You tell me the St. Quintin is arrived at Genoa: I see by the prints of to-day that it is got to leghorn: I am extremely glad, for I feared for it, for the poor boy, and for the things. Tell me how you like your secretary. I shall be quite happy, if I have placed one with you that you like.
I laughed much at the family of cats I am to receive. I believe they will be extremely welcome to Lord Islay now: for he appears little, lives more darkly and more like a wizard than ever. These huge cats will figure prodigiously in his cell: he is of' the mysterious, dingy nature of Stosch.
As words is what I have not rhetoric to find out to thank you, for sending me this paragraph of Madame Goldsworthy, I can only tell you that I have laughed for an hour at it. This was one of my Lady Pomfret's correspondents.
There seems to be a little stop in our embarkations: since the first, they have discovered that the horse must not go till all the hay is provided. Three thousand men will make a fine figure towards supporting the balance of power! Our whole number was to be but sixteen; and if all these cannot be assembled before the end of July, what will be said of it?
The Secret Committee go on very pitifully: they are now inquiring about some customhouse officers that were turned out at Weymouth for voting wrong at elections. Don't you think these articles will prove to the world what they have been saying of Sir Robert for these twenty years? The House still sits in observance to them; which is pleasant to me, for it keeps people in town. We have operas too; but they are almost over, and if it were not for a daily east wind, they would give way to Vauxhall and Chelsea. The new directors have agreed with the Fumagalli for next year, but she is to be second woman: they keep the Visconti. Did I never mention the Bettina, the first dancer. It seems she was kept by a Neapolitan prince, who is extremely jealous of her thither. About a fortnight ago, she fell ill, upon which her Neapolitan footman made off immediately. She dances again, but is very weak, and thinks herself poisoned.
Adieu! my dear child; tell me you are well, easy, and in spirits: kiss the Chutes for me, and believe me, etc
(581) This alludes to an account given by Sir Horace Mann, in one of his letters, of the change he had observed in the manner of many of the Florentines towards himself since Sir Robert Walpole's retirement from office, upon the supposition entertained by them that he was intimately connected with the fallen minister@D.
(582) Lady Walpole.
254 Letter 67 To Sir Horace Mann. London, May 13, 1742.
As I am obliged to put my letter into the secretary's office by nine o'clock, and it now don't want a quarter of it, I can say but three words, and must defer till next post answering Your long letter by the courier. I am this moment come from the House, where we have had the first part of the Report from the Secret Committee. It is pretty long; but, unfortunately for them, there is not once to be found in it the name of the Earl of Orford: there is a good deal about Mr. Paxton and the borough of Wendover; and it appears that in eleven years Mr. Paxton has received ninety-four thousand pounds unaccounted for: now, if Lady Richcourt can make any thing of all this, you have freely my leave to communicate it to her. Pursuant to this report, and Mr. Paxton's contumacy, they moved for leave to bring in a bill to indemnify all persons who should accuse themselves of any crime, provided they do but accuse Lord Orford, and they have carried it by 251 to 228! but it is so absurd a bill, that there is not the least likelihood of its passing the Lords. By this bill, whoever are guilty of murder, treason, forgery, etc. have nothing to do but to add perjury, and swear Lord Orford knew of it, and they may plead their pardon. Tell Lady Richcourt this. Lord Orford knew of her gallantries: she may plead her pardon. Good night! I have not a moment to lose.
254 Letter 68 To Sir Horace Mann. May 20, 1742.
I sent you a sketch last post of the division on the Indemnity Bill. As they carried the question for its being brought in, they brought it in on Saturday; but were prevailed on to defer the second reading till Tuesday. Then we had a long debate till eight at night, when they carried it, 228 against 217, only eleven majority: before, they had had twenty-three. They immediately went into the committee on it,-and reported it that night. Yesterday it came to the last reading; but the House, having sat so late the night before, was not so full, and they carried it, 216 to 184. But to-day it comes into the Lords,-where they do not in the least expect to succeed; yet, to show their spirit, they have appointed a great dinner at the Fountain to-morrow to consider on methods for supporting the honour of the Commons, as they call it, against the Lords, So now all prospect of quiet seems to vanish! The noise this bill makes is incredible; it is so unprecedented, so violent a step! Every thing is inflamed by Pultney, who governs both parties only, I think, to exasperate both more. Three of our own people of the committee, the Solicitor,(582) Talbot, and Bowles, vote against us in the Indemnity Bill, the two latter have even spoke against us. Sir Robert said, at the beginning, when he was congratulated on having some of his own friends in the committee, "The moment they are appointed, they will grow so jealous of the honour of their committee, that they will prefer that to every other consideration."(583)
Our foreign news are as bad as our domestic: there seem little hopes of the Dutch coming into our measures; there are even letters, that mention strongly their resolution of not stirring-so we have Quixoted away sixteen thousand men! On Saturday we had accounts of the Austrians having cut off two thousand Prussians, in a retreat; but on Sunday came news of the great victory,(584) which the latter have gained, killing six, and taking two thousand Austrians prisoners, and that Prince Charles is retired to Vienna wounded. This will but too much confirm the Dutch in their apprehensions of Prussia. As to the long letter you wrote me, in answer to a very particular one of mine, I cannot explain myself, till I find a safer conveyance than the post, by which, I perceive all our letters are opened. I can only tell you, that in most things you guessed right; and that as to myself (585) all is quiet. I am in great concern, for you seem not satisfied with the boy we sent you. Your brother entirely agreed with me that he was what you seem to describe; and as to his being on the foot of a servant, I give you my honour I repeated it over and over to his mother. I suppose her folly was afraid of shocking him. As to Italian, she assured me he had been learning it some time. If he does not answer your purpose, let me know if you can dispose of him any other way, and I will try to accommodate you better. Your brother has this moment been here, but there was no letter for me; at least, none that they will deliver yet.
I know not in the least how to advise Mr. Jackson.(586) I do not think Mr. Pelham the proper person to apply to; for the Duke of Newcastle is as jealous of him as of any body.(587) Don't say this to him. For Lord Hervey, though Mr. Jackson has interest there, I would not advise him to try it, for both hate him. The application to the Duke of Newcastle by the Most direct means, I should think the best, or by any one that can be serviceable to the government.
You will laugh at an odd accident that happened the other day to my uncle:(588) they put him into the papers for Earl of Sheffield. There have been little disputes between the two Houses about coming into each other's House; when a lord comes into the Commons, they call out, withdraw: that day, the moment my uncle came in, they all roared out, Withdraw! withdraw!
The great Mr. Nugent has been unfortunate, too, in parliament; besides being very ill heard, from being a very indifferent speaker, the other day on the Place Bill, (which, by the way, we have new modelled and softened, and to which the Lords have submitted to agree to humour Pultney,) he rose, and said, "He would not vote, as he was not determined in his opinion; but he would offer his sentiments; which were, particularly, that the bishops had been the cause of this bill being thrown out before." Winnington called him to order, desiring he would be tender of the Church of England. You know he was a papist. In answer to the beginning of his speech, Velters Cornwall, who is of the same side, said, "He wondered that when that gentleman could not convince himself by his eloquence, he should expect to convince the majority."
Did I tell you that Lord Rochford,(589) has at last married Miss Young?(590) I say, at last, for they don't pretend to have been married this twelvemonth; but they were publicly married last week. Adieu!
(582) John Strange, Esq. made Solicitor-general in 1736, and Master of the Rolls in 1750, he died in 1754.-E.
(583) Voltaire has since made the same kind of observation in his "Life of Louis XlV." Art of Calvinism;-"Les hommes se piquent toujours de remplir un devoir qui les distingue."
(584) The battle of Chotusitz, or Czaslau, gained by the King of Prussia over the very superior forces of the Austrians. This victory occasioned the peace between the contending powers, and the cession of Silesia to the Prussian monarchy.- D.
(585) This relates to some differences between Mr. Walpole and his father, to which the former had alluded in one of his letters. They never suited one another either in habits, tastes, or opinions; in addition to which, Sir Robert appears to have been rather a harsh father to his youngest son. If such was the case, the latter nobly revenged himself, by his earnest solicitude through life for the Honour of his parent's memory.-D. [See ant'e, p. 207, Letter 50.)
(586) He had been consul at Genoa.
(587) Sir Robert Walpole used to say of the Duke of Newcastle, "He has a foolish head and a perfidious heart. His name is perfidy."-E.
(588) Horace Walpole the elder@D.
(589) William Henry Zulestein Nassau, fourth Earl of Rochford. He filled many diplomatic situations, and was also at different times, groom of the stole and secretary of state. He died in 1781.-D.
(590) Daughter of Edward Young, Esq. She had been maid of honour to the Princess of Wales.
256 Letter 69 To Sir Horace Mann Downing Street, May 26, 1742.
To-day calls itself May the 26th, as you perceive by the date; but I am writing to you by the fireside, instead of going to Vauxhall. if we have one warm day in seven, "we bless our stars, and think it luxury." And yet we have as much waterworks and fresco diversions, as if we lay ten degrees nearer warmth. Two nights ago Ranelagh-gardens were opened at Chelsea; the Prince, Princess, Duke, much nobility, and much mob besides, were there. There is a vast amphitheatre, finely gilt, painted, and illuminated, into which every body that loves eating, drinking, staring, or crowding, is admitted for twelvepence. The building and disposition of the gardens cost sixteen thousand pounds. Twice a-week there are to be ridottos, at guinea tickets, for which you are to have a supper and music. I was there last night, but did not find the joy of it. Vauxhall is a little better; for the garden is pleasanter, and one goes by water. Our operas are almost over; there were but three-and-forty people last night in the pit and boxes. There is a little simple farce at Drury Lane, called "Miss Lucy in Town,"(591) in which Mrs. Clive (592) mimes the Muscovita admirably, and Beard, Amorevoli tolerably. But all the run is now after Garrick, a wine-merchant, who is turned player, at Goodman's-fields. He plays all parts, and is a very good mimic. His acting I have seen, and may say to you, who will not tell it again here, I see nothing wonderful in it.(593) but it is heresy to say so: the Duke of Argyll says, he is superior to Betterton. Now I talk of players, tell Mr. Chute that his friend Bracegirdle breakfasted with me this morning. As she went out, and wanted her clogs, she turned to me, and said, "I remember at the playhouse, they used to call Mrs. Oldfield's chair! Mrs. Barry's clogs! and Mrs. Bracegirdle's pattens!"
