The Letters of Horace Walpole Volume 3
by Horace Walpole
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I wish you had told me in what age your Franciscan friars lived; and what the passage in Comines is. I am very ready to make amende honorable. Thank you for the notes on the Noble Authors. They shall be inserted when I make a new edition, for the sake of the trouble the person has taken, though they are of little consequence. Dodsley has asked me for a new edition; but I have had little heart to undertake such work, no more than to mend my old linen. It is pity one cannot be born an ancient, and have commentators to do such jobs for one! Adieu! Yours ever.

Saturday morning.

On reading over your letter again this morning, I do find the age in which the friars lived—I read and write in such a hurry, that I think I neither know what I read or say.

(1013) Gray, in his letter of the 25th, had said:—"The Long Story was to be totally omitted, as its only use (that of explaining the plates) was gone; but, to supply the place of it in bulk, lest my works should be mistaken for the works of a flea or a pismire I promised to send him an equal weight of poetry or prose; so I put up about two ounces of stuff, viz. The Fatal Sisters; The Descent of Odin; a bit of something from the Welch, and certain little Notes, partly from justice-,, partly from ill- temper, just to tell the gentle reader that Edward 1. was not Oliver Cromwell, nor Queen Elizabeth the Witch of Endor. This is literally all; and with all this, I shall be but a shrimp of an author." Works, vol. iv. P. 110.-E.

(1014) Gray, in his answer of the 6th of March, says—"Guthrie, you see, has vented himself in the Critical Review. His History I never saw, nor is it here, nor do I know any one that ever saw it. He is a rascal; but rascals may chance to meet with curious records." Works, vol. iv. p. 116.-E.

(1015) "The Praise of King Richard the Third," which was published by Sir William Cornwallis, Knight, the celebrated "Essayist," in 1617, is reprinted in the third volume of the Somers' Collection of Tracts.-E.

(1016) From this roll were taken the two plates of portraits in the Historic Doubts.

Letter 339 To George Montagu, Esq. Arlington Street, March 12, 1768. (page 514)

The house, etc. described in the enclosed advertisement I Should think might suit you; I am sure its being in my neighbourhood would make me glad, if it did. I know no more than what you will find in this scrap of paper, nor what the rent is, nor whether it has a chamber as big as Westminster-hall; but as you have flown about the world, and are returned to your ark without finding a place to rest your foot, I should think you might as well inquire about the house I notify to you, as set out with your caravan to Greatworth, like a Tartar chief; especially as the laws of this country will not permit you to stop in the first meadow you like, and turn your horses to grazing without saying by your leave.

As my senatorial dignity is gone,(1017) and the sight of my name is no longer worth threepence, I shall not put you to the expense of a cover, and I hope the advertisement will not be taxed, as I seal it to the paper. In short, I retain so much iniquity from the last infamous Parliament that you see I would still cheat the public. The comfort I feel in sitting peaceably here, instead of being at Lynn in the high fever of a contested election, which at best would end in my being carried about that large town like the figure of a pope at a bonfire, is very great. I do not think, when that function is over, that I shall repent my resolution. What could I see but sons and grandsons playing over the same knaveries, that I have seen their fathers and Grandfathers act? Could I hear oratory beyond my Lord Chatham's? Will there ever be parts equal to Charles Townshend's? Will George Grenville cease to be the most tiresome of beings? Will he not be constantly whining, and droning, and interrupting, like a cigala(1018) in a sultry day in Italy.

Guthrie has published two criticisms on my Richard;(1019) one abusive in the Critical Review; t'other very civil and even flattering in a pamphlet; both so stupid and contemptible, that I rather prefer the first, as making some attempt at vivacity; but in point of argument, nay, and of humour, at which he makes an effort too, both things are below scorn. As an instance of the former, he says, the Duke of Clarence might die of drinking sack, and so be said to be drowned in a butt of malmsey; of the latter sort, are his calling the Lady Bridget Lady Biddy, and the Duke of York poor little fellow! I will weary you with no more such stuff!

The weather is so very March, that I cannot enjoy my new holidays at Strawberry yet; I sit reading and writing close to the fire.

Sterne has published two little volumes, called Sentimental Travels. They are very pleasing, though too much dilated, and infinitely preferable to his tiresome Tristram Shandy, of which I never could get through three volumes. In these there is a great good-nature and strokes of delicacy. Gray has added to his poems three ancient Odes from Norway and Wales. The subjects of the two first are grand and picturesque, and there is his genuine vein in them; but they are not interesting, and do not, like his other poems, touch any passion. Our human feelings, which he masters at will in his former pieces, are here not affected.(1020) Who can care through what horrors a Runic savage arrived at all the joys and glories they could conceive, the supreme felicity of boozing ale out of the skull of an enemy in Odin's hall? Oh! yes, just now perhaps these odes would be toasted at many a contested election. Adieu! Yours ever.

(1017) Walpole had retired from Parliament at the general election in the beginning of this year.-E.

(1018) "The shrill cicalas, people of the pine, Making their summer lives one ceaseless song, Were the sole echoes, save my steed's and mine, And vesper-bells that rose the boughs along." Don Juan, c. iii. st. 106.-E.

(1019) Walpole's work is thus characterized by Sir Walter Scott:- -"The Historical Doubts are an acute and curious example how minute antiquarian research may shake our faith in the facts most pointedly averred by general history. It is remarkable also to observe how, in defending a system, which was probably at first adopted as a mere literary exercise, Mr. Walpole's doubts acquired, in his own eyes, the respectability of certainties, in which he could not brook controversy." Prose Works; vol. iii. p. 304.-E.

(1020) "They strike, rather than please; the images are magnified by affectation; the language is laboured into harshness. The mind of the writer seems to work with unnatural violence. Double, double, toil and trouble! There is too little appearance of ease and nature." Johnson.-E.

Letter 340 To George Montagu, Esq. Strawberry Hill, April 15, 1768. (page 516)

Mr. Chute tells me that you have taken a new house in Squireland, and have given yourself up for two years more to port and parsons. I am very angry, and resign you to the works of the devil or the church, I don't care which. You will get the gout, turn Methodist, and expect to ride to heaven upon your own great foe. I was happy with your telling me how well you love me, and though I don't love loving, I could have poured out all the fullness of my heart to such an old and true friend; but what am I the better for it, if I am to see you but two or three days in the year? I thought you would at last come and while away the remainder of life on the banks of the Thames in gaiety and old tales. I have quitted the stage, and the Clive is preparing to leave it. We shall neither of us ever be grave: dowagers roost all round us and you could never want cards or mirth. Will you end like a fat farmer, repeating annually the price of oats, and discussing stale newspapers? There have you got, I hear into an old gallery that has not been glazed since Queen Elizabeth, and under the nose of an infant Duke and Duchess, that will understand you no more than if you wore a ruff and a coif, and talked to them of a call of serjeants the year of the Spanish armada! Your wit and humour will be as much lost upon them, as if you talked the dialect of Chaucer; for with all the divinity of wit, it grows out of fashion like a fardingale. I am convinced that the young men at White's already laugh at George Selwyn's bon-mots only by tradition. I avoid talking before the youth of the age as I would dancing before them; for if one's tongue don't move in the steps of the day, and thinks to please by its old graces, it is only an object of ridicule, like Mrs. Hobart in her cotilion. I tell you we should get together, and comfort ourselves with reflecting on the brave days that we have known—not that I think people were a jot more clever or wise in our youth than now, are now; but as my system is always to live in a vision as much as I can, and as visions don't increase with years, there is nothing so natural as to think one remembers what one does not remember.

I have finished my tragedy,(1021) but as you would not bear the subject, I will say no more of it, but that Mr. Chute, who is not easily pleased, likes it, and Gray, who is still more difficult, approves it.(1022) I am not yet intoxicated enough with it to think it would do for the stage, though I wish to see it acted; but, as Mrs. Pritchard(1023) leaves the stage next month, I know nobody could play the Countess; nor am I disposed to expose myself to the impertinent eyes of that jackanapes Garrick, who lets nothing appear but his own wretched stuff, or that of creatures still duller, who suffer him to alter their pieces as he pleases. I have written an epilogue in character for the Clive, which she would speak admirably; but I am not so sure that she would like to speak it. Mr. Conway, Lady Aylesbury, Lady Lyttelton, and Miss Rich, are to come hither the day after to-morrow, and Mr. Conway and I are to read my play to them; for I have not strength enough to go through the whole alone.(1024)

My press is revived, and is printing a French play written by the old President Henault.(1025) It was damned many years ago at Paris, and yet I think it is better than some that have succeeded, and much better than any of our modern tragedies. I print it to please the old man, as he was exceedingly kind to me at Paris; but I doubt whether he will live till it is finished.(1026) He is to have a hundred copies, and there are to be but a hundred more, Of Which You shall have one.

