The House of Commons have at last finished their great affair, their inquiry into the Mediterranean miscarriage. It was carried on with more decency and impartiality than ever was known in so tumultuous, popular, and partial a court. I can't say it ended so; for the Tories, all but one single man, voted against Matthews, whom they have not forgiven for lately opposing one of their friends in Monmouthshire, and for carrying his election. The greater part of the Whigs were for Lestock. This last is a very great man: his cause, most unfriended, came before the House with all the odium that could be laid on a man standing in the light of having betrayed his country. His merit, I mean his parts, prevailed, and have set him in a very advantageous point of view. Harry Fox has gained the greatest honour by his assiduity and capacity in this affair. Matthews remains in the light of a hot, brave, imperious, dull, confused fellow. The question was to address the King to appoint a trial, by court-martial, of the two admirals and the four coward captains. Matthews's friends were for leaving out his name, but, after a very long debate, were only 76 to 218. It is generally supposed, that the two admirals will be acquitted and the captains hanged. By what I can make out, (for you know I have been confined, and could not attend the examination,) Lestock preferred his own safety to the glory of his country; I don't mean cowardly, for he is most unquestionably brave, but selfishly. Having to do with a man who, he knew, would take the slightest opportunity to ruin him, if he in the least transgressed his orders, and knowing that man too dull to give right orders, he chose to stick to the letter, when, by neglecting it, he might have done the greatest service.
We hear of great news from Bavaria, of that Elector being forced into a neutrality; but it IS not confirmed.
Mr. Legge is made lord of the admiralty, and Mr. Philipson surveyor of the roads in his room. This is all I know. I look with anxiety every day into the Gazettes about Tuscany, but hitherto I find all is quiet. My dear Sir, I tremble for you!
I have been much desired to get you to send five gesse figures; the Venus, the Faun, the Mercury, the Cupid and Psyche, and the little Bacchus; you know the original is modern: if this is not to be had, then the Ganymede. My dear child, I am sorry to give you this trouble; order any body to buy them, and to Send them from Leghorn by the first ship. let me have the bill, and bill of lading. Adieu!
411 Letter 160 To Sir Horace Mann. Arlington Street, April 29, 1745.
When you wrote your last of the 6th of this month, you was still in hopes about my father. I wish I had received your letters on his death, for it is most shocking to have all the thoughts opened again upon such a subject!-it is the great disadvantage of a distant correspondence. There was a report here a fortnight ago of the new countess coming over. She could not then have heard it. Can she be so mad? Why should she suppose all her shame buried in my lord's grave? or does not she know, has she seen so little of the world, as not to be sensible that she will now return in a worse light than ever? A few malicious, who would have countenanced her to vex him, would now treat her like the rest of the world. It is a private family affair; a husband, a mother, and a son, all party against her, all wounded by her conduct, would be too much to get over!
My dear child, you have nothing but misfortunes of your friends to lament. You have new subject by the loss of poor Mr. Chute's brother.(1034) It really is a great loss! he was a most rising man, and one of the best-natured and most honest that ever lived. If it would not sound ridiculously, though, I assure you, I am far from feeling it lightly, I would tell you of poor Patapan's death - he died about ten days ago.
This peace with the Elector of Bavaria may Produce a general one. You have given great respite to my uneasiness, by telling me that Tuscany seems out of danger. We have for these last three days been in great expectation of a battle. The French have invested Tournay; our army came up with them last Wednesday, and is certainly little inferior, and determined to attack them; but it is believed they are retired: we don't know who commands them; it is said, the Duc d'Harcourt. Our good friend, the Count de Saxe, is dying(1036)-by Venus, not by Mars. The King goes on Friday; this may make the young Duke(1036) more impatient to give battle, to have all the honour his own.
There is no kind of news; the Parliament rises on Thursday, and every body is going out of town. I shall only make short excursions in visits; you know I am not fond of the country, and have no call into it now! My brother will not be at Houghton this year; he shuts it Up to enter on new, and there very unknown economy: he has much occasion for it! Commend me to poor Mr. Chute! Adieu!
(1034) Francis Chute, a very eminent lawyer.
(1035) The Marshal de Saxe- did not die till 1750. He was, however, exceedingly ill at the time of the battle of Fontenoy. Voltaire, in his "Si'ecle de Louis XV." mentions having met him at Paris just as he was setting out for the campaign. Observing how unwell he seemed to b, he asked him whether he thought he had strength enough to go through the fatigues which awaited him. To this the Marshal's reply was "il ne s'agit pas de vivre, mais de partir."-D.
William, Duke of Cumberland.-D.
412 Letter 161 To Sir Horace Mann. Arlington Street, May 11, 1745.
I stayed till to-day, to be able to give you some account of the battle of Tournay:(1037) the outlines you will have heard already. We don't allow it to be a victory on the French side: but that is, just as a woman is not called Mrs. till she is married, though she may have had half-a-dozen natural children. In short, we remained upon the field of battle three hours: I fear, too many of us remain there still! without palliating, it is certainly a heavy stroke. We never lost near so many officers. I pity the Duke, for it is almost the first battle of consequence that we ever lost. By the letters arrived to-day we find that Tournay still holds out. There are certainly killed Sir James Campbell, General Ponsonby, Colonel Carpenter, Colonel Douglas, young Ross, Colonel Montagu, Geo, Berkeley, and Kellet. Mr. Vanbrugh is since dead. Most of the your),r men of quality in the Guards @ are wounded. I have had the vast fortune to have nobody hurt, for whom I was in the least interested. Mr. Conway, in particular, has highly distinguished himself; he ind Lord Petersham,' who is slightly wounded, are most commended; though none behaved ill but the Dutch horse. There has been but very little consternation here: the King minded it so little, that being set out for Hanover, and blown back into Harwich-roads since the news came, he could not be persuaded to return, but sailed yesterday with the fair wind. I believe you will have the Gazette sent Tonight; but lest it should not be printed time enough, here is a list of the numbers, as it came over this morning.
British foot 1237 killed. Ditto horse 90 ditto. Ditto foot 1968 wounded. Ditto horse 232 ditto. Ditto foot 457 missing. Ditto horse 18 ditto. Hanoverian foot 432 killed. Ditto horse 78 ditto. Ditto foot 950 wounded. Ditto horse 192 ditto. Ditto horse and foot 53 missing. Dutch 625 killed and wounded. Ditto 1019 missing.
So the whole hors de combat is above seven thousand three hundred. The French own the loss of three thousand; I don't believe many more, for it was a most desperate and rash perseverance on our side. The Duke behaved very bravely and humanely;(1038) but this will not have advanced the peace.
However coolly the Duke may have behaved, and coldly his father, at least his brother, has outdone both. He not only went to the play the night the news came, but in two days made a ballad. It is in imitation of the Regent's style, and has miscarried in nothing but the language, the thoughts, and the poetry. Did I not tell you in my last that he was going to act Paris in Congreve's Masque? The song is addressed to the goddesses.
1. Venez, mes ch'eres D'eesses, Venez calmer mon chagrin; Aidez, mes belles Princesses,' A le noyer dans le vin. Poussons cette douce Ivresse Jusqu'au milieu de la nuit, Et n''ecoutons que la tendresse D'un charmant vis-a-vis.
2. Quand le chagrin me d'evore, Vite 'a table je me mets, Loin des objets que j'abhorre, Avec joie j'y trouve la paix. Peu d'amis, restes D'un naufrage Je rassemble autour de moi, Et je me ris de l''etalage. Qu'a chez lui toujours on Roi.
3. Que m'importe, que l'Europe Ait Un, ou plusieurs tyrans? Prions seulement Calliope, Qu'elle inspire nos vers, nos chants. Laissons Mars et toute la gloire; Livrons nous tous 'a l'amour; Que Bacchus nous donne 'a boire; A ces deux fasions la cour.
4. Passons ainsi notre vie, Sans rover IL ce qui suit; Avec ma ch'ere Sylvie,(1039) Le tems trop Vite me fuit. Mais si, par Un malheur extr'eme, Je perdois cet objet charmant, Oui, cette compagnie m'eme Ne me tiendroit Un moment.
5. me livrant 'a ma tristesse, Toujours plein de mon chagrin, Je n'aurois plus d'all'egresse Pour mettre Bathurst(1040) en train: Ainsi pour vous tenir en joie Invoquez toujours les Dieux, Q Qu'elle vive et qu'elle soit Avec nous toujours heureuse!
Adieu! I am in a great hurry.
(1037) Since called the battle of Fontenoy. (The Marshal de Saxe commanded the French army, and both Louis XV. and his son the Dauphin were present in the action. The Duke of Cumberland commanded the British forces.-D.)
(1037) William, Lord Petersham, eldest son of the Earl of Harrington.
(1038) The Hon. Philip Yorke, in a letter to Horace Walpole, the elder, of the following day, says,"the Duke's behaviour was, by all accounts, the most heroic and gallant imaginable: he was the whole day in the thickest of the fire. His Royal Highness drew out a pistol upon an officer whom he saw running away."-E.
(1038) Frederick, Prince of Wales. The following song was written immediately after the battle of Fontenoy, and was addressed to Lady Catherine Hanmer, Lady Fauconberg, and Lady Middlesex, who were to act the three goddesses, with the Prince of Wales, in Congreve's Judgment of Paris, whom he was to represent, and Prince Lobkowitz, Mercury.-E.
(1039) The Princess.
(1040) Allen, Lord Bathurst.
