The Letters of Horace Walpole, Volume 1
Part 7 out of 18
ambition met such a check by the death of the Queen.(404) She
had great power with her, though the Queen pretended to
despise her; but had unluckily told her, or fallen into her power
by some secret.(405) I was saying to Lady Pomfret, to be sure
she is dead very rich!" She replied, with some warmth, She never
took money." When I came home, I mentioned this to Sir R. "No,"
said he, "but she took jewels; Lord Pomfret's place of master of
the horse to the Queen was bought of her for a pair of diamond
earrings, of fourteen hundred pounds value." One day that she
wore them at a visit at old
Marlboro's, as soon as she was gone, the Duchess said to Lady
Mary Wortley,(406) "How can that woman have the impudence to go
about in that bribe?"-,, Madam," said Lady Mary, "how would you
have people know where wine is to be sold, unless there is a sign
hung out!" Sir R. told me, that in the enthusiasm of her vanity,
Lady Sundon had proposed to him to unite with her, and govern the
kingdom together: he bowed, begged her
patronage, but said he thought nobody fit to govern the
kingdom, but the King and Queen.-Another day.
Friday morning. I was forced to leave off last night, as I found
it would be impossible to send away this letter finished in any
time. It will be enormously long, but I have prepared you for
it. When I consider the beginning of my letter, it looks as if I
were entirely of your opinion about the
agreeableness of them. I believe you will never commend them
again, when you see how they increase upon your hands. I have
seen letters of two or three sheets, written from merchants at
Bengal and Canton to their wives: but then they contain the
history of a twelvemonth: I grow voluminous from week to week. I
can plead in excuse nothing but the true reason; you desired it;
and I remember how I used to wish for such letters, when I was in
Italy. My Lady Pomfret carries this humanity still farther, and
because people were civil to her in Italy, she makes it a rule to
visit all strangers in general. She has been to visit a Spanish
Count (407) and his wife, though she cannot open her lips in
their language. They fled from Spain, he and his brother having
offended the Queen, (408) by their attachments to the Prince of
Asturias; his brother ventured back to bring off this woman, who
was engaged to him. Lord Harrington (409) has procured them a
pension of six hundred a-year. They live chiefly with Lord
Carteret and his
daughter,(410) who speak Spanish. But to proceed from where I
left off last night, like the Princess Dinarzade in the
Arabian Nights, for you will want to know what happened one day.
Sir Robert was at dinner with Lady Sundon, who hated the Bishop
of London, as much as she loved the Church. "Well," said she to
Sir R., "how does your pope do!"-"Madam," replied he, "he is my
pope, and shall be my Pope; every body has some pope or other;
don't you know that you are one! They call you Pope Joan." She
flew into a passion, and desired he would not fix any names on
her; that they were not so easily got rid of.
We had a little ball the other night at Mrs. Boothby's, and by
dancing, did not perceive an earthquake, which frightened all
the undancing part of the town.
We had a civility from his Royal Highness,(411) who sent for
Monticelli the night he was engaged here, but, on hearing it,
said he would send for him some other night. If I did not live
so near St. James's, I would find out some politics in
this-should not one?
Sir William Stanhope (412) has had a hint from the same
Highness, that his company is not quite agreeable: whenever he
met any body at Carlton House whom he did not know, he said,
"Your humble servant, Mr. or Mrs. Hamilton."
I have this morning sent aboard the St. Quintin a box for you,
with your secretary-not in it.
Old Weston of Exeter is dead. Dr. Clarke, the Dean, Dr.
Willes, the decipherer, and Dr. Gilbert of Llandaff, are
candidates to succeed him.(413) Sir R. is for Willes, who, he
says, knows so many secrets, that he might insist upon being
My dear Mr. Chute! how concerned I am that he took all that
trouble to no purpose. I will not write to him this post, for as
you show him my letters, this here will sufficiently employ any
one's patience-but I have done. I long to hear that the
Dominichini is safe. Good night.
(391) The name of Lord Chesterfield.
(392) On the subject of Sir Robert's alleged want of
partiality for his son, the following passage occurs in the
anecdotes prefixed to Lord Wharncliffe's edition of the works of
Lady Mary Wortley Montagu:-"Those ironical lines, where Pope says
that Sir Robert Had never made a friend in private life, And was,
besides, a tyrant to his wife,' are well
understood, as conveying a sly allusion to his good-humoured
unconcern about some things which more strait-laced husbands do
not take so coolly. In a word, Horace Walpole was
generally supposed to be the son of Carr Lord Hervey, and Sir
Robert not to be ignorant of it. One striking circumstance was
visible to the naked eye; no beings in human shape could resemble
each other less than the two passing for father and son; and
while their reverse of personal likeness provoked a malicious
whisper, Sir Robert's marked neglect of Horace in his infancy
tended to confirm it. Sir Robert took scarcely any notice of him
till his proficiency in Eton school, when a lad of some standing,
drew his attention, and proved that, whether he had or had not a
right to the name he went by, he was likely to do it Honour."
Vol. i. 1). 33.-E.
(393) General Charles Churchill. (Whose character has been so
inimitably sketched, at about the same period when this letter
was written, by Sir Charles Hanbury Williams, in his poem of',
Isabella, or the Morning:"-
"The General, one of those brave old commanders,
Who served through all our glorious wars in Flanders.
