Letters of Horace Walpole, V4
by Horace Walpole
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I must not forget to thank you for mentioning Mrs. Wetenhall, on whom I should certainly wait with great pleasure, but have no manner of intention of going into Cheshire. There is not a chair or stool in Cholmondeley, and my nephew, I believe, will pull it down. He has not a fortune to furnish or inhabit it; and, if his uncle should leave him one, he would choose a pleasanter country. Adieu! Don't be formal with me, and don't trouble your hand about yours ever.

Letter 8 To George Montagu, Esq. Strawberry Hill, Saturday night, July 7, 1770. (page 33)

After making an inn of your house, it is but decent to thank you for my entertainment, and to acquaint you with the result of my journey. The party passed off much better than I expected. A Princess at the Heart of a very small set for five days together did not promise well. However, she was very good-humoured and easy, and dispensed with a large quantity of etiquette. Lady Temple is good-nature itself, my lord was very civil, Lord Besborough is made to suit all sorts of people, Lady Mary Coke respects royalty too much not to be very condescending, Lady Anne Howard(12) and Mrs. Middleton filled up the drawing-room, or rather made it out, and I was so determined to carry it off as well as I could, and happened to be in such good spirits, and took such care to avoid politics, that we laughed a great deal, and had not one cloud the whole time.

We breakfasted at half an hour after nine; but the Princess did not appear till it was finished; then we walked in the garden, or drove about in cabriolets, till it was time to dress; dined at three, which, though properly proportioned to the smallness of company to avoid ostentation, lasted a vast While, as the Princess eats and talks a great deal; then again into the garden till past seven, when we came in, drank tea and coffee, and played at pharaoh till ten, when the Princess retired, and we went to supper, and before twelve to bed. You see there was great sameness and little vivacity in all this. It was a little broken by fishing, and going round the park one of the mornings; but, in reality, the number of buildings and variety of scenes in the garden, made each day different from the rest, and my meditations on so historic a spot prevented my being tired. Every acre brings to one's mind some instance of the parts or pedantry, of the taste or want of taste, of the ambition or love of fame, or greatness or miscarriages, of those that have inhabited, decorated, planned, or visited the place. Pope, Congreve, Vanbrugh, Kent, Gibbs, Lord Cobham, Lord Chesterfield, the mob of nephews, the Lytteltons, Granvilles, Wests, Leonidas Glover, and Wilkes, the late Prince of Wales, the King of Denmark, Princess Amelia, and the proud monuments of Lord Chatham's services, now enshrined there, then anathematized there, and now again commanding there, with the temple of Friendship, like the temple of Janus, sometimes open to war, and sometimes shut up in factious cabals—all these images crowd upon one's memory, and add visionary personages to the charming scenes, that are so enriched with fanes and temples, that the real prospects are little less than visions themselves.

On Wednesday night, a small Vauxhall was acted for us at the grotto in the Elysian fields, which was illuminated with lamps, as were the thicket and two little barks on the lake. With a little exaggeration I could make you believe that nothing was so delightful. The idea was really pretty; but as my feelings have lost something of their romantic sensibility, I did not quite enjoy such an entertainment alfresco so much as I should have done twenty years ago. The evening was more than cool, and the destined spot any thing but dry. There were not half lamps enough, and no music but an ancient militia-man, who played cruelly on a squeaking tabor and pipe. As our procession descended the vast flight of' steps into the garden, in which was assembled a crowd of people from Buckingham and the neighbouring villages to see the Princess and the show, the moon shining very bright, I could not help laughing as I surveyed our troop, which, instead of tripping lightly to such an Arcadian entertainment, were hobbling down by the balustrades, wrapt up in cloaks and greatcoats, for fear of catching cold. The Earl, you know, is bent double, the Countess very lame; I am a miserable walker, and the Princess, though as strong as a Brunswick lion, makes no figure in going down fifty stone stairs. Except Lady Anne, and by courtesy Lady Mary, we were none of us young enough for a pastoral. We supped in the grotto, which is as proper to this climate as a sea-coal fire would be in the dog-days at Tivoli.

But the chief entertainment of the week, at least what was so to the Princess, was an arch, which Lord Temple has erected to her honour in the most enchanting of all picturesque scenes. It is inscribed on one side, 'Amelia Sophia Aug.,' and has a medallion of her on the other. It is placed on an eminence at the top of the Elysian fields, in a grove of orange-trees. You come to it on a sudden, and are startled with delight on looking through it: you at once see, through a glade, the river winding at the bottom; from which a thicket arises, arched over with trees, but opened, and discovering a hillock full of haycocks, beyond which in front is the Palladian bridge, and again over that a larger hill crowned with the castle. It is a tall landscape framed by the arch and the overhovering trees, and comprehending more beauties of light, shade, and buildings, than any picture of Albano I ever saw. Between the flattery and the prospect the Princess was really in Elysium: she visited her arch four or five times every day, and could not satiate herself with it. statues of Apollo and the Muses stand on each side of the arch. One day she found in Apollo's hand the following lines, which I had written for her, and communicated to Lord Temple:—

T'other day, with a beautiful frown on her brow, To the rest of the gods said the Venus of Stowe, "What a fuss is here made with that arch just erected, How our temples are slighted, our antirs neglected! Since yon nymph has appear'd, We are noticed no more, All resort to her shrine, all her presence adore; And what's more provoking, before all our faces, Temple thither has drawn both the Muses and Graces." "Keep your temper, dear child," Phoebus cried with a smile, "Nor this happy, this amiable festival spoil. Can your shrine any longer with garlands be dress'd? When a true goddess reigns, all the false are suppress'd."

If you will keep my counsel, I will own to you, that originally the two last lines were much better, but I was forced to alter them out of decorum, not to be too pagan upon the occasion; in short, here they are as in the first sketch,—

"Recollect, once before that our oracle ceased, When a real divinity rose in the East."

So many heathen temples around had made me talk as a Roman poet would have done: but I corrected my verses, and have made them insipid enough to offend nobody. Good night! I am rejoiced to be once more in the gay solitude of my own little Temple. Yours ever.

(12) Lady Anne Howard, daughter of Henry fourth Earl, and sister of Frederick fifth Earl of Carlisle.-E.

Letter 9 To The Earl Of Strafford. Strawberry Hill, July 9, 1770. (page 35)

I am not going to tell you, my dear lord, of the diversions or honours of Stowe, which I conclude Lady Mary has writ to Lady Strafford. Though the week passed cheerfully enough, it was more glory than I should have sought of my own head. The journeys to Stowe and Park-place have deranged my projects so, that I don't know where I am, and I wish they have not given me the gout into the bargain; for I am come back very lame, and not at all with the bloom that one ought to have imported from the Elysian field. Such jaunts when one is growing old is playing with edged-tools, as my Lord Chesterfield, in one of his Worlds,(13) makes the husband say to his wife, when she pretends that gray powder does not become her. It is charming at twenty to play at Elysian fields, but it is no joke at fifty; or too great a joke. It made me laugh as we were descending the great flight of steps from the house to go and sup in the grotto on the banks of Helicon: we were so cloaked up, for the evening was very cold, and so many of us were limping and hobbling, that Charon would have easily believed we were going to ferry over in earnest. It is with much more comfort that I am writing to your lordship in the great bow-window of my new round room, which collects all the rays of the southwest sun, and composes a sort of summer; a feel I have not known this year, except last Thursday. If the rains should ever cease, and the weather settle to fine, I shall pay you my visit at Wentworth Castle; but hitherto the damps have affected me so much, that I am more disposed to return to London and light my fire, than brave the humours of a climate so capricious and uncertain, in the country. I cannot help thinking it grows worse; I certainly remember such a thing as dust: nay, I still have a clear idea of it, though I have seen none for some years, and should put some grains in a bottle for a curiosity, if it should ever fly again.

News I know none. You may be sure it was a subject carefully avoided at Stowe; and Beckford's death had not raised the glass or spirits of the master of the house. The papers make one sick with talking of that noisy vapouring fool, as they would of Algernon Sidney.

I have not happened to see your future nephew, though we have exchanged visits. It was the first time I had been at Marble-hill, since poor Lady Suffolk's death; and the impression was so uneasy, that I was not sorry not to find him at home. Adieu, my good lord! Except seeing you both, nothing can be more agreeable than to hear of yours and Lady Strafford's health, who, I hope, continues perfectly well.

(13) No. 18. A Country Gentleman's Tour to Paris with his Family.-E.

Letter 10 To The Hon. H. S. Conway. Arlington Street, July 12, 1770. (page 36)

Reposing under my laurels! No, no, I am reposing in a much better tent, under the tester of my own bed. I am not obliged to rise by break of day and be dressed for the drawing-room; I may saunter in my slippers till dinner-time, and not make bows till my back is as much out of joint as my Lord Temple's. In short, I should die of the gout or fatigue, if I was to be Polonius to a Princess for another week. Twice a-day we made a pilgrimage to almost every heathen temple in that province that they call a garden; and there is no sallying out of the house without descending a flight of steps as high as St. Paul's. My Lord Besborough would have dragged me up to the top of the column, to see all the kingdoms of the earth; but I would not, if he could have given them to me. To crown all, because we live under the line, and that we were all of us giddy young creatures, of near threescore, we supped in a grotto in the Elysian fields, and were refreshed with rivers of dew and gentle showers that dripped from all the trees, and put us in mind of the heroic ages, when kings and queens were shepherds and shepherdesses, and lived in caves, and were wet to the skin two or three times a-day. Well! thank Heaven, I am emerged from that Elysium, and once more in a Christian country!—Not but, to say the truth, our pagan landlord and landlady were very obliging, and the party went off much better than I expected. We had no very recent politics, though volumes about the Spanish war; and as I took care to give every thing a ludicrous turn as much as I could, the Princess was diverted, the six days rolled away, and the seventh is my sabbath; and I promise you i will do no manner of work, I, nor my cat, nor my dog, nor any thing that is mine. For this reason, I entreat that the journey to Goodwood may not take place before the 12th of August, when I will attend you. But this expedition to Stowe has quite blown up my intended one to Wentworth Castle: I have not resolution enough left for such a journey. Will you and Lady Ailesbury come to Strawberry before, or after Goodwood? I know you like being dragged from home as little as I do; therefore you shall place that visit just when it is most convenient to you.

