The Letters of Horace Walpole, Volume 1
Part 13 out of 18
(987) George, Earl Cholmondeley.
(988) Bishop of Lincoln [successively translated to Salisbury
and Winchester. He died in 1781.]
(989) Brother of Lord Tweedale.
(990) Arthur Onslow.
397 Letter 153
To sir Horace Mann.
Arlington Street, Dec. '24, 1744.
You will wonder what has become of me: nothing has. I know it
is above three weeks since I wrote to you; but I will tell you
the reason. I have kept a parliamentary silence, which I must
'explain to you. Ever since Lord Granville went out, all has
been in suspense. The leaders of the Opposition immediately
imposed silence upon their party; every thing passed without
the least debate--in short, all were making their bargains.
One has heard of the corruption of courtiers; but believe me,
the impudent prostitution of patriots, going to market with
their honesty, beats it to nothing. Do but think of two
hundred men of the most consummate virtue, setting themselves
to sale for three weeks! I have been reprimanded by the wise
for saying that they all stood like servants at a country
statute fair to be hired. All this while nothing was certain:
one day the coalition was settled; the next, the treaty broke
off-I hated to write to you what I might contradict next post.
Besides, in my last letter I remember telling you that the
Archduchess was dead; she did not die till a fortnight
The result of the whole is this: the King, instigated by Lord
Granville, has used all his ministry as ill as possible, and
has with the greatest difficulty been brought to consent to
the necessary changes. Mr. Pelham has had as much difficulty
to regulate the disposition of places. Numbers of lists of
the hungry have been given in by their centurions of those,
several Tories have refused to accept the proffered posts
some, from an impossibility of being rechosen for their
Jacobite counties. But upon the whole, it appears that their
leaders have had very little influence with them; for not
above four or five are come into place. The rest will stick
to Opposition. Here is a list of the changes, as made last
Duke of Devonshire, Lord Steward, in the room of the Duke of
Duke of Dorset, Lord President, in Lord Harrington's room.
Lord Chesterfield,+ Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, in the Duke of
Duke of Bedford,+ Lord Sandwich,+ George Grenville,+ Lord Vere
Beauclerc,(991) and Admiral Anson, Lords of the Admiralty, in
the room of Lord Winchilsea,* Dr. Lee,* Cockburn,* Sir Charles
Hardy,* and Philipson.*
Mr. Arundel and George Lyttelton,f Lords of the Treasury, in
the room of Compton* and Gybbon.*
Lord Gowerf again Privy Seal, in Lord Cholmondeley's* room,
who is made Vice-Treasurer of Ireland in Harry Vane's.*
Mr. Doddington,+ Treasurer of the Navy, in Sir John
Mr. Waller,+ Cofferer, in Lord Sandys'.*
Lord Hobart, Captain of the Pensioners, in Lord Bathurst's.*
Sir John Cotton, +(992) Treasurer of the Chambers, in Lord
Mr. Keene, Paymaster of the Pensions, in Mr. Hooper's.*
Sir John Philippsf and John Pitt+ Commissioners of Trade, in
Mr. Keene's and Sir Charles Gilmour's.*
William Chetwynd,+ Master of the Mint, in Mr. Arundel's.
Lord Halifax,+ Master of the Buck-hounds, in Mr. Jennison's,
who has a pension.
All those with a cross are from the Opposition; those with a
star, the turned-out, and are of the Granville and Bath
squadron, except Lord Cholmondeley, (who, too, had connected
with the former,) and Mr. Philipson. The King parted with
great regret with Lord Cholmondeley, and complains loudly of
the force put upon him. The Prince, who is full as warm as
his father for Lord Granville, has already turned out
Lyttelton, who was his secretary, and Lord Halifax; and has
named Mr. Drax and Lord Inchiquin(994) in their places. You
perceive the great Mr. William Pitt is not in the list, though
he comes thoroughly into the measures. To preserve his
character and authority in the Parliament, he was unwilling to
accept any thing yet: the ministry very rightly insisted that
he should; he asked for secretary at war, knowing it would be
refused-and it was.(995)
By this short sketch, and it is impossible to be more
explanatory, you will perceive that all is confusion: all
parties broken to Pieces, and the whole Opposition by tens and
by twenties selling themselves for profit-power they get none!
It is not easy to say where power resides at present: it is
plain that it resides not in the King; and yet he has enough
to hinder any body else from having it. His new governors
have no interest with him-scarce any converse with him.
The Pretender's son is owned in France as Prince of Wales; the
princes of the blood have been to visit him in form. The
Duchess of Chateauroux is poisoned there; so their monarch is
as ill-used as our most gracious King!(996) How go your
Tuscan affairs? I am always trembling for you, though I am
laughing at every thing else. My father is pretty well: he is
taking a preparation of Mr. Stephens's(997) medicine; but I
think all his physicians begin to agree that he has no large
Adieu! my dear child: I think the present comedy cannot be of
long duration. the Parliament is adjourned for the holidays;
I am impatient to see the first division.
(991) Lord Vere Beauclerc, third son of the first Duke of St.
Albans, afterwards created Lord Vere, of Hanworth. He entered
early into a maritime life, and distinguished himself in
several commands, He died in 1781.-E.
(992) The King was much displeased that an adherent of the
exiled family should be forced into the service of his own. in
consequence of this appointment a caricature was circulated,
representing the ministers thrusting Sir John, who was
extremely corpulent, down the King's throat.
(993) John, first Lord Hobart, so created in 1728, by the
interest of his sister, Lady Suffolk, the mistress of George
the Second. In 1746 he was created Earl of Buckinghamshire;
and died in 1756.-D.
(994) William O'Brien, fourth Earl of Inchiquin, in Ireland.
He died in 1777.-E.
(995) Pitt alone was placeless. He loftily declared, that he
would accept no office except that of secretary at war, and
the ministers were not yet able to dispense with Sir William
Yonge in that department. This resolution of Pitt, joined to
the King's pertinacity against him, excluded him, for the
present, from any share in power."-Lord Mahon, vol. iii. p.
(996) The Duchess died on the 8th of December. The Biog.
Univ. says, that the rumour of her having been poisoned was
altogether without foundation.-E.
(997) It was Dr. Jurin's preparation.
399 Letter 154
To Sir Horace Mann.
Arlington Street, Jan. 4, 1745.
When I receive your long letters I am ashamed: mine are notes
in comparison. How do you contrive to roll out your patience
into two sheets? You certainly don't love me better than I do
you; and yet if our loves were to b@ sold by the quire, you
would have by far the more magnificent stock to dispose of. I
can only say that age has already an effect on the vigour of
my pen; none on yours: it is not, I assure you, for you alone,
but my ink is at low water-mark for all my acquaintance. My
present shame arises from a letter of eight sides, of December
8th, which I received from you last post; but before I say a
word to that, I must tell you that I have at last received the
cases; three with gesse figures, and one with Lord Conway's
gun- barrels: I thought there were to be four, besides the
guns; but I quite forget, and did not even remember what they
were to contain. Am not I in your debt again? Tell me, for
you know how careless I am. Look over your list, and see
whether I have received all. There were four barrels, the
Ganymede, the Sleeping Cupid, the model of my statue, the
Musaeum Florentinum, and some seeds for your brother. But
alas! though I received them in gross, I did not at all in
detail; the model was broken into ten thousand bits, and the
Ganymede shorn in two: besides some of the fingers quite
reduced to powder. Rysbrach has undertaken to mend him. The
little Morpheus arrived quite whole, and is charmingly pretty;
I like it better in plaster than in the original black marble.
It is not being an upright senator to promise one's vote
beforehand, especially in a money matter; but I believe so
many excellent patriots have just done the same thing, that I
shall venture readily to engage my promise to you, to get you
any sum for the defence of Tuscany -why it is to defend you
and my own country! my own palace in via di santo
spirits,(998) my own Princess `epuis`ee, and all my family! I
shall quite make interest for you: nay, I would speak to our
new ally, and your old acquaintance, Lord Sandwich, to assist
in it; but I could have no hope of getting at his ear, for he
has put on such a first-rate tie-wig, on his admission to the
admiralty board, that nothing without the lungs of a boatswain
can ever think to penetrate the thickness of the curls. I
think, however, it does honour to the dignity of ministers:
when he was but a patriot, his wig was not of half its present
gravity. There are no more changes made: all is quiet yet;
but next Thursday the Parliament meets to decide the
complexion of the session. My Lord Chesterfield goes next
week to Holland, and then returns for Ireland.
The great present disturbance in politics is my Lady
Granville's assembly; which I do assure you distresses the
Pelhams infinitely more than a mysterious meeting of the
States would, and far more than the abrupt breaking up of the
Diet at Grodno. She had begun to keep Tuesdays before her
lord resigned, which now she continues with greater zeal. Her
house is very fine, she very handsome, her lord very agreeable
and extraordinary; and yet the Duke of Newcastle wonders that
people will go thither. He mentioned to my father my going
there, who laughed at him; Cato's a proper person to trust
with such a childish jealousy! Harry Fox says, "Let the Duke
of Newcastle open his own house, and see if all that come
thither are his friends." The fashion now is to send cards to
the women, and to declare that all men Are welcome without
being asked. This is a piece of ease that shocks the prudes
of the last age. You can't imagine how my Lady Granville
shines in doing favours; you know she is made for it. My lord
has new furnished his mother's apartment for her, and has
given her a magnificent set of dressing plate: he is very fond
of her, and she as fond of his being so.
You will have heard of Marshal Belleisle's being made a
prisoner at Hanover: the world will believe it was not by
accident. He is sent for over hither: the first thought was
to confine him to the Tower, but that is contrary to the
politesse of modern war: they talk of sending him to
Nottingham, where Tallard was. I am sure, if he is prisoner
at large anywhere, we could not have a worse inmate! so
ambitious and intriguing a man, who was author of this whole
war, will be no bad general to be ready to head the Jacobites
on any insurrection.(999)
I can say nothing more about young Gardiner, but that I don't
think my father at all inclined now to have any letter written
for him. Adieu!
(998) The street in Florence where Mr. Mann lived.
(999) Belleisle and his brother, who had been sent by the King
of France on a mission to the King of Prussia, were detained,
while changing horses, at Elbengerode, and from thence
conveyed to England; where, refusing to give their parole in
the mode it was required, they were confined in Windsor
400 Letter 155
To sir Horace Mann.
