"SIR, "I DATE this from shady bowers, nodding groves, and amaranthine shades,—close by old Father Thames's silver side- -fair Twickenham's luxurious shades—Richmond's near neighbour, where great George the King resides. You will wonder at my prolixity—in my last I informed you that I was going into the country to transact business for a private gentleman. This gentleman is the Hon. Horatio Walpole, son to the late great Sir Robert Walpole, who is very studious, and an admirer of all the liberal arts and sciences; amongst the rest he admires printing. He has fitted out a complete printing-house at this his country seat, and has done me the favour to make me sole manager and operator (there being no one but myself). All men of genius resorts his house, courts his company, and admires his understanding—what with his own and their writings, I believe I shall be pretty well employed.—I have pleased him, and I hope continue so to do. Nothing can be more warm than the weather has been here this time past; they have in London, by the help of glasses, roasted in the artillery-ground fowls and quarters of lamb. The coolest days that I have felt since May last are equal to, nay, far exceed the warmest I ever felt in Ireland. The place I am in now is all my comfort from the heat—the situation Of it is close to the Thames, and is Richmond Gardens (if you were ever in them) in miniature, surrounded by bowers, groves, cascades, and ponds, and on a rising ground, not very common in this part of the country—the building elegant, and the furniture of a peculiar taste, magnificent and superb He is a bachelor, and spends his time in the studious rural taste—not like his father, lost in the weather-beaten vessel of state— many people censured, but his conduct was far better than our late pilots at the helm, and more to the interest of England- -they follow his advice now, and court the assistance of Spain, instead of provoking a war, for that was ever against England's interest."
I laughed for an hour at this picture of myself, which is much more like to the studious magician in the enchanted opera of Rinaldo; not but Twickenham has a romantic genteelness that would figure in a more luxurious climate. It was but yesterday that we had a new kind of auction-it was of the orange-trees and plants of your old acquaintance, Admiral Martin. It was one of the warm days of this jubilee summer, which appears only once in fifty years—the plants were disposed in little clumps about the lawn: the company walked to bid from one to the other, and the auctioneer knocked down the lots on the orange tubs. Within three doors was an auction of china. You did not imagine that we were such a metropolis! Adieu!
(811) The battle at Hastenbeck.
(812) Gray, in a letter to Dr. Wharton, of the 17th of August, says, "I hear we are not at all popular: the great objection is obscurity: nobody knows what we would be at: one man, a peer, I have been told of, that think's -the last stanza of The second Ode relates to Charles the First and Oliver Cromwell; in short, the zuveroi appear to be still fewer than even, I expected." Works, vol. iii. p. 165-E.
(813) William Robinson, first printer to the press at Strawberry Hill.
390 Letter 233 To George Montagu, Esq. Strawberry Hill, Aug. 4, 1757.
I shall to-morrow deliver to your agentess, Mrs. Moreland, something to send to you.
The Duke(814) is beaten by the French; he and his family are safe; I know no more particulars-if I did, I should say, as I have just said to Mr. Chute, I am too busy about something to have time to write them. Adieu!
(814) The Duke of Cumberland, in the affair of Hastenbeck.
391 Letter 234 To The Hon. H. S. Conway. Strawberry Hill, August 14, 1757.
You are too kind to me, and, if it were possible, would make me feel still more for your approaching departures.(815) I can only thank you ten thousand times; for I must not expatiate, both from the nature of the subject, and from the uncertainty of this letter reaching you. I was told yesterday, that you had hanged a French spy in the Isle of Wight; I don't mean you, but your government. Though I wish no life taken away, it was some satisfaction to think that the French were at this hour wanting information.
Mr. Fox breakfasted here t'other day. He confirmed -what you tell me of Lord Frederick Cavendish's account: it is universally said that the Duke failed merely by inferiority, the French soldiers behaving in general most scandalously. They had fourscore pieces of cannon, but very ill served. Marshal D'Estr'ees was recalled before the battle, but did not know it. He is said to have made some great mistakes in the action. I cannot speak to the truth of it, but the French are reported to have demanded two millions sterling of Hanover. My whole letter will consist of hearsays: for, even at so little distance from town, one gets no better news than hawkers and pedlars retail about the country. From such I hear that George Haldane(816) is made governor of Jamaica, and that a Mr. Campbell, whose father lives in Sweden, is going thither to make an alliance with that country, and hire twelve thousand men. If one of my acquaintance, as an antiquary, were alive, Sir Anthony Shirley,,(817) I suppose we should send him to Persia again for troops; I fear we shall get none nearer!
Adieu! my dearest Harry! Next to wishing your expedition still-born, my most constant thought is, how to be of any service to poor Lady Ailesbury, whose reasonable concern makes even that of the strongest friendship seem trifling. Yours most entirely.
(815) On the expedition to Rochfort.
(816) Brigadier-General Haldane.
(817) Sir Thomas, Sir Anthony, and Sir Robert Shirley, were three brothers, all great travellers, and all distinguished by extraordinary adventures in the reigns of Queen Elizabeth and James I.
392 Letter 235 To George Montagu, Esq. Strawberry Hill, August 25, 1757.
I did not know that you expected the pleasure of seeing the Colonel so soon. It is plain that I did not solicit leave of absence for him; make him my many compliments. I should have been happy to have seen you and Mr. John, but must not regret it, as you were so agreeably prevented. You are very particular, I can tell you, in liking Gray's Odes—but you must remember that the age likes Akenside, and did like Thomson! can the same people like both? Milton was forced to wait till the world had done admiring Quarles. Cambridge told me t'other night that my Lord Chesterfield heard Stanley read them as his own, but that must have been a mistake of my lord's deafness. Cambridge said, "Perhaps they are Stanley's; and not caring to own them, he gave them to Gray." I think this would hurt Gray's dignity ten times more than his poetry not succeeding. My humble share as his printer has been more favourably received. We proceed soberly. I must give you account of less amusements, des eaux de Strawberry. T'other day my Lady Rochfort, Lady Townshend, Miss Bland,(818) and the knight of the garter dined here, and were carried into the printing-office, and were to see the man print. There were some lines ready placed, which he took off; I gave them to Lady Townshend; here they are-
"The press speaks: >From me wits and poets their glory obtain; Without me their wit and their verses were vain. Stop, Townshend, and let me but print what you say; You, the fame I on others bestow, will repay."
They then asked, as I foresaw, to see the man compose: I gave him four lines out of the Fair Penitent, which he set; but while he went to place them in the press, I made them look at something else without their observing, and in an instant he whipped away what he had just set, and to their great surprise when they expected to see "Were ye, ye fair," he presented to my Lady Rochford the following lines:-
"The press speaks: In vain from your properest name you have flown, And exchanged lovely Cupid's for Hymen's dull throne; By my art shall your beauties be constantly sung, And in spite of yourself you shall ever be young."
You may imagine, whatever the poetry was, that the gallantry of it succeeded. Poor Mr. Bentley has been at the extremity with a fever, and inflammation in his bowels; but is so well recovered that Mr. Muntz is gone to fetch him hither to-day. I don't guess what sight I have to come in Hampshire, unless it is Abbotstone. I am pretty sure I have none to come at the Vine, where I have done nothing, as I see Mr. Chute will never execute any thing. The very altar-piece that I sent for to Italy is not placed yet. But when he could refrain from making the Gothic columbarium for his family, which I propose, and Mr. Bentley had drawn so divinely, it is not probable he should do any thing else. Adieu!
(818) Sister of the unfortunate Sir John Bland. See ant&, p. 287, letter 157.-E.
393 Letter 236 To The Hon. H. S. Conway.(819) Strawberry Hill, Thursday, Sept. 2, 1757.
Not being in town, there may be several more new productions, as the Grubbaea frutex blossoms every day; but I send you all I had gathered for myself, while I was there. I found the pamphlet much in vogue; and, indeed, it is written smartly. My Lady Townshend sends all her messages on the backs of these political cards; the only good one of which the two heads facing one another, is her son George's. Charles met D'Abreu t'other day, and told him he intended to make a great many speeches next winter; the first, said he, shall be to address the King not to send for any more foreign troops, but to send for some foreign ministers.
My Lord Chesterfield is relapsed: he sent Lord Bath word lately, that be was grown very lean and deaf: the other replied, that he could lend him some fat, and should be very glad at any time to lend him an ear.
I shall go to town on Monday, and if I find any thing else new, I will pack it up with a flower picture for Lady Ailesbury, which I shall leave in Warwick-street, with orders to be sent to you. Adieu!
(819) Now first printed.
393 Letter 237 To Sir Horace Mann. Strawberry Hill, Sept. 3, 1757.
having intended a journey into Warwickshire to see Lady Hertford while my lord is in Ireland, and having accordingly ordered my letters thither, though without going, I did not receive yours of the 22d till last week; and though you desired an immediate acknowledgment of it, I own I did defer till I could tell you I had been at Linton,(820) from whence I returned yesterday. I had long promised your brother a visit; the immediate cause was very melancholy, and I must pass over it rapidly-in short, I am going to place an urn in the church there to our dear Gal.! If I could have divested myself of that thought, I should have passed my time very happily; the house is fine, and stands like the citadel of Kent; the whole county is its garden. So rich a prospect scarce wants my Thames. Mr. and Mrs. Foote(821) are settled there, two of the most agreeable and sensible people I ever met. Their eldest boy has the finest countenance in the world; your nephew Hory(822) was there too, and has a sweetness of temper, as if begot between your brother and you, and not between him and his Tusephone. Your eldest brother has not only established your sister Foote there, which looks well, but dropped very agreeable hints about Hory.
