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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 897 pages of information about The Letters of Horace Walpole, Earl of Orford Volume 4.

Letter 4 To George Montagu, Esq.  Strawberry Hill May 6, 1770. (page 28)

If you are like me, you are fretting at the weather.  We have not a leaf, yet, large enough to make an apron for a Miss Eve at two years old.  Flowers and fruits, if they come at all this year, must meet together as they do in a Dutch picture; our lords and ladies, however, couple as if it were the real Giovent`u dell’ anno.  Lord Albemarle,(6) you know has disappointed all his brothers and my niece; and Lord Fitzwilliam is declared sposo to Lady Charlotte Ponsonby.(7) It is a pretty match, and makes Lord Besborough as happy as possible.

Masquerades proceed in spite of church and King.  The Bishop of London persuaded that good soul the Archbishop to remonstrate against them; but happily the age prefers silly follies to serious ones, and dominos, comme de raison, carry It against lawn sleeves.(8)

There is a new Institution that begins to and if it proceeds, will make a considerable noise.  It is a club of both sexes to be erected at Almack’s, on the model of that of the men at White’s.  Mrs. Fitzroy, Lady Pembroke, Mrs. Meynel, Lady Molyneux, miss Pelham, and Miss Loyd, are the foundresses.  I am ashamed to say I am of so young and fashionable a society; but as they are people I live with, I choose to be idle rather than morose.  I can go to a young supper, without forgetting how much sand is run out of the hourglass.  Yet I shall never pass a triste old age in turning the psalms into Latin or English verse.  My plan is to pass away calmly; cheerfully if I can; sometimes to amuse myself with the rising generation, but to take care not to fatigue them, nor weary them with old stories, which will not interest them, as their adventures do not interest me.  Age would indulge prejudices if it did not sometimes polish itself against younger acquaintance; but it must be the work of folly if one hopes to contract friendship with them, or desires it, or thinks one can become the same follies, or expects that they should do more than bear one for one’s good humour.  In short, they are a pleasant medicine, that one should take care not to grow fond of.  Medicines hurt when habit has annihilated their force; but you see I am in no danger.  I intend by degrees to decrease my opium, instead of augmenting the dose.  Good-night!  You see I never let our long-lived friendship drop, though you give it so few opportunities of breathing.

(6) George, third Earl of Albemarle.  His lordship had married, on the 20th of April, Anne, youngest daughter of Sir John Miller, Bart. of Chichester.  He died in October 1772.-E.

(7) Lady Charlotte Ponsonby, second daughter of William, second Earl of Besborough.  The marriage took place on the 1st of July.-E.

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