Internal ID: 1085 [see the .xml file]
Identifier: WCRO CR2017/ TP 189, 14

Dear Sir

I would write with red ink, If I had any, to bear testimony how I blush’d to receive a second letter from you, before I had answer’d the first, but in truth for these eight weeks past, I have been a poor unprofitable creature, either to myself or my friends, for so long is it, since I have been confind almost to my chair, by an unlucky fall, which displaced the bone of my knee, and crippled me completely. Dr. Hunter however ^says I shall recover my walking strength again, if I will but have patience, to which I can only answer, ægrotāntibus facile concilium damus.1 I think I gave you a M.S. copy of Mr. Walpole's tragedy, which I had better have thrown into the fire, for I since find it is very imperfect, and the writer, not being a Poet, has made a great part of it Prose. distroy it, and I will some time or other give you a corrected copy, or perhaps the tragedy itself, for I have got one, and am promiss’d a second. I find it quite impracticable to bind up the Welch tour,2 and journey to London this Spring, tho’ I much wish’d to do it, on account of the Volumes being deranged and soiled by every fresh person, who is ready to tumble them over. If therefore Moses can recollect any drawings he has made for the Welch tour3 or journey to London, copies of which, he has not already sent me, I should ^like so many of them, as he can find time to do for me before the middle of November, when I shall certainly do up my Volumes, else I have been working for my Heirs, and not for my own enjoyment, for I feel infirmities, and decrepitude hastening upon [...]Me, and no matter how soon my curtain drops. I take it for granted, He knows what drawings have been already remitted to me, and beg him not to forget the instruction I send in the enclos’d paper, relative to the size of the Drawings.4

Probably the Prints of The triumphs of riches and poverty, which are publish’d in the book you mention,5 are engrav'd from drawings procur’d by the author from the original pictures, which some accounts say were carried to Switzerland, and others, to France. They could not be made from the drawings said to be by Zuchero, and which were so long preserv’d at Buckingham house, because they were bought by Mr. Walpole, and are both now at Strawberry Hill, and much esteem’d by their owner, who seems to think that the The Triumphs of Riches is done by Vosterman, and that of Poverty by Zuchero. They are fine compositions, but I think much crowded, & indelicate as to the figures, & believe they differ in some respects, from the prints given by the Editor of Holbein’s works.

a person belonging to the new river company has promiss’d me a State of their works, but he does not fulfil his promise, and I am too lame to follow it up, by calling upon him, at present.

There was a royal incorporated society of Artists, that some time ago had their annual exhibition in Spring Garden, & a part of those form the present Royal Academicians, but [...]ts not the whole of them; the other body ruin’d themselves in building the rooms, now call’d the Lyceum in the Strand, and have since been dispersed, and I understand that some of them, but I cannot tell you how many, belong’d to the ^paper Q. painter} stainers company.6 I know of nothing in the news line worth troubling You about – all London seems to have danc’d itself into a fever of late, and the crisis is not come yet, for the arrival of Prince William has increas’d the fit in a ten fold degree. You are very good to have my daughters in your remembrance, they are tollerably well, and tollerably sober, for ^they are a bed by two, and up by ten. we hope all your family enjoy their healths.

I am Dear Sir,
Yours with much truth

Richd: Bull

Editorial notes

1. 'Patients can easily give advice'. Bull appears to be playing on the maxim 'Facile omnes cum valemus recta consilia aegrotis damus' ('We all, while we are well, easily give good advice to the sick'), Terence, Andria, line 309.
2. It is not certain which edition of Pennant's A tour in Wales was being extra-illustrated by Bull.
3. See n. 2, above.
4. The enclosure has not survived, but see 1083 for Bull's memoranda to himself to send Moses Griffith a catalogue of the drawings that he has already.
5. Note that a letter from Pennant to Bull on this topic, pre-dating that of 6 May 1789 (1084) and possibly naming the book in question, does not appear to have survived. The reference to the 'Editor of Holbein's work' at the end of this paragraph may provide a clue as to the identity of the book, however. Oeuvre de Jean Holbein ou recueil de gravures d'après les plus beaux ouvrages de ce fameux peintre (Basel: Christian von Mechel, 1780–1795), contains 53 prints after paintings and drawings by Hans Holbein, the younger, including 'Triumphus Divitiarum' (The Triumph of Riches) and 'Triumphus Paupertatis' (The Triumph of Poverty). Its publisher, von Mechel, may be considered as its editor. See here [external link] [accessed 5 September 2018].
6. See 1084, n. 3.

Next letter in the Pennant-Bull correspondencePrevious letter in the Pennant-Bull correspondence