I can give you a sample of my idleness, what may divert Lady Ailesbury and your academy of arts and sciences for a minute in the evening. It came into my head yesterday to send a card to Lady Lyttelton, to ask when she would be in town; here it is in an heroic epistle:- From a castle as vast as the castles on signs,—
>From a hill that all Africa's molehills outshines, This epistle is sent to a cottage so small, That the door cannot ope if you stand in the hall, To a lady who would be fifteen, if her knight And old swain were as young as Methusalem quite; It comes to inquire, not whether her eyes Are as radiant as ever, but how many sighs He must vent to the rocks and the echoes around, (Though nor echo nor rock in the parish is found,) Before she, obdurate, his passion will meet— His passion to see her in Portugal-street?
As the sixth line goes rather too near the core, do not give a copy of it: however, I should be sorry if it displeased; though I do not believe it will, but be taken with good-humour as it was meant.(540)
(540) It was taken in perfect good-humour; and Lady Lyttelton returned the following answer, which Mr. Walpole owned was better than his address:—
"Remember'd, though old by a wit and a beau! I shall fancy, ere long, I'm a Ninon L'Enclos: I must feel impatient such kindness to meet, And shall hasten my flight into Portugal-street." Ripley Cottage, 28th Nov.
Letter 288 To Miss Hannah More. Berkeley Square, April 5, 1785. (page 363)
Had I not heard part of your conversation with Mrs. Carter the other night, Madam, I should certainly not have discovered the authoress of the very ingenious anticipation of our future jargon.(541) How should I? I am not fortunate Enough to know all your talents; nay, I question whether you yourself suspect all you possess. Your Bas Bleu is in a style very, different from any of your other productions that I have seen; and this letter, which shows your intuition Into the degeneracy of our language, has a vein of humour and satire that could not be calculated from your Bas Bleu, in which good nature and good-humour had made a great deal of learning wear all the ease of familiarity. I did wish you to write another Percy, but I beg now that you will first produce a specimen of all the various manners in which you can shine; for, since you are as modest as if your issue were illegitimate, I don't know but, like some females really in fault, you would stifle some of your pretty infants, rather than be detected and blush.
In the mean time, I beseech you not only to print your Specimen of the Language that is to be in fashion, but have it entered at Stationers' hall; or depend upon it, if ever a copy falls into the hands of a fine gentleman yet unborn, who shall be able both to read and write, he will adopt your letter for his own, and the Galimatias will give the ton to the court, as Euphues did near two hundred years ago; and then you will have corrupted our language instead of defending it: and surely it is not your interest, Madam, to have pure English grow obsolete.
If you do not promise to grant my request, I will show your letter every where to those that are worthy of seeing it; that is, indeed, in very few places; for you shall have the honour of it. It is one of those compositions that prove themselves standards, by begetting imitations; and if the genuine parent is unknown, it will be ascribed to every body that is supposed (in his own set) to have more wit than the rest of the world. I should be diverted, I own, to hear it faintly disavowed by some who would wish to pass for its authors; but still there is more pleasure in doing justice to merit, than in drawing vain pretensions into a scrape; and, therefore, I think you and I had better be honest and acknowledge it, though to you (for I am out of the question, but as evidence) it will be painful; for though the proverb says, "Tell truth and shame the devil," I believe he is never half so much confounded as a certain amiable young gentlewoman, who is discovered to have more taste and abilities than she ever ventured to ascribe to herself even in the most private dialogues with her own heart, especially when that native friend is so pure as to have no occasion to make allowances even for self-love. For my part, I am most seriously obliged to you, Madam, for so agreeable and kind a communication.
(541) This is an answer to the following anonymous letter, sent to Mr. Walpole by Miss Hannah More, ridiculing the prevailing adoption of French idioms into the English language. There is not in this satirical epistle one French word nor one English idiom:—
"A Specimen of the English Language, as it will probably be written and spoken in the next century. In a letter from a lady to her friend, in the reign of George the Fifth.
Alamode Castle, June 20, 1840.
Dear Madam, "I NO sooner found myself here than I visited my new apartment, which is composed of five pieces: the small room, which gives upon the garden, is practised through the great one; and there is no other issue. As I was quite exceeded with fatigue, I had no sooner made my toilette, than I let myself fall on a bed of repose, where sleep came to surprise me.
" My lord and I are on the intention to make good cheer, and a great expense; -and this country is in possession to furnish wherewithal to amuse oneself. All that England has of illustrious, all that youth has of amiable, or beauty of ravishing, sees itself in this quarter. Render yourself here, then, my friend; and you shall find assembled all that there is of best, whether for letters, whether for birth.
"Yesterday I did my possible to give to eat; the dinner was of the last perfection, and the wines left nothing to desire. The repast was seasoned with a thousand rejoicing sallies, full of salt and agreement, and one more brilliant than another. Lady France, charmed me as for the first time; she is made to paint, has a great air, and has infinitely of expression in her physiognomy; her manners have as much of natural as her figure has of interesting.
"I had prayed Lady B, to be of this dinner, as I had heard nothing but good of her; but I am now disabused on her subject: she is past her first youth, has very little instruction, is inconsequent, and subject to caution; but having evaded with one of her pretenders, her reputation has been committed by the bad faith of a friend, on whose fidelity she reposed herself; she is, therefore fallen into devotion, goes no more to spectacles, and play is detested at her house. Though she affects a mortal serious, I observed that her eyes were Of intelligence with those of Sir James, near whom I had taken care to plant myself, though this is always a sacrifice which costs. Sir James is a great sayer of nothings; it is a spoilt mind, full of fatuity and pretension: his conversation is a tissue of impertinences, and the bad tone which reigns at present has put the last hand to his defect,. He makes but little care of his word; but, as he lends himself to whatever is proposed of amusing, the women all throw themselves at his head. Adieu"
Letter 289 To John Pinkerton, Esq.(542) June 22, 1785. (page 365)
Since I received your book,(543) Sir, I scarce ceased from reading till I had finished it; so admirable I found it, and so full of good sense, brightly delivered. Nay, I am pleased with myself too for having formed the same opinions with you on several points, in which we do not agree with the generality of men. On some topics, I confess frankly, I do not concur with you: Considering how many you have touched, it would be wonderful if we agreed on all, or I should not be sincere if I said I did. There are others on which I have formed no opinion; for I should give myself an impertinent air, with no truth, if I pretended to have any knowledge of many subjects, of which, young as you are, you seem to have made yourself master. Indeed, I have gone deeply into nothing, and therefore shall not discuss those heads which we differ most: as probably I should not defend my own opinions well. There is but one part of your work to which I will venture any objection, though you have considered it much, and I little, very little indeed, with regard to your proposal, which to me is but two days old: I mean your plan for the improvement of our language, which I allow has some defects, and which wants correction in several particulars. The specific amendment which you propose, and to which I object, is the addition of a's and O's to our terminations. To change s for a in the plural number for our substantives and adjectives would be so violent an alteration, that I believe neither the power of Power nor the power of Genius would be able, to effect it. In most cases I am convinced that very strong innovations are more likely to make impression than small and almost imperceptible differences, as in religion, medicine, politics, etc.; but I do not think that language can be treated in the same manner, especially in a refined age. When a nation first emerges from barbarism, two or three masterly writers may operate wonders; and the fewer the number of writers, as the number is small at such a period, the more absolute is their authority. But when a country has been polishing itself for two or three centuries, and when consequently authors are innumerable, the most supereminent genius (or whoever is esteemed so, though without foundation,) possesses very limited empire, and is far from meeting implicit obedience. Every petty writer will contest very novel institutions: every inch of change in language will be disputed; and the language will remain as it was, longer than the tribunal which should dictate very heterogeneous alterations. With regard to adding a or o to final consonants, consider, Sir, should the usage be adopted, what havoc it would make! All our poetry would be defective in metre, or would become at once as obsolete as Chaucer; and could we promise ourselves, that, though we should have better harmony and more rhymes, we should have a new crop of poets, to replace Milton, Dryden, Gray, and, I am sorry you will not allow me to add, Pope! You might enjoin our prose to be reformed, as you have done by the Spectator in your thirty-fourth Letter; but try Dryden's Ode by your new institution.
