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.
eight were burnt.  I went to my Lady Suffolk, in Saville Row, and passed the whole night, till three in the morning, between her little hot bedchamber and the spot up to my ancles in water, without catching cold.(154) As the wind, which had sat towards Swallow Street, changed in the middle of the conflagration, I concluded the greater part of Saville Row would be consumed.  I persuaded her to prepare to transport her most valuable effects—­“portantur avari Pygmalionis opes miserae.”  She behaved with great composure, and observed to me herself how much worse her deafness grew with the alarm.  Half the people of fashion in town were in the streets all night, as it happened in such a quarter of distinction.  In the crowd, looking on with great tranquillity, I saw a Mr. Jackson, an Irish gentleman, with whom I had dined this winter, at Lord Hertford’s.  He seemed rather grave; I said, “Sir, I hope you do not live hereabouts.”  “Yes, Sir,” said he, “I lodged in that house that is Just burnt.”

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.

Letter 75 To George Montagu, Esq.  Arlington Street, May 5, 1761. (page 123)

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.

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