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

The Letters of Horace Walpole, Earl of Orford — Volume 3 by Horace Walpole, 4th Earl of Orford

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Table of Contents

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Letter 33 To Sir Horace Mann.51
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Letter 164 To The Rev. Mr. Cole.202
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Letter 246 To George Montagu, Esq.370
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Letter 269 To The Rev. Mr. Cole.411
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LE ROI DE PRUSSE, A MONSIEUR ROUSSEAU.(923)447
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Letter 374 To The Hon. H. S. Conway.554
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Information about Project Gutenberg (one page)558
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Letter 1 To George Montagu, Esq.  Arlington Street, Nov. 17, 1759. (page 25)

I rejoice over your brother’s honours, though I certainly had no hand in them.  He probably received his staff from the board of trade.  If any part of the consequences could be placed to partiality for me, it would be the prevention of your coming to town, which I wished.  My lady Cutts(1) is indubitably your own grandmother:  the Trevors would once have had it, but by some misunderstanding the old Cowslade refused it.  Mr. Chute has twenty more corroborating circumstances, but this one is sufficient.

Fred. Montagu told me of the pedigree.  I shall take care of all your commissions.  Felicitate yourself on having got from me the two landscapes; that source is stopped.  Not that Mr. M`untz is eloped to finish the conquest of America, nor promoted by Mr. Secretary’s zeal for my friends, nor because the ghost of Mrs. Leneve has appeared to me, and ordered me to drive Hannah and Ishmael into the wilderness.  A cause much more familiar to me has separated us—­nothing but a tolerable quantity of ingratitude on his side, both to me and Mr. Bentley.  The story is rather too long for a letter:  the substance was most extreme impertinence to me, concluded by an abusive letter against Mr. Bentley, who sent him from starving on seven pictures for a guinea to One hundred pounds a year, my house, table, and utmost countenance.  In short, I turned his head, and was forced to turn him out of doors.  You shall see the documents, as it is the fashion to call proof papers.  Poets and painters imagine they confer the Honour when they are protected, and they set down impertinence to the article of their own virtue, when you dare to begin to think that an ode or a picture is not a patent for all manner of insolence.

My Lord Temple, as vain as if he was descended from the stroller Pindar, or had made up card-matches at the siege of Genoa, has resigned the privy seal, because he has not the garter.(2) You cannot imagine what an absolute prince I feel myself with knowing that nobody can force me to give the garter to M`untz.

My Lady Carlisle is going to marry a Sir William Musgrave, who is but three-and-twenty; but, in consideration of the match, and of her having years to spare, she has made him a present of ten, and calls them three-and-thirty.  I have seen the new Lady Stanhope.  I assure you her face will introduce no plebeian charms into the faces of the Stanhopes, Adieu!

(1) Lady Cutts was the mother of Mrs. Montagu, by her second husband, John Trevor, Esq. and grandmother of George Montagu.-E.

(2) See vol. ii. p. 522, letter 344.

Letter 2 TO THE RIGHT HON.  WILLIAM PITT.(3) Arlington Street, Nov. 19, 1759. (page 26)

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Sir, On coming to town, I did myself the honour of waiting on you and Lady Hester Pitt:  and though I think myself extremely distinguished by your obliging note, I shall be sorry for having given you the trouble of writing it, if it did not lend me a very pardonable opportunity of saying what I much wished to express, but thought myself too private a person, and of too little consequence, to take the liberty to say.  In short, Sir, I was eager to congratulate you on the lustre you have thrown on this country; I wished to thank you for the security you have fixed to me of enjoying the happiness I do enjoy.  You have placed England in a situation in which it never saw itself—­a task the more difficult, as you had not to improve, but recover.

In a trifling book, written two or three years ago,(4) I said (speaking of the name in the world the most venerable to me), “sixteen unfortunate and inglorious years since his removal have already written his eulogium.”  It is but justice to you, Sir, to add, that that period ended when your administration began.

Sir, do not take this for flattery:  there is nothing in your power to give that I would accept; nay, there is nothing I could envy, but what I believe you would scarce offer me—­your glory.  This may seem very vain and insolent:  but consider, Sir, what a monarch is a man who wants nothing! consider how he looks down on one who is only the most illustrious man in England!  But Sir, freedoms apart, insignificant as I am, probably it must be some satisfaction to a great mind like yours to receive incense, when you are sure there is no flattery blended with it; and what must any Englishman be that could give you a moment’s satisfaction and would hesitate?

Adieu!  Sir.  I am unambitious, I am uninterested, but I am vain.  You have, by your notice, uncanvassed, unexpected, and at a period when you certainly could have the least temptation to stoop down to me, flattered me in the most agreeable manner.  If there could arrive the moment when you could be nobody, and I any body, you cannot imagine how grateful I would be.  In the mean time, permit me to be, as I have been ever since I had the honour of knowing you, Sir, your most obedient humble servant.

(3) Now first collected.

(4) His “Catalogue of Royal and Noble Authors."-E.

Letter 3 To Sir Horace Mann.  Arlington Street, Nov. 30th of the Great Year. (page 27)

here is a victory more than I promised you!  For these thirteen days we have been in the utmost impatience for news.  The Brest fleet had got out; Duff, with three ships, was in the utmost danger—­Ireland ached—­Sir Edward Hawke had notice in ten hours, and sailed after Conflans—­Saunders arrived the next moment from Quebec, heard it, and sailed after Hawke, without landing his glory.  No express arrived, storms blow; we knew not what to think.  This morning at four we heard that,

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on the 20th, Sir Edward Hawke came in sight of the French, who were pursuing Duff.  The fight began at half an hour past two—­that is, the French began to fly, making a running fight.  Conflans tried to save himself behind the rocks of Belleisle, but was forced to burn his ship of eighty guns and twelve hundred men.  The Formidable, of eighty, and one thousand men, is taken; we burned the Hero of seventy-four, eight hundred and fifteen men.  The Thes`ee and Superbe of seventy-four and seventy, and of eight hundred and fifteen and eight hundred men, were sunk in the action, and the crews lost.  Eight of their ships are driven up the Vilaine, after having thrown over their guns; they have moored two frigates to defend the entrance, but Hawke hopes to destroy them.  Our loss is a scratch, one lieutenant and thirty-nine men killed, and two hundred and two wounded.  The Resolution of seventy-four guns, and the Essex of sixty-four, are lost, but the crews saved; they, it is supposed, perished by the tempest, which raged all the time, for

“We rode in the whirlwind and directed the storm.”

Sir Edward heard guns of distress in the night, but could not tell whether of friend or foe, nor could assist them.(5)

Thus we wind up this wonderful year!  Who that died three years ago and could revive, would believe it!  Think, that from Petersburgh to the Cape of Good Hope, from China to California,

De Paris `a Perou,

there are not five thousand Frenchmen in the world that have behaved well!  Monsieur Thurot is piddling somewhere on the coast of Scotland, but I think our sixteen years of fears of invasion are over—­after sixteen victories. if we take Paris, I don’t design to go thither before spring.  My Lord Kinnoul is going to Lisbon to ask pardon for Boscawen’s beating De la Clue in their House; it will be a proud supplication, with another victory in bank.(6) Adieu!  I would not profane this letter with a word of any thing else for the world.

(5) This was Hawke’s famous victory, for which he received the thanks of Parliament, and a pension of two thousand pounds a-year.  In 1765, he was created a peer.-D.

(6) The object of Lord Kinnoul’s mission to the court of Portugal was to remove the misunderstanding between the two crowns, in consequence of Admiral Boscawen’s having destroyed some French ships under the Portuguese fort in the bay of Lagos.-E.

Letter 4 TO SIR HORACE MANN.  Arlington Street, Dec. 13, 1759. (page 28)

That ever you should pitch upon me for a mechanic or geometric commission!  How my own ignorance has laughed at me since I read your letter!  I say, your letter, for as to Dr. Perelli’s, I know no more of a Latin term in mathematics than Mrs. Goldsworthy(7) had an idea of verbs.  I will tell you an early anecdote in my own life, and you shall judge.  When I first went to Cambridge,

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I was to learn mathematics of the famous blind professor Sanderson.  I had not frequented him a fortnight, before he said to me, “Young man, it is cheating you to take your money:  believe me, you never can learn these things; you have no capacity for them."- I can smile now, but I cried then with mortification.  The next step, in order to comfort myself, was not to believe him : I could not conceive that I had not talents for any thing in the world.  I took, at my own expense, a private instructor,(8) who came to me once a-day for a year.  Nay, I took infinite pains, but had so little capacity, and so little attention, (as I have always had to any thing that did not immediately strike my inclination) that after mastering any proposition, when the man came the next day, it was as new to me as if I had never heard of it ; in short, even to common figures, I am the dullest dunce alive.  I have often said it of myself, and it is true, that nothing that has not a proper Dame of a man or
           a woman to it, affixes any idea upon my mind.  I could
remember who was King Ethelbald’s great aunt, and not be sure whether she lived in the year 500 or 1500.  I don’t know whether I ever told you, that when you sent me the seven gallons of drams, and they were carried to Mr. Fox by mistake for Florence wine, I pressed @im to keep as much as he liked:  for, said I, I have seen the bill of lading, and there is a vast quantity.  He asked how much?  I answered seventy gallons; so little idea I have of quantity.  I will tell you one more story of myself, and you will comprehend what sort of a head I have!  Mrs. Leneve said to me one day, “There is a vast waste of coals in your house ; you should make the servants take off the fires at night.”  I recollected this as I was going to bed, and, out of economy, put my fire out with a bottle of Bristol water!  However, as I certainly will neglect nothing to oblige you, I went to Sisson and gave him the letter.  He has undertaken both the engine and the drawing, and has promised the utmost care in both.  The latter, he says, must be very large, and that it will take some time to have it performed very accurately.  He has promised me both in six or seven weeks.  But another time, don’t imagine, because I can bespeak an enamelled bauble, that I am fit to be entrusted with the direction of the machine at Marli.  It is not to save myself trouble, for I think nothing so for you, but I would have you have credit, and I should be afraid of dishonouring you.

There! there is the King of Prussia has turned all our war and
                    peace topsy-turvy !  If Mr. Pitt Will conquer
Germany too, he must go and do it himself.  Fourteen thousand soldiers and nine generals taken, as it were, in a partridge net! and what is worse, I have not heard yet that the monarch owns his rashness.(9) As often as he does, indeed, he is apt to repair it.  You know I have always dreaded Daun—­one cannot make a blunder but he profits of it-and this ’ just at the moment that we heard of nothing but new bankruptcy in France.  I want to know what a kingdom is to do when it is forced to run away?

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14th.—­Oh!  I interrupt my reflections—­there is another bit of a victory!  Prince Henry, who has already succeeded to his brother’s crown, as king of the fashion, has beaten a parcel of Wirternberghers and taken four battalions.  Daun is gone into Bohemia, and Dresden is still to be ours.  The French are gone into winter quarters—­thank God!  What weather is here to be lying on the ground!  Men should be statues, or will be so, if they go through it.  Hawke is enjoying himself in Quiberon Bay, but I believe has done no more execution.  Dr. Hay says it will soon be as shameful to beat a Frenchman as to beat a woman.  Indeed, one is forced to ask every morning what victory there is, for fear of missing one.  We talk of a con(,,ress at Breda, and some think Lord Temple will go thither:  if he does, I shall really believe it will be peace; and a good one, as it will then be of Mr. Pitt’s making.

I was much pleased that the watch succeeded so triumphantly, and beat the French watches, though they were two to one.  For the Fugitive pieces:  the Inscription for the Column(10) was written when I was with you at Florence, though I don’t wonder that you have forgotten it after so many yeirs.  I would not have it talked of, for I find some grave personages are offended -with the liberties I have taken with so imperial a head.  What could provoke them to give a column Christian burial?  Adieu!

(7) Wife of the English consul at Leghorn, where, when she was learning Italian by grammar, she said, “Oh! give me a language in which there are no verbs!” concluding, as she had not learnt her own language by grammar, that there were no verbs in English.

(8) Dr. Treviger.

(9) It was not Frederick’s fault; he was not there ; but that of General Finek, who had placed himself so injudiciously, that he was obliged to capitulate to the Austrians with fourteen thousand men.

(10) The inscription for the neglected Column in St. Mark’s Place at Florence.-E.

Letter 5 To George Montagu, Esq.  Strawberry Hill, Dec. 23, 1759. (page 30)

How do you do? are you thawed again? how have you borne the country in this bitter weather?  I have not been here these three weeks till to-day, and was delighted to find it so pleasant, and to meet a comfortable southeast wind, the fairest of all winds, in spite of the scandal that lies on the east; though it is the west that is parent of all ugliness.  The frost was succeeded by such fogs, that I could not find my way out of London.

Has your brother told you of the violences in Ireland?  There wanted nothing but a Massaniello to overturn the government; and luckily for the government and for Rigby, he, who was made for Massaniello, happened to be first minister there.  Tumults, and insurrections, and oppositions,

“Like arts and sciences, have travelled west.”

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Pray make the general collect authentic accounts of those civil wars against he returns—­you know where they will find their place, and that you are one of the very few that will profit of them.  I will grind and dispense to you all the corn you bring to my mill.

We good-humoured souls vote eight millions with as few questions, as if the whole House of Commons was at the club at Arthur’s; and we live upon distant news, as if London was York or Bristol.  There is nothing domestic, but that Lord George Lennox, being refused Lord Ancram’s consent, set out for Edinburgh with Lady Louisa Kerr, the day before yesterday; and Lord Buckingham is going to be married to our Miss Pitt of Twickenham, daughter of that strange woman who had a mind to be my wife, and who sent Mr. Raftor to know why I did not marry her.  I replied, “Because I was not sure that the two husbands, that she had at once, were both dead.”  Apropos to my wedding, Prince Edward asked me at the Opera, t’other night, when I was to marry Lady Mary Coke:  I answered, as soon as I got a regiment; which, you know, is now the fashionable way.

The kingdom of beauty is in as great disorder as the kingdom of Ireland.  My Lady Pembroke looks like a ghost-poor Lady Coventry is going to be one; and the Duchess of Hamilton is so altered I did not know her.  Indeed, she is bid with child, and so big, that as my Lady Northumberland says, it is plain she has a camel in her belly, and my Lord Edgecumbe says, it is as true it did not go through the eye of a needle.  That Countess has been laid up with a hurt in her leg; Lady Rebecca Paulett pushed her on the birthnight against a bench:  the Duchess of Grafton asked if it was true that Lady Rebecca kicked her?  “Kick me, Madam!  When did you ever hear of a Percy that took a kick?”

I can tell you another anecdote of that house, that will not divert you less.  Lord March making them a visit this summer at Alnwick Castle, my lord received him at the gate, and said, “I believe, my lord, this is the first time that ever a Douglas and a Percy met here in friendship.”  Think of this from a Smithson to a true Douglas!

I don’t trouble my head about any connexion; any news into the country I know is welcome, though it comes out higlepigledy, just as it happens to be packed up.  The cry in Ireland has been against Lord Hilsborough, supposing him to mediate an union of the two islands; George Selwyn, seeing him set t’other night between my Lady Harrington and Lord Barrington, said, “Who can say that my Lord Hilsborough is not an enemy to an union?”

I will tell you one more story, and then good night.  Lord Lyttelton(11) was at Covent Garden; Beard came on:  the former said, “How comes Beard here? what made him leave Drury Lane?” Mr. Shelley, who sat next him, replied, “Why, don’t you know he has been such a fool as to go and marry a Miss Rich?  He has married Rich’s daughter.”  My lord coloured; Shelley found out what he had said, and ran away.

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I forgot to tell you, that you need be in no disturbance about M`untz’s pictures; they were a present I made you.  Good night!

(11) Lord Lyttelton married a daughter of Sir Robert Rich.

Letter 6 To The Rev. Henry Zouch.  Strawberry Hill, Dec. 23, 1759. (page 31)

Sir, I own I am pleased, for your sake as well as my own, at hearing from you again.  I felt sorry at thinking that you was displeased with the frankness and sincerity of my last.  You have shown me that I made a wrong judgment of you, and I willingly correct it.

You are extremely obliging in giving yourself the least trouble to make collections for me.  I have received so much assistance and information from you, that I am sure I cannot have a more useful friend.  For the Catalogue, I forgot it, as in the course of things I suppose it is forgot.  For the Lives of English Artists I am going immediately to begin it, and shall then fling it into the treasury of the world, for the amusement of the world for a day, and then for the service of any body who shall happen hereafter to peep into the dusty drawer where it shall repose.

For my Lord Clarendon’s new work(12) of which you ask me, I am charmed with it.  It entertains me more almost than any book I ever read.  I was told there was little in it that had not already got abroad, or was not known by any other channels.  If that is true, I own I am so scanty an historian as to have been ignorant of many of the facts but sure, at least, the circumstances productive of, or concomitant on several of them, set them in very new lights.  The deductions and stating of arguments are uncommonly fine.  His language I find much censured—­in truth, it is sometimes involved, particularly in the indistinct usage of he and him.  But in my opinion his style is not so much inferior to the former History as it seems.  But this I take to be the case; when the former part appeared, the world was not accustomed to a good style as it is now.  I question if the History of the Rebellion had been published but this summer, whether it would be thought so fine in point of style as it has generally been reckoned.  For his veracity, alas!  I am sorry to say, there is more than one passage in the new work which puts one a little upon one’s guard in lending him implicit credit.  When he says that Charles I. and his queen were a pattern of conjugal affection, it makes one stare.  Charles was so, I verily believe; but can any man in his historical senses believe, that my Lord Clarendon did not know that, though the Queen was a pattern of affection, it was by no means of the conjugal kind.(13) Then the subterfuges my Lord Clarendon uses to avoid avowing that Charles ii. was a Papist, are certainly no grounds for corroborating his veracity.(14) In short, I don’t believe him when he does not speak truth; but he has spoken so much truth, that it is easy to see when he does not.

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Lucan is in poor forwardness.  I have been plagued with a succession of bad printers, and am not got beyond the fourth book.  It will scarce appear before next winter.  Adieu!  Sir.  I have received so much pleasure and benefit from your correspondence, that I should be sorry to lose it.  I will not deserve to lose it, but endeavour to be, as you will give me leave to be, your, etc.

(12) The life of Edward Earl of Clarendon, etc.  Dr. Johnson, in the sixty-fifth number of the Idler, has also celebrated the appearance of this interesting and valuable work.-C.

(13) Mr. Walpole had early taken up this opinion; witness that gross line in his dull epistle to Aston, written in 1740, “The lustful Henrietta’s Romish shade;” but we believe that no good authority for this imputation can be produced:  there is strong evidence the other way:  and if we were even to stand on mere authority, we should prefer that of Lord Clarendon to the scandalous rumours of troublesome times, which were, we believe, the only guides of Mr. Walpole.-C.

(14) Nor for impugning it; for, the very fact, brought to light in later times, of Charles’s having, with great secrecy and mystery, reconciled himself to the church of Rome on his deathbed, proves that up to that extreme hour he was not a Papist.-C.

Letter 7 To George Montagu, Esq.  Arlington Street, Jan. 7, 1760. (page 32)

You must wonder I have not written to you a long time; a person of my consequence!  I am now almost ready to say, We, instead of I In short, I live amongst royalty—­considering the plenty, that is no great wonder.  All the world lives with them, and they with all the world.  Princes and Princesses open shops in every corner of the town, and the whole town deals with them.  As I have gone to one, I chose to frequent all, that I night not be particular, and seem to have views; and yet it went so much against me, that I came to town on purpose a month ago for the Duke’s levee, and had engaged brand to go with me, and then could not bring myself to it.  At last, I went to him and the Princess Emily yesterday.  It was well I had not flattered myself with being still in my bloom; I am grown so old since they saw me, that neither of them knew me.  When they were told, he just spoke to me (I forgive him; he is not out of my debt, even with that) — she was exceedingly gracious, and commended Strawberry to the skies.  To-night, I was asked to their party at Norfolk House.  These parties are wonderfully select and dignified one might sooner be a knight of Malta than qualified for them; I don’t know how the Duchess of Devonshire, Mr. Fox, and I, were forgiven some of our ancestors.  There were two tables at loo, two at whist, and a quadrille.  I was commanded to the Duke’s loo; he was sat down:  not to make him wait, I threw my hat upon the marble table, and broke four pieces off a great crystal chandelier.  I stick to my etiquette, and treat them with great respect; not as I do my friend, the Duke of York.  But don’t let us talk any more of Princes.  My Lucan appears to-morrow; I must say it is a noble volume.  Shall I send it you—­or won’t you come and fetch it?

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There is nothing new of public, but the violent commotions in Ireland,(15) whither the Duke of Bedford still persists in going.  AEolus to quell a storm!

I am in great concern for my old friend, poor Lady Harry Beauclerc; her lord dropped down dead two nights ago, as he was sitting with her and all their children.  Admiral Boscawen is dead by this time.(16) Mrs. Osborne and I are not much afflicted; Lady Jane Coke too is dead, exceedingly rich; I have not heard her will yet.

If you don’t come to town soon, I give you warning, I will be a lord of the bedchamber, or a gentleman usher.  If you will, I will be nothing but what I have been so many years-my own and yours ever.

(15) Walpole, in his Memoires, vol. ii. p. 401, gives a particular account of these commotions.  Gray, in a letter to Dr. Wharton, of the 23d of January, says, “They placed an old woman on the throne, and called for pipes and tobacco; made my Lord Chief Justice administer an oath (which they dictated) to my Lord Chancellor; beat the Bishop of Killaloe black and blue; at foot-ball with Chenevix, the old refugee Bishop of Waterford; rolled my Lord Farnham in the kennel; pulled Sir Thomas Prendergast by the nose (naturally large) till it was the size of a cauliflower-; and would have hanged Rigby if he had not got out of a window.  At last the guard was obliged to move (with orders not to fire), but the mob threw dirt at them. then the horse broke in upon them, cutting and slashing, and took seventeen prisoners.  The notion that had possessed the crowd was, that a union was to be voted between the two nations, and they should have no more parliaments there.”  Works, vol. iii. p. 233.-E.

(16) This distinguished admiral survived till January 1761.-E.

(17) Daughter of lord Torrington, and sister of the unfortunate Admiral Byng.  She was married to the son of sir John Osborn of Chicksand Priory.-E.

Letter 8 To The Right Hon. Lady Hervey.  Jan. 12, 1760. (page 34)

I am very sorry your ladyship could doubt a moment on the cause of my concern yesterday.  I saw you much displeased at what I had said; and felt so innocent of the least intention of offending you, that I could not help being struck at my own ill-fortune, and wit[) the sensation raised by finding you mix great goodness with great severity.

I am naturally very impatient under praise; I have reflected enough on myself to know I don’t deserve it; and with this consciousness you ought to forgive me, Madam, if I dreaded that the person Whose esteem I valued the most in the world, should think, that I was fond of what I know is not my due.  I meant to express this apprehension as respectfully as I could, but my words failed me-a misfortune not too common to me, who am apt to say too much, not too little!  Perhaps it is that very quality which your ladyship calls wit, and I call tinsel, for which

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I dread being praised.  I wish to recommend myself to you by more essential merits-and if I can only make you laugh, it will be very apt to make me as much concerned as I was yesterday.  For people to whose approbation I am indifferent, I don’t care whether they commend or condemn me for my wit; in the former case they Will not make me admire myself for it, in the latter they can’t make me think but what I have thought already.  But for the few whose friendship I wish, I would fain have them see, that under all the idleness of my spirits there are some very serious qualities, such as warmth, gratitude, and sincerity, which @ill returns may render useless or may make me lock up in my breast, but which will remain there while I have a being.

having drawn you this picture of myself, Madam, a subject I have to say so much upon, will not your good-nature apply it as it deserves, to what passed yesterday?  Won’t you believe that my concern flowed from being disappointed at having offended one whom I ought by so many ties to try to please, and whom, if I ever meant any thing, I had meaned to please?  I intended you should see how much I despise wit, if I have any, and that you should know my heart was void of vanity and full of gratitude.  They -are very few I desire should know so much; but my passions act too promptly and too naturally, as you saw, when I am with those I really love, to be capable of any disguise.  Forgive me, Madam, this tedious detail but of all people living, I cannot bear that you should have a doubt about me.

Letter 9 To George Montagu, Esq.  Arlington Street, Jan. 14, 1760. (page 35)

How do you contrive to exist on your mountain in this rude season!  Sure you must be become a snowball!  As I was not in England in forty-one, I had no notion of such cold.  The streets are abandoned; nothing appears in them:  the Thames is almost as solid.  Then think what a campaign must be in such a season!  Our army was under arms for fourteen hours on the twenty-third, expecting the French and several of the men were frozen when they should have dismounted.  What milksops the Marlboroughs and Ttirennes, the Blakes and the Van Tromps appear now, who whipped into winter quarters and into port, the moment their noses looked blue.  Sir Cloudesly Shovel said that an admiral would deserve to be broke, who kept great ships out after the end of September, and to be shot if after October.  There is Hawke(18) in the bay weathering this winter, after conquering in a storm.  For my part, I scarce venture to make a campaign in the Opera-house; for if I once begin to freeze, I shall be frozen through in a moment.  I am amazed, with such weather, such ravages, and distress, that there is any thing left in Germany, but money; for thither half the treasure of Europe goes:  England, France, Russia, and all the Empress can squeeze from Italy and Hungary, all is sent thither, and yet

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the wretched people have not subsistence.  A pound of bread sells at Dresden for eleven-pence.  We are going to send many more troops thither; and it Is so much the fashion to raise regiments, that I wish there were such a neutral kind of beings in England as abb`es, that one might have an excuse for not growing military mad, when one has turned the heroic corner of one’s age.  I am ashamed of being a young rake, when my seniors are covering their gray toupees with helmets and feathers, and accoutering their pot-bellies with cuirasses and martial masquerade habits.  Yet rake I am, and abominably so, for a person that begins to wrinkle reverently.  I have sat up twice this week till between two and three with the Duchess of Grafton, at loo, who, by the way, has got a pam-child this morning; and on Saturday night I supped with Prince Edward at my Lady Rochford’s, and we stayed till half an hour past three.  My favour with that Highness continues, or rather increases.  He makes every body make suppers for him to meet me, for I still hold out against going to court.  In short, if he were twenty years older, or I could make myself twenty years younger, I might carry him to Camden-house, and be as impertinent as ever my Lady Churchill was; but, as I dread being ridiculous, I shall give my Lord Bute no uneasiness.  My Lady Maynard, who divides the favour of this tiny court with me,- supped with us.  Did you know she sings French ballads very prettily?  Lord Rochford played on the guitar, and the Prince sung; there were my two nieces, and Lord Waldegrave, Lord Huntingdon, and Mr. Morrison the groom, and the evening was pleasant; but I had a much more agreeable supper last night at Mrs. Clive’s, with Miss West, my niece Cholmondeley, and Murphy, the writing actor, who is very good company, and two or three more.  Mrs. Cholmondeley is very lively; you know how entertaining the Clive is, and Miss West is an absolute original.

There is nothing new, but a very dull pamphlet, written by Lord Bath, and his chaplain Douglas, called a Letter to Two Great Men.  It is a plan for the peace, and much adopted by the city, and much admired by all who are too humble to judge for themselves.

I was much diverted the other morning with another volume on birds, by Edwards, who has published four or five.  The poor man, who is grown very old and devout, begs God to take from him the love of natural philosophy; and having observed some heterodox proceedings among bantam cocks, he proposes that all schools of girls and boys should be promiscuous, lest, if separated, they should learn wayward passions.  But what struck me most were his dedications, the last was to God; this is to Lord Bute, as if he was determined to make his fortune in one world or the other.

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Pray read Fontaine’s fable of the lion grown old; don’t it put you in mind of any thing?  No! not when his shaggy majesty has borne the insults of the tiger and the horse, etc. and the ass comes last, kicks out his only remaining fang, and asks for a blue bridle?  Apropos, I will tell you the turn Charles Townshend gave to this fable.  “My lord,” said he, “has quite mistaken the thing; he soars too high at first:  people often miscarry by not proceeding by degrees; he went and at once asked for my Lord Carlisle’s garter-if he would have been contented to ask first for my Lady Carlisle’s garter, I don’t know but he would have obtained it.” ’ Adieu!

(18) Sir Edward Hawke had defeated the French fleet, commanded by Admiral Conflans, in the beginning of this winter. [A graphical description of this victory is given by Walpole in his Memoires.  “It was,” he says, “the 20th of November:  the shortness of the day prevented the total demolition of the enemy; but neither darkness, nor a dreadful tempest that ensued, could call off Sir Edward from pursuing his blow.  The roaring of the element was redoubled by the thunder from our ships; and both concurred, in that scene of horror, to put a period to the navy and hopes of France.”—­E.]

Letter 10 To Sir Horace Mann.  Strawberry Hill, Jan. 20, 1760. (page 36)

I am come hither in the bleakest of all winters, not to air and exercise, but to look after my gold-fish and orange-trees.  We import all the delights of hot countries, but as we cannot propagate their climate too, such a season as this is mighty apt to murder rarities.  And it is this very winter that has been used for the invention of a campaign in Germany! where all fuel is so destroyed that they have no fire but out of the mouth of a cannon.  If I were writing to an Italian as well as into Italy, one might string concetti for an hour, and describe how heroes are frozen on their horses till they become their own statues.  But seriously, does not all this rigour of warfare throw back an air of effeminacy on the Duke of Marlborough and the brave of ancient days, who only went to fight as one goes out of town in spring, and who came back to London with the first frost’@ Our generals are not yet arrived, though the Duke de Broglio’s last miscarriage seems to determine that there shall at last be such a thing as winter quarters; but Daun and the King of Prussia are still choosing King and Queen in the field.

There is a horrid scene of distress in the family of Cavendish; the Duke’s sister,(19) Lady Besborough, died this morning of the same fever and sore throat of which she lost four children four years ago.  It looks as if it was a plague fixed in the walls of their house:  it broke out again among their servants, and carried off two, a year and a half after the children.  About ten days ago Lord Besborough was seized with it, and escaped with difficulty; then the eldest daughter had it, though slightly:  my lady, attending them, is dead of it in three days.  It is the same sore throat which carried off Mr. Pelham’s two only sons, two daughters, and a daughter of the Duke of Rutland, at once.  The physicians, I think, don’t know what to make of it.

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I am sorry you and your friend Count Lorenzi(20) are such political foes, but I am much more concerned for the return of your headaches.  I don’t know what to say about Ward’s(21) medicine, because the cures he does in that complaint are performed by him in person.  He rubs his hand with some preparation and holds it upon your forehead, from which several have found instant relief.  If you please, I will consult him whether he will send you any preparation for it; but you must first send me the exact symptoms and circumstances of your disorder and constitution, for I would not for the world venture to transmit to you a blind remedy for an unexamined complaint.

You cannot figure a duller season:  the weather bitter, no party, little money, half the world playing the fool in the country with the militia, others raising regiments or with their regiments; in short, the end of a war and of a reign furnish few episodes.  Operas are more in their decline than ever.  Adieu!

(19) Caroline, eldest daughter of William third Duke of Devonshire, and wife of William Ponsonby, Earl of Besborough.

(20) Minister of France at Florence, though a Florentine.

(21) Ward, the empiric, whose pill and drop were supposed, at this time, to have a surprising effect.  He is immortalized by Pope-

“See Ward by batter’d beaux invited over.”

There is a curious statue of him in marble at the Society of Arts, in full dress, and a flowing wig.-D.

Letter 11 To George Montagu, Esq.  Arlington Street, Jan. 28, 1760. (page 37)

I shall almost frighten you from coming to London, for whether you have the constitution of a horse or a man, you will be equally in danger.  All the horses in town are laid up with sore throats and colds, and are so hoarse you cannot hear them speak, I, with all my immortality, have been -half killed; that violent bitter weather was too much for me; I have had a nervous fever these six or seven weeks every night, and have taken bark enough to have made a rind for Daphne; nay, have even stayed at home two days; but I think my eternity begins to bud again.  I am quite of Dr. Garth’s mind, who, when any body commended a hard frost to him, used to reply, “Yes, Sir, ’fore Gad, very fine weather, Sir, very wholesome weather, Sir; kills trees, Sir; very good for man, Sir.”  There has been cruel havoc among the ladies; my Lady Granby is dead; and the famous Polly, Duchess of Bolton, and my Lady Besborough.  I have no great reason to lament the last, and yet the circumstances of her death, and the horror of it to her family, make one shudder.  It was the same sore throat and fever that carried off four of their children a few years ago.  My lord now fell ill of it, very ill, and the eldest daughter slightly:  my lady caught it, attending her husband, and concealed it as long as she could.  When at last the physician

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insisted on her keeping her bed, she said, as she went into her room, “Then, Lord have mercy on me!  I shall never come out of it again,” and died in three days.  Lord Besborough grew outrageously impatient at not seeing her, and would have forced into her room, when she had been dead about four days.  They were obliged to tell him the truth:  never was an answer that expressed so much horror! he said, “And how many children have I left?"not knowing how far this calamity might have reached.  Poor Lady Coventry is near completing this black list.

You have heard, I suppose, a horrid story of another kind, of Lord Ferrers murdering his steward in the most barbarous and deliberate manner.  He sent away all his servants but one, and, like that heroic murderess Queen Christina, carried the poor man through a gallery and several rooms, locking them after him, and then bid the man kneel down, for he was determined to kill him.  The poor creature flung himself at his feet, but in vain; was shot, and lived twelve hours.  Mad as this action was from the consequences, there was no frenzy in his behaviour; he got drunk, and, at intervals, talked of it coolly; but did not attempt to escape, till the colliers beset his house, and were determined to take him alive or dead.  He is now in the gaol at Leicester, and will soon be removed to the Tower, then to Westminster Hall, and I suppose to Tower Hill; unless, as Lord Talbot prophesied in the House of Lords, “Not being thought mad enough to be shut up, till he had killed somebody, he will then be thought too mad to be executed;” but Lord Talbot was no more honoured in his vocation, than other prophets are in their own country.

As you seem amused with my entertainments, I will tell you how I passed yesterday.  A party was made to go to the Magdalen-house.  We met at Northumberland-house at five, and set off in four coaches.  Prince Edward, Colonel Brudenel his groom, Lady Northumberland, Lady Mary Coke, Lady Carlisle, Miss Pelham, Lady Hertford, Lord Beauchamp, Lord Huntingdon. old Bowman, and I. This new convent is beyond Goodman’s-fields, and I assure you would content any Catholic alive.  We were received by—­oh! first, a vast mob, for princes are not so common at that end of the town as at this.  Lord Hertford, at the head of the governors with their white staves, met us at the door, and led the Prince directly into the chapel, where, before the altar, was an arm-chair for him, with a blue damask cushion, a prie-Dieu, and a footstool of black cloth with gold nails.  We set on forms near him.  There were Lord and Lady Dartmouth in the odour of devotion, and many city ladies.  The chapel is small and low, but neat, hung with Gothic paper, and tablets of benefactions.  At the west end were enclosed the sisterhood, above an hundred and thirty, all in grayish brown stuffs, broad handkerchiefs, and flat straw hats, with a blue riband, pulled quite over their faces.  As soon as we

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entered the chapel, the organ played, and the Magdalens sung a hymn in parts; you cannot imagine how well, The chapel was dressed with orange and myrtle, and there wanted nothing but a little incense to drive away the devil-or to invite him.  Prayers then began, psalms, and a sermon:  the latter by a young clergyman, one Dodd,(22) who contributed to the Popish idea one had imbibed, by haranguing entirely in the French style, and very eloquently and touchingly.  He apostrophized the lost sheep, who sobbed and cried from their souls; so did my Lady Hertford and Fanny Pelham, till I believe the city dames took them both for Jane Shores.  The confessor then turned to the audience, and addressed himself to his Royal Highness, whom he called most illustrious Prince, beseeching his protection.  In short, it was a very pleasing performance, and I got the most illustrious to desire it might be printed.  We had another hymn, and then were conducted to the parloir, where the governors kissed the Prince’s hand, and then the lady abbess, or matron, brought us tea.  From thence we went to the refectory, where all the nuns, without their hats, were ranged at long tables, ready for supper.  A few were handsome, many who seemed to have no title to their profession, and two or three of twelve years old; but all recovered, and looking healthy.  I was struck and pleased with the modesty of two of them, who swooned away with the confusion of being stared at.  We were then shown their work, which is making linen, and bead-work; they earn ten pounds a-week.  One circumstance diverted me, but amidst all this decorum, I kept it to myself.  The wands of the governors are white, but twisted at top with black and white, which put me in mind of Jacob’s rods, that he placed before the cattle to make them breed.  My Lord Hertford would never have forgiven me, if I had joked on this; so I kept my countenance very demurely, nor even inquired, whether among the pensioners there were any novices from Mrs. Naylor’s.

The court-martial on Lord George Sackville is appointed:  General Onslow is to be Speaker of it.  Adieu! till I see you; I am glad it will be so soon.

(22) The unfortunate Dr. Dodd, who suffered at Tyburn, in June 1770, for forgery.-E.

Letter 12 To Sir David Dalrymple.(23) Strawberry Hill, Feb. 3, 1760. (page 40)

I am much obliged to you, Sir! for the Irish poetry.(24) they are poetry, and resemble that of the East; that is, they contain natural images and natural sentiment elevated, before rules were invented to make poetry difficult and dull.  The transitions are as sudden as those in Pindar, but not so libertine; for they start into new thoughts on the subject, without wandering from it.’  I like particularly the expression of calling Echo, “Son of the Rock.”  The Monody is much the best.

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I (cannot say I am surprised to hear that the controversy on the Queen of Scots is likely to continue.  Did not somebody write a defence of Nero, and yet none of his descendants remained to pretend to the empire?  If Dr. Robertson could have said more, I am sorry it will be forced from him.  He had better have said it voluntarily.  You will forgive me for thinking his subject did not demand it.  Among the very few objections to his charming work, one was, that he seemed to excuse that Queen more than was allowable, from the very papers he has printed in his Appendix; and some have thought, that though he could not disculpate her, he has diverted indignation from her, by his art in raising up pity for her and resentment against her persecutress, and by much overloading the demerits of Lord Darnley.  For my part, Dr. Mackenzie, or any body else, may write what they please against me:  I meaned to speak my mind, not to write controversy-trash seldom read but by the two opponents who write it.  Yet were I inclined to reply, like Dr. Robertson, I could say a little more.  You have mentioned, Sir, Mr. Dyer’s Fleece.  I own I think it a very insipid poem.(25) His Ruins of Rome had great picturesque spirit, and his Grongar Hill was beautiful.  His Fleece I could never get through; and from thence I suppose never heard of Dr. Mackenzie.

Your idea of a collection of ballads for the cause of liberty is very public-spirited.  I wish, Sir, I could say I thought it would answer your view.  Liberty, like other good and bad principles, can never be taught the people but when it is taught them by faction.  The mob will never sing lilibullero but in opposition to some other mob.  However, if you pursue the thought, there is an entire treasure of that kind in the library of Maudlin College, Cambridge.  It was collected by Pepys, secretary of the admiralty, and dates from the battle of Agincourt.  Give me leave to say, Sir, that it is very comfortable to me to find gentlemen of your virtue and parts attentive to what is so little the object of public attention now.  The extinction of faction, that happiness to which we owe so much of our glory and success, may not be without some inconveniences.  A free nation, perhaps, especially when arms are become so essential to our existence as a free people, may want a little opposition:  as it is a check that has preserved us so long, one cannot wholly think it dangerous; and though I would not be one to tap new resistance to a government with which I have no fault to find, yet it may not be unlucky hereafter, if those who do not wish so well to it, would a little show themselves.  They are not strong enough to hurt; they may be of service by keeping ministers in awe.  But all this is speculation, and flowed from the ideas excited in me by your letter, that is full of benevolence both to public and private.  Adieu!  Sir; believe that nobody has more esteem for you than is raised by each letter.

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(23) Now first collected.

(24) “Fragments of Ancient Poetry, collected in the Highlands of Scotland, and translated from the Gaelic, or Erse Language,” the production of James Macpherson; the first presentation to the world of that literary novelty, which was afterwards to excite so much discussion and dissension in the literary world.-E.

(25) Dr. Johnson was pretty much of Walpole’s opinion.  “Of The Fleece,” he says, “which never became popular, and is now universally neglected, I can say little that is likely to call it to attention.  The woolcomber and the poet appear to me such discordant natures, that an attempt to bring them together is to couple the serpent with the fowl."-E.

Letter 13 To Sir Horace Mann.  Strawberry Hill, Feb. 3, 1760 (page 41)

herculaneum is arrived; Caserta(26) is arrived:  what magnificence You Send me!  My dear Sir, I can but thank you, and thank you—­ oh! yes, I can do more; greedy creature, I can put you in mind, that you must take care to send me the subsequent volumes of Herculaneum as they appear, if ever they do appear, which I suppose is doubtful now that King Carlos(27) is gone to Spain.  One thing pray observe, that I don’t beg these scarce books of you, as a bribe to spur me on to obtain for you your extra-extraordinaries.  Mr. Chute and I admire Caserta; and he at least is no villanous judge of architecture; some of our English travellers abuse it; but there are far from striking faults:  the general idea seems borrowed from Inigo Jones’s Whitehall, though without the glaring uglinesses, which I believe have been lent to Inigo; those plans, I think, were supplied by Lord Burlington, Kent, and others, to very imperfect sketches of the author.  Is Caserta finished and furnished?  Were not the treasures of Herculaneum to be deposited there?

I am in the vein of drawing upon your benevolence, and shall proceed.  Young Mr. Pitt,(28) nephew of the Pitt, is setting out for Lisbon with Lord Kinnoul, and will proceed through Granada to Italy, with his friend Lord Strathmore;(29) not the son, I believe, of that poor mad Lady Strathmore(30) whom you remember at Florence.  The latter is much commended; I don’t know him:  Mr. Pitt is not only a most ingenious Young man, but a most amiable one:  he has already acted in the most noble style-I don’t mean that he took a quarter of Quebec, or invaded a bit of France, or has spoken in the House of Commons better than DemostheneS’S nephew:  but he has an odious father, and has insisted on glorious cuttings off of entails on himself, that his father’s debts might be paid and his sisters provided for.  My own lawyer,(31) who knew nothing of my being acquainted with him, spoke to me of him in raptures—­no small merit in a lawyer to comprehend virtue in cutting off an entail when it was not to cheat; but indeed this lawyer was recommended to me by your dear brother

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—­no wonder he is honest.  You will now conceive that a letter I have given Mr. Pitt is not a mere matter of form, but an earnest suit to you to know one you will like so much.  I should indeed have given it him, were it only to furnish you with an opportunity of ingratiating yourself with Mr. Pitt’s nephew:  but I address him to your heart.  Well! but I have heard of another honest lawyer!  The famous Polly, Duchess of Bolton,(32) is dead, having, after a life of merit, relapsed into her Pollyhood.  Two years ago, at Tunbridge, she picked up an Irish surgeon.  When she was dying, this fellow sent for a lawyer to make her will, but the man, finding who was to be her heir, instead of her children, refused to draw it.  The Court of Chancery did furnish one other, not quite so scrupulous, and her three sons have but a thousand pounds apiece; the surgeon about nine thousand.

I think there is some glimmering of peace!  God send the world some repose from its woes!  The King of Prussia has writ to Belleisle to desire the King of France will make peace for him:  no injudicious step, as the distress of France will make them glad to oblige him.  We have no other news, but that Lord George Sackville has at last obtained a court-martial.  I doubt much whether he will find his account in it.  One thing I know I dislike-a German aide-de-camp is to be an evidence!  Lord George has paid the highest compliment to Mr. Conway’s virtue.  Being told, as an unlucky circumstance for him, that Mr. Conway was to be one of his judges, (but It is not so,) he replied, there was no man in England he should so soon desire of that number.  And it is no mere compliment, for Lord George has excepted against another of them—­but he knew whatever provocation he may have given to Mr. Conway, whatever rivalship there has been between them, nothing could bias the integrity of the latter.  There is going to be another court-martial on a mad Lord Charles Hay,(33) who has foolishly demanded it; but it will not occupy the attention of the world like Lord George’s.  There will soon be another trial of another sort on another madman, an Earl Ferrers, who has murdered his steward.  He was separated by Parliament from his wife, a very pretty woman, whom he married with no fortune, for the most groundless barbarity, and now killed his steward for having been evidence for her; but his story and person are too wretched and despicable to give you the detail.  He will be dignified by a solemn trial in Westminster-hall.

Don’t you like the impertinence of the Dutch?  They have lately had a mudquake, and giving themselves terrafirma airs, call it an earthquake!  Don’t you like much more our noble national charity?  Above two thousand pounds has been raised in London alone, besides what is collected in the country, for the French prisoners, abandoned by their monarch.  Must not it make the Romans blush in their Appian-way, who dragged their prisoners in triumph?  What

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adds to this benevolence is, that we cannot contribute to the subsistence of our own prisoners in France; they conceal where they keep them, and use them cruelly to make them enlist.  We abound in great charities:  the distress of war seems to heighten rather than diminish them.  There is a new one, not quite so certain of its answering, erected for those wretched women, called abroad les filles repenties.  I was there the other night, and fancied myself in a convent.

The Marquis of Buckingham and Earl Temple are to have the two vacant garters to-morrow.  Adieu!

Arlington Street, 6th.

I am this minute come to town, and find yours of Jan. 12.  Pray, my dear child, don’t compliment me any more upon my learning; there is nobody so superficial.  Except a little history, a little poetry, a little painting, and some divinity, I know nothing.  How should I?  I, who have always lived in the big busy world; who lie abed all the morning, calling it morning as long as you please; who sup in company; who have played at pharaoh half my life, and now at loo till two and three in the morning; who have always loved pleasure haunted auctions—­in short, who don’t know so much astronomy as would carry me to Knightsbridge, nor more physic than a physician, nor in short any thing that is called science.  If it were not that I lay up a little provision in summer, like the ant, I should be as ignorant as all the people I live with.  How I have laughed when some of the magazines have called me the learned gentleman!  Pray don’t be like the Magazines.

I see by your letter that you despair of peace; I almost do:  there is but a gruff sort of answer from the woman of’ Russia to-day in the papers; but how should there be peace?  If We are victorious, what is the King of Prussia?  Will the distress of France move the Queen of Hungary?  When we do make peace, how few will it content!  The war was made for America, but the peace will be made for Germany; and whatever geographers may pretend, Crown-point lies somewhere in Westphalia.  Again adieu!  I don’t like your rheumatism, and much less your plague.

(26) Prints of the palace of Caserta.

(27) Don Carlos, King of Naples, who succeeded his half-brother Ferdinand in the crown of Spain.  An interesting picture of the court of the King of the Two Sicilies at the time of his leaving Naples, will be found in the Chatham Correspondence, in a letter from Mr. Stanier Porten to Mr. Pitt.  See vol. ii. p. 31.-E.

(28) Thomas, only son of Thomas Pitt of boconnock, eldest brother of the famous William Pitt. [Afterwards Lord Camelford. (Gray, in a letter to Dr. Wharton, of the 23d of January, says, “Mr. Pitt (not the great, but the little one, my acquaintance) is setting out on his travels.  He goes with my Lord Kinnoul to Lisbon; then (by sea still) to Cates; then up the Guadalquiver to Seville and Cordova, and so perhaps to Toledo, but certainly to Grenada; and,

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after breathing the perfumed air of Andalusia, and contemplating the remains of Moorish magnificence, re-embarks at Gibraltar or Malaga, and sails to Genoa.  Sure an extraordinary good way of passing a few winter months, and better than dragging through Holland, Germany, and Switzerland, to the same place.”  A copy of Mr. Thomas Pitt’s manuscript Diary of his tour to Spain and Portugal is in the possession of Mr. Bentley, the proprietor of this Correspondence.-E.]

(29) John Lyon, ninth Earl of Strathmore.  He married in 1767 Miss Bowes, the great heiress, whose disgraceful adventures are so well known.-D.

(30) Lady Strathmore, rushing between her husband and a gentleman, with whom he had quarrelled and was fighting, and trying to hold the former, the other stabbed him in her -arms, on which she went mad, though not enough to be confined.

(31) His name was Dagge.

(32) Miss Fenton, the first Polly of the Beggar’s Opera.  Charles Duke of Bolton took her off the stage, had children by her, and afterwards married her.

(33) Lord Charles Hay, brother of the Marquis of Tweedale.

Letter 14 To The Rev. Henry Zouch.  Strawberry Hill, February 4th, 1760. (page 44)

Sir, I deferred answering your last, as I was in hopes of being able to send you a sheet or two of my new work, but I find so many difficulties and so much darkness attending the beginning, that I can scarce say I have begun.  I can only say in general, that I do not propose to go further back than I have sure footing; that is, I shall commence with what Vertue had collected from our records, which, with regard to painting, do not date before Henry iii.; and then from him there is a gap to Henry VII.  I shall supply that with a little chronology of intervening paintings, though, hitherto, I can find none of the two first Edwards.  From Henry VIII. there will be a regular succession of painters, short lives of whom I am enabled by Vertue’s MSS. to write, and I shall connect them historically.  I by no means Mean to touch on foreign Artists, unless they came over hither; but they are essential, for we had scarce any others tolerable.  I propose to begin with the anecdotes of painting only, because, in that branch, my materials are by far most considerable.  If I shall be able to publish this part, perhaps it may induce persons of curiosity and knowledge to assist me in the darker parts of the story touching our architects, statuaries, and engravers.  But it is from the same kind friendship which has assisted me so liberally already, that I expect to draw most information; need I specify, Sir, that I mean yours, when the various hints in your last letter speak so plainly for me?

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It is a pleasure to have any body one esteems agree with one’s own sentiments, as you do strongly with mine about Mr. Hurd.(34) It is impossible not to own that he has sense and great knowledge—­but sure he is a most disagreeable writer!  He loads his thoughts with so many words, and those couched in so hard a style, and so void of all veracity, that I have no patience to read him.  In one point. in the dialogues you mention, he is perfectly ridiculous.  He takes infinite pains to make the world believe, upon his word, that they are the genuine productions of the speakers, and yet does not give himself the least trouble to counterfeit the style of any one of them.  What was so easy as to imitate Burnet?  In his other work, the notes on Horace, he is still more absurd.  He cries up Warburton’s preposterous notes on Shakspeare, which would have died of their own folly, though Mr. Edwards had not put them to death with the keenest wit in the world.(35) But what signifies any sense, when it takes Warburton for a pattern, who, with much greater parts, has not been able to save himself from, or rather has affectedly involved himself in numberless absurdities?—­who proved Moses’s legation by the sixth book of Virgil;—­a miracle (Julian’s Earthquake), by proving it was none;—­and who explained a recent poet (Pope) by metaphysical notes, ten times more obscure than the text!  As if writing were come to perfection, Warburton and Hurd are going back again; and since commentators, obscurity, paradoxes, and visions have been so long exploded, ay, and pedantry too, they seem to think that they shall have merit by reviving what was happily forgotten -, and yet these men have their followers, by that balance which compensates to one for what he misses from another.  When an author writes clearly, he is imitated; and when obscurely, he is admired.  Adieu!

(34) Who died Bishop of Worcester in 1808.  He was the author of many works, most of which are now little read, although they had a great vogue in their day.  There is a great deal of justice in Mr. Walpole’s criticism of him and his patron.-C.

(35) In the “Canons of Criticism.”—­E.

Letter 15 To Sir Horace Mann.  Arlington Street, Feb. 28, 1760. (page 45)

The next time you see Marshal Botta, and are to act King of Great Britain, France, and Ireland, you must abate about an hundredth thousandth part of the dignity of your crown.  You are no more monarch of all Ireland, than King O’Neil, or King Macdermoch is.  Louis xv. is sovereign of France, Navarre, and Carrickfergus.  You will be mistaken if you think the peace is made, and that we cede this Hibernian town, in order to recover Minorca, or to keep Quebec and Louisbourg.  To be sure, it is natural you should think so:  how should so victorious and heroic nation cease to enjoy any of its possessions, but to save Christian blood?  Oh!  I know, you will suppose there has been another insurrection,

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and that it is King John(36) of Bedford, and not King George of Brunswick, that has lost this town.  Why, I own you are a great politician, and see things in a moment-and no wonder, considering how long you have been employed in negotiations; but for once all your sagacity is mistaken.  Indeed, considering the total destruction of the maritime force of France, and that the great mechanics and mathematicians of this age have not invented a flying bridge to fling over the sea and land from the coast of France to the north of Ireland, it was not easy to conceive how the French should conquer Carrickfergus—­and yet they have.  But how I run on! not reflecting that by this time the old Pretender must have hobbled through Florence on his way to Ireland, to take possession of this scrap of his recovered domains; but I may as well tell you at once, for to be sure you and the loyal body of English in Tuscany will slip over all this exordium to come to the account of so extraordinary a revolution.  Well, here it is.  Last week Monsieur Thurot—­oh! now you are au fait!—­Monsieur Thurot, as I was saying, landed last week in the isle of Islay, the capital province belonging to a great Scotch King,(37) who is so good as generally to pass the winter with his friends here in London.  Monsieur Thurot had three ships, the crews of which burnt two ships belonging to King George, and a house belonging to his friend the King of Argyll—­pray don’t mistake; by his friend(38) I mein King George’s, not Thurot’s friend.  When they had finished this campaign, they sailed to Carrickfergus, a poorish town, situated in the heart of the Protestant cantons.  They immediately made a moderate demand of about twenty articles of provisions, promising to pay for them; for you know it is the way of modern invasions(39) to make them cost as much as possible to oneself, and as little to those one invades.  If this was not complied with, they threatened to burn the town, and then march to Belfast, which is much richer.  We were sensible of this civil proceedings and not to be behindhand, agreed to it; but somehow or other this capitulation was broken; on which a detachment (the whole invasion consists of one thousand men) attack the place.  We shut the gates, but after the battle of Quebec it is impossible that so great a people should attend to such trifles as locks and bolts, accordingly there were none—­and as if there were no gates neither, the two armies fired through them—­if this is a blunder, remember I am describing an Irish war.  I forgot to give you the numbers of the Irish army.  It consisted but Of seventy-two, under lieut.-colonel Jennings, a wonderful brave man—­too brave, in short, to be very judicious.  Unluckily our ammunition was soon spent, for it is not above a year that there have been any apprehensions for Ireland, and as all that part of the country are most protestantly loyal, it was not thought necessary to arm people who would fight till they die for their religion. 

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When the artillery was silenced, the garrison thought the best way of saving the town was by flinging it at the heads of the besiegers; accordingly they poured volleys of brickbats at the French, whose commander, Monsieur Flobert, was mortally knocked down, and his troops began to give way.  However, General Jennings thought it most prudent to retreat to the castle, and the French again advanced.  Four or five raw recruits still bravely kept the gates, when the garrison, finding no more gunpowder in the castle than they had had in the town, and not near so good a brick-kiln, sent to desire to surrender.  General Thurot accordingly made them prisoners of war, and plundered the town.

End of the siege of Carrickfergus.

You will perhaps ask what preparations have been made to recover this loss.  The, viceroy immediately despatched General Fitzwilliam with four regiments of foot and three of horse against the invaders, appointing to overtake them in person at Newry; but -@is I believe he left Bladen’s Caesar, and Bland’s Military Discipline behind him in England, which he used to study in the camp at Blandford, I fear he will not have his campaign equipage ready soon enough.  My Lord Anson too has sent nine ships, though indeed he does not think they will arrive time enough.  Your part, my dear Sir, will be very easy:  you will only have to say that it is nothing, while it lasts; and the moment it is over, you must say it was an embarkation of ten thousand men.  I will punctually let you know how to vary your dialect.  Mr. Pitt is in bed very ill with the gout.

Lord George Sackville was put under arrest to-day.  His trial comes on to-morrow, but I believe will be postponed, as the court-martial will consult the judges, whether a man who is not in the army, may be tried as an officer.  The judges will answer yes, for how can a point that is not common sense, not be common law!

Lord Ferrers is in the Tower; so you see the good-natured people of England will not want their favourite amusement, executions--not to mention, that it will be very hard if the Irish war don’t furnish some little diversion.

My Lord Northampton frequently asks me about you.  Oh!  I had forgot, there is a dreadful Mr. Dering come over, who to show that he has not been spoiled by his travels, got drunk the first day he appeared, and put me horridly out of countenance about my correspondence with you—­for mercy’s sake take care how you communicate my letters to such cubs.  I will send you no more invasions, if you read them to bears and bear-leaders.  Seriously, my dear child, I don’t mean to reprove you; I know your partiality to me, and your unbounded benignity to every thing English; but I sweat sometimes, when I find that I have been corresponding for two or three months with young Derings.  For clerks and postmasters, I can’t help it, and besides, they never tell one they have seen One’s letters; but I beg you will at most tell them my news, but without my name, or my words.  Adieu!  If I bridle you, believe that I know that it is only your heart that runs away with you.

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(36) John Duke of Bedford, Lord Lieutenant of Ireland.

(37) Archibald Earl of Islay and Duke of Argyle.

(38) The Duke of argyle had been suspected of temporizing in the last rebellion.

(39) Alluding to our expensive invasions on the coast of France.

Letter 16 To Sir Horace Mann.  Arlington Street, March 4, 1760. (page 48)

never was any romance of such short duration as Monsieur Thurot’s!  Instead of the waiting for the viceroy’s army, and staying to see whether it had any ammunition, or was only armed with brickbats `a la Carrickfergienne, he re-embarked on the 28th, taking along with him the mayor and three others—­I suppose, as proofs of his conquest.  The Duke of Bedford had sent notice of’ the invasion to Kinsale, where lay three or four of our best frigates.  They instantly sailed, and came up with the flying invaders in the Irish Channel.  You will see the short detail of the action in the Gazette; but, as the letter was written by Captain Elliot himself, you will not see there, that he with half the number of Thurot’s crew, boarded the latter’s vessel.  Thurot was killed, and his pigmy navy all taken and carried into the Isle of Man.  It is an entertaining episode; but think what would have happened, if the whole of the plan had taken place -it the destined time.  The negligence of the Duke of Bedford’s administration has appeared so gross, that one may believe his very kingdom would have been lost, if Conflans had not been beat.  You will see, by the deposition of Ensign hall, published in all our papers, that the account of the siege of Carrickfergus, which I sent you in my last, was not half so ridiculous as the reality—­because, as that deponent said, I was furnished with no papers but my memory.  The General Flobert, I am told, you may remember at Florence; he was then very mad, and was to have fought Mallet.—­but was banished from Tuscany.  Some years since he was in England; and met Mallet at lord Chesterfield’s, but without acknowledging one another.  The next day Flobert asked the Earl if Mallet had mentioned him?—­No-"Il a donc,” said Flobert, “beaucoup de retenue, car surement ce qu’il pourroit dire de moi, ne seroit pas `a mon avantage.”—­it was pretty, and they say he is now grown an agreeable and rational man.

The judges have given their opinion that the court-martial on lord George Sackville is legal; so I suppose it will proceed on Thursday.

I receive yours of the 16th of last month:  I wish you had given me any account of your headaches that I could show to Ward.  He will no more comprehend nervous, than the physicians do who use the word.  Send me an exact description; if he can do you no good, at least it will be a satisfaction to me to have consulted him.  I wish, my dear child, that what you say at the end of your letter, of appointments and honours, was not as chronical as your headaches-that

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is a thing you may long complain of-indeed there I can consult nobody.  I have no dealings with either our state-doctors or statequacks.  I only know that the political ones are so like the medicinal ones, that after the doctors had talked nonsense for years, while we daily grew worse, the quacks ventured boldly, and have done us wonderful good.  I should not dislike to have you state your case to the latter, though I cannot advise it, for the regular physicians are daintily jealous; nor could I carry it, for when they know I would take none of their medicines myself, they would not much attend to me consulting them for others, nor would it be decent, nor should I care to be seen in their shop.  Adieu!

P. S. There are some big news from the East Indies.  I don’t know what, except that the hero Clive has taken Mazulipatam and the Great Mogul’s grandmother.  I suppose she will be brought over and put in the Tower with the Shahgoest, the strange Indian beast that Mr. Pitt gave to the King this winter.

.Letter 17 To Sir Horace Mann.

Arlington Street, March 26, 1760. (page 49)

I have a good mind to have Mr. Sisson tried by a court-martial, in order to clear my own character for punctuality.  It is time immemorial since he promised me the machine and the drawing in six weeks.  After above half of time immemorial was elapsed, he came and begged for ten guineas.  Your brother and I called one another to a council of war, and at last gave it him nemine contradicente.  The moment your hurrying letter arrived, I issued out a warrant and took Sisson up, who, after all his promises, was guilty by his own confession, of not having begun the drawing.  However, after scolding him black and blue, I have got it from him, have consigned it to your brother James, and you will receive it, I trust, along With this.  I hope too time enough for the purposes it is to serve, and correct; if it is not, I shall be very sorry.  You shall have the machine as soon as possible, but that must go by sea.

I shall execute your commission about Stoschino(40) much better; he need not fear my receiving him well, if he has virt`u to sell,—­I am only afraid, in that case, of receiving him too well.  You know what a dupe I am when I like any thing.

I shall handle your brother James as roughly as I did Sisson—­six months without writing to you!  Sure he must turn black in the face, if he has a drop of brotherly ink in his veins.  As to your other brother,(41) he is so strange a man, that is, so common a one;, that I am not surprised at any thing he does or does not do.

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Bless your stars that you are not here, to be worn out with the details of lord George’s court-martial!  One hears of nothing else.  It has already lasted much longer than could be conceived, and now the end of it is still at a tolerable distance.  The colour of it is more favourable for him than it looked at first.  Prince Ferdinand’s narrative has proved to set out with a heap of lies.  There is an old gentleman(42) of the same family who has spared no indecency to give weight to them—­but, you know, general officers are men of strict honour, and nothing can bias them.  Lord Charles Hay’s court-martial is dissolved, by the death of one of the members—­and as no German interest is concerned to ruin him, it probably will not be re-assumed.  Lord Ferrers’s trial is fixed for the 16th of next month.  Adieu!

P. S. Don’t mention it from me, but if you have a mind you may make your court to my Lady Orford, by announcing the ancient barony of Clinton, which is fallen to her, by the death of the last incumbentess.(43)

(40) Nephew of Baron Stosch, a well-known virtuoso and antiquary, who died at Florence.

(41) Edward Louisa Mann, the eldest brother.

(42) George the Second.

(43) Mrs. Fortescue, sister of Hugh last Lord Clinton.

Letter 18 To George Montagu, Esq.  Arlington Street, March 27, 1760. (page 50)

I should have thought that you might have learnt by this time, that when a tradesman promises any thing on Monday, Or Saturday, or any particular day of the week, he means any Monday or any Saturday of any week, as nurses quiet children and their own consciences by the refined salvo of to-morrow is a new day.  When Mr. Smith’s Saturday and the frame do arrive, I will pay the one and send you the other.

Lord George’s trial is not near being finished.  By its draggling beyond the term of the old Mutiny-bill, they were forced to make out a new warrant:  this lost two days, as all the depositions were forced to be read over again to, and resworn by, the witnesses; then there will be a contest, whether Sloper(44) shall re-establish his own credit by pawning it farther.  Lord Ferrers comes on the stage on the sixteenth of next month.

I breakfasted the day before yesterday at Elia laelia Chudleigh’s.  There was a concert for Prince Edward’s birthday, and at three, a vast cold collation, and all the town.  The house is not fine, nor in good taste, but loaded with finery.  Execrable varnished pictures, chests, cabinets, commodes, tables, stands, boxes, riding on One another’s backs, and loaded with terrenes, filigree, figures, and every thing upon earth.  Every favour she has bestowed is registered by a bit of Dresden china.  There is a glass-case full of enamels, eggs, ambers, lapis lazuli, cameos, toothpick-cases, and all kinds of trinkets, things that she told me were her playthings; another cupboard, full of the finest japan, and candlesticks and vases of rock crystal, ready to be thrown down, in every corner.  But of all curiosities, are the conveniences in every bedchamber:  great mahogany projections, with brass handles, cocks, etc.  I could not help saying, it was the loosest family I ever saw.  Adieu!

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(44) Lieutenant-colonel Sloper, of Bland’s dragoons.

Letter 19 To Sir.  David Dalrymple.(45) Strawberry Hill, April 4, 1760. (page 51)

Sir, As I have very little at present to trouble you with myself, I should have deferred writing, till a better opportunity, if it were not to satisfy the curiosity of a friend; a friend whom you, Sir, will be glad to have made curious, as you originally pointed him out as a likely person to be charmed with the old Irish poetry you sent me.  It is Mr. Gray, who is an enthusiast about those poems, and begs me to put the following queries to you; which I will do in his own words, and I may say truly, Poeta loquitur.

“I am so charmed with the two specimens of Erse poetry, that I cannot help giving you the trouble to inquire a little farther about them, and should wish to see a few lines of the original, that I may form some slight idea of the language, the measure, and the rhythm.

“Is there any thing known of the author or authors, and of what antiquity are they supposed to be?

“Is there any more to be had of equal beauty, or at all approaching to it?

“I have been often told, that the poem called Hardykanute (which I always admired and still admire) was the work of somebody that lived a few years ago.(46) This I do not at all believe, though it has evidently been retouched in places by some modern hand; but, however, I am authorized by this report to ask, whether the two poems in question are certainly antique and genuine.  I make this inquiry in quality of an antiquary, and am not otherwise concerned about it; for if I were sure that any one now living in Scotland had written them, to divert himself and laugh at the credulity of the world, I would undertake a journey into the Highlands only for the pleasure of seeing him.”

You see, Sir, how easily you may make our greatest southern bard travel northward to visit a brother. young translator had nothing to do but to own a forgery, and Mr. Gray is ready to pack up his lyre, saddle Pegasus, and set out directly.  But seriously, he,’ Mr. Mason, my Lord Lyttelton, and one or two more, whose taste the world allows, are in love with your Erse elegies — I cannot say in general they are so much admired—­but Mr. Gray alone is worth satisfying.

The “Siege of Aquileia,” of which you ask, pleased less than Mr. Home’s other plays.(47) In my own opinion, Douglas far exceeds both the other.  Mr. Home seems to have a beautiful talent for painting genuine nature and the manners of his country.  There was so little nature in the manners of both Greeks and Romans, that I do not wonder at his success being less brilliant when he tried those subjects; and, to say the truth, one is a little weary of them.  At present, nothing is talked of, nothing admired, but what I cannot help calling a very insipid and tedious performance:  it is a kind Of novel, called

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“The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy;” the great humour of which consists in the whole narration always going backwards.  I cannot conceive a man saying that it would be droll to write a book in that manner, but have no notion of his persevering in executing it.  It makes one smile two or three times at the beginnings but in recompense makes one yawn for two hours.  The characters are tolerably kept up, but the humour is for ever attempted and missed.  The best thing in it is a Sermon, oddly coupled with a good deal of bawdy, and both the composition of a clergyman.  The man’s head, indeed, was a little turned before, now topsy-turvy with his success and fame.(48) Dodsley has given him six hundred and fifty pounds for the second edition and two more volumes (which I suppose will reach backwards to his great-great-grandfather); Lord Falconberg, a donative of one hundred and sixty pounds a-year; and Bishop Warburton gave him a purse of gold and this compliment (which happened to be a contradiction), “that it was quite an original composition, and in the true Cervantic vein:”  the only copy that ever was an original, except in painting, where they all pretend to be so.  Warburton, however, not content with this, recommended the book to the bench of bishops, and told them Mr. Sterne, the author, was the English Rabelais.  They had never heard of such a writer.  Adieu!

(45) Now first collected.

(46) It was written by Mrs. Halket of Wardlaw.  Mr. Lockhart stated, that on the blank leaf of his copy of Allan Ramsay’s “Evergreen,” Sir Walter Scott has written “Hardyknute was the first poem that I ever learnt, the last that I shall forget."-E.

(47) It came out at Drury-Lane, but met with small success.-E.

(48) Gray, in a letter to Wharton, of the 22d of April, says, “Tristram Shandy is an object of admiration, the man as well as the book.  One is invited to dinner, where he dines, a fortnight beforehand.  His portrait is done by Reynolds, and now engraving.”  He adds, in another letter, “There is much good fun in Tristram, and humour sometimes hit and sometimes missed.  Have you read his Sermons (with his own comic figure at the head of them)?  They are in the style, I think, most proper for the pulpit, and show a very strong imagination and a sensible heart:  but you see him often tottering on the verge of laughter, and ready to throw his periwig in the face of his audience."-E.

Letter 20 To George Montagu, Esq.  Arlington Street, April 19, 1760. (page 52)

Well, this big week is over!  Lord George’s sentence, after all the communications of how terrible it was, is ended in proclaiming him unfit for the King’s service.  Very moderate, in comparison of what was intended and desired, and truly not very severe, considering what was proved.  The other trial, Lord Ferrers’s, lasted three days.  You have seen the pomp and awfulness of such doings,

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so I will not describe it to you.  The judge and criminal were far inferior to those you have seen.  For the Lord High Steward(49) he neither had any dignity nor affected any; nay, he held it all so cheap, that he said at his own table t’other day, “I will not send for Garrick and learn to act a part.”  At first I thought Lord Ferrers shocked, but in general he behaved rationally and coolly; though it was a strange contradiction to see a man trying by his own sense, to prove himself out of his senses.  It was more shocking to see his two brothers brought to prove the lunacy in their own blood; in order to save their brother’s life.  Both are almost as ill-looking men as the Earl; one of them is a clergyman, suspended by the Bishop of London for being a Methodist; the other a wild vagabond, whom they call in the country, ragged and dangerous.  After Lord Ferrers was condemned, he made an excuse for pleading madness, to which he said he was forced by his family.  He is respited till Monday-fortnight, and will then be hanged, I believe in the Tower; and, to the mortification of the peerage, is to be anatomized, conformably to the late act for murder.  Many peers were absent; Lord Foley and Lord Jersey attended only the first day; and Lord Huntingdon, and my nephew Orford (in compliment to his mother), as related to the prisoner, withdrew without voting.  But never was a criminal more literally tried by his peers, for the three persons, who interested themselves most in the examination, were at least as mad as he; Lord Ravensworth, Lord Talbot, and Lord Fortescue.  Indeed, the first was almost frantic.  The seats of the peeresses were not near full, and most of the beauties absent; the Duchess of Hamilton and my niece Waldegrave, you know, lie in; but, to the amazement of every body, Lady Coventry was there; and what surprised me much more, looked as well as ever.  I sat next but one to her, and should not have asked if she had been ill—­yet they are positive she has few weeks to live.  She and Lord Bolingbroke seemed to have different thoughts, and were acting over all the old comedy of eyes.  I sat in Lord Lincoln’s gallery; you and I know the convenience of it; I thought it no great favour to ask, and he very obligingly sent me a ticket immediately, and ordered me to be placed in one of the best boxes.  Lady Augusta was in the same gallery; the Duke of York and his young brothers were in the Prince of Wales’s box, who was not there, no more than the Princess, Princess Emily, nor the Duke.  It was an agreeable humanity in my friend—­the Duke of York; he would not take his seat in the House before the trial, that he might not vote in it.  There are so many young peers, that the show was fine even in that respect; the Duke of Richmond was the finest figure; the Duke of Marlborough, with the best countenance in the world, looked clumsy in his robes; he had new ones, having given away his father’s to the valet de chambre.  There were others not at all

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so indifferent about the antiquity of theirs; Lord Huntingdon’s, Lord Abergavenny’s, and Lord Castlehaven’s scarcely hung on their backs; the former they pretend were used at the trial of the Queen of Scots.  But all these honours were a little defaced by seeing Lord Temple, as lord privy seal, walk at the head of the peerage.  Who, at the last trials, would have believed a prophecy, that the three first men at the next should be Henley the lawyer, Bishop Secker, and Dick Grenville.

The day before the trial, the Duke of Bolton fought a duel at Marylebone with Stewart who lately stood for Hampshire; the latter was wounded in the arm, and the former fell down.(50) Adieu!

(49) Robert Henley, afterwards Earl of Northington.-E.

(50) “Here has just been a duel between the Duke of Bolton and Mr. Stewart, a candidate for the county of Hampshire at the late election:  what the quarrel was I do not know; but, they met near Marylebone, and the Duke, in making a pass, overreached himself, fell down, and hurt his knee.  The other bid him get up, but he could not; then he bid him ask his life, but he would not; so he let him alone, and that’s all.  Mr. Stewart was slightly wounded.”  Gray, vol. iii. p. 238.-E.

Letter 21 To Sir Horace Mann.  Strawberry Hill, April 20, 1760. (page 54)

The history of Lord George Sackville, which has interested us so much and so long, is at last at an end-,gently enough, considering who were his parties, and what has been proved.  He is declared unfit to serve the King in a military capacity-but I think this is not the last we shall hear of Whatever were his deficiencies in the day of battle, he has at least showed no want of spirit, either in pushing on his trial or during it.  His judgment in both was perhaps a little more equivocal.  He had a formal message that he must abide the event whatever it should be.  He accepted that issue, and during the course of the examination, attacked judge, prosecutor and evidence.  Indeed, a man cannot be said to want spirit, who could show so much in his circumstances.(51) I think, without much heroism, I could sooner have led up the cavalry to the charge, than have gone to Whitehall to be worried as he was; nay, I should have thought with less danger of my life.  But he is a peculiar man; and I repeat it, we have hot heard the last of him.  You will find that by serving the King he understands in a very literal sense; and there is a young gentleman(52) who it is believed intends those words shall not have a more extensive one.

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We have had another trial this week, still more solemn, though less interesting, and with more serious determination:  I mean that of Lord Ferrers.  I have formerly described this solemnity to you.  The behaviour, character, and appearance of the criminal, by no means corresponded to the dignity of the show.  His figure is bad and villanous, his crime shocking.  He would not plead guilty, and yet had nothing to plead; and at last to humour his family, pleaded madness against his inclination:  it was moving to see two of his brothers brought to depose the lunacy in their blood.  After he was condemned, he excused himself for having used that plea.  He is to be hanged in a fortnight, I believe, in the Tower, and his body to be delivered to the surgeons, according to the tenour of the new act of parliament for murder.  His mother was to present a petition for his life to the King to-day.  There were near an hundred and forty peers present; my Lord Keeper was lord high steward, but was not at all too dignified a personage to sit on such a criminal:  indeed he gave himself no trouble to figure.  I will send you both trials as soon as they are published.  It is astonishing with what order these shows are conducted.  Neither within the hall nor without was there the least disturbance,(53) though the one so full, and the whole way from Charing-cross to the House of Lords was lined with crowds.  The foreigners were struck with the awfulness of the proceeding-it is new to their ideas, to see such deliberate justice, and such dignity of nobility, mixed with no respect for birth in the catastrophe, and still more humiliated by anatomizing the criminal.

I am glad you received safe my history of Thurot:  as the accounts were authentic, they must have been useful and amusing to you.  I don’t expect more invasions, but I fear our correspondence will still have martial events to trade in, though there are such Christian professions going about the world.  I don’t believe their Pacific Majesties will waive a campaign, for which they are all prepared, and by the issue of which they will all hope to improve their terms.

You know we have got a new Duke of York(54) and were to have had several new peers, but hitherto it has stopped at him and the lord keeper.  Adieu!

P. S. I must not forget to recommend to you a friend of Mr. Chute, who will ere long be at Florence, in his way to Naples for his health.  It is Mr. Morrice, clerk of the green cloth, heir of Sir William Morrice, and of vast wealth.  I gave a letter lately for a young gentleman whom I never saw, and consequently not meaning to incumber you with him, I did not mention him particularly in my familiar letters.

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(51) Gray, in a letter of the 22d, gives the following account of the result of this trial.  “The old Pundles that sat on Lord George Sackville have at last hammered out their sentence.  He is declared disobedient, and unfit for all military command.  What he will do with himself, nobody guesses.  The unembarrassed countenance, the looks of revenge, contempt, and superiority that he bestowed on his accusers were the admiration of all, but his usual talent and art did not appear; in short, his cause would not support him.  You may think, perhaps, he intends to go abroad and hide his head; au contraire, all the world visits him on his condemnation.”  Works, vol. iii. p. 239.-E.

(52) George Prince of Wales.

(53) “I was not present,” says Gray, “but Mason was in the Duke of Ancaster’s gallery. and in the greatest danger; for the cell underneath him (to which the prisoner retires) was on fire during the trial, and the Duke, with the workmen, by sawing away some timbers, and other assistance, contrived to put it out without any alarm to the Court.”  Works, vol. iii. p. 240.-E.

(54) Prince Edward, second son of Frederic Prince of Wales.-D.

Letter 22 To The Rev. Henry Zouch.  Strawberry Hill, May 3, 1760. (page 55)

Indeed, Sir, you have been misinformed; I had not the least hand in the answer to my Lord Bath’s Rhapsody:  it is true the booksellers sold it as mine, and it was believed so till people had ’read it, because my name and that of Pulteney had been apt to answer one another, and because that war was dirtily revived by the latter in his libel; but the deceit soon vanished; the answer a appeared to have much more knowledge of the subject than I have, and a good deal more temper than I should probably have exerted, if I had thought it worth while to proceed to an answer; but though my Lord Bath is unwilling to enter lists in which he has suffered so much shame, I am by no means fond of entering them; nor was there any honour to be acquired, either from the contest or the combatant.

My history of artists proceeds very leisurely; I find the subject dry and uninteresting, and the materials scarce worth arranging:  yet I think I shall execute my purpose, at least as far as relates to painters.  It is a work I can scribble at any time, and on which I shall bestow little pains; things that are so soon forgotten should not take one up too much.  I had consulted Mr. Lethinkai, who told me he had communicated to Mr. Vertue what observations he had made.  I believe they were scanty, for I find small materials relating to architects among his manuscripts.  Adieu!

Letter 23 To George Montagu, Esq.  Arlington Street, May 6, 1760. (page 56)

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The extraordinary history of Lord Ferrers is closed:  he was executed yesterday.  Madness, that in other countries is a disorder, is here a systematic character; it does not hinder people from forming a plan of conduct, and from even dying agreeably to it.  You remember how the last Ratcliffe died with the utmost propriety; so did this horrid lunatic, coolly and sensibly.  His own and his wife’s relations had asserted that he would tremble at last.  No such thing; he shamed heroes.  He bore the solemnity of a pompous and tedious procession of above two hours, from the Tower to Tyburn, with as much tranquillity as if he was only going to his own burial, not to his own execution.  He even talked on indifferent subjects in the passage; and if the sheriff and the chaplains had not thought that they had parts to act, too, and had not consequently engaged him in most particular conversation, he did not seem to think it necessary to talk on the occasion; he went in his wedding-clothes, marking the only remaining impression on -his mind.  The ceremony he was in a hurry to have over:  he was stopped at the gallows by the vast crowd, but got out of his coach as soon as he could, and was but seven minutes on the scaffold, which was hung with black, and prepared by the undertaker of his family at their expense.  There was a new contrivance for sinking the stage under him, which did not play well; and he suffered a little by the delay, but was dead in four minutes.  The mob was decent, and admired him, and almost pitied him; so they would Lord George, whose execution they are so angry at missing.  I suppose every highwayman will now preserve the blue handkerchief he has about his neck when he is married, that he may die like a lord.  With all his madness, he was not mad enough to be struck with his aunt Huntingdon’s sermons.  The Methodists have nothing to brag of his conversion, though Whitfield prayed for him and preached about him.  Even Tyburn has been above their reach.  I have not heard that Lady Fanny dabbled with his soul; but I believe she is prudent enough to confine her missionary zeal to subjects where the body may be her perquisite.

When am I likely to see you?  The delightful rain is come—­we look and smell charmingly.  Adieu!

Letter 24 To Sir Horace Mann.  Strawberry Hill, May 7, 1760. (page 57)

What will your Italians say to a peer of England, an earl of one of the best of families, tried for murdering his servant, with the utmost dignity and solemnity, and then hanged at the common place of execution for highwaymen, and afterwards anatomized?  This must seem a little odd to them, especially as they have not lately had a Sixtus Quinttis.  I have hitherto spoken of Lord Ferrers to you as a mad beast, a mad assassin, a low wretch, about whom I had no curiosity.  If I now am going to give you a minute account of him, don’t think me so far part of an English mob, as to fall in love

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with a criminal merely because I have had the pleasure of his execution.  I certainly did not see it, nor should have been struck with more intrepidity—­I never adored heroes, whether in a cart or a triumphal car—­but there has been Such wonderful coolness and sense in all this man’s last behaviour, that it has made me quite inquisitive about him —­not at all pity him.  I only reflect, what I have often thought, how little connexion there is between any man’s sense and his sensibility—­so much so, that instead of Lord Ferrers having any ascendant over his passions, I am disposed to think, that his drunkenness, which was supposed to heighten his ferocity, has rather been a lucky circumstance-what might not a creature of such capacity, and who stuck at nothing, have done, if his abilities had not been drowned in brandy?  I will go back a little into his history.  His misfortunes, as he called them, were dated from his marriage, though he has been guilty of horrid excesses unconnected with Matrimony, and is even believed to have killed a groom -,,,he died a year after receiving a cruel beating from him.  His wife, a very pretty woman, was sister of Sir William Meredith,(55) had no fortune, and he says, trepanned him into marriage, having met him drunk at an assembly in the country, and kept him so till the ceremony was over.  As he always kept himself so afterwards, one need not impute it to her.  In every other respect, and one scarce knows how to blame her for wishing to be a countess, her behaviour was unexceptionable.(56) He had a mistress before and two or three children, and her he took again after the separation from his wife.  He was fond of both and used both ill:  his wife so ill, always carrying pistols to bed, and threatening to kill her before morning, beating her, and jealous without provocation, that she got separated from him by act of Parliament, which appointed receivers of his estate in order to secure her allowance.  This he could not bear.  However, he named his steward for one, but afterwards finding out that this Johnson had paid her fifty pounds without his knowledge, and suspecting him of being in the confederacy against him, he determined, when he failed of opportunities of murdering his wife, to kill the steward, which he effected as you have heard.  The shocking circumstances attending the murder, I did not tell you-indeed, while he was alive, I scarce liked to speak my opinion even to you; for though I felt nothing for him, I thought it wrong to propagate any notions that might interfere with mercy, if he could be then thought deserving it—­and not knowing into what hands my letter might pass before it reached yours, I chose to be silent, though nobody could conceive greater horror than I did for him at his trial.  Having shot the steward at three in the afternoon, he persecuted him till one in the morning, threatening again to murder him, attempting to tear off his bandages, and terrifying him till in that misery he was glad to

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obtain leave to be removed to his own house; and when the earl heard the poor creature was dead, he said he gloried in having killed him.  You cannot conceive the shock this evidence gave the court-many of the lords were standing to look at him-at once they turned from him with detestation.  I had heard that on the former affair in the House of Lords, he had behaved with great shrewdness—­no such thing appeared at his trial.  It is now pretended, that his being forced by his family against his inclination to plead madness, prevented his exerting his parts--but he has not acted in any thing as if his family had influence over him—­consequently his reverting to much good sense leaves the whole inexplicable.  The very night he received sentence, he played at picquet with the warders and would play for money, and would have continued to play every evening, but they refuse.  Lord Cornwallis, governor of the Tower, shortened his allowance of wine after his conviction, agreeably to the late strict acts on murder.  This he much disliked, and at last pressed his brother the clergyman to intercede that at least he might have more porter; for, said he, what I have is not a draught.  His brother represented against it, but at last consenting (and he did obtain it)—­then said the earl, “Now is as good a time as any to take leave of you—­adieu!” A minute journal of his whole behaviour has been kept, to see if there was any madness in it.  Dr. Munro since the trial has made -,in affidavit of his lunacy.  The Washingtons were certainly a very frantic race, and I have no doubt of madness in him, but not of a pardonable sort.  Two petitions from his mother and all his family were presented to the King, who said, as the House of Lords had unanimously found him guilty, he would not interfere.  Last week my lord keeper very good-naturedly got out of a gouty bed to present another:  the King would not hear him.  “Sir,” said the keeper, “I don’t come to petition for mercy or respite; but that the four thousand pounds which Lord Ferrers has in India bonds may be permitted to go according to his disposition of it to his mistress’ children, and the family of the murdered man.”  “With all my heart,” said the King, “I have no objection; but I will have no message carried to him from me.”  However, this grace was notified to him and gave him great satisfaction:  but unfortunately it now appears to be law, that it is forfeited to the sheriff of the county where the fact was committed; though when my Lord Hardwicke was told that he had disposed of it, he said, to be sure he may before conviction.

Dr. Pearce, Bishop of Rochester,(57) offered his service to him:  he thanked the Bishop, but said, as his own brother was a clergyman, he chose to have him.  Yet he had another relation who has been much more busy about his repentance.  I don’t know whether you have ever heard that one of the singular characters here is a Countess of Huntingdon,(58) aunt of Lord Ferrers.  She is the Saint Theresa of

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the Methodists.  Judge how violent bigotry must be in such mad blood!  The Earl, by no means disposed to be a convert, let her visit him, and often sent for her, as it was more company; but he grew sick of her, and complained that she was enough to provoke any body.  She made her suffragan, Whitfield, pray for and preach about him, and that impertinent fellow told his enthusiasts in his sermon, that my Lord’s heart was stone.  The earl wanted much to see his mistress:  my Lord Cornwallis, as simple an old woman as my Lady Huntingdon herself, consulted her whether he should permit it.  “Oh! by no means; it would be letting him die in adultery!” In one thing she was more sensible.  He resolved not to take leave of his children, four girls, but on the scaffold, and then to read to them a paper he had drawn up, very bitter on the family of Meredith, and on the House of Lords for -the first transaction.  This my Lady Huntingdon persuaded him to drop, and he took leave of his children the day before.  He wrote two letters in the preceding week to Lord Cornwallis on some of these requests — they were cool and rational, and concluded with desiring him not to mind the absurd requests of his (Lord Ferrers’s) family in his behalf.  On the last morning he dressed himself in his wedding clothes, and said, he thought this, at least, as good an occasion of putting them on as that for which they were first made.  He wore them to Tyburn.  This marked the strong impression on his mind.  His mother wrote to his wife in a weak angry Style, telling her to intercede for him as her duty, and to swear to his madness.  But this was not so easy; in all her cause before the lords, she had persisted that he was not mad.

Sir William Meredith, and even Lady Huntingdon had prophesied that his courage would fail him at last, and had so much foundation, that it is certain Lord Ferrers had often been beat:- -but the Methodists were to get no honour by him.  His courage rose where it was most likely to fail,-an unlucky circumstance to prophets, especially when they have had the prudence to have all kind of probability on their side.  Even an awful procession of above two hours, with that mixture of pageantry, shame, and ignominy, nay, and of delay, could not dismount his resolution.  He set out from the Tower at nine, amidst crowds, thousands.  First went a string of constables; then one of the sheriffs, in his chariot and six, the horses dressed with ribands; next Lord Ferrers, in his own landau and six, his coachman crying all the way; guards at each side; the other sheriffs chariot followed empty, with a mourning coach-and-six, a hearse, and the Horse Guards.  Observe, that the empty chariot was that of the other sheriff, who was in the coach with the prisoner, and who was Vaillant, the French bookseller in the Strand.  How will you decipher all these strange circumstances to Florentines?  A bookseller in robes and in mourning, sitting as a magistrate by

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the side of the Earl; and in the evening, every -body going to Vaillant’s shop to hear the particulars.  I wrote to him ’. as he serves me, for the account:  but he intends to print it, and I will send it you with some other things, and the trial.  Lord Ferrers at first talked on indifferent matters, and observing the prodigious confluence of people, (the blind was drawn up on his side,) he said,—­“But they never saw a lord hanged, and perhaps will never see another;” One of the dragoons was thrown by his horse’s leg entangling in the hind wheel:  Lord Ferrers expressed much concern, and said, “I hope there will be no death to-day but mine,” and was pleased when Vaillant told him the man was not hurt.  Vaillant made excuses to him on his office.  “On the contrary,” said the Earl, “I am much obliged to you.  I feared the disagreeableness of the duty might make you depute your under-sheriff.  As you are so good as to execute it yourself, I am persuaded the dreadful apparatus will be conducted with more expedition.”  The chaplain of the Tower, who sat backwards, then thought it his turn to speak, and began to talk on religion; but Lord Ferrers received it impatiently.  However, the chaplain persevered, and said, he wished to bring his lordship to some confession or acknowledgment of contrition for a crime so repugnant to the laws of God and man, and wished him to endeavour to do whatever could be done in so short a time.  The Earl replied, “He had done every thing he proposed to do with regard to God and man; and as to discourses on religion, you and I, Sir,” said he to the clergyman, “shall probably not agree on that subject.  The passage is very short:  you will not have time to convince me, nor I to refute you; it cannot be ended before we arrive.”  The clergyman still insisted, and urged, that. at least, the world would expect some satisfaction.  Lord Ferrers replied, with some impatience, “Sir, what have I to do with the world?  I am going to pay a forfeit life, which my country has thought proper to take from me—­what do I care now what the world thinks of me?  But, Sir, since you do desire some confession, I will confess one thing to you; I do believe there is a God.  As to modes of worship, we had better not talk on them.  I always thought Lord Bolingbroke in the wrong, to publish his notions on religion:  I will not fall into the same error.”  The chaplain, seeing sensibly that it was in vain to make any more attempts, contented himself with representing to him, that it would be expected from one of his calling, and that even decency required, that some prayer should be used on the scaffold, and asked his leave, at least to repeat the Lord’s Prayer there.  Lord Ferrers replied, “I always thought it a good prayer; you may use it if you please.”

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While these discourses were passing, the procession was stopped by the crowd.  The Earl said he was dry, and wished for some wine and water.  The Sheriff said, he was sorry to be obliged to refuse him.  By late regulations they were enjoined not to let prisoners drink from the place of imprisonment to that of execution, as great indecencies had been formerly committed by the lower species of criminals getting drunk; “And though,” said he, “my Lord, I might think myself excusable in overlooking this order out of regard to a person of your lordship’s rank, yet there is another reason which, I am sure, will weigh with you;-your Lordship is sensible of the greatness of the crowd; we must draw up to some tavern; the confluence would be so great, that it would delay the expedition which your Lordship seems so much to desire.”  He replied, he was satisfied, adding, “Then I must be content with this,” and took some pigtail tobacco out of his pocket.  As they went on, a letter was thrown into his coach; it was from his mistress, to tell him, it was impossible, from the crowd, for her to get up to the spot where he had appointed her to meet and take leave of him, but that she was in a hackney-coach of such a number.  He begged Vaillant to order his officers to try to get the hackney-coach up to his, “My Lord,” said Vaillant, you have behaved so well hitherto, that I think it is pity to venture unmanning yourself.”  He was struck, and was satisfied without seeing her.  As they drew nigh, he said, “I perceive we are almost arrived; it is time to do what little more I have to do;” and then taking out his watch, gave it to Vaillant, desiring him to accept it as a mark of his gratitude for his kind behaviour, adding, “It is scarce worth Your acceptance; but I have nothing else; it is a stop-watch, and a pretty accurate one.”  He gave five guineas to the chaplain, and took out as much for the executioner.  Then giving Vaillant a pocket-book, he begged him to deliver it to Mrs. Clifford his mistress, with what it contained, and with his most tender regards, saying, “The key of it is to the watch, but I am persuaded you are too much a gentleman to open it.”  He destined the remainder of the money in his purse to the same person, and with the same tender regards.

