The Letters of Horace Walpole, Volume 2
by Horace Walpole
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Your brother has been here, and as he is to go to-morrow, and the pedigree is not quite finished, and as you will be impatient, and as it is impossible for us to transcribe Welsh which we cannot read without your assistance, who don't understand it neither, we have determined that the Colonel should carry the pedigree to you; you will examine it and bring it with you to Strawberry, where it can be finished under your own eye, better than it is possible to do without. Adieu! I have not writ so long a letter this age.

(887) Sarah, Duchess of Marlborough.

(888) Estimate of the Manners of the Times. See ant'e, p. 232, letter 119.-E.

422 Letter 261 To Sir Horace Mann. Arlington Street, May 31, 1758.

This is rather a letter of thanks than of course, though I have received, I verily believe, three from you since my last. Well, then, this is to thank you for them too—chiefly for that of to-day, with the account of the medals you have purchased for me from Stosch, and those your own munificence bestows on me. I am ashamed to receive the latter; I must positively know what you paid for the former; and beg they may all be reserved till a very safe opportunity. The price for the Ganymede is so monstrous that I must not regret not having it—yet if ever he should lower, I should still have a hankering, as it is one of the finest medals I ever saw. Are any of the others in silver? old Stosch had them so. When any of the other things I mentioned descend to more mortal rates, I would be sorry to lose them.

Should not you, if you had not so much experienced the contrary, imagine that services begot gratitude? You know they don't—Shall I tell you what they do beget?—at best, expectations of more services. This is my very case now—you have just been delivered of one trouble for me—I am going to get you with twins—two more troubles. In the first place, I shall beg you to send me a case of liqueurs; in the next all the medals in copper of my poor departed friend the Pope, for whom I am as much concerned as his subjects have reason to be. I don't know whether I don't want samples of his coins, and the little pieces struck during the sede vacante. I know what I shall want, any authentic anecdotes of the conclave. There! are there commissions enough? I did receive the Pope's letter on my inscription, and the translation of the epitaph on Theodore, and liked both much, and thought I had thanked you for them—but I perceive I am not half so grateful as troublesome.

Here is the state of our news and politics. We thought our foreign King(889) on the road to Vienna: he is now said to be prevented by Daun, and to be reduced to besiege Olmutz, which has received considerable supplies. Accounts make Louisbourgh reduced to wait for being taken by us as the easiest way of avoiding being starved.—In short, we are to be those unnatural fowl, ravens that carry bread. But our biggest of all expectations is from our own invasion of France, which took post last Sunday; fourteen thousand landmen, eighteen ships of the line, frigates, sloops, bombs, and four volunteers, Lord Downe, Sir James Lowther, Sir John Armitage, and Mr. Delaval— the latter so ridiculous a character, that it has put a stop to the mode that was spreading. All this commanded by Lord Anson, who has beat the French; by the Duke of Marlborough, whose name has beaten them; and by Lord George Sackville, who is to beat them. Every port and town on the coast of Flanders and France have been guessed for the object. It is a vast armament, whether it succeeds or is lost.

At home there are seeds of quarrels. Pratt the attorney-general has fallen on a necessary extension of the Habeas Corpus to private cases. The interpreting world ascribes his motive to a want of affection for my Lord Mansfield, who unexpectedly is supported by the late Chancellor, the Duke of Newcastle, and that part of the ministry; and very expectedly by Mr. Fox, as this is likely to make a breach between the united powers. The bill passed almost unanimously through our House. It will have a very different fate in the other, where Lord Temple is almost single in its defence, and where Mr. Pitt seems to have little influence. If this should produce a new revolution, you will not be surprised. I don't know that it will; but it has already shown how little cordiality subsists since the last.

I had given a letter for you to a young gentleman of Norfolk, an only son, a friend of Lord Orford, and of much merit, who was going to Italy with Admiral Broderick. He is lost in that dreadful catastrophe of the Prince George—it makes one regret him still more, as the survivors mention his last behaviour with great encomiums.

Adieu! my dear child! -when I look back on my letter, I don't know whether there would not be more propriety in calling you my factor.

P. S. I cannot yet learn who goes to Turin: it was offered upon his old request, to my Lord Orford but he has declined it.

(889) The King of Prussia.

423 Letter 262 To The Hon. H. S. Conway. Arlington Street, June 4, 1758.

The Habeas Corpus is finished, but only for this year. Lord Temple threatened to renew it the next; on which Lord Hardwicke took the party of proposing to order the judges to prepare a bill for extending the power of granting the writ in vacation to all the judges. This prevented a division; though Lord Temple, who protested alone t'other day, had a flaming protest ready, which was to have been signed by near thirty. They sat last night till past nine. Lord Mansfield spoke admirably for two hours and twenty-five minutes. Except Lord Ravensworth and the Duke of Newcastle, whose meaning the first never knows himself, and the latter's nobody else, all who spoke spoke well: they were Lord Temple, Lord Talbot, Lord Bruce, and Lord Stanhope, for; Lord Morten, Lord Hardwicke, and Lord Mansfield, against the bill.(890) T'other day in our House, we had Lady Ferrars' affair: her sister was heard, and Lord Westmoreland, who had a seat within the bar. Mr. Fox opposed the settlement; but it passed.

The Duke of Grafton has resigned. Norborne Berkeley has converted a party of pleasure into a campaign, and is gone with the expedition,(891) without a shirt but what he had on, and what is lent him. The night he sailed he had invited women to supper. Besides him, and those you know, is a Mr. Sylvester Smith. Every body was asking, "But who is Sylvester Smith?" Harry Townshend replied, "Why, he is the son of Delaval, who was the son of Lowther, who was the son of Armitage, who was the son of Downe."(892)

The fleet sailed on Thursday morning. I don't know why, but the persuasion is that they will land on this side Ushant, and that we shall hear some events by Tuesday or Wednesday. Some believe that Lord Anson and Howe have different destinations. Rochfort, where there are twenty thousand men, is said positively not to be the place. the King says there are eighty thousand men and three marshals in Normandy and Bretagne. George Selwyn asked General Campbell, if the ministry had yet told the King the object?

Mademoiselle de l'Enclos is arrived,(893) to my supreme felicity. I cannot say very handsome or agreeable: but I had been prepared on the article of her charms. I don't say, like Henry VIII. of Anne of Cleves, that she is a Flanders mare, though to be sure she Is rather large: on the contrary, I bear it as well as ever prince did who was married by proxy-and she does not find me fricass'e dans de la neige."(894) Adieu!

P. S. I forgot to tell you of another galanterie I have had, -a portrait of Queen Elizabeth left here while I was out of town. The servant said it was a present, but he had orders not to say from whom.

(890) Lord Bute thus bewails the fate of the bill, in a letter to Mr. Pitt of the same day: "What a terrible proof was Friday, in the House of Lords, of the total loss of public spirit, and the most supreme indifference to those valuable rights, for the obtaining which our ancestors freely risked both life and fortune! These are dreadful clouds that hang over the future accession, and damp the hopes I should otherwise entertain of that important day." Chatham Correspondence, vol. i. p. 317.-E.

(891) The expedition against St. Maloes.

(892) All these gentlemen had been volunteers on successive expeditions to the coast of France.

(893) The portrait of ninon de l'Enclos.

(894) Madame de S'evign'e, in her letters to her daughter, reports that Ninon thus expressed herself relative to her son, the Marquis de Sevign'e, who was one of her lovers.

424 Letter 263 To Dr. Ducarel. June, 1758.

I am very much obliged to you for the remarks and hints you sent me on my Catalogue. They will be of use to me; and any observations of my friends I shall be very thankful for, and disposed to employ, to make my book, what it is extremely far from being, more perfect. I was very glad to hear, Sir, that the present Lord Archbishop of Canterbury has continued you in an employment for which nobody is so fit, and in which nobody would be so useful. I wish all manner of success to, as well as continuance of, your labours; and am, etc. etc.

425 Letter 264 To Sir Horace Mann. Arlington Street, Sunday morning, June 11, 1758.

This will not depart till to-morrow, by which time probably there will be more news, but I am obliged to go into the country to-day, and would not let so much history set out, without my saying a word of it, as I know you trust to no gazette but mine. Last Thursday se'nnight our great expedition departed from Portsmouth—and soon separated; lord Anson with the great ships to lie before Brest, and Commodore Howe,(895) our naval hero, with the transports and a million of small fry on the secret enterprise. At one o'clock on Thursday night, alias Friday morning a cutter brought advice that on Sunday night the transports had made land in Concalle Bay, near St. Maloes, had disembarked with no opposition or loss, except of a boatswain and two sailors, killed from a little fort, to which Howe was near enough to advise them not to resist. However, some peasants in it fired and then ran away. Some prisoners have assured our troops that there is no force within twenty leagues. This may be apocryphal, a word which, as I am left at liberty, I always interpret false. It is plain, however, that we were not expected at St. Maloes at least. We are in violent impatience to hear the consequences—especially whether we have taken the town, in which there is but one battalion, many old houses of wood, and the water easily to be cut off.

