For this last month we have passed our time but dully; all diversions silenced on the emperor's death, (221) and everybody out of town. I have seen nothing but cards and dull pairs of cicisbeos. I have literally seen so much love and pharaoh since being here, that I believe I shall never love either again SO long as I live. Then I am got in a horrid lazy way of a morning. I don't believe I should know seven o'clock in the morning again if I was to see it. But I am returning to England, and shall grow very solemn and wise! Are you wise'( Dear West, have pity on one who have done nothing of gravity for these two years, and do laugh sometimes. We do nothing else, and have contracted such formidable ideas of the good people of England that we are already nourishing great black eyebrows and great black beards, and teasing our countenances into wrinkles. Then for the common talk of the times, we are quite at a loss, and for the dress. You would oblige us exceedingly by forwarding to us the votes of the houses, the king's speech, and the magazines; or if you had any such thing as a little book called the Foreigner's Guide through the city of London and the liberties of Westminster; or a letter to a Freeholder; or the Political Companion: then 'twoulg be an infinite obligation if you would neatly band-box up a baby dressed after the newest Temple fashion now in use at both play-houses. Alack-a-day! We shall just arrive in the tempest of elections!
As our departure depends entirely upon the weather, we cannot tell you to a day when we shall say Dear West, how glad I am to see you! and all the many questions and answers that we shall give and take. Would the day were come! Do but figure to yourself the journey we are to pass through first! But you can't conceive Alps, Apennines, Italian inns, and postchaises. I tremble at the thoughts. They were just sufferable while new and unknown, and as we met them by the way in coming to Florence, Rome, and Naples; but they are passed, and the mountains remain! Well, write to one in the interim; direct to me addressed to Monsieur Selwyn, chez Monsieur.Ilexandre, Rue St. Apolline, a Paris. If Mr. Alexandre is not there, the street is, and I believe that will be sufficient. Adieu, my dear child! Yours ever.
(220) A line of the manuscript is here torn away.
(221) Charles the Sixth, Emperor of Germany, upon whose death, on the 9th of October, his eldest daughter, Maria-Theresa, in virtue of the Pragmatic Sanction, instantly succeeded to the whole Austrian inheritance.-E.
168 Letter 29 To The Rev. Joseph Spence. (222) Florence, Feb. 21, 1741, N. S.
Sir, Not having time last post, I begged Mr. Mann to thank you for the obliging paragraph for me in your letter to him. But as I desire a nearer correspondence with you than by third hands, I assure you in my own proper person that I shall have great pleasure, on our meeting in England, to renew an acquaintance that 'I began with so much pleasure in Italy. (223) I Will not reckon you among my modern friends, but in the first article of virtu: you have given me so many new lights into a science that but a warmth and freedom that will flow from my friendship, and which will not be contained within the circle of a severe awe. As I shall always be attentive to give you any satisfaction that lies in my power, I take the first opportunity of sending you two little poems, both by a hand that I know you esteem the most; if you have not seen them, you will thank me for lilies of Mr. Pope: if you have, why I did not know it.
I don't know whether Lord Lincoln has received any orders to return home: I had a letter from one of my brothers last post to tell me from Sir Robert that he would have me leave Italy as soon as possible, lest I should be shut up unawares by the arrival of the Spanish troops; and that I might pass some time in France if I had amind. I own I don't conceive how it is possible these troops should arrive without its being known some time before. And as to the Great Duke's dominions, one can always be out of them in ten hours or less. If Lord Lincoln has not received the same orders.. I shall believe what I now think, that I am wanted for some other reason. I beg my kind love to Lord Lincoln, and that Mr. Spence will believe me, his sincere humble servant HOR. WALPOLE.
(222) The well-known friend of Pope and author of the Polymetis, who was then travelling on the Continent with Henry, Earl of Lincoln, afterwards Duke of Newcastle. See ante p. 140, (Letter 14, and footnote 175).-E.
(223) This acquaintance proved of infinite service to Walpole, shortly after the date of this letter, when he was laid up with a quinsy at Reggio. Spence thus describes the circumstance: "About three or four in the morning I was surprised with a message, saying that Mr. Walpole was very much worse, and desired to see me; I went, and found him scarce able to speak. I soon learned from his servants that he had been all the while without a physician, and had doctored himself; so I immediately sent for the best aid the place would afford, and despatched a messenger to the minister at Florence, desiring him to send my friend Dr. Cocchi. In about twenty-four hours I had the satisfaction to find Mr. Walpole better: we left him in a fair way of recovery, and we hope to see him next week at Venice. I had obtained leave of Lord Lincoln to stay behind some days if he had been worse. You see what luck one has sometimes in going out of one's way. If Lord Lincoln had not wandered to Reggio, Mr. Walpole (who is one of the best-natured and most sensible young gentlemen England affords) would have, in all probability, fallen a sacrifice to his disorder."-E.
169 Letter 30 To The Hon. H. S. Conway. Florence, March 25th, 1741, N. S.
Dear Hal, You must judge by what you feel yourself of what I feel for Selwyn's recovery, with the addition of what I have suffered from post to post. But as I find the whole town have had the same sentiments about him, (though I am sure few so strong as myself,) I will not repeat what you have heard so much. I shall write to him to-night, though he knows without my telling him how very much I love him. To you, my dear Harry, I am infinitely obliged for the three successive letters you wrote me about him, which gave me double pleasure, as they showed your attention for me at a time that you know I must be so unhappy; and your friendship for him. Your account of Sir Robert's victory (224) was so extremely well told, that I made Gray translate it into French, and have showed it to all that could taste It, or were inquisitive on the occasion. I have received a print by this post that diverts me extremely; 'the Motion.' (225) Tell me, dear, now, who made the design, and who took the likenesses; they are admirable: the lines are as good as one sees on such occasions. I wrote last post to Sir Robert, to wish him joy; I hope he received my letter.
I was to have set out last Tuesday, but on Sunday came the news of the Queen of Hungary being brought to bed of a son; (226) on which occasion here will be great triumphs, operas and masquerades, which detain me for a short time.
I won't make you any excuse for sending you the follOWing lines; you have prejudice enough for me to read with patience any Of My idlenesses. (227)
My dear Harry, you enrage me with talking of another journey to Ireland; it will shock me if I don't find you at my return: pray take care and be in England.
I wait with some patience to see Dr. Middleton's Tully, as I read the greatest part of it in manuscript; though indeed 'tis rather a reason for my being impatient to read the rest. If Tully can receive any additional honour, Dr. Middleton is most capable of conferring it. (228)
I receivc with great pleasure any remembrances of my lord and your sisters; I long to see all of you. Patapan is so handsome that he has been named the silver fleece; and there is a new order of knighthood to be erected to his honour, in opposition to the golden. Precedents are searching, and plans drawing up for that purpose. I hear that the natives pretend to be companions, upon the authority of their dogskin waistcoats; but a council that has been held on purpose has declared their pretensions impertinent. Patapan has lately taken wife unto him, as ugly as he is genteel, but of a very great family, being the direct heiress of Canis Scaliger, Lord of Verona: which principality we design to seize 'a la Prussienne; that is, as soon as ever we shall have persuaded the republic of Venice that we are the best friends they have in the world. Adieu, dear child! Yours ever.
P. S. I left my subscriptions for Middleton's Tully with Mr. Selwyn; I won't trouble him, but I wish you would take care and get the books, if Mr. S. has kept the list.
(224) On the event of Mr. Sandys' motion in the House of commons to remove Sir Robert Walpole from the King's presence and councils for ever. [The motion was negatived by 290 against 106: an unusual majority, which proceeded from the schism between the Tories and the Whigs, and the secession of Shippen and his friends. The same motion was made by Lord-Carteret in the House of Lords, and negatived by 108 against 59.-E.)
(225) The print alluded to exhibits an interesting view of Whitehall, the Treasury, and adjoining buildings, as they stood at the time. The Earl of Chesterfield, as postilion of a coach which is going full speed towards the Treasury, drives over all in his way. The Duke of Argyle is coachman, flourishing a sword instead of a whip; while Doddington is represented as a spaniel, sitting between his legs. Lord Carteret, perceiving the coach about to be overturned, is calling to the coachman,"Let me get out!" Lord Cobbam, as the footman, is holding fast on by the straps; while Lord Lyttleton is ambling by the side on a rosinante as thin as himself. Smallbrook, Bishop of Lichfield, is bowing obsequiously as they pass; while Sandys, letting fall the place-bill, exclaims, ,I thought what would come of putting him on the box." In the foreground is Pulteney, leading several figures by strings from their noses, and wheeling a barrow filled with the Craftsman's Letters, Champion, State of the Nation, and Common Sense, exclaiming, "Zounds, they are over!" This caricature, and another, entitled " The Political Libertines, or Motion upon Motion," had been provoked by one put forth by Sir Robert Walpole's opponents, entitled "The Grounds for the Motion;" and were followed up by another from the supporters of Sandys' motion, entitled "The Motive or Reason for his Triumph," which the caricaturist attributes entirely to bribery.-E.
(226) Afterwards Joseph the Second, emperor of Germany.-E.
(227) Here follows the Inscription for the neglected column in the place of St. Mark, at Florence, afterwards printed in the Fugitive Pieces.
(228) Dr. Middleton's "History of the Life of Cicero" was published in the early part of this year, by subscription, and dedicated to Pope's enemy, Lord Hervey. This laboured encomium on his lordship obtained for the doctor a niche in the Dunciad:-
Narcissus, praised with all a Parson's power, Look'd a white lily sunk beneath a shower."-E.
