The Letters of Horace Walpole, Volume 2
by Horace Walpole
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I was last night at a little ball at Lady Anne Furnese's for the new Lords, Dartmouth and North, but nothing passed worth relating; indeed, the only event since you left London was the tragicomedy that was acted last Saturday at the Opera. One of the dramatic guards fell flat on his face and motionless in an apoplectic fit. The Princess(478) and her children were there. Miss Chudleigh, who apparemment had never seen a man fall on his face before, went into the most theatric fit of kicking and shrieking that ever was seen. Several other women, who were preparing their fits, were so distanced that she had the whole house to herself; and, indeed such a confusion for half an hour I never saw! The next day, at my Lady Townshend's, old Charles Stanhope asked what these fits were called? Charles Townshend replied, "The true convulsive fits, to be had only of the maker." Adieu! my dear Sir. To-day looks summerish, but we have no rain yet.

(476) One of the daughters and coheiresses of the Lord Mohun, killed in a duel with Duke Hamilton.

(477) William Whitehead's tragedy of "Creusa" was brought out at Drury Lane theatre with considerable applause. Mrs. Pritchard performed the character of Creusa with great effect; and as Garrick and Mossop also took parts in it, the performance was so perfect, that it was hardly possible for it not to succeed in the representation; yet it has seldom been revived.-E.

(478) The Princess of Wales, mother to George the Third.-E.

]206 Letter 99 To John Chute, Esq. Arlington Street, May 14, 1754.

My dear sir, I wrote to you the last day of last month: I only mention it to show you that I am- punctual to your desire. It is my only reason for writing to-day, for I have nothing new to tell you. The town is empty, dusty, and disagreeable; the country is cold and comfortless; consequently I daily run from one to t'other', as if both were so charming that I did not know which to prefer. I am at present employed in no very lively manner, in reading a treatise on commerce, which Count Perron has lent me, of his own writing: this obliges me to go through with it, though the subject and the style of the French would not engage me much. It does not want sense.

T'other night a description was given me of the most extraordinary declaration of love that ever was made. Have you seen young Poniatowski?(479) he is very handsome. You have seen the figure of the Duchess of Gordon,(480) who looks like a raw-boned Scotch metaphysician that has got a red face by drinking water. One day at the drawing-room, having never spoken to him, she sent one of the foreign ministers to invite Poniatowski to dinner with her for the next day. He bowed and went. The moment the door opened, her two little sons, attired like Cupids, with bows and arrows, shot at him; and one of them literally hit his hair, and was very near putting his eye out, and hindering his casting it to the couch

"Where she another sea-born Venus lay."

The only company besides this Highland goddess were two Scotchmen, who could not speak a word of any language but their own Erse; and to complete his astonishment at this allegorical entertainment, with the dessert there entered a little horse, and galloped round the table; a hieroglyphic I cannot solve. Poniatowski accounts for this profusion of kindness by his great-grandmother being a Gordon: but I believe it is to be accounted for by * * * * Adieu! my dear Sir.

(479) Stanislaus, the ill-fated King of Poland.

(480) Lady Catherine Gordon, daughter of the Earl of Aberdeen, widow of Cosmo Duke of Gordon, who died in 1752. She married, secondly, Colonel Saates Morris.-E.

207 Letter 100 To Richard Bentley, Esq. Arlington Street, May 18, 1754.

My dear Sir, Unless you will be exact in dating your letters, you will occasion me much confusion. Since the undated one which I mentioned in my last, I have received another as unregistered, with the fragment of the rock, telling me of one which had set sail on the 18th, I suppose of last month, and been driven back: this I conclude was the former undated. Yesterday, I received a longer, tipped with May 8th. You must submit to this lecture, and I hope will amend by it. I cannot promise that I shall correct myself much in the intention I had of writing to you seldomer and shorter at this time of year. If you could be persuaded how insignificant I think all I do, how little important it is even to myself, you would not wonder that I have not much empressement to give the detail of it to any body else. Little excursions to Strawberry, little parties to dine there, and many jaunts to hurry Bromwich, and the carver, and Clermont, are my material occupations. Think of sending these 'cross the sea!-The times produce nothing. there is neither party, nor controversy, nor gallantry, nor fashion, nor literature-the whole proceeds like farmers regulating themselves, their business, their views, their diversions, by the almanac. Mr. Pelham's death has scarce produced a change; the changes in Ireland, scarce a murmur. Even in France the squabbles of the parliament and clergy are under the same opiate influence.—I don't believe that Mademoiselle Murphy (who is delivered of a prince, and is lodged openly at Versailles) and Madame Pompadour will mix the least grain of ratsbane in one another's tea. I, who love to ride in the whirlwind, cannot record the yawns of such an age!

The little that I believe you would care to know relating to the Strawberry annals, is, that the great tower is finished on the outside, and the whole whitened, and has a charming effect, especially as the verdure of this year is beyond what I have ever seen it: the grove nearest the house comes on much; you know I had almost despaired of its ever making a figure. The bow-window room over the supper-parlour is finished; hung with a plain blue paper, with a chintz bed and chairs; my father and mother over the chimney in the Gibbons frame, about which you know we were in dispute what to do. I have fixed on black and gold, and it has a charming effect over your chimney with the two dropping points, which is executed exactly; and the old grate of Henry VIII. which you bought, is within it. In each panel around the room is a single picture; Gray's, Sir Charles Williams's, and yours, in their black and gold frames; mine is to match yours; and, on each side the doors, are the pictures of Mr. Churchill and Lady Mary, with their son, on one side, Mr. Conway and Lady Ailesbury on the other. You can't imagine how new and pretty this furniture is.-I believe I must get you to send me an attestation under your hand that you knew nothing of it, that Mr. Rigby may allow that at least this one room was by my own direction. - AS the library and great parlour grow finished, you shall have exact notice.

>From Mabland(481) I have little news to send you, but that the obelisk is danced from the middle of the rabbit-warren into his neighbour's garden, and he pays a ground-rent for looking at it there. His shrubs are hitherto unmolested, Et MaryboniaCoS(482) gaudet revirescere lucos!

The town is as busy again as ever on the affair of Canning, who has been tried for perjury. The jury would have brought her in guilty of perjury, but not wilful, till the judge informed them that that would rather be an Irish verdict: they then brought her in simply guilty, but recommended her. In short, nothing is discovered: the most general opinion is, that she was robbed, but by some other gipsy. For my own part, I am not at all brought to believe her story, nor shall, till I hear that living seven-and-twenty days without eating is among @ one of those secrets for doing impossibilities, which I suppose will be at last found out, and about the time that I am dead, even some art of living for ever.

You was in pain for me, and indeed I was in pain for myself, on the prospect of the sale of Dr. Mead's miniatures. You may be easy; it is more than I am quite; for it is come out that the late Prince of Wales had bought them every one.

I have not yet had time to have your granite examined, but will next week. If you have not noticed to your sisters any present of Ormer shells, I shall contradict myself, and accept them for my Lady Lyttelton,(483) who is making a grotto. As many as you can send conveniently, and any thing for the same use, will be very acceptable. You will laugh when I tell you, that I am employed to reconcile Sir George and Moore;(484) the latter has been very flippant, say impertinent, on the former's giving a little place to Bower, in preference to him. Think of my being the mediator!

The Parliament is to meet for a few days the end of this month, to give perfection to the Regency-bill. If the King dies before the end of this month, the old Parliament revives, which would make tolerable confusion, considering what sums have been laid out on seats in this. Adieu! This letter did not come kindly; I reckon it rather extorted from me, and therefore hope it will not amuse. However, I am in tolerable charity with you, and yours ever.

(481) A cant name which Mr. Walpole had given to Lord Radnor's whimsical house and grounds at Twickenham.

(482) Lord Radnor's garden was full of statues, etc. like that at Marylebone. (gray, in a letter to Wharton, of the 13th of August in this year says, "By all means see Lord Radnor's place again. He is a simple old Phobus, but nothing can spoil so glorious a situation, which surpasses every thing round it." Works, vol. iii. p. 119.-E).

(483) Elizabeth, daughter of Sir Robert Rich, Bart. was the second wife of George Lord Lyttelton. She was separated from her husband and survived him many years.-E.

(484) Author of The World, and some plays and poems. Moore had written in defence of lord Lyttelton against the Letters to the Whigs; which were not known to be Walpole's.

209 Letter 101 To George Montagu, Esq. Arlington Street, May 21, 1754.

I did not intend to write to you till after Thursday, when all your Boscawens, Rices, and Trevors(485) are to dine at Strawberry Hill; but an event has happened, of which I cannot delay giving you the instant pleasurable notice: now will you, according to your custom, be guessing, and, according to your custom, guessing wrong; but lest you should from my spirits make any undutiful or disloyal conjectures for me, know, that the great C'eu(486) of the Vine is dead, and that John the first was yesterday proclaimed undoubted Monarch. Nay, champion Dimmock himself shall cut the throat of any Tracy, Atkins, or Harrison, who shall dare to gainsay the legality of his title. In' short, there is no more will than was left by the late Erasmus Shorter of particular memory. I consulted Madame Rice, and she advised my directing to you at Mrs. Whettenhall's; to whom I beg as many compliments as if she wrote herself "La blanche Whitnell." As many to your sister Harriot and to your brother, who I hear is with you. I am sure, though both you and I had reason to be peevish with the poor tigress, that you grieve with me for her death. I do most sincerely, and for her Bessy: the man-tiger will be so sorry, that I am sure he will marry again to comfort himself. I am so tired with letters I have written on this event, that I can scarce hold the pen. How we shall wish for you on Thursday-and shan't you be proud to cock your tail at the Vine? Adieu!

(485) The daughters of Mr. Montagu's uncle, John Morley Trevor, of Glynd in Sussex; Anne, married to General Boscawen; Lucy, married to Edward Rice, Esq.; and Miss Grace Trevor, who was living at Bath in 1792.-E.

