The Letters of Horace Walpole, Volume 1
Part 1 out of 18
editions, all of which are confirmed as Public Domain in the US
unless a copyright notice is included. Thus, we usually do not
keep eBooks in compliance with any particular paper edition.
The "legal small print" and other information about this book
may now be found at the end of this file. Please read this
important information, as it gives you specific rights and
tells you about restrictions in how the file may be used.
This etext was produced by Marjorie Fulton.
For easier searching, letters have been numbered. Only the page
numbers that appear in the table of contents have been retained
in the text of letters. Footnotes have been regrouped as
endnotes following the letter to which they relate.
THE LETTERS of HORACE WALPOLE, EARL OF ORFORD:
INCLUDING NUMEROUS LETTERS NOW FIRST PUBLISHED
FROM THE ORIGINAL MANUSCRIPTS.
IN FOUR VOLUMES
VOL. 1. 1735-1748.
CONTENTS OF VOL. 1.
Sir Charles Grey's Letter connecting Walpole with Junius--41
Sketch of the Life of Horace Walpole, Earl of Orford,
by Lord Dover--47
REMINISCENCES OF THE COURTS OF GEORGE THE FIRST AND SECOND.
Motives to the Undertaking-Precedents-George the First's
Reign-a Proem to the History of the Reigning House of
Brunswick-The Reminiscent introduced to that Monarch-His
Person and Dress-The Duchess of Kendal-her Jealousy of
Sir Robert Walpole's Credit with the King-the Intrigues to
displace him, and make Bolingbroke Minister
Marriage of George the First, while Electoral Prince, to the
Princess Sophia Dorothea-Assassination of Count
Konigsmark-Separation from the Princess-Left-handed
espousal-Piety of the Duchess of Kendal-Confinement and Death
of Sophia Dorothea in the Castle of Alden-French
Prophetess-The King's Superstition-Mademoiselle
Schulemberg-Royal Inconsistency-Countess of platen-Anne Brett-
Sudden Death of George the First
Quarrel between George the First and his Son-Earl of
Sunderland-Lord Stanhope-South Sea Scheme-Death of
Craggs-Royal Reconcilement-Peerage Bill Defeated-Project for
seizing the Prince of Wales and conveying him to America-Duke
of Newcastle-Royal Christening-Open rupture-Prince and
Princess of Wales ordered to leave the Palace
Bill Of Pains and Penalties against Bishop Atterbury-Projected
Assassination of Sir Robert Walpole-Revival of the Order of
the Bath-Instance of George the First's good-humoured Presence
Accession of George the Second-Sir Spencer Compton-Expected
Change in Administration-Continuation of Lord Townshend -and
Sir Robert Walpole by the Intervention of Queen Caroline-Mrs.
Howard, afterwards Countess of Suffolk-Her character by
Swift-and by Lord Chesterfield
Destruction of George the First's Will.
History of Mrs. Howard, afterwards Countess of Suffolk-Miss
Bellenden-Marriage with Colonel John Carnl)bell, afterwards
Fourth Duke of Argyle-Anecdotes of Queen Caroline-Her last
Illness and Death-Anecdotes of Sarah, Duchess of
Marlborough-Last Years of George the Second-Mrs. Clayton,
afterwards Lady Sundon-Lady Diana Spencer-Frederick, Prince of
Wales-Sudden Removal of the Prince and Princess from Hampton
Court to St. James's-Birth of a Princess-Rupture with the
King-Anecdotes of Lady Yarmouth
George the Second's Daughters-Anne, Princess of
Orange-Princess Amelia-Princess Caroline-Lord Hervey-Duke of
Anecdotes of Sarah, Duchess of Marlborough-and of Catherine,
Duchess of Buckingham
EXTRACTS FROM THE LETTERS OF SARAH, DUCHESS OF MARLBOROUGH, TO
THE EARL OF STAIR, ILLUSTRATIVE OF "THE REMINISCENCES." (NOW
FIRST PUBlished) 111
LETTERS OF HORACE WALPOLE.
(Those Letters now first collected are marked N.)
1. To Richard West, Esq. November 9.-Picture of a University
life. Cambridge sophs. Juvenile quadruple alliance--121
2. To George Montagu, Esq. May 2.-Marriage of Frederick,
Prince of Wales, with the Princess Augusta of Saxe Gotha--122
3. To the same, May 6.-Pleasures of youth, and youthful
4. To the same, May 20.-Jaunt to Oxford. Wrest House. Easton
5. To the same, May 30.-Petronius Arbiter. Coventry's Dialogue
between Philemon and Hydaspes on False Religion. Artemisia--
6. To Richard West, Esq. Aug. 17.-Gray, and other
schoolfellows. Eton recollections. Course of study at the
7. To George Montagu, Esq. March 20.-French and English
8. To the same.-Feelings on revisiting Eton--129
9. To Richard West, Esq. April 21. Paris society. Amusements.
Funeral of the Duke de Tresmes. St. Denis. Church of the
Celestins. French love of show. Signs. Notions of honour--130
10. To the same.-, Description of Versailles. Conventof the
Chartreux. History of St. Bruno, painted by Le Soeur. Relics--
11. To the same, June 18.-Rheims. Brooke's "Gustavus Vasa"--
12. To the same, July 20.-Rheims. Compiegne.
13. To the same, Sept. 28.-Mountains of Savoy. Grande
Chartreuse. Aix. English visitors. Epigram--136
14. To the same, Nov. 11.-Passage of Mount Cenis. Cruel
accident. Chamberri. Inscription. Pas de Suza. Turin. Italian
comedy. "L'Anima Damnata." Conversazione--138
15. To the same.-Bologna. Letter-writing. Curl. Whitfield's
Journal. Jingling epitaph. Academical exercises at the
Franciscans' church. Dominicans' Church. Old verses in a new
16. To the same, January 24.-Florence. Grand Duke's gallery.
Effect of travel. English and Italian character contrasted.
Story of the prince and the nut--142
17. To the same, February 27.-Florence. The Carnival.
Character of the Florentines. Their prejudice about nobility.
Mr. Martin. Affair of honour--143
18. To the Hon. Henry Seymour Conway, March 6.-Complaints of
his not writing. Attachment to Florence--145
19. To richard West, Esq. March 22.-Description of Siena.
Romish superstitions. Climate of italy. Italian customs.
Radicofani. Dome of Siena. Inscription. Entrance to Rome--146
20. To the same, April 16.-Rome. Ruins of the temple of
Minerva Medica. Ignorance and poverty of the present Romans.
The Coliseum. Relics--148
21. To the Hon. H. S. Conway, April 23.-Society at Rome. The
Moscovita. Roman Conversations. The Conclave. Lord Deskford--
22. To Richard West, Esq., May 7.-The Conclave. Antiquities of
Rome. State of the public a century hence--152
23. To the same, June 14.-Naples. Description of Herculaneum.
Passage in Statius picturing out this latent city--153
24. To the Hon. H. S. Conway, July 5.-Reasons for leaving
Rome. Malaria. Radicofani described. Relics from Jerusalem.
Society at Florence. Mr. Mann. Lady pomfret. Princess Craon.
Hosier's ghost. The Conclave. Lord Chancellor Hardwicke--155
25. To Richard West, Esq.-Medals and inscriptions. Taking of
Porto Bello. The Conclave. Lady Mary Montagu. Life at
26. To the Hon. H. S. Conway, Sept. 25.-Character of the
Florentines. Lady Mary Wortley Montagu described. Sortes
27. To Richard West, Esq. Oct. 2.-Effect of travel- A wedding
at Florence. Addison's Italy. Dr. Cocchi. Bondelmonti. A song.
Bronzes and medals. Tartini. Lady Walpole. Platonic love--163
28. To the same, Nov.-Disastrous flood at Florence--166
29. To the Rev. Joseph Spence, Feb. 21.-Hopes to renew in
England an acquaintance begun in Italy. Owns him his master in
the antique--[N.) 168
30. To the Hon. H. S. Conway, March 25.-Rejoices at George
Selwyn's recovery And at the result of Mr. Sandvs' motion for
the removal of Sir Robert Walpole. Middleton's Life of Cicero-
31. To Richard West, Esq., May 10.-His opinion of the first
act of West's tragedy of Pausanias. Description of Rome during
32. To Sir Horace Mann, Sept.-Calais on his return to England.
Amorevoli. The Viscontina. Passage to Dover. Comfort and
snugness of English in country towns. The distinction of
"meddling people" nowhere but in England. Story of Mr. Pope
and the Prince of Wales--172
33. To the same, Oct.-Corsica. Bianca Colonna. Baron Stosch,
and his Maltese cats--174
34. To the Hon. H. S. Conway.-On his return to England. Changes
produced by travel--175
35. To Sir Horace Mann, Oct. 8.-Illness of Sir Robert Walpole.
The Opera. Sir Benjamin Keene. Dominichino's Madonna and
Child. Lady Dorothy Boyle. State of parties--176
36. To the same, Oct. 13--178
37. To the same, Oct. 19.-Unfavourable state of his father's
38. To the same, Oct. 22.-Duel between Winnington and Augustus
Townshend. Long Sir Thomas Robinson. Mrs. Woffington. "Les
Cours de l'Europe"--179
39. To the same, Nov. 2.-Sir Thomas Robinson's ball. The
Euston embroil. The Neutrality. "The Balancing Captain," a new
40. To the same, Nov. 5.-Opera House management--186
41. To the same, Nov. 12.-Admiral Vernon. The Opera. The
42. To the same, Nov. 23.-Spanish design on Lombardy. Sir
Edward Walpole's courtship. Lady Pomfret. "Going to Court."
