Internal ID: 1158 [see the .xml file]
Identifier: NLW 5500C, no. 109

Dear Sir

The alarming color of my wax and paper is caused by the death of Lady Mostyn a very heavy loss to the young part of the family: But Mrs Pennant & I have also felt most severely for our little girl who sufferd a severe illness: but thank heaven she is now got quite well; & we are told that she will feel the good effects even of her disorder the rest of her days.

I am sorry that moses should this time disappoint you: but he thinks that he has not done work sufficient to send to you next month: but assures me that you shall have the whole in February. He has been diverted both from your work & mine by the importunity of some of the mostyn family & its allies to copy some miniatures of their sweet faces which he does most admirably.1

I thank you for the hint about Mr Windham’s drawing of Peking. It is above my views: but may properly attend the magnificent account that will follow the return of our embassador. Ld Macartney & I exchanged letters. I was impertinent enough to give him a few hints which he received candidly.

Congratulate me on having only two or three days labor to complete my magnum opus of (now) fourteen folio M.S. I could not resist making the complete Tour of new Holl&and, & visiting our unfortunate brave in Port Jackson. No Bull’s head tempts the happy passenger in: but all is squalor, poverty & starvation. The more I read & the more I see of the wild plan, the more I admire its extravagance.

I join most heartily with you in your opinion of the Jacobins. The french now run amuck as much as an Indian furious with bang;2 & especially after the retreat of t[...]he Germans after ^from their senseless inroad.3 The True policy wd have been to have left them french to themselves: they must have fell to pieces in a little time: but now intoxicated with the dispensation of heaven, (which they will misinterpret) they for a time will become the pest of Europe. You see people perhaps just arrived from Paris: Pray tell me the real present state of that capital: does any thing commercial go on; or does the interest of the national debt continue to be paid.4 If the last is done, their resources cannot have faild [...] them

Long may old england remain as it is. neither rich nor poor can wish for better days. ––—

Best wishes attend you & fair daughters.5 Adieu
Yrs most truely

Th. Pennant.

I fear to hear my respected friend & yr fellow collegian Paul Panton is among the losses of these few months, many of which I deeply deplore.6 the lot of age!


Editorial notes

1. The National Library of Wales lists in its online catalogue six miniatures by Moses Griffith. They are described as W. Edwards Esq, n.d. [116x85mm]; Bel Lloyd Jr, n.d. [97x70mm]; ?TP, n.d. [110x74mm]; Portrait of a child, n.d. [73x 53mm]; Doctr Thorseby, 5 April 1796 [113x 86mm]; and Rev R. Williams, Fron, n.d. [95x 73mm].
2. '[B]hang, bang' is the 'native name of the Indian variety of the common Hemp which in warm countries develops narcotic and intoxicating properties'. OED.
3. The advance of an army made up of Prussians, Hessians and French émigrés was halted by the French (led by Charles-François du Périer Dumouriez and François-Christophe Kellerman) at the battle of Valmy in the northern French department of the Marne, on 20 September 1792. Jones, Longman Companion to the French Revolution, p. 162.
4. On the difficulties under which the French economy laboured during 1791, due to a fall in the value of the livre, see Michel Vovelle, The fall of the French monarchy 1787–1792, trans. by Susan Burke (Cambridge, 1984), p. 163.
5. Elizabeth and Catherine Bull.
6. Pennant may have been simply expressing a fear, here, or had otherwise been misinformed. His friend Paul Panton who, like Bull, was an alumnus of Trinity Hall, Cambridge, did not die until 1797.

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