170 Letter 31 To Richard West, Esq. Reggio, May 1 1741, N. S.
Dear West, I have received the end of your first act, (229) and now will tell you sincerely what I think of it. If I was not so pleased with the beginning as I usually am with your compositions, believe me the part of Pausanias has charmed me. There is all imaginable art joined with all requisite simplicity: and a simplicity, I think, much preferable to that in the scenes of Cleodora and Argilius. Forgive me, if I say they do not talk laconic but low English in her, who is Persian too, there would admit more heroic. But for the whole part of Pausanias, 'tis great and well worried up, and the art that is seen seems to proceed from his head, not from the author's. As I am very desirous you should continue, so I own I wish you would improve or change the beginning: those who know you not so well as I do, would not wait with so much patience for the entrance of Pausanias. You see I am frank; and if I tell you I do not approve of the first part, you may believe me as sincere when I tell you I admire the latter extremely.
My letter has an odd date. You would not expect I should be writing in such a dirty place as Reggio: but the fair is charming; and here come all the nobility of Lombardy, and all the broken dialects of Genoa, Milan, Venice, Bologna, etc. You never heard such a ridiculous confusion of tongues. All the morning one goes to the fair undressed, as to the walks of Tunbridge: 'tis Just in that manner, with lotteries, raffles, etc. After dinner all the company return in their coaches, and make a kind of corso, with the ducal family, who go to shops, where you talk to 'em, from thence to the opera, in mask if you will, and afterwards to the ridotto. This five nights in the week, Fridays there are masquerades, and Tuesdays balls at the Rivalta, a villa of the Duke's. In short, one diverts oneself. I pass most part of the opera in the Duchess's box, who is extremely civil to me and extremely agreeable. A daughter of the Regent's, (230) that could please him, must be so. She is not young, though still handsome, but fat; but has given up her gallantries cheerfully, and in time, and lives easily with a dull husband, two dull sisters of his, and a dull court. These two princesses are wofully ugly, old maids and rich. They might have been married often; but the old Duke was whimsical and proud, and never would consent to any match for them, but left them much money, and pensions of three thousand pounds a year apiece. There was a design to have given the eldest to this King of Spain, and the Duke was to have had the Parmesan princess; so that now he would have had Parma and Placentia, Joined to Modena, Reggio, Mirandola, and Massa. But there being a Prince of Asturias, the old Duke Rinaldo broke off the match, and said his daughter's children should not be younger brothers: and so they mope old virgins.
I am goin@ from hence to Venice, in a fright lest there be a war with France, and then I must drag myself through Germany. We have had an imperfect account of a sea-fight in America . but we are so out of the way, that one can't be sure of it. Which way soever I return, I shall be soon in England, and there you 'will find me again.
As much as ever yours.
(229) of a tragedy called Pausanias, The first act, and probably all that was ever written by Mr. West. [In the preceding month West had forwarded to Gray the sketch of this tragedy, which he appears to have criticised with much freedom; but Mr. Mason did not find among Gray's papers either the sketch itself, or the free critique upon it.]
(230) Philip Duke of Orleans.
172 Letter 32 To Sir Horace Mann. (231) Calais, and Friday, and here I have been these two days, 1741.
Is the wind laid? Shall I Dever get aboard? I came here on Wednesday night, but found a tempest that has never ceased since. At Boulogne I left Lord Shrewsbury and his mother, and brothers and sisters, waiting too: Bulstrode (232) passes his winter at the court of Boulogne, and then is to travel with two young Shrewsburys. I was overtaken by Amorevoli and Monticelli, (233) who are here with me and the Viscontina, and Barberina, and Abbate Vanneschi (234)-what a coxcomb! I would have talked to him about the opera, but he preferred politics. I have wearied Amorevoli with questions about you. If he was not just come from you, and could talk to me about you, I should hate him; for, to flatter me, he told me that I talked Italian better than you. He did not know how little I think it a compliment to have any thing preferred to you-besides, you know the consistence of my Italian! They are all frightened out of their senses about going on the sea, and are not a little afraid of the English. They went on board the William and Mary yacht yesterday, which waits here for Lady Cardigan from Spa. The captain clapped the door, and swore in broad English that the Viscontina should not stir till she gave him a song, he did not care whether it was a catch or a moving ballad; but she would not submit. I wonder he did! When she came home and told me, I begged her not to judge of all the English from this specimen; but, by the way, she will find many sea-captains that grow on dry land.
Sittinburn, Sept. 13, O. S.
Saturday morning, or yesterday, we did set out, and after a good passage of four hours and a half, landed at Dover. I begin to count my comforts, for I find their contraries thicken on my apprehension. I have, at least, done for a while with postchaises. My trunks were a little opened at Calais, and they would have stopped my medals, but with much ado and much three louis's they let them pass. At Dover I found the benefit of the motions (235) having miscarried last year, for they respected Sir Robert's son even in the person of his trunks. I came over in a yacht with East India captains' widows, a Catholic girl, coming from a convent to be married, with an Irish priest to guard her, who says he studied medicines for two years, and after that he studied learning for two years more. I have not brought over a word of French or Italian for common use; I have so taken pains to avoid affectation in this point, that I have failed Only now and then in a chi'a l'a! to the servants, who I can scarce persuade myself yet are English. The COUntry-town (and you will believe me, who, you know, am not prejudiced) delights me; the populousness, the ease, the gaiety, and well-dressed every body amaze me. Canterbury, which on my setting out I thought deplorable, is a paradise, (236) to Modena, Reggio, Parma, etc. I had before discovered that there was nowhere but in England the distinction of middling people; I perceive now, that there is peculiar to us middling houses: how snug they are! I write to-night because I have time; to-morrow I get to London just as the post goes. Sir Robert is at Houghton. Good night till another post. You are quite well I trust, but tell me so always. My loves to the Chutes (237) and all the etc.'s.
Oh! a story of Mr. Pope and the prince:-"Mr. Pope, you don't love princes." "Sir, I beg your pardon." "Well, you don't love kings, then!""Sir, I own I love the lion best before his claws are grown." Was it possible to make a better answer to such simple questions? Adieu! my dearest child! Yours, ten thousand times over.
P. S. Patapan does not seem to regret his own country.
(231) This is the first of the series of letters addressed by Walpole to Sir Horace Man, British envoy at the court of Tuscany. The following prefatory note, entitled "Advertisement by the Author," explains the views which led Walpole to preserve them for publication:-
"The following Collection of Letters, written very carelessly by a young man, had been preserved by the person to whom they were addressed. The author, some years after the date of the first, borrowed them, on account of some anecdotes interspersed. On the perusal, among many trifling relations and stories, which were only of consequence or amusing to the two persons concerned in the correspondence, he found some facts, characters, and news, which, though below the dignity of history, might prove entertaining to many other people: and knoing how much pleasure, not only himself, but many other persons have found in a series of private and familiar letters, he thought it worth his while to preserve these, as they contain something of the customs, fashions, politics, diversions, and private history of several years; which, if worthy of any existence, can be properly transmitted to posterity only in this manner.
"The reader will find a few pieces of intelligence which did not prove true; but which are retained here as the author heard and related them, lest correction should spoil the simple air of the narrative.* When the letters were written, they were never intended for public inspection; and now they are far from being thought correct, or more authentic than the general turn of epistolary correspondence admits. The author would sooner have burnt them than have taken the trouble to correct such errant trifles, which are here presented to the reader, with scarce any variation or omissions, but what private friendships and private history, or the great haste with which the letters were written, made indispensably necessary, as will plainly appear, not only by the unavoidable chasms, where the originals were worn out or torn away, but by many idle relations and injudicious remarks and prejudices of a young man; for which @the only excuse the author can pretend to make, is, that as some future reader may possibly be as young as he was when he first wrote, he hopes they may be amused with what graver people (if into such hands they should fall) will very justly despise. Who ever has patience to peruse the series, will find, perhaps, that as the author grew older, some of his faults became less striking." * They are marked in the notes.
(232) Tutor to the young Earl of Shrewsbury. [.Charles Talbot, fifteenth Earl of Shrewsbury, born December 1719. He married, in 1753, Elizabeth, daughter of the Hon. John Dormer, afterwards Lord Dormer, and died in 1787, without issue.]
(233) Italian singers. [Angelo Maria Monticelli, a celebrated singer of the same class as Veluti, was born at Milan in 1715, and first attained the celebrity which he enjoyed by singing with Mingotti at the Royal Opera at Naples in 1746. After visiting most of the cities of the Continent, he was induced by the favour with which he was received at Dresden to make that city his residence, until his death in 1764. Is the name of Amorevoli, borne by one of the first singers of that day, an assumed one, or an instance of name fatality? Certain it is,that Amorevole is a technical term in music somewhat analogous in its signification with Amabile and Amoroso.]
(234) An Italian abb'e, who directed and wrote the operas under the protection of Lord Middlesex.
(235) The motion in both houses of Parliament, 1740, for removing Sir Robert Walpole from the King's councils. [See ante, p. 169 (Letter 30).)
(236) ("On! On! through meadows, managed like a garden, A paradise of hops and high production; For, after years of travel by a bard in Countries of greater heat, but lesser suction, A green field is a sight which makes him pardon The absence of that more sublime construction, Which mixes up vines, olives, precipices, Glaciers, volcanos, oranges, and ices."-Byron, 1823.)
(237) John Chute and Francis Whithed, Esqrs. two great friendls of Mr. W.'s, whom he had left at Florence, where he had been himself thirteen months, in the house of Mr. Mann, his relation and particular friend.
174 Letter 33 To Sir Horace Mann. [The beginning of this letter is lost.)
****I had written and sealed my letter, but have since received another from you, dated Sept. 24. I read Sir Robert your account of Corsica; he seems to like hearing any account sent this way-indeed, they seem to have more superficial relations in general than I could have believed! You will oblige me, too, with any farther account of Bianca Colonna: (238) it is romantic, her history!
I am infinitely obliged to Mr. Chute for his kindness to me, and still more for his friendship to you. You cannot think how happy I am to hear that you are to keep him longer. You do not mention his having received my letter from Paris: I directed it to him, recommended to you. I would not have him think me capable of neglecting to answer his letter, which obliged me so much. I will deliver Amorevoli his letter the first time I see him.