Arlington Street, Jan. 14, 1745.
I have given my uncle the letter from M. de Magnan; he had
just received another from him at Venice, to desire his
recommendation to you. His history is, first,-the Regent
picked him up, (I don't know from whence, but he is of the
Greek church,) to teach the present Duke of Orleans the Russ
tongue, when they had a scheme for marrying him into Muscovy.
At Paris, Lord Waldegrave(1000) met with him, and sent him
over hither, where they pensioned him and he was to be a spy,
but made nothing out; till the King was weary of giving him
money, and then they despatched him to Vienna, with a
recommendation to Count d'Uhlefeldt, who, I suppose, has
tacked him upon the Great Duke. My uncle says, he knows no
ill of him; that you may be civil to him, but not enter into
correspondence with him, you need not; he is of no use.
Apropos to you; I have been in a fright about you; we were
told that Prince Lobkowitz was landed at Harwich; I did not
like the name; and as he has been troublesome to you, I did
not know but he might fancy he had some complaints against
you. I wondered you had never mentioned his being set out;
but it is his son, a travelling boy of twenty; he is sent
under the care of an apothecary and surgeon.
The Parliament is met: one hears of the Tory Opposition
continuing, but nothing has appeared; all is quiet. Lord
Chesterfield is set out for the Hague - I don't know what ear
the States will lend to his embassy, when they hear with what
difficulty the King was brought to give him a parting
audience; and which, by a watch, did not last five-and-forty
seconds. The Granville faction are still the constant and
only countenanced people at court. Lord Winchilsea, one of
the disgraced, played at court On Twelfth-night, and won: the
King asked him the next morning, how much he had for his own
share?(1001) He replied, "Sir, about a quarter's salary." I
liked the spirit, and was talking to him Of it the next night
at Lord Granville's: "Why, yes," said he, "I think it showed
familiarity at least: tell it your father--I don't think he
will dislike it." My Lady Granville gives a ball this week,
but in a manner a private one, to the two families of Carteret
and Fermor and their intimacies: there is a fourth sister,
Lady Jullana,(1002) who is very handsome, but I think not so
well as Sophia: the latter thinks herself breeding.
I will tell you a very good thing: Lord Baltimore will not
come into the admiralty, because in the new commission they
give Lord Vere Beauclerc the precedence to him, and he has
dispersed printed papers with precedents in his favour. A
gentleman, I don't know who, the other night at Tom's
coffee-house, said, "It put him in mind of Ponkethman's
petition in the Spectator, where he complains, that formerly
he used to act second chair in Dioclesian, but now was reduced
to dance fifth flowerpot."
The Duke of Montagu has found out an old penny-history-book,
called the Old Woman's Will of Ratcliffe-Highway, which he has
bound up with his mother-in-law's, Old Marlborough,(1003)
only-tearing away the title-page of the latter.
My father has been extremely ill this week with his disorder--
I think the physicians are more and more persuaded that it is
the stone in his bladder. He is taking a preparation of Mrs.
Stevens's medicine, a receipt of one Dr. Jurin, which we began
to fear was too violent for him: I made his doctor angry with
me, by arguing on this medicine, which I never could
comprehend. it is of so great violence, that it Is to split a
stone when it arrives at it, and yet it is to do no damage to
all the tender intestines through which it must first
pass.(1004) I told him, I thought it was like an admiral
going on a secret expedition of war, with instructions, which
are not to be opened till he arrives in such a latitude.
George Townshend,(1005) my lord's eldest son, who is at the
Hague on his travels, has had an offer to raise a regiment for
their service, of which he is to be colonel, with power of
naming all his own officers. It was proposed, that it should
consist of Irish Roman Catholics, but the regency of Ireland
have represented against that, because they think they will
all desert to the French. He is now to try it of Scotch, which
will scarce succeed, unless he will let all the officers be of
the same nation. An affair of this kind first raised the late
Duke of Argyll; and was the cause of the first quarrel with
the Duke of Marlborough, who was against his coming into our
army in the same rank.
Sir Thomas Hanmer has at last published his Shakspeare: he has
made several alterations, but they will be the less talked of,
as he has not marked in the text, margin, or notes, where or
why he has made any change; but every body must be obliged to
collate it with other editions. One most curiously absurd
alteration I have been told. In Othello, it is said of
Cassio, "a Florentine, one almost damned in a fair wife." It
happens that there is no other mention in the play of Cassio's
wife. Sir Thomas has altered it-how do you think?-no, I
should be sorry if you could think how-"almost damned in a
fair phiz!"-what a tragic word! and what sense!
Adieu! I see advertised a translation of Dr. Cocchi's book on
living on vegetables:(1006) Does he know any thing of it? My
service to him and every body.
(1000) James, first Earl of Waldegrave, ambassador at Paris,
K. G. He died in 1741.-D.
(1001) Those who play at court on Twelfth-night, make a bank
with several people.
(1002) Lady Juliana Fermor, married in 1751 to Thomas Penn,
Esq. (son of William Penn, the great legislator of the
Quakers) one of the proprietors of Pennsylvania. He died in
1775, and Lady Juliana in 1781.-E.
(1003) The Duchess of Marlborough's will was published in a
thin octavo volume.-D.
(1004) Mrs. Stephens's remedy for the stone made for some
time, the greatest noise, and met both with medical
approbation and national reward. In 1742, Dr. James Parsons
published a pamphlet on the subject, which Dr. Mead describes
as @' a very useful book; in which both the mischiefs done by
the medicine, and the artifices employed to bring it into
vogue are set in a clear light."--E.
(1005) Afterwards first Marquis Townshend, Lord Lieutenant of
Ireland, Master General of the Ordnance. etc.
(1006) The Doctor's treatise "Di Vitto Pythagorico," appeared
this year in England, under the title of "The Pythagorean
Diet; or Vegetables only conducive to the Preservation of
Health and the Cure of Diseases."-E.
402 letter 156
To Sir Horace Mann.
Arlington Street, Feb. 1, 1745.
I am glad my letters, obscure as they of course must be, give
you any light into England; but don't mind them too much; they
may be partial; must be imperfect: don't negotiate upon their
authority, but have Capello's(1007) example before your eyes!
How I laugh when I see him important, and see my Lady
Pomfret's letters at the bottom of his instructions! how it
would make a philosopher smile at the vanity of politics! How
it diverts me, who can entertain myself at the expense of
philosophy, politics, or any thing else! Mr. Conway says I
laugh at all serious characters-so I do-and at myself too, who
am far from being of the number. Who would not laugh at a
world, where so ridiculous a creature as the Duke of Newcastle
can overturn ministries! Don't take me for a partisan of Lord
Granville's because I despise his rivals; I am not for
adopting his measures; they were wild and dangerous -. in his
single capacity, I think him a great genius(1008) and without
having recourse to the Countess's translatable periods, am
pleased with his company. His frankness charms one when it is
not necessary to depend upon it: and his contempt for fools is
very flattering to any one who happens to know the present
ministry. Their coalition goes on as One should expect; they
have the name of having effected it; and the Opposition is no
longer mentioned: yet there is not a half-witted prater in the
House but can divide with every new minister on his side,
except Lyttelton, whenever he pleases. They actually do every
day bring in popular bills, and on the first tinkling of the
brass, all the new bees swarm back to the Tory side of the
House. The other day, on the Flanders army, Mr. Pitt came
down to prevent this: he was very ill, but made a very strong
and much admired speech for coalition,(1009) which for that
day succeeded, and the army was voted with but one negative,.
But now the Emperor (1010) is dead, and every thing must wear
a new face. If it produces a peace, Mr. Pelham is a fortunate
man! He will do extremely well at the beginning of peace,
like the man in Madame de la Fayette's Memoirs, Qui exer`coit
extr`emement bien sa charge, quand il n'avoit rien `a faire."
However, do you keep well with them, and be sure don't write
me back any treason, in answer to all I write to you: you are
to please them; I think of them -is they are.
The new Elector(1011) seems to set out well for us, though
there are accounts of his having taken the style of Archduke,
as claiming the Austrian succession: if he has, it will be
like the children's game of beat knaves out of doors, where
you play the pack twenty times over; one gets pam, the other
gets pam, but there is no conclusion to the game till one side
has never a card left.
After my ill success with the baronet,(1012) to whom I gave a
you. I shall always be very cautious how I recommend
barbarians to your protection. I have this morning been
solicited for some credentials for a Mr. Oxenden.(1013) I
could not help laughing: he is a son of Sir George, my Lady
W.'s famous lover! Can he want recommendations to Florence?
However, I must give him a letter; but beg you will not give
yourself any particular trouble about him, for I
do not know him enough to bow to. His person is good: that
and his name, I suppose, will bespeak my lady's attentions,
and save you the fatigue of doing him many honours.
Thank Mr. Chute for his letter; I will answer it very soon. I
delight in the article of the Mantua Gazette. Adieu!
(1007) The Venetian ambassador.
(1008) Swift, in speaking of Lord Granville, says, that "he
carried away from college more Greek, Latin, and philosophy
than properly became a person of his rank;" and Walpole, in
his Memoires, describes him as "an extensive scholar, master
of all classic criticism, and of all modern politics."-E.
(1009) "Mr. Pitt, who had been laid up with the gout, came
down with the mien and apparatus of an invalid, on purpose to
make a full declaration of his sentiments on our present
circumstances. What he said was enforced with much grace both
of action and elocution. He commended the ministry for
pursuing moderate and healing measures, and such -,is tended
to set the King at the head of all his people." See Mr.- P.
Yorke's MS. Parliamentary Journal.-E.
(1010) Charles Vii. Elector of Bavaria.
(1011) Maximilian Joseph. He died in 1777.-E.
(1012) Sir William Maynard. (He married the daughter of Sir
Cecil Bisshopp, and died in 1772.]
(1013) Afterwards Sir Henry Oxenden, the sixth baronet of the
family, and eldest son of Sir George Oxenden, for many years a
lord of the treasury during the reign of George the Second.
He died in 1803.-E.
404 Letter 157
To Sir Horace Mann.
Arlington Street, Feb. 28, 1745.
You have heard from your brother the reason of my not having
written to you so long. I have been out but twice since my
father fell into this illness, which is now near a month; and
all that time either continually in his room, or obliged to
see multitudes of people; for it is most wonderful how every
body of all kinds has affected to express their concern for
him. He has been out of danger above this week; but I can't
say he mended at all perceptibly, till these last three days.