If you grow wise and ask me with a political face, whether St. Maloes is an object worth risking fourteen thousand of our best troops, an expense of fifty thousand pounds, and half of the purplest blood of England, I shall toss up my head with an air of heroism and contempt, and only tell you—There! there is the Duke Of Marlborough in the heart of France; (for in the heroic dictionary the heart and the coast signify the same thing;) what would you have? Did Harry V. or Edward III mind whether it was a rich town or a fishing town, provided they did but take a town in France? We are as great as ever we were in the most barbarous ages, and you are asking mercantile Questions with all the littleness of soul that attends the improvements in modern politics! Well! my dear child, I smile, but I tremble-. and though it is pleasanter to tremble when one invades, than when one is invaded, I don't like to be at the eve even of an Agincourt. There are so many of my friends upon heroic ground, that I discern all their danger through all their laurels. Captain Smith, aide-de-camp to Lord George Sackville, dated his letter to the Duke of Dorset, "from his Majesty's dominions in France." Seriously, what a change is here! His Majesty, since this time twelvemonth, had not only recovered his dominions in Germany, but is on the acquiring foot in France. What heads, what no heads must they have in France! Where are their Cardinals, their Saxes, their Belleisles? Where are their fleets, their hosts, their arts, their subsidies? Subsidies, indeed! Where are ours? we pay none, or almost none, and are ten times greater than when we hired half Europe. In short, the difference of our situation is miraculous; and if we can but keep from divisions at home, and the King of Prussia does not prosper too fast for us, we may put France and ourselves into situations to prevent them from being formidable to us for a long season. Should the Prussian reduce too suddenly the Empress-Queen to beg and give him a secure peace, considering how deep a stake he still plays for, one could not well blame his accepting it—and then we should still be to struggle with France.

But while I am politicising, I forget to tell you half the purport of my letter—part indeed you will have heard; Prince Ferdinand's passage of Rhine, the most material circumstance of which, in my opinion, is the discovery of the amazing weakness of the French in their army, discipline, councils, and conduct. Yesterday, as If to amuse us agreeably till we hear again from St. Maloes, an express arrived of great conquests and captures which three of our ships have made on the river Gambia, to the destruction of the French trade and settlements there. I don't tell you the particulars, because I don't know them, and because you see them in the gazette. In one week we strike a medal with Georgius, Germanicus, Gallicus, Africanus.

Mr. M'Kinsy, brother of Lord Bute, has kissed hands for Turin; you remember him at Florence. He is very well-bred, and you will find him an agreeable neighbour enough.

I have seen the vases at Holland-house, and am perfectly content with them: the forms are charming. I assure you Mr. Fox and Lady Caroline do not like them less than I do. Good night! am not I a very humane conqueror to condescend to write so long a letter?

(895) Richard, after the death of his elder brother, Viscount Howe.

426 Letter 265 To The Hon. H. S. Conway. June 16, 1758, 2 o'clock noon.

Well, my dear Harry! you are not the only man in England who have not conquered France!(896) Even Dukes of Marlborough have been there without doing the business. I don't doubt but your good heart has even been hoping, in spite of your understanding, that our heroes have not only taken St. Maloes, but taken a trip cross the country to burn Rochefort, only to show how easy it was. We have waited with astonishment at not hearing that the French court was removed in a panic to Lyons, and that the Mesdames had gone off in their shifts with only a provision of rouge for a week. Nay, for my part, I expected to be deafened with encomiums on my Lord Anson's continence, who, after being allotted Madame Pompadour as his share of the spoils, had again imitated Scipio, and, in spite of the violence of his temperament, had restored her unsullied to the King of France. Alack! we have restored nothing but a quarter of a mile of coast to the right owners. A messenger arrived in the middle of the night with an account that we have burned two frigates and an hundred and twenty small fry; that it was found impossible to bring up the cannon against the town; and that, the French army approaching the coast, Commodore Howe, with the expedition of Harlequin as well as the taciturnity, re-embarked our whole force in seven hours, volunteers and all, with the loss only of one man, and they are all gone to seek their fortune somewhere else. Well! in half a dozen more wars we shall know something of the coast of France. Last war we discovered a fine bay near Port l'Orient: we have now found out that we know nothing of St. Maloes. As they are popular persons, I hope the city of London will send some more gold boxes to these discoverers. If they send a patch-box to Lord George Sackville, it will hold all his laurels. As our young nobility cannot at present travel through France, I suppose that is a method for finishing their studies. George Selwyn says he supposes the French ladies will have scaffolds erected on the shore to see the English go by. But I won't detain the messenger any longer; I am impatient to make the Duchess(897) happy, who I hope will soon see the Duke returned from his coasting voyage.

The Churchills will be with you next Wednesday, and I believe I too; but I can take my own word so little, that I will not give it you. I know I must be back at Strawberry on Friday night; for Lady Hervey and Lady Stafford are to be there with me for a few days from to-morrow se'nnight. Adieu!

(896) Alluding to the expedition against Rochefort, the year before, in which Mr. Conway was second in command.

(897) Lady Mary Bruce, Duchess of Richmond, only child of the Countess of Ailesbury by her first marriage. She was at Park-place with her mother during the Duke of Richmond's absence, who was a volunteer upon this expedition

427 Letter 266 To The Earl Of Strafford. Arlington Street, June 16, 1758.

My dear lord, Dear lord, I stayed to write to you, in obedience to your commands, till I had something worth telling you. St. Maloes is taken by storm. The Governor leaped into the sea at the very name of the Duke of Marlborough. Sir James Lowther put his hand into his pocket, and gave the soldiers two hundred and fifty thousand pounds to drink the King's health on the top of the great church. Norborne Berkeley begged the favour of the Bishop to go back with him and see his house in Gloucestershire. Delaval is turned capuchin, with remorse, for having killed four thousand French with his own hand. Commodore Howe does nothing but talk of what he has done. Lord Downe, who has killed the intendant, has sent for Dupr'e(898) to put in his place; and my Lord Anson has ravished three abbesses, the youngest of whom was eighty-five. Sure, my lord, this account is glorious enough! Don't you think one might 'bate a little of it? How much will you give up? Will you compound for the town capitulating, and for threescore men of war and two hundred privateers burned in the harbour? I would fain beat you down as low as I could. What, if we should not have taken the town? Shall you be very much shocked, if, after burning two ships of fifty-four and thirty-six guns, and a bushel of privateers and smallware, we had thought it prudent to leave the town where we found it, and had re-embarked last Monday in seven hours, (the despatch of which implies at least as much precipitation as conduct,) and that of all the large bill of fare above, nothing should be true but Downe's killing the intendant; who coming out to reconnoitre, and not surrendering, Downe, at the head of some grenadiers, shot him dead. In truth, this is all the truth, as it came in the middle Of the night; and if your lordship is obstinately bent on the conquest of France, you must wait till we have found another loophole into it, which it seems our fleet is gone to look for. I fear it is not even true that we have beat them in the Mediterranean! nor have I any hopes but in Admiral Forbes, who must sail up the Rhone, burn Lyons, and force them to a peace at once.

I hope you have had as favourable Succession of sun and rain as we have. I go to Park-place next week, where I fancy I Shall find our little Duchess(899) quite content with the prospect of recovering her Duke, without his being provided with laurels like a boar's head. Adieu! my dear lord. My best compliments to my lady and her whole menagerie.

(898) A French master.

(899) of richmond.

428 Letter 267 To Sir Horace Mann. Strawberry Hill, June 18, 1758.

I write to you again so soon, only to laugh at my last letter. What a dupe was I! at my years to be dazzled with glory! to be charmed with the rattle of drums and trumpets, till I fancied myself at Cressy or Poictiers! In the middle of all this dream of conquest, just when I had settled in what room of my castle I would lodge the Duke of Alen'con or Montpensier, or whatever illustrious captive should be committed to the custody of Seneschal Me, I was awakened with an account of our army having re-embarked, after burning some vessels at St. Maloes. This is the history, neither more nor less, of this mighty expedition. They found the causeway broken up, stayed from Tuesday night till Monday morning in sight of the town; agreed it was impregnable; heard ten thousand French (which the next day here were erected into thirty thousand) were coming against them; took to their transports, and are gone to play at hide and seek somewhere else. This campaign being rather naked, is coloured over with the great damage we have done, and with the fine disposition and despatch made for getting away—the same colours that would serve to paint pirates or a flight. However, the city is pleased; and Mr. Pitt maintains that he never intended to take St. Maloes, which I believe, because when he did intend to have Rochefort taken last year, he sent no cannon; this year, when he never meant to take St. Maloes, he sent a vast train of artillery. Besides, one of the most important towns in France, lying some miles up in the country, was very liable to be stormed; a fishing town on the coast is naturally impracticable. The best side of the adventure is, that they were very near coming away without attempting the conflagration, and only thought of it by chance—then indeed

Diripuere focos— Atqui omnis facibus Pubes accingitur atris.

Perhaps the metamorphosis in Virgil of the ships into mermaids is not more absurd than an army of twelve or thirteen thousand of the flower of our troops and nobility performing the office of link-boys, making a bonfire, and running away! The French have said well, "les Anglois viennent nous casser des vitres avec des guin'ees."(900) We have lost six men, they five, and about a hundred vessels, from a fifty-gun ship to a mackerel-boat.

I don't only ask my own pardon for swelling out my imagination, but yours, for making you believe that you was to be representative of the Black Prince or Henry V. I hope you had sent no bullying letter to the conclave on the (,authority of my last letter, to threaten the cardinals, that if they did not elect the Archbishop of Canterbury Pope, you would send for part of the squadron from St. Maloes to burn Civita Vecchia. I had promised you the duchy of Bretagne, and we have lost Madras!