Lord Lincoln. Paul Whitehead. "Manners"--189
43. To the same, Nov. 26.-His mother's tomb. Intaglio of the
44. To the same, Dec. 3.-Admiral Haddock. Meeting of
Parliament. State of parties. Colley Cibber--192
45. To the same, Dec. 10.-Debate on the King's speech.
Westminster petition. Triumph of Opposition. "Bright Bootle"--
46. To the same, Dec. 16.-Chairman of election committees.
Ministry in a minority--197
47. To the same, Dec. 17.-Warm debates in Westminster election
committee. Odd suicide--199
48. To the same, Dec. 24.-Anecdote of Sandys. Ministerial
victory. Debates on the Westminster election. Story of the
Duchess of Buckingham. Mr. Nugent. Lord Gage. Revolution in
49. To the same, Dec. 29.-The Dominichino. Passage of the
Giogo. Bubb Doddington. Follies of the Opposition--206
50. To Sir Horace Mann, Jan. 7.-Reasons why he is not in
fashion. His father's want of partiality for him. Character of
General Churchill. Vote-trafficking during the holidays. Music
party. The three beauty-Fitzroys. Lord Hervey. Hammond, the
poet. Death of Lady Sundon. Anecdotes--207
51. To the same, Jan. 22.-House of Commons. Merchants'
petition. Leonidas Glover. Place Bill. Projected changes.
King's message to the Prince. Pulteney's motion for a secret
committee on Sir Robert Walpole's conduct. New opera--212
52. To the same Feb. 4.-Sir Robert's morning levees. His
resignation. Created Earl of Orford--218
53. To the same; Feb. 9.@Political changes. Opposition meeting
at the Fountain. Cry against Sir Robert. Instructions to
members. Lord Wilmington first lord of the Treasury.New
ministry. Crebillon's "Sofa"--220
54. To the same, Feb. 18.-Rumoured impeachments. Popular
feeling. "The Unhappy Favourite." "broad Bottom" ministry. the
Prince of Wales at the King's levee. sir Robert takes his seat
in the HOuse of Lords. Grand masquerade--224
55. To the same, Feb. 25.-House of Commons. Shippen. Murray.
Story of Sir R. Godschall. Impeachments. Changes. "England in
1741," by Sir C. H. Williams--227
56. To the same, march 3.-Merchants' petition. leonidas
Glover. New Story of the Lord mayor. speech of Doddington.
Heydon election. "The broad Bottom." Duchess of Marlborough's
Memoirs. Lord Oxford's sale. New opera. Sir robert at
57. to the same, March 10.-The coalition. Motion for a
committee of inquiry into the last twenty years thrown out.
Duke of Argyle resigns. Old Sarah's Memoirs--234
58. To the same, march 22.-Queen of Hungary's successes. Lord
59. to the same, March 24.-Secret Committee to inquire into
the conduct of the Earl of Orford appointed. Horace WAlpole's
speech on the occasion--238
60. To the same, april 1.-Secret Committee balloted for. court
and Opposition lists. Bill for repealing the Septennial Act
61. To the same, april 8.-lady Walpole's extravagant schemes.
Subsidy for the Queen of Hungary. Lord Orford's crowded
levees. Rage of the mob against him. Place Bill rejected by
62. To the same, April 15.-Progress of the Secret Committee.
Committal of Paxton--246
63. To the same, april 22.- Secret Committee. Examination of
Sir John Rawdon. Opening of Ranelagh Gardens--247
64. To the same, April 29.-Preparations for war in Flanders.
Examinations before the Secret Committee. Scuffle at the
65. To richard West, Esq., may 4.-Anxiety for the recovery of
his health and spirits. The age most unpoetical. Wit
monopolized by politics. Royal reconciliation. Asheton's
sermons. (Death of Mr. West)--251
66. To sir Horace mann, May 6.-Florentine nobility.
Embarkations for Germany. Doings of the Secret committee. the
67. to the same, May 13.-first report of the Secret Committee.
Bill to indemnify evidence against Lord orford brought in--254
68. To the same, May 20.-Indemnity Bill carried in the
Commons. Party dinner at the Fountain. Place Bill. Mr.
Nugent's attack on the bishops--254
69. To the same, May 28.-Ranelagh. Vauxhall. Mrs. Clive. "Miss
Lucy in town." Garrick at Goodman's Fields: "a very good
mimic; but nothing wonderful in his acting." Mrs. Bracegirdle.
meeting at the Fountain. The Indemnity Bill flung out by the
Lords. Epigram on Pulteney. Committee to examine the public
accounts. Epigram on the Indemnity Bill. Kent and symmetry.
"The Irish Beggar"--256
70. To the same, June 3.-Epigram on Lord Islay's garden upon
71. To the same, June 10.-Lady Walpole and her son. Royal
reviews. Death of hammong. Process against the duchess of
72. To the same, June 14.-Peace between Austria and Prussia.
Ministerial movements. Perplexities of the Secret Committee.
Conduct of Mr. Scrope. Lady Vane's adventures--263
73. To the same, June 25.-successes of the Queen of Hungary.
Mr. Pulteney created Earl of Bath--265
74. To the same, June 30.-Second Report of the Secret
Committee.' The Pretender. Intercepted letters. Lord
75. to the same.-Lines on the death of Richard West, Esq. "A
Receipt to make a lord"--269
76. To the same, July 7.-New Place Bill. General Guise.
77. To the same July 14.-Ned and Will Finch. Lord Sidney
Beauclerc. Pulteney takes up his patent as Earl of Bath.
Ranelagh masquerade. Fire in Downing Street--273
78. To the same.-Prorogation. End of the Secret Committee.
Paxton released from Newgate. Ceretesi. Shocking scene of
murder. Items from his grandfather's account-book. Lord Orford
79. To the same, July 29.-About to set out for Houghton.
Evening at Ranelagh with his father. Lord Orford's increasing
popularity. "The Wife of Bath." Cibber's pamphlet against
Pope. Doddington's "Comparison of the Old and New Ministry"--
80. To the same,-New ballads. Lord Orford at Houghton--279
81. To the same, Aug. 20--280
82. To the same, Aug. 28.-Marshal Belleisles, Cardinal Tencin.
"Lessons for the Day." "An honourable man"--281
83. To the same, Sept, 11.-Visit to Woolterton. A Catalogue of
New French Books"--284
84. To the same, Sept. 25.-Admiral Matthews. The King'sJourney
to Flanders. Siege of Prague. History of the Princess Eleonora
of Guastalla. Moli`ere's Tartuffe--285
85. To the same, Oct. 8.-Siege of Prague raised. Great
preparations for the King's journey to Flanders. Odes on
Pulteney. Story of the Pigwiggins. Fracas at Kensington
86. To the same, Oct. 18.-Admiral Matthews. "Yarmouth Roads."
A ballad, by Lord Hervey--289
87. To the same, Oct. 23.--293
88. To the same, Nov. 1.-The King's levee and drawing-room
described. State of parties. A piece of absence. Duc
89. To the same, Nov. 15.-Projects of Opposition Lord Orford's
reception at the levee. Revolution in the French court. The
Opera. Lord Tyrawley. Doddington's marriage--296
90. To the same, Dec. 2.--House of Commons. Motion for a new
secret committee thrown out. Union of the Whigs--298
91. To the same, Dec. 9.-Debate on disbanding the army in
Flanders. "Hanover"-the word for the winter--299
92. To the same, Dec. 23.-Difficulty of writing upon nothing--
93. To Sir Horace Mann, Jan. 6.-Admiral Vernon. Reply of the
Duchess of Queensberry--302
94. To the same, Jan. 13.-House of Commons. Case of the
Hanover 'Forces." Difficulty of raising the supplies. Lord
95. To the same, Jan. 27.-Accession of the Dutch to the King's
96. To the same, Feb. 2. Debate in the Lords on disbanding the
97. to the same, Feb. 18.--309
98. To the same, Feb. 24.' Austrian victory over the Spaniards
in Italy. King theodore's Declaration. handle and the Opera--
99. To the same, March 3.-Death of the Electress. Story of
Lord Hervey. The Oratorios--310
100. To the same, March 14.-Duel between his uncle Horace and
Mr. Chetwynd. Death of the Duchess of Buckingham--311
101. To the same, March 25.-Epidemic. Death of Dr. Blackburne,
Archbishop of York--314
102. To the same, April 4.-Funeral of the Duchess of
103. To the same, April 14.-Army in Flanders. King Theodore.
The Opera ruined by gentlemen directors. Dillettanti Club.
London versus the country--317
104. To the same, April 25.-Departure of the King and Duke of
Cumberland from the army in Flanders. The Regency. Princess
Louisa and the Prince of Denmark. Lord Stafford and Miss
Cantillon. Irish fracas. Silvia and Philander--318
105. To the same, May 4.-King Theodore. Admiral Vernon's
frantic speech. Ceretesi. Low state of the Opera. Freemasonry-
106. to the same, May 12.-Death of the Duchess of Kendal.
Story of Old Sarah. Maids of honour--322
107. To the same, May 19.-Mutiny of a Highland regiment--323
108. To the same, June 4.-Marriages, deaths and promotions.
Sale of Corsica--324
109. To the same, June 16.-expected battle in Flanders. Alarms
for Mr. Conway. Houghton gallery. Life of Theodore--326
110. To the same, June 20.-Visit to Euston. Kent. Anecdote of
Lord Easton. Lady Dorothy Boyle--328
111. To the same, June 28.-Batttle of Dettingen. Conduct of
the King. Anecdotes--329
112. To the same, July 4.-Further anecdotes of the battle.
Public rejoicings. Lines on the victory. Halifax's poem of the
battle of the Boyne--331
113. to the same, July 11.-another battle expected--333
114. to the same, July 19.-Conduct of General Ilton. "The
115. To the same, July 31.-the temporizing conduct of the
Regency. Bon-mot of Winnington--335
116. To the same, Aug. 14.-Arrival of the Dominichini.
Description. Pun of Madame de S`evign`e--336
117. TO John Chute, Esq., Aug. 20.-Life at Houghton.
Stupifying qualities of beef, ale, and wine. The Dominichini--
118. To Sir Horace Mann, Aug. 29.-Undoubted originality of the
Dominichini. Mr. Pelham first lord of the treasury--340
119. To the same, Sept. 7.-The marrying Princesses. French
players at Cliefden. Our faith in'politics. Story of the Duke
of Buckingham. Extraordinary miracle--341
120. To the same, Sept 17.-The King and Lord Stair--343
121. To the same, Oct. 3.-Journey to town. Newmarket
described. No solitude in the country. Delights of a London
life. Admiral Matthews and the Pope. Story of Sir James of the
Peak. Mrs. White's brown bob. Old Sarazin at two the morning.
