(1279) Ford, in his account, states that " so far was this speech from being filled with passionate invective, that it mentioned his Majesty as a Prince of the greatest magnanimity and mercy, at the same time that, through erroneous 'political principles, it denied him a right to the allegiance of his people."-E.
(1280) He once more turned to his friends and took his last farewell, and looking on the crowd, said, 'Perhaps some may think my behaviour too bold; but remember, Sir,' said he to a gentleman who stood near him, 'that I now declare it is the effect of confidence in God, and a good conscience, and I should dissemble if I should show any signs of fear.'" Ford.-E.
(1281) See ant'e, P. 215. (in Letter 51, which begins p. 212.)
504 Letter 218 To Sir Horace Mann. Windsor, Sept. 15, 1746.
You have sent me Marquis Rinuncini with as much secrecy as if you had sent me a present. I was here; there came an exceedingly fair written and civil letter from you, dated last May: I comprehended by the formality of it, that it was written for the person who brought it, not for the person it was sent to. I have been to town on purpose to wait on him, and though you know he was not of my set, yet being of Florence and recommended by you, and recollecting how you used to cuddle over a bit of politics with the old Marquis,(1282) I set myself to be wondrous civil to Marquis Polco; pray, faites valoir ma politesse!(1283) You have no occasion to let people know exactly the situation of my villa; but talk of my standing in campagnaz and coming directly in sedia di posta, to far mio dovere al Signor Marchesino. I stayed literally an entire week with him, carried him to see palaces and Richmond gardens and park, and Chenevix's shop, and talked a great deal to him alle conversationi. It is a wretched time for him; there is not a soul in town; no plays; and Ranelagh shut up. You may say I should have stayed longer with him. but I was obliged to return for fear of losing my vintage. I shall be in London again in a fortnight, and then I shall do more mille gentilezzes. Seriously, I was glad to see him-after I had got over being sorry to see him, (for with all the goodness of one's Soquckin soqubut, as the Japanese call the heart, YOU must own it is a little troublesome to be showing the tombs,) I asked him a thousand questions, rubbed up my old tarnished Italian, and inquired about fifty people that I had entirely forgot till his arrival. He told me some passages, that I don't forgive you for not mentioning; your Cicisbeatura, Sir, with the Antinora;(1284) and Manelli's(1285) marriage and jealousy: who consoles my illustrious mistress?(1286) Rinuncini has announced the future arrival of the Abbate Niccolini, the elder Pandolfini, and the younger Panciatici; these two last, you know, were friends of mine; I shall be extremely glad to see them.
Your two last were of Aug. 23d and 30th. In the latter you talk of the execution of the rebel lords, but don't tell me whether you received my long history of their trials. Your Florentines guessed very rightly about my Lady O."s reasons for not returning amongst you: she has picked up a Mr. Shirley,(1287) no great genius—but with all her affectation of parts, you know she never was delicate about the capacity of her lovers. this swain has so little pretensions to any kind of genius, that two years ago being to act in the Duke of Bedford's company,(1288) he kept back the play three weeks, because he could not get his part by heart, though it consisted but of seventeen lines and a half. With him she has retired to a villa near Newpark, and lets her house in town.
Your last letter only mentions the progress of the King of Sardinia towards Genoa; but there is an account actually arrived of his being master of it. It is very big new-,, and I hope will make us look a little haughty again: we are giving ourselves airs, and sending a secret expedition against France: we don't indeed own that it is in favour of the Chevalier William Courtenay,(1289) who, you know, claims the crown of France, and whom King William threatened them to proclaim, when they proclaimed the Pretender; but I believe the Protestant Highlanders in the south of France are ready to join him the moment he lands. There is one Sir Watkin Williams, a great Baron in languedoc, and a Sir John Cotton, a Marquis of Dauphin'e,(1290) who have engaged to raise a great number of men, on the first debarkation that we make.
I think it begins to be believed that the Pretender's son is got to France - pray, if he passes through Florence, make it as agreeable to him as you can, ,ind introduce him to all my acquaintance. I don't indeed know him myself, but he is a particular friend of my cousin, Sir John Philipps,(1291) and of my sister-in-law Lady O., who will both take it extremely kindly—besides, do for your own sake you may make your peace with her this way; and if ever Lord Bath comes into power, she will secure your remaining at florence. Adieu!
(1282) Marquis Rinuncini, the elder, had been envoy in England, and prime minister to John Gaston, the last Great duke.
(1283) Grey, in a letter to Wharton of the 11th, says, "Mr. Walpole has taken a house in Windsor, and I see him usually once a week. He is at present gone to town, to perform the disagreeable task of presenting and introducing about a young Florentine, the Marquis Rinuncini, who comes recommended to him." Works, vol. iii. @. 9.-E.
(1284) Sister of Madame Grifoni.
(1285) Signor Ottavio Manelli had been cicisbeo of Madame Grifoni.
(1286) Madame Grifoni.
(1287) Sewallis Shirley, uncle of Earl Ferrers. (He married Lady Orford, after her first husband's death.-D)
(1288) The Duke of Bedford and his friends acted several plays at Woburn.
(1289) Sir William Courtenay, said to be the right heir of Louis le Gros. There is a notion that at the coronation of a new King of France, the Courtenays assert their pretensions, and that the King of France says to them, "Apres Nous, Vous." [See Gibbon's beautiful account of this family, in a digression to his History of the Decline and Fall, Vol. xi.]
(1290) Two Jacobite Knights of Wales and Cambridgeshire.
(1291) Sir J. Philipps, of Picton Castle in Pembrokeshire; a noted Jacobite. He was first cousin of Catherine Shorter, first wife of Sir Robert Walpole.
506 Letter 219 To sir Horace Mann. Windsor, Oct. 2,1746.
By your own loss YOU may measure My joy at the receipt of the dear Chutes.(1292) I strolled to town one day last week, and there I found them! Poor creatures! there they were! wondering at every thing they saw, but with the difference from Englishmen that go abroad, O keeping their amazement to themselves. They will tell you of wild dukes in the playhouse, of streets dirtier than forests, and of women more uncouth than the streets. I found them extremely surprised at not finding any ready-furnished palace built round two courts. I do all I can to reconcile their country to them; though seriously they have no affectation, and have nothing particular in them, but that they have nothing particular: a fault, of which the climate and their neighbours will soon correct. You may imagine how we have talked you over, and how I have inquired after the state of your Wetbrownpaperhood. Mr. Chute adores you: do you know, that as well as I love you, I never found all those charms in you that he does! I own this to you out of pure honesty, that you may love him as much as he deserves. I don't know how he will succeed here, but to me he has more wit than any body I know: he is altered, and I think, broken: Whitehed is grown leaner considerably, and is a very pretty gentleman.(1293) He did not reply to me as the Turcotti(1294) did bonnement to you when you told her she was a little thinner: do you remember how she puffed and chuckled, and said, "And indeed I think you are too." Mr. Whitehed was not so sensible of the blessing of decrease, as to conclude that it would be acceptable news even to shadows: he thinks me plumped out. I would fain have enticed them down hither, and promised we would live just as if we were at the King's Arms in via di Santo Spirito:(1295) but they were obliged to go chez eux, not pour se d'ecrasser, but pour se crasser. I shall introduce them a tutte le mie conoscenze, and shall try to make questo paese as agreeable to them as possible; except in one point, for I have sworn never to tell Mr. Chute a word of news, for then he will be writing it to you, and I shall have nothing to say. This is a lucky resolution for you, my dear child, for between two friends one generally hears nothing; the one concludes that the other has told all.
I have had two or three letters from you since I wrote. The young Pretender is generally believed to have got off the 18th of last month: if he were not, with the zeal of the Chutes, I believe they would be impatient to send a limb to Cardinal Acquaviva and Monsignor Piccolomini. I quite gain a winter with them, having had no expectation of them till spring'. Adieu!
(1292) John Chute and Francis Whitehed had been several years in Italy, chiefly at Florence.
(1293) Gray, in a letter to Mr. Chute, written at this time, thus describes Mr. Whithead:
"He is a fine young personage in a coat all over spangles, just come over from the tour in Europe to take possession and be married. I desire my hearty congratulations to him, and say I wish him more spangles, and more estates, and more wives." Works, vol. iii. p. 20.-E.
(1294) A fine singer.
(1295) Mr. Mann hired a large palace of the Manetti family at Florence in via di Santo Spirito: foreign ministers in Italy affix large shields with the arms of their sovereign over their door.
507 Letter 220 To the Hon. H. S. Conway. Windsor still, Oct. 3, 1746.
My dear Harry, You ask me if I have really grown a philosopher. Really I believe not: for I shall refer you to my practice rather than to my doctrine, and have really acquired what they only pretended to seek, content. So far, indeed I was a philosopher even when I lived in town, for then I was content too; and all the difference I can conceive between those two opposite doctors was, that Aristippus loved London, and Diogenes Windsor; and if your master the Duke, whom I sincerely prefer to Alexander, and who certainly can intercept more sunshine, would but stand out of my way, which he is extremely in, while he lives in the park here,(1296) I should love my little tub of forty pounds a-year, more than my palace dans la rue des ministers, with all my pictures and bronzes, which you ridiculously imagine I have encumbered myself with in my solitude. Solitude it is, as to the tub itself, for no soul lives in it with me; though I could easily give you room at the butt end of it, and with -vast pleasure; but George Montagu, who perhaps is a philosopher too, though I am sure not of Pythagoras's silent sect, lives but two barrels off; and Asheton, a Christian philosopher of our acquaintance, lives -,it the foot of that hill which you mention with a melancholy satisfaction that always attends the reflection. A- propos, here is an Ode on the very subject, which I desire you will please to like excessively:(1297) ****************
You will immediately conclude, out of good breeding, that it is mine, and that it is charming. I shall be much obliged to you for the first thought, but desire you will retain only the second; for it is Mr. Gray's, and not your humble servant's.
(1296) " The Duke of Cumberland is here at his lodge with three women, and three aide-de-camps; and the country swarms with people. He goes to races and they make a ring about him as at a bear-baiting." Gray to Wharton, Sept. 11. Works, vol. iii. p. 10.-E.
