The Letters of Horace Walpole, Volume 2
by Horace Walpole
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I told you how the younger Cr'ebillon had served me, and how angry I am; yet I must tell you a very good reply of his. His father one day in a passion with him, said, "Il y a deux choses que je voudrois n'avoir jamais fait, mon Catilina et vous!" He answered, "Consolez vous, mon p'ere, car on pr'etend que vous n'avez fait ni l'un ni l'autre." Don't think me infected with France, if I tell you more French stories; but I know no English ones, and we every day grow nearer to the state of a French province, and talk from the capital. The old Cr'ebillon, who admires us as much as we do them. has long had by him a tragedy called Oliver Cromwell, and had thoughts of dedicating it to the Parliament of England: he little thinks how distant a cousin the present Parliament is to the Parliament he wots of. The Duke of Richelieu's son,(349) who certainly must not pretend to declare off, like Cr'ebillon's, (he is a boy of ten years old,) was reproached for not minding his Latin: he replied, "Eh! mon p'ere n'a jamais s'cu le Latin, et il a eu les plus jolies femmes de France!" My sister was exceedingly shocked with their indecorums: the night She arrived at Paris, asking for the Lord knows what utensil, the footman of the house came and "showed it her himself, and every thing that is related to it. Then, the footmen who brought messages to her, came into her bedchamber in person; for they don't deliver them to your servants, in the English way. She amused me with twenty other new fashions, which I should be ashamed to set down, if a letter was at all upon a higher or wiser foot than a newspaper. Such is their having a knotting bag made of the same stuff with every gown; their footmen carrying their lady's own goblet whenever they dine; the King carrying his own bread in his pocket to dinner, the etiquette of the queen and the Mesdames not speaking to one another cross him at table, and twenty other such nothings; but I find myself Gossiping and will have done, with only two little anecdotes that please me. Madame Pompadour's husband has not been permitted to keep an opera-girl, because it would too frequently occasion the reflection of his not having his wife— is not that delightful decorum? and in that country! The other was a most sensible trait of the King. The Count Charolois(350) shot a President's dogs, who lives near him: the President immediately posted to Versailles to complain: the King promised him justice; and then sent to the Count to desire he would give him two good dogs. The Prince picked out his two best: the king sent them to the President, with this motto on their collars, 'J'appartiens au Roi!' "There," said the king, "I believe he won't shoot them now!"

Since I began my letter, I looked over my dates, and was hurt to find that three months are gone and over since I wrote last. I was going to begin a new apology, when your letter of Oct. 20th came in, curtsying and making apologies itself. I was charmed to find you to blame, and had a mind to grow haughty and scold you-but I won't. My dear child, we will not drop one another at last; for though we arc English, we are not both in England, and need not quarrel we don't know why. We will write whenever we have any thing to say; and when we have not,—Why, we will be going to write. I had heard nothing of the Riccardi deaths: I still like to hear news of any of my old friends. Your brother tells me that you defend my Lord Northumberland's idea for his gallery, so I will not abuse it so much as I intended, though I must say that I am so fired with copies of the pictures he has chosen, that I would scarce hang up the originals—and then, copies by any thing now living!—and at that price!—indeed price is no article, or rather price is a reason for my Lord Northumberland's liking any thing. They are building at Northumberland-house, at Sion, at Stansted, at Alnwick, and Warkworth Castles! they live by the etiquette of the old peerage, have Swiss porters, the Countess has her pipers—in short, they will very soon have no estate.

One hears here of writings that have appeared in print on the quarrel of the Pretender and his second son; I could like to see any such thing. Here is a bold epigram, which the Jacobites give about:

"In royal veins how blood resembling runs! Like any George, James quarrels with his sons. Faith! I believe, could he his crown resume, He'd hanker for his herenhausen, Rome."

The second is a good line; but the thought in the last is too obscurely expressed; and yet I don't believe that it was designed for precaution.

I went yesterday with your brother to see Astley's(351) pictures: mind, I confess myself a little prejudiced, for he has drawn the whole Pigwigginhood. but he has got too much into the style of the four thousand English painters about town, and is so intolerable as to work for money, not for fame: in short, he is not such a Rubens as in your head—but I fear, as I said, that I am prejudiced. Did I ever tell you of a picture at Woolterton of the whole family which I call the progress of riches? there is Pigwiggin in a laced coat and waistcoat; the second son has only the waistcoat trimmed; the third is in a plain suit, and the little boy is naked. I saw a much more like picture of my uncle last night at Drury Lane in the farce; there is a tailor who is exactly my uncle in person, and my aunt in family. Good night! I wish you joy of being dis-Richcourted; you need be in no apprehensions of his Countess; she returns to England in the spring! Adieu!

P.S. You shall see that I am honest, for though the beginning of my letter is dated Oct. 28th, the conclusion ought to be from Nov. 11th.

(349) The infamous Duke de Pronsac.-D.

(350) Charles de Bourbon, Count de Charolois, next brother to the Duke de Bourbon, who succeeded the Regent Duke of Orleans as prime minister of France. the Count de Charolois was a man of infamous character, and committed more than one murder. when Louis the Fifteenth pardoned him for one of these atrocities, he said to him, "I tell you fairly, that I will also pardon any man who murders you."-D.

(351) John Astley, an English portrait painter of some merit, born at Wem, in Shropshire. He married a lady of large fortune, relinquished his profession, and died in 1787.-D.

150 Letter 67 To The Hon. H. S. Conway.(352) Strawberry Hill, November 8th, 1752.

Dear Harry, After divers mistakes and neglects of my own servants and Mr. Fox's, the Chinese pair have at last set sail for Park-place: I don't call them boar and sow, because of their being fit for his altar: I believe, when you see them, you will think it is Zicchi Micchi himself, the Chinese god of good eating and drinking, and his wife. They were to have been with you last week, but the chairmen who were to drive them to the water side got drunk, and said, that the creatures were so wild and unruly, that they ran away and would not be managed. Do but think of their running! It puts me in mind of Mrs. Nugent's talking of just jumping out of a coach! I might with as much propriety talk of' having all my clothes let out. My coachman is vastly struck with the goodly paunch of the boar, and says, it would fetch three pounds in his country; but he does not consider, that he is a boar with the true brown edge,(353) and has been fed with the old original wheatsheaf: I hope you will value him more highly: I dare say Mr. cutler or Margas,(354) would at least ask twenty guineas for him, and swear that Mrs. Dunch gave thirty for the fellow.

As you must of course write me a letter of thanks for my brawn, I beg you will take that opportunity Of telling me very particularly how my Lady Aylesbury does, and if she is quite recovered, as I much hope? How does my sweet little wife do @ Are your dragons all finished? Have the Coopers seen Miss Blandy's ghost, or have they made Mr. Cranston poison a dozen or two more private gentlewomen? Do you plant without rain as I do, in order to have your trees die, that you may have the pleasure of planting them over again with rain? Have you any Mrs. Clive(355) that pulls down barns that intercept your prospect; or have you any Lord Radnor(356) that plants trees to intercept his own prospect, that he may cut them down again to make an alteration? There! there are as many questions as if I were your schoolmaster or your godmother! Good night!

(352) Now first printed.

(353) He means such as are painted on old china with the brown edge, and representations of wheatsheafs.-E.

(354) Fashionable china-shops.-E.

(355) Then living at Little Strawberry Hill.-E.

(356) The last Lord Radnor of the family of Robarts, then living at Twickenham, very near Strawberry Hill.-E.

150 Letter 68 To George Montagu, Esq. White's, December 3, 1752.

I shall be much obliged to you for the passion-flower, notwithstanding it comes out of a garden of Eden, from which Eve, my sister-in-law, long ago gathered passion-fruit. I thank you too for the offer of your Roman correspondences, but you know I have done with virt'u, and deal only with the Goths and Vandals.

You ask a very improper person, why my Lord Harcourt(357) resigned. My lord Coventry says it is the present great arcanum of government, and you know I am quite out of the circle of secrets. The town says, that it was finding Stone is a Jacobite; and it says, too, that the Whigs are very uneasy. My Lord Egremont says the Whigs can't be in danger, for then my Lord Hartington would not be gone a-hunting. Every body is as inpatient as you can be, to know the real cause, but I don't find that either Lord or Bishop is disposed to let the world into the true secret. It is pretty certain that one Mr. Cresset has abused both of them without ceremony, and that the Solicitor-general told the Bishop in plain terms that my Lord Harcourt was a cipher, and was put in to be a cipher: an employment that, considering it is a sinecure, seems to hang unusually long upon their hands. They have so lately quarrelled with poor Lord Holderness for playing at blindman's-buff at Tunbridge, that it will be difficult to give him another place only because he is fit to play at blind-man's-buff; and yet it is much believed that he will be the governor, and your cousin his successor. I am as improper to tell you why the governor of Nova Scotia is to be at the head of the Independents. I have long thought him one of the greatest dependents, and I assure you I have seen nothing since his return, to make me change my opinion. He is too busy in the bedchamber to remember me.

