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.
you say, to the level of the audience).  I do not mean for the sake of profit; but even high comedy must risk a little of its immortality by consulting the ruling taste; and thence comedy always loses some of its beauties, the transient, and some of its intelligibility.  Like its harsher sister satire, many of its allusions must vanish, as the objects it aims at correcting ceases to be in vogue; and, perhaps, that cessation, the natural death of fashion, is often ascribed by an author to his own reproofs.  Ladies would have left off patching on the Whig or Tory side of their face, though Mr. Addison had not written his excellent Spectator.(534) Probably even they who might be corrected by his reprimand, adopted some new distinction as ridiculous; not discovering that his satire was levelled at their partial animosity, and not at the mode of placing their patches; for, unfortunately, as the world cannot be cured of being foolish, a preacher who eradicates one folly, does but make room for some other.

(533) Now first collected.

(534) The singularly clever and witty paper here alluded to was written by Addison himself; it is No. 81, “Female Party-spirit Discovered by Patches,” and was published June 2, 1711-D.  T.

Letter 284 To The Hon. H. S. Conway.  Strawberry Hill, Oct. 15, 1784. (page 356)

As I have heard nothing from you, I flatter myself Lady Ailesbury mends, or I think you would have brought her again to the physicians. you will, I conclude, next week, as towards the end of it the ten days they named will be expired.  I must be in town myself about Thursday, on some little business of my own.

As I was writing this, my servants called me away to see a balloon.  I suppose Blanchard’s, that was to be let off from Chelsea this morning.  I saw it from the common field before the window of my ’round tower.  It appeared about the third of the size of the moon, or less, when setting, something above the tops of the trees on the level horizon.  It was then descending; and, after rising and declining a little, it sunk slowly behind the trees, I should think about or beyond Sunbury, at five minutes after one.  But you know I am a very inexact guesser at measures and distances, and may be mistaken in many miles; and you know how little I have attended to those airgonaut;. only t’other night I diverted myself with a sort of meditation on future airgonation, supposing that it Will not only be perfected, but will depose navigation.  I did not finish it, because I am not skilled, like the gentleman that used to write political ship-news, in that style, which I wanted to perfect my essay -. but in the prelude I observed how ignorant the ancients Were in supposing that Icarus melted the wax of his Wings by too near access to the sun, whereas he would have been frozen to death before he made the first post on that road.  Next, I discovered an alliance between Bishop Wilkins’s art Of flying, and his plan of an universal language the latter of which he no doubt calculated to prevent the want of an interpreter when he should arrive at the moon.

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