When they came to Tyburn, his coach was detained some minutes by the conflux of people; but as soon as the door was opened, he stepped out readily and mounted the scaffold:  it was hung with black, by the undertaker, and at the expense of his family.  Under the gallows was a new invented stage, to be struck from under him.  He showed no kind of fear or discomposure, only just looking at the gallows with a slight motion of dissatisfaction.  He said little, kneeled for a moment to the prayer, said, “Lord have mercy upon me, and forgive me my errors,” and immediately mounted the upper stage.  He had come pinioned with a black sash, and was unwilling to have his hands tied, or his face covered, but was

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persuaded to both.  When the rope was put round his neck, he turned pale, but recovered his countenance instantly, and was but seven minutes from leaving the coach, to the signal given for striking the stage.  As the machine was new, they were not ready at it:  his toes touched it, and he suffered a little, having had time, by their bungling, to raise his cap; but the executioner pulled it down again, and they pulled his legs, so that he was soon out of pain, and quite dead in four minutes.  He desired not to be stripped and exposed, and Vaillant promised him, though his clothes must be taken off, that his shirt should not.  This decency ended with him:  the sheriffs fell to eating and drinking on the scaffold, ran and helped up one of their friends to drink with them, as he was still hanging, which he did for above an hour, and then was conveyed back with the same pomp to Surgeons’ Hall, to be dissected.  The executioners fought for the rope, and the one who lost it cried.  The mob tore off the black cloth as relics; but the universal crowd behaved with great decency and admiration, as they well might; for sure no exit was ever made with more sensible resolution and with less ostentation.

If I have tired you by this long narrative, you feel differently from me.  The man, the manners of the country, the justice of so great and curious a nation, all to me seem striking, and must, I believe, do more so to you, who have been absent long enough to read of your own country as history.

I have run into so much paper, that I am ashamed at going on, but having a bit left, I must say a few more words.  The other prisoner, from whom the mob had promised themselves more entertainment, is gone into the country, having been forbid the court, with some barbarous additions to the sentence, as you Will see in the papers.  It was notified, too, to the second court,(59) who have had the prudence to countenance him no longer.  The third prisoner, and second madman, Lord Charles Hay, is luckily dead, and has saved much trouble.

Have you seen the works of the philosopher of Sans Souci, or rather of the man who is no philosopher, and who had more Souci than any man now in Europe?  How contemptible they are!  Miserable poetry; not a new thought, nor an old one newly expressed.(60) I say nothing of the folly of publishing his aversion to the English, at the very time they are ruining themselves for him; nor of the greater folly of his irreligion.  The epistle to Keith is puerile and shocking.  He is not so sensible as Lord Ferrers, who did not think such sentiments ought to be published.  His Majesty could not resist the vanity of showing how disengaged he can be even at this time.

I am going to give a letter for you to Strange, the engraver, who is going to visit Italy.  He is a very first-rate artist, and by far our best.  Pray countenance him, though you will not approve his politics.(61) I believe Albano(62)) is his Loretto.

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I shall finish this vast volume with a very good story, though not so authentic as my sheriff’s.  It is said that General Clive’s father has been with Mr. Pitt, to notify, that if the government will send his son four hundred thousand pounds, and a certain number of ships, the heaven-born general knows of a part of India, where such treasures are buried, that he will engage, to send over enough. to pay the national debt.  “Oh!” said the minister, “that is too much; fifty millions would be sufficient.”  Clive insisted on the hundred millions,—­Pitt, that half would do as well.  “Lord, Sir!” said the old man, “consider, if your administration lasts, the national debt will soon be two hundred millions.”  Good night for a twelvemonth!

(55) Sir William Meredith, Bart. of Hanbury, in Cheshire.  The title is now extinct.-D.

(56) She afterwards married Lord Frederick Campbell, brother of the Duke of Argyle, and was an excellent woman. (She was unfortunately burned to death at Lord Frederick’s seat, Combe Bank, in Kent.-D.)

(57) Zachariah Pearce, translated from the see of Bangor in 1756.  He was an excellent man, and later in life, in the year 1768, finding himself growing infirm, he presented to the world the rare instance of disinterestedness, of wishing to relinquish all his pieces of preferment.  These consisted of the deanery of Westminster and bishopric of Rochester.  The deanery he gave up, but was not allowed to do so by the bishopric, which was said, as a peerage, to be inalienable.-D.

(58) Lady Selina Shirley, daughter of an Earl of Ferrers.  (Selina Shirley, second daughter and coheiress of Washington Earl Ferrers, and widow of Theophilus Hastings, ninth Earl of Huntingdon.  She was the peculiar patroness of enthusiasts of all sorts in religion.-D.)

(59) The Prince of Wales’s.

(60) “The town are reading the King of Prussia’s poetry, and I have done like the town; they do not seem so sick of it as I am.  It is all the scum of Voltaire and Bolingbroke, the crambe recocta of our worst freethinkers tossed up in German-French rhyme.”  Gray, vol. iii. p. 241.

(61) Strange was a confirmed Jacobite.

(62) The residence of the Pretender.

Letter 25 To Sir David Dalrymple.(63) Arlington Street, May 15, 1760. (page 63)

Sir, I am extremely sensible of your obliging kindness in sending me for Mr. Gray the account of Erse poetry, even at a time when you were so much out of order.  That indisposition I hope is entirely removed, and your health perfectly reestablished.  Mr. Gray is very thankful for the information.(64)

I have lately bought, intending it for Dr. Robertson, a Spanish Ms. called “Annals del Emperador Carlos V. Autor, Francisco Lopez de Gornara.”  As I am utterly ignorant of the Spanish tongue, I do not know whether there is the least merit in my purchase.  It is not very long; if you will tell me how to convey it, I will send it to him.

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We have nothing new but some Dialogues of the Dead by Lord Lyttelton.  I cannot say they are very lively or striking.  The best I think, relates to your country, and is written with a very good design:  an intention of removing all prejudices and disUnion between the two parts of our island.  I cannot tell you how the book is liked in general, for it appears but this moment.

You have seen, to be sure, the King of Prussia’s Poems.  If he intended to raise the glory of his military capacity by depressing his literary talents, he could not, I think,. have succeeded better.  One would think a man had been accustomed to nothing but the magnificence of vast armies, and to the tumult of drums and trumpets. who is incapable of seeing that God is as great in the most minute parts of creation as in the most enormous.  His Majesty does not seem to admire a mite, unless it is magnified by a Brobdignag microscope!  While he is struggling with the force of three empires, he fancies that it adds to his glory to be unbent enough to contend for laurels with the triflers of a French Parnassus!  Adieu!  Sir.

(63) Now first collected.

(64) The following is Gray’s description of these poems, in a letter to Wharton.—­“I am gone mad about them.  They are said to be translations (literal and in prose) from the Erse tongue, done by one Macpherson, a young clergyman in the Highlands.  He means to publish a collection he has of these specimens of antiquity; but what plagues me is, I cannot come at any certainty on that head.  I was so struck, so extasi`e, with their infinite beauty, that I writ into Scotland to make a thousand inquiries.  The letters I have in return are ill-wrote, ill-reasoned, unsatisfactory, calculated (one would imagine) to deceive one, and yet not cunning enough to do it cleverly:  in short, the whole external evidence would make one believe these fragments (for so he calls them, though nothing can be more entire) counterfeit; but the internal is so strong on the other side, that I am resolved to believe them genuine, spite of the devil and the kirk.  It is impossible to convince me, that they were invented by the same man that writes me these letters.  On the other hand, it is almost as hard to suppose, if they are original, that he should be able to translate them so admirably.  In short, this man is the very demon of poetry, or he has lighted on a treasure hid for ages.”  In another letter, be says,—­“As to their authenticity, I have many enquiries, and have lately procured a letter from Mr. David Hume, the historian, which is more satisfactory than any thing I have yet met with on that subject.  He says, ’Certain it is, that these poems are in every body’s mouth in the Highlands, have been handed down from father to son, and are of an age beyond all memory and tradition.’” Works vol. iii. pp. 249, 257.-E.

Letter 26 To Sir Horace Mann.  Strawberry Hill, May 24, 1760. (page 64)

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Well! at last Sisson’s machine sets out-but, my dear Sir, how you still talk of him!  You seem to think him as grave and learned as a professor of Bologna—­why, he is an errant, low, indigent mechanic, and however Dr. Perelli found him out, is a shuffling knave, and I fear, no fitter to execute his orders than to write the letter you expect.  Then there was my ignorance and your brother James’s ignorance to be thrown into the account.  For the drawing, Sisson says Dr. Perelli has the description of it already; however, I have insisted on his making a reference to that description in a scrawl we have with much ado extorted from him.  I pray to Sir Isaac Newton that the machine may answer:  It costs, the stars know what!  The whole charge comes to upwards of threescore pounds!  He had received twenty pounds, and yet was so necessitous, that on our hesitating, he wrote me a most impertinent letter for his money.  I dreaded at first undertaking a commission for which I was so unqualified, and though I have done all I could, I fear you and your friend will be but ill satisfied.

Along with the machine I have sent you some new books; Lord George’s trial, Lord Ferrers’s, and the account of him; a fashionable thing called Tristram Shandy, and my Lord Lyttelton’s new Dialogues of the Dead, or rather Dead Dialogues; and something less valuable still than any of these, but which I flatter myself you will not despise; it is my own print, done from a picture that is reckoned very like—­you must allow for the difference that twenty years since you saw me have made.  That wonderful creature Lord Ferrers, of whom I told you so much in my last, and with whom I am not going to plague you much more, made one of his keepers read Hamlet to him the night before his death after he was in bed-paid all his bills in the morning, as if leaving an inn, and half an hour before the sheriffs fetched him, corrected some verses he had written in the Tower in imitation of the Duke of Buckingham’s epitaph, dublus sed ron improbus vin.(65) What a noble author have I here to add to my Catalogue!  For the other noble author, Lord Lyttelton, you will find his work paltry enough; the style, a mixture of bombast, poetry, and vulcarisms.  Nothing new in the composition, except making people talk out of character is so.  Then he loves changing sides so much, that he makes Lord Falkland and Hampden cross over and figure in like people in a country dance; not to mention their guardian angels, who deserve to be hanged for murder.  He is angry too at Swift, Lucian, and Rabelais, as if they had laughed at him of all men living, and he seems to wish that one would read the last’s Dissertation 1 on Hippocrates instead of his History of Pantagruel.  But I blame him most, when he was satirizing too free writers, for praising the King of Prussia’s poetry, to which any thing of Bayle is harmless.  I like best the Dialogue between the Duke of argyll and the Earl of Angus, and the character of his own first wife under that of Penelope.  I need not tell you that Pericles is Mr. Pitt.

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I have had much conversation with your brother James, and intend to have more with your eldest, about your nephew.  He is a sweet boy, and has all the goodness of dear Gal. and dear you in his countenance.  They have sent him to Cambridge under that interested hog the Bishop of Chester,(66) and propose to keep him there three years.  Their apprehension seems to be of his growing a fine gentleman.  I could not help saying, “Why, is he not to be one?” My wish is to have him with you—­what an opportunity of his learning the world and business under such a tutor and such a parent! but they think he will dress and run into diversions.  I tried to convince them that of all spots upon earth dress is least necessary at Florence, and where one can least divert oneself.  I am answered with the necessity of Latin and mathematics-the one soon forgot, the other never got to any purpose.  I cannot bear his losing the advantage of being brought up by you, with all the advantages of such a situation, and where he May learn in perfection living languages, never attained after twenty.  I am so earnest on this, for I doat on him for dear Gal.’s sake, that I will insist to rudeness on his remaining at Cambridge but two years; and before that time you shall write to second My motions.

The Parliament is up, and news are gone out of town:  I expect none but what we receive from Germany.  As to the Pretender, his life or death makes no impression here when a real King is so soon forgot, how should an imaginary one be remembered?  Besides, since Jacobites have found the way to St. James’s, it is grown so much the fashion to worship Kings, that people don’t send their adorations so far as Rome.  He at Kensington is likely long to outlast his old rival.  The spring is far from warm, yet he wears a silk coat and has left off fires.

Thank you for the entertaining history of the Pope and the Genoese.  I am flounced again into building—­a round tower, gallery, cloister, and chapel, all starting up—­if I am forced to run away by ruining myself, I will come to Florence, steal your nephew, and bring him with me.  Adieu!

(65) The following verses are said to have been found in Lord Ferrers’s apartment in the Tower: 

“In doubt I lived, in doubt I die,
Yet stand Prepared the vast abyss to try. 
And undismay’d expect eternity!"-E.

(66) Dr. Edmund Keene, brother of Sir Benjamin, and afterwards Bishop of Ely.

Letter 27 To The Earl Of Strafford.  Strawberry Hill, June 7, 1760. (page 66)

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My dear lord, When at my time of day one can think a ball worth going to London for on purpose, you will not wonder that I am childish enough to write an account of it.  I could give a better reason, your bidding me send you any news; but I scorn a good reason when I am idle enough to do any thing for a bad one.  You had heard, before you left London, of Miss Chudleigh’s intended loyalty on the Prince’s birthday.  Poor thing, I fear she has thrown away above a quarter’s salary!  It was magnificent and well-understood—­no crowd—­and though a sultry night, one was not a moment incommoded.  The court was illuminated on the whole summit of the wall with a battlement of lamps; smaller ones on every step, and a figure of lanterns on the outside of the house.  The virgin-mistress began the ball with the Duke of York, who was dressed in a pale blue watered tabby, which, as I told him, if he danced much, would soon be tabby all over, like the man’s advertisement,(67) but nobody did dance much.  There was a new Miss Bishop from Sir Cecil’s endless hoard of beauty daughters, who is still prettier than her sisters.  The new Spanish embassy was there—­alas!  Sir Cecil Bishop has never been in Spain!  Monsieur de Fuentes is a halfpenny print of my Lord Huntingdon.  His wife homely, but seems good-humoured and civil.  The son does not degenerate from such high-born ugliness; the daughter-in-law was sick, and they say is not ugly, and has as good set of teeth as one can have, when one has but two and those black.  They seem to have no curiosity, sit where they are placed, and ask no questions about so strange a country.  Indeed, the ambassadress could see nothing; for Doddington(68) stood before her the whole time, sweating Spanish at her, of which it was evident, by her civil nods without answers, she did understand a word.  She speaks bad French, danced a bad minuet, and went away—­though there was a miraculous draught of fishes for their supper, for it was a fast-day—­but being the octave of their f`ete-dieu, they dared not even fast plentifully.  Miss Chudleigh desired the gamblers would go up into the garrets—­“Nay, they are not garrets-it is only the roof of the house hollowed for upper servants-but I have no upper servants.”  Every body ran up:  there is a low gallery with bookcases, and four chambers practised under the pent of the roof, each hung with the finest Indian pictures on different colours, and with Chinese chairs of the same colours.  Vases of flowers in each for nosegays, and in one retired nook a most critical couch!

The lord of the Festival(69) was there, and seemed neither ashamed nor vain of the expense of his pleasures.  At supper she offered him Tokay, and told him she believed he would find it good.  The supper was in two rooms and very fine, and on the sideboards, and even on the chairs, were pyramids and troughs of strawberries and cherries you would have thought she was kept by Vertumnus.  Last night my Lady Northumberland

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lighted up her garden for the Spaniards:  I was not there, having excused myself for a headache, which I had not, but ought to have caught the night before.  Mr. Doddington entertained these Fuentes’s at Hammersmith; and to the shame of our nation, while they were drinking tea in the summer-house, some gentlemen, ay, my lord, gentlemen, went into the river and showed the ambassadress and her daughter more than ever they expected to see of England.

I dare say you are sorry for poor Lady Anson.  She was exceedingly good-humoured, and did a thousand good-natured and generous actions.  I tell you nothing of the rupture of Lord Halifax’s match, of which you must have heard so much; but you will like a bon-mot upon it.  They say, the hundreds of Drury have got the better of the thousands of Drury.(70) The pretty Countess(71) is still alive, was I thought actually dying on Tuesday night, and I think will go off very soon.  I think there will soon be a peace:  my only reason is, that every body seems so backward at making war.  Adieu! my dear lord!

(67) A staymaker of the time, who advertised in the newspapers that he made stays at such a price, “tabby all over.”

(68) Dodington had been minister in Spain.

(69) The Duke of Kingston.

(70) Lord Halifax kept an actress belonging to Drury Lane Theatre; and the marriage broken off was with a daughter of Sir Thomas Drury, an heiress.-E.

(71) The Countess of Coventry.  She survived till the 1st of October.-E.

Letter 28 To Sir Horace Mann.  Arlington Street, June 20, 1760. (page 68)

Who the deuce was thinking of Quebec?  America was like a book one has read and done with; or at least, if one looked at the book, one just recollected that there was a supplement promised, to contain a chapter on Montreal, the starving and surrender of it--but here are we on a sudden reading our book backwards.  An account came two days ago that the French on their march to besiege Quebec, had been attacked by General Murray, who got into a mistake and a morass, attacked two bodies that were joined, when he hoped to come up with one of them before the junction, was enclosed, embogged,’and defeated.  By the list of officers killed and wounded, I believe there has been a rueful slaughter--the place, too, I suppose will be retaken.  The year 1760 is not the year 1759.  Added to the war we have a kind of plague too, an epidemic fever and sore throat:  Lady Anson is dead of it; Lord Bute and two of his daughters were in great danger; my Lady Waldegrave has had it, and I am mourning for Mrs. Thomas Walpole,(72) who died of it—­you may imagine I don’t come much to town; I had some business here to-day, particularly with Dagge, whom I have sent for to talk about Sophia;(73) he will be here presently, and then I will let you know what he says.

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The embassy and House of Fuentes are arrived-many feasts and parties have been made for them, but they do not like those out of town, and have excused themselves rather ungraciously.  They were invited to a ball last Monday at Wanstead, but did not go:  yet I don’t know where they can see such magnificence.  The approach, the coaches, the crowds of spectators to see the company arrive, the grandeur of the fa`cade and apartments, were a charming sight; but the town is so empty that that great house appeared so too.  He, you know, is all attention, generosity, and good breeding.

I must tell you a private wo that has happened to me in my neighbourhood—­Sir William Stanhope bought Pope’s house and garden.  The former was so small and bad, one could not avoid pardoning his hollowing out that fragment of the rock Parnassus into habitable chambers—­but would you believe it, he has cut down the sacred groves themselves!  In short, it was a little bit of ground of five acres, inclosed with three lanes, and seeing nothing.  Pope had twisted and twirled, and rhymed and harmonized this, till it appeared two or three sweet little lawns opening beyond one another, and the whole surrounded with thick impenetrable woods.  Sir William, by advice of his son-in-law,(74) Mr. Ellis, has hacked and hewed these groves, wriggled a winding-gravel walk through them with an edging of shrubs, in what they call the modern taste, and in short, has designed the three lanes to walk in again—­and now is forced to shut them out again by a wall, for there was not a Muse could walk there but she was spied by every country fellow that went by with a pipe in his mouth.

It is a little unlucky for the Pretender to be dying just as the Pope seems to design to take Corsica into his hands, and might give it to so faithful a son of the church.

I have heard nothing yet of Stosch.

Presently.  Mr. Dagge has disappointed me, and I am obliged to go out of town, but I have writ to him to press the affair, and will press it, as it is owing to his negligence.  Mr. Chute, to whom I spoke, says he told Dagge he was ready to be a trustee, and pressed him to get it concluded.

(72) Daughter of Sir Gerard Vanneck.

(73) Natural daughter of Mr. Whitehed, mentioned in preceding letters, by a Florentine woman.

(74) Welbore Ellis, afterwards*Lord Mendip, married the only daughter of Sir William Stanhope; in right of whom he afterwards enjoyed Pope’s villa at Twickenham.-E.

Letter 29 To Sir David Dalrymple.(75) June 20th, 1760. (page 69)

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I am obliged to you, Sir, for the volume of Erse poetry — all of it has merit; but I am sorry not to see in it the six descriptions of night, with which you favoured me before, and which I like as much as any of the pieces.  I can, however, by no means agree with the publisher, that they seem to be parts of an heroic poem; nothing to me can be more unlike.  I should as soon take all the epitaphs in Westminster Abbey, and say it was an epic poem on the History of England.  The greatest part are evidently elegies; and though I should not expect a bard to write by the rules of Aristotle, I would not, on the other hand, give to any work a title that must convey so different an idea to every common reader.  I could wish, too, that the authenticity had been more largely stated.  A man who knows Dr. Blair’s character, will undoubtedly take his word; but the gross of mankind, considering how much it is the fashion to be sceptical in reading, will demand proofs, not assertions.

I am glad to find, Sir, that we agree so much on the Dialogues of the Dead; indeed, there are very few that differ from us.  It is well for the author, that none of his critics have undertaken to ruin his book by improving it, as you have done in the lively little specimen you sent me., Dr. Brown has writ a dull dialogue, called Pericles and Aristides, which will have a different effect from what yours, would have.  One of the most objectionable passages in lord Lyttelton’s book is, in my opinion, his apologizing for ’the moderate government of Augustus.  A man who had exhausted tyranny in the most lawless and Unjustifiable excesses is to be excused, because, out of weariness or policy, he grows less sanguinary at last!

There is a little book coming Out, that will amuse you.  It is a new edition of Isaac Walton’s Complete Angler,. full of anecdotes and historic notes.  It is published by Mr. Hawkins,(76) a very worthy gentleman in my neighbourhood, but who, I could wish, did not think angling so very innocent an amusement.  We cannot live without destroying animals, but shall-we torture them for our sport—­sport in their destruction?(77) I met a rough officer at his house t’other day, who said he knew such a person was turning Methodist; for, in the middle of conversation, he rose, and opened the window to let out a moth.  I told him I did not know that the Methodists had any principle so good, and that I, who am certainly not on the point of becoming one, always did so too.  One of the bravest and best men I ever knew, Sir Charles Wager, I have often heard declare he never killed a fly willingly.  It is a comfortable reflection to me, that all the victories of last year have been gained since the suppression of the bear garden and prize-fighting; as it is plain, and nothing else would have made it so, that our valour did not, singly and solely depend upon, those two universities.  Adieu.!

(75) Now first collected.

(76) Afterwards Sir John Hawkins, Knight, the executor and biographer of Dr. Johnson.-E.

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(77) Lord Byron, like Walpole, had a mortal dislike to angling, and describes it as " the cruelest, the coldest, and the stupidest of pretended sports.”  Of good Isaac Walton he says,

“The quaint, old, cruel coxcomb,. in his gullet Should have a hook, and a small trout to pull it."-E.

Letter 30 To The Hon. H. S. Conway.(78) Strawberry Hill, June 21, 1760. (page 70)

There is nothing in the world so tiresome as a person that always says they will come to one and never does; that is a mixture of promises and excuses; that loves one better than anybody, and yet will not stir a step to see one; that likes nothing but their own ways and own books, and that thinks the Thames is not as charming in one place as another, and that fancies Strawberry Hill is the only thing upon earth worth living for-all this you would say, if even I could make you peevish:  but since you cannot be provoked, you see I am for you, and give myself my due.  It puts me in mind of General Sutton, who was one day sitting by my father at his dressing.  Sir Robert said to Jones, who was shaving him, “John, you cut me”—­presently afterwards, “John, you cut me”—­and again, with the same patience or Conway-ence, “John, you cut me.”  Sutton started up and cried, “By God! if he can bear it, I can’t; if you cut him once more, damn my blood if I don’t knock you down!” My dear Harry, I will knock myself down-but I fear I shall cut you again.  I wish you sorrow for the battle of Quebec.  I thought as much of losing the duchies of Aquitaine and Normandy as Canada.

However, as my public feeling never carries me to any great lengths of reflection, I bound all my Qu`ebecian meditations to a little diversion on George Townshend’s absurdities.  The Daily Advertiser said yesterday, that a certain great officer who had a principal share in the reduction of Quebec had given it as his opinion, that it would hold out a tolerable siege.  This great general has acquainted the public to-day in an advertisement with—­what do you think?—­not that he has such an opinion, for he has no opinion at all, and does not think that it can nor cannot hold out a siege,—­but, in the first place, that he was luckily shown this paragraph, which, however, he does not like; in the next, that he is and is not that great general, and yet that there is nobody else that is; and, thirdly, lest his silence, till he can proceed in another manner with the printer, (and indeed it is difficult to conceive what manner of proceeding silence is,) should induce anybody to believe the said paragraph, he finds himself under a necessity of giving the public his honour, that there is no more truth in this paragraph than in some others which have tended to set the opinions of some general officers together by the ears—­a thing, however, inconceivable, which he has shown may be done, by the confusion he himself has made in the King’s English. 

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For his another manner with the printer, I am impatient to see how the charge will lie against Matthew Jenour, the publisher of the Advertiser, who, without having the fear of God before his eyes, has forcibly, violently, and maliciously, with an offensive weapon called a hearsay, and against the peace of our sovereign Lord the King, wickedly and traitorously assaulted the head of George Townshend, general, and accused it of having an opinion, and him the said George Townshend, has slanderously and of malice prepense believed to be a great general; in short, to make Townshend easy, I wish, as he has no more contributed to the loss of Quebec than he did to the conquest of it, that he was to be sent to sign this capitulation too.

There is a delightful little French book come out, called “Tant Mieux pour elle.”  It is called Cr`ebillon’s, and I should think was so.  I only borrowed it, and cannot get one; tant pis pour vous.  By the way, I am not sure you did not mention it to me; somebody did.

Have you heard that Miss Pitt has dismissed Lord Buckingham?  Tant mieux pour lui.  She damns her eyes that she will marry some captain—­tant mieux pour elle.  I think the forlorn earl should match with Miss Ariadne Drury; and by the time my Lord Halifax has had as many more children and sentiments by and for Miss Falkner, as he can contrive to have. probably Miss Pitt may be ready to be taken into keeping.  Good night!

P. S. The Prince of Wales has been in the greatest anxiety for Lord Bute; to whom he professed to Duncombe, and Middleton, he has the greatest obligations; and when they pronounced their patient out of danger, his Royal Highness gave to each of them a gold modal of himself, as a mark of his sense of their care and attention.

(78) Now first printed.

Letter 31 To The Hon. H. S. Conway.  Strawberry Hill, June 28, 1760. (page 72)

The devil is in people for fidgetting about!  They can neither be quiet in their own houses, nor let others be at peace in theirs!  Have not they enough of one another in winter, but they must cuddle in summer too?  For your part, you are a very priest:  the moment one repents, you are for turning it to account.  I wish you was in camp—­never will I pity you again.  How did you complain when you was in Scotland, Ireland, Flanders, and I don’t know where, that you could never enjoy Park-place!  Now you have a whole summer to yourself, and you are as junkettaceous as my Lady Northumberland.  Pray, what horse-race do you go to next?  For my part, I can’t afford to lead such a life:  I have Conway-papers to sort; I have lives of the painters to write; I have my prints to paste, my house to build, and every thing in the world to tell posterity.  How am I to find time for all this?  I am past forty, and may ’not have above as many more to live; and here I am to go here and to go there—­well, I will meet you at Chaffont on Thursday; but I positively will stay but one night.  I have settled with our brother that we will be at Oxford on the 13th of July, as Lord Beauchamp is only loose from the 12th to the 20th.  I will be at Park-place on the 12th, and we will go together the next day.  If this is too early for you, we may put it off to the 15th:  determine by Thursday, and one of us will write to Lord Hertford.

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Well!  Quebec(79) is come to life again.  Last night I went to see the Holdernesses, who by the way are in raptures with Park-in Sion-lane; as Cibber says of the Revolution, I met the Raising of the Siege; that is, I met my lady in a triumphal car, drawn by a Manks horse thirteen little fingers high, with Lady Emily: 

et sibi Countess Ne placeat, ma’amselle curru portatur eodem-

Mr. Milbank was walking in ovation by himself after the car; and they were going to see the bonfire at the alehouse at the corner.  The whole procession returned with me; and from the countess’s dressing-room we saw a battery fired before the house, the mob crying “God bless the good news!”—­These are all the particulars I know of the siege:  my lord would have showed me the journal, but we amused ourselves much better in going to eat peaches from the new Dutch stoves.

The rain is come indeed, and my grass is as green as grass; but all my hay has been cut and soaking this week, and I am too much in the fashion not to have given Up gardening for farming; as next I suppose We shall farming and turn graziers and hogdrivers.

I never heard of such a Semele as my Lady Stormont(80) brought to bed in flames.  I hope Miss Bacchus Murray will not carry the resemblance through, and love drinking like a Pole.  My Lady Lyttelton is at Mr. Garrick’s, and they were to have breakfasted here this morning; but somehow or other they have changed their mind.  Good Night!

(79) Quebec was besieged by the French in the spring of this year, with an army of fifteen thousand men, under the command of the Chevalier de Levis, assisted by a naval force.  They were, however, repulsed by General Murray, who was supported by Lord Colville and the fleet under his command; and on the night of the 16th of May raised the siege very precipitately, leaving their cannon, small arms, stores, etc. behind them.-E.

(80) See vol. ii. p. 513, letter 336.-E.

Letter 32 To George Montagu, Esq.  Strawberry Hill, July 4, 1760. (page 73)

I am this minute returned from Chaffont, where I have been these two days.  Mr. Conway, Lady Ailesbury, Lady Lyttelton, and Mrs. Shirley are there; and Lady Mary is going to add to the number again.  The house and grounds are still in the same dislocated condition; in short, they finish nothing but children; even Mr. Bentley’s Gothic stable, which I call Houynhm castle, is not roughcast yet.  We went to see More-park, but I was not much struck with it, after all the miracles I had heard Brown had performed there.  He has undulated the horizon in so many artificial mole-hills, that it is full as unnatural as if it was drawn with a rule and compasses.  Nothing is done to the house; there are not even chairs in the great apartment.  My Lord Anson is more slatternly than the Churchills, and does not even finish children.  I am going to write to Lord Beauchamp, that I shall be at Oxford on the 15th, where I depend upon meeting you.  I design to see Blenheim, and Rousham, (is not that the name of Dormer’s?) and Althorp, and Drayton, before I return—­but don’t be frightened, I don’t propose to drag you to all or any of these, if you don’t like it.

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Mr. Bentley has sketched a very pretty Gothic room for Lord Holderness, and orders are gone to execute it directly in Yorkshire.  The first draught was Mason’s; but as he does not pretend to much skill, we were desired to correct it.  I say we, for I chose the ornaments.  Adieu!  Yours ever.

P. S. My Lady Ailesbury has been much diverted, and so will you too.  Gray is in @their neighbourhood.  My Lady Carlisle says, “he is extremely like me in his manner.”  They went a party to dine on a cold loaf, and passed the day; Lady A. protests he never opened his lips but once, and then only said, “Yes, my lady, I believe so."(81)

(81) Gray, in a letter to Dr. Clarke, of the 12th of August, says, “For me, I am come to my resting-place, and find it very necessary, after living for a month in a house with three women that laughed from morning till night, and would allow nothing to the sulkiness of my disposition.  Company and cards at home, parties by land and water abroad, and (what they call) doing something, that is, racketting about from morning to night, are occupations, I find, that wear out my spirits.”  Works, vol. iii. p. 253.-E.

Letter 33 To Sir Horace Mann.

Arlington Street, July 7, 1760. (page 74)

I shall write you but a short letter myself, because I make your brother, who has this moment been here, write to-night with all the particulars relating to the machine.  The ten guineas are included in the sixty; and the ship, which is not yet sailed, is insured.  My dear child, don’t think of making me any excuses about employing me; I owe you any trouble sure that I can possibly undertake, and do it most gladly; in this one instance I was sorry you had pitched upon me, because it was entirely out of my sphere, and I could not even judge whether I had served you well or not.  I am here again waiting for Dagge, whom it is more difficult to see than a minister; he disappointed me last time, but writ to me afterwards that he would immediately settle the affair for poor Sophia.

Quebec, you know, is saved; but our German histories don’t go on so well as our American.  Fouquet is beat, and has lost five out of twelve thousand men, after maintaining himself against thirty for seven hours—­he is grievously wounded, but not prisoner.  The Russians are pouring on—­adieu the King of Prussia, unless Prince Ferdinand’s battle, of which we have expected news for these four days, can turn the scale a little—­we have settled that he is so great a general, that you must not wonder if We expect that he should beat all the world in their turns.

There has been a woful fire at Portsmouth; they say occasioned by lightning; the shipping was saved, but vast quantities of stores are destroyed.

I shall be more easy about your nephew, since you don’t adopt my idea; and yet I can’t conceive with his gentle nature and your good sense but you would have sufficient authority over him.  I don’t know who your initials mean, Ld.  F. and Sr.  B. But don’t much signify, but consider by how many years I am removed from knowing the rising generation.

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I shall some time hence trouble you for some patterns of brocadella of two or three colours:  it is to furnish a round tower that I am adding, with a gallery, to my castle:  the quantity I shall want will be pretty large; it is to be a bedchamber entirely hung bed, and eight armchairs; the dimensions thirteen feet high, and twenty-two diameter.  Your Bianca Capello is to be over the chimney.  I shall scarce be ready to hang it these two years, because I move gently, and never begin till I have the money ready to pay, which don’t come very fast, as it is always to be saved out of my income, subject, too, to twenty other whims and expenses.  I only mention it now, that you may at your leisure look me out half a dozen patterns; and be so good as to let me know the prices.  Stosch is not arrived yet as I have heard.

Well,—­at last, Dagge is come, and tells me I may assure you positively that the money will be paid in- two months from this time; he has been at Thistlethwait’s,(82) which is nineteen miles from town, and goes again this week to make him sign a paper, on which the parson(82) will pay the money.  I shall be happy when this is completed to your satisfaction, that is, when your goodness is rewarded by being successful; but till it is completed, with all Mr. Dagge’s assurances, I shall not be easy, for those brothers are such creatures, that I shall always expect some delay or evasion, when they are to part with money.  Adieu!

(82) Brother and heirs of Mr. Whithed, who had changed his name for an estate.  (Transcriber’s note:  this note really is cited twice in the above paragraph.)

Letter 34 To George Montagu, Esq.  Strawberry Hill, July 19, 1760. (page 75)

Mr. Conway, as I told you, was With me at Oxford, and I returned with him to Park-place, and to-day hither.  I am sorry you could not come to us; we passed four days most agreeably, and I believe saw more antique holes and corners than Tom Hearne did in threescore years.  You know my rage for Oxford; if King’s-college would not take it ill,.  I don’t l(now but I should retire thither, and profess Jacobitism, that I might enjoy some venerable set of chambers.  Though the weather has been so sultry, I ferreted from morning to night, fatigued that strong young lad Lord Beauchamp, and harassed his tutors till they were forced to relieve one another.’  With all this, I found nothing worth seeing, except the colleges themselves, painted glass, and a couple of crosiers.  Oh, yes! in an old buttery at Christ-church I discovered two of the most glorious portraits by Holbein in the world.  They call them Dutch heads.  I took them down, washed them myself, and fetched out a thousand beauties.  We went to Blenheim and saw all Vanbrugh’s quarries, all the acts of parliament and gazettes on the Duke in inscriptions, and all the old flock chairs, wainscot tables, and gowns and petticoats of Queen Anne, that old Sarah could crowd among blocks

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of marble.  It looks like the palace of an auctioneer, who has-been chosen King of Poland, and furnished his apartments with obsolete trophies, rubbish that nobody bid for, and a dozen pictures, that he had stolen from the inventories of different families.  The place is as ugly as the house, and the bridge, like the beggars at the old Duchess’s gate, begs for a drop of water, and is refused.  We went to Ditchley, which is a good house, well furnished, has good portraits, a wretched saloon, and one handsome scene behind the house.  There are portraits of the Litchfield hunt, in true blue frocks, with ermine capes.  One of the colleges has exerted this loyal pun, and made their east window entirely of blue glass.  But the greatest pleasure we had, was in seeing Sir Charles Cotterel’s at Housham; it reinstated Kent with me; he has nowhere shown so much taste.  The house is old, and was bad; he has improved it, stuck as close as he could to Gothic, has made a delightful library, and the whole is comfortable.  The garden is Daphne in little; the sweetest little groves, streams, glades, porticoes, cascades, and river, imaginable; all the scenes are perfectly classic.  Well, if I had such a house, such a library, so pretty a place, and so pretty a wife, I think I should let King George send to Herenhausen for a master of the ceremonies.

Make many compliments to all your family for me; Lord Beauchamp was much obliged by your invitation.  I shall certainly accept it, as I return from the north; in the mean time, find out how Drayton and Althorp lie according to your scale.  Adieu!  Yours most sincerely.

Letter 35 To George Montagu, Esq.  Strawberry Hill, July 20, 1760. (page 76)

I shall be very sorry if I don’t see you at Oxford on Tuesday next:  but what can I say if your Wetenhalls will break into my almanack, and take my very day, can I help it!  I must own I shall be glad if their coach-horse is laid up with the fashionable sore throat and fever can you recommend no coachman to them like Dr. Wilmot, who will despatch it in three days?  If I don’t see you at Oxford, I don’t think I shall at Greatworth till my return from the north, which will be about the 20th or 22d of August.  Drayton,(83) be it known to you, is Lady Betty Germain’s., is in your own county, was the old mansion of the Mordaunts, and is crammed with whatever Sir John could get from them and the Norfolks.  Adieu!

(83) The seat of Sir John Germain, Bart.; by whose will, and that of his widow, Lady Betty, his property devolved upon Lord George Sackvillc; who, in consequence, assumed, in 1770, the name of Germain.-E.

Letter 36 To Sir Horace Mann.  Arlington Street, Aug. 1, 1760. (page 77)

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I came to town to-day on purpose to see Stosch, who has been arrived some days; and to offer him all manner, of civilities on your account—­when indeed they can be of no use to him, for there is not a soul in town.  There was a wild report last week of the plague being in St. Thomas’s Hospital, and to be sure Stosch must believe there is some truth in it, for there is not a coach to be seen, the streets are new paving, and the houses new painting, just as it is always at this season.  I told him if he had a mind to see London, he must go to Huntingdon races, Derby races, Stafford races, Warwick races-that is the fashionable route this year-alas!  I am going part of it; the Duchess of Grafton and Loo are going to the Duke of Devonshire’s, Lord Gower’s, and Lord Hertford’s; but I shall contrive to arrive after every race is over.  Stosch delivered me the parcel safe, and I should have paid him for your Burgundy, but found company with him, and thought it not quite so civil to offer it at the first interview, lest it should make him be taken for a wine-merchant.  He dines with me on Tuesday at Strawberry Hill, when I shall find an opportunity.  He is going for a few days to Wanstead, and then for three months to a clergyman’s in Yorkshire, to learn English.  Apropos, you did not tell me why he comes; is it to sell his uncle’s collection?  Let me know before winter on what foot I must introduce him, for I would fain return a few of the thousand civilities you have showed at my recommendation.

The hereditary Prince has been beaten, and has beaten, with the balance on his side; but though the armies are within a mile of one another, I don’t think it clear there will be a battle, as we may lose much more than we can get.  A defeat will cost Hanover and Hesse; a victory cannot be vast enough to leave us at liberty to assist the King of Prussia.  He gave us a little advantage the other day; outwitted Daun, and took his camp and magazines, and aimed at Dresden; but to-day the siege is raised.  Daun sometimes misses himself, but never loses himself.  It is not the fashion to admire him, but for my part, I should think it worth while to give the Empress a dozen Wolfes and Dauns, to lay aside the cautious Marshal.  Apropos to Wolfe, I cannot Imagine what you mean by a design executing at Rome for his tomb.  The designs have been laid before my lord chamberlain several months; Wilton, Adam, Chambers, and others, all gave in their drawings immediately; and I think the Duke of Devonshire decided for the first.  Do explain this to me, or get a positive explanation. of it-and whether any body is drawing for Adam or Chambers.

Mr. Chute and Mr. Bentley, to whom I showed your accounts of the Papa-Portuguese war, were infinitely diverted, as I was too, with it.  The Portuguese, “who will turn Jews not Protestants,” and the Pope’s confession, “which does more honour to his sincerity than to his infallibility,” are delightful.  I will tell you who will neither, turn Jew nor Protestant, Day, nor Methodist, which is much more in fashion than either—­Monsieur Fuentes will not; he has given the Virgin Mary (who he fancies hates public places, because he never met her at one,) his honour that he never will go to any more.  What a charming sort of Spanish Ambassador!  I wish they always sent us such-the worst they can do, is to buy half a dozen converts.

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My Lady Lincoln,(84) who was ready to be brought to bed, is dead in three hours of convulsions.  It has been a fatal year to great ladies:  within this twelvemonth have gone off Lady Essex, Lady Besborough, Lady Granby, Lady Anson, and Lady Lincoln.  My Lady Coventry is still alive, sometimes at the point of death, sometimes recovering.  They fixed the spring:  now the autumn is to be critical for her.

I set out for my Lord Strafford’s to-morrow se’nnight, so shall not be able to send you any victory this fortnight.

General Clive(85) is arrived all over estates and diamonds.  If a beggar asks charity, be says, “Friend, I have no small brilliants about me.”

I forgot to tell you that Stosch was to dine with General Guise.(86) The latter has notified to Christ Church, Oxford, that in his will he has given them his collection of pictures.  Adieu!

(84) Catherine, eldest daughter of Henry Pelham, wife of Henry Clinton, Earl of Lincoln, afterwards Duke of newcastle.

(85) Afterwards created Lord Clive in Ireland.  It is to him that we in great measure owe our dominion in India; in the acquisition of which he is, however, reproached with having exercised great cruelties.-D.

(86) General Guise did leave his collection as he promised; but the University employing the son of Bonus, the cleaner of pictures, to repair them, he entirely repainted them, and as entirely spoiled them.

Letter 37 To The Earl Of Strafford.  Strawberry Hill, Aug. 7, 1760. (page 78)

My dear lord, You will laugh, but I am ready to cry, when I tell you that I have no notion when I shall be able to wait on you.-Such a calamity!—­My tower is not fallen down, nor Lady Fanny Shirley run away with another printer; nor has my Lady D * * * * insisted on living with me as half way to Weybridge.  Something more disgraceful than all these, and wofully mortifying for a young creature, who is at the same time in love with Lady Mary Coke, and following the Duchess of Grafton and Loo all over the kingdom.  In short, my lord, I have got the gout-yes, the gout in earnest.  I was seized on Monday morning, suffered dismally all night, am now wrapped in flannels like the picture of a Morocco ambassador, and am carried to bed by two servants.  You see virtue and leanness are no preservatives.  I write this now to your lordship, because I think it totally impossible that I should be able to set out the day after to-morrow, as I intended.  The moment I can, I will, but this is a tyrant that will not let one name a day.  All I know is, that it may abridge my other parties, but shall not my stay at Wentworth Castle.  The Duke of Devonshire was so good as to ask me to be at Chatsworth yesterday, but I did not know it time enough.  As it happens, I must have disappointed him.  At present I look like Pam’s father more than one of his subjects; only one of my legs appears:  The rest my parti.colour’d robe conceals.  Adieu! my dear lord.

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Letter 38To The Hon. H. S/ Conway.  Strawberry Hill, August 7, 1760. (page 79)

I can give you but an unpleasant account of myself, I mean unpleasant for me; every body else I suppose it will make laugh.  Come, laugh at once!  I am laid up with the gout, am an absolute cripple, am carried up to bed by two men, and could walk to China as soon as cross the room.  In short, here is my history:  I have been out of order this fortnight, without knowing what was the matter with me; pains in my head, sicknesses at my stomach, dispiritedness, and a return of the nightly fever I had in the winter.  I concluded a northern journey would take all this off--but, behold! on Monday morning I was seized as I thought with the cramp in my left foot; however, I walked about all day:  towards evening it discovered itself by its true name, and that night I suffered a great deal.  However, on Tuesday I was -,again able to go about the house; but since Tuesday I have not been able to stir, and am wrapped in flannels and swathed like Sir Paul Pliant on his wedding-night.  I expect to hear that there is a bet at Arthur’s, which runs fastest, Jack Harris(87) or I. Nobody would believe me six years ago when I said I had the gout.  They would do leanness and temperance honours to which they had not the least claim.

I don’t yet give up my expedition; as my foot is much swelled, I trust this alderman distemper is going:  I shall set out the instant I am able; but I much question whether it will be soon enough for me to get to Ragley by the time the clock strikes Loo.  I find I grow too old to make the circuit with the charming Duchess.(88)

I did not tell you about German skirmishes, for I knew nothing of them:  when two vast armies only scratch one another’s faces it gives me no attention.  My gazette never contains above one or two casualties of foreign politics:-overlaid, one king; dead of convulsions, an electorate; burnt to death, Dresden.

I wish you joy of all your purchases; why, you sound as rich as if you had had the gout these ten years.  I beg their pardon; but just at present, I am very glad not to be near the vivacity of either Missy or Peter.  I agree with you much about the Minor:(89) there are certainly parts and wit in it.  Adieu!

(87) John Harris, of Hayne in Devonshire, married to Mr. Conway’s eldest sister.

(88) Anne Liddell, Duchess of Grafton.

(89) Foote’s comedy of The Minor came out at the Haymarket theatre, and, though performed by a young and unpractised company, brought full houses for many nights.  In the character of Mrs. Cole and Mr. Smirk, the author represented those of the notorious Mother Douglas, and Mr. Langford, the auctioneer.  In the epilogue, spoken by Shift, which the author himself performed, together with the other two characters, he took off, to a degree of exactness, the manner and person of the celebrated George Whitfield.-E.

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Letter 39 To George Montagu, Esq.  Strawberry Hill, August 12, 1760. (page 80)

In what part of the island you are just now, I don’t know; flying about some where or other, I suppose.  Well, it is charming to be so young!  Here I am, lying upon a couch, wrapped up in flannels, with the gout in both feet—­oh yes, gout in all the terms.  Six years ago I had it, and nobody would believe me—­now they may have proof.  My legs are as big as your cousin Guildford’s and they don’t use to be quite so large.  I was seized yesterday se’nnight; have had little pain in the day, but most uncomfortable nights; however, I move about again a little with a stick.  If either my father or mother had had it, I should not dislike it so much.  I am bound enough to approve it if descended genealogically:  but it is an absolute upstart in me, and what is more provoking, I had trusted to my great abstinence for keeping me from it:  but thus it is, if 1 had had any gentlemanlike virtue, as patriotism or loyalty, I might have got something by them:  I had nothing but that beggarly virtue temperance, and she had not interest enough to keep me from a fit of the gout.  Another plague is, that every body that ever knew any body that had it, is so good as to come with advice, and direct me how to manage it; that is, how to contrive to have it for a great many years.  I am very refractory; I say to the gout, as great personages do to the executioners, “Friend, do your work as quick as you can.”  They tell me of wine to keep it out of my stomach; but I will starve temperance itself; I will be virtuous indeed—­that is, I will stick to virtue, though I find it is not its own reward.

This confinement has kept me from Yorkshire; I hope, however, to be at Ragley by the 20th, from whence I shall still go to Lord Strafford’s and by this delay you may possibly be at Greatworth by my return, which will be about the beginning of September.  Write me a line as soon as you receive this; direct it to Arlington Street, it will be sent after me.  Adieu.

P. S. My tower erects its battlements bravely; my Anecdotes of Painting thrive exceedingly:  thanks to the gout, that has pinned me to my chair:  think of Ariel the sprite in a slit shoe!

Letter 40 To The Countess Of Ailesbury.(90) Whichnovre, August 23, 1760. (page 81)

Well, madam, if I had known whither I was coming, I would not have come alone!  Mr. Conway and your ladyship should have come too.  Do you know, this is the individual manor-house,(91) where married ladies may have a flitch of bacon upon the easiest terms in the world?  I should have expected that the owners would be ruined in satisfying the conditions of the obligation, and that the park would be stocked with hogs instead of deer.  On the contrary, it is thirty years since the flitch was claimed, and Mr. Offley was never so near losing one as when you

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and Mr. Conway were at Ragley.  He so little expects the demand, that the flitch is only hung in effigie over the hall chimney, carved in wood.  Are not you ashamed, Madam, never to have put in your claim?  It is above a year and a day that you have been married, and I never once heard either of you mention a journey to Whichnovre.  If you quarrelled at loo every night, you could not quit your pretensions with more indifference.  I had a great mind to take my oath, as one of your witnesses, that you neither of you would, if you were at liberty, prefer any body else, ne fairer ne fouler, and I could easily get twenty persons to swear the same.  Therefore, unless you will let the world be convinced, that all your apparent harmony is counterfeit, you must set out immediately for Mr. Offley’s, or at least send me a letter of attorney to claim the flitch in your names; and I will send it up by the coach, to be left at the Blue Boar, or wherever you will have it delivered.  But you had better come in person; you will see one of the prettiest spots in the world; it is a little paradise, and the more like the antique one, as, by all I have said, the married couple seems to be driven out of it.  The house is very indifferent:  behind is a pretty park; the situation, a brow of a hill commanding sweet meadows, through which the Trent serpentizes in numberless windings and branches.  The spires of the cathedral of Litchfield are in front at a distance, with variety of other steeples, seats, and farms, and the horizon bounded by rich hills covered with blue woods.  If you love a prospect, or bacon, you will certainly come hither.

Wentworth Castle, Sunday night.

I had writ thus far yesterday, but had no opportunity of sending my letter.  I arrived here last night, and found only the Duke of Devonshire, who went to Hardwicke this morning:  they were down at the menagerie, and there was a clean little pullet, with which I thought his grace looked as if he should be glad to eat a slice of Whichnovre bacon.  We follow him to Chatsworth tomorrow, and make our entry to the public dinner, to the disagreeableness of which I fear even Lady Mary’s company will not reconcile me.

My Gothic building, which tiny lord Strafford has executed in the menagerie, has a charming effect.  There are two bridges built besides; but the new front is very little advanced.  Adieu, Madam!

(90) Daughter of the Duke of Argyle, first married to the Earl of Ailesbury, and afterwards to the Hon. H. S. Conway.

(91) Of Whichnovre, near Litchfield.  Sir Philip de Somerville, in the 10th of Edward iii., held the manor of Whichnovre, etc. of the Earls of Lancaster, lords of the honour of Tutbury, upon two small fees, but also upon condition of his keeping ready “arrayed, at all time of the year but Lent, one bacon flyke hanging in his hall at Whichnovre, to be given to every man or woman who demanded it a year and a day after the marriage upon their swearing they would not have changed for none other, fairer nor fouler, richer nor poorer, nor for no other descended of a great lineage, sleeping nor waking, at no time,” etc.-E.

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Letter 41 To Sir Horace Mann.  Chatsworth, Aug. 28, 1760. (page 82)

I am a great way out of the world, and yet enough in the way of news to send you a good deal.  I have been here but two or three days, and it has rained expresses.  The most important intelligence I can give you is that I was stopped from coming into the north for ten days by a fit of the gout in both feet, but as I have a tolerable quantity of resolution, I am now running about with the children and climbing hills—­and I intend to have only just as much of this wholesome evil as shall carry me to a hundred.  The next point of consequence is, that the Duke of Cumberland has had a stroke of the palsy—­ As his courage is at least equal to mine, he makes nothing of it; but being above an inch more in the girth than I am, he is not Yet arrived at skipping about the house.  In truth, his case is melancholy:  the humours that have fallen upon the wound in his leg have kept him lately from all exercise-. as he used much, and is so corpulent, this must have bad consequences.  Can one but pity him?  A hero, reduced by injustice to crowd all his fame into the supporting bodily ills, and to looking upon the approach of a lingering death with fortitude, is a real object of compassion.  How he must envy, what I am sure I don’t, his cousin of Prussia risking his life every hour against Cossacks and Russians!  Well! but this risker has scrambled another victory:  he has beat that pert pretender Laudon(92)—­yet it looks to me as if he was but new gilding his coffin; the undertaker Daun will, I fear, still have the burying of him!

I received here your letter of the 9th, and am glad Dr. Perelli so far justifies Sisson as to disculpate me.  I trust I shall execute Sophia’s business better.

Stosch dined with me at Strawberry before I set out.  He is a very rational creature.  I return homewards to-morrow; my campaigns are never very long; I have great curiosity for seeing places, but I despatch it soon, and am always impatient to be back with my own Woden and Thor, my own Gothic Lares.  While the lords and ladies are at skittles, I just found a moment to write you a line.  Adieu!

Arlington Street, Sept. 1.

I had no opportunity of sending my letter to the secretary’s office, so brought it myself.  You will see in the Gazette another little victory of a Captain Byron over a whole diminutive French squadron.  Stosch has had a fever.  He is now going to establish himself at Salisbury.

(92) This was the battle of Licgnitz, fought on the 15th of August, 1760, and in which the King of Prussia signally defeated the Austrians under Marshal Laudon, and thereby saved Silesia.-D.

Letter 42 To George Montagu, Esq.  Arlington Street, September 1, 1760. (page 83)

I was disappointed at your not being at home as I returned from my expedition; and now I fear it must be another year before I see Greatworth, as I have two or three more engagements on my books for the residue of this season.  I go next week to Lord Waldegrave, and afterwards to George Selwyn, and shall return by Bath, which I have never yet seen.  Will not you and the general come to Strawberry in October?

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Thank you for your lamentations on my gout; it was, in proportion to my size, very slender—­my feet are again as small as ever they were.  When I had what I called big shoes, I could have danced a minuet on a silver penny.

My tour has been extremely agreeable.  I set out with winning a good deal at loo at Ragley; the Duke of Grafton was not so successful. and had some high words with Pam.  I went from thence to Offley’s at Whichnovre, the individual manor of the flitch of bacon, which has been growing rusty for these thirty years in his hall.  I don’t wonder; I have no notion that one could keep in good humour with one’s wife for a year and a day, unless one was to live on the very spot, which is one of the sweetest scenes I ever saw.  It is the brink of a high hill; the Trent wriggles through at the foot; Litchfield and twenty other churches and mansions decorate the view.  Mr. Anson has bought an estate close by, whence my lord used to cast many a wishful eye, though without the least pretensions even to a bit of lard.

I saw Litchfield cathedral, which has been rich, but my friend Lord Brook and his soldiery treated poor St. Chadd(93) with so little ceremony, that it is in a most naked condition.  In a niche ,it the very summit they have crowded a statue of Charles the Second, with a special pair of shoo-strings, big enough for a weathercock.  As I went to Lord Strafford’s I passed through Sheffield, which is one of the foulest towns in England in the most charming situation there are two-and-twenty thousand inhabitants making knives and scissors; they remit eleven thousand pounds a week to London.  One man there has discovered the art of plating copper with silver; I bought a pair of candlesticks for two guineas that are quite pretty.  Lord Strafford has erected the little Gothic building, which I got Mr. Bentley to draw; I took the idea from Chichester-cross.  It stands on a high bank in the menagerie, between a pond and a vale, totally bowered over with oaks.  I went with the Straffords to Chatsworth, and stayed there four days; there were Lady Mary Coke, Lord Besborough and his daughters, Lord Thomond, Mr. Boufoy, the Duke, the old Duchess,(94) and two of his brothers.  Would you believe that nothing was ever better humoured than the ancient grace?  She stayed every evening till it was dark in the skittle-ground, keeping the score:  and one night, that the servants had a ball for Lady Dorothy’S(95) birthday, we fetched the fiddler into the drawing-room, and the dowager herself danced with us!  I never was more disappointed than at Chatsworth, which, ever since I was born, I have condemned.  It is a glorious situation; the vale rich in corn and verdure, vast woods hang down the hills, which are green to the top, and the immense rocks only serve to dignify the prospect.  The river runs before the door, and serpentizes more than you can conceive in the vale.  The duke is widening it, and will make it the middle of his park;

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but I don’t approve an idea they are going to execute, of a fine bridge with statues under a noble cliff.  If they will have a bridge (which by the way will crowd the scene), it should be composed of rude fragments, such as the giant of the Peak would step upon, that he might not be wet-shod.  The expense of the works now carrying on will amount to forty thousand pounds.  A heavy quadrangle of stables is part of the plan,. is very cumbrous, and standing higher than the house, is ready to overwhelm it.  The principal front of the house is beautiful, and executed with the neatness of wrought-plate; the inside is most sumptuous, but did not please me; the heathen gods, goddesses, Christian virtues, and allegoric gentlefolks, are crowded into every room, as if Mrs. Holman had been in heaven and invited every body she saw.  The great apartment is first; painted ceilings, inlaid floors, and unpainted wainscots make every room sombre.  The tapestries are fine, but, not fine enough, and there are few portraits.  The chapel is charming.  The great jet d’eau I like, nor would I remove it; whatever is magnificent of the kind in the time it was done, I would retain, else all gardens and houses wear a tiresome resemblance.  I except that absurdity of a cascade tumbling down marble steps, which reduces the steps to be of no use at all.  I saw Haddon,(96) an abandoned old castle of the Rutlands, in a romantic situation, but which never could have composed a tolerable dwelling.  The Duke sent Lord John with me to Hardwicke, where I was again disappointed; but I will not take relations from others; they either don’t see for themselves, or can’t see for me.  How I had been promised that I should be charmed with Hardwicke, and told that the Devonshires ought to have established there! never was I less charmed in my life.  The house is not Gothic, but of that betweenity, that intervened when Gothic declined and Palladian was creeping in—­rather, this is totally naked of either.  It has vast chambers—­aye, vast, such as the nobility of that time delighted in, and did not know how to furnish.  The great apartment is exactly what it was when the Queen of @Scots was kept there.  Her council-chamber, the council-chamber of a poor woman, who had only two secretaries, a gentleman usher, an apothecary, a confessor, and three maids, is so outrageously spacious, that you would take it for King David’s, who thought, contrary to all modern experience, that in the multitude of counsellors there is wisdom.  At the upper end is the state, with a long table, covered with a sumptuous cloth, embroidered and embossed with gold, -at least what was gold:  so are all the tables.  Round the top of the chamber runs a monstrous frieze, ten or twelve feet deep, representing stag-hunting in miserable plastered relief.  The next is her dressing-room, hung with patchwork on black velvet; then her state bedchamber.  The bed has been rich beyond description, and now hangs in costly golden tatters.  The hangings,

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part of which they say her Majesty worked, are composed of figures as large as life, sewed and embroidered on black velvet, white satin, etc. and represent the virtues that were necessary for her, or that she was forced to have, as patience and temperance, etc.  The fire-screens are particular; pieces of yellow velvet, fringed with gold, hang on a cross-bar of wood, which is fixed on the top of a single stick, that rises from the foot.  The only furniture which has any appearance of taste are the table and cabinets, which are all of oak, richly carved.  There is a privata chamber within, where she lay, her arms and style over the door; the arras hangs over all the doors; the gallery is sixty yards long, covered with bad tapestry, and wretched pictures of Mary herself, Elizabeth in a gown of sea-monsters, Lord Darnley, James the Fifth and his Queen, curious, and a whole history of Kings of England, not worth sixpence apiece.  There is an original of old Bess(97) of Hardwicke herself, who built the house.  Her estates were then reckoned at sixty thousand pounds a-year, and now let for two hundred thousand pounds.  Lord John Cavendish told me, that the tradition in the family was that it had been prophesied to her that she should never die as long as she was building; and that at last she died in a hard frost, when the labourers could not work.  There is a fine bank of old oaks in the park over a lake; nothing else pleased me there.  However, I was so diverted with this old beldam and her magnificence, that I made this epitaph for her: 

Four times the nuptial bed she warm’d,
And every time so well perform’d,
That when death spoil’d each husband’s billing,
He left the widow every shilling. 
Fond was the dame, but not dejected;
Five stately mansions she erected
With more than royal pomp, to vary
The prison of her captive
When Hardwicke’s towers shall bow their head,
Nor mass be more in Worksop said;
When Bolsover’s fair fame shall tend,
Like Olcotes, to its mouldering end;
When Chatsworth tastes no Can’dish bounties,
Let fame forget this costly countess.

As I returned, I saw Newstead and Althorpe:  I like both.  The former is the very abbey.(98) The great east window(99) of the church remains, and connects with the house; the hall entire, the refectory entire, the cloister untouched, with the ancient cistern of the convent, and their arms on it; a private chapel quite perfect.  The park, which is still charming, has not been so much unprofaned; the present lord has lost large sums, and paid part in old oaks, five thousand pounds of which have been cut near the house.  In recompense he has built two baby forts, to pay his country in castles for the damage done to the navy, and planted a handful of Scotch firs, that look like plough-boys dressed in old family liveries for a public day.  In the hall is a very good collection of pictures, all animals; the refectory, now the great-drawing-room, is full

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of Byrons; the vaulted roof remaining, but the windows have new dresses making for them by a Venetian tailor.(100) Althorpe(101) has several very fine pictures by the best Italian hands, and a gallery of all one’s acquaintance by Vandyke and Lely.  I wonder you never saw it; it is but six miles from Northampton.  Well, good night; I have writ you such a volume, that you see I am forced to page it.  The Duke has had a stroke of the palsy, but is quite recovered, except in some letters, which he cannot pronounce; and it is still visible in the contraction of one side of his mouth.  My compliments to your family.

(93) The patron saint Of the town.  The imagery and carved work on the front of the cathedral was much injured in 1641.  The cross upon the west window is said to have been frequently aimed at by Cromwell’s soldiery.-E.

(94) Daughter of John Hoskins, Esq. and widow of William the third Duke of Devonshire.

(95) Afterwards Duchess of Portland.

(96) Anciently the seat of the Vernons.  Sir George Vernon, in Queen Elizabeth’s time, was styled King of the Peak,” and the property came into the Manners family by his daughter marrying Thomas, son of the first Earl of Rutland.-E.

(97) She was daughter of John Hardwicke, of Hardwicke in Derbyshire.  Her first husband was Robert Barley, Esq. who settled his large estate on her and hers.  She married, secondly, Sir William Cavendish; her third husband was Sir William St. Lo; and her fourth was George Talbot, Earl of Shrewsbury, whose daughter, Lady Grace, married her son by Sir William Cavendish.

(98) Evelyn, who visited Newstead in 1654, says of it:—­“It is situated much like Fontainbleau, in France, capable of being made a noble seat, accommodated as it is with brave woods and streams; it has yet remaining the front of a glorious abbey church.”  Lord Byron thus beautifully describes the family seat, in the thirteenth canto of Don Juan: 

“An old, old monastery once, and now
Still older mansion-of a rich and rare
Mix’d Gothic, much as artists all allow
Few specimens yet left us can compare.

“Before the mansion lay a lucid lake,
Broad as transparent, deep, and freshly fed
By a river, which its soften’d way did take
In currents through the calmer water spread
Around:  the wildfowl nestled in the brake
And sedges, brooding in their liquid bed: 
The woods sloped downwards to its brink, and stood
With their green faces fix’d upon the flood."-E.

(99) A mighty window, hollow in the centre,
Shorn of its glass of thousand colourings,
Through which the deepen’d glories once could enter,
Streaming from off the sun like seraph’s wings,
Now yawns all desolate."-E.

(100) “——­The cloisters still were stable,
The cells, too, and refectory, I ween: 
An exquisite small chapel had been able
Still unimpaired to decorate the scene
The rest had been reform’d, replaced, or sunk,
And spoke more of the baron than the monk."-E.

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(101) The seat of Earl Spencer.-E.

Letter 43 To The Earl Of Strafford.  Strawberry Hill, Sept. 4, 1760. (87)

My dear lord, You ordered me to tell you how I liked Hardwicke.  To say the truth, not exceedingly.  The bank of oaks over the ponds is fine, and the vast lawn behind the house:  I saw nothing else that is superior to the common run of parks.  For the house, it did not please me at all; there is no grace, no ornament, no Gothic in it.  I was glad to see the style of furniture of that age; and my imagination helped me to like the apartment of the Queen of Scots.  Had it been the chateau of a Duchess of Brunswick, on which they had exhausted the revenues of some centuries, I don’t think I should have admired it at all.  In short, Hardwicke disappointed me as much as Chatsworth surpassed my expectation.  There is a richness and vivacity of prospect in the latter; in the former, nothing but triste grandeur.

Newstead delighted me.  There is grace and Gothic indeed—­good chambers and a comfortable house.  The monks formerly were the only sensible people that had really good mansions.(102) I saw Althorpe too, and liked it very well:  the pictures are fine.  In the gallery I found myself quite at home; and surprised the housekeeper by my familiarity with the portraits.

I hope you have read Prince Ferdinand’s thanksgiving, where he has made out a victory by the excess of his praises.  I supped at Mr. Conway’s t’other night with Miss West’(103) and we diverted ourselves with the encomiums on her Colonel Johnston.  Lady Ailesbury told her, that to be sure next winter she would burn nothing but laurel-faggots.  Don’t you like Prince Ferdinand’s being so tired with thanking, that at last he is forced to turn God over to be thanked by the officers?

In London there is a more cruel campaign than that waged by the Russians:  the streets are a very picture of the murder of the innocents—­one drives over nothing but poor dead dogs!(104) The dear, good-natured, honest, sensible creatures!  Christ! how can anybody hurt them?  Nobody could but those Cherokees the English, who desire no better than to be halloo’d to blood:—­one day Admiral Byng, the next Lord George Sackville, and to-day the poor dogs!

I cannot help telling your lordship how I was diverted the night I returned hither.  I was sitting with Mrs. Clive, her sister and brother, in the bench near the road at the end of her long walk.  We heard a violent scolding; and looking out, saw a pretty woman standing by a high chaise, in which was a young fellow, and a coachman riding by.  The damsel had lost her hat, her cap, her cloak, her temper, and her senses; and was more drunk and more angry than you can conceive.  Whatever the young man had or had not done to her. she would not ride in the chaise with him, but stood cursing and swearing in the most outrageous style: 

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and when she had vented all the oaths she could think of, she at last wished perfidion might seize him.  You may imagine how we laughed.  The fair intoxicate turned round, and cried “I am laughed at!—­Who is it!—­What, Mrs. Clive?  Kitty Clive?—­No:  Kitty Clive would never behave so!” I wish you could have seen My neighbour’s confusion.  She certainly did not grow paler than ordinary.  I laugh now while I repeat it to you.

I have told Mr. Bentley the great honour you have done him, my lord.  He is happy the Temple succeeds to please you.

(102) “——­It lies perhaps a little low, Because the monks preferred a hill behind To shelter their devotion from the wind.”  Byron.-E.

(103) Lady Henrietta-Cecilia, eldest daughter of John, afterwards Lord de la Warr.  In 1763, she was married to General James West.-E.

(104) In the summer of this year the dread of mad dogs’ raged like an epidemic:  the periodical publications of the time being filled with little else of domestic interest than the squabbles of the dog-lovers and dog-haters.  The Common Council of London, at a meeting on the @6th August, issued an order for killing all dogs found in the street., or highways after the 27th, and offered a reward of two shillings for every dog that should be killed and buried in the skin.  In Goldsmith’s Citizen of the World there is an amusing paper in which he ridicules the fear of mad dogs as one of those epidemic terrors to which our countrymen are occasionally prone.-E.

Letter 44 To The Hon. H. S. Conway.  Strawberry Hill, September 19, 1760. (page 88)

thank you for your notice, though I should certainly have contrived to see you without it.  Your brother promised he would come and dine here one day with you and Lord Beauchamp.  I go to Navestock on Monday, for two or three days; but that Will not exhaust your waiting.(105) I shall be in town on Sunday; but- as that is a court-day, I will not—­so don’t propose it—­dine with you at Kensington; but I will be with my Lady Hertford about six, where your brother and you will find me if you please.  I cannot come to Kensington in the evening, for I have but one pair of horses in the world, and they will have to carry me to town in the morning.

I wonder the King expects a battle; when Prince Ferdinand can do as well without fighting, why should he fight?  Can’t he make the hereditary Prince gallop into a mob of Frenchmen, and get a scratch on the nose; and Johnson straddle across a river and come back with six heads of hussars in his fob, and then can’t he thank all the world, and assure them he shall never forget the victory they have not gained?  These thanks are sent over:  the Gazette swears that this no-success was chiefly owing to General Mostyn; and the Chronicle protests, that it was achieved by my Lord Granby’s losing his hat, which he never wears; and then his lordship sends over for

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three hundred thousand pints of porter to drink his own health; and then Mr. Pitt determines to carry on the war for another year; and then the Duke of Newcastle hopes that we shall be beat, that he may lay the blame on Mr. Pitt, and that then he shall be minister for thirty years longer; and then we shall be the greatest nation in the universe.  Amen!  My dear Harry, you see how easy it is to be a hero.  If you had but taken impudence and Oatlands in your way to Rochfort, it would not have signified whether you had taken Rochfort or not.  Adieu!  I don’t know who Lady Ailesbury’s Mr. Alexander is.  If she curls like a vine with any Mr. Alexander but you, I hope my Lady Coventry will recover and be your Roxana.

(105) Mr. Conway, as groom of the bedchamber to the King, was then in waiting at Kensington.

Letter 45 To The Hon. H. S. Conway.  Strawberry Hill. (page 89)

You are good for nothing; you have no engagement, you have no principles; and all this I am not afraid to tell you,. as you have left your sword behind you.  If you take it ill, I have given my nephew, who brings your sword, a letter of attorney to fight you for me; I shall certainly not see you:  my Lady Waldegrave goes to town on Friday, but I remain here.  You lose Lady Anne Connolly and her forty daughters, who all dine here to-day upon a few loaves and three small fishes.  I should have been glad if you would have breakfasted here on Friday on your way; but as I lie in bed rather longer than the lark, I fear our hours would not suit one another.  Adieu!

Letter 46 To George Montagu, Esq.  Strawberry Hill, October 2, 1760. (page 90)

I announce my Lady Huntingtower(106) to you.  I hope you will approve the match a little more than I Suppose my Lord Dysart will, as he does not yet know, though they have been married these two hours, that, at ten o’clock this morning, his son espoused my niece Charlotte at St. James’s church.  The moment my Lord Dysart is dead, I will carry you to see the Ham-house; it is pleasant to call cousins with a charming prospect over against one.  Now you want to know the detail:  there was none.  It is not the style of Our Court to have long negotiations; we don’t fatigue the town with exhibiting the betrothed for six months together in public places.  Vidit, venit, vicit;—­the young lord has liked her some time; on Saturday se’nnight He came to my brother, and made his demand.  The princess did not know him by sight, and did not dislike him when she did; she consented. and they were married this morning.  My Lord Dysart is such a — that nobody will pity him; he has kept his son till six-and-twenty, and would never make the least settlement on him; “Sure,” said the young man, “if he will do nothing for me, I may please myself; he cannot hinder me of ten thousand pounds a-year, and sixty thousand that are in the funds, all entailed on me”—­a reversion one does not wonder the bride did not refuse, as there is present possession too of a very handsome person; the only thing his father has ever given him.  His grandfather, Lord Granville, has always told him to choose a gentlewoman, and please himself; yet I should think the ladies Townshend and Cooper would cackle a little.

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I wish you could have come here this October for more reasons than one.  The Teddingtonian history is grown wofully bad.  Mark Antony, though no boy, persists in losing the world two or three times over for every gipsy that be takes for a Cleopatra.  I have laughed, been scolded, represented, begged, and at last spoken very roundly—­all with equal success; at present we do not meet.  I must convince him of ill usage, before I can make good usage of any service.  All I have done is forgot, because I will not be enamoured of Hannah Cleopatra too.  You shall know the whole history when I see you; you may trust me for still being kind to him; but that he must not as yet suspect; they are bent on going to London, that she may visit and be visited, while he puts on his red velvet and ermine, and goes about begging in robes.

Poor Mr. Chute has had another very severe fit of the gout; I left him in bed, but by not hearing he is worse, trust on Saturday to find him mended.  Adieu!

(106) Charlotte, third daughter of Sir Edward Walpole, and sister to Lady Waldegrave, and to Mrs. Keppel.

Letter 47 To Sir Horace Mann.  Arlington Street, Oct. 5, 1760.  Page 91)

I am afraid you will turn me off from being your gazetteer.  Do you know that I came to town to-day by accident, and was here four hours before I heard that Montreal was taken?  The express came early this morning.  I am so posthumous in my intelligence, that you must not expect any intelligence from me—­but the same post that brings you this, will convey the extraordinary gazette, which of late is become the register of the Temple of Fame.  All I know is, that the bonfires and squibs are drinking General Amherst’s(107) health.

Within these two days Fame and the Gazette have laid another egg; I wish they may hatch it themselves! but it is one of that unlucky hue which has so often been addled; in short, behold another secret expedition.  It was notified on Friday, and departs in a fortnight.  Lord Albemarle, it is believed, will command it.  One is sure at least that it cannot be to America, for we have taken it all.  The conquest of Montreal may perhaps serve in full of all accounts, as I suspect a little that this new plan was designed to amuse the City of London at the beginning of the session, who would not like to have wasted so many millions on this campaign, without any destruction of friend or foe.(108) Now, a secret expedition may at least furnish a court-martial, and the citizens love persecution even better than their money.  A general or in admiral to be mobbed either by their applause or their hisses, is all they desire.-Poor Lord Albemarle!

The charming Countess(109) is dead at last; and as if the whole history of both sisters was to be extraordinary, the Duchess of Hamilton is in a consumption too, and going abroad directly.  Perhaps you may see the remains of these prodigies, you will see but little remains; her features were never so beautiful as Lady Coventry’s, and she has long been changed, though not yet I think above six-and-twenty.  The other was but twenty-seven.

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As all the great ladies are mortal this year, my family is forced to recruit the peerage.  My brother’s last daughter is married; and, as Biddy Tipkin(110) says, though their story is too short for a romance, it will make a very pretty novel—­nay, it is almost brief enough for a play, and very near comes within one of the unities, the space of four-and-twenty hours.  There is in the world, particularly in my world, for he lives directly over against me across the water, a strange brute called Earl of Dysart.(111) Don’t be frightened, it is not he.  His son, Lord Huntingtower, to whom he gives but four hundred pounds a year, is a comely young gentleman of twenty-six, who has often had thoughts of trying whether his father would not like grandchildren better than his own children, as sometimes people have more grand-tenderness than paternal.  All the answer he could ever get was, that the Earl could not afford, as he has five younger children, to make any settlement, but he offered, as a proof of his inability and kindness, to lend his son a large sum of money at low interest.  This indigent usurer has thirteen thousand pounds a year, and sixty thousand pounds in the funds.  The money and ten of the thirteen thousand in land are entailed on Lord Huntingtower.  The young lord, it seems, has been in love with Charlotte for some months, but thought so little of inflaming her, that yesterday fortnight she did not know him by sight.  On that day he came and proposed himself to my brother, who with much surprise heard his story, but excused himself from giving an answer.  He said, he would never force the inclinations of his children; he did not believe his daughter had any engagement or attachment, but she might have:  he would send for her and know her mind.  She was at her sister Waldegrave’s, to whom, on receiving the notification, she said very sensibly, “if I was but nineteen, I would refuse pointblank; I do not like to be married in a week to a man I never saw.  But I am two-and-twenty; some people say I am handsome, some say I am not; I believe the truth is, I am likely to be at large and to go off soon-it is dangerous to refuse so great a match.”  Take notice of the married in a week; the love that was so many months in ripening, could not stay above a week.  She came and saw this impetuous lover, and I believe was glad she had not refused pointblank-for they were married last Thursday.  I tremble a little for the poor girl; not to mention the oddness of the father, and twenty disagreeable things that may be in the young man, who has been kept and lived entirely out of the world; @ takes her fortune, ten thousand pounds, and cannot settle another shilling upon her till his father dies, and then promises Only a thousand a year.  Would one venture one’s happiness and one’s whole fortune for the chance of being Lady Dysart?@if Lord Huntingtower dies before his father, she will not have sixpence.  Sure my brother has risked too much!

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Stosch, who is settled at Salisbury, has writ to me to recommend him to somebody or other as a travelling governor or companion.  I would if I knew any body:  but who travels now?  He says you have notified his intention to me-so far from it, I have not heard from you this age:  I never was so long without a letter--but you don’t take Montreals and Canadas every now and then.  You repose like the warriors in Germany-at least I hope so—­I trust no ill health has occasioned your silence.  Adieu!

(107) General Sir Jeffrey Amherst distinguished himself in the war with the French in America.  He was subsequently created a peer, and made commander-in-chief.-D.

(108) The large armament, intended for a secret expedition and collected at Portsmouth, was detained there the whole summer, but the design was laid aside.-E.

(109) Maria Gunning, Countess of Coventry.

(110) In Steele’s “Tender Husband”

(111) Lionel Tolmache, Earl of Dysart, lived at Ham House, over against Twickenham.

Letter 48 To George Montagu, Esq.  Strawberry Hill, Oct. 14, 1760. (page 92)

If you should see in the newspapers, that I have offered to raise a regiment at Twickenham, am going with the expedition, and have actually kissed hands, don’t believe it; though I own, the two first would not be more surprising than the last.  I will tell you how the calamity befell me, though you will laugh instead of pitying me.  Last Friday morning, I was very tranquilly writing my Anecdotes of Painting,—­I heard the bell at the gate ring—­I called out, as usual, “Not at home;” but Harry, who thought it would be treason to tell a lie, when he saw red liveries, owned I was, and came running up:  “Sir, the Prince of Wales is at the door, and says he is come on purpose to make you a visit!” There was I, in the utmost confusion, undressed, in my slippers, and my hair about my ears; there was no help, insanunt vetem aspiciet--and down I went to receive him.  Him was the Duke of York.  Behold my breeding of the old court; at the foot of the stairs I kneeled down, and kissed his hand.  I beg your uncle Algernon Sidney’s pardon, but I could not let the second Prince of the blood kiss my hand first.  He was, as he always is, extremely good-humoured; and I, as I am not always, extremely respectful.  He stayed two hours, nobody with him but Morrison; I showed him all my castle, the pictures of the Pretender’s sons, and that type of the Reformation, Harry the Eighth’s ——­, moulded into a to the clock he gave Anne Boleyn. — But observe my luck; he would have the sanctum sanctorum in the library opened:  about a month ago I removed the MSS. in another place.  All this is very well; but now for the consequences; what was I to do next?  I have not been in a court these ten years, consequently have never kissed hands in the next reign.  Could I let a Duke of York visit me, and never go to thank

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him?  I know, if I was a great poet, I might be so brutal, and tell the world in rhyme that rudeness is virtue; or, if I was a patriot, I might, after laughing at Kings and Princes for twenty years, catch at the first opening of favour and beg a place.  In truth, I can do neither; yet I could not be shocking; I determined to go to Leicester-house, and comforted myself that it was not much less meritorious to go there for nothing, than to stay quite away; yet I believe I must make a pilgrimage to Saint Liberty of Geneva, before I am perfectly purified, especially as I am dipped even at St. James’s.  Lord Hertford, at my request, begged my Lady Yarmouth to get an order for my Lady Henry to go through the park, and the countess said so many civil things about me and my suit, and granted it so expeditiously, that I shall be forced to visit, even before she lives here next door to my Lady Suffolk.  My servants are transported; Harry expects to see me first minister, like my father, and reckons upon a place in the Custom-house..  Louis, who drinks like a German, thinks himself qualified for a page of the back stairs—­but these are not all my troubles.  As I never dress in summer, I had nothing upon earth but a frock, unless I went in black, like a poet, and pretended that a cousin was dead, one of the muses.  Then I was in panics lest I should call my Lord Bute, your Royal Highness.  I was not indeed in much pain at the conjectures the Duke of Newcastle would make on such an apparition, even if he should suspect that a new opposition was on foot, and that I was to write some letters to the Whigs.

Well, but after all, do you know that my calamity has not befallen me yet?  I could not determine to bounce over head and ears into the drawing-room at once, without one soul knowing why I cane thither.  I went to London on Saturday night, and Lord Hertford was to carry me the next Morning; in the meantime I wrote to Morrison, explaining my gratitude to one brother, and my unacquaintance with t’other, and how afraid I was that it would be thought officious and forward if I was presented now, and begging he would advise me what to do; and all this upon my bended knee, as if Schutz had stood over me and dictated every syllable.  The answer was by order from the Duke of York, that he smiled at my distress, wished to put me to no inconvenience, but desired, that as the acquaintance had begun without restraint, it might continue without ceremony.  Now I was in more perplexity than ever!  I could not go directly, and yet it was not fit it should be said I thought it an inconvenience to wait on the Prince of Wales.  At present it is decided by a jury of court matrons, that is, courtiers, that I must write to my Lord Bute and explain the whole, and why I desire to come now—­don’t fear; I will take care they shall understand how little I come for.  In the mean time, you see it is my fault if I am not a favourite, but alas!  I am not heavy enough to be tossed in a blanket, like

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Doddington; I should never come down again; I cannot be driven in a royal curricle to wells and waters:  I can’t make love now to my contemporary Charlotte Dives; I cannot quit Mufti and my parroquet for Sir William Irby,(112) and the prattle of a drawing-room, nor Mrs. Clive for Aelia Lalia Chudleigh; in short, I could give up nothing but an Earldom of EglingtOn; and yet I foresee, that this phantom of the reversion of a reversion will make me plagued; I shall have Lord Egmont whisper me again; and every tall woman and strong man, that comes to town, will make interest with me to get the Duke of York to come and see them.  Oh! dreadful, dreadful!  It is plain I never was a patriot, for I don’t find my virtue a bit staggered by this first glimpse of court sunshine.

Mr. Conway has pressed to command the new Quixotism on foot, and has been refused; I sing a very comfortable te Deum for it.  Kingsley, Craufurd, and Keppel, are the generals, and Commodore Keppel the admiral.  The mob are sure of being pleased; they will get a conquest, or a court-martial.  A very unpleasant thing has happened to the Keppels; the youngest brother, who had run in debt at Gibraltar, and was fetched away to be sent to Germany, gave them the slip at the first port they touched at in Spain, surrendered himself to the Spanish governor, has changed his religion, and sent for a ——­ that had been taken from him at Gibraltar; naturam expellas fure`a.  There’s the true blood of Charles the Second sacrificing every thing for popery and a bunter.

Lord Bolingbroke, on hearing the name of Lady Coventry at Newmarket, affected to burst into tears, and left the room, not to hide his crying, but his not crying.

Draper has handsomely offered to go on the expedition, and goes.

Ned Finch, t’other day, on the conquest of Montreal, wished the King joy of having lost no subjects, but those that perished in the rabbits.  Fitzroy asked him if he thought they crossed the great American lakes in such little boats as one goes to Vauxhall? he replied, “Yes, Mr. Pitt said the rabbits”—­it was in the falls, the rapids.

I like Lord John almost as well as Fred. Montagu; and I like your letter better than Lord John; the application of Miss Falkener was charming.  Good night.

P. S. If I had been told in June, that I should have the gout, and kiss hands before November, I don’t think I should have given much credit to the prophet.

(112) In 1761, created Baron Boston.-E.

Letter 49 To George Montagu, Esq. 
Arlington Street.  October 25, 1760. (page 95)
I tell a lie:  I am at Mr. Chute’s.

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Was ever so agreeable a man as King George the Second, to die the very day it was necessary to save me from a ridicule?  I was to have kissed hands to-morrow-but you will not care a farthing about that now; so I must tell you all I know of departed majesty.  He went to bed well last night, rose at six this morning as usual, looked, I suppose, if all his money was in his purse, and called for his chocolate.  A little after seven, he went into the water-closet; the German valet de chambre heard a noise, listened, heard something like a groan, ran in, and found the hero of Oudenarde and Dettingen on the floor, with a gash on his right temple, by falling against the corner of a bureau.  He tried to speak, could not, and expired.  Princess Emily was called, found him dead, and wrote to the Prince.  I know not a syllable, but am come to see and hear as much as I can.  I fear you will cry and roar all night, but one could not keep it from you.  For my part, like a new courtier, I comfort myself, considering what a gracious Prince comes next.  Behold my luck.  I wrote to Lord Bute, just in all the unexpecteds, want Of ambition, disinteresteds, etc. that I could amass, gilded with as much duty affection, zeal, etc. as possible, received a very gracious and sensible answer, and was to have been presented to-morrow, and the talk of the few people, that are in town, for a week.  Now I shall be lost in the crowd, shall be as well there as I desire to be, have done what was right, they know I want nothing, may be civil to me very cheaply, and I can go and see the puppet-show for this next month at my ease:  but perhaps you will think all this a piece of art; to be sure, I have timed my court, as luckily as possible, and contrived to be the last person in England that made interest with the successor.  You see virtue and philosophy always prone to know the world and their own interest.  However, I am not so abandoned a patriot yet, as to desert my friends immediately; you shall hear now and then the events of this new reign—­if I am not made secretary of state—­if I am, I shall certainly take care to let you know it.

I had really begun to think that the lawyers for once talked sense, when they said the King never dies.  He probably cot his death, as he liked to have done two years ago, by viewing the troops for the expedition from the wall of Kensington Garden.  My Lady Suffolk told me about a month ago that he had often told her, speaking of the dampness of Kensington, that he would never die there.  For my part, my man Harry will always be a favourite:  he tells me all the amusing news; he first told me of the late Prince of Wales’s death, and to-day of the King’s.

Thank you, Mr. Chute is as well as can be expected—­in this national affliction.  Sir Robert Brown has left every thing to my Lady—­aye, every thing, I believe his very avarice.

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Lord Huntingtower wrote to offer his father eight thousand pounds of Charlotte’s fortune, if he would give them one thousand a-year in present, and settle a jointure on her.  The Earl returned this truly laconic, for being so unnatural, an answer.  “Lord Huntingtower, I answer your letter as soon as I receive it; I wish you joy; I hear your wife is very accomplished.  Yours, Dysart.”  I believe my Lady Huntingtower must contrive to make it convenient for me, that my Lord Dysart should die—­and then he will.  I expect to be a very respectable personage in time, and to have my tomb set forth like the Lady Margaret Douglas, that I had four earls to my nephews, though I never was one myself.  Adieu!  I must go govern the nation.

Letter 50 To The Earl Of Strafford.  Arlington Street, October 26, 1760. (page 96)

My dear lord, I beg your pardon for so long a silence in the late reign; I knew nothing worth telling you; and the great event of this morning you Z, will certainly hear before it comes to you by so sober and regular a personage as the postman.  The few circumstances known yet are, that the King went well to bed last night; rose well at six this morning; went to the water-closet a little after seven -, had a fit, fell against a bureau, and gashed his right temple:  the valet de chambre heard a noise and a groan, and ran in:  the King tried to speak, but died instantly.  I should hope this would draw you southward:  such scenes are worth looking at, even by people who regard them with such indifference as your lordship and I. I say no more, for what will mix in a letter with the death of a King!  I am my lady’s and your lordship’s most faithful servant.

Letter 51 To George Montagu, Esq.  Arlington Street, Tuesday, October 28. (page 97)

The new reign dates with great propriety and decency; the civilest letter to Princess Emily; the greatest kindness to the duke; the utmost respect to the dead body.  No changes to be made but those absolutely necessary, as the household, etc.—­and what some will think the most unnecessary, in the representative of power.  There are but two new cabinet counsellors named; the Duke of York and Lord Bute, so it must be one of them.  The Princess does not remove to St. James’s, so I don’t believe it will be she.  To-day England kissed hands, so did I, and it is more comfortable to kiss hands with all England, than to have all England ask why one kisses hands.  Well! my virtue is safe; I had a gracious reception, and yet I am almost as impatient to return to Strawberry, as I was to leave it on the news.  There is great dignity and grace in the King’s manner.  I don’t say this, like my dear Madame de S`evign`e, because he was civil to me but the part is well acted.  If they do as well behind the scenes, as upon the stage, it will be a very complete reign.  Hollinshed,

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or Baker, would think it begins well, that is, begins ill; it has rained without intermission, and yesterday there came a cargo of bad news, all which, you know, are similar omens to a man who writes history upon the information of the clouds.  Berlin is taken by the Prussians, the hereditary Prince beaten by the French.  Poor Lord Downe has had three wounds.  He and your brother’s Billy Pitt are prisoners.  Johnny Waldegrave was shot through the hat and through the coat; and would have been shot through the body, if he had had any.  Irish Johnson is wounded in the hand; Ned Harvey somewhere; and Prince Ferdinand mortally in his reputation for sending this wild detachment.  Mr. Pitt has another reign to set to rights.  The Duke of Cumberland has taken Lord Sandwich’s, in Pall-mall; Lord Chesterfield has offered his house to Princess Emily; and if they live at Hampton-court, as I suppose his court will, I may as well offer Strawberry for a royal nursery; for at best it will become a cakehouse; ’tis such a convenient airing for the maids of honour.  If I was not forced in conscience to own to you, that my own curiosity is exhausted, I would ask you, if you would not come and look at this new world; but a new world only reacted by old players is not much worth seeing; I shall return on Saturday.  The Parliament is prorogued till the day it was to have met; the will is not opened; what can I tell you more?  Would it be news that all is hopes and fears, and that great lords look as if they dreaded wanting bread? would this be news? believe me, it all grows stale soon.  I had not seen such a sight these three-and-thirty years:  I came eagerly to town; I laughed for three days-.  I am tired already.  Good night!

P. S. I smiled to myself last night.  Out of excess of attention, which costs me nothing, when I mean it should cost nobody else any thing, I went last night to Kensington to inquire after Princess Emily and Lady Yarmouth:  nobody knew me, they asked my name.  When they heard it, they did not seem ever to have heard it before, even in that house.  I waited half an hour in a lodge with a footman of Lady Yarmouth’s; I would not have waited so long in her room a week ago; now it only diverted me.  Even moralizing is entertaining, when one laughs at the same time; but I pity those who don’t moralize till they cry.

Letter 52 To Sir Horace Mann.

Arlington Street, Oct. 28, 1760. (page 98)

The deaths of kings travel so much faster than any post, that I cannot expect to tell you news, when I say your old master is dead.  But I can pretty well tell you what I like best to be able to say to you on this occasion, that you are in no danger.  Change Will scarce reach to Florence when its hand is checked even in the capital.  But I will move a little regularly, and then you will form your judgment more easily—­This is Tuesday; on Friday night the King went to bed in perfect health, and

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rose so the next morning at his usual hour of six; he called for and drank his chocolate.  At seven, for every thing with him was exact and periodic, he went into the closet to dismiss his chocolate.  Coming from thence, his valet de chambre heard a noise; waited a moment, and heard something like a groan.  He ran in, and in a small room between the closet and bedchamber he found the King on the floor, who had cut the right side of his face against the edge of a bureau, and who after a gasp expired.  Lady Yarmouth was called, and sent for Princess Amelia; but they only told the latter that the King was ill and wanted her.  She had been confined for some days with a rheumatism, but hurried down, ran into the room without farther notice, and saw her father extended on the bed.  She is very purblind, and more than a little deaf They had not closed his eyes:  she bent down close to his face, and concluded he spoke to her, though she could not hear him-guess what a shock when she found the truth.  She wrote to the Prince of Wales—­but so had one of the valets de chambre first.  He came to town and saw the Duke(113) and the privy council.  He was extremely kind to the first—­and in general has behaved with the greatest propriety, dignity, and decency.  He read his speech to the council with much grace, and dismissed the guards on himself to wait on his grandfather’s body.  It is intimated, that he means to employ the same ministers, but with reserve to himself of more authority than has lately been in fashion.  The Duke of York and Lord Bute are named of the cabinet council.  The late King’s will is not yet opened.  To-day every body kissed hands at Leicester-house, and this week, I believe, the King will go to St. James’s.  The body has been opened; the great ventricle of the heart had burst.  What an enviable death!  In the greatest period of glory of this country, and of his reign, in perfect tranquillity at home, at seventy-seven, growing blind and deaf, to die without a pang, before any reverse of fortune, or any distasted peace, nay, but two days before a ship load of bad news:  could he have chosen such another moment?  The news is bad indeed!  Berlin taken by capitulation, and yet the Austrians behaved so savagely that even the Russians(114) felt delicacy, were shocked, and checked them!  Nearer home, the hereditary Prince(115) has been much beaten by Monsieur de Castries, and forced to raise the siege of Wesel, whither Prince Ferdinand had Sent him most unadvisedly:  we have scarce an officer unwounded.  The secret expedition will now, I conclude, sail, to give an `eclat to the new reign.  Lord Albemarle does not command it, as I told you, nor Mr. Conway, though both applied.

