The Letters of Horace Walpole, Volume 1
Part 12 out of 18
of toil, especially long marches on foot, having applied
himself to field-sports in Italy, and become an expert walker.
His face was strikingly handsome, of a perfect oval, and a
fair complexion; his eyes light blue; his features high and
noble. Contrary to the custom of the time, which prescribed
perukes, his own fair hair usually in long ringlets on his
neck. This goodly person was enhanced by his graceful
manners; frequently condescending to the most familiar
kindness, yet always shielded by a regal dignity: he had a
peculiar talent to please and to persuade, and never failed to
adapt his conversation to the taste or to the station of those
whom he addressed." Hist. vol. iii. p. 280.-E.
363 Letter 132
To Sir Horace Mann.
March 5th, 1744, eight o'clock at night.
I have but time to write you a minute-line, but it will be a
comfortable one. There is just come advice, that the great
storm on the 25th of last month, the very day the embarkation
was to have sailed from Dunkirk, destroyed twelve of their
transports, and obliged the whole number of troops, which were
fifteen thousand, to debark. You may look upon the invasion
is at an end, at least for the present; though, as every thing
is coming to a crisis, one shall not be surprised to hear of
the attempt renewed. We know nothing yet certain from
Matthews; his victory grows a great doubt.
As this must go away this instant, I cannot write more-but
what could be more? Adieu! I wish you all joy.
364 Letter 133
To Sir Horace Mann.
March 15th, 1744
I have nothing new to tell you: that great storm certainly
saved us from the invasion-then.(910) Whether it has put an
end to the design is uncertain. They say the embargo at
Dunkirk and Calais is taken off, but not a vessel of ours is
come in from thence. They have, indeed, opened again the
communication with Ypres and Nieuport, etc. but we don't yet
hear whether they have renewed their embarkation. However, we
take it for granted it is all over-from which, I suppose it
will not be over. We expect the Dutch troops every hour.
That reinforcement, and four thousand men from Ireland, will
be all the advantage we shall have made of gaining time.
At last we have got some light into our Mediterranean affair,
for there is no calling it a victory. Villettes has sent a
courier, by which it seems we sunk one great Spanish ship; the
rest escaped, and the French fled shamefully; that was, I
suppose, designedly, and artfully. We can't account for
Lestock's not coming up with his seventeen ships, and we have
no mind to like it, which will not amaze you. We flatter
ourselves that, as this was only the first day, we shall get
some more creditable history of some succeeding day.
The French are going to besiege Mons: I wish all the war may
take that turn; I don't desire to see England the theatre of
it. We talk no more of its becoming so, nor of the plot, than
of the gunpowder-treason. Party is very silent; I believe,
because the Jacobites have better hopes than from
parliamentary divisions,-those in the ministry run very high,
and, I think, near some crisis.
I have enclosed a proposal from my bookseller to the
undertaker of the Museum Florentinum, or the concerners of it,
as the paper called them; but it was expressed in such
wonderfully-battered English, that it was impossible for
Dodsley or me to be sure of the meaning of it. He is a
fashionable author, and though that is no sign of perspicuity,
I hope, more intelligible. Adieu!
(910) "The pious motto," says Mr. P. Yorke, "upon the medal
struck by Queen Elizabeth after the defeat of the Armada, may,
with as much propriety, be applied to this event-"Flavit
ventO, et dissipati sunt;' for, as Bishop Burnet somewhere
observes, 'our preservation at this juncture was one of those
providential events, for which we have much to answer."' MS.
365 Letter 134
To Sir Horace Mann.
London, March 22, 1744.
I am .sorry this letter must date the era of a
new correspondence, the topic of which must be blood!
Yesterday, came advice from Mr. Thompson,(911) that Monsieur
Amelot had sent for him and given him notice to be gone, for a
declaration of war with England was to be published in two
days. Politically, I don't think it so bad; for the very name
of war, though in effect, on foot before,, must make
our governors take more precautions; and the French declaring
it will range the people more on our side than on the
Jacobite: besides, the latter will have their communication
with France cut off. But, my dear child, what lives, what
misfortunes, must and may follow all this! As a man, I feel my
humanity more touched than my spirit-I feel myself more an
universal man than an Englishman! We have
already lost seven millions of money and thirty thousand men
in the Spanish war-and all the fruit of all this blood and
treasure is the glory of having Admiral Vernon's head on
alehouse signs! for my part, I would not purchase another Duke
of Marlborough at the expense of one life. How I should be
shocked, were I a hero, when I looked on my own laurelled head
on a medal, the reverse of which would be widows and orphans.
How many such will our patriots have made!
The embarkation at Dunkirk does not seem to go on, though, to
be sure, not laid aside. We received yesterday the
particulars of the Mediterranean engagement from Matthews. We
conclude the French squadron retired designedly, to come up to
Brest, where we every day expect to hear of them. If Matthews
does not follow them, adieu our triumphs in the Channel-and
then! Sir John Norris has desired leave to come back, as
little satisfied with the world as the world is with him. He
is certainly very unfortunate;(912) but I can't say I think he
has tried to correct his fortune. If England is ever more to
be England, this sure is the crisis to exert all her vigour.
We have all the disadvantage of Queen Elizabeth's prospect,
without one of her ministers. Four thousand Dutch are landed,
and we hope to get eight or twelve ships from them. Can we
now say, Quatuor maria vindico?"(913)
I will not talk any more politically, but turn to hymeneals,
with as much indifference as if I were a first minister. Who
do you think is going to marry Lady Sophia Fermor?(914)-only
Lord Carteret!-this very week!-a drawing-room conquest. Do
but imagine how many passions will be gratified in that
family! her own ambition, vanity, and resentment-love she
never had any; the politics, management, and pedantry of the
mother, who will think to govern her son-in-law out of
Froissart.(915) Figure the instructions she will give her
daughter! Lincoln is quite indifferent, and laughs. My Lord
Chesterfield says, "It is only another of Carteret's vigorous
measures." I am really glad of it; for her beauty and
cleverness did deserve a better fate, than she was on the
point of having determined for her for ever,. How graceful,
how charming, and how haughtily condescending she will be!
how, if Lincoln should ever hint past history, she will
"Stare upon the strange man's face,
As one she ne'er had known!"(916)
I wonder I forgot to tell you that Doddington had owned a
match of seventeen years' standing with Mrs. Behan, to whom
the one you mention is sister.
I have this moment received yours of March 10th, and thank you
much for the silver medal, which has already taken its place
in my museum.
I feel almost out of pain for your situation, as by the motion
of the fleets this way, I should think the expedition to Italy
abandoned. We and you have had great escapes, but we have
still occasion for all Providence!
I am very sorry for the young Sposa Panciatici, and wish all
the other parents joy of the increase of their families. Mr.
Whithed is en bon train; but the recruits he is raising will
scarce thrive fast enough to be of service this war. My best
loves to him and Mr. Chute. I except you three out of my want
of public spirit. The other day, when the Jacobites and
patriots were carrying every thing to ruin, and had made me
warmer than I love to be, one of them said to me, "Why don't
you love your country?" I replied, "I should love my country
exceedingly,'If it were not for my countrymen." Adieu!
(911) Chaplain to the late Lord Waldegrave; after whose death
he acted as minister at Paris, till the war, when he returned,
and was made a dean in Ireland.
(912) He was called by the seamen "Foul-weather Jack."
(913) Motto of a medal of Charles the Second.
(914) Eldest daughter of Thomas, Earl of Pomfret.
(915) lady Pomfret had translated Froissart.
(916) Verses in Congreve's Doris.
366 Letter 135
To Sir Horace Mann.
April 2, 1744.
I am afraid our correspondence will be extremely disjointed,
and the length of time before you get my letters will make you
very impatient, when all the world will be full of events; but
I flatter myself that you will hear every thing sooner than by
my letters; I mean, that whatever happens will be on the
Continent; for the danger from Dunkirk seems blown over. We
declared war on Saturday: that is all I know, for every body
has been out of town for the Easter holidays. To-morrow the
Houses meet again: the King goes, and is to make a speech.
The Dutch seem extremely in earnest, and I think we seem to
put all our strength in their preparations.
The town is persuaded that Lord Clinton (916) is gone to Paris
to make peace - he is certainly gone thither, nobody knows
why. He has gone thither every year -all his life, when he
was in the Opposition; but, to be sure, this is a very strange
time to take that journey. Lord Stafford, who came hither
just before the intended invasion, (no doubt for the defence
of the Protestant religion, especially as his father-in-law,
Bulkeley,(917), was colonel of one of the embarked regiments,)
is gone to carry his sister to be married to a Count de
Rohan,(918) and then returns, having a sign manual for leaving
his wife there.
We shall not be surprised to hear that the Electorate(919) has
got a new master; shall you? Our dear nephew of Prussia will
probably take it, to keep it safe for us.
I had written thus far on Monday, and then my lord came from
New Park: and I had no time the rest of the day to finish it.
We have made very loyal addresses to the King on his speech,
which I suppose they send you. There is not the least news,
but that my Lord Carteret's wedding has been deferred on Lady
Sophia's falling dangerously ill of a scarlet fever; but they
say it is to be next Saturday. She is to have sixteen hundred
pounds a-year jointure, four hundred pounds pin-money, and two
thousand of jewels. Carteret says, he does not intend to
marry the mother and the whole family. What do you think my
lady intends? Adieu! my dear Sir! Pray for peace.
(916) Hugh Fortescue, afterwards Earl of Clinton and Knight of
the Bath. Not long after he received that order he went into
Opposition, and left off his riband and star for one day, but
thought better of it, and put them on the next. He was created
Lord Fortescue and Earl of Clinton in 1746, and died in 1751.)
(917) Mr. Bulkeley, an Irish Roman Catholic, married the widow
Cantillon, mother of the Countess of Stafford. He rose high
in the French army, and had the cordon bleu: his
sister was second wife of the first Duke of Berwick.
(918)Afterwards Duke of Rohan Chabot.-D.
(919) Of Hanover.-D.
367 Letter 136
To Sir Horace Mann.
London, April 15, 1744.
