Madame de Mirepoix is returned: she gives a lamentable account of another old mistress,(211) her mother. She has not seen her since the Princess went to Florence, which she it seems has left with great regret; with greater than her beauty, whose ruins she has not discovered: but with few teeth, few hairs, sore eyes, and wrinkles, goes bare-necked and crowned with jewels! Madame Mirepoix told me a reply of Lord Cornbury, that pleased me extremely. They have revived at Paris old Fontenelle's opera of Peleus and Thetis: he complained of being dragged upon the stage again for one of his juvenile performances, and said he could not bear to be hissed now: Lord Cornbury immediately replied to him out of the very opera,
"Jupiter en courroux ' Ne peut rien contre vous, Vous 'etes immortel."
Our old laureat has been dying: when he thought himself at the extremity, he wrote this lively, good-natured letter to the Duke of Grafton:-
""May it please your Grace: "I know no nearer way of repaying your favours for these last twenty years than by recommending the bearer, Mr. Henry Jones, for the vacant laurel: Lord Chesterfield will tell you more of him. I don't know the day of my death, but while I live, I shall not cease to be, your Grace's, etc.
"Colley Cibber." '
I asked my Lord Chesterfield who this Jones(212) is; he told me a better poet would not take the post, and a worse ought not to have it. There are two new bon-mots of his lordship much repeated, better than his ordinary. He says, he would not be president, because he would not be between two fires;(213) and that"the two brothers are like Arbuthnot's Lindamira and Indamora;(214) the latter was an able, tractable gentlewoman, but her sister was always quarrelling and kicking and as they grew together, there was no parting them.
You will think my letters are absolute jest-and-story books, unless you will be so good as to dignify them with the title of Walpoliana. Under that hope, I will tell you a very odd new story. A citizen had advertised a reward for the discovery of a person who had stolen sixty guineas out of his scrutoire. He received a message from a condemned criminal in Newgate, with the offer of revealing the thief. Being a cautious grave personage, he took two friends along with him. The convict told him that he was the robber; and when he doubted, the fellow began with these circumstances; You came home such a night, and put the money into your bureau: I was Under your bed: you undressed, and then went to the foot of the garret stairs, and cried, 'Mary, come to bed to me-'" "Hold, hold," said the citizen, "I am convinced." "Nay," said the fellow, "you shell hear all, for our intrigue saved your life. Mary replied, 'If any body wants me, they may come up to me:' you went: I robbed your bureau in the mean time, but should have cut your throat, if you had gone into your bed instead of Mary S."
The conclusion of my letter will be a more serious story, but very proper for the Walpoliana. I have given you scraps of Ashton's history. To perfect his ingratitude, he has struck up an intimacy with my second brother, and done his utmost to make a new quarrel between us, on the merit of having broke with me on the affair of Dr. Middleton. I don't know whether I ever told you that my brother hated Middleton, who was ill with a Dr. Thirlby,(215) a creature of his. He carried this and his jealousy of me so far, that once when Lord Mountford brought Middleton for one night only to Houghton my brother wrote my father a most outrageous letter, telling him that he knew I had fetched Middleton to Houghton to write my father's life, and how much more capable Thirlby was of this task. Can one help admiring in these instances the dignity of human nature! Poor Mrs. Middleton is alarmed with a scheme that I think she very justly suspects as a plot of the clergy to get at and suppress her husband's papers. He died in a lawsuit with a builder, who has since got a monition from the Commons for her to produce all the Doctor's effects and papers. The whole debt is but eight hundred pounds. She offered ten thousand pounds security, and the fellow will not take it. Is there clergy in it, or no? Adieu!
(208) Lady Yarmouth. The new amour did not proceed.
(209) Mrs. Marriot.
(210) She was, though maid of honour, privately married to Augustus, second son of the late Lord Hervey, by whom she had two children; but disagreeing, the match was not owned. She afterwards, still maid of honour, lived very publicly with the Duke of Kingston, and at last married him during Mr. Hervey's life.
(211) Princess Craon, formerly mistress of Leopold, Duke of Lorraine.
(212) I think he was an Irish bricklayer; he wrote an "Earl of Essex." ["Having a natural inclination for the Muses," says his biographer, "he pursued his devotions to them even during the labours of his more mechanical avocations, and composing a line of brick and a line of verse alternately, his wall and poems rose up in growth together." His tragedy of the "Earl of Essex" came out at Covent Garden in 1753, and met with considerable success. He died in great want, in 1770.-E.]
(213) Meaning President of the Council. The two fires were the Pelham brothers; between whom all private intercourse was at this time suspended.-E.
(214) See the Memoirs of Martinus Scriblerus in Swift's Works; Indamora alludes to Mr. Pelham, Lindamira to the Duke of Newcastle.
(215) For a notice of the Doctor, see ant'e.-E.
89 Letter 35 To Sir Horace Mann. Arlington Street, Feb. 9, 1751.
You will wonder that I, who am pretty punctual, even when I have little to say, should have been so silent at the beginning of a session: I will tell you some reasons why; what I had to tell you was not finished; I wished to give you an entire account: besides, we have had so vigorous an attendance, that with that, and the fatigue, it was impossible to write. Before the Parliament met, there was a dead tranquillity, and no symptoms of party spirit. What is more extraordinary, though the Opposition set out vehemently the very first day, there has appeared ten times greater spirit on the court side, a Whig vehemence that has rushed on heartily. I have been much entertained-what should I have been, if I had lived in the times of the Exclusion-bill, and the end of queen Anne's reign, when votes and debates really tended to something! Now they tend but to the alteration of a dozen places, perhaps, more or less-but come, I'll tell you, and you shall judge for yourself. The morning the Houses met, there was universally dispersed, by the penny post, and by being dropped into the areas of houses, a paper called Constitutional Queries, a little equivocal, for it is not clear whether they were levelled at the Family, or by Part of the Family at the Duke.(216) The Address was warmly opposed, and occasioned a remarkable speech of Pitt, in recantation of his former orations on the Spanish, war, and in panegyric on the Duke of Newcastle, wit whom e is pushing himself, and by whom he is pushed at all rates, in opposition to Lord Sandwich and the Bedfords. Two or three days afterwards there were motions in both Houses to have the Queries publicly burnt. That too occasioned a debate with us, and a fine speech of Lord Egmont, artfully condemning the paper, though a little suspected of it, and yet supporting some of the reasonings in it. There was no division on the resolution; but two days afterwards we had a very extraordinary and unforeseen one. Mr. Pelham had determined to have 'but 8,000 seamen this year, instead of 10,000. Pitt and his cousins, without any notice given, declared with the Opposition for the greater number. The key to this you will find in Pit'S whole behaviour; whenever he wanted new advancement, he used to go off He has openly met with great discouragement now; though he and we know Mr. Pelham so -well, that it Will not be surprising if, though baffled, he still carries his point of secretary of state. However, the old corps resented this violently, and rushed up their old anger: Mr. Pelham was inclined to give way, but Lord Hartington, at the head of the young Whigs, divided the House, and Pitt had the mortification of being followed into the minority by only fifteen persons. The King has been highly pleased with this event; and has never named the Pitts and Grenvilles to the Duke of Newcastle, but to abuse them, and to commend the spirit of the young people. It has not weakened the Bedford faction, who have got more strength by the clumsy politics of another set of their enemies. There has all the summer been a Westminster petition in agitation, driven on by the independent electors, headed by Lord Elibank, Murray his brother, and one or two gentlemen. Sir John Cotton, and Cooke the member for Middlesex, discouraged it all they could, and even stifled the first drawn, which was absolutely treason. However, Cooke at last presented one from the inhabitants, and Lord Egmont another from Sir George Vandeput; and Cooke even made a strong invective against the High-bailiff; on which Lord Trentham produced and read a letter written by Cooke to the High-bailiff, when he was in their interest, and stuffed with flattery to him. Lord Trentham's friends then called in the High-bailiff, who accused some persons of hindering and threatening him on the scrutiny, and, after some contention, named Crowle, counsel for Sir George Vandeput, Gibson, an upholsterer and independent, and Mr. Murray.(217) These three were ordered to attend on the following Thursday to defend themselves. Before that day came, we had the report on the eight thousand seamen, when Pitt and his associates made speeches of lamentation on their disagreement with Pelham, whom they flattered inordinately. This ended in a burlesque quarrel between Pitt and Hampden,(218) a buffoon who hates the cousinhood, and thinks his name should entitle him to Pitt's office. We had a very long day on Crowle's defence, who had called the power of the House brutum fulmen: he was very submissive, and was dismissed with a reprimand on his knees. Lord Egmont was so severely handled by Fox, that he has not recovered his spirits since. He used to cry up Fox against Mr. Pelham, but since the former has seemed rather attached to the Duke and the Duke of Bedford, the party affect to heap incense on Pelham and Pitt—and it is returned.
The day that Murray came to the bar he behaved with great confidence, but at last desired counsel, which was granted: in the mean time we sent Gibson to Newgate. Last Wednesday was the day of trial: the accusation was plentifully proved against Murray, and it was voted to send him close prisoner to Newgate. His party still struggling against the term close, the Whigs grew provoked, and resolved he should receive his sentence on his knees at the bar. To this he refused to submit. The Speaker stormed, and the House and its honour grew outrageous at the dilemma they were got into, and indeed out of which we are not got yet. If he gets the better, he will indeed be a meritorious martyr for the cause: en attendant, he is strictly shut up in Newgate.(219)
By these anecdotes you will be able to judge a little of the news you mention in your last, of January 29th, and will perceive that our ministerial vacancies and successions are not likely to be determined soon. Niccolini's account of the aversion to Lord Sandwich is well grounded, though as to inflexible resentments, there cannot easily be any such thing, where parties and factions are so fluctuating as in this country. I was to have dined the other day at Madame de Mirepoix's with my Lord Bolingbroke, but he was ill. She said, she had repented asking me, as she did not know if I should like it. , Oh! Madam, I have gone through too many of those things to make any objection to the only one that remains!"