Adieu! though I am very angry with you, I deserve all your friendship, by that I have for you, witness my anger and disappointment. Yours ever.

P. S. Send me your new direction, and tell me when I must begin to use it.

(1021) The Mysterious Mother. See vol. i. p. 57.-E.

(1022) Of this tragedy Lord Byron was also an approver: "It is the fashion," he says, "to underrate Horace Walpole; firstly, because he was a nobleman; and secondly, because he was a gentleman; but, to say nothing of the composition of his incomparable Letters, and of the Castle of Otranto, he is the ultimus Romanorum, the author of the Mysterious Mother; a tragedy of the highest order, and not a puling"-E.

(1023) This celebrated actress, who excelled alike in tragedy and comedy, took leave of the stage in May, in the part of Lady Macbeth, and died at Bath in the following August.-E.

(1024) Walpole, in a letter to Madame du Deffand, of the 11th of March, speaking of the "Honn'ete Criminel," a copy of which she had sent him, gives her the following account of his own tragedy:—"L'Honn'ete Criminel me paroit assez m'ediocre. Ma propre trag'edie a de bien plus grands d'efauts, mais au moins elle ne ressemble pas au toout compass'e tet r'egl'e du si'ecle. Il ne vous plairoit pas assur'ement; il n'y a pas de beaux Sentiments: il n'y a que des passions sans envelope, des crimes, des repentis, et des horreurs. Je crois qu'il y a beaucoup plus de mauvais que de bon, et je sais s'urement que depuis le premier acte jusqu'a la derni'ere sc'ene l'int'er'et languit au lieu d'augmenter: peut-il avoir on plus grand d'efaut?"-E.

(1025) Corn'elie, a manuscript tragedy, written by the Pr'esident Henault in early life.

(1026) He died in Novembor 1770, at the age of eighty-six.-E.

Letter 341 To The Rev. Mr. Cole. Strawberry Hill, April 16, 1768. (page 517)

Well, dear Sir, does your new habitation improve as the spring advances? There has been dry weather and east wind enough to parch the fens. We find that the severe beginning of this last winter has made terrible havoc among the evergreens, though of old standing. Half my cypresses have been bewitched, and turned into brooms; and the laurustinus is every where perished. I am Goth enough to choose now and then to believe in prognostics; and I hope this destruction imports, that, though foreigners should take root here, they cannot last in this climate. I would fain persuade myself, that we are to be our own empire to eternity.

The Duke of Manchester has lent me an invaluable curiosity; I mean invaluable to us antiquaries: but perhaps I have already mentioned it to you; I forgot whether I have or no. It is the original roll of the Earls of Warwick, as long as my gallery, and drawn by John Rous(1027) himself. Ay, and what is more, there are portraits of Richard III., his Queen, and son; the two former corresponding almost exactly with my print; and a panegyric on the virtues of Richard, and a satire, upwards and downwards, on the illegal marriage of Edward IV., and on the extortions of Henry VII. I have had these and seven other portraits copied, and shall, some time or other, give plates of them. But I wait for an excuse; I mean till Mr. Hume shall publish a few remarks he has made on my book: they are very far from substantial; yet still better than any other trash that has been written against it, nothing of which deserves an answer.

I have long had thoughts of drawing up something for London like St. Foix's Rues de Paris,(1028) and have made some collections. I wish You Would be so good, in the course of your reading, to mark down any passage to that end: as where any great houses of nobility were situated; or in what street any memorable event happened. I fear the subject will not furnish much till later times, as our princes kept their courts up and down the country in such a vagrant manner.

I expect Mr. Gray and Mr. Mason to pass the day with me here to-morrow. When I am more settled here I shall put you in mind of your promise to bestow more than one day on me.

I hope the Methodist, your neighbour, does not, like his patriarch Whitfield, encourage the people to forge, murder, etc. in order to have the benefit of being converted at the gallows. That arch-rogue preached lately a funeral sermon on one Gibson, hanged for forgery, and told his audience, that he could assure them Gibson was now in heaven, and that another fellow, executed at the same time, had the happiness of touching Gibson's coat as he was turned off. As little as you and I agree about a hundred years ago, I don't desire a reign of fanatics. Oxford has begun with these rascals, and I hope Cambridge will wake. I don't mean that I would have them persecuted, which is what they wish; but I would have the clergy fight them and ridicule them. Adieu! dear Sir. Yours ever.

(1027) John Rous, the historian of Warwickshire, "who," according to Walpole in his Anecdotes of Painting, "drew his own portrait, and other semblances, but in too rude a style to be called painting."-E.

(1028) Essais Historiques sur Paris, par Germain-Fran'cois-Poulain de Saint Foix; of which an English translation was published in 1767.-E.

Letter 342 To The Rev. Mr. Cole. Strawberry Hill, June 6, 1768. (page 519)

You have told me what makes me both sorry and glad.(1029) Long have I expected the appearance of Ely, and thought it at the eve of coming forth. Now you tell me it is not half written; but then I am rejoiced you are to write it. Pray do; the author is very much in the right to make you author for him. I cannot say you have addressed yourself quite so judiciously as he has. I never heard of Cardinal Lewis de Luxembourg in my days, nor have a scrap of the history of Normandy, but Ducarel's tour to the Conqueror's kitchen. But the best way will be to come and rummage my library yourself: not to set me to writing the lives of prelates: I shall strip them stark, and you will have them to reconsecrate. Cardinal Morton is at your service: pray say for him, and of me, what you please. I have very slender opinion of his integrity; but as I am not spiteful, It would be hard to exact from you a less favourable account of him than I conclude your piety will bestow on all his predecessors and successors. Seriously, you know how little I take contradiction to heart, and beg you will have no scruples about defending Morton. When I bestow but a momentary smile on the abuse of any answerers, I am not likely to stint a friend in a fair and obliging remark.

The man that you mention, who calls himself "Impartialis," is, I suppose some hackney historian, I shall never inquire, whom, angry at being censured in the jump, and not named. I foretold he would drop his criticisms before he entered on Perkin Warbeck, which I knew he could not answer; and so it happened. Good night to him!

Unfortunately, I am no culinary antiquary - the Bishop of Carlisle, who is, I have oft heard talk of a sotelle, as an ancient dish. He is rambling between London, flagley, and Carlisle, that I do not know where to consult him: but, if the book is not printed before winter, I am sure he could translate your bill of fare into modern phrase. As I trust I shall see you some time this summer, you might bring your papers with you, and we will try what we can make of them. Tell me, do, when it will be most convenient for you to come, from now to the end of October. At the same time, I will beg to see the letters of the university to King Richard; and shall be still more obliged to you for the print of Jane Shore.(1030) I have a very bad mezzotinto of her, either from the picture at Cambridge or Eton. I wish I could return these favours by contributing to the decoration of your new old house: but, as you know, I erected an old house, not demolished one. I had no windows, or frames for windows, but what I bespoke on purpose for the places where they are. My painted glass was so exhausted, before I got through my design, that I was forced to have the windows in the Battery painted on purpose by Pecket. What scraps I have remaining are so bad I cannot make you pay for the carriage of them, as I think there is not one whole piece; but you shall see them when you come hither, and I will search if I can find any thing for your purpose. I am sure I owe it you. Adieu! Yours ever.

(1029) This is in reply to one of Mr. Cole's letters, wherein he had informed Mr. Walpole, that he had undertaken to write the history of some of' the Bishops of Ely for the History of Ely Cathedral, and requested some particulars relating to Cardinal Lewis de Luxembourg; and to be informed the meaning of the French word sotalle or sotelle. Mr. Cole also proposed to controvert an opinion of Mr. Walpole's respecting Cardinal Morton.

(1030) This appears, from the copy of Cole's previous letter, to have been an engraving done by Mr. Tyson of Bennett's College, from the picture in the Provost's lodge.

Letter 343 To George Montagu, Esq. Strawberry Hill, June 15, 1768. (page 520)

No, I cannot be so false as to say I am glad you are pleased with your situation. You are so apt to take root, that it requires ten years to dig you out again when you once begin to settle. As you go pitching your tent up and down, I wish you were still more a Tartar, and shifted your quarters perpetually. Yes, I will come and see you, but tell me first, when do your Duke and Duchess travel to the north? I know that he is a very amiable lad, and I do not know that she is not as amiable a laddess, but I had rather see their house comfortably when they are not there.