Your letter has confirmed my satisfaction about your situation about which indeed I am easy. I am persuaded you will remain at Florence as long as King George has any minister there. I do not imagine that a recall obliges you to return home; whether you could get your appointments continued is very different. It is certainly far from unprecedented: nay, more than one have received them at home—but that is a favour far beyond my reach to obtain. Should there be occasion, you must try all your friends, and all that have professed themselves so; your Mr. Pelham(823) might do something. In the mean time, neglect none of the ministers. If you could wind into a correspondence with Colonel Yorke,(824) at the Hague, he may be of great service to you. That family is very Powerful: the eldest brother, Lord Royston,(825) is historically curious and political: if without its appearing too forced, you could at any time send him uncommon letters, papers, manifestoes', and things of that sort, it might do good service. My dear child, I can give you better advice than assistance: I believe I have told you before, that I should rather hurt you than serve you by acting openly for you.
I told you in my last Admiral Boscawen's affair too strongly: he is not disgraced nor dismissed, but seems to reckon himself both. The story is far from exactly known: what I can sift out is, that he indulged himself in a great latitude in a most profitable station, was recalled against his inclination, for the present expedition; not being easily met, a second commander was appointed, whom it seems he did not much care to serve under at first. He does not serve at all, and his Boscawenhood is much more Boscawened; that is surely in the deepest shade. The wind has blown so constantly west for nearly three weeks, that we have not only received no mails from the continent, but the transports have been detained in the Downs, and the secret expedition has remained at anchor. I have prayed it might continue, but the wind has got to the east to-day. Having never been prejudiced in favour of this exploit, what must I think of it when the French have had such long notice?
We had a torrent of bad news yesterday from America, Lord Loudon has found an army of twenty-one thousand French, gives over the design on Louisbourg, and retires to Halifax. Admiral Holbourn writes, that they have nineteen ships to his seventeen, and he cannot attack them. It is time for England to slip her own cables, and float away into some unknown ocean!
Between disgraces and an inflammation in my eyes, it is time to conclude my letter. My eyes I have certainly weakened with using them too much at night. I went the other day to Scarlet's to buy green spectacles; he was mighty assiduous to give me a pair that would not tumble my hair. "Lord! Sir," said I, "when one is come to wear spectacles, what signifies how one looks?"
I hope soon to add another volume to your packet from my press. I shall now only print for presents; or to talk in a higher style, I shall only give my Louvre editions to privy-councillors and foreign ministers. Apropos! there is a book of this sacred sort which I wish I could by your means procure: it is the account, with plates, of what has been found at Herculaneum. You may promise the King of Naples in return all my editions. Adieu! my dear Sir.
I had sealed this up, and was just sending it to London, when I received yours of the 13th of this month. I am charmed with the success of your campaign at Leghorn-a few such generals or ministers would give a revulsion to our affairs.
You frighten me with telling me of innumerable copies taken of my inscription on the Pope's picture: some of our bear-leaders will pick it up, send it over, and I shall have the horror of seeing it in a magazine. Though I had no scruple of sending the good old man a cordial, I should hate to have it published at the tail of a newspaper, like a testimonial from one of Dr. Rock's patients! You talk of the Pope's enemies; who are they? I thought at most he could have none but at our bonfires on the fifth of November.
(820) In Kent, the seat of Edward Louisa Mann, brother of sir Horace.
(821) Sister of Sir Horace.
(822) Horace, only son of Galfridus Mann.
(823) Thomas. afterwards Lord Pelham.
(824) Sir Joseph Yorke, K. B. third son of the chancellor Hardwicke: created Lord Dover in 1788, and died without issue in 1792.-E.
(825) Afterwards second Earl of Hardwicke.-D.
395 Letter 238 To George Montagu, Esq. Strawberry Hill, Sept. 8, 1757.
How I laughed at your picture of the shrine of Notre Dame de Straberri, and of the vows hung up there! I little thought that when I converted my castle into a printing office, the next transformation Would be into an hospital for the "filles repenties" from Mrs. Naylor's and Lady Fitzroy's.(826) You will treat the enclosed I trust with a little more respect; not for the sake of the hero, but of the poet. The poet, poor soul! has had a relapse, but is again recovering. As I know no earthly history, you must accept the sonnet as if it was written into my letter; and therefore supposing this the end of the third page, I bid you good night.
(826) Elizabeth, daughter of Colonel Cosby, governor of New York, by Lucy Montagu, aunt of George Montagu, and widow of Lord Augustus Fitzroy; by whom she had two sons, Au_gusttis Henry, afterwards Duke of Grafton, and General Fitzroy, who was created Lord Southampton.-E.
396 Letter 239 To The Right Hon. Lady Hervey.(827) Strawberry Hill, Sept. 13, 1757.
Madam, After all the trouble your ladyship has been so good as to take voluntarily, you will think it a little hard that I should presume to give you more; but it is a cause, Madam, in which I know you feel, and I can suggest new motives to your ladyship's zeal. In short, Madam, I am on the crisis of losing Mademoiselle de l'Enclos's picture, or of getting both that and her letters to Lady Sandwich. I enclose Lord Sandwich's letter to me, which will explain the whole. Madame Greffini, I suppose, is Madame Graphigny;(828) whom some of your ladyship's friends, if not yourself, must know; and she might be of use, if she could be trusted not to detain so tempting a treasure as the letters. From the effects being sealed up, I have still hopes; greater, from the goodness your ladyship had in writing before. Don't wonder, Madam, at my eagerness: besides a good quantity Of natural impatience, I am now interested as an editor and printer. Think what pride it would give me to print original letters of Ninon at Strawberry Hill! If your ladyship knows any farther means of serving me, of serving yourself, good Mr. Welldone, as the widow Lackit says in Oroonoko, I need not doubt your employing them. Your ladyship and I are of a religion, with regard to certain saints, that inspires more zeal than such trifling temptations as persecution and fagots infuse into bigots of other sects. I think a cause like ours might communicate ardour even to my Lady Stafford. If she will assist in recovering, Notre Dame des Amours, I will add St. Raoul(829) to my calendar. I am hers and your ladyship's most obedient and faithful humble servant.
(827) Lady Hervey was only daughter of Brigadier-General Nicholas Lepel. She was maid of honour to Queen Caroline, and was one of the principal ornaments of her court. In 1720, she was married to John Lord Hervey, eldest son of John Earl of Bristol, by whom she had four sons and four daughters. She died in September, 1768. A collection of her Letters, with a Memoir and Illustrative Notes, by Mr. Croker, was published in 1821.-E.
(828) Madame de Graffigny, the author of "Lettres d'une Peruvienne," and several dramatic pieces. She died in the following year. A collection of her works, in four volumes, was published at Paris in 1788.-E.
(829) A favourite cat of Lady Stafford's.
396 Letter 240 To George Montagu, Esq. Arlington Street, Sept. 20(830)
My dear Sir, I have been roving about Hampshire with Mr. Chute, and did not receive your very kind note till yesterday, or I should certainly not have deferred a moment to thank you for it, and to express my great concern for Miss Montagu's bad health. You do me justice when you reckon on my feeling most sincerely for you: but let me ask why you will not bring her to town? She might not only have more variety of assistance, but it would be some relief to you: it must be dreadful, with your tenderness and feeling, to have nobody to share and divert your uneasiness.
I did not, till on the road the day before yesterday, hear the catastrophe of poor Sir John Bland, and the execrable villany, or, what our ancestors would have called, the humours of Taaffe. I am extremely sorry for Bland! He was very good-natured, and generous and well-bred; but never was such infatuation - I can call it by no term but flirting away his fortune and his life; he seemed to have no passion for play while he did it, nor sensibility when it ruined him but I fear he had both! What judgments the good people in the city (I mean the good in their own style, moneyed) will construe upon White's, when two of the most remarkable members have despatched themselves in nine months!
I shall be most sincerely glad to receive another letter to tell me that Miss Montagu mends: you have both my most hearty wishes. Yours ever.
(830) This letter is misplaced: the date of the year is 1755.-E.
397 Letter 241 To Sir Horace Mann. Strawberry Hill, Sept. 29, 1757.
For how many years have I been telling you that your country was mad, that your country was undone! It does not grow wiser; it does not grow more prosperous! You can scarce have recovered your astonishment at the suspension of arms(831) concluded near Stade. How do you behave on these lamentable occasions? Oh! believe me, it is comfortable to have an island to hide one's head in! You will be more surprised when you hear that it is totally disavowed here. The clamour is going to be extreme—no wonder, when Kensington is the headquarters of murmur. The commander-in-chief is recalled— the late Elector(832) is outrageous. On such an occasion you may imagine that every old store of malice and hatred is ransacked: but you would not think that the general is now accused of cowardice! As improbable as that is, I do not know whether it may not grow your duty as a minister to believe it-and if it does, you must be sure not to believe, that with all this tempest the suspension was dictated from hence. Be that as it may, the general is to be the sacrifice. The difficulty will be extreme with regard to the Hessians, for they are in English pay. The King of Prussia will be another victim: he says we have undone him, without mending our own situation. He expected to beat the Prince de Soubize by surprise, but he, like the Austrians, declined a battle, and now will be reinforced by Richelieu's army, who is doomed to be a hero by our absurdities. Austrians, French, Russians, Swedes, can the King of Prussia not sink under all these! This suspension has made our secret expedition forgot by all but us who feel for particulars. It is the fashion now to believe it is not against the coast of France; I wish I could believe so!