I came to town the night before last, and am just returning. There are not twenty people in all London. Are not YOU in despair about the summer? It is horrid to be ruined in coals in June and July. Adieu. Yours ever.

Letter 11 To George Montagu, Esq. Strawberry Hill, July 14, 1770. (page 37)

I see by the papers this morning that Mr. Jenkinson(14) is dead. He had the reversion of my place, which would go away, if I should lose my brother. I have no pretensions to ask it, and you know It has long been my fixed resolution not to accept it. But as Lord North is your particular friend, I think it right to tell you, that you may let him know what it is worth, that he may give it to one of his own sons, and not bestow it on somebody else, without being apprised of its value. I have seldom received less than fourteen hundred a-year in money, and my brother, I think, has four more from it. There are besides many places in the gift of the office, and one or two very considerable. Do not mention this but to Lord North, or Lord Guilford. It is unnecessary, I am sure, for me to say to you, but I would wish them to be assured that in saying this, I am incapable of, and above any finesse, or view, to myself. I refused the reversion for myself several years ago, when Lord Holland was secretary of state, and offered to obtain it for me. Lord Bute, I believe, would have been very glad to have given it to me, before he gave it to Jenkinson; but I say it very seriously, and you know me enough to be certain I am in earnest, that I would not accept it upon any account. Any favour Lord North will do for you will give me all the satisfaction I desire. I am near fifty-three; I have neither ambition nor interest to gratify. I can live comfortably for the remainder of my life, though I should be poorer by fourteen hundred pounds a-year; but I should have no comfort if, in the dregs of life, I did any thing that I would not do when I was twenty years younger. I will trust to you, therefore, to make Use of this information in the friendly manner I mean it, and to prevent my being hurt by its being taken otherwise than as a design to serve those to whom you wish well. Adieu! Yours ever.

(14) Charles Jenkinson, at this time one of the lords of the treasury. In 1786, He was created Baron Hawkesbury, and in 1796 advanced to the dignity of Earl of Liverpool.-E.

Letter 12 To George Montagu, Esq. Strawberry Hill, Sunday, [July 15, 1770.] (page 38)

I am sorry I wrote to you last night, for I find it is Mrs. Jenkinson(15) that is dead, and not Mr.; and therefore I should be glad to have this arrive time enough to prevent your mentioning the contents of my letter. In that case, I should not be concerned to have given you that mark of my constant good wishes, nor to have talked to you of my affairs, which are as well in your breast as my own. They never disturb me; for my mind has long taken its stamp, and as I shall leave nobody much younger than myself behind me for whom I am solicitous, I have no desire beyond being easy for the rest of my life I could not be so if I stooped to have obligations to any man beyond what it would ever be in my power to return. When I was in Parliament, I had the additional reason of choosing to be entirely free; and my strongest reason of all is, that I will be at liberty to speak truth both living and dead. This outweighs all considerations of interest, and will convince you, though I believe you do not want that conviction, that my yesterday's letter was as sincere in its resolution as in its professions to you. Let the matter drop entirely, as it is now Of no consequence. Adieu! Yours ever.

(15) Amelia, daughter of William Watts, Esq. formerly governor of Fort William, in Bengal.-E.

Letter 13 To George Montagu, Esq. Strawberry Hill, Oct. 3, 1770. (page 38)

I am going on in the sixth week of my fit, and having had a return this morning in my knee, I cannot flatter myself with any approaching prospect of recovery. The gate of painful age seems open to me, and I must travel through it as I may! If you have not written one word for another, I am at a loss to understand you. You say you have taken a house in London for a year, that you are gone to Waldeshare for six months, and then shall come for the winter. Either you mean six weeks, or differ with most people in reckoning April the beginning of winter. I hope your pen was in a hurry, rather than your calculation so uncommon; I certainly shall be glad of your residing in London. I have long wished to live nearer to you, but it was in happier days. I am now so dismayed by these returns of gout, that I can promise myself few comforts in any future scenes of my life.

I am much obliged to Lord Guildford and Lord North, and was very sorry that the latter came to see Strawberry in so bad a day, and when I was so extremely ill, and full of pain, that I scarce knew he was here; and as my coachman was gone to London, to fetch me bootikins, there was no carriage to offer him; but, indeed, in the condition I then was, I was not capable of doing any of the honours of my house, suffering at once in my hand, knee, and both feet. I am still lifted out of bed by two servants; and by their help travel from my bedchamber down to the couch in my blue room; but I shall conclude, rather than tire you with so unpleasant a history. Adieu! Yours ever.

Letter 14 To George Montagu, Esq. Arlington Street, Oct. 16, 1770. (page 39)

At last I have been able to remove to London; but though long weeks are gone and over since I was seized, I am only able to creep about upon a flat floor, but cannot go up and down stairs. However, I have patience, as I can at least fetch a book for myself', instead of having a servant bring me a wrong one. I am much obliged to Lord Guildford for his goodness to me, and beg my thanks to him. When you go to Canterbury, pray don't wake the Black Prince. I am very unwarlike, and desire to live the rest of my time upon the stock of glory I saved to my share Out Of the last war. I know not more news than I did at Strawberry; there are not more people in town than I saw there, and I intend to return thither on Friday or Saturday. Adieu! Yours ever.

Letter 15 To The Earl Of Strafford. Arlington Street, Oct. 16, 1770. (page 39)

Though I have so very little to say, it is but my duty, my dear lord, to thank you for your extreme goodness to me and your inquiring after me. I was very bad again last week, but have mended so much since Friday night, that I really now believe the fit is over. I came to town on Sunday, and can creep about my room even without a stick, which is more felicity to me than if I had got a white one. I do not aim yet at such preferment as walking up stairs; but having moulted my stick, I flatter myself I shall come forth again without being lame. The few I have seen tell me there is nobody else in town. That is no grievance to me, when I should be at the mercy of all that should please to bestow their idle time upon me. I know nothing of the war-egg, but that sometimes it is to be hatched and sometimes to be addled.(16) Many folks get into the nest, and sit as hard upon it as they can, concluding it will produce a golden chick. As I shall not be a feather the better for it, I hate that game-breed, and prefer the old hen Peace and her dunghill brood. My compliments to my lady and all her poultry.

(16) The dispute with Spain relative to the possession of the Falkland Islands, had led to a considerable augmentation both of the army and navy; which gave an appearance of authenticity to the rumours of war which were now in circulation.-E.

Letter 16 To The Earl Of Charlemont.(17) Arlington Street, Oct. 17, 1770. (page 40)

My lord, I am very glad your lordship resisted your disposition to make me an apology for doing me a great honour; for, if you had not, the Lord knows where I should have found words to have made a proper return. Still you have left me greatly in your debt. It is very kind to remember me, and kinder to honour me with your commands: they shall be zealously obeyed to the utmost of my little credit; for an artist that your lordship patronises will, I imagine, want little recommendation, besides his own talents. It does not look, indeed, like very prompt obedience, when I am yet guessing only at Mr. Jervais's merit; but though he has lodged himself within a few doors of me, I have not been able to get to him, having been confined near two months with the gout, and still keeping my house. My first visit shall be to gratify my duty and curiosity. I am sorry to say, and beg your lordship's pardon for the confession, that, however high an opinion I have of your taste in the arts, I do not equally respect your judgment in books. it is in truth a defect that you have in common with the two great men who are the respective models of our present parties—

"The hero William, and the martyr Charles."

You know what happened to them after patronising Kneller and Bernini—

"One knighted Blackmore, and one pensioned Quarles."

After so saucy an attack, my lord, it is time to produce my proof. It lies in your own postscript, where you express a curiosity to see a certain tragedy, with a hint that the other works of the same author have found favour in your sight, and that the piece ought to have been sent to you. But, my lord, even your approbation has not made that author vain; and for the lay in question, it has so many perils to encounter, that it never thinks of producing itself. It peeped out of its lurking corner once or twice; and one of those times, by the negligence of a friend, had like to have been, what is often pretended in prefaces, stolen, and consigned to the press. When your lordship comes to England, which, for every reason but that, I hope will be Soon, you shall certainly see it; and will then allow, I am sure. how improper it would be for the author to risk its appearance in public. However, unworthy as that author may be, from his talents, of your lordship's favour, do not let its demerits be confounded with the esteem and attachment with which he has the honour to be, my lord, your lordship's most devoted servant.

(17) James Caulfield, Earl of Charlemont, an Irish nobleman, distinguished for his literary taste and patriotism. Of him Mr. Burke said, ,He is a man of such polished manners, of a mind so truly adorned and disposed to the adoption of whatever is excellent and praiseworthy, that to see and converse with him would alone induce me, or might induce any one who relishes such qualities, to pay a visit to Ireland." He died in 1799, and in 1810, his Memoirs were published by Francis Hardy, Esq. in a quarto volume.-E.