I perceive the deluge fell upon you before it reached us. It began here but on Monday last, and then rained near eight-and-forty hours without intermission. My poor hay has not a dry thread to its back. I have had a fire these three days. In short, every summer one lives in a state of mutiny and murmur, and I have found the reason: it is because we will affect to have a summer, and we have no title to any such thing. Our poets learnt their trade of the Romans, and so adopted the terms of their masters. They talk of shady groves, purling streams, and cooling breezes, and we get sore throats and agues with attempting to realize these visions. Master Damon writes a song, and invites Miss Chloe to enjoy the cool of the evening, and the deuce a bit have we of any such thing as a cool evening. Zephyr is a northeast wind, that makes Damon button up to the chin, and pinches Chloe's nose till it is red and blue; and then they cry, this is a bad summer! as if we ever had any other. The best sun we have is made of Newcastle coal, and I am determined never to reckon upon any other. We ruin ourselves with inviting over foreign trees and make our houses clamber up hills to look at prospects. How our ancestors would laugh at us, who knew there was no being comfortable, unless you had a high hill before your nose, and a thick warm wood at your back! Taste is too freezing a commodity for us, and, depend upon it, will go out of fashion again.

There is indeed a natural warmth in this country, which, as you say, I am very glad not to enjoy any longer; I mean the hothouse in St. Stephen's chapel. My own sagacity makes me very vain, though there was very little merit in it. I had seen so much of all parties, that I had little esteem left for any; it is most indifferent to me who is in or -who is out, or which is set in the pillory, Mr. Wilkes or my Lord Mansfield. I see the country going to ruin, and no man with brains enough to save it. That is mortifying ; but what signifies who has the undoing it? I seldom suffer myself to think on this subject: my patriotism could do no good, and my philosophy can make me be at peace.

I am sorry you are likely to lose your poor cousin Lady Hinchinbrook;(1031) I heard a very bad account of her when I was last in town. Your letter to Madame Roland shall be taken care of; but as you are so scrupulous of making me pay postage, I must remember not to overcharge you, as I can frank my idle letters no longer; therefore, good night!

P. S. I was in town last week, and found Mr. Chute still confined. He had a return in his shoulder, but I think it more rheumatism than gout.

(1031) Elizabeth, wife of John Viscount Hinchinbroke, afterwards fifth Earl of Sandwich, was the only surviving daughter of George, second and last Earl of Halifax. Her ladyship died on the 1st of July 1768, leaving a son, George Viscount Hinchinbroke, who died sine prole, in 1790.-E.

Letter 344 To The Hon. H. S. Conway.(1032) Strawberry Hill, June 16, 1768. (page 521)

I am glad you have writ to me, for I wanted to write to you, and did not know what to say. I have been but two nights in town, and then heard of nothing but Wilkes, of whom I am tired to death, and of T. Townshend, the truth of whose story I did not know; and indeed the tone of the age has made me so uncharitable, that I concluded his ill-humour was put on, in order to be mollified with the reversion of his father's place, which I know he has long wanted; and the destination of the Pay-office has been so long notified, that I had no notion of his not liking the arrangement. For the new Paymaster,(1033) I could not think him worth writing a letter on purpose. By your letter and the enclosed I find Townshend has been very ill-treated, and I like his spirit in not bearing such neglect and contempt, though wrapped up in 2700 pounds a-year.

What can one say of the Duke of Grafton, but that his whole conduct is childish, insolent, inconstant, and absurd—nay, ruinous? Because we are not in confusion enough, he makes every thing as bad as possible, neglecting on one hand, and taking no precaution on the other. I neither see how it is possible for him to remain minister, nor whom to put in his place. No government, no police, London and Middlesex distracted, the colonies in rebellion, Ireland ready to be so, and France arrogant, and on the point of being hostile! Lord Bute accused of all and dying of a panic; George Grenville wanting to make rage desperate; Lord Rockingham the Duke of Portland, and the Cavendishes thinking we have no enemies but Lord Bute and Dyson, and that four mutes and an epigram can set every thing to rights, the Duke of Grafton like an apprentice, thinking the world should be postponed to a whore and a horserace; and the Bedfords not caring what disgraces we undergo, while each of them has 3000 pounds a-year and three thousand bottles of claret and champagne! Not but that I believe these last good folks are still not satisfied with the satisfaction of their wishes. They have the favour of the Duke of Grafton, but neither his confidence nor his company; so that they can neither sell the places in his gift nor his secrets. Indeed, they,' have not the same reasons to be displeased with him as you have; for they were his enemies and you his friend—and therefore he embraced them and dropped you, and I believe would be puzzled to give a tolerable reason for either.

As this is the light in which I see our present situation, you will not wonder that I am happy to have nothing to do with it. Not that, were it more flourishing, I would ever meddle again. I have no good opinion of any of our factions, nor think highly of either their heads or their hearts. I can amuse myself much more to my satisfaction; and, had I not lived to see my country at the period of its greatest glory, I should bear our present state much better. I cannot mend it, and therefore will think as little of it as I can. The Duke of Northumberland asked me to dine at Sion to-morrow; but, as his vanity of governing Middlesex makes him absurdly meditate to contest the county, I concluded he wanted my interest here, and therefore excused myself; for I will have nothing to do with it.

I shall like much to come to Park-place, if your present company stays, or if the Fitzroys or the Richmonds are there; but I desire to be excused from the Cavendishes, who have in a manner left me off, because I am so unlucky as not to think Lord Rockingham as great a man as my Lord Chatham, and Lord John more able than either. If you will let me know when they leave you, you shall see me: but they would not be glad of my company, nor I of theirs.

My hay and I are drowned; I comfort myself with a fire, but I cannot treat the other with any sun, at least not with one that has more warm than the sun in a harlequin-farce.

I went this morning to see the Duchess of Grafton, who has got an excellent house and fine prospect, but melancholy enough, and so I thought was she herself: I did not ask wherefore.

I go to town to-morrow to see the Devil upon Two Sticks,(1034) as I did last week, but could not get in. I have now secured a place in my niece Cholmondeley's box, and am to have the additional entertainment of Mrs. Macauley in the same company; who goes to see herself represented, and I suppose figures herself very like Socrates.

I shall send this letter by the coach, as it is rather free spoken, and Sandwich may be prying.

Mr. Chute has found the subject of my tragedy, which I thought happened in Tillotson's time, in the Queen of Navarre's Tales; and what is very remarkable, I had laid my plot at Narbonne and about the beginning of the Reformation, and it really did happen in Languedoc and in the time of Francis the First. Is not this singular?(1035)

I hope your canary hen was really with egg by the blue-bird, and that he will not plead that they are none of his and sue for a divorce. Adieu!

(1032) Now first printed. In the preceding January Mr. Conway had resigned his situation of secretary of state for the northern department.-E.

(1033) Mr. Rigby.

(1034) Foote's successful comedy of The Devil upon Two Sticks was first acted at the Haymarket on the 31st of May.-E.

(1035) See vol. i. p. 57.

Letter 345 To Monsieur De Voltaire. Strawberry Hill, June 21, 1768. (page 523)

Sir, You read English with so much more facility than I can write French, that I hope you will excuse my making use of my own tongue to thank you for the honour of your letter. If I employed your language, my ignorance in it might betray me into expressions that would not do justice to the sentiments I feel at being so distinguished.

It is true, Sir, I have ventured to contest the history of Richard the Third, as it has been delivered down to us; and I shall obey your commands, and send it to you, though with fear and trembling; for though I have given it to the world, as it is called, yet, as you have justly observed, that world is comprised within a very small circle of readers—and Undoubtedly I could not expect that you would do me the Honour of being one of the number. Nor do I fear you, Sir, only as the first genius in Europe, who has illustrated every science; I have a more intimate dependence on you than YOU Suspect. Without knowing it, you have been my master, and perhaps the sole merit that may be found in my writings is owing to my having studied yours; so far, Sir, am I from living in that state of barbarism and ignorance with which you tax me when you say que vous m''etes peut-'etre inconnu. I was not a stranger to your reputation very many years ago, but remember to have then thought you honoured our house by dining with my mother—though I was at school, and had not the happiness of seeing you: and yet my father was in a situation that might have dazzled eyes older than mine. The plain name of that father, and the pride of having had so excellent a father, to whose virtues truth at last does justice , is all I have to boast. I am a very private man, distinguished by neither dignities nor titles, which I have never done any thing to deserve—but as I am certain that titles alone would not have procured me the honour of your notice, I am content without them.(1036)

But, Sir, if I can tell you nothing good of myself, I can at least tell you something bad; and, after the obligation you have conferred on me by your letter, I should blush if you heard it from any body but myself. I had rather incur your indignation than deceive you. Some time ago I took the liberty to find fault in print with the criticisms you had made on our Shakspeare. This freedom, and no wonder, never came to your knowledge. It was in a preface to a trifling romance, much unworthy of your regard, but which I shall send you, because I cannot accept even the honour of your correspondence, without making you judge whether I deserve it. I might retract, I might beg your pardon; but having said nothing but what I thought, nothing illiberal or unbecoming a gentleman, it would be treating you with ingratitude and impertinence, to suppose that you would either be offended with my remarks, or pleased with my recantation. You are as much above wanting flattery, as I am above offering it to you. You would despise me, and I should despise myself—a sacrifice I cannot make, Sir, even to you.