I grieve much for the return of pains in your head and breast; I flattered myself that you had quite mastered them.
I have seen your Pelham and Milbank, not much, but I like the latter; I have some notion, from thinking that he resembles you in his manner. The other seems very good-humoured, but he is nothing but complexion. Dame is returned; he looks ill; but I like him better than I used to do, for he commends you. My Lord Pomfret is made ranger of the parks, and by consequence my Lady is queen of the Duck Island.(220) Our greatest miracle is Lady Mary Wortley's son,(221) whose adventures have made so much noise- his parts are not proportionate, but his expense is incredible. His father scarce allows him any thing: yet he plays, dresses, diamonds himself, even to distinct shoe-buckles for a frock, and has more snuff-boxes than would suffice a Chinese idol with an hundred noses. But the most curious part of his dress, which he has brought from Paris, is an iron wig; you literally would not know it from hair—I believe it is on this account that the Royal Society have just chosen him of their body. This may surprise you: what I am now going to tell you will not, for you have only known her follies - the Duchess of Queensbury told Lady Di. Egerton,(222) a pretty daughter of the Duchess of Bridgewater, that she was going to make a ball for her: she did, but did not invite her: the girl was mortified, and Mr. Lyttelton, her father-in-law, sent the mad Grace a hint of it. She sent back this card-. "The advertisement came to hand; it was very pretty and very ingenious; but every thing that is pretty and ingenious does not always succeed; the Duchess of Q. piques herself on her house being unlike Socrates's; his was small and held all his friends; hers is large, but will not hold half of hers: postponed, but not forgot: unalterable." Adieu!
(217) The Hon. Alexander Murray, fourth son of Alexander, fourth Lord Elibank. This family was for the most part Jacobite in its principles.-D.
(218) John Hampden, Esq., the last descendant in the file line of the celebrated Hampden. On his death in 1754, he left his estates to the Hon. Robert Trevor, son of Lord Trevor, who was descended from Ruth, the daughter of the Patriot.-D.
(219) mr Murray's health appearing to be in danger, the House, upon the report of his physician, offered to remove him from Newgate into the custody of the sergeant-at-arms: but he had the resolution to reject the offer, and to continue in Newgate till the end of the session; when he made a kind of triumphal procession to his own house, attended by the sheriffs of London, a large train of coaches, and the declamations of the populace.-E.
(220) Duck Island was a spot in St. James's Park, near the Bird-cage Walk; and was so called, because Charles the Second had established a decoy of ducks upon it. It was destroyed when the improvements and alterations took place in this park, about the year 1770.-D.
(221) Edward Wortley Montague, whose singular adventures and eccentricities are so well known. In 1747, he was chosen member for the county of Huntingdon; but in his senatorial capacity he did not distinguish himself. His expenses greatly exceeding his income, towards the end of this year he quitted the kingdom and went to Paris.-E.
(222) Daughter of Scroop, Duke of Bridgewater, by the Lady Rachel Russel, sister of the Duke of Bedford. Lady Diana Egerton was afterwards married to Lord Baltimore.
94 Letter 36 To Sir Horace Mann. Arlington Street, March 13, 1751.
You will be expecting the conclusion of Mr. Murray's history, but as he is too great a hero to submit, and not hero enough to terminate his prison in a more summary, or more English way, you must have patience, as we shall have, till the end of the session. His relations, who had leave to visit him, are excluded again: rougher methods with him are not the style of the age: in the mean time he is quite forgot. General Anstruther is now the object in fashion, or made so by a Sir Harry Erskine, a very fashionable figure in the world of politics, who has just come into Parliament, and has been laying a foundation for the next reign by attacking the Mutiny-bill, and occasionally General Anstruther, who treated him hardly ten years ago in Minorca. Anstruther has mutually persecuted and been persecuted by the Scotch ever since Porteous's affair, when, of all that nation, he alone voted for demolishing part of Edinburgh. This affair would be a trifle, if it had not opened the long-smothered rivalship between Fox and Pitt: for these ten days they have been civilly at war together; and Mr. Pelham is bruised between both. However, this impetuosity of Pitt has almost overset the total engrossment that the Duke of Newcastle had made of all power, and if they do not, as it is suspected, league with the Prince, you will not so soon hear of the fall of the Bedfords, as I had made you expect. With this quantity of factions ind infinite quantity of speakers, we have had a most fatiguing session, and seldom rise before nine or ten at night.
There have been two events, not political, equal to any absurdities or follies of former years. My Lady Vane(223) has literally published the memoirs of her own life, Only suppressing part of her lovers, no part of the success of the others with her: a degree of profligacy not to be accounted for; she does not want money, none of her lovers will raise her credit; and the number, all she had to brag of, concealed! The other is a play that has been acted by people of some fashion at Drury Lane, hired on purpose. They really acted so well that it is astonishing they should not have had sense enough not to act at all. You would know none of their names, should I tell you; but the chief were a family of Delavals, the eldest of which was married by one Foote, a player, to Lady Nassau Poulett,(224) who had kept the latter. The rage was so great to see this performance that the House of Commons literally adjourned at three o'clock on purpose: the footman's gallery was strung with blue ribands. What a wise people! what an august Senate! yet my Lord Granville once told the Prince, I forget on occasion of what folly, "Sir, indeed your Royal Highness is in the wrong to act thus; the English are a grave nation."
The King has been much out of order, but he is quite well again, and they say, not above sixty-seven! Adieu!
(223) Anne, second daughter of Mr. Hawes, the wife of William, Lord Viscount Vane. The history of her intrigues, communicated by herself, had just been published in Smollett's Adventures of Peregrine Pickle. See vol. i. Gray, in a letter to Walpole, of the 3d of March, writes, "Has that miracle of tenderness and sensibility (as she calls it), given you any amusement? Peregrine, whom she uses as a vehicle, is very poor indeed, with a few exceptions."-E.
(224) Isabella, youngest daughter and co-heiress of Thomas Tufton, Earl of Thanet, and widow of Lord Nassau Poulett, youngest brother of the Duke of Bolton. She was mad.
95 Letter 37 To Sir Horace Mann. Arlington Street, March 21, 1751.
What, another letter, -when I wrote to you but last week!- -Yes—and with an event too big to be kept for a regular interval. You will imagine from the conclusion of my last letter that our King is dead—or, before you receive this, you will probably have heard by flying couriers that it is only our King that was to be. In short, the Prince died last night between nine and ten. If I don't tell you ample details, it is because you must content yourself with hearing nothing but what I know true. He had had a pleurisy, and was recovered. Last Tuesday was se'nnight he went to attend the King's passing some bills in the House of Lords; from thence to Carlton House, very hot, where he unrobed, put on a light unaired frock and waistcoat, went to Kew, walked in a bitter day, came home tired, and lay down for three hours, upon a couch in a very cold room at Carlton House, that opens into the garden. Lord Egmont told him how dangerous it was, but the Prince did not mind him. My father once said to this King, when he was ill and royally untractable, "Sir, do you know what your father died of? of thinking he could not die." In short, the Prince relapsed that night, has had three physicians ever since, and has never been supposed out of danger till yesterday: a thrush had appeared, and for the two or three last evenings he had dangerous suppressions of breath. However, his family thought him so well yesterday, that there were cards in his outward room. Between nine and ten he was seized with a violent fit of coughing. Wilmot, and Hawkins the surgeon, were present: the former said, ,Sir, have you brought up all the phlegm? I hope this will be over in a quarter of an hour, and that your Royal Highness will have a good night." Hawkins had occasion to go out of the room, and said, "Here is something I don't like." The cough continued; the prince laid his hand upon his stomach, and said, "Je sens la mort." The page who held him up, felt him shiver, and cried out, The Prince is going!" The Princess was at the feet of the bed; she catched up a candle and ran to him, but before she got to the head of the bed, he was dead.(225)
Lord North was immediately sent to the King, who was looking over a table, where Princess Emily, the Duchess of Dorset, and Duke of Grafton were playing. He was extremely surprised, and said, "Why, they told me he was better!" He bid Lord North tell the Princess, he would do every thing she could desire; and has this morning sent her a very kind message in writing. He is extremely shocked—but no pity is too much for the Princess; she has eight children, and is seven months gone with another. She bears her affliction with great courage and sense. They asked her if the body was to be opened; she replied, what the King pleased.
This is all I know yet; you shall have fresh and fresh intelligence—for reflections on minorities, Regencies, Jacobitism, Oppositions, factions, I need not help you to them. You will make as many as any body, but those who reflect on their own disappointments. The creditors are no inconsiderable part of the moralists. They talk of fourteen hundred thousand pounds on post-obits. This I am sure I don't vouch; I Only know that I never am concerned to see the tables of the money-changers overturned and cast out of the temple.(226)
I much fear, that by another post I shall be forced to tell you news that will have much worse effects for my own family, My Lord Orford has got such another violent boil as he had two years ago—and a thrush has appeared too along with it. We are in the utmost apprehensions about him, the more, because there is no possibility of giving him any about himself. He has not only taken an invincible aversion to physicians, but to the bark, and we have no hopes from any thing else. It will be a fatal event for me, for your brother, and for his own son. Princess Emily,(227) Mr. Pelham(228) and my Lady Orford, are not among the most frightened.
Your brother, who dines here with Mr. Chute and Gray,(229) has just brought me your letter of March 12th. The libel you ask about was called "Constitutional Queries:" have not you received mine of February 9th? there was some account of our present history. Adieu! I have not time to write any longer to you; but you may well expect our correspondence will thicken.
(225) Frederick, Prince of Wales, was a man in no way estimable, though his understanding and disposition were cried up by those who were in opposition to his father's government. Walpole says of him, "His best quality was generosity; his worst, insincerity and indifference to truth, which appeared so early, that Earl Stanhope wrote to Lord Sunderland from Hanover, "He has his father's head, and his mother's heart." His death was undoubtedly a deliverance for those who, had he lived, would have become his subjects.-D.