I did, indeed, design the letter of this post for Mr. Chute; but I have received two such charming long ones from you of the 15th and 20th of May (N. S.), that I must answer them, and beg him to excuse me till another post; so must the Prince,(594) Princess, the Grifona, and Countess Galli. For the Princess's letter, I am not sure I shall answer it so soon, for hitherto I have not been able to read above every third word; however, you may thank her as much as if I understood it all. I am very happy that mes bagatelles (for I still insist they were so) pleased. You, my dear child, are very good to be pleased with the snuff-box.. I am much obliged to the superior lumi'eres of old Sarasin (595) about the Indian ink: if' she meant the black, I am sorry to say I had it into the bargain with the rest of the Japan: for the coloured, it is only a curiosity, because it has seldom been brought over. I remember Sir Hans Sloane was the first who ever had any of it, and would on no account give my mother the least morsel of it. since that, She afterwards got a good deal of it from China; and more has come over; but it is even less valuable than the other, for we never could tell how to use it; however, let it make its figure.
I am sure you blame me all this time, for chatting about so many trifles, and telling you no politics. I own to you, I am so wearied, so worn with them, that I scarce know how to turn my hand to them; but you shall know all I know. I told you of the meeting at the Fountain tavern: Pultney had promised to be there, but was-not; nor Carteret. As the Lords had put off the debate on the Indemnity Bill, nothing material passed; but the meeting was very Jacobite. Yesterday the bill came on, and Lord Carteret took the lead against it, and about seven in the evening it was flung out by almost two to one, 92 to 47, and 17 proxies to 10. To-day we had a motion by the new Lord Hillsborough,(596) (for the father is Just dead,) and seconded by Lord Barrington,(597) to examine the Lords' votes, to see what has become of the bill: this is the form. The chancellor of the exchequer, and all the new ministry, were with us against it; but they carried it, 164 to 159. It is to be reported to-morrow, and as we have notice, we may possibly throw it out; else they will hurry on to a breach with the Lords. Pultney was not in the House: he was riding the other day, and met the King's coach; endeavouring to turn out of the way, his horse started, flung him, and fell upon him: he is much bruised but not at all dangerously. On this occasion, there was an epigram fixed to a list, which I will explain to you afterwards it is not known who wrote it, but it was addressed to him:
"Thy horse does things by halves, like thee: Thou, with irresolution, Hurt'st friend and foe, thyself and me, The King and Constitution."
The list I meant: you must know, some time ago, before the change, they had moved for a committee to examine, and state the public accounts: It was passed. Finding how little success they had with their Secret Committee, they have set this on foot, and we were to ballot for seven commissioners, who are to have a thousand a-year; We balloted yesterday: on our lists were Sir Richard Corbet,(598) Charles Hamilton (599) Lady Archibald's brother,) Sir William Middleton,(600) Mr. West, Mr. Fonnereau, Mr. Thompson, and Mr. Ellis.(601) On theirs Mr. Bance, George Grenville, Mr. Hooper, Sir Charles Mordaunt,(602) Mr, Phillips, Mr. Pitt, and Mr. Stuart. On casting up the numbers, the four first on ours, and the three first on their list, appeared to have the majority,: so no great harm will come from this, should it pass the Lords; which it is not likely to do. I have now told you, I think, all the political news, except that the troops continue going to Flanders, though we hear no good news yet from Holland. If we can prevent any dispute between the two Houses, it is believed and much hoped by the Court, that the Secret Committee will desire to be dissolved: if it does, there is an end of all this tempest!
I must tell you an ingenuity of Lord Raymond,(603) an epitaph on the Indemnifying Bill-I believe you would guess the author:-
"Interr'd beneath this marble stone doth lie The Bill of Indemnity; To show the good for which it was designed, It died itself to save mankind."
My Lady Townshend made me laugh the other night about your old acquaintance, Miss Edwin; who, by the way, is grown almost a Methodist. My lady says she was forced to have an issue made on one side of her head, for her eyes, and that Kent(604) advised her to have another on the other side for symmetry. There has lately been published one of the most impudent things that ever was printed; it is called "The Irish Recister," and is a list of all the unmarried women of any fashion in England, ranked in order, duchesses-dowager, ladies, widows, misses, etc. with their names at length, for the benefit of Irish fortune-hunters, or as it is said, for the incorporating and manufacturing of British commodities. Miss Edwards(605) is the only one printed with a dash, because they have placed her among the widows. I will send you this, "Miss Lucy in Town," and the magazines, by the first opportunity, as I should the other things, but your brother tells me you have had then) by another hand. I received the cedarati, for which I have already thanked you: but I have been so much thanked by several people to whom I gave some, that I can very well afford to thank you again.
As to Stosch expecting any present from me, he was so extremely well paid for all I had of' him, that I do not think myself at all in his debt: however, you was very good to offer to pay him.
As to my Lady Walpole, I shall say nothing now, as I have not seen either of the two persons since I received your letter to whom I design to mention her; only that I am extremely sorry to find you still disturbed at any of the little nonsense of' that cibal. I hoped that the accounts which I have sent you, and which, except in my last letter, must have been very satisfactory, would have served you as an antidote to their legends; and I think the great victory in the House of Lords, and which, I assure you, is here reckoned prodigious, Will raise your spirits against them. I am happy you have taken that step about Sir Francis Dashwood; the credit it must have given you with the King will more than counterbalance any little hurt you might apprehend from the cabal.
I am in no hurry for any of my things; as we shall be moving from hence as soon as Sir Robert has taken another house, I shall not want them till I am more settled.
Adieu! I hope to tell you soon that we are all at peace, and then I trust you will be so. A thousand loves to the Chutes. How I long to see you all!
P. S. I unseal my letter to tell you what a vast and, probably, final victory we have gained to-day. They moved, that the lords flinging out the Bill of Indemnity was an obstruction of justice, and might prove fatal to the liberties of' this country. We have sat till this moment, seven o'clock, and have rejected this motion by 245 to 193. The call of the House, which they have kept off from fortnight to fortnight, to keep people in town, was appointed for to-day. The moment the division was over, Sir John Cotton rose and said, "As I think the inquiry is at an end, you may do what you will with the call." We have put it off for two months. There's a noble postscript!
(591) This farce, the production of Fielding, was acted several nights with success; but it being hinted, that one of the characters was written in ridicule of a man of quality, the Lord Chamberlain sent an order to forbid its being performed any more.-E.
(592) catherine Clive, an excellent actress in low comedy. Churchill says of her, in the Rosciad,
In spite of outward blemishes she shone, For humour famed, and humour all her own. Easy, as if at home, the stage she trod, Nor sought the critic's praise, nor fear'd his rod Original in spirit and in ease, She pleased by hiding all attempts to please. No comic actress ever yet could raise On humour's base, more merit or more praise."
In after life she lived at Twickenham, in the house now called Little Strawberry Hill, and became an intimate friend of Horace Walpole@D.
(593) Garrick made his first appearance, October 19, 1741, in the character of Richard the Third. Walpole does not appear to have been singular in the opinion here given. Gray in a letter to Chute, says, "Did I tell you about Mr. Garrick, that the town are horn-mad after: there are a dozen dukes of a night at Goodman-fields sometimes; and vet I am stiff in the opposition."-E.
(594) prince Craon.
(595) Madame Sarasin, a Lorrain lady, companion to Princess Craon.
(596) Wills Hill, the second Lord Hillsborough, afterwards created an Irish earl and made cofferer of the household. (In the reign of George III. he was created Earl of Hillsborough, in England, and finally Marquis of Downshire, in Ireland; and held the office of secretary of state for the colonies.-D.)
(597) William Wildman, Viscount Barrington, made a lord of the admiralty on the coalition, and master of the great wardrobe, in 1754. He afterwards held the offices of chancellor of the exchequer, secretary at war, and treasurer of the navy, and died February 1st, 1793.-D.)
(598) Sir Richard Corbett, of Leighton, in Montgomeryshire, the fourth baronet of that family. He was member for Shrewsbury, and died in 1774.-D.
(599) The Hon. Charles Hamilton, sixth son of James, sixth Earl of Abercorn. Member for Truro, comptroller of the green cloth to the Prince of Wales, and subsequently receiver-general of the Island of Minorca. He died in 1787.-D.
(600) Sir William Middleton, Bart. of Belsay Castle, Northumberland, the third baronet of the family. He was member for Northumberland, and died in 1767.-D.''
(601) Welbore Ellis, member of parliament for above half a century; during which period he held the different offices of a lord of the admiralty, secretary at war, treasurer of the navy, vice-treasurer of Ireland, and secretary of state. He was created Lord Mendip in 1794, with remainder to his nephew, Viscount Clifden, and died February 2, 1802, at the age of eighty-eight.-D.
(602) Sir Charles Mordaunt, of Massingham, in Norfolk, the sixth baronet of the family. He was member for the county of Warwick, and died in 1778.-D.
(603) Robert, the second Lord Raymond, son of the lord chief justice. [On whose death, in 1753, without issue, the title expired.]
(604) William Kent, of whom Walpole himself drew the following just character:-"He was a painter, an architect, and the father of modern gardening. In the first character he was below mediocrity; in the second, he was a restorer of the science; in the last, an original, and the inventor of an art that realizes painting and improves nature. Mahomet imagined an elysium, Kent created many."-The misfortune of Kent was, that his fame and popularity in his own age were so great, that he was employed to give designs for all things, even for those which he could know nothing about-such as ladies' birthday dresses, which he decorated with the five orders of architecture. These absurdities drew upon him the satire of Hogarth.-D. [Walpole further states of Kent, that Pope undoubtedly contributed to form his taste.]