(486) Anthony Chute, Esq. of the Vine, Hants; who had been member for Newport, Hants.-E.

210 Letter 102 To Sir Horace Mann. Strawberry Hill, May 23, 1754.

Pray continue your M'emoires of the war of the Delmontis;(487) I have received two tomes, and am delighted with them. The French and Irish Parliaments proceed so heavily, that one cannot expect to live to the setting up the first standard; and it is so long since the world has furnished any brisk event, that I am charmed with this little military entremets. My Lady Orford will certainly wish herself at Florence again on the behalf of her old friend:(488) I always wish myself there; and, according to custom, she and I should not be of the same party: I cannot help wishing well to the rebellious. You ask, whether this Countess can deprive her son of her estate?-by no means, but by another child, which, at her age, and after the variety of experiments which she has made in all countries, I cannot think very likely to happen. I sometimes think her succession not very distant: she is very asthmatic. Her life is as retired as ever, and passed entirely with her husband, who seems a martyr to his former fame, and is a slave to her jealousy. She has given up nothing to him, and pays such attention to her affairs, that she will soon be vastly rich. But I won't be talking of her wealth, when the chief purpose of my writing to-night is, to announce the unexpected riches and good fortune of our dear Mr. Chute, I say our dear Mr. Chute, for though you have not reason to be content with him, yet I know your unchangeable heart-and I know he is so good, that if you will take this occasion to write him a line of joy, I am persuaded it will raccommode every thing; and though he will be far from proving a regular correspondent, we shall all have satisfaction in the re-establishment of the harmony.-In short, that tartar his brother is dead: and having made no will, the whole, and a very considerable whole, falls to our friend. This good event happened but three days ago, and I wait with the utmost impatience for his return from the Vine, where he was at the critical instant. As the whole was in the tyrant's power, and as every art had been used to turn the vinegar of his temper against his brother, I had for some time lived persuaded that he would execute the worst purposes-but let us forgive him!

I like to see in the Gazette that Goldsworthy(489) is going to be removed far from Florence: his sting has long been out-and yet I cannot help feeling glad that even the shadow of a competitor is removed from you.

We are going to have a week of Parliament-not to taste the new one, of which there is no doubt, but to give it essence: by the Regency-bill, if the King had died before it had sat, the old one must have revived.

There is nothing else in the shape of news but small-pox and miliary fevers, which have carried off people you did not know. If I had not been eager to notify Mr. Chute's prosperity to you, I think I must have deferred writing for a week or two longer: it is unpleasant to be inventing a letter to send so far, and must be disappointing when it comes from so far, and brings so little. Adieu!

(487) This alludes to the proceedings of a mad prior of the family of the Marchese Delmonti; who, with a party of ruffians, had seized upon a strong castle called Monta di Santa Maria, belonging to his brother the Marchese, and situated near Cortona. From whence he and his band ravaged the neighbouring country; and it was only with great difficulty that the troops of the Grand Duke of Tuscany succeeded in dislodging them-D.

(488) Marquis del Monti.

(489) Consul to Lisbon.

211 Letter 103 To Sir Horace Mann. Arlington Street, June 5, 1754.

Though I wrote to you but a few days ago, when I told you of Mr. Chute's good fortune, I must send you a few lines to-night upon a particular occasion. Mr. Brand,(490) a very intimate friend of mine, whom I believe you have formerly seen in Italy, is just set out for Germany on his way to Rome. I know by long and uninterrupted experience, that my barely saying he is my friend, will secure for him the kindest reception in the world from you: it would not express my conviction, if I said a word more on that head. His story is very melancholy: about six or seven years ago he married Lady Caroline Pierpoint,(491) half-sister of Lady Mary Wortley;(492) a match quite of esteem, she was rather older than he; but never were two people more completely, more reasonably happy. He is naturally all cheerfulness and laughter; she was very reserved, but quite sensible and faultless. She died about this time twelvemonth of a fever, and left him, with two little children, the most unhappy man alive. He travels again to dissipate his grief: you will love him much, if he stays any time with you. His connexions are entirely with the Duke of Bedford.

I have had another letter from you to-day, with a farther journal of the Delmonti war, which the rebels seem to be leaving to the Pope to finish for them. It diverted me extremely. had I received this letter before Mr. Brand set out, I would have sent you the whole narrative of the affair of Lord Orford and Miss -Nicholl; it is a little volume. The breach, though now by time silenced, was, I assure you, final.

We have had a spurt of Parliament for five days, but it was prorogued to-day. The next will be a terrible session from elections and petitions. The Oxfordshire(493) will be endless; the Appleby outrageous in expense. The former is a revival of downright Whiggism and Jacobitism,, two liveries that have been lately worn indiscriminately by all factions. The latter is a contest between two young Croesus's, Lord Thanet(494) and Sir James Lowther:(495) that a convert; this an hereditary Whig. A knowing lawyer said, to-day, that with purchasing tenures, votes, and carrying on the election and petition, five-and-fifty thousand pounds will not pay the whole expense— it makes one start! Good night! you must excuse the nothingness of a supernumerary letter.

(490) Thomas Brand, of the Hoo, in Hertfordshire.

(491) Daughter of Evelyn, Duke of Kingston, by his second wife.

(492) Lady Mary, in a letter to her daughter, of the 23d of July, 1753, says, "The death of Lady Carolina naturally raises the mortifying reflection, on how slender a thread hangs all worldly prosperity! I cannot say I am otherwise much touched with it. It is true she was my sister, as it were, and in some sense; but her behaviour to me never gave me any love, nor her general conduct any esteem."-E.

(493) This was the great Oxfordshire contest between the Jacobites and the Whigs. The candidates of the former party were Viscount Wenman and Sir Edward Turner, Bart. those of the latter, Viscount Parker, eldest son of the Earl of Macclesfield, and Sir James Dashwood, Bart. Great sums were spent on both sides: in the election the Jacobites carried it; but on petition to the House of Commons, the ministers, as usual, seated their own friends.-D.

(494) Sackville Tufton, eighth Earl of Thanet.-D.

(495) Sir James Lowther had succeeded his collateral relation, Henry, third Viscount Lonsdale, in his vast estates. He became afterwards remarkable for his eccentricities, and we fear, we must add, for his tyranny and cruelty. Mr. Pitt created him Earl of Lonsdale, in the year 1784. He died in 1802.-D. [In 1782, he offered to build, and Completely furnish and man, a ship of war of seventy guns for the service of the country at his own expense; but the proposal, though sanctioned by the King, was rendered unnecessary to be carried into execution by the peace.]

212 Letter 104 To George Montagu, Esq. Strawberry Hill, Saturday, June 8, 1754.

By my computation you are about returned to Greatworth: I was so afraid of my letters missing you on the road, that I deferred till now telling you how much pleasure I shall have in seeing you and the Colonel at Strawberry. I have long been mortified that for these three years you have seen it only in winter: it is now in the height of its greenth, blueth, gloomth, honey-suckle and seringahood. I have no engagement till Wednesday se'nnight, when I am obliged to be in town on law business. You will have this to-morrow night; if I receive a letter, which I beg you will direct to London, on Tuesday or Wednesday, I will meet you here whatever day you will be so good as to appoint. I thank the Colonel a thousand times. I cannot write a word more; for I am getting into the chaise to whisk to the Vine for two days, but shall be in town on Tuesday night. Adieu!

213 Letter 105 To George Montagu, Esq. Strawberry Hill, June 29, 1754.

I shall take care to send your letter the first time I write to Mr. Bentley. It is above a fortnight since I heard from him. I am much disappointed at not having seen you yet; I love you should execute your intentions while you intend them, because you are a little apt to alter your mind, and as I have set mine on your seeing Strawberry Hill this summer, while it is in its beauty, you will really mortify me by changing your purpose.

It is in vain that you ask for news: I was in town two days ago, but heard nothing; indeed there were not people enough to cause or make news. Lady Caroline Petersham had scraped together a few foreigners, after her christening; but I cannot say that the party was much livelier than if it had met at Madame Montandre's.(496) You must let me know a little beforehand when you have fixed your time for coming, because, as I am towards flying about on my summer expeditions, I should be unhappy not to be here just when you would like it. Adieu!

P. S. I supped at White's the other night with the great C'u, and he was by far more gracious, both on your topic and my own, than ever I knew him.

(496) Widow of Francis de la Rochefaucauld, Marquis de Montandre, who came to England with William the Third, and served in all the wars of that monarch, and of Queen Anne. He was made a marshal in July 1739, and died in the following August.-E.

213 Letter 106 To Sir Horace Mann. Strawberry Hill, July 5, 1754.

I believe you never receive a letter from me at this season of the year, without wishing for winter, that I might have something to tell you. Warm weather in England disperses all the world, except a few old folks, whose day of events is past, and who contribute nothing to the society of news. There is a court indeed as near as Kensington, but where the monarch is old, the courtiers are seldom young: they sun themselves in a window like flies in autumn, past even buzzing, and to be swept away in the first hurricane of a new reign. However, as little novelty as the season or the times produce, there is an adventuress in the world, who even in the dullest times will take care not to let conversation stagnate: this public-spirited dame is no other than a Countess-dowager, my sister-in-law, who has just notified to the town her intention of parting from her second husband-a step which, being in general not likely to occasion much surprise,-she had, however, taken care to render extraordinary, by a course of inseparable fondness and wonderful jealousy, for the three years since these her second nuptials. The testimonials which Mr. Shirley had received in print from that living academy of love-lore, my Lady Vane, added to this excessive tenderness of one, little less a novice, convinced every body that he was a perfect hero. You will pity poor Hercules! Omphale, by a most unsentimental precaution, has so secured to her own disposal her whole estate and jointure, that he cannot command so much as a distaff; and as she is not inclined to pay much for nothing, her offers on the article of separation are exceedingly moderate. As yet he has not accepted them, but is gone to Scarborough, and she into the west, to settle her affairs, and from thence embarks for France and Italy. I am sorry she will plague you again at Florence; but I shall like to hear of what materials she composes her second volume, and what reasons she will allege in her new manifestoes: her mother, who sold her, is dead; the all-powerful minister, who bought her, is dead! whom will she charge with dragging her. to the bed of this second tyrant, from whom she has been forced to fly—On her son's account, I am really sorry for this second 'equip'ee: I can't even help pitying her! at her age nobody can take such steps, without being sensible of their ridicule, and what snakes must such passions be, as can hurry one over such reflections? Her original story was certainly very unhappy; and the forcing so very young a creature against her inclinations, unjustifiable: but I much question whether any choice of her own could have tied down her inclinations to -any temper—at least, I am sure she had pitched upon a Hercules then, who of all men living was the least proper to encounter such labours, my Lord Chesterfield!