Though it is impossible not to know you, Sir, I must confess my ignorance on the other part of your letter. I know nothing of the history of Monsieur de Jumonville, nor can tell whether it is true or false, as this is the first time I ever heard of it. But I will take care to inform myself as well as I can, and, if you allow me to trouble you again, will send you the exact account as far as I can obtain It. I love my country, but I do not love any of my countrymen that have been capable, if they have been so, of a foul assassination. I should have made this inquiry directly, and informed you of the result of it in this letter, had I been in London; but the respect I owe you, Sir, and my impatience to thank you for so unexpected a mark of your favour, made me choose not to delay my gratitude for a single post. I have the honour to be, Sir, your most obliged and most obedient humble servant.

(1036) Voltaire had said, "Vous pardonnerez encore plus 'a mon ignorance de vos titres; je n'en respecte pas moins votre personne; je connais plus votre m'erite que les dignit'es dont il doit 'etre rev'etu."-E.

Letter 346 To The Earl Of Strafford. Strawberry Hill, June 25, 1768. (page 524)

You ordered me, my dear Lord, to write to you, and I am ready to obey you, and to give you every proof of attachment in my power: but it is a very barren season for all but cabalists, who can compound, divide, multiply No. 45 forty-five thousand different ways. I saw in the papers to-day, that somehow or other this famous number and the number of the beast in the Revelations is the same—an observation from which different persons will draw various conclusions. For my part, who have no ill wishes to Wilkes, I wish he was in Patmos, or the New Jerusalem, for I am exceedingly tired of his name. The only good thing I have heard in all this Controversy was of a man who began his letter thus: "I take the Wilkes-and-liberty to assure you," etc.

I peeped at London last week, and found a tolerably full opera. But now the birthday is over, I suppose every body will go to waters and races till his Majesty of Denmark arrives. He is extremely amorous; but stays so short a time, that the ladies who Intended to be undone must not hagle. They must do their business in the twinkling of an allemande, or he will be flown. Don't you think he will be a little surprised, when he inquires for the seriglio in Buckingham-house, to find, in full of all accounts, two old Mecklenburgheresses?

Is it true that Lady Rockingham is turned Methodist? It will be a great acquisition to the sect to have their hymns set by Giardini. I hope Joan Huntingdon will be deposed, if the husband becomes first minister. I doubt, too, the saints will like to call at Canterbury and Winchester in their way to heaven. My charity is so small, that I do not think their virtue a jot more obdurate than that of patriots.

We have had some severe rain; but the season is now beautiful, though scarce hot. The hay and the corn promise that we shall have no riots on their account. Those black dogs the whiteboys or coal-heavers are dispersed or taken; and I really- see no reason to think we shall have another rebellion this fortnight. The most comfortable event to me is, that we shall have no civil war all the summer at Brentford. I dreaded two kings there; but the writ for Middlesex will not be issued till the Parliament meets; so there will be no pretender against King Glynn.(1037) As I love peace, and have done with politics, I quietly acknowledge the King de facto; and hope to pass and repass unmolested through his Majesty's long, lazy, lousy capital.(1038)

My humble duty to my Lady Strafford and all her pheasants. I have just made two cascades; but my naiads are fools to Mrs. Chetwynd or my Lady Sondes, and don't give me a gallon of water in a week.—Well, this is a very silly letter! But you must take the will for the deed. Adieu, my dear Lord! Your most faithful servant.

(1037) Serjeant Glynn, Member of Parliament for Middlesex.

(1038) Brentford.

Letter 347 To Monsieur De Voltaire. Strawberry Hill, July 27, 1768. (page 525)

One can never, Sir, be sorry to have been in the wrong, when one's errors are pointed out to one in so obliging and masterly a manner. Whatever opinion I may have of Shakspeare, I should think him to blame, if he could have seen the letter you have done me the honour to -write to me, and yet not conform to the rules you have there laid down. When he lived, there had not been a Voltaire both to give laws to the stage, and to show on what good sense those laws were founded. Your art, Sir, goes still farther: for you have supported your arguments, without having recourse to the best authority, your own words. It was My interest perhaps to defend barbarism and irregularity. A great genius is in the right, on the contrary, to show that when correctness, nay, when perfection is demanded, he can still shine, and be himself, whatever fetters are imposed on him. But I will say no more on this head; for I am neither so unpolished as to tell you to your face how much I admire you, nor, though I have taken the liberty to vindicate Shakspeare against your criticisms, am I vain enough to think myself an adversary worthy of you. I am much more proud of receiving laws from you, than of contesting them. It was bold in me to dispute with you even before I had the honour of your acquaintance; it would be ungrateful now when you have not only taken notice of me, but forgiven me. The admirable letter you have been so good as to send me, is a proof that you are one of those truly great and rare men who know at once how to conquer and to pardon.

I have made all the inquiry I could into the story of M. de Jumonville; and though your and our accounts disagree, I own I do not think, Sir, that the strongest evidence is in our favour. I am told we allow he was killed by a party of our men, going to the Ohio. Your countrymen say he was going with a flag of truce. The commanding officer of our party said M. de Jumonville was going with hostile intentions; and that very hostile orders were found after his death in his pocket. Unless that officer had proved that he had previous intelligence of those orders, I doubt he will not be justified by finding them afterwards; for I am not at all disposed to believe that he had the foreknowledge of your hermit,(1039) who pitched the old woman's nephew into the river, because "ce jeune homme auroit assassin'e sa tante dans un an."

I am grieved that such disputes should ever subsist between two nations who have every thing in themselves to create happiness, and who may find enough in each other to love and admire. It is your benevolence, Sir, and your zeal for softening the manners of mankind; it is the doctrine of peace and amity which You preach which have raised my esteem for you even more than the brightness of your genius. France may claim you in the latter light, but all nations have a right to call you their countryman du c'ot'e du coeur. it is on the strength of that connexion that I beg you, Sir, to accept the homage of, Sir, your most obedient humble servant.(1040)

(1039) An allusion to the fable in Zadig, which is said to have been founded on Parnell's Hermit, but which was most probably taken from one of the Contes Devots, "De l'Hermite qu'un ange conduisit dans le Si'ecle," and of which a translation, or rather modernization, is to be found in the fifth volume of Le Grand d'Aussy, Fabliaux (p. 165, ed. 1829). The original old French version has been printed by Meou, in his Nouveau Recueil de Fabliaux et Contes, tom. ii. p. 916.-E.

(1040) The letter of Voltaire, to which the above is a reply, contained the following opinion of Walpole's Historical Doubts:- -"Avant le d'epart de ma lettre, j'ai eu le tems, Monsieur, de lire votre Richard Trois. Vous seriez un excellent attornei general; vous pesez toutes les probabilit'es; mais il paroit que vous avez une inclination secrette pour ce bossu. Vous voulez qu'il ait 'et'e beau gar'con, et m'eme galant homme. Le b'en'edictin Calmet a fait une dissertation pour prouver que Jesus Christ avait un fort beau visage. Je veux croire avec vous, que Richard Trois n''etait ni si laid, ni si m'echant, qu'on le dit; mais je n'aurais pas voulu avoir affaire 'a lui. Votre rose blanche et votre rose rouge avaient de terribles 'epines pour la nation.

"Those gracious kings are all a pack of rogues. En lisant l'histoire des York et des Lancastre, et de bien d'autres, on croit lire l'histoire des voleurs de grand chemin. Pour votre Henri Sept, il n''etait que coupeur de bourses. Be a minister or an anti-minister, a lord or a philosopher, I will be, with an equal respect, Sir, etc."-E.

Letter 348 To The Hon. H. S. Conway. Strawberry Hill, August 9, 1768. (page 527)

You are very kind, or else you saw into my mind, and knew that I have been thinking of writing to you, but had not a penfull of matter. True, I have been in town, but I am more likely to learn news here; where at least we have it like fish, that could not find vent in London. I saw nothing there but the ruins of loo, Lady Hertford's cribbage, and Lord Botetourt, like patience on a monument, smiling in grief. He is totally ruined, and quite charmed. Yet I heartily pity him. To Virginia he cannot be indifferent: he must turn their heads somehow or other. If his graces do not captivate them, he will enrage them to fury; for I take all his douceur to be enamelled on iron.

