The other day, an odd accidental discovery was made; some of the Duke's baggage, which he did not want, was sent back from Scotland, with a bill of the contents. Soon after, -.another large parcel, but not specified in the bill, was brought to the captain, directed like the rest. When they came to the Custom-house here, it was observed, and they sent to Mr. Poyntz,(1185) to know what they should do: be bade them open it, suspecting some trick; but when they did, they found a large crucifix, copes, rich vestments, beads, and heaps of such like trumpery, consigned from the titulary primate of Scotland, who is with the rebels: they imagine, with the privity of some of the vessels, to be conveyed to somebody here in town.
Now I am telling you odd events, I must relate one of the strangest I ever heard. Last week, an elderly woman gave information against her maid for coining, and the trial came on at the Old Bailey. The mistress deposed, that having been left a widow several years ago, with four children, and no possibility of maintaining them, she had taken to coining: that she used to buy old pewter-pots, out Of each of which she made as many shillings, etc. as she could put off for three pounds, and that by this practice she had bred up her children, bound them out apprentices, and set herself up in a little shop, by which she got a comfortable livelihood; that she had now given over coining, and indicted her maid as accomplice. The maid in her defence said, "That when her mistress hired her, she told her that she did something up in a garret into which she must never inquire: that all she knew of the matter was, that her mistress had often given her moulds to clean, which she did, as it was her duty: that, indeed, she had sometimes seen pieces of pewter-pots cut, and did suspect her mistress of coining; but that she never had had, or put off; one single piece of bad money." The judge asked the mistress if this was true; she answered, "Yes; and that she believed her maid was as honest a creature as ever lived; but that, knowing herself in her power, she never could be at peace; that she knew,-by informing, she should secure herself; and not doubting but the maid's real innocence would appear, she concluded the poor girl would come to no harm." The judge flew into the greatest rage; told her he wished he could stretch the law to hang her, and feared he could not bring off the maid for having concealed the crime; but, however, the jury did bring her in not guilty. I think I never heard a more particular instance of parts and villainy.
I inclose a letter for Stosch, which was left here with a scrap of paper, with these words; "Mr. Natter is desired to send the letters for Baron de Stosch, in Florence, by Mr. H. W." I don't know who Mr. Natter(1186) is, nor who makes him this request, but I desire Mr. Stosch will immediately put an end to this method of correspondence; for I shall not risk my letters to you by containing his, nor will I be post to such a dirty fellow.
Your last was of March 22d, and you mention Madame Suares illness; I hope she is better, and Mr. Chute's gout better. I love to hear of my Florentine acquaintance, though they all seem to have forgot me; especially the Princess, whom YOU never mention. Does she never ask after me? Tell me a little of the state of her state, her amours, devotions, and appetite. I must transcribe a paragraph out of an old book of letters,(1187) printed in 1660, which I met with-the other day: "My thoughts upon the reading your letter made me stop in Florence, and go no farther, than to consider the happiness of them who live in that town, where the people come so near to angels in knowledge, that they can counterfeit heaven well enough to give their friends a taste of it in this life." I agree to the happiness of living in Florence, but I am sure knowledge was not one of its recommendations, which never was any where it a lower ebb—I had forgot; I beg Dr. Cocchi's pardon, who is much an exception; how does he do? Adieu!
P. S. Lord Malton, who is the nearest heir-male to the extinct earldom of Rockingham, and has succeeded to a barony belonging to it, is to have his own earldom erected into a marquisate, with the title of Rockingham. Vernon, is struck off the list of admirals.
(1180) Charles Emmanuel the Third, an able sovereign, and the last of the House of Savoy who possessed any portion of that talent for which the race had previously been so celebrated.-.D.
(1181) On the death of Mr. Winnington, in the following month, Mr. Pitt was appointed paymaster of the forces, and chosen of the privy council.-E.
(1182) In a letter to the Duke of Cumberland, of the 17th, the Duke of Newcastle says, "Mr. Pitt spoke so well, that the premier told me he had the dignity of Sir William Wyndham, the wit of Mr. Pulteney, and the knowledge and judgment of Sir Robert Walpole: in short, he said all that was right for the King, kind and respectful to the old corps, and resolute and contemptuous of the Tory opposition."-E.
(1183) He was related to the Duke's mother by the Countess of Newburgh, his mother.
(1184) Afterwards Duke of Leinster. he married Lady Emily in the following February.-E.
(1185) Stephen Poyntz, treasurer, and formerly governor to the Duke.
(1186) He was an engraver of seals.
(1187) A Collection of letters made by Sir Toby Matthews. [In this Volume will be found an interesting account of the trial of Sir Walter Raleigh.]
476 Letter 200 To Sir Horace Mann. Arlington Street, April 25, 1746.
You have bid me for some time send you good news-well! I think I will. How good would you have it? must it be a total victory over the rebels; with not only the Boy, that is here, killed, but the other, that is not here, too; their whole army put to the sword, besides -in infinite number of prisoners; all the Jacobite estates in England confiscated, and all those in Scotland—what would you have done with them?—or could you be content with something much under this? how much will you abate? will you compound for Lord John Drummond, taken by accident? or for three Presbyterian parsons, who have very poor livings, stoutly refusing to pay a large contribution to the rebels? Come, I will deal as well with you as I can, and for once, but not to make a practice of it, will let you have a victory! My friend, Lord Bury,(1188) arrived this morning from the Duke, though the news was got here before him; for, with all our victory, it was not thought safe to send him through the heart of Scotland; so he was shipped at Inverness, within an hour after the Duke entered the town, kept beating at sea five days, and then put on shore at North Berwick, from whence he came post in less than three days to London; but with a fever upon him, for which he had twice been blooded but the day before the battle; but he is young, and high in spirits, and I flatter myself will not suffer from this kindness of the Duke: the King has immediately ordered him a thousand pound, and I hear will make him his own aide-de-camp. My dear Mr. Chute, I beg your pardon; I had forgot you have the gout, and consequently not the same patience to wait for the battle, with which I, knowing the particulars, postpone it.
On the 16th, the Duke, by forced marches came up with the rebels, a little on this side Inverness—by the way, the battle is not christened yet; I only know that neither Preston-Pans(1189) nor Falkirk(1190) are to be godfathers. The rebels, who fled from him after their victory, and durst not attack him, when so much exposed to them at his passage(1191) of the Spey, now stood him, they seven thousand, he ten. They broke through Barril's regiment, and killed Lord Robert Kerr,(1192) a handsome young gentleman, who was cut to pieces with above thirty wounds; but they were soon repulsed, and fled; the whole engagement not lasting above a quarter of an hour. The young Pretender escaped; Mr. Conway, says, he hears, wounded: he certainly was in the rear. -They have lost above a thousand men in the engagement and pursuit; and six hundred were already taken; among which latter are their French ambassador and Earl Kilmarnock.(1193) The Duke of Perth and Lord ogilvie(1194) are said to be slain; Lord Elcho(1195) was in a salivation, and not there. Except Lord Robert Kerr, we lost nobody of note: Sir Robert Rich's eldest son has lost his hand, and about a hundred and thirty private men fell. The defeat is reckoned total, and the dispersion general: and all their artillery is taken. It is a brave young Duke! the town is all blazing round me, as I write, with fireworks and illuminations - I have some inclination to wrap up half-a-dozen skyrockets, to make you drink the Duke's health. Mr. Doddington, on the first report, came out with a very pretty illumination; so pretty, that I believe he had it by him, ready for any occasion.
I now come to a more melancholy theme, though your joy will still be pure, except from what part you take in a private grief of mine. It is the death of Mr. Winnington,(1196) whom you only knew as One Of the first men in England, from his parts and from his employment. But I was familiarly acquainted with him, loved and admired him, for he had great good-nature, and a quickness of wit most peculiar to himself: and for his public talents he has left nobody equal to him, as before, nobody was superior to him but my father. The history of his death is a cruel tragedy, but what, to indulge me who am full of it, and want to vent the narration, you must hear. He was not quite fifty, extremely temperate and regular, and of a constitution remarkably strong, hale and healthy. A little above a fortnight ago he was seized with an inflammatory rheumatism, a common and known case, dangerous, but scarce ever remembered to be fatal. He had a strong aversion to all physicians, and lately had put himself into the hands of one Thomson, a quack, whose foundation of method could not be guessed, but by a general contradiction to all received practice. This man was the oracle of Mrs. Masham,(1197) sister, and what one ought to hope she did not think of, coheiress to Mr. Winnington-. his other sister is as mad in methodism as this in physic, and never saw him. This ignorant wretch, supported by the influence of the sister, soon made such progress in fatal absurdities, as purging, bleeding, and starving him, and checking all perspiration, that his friends Mr. Fox and Sir Charles Williams absolutely insisted on calling in a physician. Whom could they call, but Dr. Bloxholme, an intimate old friend of Mr. Winnington, and to whose house he always went once a year? This doctor, grown paralytic and indolent, gave in to every thing the quack advised: Mrs. Masham all the while ranting and raving At last, which at last came very speedily, they had reduced him to a total dissolution, by a diabetes and a thrush; his friends all the time distracted for him, but hindered from assisting him; so far, that the night before he died, Thomson gave him another purge, though he could not get it all down. Mr. Fox by force brought Dr. Hulse, but it was too late: and even then, when Thomson owned him lost, Mrs. Masham was against trying Hulse's assistance. In short, madly, or wickedly, they have murdered(1199) a man to whom nature would have allotted a far longer period, and had given a decree of abilities that were carrying that period to so great a height of lustre, as perhaps would have excelled both ministers, who in this country have owed their greatness to the greatness of their merit.
