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Letters of Horace Walpole, V4
by Horace Walpole
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(824) The marriage took place four days after the date of this letter.-E.



Letter 390 To The Miss Berrys. Strawberry Hill, Friday night late, Sept. 16, 1791. (page 519)

As I am constantly thinking of you two, I am as constantly writing to you, when I have a vacant quarter of an hour. Yesterday was red-lettered in the almanacks of Strawberry and Cliveden, Supposing you to set out towards them, as you intended; the sun shone all day, and the moon at night, and all nature, for three miles round, looked gay. Indeed, we have had nine or ten days of such warmth and serenity, (here called heat,) as I scarce remember when the year begins to have gray, or rather yellow hairs. All windows have been flung up again and fans ventilated; and it is true that hay-carts have been transporting haycocks, from a second crop, all the morning from Sir Francis Basset's island opposite to my windows. The setting sun and the long autumnal shades enriched the landscape to a Claude Lorrain. Guess whether I hoped to see such a scene next year: if I do not, may you! at least, it will make you talk of me! The gorgeous season' and poor partridges. I hear, have emptied London entirely, and yet Drury-lane is removed to the Opera-house. Do you know that Mrs. Jordan is acknowledged to be Mrs. Ford, and Miss Brunton(825) Mrs. Merry, but neither quits the stage? The latter's captain, I think, might quit his poetic profession, without any loss to the public. My gazettes will have kept you so much au courant, that you will be as ready for any conversation at your return, as if you had only been at a watering-place. In short, -a votre intention, and to make my letters as welcome as I can, I listen to and bring home a thousand things, which otherwise I should not know I heard.

Lord Buchan is screwing out a little ephemeral fame from instituting a jubilee for Thomson.(826) I fear I shall not make my court to Mr. Berry, by owning I would not give this last week's fine weather for all the four Seasons in blank verse. There is more nature in L'Allegro and Penseroso, than in all the laboured imitations Of Milton. What is there in Thomson of original?

Berkeley Square, Monday night, 19th.

You have alarmed me exceedingly, by talking of returning through France, against which I thought myself quite secure, or I should not have pressed you to stir, yet. I have been making all the inquiries I could amongst the foreign ministers at Richmond, and I cannot find any belief of' the march of armies towards France. Nay, the Comte d'Artois is said to be gone to PetersbUrgh; and he must bring back forces in a balloon, if he can be time enough to interrupt your passage through Flanders. One thing I must premise, if, which I deprecate, You should set foot in France; I beg you to burn, and not to bring a scrap of paper with you. Mere travelling ladies as young as you, I know have been stopped and rifled, and detained in France to have their papers examined; and one was rudely treated, because the name of a French lady of her acquaintance was mentioned in a private letter to her, though in no political light. Calais is one of the worst places you can pass; for, as they suspect money being remitted through that town to England, the search and delays there are extremely strict and rigorous. The pleasure of seeing you would be bought infinitely too dear by your meeting with any disturbance; as my impatience for your setting out is already severely punished by the fright you have given me. One charge I can wipe off; but it were the least of my faults. I never thought of your settling at Cliveden in November, if your house in town is free. All my wish was, that you would come for a night to Strawberry, and that the next day I might put you in possession of Cliveden. I did not think of engrossing you from all your friends, who must wish to embrace you at your return.

Tuesday.

I am told that on the King's acceptance of the constitution, there is a general amnesty published, and passports taken off. If this is true, the passage through France, for mere foreigners and strangers, may be easier and safer; but be assured, of all, I would not embarrass your journey unnecessarily; but, for Heaven's sake! be well informed. I advise nothing: I dread every thing where your safeties are in question, and I hope Mr. Berry is as timorous as I am. My very contradictions prove the anxiety of my mind, or I should not torment those I love so much; but how not love those who sacrifice so much for me, and who, I hope, forgive all my unreasonable inconsistencies. Adieu! adieu!

(825) An actress of considerable talent and personal attractions. Her sister, also a popular actress, was married, in 1807, to the Earl of Craven.-E.

(826) The jubilee took place on the 22d of September, at Ednam-hill. On crowning the first edition of "The Seasons" with a wreath of bays, Lord Buchan delivered an eulogy on the poet, containing the following singular passage:—"I think myself happy to have this day the honour of endeavouring to do honour to the memory of Thomson, which has been profanely touched by the rude hand of Samuel Johnson: whose fame and reputation indicate the decline of taste in a country that, after having produced an Alfred, a Wallace, a Bacon, a Napier, a Newton, a Buchanan, a Milton, a Hampden, a Fletcher, and a Thomson, can submit to be bullied by an overbearing pedant."-E.



Letter 391 To The Miss Berrys. Strawberry Hill, Sept. 25, 1791. (page 520)

How I love to see My numeros increase.(827) I trust they will not reach sixty! in short, I try every nostrum to make absence seem shorter; and yet, with all my conjuration, I doubt the next five or six weeks will, like the harvest-moon, appear of a greater magnitude than all the moons of the year, its predecessors. I wish its successor, the hunter's moon, could seem less in proportion; but, on the contrary! I hate travelling, and roads. and inns myself: while you are on your way, I shall fancy, like Don Quixote, that every inn is the castle of some necromancer, and every windmill a giant; and these will be my smallest terrors.

Whether this will meet or follow you, I know not. Yours of the 5th of this month arrived yesterday, but could not direct me beyond Basle. I must, then, remain still 11 in ignorance whether you will take the German or French route. It is now, I think, certain that there will no attempt against France be made this year. Still I trust that you will not decide till you are assured that you may come through France without trouble or molestation; and I still prefer Germany, though it will protract your absence.

I am sorry you were disappointed of going to Valombroso. Milton has made every body wish to have seen it; which is my wish, for though I was thirteen months at Florence (at twice ), I never did see it. In fact, I was so tired of seeing when I was abroad, that I have several of these pieces of repentance on my conscience, when they come into my head; and yet I saw too much for the quantity left such a confusion in my head, that I do not remember a quarter clearly. Pictures, statues, and buildings were always so much my passion, that, for the time, I surfeited myself; especially as one is carried to see a vast deal that is not worth seeing. They who are industrious and correct, and wish to forget nothing, should go to Greece, where there is nothing left to be seen, but that ugly pigeon-house, the Temple of the Winds, that fly-cage, Demosthenes's lanthorn, and one or two fragments of a portico, or a piece of a column crushed into a mud wall; and with such a morsel, and many quotations, a true classic antiquary can compose a whole folio, and call it Ionian Antiquities!(828) Such gentry do better still when they journey to Egypt to visit the pyramids, which are of a form which one think nobody could conceive without seeing, though their form is all that is to be seen; for it seems that even prints and measures do not help one to an idea of magnitude: indeed, the measures do not; for no two travellers have agreed on the measures. In that scientific country, too, you may guess that such or such a vanished city stood within five or ten miles of such a parcel of land; and when you have conjectured in vain, at what some rude birds, or rounds or squares, on a piece of an old stone may have signified, you may amuse your readers with an account of the rise of the Nile, some feats of the-Mamelukes, and finish your work with doleful tales of the robberies of the wild Arabs. One benefit does arise from travelling: it cures one of liking what is worth seeing especially if what you have seen is bigger than what you do see. Thus, Mr. Gilpin, having visited all the lakes, could find no beauty in Richmond-hill. If he would look through Mr. Herschell's telescope at the profusion of worlds, perhaps he would find out that Mount Atlas is an ant-hill; and that the sublime and beautiful may exist separately.

(827) Mr. Walpole numbered all the letters written by him to the Miss Berrys during their residence abroad.-E.

(828) The first volume of "Ionian Antiquities," in imperial folio edited by R. Chandler, N. Revett, and W. Pais, was published in 1769; a second, edited by the Society of Dilettanti, appeared in 1797.-E.



Letter 392 To The Hon. H. S. Conway. Strawberry Hill, Sept. 27, 1791. (page 522)

