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

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 1,055 pages of information about The Letters of Horace Walpole, Earl of Orford — Volume 3.

Letter 323 To George Montagu, Esq.  Strawberry Hill, Dec. 12, 1766. (page 499)

Pray what are you doing? 
Or reading or feeding? 
Or drinking or thinking? 
Or praying or playing? 
Or walking or talking? 
Or riding about to your neighbours?(982)

I am sure you are not writing, for I have not had a word from you this century; nay, nor you from me.  In truth, we have had a busy month, and many grumbles of a state-quake; but the session has however ended very triumphantly for the great Earl.  I mean, we are adjourned for the holidays for above a month, after two divisions of one hundred and sixty-six to forty-eight, and one hundred and forty to fifty-six.(983) The Earl chaffered for the Bedfords, and who so willing as they?(984) However, the bargain went off, and they are forced to return to George Grenville.  Lord Rockingham and the Cavendishes have made a jaunt to the same quarter, but could carry only eight along with them, which swelled that little minority to fifty-six.  I trust and I hope it will not rise higher in haste.  Your cousin, I hear, has been two hours with the Earl, but to what purpose I know not.  Nugent is made Lord Clare, I think to no purpose at all.I came hither to-day for two or three days, and to empty my head.  The weather is very warm and comfortable.  When do you move your tents southward?  I left little news in town, except politics.  That pretty young woman, Lady Fortrose,(985) Lady Harrington’s eldest daughter, is at the point of death, killed, like Coventry and others, by white lead, of which nothing could break her.  Lord Beauchamp is going to marry the second Miss Windsor.(986) It is odd that those two ugly girls, though such great fortunes, should get the two best figures in England, him and Lord Mount-Stuart.

The Duke of York is erecting a theatre at his own palace, and is to play Lothario in the Fair Penitent himself.  Apropos, have you seen that delightful paper composed out of scraps in the newspapers!  I laughed till I cried, and literally burst out so loud, that I thought Favre, who was waiting in the next room, would conclude I was in a fit; I mean the paper that says,

“This day his Majesty will go in state to fifteen notorious,” etc. etc.(987)

It is the newest piece of humour except the Bath Guide, that I have seen of many years.  Adieu!  Do let me hear from you soon.  How does brother John?  Yours ever.

(982 Thus playfully imitated by Lord Byron, in December, 1816;

“What are you doing now, oh Thomas Moore? 
Sighing or suing now? 
Rhyming or wooing now? 
Billing or cooing now? 
Which, Thomas Moore?"-E.

(983) On the bill of indemnity for those concerned in the embargo on the exportation of corn.-E.

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