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Letters of Horace Walpole, V4
by Horace Walpole
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(66) Mr. Cole applied to Mr. Essex, who furnished a design for the cross, which was followed.



Letter 38 To The Rev Mr. Cole. Strawberry Hill, Oct. 23, 1771. (page 63)

I am sorry, dear Sir, that I cannot say your answer is as agreeable and entertaining as you flatter me my letter was; but consider, you are prevented coming to me, and have flying pains of rheumatism—either were sufficient to spoil your letter.

I am sure of being here till to-morrow se'nnight, the last of this month; consequently I may hope to see Mr. Essex here on Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday next. After that I cannot answer for myself, on account of our wedding, which depends on the return of a courier from Ireland. If I can command any days certain in November, I will give you notice: and yet I shall have a scruple of dragging you so far from home at such a season. I will leave it to your option, only begging you to be assured that I shall always be most happy to see you.

I am making a very curious purchase at Paris, the complete armour of Francis the First. It is gilt, in relief, and is very rich and beautiful. It comes out of the Crozat collection.(67) I am building a small chapel, too, in my garden, to receive two valuable pieces of antiquity, and which have been presents singularly lucky for me. They are the window from Bexhill, with the portraits of Henry III. and his Queen, procured for me by Lord Ashburnham. The other, great part of the tomb of Capoccio, mentioned in my Anecdotes of Painting on the subject of the Confessor's shrine, and sent to me from Rome by Mr. Hamilton, our minister at Naples. It is very extraordinary that I should happen to be master of these curiosities. After next summer, by which time my castle and collection will be complete (for if I buy more I must build another castle for another collection), I propose to form another catalogue and description, and shall take the liberty to call on you for your assistance. In the mean time there is enough new to divert you at present.

(67) This curiosity was at first estimated at a thousand crowns, but Madame du Deffand finally purchased it for Walpole for fifty louis. "Ce bijou," she says, "me parait un peu cher et ressemble beaucoup aux casques du Ch'ateau d,Otrante: si vous persistez 'a le d'esirer, je le payerai, je le ferai encaisser et Partir sur le champ. C'est certainement une pi'ece tr'es belle et tr'es rare, mais infiniment ch'ere."-E.



Letter 39 To The Hon. H. S. Conway. Late Strawberry Hill, Jan. 7, 1772. (page 64)

You have read of my calamity without knowing it, and will pity me when you do. I have been blown up; my castle is blown up; Guy Fawkes has been about my house: and the 5th of November has fallen on the 6th of January! In short, nine thousand powder-mills broke loose yesterday morning on Hounslow-heath;(68) a whole squadron of them came hither, and have broken eight of my painted-glass windows; and the north side of the castle looks as if it had stood a siege. The two saints in the hall have suffered martyrdom! they have had their bodies cut off, and nothing remains but their heads. The two next great sufferers are indeed two of the least valuable, being the passage-windows to the library and great parlour—a fine pane is demolished in the round-room; and the window by the gallery is damaged. Those in the cabinet, and Holbein-room, and gallery, and blue-room, and green-closet, etc. have escaped. As the storm came from the northwest, the china-closet was not touched, nor a cup fell down. The bow-window of brave old coloured glass, at Mr. Hindley's, is massacred; and all the north sides of Twickenham and Brentford are shattered. At London it was proclaimed an earthquake, and half the inhabitants ran into the street.

As lieutenant-general of the ordnance, I must beseech you to give strict order that no more powder-mills may blow up. My aunt, Mrs. Kerwood, reading one day in the papers that a distiller's had been burnt by the head of the still flying off, said, she wondered they did not make an act of parliament against the heads of stills flying off. Now, I hold it much easier for you to do a body this service; and would recommend to your consideration whether it would not be prudent to have all magazines of powder kept under water till they are wanted for service. In the mean time, I expect a pension to make me amends for what I have suffered under the government. Adieu! Yours.

(68) Three powder-mills blew up on Hounslow-heath, on the 6th of January, when such was the violence of the explosion that it was felt not only in the metropolis, but as far as Gloucester, and was very generally mistaken for the shock of an earthquake.-E.



Letter 40 To The Rev. Mr. Cole. Arlington Street, Jan. 28, 1772. (page 65)

It is long indeed, dear Sir, since we corresponded. I should not have been silent if I had had any thing worth telling you in your way: but I grow such an antiquity myself, that I think I am less fond of what remains of our predecessors.

I thank you for Bannerman's proposal; I mean, for taking the trouble to send it, for I am not at all disposed to subscribe. I thank you more for the note on King Edward; I mean, too, for your friendship in thinking of me. Of Dean Milles I cannot trouble myself to think any more. His piece is at Strawberry: perhaps I may look at it for the sake of your note. The bad weather keeps me in town, and a good deal at home; which I find very comfortable, literally practising what so many persons pretend they intend, being quiet and enjoying my fireside in my elderly days.

Mr. Mason has shown me the relics of poor Mr. Gray. I am sadly disappointed at finding them so very inconsiderable. He always persisted, when I inquired about his writings, that he had nothing by him. I own I doubted. I am grieved he was so very near exact—I speak of my own satisfaction; as to his genius, what he published during his life will establish his fame as long as our language lasts, and there is a man of genius left. There is a silly fellow, I do not know who, that has published a volume of Letters on the English Nation, With characters of our modern authors. He has talked such nonsense On Mr. Gray, that I have no patience with the compliments he has paid me. He must have an excellent taste; and gives me a woful opinion of my own trifles, when he likes them, and cannot see the beauties of a poet that ought to be ranked in the first line. I am more humbled by any applause in the present age, than by hosts of such critics as Dean Milles. Is not Garrick reckoned a tolerable author, though he has proved how little sense is necessary to form a great actor'? His Cymon, his prologues and epilogues, and forty such pieces of trash, are below mediocrity, and yet delight the mob in the boxes as well as in the footman's gallery. I do not mention the things written in his praise; because he writes most Of them himself! But you know any one popular merit can confer all merit. Two women talking Of Wilkes, one said he squinted—t'other replied, "Squints!—well, if he does, it is not more than a man should squint." For my part, I can see how extremely well Garrick acts, without thinking him six feet high. It is said Shakspeare was a bad actor; why do not his divine plays make our wise judges conclude that he was a good one? They have not a proof of the contrary, as they have in Garrick's works—but what is it to you or me what he is? We may see him act with pleasure, and nothing obliges us to read his writings.(69)

(69) The best defence of Garrick against the charges which Walpole so repeatedly brings against him will be found in the estimation in which he was held by the most distinguished of his contemporaries. His friend Dr. Johnson thought well of' his talent in prologue writing: "Dryden," he said, "has written prologues superior to any that David has written; but David has written more good prologues than Dryden has done. It is wonderful that he has been able to write such variety of them. A true conception of character and natural expression of it, were his distinguished excellences; but I thought him less to be envied on the stage than at the head of a table. He was the first man in the world for sprightly conversation."-E.



Letter 41 To The Rev. Mr. Cole. Arlington Street, June 9, 1772. (page 66)

Dear sir, The preceding paper(70) was given me by a gentleman, who has a better opinion of my bookhood than I deserve. I could give him no satisfaction, but told him, I would get inquiry made at Cambridge for the pieces he wants. If you can give any assistance in this chase, I am sure you will: as it will be trouble enough, I will not make my letter longer.

(70) This letter enclosed some queries from a gentleman abroad, respecting books, etc. relating to the order of Malta.



Letter 42 To The Rev. Mr. Cole. Strawberry Hill, June 17, 1772. (page 66)

Dear sir, You are a mine that answers beyond those of Peru. I have given the treasure you sent me to the gentleman from whom I had the queries. He is vastly obliged to you, and I am sure so am I, for the trouble you have given yourself"and, therefore I am going to give you more. King Edward's Letters are printed.(71) Shall I keep them for you or send them, and how? I intend you four copies—shall you want more? Lord Ossory takes a hundred, and I have as many; but none will be sold.

I am out of materials for my press. I am thinking of printing some numbers of miscellaneous MSS. from my own and Mr. Gray's collection. If you have any among your stores that are historic, new and curious, and like to have them printed, I shall be glad of them. Among Gray's are letters of Sir Thomas Wyat the elder.(72) I am sure you must have a thousand hints about him. If you will send them to me I will do you justice; as you will see I have in King Edward's Letters. Do you know any thing of his son,(73) the insurgent, in Queen Mary's reign?

I do not know whether it was not to Payne the bookseller, but I am sure I gave somebody a very few notes to the British Topography. They were indeed of very little consequence.