(226) Frederick, Prince of Wales's debts were never paid.-D.
(227) Princess Emily had the reversion of New-park.
(228) The auditor of the exchequer, was in the gift of Mr. Pelham, as chancellor of the exchequer, and first lord of the treasury.
(229) Thomas Gray, author of the Elegy in a Churchyard, and other poems.
97 Letter 38 To Sir Horace Mann. Arlington Street, April 1, 1751.
How shall I begin a letter that will-that must give you as much pain as I feel myself? I must interrupt the story of the Prince's death, to tell you of two more, much more important, God knows! to you and me! One I had prepared you for-but how will you be shocked to hear that our poor Mr. Whithed is dead(230) as well as my brother! Whithed had had a bad cough for two months: he was going out of town to the Minchester assizes; I persuaded and sent him home from hence one morning to be blooded. However, he went, in extreme bad weather. His youngest brother, the clergyman, who is the greatest brute in the world, except the elder brother, the layman, dragged him out every morning to hunt, as eagerly as if it had been to hunt heretics. One day they were overturned in a water, and then the parson made him ride forty miles: in short, he arrived it the Vine half dead, and soon grew delirious. Poor Mr. Chute was sent for to him last Wednesday, and sent back for two more physicians, but in vain; he expired on Friday night! Mr. Chute is come back half distracted, and scarce to be known again. You may easily believe that my own distress does not prevent my doing all in my power to alleviate his. Whithed, that best of hearts, had forgiven all his elder brother's beastliness, and has left him the Norton estate, the better half; the rest to the clergyman, with an annuity of one hundred and twenty pounds a year to his Florentine mistress, and six hundred pounds to their child. He has left Mr. Chute one thousand pounds, which, if forty times the sum, would not comfort him, and, little as it is, does not in the least affect or alter his concern. Indeed, he not only loses an intimate friend, but in a manner an only child; he had formed him to be one of the prettiest gentlemen in England, and had brought about a match for him, that was soon to be concluded with a Miss Nicholl, an immense fortune; and I am persuaded had fixed his heart on making him his own heir, if he himself outlived his brother. With such a fortune, and with such expectations, how hard to die!—or, perhaps, how lucky, before he had tasted misfortune and mortification.
I must now mention my own misfortune, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday mornings, the physicians and all the family of painful death,(231) (to alter Gray's phrase,) were persuaded and persuaded me, that the bark, which took great place, would save my brother's life —but he relapsed at three o'clock on Thursday, and died last night. He ordered to be drawn and executed his will with the greatest tranquillity and satisfaction on Saturday morning. His spoils are prodigious-not to his own family! indeed I think his son the most ruined young man in England. My loss, I fear, may be considerable, which is not the only motive of my concern, though, as you know, I had much to forgive, before I could regret: but indeed I do regret. It is no small addition to my concern, to fear or foresee that Houghton and all the remains of my father's glory will be pulled to pieces! The widow-Countess immediately marries—not Richcourt, but Shirley, and triumphs in advancing her son's ruin by enjoying her own estate, and tearing away great part of his.
Now I shall divert your private grief by talking to you of what is called the public. The King and Princess are grown as fond as it they had never been of different parties, or rather as people who always had been of different. She discountenances all opposition, and he all ambition. Prince George, who, with his two eldest brothers, is to be lodged at St. James's, is speedily to be created Prince of Wales. Ayscough, his tutor, is to be removed, with her entire inclination as well as with every body's approbation. They talk of a Regency to be established (in case of a minority) by authority of Parliament, even this session, with the Princess at the head of it. She and Dr. lee, the only one she consults of the late cabal, very sensibly burned the late Prince's papers the moment he was dead. lord Egmont, by seven o'clock the next morning, summoned (not very decently) the faction to his house: all was whisper! at least he hinted something of taking the Princess and her children under their protection, and something of the necessity of harmony. No answer was made to the former proposal. Somebody said, it was very likely indeed they should agree now, when the Prince could never bring it about: and so every body went away to take care of himself. The imposthumation is supposed to have proceeded, not from his fall last year, but from a blow with a tennis-ball some years ago. The grief for the dead brother is affectedly great; the aversion to the living one as affectedly displayed. They cried about an elegy,(232) and added, "Oh, that it were but his brother!" On 'Change they said, "Oh, that it were but the butcher!(233)"
The Houses sit, but no business will be done till after the holidays. AnStruther's affair will go on, but not with MUCH spirit. One wants to see faces about again! Dick lyttelton, one of the patriot officers, had collected depositions on oath against the Duke for his behaviour in Scotland, but I suppose he will now throw his papers into Ham/let's grave?
Prince George, who has a most amiable countenance, behaved excessively well on his father's death. When they told him of it, he turned pale, and laid his hand on his breast. Ayscough said, "I am afraid, Sir, you are not well!"-he replied, "I feel something here, just as I did when I saw the two workmen fall from the scaffold at Kew." Prince Edward is a very plain boy, with strange loose eyes, but was much the favourite. He is a sayer of things! Two men were heard lamenting the death in Leicester-fields: one said, "He has left a great many small children!"-"Ay," replied the other, "and what is worse, they belong to our parish!" But the most extraordinary reflections on his death were set forth in a sermon at Mayfair chapel. "He had no great parts, (pray mind, this was the parson said so, not I,) but he had great virtues; indeed, they degenerated into vices - he was very generous, but I hear his generosity has ruined a great many people: and then his condescension was such, that he kept very bad company."
Adieu! my dear child; I have tried, you see, to blend so much public history with our private griefs, as may help to interrupt your too great attention to the calamities in the former part of my letter. You will, with the properest good-nature in the world, break the news to the poor girl, whom I pity, though I never saw. Miss Nicholl is, I am told, extremely to be pitied too; but so is every body that knew Whithed! Bear it yourself as well as you can!
(230) Francis Thistlethwaite, who took the name of Whithed for his uncle's estate and, as heir to him, recovered Mr. Norton's estate, which he had left to the Parliament for the use of the poor, etc,; but the will was set aside for insanity. [See ant'e.)
(231) Vide Gray's Ode on a distant prospect of Eton College.
(232) Walpole, in his Memoires, vol. i. p. 504, says, "The following which is the elegy alluded to, was probably the effusion of some Jacobite royalist. That faction could not, forgive the Duke of Cumberland his excesses or successes in Scotland; and not content with branding the parliamentary government of the country as usurpation, indulged in frequent unfailing and scurrilous personalities on every branch of the reigning family.
"Here lies Fred, Who was alive and is dead: Had it been his father, I had much rather: Had it been his brother, Still better than another; Had it been his sister, No one would have missed her; Had it been the whole generation, Still better for the nation; But since 'tis only Fred, Who was alive and is dead- There is no more to be said."-E.
(233) The Duke of Cumberland, by his friends styled the Hero of culloden, by his opponents nicknamed Billy the Butcher.-E.
99 Letter 39 To Sir Horace Mann. Arlington Street, April 22, 1751.
I could not help, my dear child, being struck with the conclusion of your letter of the 2d of this month, which I have just received; it mentions the gracious assurances you had received from the dead Prince—indeed, I hope you will not want them. The person(234) who conveyed them was so ridiculous as to tell your brother that himself was the most disappointed of all men, he and the Prince having settled his first ministry in such a manner that nothing could have defeated the plan.(235) An admirable scheme for power in England, founded only on two persons! Some people say he was to be a duke and secretary of state. I would have him drawn like Edward V. with the coronet hanging over his head. You will be entertained with a story of Bootle: his washerwoman came to a friend of hers in great perplexity, and said, "I don't know what to do, pray advise me; my master is gone the circuit, and left me particular orders to send him an express if the King died: but here's the Prince, dead and he said nothing about him." You would easily believe this story, if you knew what a mere law-pedant it is!
The Lord(236) you hint at, certainly did not write the Queries, nor ever any thing so well: he is one of the few discarded; for almost all have offered their services, and been accepted. The King asked the Princess if she had a mind for a master of the horse; that it must be a nobleman, and that he had objections to a particular One, Lord Middlesex. I believe she had no objection to his objections, and desired none. Bloodworth is at the head of her stables; of her ministry, Dr. Lee; all knees bow to him. The Duke of Newcastle is so charmed with him, and so sorry he never knew him before, and can't live without him! He is a grave, worthy man; as a civilian, not much versed in the world of this end of the town, but much a gentleman. He made me a visit the other day on my brother's death, and talked much of the great and good part the King had taken, (who by the way, has been taught by the Princess to talk as much of him,) and that the Prince's servants could no longer oppose, if they meant to be consistent. I told this to Mr. Chute, who replied instantly, , "Pho! he meant to be subsistent." You will not be surprised, though you will be charmed, with a new instance of our friend's disinterested generosity: so far from resenting Whithed's neglect of him, he and your brother, on finding the brute-brothers making difficulties about the child's fortune, have taken upon them to act as trustees for her, and to stand all risks. Did not Mr. Whithed know that Mr. Chute would act just so?
Prince George is created Prince of Wales, and his household is settle(]. Lord Harcourt is his governor, in the room of Lord North, to whom there was no objection but his having a glimpse of parts more than the new one, who is a creature of the Pelhams, and very fit to cipher where Stone is to figure. This latter is sub-governor, with the Bishop of Norwich,(237) preceptor; and Scott sub-preceptor. The Bishop is a sensible, good-humoured gentleman, and believed to be a natural son of the old Archbishop of York.(238) Lord Waldegrave, long a personal favourite of the King, who has now got a little interest at his own court, is warden of the stannaries, in the room of Tom Pitt; old Selwyn, treasurer; Lord Sussex,(239) Lord Downe,(240) and Lord Robert Bertle,(241) lords of the bedchamber; Peachy, a young Schutz, and Digby, grooms: but those of the House of Commons have not kissed hands yet, a difficulty being started, whether, as they are now nominated by the King, it will not vacate their Seats.(242) Potter has resigned as secretary to the Princess, and is succeeded by one Cressett, his predecessor, her chief favourite, and allied to the house of Hanover by a Duchess of Zell,(243) who was of a French family-not of that of Bourbon. I was going on to talk to you of the Regency; but as that measure is not complete, I shall not send away my letter till the end of next week.
