(678) Sir Fletcher Norton, afterwards Lord Grantley, had been appointed attorney-general in the preceding December.-E.
I am not only pleased, my dear lord, to have been the first to announce your brother’s legacy to you, but I am glad whenever my news reach you without being quite stale. I see but few persons here. I begin my letters without knowing when I shall be able to fill them, and then am to winnow a little what I hear, that I may not send you absolute secondhand fables: for though I cannot warrant all I tell you, I hate to send you every improbable tale that is vented. You like, as one always does in absence, to hear the common occurrences of your own country; and you see I am very glad to be your gazetteer, provided you do not rank my letters upon any higher foot. I should be ashamed of such gossiping, if I did not consider it as chatting with you en famille, as we used to do at supper in Grosvenor-street.
The Duke of Devonshire has made splendid provision for his younger children; to Lady Dorothy,(679) 30,000 pounds; Lord Richard and Lord George will have about 4,000 pounds a-year apiece: for, besides landed estates, he has left them his whole personal estate without exception, only obliging the present Duke to redeem Devonshire-house, and the entire collection in it, for 20,000 pounds: he gives 500 pounds to each of his brothers, and 200 pounds to Lord Strafford, with some other inconsiderable legacies. Lord Frederick carried the garter, and was treated by the King with very gracious speeches of concern.
The Duke of Cumberland is quite recovered, after an incision of many inches in his knee. Ranby(680) did not dare to propose that a hero should be tied, but was frightened out of his senses when the hero would hold the candle himself, which none of his generals could bear to do: in the middle of the operation, the Duke said, “Hold!” Ranby said, “For God’s sake, Sir, let me proceed now—it will be worse to renew it.” The Duke repeated, “I say hold!” and then calmly bade them give Ranby a clean waistcoat and cap; for, said he, the poor man has sweated through these. It was true; but the Duke did not utter a groan.
Have you heard that Lady Susan O’Brien’s is not the last romance of the sort? Lord Rockingham’s youngest sister, Lady Harriot,(681) has stooped even lower than a theatric swain, and married her footman; but still it is you Irish(682) that commit all the havoc. Lady Harriot, however, has mixed a wonderful degree of prudence with her potion, and considering how plain she is, has not, I think, sweetened the draught too much for her lover: she settles a single hundred pound a-year upon him for his life; entails her whole fortune on their children, if they have any; and, if not, on her own family; nay, in the height of the novel, provides for a separation,