Mr. Fox said nothing about your brother; if the offer was ill-designed from one quarter, I think you may make the refusal of it have its weight in another.

It would be odd to conclude a letter from White's without a bon-mot of George Selwyn's; he came in here t'other night, and saw James Jefferies playing at piquet with Sir Everard Falkener, "Oh!" says he, "now he is robbing the mail." Good night! when do you come back?

(357) On the death of the Prince of Wales in 1751, his eldest son, Prince George, was committed to the care of the Earl of Harcourt as governor.

151 Letter 69 To Sir Horace Mann. Strawberry Hill, Dec. 11, 1752, N. S.

I don't know whether I may not begin a new chapter of revolutions: if one may trust prognosticators, the foundations of a revolution in earnest are laying. However, as I am only a simple correspondent, and no almanack-maker, I shall be content with telling you facts, and not conjectures, at least if I do tell you conjectures they shall not be my own. Did not I give you a hint in the summer of some storms gathering in the tutorhood? They have broke out; indeed there wanted nothing to the explosion but the King's arrival, for the instant he came, it was pretty plain that he was prepared for the grievances he was to hear—not very impartially it seems, for he would not speak to Lord Harcourt. In about three days he did, and saw him afterwards alone in his closet. What the conversation was, I can't tell you: one should think not very explicit, for in a day or two afterwards it was thought proper to send the Archbishop and Chancellor to hear his lordship's complaints; but on receiving a message that they would wait on him by the King's orders, he prevented the visit by going directly to the Chancellor; and on hearing their commission, Lord Harcourt, after very civil speeches of regard to their persons, said, he must desire to be excused, for what he had to say was of a nature that made it improper to be said to any body but the King. You may easily imagine that this is interpreted to allude to a higher person than the mean people who have offended Lord Harcourt and the Bishop of Norwich. Great pains were taken to detach the former from the latter; "dear Harcourt, we love you, we wish to make you easy; but the Bishop must go." I don't tell you these were the Duke of Newcastle's words; but if I did, would they be unlike him? Lord Harcourt fired, and replied with spirit, "What! do you think to do me a favour by offering me to stay! know, it is I that will not act with such fellows as Stone and Cresset, and Scott: if they are kept, I will quit, and if the Bishop is dismissed, I will quit too." After a few days, he had his audience and resigned. It is said, that he frequently repeated, "Stone is a Jacobite," and that the other person who made up the t'ete-'a-t'ete cried, "Pray, my lord! pray, my lord!"—and would not hear upon that subject. The next day the Archbishop went to the King, and begged to know whether the Bishop of Norwich might have leave to bring his own resignation, or whether his Majesty would receive it from him, the Archbishop, The latter was chosen, and the Bishop' was refused an audience.

You will now naturally ask me what the quarrel was: and that is the most difficult point to tell you; for though the world expects to see some narrative, nothing has yet appeared, nor I believe will, though both sides have threatened. The Princess says, the Bishop taught the boys nothing; he says, he never was suffered to teach them any thing. The first occasion of uneasiness was the Bishop's finding the Prince of Wales reading the Revolutions of England, written by P'ere d'Orl'eans to vindicate James II. and approved by that Prince. Stone at first peremptorily denied that he had seen that book these thirty years, and offered to rest his whole justification upon the truth or falsehood of this story. However, it is now confessed that the Prince was reading that book, but it is qualified with Prince Edward's borrowing it of Lady Augusta. Scott, the under-preceptor, put in by Lord Bolingbroke, and of no very orthodox odour, was another complaint. Cresset, the link of the connexion, has dealt in no very civil epithets, for besides calling Lord Harcourt a groom, he qualified the Bishop with bastard and atheist,' particularly to one of the Princess's chaplains, who, begged to be excused from hearing such language against a prelate of the church, and not prevailing, has drawn up a narrative, sent it to the Bishop, and offered to swear to it. For Lord Harcourt, besides being treated with considerable contempt by the Princess, he is not uninformed of the light in which he was intended to stand, by an amazing piece of imprudence of the last, but not the most inconsiderable performer in this drama, the Solicitor-general, Murray—pray, what part has his brother, Lord Dunbar, acted in the late squabbles in the Pretender's family? Murray, early in the quarrel, went officiously to the Bishop, and told him Mr. Stone ought to have more consideration in the family: the Bishop was surprised, and got rid of the topic as well as he could. The visit and opinion were repeated: the Bishop said, he believed Mr. Stone had all the regard shown him that was due; that lord Harcourt, who was the chief person, was generally present. Murray interrupted him, "Pho! Lord Harcourt! he is a cipher, and must be a cipher, and was put in to be a cipher." Do you think after this declaration, that the employment will be very agreeable? Every body but Lord Harcourt understood it before; but at least the cipher -ism was not notified in form. Lord Lincoln, the intimate friend of that lord, was so friendly to turn his back upon him as he came out of the closet—and yet Lord Harcourt and the Bishop have not at all lessened their characters by any part of their behaviour in this transaction. What will astonish you, is the universal aversion that has broke out against Stone: and what heightens the disgusts, is, the intention there has been of making Dr. Johnson, the new Bishop of Gloucester, preceptor. He was master of Westminster School, of Stone's and Murray's year, and is certainly of their principles—to be sure, that is, Whig—but the Whigs don't seem to think so. As yet no successors are named; the Duke of Leeds,(359) Lord Cardigan, Lord Waldegrave, Lord Hertford, Lord Bathurst, and Lord Ashburnham,(360) are talked of for governor. The two first are said to have refused; the third dreads it; the next I hope will not have it; the Princess is inclined to the fifth, and the last I believe eagerly wishes for it. Within this day or two another is named, which leads me to tell you another interlude in our politics. This is poor Lord Holderness —to make room in the secretary's office for Lord Halifax. Holderness has been in disgrace from the first minute of the King's return: besides not being spoken to, he is made to wait at the closet-door with the bag in his hand, while the Duke of Newcastle is within; though the constant etiquette has been for both secretaries of state to go in together, or to go in immediately, if one came after the other. I knew of this disgrace; but not being quite so able a politician as Lord Lincoln, at least having an inclination to great men in misfortune, I went the other morning to visit the afflicted. I found him alone: he said, "You are very good to visit any body in my situation." This lamentable tone had like to have made me laugh; however I kept my countenance, and asked him what he meant? he said, "Have not you heard how the world abuses me only for playing at blindman's-buff in a private room at Tunbridge?" Oh! this was too much! I laughed out. I do assure you, this account of his misfortunes was not given particularly to me: nay, to some he goes so far as to say, "Let them go to the office, and look over my letters and see if I am behindhand!" To be sure, when he has done his book, it is very hard he may not play! My dear Sir, I don't know what apologies a P'ere d'Orl'eans must make for our present history! it is too ridiculous!

The preceptor is as much in suspense as the governor. The Whigs clamour so much against Johnson, that they are regarded,- -at least for a time. Keene,(361) Bishop of Chester, and brother of your brother minister, has been talked of. He is a man that will not prejudice his fortune by any ill-placed scruples. My father gave him a living of seven hundred pounds a year to marry one of his natural daughters; he took the living; and my father dying soon after, he dispensed with himself from taking the wife, but was so generous as to give her very near one year's income of the living. He then was the Duke of Newcastle's- tool at Cambridge, which university be has half turned Jacobite, by cramming down new ordinances to carry measures of that Duke; and being rewarded with the bishopric, he was at dinner at the Bishop of Lincoln's when he received the nomination. He immediately rose from the table, took his host into another room, and begged he would propose him to a certain great fortune, to whom he never spoke, but for whom he now thought himself a proper match.(362) Don't you think he would make a very proper preceptor? Among other candidates, they talk of Dr. hales, the old philosopher, a poor good primitive creature, whom I call the Santon Barsisa; do you remember the hermit in the Persian tales, who after living in the odour of sanctity for above ninety years, was tempted to be naughty with the King's daughter, who had been sent to his cell for a cure? Santon Hales but two years ago accepted the post of clerk of the closet to the Princess, after literally leading the life of a studious anchorite till past seventy. If he does accept the preceptorship, I don't doubt but by the time the present clamours are appeased, the wick of his old life will be snuffed out, and they will put Johnson in his socket. Good night! I shall carry this letter to town to-morrow, and perhaps keep it back a few days, till I am able to send you this history complete.

Arlington Street, Dec. 17th.

Well! at last we shall have a governor: after meeting with divers refusals, they have forced lord Waldegrave(364) to take it; and he kisses hands to-morrow. He has all the time declared that nothing but the King's earnest desire should make him accept it-and so they made the King earnestly desire it! Dr. Thomas, the Bishop of Peterborough, I believe, is to be the tutor—I know nothing of him: he had lain by for many years, after having read prayers to the present King when he lived at Leicester House, which his Majesty remembered, and two years ago popped him into a bishopric.