I have sent your letter to Mr. Chute, who is at his own Vine; he had written to you of his own accord, and I trust your friendship will be re-established as strongly as ever, especially as there was no essential fault on either side, and as you will now be prepared not to mind his aversion to writing. Thank Dr. Cocchi for the book(497) he is so good as to intend for me; I value any thing from him, though I scarce understand any thing less than Greek and physic; the little I knew of the first I have almost forgot, and the other, thank God! I never had any occasion to know. I shall duly deliver the other copies.

The French are encroaching extremely upon us in all the distant parts of the world, especially in Virginia, from whence their attempts occasion great uneasiness here. For my own part, I think we are very lucky, when they will be so good as to begin with us at the farther end. The revocation of the Parliament of Paris, which is done or doing, is thought very bad for us: I don't know but it may: in any other time I should have thought not, as it is a concession or yielding from the throne, and would naturally spirit up the Parliament to struggle on for power; but no other age is a precedent for this. As no oppression would, I believe, have driven them into rebellion, no concession will tempt them to be more assuming. The King of France will govern his Parliament by temporizing; the Parliament of Ireland is governed by being treated like a French one. Adieu!

(497) An edition of some of the Greek physicians.

215 Letter 107 To The Hon. H. S. Conway. Strawberry Hill, Saturday, July 6, 1754.

Your letter certainly stopped to drink somewhere by the way, I suppose with the hearty hostess at the Windmill; for, though written on Wednesday, it arrived here but this morning: it could not have travelled more deliberately in the Speaker's body-coach. I am concerned, because, your fishmonger not being arrived, I fear you have stayed for my answer. The fish(498) are apprised that they are to ride over to Park-place, and are ready booted and spurred; and the moment their pad arrives, they shall set forth. I would accompany them on a pillion if I were not waiting for Lady Mary,(499) who has desired to bring a poor sick girl here for a few days to try the air. You know how courteous a knight I am to distressed virgins of five years old, and that my castle-gates are always open to them. You will, I am sure, accept this excuse for some days: and as soon as ever my hospitality is completed, I will be ready to obey your summons, though you should send a water-pot for me. I am in no fear of not finding you in perfect verdure; for the sun, I believe, is gone a great way off to some races or other, where his horses are to run for the King's plate: we have not heard of him in this neighbourhood. Adieu!

(497) Gold fish.

(499) Lady Mary Churchill.

215 Letter 108 To Sir Richard Bentley, Esq. Strawberry Hill, July 9, 1754.

I only write a letter for company to the enclosed one. Mr. Chute is returned from the Vine, and gives you a thousand thanks for your letter; and if ever he writes, I don't doubt but it will be to you. Gray and he come hither to-morrow, and I am promised Montagu and the Colonel(500) in about a fortnight—How naturally my pen adds, but when does Mr. Bentley come! I am sure Mr. Wicks wants to ask me the same question every day—"Speak to it, Horatio!" Sir Charles Williams brought his eldest daughter hither last week: she is one of your real admirers, and, without its being proposed to her, went on the bowling-green, and drew a perspective view of the castle from the angle, in a manner to deserve the thanks of the Committee.(501) She is to be married to my Lord Essex in a Week,(502) and I begged she would make you overseer of the works at Cashiobury. Sir Charles told me, that on the Duke of Bedford's wanting a Chinese house at Woburn, he said, "Why don't your grace speak to mr. Walpole? He has the prettiest plan in the world for one." —"Oh," replied the Duke, "but then it would be too dear!" I hope this was a very great economy, or I am sure ours would be very great extravagance: only think of a plan for little Strawberry giving the alarm to thirty thousand pounds a year! My dear sir, it is time to retrench! Pray send me 'a slice of granite(503) no bigger than a Naples biscuit.

The monument to my mother is at last erected; it puts me in mind of the manner of interring the Kings of France: when the reigning one dies, the last before him is buried. Will you believe that I have not yet seen the tomb? None of my acquaintance were in town, and I literally had not courage to venture alone among the Westminster-boys at the Abbey: they are as formidable to me as the ship-carpenters at Portsmouth. I think I have showed you the inscription, and therefore I don't send it yet].

I was reading t'other day the Life of Colonel Codrington,(504) who founded the library at All Souls - he left a large estate for the propagation of the Gospel, and ordered that three hundred negroes should constantly be constantly employed upon it. Did one ever hear a more truly Christian charity, than keeping a perpetuity of three hundred slaves to look after the Gospel's estate? How could one intend a religious legacy, and miss the disposition of that estate for delivering three hundred negroes from the most shocking slavery imaginable? Must devotion be twisted into the unfeeling interests of trade? I must revenge myself for the horror this fact has given me, and tell you a story of Gideon.(505) He breeds his children Christians: he had a mind to know what proficience his son had made in his new religion; "So," says he, "I began, and asked him, who made him; He said 'God.' I then asked him, who redeemed him? He replied very readily, 'Christ.' Well, then I was at the end of my interrogatories, and did not know what other question to put to him. I said, Who—who—I did not know what to say; at last I said, Who gave you that hat? 'The Holy Ghost,' said the boy." Did you ever hear a better catechism? The great cry against Nugent at Bristol was for having voted for the Jew-bill: one old woman said, "What, must we be represented by a Jew and an Irishman?" He replied with great quickness, "My good dame, if you will step aside with me into a corner, I will show you that I am not a Jew, and that I am an Irishman."

The Princess(506) has breakfasted at the long Sir Thomas Robinson's at Whitehall; my Lady Townshend will never forgive it. The second dowager of Somerset(507) is gone to know whether all her letters from the living to the dead have been received. Before I bid you good-night, I must tell you of an admirable curiosity: I was looking over one of our antiquarian volumes, and in the description of Leeds is an account of Mr. Thoresby's famous museum there-what do you think is one of the rarities?—a knife taken from one of the Mohocks! Whether tradition is infallible or not, as you say, I think so authentic a relic will make their history indisputable. Castles, Chinese houses, tombs, negroes, Jews, Irishmen, princesses, and Mohocks—what a farrago do I send you! I trust that a letter from England to Jersey has an imposing air, and that you don't presume to laugh at any thing that comes from your mother island. Adieu!

(500) Charles Montagu.

(501) Mr. Walpole, in these letters, calls the Strawberry committee, those of his friends who had assisted in the plans and Gothic ornaments of Strawberry Hill.

(502) The lady was married to the Earl of Essex on the 1st of August. She died in childbed, in July 1759.-E.

(503) Mr. Walpole had commissioned Mr. Bentley to send him a piece of the granite found in the island of Jersey, for a sideboard in his dining-room.

(504) Colonel Christopher Codrington. He was governor of the Leeward Islands, and died at Barbadoes in 1710. He bequeathed his books, and the sum of ten thousand pounds, for the purpose of erecting and furnishing the above-mentioned library. He wrote some Latin poems, published in the "Musae Anglicanae," and addressed a copy of English verse to Garth on his Dispensary.-E.

(505) Sampson Gideon, the noted rich Jew. [In 1759, his only son, being then in his eleventh year, was created an English baronet; and, in 1789, advanced to the dignity of Lord Eardley.]

(506) Of Wales.

(507) Frances, oldest daughter and coheir of the Hon. Henry Thynne. '

217 Letter 109 To The Hon. H. S. Conway.(508) Strawberry Hill, August 6, 1754.

>From Sunday next, which is the eleventh, till the four or five-and-twentieth, I am quite unengaged, and will wait upon you any of the inclusive days, when your house is at leisure, and you will summon me; therefore you have nothing to do but to let me know your own time: or, if this period does not suit you, I believe I shall be able to come to you any part of the first fortnight in September; for, though I ought to go to Hagley, it is incredible how I want resolution to tap such a journey.

I wish you joy of escaping such an accident as breaking the Duke's(509) leg; I hope he and you will be known to posterity together by more dignified wounds than the kick of a horse. As I can never employ my time better than in being your biographer, I beg you will take care that I may have no such plebeian mishaps upon my hands or, if the Duke is to fall out of battle, he has such delicious lions and tigers, which I saw the day before yesterday at Windsor, that he will be exceedingly to blame, if he does not give some of them an exclusive patent for tearing him to pieces.

There is a beautiful tiger at my neighbour Mr. Crammond's here, of which I am so fond, that my Lady Townshend says it is the only thing I ever wanted to kiss. As you know how strongly her ladyship sympathizes with the Duke, she contrived to break the tendon of her foot, the very day that his leg was in such danger. Adieu!

P. S. You may certainly do what you please with the Fable;(510) it is neither worth giving nor refusing.

(508) Now first printed.

(509) The Duke of Cumberland.

(510) The Entail.