Lord Islay (239) dined here; I mentioned Stosch's (240) Maltese cats. Lord Islay begged I would write to Florence to have the largest male and female that can be got. If you will speak to Stosch, you will oblige me: they may come by sea. You cannot imagine my amazement at your not being invited to Riccardi's ball; do tell me, when you know, what can be the meaning of it; it could not be inadvertence-nay, that were as bad! Adieu my dear child, once more!
(238A kind friend of Joan of Are, who headed the Corsican rebels against the Genoese.
(239) Archibald Campbell, Earl of Islay, and, on his brother's death in 1743, Duke of Argyle.
(240) Baron Stosch, a Prussian virtuoso, and spy for the court of England on the Pretender. He had been driven from Rome, though it was suspected that he was a spy on both sides: he was a man of a most infamous character in every respect. according to the Biographic Universelle, the Baron "ne put s'acquitter de fonctions aussi d'elicates sans se voir expos'e 'a des naines violentes, qui le forc'erent 'a se retirer 'a Florence;" where he died in 1757. He was one of the most skilful and industrious antiquaries of his time. A catalogue of his gems was drawn up by Winkelmann.]
175 Letter 34 To The Hon. H. S. Conway. London, 1741.
My Dearest Harry, Before I thank you for myself, I must thank you for that excessive good nature you showed in writing to poor Gray. I am less impatient to see you, as I find you are not the least altered, but have the same tender friendly temper you always had. I wanted much to see if you were still the same-but you are.
Don't think of coming before your brother, he is too good to be left for any one living: besides, if it is possible, I will see you in the country. Don't reproach me, and think nothing could draw me into the country: impatience to see a few friends has drawn me out of Italy; and Italy, Harry, is pleasanter than London. As I do not love living en famille so much as you (but then indeed my family is not like yours), I am hurried about getting myself a house; for I have so long lived single, that I do not much take to being confined with my own family.
You won't find me much altered, I believe; at least, outwardly. 'I am not grown a bit shorter, or a bit fatter, but am just the same long lean creature as usual. Then I talk no French., but to my footman; nor Italian, but to myself. What inward alterations may have happened to me, you will discover best; for you know 'tis said, one never knows that one's self. I will answer, that that part of it that belongs to you, has not suffered the least change-I took care of that. For virt'u, I have a little to entertain you: it is my sole pleasure.-I am neither young enough nor old enough to be in love.
My dear Harry, will you take care and make my compliments to that charming Lady Conway, (241) who I hear is so charming, and to Miss Jenny [Conway], who I know is so? As for Miss Anne, (242) and her love as far as it is decent: tell her, decency is out of the question between us, that I love her without any restriction. I settled it yesterday with Miss Conway, that you three are brothers and sister to me, and that if you had been so, I could not love you better. I have so many cousins, and uncles and aunts, and bloods that grow in Norfolk, that if I had portioned out my affections to them, as they say I should, what a modicum would have fallen to each!-So, to avoid fractions, I love my family in you three, their representatives. (243)
Adieu, my dear Harry! Direct to me at Downing Street. Good-bye! Yours ever.
(241) Isabella Fitzroy, daughter of Charles Duke of Grafton. She had been married in May, to(Walpole's maternal cousin), Francis Seymour Conway, afterwards Earl of Hertford.(
242) Miss Anne conway, youngest sister of Henry Seymour Conway.
(243) They were first cousins by the mother's side; Francis first Lord conway having married Charlotte, eldest daughter of John Shorter of Bybrook in Kent, sister to Catherine Shorter Lady Walpole.
176 Letter 35 To Sir Horace Mann. Downing Street, Oct. 8, 1741, O. S.
I have been very near sealing this letter with black wax; Sir Robert came from Richmond on Sunday night extremely ill, and on Monday was in great danger. It was an ague and looseness; but they have stopped the latter, and converted the other into a fever, which they are curing with the bark. He came out of his chamber to-day for the first time, and is quite out of danger. One of the newspapers says, Sir R. W. is so bad that there are no Hopes of him.
The Pomfrets (244) are arrived; I went this morning to visit my lord, but did not find him. Lady Sophia is ill, and my earl (245) still at Paris, not coming. There is no news, nor a soul in town. One talks of nothing but distempers, like Sir Robert's. My Lady Townsende (246) was reckoning up the other day the several things that have cured them; such a doctor so many, such a medicine, so many; but of all, the greatest number have found relief from the sudden deaths of their husbands.
The opera begins the day after the King's birthday: the singers are not permitted to sing till on the stage, so no one has heard them, nor have I seen Amorovoli to give him the letter. The opera is to be on the French system of dancers, scenes, and dresses. The directors have already laid out great sums. They talk of a mob to silence the operas, as they did the French players; but it will be more difficult, for here half the young noblemen in town are engaged, and they will not be so easily persuaded to humour the taste of the mobility: in short, they have already retained several eminent lawyers from the Bear Garden (247) to plead their defence. I have had a long visit this morning from Don Benjamin: (248) he is one of the best kind of agreeable men I ever saw-quite fat and easy, with universal knowledge: he is in the greatest esteem at my court.
I am going to trouble you with some commissions. Miss Rich, (249) who is the finest singer except your sister (250) in the world, has begged me to get her some music, particularly "the office of the Virgin of the Seven Sorrows," by Pergolesi, (251) the "Serva Padrona, il Pastor se torna Aprile," and "Symplicetta Pastorella." If you can send these easily, you will much oblige me. Do, too, let me know by your brother, what you have already laid out for me, that I may pay him. I was mentioning to Sir Robert some pictures in italy, which I wished him to buy; two particularly, if they can be got, would make him delight in you beyond measure. They are, a Madonna, and Child, by Dominichino, (252) in the palace Zambeccari, at Boloana, or Caliambec, (253) as they call it; Mr. Chute knows the picture. The other is by Corregio, in a convent at Parma, and reckoned the second best of that hand in the world. There are the Madonna and Child, St. Catherine, St. Matthew, and other figures: it is a most known picture, and has been engraved by Augustin Caracei. If you can employ any body privately to inquire about these pictures, be so good as to let me know; Sir R. would not scruple almost any price, for he has of neither hand: the convent is poor: the Zambeccari collection is to be sold, though, when I inquired after this picture, they would not set a price.
Lord Euston is to be married to Lady Dorothy Boyle (254) tomorrow, after so many delays. I have received your long letter, and Mr. Chute's too, which I will answer next post. I wish I had the least politics to tell you; but all is silent. The opposition sav not a syllable, because they don't know what the Court will think of public 'affairs; and they will not take their part till they are sure of contradicting. The Court will not be very ready to declare themselves, as their present situation is every way disagreeable. All they say, is to throw the blame entirely on the obstinacy of the Austrian Court, who -,vould never stir or soften for themselves, while they thought any one obliged to defend them. All I know of news is, that Poland is leaning towards the acquisition side, like her neighbours, and proposes to get a lock of the Golden Fleece too. Is this any part of Gregory's (255) negotiation? I delight in his Scapatta—"Scappata, no; egli solamente ha preso la posta." My service to Seriston; he is charming.
How excessively obliging to go to Madame Grifoni's (256) festino! but believe me, I shall be angry, if for my sake, you do things that are out of your character: don't you know that I am infinitely fonder of that than of her?
I read your story of the Sposa Panciatici at table, to the great entertainment of the company, and Prince Craon's epitaph, which Lord Cholmley (257) says he has heard before, and does not think it is the prince's own; no more do I, it is too good; but make my compliments of thanks to him; he shall have his buckles the first opportunity I find of sending them. Say a thousand things for me to dear Mr. Chute, till I can say them next post for myself: till then, adieu. Yours ever.
(244) Thomas Earl of Pomfret, and Henrietta Louisa, his consort, and his two eldest daughters, Sophia and Charlotte, had been in Italy at the same time with Mr. Walpole. The Earl had been master of the horse to Queen Caroline, and the countess lady of the bedchamber.
(245) Henry Earl of Lincoln was at that time in love with Lady Sophia Fermor.
(246) Ethelreda Harrison, wife of Charles Lord Viscount Townsend, but parted from him.
(248) Sir Benjamin Keene, ambassador at Madrid.
(249) Elizabeth, eldest daughter of Sir Robert Rich, since married to Sir George Lyttelton. [Eldest son of sir Thomas Lyttelton of hagley; in 1744 appointed one of the lords of the treasury, and in 1755, chancellor of the exchequer. In 1757,when he retired from public life, he was raised to the peerage, by the title of Lord Lyttelton. He died in 1773. His prose works were printed collectively in 1774; and his poems have given him a place among the British poets.]
(250) Mary, daughter of R. Mann, Esq. since married to Mr. Foote.
(251) Better known to all lovers of the works of this great composer as his " Stabat mater."-E.
(252) It will be seen by Walpole's letter to Mr. Chute, of the 20th August 1743, now first published, that he eventually succeeded in purchasing this picture.-E.
(253) A corrupted pronunciation of the Bolognese.
(254) This unfortunate marriage is alluded to several times in the course of the subsequent letters. George Earl of Euston was the eldest son of Charles the second Duke of Grafton. He married, in 1741, Lady Dorothy Boyle, eldest daughter and co-heir of Richard, third and last heir of B(irlington. She died in 1742, from the effects, as it is supposed, of his brutal treatment of her. The details of his cruelty towards her are almost too revolting to be believed. In Sir Charles Hanbury Williams's poems are some pretty lines on her death, beginning, "Behold one moment Dorothea's fate."-D.
(255) Gregorio ALdollo, an Asiatic, from being a prisoner at Leghorn, raised himself to be employed to the Great Duke by the King of Poland.
(256) Elisabetta Capponi, wife of signor Grifoni, a great beauty.
(257) George third Earl of Cholmondeley, had married Mary Walpole, only legitimate daughter of Sir Robert Walpole-D.