His spirits are amazing, and his constitution more; for Dr.
Hulse, said honestly from the first, that if he recovered, it
would be from his own strength, not from their art. After the
four or five first days, in which they gave him the bark, they
resigned him to the struggles of his own good temperament-and
it has surmounted! surmounted an explosion and discharge of
thirty-two pieces of stone, a constant and vast effusion of
blood for five days, a fever of three weeks, a perpetual flux
of water, and sixty-nine years, already (one should think)
worn down with his vast fatigues! How much more he will ever
recover, one scarce dare hope about: for us, he is greatly
recovered; for himself-
I had written thus far last week, without being able to find a
moment to finish. In the midst of all my attendance on my
lord and receiving visits, I am forced to go out and thank
those that have come and sent; for his recovery is now at such
a pause, that I fear it is in vain to expect much farther
amendment. How dismal a prospect for him, with the possession
of the greatest understanding in the world, not the least
impaired to lie without any use of it! for to keep him from
pains and restlessness, he takes so much opiate, that he is
scarce awake four hours of the four-and-twenty; but I -will
say no more on this.
Our coalition goes on thrivingly; but at the expense of the
old Court, who are all discontented, and are likely soon to
show their resentment. The brothers have seen the best days
of their ministry. The Hanover troops dismissed to please the
Opposition, and taken again with their consent, under the
cloak of an additional subsidy to the Queen of Hungary, who is
to pay them. This has set the patriots in so villainous a
light, that they will be ill able to support a minister who
has thrown such an odium on the Whigs, after they had so
stoutly supported that measure last year, and which, after all
the clamour, is now universally adopted, as you see. If my
Lord Granville had any resentment, as he seems to have nothing
but thirst, sure there is no vengeance he might not take! So
far from contracting any prudence from his fall, he laughs it
off every night over two or three bottles. The countess is
with child. I believe she and the countess-mother have got
it; for there is nothing ridiculous which they have not done
and said about it. There was a private masquerade lately at
the Venetian ambassadress's for the Prince of Wales, who named
the company, and expressly excepted my Lady Lincoln and others
of the Pelham faction. My Lady Granville came late, dressed
like Imoinda, and handsomer than one of the houris - the
Prince asked her why she would not dance? , Indeed, Sir, I was
afraid I could not have come at all, for I had a fainting fit
after dinner." The other night my Lady Townshend made a great
ball on her son's coming of age: I went for a little while,
little thinking of dancing. I asked my Lord Granville, why my
lady did not dance? "Oh, Lord! I wish you would ask her: she
will with you." I was caught, and did walk down one country
dance with her; but the prudent Signora-madre would not let
her expose the young Carteret any farther.
You say, you expect much information about Belleisle, but
there has not (in the style of the newspapers) the least
particular transpired. He was at first kept magnificently
close at Windsor; but the expense proving above one hundred
pounds per day, they have taken his parole, and sent him to
Nottingham, `a la Tallarde. Pray, is De Sade with you still'?
his brother has been taken too by the Austrians.
My Lord Coke is going to be married to a Miss Shawe,(1014) of
forty thousand pounds. Lord Hartington(1015) is contracted to
Lady Charlotte Boyle, the heiress of Burlington, and sister of
the unhappy Lady Euston; but she is not yet old enough. Earl
Stanhope,(1016) too, has at last lifted up his eyes from
Euclid, and directed them to matrimony. He has chosen the
eldest sister of your acquaintance Lord Haddington. I revive
about you and Tuscany. I will tell you. what is thought to
have reprieved you: it is much suspected that the King of
Spain(1017) is dead. I hope those superstitious people will
pinch the queen, as they do witches, to make her loosen the
charm that has kept the Prince of Asturias from having
children. At least this must turn out better than the death
of the Emperor has.
The Duke,(1018) you hear, is named generalissimo, with Count
Koningseg, Lord Dunmore,(1019) and Ligonier,(1020) under him.
Poor boy! he is most Brunswickly happy with his drums and
trumpets. Do but think that this sugar-plum was to tempt him
to swallow that bolus the Princess of Denmark!(1021) What
will they do if they have children? The late Queen never
forgave the Duke of Richmond, for telling her that his
children would take place before the Duke's grandchildren.
I inclose you a pattern for a chair, which your brother
desired me to send you. I thank you extremely for the views
of Florence; you can't imagine what wishes they have awakened.
My best thanks to Dr. Cocci for his book: I have delivered all
the copies as directed. Mr. Chute will excuse me yet; the
first moment I have time I will write. I have: just received
your letter of Feb. 16, and grieve for your disorder: you
know, how much concern your ill health gives m. Adieu! my
dear child: I write with twenty people in the room.
(1014) This marriage did not take place. Lord Coke afterwards
married Lady Campbell; and Miss Shawe, William, fifth Lord
Byron, the immediate predecessor of the great poet.-E.
(1015) In 1755 he succeeded his father as fourth Duke of
Devonshire. He died at Spa, in 1764; having filled at
different times, the offices of lord lieutenant of Ireland,
first lord of the treasury, and lord chamberlain of the
household. His marriage with Lady Charlotte Boyle took place
in March 1748.-E.
(1016) Philip, second Earl Stanhope. See ant`e, p. 308.
Letter 96. He married, in July following, Lady Grizel
Hamilton, daughter of Charles Lord Binning.-E.
(1017) The imbecile and insane Philip V. He did not die till
1746. The Prince of Asturias was Ferdinand VI., who succeeded
him, and died childless in 1759.-D.
(1018) Of Cumberland. He never married.-D.
(1019) John Murray, second Earl of Dunmore: colonel of the
third regiment of Scotch foot-guards. He died in 1752-E.
(1020) Sir John Ligonier a general of merit. He was created
Lord Ligonier in Ireland, in 1757, an English peer by the same
title in 1763, and Earl Ligonier in 1766. He died at the
great age of ninety-one, in 1770.-D.
(1021) The Princess was deformed and- ugly. "Having in vain
remonstrated with the King against the marriage, the Duke sent
his governor, mr. Poyntz, to consult Lord Orford how to avoid
the match. After reflecting a few moments, Orford advised
'that the Duke should give his consent, on condition of his
receiving an ample and immediate establishment; and believe
me,' added he, 'that the match will be no longer pressed.'
The Duke followed the advice, and the result fulfilled the
prediction "' Lord Mahon, vol. iii. p. 321.-E.
406 Letter 158
To Sir Horace Mann.
Arlington Street, March 29, 1745.
I begged your brother to tell you what it was impossible for
me to tell you.(1023) You share nearly in our common loss!
Don't expect me to enter at all upon the subject. After the
melancholy two months, that I have passed, and in my
situation, you will not wonder I shun a conversation which
could not be bounded by a letter-a letter that would grow into
a panegyric, or a piece of moral; improper for me to write
upon, and too distressful for us both!-a death is only to be
felt, never to be talked over by those it touches!
I had yesterday your letter of three sheets - I began to
flatter myself that the storm was blown over, but I tremble to
think of the danger you are in! a danger, in which even the
protection of the great friend you have lost could have been
of no service to you. How ridiculous it seems for me to renew
protestations of my friendship for you, at an instant when my
father is just dead, and the Spaniards just bursting into
Tuscany! How empty a charm would my name have, when all my
interest and significance are buried in my father's grave! All
hopes of present peace, the only thing that could save you,
seem vanished. We expect every day to hear of the French
declaration of war against Holland. The new Elector of
Bavaria is French, like his father; and the King of Spain is
not dead. I don't know how to talk to you. I have not even a
belief that the Spaniards will spare Tuscany. My dear child
what will become of you? whither will you retire till a peace
restores you to your ministry? for upon that distant view
alone I repose!
We are every day nearer confusion. The King is in as bad
humour as a monarch can be; he wants to go abroad, and is
detained by the Mediterranean affair; the inquiry into which
was moved by a Major Selwyn, a dirty pensioner, half-turned
patriot, by the Court being overstocked with votes.(1024)
This inquiry takes up the whole time of the House of Commons,
but I don't see what conclusion it can have. My confinement
has kept me from being there, except the first day; and all I
know of what is yet come out is, as it was stated by a Scotch
member the other day, "that there had been one (Matthews) with
a bad head, another, (Lestock) with a worse heart, and four
(the captains of the inactive ships) with no heart at all."
Among the numerous visits of form that I have received, one
was from my Lord Sandys: as we two could only converse upon
general topics, we fell upon this of the Mediterranean, and I
made him allow, "that, to be sure, there is not so bad a court
of justice in the world as the House of Commons; and how hard
it is upon any man to have his cause tried there!"
Sir Everard Falkner(1025) is made secretary to the Duke, who
is not yet gone: I have got Mr. Conway to be one of his
aide-de-camps. Sir Everard has since been offered the
joint-Postmastersh'ip, vacant by Sir John Iyles'S(1026) death;
but he would not quit the Duke. It was then proposed to the
King to give it to the brother: it happened to be a cloudy
day, and he, only answered, ,I know who Sir Everard is, but I
don't know who Mr. Falkner is."
The world expects some change when the Parliament rises. My
Lord Granville's physicians have ordered him to go to the Spa,
as, you know, they often send ladies to the Bath who are very
ill of a want of diversion. It will scarce be possible for
the present ministry to endure this jaunt. Then they are
losing many of their new allies: the new Duke of
Beaufort,(1027) a most determined and unwavering Jacobite, has
openly set himself at the head of that party, and forced them
to vote against the Court, and to renounce my Lord Gower. My
wise cousin, Sir John Phillipps, has resigned his place; and
it is believed that Sir John Cotton will soon resign but the
Bedford, Pitt, Lyttelton, and that squadron, stick close to
their places. Pitt has lately resigned his bedchamber to the
Prince, which, in friendship to Lyttelton, it was expected he
would have done long ago. They have chosen for this
resignation a very apposite passage out of Cato:
"He toss'd his arm aloft, and proudly told me
He would not stay, and perish like Sempronius."
This was Williams's.
