The Letters of Horace Walpole Volume 3
by Horace Walpole
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The lord of the Festival(69) was there, and seemed neither ashamed nor vain of the expense of his pleasures. At supper she offered him Tokay, and told him she believed he would find it good. The supper was in two rooms and very fine, and on the sideboards, and even on the chairs, were pyramids and troughs of strawberries and cherries you would have thought she was kept by Vertumnus. Last night my Lady Northumberland lighted up her garden for the Spaniards: I was not there, having excused myself for a headache, which I had not, but ought to have caught the night before. Mr. Doddington entertained these Fuentes's at Hammersmith; and to the shame of our nation, while they were drinking tea in the summer-house, some gentlemen, ay, my lord, gentlemen, went into the river and showed the ambassadress and her daughter more than ever they expected to see of England.

I dare say you are sorry for poor Lady Anson. She was exceedingly good-humoured, and did a thousand good-natured and generous actions. I tell you nothing of the rupture of Lord Halifax's match, of which you must have heard so much; but you will like a bon-mot upon it. They say, the hundreds of Drury have got the better of the thousands of Drury.(70) The pretty Countess(71) is still alive, was I thought actually dying on Tuesday night, and I think will go off very soon. I think there will soon be a peace: my only reason is, that every body seems so backward at making war. Adieu! my dear lord!

(67) A staymaker of the time, who advertised in the newspapers that he made stays at such a price, "tabby all over."

(68) Dodington had been minister in Spain.

(69) The Duke of Kingston.

(70) Lord Halifax kept an actress belonging to Drury Lane Theatre; and the marriage broken off was with a daughter of Sir Thomas Drury, an heiress.-E.

(71) The Countess of Coventry. She survived till the 1st of October.-E.

Letter 28 To Sir Horace Mann. Arlington Street, June 20, 1760. (page 68)

Who the deuce was thinking of Quebec? America was like a book one has read and done with; or at least, if one looked at the book, one just recollected that there was a supplement promised, to contain a chapter on Montreal, the starving and surrender of it- -but here are we on a sudden reading our book backwards. An account came two days ago that the French on their march to besiege Quebec, had been attacked by General Murray, who got into a mistake and a morass, attacked two bodies that were joined, when he hoped to come up with one of them before the junction, was enclosed, embogged,'and defeated. By the list of officers killed and wounded, I believe there has been a rueful slaughter- -the place, too, I suppose will be retaken. The year 1760 is not the year 1759. Added to the war we have a kind of plague too, an epidemic fever and sore throat: Lady Anson is dead of it; Lord Bute and two of his daughters were in great danger; my Lady Waldegrave has had it, and I am mourning for Mrs. Thomas Walpole,(72) who died of it—you may imagine I don't come much to town; I had some business here to-day, particularly with Dagge, whom I have sent for to talk about Sophia;(73) he will be here presently, and then I will let you know what he says.

The embassy and House of Fuentes are arrived-many feasts and parties have been made for them, but they do not like those out of town, and have excused themselves rather ungraciously. They were invited to a ball last Monday at Wanstead, but did not go: yet I don't know where they can see such magnificence. The approach, the coaches, the crowds of spectators to see the company arrive, the grandeur of the fa'cade and apartments, were a charming sight; but the town is so empty that that great house appeared so too. He, you know, is all attention, generosity, and good breeding.

I must tell you a private wo that has happened to me in my neighbourhood—Sir William Stanhope bought Pope's house and garden. The former was so small and bad, one could not avoid pardoning his hollowing out that fragment of the rock Parnassus into habitable chambers—but would you believe it, he has cut down the sacred groves themselves! In short, it was a little bit of ground of five acres, inclosed with three lanes, and seeing nothing. Pope had twisted and twirled, and rhymed and harmonized this, till it appeared two or three sweet little lawns opening beyond one another, and the whole surrounded with thick impenetrable woods. Sir William, by advice of his son-in-law,(74) Mr. Ellis, has hacked and hewed these groves, wriggled a winding-gravel walk through them with an edging of shrubs, in what they call the modern taste, and in short, has designed the three lanes to walk in again—and now is forced to shut them out again by a wall, for there was not a Muse could walk there but she was spied by every country fellow that went by with a pipe in his mouth.

It is a little unlucky for the Pretender to be dying just as the Pope seems to design to take Corsica into his hands, and might give it to so faithful a son of the church.

I have heard nothing yet of Stosch.

Presently. Mr. Dagge has disappointed me, and I am obliged to go out of town, but I have writ to him to press the affair, and will press it, as it is owing to his negligence. Mr. Chute, to whom I spoke, says he told Dagge he was ready to be a trustee, and pressed him to get it concluded.

(72) Daughter of Sir Gerard Vanneck.

(73) Natural daughter of Mr. Whitehed, mentioned in preceding letters, by a Florentine woman.

(74) Welbore Ellis, afterwards*Lord Mendip, married the only daughter of Sir William Stanhope; in right of whom he afterwards enjoyed Pope's villa at Twickenham.-E.

Letter 29 To Sir David Dalrymple.(75) June 20th, 1760. (page 69)

I am obliged to you, Sir, for the volume of Erse poetry - all of it has merit; but I am sorry not to see in it the six descriptions of night, with which you favoured me before, and which I like as much as any of the pieces. I can, however, by no means agree with the publisher, that they seem to be parts of an heroic poem; nothing to me can be more unlike. I should as soon take all the epitaphs in Westminster Abbey, and say it was an epic poem on the History of England. The greatest part are evidently elegies; and though I should not expect a bard to write by the rules of Aristotle, I would not, on the other hand, give to any work a title that must convey so different an idea to every common reader. I could wish, too, that the authenticity had been more largely stated. A man who knows Dr. Blair's character, will undoubtedly take his word; but the gross of mankind, considering how much it is the fashion to be sceptical in reading, will demand proofs, not assertions.

I am glad to find, Sir, that we agree so much on the Dialogues of the Dead; indeed, there are very few that differ from us. It is well for the author, that none of his critics have undertaken to ruin his book by improving it, as you have done in the lively little specimen you sent me., Dr. Brown has writ a dull dialogue, called Pericles and Aristides, which will have a different effect from what yours, would have. One of the most objectionable passages in lord Lyttelton's book is, in my opinion, his apologizing for 'the moderate government of Augustus. A man who had exhausted tyranny in the most lawless and Unjustifiable excesses is to be excused, because, out of weariness or policy, he grows less sanguinary at last!

There is a little book coming Out, that will amuse you. It is a new edition of Isaac Walton's Complete Angler,. full of anecdotes and historic notes. It is published by Mr. Hawkins,(76) a very worthy gentleman in my neighbourhood, but who, I could wish, did not think angling so very innocent an amusement. We cannot live without destroying animals, but shall-we torture them for our sport—sport in their destruction?(77) I met a rough officer at his house t'other day, who said he knew such a person was turning Methodist; for, in the middle of conversation, he rose, and opened the window to let out a moth. I told him I did not know that the Methodists had any principle so good, and that I, who am certainly not on the point of becoming one, always did so too. One of the bravest and best men I ever knew, Sir Charles Wager, I have often heard declare he never killed a fly willingly. It is a comfortable reflection to me, that all the victories of last year have been gained since the suppression of the bear garden and prize-fighting; as it is plain, and nothing else would have made it so, that our valour did not, singly and solely depend upon, those two universities. Adieu.!

(75) Now first collected.

(76) Afterwards Sir John Hawkins, Knight, the executor and biographer of Dr. Johnson.-E.

(77) Lord Byron, like Walpole, had a mortal dislike to angling, and describes it as " the cruelest, the coldest, and the stupidest of pretended sports." Of good Isaac Walton he says,

"The quaint, old, cruel coxcomb,. in his gullet Should have a hook, and a small trout to pull it."-E.

Letter 30 To The Hon. H. S. Conway.(78) Strawberry Hill, June 21, 1760. (page 70)

There is nothing in the world so tiresome as a person that always says they will come to one and never does; that is a mixture of promises and excuses; that loves one better than anybody, and yet will not stir a step to see one; that likes nothing but their own ways and own books, and that thinks the Thames is not as charming in one place as another, and that fancies Strawberry Hill is the only thing upon earth worth living for-all this you would say, if even I could make you peevish: but since you cannot be provoked, you see I am for you, and give myself my due. It puts me in mind of General Sutton, who was one day sitting by my father at his dressing. Sir Robert said to Jones, who was shaving him, "John, you cut me"—presently afterwards, "John, you cut me"—and again, with the same patience or Conway-ence, "John, you cut me." Sutton started up and cried, "By God! if he can bear it, I can't; if you cut him once more, damn my blood if I don't knock you down!" My dear Harry, I will knock myself down-but I fear I shall cut you again. I wish you sorrow for the battle of Quebec. I thought as much of losing the duchies of Aquitaine and Normandy as Canada.

