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Sandleford Oct y=e= 5 1769 My Lord
   I had last night a letter from M=r= Black, deeply lamenting his present inability to serve your Lordship. He says if it shall please God to restore him again to health, he shall be very happy in tendering you his best services. With the strongest expressions of regret at being deprived of the opportunity of exerting his endeavours to please & serve Lord Lyttelton, for whose character he has the highest reverence, he sets forth & bewails to me his present condition of health, which indeed is very deplorable. I believe a great deal of his sufferings arise from nervous disorders & low spirits, & I hope he may get the better of them in time. He was to have
been married this Autumn to a young Woman he is much in love with; but in his present state of health he declines matrimony, for which I blame him; for if the Nymph is willing to accept a Valetudinarian, I think a tender Nurse would be a great comfort to him. As nature form'd us for tender cares & tender offices, we have not that repugnance to attend on an Invalid that Men, destined to other duties, are apt to feel.
   I have sent you the verses my Bard presented me with on my Birthday. the Harvest home feast was on that day. Pray [\have INTO has\] your Lordship seen M=r= Grangers Biographical History from Egbert the Great to the Revolution? This History only comprehend those Persons of whom there are engraved portraits, so that the wisest head, which Painters & Sculptors have not preserved, may sink into oblivion for M=r= Granger. I mention the work chiefly as he has taken an opportunity to make an oblique complement to your Lordship; he seems to be an honest good Man; he is Vicar of Shiplake in Oxfordshire
Since I wrote to your Lordship I met with M=r= Garricks Ode printed in quarto, with a preface excusing himself for undertaking the arduous task on account of others having declined it. He says not any thing of having been assisted by any great Genius, on the contrary, seems to lament that he was not assisted. What gave occasion to what your Lordship heard must be this, in the prose Oration spoken not printed by him he said many things in praise of Shakespear which he borrow'd [\partly/] from the Writers on that great Genius. & perhaps he might there say he had been assisted. I was told ye other day that I had assisted M=r= Garrick in his Ode. He has made [\the Author of y=e= Essay/] a very handsome compliment in his preface to his Ode in these words. "As some news-paper writers have illiberally endeavoured "to shake the poetick character of our immortal Bard, "it is recommended to those who are not sufficiently "establish_d in their dramatick faith, to peruse a "work lately publish'd, call'd an Essay on y=e= writings, &c. "by which they will with [\much/] satisfaction be convinced
that England may justly boast the honour of producing the greatest dramatick poet in the World. As M=r= Garrick must probably suspect who is the Author of this Essay, it was very handsome in him, as we have not been always the best friends. I beg of your Lordship to burn my last letter, as I mention_d the Ode without such commendations as gratitude seems to require.
   I am truly chagrined at M=r= Blacks being obliged to disappoint your Lordship: Money in your hands is virtue & [\fame\] . I hope Lady Anglesey is proceeding happily towards an event that will give joy to many, & to be a publick benefit to the World if the little person inherits the talents & virtues of it [\SIC\] maternal Grandfather; but if it should have the talents without the virtues it will be a pernicious creature, & such virtues without great talents to preserve them from insult & injury would render [\ye Possessor/] unhappy in this World, so Lady Anglesey is desired to meditate much on the excellencies of the head & heart of her Father. M=r= Montagu desires his comp=ts= . I am restored to perfect health & in great good humour with y=e= waters of Sunning. I am my Lord y=r= most Obd