My Lord Coke's match is broken off, upon some coquetry of the
lady with Mr. Mackenzie,(1028) at the Ridotto. My Lord
Leicester says, there shall not be a third lady in Norfolk of
the species of the two fortunes(1029) that matched at Rainham
and Houghton." Pray, will the new Countess of Orford come to
The town flocks to a new play of Thomson's, called Tancred and
Sigismunda: it is very dull, I have read it.(1030) I cannot
bear modern poetry; these refiners of the purity of the stage,
and of the incorrectness of English verse, are most
-,,,wofully insipid. I had rather have written the most
absurd lines in Lee, than Leonidas or the Seasons; as I had
rather be put into the round-house for a wrong-headed quarrel,
than sup quietly at eight o'clock with my grandmother. There
is another of these tame geniuses, a Mr. Akenside,(1031) who
writes Odes: in one he has lately published, he says, "Light
the tapers, urge the fire." Had not you rather make gods
jostle 'in the dark, than light the candles for fear they
should break their heads? One Russel, a mimic, has a
puppet-show to ridicule operas; I hear, very dull, not to
mention its being twenty years too late: it consists of three
acts, with foolish Italian songs burlesqued in Italian.
There is a very good quarrel on foot between two duchesses;
she of Queensberry sent to invite Lady Emily Lennox(1032) to a
ball: her Grace of Richmond, who is wonderfully cautious since
Lady Caroline's elopement, sent word, "she could not
determine." The other sent again the same night: the same
answer. The Queensberry then sent word, that she had made up
her company, and desired to be excused from having Lady
Emily's; but at the bottom of the card wrote, "Too great a
trust." You know how mad she is, and how capable of such a
stroke. There is no declaration of war come out from the
other duchess; but, I believe it will be made a national
quarrel of the whole illegitimate royal family.
It is the present fashion to make conundrums: there are books
of them printed, and produced at all assemblies: they are full
silly enough to be made a fashion. I will tell you the most
renowned--"Why is my uncle Horace like two people
conversing?-Because he is both teller and auditor." This was
Well, I had almost forgot to tell you a most extraordinary
impertinence of your Florentine Marquis Riccardi. About three
weeks ago, I received a letter by Monsieur Wastier's footman
from the marquis. He tells me most cavalierly, that he has
sent me seventy-seven antique gems to sell for him, by the way
of Paris, not caring it should be known in Florence. He will
have them sold altogether, and the lowest price two thousand
pistoles. You know what no-acquaintance I had with him. I
shall be as frank as he, and not receive them. If I did, they
might be lost in sending back, and then I must pay his two
thousand doppie di Spagna. The refusing to receive them is
Positively all the notice I shall take of it.
I enclose what I think a fine piece on my father:(1033) it
was written by Mr. Ashton, whom you have often heard me
mention as a particular friend. You see how I try to make out
a long letter, in return for your kind one, which yet gave me
great pain by telling me of your fever. My dearest Sir, it is
terrible to have illness added to your other distresses! .
I will take the first opportunity to send Dr. Cocchi his
translated book; I have not yet seen it myself.
Adieu! my dearest child! I write with a house full of
relations, and must conclude. Heaven preserve you and
(1023) The death of Lord Orford. - He expired," says Coxe, "on
the 18th of March, 1745, in the sixty-ninth year of his age. His
remains were interred in the parish church at Houghton,
without monument or inscription-
"So peaceful rests, without a stone, a name,
Which once had honours, titles, wealth and fame!"-E.
(1024) "February 26.-We had an unexpected motion from a very
contemptible fellow, Major Selwyn, for an inquiry into the
cause of the miscarriage of the fleet in the action off
Toulon. Mr. Pelham, perceiving that the inclination of the
House was for an inquiry, acceded to the motion; but
forewarned it of the temper, patience, and caution with which
it should be pursued."-Mr. Yorke's MS. Journal.-E.
(1025) He had been ambassador at Constantinople.
(1026) Sir John Eyles, Bart. an alderman of the city of
London, and at one time member of parliament for the same. He
died March 11, 1745.-D.
(1027) Charles Noel Somerset, fourth Duke of Beaufort,
succeeded his elder brother Henry in the dukedom, February 14,
(1028) The Hon. James Stuart Mackenzie, second son of James,
second Earl of Bute, and brother of John, Earl of Bute, the
minister. He married Lady Elizabeth Campbell, one of the
daughters of John, the great Duke of Argyll, and died in
(1029) Margaret Rolle, Countess of Orford, and Ethelreda
Harrison, Viscountess Townshend.
(1030) This was the most successful of all Thomson's plays;
"but it may be doubted," says Dr. Johnson, " whether he was,
either by the bent of nature or habits of study, much
qualified for tragedy: it does not appear that he had much
sense of the pathetic; and his diffusive and Descriptive style
produced declamation rather than dialogue."-E.
(1031) The author of "The Pleasures of the Imagination;" a
poem of some merit, though now but little read.-D.
(1032) Second daughter of Charles, Duke of Richmond.
(Afterwards married to James Fitzgerald, first Duke of
Leinster in Ireland.-D.)
1033) It was printed in the public papers.
410 Letter 159
To sir Horace Mann.
Arlington Street, April 15, 1745.
By this time you have heard of my Lord's death: I fear it will
have been a very great shock to you. I hope your brother will
write you all the particulars; for my part, you can't expect I
should enter into the details of it. His enemies pay him the
compliment of saying, they do believe now that he did not
plunder the public,, as he was accused (as they accused him)
of doing, he having died in such circumstances." If he had no
proofs of his honesty but this, I don't think this would be
such indisputable authority: not having immense riches would
be scanty evidence of his not having acquired them, there
happening to be such a thing as spending them. It is certain,
he is dead very poor: his debts, with his legacies, which are
trifling, amount to fifty thousand pounds. His estate, a
nominal eight thousand a-year, much mortgaged. In short, his
fondness for Houghton has endangered Houghton. If he had not
so overdone it, he -might have left such an estate to his
family as might have secured the glory of the place for many
years: another such debt must expose it to sale. If he had
lived, his unbounded generosity and contempt of money would
have run him into vast difficulties. However irreparable his
personal loss may be to his friends, he certainly died
critically well for himself: he had lived to stand the rudest
trials with honour, to see his character universally cleared,
his enemies brought to infamy for their ignorance or villainy,
and the world allowing him to be the only man in England fit
to be what he had been; and he died at a time when his age and
infirmities prevented his again undertaking the support of a
government, which engrossed his whole care, and which he
foresaw was falling into the last confusion. In this I hope
his judgment failed! His fortune attended him to the last; for
he died of the most painful of all distempers, with little or
The House of Commons have at last finished their great affair,
their inquiry into the Mediterranean miscarriage. It was
carried on with more decency and impartiality than ever was
known in so tumultuous, popular, and partial a court. I can't
say it ended so; for the Tories, all but one single man, voted
against Matthews, whom they have not forgiven for lately
opposing one of their friends in Monmouthshire, and for
carrying his election. The greater part of the Whigs were for
Lestock. This last is a very great man: his cause, most
unfriended, came before the House with all the odium that
could be laid on a man standing in the light of having
betrayed his country. His merit, I mean his parts, prevailed,
and have set him in a very advantageous point of view. Harry
Fox has gained the greatest honour by his assiduity and
capacity in this affair. Matthews remains in the light of a
hot, brave, imperious, dull, confused fellow. The question
was to address the King to appoint a trial, by court-martial,
of the two admirals and the four coward captains. Matthews's
friends were for leaving out his name, but, after a very long
debate, were only 76 to 218. It is generally supposed, that
the two admirals will be acquitted and the captains hanged.
By what I can make out, (for you know I have been confined,
and could not attend the examination,) Lestock preferred his
own safety to the glory of his country; I don't mean cowardly,
for he is most unquestionably brave, but selfishly. Having to
do with a man who, he knew, would take the slightest
opportunity to ruin him, if he in the least transgressed his
orders, and knowing that man too dull to give right orders, he
chose to stick to the letter, when, by neglecting it, he might
have done the greatest service.
We hear of great news from Bavaria, of that Elector being
forced into a neutrality; but it IS not confirmed.
Mr. Legge is made lord of the admiralty, and Mr. Philipson
surveyor of the roads in his room. This is all I know. I
look with anxiety every day into the Gazettes about Tuscany,
but hitherto I find all is quiet. My dear Sir, I tremble for
I have been much desired to get you to send five gesse
figures; the Venus, the Faun, the Mercury, the Cupid and
Psyche, and the little Bacchus; you know the original is
modern: if this is not to be had, then the Ganymede. My dear
child, I am sorry to give you this trouble; order any body to
buy them, and to Send them from Leghorn by the first ship. let
me have the bill, and bill of lading. Adieu!
411 Letter 160
To Sir Horace Mann.
Arlington Street, April 29, 1745.
When you wrote your last of the 6th of this month, you was
still in hopes about my father. I wish I had received your
letters on his death, for it is most shocking to have all the
thoughts opened again upon such a subject!-it is the great
disadvantage of a distant correspondence. There was a report
here a fortnight ago of the new countess coming over. She
could not then have heard it. Can she be so mad? Why should
she suppose all her shame buried in my lord's grave? or does
not she know, has she seen so little of the world, as not to
be sensible that she will now return in a worse light than
ever? A few malicious, who would have countenanced her to vex
him, would now treat her like the rest of the world. It is a
private family affair; a husband, a mother, and a son, all
party against her, all wounded by her conduct, would be too
much to get over!
My dear child, you have nothing but misfortunes of your
friends to lament. You have new subject by the loss of poor
Mr. Chute's brother.(1034) It really is a great loss! he was
a most rising man, and one of the best-natured and most honest
that ever lived. If it would not sound ridiculously, though,
I assure you, I am far from feeling it lightly, I would tell
you of poor Patapan's death - he died about ten days ago.
This peace with the Elector of Bavaria may Produce a general
one. You have given great respite to my uneasiness, by
telling me that Tuscany seems out of danger. We have for
these last three days been in great expectation of a battle.
The French have invested Tournay; our army came up with them
last Wednesday, and is certainly little inferior, and
determined to attack them; but it is believed they are
retired: we don't know who commands them; it is said, the Duc
d'Harcourt. Our good friend, the Count de Saxe, is
dying(1036)-by Venus, not by Mars. The King goes on Friday;
this may make the young Duke(1036) more impatient to give
battle, to have all the honour his own.
