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

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 1,055 pages of information about The Letters of Horace Walpole, Earl of Orford — Volume 3.

(710) The celebrated Mareschal Duc de Richelieu:  he was born in 1696, and died in 1788.  The whole of his long life was full of adventures so extraordinary as to justify Mr. Walpole’s curiosity.  The most remarkable, however, of all, had not at this period occurred.  In the year 1780, and at the age of eighty-four, he married his third wife, and was severely afflicted that a miscarriage of the Duchess destroyed his hopes of another Cardinal de Richelieu; for to that eminence he destined the child of his age.  His biographer adds, that the Duchess was an affectionate and attentive wife, notwithstanding that her octogenarian husband tried her patience by reiterated infidelities.-C.

Letter 234 To The Earl Of Hertford.  Arlington Street, Dec. 3, 1764. (page 358)

I love to contradict myself as fast as I can when I have told you a lie, lest you should take me for a chambermaid, or Charles Townshend.  But how can I help it?  Is this a consistent age?  How should I know people’s minds, if they don’t know them themselves?  In short, Charles Yorke is not attorney-general, nor Norton master of the rolls.  A qualm came across the first, and my Lord lorn across the second, who would not have Norton in his court.  I cannot imagine why; it is so gentle, amiable, honest a being!  But I think the Chancellor says, Norton does not understand equity, so he remains prosecutor-general.  Yorke would have taken the rolls, if they would have made it much more considerable; but as they would not, he has recollected that it will be clever for one Yorke to have the air of being disinterested, so he only disgraces himself,(711) and takes a patent of precedence over the Solicitor-General:—­but do not depend upon this—­he was to have kissed hands on Friday, but has put it off till Wednesday next—­between this and that, his Virtue may have another fit.  The court ridicule him even more than the opposition.  What diverts me most, is, that the pious and dutiful house of Yorke, who cried and roared over their father’s memory, now throw all the blame on him, and say, he forced them into opposition—­amorent nummi expellas furc`a, licet usque recurret.(712) Sewell(713) is master of the rolls.

Well!  I may grow a little more explicit to you; besides, this letter goes to you by a private hand.  I gave you little hints, to prepare you for the separation of the house of Grafton.  It is so, and I am heartily sorry for it.  Your brother is chosen by the Duke, and General Ellison by the Duchess, to adjust the terms, which are not yet settled.  The Duke takes all on himself, and assigns no reason but disagreement of tempers.  He leaves Lady Georgina’ with her mother, who, he says, is the properest person to educate her, and Lord Charles, till he is old enough to be taken from the women.  This behaviour is noble and generous—­ still I wish they could have agreed!

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