However, as my public feeling never carries me to any great lengths of reflection, I bound all my Qu'ebecian meditations to a little diversion on George Townshend's absurdities. The Daily Advertiser said yesterday, that a certain great officer who had a principal share in the reduction of Quebec had given it as his opinion, that it would hold out a tolerable siege. This great general has acquainted the public to-day in an advertisement with—what do you think?—not that he has such an opinion, for he has no opinion at all, and does not think that it can nor cannot hold out a siege,—but, in the first place, that he was luckily shown this paragraph, which, however, he does not like; in the next, that he is and is not that great general, and yet that there is nobody else that is; and, thirdly, lest his silence, till he can proceed in another manner with the printer, (and indeed it is difficult to conceive what manner of proceeding silence is,) should induce anybody to believe the said paragraph, he finds himself under a necessity of giving the public his honour, that there is no more truth in this paragraph than in some others which have tended to set the opinions of some general officers together by the ears—a thing, however, inconceivable, which he has shown may be done, by the confusion he himself has made in the King's English. For his another manner with the printer, I am impatient to see how the charge will lie against Matthew Jenour, the publisher of the Advertiser, who, without having the fear of God before his eyes, has forcibly, violently, and maliciously, with an offensive weapon called a hearsay, and against the peace of our sovereign Lord the King, wickedly and traitorously assaulted the head of George Townshend, general, and accused it of having an opinion, and him the said George Townshend, has slanderously and of malice prepense believed to be a great general; in short, to make Townshend easy, I wish, as he has no more contributed to the loss of Quebec than he did to the conquest of it, that he was to be sent to sign this capitulation too.

There is a delightful little French book come out, called "Tant Mieux pour elle." It is called Cr'ebillon's, and I should think was so. I only borrowed it, and cannot get one; tant pis pour vous. By the way, I am not sure you did not mention it to me; somebody did.

Have you heard that Miss Pitt has dismissed Lord Buckingham? Tant mieux pour lui. She damns her eyes that she will marry some captain—tant mieux pour elle. I think the forlorn earl should match with Miss Ariadne Drury; and by the time my Lord Halifax has had as many more children and sentiments by and for Miss Falkner, as he can contrive to have. probably Miss Pitt may be ready to be taken into keeping. Good night!

P. S. The Prince of Wales has been in the greatest anxiety for Lord Bute; to whom he professed to Duncombe, and Middleton, he has the greatest obligations; and when they pronounced their patient out of danger, his Royal Highness gave to each of them a gold modal of himself, as a mark of his sense of their care and attention.

(78) Now first printed.

Letter 31 To The Hon. H. S. Conway. Strawberry Hill, June 28, 1760. (page 72)

The devil is in people for fidgetting about! They can neither be quiet in their own houses, nor let others be at peace in theirs! Have not they enough of one another in winter, but they must cuddle in summer too? For your part, you are a very priest: the moment one repents, you are for turning it to account. I wish you was in camp—never will I pity you again. How did you complain when you was in Scotland, Ireland, Flanders, and I don't know where, that you could never enjoy Park-place! Now you have a whole summer to yourself, and you are as junkettaceous as my Lady Northumberland. Pray, what horse-race do you go to next? For my part, I can't afford to lead such a life: I have Conway-papers to sort; I have lives of the painters to write; I have my prints to paste, my house to build, and every thing in the world to tell posterity. How am I to find time for all this? I am past forty, and may 'not have above as many more to live; and here I am to go here and to go there—well, I will meet you at Chaffont on Thursday; but I positively will stay but one night. I have settled with our brother that we will be at Oxford on the 13th of July, as Lord Beauchamp is only loose from the 12th to the 20th. I will be at Park-place on the 12th, and we will go together the next day. If this is too early for you, we may put it off to the 15th: determine by Thursday, and one of us will write to Lord Hertford.

Well! Quebec(79) is come to life again. Last night I went to see the Holdernesses, who by the way are in raptures with Park-in Sion-lane; as Cibber says of the Revolution, I met the Raising of the Siege; that is, I met my lady in a triumphal car, drawn by a Manks horse thirteen little fingers high, with Lady Emily:

et sibi Countess Ne placeat, ma'amselle curru portatur eodem-

Mr. Milbank was walking in ovation by himself after the car; and they were going to see the bonfire at the alehouse at the corner. The whole procession returned with me; and from the countess's dressing-room we saw a battery fired before the house, the mob crying "God bless the good news!"—These are all the particulars I know of the siege: my lord would have showed me the journal, but we amused ourselves much better in going to eat peaches from the new Dutch stoves.

The rain is come indeed, and my grass is as green as grass; but all my hay has been cut and soaking this week, and I am too much in the fashion not to have given Up gardening for farming; as next I suppose We shall farming and turn graziers and hogdrivers.

I never heard of such a Semele as my Lady Stormont(80) brought to bed in flames. I hope Miss Bacchus Murray will not carry the resemblance through, and love drinking like a Pole. My Lady Lyttelton is at Mr. Garrick's, and they were to have breakfasted here this morning; but somehow or other they have changed their mind. Good Night!

(79) Quebec was besieged by the French in the spring of this year, with an army of fifteen thousand men, under the command of the Chevalier de Levis, assisted by a naval force. They were, however, repulsed by General Murray, who was supported by Lord Colville and the fleet under his command; and on the night of the 16th of May raised the siege very precipitately, leaving their cannon, small arms, stores, etc. behind them.-E.

(80) See vol. ii. p. 513, letter 336.-E.

Letter 32 To George Montagu, Esq. Strawberry Hill, July 4, 1760. (page 73)

I am this minute returned from Chaffont, where I have been these two days. Mr. Conway, Lady Ailesbury, Lady Lyttelton, and Mrs. Shirley are there; and Lady Mary is going to add to the number again. The house and grounds are still in the same dislocated condition; in short, they finish nothing but children; even Mr. Bentley's Gothic stable, which I call Houynhm castle, is not roughcast yet. We went to see More-park, but I was not much struck with it, after all the miracles I had heard Brown had performed there. He has undulated the horizon in so many artificial mole-hills, that it is full as unnatural as if it was drawn with a rule and compasses. Nothing is done to the house; there are not even chairs in the great apartment. My Lord Anson is more slatternly than the Churchills, and does not even finish children. I am going to write to Lord Beauchamp, that I shall be at Oxford on the 15th, where I depend upon meeting you. I design to see Blenheim, and Rousham, (is not that the name of Dormer's?) and Althorp, and Drayton, before I return—but don't be frightened, I don't propose to drag you to all or any of these, if you don't like it.

Mr. Bentley has sketched a very pretty Gothic room for Lord Holderness, and orders are gone to execute it directly in Yorkshire. The first draught was Mason's; but as he does not pretend to much skill, we were desired to correct it. I say we, for I chose the ornaments. Adieu! Yours ever.

P. S. My Lady Ailesbury has been much diverted, and so will you too. Gray is in @their neighbourhood. My Lady Carlisle says, "he is extremely like me in his manner." They went a party to dine on a cold loaf, and passed the day; Lady A. protests he never opened his lips but once, and then only said, "Yes, my lady, I believe so."(81)

(81) Gray, in a letter to Dr. Clarke, of the 12th of August, says, "For me, I am come to my resting-place, and find it very necessary, after living for a month in a house with three women that laughed from morning till night, and would allow nothing to the sulkiness of my disposition. Company and cards at home, parties by land and water abroad, and (what they call) doing something, that is, racketting about from morning to night, are occupations, I find, that wear out my spirits." Works, vol. iii. p. 253.-E.

Letter 33 To Sir Horace Mann.

Arlington Street, July 7, 1760. (page 74)

I shall write you but a short letter myself, because I make your brother, who has this moment been here, write to-night with all the particulars relating to the machine. The ten guineas are included in the sixty; and the ship, which is not yet sailed, is insured. My dear child, don't think of making me any excuses about employing me; I owe you any trouble sure that I can possibly undertake, and do it most gladly; in this one instance I was sorry you had pitched upon me, because it was entirely out of my sphere, and I could not even judge whether I had served you well or not. I am here again waiting for Dagge, whom it is more difficult to see than a minister; he disappointed me last time, but writ to me afterwards that he would immediately settle the affair for poor Sophia.

Quebec, you know, is saved; but our German histories don't go on so well as our American. Fouquet is beat, and has lost five out of twelve thousand men, after maintaining himself against thirty for seven hours—he is grievously wounded, but not prisoner. The Russians are pouring on—adieu the King of Prussia, unless Prince Ferdinand's battle, of which we have expected news for these four days, can turn the scale a little—we have settled that he is so great a general, that you must not wonder if We expect that he should beat all the world in their turns.

