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

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 897 pages of information about The Letters of Horace Walpole, Earl of Orford Volume 4.

I have been in town but one single night this age, as I could not bear to throw away this phoenix June.  It has rained a good deal this morning, but only made it more delightful.  The flowers are all Arabian.  I have found but One inconvenience, which is the hosts of cuckoos:  one would not think one was in Doctors’ Commons.  It is very disagreeable, that the nightingales should sing but half a dozen songs, and the other beasts squall for two months together.

Poor Mrs. Clive has been robbed again in her own lane, as she was last year, and has got the jaundice, she thinks, with the fright.  I don’t make a visit without a blunderbuss; so one might as well be invaded by the French.  Though I live in the centre of ministers, I do not know a syllable of politics; and though within hearing of Lady Greenwich, who is but two miles off, I have not a word of news to send your ladyship.  I live like Berecynthia, surrounded by nephews and nieces; yet Park-place is full as much in my mind, and I beg for its history.  I am, Madam, etc.

Letter 139 To The Hon. H. S. Conway.  Strawberry Hill, July 8, 1778. (page 189)

I have had some conversation with a ministerial person, on the subject of pacification with France; and he dropped a hint, that as ’we should not have Much chance of a good peace, the Opposition would make great clamour on it.  I said a few words on the duty of ministers to do what they thought right, be the consequence what it ,Would., But as honest men do not want such lectures, and dishonest will not let them weigh, I waived that theme, to dwell on what is more likely to be persuasive, and which I am firmly persuaded is no less true than the former maxim; and that was, that the ministers are still so strong, that if they could get a peace that would save the nation, though not a brilliant or glorious one, the nation in general would be pleased with it, and the clamours of the Opposition be insignificant.  I added, what I think true, too, that no time is to be lost in treating not only for preventing a blow, but from the consequences the first misfortune would have.  The nation is not yet alienated from the court, but it is growing so; is grown so enough, for any calamity to have violent effects.  Any internal disturbance would advance the hostile designs of France.  An insurrection from distress would be a double invitation to invasion; and, I am sure, much more to be dreaded, even personally, by the ministers, than the ill-humours of Opposition for even an inglorious peace.  To do the Opposition justice, it is not composed of incendiaries.  Parliamentary speeches raise no tumults:  but tumults would be a dreadful thorough bass to speeches.  The ministers do not know the strength they have left (supposing they apply it in time), if they are afraid of making any peace.  They were too sanguine in making war; I hope they will not be too timid of making peace.

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