Your letter was most welcome, as yours always are; and I answer it immediately, though our post comes in so late that this will not go away till to-morrow. Nay, I write, though I shall see you on Sunday, and have not a tittle to tell you. I lead so insipid a life, that, though I am content with it, it can furnish me with nothing but repetitions. I scarce ever stir from home in a morning; and most evenings go and play at loto with the French at Richmond, where I am heartily tired of hearing of nothing but their absurd countrymen, -absurd, both democrates and aristocrates. Calonne sends them gross lies, that raise their hopes to the skies - and in two days they hear of nothing but horrors and disappointments; and the poor souls! they are in despair. I can say nothing to comfort them, but what I firmly believe, which is, total anarchy must come on rapidly. Nobody pays the taxes that are laid; and which, intended to produce eighty millions a month, do not bring in six. The new Assembly will fall on the old,(829) probably plunder the richest, and certainly disapprove of much they have done; for can eight hundred new ignorants approve of what has been done by twelve hundred almost as Ignorant, and who were far from half agreeing? And then their immortal constitution (which, besides, is to be mightily mended nine years hence) will die before it has cut any of its teeth but its grinders. The exiles are enraged at their poor King for saving his own life by a forced acceptance:(830) and yet I know no obligation he has to his noblesse, who all ran away to save their own lives; not a gentleman, but the two poor gendarmes at Versailles, having lost their lives in his defence. I suppose La Fayette, Barnave,(831) the Lameths, etc. will run away too,(832) when the new tinkers and cobblers, of whom the present elect are and will be composed, proceed on the levelling system taught them by their predecessors, who., like other levellers, have taken good care of themselves, Good Dr. Priestley's friend, good Monsieur Condorcet, has got a place in the treasury of one thousand pounds a year:-ex uno disce omnes! And thus a set of rascals, who might, with temper and discretion, have obtained a very wholesome Constitution, Witness Poland! have committed infinite mischief, infinite cruelty, infinite injustice, and left a shocking precedent against liberty, unless the Poles are as much admired and imitated as the French ought to be detested. I do not believe the Emperor will stir yet; he, or his ministers, must see that it is the interest of Germany to let France destroy itself. His interference yet might unite and consolidate, at least check further confusion and though I rather think that twenty thousand men might march from one end of France to the other, as, though the officers often rallied, French soldiers never were stout; yet, having no officers, no discipline, no subordination, little resistance might be expected. Yet the enthusiasm that has been spread might turn into courage. Still it were better for Caesar to wait. Quarrels amongst themselves will dissipate enthusiasm; and, if they have no foreign enemy, they will soon have spirit enough to turn their swords against one another, and what enthusiasm remains will soon be converted into the inveteracy of faction. This is speculation, not prophecy; I do not pretend to guess what will happen: I do think I know what will not; I mean, the system of experiments that they call a constitution cannot last. Marvellous indeed would it be, if a set of military noble lads, pedantic academicians, curates of villages, and country advocates, could in two years, amidst the utmost confusion and altercation amongst themselves, dictated to or thwarted by obstinate clubs of various factions, have achieved what the wisdom of all ages and all nations has never been able to compose—a system of government that would set four-and-twenty millions of people free, and contain them within any bounds! This, too, without one great man amongst them. If they had had, as Mirabeau seemed to promise to be, but as we know that he was, too, a consummate villain, there would soon have been an end of their vision of liberty. And so there will be still, unless, after a civil war, they split into small kingdoms or commonwealths. A little nation may be free; for it can be upon its guard. Millions cannot be so; because, the greater number of men that are one people, the more vices, the more abuses there are, that will either require or furnish pretexts for restraints; and if vices are the mother of laws, the execution of laws is the father of power:-and of such parents one knows the progeny.

(829) The Constitutional Assembly closed its sittings on the 30th of September; having, during the three years of its existence, enacted thirteen hundred laws and decrees, relative to legislation, or to the general administration of the state. The first sitting of the, Legislative Assembly took place on the following day.-E.

(830) The King, on the 14th Of September, had accepted the new constitution, and sworn to maintain it.-E.

(831) For expressing his opinion, that the new constitution inclined too much to a democracy, Barnave, after fifteen months, imprisonment at Grenoble was tried before the revolutionary tribunal, condemned to death, and guillotined on the 29th of November 1793.-E.

(832) The two Lameths, Charles and Alexander, fled the country, The latter, having fallen into the hands of the Austrians with La Fayette, shared his captivity, till December 1795.-E.



Letter 393 To Miss Hannah More. Berkeley Square, Sept, 29, 1791. (page 523)

My dear madam, I have been very sorry, but not at all angry, at not hearing from you so long. With all your friendly and benevolent heart, I know by experience how little you love writing to your friends; and I know why: you think you lose moments which you could employ in doing more substantial good; and that your letters only pamper our minds, but do not feed or clothe our bodies; if they did, you would coin as much paper as the French do in assignats. Do not imagine now that you have committed a wicked thing by writing to me at last: comfort yourself, that your conscience, not temptation, forced you to write; and be assured, I am as grateful as if you had written from choice, not from duty, as your constant spiritual director.

I have been out of order the whole summer, but not very ill for above a fortnight. I caught a painful rheumatism by, going into a very crowded church on a rainy day, where all the windows were open, to hear our friend the Bishop of London preach a charity sermon here at Twickenham. My gout would not resign to a new incumbent, but came too; and both together have so lamed my right arm, though I am now using it, that I cannot yet extend it entirely, nor lift it to the top of my head. However, I am free from pain; and as Providence, though it supplied us originally with so many bounties, took care we might shift with succedaneums on the loss of several of them, I am content with what remains of my stock; and since all my fingers are not useless, and that I have not six hairs left, I am not much grieved at not being able to comb my head. Nay, should not such a shadow as I have ever been, be thankful, that at the eve of seventy-five I am not yet passed away?

I am so little out of charity with the Bishop for having been the innocent cause of the death of my shoulder, that I am heartily concerned for him and her on Mrs. Porteus's accident.(833) It may have marbled her complexion, but I am persuaded has not altered her lively, amiable, good-humoured countenance. As I know not where to direct to them, and as you cannot suppose it a sin for a sheep to write to its pastor on a week-day, I wish you would mark the interest I take in their accident and escape from worse mischief.

I thank you most cordially for your inquiry after my wives. I am in the utmost perplexity Of mind about them; torn between hopes and fears. I believe them set out from Florence on their return since yesterday se'nnight, and consequently feel all the joy and impatience of expecting them in five or six weeks: but then, besides fears of roads, bad inns, accidents, heats and colds, and the sea to cross in November at last, all my satisfaction is dashed by the uncertainty whether they Come through Germany or France. I have advised, begged, implored, that it may not be through those Iroquois, Lestryons, Anthropophagi, the Franks; and then, hearing passports were abolished, and the roads more secure, I half Consented, as they wished it, and the road is much shorter; and then I repented, and have contradicted myself again. And now I know not which route they wilt take: nor shall enjoy any comfort from the thoughts of their return, till they are returned safe.

'Tis well I am doubly guaranteed, or who knows, as I am as old almost as both her husbands together, but Mrs. B— might have cast a longing eye towards me? How I laughed at hearing of her throwing a second muckender to a Methusalem! a red-faced veteran, with a portly hillock of flesh. I conclude all her grandfathers are dead; or, as there is no prohibition in the table of consanguinity against male ancestors, she would certainly have stepped back towards the Deluge, and ransacked her pedigrees on both sides for some kinsman of the patriarchs. I could titter a plusieurs reprises; but I am too old to be improper, and you are too modest to be impropered to: and so I will drop the subject at the herald's office.

I am happy at and honour Miss Burney's resolution in casting away golden, or rather gilt chains: others, out of vanity, would have worn them till they had eaten into the bone. On that charming young woman's chapter I agree with you perfectly; not a jot on Deborah * * * * whom you admire: i have neither read her verses, nor will. As I have not your aspen conscience, I cannot forgive the heart of a woman that is party per pale blood and tenderness, that curses our clergy and feels for negroes. Can I forget the 14th of July, when they all contributed their fagot to the fires that her presbytyrants (as Lord Melcombe called them) tried to light in every Smithfield in the island; and which, as Price and Priestley applauded in France, it would be folly to suppose they did not only wish, but meant to kindle here ? Were they ignorant of the atrocious barbarities, injustice, and violation of oaths committed in France? Did Priestley not know that the clergy there had no option but between starving and perjury? And what does he think of the poor man executed at Birmingham, who declared at his death, he had been provoked by the infamous handbill? I know not who wrote it. No, my good friend: Deborah may cant rhymes of compassion, but she is a hypocrite; and you shall not make me read her, nor, with all your sympathy and candour, can you esteem her. Your compassion for the poor blacks is genuine, sincere from your soul, most amiable; hers, a measure of faction. Her party supported the abolition, and regretted the disappointment as a blow to the good cause. I know this. Do not let your piety lead you into the weakness of respecting the bad, only because they hoist the flag of religion, while they carry a stiletto in the flagstaff. Did not they, previous to the 14th of July, endeavour to corrupt the guards? What would have ensued, had they succeeded, you must tremble to think!

You tell me nothing of your own health. May I flatter myself it is good? I wish 1 knew so authentically! and I wish I could guess when I should see you, without your being staked to the fogs of the Thames at Christmas; I cannot desire that. Adieu, my very valuable friend! I am, though unworthy, yours most cordially.

(833) An overturn in a carriage.



Letter 394 To Miss Berry. Strawberry Hill, Oct. 9, 1791. (page 526)

It will be a year to-morrow since you set out: next morning came the storm that gave me such a panic for you! In March happened your fall, and the wound on your nose; and in July your fever. For sweet Agnes I have happily had no separate alarm: yet I have still a month of apprehension to come for both! All this mass of vexation and fears is to be compensated by the transport at your return, and by the complete satisfaction on your installation at Cliveden. But could I believe, that when my clock had struck seventy-four, I could pass a year in such agitation! It may he taken for dotage; and I have for some time expected to be superannuated: but, though I task myself severely, I do not find my intellects impaired; though I may be a bad judge myself, You may, perhaps, perceive it by my letters; and don't imagine I am laying a snare for flattery. No! I am only jealous about myself, that you two may have created such an attachment, without owing it to my weakness. Nay, I have some colt's limbs left, which I as little suspected as my anxieties.

I went with General Conway, on Wednesday morning, from Park-place to visit one of my antediluvian passions,—not a Statira or Roxana, but one pre-existent to myself,—one Windsor Castle; and I was so delightful and so juvenile, that, without attending to any thing but my eyes, I stood full two hours and a half, and found that half my lameness consists in my indolence. Two Berrys, a Gothic chapel, and an historic castle, are anodynes to a torpid mind. I now fancy that old age was invented by the lazy. St. George's Chapel, that I always worshipped, though so dark and black that I could see nothing distinctly, is now being cleaned and decorated, a scene of' lightness and graces. Mr. Conway was so struck with its Gothic beauties and taste, that he owned the Grecian style would not admit half the variety of its imagination. There is a new screen prefixed to the choir, so airy and harmonious, that I concluded it Wyat's; but it is by a Windsor architect, whose name I forget. Jarvis's window, over the altar, after West, is rather too sombre for the Resurrection, though it accords with the tone of the choirs; but the Christ is a poor figure, scrambling to heaven in a fright, as if in dread of being again buried alive. and not ascending calmly in secure dignity: and there is a Judass below, T so gigantic, that he seems more likely to burst by his bulk, than through guilt. In the midst of all this solemnity, in a small angle over the lower stalls, is crammed a small bas-relief, in oak, with the story of Margaret Nicholson, the King, and the Coachman, as ridiculously added and as clumsily executed as if it were a monkish miracle. Some loyal zealot has broken away the blade of the knife, as if the sacred wooden personage would have been in danger still. The Castle itself is smugged up, is better glazed, has got some new Stools, clocks, and looking-glasses, much embroidery in silk, and a gaudy, clumsy throne, with a medallion at top of the King's and Queen's heads, over their own—an odd kind of tautology, whenever they sit there! There are several tawdry pictures, by West, of the history of the Garter; but the figures are too small for that majestic place. However, upon the whole, I was glad to see Windsor a little revived.