My private satisfaction in my nephew of Orford is very great indeed; he has an equal temper of reason and goodness that is most engaging. His mother professes to like him as much as every body else does, but is so much a woman that she will not hurt him at all the less. So far from contributing to retrieve his affairs, she talks to him of nothing but mob stories of his grandfather's having laid up—the Lord knows where!—three hundred thousand pounds for him; and of carrying him with her to Italy, that he may converse with sensible people! In looking over her husband's papers, among many of her intercepted billets-doux, I was much entertained with one, which was curious for the whole orthography, and signed Stitara: if Mr. Shirley was to answer it in the same romantic tone, I am persuaded he would subscribe himself the dying Hornadatus. The other learned Italian Countess(244) is disposing of her fourth daughter, the fair Lady Juliana, to Penn, the wealthy sovereign of Pennsylvania;(245) but the nuptials are adjourned till he recovers of a wound in his thigh, which he got by his pistol going off as he was overturned in his post-chaise. Lady Caroline Fox has a legacy of five- thousand pounds from Lord Shelburne,(246) a distant relation, who never saw her but once, and that three weeks before his death. Two years ago Mr. Fox got the ten thousand pound prize.
May 1, 1751.
I find I must send away my letter this week, and reserve the history of the Regency for another post. The bill was to have been brought into the House of lords to-day, but Sherlock, the Bishop of London, has raised difficulties against the limitation of the future Regent's authority, which he asserts to be repugnant to the spirit of our Constitution. Lord Talbot had already determined to oppose it; and the Pitts and Lyttelton's, who are grown very mutinous on the Newcastle's not choosing Pitt for his colleague, have talked loudly against it without doors. The preparatory steps to this great event I will tell you. The old Monarch grandchildizes exceedingly: the Princess, who is certainly a wise woman, and who, in a course of very difficult situations, has never made an enemy nor had a detractor, has got great sway there. The Pelhams, taking advantage of this new partiality, of the universal dread of the Duke, and of the necessity of his being administrator of Hanover, prevailed to have the Princess Regent, but with a council of nine of the chief great officers, to be continued in their posts till the majority, which is fixed for eighteen; nothing to be transacted without the assent of the greater number; and the Parliament that shall find itself existing at the King's death to subsist till the minority ceases: such restrictions must be almost as unwelcome to the Princess as the whole regulation is to the Duke. Judge of his resentment: he does not conceal it. The divisions in the ministry are neither closed nor come to a decision. Lord Holderness arrived yesterday, exceedingly mortified at not finding himself immediate secretary of state, for which purpose he was sent for; but Lord Halifax would not submit to have this cipher preferred to him. An expedient was proposed of flinging the American province into the Board of Trade, but somehow or other, that has miscarried, and all is at a stand. It is known that Lord Granville is designed for president-and for what more don't you think?-he has the inclination of the King—would they be able again to persuade people to resign unless he is removed?-and will not all those who did resign with that intention endeavour to expiate that insult?
Amid all this new clash of politics Murray has had an opportunity for one or two days of making himself talked of. A month ago his brother(247) obtained leave, on pretence of his health, to remove him into the custody of the sergeant-at-arms; but he refused to go thither, and abused his brother for meanness in making such submissive application. On this his confinement was straitened. Last week, my worthy cousin, Sir John Philips, moved the King's Bench for a rule to bring him thither, in order to his having his habeas corpus. He was produced there the next day; 'but the three Judges, onhearing he was committed by the House of Commons, acknowledged the authority, and remanded him back. There was a disposition to commit Sir John, but we have liked to be-pleased with this acknowledgment of our majesty.
Stitara(248) has declared to her son that she is marrying Shirley, but ties him up strictly. I am ready to begin again with a panegyric of My nephew, but I will rather answer a melancholy letter I have Just received from you. His affairs are putting into the best situation we can, and we are agitating a vast match for him, which, if it can be brought to bear, will even save your brother, whose great tenderness to mine has left him exposed to greater risks than any of the creditors. For myself, I think I shall escape tolerably, as my demands are from my father, whose debts are likely to be satisfied. My uncle Horace is indefatigable in adjusting all this confusion. Do but figure him at seventy-four, looking, not merely well for his age, but plump, ruddy, and without a wrinkle or complaint; doing every body's business, full of politics as ever, from morning till night, and then roaming the town to conclude with a party at whist! I have no apprehensions for your demands on Doddington; but your brother, who sees him, will be best able to satisfy you on that head.
Madame de Mirepoix's brother-in-law was not Duke, but Chevalier de Boufflers. Here is my uncle come to drop me a bit of marriage-settlements on his road to his rubbers, so I must finish—you will not be sorry; at least I have given you some light to live upon. Adieu!
(234) George Bubb Dodington.
(235) The following is Dodington's own account of this plan:- -"March 21. When this unfortunate event happened, I had set on foot a project for a union between the independent Whigs and Tories, by a writing, renouncing all tincture of Jacobitism, and affirming short constitutional Revolution principles. These parties, so united, were to lay this paper, containing these principles, before the Prince, offering to appear as his party now, and upon those principles to undertake the administration when he was King, in the subordination and rank among themselves that he should please to appoint. Father of mercy! thy hand that wounds alone can save!" Diary, P. 88.-E.
(236) Lord Middlesex.
(237) Thomas Hayter, Bishop of Norwich.
(238) Dr. Lancelot Blackburne. (See vol. i. The Quarterly Reviewer of Walpole's Memoires, alluding to a similar statement made in that work says,—"As to the accusations of bastardy and profligacy brought against the Bishop and Archbishop, they were, probably, either the creatures of Walpole's own anxiety to draw striking characters, or the echoes of some of those slanderous murmurs which always accompany persons who rise from inferior stations to eminence. He tells us without any hesitation, that Bishop Hayter was a natural son of archbishop Blackburne's. Now we have before us extracts from the registers of the parish of Chagford, in Devonshire, which prove that the Bishop Thomas Hayter was 'the son of George Hayter, rector of this parish, and of Grace his wife,' and that Thomas was one of a family of not fewer, we believe, than ten children Vol. xxvii. p. 186.-E.)
(239) George Augustus Yelverton, second Earl of Sussex, died 1758.-D.
(240) Henry Pleydell Dawnay, third Viscount Downe in Ireland. He distinguished himself greatly in the command of a regiment at the battle of Minden; and died Dec. 9th, 1760, of the wounds he had received at the battle of Campen, Oct. 16th of that year.-D.
(241) The third son of Robert, first Duke of Ancaster and Kesteven. He died in 1782.-D.
(242) "May 3.-Sense of the House taken, if the young Prince of Wales's new servants should be reelected: it was agreed not. The act was read; but those who seemed to favour a re-election forgot to call for the warrants that appointed them servants to the Prince: by whom are they signed? if by the King, the case would not have admitted a word of dispute." Dodington, p. 104.-E.
(243) Mademoiselle d'Olbreuse. It is this m'esalliance which prevents our Royal Family from being what is called chapitrate in Germany. Mademoiselle d'Olbreuse was the mother of George the First's unhappy wife.-D.
(244) Lady Pomfret.
(245) See ant'e.-E.
(246) Henry Petty, Earl of Shelburne in Ireland, the last of the male descendants of Sir William Petty. Upon his death his titles extinguished; but his estates devolved on his nephew, the Lord John Fitz Maurice, in whose favour the title of Shelburne was revived.-D.
(247) Lord Elibank.
(248) Lady Orford. She did marry Mr. Shirley.
103 Letter 40 To Sir Horace Mann. Arlington Street, May 30, 1751.
In your last of May 14th, you seem uneasy at not having heard from me in two posts. I have writ you so exactly all the details that I know you would wish to hear, that I think my letters must have miscarried. I will mention all the dates of this year; Feb. 8th, March 14th and 21st, April 1st, and May 1st; tell me if you have received all these. I don't pretend to say any thing to alleviate your concern for the late misfortunes, but will only recommend to you to harden yourself against every accident, as I endeavour to do. The mortifications and disappointments I have experienced have taught me the philosophy that dwells not merely in speculation. I choose to think about the world, as I have always found, when I most wanted its comfort, it thought about me, that is, not at all. It is a disagreeable dream which must end for every body else as well as for oneself. Some try to supply the emptiness and vanity of present life by something still more empty, fame. I choose to comfort myself, by considering that even while I am lamenting any present uneasiness it is actually passing away. I cannot feel the comfort of folly, because I am not a fool, and I scarce know any other being that it is worth one's while to wish to be. All this looks as if it proceeded from a train of melancholy ideas—it does so: but misfortunes have that good in them that they teach one indifference.
if I Could be mortified anew, I should be with a new disappointment, The immense and uncommon friendship of Mr. Chute had found a method of saving both my family and yours. In short, in the height of his affliction for Whithed, whom he still laments immoderately, he undertook to get Miss Nicholl, the vast fortune, a fortune of above 150,000 pounds, whom Whithed was to have had, for Lord Orford. He actually persuaded her to run away from her guardians, who used her inhumanly, and are her next heirs. How clearly he is justified, you will see, when I tell you that the man, who has eleven hundred a-year for her maintenance, with which he stopped the demands Of his own creditors, instead of employing it for her maintenance and education, is since gone into the Fleet. After such fair success, Lord Orford has refused to marry her; why, nobody can guess. Thus had I placed him in a greater situation than even his grandfather hoped to bequeath to him, had retrieved all the oversights of my family, had saved Houghton and all our glory!-Now, all must go!-and what shocks me infinitely more, Mr. Chute, by excess of treachery, (a story too long for a letter,) is embroiled with his own brother the story, with many others, I believe I shall tell you in person; for I do not doubt but the disagreeable scenes which I have still to go through, will at last drive me to where I have long proposed to seek some peace. But enough of these melancholy ideas!