As if all these disgraces were foreign objects not worth attending to, we have a civil war at home; literally so in many counties. The wise Lords, to defeat it, have made the Militia-bill so preposterous that it has raised a rebellion. George Townshend, the promoter of it for popularity, sees it not only most unpopular in his own county, but his father, my Lord Townshend, who is not the least mad of your countrymen, attended by a parson, a barber, and his own servants, and in his own long hair, which he has let grow, raised a mob against the execution of the bill, and has written a paper against it, which he has pasted up on the doors of four churches near him. It is a good name that a Dr. Stevens has given to our present situation, (for one cannot call it a Government,) a Mobocracy. I come to your letters which are much more agreeable subjects. I think I must not wish you joy of the termination of the Lorrain reign, you have lately taken to them, but I congratulate the Tuscans. Thank you extremely for the trouble you have given yourself in translating my inscription, and for the Pope's letter: I am charmed with his beautiful humility, and his delightful way of expressing it. For his ignorance about my father, I impute it to some failure of his memory. I should like to tell him that were my father still minister, I trust we should not make the figure we do—at least he and England fell together! If it is ignorance, Mr. Chute says it is a confirmation of the Pope's deserving the inscription, as he troubles his head so little about disturbing the peace of others. But our enemies need not disturb us-we do their business ourselves. I have one, and that not a little comfort, in my politics ; this suspension will at least prevent further hostilities between us and the Empress-Queen, and that secures my dear you.
When I have done thinking of politics, and that is always in an instant, unless such as you and Mr. Conway are involved in them, I am far from passing my time disagreeably. My mind is of no gloomy turn, and I have a thousand ways of amusing myself. Indeed of late I have been terribly frightened lest I must give them all up; my fears have gone to extravagance; do not wonder; my life is not quite irrational, and I trembled to think that I was growing fit only to consort with dowagers. What an exchange, books and drawings, and every thing of that sort, for cards! In short, for ten weeks I have had such pains in my eyes with the least application, that I thought I should lose them, at least that they would be useless. I was told that with reading and writing at night I had strained and relaxed the nerves. However, I am convinced that though this is partly the case, the immediate uneasiness came from a cold, which I caught in the hot weather by giving myself Florentine airs, by lying with my windows open, and by lying on the ground without my waistcoat. After trying forty 'you should do this's,'(833) Mr. Chute has cured me -with a very simple medicine: I will tell it you, that you may talk to Dr. Cocchi and about my eyes too. It is to bathe and rub the outsides all round, especially on the temples, with half a teaspoonful of white spirit of lavender (not lavender-water) and half of Hungary-water. I do this night and morning, and sometimes in the day: in ten days it has taken off all the uneasiness; I can now read in a chaise, which I had totally lost, and for five or six hours by candle-light, without spectacles or candle-screen. In short, the difference is incredible. Observe that they watered but little, and were less inflamed; only a few veins appeared red, whereas my eyes were remarkably clear. I do not know whether this would do with any humour, but that I never had. It is certain that a young man who for above twelve years had studied the law by being read to, from vast relaxation of the nerves, totally recovered the use of his eyes. I should think I tired you with this detail, if I was not sure that you cannot be tired with learning any thing for the good of others. As the medicine is so hot, it must not be let into the eyes, nor I should think be continued too long.
I approve much of your letter to Mr. Fox; I will give it to him at his return, but at present he is on a tour. How scrupulous you are in giving yourself the trouble to send me a copy—was that needful? or are you not always full of attentions that speak kindness? Your brother will take care to procure the vases when they come, and is inquiring for the liqueurs.
I am putting up a stone in St. Ann's churchyard for your old friend King Theodore; in short, his history is too remarkable to be let perish. Mr. Bentley says that I am not only an antiquarian, but prepare materials for future antiquarians. You will laugh to hear that when I sent the inscription to the vestry for the approbation of the ministers and churchwardens, they demurred, and took some days to consider whether they should suffer him to be called King of Corsica. Happily they have acknowledged his title! Here is the inscription; over it is a crown exactly copied from his coin:
"Near this place is interred Theodore King of Corsica, Who died in this perish Dec. 11, 1756, Immediately after leaving the King's-Bench Prison, By the benefit of the Act of Insolvency. In consequence of which he registered His Kingdom of Corsica For the use of his Creditors. The Grave, great teacher, to a level brings heroes and beggars, galley-slaves and kings. But Theodore this lesson learn'd, ere dead; Fate pour'd its lessons on his living head, Bestow'd a kingdom and denied him bread.
I think that at least it cannot be said of me, as it was of the Duke of Buckingham entombing Dryden,
"And help'd to bury whom he help'd to starve."
I would have served him, if a King, even in a gaol, could he have been an honest man. Our papers say, that we are bustling about Corsica; I wish if we throw away our own liberty, that we may at least help others to theirs! Adieu! my dear Sir.
(831) Known by the appellation of the Convention of Closter-Severn, concluded by the Duke of Cumberland with Marshal Richelieu; by which he agreed for himself and army not to serve again against the French during the war.-D.
(832) George II.; he had ordered his son to make the capitulation, and then disavowed him.
(833) Sic, in MS.-D.
400 Letter 242 To The Hon. H. S. Conway.(834) Arlington Street, Saturday, Oct. 8, 1757.
My dearest Harry, But one person in the world may pretend to be so much overjoyed as I am at your return.(835) I came hither to-day, on purpose to learn about you; but how can you ask me such a question, as do I think you are come too safe? is this a time of day to question your spirit? I know but two things on earth I esteem more, your goodness and your sense. You cannot come into dispute; but by what I have picked up at my Lady Townshend's, I find there is a scheme of distinguishing between the land and the sea. The King has been told, that Sir Edward Hawke had written, that, after waiting two days, he asked the officers how long it would be before they took a resolution; That if they would not attack, he should carry the fleet home.(836) I should not entirely credit this report, if Mr. Keith, who was present, had not dropped, in a dry way, that some distinction would be shown to Captain Howe and Captain Greaves. What confirms my opinion is, that I have never received the letter you say you sent me by the last express. I suppose it is detained, till proper emissaries have made proper impressions; but we will not let it pass so. If you had not bid me, I should not have given you this intelligence, for your character is too sacred to be trifled with; and as you are invulnerable by any slanders, it is proper you should know immediately even what may be meditated.
The Duke is expected every hour. As he must not defend himself, his case will be harder than yours. I was to go to Bath on Monday, but will certainly not go without seeing you: let me know your motions, and I will meet you any where. As I know your scrupulousness about saying any thing I say to you privately, I think it necessary. to tell you, that I don't mean to preclude you from communicating any part of this letter to those with whom it may be proper for you to consult; only don't let more weight be given to my intelligence than it deserves. I have told you exactly where and what I heard. It may not prove so, but there is no harm in being prepared.
(834) Now first printed.
(835) From the Expedition to Rochfort. The expedition, under Sir Edward Hawke, sailed early in September, and, on the 28th, attacked the Isle of Aix; after which it returned to Spithead, without attempting to land the troops.-E.
(836) On the 22d, Mr. Beckford writes to Mr. Pitt. "I hear that Admiral Hawke says, the land-general has acted in a very unbecoming manner, and will declare his sentiments to Parliament. I hope he will: that, if possible, the mystery may be unravelled. I have often lamented the fatality attending conjunct commands. The French avoid them in all their expeditions; for rank is perfectly settled among the land and sea officers, and the eldest commission carries the command." Chatham Correspondence, vol. i. p. 279.-E.
401 Letter 243 To The Earl Of Strafford. Strawberry Hill, Oct. 11, 1757.
My dear lord, You will have seen or heard that the fleet is returned. They have brought home nothing but one little island, which is a great deal more than I expected, having neither thought so despicably of France, or so considerably of ourselves, as to believe they were exposed to much damage. My joy for Mr. Conway's return is not at all lessened by the clamour on this disappointment. Had he been chief commander, I should be very sure the nothing he had done was all he could do. As he was under orders, I wait with patience to hear his general's vindication.
I hope the Yorkists have not knocked out your brains for living in a county. In my neighbourhood they have insulted the Parliament in person.(837) He called in the Blues, instead of piquing himself on dying in his curule chair in the stable-yard at Ember-court. So entirely have we lost our spirit, that the standing army is forced to defend us against the people, when we endeavour to give them a militia, to save them from a standing army; and that the representative of the Parliament had rather owe his life to the Guards than die in the cause of a militia. Sure Lenthall's ghost will come and pull him by the nose!
I hope you begin to cast a southward look, and that my lady's chickens and ducklings are old enough to go to a day-school, and will not want her any longer.
My Lord Townshend and George are engaged in a paper-war against one another, about the militia. That bill, the suspension at Stade, and the late expedition, which has cost millions, will find us in amusements this winter. It is lucky, for I despair of the Opera. The Mattei has sent certificates to prove that she is stopped by an inundation. The certificates I suppose can swim. Adieu, my dear lord!
(837) Mr. Onslow, the Speaker.
402 Letter 244 To Sir Horace Mann. Strawberry Hill, Oct. 12, 1757.
I shall Write you but a short letter for more reasons than one—there are you blushing again for your country! We have often behaved extravagantly, and often shamefully-this time we have united both. I think I will not read a newspaper this month, till the French have vented all their mirth. If I had told You two months ago that this magnificent expedition was designed against Rochfort, would you have believed me? Yet we are strangely angry that we have not taken it! The clamour against Sir John Mordaunt is at high-water-mark, but as I was the dupe of clamour last year against one of the bravest of men,(838) I shall suspend my belief till all is explained. Explained it will be somehow or other: it seems to me that we do nothing but expose ourselves in summer, in order to furnish inquiries for the winter; and then those inquiries expose us again. My great satisfaction is, that Mr. Conway is not only returned safe, but that all the world agrees that it is not his fault that he is SO. He is still at Portsmouth to see the troops disembark. Hawke is come, and was graciously received.—poor Sir John Mordaunt, who was sent for, was received -as ill. I tell you no particulars of their campaign, for I know it slightly, and will wait till I know it exactly.
