The Letters of Horace Walpole, Volume 2
by Horace Walpole
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I promised you a brisk war: we have done our part, but can I help it, if the French will not declare it?-if they are backward, and cautious, and timorous; if they are afraid of provoking too far SO great a power as England, who threatens the liberties of Europe? I laugh, but how not to laugh at such a world as this! Do you remember the language of the last war? What were our apprehensions? Nay, at the conclusion of the peace, nothing was laid down for a maxim but the impossibility of our engaging in another war; that our national debt was at its ne plus ultra; and that on the very next discussion France must swallow us up! Now we are all insolent, alert, and triumphant: nay the French talk of nothing but guarding against our piracies, and travel Europe to give the alarm against such an overbearing power as we are. On their coasts they are alarmed—I mean the common people; I scarce believe they who know any thing, are in real dread of invasion from us! Whatever be the reason, they don't declare war: some think they wait for the arrival of their Martinico fleet. You will ask why we should not attack that too? They tell one, that if we began hostilities in Europe, Spain would join the French. Some believe that the latter are not ready: certain it is, Mirepoix gave them no notice nor suspicion of our flippancy; and he is rather under a cloud—indeed this has much undeceived me in one point: I took him for the ostensible mister; but little thought that they had not some secret agent of better head, some priest, some Scotch or Irish Papist-or perhaps some English Protestant, to give them better intelligence. But don't you begin to be impatient for the events of all our West Indian expeditions? The Duke,(596) who is now the soul of the Regency, and who on all hands is allowed to make a great figure there, is much dissatisfied at the slowness of General Braddock, who does not march as if he was at all impatient to be scalped. It is said for him, that he has had bad guides, that the roads are exceedingly difficult, and that it was necessary to drag as much artillery as he does. This is not the first time, as witness in Hawley,(597) that the Duke has found that brutality did not necessarily consummate a general. I love to give you an idea of our characters as they rise upon the stage of history. Braddock is a very Iroquois in disposition. He had a sister, who having gamed away all her little fortune at Bath, hanged herself(598) with a truly English deliberation, leaving only a note upon the table with those lines "To die is landing on some silent shore," etc. When Braddock was told of it, he only said, "Poor Fanny! I always thought she would play till she would be forced to tuck herself up!"' But a more ridiculous story of him, and which is recorded in heroics by Fielding in his Covent-Garden tragedy, was an amorous discussion he had formerly with a Mrs. Upton, who had kept him. He had gone the greatest lengths with her pin-money, and was still craving. One day that he was very pressing, she pulled out her purse and showed him that she had but twelve or fourteen shillings left; he twitched it from her, "Let me see that." Tied up at the other end he found five guineas; he took them, tossed the empty purse in her face, saying, "Did you mean to cheat me?" and never went near her more:—now you are acquainted with General Braddock.

We have some royal negotiations proceeding in Germany, which are not likely to give quite so much satisfaction to the Parliament of next winter, as our French triumphs give to the City, where nothing is so popular as the Duke of Newcastle. There is a certain Hessian treaty, said to be eighteen years long, which is arrived at the Treasury, Legge refused peremptorily to sign it—you did not expect patriotism from thence? It will not make him popular: there is not a mob in England now capable of being the dupe of patriotism; the late body of that denomination have really so discredited it, that a minister must go great lengths indeed before the people would dread him half so much as a patriot! On the contrary, I believe nothing would make any man so popular, or conciliate so much affection to his ministry, as to assure the people that he never had nor ever would pretend to love his country. Legge has been frowned upon by the Duke of Newcastle ever since he was made chancellor of the exchequer by him, and would have been turned out long ago if Sir George Lee would have accepted the post. I am sorry that just when Tuscany is at war with Algiers, your countrymen should lie under the odour of piracy too; it will give Richcourt opportunities of saying very severe things to you!—Barbarossa our Dey is not returned yet-we fear he is going to set his grandson(599) up in a seraglio; and as we have not, among other Mahometan customs, copied the use of the bowstring for repressing the luxuriancy of the royal branches, we shall be quite overrun with young Sultans! Adieu!

(596) The Duke of Cumberland.

(597) General Hawley, who behaved with great cruelty and brutality in the Scotch rebellion, which did not however Prevent his being beaten by the rebels,-D.

(598) The story of this unfortunate young lady is told by Goldsmith, in his amusing Life of Beau Nash, introduced into the new and @greatly enlarged edition of his "Miscellaneous Works," published by Mr. Murray, in 1837, in four volumes octavo. See vol. iii. p. 294. According to the poet, the lines which were written on one of the panes of the window, were these:-

"O Death! thou pleasing end of human wo! Thou cure for life! thou greatest good below! Still may'st thou fly the coward and the slave, And thy soft slumbers only bless the brave."-E.

(599) The King had a mind to marry the Prince of Wales to a Princess of Brunswick.

270 Letter 145 To Sir Horace Mann. Arlington Street, August 28, 1755.

My last letter to you could not be got out of England, before I might have added a melancholy supplement. Accounts of a total defeat of Braddock, and his forces are arrived from America; the purport is, that the General having arrived within a few miles of Fort du Quesne, (I hope you are perfect in your American geography?) sent an advanced party, under Lord Gage's brother: they were fired upon, invisibly, as they entered a wood; Braddock heard guns, and sent another party to support the former; but the first fell back in confusion on the second, and the second on the main body. The whole was in disorder, and it is said, the General himself', though exceedingly brave, did not retain all the sang froid that was necessary. The common soldiers in general, fled; the officers stood heroically and were massacred: our Indians were not surprised, and behaved gallantly. The General had five horses shot under him, no bad symptoms of his spirit, and at last was brought off by two Americans, no English daring, though Captain Orme,(600) his aid-de-camp, who is wounded too, and has made some noise here by an affair of gallantry, offered Sixty guineas to have him conveyed away. We have lost twenty-six officers, besides many wounded, and ten pieces of artillery. Braddock lived four days, in great torment.(601) What makes the rout more shameful is, that instead of a great pursuit, and a barbarous massacre by the Indians, which is always to be feared in these rencontres, not a black or white soul followed our troops, but we had leisure two days afterwards to fetch off our dead. In short, our American laurels are strangely blighted! We intended to be in great alarms for Carolina and Virginia, but the small number of our enemies had reduced this affair to a panic. We pretend to be comforted on the French deserting Fort St. John, and on the hopes we have from two other expeditions which are on foot in that part of the world-but it is a great drawback on English heroism I pity you who represent the very flower of British courage ingrafted on a Brunswick stock!

I have already given you some account of Braddock; I may complete the poor man's history in a few more words: he once had a duel with Colonel Gumley, Lady Bath's(602) brother, who had been his great friend: as they were going to engage, Gumley, who had good humour and wit, (Braddock had the latter,) said "Braddock, you are a poor dog! here take my purse; if you kill me you will be forced to run away, and then you will not have a shilling to support you." Braddock refused the purse, insisted on' the duel, was disarmed, and would not even ask his life. However, with all his brutality, he has lately been Governor of Gibraltar, where he made himself adored, and where scarce any Governor was endured before. Adieu! Pray don't let any detachment from Pannoni's(603) be sent against us—we should run away!

(600) He married the sister of George Lord Townshend, without the consent of her family.

(601) Walpole, in his Memoires, says, that "he dictated an encomium on his officers, and expired."-D.

(602) Elizabeth Gumley, wife of William Pulteny, Earl of Bath.

(603) Pannoni's coffeehouse of the Florentine nobility, not famous for their courage of late.

271 Letter 146 To Richard Bentley, Esq. Arlington Street, August 28, 1755.

Our piratic laurels, with which the French have so much reproached us, have been exceedingly pruned! Braddock is defeated and killed, by a handful of Indians and by the baseness of his own troops, who sacrificed him and his gallant officers. Indeed, there is some suspicion that cowardice was not the motive, but resentment at having been draughted from Irish regiments. Were such a desertion universal, could one but commend@it'@ Could one blame men who should refuse to be knocked on the head for sixpence a day, and for the advantage and dignity of a few ambitious? But in this case one pities the brave young @officers, who cannot so easily disfranchise themselves from the prejudices of glory! Our disappointment is greater than our loss; six-and-twenty officers are killed, who, I suppose, have not left a vast many fatherless and widowless, as an old woman told me to-day with great tribulation. The ministry have a much more serious affair on their hands-Lord Lincoln and Lord Anson have had a dreadful quarrel! Coquus teterrima belli causa! When Lord Mountford shot himself, Lord Lincoln said, "Well, I am very sorry for poor Mountford! but it is the part of a wise man to make the best of every misfortune-I shall now have the best cook in England." This was uttered before Lord Anson. Joras,(604)— who is a man of extreme punctilio, as cooks and officers ought to be, would not be hired till he knew whether this Lord Mountford would retain him. When it was decided that he would not, Lord Lincoln proposed to hire Joras. Anson had already engaged him. Such a breach of friendship was soon followed by an expostulation (there was jealousy of the Duke of Newcastle's favour already under the coals): in short the nephew earl called the favourite earl such gross names, that it was well they were ministers! otherwise, as Mincing says, "I vow, I believe they must have fit." The public, that is half-a-dozen toad-eaters, have great hopes that the present unfavourable posture of affairs in America will tend to cement this breach, and that we shall all unite hand and heart against the common enemy.

