Dec. 30, 1751.
MY DEAR MR. EDWARDS,
I did, indeed, think it long before I heard from you; and I was very apprehensive for your health. I rejoice that the occasion of your silence was, your not reaching home sooner than you did.
The account you give of the desolateness of Turrick at this season afflicts me. Dear Sir, what pleasure would you have given me, could you have prevailed upon yourself to make North-End your London house in the winter; and not to have come nearer the town! All your friends would have come to you there. Glad would they have been to do it. I have a stable for your horses. Your servant would have lain with my gardener near his horses, or in the house. Were my family down, I should have room for you. But they are in town; and I have three or four good rooms, any one of which would be at your service, another at your nephew's, another at your brother's, whose acquaintance I should be glad to cultivate. With what pleasure should I have come down to you! Now I see only one poor little girl, and a cat makes a third; and we look upon each other with glazed yet compassionate eyes. You should have pursued your own diversions. I would not have invaded you. I would have done, as to going down, coming up, as business compelled, as if you had not been there. And the first cuckow-note you had heard, or before, you should, without importunity, have gone to your Turrick. Then had you seen it lively and lovely; the green leaf congratulating you; the birds warbling your welcome; and thus all desolateness of the place avoided. You might have visited now-and-then your good Archbishop at Lambeth; Mr. Wray at Richmond. I would have brought you down newspapers, pamphlets, &c. Now your linnet: now other birds of as fine feathers: your linnet itself a nightingale. — You never heard her sing; did you?
Thus receiving pleasure from your visiting friends, giving it to every one in a high degree.... Bless me, my dear friend, cannot this still be thought of for one month or two of the wintry season? — Order your matters; and try. To me it appears very feasible. And what benefit has a man in being a bachelor, if he cannot choose where he will be, and what he will do? and if he is not as much his friends' man as his own?
My dear, very dear friend,
Your most affectionate and faithful