I beg your pardon for these trivial observations: I assure you I could write a letter ten times as long, if I were to specify all I like in your work. I more than like most of it; and I am charmed with your glorious love of liberty, and your other humane and noble sentiments. Your book I shall with great pleasure send to Mr. Colman: may I tell him, without naming you, that it is written by the author of the comedy I offered to him? He must be struck with your very handsome and generous conduct in printing your encomiums on him, after his rejecting your piece. It is as great as uncommon, and gives me ,,Is good an opinion of your heart, Sir, as your book does of your great sense. Both assure me that you will not take ill the liberty I have used in expressing my doubts on your plan for amending our language, or for any I may use in dissenting from a few other sentiments in your work; as I shall in what I think your too low opinion of some of the French writers, of your preferring Lady Mary Wortley to Madame de S'evign'e, and of your esteeming Mr. Hume a man of a deeper and more solid understanding than Mr. Gray. In the two last articles it is impossible to think more differently than we do. In Lady Mary's Letters, which I never could read but once, I discovered no merit of any sort; yet I have seen others by her (unpublished)(544) that have a good deal of wit; and for Mr. Hume give me leave to say that I think your opinion, "that he might have ruled a state," ought to be qualified a little; as in the very next page you say, his History is "a mere apology for prerogative," and a very weak one. If he could have ruled a state, one must presume, at best, that he would have been an able tyrant; and yet I should suspect that a man, who, sitting coolly in his chamber, could forge but a weak apology for the prerogative, would not have exercised it very wisely. I knew personally and well both Mr. Hume and Mr. Gray, and thought there was no degree of comparison between their understandings; and, in fact, Mr. Hume's writings were so superior to his conversation, that I frequently said he understood nothing till he had written upon it. What you say, Sir, of the discord in his history from his love of prerogative and hatred of churchmen, flatters me much; as I have taken notice of that very unnatural discord in a piece I printed some years ago, but did not publish, and which I will show to you when I have the pleasure of seeing you here; a satisfaction I shall be glad to taste, whenever you will let me know you are at leisure after the beginning of next week. I have the honour to be, Sir, etc.
(542) Now first collected.
(543) His "Letters of Literature," published this year under the name of Heron. "It had been well for Mr. Pinkerton's reputation," observes Mr. Dawson Turner ,had these Letters never been published at all. In a copy now before me, lately the property of one of our most eminent critics, Mr. Fark, I read the following very just quotation, in his handwriting: 'Multa venust'e, multa tenuiter multa cuni bile.' Mr. Pinkerton himself, in his 'Walpoliana,' admits that Heron's Letters was 'a book written in early youth, and contained many juvenile crude ideas long since abandoned by its author.' Would that the crudeness of many of the ideas were the worst that was to be said of it! but we shall find, in the course of this correspondence, far heavier and not less just complaints. The name of Heron, here assumed by Mr. Pinkerton, was that of his mother."-E.
(544) See vol. iii. p. 217, letter 155.-E.
Letter 290 To John Pinkerton, Esq.(545) June 26, 1785. (page 367)
I have sent your book to Mr. Colman, Sir, and must desire you in return to offer my grateful thanks to Mr. Knight, who has done me an honour, to which I do not know how I am entitled, by the present of his poetry, which is very classic, and beautiful, and tender, and of chaste simplicity. To your book, Sir, I am much obliged on many accounts; particularly for having recalled my mind to subjects of delight, to which. it was grown dulled by age and indolence. In consequence of your reclaiming it, I asked myself whence you feel so much disregard for certain authors whose fame is established: you have assigned good reasons for withholding your approbation from some, on the plea of their being imitators: it was natural, then, to ask myself again, whence they had obtained so much celebrity. I think I have discovered a cause, which I do not remember to have seen noted; and that cause I suspect to have been, that certain of those authors possessed grace:—do not take me for a disciple of Lord Chesterfield, nor Imagine that I mean to erect grace into a capital ingredient of writing; but I do believe that it is a perfume that will preserve from putrefaction, and is distinct even from style, which regards expression. Grace, I think, belongs to manner. It is from the charm of grace that I believe some authors, not in Your favour, obtained part of their renown; Virgil in particular: and yet I am far from disagreeing with you on his subject in general. There is such a dearth of invention in the -,Eneid, (and when he did invent, it was often so foolishly,) so little good sense, so little variety, and so little power over the passions, that I have frequently said, from contempt for his matter, and from the charm of his harmony, that I believe I should like his poem better, if I was to hear it repeated, and did not understand Latin. On the other hand, he has more than harmony: whatever he utters is said gracefully, and he ennobles his images, especially in the Georgics; or at least it is more sensible there from the humility of the subject. A Roman farmer might not understand his diction in agriculture; but he made a Roman courtier Understand farming, the farming of that age, and could captivate a lord of Augustus's bedchamber, and tempt him to listen to themes of rusticity. On the contrary, Statius and Claudian, though talking of war, would make a soldier despise them as bullies. That graceful manner of thinking in Virgil seems to me to be more than style, if I do not refine too much; and I admire, I confess, Mr. Addison's phrase, that Virgil "tossed about his dung with an air of majesty." A style may be excellent without grace: for instance, Dr. Swift's. Eloquence may bestow an immortal style, and one of more dignity; yet eloquence may want that ease, that genteel air that flows from or constitutes grace. Addison himself was master of that grace, even in his pieces of humour, and which do not owe their merit to style; and from that combined secret he excels all men that ever lived, but Shakspeare, in humour, by never dropping into an approach towards burlesque and buffoonery', when even his humour descended to characters that in any other hands would have been vulgarly low. Is not it clear that Will Wimble(546) was a gentleman, though he always lived at a distance from good company . Fielding had as much humour, perhaps, as Addison; but, having no idea of grace, is perpetually disgusting. His innkeepers and parsons are the grossest of their profession and his gentlemen are awkward, when they should be at their ease.
The Grecians had grace in every thing; in poetry, in oratory, in statuary, in architecture, and, probably, in music and painting. The Romans, it is true, were their imitators; but, having grace too, imparted it to their copies, which gave them a merit that almost raises them to the rank of originals. Horace's Odes acquired their fame, no doubt, from the graces of his manner and purity of his style, the chief praise of Tibullus and Propertius, who certainly cannot boast of more meaning than Horace's Odes.
Waller, whom you proscribe, Sir, owed his reputation to the graces of his manner, though he frequently stumbled, and even fell flat; but a few of his smaller pieces are as graceful as possible: one might say that he excelled in painting ladies in enamel, but could not succeed in portraits in oil, large as life. Milton had such superior merit, that I will only say, that if his angels, his Satan, and his Adam have as much dignity as the Apollo Belvidere, his Eve has all the delicacy and 'graces of the Venus of Medicis; as his description of Eden has the colouring of Albano. Milton's tenderness imprints ideas as graceful as Guido's Madonnas: and the Allegro, Penseroso, and Comus might be denominated from the three Graces; as the Italians gave similar titles to two or three of Petrarch's best sonnets.
Cowley, I think, would have had grace, (for his mind was graceful,) if he had had any ear, or if his taste had not been vitiated by the pursuit of wit; which, when it does not offer itself naturally, degenerates into tinsel or pertness. Pertness is the mistaken affectation of grace, as pedantry produces erroneous dignity: the familiarity of the one, and the clumsiness of the other, distort or prevent grace. Nature, that furnishes samples of all qualities ', and on the scale of gradation exhibits all possible shades, affords us types that are more apposite than words. The eagle is sublime, the lion majestic, the swan graceful, the monkey pert, the bear ridiculously awkward. I mention these, as more expressive and comprehensive than I could make definitions of my meaning; but I will apply the swan only, under whose wings I will shelter an apology for Racine, whose pieces give me an idea of that bird. The colouring of the swan is pure; his attitudes are graceful; he never displeases you when sailing on his proper element. His feet may be ugly, his notes hissing, not musical, his walk not natural; he can soar, but it is with difficulty:—still, the impression the swan leaves is that of grace. So does Racine.
Boileau may be compared to the dog, whose sagacity is remarkable, as well as its fawning on its master, and its snarling at those it dislikes. If Boileau was too austere to admit the pliability of grace, he compensates by good sense and propriety. He is like (for I will drop animals) an upright magistrate, whom you respect, but whose justice and severity leaves an awe that discourages familiarity. His copies of the ancients may be too servile; but if a good translator deserves praise, Boileau deserves more. He certainly does not fall below his originals; and, considering at what period he wrote, has greater merit still. By his imitations he held out to his countrymen models of taste, and banished totally the bad taste of his Predecessors. For his Lutrin, replete with excellent poetry, wit, humour, and satire, he certainly was not obliged to the ancients. Excepting Horace, how little idea had either Greeks or Romans of wit and humour! Aristophanes and Lucian, compared with moderns, were, the one a blackguard, and the other a buffoon. In my eyes, the Lutrin, the Dispensary, and the Rape of the Lock, are standards of grace and elegance, not to be paralleled by antiquity; and eternal reproaches to Voltaire, whose indelicacy in the Pucelle degraded him as much, when compared with the three authors I have named, as his Henriade leaves Virgil, and even Lucan whom he more resembles, by far his superiors.
The Dunciad is blemished by the offensive images of the games but the poetry appears to me admirable; and though the fourth book has obscurities, I prefer it to the three others; it has descriptions not surpassed by any poet that ever existed, and which surely a writer merely ingenious(547) will never equal. The lines on Italy, on Venice, on Convents, have all the grace for which I contend as distinct from poetry, though united with the most beautiful; and the Rape of the Lock, besides the originality of great part of the invention, is a standard of graceful writing.