Adieu! my dear Sir; excuse what I have written to indulge my own concern, in consideration of what I have written to give you JOY.
P. S. Thank you for Mr. Oxenden; but don't put yourself to any great trouble, for I desired you before not to mind formal letters much, which I am obliged to give: I write to you separately, when I wish you to be particularly kind to my recommendations.
(1188) George Keppel, eldest son of William Anne, Earl of Albemarle, whom he succeeded in the title.
(1189/1190) @ Where the King's troops had been beaten by the rebels. This was called the battle of Culloden.
(1191) the letter, relating that event, was one of those that were lost.
(1192) Second son of the Marquis of Lothian.
(1193) William Boyd, fourth Earl of Kilmarnock in Scotland. He was tried by the House of Lords for high treason, condemned and beheaded on Tower Hill, August 18, 1746. (He was the direct male ancestor of the present Earl of Errol. Johnson says of him,
"Pitied by gentle minds, Kilmarnock died."-D.)
(1194) James, Lord Ogilvie, eldest son of David, third Earl of Airlie. He had been attainted for the part he took in the rebellion of 1715.-D.
(1195) David Lord Elcho, eldest son of James, fourth Earl of Wemyss. He was attainted in 1746; but the family honours were restored, as were those of Lord Airlie, by act of parliament, in 1826.-D.
(1196) Thomas Winnington, paymaster of the forces.
(1197) Harriet, daughter of Salway Winnington, Esq. of Stanford Court, in the county of Worcester: married to the Hon. Samuel Masham, afterwards second Lord Masham. She died in 1761.-D.
(1198) At the conclusion of Sir Charles Hanbury Williams's political Odes will be found an affectionate epitaph to the memory of his deceased friend.-E.
(1199) There were several Pamphlets published on this case, on both sides. @In May, Dr. Thomson published "The Case of Thomas Winnington." Esq.;" to which Dr. J. Campbell published a reply, entitled "A Letter to a friend in Town, occasioned by the Case of the Right Hon. Thomas Winnington."]
478 Letter 201 To Sir Horace Mann. Arlington Street, May 16, 1746.
I have had nothing new to tell you since the victory, relative to it, but that it has entirely put an end to the rebellion. The number slain is generally believed much greater than is given out. Old Tullybardine(1200) has surrendered himself; the Lords Kilmarnoch, Balmerino,(1201) and Ogilvie(1202) are prisoners, and coming up to their trials. The Pretender is not openly taken, but many people think he is in their power; however, I dare say he will be allowed to escape; and some French ships are hovering about the coast to receive him. The Duke is not yet returned, but we have amply prepared for his reception, by settling on him immediately and for ever twenty-five thousand pounds a-year, besides the fifteen which he is to have on the King's death. It was imagined the Prince would have opposed this, on the reflection that fifteen thousand was thought enough for him, though heir of the Crown, and abounding in issue but he has wisely reflected forwards, and likes the precedent, as it will be easy to find victories in his sons to reward, when once they have a precedent to fight with.
You must live on domestic news, for our foreign is exceedingly unwholesome. Antwerp is gone;(1203) and Bathiani with the allied army retired under the cannon of Breda; the junction of the Hanoverians cut off, and that of the Saxons put off. We are now, I suppose, at the eve of a bad peace; though, as Cape Breton must be a condition, I don't know who will dare to part with it. Little Eolus (the Duke of Bedford) says they shall not have it, that they shall have Woburn(1204) as soon-and I suppose they will! much such positive patriot politics have brought on all this ruin upon us! All Flanders is gone, and all our money, and half our men, and half our navy, because we would have no search. Well! but we ought to think on what we have got too!—we have got Admiral Vernon's head on our signs, and we are going to have Mr. Pitt at the head of our affairs. Do you remember the physician in Moli'ere, who wishes the man dead that he may have the greater honour from recovering him? Mr. Pitt is paymaster; Sir W. Yonge vice-treasurer of Ireland: Mr. Fox, secretary-at-war; Mr. Arundel,(1205) treasurer of the chambers, in the room of Sir John Cotton, who is turned out; Mr. Campbell (one of my father's admiralty) and Mr. Legge in the treasury, and Lord Duncannon(1206) succeeds Legge in the admiralty.
Your two last were of April 19th and 26th. I wrote one to Mr. Chute, inclosed to you, with farther particulars of the battle; and I hope you received @it. I am entirely against your sending my eagle while there is any danger. Adieu! my dear child! I wrote to-day, merely because I had not written very lately; but you see I had little to say.
(1200) Elder brother of the Duke of Athol; he was outlawed for the former rebellion.
(1201) Arthur Elphinstone, sixth Lord Balmerino in Scotland. He was beheaded at the same time and place with Lord Kilmarnock; and on the scaffold distinguished himself by his boldness, fortitude, and even cheerfulness.-D.'
(1202) This was a mistake; it was not Lord Ogilvie, but Lord Cromarty.
(1203) It was taken by the French.-D.
(1204) The seat of the Duke of Bedford.
(1205) The Hon. Richard Arundel, youngest son of John, second Lord Arundel of Trerice. He had been master of the mint under Sir Robert Walpole's administration.-D.
(1206) William Ponsonby, Viscount Duncannon, afterwards second Earl of Besborough.-D.
479 Letter 202 To George Montagu, Esq. Arlington Street, May 22, 1746.
Dear George, After all your goodness to me, don't be angry that I am glad I am got into brave old London again: though my cats don't purr like Goldwin, yet one of them has as good a heart as old Reynolds, and the tranquillity of my own closet makes me some amends for the loss of the library and toute la belle compagnie celestine. I don't know whether that expression will do for the azure ceilings; but I found it at my fingers' ends, and so it slipped through my pen. We called at Langley,(1207) but did not like it, nor the Grecian temple at all; it is by no means gracious.
I forgot to take your orders about your poultry; the partlets have not laid since I went, for little chanticleer
Is true to love, and all for recreation, And does not mind the work of propagation.
But I trust you will come Yourself in a few days, and then you may settle their route.
I am got deep into the Sidney papers, there are old wills full of bequeathed ovoche and goblets with fair enamel, that will delight you; and there is a little pamphlet of Sir Philip Sidney's in defence of his uncle Leicester, that gives me a much better opinion of his parts than his dolorous Arcadia, though it almost recommended him to the crown of Poland; at least I have never been able to discover what other great merit he had. In this little tract he is very vehement in clearing up the honour of his lineage; I don't think he could have been warmer about his family, if he had been of the blood of the Cues.(1208) I have diverted myself with reflecting how it would have entertained the town a few years ago, if my cousin Richard Hammond had wrote a treatise to clear up my father's pedigree, when the Craftsman used to treat him so roundly 'With being Nobody's son. Adieu! dear George!
Yours ever, THE GRANDSON OF NOBODY.
(1207) A seat of the Duke of Marlborough.
(1208) Mr. Montagu used to call his own family the Cues.
480 Letter 203 To George Montagu, Esq. Arlington Street, June 5, 1746.
Dear George, You may perhaps fancy that you are very happy in the country, and that because you commend every thing you see, you like every thing: you may fancy that London is a desert, and that grass grows now where Troy stood; but it does not, except just before my Lord Bath's door, whom nobody will visit. So far from being empty, and dull, and dusty, the town is full of people, full of water, for it has rained this week, and as gay as a new German Prince must make any place. Why, it rains princes: though some people are disappointed of the arrival of the Pretender, yet the Duke is just coming and the Prince of Hesse come. He is tall, lusty, and handsome; extremely like Lord Elcho in person, and to Mr. Hussey,(1209) in what entitles him more to his freedom in Ireland, than the resemblance of the former does to Scotland. By seeing him with the Prince of Wales, people think he looks stupid; but I dare say in his own country he is reckoned very lively, for though he don't speak much, he opens his mouth very often. The King has given him a fine sword, and the Prince a ball. He dined with the former the first day, and since with the great officers. Monday he went to Ranelagh, and supped in the house; Tuesday at the Opera he sat with his court in the box on the stage next the Prince, and went into theirs to see the last dance; and after it was over to the Venetian ambassadress, who is the only woman he has yet noticed. To-night there is a masquerade at Ranelagh for him, a play at Covent Garden on Monday, and a Ridotto at the Haymarket; and then he is to go. His amours are generally very humble, and very frequent; for he does not much affect our daughter.(1210) A little apt to be boisterous when he has drank. I have not heard, but I hope he was not rampant last night with Lady Middlesex, or Charlotte Dives.(1211) Men go to see him in the morning, before he goes to see the lions.
The talk of peace is blown over; nine or ten battalions were ordered for Flanders the day before yesterday, but they are again countermanded; and the operations of this campaign again likely to be confined within the precincts of Covent Garden, where the army- surgeons give constant attendance. Major Johnson commands (I can't call it) the corps de reserve in Grosvenor Street. I wish you had seen the goddess of those purlieus with him t'other night at Ranelagh; you would have sworn it had been the divine Cucumber in person.
The fame of the Violetta(1212) increases daily; the sister-Countesses of Burlington and Talbot exert all their stores of sullen partiality in competition for her- the former visits her, and is having her picture, and carries her to Chiswick, and she sups at Lady Carlisle's, and lies—indeed I have not heard where, but I know not at Leicester House, where she is in great disgrace, for not going once or twice a week to take lessons of Denoyer, as he(1213) bid her: you know, that is politics in a court where dancing-masters are ministers.
