(675) Sir Edward Walpole, K.B., second son of Sir Robert, and the father of Ladies Dysart and Waldegrave, and Mrs. Keppel.-E.
It is over with us!—if I did not know your firmness, I would have prepared you by degrees; but you are a man, and can hear the worst at once. The Duke of Cumberland is dead. I have heard it but this instant. The Duke of Newcastle was come to breakfast with me, and pulled out a letter from Lord Frederick, with a hopeless account of the poor Duke of Devonshire. Ere I could read it, Colonel Schutz called at the door and told my servant this fatal news! I know no more—it must be at Newmarket, and very sudden; for the Duke of Newcastle had a letter from Hodgson, dated on Monday, which said the Duke was perfectly well, and his gout gone:—Yes, to be sure, into his head. Princess Amelia had endeavoured to prevent his going to Newmarket, having perceived great alteration in his speech, as the Duke of Newcastle had. Well! it will not be. Every thing fights against this country! Mr. Pitt must save it himself—or, what I do not know whether he will not like as well, share in overturning its liberty—if they will admit him; -which I question now if they will be fools enough to do.
You see I write in despair. I am for the whole, but perfectly tranquil. We have acted with honour, and have nothing to reproach ourselves with. We cannot combat fate. We shall be left almost alone; but I think you will no more go with the torrent than I will. Could I have foreseen this tide of ill fortune, I would have done just as I have done; and my conduct shall show I am satisfied I have done right. For the rest, come what come may, I am perfectly prepared and while there is a free spot of earth upon the globe, that shall be my country. I am sorry it will not be this, but to-morrow I shall be able to laugh as usual. What signifies what happens when one is seven-and-forty, as I am to-day!
“They tell me ’tis my birthday”—but I will not go on with Antony, and say
——“and I’ll keep it With double pomp of sadness.”