The Duke came last night. You will not hear much more of his affair: he will not do himself justice, and it proves too gross, to be possible to do him injustice.
I think all the comfort we extract from a thousand bitter herbs, is, that the Russians are gone back, gone precipitately, and as yet we don't know why.
I have received yours of the 17th of last month, and you may quiet your fears about posts: we have received all that each has written, except my last, which could not be arrived at Florence when yours came away. Mine was of the 29th of last month, and had many particulars; I hope not too many to stop its journey!
To add to the ill-humour, our papers are filled with the new loss of Fort William-Henry, which covered New York. That opulent and proud colony between their own factions and our folly is in imminent danger; but I will have done—nay, if we lose another dominion. I think I will have done writing to you, I cannot bear to chronicle so many disgraces. Adieu!
(838) Admiral Byng.
403 Letter 245 To The Hon. H. S. Conway. Strawberry Hill, Oct. 13, 1757.
If you have received mine of Tuesday, which I directed to Portsmouth, you will perceive how much I agree with you. I am charmed with your sensible modesty. When I talked to you of defence, it was from concluding that you had all agreed that the attempt(839) was impracticable, nay, impossible; and from thence I judged that the ministry intended to cast the blame of a wild project upon the officers. That they may be a little willing to do that, I still think-but I have the joy to find that it cannot be thrown on you. As your friend, and fearing, if I talked for you first, it would look like doubt of your behaviour, at least that you had bid me defend you at the expense of your friends, I said not a word, trusting that your innocence would break out and make its way. I have the satisfaction to find it has already done so. It comes from all quarters but your own, which makes it more honourable. My Lady Suffolk told me last night, that she heard all the seamen said they wished the general had been as ready as Mr. Conway. But this is not all: I left a positive commission in town to have the truth of the general report sent me without the least disguise: in consequence of which I am solemnly assured that your name is never mentioned but with honour; that all the violence, and that extreme, is against Sir John Mordaunt and Mr. Cornwallis. I am particularly sorry for the latter, as I firmly believe him as brave as possible.
This situation of things makes me advise, what I know and find I need not advise, your saying as little as possible in your own defence, nay, as much as you can with any decency for the others. I am neither acquainted with, nor care a straw about, Sir John Mordaunt; but as it is known that you differed with him, it will do you the greatest honour to vindicate him, instead of disculpating yourself. My most earnest desire always is, to have your character continue as amiable and respectable as possible. There is no doubt but the whole will come out, and therefore your justification not coming from yourself will set it in a ten times better light. I shall go to town to-day to meet your brother; and as I know his affection for you will make him warm in clearing you, I shall endeavour to restrain that ardour, of which you know I have enough on the least glimmering of a necessity: but I am sure you will agree with me, that, on the representation I have here made to you, it is not proper for your friends to appear solicitous about you.
The city talk very treason, and, connecting the suspension at Stade with this disappointment,(840) cry out, that the general had positive orders to do nothing, in order to obtain gentler treatment of Hanover. They intend in a violent manner to demand redress, and are too enraged to let any part of this affair remain a mystery.
I think, by your directions, this will reach you before you leave Bevismount: I would gladly meet you at Park-place, if i was not sure of seeing you in town a day or two afterwards at farthest; which I will certainly do, if you let me know. Adieu!
(839) On Rochfort.
(840) "In all these complicated machines," writes Lord Chesterfield to his son, on the 4th of this month, "there are so many wheels within wheels, that it is always difficult and sometimes impossible, to guess which of them gives direction to the whole. Mr. Pitt is convinced that the principal wheel, or if you will, spoke in the wheel, came from Stade."-E.
404 Letter 246 To George Montagu, Esq. Arlington Street, Oct 18, 1757.
You never begged news at a worse time; for though I should tell you much, I have neither time nor inclination, This sounds brusque, but I will explain it. With regard to the expedition, I am so far easy about Mr. Conway that he will appear with great honour, but it is not pleasant to hear him complicated with others in the mean time. He cannot speak till forced. In short, there are twenty delicacies not for a letter. The big event is, the Duke's resignation. He is not so patient as Mr. Conway under unmerited reproach, and has thrown up every thing, regiment and all. You and I wish for a Fronde, but I don't expect one. At worst it will produce M'emoires de la Fronde. I rejoice that all your family is well, and beg my compliments to them. For this time you must excuse a very short letter; I am only in town for this evening to meet Mr. Conway, and I snatch a moment, that you might not think me neglectful of you, which I certainly never will be. Adieu!
404 Letter 247 To Sir Horace Mann. Arlington Street, Oct. 24, 1757.
It is impossible not to write to you upon the great event(841) that has happened, and yet it is difficult to know how to write upon it. Considering your situation, it is improper to make harsh comments: Europe, I suppose, will not be so delicate. Our ministers have kept the article out of our own papers; but they have as little power over foreign gazettes, as weight with foreign powers. In short, the Duke is arrived, was very ill received, and without that, would have done, what he did immediately, resign all his commissions. He does not, like his brother,(842) go into opposition. He is even to make his Usual appearances. He treated Munchausen,(843) who had taken great liberties with his name, with proper severity—I measure my words extremely, not for my own sake, but yours.
General Mordaunt has demanded an inquiry. The form is not settled yet; nor can it be soon, as Sir Edward Hawke is gone upon a cruise with the fleet. I put a quick end to this letter; I have no more facts to tell you; reflections you will make yourself. In the uncertainty of this reaching you, it is better to say no more. Adieu!
(841) The Duke of Cumberland's resignation of the command of the army.
(842) Frederick Prince of wales.
(843) The minister for Hanover.
405 Letter 248 To Sir Horace Mann. Arlington Street, Nov. 20, 1757.
I do not like to find that our correspondence is certainly deranged. I have received but one letter from you for a great while; it is of October 8th, and complaining on your side too. You say my last was Sept. 3d. Since that I wrote on the 29th, on the 13th, and 24th of last month. I have omitted a month, waiting to see if you got my letters, and to have something decisive to tell you. Neither has happened, and yet I know you will be unhappy not to hear from me, which makes me write now. Our Parliament was suddenly put off to the first of next month), on news that the King Of Prussia had made a separate peace with France;- as the Speech was prepared to ask money for him, it was necessary to set it to a new tune; but we have been agreeably surprised with his gaining a great victory over the Prince de Soubize;(844) but of this we have only the first imperfect account, the wind detaining his courier or aide-de-camp on the other side still. It is prodigious how we want all the good news we can amass together! Our fleet dispersed by a tempest in America, where, into the bargain, we had done nothing, the uneasiness on the convention at Stade, which, by this time, I believe we have broken, and on the disappointment about Rochfort, added to the wretched state of our internal affairs; all this has reduced us to a most contemptible figure. The people are dissatisfied, mutinous, and ripe for insurrections, which indeed have already appeared on the militia and on the dearness of corn, which is believed to be owing to much villany in the dealers. But the other day I saw a strange sight, a man crying corn, "Do you want any corn?" as they cry knives and scissors. To add to the confusion, the troubles in Ireland, which Mr. Conway had pacified, are broke out afresh, by the imprudence of the Duke of Bedford and the ambition of the primate.(845) The latter had offered himself to the former, who rejected him, meaning to balance the parties, but was insensibly hurried into Lord Kildare's,(846) to please mr. Fox. The primate's faction have passed eleven resolutions on pensions and grievances, equal to any in 1641, and the Duke of Bedford's friends dared not say a word against them.(847) The day before yesterday a messenger arrived from him for help; the council will try to mollify; but Ireland is no tractable country. About what you will be more inquisitive, is the disappointment at Rochfort, and its consequences. Sir John Mordaunt demanded an inquiry which the city was going to demand. The Duke of Marlborough, Lord George Sackville, and General Waldegrave have held a public inquest, with the fairness of which people are satisfied; the report is not to be made to the King till to-morrow, for which I shall reserve my letter. You may easily imagine, that with all my satisfaction in Mr. Conway's behaviour, I am very unhappy about him: he is more so; having guarded and gained the most perfect character in the world by the severest attention to it, you may guess what he feels under any thing that looks like a trial. You will see him more like himself, in a story his aide-de-camp, Captain Hamilton,(848) tells of him. While they were on the isle of Aix, Mr. Conway was so careless and so fearless as to be trying a burning-glass on a bomb—yes, a bomb, the match of which had been cut short to prevent its being fired by any accidental sparks of tobacco. Hamilton snatched the glass out of Mr. Conway's hand before he had at all thought what he was about. I can tell you another story of him, that describes all his thought for others, while so indifferent about himself. Being with my Lady Ailesbury in his absence, I missed a favourite groom they used to have; she told me this story. The fellow refused to accompany Mr. Conway on the expedition, unless he would provide for his widow in case of accidents. Mr. C., who had just made his will and settled his affairs, replied coolly, "I have provided for her." The man, instead of being struck, had the command of himself to ask how? He was told, she would have two hundred pounds. Still uncharmed, he said it was too little! Mr. Conway replied he was sorry he was not content; he could do no more; but would only desire him to go to Portsmouth and see his horses embarked. He refused. If such goodness would make one adore human nature, such ingratitude would soon cure one!
