Junius: Honour and justice must not be renounced although a thousand modes of right and wrong were to occupy the degrees of morality between Zeno and Epicurus. The fundamental principles of Christianity may still be preserved.-vol. ii. p. 346.
Walpole: The modes of Christianity were exhausted.-Vol. ii. p. 282 To mark how much the modes of thinking change, and that fundamentals themselves can make no impression.-vol. ii. p. 265.
Junius: He (the duke of Bedfor) would not have betrayed such ignorance or such contempt of the constitution as openly to avow in a court of judicature the purchase and sale of a borough. Note.- In an answer in chancery in a suit against him to recover a large sum paid him by a person whom he had undertaken to return to parliament for one of his Grace's boroughs. He was compelled to repay the money.-vol. i. p. 576.
Walpole: Corruption prevailed in the House of Commons. Instances had been brought to our courts of judicature how much it prevailed in our elections. Note.-The Duke of Bedford had received 1500 pounds for electing Jefrery French at one of his boroughs in the west; but he dying immediately, his heir sued the Duke for the money, who paid it, rather than let the cause be heard.
Junius: The Princess Dowager made it her first care to inspire her son with horror against heresy, and with a respect for the church. His mother took more pains to form his beliefs than either his morals or his understanding.-vol. iii. p. 408.
Walpole: >From the death of the Prince the object of the Princess Dowager had been the government of her son; and her attention had answered. She had taught him great devotion, and she had taken care that he should be taught nothing else.-Vol. i. p. 396.
Junius: That prince had strong natural parts, and used frequently to blush for his own ignorance and want of education, which had been wilfully neglected by his mother and her minion.
Walpole: Martin spoke for the clause, and said, "The King could not have a separate interest from his people, the Princess might; witness Queen Isabella and her minion Mortimer."-Vol. i. p. 118.
Transcriber's note: the following paragraph is surrounded by asterisks. it appears to be a comment by the letter writer, sir charles Grey, rather than either Junius or Walpole.
Our great Edward, too, at an early period, had sense enough to understand the nature of the connexion between his abandoned mother and the detested Mortimer.
Junius: when it was proposed to settle the present King's household as Prince of Wales, it is well known that the Earl of Bute was forced into it in direct contradiction to the late King's inclination. vol. ii. .-
Walpole: Fox had an audience. The monarch was sour, but endeavoured to keep his temper, yet made no concessions; no request to the retiring minister to stay. At last he let slip the true cause of his indignation: "You," said he, "have made me make that puppy Bute groom of the stole."-Vol. ii. p. 92.
Though too long to be cited in these hurried notes, there are several other passages in which the coincidence of sentiment and expression and of the order in which the thoughts and arguments are ranged, is very remarkable: and the difficulty of accounting otherwise for such coincidences between the Letters of Junius and the unpublished and secret Memoires of Walpole, first made me suspect that the two names might belong to one and the same person-Horace Walpole the younger.
4. Being led by this conjecture to examine the other works of Walpole, I found, in them also, many echoes, as it were, of the voice of Junius, which it is singular should not have been more observed. No One, I think, can collate the concluding portion of Walpole's letter to Lord Bute, of February 15, 1762, and the latter part of the eulogium of Junius on Lord Chatham, without being struck by the similarity of manner and tone; and by the identity of that feeling, which, in both cases, prompts the writer, whilst he is elaborating compliments, to defend himself jealously against all suspicion of flattery or interested motives.
Transcriber's note: there follows a comparison of material from Junius and Walpole, set out in parallel columns. I have changed these to a sequential arrangement.
Junius: I did not intend to make a public declaration of the respect I bear Lord Chatham. I well knew what unworthy conclusions would be drawn from it. But I am called upon to deliver my opinion, and surely it is not in the little censure of Mr. Home to deter me from doing signal justice to a man who, I confess, has grown upon my esteem. As for the common, sordid views of avarice, or any purpose of vulgar ambition, I question whether the applause of Junius would be of service to Lord Chatham. My vote will hardly recommend him to an increase of his pension, or to a seat in the Cabinet. But if his ambition be upon a level with his understanding; if he judges of what is truly honourable for himself with the same superior genius which animates and directs him to eloquence in debate, to wisdom in decision, even the pen of Junius shall contribute to reward him. Recorded honour shall gather round his monument, and thicken over him. It is a solid fabric, and will support the laurels that adorn it. I am not conversant in the language of panegyric. These praises are extorted from me; but they will wear well, for they have been dearly earned.-Vol. ii. p. 310.
WALPOLE. I did not purpose to tempt again the patience of mankind. But the case is very different with regard to my trouble. My whole fortune is from the bounty of the Crown and from the public: it would ill become me to spare any pains for the King's glory, or for the honour and satisfaction of my country; and give me leave to add, my lord, it would be an ungrateful return for the distinction with which your lordship has condescended to honour me if I withheld such trifling aid as mine, when it might in the least tend to adorn your lordship's administration. From me, my lord, permit me to say these are not words of course, or of compliment, this is not the language of flattery: your lordship knows I have no views; perhaps knows that, insignificant as it is, my praise is never detached from my esteem: and when you have raised, as I trust you will, real monuments of glory, the most contemptible characters in the inscription dedicated by your country, may not be the testimony of, my lord, your lordship's most obedient humble servant.-Letters, vol. iii.
I have neither time nor space for going much farther into this part of the subject; but there is one circumstance which, in its application to the supposition that Francis was Junius, is too remarkable to be passed over. Sir Philip Francis supplied Mr. Almon with reports of two speeches of Lord Chatham, in one of which there is this passage, "The Americans had Purchased their liberty at a dear rate, since they had quitted their native country and gone in search of freedom to a desert." Junius, about three weeks before, had said, "They left their native land in search of freedom, and found it in a desert;" and it has been inferred from this, that the words in the speech were not Lord Chatham's, but the reporter's, and that Sir Philip Francis was Junius. But it happens that Walpole, in his Royal and Noble Authors, some years earlier than either the letter of Junius or the speech of Lord Chatham, had said of Lord Brooke, that he was on the point "Of seeking liberty in the forests of America."
5. If we turn from a recollection of the words to a consideration of the peculiarities of the style of Junius, I think it will be agreed that the most remarkable of all is that species of irony which consists in equivocal compliment. Walpole also excelled in this; and prided himself upon doing so. Are we not justified in saying, that of all who, in the eighteenth century, cast their thoughts on public occurrences into the form of letters, Junius and Walpole are the most distinguished! that the works of no other prose writer of their time exhibit a zest for political satire equal to that which is displayed in the Letters of Junius, and in the Memoires and Political Letters of Walpole and that the sarcasm of equivocal praise was the favourite weapon in the armoury of each, though it certainly appears to have been tempered, and sharpened, and polished with additional care for the hand of Junius? When did Francis ever deal in compliment or in equivoque? In his vituperation there was always more of fury than of malice: but Junius and Walpole were cruel. Madame du Deffand says to the latter, "Votre plume est de fer tremp'e dans de fiel." I have sometimes thought that clever old woman either knew or suspected him to be Junius. She uses in one place the unusual expression, "Votre 'ecrit de Junius:" and if Walpole was Junius, some of the most carefully composed letters in 1769 and 1771 were written in Paris ; where, indeed, it would seem that Junius, whoever he was, collected the materials for the accusation with which he threatened the Duke of Bedford, and which he evidently knew to be untrue.
6. It has sometimes been said, that the Letters of Junius must have been written by a lawyer, and they were at one time attributed even to Mr. Dunning. The mistakes which I am about to notice, trifling as they may be, make it impossible that any lawyer should have been the author; and it appears to me that not only is there a considerable resemblance in those mistakes which I adduce of Walpole's, but that the affectation in both of employing legal terms with which they were not familiar, and of which they did not distinctly apprehend the meaning, is very remarkable. Junius thought De Lolme's Essay deep," (13) and talks of property which "savours of the reality:" (14) he misapplies that trite expression of the courts, bona fide: (15) misunderstands mortmain, (16) and supposes that an inquisitio post mortem was an inquiry how the deceased came by his death. (17) Walpole talks of "the purparty of a wife's lands;" of "tenures against which, of all others, quo warrantos are sure to take place;" (18) of the days of soccage," which he supposes to be obsolete; and of a fera naturae.
Transcriber's note: Again there are a few passages from Junius and Walpole compared in parallel columns, which I present below in sequence.
Junius: You say the facts on which you reason are universally admitted: a gratis dictum which I flatly deny.-vol. ii. p. 143.
Walpole: This circumstance is alleged against them as an incident contrived to gain belief, as if they had been in danger of their lives. The argument is gratis dictum.-Works, vol. ii. p. 568.
Junius: They are the trustees, not the owners of the estate. the fee simple is in us.- vol.-vol. i. p. 345.
Walpole: Do you think we shall purchase the fee simple of him for so many years?-Letters, vol. ii.
7. Walpole's time of life, his station in society, means of information, and habits of writing much, and anonymously, and in concealment, all tally with the supposition of his being Junius. So do his places of residence, when that part of the subject is carefully examined.
8. It is an odd circumstance that Walpole, who makes remarks on every thing, makes no remark on Junius. If he ever expressed an opinion of him in his letters to any of his numerous correspondents, those letters have been suppressed. There are fewer letters of his in the years during which Junius was writing, than in any others.
9. Walpole's quarrel with the Duke and Duchess of Bedford, and The party whom he calls "the Bedford court," and Junius "the Bloomsbury gang," would account for the rancour of the letters of the latter to the Duke.
10. Walpole's dislike and opinion of the Duke of Grafton, which is nowhere more remarkably expressed than in a letter published for the first time in your third volume, coupled with his friendship for the first Duchess of Grafton, fall in with the attacks of Junius on the Duke.