Our expedition is still afloat—whither bound, I know not; but pray don't bespeak any more laurels; wait patiently for what they shall send you from the Secretary's office.

I gave your brother James my new work to send you-I grieve that I must not, as usual, send a set for poor Dr. Cocchi. Good night!

(900) "Mr. Pitt's friends exult on the destruction of three French ships of war, and one hundred and thirty privateers and trading ships, and affirm that it stopped the march of three score thousand men, who were going to join the Comte de Clermont's army. On the other hand, Mr. Fox and company call it breaking windows with guineas, and apply the fable of the mountain and the mouse." Lord Chesterfield.-E.

430 Letter 268 To Sir David Dalrymple.(901) Strawberry Hill, June 29, 1758.

Sir, Inaccurate and careless, as I must own my book is,(902) I cannot quite repent having let it appear in that state, since it has procured me so agreeable and obliging a notice from a gentleman whose approbation makes me very vain. The trouble you have been so good as to give yourself, Sir, is by no means lost upon me; I feel the greatest gratitude for it, and shall profit not only of your remarks, but with your permission of your very words, wherever they will fall in with my text. The former are so judicious and sensible, and the latter so well chosen, that if it were not too impertinent to propose myself as an example, I should wish, Sir, that you would do that justice to the writers of your own country, which my ignorance has made me execute so imperfectly and barrenly.

Give me leave to say a few words to one or two of your notes. i should be glad to mention more instances of Queen Elizabeth's fondness for praise,(903) but fear I have already been too diffuse on her head. Bufo(904) is certainly Lord Halifax: the person at whom you hint is more nearly described by the name of Bubo, and I think in one place is even called Bubb.(905) The number of volumes of Parthenissa I took from the list of Lord Orrery's(906) writings in the Biographia: it is probable, therefore, Sir, that there were different editions of that romance. You will excuse my repeating once more, Sir, my thanks for your partiality to a work so little worthy of your favour. I even flatter myself that whenever you take a journey this way, you will permit me to have the honour of being acquainted with a gentleman to whom I have so particular an obligation.

(901) Now first collected. This eminent lawyer, antiquary, and historian was born in 1726. He was educated at Eton, and afterwards studied civil law at Utrecht. In 1748, he was called to the Scotch bar, and in 1766 made a judge of session, when he assumed the name of Lord Hailes. Boswell states, that Dr. Johnson, in 1763, drank a bumper to him "as a man of worth, a scholar, and a wit." His "Annals of Scotland" the Doctor describes as "a work which has such a stability of dates, such a certainty of facts, and such a punctuality of citation, that it must always sell." He wrote several papers in the World and Mirror. He died in 1792.-E.

(902) The Royal and Noble Authors.-E.

(903) Queen Elizabeth, who had turned Horace's Art of Poetry into English, having been offended with Sir Francis Bacon, the Earl of Essex, to recommend him again to favour, artfully told her, that his suit was not so much for the good of Bacon, as for her own honour, that those excellent translations of hers might be known to those who could best judge of them.-E.

(904) In Pope's Prologue to the Satires—

"Proud as Apollo on his forked hill, Sat full-blown Bufo puff'd by many a quill."-E.

(905) Bubb Dodington—

"And then for mine obligingly mistakes The first lampoon Sir Will, or Bubo makes."-E.

(906) Roger Boyle, Earl of Orrery. His Parthenissa, a romance in six books, appeared in folio in 1677.

431 Letter 269 To John Chute, Esq. Strawberry Hill, June 29, 1758.

The Tower-guns have sworn through thick and thin that Prince Ferdinand has entirely demolished the French, and the city-bonfires all believe it. However, as no officer is yet come, nor confirmation, my crackers suspend their belief. Our great fleet is stepped ashore again near Cherbourg; I suppose, to singe half a yard more of the coast. This is all I know; less, as you may perceive, than any thing but the Gazette.

What is become of Mr. Montagu? Has he stolen to Southampton, and slipped away a-volunteering like Norborne Berkeley, to conquer France in a dirty shirt and a frock? He might gather forty load more of laurels in my wood. I wish I could flatter myself that you would come with him.

My Lady Suffolk has at last entirely submitted her barn to our ordination. As yet it is only in Deacon;s orders; but will very soon have our last imposition of hands. Adieu! Let me know a word of you.

431 Letter 270 To George Montagu, Esq. Strawberry Hill, July 6, 1758.

You may believe I was thoroughly disappointed in not seeing you here, as I expected. I grieve for the reason, and wish you had told me that your brother was quite recovered. Must I give you over for the summer? sure you are in my debt.

That regiments are going to Germany is certain; which, except the Blues) I know not. Of all secrets I am not in any Irish ones. I hope for your sake, your Colonel(907) is not of the number; but how can you talk in the manner you do of Prince Ferdinand! Don't you know that, next to Mr. Pitt and Mr. Delaval, he is the most fashionable man in England? Have not the Tower-guns, and all the parsons in London, been ordered to pray for him? You have lived in Northamptonshire till you are ignorant that Hanover is in Middlesex, as the Bishop's palace at Chelsea is in the diocese of Winchester. In hopes that you will grow better acquainted with your own country, I remain your affected Horatius Valpolhausen.

(907) Mr. Montagu's brother.

432 Letter 271 To The Rev. Dr. Birch. Arlington Street, July 8, 1758.

Sir, As you have been so good as to favour me with your assistance, I flatter myself you will excuse my begging it once more. I am told that you mentioned to Dr. Jortin a Lord Mountjoy, who lived in the reign of Henry VIII. as an author. Will you be so good as to tell me any thing you know of him, and what he wrote. I shall entreat the favour of this notice as soon as possibly you can; because my book is printing off, and I am afraid of being past the place where he must come in. I am just going out of town, but a line put into the Post any night before nine o'clock will find me next morning at Strawberry Hill.

432 Letter 272 To The Hon. H. S. Conway.(908) Arlington Street, July 8, 1758.

You have made me laugh; do you think I found much difficulty to persist in thinking as well of you as I used to do, though you have neither been so great a Poliorcetes as Almanzor, who could take a town alone, nor have executed the commands of another Almanzor, who thought he could command the walls of a city to tumble down as easily as those of Jericho did to the march of Joshua's first regiment of Guards? Am I so apt to be swayed by popular clamour. But I will say no more on that head. As to the wording of the sentence, I approve your objection; and as I have at least so little of the author in me as to be very corrigible, I will, if you think proper, word the beginning thus:—

"In dedicating a few trifles(909) to you, I have nothing new to tell the world. My esteem still accompanies your merit, on which 'it was founded, and to which, with such abilities as mine, I can only bear testimony; I must not pretend to vindicate it. If your virtues," etc. It shall not be said that I allowed prejudice and clamour to be the voice of the world against you. I approve, too, the change of "proposed" for "would have undertaken;" but I cannot like putting in "prejudice and malice." When One accuses others of malice, one is a little apt to feel it; and if I could flatter myself that such a thing as a Dedication would have weight, or that any thing of mine would last, I would have it look as dispassionate as possible. When after some interval I assert coolly that you was most wrongfully blamed, I shall be believed. If I seem angry, it will look like a party quarrel still existing.

Instead of resenting your not being employed in the present follies, I think you might write a letter of thanks to my Lord Ligonier, Or to Mr. Pitt, or even to the person who is appointed to appoint generals himself,(910) to thank them for not exposing you a second year. All the puffs in the newspapers cannot long stifle the ridicule which the French will of course propagate through all Europe on the foolish figure we have made. You shall judge by one sample: the Duc d'Aiguillon has literally sent a vessel with a flag of truce to the Duke of Marlborough, with some teaspoons which, in his hurry, he left behind him. I know the person who saw the packet before it was delivered to the Blenheimeius. But what will you say to this wise commander himself? I am going to tell you no secret, but what he uttered publicly at the levee. The King asked him, if he had raised great contributions? "Contributions, Sir! we saw nothing but old women." What becomes of the thirty thousand men that made them retire with such expedition to their transports? My Lord Downe, as decently as he can, makes the greatest joke of their enterprise, and has said at Arthur's, that.,five hundred men posted with a grain of common sense would have cut them all to pieces. I was not less pleased at what M. de Monbagon, the young prisoner, told Charles Townshend t'other day at Harley's: he was actually at Rochfort when you landed, where he says they had six thousand men, most impatient for your approach, and so posted that not one of you would ever have returned. This is not an evidence to be forgot.

Howe and Lord George Sackville are upon the worst terms, as the latter is with the military too. I can tell you some very curious anecdotes when I see you; but what I do not choose, for particular reasons, to write. What is still more curious, when Lord George kissed hands at Kensington, not a word was said to him.

How is your fever? tell me, when you have a mind to write, but don't think it necessary to answer my gazettes; indeed I don't expect it.

(908) Now first printed.

(909) The little Volume of Fugitive Pieces, printed this year at the Strawberry Hill press.

(910) The King.-E.