I returned the night before last from my peregrination. It is very unlucky for me that no crown of martyrdom is entailed on zeal for antiquities; I should be a rubric martyr of the first class. After visiting the new salt-water baths at Harwich, (which, next to horse-racing, grows the most fashionable resource for people who want to get out of town, and who love the country and retirement!) I went to see Orford castle, and Lord Hertford's at Sudborn. The one is a ruin, and the other ought to be so. Returning in a one-horse chair over a wild vast heath, I went out of the road to see the remains of Buttley Abbey; which however I could not see; for, as the keys of Orford castle were at Sudborn, so the keys of Buttley were at Orford! By this time it was night; we lost our way, were in excessive rain for above two hours, and only found our way to be overturned into the mire the next morning going into Ipswich. Since that I went to see an old house built by Secretary Naunton.(605) His descendant, who is a strange retired creature, was unwilling to let us see it; but we did, and little in it worth seeing. The house never was fine, and is now out of repair; has a bed with ivory pillars and loose rings, presented to the secretary by some German prince or German artist; and a small gallery of indifferent portraits, among which there are scarce any worth notice but of the Earl of Northumberland, Anna Bullen's lover, and of Sir Antony Wingfield, who having his hand tucked into his girdle, the housekeeper told us, had had his fingers cut off by Harry VIII. But Harry VIII. was not a man pour s'arr'eter 'a ces minuties la!

While we waited for leave to see the house, I strolled into the churchyard, and was struck with a little door open into the chancel, through the arch of which I discovered cross-legged knights and painted tombs! In short, there are no less than eight considerable monuments, very perfect, of Wingfields, Nauntons, and a Sir John Boynet and his wife, as old as Richard the Second's time. But what charmed me still more, were two figures of Secretary Naunton's father and mother in the window in painted glass, near two feet high, and by far the finest painting on glass I ever saw. His figure, in a puffed doublet, breeches and bonnet, and cloak of scarlet and yellow, is absolutely perfect: her shoulder is damaged. This church, which is scarce bigger than a large chapel, is very ruinous, though containing such treasures! Besides these, there are brasses on the pavement, with a succession of all the wonderful head-dresses which our plain virtuous grandmothers invented to tempt our rude and simple ancestors.- -I don't know what our nobles might be, but I am sure that Milliners three or four hundred years ago must have been more accomplished in the arts, as Prynne calls them, of crisping, curling, frizzling, and frouncing, than all the tirewomen of Babylon, modern Paris, or modern Pall-Mall. Dame Winifred Boynet, whom I mentioned above, is accoutered with the coiffure called piked horns, which, if there were any signs in Lothbury and Eastcheap, must have brushed them about strangely, as their ladyships rode behind their gentlemen ushers! Adieu!

(604) The name of the cook in question.

(605) Sir Robert Naunton, master of the court of wards. He wrote Anecdotes of Queen Elizabeth and her favourites.

273 Letter 147 To The Rev. Henry Etough.(606) Woolterton, Sept. 10, 1755.

Dear Etough, I cannot forbear any longer to acknowledge the many favours from you lately; your last was the 8th of this month. His Majesty's speedy arrival among his British subjects is very desirable and necessary, whatever may be the chief motive for his making haste. As to Spain, I have from the beginning told my friends, when they asked, both in town and country, that I was at all apprehensive that Spain would join with France against us; for this plain reason, because it could not possibly be the interest of the Spaniards to do it for should the views of the French take place in making a line of forts from the Mississippi to Canada, and of being masters of the whole of that extent of country, Peru and Mexico, and Florida, would be in more danger from them than the British settlements in America.

Mr. Fowle has made me a visit for a few days, and communicated to me your two pieces relating to my brother and Lord Bolingbroke, and I think you do great justice to them both in their very different and opposite characters; but you will give me leave to add with respect to Lord Orford, there are several mistakes and misinformations, of which I am persuaded I could convince you by conversation, but my observations are not proper for a letter. Of this more fully when I see you, but when that will be I can't yet tell. I am ever most affectionately yours, etc.

(606) The Rev. Henry Etough, of Pembroke-hall, Cambridge. He received his education among the Dissenters, and Archbishop Secker and Dr. 'Birch were among his schoolfellows. Through the interest of Sir Robert Walpole, he was presented to the rectory of Therfield, in Hertfordshire; where he died, in his seventieth year, in August 1757.-E.

273 Letter 148 To Richard Bentley, Esq. Strawberry Hill, September 18, 1755.

My dear sir, After an expectation of six weeks, I have received a letter from you, dated August 23d. Indeed I did not impute any neglect to you; I knew it arose from the war; but Mr. S. * * * * tells me the packets will now be more regular.—Mr. S * * * tells me!—What, has he been in town, or at Strawberry?—No; but I have been at Southampton: I was at the Vine; and on the arrival of a few fine days, the first we have had this summer, after a deluge, Mr. Chute persuaded me to take a jaunt to Winchester and Netley Abbey, with the latter of which he is very justly enchanted. I was disappointed in Winchester: it is a paltry town, and small: King Charles the Second's house is the worst thing I ever saw of Sir Christopher Wren, a mixture of a town-hall and an hospital; not to mention the bad choice of the situation in such a country; it is all ups that should be downs. I talk to you as supposing that you never have been at Winchester, though I suspect you have, for the entrance of the cathedral is the very idea of that of Mabland. I like the smugness of the cathedral, and the profusion of the most beautiful Gothic tombs. That of Cardinal Beaufort is in a style more free and of more taste than any thing I have seen of the kind. His figure confirms me in my opinion that I have struck out the true history of the picture that I bought of Robinson; and which I take for the marriage of Henry VI. Besides the monuments of the Saxon Kings, of Lucius, William Rufus, his brother, etc. there are those of six such great or considerable men as Beaufort, William of Wickham, him of Wainfleet, the Bishops Fox and Gardiner, and my Lord Treasurer Portland.—How much power and ambition under half-a-dozen stones! I own, I grow to look on tombs as lasting mansions, instead of observing them for curious pieces of architecture!- -Going into Southampton, I passed Bevismount, where my Lord Peterborough

"Hung his trophies o'er his garden gate;"(607)

but General Mordaunt was there, and we could not see it. We walked long by moonlight on the terrace along the beach- -Guess, if we talked of and wished for you! The town is crowded; sea-baths are established there too. But how shall I describe Netley to you? I can only by telling YOU, that it is the spot in the world for which Mr. Chute and I wish. The ruins are vast, and retain fragments of beautiful fretted roofs pendent in the air, With all variety of Gothic patterns of windows wrapped round and round with ivy-many trees are sprouted up amongst the walls, and Only want to be increased with cypresses! A hill rises above the abbey encircled with wood: the fort, in which we would build a tower for habitation, remains with two small platforms. This little castle is buried from the abbey in a wood, in the very centre, on the edge of the hill: on each side breaks in the view of the Southampton sea, deep blue, glistering with silver and vessels; on one side terminated by Southampton, on the other by Calshot castle; and the Isle of Wight rising above the opposite hills. In short, they are not the ruins of Netley, but of Paradise.—OH! the purple abbots, what a spot had they chosen to slumber in! The scene is so beautifully tranquil, that they seem only to have retired into the world.(608)

I know nothing of the war, but that we catch little French ships like crawfish. They have taken one of ours with Governor Lyttelton(609) going to South Carolina. He is a very worthy young man, but so stiffened with Sir George's old fustian, that I am persuaded he is at this minute in the citadel of Nantes comparing himself to Regulus.

Gray has lately been here. He has begun an Ode,(610) which if he finishes equally, will, I think, inspirit all your drawing again. It is founded on an old tradition of Edward 1. putting to death the Welsh bards. Nothing but you, or Salvator Rosa, and Nicolo Poussin, can paint up to the expressive horror and dignity of it. Don't think I mean to flatter you; all I would say is, that now the two latter are dead, you must of necessity be Gray's painter. In order to keep your talent alive, I shall next week send you flake white, brushes, oil, and the enclosed directions from Mr. Muntz, who is still at the Vine, and whom, for want of you, we labour hard to form. I shall put up in the parcel two or three prints of my eagle, which, as you never would draw it, is very moderately performed; and yet the drawing was much better than the engraving. I shall send you too a trifling snuff-box, only as a sample of the new manufacture at Battersea, which is done with copper-plates. Mr. Chute is at the Vine, where I cannot say any works go on in proportion to my impatience. I have left him an inventionary of all I want to have done there; but I believe it may be bound up with the century of projects of that foolish Marquis of Worcester, who printed a catalogue of titles of things which he gave no directions to execute, nor I believe could.(611) Adieu!

(607) "Our Gen'rals now, retired to their estate, Hang their old trophies o'er the garden gate." Pope, in this couplet, is said to have alluded to the entrance of Lord Peterborough's lawn at Bevismount.-E.

(608) Gray, who visited Netley Abbey in the preceding month, calls it "a most beautiful ruin in as beautiful a situation."-E.

(609) william Henry, brother of Sir George, afterwards Lord Lyttelton. The man-of-war in which he was proceeding to South Carolina was captured by the French squadron under Count Guay, and sent into Nantes, but was shortly afterwards restored.-E.

(610) "The Bard" was commenced this year, but was for some time left unfinished; but the accident of seeing a blind Harper (Mr. Parry) perform on a Welsh harp, again put his Ode in motion, and brought it at last to a conclusion, See Works, vol. i. p. xxxiii.-E.

