There is nothing new, but the resignation of Lord Carnarvon,(638) who has thrown up the bedchamber, and they say, the lieutenancy of Hampshire on Stanley being made governor of the Isle of Wight.
I have been much distressed this morning. The royal family reside chiefly at Richmond, whither scarce necessary servants attend them, and no mortal else but Lord Bute. The King and Queen have taken to going about to see places; they have been at Oatlands and Wanstead. A quarter before ten to-day, I heard the bell at the gate ring,—that is, I was not up, for my hours are not reformed, either at night or in the morning,—I inquired who it was? the Prince of Mecklenburgh and De Witz had called to know if they could see the house; my two Swiss, Favre and Louis, told them I was in bed, but if they would call again in an hour, they might see it. I shuddered at this report,—and would it were the worst part! The Queen herself was behind, in a coach: I am shocked to death, and know not what to do! It is ten times worse just now than ever at any other time: it will certainly be said, that I refused to let the Queen see my house. See what it is to have republican servants! When I made a tempest about it, Favre said, with the utmost sang froid, "Why could not he tell me he was the Prince of Mecklenburgh?" I shall go this evening and consult my oracle, Lady Suffolk. If she approves it, I will write to De Witz, and pretend I know nothing of any body but the Prince, and beg a thousand pardons, and assure him how proud I should be to have his master visit my castle at Thundertentronk.
I have dined to-day at Claremont, where I little thought I should dine,(639) but whither our affairs have pretty naturally conducted me. It turned out a very melancholy day. Before I got into the house, I heard that letters were just arrived there, with accounts of the Duke of Devonshire having had two more fits. When I came to see Lord John's(640) and Lord Frederick's letters, I found these two fits had been but one, and that very slight, much less than the former, and certainly nervous by all the symptoms, as Sir Edward Wilmot, who has been at Chatsworth, pronounces it. The Duke perceived it coming, and directed what to have done, and it was over in four minutes. The next event was much more real. I had been half round the garden with the Duke in his one-horse chair; we were passing to the other side of the house, when George Onslow met us, arrived on purpose to advertise the Duke of the sudden death of the Duchess of Leeds,(641) who expired yesterday at dinner in a moment: he called it apoplectic; but as the Bishop of Oxford,(642) who is at Claremont, concluded, it was the gout flown up into the head. The Duke received the news as men do at seventy-one: but the terrible part was to break it to the Duchess, who is ill. George Onslow would have taken me away to dinner with him, but the Duke thought that would alarm the Duchess too abruptly, and she is not to know it yet: with her very low spirits it is likely to make a deep impression. It is a heavy stroke too for her father, poor old Lord Godolphin, who is eighty-six. For the Duke, his spirits, under so many mortifications and calamities, are surprising: the only effect they and his years seem to have made on him is to have abated his ridicules.(643) Our first meeting to be sure was awkward, yet I never saw a man conduct any thing with more sense than he did. There were no notices of what is passed; nothing fulsome, no ceremony, civility enough, confidence enough, and the greatest ease. You would only have thought that I had been long abroad, and was treated like an old friend's son with whom he might make free. In truth, I never saw more rational behaviour: I expected a great deal of flattery, but we had nothing but business while we were alone, and common conversation while the Bishop and the Chaplain were present. The Duke mentioned to me his having heard Lord Holland's inclination to your embassy. He spoke very obligingly of you, and said that, next to his own children, he believed there was nobody the late Lord Hardwicke loved so much as you. I cannot say that the Duke spoke very affectionately of Sir Joseph Yorke. who has never written a single line to him since he was out. I told him that did not surprise me, for Sir Joseph has treated your brother in the same manner, though the latter has written two letters to him since his dismission.
Arlington Street, Tuesday night, 10 o'clock.
I am here alone in the most desolate of all towns. I came to-day to visit my sovereign Duchess(644) in her lying-in, and have been there till this moment, not a sole else but Lady Jane Scott.(645) Lady Waldegrave came from Tunbridge yesterday en passant, and reported a new woful history of a fracas there—don't my Lady Hertford's ears tingle? but she will not be surprised. A footman—a very homely footman—to a Mrs. Craster, had been most extremely impertinent to Lord Clanbrazil, Frederick Vane, and a son of Lady Anne Pope; they threatened to have him turned away— he replied, if he was, he knew where he should be protected. Tunbridge is a quiet private place, where one does not imagine that every thing one does in one's private family will be known:- -yet so it happened that the morning after the fellow's dismission, it was reported that he was hired by another lady, the Lord knows who. At night, that lady was playing at loo in the rooms. Lord Clanbrazil told her of the report, and hoped she would contradict it: she grew as angry as a fine lady could grow, told him it was no business of his, and—and I am afraid, still more. Vane whispered her—One should have thought that name would have some weight—oh! worse and worse! the poor English language was ransacked for terms that came up to her resentment:- -the party broke up, and, I suppose, nobody went home to write an account of what happened to their acquaintance.
O'Brien and Lady Susan are to be transported to the Ohio, and have a grant of forty thousand acres. The Duchess of Grafton says sixty thousand were bestowed; but a friend of yours, and a relation of Lady Susan, nibbled away twenty thousand for a Mr. Upton.
By a letter from your brother to-day, I find our northern journey is laid aside; the Duke of Devonshire is coming to town; the physicians want him to go to Spa. This derangement makes me turn my eyes eagerly towards Paris; though I shall be ashamed to come thither after the wise reasons I have given you against it in the beginning of this letter; nous verrons—the temptation is strong, but patriots must resist temptations; it is not the etiquette to yield to them till a change happens.
I enclose a letter, which your brother has sent me to convey to you, and two pamphlets.(646) The former is said to be written by Shebbeare, under George Grenville's direction: the latter, which makes rather more noise, is certainly composed by somebody who does not hate your brother—I even fancy you will guess the same person for the author that every body else does. I shall be able to send you soon another pamphlet, written by Charles Townshend, on the subject of the warrants:-you see, at least, we do not ransack Newgate and the pillory(647) for writers. We leave those to the administration.
I wish you would be so kind as to tell me, what is become of my sister and Mr. Churchill. I received a letter from Lady Mary to-day, telling me she was that instant setting out from Paris, but does not say whither.
The first storm that is likely to burst in politics, seems to be threatened from the Bedford quarter. The Duke and Duchess have been in town but for two days the whole summer, and are now going to Trentham, whither Lord Gower, qui se donnoit pour favori, is retired for three months. This is very unlike the declaration in spring, that the Duke must reside at Streatham,(648) because the King could not spare him for a day.
The memorial(649) left by Guerchy at his departure, and the late arr'ets in France on our American histories, make much noise, and seem to say that I have not been a false prophet! If our ministers can stand so many difficulties from abroad, and so much odium at home, they are abler men than I take them for. Adieu, the whole H'otel de Lassay!(650) I verily think I shall see it soon.
(633) He had the lucrative office of usher of the exchequer, and a couple of other less considerable sinecures.-C.
(634) Robert, last Earl of Holderness, grandson of the great Duke Schomberg; he had been secretary of state at the accession.-C.
(635) Lady Hertford was daughter of the late, and cousin of the existing Duke of Grafton, who was one of the leaders of the opposition.-C.
(636) The state of the public mind at this time is thus described by Gray:—"Grumble, indeed, every one does; but, since Wilkes's affair, they fall off their metal, and seem to shrink under the brazen hand of Norton and his colleagues. I hear there will be no Parliament till after Christmas. If the French should be so unwise as to suffer the Spanish court to go on in their present measures (for they refuse to pay the ransom of Manilla, and have driven away our logwood cutters already,) down go their friends in the ministry, and all the schemes of right divine and prerogative; and this is perhaps the best chance we have. Are you not struck with the great similarity there is between the first years of Charles the First and the present times? Who would have thought it possible five years ago?" Works, vol. iv. p. 34.-E.
(637) It is not easy to say what hundred and fifty years he alludes to; the contests of Whig and Tory were never so violent as in the last years of Queen Anne, just fifty years before this time.-C.
(638) The Marquis of Carnarvon, eldest son of the second Duke of Chandos.-E.
(639) See ant'e, p. 258, letter 184.
(640) Lord John and Lord Frederick Cavendish, his grace's brothers.-E.
(641) Lady Mary, daughter of the second Lord Godolphin, granddaughter of the great Duke of Marlborough, and sister of the Duchess of Newcastle.-E.
(642) Dr. John Hume.-E.
(643) The reader will not fail to observe the sudden effect of Mr. Walpole's conversion to the Duke of Newcastle's politics, how it abates all ridicules and sweetens all acerbities. As no writer has contributed so much as Mr. Walpole to depreciate the character of the Duke of Newcastle, this kind of palinode is not unimportant. See ant'e, p. 258, letter 184.-C.
(644) The Duchess of Grafton lay-in, on the 17th July 1764, of her youngest son, Lord Charles.-E.
(645) Eldest daughter of Francis, second Duke of Buccleugh, born 1723, died in 1777, unmarried.-E.
(646) They were called "An Address to the Public on the late dismission of a General Officer," and "A Counter Address." The latter was written by Mr. Walpole himself.-C.
(647) Dr. Shebbeare had been convicted of a libel, and, I believe, punished in the pillory-C. [By the indulgence of the under-sheriff of Midllesex, the Doctor was allowed to stand on, and not in, the pillory; for which indulgence he was prosecuted.)
(648) A villa of the Duke's at Streatham, derived from Mr. Howland, his maternal grandfather, from whom Howland-street is named.-C.
(649) The points in dispute between France and England at this period arose out of the non-performance of certain articles of the treaty-the payment of the Canada bills, and the expense of the prisoners of war, and certain claims for compensation for effects taken at Bellisle.-C.