(605) Miss Edwards, an unmarried lady of great fortune, who openly kept Lord Anne Hamilton.
260 Letter 70 To Sir Horace Mann. London, June 3, 1742.
I have sent Mr. Chute all the news; I shall only say to you that I have read your last letter about Lady W. to Sir R. He was not at all surprised at her thoughts of England, but told me that last week my Lord Carteret had sent him a letter which she had written to him, to demand his protection. This you may tell publicly; it will show her ladyship's credit.
Here is an epigram, which I believe will divert you: it is on Lord Islay's garden upon Hounslow Heath.
"Old Islay, to show his fine delicate taste,(606) In improving his gardens purloined from the waste, Bade his gard'ner one day to open his views, By cutting a couple of grand avenues: No particular prospect his lordship intended, But left it to chance how his walks should be ended.
With transport and joy he beheld his first view end In a favourite prospects church that was ruin'd- But alas! what a sight did the next cut exhibit! At the end of the walk hung a rogue on a gibbet! He beheld it and wept, for it caused him to muse on Full many a Campbell that died with his shoes on. All amazed and aghast at the ominous scene, He order'd it quick to be closed up again With a clump of Scotch firs that served for a Screen."
Sir Robert asked me yesterday about the Dominichini, but I did not know what to answer: I said I would write to you about it. Have you bought it? or did you quite put it off? I had forgot to mention it again to you. If you have not, I am still of opinion that you should buy it for him. Adieu!
(606) These lines were written by Bramston, author of "The Art of Politics," and "The Man of Taste." [The Reverend James Bramston, vicar of Starling, Sussex. Pope took the line in the Dunciad, "Shine in the dignity of F. R. S." from his Man of Taste;-"A satire," says Warton, "in which the author has been guilty of the absurdity of making his hero laugh at himself and his own follies." He died in 1744.]
261 Letter 71 To Sir Horace Mann. June 10, the Pretender's birthday, which, by the way, I believe he did not expect to keep at Rome this year, 1742.
Since I wrote you my last letter, I have received two from you of the 27th May and 3d of June, N. S. I hope you will get my two packets; that is, one of them was addressed to Mr. Chute, and in them was all my fagot of compliments.
Is not poor SCUlly (607) vastly disappointed that we are not arrived? But really, will that mad woman never have done! does she still find credit for her extravagant histories. I carried her son with me to Vauxhall last night: he is a most charming boy,(608) but grows excessively like her in the face. I don't at all foresee how I shall make out this letter: every body is gone out of town during the Whitsuntide, and many will not return, at least not these six weeks; for so long they say it will be before the Secret Committee make their Report, with which they intend to finish. We are, however, entertained with pageants every day-reviews to gladden the heart of David,(609) (609) and triumphs to Absalom! He,(610) and his wife went in great parade yesterday through the city and the dust to dine at Greenwich; they took water at the Tower, and trumpeting away to Grace Tosier's,
"Like Cimon, triumph'd over land and wave"
I don't know whether it was my Lord of Bristol (611) or some of the SaddlerS,((612) Company who had told him that this was the way "to steal the hearts of the people." He is in a quarrel with Lord Falmouth.(613) There is just dead one Hammond,(614) a disciple of Lord Chesterfield, and equerry to his royal highness: he had parts, and was Just come into parliament, strong of the Cobham faction, or nepotism, as Sir Robert calls it. The White Prince desired Lord Falmouth to choose Dr. Lee, who, you know, has disobliged the party by accepting a lordship of the admiralty. Lord Falmouth has absolutely refused, and insists upon choosing one of his own brothers: his highness talks loudly of opposing him. The borough is a Cornish one.
There is arrived a courier from Lord Stair, with news of Prince Lobkowitz having cut off five thousand French. We are hurrying away the rest of our troops to Flanders, and say that we are in great spirits, and intend to be in greater when we have defeated the French too.
For my own particular, I cannot say I am well; I am afraid I have a little fever upon my spirits, or at least have nerves, which, you know, every body has in England. I begin the cold-bath to-morrow, and talk of going to Tunbridge, if the parliament rises soon.
Sir R. who begins to talk seriously of Houghton, has desired me to go -with him thither;' but that is not all settled. Now I mention Houghton, you was in the right to miss a gallery there; but there is one actually fitting up, where the green-house was, and to be furnished with the spoils of Downing-street.
I am quite sorry you have [)ad so much trouble with those odious cats of Malta: dear child, fling them into the Arno, if there is water enough at this season to drown them; or, I'll tell you, give them to Stosch, to pay the postage he talked of. I have no ambition to make my court with them to the old wizard.
I think I have not said any thing lately to you from Patapan; he is handsomer than ever, and crows fat: his eyes are charming; they have that agreeable lustre which the vulgar moderns call sore eyes, but the judicious ancients golden eyes, ocellos Patapanicos.
The process is begun against her Grace of Beaufort,(615) and articles exhibited in Doctors' Commons. Lady Townshend has had them copied, and lent them to me. There is every thing proved to your heart's content, to the birth of the child, and much delectable reading.
Adieu! my dear child; you see I have eked out a letter: I hate missing a post, and yet at this dead time I have almost been tempted to invent a murder or a robbery. But you are good, and will be persuaded that I have used my eyes and ears for your service; when, if it were not for you, I should let them lie by in a drawer from week's end to week's end. Good night!
(607) An Irish tailor at Florence, who let out ready-furnished apartments to travelling English. Lady W. had reported that Lord Orford was flying from England and would come thither. (608) George Walpole, afterwards the third Earl of Orford. He succeeded to the earldom in 1751, and was appointed lord-lieutenant and custos rotulorum of the county of Norfolk Mr, Pitt, in a letter, written in 1759, says, "Nothing could make a better appearance than the two Norfolk battalions: Lord Orford, with the port of Mars himself, and really the genteelest figure under arms I ever saw, was the theme of every tongue." Chatham Correspondence, vol. ii. p. 4.-E.
(609) George the Second.
(610) Frederic, Prince of Wales.
(611) Dr. Secker, afterwards Bishop of Oxford. (And eventually Archbishop of Canterbury. According to Walpole, he was bred a man-midwife.-D.) [Secker had committed in Walpole's eyes, the unpardonable offence of having "procured a marriage between the heiress of the Duke of Kent and the chancellor's (Hardwicke's) son;" he, therefore, readily propagated the charges of his being "a Presbyterian, a man-midwife, and president of a very freethinking club," (Memoires, i. p. 56,) when the fact is, the parents of Secker were Dissenters, and he for a time pursued the study, though not the practice of medicine and surgery. The third charge is a mere falsehood. See also Quarterly Review, xxv'i. p. 187.]
(612) The Prince was a member of the Saddlers' company.
(613) Hugh Boscawen, second Viscount Falmouth, a great dealer in boroughs. It is of him that Lord Dodington tells the story, that he went to the minister to ask a favour, which the minister seemed unwilling to grant; upon which Lord Falmouth said, "Remember, Sir, we are seven."-D.
(614) Author of Love Elegies. [See ant'e, p. 210.)
(615) Frances, daughter and heir of the last Lord Scudamore, wife of Henry Somerset, Duke of Beaufort; from whom she was divorced for adultery with Lord Talbot. She was afterwards married to Colonel Fitzroy, natural son of the Duke of Grafton. [The duke Having clearly proved the incontinence of his wife, obtained a divorce in March 1743-4.)
263 Letter 72 To Sir Horace Mann. Downing Street, June 14, 1742.
We were surprised last Tuesday with the great good news of the peace between the Queen and the King of Prussia. it was so unexpected and so welcome, that I believe he might get an act of parliament to forbid any one thinking that he ever made a slip in integrity. Then, the reported accounts of the successes of Prince Charles and Lobkowitz over the French have put us into the greatest spirits. Prince charles is extremely commended for courage and conduct, and makes up a little for other flaws in the family.
it is at last settled that Lords gower,(616) Cobham, and Bathurst (617) are to come in. The first is to be privy-seal, and was to have kissed hands last Friday, but Lord Hervey had carried the seal with him to Ickworth; but he must bring it back. Lord Cobham is to be field-marshal, and to command all the forces in England. Bathurst was to have the Gentleman-pensioners, but Lord Essex,(618) who is now the Captain, and was to have had the Beef-eaters, will not change. Bathurst is to have the Beef-eaters; the Duke of Bolton (619) who has them, is to have the Isle of Wight, and Lord lymington,(620) who has that, is to have—nothing!
The Secret Committee are in great perplexities about Scrope:(621) he would not take the oath, but threatened the Middlesex justices who tendered it to him "Gentlemen," said he, "have you any complaint against Me? if you have not, don't you fear that I will prosecute you for enforcing oaths?" However, one of them began to read the oath—"I, John Scrope,"—"I John Scrope:"said he; "I did not say any such thing; but come, however, let's hear the oath;"—"do promise that I will faithfully and truly answer all such questions as shall be asked me by the Committee of Secrecy, and—" they were going on, but Scrope cried out, "Hold, hold! there is more than I can digest already." He then went before the committee, and desired time to consider. Pitt asked him abruptly, if he wanted a quarter of an hour: he replied, "he did not want to inform either his head or his heart, for both were satisfied what to do; but that he would ask the King's leave." He wants to fight Pitt. He is a most testy little old gentleman, and about eight years ago would have fought Alderman Perry. It was in the House, at the time of the excise: he said we should carry it: Perry said he hoped to see him hanged first. "You see me hanged, you dog, you!" said Scrope, and pulled him by the nose. The committee have tried all ways to soften him, and have offered to let him swear to only what part he pleased, or only with regard to money given to members of parliament. Pultney himself has tried to work on him; but the old gentleman is inflexible, and answered, "that he was fourscore years old, and did not care whether he spent the few months he had to live (622) in the Tower or not; that the last thing he would do should be to betray the King and next to him the Earl of Orford." It remains in suspense. The troops continue going to Flanders, but slowly enough. Lady Vane has taken a trip thither after a cousin (623) of Lord Berkeley, who is as simple about her as her own husband is, and has written to Mr. Knight at Paris to furnish her with what money she wants. He says she is vastly to blame; for he was trying to get her a divorce from Lord Vane, and then would have married her himself. Her adventures(624 arc worthy to be bound up with those of my good sister-in-law, as the German Princess, and Moll Flanders.