I had written thus far, waiting for a letter, and happily receive Your two from Bologna together; for which I give you a million of thanks, and for the repairs of your coach, which I trust will contribute to your safety: but I will swallow my apprehensions, for I doubt I have tormented you with them. Yet do not wonder, that after a year's absence, my affection, instead of waning, is increased. Can I help feeling the infinite obligation I have to you both, for quitting Italy that you love, to humour Methusalem?—a Methusalem that is neither king nor priest, to reward and bless you; and whom you condescend to please, because he wishes to see you once more; though he ought to have sacrificed a momentary glimpse to your far more durable satisfaction. Instead of generosity, I have teased, and I fear, wearied you, with lamentations and disquiets; and how can I make you amends? What pleasure, what benefit, can I procure for you in return? The most disinterested generosity, such as yours is, gratifies noble minds; but how paltry am I to hope that the reflections of your own minds will compensate for all the amusements you give up to

"Make languor smile, and smooth the bed of death!"

I may boast of having no foolish weakness for your persons, as I certainly have not; but

"The soul's dark cottage, batter'd and decay'd, Lets in new selfishness through chinks that time has made."

And I have been as avaricious of hoarding a few moments of agreeable society, as if I had coveted a few more trumpery guineas in my strong-box! and then I have the assurance to tell you I am not superannuated! Oh! but I am!

The Bolognese school is my favourite, though I do not like Guercino, whom I call the German Guido, he is so heavy and dark. I do not, like your friend, venerate Constantinopolitan paintings, which are scarce preferable to Indian. The characters of the Italian comedy were certainly adopted even from the persons of its several districts and dialects. Pantaloon is a Venetian, even in his countenance; and I once saw a gentleman of Bergamo, whose face was an exact Harlequin's mask.

I have scarce a penfull of news for you; the world is at Weymouth or Newmarket. En attendent, voici, the Gunnings again! The old gouty General has carried off his tailor's wife; or rather, she him, whither, I know not. Probably, not far; for the next day the General was arrested for three thousand pounds, and carried to a spunginghouse, whence he sent cupid with a link to a friend, to beg help and a crutch. This amazing folly is generally believed; perhaps because the folly of that race is amazing—so is their whole story. The two beautiful sisters Were going on the stage, when they are at once exalted almost as high as they could be, were countessed and double-duchessed; and now the rest of the family have dragged themselves through all the kennels of the newspapers! Adieu! forgive all my pouts. I will be perfectly good-humoured when I have nothing to vex me!



Letter 395 To John Pinkerton, Esq.(834) Berkeley Square, Dec. 26, 1791. (page 528)

As I am sure of the sincerity of your congratulations,(835 I feel much obliged by them, though what has happened destroys my tranquillity; and, if what the world reckons advantages could compensate the loss of peace and ease, would ill indemnify me, even by them. A small estate, loaded with debt, and of which I do not understand the management, and am too old to learn; a source of lawsuits among my near relations, though not affecting me; endless conversations with lawyers, and packets of letters to read every day and answer,—all this weight of new business is too much for the rag of life that yet hangs about me, and was preceded by three weeks of anxiety about my unfortunate nephew, and daily correspondence with physicians and mad-doctors, falling upon me when I had been out of order ever since July. Such a mass of troubles made me very seriously ill for some days, and has left me and still keeps me so weak and dispirited, that, if I shall not soon be able to get some repose, my poor head or body will not be able to resist. For the empty title, I trust you do not suppose it is any thing but an incumbrance, by larding my busy mornings with idle visits of interruption, and which, when I am able to go out, I shall be forced to return. Surely no man of seventy-four, unless superannuated, can have the smallest pleasure in sitting at home in his own room, as I almost always do, and being called by a new name! It will seem personal, and ungrateful too, to have said so much about my own triste situation, and not to have yet thanked you, Sir. for your kind and flattering offer of letting me read what you have finished of your history; but it was necessary to expose my position to you, before I could venture to accept your proposal, when I am so utterly incapable of giving a quarter of an hour at a time to what I know, by my acquaintance with your works, will demand all my attention, if I wish to reap the pleasure they are formed to give me. It is most true that for these seven weeks I have not read seven pages, but letters, states of account, cases to be laid before lawyers, accounts of farms, etc. etc., and those subject to mortgages. Thus are my mornings occupied: in an evening my relations and a very few friends come to me; and, when they are gone, I have about an hour to midnight to write answers to letters for the next day's post, which I had not time to do in the morning. This is actually my case now. I happened to be quitted at ten o'clock, and would not lose the opportunity of thanking you, not knowing when I could command another hour.

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

(834) Now first collected.

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



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

My much-esteemed friend, I have not so long delayed answering your letter from the pitiful revenge of recollecting how long your pen is fetching breath before it replies to mine. Oh! no; you know I love to heap coals of kindness on your head, and to draw you into little sins, that you may forgive yourself, by knowing your time was employed on big virtues. On the contrary, you would be revenged; for here have you, according to your notions, inveigled me into the fracture of a commandment; for I am writing to you on a Sunday, being the first moment of leisure that I have had since I received your letter. It does not indeed clash with my religious ideas, as I hold paying one's debts as good a deed, as praying and reading sermons for a whole day in every week, when it is impossible to fix the attention to one course of thinking for so many hours for fifty-two days in every year. Thus you see I can preach too. But seriously, and indeed I am little disposed to cheerfulness now, I am overwhelmed with troubles, and with business—and business that I do not understand; law, and the management of a ruined estate, are subjects ill-suited to a head that never studied any thing that in worldly language is called useful. The tranquillity of my remnant of life will be lost, or so perpetually interrupted, that I expect little comfort; not that I am already intending to grow rich, but, the moment one is supposed so, there are so many alert to turn one to their own account, that I have more letters to Write, to satisfy, or rather to dissatisfy them, than about my own affairs, though the latter are all confusion. I have such missives on agriculture, pretensions to livings, offers of taking care of my game as I am incapable of it, self-recommendations of making my robes, and round hints of taking out my writ, that at least I may name a proxy, and give my dormant conscience to somebody or other! I trust you think better of my heart and understanding than to suppose that I have listened to any one of these new friends. Yet, though I have negatived all, I have been forced to answer some of them before you; and that will convince you how cruelly ill I have passed my time lately, besides having been made ill with vexation and fatigue. But I am tolerably well again.

For the other empty metamorphosis that has happened to the outward man, you do me justice in concluding that it can do nothing but tease me; it is being called names in one's old age. I had rather be my lord mayor, for then I should keep the nickname but a year; and mine I may retain a little longer, not that at seventy-five I reckon on becoming my Lord Methusalem. Vainer, however, I believe I am already become; for I have wasted almost two pages about myself, and said not a tittle about your health, which I most cordially rejoice to hear you are recovering, and as fervently hope you will entirely recover. I have the highest opinion of the element of water as a constant beverage; having so deep a conviction of the goodness and wisdom of Providence, that I am persuaded that when it indulged us in such a luxurious variety of eatables, and gave us but one drinkable, it intended that our sole liquid should be both wholesome and corrective. Your system I know is different; you hold that mutton and water were the Only cock and hen that were designed for our nourishment; but I am apt to doubt whether draughts of water for six weeks are capable of restoring health, though some are strongly impregnated with mineral and other particles. Yet you have staggered me: the Bath water by your account is, like electricity, compounded of contradictory qualities; the one attracts and repels; the other turns a shilling yellow, and whitens your jaundice. I shall hope to see you (when is that to be?) without alloy.

I must finish, wishing you three hundred and thirteen days of happiness for the new year that is arrived this morning: the fifty-two that you hold in commendam, I have no doubt will be rewarded as such good intentions deserve. Adieu, my too good friend! My direction shall talk superciliously to the postman;(836) but do let me continue unchangeably your faithful and sincere HORACE WALPOLE.(837)

(836) He means franking his letter by his newly-acquired title of Earl of Orford.

(837) This is the last letter signed Horace Walpole.-E.



Letter 397 To Thomas Barrett, Esq. Berkeley Square, May 14, 1792. (PAGE 530)

Dear Sir, Though my poor fingers do not yet write easily, I cannot help inquiring if Mabeuse(838) is arrived safely at Lee, and fits his destined stall in the library. My amendment is far slower, comme de raison, than ever; and my weakness much greater. Another fit, I doubt, will confine me to my chair, if it does not do more; it is not worth haggling about that.