178 Letter 36 To Sir Horace Mann. London, Oct. 13, 1741. [The greatest part of this letter is wanting.]
**** The Town will come to town, and then one shall know something. Sir Robert is quite recovered.
Lady Pomfret I saw last night: Lady Sophia has been ill with a cold; her head is to be dressed French, and her body English, for which I am sorry; her figure is so fine in a robe: she is full as sorry as I am. Their trunks are not arrived yet, so they have not made their appearance. My lady told me a little out of humour that Uguecioni wrote her word, that you said her things could not be sent away yet: I understood from you, that very wisely, you would have nothing to do about them, so made no answer.
The parliament meets the fifteenth of November. **** Amorevoli has been with me two hours this evening; he is in panics about the first night, which is the next after the birthday.
I have taken a master, not to forget my Italian-don't it look like returning to Florence'!-some time or other. Good night. Yours ever and ever, my dear child.
178 Letter 37 To Sir Horace Mann. London, Oct. 19, 1741, O. S. [Great part wanting.]
I write to you up to the head and ears in dirt, straw, and unpacking. I have been opening all my cases from the Custom-house the whole morning; and-are not you glad?-every individual safe and undamaged. I am fitting up an apartment in Downing Street ***(258) was called in the morning, and was asleep as soon as his head touched the pillow, for I have frequently known him snore ere they had drawn his curtains, now never sleeps above an hour without waking; and he, who at dinner always forgot he was minister, and was more gay and thoughtless than all his company, now sits without speaking, and with his eyes fixed for an hour together. Judge if this is the Sir Robert you knew.
The politics of the age are entirely suspended; nothing is mentioned; but this bottling them up, will make them fly out with the greater violence the moment the parliament meets; till *** a word to you about this affair.
I am sorry to hear the Venetian journey of the Suares family; it does not look as if the Teresina was to marry PandOlfini; do you know, I have set my heart upon that match.
You are very good to the Pucci, to give her that advice, though I don't suppose she will follow it. The Bolognese scheme *** In return for Amorevoli's letter, he has given me two. I fancy it will be troublesome to you; so put his wife into some other method of correspondence with him.
Do you love puns? A pretty man of the age came into the playhouse the other night, booted and spurred: says he, "I am come to see Orpheus"-"And Euridice- You rid I see," replied another gentleman.
(258) The omissions in these letters marked with stars occur in the original MS.-D.
179 Letter 38 To Sir Horace Mann. London, Oct. 22, 1741, O. S.
Your brother has been with me this morning, and we have talked over your whole affair. He thinks it will be impossible to find any servant of the capacities you require, that will live with you under twenty, if not thirty pounds a-year, especially as he is not to have your clothes: then the expense of the journey to Florence, and of back again, in case you should not like him, will be considerable. He is for your taking one from Leghorn; but I, who know a little more of Leghorn than he does, should be apprehensive of any person from thence being in the interest of Goldsworthy, (259) or too attached to the merchants: in short, I mean, he would be liable to prove a spy upon you. We have agreed that I shall endeavour to find out a proper man, if such a one will go to you for twenty pounds a-year, and then you shall ficar from me. I am very sensible that Palombo (260) is not fit for you, and shall be extremely diligent in equipping you with such a one as you want. You know how much I want to be of service to you even in trifles. I have been much diverted privately, for it is a secret that not a hundred persons know yet, and is not to be spoken of. Do but think on a duel between Winnington (261) and Augustus Townshend; (262) the latter a pert boy, captain of an Indiaman; the former declared cicisbeo to my Lady Townshend. The quarrel was something that Augustus had said of them; for since she was parted from her husband, she has broke with all his family. Winnington challenged; they walked into Hyde Park last Sunday morning, scratched one another's fingers, tumbled into two ditches-that is Augustus did,-kissed, and walked home together. The other night at Mrs. Boothby's-
Well, I did believe I should never find time to write to you again; I was interrupted in my letter last post, and could not finish it; to-day I came home from the King's levee, where I Kissed his hand, without going to the drawing-room, on purpose to finish my letter, and the moment I sat down they let somebody in. That somebody is gone, and I go on-At Mrs. Boothby's Lady Townshend was coquetting with Lord Baltimore: (263) he told her, if she meant any thing with him he was not for her purpose; if only to make any one jealous, he would throw away an hour with her with all his heart.
The whole town is to be to-morrow night at Sir Thomas Robinson's (264) ball, which he gives to a little girl of the Duke of Richmond's. There are already two hundred invited, from miss in bib and apron, to my lord chancellor (265) in bib and mace. You shall hear about it next post.
I wrote you word that Lord Euston is married: in a week more I believe that I shall write you word that he is divorced. He is brutal enough; and has forbid Lady Burlington (266) his house, and that in very ungentle terms. The whole family is in confusion: the Duke of Grafton half dead. and Lord Burlington half mad. The latter has challenged Lord Euston, who accepted the challenge, but they were prevented. There are different stories: some say that the duel would have been no breach of consanguinity; others, that there's a contract of marriage come out in another place, which has had more consanguinity than ceremony in it: in short, one cannot go into a room but you hear something of it. Do you not pity the poor girl? of the softest temper, vast beauty, birth, and fortune, to be so sacrificed!
The letters from the West Indies are not the most agreeable. You have heard of the fine river and little town which Vernon took, and named, the former dugusta, the latter Cumberland. Since that, they have found out that it is impracticable to take St. Jago by sea - on which Admiral Vernon and Ogle insisted that Wentworth, with the land forces, should march to it by land, which he, by advice of all the land-officers, has refused; for their march would have been of eighty miles, through a mountainous, unknown country, full of defiles, where not two men could march abreast; and they have but four thousand five hundred men, and twenty-four horses. Quires of paper from both sides are come over to the council, who are to determine from hence what is to be done. They have taken a Spanish man-of-war and a register ship, going to Spain, immensely valuable.
The parliament does not meet till the first of December, which relieves me into a little happiness, and gives me a little time to settle myself. I have unpacked all my things, and have not had the least thing suffer. I am now only in a fright about my birthday clothes, which I bespoke at Paris: Friday is the day, and this is Monday, without any news of them!
I have been two or three times at the play, very unwillingly; for nothing was ever so bad as the actors, except the company. There is much in vogue a Mrs. Woffington, (267) a bad actress; but she has life.
Lord Hartington (268) dines here: it is said (and from his father's partiality to another person's father, I don't think it impossible) that he is to marry a certain miss:(269) Lord Fitzwilliam is supposed another candidate.
Here is a new thing which has been much about town, and liked; your brother Gale (270) gave me the copy of it:
"Les cours de l'Europe
L'Allemagne craint tout; L'Autriche risque tout; La Bavi'ere esp'ere touut; La Prusse entreprend tout; La Mayence vend tout; Le Portugal regarde tout; L'Angleterre veut faire tout; L'Espagne embrouille tout; La Savoye se d'efie de tout; Le Mercure se m'ele de tout; La France sch'ete tout; Les Jesuites se trouvent par tout; Rome b'enit tout' Si dieu ne pourvoye 'a tout, Le diable emportera tout."
Good night, my dear child: you never say a word of your own health; are not you quite recovered? a thousand services to Mr. Chute and Mr. Whithed, and to all my friends: do they begin to forget me? I don't them. Yours, ever.
(259) Consul at Leghorn, who was endeavouring to supplant Mr. Mann.
(260)An Italian, secretary to Mr. Mann.
(261"Winnington," says Walpole, (Memoirs, i. P. 151), "had been bred a Tory, but had left them in the height of Sir Robert Walpole's power -. when that minister sunk. he had injudiciously, and, to please my Lady Townshend, who had then the greatest influence over him, declined visiting him, in a manner to offend the steady old Whigs; and his jolly way of laughing.at his own want of principles had revolted all the graver sort, who thought deficiency of honesty too sacred and profitable a commodity to be profaned and turned into ridicule. He had infinitely more wit than any man I ever knew, and it was as ready and quick as it was constant and Unmeditated. His style was a little brutal, his courage not at all so; his good-humour inexhaustible; it was impossible to hate or to trust him." Winnington was first Ynade lord of the admiralty, then of the treasury, then cofferer, and lastly paymaster of the forces: to which office, on his death in 1746, Mr. Pitt succeeded.-E.
(262) The Hon. Augustus Townshend was second son of the minister, Lord Townshend, by his second wife, the sister of Sir Robert Walpole. He was consequently half-brother to Charles, the third viscount, husband to Ethelreda, Lady Townshend.-D.
(263) Charles Calvert, sixth Lord Baltimore in Ireland. He was at this time member of parliament for the borough of St. Germains, and a lord of the admiralty.-D.
(264) Sir Thomas Robinson, of Rokeby Park, in Yorkshire, commonly called "Long Sir Thomas," on account of his stature, and in order to distinguish him from the diplomatist, Sir Thomas Robinson, afterwards created Lord Grantham. [He has elsewhere been styled the new Robinson Crusoe by Walpole, who says, when speaking of him, " He was a tall, uncouth man; and his stature was often rendered still more remarkable by his hunting-dress, a postilion's cap, a tight green jacket, and buckskin breeches. He was liable to sudden whims, and once set off on a sudden in his hunting suit to visit his sister, who was married and settled at Paris. He arrived while there was a large company at dinner. The servant announced M. Robinson, and he came in to the great amazement of the hosts. Among others, -a French abb'e thrice lifted his fork to his mouth and thrice laid it down, with an eager stare of surprise. Unable to restrain his curiosity any longer, he burst out with I Excuse me, sir, are you the famous Robinson Crusoe so remarkable in history?'"]
(265) Philip Yorke, Lord Hardwicke.-D.
(266) Lady Dorothy Savile, eldest daughter and co-heiress of William second Marquis of Halifax, the mother of the unhappy Lady Euston.-D.
(267) Margaret Woffington, the celebrated beauty.-D.
(268) William, Marquis of Hartington, afterwards fourth Duke of Devonshire. He married Lady Charlotte Boyle, second daughter of Richard, third Earl of Burlington.-D.
(269) Miss Mary Walpole, daughter of Sir Robert Walpole by his second wife, Maria Skerrett, but born before their marriage. When her father was made an earl, she had the rank of an earl's daughter given to her.-D.