(1297) Here follows, in the original Mr. Gray's Ode on a, distant prospect of Eton College. [This, which was the first English production of Gray which appeared in print, was published by Dodsley in the following year. Dr. Warton says, that " little notice was taken of it, on its first publication."-E.
508 Letter 221 To Sir Horace Mann. Arlington Street, Oct. 14, 1746.
You will have been alarmed with the news of another battle(1298) lost in Flanders, where we have no Kings of Sardinia. We make light of it; do not allow it to be a battle, but call it "the action near Liege." then, we have whittled down our loss extremely, and will not allow a man more than three hundred and fifty English slain out of the four thousand. The whole of' it, as It appears to me, is, that we gave up eight battalions to avoid fighting; as at Newmarket people pay their forfeit when they foresee they should lose the race; though, if the whole army had fought, and we had lost the day, one might have hoped to have come off for eight battalions. Then they tell you that the French had four-and-twenty-pounders, and that they must beat us by the superiority of their cannon; so that to me it is grown a paradox, to war with a nation who have a mathematical certainty of beating you; or else it is a still stranger paradox, why you cannot have as large cannon as the French. This loss was balanced by a pompous account of the triumphs of our invasion of Bretagne; which, in plain terms, I think, is reduced to burning two or three villages and reimbarking: at least, two or three of the transports are returned with this history, and know not what is become of Lestock and the rest of the invasion. The young Pretender is landed in France, with thirty Scotch, but in such a wretched condition that his Highland Highness had no breeches.(1299)
I have received yours of the 27th of last month, with the capitulation of Genoa, and the kind conduct of the Austrians to us their allies, so extremely like their behaviour whenever they are fortunate. Pray, by the way, has there been any talk of my cousin,(1300) the Commodore, in letting slip some Spanish ships'!-don't mention it as from me, but there are whispers of court-martial on him. They are all the fashion now; if you miss a post to me, I will have you tried by a court-martial. Cope is come off most gloriously, his courage ascertained, and even his conduct, which every body had given up, justified. Folkes and Lascelles, two of his generals, are come off too; but not so happily in the opinion of the world. Oglethorpe's sentence is not yet public, but it is believed not to be favourable. He was always a bully, and is now tried for cowardice. Some little dash of the same sort is likely to mingle withe the judgment on il furibondo Matthews; though his party rises again a little, and Lestock's acquittal begins to pass for a party affair. In short, we are a wretched people, and have seen our best days.
I must have lost a letter, if you really told me of the sale of the Duke of Modena's pictures,(1301) as you think you did; for when Mr. Chute told it me, it struck me as quite new. They are out of town, good souls; and I shall not see them this fortnight; for I am here only for two or three days, to inquire after the battle, in which not one of my friends were. Adieu!
(1298) The battle of Rocoux; lost by the allies on the 11th of October.-E.
(1299) About the 18th of September, Prince Charles received intelligence that two French frigates had arrived at Lochnannagh, to carry him and other fugitives of his party to France: accordingly, after numerous wanderings in various disguises he embarked, on the 20th of September, attended by Lochiel, Colonel Roy Stuart, and about a hundred others of the relics of his party; and safely landed at the little port of Roscoff, near Morlaix, in Brittany, on the 29th. " During these wanderings," says Sir Walter Scott, in Tales of a Grandfather, "the secret of the Adventurer's concealment was intrusted to hundreds, of every sex, age, and condition; but no individual was found, in a high or low situation, or robbers even , who procured their food at the risk of their lives, who thought for an instant of obtaining opulence at the expense of treachery to the proscribed and miserable fugitive. Such disinterested conduct will reflect honour on the Highlands of Scotland while their mountains shall continue to exist." Prose Works, vol. xxvi. p. 374.-E.
(1300) George Townshend, eldest son of Charles, Lord Viscount Townshend, by Dorothy, his second wife, sister of Sir Robert Walpole. (He was subsequently tried by a court-martial for his conduct upon this occasion, and honourably acquitted.-D.)
(1301) To the King of Poland.
509 Letter 222 To The Hon. H. S. Conway. Windsor, Oct. 24, 1746.
Well, Harry, Scotland is the last place on earth I should have thought of for turning any body poet: but I begin to forgive it half its treasons in favour of your verses, for I suppose you don't think I am the dupe of the highland story that you tell me: the only use I shall make of it is to commend the lines to you, as if they really were a Scotchman's. There is a melancholy harmony in them that is charming, and a delicacy in the thoughts that no Scotchman is capable of, though a Scotchwoman(1302 might inspire it. I beg, both for Cynthia's sake and my own, that you would continue your De Tristibus till I have an opportunity of seeing your muse, and she of rewarding her: Reprens ta musette, berger amoureux! If Cynthia has ever travelled ten miles in fairy-land, she must be wondrous content with the person and qualifications of her knight, who in future story will be read of thus: Elmedorus was tall and perfectly well made, his face oval, and features regularly handsome, but not effeminate; his complexion sentimentally brown, with not much colour; his teeth fine, and forehead agreeably low, round which his black hair curled naturally and beautifully. His eyes were black too, but had nothing of fierce or insolent; on the contrary, a certain melancholy swimmingness, that described hopeless love rather than a natural amorous languish. His exploits in war, where he always fought by the side of the renowned Paladine William of England, have endeared his memory to all admirers of true chivalry, as the mournful elegies which he poured out among the desert rocks of Caledonia,(1303) in honour of the peerless lady and his heart's idol, the incomparable Cynthia, will for ever preserve his name in the flowery annals of poesy.
What a pity it is I was not born in the golden age of Louis the Fourteenth, when it was not only the fashion to write folios, but to read them too! or rather , it is a pity the same fashion don't subsist NOW, when one need not be at the trouble of invention, nor of turning the whole Roman history into romance for want of proper heroes. Your campaign in Scotland, rolled out and well be-epitheted, would make a pompous work, and make one's fortune; at sixpence a number, one should have all the damsels within the liberties for subscribers: whereas now, if one has a mind to be read, one must write metaphysical poems in blank verse, which, though I own to be still easier, have not half the imagination of romances, and are dull without any agreeable absurdity. Only think of the gravity of this wise age, that have exploded "Cleopatra and Pharamond," and approve "The Pleasures of the Imagination," "The Art of Preserving Health," and "Leonidas!" I beg the age's pardon: it has done approving these poems, and has forgot them.
Adieu! dear Harry. Thank you seriously for the poem. I am going to town for the birthday, and shall return hither till the Parliament meets; I suppose there is no doubt of our meeting then. Yours ever.
P.S. Now you are at Stirling, if you should meet with Drummond's history of the five King Jameses, pray look it over.(1304) I have read it, and like it much. It is wrote in imitation of Livy; the style is masculine, and the whole very sensible; only he ascribes the misfortunes of one reign to the then king's loving architecture and
"In trim gardens taking pleasure."
(1302) Caroline Campbell, Countess of Ailesbury.-E.
(1303) Mr. Conway was now in Scotland.
(1304) Drummond of Hawthorne's History of Scotland, from 1423 to 1542, did not appear until after his death. This work, in which the doctrine of unlimited authority and passive obedience is advocated to an extravagant extent, is generally considered to have added little to his reputation. He died in December 1649, in his sixty-fourth year. Ben Jonson is said to have so much admired the genius of this "Scotian Petrarch," as to travel on foot to Scotland, out of love and respect for him.-E.
510 Letter 523 To George Montagu, Esq. Arlington Street, Nov. 3, 1746.
Dear George, Do not imagine I have already broken through all my wholesome resolutions and country schemes, and that I am given up body and soul to London for the winter. I shall be with you by the end of the week; but just now I am under the maiden palpitation of an author. My epilogue will, I believe, be spoken to-morrow night;(1305) and I flatter myself I shall have no faults to answer for but what are in it, for I have kept secret whose it is. It is now gone to be licensed; but as the Lord Chamberlain is mentioned,(1306)' though rather to his honour, it is possible it may be refused.
Don't expect news, for I know no more than a newspaper. Asheton would have written it if there were any thing to tell you. Is it news that my Lord Rochford is an oaf? He has got a set of plate buttons for the birthday clothes, with the Duke's head in every one. Sure my good lady carries her art too far to make him so great a dupe. How do all the comets? Has Miss Harriet found out any more ways at solitaire? Has Cloe left off evening prayer on account of the damp evenings? How is Miss Rice's cold and coachman? Is Miss Granville better? Has Mrs. Masham made a brave hand of this bad season, and lived upon carcases like any vampire? Adieu! I am just going to see Mrs. Muscovy,(1307) and will be sure not to laugh if my old lady should talk of Mr. Draper's white skin, and tickle his bosom like Queen Bess.
(1305) Rowe's tragedy of Tamerlane was written in compliment to William the Third, whose character the author intended to display under that of Tamerlane, as he meant to be understood to draw that of Louis the Fourteenth in Bajazet. Tamerlane was always acted on the 4th and 5th of November, the anniversaries of King William's birth and landing; and this year Mr. Walpole had written an epilogue for it, on the suppression of the rebellion.-E.
(1306) The Duke of Grafton.
(1307) Mrs. Boscawen, wife of the Hon. George Boscawen, fifth son of Viscount Falmouth.-E.
511 Letter 224 To Sir Horace Mann. Arlington Street, Nov. 4, 1746.
Mr. Chute and I a,,reed not to tell you of any new changes till we could tell you more of them, that you might not be "put into a taking," as you was last winter with the revolution of three days; but I think the present has ended with a single fit. Lord Harrington,(1308) quite on a sudden, resigned the seals; it is said, on some treatment not over- gracious; but he is no such novice to be shocked with that, though I believe it has been rough ever since his resigning last year, which he did more boisterously than he is accustomed to behave to Majesty. Others talk of some quarrel with his brother secretary, who, in complaisance, is all for drums and trumpets. Lord Chesterfield was immediately named his successor; but the Duke of Newcastle has taken the northern provinces, as of more business, and consequently better suited to his experience and abilities! I flatter myself that this can no way affect you. Ireland is to be offered to Lord Harrington, or the Presidentship; and the Duke of Dorset, now President, is to have the other's refusal. The King has endured a great deal with your old complaint; and I felt for him, recollecting all you underwent.