Dr. Darwin has appeared, superior in some respects to the former part. The Triumph of Flora, beginning at the fifty-ninth line, is most beautifully and enchantingly imagined; and the twelve verses that by miracle describe and comprehend the creation of the universe out of chaos, are in my opinion the most sublime passage in any author, or in any of the few languages with which I am acquainted. There are a thousand other verses most charming, or indeed are all so, crowded with most poetic imagery, gorgeous epithets and style: and yet these four cantos do not please me equally with the Loves of the Plants. This seems to me almost as much a rhapsody of unconnected parts; and is so deep, that I cannot read six lines together, and know what they are about, till I have studied them in the long notes, and then perhaps do not comprehend them; but all this is my fault, not Dr. Darwin's. Is he to blame, that I am no natural philosopher, no chemist, no metaphysician? One misfortune will attend this glorious work; it will be little read but by those who have no taste for poetry and who will be weighing, and criticising his positions, without feeling the imagination, harmony, and expression of the versification. Is not it extraordinary, dear Sir, that two of our very best poets, Garth and Darwin, should have been physicians? I believe they have left all the lawyers wrangling at the turnpike of Parnassus. Adieu, dear Sir! Yours most cordially.

(838) A capital picture by that master, then lately purchased by Mr. Barrett.-E.



Letter 398 To Miss Hannah More.(839) Strawberry Hill, Aug. 21, 1792. (PAGE 531)

My dear Saint Hannah, I have frequently been going to write to you, but checked myself. You are so good and so bad, that I feared I should interrupt some act of benevolence on one side; and on the other that you would not answer my letter in three months. I am glad to find, as an Irishman would say, that the way to make you answer is not to speak first. But, ah! i am a brute to upbraid any moment of your silence, though I regretted it when I hear that your kind intentions have been prevented by frequent cruel pain! and that even your rigid abstemiousness does not remove your complaints. Your heart is always aching for others, and your head for yourself. Yet the latter never hinders the activity of the former. What must your tenderness not feel now, when a whole nation of monsters is burst forth? The second massacre of Paris has exhibited horrors that even surpass the former.(840) Even the Queen's women were butchered in the Thuilleries, and the tigers chopped of the heads from the dead bodies, and tossed them into the flames of the palace. The tortures of the poor King and Queen, from the length of"their duration, surpass all example; and the brutal insolence with which they were treated on the 10th, all invention. They were dragged through the Place Vendome to see the statue of Louis the Fourteenth in fragments, and told it was to be the King's fate; and he, the most harmless of men, was told he is a monster; and this, after three years of sufferings. King and Queen, and children were shut up in a room, without nourishment, for twelve hours. One who was a witness has come over, and says he found the Queen sitting on the floor, trembling like an aspen in every limb, and her sweet boy the Dauphin asleep against her knee! She has not one woman to attend her that ever she saw, but a companion of her misery, the King's sister, an heroic virgin saint, who, on the former irruption into the palace, flew to and clung to her brother, and being mistaken for the Queen, and the hellish fiends wishing to murder her, and somebody aiming to undeceive them, she said, "Ah! ne les d'etrompez pas!"(841) Was not that sentence the sublime of innocence? But why do I wound your thrilling nerves with the relation of such horrible scenes? Your blackmanity(842) must allow some of its tears to these poor victims. For my part, I have an abhorrence of politics, if one can so term these tragedies, which make one harbour sentiments one naturally abhors; but can one refrain without difficulty from exclaiming such wretches should be exterminated? They have butchered hecatombs of Swiss, even to porters in private houses, because they often are, and always are called, Le Suisse. Think on fifteen hundred persons, probably more, butchered on the 10th,(843) in the space of eight hours. Think on premiums voted for the assassination of several princes, and do not think that such execrable proceedings have been confined to Paris; no, Avignon, Marseilles, etc. are still smoking with blood! Scarce the Alecto of the North, the legislatress and the usurper of Poland, has occasioned the spilling of larger torrents!

I am almost sorry that your letter arrived at this crisis; I cannot help venting a little of what haunts me. But it is better to thank Providence for the tranquillity and happiness we enjoy in this country, in spite of the philosophizing serpents we have in our bosom, the Paines, the Tookes, and the Woolstoncrofts. I am glad you have not read the tract of the last-mentioned writer. I would not look at it, though assured it contains neither metaphysics nor politics; but as she entered the lists on the latter, and borrowed her title from the demon's book, which aimed at spreading the wrongs of men, she is excommunicated from the pale of my library. We have had enough of new systems, and the world a great deal too much, already.

Let us descend to private life. Your friend Mrs. Boscawen, I fear, is unhappy: she has lost most suddenly her son-in-law, Admiral Leveson. Mrs. Garrick I have scarcely seen this whole summer. She is a liberal Pomona to me—I will not say an Eve; for though she reaches fruit to me, she will never let Me in, as if I were a boy, and would rob her orchard.

As you interest yourself about a certain trumpery old person, I with infinite gratitude will add a line on him. He is very tolerably well, weak enough certainly, yet willing to be contented; he is satisfied with knowing that he is at his best. Nobody grows stronger at seventy-five, nor recovers the use of limbs half lost; nor-though neither deaf nor blind, nor in the latter most material point at all impaired; nor, as far as he can find on strictly watching himself, much damaged as to common uses in his intellects—does the gentleman expect to avoid additional decays, if his life shall be further protracted. He has been too fortunate not to be most thankful for the past, and most submissive for what is to come, be it more or less. He forgot to say, that the warmth of his heart towards those he loves and esteems has not suffered the least diminution, and consequently he is as fervently as ever Saint Hannah's most sincere friend and humble servant, ORFORD.

(839) Now first collected.

(840) From the 2d to the 6th of September, these internal atrocities proceeded uninterrupted, protracted by the actors for the sake of the daily pay of a Louis to each. M. Thiers states, that Billaud Varennes appeared publicly among the assassins, and encouraged what were called the labourers. "My friends," said he, "by taking the lives of villains you have saved the country. France owes you eternal gratitude, and the municipality offers you twenty livres apiece, and you shall be paid immediately." All the reports of the time differ in their estimate of the number of the victims. "That estimate," says M. Thiers, varies from six to twelve thousand in the prisons of France." Vol. ii. p. 45.-E.

(841) This fact is confirmed by M. Thiers. "During the irruption of the populace into the Thuilleries, on the 20th of June, Madame Elizabeth," he says, "followed the King from window to window, to share his danger. The people, when they saw her, took her for the Queen. Shouts of 'There's the Austrian!' were raised in an alarming manner. The national grenadiers, who had surrounded the Princess, endeavoured to set the people right. 'Leave them,' said that generous sister, 'leave them in their error, and save the Queen!' Vol. i. p. 306.-E.

(842) An allusion to the lively interest Miss More was taking in the abolition of the slave trade.-E.

(843) At the storming of the Thuilleries. "The Marseillais," says M. Thiers, "made themselves masters of the palace: the rabble, with pikes, poured in after them, and the rest of the scene was soon but one general massacre; the unfortunate Swiss in vain begged for quarter, at the Same time throwing down their arms; they were butchered without mercy." Vol. i. P. 380.-E.



Letter 399 To The Hon. H. S. Conway. Strawberry Hill, August 31, 1792. (PAGE 533)

Your long letter and my short one crossed one another upon the road. I knew I was in your debt; but I had nothing to say but what you know better than I; for you read all the French papers, and I read none, as they have long put me out of all patience: and besides, I hear so much of their horrific proceedings, that they quite disturb me, and have given me what I call the French disease; that is, a barbarity that I abhor, for I cannot help wishing destruction to thousands of human creatures whom I never saw. But when men have worked themselves up into tigers and hyenas, and labour to communicate their appetite for blood, what signifies whether they walk on two legs or four, or whether they dwell in cities, or in forests and dens? Nay, the latter are the more harmless wild beasts; for they only cranch a poor traveller now and then, and when they are famished with hunger: the others, though they have dined, cut the throats of some hundreds of poor Swiss for an afternoon's luncheon. Oh! the execrable nation! I cannot tell you any new particulars, for Mesdames de Cambis and d'Hennin, my chief informers, are gone to Goodwood to the poor Duchesse de Biron, of whose recovery I am impatient to hear; and so I am of the cause of her very precipitate flight and panic. She must, I think, have had strong motives; for two years ago I feared she was much too courageous, and displayed her intrepidity too publicly. If I did not always condemn the calling bad people mad people, I should say all Paris had gone distracted: they furnish provocation to every species of retaliation, by publishing rewards for assassination of Kings and generals, and cannot rest without incensing all Europe against them.

The Duchess of York gave a great entertainment at Oatlands on her Duke's birthday; sent to his tradesmen in town to come to it, and allowed two guineas apiece to each for their carriage; gave them a dance, and opened the ball herself with the Prince of Wales. A company of strollers came to Weybridge to act in a barn: she was solicited to go to it, and did out of charity, and carried all her servants. Next day a Methodist teacher came to preach a charity sermon in the same theatre, and she Consented to hear it on the same motive; but her servants desired to be excused, on not understanding English. "Oh!" said the Duchess, "but you went to the comedy, which you understood less, and you shall go to the sermon;" to which she gave handsomely, and for them. I like this.

Tack this to my other fragment, and then, I trust, I shall not be a defaulter in correspondence. I own I am become an indolent poor creature: but is that strange? With seventy-five years over my head, or on the point of being so; with a chalk-stone in every finger; with feet so limping, that I have been but twice this whole summer round my own small garden, and so much weaker than I was, can I be very comfortable, but when sitting quiet and doing nothing? All my strength consists in my sleep, which is as vigorous as at twenty: but with regard to letter-writing, I have so many to write on business which I do not understand, since the unfortunate death of my nephew, that, though I make them as brief as possible, half-a-dozen short ones tire me as much as a long One to an old friend; and as the busy ones must be executed, I trespass on the others, and remit them to another day. Norfolk has come very mal-apropos into the end of my life, and certainly never entered into my views and plans; and I, who could never learn the multiplication table, was not intended to transact leases.. direct repairs of farm-houses, settle fines for church lands, negotiate for lowering interest on mortgages, etc. In short, as I was told formerly, though I know several things, I never understood any thing useful. Apropos, the letter of which Lady Cecilia Johnstone told you is not at all worth your seeing. It was an angry one to a parson who oppresses my tenants, and will go to law with them about tythes. She came in as I was writing it; and as I took up the character of parson myself, and preached to him as pastor of a flock which it did not become him to lead into the paths of law, instead of those of peace, I thought it would divert and showed it to her. Adieu! I have been writing to you till midnight, and my poor fingers ache. Yours ever.