(270) Galfridus Mann.
182 Letter 39 To Sir Horace Mann. London, Nov. 2, 1741.
You shall not hear a word but of balls and public places: this one week has seen Sir T. Robinson's ball, my lord mayor's, the birthday, and the opera. There were an hundred and ninety-seven persons at Sir Thomas's, and yet was it so well conducted that nobody felt a crowd. He had taken off all his doors, and so separated the old and the young, that neither were inconvenienced with the other. The ball began at eight; each man danced one minuet with his partner, and then began country dances. There were four-and-twenty couple, divided into twelve a@d twelve: each set danced two dances, and then retired into another room, while the other set took their two; and so alternately. Except Lady Ancram, (271) no married woman danced; so you see, in England, we do not foot it till five-and-fifty. The beauties were the Duke of Richmond's two daughters (272) and their mother, still handsomer than they: the duke (273) sat by his wife all night, kissing her hand: how this must sound in the ears of Florentine cicisbeos, cock or hen! Then there was Lady Euston, Lady Caroline Fitzroy, (274) Lady Lucy Manners, (275) Lady Camilla Bennett, (276) and Lady Sophia, (277) handsomer than all, but a little out of humour at the scarcity of minuets; however, as usual, she danced more than any body, and, as usual too, took out what men she liked or thought the best dancers. Lord Holderness (278) is a little what Lord Lincoln (279) will be to-morrow; for he is expected. There was Churchill's daughter (280) who is prettyish, and dances well; and the Parsons (281) family from Paris, who are admired too; but indeed it is 'a force des muscles. Two other pretty women were Mrs. Colebroke (did you know the he-Colebroke in Italy?) and a Lady Schaub, a foreigner, who, as Sir Luke says, would have him. Sir R. was afraid of the heat, and did not go. The supper was served at twelve; a large table of hot for the lady-dancers; their partners and other tables stood round. We danced (for I country-danced) till four, then had tea and coffee, and came home.-Finis Balli.
* * Friday was the birthday; it was vastly full, the ball immoderately so, for there came all the second edition of my lord mayor's, but not much finery: Lord Fitzwilliam (282) and myself were far the most superb. I did not get mine till nine that morning.
The opera will not tell as well as the other two shows, for they were obliged to omit the part of Amorevoli, who has a fever. The audience was excessive, without the least disturbance, and almost as little applause; I cannot conceive why, for Monticelli ***** be able to sing to-morrow.
At court I met the Shadwells; (283) Mademoiselle Misse Molli, etc. I love them, for they asked vastly after you, and kindly. Do you know, I have had a mind to visit Pucci, the Florentine minister, but he is so black, and looks so like a murderer in a play, that I have never brought it about yet? I know none of the foreign ministers, but Ossorio, (284) a little; he is still vastly in fashion, though extremely altered. Scandal, who, I believe, is not mistaken, lays a Miss Macartney to his charge; she is a companion to the Duchess of Richmond, as Madame Goldsworthy was; but Ossorio will rather be Wachtendonck (285) than Goldsworthy: what a lamentable story is that of the hundred sequins per month! I have mentioned Mr. Jackson, as you desired, to Sir R., who says, he has a very good opinion of him. In case of any change at Leghorn, you will let me know. He will not lose his patron, Lord Hervey, (286) so soon as I imagined; he begins to recover.
I believe the Euston embroil is adjusted; I was with Lady Caroline Fitzroy on Friday evening; there were her brother and the bride, and quite bridal together, quite honeymoonish.
I forgot to tell you that the prince was not at the opera; I believe it has been settled that he should go thither on Tuesdays, and Majesty on Saturdays, that they may not meet. The Neutrality (287) begins to break out, and threatens to be an excise or convention. The newspapers are full of it, and the press teems. It has already produced three pieces: "The Groans of Germany," which I will send you by the first opportunity: "Bedlam, a poem on His Maj'esty's happy escape from his German dominions, and all the wisdom of his conduct there." The title of this is all that is remarkable in it. The third piece is a ballad, which, not for the goodness, but for the excessive abuse of it, I shall transcribe:
THE LATE GALLANT EXPLOITS OF A FAMOUS BALANCING CAPTAIN. A NEW SONG. TO THE TUNE OF THE KING AND THE MILLER.
Mene tekel. The handwriting on the wall.
1. I'll tell you a story as strange as 'tis new, Which all, who're concerned, will allow to be true, Of a Balancing Captain, well-known herabouts, Returned home, God save him as a mere King of Clouts.
2. This Captain he takes, in a gold-ballast'd ship, Each summer to Terra damnosa a trip, For which he begs, borrows, scrapes all he can get, And runs his poor Owners most vilely in debt.
3. The last time he set out for this blessed place, He met them, and told them a most piteous case, Of a Sister of his, who, though bred up at court, Was ready to perish for want of support.
4. This Hungry Sister, he then did pretend, Would be to his Owners a notable friend, If they would at that critical junction supply her- They did-but alas! all the fat's in the fire!
5. This our Captain no sooner had finger'd the cole, But he hies him abroad with his good Madam Vole- Where, like a true tinker, he managed this metal, And while he stopp'd one hole, made ten in the kettle.
6. His Sister, whom he to his Owners had,,;worn, To see duly settled before his return, He gulls with bad messages sent to and fro, Whilst he underhand claps up a peace with her foe.
7. on He then turns this Sister adrift, and declares Her most mortal foes were her Father's right heirs- "G-d z-ds!" cries the world, "such a step was ne'er taken!" "O, ho!" says Nol Bluff, "I have saved my own bacon."
8. Let France damn the Germans, and undam the Dutch, And Spain on Old England pish ever so much, Let Russia bang Sweden, or Sweden bang that, I care not, by Robert! one kick of my hat.
9. So I by myself can noun substantive stand, Impose on my Owners, and save my own land; You call me masculine, feminine, neuter, or block, Be what will the gender, sirs, hic, haec, or hoc.
10. Or should my choused Owners begin to look sour, I'll trust to Mate Bob to exert his old power, Regit animos dictis, or nummis, with ease, So, spite of your growling, I'll act as I please."
11. Yet worse in this treacherous contract, 'tis said, Such terms are agreed to, such promises made, That his Owners must soon feeble beggars become- "Hold!" cries the crown office, "'twere scandal-so, mum!"
12. This secret, however, must out on the day When he meets his poor Owners to ask for more pay; And I fear when they come to adjust the account, zero for balance will prove their amount.
One or two of the stanzas are tolerable; some, especially the ninth, most nonsensically bad. However, this is a specimen of what we shall have amply commented upon in parliament.
I have already found out a person, who, I believe, will please you, in Palombo's place: I am to see your brother about it to-morrow, and next post you shall hear more particularly. I am quite in concern for the poor prinCess,(289) and her conjugal and amorous distresses: I really pity them; were they in England, we should have all the old prudes dealing out judgments on her, and mumbling toothless ditties to the tune of Pride will have a fall. I am bringing some fans and trifles for her, si mignons! Good night. Yours ever.
(271) Lady Caroline D'Arcy, daughter of Robert third Earl of Holdernesse, and wife of William Henry fourth Marquis of Lothian, at this time, during his father's lifetime, called Earl of Ancram.-D
(272) Lady Caroline and Lady Emily Lenox. [The former was married, in 1744, to Henry Fox, the first Lord Holland; the latter in 1746-7, to James, twentieth Earl of Kildare, in 1766 created Duke of Leinster.]
(273) Charles, second Duke of Richmond, and Lady Sarah Cadogan, his duchess, eldest daughter of William Earl Cadogan.-D.
(274) Eldest daughter of Charles Duke of Grafton.-[In 1746 married to Lord Petersham, afterwards Earl of Harrington.]
(275) Sister to John Duke of'Rutland; married in 1742, to the Duke of Montrose.
(276) Only daughter of Charles second Earl of Tankerville. She married, first, Gilbert Fane Fleming, Esq. and secondly, Mr. Wake, of Bath.-D.
(277) Lady Sophia Fermor.-D.
(278) Robert D'Arcy, fourth and last Earl of Holdernesse.-E.
(279) Lord Lincoln was at this time an admirer of Lady Sophia Fermor,-D.
(280) Harriet, natural daughter of General Churchill; afterwards married to Sir Everard Fawkener.
(281) The son and daughters of Alderman Parsons, a Jacobite brewer, who lived much in France, and had, somehow or other, been taken notice of by the king.
(282) William third Earl Fitzwilliam, in Ireland; created an English peer in 1742; and in 1746 an English earl.-D.
(283) Sir John Shadwell, a physician, his wife and daughters, the youngest of whom was pretty, and by the foreigners generally called Mademoiselle Misse Molli, had been in Italy, when Mr. W. was there.
(284) The Chevalier Ossorio, minister from the King of Sardinia.
(285) General Wachtendonck, commander of the great dukes troops at Leghorn, was cicisbeo to the conslil's wife there.
(286) John Lord Hervey, lord privy seal, and eldest son of John first Earl Of Bristol. He was a man of considerable celebrity in his day; but is now principally known from his unfortunate rivalry with Pope, for the good graces of Lady Mary Wortley Montagu. He died August 5, 1743, at the age of forty-seven.-D.
(287) The Neutrality for the electorate of Hanover.(
(288) This song is a satire upon George II., ,the balancing Captain," and upon that in his vacillating and doubtful conduct, which his fears for the electorate of Hanover made him pursue, whenever Germany was the seat of war. His Sister, whom he is accused of deserting, was Maria Theresa, Queen of Hungary.-E.
(289) The Prince de Craon, and the princess his wife, who had been favourite mistress to Leopold, the last Duke of Lorrain, resided at this time at Florence, where the prince was head of the council of regency; but they were extremely ill-treited and mortified by the Count de Richcourt, a low Lorrainer, who, being a creature of the great duke's favourite minister, had the chief ascendant and power there.