There has been a woful fire at Portsmouth; they say occasioned by lightning; the shipping was saved, but vast quantities of stores are destroyed.

I shall be more easy about your nephew, since you don't adopt my idea; and yet I can't conceive with his gentle nature and your good sense but you would have sufficient authority over him. I don't know who your initials mean, Ld. F. and Sr. B. But don't much signify, but consider by how many years I am removed from knowing the rising generation.

I shall some time hence trouble you for some patterns of brocadella of two or three colours: it is to furnish a round tower that I am adding, with a gallery, to my castle: the quantity I shall want will be pretty large; it is to be a bedchamber entirely hung bed, and eight armchairs; the dimensions thirteen feet high, and twenty-two diameter. Your Bianca Capello is to be over the chimney. I shall scarce be ready to hang it these two years, because I move gently, and never begin till I have the money ready to pay, which don't come very fast, as it is always to be saved out of my income, subject, too, to twenty other whims and expenses. I only mention it now, that you may at your leisure look me out half a dozen patterns; and be so good as to let me know the prices. Stosch is not arrived yet as I have heard.

Well,—at last, Dagge is come, and tells me I may assure you positively that the money will be paid in- two months from this time; he has been at Thistlethwait's,(82) which is nineteen miles from town, and goes again this week to make him sign a paper, on which the parson(82) will pay the money. I shall be happy when this is completed to your satisfaction, that is, when your goodness is rewarded by being successful; but till it is completed, with all Mr. Dagge's assurances, I shall not be easy, for those brothers are such creatures, that I shall always expect some delay or evasion, when they are to part with money. Adieu!

(82) Brother and heirs of Mr. Whithed, who had changed his name for an estate. (Transcriber's note: this note really is cited twice in the above paragraph.)

Letter 34 To George Montagu, Esq. Strawberry Hill, July 19, 1760. (page 75)

Mr. Conway, as I told you, was With me at Oxford, and I returned with him to Park-place, and to-day hither. I am sorry you could not come to us; we passed four days most agreeably, and I believe saw more antique holes and corners than Tom Hearne did in threescore years. You know my rage for Oxford; if King's-college would not take it ill,. I don't l(now but I should retire thither, and profess Jacobitism, that I might enjoy some venerable set of chambers. Though the weather has been so sultry, I ferreted from morning to night, fatigued that strong young lad Lord Beauchamp, and harassed his tutors till they were forced to relieve one another.' With all this, I found nothing worth seeing, except the colleges themselves, painted glass, and a couple of crosiers. Oh, yes! in an old buttery at Christ- church I discovered two of the most glorious portraits by Holbein in the world. They call them Dutch heads. I took them down, washed them myself, and fetched out a thousand beauties. We went to Blenheim and saw all Vanbrugh's quarries, all the acts of parliament and gazettes on the Duke in inscriptions, and all the old flock chairs, wainscot tables, and gowns and petticoats of Queen Anne, that old Sarah could crowd among blocks of marble. It looks like the palace of an auctioneer, who has-been chosen King of Poland, and furnished his apartments with obsolete trophies, rubbish that nobody bid for, and a dozen pictures, that he had stolen from the inventories of different families. The place is as ugly as the house, and the bridge, like the beggars at the old Duchess's gate, begs for a drop of water, and is refused. We went to Ditchley, which is a good house, well furnished, has good portraits, a wretched saloon, and one handsome scene behind the house. There are portraits of the Litchfield hunt, in true blue frocks, with ermine capes. One of the colleges has exerted this loyal pun, and made their east window entirely of blue glass. But the greatest pleasure we had, was in seeing Sir Charles Cotterel's at Housham; it reinstated Kent with me; he has nowhere shown so much taste. The house is old, and was bad; he has improved it, stuck as close as he could to Gothic, has made a delightful library, and the whole is comfortable. The garden is Daphne in little; the sweetest little groves, streams, glades, porticoes, cascades, and river, imaginable; all the scenes are perfectly classic. Well, if I had such a house, such a library, so pretty a place, and so pretty a wife, I think I should let King George send to Herenhausen for a master of the ceremonies.

Make many compliments to all your family for me; Lord Beauchamp was much obliged by your invitation. I shall certainly accept it, as I return from the north; in the mean time, find out how Drayton and Althorp lie according to your scale. Adieu! Yours most sincerely.

Letter 35 To George Montagu, Esq. Strawberry Hill, July 20, 1760. (page 76)

I shall be very sorry if I don't see you at Oxford on Tuesday next: but what can I say if your Wetenhalls will break into my almanack, and take my very day, can I help it! I must own I shall be glad if their coach-horse is laid up with the fashionable sore throat and fever can you recommend no coachman to them like Dr. Wilmot, who will despatch it in three days? If I don't see you at Oxford, I don't think I shall at Greatworth till my return from the north, which will be about the 20th or 22d of August. Drayton,(83) be it known to you, is Lady Betty Germain's., is in your own county, was the old mansion of the Mordaunts, and is crammed with whatever Sir John could get from them and the Norfolks. Adieu!

(83) The seat of Sir John Germain, Bart.; by whose will, and that of his widow, Lady Betty, his property devolved upon Lord George Sackvillc; who, in consequence, assumed, in 1770, the name of Germain.-E.

Letter 36 To Sir Horace Mann. Arlington Street, Aug. 1, 1760. (page 77)

I came to town to-day on purpose to see Stosch, who has been arrived some days; and to offer him all manner, of civilities on your account—when indeed they can be of no use to him, for there is not a soul in town. There was a wild report last week of the plague being in St. Thomas's Hospital, and to be sure Stosch must believe there is some truth in it, for there is not a coach to be seen, the streets are new paving, and the houses new painting, just as it is always at this season. I told him if he had a mind to see London, he must go to Huntingdon races, Derby races, Stafford races, Warwick races-that is the fashionable route this year-alas! I am going part of it; the Duchess of Grafton and Loo are going to the Duke of Devonshire's, Lord Gower's, and Lord Hertford's; but I shall contrive to arrive after every race is over. Stosch delivered me the parcel safe, and I should have paid him for your Burgundy, but found company with him, and thought it not quite so civil to offer it at the first interview, lest it should make him be taken for a wine-merchant. He dines with me on Tuesday at Strawberry Hill, when I shall find an opportunity. He is going for a few days to Wanstead, and then for three months to a clergyman's in Yorkshire, to learn English. Apropos, you did not tell me why he comes; is it to sell his uncle's collection? Let me know before winter on what foot I must introduce him, for I would fain return a few of the thousand civilities you have showed at my recommendation.

The hereditary Prince has been beaten, and has beaten, with the balance on his side; but though the armies are within a mile of one another, I don't think it clear there will be a battle, as we may lose much more than we can get. A defeat will cost Hanover and Hesse; a victory cannot be vast enough to leave us at liberty to assist the King of Prussia. He gave us a little advantage the other day; outwitted Daun, and took his camp and magazines, and aimed at Dresden; but to-day the siege is raised. Daun sometimes misses himself, but never loses himself. It is not the fashion to admire him, but for my part, I should think it worth while to give the Empress a dozen Wolfes and Dauns, to lay aside the cautious Marshal. Apropos to Wolfe, I cannot Imagine what you mean by a design executing at Rome for his tomb. The designs have been laid before my lord chamberlain several months; Wilton, Adam, Chambers, and others, all gave in their drawings immediately; and I think the Duke of Devonshire decided for the first. Do explain this to me, or get a positive explanation. of it-and whether any body is drawing for Adam or Chambers.

Mr. Chute and Mr. Bentley, to whom I showed your accounts of the Papa-Portuguese war, were infinitely diverted, as I was too, with it. The Portuguese, "who will turn Jews not Protestants," and the Pope's confession, "which does more honour to his sincerity than to his infallibility," are delightful. I will tell you who will neither, turn Jew nor Protestant, Day, nor Methodist, which is much more in fashion than either—Monsieur Fuentes will not; he has given the Virgin Mary (who he fancies hates public places, because he never met her at one,) his honour that he never will go to any more. What a charming sort of Spanish Ambassador! I wish they always sent us such-the worst they can do, is to buy half a dozen converts.

My Lady Lincoln,(84) who was ready to be brought to bed, is dead in three hours of convulsions. It has been a fatal year to great ladies: within this twelvemonth have gone off Lady Essex, Lady Besborough, Lady Granby, Lady Anson, and Lady Lincoln. My Lady Coventry is still alive, sometimes at the point of death, sometimes recovering. They fixed the spring: now the autumn is to be critical for her.

I set out for my Lord Strafford's to-morrow se'nnight, so shall not be able to send you any victory this fortnight.

General Clive(85) is arrived all over estates and diamonds. If a beggar asks charity, be says, "Friend, I have no small brilliants about me."