Frank and good-natur'd, of an honest heart,
Loving to act the steady friendly part;
None led through youth a gayer life than he,
Cheerful in converse, smart in repartee;
But with old age, its Vices Come along,
And in narration he's extremely long;
Exact in circumstance, and nice in dates,
He each minute particular relates.
If you name one of marlbro's ten campaigns,
He gives you its whole history for your pains,
And Blenheim's field becomes by his reciting,
As long in telling as it was in fighting.
His old desire to please is still express'd,
His hat's well cock'd, his periwig's well dress'd.
He rolls his stockings still, white gloves he wears,
And in the boxes with the beaux appears.
His eyes through wrinkled corners cast their rays,
Still he looks cheerful, still soft things he says,
And still remembering that he once was young,
He strains his crippled knees, and struts along."-D.)
(394) Vide an account of the erection of Lord Perceval and one
Edwin, in that Lord's History of the House of Ivery.
(395) Philip Yorke, Lord, and afterwards Earl of Hardwicke, for
twenty years Lord Chancellor of England.-D.
(396) William mathias Howard, Earl of Stafford.
(397) The Primate of Lorrain, eldest son of Prince Craon, was
famous for his wit and vices of all kinds.
(398) Lady Dorothy Boyle, eldest daughter of Lord Burlington;
Isabella, wife of Francis Lord Conway, and Caroline,
afterwards married to Lord Petersham, were the daughter-in-law
and daughters of Charles Fitzroy, Duke of grafton, lord
(399) Lepel, eldest daughter of John Lord Hervey, afterwards
married to Mr. Phipps. (Constantine Phipps, in 1767 created Lord
(400) The effeminacy of Lord Hervey formed a continual subject
for the satire of his opponents. Pope's bitter lines on him- are
well remembered. The old Duchess of Marlborough, too, in her
"Opinions," describes him as having "certainly parts and wit; but
he is the most wretched profligate man that ever was born,
besides ridiculous; a painted face, and not a tooth in his head."
on which the editor of that curious little book, Lord Hailes,
remarks, "Lord Hervey, having felt some attacks of the epilepsy,
entered upon and persisted in a very strict regimen, and thus
stopped the progress and prevented the
effects of that dreadful disease. His daily food was a small
quantity of asses' milk and a flour biscuit. Once a week he
indulged himself with eating an apple; he used emetics daily.
Mr. Pope and he were once friends; but they quarrelled, and
persecuted each other with virulent satire. Pope, knowing the
abstemious regimen which Lord Hervey observed, was so
ungenerous as to call him "mere cheese-curd of asses' milk!" Lord
Hervey used paint to soften his ghastly appearance. Mr. Pope
must have known this also; and therefore it was
unpardonable in him to introduce it into his "celebrated
portrait." It ought to be remembered, that Lord Hervey is very
differently described by Dr. Middleton; who, in his dedication to
him of "The History of the Life of Tully," praises him for his
strong good sense, patriotism, temperance, and
(401) Jane, only daughter of Francis, the first Lord Conway, by
his second wife, Mrs. Bodens. (She died unmarried, May 5,
(402) Author of some Love Elegies, and a favourite of Lord
Chesterfield. He died this year. [Hammond was equerry to the
Prince of Wales, and member for Truro. He died in June, 1742, at
Stowe, the seat of Lord Cobham, in his thirty.second year. Miss
Dashwood long survived him, and died unmarried in 1779. " The
character," says Johnson, "which her lover gave her was, indeed,
not likely to attract courtship."]
(402) Wife of William Clayton, Lord Sundon, woman of the
bedchamber and mistress of the robes to Queen Caroline. [She had
been the friend and correspondent of Sarah Duchess of'
Marlborough; who, on the accession of George I , through Baron
Bothmar's influence, procured for her friend the place of lady of
the bedchamber to the Princess with whom she grew as great a
favourite as her colleague, Mrs. Howard, with the Prince; and
eventually, on the Princess becoming Queen, exercised an
influence over her, of which even sir Robert Walpole was
(404) Queen Caroline, died November 1737.-D.
(405) This is now known to have been a rupture, with which the
Queen was afflicted, and which she had the weakness to wish, and
the courage to be able, to conceal.-E.
(406) The celebrated Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, oldest
daughter of Evelyn, first Duke of Kingston, and wife of
Wortley Montagu, Esq.-D.
(407) Marquis de Sabernego: he returned to Spain after the death
of Philip V.
(408) The Princess of Parma, second wife of Philip V. King of
Spain, and consequently stepmother to the Prince of Asturias,
son of that King, by his first wife, a princess of Savoy.-D.
(409) William Stanhope, created Lord Harrington in 1729, and Earl
of the same in 1741. He held various high offices, and was, at
the time this was written, secretary of
(410) Frances, youngest daughter of Lord Carteret, afterwards
married to the Marquis of Tweedale. (in 1748. The marquis was an
extraordinary lord of session, and the last person who held a
(411) Frederick Prince of Wales.-D.
(412) Brother to Lord Chesterfield. This bon mot was
occasioned by the numbers of Hamiltons which Lady Archibald
Hamilton, the Prince's mistress, had placed at that court.