11. The Memoires of Walpole show an enmity to Lord Mansfield almost equal to that of Junius.
12. Turning from these to a person in a different station, we find, on the part of Walpole, (and, by-the-by, of Mason too,) a sort of spite against Dr. Johnson; and in the works of Walpole, selected by himself for publication after his death,' there is a high-wrought criticism and condemnation of the style of Johnson, which I cannot help believing to have been conceived in revenge of the well-known handling of Junius in Johnson's pamphlet on the Falkland Islands. "Let not injudicious admiration mistake the venom of the shift for the vigour of the bow," is said by Johnson of Junius: and Walpole says of Johnson, that "he destroys more enemies by the weight of his shield, than with the point of his spear."
13. There is a host of small facts which might be adduced in support of what I have advanced. Any one who has leisure to examine the voluminous works of Walpole, and who can lend his mind to the inquiry, will find them crowd upon him. Let me mention one well known occurrence.
Junius says, in the postscript of a private note to Mr. Woodfall, Beware of David Garrick. He was sent to pump you, and went directly to Richmond to tell the King I should write no more." He then directed Woodfall to send the following note to Garrick, but not in the handwriting of Junius:-"I am very exactly informed of your impertinent inquiries, and of the information you so busily sent to Richmond, and with what triumph and exultation it was received. I knew every particular of it the next day. Now, mark me, vagabond! Keep to your pantomimes, or be assured you shall hear of it. Meddle no more, thou busy informer! It is in my power to make you curse the hour in which you dared to interfere with Junius." (19)
Mr. Woodfall remarks on this, that Garrick had received a letter from Woodfall, (the editor of the newspaper in which the letters of Junius first appeared,) before the above-note of Junius was sent to the printer, in which Garrick was told, in confidence, that there were some doubts whether Junius would continue to write much longer. Garrick flew with the intelligence to Mr. Remus, one of the pages to the King, who immediately conveyed it to his Majesty, at that time residing at Richmond; and from the peculiar sources of information that were open to this extraordinary writer, Junius was apprised of the whole transaction on the ensuing morning, and wrote the above postscript, and the letter that follows it, in consequence. Now all that appears to Mr. Woodfall the younger. to be so wonderful in these circumstances is very easily explained, if we suppose Walpole to have been Junius. Strawberry Hill is very near Richmond Park, and Walpole had many acquaintances amongst those who were about the King; whilst his friend, Mrs. Clive, the actress, who lived in the adjoining house to his own, and her brother, Mr. Raftor, who frequently visited her, both belonged to Garrick's company.
But I have extended this letter too far. My purpose was merely to invite your attention to a subject of some literary interest, which you have peculiar opportunities of examining; and to enable you, if you should think fit, to draw to it the attention of the public also. I am, Sir, Your obedient servant, CHAS. EDW. GREY. 20. Albemarle Street, October 24, 1840.
(13) Woodfall's Junius, vol. i. p. 385.
(14) Ibid. p. 312.
(15) Ibid. p. 311.
(16) Ibid., vol. ii. p. 131.
(17) Ibid.,vol. i. p. 454.
(18) Walpole's Works, vol. iv. p. 361.
(19) Junius, Vol. i. P. 228.
SKETCH OF THE LIFE of HORACE WALPOLE, EARL OF ORFORD: BY LORD DOVER. (20)
Any one who attempts to become a biographer of Horace Walpole must labour under the disadvantage of following a greater master in the art; namely, Sir Walter Scott, whose lively and agreeable account of this Author, contained in his "Lives of the Novelists," is well known and deservedly admired. As, however, the greater part of Walter Scott's pages is devoted to a very able criticism of the only work of fiction produced by Walpole, "The Castle of Otranto," it has been thought, that a more general sketch of his life and writings might not prove unacceptable to the reader.
Horace Walpole was the third and youngest son (21) of that eminent minister, Sir Robert Walpole-the glory of the Whigs, the preserver of the throne of these realms to the present Royal Family, and under whose fostering rule and guidance the country flourished in peace for more than twenty years. The elder brothers of Horace were, Robert, Lord Walpole, so created in 1723, who succeeded his father in the Earldom of Orford in 1745, and died in 1751; and Sir Edward Walpole, Knight of the Bath, whose three natural daughters were, Mrs. Keppel, wife to the Honourable Frederick Keppel, Bishop of Exeter; the Countess of Waldegrave, afterwards Duchess of Gloucester; and the Countess of Dysart. Sir Edward Walpole died in 1784. His sisters were, Catherine, who died of consumption at the age of nineteen; and Mary, married to George, Viscount Malpas, afterwards third Earl of Cholmondeley: she died in 1732. The mother of Horace, and of his brothers and sisters here mentioned, was Catherine Shorter, daughter of John Shorter, Esq. of Bybrook, in Kent, and grand- daughter of Sir John Shorter, Lord Mayor of London in 1688. (22) She died in 1736; and her youngest son, who always professed the greatest veneration for her memory, erected a monument to her in Westminster Abbey, in one of the side aisles of Henry the Seventh's Chapel. Horace Walpole had also a half-sister, the natural daughter of his father, by his mistress, Maria Skerrett, whom he afterwards married. She also was named Mary Walpole, and married Colonel Charles Churchill, the natural son of General Churchill; who was himself a natural son of an older brother of the great Duke of Marlborough.
Horace Walpole was born October 5th, 1717 (23) and educated a Eton School, and at King's College, Cambridge. Upon leaving the latter place, he set out on his travels on the Continent, in company with Gray the poet, with whom he had formed a friendship at school. They commenced their journey in March 1739, and continued abroad above two years. Almost the whole of this time was spent in Italy, and nearly a year of it was devoted to Florence; where Walpole was detained by the society of his friends, Mr. Mann, Mr. Chute, and Mr. Whithed. It was in these classic scenes, that his love of art, and taste for elegant and antiquarian literature, became more developed; and that it took such complete possession of him as to occupy the whole of his later life, diversified only by the occasional amusement of politics, or the distractions of society. Unfortunately, the friendship of Walpole and his travelling companion could not survive two years of constant intercourse: they quarrelled and parted at Reggio, in July 1741, and afterwards pursued their way homewards by different routes. (24)
Walpole arrived in England in September 1741, at which time his correspondence with Sir Horace Mann commences. He had been chosen member for Callington, in the parliament which was elected in June of that year, and arrived in the House of Commons just in time to witness the angry discussions which preceded and accompanied the downfall of his father's administration. He plunged at once into the excitement of political partisanship with all the ardour of youth, and all the zeal which his filial affection for his father inspired. His feelings at this period are best explained by a reference to his letters in the following collection. Public business and attendance upon the House of Commons, apart from the interest attached to peculiar questions, he seems never to have liked. He consequently took very little part either in debates or committees. In March 1742, on a motion being made for an inquiry into the conduct of Sir Robert Walpole for the preceding ten years, he delivered his maiden speech; (25) on which he was complimented by no less a judge of oratory than Pitt. This speech he has preserved in his letter to Sir Horace Mann, of March 24th, 1742. He moved the Address in 1751; and in 1756 made a speech on the question of employing Swiss regiments in the colonies. This speech he has also himself preserved in the second volume of his "Memoires." In 1757 he was active in his endeavours to save the unfortunate Admiral Byng. Of his conduct upon this occasion he has left a detailed account of his "Memoires." This concludes all that can be collected of his public life, and at the general election of 1768 (26) he finally retired from parliament.
Upon this occasion he writes thus to George Montagu,-" As my senatorial dignity is gone, I shall not put you to the expense of a cover; and I hope the advertisement will not be taxed, as I seal it to the paper. In short, I retain so much iniquity from the last infamous parliament, that, you see, I would still cheat the public. The comfort I feel in sitting peaceably here, instead of being at Lynn, in the high fever of a contested election, which, at best, Would end in my being carried about that large town, like a figure of a pope at a bonfires is very great. I do not think, when that function is over, that I shall repent my resolution. What could I see but sons and grandsons playing over the same knaveries that I have seen their fathers and grandfather's act? Could I hear oratory beyond my Lord Chatham's? Will there ever be parts equal to Charles Towns@ends? Will George Grenville cease to be the most tiresome of beings?" (27)
>From this time Walpole devoted himself more than ever to his literary and antiquarian pursuits; though the interest he still, in society at least, took in politics, is obvious, from the frequent reference to the subject in his letters.
In the course of his life, his political opinions appear to have undergone a great change. In his youth, and indeed till his old age, he was not only a strenuous Whig, but, at times, almost a Republican. How strong his opinions were in this sense may be gathered, both from the frequent confessions of his political faith, which occur in his letters, and from his reverence for the death-warrant of Charles the First, of which he hung up the engraving in his bed-room, and wrote upon it with his own hand the words "Major Charta." The horrors of the French Revolution drove him, in the latter period of his life, into other views of politics; and he seems to have become, in theory at least, a Tory, though he probably would have indignantly repudiated the appellation, had it been applied to him.
