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.
that we must have the worst in such a contest?  Shall I be like the mob, and expect to conquer France and Spain, and then thunder upon America?  Nay, but the higher mob do not expect such success.  They would not be so angry at the house of Bourbon, if not morally certain that those kings destroy all our passionate desire and expectation of conquering America.  We bullied, and threatened, and begged, and nothing would do.  Yet independence was still the word.  Now we rail at the two monarchs—­and when they have banged us, we shall sue to them as humbly as We did to the Congress.  All this my senses, such as they are, tell me has been and will be the case.  What is worse, all Europe is of the same opinion; and though forty thousand baronesses may be ever so angry, I venture to prophesy that we shall make but a very foolish figure whenever we are so lucky as to obtain a peace; and posterity, that may have prejudices of its own, will still take the liberty to pronounce, that its ancestors were a woful set of politicians from the year 1774 to—­I wish I knew when.

If I might advise, I would recommend Mr. Burrell to command the fleet in the room of Sir Charles Hardy.  The fortune of the Burrells is powerful enough to baffle calculation.  Good night, Madam!

P. S. I have not written to Mr. Conway since this day sevennight, not having a teaspoonful of news to send him.  I will beg your ladyship to tell him so.

Letter 177 To The Rev. Mr. Cole.  Strawberry Hill, July 12, 1779. (page 231)

I am concerned, dear sir, that you gave yourself the trouble of transcribing the catalogue and prices, which I received last night, and for which I am exceedingly obliged to you.  Partial as I am to the pictures at Houghton, I confess I think them much overvalued.  My father’s whole collection, of which alone he had preserved the prices, cost but 40,000 pounds; and after his death there were three sales of pictures, among which were all the whole-lengths of Vandyke but three, which had been sent to Houghton, but not fitting any of the ,spaces left, came back to town.  Few of the rest sold were very fine, but no doubt Sir Robert had paid as dear for many of them; as purchasers are not perfect connoisseurs at first.  Many of the valuations are not only exorbitant, but injudicious.  They who made the estimate seem to have considered the rarity of the hands more than the excellence.  Three-The, Magi’s Offering, by Carlo Maratti, as it is called, and two supposed Paul Veronese,-are very indifferent copies, and yet all are roundly valued, and the first ridiculously.  I do not doubt of another picture in the collection but the Last Supper, by Raphael, and yet this is set down at 500 pounds.  I miss three pictures, at least they are not set down, the Sir Thomas Wharton, and Laud and Gibbons.  The first is most capital; yes, I recollect I have had some doubts on the Laud, though the University

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