My life is most uniform and void of events, and has nothing worth repeating. I have not had a soul with me, but accidental company now and then at dinner. Lady Holderness,. Lady Ancram, Lady Mary Coke, Mrs. Ann Pitt, and Mr. Hume, dined here the day before yesterday. They were but just gone, when George Selwyn, Lord Bolingbroke, and Sir William Musgrave, who had been at Hampton-court, came in, at nine at night, to drink tea. They told me, what I was very glad to hear, and what I could not doubt, as they had it from the Duke of Grafton himself, that Bishop Cornwallis(1041) goes to Canterbury. I feared it would be ****; but it seems he had secured all the backstairs, and not the great stairs. As the last head of the church had been in the midwife line, I supposed Goody Lyttelton(1042) had hopes; and as he had been president of an atheistical club, to be Sure Warburton did not despair. I was thinking it would make a good article in the papers, that three bishops had supped with Nancy Parsons at Vauxhall, in their way to Lambeth. I am sure ****, would have been of the number; and **** who told the Duke of Newcastle, that if his grace had commanded the Blues at Minden, they would have behaved better, would make no scruple to cry up her chastity.

The King of Denmark comes on Thursday; and I go to-morrow to see him. It has cost three thousand pounds to new furnish an apartment for him at St. James's; and now he will not go thither, supposing it would be a confinement. He is to lodge at his own minister Dieden's.

Augustus Hervey, thinking it the bel air, is going to sue for a divorce from the Chudleigh.(1043) He asked Lord Bolingbroke t'other day, who was his proctor'! as he would have asked for his tailor. The nymph has sent him word, that if he proves her his wife he must pay her debts; and she owes sixteen thousand pounds. This obstacle thrown in the way, looks as if she was not sure of being Duchess of Kingston. The lawyers say, it will be no valid plea; it not appearing that she was Hervey's wife, and therefore the tradesmen could not reckon on his paying them.

Yes, it is my Gray, Gray the poet, who is made professor of modern history, and I believe it is worth five hundred a-year. I knew nothing of it till I saw it in the papers; but believe //it was Stonehewer that obtained it for him.(1044)

Yes, again; I use a bit of alum half as big as my nail, Once or twice a-week, and let it dissolve in my mouth. I should not think that using it oftener could be prejudicial. You should inquire; but as you are in more hurry than I am, you should certainly use it oftener than I do. I wish I could cure my Lady Ailesbury too. Ice-water has astonishing effect on my stomach, and removes all pain like a charm. Pray, though the one's teeth may not be so white as formerly, nor t'other look in perfect health, let the Danish King see such good specimens of the last age—though, by what I hear, he likes nothing but the very present age. However, sure you will both come and look at him: not that I believe he is a jot better than the apprentices that flirt to Epsom in a Tim-whisky; but I want to meet you in town.

I don't very well know what I write, for I hear a caravan on my stairs, that are come to see the house; Margaret is chattering, and the dogs barking; and this I call retirement! and yet I think it preferable to your visit at Becket. Adieu! Let me know something more of your motions before you go to Ireland, which I think a strange journey, and better compounded for: and when I see you in town I will settle with you another visit to Park-place. Yours ever.

(1041) The Hon. Frederick Cornwallis, seventh son of Charles fourth Baron Cornwallis, was translated from the see of Lichfield and Coventry to that of Canterbury, on the death of Archbishop Secker.-E.

(1042) Bishop of Carlisle. He died in December following; upon which event, Warburton wrote to Dr. Hurd—"A bishop, more or less, in the world, is nothing; and perhaps of as small account in the next. I used to despise him for his antiquarianism, but of late, since I grow old and dull myself, I cultivated an acquaintance with him for the sake of what formerly kept us asunder."-E.

(1043) On the 8th of March, 1769,, the lady publicly espoused Evelyn Pierrepoint., Duke of Kingston; for which offence she was impeached before the House of Peers, and the marriage declared illegal. She subsequently retired to the continent, where she died in 1788.-E.

(1044) The following is Gray's own account, in a letter of the 1st of August:—"I write chiefly to tell you, that on Sunday se'nnight Brocket died by a fall from his horse, being, as I hear, drunk: that on the Wednesday following I received a letter from the Duke of Grafton, saying he had the King's command to offer me the vacant professorship; and he adds, that from private as well as public considerations, he must take the warmest part in approving so well-judged a measure, etc. There's for you!"— In a letter to Dr. Beattie, of the 31st of October, he says—"It is the best thing the Crown has to bestow (on a layman) here; the salary is four hundred pounds per annum; but what enhances the value of it to me is, that it was bestowed without being asked. Instances of a benefit so nobly conferred, I believe, are rare; and therefore I tell you of it as a thing that does honour, not only to me, but to the minister." Works, vol. IV. pp. 123, 127.-E.

Letter 349 To George Montagu, Esq. Arlington Street, Aug. 13, 1768. (page 529)

indeed, what was become of you, as I had offered myself to you so long ago, and you did not accept my bill; and now it is payable at such short notice, that as I cannot find Mr. Chute, nor know where he is, whether at your brother's or the Vine, I think I had better defer my visit till the autumn, when you say you will be less hurried, and more at leisure. I believe I shall go to Ragley beginning of September, and possibly on to Lord Strafford's, and therefore I may call on you, if it will not be inconvenient to you, on my return.

I came to town to see the Danish King. He is as diminutive as if he came out of a kernel in the Fairy Tales. He is not ill made, nor weakly made, though so small; and though his face is pale and delicate, it is not at all ugly, yet has a strong cast of the late King, and enough of the late Prince of Wales to put one upon one's guard not to be prejudiced in his favour. Still he has more royalty than folly in his air; and, considering he is not twenty, is as well as one expects any king in a puppet-show to be. He arrived on Thursday, supped and lay at St. James's. Yesterday evening he was at the Queen's and Carlton-house, and at night at Lady Hertford's assembly. He only takes the title of altesse, an absurd mezzotermine, but acts king exceedingly; struts in the circle like a cock-sparrow, and does the honours of himself very civilly. There is a favourite too, who seems a complete jackanapes; a young fellow called Holke, well enough in his figure, and about three-and-twenty, but who will be tumbled down long before he is prepared for it. Bernsdorff, a Hanoverian, his first minister, is a decent sensible man; I pity him, though I suppose he is envied. From Lady Hertford's they went to Ranelagh, and to-night go to the opera. There had like to have been an untoward circumstance: the last new opera in the spring, which was exceedingly pretty, was called "I Viaggiatori Ridicoli," and they were on the point of acting it for this royal traveller.

I am sure you are not sorry that Cornwallis is archbishop. He is no hypocrite, time-server, nor high-priest. I little expected so good a choice. Adieu! Yours ever.

Letter 350 To The Earl Of Strafford. Strawberry Hill, Aug. 16, 1768. (page 529)

As you have been so good, my dear lord, as twice to take notice of my letter, I am bound in conscience and gratitude to try to amuse you with any thing new. A royal visiter, quite fresh, is a real curiosity—by the reception of him, I do not think many more of the breed will come hither. He came from Dover in hackney-chaises; for somehow or other the master of the horse happened to be in Lincolnshire; and the King's coaches having received no orders, were too good subjects to go and fetch a stranger King of their own heads. However, as his Danish Majesty travels to improve himself for the good of his people, he will go back extremely enlightened in the arts of government and morality, by having learned that crowned heads may be reduced to ride in a hired chaise.

By another mistake, King George happened to go to Richmond about an hour before King Christiern arrived in London. An hour Is exceedingly long; and the distance to Richmond Still longer: so with all the despatch that could possibly be made, King George could not get back to his capital till next day at noon. Then, as the road from his closet at St. James's to the King of Denmark's apartment on t'other side of the palace is about thirty miles, which posterity, having no conception of the prodigious extent and magnificence of St. James's, will never believe, it was half an hour after three before his Danish Majesty's courier could go, and return to let him know that his good brother and ally was leaving the palace in which they both were, in order to receive him at the Queen's palace, which you know is about a million of snail's paces from St. James's. Notwithstanding these difficulties and unavoidable delays, Woden, Thor, Fria, and all the gods that watch over the Kings of the North, did bring these two invincible monarchs to each other's embraces about half an hour after five that same evening. They passed an hour in projecting a family compact that will regulate the destiny of Europe to latest posterity: and then, the Fates so willing it, the British Prince departed for Richmond, and the Danish potentate repaired to the widowed mansion of his royal mother-in-law, where he poured forth the fulness of his heart in praises on the lovely bride she had bestowed on him, from whom nothing but the benefit of his subjects could ever have torn him. And here let Calumny blush, who has aspersed so chaste and faithful a monarch with low amours; pretending that he has raised to the honour of a seat in his sublime council, an artisan of Hamburgh, known only by repairing the soles of buskins, because that mechanic would, on no other terms, consent to his fair daughter's being honoured with majestic embraces. So victorious over his passions is this young Scipio from the Pole, that though on Shooter's-hill he fell into an ambush laid for him by an illustrious Countess, of blood-royal herself, his Majesty, after descending from his car, and courteously greeting her, again mounted his vehicle, without being one moment eclipsed from the eyes of the surrounding multitude. Oh! mercy on me! I am out of breath—pray let me descend from my stilts, or I shall send you as fustiin and tedious a history as that of Henry II. Well then, this great King is a very little one; not ugly, nor ill-made. He has the sublime strut of his grandfather, or of a cock-sparrow; and the divine white eyes of all his family by the mother's side. His curiosity seems to have consisted in the original plan of travelling for I cannot say he takes notice of any thing in particular. His manner is cold and dignified, but very civil and gracious and proper. The mob adore him and huzza him; and so they did the first instant. At Present they begin to know why— for he flings money to them out of his windows; and by the end of the week I do not doubt but they will want to choose him for Middlesex. His court is extremely well ordered; for they bow as low to him at every word as if his name was Sultan Amurat. You would take his first minister for only the first of his slaves. I hope this example, which they have been so good as to exhibit at the opera, will contribute to civilize us. There is indeed a pert young gentleman, who a little discomposes this august ceremonial. His name is Count Holke, his age three-and-twenty and his post answers to one that we had formerly in England, many ages ago, and which in our tongue was called the lord high favourite. Before the Danish monarchs became absolute, the most refractory of that country used to write libels, called North Danes, against this great officer; but that practice has long since ceased. Count Holke seems rather proud of his favour, than shy of displaying it.

