Last night there was a mighty ball at Bedford-house; the royal Dukes and Princess Emily were there; your lord-lieutenant, the great lawyer, lords, and old Newcastle, whose teeth are tumbled out, and his mouth tumbled in; hazard very deep; loo, beauties, and the Wilton Bridge in sugar, almost as big as the life. I am glad all these joys are near going out of town. The Graftons go abroad for the Duchess’s health; Another climate may mend that—I will not answer for more. Adieu! Yours ever.
(154) This accident was owing to a coachman carrying a lighted candle into the stable, and, agreeably to Dean Swift’s Advice to Servants, sticking it against the rack; the straw being set in a flame in his absence, by the candle falling. Eight or nine horses perished, and fourteen houses were burnt to the ground. Walpole was, most probably, not an idle spectator for the newspapers relate, that the “gentlemen in the neighbourhood, together with their servants, formed a ring, kept off the mob, and handed the goods and movables from one another, till they secured them in a place of safety; a noble instance of neighbourly respect and kindness."-E.
We have lost a young genius, Sir William Williams;(155) an express from Belleisle, arrived this morning, brings nothing but his death. He was shot very unnecessarily, riding too near a battery; in sum, he is a sacrifice to his own rashness, and to ours. For what are we taking Belleisle? I rejoiced at the little loss we had on landing; for the glory, I leave it to the common council. I am very willing to leave London to them too, and do pass half the week at Strawberry, where my two passions, lilacs and nightingales, are in full bloom. I spent Sunday as if it were Apollo’s birthday -. Gray and Mason were with me, and we listened to the nightingales till one o’clock in the morning. Gray has translated two noble incantations from the Lord knows who, a Danish Gray, who lived the Lord knows when. They are to be enchased in a history of English bards, which Mason and he are Writing; but of which the former has not written a word yet, and of which the latter, if he rides Pegasus at his usual foot-pace, will finish the first page two years hence.