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.
what I knew of the language; and, as I never disguise my ignorance of any thing, it would look like affectation to print Greek authors.  I could not bear to print them, without owning that I do not Understand them; and such a confession would perhaps be as much affectation as unfounded pretensions.  I must, therefore, stick to my simplicity, and not go out of my line.  It is difficult to divest one’s self of vanity, because impossible to divest one’s self of self-love.  If one runs from one glaring vanity, one is catched by its opposite.  Modesty can be as vain-glorious on the ground, as Pride on a triumphal car.  Modesty, however, is preferable; for, should she contradict her professions, still she keeps her own secret, and does not hurt the pride of others.  I have the honour to be, Sir, with great regard, yours.

(548) Now first collected.

Letter 292 To John Pinkerton, Esq.(549) Strawberry Hill, August 18, 1785. (page 372)

I am sorry, dear Sir, that I must give you unanswerable reasons why I cannot print the work you recommend.(550) I have been so much solicited since I set up my press to employ it for others, that I was forced to make it a rule to listen to no such applications.  I refused Lord Hardwicke to print a publication of his; Lady Mary Forbes, to print letters of her ancestor, Lord Essex; and the Countess of Aldborough, to print her father’s poems, though in a piece as small as what you mention.

These I recollect at once, besides others whose recommendations do not immediately occur to my memory; though I dare to say they do remember them, and would resent my breaking my rule.  I have other reasons which I will not detail now, as the post goes out so early:  I will only beg you not to treat me with so much ceremony, nor ever use the word humbly to me, who am in no ways entitled to such respect.

One private gentleman is not superior to another in essentials:  I fear the virtues of an untainted young heart are preferable to those of an old man long conversant with the world; and in the soundness of understanding you have shown and will show a depth which has not fallen to the lot of Your sincere humble servant.

(549) Now first collected.

(550) it is impossible to say with certainty what is the work here alluded to; but most Probably, it was Ailred’s Life of St. Ninian of which it appears, from a letter from the Rev. Rogers Ruding, dated August 4, 1785, that Mr. Pinkerton obtained at this time a transcript through him from the manuscript in the Bodleian Library.  Pinkerton speaks of this manuscript, in the second volume of his Early Scottish History, p. 266, as “a meagre piece, containing very little as to Ninian’s Pikish Mission.”  The letter alluded to from Mr, Ruding, shows Pinkerton to have turned his mind to the antiquities of Scotland with great earnestness.-D.  T.

Letter 293 To John Pinkerton, Esq.(551) Strawberry Hill, Sept. 17, 1785. (page 372)

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