415 Letter 162 To George Montagu, Esq. Arlington Street, May 18, 1745.
Dear George, I am very sorry to renew our correspondence upon so melancholy a circumstance, but when you have lost so near a friend as your brother,(1041) 'tis sure the duty of all your other friends to endeavour to alleviate your loss, and offer all the increase of affection that is possible to compensate it. This I do most heartily; I wish I could most effectually.
You will always find in me, dear Sir, the utmost inclination to be of service to you; and let me beg that you will remember your promise of writing to me. As I am so much in town and in the world, I flatter myself with having generally something to tell you that may make my letters agreeable in the country: you, any where, make yours charming.
Be so good to say any thing you think proper from me to your sisters, and believe me, dear George, yours most sincerely.
(1041) Lieutenant-Colonel Edward Montagu, killed at the battle of Fontenoy.
415 Letter 163 To Sir Horace Mann. Arlington Street, May 24, 1745.
I have no consequences of the battle of Tournay to tell you but the taking of the town: the governor has eight days allowed him to consider whether he will give up the citadel. The French certainly lost more men than we did. Our army is still at Lessines waiting for recruits from Holland and England; ours are sailed. The King is at Hanover. All the letters are full of the Duke's humanity and bravery: he will be as popular with the lower class of men as he has been for three or four years with the low women: he will be the soldier's Great Sir as well as theirs. I am really glad; it will be of great service to the family, if any one of them come to make a figure.
Lord Chesterfield is returned from Holland; you will see a most simple farewell speech of his in the papers.(1042)
I have received yours of the 4th of May, and am extremely obliged to you for your expressions of kindness: they did not at all surprise me, but every instance of your friendship gives me pleasure. I wish I could say the same to good prince Craon. Yet I must set about answering his letter: it is quite an affair; I have so great a disuse of writing French, that I believe it will be very barbarous.
My fears for Tuscany are again awakened: the wonderful march Which the Spanish Queen has made Monsieur de Gage take, may probably end in his turning short to the left; for his route to Genoa will be full as difficult as what he has already passed. I watch eagerly every article from Italy, at a time when nobody will read a paragraph but from the army in Flanders.
I am diverted with my Lady's(1043) account of the great riches that are now coming to her. She has had so many foolish golden visions, that I should think even the Florentines would not be the dupes of any more. As for her mourning, she may save it, if she expects to have it notified. Don't you remember my Lady Pomfret's having a piece of economy of that sort, when she would not know that the Emperor was dead, because my Lord Chamberlain had not notified it to her.
I have a good story to tell you of Lord Bath, whose name you have not heard very lately; have you? He owed a tradesman eight hundred pounds, and would never pay him: the man determined to persecute him till he did; and one morning followed him to Lord Winchilsea's, and sent up word that he wanted to speak with him. Lord Bath came down, and said, "Fellow, what do you want with me'!"-"My money," said the man, as loud as ever he could bawl, before all the servants. He bade him come the next morning, and then would not see him. The next Sunday the man followed him to church, and got into the next pew: he leaned over, and said, , "My money; give me my money!" My lord went to the end of the pew; the man too: "Give me my money!" The sermon was on avarice, and the text, "Cursed are they that heap up riches." The man groaned out, "O lord!" and pointed to my Lord Bath. In short, he persisted so much, and drew the eyes of all the congregation, that my Lord Bath went out and paid him directly. I assure you this is a fact. Adieu.
(1042) " Have you Lord Chesterfield's speech on taking leave? It is quite calculated for the language it is wrote in, and makes but an indifferent figure in English. The thoughts are common, and yet he strains hard to give them an air of novelty; and the quaintness of the expression is quite a la Fran'caise." The Hon. P. Yorke to Horatio Walpole.-E.
(1043) Lady Walpole, now become Countess of Orford.-D.
416 Letter 164 To George Montagu, Esq. Arlington Street, May 25, 1745.
Dear George, I don't write to you now so much to answer your letter as to promote your diversion, which I am as much obliged to you for consulting me about, at least as much as about an affair of honour, or your marriage, or any other important transaction; any one of which you might possibly dislike more than diverting yourself. For my part, I shall give you my advice on this point with as much reflection as I should, if it were necessary for me, like a true friend, to counsel you to displease yourself.
You propose making a visit at Englefield Green, and ask me, if I think it right? Extremely so. I have heard it is a very pretty place. You love a jaunt—have a pretty chaise, I believe, and, I dare swear, very easy; in all probability, you have a fine evening too ; and, added to all this, the gentleman you would go to see is very agreeable and good humoured.(1044) He has some very Pretty children, and a sensible, learned man that lives with him, one Dr. Thirlby,(1045) whom, I believe you know. The master of the house plays extremely well on the bass-viol, and has generally other musical people with him. He knows a good deal of the private history of a late ministry; and, my dear George, you love memoires. Indeed, as to personal acquaintance with any of the court beauties, I can't say you will find your account in him ; but, to make amends, he is perfectly master of all the quarrels that have been fashionably on foot about Handel, and can give you a very perfect account of all the modern rival painters. In short, you may pass a very agreeable day with him; and if he does but take to you, as I can't doubt, who know you both, you will contract a great friendship with him, which he will preserve with the greatest warmth and partiality.
In short, I can think of no reason in the world against your going there but one: do you know his youngest brother? If you to be so unlucky, I can't flatter you so far as to advise you to make him a visit; for there is nothing in the world the Baron of Englefield has such an aversion for as for his brother.
(1044) Mr. Walpole's brother, Sir Edward. See Ant'e, p.189, letter 42.
(1045) Styan Thirlby, fellow of Jesus College, Cambridge, published an edition of Justin Martyr, and, I think, wrote something against Middleton. He communicated several notes to Theobald for his Shakspeare, and in the latter part of his life, took to study the common law. He lived chiefly for his last years with Sir Edward Walpole, who had procured for him a small place in the Custom house, and to whom he left his papers: he had lost his intellects some time before his death. [He died a martyr to intemperance, in 1751, in his sixty-first year. Mr. Nichols says, that, while in Sir Edward's houses, he kept a miscellaneous book of Memorables, containing whatever was said or done amiss by Sir Edward, or any part of his family.]
417 Letter 165 To The Hon. H. S. Conway. Arlington Street, May 27, 1745.
My dear Harry, As gloriously as you have set out, yet I despair of seeing you a perfect hero! You have none of the charming violences that are so essential to that character. You write as coolly, after behaving well in battle, as you fought in it. Can your friends flatter themselves with seeing you, one day or other, be the death of thousands, when you wish for peace in three weeks after four first engagements and laugh at the ambition of those men who have given you this opportunity of distinguishing yourself? With the person of an Orondates, and the courage, you have all the compassion, the reason, and the 'reflection of one that never read a romance. Can one ever hope you will make a figure, when you only fight because it was right you should, and not because you hated the French or loved destroying mankind? This is so un-English, or so un-heroic, that I despair of you!
Thank Heaven, you have one spice of madness! Your admiration of your master(1047) leaves me a glimmering of hope, that you will not be always so unreasonably reasonable. Do you remember the humorous lieutenant, in one of Beaumont and Fletcher's plays, that is in love with the king? Indeed, your master is not behindhand with you; you seem to have agreed to puff one another.
If you are acting up to the strictest rules of war and chivalry in Flanders, we are not less scrupulous on this side the water in fulfilling all the duties of the same order. The day the young volunteer(1048 departed for the army (unluckily indeed, it was after the battle), his tender mother Sisygambis, and the beautiful Statira,(1049) a lady formerly known in your history by the name of Artemisia, from her cutting off her hair in your absence, were so afflicted and SO inseparable, that they made a party together to Mr. graham'S(1050) (you may read lapis if you please) to be blooded. It was settled that this was a more precious way of expressing Concern than shaving the head, which has been known to be attended with false locks the next day.
For the other princess you wot of, who is not entirely so tall as the former, nor so evidently descended from a line of monarchs—I don't hear her talk of retiring. At present she is employed in buying up all the nose-gays in Covent Garden and laurel leaves at the pastry cooks, to where chaplets for the return of her hero. Who that is I don't pretend to know or guess. All I know is, that in this age retirement is not one of the fashionable expressions of passion.
(1046) The battle of Fontenoy, where Mr. Conway greatly distinguished himself.
(1047) The Duke of Cumberland, to whom Mr. Conway was aide-de-camp.
(1048) George, afterwards Marquis Townshend.
(1049) Ethelreda Harrison, Viscountess Townshend, and her daughter, the Hon. Audrey Townshend, afterwards married to Robert Orme, Esq.
(1050) A celebrated apothecary in Pall-mall.
418 Letter 166 To Sir Horace Mann.
I have the pleasure of recommending you a new acquaintance, for which I am sure you will thank me. Mr. Hobart(1051) proposes passing a little time at Florence, which I am sure you will endeavour to make as agreeable to him as possible. I beg you will introduce him to all my friends, who, I don't doubt, will show him the same civilities that I received. Dear Sir, this will be a particular obligation to me, who am, etc.
1051) Eldest son of John, Earl of Buckinghamshire, (The Hon. John Hobart, afterwards second Earl of Buckinghamshire, and lord Lieutenant of Ireland.-D.)