186 Letter 40 To Sir Horace Mann. Downing Street, Nov. 5, 1741, O. S.
I just mentioned to you in my letter on Monday, that I had found such a person as you wanted; I have since seen your brother, who is so satisfied with him, that he was for sending him directly away to you, without staying six weeks for an answer from you, but I chose to have your consent. He is the son of a tradesman in this city, so not yet a fine gentleman. He is between fifteen and sixteen, but very tall of his age: he was disappointed in not going to a merchant at Genoa, as was intended; but was so far provided for it as to have learned Italian three months: he speaks French very well, writes a good hand, and casts accounts; so, you see there will not be much trouble in forming him to your purpose. He will go to you for twenty pounds a-year and his lodging. If you like this, Nvrite me word by the first post, and he shall set out directly.
We hear to-day that the Toulon squadron is airived at Barcelona; I don't like it of' all things, for it has a look towards Tuscany. If it is suffered to go thither quietly, it will be no small addition to the present discontents.
Here is another letter, which I am entreated to send you, from poor Amorevoli; he has a continued fever, though not a high one. Yesterday, Monticelli was taken ill, so there will be no opera on Saturday; nor was on Tuesday. MOnticelli is infinitely admired; next to Farinelli. The Viscontina is admired more than liked. The music displeases every body, and the dances. I am quite uneasy about the opera, for Mr. Conway is one of' the directors, and I fear they will lose considerably, which he cannot afford. There are eight; Lord Middlesex, (290) Lord Holderness, Mr. Frederick, (291) Lord Conway, (292) Mr. Conway, (293) Mr. Damer, (294) Lord Brook, (295) and Mr. Brand. (296) The five last are directed by the three first; they by the first, and he by the Abb'e Vanneschi, (297) who will make a pretty sum. I Will give YOU Some instances; not to mention the improbability of eight young thoughtless men of fashion understanding economy -. it is usual to give the poet fifty guineas for composing the books-Vanneschi and Rolli are allowed three hundred. Three hundred more VannesChi had for his journey to Italy to pick up dancers and performers, which was always as well transacted by bankers there. Be has additionally brought over an Italian tailor-because there are none here! They have already given this Taylorini four hundred pounds, and he has already taken a house of thirty pounds a-year. Monticelli and the Visconti are to have a thousand guineas apiece; Amorevoli eight hundred and fifty: this at the rate of the great singers, is not so extravagant; but to the Muscovita (though the second woman never had above four hundred,) they give six; that is for secret services. (298) By this you may judge of their frugality! I am quite uneasy for poor Harry, who will thus be to pay for Lord Middlesex's pleasures! Good night; I have not time now to write more. Yours, ever.
(290) Charles Sackville, Earl of Middlesex, and subsequently second Duke of Dorset, eldest son of Lionel, first Duke of Dorset. He was made a lord of the treasury in 1743, and master of the horse to Frederick, Prince of Wales, in 1747-D.
(291) John Frederick, Esq. afterwards Sir John Frederick, Bart. by the death of his cousin, Sir Thomas. He was a commissioner of customs, and member of parliament for West Looe.-D.
(292) Francis Seymour Conway, first Earl and Marquis of Hertford, ambassador at Paris, lord chamberlain of the household, etc.-D.
(293) Henry Seymour Conway, afterwards secretary of state, and a field marshal in the army.-D.
(294) Joseph Damer, Esq. created in 1753 Baron Milton, in Ireland, and by George III. an English peer, by the same title, and eventually Earl of Dorchester.-D.
(295) Francis Greville, eighth Lord Brooke; created in 1746 Earl Brooke, and in 1759 Earl of Warwick.-D.
(296) Mr. Brand of the Hoo, in Hertfordshire, one of the original members of the society of Dilettanti.—D.
(297) If this anticipation of Walpole's was ever realized, "the pretty sum" was eventually lost on the spot where it had been gained. Vanneschi, having in 1753 undertaken the management of the opera-house on his own account, continued it until 1756, when his differences with Mingotti, which excited almost as much of the public attention as the rivalries of Handel and Bononcini or of Faustina and Cuzzoni, completely prejudiced the public against him, and eventually ended in making him a bankrupt, a prisoner in the Fleet, and at last a fugitive.-E.
(298) She was kept by Lord Middlesex.
187 Letter 41 To Sir Horace Mann. Downing Street, Nov. 12, 1741.
Nothing is equal to my uneasiness about you. I hear or think of nothing but Spanish embarkations for Tuscany: before you receive this, perhaps, they will be at Leghorn. Then, your brother tells me you have received none of my letters. He knows I have never failed writing once a week, if not twice. We have had no letters from You this post. I shall not have the least respite from anxiety, till I hear about you, and what you design to do. it is immpossible but the great duke must lose Tuscany; and I suppose it is as certain, (I speak on probabilities, for, upon honour, I know nothing of the matter,) that as soon as there is a peace, we shall acknowledge Don Philip, and then you may return to Florence again. In the mean while I will ask Sir R. if it is possible to get your appointments continued, while you stay in readiness at Bologna, Rome, Lucca, or where you choose. I talk at random; but as I think so much of you, I am trying to find out something that may be of service to you. I write in infinite hurry, and am called away, so scarce know what I say. Lord Conway and his family are this instant come to town, and have sent for me.
It is Admiral Vernon's birthday, (299) and the city-shops are full of favours, the streets of marrowbones and cleavers, and the night will be full of mobbing, bonfires, and lights.
The opera does not succeed; Amorevoli has not sung yet; here is a letter to his wife; mind, while he is ill, he sends to the Chiaretta! The dances are infamous and ordinary. Lord Chesterfield was told that the Viscontina said she was but four-and-twenty: he answered, "I suppose she means four-and-twenty stone!"
There is a mad parson goes about; he called to a sentinel the other day in the Park; "Did you ever see the Leviathan?" "No." "Well, he is as like Sir. R. W. as ever two devils were like one another."
Never was such unwholesome weather! I have a great cold, and have not been well this fortnight: even immortal majesty has had a looseness.
The Duke of Ancaster (300) and Lord James Cavendish (301) are dead.
This is all the news I know: I would I had time to write more; but I know you will excuse me now. If I wrote more, it would be still about the Italian expedition, I am so disturbed about it. Yours, ever.
(299) Admiral Vernon was now in the height of his popularity, in consequence of his successful attack upon Porto-Bello, in November, 1739, and the great gallantry he had shown upon that occasion. His determined and violen't opposition, as a member of parliament, to the measures of the government, assisted in rendering him the idol of the mob, which he continued for many years.-D. [The admiral was actually elected for Rochester, Ipswich, and Penryn: he'was also set up for the City of London, where he was beaten by two thousand votes; and in Westminster, where he was beaten by four hundred. After the affair of Porto-Bello, he took Chagre, and continued in the service till 1748; when several matters which had passed between him and the lords of the admiralty being laid before the king, be was struck off the list of flag officers. He died in 1757. A handsome monument was erected to his memory in Westminster Abbey.]
(300) Peregrine Bertie, second Duke of Ancaster and Kesteven, great chamberlain of England, and chief justice in Eyre, north of Trent. The report of his death was premature. His grace survived till the 1st of January.-E.
(301) The second son of William, second Duke of Devonshire. He was colonel of a regiment of foot-guards, and member for Malton.-E.
189 Letter 42 To Sir Horace Mann. Downing Street, Nov. 23, 1741.
Your letter has comforted me much, if it can be called comfort to have one's uncertainty fluctuate to the better side. You make me hope that the Spaniards design on Lombardy ; my passion for Tuscany, and anxiety for you, make me eager to believe it; but alas! while I am in the belief of this, they may be in the act of conquest in Florence, and poor you retiring politically! How delightful is Mr. Chute for cleaving unto you like Ruth! "Whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge!" As to the merchants of Leghorn and their concerns, Sir R. thinks you are mistaken, and that if the Spaniards come thither, they will by no means be safe. I own I write to you under a great dilemma; I flatter myself, all is well with you; but if not, how disagreeable to have one's letters fall into strange hands. I write, however.
A brother Of Mine, (302) Edward by name, has lately had a call to matrimony: the virgins name was Howe. (303) He had agreed to take her with no fortune, she him with his four children. The father of him, to get rid of his importunities, at last acquiesced. The very moment he had obtained this consent, he repented; and, instead of flying on the wings of love to notify it, he went to his fair One, owned his father had mollified, but hoped she would be so good as to excuse him. You cannot imagine what an entertaining fourth act of the opera we had the other night. Lord Vane, (304) in the middle of the pit, making love to my lady. The Duke of Newcastle (305) has lately given him three-score thousand pounds, to consent to cut off the entail of the Newcastle estate. The fool immediately wrote to his wife, to beg she would return to him from Lord Berkeley; that he had got so much money, and now they might live comfortably: but she will not live comfortably: she is at Lord Berkeley's house, whither go divers after her. Lady Townshend told me an admirable history; it is of our friend Lady Pomfret. Somebody that belonged to the Prince of Wales said, they were going to Court; it was objected that they ought to say, going to Carlton House; that the only Court is where the king resides. Lady P. with her paltry air of significant learning and absurdity, said, "Oh Lord! is there no Court in England, but the king's? sure, there are many more! There is the Court of Chancery, the Court of Exchequer, the Court of King's Bench, etc." Don't you love her? Lord Lincoln does her dauhter: he is come over, and met her the other night: he turned pale, spoke to her several times in the evening, but not long, and sighed to me at going away. He came over all alive; and not only his uncle-duke, but even majesty is fallen in love with him. He talked to the king at his levee, without being spoken to. That was always thought high treason; but I don't know how the gruff gentleman liked it; and then he had been told that Lord Lincoln designed to have made the campaicn, if we had gone to war; in short, he says, Lord Lincoln (306) is the handsomest man in England
I believe I told you that Vernon's birthday passed quietly, but it was not designed to be pacific; for at twelve at night, eight gentlemen, dressed like sailors, and masked, went round Covent Garden with a drum, beating up for a volunteer mob, but it did not take; and they retired to a great supper that was prepared for them at the Bedford Head, and ordered by Whitehead (307) the author of Manners. It has been written into the country that Sir R. has had two fits of an apoplexy, and cannot live till Christmas; but I think he is recovered to be as well as ever. To-morrow se'nnight is the Day! (308) It is critical. You shall hear faithfully.