Letter 17 To The Rev. Mr. Cole. Arlington Street, Nov. 15, 1770. ((page 41)

Dear sir, If you have not engaged your interest in Cambridgeshire, you will oblige me much by bestowing it on young Mr. Brand, the son of my particular acquaintance, and our old schoolfellow. I am very unapt to trouble my head about elections, but wish success to this.

If you see Bannerman, I should be glad you would tell him that I am going to print the last volume of my Painters, and should like to employ him again for some of the heads, if he cares to undertake them: though there will be a little trouble as he does not reside in London. I am in a hurry, and am forced to be brief, but am always glad to hear of you, and from you. Yours most sincerely.

letter 18 To The Rev. Mr. Cole. Arlington Street, Nov. 20, 1770. (page 41)

I believe our letters crossed one another without knowing it. Mine, it seems, was quite unnecessary, for I find Mr. Brand has given up the election. Yours was very kind and obliging, as they always are. Pray be so good as to thank Mr. Tyson for me a thousand times; I am vastly pleased with his work, and hope he will give me another of the plates for my volume of heads (for I shall bind up his present), and I by no means relinquish his promise of a complete set of his etchings, and of a visit to Strawberry Hill. Why should it not be with you and Mr. Essex, whom I shall be very glad to see—but what do you talk of a single day? Is that all you allow me in two years?

I rejoice to see Mr. Bentham's advertisement at last. I depend on you, dear Sir, for procuring me his book(18) the instant it is possible to have it. Pray make my compliments to all that good family. I am enraged, and almost in despair, at Pearson the glass-painter, he is so idle and dissolute. He has done very little of the window, though what he has done is glorious, and approaches very nearly to Price.

My last volume of Painters begins to be printed this week; but, as the plates are not begun, I doubt it will be long before the whole is ready. I mentioned to you in my last Thursday's letter a hint about Bannerman, the engraver. Adieu!

(18) The "History and Antiquities of the Conventual and Cathedral Church at Ely," which appeared in the following year.-E.

Letter 19 To The Rev. Mr. Cole. Arlington Street, Dec. 20, 1770. (page 42)

Dear Sir I am very zealous, as you know, for the work; but I agree with you in expecting very little success from the plan.(19) Activity is the best implement in such undertakings, and that seems to be wanting; and, without that, it were vain to think of who would be at the expense. I do not know whether it were not best that Mr. Essex should publish his remarks as simply as he can. For my own part, I can do no more than I have done,- -sketch out the plan. I grow too old, and am grown too indolent, to engage in any more works: nor have I time. I wish to finish some things I have by me, and to have done. The last volume of my Anecdotes, of which I was tired, is completed and with them I shall take my leave of publications. The last years of one's life are fit for nothing but idleness and quiet, and I am as indifferent to fame as to politics.

I can be of as little use to Mr. Granger in recommending him to the Antiquarian Society. I dropped my attendance there four or five years ago, from being sick of their ignorance and stupidity, and have not been three times amongst them since. They have chosen to expose their dullness to the world, and crowned it with Dean Milles's(20) nonsense. I have written a little answer to the last, which you shall see, and then wash my hands of them.

To say the truth, I have no very sanguine expectation about the Ely window. The glass-painter, though admirable, proves a very idle worthless fellow, and has yet scarce done any thing of consequence. I gave Dr. Nichols notice of his character, but found him apprised of it. The Doctor, however, does not despair, but pursues him warmly. I wish it may succeed!

If you go over to Cambridge, be so good as to ask Mr. Grey when he proposes being in town; he talked of last month. I must beg you, too, to thank Mr. Tyson for his last letter. I can say no more to the Plan than I have said. If he and Mr. Essex should like to come to town, I shall be very willing to talk it over with them, but I can by no means think of engaging in any part of the composition.

These holidays I hope to have time to arrange my drawings, and give bannerman some employment towards my book, but I am in no hurry to have it appear, as it speaks of times so recent; for though I have been very tender of not hurting any living relations of the artists, the latter were in general so indifferent, that I doubt their families will not be very well content with the coldness of the praises I have been able to bestow. This reason, with my unwillingness to finish the work, and the long interval between the composition of this and the other volumes, have, I doubt, made the greatest part a very indifferent performance. An author, like other mechanics, never does well when he is tired of his profession.

I have been told that, besides Mr. Tyson, there are two other gentlemen engravers at Cambridge. I think their names are Sharp or Show, and Cobbe, but I am not at all sure of either. I should be glad, however, if I could procure any of their portraits; and I do not forget that I am already in your debt. Boydell is going to recommence a suite of illustrious heads, and I am to give him a list of indubitable portraits of remarkable persons that have never been engraved; but I have protested against his receiving two sorts; the one, any old head of a family, when the person was moderately considerable; the other, spurious or doubtful heads; both sorts apt to be sent in by families who wish to crowd -their own names into the work; as was the case more than once in Houbraken's set, and of which honest Vertue often complained to me. The Duke of Buckingham, Carr, Earl of Somerset, and Thurloe, in that list, are absolutely not genuine—the first is John Digby Earl of Bristol. Yours ever.

(19) Mr. Essex's projected History of Gothic Architecture. See vol. iii. Letter 366 to the Rev. Mr. Cole, Aug. 12, 1769.-E.

(20) Dr. Jeremiah Milles, dean of Exeter, many years president of the Antiquarian Society. He engaged ardently in the Chatterton controversy, and published the whole of the poems purporting to be written by Rowley, with a glossary; thereby proving himself a fit subject for that chef-d'oeuvre of wit and poetry, the Archaeological Epistle, written by Mason. Walpole's answer is entitled, "Reply to the Observations on the Remarks of the Rev. Dr. Milles, Dean of Exeter and President of the Society of Antiquaries, on the Wardrobe Account of 1483, etc." It is inserted in the second volume of his collected Works-E.

Letter 20 To The Hon. H. S. Conway. Arlington Street, Christmas-day. (page 43)

If poplar-pines ever grow,(21) it must be in such a soaking season as this. I wish you would send half-a-dozen by some Henley barge to meet me next Saturday at Strawberry Hill, that they may be as tall as the Monument by next summer. My cascades give themselves the airs of cataracts, and Mrs. Clive looks like the sun rising out of the ocean. Poor Mr. Raftor(22) is tired to death of their solitude; and, as his passion is walking, he talks with rapture of the brave rows of lamps all along the street, just as I used formerly to think no trees beautiful without lamps to them, like those at Vauxhall.

As I came to town but to dinner, and have not seen a soul, I do not KNOW whether there is any news. I am just going to the Princess,(23) where I shall hear all there is. I went to King Arthur(24) on Saturday, and was tired to death, both of the nonsense of the piece and the execrable performance, the singers being still worse than the actors. The scenes are little better (though Garrick boasts of rivalling the French Opera,) except a pretty bridge, and a Gothic church with windows of painted glass. This scene, which should be a barbarous temple of Woden, is a perfect cathedral, and the devil officiates at a kind of high-mass! I never saw greater absurdities. Adieu!

(21) The first poplar-pine (or, as they have since been called, Lombardy poplar) planted in England was at Park-place, on the bank of the river near the great arch. It was a cutting brought from Turin by Lord Rochford in his carriage, and planted by General Conway's own hand.

(22) Brother of Mrs. Clive. He had been an actor himself, and, when his sister retired from the stage, lived with her in the house Mr. Walpole had given her at Twickenham.

(23( The Princess Amelia.

(24) Dryden's dramatic opera of King Arthur, or the British Worthy, altered by Garrick, was this year brought out at Drury Lane, and, by the aid of scenery, was very successful.-E.

Letter 21 To The Hon. H. S. Conway. Arlington Street, Dec. 29, 1770. (page 44)

The trees came safe: I thank you for them: they are gone to Strawberry, and I am going to plant them. This paragraph would not call for a letter, but I have news for you of importance enough to dignify a despatch. The Duc de Choiseul is fallen! The express from Lord Harcourt arrived yesterday morning; the event happened last Monday night, and the courier set out so immediately, that not many particulars are yet known. The Duke was allowed but three hours to prepare himself, and ordered to retire to his seat at Chanteloup: but some letters say, "il ira plus loin." The Duc de Praslin is banished, too, and Chatelet is forbidden to visit Choiseul. Chatelet was to have had the marine; and I am Sure is no loss to us. The Chevalier de Muy is made secretary of state pour la guerre;(25) and it is concluded that the Duc d'Aiguillon is prime-minister, but was not named so in the first hurry. There! there is a revolution! there is a new scene opened! Will it advance the war? Will it make peace? These are the questions all mankind is asking. This whale has swallowed up all gudgeon-questions. Lord Harcourt writes, that the d'Aiguillonists had officiously taken opportunities of assuring him, that if they prevailed it would be peace; but in this country we know that opponents turned ministers can change their language It is added, that the morning of Choiseul's banishment'(26) the King said to him, "Monsieur, je vous ai dit que je ne voulais point la guerre." Yet how does this agree with Franc'es's(27) eager protestations that Choiseul's fate depended on preserving the peace? How does it agree with the Comptroller-general's offer of finding funds for the war, and of Choiseul's proving he could not?—But how reconcile half the politics one hears? De Guisnes and Franc'es sent their excuses to the Duchess of Argyle last night; and I suppose the Spaniards, too; for none of them were there.—Well! I shall let all this bustle cool for two days; for what Englishman does not sacrifice any thing to go his Saturday out of town? And yet I am very much interested in this event; I feel much for Madame de Choiseul, though nothing for her Corsican husband; but I am in the utmost anxiety for my dear old friend,(28) who passed every evening with the Duchess, and was thence in great credit; and what is worse, though nobody, I think, can be savage enough to take away her pension, she may find great difficulty to get it paid—and then her poor heart is so good and warm, that this blow on her friends, at her great age, may kill her.(29) I have had no letter, nor had last post—whether it was stopped, or whether she apprehended the event, as I imagine—for every one observed, on Tuesday night, at your brother's, that Franc'es could not open his mouth. In short, I am most seriously alarmed about her.