419 Letter 167 To Sir Horace Mann. Arlington Street, June 24, 1745.
I have been a fortnight in the country, and had ordered all my to be kept till I came to town, or I should have written to you sooner about my sister-countess. She is not arrived yet, but is certainly coming: she has despatched several letters to notify her intentions: a short one to her mother, saying, "Dear Madam, as you have often desired me to return to England, I am determined to set out, and hope you will give me reasons to subscribe myself your most affectionate daughter." This "often desired me to return" has never been repeated since the first year of her going away. The poor signora-madre is in a terrible fright, and will not come to town till her daughter is gone again, which all advices agree will be soon. Another letter is to my Lady Townshend, telling her, "that, as she knows her ladyship's way of thinking, she does not fear the continuance of her friendship." Another, a long one, to my Lord Chesterfield; another to Lady Isabella Scot,(1052) an old friend of hers; and another to Lady Pomfret. This last says, that she hears from guccioni, my Lady O. will stay here a very little time, having taken a house at Florence for three years. She is to come to my Lady Denbigh.(1053) My brother is extremely obliged to you for all your notices about her, though he is very indifferent about her motions. If she happens to choose law (though on what foot no mortal can guess), he is prepared; having from the first hint of her journey, fee'd every one of the considerable lawyers. In short, this jaunt is as simple as all the rest of her actions have been hardy. Nobody wonders at her bringing no English servants with her-they know, and consequently might tell too much.
I feel excessively for you, my dear child, on the loss of Mr. Chute!—so sensible and so good-natured a man would be a loss to any body; but to you, who are so meek and helpless, it is irreparable! who will dry you when you are very wet brown-paper?(1054) Though I laugh, you know how much I pity you: you will want somebody to talk over English letters, and to conjecture with ),on; in short, I feel your distress in all its lights.
The citadel of Tournay is gone;(1055) our affairs go ill. Charles of Lorrain(1056) has lost a great battle grossly! He was constantly drunk, and had no kind of intelligence. Now he acts from his own head, his head turns out a very bad one. I don't know, indeed, what they can say in defence of the great general to whom we have just given the garter, the Duke of Saxe Weissenfels; he is not of so serene a house but that he might have known something of the motions of the Prussians. Last night we heard that the Hungarian insurgents had cut to pieces two Prussian regiments. The King of Prussia and Prince Charles are so near, that we every day expect news of another battle. We don't know yet what is to be the next step in Flanders. Lord Cobham has got Churchill'S(1057) regiment, and Lord Dunmore his government of Plymouth. At the Prince's court there is a great revolution; he, or rather Lord Granville, or perhaps the Princess, (who, I firmly believe, by all her quiet sense, will turn out a Caroline,) have at last got rid of Lady Archibald,(1058) who was strongly attached to the coalition. They have civilly asked her, and Crossly forced her to ask civilly to go away, which she has done, with a pension of twelve hundred a-year. Lady Middlesex,(1059) is mistress of the robes: she lives with them perpetually, and sits up till five in the morning at their suppers. Don't mistake!-not for her person, which is wondrous plain and little: the town says it is for her friend Miss Granville, one of the maids of honour; but at least yet, that is only scandal. She is a fair, red-haired girl, scarce pretty; daughter of the poet, Lord Lansdown.(1060) Lady Berkeley is lady of the bedchamber, and Miss Lawson maid of honour. Miss Neville, a charming beauty, and daughter of the pretty, unfortunate Lady Abergavenny,(1061) is named for the next vacancy.
I was scarcely settled in my joy for the Spaniards having taken the opposite route to Tuscany, when I heard of Mr. Chute's leaving you. I long to have no reason to be uneasy about you. I am obliged to you for the gesse figures, and beg you will send me the bill in your first letter. Rysbrach has perfectly mended the Ganymede and the model, which to me seemed irrecoverably smashed.
I have just been giving a recommendatory letter for you to Mr. Hobart; he is a particular friend of mine, but is Norfolk, and in the world; so you will be civil to him. He is of the Damon-kind, and not one of whom you will make a Chute. madame Suares may make something of him. Adieu!
(1052) Daughter of Anne, Countess of Buccleuch, and Duchess of Buccleuch and Monmouth, the wife of James, the unhappy Duke of Monmouth. Lady Isabella Scott was the daughter of the duchess by her second husband, Charles, third Lord Cornwallis. She died unmarried, Feb. 18, 1748.-D.
(1053) Isabella de Jonghe, a Dutch lady, and wife of William Fielding, fifth Earl of Denbigh. She died in 1769.-D.
(1054) Mr. Mann was so thin and weak that Mr. Walpole used to compare him to wet brown-paper.
(1055) The treachery of the principal engineer, who deserted to the enemy, and the timidity of other officers in the garrison, produced a surrender of the city in a fortnight, and Of the citadel in another week.-E.
(1056) He was brother of Francis, at this time Grand Duke of Tuscany. On the 3d of June, the King of Prussia had gained a signal victory over him at Friedberg.-E.
(1057) General Churchill, or, as he was commonly called, "Old Charles Churchill," was just dead.-D.
(1058) Lady Archibald Hamilton, daughter of Lord Abercorn, and wife of Lord Archibald Hamilton.
(1059) Daughter of Lord Shannon, and wife of Charles, Earl of Middlesex, eldest son of Lionel, Duke of Dorset. Her favour grew to be thought more than platonic.
(1060) George Granville, Lord Lansdowne, one of Queen Ann,-'s twelve Tory Peers styled by Pope, who addressed his Windsor Forest to him, "the polite." He died in 1735.-E.
(1061) Catherine Tatton, daughter of Lieutenant-General Tatton. She married, first, Edward Neville-,, thirteenth Lord Abergavenny, who died without issue in his nineteenth year, in 1724. She remarried with his cousin and successor, William, fourteenth Lord Abergavenny, by whom she had issue, one son, George, afterwards fifteenth Lord Abergavenny, and one daughter, Catherine, who is mentioned above. Lady Abergavenny herself died in childbed, Dec. 4, 1729, in less than one month after the detection of an intrigue between her and Richard Lyddel, Esq. against whom Lord Abergavenny brought an action for damages, and recovered five thousand pounds. In a poem written on her death by Sir Charles Hanbury Williams, she is praised for her gentleness, and pitied for her " cruel wrongs." Her husband is also called "that stern lord." All further details respecting her are, however, now unknown.-D.
421 Letter 168 To George Montagu, Esq. Arlington Street, June 25, 1745.
Dear George, I have been near three weeks in Essex, at Mr. Rigby's,(1062) and had left your direction behind me, and could not write to you. It is the charmingest place by nature, and the most trumpery by art, that ever I saw. The house stands on a high hill, on an arm of the sea, which winds itself before two sides of the house. On the right and left, at the very foot of this hill, lie two towns; the one of market quality, and the other with a wharf where ships come up. This last was to have a church, but by a lucky want of religion in the inhabitants, who would not contribute to building a steeple, it remains an absolute antique temple, with a portico on the very strand. Cross this arm of the sea, you see six churches and charming woody hills in Suffolk. All this parent Nature did for this place; but its godfathers and godmothers, I believe, promised it should renounce all the pomps and vanities of this world, for they have patched up a square house, full of windows, low rooms, and thin walls; piled up walls wherever there was a glimpse of prospect; planted avenues that go nowhere, and dug fishponds where there should be avenues. We had very bad weather the whole time I was there! but however I rode about and sailed, not having the same apprehensions Of catching cold that Mrs. Kerwood had once at Chelsea, when I persuaded her not to go home by water, because it would be damp after rain.
The town is not quite empty yet. My Lady Fitzwatter, Lady Betty Germain,(1063) Lady Granville,(1064) and the dowager Strafford have their At-homes, and amass company. Lady Brown has done with her Sundays, for she is changing her house into Upper Brook Street. In the mean time, she goes to Knightbridge, and Sir Robert to the woman he keeps at Scarborough: Winnington goes on with the Frasi; so my lady Townshend is obliged only to lie of people. You have heard of the disgrace of the Archibald, and that in future scandal she must only be ranked with the Lady Elizabeth Lucy and Madam Lucy Walters, instead of being historically noble among the Clevelands, Portsmouths, and Yarmouths. It is said Miss Granville has the reversion of her coronet; others say, she won't accept the patent.
Your friend Jemmy Lumley,(1065)—beg pardon, I mean your kin, is not he? I am sure he is not your friend;—well, he has had an assembly, and he would write all the cards himself, and every one of them was to desire he's company and she's company, with other pieces of curious orthography. Adieu, dear George! I wish you a merry farm, as the children say at Vauxhall. My compliments to your sisters.
(1062) Mistley Hall, near Manningtree.
(1063) Second daughter of the Earl of Berkeley, and married to Sir John Germain.
(1064) Daughter of rhomms, Earl of Pomfret. She was Lord Granville's second wife.
(1065) Seventh son of the first Earl of Scarborough. He died in 1766, unmarried.-E.
422 Letter 169 To The Hon. H. S. Conway. Arlington Street, July 1, 1745.
My dear harry, If it were not for that one slight inconvenience, that I should probably be dead now, I should have liked much better to have lived in the last war than in this; I mean as to the pleasantness of writing letters. Two or three battles won, two or three towns taken, in a summer, were pretty objects to keep up the liveliness of a correspondence. But now it hurts one's dignity to be talking of English and French armies, at the first period of our history in which the tables are turned. After having learnt to spell out of the reigns of Edward the Third and Harry the Fifth, and begun lisping with Agincourt and Cressy, one uses one's self but awkwardly to the sounds of Tournay and Fontenoy. I don't like foreseeing the time so near, when all the young orators in Parliament will be haranguing out of Demosthenes upon the imminent danger we are in from the overgrown power of King Philip. As becoming as all that public spirit will be, which to be sure will now come forth, I can't but think we were at least as happy and as great when all the young Pitts and Lytteltons were pelting oratory at my father for rolling out a twenty years' peace, and not envying the trophies which he passed by every day in Westminster Hall. But one must not repine; rather reflect on the glories which they have drove the nation headlong into. One must think all our distresses and dangers well laid out, when they have purchased us Glover'S(1066) Oration for the merchants, the Admiralty for the Duke of Bedford, and the reversion of Secretary at war for Pitt, which he will certainly have, unless the French King should happen to have the nomination; and then I fear, as much obliged as that court is to my Lord Cobham and his nephews, they would be so partial as to prefer some illiterate nephew of Cardinal Tencin's, who never heard of Leonidas or the Hanover troops.