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Nothing is settled about the Parliament; not even the necessary changes in the household.  Committees of council are regulating the mourning and the funeral.  The town, which between armies, militia, and approaching elections, was likely to be a desert all the winter, is filled in a minute, but every thing is in the deepest tranquility.  People stare; the only expression.  The moment any thing is declared, one shall not perceive the novelty of the reign.  A nation without parties is soon a nation without curiosity.  You may now judge how little your situation is likely to be affected.  I finish; I think I feel ashamed of tapping the events of a new reign, of which probably I shall not see half.  If I was not unwilling to balk your curiosity, I should break my pen, as the great officers do their white wands, over the grave of the old King.  Adieu!

(113) William Duke of Cumberland.

(114) The Russians and Austrians obtained possession of Berlin, while Frederick was employed in watching the great Austrian army.  They were, however, soon driven from it.-D.

(115) Of Brunswick; afterwards the celebrated duke of that name.-D.

Letter 53 To George Montagu, Esq.  Arlington Street, Oct. 31, 1760. (page 99)

When you have changed the cipher of George the Second into that of George the Third. and have read the addresses, and have shifted a few lords and grooms of the bedchamber, you are master of the history of the new reign, which is indeed but a new lease of the old one.  The favourite took it up in a high style; but having, like my Lord Granville, forgot to ensure either house of Parliament, or the mob, the third house of Parliament, he drove all the rest to unite.  They have united, and have notified their resolution of governing as
   before:  not but the Duke of Newcastle cried for his old
master, desponded for himself, protested he would retire, consulted every body whose interest it was to advise him to stay, and has accepted to-day, thrusting the dregs of his ridiculous life into a young court, which will at least be saved from the imputation of childishness, by being governed by folly of seventy years growth.

The young King has all the appearance of being amiable.  There is great grace to temper much dignity and extreme good-nature, which breaks out on all occasions.  Even the household is not settled yet.  The greatest difficulty is the master of the horse.  Lord Huntingdon is so by all precedent; Lord Gower, I believe, will be so.  Poor Lord Rochford is undone — nobody is unreasonable to save him.  The Duke of Cumberland has taken Schomberg-house in Pall-mall; Princess Emily is dealing for Sir Richard Lyttelton’s in Cavendish-square.  People imagined the Duke of Devonshire had lent her Burlington-house; I don’t know why, unless they supposed she was to succeed my Lady Burlington in every thing.

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A week has finished my curiosity fully; I return to Strawberry to-morrow, and I fear go next week to Houghton, to make an appearance of civility to Lynn, whose favour I never asked, nor care if I have or not; but I don’t know how to refuse this attention to Lord Orford, who begs it.

I trust you will have approved my behaviour at court, that is, my mixing extreme politeness with extreme indifference.  Our predecessors, the philosophers of ancient days, knew not how to be disinterested without brutality; I pique myself on founding a new sect.  My followers are to tell kings, with excess of attention, that they don’t want them, and to despise favour with more good breeding than others practise in suing for it.  We are a thousand times a greater nation than the Grecians:  why are we to imitate them!  Our sense is as great, our follies greater; sure we have all the pretensions to superiority!  Adieu!

P. S. As to the fair widow Brown, I assure you the devil never sowed two hundred thousand pounds in a more fruitful soil:  every guinea has taken root already.  I saw her yesterday; it shall be some time before I see her again.

Letter 54 To George Montagu, Esq.  Arlington Street, Nov. 4, 1760. (page 100)

I am not gone to Houghton, you see:  my Lord Orford is come to town, and I have persuaded him to stay and perform decencies.  King George the Second is dead richer than Sir Robert Brown, though perhaps not so rich as my Lord Hardwicke.  He has left fifty thousand pounds between the Duke, Emily, and Mary; the Duke has given up his share.  To Lady Yarmouth a cabinet, with the contents; they call it eleven thousand pounds.  By a German deed, he gives the Duke to the value of one hundred and eighty thousand pounds, placed on mortgages, not immediately recoverable. e had once given him twice as much more, then revoked it, and at last excused the revocation, on the pretence of the expenses of the war; but owns he was the best son that ever lived, and had never offended him; a pretty strong comment on the affair of Closterseven!  He gives him, besides, all his jewels in England; but had removed all the best to Hanover, which he makes crown jewels, and his successor residuary legatee.  The Duke, too, has some uncounted cabinets.  My Lady Suffolk has given me a particular of his jewels, which plainly amount to one hundred and fifty thousand pounds.  It happened oddly to my Lady Suffolk.  Two days before he died, she went to make a visit at Kensington, not knowing of the review; she found herself hemmed in by coaches, and was close to him, whom she had not seen for so many years, and to my Lady Yarmouth; but they did not know her:  it struck her, and has made her very sensible to his death.  The changes hang back.  Nothing material has been altered yet.

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Ned Finch, the only thing my Lady Yarmouth told the new King she had to ask for, is made surveyor of the roads, in the room of Sir Harry Erskine, who is to have an old regiment.  He excuses himself from seeing company, as favourite of the favourite.  Arthur is removed from being clerk of the wine-cellar, a sacrifice to morality The Archbishop has such hopes of the young King, that he is never out of the circle.  He trod upon the Duke’s foot on Sunday, in the haste of his zeal; the Duke said to him, “My lord, if your grace is in such a hurry to make your court, that is the way.”  Bon-mots come thicker than changes.  Charles Townshend, receiving an account of the impression the King’s death had made, was told Miss Chudleigh cried.  “What,” said he, “Oysters?” And last night, Mr. Dauncey, asking George Selwyn if Princess Amelia would have a guard? he replied, “Now and then one, I suppose.”

An extraordinary event has happened to-day; George Townshend sent a challenge to Lord Albemarle, desiring him to be with a second in the fields.  Lord Albemarle took Colonel Crawford, and went to Mary-le-bone; George Townshend bespoke Lord Buckingham, who loves a secret too well not to tell it:  he communicated it to Stanley, who went to St. James’s, and acquainted Mr. Caswall, the captain on guard.  The latter took a hackney-coach, drove to Mary-le-bone, and saw one pair.  After waiting ten minutes, the others came; Townshend made an apology to Lord Albemarle for making him wait.  “Oh,” said he, “men of spirit don’t want apologies:  come, let us begin what we came for.”  At that instant, out steps Caswall from his coach, and begs their pardon, as his superior officers, but told them they were his prisoners.  He desired Mr. Townshend and Lord Buckingham to return to their coach; he would carry back Lord Albemarle and Crawford in his.  He did, and went to acquaint the King, who has commissioned some of the matrons of the army to examine the affair, and make it up.  All this while, I don’t know what the quarrel was, but they hated one another so much on the Duke’s account, that a slight word would easily make their aversions boil over.  Don’t you, nor even your general come to town on this occasion?  Good night.

Letter 55 To George Montagu, Esq.  Arlington Street, Nov. 13, 1760. (page 102)

Even the honeymoon of a new reign don’t produce events every day.  There is nothing but the common Paying of addresses and kissing hands.  The chief difficulty is settled; Lord Gower yields the mastership of the horse to Lord Huntingdon, and removes to the great wardrobe, from whence Sir Thomas Robinson was to have gone into Ellis’s place, but he is saved.  The city, however, have a mind to be out of humour; a paper has been fixed on the Royal Exchange, with these words, “No petticoat government, no Scotch minister, no Lord George Sackville;” two hints totally unfounded, and the other scarce true. 

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No petticoat ever governed less, it is left at Leicester-house; Lord George’s breeches are as little concerned; and, except Lady Susan Stuart and Sir Harry Erskine, nothing has yet been done for any Scots.  For the King himself, he seems all good-nature, and wishing to satisfy every body; all his speeches are obliging.  I saw him again yesterday, and was surprised to find the levee-room had lost so entirely the air of the lion’s den.  This sovereign don’t stand in one spot, with his eyes fixed royally on the ground, and dropping bits of German news; he walks about, and speaks to every body- I saw him afterwards on the throne, where he is graceful and genteel, sits with dignity, and reads his answers to addresses well; it was the Cambridge address, carried by the Duke of Newcastle in his doctor’s gown, and looking like the M`edecin malgr`e lui.  He had been vehemently solicitous for attendance, for fear my Lord Westmoreland, who vouchsafes himself to bring the address from Oxford, should outnumber him.  Lord Litchfield and several other Jacobites have kissed hands; George Selwyn says, “They go to St. James’s, because now there are so many Stuarts there.”

Do you know, I had the curiosity to go to the burying t’other night; I had never seen a royal funeral; nay, I walked as a rag of quality, which I found would be, and so it was, the easiest way of seeing it.  It is absolutely a noble sight.  The Prince’s chamber, hung with purple, and a quantity of silver lamps, the coffin under a canopy of purple velvet, and six vast chandeliers of silver on high stands, had a very good effect.  The ambassador from Tripoli and his son were carried to see that chamber.  The procession through a line of foot-guards, every seventh man bearing a torch, the horse-guards lining the outside, their officers with drawn sabres and crape sashes on horseback, the drums muffled, the fifes, bells tolling, and minute guns,—­all this was very solemn.  But the charm was the entrance of the abbey, where we were received by the dean and chapter in rich robes, the choir and almsmen bearing torches; the whole abbey so illuminated, that one saw it to greater advantage than by day; the tombs, long aisles, and fretted roof, all appearing distinctly, and with the happiest chiaro scuro.  There wanted nothing but incense, and little chapels here and there, with priests saying mass for the repose of the defunct; yet one could not complain of its not being Catholic enough.  I had been in dread of’ being coupled with some boy of ten years old; but the heralds were not very accurate, and I walked with George Grenville, taller and older, to keep me in countenance.  When we came to the chapel of Henry the Seventh, all solemnity and decorum ceased; no order was observed, people sat or stood where they could or would; the yeomen of the guard were crying out for help, oppressed by the immense weight of the coffin; the bishop read sadly, and blundered in the prayers; the fine chapter,

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Man that is born of a woman, was chanted, not read; and the anthem, besides being immeasurably tedious, would have served as well for a nuptial.  The real serious part was the figure of the Duke of Cumberland, heightened by a thousand melancholy circumstances.  He had a dark brown adonis, and a cloak of black cloth, with a train of five yards.  Attending the funeral of a father could not be pleasant:  his leg extremely bad, yet forced to stand upon it near two hours; his face bloated and distorted with his late paralytic stroke, which has affected, too, one of his eyes, and placed over the mouth of the vault, into which, in all probability, he must himself so soon descend; think how unpleasant a situation! he bore it all with a firm and unaffected countenance.  This grave scene was fully contrasted by the burlesque Duke of Newcastle.  He fell into a fit of crying the moment he came into the chapel, and flung himself back in a stall, the archbishop hovering over him with a smelling-bottle; but in two minutes his curiosity got the better of his hypocrisy, and he ran about the chapel with his glass to spy who was or was not there, spying with one hand, and mopping his eyes with the other.  Then returned the fear of catching cold; and the Duke of Cumberland, who was sinking with heat, felt himself weighed down, and turning round, found it was the Duke of Newcastle standing upon his train, to avoid the chill of the marble.  It was very theatric to look down into the vault, where the coffin lay, attended by mourners with lights.  Clavering, the groom of the bedchamber, refused to sit up with the body, and was dismissed by the King’s order.

I have nothing more to tell you, but a trifle, a very trifle.  The King of Prussia has totally defeated Marshal Daun.(116) This, which would have been prodigious news a month ago, is nothing to-day; it only takes its turn among the questions, “Who is to be groom of the bedchamber? what is Sir T. Robinson to have?” I have been to Leicester-fields to-day; the crowd was immoderate; I don’t believe it will continue so. good night.  Yours ever.

(116) At Torgau, on the 3d of November.  An animated description of this desperate battle is given by Walpole in his Memoires, vol. ii. p. 449.-E.

Letter 56 To George Montagu, Esq.  Arlington Street, Thursday, 1760. (page 104)

As a codicil to my letter, I send you the bedchamber.  There are to be eighteen lords, and thirteen grooms; all the late King’s remain, but your cousin Manchester, Lord Falconberg, Lord Essex, and Lord Flyndford, replaced by the Duke of Richmond, Lord Weymouth, Lord March, and Lord Eglinton:  the last at the request of the Duke of York.  Instead of Clavering, Nassau, and General Campbell, who is promised something else, Lord Northampton’s brother and Commodore Keppel are grooms.  When it was offered to the Duke of Richmond, he said he could not accept it, unless something was done for Colonel Keppel, for whom he has interested himself; that it would look like sacrificing Keppel to his own views.  This is handsome; Keppel is to be equery.

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Princess Amelia goes every where, as she calls it; she was on Monday at Lady Holderness’s, and next Monday is to be at Bedford-house; but there is only the late King’s set, and the court of Bedford so she makes the houses of other people as triste as St. James’s was.  Good night.

Not a word more of the King of Prussia:  did you ever know a victory mind the wind so?

Letter 57 To George Montagu, Esq.  Strawberry Hill, Monday, Nov. 24, 1760. (page 104)

Unless I were to send you journals, lists, catalogues, computations of the bodies, tides, swarms of people that go to court to present addresses, or to be presented, I can tell you nothing new.  The day the King went to the House, I was three quarters of an hour getting through Whitehall; there were subjects enough to set up half-a-dozen petty kings:  the Pretender would be proud to reign over the footmen only; and, indeed, unless he acquires some of them, he will have no subjects left; all their masters flock to St. James’s.  The palace is so thronged, that I will stay tilt some people are discontented.  The first night the King went to the play, which was civilly on a Friday, not on the opera-night, as he used to do, the whole audience sung God save the King in chorus.  For the first act, the press was so great at the door, that no ladies could go to the boxes, and only the servants appeared there, who kept places:  at the end of the second act, the whole mob broke in, and seated themselves; yet all this zeal is not likely to last, though he so well deserves it.  Seditious papers are again stuck up:  one t’other day in Westminster Hall declared against a Saxe-Gothan Princess.  The Archbishop, who is never out of the drawing-room, has great hopes from the King’s goodness, that he shall make something of him, that is something bad of him.  On the Address, Pitt and his zany Beckford quarrelled, on the latter’s calling the campaign languid.  What is become of our magnanimous ally and his victory, I know not.  It) eleven days, no courier has arrived from him; but I have been these two days perfectly indifferent about his magnanimity.  I am come to put my Anecdotes of Painting into the press.  You are one of the few that I expect will be entertained with it.  It has warmed Gray’s coldness so much, that he is violent about it; in truth, there is an infinite quantity of new and curious things about it; but as it is quite foreign from all popular topics, I don’t suppose it will be much attended to.  There is not a word of Methodism in it, it says nothing of the disturbances in Ireland, it does not propose to keep all Canada, it neither flattered the King of Prussia nor Prince Ferdinand, it does not say that the city of London are the wisest men in the world, it is silent about George Townshend, and does not abuse my Lord George Sackville; how should it please?  I want you to help me in a little affair, that regards

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it.  I have found in a Ms. that in the church of Beckley, or Becksley, in Sussex, there are portraits on glass, In a window, of Henry the Third and his Queen.  I have looked in the map, and find the first name between Bodiham and Rye, but I am not sure it is the place.  I will be much obliged to you if you will write directly to your Sir Whistler, and beg him to inform himself very exactly if there is any such thing in such a church near Bodiham.  Pray state it minutely; because if there is, I will have them drawn for the frontispiece to my work.

Did I tell you that the Archbishop tried to hinder the “Minor” from being played at Drury Lane? for once the Duke of Devonshire was firm, and would only let him correct some passages, and even of those the Duke has restored some.  One that the prelate effaced was, “You snub-nosed son of a bitch.”  Foote says, he will take out a license to preach Tam.  Cant, against Tom.  Cant.(117)

The first volume of Voltaire’s Peter the Great is arrived.  I weep over it.  It is as languid as the campaign; he is grown old.  He boasts of the materials communicated to him by the Czarina’s order—­but alas! he need not be proud of them.  They only serve to show how much worse he writes history with materials than without.  Besides, it is evident how much that authority has cramped his genius.  I had heard before, that when he sent the work to Petersburgh for imperial approbation, it was returned with orders to increase the panegyric.  I wish he had acted like a very inferior author.  Knyphausen once hinted to me, that I might have some authentic papers, if I was disposed to write the life of his master; but I did not care for what would lay me under such restrictions.  It is not fair to use weapons against the persons that lend them; and I do not admire his master enough to commend any thing in him, but his military actions.  Adieu!

(117) The following anecdote is related in the Biographia Dramatica:—­“Our English Aristophanes sent a copy of the Minor to the Archbishop of Canterbury, requesting that, if his grace should see any thing objectionable in it, he would exercise the free use of his pen, either in the way of erasure or correction.  The Archbishop returned it untouched; observing to a confidential friend, that he was sure the wit had only laid a trap for him, and that if he had put his pen to the manuscript, by way of correction or objection, Foote would have had the assurance to have advertised the play as ’corrected and prepared for the press by his grace the Archbishop of Canterbury.’"-E.

Letter 58 To The Rev. Henry Zouch.  Arlington Street, Nov. 27, 1760. (page 106)

You are extremely kind, Sir, in remembering my little commission I troubled you with.  As I am in great want of some more painted glass to finish a window in my round tower, I should be glad, though it may not be a Pope, to have the piece you mentioned, if it can be purchased reasonably.

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My Lucan is finished, but will not be published till after Christmas, when I hope you will do me the favour of accepting one, and let me know how I shall Convey it.  The Anecdotes of Painting have succeeded to the press:  I have finished two volumes, but as there will at least be a third, I am not determined whether I shall not wait to publish the whole together.  You will be surprised, I think, to see what a quantity of materials the industry of one man (Vertue) could amass and how much he retrieved at this late period.  I hear of nothing new likely to appear; all the world is taken up in penning addresses, or in presenting them;(118) and the approaching elections will occupy the thoughts of men so much that an author could not appear at a worse era.

(118) On the then recent accession of George iii.-E.

letter 59 To George Montagu, Esq.  Arlington Street, Dec. 11, 1760. (page 106)

I thank you for the inquiries about the painted glass, and shall be glad if I prove to be in the right.

There is not much of news to tell you; and yet there is much dissatisfaction.  The Duke of Newcastle has threatened to resign on the appointment of Lord Oxford and Lord Bruce without his knowledge.  His court rave about Tories, which you know comes with a singular grace from them, as the Duke never preferred any.  Murray, Lord Gower, Sir John Cotton, Jack Pitt, etc. etc. etc. were all firm whigs.  But it is unpardonable to put an end to all faction, when it is not for factious purposes.  Lord Fitzmaurice,(119) made aide-de-camp to the King, has disgusted the army.  The Duke of Richmond, whose brother has no more been put over others than the Duke of Newcastle has preferred Tories, has presented a warm memorial in a warm manner, and has resigned the bedchamber, not his regiment-another propriety.

Propriety is so much in fashion, that Miss Chudleigh has called for the council books of the subscription concert, and has struck off the name of Mrs. Naylor.(120) I have some thoughts of remonstrating, that General Waldegrave is too lean for to be a groom of the bedchamber.  Mr. Chute has sold his house to Miss Speed for three thousand pounds, and has taken one for a year in Berkeley Square.

This is a very brief letter; I fear this reign will soon furnish longer.  When the last King could be beloved, a young man with a good heart has little chance of being so.  Moreover, I have a maxim, that the extinction of party is the origin of faction.”  Good night.

(119) Afterwards Earl of Shelburne, and in 1784 created Marquis of Lansdowne.-E.

(120) A noted procuress.-E.

Letter 60 To The Rev. Henry Zouch Arlington Street, Jan. 3, 1761. (page 107)

Sir, I stayed till I had the Lucan ready to send you, before I thanked you for your letter, and for the pane of glass, about which you have given yourself so much kind trouble, and which I have received; I think it is clearly Heraclitus weeping over a globe.

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Illuminated MSS., unless they have portraits of particular persons, I do not deal in; the extent of my collecting is already full asgreat as I can afford.  I am not the less obliged to you, Sir, for thinking Of me.  Were my fortune larger, I should go deeper into printing, and having engraved curious MSS. and drawings; as I cannot, I comfort myself with reflecting on the mortifications I avoid, by the little regard shown by the world to those sort of things.  The sums laid out on books one should, at first sight, think an indication of encouragement to letters; but booksellers only are encouraged, not books.  Bodies of sciences, that is, compilations and mangled abstracts, are the only saleable commodities.  Would you believe, what I know is fact, that Dr. Hill(121) earned fifteen guineas a-week by working for wholesale dealers:  he was at once employed on six voluminous works of Botany, Husbandry, etc. published weekly.  I am sorry to say, this journeyman is one of the first men preferred in the new reign:  he is made gardener of Kensington, a place worth two thousand pounds a-year.(122) The King and lord Bute have certainly both of them great propensity to the arts; but Dr. Hill, though undoubtedly not deficient in parts, has as little claim to favour in this reign, as Gideon, the stock-jobber, in the last; both engrossers without merit.  Building, I am told, is the King’s favourite study; I hope our architects will not be taken from the erectors of turnpikes.

(121) Dr. Hill’s were among the first works in which scientific knowledge was put in a popular shape, by the system of number publishing.  The Doctor’s performances in this way are not discreditable, and are still useful as works of reference.-C.

(122) This was an exaggeration of the emoluments of a place, which, after all was not improperly bestowed on a person of his pursuits and merits.-C.

Letter 61 To George Montagu, Esq.  Arlington Street, Jan. 22, 1761. (page 108)

I am glad you are coming, and now the time is over, that you are coming so late, as I like to have you here in the spring.  You will find no great novelty in the new reign.  Lord Denbigh(123) is made master of the harriers, with two thousand a-year.  Lord Temple asked it, and Newcastle and Hardwicke gave into it for fear of Denbigh’s brutality in the House of Lords.  Does this differ from the style of George the Second?

The King designs to have a new motto; he will not have a French one; so the Pretender may enjoy Dieu et mon droit in quiet.

Princess Amelia is already sick of being familiar:  she has been at Northumberland-house, but goes to nobody more.  That party was larger, but still more formal than the rest, though the Duke of York had invited himself and his commerce-table.  I played with Madam and we were mighty well together; so well, that two nights afterwards she commended me to Mr. Conway and Mr. Fox, but calling me that Mr. Walpole, they did not guess who she meant.  For my part, I thought it very well, that when I played with her, she did not call me that gentleman.  As she went away, she thanked my Lady Northumberland, like a parson’s wife, for all her civilities.

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I was excessively amused on Tuesday night; there was a play at Holland-house, acted by children; not all children, for Lady Sarah Lenox(124) and Lady Susan Strangways(125) played the women.  It was Jane Shore; Mr. Price, Lord Barrington’s nephew, was Gloster, and acted better than three parts of the comedians.  Charles Fox, Hastings; a little Nichols, who spoke well, Belmour; Lord Ofaly,,(126) Lord Ashbroke, and other boys did the rest:  but the two girls were delightful, and acted with so much nature and simplicity, that they appeared the very things they represented.  Lady Sarah was more beautiful than you can conceive, and her very awkwardness gave an air of truth to the shame of the part, and the antiquity of the time, which was kept up by her dress, taken out of Montfaucon.  Lady Susan was dressed from Jane Seymour; and all the parts were clothed in ancient habits, and with the most minute propriety.  I was infinitely more struck with the last scene between the two women than ever I was when I have seen it on the stage.  When Lady Sarah was in white, with her hair about her ears, and on the ground, no Magdalen by Corregio was half so lovely and expressive.  You would have been charmed too with seeing Mr. Fox’s little boy of six years old, who is beautiful, and acted the Bishop of Ely, dressed in lawn sleeves and with a square cap; they had inserted two lines for him, which he could hardly speak plainly.  Francis had given them a pretty prologue.  Adieu!

(123) Basil Fielding, sixth Earl of Denbigh, and fifth Earl of Desmond.  He died in 1800.-E.

(124) daughter of the Duke of Richmond, afterwards married to Sir Thomas Charles Bunbury, Bart.-E.

(125) Daughter of Stephen Fox, first Earl of Ilchester; married, in 1764, to William O’Brien, Esq.-E.

(126) Eldest son of the Marquis of Kildare.-E.

Letter 62 To George Montagu, Esq.  Arlington Street, Feb. 7, 1761. (page 109)

I have not written to you lately, expecting your arrival.  As you are not come yet, you need not come these ten days if you please, for I go next week into Norfolk, that my subjects of Lynn may at least once in their lives see me.  ’Tis a horrible thing to dine with a mayor!  I shall profane King John’s cup, and taste nothing but water out of it, as if it were St. John Baptist’s.

Prepare yourself for crowds, multitudes.  In this reign all the world lives in one room:  the capital is as vulgar as a country town in the season of horse-races.  There were no fewer than four of these throngs on Tuesday last, at the Duke of Cumberland’s, Princess Emily’s, the Opera, and Lady Northumberland’s; for even operas, Tuesday’s operas, are crowded now.  There is nothing else new.  Last week there was a magnificent ball at Carleton-house:  the two royal Dukes and Princess Emily were there.  He of York danced; the other and his sister had each their table at loo.  I played at hers, and am

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grown a favourite; nay, have been at her private party, and was asked again last Wednesday, but took the liberty to excuse myself, and am yet again summoned for Tuesday.  It is triste enough:  nobody sits till the game begins, and then she and the company are all on stools.  At Norfolk-house were two armchairs placed for her and the Duke of Cumberland, the Duke of York being supposed a dancer, but they would not use them.  Lord Huntingdon arrived in a frock, pretending he was just come out of the country; unluckily, he had been at court, full-dressed, in the morning.  No foreigners were there but the son and daughter-in-law of Monsieur de Fuentes:  the Duchess told the Duchess of Bedford, that she had not invited the ambassadress, because her rank is disputed here.  You remember the Bedford took place, of madame de Mirepoix; but Madame de Mora danced first, the Duchess of Norfolk saying she supposed that was of no consequence.

Have you heard what immense riches old Wortley has left?  One million three hundred and fifty thousand pounds.(127) It is all to centre in my Lady Bute; her husband is one of Fortune’s prodigies.  They talk of a print, in which her mistress is reprimanding Miss Chudleigh; the latter curtsies, and replies, “Madame, chacun a son but.”

Have you seen a scandalous letter in print, from Miss Ford,(128) to lord Jersey, with the history of a boar’s head?  George Selwyn calls him Meleager.  Adieu! this is positively my last.

(127) “You see old Wortley Montagu is dead at last, at eighty-three.  It was not mere avarice and its companion abstinence, that kept him alive so long.  He every day drank, I think it was, half-a-pint of tokay, which he imported himself from Hungary in greater quantity than he could use, and sold the overplus for any price he chose to set upon it.  He has left better than half a million of money.”  Gray, Works, vol. iii. p. 272.-E.

(128) Miss Ford was the object of an illicit, but unsuccessful attachment, on the part of Lord Jersey, whose advances, if not sanctioned by the lady, appear to have been sanctioned by her father, who told her “she might have accepted the settlement his lordship offered her, and yet not have complied” with his terms.  The following extract from the letter will explain the history above alluded to:—­“However, I must do your lordship the justice to say, that as you conceived this meeting [one with a noble personage which Lord Jersey had desired her not to make] would have been most pleasing to me, and perhaps of some ,advantage, your lordship did (in consideration of so great a disappointment) send me, a few days after, a present of a boar’s head, which I had often had the honour to meet at your lordship’s table before.  It was rather an odd first and only present from a lord to his beloved mistress; but as coming from your lordship gave it an additional value, which it had not in itself; and I received it with the regard I thought due to every thing coming from your lordship, and would have eat it, had it been eatable.  I am’’ impatient to acquit your lordship and myself, by showing that as your lordship’s eight hundred pounds a-year did not purchase my person, the boar’s head did not purchase my silence."-E.

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Letter 63 To The Hon. H. S. Conway.  Monday, five o’clock, Feb. 1761. (page 110)

I am a little peevish with you-I told you on Thursday night that I had a mind to go to Strawberry on Friday without staying for the Qualification bill.  You said it did not signify—­No!  What if you intended to speak on it?  Am I indifferent to hearing you?  More-Am I indifferent about acting with you?  Would not I follow you in any thing in the world?—­This is saying no profligate thing.  Is there any thing I might not follow you in?  You even did not tell me yesterday that you had spoken.  Yet I will tell you all I have heard; though if there was a Point in the world in which I could not wish you to succeed where you wish yourself, perhaps it would be in having you employed.  I cannot be cool about your danger; yet I cannot know any thing that concerns you, and keep it from you.  Charles Townshend called here just after I came to town to-day.  Among other discourse he told me of your speaking on Friday, and that your speech was reckoned hostile to the Duke of Newcastle.  Then talking of regiments going abroad, he said, * * * * * With regard to your reserve to me, I can easily believe that your natural modesty made you unwilling to talk of yourself to me.  I don’t suspect you of any reserve to me:  I only mention it now for an occasion of telling you, that I don’t like to have any body think that I would not do whatever you do.  I am of no consequence:  but at least it would give me some, to act invariably with you; and that I shall most certainly be ever ready to do.  Adieu!

Letter 64 To George Montagu, Esq.  Arlington Street, March 7, 1761. (page 111)

I rejoice, you know, in whatever rejoices you, and though I am not certain what your situation(129) is to be, I am glad you go, as you like it.  I am told it is black rod. lady Anne Jekyll(130) said, she had written to you on Saturday night.  I asked when her brother was to go, if before August; she answered:  “Yes, if possible.” long before October you may depend upon it; in the quietest times no lord lieutenant ever went so late as that.  Shall not you come to town first?  You cannot pack up yourself, and all you will want, at Greatworth.

We are in the utmost hopes of a peace; a Congress is agreed upon at Augsbourg, but yesterday’s mail brought bad news.  Prince Ferdinand has been obliged to raise the siege of Cassel, and to retire to Paderborn; the hereditary prince having been again defeated, with the loss of two generals, and to the value of five thousand men, in prisoners and exchanged.  If this defers the peace it will be grievous news to me, now Mr. Conway is gone to the army.

The town talks of nothing but an immediate Queen, yet I am certain the ministers know not of it.  Her picture is come, and lists of her family given about; but the latter I do not send you, as I believe it apocryphal.  Adieu!

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P.S.  Have you seen the -,advertisement of a new noble author?  A Treatise of Horsemanship, by Henry Earl of Pembroke!(131) As George Selwyn said of Mr. Greville, “so far from being a writer, I thought he was scarce a courteous reader.”

(129) Mr. Montagu was appointed usher of the black rod in Ireland.

(130) sister of the Earl of Halifax.

(131) Tenth Earl of Pembroke and seventh Earl of Montgomery.  The work was entitled “Military Equitation; or a Method of breaking Horses, and teaching Soldiers to ride.”  A fourth edition, in quarto, appeared in 1793.-E.

Letter 65 To The Rev. Henry Zouch.  Arlington Street, March 7, 1761. (page 111)

Just what I supposed, Sir, has happened; with your good breeding, I did not doubt but you would give yourself the trouble of telling me that you had received the Lucan, and as you did not, I concluded Dodsley had neglected it:  he has in two instances.  The moment they were published, I delivered a couple to him, for you, and one for a gentleman in Scotland.  I received no account of either, and after examining Dodsley a fortnight ago, I learned three days since from him, that your copy, Sir, was delivered to Mrs. Ware, bookseller, in Fleet Street, who corresponds with Mr. Stringer, to be sent in the first parcel; but, says he, as they send only once a month, it probably was not sent away till very later),.  I am vexed, Sir, that you have waited so long for this trifle:  if you neither receive it, nor get information of it, I will immediately convey another to you.  It would be very ungrateful in me to neglect what would give you a moment’s amusement, after your thinking so obligingly of the painted glass for me.  I shall certainly be in Yorkshire this summer, and as I flatter myself that I shall be more lucky in meeting you, I will then take what you shall be so good as to bestow on me, without giving you the trouble of sending it.

If it were not printed in the London Chronicle, I would transcribe for you, Sir, a very weak letter of Voltaire to Lord Lyttelton,(132) and the latter’s answer:  there is nothing else new, but a very indifferent play,(133) called The Jealous Wife, so well acted as to have succeeded greatly.  Mr. Mason, I believe, is going to publish some elegies:  I have seen the principal one, on Lady Coventry; it was then only an unfinished draft.  The second and third volumes of Tristram Shandy, the dregs of nonsense, have universally met the contempt they deserve:  genius may be exhausted;—­I see that folly’s invention may be so too.

The foundations of my gallery at Strawberry are laying.  May I not flatter myself, Sir, that you will see the whole even before it is quite complete?

P. S. Since I wrote my letter, I have read a new play of Voltaire’s, called Tancred, and I am glad to say that it repairs the idea of his decaying parts, which I had conceived from his Peter the Great, and the letter I mentioned.  Tancred did not please at Paris, nor was I charmed with the two first acts; in the three last are great flashes of genius, single lines, and starts of passion of the first fire:  the woman’s part is a little too Amazonian.

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(132) An absurd letter from Voltaire to the author of the Dialogues of the Dead, remonstrating against a statement, that “he, Voltaire, was in exile, on account of some blamable freedoms in his writings.”  He denies both the facts and the cause assigned; but he convinced nobody, for both were notoriously true.  Voltaire was, it is true, not banished by sentence; but he was not permitted to reside in France, and that surely may be called exile, particularly as he was all his life endeavouring to obtain leave to return to Paris.-C.

(133) The Jealous Wife still keeps the stage, and does not deserve to be so slightingly spoken of:  but there were private reasons which might possibly warp Mr. Walpole’s judgment on the works of Colman.  He was the nephew of lord Bath, and The Jealous Wife was dedicated to that great rival of Sir Robert Walpole.-C. [Dr. Johnson says.-that the Jealous Wife, “though not written with much genius, was yet so well exhibited by the actors, that it was crowded for near twenty nights.”]

Letter 66 To George Montagu, Esq.  Arlington Street, March 17, 1761. (page 112)

If my last letter raised your wonder, this Will not allay it.  Lord Talbot is lord steward!  The stone, which the builders refused, is become the head-stone of the corner.  My Lady Talbot, I suppose, would have found no charms in Cardinal Mazarin.  As the Duke of Leeds was forced to give way to Jemmy Grenville, the Duke of Rutland has been obliged to make room for this new Earl.  Lord Huntingdon is groom of the stole, and the last Duke I have named, master of the horse; the red liveries cost Lord Huntingdon a pang.  Lord Holderness has the reversion of the Cinque-ports for life, and I think may pardon his expulsion.

If you propose a fashionable assembly, you must send cards to Lord Spenser, Lord Grosvenor, Lord Melcomb, Lord Grantham, Lord Boston, Lord Scarsdale, Lady Mountstuart, the Earl of TyrConnell, and Lord Wintertown.  The two last you will meet in Ireland.  No joy ever exceeded your cousin’s or Doddington’s:  the former came last night to Lady Hilsborough’s to display his triumph; the latter too was there, and advanced to me.  I said, “:I was coming to wish you joy.”  “I concluded so,” replied he, “and came to receive it.”  He left a good card yesterday at Lady Petersham’s, a very young lord to wait on Lady Petersham, to make her ladyship the first offer of himself.  I believe she will be content with the exchequer:  Mrs. Grey has a pension of eight hundred pounds a-year.

Mrs. Clive is at her villa for Passion week; I have written to her for the box, but I don’t doubt of its being (,one; but, considering her alliance, why does not Miss Price bespeak the play and have the stage box?

I shall smile if Mr. Bentley, and M`Untz, and their two Hannahs meet at St. James’s; so I see neither of them, I care not where they are.

Lady Hinchinbrook and Lady Mansel are at the point of death; Lord Hardwicke is to be poet-laureate; and, according to modern usage, I suppose it will be made a cabinet-counsellor’s place.  Good night!

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Letter 67 To George Montagu, Esq.  Arlington Street, March 19, 1761. (page 113)

I can now tell you, with great pleasure, that your cousin(134) is certainly named lord-lieutenant.  I wish you joy.  You will be sorry too to hear that your Lord North is much talked of for succeeding him at the board of’ trade.  I tell you this with great composure, though today has been a day of amazement.  All the world is staring, whispering, and questioning.  Lord Holderness has resigned the seals,(135) and they are given to Lord Bute.  Which of the two secretaries of state is first minister? the latter or Mr. Pitt?  Lord Holderness received the command but yesterday, at two o’clock, till that moment thinking himself extremely well at court; but it seems the King said he was tired of having two secretaries, of which one would do nothing, and t’other could do nothing; he would have a secretary who both could act and would.  Pitt had as short a notice of this resolution as the sufferer, and was little better pleased.  He is something softened for the present by the offer of cofferer for Jemmy Grenville, which is to be ceded by the Duke of Leeds, who returns to his old post of justice in eyre, from whence Lord Sandys is to be removed, some say to the head of the board of trade.  Newcastle, who enjoys this fall of Holderness’s, who had deserted him for Pitt, laments over the former, but seems to have made his terms with the new favourite:  if the Bedfords have done so too, will it surprise you?  It will me, if Pitt submits to this humiliation; if he does not, I take for granted the Duke of Bedford will have the other seals.  The temper with which the new reign has hitherto proceeded, seems a little impeached by this sudden act, and the Earl now stands in the direct light of a minister-, if the House of Commons should cavil at him.  Lord Delawar kissed hands to-day for his earldom; the other new peers are to follow on Monday.

There are horrid disturbances about the militia(136) in Northumberland, where the mob have killed an officer and three of the Yorkshire militia, who, in return, fired and shot twenty-one.

Adieu!  I shall be impatient to hear some consequences of my first paragraph.

P. S. Saturday.—­I forgot to tell you that Lord Hardwicke has written some verses to Lord Lyttelton, upon those the latter made on Lady Egremont.(137) If I had been told that he had put on a bag, and was gone off with Kitty Fisher,(138) I should not have been more astonished.

Poor Lady Gower(139) is dead this morning of a fever in her lying-in.  I believe the Bedfords arc very sorry; for there is a new opera(140) this evening.

(134) The Earl of Halifax.

(135) Lord Barrington, in a letter to Mr. Mitchell, of the 23d says, “Our friend Holderness is finally in harbour; he has four thousand a-year for life, with the reversionship of the Cinque-ports, after the Duke of Dorset; which he likes better than having the name of pensioner.  I never could myself understand the difference between a pension and a synecure place."-E.

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(136) In consequence of the expiration of the three years’ term of service, prescribed by the Militia-act, and the new ballot about to take place.-E.

(137) The following are the lines alluded to, “Addition extempore to the verses on Lady Egremont: 

“Fame heard with pleasure—­straight replied,
First on my roll stands Wyndham’s bride,
My trumpet oft I’ve raised to sound
Her modest praise the world around;
But notes were wanting-canst thou find
A muse to sing her face, her mind? 
Believe me, I can name but one,
A friend of yours-’tis Lyttelton.”

(138) A celebrated courtesan of the day.-E.

(139) Daughter of Scroope Duke of Bridgewater.

(140) The serious opera of Tito Manlio, by Cocchi.  By a letter from Gray to Mason, of the 22d of January, the Opera appears at this time to have been in a flourishing condition—­“The Opera is crowded this year like any ordinary theatre.  Elisi is finer than any thing that has been here in your memory; yet, as I suspect, has been finer than he is:  he appears to be near forty, a little potbellied and thick-shouldered, otherwise no bad figure; has action proper, and not ungraceful.  We have heard nothing, since I remember operas, but eternal passages, divisions, and flights of execution:  of these he has absolutely none; whether merely from judgment, or a little from age, I will not affirm:  his point is expression, and to that all the ornaments he inserts (which are few and short) are evidently directed.  He gets higher, they say, than Farinelli; but then this celestial note you do not hear above once in a whole opera; and he falls from this altitude at once to the mellowest, softest, Strongest tones (about the middle of his compass) that can be heard.  The Mattei, I assure you, is much improved by his example, and by her great success this winter; but then the burlettas and the Paganina, I have not been so pleased with any thing these many years.  She is too fat, and above forty, yet handsome withal, and has a face that speaks the language of all nations.  She has not the invention, the fire, and the variety of action that the Spiletta had; yet she is light, agile, ever in motion, and above all, graceful; but then, her voice, her ear, her taste in singing; good God! as Mr. Richardson, the painter, says.”  Works, vol. iii. p. 268.-E.

Letter 68 To George Montagu, Esq.  March 21, 1761. (page 115)

Of the enclosed, as you perceive, I tore off the seal, but it has not been opened.  I grieve at the loss of your suit, and for the injustice done you, but what can one expect but injury, when forced to have recourse to law!  Lord Abercorn asked me this evening, if it was true that you are going to Ireland?  I gave a vague answer, and did not resolve him how much I knew of it.  I am impatient for the answer to your compliment.

There is not a word of newer news than what I sent you last.  The Speaker has taken leave, and received the highest compliments, and substantial ones too; he did not over-act, and it was really a handsome scene.(141) I go to my election on Tuesday, and, if I do not tumble out of the chair, and break my neck, you shall hear from me at my return.  I got the box for Miss Rice; Lady Hinchinbrook is dead.

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(141) Mr, Onslow held the office of Speaker of the House of Commons for above thirty-three years, and during part of that time enjoyed the lucrative employment of treasurer of the navy:  “notwithstanding which,” says Mr Hatsell, “it is an anecdote perfectly well known, that on his quitting the Chair, his income from his private fortune, which had always been inconsiderable, Was rather less than it had been in 1727, when he was first elected into it.  Superadded to his great and accurate knowledge of the history of this country, and of the minuter forms and proceedings of Parliament, the distinguishing features of his character were a regard and veneration for the British constitution, as it was declared at and established at the Revolution."-E.

letter 69 To George Montagu, Esq.  Houghton, March 25, 1761. (page 115)

Here I am at Houghton! and alone! in this spot, where (except two hours last month) I have not been in sixteen years!  Think what a crowd of reflections!  No; Gray, and forty churchyards, could not furnish so many:  nay, I know one must feel them with greater indifference than I possess, to have the patience to put them into verse.  Here I am, probably for the last time of my life, though not for the time:  every clock that strikes tells me I am an hour nearer to yonder church—­that church, into which I have not yet had courage to enter, where lies that mother on whom I doated, and who doated on me!  There are the two rival mistresses of Houghton, neither of whom ever wished to enjoy it!  There too lies he who founded its greatness; to contribute to whose fall Europe was embroiled; there he sleeps in quiet and dignity, while his friend and his foe, rather his false ally and real enemy, Newcastle and Bath, are exhausting the dregs of their pitiful lives in squabbles and pamphlets.

The surprise the pictures(142) gave me is again renewed; accustomed for many years to see nothing but wretched daubs and varnished copies at auctions, I look at these as enchantment.  My own description of them seems poor; but shall I tell you truly, the majesty of Italian ideas almost sinks before the warm nature of Flemish colouring.  Alas! don’t I grow old?  My young imagination was fired with Guido’s ideas; must they be plump and prominent as Abishag to warm me now?  Does great youth feel with poetic limbs, as well as see with poetic eyes?  In one respect I am very young, I cannot satiate myself with looking:  an incident contributed to make me feel this more strongly.  A party arrived just as I did, to see the house, a man and three women In riding dresses, and they rode post through the apartments.  I could not hurry before them fast enough; they were not so long in seeing for the first time, as I could have been in one room, to examine what I knew by heart.  I remember formerly being often diverted with this kind of seers; they come, ask what such a room is called, in which Sir Robert lay, write it down, admire a lobster on a cabbage in a market-piece, dispute whether the last room was green or purple, and then hurry to the inn for fear the fish should be over-dressed.  How different my sensations! not a picture here but recalls a history; not one, but I remember in Downing-street or Chelsea, where queens and crowds admired them, though seeing them as little as these travellers!

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When I had drank tea, I strolled into the garden; they told me it was now called the pleasure-ground.  What a dissonant idea of pleasure! those groves, those all`ees, where I have passed so many charming moments, are now stripped up or over-grown—­many fond paths I could not unravel, though with a very exact clew in my memory:  I met two gamekeepers, and a thousand hares In the days when all my soul was tuned to pleasure and vivacity (and you will think, perhaps, it is far from being out of tune yet), I hated Houghton and its solitude; yet I loved this garden, as now, with many regrets, I love Houghton; Houghton, I know not what to call it, monument of grandeur or ruin!  How I have wished this evening for Lord Bute! how I could preach to him!  For myself, I do not want to be preached to; I have long considered, how every Balbec must wait for the chance of a Mr. Wood.  The servants wanted to lay me in the great apartment-what, to make me pass my night as I have done my evening!  It were like Proposing to Margaret Roper(143) to be a duchess in the court that cut off her father’s head, and imagining it would please her.  I have chosen to sit in my father’s little dressing-room, and am now by his scrutoire, where, in the heights of his fortune, he used to receive the accounts of his farmers, and deceive himself, or us, with the thoughts of his economy.  How wise a man at once, and how weak!  For what has he built Houghton? for his grandson to annihilate, or for his son to mourn over.  If Lord Burleigh could rise and view his representative driving the Hatfield stage, he would feel as I feel now.(144) Poor little Strawberry! at least it will not be stripped to pieces by a descendant!  You will find all these fine meditations dictated by pride, not by philosophy.  Pray consider through how many mediums philosophy must pass, before it is purified—­

“how often must it weep, how often burn!”

My mind was extremely prepared for all this gloom by parting with Mr. Conway yesterday morning; moral reflections or commonplaces are the livery one likes to wear, when one has just had a real misfortune.  He is going to Germany:  I was glad to dress myself up in transitory Houghton, in lieu of very sensible concern.  To-morrow I shall be distracted with thoughts, at least images of very different complexion.  I go to Lynn, and am to be elected on Friday.  I shall return hither on Saturday, again alone, to expect Burleighides on Sunday, whom I left at Newmarket.  I must once in my life see him on his grandfather’s throne.

Epping, Monday night, thirty-first.-No, I have not seen him; he loitered on the road, and I was kept at Lynn till yesterday morning.  It is plain I never knew for how many trades I was formed, when at this time of day I can begin electioneering, and succeed in my new vocation..  Think of me, the subject of a mob, who was scarce ever before in a mob, addressing them in the town-hall, riding at the

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head of two thousand people through such a town as Lynn, dining with above two hundred of them, amid bumpers, huzzas, songs, and tobacco, and finishing with country dancing at a ball and sixpenny whisk!  I have borne it all cheerfully; nay, have sat hours in conversation, the thing upon earth that I hate; have been to hear misses play on the harpsichord, and to see an alderman’s copies of Rubens and Carlo Marat.  Yet to do the folks justice, they are sensible, and reasonable, and civilized; their very language is polished since I lived among them.  I attribute this to their more frequent intercourse with the world and the capital, by the help of good roads and postchaises, which, if they have abridged the King’s dominions, have at least tamed his subjects.  Well, how comfortable it will be to-morrow, to see my parroquet, to play at loo, and not be obliged to talk seriously!  The Heraclitus of the beginning of this letter will be overjoyed on finishing it to sign himself your old friend, Democritus.

P. S. I forgot to tell you that my ancient aunt Hammond came over to Lynn to see me; not from any affection, but curiosity.  The first thing she said to me, though we have not met these sixteen years, was, ,Child, you have done a thing to-day, that your father never did in all his life; you sat as they carried you,—­ he always stood the whole time.”  “Madam,” said I, “when I am placed in a chair, I conclude I am to sit in it; besides, as I cannot imitate my father in great things, I am not at all ambitious of mimicking him in little ones.”  I am sure she proposes to tell her remarks to my uncle Horace’s ghost, the instant they meet.

(142) This magnificent collection of pictures was sold to the Empress of Russia, and some curious particulars relative to the sale will be found in Beloe’s Anecdotes of Literature.  A series Of engravings was likewise made from them, which was published in 1788, under the title of “The Houghton Gallery:  a collection of prints, from the best pictures in the possession of the Earl of Orford."-E.

(143) Wife,, of William Roper, Esq. and eldest and favourite daughter of Sir Thomas More.  She bought the head of her ill-fated parent, when it was about to be thrown into the Thames, after having been affixed to London bridge, and on being questioned by the Privy Council about her conduct, she boldly replied, that she had done so that “it might not become food for fishes.”  She survived her father nine years, and died at the age of thirty-six, in 1544, and was buried at St. Dunstan’s church, Canterbury; the box containing her father’s head being placed on her coffin.-E.

(144) the prayer of Sir Robert Walpole, recorded on the foundation-stone, was, that “after its master, to a mature old age, had long enjoyed it in perfection, his latest descendants might safely possess it to the end of time."-E.

Letter 70 To The Hon. H. S. Conway.  Arlington Street, April 10, 1761. (page 118)

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If Prince Ferdinand had studied how to please me, I don’t know any method he could have lighted upon so likely to gain my heart, as being beaten out of the field before you joined him.  I delight in a hero that is driven so far that nobody can follow him.  He is as well at Paderborn, as where I have long wished the King of Prussia, the other world.  You may frown if you please at my imprudence, you who are gone with all the disposition in the world to be well with your commander; the peace is in a manner made, and the anger of generals will not be worth sixpence these ten years.  We peaceable folks are now to govern the world, and you warriors must in your turn tremble at our Subjects the mob, as we have done before your hussars and court-martials.

I am glad you had so pleasant a passage.(145) My Lord Lyttelton would say, that Lady Mary Coke, like Venus, smiled over the waves, et mare prestabat eunti. in truth, when she could tame me, she must have had little trouble with the ocean.  Tell me how many burgomasters she has subdued, or how many would have fallen in love with her if they had not fallen asleep!  Come, has she saved two-pence by her charms?  Have they abated a farthing of their impositions for her being handsomer than any thing in the seven provinces?  Does she know how political her journey is thought?  Nay, my Lady Ailesbury, you are not out of the scrape; you are both reckoned des Mar`echale de Guebriant,(146) going to fetch, and consequently govern the young queen.  There are more jealousies about your voyage, than the Duke of Newcastle would feel if Dr. Shaw had prescribed a little ipecacuanha to my Lord Bute.

I am sorry I must adjourn my mirth, to give Lady Ailesbury a pang; poor Sir Harry Bellendine(147) is dead; he made a great dinner at Almac’s for the House of Drummond, drank very hard, caught a violent fever, and died in a very few days.  Perhaps you will have heard this before; I shall wish so; I do not like, even innocently, to be the cause of sorrow.

I do not at all lament Lord Granby’s leaving the army, and your immediate succession.  There are persons in the world who would gladly ease you of this burden.  As you are only to take the vice-royalty of a coop, and that for a few weeks, I shall but smile if you are terribly distressed.  Don’t let Lady Ailesbury proceed to Brunswick:  you might have had a wife who would not have thought it so terrible to fall into the hands [arms] of hussars; but as I don’t take that to be your Countess’s turn, leave her with the Dutch, who are not so boisterous as Cossacks or chancellors of the exchequer.

My love, my duty, my jealousy, to Lady Mary, if she is not sailed before you receive this—­if she is, I shall deliver them myself Good night!  I write immediately on the receipt of your letter, but you see I have nothing yet new to tell you.

(145) From Harwich to Holvoetsluys.

(146) The Mar`echale de Gu`ebriant was sent to the King of Poland with the character of ambassadress by Louis Xiii. to accompany the Princess Marie de Gonzague, who had been married by proxy to the King of Poland at Paris.

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(147) Uncle to the Countess of Ailesbury.

Letter 71 To Sir David Dalrymple.(148) Arlington Street, April 14, 1761. (page 119)

Sir, I have deferred answering the favour of your last, till I could tell you that I had seen Fingal.  Two journeys into Norfolk for my election, and other accidents, prevented my seeing any part of the poem till this last week, and I have yet only seen the first book.  There are most beautiful images in it, and it surprises one how the bard could strike out so many shining ideas from a few so very simple objects, as the moon, the storm, the sea, and the heath, from whence he borrows almost all his allusions.  The particularizing of persons, by “he said,” “he replied,” so much objected to in Homer, is so wanted in Fingal,(149) that it in some measure justifies the Grecian Highlander; I have even advised Mr. Macpherson (to prevent confusion) to have the names prefixed to the speeches, as in a play.  It is too obscure without some such aid.  My doubts of the genuineness are all vanished.

I fear, sir, from Dodsley’s carelessness, you have not received the Lucan.  A gentleman in Yorkshire, for whom I consigned another copy at the same time with yours, has got his but within this fortnight.  I have the pleasure to find, that the notes are allowed the best of Dr. Bentley’s remarks on poetic authors.  Lucan was muscular enough to bear his rough hand.

Next winter I hope to be able to send you Vertue’s History of the Arts, as I have put it together from his collections.  Two volumes are finished, the first almost printed and the third begun.  There will be a fourth, I believe, relating solely to engravers.  You will be surprised, sir, how the industry of one man could at this late period amass so near a complete history of our artists.  I have no share in it, but in arranging his materials.  Adieu!

(148) Now first collected.

(149) “For me,” writes Gray, it this time, to Dr. Wharton, “I admire nothing but Fingal; yet I remain still in doubt about the authenticity of these poems, though inclining rather to believe them genuine in spite of the worio.  Whether they are the inventions of antiquity, or of a modern Scotchman, either case to me is alike unaccountable.  Je m’y perds.”  Dr. Johnson, on the contrary, all along denied their authenticity.  “The subject,” says Boswell, “having been introduced by Dr. Fordyce, Dr. Blair, relying on the external evidence of their antiquity, asked Johnson whether he thought any man of modern age could have written such poems?  Johnson replied, ’Yes, Sir, many men, many women, and many children.’  He, at this time, did not know that Dr. Blair had just published a dissertation, not only defending their authenticity, but seriously ranking them with the poems of Homer and Virgil; and when he was afterwards informed of this circumstance, he expressed some displeasure at Dr. Fordyce’s having suggested the topic, and said, ’I am not sorry that they got thus much for their pains:  Sir, it was like leading one to talk of a book, when the author is concealed behind the door.’"-E.

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Letter 72 To The Countess Of Suffolk.(150) Friday night, April 1761. (page 120)

We are more successful, Madam, than I could flatter myself we should be.  Mr. Conway—­and I need say no more—­has negotiated so well, that the Duke of Grafton is disposed to bring Mr. Beauclerk(151) in for Thetford.  It will be expected, I believe, that Lord Vere should resign Windsor in a handsome manner to the Duke of Cumberland.  It must be your ladyship’s part to prepare this; which I hope will be the means of putting an end to these unhappy differences.  My only fear now is, lest the Duke should have promised the Lodge.’  Mr. Conway writes to Lord Albemarle, who is yet at Windsor, to prevent this, if not already done, till the rest is ready to be notified to the Duke of Cumberland.  Your ladyship’s good sense and good heart make it unnecessary for me to say more.

(150) Now first collected.

(151) The Hon. Aubrey Beauclerk, son of Lord Vere; afterwards Duke of St. Albans.

Letter 73 To George Montagu, Esq.  Arlington Street, April 16, 1761. (page 121)

You are a very mule; one offers you a handsome stall and manger in Berkeley Square, and you will not accept it.  I have chosen your coat, a claret colour, to suit the complexion of the country you are going to visit; but I have fixed nothing about the lace.  Barrett had none of gauze, but what were as broad as the Irish Channel.  Your tailor found a very reputable one at another place, but I would not determine rashly; it will be two or three-and-twenty shillings the yard:  you might have a very substantial real lace,’ which would wear like your buffet, for twenty.  The second order of gauzes are frippery, none above twelve shillings, and those tarnished, for the species are out of fashion.  You will have time to sit in judgment upon these important points; for Hamilton(152) your secretary told me at the Opera two nights ago, that he had taken a house near Busby, and hoped to be in my neighbourhood for four months.

I was last night at your plump Countess’s who is so shrunk, that she does not seem to be composed of above a dozen hassocs.  Lord Guildford rejoiced mightily over your preferment.  The Duchess of Argyle was playing there, not knowing that the great Pam was just dead,, to wit, her brother-in-law.  He was abroad in the morning, was seized with a palpitation after dinner, and was dead before the surgeon could arrive.  There’s the crown of Scotland too fallen upon my Lord Bute’s head!  Poor Lord Edgecumbe is still alive, and may be so for some days; the physicians, who no longer ago than Friday se’nnight persisted that he had no dropsy, in order to prevent his having Ward,(153) on Monday last proposed that Ward should be called in, and at length they owned they thought the mortification begun.  It is not clear it is yet; at times he is in his senses, and entirely so, composed, clear, and most rational; talks of his death, and but yesterday, after such a conversation with his brother, asked for a pencil to amuse himself with drawing.  What parts, genius, agreeableness thrown away at a hazard table, and not permitted the chance of being saved by the villainy of physicians!

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You will be pleased with the Anacreontic, written by Lord Middlesex upon Sir Harry Bellendine:  I have not seen any thing so antique for ages; it has all the fire, poetry, and simplicity of Horace.

“Ye sons of Bacchus, come and join
in solemn dirge, while tapers shine
Around the grape-embowered shrine
Of honest Harry Bellendine.

Pour the rich juice of Bourdeaux’s wine,
Mix’d with your falling tears of brine,
In full libation o’er the shrine
Of honest Harry Bellendine.

Your brows let ivy chaplets twine,
While you push round the sparkling wine,
And let your table be the shrine
Of honest Hairy Bellendine.”

He died in his vocation, of a high fever, after the celebration of some orgies.  Though but six hours in his senses, he gave a proof of his usual good humour, making it his last request to the sister Tuftons to be reconciled; which they are.  His pretty villa, in my neighbourhood, I fancy he has left to the new Lord Lorn.  I must tell you an admirable bon-mot of George Selwyn, though not a new one; when there was a malicious report that the eldest Tufton was to marry Dr. Duncan, Selwyn said, “How often will she repeat that line of Shakspeare,

“Wake Duncan with this knocking—­would thou couldst!”

I enclose the receipt from your lawyer.  Adieu!

(152) William Gerard Hamilton, commonly called Single-speech Hamilton, was, on the appointment of Lord Halifax to the viceroyalty of Ireland, selected as his secretary, and was accompanied thither by the celebrated Edmund Burke, partly as a friend and partly as his private secretary.-E.

(153) The celebrated empiric, see ant`e, p. 37, letter 10.  His drops were first introduced in 1732, by Sir Thomas Robinson; upon which occasion, Sir C. H. Williams addressed to him his poem, commencing,

“Say, knight, for learning most renown’d, What is this wondrous drop?"-E.

Letter 74 To George Montagu, Esq.  Arlington Street, April 28, 1761. (page 122)

I am glad you will relish June for Strawberry; by that time I hope the weather will have recovered its temper.  At present it is horridly cross and uncomfortable; I fear we shall have a cold season; we cannot eat our summer and have our summer.

There has been a terrible fire in the little traverse street, at the upper end of Sackville Street.  Last Friday night, between eleven and twelve, I was sitting with Lord Digby in the coffee-room at Arthur’s; they told us there was a great fire somewhere about Burlington Gardens.  I, who am as constant at a fire as George Selwyn at an execution, proposed to Lord Digby to go and see where it was.  We found it within two doors of that pretty house of Fairfax, now General Waldegrave’s.  I sent for the latter, who was at Arthur’s; and for the guard, from St. James’s.  Four houses were in flames before they could find a drop of water;

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eight were burnt.  I went to my Lady Suffolk, in Saville Row, and passed the whole night, till three in the morning, between her little hot bedchamber and the spot up to my ancles in water, without catching cold.(154) As the wind, which had sat towards Swallow Street, changed in the middle of the conflagration, I concluded the greater part of Saville Row would be consumed.  I persuaded her to prepare to transport her most valuable effects—­“portantur avari Pygmalionis opes miserae.”  She behaved with great composure, and observed to me herself how much worse her deafness grew with the alarm.  Half the people of fashion in town were in the streets all night, as it happened in such a quarter of distinction.  In the crowd, looking on with great tranquillity, I saw a Mr. Jackson, an Irish gentleman, with whom I had dined this winter, at Lord Hertford’s.  He seemed rather grave; I said, “Sir, I hope you do not live hereabouts.”  “Yes, Sir,” said he, “I lodged in that house that is Just burnt.”

Last night there was a mighty ball at Bedford-house; the royal Dukes and Princess Emily were there; your lord-lieutenant, the great lawyer, lords, and old Newcastle, whose teeth are tumbled out, and his mouth tumbled in; hazard very deep; loo, beauties, and the Wilton Bridge in sugar, almost as big as the life.  I am glad all these joys are near going out of town.  The Graftons go abroad for the Duchess’s health; Another climate may mend that—­I will not answer for more.  Adieu!  Yours ever.

(154) This accident was owing to a coachman carrying a lighted candle into the stable, and, agreeably to Dean Swift’s Advice to Servants, sticking it against the rack; the straw being set in a flame in his absence, by the candle falling.  Eight or nine horses perished, and fourteen houses were burnt to the ground.  Walpole was, most probably, not an idle spectator for the newspapers relate, that the “gentlemen in the neighbourhood, together with their servants, formed a ring, kept off the mob, and handed the goods and movables from one another, till they secured them in a place of safety; a noble instance of neighbourly respect and kindness."-E.

Letter 75 To George Montagu, Esq.  Arlington Street, May 5, 1761. (page 123)

We have lost a young genius, Sir William Williams;(155) an express from Belleisle, arrived this morning, brings nothing but his death.  He was shot very unnecessarily, riding too near a battery; in sum, he is a sacrifice to his own rashness, and to ours.  For what are we taking Belleisle?  I rejoiced at the little loss we had on landing; for the glory, I leave it to the common council.  I am very willing to leave London to them too, and do pass half the week at Strawberry, where my two passions, lilacs and nightingales, are in full bloom.  I spent Sunday as if it were Apollo’s birthday -.  Gray and Mason were with me, and we listened to the nightingales till one o’clock in the morning.  Gray has translated two noble incantations from the Lord knows who, a Danish Gray, who lived the Lord knows when.  They are to be enchased in a history of English bards, which Mason and he are Writing; but of which the former has not written a word yet, and of which the latter, if he rides Pegasus at his usual foot-pace, will finish the first page two years hence.

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But the true frantic OEstus resides at present with Mr. Hogarth; I went t’other morning to see a portrait he is painting of Mr. Fox.  Hogarth told me he had promised, if Mr. Fox would sit as he liked, to make as good a picture as Vandyke or Rubens could.  I was silent—­“Why now,” said he, “you think this very vain, but why should not one speak the truth?” This truth was uttered in the face of his own Sigismonda, which is exactly a maudlin w——­, tearing off the trinkets that her keeper had given her, to fling at his head.  She has her father’s picture in a bracelet on her arm, and her fingers are bloody with the heart, as if she had just bought a sheep’s pluck in St. James’s Market.  As I was going, Hogarth put on a very grave face, and said, “Mr. Walpole, I want to speak to you.”  I sat down, and said I was ready to receive his commands.  For shortness, I will mark this wonderful dialogue by initial letters.

H. I am told you are going to entertain the town with something in our way.  W. Not very soon, Mr. Hogarth.  H. I wish you would let me have it to correct; I should be very sorry to have you expose yourself to censure; we painters must know more of those things than other people.  W. Do you think nobody understands painting but painters?  H. Oh! so far from it, there’s Reynolds, who certainly has genius; why but t’other day he offered a hundred pounds for a picture, that I would not hang in my cellar; and indeed, to say truth I have generally found, that persons who had studied painting least were the best judges of it; but what I particularly wished to say to you was about Sir James Thornhill (you know he married Sir James’ daughter):  I would not have you say any thing against him; there was a book published some time ago, abusing him, and it gave great offence.  He was the first that attempted history in England, and, I assure you, some Germans have said that he was a very great painter.  W. My work will go no lower than the year one thousand seven hundred, and I really have not considered whether Sir J. Thornhill will come within my plan or not; if he does, I fear you and I shall not agree upon his merits.  H. I wish you would let me correct it; besides; I am writing something of the same kind myself; I should be sorry we should clash.  W. I believe it is not much known what my work is, very few persons have seen it.  H. Why, it is a critical history of painting , is it not?  W. No, it is an antiquarian history of it in England; I bought Mr. Vertue’s MSS. and, I believe, the work will not give much offence; besides, if it does, I cannot help it:  when I publish any thing, I give it to the world to think of it as they please.  H. Oh! if it is an antiquarian work, we shall not clash; mine is a critical work; I don’t know whether I shall ever publish it.  It is rather an apology for painters.  I think it is owing to the good sense of the English that they have not painted better.  W. My dear Mr. Hogarth, I must take my leave of you,

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you now grow too wild—­and I left him.  If I had stayed, there remained nothing but for him to bite me.  I give you my honour, this conversation is literal, and, perhaps, as long as you have known Englishmen and painters, You never met with any thing so distracted.  I had consecrated a line to his genius (I mean, for wit) in my preface; I shall not erase it; but I hope nobody will ask me if he is not mad.  Adieu!

(155) Sir William Pere Williams, Bart. member for Shoreham, and a captain in Burgoyne’s Dragoons.  He was killed in reconnoitring before Belleisle.  Gray wrote his epitaph, at the request of Mr. Frederick Montagu, who intended to have it inscribed on a monument at Belleisle:—­

“Here, foremost in the dangerous paths of fame,
Young Williams fought for England’s fair renown;
His mind each Muse, each Grace adornd his frame,
Nor Envy dared to view him with a frown,” etc.-E.

Letter 76 To George Montagu, Esq.  Strawberry Hill, May, 14, 1761. (page 125)

As I am here, and know nothing of our poor heroes at Belleisle, who are combating rocks, mines, famine, and Mr. Pitt’s obstinacy, I will send you the victory of a heroine, but must preface it with an apology, as it was gained over a sort of relation of yours.  Jemmy Lumley last week had a party of whist at his own house; the combatants, Lucy Southwell, that curtseys like a bear, Mrs. Prijean, and a Mrs. Mackenzy.  They played from six In the evening till twelve next day; Jemmy never winning one rubber, and rising a loser of two thousand pounds.  How it happened I know not, nor why his suspicions arrived so late, but he fancied himself cheated, and refused to pay.  However, the bear had no share in his evil surmises:  on the contrary, a day or two afterwards, he promised a dinner at Hampstead to Lucy and her virtuous sister.  As he went to the rendezvous his chaise was stopped by somebody, who advised him not to proceed.  Yet no whit daunted, he advanced.  In the garden he found The gentle conqueress, Mrs. MacKenzy, Who accosted him in the most friendly manner.  After a few compliments, she asked if he did not intend to pay her.  “No, indeed I shan’t, I shan’t; your servant, your servant.”—­“Shan’t you?” said the fair virago; and taking a horsewhip from beneath her hoop, she fell upon him with as much vehemence as the Empress-queen would upon the King of Prussia, if she could catch him alone in the garden at Hampstead.  Jemmy cried out murder; his servant,- rushed in, rescued him from the jaws of the lioness, and carried him off in his chaise to town.  The Southwells, were already arrived, and descended on the noise of the fray, finding nobody to pay for the dinner, and fearing they must, set out for London too without it, though I suppose they had prepared tin pockets to carry off all that should be left.  Mrs. Mackenzy is immortal, and in the crown-office.(156)

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The other battle in my military journal happened between the Duchess of Argyle and Lord Vere.  The Duchess, who always talks of puss and pug, and who, having lost her memory, forgets how often she tells the same story, had tired the company at Dorset-house with the repetition of the same story; when the Duke’s spaniel reached up into her lap, and placed his nose most critically:  “See,” said she, “see, how fond all creatures are of me.”  Lord Vere, who was at cards, and could not attend to them for her gossiping, said peevishly, without turning round or seeing where the dog was, “I suppose he smells puss.”  “What!” said the Duchess of Argyle, in a passion, “Do you think my puss stinks?” I believe you have not two better stories in Northamptonshire.

Don’t imagine that my gallery will be prance-about-in-able, as you expect, by the beginning of June; I do not propose to finish it till next year, but you will see some glimpse of it, and for the rest of Strawberry, it never was more beautiful, You must now begin to fix your motions:  I go to Lord Dacre’s at the end of this month, and to Lord Ilchester’s the end of the next; between those periods I expect you.

Saturday morning, Arlington Street.  I came to town yesterday for a party at Bedford-house, made for Princess Amelia; the garden was open, with French horns and clarionets, and would have been charming with one single zephyr, that had not come from the northeast; however, the young ladies found it delightful.  There was limited loo for the Princess, unlimited for the Duchess of Grafton, to whom I belonged, a table of quinze, and another of quadrille.  The Princess ha(f heard of our having cold meat upon the loo-table, and would have some.  A table was brought in, she was served so, others rose by turns and went to the cold meat; in the outward room were four little tables for the rest of the company.  Think, if King George the Second could have risen and seen his daughter supping pell-mell with men, as if it were in a booth!  The tables were removed, the young people began to dance to a tabor and pipe; the Princess sat down again, but to unlimited loo; we played till three, and I won enough to help on the gallery.  I am going back to it, to give my nieces and their lords a dinner.

We were told there was a great victory come from Pondicherry, but it came from too far to divert us from liking our party better.  Poor George Monson has lost his leg there.  You know that Sir W. Williams has made Fred. Montagu heir to his debts.  Adieu!

(156) “Sure Mr. Jonathan, or some one, has told you how your good friend Mr. L. has been horsewhippcd, trampled, bruised, and p—­d upon, by a Mrs. Mackenzie, a sturdy Scotchwoman. it was done in an inn-yard at Hampstead, in the face of day, and he has put her in the crown-office. it is very true.”  Gray to Wharton.

Letter 77 To The Countess Of Ailesbury.  Strawberry Hill, June 13, 1761. (page 126)

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I never ate such good snuff, nor smelt such delightful bonbons, as your ladyship has sent me.  Every time you rob the Duke’s dessert, does it cost you a pretty snuff-box?  Do the pastors at the Hague(157) enjoin such expensive retributions?  If a man steals a kiss there, I suppose he does penance in a sheet of Brussels lace.  The comical part is, that you own the theft, ind sending me, but say nothing of the vehicle of your repentance.  In short, Madam, the box is the prettiest thing I ever saw, and I give you a thousand thanks for it.

When you comfort yourself about the operas, you don’t know what you have lost; nay, nor I neither; for I was here, concluding that a serenata for a birthday would be -is dull and as vulgar as those festivities generally are:  but I hear of nothing but the enchantment of it.(158) There was a second orchestra in the footman’s gallery, disguised by clouds, and filled with the music of the King’S chapel.  The choristers behaved like angels, and the harmony between the two bands was in the most exact time.  Elisi piqued himself, and beat both heaven and earth.  The joys of the year do not end there.  The under-actors open at Drury-lane to-night with a new comedy by Murphey, called “All in the Wrong."(159) At Ranelagh, all is fireworks and skyrockets.  The birthday exceeded the splendour of Haroun Alraschid and the Arabian Nights, when people had nothing to do but to scour a lantern and send a genie for a hamper of diamonds and rubies.  Do you remember one of those stories, where a prince has eight statues of diamonds, which he overlooks, because he fancies he wants a ninth; and to his great surprise the ninth proves to be pure flesh and blood, which he never thought of?  Some how or other, Lady Sarah(160 is the ninth statue; and, you will allow, has better white and red than if she was made of pearls and rubies.  Oh!  I forgot, I was telling you of the birthday:  my Lord P * * * * had drunk the King’s health so often at dinner, that at the ball he took Mrs. * * * * for a beautiful woman, and, as she says, “made an improper use of his hands.”  The proper use of hers, she thought, was to give him a box on the ear, though within the verge of the court.  He returned it by a push, and she tumbled off the end of the bench; which his Majesty has accepted as sufficient punishment, and she is not to lose her right hand.(161)

I enclose the list your ladyship desired:  you will see that the Plurality of Worlds” are Moore’s, and of some I do not know the authors. ’ There is a late edition with these names to them.

My duchess was to set out this morning.  I saw her for the last time the day before yesterday at Lady Kildare’s:  never was a journey less a party of pleasure.  She was so melancholy, that all Miss Pelham’s oddness and my spirits could scarce make her smile.  Towards the end of the night, and that was three in the morning, I did divert her a little.  I slipped Pam into her lap, and then taxed her with having it there.  She was quite confounded; but, taking it up, saw he had a Telescope in his hand, which I had drawn, and that the card, which was split, and just waxed together, contained these lines: 

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“Ye simple astronomers, lay by your glasses;
The transit of Venus has proved you all asses: 
Your telescopes signify nothing to scan it;
’Tis not meant in the clouds, ’tis not meant of a planet: 
The seer who foretold it mistook or deceives us,
For Venus’s transit is when Grafton leaves us.”

I don’t send your ladyship these verses as good, but to show you that all gallantry does not centre at the Hague.

I wish I could tell you that Stanley(162) and Bussy, by crossing over and figuring in, had forwarded the peace.  It is no more made than Belleisle is taken.  However, I flatter myself that you will not stay abroad till you return for the coronation, which is ordered for the beginning of October.  I don’t care to tell you how lovely the season is; how my acacias are powdered with flowers, and my hay just in its picturesque moment.  Do they ever make any other hay in Holland than bulrushes in ditches?  My new buildings rise so swiftly, that I shall have not a shilling left, so far from giving commissions on Amsterdam.  When I have made my house so big that I don’t know what to do with it, and am entirely undone, I propose, like King Pyrrhus, who took such a roundabout way to a bowl of punch, to sit down and enjoy myself; but with this difference, that it is better to ruin one’s self than all the world.  I am sure you would think as I do, though Pyrrhus were King of Prussia.  I long to have you bring back the only hero that ever I could endure.  Adieu, Madam!  I sent you just such another piece of tittle-tattle as this by General Waldegrave:  you are very partial to me, or very fond of knowing every thing that passes in your own country, if you can be amused so.  If you can, ’tis surely my duty to divert you, though at the expense of my character; for I own I am ashamed when I look back and see four sides of paper scribbled over with nothings.

(157) Lady Ailesbury remained at the Hague while Mr. Conway was with the army during the campaign in 1761.

(158) The music was by Cocchi.  Dr. Burney says it was not sufficiently admired to encourage the manager to perform it more than twice.-E.

(159) ’This comedy, which came out in the summer-season at Drury-lane, under the conduct of Foote and the author, met with considerable success.  Some of the hints are acknowledged to have been borrowed from Moli`ere’s “Cocu Imaginaire."-E.

(160) Lady Sarah Lenox.-E.

(161) The old punishment for giving a blow in the King’s presence.

(162) Mr. Hans Stanley was at this time employed in negotiating a peace at Paris.-E.

Letter 78 To George Montagu, Esq.  Strawberry Hill, June 18, 1761. (page 128)

I am glad you will come on Monday, and hope you will arrive in a rainbow and pair, to signify that we are not to be totally drowned.  It has rained incessantly, and floated all my new works; I seem rather to be building a pond than a gallery.  My farm too is all under water, and what is vexatious, if Sunday had not thrust itself between, I could have got in my hay on Monday.  As the parsons will let nobody else make hay on Sundays, I think they ought to make it on that day themselves.

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By the papers I see Mrs. Trevor Hampden is dead of the smallpox.  Will he be much concerned?  If you will stay with me a fortnight or three weeks, perhaps I may be able to carry you to a play of Mr. Bentley’s—­you stare, but I am in earnest:  nay, and de par le roy.  In short, here is the history of it.  You know the passion he always had for the Italian comedy; about two years ago he wrote one, intending to get it offered to Rich, but without his name.  He would have died to be supposed an author, and writing for gain.  I kept this an inviolable secret.  Judge then of my surprise, when about a fortnight or three weeks ago, I found my Lord Melcomb reading this very Bentleiad in a circle at my Lady Hervey’s.  Cumberland had carried it to him with a recommendatory copy of verses, containing more incense to the King and my Lord Bute, than the magi brought in their portmanteaus to Jerusalem.  The idols were propitious, and to do them justice, there is a great deal of wit in the piece, which is called “The Wishes, or Harlequin’s Mouth Opened."(163) A bank note of two hundred pounds was sent from the treasury to the author, and the play ordered to be performed by the summer company.  Foote was summoned to Lord Melcomb’s, where Parnassus was composed of the peer himself, who, like Apollo, as I am going to tell you, was dozing, the two chief justices, and Lord B. Bubo read the play himself, “with handkerchief and orange by his side.”  But the curious part is a prologue, which I never saw.  It represents the god of verse fast asleep by the side of Helicon:  the race of modern bards try to wake him, but the more they repeat their works, the louder he snores.  At last “Ruin seize thee, ruthless King!” is heard, and the god starts from his trance.  This is a good thought, but will offend the bards so much, that I think Dr. Bentley’s son will be abused at least @as much as his father was.  The prologue concludes with young Augustus, and how much he excels the ancient one by the choice of his friend.  Foote refused to act this prologue, and said it was too strong.  “Indeed,” said Augustus’s friend, “I think it is.”  They have softened it a little, and I suppose it will be performed.  You may depend upon the truth of all this; but what is much more credible is, that the comely young author appears every night in the Mall in a milk-white coat with a blue cape, disclaims any benefit, and says he has done with the play now it is out of his own hands, and that Mrs. Hannah Clio, alias Bentley, writ the best scenes in it.  He is going to write a tragedy, and she, I suppose, is going—­to court.

You will smile when I tell you that t’other day a party went to Westminster Abbey, and among the rest saw the ragged regiment.  They inquired the names of the figures.  “I don’t know them,” said the man, “but if Mr. Walpole was here he could tell you every one.”  Adieu!  I expect Mr. John and you with impatience.

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(163) This piece, founded on Fontaine’s “Trois Souhaits,” was written in imitation of the Italian comedy; Harlequin, Pantaloon, Columbine, etc. being introduced into it as speaking characters.  “Many parts of it,” says the Biographia Dramatica, “exhibit very just satire and solid sense, and give evident testimony of the author’s learning, knowledge, understanding, and critical judgment; yet the deficiency of incident which appears in it, as well as of that lively kind of wit which is one of the essentials of perfect comedy, seem, in great measure, to justify that coldness with which the piece was received by the town."-E.

Letter 79 To George Montagu, Esq.  Strawberry Hill, July 5, 1761. (page 130)

You are a pretty sort of a person to come to one’s house and get sick, only to have an excuse for not returning to it.  Your departure is so abrupt, that I don’t know but I may expect to find that Mrs. Jane Truebridge, whom you commend so much, and call Mrs. Mary, will prove Mrs. Hannah.  Mrs. Clive is still more disappointed:  she had proposed to play at quadrille with you from dinner till supper, and to sing old Purcell to you from supper to breakfast next morning.(164) If you cannot trust yourself from Greatworth for a whole fortnight, how will you do in Ireland for six months?  Remember all my preachments, and never be in spirits at supper.  Seriously I am sorry you are out of order, but am alarmed for you at Dublin, and though all the bench of bishops should quaver Purcell’s hymns, don’t let them warble you into a pint of wine.  I wish you were going among catholic prelates, who would deny you the cup.  Think of me and resist temptation.  Adieu!

(164) Dr. Burney tells us, that Mrs. Clive’s singing, “which was intolerable when she meant to be fine, in ballad-farces and songs of humour, was, like her comic acting, every thing it should be."-E.

Letter 80 To The Earl Of Strafford.  Strawberry Hill, July 5, 1761. (page 130)

My dear lord, I cannot live at Twickenham and not think of you:  I have long wanted to write, and had nothing to tell you.  My Lady D. seems to have lost her sting; she has neither blown up a house nor a quarrel since you departed.  Her wall, contiguous to you, is built, but so precipitate and slanting that it seems hurrying to take water.  I hear she grows sick of her undertakings.  We have been ruined by deluges; all the country was under water.  Lord Holderness’s new foss`e(165) was beaten in for several yards — this tempest was a little beyond the dew of Hermon, that fell on the Hill of Sion.  I have been in still more danger by water:  my parroquet was on my shoulder as I was feeding my gold-fish, and flew into the middle of the pond:  I was very near being the Nouvelle Eloise, and tumbling in after him; but with much ado I ferried him out with my hat.

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Lord Edgecumbe has had a fit of apoplexy; your brother Charles(166) a bad return of his old complaint; and Lord Melcombe has tumbled down the kitchen stairs, and—­waked himself.

London is a desert; no soul in it but the king.  Bussy has taken a temporary house.  The world talks of peace-would I could believe it! every newspaper frightens me:  Mr. Conway would be very angry if he knew how I dread the very name of the Prince de Soubise.

We begin to perceive the tower of Kew(167) from Montpellier in a fortnight you will see it in Yorkshire.

The Apostle Whitfield is come to some shame:  he went to Lady Huntingdon lately, and asked for forty pounds for some distressed saint or other.  She said she had not so much money in the house, but would give it him the first time she had.  He was very pressing, but in vain.  At last he said, “There’s your watch and trinkets, you don’t want such vanities; I will have that.”  She would have put him off- but he persisting, she said, “Well, if you must have it, you must.”  About a fortnight afterwards, going to his house, and being carried into his wife’s chamber, among the paraphernalia of the latter the Countess found her own offering.  This has made a terrible schism:  she tells the story herself—­I had not it from Saint Frances,(168) but I hope it is true.  Adieu, my dear lord!

P. S. My gallery sends its humble duty to your new front, and all my creatures beg their respects to my lady.

(165) At Sion-hill, near Brentford.

(166) Charles Townshend, married to Lady Greenwich, eldest sister to Lady Strafford.

(167) The pagoda in the royal garden at Kew.

(168) Lady Frances Shirley.

Letter 81 To The Hon. H. S. Conway.  Arlington Street, July 14, 1761. (page 131)

My dearest Harry, How could you write me such a cold letter as I have just received from you, and beginning Dear sir!  Can you be angry with me, for can I be in fault to you?  Blamable in ten thousand other respects, may not I almost say I am perfect with regard to you’?  Since I was fifteen have I not loved you unalterably?  Since I was capable of knowing your merit, has not my admiration been veneration?  For what could so much affection and esteem change?  Have not your honour, your interest, your safety been ever my first objects?  Oh, Harry! if you knew what I have felt and am feeling about you, would you charge me with neglect?  If I have seen a person since you went, to whom my first question has not been, “What do you hear of the peace?” you would have reason to blame me.  You say I write very seldom:  I will tell you what, I should almost be sorry to have you see the anxiety I have expressed about you in letters to every body else.  No; I must except Lady Ailesbury, and there is not another on earth who loves you so well, and is so attentive to whatever relates to you.

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With regard to writing, this is exactly the case.- I had nothing to tell you; nothing has happened; and where you are I was cautious of writing.  Having neither hopes nor fears, I always write the thoughts of the moment, and even laugh to divert the person I am writing to, without any ill will on the subjects I mention.  But in your situation that frankness might be prejudicial to you:  and to write grave unmeaning letters, I trusted you was too secure of’ me either to like them or desire them.  I knew no news, nor could:  I have lived quite alone at Strawberry; am connected with no court, ministers, or party; consequently heard nothing, and events there have been none.  I have not even for this month heard my Lady Townshend’s extempore gazette.  All the morning I play with my workmen or animals, go regularly every evening to the meadows with Mrs. Clive, or sit with my Lady Suffolk, and at night scribble my Painters-What a journal to send you!  I write more trifling letters than any man living; am ashamed of them, and yet they are expected of me.  You, my Lady Ailesbury, your brother, Sir Horace Mann, George Montagu, Lord Strafford-all expect I should write—­Of what?  I live less and less in the world, care for it less and less, and yet am thus obliged to inquire what it is doing.  Do make these allowances for me, and remember half your letters go to my Lady Ailesbury.  I writ to her of the King’s marriage, concluding she would send it to you:  tiresome as it would be, I will copy my own letters, if you it; for I will do any thing rather than disoblige you.  I will send you a diary of the Duke of York’s balls and Ranelaghs, inform you of how many children my Lady Berkeley is with child, and how many races my nephew goes to.  No; I will not, you do not want such proofs of my friendship.

The papers tell us you are retiring, and I was glad?  You seem to expect an action—­Can this give me spirits?  Can I write to you joyfully, and fear?  Or is it fit Prince Ferdinand should know you have a friend that is as great a coward about you as your wife?  The only reason for my silence that can not be true, is, that I forget you.  When I am prudent or cautious, it is no symptom of my being indifferent.  Indifference does not happen in friendships, as it does in passions; and if I was young enough, or feeble enough to cease to love you, I would not for my own sake let it be known.  Your virtues are my greatest pride; I have done myself so much honour by them, that I will not let it be known you have been peevish with me unreasonably.  Pray God we may have peace, that I may scold you for it!

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The King’s marriage was kept the profoundest secret till last Wednesday, when the privy council was extraordinarily summoned, and it was notified to them.  Since that, the new Queen’s mother is dead, and will delay it a few days; but Lord Harcourt is to sail on the 27th, and the coronation will certainly be on the 22d of September.  All that I know fixed is, Lord Harcourt master of the horse, the Duke of Manchester chamberlain, and Mr. Stone treasurer.  Lists there are in abundance; I don’t know the authentic:  those most talked of, are Lady Bute groom of the stole, the Duchesses of Hamilton and Ancaster, Lady Northumberland, Bolingbroke, Weymouth, Scarborough, Abergavenny, Effingham, for ladies; you may choose any six of them you please; the four first are most probable.  Misses Henry Beauclerc, M. Howe, Meadows, Wrottesley, Bishop, etc. etc.  Choose your maids too.  Bedchainber women, Mrs. Bloodworth, Robert Brudenel, Charlotte Dives, Lady Erskine; in short, I repeat a mere newspaper.

We expect the final answer of France this week.  Bussy(169) was in great pain on the fireworks for quebec, lest he should be obliged to illuminate his house:  you see I ransack my memory for something to tell you.

Adieu!  I have more reason to be angry than you had; but I am not so hasty:  you are of a violent, impetuous, jealous temper—­I, cool, sedate, reasonable.  I believe I must subscribe my name, or you will not know me by this description.

(169) The Abb`e de Bussy, sent here with overtures of peace.  Mr. Stanley was at the same time sent to Paris.

Letter 82 To George Montagu, Esq.  Strawberry Hill, Friday night, July 16, 1761. (page 133)

I did not notify the King’s marriage to you yesterday, because I knew you would learn as much by the evening post as I could tell you.  The solemn manner of summoning the council was very extraordinary:  people little imagined, that the urgent and important business in the rescript was to acquaint them that his Majesty was going to * * * * * * * *.  All I can tell you of truth is, that Lord Harcourt goes to fetch the Princess, and comes back her master of the horse.  She is to be here in August, and the coronation certainly on the 22d of September.  Think of the joy the women feel; there is not a Scotch peer in the fleet that might not marry the greatest fortune in England between this and the 22d of September.  However, the ceremony will lose its two brightest luminaries, my niece Waldegrave for beauty, and the Duchess of Grafton for figure.  The first will be lying-in, the latter at Geneva; but I think she will come, if she walks to It as well as at it.  I cannot recollect but Lady Kildare and Lady Pembroke of great beauties.  Mrs. Bloodworth and Mrs. Robert Brudenel, bedchamber women, Miss Wrottesley and Miss Meadows, maids of honour, go to receive the Princess at Helvoet; what lady I do not hear.  Your cousin’s

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Grace of Manchester, they say, is to be chamberlain, and Mr. Stone, treasurer; the Duchess of Ancaster and Lady Bolingbroke of her bedchamber:  these I do not know are certain, but hitherto all seems well chosen.  Miss Molly Howe, one of the pretty Bishops, and a daughter of Lady Harry Beauclerc, are talked of for maids of honour.  The great apartment at St. James’s is enlarging, and to be furnished with the pictures from Kensington :  this does not portend a new palace.

In the midst of all this novelty and hurry, my mind is very differently employed.  They expect every minute the news of a battle between Soubise and the hereditary Prince.  Mr. Conway, I believe, is in the latter army; judge if I can be thinking much of espousals and coronations!  It is terrible to be forced to sit still, expecting such an event; in one’s own room one is not obliged to be a hero; consequently, I tremble for one that is really a hero.

Mr. Hamilton, your secretary, has been to see me to-day; I am quite ashamed not to have prevented him.  I will go to-morrow with all the speeches I can muster.

I am sorry neither you nor your brother are quite well, but shall be content if my Pythagorean sermons have any weight with you.  You go to Ireland to make the rest of your life happy; don’t go to fling the rest of it away.  Good night!

Mr. Chute is gone to his Chutehood.

Letter 83 To The Countess Of Ailesbury.  Strawberry Hill, July 20, 1761. (page 134)

I blush, dear Madam, on observing that half my letters to your ladyship are prefaced with thanks for presents:-don’t mistake; I am not ashamed of thanking you, but of having so many occasions for it.  Monsieur Hop has sent me the piece of china:  I admire it as much as possible, and intend to like him as much as ever I can but hitherto I have not seen him, not having been in town since he arrived.

Could I have believed that the Hague would so easily compensate for England? nay, for Park-place!  Adieu, all our agreeable suppers!  Instead of Lady Cecilia’s(170) French songs, we shall have Madame Welderen(171) quavering a confusion of d’s and t’s, b’s and p’s—­Bourquoi s`cais du blaire?(172)—­Worse than that, I expect to meet all my relations at your house, and Sir Samson Gideon instead of Charles Townshend.  You will laugh like Mrs. Tipkin(173) when a Dutch Jew tells you that he bought at two and a half per cent. and sold at four.  Come back, if you have any taste left:  you had better be here talking robes, ermine, and tissue, Jewels and tresses, as all the world does, than own you are corrupted.  Did you receive my notification of the new Queen?  Her mother is dead, and she will not be here before the end of August.

My mind is much more at peace about Mr. Conway than it was.  Nobody thinks there will be a battle, as the French did not attack them when both armies shifted camps; and since that, Soubise has entrenched himself up to the whiskers:—­whiskers I think he has, I have been so afraid of him!  Yet our hopes of meeting are still very distant:  the peace does not advance; and if Europe has a stiuer left in its pockets, the war will continue; though happily all parties have been so scratched, that they only sit and look anger at one another, like a dog and cat that don’t care to begin again.

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We are in danger of losing our sociable box at the Opera.  The new Queen is very musical, and if Mr. Deputy Hodges and the city don’t exert their veto, will probably go to the Haymarket.  George Pitt, in imitation of the Adonises in Tanzai’s retinue, has asked to be her Majesty’s grand harper.  Dieu s`cait quelle raclerie il y aura!  All the guitars are untuned; and if Miss Conway has a mind to be in fashion at her return, she must take some David or other to teach her the new twing twang, twing twing twang.  As I am still desirous of being in fashion with your ladyship, and am, over and above, very grateful, I keep no company but my Lady Denbigh and Lady Blandford, and learn every evening, for two hours, to mask my English.  Already I am tolerably fluent in saying she for he.(174)

Good night, Madam!  I have no news to send you:  one cannot announce a royal wedding and a coronation every post.

P. S. Pray, Madam, do the gnats bite your legs?  Mine are swelled as big as one, which is saying a deal for me.

July 22.

I had writ this, and was not time enough for the mail, when I receive your charming note, and this magnificent victory!(175) Oh! my dear Madam, how I thank you, how I congratulate you, how I feel for you, how I have felt for you and for myself!  But I bought it by two terrible hours to-day—­I heard of the battle two hours before I could learn a word of Mr. Conway—­I sent all round the world, and went half around it myself.  I have cried and laughed, trembled and danced, as you bid me.  If you had sent me as much old china as King Augustus gave two regiments for, I should not be half so much obliged to you as for your note.  How could you think of me, when you had so much reason to think of nothing but yourself?—­And then they say virtue is not rewarded in this world.  I will preach at Paul’s Cross, and quote you and Mr. Conway; no two persons were ever so good and happy.  In short, I am serious in the height of all my joy.  God is very good to you, my dear Madam; I thank him for you; I thank him for myself:  it is very unalloyed pleasure we taste at this moment!- -Good night!  My heart is so expanded, I could write to the last scrap of my paper; but I won’t.  Yours most entirely.

(170) Lady Cecilia West, daughter of John Earl of Delawar, afterwards married to General James Johnston.

(171) Wife of the Count de Welderen, one of the lords of the States of Holland.-E.

(172) The first words of a favourite French air, with Madame Welderen’s confusion of p’s, t’s’ etc.