I could tell you a great deal of news, but it would not be
what you would expect. It is not of battles, sieges, and
declarations of war; nor of invasions, insurrections, and
addresses. It is the god of love, not he of war, who reigns
in the newspapers. The town has made up a list of six and
thirty weddings, which I shall not catalogue to you; for you
would know, them no more than you do Antilochum, fortemque
Gyan, fortemque Cloanthum.
But the chief entertainment has been the nuptials of our great
Quixote and the fair Sophia. On the point of matrimony she
fell ill of a scarlet fever, and was given over, while he had
the gout, but heroically sent her word, that if she was well,
he would be so. They corresponded every day, and he used to
plague the cabinet council with reading her letters to them.
Last night they were married; and as all he does must have a
particular air in it, they supped at Lord Pomfret's: at
twelve, Lady Granville, his mother, and all his family went to
bed, but the porter: then my lord went home, and waited for
her in the lodge: she came alone in a hackney-chair, met him
in the hall, and was led up the back stairs to bed. What is
ridiculously lucky is, that Lord Lincoln goes into waiting,
to-day, and will be to present her! On Tuesday she stands
godmother with the King to Lady Dysart's(920) child, her new
grand-daughter. I am impatient to see the whole m`enage; it
will be admirable. There is a wild young Venetian
ambassadress(921) come, who is reckoned very pretty. I don't
think so; she is foolish and childish to a degree. She said,
"Lord! the old secretary is going to be married!" hey told
her he was but fifty-four. "But fifty-four! why," said she,
"my husband is but two-and-forty, and I think him the oldest
man in the world." Did I tell you that Lord Holderness(922)
goes to Venice with the compliments of accommodation, and
leaves Sir James Grey resident there?
The invasion from Dunkirk seems laid aside. We talk little of
our fleets - Sir John Norris has resigned -. Lestock is coming
home, and sent before him great complaints of Matthews; so
that affair must be cleared up. the King talks much of going
abroad, which will not be very prudent. The campaign is not
opened yet, but I suppose will disclose at once with great
`eclat in several quarters.
I this instant receive your letter of March 31st, with the
simple Demetrius, for which, however, I thank you. I hope by
this time you have received all my letters, and are at peace
about the invasion; which we think so much over, that the
Opposition are now breaking out about the Dutch troops, and
call it the worst measure ever taken. Those terms so
generally dealt to every measure successively, will at least
soften the Hanoverian history.
Adieu! I have nothing more to tell you: I flatter myself you
content yourself with news; I cannot write sentences nor
sentiments. My best love to the Chutes, and now and then let
my friends the Prince and Princess and Florentines know that I
shall never forget their goodness to me. What is become of
(920) Lady Grace Carteret, eldest daughter of Lord Carteret.
She was married in 1729 to Lionel Tollemache, third Earl of
Dysart; by whom she had fifteen children.-E.
(921) Wife of Signor Capello.
(922) Robert Darcy, Earl of Holderness, ambassador at Venice
and the Hague, and afterwards secretary of state.
369 Letter 137
To Sir Horace Mann.
London, May 8, 1744.
I begin to breathe a little at ease; we have done with the
Parliament for this year: it rises on Saturday. We have had
but one material day lately, last Thursday. The Opposition
had brought in a bill to make it treason to correspond with
the young Pretenders:(923) the Lords added a clause, after a
long debate, to make it a forfeiture of estates, as it is for
dealing with the father. We sat till one in the morning, and
then carried it by 255 to 106. It was the best debate I ever
heard.(924) The King goes to Kensington to-morrow, and not
abroad. We hear of great quarrels between Marshal Wade and
Duc d'Aremberg. The French King is at Valenciennes with
Monsieur de Noailles, who is now looked upon as first
minister. He is the least dangerous for us of all. It is
affirmed that Cardinal Tencin is disgraced, who was the very
worst for us. If he is, we shall at least have no invasion
this summer. Successors of ministers seldom take up the
schemes of their predecessors; especially such as by failing
caused their ruin, which, I believe, was Tencin's case at
For a week we heard of the affair at Villafranca in a worse
light than was true: it certainly turns out ill for both
sides. Though the French have had such a bloody loss, I
cannot but think they will carry their point, and force their
passage into Italy.
We have no domestic news, but Lord Lovel's being created Earl
of Leicester, on an old promise which my father had obtained
for him. Earl Berkeley(925) is married to Miss Drax, a very
pretty maid of honour to the Princess; and the Viscount
Fitzwilliam(926) to Sir Matthew Decker's eldest daughter , but
these are people I am sure you don't know.
There is to be a great ball tomorrow at the Duchess of
Richmond's for my Lady Carteret: the Prince is to be there.
Carteret's court to pay her the highest honours, which she
receives with the highest state. I have seen her but once,
and found her just what I expected, tr`es grande dame; full of
herself, and yet not with an air of happiness. She looks ill
and is grown lean, but is still the finest figure in the
world. The mother is not so exalted as I expected- I fancy
Carteret has kept his resolution, and does not marry her too.
My Lord does not talk of' going out of town yet; I don't
propose to be at Houghton till August. Adieu!
(923) Charles Edward, and Henry his brother, afterwards the
Cardinal of York.-D.
(924) The Honourable Philip Yorke, in his MS. Parliamentary
Journal, says, "it was a warm and long d(.-bate, in which I
think as much violence and dislike to the proposition was
shown by the opposers, as in any which had arisen during the
whole winter. I thought neither Mr. Pelham's nor Pitt's
performances equal on this occasion to what they are on most
others. Many of the Prince's friends were absent; for what
reason I cannot learn. This was the parting blow of the
session; for the King came and dismissed us on the 12th, and
the Parliament broke up with a good deal of ill-humour and
discontent on the part of the Opposition, and little
expectation in those who knew the interior of the court, and
the unconnected state of the alliance abroad, that much would
be done in the ensuing campaign to allay it, or infuse a
better temper into the nation."-E.
(925) Augustus. fourth Earl Berkeley, Knight of the Thistle.
He married Elizabeth, daughter of Henry Drax, Esq, of
Charborough, in Dorsetshire; and died in 1755.-D.
(926) Richard, sixth Viscount Fitzwilliam in Ireland, married
Catherine, daughter and heiress of Sir Matthew Decker, Bart.,
and died in 1776.-E.
370 Letter 138
To Sir Horace Mann.
London, May 29, 1744.
Since I wrote I have received two from you of May 6th and
19th. I am extremely sorry you get mine so late. I have
desired your brother to complain to Mr. Preverau: I get yours
I have this morning had a letter from Mr. Conway at the army;
he says he hears just then that the French have declared war
against the Dutch: they had in effect before by besieging
Menin, which siege our army is in full march to raise. They
have laid bridges over the Scheldt, and intend to force the
French to a battle. The latter are almost double our number,
but their desertion is prodigious, and their troops extremely
bad. Fourteen thousand more Dutch are ordered, and their six
thousand are going from hence with four more of ours; so we
seem to have no more apprehensions of an invasion. All
thoughts of it are over! no inquiry made into it! The present
ministry fear the detection of conspiracies more than the
thing itself: that is, they fear every thing that they are to
My father has been extremely ill, from a cold he caught last
week at New-park. Princess Emily came thither to fish, and
he, who is grown quite indolent, and has not been out of a hot
room this twelve- month, sat an hour and a half by the water
side. He was in great danger one day, and more low-spirited
than ever I knew him, though I think that grows upon him with
his infirmities. My sister was at his bedside; I came into
the room,-he burst into tears and could not speak to me - but
he is quite well now; though I cannot say I think he will
preserve his life long, as he has laid aside all exercise,
which has been of such vast service to him. he talked the
other day of shutting himself up in the farthest wing at
Houghton; I said, "Dear, my Lord, you will be at a distance
from all the family there!" He replied, "So much the better!"
Pope is given over with a dropsy, which is mounted into his
head: in an evening he is not in his senses; the other day at
Chiswick, he said,- to my Lady Burlington, "Look at our
Saviour there! how ill they have crucified him!"(927)
There is a Prince of Ost-Frize(928) dead, which is likely to
occasion most unlucky broils: Holland, Prussia, and Denmark
have all pretensions to his succession; but Prussia is
determined to make his good. If the Dutch don't dispute it,
he will be too near a neighbour; if they do, we lose his
neutrality, which is now so material.
The town has been in a great bustle about a private match; but
which, by the ingenuity of the ministry, has been made
politics. Mr. Fox fell in love with Lady Caroline
Lennox;(929) asked her, was refused, and stole her. His
father(930) was a footman; her great grandfather a king: hinc
illae, lachrymae! all the blood royal have been up in arms.
The Duke of Marlborough, who was a friend of the Richmonds,
gave her away. If his Majesty's Princess Caroline had been
stolen, there could not have been more noise made. The
Pelhams, who arc much attached to the Richmonds, but who have
tried to make Fox and all that set theirs, wisely entered into
the quarrel, and now don't know how to get out of it. They
were for hindering Williams,(931) who is Fox's great friend,
and at whose house they were married, from having the red
riband; but he has got it, with four others, the Viscount
Fitzwilliam, Calthorpe, Whitmore, and Harbord. Dashwood, Lady
Carteret's quondam lover, has stolen a great fortune, a Miss
Bateman; the marriage had been proposed, but the fathers could
not agree on the terms.
I am much obliged to you for all your Sardinian and Neapolitan
journals. I am impatient for the conquest of Naples, and have
no notion of neglecting sure things, which may serve by way of
I am very sorry I recommended such a troublesome booby to you.
Indeed, dear Mr. Chute, I never saw him, but was pressed by
Mr. Selwyn, whose brother's friend he is, to give him that
letter to you. I now hear that he is a warm Jacobite; I
suppose you somehow disobliged him politically.
We are now mad about tar-water, on the publication of a book
that I will send you, written by Dr. Berkeley, Bishop of
Cloyne.(932) The book contains every subject from tar-water
to the Trinity; however, all the women read, and understand it
no more than they would if it were intelligible. A man came
into an apothecary's shop the other day, "Do you sell
tar-water?" "Tar-water!" replied the apothecary, "why, I sell
nothing else!" Adieu!
(927) Pope died the day after this letter was written; "in the
evening," says Spence, "but they did not know the exact time;
for his departure was so easy, that it was imperceptible even
to the standers by."
(928) The Prince of East Friesland.
(929) Eldest daughter of Charles Duke of Richmond, grandson of
King Charles II.