I hope, my dear lord, you will be content with my Danish politics, for I trouble myself with no other. There is a long history about the Baron de Bottetourt and Sir Jeffery Amherst, who has resigned his regiment but it is nothing to me, nor do I care a straw about it. I am deep in the anecdotes of the new court; and if you want to know more of Count Holke or Count Molke, or the grand vizier Bernsdorff, or Mynheer Schimmelman, apply to me, and you shall be satisfied. But what do I talk of? You will see them yourself. Minerva in the shape of Count Bernsdorff, or out of all shape in the person of the Duchess of Northumberland, is to conduct Telemachus to York races; for can a monarch be perfectly accomplished in the mysteries of king-craft, as our Solomon James I. called it, unless he is initiated in the arts of jockeyship? When this northern star travels towards its own sphere, Lord Hertford will go to Ragley. I shall go with him; and, if I can avoid running foul of the magi that will be thronging from all parts to worship that star, I will endeavour to call at Wentworth Castle for a day or two, if it will not be inconvenient; I should think it would be about the second week in September, but your lordship shall hear again, unless you should forbid me, who am ever Lady Strafford's and your lordship's most faithful humble servant.

Letter 351To The Hon. H. S. Conway.(1045) Arlington Street, Aug. 25, 1768. (page 531)

heartily glad you do not go to Ireland; it is very well for the Duke of Bedford, who, as George Selwyn says, is going to be made a mamamouchi. Your brother sets out for Ragley on Wednesday next, and that day I intend to be at Park—place, and from thence shall go to Ragley on Friday. I shall stay three or four days, and then go to Lord Strafford's for about as many; and shall call on George Montagu on my return, so as to be at home in a fortnight, an infinite absence in my account. I wish you could join in with any part of this progress, before you go to worship the treasures that are pouring in upon your daughter by the old Damer's death.(1046)

You ask me about the harvest—you might as well ask me about the funds. I thought the land flowed with milk and honey. We have had forty showers, but they have not lasted a minute each; and as the weather continues warm and my lawn green,

"I bless my stars, and call it luxury."

They tell me there are very bad accounts from several colonies, and the papers are full of their remonstrances; but I never read such things. I am happy to have nothing to do with them, and glad you have not much more. When one can do no good, I have no notion of sorrowing oneself for every calamity that happens in general. One should lead the life of a coffee-house politician, the most real patriots that I know, who amble out every morning to gather matter for lamenting over their country. I leave mine, like the King of Denmark, to ministers and Providence; the latter of which, like an able chancellor of the exchequer to an ignorant or idle first lord, luckily does the business. That little King has had the gripes, which have addled his journey to York. I know nothing more of his motions. His favourite is fallen in love with Lady Bel Stanhope,(1047) and the monarch himself demanded her for him. The mother was not averse, but Lady Bel very sensibly refused—so unfortunate are favourites the instant they set their foot in England! He is jealous of Sackville,(1048) and says, "ce gros noir n'est pas beau;" which implies that he thinks his own whiteness and pertness charming. Adieu! I shall see you on Wednesday.

(1045) Now first printed.

(1046) J. Damer, Esq., of carne in Dorsetshire, brother to the first Lord Milton.-E.

)1047) Afterwards Countess of Sefton.-E.

(1048) Who afterwards succeeded to the Dukedom of Dorset.-E.

Letter 352 To The Rev. Mr. Cole. Strawberry Hill, Aug. 30, 1768. (page 532)

You are always heaping so many kindnesses on me, dear Sir, I think I must break off all acquaintance with you, unless I can find some way of returning them. The print of the Countess of Exeter Is the greatest present to me in the world. I have been trying for years to no purpose to get one. Reynolds the painter promised to beg one for me of a person he knows, but I have never had it. I wanted it for four different purposes. 1. As a grandmother (in law, by the Cranes and Allingtons): 2. for my collection of heads: 3. for the volumes of prints after pieces in my collection: and, above all, for my collection of Faithornes, which though so fine, wanted such a capital print: and to this last I have preferred it. I give you unbounded thanks for it: and yet I feel exceedingly ashamed to rob you. The print of Jane Shore I had: but as I have such various uses for prints I easily bestowed it. It is inserted in my Anecdotes, where her picture is mentioned.

Thank you, too, for all your notices. I intend next summer to set about the last volume of my Anecdotes, and to make still further additions to my former volumes, in which these notes find their place. I am going to reprint all my pieces together, and, to my shame be it spoken, find they will at least make two large quartos. You, I know, will be partial enough to give them a place on a shelf, but as I doubt many persons will not be so favourable, I Only think of leaving the edition behind me.

Methinks I should like for your amusement and my own, that you settled to Ely: yet I value your health so much beyond either, that I must advise Milton, Ely being, I believe, a very damp, and, consequently, a very unwholesome situation. Pray let me know on which you fix; and if you do fix this summer, remember the hopes you have given me of a visit. My summer, that is, my fixed residence here, lasts till November. My gallery is not only finished, but I am going on with the round chamber at the end of it; and am besides playing with the little garden on the other side of the road, which was old Franklin's, and by his death came into my hands. When the round tower is finished, I propose to draw up a description and catalogue of the whole house and collection, and I think you will not dislike lending me your assistance.

Mr. Granger,(1049) of Shiplake, is printing his laborious and curious Catalogue of English heads, with an accurate though succinct account of almost all the persons. It will be a very valuable and useful work, and I heartily wish may succeed; though I have some fears. There are of late a small number of persons who collect English heads but not enough to encourage such a work: I hope the anecdotic part will make it more known and tasted. It is essential to us, who shall love the performance, that it should sell: for he prints no farther at first than to the end of the first Charles: and, if this part does not sell well, the bookseller will not purchase the remainder of the copy, though he gives but a hundred pounds for this half'; and good Mr. Granger is not in circumstances to afford printing it himself. I do not compare it with Dr. Robertson's writings, who has an excellent genius, with admirable style and manner; and yet I cannot help thinking, that there is a good deal of Scotch puffing and partiality, when the booksellers have given the Doctor three thousand pounds for his Life of Charles V., for composing which he does not pretend to have obtained any new materials.

I am going into Warwickshire; and I think shall go on to Lord Strafford's, but propose returning before the end of September. Yours ever.

(1049) The Rev. James Granger, Vicar of Shiplake in Oxfordshire; where he died in 1776. See post, May 27, 1769.-E.

Letter 353 To The Earl Of Strafford. Strawberry Hill, Monday, Oct. 10, 1768. (page 534)

I give you a thousand thanks, my dear Lord, for the account of the ball at Welbeck. I shall not be able to repay it with a relation of the masquerade to-night;(1050) for I have been confined here this week with the gout in my foot, and have not stirred off my bed or couch since Tuesday. I was to have gone to the great ball at Sion on Friday, for which a new road, paddock, and bridge were made, as other folks make a dessert. I conclude Lady Mary Coke has, and will tell you of all these pomps, which Health thinks so serious, and Sickness with her grave face tells one are so idle. Sickness may make me moralize, but I assure you she does not want humour. She has diverted me extremely with drawing a comparison between the repose (to call neglect by its dignified name) which I have enjoyed in this fit, and the great anxiety in which the whole world was when I had the last gout, three years ago—you remember my friends were then coming into power. Lord Weymouth was so good as to call at least once every day, and inquire after me; and the foreign ministers insisted that I should give them the satisfaction of seeing me, that they might tranquillize their sovereigns with the certainty of My not being in any danger. The Duke and Duchess of Newcastle were So kind, though very nervous themselves, as to send messengers and long messages every day from Claremont. I cannot say this fit has alarmed Europe quite so much. I heard the bell ring at the gate, and asked with much majesty if it was the Duke of Newcastle had sent? "No, Sir, it was only the butcher's boy." The butcher's boy is, indeed, the only courier i have had. Neither the King of France nor King of Spain appears to be under the least concern about me.