You have seen in the papers the designed arrangements in the law.(30) They now say there is some hitch; but I suppose it turns on some demands, and so will be got over by their being granted. Mr. Mason, the bard, gave me yesterday, the enclosed memorial, and begged I would recommend it to you. It is in favour of a very ingenious painter. Adieu! the sun shines brightly; but it is one o'clock, and it will be set before I get to Twickenham. Yours ever.

(25) The Chevalier, afterwards Mar'echal de Muy, was offered that place, but declined it. He eventually filled it in the early part of the reign of Louis XVI.-E.

(26) The Duc de Choiseul was dismissed from the ministry through the intrigues of Madame du Barry, who accused him of an improper correspondence with Spain.— E.

(27) Then charg'e des affaires from the French court in London.

(28) It appears by Madame du Deffand's Letters to Walpole, that she had addressed to him, on the 27th of December, one of considerable length, filled with details relative to the dismissal of the Duc de Choiseul, which took place on the 24th, and the appointment of his successor; but this letter is unfortunately lost.-E.

(29) By the reduction which the Abb'e de Terrai, when he first entered upon the controle g'en'eral, made upon all pensions, Madame du Deffand had lost three thousand livres of income. To her letter of the 2d of February 1771, announcing this diminution, Walpole made the following generous reply:—"Je ne saurois souffrir une telle diminution de votre bien. O'u voulez-vous faire des retranchemens? O'u est-il possible que vous en fassiez? Ne daignez pas fire un pas, s'il n'est pas fait, pour remplacer vos trois Mille livres. Ayez assez d'amiti'e pour moi pour les accepter de ma part. Accordez-moi, je vous conjure, la gr'ace, que je vous demande aux genoux, et jouissez de la satisfaction de vous dire, j'ai un ami qui ne permettra jamais que je me jette aux pieds des grands. Ma Petite, j'insiste."-E.

(30) Mr. Bathurst was created Lord Apsley, and appointed Lord Chancellor; Sir William de Grey was made Chief Justice of the Common Pleas; Mr. Thurlow, attorney-general and Mr. Wedderburn, solicitor-general.-E.

Letter 22 To The Rev. Mr. Cole. Arlington Street, Jan. 10, 1771. (page 45)

As I am acquainted with Mr. Paul Sandby, the brother of the architect,(31) I asked him if there was a design, as I had heard, of making a print or prints of King's College Chapel, by the King's order'! He answered directly, by no means. His brother made a general sketch of the chapel for the use of the lectures he reads on architecture at the Royal Academy. Thus, dear Sir, Mr. Essex may be perfectly easy that there is no intention of interfering with his work. I then mentioned to Mr. Sandby Mr. Essex's plan, which he much approved, but said the plates would cost a great sum. The King, he thought, would be inclined to patronise the work; but I own I do not know how to get it laid before him. His own artists would probably discourage any scheme that might entrench on their own advantages. Mr. Thomas Sandby, the architect, is the only one of them I am acquainted with; and Mr. Essex must think whether he would like to let him into any participation of the work. If I can get any other person to mention it to his Majesty, I will; but you know me, and that I have always kept clear of connexions with courts and ministers, and have no interest with either, and perhaps my recommendation might do as much hurt as good, especially as the artists in favour might be jealous Of One who understands a little of their professions, and is apt to say what he thinks. In truth, there is another danger, which is that they might not assist Mr. Essex without views of profiting of his labours. I am slightly acquainted with Mr. Chambers,(32) the architect, and have a good opinion of him: if Mr. Essex approves my communicating his plan to him or Mr. Sandby, I should think it more likely to succeed by their intervention, than by any lord of the court; for, at last, the King would certainly take the opinion of his artists. When you have talked this over with Mr. Essex, let me know the result. Till he has determined, there can be no use in Mr. Essex's coming to town.

Mr. Gray will bring down some of my drawings to Bannerman, and when you go over to Cambridge, I will beg you now and then to supervise him. For Mr. Bentham's book, I rather despair of it; and should it ever appear, he will have had people expect it too long, which will be of no service to it, though I do not doubt of its merit. Mr. Gray will show you my answer to"Dr. Milles.(33) Yours ever.

(31) Paul Sandby, the well-known artist in water-colours, was brother to Thomas Sandby, who was professor of architecture in the Royal Academy of London.-E.

(32) Afterwards Sir William Chambers, author of the well-known "Treatise on Civil Architecture;" a "Dissertation on Oriental Gardening," etc. In 1775, he was appointed to superintend the building of Somerset-house, in the Strand.-E.

(33) In the early part of this year, Walpole's house in Arlington-street was broke open, without his servants being alarmed; all the locks forced off his drawers, cabinets, etc. their contents scattered about the rooms, and yet nothing taken away. In her letter of the 3d of April, Madame du Deffand says, "Votre aventure fait tenir ici toute sorte de propos: les uns disent que l'on vous soup'connait d'avoir une correspondence secr'ete avec M. de Choiseul.-E.

Letter 23 To The Rev. Mr. Cole. Arlington Street, May 29, 1771. (page 46)

Dear Sir, I have but time to write you a line, that I may not detain Mr. Essex, who is so good as to take charge of this note, and of a box, which I am sure will give you pleasure, and I beg may give you a little trouble. It contains the very valuable seven letters of Edward the sixth to Barnaby Fitzpatrick. Lord Ossory, to whom they belong, has lent them to me to print, but to facilitate that, and to prevent their being rubbed or hurt by the printer, I must entreat your exactness to copy them, and return them with the copies. I need not desire your particular care; for you value these things as much as I do, and will be able to make them out better than I can do, from being so much versed in old writing. Forgive my taking this liberty with you, which, I flatter myself, will not be disagreeable. Mr. Essex and Mr. Tyson dined with me at Strawberry Hill; but could not stay so long as I wished. The party would have been still more agreeable if you had made a fourth. Adieu! dear Sir, yours ever.

Letter 24 To The Rev. Mr. Cole. Arlington Street, June 11, 1771. (page 47)

You are very kind, dear Sir, and I ought to be, nay, what is more, I am ashamed of giving you so much trouble; but I am in no hurry for the letters. I shall not set out till the 7th of next month, And it will be sufficient if I receive them a week before I set out. Mr. C. C. C. C. is very welcome to attack me about a Duchess of Norfolk. He is even welcome to be in the right; to the edification I hope of all the matrons at the Antiquarian Society, who I trust will insert his criticism in the next volume of their Archaeologia, or Old Women's Logic; but, indeed, I cannot bestow my time on any more of them, nor employ myself in detecting witches for vomiting pins. When they turn extortioners like Mr. Masters,(34) the law should punish them, not only for roguery, but for exceeding their province, which our ancestors limited to killing their neighbour's cow, or crucifying dolls of wax. For my own part, I am so far from being out of charity with him, that I would give him a nag or new broom whenever he has a mind to ride to the Antiquarian sabbat, and preach against me. Though you have more cause to be angry, laugh -,it him as I do. One has not life enough to throw away on all the fools and knaves that come across one. I have often been attacked, and never replied but to Mr. Hume and Dr. Milles—to the first, because he had a name; to the second, because he had a mind to have one:—and yet I was in the wrong, for it was the only way he could attain one. In truth, it is being too self-interested, to expose only one's private antagonists, when one lets worse men pass unmolested. Does a booby hurt me by an attack on me, more than by any other foolish thing he does? Does not he tease me more by any thing he says to me, without attacking me, than by any thing he says against me behind my back? I shall, therefore, most certainly never inquire after or read Mr. C. C. C. C.'s criticism, but leave him to oblivion with her Grace of Norfolk, and our wise society. As I doubt my own writings will soon be forgotten, I need not fear that those of my answerers will be remembered.

(34) There is a note on this letter in Cole's handwriting. Mr. Mason had informed him, that Mr. Masters had lately read a paper at the Antiquarian Society against some mistake of Mr. Walpole's respective a Duchess of Norfolk; and he adds, "This I informed Mr. Walpole of in my letter, and said something to him of Masters' extortion in making me pay forty pounds towards the repairing his vicarage-house at Waterbeche, which he pretended he had fitted up for my reception."

Letter 25 To The Hon. H. S. Conway.(35) Strawberry Hill, June 17, 1771. (page 48)

I was very sure you would grant my request, if you could, and I am perfectly satisfied with your reasons; but I do not believe the parties concerned will be so too, especially the heads of the family, who are not so ready to serve their relations at their own expense as gratis. When I see you I will tell you more, and what I thought I had told you.