(930) Sir Stephen Fox.
(931) Sir C. Hanbury Williams.
(932) Having cured himself of a nervous colic by the use of
tar-water, the bishop this year published a book entitled
"Philosophical Reflections and Enquiries concerning the
Virtues of Tar-water.',-E.
372 Letter 139
To Sir Horace Mann.
June 11, 1744.
Perhaps you expect to hear of great triumphs and victories; of
General Wade grown into a Duke of Marlborough; or of the King
being in Flanders, with the second part of the battle of
Dettingen-why, ay: you are bound in conscience, as a good
Englishman, to expect all this -but what if all these 10
paeans should be played to the Dunkirk tune? I must prepare
you for some such thing; for unless the French are as much
their own foes as we are our own, I don't see what should
hinder the festival to-day(933) being kept next year a day
sooner. But I will draw no consequences; only sketch you out
our present situation: and if Cardinal Tencin can miss making
his use of it, we may burn our books and live hereafter upon
The French King's army is at least ninety thousand strong; has
taken Menin already, and Ypres almost. Remains then only
Ostend; which you will look in the map and see does not lie in
the high road to the conquest of the Austrian Netherlands.
Ostend may be laid under water, and the taking it an affair of
time. But there lies all our train of artillery Which cost
two hundred thousand pounds; and what becomes of our
communication with our army? Why, they may go round by
Williamstadt, and be in England just time enough to be some
other body's army! It turns out that the whole combined army,
English, Dutch, Austrians, and Hanoverians, does not amount to
above thirty-six thousand fighting men! and yet forty thousand
more French, under the Duc d'Harcourt are coming into
Flanders. When their army is already so superior to ours, for
what can that reinforcement be intended, but to let them spare
a triumph to Dunkirk? Now you will naturally ask me three
questions: where is Prince Charles? where are the Dutch?
what force have you to defend England? Prince Charles is
hovering about the Rhine to take Lorrain, which they seem not
to care whether he does or not, and leaves you to defend the
-Netherlands. The Dutch seem indifferent, whether their
barrier is in the hands of the Queen or the Emperor and while
you are so mad, think it prudent not to be so themselves. For
our own force, it is too melancholy to mention: six regiments
go away to-morrow to Ostend, with the six thousand Dutch.
Carteret and Botzlaer, the Dutch envoy extraordinary, would
have hurried them away without orders; but General Smitsart,
their commander, said, he was too old to be hanged. This
reply was told to my father yesterday: "Ay," said he, "so I
thought I was, but I may live to be mistaken!" When these
troops are gone, we shall not have in the whole island above
six thousand men, even when the regiments are complete; and
half of those pressed and new-listed men. For our sea-force,
I wish it may be greater in proportion! Sir Charles Hardy,
whose name(934) at least is ill-favoured, is removed, and old
Balchen, a firm Whig, put at the head of the fleet. Fifteen
ships are sent for from Matthews; but they may come as
opportunely as the army from Williamstadt-in short-but I won't
enter into reasonings-the King is not gone. The Dutch have
sent word, that they can let us have but six of the twenty
ships we expected. My father is going into Norfolk, quite
shocked at living to see how terribly his own conduct is
justified. In the city the word is, "Old Sunderland'S(935)
game is acting over again." Tell me if you receive this
letter: I believe you will scarce give it about in memorials.
Here are arrived two Florentines, not recommended to me, but I
have been very civil to them, Marquis Salviati and Conte
Delci; the latter remembers to have seen me at Madame
Grifoni's. The Venetian ambassador met my father yesterday at
my Lady Brown's: you would have laughed to have seen how he
stared and @eccellenza'd him. At last they fell into a broken
Latin chat, and there was no getting the ambassador away from
If you have the least interest in any one Madonna in Florence,
pay her well for all the service she can do us. If she can
work miracles, now is her time. If she can't, I believe we
all shall be forced to adore her. Adieu! Tell Mr. Chute I
fear we should not be quite so well received at the
conversazzioni, at Madame de Craon's, and the Casino,(936)
when we are but refugee heretics. Well, we must hope! Yours I
am, and we will bear our wayward fate together.
(933) The 10th of June was the Pretender's birthday, and the 11th
the accession of George II.
(934) He was of a Jacobite family.
(935) Lord Sunderland, who betrayed James II.
(936) The Florentine coffee-house.
373 Letter 140
To Sir Horace Mann.
London, June 18, 1744.
I have not any immediate bad news to tell you in consequence
of my last. The siege of Ypres does not advance so
expeditiously as was expected; a little time gained in sieges
goes a great way in a campaign. The Brest squadron is making
just as great a figure in our channel as Matthews does before
Toulon and Marseilles. I should be glad to be told by some
nice computers of national glory, how much the balance is on
Anson(937) is returned with vast fortune, substantial and
lucky. He has brought the Acapulca ship into Portsmouth, and
its treasure is at least computed at five hundred thousand
pounds. He escaped the Brest squadron by a mist. You will
have all the particulars in a gazette.
I will not fail to make your compliments to the Pomfrets and
Carterets. I see them seldom, but I am in favour; so I
conclude, for my Lady Pomfret told me the other night, that I
said better things than any body. I was with them all at a
subscription-ball at Ranelagh last week, which my Lady
Carteret thought proper to look upon as given to her, and
thanked the gentlemen, who were not quite so well pleased at
her condescending to take it to herself. My lord stayed with
her there till four in the morning. They are all fondness
-walk together, and stop every five steps to kiss. Madame de
Craon is a cypher to her for grandeur. The ball was on an
excessively hot night: yet she was dressed in a magnificent
brocade, because it was new that morning for the
inauguration-day. I did the honours of all her dress:-"How
charming your ladyship's cross is! I am sure the design was
your own."-"No, indeed; my lord sent it me just as it
is."-"How fine your ear-rings are!"-"Oh! but they are very
heavy." Then as much to the mother. Do you wonder I say
better things than any body?
I send you by a ship going to Leghorn the only new books at
all worth reading. The Abuse(938) of Parliaments is by
Doddington and Waller, circumstantially scurrilous. The
dedication of the Essay(939) to my father is fine; pray mind
the quotation from Milton. There is Dr. Berkeley's mad book
on tar-water, which has made every body as mad as himself.
I have lately made a great antique purchase of all Dr.
Middleton's collection which he brought from Italy, and which
he is now publishing. I will send you the book as soon as it
comes out. I would not buy the things till the book was half
printed, for fear of an `e Museo Walpoliano.-Those honours are
mighty well for such known and learned men as Mr. Smith,(940)
the merchant of Venice. My dear Mr. Chute, how we used to
enjoy the title-page(941) of his understanding! Do you
remember how angry he was when showing us a Guido, after
pompous roomsfull of Sebastian Riccis, which he had a mind to
establish for capital pictures, you told him he had now made
amends for all the rubbish he had showed us before?
My father has asked, and with some difficulty got, his pension
of four thousand pounds a-year, which the King gave him on his
resignation and which he dropped, by the wise fears of my
uncle and the Selwyns. He has no reason to be satisfied with
the manner of obtaining it now, or with the manner of the
man(942) whom he employed to ask it - yet it was not a point
that required capacity-merely gratitude. Adieu!
(937) The celebrated circumnavigator, afterwards a peer, and
first lord of the admiralty.-D.
(938) Detection of the Use and Abuse of Parliaments, by Ralph,
under the direction of Doddington and Waller.
(939) Essay on Wit, Humour, and Ridicule, by Corbyn Morris.
(940) Mr. Smith, consul at Venice, had a fine library" of
which he knew nothing at all but the title-pages.
(941) Expression of Mr. Chute.
(942) Mr. Pelham.
375 Letter 141
To The Hon. H. S. Conway.(943)
Arlington Street, June 29, 1744.
My dearest Henry,
I don't know what made my last letter so long on the road:
yours got hither as soon as it could. I don't attribute it to
any examination at the post-office. God forbid I should
suspect any branch of the present administration of attempting
to know any one kind of thing! I remember when I was at Eton,
and Mr. Bland(944) had set me an extraordinary task, I used
sometimes to pique myself upon not getting it, because it was
not immediately my school business. What! learn more than I
was absolutely forced to learn! I felt the weight of learning
that; for I was a blockhead, and pushed up above my parts.
Lest you maliciously think I mean any application of this last
sentence any where in the world, I shall go and transcribe
some lines out of a new poem, that pretends to great
impartiality, but is evidently wrote by some secret friend of
the ministry. It is called Pope's, but has no good lines but
the following. The plan supposes him complaining of being put
to death by the blundering discord of his two physicians.
Burton and Thompson; and from thence makes a transition to
show that all the present misfortunes of the world flow from a
parallel disagreement; for instance, in politics:
"Ask you what cause this conduct can create?
The doctors differ that direct the state.
Craterus, wild as Thompson, rules and raves,
A slave himself yet proud of making slaves;
Fondly believing that his mighty parts
Can guide all councils and command all hearts;
Give shape and colour to discordant things,
Hide fraud in ministers and fear in kings.
Presuming on his power, such schemes he draws
For bribing Iron(945) and giving Europe laws,
That camps, and fleets, and treaties fill the news,
And succours unobtain'd and unaccomplish'd views.
"Like solemn Burton grave Plumbosus acts;
He thinks in method, argues all from facts;
Warm in his temper, yet affecting ice,
Protests his candour ere he gives advice;
Hints he dislikes the schemes he recommends,
And courts his foes-and hardly courts his friends;
Is fond of power, and yet concerned for fame-
>From different parties would dependents claim
Declares for war, but in an awkward way,
Loves peace at heart, which he's afraid to say;
His head perplex'd, altho' his hands are pure-
An honest man,-but not a hero sure!"
I beg you will never tell me any news till it has past every
impression of the Dutch gazette; for one is apt to mention
what is wrote to one: that gets about, comes at last to, the
ears of the ministry, puts them in a fright, and perhaps they
send to beg to see your letter. Now, you know one should hate
to have one's private correspondence made grounds for a
measure,-especially for an absurd one, which is just possible.