Lord Perceval's "Faction Detected." Death of the duke of
122. To the same, oct. 12.-Conduct of Sir Horace's father. The
army in Flanders in winter quarters. Distracted state of
parties. Patapaniana. Imitation of an epigram of martial--347
123. To the Same, Nov. 17.-the King's arrival and reception.
His cool behaviour to the Prince of Wales. Lord Holderness's
Dutch bride. The Prince of Denmark. the Opera--349
124. To the same, Nov. 30.-Meeting of Parliament. Strength of
Opposition. Conduct of Lord Carteret. Treasury dishclouts.
Debate on the Address--351
125. To the same, Dec. 15.-Debates on the Hanoverian troops.
Resignation of Lord Gower. Ministerial changes. Sandys made a
peer. Verses addressed to the House of Lords, on its receiving
a new peer--352
126. To the same, Dec. 26.--354
127. To Sir Horace Mann, Jan. 24.-The Brest fleet at sea.
Motion for continuing the Hanover troops carried by the
exertions of Lord Orford--356
128. To the same, Feb. 9.-Appearance of the Brest squadron off
the Land's End. Pretender's son at Paris--358
129. To the same, Feb. 16.-French squadron off Torbay. King's
message concerning the young Pretender and designed invasion.
Activity and zeal of Lord Orford--359
130. To the same, Feb. 23.-Welsh election carried against Sir
Watkyn Williams. Prospect of invasion. Preparations--361
131. To the same, March 1.-The French expected every moment.
Escape of the Brest squadron from Sir John Norris. Dutch
troops sent for. Spirit of the nation. Addresses. Lord
Barrymore and Colonel Cecil taken up. Suspension of the Habeas
Corpus. The young Pretender--361
132. To the same, March 5.-Great storm. French transports
destroyed, and troops disembarked--363
133. To the same, March 15.-Fears of invasion dispelled.
Mediterranean engagement. Admiral Lestock--364
134. To the same, March 22.-French declaration of war. Affair
in the Mediterranean. Sir John Norris. Hymeneals. Lord
Carteret and Lady Sophia Fermor. Doddington and Mrs. Behan--
135. To the same, April 2.--366
136. To the same, April 15.-Nuptials of the great Quixote and
the fair Sophia. Invasion from Dunkirk laid aside--367
137. To the same, May 8.-Debate on the Pretender's
138. To the same, May 29.-Movements of the army in Flanders.
Illness of his father. Death of Pope. Mr. Henry Fox's private
marriage with Lady Charlotte Lenox. Bishop Berkeley and
139. To the same, June 11.-Successes of the French army in
Flanders. State of the combined army. And of our sea-force--
140. To the same, June 18.-Return of Admiral Anson. Ball at
Ranelagh. Purchase of Dr. Middleton's collection. Lord
141. To the Hon. H. S. Conway, June 29.-Eton recollections.
Lines out of a new poem. Opinion of the present great men.
Ranelagh described--[N.] 375
142. To Sir Horace Mann, June 29.-Cluster of good news. Our
army joined by the dutch. Success of the King of Sardinia over
the Spaniards. The Rhine passed by Prince Charles. Lines on
the death of Pope. Epitaph on him by Rolli-- 377
143. To the Hon. H. S. Conway, July 20.-Happiness at receiving
a letter of confidence. Advice on the subject of an early
attachment. Arguments for breaking off the acquaintance. Offer
of the immediate use of his fortune--379
144. To Sir Horace Mann, July 22.-Letter-writing one of the
first duties. Difficulty of keeping up a correspondence after
long absence. History writing. Carte and the City aldermen.
Inscription on Lady Euston's picture. lady Carteret. Epigram
145. To the same, Aug. 6.-Marquis de la Ch`etardie dismissed
by the Empress of Russia. The Grifona. Lord Surrey's sonnets--
146. To the same, Aug. 16.-Preparations for a Journey to
Houghton. Rule for conquering the passions. Country life. king
of Prussia's address to the people of England. A dialogue on
the battle of Dettingen--385
147. To the same, Sept. 1.-Victory at Velletri. Illness of the
King of France. Epigram on Bishop Berkeley's tar-water--387
148. To the Hon. H. S. Conway, Oct. 6.--388
149. To Sir Horace Mann, Oct. 6.-Self-scolding. Neapolitan
150. To the same, Oct. 19.-Defeat of the King of Sardinia.
loss of the ship Victory, with Sir John Balchen. Death of
Sarah of Marlborough, the Countess Granville, and Lord
Beauchamp. Marriage of Lord Lincoln. French King's dismissal
of Madame de Chateauroux. Discretion of a Scotch soldier--391
151. To the same, November 9.-Lord middleton's wedding. The
Pomfrets. Lady Granville's At Home. Old Marlborough's will.
152. To the same, Nov. 26.-History of Lord Granville's
resignation. Voila le monde! Decline of his father's health.
Outcry against pantomimes. Drury Lane uproar. Bear-garden
bruisers. Walpole turned popular orator--394
153. To the same, Dec. 24.-Conduct of the King. Prostitution
of patriots. List of ministerial changes. Mr. Pitt declines
office. Opposition selling themselves for profit. The
Pretender's son owned in France--397
154. To Sir Horace Mann, Jan, 4.-Complains of dearth of news.
His ink at low water mark. Lord Sandwich's first-rate tie-wig.
Lady Granville's assemblies. Marshal a prisoner at Hanover--
155. To the same, Jan. 14.-M. de Magnan's history. Prince
Lobkowitz. Doings of the Granville faction. Anecdote of Lord
Baltimore. Illness of Lord Orford. Mrs. Stephens's remedy. Sir
Thomas Hanmer's Shakspeare. Absurd alteration therein--400
156. To the same, Feb. 1.-Variety of politics. Lord Granville
characterized. Progress of the coalition--402
157. TO the same, Feb. 28.-Alarming illness of Lord Orford.
Success of the coalition. situation of the Pelhams. Masquerade
at the Venetian ambassadress's. Lady townshend's ball. Marshal
Belleisle at Nottingham. matrimonials on the tapis--404
158. To the same, march 29.-Death of Lord Orford. Inquiry into
the miscarriage of the fleet in the action off Toulon.
Matthews and Lestock. Instability of the ministry. Thomson's
Tancred and Sigismunda. Glover's Leonidas. The Seasons.
Alenside's Odes. Quarrel between the Duchesses of Queensberry
and Richmond. Rage for conundrums--406
159. To the same, April 15.-Reflections on his father's death.
Compliments paid to his memory. Mediterranean miscarriages--
160. To the same, April 29.-Disadvantages of a distant
correspondence. Death of Mr. Francis Chute, and of poor
Patapan. Prospect of a battle in Flandders. Marshal Saxe--411
161. To the same, May 11.-Battle of Fontenoy. Bravery of the
Duke. Song, written after the news of the battle, by the
Prince of Wales--412
162. To George Montagu, Esq., May 18.-Condolence on the death
of Mr. Montigu's brother at Fontenoy--415
163. To Sir Horace Mann, May 24.-Popularity of the Duke of
Cumberland. Lady Walpole. Story of Lord Bath's parsimony--415
164. To George Montagu, Esq. may 25.-Family at Englefield
Green. Sir Edward Walpole. Dr. Styan Thirlby--416
165. To the Hon. H. S. conway, May 27.-Despairs of seeing his
friend a perfect hero. the Why!--417
166. To sir Horace Mann-Recommendatory, of Mr. Hobart,
afterwards Lord Buckinghamshire--418
167. to the same, June 24.-Expected arrival from Italy of the
sister-Countess. Surrender of the citadel of tournai. Defeat
of Charles Lorrain. Revolution of the Prince of Wales's court.
Miss Neville. Lady Abergavenny--419
168. to George Montagu, Esq. June 25.-Mistley, the seat of Mr.
Rigby, described. Fashionable at Homes. Lady Brown's Sunday
parties. Lady Archibald hamilton. Miss Granville. Jemmy
169. To the Hon. H.S. Conway, July 1.-Tournai and Fontenoy.
170. To Sir Horace Mann, July 5.-Seizure of Ghent and Bruges
by the French--424
171. To the same, July 12.---425
172. to George Montagu, Esq. July 13.-Success of the French in
Flanders. Lord Baltimore. Mrs. Comyns--427
173. To sir Horace Mann, July 15.--428
174. To the same, July 26.-Projected invasion. Disgraces in
175. To George Montagu, Esq. AUg. 1.-Portrait of M. de
Grignon. Livys patavinity. marshal Belleisle in London. Duke
of Newcastle described. Duches of Bolton's geographical
176. To sir Horace Mann, Aug. 7.-Rumours of an invasion.
Proclamation for apprehending the Pretender's son--432
177. To the Rev. Thomas Birch, Aug. 15.-Respecting a projected
History of George the Second--434
178. To Sir Horace Mann, Sept. 6.-Landing and progress of the
young Pretender. His manifestoes--435
179. To the same, Sept. 13.-Progress of the rebellion. The
Duke of Newcastle's speech to the Regency--436
179a. To George Montagu, Esq., Sept. 17.--
(Transcriber's note: this letter appears in the text but was
omitted from the printed table of contents--438
180. To the same, Sept. 20.-Edinburgh taken by the rebelsOur
strength at sea. Plan of raising regiments. Lady Orford's
reception in England.--439
181. To the same, Sept. 27.-Successes of Prince Charles in
182. To the same, Oct. 4.-Operations against the rebels.
Spirited conduct of the Archbishop of York--443
183. To the same, Oct. 11.-Death of Lady Granville--445
184. To the same, Oct. 21.-Excesses of the rebels at
Edinburgh. Proceedings in Parliament--446
185. To the same, Nov. 4.-State of the rebellion. Debates
respecting the new raised regiments. Ministerial changes--447
186. To the same, Nov. 15.-Disturbance about the new
regiments. Advance of the rebels into England. Their desperate
situation. Lord Clancarty--449
187. To the same, Nov. 22.-The rebels advance to Penrith. The
Mayor of Carlisle's heroic letter, and surrender of the town.
