put a wig on, and old E * * * *, who had scratched
hers off, Lady S * * *, the Dowager E * * *, and a
Lady Say and Sele, with her tresses coal-black, and
her hair coal-white. Well! it was all delightful,
but not half so charming as its being over. The
gabble one heard about it for six weeks before, and
the fatigue of the day, could not well be compensated
by a mere puppet-show; for puppet-show it was, though
it cost a million. The Queen is so gay that we
shall not want sights; she has been at the Opera,
the Beggar’s Opera and the Rehearsal, and two
nights ago carried the King to Ranelagh. In
short, I am so miserable with losing my Duchess,(187)
and you and Mr. Conway, that I believe, if you should
be another six weeks without writing to me, I should
come to the Hague and scold you in person—for,
alas! my dear lady, I have no hopes of seeing you
here. Stanley is recalled, is expected every
hour. Bussy goes tomorrow ; and Mr. Pitt is so
impatient to conquer Mexico, that I don’t believe
he will stay till my Lord Bristol can be ordered to
leave Madrid. I tremble lest Mr. Conway should
not get leave to come—nay, are we sure he
would like to ask it? he was so impatient to get to
the army, that I should not be surprised if he stayed
there till every suttler and woman that follows the
camp was come away. You ask me if we are not
in admiration of Prince Ferdinand. In truth,
we have thought very little of him. He may outwit
Broglio ten times, and not be half so much talked
of as lord Talbot’ backing his horse down Westminster-hall.
The generality are not struck with any thing under
a complete victory. If you have a mind to be
well with the mob of England, you must be knocked on
the head like Wolfe, or bring home as many diamonds
as Clive. We live in a country where so many
follies or novelties start forth every day, that we
have not time to try a (general’s capacity by
the rules of Polybius.
I have hardly left room for my obligations-to your
ladyship, for my commissions at Amsterdam; to Mrs.
Sally,(188) for her teapots, which are to stay so
long at the Hague, that I fear they will have begot
a whole set of china; and to Miss Conway and Lady
George, for thinking of me. Pray assure them
of my re-thinking. Adieu, dear Madam! Don’t
You think we had better write oftener and shorter.
(187) The Duchess of Grafton, who was abroad.
(188) Lady Ailesbury’s woman.
I cannot swear I wrote to you again to offer your
brother the place for the coronation; but I was Confident
I did, nay, I think so still: my proofs are,
the place remained vacant, and I sent to old Richard
to inquire if Mr. John was not arrived. He had
no great loss, as the procession returned in the dark.