(611) Vol. i. letter 259 to H. S. Conway, Aug. 29, 1748.

275 Letter 149 To The Hon. H. S. Conway. Strawberry Hill, Sept. 23, 1755.

Dear harry, Never make me excuses for a letter that tells me so many agreeable things -as your last; that you are got well to Dublin;(612) that you are all well, and that you have accommodated all your politics to your satisfaction—and I may be allowed to say, greatly to your credit 'What could you tell me that would please me so much When I have indulged a little my joy for your success and honour, it is natural to consider the circumstances you have told me; and you will easily excuse me if I am not quite as much satisfied with the conduct of your late antagonists, as I with yours. You have tranquillized a nation, have repaired your master's honour, and secured the peace of your administration;-but what shall one say to the Speaker, Mr. Malone and the others? Don't they confess that they have gone the greatest lengths, and risked the safety of their country on a mere personal pique? If they did not contend for profit, like our patriots (and you don't tell me that they have made any lucrative stipulations), yet it is plain that their ambition had been wounded, and that they resented their power being crossed. But I, Who am Whig to the backbone, indeed in the strictest sense of the word, feel hurt in a tenderer point, and which you,. who are a minister, must not allow me: I am offended at their agreeing to an address that avows such deference for prerogative, and that is to protest so deeply against having to attack it. However rebel this may sound at your court, my Gothic spirit is hurt; I do not love such loyal expressions from a Parliament. I do not so much consider myself writing to Dublin castle, as from Strawberry castle, where you know how I love to enjoy my liberty. I give myself the airs, in my nutshell, of an old baron, and am tempted almost to say with an old Earl of Norfolk, who was a very free speaker at least, if he was not an excellent poet,

"When I am in my castle of Bungey, Situate upon the river Waveney, I ne care for the King of cockney."

I have been roving about Hampshire, have been at Winchester and Southampton and twenty places, and have been but one day in London —consequently know as little news as if I had been shut up in Bungey castle. Rumours there are of great bickerings and uneasiness; but I don't believe there will be any bloodshed of places, except Legge's, which nobody seems willing to take-I mean as a sinecure. His Majesty of Cockney is returned exceedingly well, but grown a little out of humour at finding that we are not so much pleased with all the Russians and Hessians that he has hired to recover the Ohio. We are an ungrateful people! Make a great many compliments for me to my Lady Ailesbury; I own I am in pain about Missy. As my lady is a little coquette herself, and loves crowds and admiration, and a court life, it will be very difficult for her to keep a strict eye upon Missy. The Irish are very forward and bold:—I say no more but it would hurt you both extremely to have her marry herself idly and I think my Lord Chancellor has not extended his matrimonial foresight to Ireland. However, I have much confidence in Mrs. Elizabeth Jones:(613) I am sure, when they were here, she would never let Missy whisper with a boy that was old enough to speak. Adieu! As the winter advances, and plots thicken, I will write you letters that shall have a little more in them than this. In the mean time I am going to Bath, not for my health, you know I never am ill, but for my amusement. I never was there, and at present there are several of my acquaintance. The French academy have chosen my Lord Chesterfield, and he has written them a letter of thanks. that is the finest composition in the world - indeed, I was told so by those who have not seen it; but they would have told me so if they had seen it, whether it was the finest or the worst; suffices it to be his! Yours ever.

(612) mr. Conway was now secretary of state to the Marquis of Hartington, lord lieutenant of Ireland.

(613) Miss Conway's nurse.

277 Letter 150 To Sir Horace Mann. Arlington Street, Sept. 29, 1755.

It is not that I am perjured for not writing to you oftener, as I promised; the war is forsworn. We do all we can; we take, from men-of-war and Domingo-men, down to colliers and cock-boats, and from California into the very Bay of Calais. The French have taken but one ship from us, the Blandford, and that they have restored—but I don't like this drowsy civil lion; it will put out a talon and give us a cursed scratch before we are aware. Monsieur de seychelles, who grows into power, is labouring at their finances and marine: they have struck off their sous-fermiers, and by a reform in what they call the King's pleasures, have already saved 1,200,000 pounds sterling a year. Don't go and imagine that 1,200,000 pounds was all stink in the gulf of Madame Pompadour, or even in suppers and hunting; under the word the King's pleasures, they really comprehended his civil list; and in that light I don't know why our civil list might not be called another King's pleasures(614) too, though it is not all entirely squandered. In short, the single article of coffee for the Mesdames(615) amounted to 3000 pounds sterling a year—to what must their rouge have amounted?—but it is high time to tell you of other wars, than the old story of France and England. You must know, not in your ministerial capacity, for I suppose that is directed by such old geographers as Sanson and De Lisle, who imagined that Herenhausen was a town in Germany, but according to the latest discoveries, there is such a county in England as Hanover, which lying very much exposed to the incursions of the French and Prussians (the latter are certain hussars in the French army), it has been thought necessary to hire Russians, and Hessians, and all the troops that lie nearest to the aforesaid weak part of Great Britain called Hanover, in order to cover this frontier from any invasion. The expedience of this measure was obvious; yet many People who could not get over the prejudice of education, or who having got over these prejudices have for certain reasons returned to them, these Ptolemaic geographers Will not be persuaded that there is any such county in England as Hanover, and not finding it in their old maps, or having burnt their new ones in a passion—(Mr. Legge, indeed, tore his at the treasury board the day that the warrant for the Hessian subsidy came thither)—they determined that England had no occasion for these mercenaries. Besides Legge, the Duke of Devonshire, the Speaker, Sir George Lee, and one MR. William Pitt, a man formerly remarkable for disputing the new geography, declared strongly against the system of treaties.(616) Copernicus no sooner returned from Germany, than the Duke of Newcastle, who had taken the alarm, frightened him out of his wits. In short, they found that they should have no Professor to defend the new system in Parliament. Every body was tried—when every body had refused, and the Duke of Newcastle was ready to throw up the cards, he determined to try Fox,(617) who, by the mediation of Lord Granville, has accepted the seals, is to be secretary of state, is to have the conduct of the House of Commons, and is, I think-very soon to be first minister-or what one has known to happen to some who of very late years have joined to support a tottering administration, is to be ruined. Indeed, he seems sensible of the alternative, professes no cordiality to Duke Trinculo, who is viceroy over him, but is listing Bedford's, and whoever will list with him, as fast as he can. One who has been his predecessor in suffering by such an alliance, my Lord Chesterfield, told him, "Well, the Duke of Newcastle has turned out every body else, and now he has turned out himself." Sir Thomas Robinson is to return to the great wardrobe, with an additional pension on Ireland of 2000 pounds a year. This is turning a cipher into figures indeed! Lord Barrington is to be secretary at war. This change, however, is not to take place till after the Parliament is met, which is not till the 13th of' next month, because Mr. Fox is to preside at the Cockpit the night before the House opens. How Mr. Legge will take his deposition is not known. He has determined not to resign, but to be turned out; I should think this would satisfy his scruples, even if he had made a vow against resigning.

As England grows turbulent again, Ireland grows calm again. Mr. Conway, who has gone thither secretary to Lord Hartington, has with great prudence and skill pacified that kingdom: you may imagine that I am not a little happy at his acquiring renown. The Primate is to be the peace-offering.

If there were any private news, as there are none, I could not possibly to-day step out of my high historical pantoufles to tell it you. Adieu! You know I don't dislike to see the Kings and queens and Knaves of this world shuffled backwards and forwards; consequently I look on, very well amused, and very indifferent whatever is trumps!

(614) Alluding to the King's love of money.

(615 The daughters of Louis the Fifteenth.-D.

(616) The following is from Dodington's Diary:-"Sept. 3. Mr. Pitt told me, that he had painted to the Duke of Newcastle all the ill Consequences of this system of subsidies in the strongest light that his imagination could furnish him with: he had deprecated his Grace not to complete the ruin which the King had nearly brought upon himself by his journey to Hanover, which all people should have prevented, even with their bodies. A King abroad, at this time, without one man about him that has one English sentiment, and to bring home a whole set of subsidies! That he was willing to promote the King's service; but if this was what he was sent for to promote, few words were best—nothing in the world should induce him to consent to these subsidies."-E.

(617) " Fox must again be treated with; for the session of Parliament approached, and it was become a general maxim, that the House of Commons had been so much accustomed to have a minister of its own, they would not any longer be governed by deputy. Fox insisted on being made secretary of state, much against the King's inclination, as well as the Duke of Newcastle's: for though his Majesty preferred Fox to Pitt, he liked Sir Thomas Robinson better than either of them; for Sir Thomas did -is he was directed, understood foreign affairs, and pretended to nothing further. However, Fox carried his point." Waldegrave's Memoirs, p. 51.-E.