There is no kind of news; the Parliament rises on Thursday,
and every body is going out of town. I shall only make short
excursions in visits; you know I am not fond of the country,
and have no call into it now! My brother will not be at
Houghton this year; he shuts it Up to enter on new, and there
very unknown economy: he has much occasion for it! Commend me
to poor Mr. Chute! Adieu!
(1034) Francis Chute, a very eminent lawyer.
(1035) The Marshal de Saxe- did not die till 1750. He was,
however, exceedingly ill at the time of the battle of
Fontenoy. Voltaire, in his "Si`ecle de Louis XV." mentions
having met him at Paris just as he was setting out for the
campaign. Observing how unwell he seemed to b, he asked him
whether he thought he had strength enough to go through the
fatigues which awaited him. To this the Marshal's reply was
"il ne s'agit pas de vivre, mais de partir."-D.
William, Duke of Cumberland.-D.
412 Letter 161
To Sir Horace Mann.
Arlington Street, May 11, 1745.
I stayed till to-day, to be able to give you some account of
the battle of Tournay:(1037) the outlines you will have heard
already. We don't allow it to be a victory on the French
side: but that is, just as a woman is not called Mrs. till she
is married, though she may have had half-a-dozen natural
children. In short, we remained upon the field of battle
three hours: I fear, too many of us remain there still!
without palliating, it is certainly a heavy stroke. We never
lost near so many officers. I pity the Duke, for it is almost
the first battle of consequence that we ever lost. By the
letters arrived to-day we find that Tournay still holds out.
There are certainly killed Sir James Campbell, General
Ponsonby, Colonel Carpenter, Colonel Douglas, young Ross,
Colonel Montagu, Geo, Berkeley, and Kellet. Mr. Vanbrugh is
since dead. Most of the your),r men of quality in the Guards
@ are wounded. I have had the vast fortune to have nobody
hurt, for whom I was in the least interested. Mr. Conway, in
particular, has highly distinguished himself; he ind Lord
Petersham,' who is slightly wounded, are most commended;
though none behaved ill but the Dutch horse. There has been
but very little consternation here: the King minded it so
little, that being set out for Hanover, and blown back into
Harwich-roads since the news came, he could not be persuaded
to return, but sailed yesterday with the fair wind. I believe
you will have the Gazette sent Tonight; but lest it should not
be printed time enough, here is a list of the numbers, as it
came over this morning.
British foot 1237 killed.
Ditto horse 90 ditto.
Ditto foot 1968 wounded.
Ditto horse 232 ditto.
Ditto foot 457 missing.
Ditto horse 18 ditto.
Hanoverian foot 432 killed.
Ditto horse 78 ditto.
Ditto foot 950 wounded.
Ditto horse 192 ditto.
Ditto horse and foot 53 missing.
Dutch 625 killed and wounded.
Ditto 1019 missing.
So the whole hors de combat is above seven thousand three
hundred. The French own the loss of three thousand; I don't
believe many more, for it was a most desperate and rash
perseverance on our side. The Duke behaved very bravely and
humanely;(1038) but this will not have advanced the peace.
However coolly the Duke may have behaved, and coldly his
father, at least his brother, has outdone both. He not only
went to the play the night the news came, but in two days made
a ballad. It is in imitation of the Regent's style, and has
miscarried in nothing but the language, the thoughts, and the
poetry. Did I not tell you in my last that he was going to
act Paris in Congreve's Masque? The song is addressed to the
1. Venez, mes ch`eres D`eesses,
Venez calmer mon chagrin;
Aidez, mes belles Princesses,'
A le noyer dans le vin.
Poussons cette douce Ivresse
Jusqu'au milieu de la nuit,
Et n'`ecoutons que la tendresse
D'un charmant vis-a-vis.
2. Quand le chagrin me d`evore,
Vite `a table je me mets,
Loin des objets que j'abhorre,
Avec joie j'y trouve la paix.
Peu d'amis, restes D'un naufrage
Je rassemble autour de moi,
Et je me ris de l'`etalage.
Qu'a chez lui toujours on Roi.
3. Que m'importe, que l'Europe
Ait Un, ou plusieurs tyrans?
Prions seulement Calliope,
Qu'elle inspire nos vers, nos chants.
Laissons Mars et toute la gloire;
Livrons nous tous `a l'amour;
Que Bacchus nous donne `a boire;
A ces deux fasions la cour.
4. Passons ainsi notre vie,
Sans rover IL ce qui suit;
Avec ma ch`ere Sylvie,(1039)
Le tems trop Vite me fuit.
Mais si, par Un malheur extr`eme,
Je perdois cet objet charmant,
Oui, cette compagnie m`eme
Ne me tiendroit Un moment.
5. me livrant `a ma tristesse,
Toujours plein de mon chagrin,
Je n'aurois plus d'all`egresse
Pour mettre Bathurst(1040) en train:
Ainsi pour vous tenir en joie
Invoquez toujours les Dieux,
Q Qu'elle vive et qu'elle soit
Avec nous toujours heureuse!
Adieu! I am in a great hurry.
(1037) Since called the battle of Fontenoy. (The Marshal de
Saxe commanded the French army, and both Louis XV. and his son
the Dauphin were present in the action. The Duke of
Cumberland commanded the British forces.-D.)
(1037) William, Lord Petersham, eldest son of the Earl of
(1038) The Hon. Philip Yorke, in a letter to Horace Walpole,
the elder, of the following day, says,"the Duke's behaviour
was, by all accounts, the most heroic and gallant imaginable:
he was the whole day in the thickest of the fire. His Royal
Highness drew out a pistol upon an officer whom he saw running
(1038) Frederick, Prince of Wales. The following song was
written immediately after the battle of Fontenoy, and was
addressed to Lady Catherine Hanmer, Lady Fauconberg, and Lady
Middlesex, who were to act the three goddesses, with the
Prince of Wales, in Congreve's Judgment of Paris, whom he was
to represent, and Prince Lobkowitz, Mercury.-E.
(1039) The Princess.
(1040) Allen, Lord Bathurst.
415 Letter 162
To George Montagu, Esq.
Arlington Street, May 18, 1745.
I am very sorry to renew our correspondence upon so melancholy
a circumstance, but when you have lost so near a friend as
your brother,(1041) 'tis sure the duty of all your other
friends to endeavour to alleviate your loss, and offer all the
increase of affection that is possible to compensate it. This
I do most heartily; I wish I could most effectually.
You will always find in me, dear Sir, the utmost inclination
to be of service to you; and let me beg that you will remember
your promise of writing to me. As I am so much in town and in
the world, I flatter myself with having generally something to
tell you that may make my letters agreeable in the country:
you, any where, make yours charming.
Be so good to say any thing you think proper from me to your
sisters, and believe me, dear George, yours most sincerely.
(1041) Lieutenant-Colonel Edward Montagu, killed at the battle
415 Letter 163
To Sir Horace Mann.
Arlington Street, May 24, 1745.
I have no consequences of the battle of Tournay to tell you
but the taking of the town: the governor has eight days
allowed him to consider whether he will give up the citadel.
The French certainly lost more men than we did. Our army is
still at Lessines waiting for recruits from Holland and
England; ours are sailed. The King is at Hanover. All the
letters are full of the Duke's humanity and bravery: he will
be as popular with the lower class of men as he has been for
three or four years with the low women: he will be the
soldier's Great Sir as well as theirs. I am really glad; it
will be of great service to the family, if any one of them
come to make a figure.
Lord Chesterfield is returned from Holland; you will see a
most simple farewell speech of his in the papers.(1042)
I have received yours of the 4th of May, and am extremely
obliged to you for your expressions of kindness: they did not
at all surprise me, but every instance of your friendship
gives me pleasure. I wish I could say the same to good prince
Craon. Yet I must set about answering his letter: it is quite
an affair; I have so great a disuse of writing French, that I
believe it will be very barbarous.
My fears for Tuscany are again awakened: the wonderful march
Which the Spanish Queen has made Monsieur de Gage take, may
probably end in his turning short to the left; for his route
to Genoa will be full as difficult as what he has already
passed. I watch eagerly every article from Italy, at a time
when nobody will read a paragraph but from the army in
I am diverted with my Lady's(1043) account of the great riches
that are now coming to her. She has had so many foolish
golden visions, that I should think even the Florentines would
not be the dupes of any more. As for her mourning, she may
save it, if she expects to have it notified. Don't you
remember my Lady Pomfret's having a piece of economy of that
sort, when she would not know that the Emperor was dead,
because my Lord Chamberlain had not notified it to her.
I have a good story to tell you of Lord Bath, whose name you
have not heard very lately; have you? He owed a tradesman
eight hundred pounds, and would never pay him: the man
determined to persecute him till he did; and one morning
followed him to Lord Winchilsea's, and sent up word that he
wanted to speak with him. Lord Bath came down, and said,
"Fellow, what do you want with me'!"-"My money," said the man,
as loud as ever he could bawl, before all the servants. He
bade him come the next morning, and then would not see him.
The next Sunday the man followed him to church, and got into
the next pew: he leaned over, and said, , "My money; give me
my money!" My lord went to the end of the pew; the man too:
"Give me my money!" The sermon was on avarice, and the text,
"Cursed are they that heap up riches." The man groaned out,
"O lord!" and pointed to my Lord Bath. In short, he persisted
so much, and drew the eyes of all the congregation, that my
Lord Bath went out and paid him directly. I assure you this
is a fact. Adieu.
(1042) " Have you Lord Chesterfield's speech on taking leave?
It is quite calculated for the language it is wrote in, and
makes but an indifferent figure in English. The thoughts are
common, and yet he strains hard to give them an air of
novelty; and the quaintness of the expression is quite a la
Fran`caise." The Hon. P. Yorke to Horatio Walpole.-E.
(1043) Lady Walpole, now become Countess of Orford.-D.
416 Letter 164
To George Montagu, Esq.
Arlington Street, May 25, 1745.
I don't write to you now so much to answer your letter as to
promote your diversion, which I am as much obliged to you for
consulting me about, at least as much as about an affair of
honour, or your marriage, or any other important transaction;
any one of which you might possibly dislike more than
diverting yourself. For my part, I shall give you my advice
on this point with as much reflection as I should, if it were
necessary for me, like a true friend, to counsel you to
You propose making a visit at Englefield Green, and ask me, if
I think it right? Extremely so. I have heard it is a very
pretty place. You love a jaunt--have a pretty chaise, I
believe, and, I dare swear, very easy; in all probability, you
have a fine evening too ; and, added to all this, the
gentleman you would go to see is very agreeable and good
humoured.(1044) He has some very Pretty children, and a
sensible, learned man that lives with him, one Dr.