Letter 400 To Miss Hannah More. Berkeley Square, Feb. 9, 1793. (PAGE 535)

My holy Hannah, WITH your innate and usual goodness and sense, you have done me justice by guessing exactly at the cause of my long silence. You have been apt to tell me that my letters diverted you. How then could I write, when it was impossible but to attrist you! when I could speak of nothing but unparalleled horrors! and but awaken your sensibility, if it slumbered for a moment! What mind could forget the 10th of August and the 2d of September; and that the black and bloody year 1792 has plunged its murderous dagger still deeper, and already made 1793 still more detestably memorable! though its victim(844) has at last been rewarded for four years of torture by forcing from him every kind of proof of the most perfect character that ever sat on a throne. Were these, alas! themes for letters? Nay, am I not sure that you have been still more shocked by a crime that passes even the guilt of shedding the blood of poor Louis, to hear of atheism avowed, and the avowal tolerated by monsters calling themselves a National Assembly! But I have no words that can reach the criminality of such inferno-human beings, but must compose a term that aims at conveying my idea of them. For the future it will be sufficient to call them the French; I hope no other nation will ever deserve to be confounded with them!

Indeed, my dear friend, I have another reason for wishing to burn my pen entirely: all my ideas are confounded and overturned; I do not know whether all I ever learned in the seventy first years of my seventy-five was not wrong and false: common sense, reasoning, calculation, conjecture from analogy and from history of past events, all, all have been baffled; nor am I sure that what used to be thought the result of experience and wisdom was not a mass of mistakes. Have I not found, do I not find, that the invention of establishing metals as the signs of property was an useless discovery, or at least only useful till the art of making paper was found out? Nay, the latter is preferable to gold and silver. If the ores were adulterated and cried down, nobody would take them in exchange. Depreciate paper as much as you will, and it will still serve all the purposes of barter. Tradesmen still keep shops, stock them with goods, and deliver their commodities for those coined rags. Poor Reason, where art thou?

To show you that memory and argument are Of no value, at least with me, I thought a year or two that this papermint would soon blow UP, because I remembered that when Mr. Charles Fox and one or two more youths of brilliant genius first came to light, and into vast debts at play, they imparted to the world an important secret which they had discovered. It was, that nobody needed to want money, if they would pay enough for it. Accordingly, they borrowed of Jews at vast usury: but as they had made but an incomplete calculation, the interest so soon exceeded the principal, that the system did not maintain its ground for above two or three years. Faro has proved a more substantial speculation. But I miscarried in applying my remembrance to the assignats, which still maintain their ground against that long-decried but as long-adored corrupter of virtue, gold.(845) Alack! I do not hear that virtue has flourished more for the destruction of its old enemy!

Shall I add another truth? I have been so disgusted and fatigued by hearing of nothing but French massacres, etc. and found it so impossible to shift conversation to any other topic, that before I had been a month in town, I wished Miss Gunning would revive, that people might have at least one other subject to interest the ears and tongues of the public. But no wonder universal attention is engrossed by the present portentous scene! It seems to draw to a question, whether Europe or France is to be depopulated; whether civilization can be recovered, or the republic of Chaos can be supported by assassination. We have heard of the golden, silver, and iron ages; the brazen one existed while the French were only predominantly insolent. What the present age will be denominated, I cannot guess'. Though the paper age would be characteristic, it is not emphatic enough, nor specifies the enormous sins of the fiends that are the agents. I think it may be styled the diabolical age -. the Duke of Orleans has dethroned Satan, who since his fall has never instigated such crimes as Orleans has perpetrated.(846)

Let me soften my tone a little, and harmonize your poor mind by sweeter accents. In this deluge of triumphant enormities, what trails of the sublime and beautiful may be gleaned! Did you hear of Madame Elizabeth, the King's sister? a saint like yourself. She doted on her brother, for she certainly knew his soul. In the tumult in July, hearing the populace and the poissardes had broken into the palace, she flew to the King, and by embracing him tried to shield his person. The populace took her for the Queen, cried out "Voil'a cette chienne, cette Autrichienne!" and were proceeding to violence. Somebody to save her, screamed "Ce n'est pas la Reine, c'est—" The Princess said, "Ah! mon Dieu! ne les d'etrompez pas." If that was not the most sublime instance of perfect innocence ready prepared for death, I know not where to find one. Sublime indeed, too, was the sentence of good Father Edgeworth, the King's confessor, who, thinking his royal penitent a little dismayed just before the fatal stroke, cried out "Montez, digne fils de St. Louis! Le ciel vous est ouvert." The holy martyr's countenance brightened up, and he submitted at once. Such victims, such confessors as those, and Monsieur do Malesherbes, repair some of the breaches in human nature made by Orleans, Condorcet, Santerre, and a legion of evil spirits.

The tide of horrors has hurried me much too far, before I have vented a note of my most sincere concern for your bad account of your health. I feel for it heartily, and wish your frame were as sound as your soul and understanding. What can I recommend? I am no physician but for my own flimsy texture; which by studying, and by contradicting all advice, I have drawn to this great age. Patience, temperance, nay, abstinence, are already yours; in short, you want to be corrected of nothing but too much piety, too much rigour towards yourself, and too much sensibility for others. Is not it possible to serve mankind without feeling too great pity? Perhaps I am a little too much hardened, I am grown too little alarmed for the health of my friends, from being become far more indifferent to life; I look to the nearness of' my end, as a delivery from spectacles of wo. We have even amongst us monsters, more criminal, in speculation at least, than the French. They had cause to wish for correction of a bad government; though, till taught to dislike it, three-fourths of the country, I maintain, adored theirs. We have the perfectest ever yet devised; but if to your numerous readings of little pamphlets. you would add one more, called "Village Politics,"(847) infinitely superior to any thing on the subject, clearer, better stated, and comprehending the whole mass of matter in the shortest compass, you will be more mistress of the subject than any man in England. I know Who wrote it, but will not tell you, because you did not tell me.

(844) On the 21st of January, Louis the Sixteenth had been beheaded in the Place Louis Quinze, erected to the memory of his grandfather. M. Thiers thus concludes his account of this horrible event:—"At ten minutes past ten, the carriage stopped. Louis rising briskly, stepped out into the Place. Three executioners came up; he refused their assistance, and stripped off his clothes himself; but, perceiving that they were going to bind his hands, he betrayed a movement of indignation, and seemed ready to resist. M. Edgeworth, whose every expression was then sublime, gave him, a last look, and said, 'I Suffer this outrage, as a last resemblance to that God who is about to be your reward.' At these words the victim, resigned and submissive, suffered himself to be bound and conducted to the scaffold. All at once, Louis took a hasty step, separated himself from the executioners, and advanced to address the people. 'Frenchmen,' said he, in a firm voice, 'I die innocent of the crimes which are imputed to me; I forgive the authors of my death, and I pray that my blood may not fall upon France.' He would have continued but the drums were instantly ordered to beat: their rolling drowned the voice of the Prince, the executioners laid hold of him, and M. Edgeworth took his leave in these memorable words, ''Son of St. Louis, ascend to heaven!' As soon as the blood flowed, furious wretches dipped their pikes and their handkerchiefs in it spread themselves throughout Paris, shouted Vive la Republique! vive la nation! and even went to the gates of the Temple to display their brutal and factious joy." Vol. ii. p. 228.-E.

(845) "The causes which at this time put assignats apparently on a par with specie were the following. A law forbade, under heavy penalties, the traffic in specie, that is, the exchange at a loss of the assignat against money: another law decreed very severe penalties against those who, in purchases, should bargain for different prices according as payment was to be made in paper or in cash: by a last law, it was enacted, that hidden gold, silver, or jewels, should belong partly to the state, partly to the informer. Thenceforth people could neither employ specie in trade nor conceal it; it became troublesome; it exposed the holders to the risk of being considered suspected persons; they began to be afraid of it, an(l to find the assignat preferable for daily use." Thiers, vol. iii. p. 213.-E.

(846) Louis-Philippe-Joseph, Duke of Orleans, who had relinquished his titles and called himself Philippe Egalit'e, and become a member of the National Convention, in giving his vote for the death of his kinsman, had read these words:—"Exclusively governed by my duty, and convinced that all those who have resisted the sovereignty of the people deserve death, my vote is for death!" The atrocity of this vote occasioned great agitation in the -assembly; it seemed as if, by this single vote, the fate of the Monarch was irrevocably sealed. On the 6th of November, in the same year, the Duke was himself brought before the revolutionary tribunal, and condemned on account of the suspicions which he had excited in all parties. "Odious," says M. Thiers "to the emigrants, Suspected by the Girondins and the Jacobins, he inspired none of those regrets which afford some consolation for an unjust death. A universal disgust, an absolute scepticism were his last sentiments; and he went to the scaffold with extraordinary composure and indifference, As he was drawn along the Rue St. Honor'e, he beheld his palace with a dry eye, and never belied for a moment his disgust of men and of life," Vol. iii, P. 205—E.

(847) A little work which Miss More had Just published anonymously. The sale of it was enormous. Many thousands were sent by government to Scotland and Ireland. Several persons printed large editions Of it at their own expense; and in London Only many hundred thousands were circulated.-E.