You will have seen in the papers all the histories of our glorious expeditions(1309) and invasions of France, which have put Cressy and Agincourt out of all countenance. On the first view, indeed, one should think that our fleet had been to victual; for our chief prizes were cows and geese and turkeys. But I rather think that the whole was fitted out by the Royal Society, for they came back quite satisfied with having discovered a fine bay! Would one believe, that in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and forty-six, we should boast of discovering something on the coast of France, as if we had found out the Northeast passage, or penetrated into some remote part of America? The Guards are come back too, who never went: in one Single day they received four several different orders!
Matthews is broke at last. Nobody disputes the justice of the sentence; but the legality of it is not quite so authenticated. Besides some great errors in the forms, whenever the Admiralty perceived any of the court-martial inclined to favour him, they were constantly changed. Then, the expense has been enormous; two hundred thousand pounds! chiefly by employing young captains, instead of old half-pay officers; and by these means, double commissions. Then there has been a great fracas between the court-martial and Willes.(1310) He, as Chief Justice, sent a summons in the ordinary form of law, to Mayerne, to appear as an evidence in a trial where a captain had prosecuted Sir Chaloner Ogle for horrid tyranny: the ingenious court-martial sat down and drew up articles of impeachment, like any House of Commons, against the Chief Justice for stopping their proceedings! and the Admiralty, still more ingenious, had a mind to complain of him to the house! He was charmed to catch them at such absurdities—but I believe at last it is all compromised.
I have not heard from you for some time, but I don't pretend to complain: you have real occupation; my idleness is for its own sake. The Abb'e Niccolini and Pandolfini are arrived; but I have not yet seen them. Rinuncini cannot bear England—and if the Chutes speak their mind, I believe they are not captivated yet with any thing they have found: I am more and more with them: Mr. Whithed is infinitely improved: and Mr. Chute has absolutely more Wit, knowledge, and good-nature, than, to their great surprise, ever met together in one man.(1311) he has a bigotry to you, that even astonishes me, who used to think that I was pretty well in for loving you; but he is very often ready to quarrel with me for not thinking you all pure gold. Adieu!
(1308) William Stanhope, Earl of Harrington, secretary of state.
(1309) The expedition to Quiberon; the troops under General St. Clair, the fleet under Admiral Lestock. The object was to surprise Port l'Orient, and destroy the stores and ships of the French East India Company, but the result attained was only the plunder and burning of a few helpless villages. The fleet and troops returned, however, with little loss. "The truth is," says Tindal, "Lestock was too old and infirm for enterprise, and, as is alleged, was under the shameful direction of a woman he carried along with him; and neither the soldiers nor the sailors seem to have been under any kind of discipline."-E.
(1310) John Willes, Lord Chief Justice of the Common Pleas(1311) Grey, in a letter to Mr. Chute of the 12th of October says, "Mr. Walpole is full, I assure you, of your panegyric. Never any man had half so much wit as Mr. Chute, (which is saying every thing with him, you know,) and Mr. Whitehead is the finest young man that was ever imported." Works, vol. iii. p. 22.-E.
513 Letter 225 To Sir Horace Mann. Windsor, Nov. 12, 1746.
Here I AM come hither, per saldare; but though the country is excellently convenient, from the idleness of it, for beginning a letter, yet it is not at all commode for finishing one: the same ingredients that fill a basket by the carrier, will not fill half a sheet of paper; I could send you a cheese, or a hare; but I have not a morsel of news. Mr. Chute threatened me to tell you the distress I was in last week, when I starved Niccolini and Pandolfini on a fast-day, when I had thought to banquet them sumptuously. I had luckily given a guinea for two pine-apples, which I knew they had never seen in Italy, and upon which they revenged themselves for all the meat that they dared not touch. Rinuncini could not come. How you mistook me, my dear' child! I meant simply that you had not mentioned his coming; very far from reproving you for giving him a letter. Don't I give letters for you every day to cubs, ten times cubber than Rinuncini! and don't you treat them as though all their names were Walpole? If you was to send me all the uncouth productions of Italy, do you think any of them would be so brutal as Sir William Maynard? I am exactly like you; I have no greater pleasure than to make them value your recommendation, by showing how much I value it. Besides, I love the Florentines for their own sakes and to indemnify them, poor creatures! a little for the Richcourts, the Lorraines, and the Austrians. I have received per mezzo di Pucci,(1312) a letter from Marquis Riccardi, with orders to consign to the bearer all his treasure in my hands, which I shall do immediately with great satisfaction. There are four rings that I should be glad he would sell me; but they are such trifles, and he will set such a value on them the moment he knows I like them, that it is scarce worth while to make the proposal, because I would give but a little for them. However, you may hint what plague I have had with his roba, and that it will be a gentillezza to sell me these four dabs. One is a man's head, small, on cornelian, and intaglio; a fly, ditto; an Isis, cameo; and an inscription in Christian Latin: the last is literally not worth two sequins.
As to Mr. Townshend, I now know all 'the particulars, and that Lord SandWich(1313) was at the bottom of it. What an excellent heart his lordship will have by the time he is threescore, if he sets out thus! The persecution(1314) is on account of the poor boy's relation to my father; of whom the world may judge pretty clearly already, from the abilities and disinterestedness of such of his enemies as have succeeded; and from their virtue in taking any opportunity to persecute any Of his relations; in which even the public interest of their country can weigh nothing, when clashing with their malice. The King of Sar dinia has written the strongest letter imaginable to complain of the grievous prejudice the Admiralty has don@his affairs by this step.
Don't scold me for not sending you those Lines to Eckardt:(1315) I never wrote any thing that I esteemcd less, or that was seen so incorrect ; nor can I at all account for their having been so much liked, especially as the thoughts were so old and so common. I was hurt at their getting into print. I enclose you an epilogue(1316) that I hae vwritten since, merely for a specimen of something more correct. You know, or have known, that Tamerlane is always acted on King William's birthday, with an occasional prologue ; this was the epilogue to it, and succeeded to flatter me. Adieu!
(1312) Minister from the Great Duke.
(1313) John Montagu, Earl of Sandwich, First Lord of the Admiralty.
1314) See letter 221 of the 14th October.
((1315) The Beauties, an Epistle to Eckardt, the painter; reprinted in Dodsley's Miscellanieg in Walpole's Works, vol. i. p. 19.]
(1316) On the suppression of the rebellion. [See Works, vol. i. p. 25.]
514 Letter 226 To Sir Horace Mann. Arlington Street, Dec. 5, 1746.
We are in such a newsless situation, that I have been some time without writing to you; but I now answer one I received from you yesterday. You will excuse me, if I am not quite so transported as Mr. Chute is, at the extremity of Aquaviva.(1317) I can't afford to hate people so much at such a distance: my aversions find employment within their own atmosphere.
Rinuncini returns to you this week, not at all contented with England: Niccolini is extremely, and turns his little talent to great account; there is nobody of his own standard but thinks him a great genius. The Chutes and I deal extremely together; but they abuse me, and tell me I am grown so English! lack-a-day! so I am; as folks that have been in the Inquisition, and did not choose to broil, come out excellent Catholics.
I have been unfortunate in my own family; my nephew, Captain Cholmondeley,(1318) has married a player's sister; and I fear Lord Malpas(1319) is on the brink of matrimony with another girl of no fortune. Here is a ruined family! their father totally undone, and all be has seized for debt!
The Duke is gone to Holland to settle the operations of the campaign, but returns before the opening of it. A great reformation has been made this week in the army; the horse are broke, and to be turned into dragoons, by which sixty thousand pounds a-year will be saved. Whatever we do in Flanders, I think you need not fear any commotions here, where Jacobitism seems to have gasped its last. Mr. Radcliffe, the last Derwentwater's brother, is actually named to the gallows for Monday; but the imprudence of Lord Morton,(1320) who has drawn himself into the Bastile, makes it doubtful whether the execution will be so quick. The famous orator Henley is taken up for treasonable flippancies.(1321)
You know Lord Sandwich is minister at the Hague. Sir Charles Williams, who has resigned the paymastership of the marines, is talked of for going to Berlin, but it is not yet done. The Parliament has been most serene, but there is a storm in the air: the Prince waits for an opportunity of erecting his standard, and a disputed election between him and the Grenvilles is likely very soon to furnish the occasion. We are to have another contest about Lord Bath's borough,(1322) which Mr. Chute's brother formerly lost, and which his colleague, Lu@e Robinson, has carried by a majority of three, though his competitor is returned. Lord Bath wrote to a man for a list of all that would be against him: the man placed his own and his brother's names at the head of the list.
We have operas, but no company at them; the Prince and Lord Middlesex Impresarii. Plays only are in fashion: at one house the best company that perhaps ever were together, quin, Garrick, Mrs. Pritchard, and Mrs. Cibber: at the other, Barry, a favourite young actor, and the Violette, whose dancing our friends don't like; I scold them, but all the answer is, "Lord! you are so English!" If I do clap sometimes when they don't, I can fairly say with Oedipus,
"My hands are guilty, but my heart is free." '
(1317) Cardinal Acquaviva, Protector of Spain, and a great promoter of the interests of the Pretender
(1318) Robert, second son of George, Earl of Cholmondeley, married Mary, sister of Mrs. Margaret Woffington, the actress. He afterwards quitted the army and took orders. [Besides two church livings, he enjoyed the office of auditor of the King's revenues in America. He died in 1804.]
(1319) George, eldest son of Lord Cholmondeley, married, in January 1747, Miss Edwards. (She was the, daughter and heiress of Sir Francis Edwards, Bart. of Grete, in Shropshire.-D.)
(1320) James Douglas, ninth Earl of Morton.-D.
(1321) He was, a few days after, admitted to bail.-E.
