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The Letters of Horace Walpole, Earl of Orford — Volume 4 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 897 pages of information about The Letters of Horace Walpole, Earl of Orford Volume 4.
ungrateful too, to have said so much about my own triste situation, and not to have yet thanked you, Sir. for your kind and flattering offer of letting me read what you have finished of your history; but it was necessary to expose my position to you, before I could venture to accept your proposal, when I am so utterly incapable of giving a quarter of an hour at a time to what I know, by my acquaintance with your works, will demand all my attention, if I wish to reap the pleasure they are formed to give me.  It is most true that for these seven weeks I have not read seven pages, but letters, states of account, cases to be laid before lawyers, accounts of farms, etc. etc., and those subject to mortgages.  Thus are my mornings occupied:  in an evening my relations and a very few friends come to me; and, when they are gone, I have about an hour to midnight to write answers to letters for the next day’s post, which I had not time to do in the morning.  This is actually my case now.  I happened to be quitted at ten o’clock, and would not lose the opportunity of thanking you, not knowing when I could command another hour.

I by no means would be understood to decline your obliging offer, Sir:  on the contrary, I accept it joyfully, if you can trust me with your manuscript for a little time, should I have leisure to read it but by small snatches, which would be wronging you, and would break all connexion in my head.  Criticism you are too great a writer to want; and to read critically is far beyond my present power.  Can a scrivener, or a scrivener’s hearer, be a judge of composition, style, profound reasoning, and new lights and discoveries, etc.?  But my weary hand and breast must finish.  May I ask the favour of you calling on me any morning, when you shall happen to come to town?  You will find the new-old lord exactly the same admirer of yours.

(834) Now first collected.

(835) Mr. Walpole had succeeded to the title of Earl of Orford on the 5th of December, upon the death of his nephew George, the third Earl.-E.

Letter 396 To Miss Hannah More.  Berkeley Square, Jan. 1, 1792. (PAGE 529)

My much-esteemed friend, I have not so long delayed answering your letter from the pitiful revenge of recollecting how long your pen is fetching breath before it replies to mine.  Oh! no; you know I love to heap coals of kindness on your head, and to draw you into little sins, that you may forgive yourself, by knowing your time was employed on big virtues.  On the contrary, you would be revenged; for here have you, according to your notions, inveigled me into the fracture of a commandment; for I am writing to you on a Sunday, being the first moment of leisure that I have had since I received your letter.  It does not indeed clash with my religious ideas, as I hold paying one’s debts as good a deed, as praying and reading sermons for a whole day in

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