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.
I think, in March; my printed defence was not at all dispersed before the preceding January or February, nor do I conceive that Hackman could even see it.  There are notes, indeed, by the editor, who has certainly seen it; but I rather imagine that the editor, whoever he is, composed the whole volume.  I am acquitted of’ being accessory to the man’s death, which is gracious; but much blamed for speaking of his bad character, and for being too hard on his forgeries, though I took so much pains to Specify the innocence of them; and for his character, I only quoted the words of his own editor and panegyrist.  I did not repeat what Dr. Goldsmith told me at the Royal Academy, where I first heard of his death, that he went by the appellation of the “Young Villain;” but it is not new to me, as you know, to be blamed by two opposite parties.  The editor has in one place confounded me and my uncle; who, he says, as is true, checked Lord Chatham for being too forward a young man in 1740.  In that year I was not even come into Parliament; and must have been absurd indeed if I had taunted Lord Chatham with youth, who was, at least, six or seven years younger than he was; and how could he reply by reproaching me with old age, who was then not twenty-three?  I shall make no answer to these absurdities, nor to any part of the work.  Blunder, I see, people will, and talk of what they do not understand @ and what care I?  There is another trifling mistake of still less consequence.  The editor supposes it was Macpherson who communicated Ossian to me.  It was Sir David Dalrymple who sent me the first specimen.(383) Macpherson did once come to me, but my credulity was then a little shaken.

Lady Ailesbury has promised me Guinea-eggs for you, but they have not yet begun to lay I am well acquainted with Lady Craven’s little tale, dedicated to me.(384) It is careless and incorrect, but there are very pretty things in it.  I will stop, for I fear I have written to you too much lately.  One you did not mention:  I think it was of the 28th of last month.

(381) “A View of Northumberland; with an Excursion to the Abbey of Melrose, Scotland, in the year 1776;” by William Hutchinson, F. A. S. Two volumes 4to.; 1778-80.-E.

(382) the work here alluded to was written by Sir Herbert Croft, Bart.  It was a compound of fact and fiction called “Love and Madness, a Story too true, in a Series of Letters between Parties, whose names would, perhaps, be mentioned, were they less known or less lamented.  London, 1780.”  The work ran through several editions.  In 1800, Sir Herbert published, “Chatterton and Love and Madness, in a Letter from Sir Herbert Croft to Mr. Nichols.”  Boswell says, that Dr. Johnson greatly disapproved of mingling real facts with fiction, and on this account censured “Love and Madness."-E.

(383) See vol. iii. p. 63, letter 25, note 64.-E.

(384) Entitled “The Miniature Picture."-E.

Letter 190 To The Rev. Mr. Cole.  Berkeley Square, March 30, 1780. (page 248)

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