I have got to-day, and am reading with entertainment, two vols. in octavo, the Lives of Leland, Hearne, and Antony Wood.,(74) I do not know the author, but he is of Oxford. I think you should add that of your friend Brown Willis.(75) There is a queer piece on Freemasonry in one of the volumes, said to be written, on very slender authority, by Henry VI. with notes by Mr. Locke: a very odd conjunction! It says that Arts were brought from the East by Peter Gower. As I am sure you will not find an account of this singular person in all your collections, be it known to you, that Peter Gower was commonly called Pythagoras. I remember our newspapers insisting that Thomas Kouli Khan was an Irishman, and that his true name was Thomas Callaghan.

On reading over my letter, I find I am no sceptic, having affirmed no less than four times, that I am sure. Though this is extremely awkward, I am sure I will not write my letter over again; so pray excuse or burn my tautology.

P. S. I had like to have forgotten the most obliging, and to me the most interesting part of your letter-your kind offer of coming hither. I accept it most gladly; but, for reasons I will tell you, wish it may be deferred a little. I am going to Park-place (General Conway's), then to Ampthill (Lord Ossory's), and then to Goodwood (Duke of Richmond's); and the beginning of August to Wentworth Castle (Marquis of Rockingham's); so that I shall not be at all settled here till the end of the latter month. But I have a stronger reason. By that time will be finished a delightful chapel I am building in my garden, to contain the shrine of Capoccio, and the Window with Henry III. and his Queen. My new bedchamber will be finished too, which is now all in litter: and, besides, September is a quiet month; visits to make or receive are over, and the troublesome go to shoot partridges. If that time suits you, pray assure me I shall see you on the first of September.

(71) "Copies of seven original Letters from King Edward VI. to Barnaby Fitzpatrick." Strawberry Hill, 1772.-E.

(72) He was the contemporary and friend of Surrey, and was accused by Henry VIII. of being the paramour of Anne Boleyn; but the King's suspicion dying away, he was appointed, in 1537, Henry's ambassador to the Emperor. His poems have recently been published in the Aldine edition of the Poets; and in the Biographical Preface to them are included some of his admirable letters.-E.

(73) Sir Thomas Wyatt "the younger," son of the preceding, who is presumed to have received that designation from having been knighted in the lifetime of his father. Having joined in the effort to place Lady Jane Grey on the throne, he was condemned and executed for high treason, on the 11th of April 1554.-E.

(74) The editor was W. Huddersford, fellow of Trinity College.-E.

(74) Browne Willis, the antiquary, and author of "A Survey of the Cathedrals of England;" "Notitia Parliamentaria," etc. He was born at Blandford in 1682, and died in February 1760. Dr. Ducarel printed privately, immediately after his death, a small quarto pamphlet, entitled " Some Account Of Browne Willis, Esq. LL. D." One of Willis's peculiarities was his fondness for visiting cathedrals on the saints, days to which they were dedicated.-E.



Letter 43 To The Hon. H. S. Conway. Strawberry Hill, Monday, June 22, 1772. (page 68)

It is lucky that I have had no dealings with Mr. Fordyce;(75) for, if he had ruined me, as he has half the world, I could not have run away. I tired myself with walking on Friday: the gout came on Saturday in my foot; yesterday I kept my bed till four o'clock, and my room all day-but, with wrapping myself all over with bootikins, have scarce had any pain-my foot swelled immediately, and today I am descended into the blueth and greenth:(76) and though you expect to find that I am paving the way to an excuse, I think I shall be able to be with you on Saturday. All I intend to excuse myself from, is walking. I should certainly never have the gout, if I had lost the use of my feet. Cherubims that have no legs, and do nothing but stick their chins in a cloud and sing, are never out of order. Exercise is the worst thing in the world, and as bad an invention as gunpowder.

Apropos to Mr. Fordyce, here is a passage ridiculously applicable to him, that I met with yesterday in the letters of Guy Patin: "Il n'y a pas long-temps qu'un auditeur des comptes nomm'e Mons. Nivelle fit banqueroute; et tout fra'ichement, c'est-'a-dire depuis trois jours, un tr'esorier des parties casuelles, nomm'e SanSon, en a fait autant; et pour vous montrer qu'il est vrai que res humanae faciunt circulum, comme il a 'et'e autrefois dit par Plato et par Aristote, celui-l'a s'en retourne d'o'u il vient. Il est fils d'un paysan; il a 'et'e laquais de son premier m'etier, et aujourd'hui il n'est plus rien, si non qu'il lui reste une assez belle femme."—I do not think I can find in Patin or Plato, nay, nor in Aristotle, though he wrote about every thing, a parallel case to Charles Fox:(77) there are advertised to be sold more annuities of his and his society, to the amount of five hundred thousand pounds a-year! I wonder what he will do next, when he has sold the estates of all his friends!

I have been reading the most delightful book in the world, the Lives of Leland, Tom earne, and Antony Wood. The last's diary makes a thick volume in octavo. One entry is, "This day Old Joan began to make my bed." In the story of Leland is an examination of a freemason, written by the hand of King Henry VI., with notes by Mr. Locke. Freemasonry, Henry VI., and Locke, make a strange heterogeneous olio; but that is not all. The respondent, who defends the mystery of masonry, says it was brought into Europe by the Venetians—he means the Phoenicians. And who do you think propagated it? Why, one Peter Gore—And who do you think that was?—One Pythagoras, Pythagore. I do not know whether it is not still More extraordinary, that this and the rest of the nonsense in that account made Mr. Locke determine to be a freemason: so would I too, if I could expect to hear of more Peter Gores.

Pray tell Lady Lyttelton that I say she will certainly kill herself if she lets Lady Ailesbury drag her twice a-day to feed the pheasants, and you make her climb cliffs and clamber over mountains. She has a tractability that alarms me for her; and if she does not pluck up a spirit, and determine never to be put out of her own way, I do not know what may be the Consequence. I will come and set her an example of immovability. Take notice, I do not say one civil syllable to Lady Ailesbury. She has not passed a whole day here these two years. She is always very gracious, says she will come when you will fix a time, as if you governed, and then puts it off whenever it is proposed, nor will spare one Single day from Park-place-as if other people were not as partial to their own Park-places, Adieu! Yours ever.

Tuesday noon.

I wrote my letter last night; this morning I received yours, and shall wait till Sunday, as you bid me, which will be more convenient for my gout, though not for other engagements, but I shall obey the superior, as nullum tempus occurrit regi et podagrae.

(75) The greatest consternation prevailed at this time in the metropolis, in consequence of the banking-house of Neale, James, Fordyce, and Down having stopped payment. Fordyce was bred a hosier in Aberdeen. For a memoir of him, see Gent. Mag. vol. x1ii. p. 310.-E.

(76) Cant words of Walpole for blue and green. He means, that he came out of his room to the blue sky and green fields.

(77) Gibbon, in a letter to Mr. Holroyd, of the 8th of February, in reference to the recent debate in the House of Commons, on the clerical petition for relief from subscription to the Thirty-nine Articles, says—"I congratulate you on the late victory of our dear Mamma, the Church of England. She had, last Thursday, seventy-one rebellious sons, Who pretended to set aside her will, on a account of insanity; but two hundred and seventeen worthy champions, headed by Lord North, Burke, Charles Fox, etc., though they allowed the thirty-nine clauses of her testament were absurd and unreasonable, supported the validity of it with infinite honour. By the bye, Charles Fox prepared himself for that holy work by passing twenty-one hours in the pious exercise of hazard; his devotions cost him only about five hundred pounds an hour, in all, eleven thousand pounds."-E.



Letter 44 To The Rev. Mr. Cole. Strawberry Hill, July 7, 1772. (page 70)

Dear Sir, I sent you last week by the Cambridge Fly, that puts up in Gray's-inn-lane, six copies of King Edward's Letters, but fear I forgot to direct their being left at Mr. Bentham's, by which neglect perhaps you have not yet got them; so that I have been very blamable, while I thought I was very expeditious; and it was not till reading your letter again just now that I discovered my carelessness.

I have not heard of Dr. Glynn, etc., but the housekeeper has orders to receive them. I thank you a thousand times for the Maltese notes, which I have given to the gentleman, and for the Wyattiana: I am going to work on the latter.

I have not yet seen Mr. 's print, but am glad it is so like. I expected Mr. Mason would have sent me one early; but I suppose he keeps it for me, as I shall call on him in my way to Lord Strafford's.

Mr. West,(78) one of our brother antiquaries, is dead. He had a very curious collection of old pictures, English coins, English prints, and manuscripts. But he was so rich, that I take for granted nothing will be sold. I could wish for his family pictures of Henry V. and Henry VIII.

Foote, in his new comedy of The Nabob, has lashed Master Doctor Miles and our Society very deservedly for the nonsensical discussion they had this winter about Whittington and his Cat. Few of them are fit for any thing better than such researches. Poor Mr. Granger has been very ill, but is almost recovered. I intend to invite him to meet you in September. It is a party I shall be very impatient for: you know how sincerely I am, dear Sir, your obliged and Obedient humble servant.

