and having no member at hand to direct my letters, I have been unwilling to burthen you with my thanks, and to tax you for your goodness in writing to me. We shall be going to London shortly, sooner indeed than we wish’d, or intended, for my youngest daughters health seems to make it necessary. She is very unwell, and we have not a single Physician in the Island; the air is so healthy, and patients so few scarce, that no Doctor can either live, or die among us.

It is not my custom to make objections to any bill of Moses's, more especially as you take the trouble of letting them pass through your hands to mine. Safe in his integrity, and under your inspection; I have only to beg the favor of you to pay the whole demand, as I have no doubt the works deserve it all, and the day after I get to town, it shall be certainly replac’d at your Bankers in fleetstreet, unless I should: receive fresh instructions, and if you can find any safe, and satisfactory conveyance for the box, I wish to have it sent to me in Stratton Street, as early as you please after the third of December. – till it arrives I shall sit upon thorns. do you keep in your remembrance the two maps belonging to the arctic Zoology,1 which you had the goodness to say you would procure me, upon India paper, which lies smoother, in less compass, and less liable to crack in the folding than common printing paper. and you told me also, that you would direct Moses to do me the Lutteral Arms, with the Baron’s, and the Royal Coronet &c. &c. - I shall like to see your illuminated French Voyage, but I do not promise not to rob you of it, if I can do it without being sent to Botany bay. in respect to hoarding Drawings of Moses, I am industrious as a pismire
------ ------- Sicut Formica
ore trahit, quodcumq potest atque addit acervus,2 but
in respect to my avidity in collecting the hand writings of Mr Pennant, this deponent says not, for I really can’t read the whole of the letter I am now answering.

As you say nothing to the contrary, I hope and trust, you, and yours, have spent your summer in plesure, and in health. – For three months we liv’d in public, and for these last three weeks we have not seen the face of a human Being, except our own Domesticks. Storer pass’d ten days here, and all politics being disallow’d, was as prleasant, and as intructive [sic], and as amusing, as you would wish a Guest to be, who was perfectly au fait, to make himself so. the notorious Mr Erskine, and his family, spent a fortnight with us, and seem’d as sorry to go, as we to part with them. I don’t know whether you are acquainted with Lady Clarges, if you are, you know her to be first of agreeables, & the Queen of hearts, and we were lucky enough to keep her for six weeks. Upon the whole, if the sun always shin’d, and I could always have young people about me, (by the bye, old people recover youth by living with the young, as youth advances quicker to age by associating with old folks) I should not care a fig, if I never went to London again; where one lives in a croud without Society, and where Formality, and distance to every body out of their own set, stand in the place of urbanity, and good breeding. We went the day, toafter a very heavy gale of wind, to a cottage we ha[?ve on] the very edge of the Cliff, expecting a wreck, and we found it: [?a] french Sloop, with seven men came bump ashore, and in two hours was so compleatly beat to pieces, that no two planks were left together. the men were miraculously ^saved by the intrepidity of the Fishermen. almost at the same time, a Smugler boat, not much larger than a wherry, came ashore also, with three men, and were sav’d in the same manner, but the boat was stav’d in a minute. they told us, they were out a fishing ^near Guernsey and the gale came so sudden, with the tide against them, they could not make any port, but had been all night beating in the channel, without light, or the least hopes of being sav’d. I ask’d them how they spent their time, and whether they went to prayers, they said, not much of that, for it could do them no good, neither could it have done you any harm, says I, to which they only answer’d, – a little brandy would have been of more service. one of them seem’d that kind of desperado, that Newgate would have bar’d her condemn’d hole against. – don’t, I beseech you, suppose we ride in whirlwinds, and look upon wrecks as our amusement. sunt lacrymæ rerum,3 and we only go to moralize, and assist the distress’d.

God keep You, and yours, & believe me, as always, yours sincerely

Rd. Bull

P..S. pray desire Moses to cast up the account he sent me, once again, in which there seems an error, as I have ^gone over it several times, and can’t make the sums other than thus. – vidt.

his casting up amounts my casting makes it thus
first bill ----- £12.5.6 first bill - - - - - £12.7.6
second Do. – – – ––––– 8.9.0. second Do. – – – – 7.9.6
£12 14. 6 £19:17.0.

Thomas Pennant Esqr. | Downing. | Flintshire

[Stamp (postmark)] NO 19 89
[Stamp (handstamp)] ISLE OF WIGHT 9[...]

Editorial notes

1. A map entitled 'The first Map of Mr. Pennant's Arctic Zoology' appears in Arctic zoology (2 vols., 2nd edn., 1792), I. Bull was working on extra-illustrating the first edition at this stage, however.
2. 'Thus the ant drags with its mouth whatever it can, and adds to the heap'. Bull quotes from Horace, Satires, I, i, 33: 'Sicut | Parvula, nam exemplo est, magni formica laboris | Ore trahit quodcumque potest atque addit acervo' ('Thus, for example, the little ant of great industry drags with its mouth whatever it can, and adds to the heap').
3. 'They are the tears of things'.

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