I forgot to tell you that Stosch was to dine with General Guise.(86) The latter has notified to Christ Church, Oxford, that in his will he has given them his collection of pictures. Adieu!

(84) Catherine, eldest daughter of Henry Pelham, wife of Henry Clinton, Earl of Lincoln, afterwards Duke of newcastle.

(85) Afterwards created Lord Clive in Ireland. It is to him that we in great measure owe our dominion in India; in the acquisition of which he is, however, reproached with having exercised great cruelties.-D.

(86) General Guise did leave his collection as he promised; but the University employing the son of Bonus, the cleaner of pictures, to repair them, he entirely repainted them, and as entirely spoiled them.

Letter 37 To The Earl Of Strafford. Strawberry Hill, Aug. 7, 1760. (page 78)

My dear lord, You will laugh, but I am ready to cry, when I tell you that I have no notion when I shall be able to wait on you.-Such a calamity!—My tower is not fallen down, nor Lady Fanny Shirley run away with another printer; nor has my Lady D * * * * insisted on living with me as half way to Weybridge. Something more disgraceful than all these, and wofully mortifying for a young creature, who is at the same time in love with Lady Mary Coke, and following the Duchess of Grafton and Loo all over the kingdom. In short, my lord, I have got the gout-yes, the gout in earnest. I was seized on Monday morning, suffered dismally all night, am now wrapped in flannels like the picture of a Morocco ambassador, and am carried to bed by two servants. You see virtue and leanness are no preservatives. I write this now to your lordship, because I think it totally impossible that I should be able to set out the day after to-morrow, as I intended. The moment I can, I will, but this is a tyrant that will not let one name a day. All I know is, that it may abridge my other parties, but shall not my stay at Wentworth Castle. The Duke of Devonshire was so good as to ask me to be at Chatsworth yesterday, but I did not know it time enough. As it happens, I must have disappointed him. At present I look like Pam's father more than one of his subjects; only one of my legs appears: The rest my parti.colour'd robe conceals. Adieu! my dear lord.

Letter 38To The Hon. H. S/ Conway. Strawberry Hill, August 7, 1760. (page 79)

I can give you but an unpleasant account of myself, I mean unpleasant for me; every body else I suppose it will make laugh. Come, laugh at once! I am laid up with the gout, am an absolute cripple, am carried up to bed by two men, and could walk to China as soon as cross the room. In short, here is my history: I have been out of order this fortnight, without knowing what was the matter with me; pains in my head, sicknesses at my stomach, dispiritedness, and a return of the nightly fever I had in the winter. I concluded a northern journey would take all this off- -but, behold! on Monday morning I was seized as I thought with the cramp in my left foot; however, I walked about all day: towards evening it discovered itself by its true name, and that night I suffered a great deal. However, on Tuesday I was -,again able to go about the house; but since Tuesday I have not been able to stir, and am wrapped in flannels and swathed like Sir Paul Pliant on his wedding-night. I expect to hear that there is a bet at Arthur's, which runs fastest, Jack Harris(87) or I. Nobody would believe me six years ago when I said I had the gout. They would do leanness and temperance honours to which they had not the least claim.

I don't yet give up my expedition; as my foot is much swelled, I trust this alderman distemper is going: I shall set out the instant I am able; but I much question whether it will be soon enough for me to get to Ragley by the time the clock strikes Loo. I find I grow too old to make the circuit with the charming Duchess.(88)

I did not tell you about German skirmishes, for I knew nothing of them: when two vast armies only scratch one another's faces it gives me no attention. My gazette never contains above one or two casualties of foreign politics:-overlaid, one king; dead of convulsions, an electorate; burnt to death, Dresden.

I wish you joy of all your purchases; why, you sound as rich as if you had had the gout these ten years. I beg their pardon; but just at present, I am very glad not to be near the vivacity of either Missy or Peter. I agree with you much about the Minor:(89) there are certainly parts and wit in it. Adieu!

(87) John Harris, of Hayne in Devonshire, married to Mr. Conway's eldest sister.

(88) Anne Liddell, Duchess of Grafton.

(89) Foote's comedy of The Minor came out at the Haymarket theatre, and, though performed by a young and unpractised company, brought full houses for many nights. In the character of Mrs. Cole and Mr. Smirk, the author represented those of the notorious Mother Douglas, and Mr. Langford, the auctioneer. In the epilogue, spoken by Shift, which the author himself performed, together with the other two characters, he took off, to a degree of exactness, the manner and person of the celebrated George Whitfield.-E.

Letter 39 To George Montagu, Esq. Strawberry Hill, August 12, 1760. (page 80)

In what part of the island you are just now, I don't know; flying about some where or other, I suppose. Well, it is charming to be so young! Here I am, lying upon a couch, wrapped up in flannels, with the gout in both feet—oh yes, gout in all the terms. Six years ago I had it, and nobody would believe me—now they may have proof. My legs are as big as your cousin Guildford's and they don't use to be quite so large. I was seized yesterday se'nnight; have had little pain in the day, but most uncomfortable nights; however, I move about again a little with a stick. If either my father or mother had had it, I should not dislike it so much. I am bound enough to approve it if descended genealogically: but it is an absolute upstart in me, and what is more provoking, I had trusted to my great abstinence for keeping me from it: but thus it is, if 1 had had any gentlemanlike virtue, as patriotism or loyalty, I might have got something by them: I had nothing but that beggarly virtue temperance, and she had not interest enough to keep me from a fit of the gout. Another plague is, that every body that ever knew any body that had it, is so good as to come with advice, and direct me how to manage it; that is, how to contrive to have it for a great many years. I am very refractory; I say to the gout, as great personages do to the executioners, "Friend, do your work as quick as you can." They tell me of wine to keep it out of my stomach; but I will starve temperance itself; I will be virtuous indeed—that is, I will stick to virtue, though I find it is not its own reward.

This confinement has kept me from Yorkshire; I hope, however, to be at Ragley by the 20th, from whence I shall still go to Lord Strafford's and by this delay you may possibly be at Greatworth by my return, which will be about the beginning of September. Write me a line as soon as you receive this; direct it to Arlington Street, it will be sent after me. Adieu.

P. S. My tower erects its battlements bravely; my Anecdotes of Painting thrive exceedingly: thanks to the gout, that has pinned me to my chair: think of Ariel the sprite in a slit shoe!

Letter 40 To The Countess Of Ailesbury.(90) Whichnovre, August 23, 1760. (page 81)

Well, madam, if I had known whither I was coming, I would not have come alone! Mr. Conway and your ladyship should have come too. Do you know, this is the individual manor-house,(91) where married ladies may have a flitch of bacon upon the easiest terms in the world? I should have expected that the owners would be ruined in satisfying the conditions of the obligation, and that the park would be stocked with hogs instead of deer. On the contrary, it is thirty years since the flitch was claimed, and Mr. Offley was never so near losing one as when you and Mr. Conway were at Ragley. He so little expects the demand, that the flitch is only hung in effigie over the hall chimney, carved in wood. Are not you ashamed, Madam, never to have put in your claim? It is above a year and a day that you have been married, and I never once heard either of you mention a journey to Whichnovre. If you quarrelled at loo every night, you could not quit your pretensions with more indifference. I had a great mind to take my oath, as one of your witnesses, that you neither of you would, if you were at liberty, prefer any body else, ne fairer ne fouler, and I could easily get twenty persons to swear the same. Therefore, unless you will let the world be convinced, that all your apparent harmony is counterfeit, you must set out immediately for Mr. Offley's, or at least send me a letter of attorney to claim the flitch in your names; and I will send it up by the coach, to be left at the Blue Boar, or wherever you will have it delivered. But you had better come in person; you will see one of the prettiest spots in the world; it is a little paradise, and the more like the antique one, as, by all I have said, the married couple seems to be driven out of it. The house is very indifferent: behind is a pretty park; the situation, a brow of a hill commanding sweet meadows, through which the Trent serpentizes in numberless windings and branches. The spires of the cathedral of Litchfield are in front at a distance, with variety of other steeples, seats, and farms, and the horizon bounded by rich hills covered with blue woods. If you love a prospect, or bacon, you will certainly come hither.

Wentworth Castle, Sunday night.

I had writ thus far yesterday, but had no opportunity of sending my letter. I arrived here last night, and found only the Duke of Devonshire, who went to Hardwicke this morning: they were down at the menagerie, and there was a clean little pullet, with which I thought his grace looked as if he should be glad to eat a slice of Whichnovre bacon. We follow him to Chatsworth tomorrow, and make our entry to the public dinner, to the disagreeableness of which I fear even Lady Mary's company will not reconcile me.

My Gothic building, which tiny lord Strafford has executed in the menagerie, has a charming effect. There are two bridges built besides; but the new front is very little advanced. Adieu, Madam!