(78) James West, Esq. He was for some time one of the secretaries of the treasury, vice president of the Society of Antiquaries, and president of the Royal Society. His curious collection of manuscripts were purchased by the Earl of Shelburne, and are now deposited in the British Museum.-E.



Letter 45 To The Rev. Mr. Cole. Strawberry Hill, July 28, 1772. (page 70)

Dear Sir, I am anew obliged to you, as I am perpetually, for the notice you give me of another intended publication against me in the Archaeologia, or Old Woman's Logic. By Your account, the author will add much credit to their Society! For my part, I shall take no notice of any of his handycrafts. However, as there seems to be a willingness to carp at me, and as gnats may on a sudden provoke one to give a slap, I choose to be at liberty to say what I think Of the learned Society; and therefore I have taken leave of them, having so good an occasion presented as their council on Whittington and his Cat, and the ridicule that Foote has thrown on them. They are welcome to say any thing on my writings, but that they are the works of a fellow of so foolish a Society.

I am at work on the Life of Sir Thomas Wyat, but it does not please me; nor will it be entertaining, though you have contributed so many materials towards it. You must take one trouble more it is to inquire and search for a book that I want to see. It is the Pilgrim; was written by William Thomas, who was executed in Queen Mary's time; but the book was printed under, and dedicated to, Edward VI. I have only an imperfect memorandum of it, and cannot possibly recall to mind from whence I made it. All I think I remember is, that the book was in the King's library. I have sent to the Museum to inquire after it; but I cannot find it mentioned in Ames's History of English Printers. Be so good as to ask all your antiquarian friends if they know such a work.

Amidst all your kindness, you have added one very disagreeable paragraph:—I mean, you doubt about coming here in September. Fear of a sore throat would be a reason for your never coming. It is one of the distempers in the world the least to be foreseen, and September, a dry month, one of the least likely months to bring it. I do not like your recurring to so very ill-founded an excuse, and positively will not accept it, unless you wish I should not be so much as I an, dear Sir, Your most faithful humble servant, H. W.



Letter 46 To The Rev. Mr. Cole. Strawberry Hill, Aug. 25, 1772. (page 71)

Dear sir, I thank YOU for your notices, dear Sir, and will deliver you from the trouble of any further pursuit of the Peleryne of Thomas. I have discovered him among the Cottonian MSS. in the Museum, and am to see him.

If Dr. Browne is returned to Cambridge, may I beg you to give him a thousand thanks for the present he left at my house, a goarstone and a seal, that belonged to Mr. Gray. I shall lay them up in my cabinet at Strawberry among my most valuables. Dr. Browne, however, was not quite kind to me; for he left no direction where to find him in town, so that I could not wait upon him, nor invite him to Strawberry Hill, as I much wished to do, Do not these words, "invite him to Strawberry," make Your ears tingle? September is at hand, and You must have no sore throat. The new chapel in the garden is almost finished, and you must come to the dedication.

I have seen Lincoln and York, and to say the truth, prefer the former in some respects. In truth, I was scandalized in the latter. William of Hatfield's tomb and figure is thrown aside into a hole: and yet the chapter possess an estate that his mother gave them. I have charged Mr. Mason(79) with my anathema, unless they do justice. I saw Roche Abbey, too; which is hid in such a venerable chasm, that you might lie concealed there even from a 'squire parson of the parish. Lord Scarborough, to whom it belongs, and who lives at next door, neglects it as much as if he was afraid of ghosts. I believe Montesino's cave lay in just such a solemn thicket, which is now so overgrown, that, when one finds the spot, one can scarce find the ruins.

I forgot to tell you, that in the screen of York Minster there are most curious statues of the Kings of England, from the Conqueror to Henry VI.; very singular, evidently by two different hands, the one better than the other, and most of them I am persuaded, very authentic. Richard II., Henry III., and Henry V., I am sure are; and Henry Iv., though unlike the common portrait at Hampton-court, in Herefordshire, the most singular and villanous countenance I ever saw. I intend to try to get them well engraved. That old fool, James I., is crowded in, in the place of Henry VII., that was taken away to make room for this piece of flattery; for the chapter did not slight live princes. Yours ever.

(79) Mason was a residentiary of York cathedral; as well as prebendary of Duffield, and rector of Aston.-E.



Letter 47 To The Rev. Mr. Cole. Strawberry Hill, August 28, 1772. (page 72)

Dear Sir, Your repentance is much more agreeable than your sin, and will cancel it whenever you please. Still I have a fellow-feeling for the indolence of age, and have myself been writing an excuse this instant for not accepting an invitation above threescore miles off. One's limbs, when they grow old, will not go any where, when they do not like it. If yours should find themselves in a more pliant humour, you are always sure of being welcome here, let the fit of motion come when it will.

Pray what is become of that figure you mention of Henry VII., which the destroyers, not the builders have rejected? and which the antiquaries, who know a man by his crown better than by his face, have rejected likewise? The latter put me in mind of characters in comedies, in which a woman disguised in man's habit, and whose features her very lover does not know, is immediately acknowledged by pulling off her hat, and letting down her hair, which her lover had never seen before. I should be glad to ask Dr. Milles, if he thinks the crown of England was always made, like a quart pot, by Winchester measure? If Mr. Tyson has made a print from that little statue, I trust he will give me one; and if he, or Mr. Essex, or both, will accompany you hither, I shall be glad to see them.

At Buckden, in the Bishop's palace, I saw a print of Mrs. Newcome: I Suppose the late mistress of St. John's. Can you tell me where I can procure one? Mind, I insist that you do not serve me as you have often done, and send me your own, if you have one. I seriously will not accept it, nor ever trust you again. On the staircase, in the same palace, there is a picture of two young men, in the manner of Vandyck, not at all ill done; do you know who they are, or does any body? There is a worse picture, in a large room, of some lads, which, too, the housemaid did not know. Adieu! dear Sir, yours ever.



Letter 48To The Rev. Mr. Cole. Strawberry Hill, Nov. 7, 1772. (page 73)

Dear Sir, I did receive the print of Mrs. Newcome, for which I am extremely obliged to you, with a thousand other favours, and should certainly have thanked you for it long ago, but I was then, an(I am now, confined to my bed with the gout in every limb, and in almost every joint. I have not been out of my bedchamber these five weeks to-day and last night the pain returned violently into one of my feet; so that I am now writing to you in a most uneasy posture, which will oblige me to be very short.

Your letter, which I suppose was left at my house in Arlington street by Mr. Essex, was brought to me this morning. I am exceedingly sorry for his disappointment, and for his coming without writing first; in which case I might have prevented his journey. I do not know, even, whither to send to him, to tell him how impossible it is for me just now, in my present painful and hopeless situation, to be of any use to him. I am so weak and faint, I do not see even my nearest relations, and God knows how long it will be before I am able to bear company, much less application. I have some thoughts, as soon as I am able, of removing to Bath; so that I cannot guess when it will be in my power to consider duly Mr. Essex's plan with him. I shall undoubtedly, if ever capable of it, be ready to give him my advice, such as it is; or to look over his papers, and even to correct them, if his modesty thinks me more able to polish them than he is himself. At the same time, I must own, I think he will run too great a risk by the expense. The engravers in London are now arrived at such a pitch of exorbitant imposition, that, for my own part, I have laid aside all thoughts of having a single plate more done.

Dear Sir, pray tell Mr. Essex how concerned I am for his mischance, and for the total impossibility I am under of seeing him now. I can write no More, but I shall be glad to hear from you on his return to Cambridge: and when I am recovered, you may be assured how glad I shall be to talk his plan over with him. I am his and Your obliged humble servant.



Letter 49 To The Rev. Mr. Cole. (page 74)

I have had a relapse, and not been able to use my hand, or I should have lamented with you on the plunder of your prints by that Algerine hog.(80) I pity you, dear Sir, and feel for your awkwardness, that was struck dumb at his rapaciousness. The beast has no sort of taste neither-and in a twelvemonth will sell them again. I regret particularly one print, which I dare to say he seized, that I gave you, Gertrude More; I thought I had another, and had not; and, as you liked it, I never told you so. This Muley Moloch used to buy books, and now sells them. He has hurt his fortune, and ruined himself, to have a Collection, without any choice of what it should be composed. It is the most underbred swine I ever saw; but I did not know it was so ravenous. I wish you may get paid any how; you see by my writing how difficult it is to me, and therefore will excuse my being short.

(80) This letter may want some explanation. A gentleman, a collector of prints, and a neighbour of Mr. Walpole's, had just before requested to see Mr. Cole's collection, and on Mr. Cole's offering to accommodate him with such heads as he had not, he selected and took away no less than one hundred and eighty-seven of the most rare and valuable.



