London is the abomination of desolation; and I rejoice to leave it again this evening. Even Pam has not a lev`ee above once or twice a week. Next winter, I suppose, it will be a fashion to remove into the city: for, since it is the mode to choose aldermen at this end of the town, the maccaronis will certainly adjourn to Bishopsgate-street, for fear of being fined for sheriffs. Mr. James and Mr. Boothby will die of the thought of being aldermen of Grosvenor-ward and Berkeley-square-ward. Adam and Eve in their paradise laugh at all these tumults, and have not tasted of the tree that forfeits paradise; which I take to have been the tree of politics, not of knowledge. How happy you are not to have your son Abel knocked on the head by his brother Cain at the Brentford election! You do not hunt the poor deer and hares that gambol around you. If Eve has a sin, I doubt it is angling;(1078) but as she makes all other creatures happy, I beg she would not Impale worms nor whisk carp out of one element into another. If she repents of that guilt, I hope she will live as long as her grandson Methuselah. There is a commentator that says his life was protracted for never having boiled a lobster alive. Adieu, dear couple, that I honour as much as I could honour my first grandfather and grandmother! Your most dutiful Hor. Japhet.
(1075) The Duc de Chatelet, the French ambassador, had affronted Comte Czernicheff, the Russian ambassador, at a ball at court, on a point of precedence, and a challenge ensued, but their meeting was prevented.
(1076) Before Choczim. The Russians were at first victorious; but, like the King of Prussia at the battle of Zorndorff, they despatched the messenger with the news too soon; for the Turks having recovered their surprise, returned to the charge, and repulsed the Russians with great slaughter.-E.
(1077) Mr. Walpole means, since he quitted Parliament.
(1078) Walpole’s abhorrence of the pastime of angling has been already noticed. See vol. iii. p. 70, letter 29.-E.
You desired me to write, if I knew any thing particular. How particular will content you? Don’t imagine I would send you such hash as the livery’s petition.(1079) Come; would the apparition of my Lord Chatham satisfy you? Don’t be frightened; it was not his ghost. He, he himself in propria persona, and not in a strait waistcoat, came into the King’s lev`ee this morning, and was in the closet twenty minutes after the lev`ee; and was to go out of town to-night again.(1080) The deuce is in it if this is not news. Whether he is to be king, minister, lord mayor, or alderman, I do not know; nor a word more than I have told you. Whether he was sent for to guard St. James’s gate, or whether he came alone, like Almanzor, to storm it, I cannot tell: by Beckford’s violence I should think the latter. I am so indifferent what he came for, that I shall wait till Sunday to learn: when I lie in town on my way to Ely. You will probably hear more from your brother before I can write again. I send this by my friend Mr. Granger, who will leave it at your park-gate as he goes through Henley home. Good-night! it is past twelve, and I am going to bed. Yours ever.