279 Letter 151 To John Chute, Esq.(618) Arlington Street, Sept. 29, 1755.

I should not answer your letter so soon, as you write so often, if I had not something particular to tell you. Mr. Fox is to be secretary of state. The history of this event, in short, is this: George Elector of Hanover, and Thomas King of England, have been exceedingly alarmed. By some misapprehension, the Russian and Hessian treaties, the greatest blessings that were ever calculated for this country, have been totally, and almost universally disapproved. Mr. Legge grew conscientious about them; the Speaker, constitutional; Mr. Pitt, patriot; Sir George Lee. scrupulous; Lord Egmont, uncertain; the Duke of Devonshire, something that he meant for some of these; and my uncle, I suppose, frugal— how you know. Let a Parliament be ever so ready to vote for any thing, yet if every body in both Houses is against a thing, why the Parliament itself can't carry a point against both Houses. This made such a dilemma, that, after trying every body else, and being ready to fling up themselves, King Thomas and his Chancellor offered Mr. Fox the honour of defending and saving them. He, who is all Christian charity, and forgiving every body but himself and those who dissuaded him, for not taking the seals before, consented to undertake the cause of the treaties, and is to have the management of the House Of Commons as long as he can keep it. In the mean time, to give his new friends all the assistance he can, he is endeavouring to bring the Bedfords to court; and if any other person in the world hates King Thomas, why Mr. Fox is very willing to bring them to court too. In the mean time, Mr. Pitt is scouring his old Hanoverian trumpet and Mr. Legge is to accompany him with his hurdy-gurdy.

Mr. Mann did not tell me a word of his intending you a visit. The reason the Dacres have not been with you is, they have been at court; and as at present there are as many royal hands to kiss as a Japanese idol has, it takes some time to slobber through the whole ceremony.

I have some thoughts of going to Bath for a week; though I don't know whether my love for my country, while my country is in a quandary, may not detain me hereabouts. When Mr. Muntz has done, you will be so good as to pacquet him up, and send him to Strawberry. I rather wish you would bring him yourself; I am impatient for the drawing you announce to me. A commission has passed the seals, I mean of' secrecy, (for I don't know whether they must not be stole,) to get you some swans; and as in this age one ought not to despair of any thing where robbery is concerned, I have some hopes of succeeding. If you should want any French ships for your water, there are great numbers to be had cheap, and small enough. Adieu!

618) Now first printed.

280 Letter 152 To Richard Bentley, Esq. Arlington Street, Sept. 30, 1755.

Solomon says somewhere or other, I think it is in Castelnuovo's edition—is not there such a one?—that the infatuation of a nation for a foolish minister is like that of a lover for an ugly woman: when once he opens his eyes, he wonders what the devil bewitched him. This is the text to the present sermon in politics, which I shall not divide under three heads, but tell you at once, that no minister was ever nearer the precipice than ours has been. I did tell you, I believe, that Legge had refused to sign the warrant for the Hessian subsidy: in short, he heartily resented the quick coldness that followed his exaltation, waited for an opportunity of revenge, found this; and, to be sure, no vengeance ever took speedier strides. All the world revolted against subsidiary treaties; nobody was left to defend them but Murray, and he did not care to venture. Offers of graciousness, of cabinet councillor, or chancellor of the exchequer, were made to right and left. Dr. Lee was conscientious; Mr. Pitt might be brought, in compliment to his Majesty, to digest one—but a system of subsidies—impossible! In short, the very first ministership was offered to be made over to my Lord Granville. He begged to be excused—he was not fit for it. Well, you laugh—all this is fact. At last we were forced to strike sail to Mr. Fox he is named for secretary of state, with not only the lead, but the power of the House of Commons. You ask, in the room of which secretary? What signifies of which? Why, I think, of Sir Thomas Robinson, who returns to his wardrobe; and Lord Barrington comes into the war-office. This is the present state of things in this grave reasonable island: the union hug like two cats over a string; the rest are arming for opposition. But I Will not promise you any more warlike winters; I remember how soon the campaign of the list was addled.

In Ireland, Mr. Conway has pacified all things: the Irish are to get as drunk as ever to the glorious and immortal memory of King George, and the prerogative is to be exalted as high as ever, by being obliged to give up the Primate. There! I think I have told you volumes: yet I know you will not be content, you will want to know something of the war, and of America; but, I assure you, it is not the bon-ton to talk of either this week. We think not of the former, and of the latter we should think to very little purpose '. for we have not heard a syllable more; Braddock's defeat still remains in the situation of the longest battle that ever was fought with nobody. Content your English spirit with knowing that there are very near three thousand French prisoners in England, taken out of several ships.

281 Letter 153 To George Montagu, Esq. Arlington Street, Oct. 7, 1755.

My dear sir, Nobody living feels more for you than I do: nobody knows better either the goodness and tenderness of your heart, or the real value of the person you have lost.' I cannot flatter myself that any thing I could say would comfort you under an affliction so well founded; but I should have set out, and endeavoured to share your concern, if Mrs. Trevor had not told me that you were going into Cheshire. I will only say, that if you think change of place can contribute at all to divert your melancholy, you know where you would be most welcome; and whenever you will come to Strawberry Hill, you will, at least, if you do not find a comforter, find a most sincere friend that pities your distress, and would do any thing upon earth to alleviate your misfortune. If you can listen yet to any advice, let me recommend to you to give up all thoughts of Greatworth; you will never be able to support life there any more: let me look out for some little box for you in my neighbourhood. You can live nowhere where you will be more beloved; and you will there always have it in your power to enjoy company Or solitude, as you like. I have long wished to get you so far back into the world, and now it is become absolutely necessary for your health and peace. I will say no more, lest too long a letter should be either troublesome or make you think it necessary to answer; but do not, till you find it more agreeable to vent your grief this way than in any other. I am, my good Sir, with hearty concern and affection, yours most sincerely.

(619) His sister, Miss Harriet Montagu.

281 Letter 154 To Richard Bentley, Esq. Arlington Street, Oct. 19, 1755.

Do you love royal quarrels? You may be served-I know you don't love an invasion-nay, that even passes my taste; it will make too much party. In short, the lady dowager Prudence begins to step a little over the threshold of that discretion which she has always hitherto so sanctimoniously observed. She is suspected of strange whims; so strange, as neither to like more German subsidies or more German matches. A strong faction, professedly against the treaties,(620) openly against Mr. Fox, and covertly under the banners of the aforesaid lady Prudence, arm from all quarters against the opening of the session. Her ladyship's eldest boy declares violently against being bewulfenbuttled,(621) a word which I don't pretend to understand, as it is not in Mr. Johnson's new dictionary. There! now I have been as enigmatic as ever I have accused you of being; and hoping you will not be able to expound my German hieroglyphics, I proceed to tell you in plain English that we are going to be invaded. I have within this day or two seen grandees of ten, twenty, and thirty thousand pounds a-year, who are in a mortal fright; consequently, it would be impertinent in much less folk to tremble, and accordingly they don't. At court there is no doubt but an attempt will be made before Christmas. I find valour is like virtue: impregnable as they boast themselves, it is discovered that on the first attack both lie strangely open! They are raising more men, camps are to be formed in Kent and Sussex, the Duke of Newcastle is frightened out of his wits, which, though he has lost so often, you know he always recovers, and as fresh as ever. Lord Egmont despairs of the commonwealth; and I am going to fortify my castle of Strawberry, according to an old charter I should have had for embattling and making a deep ditch. But here am I laughing when I really ought to cry, both with my public eye and my private one. I have told you what I think ought to sluice my public eye; and your private eye too will moisten, when I tell you that poor Miss Harriet Montagu is dead. She died about a fortnight ago; but having nothing else to tell you, I would not send a letter so far with only such melancholy news-and so, you will say, I stayed till I could tell still more bad news. The truth is, I have for some time had two letters of yours to answer: it is three weeks since I wrote to you, and one begins to doubt whether one shall ever be to write again. I will hope all my best hopes; for I have no sort of intention at this time of day of finishing either as a martyr or a hero. I rather intend to live and record both those professions, if need be; and I have no inclination to scuttle barefoot after a Duke of Wolfenbuttle's army as Philip de Comines says he saw their graces of Exeter and Somerset trudge after the Duke of Burgundy's. The invasion, though not much in fashion yet, begins, like Moses's rod, to swallow other news, both political and suicidical. Our politics I have sketched out to you, and can only add, that Mr. Fox's ministry does not as yet promise to be of long duration. When it was first thought that he had cot the better of the Duke of Newcastle, Charles Townshend said admirably, that he was sure the Duchess, like the old Cavaliers, would make a vow not to shave her beard till the restoration.

I can't recollect the least morsel of a fess or chevron of the Boynets: they did not happen to enter into any extinct genealogy for whose welfare I interest myself. I sent your letter to Mr. Chute, who is still under his own vine: Mr. Muntz is still with him, recovering of a violent fever. Adieu! If memoirs don't grow too memorable, I think this season will produce a large crop.

P. S. I believe I scarce ever mentioned to you last Winter the follies of the Opera: the impertinences of a great singer were too old and common a topic. I must mention them now, when they rise to any improvement in the character Of national folly. The Mingotti, a noble figure, a great mistress of music, and a most incomparable actress, surpassed any thing I ever saw for the extravagance of her humours.(622) She never sung above one night in three, from a fever upon hot-temper: and never would act at all when Ricciarelli, the first man, was to be in dialogue with her.(623) Her fevers grow so high, that the audience caught them, and hissed her more than once: she herself once turned and hissed again—Tit pro tat geminat phoy d'achamiesmeyn—among the treaties which a secretary of state has negotiated this summer, he has contracted for a succedaneum to the Mingotti. In short, there is a woman hired to sing when the other shall be- out of humour!