(650) The house which Lord Hertford hired in Paris.-E.
Letter 219 To George Montagu, Esq. Arlington Street, Aug. 16, 1764. (page 337)
I am not gone north, so pray write to me. I am not going south, so pray come to me. The Duke of Devonshire's journey to Spa has prevented the first, and twenty reasons the second; whenever therefore you are disposed to make a visit to Strawberry, it will rejoice to receive you in its old ruffs and fardingales, and without rouge, blonde, and run silks.
You have not said a word to me, ingrate as you are, about Lord Herbert; does not he deserve one line? Tell me when I shall see you, that I may make no appointments to interfere with it. Mr. Conway, Lady Ailesbury, and Lady Lyttelton, have been at Strawberry with me for four or five days, so I am come to town to have my house washed, for you know I am a very Hollander in point of cleanliness.
This town is a deplorable solitude; one meets nothing but Mrs. Holman, like the pelican in the wilderness. Adieu!
Letter 220 To The Earl Of Hertford. Strawberry Hill, Aug. 27, 1764. (page 338)
I hope you received safe a parcel and a very long letter that I sent you, above a fortnight ago, by Mr. Strange the engraver. Scarce any thing has happened since worth repeating, but what you know already, the death of poor Legge, and the seizure of Turk Island:(651) the latter event very consonant to all ideas. It makes much noise here especially in the city, where the ministry grow every day more and more unpopular. Indeed, I think there is not much probability of their standing their ground, even till Christmas. Several defections are already known, and others are ripe which they do not apprehend.
Doctor Hunter, I conclude, has sent you Charles Townshend's pamphlet: it is well written, but does not sell much, as a notion prevails that it has been much altered and softened.
The Duke of Devonshire is gone to Spa; he was stopped for a week by a rash, which those who wished it so, called a miliary fever, but was so far from it that if he does not find immediate benefit from Spa, he is to go to Aix-la-Chapelle, in hopes that the warm baths will supple his skin, and promote another eruption.
I have been this evening to Sion, which is becoming another Mount Palatine. Adam has displayed great taste, and the Earl matches it with magnificence. The gallery is converting into a museum in the style of a columbarium, according to an idea that I proposed to my Lord Northumberland. Mr. Boulby(652) and Lady Mary are there, and the Primate,(653) who looks old and broken enough to aspire to the papacy. Lord Holland, I hear, advises what Lord Bute much wishes, the removal of George Grenville, to make room for Lord Northumberland at the head of the treasury. The Duchess of Grafton is gone to her father. I wish you may hear no more of this journey! If you should, this time, the Complaints will come from her side.
You have got the Sposo(654) Coventry with you, have not you? And you are going to have the Duke of York. You will not want such a nobody as me. When I have a good opportunity, I will tell you some very sensible advice that has been given me on that head, which I am sure you will approve.
It is well for me I am not a Russian. I should certainly be knouted. The murder of the young Czar Ivan has sluiced again all my abhorrence of the czarina. What a devil in a diadem! I wonder they can spare such a principal performer from hell!
I had left this letter unfinished, from want of common materials, if I should send it by the post; and from want of private conveyance, if I said more than was fit for the post. being Just returned from Park-place, where I have been for three days, I not only find your extremely kind letter of August 21st, but a card from Madame de Chabot, who tells me she sets out for Paris in a day or two. and offers to carry a letter to you, which gives me the opportunity I wished for.
I must begin with what you conclude-your most friendly offer,(655) if I should be distressed by the treasury. I can never thank you enough for this, nor the tender manner in which you clothe it: though, believe me, my dear lord, I could never blush to be obliged to you. In truth, though I do not doubt their disposition to hurt me, I have had prudence enough to make it much longer than their reign Can last, before it could be in their power to make me feel want. With all my extravagance, I am much beforehand, and having perfected and paid for what I wished to do here, my common expenses are trifling, and nobody can live more frugally than I, when I have a mind to it. What I said of fearing temptations at Paris, was barely serious: I thought it imprudent, just now, to throw away my money; but that consideration, singly, would not keep me here. I am eager to be with you, and my chief reason for delaying is, that I wish to make a longer stay than I could just now. The advice I hinted at, in the former part of this letter, was Lady Suffolk's, and I am sure you will think it very sensible. She told me, should I now go to Paris, all the world would say I went to try to persuade you to resign; that even the report would be impertinent to you, to whom she knew and saw I wished so well; and that when I should return, it would be said I had failed in MY errand. Added to this, which was surely very prudent and friendly advice, I will own to you fairly, that I think I shall soon have it in my power to come to you on the foot I wish,—I mean, having done with politics, which I have told you all along, and with great truth, are as much my abhorrence as yours. I think this administration cannot last till Christmas, and I believe they themselves think so. I am cautious when I say this, because I promise you faithfully, the last thing I will do shall be to give you any false lights knowingly. I am clear, I repeat it, against your resigning now; and there is no meaning in all I have taken the liberty to say to you, and which you receive with so much goodness and sense, but to put you on your guard in such ticklish times, and to pave imperceptibly to the world the way to your reunion with your friends. In your brother, I am persuaded, you will never find any alteration; and whenever you find an opportunity proper, his credit with particular persons will remove any coldness that may have happened. I admire the force and reasoning with which you have stated your own situation; and I think there are but two points in which we differ at all. I do not see how your brother could avoid the part he chose. It was the administration that made it—no inclination of his. The other is a trifle; it regards Elliot, nor is it my opinion alone that he is at Paris on business: every body believes it, and considering his abilities, and the present difficulties of Lord Bute, Elliot's absence would be very extraordinary, if merely occasioned by idleness or amusement, or even to place his children, when it lasts so long.
The affair of Turk Island, and the late promotion of Colonel Fletcher(656) over thirty-seven older officers, are the chief causes, added to the Canada bills, Logwood, and the Manilla affairs, Which have ripened our heats to such a height. Lord Mansfield's violence against the press has contributed much—but the great distress of all to the ministers, is the behaviour of the Duke of Bedford, who has twice or thrice peremptorily refused to attend council. He has been at Trentham, and crossed the country back to Woburn, without coming to town.(657) Lord Gower has been in town but one day. Many causes are assigned for all this; the refusal of making Lord Waldegrave of the bedchamber; Lord Tavistocl('s inclination to the minority; and above all, a reversion, which it is believed Lord Bute has been so weak as to obtain, of Ampthill, a royal grant, in which the Duke has but sixteen years to come. You know enough of that court, to know that, in the article of Bedfordshire, no influence has any weight with his grace. At present, indeed, I believe little is tried. The Duchess and Lady Bute are as hostile as possible. Rigby's journey convinces me of what I have long suspected, that his reign is at an end. I have even heard, though I am far from trusting to the quarter from which I had my intelligence, that the Duke has been making overtures to Mr. Pitt,(658) which have not been received unfavourably; I shall know more of this soon, as I am to go to Stowe in three or four days. Mr. Pitt is exceedingly well-disposed to your brother, talks highly of him, and of the injustice done to him, and they are to meet on the first convenient opportunity. Thus much for politics, which, however, I cannot quit, without again telling you how sensible I am of all your goodness and friendly offers.
The Court, independent of politics, makes a strange figure. The recluse life led here at Richmond, which is carried to such an excess of privacy and economy, that the Queen's friseur waits on them at dinner, and that four pounds only of beef are allowed for their soup, disgusts all sorts of people. The drawing-rooms are abandoned: Lady Buckingham(659) was the only woman there on Sunday se'nnight. The Duke of York was commanded home. They stopped his remittances,(660) and then were alarmed on finding he still was somehow or other supplied with money. The two next Princes(661) are at the Pavilions at Hampton Court, in very private circumstances indeed; no household is to be established for Prince William, who accedes nearer to the malcontents every day. In short, one hears of nothing but dissatisfaction, which in the city rises almost to treason.
Mrs. Cornwallis(662) has found that her husband has been dismissed from the bedchamber this twelvemonth with no notice: his appointments were even paid; but on this discovery they are stopped.
You ask about what I had mentioned in the beginning of my letter, the dissensions in the house of Grafton. The world says they are actually parted: I do not believe that; but I will tell you exactly all I know. His grace, it seems, for many months has kept one Nancy Parsons,(663) one of the commonest creatures in London, one much liked, but out of date. He is certainly grown immoderately attached to her, so much, that it has put an end to all his decorum. She was publicly with him at Ascot races, and is now in the forest;(664) I do not know if actually in the house. At first, I concluded this was merely stratagem to pique the Duchess; but it certainly goes further. Before the Duchess laid in, she had a little house on Richmond-Hill, whither the Duke sometimes, though seldom, came to dine. During her month of confinement, he was scarcely in town at all, nor did he even come up to see the Duke of Devonshire. The Duchess is certainly gone to her father. She affected to talk of the Duke familiarly, and said she would call in the forest as she went to Lord Ravensworth's. I suspect she is gone thither to recriminate and complain. She did not talk of returning till October. It was said the Duke was going to France, but I hear no more of it. Thus the affair stands, as far as I or your brother, or the Cavendishes, know; nor have we heard one word from either Duke or Duchess of any rupture. I hope she will not be so weak as to part, and that her father and mother will prevent it. It is not unlucky that she has seen none of the Bedfords lately, who would be glad to blow the coals. Lady Waldegrave was with her one day, but I believe not alone.