Thirlby,(1045) whom, I believe you know. The master of the
house plays extremely well on the bass-viol, and has generally
other musical people with him. He knows a good deal of the
private history of a late ministry; and, my dear George, you
love memoires. Indeed, as to personal acquaintance with any
of the court beauties, I can't say you will find your account
in him ; but, to make amends, he is perfectly master of all
the quarrels that have been fashionably on foot about Handel,
and can give you a very perfect account of all the modern
rival painters. In short, you may pass a very agreeable day
with him; and if he does but take to you, as I can't doubt,
who know you both, you will contract a great friendship with
him, which he will preserve with the greatest warmth and
In short, I can think of no reason in the world against your
going there but one: do you know his youngest brother? If you
to be so unlucky, I can't flatter you so far as to advise you
to make him a visit; for there is nothing in the world the
Baron of Englefield has such an aversion for as for his
(1044) Mr. Walpole's brother, Sir Edward. See Ant`e, p.189,
(1045) Styan Thirlby, fellow of Jesus College, Cambridge,
published an edition of Justin Martyr, and, I think, wrote
something against Middleton. He communicated several notes to
Theobald for his Shakspeare, and in the latter part of his
life, took to study the common law. He lived chiefly for his
last years with Sir Edward Walpole, who had procured for him a
small place in the Custom house, and to whom he left his
papers: he had lost his intellects some time before his death.
[He died a martyr to intemperance, in 1751, in his sixty-first
year. Mr. Nichols says, that, while in Sir Edward's houses,
he kept a miscellaneous book of Memorables, containing
whatever was said or done amiss by Sir Edward, or any part of
417 Letter 165
To The Hon. H. S. Conway.
Arlington Street, May 27, 1745.
My dear Harry,
As gloriously as you have set out, yet I despair of seeing you
a perfect hero! You have none of the charming violences that
are so essential to that character. You write as coolly,
after behaving well in battle, as you fought in it. Can your
friends flatter themselves with seeing you, one day or other,
be the death of thousands, when you wish for peace in three
weeks after four first engagements and laugh at the ambition
of those men who have given you this opportunity of
distinguishing yourself? With the person of an Orondates, and
the courage, you have all the compassion, the reason, and the
'reflection of one that never read a romance. Can one ever
hope you will make a figure, when you only fight because it
was right you should, and not because you hated the French or
loved destroying mankind? This is so un-English, or so
un-heroic, that I despair of you!
Thank Heaven, you have one spice of madness! Your admiration
of your master(1047) leaves me a glimmering of hope, that you
will not be always so unreasonably reasonable. Do you
remember the humorous lieutenant, in one of Beaumont and
Fletcher's plays, that is in love with the king? Indeed, your
master is not behindhand with you; you seem to have agreed to
puff one another.
If you are acting up to the strictest rules of war and
chivalry in Flanders, we are not less scrupulous on this side
the water in fulfilling all the duties of the same order. The
day the young volunteer(1048 departed for the army (unluckily
indeed, it was after the battle), his tender mother
Sisygambis, and the beautiful Statira,(1049) a lady formerly
known in your history by the name of Artemisia, from her
cutting off her hair in your absence, were so afflicted and SO
inseparable, that they made a party together to Mr.
graham'S(1050) (you may read lapis if you please) to be
blooded. It was settled that this was a more precious way of
expressing Concern than shaving the head, which has been known
to be attended with false locks the next day.
For the other princess you wot of, who is not entirely so tall
as the former, nor so evidently descended from a line of
monarchs--I don't hear her talk of retiring. At present she
is employed in buying up all the nose-gays in Covent Garden
and laurel leaves at the pastry cooks, to where chaplets for
the return of her hero. Who that is I don't pretend to know
or guess. All I know is, that in this age retirement is not
one of the fashionable expressions of passion.
(1046) The battle of Fontenoy, where Mr. Conway greatly
(1047) The Duke of Cumberland, to whom Mr. Conway was
(1048) George, afterwards Marquis Townshend.
(1049) Ethelreda Harrison, Viscountess Townshend, and her
daughter, the Hon. Audrey Townshend, afterwards married to
Robert Orme, Esq.
(1050) A celebrated apothecary in Pall-mall.
418 Letter 166
To Sir Horace Mann.
I have the pleasure of recommending you a new acquaintance,
for which I am sure you will thank me. Mr. Hobart(1051)
proposes passing a little time at Florence, which I am sure
you will endeavour to make as agreeable to him as possible. I
beg you will introduce him to all my friends, who, I don't
doubt, will show him the same civilities that I received.
Dear Sir, this will be a particular obligation to me, who am,
1051) Eldest son of John, Earl of Buckinghamshire, (The Hon.
John Hobart, afterwards second Earl of Buckinghamshire, and
lord Lieutenant of Ireland.-D.)
419 Letter 167
To Sir Horace Mann.
Arlington Street, June 24, 1745.
I have been a fortnight in the country, and had ordered all my
to be kept till I came to town, or I should have written to
you sooner about my sister-countess. She is not arrived yet,
but is certainly coming: she has despatched several letters to
notify her intentions: a short one to her mother, saying,
"Dear Madam, as you have often desired me to return to
England, I am determined to set out, and hope you will give me
reasons to subscribe myself your most affectionate daughter."
This "often desired me to return" has never been repeated
since the first year of her going away. The poor
signora-madre is in a terrible fright, and will not come to
town till her daughter is gone again, which all advices agree
will be soon. Another letter is to my Lady Townshend, telling
her, "that, as she knows her ladyship's way of thinking, she
does not fear the continuance of her friendship." Another, a
long one, to my Lord Chesterfield; another to Lady Isabella
Scot,(1052) an old friend of hers; and another to Lady
Pomfret. This last says, that she hears from guccioni, my
Lady O. will stay here a very little time, having taken a
house at Florence for three years. She is to come to my Lady
Denbigh.(1053) My brother is extremely obliged to you for all
your notices about her, though he is very indifferent about
her motions. If she happens to choose law (though on what
foot no mortal can guess), he is prepared; having from the
first hint of her journey, fee'd every one of the considerable
lawyers. In short, this jaunt is as simple as all the rest of
her actions have been hardy. Nobody wonders at her bringing
no English servants with her-they know, and consequently might
tell too much.
I feel excessively for you, my dear child, on the loss of Mr.
Chute!--so sensible and so good-natured a man would be a loss
to any body; but to you, who are so meek and helpless, it is
irreparable! who will dry you when you are very wet
brown-paper?(1054) Though I laugh, you know how much I pity
you: you will want somebody to talk over English letters, and
to conjecture with ),on; in short, I feel your distress in all
The citadel of Tournay is gone;(1055) our affairs go ill.
Charles of Lorrain(1056) has lost a great battle grossly! He
was constantly drunk, and had no kind of intelligence. Now he
acts from his own head, his head turns out a very bad one. I
don't know, indeed, what they can say in defence of the great
general to whom we have just given the garter, the Duke of
Saxe Weissenfels; he is not of so serene a house but that he
might have known something of the motions of the Prussians.
Last night we heard that the Hungarian insurgents had cut to
pieces two Prussian regiments. The King of Prussia and
Prince Charles are so near, that we every day expect news of
another battle. We don't know yet what is to be the next step
in Flanders. Lord Cobham has got Churchill'S(1057) regiment,
and Lord Dunmore his government of Plymouth. At the Prince's
court there is a great revolution; he, or rather Lord
Granville, or perhaps the Princess, (who, I firmly believe, by
all her quiet sense, will turn out a Caroline,) have at last
got rid of Lady Archibald,(1058) who was strongly attached to
the coalition. They have civilly asked her, and Crossly
forced her to ask civilly to go away, which she has done, with
a pension of twelve hundred a-year. Lady Middlesex,(1059) is
mistress of the robes: she lives with them perpetually, and
sits up till five in the morning at their suppers. Don't
mistake!-not for her person, which is wondrous plain and
little: the town says it is for her friend Miss Granville, one
of the maids of honour; but at least yet, that is only
scandal. She is a fair, red-haired girl, scarce pretty;
daughter of the poet, Lord Lansdown.(1060) Lady Berkeley is
lady of the bedchamber, and Miss Lawson maid of honour. Miss
Neville, a charming beauty, and daughter of the pretty,
unfortunate Lady Abergavenny,(1061) is named for the next
I was scarcely settled in my joy for the Spaniards having
taken the opposite route to Tuscany, when I heard of Mr.
Chute's leaving you. I long to have no reason to be uneasy
about you. I am obliged to you for the gesse figures, and beg
you will send me the bill in your first letter. Rysbrach has
perfectly mended the Ganymede and the model, which to me
seemed irrecoverably smashed.
I have just been giving a recommendatory letter for you to Mr.
Hobart; he is a particular friend of mine, but is Norfolk, and
in the world; so you will be civil to him. He is of the
Damon-kind, and not one of whom you will make a Chute. madame
Suares may make something of him. Adieu!
(1052) Daughter of Anne, Countess of Buccleuch, and Duchess of
Buccleuch and Monmouth, the wife of James, the unhappy Duke of
Monmouth. Lady Isabella Scott was the daughter of the duchess
by her second husband, Charles, third Lord Cornwallis. She
died unmarried, Feb. 18, 1748.-D.
(1053) Isabella de Jonghe, a Dutch lady, and wife of William
Fielding, fifth Earl of Denbigh. She died in 1769.-D.
(1054) Mr. Mann was so thin and weak that Mr. Walpole used to
compare him to wet brown-paper.
(1055) The treachery of the principal engineer, who deserted
to the enemy, and the timidity of other officers in the
garrison, produced a surrender of the city in a fortnight, and
Of the citadel in another week.-E.
(1056) He was brother of Francis, at this time Grand Duke of
Tuscany. On the 3d of June, the King of Prussia had gained a
signal victory over him at Friedberg.-E.
(1057) General Churchill, or, as he was commonly called, "Old
Charles Churchill," was just dead.-D.
(1058) Lady Archibald Hamilton, daughter of Lord Abercorn, and
wife of Lord Archibald Hamilton.