The opera takes: Monticelli (309) pleases almost equal to Farinelli: Amorevoli is much liked; but the poor, fine Viscontina scarce at all. (310)I carry the two former to-night to my Lady Townshend's.
Lord Coventry (311) has had his son thrown out by the party: he went to Carlton House; the prince asked him about the election. "Sir," said he, "the Tories have betrayed me, as they will you, the first time you have occasion for them." The merchants have petitioned the King for more guardships. My lord president, (312) referred them to the Admiralty; but they bluntly refused to go, and said they would have redress from the King himself.
I am called down to dinner, and cannot write more now. I will thank dear Mr. Chute and the Grifona next post. I hope she and you liked your things. Good night, my dearest child! Your brother and I sit upon your affairs every morning. Yours ever.
(302) Second son of Sir Robert Walpole. He was clerk of the pells, and afterwards knight of the Bath. [Sir Edward died unmarried, in 1784, leaving three natural daughters; Laura, married to the Hon. and Rev. Frederick Keppel, afterwards Bishop of Exeter; maria, married, first to the Earl of Waldegrave, and, secondly to the Duke of Gloucester; and Charlotte, married to the Earl of Dysart.]
(303) Eldest sister of the Lord Viscount Howe. She was soon after this married to a relation of her own name. [John Howe, Esq. of Hanslop, Bucks.]
(304) William, second Viscount Vane, in Ireland. His "lady" was the too-celebrated Lady Vane, first married to Lord William Hamilton, and secondly to Lord Vane; who has given her own extraordinary and disreputable adventures to the world, in Smollett's novel of "Peregrine Pickle," under the title of "Memoirs of a Lady of Quality." She is also immortalized in different ways, by Johnson, in his ,Vanity of Human Wishes," and by Sir Charles Hanbury Williams, in one of his Odes.-D. [She was the daughter of Mr. Hawes, a South Sea director, and died in 1788. Lord Vane died in 1789. Boswell distinctly states, that the lady mnentioned in Johnson's couplet "was not the celebrated Lady Vane, whose Memoirs were given to the public by Dr. Smollett, but Ann Vane, who was mistress to Frederick Prince of Wales, and died in 1736, not long before Johnson settled in London." See Boswell's Johnson, vol. i. p. 226, ed. 1835.]
(305) Uncle of Lord Vane, whose father, Lord Barnard, had married Elizabeth, eldest daughter of Gilbert Holles, Earl of Clare, and sister and coheir of John Duke of Newcastle.
(306) Henry Clinton, ninth Earl of Lincoln, succeeded as Duke of Newcastle in 1768, on the death of his uncle, the minister.
(307) Paul Whitehead, a satirical poet of bad character, was the son of a tailor, who lived in Castle-yard, Holborn. He wrote several abusive poems, now forgotten, entitled "The State Dances," "Manners," "The Gymnasiad," etc. In "Manners," having attacked some members of the House of Lords, that assembly summoned Dodsley, the publisher, before them, (Whitehead having absconded,) and subsequently imprisoned him. In politics, Whitehead was a follower of Bubb Dodington; in private life be was the friend and companion of the profligate Sir Francis Dashwood, Wilkes, Churchill, etc. and, like them, was a member of the Hell-fire Club, which held its orgies at Mednam Abbey, in Bucks. The estimation in which he was held even by his friends may be judged of by the lines in which Churchill has damned him to everlasting fame:
"May I (can worse disgrace on mankind fall?) Be born a Whitehead and baptized a Paul."
Paul Whitehead died in 1774.-D. [The proceedings in the House of Lords against the author of "Manners" which took place in February, 1739, was, in the opinion of Dr. Johnson, "intended rather to intimidate Pope, than to punish Whitehead."]
(308) The day the parliament was to meet.
(309) His voice was clear, sweet, and free from defects of every kind. He was a chaste performer, and never hazarded any difficulty which he was not certain of executing with the utmost precision. He was, moreover, an excellent actor, so that nothing but the recent remembrance of the gigantic talents of Farinelli, and the grand and majestic style of Senesino, could have lefl an English audience any thing to wish.-E.
(310) Amorevoli was an admirable tenor. "I have heard," says Dr. Burney, "better voices of his pitch, but never, on the stage, more taste and expression. The Visconti had a shrill flexible voice, and pleased more in rapid songs than those that required high colouring and pathos."-E.
(311) William, fifth Earl of Coventry. He died in 1751.-D.
(312) Spencer Compton, Earl of Wilmington, a man of moderate abilities, but who had filled many great offices. He died in 1743, when his titles extinguished.-D.
191 Letter 43 To Sir Horace Mann. Nov. 26, 1741.
I don't write you a very long letter, because you will see the inclosed to Mr. Chute. I forgot to thank you last post for the songs, and your design on the Maltese cats.
It is terrible to be in this uncertainty about you! We have not the least news about the Spaniards, more than what you told us, of a few vessels being seen off Leghorn. I send about the post, and ask Sir R. a thousand times a-day.
I beg to know if you have never heard any thing from Parker about my statue: (313) it was to have been finished last june. What is the meaning he does not mention it? If it is done, I beg it may not stir from Rome till there is no more danger of Spaniards.
If you get out of your hurry, I will trouble you with a new commission: I find I cannot live without Stosch's (314) intaglio of the Gladiator, with the vase, upon a granite. You know I offered him fifty pounds: I think, rather than not have it, I would give a hundred. What will he do if the Spaniards should come to Florence? Should he be driven to straits, perhaps he would part with his Meleager too. You see I am as eager about baubles as if I were going to Louis at the Palazzo Vecchio! You can't think what a closet I have fitted up; such a mixture of French gaiety and Roman virtu! you would be in love with it: I have not rested till it was finished: I long to have you see it. Now I am angry that I did not buy the Hermaphrodite; the man would have sold it for twenty-five sequins: do buy it for me; it was a friend of Bianchi. Can you forgive me'! I write all this upon the hope and presumption that the Spaniards go to Lombardy. Good night. Yours, ever.
(313) A copy of the Livia Mattei, which Mr. W. designed for a tomb of his mother: it was erected in Henry VII.'s Chapel, in Westminster Abbey, in 1754.
(314) He gave it afterwards to Lord Duncannon, for procuring him the arrears of his pension.
192 Letter 44 To Sir Horace Mann. Downing Street, Dec. 3, 1741, O. S.
Here I have two letters from you to answer. You cannot conceive my joy on the prospect of the Spaniards going to Lombardy: all advices seem to confirm it. There is no telling you what I have felt, and shall feel, till I am certain you are secure. You ask me about Admiral Haddock; you must not wonder that I have told you nothing of him: they know nothing of him here. He had discretionary powers to act as he should judge proper from his notices. He has been keeping in the Spanish fleet at Cales. (315) Sir R. says, if he had let that go out, to prevent the embarkation, the Tories would have complained, and said he had favoured the Spanish trade, under pre tence of hindering an expedition which was never designed. It was strongly reported last week that Haddock had shot himself; a satire on his having been neutral, as they call it. The parliament met the day before yesterday, and there were four hundred and eighty-seven members present. They did no business, only proceeded to choose a speaker, which was, unanimously, Mr. Onslow, moved for by Mr. Pelham, (316) and seconded by Mr. Clutterbuck. But the Opposition, to flatter his pretence to popularity and impartiality, call him their own speaker. They intend to oppose Mr. Earle's being chairman of the committee, and to set up a Dr. Lee, a civilian. To- morrow the King makes his speech. Well, I won't keep you any longer in suspense. The Court will have a majority of forty-a vast number for the outset: a good majority, like a good sum of money, soon makes itself bigger. The first great point will be the Westminster election; another, Mr. Pultney's (317) election at Heydon; Mr. Chute's brother is one of the petitioners. It will be an ugly affair for the Court, for Pultney has asked votes of the courtiers, and said Sir R. was indifferent about it; but he is warmer than I almost ever saw him, and declared to Churchill, (318) of whom Pultney claims a promise, that he must take Walpole or Pultney. The Sackville finally were engaged too, by means of George Berkeley, brother to Lady Betty Germain, (319) whose influence with the Dorset I suppose you know; but the King was so hot with his grace about his sons, that I believe they will not venture to follow their inclinations **** to vote (320) for Pultney, though he has expressed great concern about it to Sir R.
So much for politics! for I suppose you know that Prague is taken by storm, in a night's time. I forgot to tell you that Commodore Lestock, with twelve ships, has been waiting for a wind this fortnight, to join Haddock. (321)
I write to you in defiance of a violent headache, which I got last night at another of Sir T. Robinson's balls. There were six hundred invited, and I believe above two hundred there. Lord Lincoln, out of prudence, danced with Lady Caroline Fitzroy, and Mr. Conway, with Lady Sophia; the two couple were just mismatched, as every body soon perceived, by the attentions of each man to the woman he did not dance with, and the emulation of either lady: it was an admirable scene. The ball broke up at three; but Lincoln, Lord Holderness, Lord Robert Sutton, (322) Young Churchill (323) and a dozen more grew 'oily,' stayed till seven in the morning, and drank thirty-two bottles.
I will take great care to send the knee-buckles and pocket-book; I have got them, and Madame Pucci's silks, and only wait to hear that Tuscany is quiet, and then I will convey them by the first ship. I would write to them to-night, but have not time now; old Cibber, (324) plays to-night, and all the world will be there.
Here is another letter from Amorevoli, who is out of his wits at not hearing from his wife. Adieu! my dearest child. How happy shall I be when I know you are in peace; Yours, ever.