Letter 401 To Miss Hannah More. Berkeley Square, March 23, 1793.(page 538)

I shall certainly not leave off taunting your virtues, my excellent friend, for I find it sometimes makes you correct them. I scolded you for your modesty in not acquainting me with your "Village Politics" even after they were published; and you have already conquered that unfriendly delicacy, and announced another piece of which you are in labour. Still I se there wanted your ghostly father, the )Bishop of London, to join you to be quite shameless and avow your natural child.(848) I do approve his doctrine: calling it by your own name will make its fortune. If, like Rousseau, you had left your babe among the enfans trouv'es, it might never be heard of more than his poor issue have been; for I can but observe that the French patriots, who have made such a fuss with his ashes, have not taken the smallest pains to attempt to discover his real progeny, which might not have been impossible by collating dates and circumstances. I am proud of having imitated you at a great distance, and been persuaded, much against my will and practice, to let my name be put to the second subscription for the poor French clergy, as it was thought it might tend to animate that consumptive contribution.

I am impatient for your pamphlet, not only as being yours, but hoping it will invigorate horror against French atheism, which, I am grieved to say did not by any means make due impression. very early apply to your confessor, to beg he would enjoin his clergy to denounce that shocking impiety; I could almost recommend to you to add a slight postscript on the massacre of that wretch Manuel. I do not love such insects as we are dispensing judgments yet, if the punishment of that just victim might startle such profane criminals, it might be charity to suggest the hint to them.

24th.

I must modify the massacre of Manuel; he has been a good deal stabbed, but will, they say, recover.(849) Perhaps it is better that some of those assassins should live to acknowledge, that "Do not to others what you would not have done to you" is not so silly a maxim as most of the precepts of morality and Justice have lately been deemed by philosophers and legislators—titles self-assumed by men who have abolished all other titles; and who have disgraced and debased the former denomination, and under the latter have enjoined triple perjuries, and at last cannot fix on any code which should exact more forswearing. I own I am pleased that that ruffian pedant Condorcet's new constitution was too clumsy and unwieldy to go down the throats of those who have swallowed every thing else. I did but just cast my eyes on the beginning and end, and was so lucky as to observe the hypocrite's contradiction: he sets out with declaration of equality, and winds up with security of property; that is, we will plunder every body, and then entail the spoils on ourselves and our (wrong) heirs.(850)

Well! that bloody chaos seems recoiling on themselves! It looks as if civil war was bursting out in many provinces, and will precipitate approaching famine. When, till now, could one make such a reflection without horror to one's self? But, alas! have not the French brought it to the question, whether Europe or France should be laid desolate'! Religion, morality, justice, have been stabbed, torn up by the roots: every right has been trampled under foot. Marriage has been profaned and undermined by law; and no wonder, that, amidst such excesses, the poor arts have shared in the common ruin! And who have been the perpetrators of, or advocates for, such universal devastation? Philosophers, geometricians, astronomers—a Condorcet, a Bailly, a Bishop of Autun, and a Doctor Priestley, and the last the worst. The French had seen grievances, crying grievances! yet not under the good late King. But what calamities or dangers threatened or had fallen on Priestley, but want of papal power, like his predecessor Calvin? If you say his house was burnt -but did he intend the fire should blaze on that side of the street? Your charity may believe him innocent, but your understanding does not. Well! I am glad to hear he is going to America; I hope he will not bring back scalping, even to that National Assembly of which he was proud of being elected a member! I doubt if Cartouche would have thought it an honour. It was stuck up in Lloyd's coffeehouse lately, that the Duke of Orleans was named "Chef de la R'epublique." I thought it should be "Chef de la Lie publique."

(848) Miss More had informed Walpole, that she was occupied in writing her "Remarks" on the atheistical speech of M. Dupont, made in the National Convention; and to which the Bishop of London had recommended her to put her name.-E.

(849) Manuel was deeply implicated in the massacres of 1792; in consequence of which he was nominated a deputy to the National Convention. He resigned his seat in January 1793, and retired to Montargis, where he narrowly escaped assassination. He was afterwards seized as a suspected person. On being brought before the revolutionary tribunal, he reminded his judges of his services, and desired it might be engraved on his tombstone, that he had occasioned the events of the 10th of August. He was guillotined in November 1793.-E.

(850) In the following July, Condorcet was accused of being an accomplice with Brissot, and, to save his life, concealed himself in the house of Madame Verney, where he remained eight months. Having at length learned that death was denounced against all who harboured a proscribed individual, he fled in disguise from Paris. He wandered about for some time, until, driven by hunger, he entered a small public-house at Clamar, where he was arrested as a suspicious person, and thrown into prison. On the following morning, March 28, 1794, he was found dead on the floor of his room, having apparently swallowed poison, which he always carried about with him.-E.



Letter 402 To The Hon. H. S. Conway. Strawberry Hill, June 13, 1793. (page 540)

I thank you much for all your information—some parts made me smile: yet, if what you heard of your brother proves true, I rather think it deplorable! How can love of money, or the still vainer of all vanities, ambition of wearing a high but most insignificant office, which even poor Lord Salisbury could execute, tempt a very old man, who loves his ease and his own way, to stoop to wait like a footman behind a chair, for hours, and in a court whence he had been cast Ignominiously? I believe I have more pride than most men alive: I could be flattered by honours acquired by merit, or by some singular action of 'eclat; but for titles, ribands, offices of no business, which any body can fill, and must be given to many, I should just as soon be proud of being the top squire in a country village.(851) It is only worse to have waded to distinction through dirt, like Lord Auckland.(852) All this shifting of scenes may, as you say, be food to the Fronde —Sed defendit numerus. It is perfectly ridiculous to use any distinction of parties but the ins and the outs. Many years ago I thought that the wisest appellations for contending factions ever assumed, were those in the Roman empire, who called themselves the greens and the blues: it was so easy, when they changed sides, to slide from one colour to the other; and then a blue might plead that he had never been true blue, but always a greenish blue; and vice versa. I allow that the steadiest party-man may be staggered by novel and unforeseen circumstances. The outrageous proceedings of the French republicans have wounded the cause of liberty, and will, I fear, have shaken it for centuries; for Condorcet and such fiends are worse than the imperial and royal dividers of Poland. But I do not see why detestation of anarchy and assassination must immediately make one fall in love with garters and seals.

I am sitting by the fire, as I have done ever since I came hither; and since I do not expect warm weather in June, I am wishing for rain, or I shall not have a mouthful of hay, nor a noseful of roses. Indeed, as I have seen several fields of hay cut, I wonder it has not brought rain, as usual. My creed is, that rain is good for hay, as I conclude every climate and its productions are suited to each other. Providence did not trouble itself about its being more expensive to us to make our hay over and over; it only took care it should not want water enough. Adieu!

(851) On the 29th of this month, the Earl of Hertford was created a Marquis. He died on the 14th of June, in the following year, at the age of seventy-five.-E.

(852) On the 23d of May, William Eden, Lord Auckland, had been created an English peer.-E.



Letter 403 To The Hon. H. S. Conway. Strawberry Hill, Wednesday night, late, July 17, 1793. (page 541)

I am just come from dining with the Bishop of London at Fulham, where I found Lord and Lady Frederick Campbell, who told me of the alarm you had from hearing some screams that you thought Lady Ailesbury's, and the disorder brought upon you by flying to assist her. I do not at all wonder at your panic, and rejoice it was not founded, and that you recovered so soon. I am not going to preach against your acting so naturally: but as you have some complaint on your breast, I must hope you will remember this accident, and be upon Your guard against both sudden and rapid exertions, when you have not a tantamount call. I conclude the excessive heat we have had for twelve complete days contributed to overpower you.

It is much cooler to-day, yet still delicious; for be it known to you that I have enjoyed weather worthy of Africa,(853) and yet without swallowing mouthfuls of musquitos, nor expecting to hear hyenas howl in the village, nor to find scorpions in my bed. Indeed, all the way I came home, I could but gaze at the felicity of my countrymen. The road was one string of stage-coaches loaded within and without with noisy jolly folks, and chaises and gigs that had been pleasuring in clouds of dust; every door and every window of every house was open, lights in every shop, every door with women sitting in the street, every inn crowded with jaded horses, and every alehouse full of drunken topers; for you know the English always announce their sense of heat or cold by drinking. Well! it was' impossible not to enjoy such a scene of happiness and affluence in every village, and amongst the lowest of the people; and who are told by villanous scribblers, that they are oppressed and miserable. New streets, new towns, are rising every day and every where; the earth is covered with gardens and crops of grain.

How bitter to turn from this Elysiurn to the temple at Paris! The fiends there have now torn her son from the Queen!(854) Can one believe that they are human beings, who 'midst all their confusions sit coolly meditating new tortures, new anguish for that poor, helpless, miserable woman, after four years of unexampled sufferings? Oh! if such crimes are not made a dreadful lesson, this world might become a theatre of cannibals!

I hope the checks in Bretagne are legends coined by miscreants at Paris. What can one believe? Well, I will go to bed, and try to dream of peace and plenty; and though my lawn is burnt, and my peas and beans, and roses and strawberries parched, I will bear 4 with patience till the harvest is got in. Saint Swithin can never hold his water for forty days, though he can do the contrary. Good night!

(853) Bishop Porteus, writing to Miss More on the 12th of August says, "Your friend Lord Orford and myself are, I believe, the only persons in the kingdom who are worthy of the hot weather— the only true genuine summer we have had for the last thirty years: we both agreed that it was perfectly celestial, and that it was quite scandalous to huff it away as some people did. A few days before it arrived, all the world was complaining of the dreadfully cold northeast wind; and in three days after the warmer weather came in every body was quarrelling with the heat, and sinking under the rays of the sun. Such is that consistent and contented thing called human nature!"-E.