Mr. Fox was going to write to you, but I took all the compliments upon myself, as I think it is better for you to be on easy than ceremonious terms. To promote this, I have established a correspondence between you; he will be glad if you will send him two chests of the best Florence wine every year. The perpetuity destroys all possibility of your making him presents Of it. I have compounded for the vases, but he would not hear, nor must you think of giving him the wine, which you must transact with your brother and me. The best of Florence which puzzled James and me so much, proves to be Lord Hertford's drams. We have got something else from Florence, not your brother James and I, but the public: here is arrived a Countess Rena, of whom my Lord Pembroke bought such quantities of Florence, etc. I shall wonder if he deals with her any more, as he has the sweetest wife(849) in the world, and it seems to be some time since La Comtessa was so. Tell me more of her history; antique as she is, she is since my time.. Alas! every thing makes me think myself old since I have worn out my eyes, which, notwithstanding the cure I thought Mr. Chute had made upon them, are of very little use to me. You have no notion how it mortifies me: when I am wishing to withdraw more and more from a world of which I have had satiety, and which I suppose is as tired of me, how vexatious not to be able to indulge a happiness that depends only on oneself, and consequently the only happiness proper for people past their youth! I have often deluded you with promises of returning to Florence for pleasure, I now threaten you with it for your plague; for if I am to become a tiresome old fool, at least it shall not be in my own country. In the mean time, I must give you a commission for my press. I have printed one book, (of which two copies are ready for you and Dr. Cocchi,) and I have written another - it is a Catalogue of the Royal and Noble Authors of England. Richard 1. it seems was, or had a mind to pass for, a Proven'cal poet; nay, some of those compositions are extant, and you must procure them for me: Crescimbeni says there are some in the library of San Lorenza at Florence, in uno de' Codici Provenzali, and others nel 3204 della Vaticana.(850) YOU Will oblige and serve me highly if you can get me copies. Dr. Cocchi certainly knows Crescimbeni's Commentary on the Lives of the Proven'cal Poets.(851)
I shall wind up this letter, Which is pretty long for a blind man without spectacles, with an admirable bon-mot. Somebody asked me at the play the other night what was become of Mrs. Woffington; I replied, she is taken off by Colonel Caesar. Lord Tyrawley said, "I suppose she was reduced to aut Caesar aut Nullus."
The monument about which you ask you shall see in a drawing, when finished; it is a simple Gothic arch, something in the manner of the columbaria: a Gothic columbarium is a new thought of my own, of which I am fond, and going(852) to execute one at Strawberry. That at Linton is to have a beautiful urn, designed by Mr. Bentley, as the whole is, with this plain, very true inscription, "Galfrido Mann, amicissimo, optimo, qui obiit—H. W. P."
Thank you for the King of Prussia's letter, though I had seen it before. It is lively and odd. He seems to write as well with Voltaire as he fights as well without the French—or without us.
The report is made, but I have not yet seen it, and this letter must go away this minute. I hear it names no names, says no reason appears why they did not land on the 25th, and gives no merit to all Mr. Conway's subsequent proposals for landing. Adieu!
(844) The battle of Rosbach.
(845) Dr. Stone, Archbishop of Armagh.
(846) Lady Kildare was sister of Lady Caroline Fox.
(847)) Walpole, in his Memoires of George II., states that "the Duke of Bedford, on the death of the King's sister, the Queen Dowager of Prussia, who had privately received a pension of eight Hundred pounds a-year out of the Irish establishment, had obtained it for his wife's sister, Lady Waldegrave."-E.
(848) Afterwards Sir William Hamilton, appointed, in 1764, envoy to the court of Naples, where he resided during the long period of thirty-six years; and where, "wisely diverting," in the language of Gibbon, "his correspondence from the secretary of state to the Royal Society and British Museum, he passed his time in elucidating a country of inestimable value to the naturalist and antiquarian." He returned to England in 1800, and died in 1803.-E.
(849) Elizabeth, sister of the Duke of Marlborough.
(850) Walpole, in his Royal Authors, says, "I have had both repositories carefully searched. The reference to the Vatican proves a new inaccuracy of the author; there is no work of King Richard. In the Laurentine library is a sonnet written by the King, and sent to the Princess Stephanetta, wife of Hugh de Daux, which I have had transcribed with the greatest exactness." Works, vol. i. p. 252.-E.
(851) "Commentarii intorno alla sua Istoria della Volgar Poesia." In 1803, Mr. Matthias, the author of the Pursuits of Literature, published an edition of the commentaries, detached from the historical part, in three volumes, 12mo.-E.
(852) It was not executed.
408 Letter 249 To George Montagu, Esq. Sunday evening.
I leave Mr. M'untz in commission to do the honours of Strawberry to you: if he succeeds well, will you be troubled with him in your chaise to london on Wednesday?
He will tell you the history of' Queen Mab being attacked-not in her virtue, but in her very palace: if all this does not fill up the evening, and you shall have no engagement to your aunt Cosby, or to your grandmother, you know how welcome you will be at Clivden. Adieu!
408 Letter 250 To George Montagu, Esq. Dec. 23, 1757.
You, who have always cultivated rather than stifled tender sensations, well know how to feel for me, who have at last lost my dear friend, Mr. Mann, not unexpectedly certainly; but I never could find that one grew indifferent to what pains, as one does to what pleases one. With all my consciousness of having been more obliged to your brother than I could possibly deserve, I think I should have trespassed on his kindness, and have asked him to continue his favours to Mr. Mann's son and brother, if I had not known that he was good beyond doubt: it is just necessary for me, as transferring my friendship to the family, to tell you, that if the contrary should be insinuated, they do continue the business.
Had I any thing to tell you, it would be unpardonable in me to communicate my grief to you and neglect your entertainment, but Mr. Pitt's gout has laid up the nation; we adjourn to-morrow for the holidays, and have not had a single division. Mr. Pitt, Mr. Fox, France, and the King of Prussia will not leave us idle much longer. Adieu! I am most unaffectedly grieved, and most unfeignedly yours.
409 Letter 251 To Dr. Ducarel.(853) Arlington Street, Dec. 25, 1757.
Sir, The Dean of Exeter(854) having showed me a letter in which you desire the name of the MS. which contains the illumination I wished to see, I take the liberty of troubling you with this. The book is called "The Dictes and Sayings of the Philosophers: translated out of Latyn into Frenshe, by Messire Jehan de Jeonville; and from thence rendered into English, by Earl Rivers."(855)—I am perfectly ashamed, Sir, of giving you so much trouble, but your extreme civility and good-nature, and your great disposition to assist in any thing that relates to literature, encouraged me to make my application to you; and the politeness with which you received it I shall always acknowledge with the greatest gratitude. The Dean desired me to make his excuses to you for not writing himself; and my Lord Lyttelton returns you a thousand thanks for your kind offers of communication, and proposes to wait on you himself and talk those matters over with you. I shall not fail of paying my respects to you on Friday next, at one o'clock; and am, Sir, yours, etc.
(853) Dr. Andrew Coltee Ducarel. This eminent arcaeologist was born at Caen in Normandy, but educated at Eton and at Oxford. He had recently been appointed librarian at Lambeth palace.-E.
(854) Dr.Jeremiah Milles. In 1765 he was appointed president of the Society of Antiquaries. The Doctor was a strenuous advocate for the authenticity of Rowley's Poems; "thereby proving himself," says the author of the Pursuits of Literature, "a pleasant subject for that chef-d'oeuvre of wit and poetry, the 'Archaeological Epistle,' written by Mr. Mason."-E.
(855) Antony Widville, Earl Rivers, Lord Scales and Newsells. The dismal catastrophe of this accomplished lord, in his forty-first year, is well known—
"—Rivers, Vaughan, and Grey Ere this lie shorter by the head at Pomfret."
The book is supposed to be the second ever printed in England by Caxton: it contains an illumination representing the Earl introducing Caxton to Edward the Fourth, his Queen, and the Prince. "The most remarkable circumstance attending it," says Walpole, in his Noble Authors, "is the gallantry of the Earl, who omitted to translate part of it, because it contained sarcasms of Socrates against the fair sex."-E.
410 Letter 252 To Sir Horace Mann. Arlington Street, Jan, 11, 1758.
You express so much concern and tenderness for Mr. Conway and me in your letter of Dec. 17th, which I received two days ago, that I am impatient and happy to tell you, that after keeping the report of the court-martial a week, the King yesterday approved the sentence, which is a full acquittal of Sir John Mordaunt, and was unanimous. If the commander-in-chief is so fully cleared, what must the subordinate generals be? There are still flying whispers of its being brought into Parliament in some shape or other, but every public and private reason, I say reason, forbid it. Sure this is not a season to relume heats, when tranquility is so essential and so established! In a private light who can wish to raise such a cloud of enemies as the whole army, who murmur grievously at hearing that an acquittal is not an acquittal; who hold it tyranny, if they are not to be as safe by their juries as the rest of their fellow-subjects; and who think a judgment of twenty-one general officers not to be trifled with. I tremble if any rashness drives the army to distinguish or think themselves distinguished from the civil government.
You are by this time, I suppose, in weepers for princess Caroline;(856) though her state of health has been so dangerous for years, and her absolute confinement for many of them, her disorder was in a manner new and sudden, and her death unexpected by herself, though earnestly her wish. her goodness was constant and uniform, her generosity immense, her charities most extensive—in short I, no royalist, could be lavish in her praise. What will divert you is, that the Duke of Norfolk's and Lord Northumberland's upper servants have asked leave to put themselves in mourning, not out of regard for this admirable Princess, but to be more sur le bon ton. I told the Duchess I supposed they would expect her to mourn hereafter for their relations.
