First let me exonerate my breast from what lies heaviest on it; by answering the question what will the
M.S. (of the isle of Wight) come to? I think 2d
[...] page, the price of transcribing. I really never make anything of my friends:
& in the present case, did imagine I did you a pleasure by the offer; but finding my mistake beg leave to withdraw it.
You will forgive my eccentrical benevolence in the petition I preferred to you in favor of my widow & her ten orphans. the print may be found this month in the shops: so I urge my request no farther; but lament it was made so mal a propos.
I hope you met with the fragment I sent to Mr Clarke. I read it carefully but so far
I am am I gone that I do not profit the lest by it: but go on with greater fury than ever. I really rather incourage the mania, for I find it an innocent one
& does more good than harm by alleviating the cares of winter life. With gratitude I think of Don Rde de Toro
for supplying me so amply at various times for the food of this delicious frenzy. my endeavours have always been to repay him: but alas the ballanc [sic]
is greatly against me. there is not a portfolio I open, but I see something I have owed to him.
Notwithstanding I am marrying a son with some expence in the out-fit I can find something for my follies, my friends
[...] or my country, else I should think myself poor indeed! David
went to town yesterday; & if the lawyers will permit, will cease being a bachelor next month.
Mr Clark will I dare say answer my queries respecting Godshill.2 I have left a blank to fill with the epitaphs. for the M.S. is fairly copied & is mightly illustrated with prints. It is fine work for winter evenings: part is past in that employ: & part with playing whist with my little girl of which old Greybeard3 is as fond as she can be.
a salutary fit of the Gout has favored me with a visit about a fortnight. it only shackles one foot & leaves hands & spirits free I hope you & the ladies4 are free from every complaint & rejoice to hear the good account of them.
Pray do not trouble yrself about any more materials for the isle of Wight as the work is complete: yet still I cd wish the further account of Sir Richard Worseleys shire5 for that may come in by way of preface.
Adieu Dear Sir, and think me ever & truely
Yr affect: friend