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 have found both inaccuracies and blunders.  For instance, one that made me laugh.  In Lord Lansdown’s Beauties he celebrates a lady, one Mrs. Vaughan * Mr. Nichols turns to the peerage of that time, and finds a Duke of Bolton married a Lady Ann Vaughan; he instantly sets her down for the lady in question, and introduces her to posterity as a beauty.  Unluckily, she was a monster, so ugly, that the Duke, then Marquis of Winchester, being forced by his father to marry her for her great fortune, was believed never to have consummated’ and parted from her as soon as his father died; but, if our predecessors are exposed to these misrepresentations, what shall we be, when not only all private history is detailed in the newspapers, but scarce ever with tolerable fidelity!  I have long said, that if a paragraph in a newspaper contains a word of truth, it is sure to be accompanied with two or three blunders; yet, who will believe that papers published in the face of the whole town should be nothing but magazines of lies, every one of which fifty persons could contradict and disprove?  Yet so it certainly is, and future history will probably be ten times falser than all preceding.  Adieu!  Yours most sincerely.

Letter 250 To The Rev. Mr. Cole.  Strawberry Hill, July 23, 1782. (page 316)

I have been more dilatory than usual, dear Sir, in replying to your last; but it called for no particular answer, nor have I now any thing worth telling you.  Mr. Gough and Mr. Nichols dined with me on Saturday last.  I lent the former three-and-twenty drawings of monuments out of Mr. Lethieullier’s books, for his large work, which will be a magnificent one.  Mr. Nichols is, as you say, a very rapid editor, and I must commend him for being a very accurate one.  I scarce ever saw a book so correct as his Life of Mr. Bowyer.  I wish it deserved the pains he has bestowed on it every way, and that he would not dub so many men great.  I have known several of his heroes who were very little men.  Dr. Mead had nothing but pretensions; and Philip Carteret Webb was a sorry knave, with still less foundation.  To what a slender total do those shrink who are the idols of their own age!  How very few are known at all at the end of the next century!  But there is a chapter in Voltaire that would cure any body of being a great man even in his own eyes.  It is a chapter in which a Chinese goes into a bookseller’s shop, and marvels at not finding any of his own country’s classics.  It is a chapter that ought never to be out of the sight of any vain author.  I have just got the catalogue of the Manuscripts in the Museum.  It is every way piteously dear; the method is extremely puzzling, and the contents chiefly rubbish:  who would give a rush for Dr. Birch’s correspondence? many of the pieces are in print.  In truth, I set little store by a collection of manuscripts.  A work must be of little value that never could get

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The Letters of Horace Walpole, Earl of Orford — Volume 4 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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