Proceedings in Parliament--451
188. To the same, Nov. 29.-,rhe sham Pretender. Lord
Derwentwater taken. The rebels at Preston. Marshal Wade--453
189. To the same, Dec. 9.-Conduct of the rebels at Derby.
Black Friday. Preparations for a French invasion Rising spirit
of the people--455
190. To the same Dec. 20.-Flight of the rebels from Derby.
Capture of the Martinico fleet. Debate on employing the
Hessian troops.Marriage of the Duchess of Bridgewater and Dick
Lyttelton. A good Irish letter--457
191. To Sir Horace Mann, Jan. 3.-Recapture of Carlisle.
General Hawley. Preparations at Dunkirk. Ministerial
192. To the same, Jan. 17.-The rebels fortifying themselves in
Scotland. Hawley's executions. Anecdotes of him. The French
invasion laid aside--461
193. To the same, Jan. 28.-Battle of Falkirk--463
194. To the same, Feb. 7.-Plight of the rebels. The new
regiments. Confusion at court--464
195. To the same, Feb. 14.-Insurrection in the closet. The
Pelhams throw up the seals. Reconciliation and return to
196. To the same, March 6.-Reunion of the dispersed clans.
197. To the same, March 21.-The rebels take Fort Augustus. The
Prince of Wales's new opposition--470
198. To the same, March 28.-The rebels out of spirits. Lady
Walpole. Peggy Banks. The opera. Shocking murder--471
199. To the same, April 15.-The rebellion at its last gasp.
Supplies from France taken. Hanoverian troops. Trial of
Hawley. Marriage of Lord Kildare. An odd discovery. Strange
200. To the same, April 25.-Battle of Culloden. Escape of the
young Pretender. Fireworks and illuminations. Death of Mr.
201. To the same, May 16.-End of the rebellion. Old
Tullybardine. Lords Kilmarnock, Balmerino, and Ogilvie
prisoners. Antwerp taken--478
202. To George Montagu, Esq. May 22.-Visit to Langley. The
Sidney Papers. Sir Philip's defence of the Earl of Leicester--
203. To the same, June 6.-Character of the Prince of Hesse.
Fame of the Violette--480
204. To Sir Horace Mann, June 6.-Marriage of the Princess Mary
to the Prince of Hesse--482
205. To George Montagu, Esq. June 12.-Anecdotes of the Prince
of Hesse. Lady Caroline Fitzroy. Dick Edgecumbe--483
206. To the same, June 17.-Prospect of Peace. Death of
207. To Sir Horace Mann, June 20.-Battle of Placentia. Old
Tullybardine and Lord Cromartie in the Tower. Death of Jack
208. To George Montagu, Esq. June 24.-Ministerial changes.
Arrival of rebel prisoners. Jack Spenser's will. Lady
Townshend's bon-mots. Anecdotes of Lords Bath and Sandys, and
the Duke of Cumberland--486
209. To the same, July 3.-Promotions and marriages--487
210. To Sir Horace Mann, July 7.-Lord Lovat, and Murray, the
211. To the same, Aug, 1.-Trials of the rebel Lords.
Description of Lords Kilmarnock, Cromartie, and Balmerino.
Intercessions in their behalf. Confessions of Murray--489
212. To George Montagu, Esq. Aug. 2.-Trials of the rebel
213. To the same, Aug. 5.-Discoveries of Murray. Lady
Cromartie's petition. Anecdotes of the rebel lords. The Duke
of Cumberland's ball--495
214. To George Montagu, Esq. Aug. 11.-Lord Cromartie's pardon.
Lady Caroline Fitzroy's marriage--497
215. TO Sir Horace mann, Aug. 12.-Opera squabbles. The
Violette. Lord Sandwich's embassy. Marriage of Lady Charlotte
Fermor, and of the Princess Louisa to the King of Denmark.
Wanderings of the young Pretender. Conduct of the rebel Lords.
Story of Lord Balmerino--497
216. To George Montagu, Esq. Aug. 16.-Anecdotes of the rebel
Lords under sentence--500
217. To Sir Horace Mann, Aug. 21.-Account of the execution of
Lords Balmerino and Kilmarnock--501
218. To the same, Sept. 15.-Lady Orford and Mr. Shirley--504
219. To the same, Oct. 2.-Arrival of Mr. Chute from Italy. Mr.
220. To the Hon. H. S. Conway, Oct. 3.-Enclosing Gray's Ode on
a distant Prospect of Eton College--507
221. To Sir Horace Mann, Oct. 14.-Defeat of the allies in
Flanders. Capitulation of Genoa. Acquittal of Cope. General
222. To the Hon. H. S. Conway, Oct. 24.-Campaign in Scotland--
223. To George Montagu, Esq. Nov. 3.-His Epilogue to
224. To Sir Horace Mann, Nov. 4.-Ministerial changes. Lord
Chesterfield accepts the seals. Expedition to Quiberon.
Admiral Matthews's court-martial--511
225. To the same, Nov. 12--513
226. To the same,, Dec. 5.-Marriages. Reformations in the
army. Arrest of Orator henley. theatricals--514
227. To Sir Horace Mann, Dec. 25.-Trial of Lord Lovat.
Mr.Davis's copy of the Dominichino--515
228. To Sir Horace Mann, Jan. 27.-The Prince's new Opposition-
229. To the same, Feb. 23.-The Opera. Debates on places and
pensions. Lord Kildare's marriage. Panciatici. Anecdotes of
Lord Holderness and Lord Hervey--519
230. to the same, March 20.-Lord Lovat's trial. Anecdotes--521
231. To the same, April 10.-Account of Lord Lovat's execution.
The Independents. Tottering state of the ministry. Civil war
in the house of Finch--522
232. To the Hon. H. S. Conway, April 16.-Mutability of fame
and popularity. Lord Lovat's burial. Story of George Selwyn.
Debate on the Heritable Jurisdictions Bill--525
233. To Sir Horace Mann, May 5.-The new Stadtholder. Scotch
Clanships Bill. Bill for allowing counsel to prisoners on
impeachments for treason. Resignations. Holland House--526
234. To the same, May 19.-Anson's victory. Death of Captain
Grenville. Mr. Dayrolies--527
235. To the same, June 5.-Sudden dissolution of Parliament.
Rumoured ministerial changes. Purchase (of Strawberry Hill--
236. TO the Hon. H. S. Conway, June 8.-Description of
Strawberry Hill. Dissolution of Parliament. Measures for
237. To Sir Horace Mann, June 26.-Election tumults. Sir Jacob
Botiverie's peerage. The Duchess of Queensberry at court.
Instance of English bizarrerie--531
238. To George Montagu, Esq. July 2.-Ill success of the army
in the Netherlands. Battle of Laffeldt. Gallant conduct of Mr.
Conway. Naval captures--533
239. To Sir Horace Mann, July 3.-Battle of Laffeldt. Capture
of the Domingo fleet. Progress of the elections--534
240. To the same, July 28.-Piedmontese victory over the
French. Death of the Chevalier Belleisle--535
241. To the same, Sept. 1.-Bergen-op-Zoom. Sir James Grey.
242. To George Montagu, Esq. Oct. 1.-Cardinal Polignac's
Anti-Lucretius. George Selwyn. Anecdotes--537
243. To Sir Horace Mann, Oct. 2.-Capture of Bergen-op-Zoom.
Character of Mr. Chute. Chit-chat. Anecdote of Lord Bath--537
244. To the same, Nov. 10.-Admiral Hawke's victory. Meeting of
the new Parliament. The musical clock--539
245. To the same, Nov. 24.-Meditates a journey to Florence.
Congress at Aix-la-Chapelle. Ministerial interference in the
Seaford election. Mr. Potter. Lady Mary Wortley Montagu's
246. To Sir Horace Mann, Jan. 12.-General dispositions for
war. Diplomatic Changes. Lord and Lady Coke. Matrimonial
247. To the same, Jan. 26.-Mr. Legge's embassy to the King of
Prussia. Mr. Villiers. Ministers triumphant in Parliament.
Admiral Vernon's letters--542
248. To the same, Feb. 16.-Resignation of Lord Chesterfield.
Ministerial changes. Hitch in Mr. Legge's embassy. Discontents
in the army. Public amusements. Comedy of the Foundling--544
249. To Sir Horace Mann, March 11.-Prevalence of miliary
fever. Death of the Marquis of Powis. Private theatricals.