With all these reflections, as I love to make myself easy, especially politically, I comfort myself with what St. Evremond (a favourite philosopher of mine, for he thought what he liked, not liked what he thought) said in defence of Cardinal Mazarin, when he was reproached with neglecting the good of the kingdom that he might engross the riches of it: "Well, let him get all the riches, and then he will think of the good of the kingdom, for it will all be his own." Let the French but have England, and they won't want to conquer it. We may possibly contract the French spirit of being supremely content with the glory of our monarch, and then-why then it will be the first time we ever -were contented yet. We hear of nothing but your retiring,(1067 and of Dutch treachery: in short, 'tis an holy scene!
I know of no home news but the commencement of the gaming act,(1068) for which they are to put up a scutcheon at White's—for the death of play; and the death of Winnington's wife, which may be an unlucky event for my Lady Townshend. As he has no children, he will certainly marry again; and who will give him their daughter, unless he breaks off that affair, which I believe he will now very willingly make a marriage article? We want him to take Lady -Charlotte Fermor. She was always his beauty, and has so many charming qualities, that she would make any body happy. He will make a good husband; for he is excessively good-natured, and was much better to that strange wife than he cared to own.
You wondered at my journey to Houghton; now -wonder more, for I am going to Mount Edgecumbe. Now my summers are in my own hands, and I am not obliged to pass great part of them in Norfolk, I find it is not so very terrible to dispose of them up and down. In about three weeks I shall set out, and see Wilton and Doddington's in my way. Dear Harry, do but get a victory, and I will let off every cannon at Plymouth: reserving two, till I hear particularly that you have killed two more Frenchmen with your own hand.(1069) Lady Mary(1070) sends you her compliments; she is going to pass a week with Miss Townshend(1071) at Muffits; I don't think you will be forgot. Your sister Anne has got a new distemper, which she says feels like something jumping in her. You know my style on such an occasion, and may be sure I have not spared this distemper. Adieu! Yours ever.
(1066) The author of Leonidas.
(1067) Mr. Conway was still with the army in Flanders.
(1068) An act had recently passed to prevent excessive and deceitful gaming.-E.
(1069) Alluding to Mr. Conway's having been engaged with two French grenadiers at once in the battle of Fontenoy.
(1070) Lady Mary Walpole, youngest daughter of Sir R. Walpole, afterwards married to Charles Churchill, Esq.
(1071) DAUGHTER of Charles Viscount Townshend, afterwards married to Edward Cornwallis, brother to Earl Cornwallis, and groom of the bedchamber to the King.
424 Letter 170 To sir Horace Mann. Strawberry Hill, July 5, 1745.
All yesterday we were in the utmost consternation an express came the night before from Ostend with an account of the French army in Flanders having seized Ghent and Bruges, cut off a detachment of four thousand men, surrounded our army, who must be cut to pieces or surrender themselves prisoners, and that the Duke was gone to the Hague, but that the Dutch had signed a neutrality. You will allow that here was ample subject for confusion! To-day we are a little relieved, by finding that we have lost but five hundred men(1072) instead of four thousand, and that our army, which is inferior by half to theirs, is safe behind a river. With this came the news of the Great Duke's victory over the Prince of Conti:(1073) he has killed fifteen thousand, and taken six thousand prisoners. Here is already a third great battle this summer! But Flanders is gone! The Dutch have given up all that could hinder the French from overrunning them, upon condition that the French should not overrun them. Indeed, I cannot be so exasperated at the Dutch as it is the fashion to be; they have not forgot the peace of Utrecht, though we have. Besides, how could they rely on any negotiation with a people whose politics alter so often as ours? Or why were we to fancy that my Lord Chesterfield's parts would have more weight than my uncle had, whom, ridiculous as he was, they had never known to take a trip to Avignon to confer with the Duke of Ormond?(1074)
Our communication with the army is cut off through Flanders and we are in great pain for Ostend: the fortifications are all out of repair. Upon Marshal Wade's reiterated remonstrances, we did cast thirty cannon and four mortars for it-and then the economic ministry would not send them. "What! fortify the Queen of Hungary's towns? there will be no end of that." As if Ostend was of no more consequence to us, than Mons or Namur! Two more battalions are ordered over immediately; and the old pensioners of Chelsea College are to mount guard at home! Flourishing in a peace of twenty years, we were told that we were trampled upon by Spain and France. Haughty nations, like those, who can trample upon an enemy country, do not use to leave it in such wealth and happiness as we enjoyed; but when the Duke of Marlborough's old victorious veterans are dug out of their colleges and repose, to guard the King's palace, and to keep up the show of an army which we have buried in America, or in a manner lost in Flanders, we shall soon know the real feel of being trampled upon! In this crisis, you will hear often from me; for I will leave you in no anxious uncertainty from which I can free you.
The Countess(1075) is at Hanover, and, we hear, extremely well received. It is conjectured, and it is not impossible, that the Count may have procured for her some dirty dab of a negotiation about some 'acre of territory more for Hanover, in order to facilitate her reception. She has been at Hesse Cassel, and fondled extremely Princess Mary'S(1076) children; just as you know she used to make a rout about the Pretender's boys. My Lord Chesterfield laughs at her letter to him; and, what would anger her more than the neglect, ridicules the style and orthography. Nothing promises well for her here.
You told me you wished I would condole with Prince Craon on the death of his son:(1077) which son? and where was he killed? You don't tell me, and I never heard. Now it would be too late. I should have been uneasy for Prince Beauvau, but that you say he is in Piedmont.
Adieu! my dear child: we have much to wish! A little good fortune will not re-establish us. I am in pain for your health from the great increase of your business.
(1072 The French had been successful in a skirmish against the English army, at a place called Melle. The consequence of this success was their obtaining the possession of Ghent.-D.
(1073) The army of the Prince of Conti, posted near the Maine, had been so weakened by the detachments sent from it to reinforce the army in Flanders, that it was obliged to retreat before the Austrians. This retrograde movement was effected with considerable loss, both of soldiers and baggage; but it does not appear that any decisive general engagement took place during the campaign between the French and Austrians.-D.
(1074) ant'e, p. 195; Letter 45 (note 334).
(1075) Lady Orford.
(1076) Princess Mary of England, daughter of George the Second; married in 1740 to the Prince of Hesse Cassel, who treated her with great inhumanity. She died in June, 1771.-E.
(1077) The young Prince de Craon was killed at the head of his regiment at the battle of Fontenoy.-D.
425 Letter 171 To sir Horace Mann. Arlington Street, July 12, 1745.
I am charmed with the sentiments that Mr. Chute expresses for you; but then you have lost him! Here is an answer to his letter; I send it unsealed, to avoid repealing what I have thought on our affairs. Seal it and send it. Its being open, prevented my saying half so much about you as I should have done.
There is no more news - the Great Duke's victory, of which we heard so much last week, is come to nothing! So far from having defeated the Prince of Conti, it is not at all impossible but the Prince may wear the imperial coat of diamonds, though I am persuaded the care of that will be the chief concern of the Great Duke, (next to his own person,) in a battle. Our army is retreated beyond Brussels; the French gather laurels, and towns, and prisoners, as one would a nosegay. In the mean time you are bullying the King of Naples, in the person of the English fleet; and I think may possibly be doing so for two months after that very fleet belongs to the King of France; as astrologers tell one that we should see stars shine for I don't know how long after they were annihilated. But I like your spirit; keep it up! Millamant, in the Way of the World, tells Mirabel, that she will be solicited to the very last; nay, and afterwards. He replies, "What! after the last?"
I am in great pain about your arrears; it is a bad season for obtaining payment. In the best times, they make a custom of paying foreign ministers Ill; which may be very politic, when they send men of too great fortunes abroad in order to lessen them: but, my dear child, God knows that is not your case!
I have some extremely pretty dogs of King Charles's breed, if I knew how to convey them to you: indeed they are not Patapans. I can't tell how they would like travelling into Italy, when there is a prospect of the rest of their race returning from thence: besides, you must certify me that none of them shall ever be married below themselves; for since the affair of Lady Caroline Fox, one durst not hazard the Duke of Richmond's resentment even about a dog and bitch of that breed.
Lord Lempster(1078) is taken prisoner in the affair of the detachment to Ghent. My lady,(1079) who has heard of Spartan mothers, (though you know she once asserted that nobody knew any thing of the Grecian Republics,) affects to bear it with a patriot insensibility. She told me the other day that the Abb'e Niccolini and the eldest Pandolfini are coming to England: is it true? I shall be very Clad to be civil to them, especially to the latter, who, you know, was one of my friends.
My Lady Orford is at Hanover, most Graciously received by "the Father of all his people!" In the papers of yesterday was this paragraph; "Lady O. who has spent several years in Italy, arrived here (Hanover) the 3d, on her return to England, and was Graciously received by his Majesty." Lady Denbigh is gone into the country so I don't know where she is to lodge-perhaps at St. James's, out of' regard to my father's memory.