(413) Nicholas Clagget, Bishop of St. David's, succeeded, on
Weston's death, to the see of Exeter.-Dr. Clagget was,
however, succeeded in the see of St. David's by Dr. Edward
Willes, Dean of Lincoln and decipherer to the King; and, in the
following year, translated to the bishopric of Bath and Wells.
The art of deciphering, for which Dr. Willes was so celebrated,
has been the subject of many learned and curious works by
Trithemius, Baptista Porta, the Duke Augustus of
Brunswick, and other more recent writers. The Gentleman's
Magazine for 1742, contains a very ingenious system of
deciphering: but the old modes of secret writing having been, for
the most part, superseded by the modern system of
cryptography, in which, according to a simple rule which may be
communicated verbally, and easily retained in the memory, the
signs for the letters can be changed continually; it is the
chiffre quarr`e or chiffre ind`echiffrable, used, if not
universally, yet by most courts. None of the old systems of
deciphering are any longer available.]
212 Letter 51
To Sir Horace Mann.
Friday, Jan. 22, 1742.
Don't wonder that I missed writing to you yesterday, my
constant day: you will pity me when you hear that I was shut up
in the House of Commons till one in the morning. I came away
more dead than alive, and was forced to leave Sir R. at supper
with my brothers: he was all alive and in spirits.(414) He says
he is younger than me, and indeed I think so, in spite of his
forty years more. My head aches to-night, but we rose early; and
if I don't write to-night when shall I find a
moment to spare? Now you want to know what we did last night;
stay, I will tell you presently in its place: it was well, and of
infinite consequence-so far I tell you now. Our recess finished
last Monday, and never at school did I enjoy holidays so
much-but, les voil`a finis jusqu'au printefps! Tuesday (for you
see I write you an absolute journal) we sat on a Scotch election,
a double return; their man was Hume Campbell,(415) Lord
Marchmont's brother, lately made solicitor to the Prince, for
being as troublesome, as violent, and almost as able as his
brother. They made a great point of it, and gained so many of
our votes, that at ten at night we were forced to give it up
without dividing. Sandys, who loves persecution, even unto the
death, moved to punish the sheriff; and as we dared not divide,
they ordered him into custody, where by this time, I suppose,
Sandys has eaten him.
On Wednesday, Sir Robert Godschall, the Lord Mayor, presented the
Merchant's petition, signed by three hundred of them, and drawn
up by Leonidas Glover.(416) This is to be heard next Wednesday.
This gold-chain came into parliament, cried up for his parts, but
proves so dull, one would think he chewed
opium. Earle says, "I have heard an oyster speak as well
Well, now I come to yesterday: we met, not expecting much
business. Five of our members were gone to the York election,
and the three Lord Beauclercs (417) to their mother's funeral at
Windsor; for that old beauty St. Albans (418) is dead at last.
On this they depended for getting the majority, and towards three
o'clock, when we thought of breaking up, poured in their most
violent questions: one was a motion for leave to bring in the
Place Bill to limit the number of placemen in the House. This
was not opposed, because, out of decency, it is generally
suffered to pass the Commons, and is thrown out by the Lords;
only Colonel Cholmondeley (419) desired to know if they designed
to limit the number of those that have promises of places, as
well as of those that have places now. I must tell you that we
are a very conclave; they buy votes with
reversions of places on the change of the ministry. Lord Gage
was giving an account in Tom's coffeehouse of the intended
alterations: that Mr. Pultney is to be chancellor of the
exchequer, and Chesterfield and Carteret secretaries of state.
Somebody asked who was to be paymaster? Numps Edwin,(420) who
stood by, replied, "We have not thought so low as that yet."
Lord Gage harangues every day at Tom's, and has read there a very
false account of the King'S message to the Prince.(421) The
Court, to show their contempt of Gage, have given their copy to
be read by Swinny.(422) This is the authentic copy, which they
have made the bishop write from the message which he carried, and
as he and Lord Cholmondeley agree it was
On this Thursday, of which I was telling you, at three
o'clock, Mr. Pultney rose up, and moved for a secret committee of
twenty-one. This inquisition, this council of ten, was to sit
and examine whatever persons and papers they should
please, and to meet when and where they pleased. He protested
much on its not being intended against any person, but merely to
give the King advice, and on this foot they fought it till ten at
night, when Lord Perceval blundered out what they had been
cloaking with so @much art, and declared that he should vote for
it as a committee of accusation. Sir Robert
immediately rose, and protested that he should not have
spoken, but for what he had heard last; but that now, he must
take it to himself. He portrayed the malice of the
Opposition, who, for twenty years, had not been able to touch
him, and were now reduced to this infamous shift. He defied them
to accuse him, and only desired that if they should,
might be in an open and fair manner: desired no favour, but to be
acquainted with his accusation. He spoke of Mr.
Doddington, who had called his administration infamous, as of a
person of great self-mortification, who, for sixteen years, had
condescended to bear part of the odium. For Mr. Pultney, who had
just spoken a second time, Sir R. said, he had begun the debate
with great calmness, but give him his due, he had made amends for
it in the end. In short, never was innocence so triumphant.
There were several glorious speeches on both sides: Mr.