Here is a "World" by Lord Chesterfield:(624) the first part is very pretty, till it runs into witticism. I have marked the passages I particularly like.

You would not draw Henry IV. at a siege for me: pray don't draw Louis XV.(625

(620) Lord Chesterfield, in a letter to Mr. Dayrolles, of the 4th of this month, says, "the next which now draws very near, will, I believe, be a very troublesome one; and I really think it very doubtful whether the subsidiary treaties with Russia and Cassel will be carried or not. To be sure, much may be said against both; but yet I dread the consequences of rejecting them by Parliament, since they are made."-E.

(621) This is an allusion to a contemplated marriage between the Prince of Wales, afterwards George the Third, and a daughter of the Duke of Brunswick Wolfenbuttle. The following is Lord Waldegrave's account of this project:—"An event happened about the middle of the summer, which engaged Leicester House still deeper in faction than they at first intended. The Prince of Wales was just entering into his eighteenth year; and being of a modest, sober disposition, with a healthy, vigorous constitution, it might reasonably be supposed that a matrimonial companion might be no unacceptable amusement. The Duchess of Brunswick Wolfenbuttle, with her two unmarried daughters, waited on his Majesty at Hanover. The older, both as to person and understanding, was a most accomplished Princess: the King was charmed with her cheerful, modest, and sensible behaviour, and wished to make her his granddaughter, being too old to make her his wife. I remember his telling me, with great eagerness, that had he been only twenty years younger, she would never have been refused by a Prince of Wales, but should at once have been Queen of England. Now, whether his Majesty spoke seriously is very little to the purpose; his grandson's happiness was undoubtedly his principal object; and he was desirous the match might be concluded before his own death, that the Princess of Wales should have no temptation to do a Job for her relations, by marrying her son to one of the Saxe Gotha family, who might not have the amiable accomplishments of the Princess of Wolfenbuttle. The King's intentions, it may easily be imagined, were not agreeable to the Princess of Wales. She knew the temper of the Prince her son; that he was by nature indolent, hated business, but loved a domestic life, and would make an excellent husband. She knew also that the young Princess, having merit and understanding equal to her beauty, must in a short time have the greatest influence over him. In which circumstances, it may naturally be concluded that her Royal Highness did every thing in her Power to prevent the match. The Prince of Wales was taught to believe that he was to be made a sacrifice merely to gratify the King's private interest in the electorate of Hanover. The young Princess was most cruelly misrepresented; many even of her perfections were aggravated into faults; his Royal Highness implicitly believing every idle tale and improbable assertion, till his prejudice against her amounted to aversion itself." Memoirs, p. 39.-E.

(622) The following is Dr. Burney's account:—"Upon the success of Jomelli's 'Andromaca' a damp was thrown by the indisposition of Mingotti, during which Frasi was called upon to play her part in that opera; when suspicion arising, that Mingotti's was a mere dramatic and political cold, the public was much out of humour, till she resumed her function in Metastasio's admirable drama of 'Demofoonte,' in which she acquired more applause, and augmented her theatrical consequence beyond any period of her performance in England."-E.

(623) "Ricciarelli was a neat and pleasing performer, with a clear, flexible, and silver-toned voice; but so much inferior to Mingotti, both in singing and acting, that he was never in very high favour." Burney.-E.

(624) No. 146, Advice to the Ladies on their return to the country.-E.

(625) Alluding to the subject Mr. Walpole had proposed to him for a picture, in the letter of the 15th of August (letter 143), and to the then expected invasion of' England by Louis XV.

284 Letter 155 To John Chute, Esq.(626) Arlington Street, October 20, 1755.

You know, my dear Sir, that I do not love to have you taken unprepared: the last visit I announced to you was of the Lord Dacre of the South and of the Lady Baroness, his spouse: the next company you may expect will be composed of the Prince of Soubise and twelve thousand French; though, as winter is coming on, they will scarce stay in the country, but hasten to London. I need not protest to you I believe, that I am serious, and that an invasion before Christmas will certainly be attempted; you will believe me at the first word. It is a little hard, however! they need not envy us General Braddock's laurels; they were not in such quantity!

Parliamentary and subsidiary politics are in great ferment. I could tell you much if I saw you; but I will not while you stay there—yet, as I am a true friend and not to be changed by prosperity, I can't neglect offering YOU my services when I am cens'e to be well with a minister. It is so long since I was, and I believe so little a while that I shall be so,, (to be sure, I mean that he will be minister,) that I must faire valoir my interest, while I have any-in short, shall I get you one of these new independent companies ?-Hush! don't tell Mr. Muntz how powerful I am: his warlike spirit will want to coincide with my ministerial one; and it would be very inconvenient to the Lords Castlecomers to have him knocked on the head before he had finished all the strawberries and vines that we lust after.

I had a note from Gray, who is still at Stoke; and he desired I would tell you, that he has continued pretty well. Do come. Adieu!

Lottery tickets rise: subsidiary treaties under par—I don't say, no price. Lord Robert Bertie, with a company of the Guards, has thrown himself into Dover castle; don't they sound very war-full?

(626) Now first printed.

285 Letter 156 To Sir Horace Mann. Strawberry Hill, Oct. 27, 1755.

When the newspapers swarm with our military preparations at home, with encampments, fire-ships, floating castles at the mouths of the great rivers, etc. in short, when we expect an invasion, you would chide, or be disposed to chide me, if I were quite silent-and yet, what can I tell you more than that an invasion is threatened? that sixteen thousand men are about Dunkirk, and that they are assembling great quantities of flat-bottomed boats! Perhaps they will attempt some landing; they are certainly full of resentment; they broke the peace, took our forts and built others on our boundaries; we did not bear it patiently; we retook two forts, attacked or have been going to attack others, and have taken vast numbers of their ships: this is the state of the provocation—what is more provoking, for once we have not sent twenty or thirty thousand men to Flanders on whom they might vent their revenge. Well! then they must come here, and perhaps invite the Pretender to be of the party; not in a very popular light for him, to be brought by the French in revenge of a national war. You will ask me, if we are alarmed? the people not at all so: a minister or two, who are subject to alarms, are—and that is no bad circumstances We are as much an island as ever, and I think a much less exposed one than we have been for many years. Our fleet is vast; our army at home, and ready, and two-thirds stronger than when we were threatened in 1744; the season has been the wettest that ever has been known, consequently the roads not very invade-able: and there is the additional little circumstance of the late rebellion defeated; I believe I may reckon too, Marshal Saxe dead. You see our situation is not desperate: in short, we escaped in '44, and when the rebels were at Derby in '45; we must have bad luck indeed, if we fall now.

Our Parliament meets in a fortnight; if no French come, our campaign there will be warm; nay, and uncommon, the opposition will be chiefly composed of men in place. You know we always refine; it used to be an imputation on our senators, that they opposed to get places. They now oppose to get better places! We are a comical nation (I Speak with all due regard to our gravity!)-It were a pity we should be destroyed, if it were only for the sake of posterity; we shall not be half so droll, if we are either a province to France, or under an absolute prince of our own.

I am sorry you are losing my Lord Cork; you must balance the loss with that of Miss Pitt,(627) who is a dangerous inmate. You ask me if I have seen Lord Northumberland's Triumph of Bacchus;(628) I have not: you know I never approved the thought of those copies and have adjourned my curiosity till the gallery is thrown open with the first masquerade. Adieu! my dear Sir.

(627) Elizabeth Pitt, sister of Lord Chatham@ She had been maid of honour to Augusta Princess of Wales; then lived openly with Lord Talbot as his mistress; went to Italy, turned Catholic, and married; came back, wrote against her brother, and a trifling pamphlet recommending magazines of corn, and called herself Clara Villiers Pitt.

(628) Hugh, Earl and afterwards Duke of Northumberland, bespoke at a great price five copies of capital pictures in Italy, by Mentz, Pompeo, Battoni, etc. for his gallery at Northumberland House.

286 Letter 157 To Richard Bentley, Esq. Strawberry Hill, October 31, 1755.

As the invasion is not ready, we are forced to take up with a victory. An account came yesterday, that General Johnson(629) had defeated the French near the lake St. Sacrement, had killed one thousand, and taken the lieutenant-general who commanded them prisoner! his name is Dieskau, a Saxon, an esteemed 'el'eve of Marshal Saxe. By the printed account, which I enclose, Johnson showed great generalship and bravery. As the whole business was done by irregulars, it does not lessen the faults of Braddock, and the panic of his troops. If I were so disposed, I could conceive that there are heroes in the world who are not quite pleased with this extra- martinette success(630)—but we won't blame those Alexanders, till they have beaten the French in Kent! You know it will be time enough to abuse them, when they have done all the service they can! The other enclosed paper is another World,(631) by my Lord Chesterfield; not so pretty, I think, as the last; yet it has merit. While England and France are at war, and Mr. Fox and Mr. Pitt going to war, his lordship is coolly amusing himself at picquet at Bath with a Moravian baron, who would be in prison, if his creditors did not occasionally release him to play with and cheat my Lord Chesterfield, as the only chance they have for recovering their- money!

We expect the Parliament to be thronged., and great animosities. I will not send you one of the eggs that are laid; for so many political ones have been addled of late years, that I believe all the state game-cocks in the world are impotent.