433 Letter 273 To Sir Horace Mann. Arlington Street, July 8, 1758.

If you will not take Prince Ferdinand's victory at Crevelt in full of all accounts, I don't know what you will do—autrement, we are insolvent. After dodging about the coasts of Normandy and Bretagne, our armada is returned; but in the hurry of the retreat from St. Maloes, the Duke of Marlborough left his silver teaspoons behind. As he had generously sent back an old woman's finger and gold ring, which one of our soldiers had cut off, the Duc d'Aiguillon has sent a cartel-ship with the prisoner-spoons. How they must be diverted with this tea-equipage, stamped with the Blenheim eagles! and how plain by this sarcastic compliment what they think of US! Yet We fancy that we detain forty thousand men on the coast from Prince Clermont's army! We are sending nine thousand men to Prince Ferdinand; part, those of the expedition: the remainder are to make another attempt; perhaps to batter Calais with a pair of tea-tongs.

I am sorry for the Comte de la Marche, and much more sorry for the Duc de Gisors.(911) He was recommended to me when he was in England; I knew him much, and thought as well of him as all the world did. He was graver, and with much more application to improve himself, than any young Frenchman of quality I ever saw. How unfortunate Belleisle is, to have outlived his brother, his only son, and his hearing! You will be charmed with an answer of Prince Ferdinand to our Princess Gouvernante of Holland.(912) She wrote by direction of the States to complain of his passing over the territories of the Republic. He replied, "That he was sorry, though he had barely crossed over a very small corner of their dominions; and should not have trespassed even there, if he had had the same Dutch guides to conduct him that led the French army last year to Hanover."

I congratulate 'you on your regale from the Northumberlands. How seldom people think of all the trouble and expense they put you to—I amongst the rest! Apropos, if they are not bespoken, I will not trouble you for the case of drams. Lord Hertford has given me some of his; the fashion is much on the decline, and never drinking any myself, these will last me long enough and considering that I scarce ever give you a commission, but somehow or other ends at your expense, (witness the medals you gave me of your own,) it is time for me to check my pen that asks so flippantly. As I am not mercenary, I cannot bear to turn you to account; if I was, I should bear it very easily: but it is ridiculous to profit of one's friends, when one does not make friendships with that view.

Methinks you don't make a Pope very fast. The battle of Crevelt has restored him a little, or the head of our church was very declining. He said the other day to Lady Coventry in the drawing-room, "Don't look at me, I am a dismal figure; I have entirely lost one eye."Adieu!

(911) Only son of Marshal Belleisle; he was killed at the battle of Crevelt: the Comte de la Marche was not.

(912) Anne, eldest daughter of George II. and Princess Dowager of Orange.

434 Letter 274 To The Hon. H. S. Conway. Strawberry Hill, July 21, 1758.

Your gazette, I know, has been a little idle; but we volunteer gazettes, like other volunteers, are not easily tied down to regularity and rules. We think we have so much merit, that we think we have a right to some demerit too; and those who depend upon us, I mean us gazettes, are often disappointed, A common-foot newspaper may want our vivacity, but is ten times more useful. Besides, I am not in town, and ten miles out of it is an hundred miles out of it for all the purposes of news . You know, of course, that Lord George Sackville refused to go a-buccaneering again, as he called it; that my friend Lord Ancram, who loves a dram of any thing, from glory to brandy, is out of order; that just as Lord Panmure was going to take the command,@e missed an eye; and that at last they have routed out an old General Blighe from the horse armoury in Ireland, who is to undertake the codicil to the expedition. Moreover, you know that Prince Edward is bound 'prentice to Mr. Howe.(913) All this you have heard; yet, like my cousin the Chronicle, I repeat what has been printed in every newspaper of the week, and then finish with one paragraph of spick and span. Alack! my postscript is not very fortunate: a convoy of twelve thousand men, etc. was going to the King of' Prussia, was attacked unexpectedly by five thousand Austrians, and cut entirely to pieces; provisions, ammunition, etc. all taken. The King instantly raised the siege, and retreated with so much precipitation, that he was forced to nail up sixty pieces of cannon. I conclude the next we hear of him will be a great victory-. if he sets over night in a defeat, he always rises next morning in a triumph—at least, we that have nothing to do but expect and admire, shall be extremely disappointed if he does not. Besides, he is three months debtor to Fame.

The only private history of any freshness is, my Lady Dalkeith's christening; the child had three godfathers: and I will tell you why: they had thought of the Duke of Newcastle, my Lord and George Townshend: but of two Townshends and his grace, God could not take the word of any two of them, so all three were forced to be bound.

I draw this comfort from the King of Prussia's defeat, that it may prevent the folly of another expedition: I don't know how or why, but no reason is a very good one against a thing that has no reason in it. Eleven hundred men are ill from the last enterprise. Perhaps Don William Quixote(914) and Admiral Amadis(915) may determine to send them to the Danube: for, as no information ever precedes their resolutions, and no impossibilities ever deter them, I don't see why the Only thing worthy their consideration should not be, how glorious and advantageous an exploit it would be, if it could be performed. Why did Bishop Wilkins try to fly? Not that he thought it practicable, but because it would be very convenient. As he did not happen to be a particular favourite of the city of London, he was laughed at: they prepossessed in his favour, and he would have received twenty gold boxes, though twenty people had broken their neck off St. Paul's with trying the experiment.

I have heard a whisper, that you do not go into Yorkshire this summer. Is it true? It is fixed that I go to Ragley(916) on the 13th of next month; I trust you do so too. have you had such deluges for three weeks well counted, as we have? If I had not cut one of my perroquet's wings, and there were an olive-tree in the country, I would send to know where there is a foot of dry land.

You have heard, I suppose,—if not, be it known to you,—that Mr. Keppel, the canon of Windsor, espouses my niece Laura; yes, Laura.(917) I rejoice much; so I receive your compliments upon if, lest you as it sometimes happens, forget to make them. Adieu!

July 22.

For the pleasure of my conscience I had written all the above last night, expecting Lord Lyttelton, the Dean, and other company, This morning I receive yours; and having already told you all I know, I have only a few paragraphs to answer.

I am pleased that you are pleased about my book:(918) you shall see it very soon; though there will scarce be a new page: nobody else shall see it till spring. In the first place, the prints will not be finished: in the next, I intend that two or three other things shall appear before it from my press, of other authors; for I will not surfeit people with my writings, nor have them think that I propose to find employment alone for a whole press—so far from it, I intend to employ it no more about myself.

I will certainly try to see you during your waiting.,' Adieu!

(913) In the preceding month, Prince Edward had been appointed a midshipman, and in July embarked on board the Essex, commanded by Lord Howe, upon the expedition against Cherburg.-E.

(914) William Pitt, secretary of state.

(915) Lord Anson, first lord of the admiralty.

(916) The seat of the Earl of Hertford.

(917) the eldest daughter of Sir Edward Walpole.

(918) Anecdotes of Painting.

(919) As groom of the bedchamber to the King.

436 Letter 275 To The Rev. Henry Zouch.(920) Strawberry Hill, August 3d, 1758.

Sir, I have received, with much pleasure and surprise, the favour of your remarks upon my Catalogue; and whenever I have the opportunity of being better known to you, I shall endeavour to express my gratitude for the trouble you have given yourself in contributing to perfect a work,(921) which, notwithstanding your obliging expressions, I fear you found very little worthy the attention of so much good sense and knowledge, Sir, as you possess. I am extremely thankful for all the information you have given me; I had already met with a few of the same lights as I have received, Sir, from you, as I shall mention in their place. The very curious accounts of Lord Fairfax were entirely new and most acceptable to me. If I decline making use of one or two of your hints, I believe I can explain my reasons to your satisfaction. I will, with your leave, go regularly through your letter.

As Caxton(922) laboured in the monastery of Westminster, it is not at all unlikely that he should wear the habit, nor, considering how vague our knowledge of that age is, impossible but he might enter the order.

I have met with Henry's institution of a Christian, and shall give you an account of it in my next edition. In that, too, I shall mention, that Lord Cobham's(923) allegiance professed at his death to Richard II. probably means to Richard and his right heirs, whom he had abandoned for the house of Lancaster. As the article is printed off, it is too late to say any thing more about his works.

In all the old books of genealogy you will find, Sir, that young Richard Duke of York(924) was solemnly married to a child of his own age, Anne Mowbray, the heiress of Norfolk, who died young as well as he.

The article of the Duke of Somerset is printed off too; besides, I should imagine the letter you mention not to be of his own composition, for, though not illiterate, he certainly could not write any thing like classic Latin.(925) I may, too, possibly, have inclusively mentioned the very letter; I have not Ascham's book, to see from what copy the letter was taken, but probably from one of those which I have said is in Bennet Library.

The Catalogue of Lord Brooke's works is taken from the volume of his works; such pieces of his as I found doubted, particularly the tragedy of Cicero, I have taken notice of as doubtful.

In my next edition you will see, Sir, a note on Lord Herbert, who, besides being with the King at York, had offended the peers by a speech in his Majesty's defence. Mr. Wolseley's preface I shall mention, from your information. Lord Rochester's letters to his son are letters to a child, bidding him mind his book and his grandmother. I had already been told, Sir, what you tell me of marchmont Needham.

Matthew Clifford I have altered to Martin, as you prescribe: the blunder was my own, as well as a more considerable one, that of Lord Sandwich's death—which was occasioned by my supposing at first, that the translation of Barba(926) was made by the second earl, whose death I had marked in the list, and forgot to alter, after I had writ the account of the father. I shall take care to set this right, as the second volume is not yet begun to be printed.

Lord Halifax's maxims I have already marked down, as I shall Lord Dorset's share in Pompey.

