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.
generosity, were too expensive for his fortune.  I will mention one instance, which will show how little he was disposed to turn the favour of the crown to his own profit.  He laid out fourteen thousand pounds of his own money on Richmond New Park.  I could produce other reasons too why Sir Robert’s family were not in so comfortable a situation, as the world, deluded by misrepresentation, might expect to see them at his death.  My eldest brother had been a very bad economist during his father’s life, and died himself fifty thousand pounds in debt, or more; so that to this day neither Sir Edward nor I have received the five thousand pounds apiece which Sir Robert left us as our fortunes.  I do not love to charge the dead; therefore will only say, that Lady Orford (reckoned a vast fortune, which till she died she never proved,) wasted vast sums; nor did my brother or father ever receive but the twenty thousand pounds which she brought at first,’and which were spent on the wedding and christening; I mean, including her jewels.

I beg pardon, Sir, for this tedious detail, which is minutely, perhaps too minutely, true; but, when I took the liberty of contesting any part of a work which I admire so much, I owed it to you and to myself to assign my reasons.  I trust they will satisfy you; and, if they do, I am sure you will alter a paragraph against which it is the duty of the family to exclaim.  Dear as my father’s memory is to my soul, I can never subscribe to the position that he was unrewarded by the house of Hanover.

(510) The Governor’s “Character of Sir Robert Walpole.”  It will be found among the original papers in COXe’s Life of Sir Robert.-E.

Letter 268 To Governor Pownall.  Berkeley Square, Nov. 7, 1783. (page 339)

You must allow me, Sir, to repeat my thanks for the second copy of your tract on my father, and for your great condescension in altering the two passages to which I presumed to object; and which are not only more consonant to exactness, but, I hope, no disparagement to the piece.  To me they are quite satisfactory.  And it is a comfort to me too, that what I begged to have changed was not any reflection prejudicial to his memory; but, in the first point, a parallel not entirely similar in circumstances; and, in the other, a sort of censure on ’others to which I could not subscribe.  With all my veneration for my father’s memory, I should not remonstrate against just censure on him.  Happily, to do justice to him, most iniquitous calumnies ought to be removed; and then there would remain virtues and merits enough, far to outweigh human errors, from which the best of men, like him, cannot be exempt.  Let his enemies, ay and his friends, be compared with him, and then justice would be done!  Your essay, Sir, will, I hope, some time or other, clear the way to his vindication.  It points out the true way of examining his character; and is itself, as far as it goes, unanswerable.  As such, what an obligation it must be to, Sir, etc.

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