Attempt to damn the Foundling. Animosities in the House of
Commons. Buckingham assizes. The Duchess of Queensberry's
250. To the same, April 29.-Peace of Aix-la-Chapelle.
Masquerade at the Hay market--547
251. To George Montagu, Esq. May 18.-Lord Anson's voyage with
Lady Elizabeth Yorke. His voyage. Anecdotes. Marshal Wade's
252. To the same, May 26.-Ranelagh. Anecdotes. Sir Thomas
Bootle. Story of Prince Edward--550
253. To the same, June 7.-The Duke of Newcastle's journey to
Holland. Strawberry Hill," the old name of his house--551
254. To the Hon. H. S. Conway, June 27.-His rural occupations.
Lord Coke. Friendly advice from White's. F`ete at Vauxhall--
255. To SirHorace Mann, July 14.@The Duke of Newcastle's
256. To the same.-Bad state of Lord Orford's health.
Reflections. Has finished his Aedes Walpolianae. Improvements
at Strawberry Hill--555
257. To George Montagu, Esq. July 25.-Account of a visit to
Nugent. Family of the Aubrey de Versa, Earls of Oxford.
Henningham Castle Gosfield--556
258. To the same, Aug. 11.-Anecdotes of the House of Vere.
Kitty Clive. Garrick and Lee. Visit to Esher. Claremont House.
259. To the Hon. H. S. Conway, Aug. 29.-His progress in
planting. Anticipations of future discoveries--561
260. To George Montagu, Esq. Sept. 3.-Bonmot of the duke of
Cumberland. "The new light." Whitfield and the Methodists.
Smell of thieves. Story of Handsome Tracy. Gray, the worst
company in the world--563
261. To Sir Horace Mann, Sept. 12-Death of Bishop Gibson--565
262. To George Montagu, Esq. Sept. 25.-Disinterested
friendship. passage in Chillingworth. The Duchess of Ireland's
Hennins, or piked horns--566
263. To the Hon. H. S. Conway, Oct. 4.-Meeting of Parliament.
Preparations for proclaiming the peace. Lady Cadogan--567
264. TO George Montagu, Esq. Oct. 20--568
265. To Sir Horace Mann, Oct. 24.-Adventure of Milord Richard
Onslow. Character of lord Walpole. Unpopularity, of the peace.
Death of old Tom Walker--569
266. To the same, Dec. 2.-The King's return. Prospects of a
stormy session. League Of the tories with the Prince's party.
Bon-mots of Mr. Chute. The Opera. Pertici. Lord Marchmont and
Hume Campbell. Treason at Oxford--570
267. To the same, Dec. 11.-Imprisonment of the young Pretender
at Vincennes. Death of the proud Duke of Somerset; his will.
Bon-mot of John Stanhope. hogarth at Calais--571
268. To the same, Dec. 26.-Improvements at Strawberry Hill.
Diplomatic movements. Old Somerset's will. Trial of the
Vice-Chancellor of Oxford.Story of sir William Burdett--574
The letters of Horace Walpole, Earl of Orford, as hitherto
published, have consisted of,-
1. The letters contained in the quarto edition of his works,
published in the year 1798.
2. His letters to George Montagu, Esq. from 1738 to 1770,
which formed one quarto volume, published in 1818.
3. His letters to the Rev. William Cole and others, from 1745
to 1782, published in the same form and year.
4. His letters to the Earl of Hertford, during his lordship's
embassy to Paris, and also to the Rev. Henry Zouch, which
appeared in quarto, in 1825.
And 5. His letters to Sir Horace Mann, British Envoy at the Court
of Tuscany, from 1741 to 1760, first published in 1833, in three
volumes octavo, from the originals in the possession of the Earl
of Waldegrave; edited by Lord Dover, with an original memoir of
To the above are now added several hundred letters, which have
hitherto existed Only in manuscript, or made their appearance
singly and incidentally in other works. In this new
collection, besides the letters to Miss Berry, are some to the
Hon. H. S. Conway, and John Chute, Esq. omitted In former
editions; and many to Lady Suffolk, his brother-in-law,
Charles Churchill, Esq., Captain Jephson, Sir David Dalrymple,
Lord Hailes, the Earl of Buchan, the Earl of Charlemont, Mr.
Gibbon, Mr. Pitt, afterwards Earl of Chatham, George Hardinge,
Esq., Mr. Pinkerton, and other distinguished characters. The
letters to the Rev. William Cole have been carefully examined
with the originals, and many explanatory notes added, from the
manuscript collections of that indefatigable antiquary,
deposited in the British museum.
Besides being the only complete edition ever published of the
incomparable letters of this "prince of epistolary writers,"
as he has been designated by an eminent critic, the present
work possesses the further advantage of exhibiting the letters
themselves in chronological order. Thus the whole series
forms a lively and most interesting commentary on the events
of the age, as well as a record of the most important
transactions, invaluable to the historian and politician, from
1735 to 1797-a period of more than sixty years.
To Lord Dover's description of these letters (1) little need
be added. Of Horace Walpole it is not too much to say, that
he knew more of the Courts of George I., George II., and
George III., during the early years of the last monarch, than
any other individual; and, though he lived to an extreme age,
the perpetual youthfulness of his disposition rendered him as
lively a chronicler when advanced in life, as when his
brilliant career commenced. It is to this unceasing spring,
this unfading juvenility of spirit, that the world is indebted
for the gay colours with which Walpole invests every thing he
touches. If the irresistible court beauties-the Gunnings, the
Lepels, and others-have been compelled, after their hundred
conquests, to yield to the ungallant liberties of Time, and to
Death, the rude destroyer, it is a delight to us to know that
their charms are destined to bloom for ever in the sparkling
graces of the patrician letter-writer. In his epistles are to
be seen, even in more vivid tints than those of Watteau, these
splendid creatures in all the pride of their beauty and of
their wardrobe, pluming themselves as if they never could grow
old, and casting around them their piercing glances and no
less poignant raillery. But Horace Walpole is not content
with thus displaying his dazzling bevy of heroines; he reveals
them in their less ostentatious moments, and makes us as
familiar with their weaknesses as with the despotic power of
their beauty. Nothing that transpired in the great world
escaped his knowledge, nor the trenchant sallies of his wit,
rendered the more cutting by his unrivalled talent as a
raconteur. Whatever he observed found its way into his
letters, and thus is formed a more perfect narrative of the
Curt-of its intrigues, political and otherwise-of the
manoeuvres of statesmen, the cabals of party, and of private
society among the illustrious and the fashionable of the last
century, at home and on the continent-than can elsewhere be
obtained. And how piquant are his disclosures! how much of
actual truth do they contain! how perfectly, in his
anecdotes, are to be traced the hidden and often trivial
sources of some of the most important public events! "Sir
Joshua Reynolds," say the Edinburgh reviewers, "used to
observe, that, though nobody would for a moment compare Claude
to Raphael, there would be another Raphael before there was
another Claude; and we own, that we expect to see fresh Humes
and fresh Burkes, before we again fall in with that peculiar
combination of moral and intellectual qualities to which the
writings of Horace Walpole owe their extraordinary
As a suitable introduction, prefixed to the whole collection
of letters, are the author's admirable "Reminiscences of the
Courts of George the First and Second," which were first
narrated to, and, in 1788, written for the amusement of Miss
Mary and Miss Agnes Berry. To the former of these ladies the
public is indebted for a curious commentary on the
Reminiscences, contained in extracts from the letters of Sarah
Duchess of Marlborough, to the Earl of Stair, now first
published from the original manuscripts. Of the Reminiscences
themselves it has been truly observed, that, both in manner
and matter, they are the very perfection of anecdote writing,
and make us better acquainted with the manners of George the
First and Second and their Courts, than we should be after
perusing a hundred heavy historians.
Of the most valuable of all Walpole's correspondence-his
letters to Sir Horace Mann-the history will appear in the
following Preface to that work, from the pen of the lamented
editor, the late Lord Dover:-
"In the Preface to the 'Memoires of the last Ten Years of the
Reign of George II. by Horace Walpole, Earl of Orford,'
published in the year 1822, is the following statement:-
"'Among the papers found at Strawberry Hill, after the death
of Lord Orford, was the following memorandum, wrapped in an
envelope, on which was written, Not to be opened till after my
"'In my library at Strawberry Hill are two wainscot chests or
boxes, the larger marked with an A, the lesser with a B:-
I desire, that as soon as I am dead, my executor and executrix
will cord up strongly, and sell the larger box, marked A, and
deliver it to the Honourable Hugh Conway Seymour, to be kept
by him unopened and unsealed till the eldest son of Lady
Waldegrave, or whichever of her sons, being Earl of
Waldegrave, shall attain the age of twenty-five years; when
the said chest, with whatever it contains, shall be delivered
to him for his own. And I beg that the Honourable Hugh Conway
Seymour, when be shall receive the said chest, will give a
promise in writing, signed by him, to Lady Waldegrave, that he
or his representatives will deliver the said chest, unopened
and unsealed, by my executor and executrix, to the first son
of Lady Waldegrave who shall attain the age of' twenty-five
years. The key of the said chest is in one of the cupboards
of the green closet, within the blue breakfast room, at
Strawberry Hill; and that key, I desire, may be delivered to
Laura, Lady Waldegrave, to be kept by her till her son shall
receive the chest.'
"'March 21st, 1790.'"
(Signed) HON. HORACE WALPOLE, EARL OF ORFORD.'
Aug. 19, 1796.'
"In obedience to these directions, the box described in the
preceding memorandum was corded an(] sealed with the seals of
the Honourable Mrs. Damer and the late Lord Frederick
Campbell, the executrix and executor of Lord Orford, and by
them delivered to the late Lord Hugh Seymour, by whose
representatives it was given up, unopened and unsealed, to the
present Earl of Waldegrave, when he attained the age of
twenty-five. On examining the box, it was found to contain a
number of manuscript volumes and other papers, among which
were the Memoires now published.' "
"The correspondence of Horace Walpole with Sir Horace Mann,
now first published, was also contained in the same box. It
appears that Walpole, after the death of Sir Horace, became
again the possessor of his own letters. He had them copied
very carefully in three volumes, and annotated them with short
notes, explanatory of the persons mentioned in them, with an
evident view to their eventual publication.