Whom should I meet in the Park last night but Ceretesi! He told me he was at a Bagne. I will find out his bagnio; for though I was not much acquainted with him, yet the obligations I had to Florence make me eager to show any Florentine all the civilities in my power; though I do not love them near so well, since what you have told me of their late behaviour; notwithstanding your letter of June 20th, which I have just received. I perceive that simple-hearted, good, unmeaning Ituccilai is of the number of the false, though you do not directly say so.
I was excessively diverted with your pompous account of the siege of Lucca by a single Englishman. I do believe that you and the Chutes might put a certain city into as great a panic. Adieu!
(616) John Leveson Gower, second Lord Gower; in 1746 created an earl. He died in 1754.-E.
(617) Allan, first Lord Bathurst, one of the twelve Tory peers created by Queen Anne, in 1711. He was the friend of Pope, Congreve, Swift, Prior, and other men of letters. He lived to see his eldest son chancellor of England, and died at the advanced age of ninety, in 1775; having been created an earl in 1772.-D.
(618) William Capel, third Earl of Essex; ambassador at the court of Turin. he died in January 1743. The Beef-eaters are otherwise called the Yeomen of the Guard.-D.
(619) Charles Powlett, third Duke of Bolton. His second wife was Miss Lavinia Fenton, otherwise Mrs. Beswick, the actress; who became celebrated in the character of Polly Peacham in the Beggar's Opera. By her the duke had three sons, born before marriage. With his first wife, the daughter and sole heiress of John Vaughan, Earl of Carberry in Ireland, he never cohabited. He died in 1754.-D.
(620) John Wallop, first Viscount Lymington; in the following April created Earl of Portsmouth. He died in 1762.-E.
(621) John Scrope, secretary of the treasury. He had been in Monmouth's rebellion, when very young, and carried intelligence to Holland in woman's clothes.
(622) He did not die till 1753. Tindal states that, upon giving this answer he was no further pressed.-E.
(623) Henry Berkeley; killed the next year at the battle of Dettingen.
(624) Lady Vane's Memoirs, dictated by herself, were actually published afterward,,; in a book, called "The Adventures of Peregrine Pickle;" and she makes mention of Lady Orford. [See ant'e, p. 189, Letter 42. Sir Walter Scott says, that "she not only furnished Smollett with the materials for recording her own infamy, but rewarded him handsomely for the insertion of her story."]
265 Letter 73 To sir Horace Mann. Midsummer Day, 1742.
One begins every letter with an Io Paean! indeed our hymns are not so tumultuous as they were some time ago, to the tune of Admiral Vernon. They say there came an express last night, of the taking of Prague and the destruction of some thousand French. It is really amazing the fortune of the Queen! We expect every day the news of the king of Poland having made his peace; for it is affirmed that the Prussians left him but sixteen days to think of it. There is nothing could stop the King of Prussia, if he should march to Dresden: how long his being at peace with that king will stop him I look upon as very uncertain.
They say we expect the Report from the Secret Committee next Tuesday, and then finish. I preface all my news with "they say;" for I am not at all in the secret, and I had rather that "they say" should tell you a lie than myself. They have sunk the affair of Scrope: the Chancellor (625) and Sir John Rushout spoke in the committee against persecuting him, for he is secretary to the treasury. I don't think there is so easy a language as the ministerial in the world-one learns it in a week! There are few members in town, and most of them no friends to the committee; so that there is not the least apprehension of any violence following the Report. I dare say there is not; for my uncle, who is my political weather-glass, and whose quicksilver rises and falls with the least variation of parliamentary weather, is in great spirits, and has spoken three times in the House within this week; he had not opened his lips before since the change. Mr. Pultney has his warrant in his pocket for Earl of Bath, and kisses hands as soon as the parliament rises. The promotions I mentioned to you are not yet come to pass; but a fortnight will settle things wonderfully.
The Italian, (626) who I told you is here, has let me into a piece of secret history, which you never mentioned: perhaps it is not true; but he says the mighty mystery of the Count's (627) elopement from Florence, was occasioned by a letter from Wachtendonck,(628) which was so impertinent as to talk of satisfaction for some affront. The great Count very wisely never answered it-his life, to be sure, is of too great consequence to be trusted at the end of a rash German's sword! however, the General wrote again, and hinted at coming himself for an answer. So it happened that when he arrived, the Count was gone to the baths of Lucca-those waters were reckoned better for his health, than steel in the abstract-How oddly it happened! He Just returned to Florence as the General was dead! Now was not this heroic lover worth running after? I wonder, as the Count must have known my lady's courage and genius for adventures, that he never thought of putting her in men's clothes, and sending her to answer the challenge. How pretty it would have been to have fought for one's lover! and how great the obligation, when he durst not fight for himself!
I heard the other day, that the Primate of Lorrain was dead of the smallpox. Will you make my compliments of condolence? though I dare say they are little afflicted: he -was a 'most worthless creature, and all his wit and parts, I believe little comforted them for his brutality and other vices.
The fine Mr. Pit (629) is arrived: I dine with him to-day at Lord Lincoln's, with the Pomfrets. So now the old partie quarr'ee is complete again. The earl is not quite cured,(630) and a partner in sentiments may help to open the wound again. My Lady Townshend dines with us too. She flung the broadest Wortley-eye (631) on Mr. Pitt, the other night, in the park!
Adieu! my dear child; are you quite well? I trust the summer will perfectly re-establish you.
(625) Mr. Sandys, chancellor of the exchequer.
(627) Count Richcourt.
(628) General Wachtendonck, commander of the Queen of Hungary's troops at Leghorn.
(629) George Pitt, of Strathfieldsea: he had been in love with Lady Charlotte Fermor, second daughter of Lord Pomfret, who was afterwards married to William Finch, vice-chamberlain. (Mr. Pitt was created Lord Rivers in 1776. In 1761 he was British envoy at Turin in 1770, ambassador extraordinary to Spain. He died in 1803.-D.)
(630) Of his love for lady Sophia Fermor.-D.
(631) Mr. Pitt was very handsome, and Lady Mary Wortley Montagu had liked him extremely, when he was in Italy.
267 Letter 74 To Sir Horace Mann. Downing Street, June 30, 1742.
It is about six o'clock, and I am come from the House, where, at last, we have had another Report from the Secret Committee. They have been disputing this week among themselves, whether this should be final or not. The new ministry, thanked them! were for finishing; but their arguments were not so persuasive as dutiful, and we are to have yet another. This lasted two hours and a half in reading, though confined to the affair of Burrel and Bristow, the Weymouth election, and secret-service money. They moved to print it; but though they had fetched most of their members from Ale and the country, they were not strong enough to divide. Velters Cornwall, whom I have mentioned to you, I believe, for odd humour, said, "ie believed the somethingness of this report would make amends for the nothingness of the last, and that he was for printing it, if it was only from believing that the King would not see it, unless it is printed." Perhaps it may be printed at the conclusion; at least it will without authority-and so you will see it.
I received yours of June 24, N. S. with one from Mr. Chute, this morning, and I will now go answer it and Your last. You seem still to be uneasy about my letters, and their being retarded. I have not observed, lately, the same signs of yours being opened; and for my own, I think it may very often depend upon the packet-boat and winds.
You ask me if Pultney has lately received any new disgusts.-How can one answer for a temper so hasty, so unsettled!-not that I know, unless that he finds, what he has been twenty years undoing, is not yet undone.
I must interrupt the thread of my answer, to tell you that I hear news came last night that the States of Holland have voted forty@seven thousand men for the Assistance of the Queen,(632) and that it was not doubted but the States—General would imitate this resolution. This seems to be the consequence of the King of Prussia's proceedings-but how can they trust him so easily?
I am amazed that your leghorn ministry are so wavering; they are very old style, above eleven days out of fashion, if they any longer fear the French: my only apprehension is, lest these successes should make Richcourt more impertinent.
You have no notion how I laughed at the man that "takes nothing but Madeira."(633) I told it to my Lady Pomfret, concluding it would divert her too; and forgetting that she repines when she should laugh, and reasons when she should be diverted. She asked gravely what language that was That Madeira being subject to an European prince, to be sure they talk some European dialect!" The grave personage! It was a piece with her saying, "that Swift would have written better, if he had never written ludicrously."
I met a friend of yours the other day at an auction, and though I knew him not the least, yet being your friend, and so like you (for, do you know, he is excessively,) I had a great need to speak to him-and did. He says, "he has left off writing to you, for he never could get an answer." I said, you had never received 'but one from him in all the time I was with you, and that I was witness to your having Answered it. He was with his mother, Lady Abercorn,(634) a most frightful gentlewoman: Mr. Winnington says, he one day overheard her and the Duchess of Devonshire (635) talking of "hideous ugly women!" By the way, I find I have never told you that it was Lord Paisley;(636) but that you will have perceived.
Amorevoli is gone to Dresden for the summer; our directors are in great fear that he will serve them like Farinelli, and not return for the winter.
I am writing to you in one of the charming rooms towards the park: it is a delightful evening, and I am willing to enjoy this sweet corner while I may, for we are soon to quit it. Mrs. Sandys came yesterday to give us warning; Lord Wilmington has lent it to them. Sir Robert might have had it for his own at first, but would only take it as first lord of the treasury.(637) He goes into a small house of his own in Arlington Street, opposite to where we formerly lived. Whither I shall travel is yet uncertain: he is for my living with him; but then I shall be cooped-and besides, I never found that people loved one another the less for living asunder.
