LONDON, December 2, O.S. 1746.
DEAR BOY: I have not, in my present situation, --[His Lordship was, in the year 1746, appointed one of his Majesty's secretaries of state.]-- time to write to you, either so much or so often as I used, while I was in a place of much more leisure and profit; but my affection for you must not be judged of by the number of my letters; and, though the one lessens, the other, I assure you, does not.
I have just now received your letter of the 25th past, N. S., and, by the former post, one from Mr. Harte; with both which I am very well pleased: with Mr. Harte's, for the good account which he gives me of you; with yours, for the good account which you gave me of what I desired to be informed of. Pray continue to give me further information of the form of government of the country you are now in; which I hope you will know most minutely before you leave it. The inequality of the town of Lausanne seems to be very convenient in this cold weather; because going up hill and down will keep you warm. You say there is a good deal of good company; pray, are you got into it? Have you made acquaintances, and with whom? Let me know some of their names. Do you learn German yet, to read, write, and speak it?
Yesterday, I saw a letter from Monsieur Bochat to a friend of mine; which gave me the greatest pleasure that I have felt this great while; because it gives so very good an account of you. Among other things which Monsieur Bochat says to your advantage, he mentions the tender uneasiness and concern that you showed during my illness, for which (though I will say that you owe it to me) I am obliged to you: sentiments of gratitude not being universal, nor even common. As your affection for me can only proceed from your experience and conviction of my fondness for you (for to talk of natural affection is talking nonsense), the only return I desire is, what it is chiefly your interest to make me; I mean your invariable practice of virtue, and your indefatigable pursuit of knowledge. Adieu! and be persuaded that I shall love you extremely, while you deserve it; but not one moment longer.
LONDON, December 9, O. S. 1746.
DEAR BOY: Though I have very little time, and though I write by this post to Mr. Harte, yet I cannot send a packet to Lausanne without a word or two to yourself. I thank you for your letter of congratulation which you wrote me, notwithstanding the pain it gave you. The accident that caused the pain was, I presume, owing to that degree of giddiness, of which I have sometimes taken the liberty to speak to you. The post I am now in, though the object of most people's views and desires, was in some degree inflicted upon me; and a certain concurrence cf circumstances obliged me to engage in it. But I feel that to go through with it requires more strength of body and mind than I have: were you three or four years older; you should share in my trouble, and I would have taken you into my office; but I hope you will employ these three or four years so well as to make yourself capable of being of use to me, if I should continue in it so long. The reading, writing, and speaking the modern languages correctly; the knowledge of the laws of nations, and the particular constitution of the empire; of history, geography, and chronology, are absolutely necessary to this business, for which I have always intended you. With these qualifications you may very possibly be my successor, though not my immediate one.
I hope you employ your whole time, which few people do; and that you put every moment to, profit of some kind or other. I call company, walking, riding, etc., employing one's time, and, upon proper occasions, very usefully; but what I cannot forgive in anybody is sauntering, and doing nothing at all, with a thing so precious as time, and so irrecoverable when lost.
Are you acquainted with any ladies at Lausanne? and do you behave yourself with politeness enough to make them desire your company?