Letter From Edward Gibbon, ESQ., To The Right Honourable Lord Sheffield
From Letters To Lord Sheffield Part Of Edward Gibbon's Autobiography Edited by Lord Sheffield

Lausanne, January 27, 1790.

Your two last epistles, of the 7th and 11th instant, were somewhat delayed on the road; they arrived within two days of each other, the last this morning (the 27th); so that I answer by the first, or at least by the second post. Upon the whole, your French method, though sometimes more rapid, appears to me less sure and steady than the old German highway, etc.. . . . But enough of this. Anew and brighter prospect seems to be breaking upon us, and few events of that kind have ever given me more pleasure than your successful negotiation and ****'s satisfactory answer. The agreement is, indeed, equally convenient for both parties: no time or expense will be wasted in scrutinizing the title of the estate; the interest will be secured by the clause of five per cent., and I lament with you, that no larger sum than eight thousand pounds can be placed on Buriton, without asking (what might be somewhat impudent) a collateral security, etc., etc. . . . But I wish you to choose and execute one or the other of these arrangements with sage discretion and absolute power. I shorten my letter, that I may dispatch it by this post. I see the time, and I shall rejoice to see it at the end of twenty years, when my cares will be at an end, and our friendly pages will be no longer sullied with the repetition of dirty land and vile money; when we may expatiate on the politics of the world and our personal sentiments. Without expecting your answer of business, I mean to write soon in a purer style, and I wish to lay open to my friend the state of my mind, which (exclusive of all worldly concerns) is not perfectly at ease. In the meanwhile, I must add two or three short articles. I am astonished at Elmsley's silence, and the immobility of your picture. Mine should have departed long since, could I have found a sure opportunity, etc., etc. Adieu, yours.

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