If I was writing to any body but you, who know me so well, I
should be afraid this would be taken for pique and pride, and
be construed into my thinking all ministers inferior to my
father but, my dear Harry, you know it was never my foible to
think over-abundantly well of him. Why I think as I do of the
great geniuses, answer for me, Admiral Matthews, great British
Neptune, bouncing in the Mediterranean, while the Brest
squadron is riding in the English Channel, and an invasion
from Dunkirk every moment threatening your coasts: against
which you send for six thousand Dutch troops, while you have
twenty thousand of your own in Flanders, which not being of
any use, you send these very six thousand Dutch to them, with
above half of the few of your own remaining in England; a
third part of which half of which few you countermand, because
you are again alarmed with the invasion, and yet let the six
Dutch go, who came for no other end but to protect you. And
that our naval discretion may go hand-in-hand with our
military, we find we have no force at home; we send for
fifteen ships from the Mediterranean to guard our coasts, and
demand twenty from the Dutch. The first fifteen will be here,
perhaps in three months. Of the twenty Dutch, they excuse all
but six, of which six they send all but four; and your own
small domestic fleet, five are going to the West Indies and
twenty a hunting for some Spanish ships that are coming from
the Indies. Don't it put you in mind of a trick that is done
by calculation: Think of a number: halve it-double it-and
ten-subtract twenty-add half the first number-take away all
you added: now, what remains?
That you may think I employ my time as idly as the great men I
have been talking of, you must be informed that every night
constantly I go to Ranelagh; which has totally beat Vauxhall.
Nobody goes any where else-every body goes there. My Lord
Chesterfield is so fond of it, that he says he has ordered all
his letters to be directed thither. If you had never seen it,
I would make you a most pompous description of it, and tell
you how the floor is all of beaten princes-you can't set your
foot without treading on a Prince of Wales or Duke of
Cumberland. The company is universal: there is from his Grace
of Grafton down to Children out of the Foundling Hospital-
from my Lady Townshend to the kitten--from my Lord Sandys to
your humble cousin and sincere friend.
(943) Now first printed.
(944) Dr. Henry Bland, head-master, and from 1732 to his
death, in 1746, provost of Eton College. In No. 628 of the
Spectator is a Latin version by him of Cato's soliloquy.-E.
(945) This is nonsense@H. W.
377 Letter 142
To Sir Horace Mann.
London, June 29, 1744.
Well, at last this is not to be the year of our captivity!
There is a cluster of good packets come at once. The Dutch
have marched twelve thousand men to join our army; the King of
Sardinia (but this is only a report) has beaten the Spaniards
back over the Varo, and I this moment hear from the
Secretary's office, that Prince Charles has undoubtedly passed
the Rhine at the head of fourscore thousand men-where, and
with what circumstances, I don't know a word; ma basta cos`i.
It is said, too, that the Marquis de la Ch`etardie(946) is
sent away from Russia: but this one has no occasion to
believe. False good news are always produced by true good,
like the waterfall by the rainbow. But why do I take upon me
to tell you all this?-you, who are the centre of ministers and
business! the actuating genius in the conquest of Naples! You
cannot imagine how formidable you appear to me. My poor
little, quiet Miny, with his headache and `epuisements, and
Cocchio, and coverlid of cygnet's down, that had no dealings
but with a little spy-abb`e at Rome, a civil whisper with
Count Lorenzi,(947) or an explanation on some of Goldsworthy's
absurdities, or with Richcourt about some sbirri,(948) that
had insolently passed through the street in which the King of
Great Britain's arms condescended to hang! Bless me! how he
is changed, become a trafficking plenipotentiary with Prince
lobkowitz, Cardinal Albani(949) and Admiral Matthews! Why, my
dear child, I should not know you again; I should not dare to
roll you up between a finger and thumb like wet brown paper.
Well, heaven prosper your arms! But I hate you, for I now
look upon you as ten times fatter than I am.
I don't think it would be quite unadvisable for Bistino(950)
to take a journey hither. My Lady Carteret would take
violently to any thing that came so far as to adore her
grandeur. I believe even my Lady Pomfret would be persuaded
he had seen the star of their glory travelling westward to
direct him. For my part, I expect soon to make a figure too
in the political magazine, for all our Florence set is coming
to grandeur; but you and my Lady Carteret have outstripped me.
I remain with -the Duke of Courtland in Siberia-my father has
actually gone thither for a long season. I met my Lady
Carteret the other day at Knaptons,(951) and desired leave to
stay while she sat for her picture. She is drawn crowned with
corn, like the Goddess of Plenty, and a mild dove in her arms,
like Mrs. Venus. We had much of my lord and my lord. The
countess-mother was glad my lord was not there-he was never
satisfied with the eyes; she was afraid he would have had them
drawn bigger than the cheeks. I made your compliments
abundantly, and cried down the charms of the picture as
politically as if' you yourself had been there in person.
To fill up this sheet, I shall transcribe some very good lines
published to-day in one of the papers, by I don't know whom,
on Pope's death.
"Here lies, who died, as most folks die, in hope,
The mouldering, more ignoble part of Pope;
The hard, whose sprightly genius dared to wage
Poetic war with an immoral age;
Made every vice and private folly known
In friend and foe--a stranger to his own
Set Virtue in its loveliest form to view,
And still professed to be the sketch he drew.
As humour or as interest served, his verse
Could praise or flatter, libel or asperse:
Unharming innocence with guilt could load,
Or lift the rebel patriot to a god:
Give the censorious critic standing laws-
The first to violate them with applause;
The just translator and the solid wit,
Like whom the passions few so truly hit:
The scourge of dunces whom his malice made-
The impious plague of the defenceless dead:
To real knaves and real fools a sore-
Beloved by many but abhorr'd by more,
If here his merits are not full exprest,
His never-dying strains shall tell the rest."
Sure the greater part was his true character; Here is another
epitaph by Rolli;(952) which for the profound fall in some of
the verses', especially in the last, will divert you.
"Spento `e il Pope: de' poeti Britanni
Uno de' lumi che sorge in mille anni:
Pur si vuol che la macchia d'Ingrato
N'abbia reso il fulgor men sereno:
Stato fora e pi`u giusto e pi`u grato.
Men lodando e biasmando ancor meno."
(946) French ambassador at the court of St. Petersburg, and
for some time a favourite of the Empress Elizabeth. The
report of his disgrace was correct. He died in 1758.-E.
(947) A Florentine, but employed as minister by France.
(948) The officers of justice, who are reckoned so infamous in
Italy, that the foreign ministers have always pretended to
hinder them from passing through the streets where they
(949) Cardinal Alexander Albani, nephew of Clement XI. was
minister of the Queen of Hungary at Rome.
(950) Giovanni Battista Uguecioni, a Florentine nobleman, and
great friend of the Pomfrets.
(951) George Knapton, a portrait painter. Walpole says, he
was well versed in the theory of painting, and had a thorough
knowledge of the hands of the good masters. He died at
Kensington, in 1778, at the age of eighty.-E.
(952) Paolo Antonio Rolli, composer of the operas, translated
and published several things. [Thus hitched into the Dunciad-
"Rolli the feather to his ear conveys
Then his nice taste directs our operas."
Warburton says, "He taught Italian to some fine gentlemen, who
affected to direct the operas."
379 Letter 143
To The Hon. H. S. Conway.
Arlington Street, July 20, 1744.
My dearest Harry,
I feel that I have so much to say to you, that I foresee there
will be but little method in my letter; but if, upon the
whole, you see My meaning, and the depth of my friendship for
you, I am content.
It was most agreeable to me to receive a letter of confidence
from you, at the time I expected a very different one from
you; though, by the date of your last, I perceive you had not
then received some letters, which, though I did not see, I
must call simple, as they could only tend to make you uneasy
for some months. I should not have thought of communicating a
quarrel to you at a distance, and I don't conceive the sort of
friendship of those that thought it necessary. When I heard
it had been wrote to you, I thought it right to myself to give
you my account of it, but, by your brother's desire,
suppressed my letter, and left it to be explained by him, who
wrote to you so sensibly on it, that I shall say no more but
that I think myself so ill-used that it will prevent my giving
you thoroughly the advice you ask of me for how can I be sure
that my resentment might not make me see in a stronger light
the reasons for your breaking off an affair(953) which you
know before I never approved?
You know my temper is so open to any body I love that I must
be happy at seeing you lay aside a reserve with me, which is
the only point that ever made me dissatisfied with you. That
silence of yours has, perhaps, been one of the chief reasons
that has always prevented my saying much to you on a topic
which I saw was so near your heart. Indeed, its being so near
was another reason; for how could I expect you would take my
advice, even if you bore it? But, my dearest Harry, how can I
advise you now? Is it not gone too far -for me to expect you
should keep any resolution about it, especially in absence,
which must be destroyed the moment you meet again? And if ever
you should marry and be happy, won't you reproach me with
having tried to hinder it? I think you as just and honest as
I think any man living; but any man living in that
circumstance would think I had been prompted by private
reasons. I see as strongly as you can all the arguments for
your breaking off; but, indeed, the alteration of your fortune
adds very little strength to what they had before. You never
had fortune enough to make such a step at all prudent: she
loved you enough to be content with that; I can't believe this
change will alter her sentiments, for I must do her the
justice to say that it is plain she preferred you with nothing
to all the world. I could talk upon this head, but I will
only leave you to consider, without advising YOU On either
side, these two things-whether you think it honester to break
off with her after such engagements as yours (how strong I
don't know), after her refusing very good matches for you, and
show her that she must think of making her fortune; or whether
you will wait with her till some amendment in your fortune can
put it in your power to marry her. '
My dearest Harry, you must see why I don't care to say more on
this head. My wishing it could be right for you to break off
with her (for, without it is right, I would not have you on
any account take such a step) makes it impossible for me to
advise it; and therefore, I am sure you will forgive my
declining, an act of friendship which your having put in my
power gives me the greatest satisfaction. But it does put
something else in my power, which I am sure nothing can make
me decline, and for which I have long wanted an opportunity.
Nothing could prevent my being unhappy at the smallness of
your fortune, but its throwing it into my way to offer you to
share mine. As mine is so precarious, by depending on so bad
a constitution, I can only offer you the immediate use of it.
I do that most sincerely. My places still (though my Lord
Walpole has cut off three hundred pounds a-year to save
himself the trouble of signing his name ten times for once)
bring me in near two thousand pounds a-year. I have no debts,
no connexions; indeed, no -way to dispose of it particularly.