(173) A character in Steele’s comedy of The Tender Husband, or the Accomplished Fools brought out at Drury-lane in 1709.-E.

(174) A mistake which these ladies, who were both Dutch women, constantly made.

(175) The battle of Kirckdenckirck, on the 15th and 16th of July, in which the allied army, under Prince Ferdinand, gained a great victory over the French, under the Prince of Soubise.-E.

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Letter 84 To The Earl Of Strafford.  Strawberry Hill, July 22, 1761. (page 136)

My dear lord, I love to be able to contribute to your satisfaction, and I think few things would make you happier than to hear that we have totally defeated the French combined armies, and that Mr. Conway is safe.  The account came this morning:  I had a short note from my poor Lady Ailesbury, who was waked with the good news before she had heard there had been a battle.  I don’t pretend to send you circumstances, no more than I do of the wedding and coronation, because you have relations and friends in town nearer and better informed. indeed, only the blossom of victory is come yet.  Fitzroy is expected, and another fuller courier after him.  Lord Granby, to the mob’s heart’s content, has the chief honour of the day—­rather, of the two days.  The French behaved to the mob’s content too, that is, shamefully:  and all this glory cheaply bought on our side.  Lieutenant-colonel Keith killed, and Colonel Marlay and Harry Townshend wounded.  If it produces a peace, I shall be happy for mankind—­if not, shall content myself with the single but pure joy of Mr. Conway’s being safe.

Well! my lord, when do you come?  You don’t like the question, but kings will be married and must be crowned-and if people will be earls, they must now and then give up castles and new fronts for processions and ermine.  By the way, the number of peeresses that propose to excuse themselves makes great noise; especially as so many are breeding, or trying to breed, by commoners, that they cannot walk.  I hear that my Lord Delawar, concluding all women would not dislike the ceremony, is negotiating his peerage in the city, and trying if any great fortune will give fifty thousand pounds for one day, as they often do for one night.  I saw Miss this evening at my Lady Suffolk’s, and fancy she does not think my Lord quite so ugly as she did two months ago.  Adieu, my lord!  This is a splendid year!

Letter 85 To George Montagu, Esq.  Strawberry Hill, July 22, 1761. (page 136)

For my part, I believe Mademoiselle Scuderi drew the plan of this year.  It is all royal marriages, coronations, and victories; they come tumbling so over one another from distant parts of the globe, that it looks just like the handywork of a lady romance writer, whom it costs nothing but a little false geography to make the Great Mogul in love with a Princess of Mecklenburg, and defeat two marshals of France as he rides post on an elephant to his nuptials.  I don’t know where I am.  I had scarce found Mecklenburg Strelitz(176) with a magnifying-glass before I am whisked to Pondicherri(177)—­well, I take it, and raze it.  I begin to grow acquainted with Colonel Coote, and to figure him packing up chests and diamonds, and sending them to his wife against the King’s wedding—­thunder go the

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Tower guns, and behold, Broglio and Soubise are totally defeated; if the mob have not much stronger heads and quicker conceptions than I have, they -will conclude my Lord Granby is become nabob.  How the deuce in two days can one digest all this?  Why is not Pondicherri in Westphalia?  I don’t know how the Romans did, but I cannot support two victories every week.  Well, but you will want to know the particulars.  Broglio and Soubise united, attacked our army on the 15th, but were repulsed; the next day, the Prince Mahomet Alli d Cawn—­no, no, I mean Prince Ferdinand, returned the attack, and the French threw down their arms and fled, run over my Lord Harcourt, who was going to fetch the new Queen; in short, I don’t know how it was, but Mr. Conway is safe, and I am as happy as Mr. Pitt himself.  We have only lost a Lieutenant-colonel Keith; Colonel Marlay and Harry Townshend are wounded.

I could beat myself for not having a flag ready to display on my round tower, and guns mounted on all m@battlements.  Instead of that, I have been foolishly trying on My new pictures upon my gallery.  However, the oratory of our Lady of Strawberry shall be dedicated next year on the anniversary of Mr. Conway’s safety.  Think with his intrepidity, and delicacy of honour wounded, what I had to apprehend; you shall absolutely be here on the sixteenth of next July.  Mr. Hamilton tells me your King does not set out for his new dominions till the day after the coronation; if you will come to it, I can give you a very good place for the procession; which is a profound secret, because, if known, I should be teased to death, and none but my first friends shall be admitted.  I dined with your secretary yesterday; there were Garrick and a young Mr. Burke, who wrote a book in the style of Lord Bolingbroke, that was much admired.(178) He is a sensible man, but has not worn off his authorism yet, and thinks there is nothing so charming as writers, and to be one.  He will know better one of these days.  I like Hamilton’s little Marly; we walked in the great all`ee, and drank tea in the arbour of treillage; they talked of Shakspeare and Booth, of Swift and my Lord Bath, and I was thinking of Madame S`evign`e,-.  Good night!  I have a dozen other letters to write; I must tell my friends how happy I am—­not as an Englishman, but as a cousin.

(176) The King had just announced his intention of demanding in marriage the Princess Charlotte of Mecklenburg Strelitz.-E.

(177) the news of the capture of Pondicherry had only arrived on the preceding day.-E.

(178) Mr. Burke’s “Vindication of Natural Society,” in imitation of Lord Bolingbroke’s style, which came out in the spring of 1756, was his first avowed production.-E.

Letter 86 To The Hon. H. S. Conway.  Strawberry Hill, July 23, 1761. (page 138)

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Well, mon beau cousin! you may be as cross as you please now. when you beat two Marshals of France and cut their armies to pieces, I don’t mind your pouting; but in good truth, it was a little vexatious to have you quarrelling with me, when I was in greater pain about you than I can express.  I Will Say no more; make a peace, under the walls of Paris if you please, and I will forgive you all—­but no more battles:  consider, as Dr. Hay said, it is cowardly to beat the French now.

Don’t look upon yourselves as the only conquerors in the world.  Pondicherri is ours, as well as the field of KirkDenckirk.  The park guns never have time to cool; we ruin ourselves in gunpowder and skyrockets.  If you have a mind to do the gallantest thing in the world after the greatest, you must escort the Princess of Mecklenburgh through France.  You see what a bully I am; the moment the French run away, I am sending you on expeditions.  I forgot to tell you that the King has got the isle of Dominique and the chickenpox, two trifles that don’t count in the midst of all these festivities.  No more does your letter of the 8th, which I received yesterday:  it is the one that is to come after the 16th, that I shall receive graciously.

Friday 24th.

Not satisfied with the rays of glory that reached Twickenham, I came to town to bask in your success; but am most disagreeably disappointed to find you must beat the French once more, who seem to love to treat the English mob with subjects for bonfires.  I had got over such an alarm, that I foolishly ran into the other extreme, and concluded there was not a French battalion left entire upon the face of Germany.  Do write to me; don’t be out of humour, but tell me every motion you make:  I assure you I have deserved you should.  Would you were out of the question, if it were only that I might feel a little humanity!  There is not a blacksmith or linkboy in London that exults more than I do, upon any good news, since you went abroad.  What have I to do to hate people I never saw, and to rejoice in their calamities?  Heaven send us peace, and you home!  Adieu!

Letter 87 To George Montagu, Esq.  Arlington Street, July 28, 1761. (page 138)

No, I shall never cease being a dupe, till I have been undeceived round by every thing that calls itself a virtue.  I came to town yesterday, through clouds of dust, to see The Wishes, and went actually feeling for Mr. Bentley, and full of the emotions he must be suffering.  What do you think, in a house crowded, was the first thing I saw?  Mr. and Madame Bentley, perched up in the front boxes, and acting audience at his own play!  No, all the impudence of false patriotism never came up to it.  Did one ever hear of an author that had courage to see his own first night in public’?  I don’t believe Fielding or Foote himself ever did; and this was the modest, bashful Mr. BenTley, that died at the

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thought of being known for an author even by his own acquaintance!  In the stage-box was Lady Bute, Lord Halifax, and Lord Melcombe.  I must say, the two last entertained the house as much as the play; your King was prompter, and called out to the actor every minute to speak louder.  The other went backwards, behind the scenes, fetched the actors into the box, and was busier than Harlequin.  The curious prologue was not spoken, the whole very ill acted.  It turned out just what I remembered it; the good extremely good, the rest very flat and vulgar; the genteel dialogue, I believe, might be written by Mrs. Hannah.  The audience were extremely fair:  the first act they bore with patience, though it promised very ill; the second is admirable, and was much applauded; so was the third; the fourth-woful; the beginning of the fifth it seemed expiring, but was revived by a delightful burlesque of the ancient chorus, which was followed by two dismal scenes, at which people yawned, but were awakened on a sudden by Harlequin’s being drawn up to a gibbet, nobody knew why or wherefore — this raised a prodigious and continued hiss, Harlequin all the while suspended in the air,—­at last they were suffered to finish the play, but nobody attended to the conclusion.(179) Modesty and his lady all the while sat with the utmost indifference; I suppose Lord Melcombe had fallen asleep before he came to this scene, and had never read it.  The epilogue was the King and new queen, and ended with a personal satire on Garrick:  not very kind on his own stage To add to the judgment of his conduct, Cumberland two days ago published a pamphlet to abuse him.  It was given out for to-night with rather more claps than hisses, but I think will not do unless they reduce it to three acts.

I am sorry you will not come to the coronation.  The place I offered I am not sure I can get for any body else; I cannot explain it to you, because I am engaged to secrecy:  if I can get it for your brother John I will, but don’t tell him of it, because it is not sure.  Adieu!

(179) The piece was coldly received by the town.  Cumberland says that, “when the last of the three Wishes produced the ridiculous catastrophe of the hanging of Harlequin in full view of the audience, my uncle, the author, then sitting by me, whispered in my ear, ’If they don’t damn this they deserve to be damned themselves;’ and whilst he was yet speaking the roar began, and The Wishes were irrevocably damned."-E.

Letter 88 To The Hon. H. S. Conway.  Strawberry Hill. (page 140)

This is the 5th of August, and I just receive your letter of the 17th of last month by Fitzroy.(180) I heard he had lost his pocket-book with all his despatches, but had found it again.  He was a long time finding the letter for me.

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You do nothing but reproach me; I declare I will bear it no longer, though you should beat forty more Marshals of France.  I have already writ you two letters that would fully justify me if you receive them; if you do not, it is not I that am in fault for not writing, but the post-offices for reading my letters, content if they would forward them when they have done with them.  They seem to think, like you that I know more news than any body.  What is to be known in the dead of summer, when all the world is dispersed?  Would you know who won the sweepstakes at Huntingdon? what parties are at Woburn? what officers upon guard in Betty’s fruit-shop? whether the peeresses are to wear long, or short tresses at the coronation? how many jewels Lady Harrington borrows of actresses?  All this is your light summer wear for conversation; and if my memory were as much stuffed with it as my ears, I might have sent you Volumes last week.  My nieces, Lady Waldegrave and Mrs. Keppel, were here five days, and discussed the claim or disappointment of every miss in the kingdom for maid of honour.  Unfortunately this new generation is not at all my affair.  I cannot attend to what Concerns them.  Not that their trifles are less important than those of one’s own time, but my mould has taken all its impressions, and can receive no more.  I must grow old upon the stock I have.  I, that was so impatient at all their chat, the moment they were gone, flew to my Lady Suffolk, and heard her talk with great satisfaction of the late Queen’s coronation-petticoat.  The preceding age always appears respectable to us (I mean as one advances in years), one’s own age interesting, the coming age neither one nor t’other.

You may judge by this account that I have writ all my letters, or ought to have written them; and yet, for occasion to blame Me, you draw a very pretty picture of my situation:  all which tends to prove that I ought to write to you every day, whether I have any thing to say or not.  I am writing, I am building—­both works that will outlast the memory of battles and heroes!  Truly, I believe, the one will as much as t’other.  My buildings are paper, like my writings, and both will be blown away in ten years after I am dead; if they had not the substantial use of amusing me while I live, they would be worth little indeed.  I will give you one instance that will sum up the vanity of great men, learned men, and buildings altogether.  I heard lately, that Dr. Pearce, a very learned personage, had consented to let the tomb of Aylmer de Valence, Earl of Pembroke, a very great personage, be removed for Wolfe’s monument; that at first he had objected, but was wrought upon by being told that hight Aylmer was a knight templar, a very wicked set of people, as his lordship had heard, though he knew nothing of them, as they are not mentioned by Longinus.  I own I thought this a made story, and wrote to his lordship, expressing my concern that one of the finest and most ancient monuments in the

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abbey should be removed, and begging, if it was removed, that he would bestow it on me, who would erect and preserve it here.  After a fortnight’s deliberation, the bishop sent me an answer, civil indeed, and commending my zeal for antiquity! but avowing the story under his own hand.  He said, that at first they had taken Pembroke’s tomb for a knight templar’s.  Observe, that not only the man who shows the tombs names it every day, but that there is a draught of it at large in Dart’s Westminster; that upon discovering whose it was, he had been very unwilling to consent to the removal, and at last had obliged Wilton to engage to set it up within ten feet of where it stands at present.  His lordship concluded with congratulating me on publishing learned authors at my press. don’t wonder that a man who thinks Lucan a learned author, should mistake a tomb in his own cathedral.  If I had a mind to be angry, I could complain with reason; as, having paid forty pounds for ground for my mother’s tomb, that the Chapter of Westminster sell their church over and over again; the ancient monuments tumble upon one’s head through their neglect, as one of them did, and killed a man at Lady Elizabeth Percy’s funeral; and they erect new waxen dolls of Queen Elizabeth, etc. to draw visits and money from the mob.  I hope all this history is applicable to some part or other of my letter; but letters you will have, and so I send you one, very like your own stories that you tell your daughter-.  There was a King, and he had three daughters, and they all went to see the tombs; and the youngest, -who was in love with Aylmer de Valence, etc.

Thank you for your account of the battle; thank Prince Ferdinand for giving you a very Honourable post, which, in spite of his teeth and yours, proved a very safe one; and above all, thank Prince Soubise, whom I love better than all the German Princes in the universe.  Peace, I think, we must have at last, if you beat the French, or at least hinder them from beating you, and afterwards starve them.  Bussy’s last last courier is expected; but as he may have a last last last courier, I trust more to this than to all the others.  He was complaining t’other day to Mr. Pitt of our haughtiness, and said it would drive the French to some desperate effort, “Thirty thousand men,” continued he, “would embarrass you a little, I believe!” “Yes,” replied Pitt, “for I am so embarrassed with those we have already, I don’t know what to do with them.”

Adieu!  Don’t fancy that the more you scold, the more I will write:  it has answered three times, but the next cross word you give me shall put an end to our correspondence.  Sir Horace Mann’s father used to say, “Talk, Horace, you have been abroad:"- -You cry, “Write, Horace, you are at home.”  No, Sir. you can beat an hundred and twenty thousand French, but you cannot get the better of me.  I will not write such foolish letters as this every day, when I have nothing to say.  Yours as you behave.

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(180) George Fitzroy, afterwards created Lord Southampton.

Letter 89 To George Montagu, Esq.  Strawberry Hill, Aug. 20, 1761. (page 142)

A few lines before you go; your resolutions are good, and give me great pleasure; bring them back unbroken; I have no mind to lose you; we have been acquainted these thirty years, and to give the devil his due, in all that time I never knew a bad, a false, a mean, or ill-natured thing in the devil—­but don’t tell him I say so, especially as I cannot say the same of myself.  I am now doing a dirty thing, flattering you to preface a commission.  Dickey Bateman(181) has picked up a whole cloister full of old chairs in Herefordshire.  He bought them one by one, here and there in farmhouses, for three-and-sixpence, and a crown apiece.  They are of’ wood, the seats triangular, the backs, arms, and legs loaded with turnery.  A thousand to one but there are plenty up and down Cheshire too.  If Mr. and Mrs. Wetenhall, as they ride or drive out would now and then pick up such a chair, it would oblige me greatly.  Take notice, no two need be of the same pattern.

Keep it as the secret of your life; but if your brother John addresses himself to me a day or two before the coronation, I can place him well to see the procession:  when it is over, I will give you a particular reason why this must be such a mystery.  I was extremely diverted t’other day with my mother’s and my old milliner; she said she had a petition to me—­“What is it, Mrs. Burton?” “It Is in behalf of two poor orphans.”  I began to feel for my purse.  “What can I do for them, Mrs. Burton?” “Only if your honour would be so compassionate as to get them tickets for the coronation.”  I could not keep my countenance, and these distressed orphans are two and three-and-twenty!  Did you ever hear a more melancholy case?

The Queen is expected on Monday.  I go to town on Sunday.  Would these shows and your Irish journey were over, and neither of us a day the poorer!

I am expecting Mr. Chute to hold a chapter on the cabinet.  A barge-load of niches, window-frames, and ribs, is arrived.  The cloister is paving, the privy garden making, painted glass adjusting to the windows on the back stairs — with so many irons in the fire, you may imagine I have not much time to write.  I wish you a safe and pleasant voyage.

(181) Richard Bateman, brother of Viscount Bateman.  In Sir Charles Hanbury Williams’s Poems he figures as “Constant Dickey."-E.

Letter 90 To The Earl Of Strafford.  Arlington Street, Tuesday morning. (page 143)

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My dear lord, Nothing was ever equal to the bustle and uncertainty of the town for these three days.  The Queen was seen off the coast of Sussex on Saturday last, and is not arrived yet-nay, last night at ten o’clock it was neither certain when she landed, nor when she would be in town.  I forgive history for knowing nothing, when so public an event as the arrival of a new Queen is a mystery even at the very moment in St. James’s Street.  The messenger that brought the letter yesterday morning, said she arrived ,it half an hour after four at Harwich.  This was immediately translated into landing, and notified in those words to the ministers.  Six hours afterwards it proved no such thing, and that she was only in Harwich-road; and they recollected that an hour after four happens twice in twenty-four hours, and the letter did not specify which of the twices it was.  Well! the bridemaids whipped on their virginity; the new road and the parks were thronged; the guns were choking with impatience to go off; and Sir James Lowther, who was to pledge his Majesty was actually married to Lady Mary Stuart.(182) Five, six, seven, eight o’clock came, and no Queen—­She lay at Witham at Lord Abercorn’s, who was most tranquilly in town; and it is not certain even whether she will be composed enough to be in town to-night.  She has been sick but half an hour; sung and played on the harpsicord all the voyage, and been cheerful the whole time.  The coronation will now certainly not be put off-so I shall have the pleasure of seeing you on the 15th.  The weather is close and sultry; and if the wedding is to-night, we shall all die.

They have made an admirable speech for the Tripoline ambassador that he said he heard the King had sent his first eunuch to fetch the Princess.  I should think he meaned Lord Anson.

You will find the town over head and ears in disputes about rank, and precedence, processions, entr`ees, etc.  One point, that of the Irish peers, has been excellently liquidated:  Lord Halifax has stuck up a paper in the coffee-room at Arthur’s, importing, , That his Majesty, not having leisure to determine a point of such great consequence, permits for this time such Irish peers as shall be at the marriage to walk in the procession.”  Every body concludes those personages will understand this order as it is drawn up in their own language; otherwise it is not very clear how they are to walk to the marriage, if they are at it before they come to it.

Strawberry returns its duty and thanks for all your lordship’s goodness to it, and though it has not got its wedding-clothes yet, will be happy to see you.  Lady Betty Mackenzie is the individual woman she was—­she seems to have been gone three years, like the Sultan in the Persian Tales, who popped his head into a tub of water, pulled it up again, and fancied he had been a dozen years in bondage in the interim.  She is not altered a tittle.  Adieu, my dear lord!

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Twenty minutes past three in the afternoon, not in the middle of the night.

Madame Charlotte is this instant arrived.  The noise of coaches, chaises, horsemen, mob, that have been to see her pass through the parks, is so prodigious that I cannot distinguish the guns.  I am going to be dressed, and before seven shall launch into the crowd.  Pray for me!

(182) Eldest daughter of the Earl of Bute.-E.

Letter 91 To The Hon. H. S. Conway.  Arlington Street, Sept. 9, 1761. (page 144)

The date of my promise is now arrived, and I fulfil it—­fulfil it with great satisfaction, for the Queen is come; and I have seen her, have been presented to her—­and may go back to Strawberry.  For this fortnight I have lived upon the road between Twickenham and london:  I came, grew inpatient, returned; came again, still to no purpose.  The yachts made the coast of Suffolk last Saturday, on Sunday entered the road of Harwich, and on Monday morning the King’s chief eunuch, as the Tripoline ambassador calls Lord Anson, landed the Princess.  She lay that night at Lord Abercorn’s at Whitham, the palace of silence; and yesterday at a quarter after three arrived at St. James’s.  In half an hour one heard nothing but proclamations of her beauty:  every body was content, every body pleased.  At seven one went to court.  The night was sultry.  About ten the procession began to move towards the chapel, and at eleven they all came up into the drawing-room.  She looks very sensible, cheerful, and is remarkably genteel.  Her tiara of diamonds was very pretty, her stomacher sumptuous; her violet-velvet mantle and ermine so heavy, that the spectators knew as much of her upper half as the King himself.  You will have no doubts of her sense by what I shall tell you.  On the road they wanted to curl her toupet; she said she thought it looked as well as that of any of the ladies sent to fetch her; if the King bid her, she would wear a periwig, otherwise she would remain as she was.  When she caught the first glimpse of the palace, she grew frightened and turned pale; the Duchess of Hamilton smiled—­the Princess said, “My dear Duchess, you may laugh, you have been married twice, but it is no joke to me.”  Her lips trembled as the coach stopped, but she jumped out with spirit, and has done nothing but with good-humour and cheerfulness.  She talks a great deal—­is easy, civil, and not disconcerted.  At first, when the bridemaids and the court were introduced to her, she said, “Mon Dieu, il y en a tant, il y en a tant!” She was pleased when she was to kiss the peeresses; but Lady Augusta was forced to take her hand and give it to those that were to kiss it, which was prettily humble and good-natured.  While they waited for supper, she sat down, sang, and played.  Her French is tolerable, she exchanged much both of that and German with the King, and the Duke of York.  They did not get to bed till two. 

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To-day was a drawing-room:  every body was presented to her; but she spoke to nobody, as she could not know a soul.  The crowd was much less than at a birthday, the magnificence very little more.  The King looked very handsome, and talked to her continually with great good-humour.- It does not promise as if they two would be the two most unhappy persons in England, from this event.  The bridemaids, especially Lady Caroline Russel, Lady Sarah Lenox, and Lady Elizabeth Keppel, were beautiful figures.  With neither features nor air, Lady Sarah was by far the chief angel.  The Duchess of Hamilton was almost in possession of her former beauty today:  and your other Duchess, your daughter, was much better dressed than ever I saw her.  Except a pretty Lady Sutherland, and a most perfect beauty, an Irish Miss Smith,(183) I don’t think the Queen saw much else to discourage her:  my niece,(184) Lady Kildare, Mrs. Fitzroy, were none of them there.  There is a ball to-night, and two more drawing-rooms; but I have done with them.  The Duchess of Queensbury and Lady Westmoreland were in the procession, and did credit to the ancient nobility.

You don’t presume to suppose, I hope, that we are thinking of you, and wars, and misfortunes, and distresses, in these festival times.  Mr. Pitt himself Would be mobbed if he talked of any thing but clothes, and diamonds, and bridemaids.  Oh! yes, we have wars, civil wars; there is a campaign opened in the bedchamber.  Every body is excluded but the ministers; even the lords of the bedchamber, cabinet counsellors, and foreign ministers:  but it has given such offence that I don’t know whether Lord Huntingdon must not be the scapegoat.  Adieu!  I am going to transcribe most of this letter to your Countess.

(183) Afterwards married to Lord Llandaff.

(184) The Countess of Waldegrave.

Letter 92 To George Montagu, Esq.  Arlington Street, Sept. 24, 1761. (page 145)

I am glad you arrived safe in Dublin, and hitherto like it so well; but your trial is not begun yet.  When your King comes;, the ploughshares will be put into the fire.  Bless your stars that your King is not to be married or crowned.  All the vines of Bordeaux, and all the fumes of Irish brains cannot make a town so drunk as a regal wedding and coronation.  I am going to let London cool, and will not venture into it again this fortnight.  O! the buzz, the prattle, the crowds, the noise, the hurry!  Nay, people are so little come to their senses, that though the coronation was but the day before yesterday, the Duke of Devonshire had forty messages yesterday, desiring tickets for a ball, that they fancied was to be at court last night.  People had sat up a night and a day, and yet wanted to see a dance.  If I was to entitle ages, I would call this the century of crowds.  For the coronation, if a puppet-show could be worth a million, that is.  The multitudes,

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balconies, guards, and processions, made Palace-yard the liveliest spectacle in the world — the hall was the most glorious.  The blaze of lights, the richness and variety of habits, the ceremonial, the benches of peers, and peeresses, frequent and full, was as awful as a pageant can be -. and yet for the King’s sake and my own, I never wish to see another; nor am impatient to have my Lord Effingham’s promise fulfilled.  The King complained that so few precedents were kept for their proceedings.  Lord Effingham owned, the earl marshal’s office had been strangely neglected; but he had taken such care for the future, that the next coronation would be regulated in the most exact manner imaginable.  The number of peers and peeresses present was not very great; some of the latter, with no excuse in the world, appeared in Lord Lincoln’s gallery, and even walked about the hall indecently in the intervals of the procession.  My Lady Harrington, covered with all the diamonds she could borrow, hire, or seize, and with the air of Roxann, was the finest figure at a distance; she complained to George Selwyn that she was to walk with Lady Portsmouth, who would have a wig and a stick—­“Pho,” said he, “you will only look as if you were taken up by the constable.”  She told this everywhere, thinking the reflection was on my Lady Portsmouth.  Lady Pembroke, alone at the head of the countesses, was the picture of majestic modesty; the Duchess of Richmond as pretty as nature and dress, with no pains of her own, could make her; Lady Spencer, Lady Sutherland, and Lady Northampton, very pretty figures.  Lady Kildare, still beauty itself, if not a little too large.  The ancient peeresses were by no means the worst party:  Lady Westmoreland, still handsome, and with more dignity than all; the Duchess of Queensbury looked well, though her locks were milk-white; Lady Albemarle very genteel; nay, the middle age had some good representatives in lady Holderness, Lady Rochford, and Lady Strafford, the perfectest little figure of all.  My Lady Suffolk ordered her robes, and I dressed part of her head, as I made some of my Lord Hertford’s dress; for you know, no profession comes amiss to me, from a tribune of the people to a habit-maker.  Don’t imagine that there were not figures as excellent on the other side:  old Exeter, who told the King he was the handsomest man she ever saw; old Effingham and a Lady Say and Seale, with her hair powdered and her tresses black, were in excellent contrast to the handsome.  Lord B * * * * put on rouge upon his wife and the Duchess of Bedford in the painted chamber; the Duchess of Queensbury told me of the latter, that she looked like an orange-peach, half red, and half yellow.  The coronets of the peers and their robes disguised them strangely; it required all the beauty of the Dukes of Richmond and Marlborough to make them noticed.  One there was, though of another species, the noblest figure I ever saw, the high-constable of Scotland,

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Lord Errol; as one saw him in a space capable of containing him, one admired him.  At the wedding, dressed in tissue, he looked like one of the giants in Guildhall, new gilt.  It added to the energy of his person, that one considered him acting so considerable a part in that very hall, where so few years ago one saw his father, Lord Kilmarnock, condemned to the block.  The champion acted his part admirably, and dashed down his gauntlet with proud defiance.  His associates, Lord Effingham, Lord Talbot, and the Duke of Bedford, were woful:  Lord Talbot piqued himself on his horse backing down the hall, and not turning its rump towards the King; but he had taken such pains to dress it to that duty, that it entered backwards, and at his retreat the spectators clapped, a terrible indecorum, but suitable to such Bartholomew-fair doings.  He had twenty demel`es and came out of none creditably.  He had taken away the table of the knights of the Bath, and was forced to admit two in their old place, and dine the others in the court of requests.  Sir William Stanhope said, “We are ill-treated, for some of us are gentlemen.” beckford told the Earl, it was hard to refuse a table to the city of london Whom it would cost ten thousand pounds to banquet the King, and his lordship would repent it if they had not a table in the Hall; they had.  To the barons of the Cinque-ports, who made the same complaint, he said, “If you come to me as lord-steward, I tell you it is impossible; if, as Lord Talbot, I am a match for any of you:”  and then he said to Lord Bute, “If I were a minister, thus I would talk to France, to Spain, to the Dutch—­none of your half measures.”  This has brought me to a melancholy topic.  Bussy goes tomorrow, a Spanish war is hanging in the air, destruction is taking a new lease of mankind—­of the remnant of mankind.  I have no prospect of seeing Mr. Conway.  Adieu!  I will not disturb you with my forebodings.  You I shall see again in spite of war, and I trust in spite of Ireland.  I was much disappointed at not seeing your brother John:  I kept a place for him to the last minute, but have heard nothing of him.  Adieu!

Letter 93 To The Hon. H. S. Conway.  Arlington Street, Sept. 25, 1761. (page 147)

This is the most unhappy day I have known of years:  Bussy goes away!  Mankind is again given up, to the sword!  Peace and you are far from England!

Strawberry Hill.

I was interrupted this morning, just as I had begun my letter, by Lord Waldegrave; and then the Duke of Devonshire sent for me to Burlington-house to meet the Duchess of Bedford, and see the old pictures from Hardwicke.  If my letter reaches you three days later, at least you are saved from a lamentation.  Bussy has put off his journey to Monday (to be sure, you know this is Friday):  he says this is a strange country, he can get no Waggoner to carry his goods on a Sunday.  I am Clad a Spanish war waits for

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a conveyance, and that a wagoner’s veto is as good as a tribune’s of Rome, and can stop Mr. Pitt on his career to Mexico.  He was going post to conquer it—­and Beckford, I suppose, would have had a contract for remitting all the gold, of which Mr. Pitt never thinks, unless to serve a city friend.  It is serious that we have discussions with Spain, who says France is humbled enough, but must not be ruined:  Spanish gold is actually coining in frontier towns of France; and the privilege which Biscay and two other provinces have of fishing on the coast of Newfoundland, has been demanded for all Spain.  It was refused peremptorily; and Mr. Secretary Cortez(185) insisted yesterday se’nnight on recalling Lord Bristol.(186) The rest of the council, who are content with the world they have to govern, without conquering Others, prevailed to defer this impetuosity.  However, if France or Spain are the least untractable, a war is inevitable:  nay, if they don’t submit by the first day of the session, I have no doubt but Mr. Pitt will declare it himself on the address.  I have no opinion of Spain intending it:  they give France money to protract a war, from which they reap such advantages in their peaceful capacity; and I should think would not give their money if they were on the point of having occasion for it themselves.  In spite of you, and all the old barons our ancestors, I pray that we may have done with glory, and would willingly burn every Roman and Greek historian who have don nothing but transmit precedents for cutting throats.

The coronation is over:  ’tis even a more gorgeous sight than I imagined.  I saw the procession and the hall; but the return was in the dark.  In the morning they had forgot the sword of state, the chairs for King and Queen, and their canopies.  They used the Lord Mayor’s for the first, and made the last in the hall so they did not set forth till noon; and then, by a childish compliment to the King, reserved the illumination of the hall till his entry; by which means they arrived like a funeral, nothing being discernible but the plumes of the knights of the Bath, which seemed the hearse.  Lady Kildare the Duchess of Richmond, and Lady Pembroke were the capital beauties.  Lady Harrington, the finest figure at a distance; old Westmoreland, the most majestic.  Lady Hertford could not walk, and indeed I think is in a way to give us great anxiety.  She is going to Ragley to ride.  Lord Beauchamp was one of the King’s train-bearers.  Of all the incidents of the day, the most diverting was what happened to the Queen.  She had a retiring-chamber, with all conveniences, prepared behind the altar.  She went thither—­in the most convenient what found she, but—­the Duke of Newcastle!  Lady Hardwicke died three days before the Ceremony, Which kept away the whole house of Yorke.  Some of the peeresses were dressed overnight, slept in armchairs, and were waked if they tumbled their heads.  Your sister Harris’s maid, Lady Peterborough,

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was a comely figure.  My Lady Cowper refused, but was forced to walk with Lady Macclesfield.  Lady Falmouth was not there on which George Selwyn said, “that those peeresses who were most used to walk, did not.”  I carried my Lady Townshend, Lady Hertford, Lady Anne Connolly, my Lady Hervey, and Mrs. Clive, to my deputy’s house at the gate of Westminster-hall.  My Lady Townshend said she should be very glad to see a coronation, as she never had seen one.  “Why,” said I, “Madam, you walked at the last?” “Yes, child,” said she, “but I saw nothing of it:  I only looked to see who looked at me.”  The Duchess of Queensbury walked! her affectation that day was to do nothing preposterous.  The Queen has been at the Opera, and says she will go once a week.  This is a fresh disaster to our box, where we have lived so harmoniously for three years.  We can get no alternative but that over Miss Chudleigh’s; and Lord Strafford and Lady Mary Coke will not subscribe, unless we can.  The Duke of Devonshire and I are negotiating with all our -art to keep our party together.  The crowds at the Opera and play when the King and Queen go, are a little greater than what I remember.  The late royalties went to the Haymarket, when it was the fashion to frequent the other opera in Lincoln’s-inn-fields.  Lord Chesterfield one night came into the latter, and was asked, if he had been at the other house?  “Yes,” said he, “but there was nobody but the King and Queen; and as I thought they might be talking business, I came away.”

Thank you for your journals:  the best route you can send me in would be of your Journey homewards.  Adieu!

P. S. If you ever hear from, or write to, such a person as Lady Ailesbury, pray tell her she is worse to me in point of correspondence than ever you said I was to you, and that she sends me every thing but letters!

(185) Mr. Pitt, then secretary of state.

(186) The English ambassador at the court of Madrid.

Letter 94 To The Countess Of Ailesbury.  Strawberry Hill, Sept. 27, 1761. (page 149)

You are a mean mercenary woman.  If you did not want histories of weddings and coronations, and had not jobs to be executed about muslins, and a bit of china, and counterband goods, one should never hear of you.  When you don’t want a body, you can frisk about with greffiers and burgomasters. and be as merry in a dyke as my lady frog herself.  The moment your curiosity is agog, or your cambric seized, you recollect a good cousin in England, and, as folks said two hundred years ago, begin to write “upon the knees of your heart.”  Well!  I am a sweet-tempered creature, I forgive you.  I have already writ to a little friend in the customhouse, and will try what can be done; however, by Mr. Amyand’s report to the Duchess of Richmond, I fear your case is desperate.  For the genealogies, I have turned over all my books to no purpose; I can

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meet with no Lady Howard that married a Carey, nor a Lady Seymour that married a Canfield.  Lettice Canfield, who married Francis Staunton, was a daughter of Dr. James (not George) Canfield, younger brother of the first Lord Charlemont.  This is all I can ascertain.  For the other pedigree; I can inform your friend that there was a Sir Nicholas Throckmorton, who married an Anne Carew, daughter of Sir Nicholas Carew, knight of the garter, not Carey.  But the Sir Nicholas Carew married Joan Courtney—­not a Howard:  and besides, the Careys and Throckmortons you wot of were just the reverse, your Carey was the cock, and Throckmorton the hen-mine are vice versa:—­otherwise, let me tell your friend, Carews and Courtneys are worth Howards any day of the week, and of ancienter blood;- -so, if descent is all he wants, I advise him to take up with the pedigree as I have refitted it.  However, I will cast a figure once more, and try if I can conjure up the dames Howard and Seymour that he wants.

My heraldry was much more offended at the coronation with the ladies that did walk, than with those that walked out of their place; yet I was not so perilously angry as my Lady Cowper, who refused to set a foot with my Lady Macclesfield; and when she was at last obliged to associate with her, set out on a round trot, as if she designed to prove the antiquity of her family by marching as lustily as a maid of honour of Queen Gwiniver.  It was in truth a brave sight.  The sea of heads in palace-yard, the guards, horse and foot, the scaffolds, balconies, and procession, exceeded imagination.  The hall, when once illuminated, was noble; but they suffered the whole parade to return in the dark, that his Majesty might be surprised with the quickness with which the sconces catched fire.  The champion acted well; the other Paladins had neither the grace nor alertness of Rinaldo.  Lord Effingham and the Duke of Bedford were but untoward knights errant; and Lord Talbot had not much more dignity than the figure of General Monk in the abbey.  The habit of the peers is unbecoming to the last degree; but the peeresses made amends for all defects.  Your daughter Richmond, Lady Kildare, and Lady Pembroke were as handsome as the Graces.  Lady Rochford, Lady Holderness, and Lady Lyttelton looked exceedingly well in that their day; and for those of the day before, the Duchess of Queensbury, Lady Westmoreland, and Lady Albemarle were surprising.  Lady Harrington was noble at a distance, and so covered with diamonds, that you would have thought she had bid somebody or other, like Falstaff, rob me the exchequer.  Lady Northampton was very magnificent too, and looked prettier than I have seen her of late.  Lady Spencer and Lady Bolingbroke were not the worst figures there.  The Duchess of Ancaster marched alone after the Queen with much majesty; and there were two new Scotch peeresses that pleased every body, Lady Sutherland and Lady Dunmore.  Per contra, were Lady P * * *, who had

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put a wig on, and old E * * * *, who had scratched hers off, Lady S * * *, the Dowager E * * *, and a Lady Say and Sele, with her tresses coal-black, and her hair coal-white.  Well! it was all delightful, but not half so charming as its being over.  The gabble one heard about it for six weeks before, and the fatigue of the day, could not well be compensated by a mere puppet-show; for puppet-show it was, though it cost a million.  The Queen is so gay that we shall not want sights; she has been at the Opera, the Beggar’s Opera and the Rehearsal, and two nights ago carried the King to Ranelagh.  In short, I am so miserable with losing my Duchess,(187) and you and Mr. Conway, that I believe, if you should be another six weeks without writing to me, I should come to the Hague and scold you in person—­for, alas! my dear lady, I have no hopes of seeing you here.  Stanley is recalled, is expected every hour.  Bussy goes tomorrow ; and Mr. Pitt is so impatient to conquer Mexico, that I don’t believe he will stay till my Lord Bristol can be ordered to leave Madrid.  I tremble lest Mr. Conway should not get leave to come—­nay, are we sure he would like to ask it? he was so impatient to get to the army, that I should not be surprised if he stayed there till every suttler and woman that follows the camp was come away.  You ask me if we are not in admiration of Prince Ferdinand.  In truth, we have thought very little of him.  He may outwit Broglio ten times, and not be half so much talked of as lord Talbot’ backing his horse down Westminster-hall.  The generality are not struck with any thing under a complete victory.  If you have a mind to be well with the mob of England, you must be knocked on the head like Wolfe, or bring home as many diamonds as Clive.  We live in a country where so many follies or novelties start forth every day, that we have not time to try a (general’s capacity by the rules of Polybius.

I have hardly left room for my obligations-to your ladyship, for my commissions at Amsterdam; to Mrs. Sally,(188) for her teapots, which are to stay so long at the Hague, that I fear they will have begot a whole set of china; and to Miss Conway and Lady George, for thinking of me.  Pray assure them of my re-thinking.  Adieu, dear Madam!  Don’t You think we had better write oftener and shorter.

(187) The Duchess of Grafton, who was abroad.

(188) Lady Ailesbury’s woman.

Letter 95 To George Montagu, Esq.  Arlington Street, Oct. 8, 1761. (page 151)

I cannot swear I wrote to you again to offer your brother the place for the coronation; but I was Confident I did, nay, I think so still:  my proofs are, the place remained vacant, and I sent to old Richard to inquire if Mr. John was not arrived.  He had no great loss, as the procession returned in the dark.

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Your King(189) will have heard that Mr. Pitt resigned last Monday.(190) Greater pains have been taken to recover him than were used to drive him out.  He is inflexible, but mighty peaceable.  Lord Egremont is to have the seals to-morrow.  It is a most unhappy event—­France and Spain will soon let us know we ought to think so.  For your part, you will be invaded; a blacker rod than you will be sent to Ireland.  Would you believe that the town is a desert’!  The wedding filled it, the coronation crammed it; Mr. Pitt’s resignation has not brought six people to London.  As they could not hire a window and crowd one another to death to see him give up the seals, it seems a matter of perfect indifference.  If he will accuse a single man of checking our career of glory, all the world will come to see him hanged; but what signifies the ruin of a nation, if no particular man ruins it?

The Duchess of Marlborough died the night before last.  Thank you for your descriptions; pray continue them.  Mrs. Delany I know a little, Lord Charlemont’s villa is in Chambers’s book.(191)

I have nothing new to tell you; but the grain of mustard seed sown on Monday will soon produce as large a tree as you can find in any prophecy.  Adieu!

P. S. Lady Mary Wortley is arrived.

(189) The Earl of Halifax, lord-lieutenant of Ireland.

(190) The following is Mr. Pitt’s own account of this transaction, in a letter to Alderman Beckford:—­“A difference of opinion with regard to measures to be taken against Spain, of the highest importance to the Honour of the crown and to the most essential national interests, and this founded on what Spain had already done, not on what that court may further intend to do, was the cause of my resigning, the seals.  Lord Temple and I submitted in writing, and urged our most humble sentiments to his Majesty; which being overruled by the united opinion of the rest of the King’s servants, I resigned, on Monday the 5th, in order not to remain responsible for measures which I was no longer allowed to guide.”  Chatham Correspondence, vol. ii. p. 158.-E.

(191) Sir William Chambers’s “Treatise on Civil Architecture,” a work which Walpole describes as “the most sensible book, and the most exempt from prejudices, that was ever written on that science.”  It first appeared in 1759.  A fourth edition, edited by Mr. Gwin was published in 1825.-E.

letter 96 To George Montagu, Esq.  Strawberry Hill, Oct. 10, 1761. (page 152)

Pray, sir, how does virtue sell in Ireland now?  I think for a province they have now and then given large prices.  Have you a mind to know what the biggest virtue in the world is worth?  If Cicero had been a drawcansir instead of a coward, and had carried the glory of Rome to as lofty a height as he did their eloquence, for how much do you think he would have sold all that reputation?  Oh! sold it! you will cry, vanity was his predominant passion;

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he would have trampled on sesterces like dirt, and provided the tribes did but erect statues enough for him, he was content with a bit of Sabine mutton; he would have preferred his little Tusculan villa, or the flattery of Caius Atticus at Baia, to the wealth of Croesus, or to the luxurious banquets of Lucullus.  Take care, there is not a Tory gentleman, if there is one left, who would not have laid the same wager twenty years ago on the disinterestedness of my Lord Bath.  Come, u tremble, you are so incorrupt yourself you will give the world Mr. Pitt was so too.  You adore him for what he has done for us; you bless him for placing England at the head of Europe, and you don’t hate him for infusing as much spirit into us, as if a Montague, Earl of Salisbury, was still at the head of our enemies.  Nothing could be more just.  We owe the recovery of our affairs to him, the splendour of our country, the conquest of Canada, Louisbourg, Guadaloupe, Africa, and the East.  Nothing is too much for such services; accordingly, I hope you will not think the barony of Chatham, and three thousand pounds a-year for three lives too much for my Lady Hester.  She has this pittance:  good night!

P. S. I told you falsely in my last that Lady Mary Wortley was arrived—­I cannot help it if my Lady Denbigh cannot read English in all these years, but mistakes Wrottesley for Wortley.

Letter 97 To The Countess Of Ailesbury.  Strawberry Hill, Oct. 10, 1761. (page 153)

I don’t know what business I had, madam, to be an economist:  it was out of’ character.  I wished for a thousand more drawings in that sale at Amsterdam, but concluded they would be very dear; and not having seen them, I thought it too rash to trouble your ladyship with a large commission.  I wish I could give you as good an account of your commission; but it is absolutely impracticable.  I employed one of the most sensible and experienced men in the customhouse; and all the result was, he could only recommend me to Mr. Amyand as the newest, and consequently the most polite of the commissioners—­but the Duchess of Richmond had tried him before—­to no purpose.  There is no way of recovering any of your goods, but purchasing them again at the sale.

What am I doing, to be talking to you of drawings and chintzes, when the world is all turned topsy-turvy!  Peace, as the poets would say, is not only returned to heaven, but has carried her sister Virtue along with her!—­Oh! no, peace will keep no such company—­Virtue is an errant strumpet, and loves diamonds as well as my Lady Harrington, and is as fond of a coronet as my Lord Melcombe.(192) Worse! worse!  She will set men to cutting throats, and pick their pockets at the same time.  I am in such a passion, I cannot tell you what I am angry about—­why, about Virtue and Mr. Pitt; two errant cheats, gipsies!  I believe he was a comrade of Elizabeth Canning, when he lived at Enfield-wash.  In short, the council were for making peace;

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“But he, as loving his own pride, and purposes, Evades them with a bombast circumstance, horribly stuffed with epithets of war, And in conclusion—­nonsuits my mediators.”

He insisted on a war with Spain, was resisted, and last Monday resigned.  The city breathed vengeance on his opposers, the council quailed, and the Lord knows what would have happened; but yesterday, which was only Friday, as this giant was stalking to seize the tower of London, he stumbled over a silver penny, picked it up, carried it home to Lady Hester, and they are now as quiet, good sort of people, as my Lord and Lady Bath who lived in the vinegar-bottle.  In fact, Madam, this immaculate man has accepted the Barony of Chatham for his wife, with a pension of three thousand pounds a year for three lives; and though he has not quitted the House of Commons, I think my Lord Anson would now be as formidable there.  The pension he has left us, is a war for three thousand lives! perhaps, for twenty times three thousand lives!—­But—­

“Does this become a soldier? this become Whom armies follow’d, and a people loved?”

What! to sneak out of the scrape, prevent peace, and avoid the war! blast one’s character, and all for the comfort of a Paltry annuity, a long-necked peeress, and a couple of Grenvilles!  The city looks mighty foolish, I believe, and possibly even Beckford may blush.  Lord Temple resigned yesterday:  I suppose his virtue pants for a dukedom.  Lord Egremont has the seals; Lord Hardwicke, I fancy, the privy seal; and George Grenville, no longer Speaker, is to be the cabinet minister in the House of Commons.  Oh!  Madam, I am glad you are inconstant to Mr. Conway, though it is only with a Barbette!  If you piqued yourself on your virtue, I should expect you would sell it to the master of a Trechscoot.

I told you a lie about the King’s going to Ranelagh—­No matter; there is no such thing as truth.  Garrick exhibits the coronation, and, opening the end of the stage, discovers a real bonfire and real mob:  the houses in Drury-lane let their windows at threepence a head.  Rich is going to produce a finer coronation, nay, than the real one; for there is to be a dinner for the Knights of the Bath and the Barons of the Cinque-ports, which Lord Talbot refused them.

I put your Caufields and Stauntons into the hands of one of the first heralds upon earth, and who has the entire pedigree of the Careys; but he cannot find a drop of Howard or Seymour blood in the least artery about them.  Good night, Madam!

(192) Bubb Doddington, having for many years placed his ambition on the acquisition of a coronet, obtained the long-wished-for prize in the preceding April.-E.

Letter 98 To The Hon. H. S. Conway.  Arlington Street, Oct. 12, 1761. (page 154)

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It is very lucky that you did not succeed in the expedition to Rochfort.  Perhaps you might have been made a peer; and as Chatham is a naval title, it might have fallen to your share.  But it was reserved to crown greater glory:  and lest it should not be substantial pay enough, three thousand pounds a year for three lives go along with it.  Not to Mr. Pitt—­you can’t suppose it.  Why truly, not the title, but the annuity does, and Lady Hester is the baroness; that, if he should please, he may earn an earldom himself.  Don’t believe me, if you have not a mind.  I know I did not believe those who told me.  But ask the gazette that swears it—­ask the King, who has kissed Lady Hester—­ask the city of London, who are ready to tear Mr. Pitt to pieces—­ask forty people I can name, who are overjoyed at it—­and then ask me again, who am mortified, and who have been the dupe of his disinterestedness.  Oh, my dear Harry!  I beg you on my knees, keep your virtue:  do let me think there is still one man upon earth who despises money.  I wrote you an account last week of his resignation.  Could you have believed that in four days he would have tumbled from the conquest of Spain to receiving’ a quarter’s pension from Mr. West?(193) To-day he has advertised his seven coach-horses to be sold—­Three thousand a year for three lives, and fifty thousand pounds of his own, will not keep a coach and six.  I protest I believe he is mad, and Lord Temple thinks so too; for he resigned the same morning that Pitt accepted the pension.  George Grenville is minister of the House of Commons.  I don’t know who will be Speaker.  They talk of Prowse, Hussey, Bacon, and even of old Sir John Rushout.  Delaval has said an admirable thing:  he blames Pitt not as you and I do; but calls him fool; and says, if he had gone into the city, told them he had a poor wife and children unprovided for, and had opened a subscription, he would have got five hundred thousand pounds, instead of three thousand pounds a year.  In the mean time the good man has saddled us with a war which we can neither carry on nor carry off.  ’Tis pitiful! ’tis wondrous pitiful!  Is the communication stopped, that we never hear from you?  I own ’tis an Irish question.  I am out of humour:  my visions are dispelled, and you are still abroad.  As I cannot put Mr. Pitt to death, at least I have buried him:  here is his epitaph: 

Admire his eloquence—­it mounted higher
Than Attic purity or Roman fire: 
Adore his services-our lions view
Ranging, where Roman eagles never flew: 
Copy his soul supreme o’er Lucre’s sphere;
—­But oh! beware three thousand pounds a-year!(194)

October 13.

Jemmy Grenville resigned yesterday.  Lord Temple is all hostility; and goes to the drawing-room to tell every body how angry he is with the court-but what is Sir Joseph Wittol, when Nol Bluff is pacific?  They talk of erecting a tavern in the city, called The Salutation:  the sign to represent Lord Bath and Mr. Pitt embracing.  These are shameful times.  Adieu!

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(193) Secretary to the treasury.

(194) Gray also appears to have been greatly offended at this acceptance of the title and the pension:  “Oh!” he exclaim, “that foolishest of great men, that sold his inestimable diamond for a paltry peerage and pension!  The very night it happened was I swearing that it was a d-d lie, and never could be:  but it was for want of reading Thomas `a Kempis, who knew mankind so much better than I.”  Works, vol. iii. p. 265.  Mr. Burke took a very different view of Mr. Pitt’s conduct on this occasion.  “With regard to the pension and title, it is a shame,” he says, “that any defence should be necessary.  What eye cannot distinguish, at the first glance, between this and the exceptionable case of titles and pensions?  What Briton, with the smallest sense of honour and gratitude, but must blush for his country, if such a man retired unrewarded from the public service, let the motives for that retirement be what they would?  It was not possible that his sovereign could let his eminent services pass unrequited:  the sum that was given was inadequate to his merits; and the quantum was rather regulated by the moderation of the great mind that received it, than by the liberality of that which bestowed it."- E.

Letter 99 To George Montagu, Esq.  Strawberry Hill, October 24, 1761. (page 156)

I have got two letters from you, and am sensibly pleased with your satisfaction.  I love your cousin for his behaviour to you; he will never place his friendship better.  His parts and dignity, I did not doubt, would bear him out.  I fear nothing but your spirits and the frank openness of your heart; keep them within bounds, and you will return in health, and with the serenity I wish you long to enjoy.

You have heard our politics; they do not mend, sick of glory, without being tired of war, and surfeited with unanimity before it had finished its work, we are running into all kinds of confusion.  The city have bethought themselves, and have voted that they will still admire Mr. Pitt; consequently, be, without the cheek of seeming virtue, may do what he pleases.  An address of thanks to hit-() has been carried by one hundred and nine against fifteen, and the city are to instruct their members; that is, because we are disappointed of a Spanish war, we must have one at home.  Merciful! how old I am grown! here am I, not liking a civil war!  Do you know me?  I am no longer that Gracchus, who, when Mr. Bentley told him something or other, I don’t know what, would make a sect, answered quickly, “Will it make a party?” In short, I think I am always to be in contradiction; now I am loving my country.

Worksop(195) is burnt down; I don’t know the circumstances; the Duke and Duchess are at Bath; it has not been finished a month; the last furniture was brought in for the Duke of York; I have some comfort that I had seen it, and, except the bare chambers, in which the Queen of Scots lodged, nothing remained of ancient time.

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I am much obliged to Mr. Hamilton’s civilities; but I don’t take too much to myself; yet it is no drawback to think that he sees an compliments your friendship for me.  I shall use his permission of sending you any thing that I think will bear the sea; but how must I send it! by what conveyance to the sea, and where deliver it?  Pamphlets swarm already; none very good, and chiefly grave; you would not have them.  Mr. Glover has published his long-hoarded Medea,(196) as an introduction to the House of Commons; it had been more proper to usher him from school to the University.  There are a few good lines, not much conduct, and a quantity of iambics, and trochaics, that scarce speak English, and yet have no rhyme to keep one another in countenance.  If his chariot is stopped at Temple-bar, I suppose he will take it for the Straits of Thermopylae, and be delivered of his first speech before its time.

The catalogue of the Duke of Devonshire’s collection is only in the six volumes of the Description of London.  I did print about a dozen, and gave them all away so totally that on searching, I had not reserved one for myself.  When we are at leisure, I will reprint a few more, and you shall have one for your Speaker.  I don’t know who is to be ours:  Prowse, they say, has refused; Sir John Cust was the last I heard named:  but I am here and know nothing; sorry that I shall hear any thing on Tuesday se’nnight.

Pray pick me up any prints of lord-lieutenants, Irish bishops, ladies —­nay, or patriots; but I will not trouble you for a snuff-box or toothpick-case, made of a bit of the Giant’s Causeway.

My anecdotes of Painting will scarcely appear before Christmas.  My gallery and cabinet are at a full stop till spring. but I shall be sorry to leave it all in ten days; October, that scarce ever deceived one before, has exhibited a deluge; but it was recovered, and promised to behave well as long as it lives, like a dying sinner.  Good night!

P. S. My niece lost the coronation for only a daughter.  It makes me smile, when I reflect that you are come into the world again, and that I have above half left it.

(195) The Duke of norfolk’s seat at Worksop Manor, Nottinghamshire, was burnt down on the 20th of October 1761.  The damage was estimated at one hundred thousand pounds.  When the Duke heard of it, he exclaimed, “God’s will be done!” and the Duchess, “How many besides us are sufferers by the like calamity!” Evelyn, who visited Worksop in 1654, says, “The manor belongs to the Earle of Arundel, and has to it a faire house at the foote of an hill, in a park that affords a delicate prospect."-E.

(196) Glover’s tragedy of Medea was performed several times at Drury-lane and Covent-garden, for the benefit of Mrs. Yates, whose spirited acting Gave it considerable effect.-E.

Letter 100 To The Hon. H. S. Conway.  Strawberry Hill, Oct. 26, 1761. (page 157)

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and how strange it seems!  You are talking to me of the King’s wedding, while we are thinking of a civil war.  Why, the King’s wedding was a century ago, almost two months; even the coronation things that happened half an age ago, is quite forgot.  The post to Germany cannot keep pace with our revolutions.  Who knows but you may still be thinking that Mr. Pitt is the most disinterested man in the world?  Truly, as far as the votes of a common-council can make him so, he is.  Like Cromwell, he has always promoted the self-denying ordinance, and has contrived to be excused from it himself.  The city could no longer choose who should be their man of virtue; there was not one left — by all rules they ought next to have pitched upon one who was the oldest offender:  instead of that, they have reelected the most recent; and, as if virtue was a borough, Mr. Pitt is rechosen for it, on vacating his seat.  Well, but all this is very serious:  I shall offer a prophetic picture, and shall be very glad if I am not a true soothsayer.  The city have voted an address of thanks to Mr. Pitt, and given instructions to their members; the chief articles of which are, to promote an inquiry into the disposal of the money that has been granted, and to consent to no peace, unless we are to retain all, or near all, our conquests.  Thus the city of London usurp the right of making peace and war.  But is the government to be dictated to by one town?  By no means.  But suppose they are not -what is the consequence?  How will the money be raised?  If it cannot be raised without them, Mr. Pitt must again be minister:  that you think would be easily accommodated.  Stay, stay; he and Lord Temple have declared against the whole cabinet council.  Why, that they have done before now, and yet have acted with them again.  It is very true; but a little word has escaped Mr. Pitt, which never entered into his former declarations; nay, nor into Cromwell’s, nor Hugh Capet’s, nor Julius Caesar’s, nor any reformer’s of ancient time.  He has happened to say, he will guide.  Now, though the cabinet council are mighty willing to be guided, when they cannot help it, yet they wish to have appearances saved:  they cannot be fond of being told they are to be guided still less, that other people should be told so.  Here, then, is Mr. Pitt and the common-council on one hand, the great lords on the other.  I protest, I do not see but it will come to this.  Will it allay the confusion, if Mr. Fox is retained on the side of the court?  Here are no Whigs and Tories, harmless people, that are content with worrying one another for i hundred and fifty years together.  The new parties are, I will, and you shall not; and their principles do not admit delay.  However, this age is of suppler mould than some of its predecessors; and this may come round again, by a coup de baguette, when one least expects it.  If it should not, the honestest part one can take is to look on, and try if one can do any good if matters go too far.

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I am charmed with the Castle of Hercules;(197) it is the boldest pile I have seen since I travelled in Fairyland.  You ought to have delivered a princess imprisoned by enchanters in his club:  she, in gratitude, should have fallen in love with you; your constancy should have been immaculate.  The devil knows how it would have ended—­I don’t—­and so I break off my romance.

You need not beer the French any more this year:  it cannot be ascribed to Mr. Pitt; and the mob won’t thank you.  If we are to have a warm campaign in Parliament, I hope you will be sent for.  Adieu!  We take the field tomorrow se’nnight.

P. S. You will be sorry to hear that Worksop is burned.  My Lady Waldegrave has got a daughter, and your brother an ague.

(197) Alluding to a description of a building in Hesse Cassel, given by Mr. Conway in one of his letters.

Letter 101 To George Montagu, Esq.  Arlington Street, Nov. 7, 1761. (page 159)

You will rejoice to hear that your friend Mr. Amyand is going to marry the dowager Lady Northampton; she has two thousand pounds a-year, and twenty thousand in money.  Old Dunch(198) is dead, and Mrs. Felton Hervey(199) was given over last night, but is still alive.

Sir John Cust is Speaker, and bating his nose, the chair seems well filled.  There are so many new faces in this Parliament, that I am not at all acquainted with it.

The enclosed print will divert you, especially the baroness in the right-hand corner—­so ugly, and so satisfied:  the Athenian head was intended for Stewart; but was so like, that Hogarth was forced to cut off the nose.  Adieu!

(198) Widow of Edmund Dunch, Esq. comptroller of the household of George the First.-E.

(199) Wife of the Hon. Felton Hervey, ninth son of John, first Earl of Bristol.-E.

Letter 102 To George Montagu, Esq.  Arlington Street, Nov. 28, 1761. (page 159)

I am much obliged for the notice of Sir Compton’s illness; if you could send me word of peace too, I should be completely satisfied on Mr. Conway’s account.  He has been in the late action, and escaped, at a time that, I flattered myself, the campaign -was at an end.  However, I trust it is now.  You will have been concerned for young Courtney.  The war, we hear, is to be transferred to these islands; most probably to yours.  The black-rod I hope, like a herald, is a sacred personage.

There has been no authentic account of the coronation published; if there should be, I will send it.  When I am at Strawberry, I believe I can make you out a list of those that walked; but I have no memorandum in town.  If Mr. Bentley’s play is printed in Ireland, I depend on your sending me two copies.

There has been a very private ball at court, consisting of not above twelve or thirteen couple; some of the lords of the bedchamber, most of the ladies, the maids of honour, and six strangers, Lady Caroline Russell, Lady Jane Stewart, Lord Suffolk, Lord Northampton, Lord Mandeville, and Lord Grey.  Nobody sat by, but the Princess, the Duchess of Bedford, and Lady Bute.  They began before seven, danced till one, and parted without a supper.

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Lady Sarah Lenox has refused Lord Errol; the Duke of Bedford is privy seal; Lord Thomond cofferer; Lord George Cavendish comptroller; George Pitt goes minister to Turin; and Mrs. Speed must go thither, as she is marrying the Baron de Perrier, Count Virry’s son.(200) Adieu!  Commend me to your brother.

(200) “My old friend Miss SPeed has done what the world calls a very foolish thing; she has married the Baron de la Poyri`ere, son to the Sardinian minister, the Count de Viry.  He is about twenty-eight years old (ten years younger than herself), but looks nearer This is not the effect of debauchery; for he is a very sober and good-natured man honest and no conjurer.”  Gray to Wliarton.  Works, vol. iii. p. 263.-E.

Letter 103 To The Countess Of Ailesbury.  Arlington Street, Nov. 28, 1761. (page 160)

Dear Madam, You are so bad and so good, that I don’t know how to treat you.  You give me every mark of kindness but letting me hear from you.  You send me charming drawings the moment I trouble you with a commission, and you give Lady Cecilia(201) commissions for trifles of my writing, in the most obliging manner.  I have taken the latter off her hands.- The Fugitive Pieces, and the Catalogue of Royal and Noble Authors shall be conveyed to you directly.  Lady Cecilia and I agree how we lament the charming suppers there, every time we pass the corner of Warwick Street!  We have a little comfort for your sake and our own, in believing that the campaign is at an end, at least for this year—­but they tell us, it is to recommence here or in Ireland.  You have nothing to do with that.  Our politics, I think, will soon be as warm as our war.  Charles Townshend is to be lieutenant-general to Mr. Pitt.  The Duke of Bedford is privy seal; Lord Thomond, cofferer; Lord George Cavendish, comptroller.

Diversions, you know, Madam, are never at high watermark before Christmas:  yet operas flourish pretty well:  those on Tuesdays are removed to Mondays, because the Queen likes the burlettas, and the King cannot go on Tuesdays, his postdays.  On those nights we have the middle front box railed in, where Lady Mary(202) and I sit in triste state like a Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress.  The night before last there was a private ball at court, which began at half an hour after six, lasted till one, and finished without a supper.  The King danced the whole time with the Queen, Lady Augusta with her four younger brothers.  The other performers were:  the two Duchesses of Ancaster and Hamilton, who danced little; Lady Effingham, and Lady Egremont who danced much; the six maids of honour; Lady Susan Stewart, as attending Lady Augusta; and Lady Caroline Russel, and Lady Jane Stewart, the only women not of the family.  Lady Northumberland is at Bath; Lady Weymouth lies in; Lady Bolingbroke was there in Waiting, but in black gloves, so did not dance.  The men, besides the royals, were Lords March and Lord Eglinton, of the bedchamber:  Lord Cantalope, vice-chamberlain; Lord Huntingdon; and four strangers, Lord Mandeville, Lord Northampton, lord Suffolk, and lord Grey.  No sitters-by, but the Princess, the Duchess of Bedford, and Lady Bute.

Page 137

If it had not been for this ball, I don’t know how I should have furnished a decent letter.  Pamphlets on Mr. Pitt are the whole conversation, and none of them worth sending cross the water:  at least I, who am said to write some of them, think so; by which you may perceive I am not much flattered with the imputation.  There must be new personages at least, before I write on any side.  Mr. Pitt and the Duke of Newcastle!  I should as soon think of informing the world that Miss Chudleigh is no vestal.  You will like better to see some words which Mr. Gray has writ, at Miss Speed’s request, to an old air of Geminiani:  the thought is from the French.

Thyrsis, when we parted, swore
Ere the spring he would return. 
Ah! what means yon violet flower,
And the buds that deck the thorn? 
’Twas the lark that upward sprung,
’Twas the nightingale that sung.

Idle notes! untimely green! 
Why this unavailing haste? 
Western gales and skies serene
Speak not always winter past. 
Cease my doubts, my fears to move;
Spare the Honour of my love.

Adieu, Madam, your most faithful servant.

(201) Lady Cecilia Johnston.

(202) lady Mary Coke.

Letter 104 To Sir David Dalrymple.(203) Nov. 30, 1761. (page 161)

I am much obliged to you, Sir, for the specimen of letters(204) you have been so good as to send me.  The composition is touching, and the printing very beautiful.  I am still more pleased with the design of the work; nothing gives so just an idea of an age as genuine letters; nay, history waits for its last seal from them.  I have an immense collection in my hands, chiefly of the very time on which you are engaged:  but they are not my own.

If I had received your commands in summer when I was at Strawberry Hill, and at leisure, I might have picked you out something to your purpose; at present I have not time, from Parliament and business, to examine them:  yet to show you, Sir, that I have great desire to oblige you and contribute to your work, I send you the following singular paper, which I have obtained from Dr. Charles lyttelton, Dean of Exeter, whose name I will beg you to mention in testimony of his kindness, and as evidence for the authenticity of the letter, which he copied from the original in the hands of Bishop Tanner, in the year 1733.  It is from Anne of Denmark, to the Marquis of Buckingham.

“Anna R.,

“My kind dogge, if I have any power or credit with you, let me have a trial of it at this time, in dealing sincerely and earnestly with the King, that Sir Walter Raleigh’s life may not be called in question.  If you do it, so that the success answer my expectation, assure yourself that I will take it extraordinarily kindly at your hands, and rest one that wisheth you well, and desires you to continue still as you have been, a true servant to your master.”

Page 138

I have begun Mr. Hume’s history, and got almost through the first volume.  It is amusing to one who ]knows a little of his own country, but I fear would not teach much to a beginner; details are so much avoided by him, and the whole rather skimmed than elucidated.  I cannot say I think it very carefully performed.  Dr. Robertson’s work I should expect would be more accurate.

P. S. There has lately appeared, in four little volumes, a Chinese Tale, called Hau Kiou Choaan,(205) not very entertaining from the incidents, but I think extremely so from the novelty of the manner and the genuine representation of their customs.

(203) Now first collected.

(204) Probably Sir David’s “Memorials and Letters relating to the History of Britain in the Reigns of James the First and Charles the First,” which were published in 1766, from the originals in the Advocates’ Library.-E.

(205) This pleasing little novel, in which the manners of the Chinese are painted to the life, was a translation from the Chinese by Mr. Wilkinson, and revised for publication by Dr. Percy.-E.

Letter 105 To George Montagu, Esq.  Arlington Street, Dec. 8, 1761. (page 162)

I return you the list of prints, and shall be glad you will bring me all to which I have affixed this mark X. The rest I have; yet the expense of the whole list would not ruin me.  Lord Farnham, who, I believe, departed this morning, brings you the list of the Duke of Devonshire’s pictures.

I have been told that Mr. Bourk’s history was of England, not of Ireland; I am glad it is the latter, for I am now in Mr. Hume’s England, and would fain read no more.  I not only know what has been written, but what would be written.  Our story is so exhausted, that to make it new, they really make it new.  Mr. Hume has exalted Edward the Second and depressed Edward the Third.  The next historian, I suppose, will make James the First a hero, and geld Charles the Second.

Fingal is come out; I have not yet got through it; not but, it is very fine-yet I cannot at once compass an epic poem now.  It tires me to death to read how many ways a warrior is like the moon, or the sun, or a rock, or a lion, or the ocean.  Fingal is a brave collection of similes, and will serve all the boys at Eton and Westminster for these twenty years.  I will trust you with a secret, but you must not disclose it; I should be ruined with my Scotch friends; in short, I cannot believe it genuine; I cannot believe a regular poem of six books has been preserved, uncorrupted, by oral tradition, from times before Christianity was introduced into the island.  What! preserved unadulterated by savages dispersed among mountains, and so often driven from their dens, so wasted by wars civil and foreign! alas one man ever got all by heart?  I doubt it; were parts preserved by some, other parts by others?  Mighty lucky, that the tradition was never interrupted, nor any part lost-not a verse, not a measure, not the sense! luckier and luckier.  I have been extremely qualified myself lately for this Scotch memory; we have had nothing but a coagulation of rains, fogs, and frosts, and though they have clouded all understanding, I suppose, if I had tried, I should have found that they thickened, and gave great consistence to my remembrance.

Page 139

You want news—­I must make it, if I send it.  To change the dulness of the scene I went to the play, where I had not been this winter.  They are so crowded, that though I went before six, I got no better place than a fifth row, where I heard very ill, and was pent for five hours without a soul near me that I knew.  It was Cymbeline, and appeared to me as long as if every body in it went really to Italy in every act,, and came back again.  With a few pretty passages and a scene or two, it is so absurd and tiresome, that I am persuaded Garrick(206) * * * * *

(206) The rest of this letter is lost.

Letter 106 To Sir David Dalrymple.(207) December 21, 1761. (page 163)

Your specimen pleases me, and I give you many thanks for promising me the continuation.  You will, I hope, find less trouble with printers than I have done.  Just when my book was, I thought, ready to appear, my printer ran away, and has left it very imperfect.  This is the fourth I have tried, and I own it discourages me.  Our low people are so corrupt and such knaves, that being cheated and disappointed are all the fruits of attempting to amuse oneself or others.  Literature must struggle with many difficulties.  They who print for profit print only for profit; we, who print to entertain or instruct others, are the bubbles of our designs, defrauded, abused, pirated—­don’t you think, Sir, one need have resolution?  Mine is very nearly exhausted.

(207) Now first collected.

Letter 107 To George Montagu, Esq.  Arlington Street, Dec. 23, 1761.  Past midnight. (page 164)

I am this minute come home, and find such a delightful letter from you, that I cannot help answering it, and telling you so before I sleep.  You need not affirm, that your ancient wit and pleasantry are revived; your letter is but five and twenty, and I will forgive any vanity, that is so honest, and so well founded.  Ireland I see produces wonders of more sorts than one; if my Lord Anson was to go lord-lieutenant, I suppose he would return a ravisher.  How different am I from this state of revivification!  Even such talents as I had are far from blooming again; and while my friends, or contemporaries, or predecessors, are rising to preside over the fame of this age, I seem a mere antediluvian; must live upon what little stock of reputation I had acquired, and indeed grow so indifferent, that I can only wonder how those, whom I thought as old as myself, can interest themselves so much about a world, whose faces I hardly know.  You recover your spirits and wit, Rigby is grown a speaker, Mr. Bentley a poet, while I am nursing one or two gouty friends, and sometimes lamenting that I am likely to survive the few I have left.  Nothing tempts me to launch out again; every day teaches me how much I was mistaken in my own parts, and I am in no danger now but of thinking I am grown too wise; for every period of life has its mistake.

Page 140

Mr. Bentley’s relation to Lord Rochester by the St. Johns is not new to me, and you had more reason to doubt of their affinity by the former marrying his mistress, than to ascribe their consanguinity to it.  I shall be glad to see the epistle:  are not “The Wishes” to be acted? remember me, if they are printed; and I shall thank you for this new list of prints.

I have mentioned names enough in this letter to lead me naturally to new ill usage I have received.  Just when I thought my book finished, my printer ran away, and had left eighteen sheets in the middle of the book untouched, having amused me with sending proofs.  He had got into debt, and two girls with child; being two, he could not marry two Hannahs.  You see my luck; I had been kind to this fellow; in short, if the faults of my life had been punished as severely as my merits have been, I should be the most unhappy of beings; but let us talk of something else.

I have picked up at Mrs. Dunch’s auction the sweetest Petitot in the world-the very picture of James the Second, that he gave Mrs. Godfrey,(208) and I paid but six guineas and a half for it.  I will not tell you how vast a commission I had given; but I will own, that about the hour of sale, I drove about the door to find what likely bidders there were.  The first coach I saw was the Chudleighs; could I help concluding, that a maid of honour, kept by a duke, would purchase the portrait of a duke kept by a maid of honour-but I was mistaken.  The Oxendens reserved the best pictures; the fine china, and even the diamonds, sold for nothing; for nobody has a shilling.  We shall be beggars if we don’t conquer Peru within this half year.

If you are acquainted with my lady Barrymore, pray tell her that in less than two hours t’other night the Duke of Cumberland lost four hundred and fifty pounds at loo; Miss Pelham won three hundred, and I the rest.  However, in general, loo is extremely gone to decay; I am to play at Princess Emily’s to-morrow for the first time this winter, and it is with difficulty she has made a party.

My Lady Pomfret is dead on the road to Bath; and unless the deluge stops, and the fogs disperse, I think we shall all die.  A few days ago, on the cannon firing for the King going to the House, some body asked what it was?  M. de Choiseul replied, “Apparemment, c’est qu’on voit le soleil.”

Shall I fill up the rest of my paper with some extempore lines that I wrote t’other night on Lady Mary Coke having St. Anthony’s fire in her cheek!  You will find nothing in them to contradict what I have said in the former part of my letter; they rather confirm it.

Page 141

No rouge you wear, nor can a dart
>From Love’s bright quiver wound your heart. 
And thought you, Cupid and his mother
Would unrevenged their anger smother? 
No, no, from heaven they sent the fire
That boasts St. Anthony its sire;
They pour’d it on one peccant part,
Inflamed your cheek, if not your heart. 
In vain-for see the crimson rise,
And dart fresh lustre through your eyes
While ruddier drops and baffled pain
Enhance the white they mean to stain. 
Ah! nymph, on that unfading face
With fruitless pencil Time shall trace
His lines malignant, since disease
But gives you mightier power to please.

Willis is dead, and Pratt is to be chief justice; Mr. Yorke attorney general; solicitor, I don’t know who.  Good night! the watchman cries past one!

(208) Arabella Churchill, sister of the great Duke of Marlborough, was the mistress of James the Second while Duke of York, by whom she had four children; the celebrated Duke of Berwick, the Duke of Albemarle, and two daughters.  She afterwards became the wife of Colonel Charles Godfrey, master of the jewel office, and died in 1714, leaving by him two daughters, Charlotte Viscountess Falmouth, and Elizabeth, wife of Edmund Dunch, Esq.-E.

Letter 108 To George Montagu, Esq.  Arlington Street, Dec. 30, 1761. (page 165)

I have received two more letters from You since I wrote last week, and I like to find by them that you are so well and so happy.  As nothing has happened of change in my situation but a few more months passed, I have nothing to tell you new of myself.  Time does not sharpen my passions or pursuits, and the experience I have had by no means prompts me to make new connexions.  ’Tis a busy world, and well adapted to those who love to bustle in it; I loved it once, loved its very tempests—­now I barely open my windows to view what course the storm takes.  The town, who, like the devil, when one has once sold oneself’ to him, never permits one to have done playing the fool, believe I have a great hand in their amusements; but to write pamphlets, I mean as a volunteer, one must love or hate, and I have the satisfaction of doing neither.  I Would not be at the trouble of composing a distich to achieve a revolution.  ’Tis equal to me what names are on the scene.  In the general view, the prospect is very dark:  the Spanish war, added to the load, almost oversets our most sanguine heroism:  and now we have in opportunity of conquering all the world, by being at war with all the world, we seem to doubt a little of our abilities.  On a survey of our situation, I comfort myself with saying, “Well, what is it to me?” A selfishness that is far from anxious, when it is the first thought in one’s constitution; not so agreeable when it is the last, and adopted by necessity alone.

Page 142

You drive your expectations much too fast, in thinking my Anecdotes of Painting are ready to appear, in demanding three volumes.  You will see but two, and it will be February first.  True, I have written three, but I question whether the third will be published at all; certainly not soon; it is not a work of merit enough to cloy the town with a great deal at once.  My printer ran away, and left a third part of the two first volumes unfinished.  I suppose he is writing a tragedy himself, or an epistle to my Lord Melcomb, or a panegyric on my Lord Bute.

Jemmy Pelham(209) is dead, and has left to his servants what little his servants had left him.  Lord Ligonier was killed by the newspapers, and wanted to prosecute them; his lawyer told him it was impossible—­a tradesman indeed might prosecute, as such a report might affect his credit.  “Well, then,” said the old man, “I may prosecute too, for I can prove I have been hurt by this ’report I was going to marry a great fortune, who thought I was but seventy-four; the newspapers have said I am eighty, and she will not have me.”

Lord Charlemont’s Queen Elizabeth I know perfectly; he outbid me for it; is his villa finished?  I am well pleased with the design in Chambers.  I have been my out-of-town with Lord Waldecrave, Selwyn, and Williams; it was melancholy the missing poor Edgecombe, who was constantly of the Christmas and Easter parties.  Did you see the charming picture Reynolds painted for me of him, Selwyn, and Gilly Williams?  It is by far one of the best things he has executed.  He has just finished a pretty whole-length of Lady Elizabeth Keppel,(210) in the bridemaid’s habit, sacrificing to Hymen.

If the Spaniards land in Ireland, shall you make the campaign?  No. no, come back to England; you and I will not be patriots, till the Gauls are in the city, and we must take our great chairs and our fasces, and be knocked on the head with decorum in St. James’s market.  Good night!

P. S. I am told that they bind in vellum better at Dublin than any where; pray bring me one book of their binding, as well as it can be done, and I will not mind the price.  If Mr. Bourk’s history appear,-, before your return, let it be that.

(209) The Hon. James Pelham, of Crowhurst, Sussex.  He had been principal secretary to Frederick Prince of Wales, and for nearly forty years secretary to the several lords-chamberlain.-E.

(210) She was daughter of the Earl of Albemarle, and married to the Marquis of Tavistock.

Letter 109 To George Montagu, Esq.  Arlington Street, Jan. 26, 1762. (page 167)

We have had as many mails due from Ireland as you had from us.  I have at last received a line from you; it tells me you are well, which I am always glad to hear; I cannot say you tell me much more.  My health is so little subject to alteration, and so preserved by temperance, that it is not worth repetition; thank God you may conclude it is good, if I do not say to the contrary.

Page 143

Here is nothing new but preparations for conquest, and approaches to bankruptcy; and the worst is, the former will advance the latter at least as much as impede it.  You say the Irish will live and die with your cousin:  I am glad they are so well disposed.  I have lived long enough to doubt whether all, who like to live with one, would be so ready to die with one.  I know it is not pleasant to have the time arrived when one looks about to see whether they would or not; but you are in a country of more sanguine complexion, and where I believe the clergy do not deny the laity the cup.

The Queen’s brother arrived yesterday; your brother, Prince John, has been here about a week; I am to dine with him to-day at Lord Dacre’s with the Chute.  Our burlettas are gone out of fashion; do the Atnicis come hither next year, or go to Guadaloupe, as is said?  I have been told that a lady Kingsland(211) at Dublin has a picture of Madame Grammont by Petitot; I don’t know who Lady Kingsland is, whether rich or poor, but I know there is nothing I would not give for such a picture.  I wish you would hunt it; and if the dame is above temptation, do try if you could obtain a copy in water colours, if there is any body in Dublin could execute it.

The Duchess of Portland has lately enriched me exceedingly; nine portraits of the court of Louis quatorze!  Lord Portland brought them over; they hung in the nursery at Bulstrode, the children amused themselves with shooting at them.  I have got them, but I will tell you no more, you don’t deserve it; you write to me as if I were your godfather:  “Honoured Sir, I am brave and well, my cousin George is well, we drink your health every night, and beg your blessing.”  This is the sum total of all your letters.  I thought in a new country, and with your spirits and humour, you could have found something to tell me.  I shall only ask you now when you return; but I declare I will not correspond with you:  I don’t write letters to divert myself, but in expectation of returns; in short, you are extremely in disgrace with me; I have measured my letters for sometime, and for the future will answer you paragraph for paragraph.  You yourself don’t seem to find letter-writing so amusing as to pay itself.  Adieu!

(211) Nicholas Barnewall, third Viscount Kingsland, married Mary, daughter of Frances Jennings, sister to the celebrated Sarah Duchess of Marlborough, by George Count Hamilton:  “by which marriage,” says Walpole, “the pictures I saw at Tarvey, Lord Kingsland’s house, came to him:  I particularly recollect the portraits of Count Hamilton and his brother Anthony, and two of Madame Grammont; one taken in her youth, the other in advanced age."-E.

Letter 110 To George Montagu, Esq.  Arlington Street, Feb. 2, 1762. (page 168)

I scolded you in my last, but I shall forgive you if you return soon to England, as you talk of doing; for though you are an abominable correspondent, and only write to beg letters, you are good company, and I have a notion I shall still be glad to see You.

Page 144

Lady Mary Wortley is arrived;(212) I have seen her; I think her avarice, her dirt, and her vivacity, are all increased.  Her dress, like her languages, is a gralimatias of several countries; the groundwork rags, and the embroidery nastiness.  She needs no cap, no handkerchief, no gown, no petticoat, no shoes.  An old black-laced hood represents the first; the fur of a horseman’s coat, which replaces the third, serves for the second; a dimity petticoat is deputy, and officiates for the fourth; and slippers act the part of the last.  When I was at Florence, and she was expected there, we were drawing Sortes Virgili-anas for her; we literally drew

Insanam vatem aspicies.

It would have been a stronger prophecy now, even than it was then.

You told me not a word of Mr. Macnaughton,(213) and I have a great mind to be as coolly indolent about our famous ghost in Cock-lane.  Why should one steal half an hour from one’s amusements to tell a story to a friend in another island?  I could send you volumes on the ghost, and I believe if I were to stay a little, I might send its life, dedicated to my Lord Dartmouth, by the ordinary of Newgate, its two great patrons.  A drunken parish clerk set it on foot out of revenge, the Methodists have adopted it, and the whole town of london think of nothing else.  Elizabeth Canning and the Rabbit-woman were modest impostors in comparison of this, which goes on Without saving the least appearances.  The Archbishop, who would not suffer the Minor to be acted in ridicule of the Methodists, permits this farce to be played every night, and I shall not be surprised if they perform in the great hall at Lambeth.  I went to hear it, for it is not an apparition, but an audition.  We set out from the Opera, changed our clothes at Northumberland-house, the Duke of York, Lady Northumberland, Lady Mary Coke, Lord Hertford, and I, all in one hackney coach, and drove to the spot:  it rained torrents; yet the lane was full of mob, and the house so full we could not get in; at last they discovered it was the Duke of York, and the company squeezed themselves into one another’s pockets to make room for us.  The house, which is borrowed, and to which the ghost has adjourned, is wretchedly small and miserable; when we opened the chamber, in which were fifty people, with no light but one tallow candle at the end, we tumbled over the bed of the child to whom the ghost comes, and whom they are murdering by inches in such insufferable heat and stench.  At the top of the room are ropes to dry clothes.  I asked, if we were to have rope-dancing between the acts?  We had nothing; they told us, as they would at a puppet-show, that it would not come that night till seven in the morning, that is, when there are only ’prentices and old women.  We stayed however till half an hour after one.  The Methodists have promised them contributions; provisions are sent in like forage, and all the taverns and alehouses in the neighbourhood

Page 145

make fortunes.  The most diverting part is to hear people wondering when it will be found out—­as if there was any thing to find out—­as if the actors would make their noises when they can be discovered.  However, as this pantomime cannot last much longer, I hope Lady Fanny Shirley will set up a ghost of her own at Twickenham, and then you shall hear one.  The Methodists, as Lord Aylesford assured Mr. Chute two nights ago at Lord Dacre’s have attempted ghosts three times in Warwickshire.  There, how good I am!

(212) Lady Mary Wortley Montagu remained at Venice till the death of Mr. Wortley in this year when she yielded to the solicitations of her daughter, the Countess of Bute, and, after an absence of two-and-twenty years, began her journey to England, where she arrived in October.-E.

(213) john Macnaughton, Esq. executed in December, 1761, for the murder of Miss Knox, daughter of Andrew Knox, Esq. of Prehen, member of parliament for Donegal. macnaughton, who had ruined himself by gambling, sought to replenish his fortune by marriage with this young lady, who had considerable expectations; but as her friends would not consent to their union, and he failed both in inveigling her into a secret marriage, and in compelling her by the suits which he commenced in the ecclesiastical courts to ratify an alleged promise of marriage, he revenged himself by shooting her while riding in a carriage with her father.-E.

Letter 111 To George Montagu, Esq.  Arlington Street, Feb. 6, 1762. (PAGE 169)

You must have thought me very negligent of your commissions; not only in buying your ruffles, but in never mentioning them; but my justification is most ample and verifiable.  Your letters of Jan. 2d arrived but yesterday with the papers of Dec. 29.  These are the mails that have so long been missing, and were shipwrecked or something on the Isle of Man.  Now you see it was impossible for me to buy you a pair of ruffles for the 18th of January, when I did not receive the orders till the 5th of February.

You don’t tell me a word (but that is not new to you) of Mr. Hamilton’s wonderful eloquence, which converted a whole House of Commons on the five regiments.  We have no such miracles here; five regiments might work such prodigies, but I never knew mere rhetoric gain above one or two proselytes at a time in all my practice.

We have a Prince Charles here, the Queen’s brother; he is like her, but more like the Hows; low, but well made, good eyes and teeth.  Princess Emily is very ill, has been blistered, and been blooded four times.

My books appear on Monday se’nnight:  if I can find any quick conveyance for them, you shall have them; if not, as you are returning soon, I may as well keep them for you.  Adieu!  I grudge every word I write to you.

Letter 112To The Rev. Mr. Cole.(214) Tuesday, Feb. 7, 1762. (PAGE 170)

Page 146

Dear Sir, The little leisure I have to-day will, I trust, excuse my saying very few words in answer to your obliging letter, of which no part touches me more than what concerns your health, which, however, I rejoice to hear is reestablishing itself.

I am sorry I did not save you the trouble of cataloguing Ames’s beads, by telling you that another person has actually done it, and designs to publish a new edition ranged in a different method.  I don’t know the gentleman’s name, but he is a friend of Sir William Musgrave, from whom I had this information some months ago.

You will oblige me much by the sight of the volume you mention.  Don’t mind the epigrams you transcribe on my father.  I have been inured to abuse on him from my birth.  It is not a quarter of an hour ago since, cutting the leaves of a new dab called Anecdotes of Polite Literature, I found myself abused for having defended my father.  I don’t know the author, and suppose I never shall, for I find Glover’s Leonidas is one of the things he admires—­and so I leave them to be forgotten together, Fortunati Ambo!

I sent your letter to Ducarel, who has promised me those poems—­I accepted the promise to get rid of him t’other day, when he would have talked me to death.

(214) A distinguished antiquary, better known by the assistance he gave to others than by publications of his own.  He was vicar of Burnham, in the county of Bucks; and died December 16th, 1782, in his sixty-eighth year.-E.

Letter 113 To The Rev. Henry Zouch.  Arlington Street, Feb. 13, 1762. (PAGE 171)

Sir, I should long ago have given myself the pleasure of writing to you, if I had not been constantly in hope of accompanying my letter with the Anecdotes of Painting, etc.; but the tediousness of engraving, and the roguery of a fourth printer, have delayed the publication week after week- for months:  truly I do not believe that there is such a being as an honest printer in the world.

I Sent the books to Mr. Whiston, who, I think you told me, was employed by you:  he answered, he knew nothing of the matter.  Mr. Dodsley has undertaken now to convey them to you, and I beg your acceptance of them:  it will be a very kind acceptance if you will tell me of any faults, blunders ,omissions, etc. as you observe them.  In a first sketch of this nature, I cannot hope the work is any thing like complete.  Excuse, Sir, the brevity Of this.  I am much hurried at this instant of publication, and have barely time to assure you how truly I am your humble servant.

Letter 114To The Earl Of Bute.(215) Strawberry Hill, Feb. 15, 1762. (PAGE 171)

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My lord, I am sensible how little time your lordship can have to throw away on reading idle letters of compliment; yet as it would be too great want of respect to your lordship, not to make some sort of reply to the note(216) you have done me the honour to send me, I thought I could couch what I have to say in fewer words by writing, than in troubling you with a visit, which might come unseasonably, and a letter you may read at any moment when you are most idle.  I have already, my lord, detained you too long by sending you a book, which I could not flatter myself you would turn over in such a season of business:  by the manner in ’Which you have considered it, you have shown me that your very minutes of amusement you try to turn to the advantage of your country.  It was this pleasing prospect of patronage to the arts that tempted me to offer you my pebble towards the new structure.  I am flattered that you have taken notice’ of the only ambition I have:  I should be more flattered if I could contribute to the smallest of your lordship’s designs for illustrating Britain.  The hint your lordship is so good as to give me for a work like Montfaucon’s Monuments de la Monarchie Francaise, has long been a subject that I have wished to see executed, nor, in point of materials, do I think it would be a very difficult one.  The chief impediment was the expense, too great for a private fortune.  The extravagant prices extorted by English artists is a discouragement to all public undertakings.  Drawings from paintings, tombs, etc. would be very dear.  To have them engraved as they ought to be, would exceed the compass of a much ampler fortune than mine; which though equal to my largest wish, cannot measure itself with the rapacity of our performers.

But, my lord, if his Majesty was pleased to command such a work, on so laudable an idea as your lordship’s, nobody would be more ready than myself to give his assistance.  I own I think I could be of use in it, in collecting or pointing out materials, and I would readily take any trouble in aiding, supervising, or directing such a plan.  Pardon me, my lord, if I offer no more; I mean, that I do not undertake the part of composition.  I have already trespassed too much upon the indulgence of the public; I wish not to disgust them with hearing of me, and reading me.  It is time for me to have done; and when I shall have completed, as I almost have, the History of the Arts on which I am now engaged, I did not purpose to tempt again the patience of mankind.  But the case is very different with regard to my trouble.  My whole fortune is from the bounty of the crown, and from the public:  it would ill become me to spare any pains for the King’s glory, or for the honour and satisfaction of my country; and give me leave to add, my lord, it would be an ungrateful return for the distinction with which your lordship has condescended to honour me if I withheld such trifling aid as mine, when it might in the least tend to adorn

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your lordship’s administration.  From me, my lord, permit me to say, these are not words of course or of compliment, this is not the language of flattery; your lordship knows I have no Views, perhaps knows that, insignificant as it is, my praise is never detached from my esteem:  and when you have raised, as I trust you will, real monuments of glory, the most contemptible characters in the inscription dedicated by your country, may not be the testimony of, my lord, etc.(217)

(215) Now first collected.

(216) This letter is in reply to the following note, which Walpole had, a few days before, received from the Earl of Bute:—­ “Lord Bute presents his compliments to Mr. Walpole, and returns him a thousand thanks for the very agreeable present he has made him.  In looking over it, Lord Bute observes Mr. Walpole has mixed several curious remarks on the customs, etc. of the times he treats of; a thing much wanted, and that has never yet been executed, except in parts, by Peck, etc.  Such a general work would be not only very agreeable, but instructive:  the French have attempted it; the Russians are about it; and Lord Bute has been informed Mr. Walpole is well furnished with materials for such a noble work."-E.

(217) The following passage, in a letter from Gray to Walpole, of the 28th of February, has reference to that work projected by Lord Bute:—­“I rejoice in the good disposition of our court, and in the propriety of their application to you:  the work is a thing so much to be wished; has so near a connexion with the turn of your studies and of your curiosity, and might find such ample materials among your hoards and in your head, that it will be a sin if you let it drop and come to nothing, or worse than nothing, for want of your assistance.  The historical part should be in the manner of Herault, a mere abridgment; a series of facts selected with judgment, that may serve as a clue to lead the mind along in the midst of those ruins and scattered monuments of art that time has spared.  This would be sufficient, and better than Montfaucon’s more diffuse narrative.”  Works, vol. iii. p. 293.  Before Walpole had received Gray’s letter, he had already adopted the proposed method; a large memorandum book of his being extant, with this title page, Collections for a History of the Manners, Customs, Habits, Fashions, Ceremonies, etc. of England; begun February 21, 1762, by Horace Walpole.”  For a specimen of it, see his Works, vol. v. p. 400.-E.

Letter 115 To George Montagu, Esq.  Arlington Street, Feb. 22, 1762. (PAGE 173)

My scolding does you so much good. that I will for the future lecture you for the most trifling peccadillo.  You have written me a very entertaining letter, and wiped out several debts; not that I will forget one of them if you relapse.

