I know no more of the big world at London, than if I had not a relation in the ministry. To be free from pain and politics is such a relief to me, that I enjoy my little comforts and amusements here beyond expression. No mortal ever entered the gate of ambition with such transport as I took leave of them all at the threshold. Oh! if my Lord Temple knew what pleasures he could create for himself at Stowe, he would not harass a shattered carcass, and sigh to be insolent at St. James’s! For my part, I say with the bastard in King John, though with a little more reverence, and only as touching his ambition, Oh! old Sir Robert, father, on my knee I give Heaven thanks I was not like to thee.
Adieu! Yours most cordially.
(854) Lady Barbara Montagu, daughter of George second Earl of Halifax.-E.
(855) The Duke of Clarence, born on the 21st of August; afterwards King William the Fourth.-’E.
(856) Madame de S`evign`e, whom Walpole frequently alludes to under this title.-E.
The less one is disposed, if one has any sense, to talk of oneself to people that inquire only out of compliment, and do not listen to the answer, the more satisfaction one feels in indulging a self-complacency, by Sighing to those that really sympathize with our griefs. Do not think it is pain that makes me give this low-spirited air to my letter. No, it is the prospect of what is to come, not the sensation of what is passing, that affects me. The loss of youth is melancholy enough; but to enter into old age through the gate of infirmity is most disheartening. My health and spirits make me take but slight notice of the transition, and under the persuasion of temperance being a talisman, I marched boldly on towards the descent of the hill, knowing I must fall at last, but not suspecting that I should stumble by the way. This confession explains the mortification I feel. A month’s confinement to one who never kept his bed a day is a stinging lesson, and has humbled my insolence to almost indifference. Judge, then, how little I interest myself about public events. I know nothing of them since I came hither, where I had not only the disappointment of not growing better, but a bad return In one of my feet, so that I am still