There was nobody at Park-place but Lord and Lady William Campbell.(665) Old Sir John Barnard(666) is dead; for other news, I have none. I beg you will always say a great deal for me to my lady. As I trouble you with such long letters, it would be unreasonable to overwhelm her too. You know my attachment to every thing that is yours. My warmest wish is to see an end of the present unhappy posture of public affairs, which operate so shockingly even on our private. If I can once get quit of them, it will be no easy matter to involve me in them again, however difficult it may be, as you have found, to escape them. Nobody is more criminal in my eyes than George Grenville, who had it in his power to prevent what has happened to your brother. Nothing could be more repugnant to all the principles he has ever most avowedly and publicly professed—but he has opened my eyes—such a mixture of vanity and meanness, of falsehood(667) and hypocrisy, is not common even in this country! It is a ridiculous embarras after all the rest, and yet you may conceive the distress I am under about Lady Blandford,(668) and the negotiations I am forced to employ to avoid meeting him there, which I am determined not to do.
I shall be able, when I see you, to divert you with some excellent stories of a principal figure on our side; but they are too long and too many for a letter, especially of a letter so prolix as this. Adieu, my dear lord!
(651) A small island, also called Tortuga, near St. Domingo, of which a French squadron had dispossessed some English settlers. This proceeding was, however, immediately disavowed by the French, and orders were immediately despatched for restitution and compensation to the sufferers. We can easily gather from Mr. Walpole's own expressions why this affair was raised into such momentary importance.-C.
(652) Thomas Bouldby, Esq. and his lady, sister of the first Duke of Montagu, of the second creation.-E.
(653) Dr. George Stone.
(654) see ant'e, p. 332, letter 218.
(655) This affair is creditable to all the parties. When General Conway was turned out, Mr Walpole placed all his fortune at his disposal, in a very generous letter (p. 316, letter 205). This induced Mr. Walpole to think of economy, and to state in a former letter (p. 332, letter 218) some apprehension as to his circumstances; in reply to which, Lord Hertford, who had already made a similar proposition to General Conway, now offers to place Mr. Walpole above the pecuniary difficulties which he apprehended.-C.
(656) Colonel Fletcher of the 35th foot.-E.
(657) Not very surprising, however, as London would have been about eighty miles round.-C.
(658) The following is a passage from a letter written by Mr. Pitt to the Duke of Newcastle, in October, in reply to one of these overtures:—"As for my single self, I purpose to continue acting through life upon the best convictions I am able to form, and Under the obligation of principles, not by the force of any particular bargains. I presume not to judge for those who think they see daylight to serve their country by such means: but shall continue myself, as often as I think it worth the while to go to the House of Commons, to go there free from stipulation-, about every question under consideration, as well as to come out of the House as free as I entered it. Having seen the close of last session, and the system of that great war, in which my share of the ministry was so largely arraigned, given up by silence in a full House, I have little thoughts of beginning the world again upon a new centre of union. Your grace will not, I trust, wonder if, after so recent and so strange a phenomenon in politics, I have no disposition to quit the free condition of a man standing single, and daring to appeal to his country at large, upon the soundness of his principles and the rectitude of his conduct." See Chatham Correspondence, vol. ii. p. 296.-E.
(659) Mary Anne Drury, wife Of John, second Earl of Buckinghamshire.-E.
(660) Mr. Walpole gives an unfair turn to this circumstance. The stopping the Duke of York's remittances, and ordering him home, was a measure of prudence, not to say of necessity, for that young Prince's extravagance abroad had made a public clamour; so much so, that a popular preacher delivered, about this time, a sermon on the following text:—"The younger son gathered all together, and took his journey into a far country, and there wasted his substance with riotous living." St. Luke, xv. 13. The letters and even the publications of the day allude to this extravagance, and surely it was the duty of his brother and sovereign to repress an indiscretion which occasioned such observations.-C.
(661) William, created, in November, 1764, Duke of Gloucester; and Henry created, in 1766, Duke of cumberland. The injustice of mr. Walpole's insinuations will be evident, when it is remembered that, at the date of this letter, the eldest of these Princes was but twenty, and the other eighteen years of age, and that they were both created Dukes, and had households established for them as soon as they respectively came of age-C.
(662) Mary, daughter of Charles, second Viscount Townshend, wife of Edward, sixth son of the third Lord Cornwallis. I suspect that here again Mr. Walpole's accusation is not correct. General Cornwallis had been groom of the bedchamber to George II., and was continued in the same office by the successor, till he was appointed Governor of Gibraltar, when Mr. Henry Seymour was appointed in his room.-C.
(663) This scandal has been immortalized by Junius.-C.
(664) At Wakefield Lodge, in Whittlebury Forest, Northamptonshire.-E.
(665) Lord William, brother of General Conway's lady, and third brother of the fifth Duke of Argyle; his wife was Sarah, daughter of W. Teard, Esq. of Charleston.-E.
(666) Father of the city, which he had represented in six parliaments. He had been a very leading member of the House of Commons, and was much deferred to on all matters of commerce.-C.
(667) See ant'e, p. 272, letter 188.
(668) Maria Catherine de Jonge, a Dutch Lady, widow of William Godolphin, Marquis of Blandford, and sister of Isabella Countess of Denbigh; they were near neighbours and intimate acquaintances of Mr. Walpole's.@.
Letter 221 To The Right Hon. William Pitt.(669) Arlington Street, Aug. 29, 1764. (page 343)
Sir, As you have always permitted me to offer you the trifles printed at my press, I am glad to have one to send you of a little more consequence than some in which I have had myself too great a share. The singularity of the work I now trouble you with is greater merit than its rarity; though there are but two hundred copies, of which only half are mine.(670) If it amuses an hour or two of your idle time, I am overpaid. My greatest ambition is to pay that respect which every Englishman owes to your character and services; and therefore you must not wonder if an inconsiderable man seizes every opportunity, however awkwardly, of assuring you, Sir, that he is Your most devoted, etc.
(669) Now first collected.
(670) The Life of Lord Herbert of Cherbury. See ant'e, p. 329, letter 214.-E.
Letter 222 To The Rev. Mr. Cole. Strawberry Hill, Aug. 29, 1764. (page 343)
Dear sir, Among the multitude of my papers I have mislaid, though not lost, the account you was so good as to give me of your ancestor Toer, as a painter. I have been hunting for it to insert it in the new edition of my Anecdotes. It is not very reasonable to save myself trouble at the expense of yours; but perhaps you can much sooner turn to your notes, than I find your letter. Will you be so good as to send me soon all the particulars you recollect of him. I have a print of Sir Lionel Jenkins from his painting.
I did not send you any more orange flowers, as you desired; for the continued rains rotted all the latter blow: but I had made a vast potpourri, from whence you shall have as much as you please, when I have the pleasure of seeing you here, which I should be glad might be in the beginning of October, if it suits your convenience. At the same time you shall have a print of Lord Herbert, which I think I did not send you.
P. S. I trust you will bring me a volume or two of your MSS. of which I am most thirsty.
Letter 223 To The Hon. H. S. Conway. September 1, 1764. (page 344)
I send you the reply to the Counter-address;(671) it is the lowest of all Grub-street, and I hear is treated so. They have nothing better to say, than that I am in love with you, have been so these twenty years, and am no giant. I am a very constant old swain: they might have made the years above thirty; it is so long I have the same unalterable friendship for you, independent of being near relations and bred up together. For arguments, so far from any new ones, the man gives up or denies most of the former. I own I am rejoiced not only to see how little they can defend themselves, but to know the extent of their malice and revenge. They must be sorely hurt, to be reduced to such scurrility. Yet there is one paragraph, however, which I think is of George Grenville's own inditing. It says, "I flattered, solicited, and then basely deserted him." I no more expected to hear myself accused of flattery, than of being in love with you; but I shall not laugh at the former as I do at the latter. Nothing but his own consummate vanity could suppose I had ever stooped to flatter him! or that any man was connected with him, but who was low enough to be paid for it. Where has he one such attachment?
You have your share too. The miscarriage at Rochfort now directly laid at your door! repeated insinuations against your courage. But I trust you will mind them no more than I do, excepting the flattery, which I shall not forget, I promise them.
I came to town yesterday on some business, and found a case. When I opened it, what was there but my Lady Ailesbury's most beautiful of all pictures!(672) Don't imagine I can think it intended for me: or that, if it could be so, I would hear of such a thing. It is far above what can be parted with, or accepted. I am serious—there is no letting such a picture, when one has accomplished it, go from where one can see it every day. I should take the thought equally kind and friendly, but she must let me bring it back, if I am not to do any thing else with it, and it came by mistake. I am not so selfish as to deprive her of what she must have such pleasure in seeing. I shall have more satisfaction in seeing it at Park-place; where, in spite of the worst kind of malice, I shall persist in saying my heart is fixed. They may ruin me, but no calumny shall make me desert you. Indeed your case would be completely cruel, if it was more honourable for your relations and friends to abandon you than to stick to you. My option is made, and I scorn their abuse as much as I despise their power.
I think of coming to you on Thursday next for a day or two, unless your house is full, or you hear from me to the contrary. Adieu! Yours ever.
(671) A pamphlet written by Mr. Walpole, in answer to another, called ,An Address to the Public on the late Dismissal of a General Officer."
(672) A landscape executed in worsteds by Lady Ailesbury. It is now at Strawberry Hill.
Letter 224 To The Rev. Dr. Birch. September 3, 1764. (page 345)
Sir, I am extremely obliged to you for the favour of your letter, and the enclosed curious one of Sir William Herbert. It would have made a very valuable addition to Lord Herbert's Life, which is now too late; as I have no hope that Lord Powis will permit any more to be printed. There were indeed so very few, and but half of those for my share, that I have not it in my power to offer you a copy, having disposed of my part. It is really a pity that so singular a curiosity should not be public; but I must not complain, as Lord Powis has been so good as to indulge my request thus far. I am, Sir, Your much obliged humble servant, H. W.
