The Letters of Horace Walpole, Volume 1
Part 11 out of 18
wild, and cry, "Long live King George and the Duke of
Cumberland, and Lord Stair and Lord Carteret, and General
Clayton that's dead!" My Lord Lovel says, "Thanks to the gods
that John(835) has done his duty!"
Adieu! my dear Dukes of Marlborough! I am ever your
JOHN DUKE OF MARLBOROUGh.
(835) John Bull.-D.
331 Letter 112
To Sir Horace Mann.
Houghton, July 4, 1743.
I hear no particular news here, and I don't pretend to send
you the common news; for as I must have it first from London,
you will have it from thence sooner in the papers than in my
letters. There have been great rejoicings for the victory;
which I am convinced is very considerable by the pains the
Jacobites take to persuade it is not. My Lord Carteret's
Hanoverian articles have much offended; his express has been
burlesqued a thousand ways. By all the letters that arrive,
the loss of the French turns out more considerable than by the
first accounts: they have dressed up the battle into a victory
for themselves-I hope they will always have such! By their not
having declared war with us, one should think they intended a
peace. It is allowed that our fine horse did us no honour -
the victory was gained by the foot. Two of their princes of
the blood, the Prince de Dombes, and the Count d'Eu(836) his
brother, were wounded, and several of their first nobility.
Our prisoners turn out but seventy-two officers, besides the
private men; and by the printed catalogue, I don't think of
great family. Marshal Noailles's mortal wound is quite
vanished, and Duc d'Aremberg's shrunk to a very slight one.
The King's glory remains in its first bloom.
Lord Wilmington is dead. I believe the civil battle for his
post will be tough. Now we shall see what service Lord
Carteret's Hanoverians will do him. You don't think the
crisis unlucky for him, do you? If you wanted a treasury,
should you choose to have been in Arlington Street,(837) or
driving by the battle of Dettingen? You may imagine our Court
wishes for Mr. Pelham. I don't know any one who wishes for
Lord Bath but himself-I believe that is a pretty substantial
I have got the Life of King Theodore, but I don't know how to
convey it--I will inquire for some way.
We are quite alone. You never saw any thing so unlike as
being here five months out of place, to the congresses of a
fortnight in place. but you know the "Justum et tenacem
propositi virum" can amuse himself without the "Civium ardor!"
As I have not so much dignity of character to fill up my time,
I could like a little more company. With all this leisure,
you may imagine that I might as well be writing an ode or so
upon the victory; but as I cannot build upon the Laureate's
place till I know whether Lord Carteret or Mr. Pelham will
carry the Treasury, I have vounded my compliments to a slender
collection of quotations against I should have any occasion
for them. Here are some fine lines from Lord Halifax's (838)
poem on the battle of the Boyne-
"The King leads on, the King does all inflame,
The King!-and carries millions in the name."
Then follows a simile about a deluge, which you may imagine,
but the next lines are very good -
"So on the foe the firm battalions prest,
And he, like the tenth wave, drove on the rest.
Fierce, gallant, young, he shot through every place,
Urging their flight, and hurrying on the chase,
He hung upon their rear, or lighten'd in their face."
The next are a magnificent compliment, and, as far as verse
goes, to be sure very applicable.
"Stop, stop! brave Prince, allay that inner flame;
Enough is given to England and to fame.
Remember, Sir, you in the centre stand;
Europe's divided interests you command,
All their designs uniting in your hand.
Down from your throne descends the golden chain
Which does the fabric of our world sustain,
That once dissolved by any fatal stroke,
The scheme of all our happiness is broke."
Adieu! my dear Sir: pray for peace!
(836) The two sons of the Duke du Maine, a natural son, but
legitimated, of Lewis the Fourteenth, by Madame de
(837) Where Mr. Pelham lived.
(838) Charles Montagu, Earl of Halifax, the "Bufo" of Pope
"Proud as Apollo, on his forked hill
Sate full-blown Bufo, I)uff'd by every quill;
Fed with soft dedication all day long,
Horace and he went hand in hand in song."-E.
333 Letter 113
To Sir Horace Mann.
Houghton, July 11, 1743.
The Pembroke is arrived! Your brother slipped a slice of paper
into a letter which he sent me from you the other day, with
those pleasant words, "The Pembroke is arrived." I am going to
receive it. I shall be in town the end of this week, only stay
there about ten days, and wait on the Dominichin hither. Now
I tremble! If it should not stand the trial among the number
of capital pictures here! But it must; It will.
O, sweet lady!(839) What shall I do about her letter? I must
answer it-and where to find a penful of Italian in the world,
I know not. Well, she must take what she can get: gold and
silver I have not, but what I have I give unto her. Do you
say a vast deal of my concern for her illness, and that I
could not find decompounds and superlatives enough to express
myself. You never tell me a syllable from my sovereign lady
the princess: has she forgot me? What is become of Prince
Beauvau?(840) is he warring against us? Shall I write to Mr.
Conway to be very civil to him for my sake, if he is taken
prisoner? We expect another battle every day. Broglio has
joined Noailles, and Prince Charles is on the Neckar.
Noailles says, "Qu'il a fait une folie, mais qu'il est pr`et
`a la r`eparer." There is great blame thrown on Baron Ilton,
the Hanoverian General for having hindered the Guards from
en(,aging. If they had, and the horse, who behaved
wretchedly, had done their duty, it is agreed that there would
be no second engagement. The poor Duke is in a much worse way
than was at first apprehended: his wound proves a bad one; he
is gross, and has had a shivering fit, which is often the
forerunner of a mortification. There has been much thought of
making knights-banneret, but I believe the scheme is laid
aside; for, in the first place, they are never made but on the
field of battle, and now it was not thought on till some days
after; and besides, the King intended to make some who were
not actually in the battle.
Adieu! Possibly I may hear something in town worth telling
(839) Madame Grifoni.
(840) Son of Prince Craon.
334 letter 114
To Sir Horace Mann.
Arlington Street, July 19.
Here am I come a-Dominichining! and the first thing, I hear
is, that the Pembroke must perform quarantine fourteen days
for coming from the Mediterranean, and a week airing. It is
forty days, if they bring the plague from Sicily. I will bear
this misfortune as heroically as I can; and considering I have
London to bear it in, may possibly support it well enough.
The private letters from the army all talk of the King's going
to Hanover, 2nd of August, N. S. If he should not, one shall
be no longer in pain for him; for the French have repassed the
Rhine, and think only of preparing against Prince Charles, who
is marching sixty-two thousand men, full of conquest and
revenge, to regain his own country. I most cordially wish him
success, and that his bravery may recover what his abject
brother gave up so tamely, and which he takes as little
personal pains to regain. It is not at all determined whether
we are to carry the war into France. It is ridiculous enough!
we have the name of war with Spain, without the thing and war
with France, without the name!
The maiden heroes of the Guards are in great wrath with
General Ilton, who kept them out of harm's way. They call him
"the Confectioner," because he says he preserved them.
The week before I left Houghton my father had a most dreadful
accident: it had near been fatal; but he escaped miraculously.
He dined abroad, and went up to sleep. As he was coming down
again, not quite awakened, he was surprised at seeing the
company through a glass-door which he had not observed: his
foot slipped, and he, who is now entirely unwieldy and
helpless, fell at once down the stairs against the door,
which, had it not been there, he had dashed himself to pieces,
in a stone hall. He cut his forehead two inches long to the
pericranium, and another gash upon his temple; but, most
luckily, did himself' no other hurt, and was quite well again
before I came away.
I find Lord Stafford (841) married to Miss Cantillon; they are
to live half the year in London, half in Paris. Lord Lincoln
is soon to marry his cousin Miss Pelham: it will be great joy
to the whole house of Newcastle.
There is no determination yet come about the Treasury. Most
people wish for Mr. Pelham; few for Lord Carteret; none for
Lord Bath. My Lady TOWnshend said an admirable thing the
other day to this last: he was complaining much of a pain in
his side-"Oh!" said she, "that can't be; you have no side."
I have a new cabinet for my enamels and miniatures Just come
home, which I am sure you would like: it is of rosewood; the
doors inlaid with carvings in ivory.' I wish you could see
'It! Are you to be forever ministerial sans rel`ache? Are you
never to have leave to come and "settle your private affairs,"
as the newspapers call it?
A thousand loves to the Chutes. Does my sovereign lady yet
remember me, or has she lost with her eyes all thought of m!
P.S. Princess Louisa goes soon to her young Denmark: and
Princess Emily, it is now said, will have the man of Lubeck.
If he had missed the crown of Sweden, he was to have taken
Princess Caroline, because, in his private capacity, he was
not a competent match for the now-first daughter of England.
He is extremely handsome; it is fifteen years since Princess
Emily was so.
(841) William-Matthias, third Earl of Stafford. He died in
1751 without issue.-E.
335 letter 115
To Sir Horace Mann.
Arlington Street, July 31, 1743.
If I went by my last week's reason for not writing to you, I
should miss this post too, for I have no more to tell you than
I had then; but at that rate, there would be great vacuums in
our correspondence. I am still here, waiting for the
Dominichin and the rest of the things. I have incredibly
trouble about them, for they arrived just as the quarantine
was established. Then they found out that the Pembroke had
left the fleet so long before the infection in Sicily began,
and had not touched at any port there, that the admiralty
absolved it. Then the things were brought up; then they were
sent back to be aired; and still I am not to have them in a
week. I tremble for the pictures; for they are to be aired at
the rough discretion of a master
of a hoy, for nobody I could send would be suffered to go
aboard. The city is outrageous; for you know, to merchants
there is no plague so dreadful as a stoppage of their trade.
The regency are so temporizing and timid, especially in this
inter-ministerium, that I am in great apprehensions of our
having the plague an island, so many ports, no power absolute
or active enough to establish the necessary precautions, and
all are necessary! And now it is on the continent too! While
confined to Sicily there were hopes: but I scarce conceive
that it will stop in two or three villages in Calabria. My
dear child, Heaven preserve you from it! I am in the utmost
pain on its being so near you. What will you do! whither will
you go, if it reaches Tuscany? Never think of staying in
Florence: shall I get you permission to retire out of that
State, in case of danger? but sure you would not hesitate on
such a crisis!