515 Letter 227 To Sir Horace Mann. Arlington Street, Christmas-day, 1746.
We are in great expectation of farther news from Genoa, which the last accounts left in the greatest confusion, and I think in the hands of the Genoese;,(1323) a circumstance that may chance to unravel all the fine schemes in Provence! Marshal Bathiani, at the Hague, treated this revolt as a trifle; but all the letters by last post make it a reconquest. The Dutch do all the Duke asks: we talk of an army of 140,000 men in Flanders next campaign. I don't know how the Prince of Orange relishes his brother-in-law's dignities and success.
Old Lovat has been brought to the bar of the House of Lords: he is far from having those abilities for which he has been so cried up. He saw Mr. Pelham at a distance and called to him, and asked him if it were worth while to make all this fuss to take off a gray head fourscore years old? In his defence he complained of his estate being seized and kept from him. Lord Granville took up this complaint very strongly, and insisted on having it inquired into. Lord Bath went farther, and, as some people think, intended the Duke; but I believe he only aimed at the Duke of Newcastle, who was so alarmed with this motion, that he kept the House above a quarter of an hour in suspense, till he could send for Stone,(1324) and consult what he should do. They made a rule to order the old creature the profits of his estate till his conviction. He is to put in his answer the 13th of January.
Lord Lincoln is cofferer at last, in the room of Waller,(1325) who is dismissed. Sir Charles Williams has kissed hands, and sets out for Dresden in a month: he has hopes of Turin, but I think Villettes is firm. Don't mention this.
Did I ever talk to you of a Mr. Davis, a Norfolk gentleman, who has taken to painting? He has copied the Dominichin, the third picture he ever copied in his life: how well, you may judge; for Mr. Chute, who, I believe you think, understands pictures if any body does, happened to come in, just as Mr. Davis brought his copy hither. "Here," said I, "Mr. Chute, here is your Dominichin come to town to be copied." He literally did not know it; which made me very happy for Mr. Davis, who has given me this charming picture. Do but figure to yourself a man of fifty years old, who was scarce ever out of the county of Norfolk, but when his hounds led him; who never saw a tolerable picture till those at Houghton four years ago who plays and composes as well as he paints, and who has no more of the Norfolk dialect than a Florentine! He is the most decent, sensible man you ever saw.
Rinuncini is gone: Niccolini sups continually with the Prince of Wales, and learns the Constitution! Pandolfini is put to-bed, like children, to be out of the way. Adieu!
P. S. My Lady O. who has entirely settled her affairs with my brother, talks of going abroad again, not being able to live here on fifteen hundred pounds a-year—many an old 'lady, and uglier too, lives very comfortably upon less. After I had writ this, your brother brought me another letter with a confirmation of all we had heard about Genoa. You may be easy about the change of provinces,(1326) which has not been made as was designed. Echo Mons'u Chute
>From Mr. Chute.
Mr. Walpole gives me a side, and I catch hold of it to tell you that I parted this minute with your charming brother, who has been in the council with me about your grand affair:(1327) it is determined now to be presented to the King by way of memorial; and to-morrow we meet again to draw it up: Mr. Stone has graciously signified that this is a very proper opportunity - one should think he must know.
Oh! I must tell you: I was here last night, and saw my Lord Walpole,(1328) for the first time, but such a youth! I declare to you, I was quite astonished at his sense and cleverness; it is impossible to describe it; it was just what would have made you as happy to observe as it did me: he is not yet seventeen, and is to continue a year longer at Eton, upon his own desire. Alas! how few have I seen of my countrymen half so formed even at their return from their travels! I hope you will have him at Florence One day or other; he will pay you amply for the Pigwiggins, and———
Mr. Walpole is quite right in all he tells you of the miracle worked by St. Davis, which certainly merits the credit of deceiving far better judges of painting than I; who am no judge of any thing but you, whom I pretend to understand better than any body living and am, therefore, my dear sir, etc. etc. etc. J. C.
(1323) This circumstance is thus alluded to in a letter of Sir Horace Mann's, dated Dec. 20th, 1746. "The affairs of Genoa are in such a horrid situation, that one is frightened out of one's senses. The accounts of them are so confused, that one does not know what to make of them; but it is certain that the mob is quite master of the town and of every thing in it. They have sacked several houses, particularly that of the Doge, and five or six others, belonging to those who were the principal authors of the alliance which the Republic made with France and Spain."-D.
(1324) Andrew Stone, secretary to the Duke of Newcastle, and afterwards sub-governor to George, Prince of Wales.
(1325) Edmund Waller, of Beaconsfield.
(1326) Meaning a change in the secretaries of state. There were at this time two, one of whom was called the Secretary of State for the Northern Province, and the other the Secretary of State for the Southern Province.-D.
(1327) Of Mr. Mann's arrears.
(1328) George, only son of Robert, second Earl of Orford, whom he succeeded in the title.
517 Letter 228 To Sir Horace Mann. Arlington Street, Jan. 27, 1747.
The Prince has formally declared a new Opposition which is never to subside till he is King (s'entendent that he does not carry his point sooner.) He began it pretty handsomely the other day with 143 to 184, which has frightened the ministry like a bomb. This new party wants nothing but heads; though not having any, to be sure the struggle is the fairer. Lord Baltimore(1329) takes the lead; he is the best and honestest man in the world, with a good deal of jumbled knowledge; but not capable of conducting a party. However, the next day, the Prince, to reward him, and to punish Lord Archibald Himllton, who voted with the ministry, told Lord Baltimore that he would not give him the trouble of waiting any more as Lord of the Bedchamber. but would make him Cofferer. Lord B. thanked him, but desired that it might not be done in a way disagreeable to Lord Archibald, who was then Cofferer. The Prince sent for Lord Archibald, and told him he would either make him Comptroller, or give him a pension of twelve hundred pounds a-year; the latter of' which the old soul accepted, and went away content; but returned in an hour with a letter from his wife,(1330) to say, that as his Royal Highness was angry with her husband, it was not proper for either of them to take their pensions. It is excellent! When she was dismissed herself, she accepted the twelve hundred pounds, and now will not let her husband, though he had accepted. It must mortify the Prince wondrously to have four-and-twenty hundred pounds a-year thrown back into an exchequer that never yet overflowed!
I am a little piqued at Marquis Riccardi's refusing me such a, trifle as the four rings, after all the trouble I have had with his trumpery! I think I cannot help telling him, that Lord Carlisle and Lord Duncannon, Who heard of his collection from Niccolini, have seen it; and are willing, at a reasonable price, to take it between them: if you let me know the lowest, and in money that I understand, not his equivocal pistoles, I will allow so much to Florence civilities, as still to help him off with his goods, though he does not deserve it; as selling me four rings could not have affected the general purchase. I pity your Princess Strozzi(1331) but cannot possibly hunt after her chattels: Riccardi has cured me of Italian merchandise, by forcing it upon me.'
Your account of your former friend's neglect of you does not at all surprise me: there is an inveteracy, a darkness, a design and cunning in his character that stamp him for a very unamiable young man: it is uncommon for a heart to be so tainted so early My cousin's(1332) affair is entirely owing to him;(1333) nor can I account for the pursuit of such unprovoked revenge.
I never heard of the advertisement that you mention to have received from Sir James Grey,(1334) nor believe it was ever in the House of Commons; I must have heard of it. I hear as little of Lady O. who never appears; nor do I know if she sees Niccolini: he lives much with Lady Pomfret (who has married her third daughter),(1335) and a good deal with the Prince.
Adieu! I have answered your letter, and have nothing more to put into mine.
(1329) Charles Calvert, Lord Baltimore, had been a Lord of the Admiralty, on the change of the ministry in 1742. He died soon after the Prince, in 1751.
(1330) Jane, sister of the Earl of Abercorn, and wife of Lord Archibald Hamilton, great-uncle of Duke Hamilton: she had been mistress of the robes, etc. to the Princess of Wales, and the supposed mistress of the Prince. She died at Paris, in December 1752.
(1331) She had been robbed of some of the most valuable gems of the famous Strozzi collection.
(1332) The Hon. George Townshend. See what is said of him in a letter (221) of Oct. 14, 1746, and note 1300.-D.
(1333) It appeared afterwards that the person here mentioned, after having behaved very bravely, gave so perplexed an account of his own conduct, that the Admiralty thought it necessary to have it examined; but the inquiry proved much to his honour.
(1334) "Sir James Gray has sent me the copy of an advertisement, the publisher of which, he says, had been examined before the House of Commons, Lost or mislaid an ivory table-book, containing various queries vastly strong." Letter of Sir H. Mann, of Jan. 10th, 1747. It probably related to the trial of the rebel Lords.-D.
(1335) Lady Henrietta Fermor, second wife of Mr. Conyers.
519 Letter 229 To Sir Horace Mann. Arlington Street, Feb. 23, 1747.
Why, you do nothing but get fevers! I believe you try to dry your Wet-brown-paperness, till you scorch it. Or do you play off fevers against the Princess's coliques? Remember, hers are only for the support of her dignity, and that is what I never allowed you to have: you must(1336) have twenty unlawful children, and then be twenty years in devotion, and have twenty unchristian appetites and passions all the while, before you may think of getting into a cradle with 'epuisements and have a Monsieur Forzoni(1337) to burn the wings of boisterous gnats-pray be more robust-do you hear!
One would think you had been describing our Opera, not your own; we have just set out with one in what they call, the French manner, but about as like it, as my Lady Pomfret's hash of plural persons and singular verbs or infinitive moods was to Italian. They sing to jigs, and dance to church music -. Phaeton is run away with by horses that go a foot's-pace, like the Electress's(1338) coach, with such long traces, that the postilion was in one street and the coachman in another;—then comes Jupiter with a farthing-candle to light a squib and a half, and that they call fire-works. Reginello, the first man, is so old and so tall, that he seems to have been growing ever since the invention of operas. The first woman has had her mouth let out to show a fine set of teeth, but it lets out too much bad voice at the same time.(1339) Lord Middlesex, for his great prudence in having provided such very tractable steeds to Prince Phaeton's car, is going to be Master of the Horse to the Prince of Wales; and for his excellent economy in never paying the performers, is likely to continue in the treasury. The two courts grow again: and the old question of settling the 50,000 pounds a-year talked of. The Tories don't list kindly under this new Opposition; though last week we had a warm day on a motion for inquiring into useless places and quarterings. Mr. Pitt was so well advised as to acquit my father pretty amply, in speaking Of the Secret Committee. My uncle Horace thanked him in a speech, and my brother Ned has been to visit him-Tant d'empressement, I think, rather shows an eagerness to catch any opportunity of paying court to him; for I do not see the so vast merit in owning now for his interest, what for his honour he should have owned five years ago. This motion was spirited up by Lord Bath, who is raving again, upon losing the borough of Heydon: from which last week we threw his brother-in-law Gumley, and instated Luke Robinson, the old sufferer for my father, and the colleague of Mr. Chute's brother; an incident that will not heighten your indifference, any more than it did mine.
