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.

Letter 194 To The Earl Of Hertford.  Arlington Street, Feb. 24, 1764. (page 294)

As I had an opportunity, on Tuesday last, of sending you a letter of eleven pages, by a very safe conveyance, I shall say but a few words to-day; indeed, I have left nothing to say, but to thank you for the answer I received from you this morning to mine by Monsieur Monin.  I am very happy that you take so kindly the freedom I used:  the circumstances made me think it necessary; and I flatter myself, that you are persuaded I was not to blame in speaking so openly, when two persons so dear to me were concerned.(519) Your ’Indulgence will not lead me to abuse it.  What you say on the caution I mentioned, convinces me that I was right, by finding your judgment correspond with my own-but enough of that.

My long letter, which, perhaps, you will not receive till after this (you will receive it from a lady), will give you a full detail of the last extraordinary week.  Since that, there has been an accidental suspension of arms.  Not only Mr. Pitt is laid up with the gout, but the Speaker has it too.  We have been adjourned till to-day, and as he is not recovered, have again adjourned till next Wednesday.  The events of the week have been, a complaint made by Lord Lyttelton in your House, of a book called “Droit le Roy;"(520) a tract written in the highest strain of prerogative, and drawn from all the old obsolete law-books on that question.(521) The ministers met this complaint with much affected indignation, and even on the complaint being communicated to us, took it up themselves; and both Houses have ordered the book to be burned by the hangman.  To comfort themselves for this forced zeal for liberty, the North Briton, and the Essay on Woman have both been condemned(522) by Juries in the King’s Bench; but that triumph has been more than balanced again, by the city giving their freedom to Lord Chief-Justice Pratt,(523) ordering his picture to be placed in the King’s Bench, thanking their members for their behaviour in Parliament on the warrant, and giving orders for instructions to be drawn for their future conduct.

Lord Granby is made lord lieutenant of Derbyshire; but the vigour of this affront was wofully weakened by excuses to the Duke of Devonshire, and by its being known that the measure was determined two months ago.

All this sounds very hostile; yet, don’t be surprised if you hear of some sudden treaty.  Don’t you know a little busy squadron that had the chief hand in the negotiation(524) last autumn?  Well, I have reason to think that Phraates(525 is negotiating with Leonidas(526) by the same intervention.  All the world sees that the present ministers are between two fires.  Would it be extraordinary if the artillery of’ both should be discharged on them at once?  But this is not proper for the post:  I grow prudent the less prudence is necessary.

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