The Regency-bill has passed with more ease than could have been expected from so extraordinary a measure; and from the warmth with which it was taken up one day in the House of Commons. In the Lords there were but 12 to 106, and the former, the most inconsiderable men in that House. Lord Bath and Lord Grenville spoke vehemently for it: the former in as wild a speech, with much parts, as ever he made in his patriot days; and with as little modesty he lamented the scrambles that he had seen for power! In our House, Mr. Pelham had four signal mortifications: the Speaker, in a most pathetic and fine speech, Sir John Barnard, and Lord Cobham,(249) speaking against, and Mr. Fox, though voting for it, tearing it to pieces. Almost all the late Prince's people spoke or voted for it; most, pretending deference to the Princess, though her power is so much abridged by it. However, the consolation that resides in great majorities balanced the disagreeableness of particular oppositions. We sit, and shall sit, till towards the end of June, though with little business of importance. If there happens any ministerial struggle, which seems a little asleep at present, it will scarce happen till after the prorogation.
Adieu! my dear child; I have nothing else worth telling you at present—at least, the same things don't strike me that used to do; or what perhaps is more true, when things of consequence takes one up, one can't attend to mere trifling. When I say this, you will ask me, where is my philosophy! Even where the best is: I think as coolly as I can, I don't exaggerate what is disagreeable, and I endeavour to lessen it, by undervaluing what I am inclined to think would be a happier state.
(249) Richard Grenville, eldest son of Richard Grenville, of Wotton, Esq. and of Esther Temple, Countess Temple and Viscountess Cobham, in her own right. Lord Cobham became well known in the political world as Earl Temple; which title he succeeded to on the decease of his mother in 1752.-D.
105 Letter 41 To George Montagu, Esq. Arlington Street, May 30, 1751.
Mrs. Boscawen says I ought to write to you. I don't think so. you desired I would, if I had any things new to tell you; I have not. Lady Caroline and Miss Ashe had quarrelled, about reputations before you went out of town. I suppose you would not give a straw to know all the circumstances of a Mr. Paul killing a Mr. Dalton, though the town, who talks of any thing, talks of nothing else. Mrs. French and her Jeffery are parted again. Lady Orford and Shirley married: they say she was much frightened; it could not be for fear of what other brides dread of happening, but for fear it should not happen.
My evening yesterday was employed, how wisely do You think? in trying to procure for the Duchess of Portland a scarlet spider from Admiral Boscawen. I had just seen her collection, which is indeed magnificent, chiefly composed of the spoils of her father's, and the Arundel collections. The gems of all sorts are glorious. I was diverted with two relics of St. Charles the Martyr; one, the pearl you see in his pictures, taken out of his ear after his foolish head was off; the other, the cup out of which he took his last sacrament. They should be given to that nursery of nonsense and bigotry, Oxford.
I condole with you on your journey, am glad Miss Montagu is in better health, and am yours sincerely.
105 Letter 42 To The Rev. Joseph Spence.(250) Arlington Street, June 3, 1751.
Dear sir, I have translated the lines, and send them to you; but the expressive conciseness and beauty of the original, and my disuse of turning 106 verses, made it so difficult, that I beg they may be of no other use than that of showing you how readily I complied with your request.
"Illam, quicquid agit, quoquo vestilia vertit, Componit furtim subsequiturque decor."
"If she but moves or looks, her step, her face, By stealth adopt unmeditated grace."
There are twenty little literal variations that may be made, and are of no consequence, as 'move' or 'look'; 'air' instead of 'step', and 'adopts' instead of 'adopt': I don't know even whether I would not read 'steal and adopt', instead of 'by stealth adopt'. But none of these changes will make the copy half so pretty as the original. But what signifies that? I am not obliged to be a poet because Tibullus was one; nor is it just now that I have discovered I am not. Adieu!
(250) Now first collated. See Singer's edition of Spence's Anecdotes, p. 349.-E.
106 Letter 43 To George Montagu, Esq. Arlington Street, June 13, 1751.
You have told me that it is charity to write you news into Kent; but what if my news should shock you! Won't it rather be an act of cruelty to tell you, your relation, Sandwich,(251) is immediately to be removed; and that the Duke of Bedford and all the Gowers will resign to attend him? Not quite all the Gowers, for the Earl himself keeps the privy-seal and plays on at brag, with Lady Catherine Pelham, to the great satisfaction of the Staffordshire Jacobites, who desire, at least expect, no better diversion than a division in that house. Lord Trentham does resign. Lord Hartington is to be master of the horse, and called up to the House of Peers. Lord Granville is to be president; if he should resent any former resignations and insist on victims, will Lord Hartington assure the menaced that they shall not be sacrificed?
I hear your friend Lord North is wedded: somebody said it is very hot weather to marry so fat a bride; George Selwyn replied, "Oh! she was kept in ice for three days before."
The first volume of Spenser is published with prints, designed by Kent; but the most execrable performance you ever beheld. The graving not worse than the drawing; awkward knights, scrambling Unas, hills tumbling down themselves, no variety Of prospect and three or four perpetual spruce firs.
Our charming Mr. Bentley is doing Gray as much more honour as he deserves than Spencer. He is drawing vignettes for his Odes; what a valuable MS. I shall have! Warburton publishes his edition of Pope next week, with the famous piece of prose on Lord Hervey,(252) which he formerly suppressed at my uncle's desire; who had got an abbey from Cardinal Fleury for one Southcote, a friend of Pope's.(253) My Lord Hervey pretended not to thank him. I am told the edition has waited, because Warburton has cancelled above a hundred sheets (in which he had inserted notes) since the publication of the Canons of Criticism.(254) The new history of Christina is a most wretched piece of trumpery, stuffed with foolish letters and confutations of Mademoiselle de Montpensier and Madame de Motteville. Adieu! Yours ever.
(251) John Montagu, fourth Earl of Sandwich.
(252) Entitled "A Letter to a Noble Lord, on occasion of some libels written and propagated at court, in the year 1732-3."-E.
(253) According to Spence, the application was made by Pope to Sir Robert Walpole; but Dr. Warton states, that, "in gratitude for the favour conferred on his friend, Pope presented to Horatio Walpole, afterwards Lord Walpole, a set of his works in quarto, richly bound; which are now in the library at Wollerton."-E.
(254) Edwards's "Canons of Criticism;" a series of notes on Warburton's edition of Shakspeare. Johnson thought well of it; but upon some one endeavouring to put the author upon a level with Warburton, "Nay," said the Doctor, "he has given him some smart hits, but the two men must not be named together: a fly, sir, may sting a stately horse, and make him wince; but one is but an insect, and the other is a horse still."-E.
107 Letter 44 To Sir Horace Mann. Arlington Street, June 18, 1751.
I sent my letter as usual from the secretary's office, but of what secretary I don't know. Lord Sandwich last week received his dismission, on which the Duke of Bedford resigned the next day, and Lord Trentham with him, both breaking with old Gower, who is entirely in the hands of the Pelhams, and made to declare his quarrel with Lord Sandwich (who gave away his daughter to Colonel Waldegrave) the foundation 4 his detaching himself from the Bedfords. Your friend Lord Fane(255) comforts Lord Sandwich with an annuity of a thousand a-year-scarcely for his handsome behaviour to his sister! Lord Hartington is to be master of the horse, and Lord Albemarle groom of the stole; Lord Granville is actually lord president, and, by all outward and visible signs, something more-in short, if he don't overshoot himself, the Pelhams have; the King's favour to him is visible, and so much credited, that all the incense is offered to him. It is believed that Impresario Holderness will succeed the Bedford in the foreign seals, and Lord Halifax in those for the plantations. If the former does, you will have ample instructions to negotiate for singers and dancers! Here is an epigram made upon his directorship.
"That secrecy will now prevail In politics, is certain; Since Holderness, who gets the seals, Was bred behind the curtain."
The Admirals Rowley and Boscawen are brought into the admiralty under Lord Anson, who is advanced to the head of the board. Seamen are tractable fishes! especially it will be Boscawen's case, whose name in Cornish signifies obstinacy, and who brings along with him a good quantity of resentment to Anson. In short, the whole present system is equally formed for duration!
Since I began my letter, Lord Holderness has kissed hands for the seals. It is said that Lord Halifax is to be made easy, by the plantations being put under the Board of Trade. Lord Granville comes into power as boisterously as ever, and dashes at every thing. His lieutenants already beat up for volunteers; but he disclaims all connexions with Lord Bath, who, he says, forced him upon the famous ministry of twenty-four hours, and by which he says he paid all his debts to him. This will soon grow a turbulent scene-it 'Is not unpleasant to sit upon the beach and see it; but few people have the curiosity to step out to the sight. You, who knew England in other times, will find it difficult to conceive what an indifference reigns with regard to ministers and their squabbles. The two Miss Gunnings,(256) and a late extravagant dinner at White's, are twenty times more the subject of conversation than the two brothers and Lord Granville. These are two Irish girls, of no fortune, who are declared the handsomest women alive. I think their being two so handsome and both such perfect figures is their chief excellence, for singly I have seen much handsomer women than either; however, they can't walk in the park, or go to Vauxhall, but such mobs follow them that they are generally driven away. The dinner was a folly of seven young men, who bespoke it to the utmost extent of expense: one article was a tart made of duke cherries from a hothouse; and another, that they tasted but one glass out of each bottle of champagne. The bill of fare has got into print, and with good people has produced the apprehension of another earthquake. Your friend St. Leger, was at the head of these luxurious heroes—he is the hero of all fashion. I never saw more dashing vivacity and absurdity, with some flashes of parts. He had a cause the other day for duelling a sharper, and was going to swear: the judge said to him, "I see, Sir, you are very ready to take an oath." "Yes, my lord," replied St. Leger, "my father was a judge."
