Well! tomorrow is fixed for that phenomenon, the Duke of Newcastle’s resignation.(233) He has had a parting lev`ee; and as I suppose all bishops are prophets, they foresee that he will never come into place again, for there was but one that had the decency to take leave of him after crowding his rooms for forty years together; it was Cornwallis. I hear not even Lord Lincoln resigns. Lord Bute succeeds to the treasury, and is to have the garter too On Thursday with Prince William. Of your cousin I hear no more mention, but that he returns to his island. I cannot tell you exactly even the few changes that are to be made, but I can divert you with a bon-mot, which they give to my Lord Chesterfield. The new peerages being mentioned, somebody said, “I suppose there will be no duke made,” he replied, “Oh yes, there is to be one.”—“Is? who?”—“Lord Talbot: he is to be created Duke Humphrey, and there is to be no table kept at court but his.” If you don’t like this, what do you think of George Selwyn, who asked Charles Boone if it is true that he is going to be married to the fat rich Crawley? Boone denied it. “Lord!” said Selwyn, “I thought you were to be Patrick Fleming on the mountain, and that gold and silver you were counting!” * * * *
P.S. I cannot help telling you how comfortable the new disposition of the court is to me-, the King and Queen are settled for good and all at Buckingham-house, and are stripping the other palaces to furnish it. In short, they have already fetched pictures from Hampton Court, which indicates their never living there; consequently Strawberry Hill will remain in possession of its own tranquillity, and not become a cheesecake house to the palace. All I ask of Princes is, not to live within five miles of me.
(233) The Duke of Newcastle, finding himself, on the subject of a pecuniary aid to the King of Prussia, only supported in the council by the Duke of Devonshire and Lord Hardwicke, resigned on the 26th of May, and Lord Bute became prime minister.-E.
Since you left Strawberry, the town (not the King of Prussia) has beaten Count Daun, and made the peace, but the benefits of either have not been felt beyond Change Alley. Lord Melcomb is dying(234) of a dropsy in his stomach,’ and Lady Mary Wortley of a cancer in her breast.(235)
Mr. Hamilton was here last night, and complained of your not visiting him. He pumped me to know if Lord Hertford has not thoughts of the crown of Ireland, and was more than persuaded that I should go with him: I told him what was true, that I knew nothing of the former; and for the latter, that I would as soon return with the King of the Cherokees.(236) When England has nothing that can tempt me, it would be strange if Ireland had. The Cherokee Majesty dined here yesterday at Lord Macclesfield’s, where the Clive sang to them and the mob; don’t imagine I was there, but I heard so at my Lady Suffolk’s.