(212) Of the commencement of hostilities with the Americans at Lexington on the 19th of April.-E.
(213) Mr. Raftor brother to Mrs. Clive.-E.
Well, I am going tout de bon, and I heartily wish I was returned. It is a horrid exchange, the cleanness and verdure and tranquillity of ’Strawberry, for a beastly ship, worse inns, the pav`e of the roads bordered with eternal rows of maimed trees, and the racket of an h`otel garni! I never doat on the months of August and September, enlivened by nothing but Lady Greenwich’s speaking-trumpet—but I do not want to be amused—at least never at the expense of being put in motion. Madame du Deffand, I am sure, may be satisfied with the sacrifice I make to her!(215)
You have heard, to be sure, of the war between your brother and Foote; but probably do not know how far the latter has carried his impudence. Being asked, why Lord Hertford had refused to license his piece, he replied, “Why, he asked me to make his youngest son a box-keeper, and because I would not, he stopped my play."(216) The Duchess of Kingston offered to buy it off, but Foote would not take her money, and swears he will act her in Lady Brumpton; which to be sure is very applicable.
I am sorry to hear Lord Villiers is going to drag my lady through all the vile inns in Germany. I think he might go alone.
George Onslow told me yesterday, that the American Congress had sent terms of accommodation, and that your brother told him so; but a strange fatality attends George’s news, which is rarely canonical; and I doubt this intelligence is far from being so.. I shall know more to-morrow, when I go to town to prepare for my journey on Tuesday. Pray let me hear from you, enclosed to M. Panchaud.
I accept with great joy Lady Ailesbury’s offer Of coming hither in October, which will increase my joy in being at home again. I intend to set out on my return the 25th Of next month. Sir Gregory Page has left Lord Howe eight thousand pounds at present, and twelve more after his aunt Mrs. Page’s death.
I cannot find any ground for believing that any proposals are come from the Congress. On the contrary, every thing looks as melancholy as possible. Adieu!
(214) Now first printed.
(215) In her letter of the 5th of August, Madame du Deffand, by way of inducement to Walpole to take the journey, says—“Je vous jure que je ne me soucierai de rien pour vous; c’est `a dire, de vous faire faire une chose Plut`ot qu’une autre: vous serez totalement libre de toutes vos pens`ees, paroles, et actions, vous ne me verrez pas un souhait un d`esir qui Puisse contredire vos pens`ees et Vos volont`es: je saurai que M. Walpole est `a Paris, il saura que je demeure `a St. Joseph; il sera maitre d’y arriver, d’y rester, de s’en aller, comme il lui plaira."-E.