Even during the earlier part of his career, his politics had varied a good deal (as, indeed, in a long life, whose do not?); but, in his case, the cause of variation was a most amiable one. His devoted attachment to Marshal Conway, which led him, when that distinguished man was turned out of his command of a regiment, and of his place at court, in 1764, (28) to offer, with much earnestness, to divide his fortune with him caused him also to look with a favourable eye upon the government of the day, whenever Mr. Conway was employed, and to follow him implicitly in his votes in the House of Commons. Upon this subject he writes thus to Conway, who had not told him beforehand of a speech he made on the Qualification Bill, in consequence of which Walpole was absent from the House of Commons upon that occasion—"I don't suspect you of any reserve to me; I only mention it now for an occasion Of telling YOU, that I don't like to have any body think that I would not do whatever you do. I am of no consequence; but, at least, it would give me some to act invariably with you, and that I shall most certainly be ever ready to do." (29) Upon another occasion he writes again in a similar strain:-"My only reason for writing is, to repeat to you, that whatever you do, I shall act with you. I resent any thing done to you as to myself. My fortunes shall never be separated from yours, except that, some day or other, I hope yours will be great, and I am content with mine." (30)
Upon one political point Horace Walpole appears to have entertained from the first the most just views, and even at a time when such were not sanctioned by the general opinion of the nation. From its very commencement, he objected to that disastrous contest the American war, which, commenced in ignorant and presumptuous folly, was prolonged to gratify the wicked obstinacy of individuals, and ended, as Walpole had foretold it would, in the discomfiture of its authors, and the national disgrace and degradation, after a profuse and useless waste of blood and treasure. Nor must his sentiments upon the Slave Trade be forgotten-sentiments which he held, too, in an age when, far different from the present one, the Assiento Treaty, and other horrors of the same kind, were deemed, not only justifiable, but praiseworthy. "We have been sitting," he writes, on the 25th of February 1750, "this fortnight on the African Company. We, the British Senate, that temple of Liberty, and bulwark of Protestant Christianity, have, this fortnight, been considering methods to make more effectual that horrid traffic of selling negroes. It has appeared to us, that six-and-forty thousand of these wretches are sold every year to our plantations alone! It chills one's blood-I would not have to say I voted for it, for the continent of America! The destruction of the miserable inhabitants by the Spaniards was but a momentary misfortune that flowed from the discovery of the New World, compared to this lasting havoc which it brought upon Africa. We reproach Spain, and yet do not even pretend the nonsense of butchering the poor creatures for the good of their souls." (31)
One of the most favourite pursuits of Walpole was the building and decoration of his Gothic villa of Strawberry Hill. It is situated at the end of the village of Twickenham, towards Teddington, on a slope, which gives it a fine view of the reach of the Thames and the opposite wooded hill of Richmond Park. He bought it in 1747, of Mrs. Chenevix, the proprietress of a celebrated toy-shop. He thus describes it in a letter of that year to Mr. Conway. "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 of 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 prospects; but, thank God! the Thames is between me and the Duchess of Queensberry. (32) Dowagers, as plenty as flounders, inhabit all around; and Pope's ghost is just now skimming under my window by a most poetical moonlight." (33)
He commenced almost immediately adding to the house, and Gothicizing it, assisted by the taste and designs of his friend Mr. Bentley; till, in the end, the cottage of Mrs. Chenevix had increased into the castellated residence we now behold. He also filled it with collections of various sorts-books, prints, pictures, portraits, enamels, and miniatures, antiquities, and curiosities of all kinds. Among these miscellaneous hoards are to be found some fine works of art, and many things most valuable in an historical and antiquarian point of view. For these various expenses he drew upon his annual income, which arose from three patent places conferred on him by his father, of which the designations were, Usher of the Exchequer, Comptroller of the Pipe, and Clerk of the Estreats. As early as the year 1744, these sinecures produced to him, according to his own account, nearly two thousand a-year; and somewhat later, the one place of Usher of Exchequer rose in value to double this sum. This income, with prudent management, sufficed for the gratification of his expensive tastes of building and collecting, to which his long life was devoted.
With regard to the merits of Strawberry Hill, as a building, it is perhaps unfair, in the present age, when the principles of Gothic architecture have been so much studied, and so often put in practice, to criticise it too severely. Walpole himself, who, in the earlier part of his life, seems to have had an unbounded admiration for the works of his own hands, appears in later times to have been aware of the faults in style of which he had been guilty; for, in a letter to Mr. Barrett, in 1788, he says, "If Mr. Matthews was really entertained" (with seeing Strawberry Hill), "I am glad. But Mr. Wyatt has made him too correct a Goth not to have seen all the imperfections and bad execution of my attempts; for neither Mr. Bentley nor my workmen had studied the science, and I was always too desultory and impatient to consider that I should please myself more by allowing time, than by hurrying my plans into execution before they were ripe. My house, therefore, is but a sketch for beginners; yours (34) is finished by a great master; and if Mr. Matthews liked mine, it was en virtuose, who loves the dawnings of an art, or the glimmerings of its restoration." (35)
In fact, the building of Strawberry Hill was "the glimmering of the restoration" of gothic architecture, which had previously, for above a century, been so much neglected that its very principles seemed lost. If we compare the Gothic of Strawberry Hill with that of buildings about the same period, or a little anterior to it, we shall see how vastly superior it is to them, both in its taste and its decorations. If we look at some of the restorations of our churches of the beginning of the eighteenth century , we shall find them a most barbarous mixture of Gothic forms and Grecian and Roman ornaments. Such are the western towers of Westminster Abbey, designed by Wren; the attempts at Gothic, by the same architect, in one or two of his City churches; Gibbs's quadrangle of All Souls' College, Oxford; and the buildings in the same style of Kent, Batty, Langley, etc. To these Strawberry is greatly superior: and it must be observed, that Walpole himself, in his progressive building, went on improving and purifying his taste. Thus the gallery and round-tower at Strawberry Hill, which were among his latest works, are incomparably the best part of the house; and in their interior decorations there is very little to be objected to, and much to be admired.
It were to be wished, indeed, that Walpole's haste to finish, to which he alludes in the letter just quoted, and perhaps also, in some degree, economy, had not made him build his castle, which, with all its faults, is a curious relic of a clever and ingenious man, with so little solidity, that it is almost already in a state of decay. Lath and plaster, and wood, appear to have been his favourite materials for construction; which made his friend Williams (36) say of him, towards the end of his life, "that he had outlived three sets of his own battlements." It is somewhat curious, as a proof of the inconsistency of the human mind, that, having built his castle with so little view to durability, Walpole entailed the perishable possession with a degree of strictness, which would have been more fitting for a baronial estate. And that, too, after having written a fable entitled "The Entail," in consequence, of some one having asked him whether he did not intend to entail Strawberry Hill, and in ridicule of such a proceeding.
Whether Horace Walpole conferred a benefit upon the public by setting the fashion of applying the Gothic style of architecture to domestic purposes, may be doubtful; so greatly has the example he gave been abused in practice since. But, at all events, he thus led the professors of architecture to study with accuracy the principles of the art, which has occasioned the restoration and preservation in such an admirable manner of so many of our finest cathedrals. colleges, and ancient Gothic and conventual buildings. This, it must be at least allowed, was the fortunate result of the rage for Gothic, which succeeded the building of Strawberry Hill. For a good many years after that event, every new building was pinnacled and turreted on all sides, however little its situation, its size, or its uses might seem to fit it for such ornaments. Then, as fashion is never constant for any great length of' time, the taste of the public rushed at once upon castles; and loopholes, and battlements, and heavy arches, and buttresses appeared in every direction. Now the fancy of the time has turned as madly to that bastard kind of architecture, possessing, however, many beauties, which compounded of the Gothic, Castellated, and Grecian or Roman, is called the Elizabethan, or Old English. No villa, no country-house, no lodge in the outskirts of London, no box of a retired tradesman is now built, except in some modification of this style. The most ludicrous situations and the most inappropriate destinations do not deter any one from pointing his gables, and squaring his bay-windows, in the most approved Elizabethan manner. And this vulgarizing and lowering Of the Old English architecture, by over use, is sure, sooner or later, to lose its popularity, and to cause it to be contemned and neglected, like its predecessors. All these different styles, if properly applied, have their peculiar merits. In old English country-houses, which have formerly been conventual buildings, the gothic style may be, with great propriety, introduced. On the height of Belvoir or in similar situations, nothing could be devised so appropriate as the castellated; and in additions to, or renovations of old manor-houses the Elizabethan may be, with equal advantage, adopted. It is the injudicious application of all three which has been, and is sure to be, the occasion of their fall in public favour.
The next pursuit of Walpole, to -which it now becomes desirable to advert, are his literary labours, and the various publications with which, at different periods of his life, he favoured the world. His first effort appears to have been a copy of verses, written at Cambridge. His poetry is generally not of a very high order; lively, and with happy turns and expressions, but injured frequently by a sort of quaintness, and a somewhat inharmonious rhythm. Its merits, however, exactly fitted it for the purpose which it was for the most part intended for; namely, as what are called vers de soci'et'e." (37) Among the best of his verses may be mentioned those "On the neglected Column in the Place of St. Mark, at Florence," which contains some fine lines; his "Twickenham Register;" and "The Three Vernons."
In 1752 he published his "Edes Walpolianae," or description of the family seat' of Houghton Hall, in Norfolk, where his father had built a palace, and had made a fine collection of pictures, which were sold by his grandson George, third Earl of Orford, to the Empress Catherine of Russia. This work, which is, in fact, a mere catalogue of pictures, first showed the peculiar talent of Horace Walpole for enlivening, by anecdote and lightness of style, a dry subject. This was afterwards still more exemplified in his "Anecdotes of Painting in England," of which the different volumes were published in 1761, 1763, and 1771; and in the "Catalogue of Engravers," published in 1763. These works were compiled from papers of Vertue, the engraver; but Walpole, from the stores of his own historical knowledge, from his taste in the fine arts, and his happy manner of sketching characters, rendered them peculiarly his own. But his masterpiece in this line was his "Catalogue of Royal and Noble Authors," originally published in 1758. It is very true, as Walter Scott observes, that "it would be difficult, by any process or principle of subdivision, to select a list of so many plebeian authors, containing so very few whose genius was worthy of commemoration." (38) But this very circumstance renders the merit of Walpole the greater, in having, out of such materials, composed a work which must be read with amusement and interest, as long as liveliness of diction and felicity in anecdote are considered ingredients of amusement in literature.