There is an odd sort of manifesto arrived from Prussia, which does not make us in better humour at St. James's. It stops the payment of the interest on the Silesian loan, till satisfaction is made some Prussian captures during the war. The omnipotence of the present ministry does not reach to Berlin! Adieu! All the world are gone to their several Christmases, as I should do, if I could have got my workmen out of Strawberry Hill; but they don't work at all by the scale of my impatience.

(358) The Bishop of Norwich, who was a prelate of profound learning, and conscientiously zealous for the mental improvement of his pupil, disgusted the young Prince by his dry and pedantic manners, and offended the Princess, his mother, by persevering in the discipline which he deemed necessary to remedy the gross neglect of her son's education." Coxe's Pelham, vol. ii. p. 236.-E.

(359) Thomas Osborne, fourth Duke of Leeds. He died in 1789.-D.

(360) John, second Earl of Ashburnham. He died at a great age, April 8th, 1812.-D.

(361) Dr. Edmund Keene, Bishop of Chester, was, for some reason which is not known, the constant subject of Gray's witty and splenetic effusions. One of the chief amusements discovered by the poet, pour passer le temps in a postchaise, was making extempore epigrams upon the Bishop, and then laughing at them immoderately. The following, which is the commencement of one of them, may serve as a specimen:

"Here lies Edmund Keene, the Bishop of Chester, Who ate a fat goose and could not digest her."

(362) In the May of this year, Dr. Keene married the only daughter of Lancelot Andrews, Esq. of Edmonton, formerly an eminent linendraper in Cheapside, a lady of considerable fortune.-E.

(363) Dr. Stephen Hales, author of "Vegetable Statics," and "Vegetable Essays." This eminent natural philosopher and vegetable physiologist was offered a canonry of Windsor, but contented himself with the living of Teddington, which he held with that of Farringdon. He died in 1761, at the age of eighty-four.

(364) Walpole, in his Memoires, gives the following account of Lord Waldegrave's appointment: " The Earl accepted it at the earnest request of the King, and after repeated assurances of the submission and tractability of Stone. The Earl was averse to it. He was a man of pleasure, understood the court, was firm in the King's favour, easy in his circumstances, and at once undesirous of rising, and afraid to fall. He said to a friend, "If I dared, I would make this excuse to the King- -'Sir, I am too young to govern. and too old to be governed:' but he was forced to submit. A man of stricter honour and of more reasonable sense could not have been selected for the employment." Vol. i. p. 255.-E.

155 Letter 70 To Sir Horace Mann. Arlington Street, Feb. 14, 1753.

I have been going to write to you every post for these three weeks, and could not bring myself to begin a letter with "I have nothing to tell YOU." But it grows past a joke; we will not drop our correspondence because there is no war, no Politics, no parties, no madness, and no scandal. In the memory of England there never was so inanimate an age: it is more fashionable to go to church than to either House of Parliament. Even the era of the Gunnings is over: both sisters have lain in, and have scarce made one paragraph in the newspapers, though their names were grown so renowned, that in Ireland the beggarwomen bless you with,-,, "the luck of the Gunnings attend you!"

You will scarce guess how I employ my time; chiefly at present in the guardianship of embryos and cockleshells. Sir hans Sloane is dead, and has made me one of the trustees to his museum, which is to be offered for twenty thousand pounds to the king, the Parliament, the Royal Academies of Petersburnh, Berlin, Paris, and Madrid.(365) He valued it at fourscore thousand; and so would any body who loves hippopotamuses, sharks with one ear, and spiders as big as geese! It is a rent-charge, to keep the foetuses in spirits! You may believe that those who think money the most valuable of all curiosities, will not be purchasers. The King has excused himself, saying he did not believe that there were twenty thousand pounds in the treasury. We are a charming, wise set, all philosophers, botanists, antiquarians, and mathematicians; and adjourned our first meeting because Lord Macclesfield, our chairman, was engaged to a party for finding out the longitude. One of our number is a Moravian who signs himself Henry XXVIII, Count de Reus. The Moravians have settled a colony at Chelsea, in Sir Hans's neighbourhood, and I believe he intended to beg Count Henry XXVIIIth's skeleton for his museum.

I am almost ashamed to be thanking you but now for a most entertaining letter of two sheets, dated December 22, but I seriously had nothing to form an answer. It is but three mornings ago that your brother was at breakfast with me, and scolded me, "Why, you tell me nothing!"—"No," says I "if I had any thing to say, I should write to your brother." I give you my word, that the first new book that takes, the first murder, the first revolution, you shall have, with all the circumstances. In the mean time, do be assured that there never was so dull a place as London, or so insipid an inhabitant of it, as, yours, etc.

(365) Ames, in a letter written on the 22d of March to Mr. T. Martin, says, "I cannot forbear to give you some relation of Sir Hans Sloane's curiosities. The Parliament has been pleased to accept them on the condition of Sir Hans's codicil; that is, that they should be kept together in one place in or near London, and should be exhibited freely for a public use. The King, or they, by the will, were to have the first error. The 19th instant being appointed for a committee of the whole House, after several speeches, the Speaker himself moved the whole House into a general regard to have them joined with the King's and Cotton Libraries, together with those of one Major Edwards, who had left seven thousand pounds to build a library, besides his own books; and to purchase the Harleian manuscripts, build a house for their reception," etc. An act was shortly after passed, empowering the Crown to raise a sufficient sum by lottery to purchase the Sloane collection and Harleian manuscripts, together with Montagu House. Such was the commencement of the British Museum.-E.

157 Letter 71 To Mr. Gray. Arlington Street, Feb. 20, 1753.

I am very sorry that the haste I made to deliver you from your uneasiness the first moment after I received your letter, should have made me express myself in a manner to have the quite contrary effect from what I intended. You well know how rapidly and carelessly I always write my letters: the note you mention was written in a still greater hurry than ordinary, and merely to put you out of pain. I had not seen Dodsley, consequently could only tell you that I did not doubt but he would have no objection to satisfy you, as you was willing to prevent his being a loser by the plate.(366) Now, from this declaration, how is it possible for you to have for one momentput such a construction upon my words, as would have been a downright stupid brutality, unprovoked? It is impossible for me to recollect my very expression, but I am confident that I have repeated the whole substance.

How the bookseller would be less a loser by being at more expense, I can easily explain to you. He feared the price of half a guinea would seem too high to most purchasers. If by the expense of ten guineas more he could make the book appear so much more rich and showy as to induce people to think it cheap, the profits from selling many more copies would amply recompense him for his additional disbursement.

The thought of having the head engraved was entirely Dodsley's own, and against my opinion, as I concluded it would be against yours; which made me determine to acquaint you with it before its appearance.

When you reflect on what I have said now, you will see very clearly, that I had and could have no other possible meaning in what I wrote last. You might justly have accused me of neglect, if I had deferred giving you all the satisfaction in my powers, as soon as ever I knew your uneasiness.

The head I give up.(367) The title I think will be wrong, and not answer your purpose; for, as the drawings are evidently calculated for the poems, how will the improper disposition of the word designs before poems make the edition less yours? I am as little convinced that there is any affectation in leaving out the Mr. before your names: it is a barbarous addition: the other is simple and classic; a rank I cannot help thinking due to both the poet and painter. Without ranging myself among classics, I assure you, were I to print any thing with my name, it should be plain Horace Walpole: Mr. is one of the Gothicisms I abominate. The explanation(368) was certainly added for people who have not eyes:—such are-almost all who have seen Mr. Bentley's drawings, and think to compliment him by mistaking them for prints. Alas! the generality want as much to have the words "a man," "a cock," written under his drawings, as under the most execrable hieroglyphics of Egypt, or of signpost painters.

I will say no more now, but that you must not wonder if I am partial to you and yours, when you can write as you do and yet feel so little vanity. I have used freedom enough with your writings to convince you I speak truth: I praise and scold Mr. Bentley immoderately, as I think he draws well or ill: I never think it worth my while to do either, especially to blame, where there are not generally vast excellencies. Good night! Don't suspect me when I have no fault but impatience to make you easy.

(366) This was a print of Mr. Gray, after the portrait of him by Eckardt. It was intended to have been prefixed to Dodsley's quarto edition of the Odes with Mr. Bentley's designs but Mr. Gray's extreme repugnance to the proposal obliged his friends to drop it.

(367) In a letter to Walpole, written from Stoke, in January, on receiving a proof of the head, Gray had said, "Sure you are not out of your wits! This I know, if you suffer my head to be printed, you will put me out of mine. I conjure you immediately to put a stop to any such design. Who is at the expense of engraving it, I know not; but if it be Dodsley, I will make up the loss to him. The thing as it was, I know, will make me ridiculous enough: but to appear in proper person, at the head of my works, consisting Of half a dozen ballads in thirty pages, would be worse than the pillory. I do assure you, if I had received such a book, with such a frontispiece, without any warning, I do believe it would have given me the palsy." Works, vol. iii. p. 106.-E.

(368) Of Mr. Bentley's designs.