We have no news from the army: the minister there communicates
nothing to those here. No answer comes about the Treasury.
All is suspense: and clouds of breaches ready to burst. now
strange is this jumble! France with an unsettled ministry;
England with an unsettled one; a victory just gained over
them, yet no war ensuing, or declared from either side; our
minister still at Paris, as if to settle an amicable
intelligence of the losses on both sides! I think there was
Only wanting for Mr. Thompson to notify to them in form our
victory over them, and for Bussy(843) to have civil letters of
congratulation-'tis so well-bred an age!
I must tell you a bon-mot of Winnington. I was at dinner with
him and Lord Lincoln and Lord Stafford last week, and it
happened to be a maigre day of which Stafford was talking,
though, you may believe, without any scruples; "Why," said
Winnington, "what a religion is yours! they let you eat
nothing, and vet make you swallow every thing!"
My dear child, you will think when I am going to give you a
new commission, that I ought to remember those you give me.
Indeed I have not forgot one, though I know not how to execute
them. The Life of King Theodore is too big to send but by a
messenger; by the first that goes you shall have it. For
cobolt and zingho, your brother and I have made all inquiries,
but almost in vain, except that one person has told him that
there Is some such thing in Lancashire; I have written thither
to inquire. For the tea-trees, it is my brother-'s fault,
whom I desired, as he is at Chelsea, to get some from the
Physic-garden: he forgot it; but now I am in town myself, if
possible, you shall have some seed. After this, I still know
not how to give you a commission, for you over-execute; but on
conditions uninfringeable, I will give you one. I have begun
to collect drawings: now, if you will at any time buy me any
that you meet with at reasonable rates, for I will not give
great prices, I shall be much obliged to you. I would not
have above one, to be sure, of any of the Florentine school,
nor above one of any master after the immediate scholars of
Carlo Maratti. For the Bolognese school, I care not how many;
though I fear they will be too dear. But Mr. Chute
understands them. One condition is, that if he collects
drawings as well as prints, there is an end of the commission;
for you shall not buy me any, when he perhaps would like to
purchase them. The other condition is, that you regularly set
down the prices you pay; otherwise, if you send me any without
the price, I instantly return them unopened to your brother:
this, upon my honour, I will most strictly perform.
Adieu! write me minutely the history of the plague. If it
makes any progress towards you, I shall be a most unhappy man.
I am far from easy on our own account here.
(843) Mr. Thompson and the Abb`e de Bussy were the English and
336 letter 117
To Sir Horace Mann.
Arlington Street, Aug. 14, 1743.
I should write to Mr. Chute to-day, but I won't till next
post: I will tell you why presently. Last week I did not
write at all; because I was every day waiting for the
Dominichin, etc. which I at last got last night-But oh! that
etc.! It makes me write to you, but I must leave it etc. for I
can't undertake to develop it. I can find no words to thank
you from my own fund; but Must apply an expression of the
Princess Craon's to myself, Which the number of charming
things you have sent me absolutely melts down from the
bombast, of which it consisted when she sent it me. "Monsieur,
votre g`en`erosit`e," (I am not sure it was not "votre
magnificence,") "ne me laisse rien `a d`esirer de tout ce qui
se trouve de pr`ecieux en Angleterre, dans la Chine, et aux
Indes." But still this don't express etc. The charming Madame
S`evign`e, who was still handsomer than Madame de Craon, and
had infinite wit, condescended to pun on sending her daughter
an excessively fine pearl necklace-"Voil`a, ma fille, un
pr`esent passant tous les pr`esents pass`es et pr`esents!" Do
you know that these words reduced to serious meaning, are not
sufficient for what you have sent me! If I were not afraid of
giving you all the trouble of airing and quarantine which I
have had with them, I would send them to you back again! It is
well our virtue is out of the ministry! What reproach it
would undergo! Why, my dear child, here would be bribery in
folio! How would mortals stare at such a present as this to
the son of a fallen minister! I believe half of it would
reinstate us again though the vast box of essences would not
half sweeten the treasury after the dirty wretches that have
fouled it since.
The Dominichin is safe; so is every thing. I cannot think it
of the same hand with the Sasso Ferrati you sent me. This
last is not so manier`e as the Dominichin; for the more I look
at it, the more I am convinced it is of him. It goes down
with me to-morrow to Houghton. The Andrea del Sarto is
particularly fine! the Sasso Ferriti particularly graceful-oh!
I should have kept that word for the Magdalen's head, which is
beautiful beyond measure. Indeed, my dear Sir, I am glad,
after my confusion is a little abated, that your part of the
things is so delightful; for I am very little satisfied with
my own purchases. Donato Creti's(844) copy is a wretched, raw
daub; the beautiful Virgin of the original he has made
horrible. Then for the statue, the face is not so broad as my
nail, and has not the turn of the antique. Indeed, La Vall`ee
has done the drapery well, but I can't pardon him the head.
My table I like; though he has stuck in among the ornaments
two vile china jars, that look like the modern japanning by
ladies. The Hermaphrodite, on my seeing it again, is too
sharp and hard-in short, your present has put me out of humour
with every thing of my own. You shall hear next week how my
lord is satisfied with his Dominichin. I have received the
letter and drawings by Crewe. By the way, my drawings of the
gallery are as bad as any thing of my own ordering. They gave
Crewe the letter for you at the-office, I believe, for I knew
nothing of his going, or I had sent you the Life of King
I was interrupted in my letter this morning by the Duke of
Devonshire, who called to see the Dominichin. Nobody knows
pictures better: he was charmed with it, and did not doubt its
I find another letter from you to-night of August 6th, and
thank you a thousand times for your goodness about Mr. Conway:
but I believe I told you, that as he is in the Guards, he was
not engaged. We hear nothing but that we are going to cross
the Rhine. All we know is from private letters: the Ministry
hear nothing. When the Hussars went to Kevenhuller for
orders, he said, "Messieurs, l'Alsace est
`a vous; je n'ai point d'autres ordres `a vous donner." They
have accordingly taken up their residence in a fine chateau
belonging to the Cardinal de Rohan, as Bishop of Strasbourg.
We expect nothing but war; and that war expects nothing but
Your account of our officers was very false; for, instead of
the soldiers going on without commanders, some of them were
ready to go without their soldiers. I am sorry you have such
plague with your Neptune(845) and the Sardinian-we know not of
I really forget any thing of an Italian greyhound for the
Tesi. I promised her, I remember, a black spaniel-but how to
send it! I did promise one of the former to Marquis Mari at
Genoa, which I absolutely have not been able to get yet,
though I have often tried; but since the last Lord Halifax
died, there is no meeting with any of the breed. If I can, I
will get her one. I am sorry you are engaged in the opera. I
have found it a most dear undertaking. I was not in the
management: Lord Middlesex was chief. We were thirty
subscribers, at two hundred pounds each, which was to last
four years, and no other demands ever to be made. Instead of
that, we have been made to pay fifty-six pounds over and above
the subscription in one winter. I told the secretary in a
passion, that it was the last money I would ever pay for the
follies of directors.
I tremble at hearing that the plague is not over, as we
thought, but still spreading. You will see in the papers That
Lord Hervey is dead-luckily, I think. for himself; for he had
outlived the last inch of character. Adieu!
(844) A copy of a celebrated picture by Guido at Bologna, of
the Patron Saints of that city. VOL. 1. 29.-D.
(845) Admiral Matthews.
338 letter 117
To John Chute, Esq.(846)
Houghton, August 20, 1743.
Indeed, my dear Sir, you certainly did not use to be stupid,
and till you give me more substantial proof that you are so, I
shall not believe it. As for your temperate diet and milk
bringing about such a metamorphosis, I hold it impossible. I
have such lamentable proofs every day before my eyes of the
stupefying qualities of beef, ale, and wine, that I have
contracted a most religious veneration for your spiritual
nouriture. Only imagine that I here every day see men, who
are mountains of roast beef, and only seem just roughly hewn
out into the outlines of human form, like the giant-rock at
Pratolino! I shudder when I see them brandish their knives in
act to carve, and look on them as savages that devour one
another. I should not stare at all more than I do, if yonder
alderman at the lower end of the table was to stick his fork
into his neighbour's jolly cheek, and cut a brave slice of
brown and fat. Why, I'll swear I see no difference between a
country gentleman and a sirloin; whenever the first laughs, or
the latter is cut, there runs out the same stream of gravy!
Indeed, the sirloin does not ask quite so many questions. I
have an aunt here, a family piece of goods, an old remnant of
inquisitive hospitality and economy, who, to all intents and
purposes is as beefy as her neighbours. She wore me so down
yesterday with interrogatories, that I dreamt all night she
was at my ear with who's and why's, and when's and where's,
till at last in my very sleep I cried out, For God in heaven's
sake, Madam, ask me no more questions!
Oh! my dear Sir, don't you find that nine parts in ten of the
world are of no use but to make you wish yourself with that
tenth part? I am so far from growing used to mankind by living
amongst them, that my natural ferocity and wildness does but
every day grow worse. They tire me, they fatigue me; I don't
know what to do with them; I don't know what to say to them; I
fling open the windows and fancy I want air; and when I get by
myself, I undress myself, and seem to have had people in my
pockets, in my plaits, -and on my shoulders! I indeed find
this fatigue worse in the country than in town, because one
can avoid it there, and has more resources; but it is there
too. I fear 'tis growing old; but I literally seem to have
murdered a man whose name was Ennui, for his ghost is ever
before me. They say there is no English word for ennui;(847)
I think you may translate it most literally by what is called
"entertaining people," and "doing the honours:" that is, you
sit an hour with somebody you don't know, and don't care for,
talk about the wind and the weather, and ask a thousand
foolish questions, which all begin with, "I think you live a
good deal in the country," or, "I think you don't love this
thing or that." Oh! 'tis dreadful!
I'll tell you what is delightful-the Dominichin!(848) My dear
Sir, if ever there was a Dominichin, if ever there was an
original picture, this is one. I am quite happy; for my
father is as much transported with it as I am. It is hung in
the gallery, where are all his most capital pictures, and he
himself thinks it beats all but the two Guido'S. That of the
Doctors and The Octagon-I don't know if you ever saw them?