In general, I believe that what I call grace, is denominated elegance; but by grace I mean something higher. I will explain myself by instances—Apollo is graceful, Mercury elegant. Petrarch, perhaps, owed his whole merit to the harmony of his numbers and the graces of his style, They conceal his poverty of meaning and want of variety. His complaints, too, may have added an interest, which, had his passion been successful, and had expressed itself with equal sameness, would have made the number of his sonnets insupportable. Melancholy in poetry, I am inclined to think, contributes to grace, when it is not disgraced by pitiful lamentations, such as Ovid's and Cicero's in their banishments. We respect melancholy, because it imparts a similar affection, pity. A gay writer, who should only express satisfaction without variety, would soon be nauseous.
Madame de S'evign'e shines both in grief and gaiety. There is too much sorrow for her daughter's absence; yet it is always expressed by new terms, by new images, and often by wit, whose tenderness has a melancholy air. When she forgets her concern, and returns to her natural disposition-gaiety, every paragraph has novelty; her allusions, her applications are the happiest possible. She has the art of making you acquainted with all her acquaintance, and attaches you even to the spots she inhabited. Her language is correct, though unstudied; and, when her mind is full of any great event, she interests you with the warmth of a dramatic writer, not with the chilling impartiality of an historian. Pray read her accounts of the death of Turenne, and of the arrival of King James in France, and tell me whether you do not know their persons as if you had lived at the, time, For my part, if you will allow me a word of digression, (not that I have written with any method,) I hate the cold impartiality recommended to historians: "Si Vis me flere, dolendum est prim'um ipsi tibi:" but, that I may not wander again, nor tire, nor contradict you any more, I will finish now, and shall be glad if you will dine at Strawberry Hill next Sunday and take a bed there, when I will tell you how many more parts of your book have pleased me, than have startled my opinions, or perhaps prejudices. I have the honour to be, Sir, with regard, etc.
(545) Now first collected.
(546) See Spectator, No. 109. Will Wimble was a Yorkshire gentleman, whose name was Thomas Morecroll-E.
(547) Pinkerton had said Of Pope, that "he could only rank with ingenious men," and that his works are superabundant with superfluous and unmeaning verbiage - his translations even replete with tautology, a fault which is to refinement as midnight is to noonday; and, what is truly surprising, that the fourth book of the Dunciad, his last publication, is more full of redundancy and incorrectness than his Pastorals, which are his first."-D. T.
Letter 291 To John Pinkerton, Esq.(548) Strawberry Hill, July 27, 1785. (page 371)
You thank me much more than the gift deserved, Sir: my editions; of such pieces as I have left, are waste paper to me. I will not sell them at the ridiculously advanced prices that are given for them: indeed, only such as were published for sale, have I sold at all; and therefore the duplicates that remain with me are to me of no value, but when I can oblige a friend with them. Of a few of my impressions I have no copy but my own set; and, as I could give you only an imperfect collection, the present was really only a parcel of fragments. My memory was in fault about the Royal and Noble Authors. I thought I had given them to you. I recollect now that I only lent you my own copy; but I have others in town, and you shall have them when I go thither. For Vertue's manuscript I am in no manner of haste. I heard on Monday, in London, that the Letters were written by a Mr. Pilhington, probably from a confounded information of Maty's Review; my chief reason for calling on you twice this week, was to learn what you had heard, and shall be much obliged to you for farther information; as I do not care to be too inquisitive,' lest I should be suspected of knowing more of the matter.
There are many reasons, Sir, why I cannot come into your idea of printing Greek. In the first place, I have two or three engagements for my press; and my time of life does not allow me to look but a little way farther. In the next, I cannot now go into new expenses of purchase: my fortune is very much reduced, both by my brother's death, and by the late plan of reformation. The last reason would weigh with me, had I none of the others. My admiration of the Greeks was a little like that of the mob on other points, not from sound knowledge. I never was a good Greek scholar; have long forgotten 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)
You are too modest, Sir, in asking my advice on a point on which you could have no better guide than your own judgment. if I presume to give you my opinion, it is from zeal for your honour. I think it would be below you to make a regular answer to anonymous scribblers in a Magazine: you had better wait to see whether any formal reply is made to your book, and whether by any avowed writer; to whom, if he writes sensibly and decently, you may condescend to make an answer. Still, as you say you have been misquoted, I should not wish you to be quite silent, though I should like better to have you turn such enemies into ridicule. A foe who misquotes you, ought to be a welcome antagonist. He is so humble as to confess, when he censures what you have not said, that he cannot confute what you have said; and he is so kind as to furnish you with an opportunity of proving him a liar, as you may refer to your book to detect him.
This is what I would do; I would specify, in the same Magazine in which he has attacked you, your real words, and those he has imputed to you; and then appeal to the equity of the reader. You may guess that the shaft comes from somebody whom you have censured; and thence you may draw a fair conclusion, that you had been in the right to laugh at one who was reduced to put his own words into your mouth before he could find fault with them; and, having so done, whatever indignation he has excited in the reader must recoil on himself, as the offensive passages will come out to have been his own, not yours. You might even begin with loudly condemning the words or thoughts imputed to you, as if you retracted them; and then, as if you turned to your book, and found that you had said no such thing there as what you was ready to retract, the ridicule would be doubled on your adversary.
Something of this kind is the most I would stoop to; but I would take the utmost care not to betray a grain of more anger than is imp lied in contempt and ridicule. Fools can only revenge themselves by provoking; for then they bring you to a level with themselves. The good sense of your work will support it; and there is scarce reason for defending it, but, by keeping up a controversy, to make it more noticed; for the age is so idle and indifferent, that few objects strike, unless parties are formed for or against them. I remember many years ago advising some acquaintance of mine, who were engaged in the direction of the Opera, to raise a competition between two of their singers, and have papers written pro and con.; for then numbers would go to clap and hiss the rivals respectively, who would not go to be pleased with the music.
(551) Now first collected.
Letter 294 George Colman, Esq.(552) Strawberry Hill, Sept. 19, 1785. (page 374)
Sir, I beg your acceptance of a little work just printed here; and I offer it as a token of my gratitude, not as pretending to pay YOU for your last present. A translation, however excellent, from a very inferior Horace,(553) would be a most inadequate return; but there is so much merit in the enclosed version, the language is so pure, and the imitations of our poets so extraordinary, so Much more faithful and harmonious than I thought the French tongue could achieve, that I flatter myself you will excuse my troubling You with an old performance of my own, when newly dressed by a master hand. As, too, there are not a great many copies printed, and those only for presents, I have a particular pleasure in making you one of the earliest compliments.
(552) Now first printed.
(553) The Due de Nivernois' translation of Walpole's Essay on Gardening.-E.
Letter 295 To The Earl Of Buchan.(554) Strawberry Hill, Sept. 23, 1785. (page 373)
Your lordship is too condescending when you incline to keep up a correspondence with one who can expect to maintain it but a short time, and whose intervals of health are resigned to idleness, not dedicated, as they have sometimes been, to literary pursuits: for what could I pursue with any prospect of accomplishment? or what avails it to store a memory that must lose faster than it acquires? Your lordship's zeal for illuminating your country and countrymen is laudable; and you are young enough to make a progress; but a man who touches the verge of his sixty-eighth year, ought to know that he is unfit to contribute to the amusement of more active minds. This consideration, my lord, makes me much decline correspondence; having nothing new to communicate, I perceive that I fill my letters with apologies for having nothing to say.
If you can tap the secret stores of the Vatican, your lordship will probably much enrich the treasury of letters. Rome may have preserved many valuable documents, as for ages intelligence from all parts of Europe centred there; but I conclude that they have hoarded little that might at any period lay open the share they had in the most important transactions. History, indeed, is fortunate when even incidentally and collaterally it light's on authentic information.
Perhaps, my lord, there is another repository, and nearer, which it would be worth while to endeavour to penetrate: I mean the Scottish College at Paris. I have heard formerly, that numbers Of papers, of various sorts, were transported at the Reformation to Spain and Portugal: but, if preserved there, they probably are not accessible yet. If they were, how puny, how diminutive, would all such discoveries, and others which we might call of far greater magnitude, be to those of Herschel, who puts up millions of covies of worlds at a beat! My conception is not ample enough to take in even a sketch of his glimpses; and, lest I should lose myself in attempting to follow his investigations, I recall my mind home, and apply it to reflect on what we thought we knew, when we imagined we knew something (which we deemed a vast deal) pretty correctly. Segrais, I think, it was, who said with much contempt, to a lady who talked of her star, "Your star! Madam, there are but two thousand stars in all; and do you imagine that you have a whole one to yourself?" The foolish dame, it seems, was not more ignorant than Segrais himself. If our system includes twenty millions of worlds, the lady had as much right to pretend to a whole ticket as the philosopher had to treat her like a servant-maid who buys a chance for a day in a state lottery.