158 Letter 72 To Sir Horace Mann. Strawberry Hill, March 4, 1753.

have you got any wind of our new histories? Is there any account at Rome that Mr. Stone and the Solicitor-general are still thought to be more attached to Egypt than Hanover? For above this fortnight there have been strange mysteries and reports! the cabinet council sat night after night till two o'clock in the morning: we began to think that they were empannelled to sit upon a new rebellion, or invasion at least; or that the King of Prussia, had sent his mandate, that we must receive the young Pretender in part payment of the Silesian loan. At last it is come out that Lord Ravensworth,(369) on the information of one Fawcett, a lawyer, has accused Stone, Murray, and Dr. Johnson, the new Bishop of Gloucester, of having had an odd custom of toasting the Chevalier and my Lord Dunbar at one Vernon's, a merchant, about twenty years ago. The Pretender's counterpart ordered the council to examine into it: Lord Ravensworth stuck to his story: Fawcett was terrified with the solemnity of the divan, and told his very different Ways, and at last would not sign his deposition. On the other hand, Stone and Murray took their Bible on their innocence, and the latter made a fine speech into the bargain. Bishop Johnson scrambled out of the scrape at the very beginning; and the council have reported to the King that the accusation was false and malicious.(370) This is an exact abridgement of the story; the commentary would be too voluminous. The heats upon it are great: the violent Whigs are not at all convinced of the Whiggism of the culprits, by the defect of evidence: the opposite clan affect as much conviction as if they wished them Whigs.

Mr. Chute and I are come hither for a day or two to inspect the progress of a Gothic staircase, which is so pretty and so small, that I am inclined to wrap it up and send it you in my letter. As my castle is so diminutive, I give myself a Burlington air, and say, that as Chiswick is a model of Grecian architecture, Strawberry Hill is to be so of Gothic. I went the other morning with Mr. Conway to buy some of the new furniture-paper for you: if there was any money at Florence, I should expect this manufacture would make its fortune there.

Liotard, the painter, is arrived, and has brought me Marivaux's picture, which gives one a very different idea from what one conceives of the author of Marianne, though it is reckoned extremely like: the countenance is a mixture of buffoon and villain. I told you what mishap I had with Cr'ebillon's portrait: he has had the foolish dirtiness to keep it. Liotard is a G'en'evois; but from having lived at Constantinopole, he wears a Turkish habit, and a beard down to his girdle: this, and his extravagant prices, which he has raised even beyond what he asked at Paris, will probably get him as much money as he covets, for he is avaricious beyond imagination. His crayons and his water-colours are very fine; his enamel, hard: in general, he is too Dutch, and admires nothing but excess of finishing.

We have nothing new but two or three new plays, and those not worth sending to you. The answer to the Prussian memorial, drawn chiefly by Murray, is short, full, very fine, and has more spirit than I thought we had by us. The whole is rather too good, as I believe our best policy would have been, to be in the wrong, and make satisfaction for having been ill-used: the author with whom we have to deal, is not a sort of man to stop at being confuted. Adieu!

(369) Sir Henry Liddel, Baron of Ravensworth.

(370) "Upon the whole matter," says the Hon. Philip Yorke, in his MS. Parliamentary Journal, "the lords came unanimously to an opinion of reporting to the King, that there appeared to them no foundation for any part of the charge; that Mr. Fawcett, the only evidence, had grossly prevaricated in it: that it was malicious and scandalous, and ought not to affect the character of the Bishop, or either of the gentlemen who were aspersed by it."-E.

159 Letter 73 To Sir Horace Mann. Arlington Street, March 27, 1753.

Such an event as I mentioned to you in my last, has, you may well believe, had some consequences; but only enough to show what it would have had in less quiet times. Last week the Duke of Bedford moved in the House of Commons to have all the papers relating to Lord Ravensworth and Fawcett laid before them. As he had given notice of his intention, the ministry, in a great fright, had taken all kind of precaution to defeat the motion; and succeeded—if it can be called success to have quashed the demand, and thereby confirmed the suspicions. After several councils, it was determined, that all the cabinet councillors should severally declare the insufficience and prevarication of Fawcett's evidence: they did, and the motion Was rejected by 122 to 5.(371) If one was prejudiced by classic notions of the wisdom and integrity of a senate, that debate would have cured them. The flattery to Stone was beyond belief: I will give you but one instance. The Duke of Argyll said, "He had happened to be at the secretary's office during the rebellion, when two Scotchmen came to ask for a place, which one obtained, the other lost, but went away best pleased, from Mr. Stone's gracious manner of refusal!" It appeared in the most glaring manner, that the Bishop of Gloucester had dictated to Fawcett a letter of acquittal to himself; and not content with that, had endeavoured to persuade him to make additions to it some days after. It was as plain, that Fawcett had never prevaricated till these private interviews(372) With the prelate-yet there were 122 to 5!

I take for granted our politics adjourn here till next winter unless there should be any Prussian episode. It is difficult to believe that that King has gone so far, without intending to go farther: if he is satisfied with the answer to his memorial, though it is the fullest that ever was made, yet it will be the first time that ever a monarch was convinced! For a King of the Romans, it seems as likely that we should see a King of the Jews.

Your brother has got the paper for your room. He shall send you with it a fine book which I have had printed of' Gray's poems, with drawings by another friend of mine, which I am sure will charm you, though none of them are quite well engraved, and some sadly. Adieu! I am all brick and mortar: the castle at Strawberry Hill grows so near a termination, that you must not be angry if I wish to have you see it. Mr. Bentley is going to make a drawing of the best view, which I propose to have engraved, and then you shall at least have some idea of that sweet little spot—little enough, but very sweet!

(371) "The debate was long and heavy; the Duke of Bedford's performance moderate enough: he divided the House, but it was not told, for there went below the bar with him the Earl of Harcourt, Lord Townshend, the Bishop of Worcester, and Lord Talbot only. Upon the whole, it was the worst judged, the worst executed, and the worst supported point, that I ever saw of so much expectations" Dodington, p. 202.-E.

(372) This insignificant, and indeed ridiculous accusation, against Murray and Stone, is magnified by Walpole, both here and in his Memoire,,,, into an important transaction, in consequence of the hatred he bore to the persons accused,-D. ["The accusation was justly ridiculed by the wits of the day, as a counterpart to the mountain in labour; and the Pelhams had the satisfaction of seeing it terminate in the full exculpation of their friends, the Solicitor-general and Mr. Stone." Coxe's Pelham, vol. ii, p. 263.]

(373) On receiving a proof of the tail-piece, which Mr. Bentley had designed for the Elegy in a Country Churchyard, and which represents a village funeral, Gray wrote to Walpole: "I am surprised at the print, which far surpasses my idea of London graving: the drawing itself was so finished, that I suppose it did not require all the art I imagined to copy it tolerably. My aunts seeing me open your letter, took it to be a burying- ticket, and asked whether any body had left me a ring; and so they still conceive it to be, even with all their spectacles on. Heaven forbid they should suspect it to belong to any verses of mine! They would burn me for a poet." Works, vol. iii. p. 105.-E.

161 Letter 74 To Sir Horace Mann. Arlington Street, April 16, 1753.

Dear Sir, I know I never give you more pleasure than in recommending such an acquaintance as Mr. Stephens, a young gentleman now in Italy, of whom I have heard from the best hands the greatest and most amiable character. He is brother-in-law of Mr. West,(374) Mr. Pelham's secretary, and (to you I may add,) as I know it will be an additional motive to increase your attentions to his relation, a particular friend of mine. I beg you will do for my sake, what you always do from your own goodness of heart, make Florence as agreeable to him as possible: I have the strongest reasons to believe that you will want no incitement the moment you begin to know Mr. Stephens.

(374) James West, member for St. Albans, secretary to Mr. Pelham as chancellor of the exchequer, secretary to the treasury, treasurer to the Royal Society, and member of the Antiquarian Society, married the sister of this Mr. Stephens.

161 Letter 75 To Sir Horace Mann. Strawberry Hill, April 27, 1753.

I have brought two of your letters hither to answer: in town there are so many idle people besides oneself, that one has not a minute's time; here I have whole evenings, after the labours of the day are ceased. Labours they are, I assure you; I have carpenters to direct, plasterers to hurry, papermen to scold, and glaziers to help: this last is my greatest pleasure: I have amassed such quantities of painted glass, that every window in my castle will be illuminated with it: the adjusting and disposing it is vast amusement. I thank you a thousand times for thinking of procuring me some Gothic remains from Rome; but I believe there is no such thing there: I scarce remember any morsel in the true taste of it in Italy. indeed, my dear Sir, kind as you are about it, I perceive you have no idea what Gothic is; you have lived too long amidst true taste, to understand venerable barbarism. You say, "You suppose my garden is to be Gothic too." That can't be; Gothic is merely architecture; and as one has a satisfaction in imprinting the gloom of abbeys and cathedrals on one's house, so one's garden, on the contrary, is to be nothing but riot, and the gaiety of nature. I am greatly impatient for my altar, and so far from mistrusting its goodness, I only fear it will be too good to expose to the weather, as I intend it must be, in a recess in the garden. I was going to tell you that my house is so monastic, that I have a little hall decked with long saints in lean arched windows, and with taper columns, which we call the Paraclete, in memory of Eloisa's cloister.(375)

I am glad you have got rid of your duel, bloodguiltless: Captain Lee had ill luck in lighting upon a Lorrain officer; he might have boxed the ears of the whole Florentine nobility, (con rispetto si dice,) and not have occasioned you half the trouble you have had in accommodating this quarrel.