Adieu! dear George: my compliments to all at the farm. Your cocks and hens would write to you, but they are dressing in haste for the masquerade - mind, I don't say that Asheton is doing any thing like that; but he is putting on an odd sort of a black gown - but, as Di Bertie says on her message cards, "mum for that." Yours ever.
(1209) Edward Hussey, afterwards Earl of Beaulieu. [He married Isabella, widow of William, second Duke of Manchester, the heroine of Sir Charles Hanbury Williams's poem entitled "Isabella; or, the Morning;" and died in 1802.]
(1210) The Princess Mary, who was married to the Prince of Hesse Cassel, in 1740.-E.
(1211) Afterwards married to Samuel, second and last Lord Masham, who died in 1776.-E.
(1212) Afterwards Mrs. Garrick.
(1213) The Prince of Wales; with whom the dancing-master was a great favourite.
482 Letter 204 To sir Horace Mann. Arlington Street, June 6, 1746.
It was a very unpleasant reason for my not hearing from you last post, that you was ill; but I have had a letter from you since of May 24th, that has made me easy again for your health: if you was not losing the good Chutes, I should have been quite satisfied; but that is a loss you will not easily repair, though I were to recommend you Hobarts(1214) every day. Sure you must have had flights of strange awkward animals, if you can be so taken with him! I shall begin to look about me, to see the merits of England: he was no curiosity here; and yet heaven knows there are many better, with whom I hope I shall never be acquainted. As I have cautioned you more than once against minding my recommendatory letters, (which one gives because one can't refuse them,) unless I write to you separately, I have no scruple in giving them. You are extremely good to give so much credit to my bills at first sight; but don't put down Hobart to my account; I used to call him the Clearcake; fat, fair, sweet, and seen through in a moment. By what you tell me, I should conclude the Countess was not returning; for Hobart is not a morsel that she can afford to lose.
I am much obliged to you for the care you take in sending my eagle by my commodore-cousin, but I hope it will not be till after his expedition. I know the extent of his genius; he would hoist it overboard on the prospect of an engagement, and think he could buy me another at Hyde Park Corner with the prize-money; like the Roman tar that told his crew, that if they broke the antique Corinthian statues, they should find new ones.
We have been making peace lately, but I think it is off again; there is come an unpleasant sort of a letter, transmitted from Van Hoey(1215) at Paris; it talks something of rebels not to be treated as rebels, and of a Prince Charles that is somebody's cousin and friend-but as nobody knows any thing of this—why, I know nothing of it neither. There are battalions ordered for Flanders, and countermanded, and a few less ordered again - if I knew exactly what day this would reach you, I could tell you more certainly, because the determination for or against is only of every other day. The Duke is coming: I don't find it certain, however, that the Pretender is got off.
We are in the height of festivities for the Serenity of Hesse, our son-in-law, who passes a few days here on his return to Germany. If you recollect Lord Elcho, you have a perfect idea of his person and parts. The great officers banquet him at dinner; in the evenings; there are plays, operas, ridottos, and masquerades.
You ask me to pity you for losing the Chutes - indeed I do; and I pity them for losing you. They will often miss Florence, and its tranquillity and happy air. Adieu! Comfort yourself with what you do not lose.
(1214) The Hon. John Hobart, afterwards second Earl of Buckinghamshire. Walpole had given him a letter of introduction to Sir Horace Mann.-E.
(1215) The Dutch minister at Paris.
483 Letter 205 To George Montagu, Esq. Arlington Street, June 12th, 1746.
My dear George, Don't commend me -. you don't know what hurt it will do me; you will make me a pains-taking man, and I had rather be dull Without any trouble. From partiality to me you won't allow my letters to be letters. If you have a mind I should write you news, don't make me think about it; I shall be so long turning my periods, that what I tell you will cease to be news.
The Prince of Hesse had a most ridiculous tumble t'other night at the Opera; they had not pegged up his box tight after the ridotto, and down he came on all four; George Selwyn says he carried it off with an unembarrassed countenance. He was to go this morning; I don't know whether he did or not. The Duke is expected to-night by all the tallow candles and fagots in town.
Lady Carolina Fitzroy's match is settled to the content of all parties; they are taking Lady Abergavenny's house in Brook Street; the Fairy Cucumber houses all Lady Caroline's out-pensioners; Mr. Montgomery(1216) is now on half pay with her. Her Major Johnstone is chosen at White's, to the great terror of the society.- When he was introduced, Sir Charles Williams presented Dick Edgecumbe(1217) to him, and said, , I have three favours to beg of you for Mr. Edgecumbe: the first is that you would not lie with Mrs. Day; the second, that you would not poison his cards; the third, that you would not kill him;" the fool answered gravely, "Indeed I will not."
The Good has borrowed old Bowman's house in Kent, and is retiring thither for six weeks: I tell her she has lived so rakish a life, that she is obliged to go and take up. I hope you don't know any more of it, and that Major Montagu is not to cross the country to her. There—I think you can't commend me for this letter; it shall not even have the merit of being one. My compliments to all your contented family. Yours ever.
P.S. I had forgot to tell you, that Lord Lonsdale had summoned the peers to-day to address the King not to send the troops abroad in the present conjuncture. I hear he made a fine speech, and the Duke of Newcastle a very long one in answer, and then they rose without a division.(1218) Lord Baltimore is to bring the same motion into our House.(1219)
(1216) The Honourable Archibald Montgomerie. He succeeded his brother as eleventh Earl of Eglinton, in 1769, and died in 1796.-E.
(1217) Richard Edgecumbe, second Lord Edgecumbe.
(1218) 'There was a debate," writes Mr. Pelham to Horatio Walpole on the 12th, "in the House of Lords this day, upon a motion of Lord Lonsdale, who would have addressed the King, to defer the sending abroad any troops till it was more clear that we are in no danger @ home; which he would by no means allow to be the case at present. The Duke of Newcastle spoke well for one that was determined to carry on the war. Granville was present, but said nothing. flattered the Duke of Newcastle when the debate was over, and gave a, strong negative to the motion."-E.
(1219) Lord Baltimore made his motion in the House of Commons, on the 18th; when it was negatived by the great majority of 103 against 12.-E.
484 Letter 206 To George Montagu, Esq. Arlington Street, June 17, 1746.
Dear George, I wrote to you on Friday night as soon as I could after receiving your letter, with a list of the regiments to go abroad; one of which I hear since, is your brothers. I am extremely sorry it is his fortune, as I know the distress it will occasion in your family.
For the politics which you inquire after, and which may have given motion to this step, I can give you no satisfactory . I have heard that it is in consequence of an impertinent letter sent over by Van Hoey in favour of the rebels, though at the same time I hear we are making steps towards a peace. There centre all my politics, all in peace. Whatever your cousin(1220) may think, I am neither busy about what does happen, nor making parties for what may. If he knew how happy I am, his intriguing nature would envy my tranquillity more than his suspicions can make him jealous of my practices. My books, my virt'u, and my other follies and amusements take up too much of my time to leave me much leisure to think of other people's affairs; and of all affairs. those of the public are least my concern. You will be sorry to hear of Augustus Townshend's(1221) death. I lament it extremely, not much for his sake, for I did not honour him, but for his poor sister Molly's, whose little heart, that is all tenderness, and gratitude, and friendship, will be broke with the shock. I really dread it, considering how delicate her health is. My Lady Townshend has a son with him. I went to tell it her. Instead of thinking of her child's distress, she kept me half an hour with a thousand histories of Lady Caroline Fitzroy and Major Johnstone, and the new Paymaster's(1222) m'enage, and twenty other things, nothing to me, nor to her, if only she could drop the idea Of the pay of office.
The serene hessian is gone. Little Brooke is to be an earl. I went to bespeak him a Lilliputian coronet at Chenevix's.(1223) Adieu! dear George.
(1220) George Dunk, Earl of Halifax.
(1221) Son of Viscount Townshend and Dorothy, sister of Sir Robert Walpole. he was a captain in the service of the East India Company, and died at Batavia, having at that time the command of the Augusta.-E.
(1222) Mr. Pitt.
(1223) A celebrated toy-shop.
485 Letter 207 To Sir Horace Mann. Arlington Street, June 20, 1746.
We are impatient for letters from Italy, to confirm the news of a victory over the French and Spaniards-(1224) The time is critical, and every triumph or defeat material, as they may raise or fall the terms of peace. The wonderful letters of Van Hoey and M. d'Argenson in favour of the rebels, but which, if the ministry have any spirit, must turn to their harm, you will see in all the papers. They have rather put off the negotiations, and caused the sending five thousand men this week to Flanders. The Duke is not yet returned from Scotland, nor is anything certainly known of the Pretender. I don't find any period fixed for the trial of the Lords; yet the Parliament sits on, doing nothing, few days having enough to make a House. Old Marquis Tullibardine, with another set of rebels are come, amongst whom is Lord Macleod, son of Lord Cromarty,(1225) already in the Tower. Lady Cromarty went down incog. to Woolwich to see her son pass by, without the power of speaking to him: I never heard a more melancholy instance of affection! Lord Elcho(1226) has written from Paris to Lord Lincoln to solicit his pardon; but as he has distinguished himself beyond all the rebel commanders by brutality and insults and cruelty to our prisoners, I think he is likely to remain where he is.
