The Letters of Horace Walpole Volume 3
by Horace Walpole
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Thank you, Mr. Chute is as well as can be expected—in this national affliction. Sir Robert Brown has left every thing to my Lady—aye, every thing, I believe his very avarice.

Lord Huntingtower wrote to offer his father eight thousand pounds of Charlotte's fortune, if he would give them one thousand a-year in present, and settle a jointure on her. The Earl returned this truly laconic, for being so unnatural, an answer. "Lord Huntingtower, I answer your letter as soon as I receive it; I wish you joy; I hear your wife is very accomplished. Yours, Dysart." I believe my Lady Huntingtower must contrive to make it convenient for me, that my Lord Dysart should die—and then he will. I expect to be a very respectable personage in time, and to have my tomb set forth like the Lady Margaret Douglas, that I had four earls to my nephews, though I never was one myself. Adieu! I must go govern the nation.

Letter 50 To The Earl Of Strafford. Arlington Street, October 26, 1760. (page 96)

My dear lord, I beg your pardon for so long a silence in the late reign; I knew nothing worth telling you; and the great event of this morning you Z, will certainly hear before it comes to you by so sober and regular a personage as the postman. The few circumstances known yet are, that the King went well to bed last night; rose well at six this morning; went to the water-closet a little after seven -, had a fit, fell against a bureau, and gashed his right temple: the valet de chambre heard a noise and a groan, and ran in: the King tried to speak, but died instantly. I should hope this would draw you southward: such scenes are worth looking at, even by people who regard them with such indifference as your lordship and I. I say no more, for what will mix in a letter with the death of a King! I am my lady's and your lordship's most faithful servant.

Letter 51 To George Montagu, Esq. Arlington Street, Tuesday, October 28. (page 97)

The new reign dates with great propriety and decency; the civilest letter to Princess Emily; the greatest kindness to the duke; the utmost respect to the dead body. No changes to be made but those absolutely necessary, as the household, etc.—and what some will think the most unnecessary, in the representative of power. There are but two new cabinet counsellors named; the Duke of York and Lord Bute, so it must be one of them. The Princess does not remove to St. James's, so I don't believe it will be she. To-day England kissed hands, so did I, and it is more comfortable to kiss hands with all England, than to have all England ask why one kisses hands. Well! my virtue is safe; I had a gracious reception, and yet I am almost as impatient to return to Strawberry, as I was to leave it on the news. There is great dignity and grace in the King's manner. I don't say this, like my dear Madame de S'evign'e, because he was civil to me but the part is well acted. If they do as well behind the scenes, as upon the stage, it will be a very complete reign. Hollinshed, or Baker, would think it begins well, that is, begins ill; it has rained without intermission, and yesterday there came a cargo of bad news, all which, you know, are similar omens to a man who writes history upon the information of the clouds. Berlin is taken by the Prussians, the hereditary Prince beaten by the French. Poor Lord Downe has had three wounds. He and your brother's Billy Pitt are prisoners. Johnny Waldegrave was shot through the hat and through the coat; and would have been shot through the body, if he had had any. Irish Johnson is wounded in the hand; Ned Harvey somewhere; and Prince Ferdinand mortally in his reputation for sending this wild detachment. Mr. Pitt has another reign to set to rights. The Duke of Cumberland has taken Lord Sandwich's, in Pall-mall; Lord Chesterfield has offered his house to Princess Emily; and if they live at Hampton-court, as I suppose his court will, I may as well offer Strawberry for a royal nursery; for at best it will become a cakehouse; 'tis such a convenient airing for the maids of honour. If I was not forced in conscience to own to you, that my own curiosity is exhausted, I would ask you, if you would not come and look at this new world; but a new world only reacted by old players is not much worth seeing; I shall return on Saturday. The Parliament is prorogued till the day it was to have met; the will is not opened; what can I tell you more? Would it be news that all is hopes and fears, and that great lords look as if they dreaded wanting bread? would this be news? believe me, it all grows stale soon. I had not seen such a sight these three-and-thirty years: I came eagerly to town; I laughed for three days-. I am tired already. Good night!

P. S. I smiled to myself last night. Out of excess of attention, which costs me nothing, when I mean it should cost nobody else any thing, I went last night to Kensington to inquire after Princess Emily and Lady Yarmouth: nobody knew me, they asked my name. When they heard it, they did not seem ever to have heard it before, even in that house. I waited half an hour in a lodge with a footman of Lady Yarmouth's; I would not have waited so long in her room a week ago; now it only diverted me. Even moralizing is entertaining, when one laughs at the same time; but I pity those who don't moralize till they cry.

Letter 52 To Sir Horace Mann.

Arlington Street, Oct. 28, 1760. (page 98)

The deaths of kings travel so much faster than any post, that I cannot expect to tell you news, when I say your old master is dead. But I can pretty well tell you what I like best to be able to say to you on this occasion, that you are in no danger. Change Will scarce reach to Florence when its hand is checked even in the capital. But I will move a little regularly, and then you will form your judgment more easily—This is Tuesday; on Friday night the King went to bed in perfect health, and rose so the next morning at his usual hour of six; he called for and drank his chocolate. At seven, for every thing with him was exact and periodic, he went into the closet to dismiss his chocolate. Coming from thence, his valet de chambre heard a noise; waited a moment, and heard something like a groan. He ran in, and in a small room between the closet and bedchamber he found the King on the floor, who had cut the right side of his face against the edge of a bureau, and who after a gasp expired. Lady Yarmouth was called, and sent for Princess Amelia; but they only told the latter that the King was ill and wanted her. She had been confined for some days with a rheumatism, but hurried down, ran into the room without farther notice, and saw her father extended on the bed. She is very purblind, and more than a little deaf They had not closed his eyes: she bent down close to his face, and concluded he spoke to her, though she could not hear him-guess what a shock when she found the truth. She wrote to the Prince of Wales—but so had one of the valets de chambre first. He came to town and saw the Duke(113) and the privy council. He was extremely kind to the first—and in general has behaved with the greatest propriety, dignity, and decency. He read his speech to the council with much grace, and dismissed the guards on himself to wait on his grandfather's body. It is intimated, that he means to employ the same ministers, but with reserve to himself of more authority than has lately been in fashion. The Duke of York and Lord Bute are named of the cabinet council. The late King's will is not yet opened. To-day every body kissed hands at Leicester-house, and this week, I believe, the King will go to St. James's. The body has been opened; the great ventricle of the heart had burst. What an enviable death! In the greatest period of glory of this country, and of his reign, in perfect tranquillity at home, at seventy-seven, growing blind and deaf, to die without a pang, before any reverse of fortune, or any distasted peace, nay, but two days before a ship load of bad news: could he have chosen such another moment? The news is bad indeed! Berlin taken by capitulation, and yet the Austrians behaved so savagely that even the Russians(114) felt delicacy, were shocked, and checked them! Nearer home, the hereditary Prince(115) has been much beaten by Monsieur de Castries, and forced to raise the siege of Wesel, whither Prince Ferdinand had Sent him most unadvisedly: we have scarce an officer unwounded. The secret expedition will now, I conclude, sail, to give an 'eclat to the new reign. Lord Albemarle does not command it, as I told you, nor Mr. Conway, though both applied.

Nothing is settled about the Parliament; not even the necessary changes in the household. Committees of council are regulating the mourning and the funeral. The town, which between armies, militia, and approaching elections, was likely to be a desert all the winter, is filled in a minute, but every thing is in the deepest tranquility. People stare; the only expression. The moment any thing is declared, one shall not perceive the novelty of the reign. A nation without parties is soon a nation without curiosity. You may now judge how little your situation is likely to be affected. I finish; I think I feel ashamed of tapping the events of a new reign, of which probably I shall not see half. If I was not unwilling to balk your curiosity, I should break my pen, as the great officers do their white wands, over the grave of the old King. Adieu!

(113) William Duke of Cumberland.

(114) The Russians and Austrians obtained possession of Berlin, while Frederick was employed in watching the great Austrian army. They were, however, soon driven from it.-D.

(115) Of Brunswick; afterwards the celebrated duke of that name.-D.

Letter 53 To George Montagu, Esq. Arlington Street, Oct. 31, 1760. (page 99)

When you have changed the cipher of George the Second into that of George the Third. and have read the addresses, and have shifted a few lords and grooms of the bedchamber, you are master of the history of the new reign, which is indeed but a new lease of the old one. The favourite took it up in a high style; but having, like my Lord Granville, forgot to ensure either house of Parliament, or the mob, the third house of Parliament, he drove all the rest to unite. They have united, and have notified their resolution of governing as before: not but the Duke of Newcastle cried for his old master, desponded for himself, protested he would retire, consulted every body whose interest it was to advise him to stay, and has accepted to-day, thrusting the dregs of his ridiculous life into a young court, which will at least be saved from the imputation of childishness, by being governed by folly of seventy years growth.

The young King has all the appearance of being amiable. There is great grace to temper much dignity and extreme good-nature, which breaks out on all occasions. Even the household is not settled yet. The greatest difficulty is the master of the horse. Lord Huntingdon is so by all precedent; Lord Gower, I believe, will be so. Poor Lord Rochford is undone - nobody is unreasonable to save him. The Duke of Cumberland has taken Schomberg-house in Pall-mall; Princess Emily is dealing for Sir Richard Lyttelton's in Cavendish-square. People imagined the Duke of Devonshire had lent her Burlington-house; I don't know why, unless they supposed she was to succeed my Lady Burlington in every thing.

A week has finished my curiosity fully; I return to Strawberry to-morrow, and I fear go next week to Houghton, to make an appearance of civility to Lynn, whose favour I never asked, nor care if I have or not; but I don't know how to refuse this attention to Lord Orford, who begs it.

I trust you will have approved my behaviour at court, that is, my mixing extreme politeness with extreme indifference. Our predecessors, the philosophers of ancient days, knew not how to be disinterested without brutality; I pique myself on founding a new sect. My followers are to tell kings, with excess of attention, that they don't want them, and to despise favour with more good breeding than others practise in suing for it. We are a thousand times a greater nation than the Grecians: why are we to imitate them! Our sense is as great, our follies greater; sure we have all the pretensions to superiority! Adieu!

P. S. As to the fair widow Brown, I assure you the devil never sowed two hundred thousand pounds in a more fruitful soil: every guinea has taken root already. I saw her yesterday; it shall be some time before I see her again.