You need not distrust Mr. Conway and me for showing any attentions to Prince San Severino,(376) that may convince him of' our regard for you; I only hope he will not arrive till towards winter, for Mr. Conway is gone to his regiment in Ireland, and my chateau is so far from finished, that I am by no means in a condition to harbour a princely ambassador. By next spring I hope to have rusty armour, and arms with quarterings enough to persuade him that I am qualified to be Grand Master of Malta. If you could send me Viviani,(377 with his invisible architects out of the Arabian tales, I might get my house ready at a day's warning; especially as it will not be quite so lofty as the triumphal arch at Florence.

What you say you have heard of strange conspiracies, fomented by our nephew(378) is not entirely groundless. A Dr. Cameron(379) has been seized in Scotland, who certainly came over with commission to feel the ground. He is brought to London; but nobody troubles their head about him, or any thing else, but Newmarket, where the Duke is at present making a campaign, with half the nobility and half the money of England attending him: they really say, that not less than a hundred thousand pounds have been carried thither for the hazard of this single week. The palace has been furnished for him from the great wardrobe, though the chief person(380) concerned flatters himself that his son is at the expense of his own amusement there.

I must now tell you how I have been treated by an old friend of yours—don't be frightened, and conclude that this will make against your friend San Severino: he is only a private prince; the rogue in Question is a monarch. Your brother has sent you some weekly papers that are much in fashion, called "The World;" three or four of them are by a friend of yours; one particularly I wrote to promote a subscription for King Theodore, who is in prison for debt. His Majesty's character is so bad, that it only raised fifty pounds; and though that was so much above his desert, it was so much below his expectation, that he sent a solicitor to threaten the printer with a prosecution for having taken so much liberty with his name—take notice too, that he had accepted the money! Dodsley, you may believe, laughed at the lawyer; but that does not lessen the dirty knavery. It would indeed have made an excellent suit! a printer prosecuted suppose for having solicited and obtained charity for a man in prison, and that man not mentioned by his right name, but by a mock title, and the man himself not a native of the country!—but I have done with countenancing kings!

Lord Bath has contributed a paper to the World, but seems to have entirely lost all his wit and genius: it is a plain heavy description of Newmarket, with scarce an effort towards humour.(381) I had conceived the greatest expectations from a production of his, especially in the way of the Spectator; but I M now assured by Franklyn, the old printer of the Craftsman, (who by a comical revolution of things, is a tenant of mine at Twickenham,) that Lord Bath never wrote a Craftsman himself, only gave hints for them—yet great part of his reputation was built on those papers. Next week my Lord chesterfield appears in the World(382)—I expect much less from him than I did from Lord Bath, but it is very certain that his name will make it applauded. Adieu!

P.S. Since I came to town, I hear that my Lord Granville has cut another colt's tooth-in short, they say he is going to be married again; it is to Lady Juliana Collier,(383) a very pretty girl, daughter of Lord Portmore: there are not above two or three and forty years difference in their ages, and not above three bottles difference in @ their drinking in a day, so it is a very suitable match! She will not make so good a Queen as our friend Sophia, but will like better, I suppose, to make a widow. If this should not turn out true,(384) I can't help it.

(375) "Where awful arches make a noonday night, And the dim windows shade a solemn light."-Pope.-E.

(376) Ambassador from the King of Naples.

(377) Viviani, a Florentine nobleman, showing the triumphal arch there to Prince San Severino, assured him, and insisted upon it, that it was begun and finished in twenty-four hours!

(378) The King of Prussia.

(379) This is a strange story, and it is difficult to believe that the King of Prussia was concerned in it. In his Memoires, Walpole gives the following account of the taking of Dr. Cameron:—"About this time was taken in Scotland, Dr. Archibald Cameron, a man excepted by the act of indemnity. Intelligence had been received some time before of his intended journey to Britain, with a commission from Prussia to offer arms to the disaffected Highlanders, at the same time that ships were hiring in the north to transport men. The fairness of Dr. Cameron's character, compared with the severity he met from a government most laudably mild to its enemies, confirmed this report. That Prussia, who opened its inhospitable arms to every British rebel, should have tampered in such a business, was by no means improbable. That King hated his uncle: but could a Protestant potentate dip in designs for restoring a popish government? Of what religion is policy? To what sect is royal revenge bigoted? The Queen-dowager, though sister of our King, was avowedly a Jacobite, by principle so-and it was natural: what Prince, but the single one who profits by the principle, can ever think it allowable to overturn sacred hereditary right? It is the curse of sovereigns that their crimes should be unpunishable."-D.

(380) The King.

(381) No. 17, giving an account of the races and manners at Newmarket.-E.

(382) It forms the 18th number, and is entitled " A Country Gentleman's Tour to Paris with his family."-E.

(383) Lady Juliana Collier, youngest daughter of Charles, second Earl of Portmore, by Juliana hale, Duchess-dowager of Leeds. She married, in 1759, James Dawkins, Esq. of Standlinch, in Wiltshire.-D.

(384) It did not happen.

164 Letter 76 To The Hon. H. S. Conway. Strawberry Hill, May 5, 1753.

Though my letter bears a country date, I am only a passenger here, just come to overlook my workmen, and repose myself upon some shavings, after the fatigues of the season. You know balls and masquerades always abound as the weather be(,Ins to be too hot for them, and this has been quite a spring-tide of diversion. Not that I am so abandoned as to have partaken of all; I neither made the Newmarket campaign under the Duke, nor danced at any ball, nor looked well at any masquerade: I begin to submit to my years, and amuse myself-only just as much as I like. Indeed, when parties and politics are at an end, an Englishman may be allowed not to b always grave and out of humour. His Royal Highness has won as many hearts at Newmarket as he lost in Scotland; he played deep and handsomely; received every body at his table with the greatest good humour, and permitted the familiarities of the place with ease and sense.

There have been balls at the Duchess of Norfolk's, at Holland-house, and Lord Granville's, and a subscription masquerade: the dresses were not very fine, not much invention, nor any very absurd. I find I am telling you extreme trifles; but you desired me to write; and there literally happens nothing of greater moment. If I can fill out a sheet even in this way, I will; for at Sligo(385) perhaps I may appear a journalist of consequence.

There is a Madame de Mezi'eres arrived from Paris, who has said a thousand impertinent things to my Lady Albemarle, on my lord's not letting her come to Paris.(386) I should not repeat this to you, only to introduce George Selwyn's account of this woman who, he says, is mother to the Princess of Montauban, grandmother to Madame de Brionne, sister to General Oglethorpe, and was laundress to the Duchess of Portsmouth.

Sir Charles Williams, never very happy at panegyric, has made a distich on the Queen of Hungary, which I send you for the curiosity, not the merit of it:

"O regina orbis prima et pulcherrima, ridens Es Venus, incedens Juno, Minerva loquens."

It is infinitely admired at Vienna, but Baron Munchausen has received a translation of it into German in six verses, which are still more applauded.

There is another volume published of Lord Bolinbroke's: it contains his famous Letter to Sir William Windham, with an admirable description of the Pretender and hi Court, and a very poor justification of his own treachery to that party; a flimsy unfinished State of the Nation, written at the end of his life, and the commonplace tautology of an old politician, who lives out of the world and writes from newspapers; and a superficial letter to Mr. Pope, as an introduction to his Essays, which are printed, but not yet published.

What shall I say to you more? You see how I am forced to tack paragraphs together, without any connexion or consequence! Shall I tell you one more idle story, and will you just recollect that you once concerned yourself enough about the heroine of it, to excuse my repeating such a piece of tittle-tattle? This heroine is Lady Harrington, the hero is— not entirely of royal blood; at least I have never heard that Lodomie, the toothdrawer, was in any manner descended from the house of Bourbon. Don't be alarmed: this plebeian operator is not in the catalogue of your successors. How the lady was the aggressor is not known; 'tis only conjectured that French politeness and French interestedness could never have gone such lengths without mighty provocation. The first instance of the toothdrawer's un-gentle behaviour was on hearing it said that Lady Harrington was to have her four girls drawn by Liotard; which was wondered at, as his price is so great—"Oh!" said Lodomie, "chacune paie pour la sienne." Soon after this insult, there was some dispute about payments and toothpowder, and divers messages passed. At last the lady wrote a card, to say she did not understand such impertinent answers being given to her chairman by an arracheur de dents. The angry little gentleman, with as much intrepidity as if he had drawn out all her teeth, tore the card in five slits, and returned it with this astonishing sentence, "I return you your impertinent card, and desire you will pay me what you owe me." All I know more is, that the toothdrawer still lives; and so do many lords and gentlemen, formerly thought the slaves of the offended fair one's will and passions, and among others, to his great shame, your sincere friend.