Trust me, you escaped well in Pigwiggin's(1079) not accepting your invitation of living with you: you must have aired your house, as Lady Pomfret was forced to air Lady Mary Wortley's bedchamber. He has a most unfortunate breath: so has the Princess his sister. When I was at their country-house, I used to sit in the library and turn over books of prints: out of good breeding they would not quit me; nay, would look over the prints with me. A whiff would come from the east, and I turned short to the west, whence the Princess would puff me back with another gale full as richly perfumed as her brother's. Adieu!
(1078) George Fermor: who, on the death of his father in 1753, became second Earl of Pomfret. He died in 1785.-E.
(1079) Henrietta Louisa, Countess of Pomfret, mother of Lord Lempster.
(1080) A nickname given by Walpole to his cousin Horace, eldest son of "Old Horace Walpole," afterwards first Earl of Orford of the second creation. He died in 1809, at the age of eighty-six.-E.
427 Letter 172 To George Montagu, Esq. Arlington Street, July 13, 1745.
Dear George, We are all Cabob'd and Cocofagoed, as my Lord Denbigh says. We, who formerly, you know, could any one of us beat three Frenchmen, are now so .degenerated, that three Frenchmen(1081) can evidently beat One Englishman. Our army is running away, all that is left to run; for half of it is picked up by three or four hundred at a time. In short, we must step out of the high pantoufles that were made by those cunning shoemakers at Poitiers and Ramilies, and go clumping about perhaps in wooden ones. My Lady Hervey, who you know dotes upon every thing French, is charmed with the hopes of these new shoes, and has already bespoke herself a pair of pigeon wood. How did the tapestry at Blenheim look? Did it glow with victory, or did all our glories look overcast?
I remember a very admired sentence in one of my Lord Chesterfield's speeches, when he was haranguing for this war; with a most rhetorical transition, he turned to the tapestry in the House of Lords,(1082) and said, with a sigh, he feared there were no historical looms at work now! Indeed, we have reason to bless the good patriots, who have been for employing our manufactures so historically. The Countess of that wise Earl, with whose two expressive words I began this letter, says, she is very happy now that my lord had never a place upon the coalition, for then all this bad situation of our affairs would have been laid upon him.
Now I have been talking of remarkable periods in our annals, I must tell you what my Lord Baltimore thinks one:—He said to the Prince t'other day, "Sir, your Royal Highness's marriage will be an area in English history."
If it were not for the life that is put into the town now and then by very bad news from abroad, one should be quite stupefied. There is nobody left but two or three solitary regents; and they are always whisking backwards and forwards to their villas; and about a dozen antediluvian dowagers, whose carcasses have miraculously resisted the wet, and who every Saturday compose a very reverend catacomb at my old Lady Strafford's. She does not take money at the door for showing them, but 'you pay twelvepence apiece under the denomination of card-money. Wit and beauty, indeed, remain in the persons of Lady Townshend and Lady Caroline Fitzroy; but such is the want of taste of this age, that the former is very often forced to wrap up her wit in plain English before it can be understood; and the latter is almost as often obliged to have recourse to the same artifices to make her charms be taken notice of.
Of beauty, I can tell you an admirable story. One Mrs. Comyns, an elderly gentlewoman, has lately taken a house in St. James's Street: some young gentlemen went there t'other night;—"Well, Mrs. Comyns, I hope there won't be the same disturbances here that were at your other house in Air Street."—"Lord, Sir, I never had any disturbances there: mine was as quiet a house as any in the neighbourhood, and a great deal of company came to me: it was only the ladies of quality that envied Me."—"Envied you! why, your house was pulled down about your ears."—"Oh, dear Sir! don't you know how that happened?"—"No; pray how?"—"Why, dear Sir, it was my Lady **** who gave ten guineas to the mob to demolish my house, because her ladyship fancied I got women for Colonel Conway."
My dear George, don't you delight in this story? If poor Harry(1083) comes back from Flanders, I intend to have infinite fun with his prudery about this anecdote, which is full as good as if it was true. I beg you will visit Mrs. Comyns when you come to town- she has infinite humour.
(1081) Alluding to the success of the French army in Flanders, under the command of Mareschal Saxe.
(1082) Representing the defeat of the Spanish armada in 1588, and surrounded by portraits of the principal officers who commanded the fleet. This noble suit of hangings was wrought in Holland, at the expense of the Earl of Nottingham, lord high admiral.-E.
(1083) The Honourable Henry Seymour Conway.
428 Letter 173 To Sir Horace Mann. July 15, 1745.
You will be surprised at another from me so soon, when I wrote to you but four days ago. This is not with any news, but upon a private affair. You have never said any thing to Me about the extraordinary procedure of Marquis Riccardi, of which I wrote you word. Indeed, as his letter came just upon my father's death, I had forgot it too; so much so, that I have lost the catalogue which he sent me. Well, the other day I received his cargo. Now, My dear child, I don't write to him upon it, because, as he Sent the things without asking my leave, I am determined never to acknowledge the receipt of them because I will in no manner be liable to pay for them if they are lost: which I think highly probable; and as I have lost the catalogue, I cannot tell whether I have received all or not.
I beg you will just say what follows to him. That I am extremely amazed he should think of employing me to sell his goods for him, especially without asking my consent, that an English gentleman, just come from France, has brought me a box of things, of which he himself had no account; nor is there any letter or catalogue with them; that I suppose they may be the Marquis's collection: I have lost the catalogue, and consequently cannot tell whether I have received all or not, nor whether they are his: that as they came in so blind a manner, and have been opened at several custom-houses, I will not be answerable especially having never given my consent to receive them, and having opened the box ignorantly, without knowing the contents: that when I did open it, I concluded it came from Florence, having often refused to buy most of the things, which had long lain upon the jeweller's hands on the old bridge, and which are very improper for sale here, as all the English for some years have seen them, and not thought them worth purchasing - that I remember in the catalogue the price for the whole was fixed at two thousand pistoles; that they are full as much worth two-and-twenty thousand; and that I have been laughed at by people to whom I have showed them for naming so extravagant a price: that nobody living would think of buying all together: that for myself, I have entirely left off making any collection; and if I had not, would not buy things dear now which I have formerly refused at much lower prices. That, after all, though I cannot think myself at all well used by Marquis Riccardi, either in sending me the things, in the price he has fixed on them, or in the things themselves, which to my knowledge he has picked up from the shops on the old bridge, and were no family collection, yet, as I received so many civilities at Florence from the nobility, and in particular from his wife, Madame Riccardi, if he will let me do any thing that is practicable, I will sell what I can for him. That if he will send me A new and distinct catalogue, with the price of each piece, and a price considerably less than what he has set upon the whole, I will endeavour to dispose of what I can for him. But as most of them are very indifferent, and the total value most unreasonable, I absolutely will not undertake the sale of them upon any other terms, but will pack them up, and send them away to Leghorn by the first ship that sails; for as we are at war with France, I cannot send them that way, nor will I trouble any gentleman to carry them, as he might think himself liable to make them good if they met with any accident; nor will I answer for them by whatever way they go, as I did not consent to receive them, nor am sure that I have received the Marquis's collection.
My dear Sir, translate this very distinctly for him, for he never shall receive any other notice from me; nor will I give them up to Wasner or Pucci,(1084) or any body else, though he should send me an order for it; for nobody saw me open them, nor shall any body be able to say I had them, by receiving them from me. In short, I think I cannot be too cautious in such a negotiation. If a man will send Me things to the value of two thousand pistoles, whether they are really worth it or not, he shall take his chance for losing them, and shall certainly never come upon me for them. He must absolutely take his choice, of selling them at a proper price and separately, or of having them directly sent back by sea; for whether he consents to either or not, I shall certainly proceed in my resolution about them the very instant I receive an answer from you; for the sooner I am clear of them the better. If he will let me sell them without setting a price, he may depend upon my taking the best method for his service; though really, my dear child, it will be for my own honour, not for his sake, who has treated me so impertinently. I am sorry to give you this trouble, but judge how much the fool gives me! Adieu!
(1084) Ministers of the Queen of Hungary and the Great Duke.
430 Letter 174 To Sir Horace Mann. Arlington Street, July 26, 1745.
It is a pain to me to write to you, when all I can tell you will but distress you. How much I wish myself with you! anywhere, where I should have my thoughts detached in some degree by distance and by length of time from England! With all the reasons that I have for not loving great part of it, it is impossible not to feel the shock of living at the period of all its greatness! to be one of the Ultimi Romanorum! I will not proceed upon the chapter of reflections, but mention some facts, which will supply your thoughts with all I should say.
The French make no secret of their intending to come hither; the letters from Holland speak of it as a notoriety. Their Mediterranean fleet is come to Rochfort, and they have another at Brest. Their immediate design is to attack our army, the very lessening which will be victory for them. Our six hundred men, which have lain cooped up in the river till they had contracted diseases, are at last gone to Ostend. Of all this our notable ministry still make a secret: one cannot learn the least particulars from them. This anxiety for my friends in the army, this uncertainty about ourselves, if it can be called uncertain that we are undone, and the provoking folly that one sees prevail, have determined me to go to the Hague. I shall at least hear sooner from the army, and shall there know better what is likely to happen here. The moment the crisis is come I shall return hither, which I can do from Helvoetsluys in twelve hours. At all events, I shall certainly not stay there above a month or six weeks: it thickens too fast for something important not to happen by that time.
You may judge of our situation by the conversation of Marshal Belleisle: he has said for some time, that he saw we were so little capable of making any defence that he would engage, with five thousand scullions of the French army, to conquer England—yet, just now, they choose to release him! he goes away in a week.(1085) When he was told of the taking Cape Breton, he said. "he could believe that, because the ministry had no hand in it." We are making bonfires for Cape Breton, and thundering over Genoa, while our army in Flanders is running away, and dropping to pieces by detachments taken prisoners every day; while the King is at Hanover, the regency at their country-seats, not five thousand men in the island, and not above fourteen or fifteen ships at home! Allelujah!