What a chain of thought this leads me into! but why should I
not indulge it? I will flatter myself with your, some time or
other, passing a few days with me. Why must I never expect to
see any thing but Beefs in a gallery which would not yield
even to the Colonna! If I do not most unlimitedly wish to see
you and Mr. Whithed in it this very moment, it is only because
I would not take you from our dear Mann. Adieu! you charming
people all. Is not Madam Bosville a Beef? Yours, most
(846) this very lively letter is the first of a series,
hitherto unpublished, addressed by Mr. Walpole to John Chute,
Esq. of the Vine, in the county of Hants. Mr. Chute was the
grandson of Chaloner Chute, Esq. Speaker of the House of
Commons to Richard Cromwell's parliament. On the death of his
brother Anthony, in 1754, he succeeded to the family estates,
and died in 1776.-E.
(847) According to Lord Byron--
"Ennui is a growth of English root,
Though nameless in our language: we retort
The fact for words, and let the French translate
That awful yawn, which sleep cannot abate."
(848) Thus described by Walpole in his Description Of the
Pictures at Houghton Hall:-
"The Virgin and Child, a most beautiful, bright, and capital
picture, by Dominichino: bought out of the Zambeccari palace
at Bologna by Horace Walpole, junior."-E.
340 Letter 118
To Sir Horace Mann.
Houghton, Aug. 29, 1743.
You frighten me about the Spaniards entering Tuscany: it is so
probable, that I have no hopes against it but in their
weakness. If all the accounts of their weakness and desertion
are true, it must be easy to repel them. If their march to
Florence is to keep pace with Prince Charles's entering
Lorrain, it is not yet near: hitherto, he has not found the
passage of the Rhine practicable. The French have assembled
greater armies to oppose it than was expected. We are
marching to assist him: the King goes on with the army. I am
extremely sorry for the Chevalier de Beauvau's(849) accident;
as sorry, perhaps, as the prince or princess; for you know he
was no favourite. The release of the French prisoners
prevents the civilities which I would have taken care to have
had shown him. You may tell the princess, that though it will
be so much honour to us to have any of her family it) our
power, vet I shall always be extremely concerned to have such
an opportunity of showing my attention to them. there's a
period in her own style-"Comment! Monsieur des attentions:
qu'il est poli! qu'il s`cait tOUrner une civilit`e!"
"Ha!(850) la brave Angloise! e viva!" What would I have given
to have overheard you breaking it to the gallant! But of all,
commend me to the good man Nykin! Why, Mamie (851) himself
could not have cuddled up an affair for his sovereign lady
I have a commission from my lord to
send you ten thousand thanks for his bronze-. He admires it
beyond measure. It came down last Friday, on his
birthday,(852) and was placed at the upper end of the gallery,
which was illuminated on the occasion: indeed, it is
incredible what a magnificent appearance it made. There were
sixty-four candles, which showed all the pictures to great
advantage. The Dominichin did itself and us honour. There is
not the least question of its being original: one might as
well doubt the originality of King Patapan! His patapanic
majesty is not one of the least curiosities of Houghton. The
crowds that come to see the house stare at him, and ask what
creature it is. As he does not speak one word of Norfolk,
there are strange conjectures made about him. Some think that
he is a foreign prince come to marry Lady Mary. The
disaffected say he is a Hanoverian: but the common people, who
observe my lord's vast fondness for him, take him for his good
genius, which they call his familiar.
You will have seen in the papers that Mr. Pelham is at last
first lord of the Treasury. Lord Bath had sent over Sir John
Rushout's valet de chambre to Hanau to ask it. It is a great
question now what side he will take; or rather, if any side
will take him. It is not yet known what the good folks in the
Treasury will do-I believe, what they can. Nothing farther
will be determined till the King's return.
(849) Third son of Prince Craon, and knight of Malta.
(850) This relates to an intrigue which was observed in a
church between an English gentleman and a lady who was at
Florence with her husband. Mr. Mann was desired to speak to
the lover to choose more proper places.
(851) Prince Craon's name for the princess. She was mistress
of Leopold, the last Duke of Lorrain, who married her to M. de
Beauvau, and prevailed on the Emperor to make him a prince of
the empire. Leopold had twenty children by her, who all
resembled him; and he got his death by a cold which he
contracted in standing to sea a new house, which he had built
for her, furnished. The duchess was extremely jealous, and
once retired to Paris, to complain to her brother the Regent;
but he was not a man to quarrel with his brother-in-law for
things of that nature, and sent his sister back. Madame de
Craon gave into devotion after the Duke's death.
(852) August 26.
341 letter 119
To Sir Horace Mann.
Houghton, Sept. 7, 1743.
My letters are now at their ne plus ultra of nothingness so
you may hope they will grow better again. I shall certainly
go to town soon, for my patience is worn out. Yesterday, the
weather grew cold: I put on a new waistcoat for its being
winter's birthday-the season I am forced to love; for summer
has no charms for me when I pass it in the country.
We are expecting another battle, and a congress at the same
time. Ministers seem to be flocking to Aix la Chapelle: and,
what will much surprise you, unless you have lived long enough
not to be surprised, is, that Lord Bolingbroke has hobbled the
same way too-you will suppose, as a minister for France; I
tell you, no. My uncle, who is here, was yesterday stumping
along the gallery with a very political march: my lord asked
him whither he was going. Oh, said he, to Aix la Chapelle.
You ask me about the marrying princesses. I know not a
tittle. Princess Louisa(853) seems to be going, her clothes
are bought; but marrying our daughters makes no conversation.
For either of the other two, all thoughts seem to be dropped
of it. The senate of Sweden design themselves to choose a
wife for their man of Lubeck. The city, and our supreme
governors, the mob, are very angry that there @is a troop of
French players at Clifden.(854) One of them was lately
impertinent to a countryman, who thrashed him. His Royal
Highness sent angrily to know the cause. The fellow replied,
"he thought to have pleased his Highness in beating one of
them, who had tried to kill his father and had wounded his
brother." This was not easy to answer.
I delight in Prince Craon's exact intelligence! For his
satisfaction, I can tell him that numbers, even here, would
believe any story full as absurd as that of the King and my
Lord Stair; or that very one, if any body will ever write it
over. Our faith in politics will match any Neapolitan's in
religion. A political missionary will make more converts in a
county progress than a Jesuit in the whole empire of China,
and will produce more preposterous miracles. Sir Watkin
Williams, at the last Welsh races, convinced the whole
principality (by reading a letter that affirmed it), that the
King was not within two miles of the battle of Dettingen. We
are not good at hitting off anti-miracles, the only way of
defending one's own religion. I have read -,in admirable
story of the Duke of Buckingham, who, when James II. sent a
priest to him to persuade him to turn Papist, and was plied by
him with miracles, told the doctor, that if miracles were
proofs of a religion, the Protestant cause was as well
supplied as theirs. We have lately had a very extraordinary
one near my estate in the country. A very holy man, as you
might be, doctor, was travelling on foot, and was benighted.
He came to the cottage of a poor dowager, who had nothing in
the house for herself and daughter but a couple of eggs and a
slice of bacon. However, as she was a pious widow, she made
the good man welcome. In the morning, in taking leave, the
saint made her over to God for payment, and prayed that
whatever she should do as soon as he was gone she might
continue to do all day. This was a very unlimited request,
and, unless the saint was a prophet too, might not have been
very pleasant retribution. The good woman, who minded her
affairs, and was not to be put out of her way, went about her
business. She had a piece of coarse cloth to make a couple of
shifts for herself and child. She no sooner began to measure
it but the yard fell a-measuring, and there was no stopping
it. It was sunset before the good woman had time to take
breath. She was almost stifled, for she was up to her ears in
ten thousand yards of cloth. She could have afforded to have
sold Lady Mary Wortley a clean shift' of the usual coarseness
she wears, for a groat halfpenny.
I wish you would tell the Princess this story. Madame
Riccardi, or the little Countess d'Elbenino, will doat on it.
I don't think it will be out of Pandolfini's way, if you tell
it to the little Albizzi. You see that I have not forgot the
tone of my Florentine acquaintance. I know I should have
translated it to them: you remember what admirable work I used
to make of such stories in broken Italian. I have heard old
Churchill tell Bussy English puns out of jest-books:
particularly a reply about eating hare, which he translated,
"j'ai mon ventre plein de poil." Adieu!
(853) Youngest daughter of George the Second. She was married
in the following October, and died in 1751, at the age of
(854) The residence of the Prince of Wales. This noble
building was burnt to the ground in 1795, and nothing of its
furniture preserved but the tapestry that represents the Duke
of Marlborough's victories.-E.
343 letter 120
To sir Horace Mann.
Houghton, Sept. 17, 1743.
As much as we laughed at Prince Craon's history of the King
and Lord Stair, you see it was not absolutely without
foundation. I don't just believe that he threatened his
master with the parliament. They say he gives for reason of
his Quitting, their not having accepted one plan of operation
that he has offered. There is a long memorial that he
presented to the King, with which I don't doubt but his
lordship will oblige the public.(856) He has ordered all his
equipages to be sold by public auction in the camp. This is
all I can tell you of this event, and this is more than has
been written to the ministry here. They talk of great
uneasinesses among the English officers, all of which I don't
believe. The army is put into commission. Prince Charles has
not passed the Rhine, nor we any thing but our time. The
papers of to-day tell us of a definitive treaty signed by us
and the Queen of Hungary with the King of Sardinia, which I
will flatter myself will tend to your defence. I am not in
much less trepidation about Tuscany than Richcourt is, though
I scarce think my fears reasonable; but while you are
concerned, I fear every thing.
My lord does not admire the account of the lanfranc; thanks
you, and will let it alone. I am going to town in ten days,
not a little tired of the country, and in the utmost
impatience for the winter; which I am sure from all political
prospects, must be entertaining to one who only intends to see
them at the length of the telescope.
I was lately diverted with an article in the Abecodario
Pittorico, in the article of William Dobson: it says, "Nacque
nel quartiere d'Holbrons in Inghilterra."(857) Did the author
take Holborn for a city, or Inghilterra for the capital of the
island of London? Adieu!