218 Letter 110 To George Montagu, Esq. Strawberry Hill, Aug 29, 1754.

You may be sure that I shall always be glad to see you whenever you like to come hither, but I cannot help being sorry that you are determined not to like the place, nor to let the Colonel like it; a conclusion I may very justly make, when, I think, for these four years, you have contrived to visit it only when there is not a leaf upon the trees. Villas are generally designed for summer; you are the single person who think they look best in winter. You have still a more unlucky thought; which Is, to visit the Vine in October. When I saw it in the middle of summer, it was excessively damp; you will find it a little difficult to persuade me to accompany you thither On stilts, and I believe Mr. Chute Will not be quite happy that you prefer that season; but for this I cannot answer at present, for he is at Mr. Morris's in Cornwall. I shall expect you and the Colonel here at the time you appoint. I engage for no farther, unless it is a very fine season indeed. I beg my compliments to Miss Montagu, and am yours ever.

218 Letter 111 To Sir Horace Mann. Arlington Street, Oct. 6, 1754.

You have the kindest way in the world, my dear Sir, of reproving my long silence, by accusing yourself. I have looked at my dates, and though I was conscious Of not having written to you for a long time, I did not think it had been so long as three months. I ought to make some excuse, and the truth is all I can make; if you have heard by any way in the world that a single event worth mentioning has happened in England for these three months, I will own myself guilty of abominable neglect. If there has not, as you know my unalterable affection for you, you will excuse me, and accuse the times. Can one repeat often, that every thing stagnates? At present we begin to think that the world may be roused again, and that an East Indian war and a West Indian war may beget such a thing as an European war. In short, the French have taken such cavalier liberties with some of our forts, that are of great consequence to cover Virginia, Carolina, and Georgia, that we are actually despatching two regiments thither. As the climate and other American circumstances are against these poor men, I pity them, and think them too many, if the French mean nothing farther; too few, if they do. Indeed, I am one of those that feel less resentment when we are attacked so far off: I think it an obligation to be eaten the last.

You have entertained me much with the progress of the history of the Delmontis, and obliged me. I wish I could say I was not shocked at the other part of your letter, where you mention the re-establishment of the Inquisition at Florence. Had Richcourt power enough to be so infamous! was he superstitious, fearful, revengeful, or proud of being a tool of the court of Rome? What is the fate of the poor Florentines, who are reduced to regret the Medicis, who had usurped their government! You may be glad, my dear child, that I am not at Florence; I should distress your ministerial prudence, your necessary prudence, by taking pleasure to speak openly of Richcourt as he deserves: you know my warmth upon power and church power!

The Boccaneri seems to be one of those ladies who refine so much upon debauchery as to make even matrimony enter into their scheme of profligacy. I have known more than one instance, since the days of the Signora Messalina, where the lady has not been content to cuckold her husband but with another husband. All passions carried to extremity embrace within their circle even their opposites. I don't know whether Charles the Fifth did not resign the empire Out Of ambition of more fame. I must contradict myself in all passions; I don't believe Sir Robert Brown will ever be so covetous as to find a pleasure in squandering.

Mr. Chute is much yours: I am going with him in a day or two to his Vine, where I shall try to draw him into amusing himself a little with building and planting; hitherto he has done nothing with his estate-but good.

You will have observed what precaution I had taken, in the smallness of the sheet, not to have too much paper to fill; and yet you see how much I have still upon my hands! As, I assure you, were I to fill the remainder, all I should say would be terribly wiredrawn, do excuse me: you shall hear an ample detail of the first Admiral Vernon that springs out of our American war; and I promise you at least half a brick of the first sample that is sent over of any new Porto Bello. The French have tied up the hands of an excellent fanfaron, a Major Washington,(511) whom they took, and engaged not to serve for a year. In his letter, he said, "Believe me, as the cannon-balls flew over my head. they made a most delightful sound." When your relation, General Guise, was marching up to Carthagena, and the pelicans whistled round him, he said, "What would Chlo'e(512) give for some of these to make a pelican pie?" The conjecture made that scarce a rodomontade; but what pity it is, that a man who can deal in hyperboles at the mouth of a cannon, should be fond of them with a glass of wine in his hand! I have heard Guise affirm, that the colliers at Newcastle feed their children with fire-shovels! Good night.

(511) This was the celebrated Liberator of America, who had been serving in the English army against the French for some time with much distinction.

(512 ) The Duke of Newcastle's French cook.

220 Letter 112 To The Hon. H. S. Conway.(513) Strawberry Hill, Oct. 24, 1754.

You have obliged me most extremely by telling me the progress you have made in your most desirable affair.(514) I call it progress, for, notwithstanding the authority you have for supposing there may be a compromise, I cannot believe that the Duke of Newcastle would have affirmed the contrary so directly, if he had known of it. Mr. Brudenel very likely has been promised my Lord Lincoln's interest, and then supposed he should have the Duke's. However, that is not your affair; if any body has reason to apprehend a breach of promise, it is poor Mr. Brudenel. He can never come into competition with you; and without saying any thing to reflect on him, I don't know where you can ever have a competitor, and not have the world on your side. Though the tenure is precarious, I cannot help liking the situation for you. Any thing that sets you in new lights, must be for your advantage. You are naturally indolent and humble, and are content with being perfect in whatever you happen to be. It is not flattering you to Say, nor can you deny it, with all your modesty, that you have always made yourself' master of whatever you have attempted, and have never made yourself master of any thing without shining extremely in it. If the King lives, you will have his favour; if he lives it all, the Prince must have a greater establishment, and then you will have the King's partiality to countenance your being removed to some distinguished place about the Prince: if the King should fail, your situation in his family, and your age, naturally recommend you to an equal place in the new household. I am the more desirous of seeing you at court, because, when I consider the improbability of our being in a situation to make war, I am earnest to have you have other opportunities of being one of the first men in this country, besides being a general. Don't think all I say on this subject compliment. I can have no view in flattering you; and You have a still better reason for believing me sincere, which is, that you know well that I thought the same of you, and professed the same to you, before I was of an age to have either views or flattery; indeed, I believe you know me enough to be sure that I am as void of both now as when I was fourteen, and that I am so little apt to court any body, that if you heard me say the same to any body but yourself, you would easily think that I spoke what I thought.

George Montagu and his brother are here, and have kept me from meeting you in town: we go on Saturday to the Vine. I fear there is too much truth in what you have heard of your old mistress.(515) When husband, wife, lover, and friend tell every thing, can there but be a perpetual fracas? My dear Harry, how lucky you was in what you escaped, and in what you have got! People do sometimes avoid, not always, what is most improper for them; but they do not afterwards always meet with what they most deserve. But how lucky you are in every thing! and how ungrateful a man to Providence if you are not thankful for so many blessings as it has given you! I won't preach, though the dreadful history which I have just heard of poor Lord Drumlanrig(516) is enough to send one to La Trappe. My compliments to all yours, and Adieu!

(513) Now first printed.

(514) His being appointed groom of the bedchamber to the King, George the Second.-E.

(515) Caroline Fitzroy, Countess of Harrington.-E.

(516) Only son of Charles third Duke of Queensberry, who was shot by the accidental discharge of his pistol on his journey from Scotland to London, in company with his parents and newly- married wife, a daughter of the Earl of Hopetoun. Lady Mary Wortley thus alludes to this calamity in a letter to her daughter:—"The Duchess of Queensberry's misfortune would move compassion in the hardest heart; yet, all circumstances coolly considered, I think the young lady deserves most to be pitied, being left in the terrible situation of a young and, I suppose, rich widowhood; which is walking blindfold upon stilts amidst precipices, though perhaps as little sensible of her danger, as a child of a quarter old would be in the paws of a monkey leaping on the tiles of a house."-E.

221 Letter 113 To Richard Bentley, Esq. Strawberry Hill, Nov. 3, 1754.

I have finished all my parties, and am drawing towards a conclusion here: the Parliament meets in ten days: the House, I hear, will be extremely full—curiosity drawing as many to town as party used to do. The minister(517) in the house of Lords is a new sight in these days.

Mr. Chute and I have been at Mr. Barret's(518) at Belhouse; I never saw a place for which one did not wish, so totally void of faults. What he has done is in Gothic, and very true, though not up to the perfection of the committee. The hall is pretty; the great dining room hung with good family pictures; among which is his ancestor, the Lord Dacre who was hanged.(519) I remember when Mr. Barret was first initiated in the College of Arms by the present Dean of Exeter(520) at Cambridge, he was overjoyed at the first ancestor he put up, who was one of the murderers of Thomas Becket. The chimney-pieces, except one little miscarriage into total Ionic (he could not resist statuary and Siena marble), are all of a good King James the First Gothic. I saw the heronry so fatal to Po Yang, and told him that I was persuaded they were descended from Becket's assassin, and I hoped from my Lord Dacre too. He carried us to see the famous plantations and buildings of the last Lord Petre. They are the Brobdignag of the bad taste. The Unfinished house is execrable, massive, and split through and through: it stands on the brow of a hill, rather to seek for a prospect than to see one, and turns its back upon an outrageous avenue which is closed with a screen of tall trees, because he would not be at the expense of beautifying the black front Of his house. The clumps are gigantic, and very ill placed.

George Montagu and the Colonel have at last been here, and have screamed with approbation through the whole Cu-gamut. Indeed, the library is delightful. They went to the Vine, and approved as much. Do you think we wished for you? I carried down incense and mass-books, and we had most Catholic enjoyment Of the chapel. In the evenings, indeed, we did touch a card a little to please George—so much, that truly I have scarce an idea left that is not spotted with clubs, hearts, spades, and diamonds. There is a vote of the Strawberry committee for great embellishments to the chapel, of which it will not be long before you hear something. It will not be longer than the spring, I trust, before you see something of it. In the mean time, to rest your impatience, I have enclosed a scratch of mine which you are to draw out better, and try if you can give yourself a perfect idea of the place. All I can say is, that my sketch is at least more intelligible than Gray's was of Stoke, from which you made so like a picture.