(385) Mr. Conway was then with his regiment quartered at Sligo in Ireland.

(386) Lord Albemarle was then ambassador at Paris.

165 Letter 77 To George Montagu, Esq. Strawberry Hill, May 22, 1753.

You may very possibly be set out for Greatworth, but what house Greatworth is, or whose, or how you came to have it, is all a profound secret to us: your transitions arc so Pindaric, that, without notes, we do not understand them, especially as neither Mr. Bentley nor I have seen any of the letters, which I suppose you have written to your family in the intervals of your journeyings from Sir Jonathan Cope's(387) to Roel, and from Roel to Greatworth. Mr. Bentley was just ready to send you down a packet of Gothic, and brick and mortar, and arched windows, and taper columns to be erected at Roel—no such matter, you have met with some brave chambers belonging to Sir Jonathan somebody in Northamptonshire, and are unloading your camels and caravan,.;, and pitching your tents among your own tribe. I cannot be quite sorry, for I shall certainly visit you at Greatworth, and it might have been some years before the curtain had drawn up at Roel. We emerge very fast out of shavings, and hammerings, and pastings; the painted glass is full-blown in every window, and the gorgeous saints, that were brought out for one day on the festival of Saint George Montagu, are fixed for ever in the tabernacles they are to inhabit.- The castle is not the only beauty: and to-day we had a glimpse of the sun as he passed by, though I am convinced the summer is over; for these two last years we have been forced to compound for five hot days in the pound.

News there is none to tell you. We had two days in the House of Commons, that had something of the air of Parliament; there has been a Marriage-bill, invented by my Lord Bath, and cooked up by the Chancellor, which was warmly opposed by the Duke of Bedford in the Lords, and with us by Fox and Nugent: the latter made an admirable speech last week against it, and Charles Townshend,(388) another very good one yesterday, when we sat till near ten o'clock, but were beat, we minority, by 165 to 84.

I know nothing else but elopements: I have lost my man Henry, who is run away for debt; and my Lord Bath his only son. who is run away from thirty thousand pounds a-year, which in all probability would have come to him in six months. There had been some great fracas about his marriage; the stories are various on the Why; some say his father told Miss Nichols that his son was a very worthless young man; others, that the Earl could not bring himself to make tolerable settlements; and a third party say, that the Countess has blown up a quarrel in order to have his son in her power, and at her mercy. Whatever the cause was, this ingenious young man, who You know has made my Lady Townshend his everlasting enemy, by repeating her histories of Miss Chudleigh to that Miss, of all counsellors in the world, picked out my Lady Townshend to consult on his domestic grievances: she, with all the good-nature and charity imaginable, immediately advised him to be disinherited. He took her advice, left two dutiful letters for his parents, to notify 'his disobedience, and went off last Friday night to France. The Earl is so angry, that he could almost bring himself to give Mr. Newport, and twenty other people, their estates again. Good night—here is the Goth, Mr. Bentley, wants to say a word to you.

"Dear Sir, Wrote you a supernumerary letter on Saturday, but as I find you have shifted your quarters since I heard from 'YOU, imagine it may not have reached you yet. If you want to know what made me so assiduous, it was to tell you Sir Danvers Osborn has kissed hands for New York, that's all. I am sincerely yours.

"P.S. I wish you Would write to him mentioning me, that's more."

(387) At Brewern, in Oxfordshire.-E.

(388) Second son of the Marquis of Townshend.

167 Letter 78 To The Hon. H. S. Conway. Strawberry Hill, May 24, 1753.

It is well you are married! How would my Lady Ailesbury have liked to be asked in a parish church for three Sundays running? I really believe she would have worn her weeds for ever, rather than have passed through so impudent a ceremony! What do you think? But you will want to know the interpretation of this preamble. Why, there is a new bill, which, under the notion of preventing clandestine marriages, has made such a general rummage and reform in the office of matrimony that every Strephon and Chloe, every dowager and her Hussey, will have as many impediments and formalities to undergo as a treaty of peace. Lord Bath invented this bill,(389) but had drawn it so ill, that the Chancellor was forced to draw a new one, and then grew so fond of his own creature, that he has crammed it down the throats of both Houses-though they gave many a gulp before they could swallow it. The Duke of Bedford attacked it first with great spirit and mastery, but had little support, though the Duke of Newcastle did not vote. The lawyers were all ordered to purse it through our House: but except the poor Attorney-general,(390) "Who is nurse indeed. to all intents and purposes, and did amply gossip over it, not one of them said a word. Nugent shone extremely in opposition to the bill, and, though every now and then on the precipice of absurdity, kept clear of it, with great humour and wit and argument, and was unanswered-yet we were beat. Last Monday it came into the committee: Charles Townshend acted a very good speech with great cleverness, and drew a picture of his own story and his father's tyranny, with at least as much parts as modesty. Mr. Fox mumbled the Chancellor and his lawyers, and pinned the plan of the bill upon a pamphlet he had found of Dr. Gally's,(391) where the doctor, recommending the French scheme of matrimony, says, "It was found that fathers were too apt to forgive." "The Gospel, I thought," said Mr. Fox, "enjoined forgiveness; but pious Dr. Gal] v thinks fathers are too apt to forgive." Mr. Pelham, extremely in his opinion against the bill, and in his inclination too, was forced to rivet it, and, without speaking one word for it, taught the House how to vote for it; and it was carried against the Chairman's leaving the chair by 165 to 84. This Is all the news I know, or at least was all when I came out of town; for I left the tinkering of the bill, and came hither last Tuesday to my workmen. I flatter myself I shall get into tolerable order to receive my Lady Ailesbury and you at your return from Sligo, from whence I have received 'your letter, and where I hope you have had my first. I say nothing of the exile of the Parliament of Paris for I know no more than you will see in the public papers; only, as we are going to choose a new Parliament, we could not do better than choose the exiles: we could scarce choose braver or honester men. I say as little of Mademoiselle Murphy,(392) for I conclude you hear nothing but her health drank in whiskey. Don't all the nailed Irish flatter themselves with preferment, and claim relation with her? Miss Chudleigh says, there is some sense in belonging to a king who turns off an old mistress when he has got a new one.

Arlington Street, May 29.

I am Come to town for a day or two, and find that the Marriage-bill has not only lasted till now-in the committee, but has produced, or at least disclosed, extreme heats. Mr. Fox and Mr. Pelham have had very high words on every clause, and the former has renewed his attacks on the Chancellor under the name of Dr. Gally. Yesterday on the nullity clause they sat till half an hour after three in the morning, having just then had a division On adjournment, which was rejected by the ministry by above 80 to 70. The Speaker, who had spoken well against the clause, was so misrepresented by the Attorney-general, that there was danger of a skimmington between the great wig and the coif, the former having given a flat lie to the latter. Mr. Fox I am told, outdid himself for spirit, and severity on the Chancellor and the lawyers. I say I am told; for I was content with having been beat twice, and did not attend. The heats between the two ministers were far from cooling by the length of the debate. Adieu! You did little expect in these times, and at this season, to have heard such a parliamentary history! The bill is not near finished;(393) Mr. Fox has declared he will dispute every inch of ground. I hope he won't be banished to Pontoise.(394) I shall write to you no more; so pray return. I hear most favourable accounts of my Lady Ailesbury.

(389) The following is Tindal's account of the origin of this bill: "The fatal consequences of clandestine marriages had been long complained of in England, as rendering the succession to all property insecure and doubtful. Every day produced hearings of the most shocking kind in the court of Chancery, and appeals in the House of Lords, concerning the validity of such marriages; and sometimes the innocent offspring were cut off from succession, though their parents had been married bona fide, because of the irregularity of such marriage. On the other hand, both women and men of the most infamous characters had opportunities of ruining the sons and daughters of the greatest families in England, by conveniences of marrying in the Fleet, and other unlicensed places; and marrying was now become as much a trade as any mechanical profession."-E.

(390 Sir Dudley Ryder.

(391) Dr. Henry Gally, one of the King's chaplains in ordinary. Besides the pamphlet here spoken of, which was entitled "Some Considerations upon Clandestine Marriages," he wrote a "Dissertation on Pronouncing the Greek Language," and several other works He died in 1769.-E.

(392) An Irishwoman who was, for a short time, mistress to Louis XV.

(393) "The opposition to the bill was such that few clauses remained unaltered; and Mr. Fox, holding it up in the House, as Antony exposed the murdered body of Caesar, made a kind of a parody of the speech in Shakespeare upon that occasion." Tindal.-E.

(394) The Parliament of Paris having espoused the clause of religious liberty, and apprehended several priests who, by the authority of the Archbishop of Paris and other prelates, had refused the sacraments to those who would not subscribe to the bull Unigunitus, were banished by Louis XV. to Pontoise.