(856) In this memorial Lord Stair complained that his advice
had been slighted, hinted at Hanoverian partialities, and
asked permission to retire, as he expressed it, to his plough.
His resignation was accepted, with marks of the King's
displeasure at the language in which it was tendered.-E.
(857) Charles the First used to call Dobson the English
Tintoret. He is said to have been the first painter who
introduced the practice of obliging persons who sat to him to
pay half the price in advance.-E.
344 letter 121
To Sir Horace Mann.
Newmarket, Oct. 3, 1743.
I am writing to you in an inn on the road to London. What a
paradise should I have thought this when I was in the Italian
inns in a wide barn with four ample windows, which had nothing
more like glass than shutters and iron bars ' no tester to the
bed, and the saddles and portmanteaus heaped on me to keep off
the cold. What a paradise did I think the inn at Dover when I
came back! and what magnificence Were twopenny prints,
saltcellars, and boxes to hold the knives: but the summum
bonum was small-beer and the newspaper.
"I bless'd my stars, and called it luxury!"
Who was the Neapolitan ambassadress (858) that could not live
at Paris, because there was no maccaroni? Now am I relapsed
into all the dissatisfied repinement of a true English
grumbling voluptuary. I could find in my heart to write a
Craftsman against the Government, because I am not quite so
much at my ease as on my own sofa. I could persuade myself
that it is my Lord Carteret's fault that I am only sitting in
a common arm-chair, when I would be lolling in a
p`ech`e-mortel. How dismal, how solitary, how scrub does this
town look and yet it has actually a street of houses better
than Parma or Modena. Nay, the houses of the people of
fashion, who come hither for the races, are palaces to what
houses in London itself were fifteen years ago. People do
begin to live again now, and I suppose in a term we shall
revert to York Houses, Clarendon Houses, etc. But from that
grandeur all the nobility had contracted themselves to live in
coops of a dining-room, a dark back-room, with one eye in a
corner, and a closet. Think what London would be, if the
chief houses were in it, as in the cities in other countries,
and not dispersed like great rarity-plums in a vast pudding of
country. Well, it is a tolerable place as it is! Were I a
physician, I would prescribe nothing but recipe, CCCLXV
drachm. Linden. Would you know why I like London so much?
Why if the world must consist of so many fools as it does, I
choose to take them in the gross, and not made into separate
pills, as they are prepared in the country. Besides, there is
no being alone but in a metropolis: the worst place in the
world to find solitude is in the country: questions grow
there, and that unpleasant Christian commodity, neighbours.
Oh! they are all good Samaritans, and do so pour balms and
nostrums upon one, if one has but the toothache, or a journey
to take, that they break one's head. A journey to take-ay!
they talk over the miles to you, and tell you, you will be
late and My Lord Lovel says, John always goes two hours in the
dark in the morning, to avoid being One hour in the dark in
the evening. I was pressed to set out to-day before seven: I
did before nine; and here am I arrived at a quarter past five,
for the rest of the night.
I am more convinced every day, that there is not only no
knowledge of the world out of a great city, but no decency, no
practicable society-I had almost said, not a virtue. I will
only instance in modesty, which all old Englishmen are
persuaded cannot exist within the atmosphere of Middlesex.
Lady Mary has a remarkable taste and knowledge of music, and
can sing; I don't say, like your sister, but I am sure she
would be ready to die if obliged to sing before three people,
or before One with whom she is not intimate. The other day
there came to see her a Norfolk heiress: the young gentlewoman
had not been three hours in the house, and that for the first
time of her life, before she notified her talent for singing,
and invited herself up-stairs, to Lady Mary's harpsichord;
where, with a voice
like thunder, and with as little harmony, she sang to nine or
ten people for an hour. "Was ever nymph like Rossvmonde?"-no,
d'honneur. We told her, she had a very strong voice. "Lord,
Sir! my master says it is nothing to what it was." My dear
child, she brags abominably; if it had been a thousandth
degree louder, you must have heard it at Florence.
I did not write to you last post, being overwhelmed with this
sort of people - I will be more punctual in London. Patapan
is in my lap: I had him wormed lately, which he took famously:
I made it up with him by tying a collar of rainbow-riband
about his neck, for a token that he is never to be wormed any
I had your long letter of two sheets of Sept. 17th, and wonder
at your perseverance in telling me so much as you always do,
when I, dull creature, find so little for you. I can only
tell you that the more you write, the happier you make me; and
I assure you, the more details the better: I so often lay
schemes for returning to you, that I am persuaded I shall, and
would keep up my stock of Florentine ideas.
I honour Matthew's punctilious observance of his Holiness's
dignity. How incomprehensible Englishmen are! I should have
sworn that he would have piqued himself on calling the Pope
the w- of Babylon, and have begun his remonstrance, with "you
old d-d-." What extremes of absurdities! to flounder from
Pope Joan to his Holiness! I like your reflection, "that
every body can bully the Pope." There was a humourist called
Sir James of the Peak, who had been beat by a felony, who
afterwards underwent the same operation from a third hand.
"Zound," said Sir James, "that I did not know this fellow
would take a beating!" Nay, my dear child, I don't know that
You know I always thought the Tesi comique, pendant que `ca
devroit, `etre tragique. I am happy that my sovereign lady
expressed my opinion so well-by the way, is De Sade still with
you? Is he still in pawn by the proxy of his clothes? has
the Princess as constant retirements to her bedchamber with
the colique and Amenori? Oh! I was struck the other day with
a resemblance of mine hostess at Brandon to old Sarah. You
must know, the ladies of Norfolk universally wear periwigs,
and affirm that it is the fashion at London. "lord! Mrs.
White, have you been ill, that you have shaved your head?"
Mrs. White, in all the days of my acquaintance with her, had a
professed head of red hair: to-day, she had no hair at all
before, and at a distance above her ears, I descried a smart
brown bob, from beneath which had escaped some long strands of
original scarlet--so like old Sarazin at two in the morning,
when she has been losing at Pharoah, and clawed her wig aside,
and her old trunk is shaded with the venerable white ivy of
her own locks.
i agree with you, that it would be too troublesome to send me
the things now the quarantine exists, except the gun-barrels
for Lord Conway, the length of which I know nothing about,
being, as you conceive, no sportsman. I must send you, with
the Life of Theodore, a vast pamphlet (859) in defence of' the
new administration, which makes the greatest noise. It is
written, as supposed, by Dr. Pearse,(860) of St. Martin's,
whom Lord Bath lately made a dean; the matter furnished by
him. There is a good deal of useful ]Knowledge of the famous
change to be found in it, and much more impudence. Some parts
are extremely fine; in particular, the answer to the
Hanoverian pamphlets, where he has collected the flower of all
that was said in defence of that measure.(861) Had you those
pamphlets? I will make up a parcel: tell me what other books
you would have: I will send you nothing else, for if I give
you the least bauble, it puts you to infinite expense, which I
can't forgive, and indeed will never bear again: you would
ruin yourself, and there is nothing I wish so much as the
Here is a good Ode, written on the supposition of that new
book being Lord Bath's; I believe by the same hand as those
charming ones which I sent you last year: the author is not
The Duke of Argyle is dead-a death of how little moment, and
of how much it would have been a year or two ago.(863) It is
provoking, if one must die, that one can't even die a propos!
How does your friend Dr. Cocchi? You never mention him: do
only knaves and fools deserve to be spoken of? Adieu!
(858) The Princess of Campoflorido.
(859) Called " Faction Detected."
(860) Mr. Pearse, afterwards Bishop of Bangor. He was not the
author, but Lord Perceval, afterwards Earl of Egmont.
(861) Sir John Hawkins says, that Osborne the bookseller, held
out to Dr. Johnson a strong temptation to answer this
pamphlet; which he refused, being convinced that the charge
contained in it was unanswerable.-E.
(862) The Ode by Sir Charles Hanbury Williams, beginning,
"Your sheets I've perused."-D.
(863) "Leaving no male issue, Argyle was succeeded in his
titles and estates by his brother, and of late his bitter
enemy, the Earl of Islay. With all his faults and follies,
Argyle was still brave, eloquent, and accomplished, a skilful
officer, and a princely nobleman."-lord Mahon, vol. iii. p.
347 letter 122
To Sir Horace Mann.
Arlington Street, Oct. 12, 1743.
They had sent your letter of Sept. 24th to Houghton the very
night I came to town. I did not receive it back till
yesterday, and soon after another, with Mr. Chute's inclosed,
for which I will thank him presently. But, my dear child, I
can, like you, think Of nothing but your bitter father's
letter.--! and that I should have contributed to it! how I
detest myself!(864) My dearest Sir, you know all I ever said
to him:(865) indeed, I never do see him, and I assure you that
I would worship him as the Indians do the Devil, for fear-he
should hurt you: tempt you I find he will not. He is so
avaricious, that I believe,
if you asked for a fish, he would think it even extravagance
to give you a stone: in these bad times, stones may come to be
dear, and if he loses his place and his lawsuit, who knows but
he may be reduced to turn paviour? Oh! the brute! and how
shocking, that, for your sake, one can't literally wish to see
him want bread! But how can you feel the least tenderness,
when the wretch talks of his bad health, and of not denying
himself comforts! It is weakness in you: whose health is
worse, yours or his? or when did he ever deny himself a
comfort to please any mortal? My dear child, what is it
possible to do for you? is there any thing in my power? What
would I not do for you? and, indeed, what ought I not, if I
have done you any disservice? I don't think there is any
danger of your father's losing his place,(866) for whoever
succeeds Mr. Pelham is likely to be a friend
to this house, and would not turn out one so connected with
I should be very glad to show my lord an account of those
statues you mention: they are much wanted in his hall, where,
except the Laocoon, he has nothing but busts. For Gaburri's
drawings, I am extremely pleased with what you propose to me.
I should be well content with two of each master. I can't
well fix any price; but would not the rate of a sequin apiece
be sufficient? to be sure he never gave any thing like that:
when one buys the quantity you mention to me, I can't but
think that full enough, one 'with another. At
least, if I bought so many as two hundred, I would not venture
to go beyond that.
I am not at all easy from what you tell me of the Spaniards. I
have now no hopes but in the winter, and what it may produce.