I received yours yesterday, with the bill of lading for the gesse figures, but you don't tell me their price; pray do in your 'next. I don't know what to say to Mr. Chute's eagle; I would fain have it; I can depend upon his taste-but would not it be folly to be buying curiosities now! how can I tell that I shall have any thing in the world to pay for it, by the time it is bought? You may present these reasons to Mr. Chute; and if he laughs at them, why then he will buy the eagle for me; if he thinks them of weight, not.
Adieu! I have not time or patience to say more.
(1085) The Marshal and his brother left England on the 13th of August.-E.
431 Letter 175 To George Montagu, Esq. [August 1, 1745.]
Dear George, I cannot help thinking you laugh at me when you say such very civil things of my letters, and yet, coming from you, I would fain not have it all flattery:
So much the more, as, from a little elf, I've had a high opinion of myself, Though sickly, slender, and not large of limb.
With this modest prepossession, you may be sure I like to have you commend me, whom, after I have done with myself, I admire of all men living. I only beg that you will commend me no more: it is very ruinous; and praise, like other debts, ceases to be due on being paid. One comfort indeed is, that it is as seldom paid as other debts.
I have been very fortunate lately: I have met with an extreme good print of M. de Grignan;(1086) I am persuaded, very like; and then it has his toufie 'ebouriff'ee; I don't, indeed, know what that was, but I am sure it Is in the-print. None of the critics could ever make out what Livy's Patavinity is though they are confident it is in his writings. I have heard within these few days, what, for your sake, I wish I could have told you sooner-that there is in Belleisle's suite the Abb'e Perrin, who published Madame S'evign'e's letters, and who has the originals in his hands. How one should have liked to have known him! The Marshal was privately in london last Friday. He is entertained to-day at Hampton Court by the Duke of Grafton.(1087) Don't you believe it was to settle the binding the scarlet thread in the window, when the French shall come in unto the land to possess it? I don't at all wonder at any shrewd observations the Marshal has made on our situation. The bringing him here at all—the sending him away now—in short, the whole series of our conduct convinces me that, we shall soon see as silent a change as that in the Rehearsal, of King Usher and King Physician. It may well be so, when the disposition of the drama is in the hands of the Duke of Newcastle—those hands that are always groping and sprawling, and fluttering and hurrying on the rest of his precipitate person. But there is no describing him, but as M. Courcelle, a French prisoner, did t'other day: "Je ne scais pas," dit il, "je ne scaurois m'exprimer, mais il a un certain tatillonage." If one could conceive a dead body hung in chains, always wanting to be hung somewhere else, one should have a comparative idea of him.
For my own part, I comfort myself with the humane reflection of the Irishman in the ship that was on fire—I am but a passenger! if I were not so indolent, I think I should rather put in practice the late Duchess of Bolton's(1088) geographical resolution of going to China, when Winston told her the world would be burnt in three years. Have you any philosophy? Tell me what you think. It is quite the fashion to talk of the French coming here. Nobody sees it in any other light but as a thing to be talked of, not to be precautioned against. Don't you remember a report of the plague being in the city, and every body went to the house where it was to see it? You- see I laugh about it, for I would not for the world be so unenglished as to do otherwise. I am persuaded that when Count Saxe, with ten thousand men, is within a day's march of London, people will be hiring windows at Charing-cross and Cheapside to see them pass by. 'Tis our characteristic to take dangers for sights, and evils for curiosities.
Adieu! dear George: I am laying in scraps of Cato against it may be necessary to take leave of one's correspondents 'a la Romaine, and, before the play itself is suppressed by a lettre de cachet to the booksellers.
P. S. Lord! 'tis the 1st of August, 1745, a holiday(1089) that is going to be turned out of the almanack!
(1086) Fran'cois-Adh'emar de Monteil, Comte de Grignan, Lieutenant-general of Provence. He married, in 1669, the daughter of Madame de S'evign'e-E.
(1087) As he was, on the preceding day, by the Duke of Newcastle, at Clermont.-E.
(1088) Natural daughter of James Scot, Duke of Monmouth, by Eleanor, daughter of Sir Robert Needham.-E.
(1089) The anniversary of the accession of the House of Brunswick to the throne of England.
432 Letter 176 To sir Horace Mann. Arlington Street, Aug. 7, 1745.
I have no news to tell you: Ostend is besieged, and must be gone in a few days. The Regency are all come to town to prevent an invasion—I should as soon think them able to make one—not but old Stair, who still exists upon the embers of an absurd fire that warmed him ninety years ago, thinks it still practicable to march to Paris, and the other day in council prevented a resolution of sending for our army home; but as we always do half of a thing, when even the whole would scarce signify, they seem determined to send for ten thousand—the other ten will remain in Flanders, to keep up the bad figure that we have been making there all this summer. Count Saxe has been three times tapped since the of Fontenoy: but if we get rid of his enmity, there is Belleisle gone, amply to supply and succeed to his hatred! Van Hoey, the ingenious Dutchman at Paris, wrote to the States to know if he should make new liveries against the rejoiCings for the French conquests in Flanders. I love the governor of SLuys; when the States sent him a reprimand, for not admitting our troops that retreated thither from the affair of Ghent, asking him if he did not know that he ought to admit their allies? he replied, "Yes; and would they have him admit the French too as their allies?"
There is a proclamation come out for apprehending the Pretender's son;(1090) he was undoubtedly on board the frigate attendant on the Elizabeth, with which Captain Brett fought so bravely:(1090) the boy is now said to be at Brest.
I have put off my journey to the Hague, as the sea is full of ships, and many French ones about the siege of Ostend: I go tomorrow to Mount Edgecumbe. I don't think it impossible but you may receive a letter from me on the road, with a paragraph like that in Cibber's life, "Here I met the revolution."
My lady Orford is set out for Hanover; her gracious sovereign does not seem inclined to leave it. Mrs. Chute(1092) has sent me this letter, which you will be so good as to send to Rome. We have taken infinite riches; vast wealth in the East Indies, vast from the West; in short, we grow so fat that we shall very soon be fit to kill.
Your brother has this moment brought me a letter from you, full of your good-natured concern for the Genoese. I have not time to write you any thing but short paragraphs, as I am in the act of writing all my letters and doing my business before my journey. I can say no more now about the affair of your secretary. Poor Mrs. Gibberne has been here this morning almost in fits about her son. She brought me a long letter to you, but I absolutely prevented her sending it, and told her I would let you know that it was my fault if you don't hear from her, but that I would take the answer upon myself. My dear Sir, for her sake, for the silly boy's, who is ruined if he follows his own whims, and for your own sake, who will have so much trouble to get and form another, I must try to prevent your parting. I am persuaded, that neither the fatigue of writing, nor the indignation of going to sea are the boy's true motives. They are, the smallness of his allowance, and his aversion to waiting it table, For the first, the poor woman does not expect that you should put yourself to any inconvenience; she only begs that you will be so good as to pay him twenty pounds a-year more, which she herself will repay to your brother; and not let her son know that it comes from her, as he would then refuse to take it. For the other point, I must tell you, my dear child, fairly, that in goodness to the poor boy, I hope you will give it up. He is to make his fortune in your way of life, if he can be so lucky, It will be an insuperable obstacle to him that he is with you in the light of a menial servant. When you reflect that his fortune may depend upon it, I am sure you will free him from this servitude, Your brother and I, you know, from the very first, thought that you should not insist upon it. If he will stay with you on the terms I propose, I am sure, from the trouble it will save yourself, and the ruin from which it will save him, you will yield to this request; which I seriously make to you, and advise you to comply with. Adieu!
(1090) The proclamation was dated the 1st of August, and offered a reward of thirty thousand pounds for the young Prince's apprehension. He left the island of Belleisle on the 13th of July, disguised in the habit of a Student of the Scots college at Paris, and allowing his beard to grow.-E.
(1091) Captain Brett was the same officer who, in Anson's expedition, had stormed Paita. His ship was called the Lion. After a well-matched fight of five or six hours, the vessels parted, each nearly disabled.-E.
(1092) Widow of Francis Chute, Esq.
434 Letter 177 To The Rev. Thomas Birch.(1093) Woolterton 15th [Aug.] 1745
When I was lately in town I was favoured with yours of the 21st past; but my stay there was so short, and my hurry so great, that I had not time to see you as I intended. As I am persuaded that nobody is more capable than yourself, in all respects, to set his late Majesty's reign in a true light, I am sure there is nobody to whom I would more readily give my assistance, as far as I am able: but, as I have never wrote any thing in a historical way, have now and then suggested hints to others as they were writing, and never published but two pamphlets-one was to justify the taking and keeping in our pay the twelve thousand Hessians, of which I have forgot the title, and have it not in the country; the other was published about two years since, entitled, "The Interest of Great Britain steadily Pursued," in answer to the pamphlets about the Hanover forces-I can't tell in what manner, nor on what heads to answer your desire, which is conceived in such general terms: if you could point out some stated times, and some particular facts, and I had before me a sketch of your narration, I perhaps might be able, to suggest or explain some things that are come but imperfectly to your knowledge, and some anecdotes might occur to my memory relating to domestic and foreign affairs, that are curious, and were never yet made public, and perhaps not proper to, be published yet; particularly with regard to the alteration of the ministry in 1717, by the removal of my relation, and the measures that were pursued in consequence of that alteration; but in order to do this, or any thing else for your service, requires a personal conversation with you, in which I should be ready to let you know what might occur to me. I am most truly, etc.