The account of the Duke of Wharton's death I had from a very good hand—Captain Willoughby; who, in the convent where the duke died, saw a picture of him in the habit. If it was a Bernardine convent, the Gentleman might confound them; but, considering that there is no life of the duke but bookseller's trash, it is much more likely that they mistook.

I have no doubts about Lord Belhaven's speeches; but unless I could verify their being published by himself, it were contrary to my rule to insert them.

If you look, Sir, into Lord Clarendon's account Of Montrose's death, you will perceive that there is no probability of the book of his actions being composed by himself.

I will consult Sir James Ware's book on Lord Totness's and I will mention the Earl of Cork's Memoirs.

Lord Lessington is the Earl of Monmouth, in whose article I have taken notice of his Romulus and Tarquin.

Lord Berkeley's book I have actually got, and shall give him an article.

There is one more passage, Sir, in your letter, which I cannot answer, without putting you to new trouble-a liberty which all your indulgence cannot justify me in taking; else I would beg to know on what authority you attribute to Laurence Earl of Rochester(927) the famous preface to his father's history, which I have always heard ascribed to Atterbury, Smallridge, and Aldridge. The knowledge of this would be an additional favour; it would be a much greater, Sir, if coming this way, you would ever let me have the honour of seeing a gentleman to whom I am so much obliged.

(920) The Rev. Henry Zouch was the elder brother of Dr. Thomas Zouch, better known in the literary world. Henry principally dedicated himself to the performance of his duties as a clergyman, a country gentleman and a magistrate; in all which characters he was highly exemplary. He published several works connected with these avocations, particularly on the management of prisons, and on other points of police. He had, also, earlier days, been a poet; and these letters show that he was well acquainted with the literary history and antiquities of his country. Having lived in close intimacy and friendship with Mr. Walpole's friend and correspondent, William Earl of Strafford, it is probable that through him he became interested in Mr. Walpole's pursuits, and disposed to contribute that assistance towards the perfection of the "Catalogue of Royal and Noble authors," which is so justly acknowledged by Mr. Walpole. Mr. Zouch died at the family seat of sandall, in Yorkshire, of which parish he was also vicar, in June, 1795; leaving his friend and kinsman, the Earl of lonsdale, his executor, by whose favour these letters are now given to the public. The exact time of his birth is not ascertained; but as he was an A. B. of Trinity College, Cambridge, in 1746, he probably was born about 1725.-C. [Mr. Walpole's Letters to the Rev. Henry Zouch first appeared in the year 1805, edited by the Right Honourable John Wilson Croker; to whose notes the initial C. is affixed.]

(921) The "Catalogue of Royal and Noble Authors," originally published by Mr. Walpole in 1758. Mr. Zouch appears to have commenced the correspondence on the occasion of this publication. The author of the Catalogue received much of the same kind of assistance as was given to him by Mr. Zouch; but as editor, Mr. Park, says, "it would seem that Lord Orford was more thankful for communications tendered, than desirous to let the contents of them be seen."-C.

(922) It is probable that Mr. Zouch objected to Mr. Walpole's assertion, that the illumination prefixed to a manuscript in Lambeth library, of Earl Rivers's translation of "The Dictes and Sayings of the Philosophers, by Jehan de Teonville," represented the Earl introducing Caxton to Edward IV. Mr. Zouch seems to have very properly doubted whether Caxton would wear the clerical habit, as the figure referred to in that illumination does; and Mr. Walpole replies to that doubt. Upon the same subject, Mr. Cole says, qu. how Lord Orford came to know the kneeling figure in a clerical habit, was Caxton the printer? He is certainly a priest, as is evident from his tonsure, but I do not think that Caxton was in orders. I should rather suppose that it was designed for Jehan de Teonville, provost of Paris."-C.

(923) Mr. Walpole did make this promised statement in the following note: "King Richard had long been dead; I suppose it is only meant that Lord Cobham disclaimed obedience to the house of Lancaster, who had usurped the throne of King Richard and his right heirs."-C.

(924) He was married on the 15th of January, 1477-8, in the fourth year of his age.-C.

(925) In a subsequent edition Mr. Walpole recites the title of this letter, "Epistola exhortatoria missa ad Nobilitatem ac Plebem universumque Populum Regni Scotiae," printed in 4to. at London, 1548; and he adds, this might possibly be composed by some dependant. We do not exactly see the grounds of Walpole's assertion, that the Lord Protector Somerset "could not write any thing like classic Latin;": although we admit that his having been chancellor of Cambridge is not conclusive evidence upon this subject; and that it is probable that the letter was written by his secretary.-C.

(926) "The Art of Metals, in which is declared the manner of their generation." Albara Alonzo Barba was curate of St. Bernard's in Potosi. This work, which contains a great deal of practical information on mining, has also been translated into German and French. The English editions are very scarce, and a republication might be desirable in this age of mining adventure.-C.

(927) Second son of the great Lord Clarendon. Mr. Walpole makes no mention of this preface, but Mr. Park seems to have entertained the same idea as Mr. Zouch, as he says, "His lordship merits honourable notice in the present work, as the conceived author of a preface to the first edition of his noble father's history, which abounds with dignified sentiment and filial reverence."-C.

439 Letter 276 To The Rev. Henry Zouch. Strawberry Hill, August 12, 1758.

Sir, It were a disrespect to your order, of which I hope you think me incapable, not to return an immediate answer to the favour of your last, the engaging modesty of which would raise my esteem if I had not felt it before for you. I certainly do not retract my desire of being better acquainted with you, Sir, from the knowledge you are pleased to give me of yourself. Your profession is an introduction any where; but, before I learned that, you will do me the justice to observe, that your good sense and learning were to me sufficient recommendation; and though, in the common intercourse of the world, rank and birth have their proper distinctions, there is certainly no occasion for them between men whose studies and inclinations are the same. Indeed, I know nothing that gives me any pretence to think any gentlemen my inferior. I am a very private person myself, and if I have any thing to boast from my birth, it is from the good understanding, not from the nobility of my father. I must beg, therefore, that, in the future correspondence, which I hope we shall have, you will neither show me, nor think I expect, a respect to which I have no manner of title, and which I wish not for, unless it would enable me to be of service to gentlemen of merit, like yourself. I will say no more on this head, but to repeat, that if any occasion should draw you to this part of England, (as I shall be sorry if it is ill health that has carried you from home,) I flatter myself you will let me have the satisfaction and, for the last time of using so formal a word, the honour of seeing you.

In the mean time, you will oblige me by letting me know how I can convey my Catalogue to you. I ought, I know, to stay till I can send you a more correct edition; but, though the first volume is far advanced, the second may profit by your remarks. If you could send me the passage and the page in Vardus, relating to the Earl of Totness, it would much oblige ne; for I have only the English edition; and as I am going a little journey for a week, cannot just now get the Latin.

You mention, Sir, Mr. Thoresby's museum: is it still preserved entire?

I would fain ask you another question, very foreign to any thing I have been saying, but from your searches into antiquity, you may possibly, Sir, be able to explain what nobody whom I have consulted hitherto can unravel. At the end of the second part of the p. 105, in the folio edition, is a letter from Henry VIII. to the Cardinal Cibo, dated from our palace, Mindas, 10th July, 1527. In no map, topographical account, or book of antiquity, can I possibly find such house or place as Mindas.(928)

(928) See this corrected as a typographical mistake, post, p. 455.-C.

440 Letter 277 To Sir Horace Mann. Strawberry Hill, Aug. 12, 1758.

It is not a thousand years since I wrote to you, is it?—nay, if it is, blame the King of Prussia, who has been firing away his time at Olmutz; blame Admiral Howe, who never said a word of having taken Cherbourg till yesterday.—Taken Cherbourg!— yes, he has—he landed within six miles of it on the 6th, saw some force, who only stayed to run away; attacked a fort, a magazine blew up, the Guards marched against a body of French, who again made fools of them, pretending to stand, and then ran away—and then, and then, why, then we took Cherbourg. We pretended to destroy the works. and a basin that has just cost two millions. We have not lost twenty men. The City of London, I suppose, is drinking brave Admiral Howe's and brave Cherbourg's health; but I miss all these festivities by going into Warwickshire tomorrow to Lord Hertford. In short, Cherbourg comes very opportunely: we had begun to grow peevish at Louisbourg not being arrived, and there are some(929) people at least as peevish that Prince de Soubize has again walked into Hanover after having demolished the Hessians. Prince Ferdinand, who a fortnight ago was as great a hero as if he had been born in Thames Street, is kept in check by Monsieur de Contades, and there are some little apprehensions that our Blues, etc., will not be able to join him. Cherbourg will set all to rights; the King of Prussia may fumble as much as he pleases, and though the French should not be frightened out of their senses at the loss of this town, we shall be fully persuaded they are, and not a gallon less of punch will be drunk from Westminster to Wapping.

I have received your two letters of July 1st and 7th, with the prices of Stosch's medals, and the history of the new pontificate. I will not meddle with the former, content with and thanking you much for those you send me; and for the case of liqueurs, which I don't intend to present myself with, but to pay you for.

