(132) An absurd letter from Voltaire to the author of the Dialogues of the Dead, remonstrating against a statement, that “he, Voltaire, was in exile, on account of some blamable freedoms in his writings.” He denies both the facts and the cause assigned; but he convinced nobody, for both were notoriously true. Voltaire was, it is true, not banished by sentence; but he was not permitted to reside in France, and that surely may be called exile, particularly as he was all his life endeavouring to obtain leave to return to Paris.-C.
(133) The Jealous Wife still keeps the stage, and does not deserve to be so slightingly spoken of: but there were private reasons which might possibly warp Mr. Walpole’s judgment on the works of Colman. He was the nephew of lord Bath, and The Jealous Wife was dedicated to that great rival of Sir Robert Walpole.-C. [Dr. Johnson says.-that the Jealous Wife, “though not written with much genius, was yet so well exhibited by the actors, that it was crowded for near twenty nights.”]
If my last letter raised your wonder, this Will not allay it. Lord Talbot is lord steward! The stone, which the builders refused, is become the head-stone of the corner. My Lady Talbot, I suppose, would have found no charms in Cardinal Mazarin. As the Duke of Leeds was forced to give way to Jemmy Grenville, the Duke of Rutland has been obliged to make room for this new Earl. Lord Huntingdon is groom of the stole, and the last Duke I have named, master of the horse; the red liveries cost Lord Huntingdon a pang. Lord Holderness has the reversion of the Cinque-ports for life, and I think may pardon his expulsion.
If you propose a fashionable assembly, you must send cards to Lord Spenser, Lord Grosvenor, Lord Melcomb, Lord Grantham, Lord Boston, Lord Scarsdale, Lady Mountstuart, the Earl of TyrConnell, and Lord Wintertown. The two last you will meet in Ireland. No joy ever exceeded your cousin’s or Doddington’s: the former came last night to Lady Hilsborough’s to display his triumph; the latter too was there, and advanced to me. I said, “:I was coming to wish you joy.” “I concluded so,” replied he, “and came to receive it.” He left a good card yesterday at Lady Petersham’s, a very young lord to wait on Lady Petersham, to make her ladyship the first offer of himself. I believe she will be content with the exchequer: Mrs. Grey has a pension of eight hundred pounds a-year.
Mrs. Clive is at her villa for Passion week; I have written to her for the box, but I don’t doubt of its being (,one; but, considering her alliance, why does not Miss Price bespeak the play and have the stage box?
I shall smile if Mr. Bentley, and M`Untz, and their two Hannahs meet at St. James’s; so I see neither of them, I care not where they are.
Lady Hinchinbrook and Lady Mansel are at the point of death; Lord Hardwicke is to be poet-laureate; and, according to modern usage, I suppose it will be made a cabinet-counsellor’s place. Good night!