We have been overwhelmed with lamentable Cambridge and Oxford dirges on the Prince's death: there is but one tolerable copy; it is by a young Lord Stormont,(257) a nephew of Murray, who is much commended. You may imagine what incense is offered to Stone by the people of Christ Church: they have hooked in, too poor Lord Harcourt, and call him Harcourt the Wise! his wisdom has already disgusted the young Prince; "Sir, pray hold up your head. Sir, for Cod's sake, turn out your toes!" Such are Mentor's precepts!
I am glad you receive my letters; as I knew I had been punctual, it mortified me that you should think me remiss. Thank you for the transcript from Bubb de tribes!(258) I will keep your secret, though I am persuaded that a man who had composed such a funeral oration on his master and himself fully intended that its flowers should not bloom and wither in obscurity.
We have already begun to sell the pictures that had not found place at Houghton: the sale gives no great encouragement to proceed; (though I fear it must come to that!) the large pictures were thrown away: the whole length Vandykes went for a song! I am mortified now at having printed the catalogue. Gideon the Jew, and Blakiston(259) the independent grocer, have been the chief purchasers of the pictures sold already—there, if you love moralizing! Adieu! I have no more articles to-day for my literary gazette.
(255) Lord Sandwich married Dorothy, sister of Charles, Lord Viscount Fane.
(256) Afterwards Countess of Coventry, and Duchess of Hamilton and Argyll.-D.
(257) David Murray, seventh Viscount Stormont, ambassador at Vienna and Paris, and president of the council. He died in 1796.-D.
(258) A letter to Mr. Mann from Bubb Doddington on the Prince's death. It is dated June 4, and contains the following bombastic and absurd passage: which, however, proves how great were the expectations of Doddington, if the prince had lived to succeed his father: ,We have lost the delight and ornament of the age he lived in, the expectations of the public-in this light I have lost more than any subject in England, but this is light; public advantages confined to myself do not, ought not, to weigh with me. But we have lost the refuge of private distress, the balm of the afflicted heart, the shelter of the miserable against the fang of private calamity; the arts, the graces, the anguish, the misfortunes of society have lost their patron and their remedy. I have lost my protector, my companion, my friend that loved me, that condescended to bear, to communicate, and to share in all the pleasures and pains of the human heart, where the social affections and emotions of the mind only presided, without regard to the infinite disproportion of our rank and condition. This is a wound that cannot, ought not, to heal—if I pretended to fortitude here I should be infamous, a monster of ingratitude; and unworthy of all consolation, if I was not inconsolable.-D.
(259) Blakiston has been caught in smuggling, and pardoned by Sir Robert Walpole; but continuing the practice, and being again detected was fined five thousand pounds; on which he grew a violent party man, and a ringleader of the Westminster independent electors, and died an alderman of London.
109 Letter 45 To Sir Horace Mann. Arlington Street, July 16, 1751.
I shall do little more to-day than answer your last letter of the 2d of this month; there is no kind of news. My chief reason for writing to you is to notify a visit that you will have at Florence this summer from Mr. Conway, who is forced to go to his regiment at Minorca, but is determined to reckon Italy within his quarters. You know how, particularly he is my friend; I need not recommend him to you; but you will see something very different from the staring boys that come in flocks to you new, once a year, like woodcocks. Mr. Conway is deservedly reckoned one of the first and most rising young men in England. He has distinguished himself in the greatest style both in the army and in Parliament. This is for you. for the Florentine ladies, there is still the finest person and the handsomest face I ever saw—no, I cannot say that all this will be quite for them; he will not think any of them so handsome as my Lady Aylesbury.
It is impossible to answer you why my Lord Orford would not marry Miss Nicholl. I don't believe there was any particular reason or attachment any where else; but unfortunately for himself and for us, he is totally insensible to his situation, and talks of selling Houghton with a coolness that wants nothing but being intended for philosophy to be the greatest that ever was. Mind, it is a virtue that I envy more than I honour.
I am going into Warwickshire to Lord Hertford, and set out this evening, and have so many things to do that you must excuse me, for I neither know what I write, nor have time to write more. Adieu!
110 Letter 46 To George Montagu, Esq. Daventry, July 22, 1751.
You will wonder in what part of the county of Twicks lies this Daventry. It happens to be in Northamptonshire. My letter will scarce set out till I get to London, but I choose to give it its present date lest you should admire, that Mr. Usher of the exchequer, the lord treasurer of pen, ink, and paper, should write with such coarse materials. I am on my way from Ragley,(260) and if ever the waters subside and my ark rests upon dry land again, I think of stepping over to TOnghes: but your journey has filled my postchaise's head with such terrible ideas of your roads, that I think I shall let it have done raining for a month or six weeks, which it has not done for as much time past, before I begin to grease my wheels again, and lay in a provision of French books, and tea, and blunderbusses, for my journey.
Before I tell you a word of Ragley, you must hear how busy I have been upon Grammont. You know I have long had a purpose of a new edition, with notes, and cuts of the principal beauties and heroes, if I could meet with their portraits. I have made out all the people at all remarkable except my Lord Janet, whom I cannot divine unless he be Thanet. Well, but what will entertain you is, that I have discovered the philosophe Whitnell; and what do you think his real name was? Only 'Whetenhall! Pray do you call cousins?(261) Look in Collins's Baronets, and under the article Bedingfield you will find that he was an ingenious gentleman, and la blanche Whitnell, though one of the greatest beauties of the age, an excellent wife. I am persuaded the Bedingfields crowded in these characters to take off the ridicule in Grammont; they have succeeded to a miracle. Madame de Mirepoix told me t'other day, that she had known a daughter of the Countess de Grammont, an Abbess in Lorrain, who, to the ambassadress's great scandal, was ten times more vain of the blood of Hamilton than of an equal quantity of that of Grammont. She had told her much of her sister my Lady Stafford,(262) whom I remember to have seen when I was a child. She used to live at Twickenham when Lady Mary Wortley(263) and the Duke of Wharton lived there; she had more wit than both of them. What would I give to have had Strawberry Hill twenty years ago! I think any thing but twenty years. Lady Stafford used to say to her sister, "Well, child, I have come without my wit to-day;" that is, she had not taken her opium, which she was forced to do if she had any appointment, to be in particular spirits. This rage of Grammont carried me a little while ago to old Marlborough's,(264) at Wimbledon, where I had heard there was a picture of Lady Denham;(265) it is a charming one. The house you know stands in a hole, or, as the whimsical old lady said, seems to be making a courtesy. She had directed my Lord Pembroke not to make her go up any steps; "I wont go up steps;"—and so he dug a saucer to put it in, and levelled the first floor with the ground. There is a bust of Admiral Vernon, erected I suppose by Jack Spencer, with as many lies upon it as if it was a tombstone; and a very curious old picture up-stairs that I take to be Louis Sforza the Moor, with his nephew Galeazzo. There are other good pictures in the house, but perhaps you have seen them. As I have formerly seen Oxford and Blenheim, I did not stop till I came to Stratford-upon-Avon, the wretchedest old town I ever saw, which I intended for Shakspeare's sake, to find snug and pretty, and antique, not old. His tomb, and his wife's, and John Combes', are in an agreeable church, with several other monuments; as one of the Earl of Totness,(266) and another of Sir Edward Walker, the memoirs writer. There are quantities of Cloptons, too but the bountiful corporation have exceedingly bepainted Shakspeare and the principal personages.
I was much struck with Ragley; the situation is magnificent; the house far beyond any thing I have seen of that bad age: for it was begun, as I found by an old letter in the library from Lord Ranelagh to Earl Conway, in the year 1680. By the way, I have had, and am to have, the rummaging of three chests of pedigrees and letters to that secretary Conway, which I have interceded for and saved from the flames. The prospect is as fine as one destitute of a navigated river can be, ind hitherto totally unimproved; so is the house, which is but just covered in, after so many years. They have begun to inhabit the naked walls of the attic story; the great one is unfloored and unceited - the hall is magnificent, sixty by forty, and thirty-eight high. I am going to pump Mr. Bentley for designs. The other apartments are very lofty, and in quantity, though I had suspected that this leviathan hall must have devoured half the other chambers.
The Hertfords carried me to dine at Lord Archer's,(267) an odious place. On my return, I saw Warwick, a pretty old town, small, and thinly inhabited, in the form of a cross. The castle is enchanting; the view pleased me more than I can express; the river Avon tumbles down a cascade at the foot of it. It is well laid out by one Brown(268 who has set up on a few ideas of Kent and Mr. Southcote. One sees what the prevalence of taste does; little Brooke, who would have chuckled to have been born in an age of clipt hedges and cockle-shell avenues, has submitted to let his garden and park be natural. Where he has attempted Gothic in the castle, he has failed; and has indulged himself in a new apartment, that is paltry. The chapel is very pretty, and smugged up with tiny pews, that look like 'etuis for the Earl and his diminutive Countess. I shall tell you nothing of the glorious chapel of the Beauchamps in St. Mary's church, for you know it is in Dugdale; nor how ill the fierce bears and ragged staves are succeeded by puppets and corals. As I came back another road, I saw Lord Pomfret's,(269) by Towcester, where there are a few good pictures, and many masked statues; there is an exceeding fine Cicero, which has no fault, but the head being modern. I saw a pretty lodge. just built by the Duke of Grafton, in Whittleberry-forest; the design is Kent's, but, as was his manner, too heavy. Iran through the gardens at Stowe, which I have seen before, and had only time to be charmed with the variety of scenes. I do like that Albano glut of buildings, let them be ever so much condemned.
(260) The seat of the Earl of Hertford in Warwickshire.