You must, I think, take up with this scrap of a letter; consider it contains a conquest. If I wrote any longer, before I could finish my letter, perhaps I should hear that our fleet was come back again, and, though I should be glad they were returned safely, it diminishes the lustre of a victory to have a tame conclusion to it-without that, you are left at liberty to indulge vision—Cherbourg is in France, Havre and St. Maloes may catch the panic, Calais my be surprised, that may be followed by a battle which we may gain; it is but a march of a few days to Paris, the King flies to his good allies the Dutch for safety, Prince Edward takes possession of the Bastile in his brother's name, to whom the King, content with England and Hanover—alas! I had forgot that he has just lost the latter.-Good night!

Sunday morning.

Mr. Conway, who is just come in to carry me away, brings an account of an important advantage gained by a detachment of six battalions of Hanoverians, who have demolished fourteen of the French, and thereby secured the magazines and a junction with the English.

(929) The King.

441 Letter 278 To George Montagu, Esq. Strawberry Hill, Aug. 20, 1758.

After some silence, one might take the opportunity of Cherbourg(930) and Louisbourg(931) to revive a little correspondence with popular topics; but I think you are no violent politician, and I am full as little so; I will therefore tell you of what I of course care more, and I am willing to presume you do too; that is, myself. I have been journeying much since I heard from you; first to the Vine, where I was greatly pleased with the alterations; the garden is quite beautified and the house dignified. We went over to the Grange, that sweet house of my Lord Keeper's(932) that you saw too. The pictures are very good, and I was particularly pleased with the procession, which you were told was by Rubens, but is certainly Vandyke's sketch for part of that great work, that he was to have executed in the Banqueting-house. You did not tell me of a very fine Holbein, a woman, who was evidently some princess of the White Rose.

I am just now returned from Ragley, which has had a great deal done to it since I was there last. Browne(933) has improved both the ground and the water, though not quite to perfection. This is the case of the house: where there are no striking faults, but it wants a few Chute or Bentley touches. I have recommended some dignifying of the saloon with Seymours and Fitzroys, Henry the Eighths and Charles the Seconds. They will correspond well to the proudest situation imaginable. I have already dragged some ancestors out of the dust there, written their names on their portraits; besides which, I have found and brought up to have repaired an incomparable picture of Van Helmont by Sir Peter Lely.—But now for recoveries—-think what I have in part recovered! Only the state papers, private letters, etc., etc., of the two Lords Conway,(934) secretaries of state. How you will rejoice and how you will grieve! They seem to have laid up every scrap of paper they ever had. from the middle of Queen Elizabeth's reign to the middle of Charles the Second's. By the accounts of the family there were whole rooms full; all which, during the absence of the last and the minority of the present lord, were by the ignorance of a steward consigned to the oven and the uses of the house. What remained, except one box that was kept till almost rotten in a cupboard, were thrown loose into the lumber room; where, spread on the pavement, they supported old marbles and screens and boxes. From thence I have dragged all I could, and, have literally, taking all together, brought away a chest near five feet long, three wide, and two deep, brim full. Half are bills, another part rotten, another gnawed by rats; yet I have already found enough to repay my trouble and curiosity, not enough to satisfy it. I will only tell you of three letters of the great Strafford and three long ones of news of Mr. Gerrard, master of the Charter-house; all six written on paper edged with green, like modern French paper. There are handwritings of every body, all their seals perfect, and the ribands with which they tied their letters. The original proclamations of Charles the First, signed by the privy council; a letter to King James from his son-in-law of Bohemia, with his seal; and many, very many letters of negotiation from the Earl of Bristol in Spain, Sir Dudley Carleton, Lord Chichester, and Sir Thomas Roe.—What say you? will not here be food for the press?

I have picked up a little painted glass too, and have got a promise of some old statues, lately dug up, which formerly adorned the cathedral of Litchfield. You see I continue to labour in my vocation, of which I can give you a comical instance:—I remembered a rose in painted glass in a little village going to Ragley, which I remarked passing by five years ago; told Mr. Conway on which hand it would b, and found it in the very spot. I saw a very good and perfect tomb at Alcester of Sir Fulke Greville's father and mother, and a wretched old house with a very handsome gateway of stone at Colton, belonging to Sir Robert Throckmorton. There is nothing else tolerable but twenty-two coats of the matches of the family in painted glass.—You cannot imagine how astonished a Mr. Seward,(935) a learned clergyman, was, who came to Ragley while I was there. Strolling about the house, he saw me first sitting on the pavement of the lumber room with Louis, all over cobwebs and dust and mortar; then found me in his own room on a ladder writing on a picture; and half an hour afterwards lying on the grass in the court with the dogs and the children, in my slippers and without my hat. He had had some doubt whether I was the painter or the factotum of the family; but you would have died at his surprise when he saw me walk into dinner dressed and sit by Lady Hertford. Lord Lyttelton was there, and the conversation turned on literature: finding me not quite ignorant added to the parson's wonder; but he could not contain himself any longer, when after dinner he saw me go to romps and jumping with the two boys; he broke out to my Lady Hertford, and begged to know who and what sort of man I really was, for he had never met with any thing of the kind. Adieu!

(930) About the middle of this month General Blighe had landed with an army on the coast of France, near Cherbourg, destroyed the basin, harbour, and forts of that place, and re-embarked his troops without loss.

(931) Alluding to the surrender of Louisbourg and the whole island of Cape Breton on the coast of North America to General Amherst and Admiral Boscawen.

(932) Lord Keeper Henley, in 1761 made lord chancellor, and in 1764 created Lord Northington.-E.

(933) Capability Browne. See vol. ii. p. 112, letter 46.-E.

(934) Sir Edward Conway, secretary of state to James the First, created Baron Conway in 1624; and Edward Conway, his grandson, secretary of state in the reign of Charles the Second, 1679, created Earl of Conway.-E.

(935) The Rev. Thomas Seward, canon residentiary of Lichfield, and father of Ann Seward the poetess.-E.

443 Letter 279 To John Chute, Esq.(936) Arlington Street, August 22, 1758.

By my ramble into Warwickshire I am so behindhand in politics, that I don't know where to begin to tell you any news, and which by this time would not be news to you. My table is covered with gazettes, victories and defeats which have come in such a lump, that I am not quite sure whether it is Prince Ferdinand or Prince Boscawen that has taken Louisbourg, nor whether it is the late Lord Howe or the present that is killed at Cherbourg. I am returning to Strawberry, and shall make Mr. M'untz's German and military sang-froid set the map in my head to rights.

I saw my Lord Lyttelton and Miller at Ragley; the latter put me out of all patience. As he has heard me talked of lately, he thought it not below him to consult me on ornaments for my lord's house. I, who know nothing but what I have purloined from Mr. Bentley and you, and who have not forgotten how little they tasted your real taste and charming plan, was rather lost.—To my comfort, I have seen the plan of their hall; it is stolen from Houghton, and mangled frightfully: and both their eating-room and salon are to be stucco, with pictures.

I have not time or paper to give you a full account of' a vast treasure that I have discovered at Lord Hertford's, and brought away with me. If I were but so lucky as to be thirty years older, i might have been much luckier. In short, I have got the remains of vast quantities of letters and state papers of the two Lords Conway, secretaries of state—forty times as many have been using for the oven and the house, by sentence of a steward during my lord's minority. Most of what I have got are gnawed by rats, rotten, or not worth a straw: and yet I shall save some volumes of what is very curious and valuable—three letters of Mr. Gerrard, of the Charter-house, some of Lord Strafford, and two of old Lennox, the Duchess, etc., etc. In short, if I can but continue to live thirty years extraordinary, in lieu of those I have missed, I shall be able to give to the world some treasures from the press at Strawberry. Do tell me a little of your motions, and good night.

(936) Now first printed.

444 Letter 280 To Sir Horace Mann. Strawberry Hill, Aug. 24, 1758.

You must go into laurels, you must go into mourning. our expedition has taken Cherbourg shamefully—I mean the French lost it shamefully—and then stood looking on while we destroyed all their works, particularly a basin that had cost vast sums. But, to balance their awkwardness with ours, it proved to be an open place, which we might have taken when we were before it a month ago. The fleet is now off Portland, expecting orders for landing or proceeding. Prince Edward gave the ladies a ball, and told them he was too young to know what was good-breeding in France, he would therefore behave as he should if meaning to please in England—and kissed them all. Our next and greatest triumph is the taking of Cape Breton, the account of which came on Friday. The French have not improved like their wines by crossing the sea; but lost their spirit at Louisbourg as much as on their own coast. The success, especially, in the destruction of their fleet, is very great: the triumphs not at all disproportioned to the conquest, of which you will see all the particulars in the Gazette. Now for the chapter of cypresses. The attempt on Crown-point has failed; Lord Howe(937) was killed in a skirmish; and two days afterwards by blunders, rashness, and bad intelligence, we received a great blow at Ticonderoga. There is a Gazette, too, with all the history of this. My hope is that Cape Breton may buy us Minorca and a peace, I have great satisfaction in Captain Hervey's gallantry; not only he is my friend, but I have the greatest regard for and obligations to my Lady Hervey; he is her favourite son and she is particularly happy.

Mr. Wills is arrived and has sent me the medals, for which I give you a million of thanks; the scarce ones are not only valuable for the curiosity of them, but for their preservation. I laughed heartily at the Duke of Argyll, and am particularly pleased with the Jesus Rex noster.(938)

Chevert, the best and most sensible of the French officers, has been beat by a much smaller number under the command of Imhoff, who, I am told, would be very stupid, if a German could be so. I think they hope a little still for Hanover, from this success. Of the King of Prussia—not a word.