Jack Spenser,(1227) old Marlborough's grandson and heir, is just dead, at the age of six or seven and thirty, and in possession Of near 30,000 pounds a-year, merely because he would not be abridged of those invaluable blessings of an English subject, brandy, small-beer, and tobacco.
Your last letter was of May 31st. Since you have effectually lost the good Chutes, I may be permitted to lay out all my impatience for seeing them. There are no endeavours I shall not use to show how much I love them for all their friendship to you. You are very kind in telling me how much I am honoured by their Highnesses Of Modena; but how can I return it? would it be civil to send them a compliment through a letter of yours? Do what you think properest for me.
I have nothing to say to Marquis Riccardi about his trumpery gems, but what I have already said; that nobody here will buy them together; that if he will think better, and let them be sold by auction, he may do it most advantageously, for, with all our distress, we have not at all lost the rage of expense; but that for sending them to Lisbon, I will by no means do it, as his impertinent sending them to me without my leave, shall in no manner draw me into the risk of paying for them. That, in short, if he will send any body to me with full authority to receive them, and to give me the most ample discharge for them, I will deliver them, and shall be happy so to get rid of them. There they lie in a corner of my closet, and will probably come to light at last with excellent antique mould about them! Adieu.
(1224) The battle of Placentia, which took place on the 15th of May.-E.
(1225) George Mackenzie, third Earl of Cromartie, and his eldest son John, Lord Macleod. They had been deeply engaged in the rebellion, were taken prisoners at Dunrobin Castle in Sutherland, and from thence conveyed to the Tower. They were, upon trial, found guilty of high treason; but their lives were granted to them. Lord Macleod afterwards entered the Swedish service. Lady Cromartie was Isabel, daughter of Sir William Gordon, of Invergordon, Bart.-D.
(1226) Eldest son of the Earl of Wemyss.
(1227) Brother of Charles Spenser, Earl of Sunderland and Duke of Marlborough.
486 Letter 208 To George Montagu, Esq. Arlington Street, June 24, 1746.
Dear George, You have got a very bad person to tell you news; for I hear nothing before all the world has' talked it over, and done with it. Till twelve o'clock last night I knew nothing of all the kissing hands that had graced yesterday morning; Arundel(1228) for treasurer of the chambers; Legge, and your friend Walsh Campbell, for the treasury; Lord Duncannon for the admiralty; and your cousin Halifax (who is succeeded by his predecessor in the buck hounds) for chief justice in eyre, in the room of Lord Jersey. They talk of new earls, Lord Chancellor, Lord Gower, Lord Brooke, and Lord Clinton; but I don't know that this will be, because it is not past.
Tidings are every minute expected of a great sea-fight; Martin has got between the coast and the French fleet, which has sailed from Brest. The victory in Italy is extremely big; but as none of my friends are aide-de-camps there, I know nothing of the particulars, except that the French and-Spaniards have lost ten thousand men.
All the inns about town are crowded with rebel Prisoners, and people are making parties of pleasure, which you know is the English genius, to hear their trials. The Scotch, which you know is the Scotch genius, are loud in censuring the Duke for his severities in the highlands.
The great business of the town is Jack Spenser's will, who has left Althorp and the Sunderland estate in reversion to Pitt; after more obligations and more pretended friendship for his brother, the Duke, than is conceivable. The Duke is in the utmost uneasiness about it, having left the drawing of the writings for the estate to his brother and his grandmother, and without having any idea that himself was cut out of the entail.
I have heard nothing of Augustus Townshend's will: my lady, who you know hated him, came from the Opera t'other night, and on pulling off her gloves, and finding her hands all black, said immediately, "My hands are guilty, but my heart is free." Another good thing she said, to the Duchess of Bedford,(1229) who told her the Duke was windbound at Yarmouth, "Lord! he will hate Norfolk as much as I do."
I wish, my dear George, you could meet with any man that could copy the beauties in the castle: I did not care if it were even in Indian ink. Will you inquire? Eckardt has done your picture excellently well. What shall I do with the original? Leave it with him till you come?
Lord Bath and Lord Sandys have had their pockets picked at Cuper's Gardens. I fancy it was no bad scene, the avarice and jealousy of their peeresses on their return. A terrible disgrace happened to Earl Cholmondeley t'other night at Ranelagh. You know all the history of his letters to borrow money to pay for damask for his fine room at Richmond. As he was going in, in the crowd, a woman offered him roses—"Right damask, my lord!" he concluded she had been put upon it. I was told, a-propos, a bon-mot on the scene in the Opera, where there is a view of his new room, and the farmer comes dancing out and shaking his purse. Somebody said there was a tradesman had unexpectedly got his money.
I think I deal in bon-mots to-day. I'll tell you now another, but don't print my letter in a new edition of Joe Miller's jests. The Duke has given Brigadier Mordaunt the Pretender's coach, on condition he rode up to London in it. "That I will, Sir," said he, "and drive till it stops of its own accord at the Cocoa Tree."
(1228) The Honourable Richard Arundel, second son to John, Lord Arundel, of Trerice. He married, 1732, Lady Frances Manners, daughter of John, second Duke of Rutland.-E.
(1229) Daughter of John, Earl Gower.
487 Letter 209 To George Montagu, Arlington Street, July 3, 1746.
My dear George, I wish extremely to accept your invitation, but I can't bring myself to it. If I have the pleasure of meeting Lord North(1230) oftener-at your house next winter, I do not know but another summer I may have courage enough to make him a visit; but I have no notion of going to any body's house, and have the servants look on the arms of the chaise to find out one's name, and learn one's face from the Saracen's head. You did not tell me how long you stayed at Wroxton, and so I direct this thither. I have wrote one to Windsor since you left it.
The Dew earls have kissed hands, and kept their own titles. The world reckon Earl Clinton obliged for his new honour to Lord GranVille, though they made the Duke of Newcastle go in to ask for it.
Yesterday Mr. Hussey's friends declared his marriage with her grace of Manchester,(1231) and said he was gone down to Englefield Green to take possession.
I can tell you another wedding more certain, and fifty times more extraordinary; it is Lord Cooke with Lady Mary Campbell, the Dowager of Argyle's youngest daughter. It is all agreed, and was negotiated by the Countess of Gower and Leicester. I don't know why they skipped over Lady Betty, who, if there were any question of beauty, is, I think, as well as her sister. They drew the girl in to give her consent, when they first proposed it to her; but now la Belle n'aime pas trop le Sieur L'eandre. She cries her eyes to scarlet. He has made her four visits, and is so in love, that he writes to her every other day. 'Tis a strange match. After offering him to all the great lumps of gold in all the alleys of the city, they fish out a woman of quality at last with a mere twelve thousand pound. She objects his loving none of her sex but the four queens in a pack of cards, but he promises to abandon White's and both clubs for her sake.
A-propos to White's and cards, Dick Edgecumbe is shut up with the itch. The ungenerous world ascribes it to Mrs. Day; but he denies it; owning, however, that he is very well contented to have it, as nobody will venture on her. Don't you like being pleased to have the itch, as a new way to 'keep one's mistress to one's self!
You will be in town to be sure for the eight-and-twentieth. London will be as full as at a coronation. The whole form is settled for the trials, and they are actually building scaffolds in Westminster-hall.
I have not seen poor Miss Townshend yet; she is in town, and better, but most unhappy.
(1230) Francis, Lord North and Grey; in 1752 created Earl of Guilford. His lordship died in 1790, at the age of eighty-six.-E.
(1231) Isabella, eldest daughter of John, Duke of Montagu, married in 1723 to William, second Duke of Manchester, who died in 1739. She married afterwards to Edward Hussey, Esq. who was created Baron Beaulieu in 1762, and Earl Beaulieu in 1784.
488 Letter 210 To Sir Horace Mann. Arlington Street, July 7, 1746.
I have been looking at the dates of my letters, and find that I have not written you since the 20th of last month. As long as it seems, I am not in fault; I now write merely lest you should think me forgetful of you, and not because I have any thing to say. Nothing great has happened; and for little politics, I live a good deal out of the way of' them. I have no manner of connexion with any ministry, or opposition to ministry; and their merits and their faults are equally a secret to me. The Parliament sitting, so long has worn itself to a skeleton; and almost every body takes the opportunity of shortening, their stay in the country, which I believe in their hearts most are glad to do, by going down, and returning for the trials, which are to be on the 28th of this month. I am of the number; so don't expect to hear from me again till that aera.
The Duke is still in Scotland, doing his family the only service that has been done for them there since their accession. He daily picks Up notable prisoners, and has lately taken Lord Lovat, and Murray the secretary. There are flying reports of the Boy being killed, but I think not certain enough for the father(1232) to faint away again-I blame myself for speaking lightly of the old man's distress; but a swoon is so natural to his character, that one smiles at it at first, without considering when it proceeds from cowardice, and when from misery. I heard yesterday that we are to expect a battle in Flanders soon: I expect it with all the tranquillity that the love of one's country admits, when one's heart is entirely out of the question, as, thank God! mine is: not one of my friends will be in it. I -wish it may be as magnificent a victory for us, as your giornata di San Lazaro!
I am in great pain for my eagle, now the Brest fleet is thought to be upon the coast of Spain: bi-it what do you mean by him and his pedestal filling three cases? is he like the Irishman's bird, in two places at once?
Adieu! my dear child; don't believe my love for you in the least abridged, whenever my letters are scarce or short. I never loved you better, and never had less to say, both which I beg you will believe by my concluding, yours, etc.