(261) A sister of Mr. Montagu's was married to Nathaniel Whetenhall, Esq.
(262) Claude Charlotte, Countess of Stafford, wife of Henry, Earl of Stafford, and daughter of Philibert, Count of Grammont, and Elizabeth Hamilton, his wife.
(263) Lady Mary Wortley Montagu.
(264) Sarah, Duchess of Marlborough.
(265) Miss Brooke, one of the beauties of the court of Charles II., second wife of Sir John Denham the poet. This second marriage brought upon him so much disquiet, as for a time to disorder his understanding, and Butler lampooned him for his lunacy. In Grammont's Memoirs many circumstances are related, both of his marriage and his frenzy, very little favourable to his character.-E.
(266) George Carew, Earl of Totness, died without heirs male in 1629, leaving an only daughter, married to Sir Allen Apsley.-E.
(267) Umberslade, near Stratford-upon-Avon.
(268) Lancelot Brown, generally called "Capability Brown," from his frequent use of that word. He rose by his merit, from a low condition, to be head gardener at Stowe; and was afterwards appointed to the same situation at Hampton Court. Lord Chatham, who had a great regard for him, thus speaks of him, in a letter to Lady Stanhope:—"The chapter of my friend's dignity must not be omitted. He writes Lancelot Brown, Esquire, en titre d'affic: please to consider, he shares the private hours of Majesty, dines familiarly with his neighbour of Sion, and sits down to the tables of all the House of Lords, etc. To be serious, he is deserving of the regard shown to him; for I know him, upon very long acquaintance to be an honest man, and of sentiments much above his birth." see Chatham Correspondence, vol. iv. p. 430.-E.
(269) Easton Neston.
112 letter 47 To Sir Horace Mann. Mistley, Aug. 31, 1751.
I am going to answer two of your letters, without having the fear of Genoa(270) before my eyes. Your brother sent to me about this embassy the night before I came out of town, and I had not time nor opportunity to make any inquiry about it. Indeed, I am persuaded it is all a fable, some political nonsense of Richcourt. How should his brother know any thing of it? or, to speak plainly, what can we bring about by a sudden negotiation with the Genoese? Do but put these two things together, that we can do nothing, and the Richcourts can know nothing, and you will laugh at this pretended communication of a secret that relates to yourself' from one who is ignorant of what relates to you, and who would not tell you if he did know. I have had a note from your brother since I came hither, which confirms my opinion; and I find Mr. Chute is of the same. Be at peace, my dear child: I should not be so if I thought you in the least danger.
I imagined you would have seen Mr. Conway before this time; I have already told you how different you will find him from the raw animals that you generally see. As you talk of our Beauties, I shall tell you a new story of the Gunnings, who make more noise than any of their predecessors since the days of Helen, though neither of them, nor any thing about them, have yet been teterrima belli causa. They went the other day to see Hampton Court; as they were going Into the Beauty-room, another company arrived; the housekeeper said, "This way, ladies; here are the Beauties." The Gunnings flew into a passion, and asked her what she meant; that they came to see the palace, not to be showed as a sight themselves.
I am charmed with your behaviour to the Count on the affair of the Leghorn allegiance; I don't wonder he is willing to transport you to Genoa! Your priest's epigram is strong; I suppose he had a dispensation for making a false quantity in secunda.
Pray tell me if you know any thing of Lady Mary Wortley: we have an obscure history here of her being in durance in the Brescian, or the Bergamasco: that a young fellow whom she set out with keeping has taken it into his head to keep her close prisoner, not permitting her to write or receive any letters but what he sees: he seems determined, if her husband should die, not to lose her, as the Count lost my Lady Orford.(271)
Lord Rockingham told me himself of his Guercino, and seemed obliged for the trouble you had given yourself in executing the commission. I can tell you nothing farther of the pictures at Houghton; Lord Orford has been ill and given over, and is gone to Cheltenham.
The affair of Miss Nicholl is blown up by the treachery of my uncle Horace and some lawyers, that I had employed at his recommendation. I have been forced to write a narrative of the whole transaction, and was with difficulty kept from publishing it. You shall see it whenever I have an opportunity. Mr. Chute, who has been still worse used than I have been, is, however, in better spirits than he was, since he got rid of all this embroil. I have brought about a reconciliation with his brother, which makes me less regard the other disappointments. I must bid you good night, for I am at too great a distance to know any news, even if there were any in season. I shall be in town next week, and will not fail you in inquiries, though I am persuaded you will before that have found that all this Genoese mystery was without foundation. Adieu!
(270) Count Richcourt pretended that he had received intelligence from his brother, then minister in London, that Mr. Mann was to be sent on a secret commission to Genoa.
(271) Lord Wharncliffe, in his edition of Lady Mary's Works, vol. iii. p. 435, makes the following observation on this passage:—"Among Lady Mary's papers there is a long paper, written in Italian, not by herself, giving an account of her having been detained for some time against her will in a country-house belonging to an Italian Count, and inhabited by him and his mother. This paper seems to have been submitted to a lawyer for his opinion, or to be produced in a court of law. There is nothing else to be found in Lady Mary's papers referring in the least degree to this circumstance. It would appear, however, that some such forcible detention as is alluded to did take place, probably for some pecuniary or interested object; but, like many of Horace Walpole's stories, he took care not to let this lose any thing that might give it zest, and he therefore makes the person by whom Lady Mary was detained a young fellow whom she set out with keeping.' Now, at the time of this transaction, Lady Mary was sixty-one years old. The reader, therefore, may judge for himself, how far such an imputation upon her is likely to be founded in truth."-E.
114 Letter 48 To George Montagu, Esq. Arlington Street, Oct. 8, 1751.
So you have totally forgot that I sent you the pedigree of the Crouches, as long ago as the middle of last August, and that you promised to come to Strawberry Hill in October. I shall be there some time in next week, but as my motions neither depend on resolutions nor almanacs, let me know beforehand when you intend to make me a visit; for though keeping an appointment is not just the thing you ever do, I suppose you know you dislike being disappointed yourself, as much as if you were the most punctual person in the world to engagements.
I came yesterday from Woburn, where I have been a week. The house is in building, and three sides of the quadrangle finished. The park is very fine, the woods glorious, and the plantations of evergreens sumptuous; but upon the whole, it is rather -what I admire than like-I fear that is what I am a little apt to do at the finest places in the world where there is not a navigable river. You would be charmed, as I was, with an old gallery, that is not yet destroyed. It is a bad room, powdered with little gold stars, and covered with millions of old portraits. There are all the successions of Earls and Countesses of Bedford, and all their progenies. One countess is a whole-length drawing in the drollest dress you ever saw; and another picture of the same woman leaning on her hand, I believe by Cornelius Johnson, is as fine a head as ever I saw. There are many of Queen Elizabeth's worthies, the Leicesters, Essexes, and Philip Sidneys, and a very curious portrait of the last Courtney, Earl of Devonshire, who died at Padua. Have not I read somewhere that he was in love with Queen Elizabeth, and Queen Mary -with him? He is quite in the style of the former's lovers, red-bearded, and not comely. There is Essex's friend, the Earl of Southampton; his son the Lord Treasurer; and Madame l'Empoisonneuse,(273) that married Carr,(274) Earl of Somerset—she is pretty. Have not you seen a copy Vertue has made of Philip and Mary? That is in this gallery too, but more curious than good. They showed me two heads, who, according to the tradition of the family, were the originals of Castalio and Polydore. They were sons to the second Earl of Bedford; and the eldest, if not both, died before their father. The eldest has vipers in his hand, and in the distant landscape appears in a maze, with these words, Fata viam invenient. The other has a woman behind him, sitting near the sea, with strange monsters surrounding her. I don't pretend to decipher this, nor to describe half the entertaining morsels I found here; but I can't omit, as you know I am Grammont-mad, that I found "le vieux Roussel, qui 'etoit le plus fier danseur d'Angleterre." The portrait is young, but has all the promise of his latter character. I am going to send them a head of a Countess of Cumberland,(275) sister to Castalio and Polydore, and mother of a famous Countess of Dorset,(276) who Afterwards married the Earl of Pembroke,(277) of Charles the First's time. She was an authoress, and immensely rich. After the restoration, Sir Joseph Williamson, the secretary of state, wrote to her to choose a courtier at Appleby: she sent him this answer: "I have been bullied by an usurper, I have been ill-treated by a court, but I won't be dictated to by a subject; your man shall not stand. Ann Dorset, Pembroke and Montgomery." Adieu! If you love news a hundred years old, I think you can't have a better correspondent. For any thing that passes now, I shall not think it worth knowing these fifty years.
(273 Lady Frances Howard, daughter of the Earl of Suffolk, and married to the Earl of Essex, from whom she was divorced. She then married her lover, the Earl of Somerset. She poisoned Sir Thomas Overbury, because he had endeavoured to dissuade his friend the Earl of Somerset from this alliance. She was tried and condemned, but was pardoned by King James.
(274) Robert Carr, a favourite of King James the First, who created him Viscount Rochester and Earl of Somerset. He was tried and condemned, but was pardoned by James the First.
(275) Margaret, Countess of Cumberland, daughter of Francis Russell, second Earl of Bedford, and married to George Clifford, third Earl of Cumberland.
(276)) Ann Clifford, daughter of George, Earl of Cumberland, first married to Richard Sackville, Earl of Dorset, and afterwards to Philip, Earl of Pembroke.
(277) Philip, Earl of Pembroke, son of Henry, second Earl of Pembroke. He was chamberlain to Charles the First.
115 Letter 49 To Sir Horace Mann. Strawberry Hill, Oct. 14, 1751.
It is above six weeks since I wrote to you, and I was going on to be longer, as I stayed for something to tell you; but an express that arrived yesterday brought a great event, which, though you will hear long before my letter can arrive, serves for a topic to renew our correspondence. The Prince of Orange is dead: killed by the waters of Aix-la-Chapelle. This is all I yet know. I shall go to town to-morrow for a day or two, and if I pick up any particulars before the post goes away, you shall know them. The Princess Royal(278) was established Regent some time ago; but as her husband's authority seemed extremely tottering, it is not likely that she will be able to maintain hers. Her health is extremely bad, and her temper neither ingratiating nor bending. It is become the peculiarity of the House of Orange to have minorities.