Letter 54 To George Montagu, Esq. Arlington Street, Nov. 4, 1760. (page 100)

I am not gone to Houghton, you see: my Lord Orford is come to town, and I have persuaded him to stay and perform decencies. King George the Second is dead richer than Sir Robert Brown, though perhaps not so rich as my Lord Hardwicke. He has left fifty thousand pounds between the Duke, Emily, and Mary; the Duke has given up his share. To Lady Yarmouth a cabinet, with the contents; they call it eleven thousand pounds. By a German deed, he gives the Duke to the value of one hundred and eighty thousand pounds, placed on mortgages, not immediately recoverable. e had once given him twice as much more, then revoked it, and at last excused the revocation, on the pretence of the expenses of the war; but owns he was the best son that ever lived, and had never offended him; a pretty strong comment on the affair of Closterseven! He gives him, besides, all his jewels in England; but had removed all the best to Hanover, which he makes crown jewels, and his successor residuary legatee. The Duke, too, has some uncounted cabinets. My Lady Suffolk has given me a particular of his jewels, which plainly amount to one hundred and fifty thousand pounds. It happened oddly to my Lady Suffolk. Two days before he died, she went to make a visit at Kensington, not knowing of the review; she found herself hemmed in by coaches, and was close to him, whom she had not seen for so many years, and to my Lady Yarmouth; but they did not know her: it struck her, and has made her very sensible to his death. The changes hang back. Nothing material has been altered yet.

Ned Finch, the only thing my Lady Yarmouth told the new King she had to ask for, is made surveyor of the roads, in the room of Sir Harry Erskine, who is to have an old regiment. He excuses himself from seeing company, as favourite of the favourite. Arthur is removed from being clerk of the wine-cellar, a sacrifice to morality The Archbishop has such hopes of the young King, that he is never out of the circle. He trod upon the Duke's foot on Sunday, in the haste of his zeal; the Duke said to him, "My lord, if your grace is in such a hurry to make your court, that is the way." Bon-mots come thicker than changes. Charles Townshend, receiving an account of the impression the King's death had made, was told Miss Chudleigh cried. "What," said he, "Oysters?" And last night, Mr. Dauncey, asking George Selwyn if Princess Amelia would have a guard? he replied, "Now and then one, I suppose."

An extraordinary event has happened to-day; George Townshend sent a challenge to Lord Albemarle, desiring him to be with a second in the fields. Lord Albemarle took Colonel Crawford, and went to Mary-le-bone; George Townshend bespoke Lord Buckingham, who loves a secret too well not to tell it: he communicated it to Stanley, who went to St. James's, and acquainted Mr. Caswall, the captain on guard. The latter took a hackney-coach, drove to Mary-le-bone, and saw one pair. After waiting ten minutes, the others came; Townshend made an apology to Lord Albemarle for making him wait. "Oh," said he, "men of spirit don't want apologies: come, let us begin what we came for." At that instant, out steps Caswall from his coach, and begs their pardon, as his superior officers, but told them they were his prisoners. He desired Mr. Townshend and Lord Buckingham to return to their coach; he would carry back Lord Albemarle and Crawford in his. He did, and went to acquaint the King, who has commissioned some of the matrons of the army to examine the affair, and make it up. All this while, I don't know what the quarrel was, but they hated one another so much on the Duke's account, that a slight word would easily make their aversions boil over. Don't you, nor even your general come to town on this occasion? Good night.

Letter 55 To George Montagu, Esq. Arlington Street, Nov. 13, 1760. (page 102)

Even the honeymoon of a new reign don't produce events every day. There is nothing but the common Paying of addresses and kissing hands. The chief difficulty is settled; Lord Gower yields the mastership of the horse to Lord Huntingdon, and removes to the great wardrobe, from whence Sir Thomas Robinson was to have gone into Ellis's place, but he is saved. The city, however, have a mind to be out of humour; a paper has been fixed on the Royal Exchange, with these words, "No petticoat government, no Scotch minister, no Lord George Sackville;" two hints totally unfounded, and the other scarce true. No petticoat ever governed less, it is left at Leicester-house; Lord George's breeches are as little concerned; and, except Lady Susan Stuart and Sir Harry Erskine, nothing has yet been done for any Scots. For the King himself, he seems all good-nature, and wishing to satisfy every body; all his speeches are obliging. I saw him again yesterday, and was surprised to find the levee-room had lost so entirely the air of the lion's den. This sovereign don't stand in one spot, with his eyes fixed royally on the ground, and dropping bits of German news; he walks about, and speaks to every body- I saw him afterwards on the throne, where he is graceful and genteel, sits with dignity, and reads his answers to addresses well; it was the Cambridge address, carried by the Duke of Newcastle in his doctor's gown, and looking like the M'edecin malgr'e lui. He had been vehemently solicitous for attendance, for fear my Lord Westmoreland, who vouchsafes himself to bring the address from Oxford, should outnumber him. Lord Litchfield and several other Jacobites have kissed hands; George Selwyn says, "They go to St. James's, because now there are so many Stuarts there."

Do you know, I had the curiosity to go to the burying t'other night; I had never seen a royal funeral; nay, I walked as a rag of quality, which I found would be, and so it was, the easiest way of seeing it. It is absolutely a noble sight. The Prince's chamber, hung with purple, and a quantity of silver lamps, the coffin under a canopy of purple velvet, and six vast chandeliers of silver on high stands, had a very good effect. The ambassador from Tripoli and his son were carried to see that chamber. The procession through a line of foot-guards, every seventh man bearing a torch, the horse-guards lining the outside, their officers with drawn sabres and crape sashes on horseback, the drums muffled, the fifes, bells tolling, and minute guns,—all this was very solemn. But the charm was the entrance of the abbey, where we were received by the dean and chapter in rich robes, the choir and almsmen bearing torches; the whole abbey so illuminated, that one saw it to greater advantage than by day; the tombs, long aisles, and fretted roof, all appearing distinctly, and with the happiest chiaro scuro. There wanted nothing but incense, and little chapels here and there, with priests saying mass for the repose of the defunct; yet one could not complain of its not being Catholic enough. I had been in dread of' being coupled with some boy of ten years old; but the heralds were not very accurate, and I walked with George Grenville, taller and older, to keep me in countenance. When we came to the chapel of Henry the Seventh, all solemnity and decorum ceased; no order was observed, people sat or stood where they could or would; the yeomen of the guard were crying out for help, oppressed by the immense weight of the coffin; the bishop read sadly, and blundered in the prayers; the fine chapter, Man that is born of a woman, was chanted, not read; and the anthem, besides being immeasurably tedious, would have served as well for a nuptial. The real serious part was the figure of the Duke of Cumberland, heightened by a thousand melancholy circumstances. He had a dark brown adonis, and a cloak of black cloth, with a train of five yards. Attending the funeral of a father could not be pleasant: his leg extremely bad, yet forced to stand upon it near two hours; his face bloated and distorted with his late paralytic stroke, which has affected, too, one of his eyes, and placed over the mouth of the vault, into which, in all probability, he must himself so soon descend; think how unpleasant a situation! he bore it all with a firm and unaffected countenance. This grave scene was fully contrasted by the burlesque Duke of Newcastle. He fell into a fit of crying the moment he came into the chapel, and flung himself back in a stall, the archbishop hovering over him with a smelling-bottle; but in two minutes his curiosity got the better of his hypocrisy, and he ran about the chapel with his glass to spy who was or was not there, spying with one hand, and mopping his eyes with the other. Then returned the fear of catching cold; and the Duke of Cumberland, who was sinking with heat, felt himself weighed down, and turning round, found it was the Duke of Newcastle standing upon his train, to avoid the chill of the marble. It was very theatric to look down into the vault, where the coffin lay, attended by mourners with lights. Clavering, the groom of the bedchamber, refused to sit up with the body, and was dismissed by the King's order.

I have nothing more to tell you, but a trifle, a very trifle. The King of Prussia has totally defeated Marshal Daun.(116) This, which would have been prodigious news a month ago, is nothing to-day; it only takes its turn among the questions, "Who is to be groom of the bedchamber? what is Sir T. Robinson to have?" I have been to Leicester-fields to-day; the crowd was immoderate; I don't believe it will continue so. good night. Yours ever.

(116) At Torgau, on the 3d of November. An animated description of this desperate battle is given by Walpole in his Memoires, vol. ii. p. 449.-E.

Letter 56 To George Montagu, Esq. Arlington Street, Thursday, 1760. (page 104)

As a codicil to my letter, I send you the bedchamber. There are to be eighteen lords, and thirteen grooms; all the late King's remain, but your cousin Manchester, Lord Falconberg, Lord Essex, and Lord Flyndford, replaced by the Duke of Richmond, Lord Weymouth, Lord March, and Lord Eglinton: the last at the request of the Duke of York. Instead of Clavering, Nassau, and General Campbell, who is promised something else, Lord Northampton's brother and Commodore Keppel are grooms. When it was offered to the Duke of Richmond, he said he could not accept it, unless something was done for Colonel Keppel, for whom he has interested himself; that it would look like sacrificing Keppel to his own views. This is handsome; Keppel is to be equery.

Princess Amelia goes every where, as she calls it; she was on Monday at Lady Holderness's, and next Monday is to be at Bedford-house; but there is only the late King's set, and the court of Bedford so she makes the houses of other people as triste as St. James's was. Good night.

Not a word more of the King of Prussia: did you ever know a victory mind the wind so?