The drowsy Lord Mayor (638) is dead-so the newspapers say. I think he is not dead, but sleepeth. Lord Gower is laid up with the gout: this, they say, is the reason of his not having the privy seal yet. The town has talked of nothing lately but a plot: I will tell you the circumstances. last week the Scotch hero (639) sent his brother (640) two papers, which he said had been left at his house by an Unknown hand; that he believed it was by Colonel Cecil, agent for the Pretender—though how could that be, for he had had no conversation with Colonel Cecil for these two years! He desired Lord Islay to lay them before the ministry. One of the papers seemed a letter, though with no address or subscription, written in true genuine Stuart characters. It was to thank Mr. Burnus (D. of A.) for his services, and that he hoped he would answer the assurances given of him. The other was to command the Jacobites, and to exhort the patriots to continue what they had mutually so well begun, and to say how pleased he was with their having removed mr. Tench. Lord Islay showed these letters to Lord Orford, and then to the King, and told him he had showed them to my father. "You did well."-Lord Islay, "Lord Orford says one is of the Pretender's hand."-King, "He (641) knows it: whenever any thing of this sort comes to your hand, carry it to Walpole." This private conversation you must not repeat. A few days afterwards, the Duke wrote to his brother, "That upon recollection he thought it right to say, that he had received those letters from Lord Barrimore"(642) who is as well known for General to the Chevalier, as Montemar is to the Queen of Spain-or as the Duke of A. would be to either of them. Lord Islay asked Sir R. if he was against publishing this story, which he thought was a justification both of his brother and Sir R. The latter replied, he could certainly have no objection to its being public-but pray, will his grace's sending these letters to the secretaries of state Justify him from the assurances that had been given of' him?(643) However, the Pretender's being of opinion that the dismission of Mr. Tench was for his service, will scarce be an argument to the new ministry for making more noise about these papers.
I am sorry the boy is so uneasy at being on the foot of a servant. I will send for his mother, and ask her why she did not tell him the conditions to which we had agreed; at the same time, I will tell her that she may send any letters for him to me. Adieu! my dear child: I am going to write to Mr. Chute, that is, to-morrow. I never was more diverted than with his letter.
(632) The Queen of Hungary, Maria Theresa.-D.
(633) The only daughter and heiress of the Marquis Accianoli at Florence, was married to one of the same name, who was born at Madeira. ' (634) Anne Plummer, Countess of Abercorn, wife of James, the seventh earl. She died in 1756.-E.
(635) Catherine, daughter of John Hoskins, Esq. She was married to the third Duke of Devonshire in 171@, and died in 1777.-E.
(636) James Hamilton succeeded as eighth Earl of Abercorn, on the death of his father in 1743. He was created Viscount Hamilton in England in 1786, and died unmarried in 1789.-D.
(637) This is the house, in Downing Street, which is still the residence of the first lord of the treasury. George the First gave it to Baron Bothmar, the Hanoverian minister-, for life. On his death, George the Second offered to give it to Sir Robert Walpole; who, however, refused it, and begged of the King that it might be attached to the office of first lord of the treasury.-D.
(638) Sir Robert Godschall.
(639) The Duke of Argyll.
(640) Earl of Islay.
(641) Besides intercepted letters, Sir R. Walpole had more than once received letters from the Pretender, making him the greatest offers, which Sir R. always carried to the King, and got him to endorse, when he returned them to Sir R.
(642) James Barry, fourth Earl of Barrymore, succeeded his half-brother Lawrence in the family titles in 1699, and died in 1747, at the age of eighty. James, Lord Barrymore, was an adherent of the Pretender, whereas Lawrence had been so great a supporter of the revolution, that he was attainted, and his estates sequestered by James the Second's Irish parliament, in 1689.-D.
(643) The Duke of Argyll, in the latter part of his life, was often melancholy and disordered in his understanding. After this transaction, and it is supposed he had gone still farther, he could with difficulty be brought even to write his name. The marriage of his eldest daughter with the Earl of Dalkeith was deferred for some time, because the duke could not be prevailed upon to sign the writings.
269 Letter 75 To Sir Horace Mann.
On the Death of Richard West, Esq.(644)
While surfeited with life, each hoary knave Grows, here, immortal, and eludes the grave, Thy virtues immaturely met their fate, Cramp'd in the limit of too short a date!
Thy mind, not exercised so oft in vain, In health was gentle, and composed in pain: successive trials still refined thy soul, And plastic Patience perfected the whole.
A friendly aspect, not suborn'd by art; An eye, which look'd the meaning of thy heart; A tongue, With simple truth and freedom fraught, The faithful index of thy honest thought.
Thy pen disdain'd to seek the servile ways Of partial censure, and more partial praise; Through every tongue it flowed in nervous ease, With sense to Polish , and With wit to please.
No lurking venom from thy pencil fell; Thine was the kindest satire, living well: The vain, the loose, the base, might blush to see In what thou wert, what they themselves should be,
Let me not charge on Providence a crime, Who snatch'd thee, blooming, to a better clime, To raise those virtues to a higher sphere: Virtues! which only could have starved thee here;
A Receipt To Make A Lord. Occasioned by a late report of a promotion.(645)
Take a man, who by nature's a true son of earth,' By rapine enriched, though a beggar by birth; In genius the lowest, ill-bred and obscene; In morals most Wicked, most nasty in mien; By none ever trusted, yet ever employed; In blunders quite fertile, in merit quite void; A scold in the Senate, abroad a buffoon, The scorn and the jest of all courts but his own: A slave to that wealth that ne'er made him a friend, And proud of that cunning that ne'er gain'd an end; A dupe in each treaty, a Swiss in each vote; In manners and form, a complete Hottentot. Such an one could you find, of all men you'd commend him; But be sure let the curse of each Briton attend him. thus fully prepared, add the grace of the throne, The folly of monarchs, and screen of a crown— Take a prince for his purpose, without ears or eyes, And a long parchment roll stuff'd brimful of lies: These mingled together, a fiat shall pass, and the thing be a Peer, that before was an ass.
The former copy I think you will like: it was written by one Mr. Ashton (646) on Mr. West, two friends of mine, whom you have heard me often mention. The other copy was printed in the Common Sense, I don't know by whom composed: the end of it is very bad, and there are great falsities in it, but some strokes are terribly like!
I have not a moment to thank the Grifona, nor to answer yours of June 17, N. S. which I have this instant read. Yours, in great haste.
(644) See ante, pp. 121, (Letter 1), 251, (Letter 65).
(645) The report, mentioned in a preceding letter, that Horace Walpole, brother to Sir Robert, was created a peer.
(646)Thomas Ashton, afterwards fellow of Eton College. [See ant'e, p. 128, Letter 6, footnote 153.)
271 Letter 76 To Sir Horace Mann. London, July 7, 1742.
Well! you may bid the Secret Committee good night. The House adjourns to-day till Tuesday, and on Thursday is to be prorogued. Yesterday we had a bill of Pultney's, about returning officers and regulating elections: the House was thin, and he carried it by 93 to 92. Mr. Pelham was not there, and Winnington did not vote, for the gentleman is testy still; when he saw how near he had been to losing it, he said loud enough to be heard, "I will make the gentlemen of that side feel me!" and, rising up, he said, "He was astonished, that a bill so calculated for the freedom of elections was so near being thrown out; that there was a report on the table, which showed how necessary such a bill was, and that though we had not time this year to consider what was proper to be done in consequence of it, he hoped we should next,"-with much to the same purpose; but all the effect this notable speech had, was to frighten my uncle, and make him give two or three shrugs extraordinary to his breeches. They now say,(647) that Pultney will not take out the patent for his earldom, but remain in the House of Commons in terrorem; however, all his friends are to have places immediately, or, as the fashion of expressing it is, they are to go to Court in the Bath coach!"(648)
Your relation Guise (649) is arrived from Carthagena, madder than ever. As he was marching up to one of the forts, all his men deserted him; his lieutenant advised him to retire; he replied, "He never had turned his back yet, and would not now," and stood all the fire. When the pelicans were flying over his head, he cried out, "What would Chloe (650) give for some of these to make a pelican pie!" When he is brave enough to perform such actions as are really almost incredible, what pity it is that he should for ever persist In saving things that are totally so!
Lord Annandale (651) is at last mad in all the forms: he has long been an out-pensioner of Bedlam College. Lord and Lady Talbot,(652) are parted; he gives her three thousand pounds a-year. Is it not amazing, that in England people will not find out that they can live separate without parting? The Duke of Beaufort says, "He pities Lord Talbot to have met with two such tempers as their two wives!"
Sir Robert Rich (653) is going to Flanders, to try to make up an affair for his son; who, having quarrelled with a Captain Vane, as the commanding officer was trying to make it up at the head of the regiment, Rich came behind Vane, "And to show you," said he, "that I will not make it up, take that," and gave him a box on the ear. They were immediately put in arrest; but the learned in the laws of honour say, they must fight, for no German officer will serve with Vane, till he has had satisfaction.
Mr. Harris,(654) who married Lady Walpole's mother, is to be one of the peace-offerings on the new altar. Bootle is to be chief-justice; but the Lord Chancellor would not consent to it, unless Lord Glenorchy,(655) whose daughter is married to Mr. Yorke, had a place in lieu of the Admiralty, which he has lost-he is to have Harris's. Lord Edgecumbe's, in Ireland, they say, is destined to Harry Vane,(656) Pultney's toad-eater.
Monticelli lives in a manner at our house. I tell my sister that she is in love with him, and that I am glad it was not Amorevoli. Monticelli dines frequently with Sir Robert, which diverts me extremely; you know how low his ideas are of music and the virtuosi; he calls them all fiddlers.
I have not time now to write more, for I am going to a masquerade at the Ranelagh amphitheatre: the King is fond of it, and has pressed people to go; but I don't find that it will be full. Good night! All love to the Pope for his good thing.