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As we have never had a rainbow to assure us that the world shall not be snowed to death, I thought last night was the general connixation.  We had a tempest of wind and snow for two hours beyond any thing I remember:  chairs were blown to pieces, the streets covered with tassels and glasses and tiles, and coaches and chariots were filled like reservoirs.  Lady Raymond’s house in Berkeley-square is totally unroofed; and Lord Robert Bertie, who is going to marry her, may descend into it like a Jupiter Pluvius.  It is a week of wonders, and worthy the note of an almanack-maker.  Miss Draycott, within two days of matrimony, has dismissed Mr. Beauclerc; but this is totally forgotten already in the amazement of a new elopement.  In all your reading, true or false, have you ever heard of a young Earl, married to the most beautiful woman in the world, a lord of the bedchamber, a general officer, and with a great estate, quitting every thing, resigning wife and world, and embarking for life in a pacquetboat with a Miss?  I fear your connexions will but too readily lead you to the name of the peer; it is Henry Earl of Pembroke,(218) the nymph Kitty Hunter.  The town and Lady Pembroke were but too much witnesses to this intrigue, last Wednesday, at a great ball at Lord Middleton’s.  On Thursday they decamped.  However, that the writer of their romance, or I, as he is a noble author, might not want materials, the Earl has left a bushel of letters behind him; to his mother, to Lord Bute, to Lord Ligonier, (the two last to resign his employments,) and to Mr. Stopford, whom he acquits of all privity to his design.  In none he justifies himself, unless this is a justification, that having long tried in vain to make his wife hate and dislike him, he had no way left but this, and it is to be hoped will succeed; and then it may not be the worst event that could have happened to her.  You may easily conceive the hubbub such an exploit must occasion.  With ghosts, elopements, abortive motions, etc., we can amuse ourselves tolerably well, till the season arrives for taking the field and conquering the Spanish West Indies.

I have sent you my books by a messenger; Lord Barrington was so good as to charge himself with them.  They barely saved their distance; a week later, and no soul could have read a line in them, unless I had changed the title-page, and called them the loves of the Earl of Pembroke and Miss Hunter.

I am sorry Lady Kingsland is so rich.  However, if the Papists should be likely to rise, pray disarm her of the enamel, and commit it to safe custody in the round tower at Strawberry.  Good night! mine is a life of letter-writing; I pray for a peace that I may sheath my Pen.

(218) Henry Herbert, tenth Earl of Pembroke, married, 13th March 1756, Lady Elizabeth Spencer, second daughter of Charles, third Duke of Marlborough, by whom he had a son, George, eleventh Earl, born 19th September 1759:  and some years afterwards, when he ran away with her, which he actually did, after they had lived for some time separated, a daughter, born in 1773, who died in 1784, unmarried.

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Letter 116 To Dr. Ducarel.(219) Feb. 24, 1762. (PAGE 174)

Sir, I am glad my books have at all amused you, and am much obliged to you for your notes and communications.  Your thought of an English Montfaucon accords perfectly with a design I have long had of attempting something of that kind, in which too I have been lately encouraged; and therefore I will beg you at your leisure, as they shall occur, to make me little notes of customs, fashions, and portraits, relating to our history and manners.  Your work on vicarages, I am persuaded, will be very useful, as every thing you undertake is, and curious.—­After the medals I lent Mr. Perry, I have a little reason to take it ill, that he has entirely neglected me; he has published a number, and sent it to several persons,-and never to me.(220) I wanted to see him too, because I know of two very curious medals, which I could borrow for him.  He does not deserve it at my hands, but I will not defraud the public of any thing valuable; and therefore, if he will call on me any morning, but a Sunday or Monday, between eleven and twelve, I will speak to him of them.—­With regard to one or two of your remarks, I have not said that real lions were originally leopards.  I have said that lions in arms, that is, painted lions, were leopards; and it is fact, and no inaccuracy.  Paint a leopard yellow, and it becomes a lion.—­You say, colours rightly prepared do not grow black.  The art would be much obliged for such a preparation.  I have not said that oil-colours would not endure with a glass; on the contrary, I believe they would last the longer.

I am much amazed at Vertue’s blunder about my marriage of Henry VII.; and afterwards, he said, “Sykes, knowing how to give names to pictures to make them sell,” called this the marriage of Henry VII.; and afterwards, he said, Sykes had the figures in an old picture of a church.  He must have known little Indeed, Sir, if he had not known how to name a picture that he had painted on purpose that he might call it so!  That Vertue, on the strictest examination, could not be convinced that the man was Henry VII., not being like any of his pictures.  Unluckily, he is extremely like the shilling, which is much more authentic than any picture of Henry VII.  But here Sykes seems to have been extremely deficient in his tricks.  Did he order the figure to be painted like Henry VII., and yet could not get it painted like him, which was the easiest part of the task?  Yet how came he to get the Queen painted like, whose representations are much scarcer than those of her husband? and how came Sykes to have pomegranates painted on her robe, only to puzzle the cause!  It is not worth adding, that I should much sooner believe the church was painted to the figures, than the figures to the church.  They are hard and antique:  the church in a better style, and at least more fresh.  If Vertue had made no better criticisms than these, I would never have taken so much trouble with his Ms. Adieu!

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(219) Librarian at Lambeth Palace, and a well-known antiquary.  He died in 1785.

(220) A series of English Medals, by Francis Perry, 4to. with thirteen plates.

Letter 117 To George Montagu, Esq.  Arlington Street, Feb. 25, 1762. (PAGE 175)

I sent you my gazette but two days ago; I now write to answer a kind long letter I have received from you since.

I have heard of my brother’s play several years ago; but I never understood that it was completed, or more than a few detached scenes.  What is become of Mr. Bentley’s play and Mr. Bentley’s epistle?

When I go to Strawberry, I will look for where Lord Cutts was buried; I think I can find it.  I am disposed to prefer the younger picture of Madame Grammont by Lely; but I stumbled at the price; twelve guineas for a copy in enamel is very dear.  Mrs. Vezey tells me, his originals cost sixteen, and are not so good as his copies.  I will certainly have none of his originals.  His, what is his name’!  I would fain resist his copy; I would more fain excuse myself for having it.  I say to myself, it Would be rude not to have it, now Lady Kingsland and Mr. Montagu have had so much trouble—­well—­“I think I must have it,” as my Lady Wishfort says, “Why does not the fellow take me?” Do try if he will not take ten; remember it is the younger picture:  and, oh! now you are remembering, don’t forget all my prints and a book bound in vellum.  There is-a thin folio too I want, called “Hibernica;"(221) it is a collection of curious papers, one a translation by Carew Earl of Totness:  I had forgot that you have no books in Ireland; however, I must have this, and your pardon for all the trouble I give you.

No news yet of the runaways:  but all that comes out antecedent to the escape, is more and more extraordinary and absurd.  The day of the elopement he had invited his wife’s family and other folk to dinner with her, but said he must himself dine at a tavern; but he dined privately in his own dressing-room, put on a sailor’s habit, and black wig, that he had brought home with him in a bundle, and threatened the servants he would murder them if they mentioned it to his wife.  He left a letter for her, which the Duke ’of Marlborough was afraid to deliver to her, and opened.  It desired that she would not write to him, as it would make him completely mad.  He desires the King would preserve his rank of major-general, as some time or other he may serve again.  Here is an indifferent epigram made on the occasion:  I send it to you, though I wonder any body could think it a subject to joke upon.

As Pembroke a horseman by most is accounted,
’Tis not strange that his lordship a Hunter has mounted.

Adieu! yours ever.

(221) Hibernica; or, some Ancient Pieces relating to Ireland,” published at Dublin in 1757, by Walter Harris.-E.

Letter 118 To The Countess Of Ailesbury.  Strawberry Hill, March 5, 1762. (PAGE 176)

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Madam, one of your slaves, a fine young officer, brought me two days ago a very pretty medal from your ladyship.  Amidst all your triumphs you do not, I see, forget your English friends, and it makes me extremely happy.  He pleased me still more, by assuring me that you return to England when the campaign opens.  I can pay this news by none so good as by telling you that we talk of nothing but peace.  We are equally ready to give law to the world, or peace.  MartiniCO has not made us intractable.  We and the new Czar are the best sort of people upon earth:  I am sure, Madam, you must adore him; he is ,,, to resign all his conquests, that you and Mr. Conway may be settled again at Park-place.  My Lord Chesterfield, with the despondence of an old man and the wit of a young one, thinks the French and Spaniards must make some attempt upon these islands, and is frightened lest we should not be so well prepared to repel invasions as to make them:  he says, “What will it avail us if we gain the whole world, and lose our own soul!”

I am here alone, Madam, and know nothing to tell you.  I came from town on Saturday for the worst cold I ever had in my life, and, what I care less to own even to myself, a cough.  I hope Lord Chesterfield will not speak more truth in what I have quoted, than in his assertion, that one need not cough if one did not please.  It has pulled me extremely, and you may believe I do not look very plump, when I am more emaciated that usual.  However, I have taken James’s powder for four nights, and have found great benefit from it; and if Miss Conway does not come back with soixante et douze quartiers, and the hauteur of a landgravine, I think I shall still be able to run down the precipices at Park-place with her-This is to be understood, supposing that we have any summer.  Yesterday was the first moment that did not feel like Thule:  not a glimpse of spring or green, except a miserable almond tree, half opening one bud, like my Lord PowersCOurt’S eye.

It will be warmer, I hope, by the King’s birthday, or the old ladies will catch their deaths.  There is a court dress to be instituted—­(to thin the drawing-rooms)—­stiff-bodied gowns and bare shoulders.  What dreadful discoveries will be made both on fat and lean!  I recommend to you the idea of Mrs. Cavendish, when half-stark; and I might fill the rest of my paper with such images, but your imagination will supply them; and you shall excuse me, though I leave this a short letter:  but I wrote merely to thank your ladyship for the medal, and, as you perceive, have very little to say, besides that known and lasting truth, how much I am Mr. Conway’s and your ladyship’s faithful humble servant.

Letter 119 To George Montagu, Esq.  Arlington Street, March 9, 1762. (PAGE 177)

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I am glad you have received my books safe, and are content with them.  I have little idea of Mr. Bentley’s; though his imagination is sufficiently Pindaric, nay obscure, his numbers are not apt to be so tuneful as to excuse his flights.  He should always give his wit, both in verse and prose, to somebody else to make up.  If any of his things are printed at Dublin, let me have them; I have no quarrel with his talents.  Your cousin’s behaviour has been handsome, and so was his speech, which is printed in our papers.  Advice is arrived to-day, that our troops have made good their landing at Martinico; I don’t know any of the incidents yet.

You ask me for an epitaph for Lord Cutts;(222) I scratched out the following lines last night as I was going to bed; if they are not good enough, pray don’t take them:  they were written in a minute, and you are under no obligation to like them.

Late does the muse approach to Cutts’s grave,
But ne’er the grateful muse forgets the brave;
He gave her subjects for the immortal lyre,
And sought in idle hours the tuneful choir;
Skilful to mount by either path to fame,
And dear to memory by a double name. 
Yet if ill known amid the Aonian groves,
His shade a stranger and unnoticed roves,
The dauntless chief a nobler band may join: 
They never die who conquer’d at the Boyne.

The last line intends to be popular in Ireland; but you must take care to be certain that he was at the battle of the Boyne; I conclude so; ind it should be specified the year, when you erect the monument-The latter lines mean to own his having been but a moderate poet, and to cover that mediocrity under his valour; all which is true.  Make the sculptor observe the steps.

I have not been at Strawberry above a month, nor ever was so long absent — but the weather has been cruelly cold and disagreeable.  We have not had a single dry week since the beginning of September; a great variety of weather, all bad.  Adieu!

(222) John Lord Cutts, a soldier of most hardy bravery in King William’s wars.  He died at Dublin in 1707.  Swift’s epigram on a Salamander alluded to this lord, who was called by the Duke of Marlborough the Salamander, on account of his always being in the thickest of the fire.  He published, in 1687, “Poetical Exercises, written upon several Occasions."-E.

Letter 120 To The Rev. Henry Zouch.  Arlington Street, March 20, 1762. (PAGE 178)

I am glad you are pleased, Sir, with my “Anecdotes of Painting;” but I doubt you praise me too much:  it was an easy task when I had the materials Collected. and I would not have the labours of forty years, which was Vertue’s case, depreciated in compliment to the work of four months, which is almost my whole merit.  Style is become, in a manner, a mechanical affair,—­and if to much ancient lore our antiquaries would add a little modern reading, to polish their language and correct their prejudices, I do not see why books of antiquities should not be made as amusing as writings on any other subject.  If Tom Herne had lived in the world, he might have writ an agreeable history of dancing; at least, I am sure that many modern volumes are read for no reason but for their being penned in the dialect of the age.

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I am much beholden to you, dear Sir, for your remarks; they shall have their due place whenever the work proceeds to a second edition, for that the nature of it as a record will ensure to it.  A few of your notes demand a present answer:  the Bishop of Imola pronounced the nuptial benediction at the marriage of Henry VII., which made me suppose him the person represented.(223)

Burnet, who was more a judge of characters than statues, mentions the resemblance between Tiberius and Charles ii.; but, as far as countenances went, there could not be a more ridiculous prepossession; Charles had a long face, with very strong lines, and a narrowish brow; Tiberius a very square face, and flat forehead, with features rather delicate in proportion.  I have examined this imaginary likeness, and see no kind of foundation for it.  It is like Mr. Addison’s travels, of which it was so truly said, he might have composed them without stirring out of England.  There are a kind of naturalists who have sorted out the qualities of the mind, and allotted particular turns of features and complexions to them.  It would be much easier to prove that every form has been endowed with every vice.  One has heard much of the vigour of Burnet himself; yet I dare to say, he did not think himself like to Charles ii.

I am grieved, Sir, to hear that your eyes suffer; take care of them; nothing can replace the satisfaction they afford:  one should hoard them, as the only friend that will not be tired of one when one grows old, and when one should least choose to depend on others for entertainment.  I most sincerely wish you happiness and health in that and every other instance.

(223) In the picture by Mabuse of the marriage of Henry VII.  Whatever was Mr. Zouch’s correction (in which Mr. Walpole seems to acquiesce), no alteration seem,- to have been made in the passage about the Bishop of Imola.  This curious picture is at Strawberry Hill, and should be in the Royal Collection.-C.

Letter 121 To George Montagu, Esq.  Arlington Street, March 22, 1762. (PAGE 179)

You may fancy what you -will, but the eyes of all the world are not fixed upon Ireland.  Because you have a little virtue, and a lord-lieutenant(224) that refuses four thousand pounds a-year, and a chaplain(225) of a lord-lieutenant that declines a huge bishopric, and a secretary(226) whose eloquence can convince a nation of blunderers, you imagine that nothing is talked of but the castle of Dublin.  In the first place, virtue may sound its own praises, but it never is praised; and in the next place, there are other feats besides self-denials; and for eloquence, we overflow with it.  Why, the single eloquence of Mr. Pitt, like an annihilated star, can shine many months after it has set.  I tell you it has conquered Martinico.(227) If you will not believe me, read the Gazette; read Moncton’s letter; there is more martial spirit

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in it than in half Thucydides, and in all the grand Cyrus.  Do you think Demosthenes or Themistocles ever raised the Grecian stocks two per cent. in four-and-twenty hours?  I shall burn all my Greek and Latin books; they are histories of little people.  The Romans never conquered the world, till they had conquered three parts of it, and were three hundred years about it; we subdue the globe in three campaigns; and a globe, let me tell you, as big again as It was in their days.  Perhaps you may think me proud; but you don’t know that I had some share in the reduction of Martinico; the express was brought to my godson, Mr. Horatio Gates; and I have a very good precedent for attributing some of the glory to myself — I have by me a love-letter, written during my father’s administration, by a journeyman tailor to my brother’s second chambermaid; his offers Honourable; he proposed matrimony, and to better his terms, informed her of his pretensions to a place; they were founded on what he called, “some services to the government.”  As the nymph could not read, she carried the epistle to the housekeeper to be deciphered, by which means it came into my hands.  I inquired what were the merits of Mr. Vice Crispin, was informed that he had made the suit of clothes for a figure of Lord Marr, that was burned after the rebellion.  I hope now you don’t hold me too presumptuous for pluming myself on the reduction of Martinico.  However, I shall not aspire to a post, nor to marry my Lady Bute’s Abigail.  I only trust my services to you as a friend, and do not mean under your temperate administration to get the list of Irish pensions loaded with my name, though I am godfather to Mr. Horatio Gates.

The Duchess of Grafton and the English have been miraculously preserved at Rome by being at loo, instead of going to a great concert, where the palace fell in, and killed ten persons and wounded several others.  I shall send orders to have an altar dedicated in the Capitol.

Pammio O. M.
Capitolino
Annam Ducisam de Grafton
Merito Incolumem.

I tell you of it now, because I don’t know whether it will be worth while to write another letter on purpose.  Lord Albemarle takes up the victorious grenadiers at Martinico, and in six weeks will conquer the Havannah.- Adieu!

(224) The Irish House of Commons having voted an address to the King to increase the salary of the lord-lieutenant, the Earl of Halifax declined having any augmentation.

(225) Dr. Crane, chaplain to the Earl of Halifax, had refused the bishopric of Elphin.

(226) Single-speech Hamilton.

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(227) Sir Richard Lyttelton, in a letter to Mr. Pitt, written from Rome on the 14th of April, says, " I cannot forbear congratulating you on the glorious conquest of Martinico, which, whatever effect it may have on England, astonishes all Europe, and fills every mouth with praise and commendation of the noble perseverance and superior ability of the planner of this great and decisive undertaking.  His Holiness told Mr. Weld, that, were not the information such as left no possibility of its being doubted, the news of our success could not have been credited; and that so great was the national glory and reputation all over the world, that he esteemed it the highest honour to be born an Englishman.  If this, sir, be the end of your administration, I shall only say finis coronet opus.”  Chatham Correspondence, vol. ii. p. 173-E.

Letter 122 To George Montagu, Esq.  Arlington Street, April 29, 1762. (PAGE 180)

I am most absurdly glad to hear you are returned well and safe, of which I have at this moment received your account from Hankelow, where you talk of staying a week.  However, not knowing the exact day of your departure, I direct this to Greatworth, that it may rather wait for you, than you for it, if it should go into Cheshire and not find you there.  As I should ever be sorry to give you any pain, I hope I shall not be the first to tell you of the loss of poor Lady Charlotte Johnstone,(228) who, after a violent fever of less than a week, was brought to bed yesterday morning of a dead child, and died herself at four in the afternoon.  I heartily condole with you, as I know your tenderness for all your family, and the regard you have for Colonel Johnstone.  The time is wonderfully sickly; nothing but sore throats, colds, and fevers.  I got rid of one of the worst of these disorders, attended with a violent cough, by only taking seven grains of James’s powder for six nights.  It was the first cough I ever had, and when coughs meet with so spare a body as mine, they are not apt to be so easily conquered.  Take great care of yourself, and bring the fruits of your expedition in perfection to Strawberry.  I shall be happy to see you there whenever you please.  I have no immediate purpose of settling there yet, as they are laying floors, which is very noisy, and as it is uncertain when the Parliament will rise, but I would go there at any time to meet you.  The town will empty instantly after the King’s birthday; and consequently I shall then be less broken in upon, which I know you do not like.  If, therefore, it suits you, any time you will name after the 5th of June will be equally agreeable; but sooner if you like it better.

We have little news at present, except a profusion of new peerages, but are likely I think to have much greater shortly.  The ministers disagree, and quarrel with as much alacrity as ever; and the world expects a total rupture between Lord Bute and the late King’s servants.  This comedy has been so often represented, it scarce interests one, especially one who takes no part, and who is determined to have nothing to do with the world, but hearing and seeing the scenes it furnishes.

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The new peers, I don’t know their rank, scarce their titles, are Lord Wentworth and Sir William Courtenay, Viscounts; Lord Egmont, Lord Milton, Vernon of Sudbury, old Foxiane, Sir Edward Montagu, Barons; and Lady Caroline Fox, a Baroness; the Duke of Newcastle is created Lord Pelham, with an entail to Tommy Pelham; and Lord Brudenel is called to the House of lords, as Lord Montagu.  The Duchess of Manchester was to have had the peerage alone, and wanted the latter title:  her sister, very impertinently, I think, as being the younger, objected and wished her husband Marquis of Monthermer.  This difference has been adjusted, by making Sir Edward Montagu Lord Beaulieu, and giving the title of the family to Lord Brudenel.  With pardon of your Cu-blood, I hold, that Lord Cardigan makes a very trumpery figure by so meanly relinquishing all Brudenelhood.  Adieu! let me know soon when you will keep your Strawberry tide.

P. S. Lord Anson is in a very bad way;(229) and Mr. Fox, I think, in not a much better.

(228) Sister of the Earl of Halifax.

(229) His lordship, who was at this time first lord of the admiralty, died on the 6th of June.-E.

Letter 123 To George Montagu, Esq.  Arlington Street, May 14, 1762. (page 181)

It is very hard, when you can plunge over head and ears in Irish claret, and not have even your heel vulnerable by the gout, that such a Pythagorean as I am should yet be subject to it!  It is not two years since I had it last, and here am I with My foot again upon cushions.  But I will not complain; the pain is trifling, and does little more than prevent my frisking about.  If I can bear the motion of the chariot, I shall drive to Strawberry tomorrow, for I had rather only look at verdure and hear my nightingales from the bow-window, than receive visits and listen to news.  I can give you no certain satisfaction relative to the viceroy, your cousin.  It is universally said that he has no mind to return to his dominions, and pretty much believed that he will succeed to Lord Egremont’s seals, who will not detain them long from whoever is to be his successor.

I am sorry you have lost another Montagu, the Duke of Manchester.(230) Your cousin Guilford is among the competitors for chamberlain to the Queen.  The Duke of Chandos, Lord Northumberland, and even the Duke of Kingston, are named as other candidates; but surely they will not turn the latter loose into another chamber of maids of honour!  Lord Cantelupe has asked to rise from vice-chamberlain, but met with little encouragement.  It is odd, that there are now seventeen English and Scotch dukes unmarried, and but seven out of twenty-seven have the garter.  It is comfortable to me to have a prospect of seeing Mr. Conway soon; the ruling part of the administration are disposed to recall our troops front Germany.  In the mean time our officers and their wives are embarked for Portugal-what must Europe think of us when we make wars and assemblies all over the world?

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I have been for a few days this week at Lord Thomond’s; by making a river-like piece of water, he has converted a very ugly spot into a tolerable one.  As I was so near, I went to see Audley Inn(231) once more; but it is only the monument now of its former grandeur.  The gallery is pulled down, and nothing remains but the great hall, and an apartment like a tower at each end.  In the church I found, still existing and quite fresh, the escutcheon of the famous Countess of Essex and Somerset.

Adieu!  I shall expect you with great pleasure the beginning of next month.

(230) Robert Montagu, third Duke of Manchester, lord-chamberlain to the Queen, died on the 10th of May.-E.

(231) In Essex; formerly the largest palace in England.  It was built out of the ruins of a dissolved monastery, near Saffron Walden, by Thomas, second son of Thomas Duke of Norfolk, who married the only daughter and heir of Lord Audley, chancellor to King Henry VIII.  This Thomas was summoned to parliament in Queen Elizabeth’s time as Lord Audley of Walden, and was afterwards created Earl of Suffolk by James I., to whom he was lord chancellor and lord high treasurer.  It was intended for a royal palace for that King, who, when it was finished, was invited to see it, and lodged there one night on his way to Newmarket; when, after having viewed it with astonishment, he was asked how he approved of it, he answered, “Very well; but troth, man, it is too much for a king, but it may do for a lord high treasurer;” and so left it upon the Earl’s hands.  It was afterwards purchased by Charles ii.; but, as he had never been able to pay the purchase-money, it was restored to the family by William iii.-E.

Letter 124 To The Rev. Mr. Cole. strawberry Hill, May 20, 1762. (page 183)

Dear Sir, You have sent me the most kind and obliging letter in the world, and I cannot sufficiently thank you for it; but I shall be very glad to have an opportunity of acknowledging it in person, by accepting the agreeable visit you are so good as to offer me, and for which I have long been impatient.  I should name the earliest day possible; but besides having some visits to make, I think it will bi more pleasant to you a few weeks hence (I mean, any time in July,) when the works, with which I am finishing my house, will be more advanced, and the noisy part, as laying floors and fixing wainscots, at an end, and which now make me a deplorable litter.  As you give me leave, I will send You notice.

I am glad my books amused you;(232) yet you, who are so much deeper an antiquarian, must have found more faults and emissions, I fear, than your politeness suffers you to reprehend; yet you will, I trust, be a little more severe.  We both labour, I will not say for the public (for the public troubles its head very little about our labours),. but for the few of posterity that shall be curious; and therefore, for their sake, you must assist me in making my works as complete as possible.  This sounds ungrateful, after all the trouble you have given yourself; but I say it to prove my gratitude, and to show you how fond I am of being corrected.

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For the faults of impression, they were owing to the knavery of a printer, who, when I had corrected the sheets, amused me with revised proofs, and never printed off the whole number, and then ran away.  This accounts, too, for the difference of the ink in various sheets, and for some other blemishes; though there are still enough of my own, which I must not charge on others.

Ubaldini’s book I have not, and shall be pleased to see it; but I cannot think of robbing your collection, and am amply obliged by the offer.  The Anecdotes of Horatio Palavacini are extremely entertaining.

In an Itinerary of the late Mr. Smart Lethiullier, I met the very tomb of Gainsborough this winter that you mention; and, to be secure, sent to Lincoln for an exact draught of it.  But what vexed me then, and does still, is, that by the defect at the end of the inscription, one cannot be certain whether he lived in CCC. or CCCC. as another C might have been there.  Have you any corroborating circumstance, Sir, to affix his existence to 1300 more than 1400?  Besides, I don’t know any proof of his having been architect of the church:  his epitaph only calls him Caementarius, which, I suppose, means mason.

I have observed, since my book was published, what you mention of the tapestry in Laud’s trial; yet as the Journals were by authority, and certainly cannot be mistaken, I have concluded that Hollar engraved his print after the restoration.  Mr. Wight, clerk of the House of Lords, says, that Oliver placed them in the House of Commons.  I don’t know on what grounds he says so.  I am, Sir, with great gratitude, etc.

(232) Anecdotes of Painting.

Letter 125 To George Montagu, Esq.  Strawberry Hill, May 25, 1762. (page 184)

I am diverted with your anger at old Richard.  Can you really suppose that I think it any trouble to frank a few covers for you?  Had I been with you, I should have cured you and your whole family in two nights with James’s powder.  If you have any remains of the disorder, let me beg you to take seven or eight grains when you go to bed:  if you have none, shall I send you some?  For my own part, I am released -again, though I have been tolerably bad, and one day had the gout for several hours in my head.  I do not like such speedy returns.  I have been so much confined that I could not wait on Mrs. Osborn, and I do not take it unkindly that she will not let me have the prints without fetching them.  I met her, that is, passed her, t’other day as she was going to Bushy, and was sorry to see her look much older.

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Well! tomorrow is fixed for that phenomenon, the Duke of Newcastle’s resignation.(233) He has had a parting lev`ee; and as I suppose all bishops are prophets, they foresee that he will never come into place again, for there was but one that had the decency to take leave of him after crowding his rooms for forty years together; it was Cornwallis.  I hear not even Lord Lincoln resigns.  Lord Bute succeeds to the treasury, and is to have the garter too On Thursday with Prince William.  Of your cousin I hear no more mention, but that he returns to his island.  I cannot tell you exactly even the few changes that are to be made, but I can divert you with a bon-mot, which they give to my Lord Chesterfield.  The new peerages being mentioned, somebody said, “I suppose there will be no duke made,” he replied, “Oh yes, there is to be one.”—­“Is? who?”—­“Lord Talbot:  he is to be created Duke Humphrey, and there is to be no table kept at court but his.”  If you don’t like this, what do you think of George Selwyn, who asked Charles Boone if it is true that he is going to be married to the fat rich Crawley?  Boone denied it.  “Lord!” said Selwyn, “I thought you were to be Patrick Fleming on the mountain, and that gold and silver you were counting!” * * * *

P.S.  I cannot help telling you how comfortable the new disposition of the court is to me-, the King and Queen are settled for good and all at Buckingham-house, and are stripping the other palaces to furnish it.  In short, they have already fetched pictures from Hampton Court, which indicates their never living there; consequently Strawberry Hill will remain in possession of its own tranquillity, and not become a cheesecake house to the palace.  All I ask of Princes is, not to live within five miles of me.

(233) The Duke of Newcastle, finding himself, on the subject of a pecuniary aid to the King of Prussia, only supported in the council by the Duke of Devonshire and Lord Hardwicke, resigned on the 26th of May, and Lord Bute became prime minister.-E.

Letter 126 To George Montagu, Esq.  Strawberry Hill, Wednesday night, June 1. (page 185)

Since you left Strawberry, the town (not the King of Prussia) has beaten Count Daun, and made the peace, but the benefits of either have not been felt beyond Change Alley.  Lord Melcomb is dying(234) of a dropsy in his stomach,’ and Lady Mary Wortley of a cancer in her breast.(235)

Mr. Hamilton was here last night, and complained of your not visiting him.  He pumped me to know if Lord Hertford has not thoughts of the crown of Ireland, and was more than persuaded that I should go with him:  I told him what was true, that I knew nothing of the former; and for the latter, that I would as soon return with the King of the Cherokees.(236) When England has nothing that can tempt me, it would be strange if Ireland had.  The Cherokee Majesty dined here yesterday at Lord Macclesfield’s, where the Clive sang to them and the mob; don’t imagine I was there, but I heard so at my Lady Suffolk’s.

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We have tapped a little butt of rain to-night, but my lawn is far from being drunk yet.  Did not you find the Vine in great beauty?  My compliments to it, and to your society.  I only write to enclose the enclosed.  I have consigned your button to old Richard.  Adieu!

(234) Lord Melcombe died on the 28th of July:  upon which event the title became extinct.-E.

(235) Lady Mary Wortley Montagu died on the 21st August, in the seventy-third year of her age.-E.

(236) Three Cherokee Indian chiefs arrived this month in London, from South Carolina, and became the lions of the day.-E.

Letter 127 To George Montagu, Esq.  Strawberry Hill, June 8, 1762. (page 185)

Well, you have had Mr. Chute.  I did not dare to announce him to you, for he insisted on enjoying all your ejaculations.  He gives me a good account of your health and spirits, but does not say when you come hither.  I hope the General, as well as your brother John, know how welcome they would be, if they would accompany you.  I trust it will be before the end of this month, for the very beginning of July I am to make a little visit to Lord Ilchester, in Somersetshire, and I should not like not to see you before the middle or end of next month.

Mrs. Osborn has sent me the prints; they are woful; but that is my fault and the engraver’s, not yours, to whom I am equally obliged; you don’t tell me whether Mr. Bentley’s play was acted or not, printed or not.

There is another of the Queen’s brothers come over.  Lady Northumberland made a pompous festino for him t’other night; not only the whole house, but the garden, was illuminated, and was quite a fairy scene.  Arches and pyramids of lights alternately surrounded the enclosure; a diamond necklace of lamps edged the rails and descent, with a spiral obelisk of candles on each hand; and dispersed over the lawn were little bands of kettle-drums, clarionets, flutes, etc., and the lovely moon, who came without a card.  The birthday was far from being such a show; empty and unfine as possible.  In truth, popularity does not make great promises to the new administration, and for fear it should hereafter be taxed with changing sides, it lets Lord Bute be abused every day, though he has not had time to do the least wrong.  His first levee was crowded.  Bothmer, the Danish minister, said, “La chaleur est excessive!” George Selwyn replied, “Pour se mettre au froid, il faut aller chez Monsieur le Duc de Newcastle!” There was another George not quite so tender.  George Brudenel was passing by; somebody in the mob said, “What is the matter here?” Brudenel answered, “Why, there is a Scotchman got into the treasury, and they can’t get him out.”  The Archbishop, conscious of not having been at Newcastle’s last levee, and ashamed of appearing at Lord Bute’s, first pretended he had been going by in his way from Lambeth, and, Upon inquiry, found it was Lord Bute’s levee, and so had thought he might as well go in-I am glad he thought he might as well tell it.

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The mob call Buckingham-house, Holyrood-house; in short, every thing promises to be like times I can remember.  Lord Anson is dead; poor Mrs. Osborn will not break her heart; I should think Lord Melcomb will succeed to the admiralty.  Adieu!

Letter 128 To The Rev. Mr. Cole.  Strawberry Hill, July 29, 1762. (page 186)

Sir, I fear you will have thought me neglectful of the visit you was so good as to offer me for a day or two at this place; the truth is, I have been in Somersetshire on a visit, which was protracted much longer than I intended.  I am now returned, and shall be glad to see you as soon as you please, Sunday or Monday next, if you like either, or any other day you will name.  I cannot defer the pleasure of seeing you any longer, though to my mortification you will find Strawberry Hill with its worst looks-not a blade of grass!  My workmen too have disappointed me; they have been in the association for forcing their masters to raise their wages, and but two are yet returned—­so you must excuse litter and shavings.

Letter 129 To The Countess Of Ailesbury.  Strawberry Hill, July 31, 1762 (page 187)

Madam, Magnanimous as the fair soul of your ladyship is, and plaited with superabundanCe of Spartan fortitude, I felicitate my own good fortune who can circle this epistle with branches of the gentle olive, as well as crown it with victorious laurel.  This pompous paragraph, Madam, which in compliment to my Lady Lyttelton I have penned in the style of her lord, means no more, them that I wish you joy of the castle of Waldeck,(237) and more joy on the peace, which I find every body thinks is concluded.  In truth, I have still my doubts; and yesterday came news, which, if my Lord Bute does not make haste, may throw a little rub in the way.  In short, the Czar is dethroned.  Some give the honour to his wife; others, who add the little circumstance of his being murdered too, ascribe the revolution to the Archbishop of Novogorod, who, like other priests, thinks assassination a less affront to Heaven than three Lutheran churches.  I hope the latter is the truth; because, in the honeymoonhood of Lady Cecilia’s tenderness, I don’t know but she might miscarry at the thought of a wife preferring a crown, and scandal says a regiment of grenadiers, to her husband.

I have a little meaning in naming Lady Lyttelton and Lady Cecilia, who I think are at Park-place.  Was not there a promise that you all three would meet Mr. Churchill and Lady Mary here in the beginning of August!  Yes, indeed was there, and I put in my claim.  Not confining your heroic and musical ladyships to a day or a week; my time is at your command:  and I wish the rain was at mine; for, if you or it do not come soon, I shall not have a leaf left.  Strawberry is browner than Lady Bell Finch.

I was grieved, Madam, to miss seeing you in town on Monday, particularly as I wished to settle this party.  If you will let me know when it will be your pleasure, I will write to my sister.

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(237) At the taking of which Mr. Conway had assisted.

Letter 130 To The Earl Of Strafford.  Strawberry Hill, August 5, 1762. (page 187)

My dear lord, As you have correspondents of better authority in town, I don’t pretend to send you great events, and I know no small ones.  Nobody talks of any thing under a revolution.  That in Russia alarms me,.lest Lady Mary should fall in love with the Czarina, who has deposed her Lord Coke, and set out for Petersburgh.  We throw away a whole summer in writing Britons and North Britons; the Russians change sovereigns faster than Mr. Wilkes can choose a motto for a paper.  What years were spent here in controversy on the abdication of King James, and the legitimacy of the Pretender!  Commend me to the Czarina.  They doubted, that is, her husband did, whether her children were of genuine blood-royal.  She appealed to the Preobazinski guards, excellent casuists; and, to prove Duke Paul heir to the crown, assumed it herself.  The proof was compendious and unanswerable.

I trust you know that Mr. Conway has made a figure by taking the castle of Waldeck.  There has been another action to Prince Ferdinand’s advantage, but no English were engaged.

You tantalize me by talking of the verdure of Yorkshire; we have not had a teacupfull of rain till to-day for these six weeks.  Corn has been reaped that never wet its lips; not a blade of grass; the leaves yellow and falling as in the end of October.  In short, Twickenham is rueful; I don’t believe Westphalia looks more barren.  Nay, we are forced to fortify ourselves too.  Hanworth was broken open last night, though the family was all there.  Lord Vere lost a silver standish, an old watch, and his writing-box with fifty pounds in it.  They broke it open in the park, but missed a diamond ring which was found, and the telescope, which by the weight of the case they had fancied full of money.  Another house in the middle of Sunbury has had the same fate.  I am mounting cannon on my battlements.

Your chateau, I hope, proceeds faster than mine.  The carpenters are all associated for increase of wages; I have had but two men at work these five weeks.  You know, to be sure, that Lady Mary Wortley cannot live.  Adieu, my dear Lord!

Letter 131 To The Rev. Mr. Cole.  Strawberry Hill, August 5, 1762. (page 188)

Sir, As I had been dilatory in accepting your kind offer of coming hither, I proposed it as soon as I returned.  As we are so burnt, and as my workmen have disappointed me, I am not quite sorry that I had not the pleasure of seeing you this week.  Next week I am obliged to be in town on business.  If you please, therefore, we will postpone our meeting till the first of September; by which time, I flatter myself we shall be green, and I shall be able to show you my additional apartment to more advantage.  Unless you forbid me, I shall expect you, Sir, the very beginning of next month.  In the mean time, I will only thank you for the obliging and curious notes you have sent me, which will make a great figure in my second edition.

Page 164

Letter 132 To George Montagu, Esq.  Strawberry Hill, August 10, 1762. (page 189)

I have received your letter from Greatworth since your return, but I do not find that you have got one, which I sent you to the Vine, enclosing one directed for you:  Mr. Chute says you did mention hearing from me there.  I left your button too in town with old Richard to be transmitted to you.  Our drought continues, though we have had one handsome storm.  I have been reading the story of Phaeton in the Metamorphoses; it is a picture of Twickenham.  Ardet Athos, taurusque Cilix, etc.; Mount Richmond burns, parched is Petersham:  Parnassusque biceps, dry is Pope’s grot, the nymphs of Clievden are burning to blackmoors, their faces are already as glowing as a cinder, Cycnus is changed into a swan:  quodque suo Tagus amne vehit, fluit ignibus aurum; my gold fishes are almost molten.  Yet this conflagration is nothing to that in Russia; what do you say to a czarina mounting her horse, and marching at the head of fourteen thousand men, with a large train of artillery, to dethrone her husband?  Yet she is not the only virago in that country; the conspiracy was conducted by the sister of the Czar’s mistress, a heroine under twenty!  They have no fewer than two czars now in coops-that is, supposing these gentle damsels have murdered neither of them.  Turkey Will become a moderate government; one must travel to frozen climates if one chooses to see revolutions in perfection.  Here’s room for meditation even to madness:”  the deposed Emperor possessed Muscovy, was heir to Sweden, and the true heir of Denmark; all the northern crowns centered in his person; one hopes he is in a dungeon, that is, one hopes he is not assassinated.  You cannot crowd more matter into a lecture of morality, than is comprehended in those few words.  This is the fourth czarina that you and I have seen:  to be sure, as historians, we have not passed our time ill.  Mrs. Anne Pitt, who, I suspect, envies the heroine of twenty a little, says, “The Czarina has only robbed Peter to pay Paul;” and I do not believe that her brother, Mr. William Pitt, feels very happy, that he cannot immediately despatch a squadron to the Baltic to reinstate the friend of’ the King of Prussia.  I cannot afford to live less than fifty years more; for so long, I suppose, at least, it will be before the court of Petersburgh will cease to produce amusing scenes.  Think of old Count Biren, former master of that empire, returning to Siberia, and bowing to Bestucheff, whom he may meet on the road from thence.  I interest myself now about nothing but Russia; Lord Bute must be sent to the Orcades before I shall ask a question in English politics; at least I shall expect that Mr. Pitt, at the head of the Preobazinski guards, will seize the person of the prime minister for giving up our conquests to the chief enemy of this nation.

My pen is in such a sublime humour, that it can scarce condescend to tell you that Sir Edward Deering is going to marry Polly Hart, Danvers’s old mistress; and three more baronets, whose names nobody knows, but Collins, are treading in the same steps.

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My compliments to the House of’ Montagu-upon my word I congratulate the General and you, and your viceroy, that you escaped being deposed by the primate of Novogorod.

Letter 133 To The Rev. Mr. Cole.  Strawberry Hill, August 19, 1762. (page 190)

Sir, I am very sensible of the obligations I have to you and Mr. Masters, and ought to make separate acknowledgments to both; but, not knowing how to direct to him, I must hope that you will kindly be once more the channel of our correspondence; and that you will be so good as to convey to him an answer to what you communicated from him to me, and in particular my thanks for the most obliging offer he has made me of a picture of Henry VII.; of which I will by no means rob him.  My view in publishing the Anecdotes was, to assist gentlemen in discovering the hands of pictures they possess:  and I am sufficiently rewarded when that purpose is answered.  If there is another edition, the mistake in the calculation of the tapestry shall be rectified, and any others, which any gentleman will be so good as to point out.  With regard to the monument of Sir Nathaniel Bacon, Vertue certainly describes it as at Culford; and in looking Into the place to which I am referred, in Mr. Master’s History of Corpus Christi College, I think he himself allows in the note, that there is such a monument at Culford.  Of Sir Balthazar Gerber there are several different prints.  Nich.  Lanicre purchasing pictures at the King’s sale, is undoubtedly a mistake for one of his brothers—­I cannot tell now whether Vertue’s mistake or my own.  At Longleafe is a whole-length of Frances Duchess of Richmond, exactly such as Mr. Masters describes, but in oil.  I have another whole-length of the same duchess, I believe by Mytins, but younger than that at Longleafe.  But the best picture of her is in Wilson’s life of King James, and very diverting indeed.  I Will not trouble you, Sir, or Mr. Masters, with any more at present; but, repeating my thanks to both, will assure you that I am, etc.

Letter 134 To The Hon. H. S. Conway.  Strawberry Hill, Sept. 9, 1762. (page 191)

Nondurn laurus erat, longoque decentia crine
Tempera cingebat de qualibet arbore Phoebus.(238)

This is a hint to you, that Phoebus, who was certainly your superior, could take up with a chestnut garland, or any crown he found, you must have the humility to be content without laurels, when none are to be had:  you have hurried far and near for them, and taken true pains to the last in that old nursery-garden Germany, and by the way have made me shudder with your last journal:  but you must be easy with qu`alibet other arbore; you must come home to your own plantations.  The Duke of Bedford is gone in a fury to make peace, for he cannot be even pacific with temper; and by this time I suppose the Duke de Nivernois is unpacking his portion of olive dans la rue de Suffolk-street.  I say, I suppose- -for I do not, like my friends at Arthur’s, whip into my postchaise to see every novelty.  My two sovereigns, the Duchess of Grafton and Lady Mary Coke, are arrived, and yet I have seen neither Polly nor Lucy.  The former, I hear, is entirely French; the latter as absolutely English.

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Well! but if you insist on not doffing your cuirass, you may find an opportunity of wearing it.  The storm thickens.  The city of London are ready to hoist their standard; treason is the bon-ton at that end of the town; seditious papers pasted up at every corner:  nay, my neighbourhood is not unfashionable; we have had them at Brentford and Kingston.  The Peace is the cry; but to make weight, they throw in all the abusive ingredients they can collect.  They talk of your friend the Duke of Devonshire’s resigning; and, for the Duke of Newcastle, it puts him so much in mind of the end of Queen Anne’s time, that I believe he hopes to be minister again for another forty years.

In the mean time. there are but dark news from the Havannah; the Gazette, who would not fib for the world, says, we have lost but four officers; the World, who is not quite so scrupulous, says, our loss is heavy.  But whit shocking notice to those who have Harry Conways there!  The Gazette breaks off with saying, that they were to storm the next day!  Upon the whole, it is regarded as a preparative to worse news.

Our next monarch was christened last night, George Augustus Frederick; the Princess, the Duke of Cumberland, and the Duke of Mecklenburgh, sponsors,; the ceremony performed by the Bishop of London.  The Queen’s bed, magnificent, and they say in taste, was placed in the great drawing-room:  though she is not to see company in form, yet it looks as if they had intended people should have been there, as all who presented themselves were admitted, which were very few, for it had not been notified; I suppose to prevent too great a crowd:  all I have heard named, besides those in waiting, were the Duchess of Queensbury, Lady Dalkeith, Mrs. Grenville, and about four more ladies.

My Lady Ailesbury is abominable:  she settled a party to come hither, and Put it off a month; and now she has been here and seen my cabinet, she ought to tell you what good reason I had not to stir.  If she has not told you that it is the finest, the prettiest, the newest and the oldest thing in the world, I will not go to Park-place on the 20th, as I have promised.  Oh! but tremble you may for me, though you will not for yourself—­all my glories were on the point of vanishing last night in a flame!  The chimney of the new gallery, which chimney is full of deal-boards, and which gallery is full of shavings was on fire at eight o’clock.  Harry had quarrelled with the other servants, and would not sit in the kitchen; and to keep up his anger, had lighted a vast fire in the servants’ hall, which is under the gallery.  The chimney took fire; and if Margaret had not smelt it with the first nose that ever a servant had, a quarter of an hour had set us in a blaze.  I hope you are frightened out of your senses for me:  if you are not, I will never live in a panic for three or four years for you again.

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I have had Lord March and the Rena(239) here for One night, which does not raise my reputation in the neighbourhood, and may usher me again for a Scotchman into the North Briton.(240) I have had too a letter from a German that I never saw, who tells me, that, hearing by chance how well I am with my Lord Bute, he desires me to get him a place.  The North Briton first recommended me for an employment, and has now given me interest -.it the backstairs.  It is a notion, that whatever is said of one, has generally some kind of foundation:  surely I am a contradiction to this maxim! yet, was I of consequence enough to be remembered, perhaps posterity would believe that I was a flatterer!  Good night!  Yours ever.

(238) “The laurel was not yet for triumphs born, But every green, alike by Phoebus worn, Did, with promiscuous grace, his flowing locks adorn.”  Garth.-E.

(239) A fashionable courtesan.

(240) The favourable opinion given by Mr. Walpole of the abilities of the Scotch in the Royal and Noble Authors, first drew upon him the notice of the North Briton. ("The Scotch are the most accomplished nation in Europe; the nation to which, if any one country is endowed with a superior partition of sense, I should be inclined to give the preference in that particular.”]

Letter 135 To George Montagu, Esq.  Strawberry Hill, Sept. 24, 1762. (page 192)

I was disappointed at not seeing you, as you had given me hopes, but shall he glad to meet the General, as I think I shall, for I go to town on Monday to restore the furniture of my house, which has been painted; and to stop the gaps as well as I can, which I have made by bringing away every thing hither; but as long as there are auctions, and I have money or hoards, those wounds soon close.

I can tell you nothing of your dame Montagu and her arms; but I dare to swear Mr. Chute can.  I did not doubt but you would approve Mr. Bateman’s, since it has changed its religion; I converted it from Chinese to Gothic.  His cloister of founders, which by the way is Mr. Bentley’s, is delightful; I envy him his old chairs, and the tomb of Bishop Caducanus; but I do not agree with you in preferring the Duke’s to Stowe.  The first is in a greater style, I grant, but one always perceives the mesalliance, the blood of Bagshot-heath will never let it be green, If Stowe had but half so many buildings as it has, there would be too many; but that profusion that glut enriches, and makes it look like a fine landscape of Albano; one figures oneself in Tempe or Daphne.  I never saw St. Leonard’s-hill; would you spoke seriously of buying it! one could stretch out the arm from one’s postchaise, and reach you when one would.

Page 168

I am here all in ignorance and rain, and have seen nobody these two days since I returned from Park-place.  I do not know whether the mob hissed my Lord Bute at his installation,(241) as they intended, or whether my lord Talbot drubbed them for it.  I know nothing of the peace, nor of the Havannah; but I could tell you much of old English engravers, whose lives occupy me at present.  On Sunday I am to dine with your prime minister Hamilton; for though I do not seek the world, and am best pleased when quiet here, I do not refuse its invitations, whet) it does not press one to pass above a few hours with it.  I have no quarrel to it, when it comes not to me, nor asks me to lie from home.  That favour is only granted to the elect, to Greatworth, and a very few more spots.  Adieu!

(241) The ceremony of the installation of Prince William and Lord Bute, as knights of the garter, took place at Windsor on the 22d of September.-E.

Letter 136 To The Hon. H. S. Conway.  Strawberry Hill, Sept. 28, 1762. (page 193)

To my sorrow and your wicked joy, it is a doubt whether Monsieur de Nivernois will shut the temple of Janus.  We do not believe him quite so much in earnest as the dove(242) we have sent, who has summoned his turtle to Paris.  She sets out the day after to-morrow, escorted, to add gravity to the embassy, by George Selwyn.  The stocks don’t mind this journey of a rush, but draw in their horns every day.  We can learn nothing of the Havannah, though the axis of which the whole treaty turns.  We believe, for we have never seen them, that the last letters thence brought accounts of great loss, especially by the sickness.  Colonel Burgoyne(243) has given a little fillip to the Spaniards, and shown them, that though they can take Portugal from the Portuguese, it will not be entirely so easy to wrest it from the English.  Lord Pulteney,(244) and my nephew,(245) Lady Waldegrave’s brother, distinguished themselves.  I hope your hereditary Prince is recovering of the wounds in his loins; for they say he is to marry Princess Augusta.

Lady Ailesbury has told you, to be sure, that I have been at Park place.  Every thing there is in beauty; and, I should think, pleasanter than a campaign in Germany.  Your Countess is handsomer than Fame; your daughter improving every day; your plantations more thriving than the poor woods about Marburg and Cassel.  Chinese pheasants swarm there.  For Lady Cecilia Johnston, I assure you, she sits close upon her egg, and it will not be her fault if she does not hatch a hero.  We missed all the glories of the installation, and all the faults, and all the frowning faces there.  Not a knight was absent but the lame and the deaf.

Your brother, Lady Hertford, and Lord Beauchamp, are gone from Windsor into Suffolk.  Henry,(246) who has the genuine indifference of a Harry Conway, would not stir from Oxford for those pageants.  Lord Beauchamp showed me a couple of his letters, which have more natural humour and cleverness than is conceivable.  They have the ease and drollery of a man of parts who has lived long in the world—­and he is scarce seventeen!

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I am going to Lord Waldegrave’s for a few days, and, when your Countess returns from Goodwood, am to meet her at Churchill’s.  Lord Strafford, who has been terribly alarmed about my lady, mentions, with great pleasure, the letters he receives from you.  His neighbour and cousin, Lord Rockingham, I hear, is one of the warmest declaimers at Arthur’s against the present system.  Abuse continues in much plenty, but I have seen none that I thought had wit enough to bear the sea.  Good night.  There are satiric prints enough to tapestry Westminster-hall.

Stay a moment:  I recollect telling you a lie in my last, which, though of no consequence, I must correct.  The right reverend midwife, Thomas Secker, archbishop, did christen the babe, and not the Bishop of London, as I had been told by matron authority.  Apropos to babes:  have you read Rousseau on Education?  I almost got through a volume at Park-place, though impatiently; it has mor(-tautology than any of his works, and less eloquence.  Sure he has writ more sense and more nonsense than ever any man did of both!  All I have yet learned from this work is, that one should have a tutor for one’s son to teach him to have no ideas, in order that he may begin to learn his alphabet as he loses his maidenhead.

Thursday noon, 30th.

lo Havannah!  Lo Albemarle!  I had sealed my letter, and given it to Harry for the post, when my Lady Suffolk sent me a short note from Charles Townshend, to say the Havannah surrendered on the 12th of August, and that we have taken twelve ships of the line in the harbour.  The news came late last night.  I do not know a particular more.  God grant no more blood be shed!  I have hopes again of the peace.  My dearest Harry, now we have preserved you to the last moment, do take care of yourself.  When one has a whole war to wade through, it is not worth while to be careful in any one battle; but it is silly to fling one’s self away in the last.  Your character is established; Prince Ferdinand’s letters are full of encomiums on you; but what will weigh more with you, save yourself for another war, which I doubt you will live to see, and in which you may be superior commander, and have space to display your talents.  A second in service is never remembered, whether the honour of the victory be owing to him -. or be killed.  Turenne would have a very short paragraph, if the Prince of Cond`e had been general when he fell.  Adieu!

(242) The Duke of Bedford, then ambassador at Paris.

(243) Colonel, afterwards General Burgoyne, with the Compte de Lippe, commanded the British troops sent to the relief of Portugal.

(244) Only son of William Pulteney, Earl of Bath.  He died before his father.

(245) Edward, only son of sir Edward Walpole.  He died in 1771.

(246) ,Henry Seymour Conway, second son of Francis, Earl and afterwards Marquis of Hertford.

Letter 137 To The Rev. Mr. Cole.  Strawberry Hill, Sept. 30, 1762. (page 195)

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It gives me great satisfaction that Strawberry Hill pleased you enough to make it a second visit.  I could name the time instantly, but you threaten me with coming so loaded with presents, that it will look mercenary, not friendly, to accept your visit.  If your chaise is empty, to be sure I shall rejoice to hear it at my gate about the 22d of this next month:  if it is crammed, though I have built a convent, I have not so much of the monk in me as not to blush-nor can content myself with praying to our Lady of Strawberries to reward you.

I am greatly obliged to you for the accounts from Gothurst.  What treasures there are still in private seats, if one knew where to hunt them!  The emblematic picture of Lady Digby is like that at Windsor, and the fine small one at Mr. Skinner’s.  I should be curious to see the portrait of Sir Kenelm’s father; was not he the remarkable Everard Digby?(247) How singular too is the picture of young Joseph and Madam Potiphar!  His Mujora—­one has heard of Josephs that did not find the lady’s purse any hinderance to Majora.

You are exceedingly obliging, in offering to make an index to my prints, Sir; but that would be a sad way of entertaining you.  I am antiquary and virtuoso enough myself not to dislike such employment, but could never think it charming enough to trouble any body else with.  Whenever you do me the favour of coming hither, you will find yourself entirely at liberty to choose your own amusements—­if you choose a bad one, and in truth there is not very good, you must blame yourself, while you know I hope that it would be my wish that you did not repent your favours to, Sir, etc.

(247) Executed in 1605, as a conspirator in the Gunpowder Plot.-E.

Letter 138 To The Right Hon. Lady Hervey.  Strawberry Hill, Oct. 1, 1762. (page 196)

Madam, I hope you are as free from any complaint, as I am sure you are full of joy.  Nobody partakes more of your satisfaction for Mr. Hervey’s(248) safe return; and now he is safe, I trust you enjoy his glory:  for this is a wicked age; you are one of those un-Lacedaemonian mothers, that are not content unless your children come off with all their limbs.  A Spartan countess would not have had the confidence of my Lady Albemarle to appear in the drawing-room without at least one of her sons being knocked on the head.(249) However, pray, Madam, make my compliments to her; one must conform to the times, and congratulate people for being happy, if they like it.  I know one matron, however, with whom I may condole; who, I dare swear, is miserable that she has not one of her acquaintance in affliction, and to whose door she might drive with all her sympathizing greyhounds to inquire after her, and then to Hawkins’s, and then to Graham’s, and then cry over a ball of rags that she is picking, and be sorry for poor Mrs. Such-a-one, who has lost an only son!

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When your ladyship has hung up all your trophies, I will come and make you a visit.  There is another ingredient I hope not quite disagreeable that Mr. Hervey has brought with him, un-Lacedaemonian too, but admitted among the other vices of our system.  If besides glory and riches they have brought us peace, I will make a bonfire myself, though it should be in the mayoralty of that virtuous citizen Mr. Beckford.  Adieu, Madam!

(248) General William Hervey, youngest son of Lady Hervey; who had just returned from the Havannah.

(249) Lady Anne Lenox, Countess of Albemarle, had three sons present at the taking of the Havannah.  The eldest, Lord Albemarle, commanded the land forces; the second, afterwards Lord Keppel, was then captain of a man of war; and the third was colonel of a regiment.

Letter 139 To The Hon. H. S. Conway.  Arlington Street, Oct. 4, 1762. (page 196)

I am concerned to hear you have been so much out of order, but should rejoice your sole command(250) disappointed you, if this late cannonading business(251) did not destroy all my little prospects.  Can one believe the French negotiators are sincere, when their marshals are so false?  What vexes me more is to hear you seriously tell your brother that you are always unlucky, and lose all opportunities of fighting.  How can you be such a child?  You cannot, like a German, love fighting for its own sake.  No:  you think of the mob of London, who, if you had taken Peru, would forget you the first lord mayor’s day, or for the first hyena that comes to town.  How can one build on virtue and on fame too?  When do they ever go together?  In my passion, I could almost wish you were as worthless and as great as the King of Prussia!  If conscience is a punishment, is not it a reward too?  Go to that silent tribunal, and be satisfied with its sentence.

I have nothing new to tell you.  The Havannah is more likely to break off the peace than to advance it.(252) We are not in a humour to give up the world; anza, are much more disposed to conquer the rest of it.  We shall have some commanding here, I believe, if we sign the peace.  Mr. Pitt, from the bosom of his retreat, has made Beckford mayor.  The Duke of Newcastle, if not taken in again, will probably end his life as he began it-at the head of a mob.  Personalities and abuse, public and private, increase to the most outrageous degree, and yet the town is at the emptiest.  You may guess what will be the case in a month.  I do not see at all into the storm:  I do not mean that there will not be a great majority to vote any thing; but there are times when even majorities cannot do all they are ready to do.  Lord Bute has certainly great luck, which is something in politics, whatever it is in logic:  but whether peace or war, I would not give him much for the place he will have this day twelvemonth.  Adieu!  The watchman goes past one in the morning; and as I have nothing better than reflections and conjectures to send you, I may as well go to bed.

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(250) During Lord Granby’s absence from the army in Flanders, the command in chief had devolved on Mr. Conway.

(251) The affair of Bucker-Muhl.

(252) On this subject, Sir Joseph Yorke, in a letter to Mr. Michell of the 9th of October, Observes, “All the world is struck with the noble capture of the Havannah, which fell into our hands on the Prince of Wales’s birthday, as a just punishment upon the Spaniards for their unjust quarrel with us, and for the supposed difficulties they have raised in the negotiation for peace.  By what I hear from Paris, my old acquaintance Grimaldi is the cause of the delay in signing the preliminaries, insisting upon points neither France nor England would ever consent to grant, such as the liberty of fishing at Newfoundland; a point we should not dare to yield, as Mr. Pitt told them, though they were masters of the Tower of London.  What effect the taking of the Havannah will have is uncertain; for the Spaniards have nothing to give us in return."-E.

Letter 140 To George Montagu, Esq.  Strawberry Hill, Oct 14, 1762. (page 197)

You will not make your fortune in the admiralty at least; your King’s cousin is to cross over and figure in with George Grenville; the latter takes the admiralty, Lord Halifax the seals—­still, I believe, reserving Ireland for pocket-money; at least no new viceroy is named. mr.  Fox undertakes the House of Commons—­and the peace—­and the war—­for if we have the first, we may be pretty sure of the second.(253)

you see Lord Bute totters; reduced to shift hands so often, it does not look like much stability.  The campaign at Westminster will be warm.  When Mr. Pitt can have such a mouthful as Lord Bute, Mr. Fox, and the peace, I do not think three thousand pounds a year will stop it.  Well, I shall go into my old corner under the window, and laugh I had rather sit by my fire here; but if there are to be bull-feasts, one would go and see them, when one has a convenient box for nothing, and is very indifferent about the cavalier combatants.  Adieu!

(253) In a letter to Mr. Pitt, of this day’s date, Mr. Nuthall gives the ex-minister the following account of these changes:- -"Mr. Fox kissed hands yesterday, as one of the cabinet; Lord Halifax, as secretary of state, and Mr. George Grenville, as first lord of the admiralty.  Mr. Fox’s present state of health, it was given out, would not permit him to take the seals.  Charles Townshend was early yesterday morning sent for by Lord Bute, who opened to him this new system, and offered him the secretaryship of the plantations and board of trade, which he not only refused, but refused all connexion and intercourse whatever with the new counsellor, and spoke out freely.  He was afterwards three times in with the King, to whom be was more explicit, and said things that did not a little alarm.”  Chatham Correspondence, vol. ii. p. 181.-E.

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Letter 141 To The Hon. H. S. Conway.  Strawberry Hill, Oct. 29, 1762. (page 198)

You take my philosophy very kindly, as it was meant; but I suppose you smile a little in your sleeve to hear me turn moralist.  Yet why should not I?  Must every absurd young man prove a foolish old one?  Not that I intend, when the latter term is quite arrived, to profess preaching; nor should, I believe, have talked so gravely to you, if your situation had not made me grave.  Till the campaign is ended, I shall be in no humour to smile.  For the war, when it will be over, I have no idea.  The peace is a jack o’ lanthorn that dances before one’s eyes, is never approached, and at best seems ready to lead some follies into a woful quagmire.

As your brother was in town, and I had my intelligence from him, I concluded you would have the same, and therefore did not tell you of this last resolution, which has brought Mr. Fox again upon the scene.  I have been in town but once since; yet learned enough to confirm the opinion I had conceived, that the building totters, and that this last buttress will but push on its fall.  Besides the clamorous opposition already encamped, the world talks of another, composed of names not so often found in a mutiny.  What think you of the great Duke,(254) and the little Duke,(255) and the old Duke,(256) and the Derbyshire Duke,(257) banded together against the favourite?(258) If so, it proves the Court, as the late Lord G * * * wrote to the mayor of Litchfield, will have a majority in every thing but numbers.  However, my letter is a week old before I write it:  things may have changed since last Tuesday.  Then the prospect was des plus gloomy.  Portugal at the eve of being conquered—­Spain preferring a diadem to the mural crown of the Havannah—­a squadron taking horse for Naples, to see whether King Carlos has any more private bowels than public, whether he is a better father than brother.  If what I heard yesterday be true, that the Parliament is to be put off till the 24th, it does not look as if they were ready in the green-room, and despised catcalls.

You bid me send you the flower of brimstone, the best things published in this season of outrage.  I should not have waited for orders, if I had met with the least tolerable morsel.  But this opposition ran stark mad at once, cursed, swore, called names, and has not been one minute cool enough to have a grain of wit.  Their prints are gross, their papers scurrilous:  indeed the authors abuse one another more than any body else.  I have not seen a single ballad or epigram.  They are as seriously dull as if the controversy was religious.  I do not take in a paper of either side; and being very indifferent, the only way of being impartial, they shall not make me pay till they make me laugh.  I am here quite’ alone, and shall stay a fortnight longer, unless the Parliament prorogued lengthens my holidays.  I

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do not pretend to be so indifferent, to have so little curiosity, as not to go and see the Duke of Newcastle frightened for his country—­the only thing that never yet gave him a panic.  Then I am still such a schoolboy, that though I could guess half their orations, and know all their meaning, I must go and hear Caesar and Pompey scold in the Temple of Concord.  As this age is to make such a figure hereafter, how the Gronoviuses and Warburtons would despise a senator that deserted the forum when the masters of the world harangued!  For, as this age is to be historic, so of course it will be a standard of virtue too; and we, like our wicked predecessors the Romans, shall be quoted, till our very ghosts blush, as models of patriotism and magnanimity.  What lectures will be read to poor children on this era!  Europe taught to tremble, the great King humbled, the treasures of Peru diverted into the Thames, Asia subdued by the gigantic Clive! for in that age men were near seven feet high; France suing for peace at the gates of Buckingham-house, the steady wisdom of the Duke of Bedford drawing a circle round the Gallic monarch, and forbidding him to pass it till he had signed the cession of America; Pitt more eloquent than Demosthenes, and trampling on proffered pensions like-I don’t know who; Lord Temple sacrificing a brother to the love of his country; Wilkes as spotless as Sallust, and the Flamen Churchill(259) knocking down the foes of Britain with statues of the gods!-Oh!  I am out of breath with eloquence and prophecy, and truth and lies; my narrow chest was not formed to hold inspiration!  I must return to piddling with my painters:  those lofty subjects are too much for me.  Good night!

P. S. I forgot to tell -you that Gideon, who is dead worth more than the whole land of canaan, has left the reversion of all his milk and honey, after his son and daughter and their children, to the Duke of Devonshire, without insisting on his taking the name, or even being circumcised.  Lord Albemarle is expected home in December.  My nephew Keppel(260) is Bishop of Exeter, not of the Havannah, as you may imagine, for his mitre was promised the day before the news came.

(254) Of Cumberland.

(255) Of Bedford.

(256) Of Newcastle.

(257) Of Devonshire.

(258) The Earl of Bute.

(259) Charles Churchill the poet.

(260) Frederick Keppel, youngest brother of George Earl of Albemarle, who commanded at taking the Havannah, had married Laura, eldest daughter of Sir Edward Walpole.

Letter 142 To The Right Hon. Lady Hervey.  Strawberry Hill, Oct. 31, 1762. (page 200)

Madam, It is too late, I fear, to attempt acknowledging the honour Madame de Chabot,(261) does me; and yet, if she is not gone, I would fain not appear ungrateful.  I do not know where she lives, or I would not take the liberty again of making your ladyship my penny-post.  If she is gone, you will throw my note into the fire.

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Pray, Madam, blow your nose with a piece of flannel-not that I believe it will do you the least good—­but, as all wise folks think it becomes them to recommend nursing and flannelling the gout, imitate them; and I don’t know any other way of lapping it up, when it appears in the person of a running cold.  I will make it a visit on Tuesday next, and shall hope to find it tolerably vented.

P. S. You must tell me all the news when I arrive, for I know nothing of what is passing.  I have only seen in the papers, that the cock and hen doves(262) that went to Paris not having been able to make peace, there is a third dove(263) just flown thither to help them.

(261) Lady Mary Chabot, daughter of the Earl of Stafford.

(262) The Duke and Duchess of Bedford.

(263) Mr. Hans Stanley.

letter 143 To George Montagu, Esq.  Arlington Street, Thursday, Nov. 4, 1762. (page 200)

The events of these last eight days will make you stare.  This day se’nnight the Duke of Devonshire came to town, was flatly refused an audience, and gave up his key.  Yesterday Lord Rockingham resigned, and your cousin Manchester was named to the bedchamber.  The King then in council called for the book, and dashed out the Duke of Devonshire’s name.  If you like spirit, en Voila!  Do you know I am sorry for all this?  You will not suspect me of tenderness for his grace of Devonshire, nor, recollecting how the whole house of Cavendish treated me on my breach with my uncle, will any affronts, that happen to them, call forth my tears.  But I think the act too violent and too serious, and dipped in a deeper dye than I like in politics.  Squabbles, and speeches, and virtue, and prostitution, amuse one sometimes; less and less indeed every day; but measures, from which you must advance and cannot retreat, is a game too deep; one neither knows who may be involved, nor where may be the end.  It is not pleasant.  Adieu!

Letter 144 To The Rev. Mr. Cole.  Strawberry Hill, Nov. 13, 1762. (page 201)

Dear sir, You will easily guess that my delay in answering your obliging letter, was solely owing to my not knowing whither to direct to you.  I waited till I thought you may be returned home.  Thank you for all the trouble you have given, and do give yourself for me; it is vastly more than I deserve.

Duke Richard’s portrait I willingly wave, at least for the present, till one can find out who he is.  I have more curiosity about the figures of Henry VII. at Christ’s College.  I shall be glad some time or other to visit them, to see how far either of them agree with his portrait in my picture of his marriage.  St. Ethelreda was mighty welcome.

We have had variety of weather since I saw you, but I fear none of the patterns made your journey more agreeable.

Letter 145 To George Montagu, Esq.  Arlington Street, Dec. 20, 1762. (page 201)

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As I am far from having been better since I wrote to you last, my postchaise points more and more to Naples.  Yet Strawberry, like a mistress, As oft as I descend the hill of health, Washes my hold away.  Your company would have made me decide much faster, but I see I have little hopes of that, nor can I blame you; I don’t use so rough a word with regard to myself, but to your pursuing your amusement, which I am sure the journey Would be.  I never doubted your kindness to me one moment; the affectionate manner in which you offered, three weeks ago, to accompany me to Bath, Will never be forgotten.  I do not think my complaint very serious:  for how can it be so, when it has never confined me a whole day?  But my mornings are so bad, and I have had so much more pain this last week, with restless nights, that I am convinced it must not be trifled with.  Yet I think Italy would be the last thing I would try, if it were ’not to avoid politics:  yet I hear nothing else.  The court and opposition both grow more violent every day from the same cause; the victory of the former.  Both sides torment me with their affairs, though it is so plain I do not care a straw about either.  I wish I -were great enough to say, as a French officer on the stage at Paris said to the pit, “Accordez vous, canaille!” Yet to a man without ambition or interestedness, politicians are canaille.  Nothing appears to me more ridiculous in my life than my having ever loved their squabbles, and that at an age when I loved better things too!  My poor neutrality, which thing I signed with all the world, subjects me, like other insignificant monarchs on parallel occasions, to affronts.  On Thursday I was summoned to Princess Emily’s loo.  Loo she called it, politics it was.  The second thing she said to me was, “How were you the two long days?” “Madam, I was only there the first.”  “And how did you vote!” “Madam, I went away.”  “Upon my word, that was carving well.”  Not a very pleasant apostrophe to one who certainly never was a time-server!  Well, we sat down.  She said, “I hear Wilkinson is turned out, and that Sir Edward Winnington is to have his place; who is he?” addressing herself to me, who sat over against her.  “He is the late Mr. Winnington’s heir, Madam.”  “Did you like that Winnington?” “I can’t but say I did, Madam.”  She shrugged her shoulders, and continued; “Winnington originally was a great Tory; what do you think he was when he died?” “Madam, I believe what all people are in place.”  Pray, Mr. Montagu, do you perceive any thing rude or offensive in this?  Hear then:  she flew into the most outrageous passion, Coloured like scarlet, and said, “None of your wit; I don’t understand joking on those subjects; what do you think your father would have said if he had heard you say so?  He Would have murdered you, and you would have deserved it.”  I was quite Confounded and amazed; it was impossible to explain myself across a loo-table, as she is so deaf:  there was no making a reply

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to a woman and a Princess, and particularly for me, who have made it a rule, when I must converse with royalties, to treat them with the greatest respect, since it is all the court they will ever have from me.  I said to those on each side of me, “What can I do?  I cannot explain myself now.”  Well, I held my peace, and so did she for a quarter of an hour.  Then she began with me again, examined me on the whole debate, and at last asked me directly, which I thought the best speaker, my father or Mr. Pitt.  If possible, this was more distressing than her anger.  I replied, it was impossible to compare two men so different:  that I believed my father was more a man of business than Mr. Pitt.  “Well, but Mr. Pitt’s language?” “Madam,” said I, “I have always been remarkable for admiring Mr. Pitt’s language.”  At last, this unpleasant scene ended; but as we were going away, I went close to her, and said, “Madam, I must beg leave to explain myself; your royal highness has seemed to be very angry with me, and I am sure I did not mean to offend you:  all I intended to say was, that I supposed Tories were Whigs when they got places!” “Oh!” said she, “I am very much obliged to you; indeed, I was very angry.”  Why she was angry, or what she thought I meaned, I do not know to this moment, unless she supposed that I would have hinted that the Duke of Newcastle and the opposition were not men of consummate virtue, and had lost their places out of principle.  The very reverse was at that time in my head; for I meaned that the Tories would be just as loyal as the Whigs, when they got any thing by it.

You will laugh at my distresses, and in truth they are little serious yet they almost put me out of humour.  If your cousin realizes his fair words to you, I shall be very good-humoured again.  I am not so morose as to dislike my friends for being in place; indeed, if they are in great place, my friendship goes to sleep like a paroli at pharaoh, and does not wake again till their deal is over.  Good night!

Letter 146 To The Rev. Mr. Cole.  Arlington Street, Dec. 23, 1762. (page 203)

Dear sir, You are always abundantly kind to me, and pass my power of thanking you.  You do nothing but give yourself trouble and me presents.  My cousin Calthorpe is a great rarity, and I think I ought, therefore, to return him to you; but that would not be treating him like a relation, or you like a friend.  My ancestor’s epitaph, too, was very agreeable to me.

I have not been at Strawberry Hill these three weeks.  My maid is ill there, and I have not been well myself with the same flying gout in my stomach and breast, of which you heard me complain a little in the summer.  I am much persuaded to go to a warmer climate, which often disperses these unsettled complaints.  I do not care for it, nor can determine till I see I grow worse:  if I do (To, I hope it will not be for long; and you shall certainly hear again before I set out.

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Letter 147 To The Hon. H. S. Conway.

Strawberry Hill, Feb. 28, 1763. (page 203)

Your letter of the 19th seems to postpone your arrival rather than advance it; yet Lady Ailesbury tells me that to her you talk of being here in ten days.  I wish devoutly to see you, though I am not departing myself; but I am impatient to have your disagreeable function(264) at an end, and to know that you enjoy Yourself after such fatigues, dangers, and ill-requited services.  For any public satisfaction you will receive in being at home, you must not expect much.  Your mind was not formed to float on the surface of a mercenary world.  My prayer (and my belief) is, that you may always prefer what you always have preferred, your integrity to success.  You will then laugh, as I do, at the attacks and malice of faction or ministers.  I taste of both; but, as my health is recovered, and My Mind does not reproach me, they will perhaps only give me an opportunity, which I should never have sought, of proving that I have some virtue—­and it will not be proved in the way they probably expect.  I have better evidence than by hanging out the tattered ensigns of patriotism.  But this and a thousand other things I shall reserve for our meeting.  Your brother has pressed me much to go with him, if he goes, to Paris.(265) I take it very kindly, but have excused myself, though I have promised either to accompany him for a short time at first, or to go to him if he should have any particular occasion for me:  but my resolution against ever appearing in any public light is unalterable.  When I wish to live less and less in the world here, I cannot think of mounting a new stage at Paris.  At this moment I am alone here, while every body is balloting in the House of Commons.  Sir John Philips proposed a commission of accounts, which has been converted into a select committee of twenty-one, eligible by ballot.  As the ministry is not predominant in the affections of mankind, some of them may find a jury elected that will not be quite so complaisant as the House is in general when their votes are given openly.  As many may be glad of this opportunity, I shun it; for I should scorn to do any thing in secret, though I have some enemies that are not quite so generous.

You say you have seen the North Briton, in which I make a capital figure.  Wilkes, the author, I hear, says, that if he had thought I should have taken it so well, he would have been damned before he would have written it-but I am not sore where I am not sore.

The theatre of Covent-garden has suffered more by riots than even Drury-lane.(266) A footman of Lord Dacre has been hanged for murdering the butler.  George Selwyn had great hand in bringing him to confess it.  That Selwyn should be a capital performer in a scene of that kind is not extraordinary:  I tell it you for the strange coolness which the young fellow, who was but nineteen, expressed:  as he was writing his confession, “I murd—­” he stopped, and asked, “how do you spell murdered?”

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Mr. Fox is much better than at the beginning of the winter; and both his health and power seem to promise a longer duration than people expected.  Indeed, I think the latter is so established, that poor Lord Bute would find it more difficult to remove him, than he did his predecessors, and may even feel the effects of the weight he has made over to him; for it is already obvious that Lord Bute’s lev`ee is not the present path to fortune.  Permanence is not the complexion of these times—­a distressful circumstance to the votaries of a court, but amusing to us spectators.  Adieu!

(264) The re-embarkation of the British troops from Flanders after the peace.

(265) An ambassador.

(266.  In January, there was a riot at Drury-lane, in consequence of the managers refusing admittance at the end of the third act of a play for half-price; when the glass lustres were broken and thrown upon the stage, the benches torn up, and the performance put a stop to.  The same scene was threatened on the following evening, but was prevented by Garrick’s consenting to give admittance at half-price after the third act, except during the first winter of a new pantomime.  At Covent-garden, the redress demanded having been acceded to, no disturbance took place on that occasion; but a more serious riot happened on the 24th of February, in consequence of a demand for full prices at the opera of Artaxerxes.  The mischief done was estimated at not less than two thousand pounds.-E.

Letter 148 To George Montagu, Esq.  Arlington Street, March 29, 1763. (page 205)

Though you are a runaway, a fugitive, a thing without friendship or feeling, though you grow tired of your acquaintance in half the time you intended, I will not quite give you up:  I will write to you once a quarter, just to keep up a connexion that grace may catch at, if it ever proposes to visit you.  This is my plan, for I have little or nothing to tell you.  The ministers only cut one another’s throats instead of ours.  They growl over their prey like two curs over a bone, which neither can determine to quit; and the whelps in opposition are not strong enough to beat either way, though like the species, they will probably hunt the one that shall be worsted.  The saddest dog of all, Wilkes, shows most spirit.  The last North Briton is a masterpiece of mischief.  He has written a dedication too to an old play, the Fall of Mortimer, that is wormwood; and he had the impudence t’other day to ask Dyson if he was going to the treasury; “Because,” said he, “a friend of mine has dedicated a play to Lord Bute, and ’It is usual to give dedicators something; I wish you would put his lordship in mind of it.”  Lord and Lady Pembroke are reconciled, and live again together.(267) Mr. Hunter would have taken his daughter too, but upon condition she should give back her settlement to Lord Pembroke and her child:  she replied nobly, that she did not trouble

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herself about fortune, and would willingly depend on her father; but for her child, she had nothing left to do but to take care of that, and would not part with it; so she keeps both, and I suppose will soon have her lover again too, for T’other sister(268) has been sitting to Reynolds, who by her husband’s direction has made a speaking picture.  Lord Bolingbroke said to him, “You must give the eyes something of Nelly O’Brien, or it will not do.”  As he has given Nelly something of his wife’s, it was but fair to give her something of Nelly’s, and my lady will not throw away the present!

I am going to Strawberry for a few days, pour faire mes piques.  The gallery advances rapidly.  The ceiling is Harry the Seventh’s chapel in proprid persona; the canopies are all placed; I think three months will quite complete it. — I have bought at Lord Granville’s sale the original picture of Charles Brandon and his queen; and have to-day received from France a copy of Madame Maintenon, which with my La Vali`ere, and copies of Madame Grammont, and of the charming portrait of the Mazarine at the Duke of St. Alban’s, is to accompany Bianca Capello and Ninon L’Enclos in the round tower.  I hope now there will never be another auction, for I have not an inch of space, or a farthing left.  As I have some remains of paper, I will fill it up with a song that I made t’other day in the postchaise, after a particular conversation that I had with Miss Pelham the night before at the Duke of Richmond’s.

Theadvice.

The business of women, dear Chloe, is pleasure,
And by love ev’ry fair one her minutes should measure. 
“Oh! for love we’re all ready,” you cry.—­very true;
Nor would I rob the gentle fond god of his due. 
Unless in the sentiments Cupid has part,
And dips in the amorous transport his dart
’Tis tumult, disorder, ’tis loathing and hate;
Caprice gives it birth, and contempt is its fate.

“True passion insensibly leads to the joy,
And grateful esteem bids its pleasures ne’er cloy. 
Yet here you should stop-but your whimsical sex
Such romantic ideas to passion annex,
That poor men, by your visions and jealousy worried,
To Dyinphs less ecstatic, but kinder, are hurried. 
In your heart, I consent, let your wishes be bred;
Only take care your heart don’t get into your head.

Adieu, till Midsummer-day!

(267) See ant`e, p. 175, Letter 117.-E.

(268) Lady Bolingbroke and the Countess of Pembroke were sisters.-E.

Letter 149 To George Montagu, Esq.  Arlington Street, April 6, 1763. (page 206)

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You will pity my distress when I tell you that Lord Waldegrave has got the smallpox, and a bad sort.  This day se’nnight, in the evening, I met him at Arthur’s:  he complained to me of the headache, and a sickness in the stomach.  I said, “My dear lord, why don’t you go home, and take James’s powder you will be well in the morning.”  He thanked me, said he was glad I had put him in mind of it, and he would take my advice.  I sent in the morning; my niece said he had taken the powder, and that James thought he had no fever, but that she found him very low.  As he had no fever, I had no apprehension.  At eight o’clock on Friday night, I was told abruptly at Arthur’s, that Lord Waldegrave had the small-pox.  I was excessively shocked, not knowing if the powder was good or bad for it.  I went instantly to the house; at the door I was met by a servant of Lady Ailesbury, sent to tell me that Mr. Conway was arrived.  These two opposite strokes of terror and joy overcame me so much, that when I got to Mr. Conway’s I could not speak to him, but burst into a flood of tears.  The next morning, Lord Waldegrave hearing I was there, desired to speak to me alone.  I should tell you, that the moment he knew it was the small-pox, he signed his will.  This has been the unvaried tenor of his behaviour, doing just what is wise and necessary, and nothing more.  He told me, he knew how great the chance was against his living through that distemper at his age.  That, to be sure, he should like to have lived a few years longer; but if he did not, he should submit patiently.  That all he desired was, that if he should fail, we would do our utmost to comfort his wife, who, he feared was breeding, and who, he added, was the best woman in the world.  I told him he could not doubt our attention to her, but that at present all our attention was fixed on him.  That the great difference between having the small-pox young, or more advanced in years, consisted in the fear of the latter; but that as I had so often heard him say, and now saw, that he had none of those fears, the danger of age was considerably lessened.  Dr. Wilmot says, that if any thing saves him, it will be his tranquillity.  To my comfort I am told, that James’s powder has probably been a material ingredient towards his recovery.  In the mean time, the universal anxiety about him is incredible.  Dr. Barnard, the master of Eton, who is in town for the holidays, says, that, from his situation, he is naturally invited to houses of all ranks and parties, and that the concern is general in all.  I cannot say so much of my lord, and not do a little justice to my niece too.  Her tenderness, fondness, attention, and courage are surprising.  She has no fears to become her, nor heroism for parade.  I could not help saying to her, “There never was a nurse of your age had such attention.”  She replied, “There never was a nurse of my age had such an object.”  It is this astonishes one, to see so much beauty sincerely devoted to a man so unlovely in his person; but if Adonis was sick, she could not stir seldomer out of his bedchamber.  The physicians seem to have little hopes, but, as their arguments are not near so strong as their alarms, I own I do not give it up, and yet I look on it in a very dangerous light.

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I know nothing of news and of the world, for I go to Albemarle-Street early in the morning, and don’t come home till late at night.  Young Mr. Pitt has been dying of a fever in Bedfordshire.  The Bishop of Carlisle,(269) whom I have appointed visiter of Strawberry, is gone down to him.  You will be much disappointed if you expect to find the gallery near finished.  They threaten me with three months before the gilding can be begun. twenty points are at a stand by my present confinement, and I have a melancholy prospect of being forced to carry my niece thither the next time I go.  The Duc de Nivernois, in return for a set of the Strawberry editions, has sent me four seasons, which, I conclude, he thought good, but they shall pass their whole round in London, for they have not even the merit of being badly old enough for Strawberry.  Mr. Bentley’s epistle to Lord Melcomb has been published in a magazine.  It has less wit by far than I expected from him, and to the full as bad English.  The thoughts are old Strawberry phrases; so are not the panegyrics.  Here are six lines written extempore by Lady Temple, on Lady Mary Coke, easy and genteel, and almost true: 

She sometimes laughs, but never loud;
She’s handsome too, but somewhat proud: 
At court she bears away the belle;
She dresses fine, and figures well: 
With decency she’s gay and airy;
Who can this be but Lady Mary?

There has been tough doings in Parliament about the tax on cider; and in the Western counties the discontent is so great, that if Mr. Wilkes will turn patriot-hero, or patriot-incendiary in earnest, and put himself at their head, he may obtain a rope of martyrdom before the summer is over.  Adieu!  I tell you my sorrows, because, if I escape them, I am sure nobody will rejoice more.

(269) Dr. Charles Lyttelton, consecrated Bishop of Carlisle in 1762, in the room of Dr. Osbaldiston, translated to the see of London.-E.

Letter 150 To George Montagu, Esq.  Arlington Street, Friday night, late. [April 8, 1763.. (page 208)

Amidst all my own grief, and all the distress which I have this moment left, I cannot forget you, who have so long been my steady and invariable friend.  I cannot leave it to newspapers and correspondents to tell you my loss.  Lord Waldegrave died to-day.  Last night he had some glimmerings of hope.  The most desponding of the faculty flattered us a little.  He himself joked with the physicians, and expressed himself in this engaging manner:  asking what day of the week it was; they told him Thursday:  “Sure,” said he, “it is Friday.”  “No, my lord, indeed it is Thursday.”  “Well,” said he, “see what a rogue this distemper makes one; I want to steal nothing but a day.”  By the help of opiates, with which, for two or three days, they had numbed his sufferings, he rested well.  This morning he had no worse symptoms.  I told Lady Waldegrave, that as no

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material alteration was expected before Sunday, I would go to dine at Strawberry, and return in time to meet the physicians in the evening; in truth, I was worn out with anxiety and attendance, and wanted an hour or two of fresh air.  I left her at twelve, and had ordered dinner at three that I might be back early.  I had not risen from table when I received an express from Lady Betty Waldegrave, to tell me that a sudden change had happened, that they had given him James’s powder, but that they feared it was too late, and that he probably would be dead before I could come to my niece, for whose sake she begged I would return immediately.  It was indeed too late! too late for every thing—­late as it was given, the powder vomited him even in the agonies—­had I had power to direct, he should never have quitted James; but these are vain regrets! vain to recollect how particularly kind he, who was kind to every body, was to me!  I found Lady Waldegrave at my brother’s; she weeps without ceasing, and talks of his virtues and goodness to her in a manner that distracts one.  My brother bears this mortification with more courage than I could have expected from his warm passions:  but nothing struck me more than to see my rough savage Swiss, Louis, in tears, as he opened my chaise.  I have a bitter scene to come:  to-morrow morning I carry poor Lady Waldegrave to Strawberry.  Her fall is great, from that adoration and attention that he paid her, from that splendour of fortune, so much of which dies with him, and from that consideration, which rebounded to her from the great deference which the world had for his character.  Visions perhaps.  Yet who could expect that they would have passed away even before that fleeting thing, her beauty!

If I had time or command enough of my thoughts, I could give you as long a detail of as unexpected a revolution in the political world.  To-day has been as fatal to a whole nation, I mean to the Scotch, as to our family.  Lord Bute resigned this morning.  His intention was not even suspected till Wednesday, nor at all known a very few days before.  In short, there is nothing, more or less, than a panic; a fortnight’s opposition has demolished that scandalous but vast majority, which a fortnight had purchased; and in five months a plan of absolute power has been demolished by a panic.  He pleads to the world bad health; to his friends, more truly, that the nation was set at him.  He pretends to intend retiring absolutely, and giving no umbrage.  In the mean time he is packing up a sort of ministerial legacy, which cannot hold even till next session, and I should think would scarce take place at all.  George Grenville is to be at the head of the treasury and chancellor of the exchequer; Charles Townshend to succeed him; and Lord Shelburne, Charles.  Sir Francis Dashwood to have his barony of Despencer and the great wardrobe, in the room of Lord Gower, who takes the privy seal, if the Duke of Bedford takes

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the presidentship; but there are many ifs in this arrangement; the principal if is, if they dare stand a tempest which has so terrified the pilot.  You ask what becomes of Mr. Fox?  Not at all pleased with this sudden determination, which has blown up so many of his projects, and left him time to heat no more furnaces, he goes to France by the way of the House of Lords,(270) but keeps his place and his tools till something else happens.  The confusion I suppose will be enormous, and the next act of the drama a quarrel among the opposition, who would be all-powerful if they could do what they cannot, hold together and not quarrel for the plunder.  As I shall be at a distance for some days, I shall be able to send you no more particulars of this interlude, but you will like a pun my brother made when he was told of this explosion:  “Then,” said he, “they must turn the Jacks out of the drawing-room again, and again take them into the kitchen.”  Adieu! what a world to set one’s heart on!

270) Mr. Fox was Created Baron Holland of Foxley.-E.

Letter 151 To George Montagu, Esq.  Strawberry Hill, April 14, 1763. (page 210)

I have received your two letters together, and foresaw that your friendly good heart would feel for us just as you do.  The loss is irreparable,(271) and my poor niece is sensible it is.  She has such a veneration for her lord’s memory, that if her sister and I make her cheerful for a moment, she accuses herself of it the next day to the Bishop of Exeter,(272) as if he was her confessor, and that she had committed a crime.  She cried for two days to such a degree, that if she had been a fountain it must have stopped.  Till yesterday she scarce eat enough to keep her alive, and looks accordingly; but at her age she must be comforted:  her esteem will last, but her spirits will return in spite of herself.  Her lord has made her sole executrix, and added what little douceurs he could to her jointure, which is but a thousand pounds a-year, the estate being but three-and-twenty hundred.  The little girls will have about eight thousand pounds apiece; for the teller’s place was so great during the war, that notwithstanding his temper was a sluice of generosity, he had saved thirty thousand pounds since his marriage.

Her sisters have been here with us the whole time.  Lady Huntingtower is all mildness and tenderness; and by dint of attention I have not displeased the other.  Lord Huntingtower has been here once; the Bishop most of the time:  he is very reasonable and good-natured, and has been of great assistance and comfort to me in this melancholy office, which is to last here till Monday or Tuesday.  We have got the eldest little girl too, Lady Laura, who is just old enough to be amusing; and last night my nephew arrived here from Portugal.  It was a terrible meeting at first; but as he is very soldierly and lively, he got into spirits, and diverted us much with his relations of the war and the country.  He confirms all we have heard of the villany, poltroonery, and ignorance of the Portuguese, and of their aversion to the English; but I could perceive, even through his relation, that our flippancies and contempt of them must have given a good deal of play to their antipathy.

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You are admirably kind, as you always are in inviting me to Greatworth, and proposing Bath; but besides its being impossible for me to take any journey just at present, I am really very well in health, and the tranquillity and air of Strawberry have done much good.  The hurry of London, where I shall be glad to be just now, will dissipate the gloom that this unhappy loss has occasioned; though a deep loss I shall always think it.  The time passes tolerably here; I have my painters and gilders and constant packets of news from town, besides a thousand letters of condolence to answer; for both my niece and I have received innumerable testimonies of the regard that was felt for Lord Waldegrave.  I have heard of but one man who ought to have known his worth, that has shown no concern; but I suppose his childish mind is too much occupied with the loss of his last governor.(273) I have given up my own room to my niece, and have taken myself to the Holbein chamber, where I am retired from the rest of the family when I choose it, and nearer to overlook my workmen.  The chapel is quite finished except the carpet.  The sable mass of the altar gives it a very sober air; for, notwithstanding the solemnity of the painted windows, it had a gaudiness that was a little profane.

I can know no news here but by rebound; and yet, though they are to rebound again to you, they will be as fresh as any you can have at Greatworth.  A kind of administration is botched up for the present, and even gave itself an air of that fierceness with which the winter set out.  Lord Hardwicke -was told, that his sons must vote with the court, or be turned out; he replied, as he meant to have them in place, he chose they should be removed now.  It looks ill for the court when he is sturdy.  They wished, too, to have had Pitt, if they could have had him Without consequences; but they don’t find any recruits repair to their standard.  They brag that they should have had Lord Waldegrave; a most notorious falsehood, as he had refused every offer they could invent the day before he was taken ill.  The Duke of’ Cumberland orders his servants to say, that so far from joining them, he believes if Lord Waldecrave could have been foretold of his death, he would have preferred it to an union with Bute and Fox.  The former’s was a decisive panic; so sudden, that it is said Lord Egremont was sent to break his resolution of retiring to the King.  The other, whose journey to France does not indicate much less apprehension, affects to walk in the streets at the most public hours to mark his not trembling.  In the mean time the two chiefs have paid their bravoes magnificently:  no less than fifty-two thousand pounds a-year are granted in reversion!  Young Martin,(274) Who is older than I am, is named my successor; but I intend he shall wait some years:  if they had a mind to serve me, they could not have selected a fitter tool to set my character in a fair light by the comparison.  Lord Bute’s son has

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the reversion of an auditor of the imprest; this is all he has done ostensibly for his family, but the great things bestowed on the most insignificant objects, make me suspect some private compacts.  Yet I may wrong him, but I do not mean it.  Lord Granby has refused Ireland, and the Northumberlands are to transport their magnificence thither.(275) I lament that you made so little of that voyage, but is this the season of unrewarded merit?  One should blush to be preferred within the same year.  Do but think that Calcraft is to be an Irish lord!  Fox’s millions, or Calcraft’s tythes of millions, cannot purchase a grain of your virtue or character.  Adieu!

