Downing Decr 31 - 91
many many happy returns of the season attend you & yours. As for
weus old men, quiet, innocent amusements
& increasing benevolences should be the sum of our prayers. I love to ease my friends: I will ease you by saying that I
found two capitals impressions of the prints You want to complete the set of yr
arctic zoology: they are indeed on small paper but of a
paper so well adapted for coloring that they must please you. Moses will give them borders: you may then paste or let in as you chuse.
my Philosophy was put to the tryal last night. my son had ordered by a Rotterdam
ship his collection of books & prints made in part of Germany & Holland.
I had also 3 arms of Hock of the vintage of 1726 exactly my own age. a clerk from leverpool
late at night was introduced to me to beg my assistance to save the goods of a Rotterdamer
wreckd under my house. I bore this with calmness: &
this morning had my reward; for a post letter letter tells me, my treasures were safe in dock at Leverpool.
I am sorry for the other’s loss of Gin, hides & bull rushes which, magisterially, I shall endeavour to save. We
have now only one ship at sea. from Venice; with the other part of the German collection &
a small part of the italian. all the rest of the italian, a very great one is safe chez nous. My young ^man
wishes to conclude with the northern courts: He will kiss the hands of the gentle Catherine of Russia
next summer. & then I hope he will do as his father did before him.
In return for yr shipping accept a copy of a curious natural history ^of quadrupeds, with wooden plates just publishd at Newcastle on Tyne.
I will say nothing of the text for that is pirated from me & others. If opportunity offers
offers I will send it soon. if not will bring it with or about March
1st. & with it your remainder of arctic zoology Ed. 2d.
which I had for you long since on large paper. White with all his sharpnesses is far preferable to the puzzel-pated
Faulder. The coach I fear has a poor opinion of its customers to & from wales: for they always make us pay in advance.
I have made a very fine voyage down the Ganges from its fountain in the Kingdom of Thibet: I do think full as credible as Mr Bruces from the Fountains of the nile. mine I really believe may be depended for my authorities:1 you shall see the rich volume volume: but Do not burst with envy at the old fellow who has composed XIII. folios in five years. 2
Yrs most truely
If patience on a monument is not too large for a frank pray favor me with it.