(647) Sir R. W. to defeat Pultney's ambition persuaded the +King to insist on his going into the House of Lords: the day he carried his patent thither, he flung it upon the floor in a passion, and could scarce be prevailed on to have it passed. ["I remember," says Horace Walpole, (Reminiscences), "my father's action and words when he returned from court, and told me what he had done - 'I have turned the key of the closet on him!' making that motion with his hand."]
(648) His title was to be Earl of Bath.
(649) General Guise, a, very brave officer, but apt to romance; and a great connoisseur in pictures. (He bequested his collection of pictures, which is a very indifferent one, to christ church College, Oxford.-D.)
(650) the duke of Newcastle's French cook.
(651) George Johnstone, third Marquis of Annandale, in Scotland. He was not declared a lunatic till the year 1748. Upon his death, in 1792, his titles became either extinct or dormant.-D.
(652) Mary, daughter of Adam de Cardonel, secretary to John the great Duke of Marlborough, married to William, second Lord Talbot, eldest son of Lord Chancellor Talbot.-D.
(653) Sir Robert Rich, Bart., of Rose Hall, Suffolk. At his death, in 1768, he was colonel of the fourth regiment of dragoons, governor of Chelsea Hospital, and field-marshal of the forces.-E.
(654) This article did not prove true. Mr. Harris was not removed, nor Bootle made chief-justice.
(655) John Campbell, Lord Glenorchy, and, on his father's death, in 1752, third Earl of Breadalbane. His first wife was Lady Amiable Grey, eldest daughter and coheir of the Duke of Kent. By her he had an only daughter, Jemima, who, upon the death of her grandfather, became Baroness Lucas of Crudwell, and Marchioness de Grey. She married Philip Yorke, eldest son of the Chancellor Hardwicke, and eventually himself the second duke of that title.-D.
(656) Henry Vane, eldest son of Gilbert, second Lord Barnard, and one of the tribe who came into office upon the breaking up of Sir Robert Walpole's administration. He was created Earl of Darlington in 1753, and died in 1758.-D.
273 Letter 77 To Sir Horace Mann. Downing Street, July 14, 1742.
Sir Robert Brown(657) is displaced from being paymaster of something, I forget what, for Sir Charles Gilmour, a friend of Lord Tweedale.(658) Nee Finch (659) is made groom of the bedchamber, which was vacant; and Will Finch (660) vice chamberlain, which was not vacant; but they have emptied it of Lord Sidney Beauclerc.(661) Boone is made commissary-general, in Hurley's room, and JefFries(662) in Will Stuart's. All these have been kissing hands to-day, headed by the Earl of Bath. He went into the King the other day ",it this'long list, but was told shortly, that unless he would take up his patent and quit the House of Commons, nothing should be done-he has consented. I made some of them very angry; for when they told me who had kissed hands, I asked, if the Pretender had kissed hands too, for being King? I forgot to tell you, that Murray is to be solicitor-general, in Sir John Strange's place, who is made chief justice, or some such thing.(663)
I don't know who it was that said it, but it was a very good answer to one who asked why Lord Gower had not kissed hands sooner—"the Dispensation was not come from Rome."(664)
I am writing to you up to the ears in packing: Lord Wilmington has lent this house to Sandys, and he has given us instant warning; we are moving as fast as possible to Siberia,-Sir Robert has a house there, within a few mile,, of the Duke of Courland; in short, child, we are all going to Norfolk, till we can get a house ready in town: all the furniture is taken down, and lying about in confusion. I look like St. John in the Isle of Patmos, writing revelations, and prophesying "Woe! woe! woe! the kingdom of desolation is at hand!" -indeed, I have prettier animals about me, than he ever dreamed of: here is the dear Patapan, and a little Vandyke cat, with black whiskers -ind boots; you would swear it was of a very ancient family, in the West of England, famous for their loyalty.
I told you I was going to the masquerade at Ranelagh gardens, last week: it was miserable; there were but an hundred men, six women, and two shepherdesses. The King liked it,—and that he might not be known, they had dressed him a box with red damask! Lady Pomfret and her three daughters were there, all dressed alike, that they might not be known. My Lady said to Lady Bel Finch,(665) who was dressed like a nun, and for coolness had cut off the nose of her mask, "Madam, you are the first nun that ever I saw without a nose!"
As I came home last night, they told me there was a fire in Downing Street; when I came to Whitehall, I could not get to the end of the street in my chariot, for the crowd; when I got out, the first thing I heard was a man enjoying himself: "Well! if it lasts two hours longer, Sir Robert Walpole's house will be burnt to the ground!" it was a very comfortable hearing! but I found the fire was on the opposite side of the way, and at a good distance. I stood in the crowd an hour to hear their discourse: one man was relating at how many fires he had happened to be present, and did not think himself at all unlucky in passing by, just at this. What diverted me most, was a servant-maid, who was working, and carrying pails of water, with the strength of half-a-dozen troopers, and swearing the mob out of her way-the soft creature's name was Phillis! When I arrived at our door, I found the house full of goods, beds, women, and children, and three Scotch members of parliament, who lodge in the row, and who had sent in a saddle, a flitch of bacon, and a bottle of ink. There was no wind, and the house was saved, with the loss of only its garret, and the furniture.
I forgot to mention the Dominichin last post, as I suppose I had before, for I always was for buying it; it is one of the most engaging pictures I ever saw. I have no qualms about its originality; and even if Sir Robert should not like it when it comes, which is impossible, I think I would live upon a flitch of bacon and a bottle of ink, rather than not spare the money to buy it myself: so my dear Sir, buy it.
Your brother has this moment brought me a letter: I find by it, that you are very old style with relation to the Prussian peace. Why, we have sent Robinson (666) and Lord Hyndford (667) a green ribbon, for it, above a fortnight ago. Muley, (as Lord Lovel calls him,) Duke of Bedford, (668) is, they say, to have a blue one, for making his own peace: you know we always mind home-peaces more than foreign ones.
I am quite sorry for all the trouble you have had about the Maltese cats; but you know they were for Lord Islay, not for myself. Adieu! I have no more time.
(657) Sir Robert Brown had been a merchant at Venice, and British resident there, for which he was created a baronet in 1732. He held the place at this time of" "paymaster of his Majesty's works, concerning the repairs, new buildings, and well-keeping of any of his Majesty's houses of access, and others, in time of progress."-D
(658) John Hay, fourth Marquis of Tweedale. In 1748, he married Frances, daughter of John Earl Granville, and died in 1762.-E.
(659) The Hon. Edward Finch, fifth son of Daniel, sixth Earl of Winchilsea and second Earl of Nottingham, and the direct ancestor of the present Lord Winchilsea. He assumed the name of Hatton, in 1764, in consequence of inheriting the fortune of William Viscount Hatton, his mother's brother. He was employed in diplomacy, and was made master of the robes in 1757. He died in 1771.-D.
(660) The Hon. William Finch, second son of Daniel, sixth Earl of Winchilsea, had been envoy in Sweden and in Holland. He continued to hold the office of vice-chamberlain of the household till his death in 1766. These two brothers, and their elder brother Daniel, seventh Earl of Winchilsea, are the persons whom Sir Charles Hanbury Williams, calls, on account of the blackness of their complexions, "the dark, funereal Finches." [His widow, Charlotte, daughter of the Earl of Pomfret, was appointed governess to the young princes and princesses.]
(661) Lord Sidney Beauclerk, fifth son of the first Duke of St. Albans; a man of bad character. Sir Charles Hanbury Williams calls him "Worthless Sidney." He was notorious for hunting after the fortunes of the old and childless. Being very handsome, he had almost persuaded Lady Betty Germain, in her old age, to marry him; but she was dissuaded from it by the Duke of Dorset and her relations. He failed also in obtaining the fortune of Sir' Thomas Reeve, Chief Justice of the (common Pleas, whom he used to attend on the circuit, with a view of ingratiating himself with him. At length he induced Mr. Topham, of Windsor, to leave his estate to him. He died in 1744, leaving one son, Topham Beauclerk, Esq.-D. [This son, so celebrated for his conversational, talents, and described by Dr. Jonson as uniting the eloquent manners of a gentleman with the mental acccomplishments of a scholar, married, in 1768, Lady Diana Spencer, daughter of the Duke of Marlborough, and died in 1780.]
(662) John JefFries, secretary of the treasury.-D.
(663) Sir John Strange was made master of the rolls, but not till some years afterwards; he died in 1754.
(664) From the Pretender. Lord Gower had been, until he was made privy-seal, one of the leading Jacobites; and was even supposed to lean to that party, after he had accepted the appointment.
(665) Lady Isabella Finch, third daughter of the sixth Earl of Winchilsea, first lady of the bedchamber to the Princess Amelia. It was for her that Kent built the pretty and singular house on the western side of Berkeley Square, with a fine room in it, of which the ceiling is painted in arabesque compartments, by Zucchi;-now the residence of C. B. Wall, Esq.-D. [In this house her ladyship died unmarried, in 1771.)
(666) Sir Thomas Robinson, minister at Vienna; be was made secretary of state in 1754. (And a peer, by the title of Lord Grantham, in 1761.-D.)
(667) John Carmichael, third Earl of Hyndford. He had been sent as envoy to the King of Prussia, during the first war of Silesia. He was afterwards sent ambassador to St. Petersburgh and Vienna, and died in 1767.-D.
(668) The Duke of Bedford had not the Garter till some years after this.
275 Letter 78 To Sir Horace Mann.
You scolded me so much about my little paper, that I dare not venture upon it even now, when I have very little to say to you. The long session is over, and the Secret Committee already forgotten. Nobody remembers it but poor Paxton, who has lost his place(669) by it. saw him the day after he came out of Newgate: he came to Chelsea:(670) Lord Fitzwilliam was there, and in the height of zeal, took him about the neck and kissed him. Lord Orford had been at Court that morning, and with his usual spirits, said to the new ministers, "So! the parliament is up, and Paxton, Bell, and I have got our liberty!" The King spoke in the kindest manner to him at his levee, but did not call him into the closet, as the new ministry feared he would, and as perhaps, the old ministry expected he would. The day before, when the King went to put an end to the session, Lord Quarendon asked Winnington "whether Bell would be let out time enough to hire a mob to huzza him as he went to the House of Lords."
