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.

(759) The demolition of Dunkirk was one of the articles of the late treaty of peace, on which discussions were still depending.-C.

Letter 241 To George Montagu, Esq.  Arlington Street, Feb. 19, 1765. (page 376)

Your health and spirits and youth delight me; yet I think you make but a bad use of them, when you destine them to a triste house in a country solitude.  If you were condemned to retirement, It would be fortunate to have spirits to support it; but great vivacity is not a cause for making it one’s option.

Why waste your sweetness on the desert air! at least, why bestow so little of your cheerfulness on your friends?  I do not wish you to parade your rubicundity and gray hairs through the mobs and assemblies of London; I should think you bestowed them as ill as on Greatworth; but you might find a few rational creatures here, who are heartily tired of what are called our pleasures, and who would be glad to have you in their chimney-corner.  There you might have found me any time this fortnight; I have been dying of the worst and longest cold I ever had in my days, and have been blooded, and taken James’s powder to no purpose.  I look almost like the skeleton that Frederick found in the oratory;(760) my only comfort was, that I should have owed my death to the long day in the House of Commons, and have perished with Our liberties; but I think I am getting the better of my martyrdom, and shall live to See you; nay, I shall not be gone to Paris.  As I design that journey for the term of my figuring in the world, I would fain wind up my politics too, and quit all public ties together.  As I am not old yet, and have an excellent though delicate constitution, I may promise myself some agreeable years, if I could detach myself from all connexions, but with a very few persons that I value.  Oh, with what joy I could bid adieu to loving and hating; to crowds, public places, great dinners, visits; and above all, to the House of Commons; but pray mind when I retire, it shall only be to London and Strawberry Hill—­in London one can live as one will, and at Strawberry I will live as I will.  Apropos, my good old tenant Franklin is dead, and I am in possession of his cottage, which will be a delightfully additional plaything at Strawberry.  I shall be violently tempted to stick in a few cypresses and lilacs there before I go to Paris.  I don’t know a jot of news:  I have been a perfect hermit this fortnight, and buried in Runic poetry and Danish wars.  In short, I have been deep in a late history of Denmark, written by one Mallet, a Frenchman,(761) a sensible man, but I cannot say he has the art of making a very tiresome subject agreeable.  There are six volumes, and I am stuck fast in the fourth.

Lord Byron’s trial I hear is to be in May.  If you are curious about it, I can secure you a ticket for Lord Lincoln’s gallery.  The Antiquarian Society have got Goody Carlisle(762) for their president, and I suppose she will sit upon a Saxon chalkstone till the return of King Arthur.  Adieu!

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