169 Letter 79 To George Montagu, Esq. Strawberry Hill, June 11, 1753.

You will think me very fickle, and that I have but a slight regard to the castle I am building for my ancestors, when you hear that I have been these last eight days in London amid dust and stinks, instead of seringa, roses, battlements, and niches; but you perhaps recollect that I have another Gothic passion, which is for squabbles in the Wittenagemot.(395) I can't say that the contests have run so high in either House as they have sometimes done in former days, but this age has found out a new method of parliamentary altercations. The Commons abuse the Barons, and the Barons return it; in short, Mr. Fox attacked the Chancellor violently on the Marriage-bill; and when it was sent back to the Lords, the Chancellor made the most outrageous invectives on Fox that ever was heard. But what offends still more,—I don't mean offends Fox more,—was the Chancellor describing the chief persons who had opposed his bill in the Commons, and giving reason why he excused them. As the speaker was in the number of the excused, the two maces are ready to come to blows.(396) The town says Mr. Fox is to be dismissed, but I can scarce think it will go so far.

My Lord Cornwallis is made an earl; Lord Bristol's sisters have the rank of Earl's daughters; Damer is Lord Milton in Ireland, and the new Lord Barnard is, I hear, to be Earl of Darlington.

Poor Lady Caroline Brand is dead of a rheumatic fever, and her husband as miserable a man as ever he was a cheerful one: I grieve much for her, and pity him; they were infinitely happy, and lived in the most perfect friendship I ever saw.

You may be assured that I will pay you a visit some time this summer, though not yet, as I cannot leave my workmen, especially as we have a painter who paints the paper on the staircase under Mr. Bentley's direction. The armoury bespeaks the ancient chivalry of the lords of the castle; and I have filled Mr. Bentley's Gothic lanthorn with painted glass, which casts the most venerable gloom on the stairs that ever was seen since the days of Abelard. The lanthorn itself, in which I have stuck a coat of the Veres, is supposed to have come from Castle Henningham. Lord and Lady Vere were here t'other day, and called cousins with it, and would very readily have invited it to Hanworth; but her Portuguese blood has so blackened the true stream that I could not bring myself to offer so fair a gift to their chapel.

I shall only tell you a bon-mot of Keith's, the marriage-broker, and conclude. "G-d d-n the bishops!" said he, (I beg Miss Montagu's pardon,) "so they will hinder my marrying. Well, let 'em; but I'll be revenged! I'll buy two or three acres of ground, and, by G-d! I'll underbury them all!" Adieu!

(395) The name of the Saxon great council, the supposed origin of parliaments.

(396) Among the Hardwicke papers there is a letter from Dr. Birch to the Hon. Philip Yorke, giving an account of the debate in the House of Lords. The following is an extract:— "My Lord Chancellor expressed his surprise, that the bill should have been styled out of doors an absurd, a cruel, a scandalous, and a wicked one. With regard to his own share in this torrent of abuse, as he was obliged to those who had so honourably defended him, so,' said he, 'I despise the invective, and I despise the retractation; I despise the scurrility, and I reject the adulation.' Mr. Fox was not present, but had soon an account of what had passed; for the same evening, being at Vauxhall with some ladies, he broke from them, and collecting a little circle of young members of parliament and others, told them with great eagerness, that he wished the session had continued a fortnight longer, for then he would have made ample returns to the Lord Chancellor. The Speaker talks of my Lord Chancellor's speech in the style of Mr. Fox, as deserving of the notice of the Commons, if they had not been prorogued."-E.

170 Letter 80 To Sir Horace Mann. Strawberry Hill, June 12, 1753.

I could not rest any longer with the thought of your having no idea of a place of which you hear so much, and therefore desired Mr. Bentley to draw you as much idea of it as the post would be persuaded to carry from Twickenham to Florence. The enclosed enchanted little landscape, then, is Strawberry Hill; and I will try to explain so much of it to you as will help to let you know whereabouts we are when we are talking to you; for it is uncomfortable in so intimate a correspondence as ours not to be exactly master of every spot where one another is writing, or reading, or sauntering. This view of the castle(397) is what I have just finished, and is the only side that will be at all regular. Directly before it is an open grove, through which you see a field, which is bounded by a serpentine wood of all kind of trees, and flowering shrubs, and flowers! The lawn before the house is situated on the top of a small hill, from whence to the left you see the town and church of Twickenham encircling a turn of the river, that looks exactly like a seaport in miniature. The opposite shore is a most delicious meadow, bounded by Richmond Hill, which loses itself in the noble woods of the park to the end of the prospect on the right, where is another turn of the river, and the suburbs of Kingston as luckily placed as Twickenham is on the left; and a natural terrace on the brow of my hill, with meadows of my own down to the river, commands both extremities. Is not this a tolerable prospect? You must figure that all this is perpetually enlivened by a navigation of boats and barges, and by a road below my terrace, with coaches, post-chaises, wagons, and horsemen constantly in motion, and the fields speckled with cows, horses, and sheep. Now you shall walk into the house. The bow-window below leads into a little parlour hung with a stone-colour Gothic paper and Jackson's Venetian prints, which I could never endure while they pretended, infamous as they are, to be after Titian, etc., but when I gave them this air of barbarous basreliefs, they succeeded to a miracle: it is impossible at first sight not to conclude that they contain the history of Attila or Tottila, done about the very aera. From hence, under two gloomy arches, you come to the hall and staircase, which it is impossible to describe to you, as it is the most particular and chief beauty of the castle. Imagine the walls covered with (I call it paper, but it is really paper painted in perspective to represent) Gothic fretwork: the lightest Gothic balustrade to the staircase, adorned with antelopes (our supporters) bearing shields lean windows fattened with rich saints in painted glass, and a vestibule open with three arches on the landing-place, and niches full of trophies of old coats of mail, Indian shields made of rhinoceros's hides, broadswords, quivers, long bows, arrows, and spears—all supposed to be taken by Mr Terry Robsart(398) in the holy wars. But as none of' this regards the enclosed drawing, I will pass to that. The room on the ground-floor nearest to you is a bedchamber, hung with yellow paper and prints, framed in a new manner, invented by Lord Cardigan; that is, with black and white borders printed. Over this is Mr. Chute's bedchamber, hung with red in the same manner. The bow-window room one pair of stairs is not yet finished; but in the tower beyond it is the charming closet where I am now writing to you. It is hung with green paper and water-colour pictures; has two windows; the one in the drawing looks to the garden, the other to the beautiful prospect; and the top of each glutted with the richest painted glass of the arms of England, crimson roses, and twenty other pieces of green, purple, and historic bits. I must tell you, by the way, that the castle, when finished, will have two-and-thirty windows enriched with painted glass. In this closet, which is Mr. Chute's college of arms, are two presses with books of heraldry and antiquities, Madame Sevign'e's Letters, and any French books that relate to her and her acquaintance. Out of this closet is the room where we always live, hung with a blue and white paper in stripes adorned with festoons, and a thousand plump chairs, couches, and luxurious settees covered with linen of the same pattern, and with a bow-window commanding the prospect, and gloomed with limes that shade half each window, already darkened with painted glass in chiaroscuro, set in deep blue glass. Under this room is a cool little hall, where we generally dine, hung with paper to imitate Dutch tiles.

I have described so much, that you will begin to think that all the accounts I used to give you of the diminutiveness of our habitation were fabulous; but it is really incredible how small most of the rooms are. The Only two good chambers I shall have are not yet built; they will be an eating-room and a library, each twenty by thirty, and the latter fifteen feet high. For the rest of the house, I could send it you in this letter as easily as the drawing, only that I should have no where to live till the return of the post. The Chinese summer-house which you may distinguish in the distant landscape, belongs to my Lord Radnor. We pique ourselves upon nothing but simplicity, and have no carvings, gildings, paintings, inlayings, or tawdry businesses.

You will not be sorry, I believe,. by this time to have done with Strawberry Hill, and to hear a little news. The end of a very dreaming session has been extremely enlivened by an accidental bill which has opened great quarrels, and those not unlikely to be attended with interesting circumstances. A bill to prevent clandestine marriages, so drawn by the Judges as to clog all matrimony in general, was inadvertently espoused by the Chancellor; and having been strongly attacked in the House of Commons by Nugent, the Speaker, Mr. Fox, and others, the last went very great lengths of severity on the whole body of the law, and on its chieftain in particular-, which, however, at the last reading, he softened and explained off extremely. This did not ,appease; but on the return of the bill to the House of Lords, where our amendments were to be read, the Chancellor in the most personal terms harangued against Fox, and concluded with saying that "he despised his scurrility as much as his adulation and recantation." As Christian charity is not one of the oaths taken by privy-counsellors, and as it is not the most eminent virtue in either of the champions, this quarrel is not likely to be soon reconciled. There are natures(399) whose disposition it is to patch up political breaches, but whether they will succeed, or try to succeed in healing this, can I tell you?

The match for Lord Granville, which I announced to you, is not concluded: his flames are cooled in that quarter as well as in others.