You tax me with four days in Bedfordshire; I was but three at most, and of those the evening I went, and the morning I came away, made the third day. I will try to see you before I go. The Edgcumbes I should like and Lady Lyttelton, but Garrick does not tempt me at all. I have no taste for his perpetual buffoonery, and am sick of his endless expectation of flattery; but you who charge me with making a long visit to Lord and Lady Ossory,—you do not see the mote in your own eye; at least I am sure Lady Ailesbury does not see that in hers. I could not obtain a single day from her all last year, and with difficulty got her to give me a few hours this. There is always an indispensable pheasantry that must be visited, or some thing from which she cannot spare four-and-twenty hours. Strawberry sets this down in its pocket-book. and resents the neglect.

At two miles from Houghton Park is the mausoleum of the Bruces, where I saw the most ridiculous monument of one of Lady Ailesbury's predecessors that ever was imagined; I beg she will never keep such company. In the midst of an octagon chapel is the tomb of Diana, Countess of Oxford and Elgin. From a huge unwieldy base of white marble rises a black marble cistern; literally a cistern that would serve for an eating-room. In the midst of this, to the knees, stands her ladyship in a white domino or shroud, with her left hand erect as giving her blessing. It put me in mind of Mrs. Cavendish when she got drunk in the bathing-tub. At another church is a kind of catacomb for the Earls of Kent: there are ten sumptuous monuments. Wrest and Hawnes are both ugly places; the house at the former is ridiculously old and bad. The state bedchamber (not ten feet high) and its drawing-room, are laced with Ionic columns of spotted velvet, and friezes of patchwork. There are bushels of deplorable earls and countesses. The garden was execrable too, but is something mended by Brown. Houghton Park and Ampthill stand finely: the last is a very good house, and has a beautiful park. The other has three beautiful old fronts, in the style of Holland House, with turrets and loggias, but not so large within. It is the worst contrived dwelling I ever saw. Upon the whole, I was much diverted with my journey. On my return I stayed but a single hour in London, saw no soul, and came hither to meet the deluge. It has rained all night, and all day; but it is midsummer, consequently midwinter, and one can expect no better. Adieu!

(35) Now first printed.

Letter 26 To The Earl Of Strafford. Strawberry Hill, June 20, 1771. (page 49)

I have waited impatiently, my dear lord, for something worth putting into a letter but trees do not speak in parliament, nor flowers write in the newspapers; and they are almost the only beings I have seen. I dined on Tuesday at Notting-hill(36) with the Countesses of Powis and Holderness, Lord and Lady Pelham, and Lord Frederick Cavendish—and Pam; and shall go to town on Friday to meet the same company at Lady Holderness's; and this short journal comprises almost my whole history and knowledge.

I must now ask your lordship's and Lady Strafford's commands for Paris. I shall set out on the 7th of next month. You will think, though you will not tell me so, that these are Very juvenile jaunts at my age. Indeed, I should be ashamed if I went for any other pleasure but that of once more seeing my dear blind friend, whose much greater age forbids my depending on seeing more often.(37) It will, indeed, be amusing to change the scene of politics for though I have done with our own, one cannot help hearing them—nay, reading them; for, like flies, they come to breakfast with one's bread and butter. I wish there was any other vehicle for them but a newspaper; a place into which, considering how they are exhausted, I am sure they have no pretensions. The Duc d'Aiguillon, I hear, is minister. Their politics, some way or other, must end seriously, either in despotism, a civil war, or assassination. Methinks, it is playing deep for the power of tyranny. Charles Fox is more moderate: he only games for an hundred thousand pounds that he has not.

Have you read the Life of Benvenuto Cellini,(38) my lord? I am angry with him for being more distracted and wrong-headed than my Lord Herbert. Till the revival of these two, I thought the present age had borne the palm of absurdity from all its predecessors. But I find our contemporaries are quiet good folks, that only game till they hang themselves, and do not kill every body they meet in the street. Who would have thought we were so reasonable?

Ranelagh, they tell me, is full of foreign dukes. There is a Duc de la Tr'emouille, a Duc d'Aremberg, and other grandees. I know the former, and am not sorry to be out of his way.

It is not pleasant to leave groves and lawns and rivers for a dirty town with a dirtier ditch, calling itself the Seine; but I dare not encounter the sea and bad inns in cold weather. This consideration will bring me back by the end of August. I should be happy to execute any commission for your lordship. You know how earnestly I wish always to show myself your lordship's most faithful humble servant.

(36) near Kensington. The villa of Lady Mary Coke.

(37) In the February of this-year Madame du Deffand had made her will, and bequeathed Walpole all her manuscripts-. In her letter of the 17th, informing him that she had so done, she says, "Je fis usage de votre 'j'y consens.' J'ai une vraie satisfaction que cette affaire soit termin'ee, et jamais vous ne m'avez fait un plus v'eritable plaisir qu'en pronon'cant ces deux mots."-E.

(38) The celebrated Florentine sculptor, "one of the most extraordinary men in an extraordinary age," so designated by Walpole. His Life, written by himself, was first published in English in 1771, from a translation by Dr. T. Nugent; of which a new edition, corrected and enlarged, with the notes and observations of G. P. Carpani, translated by Thomas Roscoe, appeared in 1822.-E.

Letter 27 To The Rev. Mr. Cole. Arlington Street, June 22, 1771. (page 50)

I just write you a line, dear Sir, to acknowledge the receipt of the box of papers, which is come very safe, and to give you a thousand thanks for the trouble you have taken. As you promise me another letter I will wait to answer it.

At present I will only beg another favour, and with less shame, as it is of a kind you will like to grant. I have lately been at Lord Ossory's at Ampthill. You know Catherine of Arragon lived some time there.(39) Nothing remains of the castle, nor any marks of residence, but a very small bit of her garden. I proposed to Lord Ossory to erect a cross to her memory on the spot, and he will. I wish, therefore, you could, from your collections of books, or memory, pick out an authentic form of a cross, of a better appearance than the common run. It must be raised on two or three steps; and if they were octagon, would it not be handsomer? Her arms must be hung like an order upon it. Here is something of my idea.(40) The shield appendant to a collar. We will have some inscriptions to mark the cause of erection. Adieu! Your most obliged.

(39) After her divorce from Henry the Eighth.

(40) A rough sketch in the margin of the letter.

Letter 28 To The Rev. Mr. Cole. Strawberry Hill, June 24, 1771. (page 51)

Dear Sir, when I wrote to you t'other day, I had not opened the box of letters, and consequently had not found yours, for which, and the prints, I give you a thousand thanks; though Count Bryan I have, and will return to you. Old Walker(41) is very like, and is valuable for being mentioned in the Dunciad, and a curiosity, from being mentioned there without abuse.

Your notes are very judicious,(42) and your information most useful to me in drawing up some little preface to the Letters; which, however, I shall not have time now to do before my journey, as I shall set out on Sunday se'nnight. I like your motto much. The Lady Cecilia's Letters are, as you say, more curious for the writer than the matter. We know very little of those daughters of Edward IV. Yet she and her sister Devonshire lived to be old; especially Cecily, who was married to Lord Wells; and I have found why: he was first cousin to Henry VII., who, I suppose, thought it the safest match for her. I wish I knew all she and her sisters knew of her brothers, and their uncle Richard III. Much good may it do my Lord of Canterbury with his parboiled stag! Sure there must be more curiosities in Bennet Library!

Though your letter is so entertaining and useful to me, the passage I like best is a promise you make me of a visit in the autumn with Mr. Essex. Pray put him in mind of it, as I shall you. It would add much to the obligation if you would bring two or three of your MS. volumes of collections with you. Yours ever.

(41) Dr. Richard Walker, vice-master of Trinity College, by Lambourne.

(42) From King Edward's Journal relating to Mr. Fitzpatrick.

Letter 29 To John Chute, Esq. Amiens, Tuesday evening, July 9, 1771. (page 51)

I am got no farther yet, as I travel leisurely, and do not venture to fatigue myself. My voyage was but of four hours. I was sick only by choice and precaution, and find myself in perfect health. The enemy, I hope, has not returned to pinch you again, and that you defy the foul fiend. The weather is but lukewarm, and I should choose to have all the windows shut, if my smelling was not much more summerly than my feeling; but the frowsiness of obsolete tapestry and needlework is insupportable. Here are old fleas and bugs talking of Louis Quatorze like tattered refugees in the park, and they make poor Rosette attend them, whether she will or not. This is a woful account of an evening in July, and which Monsieur de St. Lambert has omitted in his Seasons, though more natural than any thing he has placed there. I f the Grecian religion had gone into the folly of self-mortification, I suppose the devotees of Flora would have shut themselves up in a nasty inn, and have punished their noses for the sensuality of having smelt to a rose or a honeysuckle.

This is all I have yet to say; for I have had no adventure, no accident, nor seen a soul but my cousin Richard Walpole, whom I met on the road and spoke to in his chaise. To-morrow I shall lie at Chantilly, and be at Paris early on Thursday. The Churchills are there already. Good night— and a sweet one to you!

Paris, Wednesday night, July 10.

I was so suffocated with my inn last night, that I mustered all my resolution, rose with the alouette this morning, and was in my chaise by five o'clock I got hither by eight this evening, tired, but rejoiced; I have had a comfortable dish of tea, and am going to bed in clean sheets. I sink myself even to my dear old woman(43) and my sister; for it is impossible to sit down and be made charming At this time of night after fifteen posts, and after having been here twenty times before.

At Chantilly I crossed the Countess of Walpole, who lies there to-night on her way to England. But I concluded she had no curiosity about me-and I could not brag of more about her-and so we had no intercourse. I am wobegone to find my Lord F -* * * in the same hotel. He is as starched as an old-fashioned plaited neckcloth, and come to suck wisdom from this curious school of philosophy. He reveres me because I was acquainted with his father; and that does not at all increase my partiality to the son.