Stupendous as Mr. Herschel's investigations are, and admirable as are his talents, his expression of our retired corner of the universe, seems a little improper. When a little emmet, standing on its ant-hill, could get a peep into infinity, how could he think he saw a corner in it?-a retired corner? Is there a bounded side to infinitude! If there are twenty millions of worlds, why not as many, and as many, and as many more? Oh! one's imagination cracks! I ]one, to bait within distance of home, and rest at the moon. Mr. Herschel will content me if he can discover thirteen provinces there, well inhabited by men and women, and protected by the law of nations;(555) that law, which was enacted by Europe for its own emolument, to the prejudice of the other three parts of the globe, and which bestows the property of whole realms on the first person who happens to espy them, who can annex them to the crown of Great Britain, in lieu of those it has lost beyond the Atlantic.
I am very ignorant in astronomy, as ignorant as Segrais or the lady, and could wish to ask many questions; as Whether our celestial globes must not be infinitely magnified? Our orreries, too, must not they be given to children, and new ones constructed, that will at least take in our retired corner and all its OUtflying constellations? Must not that host of worlds be christened? Mr. Herschel himself has stood godfather for his Majesty to the new Sidus. His Majesty, thank God! has a numerous issue; but they and all the princes and princesses in Europe cannot supply appellations enough for twenty millions of new-born stars: no, though the royal progenies of Austria, Naples, and Spain, who have each two dozen saints for sponsors, should consent to split their bead-rolls of names among the foundlings. But I find I talk like an old nurse; and your lordship at last will, I believe, be convinced that it is not worth your while to keep up a correspondence with a man in his dotage, merely because he has the honour of being, my lord, your lordship's most obedient servant.
(554) Now first printed.
(555) The then thirteen United States of America.
Letter 296 To John Pinkerton, Esq.(556) Strawberry Hill, Sept. 30, 1785. (page 376)
I do not possess, nor ever looked into one of the books you specify; nor Mabillon's "Acta Sanctorum," nor O'Flaherty's "Ogygia." My reading has been very idle., and trifling, and desultory; not that perhaps it has not been employed on authors as respectable as those you want to consult, nor that I had not rather read the deeds of sinners than Acta Sanctorum. I have no reverence but for sensible books, and consequently not for a greater number; and had rather have read fewer than I have than more. The rest may be useful on certain points, as they happen now to be to you; who, I am sure, would not read them for general use and pleasure, and are a very different kind of author. I shall like, I dare to say, any thing you do write, but I am not overjoyed at your wading into the history of dark ages' unless you use it as a canvass to be embroidered with your opinions, and episodes, and comparisons with more recent times. That is a most entertaining kind of writing. In general, I have seldom wasted time on the origin of nations, unless for an opportunity of smiling at the gravity of the author, or at the absurdity of the manners of those ages; for absurdity and bravery compose almost all the anecdotes we have of them, except the accounts of what they never did, nor thought of doing. I have a real affection for Bishop Hoadley: he stands with me in lieu of what are called the Fathers; and I am much obliged to you for offering to lend me a book of his: but, as my faith in him and his doctrines has long been settled, I shall not return to such grave studies, when I have so little time left, and desire only to pass it 'tranquilly, and without thinking of what I can neither propagate nor correct. When youth made me sanguine, I hoped mankind might be set right. Now that I am very, old, I sit down with this lazy maxim; that, unless one could cure men of being fools, it is to no purpose to cure them of any folly, as it is only making room for some other. Self-interest is thought to govern every man yet, is it possible to be less governed by self-interest than men are in the aggregate? Do not thousands sacrifice even their lives for single men? Is not it an established rule in France, that every person in that kingdom should love every king they have in his turn? What government is formed for general happiness? Where is not it thought heresy by the majority, to insinuate that the felicity of one man ought not to be preferred to that Of Millions? Had not I better, at sixty-eight, leave men to these preposterous notions, than return to Bishop Hoadley, and sigh? Not but I have a heartfelt satisfaction when I hear that a mind as liberal as his, and who has dared to utter sacred truths, meets with approbation and purchasers of his work. You must not, however, flatter yourself, Sir, that all your purchasers are admirers. Some will buy your book, because they have heard of opinions in it that offend them, and because they want to find matter in it for abusing you. Let them: the more it is discussed, the more strongly Will your fame be established. I commend you for scorning any artifice to puff your book; but you must allow me to hope it will be attacked.
I have another satisfaction in the sale of your book-; it will occasion a second edition. What if, as you do not approve of confuting misquoters, you simply printed a list of their false quotations, referring to the identical sentences, at the end of your second edition? That will be preserving their infamy, which else would perish where it was born; and perhaps would deter others from similar forgeries. If any rational opponent staggers you on any opinion of yours, I would retract it; and that would be a second triumph. I am, perhaps, too impertinent and forward with advice: it is at best a proof of zeal; and you are under no obligation to follow my counsel. it is the weakness of old age to be apt to give advice; but I will fairly arm you against myself, by confessing that, when I was young, I was not apt to take any.
(556) Now first collected.
Letter 297 To The Hon. H. S. Conway. Strawberry Hill, Oct. 6, 1785. (page 377)
I wondered I did not hear from you, as I concluded you returned. You have made me good amends by the entertaining story of your travels. If I were not too disjointed for long journeys, I should like to see much of what you have seen; but if I had the agility of Vestris, I would not purchase all that pleasure for my eyes at the expense of my unsociability, which could not have borne the hospitality you experienced. It was always death to me, when I did travel England, to have lords and ladies receive me and show me their castles, instead of turning me over to their housekeeper: it hindered my seeing any thing, and I was the whole time meditating my escape; but Lady Ailesbury and you are not such sensitive plants, nor shrink and close up if a stranger holds out a hand. I don't wonder you was disappointed with Jarvis's windows at New College; I had foretold their miscarriage. The old and the new are as"mismatched as an orange and a lemon, and destroy each other; nor is there room enough to retire back and see half of the new; and Sir Joshua's washy Virtues make the Nativity a dark spot from the darkness of the Shepherds, which happened, as I knew it would, from most of Jarvis's colours not being transparent.
I have not seen the improvements at Blenheim. I used to think it one of the ugliest places in England; a giant's castle, who had laid waste all the country round him. Every body now allows the merit of Brown's achievements there.(557)
Of all your survey I wish most to see Beau Desert. Warwick Castle and Stowe I know by heart. The first I had rather possess than any seat upon earth: not that I think it the most beautiful of all., though charming, but because I am so intimate with all its proprietors for the last thousand years.
I have often and often studied the new plan of Stowe: it is pompous; but though the Wings are altered, they are not lengthened. Though three parts of the edifices in the garden are bad, they enrich that insipid country, and the vastness pleases me more than I can defend.
I rejoice that your jaunt has been serviceable to Lady Ailesbury. The Charming man(558) is actually with me; but neither he nor I can keep our promise incontinently. He expects two sons of his brother Sir William, whom he is to pack up and send to the P'eres de l'Oratoire at Paris. I expect Lord and Lady Waldegrave to-morrow, who are to pass a few days with me; but both the Charming man and I will be with you soon. I have no objection to a wintry visit: as I can neither ride nor walk, it is more comfortable when most of my time is passed within doors. If I continue perfectly well, as I am, i shall not settle in town till after Christmas: there will not be half a dozen persons there for whom I care a straw.
I know nothing at all. The peace between the Austrian harpy and the frogs is made. They were stout, and preferred being gobbled to parting with their money. At last, France offered to pay the money for them. The harpy blushed-for the first time-and would not take it; but signed the peace, and will plunder somebody else.
Have you got Boswell's most absurd enormous book?(559) The best thing in it is a bon-mot of Lord Pembroke.(560) "The more one learns of Johnson, the more preposterous assemblage he appears of' strong sense, of the lowest bigotry and prejudices, of pride, brutality, fretfulness, and vanity; and Boswell is the ape of most of his faults, without a grain of his sense. It is the story of a mountebank and his zany.
I forgot to say, that I wonder how, with your turn, and knowledge, and enterprise, in scientific exploits, you came not to visit the Duke of Bridgewater's operations; or did you omit them, because I should not have understood a word you told me? Adieu!
(557) "Capability Brown;"for an account of whom, see vol. ii. p. 112, letter 46. "I took," says Hannah More, "a very agreeable lecture from my friend Mr. Brown in his art, and he promised to give me taste by inoculation. I am sure he has a charming one; and he illustrates every thing he says about gardening by some literary or grammatical allusion. He told me he compared his art to literary composition. 'Now, there,' said he, pointing his finger, 'I make a comma; and there,' pointing to another spot, 'where a more decided turn is proper, I make a colon: at another part (where an interruption is desirable to break the view), a parenthesis—now a full stop; and then I begin another subject.'" Memoirs, vol. i. p. 26.-E.
(558) Edward Jerningham, Esq. See post, September 4, 1789.-E.