(1093) This industrious historian and biographer was born in 1705, and was killed by a fall from his horse, in 1765. Dr. Johnson said of him, "Tom Birch is as brisk as a bee in conversation; but no sooner does he take a pen in his hand, than it becomes a torpedo to him, and benumbs all his faculties.—E.
435 Letter 178 To Sir Horace Mann. Arlington Street, Sept. 6, 1745.
It would have been inexcusable in me, in our present circumstances and after all I have promised you, not to have written to you for this last month, if I had been in London; but I have been at Mount Edgecumbe, and so constantly upon the road, that I neither received your letters, had time to write, or knew what to write. I came back last night, and found three packets from you, which I have no time to answer, and but just time to read. The confusion I have found, and the danger we are in, prevent my talking of any thing else. The young Pretender(1094) at the head of three thousand men, has got a march on General Cope, who is not eighteen hundred strong: and when the last accounts came away, was fifty miles nearer Edinburgh than Cope, and by this time is there. The clans will not rise for the Government: the Dukes of Argyll(1095) and Athol,(1096) are come post to town,(1097) not having been able to raise a man. The young Duke of Gordon(1098) sent for his uncle and told him that he must arm their clan. "They are in arms."—"They must march against the rebels."—"They will wait on the Prince of Wales." The Duke flew in a passion; his uncle pulled out a pistol, and told him it was in vain to dispute. Lord Loudon,(1099) Lord Fortrose(1100) and Lord Panmure,(1101) have been very zealous, and have raised some men; but I look upon Scotland as gone! I think of what King William said to the Duke of Hamilton, when he was extolling Scotland: "My Lord, I only wish it was a hundred thousand miles off, and that you was king of it!"
There are two manifestos published signed Charles Prince, Regent for his father, King of Scotland, England, France, and Ireland. By One, he promises to preserve every body in their just rights; and orders all persons who have public moneys in their hands to bring it to him; and by the other dissolves the union between England and Scotland. But all this is not the worst! Notice came yesterday, that there are ten thousand men, thirty transports, and ten men-of-war at Dunkirk. Against this force we have—I don't know what— scarce fears! Three thousand Dutch -we hope are by this time landed In Scotland; three more are coming hither. We have sent for ten regiments from Flanders, which may be here in a week, and we have fifteen men-of-war in the Downs. I am grieved to tell you all this; but when it is so, how can I avoid telling you? Your brother is just come in, who says he has written to you-I have not time to expatiate.
My Lady O. is arrived; I hear she says, only to endeavour to get a certain allowance. Her mother has sent to offer her the use of her house. She is a poor weak woman. I can say nothing to Marquis Riccardi, nor think of him; only tell him, that I will when I have time. My sister(1102) has married herself, that is, declared she will, to young Churchill. It is a foolish match; but I have nothing to do with it. Adieu! my dear Sir; excuse my haste, but you must imagine that one is not much at leisure to write long letters—hope if you can!
(1094) The 'Pretender had landed, with a few followers, in the Highlands Of Scotland, on the 25th of July. His appearance at this time is thus described by Mr. Eneas Macdonald, one of his attendants: "There entered the tent a tall youth, of a most agreeable aspect, in a plain black coat, with a plain shirt not very clean, and a cambric stock, fixed with a plain silver buckle, a plain hat with a canvass string, having one end fixed to one of his coat buttons. he had black stockings and brass buckles in his shoes. At his first appearance I found my heart swell to my very throat, but we were immediately told, that this youth was an English clergyman, who had long been possessed with a desire to see and converse with Highlanders." "It is remarkable," observes Lord Mahon, " that among the foremost to join Charles, was the father of Marshal Macdonald, Duke de Tarento, long after raised to these honours by his merit in the French revolutionary wars, and not more distinguished for courage and capacity than for integrity and honour." Hist. vol. iii. p. 344.-E.
(1095) Archibald, Earl of Islay, and upon the death of his elder brother John, Duke of Argyll,-D.
(1096) James Murray, second Duke of Athol; to which he succeeded upon the death of his father in 1724, in consequence of the attainder of his elder brother, William, Marquis of Tullibardine.-D.
(1097) This was not true of the Duke of Argyll; for he did not attempt to raise any men, but pleaded a Scotch act of parliament against arming without authority.
(1098) Cosmo George, third Duke of Gordon. He died in 1752.-D.
(1099) John Campbell, fourth Earl of Loudon; a general in the army. He died in 1782.-D.
(1100) The eldest son of Mackenzie, Earl of Seaforth-D
(1101) William Maule, Earl of Panmure, in Ireland, so created in 1743, in consequence of the forfeiture of the Scotch honours in 1715, by his elder brother, James, Earl of Panmure.-D.
(1102) Lady Maria Walpole, daughter of Lord Orford, married Charles Churchill, Esq. son of the General.
436 Letter 179 To Sir Horace Mann. Arlington Street, Sept. 13, 1745.
The rebellion goes on; but hitherto there is no rising in England, nor landing of troops from abroad; indeed not even of ours or the Dutch. The best account I can give you is, that if the Boy has apparently no enemies in Scotland, at least he has openly very few friends. Nobody of note has joined him, but a brother of the Duke of Athol,(1103) and another of Lord Dunmore.(1104) For cannon, they have nothing but one-pounders: their greatest resource is money; they have force Louis-d'ors. The last accounts left them at Perth, making shoes and stockings. It is certain that a sergeant of Cope's with twelve men, put to flight two hundred, on killing only six or seven. Two hundred of the Monroe clan have joined our forces. Spirit seems to rise in London, though not in the proportion it ought; and then the person(1105) most concerned does every thing to check its progress: when the ministers propose any thing with regard to the rebellion, he cries, "Pho! don't talk to me of that stuff." Lord Granville has persuaded him that it is of no consequence. Mr. Pelham talks every day of resigning: he certainly will as soon as this is got over!—if it is got over. So, at least we shall see a restoration of queen Sophia.(1106) She has lain-in of a girl; though she had all the pretty boys in town brought to her for patterns.
The young Chevalier has set a reward on the King's head: we are told that his brother is set out for Ireland. However, there is hitherto little countenance given to the undertaking by France or Spain. It seems an effort of despair, and weariness of the manner in which he has been kept in France. On the grenadier's caps is written, "a grave or a throne." He stayed some time at the Duke of Athol's, whither old Marquis Tullybardine(1107) sent to bespeak dinner; and has since sent his brother word, that he likes the alterations made there. The Pretender found pine-apples there, the first he ever tasted. Mr. Breton,(1108) a great favourite of the Southern Prince of Wales, went the other day to visit the Duchess of Athol,(1109) and happened not to know that she is parted from her husband: he asked how the Duke did?, "Oh," said she, "he turned me out of his house, and now he is turned out himself." Every now and then a Scotchman comes and pulls the Boy by the sleeve; "Prence, here is another mon taken!" then with all the dignity in the world, the Boy hopes nobody was killed in the action! Lord Bath has made a piece of a ballad, the Duke of Newcastle's speech to the Regency; I have heard but these two lines of it:
"Pray consider my Lords, how disastrous a thing, To have two Prince of Wales's and never a King!"
The merchants are very zealous, and are opening a great subscription for raising troops. The other day, at the city meeting, to draw up the address, Alderman Heathcote proposed a petition for a redress of grievances, but not one man seconded him. In the midst of all this, no Parliament is called! The ministers say they have nothing ready to offer; but they have something to notify!
I must tell you a ridiculous accident: when the magistrates of were searching houses for arms, they came to Mr. Maule's, brother of Lord Panmure, and a great friend of the Duke of Argyll. The maid would not let them go into one room, which was locked, and as she said, full of arms. They now thought they had found what they looked for, and had the door broke open—where they found an ample collection of coats of arms!
The deputy governor of Edinburgh Castle has threatened the magistrates to beat their town about their ears, if they admit the rebels. Perth is twenty-four miles from Edinburgh, so we must soon know whether they will go thither; or leave it, and come into England. We have great hopes that the Highlanders will not follow him so far. Very few of them could be persuaded the last time to go to Preston; and several refused to attend King Charles II. when he marched to Worcester. The Caledonian Mercury never calls them "the rebels," but "the Highlanders."
Adieu! my dear child —thank Mr. Chute for his letter, which I will answer soon. I don't know how to define my feeling: I don't despair, and yet I expect nothing but bad! Yours, etc.
p . S. Is not my Princess very happy with the hopes of the restoration of her old tenant?(1110)
(1103) William, Marquis of Tullibardine.-D.
(1104) John Murray, second Earl of Dunmore; he died in 1754. His brother, who joined the Pretender, was the Hon. Wm. Murray, of Taymount. He was subsequently pardoned for the part he took in the rebellion, and succeeded to the earldom on the death of Earl John.-D.
(1105) The King.
(1106) Lady Granville.
(1107) Elder brother of the Duke of Athol, but outlawed for the last rebellion. He was taken prisoner after the battle of Culloden, and died in the Tower.
(1108) Afterwards Sir William Breton. He held an office in the household of Frederick, Prince of Wales.-D.
(1109) Jane, daughter of John Frederick, Esq. and widow of James Lanoy, Esq.-D.
(1110) When the Old Pretender was in Lorrain, he lived at Prince Craon's.