Your last letter to me of Sept. 24th, and all I have seen since your first fright, make me easy about your Genoese journey. I take no honour from the completion of my prophecy; it was sufficient to know circumstances and the trifling falsehood of Richcourt, to confirm me in my belief that that embassy was never intended. We dispose of Corsica! Alas! I believe there is but one island that we shall ever have power to give away; and that is Great Britain—and I don't know but we may exert our power.
You are exceedingly kind about Mr. Conway-but when are not you so to me and my friends? I have just received a miserable letter from him on his disappointment; he had waited for a man-of-war to embark for Leghorn; it came in the night, left its name upon a card, and was gone before he was awake in the morning, and had any notice of it. He still talks of seeing you; as the Parliament is to meet so soon, I should think he will scarce have time, though I don't hear that he is sent for, or that they will have occasion to send for any body, unless they want to make an Opposition.
We were going to have festivals and masquerades for the birth of the Duke of Burgundy, but I suppose both they and the observance of the King's birthday will be laid aside or postponed, on the death of our son-in-law. Madame de Mirepoix would not stay to preside at her own banquets, but is slipped away to retake possession of the tabouret. When the King wished her husband joy, my Lady Pembroke(279) was standing near him; she was a favourite, but has disgraced herself by marrying a Captain Barnard. Mirepoix said, as he had no children he was indifferent to the honour of a duchy for himself, but was glad it would restore Madame to the honour she had lost by marrying him! "Oh!" replied the King, ,you are of so great a family, the rank was nothing; but I can't bear when women of quality marry one don't know whom!"
Did you ever receive the questions I asked you about Lady Mary Wortley's being confined by a lover that she keeps somewhere in the Brescian? I long to know the particulars. I have lately been at Woburn, where the Duchess of Bedford borrowed for me from a niece of Lady Mary about fifty letters of the latter. They are charming! have more spirit and vivacity than you can conceive, and as much of the spirit of debauchery in them as you will conceive in her writing. They were written to her sister, the unfortunate Lady Mar, whom she treated so hardly while out of her senses, which she has not entirely recovered, though delivered and tended with the greatest tenderness and affection by her daughter, Lady Margaret Erskine: they live in a house lent to them by the Duke of Bedford; the Duchess is Lady Mary's niece.(280) Ten of the letters, indeed, are dismal lamentations and frights of a scene of villany of Lady Mary, who, having persuaded one Ruremonde, a Frenchman and her lover, to entrust her with a large sum of money to buy stock for him, frightened him out of England, by persuading him that Mr. Wortley had discovered the intrigue, and would murder him; and then would have sunk the trust. That not succeeding, and he threatening to print her letters, she endeavoured to make Lord Mar or Lord Stair cut his throat. Pope hints at these anecdotes of her history in that line,
"Who starves a sister or denies a debt."(281)
In one of her letters she says, "We all partake of father Adam's folly and knavery, who first eat the apple like a sot, and then turned informer like a scoundrel." This is character, at least, if not very delicate; but in most of them, the wit and style are superior to any letters I ever read but Madame Sevign'e's. It is very remarkable, how much better women write than men. I have now before me a volume of letters written by the widow(282) of the beheaded Lord Russel, which are full of the most moving and expressive eloquence ; I want to persuade the Duke of Bedford to let them be printed.(283)
17th.—I have learned nothing but that the Prince of Orange died of an imposthume in his head. Lord Holderness is gone to Holland to-day—I believe rather to learn than to teach. I have received yours of Oct. 8, and don't credit a word of Birtle's(284) information. Adieu!
(276) Anne, eldest daughter of George the Second. Walpole, in his Memoires, vol. i. p. 173, describes her as being immoderately jealous and fond of her husband : "Yet," adds he, "this Mars, who was locked in the arms of that Venus, was a monster so deformed, that when the King had chosen him for his son-in-law, he could not help, in the honesty of his heart and the coarseness of his expression, telling the Princess how hideous a bridegroom she was to expect; and even gave her permission to refuse him: she replied, she would marry him if he was a baboon; "Well, then," said the King, "there is baboon enough for you!"-E.
(279) Mary, daughter of the Viscount Fitzwilliam, formerly maid of honour to the Queen, and widow of Henry Herbert, Earl of Pembroke. [In the preceding month, Lady Pembroke had married North Ludlow Barnard, a major of dragoons. She died in 1769.]
(280) Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, Lady Mar, and the first wife of John, Lord Gower, were daughters of Evelyn Pierpoint, Duke of Kingston.
(281) Upon this passage Lord Wharncliffe observes, that "nothing whatever has been found to throw light upon the ill treatment of Lady Mar by Lady Mary, and that accusation is supposed, by those who would probably have heard of it if true, to be without foundation." Nine of the ten letters spoken of by Walpole, are given in his lordship's edition of Lady Mary's Works; and, in the opinion of the Quarterly Reviewer, "they confirm, in a very extraordinary way, Horace Walpole's impression." See vol. viii. p. 191.-E.
(282) @Rachel, daughter of Thomas Wriothesley, Earl of Southampton, lord treasurer. One of these letters to Dr. Tillotson, to persuade him to accept the archbishopric, has been since printed, and a fragment of another of her letters, in Birch's Life of that prelate.
(283) They were published in 1773, and met with such deserved success as to call for a Seventh edition of them in 1809. In 1819, appeared a quarto volume, entitled "Some Account of the Life of Rachael Wriothesley, Lady Russell, with Letters from Lady Russell to her husband Lord Russell," by the editor of Madame du Deffand's Letters.-E.
(284) Consul at Genoa: he had heard the report of Mr. Mann's being designed for an embassy to Genoa.
118 Letter 50 To Sir Horace Mann. Arlington Street, Nov. 22, 1751.
As the Parliament is met, you will, of course, expect to hear something of it: the only thing to be told of it is, what I believe was never yet to be told of an English Parliament, that it is so unanimous, that we are not likely to have one division this session-Day, I think not a debate.(285) On the Address, Sir John Cotton alone said a few words against a few words of it. Yesterday, on a motion to resume the sentences against Murray, who is fled to France, only two persons objected—in short, we shall not be more a French Parliament when we are under French government. Indeed, the two nations seem to have crossed over and figured in; one hears of nothing from Paris but gunpowder plots in a Duke of Burgundy's cradle (whom the clergy, by a vice versa, have converted into a Pretender,) and menaces of assassinations. Have you seen the following verses, that have been stuck up on the Louvre, the Pontneuf, and other places?
"Deux Henris immol'es par nos braves Ayeux, L'un 'a la Libert'e et l'autre 'a nos Dieux, Nous animent, Louis, aux m'emes entreprises: Ils revivent, en Toi ces anciens Tyrans: Crains notre desespoir: La Noblesse a des Guises, Paris des Ravaillacs, le Clerg'e des Clements."
Did you ever see more ecclesiastic fury? Don't you like their avowing the cause of Jacques Clement?'and that Henry IV. was sacrificed to a plurality of gods! a frank confession! though drawn from the author by the rhyme, as Cardinal Bembo, to write classic Latin, used to say, Deos immortales! But what most offends me is the threat of murder: it attaints the prerogative of chopping off the heads of Kings in a legal way. We here have been still more interested about a private history that has lately happened at Paris. It seems uncertain by your accounts whether Lady Mary Wortley is in voluntary or constrained durance - it is not at all equivocal that her son and a Mr. Taaffe have been in the latter at Fort LEvesque and the Chatelet.(286) All the letters from Paris have been very cautious of relating the circumstances. The outlines are, that these two gentlemen, who were pharaoh-bankers to Madame de Mirepoix, had travelled to France to exercise the same profession, where it is suppose(] they cheated a Jew, who would afterwards have cheated them of the money he owed; and that. to secure payment, they broke open his lodgings and bureau, and seized jewels and other effects; that he accused them; that they were taken out of their beds at two o'clock in the morning, kept in different prisons, without fire or candle, for six-and-thirty hours; have since been released on excessive bail; are still to be tried, may be sent to the galleys, or dismissed home, where they will be reduced to keep the best company; for I suppose nobody else will converse with them. Their separate anecdotes are curious: Wortley, you know, has been a perfect Gil Blas, and, for one of his last adventures; is thought to have added the famous Miss Ashe to the number of his wives. Taaffe is an Irishman, who changed his religion to fight a duel; as you know in Ireland a Catholic may not wear a sword. He is a gamester, usurer, adventurer, and of late has divided his attentions between the Duke of Newcastle and Madame Pompadour; travelling, with turtles and pine-apples, in postchaises, to the latter,-flying back to the former for Lewes races—and smuggling burgundy at the same time. I shall finish their history with a bon-mot. The Speaker was railing at gaming and White's, apropos to these two prisoners. Lord Coke, to whom the conversation was addressed, replied, "Sir, all I can say is, that they are both members of the House of Commons, and neither of them of White's." Monsieur de Mirepoix sent a card lately to White's, to invite all the chess-players of both 'clamps'. Do but think what a genius a man must have, or, my dear child, do you consider what information you would be capable of sending to your court, if, after passing two years in a country, you had learned but the two first letters of"a word, that you heard twenty times every day! I have a bit of paper left, so I will tell you another story. A certain King, that, whatever airs you may give yourself, you are not at all like, was last week at the play. The Intriguing Chambermaid in the farce(287) says to the old gentleman, "You are villanously old; you are sixty-six; you can't have the impudence to think of living above two years." The old gentleman in the stage-box turned about in a passion, and said, "This is d-d stuff!" Pray have you got Mr. Conway yet! Adieu!