Letter 57 To George Montagu, Esq. Strawberry Hill, Monday, Nov. 24, 1760. (page 104)

Unless I were to send you journals, lists, catalogues, computations of the bodies, tides, swarms of people that go to court to present addresses, or to be presented, I can tell you nothing new. The day the King went to the House, I was three quarters of an hour getting through Whitehall; there were subjects enough to set up half-a-dozen petty kings: the Pretender would be proud to reign over the footmen only; and, indeed, unless he acquires some of them, he will have no subjects left; all their masters flock to St. James's. The palace is so thronged, that I will stay tilt some people are discontented. The first night the King went to the play, which was civilly on a Friday, not on the opera-night, as he used to do, the whole audience sung God save the King in chorus. For the first act, the press was so great at the door, that no ladies could go to the boxes, and only the servants appeared there, who kept places: at the end of the second act, the whole mob broke in, and seated themselves; yet all this zeal is not likely to last, though he so well deserves it. Seditious papers are again stuck up: one t'other day in Westminster Hall declared against a Saxe-Gothan Princess. The Archbishop, who is never out of the drawing-room, has great hopes from the King's goodness, that he shall make something of him, that is something bad of him. On the Address, Pitt and his zany Beckford quarrelled, on the latter's calling the campaign languid. What is become of our magnanimous ally and his victory, I know not. It) eleven days, no courier has arrived from him; but I have been these two days perfectly indifferent about his magnanimity. I am come to put my Anecdotes of Painting into the press. You are one of the few that I expect will be entertained with it. It has warmed Gray's coldness so much, that he is violent about it; in truth, there is an infinite quantity of new and curious things about it; but as it is quite foreign from all popular topics, I don't suppose it will be much attended to. There is not a word of Methodism in it, it says nothing of the disturbances in Ireland, it does not propose to keep all Canada, it neither flattered the King of Prussia nor Prince Ferdinand, it does not say that the city of London are the wisest men in the world, it is silent about George Townshend, and does not abuse my Lord George Sackville; how should it please? I want you to help me in a little affair, that regards it. I have found in a MS. that in the church of Beckley, or Becksley, in Sussex, there are portraits on glass, In a window, of Henry the Third and his Queen. I have looked in the map, and find the first name between Bodiham and Rye, but I am not sure it is the place. I will be much obliged to you if you will write directly to your Sir Whistler, and beg him to inform himself very exactly if there is any such thing in such a church near Bodiham. Pray state it minutely; because if there is, I will have them drawn for the frontispiece to my work.

Did I tell you that the Archbishop tried to hinder the "Minor" from being played at Drury Lane? for once the Duke of Devonshire was firm, and would only let him correct some passages, and even of those the Duke has restored some. One that the prelate effaced was, "You snub-nosed son of a bitch." Foote says, he will take out a license to preach Tam. Cant, against Tom. Cant.(117)

The first volume of Voltaire's Peter the Great is arrived. I weep over it. It is as languid as the campaign; he is grown old. He boasts of the materials communicated to him by the Czarina's order—but alas! he need not be proud of them. They only serve to show how much worse he writes history with materials than without. Besides, it is evident how much that authority has cramped his genius. I had heard before, that when he sent the work to Petersburgh for imperial approbation, it was returned with orders to increase the panegyric. I wish he had acted like a very inferior author. Knyphausen once hinted to me, that I might have some authentic papers, if I was disposed to write the life of his master; but I did not care for what would lay me under such restrictions. It is not fair to use weapons against the persons that lend them; and I do not admire his master enough to commend any thing in him, but his military actions. Adieu!

(117) The following anecdote is related in the Biographia Dramatica:—"Our English Aristophanes sent a copy of the Minor to the Archbishop of Canterbury, requesting that, if his grace should see any thing objectionable in it, he would exercise the free use of his pen, either in the way of erasure or correction. The Archbishop returned it untouched; observing to a confidential friend, that he was sure the wit had only laid a trap for him, and that if he had put his pen to the manuscript, by way of correction or objection, Foote would have had the assurance to have advertised the play as 'corrected and prepared for the press by his grace the Archbishop of Canterbury.'"-E.

Letter 58 To The Rev. Henry Zouch. Arlington Street, Nov. 27, 1760. (page 106)

You are extremely kind, Sir, in remembering my little commission I troubled you with. As I am in great want of some more painted glass to finish a window in my round tower, I should be glad, though it may not be a Pope, to have the piece you mentioned, if it can be purchased reasonably.

My Lucan is finished, but will not be published till after Christmas, when I hope you will do me the favour of accepting one, and let me know how I shall Convey it. The Anecdotes of Painting have succeeded to the press: I have finished two volumes, but as there will at least be a third, I am not determined whether I shall not wait to publish the whole together. You will be surprised, I think, to see what a quantity of materials the industry of one man (Vertue) could amass and how much he retrieved at this late period. I hear of nothing new likely to appear; all the world is taken up in penning addresses, or in presenting them;(118) and the approaching elections will occupy the thoughts of men so much that an author could not appear at a worse era.

(118) On the then recent accession of George III.-E.

letter 59 To George Montagu, Esq. Arlington Street, Dec. 11, 1760. (page 106)

I thank you for the inquiries about the painted glass, and shall be glad if I prove to be in the right.

There is not much of news to tell you; and yet there is much dissatisfaction. The Duke of Newcastle has threatened to resign on the appointment of Lord Oxford and Lord Bruce without his knowledge. His court rave about Tories, which you know comes with a singular grace from them, as the Duke never preferred any. Murray, Lord Gower, Sir John Cotton, Jack Pitt, etc. etc. etc. were all firm whigs. But it is unpardonable to put an end to all faction, when it is not for factious purposes. Lord Fitzmaurice,(119) made aide-de-camp to the King, has disgusted the army. The Duke of Richmond, whose brother has no more been put over others than the Duke of Newcastle has preferred Tories, has presented a warm memorial in a warm manner, and has resigned the bedchamber, not his regiment-another propriety.

Propriety is so much in fashion, that Miss Chudleigh has called for the council books of the subscription concert, and has struck off the name of Mrs. Naylor.(120) I have some thoughts of remonstrating, that General Waldegrave is too lean for to be a groom of the bedchamber. Mr. Chute has sold his house to Miss Speed for three thousand pounds, and has taken one for a year in Berkeley Square.

This is a very brief letter; I fear this reign will soon furnish longer. When the last King could be beloved, a young man with a good heart has little chance of being so. Moreover, I have a maxim, that the extinction of party is the origin of faction." Good night.

(119) Afterwards Earl of Shelburne, and in 1784 created Marquis of Lansdowne.-E.

(120) A noted procuress.-E.

Letter 60 To The Rev. Henry Zouch Arlington Street, Jan. 3, 1761. (page 107)

Sir, I stayed till I had the Lucan ready to send you, before I thanked you for your letter, and for the pane of glass, about which you have given yourself so much kind trouble, and which I have received; I think it is clearly Heraclitus weeping over a globe.

Illuminated MSS., unless they have portraits of particular persons, I do not deal in; the extent of my collecting is already full asgreat as I can afford. I am not the less obliged to you, Sir, for thinking Of me. Were my fortune larger, I should go deeper into printing, and having engraved curious MSS. and drawings; as I cannot, I comfort myself with reflecting on the mortifications I avoid, by the little regard shown by the world to those sort of things. The sums laid out on books one should, at first sight, think an indication of encouragement to letters; but booksellers only are encouraged, not books. Bodies of sciences, that is, compilations and mangled abstracts, are the only saleable commodities. Would you believe, what I know is fact, that Dr. Hill(121) earned fifteen guineas a-week by working for wholesale dealers: he was at once employed on six voluminous works of Botany, Husbandry, etc. published weekly. I am sorry to say, this journeyman is one of the first men preferred in the new reign: he is made gardener of Kensington, a place worth two thousand pounds a-year.(122) The King and lord Bute have certainly both of them great propensity to the arts; but Dr. Hill, though undoubtedly not deficient in parts, has as little claim to favour in this reign, as Gideon, the stock-jobber, in the last; both engrossers without merit. Building, I am told, is the King's favourite study; I hope our architects will not be taken from the erectors of turnpikes.

(121) Dr. Hill's were among the first works in which scientific knowledge was put in a popular shape, by the system of number publishing. The Doctor's performances in this way are not discreditable, and are still useful as works of reference.-C.

(122) This was an exaggeration of the emoluments of a place, which, after all was not improperly bestowed on a person of his pursuits and merits.-C.

Letter 61 To George Montagu, Esq. Arlington Street, Jan. 22, 1761. (page 108)

I am glad you are coming, and now the time is over, that you are coming so late, as I like to have you here in the spring. You will find no great novelty in the new reign. Lord Denbigh(123) is made master of the harriers, with two thousand a-year. Lord Temple asked it, and Newcastle and Hardwicke gave into it for fear of Denbigh's brutality in the House of Lords. Does this differ from the style of George the Second?

The King designs to have a new motto; he will not have a French one; so the Pretender may enjoy Dieu et mon droit in quiet.

Princess Amelia is already sick of being familiar: she has been at Northumberland-house, but goes to nobody more. That party was larger, but still more formal than the rest, though the Duke of York had invited himself and his commerce-table. I played with Madam and we were mighty well together; so well, that two nights afterwards she commended me to Mr. Conway and Mr. Fox, but calling me that Mr. Walpole, they did not guess who she meant. For my part, I thought it very well, that when I played with her, she did not call me that gentleman. As she went away, she thanked my Lady Northumberland, like a parson's wife, for all her civilities.

I was excessively amused on Tuesday night; there was a play at Holland-house, acted by children; not all children, for Lady Sarah Lenox(124) and Lady Susan Strangways(125) played the women. It was Jane Shore; Mr. Price, Lord Barrington's nephew, was Gloster, and acted better than three parts of the comedians. Charles Fox, Hastings; a little Nichols, who spoke well, Belmour; Lord Ofaly,,(126) Lord Ashbroke, and other boys did the rest: but the two girls were delightful, and acted with so much nature and simplicity, that they appeared the very things they represented. Lady Sarah was more beautiful than you can conceive, and her very awkwardness gave an air of truth to the shame of the part, and the antiquity of the time, which was kept up by her dress, taken out of Montfaucon. Lady Susan was dressed from Jane Seymour; and all the parts were clothed in ancient habits, and with the most minute propriety. I was infinitely more struck with the last scene between the two women than ever I was when I have seen it on the stage. When Lady Sarah was in white, with her hair about her ears, and on the ground, no Magdalen by Corregio was half so lovely and expressive. You would have been charmed too with seeing Mr. Fox's little boy of six years old, who is beautiful, and acted the Bishop of Ely, dressed in lawn sleeves and with a square cap; they had inserted two lines for him, which he could hardly speak plainly. Francis had given them a pretty prologue. Adieu!

(123) Basil Fielding, sixth Earl of Denbigh, and fifth Earl of Desmond. He died in 1800.-E.

(124) daughter of the Duke of Richmond, afterwards married to Sir Thomas Charles Bunbury, Bart.-E.

(125) Daughter of Stephen Fox, first Earl of Ilchester; married, in 1764, to William O'Brien, Esq.-E.

(126) Eldest son of the Marquis of Kildare.-E.

Letter 62 To George Montagu, Esq. Arlington Street, Feb. 7, 1761. (page 109)

I have not written to you lately, expecting your arrival. As you are not come yet, you need not come these ten days if you please, for I go next week into Norfolk, that my subjects of Lynn may at least once in their lives see me. 'Tis a horrible thing to dine with a mayor! I shall profane King John's cup, and taste nothing but water out of it, as if it were St. John Baptist's.

