In deathless odes for ever green
Augustus’ laurels blow;
Nor e’er was grateful duty seen
In warmer strains to flow.
Oh! why is Flaccus not alive,
Your favourite scene to sing?
To Gunnersbury’s charms could give
His lyre immortal spring.
As warm as his my zeal for you,
Great princess! could I show it;
But though you have a Horace too—
Ah, Madam! he’s no poet.
If they are poor verses, consider I am sixty-nine, was half asleep, and made them almost extempore-and by command! However, they succeeded, and I received this gracious answer:—
" I wish I had a name that could answer your pretty verses. Your yawning yesterday opened your vein for pleasing me; and I return you my thanks, my good Mr. Walpole, and remain sincerely your friend, Amelia.”
I think this very genteel at seventy-five.
Do you know that I have bought the Jupiter Serapis as well as the Julio Clovio!(569) Mr. * * * * assures me he has seen six of the head, and not one of them so fine, or so well preserved. I am glad Sir Joshua Reynolds saw no more excellence in the Jupiter than in the Clovio; or the Duke of Portland, I suppose, would have purchased it, as he has the vase for a thousand pounds. I would not change. I told Sir William Hamilton and the late Duchess, when I never thought it would be mine, that I had rather have the head than the vase.- I shall long for Mrs. Damer to make a bust to it, and then it will be still more valuable. I have deposited both the Illumination(570) and the Jupiter in Lady Di.’s cabinet,(571) which is worthy of them. And here my collection winds up; I will not purchase trumpery after such jewels. Besides, every thing is much dearer in old age, as one has less time to enjoy. Good night!
(569) At the sale Of the Duchess-dowager of Portland.
(570) The Book of Psalms, with twenty-one illuminations, by Don Julio Clovio, scholar of Julio Romano-E.
(571) A cabinet at Strawberry Hill, built in 1776, to receive seven incomparable drawings of Lady Diana Beauclere, for Walpole’s tragedy of “The Mysterious Mother."-E.
On coming to town yesterday upon business, I found, Sir, your very magnificent and most valuable present,(572) for which I beg you will accept my most grateful thanks. I am impatient to return to Twickenham, to read it tranquilly. As yet I have only had time to turn the prints over, and to read the preface; but I see already that it is both a noble and laborious work, and -will do great honour both to you and to your country. Yet one apprehension it has given me-I fear not living to see the second part! Yet I shall presume to keep it Unbound; not only till it is perfectly dry and secure, but, as I mean the binding should be as fine as it deserves, I should be afraid of not having both volumes exactly alike.