P. S. Since I finished my letter, we hear that the French and Spaniards have escaped from Placentia, not without some connivance of your hero-king.(1233) Mons is taken.
(1232) James Stuart, called " The Old Pretender."-D.
(1233) The King of Sardinia.-D.
489 Letter 211 To sir Horace Mann. Arlington Street, Aug. 1, 1746.
I am this moment come from the conclusion of the greatest and most melancholy scene I ever yet saw! you will easily guess it was the trials of the rebel Lords. As it was the most interesting sight, it was the most solemn and fine: a coronation is a puppet-show, and all the splendour of it idle; but this sight at once feasted one's eyes and engaged all one's passions. It began last Monday; three parts of Westminster-hall were inclosed with galleries, and hung with scarlet; and the whole ceremony was conducted with the most awful solemnity and decency, except in the one point of leaving the prisoners at the bar, amidst the idle curiosity of some crowd, and even with the witnesses who had sworn against them, while the Lords adjourned to their own House to consult. No part of the royal family was there, which was a proper regard to the unhappy men, who were become their victims. One hundred and thirty-nine lords were present, and made a noble sight on their benches, frequent and full. The Chancellor(1234) was Lord High Steward; but though a most comely personage with a fine voice, his behaviour was mean, curiously searching for occasion to bow to the minister(1235) that is no peer, and consequently applying to the other ministers, in a manner for their orders; and not even ready at the ceremonial. To the prisoners he was peevish; and instead of keeping up to the humane dignity of the law of England, whose character it is to point out favour to the criminal, he crossed them, and almost scolded at any offer they made towards defence. I had armed myself with all the resolution I could, whit the thought of their crimes and of the danger past, and was assisted by the sight of the Marquis of Lothian(1236) in weepers for his son who fell at Culloden— but the first appearance of the prisoners shocked me! their behaviour melted me! Lord Kilmarnock and Lord Cromartie are both past forty, but look younger. Lord Kilmarnock is tall and slender, with an extreme fine person: his behaviour a most just mixture between dignity and submission; if in any thing to be reprehended, a little affected, and his hair too exactly dressed for a man in his situation; but when I say this, it is not to find fault with him but to show how little fault there was to be found. Lord Cromartie is an indifferent figure, appeared much dejected, and rather sullen: he dropped a few tears the first day, and swooned as soon as he got back to his cell. For Lord Balmerino, he is the most natural brave old fellow I ever saw: the highest intrepidity, even to indifference,. At the bar he behaved like a soldier and a man; in the intervals of form, with carelessness and humour. He pressed extremely to have his wife, his pretty Peggy,(1237) with him in the tower. Lady Cromartie only sees her husband through the grate, not choosing to be shut up with him, as she thinks she can serve him better by her intercession without: she is big with child and very handsome; so are their daughters. When they were to be brought from the Tower in separate coaches, there was some dispute in which the axe must go—old Balmerino cried, "Come, come, put it with me." At the bar, he plays with his fingers upon the axe, while he talks to the gentleman-gaoler; and one day somebody coming up to listen, he took up the blade and held it like a fan between their faces. During the trial, a little boy was near him, but not tall enough to see; he made room for the child and placed him near himself.
When the trial began, the two earls pleaded guilty; Balmerino not guilty, saying he could prove he was not at the taking of the castle of Carlisle, as was laid in the Indictment. Then the King's counsel opened, and Serjeant Skinner pronounced the most absurd speech imaginable; and mentioned the Duke of Perth, "who," said he, "I see by the papers is dead."(1238) Then some witnesses were examined, whom afterwards the old hero shook cordially by the hand. The Lords withdrew to their House, and returning demanded, of the judges, whether one point not being proved, though all the rest were, the indictment was false? to which they unanimously answered in the negative. Then the Lord High Steward asked the Peers severally, whether Lord Balmerino @was guilty! All said, "guilty upon honour," and then adjourned, the prisoner having begged pardon for giving them so much trouble. While the lords were withdrawn, the Solicitor-General Murray (brother of the Pretender's minister)1239) officiously and insolently went up to Lord Balmerino, and asked him, how he could give the Lords so much trouble, when his solicitor had informed him that his plea could be of no use to him? Balmerino asked the bystanders who this person was! and being told, he said. "Oh, Mr. Murray! I am extremely glad to see you; I have been with several of your relations; the good lady, your mother, was of great use to us at Perth." Are not you charmed with this speech? how just it was! As he went away, he said, "They call me Jacobite; I am no more a Jacobite than any that tried me: but if the Great Mogul had set up his standard, I should have followed it, for I could not starve." The worst of his case is, that after the battle of Dumblain, having a company in the Duke of Argyll's regiment, he deserted with it to the rebels, and has since been pardoned. Lord Kilmarnock is a Presbyterian, with four earldoms(1240) in him, but so poor since Lord Wilmington's stopping a pension that my father had given him, that he often wanted a dinner. Lord Cromartie was receiver of the rents of the King's second son in Scotland, which, it was understood, he should not account for; and by that means had six hundred a-year from the Government: Lord Elibank,(1241) a very prating, impertinent Jacobite, was bound for him in nine thousand pounds, for which the Duke is determined to sue him.
When the Peers were going to vote, Lord Foley(1242) withdrew, as too well a wisher; Lord Moray,(1243) as nephew of Lord Balmerino—and Lord Stair—as, I believe, uncle to his great-grandfather. Lord Windsor,(1244) very affectedly, said, "I am sorry I must say, guilty upon my honour." Lord Stamford(1245) would not answer to the name of Henry, having been christened Harry— what a great way of thinking on such an occasion! I was diverted too with old Norsa, the father of my brother's concubine, an old Jew that kept a tavern; my brother, as auditor of the exchequer, has a gallery along one whole side of the court: I said, "I really feel for the prisoners!" old Issachar replied, "Feel for them! pray, if they had succeeded, what would have become of all us?" When my Lady Townshend heard her husband vote, she said, "I always knew my Lord was guilty, but I never thought he would own it upon his honour." Lord Balmerino said, that one of his reasons for pleading not guilty, was, that so many ladies might not be disappointed of their show.
On Wednesday they were again brought to Westminster-hall, to receive sentence; and being asked what they had to say, Lord Kilmarnock, with a very fine voice, read a very fine speech, confessing the extent of his crime, but offering his principles as some alleviation, having his eldest son (his second unluckily was with him,) in the Duke's army, fighting for the liberties of his country at Culloden, where his unhappy father was ? .n arms to destroy them. He insisted much on his tenderness to the English prisoners, which some deny, and say that he was the man who proposed their being put to death, when General Stapleton urged that he was come to fight, and not to butcher; and that if they acted any such barbarity, he would leave them with all his men. He very artfully mentioned Van Hoey's letter, and said how much he should scorn to owe his life to such intercession. Lord Cromartie spoke much shorter, and so low, that he was not heard but by those who sat very near him; but they prefer his speech to the other. He mentioned his misfortune in having drawn in his eldest son, who is prisoner with him; and concluded with saying, "If no part of this bitter cup must pass from me, not mine, O God, but thy will be done!" If he had pleaded not guilty, there was ready to be produced against him a paper signed with his own hand, for putting to death the English prisoners.
Lord leicester went up to the Duke of Newcastle, and said, "I never heard so great an orator as Lord Kilmarnock; if I was grace, I would pardon him, and make him paymaster."(1246) That morning a paper had been sent to the lieutenant of the Tower for the prisoners; he gave it to Lord Cornwallis,(1247) the governor, who carried it to the House of Lords. It was a plea for the prisoners, objecting that the late act for regulating the trial of rebels did not take place till after their crime was committed. The Lords very tenderly and rightly sent this plea to them, of which, as you have seen, the two Earls did not make use; but old Balmerino did, and demanded council on it. The High Steward, almost in a passion, told him, that when he had been offered council, he did not accept it. Do but think on the ridicule of sending them the plea, and then denying them council on it! The Duke of Newcastle, who never lets slip an opportunity of being absurd, took it up as a ministerial point, in defence of his creature the Chancellor; but Lord Granville moved, according to order, to adjourn to debate in the chamber of Parliament, where the Duke of Bedford and many others spoke warmly for their having council; and it was granted. I said their, because the plea would have saved them all, and affected nine rebels who had been hanged that very morning; particularly one Morgan, a poetical lawyer. Lord Balmerino asked for Forester and Wilbraham; the latter a very able lawyer in the House of Commons, who, the Chancellor said privately, he was sure would as soon be hanged as plead such a cause. But he came as council to-day (the third day), when Lord Balmerino gave up his plea as invalid, and submitted, without any speech. The High Steward then made his, very long and very poor, with only one or two good passages; and then pronounced sentence!