I fear ours will be most ugly-the disgusts about Hanover swarm
and increase every day. The King and Duke have left the army,
which is marching to winter-quarters in Flanders, He will not
be here by his birthday, but it will be kept when he comes.
The parliament meets the 22d of November. All is distraction!
no union in the Court: no certainty about the House of
Commons: Lord Carteret making no friends, the King making
enemies: Mr. Pelham in vain courting Pitt, etc. Pultney
unresolved. How will it end? No joy but in the Jacobites. I
know nothing more, so turn to Mr. Chute.
My dear Sir, how I am obliged to you for your poem! Patapan is
so vain with it, that he will read nothing else; I only
offered him a Martial to compare it with the original, and the
little coxcomb threw it into the fire, and told me, "He had
never heard of a lapdog's reading Latin; that it was very well
for house-dos and pointers that live in the country, and have
several hours upon their hands: for my part," said he,
"I am so nice, who ever saw
A Latin book on my sofa?
You'll find as soon a primer there
Or recipes for pastry ware.
Why do ye think I ever read
But Crebillon or Calpren`ede?
This very thing of Mr. Chute's
Scarce with my taste and fancy suits,
oh! had it but in French been writ,
'Twere the genteelest, sweetest bit!
One hates a vulgar English poet:
I vow t' ye, I should blush to show it
To women de ma connoissance,
Did not that agr`eable stance.
Cher double entendre! furnish means
Of making sweet Patapanins!"(867)
My dear Sir, your translation shall stand foremost in the
Patapaniana: I hope in time to have poems upon him, and
sayings of his own, enough to make a notable book. En
attendant, I have sent you some pamphlets to amuse your
solitude; for, do you see, tramontane as I am, and as much as
I love Florence, and hate the country, while we make such a
figure in the world, or at least such a noise in it, one must
consider you other Florentines as country gentlemen. Tell our
dear Miny that when he unfolds the enchanted carpet, which his
brother the wise Galfridus sends him, he will find all the
kingdoms of the earth portrayed in it. In short, as much
history as was described on the ever-memorable and wonderful
piece of silk which the puissant White Cat(868) inclosed in a
nutshell, and presented to her paramour Prince. In short, in
this carpet, which (filberts being out of season) I was
reduced to pack up in a walnut, he will find the following
immense library of political lore: Magazines for October,
November, December; with an Appendix for the year 1741; all
the Magazines for 1742, bound in one volume; and nine
Magazines for 17'43. The Life of King Theodore, a certain
fairy monarch; with the Adventures of this Prince and the fair
Republic of Genoa. The miscellaneous thoughts of the fairy
Hervey. 'The Question Stated. Case of the Hanover Troops; and
the Vindication of the Case. Faction Detected. Congratulatory
Letter to Lord Bath. The Mysterious Congress; and @our Old
England Journals. Tell Mr. Mann, or Mr. Mann tell himself, that
I would send him nothing but this enchanted carpet, which he
can't pretend to return. I will accept nothing under
enchantment. Adieu all ! Continue to love the two Patapans.
(864) Sir Horace Mann in a letter to Walpole, dated Sept.
24th, 1743, gives an account of his father's refusal to give
him any money; and then quotes the following passage from
his father's letter-"He tells me he has been baited by you and
your uncle on my account, which was very disagreeable, and
believes he may charge it to me."-D.
(865) See ant`e, p.325. (letter 108)
(866) Mr. Robert Mann, father of Sir Horace Mann, had a place
in Chelsea College, under the Paymaster of the Forces.
(867) Mr. Chute had sent Mr. Walpole the following imitation
of an epigram of Martial:
"Issa est passere nequior Catulli,
Issa est pUrior osculo columbae."
Martial, Lib. i, Ep. 110.
"Pata is frolicksome and smart,
As Geoffry once was-(Oh my heart!)
He's purer than a turtle's kiss,
And gentler than a little miss;
A jewel for a lady's ear,
And Mr. Walpole's pretty dear.
He laughs and cries with mirth or spleen;
He does not speak, but thinks, 'tis plain.
One knows his little Guai's as well
As if he'd little words to tell.
Coil'd in a heap, a plumy wreathe,
He sleeps, you hardly hear him breathe.
Then he's so nice, who ever saw
A drop that sullied his sofa?
His bended leg!-what's this but sense?-
Points out his little exigence.
He looks and points, and whisks about,
And says, pray, dear Sir, let me out.
Where shall we find a little wife,
To be the comfort of his life,
To frisk and skip, and furnish means
Of making sweet Patapanins?
England, alas! can boast no she,
Fit only for his cicisbee.
Must greedy Fate then have him all?-
No; Wootton to our aid we'll call-
The immortality's the same,
Built on a shadow, or a name.
He shall have one by Wootton's means,
The other Wootton for his pains."
(868) See the story of the White Cat in the fairy tales.
349 Letter 123
To Sir Horace Mann.
London, Nov. 17, 1743.
I would not write on Monday till I could tell you the King was
come. He arrived at St. James's between five and six on
Tuesday. We were in great fears of his coming through the
city, after the treason that has been publishing for these two
months; but it is incredible how well his reception was beyond
what it had ever been before: in short, you would have thought
it had not been a week after the victory at Dettingen. They
almost carried him into -the palace on their shoulders; and at
night the whole town was illuminated and bonfired. He looks
much better than he has for these five years, and is in great
spirits. The Duke limps a little. The King's reception of
the Prince, who was come to St. James's to wait for him, and
who met him on the stairs with his two sisters and the privy
councillors, was not so gracious-pas un mot-though the
Princess was brought to bed the day before, and Prince George
is ill of the small-pox. It is very Unpopular! You will
possibly, by next week, hear great things: hitherto, all is
silence, expectation, struggle, and ignorance. The birthday
is kept on Tuesday, when the parliament was to have met; but
that can't be yet.
Lord Holderness has brought home a Dutch bride:(869) I have
not seen her. The Duke of Richmond had a letter yesterday
from Lady Albemarle,(870) at Altona. She says the Prince of
Denmark is not so tall as his bride, but. far from a bad
figure: he is thin, and not ugly, except having too wide a
mouth. When she returns, as I know her particularly, I will
tell you more; for the present, I think I have very handsomely
despatched the chapter of royalties. My lord comes to town
the day after to-morrow.
The opera is begun, but is not so well as last year. The Rosa
Maricini, who is second woman, and whom I suppose you have
heard, is now old. In the room of Amorevoli, they have got a
dreadful bass, who, the Duke of Montagu says he believes, was
organist at Aschaffenburgh.
DO you remember a tall Mr. Vernon,(871) who travelled with Mr.
Cotton? He is going to be married to a sister of Lord
I have exhausted my news, and you shall excuse my being short
to-day. For the future, I shall overflow with preferments,
alterations, and parliaments.
Your brother brought me yesterday two of yours together, of
Oct. 22 and 27, and I find you still overwhelmed with
Richcourt's folly and the Admiral's explanatory ignorance. It
is unpleasant to have old Pucci (872) added to your
Chevalier Ossorio (873) was with me the other morning, and we
were talking over the Hanoverians, as every body does. I
complimented him very sincerely on his master's great bravery
and success: he answered very modestly and sensibly, that he
was glad amidst all the clamours, that there had been no cavil
to be found with the subsidy paid to his King. Prince
Lobkowitz makes a great figure, and has all my wishes and
blessings for having put Tuscany out of the question.
There is no end of my giving you trouble with packing me up
cases: I shall pay the money to your brother. Adieu! Embrace
the Chutes, who are heavenly good to you, and must have been
of great use in all your illness and disputes.
(869) Her name was Mademoiselle Doublette, and she is called
in the Peerages "the niece of M. Van Haaren, of the Province
(870) Lady Anne Lennox, sister of the Duke of Richmond, and
wife of William Anne van Keppel, Earl of Albemarle: she had
been lady of the bedchamber to the Queen; and this year
conducted Princess Louisa to Altona, to be married to the
Prince Royal of Denmark.
(871) Henry Vernon, Esq. a nephew of Admiral Vernon, married
to Lady Henrietta Wentworth, daughter of Thomas, first Earl of
Strafford, of the second creation.-D.
(872) Signor Pucci was resident from Tuscany at the Court of
(873) Chevalier Ossorio was several years minister in England
from the King of Sardinia, to whom he afterwards became first
351 Letter 124
To Sir Horace Mann.
Arlington Street, Nov. 30, 1743.
I have had two letters from you since I wrote myself This I
begin against to-morrow, for I should have little time to
write. The parliament opens, and we are threatened with a
tight Opposition, though it must be vain, if the numbers turns
out as they are calculated; three hundred for the Court, two
hundred and five opponents; that is, in town; for, you know,
the whole amounts to five hundred and fifty-eight. The
division of the ministry has been more violent than between
parties; though now, they tell you, it is all adjusted. The
Secretary,(874) since his return, has carried all with a high
hand, and treated the rest as ciphers; but he has been so
beaten in the cabinet council, that in appearance he submits,
though the favour is most evidently with him. All the old
ministers have flown hither as zealously as in former days;
and of the three lev`ees (875) in this street, the greatest is
in this house, as my Lord Carteret told them the other day; "I
know you all go to Lord Orford - he has more company than any
of us-- do you think I can't go to him too?" He is never
sober; his rants are amazing; so are his parts and spirits.
He has now made up with the Pelhams, though after naming to
two vacancies in the Admiralty without their knowledge; Sir
Charles Hardy and Mr. Philipson. The other alterations are at
last fixed. Winnington is to be paymaster; Sandys, cofferer,
on resigning the exchequer to Mr. Pelham; Sir John Rushout,
treasurer of the navy; and Harry Fox, lord of the treasury.
Mr. Compton,(876) and Gybbons remain at that board. Wat.
Plumber, a known man, said, the other day, "Zounds! Mr.
Pultney took those old dishclouts to wipe out the 'treasury,
and now they are going to lace them and lay them up!" It is a
most just idea: to be sure, Sandys and Rushout, and their
fellows, are dishclouts, if dishclouts there are in the world:
and now to lace them!