Prepare yourself for crowds, multitudes. In this reign all the world lives in one room: the capital is as vulgar as a country town in the season of horse-races. There were no fewer than four of these throngs on Tuesday last, at the Duke of Cumberland's, Princess Emily's, the Opera, and Lady Northumberland's; for even operas, Tuesday's operas, are crowded now. There is nothing else new. Last week there was a magnificent ball at Carleton-house: the two royal Dukes and Princess Emily were there. He of York danced; the other and his sister had each their table at loo. I played at hers, and am grown a favourite; nay, have been at her private party, and was asked again last Wednesday, but took the liberty to excuse myself, and am yet again summoned for Tuesday. It is triste enough: nobody sits till the game begins, and then she and the company are all on stools. At Norfolk-house were two armchairs placed for her and the Duke of Cumberland, the Duke of York being supposed a dancer, but they would not use them. Lord Huntingdon arrived in a frock, pretending he was just come out of the country; unluckily, he had been at court, full-dressed, in the morning. No foreigners were there but the son and daughter-in-law of Monsieur de Fuentes: the Duchess told the Duchess of Bedford, that she had not invited the ambassadress, because her rank is disputed here. You remember the Bedford took place, of madame de Mirepoix; but Madame de Mora danced first, the Duchess of Norfolk saying she supposed that was of no consequence.

Have you heard what immense riches old Wortley has left? One million three hundred and fifty thousand pounds.(127) It is all to centre in my Lady Bute; her husband is one of Fortune's prodigies. They talk of a print, in which her mistress is reprimanding Miss Chudleigh; the latter curtsies, and replies, "Madame, chacun a son but."

Have you seen a scandalous letter in print, from Miss Ford,(128) to lord Jersey, with the history of a boar's head? George Selwyn calls him Meleager. Adieu! this is positively my last.

(127) "You see old Wortley Montagu is dead at last, at eighty- three. It was not mere avarice and its companion abstinence, that kept him alive so long. He every day drank, I think it was, half-a-pint of tokay, which he imported himself from Hungary in greater quantity than he could use, and sold the overplus for any price he chose to set upon it. He has left better than half a million of money." Gray, Works, vol. iii. p. 272.-E.

(128) Miss Ford was the object of an illicit, but unsuccessful attachment, on the part of Lord Jersey, whose advances, if not sanctioned by the lady, appear to have been sanctioned by her father, who told her "she might have accepted the settlement his lordship offered her, and yet not have complied" with his terms. The following extract from the letter will explain the history above alluded to:—"However, I must do your lordship the justice to say, that as you conceived this meeting [one with a noble personage which Lord Jersey had desired her not to make] would have been most pleasing to me, and perhaps of some ,advantage, your lordship did (in consideration of so great a disappointment) send me, a few days after, a present of a boar's head, which I had often had the honour to meet at your lordship's table before. It was rather an odd first and only present from a lord to his beloved mistress; but as coming from your lordship gave it an additional value, which it had not in itself; and I received it with the regard I thought due to every thing coming from your lordship, and would have eat it, had it been eatable. I am'' impatient to acquit your lordship and myself, by showing that as your lordship's eight hundred pounds a-year did not purchase my person, the boar's head did not purchase my silence."-E.

Letter 63 To The Hon. H. S. Conway. Monday, five o'clock, Feb. 1761. (page 110)

I am a little peevish with you-I told you on Thursday night that I had a mind to go to Strawberry on Friday without staying for the Qualification bill. You said it did not signify—No! What if you intended to speak on it? Am I indifferent to hearing you? More-Am I indifferent about acting with you? Would not I follow you in any thing in the world?—This is saying no profligate thing. Is there any thing I might not follow you in? You even did not tell me yesterday that you had spoken. Yet I will tell you all I have heard; though if there was a Point in the world in which I could not wish you to succeed where you wish yourself, perhaps it would be in having you employed. I cannot be cool about your danger; yet I cannot know any thing that concerns you, and keep it from you. Charles Townshend called here just after I came to town to-day. Among other discourse he told me of your speaking on Friday, and that your speech was reckoned hostile to the Duke of Newcastle. Then talking of regiments going abroad, he said, * * * * * With regard to your reserve to me, I can easily believe that your natural modesty made you unwilling to talk of yourself to me. I don't suspect you of any reserve to me: I only mention it now for an occasion of telling you, that I don't like to have any body think that I would not do whatever you do. I am of no consequence: but at least it would give me some, to act invariably with you; and that I shall most certainly be ever ready to do. Adieu!

Letter 64 To George Montagu, Esq. Arlington Street, March 7, 1761. (page 111)

I rejoice, you know, in whatever rejoices you, and though I am not certain what your situation(129) is to be, I am glad you go, as you like it. I am told it is black rod. lady Anne Jekyll(130) said, she had written to you on Saturday night. I asked when her brother was to go, if before August; she answered: "Yes, if possible." long before October you may depend upon it; in the quietest times no lord lieutenant ever went so late as that. Shall not you come to town first? You cannot pack up yourself, and all you will want, at Greatworth.

We are in the utmost hopes of a peace; a Congress is agreed upon at Augsbourg, but yesterday's mail brought bad news. Prince Ferdinand has been obliged to raise the siege of Cassel, and to retire to Paderborn; the hereditary prince having been again defeated, with the loss of two generals, and to the value of five thousand men, in prisoners and exchanged. If this defers the peace it will be grievous news to me, now Mr. Conway is gone to the army.

The town talks of nothing but an immediate Queen, yet I am certain the ministers know not of it. Her picture is come, and lists of her family given about; but the latter I do not send you, as I believe it apocryphal. Adieu!

P.S. Have you seen the -,advertisement of a new noble author? A Treatise of Horsemanship, by Henry Earl of Pembroke!(131) As George Selwyn said of Mr. Greville, "so far from being a writer, I thought he was scarce a courteous reader."

(129) Mr. Montagu was appointed usher of the black rod in Ireland.

(130) sister of the Earl of Halifax.

(131) Tenth Earl of Pembroke and seventh Earl of Montgomery. The work was entitled "Military Equitation; or a Method of breaking Horses, and teaching Soldiers to ride." A fourth edition, in quarto, appeared in 1793.-E.

Letter 65 To The Rev. Henry Zouch. Arlington Street, March 7, 1761. (page 111)

Just what I supposed, Sir, has happened; with your good breeding, I did not doubt but you would give yourself the trouble of telling me that you had received the Lucan, and as you did not, I concluded Dodsley had neglected it: he has in two instances. The moment they were published, I delivered a couple to him, for you, and one for a gentleman in Scotland. I received no account of either, and after examining Dodsley a fortnight ago, I learned three days since from him, that your copy, Sir, was delivered to Mrs. Ware, bookseller, in Fleet Street, who corresponds with Mr. Stringer, to be sent in the first parcel; but, says he, as they send only once a month, it probably was not sent away till very later),. I am vexed, Sir, that you have waited so long for this trifle: if you neither receive it, nor get information of it, I will immediately convey another to you. It would be very ungrateful in me to neglect what would give you a moment's amusement, after your thinking so obligingly of the painted glass for me. I shall certainly be in Yorkshire this summer, and as I flatter myself that I shall be more lucky in meeting you, I will then take what you shall be so good as to bestow on me, without giving you the trouble of sending it.

If it were not printed in the London Chronicle, I would transcribe for you, Sir, a very weak letter of Voltaire to Lord Lyttelton,(132) and the latter's answer: there is nothing else new, but a very indifferent play,(133) called The Jealous Wife, so well acted as to have succeeded greatly. Mr. Mason, I believe, is going to publish some elegies: I have seen the principal one, on Lady Coventry; it was then only an unfinished draft. The second and third volumes of Tristram Shandy, the dregs of nonsense, have universally met the contempt they deserve: genius may be exhausted;—I see that folly's invention may be so too.

The foundations of my gallery at Strawberry are laying. May I not flatter myself, Sir, that you will see the whole even before it is quite complete?

P. S. Since I wrote my letter, I have read a new play of Voltaire's, called Tancred, and I am glad to say that it repairs the idea of his decaying parts, which I had conceived from his Peter the Great, and the letter I mentioned. Tancred did not please at Paris, nor was I charmed with the two first acts; in the three last are great flashes of genius, single lines, and starts of passion of the first fire: the woman's part is a little too Amazonian.

(132) An absurd letter from Voltaire to the author of the Dialogues of the Dead, remonstrating against a statement, that "he, Voltaire, was in exile, on account of some blamable freedoms in his writings." He denies both the facts and the cause assigned; but he convinced nobody, for both were notoriously true. Voltaire was, it is true, not banished by sentence; but he was not permitted to reside in France, and that surely may be called exile, particularly as he was all his life endeavouring to obtain leave to return to Paris.-C.

(133) The Jealous Wife still keeps the stage, and does not deserve to be so slightingly spoken of: but there were private reasons which might possibly warp Mr. Walpole's judgment on the works of Colman. He was the nephew of lord Bath, and The Jealous Wife was dedicated to that great rival of Sir Robert Walpole.-C. [Dr. Johnson says.-that the Jealous Wife, "though not written with much genius, was yet so well exhibited by the actors, that it was crowded for near twenty nights."]

Letter 66 To George Montagu, Esq. Arlington Street, March 17, 1761. (page 112)

If my last letter raised your wonder, this Will not allay it. Lord Talbot is lord steward! The stone, which the builders refused, is become the head-stone of the corner. My Lady Talbot, I suppose, would have found no charms in Cardinal Mazarin. As the Duke of Leeds was forced to give way to Jemmy Grenville, the Duke of Rutland has been obliged to make room for this new Earl. Lord Huntingdon is groom of the stole, and the last Duke I have named, master of the horse; the red liveries cost Lord Huntingdon a pang. Lord Holderness has the reversion of the Cinque-ports for life, and I think may pardon his expulsion.

If you propose a fashionable assembly, you must send cards to Lord Spenser, Lord Grosvenor, Lord Melcomb, Lord Grantham, Lord Boston, Lord Scarsdale, Lady Mountstuart, the Earl of TyrConnell, and Lord Wintertown. The two last you will meet in Ireland. No joy ever exceeded your cousin's or Doddington's: the former came last night to Lady Hilsborough's to display his triumph; the latter too was there, and advanced to me. I said, ":I was coming to wish you joy." "I concluded so," replied he, "and came to receive it." He left a good card yesterday at Lady Petersham's, a very young lord to wait on Lady Petersham, to make her ladyship the first offer of himself. I believe she will be content with the exchequer: Mrs. Grey has a pension of eight hundred pounds a-year.