"It is from these volumes that the present publication is
taken. The notes of the author have also been printed
verbatim. As, however, in the period of time which has
elapsed since Walpole's death, many of the personages
mentioned in the letters, whom he appears to have thought
sufficiently conspicuous not to need remark, have become
almost forgotten, the Editor has deemed it necessary to add,
as shortly as possible, some account of them; and he has taken
care, whenever he has done so, to distinguish his notes from
those of the original author, by the letter D. placed at the
end of them.
"This correspondence is perhaps the most interesting one of
Walpole's that has as yet appeared; as, in addition to his
usual merit as a letter-writer, and the advantage of great
ease, which his extreme intimacy with Sir Horace Mann gives to
his style, the letters to him are the most uninterrupted
series which has thus far been offered to the public. They
are also the only letters of Walpole which give an account of
that very curious period when his father, Sir Robert Walpole,
left office. In his letters hitherto published, there is a
great gap at this epoch; probably in consequence of his other
correspondents being at the time either in or near London. A
Single letter to Mr. Conway, dated 'london, 1741,'-one to Mr.
West, dated 'May 4th, 1742,'-(none in 1743,) and one to Mr.
Conway, dated 'Houghton: Oct. 6th, 1744,' are all that appear
till 'may 18th, 1745,' when his letters to George Montagu
recommence, after an interval of eight years. Whereas, in the
correspondence now published, there are no less than one
hundred and seventeen letters during that interval.
The letters of Walpole to Sir Horace Mann have also another
advantage over those of the same author previously published,
namely, that Sir Horace's constant absence from home, and the
distance of his residence from the British Islands, made every
occurrence that happened acceptable to him as news. It)
consequence, his correspondent relates to him every thing that
takes place, both in the court and in society,-whether the
anecdotes are of a public or private nature,-hence the
collection of' letters to him becomes a most exact chronicle
of the events of the day, and elucidates very amusingly both
the manners of the time, and the characters of the persons
then alive. In the sketches, however, of character, which
Walpole has thus left us, we must always remember that, though
a very quick and accurate observer, he was a man of many
prejudices; and that, above all, his hostility was unvarying
and unbounded with regard to any of his contemporaries, who
had been adverse to the person or administration of Sir Robert
Walpole. This, though an amiable feeling, occasionally
carries him too far in his invectives, and renders him unjust
in his judgments.
"The answers of Sir Horace Mann are also preserved at
Strawberry Hill: they are very voluminous, but particularly
devoid of interest, as they are written in a dry heavy style,
and consist almost entirely of trifling details of forgotten
Florentine society, mixed with small portions of Italian
political news of the day, which are even still less amusing
than the former topic. They have, however, been found useful
to refer to occasionally, in order to explain allusions in the
letters of Walpole.
"Sir Horace Mann was a contemporary and early friend of Horace
Walpole. (2) He was the second son of Robert Mann, of Linton,
in the county of Kent, Esq. He was appointed in 1740 minister
plenipotentiary from England to the court of Florence-a post
he continued to occupy for the long period of forty-six years,
till his death, at an advanced age, November 6, 1786. In 1755
he was created a baronet, with remainder to the issue of his
brother Galfridus Mann, and, in the reign of George the Third,
a knight of the Bath. It will be observed that Walpole calls
his correspondent Mr. Mann, whereas the title-pages of' these
volumes, and all the notes which have been added by the editor
designate him as Sir Horace Mann. This latter appellation is
undoubtedly, in the greater part of the correspondence, an
anachronism, as Sir Horace Mann was not made a baronet till
the year 1755; but, as he is best known to the world under
that designation, it was considered better to allow him the
title, by courtesy, throughout the work.
"As the following letters turn much upon the politics of the
day, and as the ignoble and unstable Governments which
followed that of Sir Robert Walpole are now somewhat
forgotten, it may not be unacceptable to the reader to be
furnished with a slight sketch of the political changes which
took place from the year 1742 to the death of George the
"At the general election of 1741, immense efforts were made by
the Opposition to the Walpole administration to strengthen
their phalanx-great sums were spent by their leaders in
elections, and an union was at length effected between the
Opposition or 'Patriots,' headed by Pulteney, and the Tories
or Jacobites, who had hitherto, though opposed to Walpole,
never acted cordially with the former.
"Sir Robert, upon the meeting of Parliament, exerted himself
with almost more than his usual vigour and talent, to resist
this formidable band of opponents; but the chances were
against him. The timidity of his friends, and, if we may
believe Horace Walpole, the treachery of some of his
colleagues, and finally the majority in the House of Commons
against him, compelled him at length to resign; which he did
in the beginning of February, 1742. Upon this step being
taken, and perhaps even before it, the Duke of Newcastle and
Lord Hardwicke, the two most influential members of Sir Robert
Walpole's cabinet, entered into communication with Mr.
Pulteney and Lord Carteret, the leaders of the regular
Opposition, with a view of forming a government, to the
exclusion of the Tories and Jacobites, and even of part of Mr.
Pulteney's own party. The negotiation was successful; but it
was so at the expense of the popularity, reputation, and
influence of Pulteney, who never recovered the disgrace of
thus deserting his former associates.
"In consequence of these intrigues, the King agreed to send
for Lord Wilmington, and to place him at the head of the
ministry. It is remarkable that this man, who was a mere
cipher, should have been again had recourse to, after his
failure in making a government at the very commencement of
the reign of George the Second, when his manifest incapacity,
and the influence of Queen Caroline, had occasioned the
remaining of his opponent Sir Robert Walpole in power. With
Lord Wilmington came in Lord Harrington, as president of the
council; Lord Gower, as privy seal; Lord Winchilsea, as first
lord of the admiralty; Lord Carteret as secretary of state;
the other secretary being the Duke of Newcastle, who had been
so under Walpole; Lord Hardwicke continued chancellor; and
Samuel Sandys was made chancellor of the exchequer. Several
of the creatures of Pulteney obtained minor offices: but he
himself, hampered by his abandonment of many of his former
friends, took no place; but Only obtained a promise of an
earldom, whenever he might wish for it.
"These arrangements produced, as was natural, a great schism
in the different parties, which broke out at a meeting at the
Fountain Tavern, on the 12th of February, where the Duke of
Argyll declared himself in opposition to the new government,
upon the ground of the unjust exclusion of the Tories. The
Duke of Argyll subsequently relented, and kissed hands for the
master-generalship of the ordnance, upon the understanding,
that Sir John Hinde Cotton, a notorious Jacobite, was to have
a place. This the King refused; upon which the Duke finally
subsided into Opposition. Lord Stair had the ordnance, and
Lord Cobham was made a field-marshal and commander of the
forces in England. This latter event happened at the end of
the session of 1742, when Lord Gower and Lord Bathurst, and
one or two other Jacobites, were promoted. It was at this
period (July, 1742), that the King, by the advice of Sir
Robert Walpole, who saw that such a step would complete the
degradation Of Pulteney, insisted upon his taking out the
patent for his earldom and quitting the House of Commons;
which he did with the greatest unwillingness.
"On the death of Lord Wilmington, in July 1743, Mr. Pelham
was made first lord of the treasury and chancellor of the
exchequer (from which office Sandys was dismissed), by the
advice of Sir Robert Walpole, and instead of Lord Bath, who
now found that his adversary had really turned the key upon
him, (3) and that the door of the cabinet was never to be
unlocked to him. The ministry was at this time, besides its
natural feebleness, rent by internal dissensions; for Lord
Carteret, who, as secretary of state, had accompanied the King
abroad in 1743, had acquired great influence over his royal
master,-and trusting to this, and to the superiority of his
talents over his colleagues, his insolence to them became
unbounded. The timid and time-serving Pelhams were quite
ready to humble themselves before him; but Lord Carteret was
not content with this: he was not content, unless he showed
them, and made them feel, all the contempt he entertained for
them. In addition to these difficulties, Lord Gower resigned
the privy-seal in December 1743, upon the plea that no more
Tories were taken into office; but probably more from
perceiving that the administration could not go on. Lord
Cobham also resigned, and went again into opposition.
"Finally, in November 1744, the greater part of the cabinet
having previously made their arrangements with the Opposition)
joined in a remonstrance to the King against Lord Carteret,
and offered, if he was not dismissed, their own resignations.
After some resistance, the King, again by the advice of Lord
Orford, yielded. Lord Carteret and his adherents, and those
of Lord Bath, were dismissed, and a mixed government of Whigs
and Tories was formed. Mr. Pelham continued first minister;
the Duke of Dorset was made president of the council; Lord
Gower again took the privy-seal, which had been held for a few
months by Lord Cholmondeley; the Duke of Bedford became first
lord of' the admiralty; Lord Harrincton secretary of state;
Lord Chesterfield, Lord Sandwich, George Grenville,
Doddington, and Lyttelton, and Sir John Hinde Cotton, Sir John
Philipps, and some other Tories, had places. But though the
King had dismissed Lord Carteret (now become Earl of
Granville) from his councils, he had not from his confidence.
He treated his new ministers with coldness and incivility, and
consulted Lord Granville secretly upon all important points.
"At length, in the midst of the Rebellion, in August 1746, the
ministry went to the King, and gave him the option of taking
Pitt into office, which he had previously refused, or
receiving their resignations. After again endeavouring in
vain to form an administration through the means of Lord
Granville and Lord Bath, the King was obliged to consent to
the demands of his ministers-and here may be said to commence
the leaden rule of the Pelhams, which continued to influence
the councils of this country, more or less, for so many years.