Thank you much for the box of Guernsey lilies, which I have received. I have been packing up a few seeds, which have little merit but the merit they will have with you, that they come from the Vine and Strawberry. My chief employ in this part of the world, except surveying my library which has scarce any thing but the painting to finish, is planting at Mrs. Clive's, whither I remove all my superabundancies. I have lately planted the green lane, that leads from her garden to the common: "Well," said she, "when it is done, what shall we call it?"-" Why," said I, " what would you call it but Drury Lane?" I mentioned desiring some samples of your Swiss's(521 abilities: Mr. Chute and I even propose, if he should be tolerable, and would continue reasonable, to tempt him over hither, and make him work upon your designs-upon which, you know, it is not easy to make you work. If he improves upon your hands, do you think we shall purchase the fee-simple of him for so many years, as Mr. Smith did of Canaletti?(522) We will sell to the English. Can he paint perspectives, and cathedral-aisles, and holy glooms? I am sure you could make him paint delightful insides of the chapel at the Vine, and of the library here. I never come up the stairs without reflecting how different it is from its primitive state, when my Lady Townshend all the way she came up the stairs, cried out, "Lord God! Jesus! what a house! It is just such a house as a parson's, where the children lie at the feet of the bed!" I cant say that to-day it puts me much in mind of another speech of my lady's, "That it would be a very pleasant place, if Mrs. Clive's face did not rise upon it and make it so hot!" The sun and Mrs. Clive seem gone for the winter.

The West Indian war has thrown me into a new study: I read nothing but American voyages, and histories of plantations and settlements. Among all the Indian nations, I have contracted a particular intimacy with the Ontaouanoucs, a people with whom I beg you will be acquainted: they pique themselves upon speaking the purest dialect. How one should delight in the grammar and dictionary of their Crusca! My only fear is, that if any of them are taken prisoners, General Braddock is not a kind of man to have proper attentions to so polite a people; I am even apprehensive that he would damn them, and order them to be scalped, in the very worst plantation-accent. I don't know whether you know that none of the people of that immense continent have any labials: they tell you que c'est ridicule to shut the lips in order to speak. Indeed, I was as barbarous as any polite nation in the world, in supposing that there was nothing worth knowing among these charming savages. They are in particular great orators, with this little variation from British eloquence, that at the end of every important paragraph they make a present; whereas we expect to receive one. They begin all their answers with recapitulating what has been said to them; and their method for this is, the respondent gives a little stick to each of the bystanders, who is, for his share, to remember such a paragraph of the speech that is to be answered. You will wonder that I should have given the preference to the Ontaouanoucs, when there is a much more extraordinary nation to the north of Canada, who have but one leg, and p— from behind their ear; but I own I had rather converse for any time with people who speak like Mr. Pitt, than with a nation of jugglers, who are only fit to go about the country, under the direction of Taafe and Montagu.(523) Their existence I do not doubt; they are recorded by P'ere Charlevoix, in his much admired history of New France, in which there are such outrageous legends of miracles for the propagation of the Gospel, that his fables in natural history seem strict veracity.

Adieu! You write to me as seldom as if you were in an island where the Duke of Newcastle was sole minister, parties at an end, and where every thing had done happening. Yours ever.

P. S. I have just seen in the advertisements that there are arrived two new volumes of Madame de S'evign'e's Letters. Adieu, my American studies!—adieu, even my favourite Ontaouanoucs!

(517) The Duke of Newcastle.

(518) Afterwards Lord Dacre.

(519) Thomas ninth Lord Dacre. Going, with other young persons, one night from Herst Monceaux to steal a deer out of his neighbour, Sir Nicholas Pelham's park (a frolic not unusual in those days), a fray ensued, and one of the park-keepers received a blow that caused his death; and although Lord Dacre was not present on the spot, but in a distant part of the park, he was nevertheless tried, convicted, and executed, in 1541. His honours became forfeited, but were restored to his son in 1562.-E.

(520) Dr. Charles Lyttelton, brother of Lord Lyttelton. He was first a barrister-at-law, but in 1712 entered into holy orders, and in 1762 was consecrated Bishop of Carlisle. He died in 1768, unmarried.-E.

(521) Mr. Muntz, a Swiss painter.

(522) Mr. Smith, the English consul at Venice, had engaged Canaletti for a certain number of years to paint exclusively for him, at a fixed price, and sold his pictures at an advanced price to English travellers.

(523) See ant'e 93, letter 35.-E.

224 Letter 114 To Richard Bentley, Esq. Arlington Street, November 11, 1754.

If you was dead, to be sure you would have got somebody to tell me so. If you was alive, to be sure in all this time you would have told me so yourself. It is a month to-day since I received a line from you. There was a Florentine ambassador here in Oliver's reign, who with great circumspection wrote to his court, "Some say the Protector is dead, others say he is not: for my part, I believe neither one nor t'other." I quote this sage personage, to show you that I have a good precedent, in case I had a mind to continue neutral upon the point of your existence. I can't resolve to believe you dead, lest I should be forced to write to Mr. S. again to bemoan you; and on the other hand, it is convenient to me to believe you living, because I have just received the enclosed from your sister, and the money from Ely. However, if you are actually dead, be so good as to order your executor to receive the money, and to answer your sister's letter. If you are not dead, I can tell you who is, and at the same time whose death is to remain as doubtful as yours till to-morrow morning Don't be alarmed! it is only the Queen-dowager of Prussia. As excessive as the concern for her is at court, the whole royal family, out of great consideration for the mercers, lacemen, etc. agreed not to shed a tear for her till tomorrow morning, when the birthday will be over; but they are all to rise by six o'clock to-morrow morning to cry quarts. This is the sum of all the news that I learnt to-day on coming from Strawberry Hill, except that Lady Betty Waldegrave was robbed t'other night In Hyde Park, under the very noses of the lamps and the patrol. If any body is robbed at the ball at court to-night, you shall hear in my next despatch. I told you in my last that I had just got two new volumes of Madame S'evign'e's Letters; but I have been cruelly disappointed; they are two hundred letters which had been omitted in the former editions, as having little or nothing worth reading. How provoking, that they would at last let one see that she could write so many letters that were not worth reading! I will tell you the truth: as they are certainly hers, I am glad to see them, but I cannot bear that any body else should. Is not that true sentiment? How would you like to see a letter of hers, describing a wild young Irish lord, a Lord P * * * *, who has lately made one of our ingenious wagers, to ride I don't know how many thousand miles in an hour, from Paris to Fontainebleau? But admire the politesse of that nation: instead of endeavouring to lame his horse, or to break his neck, that he might lose the wager, his antagonist and the spectators showed all the attention in the world to keep the road clear, and to remove even pebbles out of his way. They heaped coals of fire upon his head with all the good breeding of the Gospel. Adieu! If my letters are short, at least my notes are long.

225 Letter 115 To George Montagu, Esq. Arlington Street, Nov. 16, 1754.

You are over-good to me, my dear Sir, in giving yourself the trouble of telling me you was content with Strawberry Hill. I will not, however, tell you, that I am Content with your being there, till you have seen it in all its greenth and blueth. Alas! I am sorry I cannot insist upon as much with the Colonel.

Mr. Chute, I believe, was so pleased with the tenebra in his own chapel, that he has fairly buried himself in it. I have not even had so much as a burial card from him since.

The town is as full as I believe you thought the room was at your ball at Waldershare. I hear of nothing but the parts and merit of Lord North. Nothing has happened yet, but sure so many English people cannot be assembled long without committing something extraordinary.

I have seen and conversed with our old friend Cope; I find him grown very old; I fear he finds me so too; at least as old as I ever intend to be. I find him very grave too, which I believe he does not find me.

Solomon and Hesther, as my Lady Townshend calls Mr. Pitt and Lady Hester Grenville, espouse one another to-day.(524) I know nothing more but a new fashion which my Lady Hervey has brought from Paris. It is a tin funnel covered with green ribbon, and holds water, which the ladies wear to keep their bouquets fresh. I fear Lady Caroline and some others will catch frequent colds and sore throats with overturning this reservoir.

Apropos, there is a match certainly in agitation, which has very little of either Solomon or Hesther in it. You will be sorry when I tell you, that Lord Waldegrave certainly dis-Solomons himself with the Drax. Adieu! my dear Sir; I congratulate Miss Montagu on her good health, and am ever yours.

(524) On the ]6th of November, Mr. Pitt married Lady Hester Grenville, only daughter of Richard Grenville, of Wotton, Esq., and of Hester, Countess Temple.-E.

226 Letter 116 To Richard Bentley, Esq. Arlington Street, Nov. 20, 1754.

IF this does not turn out a scolding letter I am much mistaken. I shall give way to it with the less scruple, as I think it shall be the last of the kind; not that you will mend, but I cannot support a commerce of visions! and therefore, whenever you send me mighty cheap schemes for finding out longitudes and philosophers' stones, you will excuse me if I only smile, and don't order them to be examined by my council. For Heaven's sake, don't be a projector! Is not it provoking, that, with the best parts in the world, you should have so gentle a portion of common sense?(525) But I am clear, that you never will know the two things in the world that import you the most to know, yourself and me. Thus much by way of preface: now for the detail.