Mrs. Clive is at her villa for Passion week; I have written to her for the box, but I don't doubt of its being (,one; but, considering her alliance, why does not Miss Price bespeak the play and have the stage box?

I shall smile if Mr. Bentley, and M'Untz, and their two Hannahs meet at St. James's; so I see neither of them, I care not where they are.

Lady Hinchinbrook and Lady Mansel are at the point of death; Lord Hardwicke is to be poet-laureate; and, according to modern usage, I suppose it will be made a cabinet-counsellor's place. Good night!

Letter 67 To George Montagu, Esq. Arlington Street, March 19, 1761. (page 113)

I can now tell you, with great pleasure, that your cousin(134) is certainly named lord-lieutenant. I wish you joy. You will be sorry too to hear that your Lord North is much talked of for succeeding him at the board of' trade. I tell you this with great composure, though today has been a day of amazement. All the world is staring, whispering, and questioning. Lord Holderness has resigned the seals,(135) and they are given to Lord Bute. Which of the two secretaries of state is first minister? the latter or Mr. Pitt? Lord Holderness received the command but yesterday, at two o'clock, till that moment thinking himself extremely well at court; but it seems the King said he was tired of having two secretaries, of which one would do nothing, and t'other could do nothing; he would have a secretary who both could act and would. Pitt had as short a notice of this resolution as the sufferer, and was little better pleased. He is something softened for the present by the offer of cofferer for Jemmy Grenville, which is to be ceded by the Duke of Leeds, who returns to his old post of justice in eyre, from whence Lord Sandys is to be removed, some say to the head of the board of trade. Newcastle, who enjoys this fall of Holderness's, who had deserted him for Pitt, laments over the former, but seems to have made his terms with the new favourite: if the Bedfords have done so too, will it surprise you? It will me, if Pitt submits to this humiliation; if he does not, I take for granted the Duke of Bedford will have the other seals. The temper with which the new reign has hitherto proceeded, seems a little impeached by this sudden act, and the Earl now stands in the direct light of a minister-, if the House of Commons should cavil at him. Lord Delawar kissed hands to-day for his earldom; the other new peers are to follow on Monday.

There are horrid disturbances about the militia(136) in Northumberland, where the mob have killed an officer and three of the Yorkshire militia, who, in return, fired and shot twenty-one.

Adieu! I shall be impatient to hear some consequences of my first paragraph.

P. S. Saturday.—I forgot to tell you that Lord Hardwicke has written some verses to Lord Lyttelton, upon those the latter made on Lady Egremont.(137) If I had been told that he had put on a bag, and was gone off with Kitty Fisher,(138) I should not have been more astonished.

Poor Lady Gower(139) is dead this morning of a fever in her lying-in. I believe the Bedfords arc very sorry; for there is a new opera(140) this evening.

(134) The Earl of Halifax.

(135) Lord Barrington, in a letter to Mr. Mitchell, of the 23d says, "Our friend Holderness is finally in harbour; he has four thousand a-year for life, with the reversionship of the Cinque- ports, after the Duke of Dorset; which he likes better than having the name of pensioner. I never could myself understand the difference between a pension and a synecure place."-E.

(136) In consequence of the expiration of the three years' term of service, prescribed by the Militia-act, and the new ballot about to take place.-E.

(137) The following are the lines alluded to, "Addition extempore to the verses on Lady Egremont:

"Fame heard with pleasure—straight replied, First on my roll stands Wyndham's bride, My trumpet oft I've raised to sound Her modest praise the world around; But notes were wanting-canst thou find A muse to sing her face, her mind? Believe me, I can name but one, A friend of yours-'tis Lyttelton."

(138) A celebrated courtesan of the day.-E.

(139) Daughter of Scroope Duke of Bridgewater.

(140) The serious opera of Tito Manlio, by Cocchi. By a letter from Gray to Mason, of the 22d of January, the Opera appears at this time to have been in a flourishing condition—"The Opera is crowded this year like any ordinary theatre. Elisi is finer than any thing that has been here in your memory; yet, as I suspect, has been finer than he is: he appears to be near forty, a little potbellied and thick-shouldered, otherwise no bad figure; has action proper, and not ungraceful. We have heard nothing, since I remember operas, but eternal passages, divisions, and flights of execution: of these he has absolutely none; whether merely from judgment, or a little from age, I will not affirm: his point is expression, and to that all the ornaments he inserts (which are few and short) are evidently directed. He gets higher, they say, than Farinelli; but then this celestial note you do not hear above once in a whole opera; and he falls from this altitude at once to the mellowest, softest, Strongest tones (about the middle of his compass) that can be heard. The Mattei, I assure you, is much improved by his example, and by her great success this winter; but then the burlettas and the Paganina, I have not been so pleased with any thing these many years. She is too fat, and above forty, yet handsome withal, and has a face that speaks the language of all nations. She has not the invention, the fire, and the variety of action that the Spiletta had; yet she is light, agile, ever in motion, and above all, graceful; but then, her voice, her ear, her taste in singing; good God! as Mr. Richardson, the painter, says." Works, vol. iii. p. 268.-E.

Letter 68 To George Montagu, Esq. March 21, 1761. (page 115)

Of the enclosed, as you perceive, I tore off the seal, but it has not been opened. I grieve at the loss of your suit, and for the injustice done you, but what can one expect but injury, when forced to have recourse to law! Lord Abercorn asked me this evening, if it was true that you are going to Ireland? I gave a vague answer, and did not resolve him how much I knew of it. I am impatient for the answer to your compliment.

There is not a word of newer news than what I sent you last. The Speaker has taken leave, and received the highest compliments, and substantial ones too; he did not over-act, and it was really a handsome scene.(141) I go to my election on Tuesday, and, if I do not tumble out of the chair, and break my neck, you shall hear from me at my return. I got the box for Miss Rice; Lady Hinchinbrook is dead.

(141) Mr, Onslow held the office of Speaker of the House of Commons for above thirty-three years, and during part of that time enjoyed the lucrative employment of treasurer of the navy: "notwithstanding which," says Mr Hatsell, "it is an anecdote perfectly well known, that on his quitting the Chair, his income from his private fortune, which had always been inconsiderable, Was rather less than it had been in 1727, when he was first elected into it. Superadded to his great and accurate knowledge of the history of this country, and of the minuter forms and proceedings of Parliament, the distinguishing features of his character were a regard and veneration for the British constitution, as it was declared at and established at the Revolution."-E.

letter 69 To George Montagu, Esq. Houghton, March 25, 1761. (page 115)

Here I am at Houghton! and alone! in this spot, where (except two hours last month) I have not been in sixteen years! Think what a crowd of reflections! No; Gray, and forty churchyards, could not furnish so many: nay, I know one must feel them with greater indifference than I possess, to have the patience to put them into verse. Here I am, probably for the last time of my life, though not for the time: every clock that strikes tells me I am an hour nearer to yonder church—that church, into which I have not yet had courage to enter, where lies that mother on whom I doated, and who doated on me! There are the two rival mistresses of Houghton, neither of whom ever wished to enjoy it! There too lies he who founded its greatness; to contribute to whose fall Europe was embroiled; there he sleeps in quiet and dignity, while his friend and his foe, rather his false ally and real enemy, Newcastle and Bath, are exhausting the dregs of their pitiful lives in squabbles and pamphlets.

The surprise the pictures(142) gave me is again renewed; accustomed for many years to see nothing but wretched daubs and varnished copies at auctions, I look at these as enchantment. My own description of them seems poor; but shall I tell you truly, the majesty of Italian ideas almost sinks before the warm nature of Flemish colouring. Alas! don't I grow old? My young imagination was fired with Guido's ideas; must they be plump and prominent as Abishag to warm me now? Does great youth feel with poetic limbs, as well as see with poetic eyes? In one respect I am very young, I cannot satiate myself with looking: an incident contributed to make me feel this more strongly. A party arrived just as I did, to see the house, a man and three women In riding dresses, and they rode post through the apartments. I could not hurry before them fast enough; they were not so long in seeing for the first time, as I could have been in one room, to examine what I knew by heart. I remember formerly being often diverted with this kind of seers; they come, ask what such a room is called, in which Sir Robert lay, write it down, admire a lobster on a cabbage in a market-piece, dispute whether the last room was green or purple, and then hurry to the inn for fear the fish should be over-dressed. How different my sensations! not a picture here but recalls a history; not one, but I remember in Downing-street or Chelsea, where queens and crowds admired them, though seeing them as little as these travellers!

When I had drank tea, I strolled into the garden; they told me it was now called the pleasure-ground. What a dissonant idea of pleasure! those groves, those all'ees, where I have passed so many charming moments, are now stripped up or over-grown—many fond paths I could not unravel, though with a very exact clew in my memory: I met two gamekeepers, and a thousand hares In the days when all my soul was tuned to pleasure and vivacity (and you will think, perhaps, it is far from being out of tune yet), I hated Houghton and its solitude; yet I loved this garden, as now, with many regrets, I love Houghton; Houghton, I know not what to call it, monument of grandeur or ruin! How I have wished this evening for Lord Bute! how I could preach to him! For myself, I do not want to be preached to; I have long considered, how every Balbec must wait for the chance of a Mr. Wood. The servants wanted to lay me in the great apartment-what, to make me pass my night as I have done my evening! It were like Proposing to Margaret Roper(143) to be a duchess in the court that cut off her father's head, and imagining it would please her. I have chosen to sit in my father's little dressing-room, and am now by his scrutoire, where, in the heights of his fortune, he used to receive the accounts of his farmers, and deceive himself, or us, with the thoughts of his economy. How wise a man at once, and how weak! For what has he built Houghton? for his grandson to annihilate, or for his son to mourn over. If Lord Burleigh could rise and view his representative driving the Hatfield stage, he would feel as I feel now.(144) Poor little Strawberry! at least it will not be stripped to pieces by a descendant! You will find all these fine meditations dictated by pride, not by philosophy. Pray consider through how many mediums philosophy must pass, before it is purified—

"how often must it weep, how often burn!"

My mind was extremely prepared for all this gloom by parting with Mr. Conway yesterday morning; moral reflections or commonplaces are the livery one likes to wear, when one has just had a real misfortune. He is going to Germany: I was glad to dress myself up in transitory Houghton, in lieu of very sensible concern. To-morrow I shall be distracted with thoughts, at least images of very different complexion. I go to Lynn, and am to be elected on Friday. I shall return hither on Saturday, again alone, to expect Burleighides on Sunday, whom I left at Newmarket. I must once in my life see him on his grandfather's throne.