Letter 225 To The Earl Of Hertford. Strawberry Hill, Oct. 5, 1764. (page 345)
My dear lord, Though I wrote to you but a few days ago, I must trouble you with another line now. Dr. Blanchard, a Cambridge divine, and who has a good paternal estate in Yorkshire, is on his travels, which he performs as a gentleman; and, therefore, wishes not to have his profession noticed. He is very desirous of paying his respects to you, and of being countenanced by you while he stays at Paris. It will much oblige a particular friend of mine, and consequently me, if you will favour him with your attention. Every body experiences your goodness, but in the present case I wish to attribute it a little to my request.
I asked you about two books, ascribed to Madame de Boufflers. if they are hers, I should be glad to know where she found, that Oliver Cromwell took orders and went over to Holland to fight the Dutch. As she has been on the spot where he reigned (which is generally very strong evidence), her countrymen will believe her in spite of our teeth; and Voltaire, who loves all anecdotes that never happened, because they prove the manners of the times, will hurry it into the first history he publishes. I, therefore, enter my caveat against it; not as interested for Oliver's character, but to save the world from one more fable. I know Madame de Boufflers will attribute this scruple to my partiality to Cromwell (and, to be sure, if we must be ridden, there is some satisfaction when the man knows how to ride). I remember one night at the Duke of Grafton's, a bust of Cromwell was produced: Madame de Boufflers, without uttering a syllable, gave me the most speaking look imaginable, as much as to Say, Is it possible you can admire this man! Apropos: I am sorry to say the reports do not cease about the separation,(673) and yet I have heard nothing that confirms it.
I once begged you to send me a book in three volumes, called "Essais sur les Moeurs;" forgive me if I put you in mind of it, and request you to send me that, or any other new book. I am wofully in want of reading, and sick to death of all our political stuff; which, as the Parliament is happily at the distance of three months, I would fain forget till I cannot help hearing of it. I am reduced to Guicciardin, and though the evenings are so long, I cannot get through one of his periods between dinner and supper. They tell me Mr. Hume has had sight of King James's journal:(674) I Wish I could see all the trifling passages that he will not deign to admit into history. I do not love great folks till they have pulled off their buskins and put on their slippers, because I do not care sixpence for what they would be thought, but for what they are.
Mr. Elliot brings us woful accounts of the French ladies, of the decency of their conversation, and the nastiness of their behaviour.
Nobody is dead, married, or gone mad, since my last. Adieu!
P. S. I enclose an epitaph on Lord Waldegrave, written by my brother,(675) which I think you will like, both for the composition and the strict truth of it.
Arlington Street, Friday evening.
I was getting into my postchaise this morning with this letter in my pocket, and Coming to town for a day or two, when I heard the Duke of Cumberland was dead: I find it is not so. he had two fits yesterday at Newmarket, whither he would go. The Princess Amelia, who had observed great alteration in his speech, entreated him against it. He has had too some touches of the gout, but they were gone off, or might have prevented this attack. I hear since the fits yesterday, which are said to have been but slight, that his leg is broken out, and they hope will save him. Still, I think, one cannot but expect the worst.
The letters yesterday, from Spa, give a melancholy account of the poor Duke of Devonshire as he cannot drink the waters they think of removing him; I suppose, to the baths at Aix-la-Chapelle; but I look on his case as a lost one. There's a chapter for moralizing! but five-and-forty, with forty thousand pounds a-year and happiness wherever he turned him! My reflection is, that it is folly to be unhappy at any thing, when felicity itself is such a phantom.
(673) Of the Duke and Duchess of Grafton.-E.
(674) Since published, under the generous patronage of George the Third, by Dr. Clarke, his Majesty's librarian. The work is, however, not what Mr. Walpole contemplated: it is not a journal of private feelings, interests, and actions, but a relation rather of public affairs; and though the notes of James II. were undoubtedly the foundation of the work, it was, in truth, written by another hand, and that too a hand the least likely to have given us the kind of memoirs which Mr. Walpole justly thinks would have been so valuable. When an eminent person writes his own memoirs, we have, at least, the motives which he thinks it creditable to assign to his conduct—he has, generally the candour of vanity, and even when he has not that candour, he is sometimes blinded into discovering truth unawares; but nothing can be more futile and fastidious than the meagre notes of the original actor, fresh woven and discoloured by the hands of an obsequious servant, who conceals all the facts he cannot explain, and all the motives he cannot justify. Such memoirs resemble the real life as the skeleton does the living man.-C.
(675) Sir Edward Walpole, K.B., second son of Sir Robert, and the father of Ladies Dysart and Waldegrave, and Mrs. Keppel.-E.
Letter 226 To The Hon. H. S. Conway. Strawberry Hill, Oct. 5, 1764. (page 347)
It is over with us!—if I did not know your firmness, I would have prepared you by degrees; but you are a man, and can hear the worst at once. The Duke of Cumberland is dead. I have heard it but this instant. The Duke of Newcastle was come to breakfast with me, and pulled out a letter from Lord Frederick, with a hopeless account of the poor Duke of Devonshire. Ere I could read it, Colonel Schutz called at the door and told my servant this fatal news! I know no more—it must be at Newmarket, and very sudden; for the Duke of Newcastle had a letter from Hodgson, dated on Monday, which said the Duke was perfectly well, and his gout gone:—Yes, to be sure, into his head. Princess Amelia had endeavoured to prevent his going to Newmarket, having perceived great alteration in his speech, as the Duke of Newcastle had. Well! it will not be. Every thing fights against this country! Mr. Pitt must save it himself—or, what I do not know whether he will not like as well, share in overturning its liberty—if they will admit him; -which I question now if they will be fools enough to do.
You see I write in despair. I am for the whole, but perfectly tranquil. We have acted with honour, and have nothing to reproach ourselves with. We cannot combat fate. We shall be left almost alone; but I think you will no more go with the torrent than I will. Could I have foreseen this tide of ill fortune, I would have done just as I have done; and my conduct shall show I am satisfied I have done right. For the rest, come what come may, I am perfectly prepared and while there is a free spot of earth upon the globe, that shall be my country. I am sorry it will not be this, but to-morrow I shall be able to laugh as usual. What signifies what happens when one is seven-and-forty, as I am to-day!
"They tell me 'tis my birthday"—but I will not go on with Antony, and say
——"and I'll keep it With double pomp of sadness."
No. when they can smile, who ruin a great country'. sure those who would have saved it may indulge themselves in that cheerfulness which conscious integrity bestows. I think I shall come to you next week; and since we have no longer any plan of operations to settle, we will look over the map of Europe, and fix upon a pleasant corner for our exile—for take notice, I do not design to fall upon my dagger, in hopes that some Mr. Addison a thousand years hence may write a dull tragedy about me. I will write my own story a little more cheerfully than he would; but I fear now I must not print it at my own press. Adieu! You was a philosopher before you had any occasion to be so: pray continue so; you have ample occasion! Yours ever, H. W.
Letter 227 To The Hon. H. S. Conway. Strawberry Hill, Oct. 13, 1764. (page 348)
Lord John Cavendish has been so kind as to send me word of the Duke of Devonshire's(676) legacy to you.(677) You cannot doubt of the great joy this gives me; and yet it serves to aggravate the loss of so worthy a man! And when I feel it thus, I am sensible how much more it will add to your concern, instead of diminishing it. Yet do not wholly reflect on your misfortune. You might despise the acquisition of five thousand pounds simply; but when that sum is a public testimonial to your virtue, and bequeathed by a man so virtuous, it is a million. Measure it with the riches of those who have basely injured you, and it is still more! Why, it is glory, it is conscious innocence, it is satisfaction—it is affluence without guilt—Oh! the comfortable sound! It is a good name in the history of these corrupt days. There it will exist, when the wealth of your and their country's enemies will be wasted, or will be an indelible blemish on their descendants.
My heart is full, and yet I will say no more. My best loves to all your opulent family. Who says virtue is not rewarded in this world? It is rewarded by virtue, and it is persecuted by the bad. Can greater honour be paid to it?
(676) William, fourth Duke of Devonshire. During his administration in Ireland, Mr. Conway had been secretary of state there. He died at Spa on the 2d of October.-E.
(677) The legacy was contained in the following codicil, written in the Duke's own hand. "I give to General Conway five thousand pounds as a testimony of my friendship to him, and of my sense of his Honourable conduct and friendship for me."-E.
Letter 228 To The Hon. H. S. Conway. Strawberry Hill, Oct. 29, 1764. (page 348)
I am glad you mentioned it: I would not have had you appear without your close mourning for the Duke of Devonshire upon any account. I was once going to tell you of it, knowing your inaccuracy in such matters; but thought it still impossible you should be ignorant how necessary it is. Lord Strafford, who has a legacy of only two hundred pounds, wrote to consult Lady Suffolk. She told him, for such a sum, which only implies a ring,, it was sometimes not done but yet advised him to mourn. In your case it is indispensable; nor can you see any of his family without it. Besides it is much better on such an occasion to over, than under do. I answer this paragraph first, because I am so earnest not to have you blamed.
Besides wishing to see you all, I have wanted exceedingly to come to you, having much to say to you; but I am confined here, that is, Mr. Chute is: he was seized with the gout last Wednesday se'nnight, the day he came hither to meet George Montagu, and this is the first day he has been out of his bedchamber. I must therefore put off our meeting till Saturday, when you shall certainly find me in town.
We have a report here, but the authority bitter bad, that Lord March is going to be married to Lady Conway. I don't believe it the less for our knowing nothing of it; for unless their daughter were breeding, and it were to save her character, neither your brother nor Lady Hertford would disclose a tittle about it. Yet in charity they should advertise it, that parents and relations, if it is so, may lock up all knives, ropes, laudanum, and rivers, lest it should occasion a violent mortality among his fair admirers.