In 1757 Walpole established a private printing-press at Strawberry Hill, and the first work he printed at it was the Odes of Gray, with Bentley's prints and vignettes. Among the handsomest and most valuable volumes which subsequently issued from this press, in addition to Walpole's own Anecdotes of Painting, and his description of Strawberry Hill, must be mentioned the quarto lucan, with the notes of Grotius and Bentley; the Life of Lord Herbert of Cherbury by himself, flentzner's Travels, and Lord Whitworth's account of Russia. Of all these he printed a very limited number. It does not, however, appear, as stated in the Biographical Dictionary, (39) he reserved all the copies as presents; on the contrary, it would seem that in most instances he sold a certain portion of the copies to the booksellers, probably with a view of defraying the expenses of his printing establishment. As, however, the supply in the book-market of the Strawberry Hill editions was very small, they generally sold for high prices, and a great interest was created respecting them.
In 1764 Walpole published one of the most remarkable of his works, "The Castle of Otranto;" and in 1768 his still more remarkable production, "The Mysterious Mother." (40) In speaking of the latter effort of his genius, (for it undoubtedly deserves that appellation,) an admirable judge of literary excellence has made the following remarks; "It is the fashion to underrate Horace Walpole firstly, because he was a nobleman, and secondly, because he was a gentleman: but, to say nothing of the composition of his incomparable letters, and of "The Castle of Otranto," he is the Ultimus Romanorum, the author of the 'Mysterious Mother,' a tragedy of the highest order, and not a puling love-play: he is the father of the first romance, and of the last tragedy in our language, and surely worthy of a higher place than any living author, be he who he may." (41)
In speaking Of "The Castle of Otranto," it may be remarked as a singular coincidence in the life of Walpole, that as he had been the first person to lead the modern public to seek for their architecture in the Gothic style and age, so he also opened the great magazine of the tales of Gothic times to their literature. "The Castle of Otranto" is remarkable," observes an eminent critic, "not only for the wild interest of its story, but as the first modern attempt to found a tale of amusing fiction upon the basis of the ancient romances of chivalry." (42) "This romance," he continues, "has been justly considered not only as the original and model of a peculiar species of composition, attempted and successfully executed by a man of great genius, but as one of the standard works of our literature.' (43)
The account which Walpole himself gives of the circumstances which led to the composition of "The Castle of Otranto," of his fancy of the portrait of Lord Deputy Falkland, in the gallery at Strawberry Hill, walking Out of its frame; and of his dream of a gigantic hand in armour on the banister of a great staircase, are well known. Perhaps it may be objected to him, that he makes too frequent use of supernatural machinery in his romance; but, at the time it was written, this portion of his work was peculiarly acceptable to the public. We have since, from the labours of the immense tribe of his followers and imitators of different degrees of merit, "supped so full of horrors," that we are become more fastidious upon these points; and even, perhaps, unfairly so, as at the present moment the style of supernatural romances in general is rather fallen again Into neglect and disfavour. "If," concludes Walter Scott, in his criticism on this work, (and the sentiments expressed by him are so fair and just, that it is impossible to forbear quoting them,) "Horace Walpole, who led the way in this new species of literary composition, has been surpassed by some of his followers in diffuse brilliancy of composition, and perhaps in the art of detaining the mind of the reader in a state of feverish and anxious suspense through a protracted and complicated narrative, more will yet remain with him than the single merit of originality and invention. The applause due to chastity of style—to a happy combination of supernatural agency with human interest-to a tone of feudal manners and language, sustained by characters strongly marked and well discriminated,-and to unity of action, producing scenes alternately of interest and grandeur,-the applause, in fine, which cannot be denied to him who can excite the passions of fear and pity must be awarded to the author of the Castle of Otranto." (44)
"The Mysterious Mother," is a production of higher talent and more powerful genius than any other which we owe to the pen of Horace Walpole; though, from the nature of its subject, and the sternness of its character, it is never likely to compete in popularity with many of his other writings. The story is too horrible almost for tragedy. It is, as Walpole himself observes,"more truly horrid even than that of Oedipus." He took it from a history which had been told him, and which he thus relates: "I had heard, when very Young, that a gentlewoman, under uncommon agonies of mind, had waited on Archbishop Tillotson, and besought his counsel. Many years before, a damsel that served her, had acquainted her that she was importuned by the gentlewoman's son to grant him a private meeting. The mother ordered the maiden to make the assignation, when, she said, she would discover herself, and reprimand him for his criminal passion: but, being hurried away by a much more criminal passion herself, she kept the assignation without discovering herself. The fruit of this horrid artifice was a daughter, whom the gentlewoman caused to be educated very privately in the country: but proving very lovely, and being accidentally met by her father-brother, who had never had the slightest suspicion of the truth, he had fallen in love with and actually married her. The wretched, guilty mother, learning what had happened, and distracted with the consequence of her crime, had now resorted to the archbishop, to know in what manner she should act. The prelate charged her never to let her son or daughter know what had passed, as they were innocent of any criminal intention. For herself he bade her almost despair." (45) Afterwards, Walpole found out that a similar story existed in the Tales of the Queen of Navarre, and also in Bishop Hall's works. In this tragedy the dreadful interest is well sustained throughout, the march of the blank verse is grand and imposing, and some of the scenes are worked up with a vigour and a pathos, which render it one of the most powerful dramatic efforts of which our language can boast.
The next publication of Walpole, was his "Historic Doubts on the Life and Reign of King Richard the Third," one of the most ingenious historical and antiquarian dissertations which has ever issued from the press. He has collected his facts with so much industry, and draws his arguments and inferences from them with so much ability, that if he has not convinced the public of the entire innocence of Richard, he has, at all events, diminished the number of his crimes, and has thrown a doubt over his whole history, as well as over the credibility of his accusers, which is generally favourable to his reputation. This work occasioned a great sensation in the literary world, and produced several replies, from F. Guydickens, Esq., Dean Milles, and the Rev. Mr. Masters, and others. These works, however, are now gathered to "the dull of ancient days;" while the book they were intended to expose and annihilate remains an instructive and amusing volume; and, to say the least of it, a most creditable monument of its author's ingenuity.
The remainder of the works of Walpole, published or printed in his lifetime, consist of minor, or, as he calls them, Fugitive pieces." Of these the most remarkable are his papers in "The World," and other periodicals; " A Letter from Xo Ho, a Chinese Philosopher, in London," on the politics of the day; the "Essay on Modern Gardening;" the pamphlet called "A Counter Address," on the dismissal of Marshal Conway from his command of a regiment; the fanciful, but lively "Hieroglyphic Tales;" and "The Reminiscences," or Recollections of Court and Political Anecdotes; which last he wrote for the amusement of the Miss Berrys. All of these are marked with those peculiarities, and those graces of style, which belonged to him; and may still be read, however various their subjects, with interest and instruction. The Reminiscences are peculiarly curious; and may, perhaps, be stated to be, both in manner and matter, the very perfection of anecdote writing. We may, indeed, say, with respect to Walpole, what can be advanced of but few such voluminous authors, that it is impossible to open any part of his works without deriving entertainment from them; so much do the charms and liveliness of his manner of writing influence all the subjects he treats of.
Since the death of Walpole, a portion of his political Memoires, comprising the History of the last ten years of the Reign of George the Second, has been published, and has made a very remarkable addition to the historical information of that period. At the same time it must be allowed, that this work has not entirely fulfilled the expectation which the public had formed of it. Though full of curious and interesting details; it can hardly be said to form a very interesting whole; while in no other of the publications of the author do his prejudices and aversions appear in so strong and unreasonable a light. His satire also, and we might even call it by the stronger name of abuse, is too general, and thereby loses its effect. Many of the characters are probably not too severely drawn; but some evidently are, and this circumstance shakes our faith in the rest. We must, however, remember that the age he describes was one of peculiar corruption; and when the virtue and character of public men were, perhaps, at a lower ebb than at any other period since the days of Charles the Second. The admirably graphic style of Walpole, in describing particular scenes and moments, shines forth in many parts of the Memoires: and this, joined to his having been an actor in many of the circumstances he relates and a near spectator of all, must ever render his book one of extreme value to the politician and the historian.
But, the posthumous works of Walpole, upon which his lasting fame with posterity will probably rest, are his "incomparable LETTERS." (46) Of these, a considerable portion was published in the quarto edition of his works in 1798: since which period two quarto volumes, containing his letters to George Montagu, Esq. and the Rev. William Cole; and another, containing those to Lord Hertford and the Rev. Henry Zouch, have been given to the world; and the present publication of his correspondence with Sir Horace Mann completes the series, which extends from the year 1735 to the commencement of 1797, within six weeks of his death-a period of no less than fifty-seven years.