My dear Lord, I have had so many of these transitions in my life, that you will not wonder they divert me more than a masquerade. I am ready to say to most people, "Mask, I know you." I wish I might choose their dresses!

'When I have the honour of seeing Lady Strafford, I shall beseech her to tell me all the news: for I am too nigh and too far to know any. Adieu, my dear Lord!

(1050) A masquerade given at the Opera-house by the King of Denmark; one of the most magnificent which had ever been given in England. The jewels worn on the occasion by the maskers were estimated to be of the value of two millions.-E.

Letter 354 To George Montagu, Esq. Arlington Street, Nov. 10, 1768. (page 535)

I have not received the cheese, but I thank you as much beforehand. I have been laid up with a fit of the gout in both feet and a knee; at Strawberry for an entire month, and eight days here: I took the air for the first time the day before yesterday, and am, considering, surprisingly recovered by the assistance of the bootikins and my own perseverance in drinking water. I moulted my stick to-day, and have no complaint but weakness left. The fit came just in time to augment my felicity in having quitted Parliament. I do not find it so uncomfortable to grow old, when One is not obliged to expose oneself in public.

I neither rejoice nor am sorry at your being accommodated in your new habitation. It has long been plain to me that you choose to bury yourself in the ugliest spot you can find, at a distance from almost all your acquaintance; so I give it up; and then I am glad you are pleased.

Nothing is stirring but politics, and chiefly the worst kind of politics, elections. I trouble myself with no sort, but seek to pass what days the gout leaves me or bestows on me, as quietly as I can. I do not wonder at others, because I doubt I am more singular than they are; and what makes me happy would probably not make them so. My best compliments to your brother; I shall be glad to see you both when you come; though for you, you don't care how little time you pass with your friends. Yet I am, and ever shall be Yours most sincerely.

Letter 355 To George Montagu, Esq. Arlington Street, Nov. 15, 1768. (page 535)

You cannot wonder when I receive such kind letters from you, that I am vexed our intimacy should be reduced almost to those letters. It is selfish to complain, when you give me such good reasons for your system: but I grow old; and the less time we have to live together, the more I feel a separation from a person I love so well; and that reflection furnishes me with arguments in vindication of my peevishness. Methinks, though the contrary is true in practice, prudence should be the attribute of youth, not of years. When we approach to the last gate of life, what does it signify to provide for new furnishing one's house? Youth should have all those cares; indeed, charming youth is better employed. It leaves foresight to those that have little occasion for it. You and I have both done with the world, the busy world, and therefore I would smile with you over what we have both seen of it, and luckily we can smile both, for we have quitted it willingly, not from disgust nor mortifications. However, I do not pretend to combat your reasons, much less would I draw you to town a moment sooner than it is convenient to you, though I shall never forget your offering it. Nay, it is not so much in town that I wish we were nearer, as in the country. Unless one lives exactly in the same set of company, one is not much the better for one's friends being in London. I that talk of giving up the world, have only given up the troubles of it, as far as that is possible. I should speak more properly in saying, that I have retired out of the world into London. I always intend to place some months between me and the moroseness of retirement. We are not made for Solitude. It gives us prejudices, it indulges us in our own humours, and at last we cannot live without them.

My gout is quite gone; and if I had a mind to disguise its remains, I could walk very gracefully, except on going down stairs. Happily, it is not the fashion to hand any body; the nymph and I should soon be at the bottom.

Your old cousin Newcastle is going; he has had a stroke of the palsy, and they think will not last two days.(1051) I hope he is not sensible, as I doubt he would be too averse to his situation. Poor man! he is not like my late amiable friend, Lady Hervey;(1052) two days before She died, she wrote to her Son Bristol these words: "I feel my dissolution coming on, but I have no pain; what can an old woman desire more?" This was consonant to her usual propriety—yes, propriety IS grace, and thus every body may be graceful, when other graces are fled. Oh! but you will cry, is not this a contradiction to the former part of your letter? Prudence is one of the graces of age;-why—yes, I do not know but it may and yet I don't know how, it is a musty quality; one hates to allow it to be a grace—come, at least it is only like that one of the graces that hides her face. In Short, I have ever been so imprudent, that though I have much corrected myself, I am not at all vain of such merit. I have purchased it for much more than it was worth. I wish you joy of Lord Guildford's amendment; and always take a full part in your satisfaction or sorrow. Adieu! Yours ever.

(1051) The Duke of Newcastle died on the 17th.-E.

(1052) Lady Hervey died on the 2d of September, in the sixty-eighth year of her age.-E.

Letter 356 To George Montagu, Esq. Arlington Street, Dec. 1, 1768. (page 536)

I like your letter, and have been looking at my next door but one. The ground-story is built, and the side walls will certainly be raised another floor, before you think of arriving. I fear nothing for you but the noise of workmen, and of this street in front and Picadilly on the other side. If you can bear such a constant hammering and hurricane, it will rejoice me to have you so near me; and then I think I must see you oftener than I have done these ten years. Nothing can be more dignified than this position. From my earliest memory Arlington-street has been the ministerial street. The Duke of Grafton is actually coming into the house of Mr. Pelham, which my Lord president is quitting, and which occupies too the ground on which my father lived; and Lord Weymouth has just taken the Duke of Dorset's; yet you and I, I doubt, shall always live on the wrong side of the way.

Lord Chatham is reconciled to Lord Temple and George Grenville.(1053) The second is in great spirits on the occasion; and yet gives out that Lord Chatham earnestly solicited it. The insignificant Lepidus patronizes Antony, and is sued to by Augustus! Still do I doubt whether Augustus will ever come forth again. Is this a peace patched up by Livia for the sake of her children, seeing the imbecility of her husband? or is Augustus to own he has been acting changeling, like the first Brutus, for near two years? I do not know, I remain in doubt.

Wilkes has struck an artful stroke.(1054) The ministers, devoid of all management in the House of Commons, consented that he should be heard at the bar of the House, and appointed to-morrow, forgetting the election for Middlesex is to come on next Thursday: one would think they were impatient to advance riots. Last Monday Wilkes demanded to examine Lord Temple: when that was granted, he asked for Lord Sandwich and Lord March. As the first had not been refused, the others could not. The Lords were adjourned till to-day @ , and, I suppose, are now sitting on this perplexing demand. If Lord Temple desires to go to the bar of the Commons, and the others desire to be excused, it will be difficult for the Lords to know what to do. Sandwich is frightened out of his senses,(1055) and March does not like it. Well! this will cure ministers and great lords of being flippant in dirty tyranny, when they see they may be worried for it four years afterwards.

The Commons, I suppose, are at this minute as hotly engaged on the Cumberland election between Sir James Lowther and the Duke of Portland. Oh! how delightful and comfortable to be sitting quietly here a scribbling to you, perfectly indifferent about both houses! You will Just escape having your brains beaten out, by not coming this fortnight. The Middlesex election will be over. Adieu! Yours ever.

(1053) Through the mediation of their mutual friend, Mr. Calcraft, a reconciliation between Lord Chatham and Earl Temple took place at Hayes, on the 25th of November, to which Mr. Grenville heartily acceded. See Chatham Correspondence, vol, iii. p. 349.-E.

(1054) Mr. Wilkes, on the 14th of November, had presented a petition to the House of Commons, praying for a redress of his grievances.-E.

(1055) By a reference to Sir Henry Cavendish's Debates, vol. i. pp. 93, 131, it will be seen, that Lord Sandwich expressed, through Mr. Rigby, his readiness to be examined, and that he was examined on the 31st of January.-E.

Letter 357 To George Montagu, Esq. Strawberry Hill, Sunday, March 26, 1769. (page 538)

I beg your pardon; I promised to send you news, and I had quite forgot that we have had a rebellion; at least, the Duke of Bedford says so. Six or eight hundred merchants, English, Dutch, Jews, Gentiles, had been entreated to protect the Protestant succession, and consented.(1056) They set out on Wednesday noon in their coaches and chariots, chariots not armed with scythes like our Gothic ancestors. At Temple-bar they met several regiments of foot dreadfully armed with mud, who discharged a sleet of dirt on the royal troop. Minerva, who had forgotten her dreadful Egis, and who, in the shape of Mr. Boehm, carried the address, was forced to take shelter under a Cloud in Nando's coffeehouse, being more afraid of Buckhorse than ever Venus was of Diomed; in short, it was a dismal day; and if Lord Talbot had not recollected the patriot feats of his youth,(1057) and recommenced bruiser, I don't know but the Duchess of Kingston,(1058) who has so long preserved her modesty, from both her husbands, might not have been ravished in the drawing-room. Peace is at present restored, and the rebellion adjourned to the thirteenth of April; when Wilkes and Colonel Luttrell are to fight a pitched battle at Brentford, the Phillippi of antoninus. Tityre, tu patulae recubans sub tegmine fogi, know nothing of these broils. You don't convert your ploughshares into falchions, nor the mud of Adderbury into gunpowder. I tremble for my painted windows, and write talismans of number forty-five on every gate and postern of my castle. Mr. Hume is writing the Revolutions of Middlesex, and a troop of barnacle geese are levied to defend the capital. These are melancholy times! Heaven send we do not laugh till we cry!

