(978) For writing the pretended letter from the King of Prussia to Rousseau, Walpole was severely censured by Warburton, in a letter to Hurd:—“As to Rousseau,” says the Bishop, “I entirely agree with you, that his long letter to his brother philosopher, Hume, shows him to be a frank lunatic. His passion of tears, his suspicion of his friends in the midst of their services, and his incapacity of being set right, all consign him to Monro. Walpole’s pleasantry upon him had baseness in its very conception. It was written when the poor man had determined to seek an asylum in England; and is, therefore, justly and generously condemned by D’Alembert. This considered, Hume failed both in honour and friendship not to show his dislike; which neglect seems to have kindled the first spark of combustion in this madman’s brain. However, the contestation is very amusing, and I shall be very sorry if it stops, now it is in so good a train. I should be well pleased, particularly, to see so seraphic a madman attack so insufferable a coxcomb as Walpole; and I think they are only fit for one another."-E.
Indeed, dear Sir, it was not necessary to make me any apology. D’Alembert is certainly at liberty to say what he pleases of me; and undoubtedly you cannot think that it signifies a straw to me what he says. But how can you be surprised at his printing a thing that he sent you so long ago? All my surprise consists in your suffering him to Curtail my letter to you, when you might be sure be would print his own at length. I am glad, however, that he has mangled mine: it not only shows his equity, but is the strongest proof that he was conscious I guessed right, when I supposed he urged you to publish, from his own private pique to Rousseau.
What you surmise of his censuring my letter because I am a friend of Madame du Deffand, is astonishing indeed, and not to be credited, unless you had suggested it. Having never thought him any thing like a superior genius,(979) as you term him, I concluded his vanity was hurt by Rousseau’s ascribing my letter to him; but, to carry resentment to a woman, to an old and blind woman, so far as to hate a friend of hers qui ne lui avoit fait de mal is strangely weak and lamentable. I thought he was a philosopher,