(90) Daughter of the Duke of Argyle, first married to the Earl of Ailesbury, and afterwards to the Hon. H. S. Conway.

(91) Of Whichnovre, near Litchfield. Sir Philip de Somerville, in the 10th of Edward III., held the manor of Whichnovre, etc. of the Earls of Lancaster, lords of the honour of Tutbury, upon two small fees, but also upon condition of his keeping ready "arrayed, at all time of the year but Lent, one bacon flyke hanging in his hall at Whichnovre, to be given to every man or woman who demanded it a year and a day after the marriage upon their swearing they would not have changed for none other, fairer nor fouler, richer nor poorer, nor for no other descended of a great lineage, sleeping nor waking, at no time," etc.-E.

Letter 41 To Sir Horace Mann. Chatsworth, Aug. 28, 1760. (page 82)

I am a great way out of the world, and yet enough in the way of news to send you a good deal. I have been here but two or three days, and it has rained expresses. The most important intelligence I can give you is that I was stopped from coming into the north for ten days by a fit of the gout in both feet, but as I have a tolerable quantity of resolution, I am now running about with the children and climbing hills—and I intend to have only just as much of this wholesome evil as shall carry me to a hundred. The next point of consequence is, that the Duke of Cumberland has had a stroke of the palsy— As his courage is at least equal to mine, he makes nothing of it; but being above an inch more in the girth than I am, he is not Yet arrived at skipping about the house. In truth, his case is melancholy: the humours that have fallen upon the wound in his leg have kept him lately from all exercise-. as he used much, and is so corpulent, this must have bad consequences. Can one but pity him? A hero, reduced by injustice to crowd all his fame into the supporting bodily ills, and to looking upon the approach of a lingering death with fortitude, is a real object of compassion. How he must envy, what I am sure I don't, his cousin of Prussia risking his life every hour against Cossacks and Russians! Well! but this risker has scrambled another victory: he has beat that pert pretender Laudon(92)—yet it looks to me as if he was but new gilding his coffin; the undertaker Daun will, I fear, still have the burying of him!

I received here your letter of the 9th, and am glad Dr. Perelli so far justifies Sisson as to disculpate me. I trust I shall execute Sophia's business better.

Stosch dined with me at Strawberry before I set out. He is a very rational creature. I return homewards to-morrow; my campaigns are never very long; I have great curiosity for seeing places, but I despatch it soon, and am always impatient to be back with my own Woden and Thor, my own Gothic Lares. While the lords and ladies are at skittles, I just found a moment to write you a line. Adieu!

Arlington Street, Sept. 1.

I had no opportunity of sending my letter to the secretary's office, so brought it myself. You will see in the Gazette another little victory of a Captain Byron over a whole diminutive French squadron. Stosch has had a fever. He is now going to establish himself at Salisbury.

(92) This was the battle of Licgnitz, fought on the 15th of August, 1760, and in which the King of Prussia signally defeated the Austrians under Marshal Laudon, and thereby saved Silesia.-D.

Letter 42 To George Montagu, Esq. Arlington Street, September 1, 1760. (page 83)

I was disappointed at your not being at home as I returned from my expedition; and now I fear it must be another year before I see Greatworth, as I have two or three more engagements on my books for the residue of this season. I go next week to Lord Waldegrave, and afterwards to George Selwyn, and shall return by Bath, which I have never yet seen. Will not you and the general come to Strawberry in October?

Thank you for your lamentations on my gout; it was, in proportion to my size, very slender—my feet are again as small as ever they were. When I had what I called big shoes, I could have danced a minuet on a silver penny.

My tour has been extremely agreeable. I set out with winning a good deal at loo at Ragley; the Duke of Grafton was not so successful. and had some high words with Pam. I went from thence to Offley's at Whichnovre, the individual manor of the flitch of bacon, which has been growing rusty for these thirty years in his hall. I don't wonder; I have no notion that one could keep in good humour with one's wife for a year and a day, unless one was to live on the very spot, which is one of the sweetest scenes I ever saw. It is the brink of a high hill; the Trent wriggles through at the foot; Litchfield and twenty other churches and mansions decorate the view. Mr. Anson has bought an estate close by, whence my lord used to cast many a wishful eye, though without the least pretensions even to a bit of lard.

I saw Litchfield cathedral, which has been rich, but my friend Lord Brook and his soldiery treated poor St. Chadd(93) with so little ceremony, that it is in a most naked condition. In a niche ,it the very summit they have crowded a statue of Charles the Second, with a special pair of shoo-strings, big enough for a weathercock. As I went to Lord Strafford's I passed through Sheffield, which is one of the foulest towns in England in the most charming situation there are two-and-twenty thousand inhabitants making knives and scissors; they remit eleven thousand pounds a week to London. One man there has discovered the art of plating copper with silver; I bought a pair of candlesticks for two guineas that are quite pretty. Lord Strafford has erected the little Gothic building, which I got Mr. Bentley to draw; I took the idea from Chichester-cross. It stands on a high bank in the menagerie, between a pond and a vale, totally bowered over with oaks. I went with the Straffords to Chatsworth, and stayed there four days; there were Lady Mary Coke, Lord Besborough and his daughters, Lord Thomond, Mr. Boufoy, the Duke, the old Duchess,(94) and two of his brothers. Would you believe that nothing was ever better humoured than the ancient grace? She stayed every evening till it was dark in the skittle-ground, keeping the score: and one night, that the servants had a ball for Lady Dorothy'S(95) birthday, we fetched the fiddler into the drawing-room, and the dowager herself danced with us! I never was more disappointed than at Chatsworth, which, ever since I was born, I have condemned. It is a glorious situation; the vale rich in corn and verdure, vast woods hang down the hills, which are green to the top, and the immense rocks only serve to dignify the prospect. The river runs before the door, and serpentizes more than you can conceive in the vale. The duke is widening it, and will make it the middle of his park; but I don't approve an idea they are going to execute, of a fine bridge with statues under a noble cliff. If they will have a bridge (which by the way will crowd the scene), it should be composed of rude fragments, such as the giant of the Peak would step upon, that he might not be wet-shod. The expense of the works now carrying on will amount to forty thousand pounds. A heavy quadrangle of stables is part of the plan,. is very cumbrous, and standing higher than the house, is ready to overwhelm it. The principal front of the house is beautiful, and executed with the neatness of wrought-plate; the inside is most sumptuous, but did not please me; the heathen gods, goddesses, Christian virtues, and allegoric gentlefolks, are crowded into every room, as if Mrs. Holman had been in heaven and invited every body she saw. The great apartment is first; painted ceilings, inlaid floors, and unpainted wainscots make every room sombre. The tapestries are fine, but, not fine enough, and there are few portraits. The chapel is charming. The great jet d'eau I like, nor would I remove it; whatever is magnificent of the kind in the time it was done, I would retain, else all gardens and houses wear a tiresome resemblance. I except that absurdity of a cascade tumbling down marble steps, which reduces the steps to be of no use at all. I saw Haddon,(96) an abandoned old castle of the Rutlands, in a romantic situation, but which never could have composed a tolerable dwelling. The Duke sent Lord John with me to Hardwicke, where I was again disappointed; but I will not take relations from others; they either don't see for themselves, or can't see for me. How I had been promised that I should be charmed with Hardwicke, and told that the Devonshires ought to have established there! never was I less charmed in my life. The house is not Gothic, but of that betweenity, that intervened when Gothic declined and Palladian was creeping in—rather, this is totally naked of either. It has vast chambers—aye, vast, such as the nobility of that time delighted in, and did not know how to furnish. The great apartment is exactly what it was when the Queen of @Scots was kept there. Her council-chamber, the council-chamber of a poor woman, who had only two secretaries, a gentleman usher, an apothecary, a confessor, and three maids, is so outrageously spacious, that you would take it for King David's, who thought, contrary to all modern experience, that in the multitude of counsellors there is wisdom. At the upper end is the state, with a long table, covered with a sumptuous cloth, embroidered and embossed with gold, -at least what was gold: so are all the tables. Round the top of the chamber runs a monstrous frieze, ten or twelve feet deep, representing stag-hunting in miserable plastered relief. The next is her dressing-room, hung with patchwork on black velvet; then her state bedchamber. The bed has been rich beyond description, and now hangs in costly golden tatters. The hangings, part of which they say her Majesty worked, are composed of figures as large as life, sewed and embroidered on black velvet, white satin, etc. and represent the virtues that were necessary for her, or that she was forced to have, as patience and temperance, etc. The fire-screens are particular; pieces of yellow velvet, fringed with gold, hang on a cross-bar of wood, which is fixed on the top of a single stick, that rises from the foot. The only furniture which has any appearance of taste are the table and cabinets, which are all of oak, richly carved. There is a privata chamber within, where she lay, her arms and style over the door; the arras hangs over all the doors; the gallery is sixty yards long, covered with bad tapestry, and wretched pictures of Mary herself, Elizabeth in a gown of sea-monsters, Lord Darnley, James the Fifth and his Queen, curious, and a whole history of Kings of England, not worth sixpence apiece. There is an original of old Bess(97) of Hardwicke herself, who built the house. Her estates were then reckoned at sixty thousand pounds a-year, and now let for two hundred thousand pounds. Lord John Cavendish told me, that the tradition in the family was that it had been prophesied to her that she should never die as long as she was building; and that at last she died in a hard frost, when the labourers could not work. There is a fine bank of old oaks in the park over a lake; nothing else pleased me there. However, I was so diverted with this old beldam and her magnificence, that I made this epitaph for her:

Four times the nuptial bed she warm'd, And every time so well perform'd, That when death spoil'd each husband's billing, He left the widow every shilling. Fond was the dame, but not dejected; Five stately mansions she erected With more than royal pomp, to vary The prison of her captive When Hardwicke's towers shall bow their head, Nor mass be more in Worksop said; When Bolsover's fair fame shall tend, Like Olcotes, to its mouldering end; When Chatsworth tastes no Can'dish bounties, Let fame forget this costly countess.