The few people that are left in town have been much diverted with an adventure that has befallen the new ministers. Last Sunday the Duke of Newcastle gave them a dinner at Claremont, where their servants got so drunk, that when they came to the inn over against the gate of Newpark,(671) the coachman, who was the only remaining fragment of their suite, tumbled off the box, and there they were planted. There were Lord Bath, Lord Carteret, Lord Limerick, and Harry Furnese (672) in the coach: they asked the innkeeper if he could contrive no way to convey them to town. , No," he said, "not unless it was to get Lord Orford's coachman to drive them." They demurred; but Lord Carteret said "Oh, I dare say, Lord Orford will willingly let us have him." So they sent and he drove them home.(673)
Ceretesi had a mind to see this wonderful Lord Orford, of whom he had heard so much; I carried him to dine at Chelsea. You know the earl don't speak a word of any language but English and Latin,(674) and Ceretesi not a word of either; yet he assured me that he was very happy to have made cosi bella conascenza! He whips out his pocket-book every moment, and writes descriptions in issimo of every thing he sees: the grotto alone took up three pages. What volumes he will publish at his return, in usum Serenissimi Pannom!(675)
There has lately been the most shocking scene of murder imaginable; a parcel of drunken constables took it into their heads to put the laws in execution against disorderly persons, and so took up every woman they met, till they had collected five and six or twenty, all of whom they thrust into St. Martin's roundhouse, where they kept them all night, with doors and windows closed. The poor creatures, who could not stir or breathe, screamed as long as they had any breath left, begging at least for water: one poor wretch said she was worth eighteen-pence, and would gladly give it for a draught of water, but in vain! So well did they keep them there, that in the morning four were found stifled to death, two died soon after, and a dozen more are in a shocking way. In short, it is horrid to think what the poor creatures suffered: several of them were beggars, who, from having no lodging, were necessarily found in the street, and others honest labouring women. One of the dead was a poor washerwoman, big with child, who was returning home late from washing. One of the constables is taken, and others absconded; but I question(676) if any of them will suffer death, though the greatest criminals in this town are the officers of justice; there is no tyranny they do not exercise, no villainy of which they do not partake. These same men, the same night, broke into a bagnio in Covent-Garden, and took up Jack Spencer,(677) Mr. Stewart, and Lord George Graham,(678) and would have thrust them into the round-house with the poor women, if they had not been worth more than eighteen-pence!
I have just now received yours of the 15th of July, with a married letter from both Prince and Princess:(679) but sure nothing ever equalled the setting out of it! She says, "The generosity of your friendship for me, Sir, leaves me nothing to desire of all that is precious in England, China, and the Indies!" Do you know, after such a testimony under the hand of a princess, that I am determined, after the laudable example of the house of Medici, to take the title of Horace the Magnificent! I am only afraid it should be a dangerous example for my posterity, who may ruin themselves in emulating the magnificence of their ancestor. It happens comically, for the other day, in removing from Downing-street, Sir Robert found an old account-book of his father, wherein he set down all his, expenses. In three months and ten days that he was in London one winter as member of parliament, he spent-what do you think?-sixty-four pounds seven shillings and five-pence! There are many articles for Nottingham ale, eighteen-pences for dinners, five shillings to Bob (now Earl of Orford), and one memorandum of six shillings given in exchange to Mr. Wilkins for his wig-and yet this old man, my grandfather, had two thousand pounds a-year, Norfolk sterling! He little thought that what maintained him for a whole session, would scarce serve one of his younger grandsons to buy japan and fans for princesses at Florence!
Lord Orford has been at court again to-day: Lord Carteret came up to thank him for his coachman; the Duke of Newcastle standing by. My father said, "My lord, whenever the duke is near overturning you, you have nothing to do but to send to me, and I will save you." The duke said to Lord Carteret, "Do you know, my lord, that the Venison you eat that day came out of Newpark?" Lord Orford laughed, and said, "So, you see I am made to kill the fatted calf for the return of the prodigals!" The King passed by all the new ministry to speak to him, and afterwards only spoke to my Lord Carteret.
Should I answer the letters from the court of Petraria again? there will be no end of our magnificent correspondence!-but would it not be too haughty to let a princess write last?
Oh, the cats! I can never keep them, and yet It is barbarous to send them all to Lord Islay: he will shut them up and starve them, and then bury them under the stairs with his wife. Adieu!
(669) Solicitor to the treasury. See ante, p. 246.
(670) Sir R. Walpole's house at Chelsea.-D.
(671) Lord Walpole was ranger of Newpark. (Now called Richmond Park.-D.)
(672) One of the band of incapables who obtained power and place on the fall of Walpole. Horace Walpole, in his Memoires, calls him "that old rag of Lord Bath's quota to an administration, the mute Harry Furnese."-D.
(673) This occurrence was celebrated in a ballad which is inserted in C. Hanbury Williams's works, and begins thus.
"As Caleb and Carteret, two birds of a feather, Went down to a feast at Newcastle's together."
Lord Bath is called "Caleb," in consequence of the name of Caleb DAnvers having been used in The Craftsman, of which he was the principal author.-D.
(674) It was very remarkable that Lord Orford could get and keep such an ascendant with King George 1. when they had no way of conversing but very imperfectly in Latin.
(675) The coffee-house at Florence where the nobility meet.
(676) The keeper of the round-house was tried but acquitted of wilful murder. [The keeper, whose name was William Bird, was tried at the Old Bailey in October, and received sentence of death; which was afterwards transmuted to transportation.]
(677) The Honourable John Spencer, second son of Charles, third Earl of Sunderland, by Anne his wife, second daughter of the great Duke of Marlborough. He was the favourite grandson of old Sarah, Duchess of Marlborough who left him a vast fortune, having disinherited, to the utmost of her power, his eldest brother, Charles, Duke of Marlborough. The condition upon which she made this bequest was that neither he nor his heirs should take any place or pension from any government, except the rangership of Windsor Park. He was the ancestor of the present Earl Spencer, and died in 1746.- D.
(678) Lord George Graham, youngest son of the Duke of Montrose, and a captain in the navy. He died in 1747.-D.
(679) Prince and Princess Craon.
278 Letter 79 To Sir Horace Mann. Chelsea, July 29, 1742.
I am quite out of humour; the whole town is melted away; you never saw such a desert. You know what Florence is in the vintage-season, at least I remember what it was: London is just as empty, nothing but half-a-dozen private gentlewomen left, who live upon the scandal that they laid up in the winter. I am going too! this day se'nnight we set out for Houghton, for three months; but I scarce think that I shall allow thirty days apiece to them. Next post I shall not be able to write to you; and when I am there shall scarce find any materials to furnish a letter above every other post. I beg, however, that you will write constantly to me: it will be my only entertainment, for I neither hunt, brew, drink, nor reap. When I return in the winter, I will make amends for this barren season of our correspondence.
I carried Sir Robert the other night to Ranelagh for the first time: my uncle's prudence, or fear, would never let him go before. It was pretty full, and all its fulness flocked round us: we walked with a train at our heels, like two chairmen going to fight; but they were extremely civil, and did not crowd him, or say the least impertinence—I think he grows popular already! The other day he got it asked, whether he should be received if he went to Carleton House?-no, truly!-but yesterday morning Lord Baltimore' came (680) to soften it a little; that his royal highness -did not refuse to see him, but that now the Court was out of town, and he had no drawing-room, he did not see any body.
They have given Mrs. Pultney an admirable name, and one that is likely to stick by her-instead of Lady Bath, they call her the wife of Bath.(681) Don't you figure her squabbling at the gate with St. Peter for a halfpenny.
Cibber has published a little pamphlet against Pope, which has a great deal of spirit, and, from some circumstances, will notably vex him.(682) I will send it to you by the first opportunity, with a new pamphlet, said to be Doddington's, called "A Comparison of the Old and New Ministry:" it is much liked. I have not forgot your magazines, but will send them and these pamphlets together. Adieu! I am at the end of my tell.
P. S. Lord Edgecumbe is just made lord-lieutenant of Cornwall, at which the Lord of Bath looks sour. He said, yesterday, that the King would give orders for several other considerable alterations; but gave no orders, except for this, which was not asked by that earl.
(680) Lord of the bedchamber to the Prince.
(681) In allusion to the old ballad.
(682) This pamphlet, which was entitled "A Letter from Mr. Cibber to Mr. Pope; inquiring into the motives that might induce him, in his satirical works to be so frequently fond of Mr. Cibber's name," so "notably vexed" the great poet, that, in a new edition of the Dunciad, he dethroned Theobald from his eminence as King of the dunces, and enthroned Cibber in his stead.-E.
279 Letter 80 To Sir Horace Mann. (From Houghton.)
Here are three new ballads,(683) and you must take them as a plump part of a long letter. Consider, I am in the barren land of Norfolk, where news grows as slow as any thing green; and besides, I am in the house of a fallen minister! The first song I fancy is Lord Edgcumbe's; at least he had reason to write it. The second I do not think so good as the real Story that occasioned it. The last is reckoned vastly the best, and is much admired: I cannot say I see all those beauties in it, nor am charmed with the poetry, which is cried up. I don't find that any body knows whose it is.(684) Pultney is very anoyed, especially as he pretends, about his wife, and says, "it is too much to abuse ladies!" You see, their twenty years' satires come back home! He is gone to the Bath in great dudgeon: the day before he went, he went in to the King to ask him to turn out Mr. Hill of the customs, for having opposed him at Heydon. "Sir," said the King, "was it not when you was opposing me? I won't turn him out: I will part with no more of my friends." Lord Wilmington was waiting to receive orders accordingly, but the King gave him none.