Letter 50 To The Countess Of Ailesbury. Arlington Street, Dec. 20, 1772. (page 74)

Indeed, Madam, I want you and Mr. Conway in town. Christmas has dispersed all my company, and left nothing but a loo-party or two. If all the fine days were not gone out of town, too, I should take the air in a morning; but I am not yet nimble enough, like old Mrs. Nugent, to jump out of a postchaise into an assembly.

You have a woful taste, my lady, not to like Lord Gower's bonmot. I am almost too indignant to tell you of a most amusing book in six volumes, called "Histoire Philosophique et Politique du commerce des Deux Indes."(81) It tells one every thing in the world;—how to make conquests, invasions, blunders, settlements, bankruptcies, fortunes, etc.; tells you the natural and historical history of all nations; talks commerce, navigation, tea, coffee, china, mines, salt, spices; of the Portuguese, English, French, Dutch, Danes, Spaniards, Arabs, caravans, Persians, Indians, of Louis XIV. and the King of Prussia; of La Bourdonnais, Dupleix, and Admiral Saunders; of rice, and women that dance naked; of camels, ginghams, and muslin; of millions of millions of livres, pounds, rupees, and cowries; of iron cables, and Circassian women; of Law and the Mississippi; and against all governments and religions. This and every thing else is in the two first volumes. I cannot conceive what is left for the four others. And all is so mixed, that you learn forty new trades and fifty new histories in a single chapter. There is spirit, wit, and clearness and, if there were but less avoirdupois weight in it, it would be the richest book in the world in materials—but figures to me are so many ciphers, and only put me in mind of children that say, an hundred hundred hundred millions. However, it has made me learned enough to talk about Mr. Sykes and the Secret Committee,(82) which is all that any body talks of at present, and yet Mademoiselle Heinel(83) is arrived. This is all I know, and a great deal too, considering I know nothing, and yet, were there either truth or lies, I should know them; for one hears every thing in a sick room. Good night both!

(81) By the Abb'e Raynal. sensible of the faults of his work, the Abb'e visited England and Holland to obtain correct mercantile information, and, on his return, published an improved edition at Geneva, in ten volumes, octavo. Hannah More relates, that, when in England, the Abb'e was introduced to Dr. Johnson, and advancing to shake his band, the Doctor drew back and put it behind him, and afterwards replied to the expostulation of a friend—"Sir, I will not shake hands with an infidel." The Parliament of Paris ordered the work to be burnt, and the author to be arrested; but he retired to Spain, and, in 1788, the National Assembly cancelled the decree passed against him. He died at Passy in 1794, at the age of eighty-five.-E.

(82) Upon indian affairs.

(83) See ante, p. 59, letter 34.



Letter 51 To The Rev. Mr. Cole. Arlington Street, Jan. 8, 1773. (page 75)

In return to your very kind inquiries, dear Sir, I can let you know, that I am quite free from pain, and walk a little about my room, even without a stick: nay, have been four times to take the air in the park. Indeed, after fourteen weeks this is not saying much; but it is a worse reflection, that when one is subject to the gout, and far from young, one's worst account will probably be better than that after the next fit. I neither flatter myself on one hand, nor am impatient on the other—for will either do one any good? one must bear one's lot whatever it be.

I rejoice Mr. * * * * has justice,(84) though he had no bowels. How Gertrude More escape' him I do not guess. It will be wrong to rob you of her, after she has come to you through so many hazards—nor would I hear of it either, if you have a mind to keep her, or have not given up all thoughts of a collection since you have been visited by a Visigoth.

I am much more impatient to see Mr. Gray's print, than Mr. What-d'ye-call-him's answer to my Historic Doubts.(85) He may have made himself very angry; but I doubt whether he will make me at all so. I love antiquities; but I scarce ever knew an antiquary who knew how to write upon them. Their understandings seem as much in ruins as the things they describe. For the Antiquarian Society, I shall leave them in peace with Whittington and his Cat. As my contempt for them has not, however, made me disgusted with what they do not understand, antiquities, I have published two numbers of Miscellanies, and they are very welcome to mumble them with their toothless gums. I want to send you these—not their gums, but my pieces, and a Grammont,(86) of which I have printed only a hundred copies, and which will be extremely scarce, as twenty-five copies are gone to France. Tell me how I shall convey them safely.

Another thing you must tell me, if you can, is, if you know any thing ancient of the Freemasons Governor Pownall,(87) a Whittingtonian, has a mind they should have been a corporation erected by the popes. As you see what a good creature I am, and return good for evil, I am engaged to pick up what I can for him, to support this system, in which I believe no more than in the pope: and the work is to appear in a volume of the Society's pieces. I am very willing to oblige him, and turn my cheek, that they may smite that, also. Lord help them! I am sorry that they are such numsculls, that they almost make me think myself something! but there are great authors enough to bring me to my senses again. Posterity, I fear, will class me with the writers of this age, or forget me with them, not rank me with any names that deserve remembrance. If I cannot survive the Milles's, the What-d'ye-call-him's, and the compilers of catalogues of topography, it would comfort me very little to confute them. I should be as little proud of success as if I had carried a contest for churchwarden.

Not being able to return to Strawberry Hill, where all my books and papers are, and my printer lying fallow, I want some short bills to print. Have you any thing you wish printed? I can either print a few to amuse ourselves, or, if very curious, and not too dry, could make a third number of Miscellaneous Antiquities.

I am not in any eagerness to see Mr. What-d'ye-call-him's pamphlet against me; therefore pray give yourself no trouble to get it for me. The specimens I have seen of his writing take off all edge from curiosity. A print of Mr. Gray will be a real present. Would it not be dreadful to be commended by an age that had not taste enough to admire his Odes? Is not it too great a compliment to me to be abused too? I am ashamed! Indeed our antiquaries ought to like me. I am but too much on a par with them. Does not Mr. Henshaw come to London? Is he a professor, or only a lover of engraving? If the former, and he were to settle in town, I would willingly lend him heads to copy. Adieu!

(84) The gentleman who had carried off so many of Mr. Cole's prints. He now fully remunerated Mr. Cole in a valuable present of books.

(85) Mr. Master's pamphlet, printed at the expense of the Antiquarian Society in the second volume of the Archaeologia.

(86) "M'emoires du Comte de Grammont, nouvelle edition, augment'ee de Notes et Eclaircissemens n'ecessaires, par M. Horace Walpole." Strawberry Hill, 1772, 4to. To the M'emoires was prefixed the following dedication to Madame du Deffand:— "L'Editeur VOUS Consacre cette edition, comme un monument de son amiti'e, de son admiration, et de son respect, a vous dont les gr'aces, l'esprit, et le gout retracent an si'ecle present le si'ecle de Louis XIV., et les agr'emens de l'auteur de ces Memoires."

(87) Thomas Pownall, Esq. the antiquary, and a constant contributor to the Archaeologia. Having been governor of South Carolina and other American colonies, he was always distinguished from his brother John, who was likewise an antiquary, by the title of Governor.-E.



Letter 52 To The Rev. Mr. Cole. Arlington Street, Feb. 18, 1773. (page 77)

The most agreeable ingredient of your last, dear Sir, is the paragraph that tells me you shall be in town in April, when I depend on the pleasure of seeing you; but, to be certain, wish you would give me a few days' law, an let me know, too, where you lodge. Pray bring your books, though the continuation of the Miscellaneous Antiquities is uncertain. I thought the affectation of loving veteran anecdotes was so vigorous, that I ventured to print five hundred copies., One, hundred and thirty only are sold. I cannot afford to make the town perpetual presents; though I find people exceedingly eager to obtain them when I do; and if they will not buy them, it is a sign of such indifference, that I shall neither bestow my time, nor my cost, to no purpose. All I desire is, to pay the expenses, which I can afford much less than my idle moments. Not but the operations of-my press have often turned against myself in many shapes. I have told people many things they did not know, and from fashion they have bought a thousand things out of my hands, which they do not understand, and only love en passant. At Mr. West's sale, I got literally nothing: his prints sold for the frantic sum of 1495 pounds 10 shillings. Your and my good friend Mr. Gulston threw away above 200 pounds there.

I am not sorry Mr. Lort has recourse to the fountainhead: Mr. Pownall's system of Freemasonry is so absurd and groundless, that I am glad to be rid of intervention. I have seen the former once: he told Me he was willing to sell his prints, as the value of them is so increased—for that very reason I did not want to purchase them.

Paul Sanby promised me ten days ago to show Mr. Henshaw's engraving which I received from Dr. Ewen) to Bartolozzi, and ask his terms, thinking he would delight in So Very promising a scholar; but I have heard nothing since, and therefore fear there is no success. Let me, however, see the young man when he comes, and I will try if there is any other way of serving him.

