I have had Lord March and the Rena(239) here for One night, which does not raise my reputation in the neighbourhood, and may usher me again for a Scotchman into the North Briton.(240) I have had too a letter from a German that I never saw, who tells me, that, hearing by chance how well I am with my Lord Bute, he desires me to get him a place. The North Briton first recommended me for an employment, and has now given me interest -.it the backstairs. It is a notion, that whatever is said of one, has generally some kind of foundation: surely I am a contradiction to this maxim! yet, was I of consequence enough to be remembered, perhaps posterity would believe that I was a flatterer! Good night! Yours ever.
(238) “The laurel was not yet for triumphs born, But every green, alike by Phoebus worn, Did, with promiscuous grace, his flowing locks adorn.” Garth.-E.
(239) A fashionable courtesan.
(240) The favourable opinion given by Mr. Walpole of the abilities of the Scotch in the Royal and Noble Authors, first drew upon him the notice of the North Briton. ("The Scotch are the most accomplished nation in Europe; the nation to which, if any one country is endowed with a superior partition of sense, I should be inclined to give the preference in that particular.”]
I was disappointed at not seeing you, as you had given me hopes, but shall he glad to meet the General, as I think I shall, for I go to town on Monday to restore the furniture of my house, which has been painted; and to stop the gaps as well as I can, which I have made by bringing away every thing hither; but as long as there are auctions, and I have money or hoards, those wounds soon close.
I can tell you nothing of your dame Montagu and her arms; but I dare to swear Mr. Chute can. I did not doubt but you would approve Mr. Bateman’s, since it has changed its religion; I converted it from Chinese to Gothic. His cloister of founders, which by the way is Mr. Bentley’s, is delightful; I envy him his old chairs, and the tomb of Bishop Caducanus; but I do not agree with you in preferring the Duke’s to Stowe. The first is in a greater style, I grant, but one always perceives the mesalliance, the blood of Bagshot-heath will never let it be green, If Stowe had but half so many buildings as it has, there would be too many; but that profusion that glut enriches, and makes it look like a fine landscape of Albano; one figures oneself in Tempe or Daphne. I never saw St. Leonard’s-hill; would you spoke seriously of buying it! one could stretch out the arm from one’s postchaise, and reach you when one would.