By living with my father, I have little real use for a quarter
of it. I have always flung it away all in the most idle
manner; but, my dear Harry, idle -,is I am, and thoughtless, I
have sense enough to have real pleasure in denying myself
baubles, and in saving a very good income to make a man happy,
for whom I have a just esteem and most sincere friendship. I
know the difficulties any gentleman and man of spirit must
struggle with, even in having such an offer made him, much
more in accepting it. I hope you will allow there are some in
making it. But hear me: if there is such a thing as
friendship in the world, these are the opportunities of
exerting it, and it can't be exerted without it is accepted.
I must talk of myself to prove to you that it will be right
for 'you to accept it. I am sensible of having more follies
and weaknesses, and fewer real good qualities than most men.
I sometimes reflect on this, though I own too seldom. I
always want to begin acting like a man, and a sensible one,
which I think I might b, if I would. Can I begin better, than
by taking care of my fortune for one I love? You have seen (I
have seen you have) that I am fickle, and foolishly fond of
twenty new people; but I don't really love them-I have always
loved you constantly: I am willing to convince you and the
world, what I have always told you, that I loved you better
than any body. If I ever felt much for any thing, which I
know may be questioned, it was certainly my mother. I look on
you as my nearest relation by her, and I think I can never do
enough to show my gratitude and affection to her. For these
reasons, don't deny me what I have set my heart on-the making
your fortune easy to you.
[The rest of this letter is wanting.]
(953) This was an early attachment of Mr. Conway's. By his
having complied with the wishes and advice of his friends on
this subject, and got the better of his passion, he probably
felt that he, in some measure, owed to Mr. Walpole the
subsequent happiness of his life, in his marriage with another
person. (the lady alluded to was Lady Caroline Fitzroy,
afterwards Countess of Harrington, whose sister, Lady
Isabella, had, three years before, married Mr. Conway's elder
brother, afterwards Earl and Marquis of Hertford.]
381 Letter 144
To Sir Horace Mann.
Arlington Street, July 22, 1744.
I have not written to you, my dear child, a good while, I know
but, indeed, it was from having nothing to tell you. You know
I love you too well for it to be necessary to be punctually
proving it to you; so, when I have nothing worth your knowing,
I repose myself upon' the persuasion that you must have of my
friendship. But I will never let that grow into any
negligence, I should say, idleness, which is always mighty
ready to argue me out of every thing I ought to do; and
letter-writing is one of the first duties that the very best
people let perish out of their rubric. Indeed, I pride myself
extremely in having been so good a correspondent; for, besides
that every day grows to make one hate writing, more, it is
difficult, you must own, to keep up a correspondence of this
sort with any spirit, when long absence makes one entirely out
of all the little circumstances of each other's society, and
which are the soul of letters. We are forced to deal only in
great events, like historians; and, instead of being Horace
Mann and Horace Walpole, seem to correspond as Guicciardin and
Discedo Alceus puncto Illius; ille meo quis!
Quis nisi Callimachus?
Apropos to writing histories and Guicciardin; I wish to God,
Boccalini was living! never was such an opportunity for
Apollo's playing off a set of looks, as there is now! The good
city of London, who, from long dictating to the government,
are now come to preside over taste and letters, have given one
Carte,(954) a Jacobite parson, fifty pounds a-year, for seven
years, to write the history of England; and four aldermen and
six common councilmen are to .inspect his materials and the
progress of the work. Surveyors and common sewers turned
supervisors of literature! To be sure, they think a history of
England is no more than Stowe's Survey of the Parishes!
Instead of having books published with the imprimatur of an
university, they Will be printed, as churches are whitewashed,
John Smith and Thomas Johnson, churchwardens.
But, brother historian, you will wonder I should have nothing
to communicate, when all Europe is bursting with events, and
every day "big with the fate of Cato and of Rome." But so it
is; I know nothing; Prince Charles's great passage of the
Rhine has hitherto produced nothing, more: indeed, the French
armies are moving towards him from Flanders; and they tell us,
ours is crossing the Scheldt to attack the Count de Saxe, now
that we arc equal to him, from our reinforcement and his
diminutions. In the mean time, as I am at least one of the
principal heroes of my own politics, being secure of any
invasion, I am going to leave all my lares, that is, all my
antiquities, household gods and pagods, and take a journey
into Siberia for six weeks, where my father's grace of
Courland has been for some time.
Lord Middlesex is going to be married to Miss Boyle,(955) Lady
Shannon's daughter; she has thirty thousand pounds, and may
have as much more, if her mother, who is a plain widow, don't
happen to Nugentize.(956) The girl is low and ugly, but a
Young Churchill has got a daughter by the Frasi;(957) Mr.
Winnington calls it the opera-comique ; the mother is an opera
girl; the grandmother was Mrs. Oldfield.
I must tell you of a very extraordinary print, which my Lady
Burlington gives away, of her daughter Euston, -with this
Lady Dorothy Boyle,
Once the pride, the joy, the -comfort of her parents,
The admiration of all that saw her,
The delight of all that knew her.
Born May 14, 1724, married alas! Oct. 10, 1741, an
delivered from extremest misery May 2, 1742.
This print was taken from a picture drawn by memory seven
weeks after her death, by her most afflicted mother;
I am forced to begin a new sheet, lest you should think my
letter came from my Lady Burlington, as it ends so patly with
her name. But is it not a most melancholy way of venting
oneself? She has drawn numbers of these pictures: I don't
approve her having them engraved; but sure the
inscription(959) is pretty.
I was accosted the other night by 'a little, pert petit-maitre
figure, that claimed me for acquaintance. Do you remember to
have seen at Florence an Abb`e Durazzo, of Genoa? well, this
was he: it is mighty dapper and French: however, I will be
civil to it: I never lose opportunities of paving myself an
agreeable passage back to Florence. My dear Chutes, stay for
me: I think the first gale of peace will carry me to you. Are
you as fond of Florence as ever? of me you are not, I am sure,
for you never write me a line. You would be diverted with the
grandeur of our old Florence beauty, Lady Carteret. She
dresses more extravagantly, and grows more short-sighted every
day: she can't walk a step without leaning on one of her
ancient daughters-in law. Lord Tweedale and Lord Bathurst are
her constant gentlemen-ushers. She has not quite digested her
resentment to Lincoln yet. He was walking with her at
Ranelagh the other night, and a Spanish refugee marquis,(960)
who is of the Carteret court, but who, not being quite perfect
in the carte du pais, told my lady, that Lord Lincoln had
promised him to make a very good husband to Miss Pelham. Lady
Carteret, with an accent of energy, replied, "J'esp`ere qu'il
tiendra sa promesse!" Here is a good epigram that has been
made on her:
"Her beauty, like the Scripture feast,
To which the invited never came,
Deprived of its intended guest,
Was given to the old and lame."
Adieu! here is company; I think I may be excused leaving off
at the sixth side.
(954) Thomas Carte, a laborious writer of history. His
principal works are, his Life of the Duke of Ormonde, in three
volumes, folio, and his History of England, in four. He
died in 1754.-D. [The former, though
ill-written, was considered by Dr. Johnson as a work of
authority; and of the latter Dr. Warton remarks, "You may read
Hume for his eloquence, but Carte is the historian for
(955) Grace Boyle, daughter and sole heiress of Richard,
Viscount Shannon. She became afterwards a favourite of
Frederick, Prince of Wales, and died in 17 63.-D.
(956) See ant`e, p. 205. (Letter 48)
(957 Prima donna at the opera.
(958) This is an incorrect copy of the inscription on Lady
Euston's picture given in a note at 329 of this volume.-D.
(Letter 110, p. 328/9)
(959) It is said to be Pope's.
(960) The Marquis Tabernego.
383 Letter 145
To Sir Horace Mann.
Arlington Street, Aug. 6, 1744.
I don't tell you any thing about Prince Charles, for you must
hear all his history as soon as we do: at least much sooner
than it can come to the very north, and be despatched back to
Italy. There is nothing from Flanders: we advance and they
retire-just as two months ago we retired and they advanced:
but it is good to be leading up this part of the tune. Lord
Stair is going into Scotland: the King is grown wonderfully
fond of him, since he has taken the resolution of that
journey. He said the other day, "I wish my Lord Stair was in
Flanders! General Wade is a very able officer, but he is not
alert." I, in my private litany, am beseeching the Lord, that
he may contract none of my Lord Stair's alertness.
When I first wrote you word of la Ch`etardie's disgrace, I did
not believe it; but you see it is now public. What I like is,
her Russian Majesty's making her amour keep exact pace with
her public indignation. She sent to demand her picture and
other presents. "Other presents," to be sure, were
billet-doux, bracelets woven of her own bristles-for I look
upon the hair of a Muscovite Majesty in the light of the
chairs which Gulliver made out of the combings of the Empress
of Brobdignag's tresses: the stumps he made into very good
large-tooth combs. You know the present is a very Amazon. she
has grappled with all her own grenadiers. I should like to
see their loves woven into a French opera: La Ch`etardie's
character is quite adapted to the civil discord of their
stage: and then a northern heroine to reproach him in their
outrageous quavers, would make a most delightful crash of
sentiment, impertinence, gallantry, contempt, and screaming.
The first opera that I saw at Paris, I could not believe was
in earnest, but thought they had carried me to the
op`era-comique. The three acts of the piece(961) were three
several interludes, of the Loves of Antony and Cleopatra, of
Alcibiades and the Queen of Sparta, and of Tibuilus with a
niece of Macenas; besides something of Circe, who was screamed
by a Mademoiselle Hermans, seven feet high. She was in
black, with a nosegay of black (for on the French stage they
pique themselves on propriety,) and without powder: whenever
you are a widow, are in distress, or are a witch, you are to
leave off powder.
I have no news for you, and am going to have less, for I a)n
going into Norfolk. I have stayed till I have not one
acquaintance left: the next billow washes me last off the
plank. I have not cared to stir, for fear of news from
Flanders; but I have convinced myself that there will be
none. Our army is much superior to the Count de Saxe;
besides, they have ten large towns to garrison, which will
reduce their army to nothing; or they must leave us the towns
to walk into coolly.