What shall I say to you, dear Sir, about Dr. Prescot? or what I say to him? It hurts me not to be very civil, especially as any respect to my father's memory touches me much more than any attention to myself, which I cannot hold to be a quarter so well founded. Yet, how dare I write to a poor man, who may do, as I have lately seen done by a Scotchwoman that wrote a play,(88) and printed Lord Chesterfield's and Lord Lyttelton's letters to her, as Testimonia fluctorum: I will therefore beg you to make my compliments and thanks to the master, and to make them as grateful as you please, provided I am dispensed with giving any certificate under my hand. You may plead my illness, which, though the fifth month ended yesterday, is far from being at an end, My relapses have been endless - I cannot yet walk a step: and a great cold has added an ague in my cheek, for which I am just going to begin the bark. The prospect for the rest of my days is gloomy. The case of my poor nephew still more deplorable - he arrived in town last night, and bore his Journey tolerably-but his head is in much more danger of not recovering than his health; though they give us hopes of both. But the evils of life are not good subjects for letters—why afflict one's friends? Why make commonplace reflections? Adieu! Yours ever.

(88) "Sir Harry Gaylove; or, Comedy in Embryo;" by Mrs. Jane Marshall. It was printed in Scotland by subscription, but not acted. in the preface, she complains bitterly of the managers of the three London theatres, for refusing her the advantages of representing her performance.-E.



Letter 53 To The Rev. William Mason.(89) March 2, 1773. (page 78)

What shall I say? How shall I thank you for the kind manner in which you submit your papers to my correction? But if you are friendly, I must be just. I am so far from being dissatisfied, that I Must beg to shorten your pen, and in that respect only would I wish, with regard to myself, to alter your text. I am conscious that in the beginning of the differences between Gray and me, the fault was mine. I was young, too fond of my own diversions; nay, I do not doubt, too much intoxicated by indulgence, vanity, and the insolence of my situation, as a prime minister's Son, not to have been inattentive to the feelings of one, I blush to say, that I knew was obliged to me; of one, whom presumption and folly made me deem not very superior in parts, though I have since felt my infinite inferiority to him. I treated him insolently. He loved me, and I did not think he did. I reproached him with the difference between us, when he acted from the conviction of knowing that he was my superior. I often disregarded his wish of seeing places, which I would not quit my own amusements to visit, though I offered to send him thither without me. Forgive me, if I say that his temper was not conciliating, at the same time that I confess to you, that he acted a most friendly part had I had the sense to take advantage of it. He freely told me my faults. I declared I did not desire to hear them, nor would correct them. You will not wonder,, that with the dignity of his spirit, and the obstinate carelessness of mine the breach must have widened till we became incompatible.

After this confession, I fear you will think I fall short in the words I wish to have substituted for some of yours. If you think them inadequate to the state of the case, as I own they are, preserve this letter and let some future Sir John Dalrymple produce it to load my memory; but I own I do not desire that any ambiguity should aid his invention to forge an account) for me. If you would have no objection, I would propose your narrative should run thus, [Here follows a note, which is inserted verbatim in Mason's Life of Gray.(90)] and contain no more, till a more proper time shall come for publishing the truth, as I have stated it to you. While I am living, it is not pleasant to see my private disagreements discussed in magazines and newspapers.

(89) This and the following letter are from Mr. mitford's valuable edition of Gray's Works. See vol. iv. pp. 216, 218.- E.

(90) "In justice to the memory of so respectable a friend, Mr. Walpole enjoins me to charge himself with the chief blame in their quarrel - confessing that more attention and complaisance, more deference to a warm friendship, superior judgment and prudence, might have prevented a rupture that gave such uneasiness to them both and a lasting concern to the survivor; though, in the year 1744, a reconciliation was effected between them, by a lady who wished well to both parties."-E.



Letter 54 To The Rev. William Mason. Strawberry Hill, March 27, 1773. (page 79)

I have received your letter, dear Sir, your manuscript, and Gray's letters to me. Twenty things crowd upon my pen, and jostle, and press to be laid. As I came here to-day for a little air, and to read you undisturbed, they shall all have a place in due time. But having so safe a conveyance for my thoughts, I must begin with the uppermost of them, the Heroic Epistle. I have read it so very often, that I have got it by heart; and now I am master of all its beauties, I confess I like it infinitely better than I did, though I liked it infinitely before. There is more wit, ten times more delicacy of irony, as much poetry, and greater facility than and as in the Dunciad. But what Signifies what I think? All the world thinks the same. No soul has, I have heard, guessed within an hundred miles. I catched at Anstey's name, and have, contributed to spread that notion. It has since been called Temple Luttrell's, and, to my infinite honour, mine; Lord ——- - swears he should think so, if I did not praise it so excessively. But now, my dear Sir, that you have tapped this mine of talent, and it runs so richly and easily, for Heaven's sake, and for England's sake, do not let it rest! You have a vein of irony, and satire, etc.

I am extremely pleased with the easy unaffected simplicity of your manuscript (Memoirs of Gray), and have found scarcely any thing I could wish added, much less retrenched, unless the paragraph on Lord Bute,(91) which I don't think quite clearly expressed; and yet perhaps too clearly, while you wish to remain unknown as the author of the Heroic Epistle,(92) since it might lead to suspicion. For as Gray asked for the place, and accepted it afterwards from the Duke of Grafton, it might be thought that he, or his friend for him, was angry with the author of the disappointment. I can add nothing to your account of Gray's going abroad with me. It was my own thought and offer, and cheerfully accepted. Thank you for inserting my alteration. As I am the survivor, any Softening would be unjust to the dead. I am sorry I had a fault towards him. It does not wound me to own it; and it must be believed when I allow it, that not he, but I myself, was in the wrong.

(91) This paragraph was suppressed-E.

(92) In March, 1798, Mr. Matthias suggested, in the Pursuits of Literature, that Walpole's papers would possibly lead to the discovery of the author of the far-famed Heroic Epistle to Sir William Chambers. By Thomas Warton, the poet-laureate, it was supposed to have been "written by Walpole, and buckrum'd by Mason;" and Mr. Croker, in a note to his edition of Boswell's Johnson, says of it, "there can be no doubt that it was the joint production of Mason and Walpole; Mason supplying the poetry and Walpole the points;" while the Quarterly Review, vol. xv. p. 385, observes, that "when it is remembered that no one then alive, with the same peculiar taste and the same political principles, could have written such poetry, we must either ascribe the Heroic Epistle to Mr. Mason, or suppose, very needlessly and improbably, that one person supplied the matter and another shaped it into verse; but, the personal insolence displayed in this poem to his Sovereign, which was probably the true reason for concealing the writer's -the principles of genuine taste which abound in it—the bitter and sarcastic strain of indignation against a monstrous mode of bad taste then beginning to prevail in landscape gardening, and, above all, a vigorous flow of spirited and harmonious verse, all concur to mark it as the work of our independent and uncourtly bard," The above letter settles the long-disputed point, and fixes the sole authorship of this exquisite poem on Mason.-E.



Letter 55 To The Rev. Mr. Cole. Arlington Street, April 7, 1773. (page 80)

I have now seen the second volume of the Archaeologia, or Old Woman's Logic, with Mr. Masters's Answer to me. If he had not taken such pains to declare it was written against my Doubts, I should have thought it a defence of them; for the few facts he quotes make for my arguments, and confute himself; particularly in the case of Lady Eleanor Butler; -whom, by the way, he makes marry her own nephew, and not descend from her own family, because she was descended from her grandfather.

This Mr. Masters is an excellent Sancho Panza to such a Don Quixote as Dean Milles! but enough of such goosecaps! Pray thank Mr. Ashby for his admirable correction of Sir Thomas Wyat's bon-mot. It is right beyond all doubt, and I will quote it if ever the piece is reprinted.

Mr. Tyson surprises me by usurping your Dissertation. It seems all is fish that comes to the net of the Society- Mercy on us! What a cart-load of brick and rubbish, and Roman ruins, they have piled together! I have found nothing-, tolerable in the volume but the Dissertation of Mr Masters; which is followed by an answer, that, like Masters, contradicts him, without disproving any thing.

Mr. West's books are selling outrageously. His family will make a fortune by what he collected from stalls and Moorfields. But I must not blame the virtuosi, having surpassed them. In short I have bought his two pictures of Henry V. and Henry VIII. and their families; the first of which is engraved in my Anecdotes, or, as the catalogue says, engraved by Mr. H. Walpole, and the second described there. The first cost me 38 pounds and the last 84, though I knew Mr. West bought it for six guineas. But, in fact, these two, with my Marriages of Henry VI. and VII., compose such a suite of the House of Lancaster, and enrich my Gothic house so completely, that I would not deny myself. The Henry VII. cost me as much, and is less curious: the price of antiquities is so exceedingly risen, too, at present, that I expected to have paid more. I have bought much cheaper at the same sale, a picture of Henry VIII. and Charles V. in one piece, both much younger than I ever saw any portrait of either. I hope your pilgrimage to St. Gulaston's this month will take place, and that you will come and see them. Adieu!