I am charmed with an answer I have just read in the papers of a man in Bedlam, who was ill-used by -,in apprentice because he Would not tell him why he was confined there. The unhappy creature said at last, "Because God has deprived me of a blessing which you never enjoyed." There never was any thing finer or more moving! Your sensibility will not be quite so much affected by a story I heard t'other day of Sir Fletcher Norton. He has a mother—yes, a mother: perhaps you thought that, like that tender urchin Love,
——duris in cotibus illum Ismarus, aut Rhodope, aut extremi Garamantes, Nec nostri generis puerum nec sanguinis edunt.
Well, Mrs. Rhodope lives in a mighty shabby hovel at Preston, which the dutiful and affectionate Sir Fletcher began to think not suitable to the dignity of one who has the honour of being his parent. He cheapened a better, in which were two pictures which the proprietor valued at threescore pounds. The attorney(678) insisted on having them for nothing, as fixtures- -the landlord refused, the bargain was broken off, and the dowager Madam Norton remains in her original hut. I could tell you another story which you would not dislike; but as it might hurt the person concerned, if it was known, I shall not send it by the post; but will tell you when I see you. Adieu!
(678) Sir Fletcher Norton, afterwards Lord Grantley, had been appointed attorney-general in the preceding December.-E.
Letter 229 To The Earl Of Hertford. Strawberry Hill, Nov. 1, 1764. (page 350)
I am not only pleased, my dear lord, to have been the first to announce your brother's legacy to you, but I am glad whenever my news reach you without being quite stale. I see but few persons here. I begin my letters without knowing when I shall be able to fill them, and then am to winnow a little what I hear, that I may not send you absolute secondhand fables: for though I cannot warrant all I tell you, I hate to send you every improbable tale that is vented. You like, as one always does in absence, to hear the common occurrences of your own country; and you see I am very glad to be your gazetteer, provided you do not rank my letters upon any higher foot. I should be ashamed of such gossiping, if I did not consider it as chatting with you en famille, as we used to do at supper in Grosvenor-street.
The Duke of Devonshire has made splendid provision for his younger children; to Lady Dorothy,(679) 30,000 pounds; Lord Richard and Lord George will have about 4,000 pounds a-year apiece: for, besides landed estates, he has left them his whole personal estate without exception, only obliging the present Duke to redeem Devonshire-house, and the entire collection in it, for 20,000 pounds: he gives 500 pounds to each of his brothers, and 200 pounds to Lord Strafford, with some other inconsiderable legacies. Lord Frederick carried the garter, and was treated by the King with very gracious speeches of concern.
The Duke of Cumberland is quite recovered, after an incision of many inches in his knee. Ranby(680) did not dare to propose that a hero should be tied, but was frightened out of his senses when the hero would hold the candle himself, which none of his generals could bear to do: in the middle of the operation, the Duke said, "Hold!" Ranby said, "For God's sake, Sir, let me proceed now—it will be worse to renew it." The Duke repeated, "I say hold!" and then calmly bade them give Ranby a clean waistcoat and cap; for, said he, the poor man has sweated through these. It was true; but the Duke did not utter a groan.
Have you heard that Lady Susan O'Brien's is not the last romance of the sort? Lord Rockingham's youngest sister, Lady Harriot,(681) has stooped even lower than a theatric swain, and married her footman; but still it is you Irish(682) that commit all the havoc. Lady Harriot, however, has mixed a wonderful degree of prudence with her potion, and considering how plain she is, has not, I think, sweetened the draught too much for her lover: she settles a single hundred pound a-year upon him for his life; entails her whole fortune on their children, if they have any; and, if not, on her own family; nay, in the height of the novel, provides for a separation, and insures the same pin-money to Damon, in case they part. This deed she has vested out of her power, by sending it to Lord Mansfield,(683) whom she makes her trustee; it is drawn up in her own hand, and Lord Mansfield says is as binding as any lawyer could make it. Did one ever hear of more reflection in a delirium! Well, but hear more: she has given away all her clothes, nay, and her ladyship, and says, linen gowns are properest for a footman's wife, and is gone to his family in Ireland, plain Mrs. Henrietta Surgeon. I think it is not clear that she is mad, but I have no doubt but Lady Bel(684) will be so who could not digest Dr. Duncan, nor even Mr. Milbank.
My last told you of my sister's promotion.(685) I hear she is to be succeeded at Kensington by Miss Floyd, who lives with Lady Bolingbroke; but I beg you not to report this till you see it in a Gazette of better authority than mine, who have it only from fame and Mrs. A. Pitt.
I have not seen M. de Guerchy yet, having been in town but one night since his return. You are very kind in accepting, on your own account, his obliging expressions about me: I know no foundation on which I should like better to receive them,: the truth is he has distinguished me extremely, and when a person in his situation shows much attention to a person so very insignificant as I am, one is apt to believe it exceeds common compliment: at least, I attribute it to the esteem which he could not but see I conceived for him. His civility is so natural, and his good nature so strongly marked, that I connected much more with him than I am apt to do with new acquaintances. I pitied the various disgusts he received, and I believe he saw I did. If I felt for him, you may judge how much I am concerned that you have your share. I foresaw it was unavoidable, from the swarms of your countrymen that flock to Paris, and generally the worst part; boys and governors are woful exports. I saw a great deal of it when I lived with poor Sir Horace Mann at Florence-but you have the whole market. We are a wonderful people-I would not be our King,(686) our minister, or our ambassador, for the Indies. One comfort, however, I can truly give you; I have heard their complaints, if they have any, from nobody but yourself. Jesus! if they are not content now, I wish they knew how the English were received at Paris twenty years ago—why, you and I know they were not received at all. Ay, and when the fashion of admiring English is past, it will be just so again; and very reasonably- -who would open their house to every staring booby from another country?
Arlington Street, Nov. 3.
I came to town to-day to meet your brother, who is going to Euston and Thetford,(687) and hope he will bring back a good account of the domestic history,(688) of which we can learn nothing authentic. Fitzroy(689) knows nothing. The town says the Duchess is going thither.
We have been this evening with Duchess Hamilton,(690) who is arrived from Scotland, visibly promising another Lord Campbell. I shall take this opportunity of seeing M. de Guerchy, and that opportunity, of sending this letter, and one from your brother. Our politics are all at a stand. The Duke of Devonshire's death, I concluded, would make the ministry all powerful, all triumphant, and all insolent. It does not appear to have done so. They are, I believe, extremely ill among themselves, and not better in their affairs foreign or domestic. The cider counties have instructed their members to join the minority. The house of Yorke seems to have laid aside their coldness and irresolution, and to look towards opposition. The unpopularity of the court is very great indeed—still I shall not be surprised if they maintain their ground a little longer.
There is nothing new in the way of publication: the town itself' is still a desert. I have twice passed by Arthur's(691) to-day, and not seen a chariot.
Hogarth is dead, and Mrs. Spence, who lived with the Duchess of Newcastle.(692) She had saved 20,000 pounds which she leaves to her sister for life, and after her, to Tommy Pelham. Ned Finch(693) has got an estate from an old Mrs. Hatton of 1500 pounds a year, and takes her name.
Adieu! my lord and lady, and your whole et cetera.
(679) Lady Dorothy married, in 1766, the Duke of Portland.-E.
(680) A celebrated surgeon of the day. He was serjeant-surgeon to the King, and F. R. S.-E.
(681) Lady Henrietta Alicia Wentworth, born in 1737; married Mr. William Surgeon.-E.
(682) Lord Hertford was an Irish peer; he had besides so large a fortune there, and paid so much attention to the interests of that country,, that Mr. Walpole calls him Irish.-C.
(683) Lord Mansfield had married Lady Harriot's aunt.-E.
(684) Lady Isibella Finch, lady of the bedchamber to Princess Amelia, was Lady Harriot's aunt. The Mr. Milbank here mentioned had married Lady Mary Wentworth, the elder sister of Lady Harriot.-C.
(685) From being housekeeper at Kensington Palace, to the same office at Windsor Castle; but Mr. Walpole is mistaken as to the name of her successor: it was Miss Roche loyd.-C.
(686) It is due to the character of the King and the ministers, whom Mr. Walpole so often and so wantonly depreciates, to solicit the reader's attention to such passages as this, in which he imputes to others, and therefore implies in himself, an unfair disposition to criticise and censure.-C.
(687) He was member for Thetford.-E.
(688) Of the Grafton family.-E.
(689) Colonel Charles Fitzroy. See ant'e, p. 261, Letter 185.-E.
(690) Elizabeth Gunning, widow of James, sixth Duke of Hamilton, and wife, in 1759, of John, fifth Duke of Argyle.-E.
(691) The fashionable club in St. James's Street.-E.
(692) The Duke of Newcastle, in a letter to Mr. Pitt of the 19th of October, says, "The many great losses, both public and private, which we have had this summer, have very greatly affected the Duchess; and the last of all, of her old friend and companion of above forty-five years, poor Mrs. Spence, has added much to the melancholy situation in which she was before." Chatham Correspondence, vol, ii. p. 295.-E.
(693) Edward, fifth son of the sixth Earl of Winchelsea. Mrs. Hatton was his maternal aunt, sister of the last Viscount Hatton.-C.
Letter 230 To The Rev. Mr. Cole. Strawberry Hill, Nov. 8, 1764. (page 352)
I am much disappointed, I own, dear Sir, at not seeing you: more so, as I fear it will be long before I shall, for I think of going to paris early in February. I ought indeed to go directly, as the winter does not agree with me here. Without being positively ill, I am positively not well: about this time of year, I have little fevers every night, and pains in my breast and stomach, which bid me repair to a more flannel climate. These little complaints are already begun, and as soon as affairs will permit me, I mean to transport them southward.