Pultney's two, W. Pitt's (423) and George Grenville's,(424) Sir
Robert's, Sir W. Yonge's, Harry Fox's, (425) Mr. Chute's, and the
Attorney-General's.(426) My friend Coke, for the
first time, spoke vastly well, and mentioned how great Sir
Robert's character is abroad. ' Sir Francis Dashwood replied,
that he had found quite the reverse from Mr. Coke, and that
foreigners always spoke with contempt of the Chevalier de
Walpole. That was going too far, and he was called to order, but
got off well enough, by saying, that he knew it was
contrary to rule to name any member, but that he only
mentioned it as spoken by an impertinent Frenchman.
But of all speeches, none ever was so full of wit as Mr.
Pultney's last. He said, "I have heard this committee
represented as a most dreadful spectre; it has been likened to
all terrible things; it has been likened to the King; to the
inquisition; it will be a committee of safety; it is a
committee of danger; I don't know what it is to be! One
gentleman, I think, called it a cloud! (this was the Attorney) a
cloud! I remember Hamlet takes Lord Polonius by the hand and
shows him a cloud, and then asks him if he does not think it is
like a whale." Well, in short, at eleven at night we divided, and
threw out this famous committee by 253 to
250, the greatest number that ever was in
the house, and the greatest number that ever lost a question.
It was a most shocking sight to see the sick and dead brought in
on both sides! Men on crutches, and Sir
William Gordon (427) from his bed, with a
blister on his head, and flannel hanging out from under
his wig. I could scarce pity him for his
ingratitude. The day before the Westminster petition, Sir
Charles Wager (428) gave his son a ship, and the next day the
father came down and voted against him. The son has since been
east away; but they concealed it from the father, that he might
not absent himself. However, as we have our
good-natured men too on our side, one of his own countrymen went
and told him of it in the House. The old man, who looked like
Lazarus at his resuscitation, bore it with great
resolution, and said, he knew why he was told of it, but when he
thought his country in danger, he would not go away. As he is so
near death, that it is indifferent to him whether he died two
thousand years ago or to-morrow, it is unlucky for him not to
have lived when such insensibility would have been a Roman
There are no arts, no menaces, which the Opposition do not
practise. They have threatened one gentleman to have a
reversion cut off from his son, unless he will vote with them.
To Totness there came a letter to the mayor from the Prince, and
signed by two of his lords, to recommend a candidate in
opposition to the solicitor-general. The mayor sent the
letter to Sir Robert. They have turned the
Scotch to the best account. There is a young Oswald
(430) who had engaged to Sir R. but has voted against us. Sir R.
sent a friend to reproach him: the moment the gentleman who had
engaged for him came into the room, Oswald said, "You had liked
to have led me into a fine error! did you not tell me that Sir R.
would have the majority?"
When the debate was over, Mr. Pultney owned that he had never
heard so fine a debate on our side; and said to Sir Robert,
"Well, nobody can do what you can!" "Yes," replied Sir R., "Yonge
did better." Mr. P. answered, "It was fine, but not of that
weight with what you said." They all allow it- and now their plan
is to persuade Sir Robert to retire with honour. All that
evening there was a report about the town, that he and my uncle
were to be sent to the Tower, and people hired windows in the
city to see them pass by-but for this time I believe we shall not
exhibit so historical a parade.
The night of the committee, my brother Walpole
(431) had got two or three invalids at his house,
designing to carry them into the House by his door, as they were
too ill to go round by Westminster hall: the patriots, who have
rather more contrivances than their predecessors of Grecian and
Roman memory, had taken the precaution of stopping the keyhole
with sand. How Livy's eloquence would have been hampered, if
there had been back-doors and keyholes to the Temple of Concord!
A few days ago there were lists of the officers at Port Mahon
laid before the House of Lords -. unfortunately, it appeared that
two-thirds of the regiment had been absent. The Duke of Argyll
said, "Such a list was a libel on the government;" and of all
men, the Duke of Newcastle was the man who rose up and agreed
with him: remember what I have told you once before of his union
with Carteret. We have
carried the York election by a majority of 956.
The other night the Bishop of Canterbury(432) was with Sir
'Robert, and on going away, said, "Sir, I have been lately
reading Thaunus; he mentions a minister, who having long been
persecuted by his enemies, at length vanquished them: the
reason he gives, quia se non
Sir Thomas Robinson is at last named to the government of
Barbadoes; he has long prevented its being asked for, by
declaring that he had the promise of it. Luckily for him, Lord
Lincoln liked his house, and procured him this government on
condition of hiring it.
I have mentioned Lord Perceval's speeches; he has a set who have
a rostrum at his house, and harangue there. A gentleman who came
thither one evening was refused, but insisting that he was
engaged to come, "Oh, Sir," said the porter, "what, are you one
of those who play at members of Parliament?"
I must tell you something, though Mr. Chute will see my
letter. Sir Robert brought home yesterday to dinner, a fat
comely gentleman, who came up to me, and said he believed I knew
his brother abroad. I asked his name; he replied, He is with Mr.
Whithed." I thought he said, It is Whithed." After I had
talked to him of Mr. Whithed, I said, There is a very
sensible man with Mr. Whithed,
one Mr. Chute." "Sir," said he, "my name is
Chute." "My dear
Mr. Chute, now I know both your brothers. You
will forgive my mistake."
