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.
without dreading them!  What satisfaction should you have in having erected such a monument of your taste, my lord, as Wentworth Castle, if you did not know but it might be overturned in a moment and crush you?  Sir William Hamilton is expected:  he has been groping in all those devastations.  Of all vocations I would not be a professor of earthquakes!  I prefer studies that are couleur de rose; nor would ever think of calamities, if I can do nothing To relieve them.  Yet this is a weakness of mind that I do not defend.  They are more respectable who can behold philosophically the great theatre of events, or rather this little theatre of ours!  In some ampler sphere, they may look on the catastrophe of Messina(501) as we do kicking to Pieces an ant-hill.

Bless me! what a farrago is my letter!  It is like the extracts of books in a monthly magazine!  I had no right to censure poor Lord Northesk’s ramblings!  Lady Strafford will think he has infected me.  Good-night, my dear lord and lady!  Your ever devoted.

(498) An allusion to Lord Denbigh’s figure, and his arms blazoned on a spread eagle.-E.

(499) George, sixth Earl of Northesk, a naval officer of distinction, who attained the rank of admiral of the white.  He died in 1792.-E.

(500) In the course of this year a series of violent earthquakes occurred in Calabria and Sicily.  In February, the city of Casal Nuova was entirely swallowed up; and the Princess Gerace Grimaldi, with more than four thousand persons, perished in an instant.  The inhabitants of Scylla, who, headed by their Prince, had descended from the rock and taken refuge on the sea-shore, were all washed away by an enormous wave, on its return from the land which it had inundated.-E.

(501) Messina, and all the northern parts of Sicily, suffered greatly by the convulsions of nature alluded to in the preceding note.-E.

Letter 262 To The Hon. H. S. Conway.  Strawberry Hill, August 15, 1783. (page 330)

The address from the Volunteers is curious indeed, and upon the first face a little Irish.  What! would they throw off our Parliament, and yet amend it?  It is like correcting a question in the House of Commons, and then voting against it.  But I suppose they rather mean to increase confusion here, that we may not be at leisure to impede their progress; at least this may be the intention of the leaders.  Large bodies are only led by being earnest in themselves, when their leaders are not so:  but my head is not clear enough to apply it to different matters, nor could I do any good if it were.  Our whole system is become a disjointed chaos, and time must digest it, or blow it up shortly.  I see no way into it, nor expect any thing favourable but from chance, that often stops confusion on a sudden.  To restore us by any system, it would require a single head furnished with wisdom, temper, address, fortitude, full and

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