I am sorry it is out of my power to make the addition you wish to Mr. Tuer's article: many of the following sheets are printed off, and there is no inserting any thing now, without shoving the whole text forward, which you see is impossible. You promised to bring me a portrait of him: as I shall have four or five new plates, I can get his head into one of them: will you send it as soon as you can possibly to my house in Arlington-street; I will take great care of it-, and return it to you safe.
Letter 231 To The Earl Of Hertford. Strawberry Hill, Nov. 9, 1764. (page 353)
I don't know whether this letter will not reach you, my dear lord, before one that I sent to you last week by a private hand, along with one from your brother. I write this by my Lord Chamberlain's order—you may interpret it as you please, either as by some new connexion of the Bedford squadron with the opposition, or as a commission to you, my lord ambassador. As yet, I believe you had better take it upon the latter foundation, though the Duke of Bedford has crossed the country from Bath to Woburn, without coming to town. Be that as it may, here is the negotiation intrusted to you. You are desired by my Lord Gower to apply to the gentilhomme de la chambre for leave for Doberval(694) the dancer, who was here last year, to return and dance at our Opera forthwith. If the court of France -will comply with this request, we will send them a discharge in full, for the Canada bills and the ransom of their prisoners, and we will permit Monsieur D'Estain to command in the West Indies, whether we will or not. The city of London must not know a word of this treaty, for they hate any mortal should be diverted but themselves, especially by any thing relative to harmony. It is, I own, betraying my country and my patriotism to be concerned in a job of this kind. I am sensible that there is not a weaver in Spitalfields but can dance better than the first performer in the French Opera; and yet, how could I refuse this commission? Mrs. George Pitt delivered it to me just now, at Lord Holderness's at Sion, and as my virtue has not yet been able to root out all my good-breeding—though I trust it will in time—I could not help promising that I would write to you—nay, and engaged that you would undertake it. When I venture, sure you may, who are out of the reach of a mob!
I believe this letter will go by Monsieur Beaumont. He breakfasted here t'other morning, and pleased me exceedingly: he has great spirit and good-humour. It is incredible what pains he has taken to see. He has seen Oxford, Bath, Blenheim, Stowe, Jews, Quakers, Mr. Pitt, the Royal Society, the Robinhood, Lord Chief-Justice Pratt, the Arts-and-Sciences, has dined at Wildman's, and, I think, with my Lord Mayor, or is to do. Monsieur de Guerchy is full of your praises; I am to go to Park-place with him next week, to make your brother a visit.
You know how I hate telling you false news: all I can do, is to retract as fast as I can. I fear I was too hasty in an article I sent you in my last, though I then mentioned it only as a report. I doubt, what we wish in a private family(695) will not be exactly the event.
The Duke of Cumberland has had a dangerous sore-throat, but is recovered. In one of the bitterest days that could be felt, he would go upon the course at Newmarket with the windows of his landau down. Newmarket-heath, at no time of the year, is placed under the torrid zone. I can conceive a hero welcoming death, or at least despising it; but if I was covered with more laurels than a boar's head at Christmas, I should hate pain, and Ranby, and an operation. His nephew of York has been at Blenheim, where they gave him a ball, but did not put themselves to much expense in dancers; the figurantes were the maid-servants. You will not doubt my authority, when I tell you my Lady Bute was my intelligence. I heard to-day, at Sion, of some bitter verses made at Bath, on both their graces of Bedford. I have not seen them, nor, if I had them, would I send them to you before they are in print, which I conclude they will be, for I am sorry to say, scandalous abuse is not the commodity which either side is sparing of. You can conceive nothing beyond the epigrams which have been in the papers, on a pair of doves and a parrot that Lord Bute has sent to the Princess.(696)
I hear-but this is another of my paragraphs that I am far from giving you for sterling—that Lord Sandwich is to have the Duke of Devonshire's garter; Lord Northumberland stands against Lord Morton,(697) for president of the Royal Society, in the room of Lord Macclesfield. As this latter article will have no bad consequences if it should prove true, you may believe it. Earl Poulet is dead, and Soame, who married Mrs. Naylor's sister.
You will wonder more at what I am going to tell you in the last place: I am preparing, in earnest, to make you a visit-not next week, but seriously in February. After postponing it for seven idle months, you will stare at my thinking of it just after the meeting Of the Parliament. Why, that is just one of my principal reasons. I will stay and see the opening and one or two divisions; the minority will be able to be the majority, or they will not: if they can, they will not want me, who want nothing of them: if they cannot, I am sure I can do them no good, and shall take my leave of them;—I mean always, to be sure, if things do not turn on a few votes: they shall not call me a deserter. In every other case, I am so sick of politics, which I have long detested, that I must bid adieu to them. I have acted the part by your brother that I thought right. He approves what I have done, and what I mean to do; so do the few I esteem, for I have notified my intention; and for the rest of the world, they may think what they please. In truth, I have a better reason, which would prescribe my setting out directly, if it was consistent with my honour. I have a return of those nightly fevers and pains in my breast, which have come for the three last years -,it this season: change of air and a better climate are certainly necessary to me in winter. I shall thus indulge my inclinations every way. I long to see you and my Lady Hertford, and am wofully sick of the follies and distractions of this country, to which I see no end, come what changes will! Now, do you wonder any longer at my resolution? In the mean time adieu for the present!
(694) D'Auberval was not only a celebrated dancer, but a composer of ballets.@.
(695) The reconciliation of the Duke and Duchess of Grafton.-E.
(696) The Princess Dowager of Wales.
(697) Lord Morton was elected.
Letter 232 To The Right Hon. Lady Hervey. November 10, 1764. (page 355)
Soh! madam, you expect to be thanked, because you have done a very obliging thing.(698) But I won't thank you, and I won't be obliged. It is very hard one can't come into your house and commend any thing, but you must recollect it and send it after one! I will never dine in your house again; and, when I do, I will like nothing; and when I do, I will commend nothing; and when I do, you shan't remember it. You are very grateful indeed to Providence that give you so good a memory, to stuff it with nothing but bills of fare of what every body likes to eat and drink! I wonder you are not ashamed! Do you think there is no such thing as gluttony of the memory?—You a Christian! A pretty account you will be able to give of yourself!-Your fine folks in France may call this friendship and attention, perhaps—but sure, if I was to go to the devil, it should be for thinking of nothing but myself, not of others, from morning to night. I would send back your temptations; but, as I will not be obliged to you for them, verily I shall retain them to punish you; ingratitude being a proper chastisement for sinful friendliness. Thine in the spirit, Pilchard Whitfield.
(698) Lady Hervey, it is supposed, had sent Mr. Walpole some potted pilchards.
Letter 233 To The Earl Of Hertford. Strawberry Hill, Nov. 25, 1764. (page 356)
Could you be so kind, my dear lord, as to recollect Dr. Blanchard, after so long an interval. It will make me still more cautious of giving recommendations to you, instead of drawing upon the credit you give me. I saw Mr. Stanley last night at the Opera, who made his court extremely to me by what he said of you. It was our first opera, and I went to town to hear Manzoli,(699) who did not quite answer my expectation, though a very fine singer, but his voice has been younger, and wants the touching tones of Elisi.(700) However, the audience was not so nice, but applauded him immoderately, and encored three of his songs. The first woman was advertised for a perfect beauty, with no voice; but her beauty and voice are by no means so unequally balanced: she has a pretty little small pipe, and only a pretty little small person, and share of beauty, and does not act ill. There is Tenducci, a moderate tenor, and all the rest intolerable. If you don't make haste and send us Doberval, I don't know what we shall do. The dances were not only hissed, as truly they deserved to be, but the gallery, 'a la Drury-lane, cried out, , Off! off!" The boxes were empty, for so is the town, to a degree. The person,(701) who ordered me to write to you for Dobeval, was reduced to languish in the Duchess of Hamilton's box. My Duchess(702) does not appear yet—I fear.
Shall I tell you any thing about D'Eon? it is sending coals to Paris: you must know his story better than me; so in two words Vergy, his antagonist, is become his convert:(703) has wrote for him and sworn for him,—nay, has made an affidavit before Judge Wilmot, that Monsieur de Guerchy had hired him to stab or poison D'Eon. Did you ever see a man who had less of an assassin than your pendant, as Nivernois calls it! In short, the story is as clumsy, as abominable. The King's Bench cited D'Eon to receive his sentence: he absconds: that court issued a warrant to search for him and a house in Scotland-yard, where he lodged, was broken open, but in vain. If there is any thing more, you know it yourself. This law transaction is buried in another. The Master of the Rolls, Sir Thomas Clarke, is dead, and Norton succeeds. Who do you think succeeds him? his predecessor.(704) The house of York is returned to the house of Lancaster: they could not keep their white roses pure. I have not a little suspicion that disappointment has contributed to this faux-pas. Sir Thomas made a new will the day before he died, and gave his vast fortune, not to Mr. Yorke, as was expected, but to Lord Macclesfield, to whom, it is come out, he was natural brother. Norton, besides the Rolls, which are for lite, and near 3,000 pounds a-year, has a pension of 1,200 pounds. Mrs. Anne Pitt, too, has got a third pension: so you see we are not quite such beggars as you imagined!
Prince William, you know, is Duke of Gloucester, with the same appanage as the Duke of York. Legrand(705) is his Cadogan; Clinton(706) and Ligonier(707) his grooms.
Colonel Crawford is dead at Minorca, and Colonel Burton has his regiment; the Primate (Stone) is better, but I suppose, from his distemper, which is a dropsy in his breast, irrecoverable. Your Irish queen(708) exceeds the English Queen, and follows her with seven footmen before her chair—well! what trumperies I tell you! but I cannot help it—Wilkes is outlawed, D'Eon run away, and Churchill dead—till some new genius arises, you must take up with the operas, and pensions, and seven footmen. But patience! your country is seldom sterile long.