Well, it seems I guessed better about Sir James Grey than he knew about himself. Sir Benjamin Keene is dead;(857) I dined to-day where Colonel Grey did; he told me it is a year and a half since the King named his brother for Spain, and that he himself was told but yesterday that Sir James was too well at Naples to be removed,(858) and that reasons of state called for somebody else. Would they called for you! and why not? You are attached to nobody; your dear brother had as much reason to flatter himself with Mr. Pitt's favour, as he was marked by not having Mr. Fox's. Your not having the least connexion with the latter cannot hurt you. Such a change, for so great an object, would overrule all my prudence: but I do not know whether it were safe, to hint it'. especially as by this time, at least before your application could come, it must be disposed of. Lord Rochfort wishes it, Lord Huntingdon has asked it; Lord Tyrawley and Lord Bristol(859) are talked of. I am so afraid of ticklish situations for you, that in case of the latter's removal, I should scarce wish you Turin. I cannot quit this chapter without lamenting Keene! my father had the highest opinion of his abilities, and indeed his late Negotiations have been crowned with proportionate success. He had great wit, agreeableness, and an indolent good-humour that was very pleasing: he loved our dearest Gal.!
The King of Prussia is quite idle; I think he has done nothing this fortnight but take Breslau, and Schweidnitz, and ten or a dozen generals, and from thirty to fifty thousand prisoners— in this respect he contradicts the omne majus continet in se minus. I trust he is galloping somewhere or other with only a groom to get a victory. Prince Ferdinand of Brunswick has galloped a little from one: when we were expecting that he would drive the French army into the sea, and were preparing to go to Harwich to see it, he turned back, as if he wanted to speak with the King of Prussia. In a street very near me they do not care to own this; but as my side of Arlington Street is not ministerial, we plain-dealing houses speak our mind about it. Pray, do not you about that or any thing else; remember you are an envoy, and though you must not presume to be as false as an ambassador, yet not a grain of truth is consistent with your character. Truth is very well for such simple people as me, with my Fari quae sentiat, which my father left me, and which I value more than all he left me; but I am errantly wicked enough to desire you should lie and prosper. I know you don't like my doctrine, and therefore I compound with you for holding your tongue. Adieu! my dear child—shall we never meet! Are we always to love one another at the discretion of a sheet of paper? I would tell you in another manner that I am ever yours.
P. S. I will not plague you with more than a postscript on my eyes: I write this after midnight quite at my ease; I think the greatest benefit I have found lies between old rum and elder-water, (three spoonfuls of the latter to one of the former,) and dipping my head in a pail of cold water every morning the moment I am out of bed. This I am told may affect my hearing, but I have too constant a passion for my eyes to throw away a thought on any rival.
(856) Third daughter of King George the Second; who died at St. James's on the 28th of December, in the forty-fifth year of her age.-E.
(857) Sir Benjamin Keene died at Madrid on the 15th of December. He was the eldest son of Charles Keene, Esq. of Lynn, in Norfolk. His remains were brought to England-, and buried at Lynn, near those of his parents.-E.
(858) Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, in a letter to her daughter, dated Venice, April 3, says, "Sir James Grey was universally esteemed during his residence here: but, alas! he is gone to Naples. I wish the maxims of Queen Elizabeth were revived, who always chose men whose birth or behaviour would make the nation respected, people being apt to look upon them as a sample of their countrymen. If those now employed are so— Lord have mercy upon us! How much the nation has suffered by false intelligence, I believe you are very sensible of; and how impossible it is to obtain truth either from a fool or a knave." Works, Vol. iii. P. 155.-E.
(859) The Earl of Bristol was at this time British Minister at the court of Turin. He was appointed ambassador extraordinary to the court of Spain in the following June.-E.
411 Letter 253 To Dr. Ducarel. Arlington Street, January 12, 1758.
I have the pleasure to let you know, that his grace the Archbishop(860) has, with the greatest politeness and goodness, sent me word, by the dean of Exeter, that he gives me leave to have the illumination copied, on a receipt either at your chambers, or at my own house, giving you a receipt for it. As the former would be so inconvenient to me as to render this favour useless, I have accepted the latter with great joy; and will send a gentleman of the exchequer, my own deputy, to you, Sir@ on Monday next, with my receipt, and shall beg the favour of you to deliver the MS. to him, Mr. Bedford. I would wait On you myself, but have caught cold at the visit I made you yesterday, and am besides going to Strawberry Hill, from whence I propose to bring you a little print, which was never sold, and not to be had from any body else; which is, the arms of the two Clubs at Arthur's;(861) a print exceedingly in request last year. When I have more leisure, for at this time of the year I am much hurried, I shall be able, I believe, to pick you out some other curiosities; and am, Sir, etc.
(860) Dr. Matthew Hutton. He died in the following April, and was succeeded in the archbishopric by Dr. Secker.
(861) Designed by Mr. Walpole's friend, Lord Edgecumbe, and engraved by Grinion.
412 Letter 254 To Sir Horace Mann. Arlington Street, Feb. 9, 1758.
One would not have believed that I could so long have wanted something to form a letter; but I think politics are gone into winter-quarters: Mr. Pitt is in bed with the gout, and the King of Prussia writing sonnets to Voltaire; but his Majesty's lyre is not half so charming as his sword: if he does not take care, Alexander will ride home upon his verses. All England has kept his birthday; it has taken its place in our calendar next to Admiral Vernon's(862) and my Lord Blakeney's; and the people, I believe, begin to think that Prussia is some part of' Old England. We had bonfires and processions, illuminations and French horns playing out of windows all night.
In the mean time there have been some distant grumblings of a war with Spain, which seem blown over: a new Russian army in March has taken its place. The Duke of Richelieu is said to be banished for appropriating some contributions(863) to his own use: if he does not take care to prove that he meant to make as extravagant a use of them as ever Marquis Catiline did, it will be a very bourgeoise termination of such a gallant life! By the rage of expense in our pleasures, in the midst of such dearness and distress, one would think we had opportunities of contributions too! The simple Duke of St. Albans,(864) who is retired to Brussels for debt, has made a most sumptuous funeral in public for a dab of five months old that he had by his cookmaid. But our glaring extravagance is the CONSTANT high price given for pictures: the other day at Mr. Furnese's(865) auction a very small Gaspar sold for seventy-six guineas; and a Carlo Maratti, which too I am persuaded was a Giuseppe Chiari, lord Egremont bought at the rate of two hundred and sixty pounds. Mr. Spencer(866) gave no less than two thousand two hundred pounds for the Andrea Sacchi and the Guido from the same collection. The latter is of very dubious originality: my father, I think, preferred the Andrea Sacchi to his own Guido, and once offered seven hundred pounds for it, but Furnese said, "Damn him, it is for him; he shall pay a thousand." There is a pewterer, one Cleeve, who some time ago gave one thousand pounds for four very small Dutch pictures. I know- but one dear picture not sold, Cooper's head of Oliver Cromwell, an unfinished miniature; they asked me four hundred pounds for it! But pictures do not monopolize extravagance; I have seen a little ugly shell called a Ventle-trap sold for twenty-seven guineas. However, to do us justice, we have magnificence too that is well judged. The Palmyra and Balbec are noble works to be undertaken and executed by private men.(867) There is now established a Society for the encouragement of Arts, Sciences, and Commerce, that is likely to be very serviceable;(868) and I was pleased yesterday with a very grand seigneurial design of the Duke of Richmond,(869) who has collected a great many fine casts of the best antique statues, has placed them in a large room in his garden, and designs to throw it open to encourage drawing. I have offered him to let my eagle be cast.
Adieu! If any thing happens, I will not, nor ever do wait for a regular interval Of Writing to you.
(862) On Admiral Vernon's taking Porto Bello in 1740, the populace of London celebrated his birthday; and some doubts arising on the specific day, they celebrated it again, and I think continued to do so for two or three subsequent years.
(863) He plundered the Electorate so indecently, that on his return to Paris having built a pavilion in his garden, it was nicknamed le Pavillon d'Hanovre.
(864) The third Duke of that title.
(865) Henry Furness had been a lord of the treasury. He was a friend of Lord Bath, and personally an enemy to Sir Robert Walpole.
(866) John first Earl Spencer.
(867) Robert Wood, Esq. under secretary of state, Mr. Dawkins, and Mr. Bouverie. For a notice of these splendid works, see ant'e, p. 191, letter 89.-E.
(868) Mr. William Shipley, of Northampton, being persuaded that a society to give premiums, in the manner of one in Ireland, would be highly beneficial to the country, came to London several times in the year 1752 and 1753, and talked about it to Mr. Henry Baker, who was of the same opinion, but doubted the possibility of bringing it into effect. However, in 1753, a general recommendation of such a society was drawn up, printed, and dispersed; and indefatigable pains taken by Mr. Shipley to put it into the hands of persons of quality and fortune, this scheme was carried into execution. See Nichols's Lit. Anecdotes, vol. v. p. 275.-E.
(869) Charles Lenox, third Duke of Richmond. His grace had recently ordered a room to be opened at his house in Whitehall, containing a large collection of original plaster casts from the best antique busts and statues at Rome -and Florence, to which all artists, and youths above twelve years of age, had access. For the encouragement of genius, he also bestowed two medals annually on those who executed the two best models.-E.