You tell me in your letter of November 3d, that the (quarry of granite might be rented at twenty pounds or twenty shillings, I don't know which, no matter, per annum. When I can't get a table out of it, is it very likely you or I should get a fortune out of it? What signifies the cheapness of the rent? The cutting and shippage would be articles of some little consequence! Who should be supervisor? You, who are so good a manager, so attentive, so diligent, so expeditious, and so accurate? Don't you think our quarry would turn to account? Another article, to which I might apply the same questions, is the project for importation of French wine: it is odd that a scheme so cheap and so practicable should hitherto have been totally overlooked. One would think the breed of smugglers was lost, like the true spaniels, or genuine golden pippins! My dear Sir, you know I never drink three glasses of my wine-can you think I care whether, they are sour or sweet, cheap or dear?—or do you think that I, who am always taking trouble to reduce my trouble into as compact a volume as I can, would tap such an article as importing my own wine? But now comes your last proposal about the Gothic paper. When you made me fix up mine, unpainted, engaging to paint it yourself, and yet could never be persuaded to paint a yard of it, till I was forced to give Bromwich's man God knows what to do it. would you make me believe that you will paint a room eighteen by fifteen? But, seriously, if it is possible for you to lay aside visions, don't be throwing continual discouragements in my way. I have told you seriously and emphatically that I am labouring your restoration: the scheme is neither facile nor immediate:-but, for God's sake! act like a reasonable man. You have a family to whom you owe serious attention. Don't let me think, that if you return, you will set out upon every wildgoose chase, sticking to nothing, and neglecting chiefly the talents and genius which you have in such excellence, to start projects which you have too much honesty and too little application ever to thrive by. This advice is, perhaps, worded harshly: but you know the heart from which it proceeds, and you know that, with all my prejudice to it, I can't even pardon your wit, when it is employed to dress up schemes that I think romantic. The glasses and Ray's Proverbs you shall have, and some more gold fish, when I have leisure to go to Strawberry; for you know I don't suffer any fisheries to be carried on there in my absence.

I am as newsless as in the dead of summer: the Parliament produces nothing but elections: there has already been one division- on the Oxfordshire of two hundred and sixty-seven Whigs to ninety-seven Tories: you may calculate the burial of that election easily from these numbers.(526) The Queen of Prussia is not dead, as I told you in my last. If you have shed many tears for her, you may set them off to the account of our son-in-law, the Prince of Hesse, who is turned Roman Catholic. One is in this age so unused to conversions above the rank of a housemaid turned Methodist, that it occasions as much surprise as if one had heard that he had been initiated in the Eleusinian mysteries. Are not you prodigiously alarmed for the Protestant interest in Germany?

We have operas, burlettas, cargoes of Italian dancers, and none good but the Mingotti, a very fine figure and actress. I don't know a single bon-mot that is new: George Selwyn has not waked yet for the winter. You will believe that, when I tell you, that t'other night having lost eight hundred pounds at hazard, he fell asleep upon the table with near half as much more before him, and slept for three hours, with every body stamping the box close at his ear. He will say prodigiously good things when he does wake. In the mean time, can you be content with one of Madame S'evign'e's best bons-mots, which I have found amongst her new letters? Do you remember her German friend the Princess of Tarente, who was always in mourning for some sovereign prince or princess? One day Madame de S'evign'e happening to meet her in colours, made her a low curtsey, and said, "Madame, je me r'ejouis de la sant'e de l'Europe." I think I may apply another of her speeches which pleased me, to what I have said t@ you in the former part of my letter. Mademoiselle du Plessis had said something she disapproved: Madame S'evign'e said to her, "Mais que cela est sot; car je veux vous parler doucement." Adieu!

(525) Cumberland, in his Memoirs, speaking of Mr. Bentley, says, "There was a certain eccentricity and want of worldly prudence in my uncle's character, that involved him in distresses, and reduced him to situations uncongenial with his feelings, and unpropitious to the cultivation and encouragement of his talents."-E.

(526) At the close of the Oxfordshire election the sheriff returned all the four candidates, who all of them petitioned. Two were chosen upon what was called the new interest, and were supported by the court; and two by the old interest. The expense and animosity which this dispute occasioned is incredible. Even murder was committed upon the place of elections The friends of the new interest were ultimately voted to be the sitting members by a majority of 233 against 103.-E.

228 Letter 117 To Sir Horace Mann. Strawberry Hill, Dec. 1, 1754

You do me justice, my dear Sir, when you impute the want of my letters to my want of news: as a proof, I take up my pen again on the first spring-tide of politics. However, as this is an age of abortions, and as I have often announced to you a pregnancy of events, which have soon after been stillborn, I beg you will not be disappointed if nothing comes of the present ferment. The offenders and the offended have too often shown their disposition to soothe, or to be soothed, by preferments, for one to build much on the duration or implacability of their aversions. In short, Mr. Pitt has broke with the Duke of Newcastle, on the want of power, and has alarmed the dozing House of Commons with some sentences, extremely in the style of his former Pittics. As Mr. Fox is not at all more in humour, the world expects every day to see these two commanders, first unite to overturn all their antagonists, and then worry One another. They have already mumbled poor Sir Thomas Robinson cruelly. The Chancellor of the exchequer(527) crouches under the storm, and seems very willing to pass eldest. The Attorney-General(528) seems cowed, and unwilling to support a war, of which the world gives him the honour.(529) Nugent alone, with an intrepidity worth his country, affects to stand up against the greatest orator, and against the best reasoner of the age. What will most surprise you is, that the Duke of Newcastle, who used to tremble at shadows, appears unterrified at Gorgons! If I should tell you in my next, that either of the Gorgons has kissed hands for secretary of state, only smile: snakes are as easily tamed as lapdogs.

I am glad you have got my Lord of Cork.(530) He is, I know, a very worthy man, and though not a bright man, nor a man of the world, much less a good author, yet it must be comfortable to you now and then to see something besides travelling children, booby governors, and abandoned women of quality. You say, you have made my Lord Cork give up my Lord Bolingbroke: it is comical to see how he is given up here, since the best of his writings, his metaphysical divinity, have been published. While he betrayed and abused every man who trusted him, or who had forgiven him, or to whom he was obliged, he was a hero, a patriot, and a philosopher; and the greatest genius of the age: the moment his Craftsmen against Moses and St. Paul, etc. were published, we have discovered that he was the worst man and the worst writer in the world. The grand jury have presented his works, and as long as there are any parsons, he will be ranked with Tindal and Toland—nay, I don't know whether my father won't become a rubric martyr, for having been persecuted by him. Mr. Fraigneau's story of the late King's design of removing my father and employing, Bolingbroke, is not new to me; but I can give you two reasons, and one very strong indeed, that convince me of its having no foundation, though it is much believed here. During the last year of the late King's life, he took extremely to New Park, and loved to shoot there, and dined with my father and a private party, and a good deal of punch. The Duchess of Kendal, who hated Sir Robert, and favoured Bolingbroke, and was jealous for herself, grew uneasy at these parties, and used to put one or two of the Germans upon the King to prevent his drinking, (very odd preventives!)- -however, they obeyed orders so well, that one day the King flew into a great passion, and reprimanded them in his own language with extreme warmth; and when he went to Hanover, ordered my father to have the new lodge in the park finished against his return; which did not look much like an intention of breaking with the ranger of the Park. But what I am now going to tell you is conclusive: the Duchess obtained an interview for Bolingbroke in the King's closet, which not succeeding, as lord Bolingbroke foresaw it might not at once, he left a memorial with the King, who, the very next time he saw Sir Robert, gave it to him.

You will expect that I should mention the progress of the West Indian war; but the Parliamentary campaign opening so warmly, has quite put the Ohio upon an obsolete foot. All I know is, that the Virginians have disbanded all their troops and say they will trust to England for their defence. The dissensions in Ireland increase. At least, here are various and ample fields for speeches, if we are to have new oppositions. You will believe that I have not great faith in the prospect, when I can come quietly hither for two or three days to place the books in my new library. Mr. Chute is with me, and returns you all your kind speeches with increase. Your two brothers, who dine at lord Radnor's, have just been here, and found me writing to you: your brother Gal. would not stay a moment, but said, , Tell him I prefer his pleasure to my own." I wish, my dear Sir, I could give you much more, that is, could tell you more; but unless our civil wars continue, I shall know nothing but of contested elections: a first session of a Parliament is the most laborious scene of dulness that I know. Adieu!

(527) Mr. Legge.

(528) Mr. Murray; he was preferred to be attorney-general this year, in the room of Sir Dudley Ryder, who was made lord chief justice, on the death of Sir William Lee.

(529) "At this time," says Lord Waldegrave, "Fox had joined Pitt in a kind of parliamentary opposition. They were both in office,—the one paymaster, the other secretary at war,-and therefore could not decently obstruct the public business; but still they might attack persons, though not things. Pitt undertook the difficult task of silencing Murray, the attorney-general, the ablest man, as well as the ablest debater, in the House of Commons; whilst Fox entertained himself with the less dangerous amusement of exposing Sir Thomas Robinson, or rather assisted him whilst he turned himself into ridicule; for Sir Thomas, though a good secretary of state -is far as the business of his office, was ignorant even of the language of the House of Commons controversy; and when he played the orator, it was so exceedingly ridiculous, that those who loved and esteemcd him could not always preserve a friendly composure of countenance." Memoirs, 1). 31.-E.

(530) John Earl of Orrery and Cork, author of a translation of Pliny's Epistles, a Life of Dr. Swift, etc.

