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

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 890 pages of information about The Letters of Horace Walpole, Earl of Orford Volume 3.

(418) Mr. West married, in February 1764, Lady Mary Grey, daughter of the Earl of Stamford:  he died without issue, in 1776.-E.

(419) “The Dupe,” by Mrs. Sheridan, mother of Richard Brinsley Sheridan.  The Biographia Dramatica says it was condemned, “on account of a few passages, which the audience thought two indelicate."-E.

Letter 186 To The Earl Of Hertford.  Arlington Street, Dec. 29, 1763. (page 263)

You are sensible, my dear lord, that any amusement from my letters must depend upon times and seasons.  We are a very absurd nation (though the French are so good at present as to think us a very wise one, only because they themselves, are now a very weak one); but then that absurdity depends upon the almanac.  Posterity, who will know nothing of our intervals, wilt conclude that this age was a succession of events.  I could tell them that we know as well when an event, as when Easter will happen.  Do but recollect these last ten years.  The beginning of October, one is certain that every body will be at Newmarket, and the Duke of Cumberland will lose’, and Shafto(420) win, two or three thousand pounds.  After that, while people are preparing to come to town for the winter, the ministry is suddenly changed, and all the world comes to learn how it happened, a fortnight sooner than they intended; and fully persuaded that the new arrangement cannot last a month.  The Parliament opens; every body is bribed; and the new establishment is perceived to be composed of adamant.  November passes, with two or three self-murders, and a new play.  Christmas arrives; every body goes out of town; and a riot happens in one of the theatres.  The Parliament meets again; taxes are warmly opposed; and some citizen makes a fortune by a subscription.(421) The opposition languishes; balls and assemblies begin; some master and miss begin to get together, are talked of, and give occasion to forty more matches being invented; an unexpected debate starts up at the end of the session, that makes more noise than any thing that was designed to make a noise, and subsides again in a new peerage or two.  Ranelagh opens and Vauxhall; one produces scandal, and t’other a drunken quarrel.  People separate, some to Tunbridge, and some to all the horseraces in England; and so the year comes again to October.  I dare to prophesy, that if you keep this letter, you Will find that my future correspondence will be but an illustration of this text; at least, it is an excuse for my having very little to tell you at present, and was the reason of My not writing to you last week.

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