Epping, Monday night, thirty-first.-No, I have not seen him; he loitered on the road, and I was kept at Lynn till yesterday morning. It is plain I never knew for how many trades I was formed, when at this time of day I can begin electioneering, and succeed in my new vocation.. Think of me, the subject of a mob, who was scarce ever before in a mob, addressing them in the town-hall, riding at the head of two thousand people through such a town as Lynn, dining with above two hundred of them, amid bumpers, huzzas, songs, and tobacco, and finishing with country dancing at a ball and sixpenny whisk! I have borne it all cheerfully; nay, have sat hours in conversation, the thing upon earth that I hate; have been to hear misses play on the harpsichord, and to see an alderman's copies of Rubens and Carlo Marat. Yet to do the folks justice, they are sensible, and reasonable, and civilized; their very language is polished since I lived among them. I attribute this to their more frequent intercourse with the world and the capital, by the help of good roads and postchaises, which, if they have abridged the King's dominions, have at least tamed his subjects. Well, how comfortable it will be to-morrow, to see my parroquet, to play at loo, and not be obliged to talk seriously! The Heraclitus of the beginning of this letter will be overjoyed on finishing it to sign himself your old friend, Democritus.

P. S. I forgot to tell you that my ancient aunt Hammond came over to Lynn to see me; not from any affection, but curiosity. The first thing she said to me, though we have not met these sixteen years, was, ,Child, you have done a thing to-day, that your father never did in all his life; you sat as they carried you,— he always stood the whole time." "Madam," said I, "when I am placed in a chair, I conclude I am to sit in it; besides, as I cannot imitate my father in great things, I am not at all ambitious of mimicking him in little ones." I am sure she proposes to tell her remarks to my uncle Horace's ghost, the instant they meet.

(142) This magnificent collection of pictures was sold to the Empress of Russia, and some curious particulars relative to the sale will be found in Beloe's Anecdotes of Literature. A series Of engravings was likewise made from them, which was published in 1788, under the title of "The Houghton Gallery: a collection of prints, from the best pictures in the possession of the Earl of Orford."-E.

(143) Wife,, of William Roper, Esq. and eldest and favourite daughter of Sir Thomas More. She bought the head of her ill-fated parent, when it was about to be thrown into the Thames, after having been affixed to London bridge, and on being questioned by the Privy Council about her conduct, she boldly replied, that she had done so that "it might not become food for fishes." She survived her father nine years, and died at the age of thirty-six, in 1544, and was buried at St. Dunstan's church, Canterbury; the box containing her father's head being placed on her coffin.-E.

(144) the prayer of Sir Robert Walpole, recorded on the foundation-stone, was, that "after its master, to a mature old age, had long enjoyed it in perfection, his latest descendants might safely possess it to the end of time."-E.

Letter 70 To The Hon. H. S. Conway. Arlington Street, April 10, 1761. (page 118)

If Prince Ferdinand had studied how to please me, I don't know any method he could have lighted upon so likely to gain my heart, as being beaten out of the field before you joined him. I delight in a hero that is driven so far that nobody can follow him. He is as well at Paderborn, as where I have long wished the King of Prussia, the other world. You may frown if you please at my imprudence, you who are gone with all the disposition in the world to be well with your commander; the peace is in a manner made, and the anger of generals will not be worth sixpence these ten years. We peaceable folks are now to govern the world, and you warriors must in your turn tremble at our Subjects the mob, as we have done before your hussars and court-martials.

I am glad you had so pleasant a passage.(145) My Lord Lyttelton would say, that Lady Mary Coke, like Venus, smiled over the waves, et mare prestabat eunti. in truth, when she could tame me, she must have had little trouble with the ocean. Tell me how many burgomasters she has subdued, or how many would have fallen in love with her if they had not fallen asleep! Come, has she saved two-pence by her charms? Have they abated a farthing of their impositions for her being handsomer than any thing in the seven provinces? Does she know how political her journey is thought? Nay, my Lady Ailesbury, you are not out of the scrape; you are both reckoned des Mar'echale de Guebriant,(146) going to fetch, and consequently govern the young queen. There are more jealousies about your voyage, than the Duke of Newcastle would feel if Dr. Shaw had prescribed a little ipecacuanha to my Lord Bute.

I am sorry I must adjourn my mirth, to give Lady Ailesbury a pang; poor Sir Harry Bellendine(147) is dead; he made a great dinner at Almac's for the House of Drummond, drank very hard, caught a violent fever, and died in a very few days. Perhaps you will have heard this before; I shall wish so; I do not like, even innocently, to be the cause of sorrow.

I do not at all lament Lord Granby's leaving the army, and your immediate succession. There are persons in the world who would gladly ease you of this burden. As you are only to take the vice-royalty of a coop, and that for a few weeks, I shall but smile if you are terribly distressed. Don't let Lady Ailesbury proceed to Brunswick: you might have had a wife who would not have thought it so terrible to fall into the hands [arms] of hussars; but as I don't take that to be your Countess's turn, leave her with the Dutch, who are not so boisterous as Cossacks or chancellors of the exchequer.

My love, my duty, my jealousy, to Lady Mary, if she is not sailed before you receive this—if she is, I shall deliver them myself Good night! I write immediately on the receipt of your letter, but you see I have nothing yet new to tell you.

(145) From Harwich to Holvoetsluys.

(146) The Mar'echale de Gu'ebriant was sent to the King of Poland with the character of ambassadress by Louis Xiii. to accompany the Princess Marie de Gonzague, who had been married by proxy to the King of Poland at Paris.

(147) Uncle to the Countess of Ailesbury.

Letter 71 To Sir David Dalrymple.(148) Arlington Street, April 14, 1761. (page 119)

Sir, I have deferred answering the favour of your last, till I could tell you that I had seen Fingal. Two journeys into Norfolk for my election, and other accidents, prevented my seeing any part of the poem till this last week, and I have yet only seen the first book. There are most beautiful images in it, and it surprises one how the bard could strike out so many shining ideas from a few so very simple objects, as the moon, the storm, the sea, and the heath, from whence he borrows almost all his allusions. The particularizing of persons, by "he said," "he replied," so much objected to in Homer, is so wanted in Fingal,(149) that it in some measure justifies the Grecian Highlander; I have even advised Mr. Macpherson (to prevent confusion) to have the names prefixed to the speeches, as in a play. It is too obscure without some such aid. My doubts of the genuineness are all vanished.

I fear, sir, from Dodsley's carelessness, you have not received the Lucan. A gentleman in Yorkshire, for whom I consigned another copy at the same time with yours, has got his but within this fortnight. I have the pleasure to find, that the notes are allowed the best of Dr. Bentley's remarks on poetic authors. Lucan was muscular enough to bear his rough hand.

Next winter I hope to be able to send you Vertue's History of the Arts, as I have put it together from his collections. Two volumes are finished, the first almost printed and the third begun. There will be a fourth, I believe, relating solely to engravers. You will be surprised, sir, how the industry of one man could at this late period amass so near a complete history of our artists. I have no share in it, but in arranging his materials. Adieu!

(148) Now first collected.

(149) "For me," writes Gray, it this time, to Dr. Wharton, "I admire nothing but Fingal; yet I remain still in doubt about the authenticity of these poems, though inclining rather to believe them genuine in spite of the worio. Whether they are the inventions of antiquity, or of a modern Scotchman, either case to me is alike unaccountable. Je m'y perds." Dr. Johnson, on the contrary, all along denied their authenticity. "The subject," says Boswell, "having been introduced by Dr. Fordyce, Dr. Blair, relying on the external evidence of their antiquity, asked Johnson whether he thought any man of modern age could have written such poems? Johnson replied, 'Yes, Sir, many men, many women, and many children.' He, at this time, did not know that Dr. Blair had just published a dissertation, not only defending their authenticity, but seriously ranking them with the poems of Homer and Virgil; and when he was afterwards informed of this circumstance, he expressed some displeasure at Dr. Fordyce's having suggested the topic, and said, 'I am not sorry that they got thus much for their pains: Sir, it was like leading one to talk of a book, when the author is concealed behind the door.'"-E.

Letter 72 To The Countess Of Suffolk.(150) Friday night, April 1761. (page 120)

We are more successful, Madam, than I could flatter myself we should be. Mr. Conway—and I need say no more—has negotiated so well, that the Duke of Grafton is disposed to bring Mr. Beauclerk(151) in for Thetford. It will be expected, I believe, that Lord Vere should resign Windsor in a handsome manner to the Duke of Cumberland. It must be your ladyship's part to prepare this; which I hope will be the means of putting an end to these unhappy differences. My only fear now is, lest the Duke should have promised the Lodge.' Mr. Conway writes to Lord Albemarle, who is yet at Windsor, to prevent this, if not already done, till the rest is ready to be notified to the Duke of Cumberland. Your ladyship's good sense and good heart make it unnecessary for me to say more.

(150) Now first collected.

(151) The Hon. Aubrey Beauclerk, son of Lord Vere; afterwards Duke of St. Albans.

Letter 73 To George Montagu, Esq. Arlington Street, April 16, 1761. (page 121)

You are a very mule; one offers you a handsome stall and manger in Berkeley Square, and you will not accept it. I have chosen your coat, a claret colour, to suit the complexion of the country you are going to visit; but I have fixed nothing about the lace. Barrett had none of gauze, but what were as broad as the Irish Channel. Your tailor found a very reputable one at another place, but I would not determine rashly; it will be two or three-and-twenty shillings the yard: you might have a very substantial real lace,' which would wear like your buffet, for twenty. The second order of gauzes are frippery, none above twelve shillings, and those tarnished, for the species are out of fashion. You will have time to sit in judgment upon these important points; for Hamilton(152) your secretary told me at the Opera two nights ago, that he had taken a house near Busby, and hoped to be in my neighbourhood for four months.

I was last night at your plump Countess's who is so shrunk, that she does not seem to be composed of above a dozen hassocs. Lord Guildford rejoiced mightily over your preferment. The Duchess of Argyle was playing there, not knowing that the great Pam was just dead,, to wit, her brother-in-law. He was abroad in the morning, was seized with a palpitation after dinner, and was dead before the surgeon could arrive. There's the crown of Scotland too fallen upon my Lord Bute's head! Poor Lord Edgecumbe is still alive, and may be so for some days; the physicians, who no longer ago than Friday se'nnight persisted that he had no dropsy, in order to prevent his having Ward,(153) on Monday last proposed that Ward should be called in, and at length they owned they thought the mortification begun. It is not clear it is yet; at times he is in his senses, and entirely so, composed, clear, and most rational; talks of his death, and but yesterday, after such a conversation with his brother, asked for a pencil to amuse himself with drawing. What parts, genius, agreeableness thrown away at a hazard table, and not permitted the chance of being saved by the villainy of physicians!

