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.
With all his parts, and noble sentiments of liberty, who would remember him for his barbarous prose?  Nothing is more true than that extremes meet.  The licentiousness of the press makes us as savage as our Saxon ancestors, who could only set their marks; and an outrageous pursuit of individual independence, grounded on selfish views, extinguishes genius as much as despotism does.  The public good of our country is never thought of by men that hate half their country.  Heroes confine their ambition to be leaders of the mob.  Orators seek applause from their faction, not from posterity; and ministers forget foreign enemies, to defend themselves against a majority in Parliament.  When any Caesar has conquered Gaul, I will excuse him for aiming at the perpetual dictature.  If he has only jockeyed somebody out of the borough of Veii or Falernum, it is too impudent to call himself a patriot or a statesman.  Adieu!

(1096) At Guildhall, on the 9th of November, in the second mayoralty of Alderman Beckford.-E.

(1097) Walpole had received a letter, of the 2d, from Madame du Deffand, describing the growing influence of Madame du Barry, and her increasing enmity to the Duc de Choiseul.-E.

(1098) The Duchess of Aubign`e.

Letter 375 To George Montagu, Esq.  Arlington Street, Dec. 14, 1769. (page 562)

I cannot be silent, when I feel for you.  I doubt not but the loss of Mrs. Trevor is very sensible to you, and I am heartily sorry for you.  One cannot live any time, and not perceive the world slip away, as it were, from under one’s feet:  one’s friends, one’s connexions drop off, and indeed reconcile one to the same passage; but why repeat these things?  I do not mean to write a fine consolation; all I intended was to tell you, that I cannot be indifferent to what concerns you.

I know as little how to amuse you:  news there are none but politics, and politics there will be as long as we have a shilling left.  They are no amusement to me, except in seeing two or three sets of people worry one another, for none of whom I care a straw.

Mr. Cumberland has produced a comedy called The Brothers.  It acts well, but reads ill; though I can distinguish strokes of Mr. Bentley in it.  Very few of the characters are marked, and the serious ones have little nature, and the comic ones are rather too much marked; however, the three middle acts diverted me very well.(1099)

I saw the Bishop of Durham(1100) at Carlton House, who told me he had given you a complete suit of armour.  I hope you will have no occasion to lock yourself in it, though, between the fools and the knaves of the present time, I don’t know but we may be reduced to defend our castles.  If you retain any connexions with Northampton, I should be much obliged to you if you could procure from thence a print of an Alderman Backwell.(1101) It is valuable for nothing but its rarity, and it is not to be met with but there.  I would give eight or ten shillings rather than not have it.  When shall you look towards us?, how does your brother John? make my compliments to him.  I need not say how much I am yours ever.

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