The Duke of Marlborough has resigned every thing, to reinstate
himself in the old duchess's will. She said the other day,
"It is very natural: he listed as soldiers do when they are
drunk, and repented when he was sober." So much for news: now
for your letters.
All joy to Mr. Whithed on the increase of his family! and joy
to you; for now he is established in so comfortable a way, I
trust you will not lose him soon-and la Dame s'appelle?
If my Lady Walpole has a mind once in her life to speak truth,
or to foretell,-the latter of which has as seldom any thing to
do with truth as her ladyship has,-why she may now about the
Tesi's dog, for I shall certainly forget what it would be in
vain to remember. My dear Sir, how should one convey a dog to
Florence! There are no travelling Princes of Saxe Gotha or
Modena here at present, who would carry a little dog in a
nutshell. The poor Maltese cats, to the tune of how many!
never arrived here; and how should one little dog ever find
its way to Florence! But tell me, and, if it is possible, I
will send it. Was it to be a greyhound, or of King Charles's
breed? It was to have been the latter; but I think you told
me that she rather had a mind to the other sort, which, by the
way, I don't think I could get for her.
Thursday, eight o'clock at night.
I am just come from the House, and dined. Mr. Coke(877) moved
the address, seconded by Mr. Yorke, the lord chancellor's
son.(878) The Opposition divided 149 against 278; which gives
a better prospect of carrying on the winter easily. In the
lords' house there was no division. Mr. Pitt called Lord
Carteret the execrable author of our measures, and sole
minister.(879) Mr. Winnington replied, that he did not know
of any sole minister; but if my Lord Carteret was so, the
gentlemen of the other side had contributed more to make him
so than he had.
I am much pleased with the prospect you show me of the
Correggio. My lord is so satisfied with the Dominichin, that
he will go as far as a thousand pounds for the Correggio. Do
you really think we shall get it, and for that price?
You talk of the new couple, and of giving the sposa a
mantilla: What new couple! you don't say. I suppose, some
Suares, by the raffle. Adieu!
(874) Lord Carteret.
(875) Lord Carteret's, Mr. Pelham's, and Lord Orford's.
(876) The Hon. George Compton, second son of George, fourth
Earl of Northampton. He succeeded his elder brother James,
the fifth earl, in the family titles and estates in 1754, and
died in 1758.-D.
(877) The only son of Lord Lovel.-D.
(878) Philip Yorke, eldest son of Lord Hardwicke; and
afterwards the second earl of that title.-D.
(879) In Mr. Yorke's MS. parliamentary journal, the words are"an
execrable, a sole minister, who had renounced the British
nation, and seemed to have drunk of the potion described in
352 Letter 125
To Sir Horace Mann.
Dec. 15, 1743.
I write in a great fright, lest this letter should come too
late. My lord has been told by a Dr. Bragge, a virtuoso,
that, some ye(irs ago, the monks asked ten thousand pounds for
our Correggio,(880) and that there were two copies then made
of it: that afterwards, he is persuaded, the King of Portugal
bought the original; he does not know at what price. Now, I
think it very possible that this doctor, hearing the picture
was to be come at, may have invented this Portuguese history;
but as there is a possibility, too, that it may be true, you
must take all imaginable precautions to be sure it is the very
original-a copy would do neither you nor me great honour.
We have entered upon the Hanoverian campaign. Last Wednesday,
Waller moved in our House an address to the King, to continue
them no longer in our pay than to Christmas-day, the term for
which they were granted. The debate lasted till half an hour
after eight at night. Two young officers (881) told some very
trifling stories against the Hanoverians, which did not at all
add any weight to the arguments of the Opposition; but we
divided 231 to 181. On Friday,' Lord Sandwich and Lord
Halifax, in good speeches, brought the same motion into the
Lords. I was there, and heard Lord Chesterfield make the
finest oration I ever did hear.(882) My father did not speak,
nor Lord Bath. They threw out the motion by 71 to 36. These
motions will determine the bringing on the demand for the
Hanoverians for another year in form; which was a doubtful
point, the old part of the ministry being against it, though
very contrary to my lord's advice.
Lord Gower, finding no more Tories were to be admitted,
resigned on Thursday; and Lord Cobham in the afternoon. The
privy-seal was the next day given to Lord Cholmondeley. Lord
Gower's resignation is one of the few points in which I am
content the prophecy in the old Jacobite ballad should be
fulfilled-"The King shall have his own again."
The changes are begun, but will not be completed till the
recess, as the preferments will occasion more re-elections
than they can spare just now in the House of Commons. Sandys
has resigned the exchequer to Mr. Pelham; Sir John Rushout is
to be treasurer of the navy; Winnington, paymaster; Harry Fox,
lord of the treasury: Lord Edgcumbe, I believe, lord of the
treasury,(883) and Sandys, cofferer and a peer. I am so
scandalized at this, that I will fill up my letter (having
told you all the news) with the first fruits of my
VERSES ADDRESSED TO THE HOUSE OF LORDS
ON ITS RECEIVING A NEW PEER,
THou senseless Hall, whose injudicious space,
Like Death, confounds a various mismatched race,
Where kings and clowns, th' ambitious and the mean,
Compose th' inactive soporific scene,
Unfold thy doors!-and a promotion see
That must amaze even prostituted thee!
Shall not thy sons, incurious though they are,
Raise their dull lids, and meditate a stare?
Thy sons, who sleep in monumental state,
To show the spot where their great fathers sate.
Ambition first, and specious warlike worth,
Call'd our old peers and brave patricians forth;
And subject provinces produced to fame
Their lords with scarce a less than regal name.
Then blinded monarchs, flattery's fondled race,
Their favourite minions stamp'd with titled grace,
And bade the tools of power succeed to Virtue's place,
Hence Spensers, Gavestons, by crimes grown great,
Vaulted into degraded Honour's seat:
Hence dainty Villiers sits in high debate,
Where manly Beauchamps, Talbots, Cecils sate
Hence Wentworth,(884) perjured patriot, burst each tie,
Profaned each oath, and gave his life the lie:
Renounced whate'er he sacred held and dear,
Renounced his country's cause, and sank into a Peer.
Some have bought ermine, venal Honour's veil,
When set by bankrupt Majesty to sale
Or drew Nobility's coarse ductile thread
>From some distinguished harlot's titled bed.
Not thus ennobled Samuel!-no worth
from his mud the sluggish reptile forth;
No parts to flatter, and no grace to please,
With scarce an insect's impotence to tease,
He struts a Peer-though proved too dull to stay,
Whence (885) even poor Gybbons is not brush'd away.
Adieu! I am just going to Leicester House, where the Princess
sees company to-day and to-morrow, from seven to nine, on her
lying-in. I mention this per amor del Signor Marchese Cosimo
(880) One of the most celebrated pictures of Correggio, with
the Madonna and Child, saints, and angels, in a convent at
(881) Captain Ross and Lord Charles Hay.-E.
(882) "Lord Chesterfield's performance," says Mr. Yorke, "was
much cried up; but few of his admirers could distinguish the
faults of his eloquence from its beauties." MS. Part.
883 This did not happen.
(884) Earl of Strafford; but it alludes to Lord Bath.
(885) The Treasury.
(886) A gossiping old Florentine nobleman, whose whole
employment was to inform himself of the state of marriages,
pregnancies, lyings-in, and such like histories.
354 Letter 126
To Sir Horace Mann.
Arlington Street, Dec. 26, 1743.
I shall complain of inflammations in my eyes till you
think it is an excuse for not writing; but your
brother is@My Witness that I have been shut up in a dark room
for this week. I got frequent colds, which fall upon my eyes;
and then I have bottles of sovereign eye- waters from all my
acquaintance; but as they are Only accidental colds, I never
use any thing but sage, which braces my eye-fibres again in a
few days. I have had two letters since my last to you; One
Complaining of my silence, and the other acknowledging one
from me after a week's intermission: indeed, I never have been
so long without writing to you - I do sometimes miss two weeks
on any great dearth of news, which is all I have to fill a
letter; for living as I do among people, whom, from your long
absence, you cannot know, should talk Hebrew to mention them
to you. Those, that from eminent birth, folly, or parts, are
to be found in the chronicles of the times, I tell you of,
whenever necessity or the King puts them into new lights. The
latter, for I cannot think the former had any hand in it, has
Sandys, as I told you, a lord and
cofferer! Lord Middlesex is one of the new treasury, not
ambassador as you heard. So the Opera-house and White's have
contributed a commissioner and a secretary to the
treasury,(887) as their quota to the
government. It is a period to make a figure in history.
There is a recess of both Houses for a fortnight; and we are
to meet again, with all the quotations and flowers that the
young orators can collect-,ind forcibly apply to the
Hanoverians; with all the malice which the disappointed Old
have hoarded against Carteret, and with all the impudence his
defenders can sell him - and when all that is
vented-what then?-why then, things will
just be where they were.
General Wade (888) is made field-marshal, and is to have
command of the army, as it is supposed, on the King's not
going abroad; but that is not declared . The French
preparations go on with much more vigour than ours; they not
having a House of Commons to combat all the winter; a campaign
that necessarily engages all the attention of ministers, who
have no great variety of apartments in their understandings.
I have paid your brother the bill I received from you, and
give you a thousand thanks for all the trouble you have had;
most particularly from the plague of hams,(889) from which you
have saved me. Heavens! how blank"I should have looked at
unpacking a great case of bacon and wine! My dear child, be
my friend, and preserve me from heroic presents. I cannot
possibly at this distance begin a new courtship of regalia;
for I suppose all those hams were to be converted into watches
and toys. Now it would suit Sir Paul Methuen very well, who
is a knight-errant at seventy-three, to carry on an amour
between a Mrs. Chenevix's(890) shop and a noble collar in
Florence; but alas! I am neither old enough nor young enough
to be gallant, and should ill become the writing of heroic
epistles to a fair mistress in Italy-no, no: "ne sono uscito
con onore, mi pare, e non
voglio riprendere quel impegno pi`u" You see how rustic I am
I knew your new brother-in-law(891) at school, but have not
seen him since. But your sister was in love, and must
consequently be happy to have him. Yet I own, I cannot much
felicitate any body that marries for love. It is bad enough
to marry; but to marry where one loves, ten times worse.
it is so charming at first, that the decay of inclination
renders it infinitely more disagreeable afterwards. Your
sister has a thousand merits; but they don't count: but then
she has good sense enough to make her happy, if her merit cannot
make him so.