London, Tuesday, 28th.

Our ministers, like their Saxon ancestors, are gone to bold a wittenagemoot on horseback at Newmarket. Lord Chatham, we are told, is to come forth after the holidays and place himself at the head of the discontented. When I see it I shall believe it. Lord Frederick Campbell is, at last, to be married this evening to the Dowager-countess of Ferrers.(1059) The Duchess of Grafton is actually Countess of Ossory.(1060) This is a short gazette; but, consider, it is a time of truce. Adieu!

(1056) A great riot took place on the 22d of March 1769, when a cavalcade of the merchants and tradesmen of the city of London, who were proceeding to St. James's with a loyal address, was so maltreated by the populace, that Mr. Boehm, the gentleman to whom the address was entrusted, was obliged to take refuge in Nando's coffeehouse. His coach was rifled; but the address escaped the search of the rioters, and was, after considerable delay, during which a second had been voted and prepared, eventually presented at St. James's.-E.

(1057) Lord Talbot behaved with great intrepidity upon this occasion: though he had his staff of office broken in his hand, and was deserted by his servants, he secured two of the most active of the rioters. His example recalled the military to their duty, who, without employing either guns or bayonets, captured fifteen more.-E.

(1058) The Duke of Kingston had married Miss Chudleigh on the 8th of this instant; the Consistory Court of London having declared, on the 11th of February previous, that the lady was free from any matrimonial contract with the Hon. Augustus John Hervey. On the 19th, she was presented, upon her marriage, to their Majesties; who honoured her by wearing her favours, as did all the great officers of state.-E.

(1059) See vol. iii. p. 58, letter 24. This unfortunate lady was burnt to death at Lord Frederick's seat at Combe Bank, in July 1807.-E.

(1060) Lady Anne Liddel, only daughter of Henry Liddel, Lord Ravensworth, married, in 1756, to Augustus Henry, third Duke of Grafton; from whom being divorced by act of parliament, she was married secondly, on the 26th of March, to the Earl of Ossory.-E.

Letter 358 To George Montagu, Esq. Arlington Street, April 15, 1769. (page 539)

I should be very sorry to believe half your distempers. I am heartily grieved for the vacancy that has happened in your mouth, though you describe it so comically. As the only physic I believe in is prevention, you shall let me prescribe to you. Use a little bit of alum twice or thrice in a week, no bigger than half your nail, till it has all dissolved in your mouth, and then spit out. This has fortified my teeth, that they are as strong as the pen of Junius.(1061) I learned it of Mrs. Grosvenor, who had not a speck in her teeth to her death. For your other complaints, I revert to my old sermon, temperance. If you will live in a hermitage, methinks it is no great addition to live like a hermit. Look in Sadeler's prints, they had beards down to their girdles; and with all their impatience to be in heaven, their roots and water kept them for a century from their wishes. I have lived all my life like an anchoret in London, and within ten miles, shed my skin after the gout, and am as lively as an eel in a week after. Mr. Chute, who has drunk no more wine than a fish, grows better every year. He has escaped this winter with only a little pain in one hand. Consider that the physicians recommended wine, and then can you doubt of its being poison? Medicines may cure a few acute distempers, but how should they mend a broken constitution? they would as soon mend a broken leg. Abstinence and time may repair it, nothing else can; for when time has been employed to spoil the blood, it cannot be purified in a moment.

Wilkes, who has been chosen member of Parliament almost as often as Marius was consul, was again re-elected on Thursday. The House of Commons, who are as obstinate as the county, have again rejected him. To-day they are to instate Colonel Luttrell in his place.(1062) What is to follow I cannot say, but I doubt grievous commotions. Both sides seem so warm, that it Will be difficult for either to be in the right. This is not a merry subject, and therefore I will have done with it. If it comes to blows, I intend to be as neutral as the gentleman that was going out with his hounds the morning of Edgehill. I have seen too much of parties to list with any of them.

You promised to return to town, but now say nothing of it. You had better come before a passport is necessary: Adieu!

(1061) The Letters of Junius, the first of which appeared on the 21st of January, were now in course of publication, and exciting great attention, not only in this country, but, as it would seem, also in France: "On parle ici beaucoup de votre 'ecrit de Junius," writes Madame du Deffand to Walpole.-E.

(1062) Wilkes, having been expelled the House of Commons on the 3d of February 1769, was a third time elected for Middlesex on the 16th of March. On the 17th, the election was declared by the House to be null and void, and a new writ was ordered to be issued. On the day of election, the 13th of April, Wilkes, Luttrell, and Serjeant Whitaker presented themselves as candidates, when the former, having a majority, was declared duly elected. On the 14th, this election was pronounced void, and on the 15th Henry Laws Luttrell, Esq. was duly elected, by 197 against 143, and took his seat accordingly.-E.

Letter 359 To George Montagu, Esq. Arlington Street, May 11, 1769. (page 540)

You are so wayward, that I often resolve to give you up to your humours. Then something happens with which I can divert you, and my good-humour returns. Did not you say you should return to London long before this time? At least, could you not tell me you had changed your mind? why am I to pick it out from your absence and silence, as Dr. Warburton found a future state in Moses's saying nothing of the matter! I could go on with a chapter of severe interrogatories, but I think it more cruel to treat You as a hopeless reprobate; yes, you are graceless, and as I have a respect for my own scolding, I shall not throw it away upon you.

Strawberry has been in great glory; I have given a festino there that will almost mortgage it. Last Tuesday all France dined there: Monsieur and Madame du Chatelet,(1063) the Duc de Liancourt,(1064) three more French ladies, whose names you will find in the enclosed paper, eight other Frenchmen, the Spanish and Portuguese ministers, the Holdernesses, Fitzroys, in short we were four-and-twenty. They arrived at two. At the gates of the castle I received them, dressed in the cravat of Gibbons's carving, and a pair of gloves embroidered up to the elbows that had belonged to James the First. The French servants stared, and firmly believed this was the dress of English country gentlemen. After taking a survey of the apartments, we went to the printing-house, where I had prepared the enclosed verses, with translations by Monsieur de Lille,(1065) one of the company. The moment they were printed off, I gave a private signal, and French horns and clarionets accompanied this compliment. We then went to see Pope's grotto and garden, and returned to a magnificent dinner in the refectory. In the evening we walked, had tea, coffee, and lemonade in the gallery, which was illuminated with a thousand, or thirty candles, I forgot which, and played at whist and loo till midnight. Then there was a cold supper, and at one the company returned to town, saluted by fifty nightingales, who, as tenants of the manor, came to do honour to their lord.

I cannot say last night was equally agreeable. There was what they called a ridotto el fresco at Vauxhall,(1066) for which one paid half-a-guinea, though, except some thousand more lamps and a covered passage all round the garden, which took off from the gardenhood, there was nothing better than on a common night. Mr. Conway and I set out from his house at eight o'clock; the line and torrent of coaches was so prodigious, that it was half-an-hour after nine before we got half-way from Westminster- bridge. We then alighted; and after scrambling under bellies of horses, through wheels, and over posts and rails, we reached the gardens, where were already many thousand persons. Nothing diverted me but a man in a Turk's dress and two nymphs in masquerade without masks, who sailed amongst the company, and, which was surprising seemed to surprise nobody. It had been given out that people were desired to come in fancied dresses without masks. We walked twice round and were rejoiced to come away, though with the same difficulties as at our entrance; for we found three strings of coaches all along the road, who did not move half a foot in half-an-hour. There is to be a rival mob in the same way at Ranelagh to-morrow; for the greater the folly and imposition the greater is the crowd. I have suspended the vestimenta that were torn off my back to the god of repentance, and shall stay away. Adieu! I have not a word more to say to you. Yours ever.

P. S. I hope you will not regret paying a shilling for this packet.

(1063) Le Marquis du Chatelet, was son to la Marquise du Chatelet, the commentator upon Newton, and the Am'elie of Voltaire. The scandalous chronicles of the time accord to the philosopher the honour of his paternity.-E.

(1064) The Duc de Liancourt, of the family de la Rochefoucauld, grand ma'itre de la garde-robe du Roi. At the commencement of the Revolution, his conduct was much blamed by those attached to the court. He eventually emigrated to England, and, after residing here some time, visited America, and published an account of his travels in that country. In 1799, after the 19th Brumaire, he returned to France. He died in March 1827, in his eightieth year.-E.

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