(854) Marie Antoinette was separated from her sister, her daughter, and her son, by virtue of a decree which ordered the trial. Weber, in his memoirs of her, states, that the separation from her son was so touching, so heartrending that the very gaolers who witnessed the scene confessed, when they were giving an account of' it to the authorities, that they could not refrain from tears.-E.



Letter 404 To The Miss Berrys.(855) Tuesday night, 8 o'clock, Sept. 17, 1793. (page 542)

My beloved spouses, whom I love better than Solomon loved his one spouse—or his one thousand. I lament that the summer is over; not because of its uniquity, but because you two made it so delightful to me, that six weeks of gout could not sour it. Pray take care of yourselves-not for your own sakes, but for mine: for, as I have just had my quota of gout, I may, possibly, expect to see another summer: and, as you allow that I do know my own, and when I wish for any thing and have it, am entirely satisfied, you may depend upon it that I shall be as happy with a third summer, if I reach it, as I have been with the two last.

Consider, that I have been threescore years and ten looking for a society that I perfectly like; and at last there dropped out of the clouds into Lady Herries's room two young gentlewomen, who I so little thought were sent thither on purpose for me, that When I was told they were the charming Miss Berrys, I would not even go to the side of the chamber where they sat. But, as Fortune never throws any thing at one's head without hitting one, I soon found that the charming Berrys were precisely ce qu'il me fallait; and that though young enough to be my great-grand-daughters, lovely enough to turn the heads of all our youths, and sensible enough, if said youths have any brains, to set all their heads to rights again. Yes, sweet damsels, I have found that you can bear to pass half your time with an antediluvian, without discovering any ennui or disgust; though his greatest merit towards you is, that he is not one of those old fools who fancy they are in love in their dotage. I have no such vagary; though I am not sorry that some folks think I am so absurd, since it frets their selfishness. The Mackinsys, Onslows, Miss Pelham, and Madame de Cambis have dined here; and to-morrow I shall have the flamptonians and other Richmondists. I must repeat it; keep in mind that both of you are delicate, and not strong. If you return in better health, I shall not repine at your journey. Good night!

(855) The Miss Berrys were at this time in Yorkshire.



Letter 405 To The Miss Berrys. Strawberry Hill, Wednesday, 3 o'clock, Sept. 25, 1793. (page 543)

Every thing has gone au mieux. The rain vented itself to the last drop yesterday; and the sun, as bright as the Belvedere, has not had a wrinkle on his brow since eight o'clock this morning; nay, he has been warm, and gilded the gallery and tribune with sterling rays; the Thames quite full with the last deluges, and the verdure never fresher it was born. The Duchess of York arrived punctually at twelve, in a high phaeton, with Mrs. Ewert, and Bude on horseback. On the step of the gate was a carpet, and the court matted. I received the Princess at the side of her chaise, and when entered, kissed her hand. She had meant to ride; but had hurt her foot, and was forced to sit most of the time she was here. We had many civil contests about my sitting too: but I resisted, and held out till after she had seen the house and drank chocolate in the round drawing-room; and then she commanded General Bude to sit, that I might have no excuse: yet I rose and fetched a salver, to give her the chocolate myself, and then a glass of water. She seemed much pleased, and commended much; and I can do no less of her, and with the strictest truth. She is not near so small as I had expected; her face is very agreeable and lively; and she is so good-humoured, and so gracious, and so natural, that I do not believe Lady Mary Coke(856) would have made a quarter so pleasing a Duchess of York; nor have been in half so sweet a temper, unless by my attentions de vieille cour. I was sorry my Eagle(857) had been forced to hold its tongue To-morrow I shall go to Oatlands, with my thanks for the honour; and there, probably, will end my connexions with courts, begun with George the First, great-great-great-grandfather to the Duchess of' York! It sounds as if there could not have been above three generations more before Adam.

Great news How eager Mr. Berry will look!-but it is not from armies or navies; not from the murderers at Paris, nor from the victims at Grodno. No! it is only an event in the little world of me. This morning, to receive my Princess, I put on a silver waistcoat that I had made three years ago for Lord Cholmondeley's marriage, and have not worn since. Considering, my late illness, and how many hundredweight of chalk I have been Venting these ten years, I concluded my wedding garment would wrap round me like my nightgown; but, lo! it was grown too tight for me. I shall be less surprised, if, in My next century, and under George the Tenth, I grow as plump as Mrs. Ellis.

Methinks I pity you, when all the world is in arms, and you expect to hear that Saul Duke of Brunswick has slain his thousands, and David Prince of Cobourg his ten thousands, to be forced to read the platitudes that I send you, because I have nothing better to amuse me than writing to you. Well! you know how to get rid of my letters. Good night. I reckon you are at Brumpton,(858) and have had no accidents, I hope, on the road.

(856) Lady Mary Coke, youngest daughter of John Duke of Argyle, married to Lord Coke, eldest son of the Earl of Leicester. After his death she fancied an attachment existed between herself and the Duke of York, brother of George the Third; which she likewise fancied had ended in an undeclared marriage.-M.B.

(857) The antique marble eagle in the gallery at Strawberry Hill, round the neck of which was to have been suspended some lines which Lord Orford had written, extolling the, Duke of York's military fame and conquests in Holland, which the unfortunate issue of the campaign obliged him to suppress.-E.

(858) The seat of Sir George Cayley, Bart. near Scarborough.



Letter 406 To The Miss Berrys. Strawberry Hill, Oct. 6, 1793. (page 544)

You are welcome to Scarborough both, and buon proviccia! As you, Mrs. Mary, have been so mistaken about your sister, I shall allow nobody for the future to take a panic about either but myself. I am rejoiced the journey seems hitherto to answer so well; but, do you know, "it is very inconvenient to my Lord Castlecomer." I am forced to eat all the game of your purparties, as well as my own thirds.

Pray did not you think that the object of the grand alliance was to reduce France? No such thing! at least their views have changed ever since they heard of your setting out. Without refining too much, it is clear to me that all they think on now, is to prevent my sending you news. Does any army stir? Is not the Duke of Brunswick gone to sleep again, like a paroli at faro, or like a paroil at Torbay, which cocks one corner, but never wins a septleva? That Lord Admiral reminds me of a trait of poor Don Carlos, which helped on his death-warrant. He one day made a little book, which he intituled "The Travels of Philip the Second, King of Spain." It contained his Majesty's removals from his capital to his country palaces, and back again. Well! if all those monarchs are so pitiful as to set their wits against you, I will balk them. I will do as other folks do; I will make news myself-not to-night; for I have no invention by me at present: besides, you are apt to sift news too shrewdly

.But, before I coin a report for you, I must contradict one. If you should hear in Yorkshire, that I am appointed aide-de-camp to the Duke of York, you may safely contradict it. It could only arise from the Duchess of York's visit to me; just as, the year before you came to Cliveden, your predecessor, Sir Robert Goodere, literally told me, that he heard that Princess Elizabeth had been sent to me for two days for the air. On questioning him roundly, I discovered that he had heard no such thing; but had conjectured so. on seeing two of the Duchess of Gloucester's servants pass before his door from or to the Pavilions; which ought not to have puzzled the goose's imagination a moment—but thus reports originate!

Monday night, 7th.

I come from Mrs. Jeffries at Richmond, but return not a battle richer than I went; though I saw the secretary-at-war' there, and even the panic-master-general, who had not a single alarm to bestow on a poor soul who is hungering and thirsting for news, good or bad, to send to you. Sir George Yonge,(859) indeed, did tell us, that thirty Jacobins, who had disguised themselves as priests, to bring scandal on their countrymen of that profession, but who, the Bishop of Leon declares, are none of their clergy, have been detected and seized, and are to be sent away to-morrow. Home news from Richmond. Your friend Mr. Dundas was robbed this morning at eleven o'clock at Cranford-bridge. He happened to tell them he is a surgeon; on which they insisted on his giving them his case of instruments. I suspect they are French surgeons, and will poison the instruments for the first wound they dress. You see how I labour in your service, though my crops are small. An old Duchess of Rutland, mother of the late Duchess of Montrose, whenever a visiter told her some news or scandal, cried to her daughter, "Lucy, do step into next room, and make a memorandum of what Lady Greenwich, or Lady M.M. or N.N. has been telling us." "Lord! Madam, to be sure it cannot be true." "No matter, child; it will do for news in the country." It is for want of such prudent provision pour le couvent, that so many people are forced to invent off-hand. You cannot say I am so thoughtless: you receive every morsel piping-hot as it comes from the bakers. One word about our glorious weather, and I have done. It even improves every day. I kept the window open till dinner-time to-day, and could do nothing but gaze at the brilliant beauty of the verdure. It is so equal to ordinary Julys, that one is surprised to see the sun set before six o'clock. Good night!

(859) Sir George Yonge.



Letter 407 To Miss Hannah More.(860) Strawberry Hill, Oct. 1793. page 546)

Though it would make me happy, my dear Madam, if you were more corresponding, yet I must not reproach your silence, nor wish it were less; for all your moments are so dedicated to goodness, and to unwearied acts of benevolence, that you must steal from charity, or purloin from the repose you want, any that you bestow on me. Do not I know, too, alas! how indifferent your health is! You sacrifice that to your duties: but can a friend, who esteems you so highly as I do, be so selfish as to desire to cost you half an hour's headache! No, never send me a line that you can employ better; that would trespass on your ease.

