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DR. ARMSTRONG TO DR. SMOLLETT, AT.
LEGHORN. MY DEAR DOCTOR,
1770. I REPROACH myself—but it is as insignificant as embarrassing to explain some things.-So much for that. As to my confidence in your stamina, I can see no reason to flinch from it; but I wish you would avoid all unwholesome accidents, as much as possible.
I am quite serious about my visit to you next autumn. My scheme is now to pass my June and July at Paris, from thence to set out for Italy, either over the Alps, or by sea from Marseilles. I do not expect the company of any widow hunter, or any other that may be too fat and indolent for such an excursion; and hope to pick up some agreeable fellow traveller, without being at the expense of advertising.
You feel exactly as I do on the subject of state politics. But from some late glimpses, it is still to be hoped that some patriots may be disappointed in their favourite view of involving their country in confusion and destruction. As to the King's Bench patriot, it is hard to say from what motive he published a letter of yours, asking some trifling favour of him, on bebalf of somebody for whom the Cham of Literature, Mr. Johnson, had interested himself.
I have, within this month, published what I call my Miscellanies. Though I admitted my operator to an equal share of profit and loss, the publication has been managed in such a manner as if there had been a combination to suppress it. Notwithstanding which, I am told it makes its way tolerably at least. But I have heard today that somebody is to give me a good trimming very soon..
All friends here remember you kindly, and our little club at the Two-arms never fail to devote a bumper to you, except when they are in the humour of drinking none but scoundrels. I send my best compliments to Mrs. Smollett and two other ladies, and beg you will write me as soon as it suits you, and with black ink. I am always, my dear doctor, most affectionately yours,
END OF VOL. V.
C. and C. Whittingham, Chiswick.