(1059) Daughter of Lord Shannon, and wife of Charles, Earl of
Middlesex, eldest son of Lionel, Duke of Dorset. Her favour
grew to be thought more than platonic.
(1060) George Granville, Lord Lansdowne, one of Queen Ann,-'s
twelve Tory Peers styled by Pope, who addressed his Windsor
Forest to him, "the polite." He died in 1735.-E.
(1061) Catherine Tatton, daughter of Lieutenant-General
Tatton. She married, first, Edward Neville-,, thirteenth Lord
Abergavenny, who died without issue in his nineteenth year, in
1724. She remarried with his cousin and successor, William,
fourteenth Lord Abergavenny, by whom she had issue, one son,
George, afterwards fifteenth Lord Abergavenny, and one
daughter, Catherine, who is mentioned above. Lady Abergavenny
herself died in childbed, Dec. 4, 1729, in less than one month
after the detection of an intrigue between her and Richard
Lyddel, Esq. against whom Lord Abergavenny brought an action
for damages, and recovered five thousand pounds. In a poem
written on her death by Sir Charles Hanbury Williams, she is
praised for her gentleness, and pitied for her " cruel
wrongs." Her husband is also called "that stern lord." All
further details respecting her are, however, now unknown.-D.
421 Letter 168
To George Montagu, Esq.
Arlington Street, June 25, 1745.
I have been near three weeks in Essex, at Mr. Rigby's,(1062)
and had left your direction behind me, and could not write to
you. It is the charmingest place by nature, and the most
trumpery by art, that ever I saw. The house stands on a high
hill, on an arm of the sea, which winds itself before two
sides of the house. On the right and left, at the very foot
of this hill, lie two towns; the one of market quality, and
the other with a wharf where ships come up. This last was to
have a church, but by a lucky want of religion in the
inhabitants, who would not contribute to building a steeple,
it remains an absolute antique temple, with a portico on the
very strand. Cross this arm of the sea, you see six churches
and charming woody hills in Suffolk. All this parent Nature
did for this place; but its godfathers and godmothers, I
believe, promised it should renounce all the pomps and
vanities of this world, for they have patched up a square
house, full of windows, low rooms, and thin walls; piled up
walls wherever there was a glimpse of prospect; planted
avenues that go nowhere, and dug fishponds where there should
be avenues. We had very bad weather the whole time I was
there! but however I rode about and sailed, not having the
same apprehensions Of catching cold that Mrs.
Kerwood had once at Chelsea, when I persuaded her not to go
home by water, because it would be damp after rain.
The town is not quite empty yet. My Lady Fitzwatter, Lady
Betty Germain,(1063) Lady Granville,(1064) and the dowager
Strafford have their At-homes, and amass company. Lady Brown
has done with her Sundays, for she is changing her house into
Upper Brook Street. In the mean time, she goes to
Knightbridge, and Sir Robert to the woman he keeps at
Scarborough: Winnington goes on with the Frasi; so my lady
Townshend is obliged only to lie of people. You have heard of
the disgrace of the Archibald, and that in future scandal she
must only be ranked with the Lady Elizabeth Lucy and Madam
Lucy Walters, instead of being historically noble among the
Clevelands, Portsmouths, and Yarmouths. It is said Miss
Granville has the reversion of her coronet;
others say, she won't accept the patent.
Your friend Jemmy Lumley,(1065)--beg pardon, I mean your kin,
is not he? I am sure he is not your friend;--well, he has had
an assembly, and he would write all the cards himself, and
every one of them was to desire he's company and she's
company, with other pieces of curious orthography. Adieu,
dear George! I wish you a merry farm, as the children say at
Vauxhall. My compliments to your sisters.
(1062) Mistley Hall, near Manningtree.
(1063) Second daughter of the Earl of Berkeley, and married to
Sir John Germain.
(1064) Daughter of rhomms, Earl of Pomfret. She was Lord
Granville's second wife.
(1065) Seventh son of the first Earl of Scarborough. He died
in 1766, unmarried.-E.
422 Letter 169
To The Hon. H. S. Conway.
Arlington Street, July 1, 1745.
My dear harry,
If it were not for that one slight inconvenience, that I
should probably be dead now, I should have liked much better
to have lived in the last war than in this; I mean as to the
pleasantness of writing letters. Two or three battles won,
two or three towns taken, in a summer, were pretty objects to
keep up the liveliness of a correspondence. But now it hurts
one's dignity to be talking of English and French armies, at
the first period of our history in which the tables are
turned. After having learnt to spell out of the reigns of
Edward the Third and Harry the Fifth, and begun lisping with
Agincourt and Cressy, one uses one's self but awkwardly to the
sounds of Tournay and Fontenoy. I don't like foreseeing the
time so near, when all the young orators in Parliament will be
haranguing out of Demosthenes upon the imminent danger we are
in from the overgrown power of King Philip. As becoming as
all that public spirit will be, which to be sure will now come
forth, I can't but think we were at least as happy and as
great when all the young Pitts and Lytteltons were pelting
oratory at my father for rolling out a twenty years' peace,
and not envying the trophies which he passed by every day in
Westminster Hall. But one must not repine; rather reflect on
the glories which they have drove the nation headlong into.
One must think all our distresses and dangers well laid out,
when they have purchased us Glover'S(1066) Oration for the
merchants, the Admiralty for the Duke of Bedford, and the
reversion of Secretary at war for Pitt, which he will
certainly have, unless the French King should happen to have
the nomination; and then I fear, as much obliged as that court
is to my Lord Cobham and his nephews, they would be so partial
as to prefer some illiterate nephew of Cardinal Tencin's, who
never heard of Leonidas or the Hanover troops.
With all these reflections, as I love to make myself easy,
especially politically, I comfort myself with what St.
Evremond (a favourite philosopher of mine, for he thought what
he liked, not liked what he thought) said in defence of
Cardinal Mazarin, when he was reproached with neglecting the
good of the kingdom that he might engross the riches of it:
"Well, let him get all the riches, and then he will think of
the good of the kingdom, for it will all be his own." Let the
French but have England, and they won't want to conquer it.
We may possibly contract the French spirit of being supremely
content with the glory of our monarch, and then-why then it
will be the first time we ever -were contented yet. We hear
of nothing but your retiring,(1067 and of Dutch treachery: in
short, 'tis an holy scene!
I know of no home news but the commencement of the gaming
act,(1068) for which they are to put up a scutcheon at
White's--for the death of play; and the death of Winnington's
wife, which may be an unlucky event for my Lady Townshend. As
he has no children, he will certainly marry again; and who
will give him their daughter, unless he breaks off that
affair, which I believe he will now very willingly make a
marriage article? We want him to take Lady -Charlotte Fermor.
She was always his beauty, and has so many charming qualities,
that she would make any body happy. He will make a good
husband; for he is excessively good-natured, and was much
better to that strange wife than he cared to own.
You wondered at my journey to Houghton; now -wonder more, for
I am going to Mount Edgecumbe. Now my summers are in my own
hands, and I am not obliged to pass great part of them in
Norfolk, I find it is not so very terrible to dispose of them
up and down. In about three weeks I shall set out, and see
Wilton and Doddington's in my way. Dear Harry, do but get a
victory, and I will let off every cannon at Plymouth:
reserving two, till I hear particularly that you have killed
two more Frenchmen with your own hand.(1069) Lady Mary(1070)
sends you her compliments; she is going to pass a week with
Miss Townshend(1071) at Muffits; I don't think you will be
forgot. Your sister Anne has got a new distemper, which she
says feels like something jumping in her. You know my style
on such an occasion, and may be sure I have not spared this
distemper. Adieu! Yours ever.
(1066) The author of Leonidas.
(1067) Mr. Conway was still with the army in Flanders.
(1068) An act had recently passed to prevent excessive and
(1069) Alluding to Mr. Conway's having been engaged with two
French grenadiers at once in the battle of Fontenoy.
(1070) Lady Mary Walpole, youngest daughter of Sir R. Walpole,
afterwards married to Charles Churchill, Esq.
(1071) DAUGHTER of Charles Viscount Townshend, afterwards
married to Edward Cornwallis, brother to Earl Cornwallis, and
groom of the bedchamber to the King.
424 Letter 170
To sir Horace Mann.
Strawberry Hill, July 5, 1745.
All yesterday we were in the utmost consternation an express
came the night before from Ostend with an account of the
French army in Flanders having seized Ghent and Bruges, cut
off a detachment of four thousand men, surrounded our army,
who must be cut to pieces or surrender themselves prisoners,
and that the Duke was gone to the Hague, but that the Dutch
had signed a neutrality. You will allow that here was ample
subject for confusion! To-day we are a little relieved, by
finding that we have lost but five hundred men(1072) instead
of four thousand, and that our army, which is inferior by half
to theirs, is safe behind a river. With this came the news of
the Great Duke's victory over the Prince of Conti:(1073) he
has killed fifteen thousand, and taken six thousand prisoners.
Here is already a third great battle this summer! But Flanders
is gone! The Dutch have given up all that could hinder the
French from overrunning them, upon condition that the French
should not overrun them. Indeed, I cannot be so exasperated
at the Dutch as it is the fashion to be; they have not forgot
the peace of Utrecht, though we have. Besides, how could they
rely on any negotiation with a people whose politics alter so
often as ours? Or why were we to fancy that my Lord
Chesterfield's parts would have more weight than my uncle had,
whom, ridiculous as he was, they had never known to take a
trip to Avignon to confer with the Duke of Ormond?(1074)
Our communication with the army is cut off through Flanders
and we are in great pain for Ostend: the fortifications are
all out of repair. Upon Marshal Wade's reiterated
remonstrances, we did cast thirty cannon and four mortars for
it-and then the economic ministry would not send them. "What!
fortify the Queen of Hungary's towns? there will be no end of
that." As if Ostend was of no more consequence to us, than
Mons or Namur! Two more battalions are ordered over
immediately; and the old pensioners of Chelsea College are to
mount guard at home! Flourishing in a peace of twenty years,
we were told that we were trampled upon by Spain and France.
Haughty nations, like those, who can trample upon an enemy
country, do not use to leave it in such wealth and happiness
as we enjoyed; but when the Duke of Marlborough's old
victorious veterans are dug out of their colleges and repose,
to guard the King's palace, and to keep up the show of an army
which we have buried in America, or in a manner lost in
Flanders, we shall soon know the real feel of being trampled
upon! In this crisis, you will hear often from me; for I will
leave you in no anxious uncertainty from which I can free you.
