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.

Thou, who can give to lightest lay
An unpedantic moral gay,
Nor less the dullest theme bid flit
On wings of unexpected wit;
In letters as in life approved,
Example honour’d and beloved;
Dear Ellis! to the bard impart
A lesson of thy magic art
 To win at once the head and heart,-
At once to charm, instruct, and mend,
My guide, my pattern, and my friend!"-E.

(497) “Colonel Edward Dillon was particularly acquainted with him,” says Wraxall, in his posthumous Memoirs; “he descended, I believe, collaterally from the noble Irish family of the Earls of Roscommon, though his father carried on the trade of a wine-merchant at Bordeaux; but he was commonly called ’Le Comte Edouard Dillon,’ and ‘Le Beau Dillon.’  In my estimation, he possessed little pretense to the latter epithet:  but surpassed most men in stature, like Lord Whitworth, Lord Hugh Seymour, and the other individuals on whom Marie Antoinette cast a favourable eye.  That she showed him some imprudent marks of predilection at a ball, which, when they took place, excited Comment, is true; but they prove only indiscretion and levity on her part."-E.

Letter 261 To The Earl Of Strafford.  Strawberry Hill, August 1, 1783. (page 328)

It would be great happiness indeed to me, my dear lord, if such nothings as my letters could contribute to any part of your lordship’s; but as your own partiality bestows their chief merit on them, you see they owe More to your friendship than to the writer.  It is not my interest to depreciate them; much less to undermine the foundation of their sole worth.  Yet it would be dishonest not to warn your lordship, that if my letters have had any intrinsic recommendation, they must lose of it every day.  Years and frequent returns of gout have made a ruin of me.  Dulness, in the form of indolence, grows upon me.  I am inactive, lifeless, and so indifferent to most things. that I neither inquire after nor remember any topics that might enliven my letters.  Nothing is so insipid as my way of passing my time.  But I need not specify what my letters speak.  They can have no spirit left; and would be perfectly inanimate, if attachment and gratitude to your lordship were as liable to be extinguished by old age as our more amusing qualities.  I make no new connexions; but cherish those that remain’ with all the warmth of youth and the piety of gray hairs.

The weather here has been, and is, with very few intervals, sultry to this moment.  I think it has been of service to me; though by overheating Myself I had a few days of lameness.  The harvest is half over already all round us; and so pure, that not a poppy or cornflower is to be seen.  Every field seems to have been weeded like Brisco’s bowling-green.  If Ceres, who is at least as old as many of our fashionable ladies, loves tricking herself out in flowers as they do, she must be mortified:  and with more reason;

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