Adieu! I rejoice for your sake that Madame Royale' is
recovered, as I saw in the papers.
(887) John JefFries.
(888)General George Wade, afterwards commander of the forces
in Scotland. He died in 1748. A fine monument, by Roubillac,
was erected to his memory in Westminster
(889) Madame Grifoni was going to send Mr. W. a Present of
hams and Florence wine.
(890) The proprietress of a celebrated toy-shop.-D.
(891) Mr. Foote.
(892) The Duchess of Lorrain, mother of the Great Duke: her
death would have occasioned a long mourning at Florence.
[Elizabeth of Orleans, only daughter of Philip, Duke of
(Monsieur), by his second wife, the Princess Palatine.] -D.
To Sir Horace Mann.
I have been much desired by a very particular friend, to
recommend to you Sir William Maynard,(893) who is going to
Florence. You will oblige me extremely by any civilities you
show him while he stays there; in particular, by introducing
him to the Prince and Princess de Craon, Madame Suares, and
the rest of my acquaintance there, who, I dare say, will
continue their goodness to me, by receiving him with the same
politeness that they received me. I am, etc.
(893) Sir William Maynard, the fourth baronet of the family,
and a younger branch of the Lords Maynard. His son, Sir
Charles Maynard, became Viscount Maynard in 1775, upon the
death of his cousin Charles, the first viscount, who had been
so created, with special remainder to him.-D.
356 Letter 127
To Sir Horace Mann.
Arlington Street, Jan. 24, 1744.
Don't think me guilty of forgetting you a moment, though I
have missed two or three posts. If you knew the incessant
hurry and fatigue in which I live, and how few 'moments I have
to myself, you would not suspect Me. You know, I am naturally
indolent, and without application to any kind of business; yet
it is- impossible, in this country, to live in the world, and
be in parliament, and not find oneself every day more hooked
into politics and company, especially inhabiting a house that
is again become the centre of affairs. My lord becomes the
last resource, to which they are all forced to apply. One
part of the ministry, you may be sure, do; and for the other,
they affect to give themselves the honour of it too.
Last Thursday I would certainly have written to give you a
full answer to your letter of grief (894) but I was shut up in
the House till past ten at night; and the night before till
twelve. But I must speak to you in private first. I don't in
the least doubt but my Lady Walpole and Richcourt would
willingly be as mischievous as they are malicious, If they
could: but, my dear child, it is impossible. Don't fear from
Carteret's silence to you; he never writes: if that were a
symptom of disgrace, the Duke of' Newcastle would have been
out long ere this: and when the regency were not thought
worthy of his notice, you could not expect it. As to your
being attached to Lord Orford, that is your safety. Carteret
told him the other day, "My Lord, I appeal to the Duke of
Newcastle, if I did not tell the King, that it was you who had
carried the Hanover troops." That, too, disproves the
accusation of Sir Robert's being no friend to the Queen of
Hungary. That is now too stale and old. However, I will
speak to my lord and Mr. Pelham-would I had no more cause to
tremble for you, than from little cabals! But, my dear child,
when we hear every day of the 'Toulon fleet sailing, can I be
easy for you? or can I not foresee where that must break,
unless Matthews and the wonderful fortune of England can
interpose effectually? We are not without our own fears; the
Brest fleet of twenty-two sail is out at sea; they talk, for
Barbadoes. I believe we wish it may be thither destined?
Judge what I think; I cannot, nor may write: but I am in the
utmost anxiety for your situation.
The whole world, nay the Prince himself allows, that if Lord
Orford had not come to town, the Hanover troops had been
lost.(895) They were in effect given up by all but Carteret.
We carried our own army in Flanders by a majority of 112.(896)
Last Wednesday was the great day of expectation: we sat in the
committee on the Hanover troops till twelve at night: the
numbers were 271 to 226. The next day on the report we sat
again till past ten, the opposition having moved to adjourn
till Monday, on which we divided, 265 to 177. Then the Tories
all went away in a body, and the troops were voted.
We have still tough work to do: there are the estimates on The
extraordinaries of the campaign, and the treaty of Worms (897)
to come;--I know who (898) thinks this last more difficult to
fight than the Hanover troops. It is likely to turn out as
laborious a session as ever was. All the comfort is, all the
abuse don't lie at your door nor mine; Lord Carteret has the
full perquisites of the ministry. The other day, after Pitt
had called him "the Hanover troop-minister, a flagitious
taskmaster," and said, "that the sixteen thousand Hanoverians
were all the party he had, and were his placemen;" in short,
after he had exhausted invectives, he added, "But I have done:
if he were present, I would say ten times more."(899) Murray
shines as bright as ever he did at the bar; which he seems to
decline, to push his fortune in the House of Commons under Mr.
This is the present state of our politics, which is our
present state; for nothing else is thought of. We. fear the
King will again go abroad.
Lord Hartington has desired me to write to you for some
melon-seeds, which you will be so good to get the best, and
send to me for him.
I can't conclude without mentioning again the Toulon squadron:
we vapour and say, by this time Matthews has beaten them,
while I see them in the port of Leghorn!
My dear Mr. Chute, I trust to your friendship to comfort our
poor Miny: for my part, I am all apprehension! My dearest
child, if it turns out so, trust to my friendship for working
every engine to restore you to as good a situation as you will
lose, If my fears prove prophetic! The first peace would
reinstate you in your favourite Florence, whoever were
sovereign of it. I wish you may be able to smile at the
vanity of my fears, as I did at yours about Richcourt. Adieu!
(894) Sir Horace Mann had written in great uneasiness, in
consequence of his having heard that Count Richcourt, the
Great Duke's minister; was using all his influence with the
English government, in conjunction with Lady Walpole, to have
Sir Horace removed from his situation at Florence.-D.
(895) "Lord Orford's personal credit with his friends was the
main reason that the question was so well disposed of: he
never laboured any point during his own administration with
more zeal, and at a dinner at Hanbury Williams's had a meeting
with such of the old court party as were thought most averse
to concurring in this measure; where he took great pains to
convince them of the necessity there was for repeating it."
Mr. P. Yorke's MS. Journal.-E.
(896) It appears from Mr. Philip Yorke's Parliamentary
Journal, that the letter-writer took a part in the
debate-"Young Mr. Walpole's speech," he says, "met with
deserved applause from every body: it was judicious and
elegant: he applied the verse which Lucan puts in Curia's
mouth to Caesar, to the King:-
"Livor edax tibi cuncta negat, Gallasque subactos,
Vix impune feres."-E.
(897) Between the King of England, the Queen of Hungary, and
the King of Sardinia, to whom were afterwards added Holland
and Saxony. It is sometimes called "the triple alliance."-D.
(898) Lord Orford.
(899) "Pitt as usual," says Mr. Yorke, in his MS.
Parliamentary Journal, ,fell foul of Lord Carteret, called him
a Hanover troop-minister; that they were his party, his
placemen; that he had conquered the cabinet by their means,
and after being very lavish of his abuse, wished he was in the
House, that he might give him more of it." Tu the uncommon
accuracy of Mr. Walpole's reports of the proceedings in
Parliament, the above-quoted Journal bears strong evidence.-E.
358 Letter 128
To Sir Horace Mann.
Feb. 9, 1744.
I have scarce time to write, or to know what I write. I live
in the House of Commons. We sat on Tuesday till ten at
night, on a Welsh election; and shall probably stay as long
to-day on the same.
I have received all your letters by the couriers and the post:
I am persuaded the Duke of Newcastle is much pleased with your
despatch; but I dare not enquire, for fear he should dislike
your having written the same to me.
I believe we should have heard more of the Brest squadron, if
their appearance off the Land's End on Friday was se'nnight,
steering towards Ireland, had occasioned greater
consternation. It is incredible how little impression it
made: the stocks hardly fell: though it was then generally
believed that the Pretender's son was on board. We expected
some invasion; but as they were probably disappointed on
finding no rising in their favour, it is now believed that
they are gone to the Mediterranean. They narrowly missed
taking the Jamaica fleet, which was gone out convoyed by two
men-of-war. The French pursued them, outsailed them, and
missed them by their own inexpertness. Sir John Norris is at
Portsmouth, ready to sail with nineteen
men-of-war, and is to be
joined by two more from Plymouth. We
hope to hear that Matthews has
beat the Toulon squadron before they can be joined by the
Brest. This is the state of our situation. "le have stopped
the embarkation of the six thousand men for Flanders; and I
hope the King's journey thither, The Opposition fight every
measure of supply, but very
unsuccessfully. When this Welsh election is over, they will
probably go out of town, and leave the rest of the session at
I think you have nothing to apprehend from the new mine that
is preparing against you. My lord is convinced it is an idle
attempt and it will always be in his power to prevent any such
thing from taking effect. I am very unhappy for Mr. Chute's
gout, or for any thing that disturbs the peace of people I
love so much, and that I have such vast reason to love. You
know my fears for you: pray Heaven they end well!
It is universally believed that the Pretender's son, who is at
Paris, will make the campaign in one of their armies. I
suppose this will soon produce a declaration of war; and then
France, perhaps, will not find her account in having brought
him as near to England as ever he is like to be. Adieu! My
Lord is hurrying me down to the House. I must go!
359 Letter 129
To Sir Horace Mann.
House of Commons, Feb. 16, 1744.
We are come nearer to a crisis than indeed I expected! After
the various reports about the Brest squadron, it has proved
that they are sixteen ships of the line off Torbay; in all
probability to draw our fleet from Dunkirk, where they have
two men-of-war and sixteen large Indiamen to transport eight
thousand foot and two thousand horse, which are there in the
town. There has been some difficulty to persuade people of
the imminence of our danger - but yesterday the King sent a
message to both Houses to acquaint us that he has certain
information of the young Pretender being in France, and of the
designed invasion from thence, in concert with the disaffected
here.(900) Immediately the Duke of Marlborough, who most
handsomely and seasonably was come to town on purpose, moved
for an Address to assure the King of standing by him with
lives and fortunes. Lord Hartington, seconded by Sir Charles
Windham,(901) the convert son of Sir William, moved the same
in our House. To our amazement, and little sure to their own
honour, Waller and Doddington, supported in the most indecent
manner by Pitt, moved to add, that we would immediately
inquire into the state of the navy, the causes of our danger
by negligence, and the sailing of the Brest fleet. They
insisted on this amendment, and debated it till seven at
night, not one (professed) Jacobite speaking. The division
was 287 against 123. In the Lords, Chesterfield moved the
same amendment, seconded by old dull Westmoreland; but they
did not divide.