438 Letter 179a To George Montagu, Esq. Arlington Street, Sept. 17, 1745.
Dear George, How could u ask me such a question, as whether I should be glad to see you? Have you a mind I should make you a formal speech, with honour, and pleasure, and satisfaction, etc.? I will not, for that would be telling you I should not be glad. However, do come soon, if you should be glad to see me; for we, I mean we old folks that came over with the Prince of Orange in eighty-eight, have had notice to remove by Christmas-day. The moment I have SMUgged up a closet or a dressing-room, I have always warning given me that my lease is out. Four years ago I was mightily at my ease in Downing-street, and then the good woman, Sandys, took my lodgings over my head, and was in such a hurry to junket her neighbours, that I had scarce time allowed me to wrap my old china in a little hay. Now comes the Pretender's boy, and promises all my comfortable apartments in the Exchequer and Custom-house to some forlorn Irish peer, who chooses to remove his pride and poverty out of some large unfurnished gallery at St. Germain's. Why really Mr. Montagu this is not pleasant; I shall wonderfully dislike being a loyal sufferer in a threadbare coat, and shivering in an ante-chamber at Hanover, or reduced to teach Latin and English to the young princes at Copenhagen. The Dowager Strafford has already written cards for my Lady Nithisdale, my Lady Tullibardine, the Duchess of Perth and berwick, and twenty more revived peeresses, to invite them to play at whist, Monday three months: for your part, you will divert yourself with their old taffeties, and tarnished slippers, and their awkwardness, the first day they go to court in shifts and clean linen. Will you ever write to me at my garret at Herenhausen? I will give you a faithful account of all the promising speeches that Prince George and Prince Edward make, -whenever they have a new sword, and intend to re-conquer England. At least write to me, while you may with acts of parliament on your side: but I hope you are coming. Adieu!
439 Letter 180 To Sir Horace Mann. Arlington Street, Sept. 20, 1745.
One really don't know what to write to you: the accounts from Scotland vary perpetually, and at best are never very certain. I was just going to tell you that the rebels are in England; but my Uncle is this moment come in, and says, that an express came last night with an account of their being in Edinburgh to the number of five thousand. This sounds great, to have walked through a kingdom, and taken possession of the capital! But this capital is an open town and the castle impregnable, and in our possession. There never was so extraordinary a sort of rebellion! One can't tell what assurances of support they may have from the Jacobites in England, or from the French; but nothing of either sort has yet appeared-and if there does not, never was so desperate an enterprise.(1111) One can hardly believe that the English are more disaffected than the Scotch; and among the latter, no persons of property have joined them: both nations seem to profess a neutrality. Their money is all gone, and they subsist. merely by levying contributions. But, sure, banditti can never conquer a kingdom! On the other hand, what cannot any number of men do, who meet no opposition? They have hitherto taken no place but open towns, nor have they any artillery for a siege but one-pounders. Three battalions of Dutch are landed at Gravesend, and ,re ordered to Lancashire: we expect every moment to hear that the rest are got to Scotland; none of our own are come yet. Lord Granville and his faction persist in persuading the King, that it is an affair of no consequence; and for the Duke of Newcastle, he is glad when the rebels make any progress, in order to confute Lord Granville's assertions. The best of our situation is, our strength at sea: the Channel is well guarded, and twelve men-of-war more are arrived from rowley. Vernon, that simple noisy creature, has hit upon a scheme that is of great service; he has laid Folkstone cutters all round the coast, which are continually relieved, and bring constant notice of every thing that stirs. I just hear, that the Duke of Bedford(1112) declares he will be amused no longer, but will ask the King's leave to raise a regiment. The Duke of Montagu has a troop of horse ready, and the Duke of Devonshire is raising men in Derbyshire. The Yorkshiremen, headed by the Archbishop and Lord Malton, meet the gentlemen of the county the day after to-morrow to defend that part of England. Unless we have more ill fortune than is conceivable, or the general supineness continues, it is impossible but we must get over this. You desire me to send you news: I confine myself to tell you nothing but what you may depend upon and leave you in a fright rather than deceive you. I confess my own apprehensions are not near so strong as they were: and if we get over this, I shall believe that we never can be hurt; for we never can be more exposed to danger. Whatever disaffection there is to the present family, it plainly does not proceed from love to the other.
My Lady O. makes little progress in popularity. Neither the protection of my Lady Pomfret's prudery, nor of my Lady Townshend's libertinism, do her any services The women stare at her, think her ugly, awkward, and disagreeable; and what is worse, the men think so too. For the height of mortification, the King has declared publicly to the ministry, that he has been told of the great civilities which be was said to show her at Hanover; that he protests he showed her only the common civilities due to any English lady that comes thither; that he never intended to take any particular notice of her; nor had, nor would let my Lady Yarmouth. - In fact, my Lady Yarmouth peremptorily refused to carry her to court here: and when she did go with my Lady Pomfret, the King but just spoke to her. She declares her intention of staying in England, and protests against all lawsuits and violences; and says she only asks articles of separation, and to have her allowance settled by any two arbitrators chosen by my brother and herself. I have met her twice at my Lady Townshend's, just as I used at Florence. She dresses English and plays at whist. I forgot to tell a bon-mot of Leheup(1113) on her first coming over; he was asked if he would not go and see her? He replied "No, I never visit modest women." Adieu! my dear child! I flatter myself you will collect hopes from this letter.
(1111) Mr. Henry Fox, in letters to Sir C. H. Williams, of September 5th and 19th, writes, "England, Wade says, and I believe it, is for the first comer; and if you can tell whether the six thousand Dutch, and the ten battalions of English, or five thousand French or Spaniards will be here first, you know our fate." "The French are not come, God be thanked! But had five thousand landed in any part of this island a week ago, I verily believe the entire conquest would not have cost them a battle."-B.
(1112) This plan of raising regiment,,; afterwards degenerated into a gross job. Sir C. H. Williams gives an account of it in his ballad, entitled "The Herbes." To this Horace Walpole appended the following explanatory note..—"In the time of the rebellion, these lords had proposed to raise regiments of their own dependents, and were allowed; Had they paid them too, the service had been noble: being paid by Government, obscured a little the merit; being paid without raising them, would deserve too coarse a term. It is certain, that not six regiments ever were raised: not four of which were employed. The chief persons who were at the head of this scheme were the Dukes of Bedford and Montagu; the Duke of Bedford actually and served with his regiment."—The other lords mentioned in the ballad are, the Duke of Bolton, Lord Granby, Lord Harcourt, Lord Halifax, Lord Falmouth, Lord Cholmondeley, and Lord Berkeley. They were in all fifteen-
"Fifteen nobles of great fame, All brib'd by one false muster."-D.
(1113) Isaac Leheup, brother-in-law of Horace Walpole the elder. He was a man of great wit and greater brutality, and being minister at Hanover, was recalled for very indecent behaviour there.
441 Letter 181 To Sir Horace Mann. Arlington Street, Sept. 27, 1745.
I can't doubt but the joy of the Jacobites has reached Florence before this letter. Your two or three Irish priests, I forget their names, will have set out to take possession of abbey-lands here. I feel for what you will feel, and for the insulting things that will be said to you upon the battle(1114) we have lost in Scotland; but all this is nothing, to what it prefaces. The express came hither on Tuesday morning, but the Papists knew it on Sunday night. Cope lay in face of the rebels all Friday; he scarce two thousand strong, they vastly superior, though we don't know their numbers. The military people say that he should have attacked them. However, we are sadly convinced that they are not such raw ragamuffins as they were represented. The rotation that has been established in that country, to give all the Highlanders the benefit of serving in the independent companies, has trained and disciplined them. Macdonald (I suppose, he from Naples,) -who is reckoned a very experienced able officer, is said to have commanded them, and to be dangerously wounded. One does not hear the Boy's personal valour cried up; by which I conclude he was not in the action.(1115) Our dragoons most shamefully fled without striking a blow, and are with Cope, who escaped in a boat to Berwick. I pity poor him(1116) who with no shining abilities, and no experience, and no force, was sent to fight for a crown! He never saw a battle but that of Dettingen, where he got his red riband: Churchill, whose led-captain he was, and my Lord Harrington, had pushed him up to this misfortune. We have lost all our artillery, five hundred men taken and three killed, and several officers, as you will see in the papers. This defeat has frightened every body but those it rejoices, and those it should frighten most; but my Lord Granville still buoys up the King's spirits, and persuades him it is nothing. He uses his ministers as ill as possible, and discourages every body that would risk their lives and fortunes with him. Marshal Wade is marching against the rebels; but the King will not let him take above eight thousand men; so that if they come into England, another battle, with no advantage on our side, may determine our fate. Indeed, they don't seem so unwise as to risk their cause upon so precarious an event; but rather to design to establish themselves in Scotland, till they can be supported from France, and be set up with taking Edinburgh Castle, where there is to the value of a million, and which they would make a stronghold. It is scarcely victualled for a month, and must surely fall into their hands. Our coasts are greatly guarded, and London kept in awe by the arrival of the guards. I don't believe what I have been told this morning, that more troops are sent for from Flanders, and aid asked of Denmark.
Prince Charles has called a Parliament in Scotland for the 7th of October; ours does not meet till the 17th, so that even in the show of liberty and laws, they are beforehand with us. With all this, we hear of no men of quality or fortune having joined him but Lord Elcho(1117) whom you have seen at Florence; and the Duke of Perth,(1118) a silly race-horsing boy, who is said to be killed in this battle. but I gather no confidence from hence: my father always said, "If you see them come again, they will begin by their lowest people; their chiefs will not appear till the end." His prophecies verify every day!
The town is still empty; in this point only the English act contrary to their custom, for they don't throng to see a Parliament, though it is likely to prove a curiosity!