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.
of Oxford once offered 400 pounds for it—­and if Queen Henrietta is by Vandyke, it is a very indifferent One.  The affixing a higher value to the Pietro Cortona than to the octagon Guido is most absurd—­I have often gazed on the latter, and preferred it even to the Doctor’s.  In short, the appraisers were determined to see what the Czarina Could give, rather than what the pictures were really worth—­I am glad she seems to think so, for I hear no more of the sale—­it is not very wise in me still to concern myself, at my age, about what I have so little interest in-it is still less wise to be so anxious on trifles, when one’s country is sinking.  I do not know which is most Mad, my nephew, or our ministers—­both the one and the other increase my veneration for the founder of Houghton!

I will not rob you of the prints you mention, dear Sir; one of them at least I know Mr. Pennant gave me.  I do not admire him for his punctiliousness with you.  Pray tell me the name Of your glass-painter; I do not think I shall want him, but it is not impossible.  Mr. Essex agreed With me, that Jarvis’s windows for Oxford, after Sir Joshua Reynolds, will not succeed.  Most of his colours are opake, and their great beauty depending on a spot of light for Sun or moon, is an imposition.  When his paintings are exhibited at Charing-cross, all the rest of the room is darkened to relieve them.  That cannot be done at New College; or if done, the chapel would be too dark.  If there are other lights, the effect will be lost.

This sultry weather will, I hope, quite restore you; People need not go to Lisbon and Naples, if we continue to have such summers.  Yours most sincerely.

Letter 178 To The Rev. Mr. Cole.  Strawberry Hill, August 12, 1779. (page 232)

I write from decency, dear Sir, not from having any thing particular to say, but to thank you for your offer of letting me see the arms of painted glass; which, however, I will decline, lest it should be broken, and as at present I have no occasion to employ the painter.  If I build my offices, perhaps I may have; but I have dropped that thought for this year.  The disastrous times do not inspire expense.  Our alarms, I conclude, do not ruffle your hermitage.  We are returning to our state of islandhood, and shall have little, I believe, to boast but of what we have been.

I see a History of Alien Priories announced;(365) do you know any thing of it, or of the author?  I am ever yours.

(365) This was Mr. Gough’s well-known work, entitled “Some Account of the Alien Priories, and of such Lands as they are known to have possessed in England and Wales,” in two volumes octavo.-E.

Letter 179 To The Countess Of Ailesbury.  Strawberry Hill, Friday night, 1779. (page 233)

I am not at all surprised, my dear Madam, at the intrepidity of Mrs. Damer;(366) she always was the heroic daughter of a hero.  Her sense and coolness never forsake her.  I, who am not so firm, shuddered at your ladyship’s account.  Now that she has stood fire for four hours, I hope she will give as clear proofs of her understanding, of which I have as high opinion as of her courage, and not return in any danger.

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