(559) The "enormous book," of which Walpole here speaks so disparagingly, is Boswell's popular "Journal of his Tour to the Highlands and Islands of Scotland with Dr. Johnson, in the autumn of 1773." It is now incorporated with the author's general narrative of the Doctor's life in Mr. Croker's edition of 1831 - and not the least interesting circumstance connected with it is, that Johnson himself read, from time to time, Boswell's record of his sayings and doings; and, so far from being displeased with its minuteness, expressed great admiration of its accuracy, and encouraged the chronicler to proceed with his grand ulterior proceeding. See Life, vol. i. P. viii. ed. 1835.-E.
(560) "Lord Pembroke said Once to me at Wilton that Dr. Johnson's sayings would not appear so extraordinary, were it not for his bow-Wow way." Ibid. vol. iv, p. 8.-E.
Letter 298 To The Earl Of Charlement.(561) Strawberry Hill, Nov. 23, 1785. (page 379)
As your lordship has given me this opportunity, I cannot resist saying, what I was exceedingly tempted to mention two or three years ago, but had not the confidence. In short, my lord, when the order of St. Patrick was instituted, I had a mind to hint to your lordship that it was exactly the moment for seizing an occasion that has been irretrievably lost to this country. When I was at Paris, I found in the convent of Les Grands Augustins three vast chambers filled with the portraits (and their names and titles beneath) of all the knights of the St. Esprit, from the foundation of the order. Every new knight, with few exceptions, gives his own portrait on his creation. Of the order of St. Patrick, I think but one founder is dead yet; and his picture perhaps may be retrieved. I will not make any apology to so good a patriot as your lordship, for proposing a plan that tends to the honour of his country, which I will presume to call mine too, as it is both by union and my affection for it. I should wish the name of the painter inscribed too, which would excite emulation in your artists. But it is unnecessary to dilate on the subject to your lordship; who, as a patron of the arts, as well as a patriot, will improve on my imperfect thoughts, and, if you approve of them, can give them stability. I have the honour to beg my lord, etc.
(561) Now first collected.
Letter 299 To Lady Browne.(562) Berkeley Square, Dec. 14, 1785. (page 379)
I am extremely obliged to your ladyship for your kind letter; and, though I cannot write myself, I can dictate a few lines. This has not been a regular fit of the gout, but a worse case: one of my fingers opened with a deposit of chalk,(563) and brought on gout, and both together an inflammation and swelling almost up to my shoulder. in short, I was forced to have a surgeon, who has managed me so Judiciously, that both the inflammation and swelling are gone; and nothing remains but the wound in my finger, which will heal as soon as all the chalk is discharged. My surgeon wishes me to take the air; but I am so afraid of a relapse, that I have not yet consented.
My poor old friend is a great loss;(564) but it did not much Surprise me, and the manner comforts me. I had played at cards with her at Mrs. Gostling's three nights before I came to town, and found her extremely confused, and not knowing what she did: indeed, I perceived something Of the sort before, and had found her much broken this autumn. It seems, that the day after I saw her, she went to General Lister's burial and got cold, and had been ill for two or three days. On the Wednesday morning she rose to have her bed made; and while sitting on the bed, with her maid by her, sunk down at once, and died without a pang or a groan. Poor Mr. Raftor is struck to the greatest degree, and for some days would not see any body. I sent for him to town to me; but he will not come till next week. Mrs. Prado has been so excessively humane as to insist on his coming to her house till his sister is buried, which is to be to-night.
The Duchess does not come till the 26th. Poor Miss Bunbury is dead; and Mrs. Boughton, I hear, is in a very bad way. Lord John Russell has sent the Duchess of Bedford word, that he is on the point of marrying Lord Torrington's eldest daughter; and they suppose the wedding is over.(565) Your ladyship, I am sure, will be pleased to hear that Lord Euston is gone to his father, who has written a letter with the highest approbation of Lady Euston.(566) You will be diverted, too, Madam, to hear that Hecate has told Mrs. Keppel, that she was sure that such virtue would be rewarded at last.
(562) Now first printed.
(563) "Neither years nor sufferings," writes Hannah More to her sister, "can abate the entertaining powers of the pleasant Horace, which rather improve than decay; though he himself says he is only fit to be a milk-woman, as the chalk-stones at his fingers' ends qualify him for nothing but scoring; but he declares he will not be a Bristol milk.woman. I was obliged to recount to him all that odious tale." Memoirs, vol. ii. p. 14.-E.
(564) The incomparable Kitty Clive; who died at Twickenham on the 6th of December, in her seventy-second year.-E.
(565) Lord John Russell, who, in 1802, succeeded his brother Francis as sixth Duke of Bedford, married, at Brussels, in March 1786, Georgiana Elizabeth, second daughter of Lord Torrington.-E.
(566) Lord Euston, who, in 1811, succeeded his father as fourth Duke of Grafton, married, in November 1784, Charlotte Maria, daughter of the Earl of Waldegrave.-E.
Letter 300 To Miss Hannah More. Berkeley Square, Feb. 9, 1786. (page 380)
It is very cruel, my dear Madam, when you send me such charming lines, and say such kind and flattering things to me and of me, that I cannot even thank you with my own poor hand; and yet my hand is as much obliged to you as my eye, and ear, and understanding. My hand was in great pain when your present arrived. I opened it directly, and set to reading, till your music and my own vanity composed a quieting draught that glided to the ends of my fingers, and lulled the throbs into the deliquium that attends opium when it does not put one absolutely to sleep. I don't believe that the deity who formerly practised both poetry and physic, when gods got their livelihood by more than one profession, ever gave a recipe in rhyme; and therefore, since Dr. Johnson has prohibited application to pagan divinities, and Mr. Burke has not struck medicine and poetry out of the list of sinecures, I wish you may get a patent for life for exercising both faculties. It would be a comfortable event for me for, since I cannot wait on you to thank you, nor dare ask you
——to call your doves yourself,
and visit me in your Parnassian quality, I might send for you as my physicianess. Yet why should I not ask you to come and see me? You are not such a prude as to
——blush to show compassion,
though it should
not chance this year to be the fashion,(567)
And I can tell you, that powerful as your poetry is, and old as I am, I believe a visit from you would do me as much good almost as your verses.(568) In the meantime, I beg you to accept of an addition to your Strawberry editions; and believe me to be, with the greatest gratitude, your too much honoured, and most obliged humble servant.
See "Florio," a poetical tale, which Miss Hannah More had recently published with the "Bas Bleu."-E.
(568) on the 11th, Hannah More paid him a visit. "I made poor Vesey," she says, "go with me on Saturday to see Mr. Walpole, who has had a long illness. Notwithstanding his sufferings, I never found him so pleasant, so witty, and so entertaining. He said a thousand diverting things about 'Florio;' but accused me of having imposed on the world by a dedication full of falsehood; meaning the compliment to himself: I never knew a man suffer pain with such entire patience. This submission is certainly a most valuable part of religion; and yet, alas! he is not religious. I must however, do him the justice to say, that, except the delight he has in teasing me for what he calls over-strictness, I never heard a sentence from him which savoured of infidelity." Memoirs, vol. ii, p. 11.-E.
Letter 301 To The Hon. H. S. Conway. Sunday night, June 18, 1786. (page 301)
I suppose you have been swearing at the east wind for parching your verdure, and are now weeping for the rain that drowns your hay. I have these calamities in common, and my constant and particular one,-people that come to see my house, which unfortunately is more in request than ever. Already I have had twenty-eight sets, have five more tickets given out; and yesterday, before I had dined, three German barons came. My house is a torment, not a comfort!
I was sent for again to dine at Gunnersbury on Friday, and was forced to send to town for a dress-coat and a sword. There were the Prince of Wales, the Prince of Mecklenburg, the Duke of Portland, Lord Clanbrassil, Lord and Lady Clermont, Lord and Lady Southampton, Lord Pelham, and Mrs. Howe. The Prince of Mecklenburg went back to Windsor after coffee; and the Prince and Lord and Lady Clermont to town after tea, to hear some new French players at Lady William Gordon's. The Princess, Lady Barrymore, and the rest of us, played three pools at commerce till ten. I am afraid I was tired and gaped. While we were at the dairy, the Princess insisted on my making some verses on Gunnersbury. I pleaded being superannuated. She would not excuse me. I promised she should have an ode on her next birthday, which diverted the Prince; but all would not do. So, as I came home, I made the following stanzas, and sent them to her breakfast next morning:—
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.
Letter 302 To Richard Gough, Esq. Berkeley Square, June 21, 1786. (page 383)
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.