I did not doubt but u would be struck with the death of poor Bland.(632) I, t'other night, at White's, found a very remarkable entry in our very-very remarkable wager-book: "Lord Mountford(633) bets Sir John Bland twenty guineas that Nash outlives Cibbor!" How odd that these two old creatures, selected for their antiquities, should live to see both their wagerers put an end to their own lives! Cibber is within a few days of eighty-four, still hearty, and clear, and well. I told him I was glad to see him look so well: "Faith," said he, "it is very well that I look at all!"—I shall thank you for the Ormer shells and roots; and shall desire your permission to finish my letter already. As the Parliament is to meet so soon, you are likely to be overpowered with my despatches.—I have been thinning my wood of trees and planting them out more into the field: I am fitting up the old kitchen for a china-room: I am building a bedchamber for my self over the old blue-room, in which I intend to die, though not yet; and some trifles of this kind, which I do not specify to you, because I intend to reserve a little to be quite new to you. Adieu!

(629) In the Following month created Sir William Johnson, Bart. Parliament was so satisfied with his conduct on this occasion, that it voted him the sum of 5000 pounds. He afterwards distinguished himself as a negotiator with the Indian tribes, and was ultimately chosen colonel of the Six Nations, and superintendent of Indian affairs for the northern parts of America. He became well acquainted with the manners and language of the Indians, and in 1772, sent to the Royal Society some valuable communications relative to them. He died in 1774.-E.

(630) Alluding to the Duke of Cumberland.

(631) No. 148, On Civility and Good-breeding.-E.

(632) Sir John Bland, member for Luggershall. The event took place on the road between Calais and Paris.-E.

(633) Lord Mountford would have been the winner. Colley Cibber died in 1757: Beau Nash survived till 1761. A very entertaining Memoir of the King of Bath will be found in Mr. Murray's enlarged and elegant edition of Goldsmith's Miscellaneous Works. It is matter of surprise, that so many pieces, from the pen of the delightful author of the Vicar of Wakefield, should have so long remained uncollected.-E.

287 Letter 158 To George Montagu, Esq. Strawberry Hill, Nov. 8, 1755.

My dear sir, You oblige me extremely by giving me this commission; and though I am exceedingly unlike Solomon in every thing else, I will at least resemble him in remembering you to the Hiram from whom I obtained my cedars of libanus. He is by men called Christopher Gray, nurseryman at Fulham. I mention cedars first, because they are the most beautiful of the evergreen race, and because they are the dearest; half a guinea apiece in baskets. The arbutus are scarce a crown apiece, but they are very beautiful: the lignumvitae I would not recommend to you; they stink abominably if you touch them, and never make a handsome tree: The Chinese arborvitae is very beautiful. I have a small nursery myself, scarce bigger than one of those pleasant gardens which Solomon describes, and which if his fair one meant the church, I suppose must have meant the churchyard. Well, out of this little parsley-bed of mine, I can furnish you with a few plants, particularly three Chinese arborvitaes, a dozen of the New England or Lord Weymouth's pine, which is that beautiful tree that we have so much admired at the Duke of Argyle's for its clean straight stem, the lightness of its hairy green, and for being feathered quite to the ground: they should stand in a moist soil, and Care must be taken every year to clear away all plants and trees round them, that they may have free air and room to expand themselves. Besides these' I shall send you twelve stone or Italian pine, twelve pinasters, twelve black spruce firs, two Caroline cherries, thirty evergreen cytisus, a pretty shrub that grows very fast, and may be cut down as you please, fifty Spanish brooms, and six acacias, the genteelest tree of all, but you must take care to plant them in a first row, and where they will be well sheltered, for the least wind tears and breaks them to pieces. All these are ready, whenever you will give me directions, how and where to send them. They are exceedingly small, as I have but lately taken to propagate myself; but then they will travel more safely, will be more sure of living, and will grow faster than larger. Other sorts Of trees that you must have, are silver and Scotch firs; Virginia cedars, which should stand forwards and have nothing touch them; and above all cypresses, which, I think, are my chief passion; there is nothing So picturesque, where they Stand two or three in a clump, upon a little hillock, or rising above low shrubs, and particularly near buildings. There is another bit of picture, of which I am fond, and that is a larch or a spruce fir planted behind a weeping willow, and shooting upwards as the willow depends. I think for courts about a house, or winter gardens, almond trees mixed with evergreens, particularly with Scotch firs, have a pretty effect, before any thing else comes out; whereas almond trees being generally planted among other trees, and being in bloom before other trees have leaves, have no ground to show the beauty of their blossoms. Gray at Fulham sells cypresses in pots at half a crown apiece; you turn them out of the pot with all their mould, and they never fall. I think this is all you mean; if you have anymore garden-questions or commissions, you know you command my little knowledge.

I am grieved that you have still any complaints left. Dissipation, in my opinion, will be the best receipt; and I do not speak merely for my own sake, when I tell you, how much I wish to have you keep your resolution of coming to town before Christmas. I am still more pleased with the promise you make to Strawberry, which you have never seen in its green coat since it cut its teeth. I am here all alone, and shall stay till Tuesday, the day after the birthday. On Thursday begins our warfare, and if we may believe signs and tokens, our winter will be warlike-. I mean at home; I have not much faith in the invasion. Her Royal Highness and His Royal Highness(634) are likely to come to an open rupture. His grace of Newcastle, who, I think, has gone under every nickname, waits, I believe to see to which he will cling. There have been two Worlds by my Lord Chesterfield lately, very pretty, the rest very indifferent.

(634) The Princess Dowager and the Duke of Cumberland.

289 Letter 159 To The Hon. H. S. Conway. Arlington street, Nov. 15, 1755.

I promised you histories, and there are many people that take care I should have it in my power to keep my word. To begin in order, I should tell you that there were 289 members at the Cockpit meeting, the greatest number ever known there: but Mr. Pitt, who is too great a general to regard numbers, especially when there was a probability of no great harmony between the commanders, did not, however, postpone giving battle. The engagement was not more decisive than long: we sat till within a quarter of five in the morning; an uninterrupted serious debate from before two. Lord Hillsborough moved the address, and very injudiciously supposed an opposition. Martin, Legge's secretary, moved to omit in the address the indirect approbation of the treaties, and the direct assurances of protection to Hanover. These questions were at length divided: and against Pitt's inclination, the last, which was the least unpopular, was first decided by a majority of 311 against 105. Many then went away; and on the next division the numbers were 290 to 89. These are the general outlines. The detail of the speeches, which were very long, and some extremely fine, it would be impossible to give you in any compass. On the side of the opposition, (which I must tell you by the way, though it set out decently, seems extremely resolved) the speakers (I name them in their order) were: the 3d Colebrook, Martin, Northey, Sir Richard Lyttelton, Doddington, George Grenville, Sir F. Dashwood, Beckford, Sir G. Lee, Legge, Potter, Dr. Hay, George Townshend, Lord Egmont, Pitt, and Admiral Vernon on the other side were, Lord Hillsborough, Obrien, young Stanhope,(635) Hamilton, Alstone, Ellis, Lord Barrington, Sir G. Lyttelton, Nugent, Murray, Sir T. Robinson, my uncle, and Mr. Fox. As short as I can, I will give you an account of them. Sir Richard, Beckford, Potter, G. Townshend, the Admiral of course, Martin, Stanhope, and Ellis, were very bad: Doddington was well, but very acceding: Dr. Hay by no means answers his reputation; it was easy but not striking. Lord Egmont was doubting, absurd, and obscure. Sir G. Lee and Lord Barrington were much disliked; I don't think so deservedly. Poor Alstone was mad, and spoke ten times to order. Sir George(636) our friend, was dull and timid. Legge was the latter. Nugent roared, and Sir Thomas rumbled. My uncle did justice to himself, and was as wretched and dirty as his whole behaviour for his coronet has been. Mr. Fox was extremely fatigued, and did little. Geo. Grenville's was very fine and much beyond himself, and very pathetic. The Attorney-general(637) in the same style, and very artful, was still finer. Then there was a young Mr. Hamilton,(638) who spoke for the first time, and was at Once perfection: his speech set, and full of antithesis, but those antitheses were full of argument: indeed his speech was the most argumentative of the whole day; and he broke through the regularity of his own composition, answered other people, and fell into his own track again with the greatest ease. His figure is advantageous, his voice strong and clear, his manner spirited, and the whole with the ease of an established speaker. You will ask, what could be beyond this? Nothing, but what was beyond what ever was, and that was Pitt! He spoke at past one, for an hour and thirty-five minutes: there was more humour, wit, vivacity, finer language, more boldness, in short, more astonishing perfections, than even you who are used to him, can conceive. He was not abusive, yet very attacking on all sides: he ridiculed my Lord Hillsborough, crushed poor Sir George, terrified the Attorney, lashed my Lord Granville, painted my Lord of Newcastle, attacked Mr. Fox, and even hinted up to the Duke.(639) A few of the Scotch were in the minority, and most of the Princess's people, not all: all the Duke of Bedford's in the majority. He himself spoke in the other House for the address (though professing incertainty about the treaties themselves), against my Lord Temple and Lord Halifax, without a division. My Lord Talbot was neuter; he and I were of a party: my opinion was strongly with the opposition; I could not vote for the treaties; I would not vote against Mr. Fox. It is ridiculous perhaps, at the end of such a debate, to give an account of my own silence; and as it is of very little consequence what I did, so it is very unlike me to justify myself. You know how much I hate professions of integrity; and my pride is generally too great to care what the generality of people say of me: but your heart is good enough to make me wish you should think well of mine.