As I returned, I saw Newstead and Althorpe: I like both. The former is the very abbey.(98) The great east window(99) of the church remains, and connects with the house; the hall entire, the refectory entire, the cloister untouched, with the ancient cistern of the convent, and their arms on it; a private chapel quite perfect. The park, which is still charming, has not been so much unprofaned; the present lord has lost large sums, and paid part in old oaks, five thousand pounds of which have been cut near the house. In recompense he has built two baby forts, to pay his country in castles for the damage done to the navy, and planted a handful of Scotch firs, that look like plough-boys dressed in old family liveries for a public day. In the hall is a very good collection of pictures, all animals; the refectory, now the great-drawing-room, is full of Byrons; the vaulted roof remaining, but the windows have new dresses making for them by a Venetian tailor.(100) Althorpe(101) has several very fine pictures by the best Italian hands, and a gallery of all one's acquaintance by Vandyke and Lely. I wonder you never saw it; it is but six miles from Northampton. Well, good night; I have writ you such a volume, that you see I am forced to page it. The Duke has had a stroke of the palsy, but is quite recovered, except in some letters, which he cannot pronounce; and it is still visible in the contraction of one side of his mouth. My compliments to your family.

(93) The patron saint Of the town. The imagery and carved work on the front of the cathedral was much injured in 1641. The cross upon the west window is said to have been frequently aimed at by Cromwell's soldiery.-E.

(94) Daughter of John Hoskins, Esq. and widow of William the third Duke of Devonshire.

(95) Afterwards Duchess of Portland.

(96) Anciently the seat of the Vernons. Sir George Vernon, in Queen Elizabeth's time, was styled King of the Peak," and the property came into the Manners family by his daughter marrying Thomas, son of the first Earl of Rutland.-E.

(97) She was daughter of John Hardwicke, of Hardwicke in Derbyshire. Her first husband was Robert Barley, Esq. who settled his large estate on her and hers. She married, secondly, Sir William Cavendish; her third husband was Sir William St. Lo; and her fourth was George Talbot, Earl of Shrewsbury, whose daughter, Lady Grace, married her son by Sir William Cavendish.

(98) Evelyn, who visited Newstead in 1654, says of it:—"It is situated much like Fontainbleau, in France, capable of being made a noble seat, accommodated as it is with brave woods and streams; it has yet remaining the front of a glorious abbey church." Lord Byron thus beautifully describes the family seat, in the thirteenth canto of Don Juan:

"An old, old monastery once, and now Still older mansion-of a rich and rare Mix'd Gothic, much as artists all allow Few specimens yet left us can compare.

"Before the mansion lay a lucid lake, Broad as transparent, deep, and freshly fed By a river, which its soften'd way did take In currents through the calmer water spread Around: the wildfowl nestled in the brake And sedges, brooding in their liquid bed: The woods sloped downwards to its brink, and stood With their green faces fix'd upon the flood."-E.

(99) A mighty window, hollow in the centre, Shorn of its glass of thousand colourings, Through which the deepen'd glories once could enter, Streaming from off the sun like seraph's wings, Now yawns all desolate."-E.

(100) "——The cloisters still were stable, The cells, too, and refectory, I ween: An exquisite small chapel had been able Still unimpaired to decorate the scene The rest had been reform'd, replaced, or sunk, And spoke more of the baron than the monk."-E.

(101) The seat of Earl Spencer.-E.

Letter 43 To The Earl Of Strafford. Strawberry Hill, Sept. 4, 1760. (87)

My dear lord, You ordered me to tell you how I liked Hardwicke. To say the truth, not exceedingly. The bank of oaks over the ponds is fine, and the vast lawn behind the house: I saw nothing else that is superior to the common run of parks. For the house, it did not please me at all; there is no grace, no ornament, no Gothic in it. I was glad to see the style of furniture of that age; and my imagination helped me to like the apartment of the Queen of Scots. Had it been the chateau of a Duchess of Brunswick, on which they had exhausted the revenues of some centuries, I don't think I should have admired it at all. In short, Hardwicke disappointed me as much as Chatsworth surpassed my expectation. There is a richness and vivacity of prospect in the latter; in the former, nothing but triste grandeur.

Newstead delighted me. There is grace and Gothic indeed—good chambers and a comfortable house. The monks formerly were the only sensible people that had really good mansions.(102) I saw Althorpe too, and liked it very well: the pictures are fine. In the gallery I found myself quite at home; and surprised the housekeeper by my familiarity with the portraits.

I hope you have read Prince Ferdinand's thanksgiving, where he has made out a victory by the excess of his praises. I supped at Mr. Conway's t'other night with Miss West'(103) and we diverted ourselves with the encomiums on her Colonel Johnston. Lady Ailesbury told her, that to be sure next winter she would burn nothing but laurel-faggots. Don't you like Prince Ferdinand's being so tired with thanking, that at last he is forced to turn God over to be thanked by the officers?

In London there is a more cruel campaign than that waged by the Russians: the streets are a very picture of the murder of the innocents—one drives over nothing but poor dead dogs!(104) The dear, good-natured, honest, sensible creatures! Christ! how can anybody hurt them? Nobody could but those Cherokees the English, who desire no better than to be halloo'd to blood:—one day Admiral Byng, the next Lord George Sackville, and to-day the poor dogs!

I cannot help telling your lordship how I was diverted the night I returned hither. I was sitting with Mrs. Clive, her sister and brother, in the bench near the road at the end of her long walk. We heard a violent scolding; and looking out, saw a pretty woman standing by a high chaise, in which was a young fellow, and a coachman riding by. The damsel had lost her hat, her cap, her cloak, her temper, and her senses; and was more drunk and more angry than you can conceive. Whatever the young man had or had not done to her. she would not ride in the chaise with him, but stood cursing and swearing in the most outrageous style: and when she had vented all the oaths she could think of, she at last wished perfidion might seize him. You may imagine how we laughed. The fair intoxicate turned round, and cried "I am laughed at!—Who is it!—What, Mrs. Clive? Kitty Clive?—No: Kitty Clive would never behave so!" I wish you could have seen My neighbour's confusion. She certainly did not grow paler than ordinary. I laugh now while I repeat it to you.

I have told Mr. Bentley the great honour you have done him, my lord. He is happy the Temple succeeds to please you.

(102) "——It lies perhaps a little low, Because the monks preferred a hill behind To shelter their devotion from the wind." Byron.-E.

(103) Lady Henrietta-Cecilia, eldest daughter of John, afterwards Lord de la Warr. In 1763, she was married to General James West.-E.

(104) In the summer of this year the dread of mad dogs' raged like an epidemic: the periodical publications of the time being filled with little else of domestic interest than the squabbles of the dog-lovers and dog-haters. The Common Council of London, at a meeting on the @6th August, issued an order for killing all dogs found in the street., or highways after the 27th, and offered a reward of two shillings for every dog that should be killed and buried in the skin. In Goldsmith's Citizen of the World there is an amusing paper in which he ridicules the fear of mad dogs as one of those epidemic terrors to which our countrymen are occasionally prone.-E.

Letter 44 To The Hon. H. S. Conway. Strawberry Hill, September 19, 1760. (page 88)

thank you for your notice, though I should certainly have contrived to see you without it. Your brother promised he would come and dine here one day with you and Lord Beauchamp. I go to Navestock on Monday, for two or three days; but that Will not exhaust your waiting.(105) I shall be in town on Sunday; but- as that is a court-day, I will not—so don't propose it—dine with you at Kensington; but I will be with my Lady Hertford about six, where your brother and you will find me if you please. I cannot come to Kensington in the evening, for I have but one pair of horses in the world, and they will have to carry me to town in the morning.