All the troops have been sent for in the greatest haste to
London but we shall not have above eight thousand men together
at most. An express is gone to Holland, and General Wentworth
followed it last night, to demand six thousand men, who will
probably be here by the end of next week. Lord Stair (902)
has offered the King his service, and is to-day named
commander-in-chief. This is very generous, and will be of
great use. He is extremely beloved in the -army, and most
firm to this family.
I cannot say our situation is the most agreeable; we know not
whether Norris is gone after the Brest fleet or not. We have
three ships in the Downs, but they cannot prevent a landing,
which will probably be in Essex or Suffolk. Don't be
surprised if you hear that this crown is fought for on land.
As yet there is no rising; but we must expect it on the first
Don't be uneasy for me, when the whole is at stake. I don't
feel as if my friends would have any reason to be concerned
for me: my warmth will carry me as far as any man; and I think
I can bear as I should the worst that can happen; though the
delays of the French, I don't know from what cause, have not
made that likely to happen.
The King keeps his bed with the rheumatism. He is not less
obliged to Lord Orford for the defence of his crown, now he is
out of place, than when he was in the administration. His
zeal, his courage, his attention, are indefatigable and
inconceivable. He regards his own life no more than when it
was most his duty to expose it, and fears for every thing but
I flatter myself that next post I shall write you a more
comfortable letter. I would not have written this, if it were
a time to admit deceit. Hope the best, and fear as little as
you would do if you were here in the danger. My best love to
the Chutes; tell them -I never knew how little I was a
Jacobite till it was almost my interest to be one. Adieu!
(900) "February 13. Talking upon this subject with Horace
Walpole, he told me confidentially, that Admiral Matthews
intercepted, last summer, a felucca in her passage from Toulon
to Genoa, on board of which were found several papers of great
consequence relating to a French invasion in concert with the
Jacobites; one of them particularly was in the style of an
invitation from several of the nobility and gentry of England
to the Pretender. These papers, he thought had not been
sufficiently looked into and were not laid before the cabinet
council until the night before the message was sent to both
Houses." Mr. P. York(,@'s Parliamentary Journal.-E.
(901) Afterwards Earl of Egmont.
(902) The Duke of Marlborough and Lord Stair had quitted the army
in disgust, after last campaign, on the King's showing such
unmeasurible preference to the Hanoverians.
361 Letter 130
To Sir Horace Mann.
Thursday, Feb. 23, 1744.
I write to you, in the greatest hurry, at eight o'clock at
night, whilst they are all at dinner round me. I am this
moment come from the House, where we have carried a great
Welsh election against Sir Watkyn Williams by 26. I fear you
have not had my last, for the packet-boat has been stopped on
the French stopping our messenger at Calais. There is no
doubt of the invasion: the young Pretender is at Calais, and
the Count de Saxe is to command the embarkation. Hitherto the
spirit of the nation is with us. Sir John Norris was to sail
yesterday to Dunkirk, to try to burn their transports; we are
in the utmost expectation of the news. The Brest squadron was
yesterday on the coast of Sussex. We have got two thousand
men from Ireland, and have sent for two more. The Dutch are
coming: Lord Stair is general. Nobody is yet taken up-God
knows why not! We have repeated news of Matthews having beaten
and sunk eight of the Toulon ships; but the French have so
stopped all communication that we don't yet know it certainly;
I hope you do. Three hundred arms have been seized in a
French merchant's house at Plymouth. Attempts have been made
to raise the clans in Scotland, but unsuccessfully.
My dear child, I write short, but it is much: and I could not
say more in ten thousand words. All is at stake we have great
hopes, but they are but hopes! I have no more time: I wait
with patience for the event, though to me it must and shall be
361 Letter 131
To Sir Horace Mann.
March 1st, 1744.
I wish I could put you out of the pain my last letters must
have given you. I don't know whether your situation, to be at
such a distance on so great a crisis, is not more disagreeable
than ours, who are expecting every moment to hear the French
are landed. We had great ill-luck last week: Sir John Norris,
with four-and-twenty sail, came within a league of the Brest
squadron, which had but fourteen. The coasts were covered
with people to see the engagement; but at seven in the evening
the wind changed, and they escaped. There have been terrible
winds these four or five days . our fleet has not suffered
materially, but theirs less. Ours lies in the Downs; five of
theirs at Torbay-the rest at La Hague. We hope to hear that
these storms, which blew directly on Dunkirk, have done great
damage to their transports. By the fortune of the winds,
which have detained them in port, we have had time to make
preparations; if they had been ready three weeks ago. when the
Brest squadron sailed, it had all been decided. We expect the
Dutch in four or five days. Ten battalions, which make seven
thousand men, are sent for from our army in Flanders, and four
thousand from Ireland, two of which are arrived. If they
still attempt the invasion, it must be a bloody war!
The spirit of the nation has appeared extraordinarily in our
favour. I wish I could say as much for that of' the ministry.
Addresses are come from all parts, but you know how little
they are to be depended on-King James had them. The merchants
of London are most zealous: the French name will do more harm
to their cause than the Pretender's service. One remarkable
circumstance happened to Colonel Cholmondeley's regiment on
their march to London: the public-houses on all the road would
not let them pay any thing, but treated them, and said, "You
are going to defend us against the French." There are no signs
of any rising. Lord Barrymore,(903) the Pretender's general,
and Colonel Cecil, his secretary of state, are at last taken
up; the latter, who having removed his papers, had sent for
them back, thinking the danger over, is committed to the
Tower, on discoveries from them; but, alas! these discoveries
go on but lamely.(904) One may perceive who is not minister,
rather than who is. The Opposition tried to put off the
suspension of the Habeas Corpus -feebly. Vernon (905) and the
Grennvilles are the warmest: Pitt and Lyttelton went away
without voting.(906) My father has exerted himself most
amazingly - the other day, on the King's laying some
information before the House, when the ministry had determined
to make no address on it, he rose up in the greatest
agitation, and made a long and fine speech On the present
situation.(907) The Prince was so pleased with it, that he
has given him leave to go to his court, which he never would
before. He went yesterday, and was most graciously received.
Lord Stair is at last appointed general. General Oglethorpe
(908) is to have a commission for raising a regiment of
Hussars, to defend the coasts. The Swiss servants in London
have offered to form themselves into a regiment; six hundred
are already clothed and armed, but no colonel or officers
appointed. We flatter ourselves, that the divisions in the
French ministry will repair what the divisions in our own
The answer from the court of France to Mr. Thomson on the
subject of the boy (909) is most arrogant: "that when we have
given them satisfaction for the many complaints which they
have made on our infraction of treaties, then they will think
of giving us des `eclaircissements."
We have no authentic news yet from Matthews: the most credited
is a letter from Marseilles to a Jew, which says it was the
most bloody battle ever fought; that it lasted three days;
that the two first we had the worst, and the third, by a lucky
gale, totally defeated them. Sir Charles Wager always said,
"that if a sea-fight lasted three days, he was sure the
English suffered the most for the two first, for no other
nation would stand beating for two days together."
Adieu! my dear child. I have told you every circumstance I
know: I hope you receive my letters; I hope their accounts
will grow more favourable. I never found my spirits so high,
for they never were so provoked. hope the best, and believe
that, as long as I am, I shall always be yours sincerely.
P. S. My dear Chutes, I hope you will still return to your own
(903) James Barry, fourth Earl of Barrymore. He died in 1747.
See ant`e, p. 269. Letter 74.
(904) "Some treasonable papers of consequence were found in
Cecil's pockets, which gave occasion to the apprehending of
Lord Barrymore. They were both concerned in the affair of
transmitting the Pretender's letter to the late Duke of
Argyle; which it was now lamented had not then undergone a
stricter examination. I observed the Tories much struck with
the news of this being secured." Mr. P. Yorke's Parl.
(905) Admiral Vernon.
(906) "Lord Barrington's motion for deferring the suspension
was thrown out by 181 against 83. Pitt and Lyttelton walked
down the House whilst Lord Barrington was speaking, and went
away; so did Mr. Crowne, though a Tory; but most of that party
voted with the Ayes. Lord Chesterfield told the chancellor
there was no opposition to this bill intended amongst the
Lords; not even a disposition to it in any body; and greatly
approved the limiting it to so short a time." Mr. P. Yorke's
(907) "Lord Orford, though he had never spoken in the House of
Lords, having remarked to his brother Horatio that he had left
his tongue in the House of Commons, yet on this occasion his
eloquent voice was once more raised, beseeching their
lordships to forget their cavils and divisions, and unite in
affection round the throne. It was solely owing to him, that
the torrent of public opposition was braved and overcome."
Lord Mahon, Hist. vol. iii. p. 273.-E.
(908) General James Oglethorpe, born in 1698. His activity in
settling the colony of Georgia obtained for him the friendship
and panegyric of Pope-
"One, driven by strong benevolence of soul,
Shall fly, like Oglethorpe, from pole to pole."
He was one of the earliest patrons of Johnson's "London," on
its first appearance, and the Doctor, throughout life,
acknowledged the kind and effectual support given to that
poem. The General sat in five parliaments, and died in 1785,
at the age of eighty-seven. For a striking pen-and-ink
whole.length sketch, taken a few months before that event,
while the General was attending the sale of Dr. Johnson's
library at Christie's auction-room, see "Johnsoniana," 8vo.
edit. p. 378.-E.
(909) Charles Edward, the young Pretender. His person, at
this time, is thus described by Lord Mahon: "The Prince was
tall and well-formed; his limbs athletic and active. He
excelled in all manly exercises, and was inured to every kind
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