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Darlington y=e= 6=th= of august
[\IN PENCIL 1758 OR 59\]
My Lord
   I am set down to obey your Lordships kind commands to let you know how I perform'd my northern expedition. I am now about 25 miles short of Newcastle but if I defer writing till I get thither I shall lose a post & by that means my letter will not get to Hampton Court while your Lordship is there. I have travell'd above 250 miles since last tuesday, & am better to night than I was when I left London, so I will [\no/] longer endure that D=r= Monsey shall call me flimsey animal, puny insect, & other such opprobrious names. I begin to have a great respect for my constitution, for it has perform'd this journey without the usual refreshment of sleep, & yet I am not worn out or low in spirits. The Coachman assured us this morning our own set of Horses would bring the Coach from the place we lay at last night to Darlington, which is 50 measured miles & we have perform'd it, so that we shall [\get/] early to Newcastle to morrow. We have had a rough journey but through a fine Country, we passd at noon within a few miles of our own house but did not retard our progress [\BLOT\] [{to{] visit it, indeed it has no inviting charms, is a bad habitation situated on a flat, without any beauty but fine verdure & the River Swale. At present we are within three miles of an estate of M=r= Montagu's on the River Tees which is very beautifull. I have had such a surfeit of being in a post [\BLOT\] [{chaise{] that I have not made
made many excursions to see the fine places that lay in the road. In my way to Nottingham I went to see S=r= Robert Cliftons, which appears to me for beauty of prospect equal to any place I ever saw, your are led to it from the Turnpike road by a fine terrass on the side of the Trent, from a Pavillion in the garden you see the Town & Castle of Nottingham the most smiling valley imaginable in which the Trent serpentizes in a most beautifull manner, & an extensive view over a rich Country. The Town of Nottingham resembles Windsor, & the Country about it has the same character, but the Trent at S=r= R: Cliftons is finer than the Thames at Windsor. The unhappy master of this fine place is a Prisoner within the liberties of the Fleet, where he has leisure to repent the vices & follies by which he has squanderd an estate of 5000=L= a year & mortgaged his House. I return your Lordship many thanks for having lent me so agreable a companion as Antonio de Solis whom I infinitely respect for y=e= solidity of his genius. By the simplicity of his narrations, the dignity of his Speeches, & y=e= good sense of his reflections he has put himself in the rank of Thucydides & Tacitus, by writing a story which by the [\managm=t=\] of a Man of less judgment was in danger of placing its author on y=e= shelf with Scudery & the writers of Romance. [\BLOT\] [\It is lamentable\] to see a Man of his discernment in other matters so blind in the great concern of religion. He exults in the triumph over Idolatry when Cortez demolishes an Idol to place ye Image of y=e= Virgin Mary
In its place. I agree with him so far as to imagine there was some supernatural assistance given to the Spaniards in this enterprize, & the character of Cortez is not among the ordinary productions of nature, but composed of those various & contrary qualities that are requisite to bring about great events. Daring courage & consummate prudence, a character of frankness & magnanimity, with occasional dissimulation & artifice, & all these in the highest degree make a most rare & uncommon composition, & I am apt to look on these extraordinary persons as inspired. I think Cortez equal in courage to Alexander It is easy to find valour for a days occasion, & vigilance for a short danger, but to live with a few friends in a vast & populous Country of enemies for so long a time, where labour was never crown_d with rest, nor victory with security, seems to me the most formidable of all undertakings. When he takes Montezuma Prisoner I am as much amazed as his Mexican Majesty, the arguments the Historian [\makes him/] use to prevail on Montezuma to surrender himself are admirably fitted to an Imperial ear. he respects nothing in the Emperor but his vain pride & love of a respectfull address. & it seems he understood the monarch, who could endure the loss of liberty better than an omission of ceremony. Forms of respects were establishd to guard prerogatives, but I know not why, they soon grew dearer to those accustomed [\to/] them than the very rights they were invented to protect. I cannot help thinking the Belle Marine the happiest Woman that ever
Existed, she seem'd to have match_d herself with a superior species, & I [\2 WORDS DELETED\] figure to myself how her heart must exult when she saw her Consort (for I suppose she lookd on her connection with Cortez as a marriage) leading Captive that Monarch, whom none of her fellow subject durst look in the face. I am anxious to know what becomes of the fair one when Cortez has no longer occasion for her as an Interpreter. I have but just finishd the first volume for much of the road has been too rough to allow me to read, & at the Inns I generally write letters, & I fear your Lordship by this time thinks very long ones, but I could not help telling you how much your book has contributed to my amusement in this long journey. You will excuse all the absurdities I may have express_d, & y=e= vile scrawl in which they are written, for neither my head or hand are very steady after so long a journey. I know your aversion to writing letters, but hope you will let me hear you got safe into the Country.
   I am
   Your Lordships
   Most Obliged
   and faithfull H=ble= Serv=t=