I wonder the King expects a battle; when Prince Ferdinand can do as well without fighting, why should he fight? Can't he make the hereditary Prince gallop into a mob of Frenchmen, and get a scratch on the nose; and Johnson straddle across a river and come back with six heads of hussars in his fob, and then can't he thank all the world, and assure them he shall never forget the victory they have not gained? These thanks are sent over: the Gazette swears that this no-success was chiefly owing to General Mostyn; and the Chronicle protests, that it was achieved by my Lord Granby's losing his hat, which he never wears; and then his lordship sends over for three hundred thousand pints of porter to drink his own health; and then Mr. Pitt determines to carry on the war for another year; and then the Duke of Newcastle hopes that we shall be beat, that he may lay the blame on Mr. Pitt, and that then he shall be minister for thirty years longer; and then we shall be the greatest nation in the universe. Amen! My dear Harry, you see how easy it is to be a hero. If you had but taken impudence and Oatlands in your way to Rochfort, it would not have signified whether you had taken Rochfort or not. Adieu! I don't know who Lady Ailesbury's Mr. Alexander is. If she curls like a vine with any Mr. Alexander but you, I hope my Lady Coventry will recover and be your Roxana.

(105) Mr. Conway, as groom of the bedchamber to the King, was then in waiting at Kensington.

Letter 45 To The Hon. H. S. Conway. Strawberry Hill. (page 89)

You are good for nothing; you have no engagement, you have no principles; and all this I am not afraid to tell you,. as you have left your sword behind you. If you take it ill, I have given my nephew, who brings your sword, a letter of attorney to fight you for me; I shall certainly not see you: my Lady Waldegrave goes to town on Friday, but I remain here. You lose Lady Anne Connolly and her forty daughters, who all dine here to-day upon a few loaves and three small fishes. I should have been glad if you would have breakfasted here on Friday on your way; but as I lie in bed rather longer than the lark, I fear our hours would not suit one another. Adieu!

Letter 46 To George Montagu, Esq. Strawberry Hill, October 2, 1760. (page 90)

I announce my Lady Huntingtower(106) to you. I hope you will approve the match a little more than I Suppose my Lord Dysart will, as he does not yet know, though they have been married these two hours, that, at ten o'clock this morning, his son espoused my niece Charlotte at St. James's church. The moment my Lord Dysart is dead, I will carry you to see the Ham-house; it is pleasant to call cousins with a charming prospect over against one. Now you want to know the detail: there was none. It is not the style of Our Court to have long negotiations; we don't fatigue the town with exhibiting the betrothed for six months together in public places. Vidit, venit, vicit;—the young lord has liked her some time; on Saturday se'nnight He came to my brother, and made his demand. The princess did not know him by sight, and did not dislike him when she did; she consented. and they were married this morning. My Lord Dysart is such a - that nobody will pity him; he has kept his son till six-and-twenty, and would never make the least settlement on him; "Sure," said the young man, "if he will do nothing for me, I may please myself; he cannot hinder me of ten thousand pounds a-year, and sixty thousand that are in the funds, all entailed on me"—a reversion one does not wonder the bride did not refuse, as there is present possession too of a very handsome person; the only thing his father has ever given him. His grandfather, Lord Granville, has always told him to choose a gentlewoman, and please himself; yet I should think the ladies Townshend and Cooper would cackle a little.

I wish you could have come here this October for more reasons than one. The Teddingtonian history is grown wofully bad. Mark Antony, though no boy, persists in losing the world two or three times over for every gipsy that be takes for a Cleopatra. I have laughed, been scolded, represented, begged, and at last spoken very roundly—all with equal success; at present we do not meet. I must convince him of ill usage, before I can make good usage of any service. All I have done is forgot, because I will not be enamoured of Hannah Cleopatra too. You shall know the whole history when I see you; you may trust me for still being kind to him; but that he must not as yet suspect; they are bent on going to London, that she may visit and be visited, while he puts on his red velvet and ermine, and goes about begging in robes.

Poor Mr. Chute has had another very severe fit of the gout; I left him in bed, but by not hearing he is worse, trust on Saturday to find him mended. Adieu!

(106) Charlotte, third daughter of Sir Edward Walpole, and sister to Lady Waldegrave, and to Mrs. Keppel.

Letter 47 To Sir Horace Mann. Arlington Street, Oct. 5, 1760. Page 91)

I am afraid you will turn me off from being your gazetteer. Do you know that I came to town to-day by accident, and was here four hours before I heard that Montreal was taken? The express came early this morning. I am so posthumous in my intelligence, that you must not expect any intelligence from me—but the same post that brings you this, will convey the extraordinary gazette, which of late is become the register of the Temple of Fame. All I know is, that the bonfires and squibs are drinking General Amherst's(107) health.

Within these two days Fame and the Gazette have laid another egg; I wish they may hatch it themselves! but it is one of that unlucky hue which has so often been addled; in short, behold another secret expedition. It was notified on Friday, and departs in a fortnight. Lord Albemarle, it is believed, will command it. One is sure at least that it cannot be to America, for we have taken it all. The conquest of Montreal may perhaps serve in full of all accounts, as I suspect a little that this new plan was designed to amuse the City of London at the beginning of the session, who would not like to have wasted so many millions on this campaign, without any destruction of friend or foe.(108) Now, a secret expedition may at least furnish a court-martial, and the citizens love persecution even better than their money. A general or in admiral to be mobbed either by their applause or their hisses, is all they desire.-Poor Lord Albemarle!

The charming Countess(109) is dead at last; and as if the whole history of both sisters was to be extraordinary, the Duchess of Hamilton is in a consumption too, and going abroad directly. Perhaps you may see the remains of these prodigies, you will see but little remains; her features were never so beautiful as Lady Coventry's, and she has long been changed, though not yet I think above six-and-twenty. The other was but twenty-seven.

As all the great ladies are mortal this year, my family is forced to recruit the peerage. My brother's last daughter is married; and, as Biddy Tipkin(110) says, though their story is too short for a romance, it will make a very pretty novel—nay, it is almost brief enough for a play, and very near comes within one of the unities, the space of four-and-twenty hours. There is in the world, particularly in my world, for he lives directly over against me across the water, a strange brute called Earl of Dysart.(111) Don't be frightened, it is not he. His son, Lord Huntingtower, to whom he gives but four hundred pounds a year, is a comely young gentleman of twenty-six, who has often had thoughts of trying whether his father would not like grandchildren better than his own children, as sometimes people have more grand-tenderness than paternal. All the answer he could ever get was, that the Earl could not afford, as he has five younger children, to make any settlement, but he offered, as a proof of his inability and kindness, to lend his son a large sum of money at low interest. This indigent usurer has thirteen thousand pounds a year, and sixty thousand pounds in the funds. The money and ten of the thirteen thousand in land are entailed on Lord Huntingtower. The young lord, it seems, has been in love with Charlotte for some months, but thought so little of inflaming her, that yesterday fortnight she did not know him by sight. On that day he came and proposed himself to my brother, who with much surprise heard his story, but excused himself from giving an answer. He said, he would never force the inclinations of his children; he did not believe his daughter had any engagement or attachment, but she might have: he would send for her and know her mind. She was at her sister Waldegrave's, to whom, on receiving the notification, she said very sensibly, "if I was but nineteen, I would refuse pointblank; I do not like to be married in a week to a man I never saw. But I am two-and-twenty; some people say I am handsome, some say I am not; I believe the truth is, I am likely to be at large and to go off soon-it is dangerous to refuse so great a match." Take notice of the married in a week; the love that was so many months in ripening, could not stay above a week. She came and saw this impetuous lover, and I believe was glad she had not refused pointblank-for they were married last Thursday. I tremble a little for the poor girl; not to mention the oddness of the father, and twenty disagreeable things that may be in the young man, who has been kept and lived entirely out of the world; @ takes her fortune, ten thousand pounds, and cannot settle another shilling upon her till his father dies, and then promises Only a thousand a year. Would one venture one's happiness and one's whole fortune for the chance of being Lady Dysart?@if Lord Huntingtower dies before his father, she will not have sixpence. Sure my brother has risked too much!

Stosch, who is settled at Salisbury, has writ to me to recommend him to somebody or other as a travelling governor or companion. I would if I knew any body: but who travels now? He says you have notified his intention to me-so far from it, I have not heard from you this age: I never was SO long without a letter- -but you don't take Montreals and Canadas every now and then. You repose like the warriors in Germany-at least I hope so—I trust no ill health has occasioned your silence. Adieu!

(107) General Sir Jeffrey Amherst distinguished himself in the war with the French in America. He was subsequently created a peer, and made commander-in-chief.-D.