(316) The Right Hon. Henry Pelham, so long in conjunction with his brother, the Duke of Newcastle, one of the principal rulers of this country. He was a man of some ability, and a tolerable speaker. The vacillations, the absurdity, the foolish jealousy of the duke, greatly injured the stability and respectability of Mr. Pelham's administration. Mr. Pelham was born in 1696, and died in 1754.-D.
(317) William Pulteney, afterwards Earl of Bath, whose character and history are too well known to require to be here enlarged upon.-D.
(318) General Charles Churchill, groom of the bedchamber to the King.
(319) Lady Betty Berkeley, married to the notorious adventurer and gambler, Sir John Germain, who had previously married the divorced Duchess of Norfolk, (Lady Mary Mordaunt,) by whose bequest he became possessed of the estate of Drayton, in Northamptonshire, which he left on his own death to Lady Betty, his second @wife. Lady Betty left it to Lord George Sackville, third son of Lionel first Duke of Dorset. Sir John Germain was so ignorant, that he is said to have left a legacy to Fair Matthew Decker, as the author of St. Matthew's Gospel.-D.
(320) sic, in the manuscript.-D.
(321) But for this circumstance, and the junction of the French squadron, Haddock would certainly have destroyed the Spanish fleet, and thereby escaped the imputation which was circulated with much industry, that his hands had been tied up by a neutrality entered into for Hanover; than which nothing could be more false. These reports, though ostensibly directed against Haddock, were, in reality, aimed at Sir Robert Walpole, a general election being at hand, and his opponents wishing to render him as unpopular with the people as possible.-E.
(322) Second son of John, third Duke of Rutland. He took the name of Sutton, on inheriting the estate of his maternal grandfather, Robert Sutton, Lord Lexington.-D.
(323) Natural son of General Charles Churchill, afterwards married to Mary, daughter of Sir Robert Walpole.-D.
(324) Colley Cibber, the celebrated dramatic author and actor. He had left the stage in 1731; but still occasionally acted, in spite of his age, for he was now seventy.-D. [For those occasional performances he is said to have had fifty guineas per night. So late as 1745, he appeared in the character of Pandulph, the pope's legate, in his own tragedy, called "Papal Tyranny." He died in 1757.]
194 letter 45 To Sir Horace Mann. Somerset House, (for I write to you wherever I find myself,) Dec. 10, 1741.
I have got no letter from you yet, the post should have brought it yesterday. The Gazette says, that the cardinal (325) has declared that they will suffer no expedition against Tuscany. I wish he had told me so! if they preserve this guarantee, personally, I can forgive their breaking the rest. But I long for your letter; every letter now from each of us is material. You will be almost as impatient to hear of the parliament, as I of Florence. The lords on Friday went upon the King's speech; Lord Chesterfield made a very fine speech against the address, all levelled at the House of Hanover. Lord Cholmley, they say, answered him well. Lord Halifax (326) spoke Very ill, and was answered by little Lord Raymond, (327) who always will answer him. Your friend Lord Sandwich (328) affronted his grace of Grafton, (329) extremely, who was ill, and sat out of his place, by calling him to order; it was indecent in such a boy to a man of his age and rank: the blood of Fitzroy will not easily pardon it. The court had a majority of forty-one, with some converts.
On Tuesday we had the Speech; there were great differences among the party; the Jacobites, with Shippen (330) and Lord Noel Somerset at their head, were for a division, Pultney and the Patriots against one; (332) the ill success in the House of lords had frightened them; we had no division, but a very warm battle between Sir. R. and Poltney. The latter made a fine speech, very personal, on the state of affairs. Sir R. with as much health, as much spirits, as much force and command as ever, answered him for an hour; said, He hadbeen taxed with all our misfortunes; but did he raise the war in Germany? or advise the war with Spain? did he kill the late Emperor or King of Prussia?' did he counsel this King? or was he first minister to the King of Poland? did he kindle the war betwixt Muscovy and Sweden?" For our troubles at home, he said, "all the grievances of this nation were owing to the Patriots." They laughed much at this; but does he want proofs of it? he said, They talked much of an equilibrium in this parliament, (333) and of what they designed against him; if it was so, the sooner he knew it the better; and there-fore if any man would move for a day to examine the state of the nation, he would second it." Mr. Pultney did move for it; Sir R. did second it, and it is fixed for the twenty-first of January. Sir R. repeated some words of Lord Chesterfield's in the House of Lords, that this was a time for truth, for plain truth for English truth, and hinted at the reception (334) his lordship had met in France. After these speeches of such consequence, and from such men, Mr. Lyttelton (335) got up to justify, or rather to flatter Lord Chesterfield, though every body then had forgot that he had been mentioned. Danvers (336) who is a rough, rude beast, but now and then mouths out some humour, said, "that Mr. P. and Sir R. were like two old bawds, debauching young members."
That day was a day of triumph, but yesterday (Wednesday) the streamers of victory did not fly so gallantly. It was the day of receiving petitions; Mr. Pultney presented an immense piece of parchment, which he said he could but just lift; it was the Westminster petition, and is to be heard next Tuesday, when we shall all have our brains knocked out by the mob; so if you don't hear from me next post, you will conclude my head was a little out of order. After this we went upon a cornish petition, presented by Sir William Yonge, (337) which drew on a debate and a division, when lo! we were but 222 to 215-how do you like a majority of seven? The Opposition triumphs highly, and with reason; one or two such victories, as Pyrrhus, the member for Macedon, said, will be the ruin of us. I look upon it now, that the question is, Downing Street or the Tower; will you come and see a body, if one should happen to lodge at the latter? There are a thousand pretty things to amuse you; the lions, the Armoury, the crown, and the axe that beheaded Anna Bullon. I design to make interest for the room where the two princes were smothered; in long winter evenings, when one wants company, (for I don't suppose that many people will frequent me then,) one may sit and scribble verses against Crouch-back'd Richard, and dirges on the sweet babes. If I die there, and have my body thrown into a wood, I am too old to be buried by robin redbreasts, am not I?
Bootle, (338) the prince's chancellor, made a most long and stupid speech; afterwards, Sir R. called to him, "Brother Bootle, take care you don't get my old name." "What's that?" "Blunderer."
You can't conceive how I was pleased with the vast and deserved applause that Mr. Chute's (339) brother, the lawyer, got: I never heard a clearer or a finer speech. When I went home, "Dear Sir," said I to Sir R. "I hope Mr. Chute will carry his election for Heydon; he would be a great loss to you." He replied. "We will not lose him." I, who meddle with nothing, especially elections, and go to no committees, interest myself extremely for Mr. Chute.
Old Marlborough (340) is dying-but who can tell! last year she had lain a great while ill, without speaking; her physicians said, "She must be blistered, or she will die." She called out, "I won't be blistered, and I won't die." If she takes the same resolution now, I don't believe she will. (341)
Adieu! my dear child: I have but room to say, yours, ever.
(325) Cardinal Fleury, first minister of France.
(326) George Montague Dunk, second Earl of Halifax, of the last creation. Under the reign of George III., he became secretary of state, and was so unfortunate in that capacity as to be the opponent of Wilkes, on the subject of General Warrants, by which he is now principally remembered.-D.
(327) Robert, second Lord Raymond, only son of the chief justice of that name and title.-D.
(328) John Montagu, fourth Earl of Sandwich, passed through a long life of office, and left behind him n indifferent character, both in public and private He was, however, a man of some ability.-D.
(329) Charles Fitzroy, second Duke of Grafton, and grandson of Charles II., was a person of considerable weight and influence at the court of George II., where he long held the post of chamberlain of the household.
(330) "Honest Will Shippen," as he was called, or ,Downright Shippen," as Pope terms him, was a zealous Jacobite member of parliament, possessed of considerable talents, and a vehement opposer of Sir Robert Walpole's government. He, however, did justice to that able minister, for he was accustomed to say, "Robin and I are honest men; but as for those fellows in long perriwigs" (meaning the Tories of the day,) " they only want to get into office themselves." He was the author of a satirical poem, entitled, "Faction Displayed," which possesses considerable merit.-D. [Shippen was born in 1672, and died in 1743. Sir Robert Walpole repeatedly declared, that he would not say who was corrupted, but he would say who was not corruptible-that man was Shippen. His speeches generally contained some pointed period, which he uttered with great animation. He usually spoke in a low tone of voice, with too great rapidity, and held his glove before his mouth.]
(331) Lord Charles Noel Somerset, second son of Henry, second Duke of Beaufort. He succeeded to the family honours in 1746, when his elder brother, Henry, the third duke, died without children.-D. [After the death of Sir William Wyndham, which happened in 1740, Lord Noel Somerset was considered as the rising head of the Tory interest. "He was," says Tindal, "a man of sense, spirit, and activity, unblameable in his morals, but questionable in his political capacity." He died in 1756.)
(332) Mr. Pulteney declared against dividing; observing, with a witticism, that "dividing was not the way to multiply."
(333) In speaking of the balance of power, Mr. Pulteney had said, ,He did not know how it was abroad, not being in secrets, but congratulated the House, that he had not, for these many years, known it so near an equilibrium as it now was there."-E.
(334) Lord Chesterfield had been sent by the party, in the preceding September, to France, to request the Duke of Ormond (at Avignon,) to obtain the Pretender's order to the Jacobites, to vote against Sir R. W. upon any question whatever; many of them having either voted for him, or retired, on the famous motion the last year for removing him from the, King's councils. [Lord Chesterfield's biographer, Dr. Maty states that the object of his lordship's visit to France was the restoration of his health, which required the assistance of a warmer climate. The reception he met with during his short stay at Paris, is thus noticed in a letter from Mr. Pitt, of the 10th of September:-" I hope you liked the court of France as well as it liked you. The uncommon distinctions I hear the Cardinal (Fleury) showed you, are the best proof that, old as he is, his judgment is as good as ever. As this great minister has taken so much of his idea, of the men in power here, from the person of a great negotiator who has left the stage, (Lord Waldegrave,) I am very glad he has, had an opportunity, once before he dies, of forming an idea of those out of power from my Lord Chesterfield." See Chatham Correspondence, vol. i. p. 3.]