Pitt took the inferior, but lucrative office of paymaster; and
from this time no material change took place till the death of
Mr. Pelham, in March 1754, unless we except the admission of
Lord Granville to the cabinet in 1751, as president of the
council; an office which he contrived, with an interested
prudence very unlike his former conduct, to retain during all
succeeding ministries-and the getting rid of the Duke of
Bedford and Lord Sandwich, of whom the Pelhams had become
The death of Pelham called into evidence the latent divisions
and hatreds of public Men, who had been hitherto acting in
concert. Fox and Pitt were obviously the two persons, upon
one of whom the power of Pelham must eventually fall. But the
intriguing Duke of Newcastle hated, and was jealous of both.
He, therefore, placed Sir Thomas Robinson in the House of
Commons, as secretary of state and leader, and made Henry
Bilson Legge chancellor of the exchequer, while he himself
took the treasury-leaving Fox (4) and Pitt in the subordinate
situations they had hitherto held. The incapacity of Sir
Thomas Robinson became, however, soon so apparent, that a
change was inevitable. This was hastened by a temporary
coalition between Fox and Pitt, which was occasioned,
naturally enough, by the ill-treatment they had both received
from the Duke of Newcastle.
"At length the latter reluctantly consented to admit Fox into
the cabinet, in 1755. Upon this, Pitt again broke with Fox,
and went with his friends into opposition, with the exception
of Sir George Lyttelton, who became chancellor of the
exchequer. The new government, however, lasted but one
session of parliament-its own dissensions, the talents of its
opponents, and the dissatisfaction of the King, who had been
thwarted in his German subsidiary treaties, aiding in its
"The Duke of Devonshire, who had been very active in the
previous political negotiations, was now commissioned, in
1756, by the King to form a government. The Duke of Newcastle
and Fox were turned out, and Pitt became lord of the
ascendant. But the King's aversion to his new ministers was
even greater than it had been to his old; and in February
1757, he commissioned Lord Waldegrave to endeavour to form a
government, with the assistance of Newcastle and Fox. In this
undertaking he failed, very mainly through the irresolutions
and jealousies of Newcastle. Thus circumstanced, the King,
however unwillingly, was obliged to deliver himself up into
the hands of Pitt, Who (in June, 1757) succeeded in forming
that administration, which was destined to be one of the most
glorious ones England has ever seen. He placed himself at the
head of it, holding the situation of secretary of state and
leader of the House of Commons, leaving the Duke of Newcastle
at the head of the treasury, and placing Legge again in the
exchequer. This administration lasted till the reign of the
To his edition of the Letters to Sir Horace Mann, Lord Dover
appended illustrative notes, which are retained in the
present. Of the manner in which his lordship executed the
office of editor and annotator, the Edinburgh Review thus
speaks, in a brilliant article on those Letters, which
appeared in the number of that work for January 1834:-"The
editing of these volumes was the last of the useful and modest
services rendered to literature by a nobleman of amiable
manners, of untarnished public and private character, and of
cultivated mind. On this, as on other occasions, Lord Dover
performed his part diligently, judiciously, and without the
slightest ostentation. He had two merits, both of which are
rarely found together in a commentator: he was content to be
merely a commentator,-to keep in the background, and to leave
the foreground to the author whom he had undertaken to
illustrate. yet, though willing to be an attendant, he was by
no means a slave; nor did he consider it as part of his
editorial duty to see no faults in the writer to whom he
faithfully and assiduously rendered the humblest literary
It remains only to add, that the original notes of Horace
Walpole are throughout retained, undistinguished by any
signature; whereas, those of the various editors are
indicated by a characteristic initial, which is explained in
the progress of the work.
(1) Sketch of the Life, etc.
(2) The coincidence of remarkable names in the two families of
Mann and Walpole, would lead one to imagine that there was
also some connection of relationship between them-and yet none
is to be traced in the pedigree of either family. Sir Robert
Walpole had two brothers named Horace and Galfridus-and Sir
Horace Mann's next brother was named Galfridus Mann. If such
a relationship did exist, it probably came through the
Burwells, the family of Sir Robert Walpole's mother.
(3) "Sir Robert Walpole's expression, when he found that
Pulteney had consented to be made Earl of Bath."
(4) "Fox was secretary at war."
To the first edition of Lord Orford's works, which was
published the year after he died, no memoir of his life was
prefixed: his death was too recent, his
life and character was too well known, his works
too popular, to require it. His political Memoirs, and
the collections of his Letters which have been subsequently
published, were edited by persons, who, though well qualified
for their task in every other respect, have failed in their
account of his private life, and their
appreciation of his individual character, from the want of a
personal acquaintance with their author.
The life contained in Sir Walter Scott's Biographical Sketches
of the English Novelists labours under the same disadvantages.
He had never seen Lord Orford, nor even lived with such of his
intimates and contemporaries in society as survived him.
Lord Dover, who has so admirably edited the first part of his
correspondence with Sir Horace Mann, knew Lord Orford only by
having been carried sometimes, when a boy, by his father Lord
Clifden to Strawberry Hill. His editorial labours with these
letters were the last occupation of his accomplished mind, and
were pursued while his body was fast sinking under the
complication of disease, which so soon after deprived Society
Of One Of its most distinguished members, the arts of an
enlightened patron, and his intimates of an amiable and
attaching friend. Of the meagreness and insufficiency of his
memoir of Lord Orford's life prefixed to the letters, he was
himself aware, and expressed to the author of these pages his
inability then to improve it, and his regret that
circumstances had deprived him, while it was yet time, of the
assistance of those who could have furnished him with better
materials. His account of the latter part of Lord Orford's
life is deficient in details, and sometimes erroneous as to
dates. He appears likewise to have been unacquainted with
some of his writings, and the circumstances which led to and
accompanied them. In the present publication those
deficiencies are supplied from notes, in the hands of the
writer, left by Lord Orford, of the dates of the principal
events of his own life, and of the writing and publication of
all his works. It is only to be regretted that his
autobiography is so short, and so entirely confined to dates.
In estimating the character of Lord Orford, and in the opinion
which he gives of his talents, Lord Dover has evinced much
candour and good taste. He praises with discrimination, and
draws no unfair inferences from the peculiarities of a
character with which he was not personally acquainted.
It is by the Review of the Letters to Sir Horace Mann, that
the severest condemnation has been passed and the most unjust
impressions given, not only of the genius and talents, but of
the heart and character, of Lord Orford. The mistaken
opinions of the eloquent and accomplished author (5) of that
review are to be traced chiefly to the same causes which
defeated the intentions of the two first biographers. In his
case, these causes were increased, not only by no acquaintance
with his subject, but by still farther removal from the
fashions, the social habits, the little minute details, of the
age to which Horace Walpole belongs,-an age so essentially
different from the business, the movement, the important
struggles, of that which claims the critic as one of its most
distinguished ornaments. A conviction that these reasons led
to his having drawn up, from the supposed evidence of
Walpole's works alone, a character of their author so
entirely and offensively unlike the original, has forced the
pen into the feeble and failing hand of the writer of these
pages,-has imposed the pious duty of attempting to rescue, by
incontrovertible facts, acquired in long intimacy, the memory
of an old and beloved friend, from the giant grasp of an
author and a critic from whose judgment, when deliberately
formed, few can hope to appeal with success. The candour, the
good-nature of this critic,-the inexhaustible stores of his
literary acquirements, which place him in the first rank of
those most distinguished for historical knowledge and critical
acumen,-will allow him, I feel sure, to forgive this appeal
from his hasty and general opinion, to the judgment of his
better informed mind, on the peculiarities of' a character
often remarkably dissimilar from that of his works.
Lord Dover has justly and forcibly remarked, "that what did
the most honour both to the head and the' heart of Horace
Walpole, was the friendship which he bore to Marshal Conway; a
man who, according to all the accounts of him that have come
down to us, was so truly worthy of inspiring such a decree of
He then quotes the character given of him by the editor of
Lord Orford's works in 1798. This character of Marshal Conway
was a portrait drawn from the life, and, as it proceeded from
the same pen which now traces these lines, has some right to
be inserted here. "It is only those who have had the
opportunity of penetrating into the most secret motives of his
public conduct, and into the inmost recesses of his private
life, who can do real justice to the unsullied purity of his
character;-who saw and knew him in the evening of his days,
retired from the honourable activity of a soldier and of a
statesman, to the calm enjoyments of private -life; happy in
the resources of his own mind, and in the cultivation of
useful science, in the bosom of domestic peace-unenriched by
pensions or places-undistinguished by titles or
ribbons-unsophisticated by public life, and unwearied by
To this man, Lord Orford's attachment, from their boyish days
at Eton school to the death of Marshal Conway in 1795, is
already a circumstance of sufficiently rare occurrence among
men of the world. Could such a man, of whom the foregoing
lines are an unvarnished sketch-of whose character, simplicity
was one of the distinguished ornaments-could such a man have
endured the intimacy of such an individual as the reviewer
describes Lord Orford to have been? Could an intercourse of
uninterrupted friendship and undiminished confidence have
existed between them during a period of nearly sixty
years, undisturbed by the business and bustle of
middle life, so apt to cool, and often to terminate, youthful
friendships? Could such an intercourse ever have existed, with
the supposed selfish indifference, and artificial coldness and
conceit of Lord Orford's character?