With what little conscience I begin a third sheet! but it
shall be but half a one. I have received your vast packet of
music by the messenger, for which I thank you a thousand
times; and the political
sonnet, which is far from bad. Who
translated it? I like the translation.
I am obliged to you about the gladiator, etc.: the temptation of
having them at all is great, but too enormous. If I could have
the gladiator for about an hundred pounds, I would give it.
I enclose one of the bills of lading of the things that I sent
you by your secretary: he sets out tomorrow. By Oswald's
(433) folly, to whom I entrusted the putting them on board, they
are consigned to Goldsworthy, (434) but pray take care that he
does not open them. The captain mortifies me by
proposing to stay three weeks at Genoa. I have sent away
to-night a small additional box of steel wares, which I
received but to-day from Woodstock. As they are better than the
first, you will choose out some of them for Prince Craon, and
give away the rest as you please.
We have a new opera by Pescetti, but a very bad one; however, all
the town runs after it, for it ends with a charming
dance.(435) They have flung open the stage to a great length,
and made a perfect view of Venice, with the
Rialto, and numbers of gondolas that row about full of masks, who
land and dance. You would like it.
Well, I have done. Excuse me if I don't take the trouble to read
it all over again, for it is immense, as you will find. Good
(414) Sir Robert Wilmot also, in a letter to the Duke of
Devonshire, written on the 12th,
Sir Robert was today observed to be more naturally gay and full
of spirits than he has been
for some time past."-E.
(415) HUme Campbell was twin brother of Hugh, third Earl of
Marchmont. They were sons of
Alexander, the second earl, who had quarrelled with Sir Robert
Walpole at the time of the excise
scheme in 1733. Sir Robert, in consequence, prevented him from
being reelected one of the sixteen
representative Scotch peers in 1734; in requital for which,
the old earl's two sons became the
bitterest opponents of the Minister. They were both
men of considerable talents; extremely similar in
their characters and dispositions, and
so much so in their outward
appearance that it was very difficult to know them apart.-D. The
estimation in which Lord Marchmont was held by his
contemporaries, maybe judged of by
the fact, that Lord Cobham gave his bust a place in the Temple of
Worthies, at Stowe, and the mention
of him in Pope's inscription in his grotto at
"Where British siglis from dying Wyndham stole,
And the bright flame was shot through Marchmont's soul."
We are told by Coxe, that Sir Robert Walpole "used frequently to
rally his sons, who were
praising the speeches of Pultney, Pitt, Lyttelton, and others, by
saying, "You may cry up their speeches if you please, but when I
have answered Sir John Barnard and
Lord Polwarth, I think I have concluded the debate."]
(416) Glover, a merchant, author of "Leonidas," a poem,
"Boadicea," a tragedy, etc.
[Glover's talent for public speaking, and information
concerning trade and Commerce,
naturally pointed him out to the merchants of London to
conduct their application to parliament on the neglect of
(417) Lord Vere, Lord Henry, and Lord Sidney Beauclerc, sons of
the Duchess Dowager of St. Albans, who is painted among the
beauties at Hampton Court.
(418) Lady Diana Vere, daughter, and at length sole heir, of
Aubrey de Vere, twentieth and last Earl of Oxford. She
married, in 1694, Charles, first Duke of St. Albans, natural son
of Charles II. by Nell Gwin. She died Jan. 15, 1742.
(419) Colonel James Cholmondeley, only brother of the Earl.
Afterwards distinguished himself at the battles of Fontenoy and
Falkirk, and died in 1775.-E.
(420) Charles Edwin, Admiral Vernon's unsuccessful colleague at
(421) During the holidays, Sir R. W. had prevailed on the King to
send to the Prince of Wales, to offer to pay his debts and double
his allowance. This negotiation was intrusted to Lord
Cholmondeley on the King's, and to Secker, Bishop of Oxford, on
the Prince's side, but came to nothing, [The Prince, in his
answer, stated, that "he could not come to court while Sir Robert
Walpole presided in His Majesty's councils; that he looked on him
as the sole author of our grievances at home, and of our ill
success in the West Indies; and that the
disadvantageous figure we at present made in all the courts of
Europe was to be attributed alone to him."]
(422) Owen MacSwinny, a buffoon; formerly director of the
playhouse. [He had been a manager of Drury Lane Theatre, and was
the author of several dramatic pieces. He resided in
Italy for several years, and, on his return, was appointed keeper
of the King's Mews. He died in 1754, leaving his
fortune to the celebrated Mrs. Woffington.](
423) Afterwards the great Lord Chatham.-D.
(424) First minister in the early part of the reign of George
(425) Afterwards the first Lord Holland.-D.
(426) Sir Dudley Ryder.-D.
(427) Sir Robert Wilmot, in a letter to the Duke of
Devonshire, says:-,,Sir William Gordon was brought in like a
corpse. Some thought it had been an old woman in disguise,
having a white cloth round his head:
others,, who found him out, expected him to expire every moment.
Other incurables were introduced on their side. Mr. Hopton, for
Hereford, w, is carried in with crutches. Sir Robert Walpole
exceeded himself; Mr. Pelham, with the greatest decency, cut
Pultney into a thousand pieces. Sir Robert actually dissected
him, and laid his heart open to the view of the House."-E.
