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[\ADDED Tunbridge\] [\ADDED 1760\]
My Dearest
   I return my sincerest thanks for your very kind & very agreable letter last post, and am rejoyced at such a proof of your perfect health as your not being fatigued with such a long journey on horseback. If I had been previously acquainted with your design, I should have used my utmost interest with you, to have travell'd in a post chaise, & have used your horse only in little excursions about Sandleford till you was habituated to the exercise of riding. We hear the ministry are [\a/] little afraid of a Spanish war, it looks too much by their great Fleet [\as if/] they meant to urge us into a peace on terms more moderate than our present fortune in War should seem to prescribe. We often accuse the French of
aiming at universal Monarchy by endeavouring to extend their dominions, other powers may fear we should effect the same thing by extending our commerce, & in the present state of the World general commerce must give [\greatest/] power & strength. It seems to me a far more sure & lasting means of Empire & superior rule, than extent of territory. Great tracts of Country at distance from the seat of Government, grow of little worth by the oppression of viceroys & deputies; if they hold the reins of Government so tight as to keep what is so out of the sphere & influence of the laws of the governing Country from rebellion & anarchy, [\they/] must impede & embarass all improvements, & y=e= province in time grow worth less & poor. But the smallest settlements where the veins of commerce are open'd, give real strength & riches to a state: mutual advantages are better securities than Cittadels & garrisons
and the [\unarm'd/] merchantman may enter safely into Harbours where the unwelcome Ship of War would meet with many dangers. It will be [\grievous?\] if the spaniards should throw themselves into the scale of France which is found light in the Naval balance, but neither states nor private persons can attain glory without envy, or enjoy success without jealousy. In this time of success & negotiation that political thermometer the Publick funds falls every day which has a disagreable appearance. D=r= Watson tells me the Philosophers got in right time to the Cape of good Hope, & that M=r=Harrisons clock was in its state of perfection when the letters came away, which is fortunate considering that it was in an engagement at first setting out Cannon ball might have destroyd or violent concussions have destroyd it. Which would have been a grievous misfortune
and to compare small things with great, like the ruin of a World where order & beauty prevaild, brought about by the rude impetuous shock of a comet, whose blind force & undirected impetus, should at once efface what wisdom, [\& DELETED\] contrivance, & skill had establish'd, & many rolling years made perfect. I imagine the French themselves would have been very sorry if they had destroy_d this fine instrument, for the realms of science, & the acquisition of invention are open to all, & they will share with us the improvements of navigation & the ascertainment of geography. I am glad you found Sandleford smiling with plenty, & hope you enjoy some pleasure there this fine weather. I have found all imaginable benefit to my health from these waters: this dry season is very favourable to them. Lord & Lady Westmorland are to come to my Lord Baths to day. They will stay only three or four days. All friends present their comp=ts= I am
   my Dearest Ever y=rs=