Great intercession is made for the two Earls: Duke Hamilton,(1248) who has never been at court, designs to kiss the King's hand, and ask Lord Kilmarnock's life. The King is much inclined to some mercy; but the Duke, who has not so much of Caesar after a victory, as in gaining it, is for the utmost severity. It was lately proposed in the city to present him with the freedom of some company; one of the aldermen said aloud, "Then let it be of the Butchers!"(1249) The Scotch and his Royal Highness are not at all guarded in their expressions of each other. When he went to Edinburgh, in his pursuit of the rebels, they would not admit his guards, alleging that it was contrary to their privileges; but they rode in, sword in hand; and the Duke, very justly incensed, refused to see any of the magistrates. He came with the utmost expedition to town, in order for Flanders; but found that the court of Vienna had already sent Prince Charles thither, without the least notification, at which both King and Duke are greatly offended'. When the latter waited on his brother, the Prince carried him into a room that hangs over the Wall of St. James's Park, and stood there with his arm about his neck, to charm the gazing mob
Murray, the Pretender's secretary, has made ample confessions: the Earl of Traquair(1250 and Dr. Barry, a physician, are apprehended, and more warrants are out; so much for rebels! Your friend, Lord Sandwich, is instantly going ambassador to Holland, to pray the Dutch to build more ships. I have received yours of July 19th, but you see have no more room left, only to say, that I conceive a good idea of my eagle, though the sea] is a bad one. Adieu!
p S. I have not room to say any thing to the Tesi till next post; but, unless she will sing gratis, would advise her to drop this thought.
(1234) Philip Yorke, lord Hardwicke.
(1235 henry Pelham.
(1236) William ker, third marquis of Lothian. Lord Robert Ker, who was killed at Culloden, was his second son.—D.
(1237) Margaret, lady Balmerino, daughter of Captain chalmers.—D.
(1238) The duke of Perth, being a young man of delicate frame, expired on his passage to France.—E.
(1239) Lord Dunbar.
(1240) Kilmarnock, Erroll, Linlithgow, and Calendar.—D.
(1241) Patrick Murray, fifth Lord Elibank.—D.
(1242) Thomas, second Lord Foley, of the first creation.—D.
(1243) James Stewart, ninth Earl of Moray. His mother was jean Elphinstone, daughter of John, fourth Lord Balmerino.—D.
(1244) Robert Windsor, second viscount Windsor in Ireland. He sat in Parliament as Lord Mountjoy of the isle of Wight. He died in 1758, when His titles extinguished.—D.
(1245) Harry Grey, died in 1768.—D.
(1246) Alluding to Mr. Pitt, who had lately been preferred to that post, from the fear the ministry had of his abusive eloquence.
(1247) Charles, fifth Lord Cornwallis. He was created an earl in 1753, and died in 1762.-D.
(1248) James, sixth Duke of Hamilton: died in 1758.-D.
(1249) "The Duke," says Sir Walter Scott, " was received with all the honours due to conquest; and all the incorporated bodies of the capital, from the guild brethren to the butchers, desired his acceptance of the freedom of their craft, or corporation." Billy the Butcher was one of his by-names.-E.
(1250) Charles Stuart, fifth Earl of Traquair.-D.
494 Letter 212 To George Montagu, Esq. Arlington Street, Aug. 2, 1746.
Dear George, You have lost nothing by missing yesterday at the trials, but a little additional contempt for the High Steward; and even that is recoverable, as his long, paltry speech is to be printed; for which, and for thanks for it, Lord Lincoln moved the House of Lords. Somebody said to Sir Charles Windham, "Oh! you don't think Lord Hardwicke's speech good, because you have read Lord Cowper's."—"No," replied he; "but I do think it tolerable, because I heard Serjeant Skinner's."(1251) Poor brave old Balmerino retracted his plea, asked pardon, and desired the Lords to intercede for mercy. As he returned to the Tower, he stopped the coach at Charing-cross to buy honey-blobs as the Scotch call gooseberries. He says he is extremely afraid Lord Kilmarnock will not behave well. The Duke said publicly at his levee, that the latter proposed murdering the English prisoners. His Highness was to have given Peggy Banks a ball last night; but was persuaded to defer it, as it would have rather looked like an insult on the prisoners, the very day their sentence was passed. George Selwyn says that he had begged Sir William Saunderson to get him the High Steward's wand, after it was broke, as a curiosity; but that he behaved so like an attorney the first day, and so like a pettifogger the second, that he would not take it to light his fire with; I don't believe my Lady Hardwicke is so high-minded.
Your cousin Sandwich(1252) is certainly going on an embassy to Holland. I don't know whether it is to qualify him, by new dignity, for the head of the admiralty, or whether (which is more agreeable to present policy) to satisfy him instead of it. I know when Lord Malton,(1253) who was a young earl, asked for the garter, to stop his pretensions, they made him a marquis. When Lord Brooke, who is likely to have ten sons, though he has none yet, asked to have his barony settled on his daughters, they refused him with an earldom; and they professed making Pitt paymaster, in order to silence the avidity of his faction.
Dear George, I am afraid I shall not be in your neighbourhood, as I promised myself. Sir Charles Williams has let his house. I wish you would one day whisk over and look at Harley House. The inclosed advertisement makes it sound pretty, though I am afraid too large for me. Do look at it impartially: don't be struck at first sight with any brave old windows; but be so good as to inquire the rent, and if I can have it for a year, and with any furniture. I have not had time to copy out the verses, but you shall have them soon. Adieu, with my compliments to your sisters.
(1251) Matthew Skinner, afterwards a Welsh judge.-E.
(1252) John, the fourth Earl of Sandwich; son of Edward Richard, Viscount Hichinbrooke. He signed the treaty of peace at Aix-la-Chapelle in 1748.
(1253) Thomas Watson Wentworth, Earl of Malton, created Marquis of Rockingham, in 1746. [He died In 1782, when his title became extinct.)
495 Letter 213 To George Montagu, Esq. Arlington Street, Aug. 5, 1746.
Though I can't this week accept your invitation, I can prove to you that I am most desirous of passing my time with you, and therefore en attendant Harley House, if you can find me out any clean, small house in Windsor, ready furnished, that is not -,absolutely in the middle of the town, but near you, I should be glad to take it for three or four months.(1254) I have been about Sir Robert Rich's, but they will only sell it. I am as far from guessing why they send Sandwich in embassy, as you are; and, when I recollect of what various materials our late ambassadors have been composed, I can only say, "ex quovis ligno fit Mercurius." Murray(1255) has certainly been discovering, and warrants are out; but I don't yet know who are to be their prize. I begin to think that the ministry had really no intelligence till now. I before thought they had, but durst not use it. A-propos to not daring, I went t'other night to look at my poor favourite Chelsea,(1256) for the little Newcastle is gone to be dipped in the sea. In one of the rooms is a bed for her Duke, and a press-bed for his footman; for he never dares lie alone, and, till be was married, had always a servant to sit up with him. Lady Cromartie presented her petition to the King last Sunday. He was very civil to her, but would not at all give her any hopes. She swooned away as soon as he was gone.(1257) Lord Corn-wallis told me that her lord weeps every time any thing of his fate is mentioned to him. Old Balmerino keeps up his spirits to the same pitch of gaiety. In the cell at Westminster he showed Lord Kilmarnock how he must lay his head; bid him not wince, lest the stroke should cut his skull or his shoulders, and advised him to bite his lips. As they were to return, he begged they might have another bottle together, as they should never meet any more till—-, and then pointed to his neck. At getting into the coach, he said to the gaoler, "Take care, or you will break my shins with this damned axe."(1258)
I must tell you a bon-mot of George Selwyn's at the trial. He saw Bethel's(1259) sharp visage looking wistfully at the rebel lords; he said, What a shame it is to turn her face to the prisoners till they are condemned." If you have a mind for a true foreign idea, one of the foreign ministers said at the trial to another, "Vraiment cela est auguste." "Oui," replied the other, "cela est vrai, mais cela n'est pas royale." the I am assured that the old Countess of Errol made her son Lord Kilmarnock(1260) go into the rebellion on pain of disinheriting him. I don't know whether I told you that the man at the tennis-court protests that he has known him dine at the man that sells pamphlets at Storey's Gate; "and," says he, "he would often have been glad if I would have taken him home to dinner." He was certainly so poor, that in one of his wife's intercepted letters she tells him she has plagued their steward for a fortnight for money, and can get but three shillings. Can any one help pitying such distress?(1261) I am vastly softened, too, about Balmerino's relapse, for his pardon was only granted him to engage his brother's vote in the election of Scotch peers.
My Lord Chancellor has got a thousand pounds in present for his high stewardship, and has @(it the reversion of clerk of the crown (twelve hundred a-year) for his second son. What a long time it will be before his posterity are drove into rebellion for want, like Lord Kilmarnock!
The Duke gave his ball last night to Peggy Banks at Vauxhall. It was to pique my Lady Rochford, in return for the Prince of Hesse. I saw the company get into their barges at Whitehall Stairs, as I was going myself, and just then passed by two city companies in their great barges, who had been a swan-hopping:. They laid by and played "God save our noble King," and altogether it was a mighty pretty show. When they came to Vauxhall, there were assembled about five-and-twenty hundred people, besides crowds without. They huzzaed, and surrounded him so, that he was forced to retreat into the ball-room. He was very near being drowned t'other night going from Ranelagh to Vauxhall, and politeness of Lord Cathcart's, who, stepping on the side of the boat to lend his arm, overset it, and both fell into the water up to their chins.
I have not yet got Sir Charles's ode;(1262) when I have, you shall see it: here are my own lines. Good night!
(1260) The Earl of Kilmarnock was not the son of the Countess of Errol. His wife, the Lady Anne Livingstone, daughter of the Earl of Linlithgow, was her niece, and, eventually, her heiress.—E.
(1261) The Duke of Argyle, telling him how sorry he was to see him engaged in such a cause, 'MY Lord,' says be, 'for the two Kings and their rights, I care not a farthing which prevailed; but I was starving, and by God, if Mahomet had set up his standard in the highlands, I had been a good Mussulman for bread, and stuck close to the party, for I must eat.'" Gray, vol. 5.-E.