230 Letter 118 To Richard Bentley, Esq. Arlington Street, Friday, Dec. 13, 1754.

"If we do not make this effort to recover our dignity, we shall only sit here to register the arbitrary edicts of one too powerful a subject." Non riconosci tu Faltero viso? Don't you at once know the style? Shake those words all altogether-, and see if they can be any thing but the disiecta membra of Pitt? In short, about a fortnight ago, bomb burst. Pitt, who is well, is married, is dissatisfied—not With his bride, but with the Duke of Newcastle; has twice thundered out his dissatisfaction in Parliament, and was seconded by Fox. The event was exactly what I dare say you have already foreseen. Pitt was to be turned out; overtures were made to Fox; Pitt is not turned out: Fox is quieted with the dignity of cabinet-counsellor, and the Duke of Newcastle remains affronted—and omnipotent. The commentary on this text is too long for a letter; it may be developed some time or other. This scene has produced a diverting interlude; Sir George Lyttelton, who could not reconcile his content with Mr. Pitt's discontents, has been very ill with the cousinhood. In the grief of his heart, he thought of resigning his place, but somehow or other stumbled upon a negotiation for introducing the Duke of Bedford into the ministry again, to balance the loss of Mr. Pitt. Whatever persuaded him, he thought this treaty so sure of success that he lost no time to be the agent of it himself; and whether commissioned or noncommissioned, as both he and the Duke of Newcastle say, he carried carte blanche, to the Duke of Bedford, who bounced like a rocket, frightened away poor Sir George, and sent for Mr. Pitt to notify the overture. Pitt and the Grenvilles are outrageous; the Duke of Newcastle disclaims his ambassador, and every body laughs. Sir George came hither yesterday, to expectorate with me, as he called it. Think how I pricked up my ears, as high as King Midas, to hear a Lyttelton vent his grievances against a Pitt and Grenvilles! Lord Temple has named Sir George the apostolic nuncio; and George Selwyn says, "that he will certainly be invited by Miss Ashe among the foreign ministers." These are greater storms than perhaps you expected yet; they have occasioned mighty bustle, and whisper, and speculation; but you see

Pulveris exigui jactu composta quiescunt.

You will be diverted with a collateral incident. * * * * met Dick Edgecumbe, and asked him with great importance, if he knew whether Mr. Pitt was out. Edgecumbe, who thinks nothing important that is not to be decided by dice, and who, consequently, had never once thought of Pitt's political state, replied, "Yes." "Ay! how do you know?" "Why, I called at his door just now, and his porter told me so." Another political event is, that Lord E. comes into place: he is to succeed Lord Fitzwalter, who is to have Lord Grantham's pension, -who is dead immensely rich: I think this is the last of the old Opposition, of any name, except Sir John Barnard. If you have curiosity about the Ohio, you must write to ]France: there I believe they know something about it; here it was totally forgot till last night, when an express arrived with an account of the loss of one of the transports off Falmouth, with eight officers and sixty men on board.

My Lady Townshend has been dying, and was wofully frightened, and took prayers; but she is recovered now, even of her repentance. You will not be undiverted to hear that the mob of Sudbury have literally sent a card to the mob of Bury, to offer their assistance at a contested election there: I hope to be able to tell you in my next, that Mrs. Holman(531) has sent cards to both mobs for her assembly.

The shrubs shall be sent, but you must stay till the holidays; I shall not have time to go to Strawberry sooner. I have received your second letter, dated November 22d, about the Gothic paper. I hope you will by this time have got mine, to dissuade you from that thought. If you insist upon it, I will send the paper: I have told you what I think, and will therefore say no more on that head; but I will transcribe a passage which I found t'other day in Petronius, and thought not unapplicable to you: "Omnium herbarum succos Democritus expressit; et ne lapidum virgultorumque vis lateret, aetatem inter experimenta consumpsit." I hope Democritus could not draw charmingly when he threw away his time in extracting tints from flints and twigs!

I can't conclude my letter without telling you what an escape I had at the sale of Dr. Mead's library, which goes extremely dear. In the catalogue I saw Winstanley's views of Audley-inn, which I concluded was, as it really was, a thin, dirty folio, worth about fifteen shillings. As I thought it might be scarce, it might run to two or three guineas. however, I bid Graham certainly buy it for me. He came the next morning in a great fright, said he did not know whether he had done very right or very wrong, that he had gone as far as nine-and-forty guineas—I started in such a fright! Another bookseller had luckily had as unlimited a commission, and bid fifty—when my Graham begged it might be adjourned, till they could consult their principals. I think I shall never give an unbounded commission again, even for views of Les Rochers!(532) Adieu! Am I ever to see any more of your hand-drawing? Adieu! Yours ever.

(531) The lady of whom the anecdote is told p. 65, ant'e, letter 22.-E.

(532) Madame de S'evign'e's seat in Bretagne.

231 Letter 119 To Richard Bentley, Esq. Strawberry Hill, Dec. 24, 1754. '

My dear Sir, I received your packet of December 6th last night, but intending to come hither for a few days, and unluckily sent away by the coach in the morning a parcel of things for you; you must therefore wait till another bundle sets out, for the new letters of Madame S'evign'e. Heaven forbid that I should have said they were bad! I only meant that they were full of family details, and mortal distempers, to which the most immortal of us are subject: and I was sorry that the profane should ever know that my divinity was ever troubled with a sore leg, or the want of money; though, indeed, the latter defeats Bussy@s ill natured accusation of avarice; and her tearing herself from her daughter, then at Paris, to go and save money in Bretagne to pay her debts, is a perfection of virtue which completes her amiable character. My lady Hervey has made me most happy, by bringing me from Paris an admirable copy of the very portrait that was Madame de Simiane's: I am going to build an altar for it, under the title of Notre Dame des Rochers!

Well! but you will want to know the contents of the parcel that is set out. It Contains another parcel, which contains I don't know what; but Mr. Cumberland sent it, and desired I would transmit it to you. There arc Ray's Proverbs, in two volumes interleaved; a few seeds, mislaid when I sent the last; a very indifferent new tragedy, called "Barbarossa,"(533) now running; the author(534) unknown, but believed to be Garrick himself. There is not one word of Barbarossa's real story, but almost the individual history of Merope; not one new thought, and, which is the next material want, but one line of perfect nonsense;

"And rain down transports in the shape of sorrow."

To complete it, the manners are so ill observed, that a Mahometan princess royal is at full liberty to visit her lover in Newgate, like the banker's daughter in George Barnwell. I have added four more "Worlds,"(535) the second of which will, I think, redeem my lord Chesterfield's character with you for wit, except in the two stories, which are very flat: I mean those of two misspelt letters. In the last "World,"(536) besides the hand, you will find a story of your acquaintance: BoncoEur means Norborne Berkeley, whose horse sinking up to his middle in Woburn park, he would not allow that it was any thing more than a little damp. The last story of a highwayman happened almost literally to Mrs. Cavendish.

For news, I think I have none to tell you. Mr. Pitt is gone to the Bath, and Mr. Fox to Newcastle House; and every body else into the country for the holidays. When Lord Bath was told of the first determination of turning out Pitt, and letting Fox remain, he said it put him in mind of a story of the gunpowder plot. The Lord Chamberlain was sent to examine the vaults under the Parliament-house, and, returning with his report, said he had found five-and-twenty barrels of gunpowder; that he had removed ten of them, and hoped the other fifteen would do no harm. Was ever any thing so well and so just?

The Russian ambassador is to give a masquerade for the birth of the little great prince;(537) the King lends him Somerset House: he wanted to borrow the palace over against me, and sent to ask it of the cardinal-nephew (538) who replied, "Not for half Russia."

The new madness is Oratorys. Macklin has set up one, under the title of The British Inquisition;(539) Foote another against him; and a third man has advertised another to-day. I have not heard enough in their favour to tempt me to them, nor do I in the world know enough to compose another paragraph. I am here quite alone; Mr. Chute is setting out for his Vine; but in a day or two I expect Mr. Williams,(540) George Selwyn, and Dick Edgecumbe. You will allow that when I do admit any body within my cloister, I choose them well. My present occupation is putting up my books; and thanks to arches and pinnacles, and pierced columns, I shall not appear scantily provided. Adieu!

(533) The tragedy of "Barbarossa" met with some success, principally from the advantages it appeared under, by the performance of Garrick and Mossop, in the parts of Achmet and Barbarossa. Garrick also supplied the prologue and epilogue,. It being mentioned to Dr. Johnson, that Garrick assisted the author in the composition of this tragedy, "No, Sir," said the Doctor, "Browne would no more suffer Garrick to write a line in his play than he would suffer him to mount his pulpit."-E.

(534) The author was the ingenious but unhappy Dr. John Browne, who was also author of the "Essays on Satire," occasioned by the death of Pope, and the celebrated "Estimate of the Manners and Principles of the Times." He had the misfortune to labour under a constitutional dejection of spirits; and in September 1766, in an interval of deprivation of reason, put a period to his existence, in his fifty-first year.-E.

(535) No. 92, Reflections on the Drinking Club; No. 98, On the Italian Opera; No. 100, On Dr. Johnson's Dictionary; and No. 101, Humorous Observations on the English Language; by Lord Chesterfield.-E.

(536) No. 103, On Politeness; and the Politeness of Highwaymen.-E.

(537) The Czar Paul the first.

(538) Henry Earl of Lincoln, nephew to the Duke of Newcastle, to whose title he succeeded.

(539) The British Inquisition was opened in 1754, by a public ordinary, where every person was permitted, for three shillings a-head, to drink port, or claret, or whatever liquor he should choose. This was succeeded by a lecture on oratory. The plan did not succeed; for while Macklin was engaged in drilling his waiters, or fitting himself for the rostrum, his waiters, in return, were robbing him in all directions; so that, in the February of this year, he was declared a bankrupt, under the designation of a vintner.-E.

(540) George James Williams, Esq. son of the eminent lawyer, William Peere Williams.-E.

233 Letter 120 To George Montagu, Esq. Arlington Street, Jan. 7, 1755.

I imagined by your letter the Colonel was in town, and was shocked at not having been to wait on him; upon inquiry, I find he is not; and now, can conceive how he came to tell you, that the town has been entertained with a paper of mine; I send it you, to show you that this is one of the many fabulous histories which have been spread in such quantities, and without foundation.

I shall take care of your letter to Mr. Bentley. Mr. Chute is at the Vine, or I know he would, as I do, beg his compliments to Miss Montagu. You do not wish me joy on the approaching nuptials of Mr. Harris and our Miss Anne. He is so amorous, that whenever he sits by her, (and he cannot stand by her,) my Lady Townshend, by a very happy expression, says, "he is always setting his dress." Have you heard of a Countess Chamfelt, a Bohemian, rich and hideous, who is arrived here, and is under the protection of Lady Caroline Petersham @ She has a great facility at languages, and has already learned, "D—n you, and kiss me;" I beg her pardon, I believe she never uses the former, but upon the miscarriage of the latter: in short, as Doddington says, she has had the honour of performing at most courts in Europe. Adieu!