You will be pleased with the Anacreontic, written by Lord Middlesex upon Sir Harry Bellendine: I have not seen any thing so antique for ages; it has all the fire, poetry, and simplicity of Horace.

"Ye sons of Bacchus, come and join in solemn dirge, while tapers shine Around the grape-embowered shrine Of honest Harry Bellendine.

Pour the rich juice of Bourdeaux's wine, Mix'd with your falling tears of brine, In full libation o'er the shrine Of honest Harry Bellendine.

Your brows let ivy chaplets twine, While you push round the sparkling wine, And let your table be the shrine Of honest Hairy Bellendine."

He died in his vocation, of a high fever, after the celebration of some orgies. Though but six hours in his senses, he gave a proof of his usual good humour, making it his last request to the sister Tuftons to be reconciled; which they are. His pretty villa, in my neighbourhood, I fancy he has left to the new Lord Lorn. I must tell you an admirable bon-mot of George Selwyn, though not a new one; when there was a malicious report that the eldest Tufton was to marry Dr. Duncan, Selwyn said, "How often will she repeat that line of Shakspeare,

"Wake Duncan with this knocking—would thou couldst!"

I enclose the receipt from your lawyer. Adieu!

(152) William Gerard Hamilton, commonly called Single-speech Hamilton, was, on the appointment of Lord Halifax to the viceroyalty of Ireland, selected as his secretary, and was accompanied thither by the celebrated Edmund Burke, partly as a friend and partly as his private secretary.-E.

(153) The celebrated empiric, see ant'e, p. 37, letter 10. His drops were first introduced in 1732, by Sir Thomas Robinson; upon which occasion, Sir C. H. Williams addressed to him his poem, commencing,

"Say, knight, for learning most renown'd, What is this wondrous drop?"-E.

Letter 74 To George Montagu, Esq. Arlington Street, April 28, 1761. (page 122)

I am glad you will relish June for Strawberry; by that time I hope the weather will have recovered its temper. At present it is horridly cross and uncomfortable; I fear we shall have a cold season; we cannot eat our summer and have our summer.

There has been a terrible fire in the little traverse street, at the upper end of Sackville Street. Last Friday night, between eleven and twelve, I was sitting with Lord Digby in the coffee-room at Arthur's; they told us there was a great fire somewhere about Burlington Gardens. I, who am as constant at a fire as George Selwyn at an execution, proposed to Lord Digby to go and see where it was. We found it within two doors of that pretty house of Fairfax, now General Waldegrave's. I sent for the latter, who was at Arthur's; and for the guard, from St. James's. Four houses were in flames before they could find a drop of water; eight were burnt. I went to my Lady Suffolk, in Saville Row, and passed the whole night, till three in the morning, between her little hot bedchamber and the spot up to my ancles in water, without catching cold.(154) As the wind, which had sat towards Swallow Street, changed in the middle of the conflagration, I concluded the greater part of Saville Row would be consumed. I persuaded her to prepare to transport her most valuable effects—"portantur avari Pygmalionis opes miserae." She behaved with great composure, and observed to me herself how much worse her deafness grew with the alarm. Half the people of fashion in town were in the streets all night, as it happened in such a quarter of distinction. In the crowd, looking on with great tranquillity, I saw a Mr. Jackson, an Irish gentleman, with whom I had dined this winter, at Lord Hertford's. He seemed rather grave; I said, "Sir, I hope you do not live hereabouts." "Yes, Sir," said he, "I lodged in that house that is Just burnt."

Last night there was a mighty ball at Bedford-house; the royal Dukes and Princess Emily were there; your lord-lieutenant, the great lawyer, lords, and old Newcastle, whose teeth are tumbled out, and his mouth tumbled in; hazard very deep; loo, beauties, and the Wilton Bridge in sugar, almost as big as the life. I am glad all these joys are near going out of town. The Graftons go abroad for the Duchess's health; Another climate may mend that—I will not answer for more. Adieu! Yours ever.

(154) This accident was owing to a coachman carrying a lighted candle into the stable, and, agreeably to Dean Swift's Advice to Servants, sticking it against the rack; the straw being set in a flame in his absence, by the candle falling. Eight or nine horses perished, and fourteen houses were burnt to the ground. Walpole was, most probably, not an idle spectator for the newspapers relate, that the "gentlemen in the neighbourhood, together with their servants, formed a ring, kept off the mob, and handed the goods and movables from one another, till they secured them in a place of safety; a noble instance of neighbourly respect and kindness."-E.

Letter 75 To George Montagu, Esq. Arlington Street, May 5, 1761. (page 123)

We have lost a young genius, Sir William Williams;(155) an express from Belleisle, arrived this morning, brings nothing but his death. He was shot very unnecessarily, riding too near a battery; in sum, he is a sacrifice to his own rashness, and to ours. For what are we taking Belleisle? I rejoiced at the little loss we had on landing; for the glory, I leave it to the common council. I am very willing to leave London to them too, and do pass half the week at Strawberry, where my two passions, lilacs and nightingales, are in full bloom. I spent Sunday as if it were Apollo's birthday -. Gray and Mason were with me, and we listened to the nightingales till one o'clock in the morning. Gray has translated two noble incantations from the Lord knows who, a Danish Gray, who lived the Lord knows when. They are to be enchased in a history of English bards, which Mason and he are Writing; but of which the former has not written a word yet, and of which the latter, if he rides Pegasus at his usual foot-pace, will finish the first page two years hence.

But the true frantic OEstus resides at present with Mr. Hogarth; I went t'other morning to see a portrait he is painting of Mr. Fox. Hogarth told me he had promised, if Mr. Fox would sit as he liked, to make as good a picture as Vandyke or Rubens could. I was silent—"Why now," said he, "you think this very vain, but why should not one speak the truth?" This truth was uttered in the face of his own Sigismonda, which is exactly a maudlin w——, tearing off the trinkets that her keeper had given her, to fling at his head. She has her father's picture in a bracelet on her arm, and her fingers are bloody with the heart, as if she had just bought a sheep's pluck in St. James's Market. As I was going, Hogarth put on a very grave face, and said, "Mr. Walpole, I want to speak to you." I sat down, and said I was ready to receive his commands. For shortness, I will mark this wonderful dialogue by initial letters.

H. I am told you are going to entertain the town with something in our way. W. Not very soon, Mr. Hogarth. H. I wish you would let me have it to correct; I should be very sorry to have you expose yourself to censure; we painters must know more of those things than other people. W. Do you think nobody understands painting but painters? H. Oh! so far from it, there's Reynolds, who certainly has genius; why but t'other day he offered a hundred pounds for a picture, that I would not hang in my cellar; and indeed, to say truth I have generally found, that persons who had studied painting least were the best judges of it; but what I particularly wished to say to you was about Sir James Thornhill (you know he married Sir James' daughter): I would not have you say any thing against him; there was a book published some time ago, abusing him, and it gave great offence. He was the first that attempted history in England, and, I assure you, some Germans have said that he was a very great painter. W. My work will go no lower than the year one thousand seven hundred, and I really have not considered whether Sir J. Thornhill will come within my plan or not; if he does, I fear you and I shall not agree upon his merits. H. I wish you would let me correct it; besides; I am writing something of the same kind myself; I should be sorry we should clash. W. I believe it is not much known what my work is, very few persons have seen it. H. Why, it is a critical history of painting , is it not? W. No, it is an antiquarian history of it in England; I bought Mr. Vertue's MSS. and, I believe, the work will not give much offence; besides, if it does, I cannot help it: when I publish any thing, I give it to the world to think of it as they please. H. Oh! if it is an antiquarian work, we shall not clash; mine is a critical work; I don't know whether I shall ever publish it. It is rather an apology for painters. I think it is owing to the good sense of the English that they have not painted better. W. My dear Mr. Hogarth, I must take my leave of you, you now grow too wild—and I left him. If I had stayed, there remained nothing but for him to bite me. I give you my honour, this conversation is literal, and, perhaps, as long as you have known Englishmen and painters, You never met with any thing so distracted. I had consecrated a line to his genius (I mean, for wit) in my preface; I shall not erase it; but I hope nobody will ask me if he is not mad. Adieu!

(155) Sir William Pere Williams, Bart. member for Shoreham, and a captain in Burgoyne's Dragoons. He was killed in reconnoitring before Belleisle. Gray wrote his epitaph, at the request of Mr. Frederick Montagu, who intended to have it inscribed on a monument at Belleisle:—

"Here, foremost in the dangerous paths of fame, Young Williams fought for England's fair renown; His mind each Muse, each Grace adornd his frame, Nor Envy dared to view him with a frown," etc.-E.

Letter 76 To George Montagu, Esq. Strawberry Hill, May, 14, 1761. (page 125)

As I am here, and know nothing of our poor heroes at Belleisle, who are combating rocks, mines, famine, and Mr. Pitt's obstinacy, I will send you the victory of a heroine, but must preface it with an apology, as it was gained over a sort of relation of yours. Jemmy Lumley last week had a party of whist at his own house; the combatants, Lucy Southwell, that curtseys like a bear, Mrs. Prijean, and a Mrs. Mackenzy. They played from six In the evening till twelve next day; Jemmy never winning one rubber, and rising a loser of two thousand pounds. How it happened I know not, nor why his suspicions arrived so late, but he fancied himself cheated, and refused to pay. However, the bear had no share in his evil surmises: on the contrary, a day or two afterwards, he promised a dinner at Hampstead to Lucy and her virtuous sister. As he went to the rendezvous his chaise was stopped by somebody, who advised him not to proceed. Yet no whit daunted, he advanced. In the garden he found The gentle conqueress, Mrs. MacKenzy, Who accosted him in the most friendly manner. After a few compliments, she asked if he did not intend to pay her. "No, indeed I shan't, I shan't; your servant, your servant."—"Shan't you?" said the fair virago; and taking a horsewhip from beneath her hoop, she fell upon him with as much vehemence as the Empress-queen would upon the King of Prussia, if she could catch him alone in the garden at Hampstead. Jemmy cried out murder; his servant,- rushed in, rescued him from the jaws of the lioness, and carried him off in his chaise to town. The Southwells, were already arrived, and descended on the noise of the fray, finding nobody to pay for the dinner, and fearing they must, set out for London too without it, though I suppose they had prepared tin pockets to carry off all that should be left. Mrs. Mackenzy is immortal, and in the crown-office.(156)

The other battle in my military journal happened between the Duchess of Argyle and Lord Vere. The Duchess, who always talks of puss and pug, and who, having lost her memory, forgets how often she tells the same story, had tired the company at Dorset-house with the repetition of the same story; when the Duke's spaniel reached up into her lap, and placed his nose most critically: "See," said she, "see, how fond all creatures are of me." Lord Vere, who was at cards, and could not attend to them for her gossiping, said peevishly, without turning round or seeing where the dog was, "I suppose he smells PUSS." "What!" said the Duchess of Argyle, in a passion, "Do you think my puss stinks?" I believe you have not two better stories in Northamptonshire.

