The Letters of Horace Walpole, Earl of Orford — Volume 4 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 4.

(268) “Aulicus Coquinanae; or, an Answer to the Court and Character of King James.”  London, 1650.  This work has been ascribed to William Sanderson, and to Dr. Heylin; and is, as well as Weldon’s, reprinted in the “Secret History of the Court of King James.”  Edinburgh, 1811-E.

(269) Alluding to Dr. Dodd; whose trial for forgery had taken place on the 22d, at the Old Bailey.-E.

Letter 120 To The Rev. Mr. Cole.  Arlington Street, May 22, 1777. (page 166)

It is not Owing to forgetfulness, negligence, or idleness—­to none of which I am subject, that you have not heard from me since I saw you, dear Sir, but to my miserable occupation with my poor nephew, who engrosses my whole attention, and will, I doubt, destroy my health, if he does not recover his.  I have got him within fourteen miles of town with difficulty.  He is rather worse than better, may recover in an instant, as he did last time, or remain in his present sullenness.  I am far from expecting he should ever be perfectly in his senses; which, in my opinion, he scarce ever was.  His intervals expose him to the worst people ; his relapses overwhelm me.

I have-put together some trifles I promised you, and will beg Mr. Lort to be the bearer when he goes to Cambridge, if I know of it.  At present I have time for nothing I like.  My age and inclination call for retirement:  I envied your happy hermitage, and leisure to follow your inclination.  I have always lived post, and shall not die before I can bait-yet it is not my wish to be unemployed, could I but choose my occupations.  I wish I could think of the pictures you mention, or had time to see Dr. Glynn and the master of Emmanuel.  I doat on Cambridge, and could like to be often there.  The beauty of King’s College Chapel, now it is restored, penetrated me with a visionary longing to be a monk in it; though my life has been passed in turbulent scenes, in pleasures-or rather pastimes, and in much fashionable dissipation, still books, antiquity, and virt`u kept hold of a corner of my heart, and since necessity has forced me of late years to be a man of business, my disposition tends to be a recluse for what remains-but it will not be my lot:  and though there is some excuse for the young doing what they like, I doubt an old man should do nothing but what he ought, and I hope doing one’s duty is the best preparation for death.  Sitting with one’s arms folded to think about it, is a very lazy way of preparing for it.  If Charles V. had resolved to make some amends for his abominable ambition by doing good, his duty as a King, there would have been infinitely more merit than going to doze in a convent.(270) One may avoid active guilt in a sequestered life; but the virtue of it is merely negative, though innocence is beautiful.

I approve much of ’Your corrections on Sir J. Hawkins, and send them to the Magazine.  I want the exact blazon of William of Hatsfield his arms,—­I mean the Prince buried at York.  Mr. Mason and I are going to restore his monument, and I have not time to look for them-:  I know you will be so good as to assist.  Yours most sincerely.

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