(1262) On the Duchess of Manchester, entitled Isabella, or the Morning.-E.
497 Letter 214 To George Montagu, Esq. Arlington Street, Aug. 11, 1746.
Dear George, I have seen Mr. Jordan, and have taken his house at forty guineas a-year, but I am to pay taxes. Shall I now accept your offer of being at the trouble of giving orders for the airing of it? I have desired the landlord will order the key to be delivered to you, and Asheton will assist you. Furniture, I find, I have in abundance, which I shall send down immediately; but shall not be able to be at Windsor at the quivering dame's before to-morrow se'nnight, as the rebel Lords are not to be executed till Monday. I shall stay till that is over, though I don't believe I shall see it. Lord Cromartie is reprieved for a pardon. If wives and children become an argument for saving rebels, there will cease to be a reason against their going into rebellion. Lady Caroline Fitzroy's execution is certainly to-night. I dare say she will follow Lord Balmerino's advice to Lord Kilmarnock, and not winch.
Lord Sandwich has made Mr. Keith his secretary. I don't believe the founder of your race, the great Quu,(1263) of Habiculeo, would have chosen his secretary from California.
I would willingly return the civilities you laid upon me at Windsor. Do command me; in what can I serve you? Shall I get you an earldom? Don't think it will be any trouble; there is nothing easier or cheaper. Lord Hobart and Lord Fitzwilliam are both to be Earls to-morrow: the former, of Buckingham; the latter, by his already title. I suppose Lord Malton will be a Duke; he has had no new peerage this fortnight. Adieu! my compliments to the virtuous ladies, Arabella and Hounsibeloa Quus.
P. S. Here is an order for the key.
(1263) The Earl of Halifax.-E.
497 Letter 215 To sir Horace Mann. Arlington Street, Aug. 12, 1746.
To begin with the Tesi; she is mad if she desires to come hither. I hate long histories, and so will only tell you in a few words, that Lord Middlesex(1264) took the opportunity of a rivalship between his own mistress, the Nardi, and the Violette,(1265) the finest and most admired dancer in the world, to involve the whole m'enage of the Opera in the quarrel, and has paid nobody; but, like a true Lord of the Treasury, has shut up his own exchequer. The principal man-dancer was arrested for debt; to the composer his Lordship gave a bad note, not payable in two years, besides amercing him entirely three hundred pounds, on pretence of his siding with the Violette. If the Tesi likes this account-venga! venga!
Did I tell you that your friend Lord Sandwich was sent' /ambassador to Holland? He is: and that Lady Charlotte Fermor(1266) was to be married to Mr. Finch,(1267) the Vice-chamberlain? She is. Mr. Finch is a comely black widower, without children, and heir to his brother Winchilsea, who has no sons. The Countess-mother has been in an embroil, (as we have often known her,) about carrying Miss Shelly, a bosom-friend, into the Peeresses' place at the trials. Lord Granville, who is extremely fond of Lady Charlotte, has given her all her sister's jewels, to the great discontent of his own daughters. She has five thousand pounds, and Mr. Finch Settles fifteen thousand pounds more upon her. Now we are upon the chapter of marriages, Lord Petersham(1268) was last night married to One Of our first beauties, Lady Caroline Fitzroy;(1269) and Lord Coke(1270) is to have the youngest of the late Duke of Argyl@s daughters,)1271) who is none of our beauties at all.
Princess Louisa has already reached the object of her wish ever since she could speak, and is Queen of Denmark, We have been a little lucky lately in the deaths of Kings, and promise ourselves great matters from the new monarch in Spain.(1272) Princess Mary is coming over from Hesse to drink the Bath waters; that is the pretence for leaving her brutal husband, and for visiting the Duke and Princess Caroline, who love her extremely. She is of the softest, mildest temper in the world.
We know nothing certainly of the young Pretender, but that he is concealed in Scotland, and devoured with distempers - I really wonder how an Italian constitution can have supported such rigours! He has said, that "he did not see what he had to be ashamed of; and that if he had lost one battle, he had gained two." Old Lovat curses Cope and Hawley for the loss of those two, and says, if they had done their duty, he had never been in this scrape. Cope is actually going to be tried; but Hawley, who is fifty times more culpable, is saved by partiality: Cope miscarried by incapacity; Hawley, by insolence and carelessness.
Lord Cromartie is reprieved; the Prince asked his life, and his wife made great intercession. Duke Hamilton's intercession for Lord Kilmarnock has rather hurried him to the block: he and Lord Balmerino are to die next Monday. Lord Kilmarnock, with the greatest nobleness of soul, desired to have Lord Cromartie preferred to himself for pardon, if there could be but one saved; and Lord Balmerino laments that himself and Lord Lovat were not taken at the same time; "For then," says he, "we might have been sacrificed, and those other two brave men escaped." Indeed Lord Cromartie does not much deserve the epithet; for he wept whenever his execution was mentioned. Balmerino is jolly with 'his pretty Peggy. There is a remarkable story of him at the battle of Dunblain, where the Duke of Argyll, his colonel, answered for him, on his being suspected. He behaved well; but as soon as we had gained the victory, went off with his troop to the Pretender: protesting that he had never feared death but that day, as he had been fighting against his conscience. Popularity has changed sides since the year '15, for now the city and the generality are very angry that so Many rebels have been pardoned. Some of those taken at Carlisle dispersed papers at their execution, saying they forgave 'all men but three, the Elector of Hanover, the pretended Duke of Cumberland, and the Duke of Richmond, who signed the capitulation at Carlisle.(1273)
Wish Mr. Hobart joy of ])is new lordship; his father took his seat to-day as Earl of Buckingham -. Lord Fitzwilliam is made English earl with him, by his old title. Lord TankerVille(1274) goes governor to Jamaica: a cruel method of recruiting a prodigal nobleman's broken fortune, by sending him to pillage a province! Adieu!
P. S. I have taken a pretty house at Windsor and am going thither for the remainder of the summer.
(1264) Charles Sackville, eldest son of Lionel, Duke of Dorset, a Lord of the Treasury.
(1265) She was born at Vienna, in February, 1724-5, and married to Garrick, the celebrated actor, in June, 1749. She died in October, 1822, in the ninety-eighth year of her age.-E.
(1266) Second daughter of Thomas, Earl of Pomfret, and sister of Lady Granville.
(1267) William Finch, brother of the Earl of Winchilsea, had been ambassador in Holland.
(1268) Son of the Earl of Harrington, Secretary of State.
(1269) Eldest daughter of Charles, Duke of Grafton, Lord Chamberlain.
(1270) Edward, only son of Thomas, Earl of Leicester.
(1271) Lady Mary Campbell. She survived her husband fifty-eight years; he having died in 1753, and she in 1811.-D.
(1272) Philip the Fifth, the mad and imbecile King of Spain, was just dead. He was succeeded by his son Ferdinand the Sixth, who died in 1759.—D.
(1273) A melancholy and romantic incident which took place amid the terrors of the executions is thus related by Sir Walter Scott:—"A young lady, of good family and handsome fortune, who had been contracted in marriage to James Dawson, one of the sufferers, had taken the desperate resolution of attending on the horrid ceremonial. She beheld her lover, after being suspended for a few minutes, but not till death (for such was the barbarous sentence), cut down, embowelled, and mangled by the knife of the executioner. All this she supported with apparent fortitude; but when she saw the last scene, finished, by throwing Dawson's heart into the fire, she drew her head within the carriage, repeated his name, and expired on the spot." This melancholy event was made, by Shenstone, the theme of a tragic ballad:—
"The dismal scene was o'er and past, The lover's mournful hearse retired; The maid drew back her languid head, And, sighing forth his name, expired
"though justice ever must prevail, The tear my Kitty shed is due; For seldom shall she hear a tale So sad, so tender, yet so true."
James Dawson was one of the nine men who suffered at Kennington, on the 30th Of July.-E.
(1274) Charles Bennet, second Earl of TankerVille. The appointment did not take place. He died in 1753. His wife, Camilla, daughter of Edward Colville, of White-house, in the bishopric of Durham, Esq. survived till 1775, aged one hundred and five.—E.
500 Letter 216 To George Montagu, Esq, Arlington Street, Aug. 16, 1746.
Dear George, I shall be with you on Tuesday night, and since you are so good as to be my Rowland white, must beg my apartment at the quivering dame's may be aired for me. My caravan sets out with all my household stuff on Monday; but I have heard nothing of your sister's hamper, nor do I know how to send the bantams by it, but will leave them here till I am more settled under the shade of my own mulberry- tree.