(271) In September 1766, Lady Waldegrave became the wife of his Royal Highness William Henry Duke of Gloucester; by whom she was mother of Prince William and of the Princess Sophia of Gloucester.-E.

(272) Married to a sister of Lady Waldegrave.

(273) Lord Waldegrave had been governor of George the Third.-E.

(274) Samuel Martin, Esq. member for Camelford, one of the joint secretaries of the treasury, named to succeed Walpole as usher of receipts of the exchequer, comptroller of the great roll, and keeper of the foreign receipts.-E.

(275) The Earl of Northumberland was gazetted on the 20th of April lord-lieutenant of Ireland, and on the 14th of May the Marquis of Granby was appointed master of the ordnance.-E.

Letter 152 To George Montagu, Esq.  Arlington Street, April 22, 1763. (page 212)

I have two letters from you, and shall take care to execute the commission in the second.  The first diverted me much. .

I brought my poor niece from Strawberry on Monday.  As executrix, her presence was quite necessary, and she has never refused to do any thing reasonable that has been desired of her.  But the house and the business have shocked her terribly; she still eats nothing, sleeps worse than she did, and looks dreadfully; I begin to think she will miscarry.  She said to me t’other day, “they tell me that if my lord had lived, he might have done great service to his country at this juncture, by the respect all parties had for him.  This is very fine; but as he did not live to do those services, it will never be mentioned in history!” I thought this solicitude for his honour charming.  But he will be known by history; he has left a small volume of Memoirs, that are a chef-d’oeuvre.(276) He twice showed them to me, but I kept his secret faithfully; now it is for his glory to divulge it.

I and glad you are going to Dr. Lewis After an Irish voyage I do not wonder you want careening.  I have often preached to you—­nay, and lived to you too; but my sermons were flung away and my example.

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This ridiculous administration is patched up for the present; the detail is delightful, but that I shall reserve for Strawberry-tide.  Lord Bath has complained to Fanshaw of Lord Pulteney’s(277) extravagance, and added, “if he had lived he would have spent my whole estate.”  This almost comes up to Sir Robert Brown, who, when his eldest daughter was given over, but still alive, on that uncertainty sent for an undertaker, and bargained for her funeral in hopes of having it cheaper, as it was possible she might recover.  Lord Bath has purchased the Hatton vault in Westminster-abbey, squeezed his wife, son, and daughter into it, reserved room for himself, and has set the rest to sale.  Come; all this is not far short of Sir Robert Brown.

To my great satisfaction, the new Lord Holland has not taken the least friendly, or even formal notice of me, on Lord Waldegrave’s death.  It dispenses me from the least farther connexion with him, and saves explanations, which always entertain the world more than satisfy.

Dr. Cumberland is an Irish bishop; I hope before the summer is over that some beam from your cousin’s portion of the triumvirate may light on poor Bentley.  If he wishes it till next winter, he will be forced to try still new sunshine.  I have taken Mrs. Pritchard’s house for Lady Waldegrave; I offered her to live with me at Strawberry, but with her usual good sense she declined it, as she thought the children would be troublesome.

Charles Townshend’s episode in this revolution passes belief, though he does not tell it himself.  If I had a son born, and an old fairy were to appear and offer to endow him with her choicest gifts, I should cry out, “Powerful Goody, give him any thing but parts!"(278) Adieu!

(276) “the Memoirs, from 1754 to 1758, by James Earl Waldegrave,” which were published in 1821, in a small quarto volume.-E.

(277) Son Of the Earl of Bath.  He was a lord of the bedchamber and member for Westminster.  He died on the 16th of February.-E.

(278) Lord Barrington, in a letter to Mr. Mitchell of the 19th of April, says,—­“Charles Townshend accepted the admiralty on Thursday, and went to kiss hands the next day; but he brought Peter Burrell with him to court, and insisted he likewise should be one of the board.  Being told that Lords Howe and Digby were to fill up the vacant seats at the admiralty, he declined accepting the office destined for him, and the next day received a dismission from the King’s service."-E.

Letter 153To The Hon. H. S. Conway.  Strawberry Hill, May 1, 1763. (page 213)

I feel happy at hearing your happiness; but, my dear Harry, your vision is much indebted to your long absence, which Makes

bleak rocks and barren mountains smile.

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I mean no offence to Park-place, but the bitterness of the weather makes me wonder how you can find the country tolerable now.  This is a May-day for the latitude of Siberia!  The milkmaids should be wrapped in @the motherly comforts of a swanskin petticoat.  In short, such hard words have passed between me and the north wind to-day, that, according to the language of the times, I was very near abusing it for coming from Scotland, and to imputing it to Lord Bute.  I don’t know whether I should not have written a North Briton against it, if the printers were not all sent to Newgate, and Mr. Wilkes to the Tower—­ay, to the Tower, tout de bon.(279) The new ministry are trying to make up for their ridiculous insignificance by a coup d’`eclat.  As I came hither yesterday, I do not know whether the particulars I have heard are genuine—­but in the Tower he certainly is, taken up by Lord Halifax’s warrant for treason; vide the North Briton of Saturday was se’nnight.  It is said he refused to obey the warrant, of which he asked and got a copy from the two messengers, telling them he did not mean to make his escape, but sending to demand his habeas corpus, which was refused.  He then went to Lord Halifax, and thence to the Tower; declaring they should get nothing out of him but what they knew.  All his papers have been seize(].  Lord Chief Justice Pratt, I am told, finds great fault with the wording of the warrant.

I don’t know how to execute your commission for books of architecture, nor care to put you to expense, which I know will not answer.  I have been consulting my neighbour young Mr. Thomas Pitt,(280) my present architect:  we have all books of that sort here, but, cannot think of one which will help you to a cottage or a green-house.  For the former you should send me your idea, your dimensions; for the latter, don’t you rebuild your old one, though in another place?  A pretty greenhouse I never saw; nor without immoderate expense can it well be an agreeable object.  Mr. Pitt thinks a mere portico without a pediment, and windows retrievable in summer, would be the best plan you could have.  If so, don’t you remember something of that kind, which you liked at Sir Charles Cotterel’s at Rousham?  But a fine greenhouse must be on a more exalted plan.  In Short..  You Must be more particular, before I can be at all so.

I called at Hammersmith yesterday about Lady Ailesbury’s tubs; one of them is nearly finished, but they will not both be completed these ten days.  Shall they be sent to you by water?  Good night to her ladyship and you, and the infanta,(281) whose progress in waxen statuary I hope advances so fast, that by next winter she may rival Rackstrow’s old man.  Do you know that, though apprised of what I was going to see, it deceived me, and made such impression on my mind, that, thinking on it as I came home in my chariot. and seeing a woman steadfastly at work in a window in Pall-mall, it made me start to see her move.  Adieu!

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Arlington Street, Monday night.

The mighty commitment set out with a blunder; the warrant directed the printer, and all concerned (unnamed) to be taken up.  Consequently Wilkes had his habeas corpus of course, and was committed again; moved for another in the common pleas, and is to appear there to-morrow morning.  Lord Temple, by another strain of power refused admittance to him, said, “I thought this was the Tower, but find it the Bastille.”  They found among Wilkes’s papers an unpublished North Briton. designed for It contains advice to the King not to go to St. Paul’s for the thanksgiving, but to have a snug one in his own chapel; and to let Lord George Sackville carry the sword.  There was a dialogue in it too between Fox and Calcraft:  the former says to the latter, “I did not think you would have served me so, Jemmy Twitcher.”

(279) For his strictures in the North Briton, No. 45, on the King’s speech at the close of the session.-E.

(280) Afterwards created Lord Camelford.

(281) Anne Seymour Conway.

Letter 154 To Sir David Dalrymple.(282) Strawberry Hill, May 2, 1763. page 215)

Sir, I forebore to answer your letter for a few days, till I knew whether it was in my power to give you satisfaction.  Upon inquiry, and having conversed with some who could inform me, I find it would be very difficult to obtain so peremptory an order for dismissing fictitious invalids (as I think they may properly be called), as you seem to think the state of the case requires; by any interposition of mine, quite impossible.  Very difficult I am told it would be to get them dismissed from our hospitals when once admitted, and subject to a clamour which, in the present unsettled state of government, nobody would care to risk.  Indeed I believe it could not be done by any single authority.  The power of admission, and consequently of dismission, does not depend on the minister, but on the board who direct the affairs of the hospital, at which board preside the paymaster,, secretary at war, governor, etc.; if I am not quite exact, I know it is so in general.  I am advised to tell you, Sir, that if upon examination it should be thought right to take the step you counsel, still it could not be done without previous and deliberate discussion.  As I should grudge no trouble, and am very desirous of executing any commission, Sir, you will honour me with, if you will draw up a memorial in form, stating the abuses which have come to your ]Knowledge, the advantages which would result to the community by more rigorous examination of candidates for admission, and the uses to which the overflowings of the military might be put, I will engage to put it into the hands of Mr. Grenville, the present head of the treasury, and to employ all the little credit he is so good to let me have with him, in backing your request.  I can answer for one thing and no more, that as long as he sits at that board, which probably will not be long, he will give all due attention to any scheme of national utility.

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It is seldom, Sir, that political revolutions bring any man upon the stage, with whom I have much connexion.  The great actors are not the class whom I much cultivate; consequently I am neither elated with hopes on their advancement, nor mortified nor rejoiced at their fall.  As the scene has shifted often of late, and is far from promising duration at present, one must, if one lives in the great world, have now and then an acquaintance concerned in the drama.  Whenever I happen to have one, I hope I am ready and glad to make use of such (however unsubstantial) interest to do good or to oblige; Ind this being the case at present, and truly I cannot call Mr. Grenville much more than an acquaintance, I shall be happy, Sir, if I can Contribute to your views, which I have reason to believe are those of a benevolent man and good citizen; but I advertise you truly, that my interest depends more on Mr. Grenville’s goodness and civility, than on any great connexion between Us, and still less on any Political connexion.  I think he would like to do public good, I know I should like to contribute to it-but if it is to be done by this channel, I apprehend there is not much time to be lost—­you See, what I think of the permanence of the present system!  Your ideas, Sir, on the hard fate of our brave soldiers concur with mine; I lamented their sufferings, and have tried in vain to suggest some little plans for their relief.  I only mention this, to prove to you that I am not indifferent to the subject, nor undertake your commission from mere complaisance.  You Understand the matter better than I do, but you cannot engage in it with more zeal.  Methodize, if you please, your plan, and communicate it to me, and it shall not be lost for want of solicitation.  We swarm with highwaymen, who have been heroes.  We owe our safety to them, consequently we owe a return Of preservation to them, if we can find out methods of employing them honestly.  Extend your views, Sir, for them, and let me -be@solicitor to the cause.

(282) Now first collected.

Letter 155To The Hon. H. S. Conway.  Arlington Street, May 6, very late, 1763. (page 216)

The complexion of the times is a little altered since the beginning of this last winter.  Prerogation, that gave itself such airs in November, and would speak to nothing but a Tory, has had a rap this morning that will do it some good, unless it is weak enough to do itself more harm.  The judges of the common pleas have unanimously dismissed Wilkes from his imprisonment,(283) as a breach of privilege; his offence not being a breach of peace, only tending to it.  The people are in transports; and it will require all the vanity and confidence of those able ministers, Lord Sandwich and Mr. C * * * to keep up the spirits of the court.

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I must change this tone, to tell you of the most dismal calamity that ever happened.  Lady Molesworth’s house, in Upper Brook-street was burned to the ground between four and five this morning.  She herself, two of her daughters, her brother,(284) and six servants Perished.  Two other of the young ladies jumped out of the two pair of stairs and garret windows:  one broke her thigh, the other (the eldest of all) broke hers too, and has had it cut off.  The fifth daughter is much burnt.  The French governess leaped from the garret, and was dashed to pieces.  Dr. Molesworth and his wife, who were there on a visit, escaped; the wife by jumping from the two pair of stairs, and saving herself by a rail; he by hanging by his hands, till a second ladder was brought, after a first had proved too short.  Nobody knows how or where the fire began; the catastrophe is shocking beyond what one ever heard:  and poor Lady Molesworth whose character and conduct were the most amiable in the world, is universally lamented.  Your good hearts will feel this in the most lively manner.(285)

I go early to Strawberry to-morrow, giving up the new Opera, Madame de Boufflers, and Mr. Wilkes, and all the present topics.  Wilkes, whose case has taken its place by the side of the seven bishops, calls himself the eighth—­not quite improperly, when One remembers that Sir Jonathan Trelawney, who swore like a trooper, was one of those confessors.

There is a good letter in the Gazetteer on the other side, pretending to be written by Lord Temple, and advising Wilkes to cut his throat, like Lord E * * * as it would be of infinite service to their cause.  There are published, too, three volumes of Lady Mary Wortley’s letters, which I believe are genuine, and are not unentertaining.  But have you read Tom Hervey’s letter to the late King?  That beats every thing for madness, horrid indecency, and folly, and yet has some charming and striking passages.  I have advised Mrs. Harris to inform against Jack, as writing in the North Briton; he will then be shut up in the Tower, and may be shown for old Nero.(286) Adieu!

(283) Wilkes was discharged on the 6th of May, by Lord Chief Justice Pratt, who decided that he was entitled to plead his privilege as a member of parliament; the crime of which he was accused, namely, a libel, being in the eyes of the law only a high misdemeanour, whereas the only three cases which could affect the privilege of a member of parliament were treason, felony, and breach of the peace.-E.

(284) Captain Usher.  Lady Molesworth was daughter of the Rev. W. Usher, archdeacon of Clonfret, and second wife of Richard third Viscount Molesworth, who was aide-de-camp to the Duke of Marlborough at the battle of Ramilies, and saved his grace’s life in that engagement.-E.

(285) The King upon hearing of this calamity, immediately sent the young ladies a handsome present; ordered a house to be taken and furnished for them at his expense; and not only continued the pension settled on the mother, but ordered it to be increased two hundred pounds per annum.

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(286) An old lion there, so called.

Letter 156 To The Rev. Mr. Cole.  Strawberry Hill, May 16, 1763. (page 217)

Dear sir, I promised you should hear from me if I did not go abroad, and I flatter myself that you will not be sorry to know that I am much better in health than I was at the beginning of the winter.  My journey is quite laid aside, at least for this year; though as Lord Hertford goes ambassador to Paris, I propose to make him a visit there next spring.  As I shall be a good deal here this summer, I hope you did not take a surfeit of Strawberry Hill, but will bestow a visit on it while its beauty lasts; the gallery advances fast now, and I think in a few weeks will make a figure worth your looking at.

Letter 157 To George Montagu, Esq.  Strawberry Hill, May 17, 1763. (page 218)

“On vient de nous donner une tr`es jolie f`ete au ch`ateau de Straberri:  tout etoit tapiss`e de narcisses, de tulipes, et de lilacs; des cors de chasse, des clarionettes; des petits vers galants faits par des f`ees, et qui se trouvoient sous la presse; des fruits `a la glace, du th`e, du caff`e, des biscuits, et force hot-rolls.”—­This is not the beginning of a letter to you, but of one that I might suppose sets out to-night for Paris, or rather, which I do not suppose will set out thither:  for though the narrative is circumstantially true, I don’t believe the actors were pleased enough with the scene, to give so favourable an account of it.

The French do not come hither to see.  A l’Anglaise happened to be the word in fashion; and half a dozen of the most fashionable people have been the dupes of it.  I take for granted that their next mode will be `a l’Iroquaise, that they may be under no obligation of realizing their pretensions.  Madame de Boufflers(287) I think will die a martyr to a taste, which she fancied she had, and finds she has not.  Never having stirred ten miles from Paris, and having only rolled in an easy coach from one hotel to another on a gliding pavement, she is already worn out with being hurried from morning till night from one sight to another.  She rises every morning so fatigued with the toils of the preceding day, that she has not strength, if she had inclination, to observe the least, or the finest thing she sees!  She came hither to-day to a great breakfast I made for her, with her eyes a foot deep in her head, her hands dangling, and scarce able to support her knitting-bag.  She had been yesterday to see a ship launched, and went from Greenwich by water to Ranelagh.  Madame Dusson, who is Dutch-built, and whose muscles are pleasure-proof, came with her; there were besides, Lady Mary Coke, Lord and Lady Holderness, the Duke and Duchess of Grafton, Lord Hertford, Lord Villiers, Offley, Messieurs de Fleury, D’Eon,(288) et Duclos.  The latter is author of the Life of Louis

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Onze;(289) dresses like a dissenting minister, which I suppose is the livery of le bel esprit, and is much more impetuous than agreeable.  We breakfasted in the great parlour, and I had filled the hall and large cloister by turns with French horns and clarionettes.  As the French ladies had never seen a printing-house, I carried them into mine; they found something ready set, and desiring to see what it was, it proved as follows:—­

The Press speaks: 

For madame de Boufflers—­

The graceful fair, who loves to know,
Nor dreads the North’s inclement snow: 
Who bids her polish’d accent wear
The British diction’s harsher air;
Shall read her praise in every clime
Where types can speak or poets rhyme

For madameDusson.

Feign not an ignorance of what I speak
You could not miss my meaning were it Greek: 
’Tis the same language Belgium utter’d first,
The same which from admiring Gallia burst. 
True sentiment a like expression pours;
Each country says the same to eyes like yours.

You will comprehend that the first speaks English, and that the second does not; that the second is handsome, and the first not; and that the second was born in Holland.  This little gentilesse pleased, and atoned for the popery of my house, which was not serious enough for Madame de Boufflers, who is Montmorency, et du sang du premier Chritien; and too serious for Madame Dusson, who is a Dutch Calvinist.  The latter’s husband was not here, nor Drumgold,(290) who have both got fevers, nor the Duc de Nivernois, who dined at Claremont.  The gallery is not advanced enough to give them any idea at all, as they are not apt to go out of their way for one; but the cabinet, and the glory of yellow glass at top, which had a charming sun for a foil, did surmount their indifference, especially as they were animated by the Duchess of Grafton, who had never happened to be here before, and who perfectly entered into the air of enchantment and fairyism, which is the tone of the place, and was peculiarly so to-day—­a-propos, when do you design to come hither?  Let me know, that I may have no measures to interfere with receiving you and your grandsons.

Before Lord Bute ran away, he made Mr. Bentley a commissioner of the lottery; I don’t know whether a single or double one:  the latter, which I hope it is, is two hundred a-year.

Thursday, 19th.

I am ashamed of myself to have nothing but a journal of pleasures to send you; I never passed a more agreeable day than yesterday.  Miss Pelham gave the French an entertainment at Esher; but they have been so feasted and amused, that none of them were well enough, or reposed enough. to come, but Nivernois and Madame Dusson.  The rest of the company were, the Graftons, Lady Rockingham, Lord and Lady Pembroke, Lord and Lady Holderness, Lord Villiers, Count Worotizow the Russian minister, Lady Sondes, Mr. and Miss Mary Pelham,

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Lady Mary Coke, Mrs. Anne Pitt, and Mr. Shelley.  The day was delightful, the scene transporting; the trees, lawns, concaves, all in the perfection in which the ghost of Kent would joy to see them.  At twelve we made the tour of the farm in chaises, and calashes, horsemen, and footmen, setting out like a picture of Wouverman’s.  My lot fell in the lap of Mrs. Anne Pitt,(291) which I could have excused, as she was not at all in the style of the day, romantic, but political.  We had a magnificent dinner, cloaked in the modesty of earthenware; French horns and hautboys On the lawn.  We walked to the Belvidere on the summit of the hill, where a theatrical storm only served to heighten the beauty Of the landscape, a rainbow on a dark cloud falling precisely behind the tower of a neighbouring church, between another tower and the building at Claremont.  Monsieur de Nivernois, who had been absorbed all day, and lagging behind, translating my verses, was delivered of bis version, and of some more lines which he wrote on Miss Pelham in the Belvedere, while we drank tea and coffee.  From thence we passed into the wood, and the ladies formed a circle on chairs before the Mouth of the cave, which was overhung to a vast height with the woodbines, lilacs, and liburnums, and dignified by the tall shapely cypresses.  On the descent of the hill were placed the French horns; the abigails, servants, and neighbours wandering below the river; in short, it was Parnassus, as Watteau would have painted it.  Here we had a rural syllabub, and part of the company returned to town; but were replaced by Giardini and Onofrio, who, with Nivernois on he violin, an Lord Pembroke on the bass, accompanied Mrs. Pelham, Lady Rockingham, and the Duchess of Grafton, who sang.  This little concert lasted till past ten; then there were minuets, and as we had seven couple left, it concluded with a Country dance.  I blush again, for I danced, but was kept in countenance by Nivernois, who has one wrinkle more than I have.  A quarter after twelve they sat down to supper, and I came home by a charming moonlight.  I am going to dine in town, and to a great ball with fireworks at Miss Chudleigh’s, but I return hither on Sunday, to bid adieu to this abominable Arcadian life; for really when one is not young, one ought to do nothing but s’ennuyer; I will try, but I always go about it awkwardly.  Adieu!

P. S. I enclose a copy of both the English and French verses.

A madame de BOUFFLRLRS.

Boufflers, qu’embellissent les graces,
Et qui plairot sans le vouloir,
Elle `a qui l’amour du s`cavoir
Fit braver le Nord et les glaces;
Boufflers se plait en nos vergers,
Et veut `a nos sons `etrangers
Plier sa voix enchanteresse. 
R`ep`etons son nom Mille fois,
Sur tons les coeurs Bourflers aura des droits,
Par tout o`u la rime et la Presse
`a l’amour pr`eteront leur voix.

A madame Dusson.

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Ne feignez point, Iris, de ne pas nous entendre
Cc que vous inspirez, en Grec doit se comprendre. 
On vous l’a dit d’abord en Hollandois,
Et dans on langage plus tendre
Paris vous l’a repet`e mille fois. 
C’est de nos coeurs l’expression sinc`ere;
En tout climat, Iris, & toute heure, en tous lieux,
Par tout o`u brilleront vos yeux,
Vous apprendrez combien ils s`cavent plaire.

(287) La Comtesse de Boufflers, a lady of some literary pretensions, and celebrated as the intimate friend of the Prince de Conti, to whom she is said to have been united by a marriage de la main gauche.  During her stay in England she paid a visit to Dr. Johnson, of which Mr. Beauclerk gave the following account to Boswell:—­“When Madame de Boufflers was first in England, she was desirous to see Johnson; I accordingly went with her to his chambers in the Temple, where she was entertained with his conversation for some time.  When our visit was over, she and I left him, and were got into Inner-Temple-lane, when all at once I heard a voice like thunder.  This was occasioned by Johnson, who, it seem,;, upon a little reflection, had taken it into his head that he ought to have done the honours of his literary residence to a foreign lady of quality, and, eager to show himself a man of gallantry, was hurrying down the staircase in violent agitation.  He overtook us before we reached the Temple gate, and brushing in between me and Madame de Boufflers, seized her hand and conducted her to her coach.  His dress was a rusty-brown morning suit, a pair of old shoes by way of slippers, a little shrivelled wig sticking on the top of his head, and the sleeves of his shirt and the knees of his breeches hanging loose.  A considerable crowd of people gathered round, and were not a little struck by this singular appearance."-E.

(288) The Chevalier D’Eon, secretary to the Duke de Nivernois, the French ambassador, and, upon the Duke’s return to France, appointed minister plenipotentiary.  On the Comte de Guerchy being some time afterwards nominated ambassador, the Chevalier was ordered to resume his secretaryship; at which he was so much mortified that he libelled the Comte, for which he was indicted and found guilty in the court of king’s bench, in July 1764.  For a further account of this extraordinary personage, see post, letter 181 to Lord Hertford, of the 25th of November.-E.

(289) Duclos’s History of Louis XI. appeared in 1743.  He was also the author of several ingenious novels, and had a large share in the Dictionary of the Academy.  After his death, which took place in 1772, his Secret Memoirs of the Courts of Louis XIV. and Louis xv. appeared.  Rousseau describes him as a man “droit et adroit;” and D’Alembert said of him, “De tons les hommes que je connais, c’est lui qui a le plus d’esprit dans un temps donn`e."-E.

(290) Secretary to the Duc de Nivernois.

(291) Sister of Lord Chatham, whom she strikingly resembled in features as well as in talent.  She was remarkable, even to old age, for decision of character and sprightliness of conversation.  She died in 1780.-E.

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Letter 158 To The Hon. H. S. Conway.  Arlington Street, May 21, 1763. (page 221)

You have now seen the celebrated Madame de Boufflers.  I dare say you could in that short time perceive that she is agreeable, but I dare say too that you will agree with me that vivacity is by no means the partage of the French—­bating the `etourderie of the mousquetaires and of a high-dried petit-maitre or two, they appear to me more lifeless than Germans.  I cannot comprehend how they came by the character of a lively people.  Charles Townshend has more sal volatile in him than the whole nation.  Their King is taciturnity itself, Mirepoix was a walking mummy, Nivernois his about as much life as a sick favourite child, and M. Dusson is a good-humoured country gentleman, who has been drunk the day before, and is upon his good behaviour.  If I have the gout next year, and am thoroughly humbled by it again, I will go to Paris, that I may be upon a level with them:  at present, I am trop fou to keep them company.  Mind, I do not insist that, to have spirits, a nation should be as frantic as poor Fanny Pelham, as absurd as the Duchess of Queensbury, or as dashing as the Virgin Chudleigh.  Oh, that you had been’ at her ball t’other night!  History could never describe it and keep its countenance.  The Queen’s real birthday, you know, is not kept:  this maid of honour kept it—­nay, while the court is in mourning, expected people to be out of mourning; the Queen’s family really was so, Lady Northumberland having desired leave for them.  A scaffold was erected in Hyde-park for fireworks.  To show the illuminations without to more advantage, the company were received in an apartment totally dark, where they remained for two hours.  If they gave rise to any more birthdays, who could help it?  The fireworks were fine, and succeeded well.  On each side of the court were two large scaffolds for the Virgin’s tradespeople.  When the fireworks ceased, a large scene was lighted in the court, representing their majesties; on each side of which were six obelisks, painted with emblems, and illuminated; mottoes beneath in Latin and English:  1.  For the Prince of Wales, a ship, Mullorum spes. 2.  For the Princess Dowager, a bird of paradise, and two little ones, meos ad sidera tollo.  People smiled. 3.  Duke of York, a temple, Virtuti et honori. 4.  Princess Augusta, a bird of paradise, Non habet paren—­unluckily this was translated, I have no peer.  People laughed out, considering where this was exhibited. 5.  The three younger princes, an orange tree, Promiiuit et dat. 6. the younger princesses, the flower crown-imperial.  I forget the Latin:  the translation was silly enough, Bashful in youth, graceful in age.  The lady of the house made many apologies for the poorness of the performance, which she said was only oil-paper, painted by one of her servants; but it really was fine and pretty.  The Duke of Kingston was in

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a frock coat come chez lui.  Behind the house was a cenotaph for the Princess Elizabeth, a kind of illuminated cradle; the motto, All the honours the dead can receive.  This burying-ground was a strange codicil to a festival, and, what was more strange, about one in the morning, this sarcophagus burst out into crackers and guns.  The Margrave of Anspach began the ball with the Virgin.  The supper was most sumptuous.

You ask, when I propose to be at Park-place.  I ask, shall not you come to the Duke of Richmond’s masquerade, which is the 6th of June?  I cannot well be with you till towards the end of that month.

The enclosed is a letter which I wish you to read attentively, to give me your opinion upon it, and return it.  It is from a sensible friend of mine in Scotland,(292) who has lately corresponded with me on the enclosed subjects, which I little understand; but I promised to communicate his ideas to George Grenville, if he would state them-are they practicable?  I wish much that something could be done for those brave soldiers and sailors, who will all come to the gallows, unless some timely provision can be made for them.  The former part of his letter relates to a Grievance he complains of, that men who have not served are admitted into garrisons, and then into our hospitals, which were designed for meritorious sufferers.  Adieu!

(292) Sir David Dalrymple.  See ant`e, p. 215, letter 154.-E.

Letter 159 To The Hon. H. S. Conway.  Arlington Street, Saturday evening. (May 28, 1763.] (page 223)

No, indeed, I cannot consent to your being a dirty Philander.(293) Pink and white, and white and pink and both as greasy as if you had gnawed a leg of a fowl on the stairs of the Haymarket with a bunter from the Cardigan’s Head!  For Heaven’s sake don’t produce a tight rose-coloured thigh, unless you intend to prevent my Lord Bute’s return from Harrowgate.  Write, the moment you receive this, to your tailor to get you a sober purple domino as I have done, and it will make you a couple of summer-waistcoats.

In the next place, have your ideas a little more correct about us of times past.  We did not furnish ou cottages with chairs of ten guineas apiece.  Ebony for a farmhouse!(294) So, two hundred years hence some man of taste will build a hamlet in the style of George the Third, and beg his cousin Tom Hearne to get him some chairs for it of mahogany gilt, and covered with blue damask.  Adieu!  I have not a minute’s time more.

(293) At the masquerade given by the Duke of Richmond on the 6th of June at his house in Privy-garden.

(294) Mr. Conway was at this time fitting up a little building at Park-place, called the Cottage, for which he had consulted Mr. Walpole on the propriety of ebony chairs.

Letter 160 To George Montagu, Esq.  Huntingdon, May 30, 1763. (page 223)

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As you interest yourself about Kimbolton, I begin my journal of two days here.  But I must set Out With owning, that I believe I am the first man that ever went sixty miles to an auction.  As I came for ebony, I have been up to my chin in ebony; there is literally nothing but ebony in the house; all the other goods. if there were any, and I trust my Lady Convers did not sleep upon ebony mattresses, are taken away.  There are two tables and eighteen chairs, all made by the Hallet of two hundred years ago.  These I intend to have; for mind, the auction does not begin till Thursday.  There are more plebeian chairs of the same materials, but I have left commission for only the true black blood.  Thence I went to Kimbolton,(295) and asked to see the house.  A kind footman, who in his zeal to open the chaise pinched half my finger off, said he would call the housekeeper:  but a groom of the chambers insisted on my visiting their graces; and as I vowed I did not know them, he said they were in the great apartment, that all the rest was in disorder and altering, and would let me see nothing.  This was the reward of my first lie.  I returned to my inn or alehouse, and instantly received a message from the Duke to invite me to the castle.  I was quite undressed, and dirty with my journey, and unacquainted with the Duchess—­yet was forced to go—­Thank the god of dust, his grace was dirtier than me.  He was extremely civil, and detected me to the groom of the chambers—­asked me if I had dined.  I said yes—­lie the second.  He pressed me to take a bed there.  I hate to be criticised at a formal supper by a circle of stranger-footmen, and protested I was to meet a gentleman at Huntingdon to-night. the Duchess and Lady Caroline(296) came in from walking; and to disguise my not having dined, for it was past six, I drank tea with them.  The Duchess is much altered, and has a bad short cough.  I pity Catherine of Arragon(297) for living at Kimbolton:  I never saw an uglier spot.  The fronts are not so bad as I expected, by not being so French as I expected; but have no pretensions to beauty, nor even to comely ancient ugliness.  The great apartment is truly noble, and almost all the portraits good, of what I saw; for many are not hung up, and half of those that are, my lord Duke does not know.  The Earl of Warwick is delightful; the Lady Mandeville, attiring herself in her wedding garb, delicious.  The Prometheus is a glorious picture, the eagle as fine as my statue.  Is not it by Vandyck?  The Duke told me that Mr. Spence found out it was by Titian—­but critics in poetry I see are none in painting.  This was all I was shown, for I was not even carried into the chapel.  The walls round the house are levelling, and I saw nothing without doors that tempted me to taste.  So I made my bow, hurried to my inn, snapped up my dinner, lest I should again be detected, and came hither, where I am writing by a great fire, and give up my friend the east wind, which

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I have long been partial to for the Southeast’s sake, and in contradiction to the west, for blowing perpetually and bending all one’s plantations.  To-morrow I see Hinchinbrook(298)—­and London.  Memento, I promised the Duke that you should come and write on all his portraits.  Do, as you honour the blood of Montagu!  Who is the man in the picture with Sir Charles Goring, where a page is tying the latter’s scarf?  And who are the ladies in the double half-lengths?

Arlington Street, May 31.

Well!  I saw Hinchinbrook this morning.  Considering it is in Huntingdonshire, the situation is not so ugly nor melancholy as I expected; but I do not conceive what provoked so many of your ancestors to pitch their tents in that triste country, unless the Capulets(299) loved fine prospects.  The house of Hinchinbrook is most comfortable, and just what I like; old, spacious, irregular, yet not vast or forlorn.  I believe much has been done since you saw it—­it now only wants an apartment, for in no part of it are there above two chambers together.  The furniture has much simplicity, not to say too much; some portraits tolerable, none I think fine.  When this lord gave Blackwood the head of the Admiral’ that I have now, he left himself not one so good.  The head he kept is very bad:  the whole-length is fine, except the face of it.  There is another of the Duke of Cumberland by Reynolds, the colours of which are as much changed as the original is to the proprietor.  The garden is wondrous small, the park almost smaller, and no appearance of territory.  The whole has a quiet decency that seems adapted to the Admiral after his retirement, or to Cromwell before his exaltation.  I returned time enough for the opera; observing all the way I came the proof of the duration of this east wind, for on the west side the blossoms were so covered with dust one could not distinguish them; on the eastern hand the hedges were white in all the pride of May.  Good night!

Wednesday, June 1.

My letter is a perfect diary.  There has been a sad alarm in the kingdom of white satin and muslin.  The Duke of Richmond was seized last night with a sore throat and fever; and though he is much better to-day, the masquerade of to-morrow night is put off till Monday.  Many a Queen of Scots, from sixty to sixteen, has been ready to die of the fright.  Adieu once more!  I think I can have nothing more to say before the post goes out to-morrow.

(295) The seat of the Duke of Manchester.-E.

(296) Sister of the Duke of Manchester.-E.

(297) Queen Catherine of Arragon, after her divorce from Henry the Eighth, resided some time in this castle, and died there in 1536.-E.

(298) The seat of the Earl of Sandwich.-E.

(299) As opposing in every thing the Montagus.

Letter 161 To George Montagu, Esq.  Strawberry Hill, June 16, 1763. (page 225)

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I do not like your putting off your visit hither for so long.  Indeed, by September the gallery will probably have all its fine clothes on, and by what have been tried, I think it will look very well.  The fashion of the garments to be sure will be ancient, but I have given them an air that is very becoming.  Princess Amelia was here last night While I was abroad; and if Margaret is not too much prejudiced by the guinea left, or by natural partiality to what servants call our house, I think was pleased, particularly with the chapel.

As Mountain-George will not come to Mahomet-me, Mahomet-I Must come to Greatworth.  Mr. Chute and I think of visiting you about the seventeenth of July, if you shall be at home, and nothing happens to derange our scheme; possibly we may call at Horton; we certainly shall proceed to Drayton, Burleigh, Fotheringay, Peterborough, and Ely; and shall like much of your company, all, or part of the tour.  The only present proviso I have to make is the health of my niece who is at present much out of order, we think not breeding, and who was taken so ill on Monday, that I was forced to carry her suddenly to town, where I yesterday left her better at her father’s.

There has been a report that the new Lord Holland was dead at Paris, but I believe it is not true.  I was very indifferent about it:  eight months ago it had been lucky.  I saw his jackall t’other night in the meadows, the secretary at war,(301) so emptily-important and distilling paragraphs of old news with such solemnity, that I did not know whether it was a man or the Utrecht gazette.

(300) Admiral Montagu, first Earl of Sandwich; by Sir Peter Lely.  In early life he was distinguished as a military commander under the parliamentary banner, and subsequently joint high-admiral of England; in which capacity, having had sufficient influence to induce the whole fleet to acknowledge the restored monarchy, he received the peerage as his reward.  Having attained the highest renown as a naval officer, he fell in the great sea-fight with the Dutch, off Southwold-bay, on the 28th of May, 1672.  Evelyn, in his diary of the 31st, gives the following high character of the Earl:—­“Deplorable was the loss of that incomparable person, and my particular friend.  He was learned in sea affairs, in politics, in mathematics, and in music:  he had been on divers embassies, was of a sweet and obliging temper, sober, chaste, very ingenious, a true nobleman and ornament to the court and his prince; nor has he left any behind him who approach his many virtues."-E.

(301) Welbore Ellis, Esq. afterwards Lord Mendip.-E.

Letter 162 To George Montagu, Esq.  Strawberry Hill, July 1, 1763. (page 226)

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Mr. chute and I intend to be with you on the seventeenth or eighteenth; but as we are wandering swains, we do not drive one nail into one day of the almanack irremovably.  Our first stage is to Bleckley, the parsonage of venerable Cole, the antiquarian of Cambridge.  Bleckley lies by Fenny Stratford; now can you direct us how to make Horton(302) in our way from Stratford to Greatworth?  If this meander engrosses more time than we propose, do not be disappointed, and think we shall not come, for we shall.  The journey you must accept as a great sacrifice either to you or to my promise, for I quit the gallery almost in the critical minute of consummation.  Gilders, carvers, upholsterers, and picture-cleaners are labouring at their several forges, and I do not love to trust a hammer or a brush without my own supervision.  This will make my stay very short, but it is a greater compliment than a month would be at another season and yet I am not profuse of months.  Well, but I begin to be ashamed of my magnificence; Strawberry is growing Sumptuous in its latter day; it will scarce be any longer like the fruit of its name, or the modesty of its ancient demeanour, both which seem to have been in spencer’s prophetic eye when he sung of

“The blushing strawberries
Which lurk, close-shrouded from high-looking eyes,
Showing that sweetness low and hidden lies.”

In truth, my collection was too great already to be lodged humbly; it has extended my walls, and pomp followed.  It was a neat, small house; it now will be a comfortable one, and except for one fine apartment, does not deviate from its simplicity.  Adieu!  I know nothing about the world, and am only Strawberry’s and yours, sincerely.

(302) The seat of the Earl of Halifax.

Letter 163 To Sir David Dalrymple.(303) Strawberry Hill, July 1, 1763. (page 227)

Perhaps, sir, you have wondered that I have been so long silent about a scheme,(304) that called for despatch.  The truth is I have had no success.  Your whole plan has been communicated to Mr. Grenville by one whose heart went with it, going always with what is humane.  Mr. Grenville mentions two objections; one, insuperable as to expedition; the other, totally so.  No crown or public lands could be so disposed of without an act of parliament.  In that case the scheme should be digested during a war, to take place at the conclusion, and cannot be adjusted in time for receiving the disbanded.  But what is worse, he hints, Sir, that your good heart has only considered the practicability with regard to Scotland, where there are no poor’s rates.  Here every parish would object to such settlers. 
                  This is the sum of his reply; I am not master
enough of the subject or the nature of it, as to answer either difficulty.  If you can, Sir, I am ready to continue the intermediate negotiator;

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but you must furnish me with answers to these obstacles, before I could hope to make any way even with any private person.  In truth, I am little versed in the subject; which I own, not to excuse myself from pursuing it if it can be made feasible, but to prompt you, Sir, to instruct me.  Except at this place, which cannot be called the country, I have scarce ever lived in the country, and am shamefully ignorant of the police and domestic laws of my own country.  Zeal to do any good, I have; but I want to be tutored when the operation is at all complicated.  Your knowledge, Sir, may supply my deficiencies; at least you are sure of a solicitor for your good intentions, in your, etc.

(303) Now first collected.

(304) See ant`e, p. 215, letter 154.-E.

Letter 164 To The Rev. Mr. Cole.

Strawberry Hill, July 1, 1763. (page 228)

Dear sir, As you have given me leave, I propose to pass a day with you, on my way to Mr. Montagu’s.  If you have no engagement, I will be with you on the 16th of this month, and if it is not inconvenient, and you will tell me truly whether it is or not, I shall bring my friend Mr. Chute with me, who is destined to the same place.  I will beg you too to let me know how far it is to Bleckley, and what road I must take:  that is, how far from London, or how far from Twickenham, and the road from each, as I am uncertain yet from which I shall set out.  If any part of this proposal does not suit You, I trust you will own it, and I will take some other opportunity of calling on you, being most truly, dear Sir, etc.

Letter 165 To The Rev. Mr. Cole.  Strawberry Hill, July 12, 1763. (page 228)

Dear sir, Upon consulting maps and the knowing, I find it will be my best way to call on Mr. Montagu first, before I come to you, or I must go the same road twice.  This will make it a few days later than I intended before I wait on you, and will leave you time to complete your hay-harvest, as I gladly embrace your offer of bearing me company on the tour I meditate to Burleigh, Drayton, Peterborough, Ely, and twenty other places, of all which you shall take as much or as little as you please.  It will, I think, be Wednesday or Thursday se’nnight, before I wait on you, that is the 20th or 21st, and I fear I shall come alone; for Mr. Chute is confined with the gout:  but you shall hear again before I set out.  Remember I am to see Sir Kenelm Digby’s.

I thank you much for your informations.  The Countess of Cumberland is an acquisition, and quite new to me.  With the Countess of Kent I am acquainted since my last edition.

Addison certainly changed sides in the epitaph to indicabit to avoid the jingle with dies:  though it is possible that the thought may have been borrowed elsewhere.  Adieu, Sir!

To The Rev. Mr. Cole.

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Dear sir, Wednesday is the day I propose waiting on you; what time of it the Lord and the roads know; so don’t wait for me any part of it.  If I should be violently pressed to stay a day longer at Mr. Montagu’s I hope it will be no disappointment to you:  but I love to be uncertain, rather than make myself expected and fail.

Letter 166 To George Montagu, Esq.  Stamford, Saturday night, July 23, 1763. (page 229)

“Thus far arms have with success been crowned,” bating a few mishaps, which will attend long marches like ours.  We have conquered as many towns as Louis Quatorze in the campaign of seventy-two; that is, seen them, for he did little more, and into the bargain he had much better roads, and a dryer summer.  It has rained perpetually till to-day, and made us experience the rich soil of Northamptonshire, which is a clay-pudding stuck full of villages.  After we parted with you on Thursday, we saw Castle Ashby(305) and Easton MaudUit.(306) The first is most magnificently triste, and has all the formality of the Comptons.  I should admire ’It if I could see out of it, or any thing in it, but there is scarce any furniture, and the bad little frames of glass exclude all objects.  Easton is miserable enough; there are many modern portraits, and one I was glad to see of the Duchess of Shrewsbury.  We lay at Wellingborough—­pray never lie there—­ the beastliest inn upon earth is there!  We were carried into a vast bedchamber, which I suppose is the club-room, for it stunk of tobacco like a justice of peace.  I desired some boiling water for tea; they brought me a sugar dish of hot water in a pewter plate.  Yesterday morning we went to Boughton,(307) where we were scarce landed, before the Cardigans, in a coach and six and three chaises, arrived with a cold dinner in their pockets, on their way to Deane; for as it is in dispute, they never reside at Boughton.  This was most unlucky, that we should pitch on the only hour in the year in which they are there.  I was so disconcerted, and so afraid, of falling foul of the Countess and her caprices, that I hurried from chamber to chamber, and scarce knew what I saw, but that the house is in the grand old French style, that gods and goddesses lived over my head in every room, and that there was nothing but pedigrees all around me, and under my feet, for there is literally a coat of arms at the end of every step of the stairs:  did the Duke mean to pun, and intend this for the descent of the Montagus?  Well! we hurried away and got to Drayton an hour before dinner.  Oh! the dear old place! you would be transported with it.  In the first place, it stands in as ugly a hole as Boughton:  well! that is not its beauty.  The front is a brave strong castle wall, embattled and loopholed for defence.  Passing the great gate, you come to a sumptuous but narrow modern court, behind which rises the old mansion, all towers and turrets.  The house is excellent; has a vast hall,

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ditto dining-room, king’s chamber, trunk gallery at the top of the house, handsome chapel, and seven or eight distinct apartments, besides closets and conveniences without end.  Then it is covered with portraits, crammed with old china, furnished richly, and not a rag in it under forty, fifty, or a thousand years old; but not a bed or chair that has lost a tooth, or got a gray hair, so well are they preserved.  I rummaged it from head to foot, examined every spangled bed, and enamelled pair of bellows, for such there are; in short, I do not believe the old mansion was ever better pleased with an inhabitant, since the days of Walter de Drayton, except when it has received its divine old mistress.(308) If one could honour her more than one did before, it would be to see with what religion she keeps up the old dwelling and customs, as well as old servants, who you may imagine do not love her less than other people do.  The garden is just as Sir John Germain brought it from Holland; pyramidal yews, treillages, and square cradle walks with windows clipped in them.  Nobody was there but Mr. Beauclerc(309) and Lady Catharine,(310) and two parsons:  the two first suffered us to ransack and do as we would, and the two last assisted us, informed us, and carried us to every tomb in the neighbourhood.  I have got every circumstance by heart, and was pleased beyond my expectation, both with the place and the comfortable way of seeing it.  We stayed here till after dinner to-day, and saw Fotheringhay in our way hither.  The castle is totally ruined.(311) The mount, on which the keep stood, two door-cases, and a piece of the moat, are all the remains.  Near it is a front and two projections of an ancient house, which, by the arms about it, I suppose was part of the palace of Richard and Cicely, Duke and Duchess of York.  There are two pretty tombs for them and their uncle Duke of York in the church, erected by order of Queen Elizabeth.  The church has been very fine, but is now intolerably shabby; yet many large saints remain in the windows, two entire, and all the heads well painted.  You may imagine we were civil enough to the Queen of Scots, to feel a feel of pity for her, while we stood on the very spot where she was put to death; my companion,(312) I believe, who is a better royalist than I am, felt a little more.  There, I have obeyed you.  To-morrow we see Burleigh and Peterborough, and lie @t Ely; on Monday I hope to be in town, and on Tuesday I hope much more to be in the gallery at Strawberry Hill, and to find the gilders laying on the last leaf of gold.  Good night!

(305) A seat of the Earl of Northampton.

(306) A seat of the Earl of Sussex.

(307) The seat of Lord Montagu.

(308) Lady Betty Germain.-E.

(309) Aubrey Beauclerk, Esq. member for Thetford.  He succeeded to the dukedom of St. Albans, as fifth Duke, in 1787, and died in 1802.-E.

(310) Lady Catharine Ponsonby, daughter of the Earl of Desborough.

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(311) James the First is said to have ordered it to be destroyed, in consequence of its having been the scene of the trial and execution of his mother, Mary Queen of Scots, beheaded there in February 1587.-E.

(312) Mr. Cole.

Letter 167 To George Montagu, Esq.  Hockerill, Monday night, July 25, Vol. 2d. (page 231)

You must know we were drowned on Saturday night.  It rained, as it did at Greatworth on Wednesday, all night and all next morning, so we could not look even at the outside of Burleigh; but we saw the inside pleasantly; for Lord Exeter, whom I had prepared for our intentions, came to us, and made every door and every lock fly open, even of his magazines, yet unranged.  He is going through the house by decrees, furnishing a room every year, and has already made several most sumptuous.  One is a little tired of Carlo Maratti and Lucca Jordano, yet still these are treasures.  The china and japan are of the finest; miniatures in plenty, and a shrine full of crystal vases, filigree, enamel, jewels, and the trinkets of taste, that have belonged to many a noble dame.  In return for his civilities, I made my Lord Exeter a present of a glorious cabinet, whose drawers and sides are all painted by Rubens.  This present you must know is his own, but he knew nothing of the hand or the value.  Just so I have given Lady Betty Germain a very fine portrait, that I discovered ,at Drayton in the Woodhouse.

I was not much pleased with Peterborough; the front is adorable, but the inside has no more beauty than consists in vastness.  By the way, I have a pen and ink that will not form a letter.  We were now sent to Huntingdon in our way to Ely, as we found it impracticable, from the rains and floods, to cross the country thither.  We landed in the heart of the assizes, and almost in the middle of the races, both which, to the astonishment of the virtuosi, we eagerly quitted this morning.  We were hence sent south to Cambridge, still on our way north to Ely:  but when we got to Cambridge we were forced to abandon all thoughts of Ely, there being nothing but lamentable stories of inundations and escapes.  However, I made myself amends at the university, which I have not seen these four-and-twenty years, and which revived many youthful scenes, which, merely from their being youthful, are forty times pleasanter than any other ideas.  You know I always long to live at Oxford:  I felt that I could like to live even at Cambridge again.  The colleges are much cleaned and improved since my days, and the trees and groves more venerable; but the town is tumbling about their ears.  We surprised Gray with our appearance, dined and drank tea with him, and are come hither within sight of land.  I always find it worth my while to make journeys, for the joy I have in getting home again.  A second adieu!

Letter 168 To The Rev. Mr. Cole.  Strawberry Hill, Aug. 8, 1763. (page 232)

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Dear sir, You judge rightly, I am very indifferent about Dr. Shorton, since he is not Dr. Shorter.  It has done nothing but rain since my return; whoever wants hay, must fish for it; it is all drowned, or swimming about the country.  I am glad our tour gave you so much pleasure; you was so very obliging, as you have always been to me, that I should have been grieved not to have had it give you satisfaction.  I hope your servant is quite recovered.

The painters and gilders quit my gallery this week, but I have not got a chair or a table for it yet; however, I hope it will have all its clothes on by the time you have promised me a visit.

Letter 169 To Dr. Ducarel.  Strawberry Hill, Aug. 8, 1763. (page 232)

Sir, I have been rambling about the country, or should not so long have deferred to answer the favour of your letter.  I thank you for the notices in it, and have profited of them.  I am much obliged to you too for the drawings you intended me; but I have since had a letter from Mr. Churchill, and he does not mention them.

Letter 170 To The Hon. H. S. Conway.  Strawberry Hill, Aug. 9, 1763. (page 232)

My gallery claims your promise; the painters and gilders finish to-morrow, and next day it washes its hands.  You talked of the 15th; shall I expect you then, and the Countess,(313) and the Contessina,(314) and the Baroness?(315)

Lord Digby is to be married immediately to the pretty Miss Fielding; and Mr. Boothby, they say, to Lady Mary Douglas.  What more news I know I cannot send you; for I have had it from Lady Denbigh and Lady Blandford, who have so confounded names, genders, and circumstances, that I am not sure whether Prince Ferdinand is not going to be married to the hereditary Prince.  Adieu!

P. S. If you want to know more of me, you may read a whole column of abuse upon me in the Public Ledger of Thursday last; where they inform me that the Scotch cannot be so sensible @as the English, because they have not such good writers.  Alack!  I am afraid the most sensible men in any country do not write.

I had writ this last night.  This morning I receive your paper of evasions, perfide que vous `etes!  You may let it alone, you will never see any thing like my gallery—­and then to ask me to leave it the instant it is finished!  I never heard such a request in my days!—­Why, all the earth is begging to come to see it:  as Edging says, I have had offers enough from blue and green ribands to make me a falbala-apron.  Then I have just refused to let Mrs. Keppel and her Bishop be in the house with me, because I expected all you—­it is mighty well, mighty fine!-No, sir, no, I shall not come; nor am I in a humour to do any thing else you desire:  indeed, without your provoking me, I should not have come into the proposal of paying Giardini.  We have been duped and cheated every winter for these

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twenty years by the undertakers of operas, and I never will pay a farthing more till the last moment, nor can be terrified at their puffs; I am astonished you are.  So far from frightening me. the kindest thing they could do would be not to let one have a box to hear their old threadbare voices and frippery thefts; and as for Giardini himself, I would not go cross the room to hear him play to eternity.  I should think he could frighten nobody but Lady Bingley by a refusal.

(313) Of Ailesbury.

(314) Miss Anne Seymour Conway.

(315) Elizabeth Rich, second wife of George Lord Lyttelton.

Letter 171 To The Earl Of Strafford.  Strawberry Hill, Aug 10, 1763.  Page 233)

My dear lord, I have waited in hopes that the world would do something worth telling you:  it will not, and I cannot stay any longer without asking you how you do, and hoping you have not quite forgot me.  It has rained such deluges, that I had some thoughts of turning my gallery into an ark, and began to pack up a pair of bantams, a pair of cats, in short, a pair of every living creature about my house:  but it is grown fine at last, and the workmen quit my gallery to-day without hoisting a sail in it.  I know nothing upon earth but what the ancient ladies in my neighbourhood knew threescore years ago; I write merely to pay you my pepper-corn of affection, and to inquire after my lady, who I hope is perfectly well.  A longer letter would not have half the merit:  a line in return will however repay all the merit I can possibly have to one to whom I am so much obliged.

Letter 172 To George Montagu, Esq.  Strawberry Hill, Aug. 15, 1763. (page 233)

The most important piece of news I have to tell you is, that the gallery is finished; that is, the workmen have quitted it.  For chairs and tables, not one is arrived yet.  Well, how you will tramp up and down in it!  Methinks I wish you would.  We are in the perfection of beauty; verdure itself was never green till this summer, thanks to the deluges of rain.  Our complexion used to be mahogany in August.  Nightingales and roses indeed are out of blow, but the season is celestial.  I don’t know whether we have not even had an earthquake to-day.  Lady Buckingham, Lady Waldegrave, the Bishop of’ Exeter, and Mrs. Keppel, and the little Hotham dined here; between six and seven we were sitting in the great parlour; I sat in the window looking at the river:  on a sudden I saw it violently agitated, and, as it were, lifted up and down by a thousand hands.  I called out, they all ran to the window; it continued; we hurried into the garden, and all saw the Thames in the same violent commotion for I suppose a hundred yards.  We fancied at first there must be some barge rope; not one was in sight.  It lasted in this manner, and at the farther end, towards Teddington, even to dashing.  It

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did not cease before I got to the middle of the terrace, between the fence and the hill.  Yet this is nothing:  to what is to come.  The Bishop and I walked down to my meadow by the river.  At this end were two fishermen in a boat, but their backs had been turned to the agitation, and they had seen nothing.  At the farther end of the field was a gentleman fishing, and a woman by him; I had perceived him on the same spot at the time of the motion of the waters, which was rather beyond where it was terminated.  I now thought myself sure of a witness, and concluded he could not have recovered his surprise.  I ran up to him.  “Sir,” said I, “did you see that strange agitation of the waters?” “When, Sir? when, Sir?” “Now, this very instant, not two minutes ago.”  He replied, with the phlegm of a philosopher, or of a man that can love fishing, “Stay, Sir, let me recollect if I remember nothing of it.”  “Pray, Sir,” said I, scarce able to help laughing, “you must remember whether you remember it or not, for it is scarce over.”  “I am trying to recollect,” said he, with the same coolness.  “Why, Sir,” said I, “six of us saw it from my parlour window yonder.”  “Perhaps,” answered he, “you might perceive it better where you were, but I suppose it was an earthquake.”  His nymph had seen nothing neither, and so we returned as wise as most who inquire into natural phenomena.  We expect to hear to-morrow that there has been an earthquake somewhere; unless this appearance portended a state-quake.  You see, my impetuosity does not abate much; no, nor my youthfullity, which bears me out even at a sabat.  I dined last week at Lady Blandford’s, with her, the old Denbigh, the old Litchfield, and Methuselah knows who.  I had stuck some sweet peas in my hair, was playing at quadrille, and singing to my sorci`eres.  The Duchess of Argyle and Mrs. Young came in; you may guess how they stared; at last the Duchess asked what was the meaning of those flowers?  “Lord, Madam,” said I, “don’t you know it is the fashion?  The Duke of Bedford is come over with his hair full.”  Poor Mrs. Young took this in sober sadness, and has reported that the Duke of Bedford wears flowers.  You will not know me less by a precipitation of this morning.  Pitt and I were busy adjusting the gallery.  Mr. Elliott came in and discomposed us; I was horridly tired of him.  As he was going, he said, “Well, this house is so charming, I don’t wonder at your being able to live so much alone.”  I, who shudder at the thought of any body’s living With me, replied very innocently, but a little too quick, “No, only pity me when I don’t live alone.”  Pitt was shocked, and said, “To be sure he will never forgive you as long as he lives.”  Mrs. Leneve used often to advise me never to begin being civil to people I did not care for:  For,” says she, “you grow weary of them, and can’t help showing it, and so make it ten times worse than if you had never attempted to please them.”

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I suppose you have read in the papers the massacre of my innocents.  Every one of my Turkish sheep, that I have been nursing up these fourteen years, torn to pieces in one night by three strange dogs!  They killed sixteen outright, and mangled the two others in such a manner that I was forced to have them knocked on the head.  However, I bore this better than an interruption.

I have scrawled and blotted this letter so I don’t know whether you can read it; but it is no matter, for I perceive it is all about myself:  but what has one else in the dead of summer?  In return, tell me as much as you please about yourself, which you know is always a most welcome subject to me.  One may preserve one’s spirits with one’s juniors, but I defy any body to care but about their contemporaries.  One wants to linger about one’s predecessors, but who has the least curiosity about their successors?  This is abominable ingratitude:  one takes wondrous pains to consign one’s own memory to them at the same time that one feels the most perfect indifference to whatever relates to them themselves.  Well, they will behave just so in their turns.  Adieu!

Letter 173 To George Montagu, Esq.  Strawberry Hill, Sept. 3, 1763. (page 235)

I have but a minute’s time for answering your letter; my house is full of people, and has been so from the instant I breakfasted, and more are coming; in short, I keep an inn; the sign, the Gothic Castle.  Since my gallery was finished I have not been in it a quarter of an hour together; my whole time is passed in giving tickets for seeing it, and hiding myself while it is seen.  Take my advice, never build a charming house for yourself between London and Hampton-court:  every body will live in it but you.  I fear you must give up all thoughts of the Vine for this year, at least for some time.  The poor master is on the rack; I left him the day before yesterday in bed, where he had been ever since Monday, with the gout in both knees and one foot, and suffering martyrdom every night.  I go to see him again on Monday.  He has not had so bad a fit these four years, and he has probably the other foot still to come.  You must come to me at least in the mean time, before he is well enough to receive you.  After next Tuesday I am unengaged, except on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday following; that is, the tenth, eleventh, and twelfth, when the family from Park-place are to be with me.  Settle your motions, and let me know them as soon as you can, and give me as much time as you can spare.  I flatter myself the General(316) and Lady Grandison will keep the kind promise they made me, and that I shall see your brother John and Mr. Miller too.

My niece is not breeding.  You shall have the auction books as soon as I can get them, though I question if there is any thing in your way; however, I shall see you long before the sale, and we will talk on it.

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There has been a revolution and a re-revolution, but I must defer the history till I see you, for it is much too big for a letter written in such a hurry as this.  Adieu!

(316) General Montagu, who, in the preceding February, had married the Countess-dowager of Grandison.-E.

Letter 174 To George Montagu, Esq.  Strawberry Hill, Sept. 7, 1763. (page 236)

As I am sure the house of Conway will not stay with me beyond Monday next, I shall rejoice to see the house of Montagu this day se’nnight (Wednesday), and shall think myself highly honoured by a visit from Lady Beaulieu;(317) I know nobody that has better taste, and it would flatter me exceedingly if she should happen to like Strawberry.  I knew you would be pleased with Mr. Thomas Pitt; he is very amiable and very sensible, and one of the very few that I reckon quite worthy of being at home at Strawberry.

I have again been in town to see Mr. Chute; he thinks the worst over, yet he gets no sleep, and is still confined to his bed ’but his spirits keep up surprisingly.  As to your gout, so far from pitying you, ’tis the best thing that can happen to you.  All that claret and port are very kind to you, when they prefer the shape of lameness to that of apoplexies, or dropsies, or fevers, or pleurisies.

Let me have a line certain what day I may expect your party, that I may pray to the sun to illuminate the cabinet.  Adieu!

(317) Isabella, eldest daughter and co-heir of John Duke of Montagu, and relict of William Duke of Manchester; married, in 1763, to Edward Montagu, Lord Beaulieu.-E.

Letter 175 To George Montagu, Esq.  Strawberry Hill, Oct. 3, 1763. (page 236)

I was just getting into my chaise to go to Park-place, when I received your commission for Mrs. Crosby’s pictures; but I did not neglect it, though I might as well, for the old gentlewoman was a little whimsical, and though I sent my own gardener and farmer with my cart to fetch them on Friday, she would not deliver them, she said, till Monday; so this morning they were forced to go again.  They are now all safely lodged in my cloister; when I say safely, you understand, that two of them have large holes in them, as witness this bill of lading signed by your aunt.  There are eleven in all, besides Lord Halifax, seven half-lengths and four heads; the former are all desirable, and one of the latter; the three others woful.  Mr. Wicks is now in the act of packing them, for we have changed our minds about sending them to London by water, as your wagoner told Louis last time I was at Greatworth, that if they were left at the Old Hat, near Acton, he would take them up and convey them to Greatworth; so my cart carries them thither, and they will set out towards you next Saturday.

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I felt shocked, as you did, to think how suddenly the prospect of joy at Osterly was dashed after our seeing it.  However the young lover(318) died handsomely.  Fifty thousand pounds will dry tears, that at most could be but two months old.  His brother, I heard, has behaved still more handsomely, and confirmed the legacy, and added from himself the diamonds that had been prepared for her.  Here is a charming wife ready for any body that likes a sentimental situation, a pretty woman, and a large fortune.(319)

I have been often at Bulstrode from Chaffont, but I don’t like it.  It is Dutch and triste.  The pictures you mention in the gallery would be curious if they knew one from another; but the names are lost, and they are only sure that they have so many pounds of ancestors in the lump.  One or two of them indeed I know, as the Earl of Southampton, that was Lord Essex’s friend.

The works of Park-place go on bravely; the cottage will be very pretty, and the bridge sublime, composed of loose rocks, that will appear to have been tumbled together there the very wreck of the deluge.  One stone is of fourteen hundred weight.  It will be worth a hundred of Palladio’s brigades, that are only fit to be used in an opera.

I had a ridiculous adventure on my way hither.  A Sir Thomas Reeves wrote to me last year, that he had a great quantity of heads of painters, drawn by himself from Dr. Mead’s collection, of which many were English, and offered me the use of them.  This was one of the numerous unknown correspondents which my books have drawn upon me.  I put it off then, but being to pass near his door, for he lives but two miles from Maidenhead, I sent him word I would call on my way to Park-place.  After being carried to three wrong houses, I was directed to a very ancient mansion, composed of timber, and looking as unlike modern habitations, as the picture of Penderel’s house in Clarendon.  The garden was overrun with weeds, and with difficulty we found a bell.  Louis came riding back in great haste, and said, “Sir, the Gentleman is dead suddenly.”  You may imagine I was surprised; however, as an acquaintance I had never seen was an endurable misfortune, I was preparing to depart; but happening to ask some women, that were passing by the chaise, if they knew any circumstance of Sir Thomas’s death, I discovered that this was not Sir Thomas’s house, but belonged to a Mr. Mecke,(320) fellow of a college at Oxford, who was actually just dead, and that the antiquity itself had formerly been the residence of Nell Gwyn.  Pray inquire after it the next time you are at Frocmore.  I went on, and after a mistake or two more found Sir Thomas, a man about thirty in age, and twelve in understanding; his drawings very indifferent, even for the latter calculation.  I did not know what to do or say, but commended them and his child, and his house; said I had all the heads, hoped I should see him at Twickenham, was afraid of being too late for dinner, and hurried out of his house before I had been there twenty minutes.  It grieves one to receive civilities when one feels obliged, and yet finds it impossible to bear the people that bestow them.

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I have given my assembly, to show my gallery, and it was glorious; but happening to pitch upon the feast of tabernacles, none of my Jews could come, though Mrs. Clive proposed to them to change their religion; so I am forced to exhibit once more.  For the morning spectators, the crowd augments instead of diminishing.  It is really true that Lady Hertford called here t’other morning, and I was reduced to bring her by the back gate into the kitchen; the house was so full of company that came to see the gallery, that I had no where else to carry her.  Adieu!

P. S. I hope the least hint has never dropped from the Beaulieus of that terrible picture of Sir Charles Williams, that put me into such confusion the morning they breakfasted here.  If they did observe the inscription, I am sure they must have seen too how it distressed me.  Your collection of pictures is packed up, and makes two large cases and one smaller.

My next assembly will be entertaining; there will be five countesses, two bishops, fourteen Jews, five papists, a doctor of physic, and an actress; not to mention Scotch, Irish, East and West Indians.

I find that, to pack up your pictures, Louis has taken some paper out of a hamper of waste, into which I had cast some of the Conway papers, perhaps only as useless , however, if you find any such in the packing, be so good as to lay them by for me.

(318) Francis Child, Esq. the banker at Temple-bar, and member for Bishop’s-Castle, who died on the @3d of September.  He was to have been married in a few days to the only daughter of the Hon. Robert Trevor Hampden, one of the postmasters-general.-E.

(319) This young lady was married in the May following to Henri, twelfth Earl of Suffolk.-E.

(320) The Rev. Mr. Mecke, of Pembroke College.  He died on the 26th of September.-E.

Letter 176 To The Rev. Mr. Cole.  Strawberry Hill, Oct. 8, 1763.  Page 239)

Dear Sir, You are always obliging to me and always thinking Of me kindly; yet for once you have forgotten the way of obliging me most.  You do not mention any thought of coming hither, which you had given me cause to hope about this time, I flatter myself nothing has intervened to deprive me of that visit.  Lord Hertford goes to France the end of next week; I shall be in town to take leave of him; but after the 15th, that is, this day se’nnight, I shall be quite unengaged and the sooner I see you after the 15th, the better, for I should be sorry to drag you across the country in the badness of November roads.

I shall treasure up your notices against my second edition for the volume of Engravers is printed off, and has been some time; I only wait for some of the plates.  The book you mention I have not seen, nor do you encourage me to buy it.  Some time or other however I will get you to let me turn it over.

As I will trust that you will let me know soon when I shall have the pleasure of seeing you here, I will make this a very short letter indeed.  I know nothing new or old worth telling you.

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Letter 177 To The Earl Of Hertford.(321) Arlington Street, Oct. 18, 1763. (page 239)

My dear Lord, I am very impatient for a letter from Paris, to hear of your outset, and what my Lady Hertford thinks of the new world she is got into, and whether it is better or worse than she expected.  Pray tell me all:  I mean of that sort, for I have no curiosity about the family compact, nor the harbour of Dunkirk.  It is your private history—­your audiences, reception, comforts or distresses, your way of life, your company—­that interests me; in short, I care about my cousins and friends, not, like Jack Harris,(322) about my lord ambassador.  Consider you are in my power.  You, by this time, are longing to hear from England, and depend upon me for the news of London.  I shall not send you a tittle, if you are not very good, and do not (one of you, at least) write to me punctually.

This letter, I confess, will not give you much encouragement, for I can absolutely tell you nothing.  I dined at Mr. Grenville’s to-day, if there had been any thing to hear, I should have heard it; but all consisted in what you will see in the papers—­some diminutive(323) battles in America, and the death of the King of Poland,(324) which you probably knew before we did.  The town is a desert; it is like a vast plain, which, though abandoned at present, is in three weeks to have a great battle fought upon it.  One of the colonels, I hear, is to be in town tomorrow, the Duke of Devonshire.  I came myself but this morning, but as I shall not return to Strawberry till the day after to-morrow, I shall not seal my letter till then.  In the mean time, it is but fair to give you some more particular particulars of what I expect to know.  For instance, of Monsieur de Nivernois’s cordiality; of Madame Dusson’s affection for England; of my Lord Holland’s joy at seeing you in France, especially without your Secretary;(325) of all my Lady Hertford’s(326) cousins at St. Germains; and I should not dislike a little anecdote or two of the late embassy,(327) of which I do not doubt you will hear plenty.  I must trouble you with many compliments to Madame de Boufflers, and with still more to the Duchesse de Mirepoix,(328) who is always so good as to remember me.  Her brother, Prince de Beauvau,(329) I doubt has forgotten me.  In the disagreeableness of taking leave, I omitted these messages.  Good night for to-night—­oh!  I forgot—­pray send me some caff`e au lait:  the Duc de Picquigny(33) (who by the way is somebody’s son, as I thought) takes it for snuff; and says it is the new fashion at Paris; I suppose they drink rappee after dinner.

Wednesday night.

I might as well have finished last night; for I know nothing more than I did then, but that Lady mary Coke arrived this evening.  She has behaved very honourably, and not stolen the hereditary Prince.(331)

Mr. Bowman(332) called on me yesterday before I came, and left word that he would come again to-day, but did not.  I wished to hear of you from him, and a little of my old acquaintance at Rheims.  Did you find Lord Beauchamp(333) much grown?  Are all your sons to be like those of the Amalekites? who were I forget how many cubits high.

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Pray remind Mr. Hume(334) Of collecting the whole history of the expulsion of the Jesuits.  It is a subject worthy of his inquiry and pen.  Adieu! my dear lord.

(321) This is the first of the series of letters which Walpole addressed to his relation, the Earl of Hertford, during his lordship’s embassy in Paris, in the years 1763, 1764, and 1765.  The first edition of these letters appeared, in quarto, in 1825, edited by the Right Honourable John Wilson Croker, and contained the following introductory notice:—­

“No apology, it is presumed, is necessary for the following publication.  The Letters of Mr. Walpole have already attained the highest rank in that department of English literature, and seem to deserve their popularity, whether they are regarded as objects of mere amusement, or as a collection of anecdotes illustrative of the politics, literature, and manners of an important and interesting period.

“The following collection is composed of his letters to his cousin, the Earl of Hertford, while ambassador at Paris, from 1763 to 1765; which seem, at least as much as those which have preceded them, deserving of the public attention.

“It appears from some circumstances connected with the letters themselves, that Mr. Walpole wrote them in the intention and hope that they might be preserved; and although they are enlivened by his characteristic vivacity, and are not deficient in the lighter matters with which he was in the habit of amusing all his correspondents, they are, on the whole, written in a more careful style, and are employed on more important subjects than any others which have yet come to light.

“Of the former collections, anecdote and chit-chat formed the principal topics, and politics were introduced Only as they happened to be the news of the day.  Of the series now offered to the public, politics are the groundwork, and the town-talk is only the accidental embroidery.

“Mr. Walpole’s lately published Memoires have given proof of his ability in sketching parliamentary portraits and condensing parliamentary debates.  In the following letters, powers of the same class will, it is thought, be recognised; and as the published parliamentary debates are extremely imperfect for the whole time to which this correspondence relates, Mr. Walpole’s sketches are additionally valuable.

“These letters also give a near view of the proceedings of political parties during that interesting period; and although the representation of so warm a partisan must be read with due caution, a great deal of authentic information on this subject will be found, and even the very errors of the writer will sometimes tend to elucidate the state of parties during one of the busiest periods of our domestic dissensions.

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“Mr. Walpole’s party feelings were, indeed, so warm, and his judgment of individuals was so often affected by the political lights in which he viewed them, that the Editor has thought it due to many eminent political characters to add a few notes, to endeavour to explain the prejudices and to correct the misapprehensions under which Mr. Walpole wrote.  In doing so, the Editor has, he hopes, shown (what he certainly felt) a perfect impartiality; and he flatters himself that he has only endeavoured to perform, (however imperfectly) what Mr. Walpole himself, after the heat of party had subsided, would have been inclined to do.”—­ To the notes here spoken of, the letter C. is affixed.

(322) John Harris, Esq. of Hayne, in Devonshire, who married Anne, Lord Hertford’s eldest sister.-E.

(323) The actions at Detroit and Edge Hill, on the 31st of July and 5th and 6th of August, between the British and the Indians.  In the former the British were defeated, and their leader, Captain Ditlyell, killed; in the latter engagements, under Colonel Bouguet, they defeated the Indians.-C.

(324) Stanislaus Augustus, Elector of Saxony and King of Poland.  He died at Dresden, on the 5th of October.-E.

(325) Mr. Fox, so long a political leader in the House of Commons, had been lately created Lord Holland, and was now in Paris.  Mr. Walpole insinuates, in his letter to Mr. Montagu of the 14th of April, that Lord Holland’s visit to France arose from apprehension of personal danger to himself, in consequence of his share in Lord Bute’s administration—­an absurd insinuation!  What is meant by his joy at seeing Lord Hertford in France is not clear; but the allusion to the secretary probably refers to the absence of Sir Charles, then Mr. Bunbury, who was nominated secretary to the embassy, but who had not accompanied Lord Hertford to Paris:  as Mr. Bunbury had married Lady Holland’s niece, there may have been family reason for this allusion.-C.

(326) Lady Hertford was a granddaughter of Charles ii., and therefore cousin to the pretender, who, however, was at this period in Italy; and the cousins alluded to were probably the family of Fitz-James.-C.

(327) John, fourth Duke of Bedford, was Lord Hertford’s predecessor.  Mr. Walpole had been on terms of personal and political intimacy at Bedford-house; but political and private differences had occurred to sharpen his resentment against the Duke, and even occasionally against the Duchess of Bedford.-C.

(328) The Mar`eschale de Mirepoix was a clever woman, who was at the head of one class of French society.  She, however, quarrelled with her family, and lost the respect of the public by the meanness of countenancing Madame du Barri.-C.

(329) Son of the Prince de Craon:  he was born in 1720; served with great distinction from the earliest age, and was created, in 1782, marshal of France.  His conduct in discountenancing the favouritism of the last years of Louis xv. was very honourable, as was his devotion to Louis xvi. in the first years of the revolution.  The marshal survived his unfortunate sovereign but three months.-C.

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(330) Son of the Duke de Chaulnes.-E.

(331) The Hereditary Prince of Brunswick was at this time betrothed to the King’s eldest sister; and Mr. Walpole, a constant friend and admirer of Lady Mary, affects to think that her beauty and vivacity might have seduced his Serene Highness from his royal bride.  Lady Mary lived till 1810.-C.

(332) This gentleman was travelling tutor to Lord Hertford’s eldest son, and had been lately residing with him at Rheims.-C.

(333) Francis, afterwards second Marquis of Hertford, who died in the year 1822.-E.

(334) David Hume, the historian.  He was at first private secretary to Lord Hertford, and afterwards secretary of embassy.-E.

Letter 178 To George Montagu, Esq.  Strawberry Hill, Nov. 12, 1763. (page 242)

I send you the catalogue as you desired; and as I told you, you will, I think, find nothing to your purpose:  the present lord bought all the furniture at Navestock;(335) the few now to be sold are the very fine ones of the best masters, and likely to go at vast prices, for there are several people determined to have some one thing that belonged to Lord Waldegrave.  I did not get the catalogue till the night before last, too late to send by the post, for I had dined with Sir Richard Lyttelton at Richmond, and was forced to return by Kew-bridge, for the Thames was swelled so violently that the ferry could not work.  I am here quite alone in the midst of a deluge, without Mrs. Noah, but with half as many animals.  The waters are as much out as they were last year, when her vice-majesty of Ireland,(336) that now is sailed to Newmarket with both legs out at the fore glass, was here.  Apropos, the Irish court goes on ill; they lost a question by forty the very first day on the address.  The Irish, not being so absurd or so complimental as Mr. Allen, they would not suffer the word “adequate” to pass.(337) The prime minister is so unpopular that they think he must be sent back.  His patent and Rigby’s are called in question.  You see the age is not favourable to prime ministers:  well!  I am going amidst it all, very unwillingly; I had rather stay here, for I am sick of the storms, that once loved them so cordially:  over and above, I am not well; this is the third winter my nightly fever has returned; it comes like the bellman before Christmas, to put me in mind of my mortality.

Sir Michael Foster(338) is dead, a Whig of the old rock:  he is a greater loss to his country than the prim attorney-general,(339) who has resigned, or than the attorney’s father, who is dying, will be.

My gallery is still in such request, that, though the middle of November, I give out a ticket to-day for seeing it.  I see little of it myself, for I cannot sit alone in such state; I should think myself like the mad Duchess of Albemarle,(340) who fancied herself Empress of China.  Adieu!

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(335) In Essex, the seat of the Waldegraves.-E.

(336) The Countess of Northumberland.-E.

(337) To prevent the presentation of a more objectionable address from the corporation of Bath, in favour of the peace, Mr. Allen had secured the introduction of the word adequate, into the one agreed to; which gave such offence to Mr. Pitt that he refused to present it.-E.

(338) One of the judges in the court of King’s Bench.-E.

(339) The Hon. Charles Yorke.

(340) Widow of Christopher Duke of Albemarle, and daughter of the Duke of Newcastle.

Letter 179 To The Earl Of Hertford.  Arlington Street, Nov. 17, 1763. (page 243)

If the winter keeps up to the vivacity of its d`ebut, you will have no reason to complain of the sterility of my letters.  I do not say this from the spirit of the House of Commons on the first day,(341) which was the most fatiguing and dull debate I ever heard, dull as I have heard many; and yet for the first quarter of an hour it looked as if we were met to choose a King of Poland,(342) and that all our names ended in zsky.  Wilkes, the night before, had presented himself at the Cockpit:  as he was listening to the Speech,(343) George Selwyn said to him, in the words of the Dunciad, “May Heaven preserve the ears you lend!"(344) We lost four hours debating whether or not it was necessary to open the session with reading a bill.  The opposite sides, at the same time, pushing to get the start, between the King’s message, which Mr. Grenville stood at the bar to present, which was to acquaint us with the arrest of Wilkes and all that affair, and the complaint which Wilkes himself stood up to make.  At six we divided on the question of reading a bill.(345) Young Thomas Townshend(346) divided the House injudiciously, as the question was so idle; yet the whole argument of the day had been so complicated with this question, that in effect it became the material question for trying forces.  This will be an interesting part to you, when you hear that your brother(347) and I were in the minority.  You know him, and therefore know he did what he thought right; and for me, my dear lord, you must know that I would die in the House for its privileges, and the liberty of the press.  But come, don’t be alarmed:  this will have no Consequences.  I don’t think your brother is going into opposition; and for me, if I may name myself to your affection after him, nothing but a question of such magnitude can carry me to the House at all.  I am sick of parties and factions, and leave them to buy and sell one another.  Bless me!  I had forgot the numbers; they were 300, we 111.  We then went upon the King’s message; heard the North Briton read; and Lord North,(348) who took the prosecution upon him and did it very well, moved to vote a scandalous libel, etc. tending to foment treasonable insurrections.  Mr. Pitt gave up the

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paper, but fought against the last words of the censure.  I say Mr. Pitt, for indeed, like Almanzor, he fought almost singly, and spoke forty times:  the first time in the day with much wit, afterwards with little energy.  He had a tough enemy too; I don’t mean in parts or argument, but one that makes an excellent bulldog, the solicitor-general Norton.  Legge was, as usual, concise; and Charles Townshend, what is not usual, silent.  We sat till within a few minutes of two, after dividing again; we, our exact former number, 111; they, 273; and then we adjourned to go on the point of privilege the next day; but now

“Listen, lordings, and hold you still;
Of doughty deeds tell you I will.”

Martin,(349) in the debate, mentioned the North Briton, in which he himself had been so heavily abused; and he said, “whoever stabs a reputation in the dark, without setting his name, is a cowardly, malignant, and scandalous scoundrel.”  This, looking at Wilkes, he repeated twice, with such rage and violence, that he owned his passion obliged him to sit down.  Wilkes bore this with the same indifference as he did all that passed in the day.  The -House, too, who from Martin’s choosing to take a public opportunity of resentment, when he had so long declined any private notice, and after Wilkes’s courage was become so problematic, seemed to think there was no danger of such champions going further; but the next day, when we came into the House, the first thing we heard was that Martin had shot Wilkes:  so he had; but Wilkes has six lives still good.  It seems Wilkes had writ, to avow the paper, to Martin, on which the latter challenged him.  They went into Hyde-park about noon; Humphrey Coates, the wine-merchant, waiting in a postchaise to convey Wilkes away if triumphant.  They fired at the distance of fourteen yards:  both missed. then Martin fired and lodged a ball in the side of Wilkes; who was going to return it, but dropped his pistol.  He desired Martin to take care of securing himself, and assured him he would never say a word against him, and he allows that Martin behaved well.  The wound yesterday was thought little more than a flesh-wound, and he was in his old spirits.  To-day the account is worse, and he has been delirious:  so you will think when you hear what is to come.  I think, from the agitation his mind must be in, from his spirits, and from drinking, as I Suppose he will, that he probably will end here.  He puts me in mind of two lines of Hudibras,(350) which, by the arrangement of the words combined with Wilkes’s story, are stronger than Butler intended them:—­

“But he, that fights and runs away,
May live to fight another day.”

His adventures with Lord Talbot,(351) Forbes,(352) and Martin, make these lines history.

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Now for part the second.  On the first day, in your House, where the address was moved by Lord Hilsborough and Lord Suffolk, after some wrangling between Lord Temple, Lord Halifax, the Duke of Bedford, and Lord Gower; Lord Sandwich(353) laid before the House the most blasphemous and indecent poem that ever was composed, called “An Essay on Woman, With notes, by Dr. Warburton."’, I will tell you none of the particulars:  they were so exceedingly bad, that Lord Lyttelton begged the reading might be stopped.  The House was amazed; nobody ventured even to ask a question:  so it was easily voted every thing you please, and a breach of privilege into the bargain.  Lord Sandwich then informed your Lordships, that Mr. Wilkes was the author.  Fourteen copies alone were printed, one of which the ministry had bribed the printer to give up.  Lord Temple then objected to the manner of obtaining it; and Bishop Warburton, as much shocked at infidelity as Lord Sandwich had been at obscenity, said, “the blackest fiends in hell would not keep company with Wilkes when he should arrive there.”  Lord Sandwich moved to vote Wilkes the author; but this Lord Mansfield stopped, advertising the House that it was necessary first to hear what Wilkes could say in his defence.  To-day, therefore, Was appointed for that purpose; but it has been put off by Martin’s lodging a caveat.(354) This bomb was certainly well conducted, and the secret, though known to many, well kept.  The management is worthy of Lord Sandwich, and like him.  It may sound odd for me, with my principles, to admire Lord Sandwich; but besides that he has in several instances been very obliging to me, there is a good humour and an industry about him that are very uncommon.  I do not admire politicians; but when they are excellent in their way, one cannot help allowing them their due.  Nobody but he could have struck a stroke like this.

Yesterday we sat till eight on the address, which yet passed without a negative — we had two very long speeches from Mr. Pitt and Mr. Grenville; many fine parts in each.  Mr. Pitt has given the latter some strong words, yet not so many as were expected.(355) To-morrow we go on the great question ’of privilege; but I must send this away, as we have no chance of leaving the House before midnight, if before next morning.

This long letter contains the history of but two days; yet if two days furnish a history, it is not my fault.  The ministry, I think, may do whatever they please.  Three hundred, that will give up their own privileges, may be depended upon for giving up any thing else.  I have not time or room to ask a question, or say a word more.

Nov. 18, Friday.

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I have luckily got a holiday, and can continue my despatch, as you know dinner time is my chief hour of business.  The Speaker, unlike Mr. Onslow, who was immortal in the chair, is taken very ill, and our House is adjourned to Monday.  Wilkes is thought in great danger:  instead of keeping him quiet, his friends have shown their zeal by him, and himself has been all spirits and riot, and sat in his bed the next morning to correct the press for to-morrow’s North Briton.  His bon-mots are all over the town, but too gross, I think, to repeat; the chief’ are at the expense of poor Lord George.(356) Notwithstanding Lord Sandwich’s masked battery, the tide runs violently for Wilkes, and I do not find people in general so inclined to excuse his lordship as I was.  One hears nothing but stories of the latter’s impiety, and of the concert he was In with Wilkes on that subject.  Should this hero die, the Bishop of Gloucester may doom him whither he pleases, but Wilkes will pass for a saint and a martyr.

Besides what I have mentioned, there were two or three passages in the House of Lords that were diverting.  Lord Temple dwelled much on the Spanish ministry being devoted to France.  Lord Halifax replied, “Can we help that?  We can no more oblige the King of Spain to change his ministers, than his lordship can force his Majesty to change the present administration.”  Lord Gower, too, attacking Lord Temple on want of respect to the King, the Earl replied, “he never had wanted respect for the King:  he and his family had been attached to the house of Hanover full as long as his lordship’s family had."(357)

You may imagine that little is talked of but Wilkes, and what relates to him.  Indeed, I believe there is no other news, but that Sir George Warren marries Miss Bishop, the maid of honour.  The Duchess Of Grafton is at Euston, and hopes to stay there till after Christmas.  Operas do not begin till tomorrow se’nnight; but the Mingotti is to sing, and that contents me.  I forgot to tell you, and you may Wonder at hearing nothing Of the Reverend Mr. Charles Pylades,(358) while Mr. John Orestes is making such a figure:  but Dr. Pylades, the poet, has forsaken his consort and the Muses, and is gone off with a stonecutter’s daughter.(359) If he should come and offer himself to you for chaplain to the embassy!

The Countess of Harrington was extremely alarmed last Sunday,, on seeing the Duc de Prequigny enter her assembly:  she forbade Lady Caroline(360) speaking to such a debauched young man, and communicated her fright to everybody.  The Duchess of Bedford observed to me that as Lady Berkeley(361) and some other matrons of the same stamp were there, she thought there was no danger of any violence being committed.  For my part, the sisters are so different, that I conclude my Lady Hertford has not found any young man in France wild enough for her.  Your counterpart, M. de Guerchy, takes extremely.  I have not yet seen his wife.

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I this minute receive your charming long letter of the 11th, and give you a thousand thanks for it.  I wish next Tuesday was past, for Lady Hertford’s sake.  You may depend on my letting you know, if I hear the least rumour in your disfavour.  I shall do so without your orders, for I could not bear to have you traduced and not advertise you to defend yourself.  I have hitherto not heard a syllable; but the newspapers talk of your magnificence, and I approve extremely your intending to support their evidence; for though I do not think it necessary to scatter pearls and diamonds about the streets like their vice-majesties(362), of Ireland, one owes it to one’s self and to the King’s choice to prove it was well made.

The colour given at Paris to Bunbury’s(363) stay in England has been given out here too.  You need not, I think, trouble yourself about that; a majority of three hundred will soon show, that if he was detained, the reason at least no longer subsists.

Hamilton is certainly returning from Ireland.  Lord Shannon’s(364) son is going to marry the Speaker’s daughter, and the Primate has begged to have the honour of Joining their hands.

This letter is wofullv blotted and ill-written, yet I must say it is print compared to your lordship’s.  At first I thought you had forgot that you was not writing to the secretary of state, and had put it into cipher.  Adieu!  I am neither, dead of my fever nor apoplexy, nay, nor of the House of Commons.  I rather think the violent heat of the latter did me good.  Lady Ailesbury was at court yesterday, and benignly received;(365) a circumstance you will not dislike.

P.S.  If I have not told you all you want to know, interrogate me, and I will answer the next post.

(341) Parliament met on the 15th of November.  The public mind was at this moment in a considerable ferment, and the King’s speech invited Parliament “to discourage that licentious spirit which is repugnant to the true principles of liberty and of this happy constitution.”  It was expected that these words would, from their being understood as a direct attack on Mr. Wilkes, have opened a debate on his question, which was then uppermost in every mind; but the opposition were unwilling to put themselves under the disadvantage of opposing the address and of excepting against words, which, in their general meaning were unexceptionable; they, therefore, had recourse to the proceedings so well described in this letter.-C.

(342) He means, that parties were so violent that the members seemed inclined to come to blows.-C.

(343) The King’s speech, which is now read at the house of the minister, to a selection of the friends of government, was formerly read at the Cockpit, and all who chose attended.-C.

(344) “Yet oh, my sons! a father’s words attend; So may the Fates preserve the ears you lend."-E.

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(345) “As soon as the members were sworn at the table, Mr. Wilkes and Mr. Grenville then a chancellor of the exchequer, arose in their places, the first to make a complaint of a breach of privilege in having been imprisoned, etc.; and Mr. Grenville, to communicate to the House a message from the King, which related to the privileges of the House:  the Speaker at the same time acquainted the House, that the clerk had prepared a bill, and submitted it to them, whether, in point of form, the reading of the bill should not be the first proceeding towards opening the session.  A very long debate ensued, which of these three matters ought to have the precedence,, -and at last it was carried in favour of the bill.”  Hatsell’s Precedents, vol. ii. p. 77.-E.

(346) Afterwards Lord Sydney.  The Townshends were supposed to be very unsteady, if not fickle, in their political conduct; a circumstance which gives point to Goldsmith’s mention of this Mr. Townshend in his character of Burke:-

“——­yet straining his throat To persuade Tommy Townshend to lend him a vote."-C.

(347) Henry Seymour Conway, only brother of Lord Hertford, at this time a groom of the bedchamber, lieutenant-general in the army, and colonel of the first regiment of dragoons.  He was, as we will see, in consequence of his opposition to government on these questions, dismissed both from court and his regiment:  but he became, on a change of ministers in 1765, secretary of state; and in 1772 was promoted to be a general; and in 1793 a field-marshal.-C.

(348) Lord North was at this time one of the junior lords of the treasury.-E.

(349) Samuel Martin, Esq.  Member for Camelford.  He had been secretary of the treasury during the Duke of Newcastle’s and Lord Bute’s administration.-E.

(350) These lines, and two others, usually appended to them—­

“He that is in battle slain
Can never rise to fight again,”

are not in Hudibras.  Butler has the same thought in two lines—­

“For those that fly may fight again,
Which he can never do that’s slain.” 
Par. iii.  Cant. 3, 1. 243.-C.

(351) At the coronation, Lord Talbot, as lord steward, appeared on horseback in Westminster-hall.  His horse had been, at numerous rehearsals, so assiduously trained to perform what was thought the most difficult part of his duty, namely, the retiring backwards from the royal table, that, at the ceremony itself, no art of his rider could prevent the too docile animal from making his approaches to the royal presence tail foremost.  This ridiculous incident, was the occasion of some sarcastic remarks in the North Briton, of the 21st August, which led to a correspondence between Lord Talbot and Mr. Wilkes, and ultimately to a duel in the garden of the Red Lion Inn, at Bagshot, Mr. Wilkes proposed that the parties should sup together that night, and fight next morning.  Lord Talbot insisted on fighting immediately.  This altercation, and some delay of Wilkes in writing papers, which (not expecting, he said, to take the field before morning) he had left unfinished, delayed the affair till dusk, and after the innocuous exchange of shots by moonlight, the parties shook hands, and supped together at the inn with a great deal of jollity.-C.

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(352) A young Scotch officer of the name of Forbes, fastened a quarrel on Mr. Wilkes, in Paris, for having written against Scotland, and insisted on his fighting him.  Wilkes declined until he should have settled an engagement of the same nature which he had with Lord Egremont.  Just at this time Lord Egremont died, and Wilkes immediately offered to meet Captain Forbes at Menin, in Flanders.  By some mistake Forbes did not appear, and the affair blew over.  A long controversy was kept up on the subject by partisans in the newspapers; but on the whole it is impossible to deny that Forbes’s conduct was nasty and foolish, and that Wilkes behaved himself like a man of temper and honour.-C.

(353) At this time secretary of state. " It is a great mercy,” says Lord Chesterfield, in a letter to his son, of the 3d of December, “that Mr. Wilkes, the intrepid defender of our rights and liberties, is out of danger; and it is no less a mercy, that God hath raised up the Earl of Sandwich, to vindicate true religion and morality.  These two blessings will justly make an epocha in the annals affairs country."-E.

(354) The Bishop of Gloucester, whose laborious commentaries on Pope’s Essay on Man gave Wilkes the idea of fathering on him the notes on the Essay on Woman.-C.

