276 | To Lord Barrington

    Boston March 31st. 1764

    My Lord

    My Eldest Son being now ready to embark in a ship bound for England I take the liberty to trouble Your Lordship with this, that will inform if no accident happens, of his arrival at Christ Church. As the ship he goes in is bound to Bristol,1 He is to make the best of his Way to Oxford from thence; & he will be obliged to keep at College for some time. But he will at all times be proud to receive your Lordships Commands to wait on you at any time & place You shall be pleased to Appoint.

    The friendship with which your Lordship has honoured me & the favourable regards you have shown to^wards^ this my Son2 make it my duty to observe an entire unreservedness in expressing to your Lordship the opinion I at present entertain of him. He has a quick Genius & is a good school schollar in latin greek & hebrew to which since he has been here he has added french so far as to read it; he is inquisitive & has a boundless Curiosity: but he is unsteady, indolent & at present incapable of pursuing a purpose to any great length; so that his studies (for he can’t remain Idle) ^are^ desultory & more calculated to give him an Imperfect knowledge in many Sciences than a Compleat knowledge in any one.

    He is not with^out^ ambition but it is quite obscured by his Curiosity; which has given him a great inclination to travell & the further the better. I gave him leave to go as far as Philadelphia & when he got there, he had a desire to Visit Fort Pitt & see the Country about the ohio; & he actually went as far as Alexandria. I dare say He had rather be appointed Secretary to an Embassy to China, than have a place of five times the Value at home.

    Your Lordship may imagine that Dispositions so very Contrary to my designation of him, which is to get him fixed in some business or other as soon as possible are very unpleasing. I have therefore combatted them with all my power; with what effect must be seen from his future Conduct. However we have agreed that he shall return to college & reside there two years; at the end of which the disposal of him is to be, if it can be, finally settled. In the mean time I have given him a taste for Philosophy that seems to take hold of him, by the books he reads & the Questions he asks about the Newtonic System, with which I have made him a little acquainted.

    Altho’ I cannot much depend upon making him a Man of business, I shall not give it up as yet, as his Abilities will still remain, & two Years may make a great change in his disposition to exert them. At least I hope to be able to resort to that place,3 which your Lordship was so kind as to engage from Lord Egremont & which notwithstanding the late fluctuation, of the American Patronage, your Lordship will still be so good as to secure.

    Mrs. Bernard desires to join with me in Compliments to your Lordship & all our friend.4

    I am, with great respect, My Lord your Lordships most obedient &c &c

    The Right Honble The Ld Viscount Barrington

    L, LbC BP, 3: 133-135.