I have received yours of July 21. Did neither I nor your
brother tell you, that we had received the Neapolitan
snuff-box?(962) it is above a month ago: how could I be so
forgetful? but I have never heard one word of the cases, nor
of Lord Conway's guns, nor Lord Hartington's melon-seeds, all
which you mention to have sent. Lestock has long been
arrived, so to be sure the cases never came with him: I hope
Matthews will discover them. Pray thank Dr. Cocchi very
particularly for his book.
I am very sorry too for your father's removal; it was not done
in the most obliging manner by Mr. Winnington; there was
something exactly like a breach of promise in it to my father,
which was tried to be softened by a civil alternative, that
was no alternative at all. He was forced to it by my Lady
Townshend, who has an implacable aversion to all my father's
people; and not having less to Mr. Pelham's, she has been as
brusque with Winnington about them. He has no principles
himself, and those no principles of his are governed
absolutely by hers, which are no-issimes.
I don't know any of your English. I should delight in your
Vauxhall-ets: what a figure my Grifona must make in such a
romantic scene! I have lately been reading the poems of the
Earl of Surrey,(963) in Henry the Eighth's time; he was in
love with the fair Geraldine of Florence; I have a mind to
write under the Grifona's picture these two lines from one of
"From Tuscane came my lady's worthy race,
Fair Florence was some time her auncient seat."
And then these:
"Her beauty of kinde, her vertue from above;
Happy is he that can obtaine her love!"
I don't know what of kinde means, but to be sure it was
something prodigiously expressive and gallant in those days,
by its being unintelligible now. Adieu! Do the Chutes
(961) I think it was the ballet de la paix.
(962) It was for a present to Mr. Stone, the Duke of
(963) Henry Howard, son of the Duke of Norfolk. Under a
charge of high-treason, of which he was manifestly innocent,
this noble soldier and accomplished poet was found guilty, and
in 1547, in his thirty-first year, was beheaded on Tower Hill.
History is silent as to the name of fair Geraldine.-E.
385 Letter 146
To Sir Horace Mann.
London, Aug. 16, 1744.
I am writing to you two or three days beforehand, by way of
settling my affairs-not that I am going to be married or to
die; but something as bad as either if it were to last as
long. You will guess that it can only be going to Houghton;
but I make as much an affair of that, as other people would of
going to Jamaica. Indeed I don't lay in store of cake and
bandboxes, and citron-water, and cards, and cold meat, as
country-women do after the session. My packing-up and
travelling concerns lie in very small compass; nothing but
myself and Patapan, my footman, a cloak-bag, and a couple of
books. My old Tom is even reduced upon the article of my
journey; he is at the Bath, patching together some very bad
remains of a worn-out constitution. I always travel without
company; for then I take my own hours and my own humours,
which I don't think the most tractable to shut up in a coach
with any body else. You know, St. Evremont's rule for
conquering the passions, was to indulge them mine for keeping
my temper in order, is never to leave it too long with another
person. I have found out that it will have its way, but I
make it take its way by itself. It is such sort of reflection
as this, that makes me hate the country: it is impossible in
one house with one set of company, to be always enough upon
one's guard to make one's self agreeable, which one ought to
do, as one always expects it from others. If I had a house of
my own in the country, and could live there now and then
alone, or frequently changing my company, I am persuaded I
should like it; at least, I fancy I should; for when one
begins to reflect why one don't like the country, I believe
one grows near liking to reflect in it. I feel very often
that I grow to correct twenty things in myself, as thinking
them ridiculous at my age; and then with my spirit of whim and
folly, I make myself believe that this is all prudence, and
that I wish I were young enough to be as thoughtless and
extravagant as I used to be. But if I know any thing of the
matter, this is all flattering myself. I grow older, and love
my follies less-if I did not, alas! poor prudence and
I think I have pretty well exhausted the chapter of myself. I
will now go talk to YOU Of another fellow, who makes me look
upon myself as a very perfect character; for as I have little
merit naturally, and only pound a stray virtue now @ind then
by chance, the other gentleman seems to have no vice, rather
no villainy, but what he nurses in himself and metliodizes
with as much pains as a stoic would patience. Indeed his
pains are not thrown away. This painstaking person's name is
Frederic, King of Prussia. Pray remember for the future never
to speak of him and H. W. without giving the latter the
preference. Last week we were all alarm! He was before
Prague with fifty thousand men, and not a man in Bohemia to
ask him, "What dost thou?" This week we have raised a hundred
thousand Hungarians, besides vast militias and loyal
nobilities. The King of Poland is to attack him on his march,
and the Russians to fall on Prussia.(964) In the mean time,
his letter or address to the people of England(965) has been
published here: it is a poor performance! His Voltaires and
his litterati should correct his works before they are
printed. A careless song, with a little nonsense in it now
and then, does not misbecome a monarch; but to pen manifestoes
worse than the lowest commis that is kept jointly by two or
three margraves, is insufferable!
We are very strong in Flanders, but still expect to do nothing
this campaign. The French are so entrenched, that it is
impossible to attack them. There is talk of besieging
Maubeuge; I don't know how certainly.
Lord Middlesex's match is determined, and the writings signed.
She proves an immense fortune; they pretend a hundred and
thirty thousand pounds-what a fund for making operas!
My Lady Carteret is going to Tunbridge--there is a hurry for a
son: his only one is gone mad: about a fortnight ago he was at
the Duke of Bedford's, and as much in his few senses as ever.
At five o'clock in the morning he waked the duke and duchess
all bloody, and with the lappet of his coat held up full of
ears: he had been in the stable and cropped all the horses! He
is shut up.(966) My lady is in the honeymoon of her grandeur:
she lives in public places, whither she is escorted by the old
beaux of her husband's court; fair white-wigged old gallants,
the Duke of Bolton,(967) Lord Tweedale, Lord Bathurst, and
Charles Fielding;(968) and she all over knots, and small
hoods, and ribands. Her brother told me the other night,
"Indeed I think my thister doesth countenanth Ranelagh too
mutch." They call Lord Pomfret, King Stanislaus, the queen's
I heard an admirable dialogue, which has been written at the
army on the battle of Dettingen, but one can't get a copy; I
must tell you two or three strokes in it that I have heard.
Pierot asks Harlequin, "Que donne-t'on aux g`en`eraux qui ne
se sont pas trouv`es `a la bataille!" Harl. "On leur donne le
cordon rouge." Pier. "Et que donne-t'on au g`en`eral en
Chef(969 qui a gagn`e la victoire!" Harl. "Son cong`e."
Pier. "Qui a soin des bless`es?" Harl. "L'ennemi." Adieu!
(964) This alludes to the King of Prussia's retreat from
Prague, on the approach of the Austrian army commanded by
Prince Charles Lorraine.-D.
(965) In speaking of this address of the King of Prussia, Lady
Hervey, in a letter of the 17th, says, "I think it very well
and very artfully drawn for his purpose, and very
impertinently embarrassing to our King. He is certainly a
very artful prince, and I cannot but think his projects and
his ambition still more extensive, than people at present
(66) On the death of his father this son succeeded to the
earldom in 1763. He died in 1776, when the title became
(967) Charles Poulett, third Duke of Bolton.
(968) The Hon, Charles Fielding, third son of William, third
Earl of Denbigh; a lieutenant-colonel in the guards, and
Gentleman-usher to Queen Caroline. He died in 1765.-E.
(969) Lord Stair.-D.
387 Letter 147
To Sir Horace Mann.
Houghton, Sept. 1, 1744.
I wish you joy of your victory at Velletri!(970) I call it
yours, for you are the great spring of all that war. I intend
to publish your life, with an Appendix, that shall contain all
the letters to you from princes, cardinals, and great men of
the time. In speaking of Prince Lobkowitz's attempt to seize
the King of Naples at Velletri, I shall say: "for the share
our hero had in this great action, vide the Appendix, Card.
Albani's letter, p. 14." You shall no longer be the dear
Miny, but Manone, the Great Man; you shall figure with the
Great Pan, and the Great Patapan. I wish you and your laurels
and your operations were on the Rhine, in Piedmont, or in
Bohemia; and then Prince Charles would not have repassed the
first, nor the Prince of Conti advanced within three days of
Turin, and the King of Prussia would already have been
terrified from entering the last-all this lumping bad news
came to counterbalance your Neapolitan triumphs. Here is all
the war to begin again! and perhaps next winter a second
edition of Dunkirk. We could not even have the King of France
die, though he was so near it. He was in a woful fright, and
promised the Bishop of Soissons, that if he lived, he would
have done with his women.(971) A man with all these crowns on
his head, and attaching and disturbing all those on the heads
of other princes, who is the soul of all the havoc and ruin
that has been and is to be spread through Europe in this war,
haggling thus for his bloody life, and cheapening it at the
price of a mistress or two! and this was the fellow that they
fetched to the army to drive the brave Prince Charles beyond
the Rhine again. It is just Such another paltry mortal(972)
that has fetched him back into Bohemia-I forget which of his
battles(973) it was, that when his army had got the victory,
they could not find the King: he had run away for a whole day
without looking behind him.
I thank you for the particulars of the action, and the list of
the prisoners: among them is one Don Theodore Diamato Amor, a
cavalier of so romantic a name, that my sister and Miss Leneve
quite interest themselves in his captivity; and make their
addresses to you, who, they hear, have such power with Prince
Lobkowitz, to obtain his liberty. If he has Spanish gallantry
in any proportion to his name, he will immediately come to
England, and vow himself their knight.
Those verses I sent you on Mr. Pope, I assure you, were not
mine; I transcribed them from the newspapers; from whence I
must send you a very good epigram on Bishop Berkeley's
"Who dare deride what pious Cloyne has done?
The Church shall rise and vindicate her son;
She tells us, all her Bishops shepherds are-
And shepherds heal their rotten sheep with tar."
I am not at all surprised at my Lady Walpole's ill-humour to
you about the messenger. If the resentments of women did not
draw them into little dirty spite, their hatred would be very
dangerous; but they vent the leisure they have to do mischief
in a thousand meannesses, which only serve to expose
Adieu! I know nothing here but public politics, of which I
have already talked to you, and which you hear as soon as I
Thank dear Mr. Chute for his letter; I will answer it very
soon; but in the country I am forced to let my pen lie fallow
between letter and letter.
(970) The Austrians had formed a scheme to surprise the
Neapolitan King and general at Velletri, and their first
column penetrated into the place, but reinforcements coming
up, they were repulsed with considerable slaughter.-E.