Luckily, the post departs early to-morrow morning I thought you would like to hear I was arrived -well. I should be happy to hear you are so; but do not torment yourself too soon, nor will I torment you. I have fixed the 26th of August for setting out on my return. These jaunts are too juvenile. I am ashamed to look back and remember in what year of Methuselah I was here first. Rosette Sends her blessing to her daughter. Adieu! Yours ever.

(43) Madame du Deffand; who, in her letter to Walpole of the 12th of June, had said, "Je sens l'exc'es de votre complaisance; j'ai tant de joie de l'esp'erance de vous revoir qu'il me semble que rien ne peut plus m'affliger ni m'attrister."—E.

Letter 30 To The Hon. H. S. Conway. Paris, July 30, 1771. (page 52)

I do not know where you are, nor where this will find you, nor when it will set out to seek you, as I am not certain by whom I shall send it. It is of little consequence, as I have nothing material to tell you, but what you probably may have heard.

The distress here is incredible, especially at court. The King's tradesmen are ruined, his servants starving, and even angels and archangels cannot get their pensions and salaries, but sing, "Woe! woe! woe!" instead of Hosannahs. Compi'egne is abandoned; Villiers-coterets and Chantilly(44) crowded, and Chanteloup(45) still more in fashion, whither every body goes that pleases; though, when they ask leave, the answer is, "Je ne le defends ni le permets." This is the first time that ever the will of a King of France was interpreted against his inclination. Yet, after annihilating his Parliament, and ruining public credit, he tamely submits to be affronted by his own servants. Madame de Beauveau, and two or three high-spirited dames, defy this Czar of Gaul- Yet they and their cabal are as inconsistent on the other hand. They make epigrams, sing vaudevilles(46) against the mistress, hand about libels against the Chancellor, and have no more effect than a sky-rocket; but in three months will die to go to court, and to be invited to sup with Madame du Barry. The only real struggle is between the Chancellor(47) and the Duc d'Aiguillon. The first is false, bold, determined, and not subject to little qualms. The other is less known, communicates himself to nobody, is suspected of deep policy and deep designs, but seems to intend to set out under a mask of very smooth varnish; for he has just obtained the payment of all his bitter enemy La Chalotais' pensions and arrears. He has the advantage, too, of being but moderately detested in comparison of his rival, and, what he values more, the interest of the mistress.(48) The Comptroller-general serves both, by acting mischief more sensibly felt; for he ruins every body but those who purchase a respite from his mistress.(49) He dispenses bankruptcy by retail, and will fall, because he cannot even by these means be useful enough. They are striking off nine millions la caisse militaire, five from the marine, and one from the afaires 'etrang'eres: yet all this will not extricate them. You never saw a great nation in so disgraceful a position. Their next prospect is not better: it rests on an imbecile, both in mind and body.

July 31.

Mr. Churchill and my sister set out to-night after supper, and I shall send this letter by them. There are no new books, no new Plays, no new novels; nay, no new fashions. They have dragged old Mademoiselle Le Maure out of a retreat of thirty years, to sing at the Colis'ee, which is a most gaudy Ranelagh, gilt, painted, and becupided like an Opera, but not calculated to last as long as Mother Coliseum, being composed of chalk and pasteboard. Round it are courts of treillage, that serve for nothing, and behind it a canal, very like a horsepond, on which there are fireworks and justs. Altogether it is very pretty; but as there are few nabobs and nabobesses in this country, and as the middling and common people are not much richer than Job when he had lost every thing but his patience, the proprietors are on the point of being ruined, unless the project takes place that is talked of. It is, to oblige Corneille, Racine, and Moli'ere to hold their tongues twice a-week, that their audiences may go to the Colis'ee. This is like our Parliament's adjourning when senators want to go to Newmarket. There is a Monsieur Gaillard writing a "History of the Rivalit'e de la France et de l'Angleterre."(50) I hope he will not omit this parallel.

The instance of their poverty that strikes me most, who make political observations by the thermometer of baubles, is, that there is nothing new in their shops. I know the faces of every snuff-box and every tea-cup as well as those of Madame du Lac and Monsieur Poirier. I have chosen some cups and saucers for my Lady Ailesbury, as she ordered me; but I cannot say they are at all extraordinary. I have bespoken two cabriolets for her, instead of six, because I think them very dear, and that she may have four more if she likes them. I shall bring, too, a sample of a baguette that suits them. For myself, between economy and the want of novelty, I have not laid out five guineas—a very memorable anecdote in the history of my life. Indeed, the Czarina and I have a little dispute; she has offered to purchase the whole Crozat collection of pictures, at which I had intended to ruin myself. The Turks thank her for it! Apropos, they are sending from hence fourscore officers to Poland, each of whom I suppose, like Almanzor, can stamp with his foot and raise an army.

As my sister travels like a Tartar princess with her whole horde, she will arrive too late almost for me to hear from you in return to this letter, which in truth requires no answer, v'u que I shall set out myself on the 26th of August. You will not imagine that I am glad to save myself the pleasure of hearing from you; but I would not give you the trouble of writing unnecessarily. If you are at home, and not in Scotland, you will judge by these dates where to find me. Adieu!

P. S. Instead of restoring the Jesuits, they are proceeding to annihilate the Celestines, Augustines, and some other orders.

(44) The country palaces of the Duke of Orleans and the Prince of Cond'e; who were in disgrace at court for having espoused the cause of the Parliament of Paris, banished by the Chancellor Maupeou.

(45) The country seat of the Duc de Choiseul, to which, on his ceasing to be first minister, he was banished by the King.

(46) The following 'echantillon of these vaudevilles was given by Madame du Deffand to Walpole:—

"L'avez-vous vue, ma Du Barry, Elle a ravi mon 'ame; Pour elle j'ai perdu l'esprit, Des Fran'cais j'ai le bl'ame: Charmants enfans de la Gourdon, Est-elle chez vous maintenant? Rendez-la-moi, Je suis le Roi, Soulagez mon martyre; Rendez-la-moi, Elle est 'a moi, Je suis son pauvre Sire. Llavez-vous vue, etc.

"Je sais qu'autrefois les laquais Ont f'et'e ses jeunes attraits; Que les cochers, Les peruquiers, L'aimaient, l'aimaient d'amour ex'eme, Mais pas autant que je l'aime. L'avez-vous vue," etc,-E.

(47) Maupeou.

(48) Madame du Barry.'''

(49) The Abb'e Terrai was comptroller-general of the finances. His mistress, known in the fashionable circles of Paris by the name of La Sultane, received money, as it was supposed, in concert with the Abb'e himself, for every act of favour or justice solicited from the department over which he presided.-E.

(50) In a letter to Walpole, Madame du Deffand thus speaks of this work:—"Il m'arrive une bonne fortune apr'es laquelle je soupirais depuis longtemps: c'est un livre qui me plait infiniment; il est de M. Gaillard; il a Pour titre 'Rivalit'e de la France et de l'Angleterre;' il est par chapitres, et chaque chapitre est les 'ev'enemens du r'egne d'un Roi de France et d'un Roi d'Angleterre contemporains. Il est bien loin d''etre fini; il n'en est qu'a Philippe de Valois et Edouard Trois. Il n'y a que trois volumes; il y en aura peut-'etre douze ou quinze." The work, which was not completed till the year 1774, extended to eleven Volumes.-E.

Letter 31 To John Chute, Esq. Paris, August 5, 1771. ((page 55)

It is a great satisfaction to Me to find by your letter of the 30th, that you have had no return of your gout. I have been assured here, that the best remedy is to cut one's nails in hot water. It is, I fear, as certain as any other remedy! It would at least be so here, if their bodies were of a piece with their understandings; or if both were as curable as they are the contrary. Your prophecy, I doubt, is not better founded than the prescription. I may be lame; but I shall never be a duck, nor deal in the garbage of the Alley. I envy your Strawberry tide, and need not say how much I wish I was there to receive you. Methinks, I should be as glad of a little grass, as a seaman after a long voyage. Yet English gardening gains ground here prodigiously-not much at a time, indeed—I have literally seen one, that is exactly like a tailor's paper of patterns. There is a Monsieur Boutin, who has tacked a piece of what he calls an English garden to a set of stone terraces, with steps of turf. There are three or four very high hills, almost as high as, and exactly in the shape of, a tansy pudding. You squeeze between these and a river, that is conducted at obtuse angles in a stone channel, and supplied by a pump, and when walnuts Come in I suppose it will be navigable. In a corner enclosed by a chalk wall are the samples I mentioned: there is a stripe of grass, another of corn, and a third en friche, exactly in the order of beds in a nursery. They have translated Mr. Whately's book,(51) and the Lord knows what barbarism is going to be laid at our door. This new anglomanie will literally be mad English.

New arr'ets, new retrenchments, new misery, stalk forth every day. The Parliament of Besan'con is dissolved; so are the grenadiers de France. The King's tradesmen are all bankrupt; no pensions are paid, and every body is reforming their suppers and equipages. Despotism makes converts faster than ever Christianity did. Louis Quinze is the true rex Ckristianissimus, and has ten times more success than his dragooning great-grandfather. Adieu, my dear Sir! Yours most faithfully.

Friday, 9th.