I begin a new sheet to you, which does not match with the other, for I have no more of the same paper here. Dr. Cameron is executed, and died with the greatest firmness. His parting with his wife the night before was heroic and tender: he let her stay till the last moment, when being aware that the gates of the Tower would be locked, he told her so; she fell at his feet in agonies: he said, "Madam, this was not what you promised me," and embracing her, forced her to retire; then with the same coolness, looked at the window till her coach was out of sight, after which he turned about and wept. His only concern seemed to be at the ignominy of Tyburn: he was not disturbed at the dresser for his body, or at the fire to burn his bowels.(400) The crowd was so great, that a friend who attended him could not get away, but was forced to stay and behold the execution: but what will you say to the minister or priest who accompanied him? The wretch, after taking leave, went into a landau, where, not content with seeing the Doctor hanged, he let down the top of the landau for the better convenience of seeing him embowelled! I cannot tell you positively that what I hinted of this Cameron being commissioned from Prussia was true, but so it is believed. Adieu! my dear child; I think this is a very tolerable letter for summer!

(397) It was a view of the south side towards the northeast.

(398) An ancestor of Sir Robert Walpole, who was knight of the garter.

(399) An allusion to Mr. Pelham.

(400) "The populace," says Smollet, though not very subject to tender emotions, were moved to compassion, and even to tears, by his behaviour at the place of execution; and many sincere well-wishers to the present establishment thought that the sacrifice of this victim, at such a juncture, could not redound either to its honour or security."-E.

173 Letter 81 To George Montagu, Esq. Strawberry Hill, July 17, 1753.

Dear sir, You are so kind, that I am peevish with myself for not being able to fix a positive day for being with you; as near as I can guess, it will be some of the very first days of the next month: I am engaged to go with Lady Ailesbury and Mr. Conway to Stowe, the 28th of this month, if some little business which I have here does not prevent me; and from thence I propose to meet Mr. Chute at Greatworth. If this should at all interfere with your schemes, tell me so; especially, I must beg that you would not so far depend on me as to stay one minute from doing any thing else you like, because it is quite impossible for me to be sure that I can execute just at the time I propose such agreeable projects. Meeting Mrs. Trevor will be a principal part of my pleasure; but the summer shall certainly not pass without my seeing you.

You will, I am sure, be concerned to hear that your favourite, Miss Brown, the pretty Catholic, who lived with Madame d'Acunha, is dead at Paris, by the ignorance of the physician. Tom Harvey, who always obliges the town with a quarrel in a dead season, has published a delightful letter to Sir William Bunbury,(401) full of madness and wit. He had given the Doctor a precedent for a clergyman's fighting a duel, and I furnished him with another story of the same kind, that diverted him extremely. A Dr. Suckling, who married a niece of my father, quarrelled with a country squire, who said, "Doctor, your gown is your protection." "Is it so?" replied the parson; "but, by God! it shall not be yours;" pulled it off, and thrashed him—I was going to say damnably, at least, divinely. Do but think, my Lord Coke and Tom Harvey are both bound to the peace, and are always going to fight together: how comfortable for their sureties!

My Lord Pomfret is dead; George Selwyn says, that my Lord Ashburnham(402) is not more glad to get into the parks than Lord Falkland is to get out of them. You know he was forced to live in a privileged place.

Jack Hill(403) is dead too, and has dropped about a hundred legacies; a thousand pound to the Dowager of Rockingham; as much, with all his plate and china, to her sister Bel. I don't find that my uncle has got so much as a case of knives and forks, he always paid great court, but Mary Magdalen, my aunt, undid all by scolding the man, and her spouse durst not take his part.

Lady Anne Paulett's daughter is eloped with a country clergyman. The Duchess of Argyle Harangues against the Marriage-bill not taking place immediately, and is persuaded that all the girls will go off before next lady-day.

Before I finish, I must describe to you the manner in which I overtook Monsieur le Duc de Mirepoix t'other day, who lives at Lord Dunkeron's house at Turnham-green. It was seven o'clock in the evening of one of the hottest and most dusty days of this summer. He was walking slowly in the beau milieu of Brentford town, without any company, but with a brown lap-dog with long ears, two pointers, two pages, three footmen, and a vis-a-vis following him. By the best accounts I can get, he must have been to survey the ground of the battle of Brentford, which I hear he has much studied, and harangues upon.

Adieu! I enclose a World' to you, which, by a story I shall tell you, I find is called mine. I met Mrs. Clive two nights ago, and told her I had been in the meadows, but would walk no more there, for there was all the world. "Well," says she, "and don't you like the World!(404) I hear it was very clever last Thursday." All I know is, that you will meet with some of your acquaintance there. Good night, with my compliments to Miss Montagu.

(401) The Rev. Sir William Bunbury, father of Sir Charles, and of Henry, the celebrated caricaturist.-E.

(402) Lord Ashburnham succeeded Lord Pomfret as ranger of St. James's and Hyde Parks.

(403) Member for Higham Ferrers.

(404) No. 28, entitled " Old women most proper objects for love." Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, in a letter to her daughter, says, "Send me no translations, no periodical papers; though I confess some of The World' entertained me very much, particularly Lord Chesterfield and Horry Walpole; but whenever I met Dodsley, I wished him out of the World with all my heart. The title was a very lucky one, being, as you see, productive of puns world without end; which is all the species of wit some people can either practise or understand."-E.

174 Letter 82 To Sir Horace Mann. Strawberry Hill, July 21, 1753.

Though I have long had a letter of yours unanswered, yet I verily think it would have remained so a little longer, if the pretty altar-tomb which you have sent me had not roused my Gratitude. It arrived here—I mean the tomb, not my gratitude—yesterday, and this morning churchyarded itself in the corner of my wood, where I hope it will remain till some future virtuoso shall dig it up, and publish 'it in " A Collection of Roman Antiquities in Britain. It is the very thing I wanted: how could you, my dear Sir, take such exact measure of my idea? By the way, you have never told me the price; don't neglect it, that I nay pay your brother.

I told you how ill disposed I was to write to you, and you must know without my telling you that the only reason of that could be my not knowing a tittle worth mentioning; nay, not a tittle, worth or not. All England is gone over all England electioneering: the spirit is as great now they are all on one side, as when parties ran the highest. You judge how little I trouble myself about all this; especially when the question is not who shall be in the ministry, only who shall be in the House.

I am almost inclined not to say a word to your last letter, because if I begin to answer it, it must be by scolding you for making SO serious an affair of leaving off snuff; one would think you was to quit a vice, not a trick. Consider, child, you are in Italy, not in England: here you would be very fashionable by having so many nerves, and you might have doctors and waters for every One Of them, from Dr. Mead to Dr. Thompson, and from Bath to the iron pear-tree water. I should sooner have expected to hear that good Dr. Cocchi(405) was in the Inquisition than in prescribing to a snuff-twitter-nerve-fever! You say people tell you that leaving off snuff all at once may be attended with bad consequences—I can't conceive what bad consequences, but to the snuff-shop, who, I conclude by your lamentations, must have sold you tolerable quantities; and I know what effects any diversion of money has upon the tobacco-trade in Tuscany. I forget how much it was that the duty sank at Florence in a fortnight after the erection of the first lottery, by the poor people abridging themselves of snuff to buy tickets; but I think I have said enough, considering I don't intend to scold.

Thank you for your civilities to Mr. Stephens; not at all for those to Mr. Perry,(406) who has availed himself of the partiality which he found you had for me, and passed Upon you for my friend. I never spoke one word to him in my life, but when he went out of his own dressing-room at Penshurst that Mr. Chute and I might see it, and then I said, "Sir, I hope we don't disturb you;" he grunted something, and walked away—la belle amiti'e!—yet, my dear child, I thank you, who receive bad money when it is called My coin. I Wish YOU had liked my Lady Rochford's beauty more: I intended it should return well preserved: I grow old enough to be piqued for the charms of my contemporaries.

Lord Pomfret(407) is dead, not a thousand pound in debt. The Countess has two thousand a-year rent-charge for jointure, five hundred as lady of the bedchamber to the late Queen, and fourteen thousand pounds in money, in her own power, just recovered by a lawsuit-what a fund for follies! The new Earl has about two thousand four hundred pounds a-year in present but deep debts and post-obits. He has not put on mourning, but robes; that is, in the middle of this very hot summer, he has produced himself in a suit of crimson velvet, that he may be sure of not being mistaken for being in weepers. There are rents worth ten thousand pounds left to little Lady Sophia Carteret,(408) and the whole personal estate between the two unmarried daughters;(409) so the seat(410) must be stripped. There are a few fine small pictures, and one(411) very curious One of Henry VII. and his Queen, with Cardinal Morton, and, I think, the Abbot of Westminster. Strawberry casts a Gothic eye upon this, but I fear it will pass our revenues. The statues,(412) which were part of the Arundel collection, are famous, but few good. The Cicero is fine and celebrated: the Marius I think still finer. The rest are Scipios, Cincinnatus's and the Lord knows who, which have lost more of their little value than of their false pretensions by living out of doors; and there is a green-house full of colossal fragments. Adieu! Have you received the description and portrait of my castle?

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