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.

Letter 222 To The Earl Of Charlemont.(439) Strawberry Hill, July 1, 1781. (PAGE 284)

I should have been exceedingly flattered, my lord, by receiving a present from your lordship, which at once proves that I retain a place in your lordship’s memory, and you think me worthy of reading what you like.  I could not wait to give your lordship a thousand thanks for so kind a mark of your esteem till I had done through the volume, which I may venture to say I shall admire, as I find it contains some pieces which I had seen, and did admire, without knowing their author.  That approbation was quite impartial.  Perhaps my future judgment of the rest will be not a little prejudiced, and yet on good foundation; for if Mr. Preston(440) has retained my suffrage in his favour by dedicating his poems to your lordship, it must at least be allowed that I am biassed by evidence of his taste.  He would not possess the honour of your friendship unless he deserved it; and, as he knows you, he would not have ventured to prefix your name, my lord, to poems that did not deserve your patronage.  I dare to say they will meet the approbation of better judges than I can pretend to be.  I have the honour to be, with the greatest respect, esteem, and gratitude.

(439) Now first collected.

(440) William Preston, Esq. a young Irish gentleman, of whom Lord Charlemont had become the friend and patron.  He afterwards published “Thoughts on Lyric Poetry, with an Ode to the Moon;” an “essay on Ridicule, Wit, and Humour;” and a translation of the Argonautics of Appollonius Rhodius.  He died in 1807.-E.

Letter 223 To The Rev. Mr. Cole.  Strawberry Hill, July 7, 1781. (PAGE 284)

My good Sir, you forget that I have a cousin, eldest son of Lord Walpole, and of a marriageable age, who has the same Christian name as I. The Miss Churchill he has married is my niece, second daughter of my sister, Lady Mary Churchill; so that if I were in my dotage, I must have looked out for another bride—­in short, I hope you will have no occasion to wish me joy of any egregious folly.  I do congratulate you on your better health, and on the Duke of Rutland’s civilities to you.  I am a little surprised at his brother, who is a seaman, having a propensity to divinity, and wonder you object to it; the church navigant would be an extension of its power.  As to orthodoxy, excuse me if I think it means nothing at all but every man’s own opinion.  Were every man to define his faith, I am persuaded that no two men are or ever were exactly of the same opinion in all points and as men are more angry at others for differing with them on a single point, than satisfied with their Concurrence in all others, each would deem every body else a heretic.  Old or new Opinions are exactly of the same authority, for every opinion must have been new when first started; and no man

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