I have been this morning at the Tower, and passed under the new heads at Temple Bar,(1275) where people make a trade of letting spying-glasses at a halfpenny a look. Old Lovat arrived last night. I saw Murray, Lord Derwentwater, Lord Traquair, Lord Cromartie and his son, and the Lord Provost, -,it their respective windows. The other two wretched Lords are in dismal towers, and they have stopped up one of old Balmerino's windows because he talked to the populace; and now he has only one, which looks directly upon all the scaffolding. They brought in the death-warrant at his dinner. His wife fainted. He said, "Lieutenant, with your damned warrant you have spoiled my lady's stomach." He has written a sensible letter to the Duke to beg his intercession, and the Duke has given it to the King; but gave a much colder answer to Duke Hamilton, who went to beg it for Lord Kilmarnock: he told him the affair was in the King's hands, and that he had nothing to do with it. Lord Kilmarnock, who has hitherto kept up his spirits, grows extremely terrified. It will be difficult to make you believe to what heights of affectation or extravagance my Lady Townshend carries her passion for my Lord Kilmarnock, whom she never saw but at the bar of his trial, and was smitten with his falling shoulders. She has been under his windows; sends messages to him; has got his dog and his snuff-box; has taken lodgings out of town for to-morrow and Monday night, and then goes to Greenwich; forswears conversing with the bloody English, and has taken a French master. She insisted on Lord Hervey's promising her he would not sleep a whole night for my Lord Kilmarnock, "and in return," says she, "never trust me more if I am not as yellow as a jonquil for him."(1276) She said gravely t'other day, "Since I saw my Lord Kilmarnock, I really think no more of Sir Harry Nisbett than if there was no such man in the world." But of all her flights, yesterday was the strongest. George Selwyn dined with her, and not thinking her affliction so serious as she pretends, talked rather jokingly of the execution. She burst into a flood of tears and rage, told him she now believed all his father and mother had said of him; and with a thousand other reproaches flung upstairs. George coolly took Mrs. Dorcas, her woman, and made her sit down to finish the bottle: "And pray, sir," said Dorcas, "do you think my lady will be prevailed upon to let me go see the execution? I have a friend that has promised to take care of me, and I can lie in the Tower the night before." My lady has quarrelled with Sir Charles Windham for calling the two Lords malefactors. The idea seems to be general; for 'tis said Lord Cromartie is to be transported, which diverts me for the dignity of the peerage. The ministry really gave it as a reason against their casting lots for pardon, that it was below their dignity. I did not know but that might proceed from Balmerino'S not being an earl; and therefore, now their hand is in, would have them make him one. You will see in the papers the second great victory at Placentia. There are papers pasted in several parts of the town, threatening your cousin Sandwich's head if be makes a dishonourable peace. I will bring you down Sir Charles Williams's new Ode on the Manchester.(1277) Adieu!
(1275) In the sixth volume of "London and its Environs described," published in 1761, a work which furnishes a curious view of the state of the metropolis on the accession of George the Third, it is not only gravely stated of Temple Bar, that, "since the erection of this gate, it has been particularly distinguished by having the heads of such as have been executed for high treason placed upon it," but the accompanying plate exhibits it as being at that time surmounted by three such disgusting proofs of the- then semi-barbarous state of our criminal code. The following anecdote, in reference to this exhibition, was related by Dr. Johnson in 1773:—"I remember once being with Goldsmith in Westminster Abbey: while we surveyed the Poet's Corner, I said to him,
'Forsitan et nostrum nomen miscebitur istis.'
When we got to Temple Bar, he stopped me, pointed to the heads upon it, and slily whispered me,
'Forsitan et nostrum nomen miscebitur ISTIS."' Life, vol. iii. p. 2@.-E
( 276) "This," says the Quarterly Review, "is an odd illustration of the truth of the first line in the following couplet, which begins an epigram ascribed to Johnson:—
'Pitied by gentle minds, Kilmarnock died: The brave, Balmerino, are on thy side.'"—E.
(1277) Isabel, Duchess of Manchester, married to Edward Hussey, Esq.-E.
501 Letter 217 To sir Horace Mann. Windsor, Aug. 21, 1746.
You will perceive by my date that I am got into a new scene, and that I am retired hither like an old summer dowager; Only that I have no toad-eater to take the air with me in the back part of my lozenge-coach, and to be scolded. I have taken a small house here within the castle and propose spending the greatest part of every week here till the parliament meets; but my jaunts to town will prevent my news from being quite provincial and marvellous. Then, I promise you, I will go to no races nor assemblies, nor make comments upon couples that come in chaises to the White Hart.
I came from town (for take notice, I put this place upon myself for the country) the day after the execution of the rebel Lords: I was not at it, but had two persons come to me directly who were at the next house to the scaffold; and I saw another who was upon it, so that you may depend upon my accounts.
Just before they came out of the Tower, Lord Balmerino drank a bumper to King James's health. As the clock struck ten they came forth on foot, Lord Kilmarnock all in black, his hair unpowdered in a bag: supported by Forster, the great Presbyterian, and by Mr. Home a young clergyman, his friend. Lord Balmerino followed], alone, in a blue coat turned up with red, his rebellious regimentals, a flannel waistcoat, and his shroud beneath; their hearses following They were conducted to a house near the scaffold; the room forwards had benches for spectators; in the second Lord Kilmarnock was put, and in the third backwards Lord Balmerino; all three chambers hung with black. Here they parted! Balmerino embraced the other, and said, "My lord, I wish I could suffer for both!" he had scarce left him, before he desired again to see him, and then asked him, "My Lord Kilmarnock, do you know any thing of the resolution taken in our army, the day before the battle of Culloden, to put the English prisoners to death?" He replied, "My lord, I was not present; but since I came hither, I have had all the reason in the world to believe that there was such order taken; and I hear the Duke has the pocket-book with the order." Balmerino answered, "It was a lie raised to excuse their barbarity to us."-Take notice, that the Duke's charging this on Lord Kilmarnock (certainly on misinformation) decided this unhappy man's fate! The most now pretended is, that it would have come to Lord Kilmarnock's turn to have given the word for the slaughter, as lieutenant-general, with the patent for which he was immediately drawn into the rebellion, after having been staggered by his wife, her mother, his own poverty, and the defeat of Cope. He remained an hour and a half in the house, and shed tears. At last he came to the scaffold, certainly much terrified, but with a resolution that prevented his behaving in the least meanly or unlike a gentleman.(1278) He took no notice of the crowd, only to desire that the baize might be lifted up from the rails, that the mob might see the spectacle. He stood and prayed some time with Forster, who wept over him, exhorted and encouraged him. He delivered a long speech to the Sheriff, and with a noble manliness stuck to the recantation he had made at his trial; declaring he wished that all who embarked in the same cause might meet the same fate. he then took off his bag, coat and waistcoat with great composure, and after some trouble put on a napkin-cap, and then several times tried the block; the executioner, who was in white with a white apron, out of tenderness concealing the axe behind himself. At last the Earl knelt down, with a visible unwillingness to depart, and after five minutes dropped his handkerchief, the signal, and his head was cut off at once, only hanging by a bit of skin, and was received in a scarlet cloth by four of the undertaker's men kneeling, who wrapped it up and put it into the coffin with the body; orders having been given not to expose the heads, as used to be the custom.
The scaffold was immediately new-strewed with saw-dust, the block new-covered, the executioner new-dressed, and a new axe brought. Then came old Balmerino, treading with the air of a general. As soon as he mounted the scaffold, he read the inscription on his coffin, as he did again afterwards: he then surveyed the spectators, who were in amazing numbers, even upon masts of ships in the river; and pulling out his spectacles, read a treasonable speech,(1279) which he delivered to the Sheriff, and said, the young Pretender was so sweet a Prince that flesh and blood could not resist following him; and lying down to try the block, he said, "If I had a thousand lives, I would lay them all down here in the same cause." he said, "if he had not taken the sacrament the day before, he would have knocked down Williamson, the lieutenant of the Tower, for his ill usage of him. He took the axe and felt it, and asked the headsman how many blows he had given Lord Kilmarnock; and gave him three guineas. Two clergymen, who attended him, coming up, he said, "No, gentlemen, I believe you have already done me all the service you can." Then he went to the corner of the scaffold, and called very loud for the warder, to give him his periwig, which he took off, and put on a nightcap of Scotch plaid, and then pulled off his coat and waistcoat and lay down; but being told he was on the wrong side, vaulted round, and immediately gave the sign by tossing up his arm, as if he were giving the signal for battle. He received three blows, but the first certainly took away all sensation. He was not a quarter of an hour on the scaffold; Lord Kilmarnock above half a one. Balmerino certainly died with the intrepidity of a hero, but with the insensibility of one too.(1280) As he walked from his prison to execution, seeing every window and top of house filled with spectators, he cried out, "Look, look, how they are all piled up like rotten oranges!"
My Lady Townshend, who fell in love -with Lord Kilmarnock at his trial, will go nowhere to dinner, for fear of meeting with a rebel- pie; she says, every body is so bloody-minded, that they eat rebels! The Prince of Wales, whose intercession saved Lord Cromartie, says he did it in return for old Sir William Gordon, Lady Cromartie's father, coming down out of his deathbed to vote against my father in the Chippenham election.(1281) If his Royal Highness had not countenanced inveteracy like that of Sir Gordon he would have no occasion to exert his gratitude now in favour of rebels. His brother has plucked a very useful feather out of the cap of the ministry, by forbidding any application for posts in the army to be made to any body but himself: a resolution I dare say, he will keep as strictly and minutely as he does the discipline and dress of the army. Adieu!
P. S. I have just received yours of Aug. 9th. You had not then heard of the second great battle of Placentia, which has already occasioned new instructions, or, in effect, a recall, being sent after Lord Sandwich.
(1278) "When," says Sir Walter Scott, in Tales of a Grandfather, "he beheld the fatal scaffold, covered with black cloth; the executioner with his axe and his assistants; the saw-dust which was soon to be drenched with his blood; the coffin prepared to receive the limbs which were yet warm with life; above all, the immense display of human countenances which surrounded the scaffold like a sea, all eyes being bent on the sad object of the preparation, his natural feelings broke forth in a whisper to the friend on whose arm he leaned, 'Home, this is terrible!' No sign of indecent timidity, however, affected his behaviour."-E.