This was to have gone by a private hand, but cannot depart till Monday; so I may be continuing my letter till I bring it myself. I have been again at the Chartreuse; and though it was the sixth time, I am more enchanted with those paintings(52) than ever. If it is not the first work in the world, and must yield to the Vatican, yet in simplicity and harmony it beats Raphael himself. There is a vapour over all the pictures, that makes them more natural than any representation of objects-1 cannot conceive bow it is effected! You see them through the shine of a southeast wind. These poor folks do not know the inestimable treasure they possess—but they are perishing these pictures, and one gazes at them as at a setting sun. There is the purity of a Racine in them, but they give me more pleasure- -and I should much sooner be tired of the poet than of the painter.

It is very singular that I have not half the satisfaction in going into C, churches and convents that I used to have. The consciousness that the vision is dispelled, the want of fervour so obvious in the religious, the solitude that one knows proceeds from contempt, not from contemplation, make those places appear like abandoned theatres destined to destruction. The monks trot about as if they had not long to stay there; and what used to be the holy gloom is now but dirt and darkness. There is no more deception than in a tragedy acted by candlesnuffers. One is sorry to think that an empire of common sense would not be very picturesque; for, as there is nothing but taste that can compensate for the imagination of madness, I doubt there will never be twenty men of taste for twenty thousand madmen. The world will no more see Athens, Rome, and the Medici again, than a succession of five good emperors, like Nerva, Trajan, Adrian, and the two Antonines.

August 13.

Mr. Edmonson called on me; and, as he sets on to-morrow, I can safely trust my letter to him. I have, I own,, been much shocked at reading Gray's(53) death in the papers. 'Tis an hour that makes one forget any subject of complaint, especially towards one with whom I lived in friendship from thirteen years old. As self lies so rooted in self, no doubt the nearness of our ages made the stroke recoil to my own breast; and having so little expected his death, it is Plain how little I expect my own. Yet to you, who of all men living are the most forgiving, I need not excuse the concern I feel. I fear most men ought to apologize for their want of feeling, instead of palliating that sensation when they have it. I thought that what I had seen of the world had hardened my heart; but I find that it had formed my language, not extinguished my tenderness. In short, I am really shocked—nay, I am hurt at my own weakness, as I perceive that when I love any body, it is for my life; and I have had too Much reason not to wish that such a disposition may very seldom be put to the trial.(54) You, at least, are the only person to whom I would venture to make such a confession.

Adieu! my dear Sir! Let me know when I arrive, which will be about the last day of the month, when I am likely to see YOU. I have much to say to you. Of being here I am most heartily tired, and nothing but the dear old woman should keep me here an hour-I am weary of them to death-but that is not new! Yours ever.

(51) Entitled "An Essay on Design in Gardening," Mr. Whately was at this time under-secretary of state, and member for Castle Rising. In January, 1772, he was made keeper of the King's private roads, gates, and bridges, and died in the June following.-E.

(52) The Life of St. Bruno, painted by Le Soeur, in the cloister of the Chartreuse.

(53) On the 24th of July," says Mr. Mitford, "Gray, while at dinner in the college hall, was seized with an attack of the gout in his stomach. The violence of the disease resisted all the powers of medicine: on the 29th he was seized with convulsions, which returned more violently on the 30th; and he expired on the evening of that day, in the fifty-fifth year of his age." Works, Vol. i, P. lvi-E.

(54) "It will appear from this and the two following letters," observes Mr. Mitford, "that Walpole's affection and friendship for Gray was warm and sincere after the reconcilement took place; and indeed, before that, and immediately after the quarrel, I believe his regard for Gray was undiminished." Works, vol. iv. p. 2 12-E.

Letter 32 To The Hon. H. S. Conway. Paris, August 11, 1771. (page 57)

You will have seen, I hope, before now, that I have not neglected writing to you. I sent you a letter by my sister, but doubt she has been a great while upon the road, as they travel with a large family. I was not sure where you was, and would not write at random by the post.

I was just going out when I received yours and the newspapers. I was struck in a most sensible manner, when, after reading your letter, I saw in the newspapers that Gray is dead! So very ancient an intimacy(55) and, I suppose, the natural reflection to self on losing a person but a year older, made me absolutely start in my chair. It seemed more a corporal than a mental blow; and yet I am exceedingly concerned for him, and every body must be so for the loss of such a genius. He called on me but two or three days before I came hither; he complained of being ill, and talked of the gout in his stomach—but I expected his death no more than my own—and yet the same death will probably be mine.(56) I am full of all these reflections-but shall not attrist you with them: only do not wonder that my letter will be short, when my mind is full of what I do not give vent to. It was but last night that I was thinking how few persons last, if one lives to be old, to whom one can talk without reserve. It is impossible to be intimate with the Young, because they and the old cannot converse on the same common topics; and of the old that survive, there are few one can commence a friendship with, because one has probably all one's life despised their heart or their understandings. These are the steps through which one passes to the unenviable lees of life!

I am very sorry for the state of poor Lady Beauchamp. It presages ill. She had a prospect of long happiness. Opium is a very false friend. I will get you Bougainville's book.(57) I think it is on the Falkland Isles, for it cannot be on those just discovered; but as I set out to-morrow se'nnight, and probably may have no opportunity sooner of sending it, I will bring it myself. Adieu! Yours ever.

(55) It will b recollected, that General Conway travelled with Gray and Walpole in 1739, and separated from them at Geneva.-E.

(56) Gray's last letter to Walpole was dated March 17, 1771; it contained the following striking passage:—"He must have a very strong stomach that can digest the crambe recocta of Voltaire. Atheism is a vile dish, though all the cooks of France combine to make new sauces to it. As to the soul, perhaps they may have none on the Continent; but I do think we have such things in England; Shakspeare, for example, I believe, had several to his own share. As to the Jews (though they do not eat pork), I like them, because they are better Christians than Voltaire." Works vol. iv. p. 190.-E.

(57) An English translation of the book appeared in 1773, under the title of "History of a Voyage to the Malonine, or Falkland Islands, made in 1763 and 1764, under the command of M. de Bougainville; and of two Voyages to the Straits of Magellan, with an account of the Patagonians; translated from Don Pernety's Historical Journal, written in French." In the same year was published a translation of Bougainville's "Voyage autour du Monde." This celebrated circumnavigator retired from the service in 1790. He afterwards was made Count and Senator by Napoleon Buonaparte, became member of the National Institute and of the Royal Society of London, and died at Paris in 1811, at the age of eighty-two.-E.

Letter 33 To The Rev. Mr. Cole. Paris, August 12, 1771. (page 53)

I am excessively shocked at reading in the papers that Mr. Gray is dead! I wish to God you may be able to tell me it is not true! Yet in this painful uncertainty I must rest some days! None of my acquaintance are in London—I do not know to whom to apply but to you—alas! I fear in vain! Too many circumstances speak it true!—the detail is exact;—a second paper arrived by the same post, and does not contradict it—and, what is worse, I saw him but four or five days before I came hither: he had been to Kensington for the air, complained of the gout flying about him, of sensations of it in his stomach: I, indeed, thought him changed, and that he looked ill—still I had not the least idea of his being in danger—I started up from my chair when I read the paragraph—a cannon-ball would not have surprised me more! The shock but ceased, to give way to my concern; and my hopes are too ill-founded to mitigate it. If nobody has the charity to write to me, my anxiety must continue till the end of the month, for I shall set out on my return on the 26th; and unless you receive this time enough for your answer to leave London on the 20th, in the evening, I cannot meet it till I find it in Arlington-street, whither I beg you to direct it.

If the event is but too true, pray add to this melancholy service, that of telling me any circumstance you know of his death. Our long, very long friendship, and his genius, must endear to me every thing that relates to him. What writings has he left? Who are his executors?(58) I should earnestly wish, if he has destined any thing to the public, to print it at my press—it would do me honour, and would give me an opportunity of expressing what I feel for him. Methinks, as we grow old, our only business here is to adorn the graves of our friends, or to dig our own! Adieu, dear Sir! Yours ever.

P. S. I heard this unhappy news but last night; and have just been told, that Lord Edward Bentinck goes in haste to-morrow to England; so that you will receive this much sooner than I expected: still I must desire you to direct to Arlington-street, as by far the surest conveyance to me.

(58) His executors were, Mason the poet and the Rev. Dr. Brown, master of Pembroke Hall. "He hath desired," wrote Dr. Brown to Dr. Wharton, "to be buried near his mother, at Stoke, near Windsor, and that one of his executors would see him laid in the grave; a melancholy task, which must come to my share, for Mr. Mason is not here." Works, vol. iv. p. 206.-E.

Letter 34 To The Earl Of Strafford. Paris, August 25, 1771. (page 59)

I have passed my biennial six weeks here, my dear lord, and am preparing to return as soon as the weather will allow me. It is some comfort to the patriot virtue, envy, to find this climate worse than our own. There were four very hot days at the end of last month, which, you know, with us northern people compose a summer: it has rained half this, and for these three days there has been a deluge, a storm, and extreme cold. Yet these folks shiver in silk, and sit with their Windows open till supper-time. Indeed, firing is very dear, and nabobs very scarce. Economy and retrenchment are the words in fashion, and are founded in a little more than caprice. I have heard no instance of luxury but in Mademoiselle Guimard, a favourite dancer, who is building a palace: round the salle 'a manger there are windows that open upon hot-houses, that are to produce flowers all winter. That is worthy of * * * * * *. There is a finer dancer, whom Mr. Hobart is to transplant to London; a Mademoiselle Heinel or Ingle, a Fleming.(59) She is tall, perfectly made, very handsome, and has a set of attitudes copied from the classics. She moves as gracefully slow as Pygmalion's statue when it was Coming to life, and moves her leg round as imperceptibly as if she was dancing in the zodiac. But she is not Virgo.

