(960) By Christopher Anstey. This production became highly popular for its pointed and original humour, and led to numerous imitations. Gray, in a letter to Dr. Wharton, says—“Have you read the New Bath Guide? It is the only thing in fashion, and is a new and original kind of humour. Miss Prue’s conversation I doubt you will paste down, as Sir W. St. Quintyn did before he carried it to his daughter; yet I remember you all read Crazy Tales without pasting.” Works, vol. iv. p. 84.-E.
(961) The letter in question is dated Feb. 8, 1732-3, and the following is the passage to which Walpole refers;—“Those out of power and place always see the faults of those in, with dreadful large spectacles. The strongest in my memory is Sir Robert Walpole, being first pulled to pieces in the year 1720, because the South Sea did not rise high enough; and since that, he has been to the full as well banged about, because it did rise too high. I am determined never wholly to believe any side or party against@ the other; so my house receives them altogether, and those people meet here that have, and would fight in any other place. Those of them that have great and good qualities and virtues, I love and admire; in which number is Lady Suffolk, because I know her to be a wise, discreet, honest, and sincere courtier."-E.
(962) See ant`e, p. 389, letter 248, note 802.-E.
It is consonant to your ladyship’s long experienced goodness, to remove my error as soon as you could. In fact, the same post that brought Madame d’Aiguillon’s letter to you, brought me a confession from Madame du Deffand of her guilt.(963) I am not the less obliged to your ladyship for informing against the true criminal. It is well for me, however, that I hesitated, and did not, as Monsieur Guerchy pressed me to do, constitute myself prisoner. What a ridiculous vainglorious figure I should have made at Versailles, with a laboured letter and my present! I still shudder when I think of it, and have scolded(9 64) Madame du Deffand black and blue. However, I feel very comfortable; and though it will be imputed to my own vanity, that I showed the box as Madam de Choiseul’s present, I resign the glory, and submit to the Shame with great satisfaction. I have no pain in receiving this present from Madame du Deffand; and must own have great pleasure that nobody but she could write that most charming of all letters. Did not Lord Chesterfield think it so, Madam? I doubt our friend Mr. Hume must allow that not only Madame de Boufflers, but Voltaire himself, could not have written so well. When I give up Madame de S`evign`e herself, I think his sacrifices will be trifling.