Letter 56 To The Rev. Mr. Cole. Arlington Street, April 27, 1773. (page 81) '

I had not time this morning to answer your letter by Mr. Essex, but I gave him the card you desired. You know, I hope, how happy I am to obey any orders of yours.

In the paper I showed you in answer to Masters, you saw I was apprised of Rastel's Chronicle: but pray do not mention my knowing of it; because I draw so much from it, that I lie in wait, hoping that Milles, or Masters, or some of their fools, will produce it against me; and then I shall have another word to say to them, which they do not expect, since they think Rastel makes for them.

Mr. Gough(93) wants to be introduced to me! Indeed! I would see him, as he has been midwife to Masters; but he is so dull, that he would only be troublesome—and besides you know I shun authors, and would never have been One myself, if it obliged me to keep such bad company. They are always in earnest, and think their profession serious, and dwell upon trifles, and reverence learning. I laugh at all those things, and write only to laugh at them, and divert myself. None of us are authors of any consequence; and it is the most ridiculous in all vanities to be vain of being mediocre. A page in a great author humbles me to the dust; and the conversation of those that are not superior to myself, reminds me of what will be thought of myself. I blush to flatter them, or to be flattered by them, and should dread letters being published some time or other, in which they should relate our interviews, and we should appear like those puny conceited Witlings in Shenstone's and Hughes' Correspondence,(94) who give themselves airs from being in possession of the soil of Parnassus for the time being; as peers are proud, because they enjoy the estates of great men who went before them. Mr. Gough is very welcome to see Strawberry Hill; or I would help him to any scraps in my possession, that would assist his publications; though he is one of those industrious who are only reburying the dead-but I cannot be acquainted with him. It is contrary to my system, and my humour; and, besides, I know nothing of barrows, and Danish entrenchments, and Saxon barbarisms, and Phoenician characters—in short, I know nothing of those ages that knew nothing—then how should I be of use to modern literati? All the Scotch metaphysicians have sent me their works. I did not read one of them, because I do not understand what is not understood by those that write about it; and I did not get acquainted with one of the writers. I should like to be intimate with Mr. Anstey,(95) even though he wrote Lord Buckhorse, or with the author of the Heroic Epistle.(96) I have no thirst to know the rest of my contemporaries, from the absurd bombast of Dr. Johnson down to the silly Dr. Goldsmith; though the latter changeling has had bright gleams of parts, and the former had sense, 'till he charged it for words, and sold it for a pension. Don't think me scornful. Recollect that I have seen Pope, and lived with Gray. Adieu! Yours ever.

P. S. Mr. Essex has shown me a charming drawing, from a charming round window at Lincoln. It has revived all my eagerness to have him continue his plan.

(93) Richard Gough, Esq., author of the British Topography, and the Sepulchral Monuments of Great Britain; and editor of Camden's Britannia. This learned antiquary was born in 1735, and died in the year 1809-E.

(94) A second edition had just appeared of "Letters by several eminent Persons deceased; including the Correspondence of John Hughes, Esq, and several of His Friends."-E.

(95) The author of the New Bath Guide. See vol. iii., letter 307 to George Montagu, Esq., June 20 1766.-E.

(96) See ante, letter 54, P. 80.-E.



Letter 57 To The Rev. Mr. Cole. Arlington Street, May 4, 1773. (page 82)

I should not have hurried to answer your letter, dear Sir, the moment I receive it, but to send you another ticket(97) for your sister, in case she should not have recovered the other; and I think you said she was to stay but a fortnight in town. I would have sent it to her, had I known whither: and I have made it for five persons, in case she should have a mind to carry so many.

I am sorry for the young engraver; but I can by no means meddle with his going abroad, without the father's consent. it would be very wrong, and would hurt the young man essentially, if the father has any thing to leave. , In any case, I certainly would not be accessory to sending away the son against the father's will. The father is an impertinent fool—but that you and I cannot help.

Pray be not uneasy about Gertrude More: I shall get the original or, at least, a copy. Tell me how I shall Send you martagons by the safest conveyance, or any thing else you want. I am always in your debt; and the apostle-spoon will make the debtor side in my book of gratitude run over.

Your public orator has done me too much honour by far— especially as he named me with my father,(98) to whom I am so infinitely inferior, both in parts and virtues. Though I have been abused undeservedly, I feel I have more title to censure than praise, and -will subscribe to the former sooner than to the latter. Would not it be prudent to look upon the encomium as a funeral oration, and consider Myself as dead? I have always dreaded outliving myself, and writing after what small talents I have should be decayed. Except the last volume of the Anecdotes of Painting, which has been finished and printed so long, and which, appear when they may, will still come too late for many reasons. I am disposed never to publish any more of my own self; but I do not say so positively, lest my breaking my intention should be but another folly. The gout has, however, made me so indolent and inactive, that if my head does not inform me how old I grow, at least my mind and my feet will—and can one have too many monitors of one's weakness!

I am sorry you think yourself so much inconvenienced by stirring from home. ' This is an incommodity by which your friends will suffer more than yourself, and nobody more, sensibly than yours, etc.

(97) Of admission to Strawberry.

(98) On presenting a relation of Mr. Walpole's to the Vice-chancellor for his honorary degree.



Letter 58 To The Rev. Mr. Cole. Arlington Street, May 29, 1773. (page 83)

Dear Sir, I have been so much taken up of late with poor Lord Orford's affairs, I have not had, and scarce have now, time to write you a line, and thank you for all your kindnesses, information, and apostle -spoon. I have not Newcomb's Repertorium, and shall be obliged to you for the transcript; not as doubting, but to confirm what Heaven, King Edward I., and the Bishop of the Tartars have deposed in favour of Malibrunus, the Jew painter's abilities. I should sooner have suspected that Mr. Masters would have produced such witnesses to condemn Richard III. The note relating to Lady Boteler does not relate to her marriage.

I send you two martagon roots, and some jonquils; and have added some prints, two enamelled Pictures, and three medals. One of Oliver, by Simon; a fine one of Pope Clement X., and a scarce one of Archbishop Sancroft and the Seven Bishops. I hope the two latter will atone for the first. As I shall never be out of your debt, pray draw on me for any more other roots, or any thing that will be agreeable to you, and excuse me at present.



Letter 59 To Dr. Berkenhout.(99) July 6, 1773, (page 84)

Sir, I am so much engaged in private business at present, that I have not had time to thank you for the favour of your letter: nor can I now answer it to your satisfaction. My life has been too insignificant to afford materials interesting to the public. In general, the lives of mere authors are dry and unentertaining; nor, though I -have been one occasionally, are my writings of a class or merit to entitle me to any distinction. I can as little furnish you, Sir, with a list of them or their dates, which would give me more trouble to make out than is worth while. If I have any merit with the public, it is for printing and preserving some valuable works of others; and if ever you write the lives of printers, I may be enrolled in the number. My own works, I suppose, are dead and buried; but, as I am not impatient to be interred with them, I hope you will leave that office to the parson of the parish, and I shall be, as long as I live, yours, etc.

(99) Dr. John Berkenhout had been a captain both in the English and Prussian service, and in 1765 took his degree of MD. at Leyden. his application to Walpole was for the purpose of procuring materials for a life of him In his forthcoming work, "Biographia Literaria, or a Biographical History of Literature; containing the Lives of English, Irish, and Scottish Authors, from the dawn of Letters in these Kingdoms to the present Time." The first volume, which treats of those writers who lived from the beginning of the fifth to the end of the sixth century, and which is the only one ever published, appeared in 1777. He died in 1791-E.



Letter 60 To The Hon. H. S. Conway. Arlington Street, Aug. 30, 1773. (page 84)

I returned last night from Houghton,(100) where multiplicity of business detained me four days longer than I intended, and where I found a scene infinitely more mortifying than I expected; though I certainly did not go with a prospect of finding a land flowing with milk and honey. Except the pictures, which are in the finest preservation, and the woods, which are become forests, all the rest is ruin, desolation, confusion, disorder, debts, mortgages, sales, pillage, villany, waste, folly, and madness. I do not believe that five thousand pounds would put the house and buildings into good repair. The nettles and brambles in the park are up to your shoulders; horses have been turned into the garden, and banditti lodged in every cottage. The perpetuity of livings that come up to the park-pales have been sold—and every farm let for half its value. In short, you know how much family pride I have, and consequently may judge how much I have been mortified! Nor do I tell you half, or near the worst circumstances. I have just stopped the torrent-and that is all. I am very uncertain whether I must not fling up the trust; and some of the difficulties in my way seem unsurmountable, and too dangerous not to alarm even my zeal; since I must not ruin myself, and hurt those for whom I must feel, too, only to restore a family that will end with myself, and to retrieve an estate' from which I am not likely ever to receive the least advantage.

if you will settle with the Churchills your journey to Chalfont, and will let me know the day, I will endeavour to meet you there; I hope it Will not be till next week. I am overwhelmed with business—but, indeed, I know not when I shall be otherwise! I wish you joy of this endless summer.