(428) Admiral Sir Charles Wager. He had been knighted by Queen
Anne, for his Gallantry in taking and destroying some rich
Spanish galleons. He was at this time first lord of the
Admiralty. He died in 1743.-D.
(429) Sir William died in the May following.
(430) James Oswald, afterwards one of the commissioners of trade
(431) Robert, Lord Walpole, afterwards Earl of Orford. He was
auditor of the Exchequer, and his house joined to the House of
commons, to which he had a door: but it was soon afterwards
locked up, by an order of the House.
(432) John Potter, Archbishop of Canterbury, translated, in 1737,
from the see of Oxford. He died in 1747.-D.
)433) George Oswald, steward to Sir R. W.
(434) Mr. Goldsworthy, consul at Leghorn, had married Sir
Charles Wager's niece, and was endeavouring to supplant Mr. Mann
(435) Vestris, the celebrated dancer, would have been
delighted with it; for it is related of him, that when Gluck had
finished his noble opera, "Iphigenia," Vestris was sadly
disappointed on finding that it did not end with a
"chaconne," and worried the composer to induce him to
introduce one. At length Gluck, losing all patience,
exclaimed, "Chaconne! chaconne! Had, then, the Greeks, whose
manners we are to represent, chaconnes?" "Certainly not,"
replied Vestris, "certainly not; but so much the worse for the
218 Letter 52
To Sir Horace Mann.
London, Feb. 1741-2.
I am miserable that I have not more time to write to you,
especially as you will want to know so much of what I have to
tell you; but for a week or fortnight I shall be so hurried, that
I shall scarce know what I say. I sit here writing to you, and
receiving all the town, who flock to this house; Sir Robert has
already had three levees this morning, and the
rooms still overflowing-they overflow up to me. You will think
this the prelude to some victory! On the contrary, when you
receive this, there will be no longer a Sir Robert Walpole: you
must know him for the future by the title of Earl of
Orford. That other envied name expires next week with his
ministry! Preparatory to this change. I should tell you, that
last week we heard in the House of Commons the Chippenham
election, when Jack Frederick and his brother-in-law, Mr. Hume,
on our side, petitioned against Sir Edmund Thomas and Mr. Baynton
Holt. Both sides made it the decisive question-but our people
were not all equally true: and upon the previous question we had
but 235 against 236, so lost it by one. From that time my
brothers, my uncle, I, and some of his particular friends,
persuaded Sir R. to resign. He was undetermined till Sunday
night. Tuesday we were to finish the election, when we lost it
by 16; upon which Sir Robert declared to some particular persons
in the House his resolution to retire,(436) and had that morning
sent the Prince of Wales notice of' it. It is understood from
the heads of the party, that nothing more is to be pursued
against him. Yesterday (Wednesday) the King adjourned both
Houses for a fortnight, for time to settle
things. Next week Sir Robert resigns and goes into the House of
Lords. The only change yet fixed, is, that Lord Wilmington (437)
is to be at the head of the Treasury-but numberless
other alterations and confusions must follow. The Prince will be
reconciled, and the Whig-patriots will come in. There were a few
bonfires last night, but they are very unfashionable, for never
was fallen minister so followed. When he kissed the King's hand
to take his first leave, the King fell on his
neck, wept and kissed him, and begged to see him frequently. He
will continue in town, and assist the ministry in the
Lords. Mr. Pelham has declared that he will accept nothing, that
was Sir Robert's; and this moment the Duke of Richmond has been
here from court to tell Sir R. that he had resigned the
mastership of the horse, having received it from him,
unasked, and that he would not keep it beyond his ministry. This
is the greater honour, as it was so unexpected, and as he had no
personal friendship with the duke.
For myself, I am quite happy to be free from all the fatigue,
envy, and uncertainty of our late situation. I go every
where; indeed, to have the stare over, and to use myself to
neglect, but I meet nothing but civilities. Here have been Lord
Hartington, Coke, and poor Fitzwilliam,(438) and others crying:
here has been Lord Deskford (439) and numbers to wish me joy; in
short, it is a most extraordinary and various
There are three people whom I pity much; the King, Lord
Wilmington, and my own sister; the first, for the affront, to be
forced to part with his minister, and to be forced to
forgive his son; the second, as he is too old, and (even when he
was young,) unfit for the burthen: and the poor girl,(441) who
must be created an earl's daughter, as her birth would deprive
her of the rank. She must kiss hands, and bear the flirts of
impertinent real quality
I am invited to dinner to-day by Lord Strafford (442) Argyll's
son-in-law. You see we shall grow the fashion.
My dear child, these are the most material points: I am
sensible how much you must want particulars; but you must be
sensible, too, that just yet, I have not time.
Don't be uneasy; your brother Ned has been here to wish me joy:
your brother Gal. has been here and cried; your tender nature
will at first make you like the latter; but afterwards you will
rejoice with the elder and me. Adieu! Yours, ever, and the same.
(436) "Sir Robert," says Coxe, "seemed to have anticipated this
event, and met it with his usual fortitude and
cheerfulness. While the tellers were performing their office, he
beckoned Sir Edward Baynton, the member whose return was
supported by the Opposition, to sit near him., spoke to him with
great complacency, animadverted on the ingratitude of several
individuals who were voting against him, on whom he had conferred
great favour, and declared he would never again sit in that
(437) Sir Spencer Compton, Earl of Wilmington, knight of the
garter, and at this time lord president of the council.