A friend of Mr. Walpole's has observed, that "his epistolary talents have shown our language to be capable of all the grace and all the charms of the French of Madame de S'evign'e;" (47) and the remark is a true one, for he is undoubtedly the author who first proved the aptitude of our language for that light and gay epistolary style, which was before supposed peculiarly to belong to our Gallic neighbours. There may be letters of a higher order in our literature than those of Walpole. Gray's letters, and perhaps Cowper's, may be taken as instances of this; but where shall we find such an union of taste, humour, and almost dramatic power of description and narrative, as in the correspondence of Walpole? Where such happy touches upon the manners and characters of the time? Where can we find such graphic scenes, as the funeral of George the Second; as the party to Vauxhall with Lady Harrington; as the ball at Miss Chudleigh's, in the letters already published; or as some of the House of Commons' debates and many of the anecdotes of society in those now offered to the world? Walpole's style in letter-writing is occasionally quaint, and sometimes a little laboured; but for the most part he has contrived to throw into it a great appearance of ease, as if he wrote rapidly and without premeditation. This, however, was by no means the case, as he took great pains with his letters, and even collected, and wrote down beforehand, anecdotes, with a view to their subsequent insertion. Some of these stores have been discovered among the papers at Strawberry Hill. The account of the letters of Walpole leads naturally to some mention of his friends, to whom they were addressed. These were, Gray the poet, Marshal Conway, his elder brother, Lord Hertford, George Montagu, Esq., the Rev. William Cole, Lord Strafford, Richard Bentley, Esq., John Chute, Esq., Sir Horace Mann, Lady Hervey, and in after-life, Mrs. Hannah More, Mrs. Damer, and the two Miss Berrys. His correspondence with the three latter ladies has never been published; but his regard for them, and intimacy with them, are known to have been very great. Towards Mrs. Damer, the only child of the friend of his heart, Marshal Conway, he had an hereditary feeling of affection; and to her he bequeathed Strawberry Hill. To the Miss Berrys he left, in conjunction with their father, the greater part of his papers, and the charge of collecting and publishing his works, a task which they performed with great care and judgment. To these friends must be added the name of Richard West, Esq., a young man of great promise, (only son of Richard West, Lord Chancellor of Ireland, by the daughter of Bishop Burnet,) who died in 1742, at the premature age of twenty-six.
Gray had been a school friend of Walpole, as has been before mentioned, they travelled together, and quarrelled during the Journey. Walter Scott suggests as a reason for their differences, "that the youthful vivacity, and perhaps aristocratic assumption, of Walpole, did not agree with the somewhat formal opinions and habits of the professed man of letters." (48) This conjecture may very possibly be the correct one; but we have no clue to guide us with certainty to the causes of their rupture. In after-life they were reconciled, though the intimacy of early friendship never appears to have been restored between them. (49) Scott says of Walpole, that , his temper was precarious;" and we may, perhaps, affirm the same of Gray. At all events, they were persons of such different characters, that their not agreeing could not be surprising. What could be more opposite than "the self-sequestered, melancholy Gray," and the eager, volatile Walpole, of whom Lady Townshend said, when some one talked of his good spirits, "Oh, Mr. Walpole is spirits of hartshorn." When Mason was writing the life of Gray, Walpole bade him throw the whole blame of the quarrel upon him. This might be mere magnanimity, as Gray was then dead; what makes one most inclined to think it was the truth, is the fact, that Gray was not the only intimate friend of Walpole with whom he quarrelled. He did so with Bentley, for which the eccentric conduct of that man of talent might perhaps account. But what shall we say to his quarrel with the good-humoured, laughing George Montagu, with whom for the last years of the life of the latter, he held no intercourse? It is true, that in a letter to Mr. Cole, Walpole lays the blame upon Montagu, and says, "he was become such an humourist;" but it must be remembered that we do not know Montagu's version of the story; and that undoubtedly three quarrels with three intimate friends rather support the charge, brought by Scott against Walpole, of his having "a precarious temper."
The friendship, however, which does honour both to the head and heart of Horace Walpole, was that which he bore to Marshal Conway; a man who, accordant to all the accounts of him that have come down to us, was so truly worthy of inspiring such a degree of affection. Burke's panegyric (50)upon his public character and conduct is well-known; while the Editor of Lord Orford's Works thus most justly eulogizes his private life. "It is only those who have had the opportunity of penetrating into the most secret motives of his public conduct and the inmost recesses of his private life, that can do real justice to the unsullied purity of his character-who saw and knew him in the evening of his days, retired from the honourable activity of a soldier and a statesman, to the calm enjoyments of private life, happy in the resources of his own mind, and in the cultivation of useful science, in the bosom of domestic peace-unenriched by pensions or places, undistinguished by titles or ribands, unsophisticated by public life, and unwearied by retirement." The offer of Walpole to share his fortune with Conway, when the latter was dismissed from his places, an offer so creditable to both parties, has been already mentioned; and if we wish to have a just idea of the esteem in which Marshal Conway was held by his contemporaries, it is only necessary to mention, that upon the same occasion, similar offers were pressed upon him by his brother Lord Hertford, and by the Duke of Devonshire, without any concert between them.
The rest of' Walpole's friends and correspondents it is hardly necessary to dwell upon; they are many of them already well known to the public from various causes. it may, however, be permitted to observe, that, they were, for the most part, persons distinguished either by their taste in the fine arts, their love of antiquities, their literary attainments, or their conversational talents. To the friends already mentioned, but with whom Walpole did not habitually correspond, must be added, Mason the poet, George Selwyn, Richard second Lord Edgecumbe, George James Williams, Esq. Lady Suffolk, and Mrs. Clive the actress.
With the Marquise du Deffand, the old, blind, but clever leader of French society, he became acquainted at Paris late in her life. Her devotion for him appears to have been very great, and is sometimes expressed in her letters with a warmth and tenderness, which Walpole, who was most sensitive of ridicule, thought so absurd in a person of her years and infirmities, that he frequently reproves her very harshly for it; so much so, as to give him the appearance of a want of kindly feeling towards her, which his general conduct to her, and the regrets he expressed on her death, do not warrant us in accusing him of. (51)
In concluding the literary part of the character of Walpole, it is natural to allude to the transactions which took place between him and the unfortunate Chatterton; a text upon which so much calumny and misrepresentation have been embroidered. The periodicals of the day, and the tribe of those "who daily scribble for their daily bread," and for whom Walpole had, perhaps unwisely, frequently expressed his contempt, attacked him bitterly for his inhumanity to genius, and even accused him as the author of the subsequent misfortunes and untimely death of that misguided son of genius; nay, even the author of "The Pursuits of Literature," who wrote many years after the transaction had taken place, and who ought to have known better, gave in to the prevailing topic of abuse. (52) It therefore becomes necessary to state shortly what really took place upon this occasion, a task which is rendered easier by the clear view of the transaction taken both by Walter Scott in his "Lives of the Novelists," and by Chalmers in his "Biographical Dictionary," which is also fully borne out by the narrative drawn up by Walpole himself, and accompanied by the correspondence.
it appears then, that in March 1769, Walpole-received a letter from Chatterton, enclosing a few specimens of the pretended poems of Rowley, and announcing his discovery of a series of ancient painters at Bristol. To this communication Walpole, naturally enough, returned a very civil answer. Shortly afterwards, doubts arose in his mind as to the authenticity of the poems; these were confirmed by the opinions of some friends, to whom he showed them; and he then wrote an expression of these doubts to Chatterton. This appears to have excited the anger of Chatterton, who, after one or two short notes, wrote Walpole a very impertinent one, in which he redemanded his manuscripts. This last letter Walpole had intended to have answered with some sharpness; but did not do so. He only returned the specimens on the 4th of August 1769; and this concluded the intercourse between them, and as Walpole observes, "I never saw him then, before, or since." Subsequently to this transaction, Chatterton acquired other patrons more credulous than Walpole, and proceeded with his forgeries. In April 1770 he came to London, and committed suicide in August of that year; a fate which befell him, it is to be feared, more in consequence of his own dissolute and profligate habits, than from any want of patronage. However this may be, Walpole clearly had nothing to say to it.
In addition to the accusation of crushing, instead of fostering his genius, Walpole has also been charged with cruelty in not assisting him with money. Upon this, he very truly says himself, "Chatterton was neither indigent nor distressed, at the time of his correspondence with me. He was maintained by his mother and lived with a lawyer. His only pleas to my assistance were, disgust to his profession, inclination to poetry, and communication of some suspicious MSS. His distress was the consequence of quitting his master, and coming to London, and of his other extravagances. He had depended on the impulse of the talents he felt for making impression, and lifting him to wealth, honours, and faine. I have already said, that I should have been blamable to his mother and society, if I had seduced an apprentice from his master to marry him to the nine Muses;' and I should have encouraged a propensity to forgery, which is not the talent most wanting culture in the present age." (53) Such and so unimportant was the transaction with Chatterton, which brought so much obloquy on Walpole, and seems really to have given him at different times great annoyance.
There remains but little more to relate in the life of Walpole. His old age glided on peacefully, and, with the exception of his severe sufferings from the gout, apparently contentedly, in the pursuit of his favourite studies and employments. In the year 1791, he succeeded his unhappy nephew, George, third Earl of Orford, who had at different periods of his life been insane, in the family estate and the earldom. The accession of this latter dignity seems rather to have annoyed him than otherwise. He never took his seat in the House of Lords, and his unwillingness to adopt his title was shown in his endeavours to avoid making use of it in his signature. He not unfrequently signed himself, "The Uncle of the late Earl of Orford." (54)
He retained his faculties to the last, but his limbs became helpless from his frequent attacks of gout: as he himself expresses it,
"Fortune, who scatters her gifts out of season, Though unkind to my limbs, has yet left me my reason." (55)
As a friend of his, who only knew him in the last years of his life, speaks of "his conversation as singularly brilliant as it was original," (56) we may conclude his liveliness never deserted him; that his talent for letter-writing did not, we have a proof in a letter written only six weeks before his death, in which, with all his accustomed grace of manner he entreats a lady of his acquaintance not to show "the idle notes of her ancient servant."-Lord Orford died in the eightieth year 'of his life, at his house in Berkeley Square, on the 2d of March 1797, and was buried with his family in the church at Houghton and with him concluded the male line of the descendants of Sir Robert Walpole.
(20) Originally prefixed to his lordship's edition of Walpole's Letters to Sir Horace Mann, first published in 1833.
(21) In a MS. note by Walpole, in his own copy of collins's Peerage, it is stated, that Sir Robert Walpole had, by his first wife, "another son, William, who died young, and a daughter, Catherine, who died of a consumption at Bath, aged nineteen."-E.