George Selwyn has written hither his lamentations about that Cossack Princess. I am glad of it, for I did but hint it to my Lady Rervey, (though I give you my word, without quoting you, which I never do upon the most trifling occurrences,) and I was cut very short, and told it was impossible. A la bonne heure! Pray, who is Lord March(709) going to marry? We hear so, but nobody named. I had not heard of your losses at whisk; but if I had, should not have been terrified: you know whisk gives no fatal ideas to any body that has been at Arthur's and seen hazard, Quinze, and Trente-et-Quarante. I beg you will prevail on the King of France to let Monsieur de Richelieu give as many balls and f'etes as he pleases, if it is only for my diversion. This journey to Paris is the last colt's tooth I intend ever to cut, and I insist upon being prodigiously entertained, like a Sposa Monacha, whom they cram with this world for a twelvemonth, before she bids adieu to it for ever. I think, when I shut myself up in my convent here, it will not be with the same regret. I have for some time been glutted with the world, and regret the friends that drop away every day; those, at least, with whom I came into the world, already begin to make it appear a great void. Lord Edgecumbe, Lord Waldegrave, and the Duke of Devonshire leave a very perceptible chasm. At the Opera last night, I felt almost ashamed to be there. Except Lady Townshend, Lady Schaub, Lady Albemarle, and Lady Northumberland, I scarce saw a creature whose debut there I could not remember: nay, the greater part were maccaronies. You see I am not likely, like my brother Cholmondeley (who, by the way, was there too), to totter into a solitaire at threescore. The Duke de Richelieu(710) is one of the persons I am curious to see—oh! am I to find Madame de Boufflers, Princess of Conti? Your brother and Lady Aylesbury are to be in town the day after to-morrow to hear Manzoli, and on their way to Mrs. Cornwallis, who is acting l'agonisante; but that would be treason to Lady Ailesbury. I was at Park-place last week: the bridge is finished, and a noble object.
I shall come to you as soon as ever I have my cong'e, which I trust will be early in February. I will let you know the moment I can fix my time, because I shall beg you to order a small lodging to be taken for me at no great distance from your palace, and only for a short time, because, if I should like France enough to stay some months I can afterwards accommodate myself to my mind. I should like to be so near you that I could see you whenever it would not be inconvenient to you, and without being obliged to that intercourse with my countrymen, which I by no means design to cultivate. If I leave the best company here, it shall not be for the worst. I am getting out of the world, not coming into it, and shall therefore be most indifferent about their acquaintance, or what they think of my avoiding it. I come to see you and my Lady Hertford, to escape from politics, and to amuse myself with seeing, which I intend to do with all my eyes. I abhor show, am not passionately fond of literati, don't want to know people for a few months, and really think of nothing but some comfortable hours with you, and indulging my curiosity. Excuse almost a page about myself, but it was to tell you how little trouble I hope to give you.
(699) "Manzoli's voice was the most powerful and voluminous soprano that had been heard on our stage since the time of Farinelli; and his manner of singing was grand and full of taste and dignity. The lovers of music in London were more unanimous in approving his voice and talents, than those of any other singer within my memory." Burney.—E.
(700) Elisi, though a great singer, was a still greater actor: his figure was large and majestic, and he had a great compass of voice." Ibid.-E.
(701) Probably Mrs. George Pitt.-C.
(702) Of Grafton.
(703) This is altogether a very mysterious affair: M. de Vergy was the cause of D'Eon's violent behaviour at Lord Halifax's (see ant'e, p. 254, letter 181,); he afterwards took D'Eon's part, and had the effrontery and the infamy to say, that he was suborned by the French ministry to quarrel with and ruin D'Eon.-C.
(704) Mr. Charles Yorke; but we shall see, in the next letter, that the fact on which all this imputation was built was false.-C.
(705) Edward Legrand, Esq., treasurer to the Duke of Gloucester; as the Hon. C. S. Cadogan was to the Duke of York.-E.
(706) Colonel Henry Clinton, afterwards commander-in-chief in America, and K. B.-E.
(707) Colonel Edward Ligonier, aide-de-camp to the King.-E.
(708) The Countess of Northumberland.-E.
(709) James, third Earl of March, a lord of the bedchamber, who subsequently, in 1778, succeeded to the dukedom of queensberry, and was the last of that title.-E.
(710) The celebrated Mareschal Duc de Richelieu: he was born in 1696, and died in 1788. The whole of his long life was full of adventures so extraordinary as to justify Mr. Walpole's curiosity. The most remarkable, however, of all, had not at this period occurred. In the year 1780, and at the age of eighty-four, he married his third wife, and was severely afflicted that a miscarriage of the Duchess destroyed his hopes of another Cardinal de Richelieu; for to that eminence he destined the child of his age. His biographer adds, that the Duchess was an affectionate and attentive wife, notwithstanding that her octogenarian husband tried her patience by reiterated infidelities.-C.
Letter 234 To The Earl Of Hertford. Arlington Street, Dec. 3, 1764. (page 358)
I love to contradict myself as fast as I can when I have told you a lie, lest you should take me for a chambermaid, or Charles Townshend. But how can I help it? Is this a consistent age? How should I know people's minds, if they don't know them themselves? In short, Charles Yorke is not attorney-general, nor Norton master of the rolls. A qualm came across the first, and my Lord lorn across the second, who would not have Norton in his court. I cannot imagine why; it is so gentle, amiable, honest a being! But I think the Chancellor says, Norton does not understand equity, so he remains prosecutor-general. Yorke would have taken the rolls, if they would have made it much more considerable; but as they would not, he has recollected that it will be clever for one Yorke to have the air of being disinterested, so he only disgraces himself,(711) and takes a patent of precedence over the Solicitor-General:—but do not depend upon this—he was to have kissed hands on Friday, but has put it off till Wednesday next—between this and that, his Virtue may have another fit. The court ridicule him even more than the opposition. What diverts me most, is, that the pious and dutiful house of Yorke, who cried and roared over their father's memory, now throw all the blame on him, and say, he forced them into opposition—amorent nummi expellas furc'a, licet usque recurret.(712) Sewell(713) is master of the rolls.
Well! I may grow a little more explicit to you; besides, this letter goes to you by a private hand. I gave you little hints, to prepare you for the separation of the house of Grafton. It is so, and I am heartily sorry for it. Your brother is chosen by the Duke, and General Ellison by the Duchess, to adjust the terms, which are not yet settled. The Duke takes all on himself, and assigns no reason but disagreement of tempers. He leaves Lady Georgina' with her mother, who, he says, is the properest person to educate her, and Lord Charles, till he is old enough to be taken from the women. This behaviour is noble and generous— still I wish they could have agreed!
This is not the only parting that makes a noise. His grace of Kingston(714) has taken a pretty milliner from Cranborn-alley, and carried her to Thoresby. Miss Chudleigh, at the Princess's birthday on Friday, beat her side till she could not help having a real pain in it, that people might inquire what was the matter; on which she notified a pleurisy, and that she is going to the baths of Carlsbad, in Bohemia. I hope she will not meet with the Bulgares that demolished the Castle of Thundertentronck.(715 y) My Lady Harrington's robbery is at last come to light, and was committed by the porter,(716) who is in Newgate.
Lady Northumberland (who, by the way, has added an eighth footman since I wrote to you last) told Me this Morning that the Queen is very impatient to receive an answer from Lady Hertford, about Prince George's letters coming through your hands, as she desired they might.
A correspondence between Legge and Lord Bute about the Hampshire election is published to-day, by the express desire of the former, When he was dying.(717) He showed the letters to me in the spring, and I then did not-think them so strong or important as he did. I am very clear it does no honour to his memory to have them printed now. It implies want of resolution to publish them in his lifetime, and that he died with more resentment than I think one should care to own. I would Send them to you, but I know Dr. Hunter takes care of such things. I hope he will send you, too, the finest piece that I think has been written for liberty since Lord Somers. It is called an Inquiry into the late Doctrine on Libels, and is said to be written by one Dunning,(718) a lawyer lately started up, who makes a great noise. He is a sharp thorn in the sides of Lord Mansfield and Norton, and, in truth, this book is no plaster to their pain. It is bitter, has much unaffected wit, and is the Only tract that ever made me understand law.(719) If Dr. Hunter does not send you these things, I suppose he will convey them himself, as I hear there will be a fourteenth occasion for him. Charles Fitzroy says, Lord Halifax told Mrs. Crosby that you are to go to Ireland. I said he l(nows you are not the most communicative person in the world, and that you had not mentioned it—nor do I now, by way of asking impertinent questions; but I thought you would like to know what was said.
I return to Strawberry Hill to-morrow, but must return on Thursday, as there is to be something at the Duke of York's that evening, for which I have received a card. He and his brother are most exceedingly civil and good-humoured—but I assure you every place is like one of Shakspeare's plays:—Flourish, enter the Duke of York, Gloucester, and attendants. Lady Irwin(720) died yesterday.
I have just come from a little impromptu ball at Mrs. Ann Pitt's. I told you she had a new pension, but did I tell you it was five hundred pounds a year? It was entertaining to see the Duchess of Bedford and Lady Bute with their respective forces, drawn up on different sides of the room; the latter's were most numerous. My Lord Gower seemed very willing to promote a parley between the two armies. It would have made you shrug up your shoulders at dirty humanity, to see the two Miss Pelhams sit neglected, without being asked to dance. You may imagine this could not escape me, who have passed through the several grradations in which Lady Jane Stuart and Miss Pelham are and have been; but I fear poor Miss Pelham feels hers a little more than ever I did.(721) The Duke of York's is to be a dinner and a ball for Princess Amelia.
