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.