I dined, on Tuesday, with the imperial minister; we were two-and-twenty, collected from the four corners of the earth. Since it is become the fashion to banquet whole kingdoms by turns, I should pray, if I was minister to be sent to Lucca. Have you received D’Eon’s very curious book, which I sent by Colonel Keith? I do not find that the administration can discover any method of attacking him. Monsieur de Guerchy very properly determines to take no notice Of it. In the mean time, the wit of it gains ground, and palliates the abomination, though it ought not.
Princess Amelia asked me again about her trees. I gave her your message. She does not blame you, but Madame de Boufflers, for sending them so large. Mr. Legge is in a very bad way; but not without hopes: his last night was better. Adieu! my dear lords and ladies!
(571) See ant`e, p. 301, letter 197. Lord Hertford suspected this paragraph to have been written by Mr. Wilkes; which certainly would have been ungrateful, as Lord Hertford showed Mr. Wilkes more attention than most people thought proper to be shown by the King’s ambassador to a person in Mr. Wilkes’s circumstances.-C.
(572) A considerable eclipse of the sun, which took place on the 1st of April. It was annular at Boulogne, in France, and of course nearly so at Paris and London.-C.
(573) Commonly called fillagree.-C.
(574) The contest was between Lords Hardwicke and Sandwich; but according to University forms, the poll was taken on the first name; there appeared among the Blackhoods for Lord Hardwicke, placet 103; non-placet 101: among the Whitehoods, the proctors’ accounts differed; one made placet 108, non-placet 107; the other made placet 107, non-placet 101: on this a scrutiny was demanded, and refused, and a great confusion ensuing, the Vice-Chancellor adjourned the senate sine die.-E.
(575) The once idolized patriot, William Pulteney. It must be borne in mind, that Mr. Walpole cherished a filial aversion to his father’s great antagonist.-C.
Make yourself perfectly easy, my dear lord, about newspapers and their tattle; they are not worth a moment’s regard. In times of party it is impossible to avoid abuse. If attached to one side, one is pelted by the other; if to neither, by both. One can place oneself above deserving invectives; and then it signifies little whether they are escaped or not. But when one is conscious that they are unmerited, it is noblest to scorn them--perhaps, I even think, that such a situation is not ineligible. Character is the most precious of all blessings; but, pray allow that it is too sacred to be hurt by any thing but itself: does it depend on others, or on its own existence? That character must be fictitious, and formed for man, which man can take away. Your reputation does not depend on Mr. Wilkes,(576) like his own. It is delightful to deserve popularity, and to despise it.