Lord Kildare is married to the charming Lady Emily Lennox, who went the very next day to see her sister Lady Caroline Fox, to the great mortification of the haughty Duchess-mother. They have not given her a shilling, but the King endows her, by making Lord Kildare a Viscount Sterling:(1340) and they talk of giving him a Pinchbeck-dukedom too, to keep him always first peer of Ireland.(1341) Sir Everard Falkener is married to Miss Churchill, and my sister is brought to bed of a son.
Panciatici is arrived, extremely darkened in his person and enlivened in his manner. He was much in fashion at the Hague, but I don't know if he will succeed so well here: for in such great cities as this, you know people affect not to think themselves honoured by foreigners; and though we don't quite barbarize them as the French do, they are toujours des etrangers. Mr. Chute thinks we have to the full all the politeness that can make a nation brutes to the rest of the world. He had an excellent adventure the other day with Lord Holderness, whom he met at a party it Lady Betty Germains; but who could not possibly fatigue himself to recollect that they had ever met before in their lives. Towards the end of dinner Lady Betty mentioned remembering a grandmother of Mr. Chute who was a peeress: immediately the Earl grew as fond of him as if they had walked together at a coronation. He told me another good story last night of Lord Hervey,(1342) who was going with them from the Opera, and was so familiar as to beg they would not call him my Lord and your Lordship. The freedom proceeded; when on a sudden, he turned to Mr. Whithed, and with a distressed friendly voice, said, "Now have you no peerage that can come to you by any woman?"
Adieu! my dear Sir; I have no news to tell you. Here is another letter of Niccolini that has lain in my standish this fortnight.
(1336) All the succeeding paragraph alludes to Princess Craon.
(1337) Her gentleman usher.
(1338) The Electress Palatine Dowager, the last of the house of Medici; she lived at Florence.
(1339) The drama of Fetonte was written by Vaneschi. "The best apologies for the absurdities of an Italian opera, in a country where the language is little understood, are," says Dr. Burney, "good music and exquisite singing: unluckily, neither the composition nor performance of Phaeton had the siren power of enchanting men so much, as to stimulate attention at the expense of reason." Hist. of Music, Vol. iv. p. 456.-E.
(1340) Meaning an English viscount. He was created Viscount Leinster, of Taplow, in Bucks, Feb. 21st, 1747.-D.
(1341) In 1761 his lordship was advanced to the Marquisate of Kildare, and in 1766 created Duke of Leinster. By Lady Emily Lennox the Duke had seventeen children.-E.
(1342) George, eldest son of John, Lord Hervey, and afterwards Earl of Bristol, and minister at Turin and Madrid.
521 Letter 230 To Sir Horace Mann. Arlington Street, March 20, 1747.
I have been living at old Lovat's trial, and was willing to have it over before I talked to you of it. It lasted seven days: the evidence was as strong as possible; and after all he had denounced, he made no defence. The Solicitor-General,(1343) who was one of the managers for the House of Commons, shone extremely; the Attorney-General ,(1344) who is a much greater lawyer, is cold and tedious. The old creature's behaviour has been foolish, and at last, indecent. I see little of parts in him, nor attribute much to that cunning for which he is so famous: it might catch wild Highlanders; but the art of dissimulation and flattery is so refined and improved, that it is of little use where it is not very delicate. His character seems a mixture of tyranny and pride in his villainy. I must make you a little acquainted with him. In his own domain he governed despotically, either burning or plundering the lands and houses of his open enemies, or taking off his secret ones by the assistance of his cook, who was his poisoner in chief. He had two servants who married without his consent; he said, "You shall have enough of each other," and stowed them in a dungeon, that had been a well for three weeks. When he came to the Tower, he told them, that if he were not so old and infirm, they would find it difficult to keep him there. They told him they had kept much younger: "Yes," said he, "but they were inexperienced: they had not broke so many gaols as I have." At his own house he used to say, that for thirty years of his life he never saw a gallows but it made his neck ache. His last act was to shift his treason upon his eldest son, whom he forced into the rebellion. He told Williamson, the Lieutenant of the Tower, "We will hang my eldest son, and then my second shall marry your niece." He has a sort of ready humour at repartee, not very well adapted to his situation. One day that Williamson complained that he could not sleep, he was so haunted with rats, he replied, "What do you say, that you are so haunted with Reitc yeq?" The first day, as he was brought to his trial, a woman looked into the coach, and said, "You ugly old dog, don't you think that you will have that frightful head cut off?" He replied, You ugly old -, I believe I shall." At his trial he affected great weakness and infirmities, but often broke into passions; particularly at the first witness, who was his vassal: he asked him how he dared to come thither! The man replied, to satisfy his conscience. Murray, the Pretender's secretary, was the chief evidence, who, in the course of his information, mentioned Lord Traquair's having conversed with Lord Barrymore, Sir Watkin Williams, and Sir John Cotton, on the Pretender's affairs, but that they were shy. He was proceeding to name others, but was stopped by Lord Talbot, and the court acquiesced—I think very indecently. It is imagined the Duchess of Norfolk would have come next upon the stage. The two Knights were present, as was Macleod, against whom a bitter letter from Lovat was read, accusing him of breach of faith; and afterwards Lovat summoned him to answer some questions he had to ask; but did not. it is much expected that Lord Traquair, who is a great coward, will give ample information of the whole plot. When Sir Everard Falkener had been examined(1345) against Lovat, the Lord High Steward asked the latter if he had any thing to say to Sir Everard? he replied, "No; but that he was his humble servant, and wished him joy of his young wife." The two last days he behaved ridiculously, joking, and making every body laugh even at the sentence. He said to Lord Ilchester, who sat near the bar, "Je meUrs pour ma patrie, et ne m'en soucie gueres." When he withdrew, he said, "Adieu! my lords, we shall never meet again in the same place."(1346) He says he will be hanged; for that his neck is so short and bended, that he should be struck in the shoulders. I did not think it possible to feel so little as I did at so melancholy a spectacle, but tyranny and villainy wound up by buffoonery took off all edge of concern-. The foreigners were much struck; Niccolini seemed a great deal shocked, but he comforts himself with the knowledge he thinks he has gained of the English constitution.
Don't thank Riccardi for me: I don't feel obliged for his immoderate demand, but expect very soon to return him his goods; for I have no notion that the two Lords, who are to see them next week, will rise near his price. We have nothing like news: all the world has been entirely taken up with the trial. -Here is a letter from Mr. Whithed to Lord Hobart. Mr. Chute would have written to-Day, if I had not; but will next post. Adieu!
(1343) William Murray.
(1344) Sir Dudley Ryder; afterwards Lord Chief Justice.
(1345) He was secretary to the Duke, whom he had attended into Scotland during the rebellion.
(1346) Lord Byron has put nearly the same words into the mouth of Israel Bertuccio, in his tragedy of Marino Falicro.-E.
522 Letter 131 To Sir Horace Mann. Arlington Street, April 10, 1747.
I deferred writing to you as long as they deferred the execution of old Lovat, because I had a mind to send you some account of his death, as I had of his trial. He was beheaded yesterday, and died extremely well, without passion, affectation, buffoonery, or timidity: his behaviour was natural and intrepid. He professed himself a Jansenist; made no speech, but sat down a little while in a chair on the scaffold, and talked to the people round him. He said, "he was glad to suffer for his country, dulce est pro patria mori; that he did not know how, but he had always loved it, nescio qua natale solum, etc.; that he had never swerved from his principles; that this was the character of his family, who had been gentlemen for five hundred years." He lay down quietly, gave the sign soon, and was despatched at a blow. I believe it will strike some terror into the Highlands, when they hear there is any power great enough to bring so potent a tyrant to the block. A scaffold fell down, and killed several persons; one, a man that had rid post from Salisbury the day before to see the ceremony; and a woman was taken up dead with a live child in her arms. The body(1347) is sent into Scotland: the day was cold, and before It set out, the coachman drove the hearse about the court, before my Lord Traquair's dungeon, which could be no agreeable sight: it might to Lord Cromartie, who is above the chair.(1348) Mr. Chute was at the execution with the Italians, who were more entertained than shocked: Panciatici told me, "It was a triste spectacle, mais qu'il ne laissoit d''etre beau." Niccolini has treasured it up among his insights into the English constitution. We have some chance of a Peer's trial that has nothing to do with the rebellion. A servant of a college has been killed at Oxford, and a verdict of wilful murder by persons unknown, brought in by the coroner's inquest. These persons unknown are supposed to be Lord Abergavenny,(1349) Lord Charles Scot,(1350) and two more, who had played tricks with the poor fellow that night, while he was drunk, and the next morning he was found with his skull fractured, at the foot of the first Lord's staircase. One pities the poor boys, who undoubtedly did not foresee the melancholy event of their sport.
I shall not be able till the next letter to tell you about Riccardi's gems: Lord Duncannon has been in the country; but he and Lord Carlisle are to come to me next Sunday, and determine.