(438) william, Baron, and afterwards Earl Fitzwilliam; a young
lord, much attached to Sir R. W.
(439) James Ogilvy, Lord Deskford succeeded his father, in 1764,
as sixth Earl of Findlater, and third Earl of Seafield. He held
some inconsiderable offices in Scotland, and died in 1770.-D.
(440) the peculiar antipathy to Lord Hardwicke manifested by
Horace Walpole on all occasions is founded, no doubt, upon the
opinion which he had taken up, that the resignation of Sir Robert
Walpole at this moment had been rendered necessary by the
treachery and intrigues of that nobleman and the Duke of
Newcastle. In his "Memoires" he repeatedly charges him with such
treachery; and the Edinburgh reviewer of that work
(xxxvi. 1). 29) favours this view, observing, "It appears
that, unless there was a secret understanding of Newcastle and
Hardwicke with Pulteney and Carteret, before Sir Robert's
determination to resign, the coalition was effected between the
31st of January and 2d of February; for on the 2d of
February it was already settled that Lord Wilmington should be at
the head of the Treasury in the new administration. So speedy an
adjustment of a point of such consequence looks
somewhat like previous concert." However much appearances might
favour this opinion, another writer has shown most
satisfactorily that no such previous concert existed. The
reviewer of the "Memoires" in the Quarterly Review (xxvii. p.
191) proves, in the first place, that it was Sir Robert
himself who determined the course of events, and, as he
emphatically said, turned the key of the closet on Mr.
Pulteney; so that, if he was betrayed, it must have been by
himself; and secondly, that we have the evidence of his family
and friends, that he was lost by his own inactivity and
timidity; in other words, the great minister was worn out with
age and business." And these views are confirmed by extracts from
the "Walpoliana," written, be it remembered, by Philip, second
Earl -of Hardwicke, son of the chancellor, from the information
of the Walpole family, and even of Sir Robert
himself; who, after his retirement, admitted his young friend
into his conversation and confidence-a fact totally
inconsistent with a belief in his father's treachery;-by Sir
Robert's own authority, who, in a private and confidential letter
to the Duke of Devonshire, dated 2d of February, 1742, giving an
account of his resignation, and the efforts of his triumphant
antagonists to form a new ministry, distinctly
states "that he himself prevented the Duke of Newcastle's
dismissal;" and lastly, by Horace Walpole's own pamphlet, "A
Detection of a late Forgery," etc., in which he speaks of "the
breach between the King and the Prince, as open, the known,
avowed cause of the resignation, and which Sir Robert never
disguised;"-and again, among the errors of the writer he
notices, Sir Robert Walpole is made to complain of being
abandoned by his friends. This is for once an undeserved
satire on mankind: no fallen minister ever experienced such
attachment from his friends as he did."-E.
(441) Maria, natural daughter of Sir R. W. by Maria Skerret, his
mistress, whom he afterwards married. She had a patent to take
place as an earl's daughter.
(442) William Wentworth, second Earl of Strafford, of the
second creation. He married Anne Campbell, second daughter of
John, Duke of Argyle.-D.
220 Letter 53
To Sir Horace Mann.
Feb. 9, 1741-2.
You will have had my letter that told you of the great change.
The scene is not quite so pleasant as it was, nor the
tranquility arrived that we expected. All is in confusion; no
overtures from the Prince, who, it must seem, proposes to be
King. His party have persuaded him not to make up, but on much
greater conditions than he first demanded: in short,
notwithstanding his professions to the Bishop,(443)-he is to
insist on the impeachment of Sir R., saying now, that his
terms not being accepted at first, he is not bound to stick to
them. He is pushed on to this violence by Argyll,
Chesterfield, Cobham,(444) Sir John Hind Cotton,(445) and Lord
Marchmont. The first says, "What impudence it is in Sir R. to be
driving about the streets!" and all cry out, that he is still
minister behind the curtain. They will none of them come into
the ministry, till several are displaced but have summoned a
great meeting of the faction for Friday, at the Fountain Tavern,
to consult measures against Sir R., and
to-morrow the Common Council meet, to draw up instructions for
their members. They have sent into Scotland and into the
counties for the same purpose. Carteret ind Pulteney@ pretend to
be against this violence, but own that if their party
insist upon it, they cannot desert them. The cry against Sir R.
has been greater this week than ever; first, against a
grant of four thousand pounds a-year, which the King gave him on
his resignation, but which, to quiet them, he has given Up.(446)
Then, upon making his daughter a lady; their wives and daughters
declare against giving her place. He and she both kissed hands
yesterday, and on Friday go to Richmond for a week. He seems
quite secure in his innocence-but what
protection is that, against the power and malice of' party!
Indeed, his friends seem as firm is ever, and frequent him as
much; but they are not now the strongest. As to an
impeachment, I think they will not be so mad as to proceed to it:
it is too solemn and too public to be attempted, without proof of
crimes, of which he certainly is not guilty. For a bill of'
pains and penalties, they may, if they will, I
believe, pass it through the Commons, but will scarce get the
assent of the King and Lords. In a week more I shall be able to
write with less uncertainty.
