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.

(429) On the 7th of June Mr. Fox moved for leave to bring in a bill to amend the act of the 26th of George the Second, for preventing clandestine marriages.  The bill passed the Commons, but was rejected by the Lords.-E.

Letter 219 To The Hon. H. S. Conway.  Strawberry Hill, June 3, 1781. (PAGE 279)

You know I have more philosophy about you than courage, yet for once I have been very brave.  There was an article in the papers last week that said, a letter from Jersey mentioned apprehensions of being attacked by four thousand French.  Do you know that I treated the paragraph with scorn?  No, no; I am not afraid for your island, when you are at home in it, and have had time to fortify it, and have sufficient force.  No, no; it will not be surprised when you are there, and when our fleet is returned, and Digby before Brest.  However, with all my valour, I could not help going to your brother to ask a few questions; but he had heard of no such letter.  The French would be foolish indeed if they ran their heads a third time against your rocks, when watched by the most vigilant of all governors.  Your nephew George(430) is arrived with the fleet:  my door opened t’other morning; I looked towards the common horizon of heads, but was a foot and a half below any face.  The handsomest giant in the world made but one step across my room, and seizing my hand, gave it such a robust gripe that I squalled; for he crushed my poor chalk-stones to powder.  When I had recovered from the pain of his friendly salute, I said, “It must be George Conway! and yet, is it possible?  Why, it is not fifteen months ago since you was but six feet high!” In a word, he is within an inch of Robert and Edward, with larger limbs; almost as handsome as Hugh, with all the bloom of youth; and, in short, another of those comely sons of Anak, the breed of which your brother and Lady Hertford have piously restored for the comfort of the daughters of Sion.  He is delighted with having tapped his warfare with the siege of Gibraltar, and burns to stride to America.  The town, he says, is totally destroyed, and between two and three hundred persons were killed.—­Well, it is a pity Lady Hertford has done breeding:  we shall want such a race to repeople even the ruins we do not lose!  The rising generation does give one some hopes.  I confine myself to some of this year’s birds.  The young William Pitt(431) has again displayed paternal oratory.  The other day, on the commission of accounts, he answered Lord North, and tore him limb from limb.  If Charles Fox could feel, one should Think such a rival, with an unspotted character, would rouse him.  What, if a Pitt and Fox should again be rivals!  A still newer orator has appeared in the India business, a Mr. Bankes,(432) and against Lord North too; and with a merit that the very last crop of orators left out of their rubric—­modesty.  As young Pitt is modest too, one would hope some genuine English may revive!(433)

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