Mr. Chute gave you some account of the Independents:(1351) the committee have made a foolish affair of it, and cannot furnish a report. Had it extended to three years ago, Lord Sandwich and Grenville(1352) of the admiralty would have made an admirable figure as dictators of some of the most Jacobite healths that ever were invented. Lord Doneraile, who is made comptroller to the Prince, went to the committee, (whither all members have a right to go, though not to vote, as it is select, not secret,) and plagued Lyttelton to death, with pressing him to inquire into the healths of the year '43. The ministry are now trembling at home, with fear of losing the Scotch bills for humbling the Highland chiefs: they have whittled them down almost to nothing, in complaisance to the Duke of Argyll: and at last he deserts them. Abroad they are in panics for Holland, where the French have at once besieged two towns, that must fall into their hands, though we have plumed ourselves so much on the Duke's being at the head of a hundred and fifteen thousand men.
There has been an excellent civil war in the house of Finch: our friend, Lady Charlotte,(1353( presented a daughter of John Finch, (him who was stabbed by Sally Salisbury,(1354)) his offspring by Mrs. Younger,(1355) whom he since married. The King, Prince, and Princess received her: her aunt, Lady Bel,(1356) forbad Lady Charlotte to present her to Princess Emily, whether, however, she carried her in defiance. Lady Bel called it publishing a bastard at court, and would not present her—think on the poor girl! Lady Charlotte, with spirit, presented her herself. Mr. W. Finch stepped up to his other sister, the Marchioness of Rockingham,(1357) and whispered her with his composed civility, that he knew it was a plot of her and Lady Bel to make Lady Charlotte miscarry. The sable dame (who, it is said, is the blackest of the family, because she swept the chimney) replied, "This is not a place to be indecent, and therefore I shall only tell you that you are a rascal and a villain, and that if ever you dare to put your head into my house, I will kick you down stairs myself." Politesse Anglaise! lord Winchilsea (who, with his brother Edward, is embroiled with both sides) came in, and informed every body of any circumstances that tended to make both parties in the wrong. I am impatient to hear how this operates between my Lady Pomfret and her friend, Lady Bel. Don't you remember how the Countess used to lug a half-length picture of the latter behind her post-chaise all over Italy, and have a new frame made for it in every town where she stopped? and have you forgot their correspondence, that poor lady Charlotte was daily and hourly employed to transcribe into a great book, with the proper names in red ink? I have but just room to tell you that the King is perfectly well, and that the Pretender's son was sent from Spain as soon as he arrived there. Thank you for the news of Mr. Townshend. Adieu!
(1347) It was countermanded, and buried in the Tower.
(1348) Lord Cromartie had been pardoned.-D.
(1349) George Neville, fifteenth Lord and first Earl of Abergavenny. Died 1785.-D.
(1350) Lord Charles Scott, second son of Francis, Duke of Buccleuch . He died at Oxford during the year 1747.-D.
(1351) An innkeeper in Piccadilly, who had been beaten by them, gave information against them for treasonable practices, and a committee of the House of Commons, headed by Sir W. Yonge and Lord Coke, was appointed to inquire into the matter. [The informant's name was Williams, keeper of the White Horse in Piccadilly. Being observed, at the anniversary dinner of the independent electors of Westminster, to make memorandums with a pencil, he was severely cuffed, and kicked out of the company. The alleged treasonable practices consisted in certain Offensive toasts. On the King's health being drunk, every man held a glass of water in his left hand, and waved a glass of wine over it with the right.]
(1352) George Grenville, afterwards prime minister.-D.
(1353) Lady Charlotte Fermor, second daughter of Thomas, Earl of Pomfret, and second wife of William Finch, vice-chamberlain to the King; formerly ambassador in Holland, and brother of Daniel, Earl of Winchilsea.
(1354) Sally Salisbury, alias Pridden, a woman of the town, stabbed the Hon. John Finch, in a bagnio, in the neighbourhood of Covent-garden; but he did not die of the wound.-D.
(1355) Elizabeth Younger. Her daughter, by the Hon. John Finch, married John Mason, Esq. of Greenwich.-D.
(1356) Lady Isabella Finch, lady of the bedchamber to the Princesses Emily and Caroline.
(1357) Lady mary Finch, fifth daughter of Daniel, sixth Earl of Winchilsea; married in 1716 to the Hon. Thomas Wentworth, afterwards created Marquis of Rockingham.-E.
525 Letter 232 To The Hon. H. S. Conway. Arlington Street, April 16, 1747.
Dear Harry, We are all skyrockets and bonfires tonight for your last year's victory;(1359) but if you have a mind to perpetuate yourselves in the calendar, you must take care to refresh your conquests. I was yesterday out of town, and the very signs as I passed through the villages made me make very quaint reflections on the mortality of fame and popularity. I observed how the Duke's head had succeeded almost universally to Admiral Vernon's, as his had left but few traces of the Duke of Ormond's. I pondered these things in my heart, and said unto myself, Surely all glory is but as a sign!
You have heard that old lovat's tragedy is over: it has been succeeded by a little farce, containing the humours of the Duke of Newcastle and his man Stone. The first event was a squabble between his grace and the Sheriff about holding up the head on the scaffold—a custom that has been disused, and which the Sheriff would not comply with, as he received no order in writing. Since that, the Duke has burst ten yards of breeches strings(1360) about the body, which was to be sent into Scotland; but it seems it is customary for vast numbers to rise to attend the most trivial burial. The Duke, who is always at least as much frightened at doing right as at doing wrong, was three days before he got courage enough to order the burying in the Tower. I must tell you an excessive good story of George Selwyn -. Some women were scolding him for going to see the execution, and asked him, how he could be such a barbarian to see the head cut off? "Nay," says he, "if that was such a crime, I am sure I have made amends, for I went to see it sewed on again." When he was at the undertaker's, as soon as they had stitched him together, and were going to put the body into the coffin, George, in my Lord Chancellor's voice, said "My Lord lovat, your lordship may rise." My Lady Townshend has picked up a little stable-boy in the Tower, which the warders have put upon her for a natural son of Lord Kilmarnock's, and taken him into her own house. You need not tell Mr. T. this from me.
We have had a great and fine day in the House on the second reading the bill for taking away the heritable Jurisdictions in Scotland. Lyttelton made the finest oration imaginable; the Solicitor General, the new Advocate,(1361) and Hume Campbell, particularly the last. spoke excessively well for it, and Oswald against it. The majority was 233 against 102. Pitt was not there; the Duchess of Queensberry had ordered him to have the gout.
I will give you a commission once more, to tell Lord Bury(1362) that he has quite dropped me: if I thought he would take me up again, I would write to him; a message would encourage me. Adieu!
(1359) The battle of Culloden.
(1360) Alluding to a trick of the Duke of Newcastle's.
(1361) William Grant, Lord Advocate of Scotland.
(1362) George Keppel, eldest son of William, Earl of Albemarle, whom he succeeded in the title in 1755. He was now, together with Mr. Conway, aide-de-camp to the Duke of Cumberland.
526 Letter 233 To Sir Horace Mann. Arlington Street, May 5, 1747.
It is impossible for me to tell you more of the new Stadtholder(1363) than you must have heard from all quarters. Hitherto his existence has been of no service to his country. Hulst, which we had heard was relieved, has surrendered. The Duke was in it privately, just before it was taken, with only two aide-de-camps, and has found means to withdraw our three regiments. We begin to own now that the French are superior: I never believed they were not, or that we had taken the field before them; for the moment we had taken it, we heard of Marshal Saxe having detached fifteen thousand men to form sieges. There is a print published in Holland of the Devil weighing the Count de Saxe and Count lowendahl in a pair of scales, with this inscription:
Tous deux vaillants, Tous deux galants, Tous deux constants,
Tous deux galiards, Tous deux paliards, Tous deux b'atards,(1364)
Tous deux sans foi. Tous deux sans loi. Tous deux 'a moi.
We are taken up with the Scotch bills for weakening clanships and taking away heritable Jurisdictions. I have left them sitting on it to-day, but was pleased with a period of Nugent. "These jurisdictions are grievous, but nobody complains of them; therefore, what? therefore, they are excessively grievous." We had a good-natured bill moved to-day by Sir William Yonge, to allow council to prisoners on impeachments for treason, as they have on indictments. It hurt every body at old Lovat's trial, all guilty as he was, to see an old wretch worried by the first lawyers in England, without any assistance but his own unpractised defence. It had not the least opposition; yet this was a point struggled for in King William's reign, as a privilege and dignity inherent in the Commons, that the accused by them should have no assistance of council. how reasonable, that men, chosen by their fellow-subjects for the defence of their fellow-subjects, should have rights detrimental to the good of the people whom they are to protect! Thank God! we are a better-natured age, and have relinquished this savage privilege with a good grace!
Lord Cowper(1365) has resigned the bedchamber, on the Beef-eaters being given to Lord Falmouth. The latter, who is powerful in elections, insisted on having it: the other had nothing but a promise from the King, which the ministry had already twice forced him to break.
Mr. Fox gave a great ball last week at Holland House. which he has taken for a long term, and where he is making great improvements. It is a brave old house, and belonged to the gallant Earl of Holland, the lover of Charles the First's Queen. His motto has puzzled every body; it is Ditior est qui se. I was allowed to hit off an interpretation, which yet one can hardly reconcile to his gallantry, nor can I decently repeat it to you. While I am writing, the Prince is going over the way to Lord Middlesex's, where there is a ball in mask to-night for the royal children.
The two Lords have seen and refused Marquis Riccardi's gems: I shall deliver them to Pucci; but am so simple (you will laugh at me) as to keep the four I liked: that is, I will submit to give him fifty pounds for them, if he will let me choose one ring more; for I will at least have it to call them at ten guineas apiece. If he consents, I will remit the money to you, or pay it to Pucei, as he likes. If not, I return them with the rest of the car,,o. I can choose no ring for which I would give five guineas.
I have received yours of April 25th, since I came home. You will scold me for being so careless about the Pretender's son; but I am determined not to take up his idea again, till he is at least on this side Derby. Do excuse me; but when he could not get to London, with all the advantages which the ministry had smoothed for him, how can he ever meet more concurring circumstances? If my lady'S(1366) return has no better foundation than Niccolini's authority, I assure you you may believe as little of it as you please. If he knows no more of her, than he does of every thing else that he pretends to know, as I am persuaded he does not, knowledge cannot possibly be thinner spread. He has been a progress to add more matter to the mass, that he already don't understand. Adieu!