You will want to know what is to be the fate of the ministry in opposition: but that I can't tell you. I don't believe they have determined what to do, more than oppose, nor that it is determined what to do with them. Though it is clear that it is very humiliating to leave them in place, you may conceive several reasons why it is not eligible to dismiss them. You know where you are, how easy it is to buy an opposition who have not places; but tell us what to do with an opposition that has places? If you say, Turn them out; I answer, That is not the way to quiet any opposition, or a ministry so constituted as ours at present. Adieu!

(635) Son of the Earl of Chesterfield; who upon this occasion addressed the House for the first time. "His father," says Dr. Maty, "took infinite pains to prepare him for his first appearance as a speaker. The young man seems to have succeeded tolerably well upon the whole, but on account of his shyness was obliged to stop, and, if I am not mistaken, to have recourse to his notes. Lord Chesterfield used every argument in his power to comfort him, and to inspire him with confidence and courage to make some other attempt; but I have not heard that Mr. Stanhope ever spoke again in the House."- E.

(636) Sir George Lyttelton.

(637) William Murray, afterwards Lord Mansfield.

(638) William Gerard Hamilton. It was this speech which, not being followed, as was naturally expected, by repeated exhibitions of similar eloquence, acquired for him the name of single-speech Hamilton.

(639) The Duke of Cumberland.

291 Letter 160 To Richard Bentley, Esq. Arlington Street, November 16, 1755.

Never was poor invulnerable Immortality so soon brought to shame! Alack! I have had the gout! would fain have persuaded myself that it was a sprain: and, then, that it was only the gout come to look for Mr. Chute at Strawberry Hill: but none of my evasions will do! I was, certainly, lame for two days; and though I repelled it—first, by getting wet-shod, and then by spirits of camphor; and though I have since tamed it more rationally by leaving off the little wine I drank, I still know where to look for it whenever I have an occasion for a political illness. Come, my constitution is not very much broken, when, in four days after such a mortifying attack, I could sit in the House of Commons, full as possible, from two at noon till past five in the morning, as we did but last Thursday. The new opposition attacked the address. Who are the new opposition? Why, the old opposition— Pitt and the Grenvilles; indeed, with Legge instead of Sir George Lyttelton. Judge how entertaining it was to me to hear Lyttelton answer Grenville, and Pitt Lyttelton! The debate, long and uninterrupted as it was, was a great deal of it extremely fine: the numbers did not answer to the merit: the new friends, the Duke of Newcastle and Mr. Fox, had 311 to 105. The bon-mot in fashion is, that the staff was very good, but they wanted private Men. Pitt surpassed himself, and then I need not tell you that he surpassed Cicero and Demosthenes. What a figure would they, with their formal, laboured, cabinet orations, make vis-'a-vis his manly vivacity and dashing eloquence at one o'clock in the morning, after sitting in that heat for eleven hours! He spoke above an hour and a half, with scarce a bad sentence: the most admired part was a comparison he drew of the two parts of the new administration, to the conflux of the Rhone and the Saone; "the latter a gentle, feeble, languid stream, languid but not deep; the other a boisterous and overbearing torrent; but they joined at last; and long may they continue united, to the comfort of each other, and to the glory, honour, and happiness of this nation!" I hope you are not mean-spirited enough to dread an invasion, when the senatorial contests are reviving in the temple of Concord.-But will it make a party? Yes, truly: I never saw so promising a prospect. Would not it be cruel, at such a period, to be laid up?

I have only had a note from you to promise me a letter; but it is not arrived:—but the partridges are, and well; and I thank you.

England seems returning:(640) for those who are not in Parliament, there are nightly riots at Drury-lane, where there is an anti-Gallican party against some French dancers. The young men of quality have protected them till last night, when, being Opera night, the galleries were victorious.(641)

Montagu writes me many kind things for you; he is in Cheshire, but comes to town this winter. Adieu! I have so much to say, that I have time to say but very little.

P. S. George Selwyn hearing much talk of a sea-war or a continent, said, , I am for a sea-war and a continent admiral."

(640) Walpole means the disposition towards mobs and rioting at public places, which was then common among young men, and had been a sort of fashion in his early youth.-E.

(641) A spectacle brought out by Garrick, in the beginning of this month, at Drury-lane gave great offence to the public, in consequence of the number of foreigners employed in it; and, on the sixth representation, a violent riot took place, by which a damage to the theatre was incurred of several thousand pounds.-E.

292 Letter 161 To Sir Horace Mann. Arlington Street, Nov. 16, 1755.

I have received a letter from you of Oct. 25th, full of expectation of the invasion I announced to you-but we have got two new parties erected, and if you imagine that the invasion is attended to, any more than as it is played off by both those parties, you know little of England. The Parliament met three days ago: we have been so un-English lately as to have no parties at all, have now got what never was seen before, an opposition in administration. Mr. Pitt, Mr. Legge, and their adherents, no great number, have declared open and unrelenting war with the Duke of Newcastle and Mr. Fox; and on the address, which hinted approbation of the late treaties, and promised direct support of Hanover, we sat till five the next morning. If eloquence could convince, Mr. Pitt would have had more than 105 against 31 1; but it is long since the arts of persuasion were artful enough to persuade-rhetoric was invented before places and commissions! The expectation of the world is suspended, to see whether these gentlemen will resign or be dismissed: perhaps neither; perhaps they may continue in place and opposition; perhaps they may continue in place and not oppose. Bossuet wrote "L'Histoire des Variations de l'Eglise"-I think I could make as entertaining a history, though not so well written, "des Variations de l'Etat:"i mean of changes and counterchanges of party. The Duke of Newcastle thought himself undone, beat up all quarters for support, and finds himself stronger than ever. Mr. Fox was thought SO unpopular, that his support was thought as dangerous as want of defence; every thing bows to him. The Tories hate both him and Pitt so much, that they sit still to see them worry one another; they don't seem to have yet found out that while there are parts and ambition, they will be obliged to follow and to hate by turns every man who has both.

I don't at all understand my Lady Orford's politics; but that is no wonder, when I am sure she does not understand ours. Nobody knows what to make of the French inactivity: if they intend some great stroke, the very delay and forbearance tells us to prepare for it, and a surprise prepared for loses much of its value. For my own part, I have not prophetic sagacity enough to foresee what will be even the probable event either of our warlike or domestic politics. I desired your brother to write you an account of General Johnson's victory; the only great circumstance in our favour that has happened yet. The greatest mystery of all is the conduct of Admiral Boscawen: since he left England, though they write private letters to their friends, he and all his officers have not sent a single line to the Admiralty; after great pain and uncertainty about him, a notion prevailed yesterday, how well-founded I know not, that without any orders he is gone to attack Louisbourgh-considering all I have mentioned, he ought to be very sure of success. Adieu! my dear Sir, I have told you the heads of all I know, and have not time to be more particular.

P. S. I am glad to be able to contradict an untruth, before I send it away -. Admiral Boscawen and his fleet are arrived, and have brought along with them a French man-of-war of seventy-four guns.

293 Letter 162 To George Montagu, Esq. Arlington Street, November 25, 1755.

I have been so hurried since I came to town, and so enclosed in the House of Commons, that I have not been able to write a line sooner. I now write, to notify that your plants will set out according to your direction next Monday, and are ordered to be left at Namptwich.

I differ with the doctors about planting evergreens in spring; if it happens to be wet weather, it may be better than exposing them to a first winter: but the cold dry winds, that generally prevail in spring, are ten times more pernicious. In my own opinion, the end of September is the best season, for then they shoot before the hard weather comes. But the plants I send you are so very small, that they are equally secure in any season, and would bear removing in the middle of summer; a handful of dung will clothe them all for the whole winter.

There is a most dreadful account of an earthquake in Lisbon,(642) but several people will not believe it. There have been lately such earthquakes and waterquakes, and rocks rent, and other strange phenomena, that one would think the world exceedingly out of repair. I am not prophet enough to believe that such convulsions relate solely to the struggles between Mr. Pitt and Mr. Fox, or even portend any between the Georges and Jameses. You have already heard, I suppose, that Pitt, Legge, and George Grenville, are dismissed, and that Sir George Lyttelton is chancellor of the exchequer. My Lord Temple says that Sir George Lyttelton said he would quit his place when they did, and that he has kept his word! The world expects your cousin to resign; but I believe all efforts are used to retain him. Joan, the fair maid of Saxe-Gotha, did not speak to Mr. Fox or Sir George when they kissed her hand last Sunday. No more places are vacated or filled up yet.

It is an age since I have heard from Mr. Bentley; the war or the weather have interrupted all communication. Adieu! let me know at your leisure, when one is likely to see you.

(642) The dreadful earthquake, on the 1st of November, which laid nearly the whole city in ruins. The number of inhabitants who lost their lives was variously reported, but generally estimated at about ten thousand.-E.