My lady Bath has had a paralytic stroke, which drew her mouth aside and took away her speech. I never heard a greater instance of cool sense; she made sign for a pen and ink, and wrote Palsy. They got immediate assistance, and she is recovered.

As I wrote to you but a minute ago, I boldly conclude this already. Adieu!

(937) General George Augustus, third Viscount Howe. He was succeeded in the title by his brother Richard, the celebrated admiral. Mr. George Grenville, in a letter to Mr. Pitt, of the 28th, pays the following tribute to his memory:-"I admired his virtuous, gallant character, and lament his loss accordingly: I cannot help thinking it peculiarly unfortunate for his country and his friends, that he should fall in the first action of this war, before his spirit and his example, and the success and glory which, in all human probability, would have attended them, had produced their full effect on our troops, and those of the enemy." Chatham Correspondence, vol. i. p. 339.-E.

(938) Inscription on a silver coin of the republic of Florence, who declared Jesus Christ their King, to prevent the usurpation of Pope Clement VII.

445 Letter 281 To The Hon. H. S. Conway. Strawberry Hill, Sept. 2, 1758.

It is well I have got something to pay you for the best letter that ever was! A vast victory, I own, does not entertain me so much as a good letter; but you are bound to like any thing military better than your own wit, and therefore I hope you will think a defeat of the Russians a better bon-mot than any you sent me. Should you think it clever if the King of Prussia has beaten them? How much cleverer if he has taken three lieutenant-generals and an hundred pieces of cannon? How much cleverer still, if he has left fifteen thousand Muscovites dead on the Spot?(939) Does the loss of only three thousand of his own men take off from or sharpen the sting of this joke? In short, all this is fact, as a courier arrived at Sion Hill this morning affirms. The city, I suppose, expect that his Majesty will now be"at leisure to step to Ticonderoga and repair our mishaps.(940) But I shall talk no more politics; if this finds you at Chatworth, as I suppose it will, you will be better informed than from me.

lady Mary Coke arrived at Ragley between two and three in the morning; how unlucky that I was not there to offer her part of an aired bed! But how could you think of the proposal you have made me? Am not I already in love with "the youngest, handsomest, and wittiest widow in England?" As Herculean a labourer as I am, as Tom Hervey says, I don't choose another. I am still in the height of my impatience for the chest of old papers from Ragley, which, either by the fault of their servants, or of the wagoner, is not yet arrived. I shall go to London again on Monday in quest of it; and in truth think so much of it, that, when I first heard of the victory this morning, I rejoiced, as we were likely now to recover the Palatinate. Good night!

(939) The defeat of the Russians at Zorndorf.

(940) The repulse of General Abercrombie at Ticonderoga.

446 Letter 282 To Sir Horace Mann. Strawberry Hill, Sept. 9, 1758.

Well! the King of Prussia is found again—where do you think? only in Poland, up to the chin in Russians! Was ever such a man! He was riding home from Olmutz; they ran and told him of an army of Muscovites,(941) as you would of a covey of partridges; he galloped thither, and shot them. But what news I am telling you! I forgot that all ours comes by water-carriage, and that you must know every thing a fortnight before us. It is incredible how popular he is here; except a few, who take him for the same person as Mr. Pitt, the lowest of the people are perfectly acquainted with him: as I was walking by the river the other night, a bargeman asked me for something to drink the King of Prussia's health. Yet Mr. Pitt specifies his own glory as much as he can: the standards taken at Louisbourg have been carried to St. Paul's with much parade; and this week, after bringing it by land from Portsmouth, they have dragged the cannon of Cherbourg into Hyde Park, on pretence of diverting a man,(942) whom, in former days, I believe, Mr. Pitt has laughed for loving such rattles as drums and trumpets. Our expedition, since breaking a basin at Cherbourg, has done nothing, but are dodging about still. Prince Edward gave one hundred guineas to the poor of Cherbourg, and the General and Admiral twenty-five apiece. I love charity, but sure is this excess of it, to lay out thousands, and venture so many lives, for the opportunity of giving a Christmas-box to your enemies! Instead of beacons, I suppose, the coast of France will be hung with pewter-pots with a slit in them, as prisons are, to receive our alms.

Don't trouble yourself about the Pope: I am content to find that he will by no means eclipse my friend. You please me with telling me of a collection of medals bought for the Prince of Wales. I hope it Is his own taste; if it is only thought right that he should have it, I am glad.

I am again got into the hands of builders, though this time to a very small extent; only the addition of a little cloister and bedchamber. A day may come that will produce a gallery, a round tower, a large cloister, and a cabinet, in the manner of a little chapel: but I am too poor for these ambitious designs yet, and I have so many ways of dispersing My Money, that I don't know when I shall be richer. However, I amuse myself infinitely; besides my printing-house, which is constantly at work, besides such a treasure of taste and drawing as my friend Mr. Bentley, I have a painter in the house, who is an engraver too, a mechanic, an every thing. He was a Swiss engineer in the French service; but his regiment being broken at the peace, Mr. Bentley found him in the Isle of Jersey and fixed him with me. He has an astonishing genius for landscape, and added to that, all the industry and patience of a German. We are just now practising, and have succeeded surprisingly in a new method of painting, discovered at Paris by Count Caylus, and intended to be the encaustic method of the ancients. My Swiss has painted, I am writing the account,(943) and my press is to notify our improvements. As you will know that way, I will not tell you here at large. In short, to finish all the works I have in hand, and all the schemes I have in my head, I cannot afford to live less than fifty years more. What pleasure it would give me to see you here for a moment! I should think I saw you and your dear brother at once! Can't you form some violent secret expedition against Corsica or Port Mahon, which may make it necessary for you to come and settle here? Are we to correspond till we meet in some unknown world? Alas! I fear so; my dear Sir, you are as little likely to save money as I am—would you could afford to resign your crown and be a subject at Strawberry Hill! Adieu!

P. S. I have forgot to tell you of a wedding in our family; my brother's eldest daughter(944) is to be married tomorrow to lord Albemarle's third brother, a canon of Windsor. We are very happy with the match. The bride is very agreeable, and sensible, and good; not so handsome as her sisters, but further from ugliness than beauty. It is the second, Maria,(945) who is beauty itself! Her face, bloom, eyes, hair, teeth, and person are all perfect. You may imagine how charming she is, when her only fault, if one must find one, is, that her face is rather too round. She has a great deal of wit and vivacity, with perfect modesty. I must tell you too of their brother:(946) he was on the expedition to St. Maloes; a party of fifty men appearing on a hill, he was despatched to reconnoitre with only eight men. Being stopped by a brook, he prepared to leap it; an old sergeant dissuaded him, from the inequality of the numbers. "Oh!" said the boy, "I will tell you what; our profession is bred up to so much regularity that any novelty terrifies them—with our light English horses we will leap this stream; and I'll be d—d if they don't run." He did so, and they did so. However, he was not content; but insisted that each of his party should carry back a prisoner before them. They got eight, when they overtook an elderly man, to whom they offered quarter, bidding him lay down his arms. He replied, "they were English, the enemies of his King and country; that he hated them, and had rather be killed." My nephew hesitated a minute, and said, "I see you are a brave fellow, and don't fear death, but very likely you fear a beating-if you don't lay down your arms this instant, my men shall drub you as long as they can stand over you." The fellow directly flung down his arms in a passion. The Duke of Marlborough sent my brother word of this, adding, it was the only clever action in their whole exploit. Indeed I am pleased with it; for besides his spirit, I don't see, with this thought and presence of mind, why he should not make a general. I return to one little word of the King of Prussia— shall I tell you? I fear all this time he is only fattening himself with glory for Marshal Daun, who will demolish him at last, and then, for such service, be shut up in some fortress or in the inquisition—for it is impossible but the house of Austria must indemnify themselves for so many mortifications by some horrid ingratitude!

(941) This was the battle of Zorndorf, fought on the @5th of August, 1758, and gained by the King of Prussia over the Russians, commanded by Count Fermor.-D.

(942) The King.

(943) M'untz left Mr. Walpole, and published another account himself.

(944) Laura, this eldest daughter of Sir Edward Walpole, married to Dr. Frederick Keppel, afterwards Dean of Windsor and Bishop of Exeter.

(945) Maria, second daughter, married first to James second Earl of Waldegrave, and afterwards to William Henry Duke of Gloucester, brother to King George the Third.

(946) Edward, only son of Sir Edward Walpole. He died young.

448 Letter 283 To The Rev. Henry Zouch. Strawberry Hill, September 14, 1758.

Sir, Though the approaching edition of my Catalogue is so far advanced that little part is left now for any alteration, yet as a book of that kind is always likely to be reprinted from the new persons who grow entitled to a place in it, and as long as it is in my power I shall wish to correct and improve it, I must again thank you, Sir, for the additional trouble you have given yourself. The very first article strikes me much. May I ask where, and in what page of what book, I can find Sir R. Cotton's account of Richard II.(947) being an author: does not he mean Richard I.?

The Basilicon Doron is published in the folio of K. James's works, and contains instructions to his son, Prince Henry. In return, I will ask you where you find those verses of Herbert; and I would also ask you, how you have had time to find and know so much?

Lord Leicester, and much less the Duke of Monmouth, will scarce, I fear, come under the description I have laid down to myself of authors. I doubt the first did not compose his own Apology.