Lady Mary Bowlby(722) gave me a commission, a genealogical one, from my Lady Hertford, which I will execute to the best of my power. I am glad my part is not to prove eighteen generations Of nobility for the Bruces. I fear they have made some mes-alliances since the days of King Robert-at least, the present Scotch nobility are not less apt to go into Lombard-street than the English.
My Lady Suffolk was at the ball; I asked the Prince of Masserano whom he thought the oldest woman in the room, as I concluded he would not guess she was. He did not know my reason for asking, and would not tell me. At last, he said very cleverly, his own wife.
Mr. Sarjent has sent me this evening from Les Consid'erations sur les Moeurs," and "Le Testament Politique,"(723) for which I give you, my dear lord, a thousand thanks. Good night!
P.S. Manzoli(724) has come a little too late, or I think he would have as many diamond watches and snuff-boxes as Farinelli.
(711) We can venture to state, that there never was any idea of Mr. Yorke's accepting the rolls; and it is believed that they never were offered to him; certainly, be himself never thought of taking that office. The patent of precedence which he did accept, was an arrangement, which, though convenient for the conduct of the business in court, could give no addition of either rank or profit to a person in Mr. Yorke's circumstances. The facts were as follow: when Mr. Yorke, in 1756, was made solicitor-general, he was not a King's counsel; he succeeded to be attorney-general, but on his resignation in October 1763, he lost the precedence which his offices had given him, and he returned to the outer bar and a stuff gown. It was a novel and anomalous sight to see a man who had led the Chancery bar so long, and filled the greatest office of the law, retire to comparatively, so humble a rank in the court in which he might be every day expected to preside; and accordingly, on his first appearance after his resignation, the Chancellor, with the concurrence (indeed, it has been said on the suggestion) of the bar, called to Mr. Yorke, out of his turn, next after the King's counsel: this irregular pre-audience had lasted above a year, when it was thought more proper and more convenient for the business of the court to give Mr. Yorke that formal patent of precedence, the value and circumstances of which Mr Walpole so much misunderstands. We have heard from old lawyers, that Mr. Yorke's business at this period was more extensive and less lucrative than any other man ever possessed in Chancery, and we find no less than four other barristers had at this time patents of precedence.-C.
(712) The reader is requested to look back to p. 272, letter 188, where he will find Mr. Walpole himself stating—long before Lord Hardwickc's death, and even before his illness—that "the old Chancellor was violent against the court, and that Mr. Charles Yorke had resigned, contrary to his own; and Lord Royston's inclination." The fact was in no way true; for it is well known that there never was the slightest difference of opinion between the old Lord Hardwicke and his son Charles upon their political conduct.-C.
(713) Sir Thomas Sewell, Knight.-E.
(714) Evelyn, last Duke of Kingston: he soon after married Miss Chudleigh, who was supposed to have been already married to Mr. Augustus Hervey, afterwards Earl of Bristol.-C.
(715) An allusion to a loose incident in Voltaire's Candide.
(716) See ant'e, p. 260, letter 184.
(717) Mr. Legge had, in 1759, while chancellor of the exchequer to George II. been requested by Lord Bute, in the name of the Prince of Wales, to pledge himself to support a Mr. Stuart at the next election for Hampshire: this Mr. Legge, for very sufficient reasons, refused to do; and for this refusal (as he thought, and wished to persuade the public) he was turned out of office at the accession of the young King.-C.
(718) Mr. Dunning soon rose into great practice and eminence; in 1767 he was made solicitor-general, which office he held till 1770. He then made a considerable figure in the opposition, till the accession to the ministry, in 1782, of his friend Lord Shelburne, when he was created Lord Ashburton; he died next year.-C.
(719) Mr. Dunning's pamphlet was intituled "Inquiry into the Doctrine lately propagated concerning Juries, Libels, etc. upon the principles of the Law and the Constitution." Gray, in a letter to Walpole of the 30th, thus characterizes it:—"Your canonical book I have been reading with great satisfaction. He speaketh as one having authority. If Englishmen have any feeling, methinks they must feel now; and if the ministry have any feeling (Whom nobody will suspect of insensibility) they must cut off the author's ears; for if is in all the forms a most wicked libel. Is the old man and the lawyer put on, or is it real? or has some real lawyer furnished a good part of the materials, and another person employed them? This I guess." Works, vol. iv. p. 40.-E.
(720) Anne Howard, daughter of the third Earl of Carlisle, and widow of the third Viscount Irwin. She was lady of the bedchamber to the Princess Dowager. Mr. Park has introduced her into his edition of the Noble Authors.-C.
(721) Mr. Walpole means that he was courted during his father's power, and neglected after his fall, as the daughters of a succeeding prime minister, Mr. Henry Pelham, now were; but as Lady Jane Stuart was but two-and-twenty years old, and Miss Pelham was thirty-six, we may account for the preference given to her ladyship at a ball, without any reference to the meanness and political time-serving of mankind. Both the Misses Pelham died unmarried.-C.
(722) Sister of the Duke of Montagu.
(723) A French forgery called "Le Testament Politique du Chevalier Robert Walpole," of which Mr. Walpole drew up an exposure, which is to be found in the second volume of his works.-C.
(724) The enthusiasm, however, ran pretty high, as we learn from the following passage, in one of the periodical papers of the day:—"Signor Manzoli, the Italian singer at the Haymarket, got no less, after paying all charges of every kind, by his benefit last week (March, 1765), than 1000 guineas. This added to a sum of 1,500 which he has already saved, and the remaining profits of the season, is surely an undoubted proof of British generosity. One particular lady complimented the singer with a 200 pound bill for a ticket on that occasion."-C.''
Letter 235 To George Montagu, Esq. Arlington Street, Dec. 16, 1764. (page 362)
As I have not read in the paper that you died lately at Greatworth, in Northamptonshire, nor have met with any Montagu or Trevor in mourning, I conclude you are living: I send this, however, to inquire, and if you should happen to be departed, hope your executor will be so kind as to burn it. Though you do not seem to have the same curiosity about my existence, you may gather from my handwriting that I am still in being; which being perhaps full as much as you want to know of me, I will trouble you with no farther particulars about myself—nay, nor about any body else; your curiosity seeming to be pretty much the same about all the world. News there are certainly none; nobody is even dead, as the Bishop of Carlisle told me to-day, which I repeat to you in general, though I apprehend in his own mind he meant no possessor of a better bishopric.
If you like to know the state of the town, here it is. In the first place, it is very empty; in the next, there are more diversions than the week will hold. A charming Italian opera, with no dances and no company, at least on Tuesdays; to supply which defect, the subscribers are to have a ball and supper—a plan that in my humble opinion will fill the Tuesdays and empty the Saturdays. At both playhouses are woful English operas; which, however, fill better than the Italian, patriotism being entirely confined to our ears: how long the sages of the law may leave us those I cannot say. Mrs Cornelis, apprehending the future assembly at Almack's, has enlarged her vast room, and hung it with blue satin, and another with yellow satin; but Almack's room, which is to be ninety feet long, proposes to swallow up both hers, as easy as Moses's rod gobbled down those Of the magicians. Well, but there are more joys; a dinner and assembly every Tuesday at the Austrian minister's; ditto on Thursdays at the Spaniard's; ditto on Wednesdays and Sundays at the French ambassador's; besides Madame de Welderen's on Wednesdays, Lady Harrington's Sundays, and occasional private mobs at my lady Northumberland's. Then for the mornings, there are lev'ees and drawing-rooms without end. Not to mention the maccaroni-club, which has quite absorbed Arthur's; for you know old fools will hobble after young ones. Of all these pleasures, I prescribe myself a very small pittance,—my dark corner in my own box at the Opera, and now and then an ambassador, to keep my French going till my journey to Paris. Politics are gone to sleep, like a paroli at pharaoh, though there is the finest tract lately published that ever was written, called an Inquiry into the Doctrine of Libels. It would warm your old Algernon blood; but for what any body cares, might as well have been written about the wars of York and Lancaster. The thing most in fashion is my edition of Lord Herbert's Life; people are mad after it, I believe because only two hundred were printed; and, by the numbers that admire it, I am convinced that if I had kept his lordship's counsel, very few would have found out the absurdity of it. The caution with which I hinted at its extravagance, has passed with several for approbation, and drawn on theirs. This is nothing new to me; it is when one laughs out at their idols that one angers people. I do not wonder now that Sir Philip Sydney was the darling hero, when Lord Herbert, who followed him so close and trod in his steps, is at this time of day within an ace of rivalling him. I wish I had let him; it was contradicting one of my own maxims, which I hold to be very just; that it is idle to endeavour to cure the world of any folly, unless We Could cure it of being foolish.
Tell me whether I am likely to see you before I go to Paris, which will be early in February. I hate you for being so indifferent about me. I live in the world, and yet love nothing, care a straw for nothing, but two or three old friends, that I have loved these thirty years. You have buried yourself with half a dozen parsons and isquires, and Yet never cast a thought upon those you have always lived with. You come to town for two Months, grow tired in six weeks, hurry away, and then one hears no more of you till next winter. I don't want you to like the world, I like it no more than you; but I stay awhile in it, because while one sees it one laughs at it, but when one gives it up one grows angry with it; and I hold it to be much wiser to laugh than to be out of humour. You cannot imagine how much ill blood this perseverance has cured me of; I used to say to myself, "Lord! this person is so bad, that person is so bad, I hate them." I have now found out that they are all pretty much alike, and I hate nobody. Having never found you out, but for integrity and sincerity, I am much disposed to persist in a friendship with you; but if I am to be at all the pains of keeping it up, I shall imitate my neighbours (I don't mean those at next door, but in the Scripture sense of my neighbour, any body,) and say "That is a very good man, but I don't care a farthing for him." Till I have taken my final resolution on that head, I am yours most cordially.