The Letters of Horace Walpole, Earl of Orford — Volume 3 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 1,055 pages of information about The Letters of Horace Walpole, Earl of Orford — Volume 3.
you now grow too wild—­and I left him.  If I had stayed, there remained nothing but for him to bite me.  I give you my honour, this conversation is literal, and, perhaps, as long as you have known Englishmen and painters, You never met with any thing so distracted.  I had consecrated a line to his genius (I mean, for wit) in my preface; I shall not erase it; but I hope nobody will ask me if he is not mad.  Adieu!

(155) Sir William Pere Williams, Bart. member for Shoreham, and a captain in Burgoyne’s Dragoons.  He was killed in reconnoitring before Belleisle.  Gray wrote his epitaph, at the request of Mr. Frederick Montagu, who intended to have it inscribed on a monument at Belleisle:—­

“Here, foremost in the dangerous paths of fame,
Young Williams fought for England’s fair renown;
His mind each Muse, each Grace adornd his frame,
Nor Envy dared to view him with a frown,” etc.-E.

Letter 76 To George Montagu, Esq.  Strawberry Hill, May, 14, 1761. (page 125)

As I am here, and know nothing of our poor heroes at Belleisle, who are combating rocks, mines, famine, and Mr. Pitt’s obstinacy, I will send you the victory of a heroine, but must preface it with an apology, as it was gained over a sort of relation of yours.  Jemmy Lumley last week had a party of whist at his own house; the combatants, Lucy Southwell, that curtseys like a bear, Mrs. Prijean, and a Mrs. Mackenzy.  They played from six In the evening till twelve next day; Jemmy never winning one rubber, and rising a loser of two thousand pounds.  How it happened I know not, nor why his suspicions arrived so late, but he fancied himself cheated, and refused to pay.  However, the bear had no share in his evil surmises:  on the contrary, a day or two afterwards, he promised a dinner at Hampstead to Lucy and her virtuous sister.  As he went to the rendezvous his chaise was stopped by somebody, who advised him not to proceed.  Yet no whit daunted, he advanced.  In the garden he found The gentle conqueress, Mrs. MacKenzy, Who accosted him in the most friendly manner.  After a few compliments, she asked if he did not intend to pay her.  “No, indeed I shan’t, I shan’t; your servant, your servant.”—­“Shan’t you?” said the fair virago; and taking a horsewhip from beneath her hoop, she fell upon him with as much vehemence as the Empress-queen would upon the King of Prussia, if she could catch him alone in the garden at Hampstead.  Jemmy cried out murder; his servant,- rushed in, rescued him from the jaws of the lioness, and carried him off in his chaise to town.  The Southwells, were already arrived, and descended on the noise of the fray, finding nobody to pay for the dinner, and fearing they must, set out for London too without it, though I suppose they had prepared tin pockets to carry off all that should be left.  Mrs. Mackenzy is immortal, and in the crown-office.(156)

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