(100) Whither he had gone during the mental alienation of his nephew, George Earl of Orford, to endeavour to settle and arrange his affairs.



Letter 61 To The Earl Of Strafford. Strawberry Hill, Sept. 24, 1773. (page 85)

The multiplicity of business which I found chalked out to me by my journey to Houghton, has engaged me so much, my dear lord, and the unpleasant scene opened to me there struck me so deeply, that I have neither had time nor cheerfulness enough to flatter myself I could amuse my friends by my letters. Except the pictures, I found every thing worse than I expected, and the prospect almost too bad to give me courage to pursue what I am doing. I am totally ignorant of most of the branches of business that are fallen to my lot, and not young enough to learn any new business well. All I can hope is to clear the worst part of the way; for, in undertaking to retrieve an estate, the beginning is certainly the most difficult of the work—it is fathoming a chaos. But I will not unfold a confusion to your lordship which your good sense will always keep You from experiencing —very unfashionably; for the first geniuses of the age hold, that the best method of governing the world is to throw it into disorder. The experiment is not yet complete, as the rearrangement is still to come.

I am very seriously glad of the birth of your nephew,(101) my lord; I am going this evening with my gratulations'; but have been so much absent and so hurried, that I have not yet had the pleasure of seeing

Lady Anne,(102) though I have called twice. To Gunnersbury I have no summons this summer: I receive such honours, or the want of them, with proper respect. Lady Mary Coke, I fear, is in chace of a Dulcineus that she will never meet. When the ardour of peregrination is a little abated, will not she probably give in to a more comfortable pursuit; and, like a print I have seen of -the blessed martyr Charles the First, abandon the hunt of a corruptible for that of an incorruptible crown? There is another beatific print just published in that style: it is of Lady Huntingdon. With much pompous humility, she looks like an old basket-woman trampling on her coronet at the mouth of a cavern.-Poor Whitfield! if he was forced to do the honours of the spelunca!—Saint Fanny Shirley is nearer consecration. I was told two days ago that she had written a letter to Lady Selina that was not intelligible. Her grace of Kingston's glory approaches to consummation in a more worldly style. The Duke(103) is dying, and has given her the whole estate, seventeen thousand a-year. I am told she has already notified the contents of the will, and made offers of the sale of Thoresby. Pious matrons have various ways of expressing decency.

Your lordship's new bow-window thrives. I do not want it to remind me of its master and mistress, to whom I am ever the most devoted humble servant.

(101) A son of John Earl of Buckingham, who died young.

(102) Lady Anne Conolly.

(103) The Duke of Kingston died on the 22d of September, when all his honours became extinct.-E.



Letter 62 To The Earl Of Strafford. Arlington Street, Nov. 15, 1773. (page 86)

I am very sorry, my dear lord, that you are coming towards us so slowly and unwillingly. I cannot quite wonder at the latter. The world is an old acquaintance that does not improve upon one's hands: however, one must not give way to the disgusts it creates. My maxim, and practice, too, is to laugh, because I do not like to cry. I could shed a pailfull of tears over all I have seen and learnt Since my poor nephew's misfortune-the more one has to do with men the worse one finds them But can one mend them? No. Shall we shut ourselves up from them? No. We should grow humourists-and of all animals an Englishman is least made to live alone. For my part, I am conscious of so many faults, that I think I grow better the more bad I see in my neighbours; and there are so many I would not resemble, that it makes me watchful over myself You, my lord, who have forty more good qualities than I have, should not seclude yourself. I do not wonder you despise knaves and fools: but remember, they want better examples; they will never grow ashamed by conversing with one another.

I came to settle here on Friday, being drowned out of Twickenham. I find the town desolate, and no news in it, but that the ministry give up the Irish -tax-some say, because it will not pass in Ireland; others, because the city of London would have petitioned against it; and some, because there were factions in the council— which is not the most incredible of all. I am glad, for the sake of some of my friends who would have suffered by it, that it is over.(104) In other respects, I have too much private business of my own to think about the public, which is big enough to take care of itself.

I have heard some of Lady Mary Coke's mortifications. I have regard and esteem for her good qualities, which are many; but I doubt her genius will never suffer her to be quite happy. As she will not take the psalmist's advice of not putting trust, I am sure she would not follow mine; for, with all her piety, King David is the only royal person she will not listen to, and therefore I forbear my sweet counsel. When she and Lord Huntingdon meet, will not they put you in mind of Count-Gage and Lady Mary Herbert, who met in the mines of Asturias, after they had failed of the crown of Poland?(105) Adieu, my dear lord! Come you and my lady among us. You have some friends that are not odious, and who will be rejoiced to see you both- -witness, for one, yours most faithfully.

(104) A tax upon absentees. Mr. Hardy, in his Memoirs of Lord Charlemont, says, that the influence of the Whig leaders predominated so far as to oblige the ministers to relinquish the measure.-E.

(105) "The crown of Poland, venal twice an age, To just three millions stint;ed modest Gage."

Pope in a note to the above couplet, states that Mr. Gage and Lady Mary Herbert, " each of them, in the Mississippi scheme, despised to realize above three hundred thousand pounds: the gentleman with a view to the purchase of the crown of Poland, the lady on a vision of the like royal nature: they have since retired into Spain, where they are still in search of gold, in the mines of the Asturias."-E.



Letter 63 To Lady Mary Coke.(106) ((page 87)

Your ladyship's illustrious exploits are the constant theme of my meditations. Your expeditions are so rapid, and to such distant regions, that I cannot help thinking you are possessed of the giant's boots that stepped seven leagues at a stride, as we are assured by that accurate historian Mother Goose. You are, I know, Madam', an excellent walker, yet methinks seven leagues at once are a prodigious straddle for a fair lady. But whatever is your manner of travelling, few heroines ancient or modern can be compared to you for length of journeys. Thalestris, Queen of the Amazons, and M. M. or N. N. Queen of Sheba, went each of them the Lord knows how far to meet Alexander the Great and Solomon the Wise; the one to beg the favour of having a daughter (I suppose) and heiress by him; and the other, says scandal, to grant a like favour to the Hebrew monarch. Your ladyship, who has more real Amazonian principles, never makes visits but to empresses, queens, and princesses; and your country is enriched with the maxims of wisdom and virtue which you collect in your travels. For such great ends did Herodotus, Pythagoras, and other sages, make voyages to Egypt, and every distant kingdom; and it is amazing how much their own countries were benefited by what those philosophers learned in their peregrinations. Were it not that your ladyship is actuated by such public spirit, I could Put YOU in mind, Madam, of an old story that might save you a great deal of fatigue and danger-and now I think of it, as I have nothing better to fill my letter with, I will relate it to you.

Pyrrhus, the martial and magnanimous King of Epirus (as my Lord Lyttelton would call him), being, as I have heard or seen Goodman Plutarch say, intent on his preparations for invading Italy, Cineas, one of the grooms of his bedchamber, took the liberty of asking his majesty what benefit he expected to reap if he should be successful in conquering the Romans?—Jesus! said the King, peevishly; why the question answers itself. When we have overcome the Romans, no province, no town, whether Greek or barbarian, will be able to resist us: we shall at once be masters of all Italy. Cineas after a short pause replied, And having subdued Italy, what shall we do next?—Do next? answered Pyrrhus; why, seize Sicily. Very likely, quoth Cineas: but will that put an end to the war?-The gods forbid! cried his Majesty: when Sicily is reduced, Libya and Carthage will be within our reach. And then, without giving Cineas time to put in a word, the heroic Prince ran over Africa, Greece, Asia, Persia, and every other country he had ever heard of upon the face of God's earth; not one of which he intended should escape his victorious sword. At last, when he was at the end of his geography, and a little out of breath, Cineas watched his opportunity, and said quietly, Well, Sire, and when we have conquered all the world, what are we to do then?—Why, then, said his Majesty, extremely satisfied with his own prowess, we will live at our ease; we: Will spend whole days in banqueting and carousing, and will think of nothing but our pleasures.