413 Letter 255 To Sir Horace Mann. Arlington Street, Feb. 10, 1758.
This campaign does not open with the vivacity of the last; the hero of the age has only taken Schweidnitz yet—he had fought a battle Or two by this time last year. But this is the case of Fame. A man that astonishes at first, soon makes people impatient if he does not continue in the same andante key. I have heard a good answer of one of the Duke of Marlborough's generals, who dining with him at a city feast, and being teased by a stupid alderman, who said to him, "Sir, yours must be a very laborious employment!" replied, "Oh, no; we fight about four hours in a morning, and two or three after dinner, and then we have all the rest of the day to ourselves." I shall not be quite so impatient about our own campaign as I was last year, though we have another secret expedition on foot—they say, to conquer France, but I believe we must compound for taking the Isle of Wight, whither we are sending fourteen thousand men. The Hero's uncle(870 reviewed them yesterday in Hyde Park on their setting out. The Duke of Marlborough commands, and is, in reality, commanded by Lord George Sackville. We shall now see how much greater generals we have than Mr. Conway, who has pressed to go in any capacity, and is not suffered!
Mr. Pitt is again laid up with the gout, as the Duke of Bedford is confined in Ireland by it. - His grace, like other Kings I have known, is grown wonderfully popular there since he was taken prisoner and tied hand and foot. To do faction justice, it is of no cowardly nature; it abuses while it attacks, and loads with panegyric those it defeats. We have nothing in Parliament but a quiet straggle for an extension of the Habeas Corpus.(871) It passed our House swimmingly, but will be drowned with the same ease in the House of Lords. On the new taxes we had an entertaining piece of pomp from the Speaker: Lord Strange (it was in a committee) said, "I will bring him down from the gallery." and proposed that the Speaker should be exempt from the place tax. He came down, and besought not to be excepted—lord Strange persisted-so did the Speaker. After the debate, Lord Strange going out said, "Well, did I not show my dromedary well?" I should tell you that one of the fashionable sights of the winter has been a dromedary and camel, the proprietor of which has entertained the town with a droll variety of advertisements.
You would have been amazed, had you been here at Sir luke Schaub's auction of pictures. He had picked up some good old copies cheap when he was in Spain during the contentions there between the houses of Austria and Bourbon, and when many grandees being confiscated, the rest piqued themselves on not profiting of their spoils. With these Sir Luke had some fine small ones, and a parcel of Flemish, good in their way. The late Prince offered him twelve thousand pounds for the whole, leaving him the enjoyment for his life. As he knew the twelve thousand would not be forthcoming, he artfully excused himself by saying he loved pictures so much that he knew he should fling away the money. Indeed, could he have touched it, it had been well; the collection was indubitably not worth four thousand pounds. It has sold for near eight!(872) A Copy(873) of the King of France's Raphael went for seven hundred pounds. A Segismonda, called by Corregio, but certainly by Furoni his scholar, was bought in at upwards of four hundred pounds. In short, there is Sir James Lowther, Mr. Spencer, Sir Richard Grosvenor, boys with twenty and thirty thousand a-year, and the Duchess of Portland,(874) Lord Ashburnham, Lord Egremont, and others with near as much, who care not what they give. I want to paint my coat and sell it off my back—there never Was such a season. I am mad to have the Houghton pictures sold now; what injury to the creditors to have them postponed, till half of these vast estates are spent, and the other half grown ten years older!
Lord Corke Is not the editor of Swift's History;(875) but one Dr. Lucas, a physicianed apothecary, who some years ago made such factious noise in Ireland(876)—the book is already fallen into the lowest contempt. I wish you joy of the success of the Cocchi family; but how three hundred crowns a year sound after Sir Luke Schaub's auction! Adieu! my dear Sir.
(870) George II. uncle of the King of Prussia.
(871) Lord Chesterfield, in a letter to his son of the 8th, says, "Every thing goes smoothly in Parliament: the King of Prussia has united all our parties in his support, and the Tories have declared that they will give Mr. Pitt unlimited credit for this session: there has not been one single division yet upon public points, and I believe will not."-E.
(872) The three days' sale produced seven thousand seven hundred and eighty-four pounds five shillings.-E.
(873) It was purchased by the Duchess Dowager of Portland, for seven hundred and three pounds ten shillings.-E.
(874) Lady Margaret Cavendish Harley, only daughter of Edward Harley, second Earl of Oxford, and heiress of the vast possessions of the Newcastle branch of the Cavendishes. She married William Bentinck, second Duke of Portland.-D.
(875) Swift's "History of the Four last Years of Queen Anne," was first published in this year.-E.
(876) Dr. Johnson, in a review of Dr. Lucas's Essay on Waters, which appeared in the Literary Magazine for 1756, thus speaks of him: "The Irish ministers drove him from his native country by a proclamation, in which they charge him with crimes of which they never intended to be called to the proof, and oppressed him by methods equally irresistible by guilt and innocence: let the man thus driven into exile, for having been the friend of his country, be received in every other place as a confessor of liberty; and let the tools of power be taught in time, that they may rob, but cannot impoverish." In 1761, Dr. Lucas was elected representative for Dublin. He died in 1771, and a statue to his honour is erected in the Royal Exchange of Dublin.-E.'
415 Letter 256 To Sir Horace Mann. Arlington Street, Feb. 23, 1758.
Though the inactivity of our parliamentary winter has let me be correspondent, I am far from having been so remiss as the posts have made me seem. I remember to have thought that I had no letter on board the packet that was taken; but since the 20th of November I have writ to you on December 14, January 11, February 9. The acquittal of General Mordaunt would, I thought, make you entirely easy about Mr. Conway. The paper war on their subject is still kept up; but all inquiries are at an end. When Mr. Pitt, who is laid up with the gout, is a little cool again, I think he has too much eagerness to perform something of 'eclatt, to let the public have to reproach him with not employing so brave a man and so able as Mr. Conway. Though your brothers do not satisfy your impatience to know, you must a little excuse them; the eldest lives out of the world, and James not in that world from whence he can learn or inform you. Besides our dear Gal.'s warmth of friendship, he had innumerable opportunities of intelligence. He, who lent all the world money for nothing, had at least a right to know something.
I shall be sorry on my account if one particular(877) letter has miscarried, in which I mentioned some trifles that I wished to purchase from Stosch's collection. As you do not mention any approaching sale, I will stay to repeat them till you tell me that you have received no such letter.
Thank you for the 'eloge on your friend poor Cocchi; you had not told me of his death, but I was prepared for it, and heard it from Lord Huntingdon. I am still more obliged to you for the trouble you have given yourself about King Richard. You have convinced me of Crescimbeni's blunder as to Rome. For Florence, I must intreat you to send me 'another copy, for your copyist or his original have made undecipherable mistakes; particularly in the last line; La Mere Louis is impossible to be sense: I should wish, as I am to print it, to have every letter of the whole sonnet more distinct and certain than most of them are. I don't know how to repay you for all the fatigue I give you. Mr. Fox's urns are arrived, but not yet delivered from the Custom-house. You tell me no more of Botta;(878) is he invisible in dignity, like Richcourt; or sunk to nothing, like our Poor old friend the Prince?(879) Here is a good epigram on the Prince de Soubize, with which I must conclude, writing without any thing to tell you, and merely to show you that I do by no means neglect you;
Soubize, apr'es ses grands exploits, Peut b'atir un palais qui ne lui co'ute gu'ere; Sa Femme lui fournit le bois, Et chacun lui jette la pierre.
(877) The letter of Dec. 17th, which was lost.
(878) Marshal Botta, commander at Florence for the Emperor Francis.
(879) The Prince de Craon, chief of the council, superseded by the Comte de Richcourt.
416 Letter 257 To Sir Horace Mann. Arlington Street, March 21, 1758.
Between my letters of Nov. 20th and Jan. 11th, which you say you have received, was one of Dec. 11th lost, I suppose in the packet: what it contained, it is impossible for me to recollect; but I conclude the very notices about the expedition, the want of which troubled you so much. I have nothing now to tell you of any moment; writing only to keep up the chain of our 'correspondence, and to satisfy you that there is nothing particular.
I forgot in my last to say a word of our East Indian hero, Clive, and his victories; but we are growing accustomed to success again! There is Hanover retaken!—if to have Hanover again is to have success! We have no news but what is military; Parliaments are grown idle things, or busy like quarter-sessions. Mr. Pitt has been in the House of Commons but twice this winter, yet we have some grumblings: a Navy-bill of Mr. George Grenville, rejected last year by the Lords, and passed again by us, has by Mr. Fox's underhand management been made an affair by the Lords; yet it will pass. An extension of the Habeas corpus, of forty times the consequence, is impeded by the same dealings, and IS not likely to have so prosperous an issue. Yet these things scarce make a heat within doors, and scarce conversation without.
Our new Archbishop(880) died yesterday; but the church loses its head with as little noise as a question is now carried or lost in Parliament.
Poor Sir Charles Williams is returned from Russia, having lost his Senses upon the road. This is imputed to a lady at Hamburgh, who gave him, or for whom he took some assistance to his passion; but we hope he will soon recover.
The most particular thing I know is what happened the other day: a frantic Earl of Ferrars(881) has for this twelvemonth supplied conversation by attempting to murder his wife, a pretty, harmless young woman, and every body that took her part. having broken the peace, to which the House of Lords tied him last year, the cause was trying again there on Friday last. Instead of attending it, he went to the assizes at Hertford to appear against a highwayman, one Page, of extraordinary parts and escapes. The Earl had pulled out a pistol, but trembled so that the robber turned, took it out of his hand quietly, and said, "My lord, I know you always carry more pistols about you; give me the rest." At the trial, Page pleaded that my lord was excommunicated, consequently could not give evidence, and got acquitted.(882)
There is just published Swift's History of the Four last Years of Queen Anne: Pope and Lord Bolingbroke always told him it would disgrace him, and persuaded him to burn it. Disgrace him indeed it does, being a weak libel, ill-written for style, uninformed, and adopting the most errant mob-stories.(883) He makes the Duke of Marlborough a coward, Prince Eugene an assassin, my father remarkable for nothing but impudence, and would make my Lord Somers any thing but the most amiable character in the world, if unfortunately he did not praise him while he tries to abuse.