Did the Earl of Bath publish, or only design to publish, Dionysius?(948) Shall I find the account in Usher's Letters? Since you are so very kind, Sir, as to favour me with your assistance, shall I beg, Sir, to prevent my repeating trouble to you, just to mark at any time where you find the notices you impart to Me; for, though the want of a citation is the effect of my ignorance, it has the same consequence to you.

I have not the Philosophical Transactions, but I will hereafter examine them on the hints you mention, particularly for Lord Brounker,(949) who I did not know had written, though I have often thought it probable he did. As I have considered Lord Berkeley's Love-letters, I have no doubt but they are a fiction, though grounded on a real story.

That Lord Falkland was a writer of controversy appears by the list of his works, and that he is said to have assisted Chillingworth: that he wrote against Chillingworth, you see, Sir, depends upon very vague authority; that is, upon the assertion of an anonymous person, who wrote so above a hundred years ago.

James, Earl of Marlborough, is entirely a new author to me—at present, too late. Lord Raymond I had inserted, and he will appear in the next edition.

I have been as unlucky, for the present, about Lord Totness. In a collection published in Ireland, called Hibernica, I found, but too late, that he translated another very curious piece, relating to Richard II. However, Sir, with these, and the very valuable helps I have received from you, I shall be able, at a proper time, to enrich another edition much.

(947) Mr. Walpole takes no notice of Richard II. as an author; but Mr. park inserts this prince as a writer of ballads. In a letter to Archbishop Usher, Sir Robert Cotton requested his grace to procure for him a poem by Richard II. which that prelate had pointed out.-C.

(948) Spelman's is the only English translation of the Antiquities of Dionysius Halicarnassensis, known to be printed.-C.

(949) He wrote several papers in the Philosophical Transactions, and also translated Descartes' Music Compendium.- C.

449 Letter 284 To The Hon. H. S. Conway.(950) Arlington Street, Sept. 19, 1758.

I have all my life laughed at ministers in my letters; but at least with the decency of obliging them to break open the seal. You have more noble frankness, and send your satires to the post with not so much as a wafer, as my Lord Bath did sometimes in my father's administration. I scarce laughed more at the inside of your letter than at the cover—not a single button to the waistband of its beseeches, but all its nakedness fairly laid open! what was worse, all Lady Mary Coke's nakedness was laid open at the same time. Is this your way of treating a dainty widow! What will Mr. Pitt think of all this? will he begin to believe that you have some spirit, when, with no fear of Dr. Shebbeare's example(951) before your eyes, you speak your Mind so freely, without any modification? As Mr. Pitt may be cooled a little to his senses, perhaps he may now find out, that a grain of prudence is no bad ingredient in a mass of courage; in short, he and the mob are at last undeceived, and have found, by sad experience that all the cannon of France has not been brought into Hyde Park. An account, which you will see in the Gazette, (though a little better disguised than your letters,) is come that after our troops had been set on shore, and left there, till my Lord Howe went somewhere else, and cried Hoop! having nothing else to do for four days to amuse themselves, nor knowing whether there was a town within a hundred miles, went staring about the country to see whether there were any Frenchmen left in France; which Mr. Pitt, in very fine words, had assured them there was not, and which my Lord Howe, in very fine silence, had confirmed. However, somehow or other, (Mr. Deputy Hodges says they were not French, but Papists sent from Vienna to assist the King of France,) twelve battalions fell upon our rear-guard, and, which General Blighe says is "very Common," (I suppose he means that rashness and folly should run itself' into a scrape,)—were all cut to pieces or taken. The town says, Prince Edward (Duke of York) ran hard to save himself; I don't mean too fast, but scarcely fast enough; and the General says, that Lord Frederick Cavendish, your friend, is safe; the thing he seems to have thought of most, except a little vain parade of his own self-denial on his nephew. I shall not be at all surprised if, to show he was not in the wrong, Mr. Pitt should get ready another expedition by the depth of winter, and send it in search of the cannons and colours of these twelve battalions. Pray Heaven your letter don't put it in his head to give you the command! It is not true, that he made the King ride upon one of the cannons to the Tower.

I was really touched with my Lady Howe's advertisement,(952) though I own at first it made me laugh; for seeing an address to the voters for Nottingham signed "Charlotte Howe," I concluded (they are so manly a family) that Mrs. Howe,(953) who rides a fox-chase, and dines at the table d'h'ote at Grantham, intended to stand for member of Parliament.

Sir John Armitage died on board a ship before the landing; Lady Hardwickc's nephew, Mr. Cocks, scarce recovered of his Cherbourg wound, is killed.' He had seven thousand pounds a year, and was volunteer. I don't believe his uncle and aunt advised his venturing so much money.

My Lady Burlington is very ill, and the distemper shows itself oddly; she breaks out all over in-curses and blasphemies. Her maids are afraid of catching them, and will hardly venture into her room.

On reading over your letter again, I begin to think that the connexion between Mr. Pitt and my dainty widow is stronger than I imagined. One of them must have caught of the other that noble contempt which makes a thing's being impossible not signify. It sounds very well in sensible mouths; but how terrible to be the chambermaid or the army of such people! I really am in a panic, and having some mortal impossibilities about me which a dainty widow might not allow to signify, I will balance a little between her and my Lady Carlisle, who, I believe, knows that impossibilities do signify. These were some of my reflections on reading your letter again; another was, that I am now convinced you sent your letter open to the post on purpose; you knew It was so good a letter that every body ought to see it-and yet you would pass for a modest man!

I am glad I am not in favour enough to be consulted by my Lord Duchess(954) on the Gothic farm; she would have given me so many fine and unintelligible reasons why it should not be as it should be, that I should have lost a little of my patience. You don't tell me if the goose-board in hornbean is quite finished; and have you forgot that I actually was in t'other goose-board, the conjuring room?

I wish you joy on your preferment in the militia, though I do not think it quite so safe an employment as it used to be. If George Townshend's disinterested virtue should grow impatient for a regiment, he will persuade Mr. Pitt that the militia arc the only troops in the world for taking Rochfort. Such a scheme would answer all his purposes - would advance his own interest, contradict the Duke's opinion, who holds militia cheap, and by the ridiculousness of the attempt would furnish very good subjects to his talent of buffoonery in black-lead.

The King of Prussia you may believe is in Petersburg, but he happens to be in Dresden. Good night! Mine and Sir Harry Hemlock's services to my Lady Ailesbury.

(950) Now first printed.

(951) Dr. Shebbeare had just before been sentenced to fine, imprisonment, and the pillory for his Sixth Letter to the People of England. The under-sheriff, however, allowed him to stand on, instead of in, the pillory; for which lenity he was prosecuted.-E.

(952 On the news of the death of Lord Howe reaching the dowager Lady Howe, she addressed the gentry, clergy, and freeholders of Nottingham, whom the deceased represented in Parliament, in favour of his next younger brother, Colonel Howe, to supply his place in the House of Commons. "Permit me," she says, "to implore the protection of every one of you, as the mother of him whose life has been lost in the service of his country." The appeal was responded to, and Colonel, afterwards General Sir William Howe, was returned.-E.

(953) The Hon. Caroline Howe, daughter of the above-mentioned lady , who married her namesake, John Howe, Esq. of Hemslop.-E.

(954) The Duchess of Norfolk. She had planted a game of the goose in hornbean, at Worksop.

451 Letter 285 To Sir Horace Mann. Strawberry Hill, Sept. 22, 1758.

The confusion of the first accounts and the unwelcomeness of the subject, made me not impatient to despatch another letter so quickly after my last. However, as I suppose the French relations will be magnified, it is proper to let you know the exact truth. Not being content with doing nothing at St. Maloes, and with being suffered to do all we could at Cherbourg, (no great matter,) our land and sea heroes, Mr. Pitt and Lord Howe, projected a third—I don't know what to call it. It seems they designed to take St. Maloes, but being disappointed by the weather, they—what do you think? landed fifteen miles from it, with no object nor near any—and lest that should not be absurd enough, the fleet sailed away for another bay, leaving the army with only two cannons. to scramble to them across the country as they could. Nine days they were staring about France; at last they had notice of twelve battalions approaching, on which they stayed a little before they hurried to the transports. The French followed them at a distance, firing from the upper grounds. When the greatest part were reimbarked, the French descended and fell on the rear, on which it Was necessary to sacrifice the Guards to secure the rest. Those brave young men did wonders—that is, they were cut to pieces with great intrepidity. We lost General Dury and ten other officers; Lord Frederick Cavendish with twenty-three others were taken prisoners. In all we have lost seven hundred men, but more shamefully for the projectors and conductors than can be imagined, for no shadow of an excuse can be offered for leaving them so exposed with no purpose or possible advantage, in the heart of an Enemy's country. What heightens the distress. the army sailed from Weymouth with a full persuasion that they were to be sacrificed to the vainglorious whims of a man of words(955) and a man(956) of none!

"Three expeditions we have sent, And if you bid me show where I know as well as those who went, To St. Maloes, Cherbourg, nowhere."

Those, whose trade or amusement is politics, may comfort themselves with their darling Prussian; he has strode back over 20 or 30,000 Russians,(957) and stepped into Dresden. They even say that Daun is retired. For my part, it is to inform you, that I dwell at all on these things. I am shocked with the iniquities I see and have seen. I abhor their dealings.

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