Your partiality, I doubt, Sir, has induced you to insert a paper not so worthy of the public regard as the rest of your splendid performance. My letter to Mr. Cole,(573) which I am sure I had utterly forgotten .to have ever written, was a hasty indigested sketch, like the rest of my scribblings, and never calculated to lead such well-meditated and accurate works as yours. Having lived familiarly with Mr. Cole, from our boyhood, I used to write to him carelessly on the occasions that occurred. As it was always on subjects of' no importance, I never thought of enjoining secrecy. I could not foresee that such idle Communications would find a place in a great national work, or I should have been more attentive to 'what I said. Your taste, Sir, I fear, has for once been misled; and I shall be sorry for having innocently blemished a single page. Since your partiality (for such it certainly was) has gone so far, I flatter myself you will have retained enough to accept, not a retribution, but a trifling mark of my regard, in the little volume that accompanies this; in which you will find that another too favourable reader has bestowed on me more distinction than I could procure for myself, by turning my slight Essay on Gardening(574) into the pure French of the last age;(575) and, which is wonderful, has not debased Milton by French poetry: on the contrary, I think Milton has given a dignity to French poetry—nay, and harmony; both which I thought that language almost incapable of receiving. As I would wish to give all the value I can to my offering, I Will mention, that I have printed but four hundred copies, half of which went to France; and as this is an age in which mere rarities are preferred to commoner things of intrinsic worth,-as I have found by the ridiculous prices given for some of my insignificant publications, merely because they are scarce,-I hope, under the title of a kind of curiosity, my thin piece will be admitted into your library. If you would indulge me so far, Sir, as to let me know when I might hope to see the second part, I would calculate how many more fits of the gout I may weather, and would be still more strict in my regimen. I hope, at least, that you will not wait for the engravers, but will accomplish the text for the sake of the world: in this I speak disinterestedly. Though you are much younger than I am, I would have your part of the work secure - engravers may always proceed, or be found; another author cannot.
(572) The first volume of Mr. Gough's "Sepulchral Monuments in Great Britain."-E.
(573) See vol. iii., Aug. 12, 1769, letter 366.-E.
(574) The author of "The Pursuits of Literature",—
"Well pleased to see Walpole and Nature may, for once, agree,"
adds, in a note, "read (it well deserves the attention) that quaint, but most curious and learned writer's excellent Essay on Modern Gardening."-E.
(575) Besides Walpole's Essay on Modern Gardening, the Duc do Nivernois translated Pope's Essay on Man, and a portion of Milton's Paradise Lost, into French verse.-E.
Letter 303 To The Earl Of Strafford. Strawberry Hill, August 29, 1786. (page 384)
Since I received the honour of your lordship's last, I have been at Park-place for a few days. Lord and Lady Frederick Campbell and Mrs. Damer were there. We went on the Thames to see the new bridge at Henley, and Mrs. Damer's colossal masks. There is not a sight in the island more worthy of being visited. The bridge is as perfect as if bridges were natural productions, and as beautiful as if it had been built"for Wentworth Castle; and the masks, as if the Romans had left them here. We saw them in a fortunate moment; for the rest of the time was very cold and uncomfortable, and the evenings as chill as many we have had lately. In short, I am come to think that the beginning of an old ditty, which passes for a collection of blunders, was really an old English pastoral, it is so descriptive of our climate:
"Three children sliding on the ice All on a summer's day——"
I have been overwhelmed more than ever by visitants to my house. Yesterday I had Count Oginski,(576) who was a pretender to the crown of Poland at the last election, and has been stripped of most of a vast estate. He had on a ring of the new King of Prussia, or I should have wished him joy on the death Of One of the plunderers of his country.(577)
It has long been my opinion that the out-pensioners of Bedlam are so numerous, that the shortest and cheapest way would be to confine in Moorfields the few that remain in their senses, who would then be safe; and let the rest go at large. They are the out-pensioners who are for destroying poor dogs! The whole canine race never did half so much mischief as Lord George Gordon; nor even worry hares, but when hallooed on by men. As it is a persecution of animals, I do not love hunting; and what old writers mention as a commendation makes me hate it the more, its being an image of war. Mercy on us! that destruction of any species should be a sport or a merit! What cruel unreflecting imps we are! Every body is unwilling to die; yet sacrifices the lives of others to momentary -pastime, or to the still emptier vapour, fame! A hero or a sportsman who wishes for longer life is desirous of prolonging devastation. We shall be crammed, I suppose, with panegyrics and epitaphs on the King of Prussia; I am content that he can now have an epitaph. But, alas! the Emperor will write one for him probably in blood! and, while he shuts up convents for the sake of population, will be stuffing hospitals .With maimed soldiers, besides making thousands of widows!
I have just been reading a new published history of the Colleges in Oxford, by Anthony Wood; and there found a feature in a character that always offended me, that of Archbishop Chicheley, who prompted Henry the Fifth to the invasion of France, to divert him from squeezing the overgrown clergy. When that priest meditated founding All Souls, and "consulted his friends (who seem to have been honest men) what great matter of piety he had best perform to God in his old age, he was advised by them to build an hospital for the wounded and sick soldiers that daily returned from the wars then had in France;"-I doubt his grace's friends thought as I do of his artifice "but," continues the historian, "disliking those motions, and valuing the welfare of the deceased more than the wounded and diseased, he resolved with himself to promote his design, which was, to have masses said for the King, Queen, and himself, etc. while living, and for their souls when dead." And that mummery the old foolish rogue thought more efficacious than ointments and medicines for the wretches he had made! And of the chaplains and clerks he instituted in that dormitory, one was to teach grammars and another prick-song. How history makes one shudder and laugh by turns! But I fear I have wearied your lordship with my idle declamation, and you will repent having commanded me to send you more letters.
(576) Father of Count Michel Oginski, the associate of Kosciusko, and author of "Memoires sur la Pologne et les Polonais, depuis 1788 jusqu''a la fin de 1815;" in four volumes octavo. Paris, 1826.-E.
(577) Frederick the Great had died on the 17th, at Berlin.-E.
Letter 304 To The Hon. H. S. Conway. Strawberry Hill, Oct. 29, 1786. (page 386)
I was sorry not to be apprised of your intention of going to town, where I would have met you; but I knew it too late, both as I was engaged, and as you was to return so soon. I mean to come to Park-place in a week or fortnight: but I should like to know what company you expect, or do not expect; for I had rather fill up your vacancies than be a supernumerary. Lady Ossory has sent me two charades made by Colonel Fitzpatrick: the first she says is very easy, the second very difficult. I have not come within sight of the easy one; and, though I have a guess at the other, I do not believe I am right; and so I send them to you, who are master-general of the Oedipuses.
The first, that is so easy:—
"In concert, song, or serenade, My first requires my second's aid. To those residing near the pole I would not recommend my whole."
The two last lines, I conclude, neither connect with the two first, nor will help one to deciphering them.
The difficult one:—
"Charades of all things are the worst, But my best have been my first. Who with my second are concern'd, Will to despise my whole have learn'd."
This sounds like a good one, and therefore I will not tell you my solution; for, if it is wrong, it might lead you astray; and if it is right, it would prove the charade is not a good one. Had I any thing better, I would not send you charades, unless for the name of the author.
I have had a letter from your brother, who tells me that he has his grandson Stewart(578) with him, who is a prodigy. I say to myself, Prodigies are grown so frequent, That they have lost their name. I have seen prodigies in plenty of late, ah, and formerly too; but, divine as they have all been, each has had a mortal heel, and has trodden back a vast deal of their celestial path 1 1 beg to be excused from any more credulity.
I am sorry you have lost your fac-totum Stokes. I suppose he had discovered that he was too necessary to you. Every day cures one of reliance on others; And we acquire a prodigious stock of experience, by the time that we shall cease to have occasion for any. Well! I am not clear but making or solving charades is as wise as any thing we can do. I should pardon professed philosophers if they would allow that their wisdom is only trifling, instead of calling their trifling wisdom. Adieu!
(578) Robert, eldest son of Robert Stewart, by Lady Sarah-Frances Seymour, second daughter of Francis, first Marquis of Hertford; afterwards so distinguished in the Political world as Viscount Castlereagh. In 1821, he succeeded his father as second Marquis of Londonderry, and died at his seat at North Cray, in August, 1822; at which time he was secretary of state for foreign affairs.-E.
Letter 305 To The Right Hon. Lady Craven.(579) Berkeley Square, Nov. 27, 1786. (page 387)
To my extreme surprise, Madam, when I knew not in what quarter of the known or unknown world you was resident or existent, my maid in Berkeley-square sent me to Strawberry-hill a note from your ladyship, offering to call on me for a moment,-for a whirlwind, I suppose, was waiting at your door to carry you to Japan; and, as balloons have not yet settled any post-offices in the air, you could not, at least did not, give me any direction where to address you, though you did kindly reproach me with my silence. I must enter into a little justification before I proceed. I heard from you from Venice, then from Poland, and then, having whisked through Tartary, from Petersburgh; but still with no directions. I said to myself, "I will write to Grand Cairo, which, probably, will be her next stage." Nor was I totally in the wrong, for there came a letter from Constantinople, with a design mentioned of going to the Greek islands, and orders to write to you at Vienna; but with no banker or other address specified.