The last correspondence included in the present publication
will, it is presumed, furnish no less convincing proof, that
the warmth of his feelings, and his capacity for sincere
affection, continued unenfeebled by age. It is with this
view, and this alone, that the correspondence alluded to is
now, for the first time, given to the public. It can add
nothing to the already established epistolary fame of Lord
Orford, and the public can be as little interested in his
sentiments for the two individuals addressed. But, in forming
a just estimate of his character, the reader will hardly fail
to observe that those sentiments were entertained at a time of
life when, for the most part, the heart is too little capable
of expansion to open to new attachments. The whole tone of
these letters must prove the unimpaired warmth of his
feelings, and form a striking contrast to the cold harshness
of which he has been accused, in his
intercourse with Madame du Deffand, at an earlier period of
his life. This harshness, as was noticed by the editor of
Madame du Deffand's letters, in the preface to that
publication, proceeded solely from a dread of ridicule, which
formed a principal feature of Mr. Walpole's character, and
which, carried, as in his case, to excess, must be called a
principal weakness. "This accounts for the ungracious
language in which he so often replies to the importunities of
her anxious affection; a language so foreign to his heart, and
so contrary to his own habits in friendship." (7)
Is this, then, the man who is supposed to be "the most
eccentric, the most artificial, the most fastidious, the most
capricious of mortals? -his mind a bundle of inconsistent
whims and affectations-his features covered with mask within
mask, which, when the outer disguise of obvious affectation
was removed, you were still as far as ever from seeing the
real man."-"Affectation is the essence of the man. It pervades
all his thoughts and all his expressions. If it were taken
away, nothing would be left." (8)
He affected nothing; he played no part; he was what he
appeared to be. Aware that he was ill qualified for politics,
for public life, for parliamentary business, or indeed for
business of any sort, the whole tenor of his life was
consistent with this opinion of himself. Had he attempted to
effect what belongs only to characters of another stamp -had
he endeavoured to take a lead in the House of Commons-had he
sought for place, dignity, or office-had he aimed at intrigue,
or attempted to be a tool for others-then, indeed, he might
have deserved the appellation of artificial, eccentric, and
>From the retreat of his father, which happened the year after
he entered parliament, the only real interest he took in
politics was when their events happened immediately to concern
the objects of his private friendships. He occupied himself
with what really amused him. If he had affected any thing, it
would certainly not have been a taste for the trifling
occupations with which he is reproached. Of no person can it
be less truly said, that "affectation was the essence of the
man." What man, or even what woman, ever affected to be the
frivolous being he is described? When his critic says, that
he had "the soul of a gentleman-usher," he was little aware
that he only repeated what Lord Orford often said of
himself-that from his knowledge of old ceremonials and
etiquettes, he was sure that in a former state of existence,
he must have been a gentleman-usher,-about the time of
In politics, he was what he professed to be, a Whig, in the
sense which that denomination bore in his younger days,-never
In his old and enfeebled age, the horrors of the first French
revolution made him a Tory; while he always lamented, as one
of the worst effects of its excesses, that they must
necessarily retard to a distant period the progress and
establishment of civil liberty. But why are we to believe his
contempt for crowned heads should have prevented his writing a
memoir of "Royal and Noble Authors?" Their literary labours,
when all brought together by himself, would not, it is
believed, tend much to raise, or much to alter his opinion of
In his letters from Paris, written in the years 1765, 1766,
1767 and 1771, it will be seen, that so far from being
infinitely more occupied with "the fashions and gossip of
Versailles and Marli than with a great moral revolution which
was taking place in his sight," he was truly aware of the
state of the public mind, and foresaw all that was coming on.
Of Rousseau he has proved that he knew more, and that he
judged him more accurately, than Mr. Hume, and many others who
were then duped by his mad pride and disturbed understanding.
Voltaire had convicted himself of the basest of vain lies in
the intercourse he sought with Mr. Walpole. The details of
this transaction, and the letters which passed at the time,
are already printed in the quarto edition of his works. In
the short notes of his life left by himself, and from which
all the dates in this notice are taken, it is thus mentioned:
"Although Voltaire, with whom I had never had the least
acquaintance, had voluntarily written to me first, and asked
for my book, he wrote a letter to the Duchesse de Choiseul, in
which, without saying a syllable
of his having written to me first, he told her I had
officiously sent him my works, and declared war with him in
defence 'de ce bouffon de Shakspeare,' whom in his reply to
me he pretended so much to admire. The Duchesse sent me
Voltaire's letter; which gave me such a contempt for his
disingenuity, that I dropped all correspondence with him."
When he spoke with contempt of d'Alembert, it was not of his
abilities; of which he never pretended to judge. Professor
Saunderson had long before, when he was a lad at Cambridge,
assured him, that it would be robbing him to pretend teaching
him mathematics, of which his mind was perfectly incapable, so
that any comparison of the intellectual powers of the two men"
would indeed be as "exquisitely ridiculous" as the critic
declares it. But lord Orford, speaking of d'Alembert,
complains of the overweening importance which he, and all the
men of letters of those days in France, attributed to their
squabbles and disputes. The idleness to which an absolute
government necessarily condemns nine-tenths of its subjects,
sufficiently accounts for the exaggerated importance given to
and assumed by the French writers, even before they had
become, in the language of the Reviewer, "the interpreters
between England and mankind:" he asserts, "that all the great
discoveries in physics, in metaphysics, in political science,
are ours but no foreign nation, except France, has received
them from us by direct communication: isolated in our
situation, isolated by our manners, we found truth, but did
not impart it." (9) It may surely be asked, whether France
will subscribe to this assertion of superiority, in the whole
range of science! If she does, her character has undergone an
even greater change, than any she has yet experienced in the
course of all her revolutions.
lord Orford is believed by his critic to have "sneered" at
every body. sneering was not his way of showing dislike. He
had very strong prejudices, sometimes adopted on very
insufficient grounds, and he therefore often made great
mistakes in the appreciation of character; but when influenced
by such impressions, he always expressed his opinions
directly, and often too violently.
The affections of his heart were bestowed on few; for in early
life they had never been cultivated, but they were singularly
warm, pure, and constant; characterized not by the ardour of
passion, but by the constant preoccupation of real affection.
He had lost his mother, to whom he was fondly attached, early
in life; and with his father, a man of coarse feelings and
boisterous manners, he had few sentiments in common. Always
feeble in constitution, he was unequal to the sports of the
field, and to the drinking which then accompanied them, so
that during his father's retreat at Houghton, however much he
respected his abilities and was devoted to his fame, he had
little sympathy in his tastes, or pleasure in his society. To
the friends of his own selection his devotion was not confined
to professions or words: on all occasions of difficulty, of
whatever nature, his active affection came forward in defence
of their character, or assistance in their affairs.
When his friend Conway, as second in command under Sir John
Mordaunt, in the expedition to St. Maloes, partook in some
degree of the public censure called forth by the failure of
these repeated ill-judged attempts on the coasts of France,
Walpole's pen was immediately employed in rebutting the
accusations of the popular pamphlet of the day on this
subject, And establishing his friend's exemption from any
responsibility in the failure. When, on a more important
occasion, Mr. Conway was not only dismissed from being Equerry
to the King, George III., but from the command of his
regiment, for his constitutional conduct and votes in the
House of Commons, in the memorable affair of the legality of
General Warrants for the seizure of persons and papers,
Walpole immediately stepped forward, not with cold
commendations of his friend's upright and spirited conduct,
but with all the confidence Of long-tried affection, and all
the security of noble minds incapable of misunderstanding each
other, he insisted on being allowed to share in future his
fortune with his friend, and thus more than repair the
pecuniary loss he had incurred. Mr. Conway, in a letter to
his brother, Lord Hertford, of this period, says "Horace
Walpole has on this occasion shown that warmth of friendship
that you know him capable of so, strongly, that I want words
to express my sense of it;" (10) thus proving the justice he
did to Walpole's sentiments and intentions.
In the case of General Conway's near relationship and intimacy
from childhood, the cause in which his fortunes were suffering
might have warmed a colder heart, and opened a closer hand,
than Mr. Walpole's: but Madame du Deffand was a recent
acquaintance, who had no claim on him, but the pleasure he
received from her society, and his desire that her blind and
helpless old age might not be deprived of any of the comforts
and alleviations of which it was capable. When by the
financial arrangements of the French government, under the
unscrupulous administration of the Abb`e Terray, the creditors
of the state were considerably reduced in income, Mr. Walpole,
in the most earnest manner, begged to prevent the
unpleasantness of his old friend's exposing her necessities,
and imploring aid from the minister of the day, by allowing
him to make up the deficit in her revenue, as a loan, Or in
any manner that would be most satisfactory to her. The loss,
after all, did not fall on that stock from which she derived
her income, and the assistance was not accepted; but Madame du
Deffand's confidence in, and opinion of, the offer, we see in
During his after life, although no ostentatious contributor to
public charities and schemes of improvement, the friends in
whose opinion he knew he could confide, had always more
difficulty to repress than to excite his liberality.
That he should have wished his friend Conway to be employed as
commander on military expeditions, which, as a soldier fond of
his profession, he naturally coveted, although Mr. Walpole
might disapprove of the policy of the minister in sending out
such expeditions, surely implies neither disguise, nor
contradiction in his opinions.
The dread which the reviewer supposes him to have had, lest he
should lose caste as a gentleman, by ranking as a wit and an
author, he was much too fine a gentleman to have believed
in the possibility of feeling. He knew he had never studied
since he left college; he knew that he was not at all a
learned man: but the reputation he had acquired by his wit and
by his writings, not only among fine gentlemen, but with
society in general, made him nothing loath to cultivate every
opportunity of increasing it. The account he gave of the
idleness of his life to Sir Horace Mann, when he disclaims the
title of "the learned gentleman," was literally true; and it
is not easy to imagine any reason why a man at the age of
forty-three, who admits that he is idle, and who renounces
being either a learned man or a politician, should be
"ashamed" of playing loo in good company till two or three
o'clock in the morning, if he neither ruins himself nor
others. (11) He wrote his letters as rapidly as his disabled
fingers would allow him to form the characters of a remarkably
legible hand. No rough draughts or sketches of familiar
letters were found amongst his papers at Strawberry Hill: but
he was in the habit of putting down on the backs of letters or
on slips of paper, a note of facts, of news, of witticisms, or
of any thing he wished not to forget, for the amusement of his
After reading "The Mysterious Mother," who will accede to the
opinion, that his works are "destitute of every charm that is
derived from elevation, or from tenderness of sentiment?" (12)
Back to Full Books