They make no more of breaking parliaments here than an English mob does of breaking windows. It is pity people are so ill-sorted. If this King and ours could cross over and figure in, Louis XV. would dissolve our parliament if Polly Jones did but say a word to him. They have got into such a habit of it here, that you would think a parliament was a polypus: they cut it in two, and by next morning half of it becomes a whole assembly. This has literally been the case at Besan'con.(60) Lord and Lady Barrymore, who are in the highest favour at Compiegne, will be able to carry over the receipt.

Everybody feels in their own way. My grief is to see the ruinous Condition of the palaces and pictures. I was yesterday at the Louvre. Le Brun's noble gallery, where the battles of Alexander are, and of which he designed the ceiling, and even the shutters, bolts, and locks, is in a worse condition than the old gallery at Somerset-house. It rains in upon the pictures, though there are stores of much more valuable pieces than those of Le Brun. Heaps of glorious works by Raphael and all the great masters are piled up and equally neglected at Versailles. Their care is not less destructive in private houses. The Duke of Orleans' pictures and the Prince of Monaco's have been cleaned, and varnished so thick that you May see your face in them; and some of them have been transported from board to cloth, bit by bit, and the seams filled up with colour; so that in ten years they will not be worth sixpence. It makes me as peevish as if I was posterity! I hope your lordship's works will last longer than these of Louis XIV. The glories of his si'ecle hasten fast to their end, and little will remain but those of his authors.

(59) "It was at this time," says Dr. Burney, "that dancing seemed first to gain the ascendant over music, by the superior talents of Mademoiselle Heinel, whose grace and execution were so perfect as to eclipse all other excellence. Crowds assembled at the Opera-house, more for the gratification of the eye than the ear; for neither the invention of a new composer, nor the talents of new singers, attracted the public to the theatre, which was almost abandoned till the arrival of this lady, whose extraordinary merit had an extraordinary recompense; for, besides the six hundred pounds' salary allowed her by the Honourable Mr. Hobart, as manager, she was complimented with a regallo of six hundred more from the Maccaroni Club. 'E molto particulare,' said Cocchi, the Composer; 'ma quei Inglesi non fanno conto d'alcuna cosa se non ben pagata:' It is very extraordinary that the English set no value upon any thing but what they pay an exorbitant price for."-E.

(60) The Parliaments of Besan'con, Bourdeaux, Toulouse and Britany, were, in succession, totally suppressed by Louis XV. New courts were assembled in their stead; most of the former members being sent into banishment.-E.

Letter 35 To The Hon. H. S. Conway. Arlington Street, Sept. 7, 1771. (page 61)

I arrived yesterday,(61) within an hour or two after you was gone, which mortified me exceedingly: Lord knows when I shall see you. You are so active and so busy, and cast bullets(62) and build bridges, are pontifex maximus, and, like Sir John Thorold or Cimon, triumph over land and wave, that one can never get a word with you. Yet I am very well worth a general's or a politician's ear. I have been deep in all the secrets of France, and confidant of some of the principals of both parties. I know what is, and is to be, though I am neither priest nor conjuror -and have heard a vast deal about breaking carabiniers and grenadiers; though, as usual, I dare say I shall give a woful account of both. The worst part is, that by the most horrid oppression and injustice their finances will very soon be in good order-unless some bankrupt turns Ravaillac, which will not surprise me. The horror the nation has conceived of the King and Chancellor makes it probable that the latter, at least, will be sacrificed. He seems not to be without apprehension, and has removed from the King's library a MS. trial of a chancellor who was condemned to be hanged under Charles VII. For the King, qui a fait ses 'epreuves, and not to his honour, you will not wonder that he lives in terrors.

I have executed all Lady Ailesbury's commissions; but mind, I do not commission you to tell her, for you would certainly forget it. As you will, no doubt, come to town to report who burnt Portsmouth;(63) I will meet you here, if I am apprised of the day. Your niece's marriage,(64) pleases me extremely. Though I never saw him till last night, I know a great deal of her future husband, and like his character. His person is much better than I expected, and far preferable to many of the fine young moderns. He is better than Sir Watkin Williams Wynne, at least as well as the Duke of Devonshire, and Adonis compared to the charming Mr. Fitzpatrick. Adieu!

(61) Mr. Walpole arrived at Paris on the '10th of July, and left it on the 2d of September-E.

(62) Mr. Conway was now at the head of the ordnance, but with the title and appointments of lieutenant-general only. The particular circumstances attending this are thus recorded in a letter from Mr. Walpole to another correspondent at the time (January 1770), and deserve to be known:—"The King offered the mastership of the ordnance, on Lord Granby's resignation, to Mr. Conway, who is only lieutenant-general of it: he said he had lived in friendship with Lord Granby, and would not profit by his spoils; but, as he thought he could do some essential service in the office, where there were many abuses, if his Majesty would be pleased to let him continue as he is, be would do the business of the office without accepting the salary."-E.

(63) On the 27th of July, a fire had broken out in the dockyard at Portsmouth, which, as it might be highly prejudicial to the country at that period, excited universal alarm. The loss sustained by it, which at first was supposed to be half a million, is said to have been about one hundred and fifty thousand pounds.-E.

(64) The marriage of Lady Gertrude Seymour Conway to Lord Villiers, afterwards Earl of Grandison.

Letter 36 To The Rev. Mr. Cole. Strawberry Hill, Sept. 10, 1771. (page 62)

However melancholy the occasion is, I can but give you a thousand thanks, dear Sir-., for the kind trouble you have taken, and the information you have given me about poor Mr. Gray. I received your first letter at Paris; the last I found at my house in town, where I arrived only on Friday last. The circumstance of the professor refusing to rise in the night and visit him, adds to the shock. Who is that true professor of physic? Jesus! is their absence to murder as well as their presence?

I have not heard from Mr. Mason, but I have written to him. Be so good as to tell the Master at Pembroke,(65) though I have not the honour of knowing him, how sensible I am of his proposed attention to me, and how much I feel for him in losing a friend of so excellent a genius. Nothing will allay my own concern like seeing any of his compositions that I have not yet seen. It is buying them too dear—but when the author is irreparably lost, the produce of his Mind is the next best possession. I have offered my press to Mr. Mason, and hope it will be accepted.

Many thanks for the cross, dear Sir; it is precisely what I wished. I hope you and Mr. Essex preserve your resolution of passing a few days here between this and Christmas. Just at present I am not My own master, having stepped into the middle of a sudden match in my own family. Lord Hertford is going to marry his third daughter to Lord Villiers, son of Lady Grandison, the present wife of Sir Charles Montagu. We are all felicity, and in a round of dinners. I am this minute returned from Beaumont-lodge, at Old Windsor, where Sir Charles Grandison lives. I will let you know, if the papers do not, when our festivities are subsided.

I shall receive with gratitude from Mr. Tyson either drawing or etching of our departed friend; but wish not to have it inscribed to me, as it is an honour, more justly due to Mr. Stonehewer. If the Master of Pembroke will accept a copy of a small picture I have of Mr. Gray, painted soon after the publication of his Ode on Eton, it shall be at his service—and after his death I beg, it may be bequeathed to his college. Adieu!

(65) Dr. James Brown. Gray used to call him "le petit bon homme;" and Cole, in his Athene Cantab, says of him—"He is a very worthy man, a good scholar, small, and short-sighted." In the Chatham Correspondence there will be found an interesting letter from the Master of Pembroke to Lord Chatham, in which he thus speaks of his illustrious son, the future minister of this country: " Notwithsanding the illness of your son, I have myself seen, and have heard enough from his tutors, to be convinced both of his extraordinary genius and most amiable disposition. He promises fair, indeed to be one of those extraordinary persons whose eminent parts, equalled by as eminent industry, continue in a progressive state throughout their lives; such persons appear to be formed by Heaven to assist and bless mankind." Vol. iv. p. 311.-E.

Letter 37 To The Rev. Mr. Cole. Strawberry Hill, Oct. 12, 1771. (page 63)

Dear Sir, As our wedding will not be so soon as I expected, and as I should be unwilling You Should take a journey in bad weather, I wish it may be convenient to you and Mr. Essex to come hither on the 25th day of this present month. If one can depend on any season, it is on the chill suns of October, which, like an elderly beauty, are less capricious than spring or summer. Our old-fashioned October, you know, reached eleven days into modern November, and I still depend on that reckoning, when I have a mind to protract the year.

Lord Ossory is charmed with Mr. Essex's cross(66) and wishes much to consult him on the proportions. Lord Ossory has taken a small house very near mine; is now, and will be here again, after Newmarket. He is determined to erect it at Ampthill, and I have written the following lines to record the reason:

In days of old here Ampthill's towers were seen; The mournful refuge of an injured queen. Here flowed her pure, but unavailing tears; Here blinded zeal sustain'd her sinking years. Yet Freedom hence-her radiant banners waved, And love avenged a realm by priests enslaved. From Catherine's wrongs a nation's bliss was spread, And Luther's light from Henry's lawless bed,

I hope the satire on Henry VIII. will make you excuse the compliment to Luther, Which, like most poetic compliments, does not come from my heart. I only like him better than Henry, Calvin, and the Church of Rome, who were bloody persecutors. Calvin was an execrable villain, and the worst of all; for he copied those whom he pretended to correct. Luther was as jovial as Wilkes, and served the cause of liberty without canting. Yours most sincerely.

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