For a great while I had even stronger reasons than these for silence. For several months I was disabled by the gout from holding a pen; and you must know, Madam, that one can't write when one cannot write. Then, how write to la Fianc'ee du Roi de Garbe? You had been in the tent of the Cham of Tartary, and in the harem of the Captain Pacha, and, during your navigation of the AEgean, were possibly fallen into the terrible power of a corsair. How could I suppose that so many despotic infidels would part with your charms? I never expected you again on Christian ground. I did not doubt your having a talisman to make people in love with you; but antitalismans are quite a new specific.
Well, while I was in this quandary, I received a delightful drawing Of the Castle of Otranto; but still provokingly without any address. However, my gratitude for so very agreeable. and obliging a present could not rest till I found you out. I wrote to the Duchess of Richmond, to beg, she would ask your brother Captain Berkeley for a direction to you; and he has this very day been so good as to send me one, and I do not lose a moment in making use of it.
I give your ladyship a million of thanks for the drawing, which was really a very valuable gift to me. I did not even know that there was a Castle of Otranto. When the story was finished, I looked into the map of the kingdom of Naples for a well-sounding name, and that of Otranto was very sonorous. Nay, but the drawing is so satisfactory, that there are two small windows, one over another, and looking into the country, that suit exactly to the small chambers from one of which Matilda heard the young peasant singing beneath her. Judge how welcome this must be to the author; and thence judge, Madam, how much you must have obliged him.
When you take another flight towards the bounds of the western ocean, remember to leave a direction. One cannot always shoot flying. Lord Chesterfield directed a letter to the late Lord Pembroke, who was always swimming, "To the Earl of Pembroke in the Thames, over against Whitehall." That was sure of finding him within a certain number of fathom; but your ladyship's longitude varies so rapidly, that one must be a good bowler indeed, to take one's ground so judiciously that by casting wide of the mark one may come in near to the jack.
(579) This celebrated lady was the daughter of Augustus, fourth Earl of Berkeley. In 1767, she was married to William, who, in 1769, succeeded his uncle as sixth Lord Craven: she had seven children by him; but, after a union of thirteen years, a separation taking place, she left England for France, and travelled in Italy, Austria, Poland, Russia, Turkey, and Greece. In 1789, she published her "Journey through the Crimea to England." Subsequently, she settled at Anspach, and, becoming a widow in September, 1791, was united in the following month to the Margrave of Anspach; who, having sold his principality to the King of Prussia, settled in England; where he died in 1806. In 1825, the Margravine published her Memoirs, She died at Naples in 1828-E.
Letter 306 To Miss Hannah More. Berkeley Square, Jan. 1, 1787. (page 388)
Do not imagine, dear Madam, that I pretend in the most distant manner to pay you for charming poetry with insipid prose; much less that I acquit a debt of gratitude for flattering kindness and friendship, by a meagre tale that does not even aim at celebrating you. No; I have but two motives for offering you the accompanying trifle;(580) the first, to prove that the moment I have finished any thing you are of the earliest in my thoughts: the second, that, Coming from my press, I wish it may be added to your Strawberry editions. It is so far from being designed for the public, that I have printed but forty copies; which I do not mention to raise its value, though it will with mere collectors, but lest you should lend it and lose it, when I may not be able to supply its place.
Christina, indeed, has some title to connexion with you, both from her learning and her moral writings; as you are justly entitled to a lodging in her "C it'e des Dames," where I am sure her three patronesses would place you, as a favourite 'el'eve of some of their still more amiable sisters, who must at this moment be condoling With their unfortunate sister Gratitude, whose vagabond foundling has so basely disgraced her and herself. You fancied that Mrs. Yearsley was a spurious issue of a muse; and to be sure, with all their immortal virginity, the parish of Parnassus has been sadly charged with their bantlings; and, as nobody knows the fathers, no wonder some of the misses have turned out woful reprobates!
(580) Christine de Pise.
Letter 307 To The Right Hon. Lady Craven. Berkeley Square, Jan. 2, 1787. (page 389)
Your ladyship tells me, that you have kept a journal of your travels: you know not when your friends at Paris will give you time to put it au net; that is, I conclude and hope, prepare it for the press. I do not wonder that those friends, whether talismanic or others, are so assiduous, if you indulge them - but, unless they are of the former description, they are unpardonable, if they know what they interrupt; and deserve much more that you should wish they had fallen into a ditch, than the poor gentlemen who sigh more to see you in sheets of holland than of paper. To me the mischief is enormous. How proud I should be to register a noble authoress of my own country, who has travelled over more regions and farther than any female in print! Your ladyship has visited those islands and shores whence formerly issued those travelling sages and legislators who sought and imported wisdom, laws, and religion into Greece; and though we are so perfect as to want none Of those commodities, the fame of those philosophers is certainly diminished when a fair lady has gone so far in quest of knowledge. You have gone in an age when travels are brought to a juster standard, by narrations being limited to truth. Formerly the performers of the longest voyages destroyed half the merit of their expeditions by relating, not what they had, but had not seen; a sort of communication that they might have imparted without stirring a foot from home. Such exaggerations drew discredit on travels, till people would not believe that there existed in other countries any thing very different from- what they saw in their own; and because no Patagonians, or gentry seven or eight feet high, were really discovered, they would not believe that there were Laplanders or pigmies of three and four. Incredulity went so far, that at last it Was doubted whether China so much as existed; and our countryman Sir John Mandeville(581) got an ill name, because, though he gave an account of it, he had not brought back its right name:(582) at least if I do not mistake, this was the case; but it is long since I read any thing about the matter, and I am willing to begin my travels again under your ladyship's auspices. I am sorry to hear, Madam, that by your account Lady Mary Wortley was not so accurate and faithful as modern travellers. The invaluable art of inoculation, which she brought from Constantinople, so dear to all admirers of beauty, and to which we owe, perhaps, the preservation of yours, stamps her an universal benefactress; and as you rival her in poetic talents, I had rather you would employ them to celebrate her for her nostrum, than detect her for romancing. However, genuine accounts of the interior of seraglios would be precious; and I was in hopes would become the greater rarities, as I flattered myself that your friends the Empress of Russia and the Emperor were determined to level Ottoman tyranny. His Imperial Majesty, who has demolished the prison bars of so many nunneries, would perform a stilt more Christian act in setting free so many useless sultanas; and her Czarish Majesty, I trust, would be as great a benefactress to our sex, by ,abolishing The barbarous practice that reduces us to be of none. Your ladyship's indefatigable peregrinations should have such great objects in view, when you have the ear of sovereigns.
Peter the Hermit conjured up the first crusadoes against the infidels by running about from monarch to monarch. Lady Craven should ,be as zealous and as renowned; and every fair Circassian would acknowledge, that one English lady had repaid their country for the secret which another had given to Europe from their practice.
(581) As an instance of the monstrous exaggerations of this ancient Munchausen, take the following:—"I am a liar if I have not seen in Java, a single shell in which three men might completely hide themselves, and all white!" He also states himself to have met with whole nations of giants, twenty-fie feet high; and of pigmies, as many inches.-E.
(582) In a conversation with Mr. Windham, Dr. Johnson, a few days before his death, recommended, for an account of China, Sir John Mandeville's Travels." See Boswell's Johnson, vol. ix. p. 317, ed. 1835.-E.
Letter 308 To Miss Hannah More. Berkeley Square, Feb. 8, 1787. (page 390)
Dear madam, I not only send you "La Cit'e des Dames," but Christina's Life of Charles the Fifth, which will entertain you more; and which, when I wrote my brief history of her, I did not know she had actually composed. Mr. Dutens told me of it very lately, and actually borrowed it for me; and but yesterday my French bookseller sent me three-and-twenty other volumes of those M'emoires Historiques,(583) which I had ordered him to get for me, and which will keep my eyes to the oar for some time, whenever I have leisure to sail through such an ocean; and yet I shall embark with pleasure, late as it is for me to undertake such a hugeous voyage: but a crew of old gossips are no improper company, and we shall sit in a warm cabin, and hear and tell old stories of past times.
Pray keep the volume as long as you please, and borrow as many more as you please, for each volume is a detached piece. Yet I do not suppose your friends will allow you much time for reading; and I hope I shall often be the better for their hindering you.(584) Yours most sincerely.
(583) "Collection des meilleurs Ouvrages Francais compos'es par des Femmes." by Mademoiselle Keralio.
(584) Miss More, in a letter written a few days after, says—"Mr. Walpole is remarkably well: yesterday he sent me a very agreeable letter, with some very thick volumes of curious French M'emoires, desiring me, if I like them, to send for the other twenty-three volumes; a pretty light undertaking, in this mad town and this sort of life." memoirs, vol. ii. p. 49.-E.
Letter 309 To The Rev. Henry Zouch.(585) Berkeley Square, March 13, 1787. (page 391)
It is very true, Sir, as Lord Strafford told you, that I have taken care that letters of living persons to me shall be restored to the writers when I die. I have burnt a great many, and, as you desire it, would do so by yours; but, having received a like intimation some time ago, I put yours into a separate paper, with a particular direction that they should be delivered to you: and, therefore, I imagine it will be more satisfaction to you, as it will be to me too, that you should receive them yourself; and therefore if you please to let me know how I shall convey them, I will bring them from Strawberry Hill, where they are, the first time I go thither. I hope you enjoy your health, and I have the honour to be, Sir, etc.