(22) The occasion of the death of sir John Shorter was a curious one. It is thus related in the Ellis Correspondence:-"Sir John Shorter, the present Lord Mayor. is very ill with a fall off his horse, under Newgate, as he was going to proclaim Bartholomew Fair. The city custom is, it seems, to drink always under Newgate when the Lord Mayor passes that way; and at this time the Lord Mayor's horse, being somewhat skittish,-started at the sight of the large glittering tankard which was reached to his lordship." Letter of Aug. 30th, 1688.
"On Tuesday last died the Lord Mayor, Sir John Shorter: the occasion of his distemper was his fall under Newgate, which bruised him a little, and put him into a fever." Letter of September 6th, 1688.
(23 )birthdate) In Chalmers's Biographical Dictionary it is stated, that Horace Walpole was born in 1718; and Sir Walter Scott says he was born in 1716-17, which, according to the New Style, would mean that he was born in one of the three first months of the year 1717. Both these statements are, however, erroneous, as he himself fixes the day of his birth, in a letter to Mr. Conway, dated October 5th, 1764, where he says "What signifies what happens when one is seven-and-forty, as I am to-day? They tell me 'tis my birthday," And again, in a letter to the same correspondent, dated October 5th, 1777, he says, "I am three-score to-day."
(24) The exact cause of this quarrel," says Mr. Mitford, in his Life of Gray, " has been passed over by the delicacy of his biographer, because Horace Walpole was alive when the Memoirs of Gray were written. The former, however, charged himself with the chief blame, and lamented that he had not paid more attention and deference to Gray's superior judgment and prudence." See Works of Gray, vol. i. p. 9, Pickering's edition 1836. In the "Walpolianae" is the following passage:-"The quarrel between Gray and me arose from his being too serious a companion. I had just broke loose from the restraints of the University with as much money as I could spend, and I was willing to indulge myself. Gray was for antiquities, etc. while I was for perpetual balls and plays: the fault was mine."-E.
(25) Sir Walter Scott says that Walpole, on one occasion, " vindicated the memory of his father with great dignity and eloquence" in the House of Commons; but, as I cannot find any trace of a speech of this kind made by him after Sir Robert Walpole's death, I am inclined to think Sir Walter must have made a mistake as to the time of delivery of the speech mentioned in the text. [Secker, at that time Bishop of Oxford, says that Walpole "spoke well against the motion." See post, letter to Sir Horace Mann, dated March 24, 1742.
(26) Sir Walter Scott is in error when he says that Walpole retired from the House of Commons in 1758, "at the active age of forty-one." This event occurred, as is here stated, in March, 1768, and when Walpole was consequently in his fifty-first year.
(27) Letter, dated Arlington Street, March 12th, 1768. It is but fair to mention, in opposition to the opinion respecting George Grenville, here delivered by Walpole, that of no less an authority than Burke, who says, "Mr. Grenville was a first-rate figure in this country,"
(28) He had also offered to share his fortune with Mr. Conway in the year 1744 (see letter of July 20th of that year), in order to enable Mr. Conway to marry a lady he was then in love with. He ends his very pressing entreaties by saying, "For these reasons, don't deny me what I have set my Heart on-the making your fortune easy to you." Nor were these the only instances of generosity to a friend, which we find in the life of Walpole. In the year 1770, when the Abb'e Terrai was administering the finances of France, (or, to use the more expressive language of Voltaire, "Quand Terrai nous mangeait,") his economical reductions occasioned the loss of a portion of her pension, amounting to three thousand livres, to Madame du Deffand. Upon this occasion Walpole wrote thus to his old blind friend, who had presented a memorial of her case to M. de St. Florentin, a course of proceeding which Walpole did not approve of:-"Ayez assez d'amiti'e pour moi pour accepter les trois mille livres de ma part. Je voudrais que la somme ne me f'ut pas aussi indiferente qu'elle l'est, mais je vous jure qu'elle ne retranchera rien, pas m'eme sur mes amusemens. La prendriez vous de la main de la grandeur, et la refuseriez vous de moi? Vous me connaissez: faites ce sacrifice 'a mon orgueil, qui serait enchants de vous avoir emp'ech'ee de vous abaisser jusqu''a la sollicitation. Votre m'emoire me blesse. Quoi! vous, vous, r'eduite 'a repr'esenter vos malheurs! Accordez moi, je vous conjure, la grace que je vous demande 'a genoux, et jouissez de la satisfaction de vous dire, J'ai un ami qui ne permettra jamais que je me jette aux pieds des grands. Ma Petite, j'insiste. Voyez, si vous aimez mieux me faire le plaisir le plus sensible, ou de devoir une grace qui, ayant 'et'e sollicit'ee, arrive toujours trop tard pour contanter l'amiti'e. Laissez moi go'uter la joie la plus pure, de vous avoir mise 'a votre aise, et que cette joie soit un secret profond entre nous deux." See Letters of the Marquise de Deffand to the Honourable Horace Walpole.-It was impossible to make a pecuniary offer with more earnestness or greater delicacy; and Madame du Deffand's not having found it necessary subsequently to accept it, in no degree diminishes the merit of the proffered gift.
(29) See letter, dated Monday, five o'clock, Feb. 1761.
(30) See letter, dated April 19th, 1764.
(31) See letter to Sir Horace Mann, Feb. 25, 1750.
(32) Catherine Hyde, the eccentric friend of Pope and Gay. She was, at this time, living in a small house in Ham Walks. Walpole, having found her out airing in her Carriage, one day that he had called on her, there addressed the following lines to her:—
'To many a Kitty, Love his car Would for a day engage; But Prior's Kitty, ever fair, Retains it for an age."
(33) Letter of June 8th, 1747.
(34) Lee, in Kent.
(35) Letter of June 5th, 1788.
(36) George James Williams, Esq.
(37) In his vers de soci'et'e we perpetually discover a laborious effort to introduce the lightness of the French badinage into a masculine and somewhat rough language."-Quart. Rev. vol. xix. p. 122.
(38) Lives of the Novelists, Prose Works, vol. iii. p. 304, ed. 1834.
(39) Chalmer's Biographical Dictionary, article Walpole.
(40) "The Mysterious Mother" was printed in that year: but was never published till after the death of Walpole.
(41) Lord Byron, Preface to Mtrino Faliero."
(42) Lives of the Novelists, Sir Walter Scott; Prose Works, vol. iii. p. 313.
(43) Shortly after the appearance of this romance, the following high encomium was passed upon it by Bishop Warburton:-"We have been lately entertained with what I will venture to call a masterpiece in the fable, and a new species likewise. The piece I mean is laid in Gothic chivalry, where a beautiful imagination, supported by strength of judgment, has enabled the author to go beyond his subject, and effect the full purpose of the ancient tragedy; that is, to purge the passions by pity and terror, in colouring as great and harmonious as in any of the best dramatic writers."-E.
(44) Lives of the Novelists; Prose Works, vol. iii. p. 323.
(45) Postscript to "The Mysterious Mother."
(46) Lord Byron.
(47) Social Life in England and France," by Miss Berry.
(48) Lives of the Novelists; Prose Works, vol. iii. p. 301.
(49) "In 1744, the difference between Walpole and Gray was adjusted by the interference of a lady, who wished well to both parties. The lapse of three years had probably been sufficient, in some degree, to soften down, though not entirely obliterate, the remembrance of supposed injustices on both sides; natural kindness of temper had resumed their place, and we find their correspondence again proceeding on friendly and familiar terms." Mitford's Gray, vol. i. p. xxiii; see also vol. ii. p. 174.-E.
(50) Speech on American Taxation, April 19, 1774.
(51) "Vanity, when it unfortunately gets possession of a wise man's head, is as keenly sensible of ridicule, as it is impassible to its shafts when more appropriately lodged with a fool. Of the sensitiveness arising out of this foible Walpole seems to have had a great deal, and it certainly dictated those hard-hearted reproofs that repelled the warm effusions of friendship with which poor Madame du Deffand (now old and blind) addressed him, and of which he complained with the utmost indignation, merely because, if her letters were opened by a clerk at the post-office, such expressions of kindness might expose him to the ridicule of which he had such undue terror." Quart. Rev. Vol. xix. p. 119.-E.
(52) See "Pursuits of Literature," second Dialogue:-
"The Boy, whom once patricians pens adorn'd, First meanly flatter'd, then as meanly scorn'd."
Which lines are Stated in a note to allude to Walpole. See also, first Dialogue, where Chatturton is called, "That varlet bright." The note to which passage is "'I am the veriest varlet that ever chew'd,' says Falstaff, in Henry IV. Part 1. Act. 2. Mr. Horace Walpole, now Lord Orford, did not, however, seem to think it necessary that this varlet Chatterton should chew at all. See the Starvation Act, dated at Strawberry Hill."
(53) Letter to the Editor of the Miscellanies of Chatterton. Works, vol. iv.
(54) The Duke of Bedford has a letter of Walpole's with this signature.
(55) "Epitapilium vivi auctoris."-l 792.
(56) "Social Life in England and France."
REMINISCENCES OF THE COURTS OF GEORGE THE FIRST AND SECOND: WRITTEN IN 1788, FOR THE AMUSEMENT OF MISS MARY AND MISS AGNES BERRY.
Il ne faut point d'esprit pour s'occuper des vieux 'ev'enements.-Voltaire.