Of the trash written against you I had never even heard.(861) Nor do I believe that they gave you any other disquiet than what arose from seeing that the worthiest and most humane intentions are poison to some human beings. Oh! have not the last five years brought to light such infernal malevolence, such monstrous crimes, as mankind had grown civilized enough to disbelieve when they read any thing similar in former ages; if, indeed, any thing similar has been recorded. But I must not enter into what I dare not fathom. Catherine Slay-Czar triumphs over the good honest Poles; and Louis Seize perishes on a scaffold, the best of men: while whole assemblies of fiends, calling themselves men, are from day to day meditating torment and torture for his heroic widow; On whom, with all their power and malice, and with every page, footman, and chambermaid of hers In their reach, and with the rack in their hands, they have not been able to fix a speck. Nay, do they not talk of the inutility of evidence? What other virtue ever sustained such an ordeal? But who can wonder, when the Almighty himself is called by one of those wretches, the soi-disant God.

You say their outrageous folly tempts you to smile(862)—yes, yes: at times I should have laughed too, if I could have dragged my muscles at once from the zenith of horror to the nadir of contempt: but their abominations leave one leisure enough to leap from indignation to mirth. I abhor war and bloodshed as much as you do; but unless the earth is purged of such monsters, peace and morality will never return. This is not a war of nation and nation; it is the cause of every thing dear and sacred to civilized man, against the unbounded licentiousness of assassins, who massacre even the generals who fight for them—not that I pity the latter; but to whom can a country be just that rewards tools with the axe? What animal is so horrible as one that devours its own young ones?

That execrable nation overwhelms ill moralizing. At any other minute the unexpected death of Lady Falmouth would be striking: yet I am sorry for Mrs. Boscawen. I have been ill for six weeks with the gout, and am just recovered: yet I remember it less than the atrocities of France; and I remember, if possible, with greater indignation, their traitors here at home; amongst whom are your antagonists. Do not apologize for talking Of them and yourself. Punish them not by answering, but by supporting the good cause, and by stigmatizing the most imprudent impiety that ever was avowed.

Mrs. Garrick dined here to-day, with some of the quality of Hampton and Richmond. She appears quite well, and was very cheerful: I wish you were as well recovered. Do you remember how ill I found you both last year in the Adelphi? Adieu! thou excellent champion, as well as practiser, of all goodness. Let the vile abuse vented against you be balm to your mind: your writings must have done great service, when they have so provoked the enemy. All who have religion or principle must revere your name. Who would not be hated by Duponts and Dantons!—and if abhorrence of atheism implies Popery, reckon it a compliment to be called Papist. The French have gone such extravagant lengths, that to preach or practise massacres is, with them, the sole test of merit-of patriotism. Just in one point Only they have merit; they sacrifice the blackest criminals with as much alacrity as the most innocent or the most virtuous: but I beg your pardon; I know not how to stop when I talk of these ruffians. Yours, most cordially and most sincerely.

(860) Now first collected.

(861) Three abusive answers to Miss More's pamphlet against M. Dupont had just been published.-E.

(862) Miss More had said,—"These mad monkeys of the Convention do contrive to enliven my unappeasable indignation against them with occasional provocatives to mirth. How do you like the egregious inventions of the anniversary follies of the 10th of August?"-E.



Letter 408 To The Miss Berrys. Strawberry Hill, Tuesday evening, eight o'clock, Oct. 15, 1793. (page 547)

Though I do not know when it will have its whole lading, I must begin my letter this very moment, to tell you what I have just heard. I called on the Princesse d'Hennin, who has been in town a week. I found her quite alone, and I thought she did not answer quite clearly about her two knights: the Prince de Poix has taken a lodging in town, and she talks of letting her house here, if she can. In short, I thought she had a little of an Ariadne-air—but this was not what I was in such a hurry to tell you. She showed me several pieces of letters, I think from the Duchesse de Bouillon: one says, that poor Duchesse de Biron is again arrested and at the Jacobins, and with her "une jeune 'etourdie, qui ne fait que chanter toute la journ'ee;" and who, think you, may that be?—only our pretty little wicked Duchesse de Fleury! by her singing and not sobbing, I suppose she was weary of her Tircis, and is glad to be rid of him. This new blow, I fear, will overset Madame de Biron again. The rage at Paris seems to increase daily or hourly; they either despair, or are now avowed banditti. I tremble so much for the great- and most suffering victim of all, the Queen, that one cannot feel so much for many, as several perhaps deserve: but her tortures have been of far longer duration than any martyrs, and more various; and her courage and patience equal to her woes!(864)

My poor old friend, the Duchesse de la Vali'ere, past ninety and stone-deaf, has a guard set upon her, but in her own house; her daughter, the Duchesse de Chatillon, mother of the Duchesse de la Tremouille, is arrested; and thus the last, with her attachment to the Queen, must be miserable indeed!—But one would think I feel for nothing but Duchesses: the crisis has crowded them together into my letter, and into a prison;-and to be prisoner amongst cannibals is pitiable indeed!

Thursday morning, 17th, past ten.

I this moment receive the very comfortable twin-letter. I am so conjugal, and so much in earnest upon the article of recovery, that I cannot think of a pretty thing to say to very pretty Mrs. Stanhope; nor do I know what would be a pretty thing in these days. I might come out with some old-fashioned compliment, that would have been very genteel In

"good Queen Bess's golden day, when I was a dame of honour."

Let Mrs. Stanhope(865) imagine that I have said all she deserves: I certainly think it, and will ratify it, when I have learnt the language of the nineteenth century; but I really am so ancient, that as Pythagoras imagined he had been Panthoides Enphorbus in the Trojan war, I am not sure that I did not ride upon a pillion behind a gentleman-usher, when her Majesty Elizabeth went in procession to St. Paul's on the defeat of the Armada! Adieu! the postman puts an end to idle speculations—but, Scarborough for ever! with three huzzas!

(863) The Duchess perished under the guillotine in the following year.-E.

(864) On the 16th of October, a few hours after Walpole had penned the above letter, the unfortunate Marie Antoinette was conducted, amidst a great concourse of the populace, to the fatal spot, where, ten months before, Louis the Sixteenth had perished. "Sorrow had blanched her once beautiful hair: but her features and air commanded the admiration of all who beheld her. Her cheeks, pale and emaciated, were occasionally tinged with a vivid colour at the mention of those she had lost. When led out to execution, she was dressed in white; she had cut off her hair with her own hands. Placed in a tumbrel, with her arms tied behind her, she was taken to the Place de la R'evolution. She listened with calmness to the exhortations of the ecclesiastic who accompanied her, and cast an indifferent look at the people who had so often applauded her beauty and her grace, and who now as warmly applauded her execution. On reaching the foot of the scaffold, she perceived the Tuileries, and appeared to be moved; but she hastened to ascend the fatal ladder, and gave herself up with courage to the executioner. The infamous wretch exhibited her head to the people, as he was accustomed to do when he had sacrificed an illustrious victim. The Jacobins were overjoyed. 'Let these tidings be carried to Austria,' said they; 'the Romans sold the ground occupied by Hannibal; we strike off the heads that are dearest to the sovereigns who have invaded our territory.' " See Thiers, vol. iii. p. 196, and Lacretelle, tom. xi. p. 261.-E.

(865) The wife of Colonel Stanhope, brother of the Earl of Harrington.



Letter 409 To The Miss Berrys. Strawberry Hill, Nov. 7, 1793. (page 549)

I often lay the egg of my journals two or three days before they are hatched. This may make some of my articles a little stale before you get them; but then you know they are the more authentic, if the Echo has not told me to unsay them-and, if a Prince of Wales drops a thumping victory at my door as he goes by, you have it hot out of the oven—though, as happened lately, not half baked.(866)

The three last newspapers are much more favourable, than you seemed to expect. Nieuport has been saved; Ostend is safe. The Royalists in La Vend'ee are not demolished, as the Convention of Lars asserted. Strasbourg seems likely to fall. At Toulon even the Neapolitans, on whom you certainly did not reckon, have behaved like heroes. As Admiral Gravina is so hearty, though his master makes no progress in France, I suspect that the sovereign of so many home kingdoms is a little afraid Of trusting his army beyond the borders, lest the Catalans should have something of the old—or new leaven. In the mean time, it Is still more provoking to hear of Catherine Slay-Czar sitting on her throne and playing with royal marriages, without sending a single ship or regiment to support the cause of Europe, and to punish the Men of the Mountain, who really are the assassins that the Crusaders supposed or believed existed in Asia. Oh! Marie Antoinette, what a contrast between you and Petruchia!

Domestic news are scanty, but dismal, and you have seen them anticipated; as the loss of the young Lord Montague(867) and Mr. Burdett,(868) drowned in a cataract in Switzerland by their own obstinate folly.(869) Mr. Tickell's death was a determined measure, and more shocking than the usual mode by a pistol. He threw himself from one of the uppermost windows of the palace at Hampton Court, into the garden -an immense height! Some attribute his despair to debts; some to a breach with his political friends. I am not acquainted with, but am sorry for him, as I liked his writings.(870)

Our weather remains unparagoned; Mrs. Hastings is not more brilliant: the elms are evergreens. I a little regret your not seeing how beautiful Cliveden can be on the 7th of November; ay, and how warm. Then the pheasants, partridges, and hares from Houghton, that you lose: they would have exceeded Camacho's wedding, and Sancho Panza would have talked chapters about them. I am forced to send them about the neighbourhood, as if I were making interest to be chosen for the united royal burghs of Richmond and Hampton Court. But all this is not worth sending: I must wait for a better bouche. I want Wurmser to be Caesar, and send me more Commentaries de Bello Gallico. What do you say to those wretches who have created Death an endless Sleep,(871) that nobody may boggle at any crime for fear of hell? Methinks they have no reason to dread the terrors of conscience in any Frenchman!

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