(1363) The Prince of Orange had just been raised to that dignity in a tumultuary manner.
(1364) The Count de Saxe was a natural son of Augustus the Second, King of Poland and Elector of Saxony, and of the Countess Konigsmark. The Count de LOWendahl was not a "b'atard" himself; but his father, Woldemar, Baron of Lowendahl, was the son of the Count of Gildoniew, who was the natural son of Frederick the Third, King of Denmark.-D.
(1365) William, second Earl Cowper, son of the Chancellor. He died in 1764.-D.
(1366) Lady Orford.-D.
527 Letter 234 To Sir Horace Mann. Arlington Street, May 19th, 1747,
As you will receive the Gazette at the same time with this letter, I shall leave you to that for the particulars of the great naval victory that Anson has gained over the French off Cape Finisterre.(1367) It is a very big event, and by far one of the most considerable that has happened during this war. By it he has defeated two expeditions at once; for the fleet he has demolished was to have split, part for the recovery of Cape Breton, part for the East Indies. He has always been most remarkably fortunate: Captain Granville, the youngest of the brothers, was as unlucky: he was killed by the cannon that was fired as a signal for their striking.(1368) He is extremely commended: I am not partial to the family; but it is but justice to mention, that when he took a great prize some time ago, after a thousand actions of generosity to his officers and crew, he cleared sixteen thousand pounds, of which he gave his sister ten. The King is in great spirits. The French fought exceedingly well.
I have no other event to tell you, but the promotion of a new brother of yours. I condole with you, for they have literally sent one Dayrolies(1369) resident to Holland, under Lord Sandwich,
—Minum partes tractare secundas.
This curious minister has always been a led-captain to the Dukes of Grafton and Richmond; used to be sent to auctions for them, and to walk in the Park with their daughters, and once went dry nurse to Holland with them. He has belonged, too, a good deal to my Lord Chesterfield, to whom, I believe, he owes this new honour; as he had before made him black-rod in Ireland, and gave the ingenious reason, that he had a black face. I believe he has made him a minister, as one year, at Tunbridge, he had a mind to make a wit of Jacky Barnard, and had the impertinent vanity to imagine that his authority was sufficient.
Your brother has gone over the way with Mr. Whithed, to choose some of Lord Cholmondeley's pictures for his debt; they are all given up to the creditors, who yet scarce receive forty per cent. of their money.
It is wrong to send so short a letter as this so far, I know; but what can one do? After the first fine shower, I will send you a much longer. Adieu!
(1367) Upon this occasion Admiral Anson took six French men-of war and four of their East Indiamen, and sunk or destroyed the rest of their fleet.-D.
(1368) Thomas Grenville, youngest brother of Richard, Earl Temple. As soon as he was struck by the cannon-ball, he exclaimed, gallantly, "well! it is better to die thus, than to be tried by a court-martial!" [His uncle Lord Cobham, erected a column to his memory in the gardens at Stowe.]
(1369) ,,b Solomon Dayrolles, Esq. There are many letters addressed to him in Lord Chesterfield's Miscellaneous Correspondence.-D.
528 Letter 235 To Sir Horace Mann Arlington Street, June 5, 1747.
Don't be more frightened at hearing the Parliament is to be dissolved in a fortnight, than you are obliged to be as a good minister. Since this Parliament has not brought over the Pretender, I trust the death of it will not. You will want to know the reason of this sudden step: several are given, as the impossibility of making either peace or war, till they are secure of a new majority; but I believe the true motive is to disappoint the Prince, who was not ready with his elections. In general, people seem to like the measure, except the Speaker, who is very pompous about it, and speaks constitutional paragraphs. There are rumours of changes to attend its exit. People imagine Lord Chesterfield(1370) is to quit, but I know no other grounds for this belief, than that they conclude the Duke of Newcastle must be jealous of him by this time. Lord Sandwich is looked upon as his successor, Whenever it shall happen. He is now here, to look after his Huntingdonshire boroughs. We talk nothing but elections-however, it is better than talking them for a year together. Mine for Callington (for I would not come in for Lynn, which I have left to Prince Pigwiggin(1371)) is so easy, that I shall have no trouble, not even the dignity of being carried in triumph, like the lost sheep, on a porter's shoulders but may retire to a little new farm that I have taken just out of Twickenham. The house is so small, that I can send it you in a letter to look at: the prospect is as delightful as possible, commanding the river, the town, and Richmond Park; and being situated on a hill descends to the Thames through two or three little meadows, where I have some Turkish sheep and two cows, all studied in their colours for becoming the view. This little rural bijou was Mrs. Chenevix's, the toy-woman 'a la mode, who in every dry season is to furnish me with the best rain-water from Paris, and now and then with some Dresden-china cows, who are to figure like wooden classics in a library: so I shall grow as much a shepherd as any swain in the Astrea.
Admiral Anson(1372) is made a baron, and Admiral Warren(1373) Knight of the Bath-so is Niccolini to be-when the King dies.(1374) His Majesty and his son were last night at the masquerade at Ranelagh, where there was so little company, that I was afraid they would be forced to walk about together.
I have been desired to write to you for two scagliola tables; will you get them? I will thank you, an pay you too.
You will hardly believe that I intend to send you this for a letter, but I do. Mr. Chute said he would write to you to-day, so mine goes as page to his. Adieu!
(1370) He was now secretary of state, which office he did not resign till Feb. 1748.-D.
(1371) Eldest son of Horatio, brother of Sir Robert Walpole.
(1372) George Anson, created Lord Anson of Soberton. He is well known for his voyages round the world, as well as for his naval successes. He was long first lord of the admiralty; but did not distinguish himself as a statesman. He died suddenly, while walking in his garden at Moor Park in Hertfordshire, June 6th, 1762.-D.
(1373) Sir Peter Warren was the second in command in the victory off Cape Finisterre.-D.
(1374) The Abb'e Niccolini was in much favour with the Prince of Wales.-D.
530 Letter 236 To The Hon. H. S. Conway. Twickenham, June 8, 1747.
You perceive by my date that I am got into a new camp, and have left my tub at Windsor. It is a little plaything-house that I got out of Mrs. Chenevix's shop, and is the prettiest bauble you ever saw. It is set in enamelled meadows, with filigree hedges:
"A small Euphrates through the piece is roll'd, And little finches wave their wings in gold"
Two delightful roads, that you would call dusty, supply me continually with coaches and chaises; barges as solemn as barons of the exchequer move under my window; Richmond Hill and Ham Walks bound my prospect; but, thank God! the Thames is between me and the Duchess of Queensberry. Dowagers (-As plenty as flounders inhabit all around, and Pope's ghost is just now skimming under my window by a most poetical moonlight. I have about land enough to keep such a farm as Noah's, when he set up in the ark with a pair of each kind; but my cottage is rather cleaner than I believe his was after they had been cooped up together forty days. The Chenevixes had tricked it out for themselves: up two pair of stairs is what they call Mr. Chenevix's library, furnished with three maps, one shelf, a bust of Sir Isaac Newton, and a lame telescope without any glasses. Lord John Sackville predeceased me here, and instituted certain games called cricketalia, which have been celebrated this very evening in honour of him in a neighbouring meadow.
You will think I have removed my philosophy from Windsor with my tea-things hither; for I am writing to you in all this tranquillity, while a Parliament is bursting about my ears. You know it is going to be dissolved: I am told, you are taken care of, though I don't know where, nor whether any body that chooses you will quarrel with me because he does choose you, as that little bug the Marquis of Rockingham did; one of the calamities of my life which I have bore as abominably well as I do most about which I don't care. They say the Prince has taken up two hundred thousand pounds, to carry elections which he won't carry:—he had much better have saved it to buy the Parliament after it is chosen. A new set of peers are in embryo, to add more dignity to the silence of the House of Lords.
I make no remarks on your campaign,(1375) because, as you say, you do nothing at all; which, though very proper nutriment for a thinking head, does not do quite so well to write upon. If any one of you can but contrive to be shot upon your post, it is all we desire, shall look upon it as a great curiosity, and will take care to set up a monument to the person so slain; as we are doing by vote to Captain Cornwall, who was killed at the beginning Of the action in the Mediterranean four years ago.(1376) In the present dearth of glory, he is canonized; though, poor man! he had been tried twice the year before for cowardice.(1377)
I could tell you much election news, none else; though not being thoroughly attentive to so important a subject, as to be sure one ought to be, I might now and then mistake, and give you a candidate for Durham in place of one for Southampton, or name the returning-officer instead of the candidate. In general, I believe, it is much as usual-those sold in detail that afterwards will be sold in the representation—the ministers bribing Jacobites to choose friends of their own- -the name of well-wishers to the present establishment, and patriots outbidding ministers that they may make the better market of their own patriotism:-in short, all England, under some flame or other, is just now to be bought and sold; though, whenever we become posterity and forefathers, we shall be in high repute for wisdom and virtue. My great-great-grandchildren will figure me with a white beard down to my girdle; and Mr. Pitt's will believe him unspotted enough to have walked over nine hundred hot ploughshares, without hurting the sole of his foot. How merry my ghost will be, and shake its ears to hear itself quoted as a person of consummate prudence! Adieu, dear Harry! Yours ever.
(1375) Mr Conway was in Flanders with the Duke of Cumberland.
(1376) The House of Commons, on the 28th of May, had agreed to erect a monument in Westminster Abbey to the memory of Captain Cornwall, of the Marlborough; who was slain while bravely defending his ship. The monument, designed and executed bye Taylor, was completed in 1755. —E.
(1377) And honourably acquitted on both occasions.-E.
