DEAR BOY: You will receive this letter, not from a Secretary of State but from a private man; for whom, at his time of life, quiet was as fit, and as necessary, as labor and activity are for you at your age, and for many years yet to come. I resigned the seals, last Saturday, to the King; who parted with me most graciously, and (I may add, for he said so himself) with regret. As I retire from hurry to quiet, and to enjoy, at my ease, the comforts of private and social life, you will easily imagine that I have no thoughts of opposition, or meddling with business. 'Otium cum dignitate' is my object. The former I now enjoy; and I hope that my conduct and character entitle me to some share of the latter. In short, I am now happy: and I found that I could not be so in my former public situation.
As I like your correspondence better than that of all the kings, princes, and ministers, in Europe, I shall now have leisure to carry it on more regularly. My letters to you will be written, I am sure, by me, and, I hope, read by you, with pleasure; which, I believe, seldom happens, reciprocally, to letters written from and to a secretary's office.
Do not apprehend that my retirement from business may be a hindrance to your advancement in it, at a proper time: on the contrary, it will promote it; for, having nothing to ask for myself, I shall have the better title to ask for you. But you have still a surer way than this of rising, and which is wholly in your own power. Make yourself necessary; which, with your natural parts, you may, by application, do. We are in general, in England, ignorant of foreign affairs: and of the interests, views, pretensions, and policy of other courts. That part of knowledge never enters into our thoughts, nor makes part of our education; for which reason, we have fewer proper subjects for foreign commissions, than any other country in Europe; and, when foreign affairs happen to be debated in Parliament, it is incredible with how much ignorance. The harvest of foreign affairs being then so great, and the laborers so few, if you make yourself master of them, you will make yourself necessary; first as a foreign, and then as a domestic minister for that department.
I am extremely well pleased with the account which you give me of the allotment of your time. Do but go on so, for two years longer, and I will ask no more of you. Your labors will be their own reward; but if you desire any other, that I can add, you may depend upon it.
I am glad that you perceive the indecency and turpitude of those of your 'Commensaux', who disgrace and foul themselves with dirty w----s and scoundrel gamesters. And the light in which, I am sure, you see all reasonable and decent people consider them, will be a good warning to you. Adieu.
LONDON, February 13, O. S. 1748
DEAR BOY: your last letter gave me a very satisfactory account of your manner of employing your time at Leipsig. Go on so but for two years more, and, I promise you, that you will outgo all the people of your age and time. I thank you for your explanation of the 'Schriftsassen', and 'Amptsassen'; and pray let me know the meaning of the 'Landsassen'. I am very willing that you should take a Saxon servant, who speaks nothing but German, which will be a sure way of keeping up your German, after you leave Germany. But then, I would neither have that man, nor him whom you have already, put out of livery; which makes them both impertinent and useless. I am sure, that as soon as you shall have taken the other servant, your present man will press extremely to be out of livery, and valet de chambre; which is as much as to say, that he will curl your hair and shave you, but not condescend to do anything else. I therefore advise you, never to have a servant out of livery; and, though you may not always think proper to carry the servant who dresses you abroad in the rain and dirt, behind a coach or before a chair, yet keep it in your power to do so, if you please, by keeping him in livery.
I have seen Monsieur and Madame Flemming, who gave me a very good account of you, and of your manners, which to tell you the plain truth, were what I doubted of the most. She told me, that you were easy, and not ashamed: which is a great deal for an Englishman at your age.