Motives to the Undertaking-Precedents-George the First's Reign a Proem to the History of the Reigning House of Brunswick-The Reminiscent introduced to that Monarch-His Person and Dress-The Duchess of Kendal-her Jealousy of Sir Robert Walpole's Credit with the King-and Intrigues to displace him, and make Bolingbroke Minister. '
You were both so entertained with the old stories I told you one evening lately, of what I recollected to have seen and heard from my childhood of the courts of King George the First, and of his son the Prince of Wales, afterwards George the Second, and of the latter's princess, since Queen Caroline; and you expressed such wishes that I would commit those passages (for they are scarce worthy of the title even of anecdotes) to writing, that, having no greater pleasure than to please you both, nor any more important or laudable occupation, I will begin to satisfy the repetition of your curiosity. But observe, I promise no more than to begin; for I not only cannot answer that I shall have patience to continue, but my memory is still so fresh, or rather so retentive of trifles which first made impression on it, that it is very possible my life (turned of seventy-one) may be exhausted before my stock of remembrances; especially as I am sensible of the garrulity of old age, and of its eagerness of relating whatever it recollects, whether of moment or not. Thus, while I fancy I am complying with you, I may only be indulging myself, and consequently may wander into many digressions for which you will not care a straw, and which may intercept the completion of my design. Patience, therefore young ladies; and if you coin an old gentleman into narratives, you must expect a good deal of alloy. I engage for no method, no regularity, no polish. My narrative will probably resemble siege-pieces, which are struck of any promiscuous metals; and, though they bear the impress of some sovereign's name, only serve to quiet the garrison for the moment, and afterwards are merely hoarded by collectors and virtuosos, who think their series not complete, unless they have even the coins of base metal of every reign. As I date from my nonage, I must have laid up no state secrets. Most of the facts I am going to tell you though new to you and to most of the present age, were known perhaps at the time to my nurse and my tutors. Thus, my stories will have nothing to do with history.
Luckily, there have appeared within these three months two publications, that will serve as precedents for whatever I am going to say: I mean Les Fragments of the Correspondence of the Duchess of Orleans, (57) and those of the M'emoires of the Duc de St. Simon. (58) Nothing more d'ecousu than both: they tell you what they please; or rather, what their editors have pleased to let them tell. In one respect I shall be less satisfactory. They knew and were well acquainted, or thought they were, with their personages. I did not at ten years old, penetrate characters; and as George 1. died at the period where my reminiscence begins, and was rather a good sort of man than a shining king; and as the Duchess of Kendal was no genius, I heard very little of either when he and her power were no more. In fact, the reign of George 1. was little more than the proem to the history of England Under the House of Brunswick. That family was established here by surmounting a rebellion; to which settlement perhaps the phrensy of the South Sea scheme contributed, by diverting the national attention from the game of faction to the delirium of stockjobbing; and even faction was split into fractions by the quarrel between the king and the heir apparent-another interlude, which authorizes me to call the reign of George 1. a proem to the history of the reigning House of Brunswick, so successively agitated by parallel feuds.
As my first hero was going off the stage before I ought to have come upon it, it will be necessary to tell you why the said two personages happened to meet just two nights before they were to part for ever; a rencounter that barely enables me to give you a general idea of the former's person and of his mistress's-or, as has been supposed, his wife's.
As I was the youngest by eleven years of Sir Robert Walpole's children by his first wife, and was extremely weak and delicate, as you see me still, though with no constitutional complaint till I had the gout after forty, and as my two sisters were consumptive and died of consumptions, the supposed necessary care of me (and I have overheard persons saying, "That child cannot possibly live") so engrossed the attention of my mother, that compassion and tenderness soon became extreme fondness; and as the infinite good-nature of my father never thwarted any of his children, he suffered me to be too much indulged, and permitted her to gratify the first vehement inclination that I ever expressed, and which, as I have never since felt any enthusiasm for royal persons, I must suppose that the female attendants in the family must have put into my head, to long to see the king. This childish caprice was so strong, that my mother solicited the Duchess of Kendal to obtain for me the honour of kissing his Majesty's hand before he set out for Hanover. A favour so unusual to be asked for a boy of ten years old, was still too slight to be refused to the wife of the first minister for her darling child; yet not being proper to be made a precedent, it was settled to be in private, and at night.
Accordingly, the night but one before the king began his last journey, my mother carried me at ten at night to the apartment of the Countess of Walsingham, (59) on the ground floor, towards the garden at St. James's, which opened into that of her aunt, the Duchess of Kendal's: apartments occupied by George II. after his queen's death, and by his successive mistresses, the Countesses of Suffolk and Yarmouth.
Notice being given that the king was come down to supper, Lady Walsingham took me alone into the duchess's ante-room, where we found alone the king and her. I knelt down, and kissed his hand. He said a few words to me, and my conductress led me back to my mother (60)
The person of the king is as perfect in my memory as if I saw him but yesterday. It was that of an elderly man, rather pale, and exactly like his pictures and coins; Dot tall; of an aspect rather good than august; with a dark tie-wig, a plain coat, waistcoat, and breeches of snuff coloured cloth, with stockings Of the same colour, and a blue riband over all. So entirely was he my object that I do not believe I once looked at the duchess; but as I could not avoid seeing her on entering the room, I remember that just beyond his Majesty stood a very tall, lean, ill-favoured old lady but I did not retain the least idea of her features, nor know what the colour of her dress was.
My childish loyalty, and the condescension in gratifying it, were, I suppose, causes that contributed, very soon afterwards, to make me shed a flood of tears for that sovereign's death, when, with the other scholars at Eton college, I walked in procession to the proclamation of the successor; and which (though I think they partly felt because I imagined it became the son of a prime-minister to be more concerned than other boys) were no doubt imputed by many of the spectators who were politicians, to fears of my father's most probable fall, but of which I had not the smallest conception, nor should have met with any more concern than I did when it really arrived, in the year 1742; by which time I had lost all taste for courts and princes and power, as was natural to one who never felt an ambitious thought for himself.
It must not be inferred from her obtaining this grace for me, that the Duchess of Kendal was a friend to my father; on the contrary, at that moment she had been labouring to displace him, and introduce Lord Bolingbroke (61) into the administration; on which I shall say more hereafter.
It was an instance of Sir Robert's singular fortune, or evidence of his talents, that he not only preserved his power under two successive monarchs, but in spite of the efforts of both their mistresses (62) to remove him. It was perhaps still more remarkable, and an instance unparalleled, that Sir Robert governed George the First in Latin, the King not speaking English, (63) and his minister no German, nor even French. (64) It was much talked of, that Sir Robert, detecting one of the Hanoverian ministers in some trick or falsehood before the King'S face, had the firmness to say to the German, "Mentiris, impudentissime!" The good-humoured monarch only laughed, as he often did when Sir Robert complained to him of his Hanoverians selling places, nor would be persuaded that it was not the practice of the English court; and which an incident must have planted in his mind with no favourable impression of English disinterestedness. "This is a strange country!" said his Majesty; "the first morning after my arrival at St. James's, I looked out of the window, and saw a park with walks, a canal, etc. which they told me were mine. The next day, Lord Chetwynd, the ranger of my park, sent me a fine brace of carp out of my canal; and I was told I must give five guineas to Lord Chetwynd's servant for bringing me my own carp out of my own canal in my own park!" I have said, that the Duchess of Kendal was no friend of Sir Robert, and wished to make Lord Bolingbroke minister in his room. I was too young to know any thing of that reign, nor was acquainted with the political cabals of the court, which, however, I might have learnt from my father in the three years after his retirement; but being too thoughtless at that time, nor having your laudable curiosity, I neglected to inform myself of many passages and circumstances, of which I have often since regretted my faulty ignorance.
By what I can at present recollect, the Duchess seems to have been jealous of Sir Robert's credit with the King, which he had acquired, not by paying court, but by his superior abilities in the House of Commons, and by his knowledge in finance, of which Lord Sunderland and Craggs had betrayed their ignorance in countennancing the South Sea scheme; and who, though more agreeable to the King, had been forced to give way to Walpole, as the only man capable of repairing that mischief. The Duchess, too, might be alarmed at his attachment to the Princess of Wales; from whom, in case of the King's death, her grace could expect no favour. Of her jealousy I do know the following instance; Queen Anne had bestowed the rangership of Richmond New Park on her relations the Hydes for three lives, one of which was expired. King George, fond of shooting, bought out the term of the last Earl of Clarendon, and of his son Lord Cornbury, and frequently shot there; having appointed my eldest brother, Lord Walpole, ranger nominally, but my father in reality, wished to hunt there once or twice a week. The park had run to great decay under the Hydes, nor was there any mansion (65) better than the common lodges of the keepers. The King ordered a stone lodge designed by Henry, Earl of Pembroke, to be erected for himself, but merely as a banqueting-house, (66) with a large eating-room, kitchen, and necessary offices, where he might dine after his sport. Sir Robert began another of brick for himself, and the under-ranger, which by degrees, he much enlarged; usually retiring thither from business, or rather, as he said himself, to do more business than he could in town, on Saturdays and Sundays. On that edifice, on the thatched-house, and other improvements, he laid out fourteen thousand pounds of his own money. In the meantime, he hired a small house for himself on the hill without the park; and in that small tenement the King did him the honour of dining with him more than once after shooting. His Majesty, fond of private joviality, (67) was pleased with punch after dinner, and indulged in it freely. The Duchess, alarmed at the advantage the minister might make of the openness of the King's heart in those convivial, unguarded hours, and at a crisis when she was conscious Sir Robert was apprised of her inimical machinations in favour of Lord Bolingbroke, enjoined the few Germans who accompanied the King at those dinners to prevent his Majesty from drinking too freely. Her spies obeyed too punctually, and without any address. The King was offended, and silenced the tools by the coarsest epithets in the German language. He even, before his departure, ordered Sir Robert to have the stone lodge finished against his return: no symptom of a falling minister, as has since been supposed Sir Robert then was, and that Lord Bolingbroke was to have replaced him, had the King lived to come back. But my presumption to the contrary is more strongly corroborated by what had recently passed: the Duchess had actually prevailed on the King to see Bolingbroke secretly in his closet. That intriguing Proteus, aware that he might not obtain an audience long enough to efface former prejudices, and make sufficient impression on the King against Sir Robert, and in his own favour, went provided with a memorial, which he left in the closet. and begged his Majesty to peruse coolly at his leisure. The King kept the paper, but no longer than till he saw Sir Robert, to whom he delivered the poisoned remonstrance. If that communication prognosticated the minister's fall, I am at a loss to know what a mark of confidence is.