Trevor(884) of Durham is likely to go to Canterbury. Adieu!
(880) Archbishop Hutton. He was succeeded by Secker.
(881) Laurence Shirley, fourth Earl of Ferrars, who, in January 1760, shot his land-steward, for which he was tried in Westminster-hall, by his peers, in the following April, and executed at Tyburn.-E.
(882) At the ensuing Rochester assizes he was tried for robbing a Mr. Farrington, and executed.-E.
(883) Swift himself, in his Journal to Stella, calls it "his grand business," and pronounced it "the best work he had ever written."-E.
(884) Dr. Richard Trevor. This did not happen.
418 Letter 258 To Sir Horace Mann. Arlington Street, April 14, 1758.
As you was disappointed of any intelligence that might be in it (I don't know what was), I am sorry my letter of December 14th miscarried; but with regard to my commissions in Stosch's collection, it did not signify, since they propose to sell it in such great morsels. If they are forced to relent, and separate it, what I wish to have, and had mentioned to you, were, "his sculptured gems that have vases on them, of which he had a large ring box:" the following modern medals, "Anglia resurges," I think, of Julius III.; "the Capitol; the Hugonotorum Strages; the Ganymede, a reverse of a Pope's medal, by Michael Angelo; the first medal of Julius III.;" all these were in silver, and very fine; then the little Florentine coin in silver, with Jesus Rex noster on the reverse: he had, besides, a fine collection of drawings after nudities and prints in the same style, but you may believe I am not old enough to give much for these. I am not very anxious about any, consequently am not tempted to purchase wholesale.
Thank you for the second copy of King Richard; my book is finished; I shall send it you by the first opportunity. I did receive the bill of lading for Mr. Fox's wine; and my reason for not telling you how he liked his vases was, because I did not, nor do yet know, nor does he; they are at Holland House, and will not be unpacked till he settles there: I own I have a little more impatience about new things.
My letters will grow more interesting to you, I suppose, as the summer opens: we have had no Winter campaign, I mean, no parliamentary war. You have been much misinformed about the King's health—and had he been ill, do you think that the recovery of Hanover would not cure him? Yesterday the new convention with the King of Prussia was laid before the houses, and is to be considered next week: I have not yet read it, and only know that he is to receive from us two millions in three years, and to make no peace without us. I hope he will make one for us before these three years are expired. A great camp is forming in the Isle of Wight, reckoned the best spot for defence or attack. I suppose both will be tried reciprocally;
Sir Charles Williams's disorder appears to have been lightheadedness from a fever; he goes about again; but the world, especially a world of enemies, never care to give up their title to a man's madness, and will consequently not believe that he is yet in his senses.(885)
Lord Bristol certainly goes to Spain; no successor is named for Turin. You know how much I love a prescriptive situation for you, and how I should fear a more eminent one—and yet you see I notify Turin being open, if you should care to push for it. It is not to recommend it to you that I tell you of it, but I think it my duty as your friend not to take upon me to decide for you without acquainting you.
I rejoice at Admiral Osborn's Success. I am not patriot enough to deny but that there are captains and admirals whose glory would have little charms for me; but Osborn was a steady friend of murdered Byng!
The Earl and Countess of Northumberland have diverted the town with a supper, which they intended should make their court to my Lady Yarmouth; the dessert was a chasse at Herenhausen, the rear of which was brought up by a chaise and six containing a man with a blue riband and a lady sitting by him! Did you ever hear such a vulgarism! The person complimented is not half so German, and consequently suffered martyrdom at this clumsy apotheosis of her concubinage. Adieu!
(885) On hearing, at Padua, of Sir Charles's indisposition, Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, in a letter to her daughter, the Countess of Bute, on the 17th of July, breaks out into the following striking reflections:—"I hear that my old acquaintance is much broken, both in his spirits and constitution. How happy might that man have been, if there had been added to his natural and acquired endowments a dash of morality! If he had known how to distinguish between false and true felicity; and, instead of seeking to increase an estate already too large, and hunting after pleasures that have made him rotten and ridiculous, he had bounded his desires of wealth, and followed the dictates of his conscience! His servile ambition has gained him two yards of red riband and an exile into a miserable country, where there is no society, and so little taste, that I believe he suffers under a dearth of flatterers. This is said for the use of your growing sons, whom I hope no golden temptations will induce to marry women they cannot love, or comply with measures they do not approve. All the happiness this world can afford is more within reach than is generally supposed. A wise and honest man lives to his own heart, without that silly splendour that makes him a prey to knaves, and which commonly ends in his becoming one of the fraternity." Works, vol. iii. p. 160.-E.
419 Letter 259 To The Rev. Dr. Birch. Arlington Street, May 4, 1758.
Sir, I thought myself very unlucky in being abroad when you were so good as to call here t'other day. I not only lost the pleasure of your company, but the opportunity of obtaining from you (what however I will not despair of) any remarks you may have made on the many errors which I fear you found in my book.(886) The hurry in which it was written, my natural carelessness and insufficiency, must have produced many faults and mistakes. As the curiosity of the world, raised I believe only by the smallness Of the number printed, makes it necessary for me to provide another edition, I should be much obliged to whoever would be enough my friend to point out my wrong judgments and inaccuracies,—I know nobody, Sir, more capable Of both offices than yourself, and yet I have no pretensions to ask so great a favour, unless your own zeal for the cause of literature should prompt you to undertake a little of this task. I shall be always ready to correct my faults, never to defend them.
(886) " The Catalogue of Royal and Noble Authors," of which Walpole had just printed three hundred copies, at the Strawberry Hill press.-E.
420 Letter 260 To George Montagu, Esq. Arlington Street, May 4, 1758.
You are the first person, I believe, that ever thought of a Swiss transcribing Welsh, unless, like some commentator on the Scriptures, you have discovered great affinity between those languages, and that both are dialects of the Phoenician. I have desired your brother to call here to-day, and to help us in adjusting the inscriptions. I can find no Lady Cutts in your pedigree, and till I do, cannot accommodate her with a coronet.
My book is marvellously in fashion, to my great astonishment. I did not expect so much truth and such notions of liberty would have made their fortune in this our day. I am preparing an edition for publication, and then I must expect to be a little less civilly treated. My Lord Chesterfield tells every body that he subscribes to all my opinions; but this mortifies me about as much as the rest flatter me I cannot, because it is my own case, forget how many foolish books he has diverted himself with commending The most extraordinary thing I have heard about mine is, that it being talked of at lord Arran's table, Doctor King, the Dr. King of Oxford, said of the passage on my father; "It is very modest, very genteel, and VEry TRUE." I asked my Lady Cardigan if she would forgive my making free with her grandmother;(887) she replied very sensibly, "I am sure she would not have hindered any body from writing against me; why should I be angry at any writing against her?"
The history promised you of Dr. Brown is this. Sir Charles Williams had written an answer to his first silly volume of the Estimate,(888) chiefly before he came over, but finished while he was confined at Kensington. Brown had lately lodged in the same house, not mad now, though he has been so formerly. The landlady told Sir Charles, and offered to make affidavit that Dr. Brown was the most profane cursor and swearer that ever came into her house. Before I proceed in my history, I will tell you another anecdote of this great performer: one of his antipathies is the Opera, yet the only time I ever saw him was in last Passion-week singing the Romish Stabat mater with the Mingotti, behind a harpsichord at a great concert at my Lady Carlisle's. Well—in a great apprehension of Sir Charles divulging the story of his swearing, Brown went to Dodsley in a most scurrilous and hectoring manner, threatening Dodsley if he should publish any thing personal against him; abusing Sir Charles for a coward and most abandoned man, and bidding Dodsley tell the latter that he had a cousin in the army who would call Sir Charles to account for any reflections on him, Brown. Stay; this Christian message from a divine, who by the way has a chapter in his book against duelling, is not all: Dodsley refused to carry any such message, unless in writing. The Doctor, enough in his senses to know the consequences of this, refused; and at last a short verbal message, more decently worded, was agreed on. To this Sir Charles made Dodsley write down this answer: "that he could not but be surprised at Brown's message, after that he Sir Charles, had, at Ranby's desire, sent Brown a written assurance that he intended to say nothing personal of him—nay, nor should yet, unless Brown's impertinence made it necessary." This proper reply Dodsley sent: Brown wrote back, that he should send an answer to Sir Charles himself; but bid Dodsley take notice, that printing the works of a supposed lunatic might be imputed to the printer himself, and which he, the said Doctor, should chastise. Dodsley, after notifying this new and unprovoked insolence to me, Fox, and Garrick, the one friend of Sir Charles, the other of Brown, returned a very proper, decent, yet firm answer, with assurances of repaying chastisement of any sort. Is it credible? this audacious man sent only a card back, saying, "Footman's language I never return, J. Brown." You know how decent, humble, inoffensive a creature Dodsley is; how little apt to forget or disguise his having been a footman! but there is no exaggerating this behaviour by reflections. On the same card he tells Dodsley that he cannot now accept, but returns his present of the two last volumes of his collection of poems, and assures him that they are not soiled by the reading. But the best picture of him is his own second volume, which beats all the Scaligers and Scioppins's for vanity and insolent impertinence. What is delightful; in the first volume he had deified Warburton, but the success of that trumpery has made Warburton jealous, and occasioned a coolness—but enough of this jackanapes.