Don't imagine that my gallery will be prance-about-in-able, as you expect, by the beginning of June; I do not propose to finish it till next year, but you will see some glimpse of it, and for the rest of Strawberry, it never was more beautiful, You must now begin to fix your motions: I go to Lord Dacre's at the end of this month, and to Lord Ilchester's the end of the next; between those periods I expect you.

Saturday morning, Arlington Street. I came to town yesterday for a party at Bedford-house, made for Princess Amelia; the garden was open, with French horns and clarionets, and would have been charming with one single zephyr, that had not come from the northeast; however, the young ladies found it delightful. There was limited loo for the Princess, unlimited for the Duchess of Grafton, to whom I belonged, a table of quinze, and another of quadrille. The Princess ha(f heard of our having cold meat upon the loo-table, and would have some. A table was brought in, she was served so, others rose by turns and went to the cold meat; in the outward room were four little tables for the rest of the company. Think, if King George the Second could have risen and seen his daughter supping pell-mell with men, as if it were in a booth! The tables were removed, the young people began to dance to a tabor and pipe; the Princess sat down again, but to unlimited loo; we played till three, and I won enough to help on the gallery. I am going back to it, to give my nieces and their lords a dinner.

We were told there was a great victory come from Pondicherry, but it came from too far to divert us from liking our party better. Poor George Monson has lost his leg there. You know that Sir W. Williams has made Fred. Montagu heir to his debts. Adieu!

(156) "Sure Mr. Jonathan, or some one, has told you how your good friend Mr. L. has been horsewhippcd, trampled, bruised, and p—d upon, by a Mrs. Mackenzie, a sturdy Scotchwoman. it was done in an inn-yard at Hampstead, in the face of day, and he has put her in the crown-office. it is very true." Gray to Wharton.

Letter 77 To The Countess Of Ailesbury. Strawberry Hill, June 13, 1761. (page 126)

I never ate such good snuff, nor smelt such delightful bonbons, as your ladyship has sent me. Every time you rob the Duke's dessert, does it cost you a pretty snuff-box? Do the pastors at the Hague(157) enjoin such expensive retributions? If a man steals a kiss there, I suppose he does penance in a sheet of Brussels lace. The comical part is, that you own the theft, ind sending me, but say nothing of the vehicle of your repentance. In short, Madam, the box is the prettiest thing I ever saw, and I give you a thousand thanks for it.

When you comfort yourself about the operas, you don't know what you have lost; nay, nor I neither; for I was here, concluding that a serenata for a birthday would be -is dull and as vulgar as those festivities generally are: but I hear of nothing but the enchantment of it.(158) There was a second orchestra in the footman's gallery, disguised by clouds, and filled with the music of the King'S chapel. The choristers behaved like angels, and the harmony between the two bands was in the most exact time. Elisi piqued himself, and beat both heaven and earth. The joys of the year do not end there. The under-actors open at Drury-lane to-night with a new comedy by Murphey, called "All in the Wrong."(159) At Ranelagh, all is fireworks and skyrockets. The birthday exceeded the splendour of Haroun Alraschid and the Arabian Nights, when people had nothing to do but to scour a lantern and send a genie for a hamper of diamonds and rubies. Do you remember one of those stories, where a prince has eight statues of diamonds, which he overlooks, because he fancies he wants a ninth; and to his great surprise the ninth proves to be pure flesh and blood, which he never thought of? Some how or other, Lady Sarah(160 is the ninth statue; and, you will allow, has better white and red than if she was made of pearls and rubies. Oh! I forgot, I was telling you of the birthday: my Lord P * * * * had drunk the King's health so often at dinner, that at the ball he took Mrs. * * * * for a beautiful woman, and, as she says, "made an improper use of his hands." The proper use of hers, she thought, was to give him a box on the ear, though within the verge of the court. He returned it by a push, and she tumbled off the end of the bench; which his Majesty has accepted as sufficient punishment, and she is not to lose her right hand.(161)

I enclose the list your ladyship desired: you will see that the Plurality of Worlds" are Moore's, and of some I do not know the authors. ' There is a late edition with these names to them.

My duchess was to set out this morning. I saw her for the last time the day before yesterday at Lady Kildare's: never was a journey less a party of pleasure. She was so melancholy, that all Miss Pelham's oddness and my spirits could scarce make her smile. Towards the end of the night, and that was three in the morning, I did divert her a little. I slipped Pam into her lap, and then taxed her with having it there. She was quite confounded; but, taking it up, saw he had a Telescope in his hand, which I had drawn, and that the card, which was split, and just waxed together, contained these lines:

"Ye simple astronomers, lay by your glasses; The transit of Venus has proved you all asses: Your telescopes signify nothing to scan it; 'Tis not meant in the clouds, 'tis not meant of a planet: The seer who foretold it mistook or deceives us, For Venus's transit is when Grafton leaves us."

I don't send your ladyship these verses as good, but to show you that all gallantry does not centre at the Hague.

I wish I could tell you that Stanley(162) and Bussy, by crossing over and figuring in, had forwarded the peace. It is no more made than Belleisle is taken. However, I flatter myself that you will not stay abroad till you return for the coronation, which is ordered for the beginning of October. I don't care to tell you how lovely the season is; how my acacias are powdered with flowers, and my hay just in its picturesque moment. Do they ever make any other hay in Holland than bulrushes in ditches? My new buildings rise so swiftly, that I shall have not a shilling left, so far from giving commissions on Amsterdam. When I have made my house so big that I don't know what to do with it, and am entirely undone, I propose, like King Pyrrhus, who took such a roundabout way to a bowl of punch, to sit down and enjoy myself; but with this difference, that it is better to ruin one's self than all the world. I am sure you would think as I do, though Pyrrhus were King of Prussia. I long to have you bring back the only hero that ever I could endure. Adieu, Madam! I sent you just such another piece of tittle-tattle as this by General Waldegrave: you are very partial to me, or very fond of knowing every thing that passes in your own country, if you can be amused so. If you can, 'tis surely my duty to divert you, though at the expense of my character; for I own I am ashamed when I look back and see four sides of paper scribbled over with nothings.

(157) Lady Ailesbury remained at the Hague while Mr. Conway was with the army during the campaign in 1761.

(158) The music was by Cocchi. Dr. Burney says it was not sufficiently admired to encourage the manager to perform it more than twice.-E.

(159) 'This comedy, which came out in the summer-season at Drury-lane, under the conduct of Foote and the author, met with considerable success. Some of the hints are acknowledged to have been borrowed from Moli'ere's "Cocu Imaginaire."-E.

(160) Lady Sarah Lenox.-E.

(161) The old punishment for giving a blow in the King's presence.

(162) Mr. Hans Stanley was at this time employed in negotiating a peace at Paris.-E.

Letter 78 To George Montagu, Esq. Strawberry Hill, June 18, 1761. (page 128)

I am glad you will come on Monday, and hope you will arrive in a rainbow and pair, to signify that we are not to be totally drowned. It has rained incessantly, and floated all my new works; I seem rather to be building a pond than a gallery. My farm too is all under water, and what is vexatious, if Sunday had not thrust itself between, I could have got in my hay on Monday. As the parsons will let nobody else make hay on Sundays, I think they ought to make it on that day themselves.

By the papers I see Mrs. Trevor Hampden is dead of the smallpox. Will he be much concerned? If you will stay with me a fortnight or three weeks, perhaps I may be able to carry you to a play of Mr. Bentley's—you stare, but I am in earnest: nay, and de par le roy. In short, here is the history of it. You know the passion he always had for the Italian comedy; about two years ago he wrote one, intending to get it offered to Rich, but without his name. He would have died to be supposed an author, and writing for gain. I kept this an inviolable secret. Judge then of my surprise, when about a fortnight or three weeks ago, I found my Lord Melcomb reading this very Bentleiad in a circle at my Lady Hervey's. Cumberland had carried it to him with a recommendatory copy of verses, containing more incense to the King and my Lord Bute, than the magi brought in their portmanteaus to Jerusalem. The idols were propitious, and to do them justice, there is a great deal of wit in the piece, which is called "The Wishes, or Harlequin's Mouth Opened."(163) A bank note of two hundred pounds was sent from the treasury to the author, and the play ordered to be performed by the summer company. Foote was summoned to Lord Melcomb's, where Parnassus was composed of the peer himself, who, like Apollo, as I am going to tell you, was dozing, the two chief justices, and Lord B. Bubo read the play himself, "with handkerchief and orange by his side." But the curious part is a prologue, which I never saw. It represents the god of verse fast asleep by the side of Helicon: the race of modern bards try to wake him, but the more they repeat their works, the louder he snores. At last "Ruin seize thee, ruthless King!" is heard, and the god starts from his trance. This is a good thought, but will offend the bards so much, that I think Dr. Bentley's son will be abused at least @as much as his father was. The prologue concludes with young Augustus, and how much he excels the ancient one by the choice of his friend. Foote refused to act this prologue, and said it was too strong. "Indeed," said Augustus's friend, "I think it is." They have softened it a little, and I suppose it will be performed. You may depend upon the truth of all this; but what is much more credible is, that the comely young author appears every night in the Mall in a milk-white coat with a blue cape, disclaims any benefit, and says he has done with the play now it is out of his own hands, and that Mrs. Hannah Clio, alias Bentley, writ the best scenes in it. He is going to write a tragedy, and she, I suppose, is going—to court.

You will smile when I tell you that t'other day a party went to Westminster Abbey, and among the rest saw the ragged regiment. They inquired the names of the figures. "I don't know them," said the man, "but if Mr. Walpole was here he could tell you every one." Adieu! I expect Mr. John and you with impatience.

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