The Letters of Horace Walpole, Earl of Orford — Volume 1 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 899 pages of information about The Letters of Horace Walpole, Earl of Orford Volume 1.

(104) On the subject of the royal will, Walpole, in his Memoires, vol. ii. p. 458, relates the following anecdote:-"The morning after the death of George the Second, Lord Waldegrave showed the Duke of Cumberland an extraordinary piece:  it was endorsed, ‘very private paper,’ and was a letter from the Duke of Newcastle to the first Earl of Waldegrave; in which his Grace informed the Earl, then our ambassador in France, that he had received by the messenger the copy of the will and codicil of George the First; that he had delivered it to his Majesty, who put it into the fire without opening it:  ‘So,’ adds the Duke, ’we do not know whether it confirms the other or not;’ and he proceeds to say, ’Despatch a messenger to the Duke Of Wolfenbuttle with the treaty, in which he is granted all he desired; and we expect, by return of the messenger, the original will from him.’  George the First had left two wills; one in the hands of Dr. Wake, Archbishop of Canterbury, the other with the Duke of Wolfenbuttle.  He had been in the right to take these precautions:  he himself had burned his wife’s testament, and her and her father’s, the duke of Zell; both of whom had made George the Second their heir—­a paliative of the latter’s obliquity, if justice would allow of any violation.”  From the following passage in Boswell’s Life of Johnson, the Doctor appears to have given credence to the story of the will:—­“tom Davies instanced Charles the Second; Johnson taking fire at an attack upon that prince, exclaimed, “charles the Second was licentious in his practice, but he always had a reverence for what was good; Charles the Second was not such a man as George the Second; he did not destroy his father’s will’ he did not betray those over whom he ruled’ he did not let the French fleet pass ours.’  He roared with prodigious violence against George the Second.  When he ceased, Moody interjected, in an Irish tone, and a comic look, ‘Ah! poor George the Second!’” See vol. v. p. 284, ed. 1835.-E.

CHAPTER VII.

History of Mrs. Howard, afterwards Countess of Suffolk-Miss Bellenden-Her Marriage with Colonel John Campbell, afterwards fourth Duke of Argyle-Anecdotes of Queen Caroline-her last Illness and Death-Anecdote of Sarah, Duchess of Marlborough-Last Years of George the Second-Mrs. Clayton, afterwards Lady Sundon-Lady Diana Spencer-Frederick, Prince of Wales-Sudden Removal of the Prince and Princess from Hampton Court to St. James’s -Birth of a Princess-Rupture with the King-Anecdotes of Lady Yarmouth.

I will now resume the story of Lady Suffolk whose history, though she had none of that influence on the transactions of the cabinet that was expected, will still probably be more entertaining to two young ladies than a magisterial detail of political events, the traces of which at least may be found in journals and brief chronicles of the times.  The interior of courts, and the lesser features of history, are

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