294 Letter 163 To Sir Horace Mann. Arlington Street, Dec. 4, 1755.

Long before you receive this, my dear Sir, you will have learned general, if not particular accounts of the dreadful desolation at Lisbon: the particulars indeed are not yet come hither; all we have heard hitherto is from France, and from Sir Benjamin Keene at Madrid. The catastrophe is greater than ever happened even in your neighbourhood, Naples. Our share is very considerable, and by some reckoned at four millions. We are despatching a ship with a present of an hundred thousand pounds in provisions and necessaries, for they want every thing. There have been Kings of Spain who would have profited of such a calamity; but the present MONARCH has only acted as if he had a title to Portugal, by showing himself a father to that people.(643)

We are settled, politically, into a regular opposition. Mr. Pitt, Mr. Legge, and George Grenville have received their dismissions, and oppose regularly. Sir George Lyttelton, who last year with that connexion, is made chancellor of the exchequer. As the subsidies are not yet voted, and as the opposition, though weak in numbers, are very strong in speakers, no other places will be given away till Christmas, that the re-elections may be made in the holidays.

There are flying reports that General Johnson, our only hero at present, has taken Crown Point, but the report is entirely unconfirmed by any good authority. The invasion that I announced to you, is very equivocal; there is some suspicion that it was only called in as an ally to the subsidiary treaties: many that come from France say, that on their coasts they are dreading an invasion from us. Nothing is certain but their forbearance and good breeding-the meaning of that is very uncertain.

Shall I send away a letter with only these three paragraphs! I must if I write at all. There are no private news at all! the earthquake, the opposition, and the war, are the only topics; each of those topics will be very fruitful, and you shall hear of their offspring-at present, good night!

(643) The Spanish monarch did not long preserve that spirit of justice.

295 Letter 164 To Richard Bentley, Esq. Arlington Street, Dec. 17, 1755.

After an immense interval, I have at last received a long letter from you, of a very old date (November 5th), which amply indemnifies my patience - nay, almost makes me amends for your blindness; for I think, unless you had totally lost your eyes, you would not refuse me a pleasure so easy to yourself as now and then sending me a drawing. I can't call it laziness; one may be too idle to amuse one's self, but sure one is never so fond of idleness as to prefer it to the power of obliging a person one loves! And yet I own your letter has made me amends, the wit of your pen recompenses the stupidity of your pencil; the caestus you have taken up supplies a little the artem you have relinquished. I could quote twenty passages that have charmed me: the picture of Lady Prudence and her family; your idol that gave you hail when you prayed for sunshine; misfortune the teacher of superstition; unmarried people being the fashion in heaven; the Spectator- hacked phrases; Mr. Spence's blindness to Pope's mortality; and, above all, the criticism on the Queen in Hamlet, is most delightful. There never was so good a ridicule of all the formal commentators on Shakspeare, nor so artful a banter on himself for so improperly making her Majesty deal in double-entendres at a funeral. In short, I never heard as much wit, except in a speech with which mr. Pitt concluded the debate t'other day on the treaties. His antagonists endeavour to disarm him, but as fast as they deprive him of one weapon, he finds a better; I never suspected him of such an universal armoury-I knew he had a Gorgon's head, composed of bayonets and pistols, but little thought that he could tickle to death with a feather. On the first debate on these famous treaties, last Wednesday, Hume Campbell, whom the Duke of Newcastle had retained as the most abusive counsel he could find against Pitt (and hereafter perhaps against Fox), attacked the former for eternal invectives. Oh! since the last philippic of Billingsgate memory you never heard such an invective as Pitt returned-Hume Campbell was annihilated! Pitt, like an angry wasp, seems to have left his sting in the wound, and has since assumed a style of delicate ridicule and repartee. But think how charming a ridicule must that be that lasts and rises, flash after flash, for an hour and a half! Some day or other, perhaps you will see some of the glittering splinters that I gathered up. I have written under his print these lines, which are not only full as just as the original, but have not the tautology of loftiness and majesty:

""Three orators in distant ages born, Greece, Italy, and England did adorn; The first in loftiness of thought surpass'd, The next in language, but in- both the last: The power of Nature could no farther go; To make a third, she join'd the former two."

Indeed, we have wanted such an entertainment to enliven and make the fatigue supportable. We sat on Wednesday till ten at night; on Friday till past three in the morning; on Monday till between nine and ten.(644) We have profusion of orators, and many very great, which is surprising so soon after the leaden age(645 of the late Right Honourable Henry Saturnus!(646) The majorities are as great as in Saturnus's golden age.

Our changes are begun; but not being made at once, our very changes change. Lord Duplin and Lord Darlington are made joint paymasters: George Selwyn says, that no act ever showed so much the Duke of Newcastle's absolute power as his being able to make Lord Darlington a paymaster. That so often repatriated and reprostituted Doddington is again to be treasurer of the navy; and he again drags out Harry Furnese into the treasury. The Duke of Leeds is to be cofferer, and Lord Sandwich emerges so far as to be chief justice in eyre. The other parts by the comedians; I don't repeat their names, because perhaps the fellow that to-day is designed to act Guildenstern, may to-morrow be destined to play half the part of the second grave-digger.(647) However, they are all to kiss hands on Saturday. mr. Pitt told me to-day that he should not go to Bath till next week. "I fancy," said I, "you scarce stay to kiss hands."

With regard to the invasion, which you are so glad to be allowed to fear, I must tell you that it is quite gone out of fashion again, and I really believe was dressed up for a vehicle (as the apothecaries call it) to make us swallow the treaties. All along the coast of France they are much more afraid of an invasion than we are.

As obliging as you are in sending me plants, I am determined to thank you for nothing but drawings. I am not to be bribed to silence, when you really disoblige me. Mr. Muntz has ordered more cloths for you. I even shall send you books unwillingly; and, indeed, why should I? As you are stone-blind, what can you do with them? The few I shall send you, for there are scarce any now, will be a pretty dialogue by Cr'ebillon; a strange imperfect poem, written by Voltaire when he was very young, which with some charming strokes has a great deal of humour manqu'e and of impiety estropi'ee; and an historical romance, by him too, of the last war, in which is so outrageous a lying anecdote of old Marlborough, as would have convinced her, that when poets write history they stick as little to truth in prose as in verse. Adieu!

(644) Lord Chesterfield, in a letter to Mr. Dayrolles of the 19th, says, "The House of Commons sits three or four times a week till nine or ten at night, and sometimes till four or five in the morning; so attentive are they to the good of their dear country. That zeal has of late transported them into much personal abuse. Even our insignificant House sat one day last week till past ten at night upon the Russian and Hessian treaties; but I was not able to sit it out, and left it at seven, more than half dead; for I took it into my head to speak upon them for near an hour, which fatigue, together with the heat of the house, very nearly annihilated me. I was for the Russian treaty as a prudent eventual measure at the beginning of a war, and probably preventive even of a war in that part of the world; but I could not help exposing, though without opposing, the Hessian treaty, which is, indeed, the most extraordinary one I ever saw."-E.

(645) " Here, pleased, behold her mighty wings outspread, To hatch a new Saturnian age of Lead." Dunciad.-E.

(646) Mr. Pelham.

(647) "Places," writes Lord Chesterfield to Mr. Dayrolles on the 19th, "are emptying and filling every day. The patriot of Monday is the courtier of Tuesday, and the courtier of Wednesday is the patriot of Thursday. This, indeed, has more or less been long the case, but I really think never so impudently and so profligately as now. @The power is all falling from his Grace's into Fox's hands; which, you may remember, I told you long ago would happen."-E.

297 Letter 165 To George Montagu, Esq. Arlington Street, Dec. 20, 1755.

I am very much pleased that you are content with what are to be trees a thousand years hence, though they were the best my Libanus afforded. I was afraid you would think I had sent you a bundle of picktooths, instead of pines and firs: may you live to chat under their shade! I am still more pleased to hear that you are to be happy in some good fortune to the Colonel: he deserves it; but, alas! what a claim is that! Whatever makes him happy, makes you so, and consequently me.

A regular opposition, composed of immense abilities, has entertained us for this month. George Grenville, Legge, a Dr. Hay, a Mr. Elliot, have shone; Charles Townshend lightened; Pitt has rode in the whirlwind, and directed the storm with abilities beyond the common reach of the genii of a tempest. As soon as that storm has a little spent its fury, the dew of preferments begins to fall and fatten the land. Moses and Aaron differ indeed a little in which shall dispense the manna, and both struggle for their separate tribes. Earl Gower is privy seal, the Lords Darlington and Dublin joint paymasters, Lord Gage paymaster of the pensions, Mr. O'Brien in the treasury. That old rag of a dishclout ministry, Henry Furnese, is to be the other lord. Lord Bateman and Dick Edgcumbe(648) are the new admirals; Rigby, Soame Jennings, and Talbot the Welsh judge, lords of trade; the Duke of Leeds cofferer, Lord Sandwich chief justice in eyre, Ellis and Lord Sandys (autre dishclout) divide the half of the treasury of Ireland, George Selwyn paymaster of the board of works, Arundel is to have a pension in Ireland, and Lord Hillsborough succeeds him -,is treasurer of the chambers, though I thought he was as fond of his white staff as my Lord Hobart will be, who is to have it. There, if you love new politics! You understand, to make these vacancies, that Charles Townshend and John Pitt are added to the dismissed and dead.

My Lord Townshend is dying; the young Lord Pembroke marries the charming Lady Betty Spencer.(649) The French are thought to have passed eldest as to England, and to intend to take in Hanover. I know an old potentate who had rather have the gout in his stomach than in that little toe. Adieu! I have sent your letter; make my compliments, and come to town.

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