234 letter 121 To Richard Bentley, Esq. Arlington Street, Jan. 9, 1755.

I used to say that one could not go out of London for two days without finding at one's return that something very extraordinary had happened; but of late the climate had lost its propensity to odd accidents. Madness be praised, we are a little restored to the want of our senses! I have been twice this Christmas at Strawberry Hill for a few days, and at each return have been not a little surprised: the last time, at the very unexpected death of Lord Albemarle,(541) who was taken ill at Paris, going home from supper, and expired in a few hours; and last week at the far more extraordinary death of Montford.(542) He himself, with all his judgment in bets, I think would have betted any man in England against himself for self-murder: yet after having been supposed the sharpest genius of his time, he, by all that appears, shot himself on the distress of his circumstances; an apoplectic disposition I believe concurring, either to lower his spirits, or to alarm them. Ever since Miss * * * * lived with him, either from liking her himself, as some think, or to tempt her to marry his lilliputian figure, he has squandered vast sums at Horse- heath, and in living. He lost twelve hundred a-year by Lord Albemarle's death, and four by Lord Gage's, the same day. He asked immediately for the government of Virginia or the Foxhounds, and pressed for an answer with an eagerness that surprised the Duke of Newcastle, who never had a notion of pinning down the relief of his own or any other man's wants to a day. Yet that seems to have been the case of Montford, who determined to throw the die of life and death, Tuesday was Se'nnight, on the answer he was to receive from court; which did not prove favourable. He consulted indirectly, and at last pretty directly several people on the easiest method of finishing life; and seems to have thought that he had been too explicit; for he invited company to dinner for the day after his death, and ordered a supper at Whites, where he Supped, too, the night before. He played at whist till one in the morning; it was New Year's morning - Lord Robert Bertie drank to him a happy new year; he clapped his hands strangely to his eyes! In the morning he had a lawyer and three witnesses, and executed his will, which he made them read twice over, paragraph by paragraph: and then asking the lawyer if that will would stand good, though a man were to shoot himself? and being assured it would; he said, " Pray stay while I step into the next room;"=-went into the next room and shot himself. He clapped the pistol so close to his head, that they heard no report. The housekeeper heard him fall, and, thinking he had a fit, ran up with drops, and found his skull and brains shot about the room You will be charmed with the friendship and generosity of Sir Francis. Montford a little time since opened his circumstances to him. Sir Francis said, "Montford, if it will be of any service to you, you shall see what I have done for you;" pulled out his will, and read it, where he had left him a vast legacy. The beauty of this action is heightened by Sir Francis's life not being worth a year's purchase. I own I feel for the distress this man must have felt, before he decided on so desperate an action. I knew him but little; but he was good-natured and agreeable enough, and had the most compendious understanding I ever knew. He had affected a finesse in money matters beyond what he deserved, and aimed at reducing even natural affections to a kind of calculations, like Demoivre's. He was asked, soon after his daughter's marriage, if she was with child: he replied, "upon my word, I don't know; I have no bet upon it." This and poor * * * *'s self-murder have brought to light another, which happening in France, had been sunk; * * * *'s. I can tell you that the ancient and worshipful company- of lovers are under a great dilemma, upon a husband and a gamester killing themselves: I don't know whether they will not apply to Parliament for an exclusive charter for self-murder.

On the occasion of Montford's story, I heard another more extraordinary. If a man insures his life, this killing himself vacates the bargain; This (as in England almost every thing begets a contradiction) has produced an office for insuring in spite of self-murder; but not beyond three hundred pounds. I suppose voluntary deaths were not the bon-ton. of people in higher life. A man went and insured his life, securing this privilege of a free-dying Englishman. He carried the insurers to dine at a tavern, where they met several other persons. After dinner he said to the life—and-death brokers, "Gentlemen, it is fit that you should be acquainted with the company: these honest men are tradesmen, to whom I was in debt, without any means of paying, but by your assistance; and now I am your humble servant!" He pulled out a pistol and shot himself. Did you ever hear of such a mixture of honesty and knavery?

Lord Rochford is to succeed as groom of the stole. The Duke of Marlborough is privy-seal, in the room of Lord Gower, who is dead; and the Duke of Rutland is lord steward. Lord Albemarle's other offices and honours are still in petto. When the king first saw this Lord Albemarle, he said, "Your father had a great many good qualities, but he was a sieve!"- -It is 'the last receiver into which I should have thought his Majesty would have poured gold! You will be pleased with the monarch's politesse. Sir John Bland and Offley made interest to play at Twelfth-night, and succeeded—not at play, for they lost 1400 pounds and 1300 pounds. As it is not usual for people of no higher rank to play, the King thought they would be bashful about it, and took particular care to do the honours of his house to them, set only to them, and spoke to them at his levee next morning.

You love new nostrums and ]Inventions: there is discovered a method of inoculating the cattle for the distemper-it succeeds so well that they are not even marked. How we advance rapidly in discoveries, and in applying every thing to every thing! Here is another secret, that will better answer your purpose, and I hope mine too. They found out lately at the Duke of Argyle's, that any kind of ink may be made of privet: it becomes green ink by mixing salt of tartar. I don't know the process; but I am promised it by Campbell, who told me of it t'other day, when I carried him the true genealogy of the Bentleys, which he assured me shall be inserted in the next edition of the Biographia.

There sets out to-morrow morning, by the Southampton wagon, such a cargo of trees for you, that a detachment of Kentishmen would be furnished against an invasion if they were to unroll the bundle. I write to Mr. S * * * * to recommend great care of them. Observe how I answer your demands: are you as punctual? The forests in your landscapes do not thrive like those in' your letters. Here is a letter from G. Montagu; and then I think I may bid you good-night!

(541) In his "Memoires," Vol. i. p. 366, Walpole says, "He died suddenly at Paris, where his mistress had sold him to the French court." A writer in the Quarterly Review, Vol Ixii. p. 5, states that what he here asserts was generally believed in Paris; for that, in the "M'emoires Secrets," published in continuation of Bachaumont's Journal, it is said, on occasion of the Count d'Herouville's death in 1782, that " he had been talked of for the ministry under Louis XV. and would probably have obtained it, had it not been for 'son mariage trop in'egal. Il avait 'epous'e la fameuse Lolotte maitresse du Comte d'Albemarle, l'ambassadeur d'Angleterre, laquelle servait d'espion au minist'ere de France aupr'es de son amant, et a touch'e en cons'equence jusqu''a sa mort une pension de la cour de 12,000 livres.' But if the French court purchased, as he reports, and as is sufficiently probable, instructions of our ambassador, they could have learned from them nothing to facilitate their own schemes of aggression—nothing but what they knew before; for the policy of England, defective as it might be on other points, had this great and paramount advantage,-that it was open, honest, and straightforward."-E.

(542) Henry Bromley, created Lord Montford of Horse-heath, in 1741. He married Frances, daughter of Thomas Wyndham, Esq. and sister and heiress of Sir Francis Wyndham, of Trent, in the county of Somerset.-E.

236 Letter 122 To Sir Horace Mann. Arlington Street, Jan. 9, 1755.

I had an intention of deferring writing to you, my dear Sir, till I could wish you joy on the completion of your approaching dignity:(543) but as the Duke of Newcastle is not quite so expeditious as my friendship is earnest; and as your brother tells me that you have had some very unnecessary qualms, from your silence to me on this chapter, I can no longer avoid telling you how pleased I am with any accession of distinction to you and your family; I should like nothing better but an accession of appointments: but I shall say no more on this head, where wishes are so barren as mine. Your brother, who had not time to write by this post, desires me to tell you that the Duke will be obliged to you, if you will send him the new map of Rome and of the patrimony of St. Peter, which his Royal Highness says is just published.

You will have heard long before you receive this, of Lord Albemarle's(544) sudden death at Paris: every body is so sorry for him!—without being so: yet as sorry as he would have been for any body, or as he deserved. Can one really regret a man, who, with the most meritorious wife(545) and sons(546) in the world, and with near 15,000 pounds a year from the government, leaves not a shilling to his family, lawful or illegitimate, (and both very numerous,) but dies immensely in debt, though, when he married, he had 90,000 pounds, in the funds, and my Lady Albemarle brought him 25,000 pounds more, all which is dissipated to 14,000 pounds! The King very handsomely, and tired with having done so much for a man who had so little pretensions to it, immediately gave my Lady Albemarle 1200 pounds a year pension, and I trust will take care of this Lord, who is a great friend of mine, and what is much better for him, the first favourite of the Duke. If I were as grave an historian as my Lord Clarendon, I should now without any scruple tell you a dream; you would either believe it from my dignity of character, or conclude from my dignity of character that I did not believe it myself. As neither of these important evasions will serve my turn, I shall relate the following, only prefacing, that I do believe the dream happened, and happened right among the millions of dreams that do not hit. Lord Bury was at Windsor with the Duke when the express of his father's death arrived: he came to town time enough to find his mother and sisters at breakfast. "Lord! child," said my Lady Albemarle, "what brings you to town so early?" He said he had been sent for. Says she "You are not well!" "Yes," replied Lord Bury, "I am, but a little flustered with something I have heard." "Let me feel your pulse," said Lady Albemarle: "Oh!" continued she, "your father is dead!" "Lord Madam," said Lord Bury, "how could that come into your head? I should rather have imagined that you would have thought it was my poor brother William" (who is just gone to Lisbon for his health). "No," said my Lady Albemarle, "I know it is your father; I dreamed last night that he was dead, and came to take leave of me!" and immediately swooned.

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