(1074) The Duke of Northumberland. His grace having been originally a baronet, Sir Hugh Smithson, and having married the daughter of Algernon Seymour, Duke of Somerset and Earl of Northumberland, in 1750 assumed the surname and arms of Percy, and was created Duke of Northumberland in 1766. Walpole’s allusion is to his becoming a Percy by marriage, as Joscelin had done before him: Agnes de Percy, daughter of William de Percy the third baron, having only consented to marry Joscelin of Louvain, brother of Queen Adelicia, second wife of Henry I., and son of Godfrey Barbatus, Duke of Lower Lorraine and Count of Brabant, who was descended from the Emperor Charlemagne, upon his agreeing to adopt either the surname or arms of Percy.-E.
When you have been so constantly good to me, my dear lord, without changing, do you wonder that our friendship has lasted so long? Can I be so insensible to the honour or pleasure of your acquaintance When the advantage lies much on my side, am I likely to alter the first? Oh, but it will last now! We have seen friendships without number born and die. Ours was not formed on interest, nor alliance; and politics, the poison of all English connexions, never entered into ours. You have given me a new proof by remembering the chapel of Luton. I hear it is to be preserved; and am glad of it, though I might have been the better for its ruins.
I should have answered your lordship’s last post, but was at Park-place. I think Lady Ailesbury quite recovered; though her illness has made such an impression that she does not yet believe it.
It is so settled that we are never to have tolerable weather in June, that the first hot day was on Saturday-hot by comparison: for I think it is three years since we have really felt the feel of summer. I was, however, concerned to be forced to come to town yesterday on some business; for, however the country feels, it looks divine, and the verdure we buy so dear is delicious. I shall not be able, I fear, to profit of it this summer in the loveliest of all places, as I am to go to Paris in August. But next year I trust I shall accompany Mr. Conway and Lady Ailesbury to Wentworth Castle. I shall be glad to visit Castle Howard and Beverley; but neither would carry me so far, if Wentworth Castle was not in the way.
The Chatelets are gone, without any more battles with the Russians.(1075) The papers say the latter have been beaten by the Turks;(1076) which rejoices me, though against all rules of politics: but I detest that murderess, and like to have her humbled. I don’t know that this Piece Of news is true: it is enough to me that it is agreeable. I had rather take it for granted, than be at the trouble of inquiring about what I have so little to do with. I am just the same about the City and Surrey petitions. Since I have dismembered(1077) myself, it is incredible how cool I am to all politics.