(585) Now first printed.
Letter 310 To Miss Hannah More.(596) Strawberry Hill, June 15, 1787. (page 391)
In your note, on going out of town, you desired me to remember you; but as I do not like the mere servile merit of obedience, I took time, my dear Madam, to try to forget you; and, having failed as to my wish, I have the free-born pleasure of thinking of you in spite of my teeth, and without any regard to your injunction. No queen upon earth, as fond as royal persons are of their prerogative, but would prefer being loved for herself rather than for her power; and I hope you have not more majesty
"Than the whole race of queens!"
Perhaps the spirit of your command did not mean that I should give you such manual proof of' my remembrance; and you may not know what to make of a subject who avows a mutinous spirit, and at the same time exceeds the measure of his duty. It is, I own, a kind of Irish loyalty; and, to keep up the Irish character, I will confess that I never was disposed to be so loyal to any sovereign that was not a subject. if you collect from all this galai-Datias that I am cordially your humble servant, I shall be content. The Irish have the best hearts in the three kingdoms, and they never blunder more than when they attempt to express their zeal and affection: the reason, I suppose, is, that cool sense never thinks of attempting impossibilities; but a warm heart feels itself ready to do more than is possible for those it loves. I am sure our poor friend in Clarges-street(597) would subscribe to this last sentence. What English heart ever excelled hers? I should have almost said equalled, if I were not writing to one that rivals her.
The last time I saw her before I left London, Miss Burney(598) passed the evening there, looking quite recovered and well, and so cheerful and agreeable, that the court seems only to have improved the ease of her manner, instead of stamping more reserve on it, as I feared: but what slight graces it can give, will not compensate to us and the world for the loss of her company and her writings. Not but that some young ladies who can write, can stifle their talent as much as if they were under lock and key in the royal library. I do not see but a cottage is as pernicious to genius as the Queen's waiting-room. Why should one remember people that forget themselves? Oh! I am sorry I used that expression, as it is commonly applied to such self-oblivion as Mrs. -; and light and darkness are not more opposite than the forgetfulness to which I alluded, and hers. The former forgetfulness can forget its own powers and the injuries of others; the latter can forget its own defects, and the obligations and services it has received. How poor is that language which has not distinct terms for modesty and virtue, and for excess of vanity and ingratitude! The Arabic tongue, I suppose, has specific words for all the shades of oblivion, which, you see, has its extremes. I think I have heard that there are some score of different terms for a lion in Arabic, each expressive of a different quality; and consequently its generosity and its appetite for blood are not confounded in one general word. but if an Arabian vocabulary were as numerous in proportion for all the qualities that can enter into a human composition, it would be more difficult to be learned therein, than to master all the characters of the Chinese.
You did me the honour of asking me for my "Castle of Otranto," for your library at Cowslip Green. May I, as a printer, rather than as an author, beg leave to furnish part of a shelf there? and as I must fetch some of the books from Strawberry Hill, will you wait till I can send them all together? And will you be so good as to tell me whither I shall send them, or how direct and convey them to you at Bristol? I shall have a satisfaction in thinking that they will remain in your rising cottage (in which, I hope, you will enjoy a long series of happy hours); and that they will sometimes, when they and I shall be forgotten in other places, recall to Miss More's memory her very sincere humble servant.
(596) Now first collected.
(597) In a letter to Walpole, written at this time from Cowslip Green, Miss More says, "When I sit in a little hermitage I have built in my garden,-not to be melancholy in, but to think upon my friends, and to read their works and letters,-Mr. Walpole seldomer presents himself to my mind as the man of wit than as the tender-hearted and humane friend of my dear infirm, broken-spirited Mrs. Vesey. One only admires talents, and admiration is a cold sentiment, with which affection has commonly nothing to do; but one does more than admire them when they are devoted to such gentle purposes. My very heart is softened when I consider that she is now out of the way of your kind attentions' and I fear that nothing else on earth gives her the smallest pleasure." Memoirs, VOL ii, p. 72-E.
(598) This highly-gifted young lady had, in the preceding year, been appointed keeper of the robes to the Queen.-E.
Letter 311 To The Hon. H. S. Conway. Strawberry Hill, June 17, 1787. (page 393)
I have very little to tell you since we met but disappointments, and those of no great consequence. On Friday night Lady Pembroke wrote to me that Princess Lubomirski was to dine with her the next day, and desired to come in the morning to see Strawberry. Well, my castle put on its robes, breakfast was prepared, and I shoved another company out of the house, who had a ticket for seeing it. The sun shone, my hay was cocked, we looked divinely; and at half an hour after two, nobody came but a servant to Lady Pembroke, to say her Polish altitude had sent her word she had another engagement in town that would keep her too late:-so Lady Pembroke's dinner was addled; and we had nothing to do, but, like good Christians, if we chose it, to compel every body on the road, whether they chose it or not, to come in and eat our soup and biscuits. Methinks this liberum veto was rather impertinent, and I begin to think that the partition of Poland was very right.
Your brother has sent me a card for a ball on Monday, but I have excused myself. I have not yet compassed the whole circuit of my own garden, and I have had an inflammation in one of my eyes, and don't think I look as well as my house and my verdure; and had rather see my haycocks, than the Duchess of Polignac and Madame Lubomirski. "The Way to Keep Him" had the way to get me, and I could crawl to it because I had an inclination; but I have a great command of myself when I have no mind to do any thing. Lady Constant was worth an hundred ars and irskis. Let me hear of you when you have nothing else to do; though I suppose you have as little to tell as you see I had.
Letter 312 To The Earl Of Strafford. Strawberry Hill, July 28, 1787. (page 394)
St. Swithun is no friend to correspondence, my dear lord. There is not only a great sameness in his own proceedings, but he makes every body else dull-I mean in the country, where one frets at its raining every day and all day. In town he is no more minded than the proclamation against vice and immorality. Still, though he has all the honours of the quarantine, I believe it often rained for forty days long before St. Swithun was born, if ever born he was; and the proverb was coined and put under his patronage, because people observed that it frequently does rain for forty days together at this season. I remember Lady Suffolk telling me, that Lord Dysart's great meadow had never been mowed but once in forty years without rain. I said, "All that that proved was, that rain was good for hay," as I am persuaded the climate of a country and its productions are suited to each other. Nay, rain is good for haymakers too, who get more employment the oftener the hay is made over again. I do not know who is the saint that presides over thunder; but he has made an unusual quantity in this chill summer, and done a great deal of serious mischief, though not a fiftieth part of what Lord George Gordon did seven years ago, and happily he is fled.
Our little part of the world has been quiet as usual. The Duke of Queensberry has given a sumptuous dinner to the Princess de Lamballe(599)—et voil'a tout. I never saw her, not even in France. I have no particular penchant for sterling princes and princesses, much less for those of French plate.
The only entertaining thing I can tell your lordship from our district is, that old Madam French, who lives close by the bridge at Hampton-court, where, between her and the Thames, she had nothing but one grass-plot of the width of her house, has paved that whole plot with black and white marble in diamonds, exactly like the floor of a church; and this curious metamorphosis of a garden into a pavement has cost her three hundred and forty pounds:-a tarpaulin she might have had for some shillings, which would have looked as well, and might easily have been removed. To be sure, this exploit, and Lord Dudley's obelisk below a hedge, with his canal at right angles with the Thames, and a sham bridge no broader than that of a violin, and parallel to the river, are not preferable to the monsters in clipt yews of our ancestors;
Bad taste expellas fursa tamen usque recurret.
On the contrary, Mrs. Walsingham is making her house at Ditton (now baptized Boyle-farm) very orthodox. Her daughter Miss Boyle(600) who has real genius, has carved three tablets in marble with buoys, designed by herself. Those sculptures are for a chimney-piece; and she is painting panels in grotesque for the library, with pilasters of glass in black and gold. Miss Crewe, who has taste too, has decorated a room for her mother's house at Richmond, which was Lady Margaret Compton's in a very pretty manner. How much more amiable the old women of the next age will be, than most of those we remember, who used to tumble at once from gallantry to devout scandal and cards! and revenge on the young of their own sex the desertion of ours. Now they are ingenious, they will not want amusement. Adieu, my dear lord!
(599) Sister to the Prince de Carignan, of the royal house of Sardinia, and wife of the Prince de Lamballe, only son to the Duc de Penthi'evre. She was sur-intendante de la maison de la Reine, and, from her attachment to Marie Antoinette, was one of the first females who fell a victim to the fury of the French revolution. The peculiar circumstances of horror which attended her death, and the indignities offered to her remains, are in the memory of every one who has read the accounts of that heart.rending event.-E.