(971) On the 8th of August, Louis the Fifteenth was seized at
Metz, on his march to Alsace, with a malignant putrid fever,
which increased so rapidly, that, in a few days, his life was
despaired of. In his illness, he dismissed his reigning
mistress, Madame de Chateauroux.-E.
(972) The King of Prussia.
(973) The battle of Molwitz.
388 Letter 148
To The Hon. H. S. Conway.
Houghton, Oct. 6, 1744.
My dearest Harry,
My lord bids me tell you how much he is obliged to you for
your letter, and hopes you will accept my answer for his.
I'll tell you what, we shall both be obliged to you if you
will inclose a magnifying-glass in your next letters; for your
two last were in so diminutive a character, that we were
forced to employ all Mrs. Leneve's spectacles, besides an
ancient family reading-glass, with which my grandfather used
to begin the psalm, to discover what you said to us. Besides
this, I have a piece of news for you: Sir Robert Walpole, when
he was made Earl of Orford, left the ministry, and with it the
palace in Downing-street; as numbers of people found out three
years ago, who, not having your integrity, were quick in
perceiving the change of his situation. Your letter was full
as honest as you; for, though directed to Downing-street, it
would not, as other letters would have done, address itself to
the present possessor. Do but think if it had! The smallness
of the hand would have immediately struck my Lord Sandys with
the idea of a plot; for what he could not read' at first
sight, he would certainly have concluded must be cipher.
I march next week towards London, and have already begun to
send my heavy artillery before me, consisting of half-a-dozen
books and part of my linen: my light-horse, commanded by
Patapan, follows this day se'nnight. A detachment of hussars
surprised an old bitch fox yesterday morning, who had lost a
leg in a former engagement; and then, having received advice
of another litter being advanced as far as Darsingham, Lord
Walpole commanded Captain Riley's horse, with a strong party
of foxhounds, to overtake them; but on the approach of our
troops the enemy stole off, and are now encamped at Sechford
common, whither we every hour expect orders to pursue them.
My dear Harry, this is all I have to tell you, and, to my
great joy, which you must forgive me, is full as memorable as
any part of the Flanders campaign. I do not desire to have
you engaged in the least more glory than you have been. I
should not love the remainder of you the least better for your
having lost an arm or a leg, and have as full persuasion of
your courage as if you had contributed to the slicing off
twenty pair from French officers. Thank God. you have sense
enough to content yourself without being a hero! though I
don't quite forget your expedition a hussar-hunting the
beginning of this campaign. Pray, no more of those jaunts. I
don't know any body you would oblige with a present of such
game - for my part, a fragment of the oldest hussar on earth
should never have a place in my museum-they are not antique
enough; and for a live one, I must tell you, I like my raccoon
Adieu! my dear Harry. I long to see you, You will easily
believe the thought I have of being particularly well with you
is a vast addition to my impatience, though you know it is
nothing new to me to be overjoyed at your return. Yours ever.
390 Letter 149
To Sir Horace Mann.
Houghton, Oct. 6, 1744.
Does decency insist upon one's writing within certain periods,
when one has nothing to say? because, if she does, she is the
most formal, ceremonious personage I know. I shall not enter
into a dispute with her, as my Lady Hervey did with the
goddess of Indolence, or with the goddess of letter-writing, I
forget which, in a long letter that she sent to the Duke of
Bourbon; because I had rather write than have a dispute about
it. Besides, I am not at all used to converse with
hierglyphic ladies. But, I do assure you, it is merely to
avoid scolding that I set about this letter: I don't mean your
scolding, for you are all goodness to me; but my own scolding
of myself-a correction I stand in great awe of, and which I am
sure never to escape as often as I am to blame. One can scold
other people again, or smile and jog one's foot, and affect
not to mind it; but those airs won't do with oneself; One
always comes by the worst in a dispute with one's own
Admiral Matthews sent me down hither your great packet: I am
charmed with your prudence, and with the good sense of your
orders for the Neapolitan expedition; I won't say your good
nature, which is excessive for I think your tenderness of the
little Queen(974) a little outree, especially as their
apprehensions might have added great weight to your menaces.
I would threaten like a corsair, though I would conquer with
all the good-breeding of a Scipio. I most devoutly wish you
success; you are sure of having me most happy with any honour
you acquire. You have quite soared above all fear of
Goldsworthy, and, I think, must appear of consequence to any
ministry. I am much obliged to you for the medal, and like
the design: I shall preserve it as part of your works.
I can't forgive what you say to me about the coffee-pot: one
would really think that you looked upon me as an old woman
that had left a legacy to be kept for her sake, and a curse to
attend the parting with it. My dear child, is it treating me
justly to enter into the detail of your reasons? was it even
necessary to say, ,I have changed your coffee-pot for some
I have nothing to tell you but that I go to town next week,
and will then write you all I hear. Adieu!
(974) The Queen of Naples,-Maria of Saxony, wife of Charles
the Third, King of Naples, and subsequently, on the death of
his elder brother, King of Spain. This alludes to the
Austrian campaign in the Neapolitan territories, the attack on
the town of Velletri, etc.-E.
391 Letter 150
To Sir Horace Mann.
Arlington Street, Oct 19, 1744.
I have received two or three letters from you since I wrote to
you last, and all contribute to give me fears for your
situation at Florence. How absurdly all the Queen's ban
haughtinesses are dictated to her by her ministers, or by her
own Austriacity! She lost all Silesia because she would not
lose a small piece of it, and she is going to lose Tuscany for
want of a neutrality, because she would not accept one for
Naples, even after all prospect of conquering it was vanished.
Every thing goes ill! the King of Sardinia beaten; and to-day
we hear of Coni lost! You will see in the papers too, that the
Victory, our finest ship, is lost, with Sir John Balchen and
nine hundred men.(975) The expense alone of the ship is
computed at above two hundred thousand pounds. We have
nothing good but a flying report of a victory of Prince
Charles over the Prussian, who, it 'Is said, has lost ten
thousand men, and both his legs by a cannon-ball. I have no
notion of his losing them, but by breaking them in over-hurry
to run away. However, it comes from a Jew, who had the first
news of the passage of the Rhine.(976) But, my dear child,
how will this comfort me, if you are not to remain in peace at
Florence! I tremble as I write!
Yesterday morning carried off those two old beldamss, Sarah of
Marlborough and the (.countess Granville;(977) so now
Uguccioni's(978) epithalamium must be new-tricked out in
titles, for my Lady Carteret is Countess! Poor Bistino! I wish
my Lady Pomfret may leave off her translation of Froissart to
English the eight hundred and forty heroics! When I know the
particulars of old Marlborough's will, you shall.
My Lord Walpole has promised me a letter for young Gardiner;
who, by the way, has pushed his fortune en vrai b`atard,
without being so, for it never was pretended that he was my
brother's - he protests he is not; but the youth has profited
of his mother's gallantries.
I have not seen Admiral Matthews yet, but I take him to be
very mad. He walks in the Park with a cockade of three
/colours: the Duke desired a gentleman to ask him the meaning,
and all the answer he would give was, "The Treaty of Worms!
the treaty of Worms!" I design to see him, thank him for my
packet, and inquire after the cases.
it is a most terrible loss for his parents, Lord
Beauchamp's(979) death: if they were out of the question, one
could not be sorry for such a mortification to the pride of
old Somerset. He has written the most shocking letter
imaginable to poor Lord Hertford, telling him that it is a
judgment upon him for all his undutifulness, and that he must
always look upon himself. as the cause of' his son's death.
Lord Hertford is as good a man as lives, and has always been
most unreasonably ill-used by that old tyrant. The title of'
Somerset will revert to Sir Edward Seymour, whose line has
been most unjustly deprived of it from the first creation.
The Protector when only Earl of Hertford, married a great
heiress, and had a Lord Beauchamp, who was about twenty when
his mother died. His father then married an Anne Stanhope,
with whom he was In love, and not only procured an act of
parliament to deprive Lord Beauchamp of' his honours and to
settle the title of Somerset, which he was going to have, on
the children of' this second match, but took from him even his
mother's fortune. From him descended Sir Edward Seymour, the
Speaker, who, on King William's landing, when he said to him,
"Sir Edward, I think you are of the Duke of Somerset's
family!" replied, "No, Sir: he is of mine."
Lord Lincoln was married last Tuesday, and Lord Middlesex will
be very soon. Have you heard the gentle manner of the French
King's dismissing Madame de Chateauroux? In the very circle,
the Bishop of Soissons(980) told her, that, as the scandal the
King had given with her was public, his Majesty thought his
repentance ought to be so too, and that he therefore forbade
her the court; and then turning to the monarch, asked him if
that was not his pleasure, who replied, Yes. They have taken
away her pension too, and turned out even laundresses that she
had recommended for the future Dauphiness. A-propos to the
Chateauroux: there is a Hanoverian come over, who was so
ingenuous as to tell Master Louis,(981) how like he is to M.
Walmoden. You conceive that "nous autres souvereins nous
n'aimons pas qu'on se m`eprenne aux gens:" we don't love that
our Fitzroys should be scandalized with any mortal
I must tell you a good piece of discretion of a Scotch
soldier, whom Mr. Selwyn met on Bexley Heath walking back to
the army. He had met with a single glove at Higham, which had
been left there last year in an inn by an officer now in
Flanders: this the fellow was carrying in hopes of a little
money; but, for fear he should lose the glove, wore it all the
Thank you for General Braitwitz's deux potences.(982) I hope
that one of them, at least will rid us of the Prussian.
Adieu! my dear child: all my wishes are employed about
(975) The Victory, of a hundred and ten brass guns, was lost,
between the 4th and 5th of October, near Alderney.-E.
(976) This report proved to be without foundation.
(977) Mother of John, Lord Carteret, who succeeded her in the
(978) A Florentine, who had employed an abbe of his
acquaintance to write an epithalamium on Lord Carteret's
marriage, consisting of eight hundred and forty Latin lines.
Sir H. Mann had given an account of the composition of this
piece of literary flattery in one of his letters to
(979) Only son of Algernon, Earl of Hertford, afterwards the
last Duke of Somerset of that branch. [lord Beauchamp was
seized with the smallpox at Bologna, and, after an illness of
four days, died on the 11th of September; on which day he had
completed his nineteenth year.]
