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As I did not like to put Mr. Inglis to the expense of postage, I hope your lordship will have the goodness to let him know that all his parcels came safe.
Fletcher of Salton has not come to hand. To prevent all mistakes, be so good as uniformly to direct to me under Mr. Stuart's cover.
Mr. Harding having thought proper to charge Mr. Herbert eight guineas for a print actually engraved for two and a half, as the engraver himself acknowledged, Mr. Herbert now employs the engravers himself. I am sorry your lordship wrote to Mr. Harding, who has no more concern with the work than the copper-plate printer. Mr. Herbert is at all the expense; and the sole direction rests with me, who induced Mr. Herbert to undertake it.
The tomb of Aubigny is on too small a scale, and is too unfinished for our purpose. A finished drawing, like that of Alexander Earl of Buchan, is wanted on a scale of about a foot long. If your lordship will have the goodness to write to any fit artist in Edinburgh, recommending most minute exactness, my agent will pay him at once. I do not grudge small expenses of a guinea or two for objects more than usually interesting. Nor is it my intention to give your lordship any further trouble, than from your own knowledge to recommend a proper artist. It was the overwhelming multiplicity of subjects mentioned to my agent that I objected to for any one or two, your lordship has only to recommend by a line a proper artist to him, as he is unversed in such subjects. The
interesting portrait of Buchan the Constable, cannot proceed, till the engraving in the Bee, (not to be had here,) or a sketch of the armour, be sent.
In Morison's poems there is an engraving of James II. from a picture at Newbottle. Is it exact, and is there any inscription on the painting to indicate that it is of James II.?
A most minute matter, my lord, will sometimes put a stop both to the engravings and letter-press; and I hope you will pardon my again requesting great explicitness and precision.
James IV. is further certified by the exact similarity of dress to Charles, Duke of Burgundy, in Montfaucon's Monumens, A. D. 1477. The close jacket ungathered is unknown till about that period.
I should imagine that many of the founders of universities must be found at St. Andrew's, &c. The most prominent personages in our history are the Douglases (St. Bride's kirk, Douglas), Albanies, Crichtons, Livingstons, Boyds, Hamiltons, Anguses, Bishop Kennedy, &c. &c. Nisbet mentions a fine tomb of a Lord Borthwick at Borthwick, with his figure. I shall at my leisure make a list of our celeberrimi from the reign of David II.; prior to which we cannot expect paintings or monuments.
Your lordship has so richly contributed to our work, that I must ever venerate you as its founder; and I shall find an opportunity to express these sentiments in the preface to it.
I need hardly mention, once for all, that the most ancient and the regal portraits are not only the most interesting to English readers, on whom our
sale depends, but the most appropriate to the commencement of the work. And it is unnecessary to add, that its future sale depends on rendering the first part as important and generally interesting as possible.
MR. PINKERTON TO THE EARL OF BUCHAN.
Hampstead, Jan. 10th, 1795.
In addition to former favors, I have recently received Sir Alexander Erskine, Fletcher of Salton, Zachary Boyd, young Scougal, a finished drawing, Jameson the painter, Bishop Forbes, and General David Lesly all very interesting portraits.
Wishart the martyr, and Lockhart the ambassador, are alone wanting. I have in vain written to your brother about them, and beg you will have the goodness to desire him to send them. I need hardly repeat that a direction to me under Mr. Stuart's cover is the safest mode; but, though he permit this, it does not follow that letters to Herbert, Harding, &c., of whom he knows nothing, should be so directed. I would rather use too little freedom than too much, and never dreamed of abusing his goodness in this way. It is like making him a common postman. Mr. Herbert is himself a young man of twenty, and trusts entirely There is no company in the matter; and he understands nothing of politics, which only make
him stare. And I humbly request, my lord, that you will spare any expressions concerning any prejudices which fools may have against me; as he can form only one idea, that I have committed murder or robbery. They can do no good, and may do harm. Nor can there be any occasion to mention my name in any application which your lordship may make; though I cannot discover the prejudices you mention in my constant correspondence and conversation with scores of my countrymen; and they are probably only known to some invidious literary people here. Your lordship is well aware that your own independent politics have raised much envy and prejudice; and that, as being, both of us, confessors, it is impolitic to proclaim that our religion is unpopular. All this, my lord, is only said to enable you to see the real persons engaged in our design, and that you may write with complete knowledge of your correspondents.
The first number sells very well; but Mr. Herbert cares little about the sale till he complete a first part of six numbers; and, when that is done, many of the booksellers have engaged to take, some 100, some 200, a-piece. So that the sale of the first part will pay the expense of a second, &c. I was sorry that Mr. H., who is a worthy man and a man of property and expectations, should call on Mr. Coutts, while we are so much indebted to your lordship that a present of two best copies would be but a poor return. He was vexed himself, when I put him in mind of this; and I hope you will par
don it, as a mere inadvertence, proceeding from his following the usual forms, without once reflecting that the case was unusual.
As to any little remonstrances which I have at any time used the freedom to make to your lordship, were I not conscious of the warmest gratitude for many favors and the greatest regard, I would not venture upon them. Shakspeare has long since observed, that some affected bluntness in order to appear honest. Far from this, I earnestly wish to avoid even the appearance of bluntness; and, if any such should occur, I hope your goodness will pardon it, as a weakness of a recluse LITERATO, and not blame it as an intention.
I am infinitely obliged by your mentioning that the drawings are a present to me, except the finished one of young Scougal. Permit me to add the finished drawing of the tomb of Alexander Stuart, Earl of Buchan. Both of these shall be carefully returned, and, I hope, without the smallest injury. Should your lordship wish to have them soon, I shall desire them to be used in an early number, or at least copied.
The other drawings by your lordship I highly value. The red and black are sufficient for any portrait. It is the manner of Holbein's famous drawings now publishing, and of a curious set by Janette of those of the French court, &c. from the time of Francis I. to that of Henry IV. inclusive, two vols. 4to, in the hands of my friend Mr. Douce. Your lordship's are far more interesting; as they embrace the worthies of many centuries. The cha