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

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 890 pages of information about The Letters of Horace Walpole, Earl of Orford Volume 3.

(948) The popular comedy of The Clandestine Marriage, the joint production of Garrick and Colman, had just been brought out at Drury-lane theatre.-E.

Letter 300 To George Montagu, Esq.  Paris, March 21, 1766. (page 474)

You make me very happy, in telling me you have been so comfortable in my house.  If you would set up a bed there, you need never go out of it.  I want to invite you, not to expel you.  April the tenth my pilgrimage will end, and the fifteenth, or sixteenth, you may expect to see me, not much fattened with the flesh-pots of Egypt, but almost as glad to come amongst you again as I was to leave you.

Your Madame Roland is not half so fond of me as she tells me; I have been twice at her door, left your letter and my own direction, but have not received so much as a message to tell me she is sorry she was not at home.  Perhaps this is her first vision of Paris, and it is natural for a Frenchwoman to have her head turned with it; though what she takes for rivers of emerald, and hotels of ruby and topaz, are to my eyes, that have been purged with euphrasy and rue, a filthy stream, in which every thing is washed without being cleaned, and dirty houses, ugly streets, worse shops, and churches loaded with bad pictures.(949) Such is the material part of this paradise; for the corporeal,,if Madame Roland admires it, I have nothing to say; however, I shall not be sorry to make one at Lady Frances Elliot’s.  Thank you for admiring my deaf old woman; if I could bring my old blind one with me, I should resign this paradise as willingly as if it was built of opal, and designed by a fisherman, who thought that what makes a fine necklace would make a finer habitation.

We did not want your sun; it has shone here for a fortnight with all its lustre but yesterday a north wind, blown by the Czarina herself I believe, arrived, and declared a month of March of full age.  This morning it snowed; and now, clouds of dust are whisking about the streets and quays, edged with an east wind, that gets under one’s very shirt.  I should not be quite sorry if a little of it tapped my lilacs on their green noses, and bade them wait for their master.

The Princess of Talmond sent me this morning a picture of two pup-dogs, and a black and white greyhound, wretchedly painted.  I could not conceive what I was to do with this daub, but in her note she warned me not to hope to keep it.  It was only to imprint on my memory the size, and features, and spots of Diana, her departed greyhound, in order that I might get her exactly such another.  Don’t you think my memory will return well stored, if it is littered with defunct lapdogs.  She is so devout, that I did not dare send her word, that I am not possessed of a twig of Jacob’s broom, with which he streaked cattle as he pleased

T’other day, in the street, I saw a child in a leading-string, whose nurse gave it a farthing for a beggar; the babe delivered its mite with a grace, and a twirl of the hand.  I don’t think your cousin’s first grandson will be so well bred.  Adieu!  Yours ever.

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