Now, Madam, for the application. Had I had the honour a few years ago of being your confidential abigail, when you meditated a visit to Princess Esterhazi, I would have ventured to ask your ladyship of what advantage her acquaintance would be to you? Probably you would have told me, that she would introduce you to several electresses and margravines, whose courts you would visit. That having conquered all their hearts, as I am persuaded you would, your next jaunt would be to Hesse; from whence it would be but a trip to Aix, where Madame de Rochouart lives. Soaring from thence you Would repair to the Imperial court at Vienna, where resides the most august, most virtuous, and most plump of empresses and queens- -no, I mistake—I should only have said, of empresses; for her Majesty of Denmark, God bless her! is reported to be full as virtuous, and three stone heavier. Shall not you call at Copenhagen, Madam? If you do, you are next door to the Czarina, who is the quintessence of friendship, as the Princess Daskioff says, whom, next to the late Czar, her Muscovite Majesty loves above all the world. Asia, I suppose, would not enter into your ladyship's system Of conquest; for, though it contains a sight of queens and sultanas, the poor ladies are locked up in abominable places, into which I am sure your ladyship's amity would never carry you—I think they call them seraglios. Africa has nothing but empresses stark-naked; and of complexions directly the reverse of your alabaster They do not reign in their own right; and what is worse, the emperors of those barbarous regions wear no more robes than the sovereigns of their hearts. And what are princes and princesses without velvet and ermine? As I am not a jot a better geographer than King Pyrrhus, I can at present recollect but one lady more who reigns alone, and that is her Majesty of Otaheite, lately discovered by Mr. Bankes and Dr. Solander; and for whom, your ladyship's compassionate breast must feel the tenderest emotions,' she having been cruelly deprived of her faithful minister and lover Tobiu, since dead at Batavia.

Well,'Madam, after you should have given me the plan of your intended expeditions, and not left a queen regent on the face of the globe unvisited,— I would ask what we were to do next?- -Why then, dear Abigail, you would have said, we will retire to Notting-hill, we will plant shrubs all the morning, read Anderson's Royal Genealogies all the evening; and once or twice a week I will go to Gunnersbury and drink a bottle with Princess Amelia. Alas, dear lady! and cannot you do all that without skuttling from one end of the world to the other?—This was the, upshot of all Cineas's inquisitiveness: and this is the pith of this tedious letter from, Madam, your ladyship's most faithful Aulic Counsellor and humble admirer.

(106) See the two preceding letters. It will be recollected that Lady Mary Coke was sister-in-law to The Earl of Strafford, and widow of Viscount Coke, heir apparent of Thomas Earl of Leicester, who died without issue by her, in his father's lifetime. Lady Mary died at a great age in 1811-E.



Letter 64 To The Hon. Mrs. GREY.(107) Dec. 9, 1773. (page 89)

DEAR MADAM, As I hear Lady Blandford has a return of the gout-, as I foretold last night from the red spot being not gone, I beg you will be so good as to tell her, that if she does not encourage the swelling by keeping her foot wrapped up as hot as possible in flannel, she will torment herself and bring more pain. I will answer that if she will let it swell, and suffer the swelling to go off of itself, she will have no more pain; and she must remember, that the gout will bear contradiction no more than she herself(108) Pray read this to her, and what I say farther—that though I know she will not bear pain for herself, I am sure she will for her friends. Her misfortune has produced the greatest satisfaction that a good mind can receive, the experience that that goodness has given her a great many sincere friends, who have shown as much concern as ever was known, and the most disinterested; as we know her generosity has left her nothing to give. We wish to preserve her for her own sake and ours, and the poor beseech her to bear a little pain for them.

I am going out of town till Monday, or would bring my prescription myself. She wants no virtue but patience; and patience takes it very ill to be left out of such good company. I am, dear Madam, Your obedient servant, Dr. WALPOLE.

(107) NOW first printed.

(108) It has already been stated, that Lady Blandford was somewhat impatient in her temper.-E.



Letter 65 To Sir David Dalrymple.(109) Arlington Street, Dec. 14, 1773. (page 90)

Sir, I have received from Mr. Dodsley, and read with pleasure, your Remarks on the History of Scotland," though I am not competently versed in some of the subjects. Indeed, such a load of difficult and vexatious business is fallen upon me by the unhappy situation of my nephew, Lord Orford, of whose affairs I have been forced to undertake the management, though greatly unfit for it, that I am obliged to bid adieu to all literary amusement and pursuits; and must dedicate the rest of a life almost worn out, and of late wasted and broken by a long illness, to the duties I owe to my family. I hope you, Sir, will have no such disagreeable avocation, and am your obliged servant.

(109) Now first collected.



Letter 66 To The Rev. Mr. Cole. Arlington Street, May 4, 1774. (page 90)

Dear Sir, We have dropped one another, as if we were not antiquaries, but people of this world-or do you disclaim me, because I have quitted the Society? I could give You but too sad reasons for my silence. The gout kept entire possession of me for six months; and, before it released me, Lord Orford's illness and affairs engrossed me totally. I have been twice in Norfolk since you heard from me. I am now at liberty again. What is your account of yourself? To. ask you to come above ground, even so far as to see me, I know is in vain or I certainly would ask it. You impose Carthusian shackles on Yourself, Will not quit your cell, nor will speak above once a week. I am glad to hear of you, and to see your hand, though you make that as much like print as you can. If you were to be tempted abroad, it would be a pilgrimage: and I can lure you even with that. My chapel is finished, and the shrine will actually be placed in less than a fortnight. My father is said to have said, that every man had his price. You are a Beatus, indeed, if you resist a shrine. Why should not you add to your claustral virtues that of a peregrination to Strawberry? You will find me quite alone in July. Consider, Strawberry is almost the last monastery left, at least in England. Poor Mr. Bateman's is despoiled. Lord Bateman has stripped and plundered it: has sequestered the best things, has advertised the site, and is dirtily selling by auction what he neither would keep, nor can sell for a sum that is worth while. I was hurt to see half the ornaments of the chapel, and the reliquaries, and in short a thousand trifles, exposed to sneers. I am buying a few to keep for the founder's sake. Surely it is very indecent for a favourite relation, who is rich, to show so little remembrance and affection. I suppose Strawberry will have the same fate! It has already happened to two of my friends. Lord Bristol got his mother's house from his brother, by persuading her he was in love with it. He let it in a month after she was dead band all her favourite pictures and ornaments, which she had ordered not to be removed, are mouldering in a garret! You are in the right to care so little for a world where there is no measure but avoirdupois. Adieu! Yours sincerely.



Letter 67 To The Rev. Mr. Cole. Strawberry Hill, May 28, 1774. (page 91)

Nothing will be more agreeable to me', dear Sir, than a visit from you in July. I will try to persuade Mr. Granger to meet you; and if you had any such thing as summer in the fens, I would desire you to bring a bag with you. We are almost freezing here in the midst of beautiful verdure, with a profusion of blossoms and flowers; but I keep good fires, and seem to feel warm weather while I look through the window; for the way to ensure summer in England, is to have it framed and glazed in a comfortable room.

I shall be still more glad to hear you are settled in Your living. Burnham is almost in my neighbourhood; and its being in that of Eton and Windsor, will more than console you, I hope, for leaving Ely and Cambridge. Pray let me know the moment you are certain. It would now be a disappointment to me as well as you. You shall be inaugurated in my chapel, which is much more venerable than your parish church, and has the genuine air of antiquity. I bought very little of poor Mr. Bateman's. His nephew disposed of little that was worth houseroom, and Yet pulled the whole to pieces.

Mr. Pennant has Published a new Tour to Scotland and the Hebrides: and, though he has endeavoured to paint their dismal isles and rocks in glowing colours, they will not be satisfied; for he seems no bigot about Ossian, at least in some passages; and is free in others, which their intolerating spirit will resent. I cannot say the book is very entertaining to me, and it is more a book of rates than of antiquities. The most amusing part was communicated to him by Mr. Banks, who found whole islands that bear nothing but columns, as other places do grass and barley. There is a beautiful cave called Fingal's; which proves that nature loves Gothic architecture.

Mr. Pennant has given a new edition of his former Tour, with more cuts. Among others, is the vulgar head, called the Countess of Desmond. I told him I had discovered, and proved past contradiction, that it is Rembrandt's mother. He owned it, and said, he would correct it by a note-but he has not. This is a brave way of being an antiquary! as if there could be any merit in giving for genuine what one knows to be spurious. He is, indeed, a superficial man, and knows little of history or antiquity: but he has a violent rage for being an author. He set out with Ornithology, and a little Natural History, and picks Up his knowledge as he rides. I have a still lower idea of Mr. Gough; for Mr. Pennant, at least, is very civil: the other is a hog. Mr. Fenn,(110) another smatterer in antiquity, but. a very good sort of man, told me, Mr. Gough desired to be introduced to me—but as he has been such a bear to you,(111) he shall not come. The Society of Antiquaries put me in mind of what the old Lord Pembroke said to Anstis the herald: "Thou silly fellow! thou dost not know thy own silly business." If they went behind taste by poking into barbarous ages, when there was no taste, one could forgive them—but they catch at the first ugly thing they see, and take it for old, because it is new to them, and then usher it pompously into the world, as if they had made a discovery; though they have not yet cleared up a single point that is of the least importance, or that tends to Settle any obscure passage in history.

I will not condole with you on having had the gout, since you find it has removed other complaints. Besides as it begins late, you are never likely to have it severely. I shall be in terrors in two or three months, having had the four last fits periodically and biennially Indeed, the two last were so long and severe, that my remaining and shattered strength could ill support such.

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