(980) Son of Fitzjames, Duke of Berwick. This Bishop of
Soissons, on the King being given over at Metz, prevailed on
him to part with his mistress, the Duchess de Chateauroux; but
the King soon recalled her, and confined the bishop to his
(981) Son of King George II. by Madame Walmoden, created
Countess of Yarmouth.
(982) General Braitwitz, commander of the Queen of Hungary's
troops in Tuscany, speaking of the two powers, his mistress
and the King of Sardinia, instead of' saying "ces deux
pouvoirs," said "ces deux potences."
393 Letter 151
To Sir Horace Mann.
Arlington Street, Nov. 9, 1744.
I find I must not wait any longer for news, if I intend to
keep up our correspondence. Nothing happens; nothing has
since I wrote last, but Lord Middlesex's wedding;(983) which
was over above a week before it was known. I believe the
bride told it then; for he and all his family are so silent,
that they Would never have mentioned it: she might have popped
out a child, before a single Sackville would have been at the
expense of a syllable to justify her.
Our old acquaintance, the Pomfrets, are not so reserved about
their great matrimony: the new Lady Granville was at home the
other night for the first time of her being mistress of the
house. I was invited, for I am in much favour with them all,
but found myself extremely d`eplac`e: there was nothing but
the Winchilseas and Baths, and the Gleanings of a party
stuffed out into a faction, some foreign ministers, and the
whole blood of Fermor. My Lady Pomfret asked me if I
corresponded still with the Grifona: "No," I said, "since I
had been threatened with a regale of hams and Florence wine, I
had dropped it." My Lady Granville said, "You was afraid of
being thought interested."--"Yes," said the queen-mother, with
all the importance with which she used to blunder out pieces
of heathen mythology, "I think it was very ministerial."
Don't you think that the Minister word came in as awkwardly as
I did into their room? The Minister is most gracious to me;
he has returned my visit, which, you know, IS never practised
by that rank: I put it all down to my father's account, who is
not likely to keep up the civility.
You will see the particulars of old Marlborough's will in the
Evening Posts of this week: it is as extravagant as one should
have expected; but I delight in her begging that no part of
the Duke of Marlborough's life may be written in verse by
Glover and Mallet, to whom she gives five hundred pounds
apiece for writing it in prose.(984) There is a great deal of
humour in the thought: to be sure the spirit of the dowager
Leonidas(985) inspired her with it.
All public affairs in agitation at present go well for us;
Prince Charles in Bohemia, the raising of the siege of Coni,
and probably of that of Fribourg, are very good circumstances.
I shall be very tranquil this winter, if Tuscany does not come
into play, or another scene of invasion. In a fortnight meets
the Parliament; nobody guesses what the turn of the Opposition
will be. Adieu! My love to the Chutes. I hope you now and
then make my other compliments: I never forget the Princess,
nor (ware hams!) the Grifona.
(983) The Earl of Middlesex married Grace, daughter and sole
heiress of Lord Shannon. On the death of his father in 1765,
he succeeded, as second Duke of Dorset, and died without
issue, in 1769.-E.
(984) Glover, though in embarrassed circumstances at the time,
renounced the legacy; Mallet accepted it, but never fulfilled
(985) Glover wrote a dull heroic poem on the action of
Leonidas at Thermopylae. ["Though far indeed from being a
vivid or arresting picture of antiquity, Leonidas," says Mr.
Campbell, "the local descriptions of Leonidas, its pure
sentiments, and the classical images which it recalls, render
it interesting, as the monument of an accomplished and amiable
394 Letter 152
To Sir Horace Mann.
Arlington Street, Nov. 26, 1744.
I have not prepared for you a great event, because it was
so unlikely to happen, that I was afraid of being the author
of a mere political report; but, to keep you no longer in
suspense, Lord Granville has resigned: that is the term
"l'honn`ete fa`con de parler;" but, in few words, the truth of
the history is, that the Duke of Newcastle (by the way, mind
that the words I am going to use are not mine, but his
Majesty's,) "being grown as jealous of Lord Granville(986) as
he had been of Lord Orford, and wanting to be first minister
himself, which, a puppy! how should he be?" (autre phrase
royale) and his brother being as susceptible of the noble
passion of jealousy as he is, have long been conspiring to
overturn the great lord. Resolution and capacity were all
they wanted to bring it about; for the imperiousness and
universal contempt which their rival had for them, and for the
rest of the ministry, and for the rest of the nation, had made
almost all men his engines; and, indeed, he took no pains to
make friends: his maxim was, "Give any man the Crown on his
side, and he can defy every thing." Winnington asked him, if
that were true, how he came to be minister? About a fortnight
ago, the whole cabinet-council, except Lord Bath, Lord
Winchilsea, Lord Tweedale, the Duke of Bolton, and my good
brother-in-law,(987) (the two last severally bribed with the
promise of Ireland,) did venture to let the King know, that he
must part with them or with Lord Granville. The monarch does
not love to be forced, and his son is full as angry. Both
tried to avoid the rupture. My father was sent for, but
excused himself from coming till last Thursday, and even then
would not ,go to the King; and at last gave his opinion very
unwillingly. But on Saturday it was finally determined: Lord
Granville resigned the seals, which are given back to my Lord
President Harrington. Lord Winchilsea quits too; but for all
the rest of that connexion, they have agreed not to quit, but
to be forced out: so Mr. Pelham must have a new struggle to
remove every one. He can't let them stay in; because, to
secure his power, he must bring in Lord Chesterfield, Pitt,
the chief patriots, and perhaps some Tories. The King has
declared that my Lord Granville has his opinion and
affection-the Prince warmly and openly espouses him. Judge
how agreeably the two brothers will enjoy their ministry!
To-morrow the Parliament meets: all in suspense! every body
will be staring at each other! I believe the war will still go
on, but a little more Anglicized. For my part, I behold all
with great tranquillity; I cannot --be sorry for Lord
Granville,-for he certainly sacrificed everything to please
the King; I cannot be glad for the Pelhams, for they sacrifice
every thing to their own jealousy and ambition.
Who are mortified, are the fair Sophia and Queen Stanislaus.
However, the daughter carries it off heroically: the very
night of her fall she went to the Oratorio. I talked to her
much, and recollected all that had been said to me upon the
like occasion three years ago: I succeeded, and am invited to
her assembly next Tuesday. Tell Uguccioni that she still
keeps conversazioni, or he will hang himself. She had no
court, but an ugly sister and the fair old-fashioned Duke of
Bolton. It put me in mind of a scene in Harry VIII., where
Queen Catherine appears after her divorce, with Patience her
waiting-maid, and Griffith her gentleman-usher.
My dear child, voil`a le monde! are you as great a philosopher
about it as I am? You cannot imagine how I entertain myself,
especially as all the ignorant flock hither, and conclude that
my lord must be minister again. Yesterday, three bishops came
to do him homage; and who should be one of them but Dr.
Thomas.(988) the only man mitred by Lord Granville! As I was
not at all mortified with our fall, I am only diverted with
this imaginary restoration. They little think how incapable
my lord is of business again. He has this whole summer been
troubled with bloody water upon the least motion; and to-day
Ranby assured me, that he has a stone in his bladder, which he
himself believed before: so now he must never use the least
exercise, never go into a chariot again; and if ever to
Houghton, in a litter. Though this account will grieve you, I
tell it you, that you may know what to expect; yet it is
common for people to live many years in his situation.
if you are not as detached from every thing as I am, you will
wonder at my tranquillity, to be able to write such variety in
the midst of hurricanes. It costs me nothing; so I shall
write on, and tell you an adventure of my own. The town has
been trying all this winter to beat pantomimes off the stage,
very boisterously; for it is the way here to make even an
affair of taste and sense a matter of riot and arms.
Fleetwood, the master of Drury-Lane, has omitted nothing to
support them, as they supported his house. About ten days
ago, he let into the pit great numbers of Bear-garden bruisers
(that is the term), to knock down every body that hissed. The
pit rallied their forces, and drove them out: I was sitting
very quietly in the side-boxes, contemplating all this. On a
sudden the curtain flew up, and discovered the whole stage
filled with blackguards, armed with bludgeons and clubs, to
menace the audience. This raised the greatest uproar; and
among the rest, who flew 'into a passion, but your friend the
philosopher. In short, one of the actors, advancing to the
front of the stage to make an apology for the manager, he had
scarce begun to say, "Mr. Fleetwood--" when your friend, with
a most audible voice and dignity of anger, called out, "He is
an impudent rascal!" The whole pit huzzaed, and repeated the
words. Only think of my being a popular orator! But what was
still better, while my shadow of a person was dilating to the
consistence of a hero, One of the chief ringleaders of the
riot, coming under the box where I sat, and pulling off his
hat, said, "Mr. Walpole, what would you please to have us do
next?" It is impossible to describe to you the confusion into
which this apostrophe threw me. I sank down into the box, and
have never since ventured to set my foot into the playhouse.
The next night, the uproar was repeated with greater violence,
and nothing was heard but voices calling out, "Where's Mr. W.?
where's Mr. W.?" In short, the whole town has been
entertained with my prowess, and Mr. Conway has given me the
name of Wat Tyler; which, I believe, would have stuck by me,
if this new episode of Lord Granville had not luckily
We every minute expect news of the Mediterranean engagement
for, besides your account, Birtles has written the same from
Genoa. We expect good news, too, from Prince Charles, who is
driving the King of Prussia before him. In the mean time, his
wife the Archduchess is dead, which may be a signal loss to
I forgot to tell you that, on Friday, Lord Charles Hay,(989)
who has more of the parts of an Irishman than of a Scot, told
my Lady Granville at the drawing-room, on her seeing so full a
court, "that people were come out of curiosity." The
Speaker,(990) is the happiest of any man in these bustles: he
says, "this Parliament has torn two favourite ministers from
the throne." His conclusion is, that the power of the
Parliament will in the end be so great, that nobody can be
minister but their own speaker.
Winnington says my Lord Chesterfield and Pitt will have places
before old Marlborough's legacy to them for being patriots is
paid. My compliments to the family of Suares on the
Vittorina's marriage. Adieu!
(986) By the death of his mother, Lord Carteret had become
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