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.
signify very little.  Surely it is not an age of morality and principle; does it import whether profligacy is baptized or not?  I look to motives, not to professions.  I do not approve of convents:  but, if Caesar wants to make soldiers of monks, I detest his reformation, and think that men had better not procreate than commit murder; nay, I believe that monks get more children than soldiers do; but what avail abstracted speculations?  Human passions wear the dresses of the times, and carry on the same views, though in different habits.  Ambition and interest set up religions or pull them down, as fashion presents a handle; and the conscientious must be content when the mode favours their wishes, or sigh when it does not.

Letter 245 To The Rev. Mr. Cole.  April 13, 1782. (page 310)

Your partiality to me, my good Sir, is much overseen, if you think me fit to correct your Latin.  Alas!  I have not skimmed ten pages of Latin these dozen years.  I have dealt in nothing but English, French, and a little Italian; and do not think. if my life depended on it, I could write four lines of pure Latin.  I have had occasion, once or twice to speak the language, and soon found that all my verbs were Italian with Roman terminations.  I would not on any account draw you into a scrape, by depending on my skill in what I have half forgotten.  But you are in the metropolis of Latium.  If you distrust your own knowledge, which I do not, especially from the specimen you have sent me, surely you must have good critics at your elbow to consult.

In truth, I do not love Roman inscriptions in lieu of our own language, though, if any where, proper in an university; neither can I approve writing what the Romans themselves would not understand.  What does it avail to give a Latin tail to a Guildhall?  Though the word used by moderns, would mayor convey to Cicero the idea of a mayor?  Architectus, I believe, is the right word; but I doubt whether veteris jam perantiquae is classic for a dilapidated building—­but do not depend on me; consult some better judges.

Though I am glad of the late revolution,(475) a word for which I have great reverence, I shall certainly not dispute with you thereon.  I abhor exultation.  If the change produces peace, I shall make a bonfire in my heart.  Personal interest I have none; you and I shall certainly never profit by the politics to which we are attached.  The Archaeologic Epistle I admire exceedingly, though I am sorry it attacks Mr. Bryant, whom I love and respect.  The Dean is so absurd an oaf, that he deserves to be ridiculed.  Is any thing more hyperbolic than his preference of Rowley to Homer, Shakspeare, and Milton.  Whether Rowley or Chatterton was the author, are the poems in any degree comparable to those authors? is not a ridiculous author an object of ridicule?  I do not even guess at your meaning in your conclusive

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