(355) Dr. Birch, in a letter to Lord Royston, gives the following account of what passed in the House of Lords on this occasion:- -"The session commenced with a complaint made by Lord Sandwich against Mr. Wilkes for a breach of privilege in being the author of a poem full of obscenity and blasphemy, intitled ’An Essay on Woman,’ with notes, under the name of the Bishop of Gloucester.  His letters, which discovered the piece was his, had been seized at Kearsley’s the bookseller, when the latter was taken up for publishing No. 45 of the North Briton.  Lord Temple and Lord Sandys objected to the reading letters, till the secretary of state’s warrant, by which Kearsley had been arrested, had been produced and shown to be a legal act; but this objection being overruled, the Lords voted the Essay a most scandalous, obscene, and impious libel, and adjourned the farther consideration of the subject, as far as concerned the author, till the Thursday following."-E.

Lord Barrington, in a letter to Sir Andrew Mitchell, gives the following account of Mr. Pitt’s speech:—­“He spoke with great ability, and the utmost degree of temper:  he spoke civilly, and not unfairly, of the ministers; but of the King he said every thing which duty and affection could inspire.  The effect of this was a vote for an address, nem. con.  I think, if fifty thousand pounds had been given for that speech, it would have been well expended.  It secures us a quiet session.”  See Chatham Correspondence, Vol. ii. p. 262.-E.

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(356) Probably Lord George Sackville, so disagreeably celebrated for his conduct at Minden; afterwards a peer, by the title of Lord Sackville, and secretary of state.  In the North Briton which was in preparation when Wilkes was taken up, he advised that Lord George should carry the sword before the King at an intended thanksgiving.  Of all the persons suspected of being the author of Junius, Lord George Sackville seems the most probable.-C. ["It is peculiarly hostile to the opinion in favour of Lord George, that Junius should roundly have accused him of want of courage.”  Woodfall’s Junius, Vol. i.  P. 161.]

(357) Lord Gower had been reputed the head of the Jacobites.  Sir C. H. Williams sneeringly calls him “Hanoverian Gower;” and when he accepted office from the house of Brunswick, all the Jacobites in England were mortified and enraged.  Dr. Johnson, a steady Tory, was, when compiling his Dictionary, with difficulty persuaded not to add to his explanation of the word deserter—­“Sometimes it is called a Go’er."-C. ["Talking,” says Boswell, “upon this subject, Dr. Johnson mentioned to me a stronger instance of the predominance of his private feelings in the composition of this work than any now to be found in it:  ’You know, Sir, Lord Gower forsook the old Jacobite interest:  when I came to the word renegades after telling what it meant, one who deserts to the enemy, a revolter, I added, sometimes we Say a Gower:  thus it went to the press; but the printer had more wit than I, and struck it out.’” Croker’s Boswell.]

(358) Churchill the satirist and Wilkes; of whom Mr. Southey, in his Life of Cowper, relates the following anecdote:—­“Churchill became Wilkes’s coadjutor in the North Briton; and the publishers, when examined before the privy council on the publication of No. 45, having declared that Wilkes gave orders for the printing, and Churchill received the profits from the sale, orders were given for arresting Churchill under the general warrant.  He was saved from arrest by Wilkes’s presence of mind, who was in custody of the messenger when Churchill entered the room.  ‘Good morning, Thompson,’ said Wilkes to him:  ’how does Mrs. Thompson do?  Does she dine in the country?’ Churchill took the hint as readily as it had been given.  He replied, that Mrs. Thompson was waiting for him, and that he only came for a moment, to ask him how he did.  Then almost directly he took his leave, hastened home, secured his papers, retired into the Country, and eluded all search."-E.

(359) Mr. Southey states, that “a fortnight had not elapsed before both parties were struck with sincere compunction, and through the intercession of a true friend, at their entreaty, the unhappy penitent was received by her father:  it is said she would have proved worthy of this parental forgiveness, if an elder sister had not, by continual taunt,; and reproaches, rendered her life so miserable, that, in absolute despair, she threw herself upon Churchill for protection.  Instead of making a just provision forher, which his means would have allowed, he received her as his mistress.  If all his other writings were forgotten, the lines in which he expressed his compunction for his conduct would deserve always to be remembered—­

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“Tis not the babbling of a busy world,
Where praise and censure are at random hurl’d,
Which can the meanest of my thoughts control,
one settled purpose of my soul;
Free and at large might their wild curses roam,
If all, if all, alas! were well at home. 
No; ’tis the tale which angry conscience tells,
When she, with more than tragic horror, swells
Each circumstance of guilt; when stern, but true,
She brings bad action.,; full into review,
And, like the dread handwriting on the wall,
Bids late remorse awake at reason’s call;
Arm’d at all points, bids scorpion vengeance pass,
And to the mind holds up reflection’s glass—­
The mind, which starting heaves the heartfelt groan,
And hates that form she knows to be her own.’"-E.

(360) Her eldest daughter, afterwards Viscountess Fortrose . she died in 1767, at the age of twenty.-E.

(361) Elizabeth Drax, wife of Augustus, fourth Earl Berkeley; she had been lady of the bedchamber to the Princess-dowager.-E.

(362) Hugh Earl, and afterwards Duke of Northumberland, and his lady, Elizabeth Seymour, only surviving child of Algernon Duke of Somerset, and heiress, by her grandmother, of the Percies.-E.

(363) Sir Charles Bunbury, Bart.  The reason evidently was, that he remained to vote in the House of Commons.-C.

(364) Lord Boyle, eldest son of the first Earl of Shannon, married, in the following month, Catharine, eldest daughter of the Right Hon. John Ponsonby, Speaker of the Irish House of commons, by Lady Ellen Cavendish, second daughter of the third Duke of Devonshire.  Lord Shannon, Mr. Ponsonby, and the Primate, Dr. George Stone, Archbishop of Armagh, were the ruling triumvirate of Ireland.  They were four times declared lords justices of that kingdom.  Some differences had, however, occurred between these great leaders, which Mr. Walpole insinuates that this marriage was likely to heal.-C.

(365) the benignity of her reception at court is noticed because General Conway’s late votes against the ministry might naturally have displeased the King, to whom he was groom of the bedchamber.-C.

Letter 180 To George Montagu, Esq.  Arlington Street, Nov. 20, 1763. (page 250)

You are in the wrong; believe me you are in the wrong to stay in the country; London never was so entertaining since it had a steeple or a madhouse.  Cowards fight duels; secretaries of state turn Methodists on the Tuesday, and are expelled the playhouse for blasphemy on Friday.  I am not turned Methodist, but patriot, and what is more extraordinary, am not going to have a place.  What is more wonderful still, Lord Hardwicke has made two of his sons resign their employments.  I know my letter sounds as enigmatic as Merlin’s almanack; but my events have really happened.  I had almost persuaded myself like you to quit the world; thank my stars

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I did not.  Why, I have done nothing but laugh since last Sunday; though on Tuesday I was one of a hundred and eleven, who were outvoted by three hundred; no laughing matter generally to a true patriot, whether he thinks his country undone or himself.  Nay, I am still:  more absurd; even for my dear country’s sake I cannot bring myself to connect with Lord Hardwicke, or the Duke of Newcastle, though they are in the minority-an unprecedented case, not to love every body one despises, when they are of the same side.  On the contrary, I fear I resembled a fond woman, and dote on the dear betrayer.  In short, and to write something that you can understand, you know I have long had a partiality for your cousin Sandwich, who has out-Sandwiched himself.  He has impeached Wilkes for a blasphemous poem, and has been expelled for blasphemy himself by the Beefsteak Club at Covent-garden.  Wilkes has been shot by Martin, and instead of being burnt at an auto da fe, as the Bishop of Gloucester intended, is reverenced as a saint by the mob, and if he dies, I suppose, the people will squint themselves into convulsions at his tomb, in honour of his memory.  Now is not this better than feeding one’s birds and one’s bantams, poring one’s eyes out over old histories, not half so extraordinary as the present, or ambling to Squire Bencow’s on one’s padnag, and playing at cribbage with one’s brother John and one’s parson?  Prithee come to town, and let us put off taking the veil for another year:  besides by this time twelvemonth we are sure the world will be a year older in wickedness, and we shall have more matter for meditation.  One would not leave it methinks till it comes to the worst, and that time cannot be many months off.  In the mean time, I have bespoken a dagger, in case the circumstances should grow so classic as to make it becoming to kill oneself; however, though disposed to quit the world, as I have no mind to leave it entirely, I shall put off my death to the last minute, and do nothing rashly, till I see Mr. Pitt and Lord Temple place themselves in their curule chairs in St. James’s-market, and resign their throats to the victors.  I am determined to see them dead first, lest they should play me a trick, and be hobbling to Buckingham-house, while I am shivering and waiting for them on the banks of Lethe.  Adieu!  Yours, Horatius.

Letter 181
To The Earl Of Hertford. 
Arlington Street, Nov. 25, 1763. (page 251)

You tell me, my dear lord, in a letter I have this moment received from you, that you have had a comfortable one from me; I fear it was not the last:  you will not have been fond of your brother’s voting against the court.  Since that, he has been told by different channels that they think of taking away regiments from opposers.  He heard it, as he would the wind whistle:  while in the shape of a threat, he treats it with contempt; if put into execution his scorn would subside into indifference.  You know he has but one object—­doing what

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is right; the rest may betide as it will.  One or two of the ministers,(366) who are honest men, would, I have reason to believe, be heartily concerned to have such measures adopted; but they are not directors.  The little favour they possess, and the desperateness of their situation oblige them to swallow many things they disapprove, and which ruin their character with the nation; while others, who have no character to lose, and whose situation is no less desperate, care not what inconveniences they bring on their master, nor what confusion on their country, in which they can never prosper, except when it is convulsed.  The nation, indeed, seems thoroughly sensible of this truth.  They are unpopular beyond conception:  even of those that vote with them there are numbers that express their aversion without reserve.  Indeed, on Wednesday, the 23d, this went farther:  we were to debate the great point of privilege:  Wilbraham(367) objected, that Wilkes was involved in it, and ought to be present.  On this, though, as you see, a question of slight moment, fifty-seven left them at once:  they were but 243 to 166.(368) As we had sat, however, till eight at night, the debate was postponed to next day.  Mr. Pitt, who had a fever and the gout, came on crutches, and wrapped in flannels:  so he did yesterday, but was obliged to retire at ten at night, after making a speech of an hour and fifty minutes; the worst, I think, I ever heard him make in my life.  For our parts, we sat till within ten minutes of two in the morning:  yet we had but few speeches, all were so long.  Hussey,(369) solicitor to the Princess of Wales, was against the court, and spoke with great spirit, and true Whig spirit.  Charles Yorke(370) shone exceedingly.  He had spoke and voted with us the night before; but now maintained his opinion against Pratt’s.(371) It was a most able and learned performance, and the latter part, which was oratoric, uncommonly beautiful and eloquent.  You find I don’t let partiality to the Whig cause blind my judgment.  That speech was certainly the masterpiece of the day.  Norton would not have made a figure, even if Charles Yorke had not appeared; but giving way to his natural brutality, he got into an ugly scrape.  Having so little delicacy or decency as to mention a cause in which he had prosecuted Sir John Rushout(372) (Who sat just under him) for perjury, the tough old knight (who had been honourably acquitted of the charge) gave the House an account of the affair; and then added, “I was assured the prosecution was set on foot by that Honest gentleman; I hope I don’t Call him out of his name—­and that it was in revenge for my having opposed him in an election.”  Norton denied the charge upon his honour, which did not seem to persuade every body.  Immediately after this we had another episode.  Rigby,(373) totally unprovoked either by any thing said or by the complexion of the day, which was grave and argumentative, fell Upon Lord Temple, and described his behaviour

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on the commitment of Wilkes.  James Grenville,(374) who sat beside him, rose in all the acrimony of resentment:  drew a very favourable picture of his brother, and then one of Rigby, conjuring up the bitterest words, epithet, and circumstances that he could amass together:  told him how interested he was, and how ignorant:  painted his Journey to Ireland to get a law-place, for which he was so unqualified; and concluded with affirming he had fled from thence to avoid the vengeance of the people.  The passive Speaker suffered both painters to finish their words, and would have let them carry their colours and brushes into Hyde-park the next morning, if other people had not represented the necessity of demanding their paroles that it should go no farther.  They were both unwilling to rise:  Rigby did at last, and put an end to it with humour(375) and good-humour.  The numbers were 258 to 133.  The best speech of all those that were not spoken was Charles Townshend’s.(376) He has for some time been informing the world that for the last three months he had constantly employed six clerks to search and transcribe records, journals, precedents, etc.  The production of all this mountain of matter was a mouse, and that mouse stillborn:  he has voted with us but never uttered a word.

We shall now repose for some time; at least I am sure I shall.  It has been hard service; and nothing but a Whig point of this magnitude could easily have carried me to the House at all, of which I have so long been sick.  Wilkes will live, but is not likely to be in a situation to come forth for some time.  The blasphemous book has fallen ten times heavier on Sandwich’s own head than on Wilkes’s:  it has brought forth such a catalogue of anecdotes as is incredible!  Lord Hardwicke fluctuates between life and death.  Lord Effingham is dead suddenly, and Lord Cantelupe(377) has got his troop.

These are all our news; I am glad yours go on so smoothly.  I take care to do you justice at M. de Guerchy’s for all the justice you do to France, and particularly to the house of Nivernois.  D’Eon(378) is here still:  I know nothing more of him but that the honour of having a hand in the peace overset his poor brain.  This was evident on the fatal night(379) at Lord Halifax’s:  when they told him his behaviour was a breach of the peace, he was quite distracted, thinking it was the peace between his country and this.

Our operas begin to-morrow.  The Duchess of Grafton is come for a fortnight only.  My compliments to the ambassadress, and all your court.

(366) There is reason to think that at this moment Mr. Grenville and Lord Halifax were those to whom Mr. Walpole gave credit for honest intentions and a disposition to moderate and conciliate.  This opinion, though probably correct, Walpole soon changed, as to Mr. Grenville.-C.

(367) Randle Wilbraham, LL.D. a barrister, deputy steward of the University of Oxford, and member for Newton, in Lancashire.-E.

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(368) The question was, “That Privilege of Parliament does not extend to the case of writing and publishing seditious libels, nor ought to be allowed to obstruct the ordinary course of the laws in the speedy and effectual prosecution of so heinous and dangerous an offence."-C.

(369) Richard Hussey, member for St. Mawes.  He was counsel to the navy, as well as solicitor to the Queen, not, as Mr. Walpole says, to the Princess.  He was afterwards her majesty’s attorney-general.-C.

(370) Charles Yorke, second son of Lord Chancellor Hardwicke.  He had been attorney-general, but resigned on the 31st of October.  He agreed with the ministry on the question of privilege, but differed from them on general warrants.  This last difference may have accelerated his resignation; but the event itself had been determined on, ever since the failure of a negotiation which took place towards the end of the preceding August, through Mr. Pitt and Lord Hardwicke, to form a new administration on a Whig basis.-C.

(371) Chief Justice of the Common Pleas, afterwards Lord Camden.  He had discharged Wilkes out of confinement on the ground of privilege.-E.

(372) Sir John Rushout, of Northwick, the fourth baronet.  He had sat in ten Parliaments; in the three first for Malmsbury, and in the rest for Evesham.  He had been a violent politician in Sir Robert Walpole’s administration.  See vol. i. p. 222, letter 53.-E.

(373) The Right Hon. Richard Rigby, master of the rolls in Ireland, afterwards paymaster of the forces; a statesman of the second class, and a bon vivant of the first.  Mr. Rigby was at one time a chief friend and favourite of Mr. Walpole’s, but became involved in Mr. Walpole’s dislike to the Duke of Bedford, to whom Mr. Rigby was sincerely and constantly attached, and over whom he was supposed to have great influence.-C.

(374) Fourth brother of Lord Temple and Mr. George Grenville; father of Lord Glastonbury.-E.

(375) Lady Suffolk, in a letter to the Earl of Buckingham, of the 29th of November, says, “Jemmy Grenville and Mr. Rigby were so violent against each other, one in his manner of treating Lord Temple, who was in the House, and the brother in his justification of his brother, that the House was obliged to interfere to prevent mischief.  Lord Temple comes to me; but politics is the bane of friendship, and when personal resentments join, the man becomes another creature."-E.

(376) As Mr. Walpole seems to impute Mr. Charles Townshend’s silence on the question of privilege to fickleness, or some worse cause, it is but just to state that he never quite approved that question.  This will be seen from the following extract from some of his confidential letters to Dr. Brocklesby, written two months before Parliament met:—­“You know I never approved of No. 45, or engaged in any of the consequential measures.  As to the question of privilege, it is an intricate matter; The authorities are contradictory, and the distinctions to be reasonably made on the precedents are plausible and endless.”  Mr. Townshend gave a good deal of further consideration to the subject, and his silence in the debate only proves that his first impressions were confirmed.  Mr. Burke’s beautiful, but, perhaps, too favourable character of Charles Townshend will immortalize the writer and the subject.-C.

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(377) John, afterwards second Earl of Delawarr, vice-chamberlain to the Queen.-E.

(378) This singular person had been secretary to the Duke de Nivernois’s embassy, and in the interval between that ambassador’s departure and the arrival of M. de Guerchy, the French mission to our court devolved upon him.  This honour, as Mr. Walpole intimates, seems to have turned his head, and he was so absurdly exasperated at being superseded by M. de Guerchy, that he refused to deliver his letters of recall, set his court at defiance, and published a volume of libels on M. de Guerchy and the French ministers.  As he persisted in withholding the letters of recall, the two courts were obliged to notify in the London Gazette that his mission was at an end; and the French government desired that he be given up to them.  This, of course, could not be done:  but he was proceeded against by criminal information, and finally convicted of the libels against M. de Guerchy.  D’Eon asserted, that the French ministry had a design to carry him off privately; and it has been said that he was apprised of this scheme by Louis xv. who, it seems, had entertained some kind of secret and extra- official communication with this adventurer.  He afterwards continued in obscurity until 1777, when the public was astonished by the trial of an action before Lord Mansfield, for money lost on a wager respecting his sex.  On that trial it seemed proved beyond all doubt, that the person was a female.  Proceedings in the Parliament of Paris had a similar result, and the soldier and the minister was condemned to wear woman’s attire, which d’Eon did for many years.  He emigrated at the revolution, and died in London in May, 1810.  On examination, after death, the body proved to be that of a male.  This circumstance, attested by the most respectable authorities, is so strongly it variance with all the former evidence, that the French biographers have been induced to doubt whether the original Chevalier D’Eon and the person who died in 1810 were the same, and they even endeavour to show that the real person, the Chevali`ere, as they term it, died in 1790; but we cannot admit this solution of the difficulty, for one, at least, of the surgeons who examined the body in 1810, had known D’Eon in his habiliments, and he had for ten years lived unquestioned under the name of D’Eon.-C.

(379) On the 26th of October, D’Eon, meeting M. de Guerchy and a M. de Vergy at Lord Halifax’s, in Great George-street, burst out into such violence on some observation made by De Vergy, that it became necessary to call in the guard.  His whole behaviour in this affair looks like insanity.-C.

Letter 182 To The Earl Of Hertford.  Arlington Street, Dec. 2, 1763. (page 254)

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I have been expecting a letter all day, as Friday is the day I have generally received a letter from you, but it is not yet arrived and I begin mine without it.  M. de Guerchy has given us a prosperous account of my Lady Hertford’s audience still I am impatient to hear it from yourselves.  I want to know, too, what you say to your brother’s being in the minority.  I have already told you that unless they use him ill, I do not think him likely to take any warm part.  With regard to dismission of officers, I hear no more of it:  such a violent step would but spread the flames. which are already fierce enough.  I will give you an instance:  last’ Saturday, Lord Cornwallis(380) and Lord Allen,(381) came drunk to the Opera:  the former went up to Rigby in the pit, and told him in direct words that Lord Sandwich was a pickpocket.  Then Lord Allen, with looks and gestures no less expressive, advanced close to him, and repeating this again in the passage, would have provoked a quarrel, if George West(382) had not carried him away by force.  Lord (Cornwallis, the next morning in Hyde-park, made an apology to Rigby for his behaviour, but the rest of the world is not so complaisant.  His pride, insolence, and over-bearingness, have made him so many enemies, that they are glad to tear him to pieces for his attack on Lord Temple, so unprovoked, and so poorly performed.  It was well that with his spirit and warmth he had the sense not to resent the behaviour of those two drunken young fellows.

On Tuesday your Lordship’s House sat till ten at night, on the resolutions we had communicated to you; and you agreed to them by 114 to 35:  a puny minority indeed, considering of what great names it was composed!  Even the Duke of Cumberland voted in it; but Mr. Yorke’s speech in our House, and Lord Mansfield’s in yours, for two hours, carried away many of the opposition, particularly Lord Lyttelton, and the greater part of the Duke of Newcastle’s Bishops.(383) The Duke of Grafton is much commended.  The Duke of Portland commenced, but was too much frightened.  There was no warmth nor event; but Lord Shelburne, who they say spoke well, and against the court, and as his friends had voted in our House, has produced one, the great Mr. Calcraft(384) being turned out yesterday, from some muster-mastership; I don’t know what.  Lord Sandwich is canvassing to succeed Lord Hardwicke, as High Steward of Cambridge; another egg of animosity.  We shall, however, I believe, be tolerably quiet till after Christmas, as Mr. Wilkes Will not be able to act before the holidays.  I rejoice at it:  I am heartily sick of all this folly, and shall be glad to get to Strawberry again, and hear nothing of it.  The ministry have bought off Lord Clive(385) with a bribe that would frighten the King of France himself:  they have given him back his 25,000 a year.  Walsh(386) has behaved nobly:  he said he could not in conscience vote with the administration, and would not Vote against

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Lord Clive, who chose him:  he has therefore offered to resign his seat.  Lady Augusta’s(387) fortune was to be voted to-day and Lord Strange talked of opposing it; but I had not the curiosity to go down.  This is all our politics, and indeed all our news; we have none of any other kind.  So far you will not regret England.  For my part, I wish myself with you.  Being perfectly indifferent who is minister and Who is not, and weary of laughing(388) at both, I shall take hold of the first spring to make you my visit.

Our operas do not succeed.  Girardini, now become minister and having no exchequer to buy an audience, is grown unpopular.  The Mingotti, whom he has forced upon the town, is as much disliked as if he had insisted on her being first lord of the treasury.  The first man, though with sweet notes, has so weak a voice that he might as well hold his tongue like Charles Townshend.  The figurantes are very pretty, but can dance no more than Tommy Pelham.(389) The first man dancer is handsome, well made, and strong enough to make his fortune any where:  but you know, fortunes made in private are seldom agreeable to the public.(390) In short, it will not do; there was not a soul in the pit the second night.

Lady Mary Coke has received her gown by the Prince de Masseran, and is exceedingly obliged to you, though much disappointed; this being a slight gown made up, and not the one she expected, which is a fine one bought for her by Lady Holland,(391) and which you must send somehow or other:  if you cannot, you must despatch an ambassador on purpose.  I dined with the Prince de Masseran, at Guerchy’s, the day after his arrival; and if faces speak truth, he will not be our ruin.  Oh! but there is a ten times more delightful man—­the Austrian minister:(392) he is so stiff and upright, that you would think all his mistress’s diadems were upon his head, and that he was afraid of their dropping off.

I know so little of Irish politics, that I am afraid of misinforming you:  but I hear that Hamilton, who has come off with honour in a squabble with Lord Newton,(393) about the latter’s wife, speaks and votes with the opposition against the Castle.(394) I don’t know the meaning of it, nor, except it had been to tell you, should I have remembered it.

Well! your letter will not come, and I must send away mine.  Remember, the holidays are coming, and that I shall be a good deal out of town.  I have been charming hitherto, but I cannot make brick without straw.  Encore, you are almost the only person I ever write a line to.  I grow so old and so indolent that I hate the sight of a pen and ink.

(380) Charles, first Marquis of Cornwallis:  born in 1738, succeeded his father, the first Earl, in 1762, and died in India in 1805.-E.

(381) Joshua, fifth Viscount Allen, of Ireland, born in 1738.-E.

(382) George, second son of the first Earl of Delawarr.-E.

(383) Bishops made during the Duke of Newcastle’s administration, and who were therefore supposed likely to be of his opinion.  The Duke of Newcastle after being nearly half a century in office, was now in opposition.-C.

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(384) John Calcraft, Esq. was deputy commissary-general of musters:  he was particularly attached to Mr. Fox; which is, perhaps, one reason why Mr. Walpole, who had now quarrelled with Mr. Fox, speaks so slightingly of Mr. Calcraft.-C.

(385) Robert Clive, who, for his extraordinary services and success in India, was, at the age of thirty-five, created an Irish peer.  It was of him that Mr. Pitt said, that he was “a heaven-born general, who without any experience in military affairs, had surpassed all the officers of his time.”  The wealth which this great man accumulated in India was, during his whole subsequent life, a subject of popular jealousy and party attack.-C.

(386) John Walsh, Esq. member for Worcester.-E.

(387) Princess Augusta, eldest sister of George iii.; married in January 1764 to the Duke of Brunswick, killed at Jena, in 1806.  Her Royal Highness died in London in 1810.-E.

(388) Mr. Walpole affected indifference to politics, but the tone of his correspondence does not quite justify the expression of laughing at either party; he was warmly interested in the one, and bitterly hostile to the other, and for a considerable period took a deep and active interest in political party.-C.

(389) Thomas Pelham, member for Sussex, afterwards comptroller of the household, and first Earl of Chichester.-E.

(390) The reader will observe, in this description of the Opera, an amusing allusion to public affairs; the last sentence refers, no doubt, to Lord Bute.-C.

(391) Lady Georgina Caroline Lenox, eldest daughter of Charles, second Duke of Richmond.  She had been, in 1762, created Baroness Holland in her own right.-C.

(392) Probably the Count de Seleirn, minister from the Empress-Queen, Maria Theresa.

(393) Brinsley Lord Newton, afterwards second Earl of Lanesborough, married Lady Jane Rochfort, eldest daughter of the first Earl of Belvidere.  In the affair here alluded to Lord Newton exhibited at first an extreme jealousy, and subsequently what was thought an extreme facility in admitting Mr. hamilton’s exculpatory assurances.-C.

(394) This is not quite true; but Mr. Hamilton was on very bad terms with the Lord Lieutenant, and certainly did not take that prominent part in the House of Commons of Ireland which his station as chief secretary seemed to require,.-C.

Letter 183 To The Rev. Mr. Cole.  Arlington Street, Dec. 6, 1763. (page 256)

Dear sir, According to custom I am excessively obliged to you:  you are continually giving me proofs of your kindness.  I have now three packets to thank you for, full of information, and have only lamented the trouble you have given yourself.

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I am glad for the tomb’s sake and my own, that Sir Giles Allington’s monument is restored.  The draught you have sent is very perfect.  The account of your ancestor Tuer(395) shall not be forgotten in my next edition.  The pedigree of Allington I had from Collins before his death, but I think not as perfect as yours.  You have made one little slip in it:  my mother was granddaughter, not daughter of Sir John Shorter, and was not heiress, having three brothers, who all died after her, and we only quarter the arms of Shorter, which I fancy occasioned the mistake, by their leaving no children.  The verses by Sir Edward Walpole, and the translation by Bland, are published in my description of Houghton.

I am come late from the House of Lords, and am just going to the Opera; so you will excuse me saying more than that I have a print of Archbishop Hutton for you (it @is Dr. Ducarel’s), and a little plate of Strawberry; but I do not send them by the post, as it would crease them:  if you will tell me how to convey them otherwise, I will.  I repeat many thanks to you.

(395) Herbert Tuer, the painter.  After the death of Charles 1. he withdrew into Holland, and it is believed that he died at Utrecht.-E.

Letter 184 To The Earl Of Hertford.  Friday, Dec. 9, 1763. (page 257)

Your brother has sent you such a full account of his transaction with Mr. Grenville(396) that it is not necessary for me to add a syllable, except, what your brother will not have said himself, that he has acted as usual with the strictest honour and firmness, and has turned this negotiation entirely to his own credit.  He has learned the ill wishes of his enemies, and what is more, knows who they are:  he has laughed at them, and found at last that their malice was much bigger than their power.  Mr. Grenville, as you would wish, has proved how much he disliked the violence of his associates, as I trust he will, whenever he has an opportunity, and has at last contented himself with so little or nothing, that I am sure you will feel yourself obliged to him.  For the measure itself, of turning out the officers in general who oppose, it has been much pressed, and what is still sillier, openly threatened by one set; but they dare not do it, and having notified it without effect, are ridiculed by the whole town, as well as by the persons threatened, particularly by Lord Albermarle, who has treated their menaces with the utmost contempt and spirit.  This mighty storm, like another I shall tell you of, has vented itself on Lord Shelburne and Colonel Barr`e,(397) who were yesterday turned out; the first from aide-de-camp to the King, the latter from adjutant-general and governor of Stirling.  Campbell,(398) to Whom it was promised before, has got the last; Ned Harvey,(399) the former.  My present expectation is an oration from Barr`e(400 in honour of Mr. Pitt; for those are scenes that make

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the world so entertaining.  After that, I shall demand a satire on Mr. Pitt, from Mr. Wilkes; and I do not believe I shall be balked, for Wilkes has already expressed his resentment on being given up by Pitt, who, says Wilkes, ought to be expelled for an impostor.(401) I do not know whether the Duke of Newcastle does not expect a palinodia from me(402) T’other morning at the Duke’s lev`ee he embraced me, and hoped I would come and eat a bit of Sussex mutton With him.  I had such difficulty to avoid laughing in his face that I got from him as fast as I could.  Do you think me very likely to forget that I have been laughing at him these twenty years?

Well! but we have had a prodigious riot:  are not you impatient to know the particulars?  It was so prodigious a tumult, that I verily thought half the administration would have run away to Harrowgate.  The north Briton was ordered to be burned by the hangman at Cheapside, on Saturday last.  The mob rose; the greatest mob, says Mr. Sheriff Blunt, that he has known in forty years.  They were armed with that most bloody instrument, the mud out of the kennels:  they hissed in the most murderous manner:  broke Mr. Sheriff Harley’s coach-glass in the most frangent manner; scratched his forehead, so that he is forced to wear a little patch in the most becoming manner; and obliged the hangman to burn the paper with a link, though fagots were prepared to execute it in a more solemn manner.  Numbers of gentlemen, from windows and balconies, encouraged the mob, who, in about an hour and a half, were so undutiful to the ministry, as to retire without doing any mischief, or giving Mr. Carteret Webb(403) the opportunity of a single information, except against an ignorant lad, who had been in town but ten days.

This terrible uproar has employed us four days.  The sheriffs were called before your House on Monday, and made their narrative.  My brother Cholmondeley,(404) in the most pathetic manner, and suitably to the occasion, recommended it to your lordships, to search for precedents of what he believed never happened since the world began.  Lord Egmont,(405) who knows of a plot, which he keeps to himself, though It has been carrying on these twenty years, thought more vigorous measures ought to be taken on such a crisis, and moved to summon the mistress of the Union Coffee-house.  The Duke of Bedford thought all this but piddling, and at once attacked Lord Mayor, common council, and charter of the city, whom, if he had been supported, I believe he would have ordered to be all burned by the hangman next Saturday.  Unfortunately for such national justice, Lord Mansfield, who delights in every opportunity of exposing and mortifying the Duke of Bedford, and Sandwich, interposed for the magistracy of London, and after much squabbling, saved them from immediate execution.  The Duke of Grafton, with infinite shrewdness and coolness, drew from the witnesses that the whole mob was of one mind; and the day ended in

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a vote of general censure on the rioters.  This was communicated to us at a conference, and yesterday we acted the same farce; when Rigby trying to revive the imputation on the Lord Mayor, etc. (who, by the by, did sit most tranquilly at Guildhall during the whole tumult) the ministry disavowed and abandoned him to a man, vindicating the magistracy, and plainly discovering their own fear and awe of the city, who feel the insult, and will from hence feel their own strength.  In short, to finish this foolish story, I never saw a transaction in which appeared so little parts, abilities, or conduct; nor do I think there can be any thing weaker than the administration except it is the opposition:  but an opposition, bedrid and tonguetied, is a most ridiculous body.  Mr. Pitt is laid up with the gout; Lord Hardwicke, though much relieved by a quack medicine, is still very ill; and Mr. Charles Townshend is as silent as my Lord Abercorn(406—­that they too should ever be alike!

This is not all our political news; Wilkes is an inexhaustible fund:  on Monday was heard, in the common Pleas, his suit against Mr. Wood,(407) when, after a trial of fourteen hours, the jury gave him damages of one thousand pounds; but this was not the heaviest part of the blow.  The Solicitor-general(408) tried to prove Wilkes author of the North Briton, and failed in the proof.  You may judge how much this miscarriage adds to the defeat.  Wilkes is not yet out of danger:  they think there is still a piece of coat or lining to come Out of the wound.  The campaign is over for the present, and the troops going into country quarters.  In the mean time, the house of Hamilton has supplied us with new matter of talk.  My lord was robbed about three o’clock in the night between Saturday and Sunday, of money, bills, watches, and snuff-boxes, to the amount of three thousand pounds.  Nothing is yet discovered, but that the guard in the stable yard saw a man in a great coat and white stockings come from thereabouts, at the time I have named.  The servants have all been examined over and over to no purpose.  Fielding(409) is all day in the house, and a guard of his at night.  The bureau in my lord’s dressing-room (the little red room where the pictures are) was forced open.  I fear you can guess who was at first suspected.(410)

I have received yours, my dear lord, of Nov. 30th, and am pleased that my Lady Hertford is so well reconciled to her ministry.  You forgot to give me an account of her audience, but I have heard of the Queen’s good-natured attention to her.

The anecdotes about Lord Sandwich are numerous; but I do not repeat them to you, because I know nothing how true they are, and because he has, in several instances, been very obliging to me, and I have no reason to abuse him.  Lord Hardwicke’s illness, I think, is a rupture and consequences.

I hope to hear that your little boy is recovered.  Adieu!  I have filled my gazette, and exhausted my memory.  I am glad such gazettes please you — I can have no other excuse for sending such tittle-tattle.

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(396) This transaction was an endeavour on the part of Mr. Grenville to obtain from General Conway a declaration that “his disposition was not averse from a general support of the persons and measures of those now employed,” and permission " to say so much when he might have occasion to speak to him.”  This declaration General Conway declined to give, although Mr. Grenville seemed to ask it only to enable him to save Conway from dismissal on account of his late vote.  There is reason to believe that at this conference (at which the Duke of Richmond was present, as Conway’s friend) some overtures of a more intimate connexion with the administration were made; but Conway declared his determination to adhere to the politics of his friends, the Dukes of Devonshire and Grafton.  “At least,” he said, “if he should hereafter happen to differ from them, he should so steer his conduct as not to be, in any way of office or emolument, the better for it."-C.

(397) Isaac Barr`e was a native of Ireland, and born in 1726:  he entered the army early in life, and rose, gradually to the rank of colonel.  He was in 1763 made adjutant-general and the governor of Stirling Castle, but was turned out on this occasion, and even resigned his half-pay.  He continued to make a considerable figure in the House of Commons:  in 1782 he became a privy-councillor and treasurer of the navy, which latter office he soon exchanged for paymaster of the forces; but on the change of government he retired on a pension of 3200 pounds, which his political friends had previously secured for him.  From this time his sight failed him, and he was quite blind for many years previous to his death, which took place in 1802.-C.

(398) Captain James, afterwards Sir James Campbell, of Ardkinglass:  a captain in the army, and member for the county of Stirling.-E.

(399) Major-General Edward Harvey, lieutenant-general in 1772.-E.

(400) Colonel Barr`e, previous to his dismissal, had distinguished himself by an attack on Mr. Pitt, which is not reported in the Parliamentary Debates.-C. [In the Chatham Correspondence, vol. ii. p. 171, will be found the following passage, in a letter from Mr. Symmers to Sir Andrew Mitchell, dated January 29, 1762:—­“Would you know a little of the humour of Parliament, and particularly with regard to Mr. Pitt?’ I must tell you that Colonel Barr`e, a soldier of fortune, a young man born in Dublin, of a mean condition, his father and mother from France, and established in a little grocer’s shop by the patronage of the Bishop of Clogher; a child of whom the mother nursed; this young man (a man of address and parts), found out, pushed, and brought into Parliament by Lord Shelburne, had not sat two days in the House of Commons before he attacked Mr. Pitt.  I shall give you a specimen of his philippics.  Talking in the manner of Mr. Pitt’s speaking, he said, ’There he would stand, turning up his eyes to heaven, that witnessed his perjuries, and laying his hand in a solemn manner upon the table, that sacrilegious hand, that hand that had been employed in tearing out the bowels of his mother country!’ Would you think that Mr. Pitt would bear this and be silent; or would you think that the House would suffer a respectable member to be so treated?  Yet so it Was.”]

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(401) In the House of Commons, a few days before, Mr. Pitt had condemned the whole series of North Britons, and called them illiberal, unmanly, and detestable:  “he abhorred,” he said, “all national reflections:  the King’s subjects were one people; whoever divided them was guilty of sedition:  his Majesty’s complaint was well-founded; it was just; it was necessary:  the author did not deserve to be ranked among the human species; he was the blasphemer of his God and the libeller of the King."-E.

(402) This improbable event a few weeks brought about.  We shall see that Mr. Walpole did sing his Palinodia, and went down to Claremont to eat a bit of mutton with the man in the world whom (as all his writings, but especially his lately published Memoires, show) he had most heartily hated and despised.-C.

(403) Philip Carteret Webb, Esq. solicitor to the treasury and member for Haslemere.-E.

(404) George third Earl of Cholmondeley; born in 1703:  married Mr. Walpole’s only legitimate sister, who died at Aix in 1731; and as all Sir Robert Walpole’s sons died without issue, Lord Cholmondeley’s family succeeded to Houghton, and the rest of the Walpole property, as heirs-at-law of Sir Robert.-C.

(405) John, second Earl of Egmont, at this time first lord of the admiralty.  Lord Egmont had been in the House of Commons what Coxe calls “a fluent and plausible debater;” but he had some peculiarities of mind, to which Walpole here and elsewhere alludes.-C.

(406) James, eighth Earl of Abercorn, “a nobleman,” says his panegyrist, “whose character was but little known, or rather but little understood; but who possessed singular vigour of mind, integrity of conduct, and patriotic views.”  Mr. Walpole elsewhere laughs at his lordship’s dignified aversion to throwing away his words.-C.

(407) An action brought by Wilkes against Robert Wood, Esq. late under-secretary of State for seizing Wilkes’s papers, etc.  It was tried before Chief Justice Pratt, and under his direction the jury found for the plaintiff.-C.

(408) Sir Fletcher Norton was not made attorney-general till after this trial.-E.

(409) Mr. John Fielding, chief police magistrate.-E.

(410) The robbery was committed by one Bradley, a discharged footman, and one John Wisket.  The former was admitted a witness for the crown, and the latter was hanged on his evidence, in Dec. 1764.-C.

Letter 185 To The Earl Of Hertford.  Arlington Street, Dec. 16, 1763. (page 261)

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On the very day I wrote to you last, my dear lord, an extraordinary event happened, which I did not then know.  A motion was made in the common council, to thank the sheriffs for their behaviour at the riot, and to prosecute the man who was apprehended for it.  This was opposed, and the previous question being put, the numbers were equal; but the casting vote of the Lord Mayor(411) was given against putting the first question—­pretty strong proceeding; for though, in consequence and in resentment of the Duke of Bedford’s speech, it seemed to justify his grace, who had accused the mayor and magistracy of not trying to suppress the tumult; if they will not prosecute the rioters, it is not very unfair to surmise that they did not dislike the riot.  Indeed, the city is so inflamed, and the ministry so obnoxious, that I am very apprehensive of some violent commotion.  The court have lost the Essex election(412) merely from Lord Sandwich interfering in it, and from the Duke of Bedford’s speech; a great number of votes going from the city on that account to vote for Luther.  Sir John Griffin,(413) who was disobliged by Sandwich’s espousing Conyers, went to Chelmsford, at the head of five hundred voters.

One of the latest acts of the ministry will not please my Lady Hertford:  they have turned out her brother, Colonel Fitzroy:(414 Fitzherbert,(415) too, is removed; and, they say, Sir Joseph Yorke recalled.(416) I must do Lord Halifax and Mr. Grenville the justice to say that these violences are not imputed to them.  It is certain that the former was the warmest opposer of the measure for breaking the officers; and Mr. Grenville’s friends take every opportunity of throwing the blame on the Duke of Bedford and Lord Sandwich.  The Duchess of Bedford, who is too fond a Wife not to partake in all her husband’s fortunes, has contributed her portion of indiscretion.  At a great dinner, lately, at Lord Halifax’s, all the servants present, mention being made of the Archbishop of Canterbury,(417) M. de Guerchy asked the Duchess, “Est-il de famille?” She replied, “Oh! mon Dieu, non, il a `et`e sage-femme.”  The mistake of sage-femme for accoucheur, and the strangeness of the proposition, confounded Guerchy so much, that it was necessary to explain it:  but think of a minister’s wife telling a foreigner, and a Catholic, that the primate of her own church had been bred a man-midwife!

The day after my last, another verdict was given in the common Pleas, of four hundred pounds to the printers; and another episode happened, relating to Wilkes; one Dunn, a mad Scotchman, was seized in Wilkes’s house, whither he had gone intending to assassinate him.  This was complained of in the House of Commons, but the man’s phrensy was verified; it was even proved that he had notified his design in a coffee-house, some days before.  The mob, however, who are determined that Lord Sandwich shall answer for every body’s faults, as well as his own, believe that he employed Dunn.  I wish the recess, which begins next Monday, may cool matters a little, for indeed it grows very serious.

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Nothing is discovered of Lord Harrington’s robbery, nor do I know any other news, but that George West(418) is to marry lady Mary Grey.  The Hereditary Prince’s wound is broken out again, and will defer his arrival.  We have had a new comedy,(419) written by Mrs. Sheridan, and admirably acted; but there was no wit in it, and it was so vulgar that it ran but three nights.

Poor Lady Hervey desires you will tell Mr. Hume how incapable she is of answering his letter.  She has been terribly afflicted for these six weeks with a complication of gout, rheumatism, and a nervous complaint.  She cannot lie down in her bed, nor rest two minutes in her chair.  I never saw such continued suffering.

You say in your last, of the 7th, that you have omitted to invite no Englishman of rank or name.  This gives me an opportunity, my dear lord, of mentioning one Englishman, not of great rank, but who is very unhappy that you have taken no notice of him.  You know how utterly averse I am to meddle, or give impertinent advice; but the letter I saw was expressed with so much respect and esteem for you, that you would love the person.  It is Mr. Selwyn, the banker.  He says, he expected no favour; but the great regard he has for the amiableness of your character, makes him miserable at being totally undistinguished by you.  He has so good a character himself and is so much beloved by many persons here that you know, that I think you will not dislike my putting you in mind of him.  The letter was not to me, nor to any friend of mine; therefore, I am sure, unaffected.  I saw the whole letter, and he did not even hint at its being communicated to me.

I have not mentioned Lady Holdernesse’s presentation, though I by no means approve it, nor a Dutch woman’s lowering the peerage of England.  Nothing of that sort could make me more angry, except a commoner’s wife taking such a step; for you know I have all the pride of A citizen of Rome, while Rome survives:  In that respect my name is thoroughly Horatius.

(411) William Bridgen, Esq.-E.

(412) John Luther, Esq. was returned for Essex, on the popular interest, after a severe and most expensive contest.-C.

(413) Sir john Griffin Griffin, K. B., major-general and colonel of the 33d regiment; member for Andover.  He established, in 1784, a claim to the barony of Howard de Walden, and was created, in 1788, Baron Braybrook, with remainder to A. A. Neville, Esq.  He died in 1797.-C.

(414) Colonel Charles Fitzroy, member for Bury, afterwards Lord Southampton.  It seems strange that Mr. Walpole should be mistaken in such a point; but Colonel Fitzroy was not Lady Hertford’s brother, but her brother’s son.-C.

(415) William Fitzherbert, Esq. member for Derby:  a lord of trade.-C.

(416) the rumour mentioned in the text was unfounded, Sir Joseph continued at the Hague till 1783.-C.

(417) Archbishop Secker.  The Grounds for this strange story (which Walpole was fond of repeating) was, that the Archbishop had, in early youth, been intended for the medical profession, and had attended some hospitals.-C.

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(418) Mr. West married, in February 1764, Lady Mary Grey, daughter of the Earl of Stamford:  he died without issue, in 1776.-E.

(419) “The Dupe,” by Mrs. Sheridan, mother of Richard Brinsley Sheridan.  The Biographia Dramatica says it was condemned, “on account of a few passages, which the audience thought two indelicate."-E.

Letter 186 To The Earl Of Hertford.  Arlington Street, Dec. 29, 1763. (page 263)

You are sensible, my dear lord, that any amusement from my letters must depend upon times and seasons.  We are a very absurd nation (though the French are so good at present as to think us a very wise one, only because they themselves, are now a very weak one); but then that absurdity depends upon the almanac.  Posterity, who will know nothing of our intervals, wilt conclude that this age was a succession of events.  I could tell them that we know as well when an event, as when Easter will happen.  Do but recollect these last ten years.  The beginning of October, one is certain that every body will be at Newmarket, and the Duke of Cumberland will lose’, and Shafto(420) win, two or three thousand pounds.  After that, while people are preparing to come to town for the winter, the ministry is suddenly changed, and all the world comes to learn how it happened, a fortnight sooner than they intended; and fully persuaded that the new arrangement cannot last a month.  The Parliament opens; every body is bribed; and the new establishment is perceived to be composed of adamant.  November passes, with two or three self-murders, and a new play.  Christmas arrives; every body goes out of town; and a riot happens in one of the theatres.  The Parliament meets again; taxes are warmly opposed; and some citizen makes a fortune by a subscription.(421) The opposition languishes; balls and assemblies begin; some master and miss begin to get together, are talked of, and give occasion to forty more matches being invented; an unexpected debate starts up at the end of the session, that makes more noise than any thing that was designed to make a noise, and subsides again in a new peerage or two.  Ranelagh opens and Vauxhall; one produces scandal, and t’other a drunken quarrel.  People separate, some to Tunbridge, and some to all the horseraces in England; and so the year comes again to October.  I dare to prophesy, that if you keep this letter, you Will find that my future correspondence will be but an illustration of this text; at least, it is an excuse for my having very little to tell you at present, and was the reason of My not writing to you last week.

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Before the Parliament adjourned, there was nothing but a trifling debate in an empty House, occasioned by a motion from the ministry, to order another physician and surgeon to attend Wilkes; it was carried by about seventy to thirty, and was only memorable by producing Mr. Charles Townshend, who having sat silent through the question of privilege, found himself interested in the defence of Dr. Brocklesby!(422) Charles ridiculed Lord North extremely, and had warm words with George Grenville.  I do not look upon this as productive of consequential speaking for the opposition; on the contrary, I should expect him sooner in place, if the ministry could be fools enough to restore weight to him and could be ignorant that he can never hurt them so much as by being with them.  Wilkes refused to see Heberden and Hawkins, whom the House commissioned to visit him; and to laugh at us more, sent for two Scotchmen, Duncan and Middleton.  Well! but since that, he is gone off himself:  however, as I (lid in D’Eon’s case, I can now only ask news of him from you, and not tell you any; for You have got him.  I do not believe you will invite him, and make so much of him, as the Duke of Bedford did.  Both sides pretend joy at his being gone; and for once I can believe both.  You will be diverted, as I was, at the cordial esteem the ministers have for one another; Lord Waldegrave(423) told my niece, this morning, that he had offered a shilling, to receive an hundred pounds when-@Sandwich shall lose his head!  What a good opinion they have of one another! apropos to losing heads, is Lally beheaded?

The East India Company have come to an unanimous resolution of not paying Lord Clive the three hundred thousand pounds, which the ministry had promised him in lieu of his nabobical annuity.  Just after the bargain was made, his old rustic of a father was at the King’s lev`ee; the King asked where his son was; he replied, “Sire, he is coming to town, and their your Majesty will have another vote.”  If you like these franknesses, I can tell you another.  The Chancellor(424) is chosen a governor of St. Bartholomew’s Hospital; a smart gentleman, who was sent with the staff, carried it in the evening, when the Chancellor happened to be drunk.  “Well, Mr. Bartlemy,” said his lordship, snuffling, “what have you to say?” The man, who had prepared a formal harangue, was transported to have so fair opportunity given him of uttering it, and with much dapper gesticulation congratulated his lordship on his health, and the nation on enjoying such great abilities.  The Chancellor stopped him short, crying, “By God, it is a lie!  I have neither health nor abilities my bad health has destroyed my abilities.”  The late Chancellor(425) is much better.

The last time the King was at Drury-lane, the play given out for the next night was “All in the Wrong:”  the Galleries clapped, and then cried out.  “Let us be all in the right!  Wilkes and Liberty!” When the King comes to a theatre, or goes out, or goes to the House, there is not a single applause; to the Queen there is a little:  in short, Louis le bien-aim`e is not French at present for King George.

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The town, you may be sure, is very empty; the greatest party is at Woburn, whither the Comte de Guerchy and the Duc de Pecquigny are going.  I have been three days at Strawberry, and had George Selwyn, Williams, and Lord Ashburnham;(426) but the weather was intolerably bad.  We have scarce had a moment’s drought since you went, no more than for so many months before.  The towns and the roads are beyond measure dirty, and every thing else under water.  I was not well neither, nor am yet, with pains in my stomach:  however, if I ever used one, I could afford to pay a physician.  T’other day, coming from my Lady Townshend’s, it came into my head to stop at one of the lottery offices, to inquire after a single ticket I had, expecting to find it a blank, but it was five hundred pounds—­Thank you!  I know you wish me joy.  It will buy twenty pretty things when I come to Paris.

I read last night, your new French play, Le Comte de Warwick(427) which we hear has succeeded much.  I must say, it does but confirm the cheap idea I have of you French:  not to mention the preposterous perversion of history in so known a story, the Queen’s ridiculous preference of old Warwick to a young King; the omission of the only thing she ever said or did in her whole life worth recording, which was thinking herself too low for his wife, and too high for his mistress;(428) the romantic honour bestowed on two such savages as Edward and Warwick:  besides these, and forty such glaring absurdities, there is but one scene that has any merit, that between Edward and Warwick in the third act.  Indeed, indeed, I don’t honour the modern French:  it is making your son but a slender compliment, with his knowledge, for them to say it is extraordinary.  The best proof I think they give of their taste, is liking you all three.  I rejoice that your little boy is recovered.  Your brother has been at Park-place this week, and stays a week longer:  his hill is too high to be drowned.

Thank you for your kindness to Mr. Selwyn:  if he had too much impatience, I am sure it proceeded only from his great esteem for you.

I will endeavour to learn what you desire; and will answer, in another letter, that and some other passages in your last.  Dr. Hunter is very good, and calls on me sometimes.  You may guess whether we talk you over or not.  Adieu!

P. S. There has not been a death, but Sir William Maynard’s, who is come to life again:  or a marriage, but Admiral Knollys’s who has married his divorced wife again.

(420) Robert Shafto, Esq. of Whitworth, member of Durham, well known on the turf.-C.

(421) To a loan.-C.

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(422) Dr. Richard Brocklesby, an eminent physician.  He had been examined before the House of Commons, as to Mr. Wilkes’s incapacity to attend in his place.  His Whig politics, which probably induced Mr. Wilkes to sen@ for him, induced the majority of the House to distrust his report, and to order two other medical men to visit the patient.  This proceeding implied a doubt of Dr. Brocklesby’s veracity, which certainly called for,@ the interference of Mr. Charles Townshend, who was a private as well as a political friend of the doctor’s.  Dr. Brocklesby, besides being one of the first physicians of his time, was a man of literature and taste, and did not confine his society nor his beneficence to those who agreed with him in politics.  He was the friend and physician of Dr. Johnson, and when, towards the close of this great man’s life, it was supposed that his circumstances were not quite easy, Dr. Brocklesby generously pressed him to accept an annuity of one hundred pounds, and he attended him to his death with unremitted affection and care.-C.

(423) John, third Earl of Waldegrave, a general in the army:  in 1770 master of the horse to the Queen.-E.

(424) Lord Henley; afterwards Earl of Northington.

(425) Lord Hardwicke.

(426) John, second Earl of Ashburnham; one of the lords of the bedchamber, and keeper of the parks.-E.

(427) By La Harpe.  This play, written when the author was only twenty-three years old, raised him into great celebrity; and is, in the opinion of the French critics, his first work in merit as well as date.-C.

(428) This phrase has been also attributed to Mademoiselle de Montmorency, afterwards Princess de Cond`e, in reply to the solicitations of Henry iv.; and is told also of Mademoiselle de Rohan, afterwards Duchess of Deux Ponts.-C.

Letter 187 To George Montagu, Esq.  Arlington Street, Jan. 11, 1764. (page 266)

It is an age, I own, since I wrote to you; but except politics, what was there to send you? and for politics, the present are too contemptible to be recorded by any body but journalists, gazetteers, and such historians!  The ordinary of Newgate, or Mr. * * * * who write for their monthly half-crown, and who are indifferent whether Lord Bute, Lord Melcombe, or Maclean is their hero, may swear they find diamonds on dunghills; but you will excuse me, if I let our correspondence lie dormant rather than deal in such trash.  I am forced to send Lord Hertford and Sir Horace Mann such garbage, because they are out of England, and the sea softens and makes palatable any potion, as it does claret; but unless I can divert you, I had rather wait till we can laugh together; the best employment for friends, who do not mean to pick one another’s pocket, nor make a property of either’s frankness.  Instead of politics, therefore, I shall amuse you to-day with a fairy tale.

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I was desired to be at my Lady Suffolk’s on New-year’s morn, where I found Lady Temple and others.  On the toilet Miss Hotham spied a small round box.  She seized it with all the eagerness and curiosity of eleven years.  In it was wrapped up a heart-diamond ring and a paper in which, in a hand as small as Buckinger’s, who used to write the Lord’s Prayer in the compass of a silver penny, were the following lines:—­

Sent by a sylph, unheard, unseen
A new-year’s gift from Mab our queen: 
But tell it not, for if you do,
You will be pinch’d all black and blue. 
Consider well, what a disgrace,
To show abroad your mottled face
Then seal your lips, put on the ring,
And sometimes think of Ob., the king.

You will easily guess that Lady Temple(429) was the poetess, and that we were delighted with the genteelness of the thought and execution.  The child, you may imagine, was less transported with the poetry than the present.  Her attention, however, was hurried backwards and forwards from the ring to a new coat, that she had been trying on when sent for down; impatient to revisit her coat, and to show the ring to her maid, she whisked up stairs; when she came down again, she found a letter sealed, and lying on the floor—­new exclamations!  Lady Suffolk bade her open it:  here it is:—­

Your tongue, too nimble for your sense,
Is guilty of a high offence;
Hath introduced unkind debate,
And topsy-turvy turned our state. 
In gallantry I sent the ring,
The token of a lovesick king: 
Under fair Mab’s auspicious name
>From me the trifling present came. 
You blabb’d the news in Suffolk’s ear;
The tattling zephyrs brought it here;
As Mab was indolently laid
Under a poppy’s spreading shade. 
The jealous queen started in rage;
She kick’d her crown and beat her page: 
“Bring me my magic wand,” she cries;
“Under that primrose there it lies;
I’ll change the silly, saucy chit,
Into a flea, a louse, a nit,
A worm, a grasshopper, a rat,
An owl, a monkey, hedge-hog, bat. 
Ixion once a cloud embraced,
By Jove and jealousy well placed;
What sport to see proud Oberon stare,
And flirt it with a pet-en Pair!”
Then thrice she stamped the trembling ground,
And thrice she waved her wand around;
When I endowed with greater skill,
And less inclined to do you ill,
Mutter’d some words, withheld her arm
And kindly stoppld the unfinish’d charm
But though not changed to owl or bat,
Or something more indelicate;
Yet, as your tongue has run too fast,
Your boasted beauty must not last,
No more shall frolic Cupid lie
In ambuscade in either eye,
>From thence to aim his keenest dart
To captivate each youthful heart: 
No more shall envious misses pine
At charms now flown, that once were thine: 
No more, since you so ill behave,
Shall injured Oberon be your slave.

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The next day my Lady Suffolk desired I would write her a patent for appointing Lady Temple poet laureate to the fairies.  I was excessively out of order with a pain in my stomach, which I had had for ten days, and was fitter to write verses like a poet laureate, than for making one:  however, I was going home to dinner alone, and at six I sent her some lines, which you ought to have seen how sick I was, to excuse; but first, I must tell you my tale methodically.  The next morning by nine o’clock Miss Hotham (she must forgive me twenty years hence for saying she was eleven, for I recollect she is but ten,) arrived at Lady Temple’s, her face and neck all spotted with saffron, and limping.  “Oh, Madam!” said she, “I am undone for ever if you do not assist me!” “Lord, child,” cried my Lady Temple, “what is the matter?” thinking she had hurt herself, or lost the ring, and that she was stolen out before her aunt was up.  “Oh, Madam,” said the girl. “nobody but you can assist me!” My Lady Temple protests the ’child acted her part so well as to deceive her.  “What can I do for you?” “Dear Madam, take this load from my back; nobody but you can.”  Lady Temple turned her round, and upon her back was tied a child’s waggon.  In it were three tiny purses of blue velvet; in one of them a silver cup, in another a crown of laurel, and in the third four new silver pennies, with the patent, signed at top, Oberon Imperator; and two sheets of warrants strung together with blue silk according to form; and at top an office seal of wax and a chaplet of cut paper on it.  The warrants were these:—­

>From the Royal Mews:  A waggon with the draught horses, delivered by command without fee.

>From the Lord Chamberlain’s Office:  A warrant with the royal sign manual, delivered by command without fee, being first entered in the office books.

>From the Lord Steward’s Office:  A butt of sack, delivered without fee or gratuity, with an order for returning the cask for the use of the office, by command.

>From the Great Wardrobe:  Three velvet bags, delivered without fee, by command.

>From the Treasurer of the Household’s Office:  A year’s salary paid free from land-tax, poundage, or any other deduction whatever, by command.

>From the Jewel Office:  A silver butt, a silver cup, a wreath of bays, by command without fee.

Then came the patent: 

By these presents be it known,
To all who bend before your throne,
Fays and fairies, elves and sprites,
Beauteous dames and gallant knights,
That we, Oberon the grand,
Emperor of fairy land,
King of moonshine, prince of dreams,
Lord of Aganippe’s streams,
Baron of the dimpled isles
That lie in pretty maidans’ smiles,
Arch-treasurer of all the graces
Dispersed through fifty lovely faces,
Sovereign of the slipper’s order,
With all the rites thereon that border,
Defender of the sylphic faith,

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Declare—­and thus your monarch saith: 
Whereas there is a noble dame,
Whom mortals Countess Temple name,
To whom ourself did erst impart
The choicest secrets of our art,
Taught her to tune the harmonious line
To our own melody divine,
Taught her the graceful negligence,
Which, scorning art and veiling sense,
Achieves that conquest o’er the heart
Sense seldom gains, and never art;
This lady, ’tis our royal will
Our laureate’s vacant seat should fill: 
A chaplet of immortal bays
Shall crown her brow and guard her lays;
Of nectar sack an acorn cup
Be at her board each year fill’d up;
And as each quarter feast comes round
A silver penny shall be found
Within the compass of her shoe;
And so we bid you all adieu!

Given at our palace of Cowslip-castle, the shortest night of the year.  Oberon.  And underneath, Hothamina.

How shall I tell you the greatest curiosity of the story?  The whole plan and execution of the second act was laid and adjusted by my Lady Suffolk herself and Will.  Chetwynd, master of the mint, Lord Bolingbroke’s Oroonoko-Chetwynd; he fourscore, she past seventy-six; and, what is more, much worse than I was, for, added to her deafness, she has been confined these three weeks with the gout in her eyes, was actually then in misery, and had been without sleep.  What spirits, and cleverness, and imagination, at that age, and under those afflicting circumstances!  You reconnoitre her old court knowledge, how charmingly she has applied it!  Do you wonder I pass so many hours and evenings with her?  Alas!  I had like to have lost her this morning!  They had poulticed her feet to draw the gout downwards, and began to succeed yesterday, but to-day it flew up into the head, and she was almost in convulsions with the agony, and screamed dreadfully; proof enough how ill she was, for her patience and good breeding makes her for ever sink and conceal what she feels.  This evening the gout has been driven back to her foot, and I trust she is out of’ danger.  Her loss would be irreparable to me at Twickenham, where she is by far the most rational and agreeable company I have.

I don’t tell you that the Hereditary Prince(430) is still expected and not arrived.  A royal wedding would be a flat episode after a re(il fairy tale, though the bridegroom is a hero.  I have not seen your brother General yet, but have called on him.  When come you yourself?  Never mind the town and its filthy politics; we can go to the gallery at Strawberry—­stay, I don’t know whether we can or not, my hill is almost drowned, I don’t know how your mountain is—­well, we can take a boat, and always be gay there; I wish we may be so at seventy-six and eighty!  I abominate politics more and more; we had glories, and would not keep them:  well! content, that there was an end of blood; then perks prerogative its ass’s ears up; we are always to be saving our liberties,

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and then staking them again!  ’Tis wearisome!  I hate the discussion, and yet One cannot always sit at a gaming-table and never make a bet.  I wish for nothing, I care not a straw for the ins or the outs; I determine never to think of them, yet the contagion catches one; can you tell any thing that will prevent infection?  Well then, here I swear,-no I won’t swear, one always breaks one’s oath.  Oh, that I had been born to love a court like Sir William Breton!  I should have lived and died with the comfort of thinking that courts there will be to all eternity, and the liberty of my country would never once have ruffled my smile, or spoiled my bow.  I envy Sir William.  Good night!

(429) Anne, one of the daughters and coheirs of Thomas Chambers, of Hanworth, in the county of Middlesex, Esq. wife of Earl Temple.  This lady was a woman of genius:  it will hereafter be seen, that a small volume of her poems was printed at the Strawberry Hill press.-E.

(430) Of Brunswick.

Letter 188 To The Earl Of Hertford.  Arlington Street, Jan. 22, 1764. (page 270)

Monsieur Monin, who will deliver this to you, my dear lord, is the particular friend I mentioned in my last,(431) and is, indeed, no particular friend of mine at all, but I had a mind to mislead my Lord Sandwich, and send you one letter which he should not open.  This I write in peculiar confidence to you, and insist upon your keeping it entirely to yourself from every living creature.  It will be an answer to several passages in your letters, to which I did not care to reply by the post.

Your brother was not pleased with your laying the stopping your bills to his charge.(432) To tell you the truth, he thinks you are too much inclined to courts and ministers, as you think him too little so.  So far from upbraiding him on that head, give me leave to say you have no reason to be concerned at it.  You must be sensible, my dear lord, that you are far from standing well with the opposition, and should any change happen, your brother’s being well with them, would prevent any appearance that might be disagreeable to you.  In truth, I cannot think you have abundant reason to be fond of the administration.  Lord Bute(433) never gave you the least real mark of friendship.  The Bedfords certainly do not wish you well:  Lord Holland has amply proved himself your enemy:  for a man of your morals, it would be a disgrace to you to be connected with Lord Sandwich; and for George Grenville,(434) he has shown himself the falsest and most contemptible of mankind.  He is now the intimate tool of the Bedfords, and reconciled to Lord Bute, whom he has served and disserved just as occasion or interest directed.  In this situation of things, can you wonder that particular marks of favour are withheld from you, or that the expenses of your journey are not granted to you as they were to the Duke of Bedford!

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You ask me how your letters please; it is impossible for me to learn, now I am so disconnected with every thing ministerial.  I wish you not to make them please too much.  The negotiations with France must be the great point on which the nation will fix its eyes:  with France we must break sooner or later.  Your letters will be strictly canvassed:  I hope and firmly believe that nothing will appear in them but attention to the honour and interest of the nation; points, I doubt, little at the heart of the present administration, who have gone too far not to be in the power of France, and who must bear any thing rather than quarrel.  I would not take the liberty of saying so much to you, if, by being on the spot, I was not a judge how very serious affairs grow, and how necessary it is for you to be upon your guard.

Another question you ask is, whether it is true that the opposition is disunited.  I will give you one very necessary direction, which is, not to credit any court stories.  Sandwich is the father of lies,(435) and every report is tinctured by him.  The administration give it out, and trust to this disunion.  I will tell you very nearly what truth there is or is not in this.  The party in general is as firmly and cordially united as ever party was.  Consider, that without any heads or leaders at all, 102(436) men stuck to Wilkes, the worst cause they could have had, and with all the weight of the Yorkes against them.  With regard to the leaders there is a difference.  The old Chancellor is violent against the court:  but, I believe, displeased that his son was sacrificed(437) to Pratt, in the case of privilege.  Charles Yorke(438) resigned, against his own and Lord Royston,S(439) inclination, is particularly angry with Newcastle for complying with Pitt in the affair of privilege, and not less displeased that Pitt prefers Pratt to him for the seals; but then Norton is attorney-general, and it would not be graceful to return to court, which he has quitted, while the present ministers remain there.  In short, as soon as the affair of Wilkes and privilege is at an end, it is much expected that the Yorkes will take part in the opposition.  It is for that declaration that Charles Townshend says he waits.  He again broke out strongly on Friday last against the ministry, attacking George Grenville, who seems his object.  However, the childish fluctuation of his temper, and the vehemence of his brother George(440) for the court, that is for himself, will for ever make Charles little to be depended on.  For Mr. Pitt, you know, he never will act like any other man in the opposition, and to that George Grenville trusts:  however, here are such materials, that if they could once be put in operation for a fortnight together, the present administration would be blown up.  To this you may throw in dissensions among themselves:  Lord Halifax and Lord Talbot are greatly dissatisfied.  Lord Bute is reconciled to the rest; sees the King

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continually; and will soon want more power, or will have more jealousy than is consistent with their union.  Many single men are ill disposed to them, particularly Lord George Sackville:  indeed, nobody is with them, but as it is farther off from, or nearer to, quarter-day:  the nation is unanimous against them:  a disposition, which their own foolish conduct during the episode of the Prince of Brunswick,(441) to which I am now coming, has sufficiently manifested.  The fourth question put to him on his arrival was, “When do you go?” The servants of the King and Queen were forbid to put on their new clothes for the wedding, or drawing-room, next day, and ordered to keep them for the Queen’s birth-day.  Such pains were taken to keep the Prince from any intercourse with any of the opposition, that he has done nothing but take notice of them.  He not only wrote to the Duke of Newcastle and Mr. Pitt, but has been at Hayes to see the latter, and has dined twice with the Duke of Cumberland; the first time on Friday last, when he was appointed to be at St. James’s at half an hour after seven, to a concert.  As the time drew near, F`e6ronce(442) pulled out his watch; the Duke took the hint, and said, “I am sorry to part with you, but I fear your time is come.”  He replied “N’importe;” sat on, drank coffee, and it was half an hour after eight before he set out from Upper-Grosvenor street for St. James’s.  He and Princess Augusta have felt and shown their disgusts so strongly, and his suite have complained so much of the neglect and disregard of him, and of the very quick dismission of him, that the people have caught it, and on Thursday, at the play, received the King and Queen without the least symptom of applause, but repeated such outrageous acclamations to the Prince, as operated very visibly on the King’s countenance.  Not a gun was fired for the marriage, and Princess Augusta asking Lord Gower(443) about some ceremony, to which he replied, it could not be, as no such thing had been done for the Prince of Orange;(444) she said, it was extraordinary to quote that precedent to her in one case, which had been followed in no other.  I could tell you ten more of these stories, but one shall suffice.  The Royal Family went to the Opera on Saturday:  the crowd not to be described:  the Duchess of Leeds, ]lady Denbigh, Lady Scarborough, and others, sat on chairs between the scenes; the doors of the front boxes were thrown open, and the passages were all filled to the back of the stoves; nay, women of fashion stood on the very stairs till eight at night.  In the middle of the second act, the Hereditary Prince, who sat with his wife and her brothers in their box, got up, turned his back to the King and Queen, pretending to offer his place to Lady Tankerville(445) and then to Lady Susan.  You know enough of Germans and their stiffness to etiquette, to be sure that this could not be done inadvertently:  especially as he repeated this, only without standing up, with one

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of his own gentlemen, in the third act.  I saw him, without any difficulty, from the Duchess of Grafton’s box.  He is extremely slender, and looks many years older than he is:  in short, I suppose it is his manner with which every mortal is captivated, for though he is well enough for a man, he is far from having any thing striking in his person.  To-day (this is Tuesday) there was a drawing-room at Leicester-house, and to-night there is a subscription ball for him at Carlisle-house, Soho, made chiefly by the Dukes of Devonshire and Grafton.  I was invited to be of it, but not having been to wait on him, did not think it Civil to meet him there.  The Court, by accident or design, had forgot to have a bill passed for naturalizing him.  The Duke of Grafton Undertook it, on which they adopted it, and the Duke of Bedford moved it; but the Prince sent word to the Duke of Grafton, that he should not have liked the compliment half so well, if he had not owed it to his grace.  You may judge how he will report of us at his return!

With regard to your behaviour to Wilkes,(446) I think you observed the just medium:  I have not heard it mentioned:  if they should choose to blame it, it will not be to me, known as your friend and no friend of theirs.  They very likely may say that you did too much, though the Duke of Bedford did ten times more.  Churchill has published a new satire, called “The Duellist,"(447) the finest and bitterest of his works.  The poetry is glorious; some lines on Lord Holland, hemlock:  charming abuse on that scurrilous mortal, Bishop Warburton:  an ill-drawn, though deserved, character of Sandwich; and one, as much deserved, and better, of Norton.

Wednesday, after dinner.

The Lord knows when this letter will be finished; I have been writing it this week, and believe I shall continue it till old Monin sets out.  Encore, the Prince of Brunswick.  At the ball, at Buckingham house, on Monday:  it had begun two hours before he arrived.  Except the King’s and Queen’s servants, nobody was there but the dukes of Marlborough and Ancaster, and Lord Bute’s two daughters.  No supper.  On Sunday evening the Prince had been to Newcastle-house, to visit the Duchess.  His speech to the Duke of Bedford, at first, was by no means so strong as they gave it out; he only said, “Milord, nous avons fait deux m`etiers bien diff`erens; le v`otre a `et`e le plus agr`eable:  j’ai fait couler du sang, vous l’avez fait cesser.”  His whole behaviour, so much `a la minorit`e, makes this much more probable.  His Princess thoroughly, agrees with him.  When Mr. Grenville objected to the greatness of her fortune, the King said, “Oh! it will not be opposed, for Augusta is in the opposition.”

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The ball, last night, at Carlisle-house, Soho, was most magnificent:  one hundred and fifty men subscribed, and five guineas each, and had each three tickets.  All the beauties in town were there, that is, of rank, for there was no bad company.  The Duke of Cumberland was there too; and the Hereditary Prince so pleased, and in such spirits, that he stayed till five in the morning.  He is gone to-day, heartily sorry to leave every thing but St. James’s and Leicester-house.  They lie to-night at Lord Abercorn’s,(448) at Witham, who does not step from his pedestal to meet them.  Lady Strafford said to him, “Soh! my lord, I hear your house is to be royal] v filled on Wednesday.”—­“And serenely,"(449) he replied, and closed his mouth again till next day.

Our politics have been as follow.  Last Friday the opposition moved for Wilkes’s complaint of breach of privilege to be heard to-day:  Grenville objected to it, and at last yielded, after receiving some smart raps from Charles Townshend and Sir George Saville.  On Tuesday the latter, and Sir William Meredith, proposed to put it off to the 13th of February, that Wilkes’s servant, the most material evidence might be here.  George Grenville again opposed it, was not supported, and yielded.  Afterwards Dowdeswell moved for a committee on the Cider-bill; and, at last, a committee was appointed for Tuesday next, with powers to report the grievances of the bill, and suggest amendments and redress, but with no authority to repeal it.  This the administration carried but by 167 to 125.  Indeed, many of their people were in the House of Lords, where the court triumphed still less.  They were upon the “Essay on Woman.”  Sandwich proposed two questions; 1st, that Wilkes was the author of it;(450) 2dly, to order the Black Rod to attach him.  It was much objected by the Dukes of Devonshire, Grafton, Newcastle, and even Richmond, that the first was not proved, and might affect him in the courts below.  Lord Mansfield tried to explain this away, and Lord Marchmont and Lord Temple had warm words.  At last Sandwich, artfully, to get something, if not all, agreed to melt both questions into one, which was accepted; and the vote passed, that it appearing Wilkes was the author, he should be taken into custody by the usher.  It appearing, was allowed to mean as far as appears.  Then a committee was appointed to search for precedents how to proceed on his being withdrawn.  That dirty dog Kidgel(451) had been summoned by the Duke of Grafton, but as they only went on the breach of privilege, he was not called.  The new club,(452) at the house that was the late Lord Waldegrave’s, in Albermarle-street, makes the ministry very uneasy; but they have worse grievances to apprehend!

Sir Robert Rich(453) is extremely angry with my nephew, the Bishop of Exeter, who, like his own and wife’s family, is tolerably warm.  They were talking together at St. James’s, when A’Court(454) came in, “There’s poor A’Court,” said the Bishop.  “Poor A,Court!” replied the Marshal, “I wish all those fellows that oppose the King were to be turned out of the army!” “I hope,” said the Bishop, “they will first turn all the old women out of it!”

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The Duc de Pecquigny was on the point of a duel with Lord Garlies,(455) at Lord Milton’s(456) ball, the former handing the latter’s partner down to supper.  I wish you had this Duke again, lest you should have trouble with him from hence:  he seems a genius of the wrong sort.  His behaviour on the visit to Woburn was very wrong-headed, though their treatment of him was not more right.  Lord Sandwich flung him down in one of their horse-plays, and almost put his shoulder out.  He said the next day there, at dinner, that for the rest of his life he should fear nothing so much as a lettre de cachet from a French secretary of state, or a coup d’`epaule from an English one.  After this he had a pique with the Duchess, with whom he had been playing at whisk.  A shilling and sixpence were left on the table, which nobody claimed.  He was asked if it was his, and said no.  Then they said, let us put it to the cards:  there was already a guinea.  The Duchess, in an air of grandeur said, as there was gold for the groom of the chambers, the sweeper of the room might have the silver, and brushed it off the table.  The Pecquigny took this to himself, though I don’t believe meaned; and complained to the whole town of it, with large comments, at his return.  It is silly to tell you Such silly stories, but in your situation it may grow necessary for you to know the truth, if you should hear them repeated.  I am content to have you call me gossip, if I prove but of the least use to you.

Here have I tapped the ninth page!  Well!  I am this moment going to M. de Guerchy’s, to know when Monin sets out, that I may finish this eternal letter.  If I tire you, tell me so:  I am sure I do myself.  If I speak with too much freedom to you, tell me so:  I have done it in consequence of your questions, and mean it most kindly.  In short, I am ready to amend any thing you disapprove; so don’t take any thing ill, my dear lord, unless I continue after you have reprimanded me.  The safe manner in which this goes, has made me, too, more explicit than you know I have been on any other occasion.  Adieu!

Wednesday-night, late.

Well, my letter will be finished at last.  M. Monin sets out on Friday. so does my Lord Holland:  but I affect not to know it, for he is not just the person that you or I should choose to be the bearer of this.  You will be diverted with a story they told me to-night at the French Ambassador’s.  When they went to supper, at Soho, last night, the Duke of Cumberland placed himself at the head of the table.  One of the waiters tapped him on the shoulder, and said, “Sir, your Royal Highness can’t sit there; that place is designed for the Hereditary Prince.”  You ought to have seen how every body’s head has been turned with this Prince, to make this story credible to you.  My Lady Rockingham, at Leicester-house, yesterday, cried great sobs for his departure.  Yours ever, page the ninth.

(431) This letter does not appear.

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(432) Lord Hertford had claimed certain expenses of his journey to Paris which had been allowed to his predecessors, but which were refused to him; he therefore may have expressed a suspicion that his brother’s opposition in Parliament rendered the ministers at home less favourable to him; but there never was any difference or coldness between the brothers in their private relations.  This appears from their private letters at this period.-C.

(433) In April 1763, Lord Bute surprised both his friends and his opponents by a sudden resignation.  The motive of this resolution is still a mystery.  Some have said, that having concluded the peace, his patriotic views and ambition were satisfied; others that he resigned in disgust at the falsehood and ingratitude of public men; others that he was driven from his station by libels and unpopularity.  None of these reasons seem consistent with a desire which Lord Bute appears to have entertained, to return to office with a new administration.  A clamour was long kept up against Lord Bute’s secret and irresponsible influence; but it is now generally admitted that no such influence existed, and that Lord Bute soon ceased to have any weight in public affairs.-C.

(434) Mr. Walpole was so vehement in his party feelings, that all his characters of political enemies must be read with great distrust.-C.

(435) Lord Sandwich was an able minister, and so important a member of the administration to which Mr. Walpole was now opposed, that we must read all that he says of this lord with some “grains of allowance."-C.

(436) On the 19th of January, when the ministers were about to proceed to vote Wilkes in contempt, and expel him, a motion was made by Wilkes’s friends to postpone the consideration of the affair till next day; this was lost by 239 to 102.-C.

(437) He means that the opposition had adopted Pratt’s view instead of Mr. Yorke’s.-C.

(438) This is not true; the real cause of his resignation is stated ant`e, p. 251, letter 181; he certainly disagreed from the Duke of Newcastle and others of his friends, who made the matter of privilege a party question instead of treating it as a legal one, as Mr. Yorke did.

(439) Philip Lord Royston, afterwards second Earl of Hardwicke, elder brother of Mr. Charles Yorke.-E.

(440) George, first Marquis of Townshend, at this time a major-general in the army.  In the divisions on branches of the Wilkes question, we sometimes find General Townshend a teller on one side, and Mr. Townshend on the other.-C.

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(441) The Hereditary Prince, who came to England to marry the Princess Augusta, eldest sister of George iii.  He landed at Harwich on the 12th of January, and arrived the same evening at Somerset-house, where he was lodged.  Lady Chatham, in a letter to Mr. Pitt, relates the following anecdotes Mrs. Boscawen tells me, that while the Prince was at Harwich, the people almost pulled down the house in which he was, in order to see him.  A substantial Quaker insisted so strongly upon seeing him, that he was allowed to come into the room:  he pulled off his hat to him, and said, ‘Noble friend, give me thy hand!’ which was given, and he kissed it; ’although I do not fight myself, I love a brave man that will fight:  thou art a valiant Prince, and art to be married to a lovely Princess:  love her, make her a good husband, and the Lord bless you both!’” See Chatham Correspondence, vol. ii. p. 272.-E.

 (442) The Prince’s chief secretary.-E.

(443) Granville, second Earl Gower, afterwards first Marquis:  groom of the stole.-E.

(444) William Charles Henry, Prince of Orange, who, in 1734, married Anne, eldest daughter of George ii.-E.

(445) Alicia Ashley, wife of Charles, third Earl of Tankerville, lady of the bedchamber to Princess Augusta.  Nothing but Mr. Walpole’s facetious ingenuity could have tortured the Prince’s little attention to Lady Tankerville into a desire to insult the King.-C.

(446) Mr. Wilkes had thought it prudent to retire to Paris, under circumstances which certainly rendered it unlikely that the King’s ambassador should pay him any kind of civil attention.-C.

(447) Again Mr. Walpole’s partiality blinds him.  “The Duellist” is surely far from being the finest of Churchill’s works.  Mr. Walpole’s own feelings are strongly marked by the glee with which he sees hemlock administered to his old friend Lord Holland, and by being charmed with the abuse of Bishop Warburton.-C.

(448) Mr. Walpole, by one of those happy expressions which make the chief charm of his writings, characterizes the stately formality of this noble lord.  His house at Witham is close to the great road, a little beyond the town of Witham.  Her late Majesty, Queen Charlotte, slept there on her way to London, in 1761.-C.

(449) Mr. Walpole probably understood his lordship to mean that a Serene Highness was not sufficiently important to require his attendance at Witham.-C.

(450) Wilkes was convicted, in the Court of King’s Bench, on the 21st of January, the day before this letter was begun, of having written the Essay on Woman.-C.

(451) Mr. Kidgel, a clergyman, had obtained from a printer a copy of the Essay on Woman, which he said he felt it his duty to denounce.  His own personal character turned out to be far from respectable.-C.

(452) The opposition club was in Albemarle-street, and the ministerial at the Cocoa-tree; and the papers of the day had several political letters addressed to and from these clubs.-C.

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(453) The oldest field-marshal in the army.

(454) Major-general A,Court had a little before resigned, or rather been dismissed, for his parliamentary opposition, from the command of the second regiment of foot-guards.-C.

(455) John, afterwards seventh Earl of galloway.

(456) Joseph Damer, first Lord Milton.

Letter 189 To The Rev. Mr. Cole.  Arlington Street, Jan. 31, 1764. (page 277)

Dear Sir, Several weeks ago I begged you to tell me how to convey to you a print of Strawberry Hill, and another of Archbishop Hutton.  I must now repeat the same request for two more volumes of my Anecdotes of Painting, which are on the point of being published.  I hope no illness prevented my hearing from you.

To The Rev. Mr. Cole.

Dear Sir,
I am impatient for your manuscript, but have not yet received it. 
You may depend on my keeping it to myself, and returning it
safely.

I do not know that history of my father, which you mention, by the name of Musgrave.  If it is the critical history of his administration, I have it; if not, I shall be obliged to you for it.

Your kindness to your tenants is like yourself, and most humane.  I am glad Your prize rewards you, and wish your fortune had been as good as mine, who with a single ticket in this last lottery got five hundred pounds.

I have nothing new, that is, nothing old to tell you.  You care not about the present world, and are the only real philosopher, I know.

I this winter met with a very large lot of English heads, chiefly of the reign of James I., which very nearly perfects my collection.  There were several which I had in vain hunted for these ten years.  I have bought too, some very scarce, but more modern ones out of Sir Charles Cotterell’s collection.  Except a few of Faithorne’s, there are scarce any now that I much wish for.

With my Anecdotes I packed up for you the head of Archbishop Hutton, and a new little print of Strawberry.  If the volumes, as I understand by your letter, stay in town to be bound, I hope your bookseller will take care not to lose those trifles.

Letter 190 To Sir David Dalrymple.(457) Arlington Street, Jan. 31, 1764. (page 278)

I am very sorry, Sir, that your obliging corrections of my Anecdotes of Painting have come so late, that the first volume is actually reprinted.  The second shall be the better for them.  I am now publishing the third volume, and another of Engravers.  I wish you would be so kind as to tell me how I may convey them speedily to you:  you waited too long the last time for things that have little merit but novelty.  These volumes are of still less worth than the preceding; our latter painters not compensating by excellence for the charms that antiquity has bestowed on their antecessors.

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I wish I had known in time what heads of Nanteuil you want.  There has been a very valuable sale of Sir Clement Cotterell’s prints, the impressions most beautiful, and of which Nanteuil made the capital part.  I do not know who particularly collects his works now, but I have ordered my bookseller Bathoe,(458) who is much versed in those things, to inquire; and if I hear of any purchaser, Sir, I will let you know.

I have not bought the Anecdotes of Polite literature,(459) suspecting them for a bookseller’s compilation, and confirmed in it by never hearing them mentioned.  Our booksellers here at London disgrace literature, by the trash they bespeak to be written, and at the same time prevent every thing else from being sold.  They are little more or less than upholsters, who sell sets or bodies of arts and sciences for furniture; and the purchasers, for I am sure they are not readers, buy only in that view.(460) I never thought there was much merit in reading:  but yet it is too good a thing to be put upon no better footing than In damask and mahogany.

Whenever I can be of the least use to your studies or collections, you know, Sir, that you may command me freely.

(457) Now first collected.

(458) This very intelligent bookseller, who lived near Exeter ’Change, in the Strand, died in 1768.-E.

(459) This was a very amusing and judicious selection, in five small volumes, very neatly printed.-E.

(460 “I once said to Dr. Johnson, ’I am sorry, Sir, you did not get more for your Dictionary.’  His answer was, ’I am sorry too; but it was very well:  the booksellers are generous liberal-minded men.’  He, upon all occasions, did ample justice to their character in this respect.  He considered them as the patrons of literature and, indeed, although they have eventually been considerable gainers by his Dictionary, it is to them that we owe its having been undertaken and carried out at the risk of great expense for they were not absolutely sure of being indemnified.”  Boswell’s Johnson, vol. ii. p. 58.-E.

Letter 191 To The Earl Of Hertford.  Arlington Street, Feb. 6, 1764. (page 279)

You have, I hope, long before this, my dear lord, received the immense letter that I sent you by old Monin.  It explained much, and announced most part of which has already happened; for you will observe that when I tell you any thing, very positively, it is on good intelligence.  I have another much bigger secret for you, but that will be delivered to you by word of mouth.  I am not a little impatient for the long letter you promised me.  In the mean time thank you for the account you give me of the King’s extreme civility to you.  It is like yourself, to dwell on that, and to say little of M. de Chaulnes’s dirty behaviour; but Monsieur and Madame de Guerchy have told your brother and me all the particulars.

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I was but too good a prophet when I warned you to expect new extravagances from the Due de Chaulnes’s son.  Some weeks ago he lost five hundred pounds to one Virette, an equivocal being, that you remember here.  Paolucci, the Modenese minister, who is not in the odour of honesty, was of the party.  The Duc de Pecquigny said to the latter, “Monsieur, ne jouez plus avec lui, si vous n’`etes pas de moiti`e.”  So far was very well.  On Saturday at the Maccaroni Club(461) (which is composed of all the travelled young men, men who wear long curls and spying-glasses,) they played again:  the Duc lost, but not Much.  In the passage at the Opera, the Duc saw Mr. Stuart talking to Virette, and told the former that Virette was a coquin, a fripon, etc. etc.  Virette retired, saying only, “Voil`a un fou.”  The Duc then desired Lord Tavistock to come and see him fight Virette, but the Marquis desired to be excused.  After the Opera, Virette went to the Duc’s lodgings, but found him gone to make his complaint to Monsieur de Guerchy, whither he followed him; and farther this deponent knoweth not.  I pity the Count (de Guerchy,) who is one of the best-natured amiable men in the world, for having this absurd boy upon his hands!

Well! now for a little politics.  The Cider-bill(462) has not answered to the minority, though they ran the ministry hard;(463) but last Friday was extraordinary.  George Grenville was pushed upon some Navy bills; I don’t understand a syllable, you know of money and accounts; but whatever was the matter,(464) he was driven from entrenchment to entrenchment by Baker,(465) and Charles Townshend.  After that affair was over, and many gone away, Sir W. Meredith moved for the depositions on which the warrant against Wilkes had been granted.  The ministers complained of the motion being made so late In the day; called it a surprise; and Rigby moved to adjourn, which was carried but by 73 to 60.  Had a surprise been intended, one may imagine the minority would have been better provided with numbers; but it certainly had not been concerted:  however, a majority, shrunk to thirteen, frightened them out of the small senses they possess. heaven, earth, and the treasury, were moved to recover their ground to-day, when the question was renewed.  For about two hours the debate hobbled on very lamely, when on a sudden your brother rose, and made such a speech(466)—­but I wish any body was to give you the account except me, whom you will think partial:  but you will hear enough of it, to confirm any thing I can say.  Imagine fire, rapidity, argument, knowledge, wit, ridicule, grave, spirit; all pouring like a torrent, but without clashing.  Imagine the House in a tumult of continued applause imagine the ministers thunderstruck; lawyers abashed and almost blushing, for it was on their quibbles and evasions he fell most heavily, at the same time answering a whole session of arguments on the side of the court.  No, it was unique; you can neither

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conceive it, nor the exclamations it occasioned.  Ellis, the forlorn hope, Ellis presented himself in the gap, till the ministers could recover themselves, when on a sudden Lord George Sackville led up the Blues;(467) spoke with as much warmth as your brother had, and with great force continued the attack which he had begun.  Did not I tell you he would take this part?  I was made privy to it; but this is far from all you are to expect.  Lord North in vain rumbled about his mustard-bowl, and endeavoured alone to outroar a whole party:  him and Forrester, Charles Townshend took up, but less well than usual.  His jealousy of your brother’s success, which was very evident, did not help him to shine.  There were several other speeches, and, upon the whole, it was a capital debate; but Plutus is so much more persuasive an orator than your brother or Lord George, that we divided but 122 against 217.  Lord Strange, who had agreed to the question, did not dare to vote for it, and declared off; and George Townshend who had actually voted for it on Friday, now voted against it. well! upon the whole, I heartily wish this administration may last:  both their characters and abilities are so contemptible, @at I am sure we can be in no danger from prerogative when trusted to such hands!

Before I have done with Charles Townshend, I must tell you one of his admirable bon-mots.  Miss Draycote,(468) the great fortune, is grown very fat:  he says her tonnage is become equal to her poundage.

There is the devil to pay in Nabob-land, but I understand Indian histories no better than stocks.  The council rebelled against the governors and sent a deputation, the Lord knows why, to the Nabob, who cut off the said deputies’ heads, and then, I think, was disnabob’d himself, and Clive’s old friend reinstated.  There is another rebellion in Minorca, where Johnson [has renounced his allegiance to viceroy Dick Lyttelton, and set up for himself.  Sir Richard has laid the affair before the King and council; Charles Townshend first, and then your brother, (you know why I am sorry they should appear together in that cause,) have tried to deprecate Sir Richard’s wrath:  but it was then too late.  The silly fellow has brought himself’ to a precipice.

I forgot to tell you that Lord George Sackville carried into the minority with him his own brother(469) Lord Middlesex; Lord Milton’s brother;(470) young Beauclerc; Sir Thomas Hales; and Colonel Irwine.

We have not heard a word of the Hereditary Prince and Princess.  They were sent away in a tempest, and I believe the best one can hope is, that they are driven to Norway.(471)

Good night, my dear lord; it is time to finish, for it is half an hour after one in the morning — I am forced to purloin such hours to Write to you, for I get up so late, and then have such a perpetual succession Of nothings to do, such auctions, politics, visits, dinners, suppers, books to publish or revise, etc. that I have not a quarter of an hour without a call upon it:  but I need not tell you, who know my life, that I am forced to create new time, if I will keep up my correspondence with you.  You seem to like I should, and I wish to give you every satisfaction in my power.

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Tuesday, February 7, four o’clock.

I tremble whilst I continue my letter, having just heard such a dreadful story!  A captain of a vessel has made oath before the Lord Mayor, this morning, that he saw one of the yachts sunk on the coast of Holland; and it is believed to be the one in which the Prince was.  The city is in an uproar; nor need one point out all such an accident may produce, if true; which I most fervently hope it is not.  My long letter will help you to comments enough, which will be made on this occasion.  I wish you may know, at this moment, that our fears are ill placed.  The Princess was not in the same yacht with her husband.  Poor Fanshawe,(472) as clerk of the green cloth, with his wife and sister, was in one of them.

Here is more of the Duc de Pecquigny’s episode.  An officer was sent yesterday to put Virette under arrest.  His servant disputed with the officer on his orders, till his master made his escape.  Virette sent a friend, whom he ordered to deliver his letter in person, and see it read, with a challenge, appointing the Duc to meet him at an hour after seven this morning, at Buckingham-gate, where he waited till ten to no purpose, though the Duc had not been put under arrest.  Virette absconds, and has sent M. de Pecquigny word, that he shall abscond till he can find a proper opportunity of fighting him.  Your discretion will naturally prevent your talking of this; but I thought you would like to be prepared, if this affair should any how happen to become your business, though your late discussion With the Duc de Chaulnes will add to your disinclination from meddling with it.

I must send this to the post before I go to the Opera, and therefore shall not be able to tell you more of the Prince of Brunswick by this post.