(108) The large armament, intended for a secret expedition and collected at Portsmouth, was detained there the whole summer, but the design was laid aside.-E.

(109) Maria Gunning, Countess of Coventry.

(110) In Steele's "Tender Husband"

(111) Lionel Tolmache, Earl of Dysart, lived at Ham House, over against Twickenham.

Letter 48 To George Montagu, Esq. Strawberry Hill, Oct. 14, 1760. (page 92)

If you should see in the newspapers, that I have offered to raise a regiment at Twickenham, am going with the expedition, and have actually kissed hands, don't believe it; though I own, the two first would not be more surprising than the last. I will tell you how the calamity befell me, though you will laugh instead of pitying me. Last Friday morning, I was very tranquilly writing my Anecdotes of Painting,—I heard the bell at the gate ring—I called out, as usual, "Not at home;" but Harry, who thought it would be treason to tell a lie, when he saw red liveries, owned I was, and came running up: "Sir, the Prince of Wales is at the door, and says he is come on purpose to make you a visit!" There was I, in the utmost confusion, undressed, in my slippers, and my hair about my ears; there was no help, insanunt vetem aspiciet- -and down I went to receive him. Him was the Duke of York. Behold my breeding of the old court; at the foot of the stairs I kneeled down, and kissed his hand. I beg your uncle Algernon Sidney's pardon, but I could not let the second Prince of the blood kiss my hand first. He was, as he always is, extremely good-humoured; and I, as I am not always, extremely respectful. He stayed two hours, nobody with him but Morrison; I showed him all my castle, the pictures of the Pretender's sons, and that type of the Reformation, Harry the Eighth's ——, moulded into a to the clock he gave Anne Boleyn. - But observe my luck; he would have the sanctum sanctorum in the library opened: about a month ago I removed the MSS. in another place. All this is very well; but now for the consequences; what was I to do next? I have not been in a court these ten years, consequently have never kissed hands in the next reign. Could I let a Duke of York visit me, and never go to thank him? I know, if I was a great poet, I might be so brutal, and tell the world in rhyme that rudeness is virtue; or, if I was a patriot, I might, after laughing at Kings and Princes for twenty years, catch at the first opening of favour and beg a place. In truth, I can do neither; yet I could not be shocking; I determined to go to Leicester-house, and comforted myself that it was not much less meritorious to go there for nothing, than to stay quite away; yet I believe I must make a pilgrimage to Saint Liberty of Geneva, before I am perfectly purified, especially as I am dipped even at St. James's. Lord Hertford, at my request, begged my Lady Yarmouth to get an order for my Lady Henry to go through the park, and the countess said so many civil things about me and my suit, and granted it so expeditiously, that I shall be forced to visit, even before she lives here next door to my Lady Suffolk. My servants are transported; Harry expects to see me first minister, like my father, and reckons upon a place in the Custom-house.. Louis, who drinks like a German, thinks himself qualified for a page of the back stairs—but these are not all my troubles. As I never dress in summer, I had nothing upon earth but a frock, unless I went in black, like a poet, and pretended that a cousin was dead, one of the muses. Then I was in panics lest I should call my Lord Bute, your Royal Highness. I was not indeed in much pain at the conjectures the Duke of Newcastle would make on such an apparition, even if he should suspect that a new opposition was on foot, and that I was to write some letters to the Whigs.

Well, but after all, do you know that my calamity has not befallen me yet? I could not determine to bounce over head and ears into the drawing-room at once, without one soul knowing why I cane thither. I went to London on Saturday night, and Lord Hertford was to carry me the next Morning; in the meantime I wrote to Morrison, explaining my gratitude to one brother, and my unacquaintance with t'other, and how afraid I was that it would be thought officious and forward if I was presented now, and begging he would advise me what to do; and all this upon my bended knee, as if Schutz had stood over me and dictated every syllable. The answer was by order from the Duke of York, that he smiled at my distress, wished to put me to no inconvenience, but desired, that as the acquaintance had begun without restraint, it might continue without ceremony. Now I was in more perplexity than ever! I could not go directly, and yet it was not fit it should be said I thought it an inconvenience to wait on the Prince of Wales. At present it is decided by a jury of court matrons, that is, courtiers, that I must write to my Lord Bute and explain the whole, and why I desire to come now—don't fear; I will take care they shall understand how little I come for. In the mean time, you see it is my fault if I am not a favourite, but alas! I am not heavy enough to be tossed in a blanket, like Doddington; I should never come down again; I cannot be driven in a royal curricle to wells and waters: I can't make love now to my contemporary Charlotte Dives; I cannot quit Mufti and my parroquet for Sir William Irby,(112) and the prattle of a drawing-room, nor Mrs. Clive for Aelia Lalia Chudleigh; in short, I could give up nothing but an Earldom of EglingtOn; and yet I foresee, that this phantom of the reversion of a reversion will make me plagued; I shall have Lord Egmont whisper me again; and every tall woman and strong man, that comes to town, will make interest with me to get the Duke of York to come and see them. Oh! dreadful, dreadful! It is plain I never was a patriot, for I don't find my virtue a bit staggered by this first glimpse of court sunshine.

Mr. Conway has pressed to command the new Quixotism on foot, and has been refused; I sing a very comfortable te Deum for it. Kingsley, Craufurd, and Keppel, are the generals, and Commodore Keppel the admiral. The mob are sure of being pleased; they will get a conquest, or a court-martial. A very unpleasant thing has happened to the Keppels; the youngest brother, who had run in debt at Gibraltar, and was fetched away to be sent to Germany, gave them the slip at the first port they touched at in Spain, surrendered himself to the Spanish governor, has changed his religion, and sent for a —— that had been taken from him at Gibraltar; naturam expellas fure'a. There's the true blood of Charles the Second sacrificing every thing for popery and a bunter.

Lord Bolingbroke, on hearing the name of Lady Coventry at Newmarket, affected to burst into tears, and left the room, not to hide his crying, but his not crying.

Draper has handsomely offered to go on the expedition, and goes.

Ned Finch, t'other day, on the conquest of Montreal, wished the King joy of having lost no subjects, but those that perished in the rabbits. Fitzroy asked him if he thought they crossed the great American lakes in such little boats as one goes to Vauxhall? he replied, "Yes, Mr. Pitt said the rabbits"—it was in the falls, the rapids.

I like Lord John almost as well as Fred. Montagu; and I like your letter better than Lord John; the application of Miss Falkener was charming. Good night.

P. S. If I had been told in June, that I should have the gout, and kiss hands before November, I don't think I should have given much credit to the prophet.

(112) In 1761, created Baron Boston.-E.

Letter 49 To George Montagu, Esq. Arlington Street. October 25, 1760. (page 95) I tell a lie: I am at Mr. Chute's.

Was ever so agreeable a man as King George the Second, to die the very day it was necessary to save me from a ridicule? I was to have kissed hands to-morrow-but you will not care a farthing about that now; so I must tell you all I know of departed majesty. He went to bed well last night, rose at six this morning as usual, looked, I suppose, if all his money was in his purse, and called for his chocolate. A little after seven, he went into the water-closet; the German valet de chambre heard a noise, listened, heard something like a groan, ran in, and found the hero of Oudenarde and Dettingen on the floor, with a gash on his right temple, by falling against the corner of a bureau. He tried to speak, could not, and expired. Princess Emily was called, found him dead, and wrote to the Prince. I know not a syllable, but am come to see and hear as much as I can. I fear you will cry and roar all night, but one could not keep it from you. For my part, like a new courtier, I comfort myself, considering what a gracious Prince comes next. Behold my luck. I wrote to Lord Bute, just in all the unexpecteds, want Of ambition, disinteresteds, etc. that I could amass, gilded with as much duty affection, zeal, etc. as possible, received a very gracious and sensible answer, and was to have been presented to-morrow, and the talk of the few people, that are in town, for a week. Now I shall be lost in the crowd, shall be as well there as I desire to be, have done what was right, they know I want nothing, may be civil to me very cheaply, and I can go and see the puppet-show for this next month at my ease: but perhaps you will think all this a piece of art; to be sure, I have timed my court, as luckily as possible, and contrived to be the last person in England that made interest with the successor. You see virtue and philosophy always prone to know the world and their own interest. However, I am not so abandoned a patriot yet, as to desert my friends immediately; you shall hear now and then the events of this new reign—if I am not made secretary of state—if I am, I shall certainly take care to let you know it.

I had really begun to think that the lawyers for once talked sense, when they said the King never dies. He probably cot his death, as he liked to have done two years ago, by viewing the troops for the expedition from the wall of Kensington Garden. My Lady Suffolk told me about a month ago that he had often told her, speaking of the dampness of Kensington, that he would never die there. For my part, my man Harry will always be a favourite: he tells me all the amusing news; he first told me of the late Prince of Wales's death, and to-day of the King's.

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