The Countess(1075) is at Hanover, and, we hear, extremely well
received. It is conjectured, and it is not impossible, that
the Count may have procured for her some dirty dab of a
negotiation about some 'acre of territory more for Hanover, in
order to facilitate her reception. She has been at Hesse
Cassel, and fondled extremely Princess Mary'S(1076) children;
just as you know she used to make a rout about the Pretender's
boys. My Lord Chesterfield laughs at her letter to him; and,
what would anger her more than the neglect, ridicules the
style and orthography. Nothing promises well for her here.
You told me you wished I would condole with Prince Craon on
the death of his son:(1077) which son? and where was he
killed? You don't tell me, and I never heard. Now it would
be too late. I should have been uneasy for Prince Beauvau,
but that you say he is in Piedmont.
Adieu! my dear child: we have much to wish! A little good
fortune will not re-establish us. I am in pain for your
health from the great increase of your business.
(1072 The French had been successful in a skirmish against the
English army, at a place called Melle. The consequence of
this success was their obtaining the possession of Ghent.-D.
(1073) The army of the Prince of Conti, posted near the Maine,
had been so weakened by the detachments sent from it to
reinforce the army in Flanders, that it was obliged to retreat
before the Austrians. This retrograde movement was effected
with considerable loss, both of soldiers and baggage; but it
does not appear that any decisive general engagement took
place during the campaign between the French and Austrians.-D.
(1074) ant`e, p. 195; Letter 45 (note 334).
(1075) Lady Orford.
(1076) Princess Mary of England, daughter of George the
Second; married in 1740 to the Prince of Hesse Cassel, who
treated her with great inhumanity. She died in June, 1771.-E.
(1077) The young Prince de Craon was killed at the head of his
regiment at the battle of Fontenoy.-D.
425 Letter 171
To sir Horace Mann.
Arlington Street, July 12, 1745.
I am charmed with the sentiments that Mr. Chute expresses for
you; but then you have lost him! Here is an answer to his
letter; I send it unsealed, to avoid repealing what I have
thought on our affairs. Seal it and send it. Its being open,
prevented my saying half so much about you as I should have
There is no more news - the Great Duke's victory, of which we
heard so much last week, is come to nothing! So far from
having defeated the Prince of Conti, it is not at all
impossible but the Prince may wear the imperial coat of
diamonds, though I am persuaded the care of that will be the
chief concern of the Great Duke, (next to his own person,) in
a battle. Our army is retreated beyond Brussels; the French
gather laurels, and towns, and prisoners, as one would a
nosegay. In the mean time you are bullying the King of
Naples, in the person of the English fleet; and I think may
possibly be doing so for two months after that very fleet
belongs to the King of France; as astrologers tell one that we
should see stars shine for I don't know how long after they
were annihilated. But I like your spirit; keep it up!
Millamant, in the Way of the World, tells Mirabel, that she
will be solicited to the very last; nay, and afterwards. He
replies, "What! after the last?"
I am in great pain about your arrears; it is a bad season for
obtaining payment. In the best times, they make a custom of
paying foreign ministers Ill; which may be very politic, when
they send men of too great fortunes abroad in order to lessen
them: but, my dear child, God knows that is not your case!
I have some extremely pretty dogs of King Charles's breed, if
I knew how to convey them to you: indeed they are not
Patapans. I can't tell how they would like travelling into
Italy, when there is a prospect of the rest of their race
returning from thence: besides, you must certify me that none
of them shall ever be married below themselves; for since the
affair of Lady Caroline Fox, one durst not hazard the Duke of
Richmond's resentment even about a dog and bitch of that
Lord Lempster(1078) is taken prisoner in the affair of the
detachment to Ghent. My lady,(1079) who has heard of Spartan
mothers, (though you know she once asserted that nobody knew
any thing of the Grecian Republics,) affects to bear it with a
patriot insensibility. She told me the other day that the
Abb`e Niccolini and the eldest Pandolfini are coming to
England: is it true? I shall be very Clad to be civil to them,
especially to the latter, who, you know, was one of my
My Lady Orford is at Hanover, most Graciously received by "the
Father of all his people!" In the papers of yesterday was this
paragraph; "Lady O. who has spent several years in Italy,
arrived here (Hanover) the 3d, on her return to England, and
was Graciously received by his Majesty." Lady Denbigh is gone
into the country so I don't know where she is to lodge-perhaps
at St. James's, out of' regard to my father's memory.
Trust me, you escaped well in Pigwiggin's(1079) not accepting
your invitation of living with you: you must have aired your
house, as Lady Pomfret was forced to air Lady Mary Wortley's
bedchamber. He has a most unfortunate breath: so has the
Princess his sister. When I was at their country-house, I
used to sit in the library and turn over books of prints: out
of good breeding they would not quit me; nay, would look over
the prints with me. A whiff would come from the east, and I
turned short to the west, whence the Princess would puff me
back with another gale full as richly perfumed as her
(1078) George Fermor: who, on the death of his father in 1753,
became second Earl of Pomfret. He died in 1785.-E.
(1079) Henrietta Louisa, Countess of Pomfret, mother of Lord
(1080) A nickname given by Walpole to his cousin Horace,
eldest son of "Old Horace Walpole," afterwards first Earl of
Orford of the second creation. He died in 1809, at the age of
427 Letter 172
To George Montagu, Esq.
Arlington Street, July 13, 1745.
We are all Cabob'd and Cocofagoed, as my Lord Denbigh says.
We, who formerly, you know, could any one of us beat three
Frenchmen, are now so .degenerated, that three Frenchmen(1081)
can evidently beat One Englishman. Our army is running away,
all that is left to run; for half of it is picked up by three
or four hundred at a time. In short, we must step out of the
high pantoufles that were made by those cunning shoemakers at
Poitiers and Ramilies, and go clumping about perhaps in wooden
ones. My Lady Hervey, who you know dotes upon every thing
French, is charmed with the hopes of these new shoes, and has
already bespoke herself a pair of pigeon wood. How did the
tapestry at Blenheim look? Did it glow with victory, or did
all our glories look overcast?
I remember a very admired sentence in one of my Lord
Chesterfield's speeches, when he was haranguing for this war;
with a most rhetorical transition, he turned to the tapestry
in the House of Lords,(1082) and said, with a sigh, he feared
there were no historical looms at work now! Indeed, we have
reason to bless the good patriots, who have been for employing
our manufactures so historically. The Countess of that wise
Earl, with whose two expressive words I began this letter,
says, she is very happy now that my lord had never a place
upon the coalition, for then all this bad situation of our
affairs would have been laid upon him.
Now I have been talking of remarkable periods in our annals, I
must tell you what my Lord Baltimore thinks one:--He said to
the Prince t'other day, "Sir, your Royal Highness's marriage
will be an area in English history."
If it were not for the life that is put into the town now and
then by very bad news from abroad, one should be quite
stupefied. There is nobody left but two or three solitary
regents; and they are always whisking backwards and forwards
to their villas; and about a dozen antediluvian dowagers,
whose carcasses have miraculously resisted the wet, and who
every Saturday compose a very reverend catacomb at my old Lady
Strafford's. She does not take money at the door for showing
them, but 'you pay twelvepence apiece under the denomination
of card-money. Wit and beauty, indeed, remain in the persons
of Lady Townshend and Lady Caroline Fitzroy; but such is the
want of taste of this age, that the former is very often
forced to wrap up her wit in plain English before it can be
understood; and the latter is almost as often obliged to have
recourse to the same artifices to make her charms be taken
Of beauty, I can tell you an admirable story. One Mrs.
Comyns, an elderly gentlewoman, has lately taken a house in
St. James's Street: some young gentlemen went there t'other
night;--"Well, Mrs. Comyns, I hope there won't be the same
disturbances here that were at your other house in Air
Street."--"Lord, Sir, I never had any disturbances there: mine
was as quiet a house as any in the neighbourhood, and a great
deal of company came to me: it was only the ladies of quality
that envied Me."--"Envied you! why, your house was pulled down
about your ears."--"Oh, dear Sir! don't you know how that
happened?"--"No; pray how?"--"Why, dear Sir, it was my Lady
**** who gave ten guineas to the mob to demolish my house,
because her ladyship fancied I got women for Colonel Conway."
My dear George, don't you delight in this story? If poor
Harry(1083) comes back from Flanders, I intend to have
infinite fun with his prudery about this anecdote, which is
full as good as if it was true. I beg you will visit Mrs.
Comyns when you come to town- she has infinite humour.
(1081) Alluding to the success of the French army in Flanders,
under the command of Mareschal Saxe.
(1082) Representing the defeat of the Spanish armada in 1588,
and surrounded by portraits of the principal officers who
commanded the fleet. This noble suit of hangings was wrought
in Holland, at the expense of the Earl of Nottingham, lord
(1083) The Honourable Henry Seymour Conway.
428 Letter 173
To Sir Horace Mann.
July 15, 1745.
You will be surprised at another from me so soon, when I wrote
to you but four days ago. This is not with any news, but upon
a private affair. You have never said any thing to Me about
the extraordinary procedure of Marquis Riccardi, of which I
wrote you word. Indeed, as his letter came just upon my
father's death, I had forgot it too; so much so, that I have
lost the catalogue which he sent me. Well, the other day I
received his cargo. Now, My dear child, I don't write to him
upon it, because, as he Sent the things without asking my
leave, I am determined never to acknowledge the receipt of
them because I will in no manner be liable to pay for them if
they are lost: which I think highly probable; and as I have
lost the catalogue, I cannot tell whether I have received all
I beg you will just say what follows to him. That I am
extremely amazed he should think of employing me to sell his
goods for him, especially without asking my consent, that an
English gentleman, just come from France, has brought me a box
of things, of which he himself had no account; nor is there
any letter or catalogue with them; that I suppose they may be
the Marquis's collection: I have lost the catalogue, and
consequently cannot tell whether I have received all or not,
nor whether they are his: that as they came in so blind a
manner, and have been opened at several custom-houses, I will
not be answerable especially having never given my consent to
receive them, and having opened the box ignorantly, without
knowing the contents: that when I did open it, I concluded it
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