Upon the receipt, then, of this letter, you will as soon as conveniently you can, set out for Rome; where you will not arrive too long before the jubilee, considering the difficulties of getting lodgings, and other accommodations there at this time. I leave the choice of the route to you; but I do by no means intend that you should leave Rome after the jubilee, as you seem to hint in your letter: on the contrary, I will have Rome your headquarters for six months at least; till you shall have, in a manner, acquired the 'Jus Civitatis' there. More things are to be seen and learned there, than in any other town in Europe; there are the best masters to instruct, and the best companies to polish you. In the spring you may make (if you please) frequent excursions to Naples; but Rome must still be your headquarters, till the heats of June drive you from thence to some other place in Italy, which we shall think of by that time. As to the expense which you mention, I do not regard it in the least; from your infancy to this day, I never grudged any expense in your education, and still less do it now, that it is become more important and decisive: I attend to the objects of your expenses, but not to the sums. I will certainly not pay one shilling for your losing your nose, your money, or your reason; that is, I will not contribute to women, gaming, and drinking. But I will most cheerfully supply, not only every necessary, but every decent expense you can make. I do not care what the best masters cost. I would have you as well dressed, lodged, and attended, as any reasonable man of fashion is in his travels. I would have you have that pocket-money that should enable you to make the proper expense 'd'un honnete homme'. In short, I bar no expense, that has neither vice nor folly for its object; and under those two reasonable restrictions, draw, and welcome.
As for Turin, you may go there hereafter, as a traveler, for a month or two; but you cannot conveniently reside there as an academician, for reasons which I have formerly communicated to Mr. Harte, and which Mr. Villettes, since his return here, has shown me in a still stronger light than he had done by his letters from Turin, of which I sent copies to Mr. Harte, though probably he never received them.
After you have left Rome, Florence is one of the places with which you should be thoroughly acquainted. I know that there is a great deal of gaming there; but, at the same time, there are in every place some people whose fortunes are either too small, or whose understandings are too good to allow them to play for anything above trifles; and with those people you will associate yourself, if you have not (as I am assured you have not, in the least) the spirit of gaming in you. Moreover, at suspected places, such as Florence, Turin, and Paris, I shall be more attentive to your draughts, and such as exceed a proper and handsome expense will not be answered; for I can easily know whether you game or not without being told.
Mr. Harte will determine your route to Rome as he shall think best; whether along the coast of the Adriatic, or that of the Mediterranean, it is equal to me; but you will observe to come back a different way from that you went.
Since your health is so well restored, I am not sorry that you have returned to Venice, for I love capitals. Everything is best at capitals; the best masters, the best companions, and the best manners. Many other places are worth seeing, but capitals only are worth residing at. I am very glad that Madame Capello received you so well. Monsieur I was sure would: pray assure them both of my respects, and of my sensibility of their kindness to you. Their house will be a very good one for you at Rome; and I would advise you to be domestic in it if you can. But Madame, I can tell you, requires great attentions. Madame Micheli has written a very favorable account of you to my friend the Abbe Grossa Testa, in a letter which he showed me, and in which there are so many civil things to myself, that I would wish to tell her how much I think myself obliged to her. I approve very much of the allotment of your time at Venice; pray go on so for a twelvemonth at least, wherever you are. You will find your own account in it.
I like your last letter, which gives me an account of yourself, and your own transactions; for though I do not recommend the EGOTISM to you, with regard to anybody else, I desire that you will use it with me, and with me only. I interest myself in all that you do; and as yet (excepting Mr. Harte) nobody else does. He must of course know all, and I desire to know a great deal.
I am glad you have received, and that you like the diamond buckles. I am very willing that you should make, but very unwilling that you should CUT a figure with them at the jubilee; the CUTTING A FIGURE being the very lowest vulgarism in the English language; and equal in elegancy to Yes, my Lady, and No, my Lady. The word VAST and VASTLY, you will have found by my former letter that I had proscribed out of the diction of a gentleman, unless in their proper signification of sizes and BULK. Not only in language, but in everything else, take great care that the first impressions you give of yourself may be not only favorable, but pleasing, engaging, nay, seducing. They are often decisive; I confess they are a good deal so with me: and I cannot wish for further acquaintance with a man whose first 'abord' and address displease me.
So many of my letters have miscarried, and I know so little which, that I am forced to repeat the same thing over and over again eventually. This is one. I have wrote twice to Mr. Harte, to have your picture drawn in miniature, while you were at Venice; and send it me in a letter: it is all one to me whether in enamel or in watercolors, provided it is but very like you. I would have you drawn exactly as you are, and in no whimsical dress: and I lay more stress upon the likeness of the picture, than upon the taste and skill of the painter. If this be not already done, I desire that you will have it done forthwith before you leave Venice; and inclose it in a letter to me, which letter, for greater security, I would have you desire Sir James Gray to inclose in his packet to the office; as I, for the same, reason, send this under his cover. If the picture be done upon vellum, it will be the most portable. Send me, at the same time, a thread of silk of your own length exactly. I am solicitous about your figure; convinced, by a thousand instances, that a good one is a real advantage. 'Mens sana in corpore sano', is the first and greatest blessing. I would add 'et pulchro', to complete it. May you have that and every other! Adieu.
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