do not pretend to be so indifferent, to have so little
curiosity, as not to go and see the Duke of Newcastle
frightened for his country—the only thing
that never yet gave him a panic. Then I am still
such a schoolboy, that though I could guess half their
orations, and know all their meaning, I must go and
hear Caesar and Pompey scold in the Temple of Concord.
As this age is to make such a figure hereafter, how
the Gronoviuses and Warburtons would despise a senator
that deserted the forum when the masters of the world
harangued! For, as this age is to be historic,
so of course it will be a standard of virtue too;
and we, like our wicked predecessors the Romans, shall
be quoted, till our very ghosts blush, as models of
patriotism and magnanimity. What lectures will
be read to poor children on this era! Europe taught
to tremble, the great King humbled, the treasures of
Peru diverted into the Thames, Asia subdued by the
gigantic Clive! for in that age men were near seven
feet high; France suing for peace at the gates of
Buckingham-house, the steady wisdom of the Duke of
Bedford drawing a circle round the Gallic monarch,
and forbidding him to pass it till he had signed the
cession of America; Pitt more eloquent than Demosthenes,
and trampling on proffered pensions like-I don’t
know who; Lord Temple sacrificing a brother to the
love of his country; Wilkes as spotless as Sallust,
and the Flamen Churchill(259) knocking down the foes
of Britain with statues of the gods!-Oh! I am
out of breath with eloquence and prophecy, and truth
and lies; my narrow chest was not formed to hold inspiration!
I must return to piddling with my painters:
those lofty subjects are too much for me. Good
P. S. I forgot to tell -you that Gideon, who is dead
worth more than the whole land of canaan, has left
the reversion of all his milk and honey, after his
son and daughter and their children, to the Duke of
Devonshire, without insisting on his taking the name,
or even being circumcised. Lord Albemarle is
expected home in December. My nephew Keppel(260)
is Bishop of Exeter, not of the Havannah, as you may
imagine, for his mitre was promised the day before
the news came.
(254) Of Cumberland.
(255) Of Bedford.
(256) Of Newcastle.
(257) Of Devonshire.
(258) The Earl of Bute.
(259) Charles Churchill the poet.
(260) Frederick Keppel, youngest brother of George
Earl of Albemarle, who commanded at taking the Havannah,
had married Laura, eldest daughter of Sir Edward Walpole.
Madam, It is too late, I fear, to attempt acknowledging
the honour Madame de Chabot,(261) does me; and yet,
if she is not gone, I would fain not appear ungrateful.
I do not know where she lives, or I would not take
the liberty again of making your ladyship my penny-post.
If she is gone, you will throw my note into the fire.