Nor was that discovery the first intimation that Walpole had received of the measure of Bolingbroke's gratitude. The minister, against the earnest representations of his family and Most intimate friends, had consented to the recall of that incendiary from banishment, (68) excepting only his readmission into the House of Lords, that every field of annoyance might not be open to his mischievous turbulence. Bolingbroke, it seems, deemed an embargo laid on his tongue would warrant his hand to launch every envenomed shaft against his benefactor, who by restricting had paid him the compliment of avowing that his eloquence was not totally inoffensive. Craftsmen, pamphlet, libels, combinations, were showered on or employed for years against the prime-minister, without shaking his power or ruffling his temper; and Bolingbroke had the mortification of finding his rival had abilities to maintain his influence against the mistresses of two kings, with whom his antagonist had plotted in vain to overturn him. (69)
(57) Charlotte Elizabeth, daughter of the Elector of Bavaria. In 1671 she became the second wife (his first being poisoned) of the brother of Louis XIV. by whom she was the mother of the regent, Duke of Orleans. She died in 1722. A collection of her letters, addressed to Prince Ulric of Brunswick, and to the Princess of Wales, afterwards Queen Caroline, was published at Paris in 1788.-E.
(58) These celebrated M'emoires of the Court of Louis XIV. were first published, in a mutilated state, in 1788. A complete edition, in thirteen volumes, appeared in 1791.-E.
(59) Melusina Schulemberg, niece of the Duchess of Kendal, created Countess of Walsingham and -,afterwards married to the famous Philip Stanhope, Earl of Chesterfield.
(60) The following is the account of this introduction given in "Walpoliana:"-"I do remember something of George the First. My father took me to St. James's while I was a very little boy; after waiting some time in an anteroom, a gentleman came in all dressed in brown, even his stockings, and with a riband and star. He took me up in his arms, kissed me, and chatted some time,"-E.
(61) The well-known Henry St. John, Viscount Bolingbroke, secretary of state to Queen Anne; on whose death he fled, and was attainted. ["We have the authority of Sir Robert Walpole himself," says Coxe, "that the restoration of Lord Bolingbroke was the work of the Duchess of Kendal. He gained the duchess by a present of eleven thousand pounds, and obtained a promise to use her influence over the King, for the purpose of forwarding his complete restoration."]
(62) The Duchess of Kendal and Lady Suffolk.
(63) Sir Robert was frequently heard to say, that during the reign of the first George, he governed the kingdom by means of bad Latin: it is a matter of wonder that, under such disadvantages. the King should take pleasure in transacting business with him: a circumstance which was principally owing to the method and perspicuity of his calculations, and to the extreme facility with which he arranged and explained the most abstruse and difficult combinations of finance." Coxe.-E.
(64) Prince William, afterwards Duke of Cumberland, then a child, being carried to big grandfather on his birthday, the King asked him at what hour he rose. The Prince replied, "when the chimney-sweepers went about." "Vat is de chimney-sweeper?" said the King. "Have you been so long in England," said the boy, "and do not know what a chimney-sweeper is? Why, they are like that man there;" pointing to Lord Finch, afterwards Earl of Winchilsea and Nottingham, of a family uncommonly swarthy and dark-"the black funereal Finches"-Sir Charles Williams's Ode to a Number of Great Men, 1742.
(65) The Earl of Rochester, who succeeded to the title of Clarendon on the extinction of the elder branch, had a villa close without the park; but it had been burnt down, and only one wing was left. W. Stanhope, Earl of Harrington, purchased the ruins, and built the house, since bought by Lord Camelford.
(66) It was afterwards enlarged by Princess Amelia; to whom her rather, George II. had granted the reversion of the rangership after Lord Walpole. Her Royal Highness sold it to George III. for a pension on Ireland of twelve hundred pounds a-year, and his Majesty appointed Lord Bute ranger for life.
(67) The King Hated the parade of royalty. When he went to the opera, it was in no state; nor did he sit in the stage-box, nor forwards, but behind the Duchess of Kendal and Lady Walsingham, in the second box, now allotted to the maids of honour.
(68) Bolingbroke at his return could not avoid waiting on Sir Robert to thank him, and was Invited to dine with him at Chelsea; but whether tortured at witnessing Walpole's serene frankness and felicity, or suffocated with indignation and confusion at being forced to be obliged to one whom be hated and envied, the first morsel he put into his mouth was near choking him, and he was reduced to rise from table and leave the room for some minutes. I never heard of their meeting more.
(69) George II. parted with Lady Suffolk, on Princess Amelia informing Queen Caroline from Bath, that the mistress had interviews there with Lord Bolingbroke. Lady Suffolk, above twenty years after, protested to me that she had not once seen his lordship there; and I should believe she did not, for she was a woman of truth: but her great intimacy and connexion with Pope and Swift, the intimate friends of Bolingbroke, even before the death of George I. and her being the channel through whom that faction had flattered themselves they should gain the ear of the new King, can leave no doubt of Lady Suffolk's support of that party. Her dearest friend to her death was William, afterwards Lord Chetwynd, the known and most trusted confidant of Lord Bolingbroke. Of those political intrigues I shall say more in these Reminiscences.
Marriage of George the First, while Electoral Prince, to the Princess Sophia Dorothea-Assassination of Count Konigsmark-Separation from the Princess-Left-handed Espousal-Piety of the Duchess of Kendal-Confinement and Death of Sophia Dorothea in the Castle of Alden-French Prophetess-The King's Superstition-Mademoiselle Schulemberg—Royal Inconstancy-Countess of Platen-Anne Brett—Sudden Death of George the First.
George the First, while Electoral Prince, had married his cousin, the Princess Dorothea (70) only child of the Duke of Zell; a match of convenience to reunite the dominions of the family. Though she was very handsome, the Prince, who was extremely amorous, had several mistresses; which provocation, and his absence in the army of the confederates, probably disposed the Princess to indulge some degree of coquetry. At that moment arrived at Hanover the famous and beautiful Count Konigsmark, (71) the charms of whose person ought not to have obliterated the memory of his vile assassination of Mr. Thynne.(72)His vanity, the beauty of the Electoral Princess, and the neglect under which he found her, encouraged his presumption to make his addresses to her, not covertly; and she, though believed not to have transgressed her duty, did receive them too indiscreetly. The old Elector flamed at the insolence of so stigmatized a pretender, and ordered him to quit his dominions the next day. The Princess, surrounded by women too closely connected with her husband, and consequently enemies of the lady they injured, was persuaded by them to suffer the count to kiss her hand before his abrupt departure and he was actually introduced by them into her bedchamber the next morning before she rose. From that moment he disappeared nor was it known what became of him, till on the death of George I., on his son the new King's first journey to Hanover, some alterations in the palace being ordered by him, the body of Konigsmark was discovered under the floor of the Electoral Princess's dressing-room-the Count having probably been strangled there the instant he left her, and his body secreted. The discovery was hushed up; George II. entrusted the secret to his wife, Queen Caroline, who told it to my father: but the King was too tender of the honour of his mother to utter it to his mistress; nor did Lady Suffolk ever hear of it, till I informed her of it several years afterwards. The disappearance of the Count made his murder suspected, and various reports of the discovery of his body have of late years been spread, but not with the authentic circumstances. The second George loved his mother as much as he hated his father, and purposed, as was said, had the former survived, to have brought her over and declared her Queen Dowager. (73) Lady Suffolk has told me her surprise, on going to the new Queen the morning after the news arrived of the death of George I., at seeing hung up in the Queen's dressing-room a whole length of a lady in royal robes; and in the bedchamber a half length of the same person, neither of which Lady Suffolk had ever seen before. The Prince had kept them concealed, not daring to produce them during the life of his father. The whole length he probably sent to Hanover: (74) the half length I have frequently and frequently seen in the library of Princess Amelia, who told me it was the portrait of her grandmother. she bequeathed it, with other pictures of her family, to her nephew, the Landgrave of Hesse.
Of the circumstances that ensued on Konigsmark's disappearance I am ignorant; nor am I acquainted with the laws of Germany relative to divorce or separation: nor do I know or suppose that despotism and pride allow the law to insist on much formality when a sovereign has reason or mind to get rid of his wife. Perhaps too much difficulty of untying the Gordian not of matrimony thrown in the way of an absolute prince would be no kindness to the ladies, but might prompt him to use a sharper weapon, like that butchering husband, our Henry VIII. Sovereigns, who narrow or let out the law of God according to their prejudices and passions, mould their own laws no doubt to the standard of their convenience. Genealogic purity of blood is the predominant folly of Germany; and the code of Malta seems to have more force in the empire than the ten commandments. Thence was introduced that most absurd evasion of the indissolubility of marriage, espousals with the left hand-as if the Almighty had restrained his ordinance to one half of a man's person, and allowed a greater latitude to his left side than to his right, or pronounced the former more ignoble than the latter. The consciences both of princely and noble persons in Germany are quieted, if the more plebeian side is married to one who would degrade the more illustrious moiety-but, as if the laws of matrimony had no reference to the children to be thence propagated, the children of a left-handed alliance are not entitled to inherit. Shocking consequence of a senseless equivocation, that only satisfies pride, not justice; and calculated for an acquittal at the herald's Office, not at the last tribunal.