(811) Simon, first Earl of Harcourt: he was, in 1768, ambassador to Paris, and in 1769, lord-lieutenant of Ireland.-C.
(812) This coolness between Mr. Walpole and his uncle should be remembered, when we read that portion of the Memoires which relates to Lord Walpole.-C.
(813) Mr. Thomas Walpole’s elder brother (second Lord Walpole, and first Lord Orford of his branch) married the youngest daughter of the third Duke of Devonshire.-C.
The clouds and mists that I raise by my last letter will not be dispersed by this; nor will the Bill of Regency, as long as it has a day’s breath left (and it has but one to come) cease, I suppose, to produce extraordinary events. For agreeable events, it has not produced one to any Set Or side, except in gratifying malice; every other passion has received, or probably will receive, a box on the ear.
In my last I left the Princess Dowager in the mire. The next incident was of a negative kind. Mr. Pitt, who, if he had been wise, would have come to help her out, chose to wait to see if she was to be left there, and gave himself a terrible fit of the gout. As nobody was ready to read his part to the audience, (though I assure you we do not want a genius or two who think themselves born to dictate,) the first day in our House did not last two minutes. The next, which was Tuesday, we rallied our understandings (mine, indeed, did not go beyond being quiet, when the administration had done for us what we could not do for ourselves), and combated the bill till nine at night. Barr`e, who will very soon be our first orator, especially as some(814) are a little afraid to dispute with him, attacked it admirably, and your brother ridiculed the House of Lords delightfully, who, he said, had deliberated without concluding, and concluded without deliberating. However, we broke up without a division.
Can you devise what happened next? A buzz spread itself, that the Tories would move to reinstate the Princess. You will perhaps be so absurd as to think with me, that when the administration had excluded her, it was our business to pay her a compliment. Alas! that was my opinion, but I was soon given to understand that patriots must be men of virtue, must be pharisees, and not countenance naughty women; and that when the Duchess of Bedford had thrown the first stone, we had nothing to do but continue pelting. Unluckily I was not convinced; I could neither see the morality nor prudence of branding the King’s mother upon no other authority than public fame: yet, willing to get something when I could not get all, I endeavoured to obtain that we should stay away. Even this was warmly contested with me, and, though I persuaded several, particularly the two oldest Cavendishes,(815) the Townshends,(816) and your nephew Fitzroy,(817)