Lady Mary Chabot has been so good as to make me a visit. She is again gone into the country till November, but charged me over and over to say a great deal for her to your ladyship, for whom she expresses the highest regard. Lady Brown is still in the country too; but as she loves laughing more than is fashionable here, I expect her return with great impatience. As I neither desire to change their religion or government, I am tired of their perpetual dissertations on those subjects. As when I was here last, which, alas! is four-and-twenty ears ago, I was much at Mrs. Hayes’s, I thought it but civil to wait on her now that her situation is a little less brilliant. She was not at home, but invited me to supper next night. The moment she saw me I thought I had done very right not to neglect her; for she overwhelmed me with professions of her fondness for me and all my family. When the first torrent was over, she asked me if I was son of the Horace Walpole who had been ambassador here. I said no, he was my uncle. Oh! then you are he I used to call my Neddy! No, Madam, I believe that is my brother. Your brother! What is my Lord Walpole? My cousin, Madam. Your cousin! why, then, who are you? I found that if I had omitted my visit, her memory of me would not have reproached me much.
Lord and Lady Fife are expected here every day from Spa; but we hear nothing certain yet of their graces of Richmond, for whom I am a little impatient; and for pam too, who I hope comes with them. In French houses it is impossible to meet with any thing but whist, which I am determined never to learn again. I sit by and yawn; which, however, is better than sitting at it to yawn. I hope to be able to take the air in a few days; for though I have had sharp pain and terrible nights, this codicil to my gout promises to be of much shorter duration than what I had in England, and has kept entirely to my feet. My diet sounds like an English farmer’s, being nothing but beef and pudding; in truth the beef’ is bouilli, and the pudding bread. This last night has been the first in which I have got a wink of sleep before six in the morning: but skeletons can live very well without eating or sleeping; nay, they can laugh too, when they meet with a jolly mortal of this world.
Mr. Chetwynd, I conclude, is dancing at country balls and horseraces. It is charming to be so young;(900) but I do not envy one whose youth is so good-humoured and good-natured. When he gallops post to town, or swims his horse through a MillpODd In November, pray make my compliments to him, and to Lady Blandford and Lady Denbigh. The joys of the gout do not put one’s old friends out of one’s head, even at this distance. I am, etc.
(899) Now first collected.
(900) See ant`e, p. 412, letter 259.-E.