531 Letter 237 To sir Horace Mann. Arlington Street, June 26, 1747.
You can have no idea of the emptiness of London, and of the tumult every where else. To-day many elections begin. The sums of money disbursed within this month would give any body a very faint idea of the poverty of this undone country! I think the expense and contest is greater now we are said to be all of a mind, than when parties ran highest. Indeed, I ascribe part of the solitude in town to privilege being at an end; though many of us can afford to bribe so high, it is not so easy to pay debts. Here am I, as Lord Cornbury(1378) says, sitting for a borough, while every body else stands for one. He diverted me extremely the other day with the application of a story to the King's speech. It says, the reason for dissolving the Parliament is its being so near dissolution:(1379) Lord Cornbury said it put him in mind of a gaoler in Oxfordshire who was remarkably humane to his prisoners; one day he said to one of them, "My good friend, you know you are to be hanged on Friday se'nnight; I want extremely to go to London; would you be so kind as to be hanged next Friday?"
Pigwiggin is come over, more Pigwiggin than ever! He entertained me with the horrid ugly figures that he saw at the Prince of Orange's court; think of his saying ugly figures! He is to be chosen for Lynn,-whither I would not go, because I must have gone; I go to Callington again, whither I don't go. My brother chooses Lord luxborough(1380) for Castlerising. Would you know the connexion? This Lord keeps Mrs. Horton the player; we keep Miss Norsa the player: Rich the harlequin is an intimate of all; and to cement the harlequinity, somebody's brother (excuse me if I am not perfect in such genealogy) is to marry the Jewess's sister. This coup de th'eatre procured Knight his Irish coronet, and has now stuffed him into Castlerising, about which my brother has quarrelled with me, for not looking upon it, as, what he called, a family-borough. Excuse this ridiculous detail; it serves to introduce the account of the new peers, for Sir Jacob Bouverie, a considerable Jacobite, who is made Viscount Folkestone, bought his ermine at twelve thousand pound a-yard of the Duchess of Kendal(1381) d'aujourd'hui. Sir Harry Liddel is Baron Ravensworth, and Duncombe Baron Feversham; Archer and Rolle have only changed their Mr.ships for Lordships. Lord Middlesex has lost one of his Lordships, that of the Treasury; is succeeded by the second Grenville, and he by Ellis,(1382) at the admiralty. Lord Ashburnham had made a magnificent summer suit to wait, but Lord Cowper at last does not resign the bedchamber. I intend to laugh over this disgrazia with the Chuteheds, when they return triumphant from Hampshire, where Whitehed has no enemy. A-propos to enemies! I believe the battle in Flanders is compromised, for one never hears of it.
The Duchess of Queensberry(1383) has at last been at court, a point she has been intriguing these two years. Nobody gave in to it. At last she snatched at the opportunity of her son being obliged to the King for a regiment in the Dutch service, and would not let him go to thank, till they sent for her too. Niccolini, who is next to her in absurdity and importance, is gone electioneering with Doddington.
I expect Pucci every day to finish my trouble with Riccardi; I shall take any ring, though he has taken care I shall not take another tolerable one. If you will pay him, which I fancy will be the shortest way to prevent any fripponnerie, I will put the money into your brother's hands.
My eagle(1384) is arrived-my eagle tout court, for I hear nothing of the pedestal: the bird itself was sent home in a store-ship; I was happy that they did not reserve the statue, and send its footstool. It is a glorious fowl! I admire it, and every body admires it as much as it deserves. There never was so much spirit and fire preserved, with so much labour and finishing. It stands fronting the Vespasian: there are no two such morsels in England!
Have you a mind for an example of English bizarrerie? there is a Fleming here, who carves exquisitely in ivory, one Verskovis; he has done much for me, and where I have recommended him; but he is starving, and returning to Rome, to carve for-the English, for whom, when he was there before, he could not work fast enough.(1385)
I know nothing, nor ever heard of the Mills's and Davisons; and know less than nothing Of whether they are employed from hence. There is nobody in town of whom to inquire; if there were, they would ask me for what borough these men were to stand, and wonder that I could name people from any other motive. Adieu!
(1378) Henry Hyde, only son of the last Earl of Clarendon. He died before his father.
(1379) King's words are, "As this Parliament would necessarily determine in a short time, I have judged it expedient speedily to call a new one."-E.
(1380) Robert Knight, eldest son of the famous cashier of the South Sea Company. (Created Lord Luxborough in Ireland 1746, and Earl of Catherlough in 1763. He died in 1772.-D.)
(1381) Lady Yarmouth, the mistress of George II.-D.
(1382) Right Honourable Welbore Ellis.-D.
(1383) She had quarrelled with the court, in consequence of the refusal to permit Gray's sequel to the Beggar's Opera, called "Polly," to be acted.-D.
(1384) The eagle found in the gardens of Boccapadugli within the precincts of Caracalla's baths, at Rome, in the year 1742; one of the finest pieces of Greek sculpture in the world. See Walpole's Works, vol. ii. p. 463, and Gray's Ode on the Progress of Poesy.-E.
(1385) Verskovis is also mentioned by Walpole in his Anecdotes of Painting. he had a son, who to the art of carving in ivory, added painting, but died young, in 1749, before his father. The latter did not survive above a year.-E.
533 Letter 238 To George Montagu, Esq. Arlington Street, July 2, 1747.
Dear George, Though we have no great reason to triumph, as we have certainly been defeated,(1386) yet the French have as certainly bought their victory dear: indeed, what would be very dear to us, is not so much to them. However, their least loss is twelve thousand men; as our least loss is five thousand. The truth of the whole is, that the Duke was determined to fight at all events, which the French, who determined not to fight but at great odds, took advantage of. His Royal Highness's valour has shone extremely, but at the expense of his judgment. Harry Conway, whom nature always designed for a hero of romance, and who is d'eplac'e in ordinary life, did wonders; but was overpowered and flung down, when one French hussar held him by the hair, while another was going to stab him: at that instant, an English sergeant with a soldier came up, and killed the latter; but was instantly killed himself; the soldier attacked the other, and Mr. Conway escaped; but was afterwards taken prisoner; is since released on parole, and may come home to console his fair widow,,(1387) whose brother, Harry Campbell, is certainly killed, to the great concern of all widows who want consolation. The French have lost the Prince of Monaco, the Comte de Bavi'ere, natural brother to the last Emperor, and many officers of great rank. The French King saw the whole through a spying-glass, from Hampstead Hill, environed with twenty thousand men.' Our Guards did shamefully, and many officers. The King had a line from Huske in Zealand on the Friday night, to tell him we were defeated; of his son not a word - judge of his anxiety till three o'clock on Saturday! Lord Sandwich had a letter in his pocket all the while, and kept it there, which said the Duke was well.
We flourish at sea, have taken great part of the Domingo fleet, and I suppose shall have more lords. The Countess touched twelve thousand for Sir Jacob Bouverie's coronet.
I know nothing of my own election, but suppose it is over; as little of Rigby's, and conclude it lost. For franks, I suppose they don't begin till the whole is complete. My compliments to your brothers and sisters.
(1386) The Battle of Laffelt, in which the Duke of Cumberland was defeated.-E.
(1387) Caroline, widow of the Earl of Ailesbury, sister of Henry Campbell, here mentioned, and of John, Duke of Argyle.-E.
(1388) The King of France' in allusion to the engagement, is said to have observed, that "the British not only paid all, but fought all." In his letter to the Queen, he also characterized the Austrians as "benevolent" spectators of the battle. See M'emoires de Richelieu, t. vii. P. 111.-E.
534 Letter 239 To sir Horace Mann. Arlington Street, July 3, 1747.
You would think it strange not to hear from me after a battle though the printed relation is so particular, that I could only repeat what that contains. The sum total is, that we would fight. which the French did not intend; we gave them, or did not take, the advantage of situation; they attacked: what part of our army was engaged did wonders, for the Dutch ran away, and we had contrived to post the Austrians in such a manner, that they could not assist us:(1388) we were overpowered by numbers, though the centre was first broke by the retreating Dutch; and though we retired, we killed twelve thousand of the enemy, and lost six ourselves. The Duke was very near taken, having through his short sight, mistaken a body of French for his own people. He behaved as bravely as usual; but his prowess is so well established, that it grows time for him to exert other qualities of a general.
We shine at sea; two-and-forty sail of the Domingo fleet have fallen into our hands, and we expect more. The ministry are as successful in their elections: both Westminster and Middlesex have elected court candidates, and the city of London is taking the same step, the first time of many years that the two latter have been Whig; but the non-subscribing at the time of the rebellion, has been most successfully played off upon the Jacobites; of which stamp great part of England was till-the Pretender came. This would seem a paradox in any other country, but contradictions are here the only rule of action. Adieu!
(1389) The Duke of Cumberland, in a letter to Lord Chesterfield of the 3d of July, says, "The great misfortune of our position was that our right wing was so strongly posted, that they could neither be attacked nor make a diversion; for I am assured that Marshal Bathiani would have done all in his power to sustain me, or attack the enemy."-E.
535 Letter 240 To sir Horace Mann. Arlington Street, July 28, 1747.
This is merely one of my letters of course, for I have nothing to tell you. You will hear that Bergen-op-zoom still holds out, and is the first place that has not said yes, the moment the French asked it the question. The Prince of Waldeck has resigned, on some private disgust with the Duke. Mr. Chute received a letter from you yesterday, with the account of the deliverance of Genoa, which had reached us before, and had surprised nobody. But when you wrote, you did not know of the great victory obtained by eleven battalions of PiedmOntese over six-and-forty of the French, and of the lucky but brave death of their commander, the Chevalier de Belleisle. He is a great loss to the French, none to Count Saxe; an irreparable one to his own brother. whom, by the force of his parts, he had pushed so high, at the same time always declining to raise himself, lest he should eclipse the Marshal, who seems now to have missed the ministry by his Italian scheme, as he did before by his ill success in Germany. We talk of nothing but peace: I hope we shall not make as bad an one as we have made a war, though one is the natural consequence of the other.
We have at last discovered the pedestal for my glorious eagle, at the bottom of the store-ship; but I shall not have it out of the Custom-house till the end of this week. The lower part of the eagle's beak(1390) has been broke off and lost. I wish you would have the head only of your Gesse cast, and send it me, to have the original restored from it.
The commission for the scagliola tables was given me without any dimensions; I suppose there is a common size. If the original friar(1391) can make them, I shall be glad: if not, I fancy the person would not care to wait so long as you mention, for what would be less handsome than mine.