(461) The “Maccaroni” of 1764 was nearly synonymous with the term “dandy” at present in vogue, and even become classical by the use of it by Lord Byron; who, in his story of Beppo, written in 1817, speaks of

——­“the dynasty of Dandies, now
Perchance succeeded by some other class
Of imitated imitators:—­how
Irreparably soon decline, alas! 
The demagogues of fashion:  all below
Is frail; how easily the world is lost
By love, or war, and now and then by frost!"-E.

(462) A bill, passed in the last session, for an additional duty on cider and perry, which was violently opposed by the cider counties, and taken up as a general opposition question.  This measure was considered as a great error on the part of Lord Bute, and the unpopularity consequent upon it is said to have contributed to his resignation.

(463) On a motion for a committee on the Cider-bill on the 24th of January.  Mr. James Grenville, in a letter to his sister, Lady Chatham, speaking of this debate says, “I should make you as old a woman as either Sandys or Rushout, if I were to state all the jargon that arose in this debate.  It was plain the Court meant to preclude any repeal of the bill; the cider people coldly wished to obtain it.  Sir Richard Bamfylde, at the head of them, spoke, not his own sentiments, as he declared, but those which the instructions and petitions of his constituents forced him to maintain.  We divided 127 with us:  against us, 167.”  Chatham Correspondence, vol. ii. p. 282.-E.

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(464) It was a proposal for converting certain outstanding navy-bills into annuities at four per cent.-C.

(465) Sir William Baker, member for Plympton; an alderman of London.  He married the eldest daughter of the second Jacob Tonson, the bookseller.-E.

(466) There is no other account of this remarkable speech to be found; and indeed we have little notice of General Conway’s parliamentary efforts, except Mr. Burke’s general and brilliant description of his conduct as leader of the House of Commons in the Rockingham administration.  As General Conway’s reputation in the House of Commons has been in some degree forgotten, it may be as well to cite the passage from Mr. Burke’s speech, in 1774, on American taxation, in support of what Mr. Walpole says of the General’s powers in debate:—­“I will likewise do justice, I ought to do it, to the honourable gentleman who led us in this House.  Far from the duplicity wickedly charged on him, he acted his part with alacrity and resolution.  We all felt inspired by the example he gave us, down even to myself, the weakest in that phalanx.  I declare for one, I knew well enough (it could not be concealed from any body) the true state of things; but, in my life I never came with so much spirits into this House.  It was a time for a man to act in.  We had powerful enemies; but we had faithful and determined friends and a glorious cause.  We had a great battle to fight, but we had the means of fighting; not as now, when our arms are tied behind us.  We did fight that day, and conquer.  I remember, Sir, with a melancholy pleasure, the situation of the Honourable gentleman (General Conway) who made the motion for the repeal; in that crisis, when the whole trading interest of this empire, crammed into your lobbies with a trembling, and anxious expectation, waited, ,almost to a winter’s return of light, their fate from your resolution.  When, at length, you had determined in their favour, and your doors thrown open, showed them the figure of their deliverer in the well-earned triumph of his important victory, from the whole of that grave multitude there arose an involuntary burst of gratitude and transport, They jumped upon him like children on a long absent father.  They clung about him like captives about the redeemer.  All England, all America, joined in his applause.  Nor did he seem insensible to the best of all earthly regards—­the love and admiration of his fellow-citizens.  Hope elevated, and joy brightened his crest.  I stood near him; and his face, to use the expression of the Scripture of the first martyr, ’his face was as if it had been the face of an angel.’  I do not know how others feel; but if I had Stood in that situation, I never would have exchanged it for all that kings, in their profusion, could bestow.  I did hope, that that day’s danger and honour would have been a bond to hold us all together for ever.  But alas! that, with other pleasing visions, is long since vanished."-C.

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(467) Mr. Walpole tinges his approbation of Lord George’s politics by this allusion to Minden, where his lordship had not “led up the Blues."-C.

(468) Miss Anna Maria Draycote, married in April, 17()3, to Earl Pomfret.  To taste Mr. Townshend’s jest, one must recollect, that in the finance of that day the duties of tonnage and poundage held a principal place.-C.

(469) Governor Vansittart, contrary to the advice of his council, had deposed the Nabob Meer Jaffier, and transferred the sovereignty to his son-in-law, Cossim Ali Cawn.  The latter, however, soon forgot his obligations to the English; and in consequence of some aggressions on his part, a deputation, consisting of Mesrs Amyatt and Hay, members of council, attended by half a dozen other gentlemen, was sent to the new Nabob.  While this deputation was on its return, hostilities broke out, and these gentlemen were put to death as they were passing the city of Mor”, Moreshedabad.  About the same here the English council at Patna and their attendants were made prisoners, and afterwards cruelly massacred.  These events necessitated the deposition of Cossim, and Jaffier was accordingly, after a short campaign, restored.-C. (468) Charles, afterwards second Duke of Dorset.-E.

(470) John Damer, member for Dorchester.  Lord Milton had married Lord George’s youngest sister, Lady Caroline.-E.

(471) The Prince and Princess landed safely at Helvoet on the 2d of February.-E.

(472) Simon Fanshawe, Esq. member for Grampound.  He had married a lady of his own name.

Letter 192 To The Earl Of Hertford.  Arlington Street, Wednesday, Feb. 15, 1764. (page 283)

My dear lord, You ought to be Witness to the fatigue I am suffering, before you can estimate the merit I have in being writing to you at this moment.  Cast up eleven hours in the House of Commons on Monday, and above seventeen hours yesterday—­ay, seventeen at length,- -and then you may guess if I am tired! nay, you must add seventeen hours that I may possibly be there on Friday, and then calculate if I am weary.(473) In short, yesterday was the longest day ever known in the House of Commons—­why, on the Westminster election at the end of my father’s reign,(474) I was at home by six.  On Alexander Murray’s(475) affair, I believe, by five—­on the militia, twenty people, I think, sat till six, but then they were only among themselves, no heat, no noise, no roaring.  It was half an hour after seven this morning before I was at home.  Think of that, and then brag of your French parliaments!(476)

What is ten times greater, Leonidas and the Spartan minority did not make such a stand at Thermopylae, as we did.  Do you know, we had like to have been the majority?  Xerxes(477) is frightened out of his senses; Sysigambis(478) has sent an express to Luton to forbid Phrates(479) coming to town to-morrow:  Norton’s(480) impudence has forsaken him; Bishop Warburton is at this moment reinstating Mr. Pitt’s name in the dedication to his sermons, which he had expunged for Sandwich’s;(481) and Sandwich himself is—­at Paris, perhaps, by this time, for the first thing I expect to hear to-morrow is, that he is gone off.

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Now are you mortally angry with me for trifling with you, and not telling you at once the particulars of this almost-revolution.  You may be angry, but I shall take my own time, and shall give myself what airs I please both to you, my Lord Ambassador, and to you, my Lord Secretary of State, who will, I suppose, open this letter—­if you have courage enough left.  In the first place, I assume all the impertinence of a prophet, aye, of that great curiosity, a prophet, who really prophesied before the event, and whose predictions have been accomplished.  Have I, or have I not, announced to you the unexpected blows that would be given to the administration?—­come, I will lay aside my dignity, and satisfy your impatience.  There’s moderation.

We sat all Monday hearing evidence against Mr. Wood,(482) that dirty wretch Webb,(483) and the messengers, for their illegal proceedings against Mr. Wilkes.  At midnight, Mr. Grenville offered us to adjourn or proceed.  Mr. Pitt humbly begged not to eat or sleep till so great a point should be decided.  On a division, in which though many said aye to adjourning, nobody would go out for fear of losing their seats, it was carried by 379 to 31, for proceeding—­and then—­half the House went away.  The ministers representing the indecency of this, and Fitzherbert saying that many were within call, Stanley observed, that after voting against adjournment, a third part had adjourned themselves, when, instead of being within call, they ought to have been within hearing:  this was unanswerable, and we adjourned.

Yesterday we fell to again.  It was one in the morning before the evidence was closed.  CarringTon, the messenger, was alone examined for seven hours.  This old man, the cleverest of all ministerial terriers, was pleased with recounting his achievements, yet guarded and betraying nothing.  However, the arcana imperia have been wofully laid open.

I have heard Garrick, and other players, give themselves airs of fatigue after a long part—­think of the Speaker, nay, think of the clerks taking most correct minutes for sixteen hours, and reading them over to every witness; and then let me hear of fatigue!  Do you know, not only my Lord Temple,(484)—­who you may swear never budged as spectator, but old Will Chetwynd,(485) now past eighty, and who had walked to the House, did not stir a single moment out of his place, from three in the afternoon till the division at seven in the morning.  Nay, we had patriotesses, too, who stayed out the whole:  Lady Rockingham and Lady Sondes the first day; both again the second day, with Miss Mary Pelham, Mrs. Fitzroy,(486) and the Duchess of Richmond, as patriot as any of us.  Lady Mary Coke, Mrs. George Pitt,(487) and Lady Pembroke(488) came after the Opera, but I think did not stay above seven or eight hours at most.

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At one, Sir W. Meredith(489) moved a resolution of the illegality of the warrant, and opened it well.  He was seconded by old Darlington’s brother,(490) a convert to us.  Mr. Wood, who had shone the preceding day by great modesty, decency, and ingenuity, forfeited these merits a good deal by starting up (according to a ministerial plan,) and very arrogantly, and repeatedly in the night, demanding justice and a previous acquittal, and telling the House he scorned to accept being merely excused; to which Mr. Pitt replied, that if he disdained to be excused, he would deserve to be censured.  Mr. Charles Yorke (who, with his family, have come roundly to us for support against the Duke of Bedford on the Marriage-bill(491)) proposed to adjourn.  Grenville and the Ministry would have agreed to adjourn the debate on the great question itself, but declared they would push this acquittal.  This they announced haughtily enough—­for as yet, they did not doubt of their strength.  Lord Frederick Campbell(492) was the most impetuous of all, so little he foresaw how much wiser it would be to follow your brother.  Pitt made a short speech, excellently argumentative, and not bombast, nor tedious. nor deviating from the question.  He was supported by your brother, and Charles Townshend, and Lord George;(493) the two last of whom are strangely firm, now they are got under the cannon of your brother Charles, who, as he must be extraordinary, is now so in romantic nicety of honour.  His father,(494) who is dying, or dead, at Bath, and from whom he hopes two thousand a year, has sent for him.  He has refused to go—­lest his steadiness should be questioned.  At a quarter after four we divided.  Our cry was so loud, that both we and the ministers thought we had carried it.  It is not to be painted, the dismay of the latter—­in good truth not without reason, for we were 197, they but 207.  Your experience can tell you, that a majority of but ten is a defeat.  Amidst a great defection from them, was even a white staff, Lord Charles Spencer(495)—­now you know still more of what I told you was preparing for them!

Crestfallen, the ministers then proposed simply to discharge the complaint; but the plumes which they had dropped, Pitt soon placed in his own beaver.  He broke out on liberty, and, indeed, on whatever he pleased, uninterrupted.  Rigby sat feeling the vice-treasurership slipping from under him.  Nugent was now less pensive—­Lord Strange,(496) though not interested, did not like it.  Every body was too much taken up with his own concerns or too much daunted, to give the least disturbance to the Pindaric.  Grenville, however, dropped a few words, which did but heighten the flame.  Pitt, with less modesty than ever he showed, pronounced a panegyric, on his own administration, and from thence broke out on the dismission of officers.  This increased the roar from us.  Grenville replied, and very finely, very pathetically, very animated.

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he painted Wilkes and faction, and, with very little truth, denied the charge of menaces to officers.  At that moment, General A’Court(497) walked up the House —­think what an impression such an incident must make, when passions, hopes, and fears, were all afloat—­think, too, how your brother and I, had we been ungenerous, could have added to these sensations!  There was a man not so delicate.  Colonel Barr`e rose—­and this attended with a striking circumstance; Sir Edward Deering, one of our noisy fools, called out, “Mr. Barr`e,"(498) The latter seized the thought with admirable quickness, and said to the Speaker, who, in pointing to him, had called him Colonel, “I beg your pardon, Sir, you have pointed to me by a title I have no right to,” and then made a very artful and pathetic speech on his own services and dismission; with nothing bad but an awkward attempt towards an excuse to Mr. Pitt for his former behaviour.  Lord North, who will not lose his bellow, though he may lose his place, endeavoured to roar up the courage of his comrades, but it would not do—­the House grew tired, and we again divided at seven for adjournment; some of our people were gone, and we remained but 184, they 208; however, you will allow our affairs are mended, when we say, but 184.  We then came away, and left the ministers to satisfy Wood, Webb, and themselves, as well as they could.  It was eight in the morning before I was in bed; and considering that this is no very short letter, Mr. Pitt bore the fatigue with his usual spirit(499)—­and even old Onslow, the late Speaker, was sitting up, anxious for the event.

On Friday we are to have the great question, which would prevent my writing; and to-morrow I dine with Guerchy, at the Duke of Grafton’s, besides twenty other engagements.  To-day I have shut myself up; for with writing this, and taking notes yesterday all day, and all night, I have not an eye left to see out of—­nay, for once in my life, I shall go to bed at ten o’clock.

I am glad to be able to contradict two or three passages in my last letter.  The Prince and Princess of Brunswick are safely landed, though they were in extreme danger.  The Duc de Pecquigny had not only been put in arrest late on the Sunday night, which I did not know, but has retrieved his honour.  Monsieur de Guerchy sent him away, and at Dover Virette found him, and whispered him to steal from D’Allonville(500) and fight.  The Duc first begged his pardon, owned himself in the wrong, and then fought him, and was wounded, though slightly, in four places in the arm; and both are returned to London with their honours as white as snow.

Sir Jacob Downing(501) is dead, and has left every shilling to his wife; id est, not sixpence to my Lord Holland;(502) a mishap which, being followed by a minority of 197, will not make a pleasant week to him.

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now would you believe how I feel and how I wish?  I wish we may continue the minority.  The desires of some of my associates, perhaps, may not be satisfied, but mine are.  Here is an opposition formidable enough to keep abler ministers than Messieurs the present gentlemen in awe.  They may pick pockets, but they will pick no more locks.  While we continue a minority, we preserve our characters, and we have some too good to part with.  I hate to have a camp to plunder; at least, I am so Which I am so whig, I hate spoils but the opima spolia.  I think it, too, much more creditable to control ministers, than to be ministers—­and much more creditable than to become mere ministers ourselves.  I have several other excellent reasons against our success, though I could combat them with as many drawn from the insufficience of the present folk, and the propriety of Mr. Pitt being minister; but I am too tired, and very likely so are you, my dear lord, by this time, and therefore good night!

Friday noon.

I had sealed my letter, and break it open again on receiving yours of the 13th, by the messenger.  Though I am very sorry you had not then got mine from Monin, which would have prepared you for much of what has happened, I do not fear its miscarriage, as I think I can account for the delay.  I had, for more security, put it into the parcel with two more volumes of my Anecdotes of Painting; which, I suppose, remained in M. Monin’s baggage; and he might not have taken it when he delivered the single letters.  If he has not yet sent you the parcel, you may ask for it, as the same delicacy is not necessary as for a letter.

I thank Lord Beauchamp much for the paper, but should thank him much more for a letter from himself.  I am going this minute to the House, where I have already been to prayers,(503) to take a place.  It was very near full then, so critical a day it is!  I expect we shall be beaten-but we shall not be so many times more.  Lord Granby(504) I hear, is to move the previous question—­they are reduced to their heavy cannon.

Sunday evening, 19th.

Happening to hear of a gentleman who sets out for Paris in two or three days, I stopped my letter, both out of prudence (pray admire me!) and from thinking that it was as well to send you at once the complete history of our Great Week.  By the time you have read the preceding pages, you may, perhaps, expect to find a change in the ministry in what I am going to say.  You must have a little patience; our parliamentary war, like the last war in Germany, produces very considerable battles, that are not decisive.  Marshal Pitt has given another great blow to the subsidiary army, but they remained masters of the field, and both sides sing te Deum.  I am not talking figuratively, when I assure you that bells, bonfires, and an illumination from the Monument, were prepared in the city, in case we had the majority.  Lord Temple was so indiscreet and indecent as to have fagots ready for two bonfires, but was persuaded to lay aside the design, even before it was abortive.

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It is impossible to give you the detail of so long a debate as Friday’s.  You will regret it the less when I tell you it was a very dull one.  I never knew a day of expectation answer.  The impromptus and the unexpected are ever the most shining.  We love to hear ourselves talk, and yet we must be formed of adamant to be able to talk day and night on the same question for a week together.  If you had seen how ill we looked, you would not have wondered we did not speak well.  A company of colliers emerging from damps and darkness could not have appeared more ghastly and dirty than we did on Wednesday morning; and we had not recovered much bloom on Friday.  We spent two or three hours on corrections of, and additions to, the question of pronouncing the warrant illegal, till the ministry had contracted it to fit scarce any thing but the individual case of Wilkes, Pitt not opposing the amendments because Charles Yorke gave into them; for it is wonderful(505) what deference is paid by both sides to that house.  The debate then began by Norton’s moving to adjourn the consideration of the question for four months, and holding out a promise of a bill, which neither they mean nor, for my part, should I like:  I would not give prerogative so much as a definition.  You are a peer, and, therefore, perhaps, will hear it with patience—­but think how our ears must have tingled, when he told us, that should we pass the resolution, and he were a judge, he would mind it no more than the resolution of a drunken porter!  Had old Onslow been in the chair, I believe he would have knocked him down with the mace.  He did hear of it during the debate, though not severely enough; but the town rings with it.  Charles Yorke replied, and was much admired.  Me he did not please; I require a little more than palliatives and sophistries.  He excused the part he has taken by pleading that he had never seen the warrant, till after Wilkes was taken up—­yet he then pronounced the No. 45 a libel, and advised the commitment of Wilkes to the Tower.  If you advised me to knock a man down, would you excuse yourself by saying you had never seen the stick with which I gave the blow Other speeches we had without end, but none good, except from Lord George Sackville, a short one from Elliot, and one from Charles Townshend, so fine that it amazed, even from him.  Your brother had spoken with excellent sense against the corrections, and began well again in the debate, but with so much rapidity that he confounded himself first, and then was seized with such a hoarseness that he could not proceed.  Pitt and George Grenville ran a match of silence, striving which should reply to the other.  At last, Pitt, who had three times in the debate retired with pain,(506) rose about three in the morning, but so languid, so exhausted, that, in his life, he never made less figure.  Grenville answered him; and at five in the morning we divided.  The Noes were so loud, as it admits a deeper sound than Aye, that the Speaker, who has got a bit of nose(507) since the opposition got numbers, gave it for us.  They went forth; and when I heard our side counted to the amount of 218, I did conclude we were victorious; but they returned 232.  It is true we were beaten by fourteen, but we were increased by twenty-one; and no ministry could stand on so slight an advantage, if we could continue above two hundred.(508)

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We may, and probably shall, fall off:  this was our strongest question—­but our troops will stand fast:  their hopes and views depend upon it, and their spirits are raised.  But for the other side it will not be the same.  The lookers-on will be stayers away, and their very subsidies will undo them.  They bought two single votes that day with two peerages;(509) Sir R. Bampfylde(510) and Sir Charles Tynte(511)—­and so are going to light up the flame of two more county elections—­and that in the west, where surely nothing was wanting but a tinder-box!

You would have almost laughed to see the spectres produced by both sides; one would have thought that they had sent a search-warrant for members of parliament into every hospital.  Votes were brought down in flannels and blankets, till the floor of the House looked like the pool of Bethesda.  ’Tis wonderful that half of us are not dead—­I should not say us; Herculean I have not suffered the least, except that from being a Hercules of ten grains, I don’t believe I now weigh above eight.  I felt from nothing so much as the noise, which made me as drunk as an owl--you may imagine the clamours of two parties so nearly matched, and so impatient to come to a decision.

The Duchess of Richmond has got a fever with the attendance of Tuesday—­but on Friday we were forced to be unpolite.  The Amazons came down in such squadrons, that we were forced to be denied.  However, eight or nine of the patriotesses dined in one of the Speaker’s rooms, and stayed there till twelve—­nay, worse, while their dear country was at stake, I am afraid they were playing at loo!

The Townshends, you perceive by this account, are returned; their father not dead.(512) Lord Howe(513) and the Colonel voted with us; so did Lord Newnham,(514) and is likely to be turned out of doors for it.  A warrant to take up Lord Charles Spenser was sent to Blenheim from Bedford-house,(515) and signed by his brother, and returned for him; so he went thither—­not a very kind office in the Duke of Marlborough to Lord Charles’s character.  Lord Granby refused to make the motion, but spoke for it.  Lord Hardwicke is relapsed; but we do not now fear any consequences from his death.  The Yorkes, who abandoned a triumphant administration, are not so tender as to return and comfort them in their depression.

The chief business now, I suppose, will lie in souterreins and intrigues.  Lord Bute’s panic will, probably, direct him to make application to us.  Sandwich will be manufacturing lies, and Rigby, negotiations.  Some change or other, whether partial or extensive, must arrive.  The best that can happen for the ministers, is to be able to ward off the blow till the recess, and they have time to treat at leisure; but in just the present state it is impossible things should remain.  The opposition is too strong, and their leaders too able to make no impression.

Adieu! pray tell Mr. Hume that I am ashamed to be thus writing the history of England, when he is with you!

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P. S. The new baronies are contradicted, but may recover truth at the end of the session.(516)

(473) the important debate on the question of General Warrants, which is the subject of the following able and interesting letter, has never been reported.  There are, indeed, in the parliamentary history, a letter from Sir George Yonge, and two statements by Sir William Meredith and Charles Townshend, on the subject, but they relate chiefly to their own motives and reasonings, and give neither the names nor the arguments of the debater,-, and fall very short indeed of the vigour and vivacity of Mr. Walpole’s animated sketch.-C.

(474) On the 22d December, 1741.  This was one of the debates that terminated Sir Robert Walpole’s administration:  the numbers on the division were 220 against 216.-C.

(475) The proceedings of the 6th of February, 1751, against the Honourable A. Murray, for impeding the Westminster election; but Walpole, in his Memoires, states that the House adjourned at two in the morning.-C.

(476) The disputes between Louis xv. and his parliaments, which prepared the revolution, were at this period assuming a serious appearance.-C.

(477) The King.

(478) The Princess Dowager.

(479) Lord Bute.  Luton was his seat in Bedfordshire.

(480) Mr. Walpole was too sanguine:  Sir Fletcher had not even lost his boldness; for in the further progress of the adjourned debate, we shall find that he told the House that he would regard their resolution of no more value (in point of law, must be understood) than the vociferations of so many drunken porters.-C.

(481) Lord Sandwich was an agreeable companion and an able minister; but One whose moral character did not point him out as exactly the fittest patron for a volume of sermons; and he was at this moment so unpopular, that Mr. Walpole affects to think he may have been intimidated to fly.-C.

(482) Robert Wood, Esq. under-secretary of state; against whom, for his official share in the affair of the general warrants, Mr. Wilkes’s complaint was made.-C.

(483) Philip Carteret Webb, Esq. solicitor to the treasury, complained on the same ground.  Mr. Walpole probably applies these injurious terms to Mr. Webb, on account of a supposed error in his evidence on the trial in the Common Pleas, for which he was afterwards indicted for perjury, but he was fully acquitted.  The point was of little importance —­whether he had or had not a key in his hand.-C.

(484) Lord Temple was, as every one knows, a very keen politician, and took in all this matter a most prominent part; indeed, he was the prime mover of the whole affair, and bore the expense of all Wilkes’s law proceedings out of his own pocket.-C.

(485) William Chetwynd, brother of Lord Chetwynd:  at this time master of the mint.  He was in early life a friend of Lord Bolingbroke, and called, from the darkness of his complexion, Oroonoko Chetwynd:  he sat out these debates with impunity, for he survived to succeed his brother as Lord Chetwynd, in 1767, and did not die for some years after.-C.

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(486) Probably Anne, daughter of Admiral Sir Peter Warren; married, in 1758, to Colonel Charles Fitzroy, afterwards first Lord Southampton.-C.

(487) Penelope, daughter of Sir H. Atkins, married, in 1746, to George Pitt, first Lord Rivers.-C.

(488) Elizabeth. daughter of Charles Spenser, first Duke of Marlborough of the Spenser branch, married, in 1756, to Henry, tenth Earl of Pembroke; she was celebrated for her beauty, which had even, it was said, captivated George iii.  When General Conway was dismissed for the vote of this very night, Lord Pembroke succeeded to his regiment.-C.

(489) Sir William Meredith’s motion was, “That a general warrant for apprehending and securing the authors, printers, and publishers of a seditious libel, together with their papers, is not warranted by law.”  This proposition the administration did not venture to deny, but they attached to it an exculpatory amendment to the Following effect:—­“although such warrant has been issued according to the usage of office, and has been frequently produced to, and never condemned by, courts of justice."-C.

(490) Gilbert, youngest brother of henry, first Earl of Darlington, who was so well known in Sir Robert Walpole’s and Mr. Pelham’s time as " Harry Vane.”  Mr. Gilbert Vane was deputy treasurer of Chelsea Hospital, but on this occasion abandoned the ministerial side of the House, with which he had hitherto voted:  he died in 1772.-C.

(491) The Marriage act was not an original measure of Lord Hardwicke; but as he, on the failure of one or two previous attempts at a bill on that subject, was requested by the House of Lords to prepare one, he, and of course his sons, must have continued interested in its maintenance; but Mr. Walpole’s suspicion of a bargain and sale of sentiments between there and the opposition is quite absurd.  Even from Mr. Walpole’s own statement, it would seem, that, on the subject of general warrants, mr.  Charles Yorke acted with sincerity and moderation,-anxious to have a great legal question properly decided, and unwilling to prostitute its success to the purposes of party.-C.

(492) Fourth son of John, third Duke of Argyle; afterwards keeper of the privy seal in Scotland, secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, and finally, lord register of Scotland.  As He was the brother-in-law of General Conway, Mr. Walpole seems to have expected him to have followed Conway’s politics.-C.

(493) Lord George Sackville.

(494) Charles, third Lord Townshend, a peer, whose reputation is lost between that of his father and his sons.-C.

(495) Second son of the Duke of Marlborough; his white staff was that of comptroller of the household.  He was, it seems, in Mr. Walpole’s sense of the word, wiser than Lord Frederick Campbell; but we shall see presently, that this wisdom grew ashamed of itself in a day or two, and in 1765, when the party which he had this night assisted came into power, he was turned out.-C.

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(496) James, eldest son of the Earl of Derby, born in 1717; he died in 1771, before his father.  I know not why Walpole says he was not interested; he was a very respectable man, but he was also chancellor of the duchy, and might naturally have felt as much interested as the other placemen-C.

(497) Lately dismissed.  See ant`e, p. 276, letter 188.-E.

(498) Colonel Barr`e had been dismissed from the office of adjutant-general.  See ant`e, p. 258, letter 184.-E.

(499) The Duke of Newcastle in a letter to Mr. Pitt of the 15th, says, “Mr. West and honest George Onslow came to my bedside this morning, to give me an account of the glorious day we had yesterday, and of the great obligations which every true lover of the liberties of his country and our present constitution owe to you, for the superior ability, firmness, and resolution which you showed during the longest attention that ever was known.  God forbid that your health should suffer by your zeal for your country.”  Chatham Correspondence, vol. ii. p. 287.-E.

(500) Probably the gentleman in whose charge M. de Guerchy had sent away the giddy Duke.-C.

(501) Sir Jacob Gerrard Downing, Bart., member for Dunwich:  he died the 6th of February, and left his estate, as Mr. Walpole says, to his wife; but only for her life, and afterwards to build and endow Downing College at Cambridge.(502) The grounds of any expectation which Lord Holland may have entertained from Sir Jacob Downing have not reached us; but it is right to say, that Mr. Walpole had quarrelled with Lord Holland, and was glad on any occasion, just or otherwise, to sneer at him.-C.

(503) It may be necessary to remark, that any member who attends at the daily prayers of the House has a right, for that evening, to the place he occupies at prayers.  On nights of great interest, when the House is expected to be crowded, there is consequently a considerable attendance at prayers.-C.

(504) Eldest son of the third Duke of Rutland, well known for his gallant conduct at Minden, and still remembered for his popularity with the army and the public.  He was at this time commander-in-chief and master-general of the ordnance.  He died before his father, in 1770.-C.

(505) Wonderful to Mr. Walpole only, who had a private pique against the Yorkes; no one else could wonder that deference should be paid to long services, high stations, great abilities, and unimpeached integrity.-C.

(506) Mr. Pitt’s frequent fits of the gout are well known:  he was even suspected of sometimes acting a fit of the gout in the House of Commons. (A reference to the Chatham Correspondence will, it is believed, remove the illiberal suspicion, that Mr. Pitt, on this, or any other occasion, was in the practice of “acting a fit of the gout.”  On the morning after the debate, the Duke of Newcastle thus wrote to Mr. Pitt “I shall not be easy till I hear you have not increased your pain and disorder,

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by your attendance and the great service you did yesterday to the public.  I could not omit thanking you and congratulating you upon your great and glorious minority, before I went to Claremont.  Such a minority, with such a leader, composed of gentlemen of the Greatest and most independent fortunes in the kingdom, against a majority of fourteen only, influenced by power and force, and fetched from all corners of the kingdom, must have its weight, and produce the most happy consequences to the public.”  Chatham Correspondence, vol. ii. p. 288.-E.]

(507) Sir John Cust’s nose was rather short, as his picture by Reynolds, as well as by Walpole, testify.-C.

(508) In reference to this defeat of the ministry, Gray, in a letter to Dr. Wharton, says, “Their crests are much fallen and countenances lengthened by the transactions of last week; for the ministry, on Thursday last (after sitting till near eight in the morning), carried a small point by a majority of only forty, and on another previous division by one of ten only; and on Friday last, at five in the morning, there were 220 to 232; and by this the court only obtained to adjourn the debate for four months, and not to get a declaration in favour of their measures.  If they hold their ground many weeks after this, I shall wonder; but the new reign has already produced many wonders.”  Works, vol. iv. p. 30.-E.

(509) Not correct.  See afterwards.-E.

(510) sir Richard Warwick Bampfylde, fourth baronet; member for Devonshire.-E.

(511) Sir Charles Kemeys Tynte, fifth baronet; member for Somersetshire.-E.

(512) He died on the 13th of the ensuing month.-E.

(513) Richard, fourth Viscount, and first Earl Howe, the hero of the 1st of June; and his brother, Colonel, afterwards General Sir William, who succeeded him as fifth Viscount Howe.-C.

(514) George Simon, Viscount Newnham, afterwards second Earl of Harcourt, remarkable for a somewhat exaggerated imitation of French fashions.  His father, the first Earl, was at this time chamberlain to the Queen.-C.

(515) See ant`e, p. 286.  The meaning of this passage is, that the Duke of Bedford (who was president of the council) wrote a letter, which he sent to Blenheim for the Duke of Marlborough to sign, desiring his brother, Lord Charles, to abstain from again voting against the government.  The Duke of Marlborough (who was privy seal) signed, as Walpole intimates, the letter; and Lord Charles, instead of attending the House, and voting, as he had done on the former night, against ministers, went down to Blenheim.-C.

(516) They never took place, and probably never were in contemplation.-E.

Letter 193 To Sir David Dalrymple.(517) Arlington Street, Feb. 23, 1764. (page 292)

Dear Sir, I am much in your debt, but have had but too much excuse for being so.  Men who go to bed at six and seven in the morning, and who rise but to return to the same fatigue, have little leisure for other most necessary duties.  The severe attendance we have had lately in the House of Commons cannot be unknown to you, and will already, I trust, have pleaded my pardon.

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Mr. Bathoe has got the two volumes for you, and will send them by the conveyance you prescribe.  You will find in them much, I fear, that will want your indulgence; and not only dryness, trifles, and, I conclude, many mistakes, but perhaps opinions different from your own.  I can only plead my natural and constant frankness, which always speaks indifferently, as it thinks, on all sides and subjects.  I am bigoted to none:  Charles or Cromwell, Whigs or Tories, are all alike to me, but in what I think they deserve, applause or censure; and therefore, if’ I sometimes commend, sometimes blame them, it is not for being inconsistent, but from considering them in the single light in which I then speak of them:  at the same time meaning to give only my private opinion, and not at all expecting to have it adopted by any other man.  Thus much, perhaps, it was necessary for @ne to say, and I will trouble you no further about myself.

Single portraits by Vandyck I shall avoid particularizing any farther, and also separate pieces by other masters, for a reason I may trust you with.  Many persons possess pictures which they believe or call originals, without their being so, and have wished to have them inserted in my lists.  This I certainly do not care to do, nor, on the other hand, to assume the impertinence of deciding from my own judgment.  I shall, therefore, stop where I have stopped.  The portraits which you mention, of the Earl of Warwick, Sir, is very famous and indubitable; but I believe you will assent to my prudence, which does not trouble me too often.  I have heard as much fame of the Earl of Denbigh.

You will see in my next edition, that I have been so lucky as to find and purchase both the drawings that were at Buckingham-house, of the Triumphs of Riches and Poverty.  They have raised even my ideas of Holbein.  Could I afford it, and we had engravers equal to the task, the public should be acquainted with their merit; but I am disgusted with paying great sums for wretched performances.  I am ashamed of the prints in my books, which were extravagantly paid for, and are wretchedly executed.

Your zeal for reviving the publication of Illustrious Heads accords, Sir, extremely with my own sentiments; but I own I despair of that, and every work.  Our artists get so much money by hasty, slovenly performances, that they will undertake nothing that requires labour and time.  I have never been able to persuade any one of them to engrave the beauties at Windsor, which are daily perishing for want of fires in that palace.  Most of them entered into a plan I had undertaken, of an edition of Grammont with portraits.  I had three executed; but after the first, which was well done, the others were so wretchedly performed, though even the best was much too dear, that I was forced to drop the design.  Walker, who has done much the best heads in my new volumes, told me, when I pressed him to consider his reputation, that , “he had got fame enough!”

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What hopes, Sir, can one entertain after so shameful an answer?  I have had numerous schemes, but never could bring any to bear, but what depended solely on myself; and how little is it that a private man, with a moderate fortune, and who has many other avocations, can accomplish alone?  I flattered myself that this reign would have given new life and views to the artists and the curious.  I am disappointed:  Politics on one hand, and want of taste in those about his Majesty on the other, have prevented my expectations from being answered.

The letters you tell me of, Sir, are indeed curious, both those of Atterbury and the rest; but I cannot flatter myself that I shall be able to contribute to publication.  My press, from the narrowness of its extent, and having but one man and a boy, goes very slow; nor have I room or fortune to carry it farther.  What I have already in hand, or promised, will take me up a long time.  The London Booksellers play me all manner of tricks.  If I do not allow them ridiculous profit,(518) they will do nothing to promote the sale; and when I do, they buy up the impression, and sell it for an advanced price before my face.  This is the case of my two first volumes of Anecdotes, for which people have been made to pay half a guinea, and more than the advertised price.  In truth, the plague I have had in every shape with my own printers, engravers, the booksellers, besides my own trouble, have almost discouraged me from what I took up at first as an amusement, but which has produced very little of it.

I am sorry, upon the whole, Sir, to be forced to confess to you, that I have met with so many discouragements in virt`u and literature.  If an independent gentleman, though a private one, finds such obstacles, what must an ingenious man do, who is obliged to couple views of profit with zeal for the public?  Or, do our artists and booksellers, cheat me the more because I am a gentleman?  Whatever is the cause, I am almost as sick of the profession of editor, as of author.  If I touch upon either more, it will be more idly, though chiefly because I never can be quite idle.

(517) Now first collected.

(518) The following just and candid vindication of the London booksellers from the charge of rapacity on the score of “ridiculous profit,” is contained in a letter written by Dr. Johnson, in March, 1776, to the Rev. Dr. Wetherell:—­“It is, perhaps, not considered through how many hands a book often passes, before it comes into those of the reader; or what part of the profit each hand must retain, as a motive for transmitting it to the next, We will call our primary agent in London, Mr. Cadell, who receives our books from us, gives them room in his warehouse, and issues them on demand; by him they are sold to Mr. Dilly, a wholesale bookseller, who sends them into the country; and the last seller is the country bookseller.  Here are three profits to be paid between the printer and the reader, or, in the style of commerce, between the manufacturer and the consumer; and if any of these profits is too penuriously distributed, the process of commerce is interrupted."-E.

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Letter 194 To The Earl Of Hertford.  Arlington Street, Feb. 24, 1764. (page 294)

As I had an opportunity, on Tuesday last, of sending you a letter of eleven pages, by a very safe conveyance, I shall say but a few words to-day; indeed, I have left nothing to say, but to thank you for the answer I received from you this morning to mine by Monsieur Monin.  I am very happy that you take so kindly the freedom I used:  the circumstances made me think it necessary; and I flatter myself, that you are persuaded I was not to blame in speaking so openly, when two persons so dear to me were concerned.(519) Your ’Indulgence will not lead me to abuse it.  What you say on the caution I mentioned, convinces me that I was right, by finding your judgment correspond with my own-but enough of that.

My long letter, which, perhaps, you will not receive till after this (you will receive it from a lady), will give you a full detail of the last extraordinary week.  Since that, there has been an accidental suspension of arms.  Not only Mr. Pitt is laid up with the gout, but the Speaker has it too.  We have been adjourned till to-day, and as he is not recovered, have again adjourned till next Wednesday.  The events of the week have been, a complaint made by Lord Lyttelton in your House, of a book called “Droit le Roy;"(520) a tract written in the highest strain of prerogative, and drawn from all the old obsolete law-books on that question.(521) The ministers met this complaint with much affected indignation, and even on the complaint being communicated to us, took it up themselves; and both Houses have ordered the book to be burned by the hangman.  To comfort themselves for this forced zeal for liberty, the North Briton, and the Essay on Woman have both been condemned(522) by Juries in the King’s Bench; but that triumph has been more than balanced again, by the city giving their freedom to Lord Chief-Justice Pratt,(523) ordering his picture to be placed in the King’s Bench, thanking their members for their behaviour in Parliament on the warrant, and giving orders for instructions to be drawn for their future conduct.

Lord Granby is made lord lieutenant of Derbyshire; but the vigour of this affront was wofully weakened by excuses to the Duke of Devonshire, and by its being known that the measure was determined two months ago.

All this sounds very hostile; yet, don’t be surprised if you hear of some sudden treaty.  Don’t you know a little busy squadron that had the chief hand in the negotiation(524) last autumn?  Well, I have reason to think that Phraates(525 is negotiating with Leonidas(526) by the same intervention.  All the world sees that the present ministers are between two fires.  Would it be extraordinary if the artillery of’ both should be discharged on them at once?  But this is not proper for the post:  I grow prudent the less prudence is necessary.

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We are in pain for the Duchess of Richmond, who, instead of the jaundice, has relapsed into a fever.  She has blooded twice last night, and vet had a very bad night.  I called at the door at three o’clock, when they thought the fever rather diminished, but spoke of her as very ill.  I have not seen your brother or Lady Aylesbury to-day, but found they had been very much alarmed yesterday evening.(527) Lord Suffolk,(528) they say, is going to be married to Miss Trevor Hampden.

Your brother has told me, that among Lady Hertford’s things seized at Dover, was a packet for me from you.  Mr. Bowman has undertaken to make strict inquiry for it.  Adieu, my dear lord.

P. S. We had, last Monday, the prettiest ball that ever was seen, at Mrs. Ann Pitt’s,(529) in the compass of a silver penny.  There were one hundred and four persons, of which number fifty-five supped.  The supper-room was disposed with tables and benches back to back in the manner of an alehouse.  The idea sounds ill; but the fairies had so improved upon it, had so be-garlanded, so sweetmeated, and so desserted it, that it looked like a vision.  I told her she Could only have fed and stowed so much company by a miracle, and that, when we were gone, she would take up twelve basketsfull of people.  The Duchess of Bedford asked me before Madame de Guerchy, if I would not give them a ball at Strawberry?  Not for the universe!  What! turn a ball, and dust, and dirt, and a million of candles, into my charming new gallery!  I said, I could not flatter myself that people would give themselves the trouble of going eleven miles for a ball—­(though I believe they would go fifty)—­“Well, then,” says she, “it shall be a dinner."- -"With all my heart, I have no objection; but no ball shall set its foot within my doors.”

(519) It related, as we have seen, to General Conway’s vote in opposition to the government.-C.

(520) “Droit le Roy, or the Rights and Prerogatives of the Imperial Crown of Great Britain.”  In the examination of Griffin, the printer, before the Peers, he stated that Timothy Becknock afterwards hanged in Ireland as an accomplice of George Robert Fitzgerald, had sent the pamphlet to the press, and was, Griffin believed, the author of it.-C.

(521) Gray writes to Dr. Wharton, on the 21st of February:—­“The House of Lords, I hear, will soon take in hand a book lately published, by some scoundrel lawyer, on the prerogative; in which is scraped together all the flattery and blasphemy of our old law-books in honour of kings.  I presume it is understood, that the court will support the cause of this impudent scribbler.”  Works, vol. iv. p. 30.-E.

(522) Mr. Wilkes was tried on the 21st of February, for republishing the North Briton, No. 45, and for printing the Essay on Woman, and found guilty of both.-E.

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(523) The preamble of these resolutions is worthy of observation:—­“Whereas the independency and uprightness of judges is essential to the impartial administration of justice, etc. this court, in manifestation of their just sense of the inflexible firmness and integrity of the Right Honourable Sir C. Pratt, lord chief justice, etc. gives him the freedom of the city, and orders his picture to be placed in Guildhall;” as if impartiality could only be assailed from one side, and as if gold boxes and pictures, and addresses from the corporation of London, were not as likely to have influence on the human mind as the favours from the crown.  Their applause was either worth nothing, or it was an attempt on the impartiality of the judge.-C.

(524) The negotiation in August, 1763, already alluded to, for Mr. Pitt’s coming into power.  There is some reason to suppose that Mr. Calcraft was employed in the first steps of this negotiation, and this may be what Mr. Walpole here refers to.-C.

(525) Lord Bute.

(526) Mr. Pitt.

(527) The Duchess was the sister of Lady Aylesbury’s first husband.-E.

(528) Henry, twelfth Earl of Suffolk, married, May 1764, Miss Trevor, who had been on the point of marriage with Mr. Child of Osterley, where he suddenly died in September, 1763.  See ant`e, p. 237, letter 175.-E.

(529) Sister of the great Lord Chatham, whom she resembled in some qualities of her mind.  See ant`e, p. 220, letter 157.  Mr. Walpole, when some foreigner, who could not see Pitt himself, had asked him if he was like his sister, answered, in his usual happy style of giving a portrait at a touch, “Ils se ressemblent comme deux gouttes de feu!” She was privy purse to the Princess Dowager.-C.

Letter 195 To The Rev. Mr. Cole.  Arlington Street, March 3, 1764. (page 296)

Dear Sir, Just as I was going to the Opera, I received your manuscript.  I would not defer telling you so, that you may know it is safe.  But I have additional reason to write to you immediately; for on opening the book, the first thing I saw was a new obligation to You, the charming Faithorne of Sir Orlando Bridgman, which according to your constantly obliging manner you have sent me, and I almost fear you think I begged it; but I can disculpate myself, for I had discovered that it belongs to Dugdale’s Origines -Judiciales, and had ordered my bookseller to try to get me that book, which when I accomplish, you shall command your own print again; for it is too fine an impression to rob you of.

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I have been so entertained with your book, that I have stayed at home on purpose, and gone through three parts of it.  It makes me wish earnestly some time or other to go through all your collections, for I have already found twenty things of great moment to me.  One Is particularly satisfactory to me; it is in Mr. Baker’s MSS. at Cambridge; the title of Eglesham’s book against the Duke of Bucks,(530) mentioned by me in the account of Gerbier, from Vertue, who fished out every thing, and always proves in the right.  This piece I must get transcribed by Mr. Gray’s assistance.  I fear I shall detain your manuscript prisoner a little, for the notices I have found, but I will take infinite care of it, as it deserves.  I have got among my new old prints a most curious one of one Toole.  It seems to be a burlesque.  He lived in temp.  Jac.  I. and appears to have been an adventurer, like Sir Ant.  Sherley:(531) can you tell me any thing of him?

I must repeat how infinitely I think myself obliged to you both for the print and the use of your manuscript, which is of the greatest use and entertainment to me; but you frighten me about Mr. Baker’s MSS. from the neglect of them.  I should lose all patience if yours were to be treated so.  Bind them in iron, and leave them in a chest of cedar.  They are, I am sure, most valuable, from what I have found already.

(530) This libellous book, written by a Scotch physician, and which is reprinted in the second volume of the Harleian Miscellany, and in the fifth volume of the Somers’ Collection of Tracts, was considered by Sir Henry Wotton “as one of the alleged incentives which hurried Felton to become an assassin."-E.

(531) Sherley’s various embassies will be found in the collections of Hakluyt and Purchas.  An article upon his travels, which were published in 1601, occurs likewise in the second volume of the Retrospective Review.  The travels of the three brothers, Sir Thomas, Sir Anthony, and Master Robert Sherley, were published from the original manuscripts in 1825.-E.

Letter 196 To The Earl Of Hertford.  Strawberry Hill, March 11, 1764. (page 297)

My dear lord, the last was so busy a week with me, that I had not a minute’s time to tell you of Lord Hardwicke’s(532) death.  I had so many auctions, dinners, loo-parties, so many sick acquaintance, with the addition of a long day in the House of Commons, (which, by the way, I quitted for a sale of books,) and a ball, that I left the common newspapers to inform you of an event, which two months ago would have been of much consequence.  The Yorkes are fixed, and the contest(533) at Cambridge will but make them strike deeper root in opposition.  I have not heard how their father has portioned out his immense treasures.  The election at Cambridge is to be on Tuesday, 24th; Charles Townshend is gone thither, and I suppose, by this time, has ranted, and romanced, and turned every one of their ideas topsyturvy.

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Our long day was Friday, the opening of the budget. mr.  Grenville spoke for two hours and forty minutes; much of it well, but too long, too many repetitions, and too evident marks of being galled by reports, which he answered with more art than sincerity.  There were a few more speeches, till nine o’clock, but no division.  Our armistice, you see, continues.  Lord Bute is, I believe, negotiating with both sides; I know he is with the opposition, and has a prospect of making very good terms for himself, for patriots seldom have the gift of perseverance.  It is wonderful how soon their virtue thaws!

Last Thursday, the Duchess of Queensbury(534) gave a ball, opened it herself with a minuet, and danced two country dances; as she had enjoined every body to be with her by six, to sup at twelve, and go away directly.  Of the Campbell-sisters, all were left out but, Lady Strafford,(535) Lady Rockingham and Lady Sondes, who, having had colds, deferred sending answers, received notice that their places were filled up, and that they must not come; but were pardoned on submission.  A card was sent to invite Lord and Lady Cardigan, and Lord Beaulieu instead of Lord Montagu.(536) This, her grace protested, was by accident.  Lady Cardigan was very angry, and yet went.  Except these flights, the only extraordinary thing the Duchess did, was to do nothing extraordinary, for I do not call it very mad that some pique happening between her and the Duchess of Bedford, the latter had this distich sent to her—­

Come with a whistle, and come with a call,
Come with a good will, or come not at all.

I do not know whether what I am going to tell you did not border a little upon Moorfields.(537) The gallery where they danced was very cold.  Lord Lorn,(538) George Selwyn, and I, retired into a little room, and sat (Comfortably by the fire.  The Duchess looked in, said nothing, and sent a smith to take the hinges of the door off We understood the hint, and left the room, and so did the smith the door.  This was pretty legible.

My niece Waldegrave talks of accompanying me to Paris, but ten or twelve weeks may make great alteration in a handsome young widow’s plan:  I even think I see Some(539) who will—­not forbid banns, but propose them.  Indeed, I am almost afraid of coming to you myself.  The air of Paris works such miracles, that it is not safe to trust oneself there.  I hear of nothing but my Lady Hertford’s rakery, and Mr. Wilkes’s religious deportment, and constant attendance at your chapel.  Lady Anne,(540) I conclude, chatters as fast as my Lady Essex(541) and her four daughters.

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Princess Amelia told me t’other night, and bade me tell you, that she has seen Lady Massarene(542) at Bath, who is warm in praise of you, and said that you had spent two thousand pounds out of friendship, to support her son in an election.  She told the Princess too, that she had found a rent-roll of your estate in a farmhouse, and that it is fourteen thousand a-year.  This I was ordered, I know not why, to tell you.  The Duchess of Bedford has not been asked to the loo-parties at Cavendish-house(543) this winter, and only once to whisk there, and that was one Friday when she is at home herself.  We have nothing at the Princess’s but silver-loo, and her Bath and Tunbridge acquaintance.  The trade at our gold-loo is as contraband as ever.  I cannot help saying, that the Duchess of Bedford would mend our silver-loo, and that I wish every body played like her at the gold.

Arlington Street, Tuesday.

You thank me, my dear lord, for my gazettes (in your letter of the 8th) more than they deserve.  There is no trouble in sending you news; as you excuse the careless manner in which I write any thing I hear.  Don’t think yourself obliged to be punctual in answering me:  it would be paying too dear for such idle and trifling despatches.  Your picture of the attention paid to Madame Pompadour’s illness, and of the ridicule attached to the mission of that homage, is very striking.  It would be still more so by comparison.  Think if the Duke of Cumberland was to set up with my Lord Bute!

The East India Company, yesterday, elected Lord Clive—­Great Mogul; that is, they have made him governor-general of Bengal, and restored his Jaghire.(544) I dare say he will put it out of their power ever to take it away again.  We have had a deluge of disputes and pamphlets on the late events in that distant province of our empire, the Indies.  The novelty of the manners divert me:  our governors there, I think, have learned more of their treachery and injustice, than they have taught them of our discipline.

Monsieur Helvetius(545 arrived yesterday.  I will take care to inform the Princess, that you could not do otherwise than you did about her trees.  My compliments to all your hotel.

(532) The event took place on the 6th of March.-E.

(533) For High steward of the university, between Lord Sandwich and the new Lord Hardwicke.  Gray, in a letter of the 21st of February, written from Cambridge, says, “This silly dirty place has had all its thoughts taken up with choosing a new high steward; and had not Lord Hardwicke surprisingly, and to the shame of the faculty, recovered by a quack medicine, I believe in my conscience the noble Earl of Sandwich had been chosen, though, (let me do them the justice to say) not without a considerable opposition.”  Works, vol. iv. p. 29.-E.

(534) Catharine Hyde, the granddaughter of the great Lord Clarendon; herself remarkable for some oddities of character, dress, and manners, to which the world became less indulgent as she ceased to be young and handsome.-C.

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(535) the sisters omitted were, Lady Dalkeith, Lady Elizabeth Mackenzie, and Lady Mary Coke.-C.

(536) John Duke of Montagu left two daughters; the eldest, Isabella, married first the Duke of Manchester, and, secondly, Mr. Hussey, an Irish gentleman, created in consequence of this union, Lord Beaulieu.  Mary, the younger sister, married Lord Cardigan, who was, in 1776, created Duke of Montagu:  their eldest son having been in 1762, created Lord Montagu.  The marriage of the elder sister with Mr. Hussey was considered, by her family and the world, as a m`esalliance; and, therefore, the mistake of lord Beaulieu for Lord Montagu was likely to give offence.-C.

(537) It is now almost necessary to remind the reader, that old Bedlam stood in Moorfields.-C.

(538) Afterwards fifth Duke of Argyle.-E.

(539) He means, as subsequently appears, the Duke of Portland.-C.

(540) Lord Hertford’s eldest daughter, afterwards wife of Mr. Stewart, subsequently created Earl and Marquis of Londonderry.-E.

(541) Elizabeth Russell, daughter of the second Duke of Bedford.  She had four daughters; but the oldest died young.-E.

(542) Elizabeth, daughter of Henry Eyre, Esq. of Derbyshire, second wife of the first, and mother of the second, Earl of Massarene; the latter being at this time a minor.  The election was probably for the county of Antrim, in which both Lord Massarene and Lord Hertford had considerable property.-C.

(543) Princess Amelia’s, the corner of Harley Street; since the residence of Mr. Hope, and of mr.  Watson Taylor.-C.

(544) A rent-charge which had been granted him by the late Nabob, and which, on the seizure of the territory on which it was charged by the East India Company, Lord Clive insisted that the Company should continue to pay.  It was about twenty-five thousand pounds per annum.-C.

(545) A French philosopher, the son of a Dutch Physician brought into France by Louis XIV.  He was the author of a dull book mis-named “De l’Esprit.”  We cannot resist repeating a joke made about this period on the occasion of a requisition made by the French ministry to the government of Geneva, that it should seize copies of this book “De l’Esprit,” and Voltaire’s “Pucelle d’Orl`eans,” which were supposed to be collected there in order to be smuggled into France.  The worthy magistrates were said to have reported that, after the most diligent search, they could find in their whole town no trace “de l’Esprit, et pas une Pucelle."-C. [The following is Gibbon’s character of Helvetius, in a letter of the 12th of February, 1763:—­“Amongst my acquaintance I cannot help mentioning M. Helvetius, the author of the famous book ‘De l’Esprit.’  I met him at dinner at Madame Geoffrin’s, where he took great notice of me, made me a visit next day, has ever since treated me, not in a polite but a friendly manner.  Besides being a sensible man, an agreeable companion, and the worthiest creature in the world, he has a very pretty wife, an hundred thousand livres a-year, and one of the best tables in Paris.”  He died in 1771, at the age of fifty-six.-E.]

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Letter 197 To The Earl Of Hertford.  Sunday, March 18, 1764. (page 300)

You will feel, my dear lord, for the loss I have had, and for the much greater affliction of poor Lady Malpas.  My nephew(546) went to his regiment in Ireland before Christmas, and returned but last Monday.  He had, I suppose, heated himself in that bacchanalian country, and was taken ill the very day he set out, yet he came on, but grew much worse the night of his arrival; it turned to an inflammation in his bowels, and he died last Friday.  You may imagine the distress where there was so much domestic felicity, and where the deprivation is augmented by the very slender circumstances in which he could but leave his family; as his father—­such an improvident father—­is living!  Lord Malpas himself was very amiable, and I had always loved him—­but this is the cruel tax one pays for living, to see one’s friends taken away before one!  It has been a week of mortality.  The night I wrote to you last, and had sent away my letter, came an account of my Lord Townshend’s death.  He had been ill treated by a surgeon in the country, then was carried improperly to the Bath, and then again to Rainham, tho Hawkins, and other surgeons and physicians represented his danger to him.  But the woman he kept, probably to prevent his seeing his family, persisted in these extravagant journeys, and he died in exquisite torment the day after his arrival in Norfolk.  He mentions none of his children in his will, but the present lord; to whom he gives 300 pounds a-year that he had bought, adjoining to his estate.  But there is said, or supposed to be, 50,000 pounds in the funds in his mistress’s name, who was his housemaid.  I do not aver this, for truth is not the staple commodity of that family.  Charles is much disappointed and discontented—­not so my lady, who has 2000 pounds a-year already, another 1000 pounds in jointure, and 1500 pounds her own estate in Hertfordshire.(547) We conclude, that the Duke of Argyle will abandon Mrs. Villiers(548) for this richer widow; who will only be inconsolable, as she is too cunning, I believe, to let any body console her.  Lord Macclesfield(549) is dead too; a great windfall for Mr. Grenville, who gets a teller’s place for his son.

There is no public news:  there was a longish day on Friday in our House, on a demand for money for the new bridge from the city.  It was refused, and into the accompt of contempt, Dr. Hay(550) threw a good deal of abuse on the common council—­a nest of hornets, that I do not see the prudence of attacking.

I leave to your brother to tell you the particulars of an impertinent paragraph in the papers on you and your embassy; but I must tell you how instantly, warmly, and zealously, he resented it.  He went directly to the Duke of Somerset, to beg of him to complain of it to the Lords.  His grace’s bashfulness made him choose rather to second the complaint, but he desired Lord Marchmont to make it, who liked the office, and the printers are to attend your House to-morrow.(551)

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I went a little too fast in my history of Lord Clive, and yet I had it from Mr. Grenville himself.  The Jaghire is to be decided by law, that is in the year 1000.  Nor is it certain that his Omrahship goes; that will depend on his obtaining a board of directors to his mind, at the approaching election.(552) I forgot, too, to answer your question about Luther;(553) and now I remember it, I cannot answer it.  Some said his wife had been gallant.  Some, that he had been too gallant, and that she suffered for it.  Others laid it to his expenses at his election; others again, to political squabbles on that subject between him and his wife—­but in short, as he sprung into the world by his election, so he withered when it was over, and has not been thought on since.

George Selwyn has had a frightful accident, that ended in a great escape.  He was at dinner at Lord Coventry’s, and just as he was drinking a glass of wine, he was seized with a fit of coughing, the liquor went wrong, and suffocated him:  he got up for some water at the sideboard, but being strangled, and losing his senses, he fell against the corner of the marble table with such violence, that they thought he had killed himself by a fracture of his skull.  He lay senseless for some time, and was recovered with difficulty.  He was immediately blooded, and had the chief wound, which is just over the eye, sewed up—­but you never saw so battered a figure.  All round his eye is as black as jet, and besides the scar on his forehead, he has cut his nose at top and bottom.  He is well off with his life, and we with his wit.

P. S. Lord Macclesfield has left his wife(554) threescore thousand pounds.

(546) George Viscount Malpas member for Corfe-Castle, and colonel of the 65th regiment of foot, the son of George, third Earl of Cholmondeley, and of Mary, only legitimate daughter of Sir Robert Walpole.  Lord Malpas had married, in 1747, Hester daughter and heiress of Sir Francis Edwards, Bart. and by her was father of the fourth Earl.

(547) She was daughter and heiress of J. Harrison, Esq. of Balls, in Herts.-E.

(548) Probably Mary Fowke, widow of Mr. Henry Villiers, nephew of the first Earl of Jersey.-C.

(549) George, second Earl of Macclesfield, one of the tellers of the exchequer, and president of the Royal Society.-E.

(550) George Hay, LL.  D. member for Sandwich, and one of the lords of the admiralty.-E.

(551) We find in the Journals, that the printers of two papers in which the libellous paragraph appeared, were, after examination at the bar, committed to Newgate.  The libel itself is not recorded.  The proceedings in the House of Lords were notified to Lord Hertford by the secretary of state, and the following is a copy of his reply to this communication:—­“Paris, March 27th, 1764.  I am informed by my friend, of the insult that has been offered to my character in two public papers, and of the zeal shown by administration

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in seconding the resentment of the House of Peers in my favour.  Perhaps my own inclination might have led me to despise such indignities; but if others, and particularly my friends, take the matter more warmly, I am not insensible to their attention, and receive with gratitude such pledges of their regard.  I had indeed flattered myself, that my course of life had hitherto created me no enemy; but as I find that this felicity is too great for any man, I am pleased, at least, to find that he is a very low one:  and I am so far obliged to him for discovering to me the share I have in the friendship of so many great persons, and for procuring me a testimony of esteem from so honourable an assembly as that of the Peers of England."-C.

(552) Lord Clive made it a condition of his going to India, that Mr. Sullivan should be deprived of the lead he had in the direction at home.-C. [Soon after the election of the directors, the court took the subject of the settlement of Lord Clive’s Jaghire into consideration; and a proposition, made by himself, was, on the ]6th of May, agreed to, confirming his right for ten years, if he lived so long, and provided the company continued, during that period, in possession of the lands from which the revenue was Paid.-E.]

(553) John Luther, Esq. of Myless, near Ongar, in Essex, who, on the death of Mr. Harvey, of Chigwell, stood on the popular interest ,for that county against Mr. Conyers, and succeeded.-C.

(554) Lord Macclesfield’s second wife, whom he married in 1757, was a Miss Dorothy Nesbit.-E.

Letter 198 To The Earl Of Hertford.  Tuesday night, March 27, 1764. (page 302)

Your brother has just told me, my dear lord, at the Opera, that Colonel Keith, a friend of his, sets out for Paris on Thursday.  I take that opportunity of saying a few things to you, which would be less proper than by the common post; and if I have not time to write to Lord Beauchamp too, I will defer my answer to him till Friday, as the post-office will be more welcome to read that.

Lord Bute is come to town, has been long with the King alone, and goes publicly to court and the House of Lords, where the Barony of Bottetourt((555) has engrossed them some days, and of which the town thinks much, and I not at all, so I can tell you nothing about it.  The first two days, I hear, Lord Bute was little noticed; but to-day much court was paid to him, even by the Duke of Bedford.  Why this difference, I don’t know:  that matters are somehow adjusted between the favourite not minister, and the ministers not favourites, I have no doubt.  Pitt certainly has been treating with him, and so threw away the great and unexpected progress which the opposition had made.  They, good people, are either not angry with him for this, or have not found it out.  The Sandwiches and rigbys, who feel another half year coming into their pockets, are not so blind.  For my own part, I rejoice

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that the opposition are only fools, and by thus missing their treaty, will not appear knaves.  In the mean time, I have no doubt but the return of Lord Bute must produce confusion at court.  He and Grenville are both too fond of being ministers, not to be jealous of one another.  If what is said to be designed proves true, that the King will go to Hanover, and take the Queen with him, I shall expect that clamour (which you see depends on very few men,(556) for it has subsided during these private negotiations) will rise higher than ever.  The Queen’s absence must be designed to leave the regency in the hands of another lady:(557) connect that with Lord Bute’s return, and judge what will be the consequence!  These are the present politics, at least mine, who trouble myself little about them, and know less.  I have not been at the House this month; the great points which interested me are over, and the very stand has shut the door.  I might like some folks out, but there are so few that I desire to see in, that indifference is my present most predominating principle.  The busier world are attentive to the election at Cambridge, which comes on next Friday; and I think, now, Lord Sandwich’s friends have little hopes.  Had I a vote, it would not be given for the new Lord Hardwicke.

But we have a more extraordinary affair to engage us, and of which you particularly will hear much more,-indeed, I fear must be involved in.  D’Eon has published (but to be sure you have already heard so) a most scandalous quarto, abusing Monsieur de Guerchy outrageously, and most offensive to Messieurs de Praslin and Nivernois.(558) In truth, I think he will have made all three irreconcilable enemies.  The Duc de Praslin must be outraged as to the Duke’s carelessness and partiality to D’Eon, and will certainly grow to hate Guerchy, concluding the latter can never forgive him.  D’Eon, even by his own account, is as culpable as possible, mad with pride, insolent, abusive, ungrateful, and dishonest, in short, a complication of abominations, yet originally ill used by his court, afterwards too well; above all, he has great malice, and great parts to put the malice in play.  Though there are even many bad puns in his book, a very uncommon fault in a French book, yet there is much wit too.(559) Monsieur de Guerchy is extremely hurt, though with the least reason of the three; for his character for bravery and good-nature is so established, that here, at least, he will not suffer.  I could write pages to you upon this Subject, for I am full of it—­but I will send you the book.  The council have met to-day to consider what to do upon it.  Most people think it difficult for them to do any thing.  Lord Mansfield thinks they can—­but I fear he has a little alacrity on the severe side in such cases.  Yet I should be glad the law would allow severity in the present case.  I should be glad of it, as I was in your case last week; and considering the present constitution of things, would put the severity

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of the law in execution.  You will wonder at this sentence out of my mouth,(560) but not when you have heard my reason.  The liberty of the press has been so much abused, that almost all men, especially such as have weight, I mean, grave hypocrites and men of arbitrary principles, are ready to demand a restraint.  I would therefore show, that the law, as it already stands, is efficacious enough to repress enormities.  I hope so, particularly in Monsieur de Guerchy’s case, or I do not see how a foreign minister can come hither; if, while their persons are called sacred, their characters are at the mercy of every servant that can pick a lock and pay for printing a letter.  It is an odd coincidence of accidents that has produced abuse on you and your tally in the same week—­but yours was a flea-bite.

Thank you, my dear lord, for your anecdotes relative to Madame Pompadour, her illness, and the pretenders to her succession.  I hope she may live till I see her; she is one of the greatest curiosities of the age, and I am a pretty universal virtuoso.  The match Of My niece with the Duke of Portland(561) was, I own, what I hinted at, and what I then believed likely to happen.  It is now quite off, and with very extraordinary circumstances; but if I tell it you at all, it Must not be in a letter, especially when D’Eons steal letters and print them.  It is a secret, and so little to the lover’s advantage, that I, who have a great regard for his family, shall not be the first to divulge it.

We had last night, a magnificent ball at Lady Cardigan’s;(562) three sumptuous suppers in three rooms.  The house, you know, is crammed with fine things, pictures, china, japan, vases, and every species of curiosities.  These are much increased even since I was in favour there, particularly by Lord Montagu’s importations.  I was curious to see how many quarrels my lady must have gulped before she could fill her house—­truly, not many, (though some,) for there were very few of her own acquaintance, chiefly recruits of her son and daughter.  There was not the soup`con of a Bedford, though the town has married Lord Tavistock and Lady Betty(563)—­but he is coming to you to France.  The Duchess of Bedford told me how hard it was, that I, who had personally offended my Lady Cardigan, should be invited, and that she, who had done nothing, and yet had tried to be reconciled, should not be asked.  “Oh, Madam,” said I, “be easy as to that point, for though she has invited me, she will scarce speak to me but I let all such quarrels come and go as they please:  if people, so indifferent to me, quarrel with me, it is no reason why I should quarrel with them, and they have my full leave to be reconciled when they please.”

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I must trouble you once more to know to what merchant you consigned the Princess’s trees, and Lady Hervey’s biblioth`eque—­ I mean for the latter.  I did not see the Princess last week, as the loss of my nephew kept me from public places.  Of all public places, guess the most unlikely one for the most unlikely person to have been at.  I had sent to know how Lady Macclesfield did:  Louis(564) brought me word that he could hardly get into St. James’s-square, there was so great a crowd to see my lord lie in state.  At night I met my Lady Milton(565) at the Duchess of Argyle’s, and said in joke, “Soh, to be sure, you have been to see my Lord Macclesfield lie in state!” thinking it impossible—­ she burst out into a fit of laughter, and owned she had.  She and my Lady Temple had dined at Lady Betty’s,(566) put on hats and cloaks, and literally waited on the steps of the house in the thick of the mob, while one posse was admitted and let out again for a second to enter, before they got in.

You will as little guess what a present I have had from Holland—­ only a treatise of mathematical metaphysics from an author I never heard of, with great encomiums on my taste and knowledge.  To be sure, I am warranted to insert this certificate among the testimonia authorum, before my next edition of the Painters.  Now, I assure you, I am much more just—­I have sent the gentleman word what a perfect ignoramus I am, and did not treat my vanity with a moment’s respite.  Your brother has laughed at me, or rather at the poor man who has so mistaken me, as much as ever I did at his absence and flinging down every thing at breakfast.  Tom, your brother’s man, told him to-day, that Mister Helvoetsluys had been to wait on him—­now you are guessing,—­did you find out this was Helvetius?

It is piteous late, and I must go to bed, only telling you a bon-mot of Lady Bell Finch.(567) Lord Bath owed her half a crown; he sent it next day, with a wish that he could give her a crown.  She replied, that though he could not give her a crown, he could give her a coronet, and she was very ready to accept it.(568) I congratulate you on your new house; and am your very sleepy humble servant.

(555) The ancient Barony of Bottetourt had been considered as extinct ever since the reign of Edward iii. and was now claimed by Mr. Norborne Berkeley, member for Gloucestershire, and a groom of the bedchamber; the revival of a claim so long forgotten created considerable interest.-C.

(556) This is an important observation:  it affords a clue to the causes of the unpopularity of the early years of George iii.-C.

(557) The Princess Dowager.

(558) M. de Praslin was secretary for foreign affairs, and M. de Nivernois had been lately ambassador in England.-C.

(559) At this distance of time, D,Eon’s book seems to us the mere ravings of insane vanity; the puns poor, and the wit rare and forced.-C.

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(560) It certainly does not appear quite consistent, that Mr. Walpole, who so much disapproves of an attack on his friends, Lord Hertford and M. de Guerchy, should have been delighted, but a few pages since, with the hemlock administered to Lord Holland, and the scurrility against Bishop Warburton.-C.

(561) See ant`e, p. 298), letter 196.

(562) See ant`e, p. 298, letter 196.

(563) Lady Cardigan’s eldest daughter, married, in 1767, to the third Duke of Buccleuzh.  This amiable and venerable lady is still living.-C. [She died in 1827.]

(564) His valet.

(565) Lady Caroline Sackville, wife of Joseph Damer, Lord Milton, of Ireland.-C.

(566) Lady Betty Germain.-C.

(567) Lady Isabella Finch, daughter of Daniel, sixth Earl of Winchelsea.  She was lady of the bedchamber to Princess Amelia, and died unmarried in 1771.-C.

(568) It seems that Lord Bath’s coronet, and perhaps still more his great wealth, for which, after his son’s death, he had no direct heir, subjected his lordship to views of the nature alluded to in Lady Bell’s bon-mot.  In the Suffolk Letters, lately published, is a proposition to this effect from Mrs. Anne Pitt, made with all appearance of seriousness.-C. (The following is the passage alluded to.  It is contained in a letter from Mrs. Anne Pitt to Lady Suffolk, dated November 10, 1753:—­“I hear my Lord Bath is here very lively, but I have not seen him, which I am very sorry for, because I want to offer myself to him.  I am quite in earnest, and have set my heart upon it; so I beg seriously you will carry it in your mind, and think if you could find any way to help me.  Do not you think Lady Betty Germain and Lord and Lady Vere would be ready to help me, if they knew how willing I am?  But I leave all this to your discretion, and repeat seriously, that I am quite in earnest. he can want nothing but a companion that would like his company; and in my situation I should not desire to make the bargain without that circumstance.  And though all I have been saying Puts me in mind of some advertisements I have seen in the newspapers from gentlewoman in distress, I will not take that method; but I want to recollect whether you did not tell me, as I think you did many years ago, that he once spoke so well of me, that he got anger for it at home, where I never was a favourite.  I perceive that by thinking aloud, as I am apt to do with you, this letter is grown very improper for the post, so I design to send it with a tea-box my sister left and does not want, directed to your house."-E.]

Letter 199 To Charles Churchill, Esq.(569) Arlington Street, March 27, 1764. (page 306)

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Dear sir, I had just sent away a half-scolding letter to my sister, for not telling me of Robert’s(570) arrival, and to acquaint you both with the loss of poor Lord Malpas, when I received your very entertaining letter of the 19th.  I had not then got the draught of the Conqueror’s kitchen, and the tiles you were so good as to send me; and grew horribly afraid lest old Dr. Ducarel, who is an ostrich of an antiquary, and can digest superannuated brickbats, should have gobbled them up.  At my return from Strawberry Hill yesterday, I found the whole cargo safe, and am really much obliged to you.  I weep over the ruined kitchen,. but enjoy the tiles.  They are exactly like a few which I obtained from the cathedral of Gloucester, when it was new paved; they are inlaid in the floor of my china-room.  I would have got enough to pave it entirely; but the canons, who were flinging them away, had so much devotion left, that they enjoined me not to pave a pagoda with them, nor put them to any profane use.  As scruples Increase in a ratio to their decrease, I did not know but a china-room might casuistically be interpreted a pagoda, and sued for no more.  My cloister is finished and consecrated but as I intend to convert the old blue and white hall next to the china-room into a Gothic columbarium, I should seriously be glad to finish the floor with Norman tiles.  However, as I shall certainly make you a visit in about two months, I will wait till then, and bring the dimensions with me.

Depend upon it, I will pay some of your debts to M. de Lislebonne; that is, I will make as great entertainments for him as any one can, who almost always dines alone in his dressing-room; I will show him every thing all the morning, as much as any one can, who lies abed till noon, and never gets dressed till two o’clock; and I will endeavour to amuse him with variety of diversions every evening as much as any one can, who does nothing but play at loo till midnight, or sit behind Lady Mary Coke in a corner of a box at the Opera.  Seriously, though.  I will try to show him that I think distinctions paid to you and my sister favours to me, and will make a point of adding the few civilities which his name, rank, and alliance with the Guerchys can leave necessary.  M. de Guerchy is adored here, and will find so, particularly at this Juncture, when he has been most cruelly and publicly insulted by a mad, but villanous fellow, one D’Eon, left here by the Duc de Nivernois, who in effect is still worse treated.  This creature, who had been made minister plenipotentiary, which turned his brain, as you have already heard, had stolen Nivernois’s private letters, and has published them, and a thousand scandals on M. de Guerchy, in a very thick quarto.  The affair is much too long for a letter, makes a great noise, and gives great offence.  The council have met to-day to consider how to avenge Guerchy and punish D’Eon.  I hope a legal remedy is in their power.

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I will say little on the subject of Robert; you know my opinion of his capacity, and I dare say think as I do.  He is worth taking pains with.  I heartily wish those pains may have success.  The cure performed by James’s powder charms me more than surprises me.  I have long thought it could cure every thing but physicians.

Politics are all becalmed.  Lord Bute’s reappearance on the scene, though his name is in no play-bill, may chance to revive the hurly-burly.

My Lord Townshend has not named Charles in his will, who is as much disappointed as he has often disappointed others.  We had last night a magnificent ball at my Lady Cardigan’s.

Those fiddles play’d that never play’d before,
And we have danced, where we shall dance no more.

He, that is, the totum pro parte,—­you do not suspect me, I hope, of any youthfullities—­d’autant moins of dancing; that I have rumours of gout flying about me, and would fain coax them into my foot.  I have almost tried to make them drunk, and inveigle them thither in their cups; but as they are not at all familiar chez moi, they formalize at wine, as much as a middle-aged woman who is beginning to just drink in private.

Adieu, my dear Sir! my best love to all of’ you.  As Horace Is evidently descended from the Conqueror, I will desire him to pluck up the pavement by the roots, when I want to transport it hither.

(569) Now first collected.  The above letter was privately printed, in 1833, by the Rev. Robert Walpole, with the following introduction:—­“The incomparable letters of Horace Walpole, as they have been justly styled by Lord Byron, have long placed the writer in the highest rank of those who have distinguished themselves in this line of composition.  The playful wit and humour with which they abound; the liveliness of his descriptions; the animation of his style; the shrewd and acute observations on the different topics which form the subjects of those letters, are not surpassed by any thing to be found in the most perfect models of epistolary writing, either in England or France.  His correspondence extends over a period of more than fifty years, and no subject of general interest seems to have escaped his attention and curiosity.  He not Only gives a faithful portraiture of the manners of the times, particularly of the highest circles of society in which he lived; but he presents us with many striking sketches of various events and occurrences, illustrating the political history of this country during the latter part of the last century.  If any proof were required of the truth of this statement, in addition to what may be afforded by an attentive examination of Mr. Walpole’s Correspondence already published, it may be found in the three volumes of Letters addressed to Sir Horace Mann, and recently given to the world under the superintendence of Lord Dover.  The letter (now printed for the first time with the consent of the possessor of the original) was addressed to Charles Churchill, Esq., who married Lady Mary, daughter of Sir Robert, and sister of Mr. Walpole; and was written at the time when he was engaged in completing the interior decorations of his villa, Strawberry Hill.”

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(570) Robert and Horace, both mentioned in this letter, were sons of Mr. Churchill.-E.

Letter 200 To The Earl Of Hertford.  Arlington Street, April 5, 1764. (page 308)

Your idea, my dear lord, of the abusive paragraph on you being conceived at Paris,(571) and transmitted hither, tallies exactly with mine.  I guessed that a satire on your whole establishment must come from thence:  I said so immediately to two or three persons; but I did not tell you I thought so, because I did not choose to fill you with suggestions for which I had no ground, but in my own reasoning.  Your arguments convince me I was in the right.  Yet, were you master of proofs, the wisest thing you can do, is to act as if you had no suspicion; that is, to act as you have done, civilly, but coolly.  There are men whom one would, I think, no more acknowledge for enemies than friends.  One’s resentment distinguishes them, and the only Gratitude they can pay for that distinction is, to double the abuse.  Wilkes’s mind, you see, is sufficiently volatile, when he can already forget Lord Sandwich and the Scotch, and can employ himself on you.  He will soon flit to other prey, when you disregard him.  It is my way:  I never publish a sheet, but buzz! out fly a swarm of hornets, insects that never settle upon you, if you don’t strike at them and whose venom is diverted to the next object that presents itself.

We have divine weather.  The Bishop of Carlisle has been with me two days at Strawberry, where we saw the eclipse(572) to perfection:  -not that there was much sight in it.  The air was very chill at the time, and the light singular; but there was not a blackbird that left off singing for it.  In the evening the Duke of Devonshire came with the Straffords from t’other end of Twickenham, and drank tea with us.  They had none of them seen the gallery since it was finished; even the chapel was new to the Duke, and he was so struck with it that he desired to offer at the shrine an incense-pot of silver philigrain.(573)

The election at Cambridge has ended, for the present in strange confusion.(574) The proctors, who were of different sides, assumed each a majority; the votes, however, appear to have been equal.  The learned in university decision say, an equality is a negative:  if so Lord Hardwicke is excluded.  Yet the novelty of the case, it not having been very customary to solicit such a trifling honour, and the antiquated forms of proceeding retained in colleges, leave the matter wide open for further contention, an advantage Lord Sandwich cherishes as much as success.  The grave are highly scandalized:—­popularity was still warmer.  The under-graduates, who, having no votes had consequently been left to their real opinions, were very near expressing their opinions against Lord Sandwich’s friends in the most Outrageous manner:  hissed they were; and after the election,

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the juniors burst into the Senate-house, elected a fictitious Lord Hardwicke, and chaired him.  The indecent arts and applications which had been used by the Twitcherites (as they are called, from Lord Sandwich’s nickname, Jemmy Twitcher,) had provoked this rage.  I will give you but one instance:-A voter, who was blooded on purpose that morning, was brought out of a madhouse with his keeper.  This is the great and wise nation, which the philosopher Helvetius is come to study!  When he says of us C’est un furieux pais! he does not know that the literal translation is the true description of us.

I don’t know whether I did not tell you some lies in my last; very likely:  I tell you what I hear, and do not answer for truth but when I tell you what I know.  How should I know any thing?  I am in no confidence; I think of both sides alike; I care for neither; I ask few questions.  The King’s journey to Hanover is contradicted.  The return of Lord Bute is still a mystery.  The zealous say, he declares for the administration; but some of the latter do not trust too much to that security; and, perhaps, they are in the right:  I know what I think and why I think it; yet some, who do not go on ill grounds, have a middle opinion, that is not very reconcilable to mine.  You will not wonder that there is a mystery, doubt, or irresolotion.  The scene will be opened further before I get to Paris.

Lord Lyttelton and Lord Temple have dined with each other, and the reconciliation of the former with Mr. Pitt is concluded.  It is well that enmities are as frail as friendships.

The Archbishops and Bishops, who -are so eager against Dr. Pearse’s divorce from his see, not as illegal, but improper, and of bad example, have determined the King, who left it to them, not to consent to it, though the Bishop himself still insists on it.  As this decision disappoints Bishop Newton, Lord Bath has obtained a consolatory promise for him of the mitre of London, to the great discomfort of Terrick and Warburton.  You see Lord Bath(575 does not hobble up the back-stairs for nothing.  Oh, he is an excellent courtier!  The Prince of Wales shoots him with plaything arrows, he falls down dead; and the child kisses him to life again.  Melancholy ambition I heard him, t’other night, propose himself to Lady Townshend as a rich widow.  Such spirits at fourscore are pleasing; but when one has lost all one’s children, to be flattering those of Kings!

The Bishop of Carlisle told me, that t’other day in the House of Lords, Warburton said to another of the bench, “I was invited by my Lord Mansfield to dine with that Helvetius, but he is a professed patron of atheism, a rascal, and a scoundrel, and I would not countenance him; besides, I should have worked him, and that Lord Mansfield would not have liked.”  No, in good truth:  who can like such vulgarism!  His French, too, I suppose, is equal to his wit and his piety.

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I dined, on Tuesday, with the imperial minister; we were two-and-twenty, collected from the four corners of the earth.  Since it is become the fashion to banquet whole kingdoms by turns, I should pray, if I was minister to be sent to Lucca.  Have you received D’Eon’s very curious book, which I sent by Colonel Keith?  I do not find that the administration can discover any method of attacking him.  Monsieur de Guerchy very properly determines to take no notice Of it.  In the mean time, the wit of it gains ground, and palliates the abomination, though it ought not.

Princess Amelia asked me again about her trees.  I gave her your message.  She does not blame you, but Madame de Boufflers, for sending them so large.  Mr. Legge is in a very bad way; but not without hopes:  his last night was better.  Adieu! my dear lords and ladies!

(571) See ant`e, p. 301, letter 197.  Lord Hertford suspected this paragraph to have been written by Mr. Wilkes; which certainly would have been ungrateful, as Lord Hertford showed Mr. Wilkes more attention than most people thought proper to be shown by the King’s ambassador to a person in Mr. Wilkes’s circumstances.-C.

(572) A considerable eclipse of the sun, which took place on the 1st of April.  It was annular at Boulogne, in France, and of course nearly so at Paris and London.-C.

(573) Commonly called fillagree.-C.

(574) The contest was between Lords Hardwicke and Sandwich; but according to University forms, the poll was taken on the first name; there appeared among the Blackhoods for Lord Hardwicke, placet 103; non-placet 101:  among the Whitehoods, the proctors’ accounts differed; one made placet 108, non-placet 107; the other made placet 107, non-placet 101:  on this a scrutiny was demanded, and refused, and a great confusion ensuing, the Vice-Chancellor adjourned the senate sine die.-E.

(575) The once idolized patriot, William Pulteney.  It must be borne in mind, that Mr. Walpole cherished a filial aversion to his father’s great antagonist.-C.

Letter 201 To The Earl Of Hertford.  Arlington Street, April 12, 1764. (page 310)

Make yourself perfectly easy, my dear lord, about newspapers and their tattle; they are not worth a moment’s regard.  In times of party it is impossible to avoid abuse.  If attached to one side, one is pelted by the other; if to neither, by both.  One can place oneself above deserving invectives; and then it signifies little whether they are escaped or not.  But when one is conscious that they are unmerited, it is noblest to scorn them--perhaps, I even think, that such a situation is not ineligible.  Character is the most precious of all blessings; but, pray allow that it is too sacred to be hurt by any thing but itself:  does it depend on others, or on its own existence?  That character must be fictitious, and formed for man, which man can take away.  Your reputation does not depend on Mr. Wilkes,(576) like his own.  It is delightful to deserve popularity, and to despise it.

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You will have heard of the sad misfortune that has happened to Lord Ilchester by his daughter’s marriage(577) with O’Brien the actor.  But, perhaps, you do not know the circumstances, and how much his grief must be aggravated by reflection on his own credulity and negligence.  The affair has been in train for eighteen months.  The swain had learned to counterfeit Lady Sarah Bunbury’s(578) hand so well that in the country Lord Ilchester has himself delivered several of O’Brien’s letters to Lady Susan; but it was not till about a week before the catastrophe that the family was apprised of the intrigue.  Lord Cathcart went to Miss Reade’s, the paintress; she said softly to him, “My lord, there is a couple in the next room that I am sure ought not to be together; I wish your lordship would look in.”  He did, shut the door again, and went directly and informed Lord Ilchester.  Lady Susan was examined, flung herself at her father’s feet, confessed all, vowed to break off but—­what a but!—­desired to see the loved object, and take a last leave.  You will be amazed-even this was granted.  The parting scene happened the beginning of the week.  On Friday she came of age, and on Saturday morning—­ instead of being under lock and key in the country—­walked down stairs, took her footman, said she was going to breakfast with Lady Sarah, but would call at Miss Reade’s; in the street, pretended to recollect a particular cap in which she was to be drawn, sent the footman back for it, whipped into a hackney chair, was married at Covent-garden church, and set out for Mr. O’Brien’s villa at Dunstable.  My Lady—­my Lady Hertford! what say you to permitting young ladies to act plays, and go to painters by themselves?

Poor Lord Ilchester is almost distracted; indeed, it is the completion of disgrace,(579)—­even a footman were preferable; the publicity of the hero’s profession perpetuates the Unification.  Il ne sera pas milord, tout comme un autre.  I could not have believed that Lady Susan would have stooped so low.  She may, however, still keep good company, and say, “nos numeri sumus”—­ Lady Mary Duncan,(580) Lady Caroline Adair,(581) Lady Betty Gallini(582)—­the shopkeepers of next age will be mighty well born.  If our genealogies had been so confused four hundred years ago, Norborne Berkeley would have had still more difficulty with his obsolete Barony of Bottelourt, which the House of Lords at last has granted him.  I have never attended the hearings, though it has been much the fashion, but nobody cares less than I about what they don’t care for.  I have been as indifferent about other points, of which all the world is talking, as the restriction of franking, and the great cause of Hamilton and Douglas.  I am almost as tired of what is still more in vogue, our East India affairs.  Mir Jaffeir(583) and Cossim Aly Cawn, and their deputies Clive and Sullivan, or rather their principals, employ the public attention, instead of Mogul Pitt and Nabob Bute; the former of whom remains shut Up in Asiatic dignity at Hayes, while the other is again mounting his elephant and levying troops.  What Lord Tavistock meaned of his invisible Haughtiness’S(584) invective on Mr. Neville, I do not know.  He has not been in the House of Commons since the war of privilege.  It must have been something he dropped in private.

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I was diverted just now with some old rhymes that Mr. Wilkes would have been glad to have North-Britonized for our little bishop of Osnaburgh.(585)

Eligimus puerum, puerorum testa colentes,
Non nostrum morem, sed Regis jussa sequentes.

They were literally composed on the election of a juvenile bishop.

Young Dundas marries Lady Charlotte Fitzwilliam;(586) Sir Lawrence(587) settles four thousand per annum in present, and six more in future—­compare these riches got in two years and a half, with D’Eon’s account of French economy!  Lord Garlies remarries himself with the Duchess of Manchester’s(588) next sister, Miss Dashwood.  The youngest is to have Mr. Knightly—­a-propos to D’Eon, the foreign ministers had a meeting yesterday morning, at the imperial minister’s, and Monsieur de Guerchy went from thence to the King, but on what result I do not know, nor can I find that the lawyers agree that any thing can be done against him.  There has been a plan of some changes among the Dii Minores, your Lord Norths, and Carysforts, and Ellises, and Frederick Campbellsl(589) and such like; but the supposition that Lord Holland would be willing to accommodate the present ministers with the paymaster’s place, being the axle on which this project turned, and his lordship not being in the accommodating humour, there are half a dozen abortions of new lords of the treasury and admiralty—­excuse me if I do not send you this list of embryos;(5 I do not load my head with such fry.  I am little more au fait of the confusion that happened yesterday at the East India House; I only know it was exactly like the jumble at Cambridge.  Sullivan’s list was chosen, all but himself-his own election turns on one disputed vote.(590) Every thing is intricate—­a presumption that we have few heads very clear.  Good night, for I am tired; since dinner I have been at an auction of prints, at the Antiquarian Society in Chancery-lane, at Lady Dalkeith’s(591) in Grosvenor-square, and at loo at my niece’s in Pall Mall; I left them going to supper, that I might come home and finish this letter; it is half @n hour after twelve, and now I am going to supper myself.  I suppose all this sounds very sober to you!

(576) See ant`e, p. 301, letter 197.-E.

(577) Lady Susan Fox, born in 1743, eldest daughter of the first Lord Ilchester.-E.

(578) Daughter of the Duke of Richmond, wife of Sir T. C. Bunbury, and afterwards of Colonel Napier.-C.

(579) It must be observed how little consistent this aristocratical indignation is with the Roman sentiments expressed in page 262, letter 185, and signed so emphatically Horatius.-C.

(580) Daughter of the seventh Earl of Thanet, married, in September 1763, to Doctor Duncan, M.D., soon after created a baronet.-E.

(581) Daughter of the second Earl of Albemarle, married, in 1759, to Mr. Adair, a surgeon.-C.

(582) Daughter of the third Earl of Abingdon, married to Sir John Gallini.  She died in 1804, at the age of eighty.-E.

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(583) See ante, p. 281, letter 191.

(584) Mr. Pitt.

(585) Frederick, Duke of York, born in August 1763, elected Bishop of Osnaburgh, 27th of February, 1764.-E.

(586) Second daughter of the third Earl Fitzwilliam, born in 1746.-E.

(587) Sir Lawrence Dundas, father of the first Lord Dundas, is said to have made his fortune in the commissariat, during the Scotch rebellion of 1745.-C.

(588) Elizabeth, daughter of Sir James Dashwood, Bart. and wife of the fourth Duke of Manchester.-E.

(589) Second son of the fourth Duke of Argyle.  He was successively keeper of the privy seal in Scotland, secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, and lord register of’ Scotland, in which office he died.-C.

(590) “On the 25th of April, a very warm contest took place.  Mr. Sullivan brought forward one list of twenty-five directors, and Mr. Rous, who was supported by Lord Clive, produced another.  Notwithstanding his friend Lord Bute was no longer minister, Mr. Sullivan succeeded in bringing in half his numbers; but the attack of Lord Clive had so shaken the power of this lately popular director, that his own election was only carried by one vote.”  Malcolm’s Memoirs of Lord Clive, vol. ii. p. 235.-E.

(591) The eldest daughter of John Duke of Argyle and Greenwich, the widow of Francis Earl of Dalkeith, son of the second Duke of Buccleugh, and wife of Mr. Charles Townshend.  She was, in 1767, created Baroness Greenwich, with remainder to her sons by Mr. Townshend.  She, however, died leaving none.-C.

Letter 202 To The Rev. Mr. Cole.  Arlington Street, April 12, 1764. (page 313)

I shall send your Ms. volume this week to Mr. Cartwright, and with a thousand thanks.  I ought to beg your pardon for having detained it so long.  The truth is, I had not time till last week to copy two or three little things at most.  Do not let this delay discourage you from lending me more.  If I have them in summer I shall keep them much less time than in winter.  I do not send my print with it as you ordered me, because I find it is too large to lie within the volume; and doubling a mezzotinto, you know, spoils it.  You shall have one more, if you please, whenever I see you.

I have lately made a few curious additions to my collections of various sorts, and shall hope to show them to you at Strawberry Hill.  Adieu!

Letter 203 To The Hon. H. S. Conway.  Arlington Street, April 19, 1764. (page 313)

I am just come from the Duchess of Argyll’s,(592) where I dined.  General Warburton was there, and said it was the report at the House of Lords, that you are turned out—­he imagined, of your regiment—­but that I suppose is a mistake for the bedchamber.(593) I shall hear more to-night, and Lady Strafford, who brings you this, will tell you; though to be sure You will know earlier by the post to-morrow.  My only reason for writing is, to repeat to you, that whatever you do, I shall act with you.(594) I resent any thing done to you as to myself.  My fortunes shall never be separated from yours—­except that some time or other I hope yours will be great, and I am content with mine.

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The Manns go on with the business.(595) The letter you received was from Mr. Edward Mann, not from Gal.’s widow.  Adieu!  I was going to say, my disgraced friend—­How delightful to have a character so unspotted, that the word disgrace recoils on those who displace you!  Yours unalterably.

(592) Widow of John Campbell, Duke of Argyle.  She was sister to General Warburton, and had been maid of Honour to Queen Anne.-E.

(593) Mr. Conway was dismissed from all his employments, civil and military, for having Opposed the ministry in the House of Commons, on the question of the legality of warrants, at the time of the prosecution of Mr. Wilkes for the publication of the North Briton.-C.

(594) Mr. Walpole was then in the House of Commons, member for King’s Lynn in Norfolk.

(595) Of army-clothiers.

Letter 204 To The Earl Of Hertford.  Arlington Street, April 20, 1764. (page 314)

There has been a strong report about town for these two days that your brother is dismissed, not only from the bedchamber, but from his regiment, and that the latter is given to Lord Pembroke.  I do not believe it.  Your brother went to Park-place but yesterday morning at ten:  he certainly knew nothing of it the night before when we parted, a