P. S. The summer is come to town, but I hope is gone into the country too.
(516) The Parliament had been dissolved in March, and a new one was summoned to meet on the 18th of May.-E.
(517) Mr. Pitt says in a letter to Mr. Wilberforce, of the 8th of April, “Westminster goes on well, in spite of the Duchess of Devonshire and the other women of the people; but when the poll will close is uncertain.” At the close of it, on the 17th of May, the numbers were, for Hood 6694, Fox 6233, Wray 5998. Walpole, whose delicate health at this time confined him almost entirely to his house, went in a sedan-chair to give his vote for Mr. Fox. “Apropos of elections,” writes Hannah More to her sister,” I had like to have got into a fine scrape the other night. I was going to pass the evening at Mrs. Cole’s, in Lincoln’s-inn Fields. I went in a chair: they carried me through Covent-Garden: a number of people, as I went along, desired the men not to go through the Garden, as there were a hundred armed men, who, suspecting every chairman belonged to Brookes’s, would fall upon us. In spite of my entreaties, the men would have persisted; but a stranger, out of humanity, made them set me down; and the shrieks of the wounded, for there was a terrible battle, intimidated the chairmen, who were at last prevailed upon to carry me another way. A vast number of people followed me, crying out, ’it is Mrs. Fox: none but Mr. Fox’s wife would dare to come into Covent-Garden in a chair; she is going to canvass in the dark!’ Though not a little frightened, I laughed heartily at this; but shall stir no more in a chair for some time.” Memoirs, vol. I. p. 315.-E.
Mr. Walpole thanks Miss More a thousand times, not only for so obligingly complying with his request, but for letting him have the satisfaction of possessing and reading again and again her charming and very genteel poem, the “Bas Bleu.” He ought not, in modesty, to commend so much a piece in which he himself is flattered; but truth is more durable than blushing, and he must be just, though he may be vain. The ingenuity with which she has introduced, so easily, very difficult rhymes, is admirable; and though there is a quantity of learning, it has all the air Of negligence, instead of that of pedantry. As she, commands him, he will not disobey; and, so far from giving a single copy, he gives her his word that it shall not go out of his hands. He begs his particular compliments to Mrs. Garrick, and is Miss More’s most devoted and much obliged humble servant.
(519) Walpole’s intimacy with Miss Hannah More commenced in the year 1781. The following passages occur in her letters of that and the following year:—“Mr. Walpole has done me the honour of inviting me to Strawberry Hill: as he is said to be a shy man, I must consider this as a great compliment.”—” We dined the other day at Strawberry Hill, and passed as delightful a day as elegant literature, high breeding, and lively wit can afford. As I was the greatest stranger, Mr. Walpole devoted himself to my amusement with great politeness."-E.