We came hither last Saturday; as we passed through Grosvenor-square, we met Sir Roger Newdigate, (685) with a vast body of Tories, proceeding to his election at Brentford: we might have expected some insult, but only one single fellow hissed. and was not followed. Lord Edgcumbe, Mr. Ellis, and Mr. Hervey, in their way to Coke's,(686) and Lord Chief Justice Wills (on the circuit) are the Only company here yet. My Lord invited nobody, but left it to their charity. The other night, as soon as he had gone through showing Mr. Wills the house, Well," said he, "here I am to enjoy 't, and my Lord of Bath may—." I forgot to tell you, in confirmation of what you see in the song of the wife of Bath having shares of places, Sir Robert told me, that when formerly she got a place for her own father, she took the salary and left him only the perquisites!
It is much thought that the King will go abroad, if he can avoid leaving the Prince in his place—. Imagine all this!
I received to-day yours of July 21), and two from Mr. Chute and Madame Pucci,(687) which I will answer very soon: where is she now? I delight in Mr. Villiers's, (688) modesty-in one place you had written it villette's; I fancy on purpose, for it would do for him.
Good night, my dear child! I have written myself threadbare. I know you will hate my campaign, but what can one do!
(683) As these ballads are to be found in the edition of Sir Charles Hanbury Williams's works, published in 1822, it has been deemed better to omit them here. They are called, "Labour in Vain," "The Old Coachman," and "The Country Girl."-D.
(684) it was written by Hanbury Williams.
(685) Sir Roger Newdigate, the fifth baronet of the family. He was elected member for Middlesex, upon the vacancy occasioned by Pultney's being created Earl of Bath. He belonged to the Tory or Jacobite party.-D. [Sir Roger afterwards represented the University of Oxford in five parliaments, and died in 1806, in his eighty-seventh year. Among other benefactions to his Alma Mater, he gave the noble candelabra in the Radcliffe library, and founded an annual prize for English verses on ancient painting, sculpture, and architecture.]
(686) Holkham. Coke was the son of Lord Lovel, afterward Viscount Coke, when his father was created Earl of Leicester.-D.
(687) She was the daughter of the Conte di Valvasone, of Friuli, sister of Madame Suares, and of the bedchamber to the Duchess of Modena.
(688) Thomas Villiers a younger son of william, second Earl of Jersey, at this time British minister at the court of Dresden, and eventually created Lord Hyde, and Earl of clarendon. Sir H. Mann had alluded in one of his letters to a speech attributed to Mr. Villiers, in which he took great credit to himself for having induced the King of Poland to become a party to the peace of Breslau, recently concluded between the Queen of Hungary and the King, of Prussia; a course of proceeding, which, in fact, his Polish Majesty had no alternative but to adopt. Villettes was an inferior diplomatic agent from England to some of the Italian courts, and was at this moment resident at the court of Turin.-D.
280 Letter 81 To Sir Horace Mann. Houghton, Aug. 20, 1742
By the tediousness of the post, and distance of place, I am still receiving letters from you about the Secret Committee, which seems strange, for it is as much forgotten now, as if it had happened in the last reign. Thus much I must answer you about it, that it is possible to resume the inquiry upon the Report next session; but you may judge whether they will, after all the late promotions.
We are willing to believe that there are no news in town, for we hear none at all: Lord Lovel sent us word to-day, that he heard, by a messenger from the post office, that Montemar (689) is put under arrest. I don't tell you this for news, for you must know it long ago: but I expect the confirmation of it from you next post. Since we came hither I have heard no more of the king's journey to Flanders: our troops are as peaceable there as On Hounslow Heath, except some bickerings and blows about beef with butchers, and about sacraments with friars. You know the English can eat no meat, nor be civil to any God but their own.
As much as I am obliged to you for the description of your Cocchiata,(690) I don't like to hear of it. It is very unpleasant, instead of being at it, to be prisoner, in a melancholy, barren province, which would put one in mind of the deluge, only that we have no water. Do remember exactly how your last was; for I intend that you shall give me just such another Cocchiata next summer, if it pleases the kings and queens of this world to let us be at peace For "it rests that without fig-leaves," as my Lord Bacon says in one of his letters , "I do ingenuously confess and acknowledge," (691) that I like nothing so well as Italy.
I agree with you extremely about Tuscany for Prince Charles,(692) but I can only agree with you on paper; for as to knowing anything of it, I am sure Sir Robert himself knows nothing of it: the Duke of Newcastle and my Lord Carteret keep him in as great ignorance as possible, especially the latter; and even in other times, you know how little he ever thought on those things. Believe me, he will every day know less.
Your last, which I have been answering, was the. 5th of August; I this minute receive another of the 12th. How I am charmed with your spirit and usage of Richcourt! Mais ce n'est pas d'aujourdhui que je commence 'a les m'epriser! I am so glad that you have quitted your calm, to treat them as they deserve. You don't tell me if his opposition in the council hindered your intercession from taking place for the valet de chambre. I hope not! I could not bear his thwarting you!
I am now going to write to your brother, to get you the overtures; and to desire he will send them with some pamphlets and the magazines which I left in commission for you, at my leaving London. I am going to send him, too, des pleins pouvoirs, for nominating a person to represent me at his new babe's christening.
I am sorry Mrs. Goldsworthy is coming to England, though I think it can be of no effect. Sir Charles (692) has no sort of interest with the new powers, and I don't think the Richmonds have enough to remove foreign ministers. However, I will consult with Sir Robert about it, and see if he thinks there is any danger for you, which I do not in the least; and whatever can be done by me, I think you know, will.
P. S. I inclose an answer to Madame Pucci's letter. Where is she in all this Modenese desolation
(689) Montemar was the General of the King of Spain, who commanded the troops of that sovereign against the Imperialists in Italy.-D.
(690) A sort of serenade. Sir H. Mann had mentioned, that he was about to give an entertainment of this kind in his garden to the society of Florence.-D.
(691) Prince Charles of Lorraine, younger brother of Francis, who was now Grand Duke of Tuscany. He was a general of some abilities; but it was his misfortune to be so often opposed to the superior talents of the King of Prussia.-D.
(692) Sir Charles Wager.
281 Letter 82 To Sir Horace Mann. Houghton, August 28, 1742.
I did receive your letter of the 12th, as I think I mentioned in my last; and to-day another of the 19th. Had I been you, instead of saying that I would have taken my lady's(693) woman for my spy, I should have said, that I would hire Richcourt himself: I dare to say that one might buy the count's own secrets of himself.
I am sorry to hear that the Impressarii have sent for the Chiaretta; I am not one of the managers; I should have remonstrated against her, for she will not do on the same stage with the Barbarina. I don't know who will be glad of her coming, but Mr. Blighe and Amorevoli.
'Tis amazing, but we hear not a syllable of Prague taken,(694) it must be! Indeed, Carthagena, too, was certain of being taken! but it seems, Maillebois is to stop at Bavaria. I hope Belleisle (695) will be made prisoner? I am indifferent about the fate of the great Broglio-but Belleisle is able, and is our most determined enemy: we need not have more, for to-day it is confirmed that Cardinal Tencin (696) and M. d'Argenson are declared of the prime ministry. The first moment they can, Tencin will be for transporting the Pretenders into England. Your advice about Naples was quite judicious: the appearance of a bomb will have great weight in the councils of the little king.
We don't talk now of any of the Royals passing into Flanders; though the Champion (697) this morning had an admirable quotation, on the supposition that the King would go himself: it was this line from the Rehearsal:-
"Give us our fiddle; we ourselves will play."
The lesson for the Day (698) that I sent you, I gave to Mr. Coke, who came in as I was writing it, and by his dispersing it, it has got into print, with an additional one, which I cannot say I am proud should go under my name. Since that, nothing but lessons are the fashion: first and second lessons, morning and evening lessons, epistles, etc. One of the Tory papers published so abusive an one last week on the new ministry, that three gentlemen called on the printer, to know how he dared to publish it. Don't you like these men who for twenty years together led the way, and published every thing that was scandalous, that they should wonder at any body's daring to publish against them! Oh! it will come home to them! Indeed, every body's fame now is published at length: last week the Champion mentioned the Earl of Orford and his natural daughter, Lady Mary, at length (for which he had a great mind to prosecute the printer). To-day, the London Evening Post says, Mr. Pane, nephew of Mr. Scrope, is made first clerk of the treasury, as a reward for his uncle's taciturnity before the Secret Committee. He is in the room of old Tilson, who was so tormented by that Committee that it turned his brain, and he is dead.
I am excessively shocked at Mr. Fane's (699) behaviour to you; but Mr. Fane is an honourable man! he lets poor you pay him his salary for eighteen months, without thinking of returning it! But if he had lost that sum to Jansen,(700) or to any of the honourable men at White's, he would think his honour engaged to pay it. There is nothing, sure, so whimsical as modern honour! You may debauch a woman upon a promise of marriage, and not marry her; you may ruin your tailor's or your baker's family by not paying them; you may make Mr. Mann maintain you for eighteen months, as a public minister, out of his own pocket, and still be a man of honour! But, not to pay a common sharper, or not to murder a man that has trod upon your toe, is such a blot in your scutcheon, that you could never recover your honour, though you had in your veins "all the blood of all the Howards!"
My love to Mr. Chute: tell him, as he looks on the east front of Houghton, to tap under the two windows in the left-hand wing, up stairs, close to the colonnade-there are Patapan and I, at this instant, writing to you; there we are almost every morning, or in the library; the evenings, we walk till dark; then Lady Mary, Miss Leneve, and I play at comet; the Earl, Mrs. Leneve, and whosoever is here, discourse; car telle est notre vie! Adieu!
(693) Lady Walpole. Richcourt, the Florentine minister, was her lover, and both, as has been seen in the former part of these letters, were enemies of Sir . H. Mann.-D.
(694) This means retaken by the Imperialists from the French, who had obtained possession of it on the 25th of November, 1741. The Austrian troops drove the French out of Prague, in December, 1742.-D.