I hate sending you false news, as that was, of the Duke of
Richmond's resignation. It arose from his being two hours below
with Sir R., and from some very warm discourse of his in the
House of Lords, against the present violences; but went no
further. Zeal magnified this, as she came up stairs to me, and I
wrote to you before I had seen Sir Robert.
At a time when we ought to be most united, we are in the
greatest confusion; such is the virtue of the patriots, though
they have obtained what they professed alone to seek. They will
not stir one step in foreign affairs, though Sir R. has offered
to unite with them, with all his friends, for the
common cause. It will now be seen whether he or they are most
patriot. You see I call him Sir Robert still! after one has
known him by that name for these threescore years, it is
difficult to accustom one's mouth to another title.
In the midst of all this, we are diverting ourselves as
cordially as if Righteousness and Peace had just been kissing one
another. Balls, operas, and masquerades! The Duchess of Norfolk
(447) makes a grand masquing next week; and to-morrow there is
one at the Opera-house.
Here is a Saxe-Gothic prince, brother to her Royal
Highness:(448) he sent her word from Dover that he was driven in
there, in his way to Italy. The man of the inn, Whom he
consulted about lodgings in town, recommended him to one of very
ill-fame in Suffolk-street. He has got a neutrality for himself,
and goes to both courts.
Churchill (449) asked Pultney the other day, "Well, Mr.
Pultney, will you break me too?"-"No, Charles," replied he, "you
break fast enough of yourself!" Don't you think it hurt him more
than the other breaking would? Good night!
Thursday, Feb. 11, 1741-2.
P. S. I had finished my letter, and unwillingly resolved to send
you all that bad news, rather than leave you ignorant of our
doings; but I have the pleasure of mending your prospect a
little. Yesterday the Common Council met, and resolved upon
instructions to their members, which, except one not very
descriptive paragraph, contains nothing personal -,against our
new earl; and ends with resolutions "to stand by our present
constitution." Mind what followed! One of them proposed to insert
"the King and Royal Family" before the words, "our
present constitution;" but, on a division, it was rejected by
three to one.
But to-day, for good news! Sir Robert has resigned; Lord
Wilmington is first lord of the treasury, and Sandys has
accepted the seals as chancellor of the exchequer, with Gibbon
(450) and Sir John Rushout,(451) joined to him as other lords of
the treasury. Waller was to have been the other, but has
formally refused. So, Lord Sundon, Earle, Treby,(452) and
Clutterbuck (453) are the first discarded, unless the latter
saves himself by Waller's refusal. Lord Harrington, who is
created an earl, is made president of the council, and Lord
Carteret has consented to be secretary of state in his
room-but mind; not one of them has promised to be against the
prosecution of Sir Robert, though I don't believe now that it
will go on. You see Pultney is not come in, except in his friend
Sir John Rushout, but is to hold the balance between liberty and
prerogative; at least, in this, he acts with
honour. They say Sir John Hind Cotton and the Jacobites will be
left out,,unless they bring in Dr. Lee and Sir John Barnard to
the admiralty, as they propose; for I do not think it is decided
what are their principles. Sir Charles Wager has
resigned this morning:(454) he says, "We shall not die, but be
all changed!" though he says, a parson lately reading this text
in an old Bible, where the c was rubbed out, read it, not die,
but be all hanged!
To-morrow our earl goes to Richmond Park, en retir`e; comes on
Thursday to take his seat in the Lords, and returns thither
again. Sandys is very angry at his taking the title of
Orford, which belonged to his wife's (455) great uncle. You know
a step of that nature cost the great Lord Strafford (456) his
head, at the prosecution of a less bloody-minded man than Sandys.
I remain in town, and have not taken at all to withdrawing, which
I hear has given offence,(457) as well as my gay face in public;
but as I had so little joy in the grandeur, I am
determined to take as little part in the disgrace. I am
looking about for a new house.
I have received two vast packets from you to-day, I believe from
the bottom of the sea, for they have been so washed that I could
scarce read them. I could read the terrible history of the
earthquakes at Leghorn: how infinitely good you was to poor Mrs.
Goldsworthy! How could you think I should not
approve such vast humanity? but you are all humanity and
forgiveness. I am only concerned that they will be present when
you receive all these disagreeable accounts of your
friends. Their support" is removed as well as yours. I only
fear the interest of the Richmonds (458) with the Duke of
Newcastle; but I will try to put you well with Lord Lincoln. We
must write circumspectly, for our letters now are no longer safe.
I shall see Amorevoli to-night to give him the letter. Ah!
Monticelli and the Visconti are to sing to-night at a great
assembly at Lady Conway's. I have not time to write more: so,
good night, my dearest child! be in good spirits.
Yours, most faithfully.
P. S. We have at last got Cr`ebillon's "Sofa:" Lord
Chesterfield received three hundred, and gave them to be sold at
White's. It is admirable! except the beginning of the
first volume, and the last story, it is equal to any thing he has
written. How he has painted the most refined nature in Mazulhim!
the most retired nature in Mocles! the man of
fashion, that sets himself above natural sensations, and the man
of sense and devotion, that would skirmish himself from their
influence, are equally justly reduced to the standard of their
(443) Secker, Bishop of Oxford.
(444) Richard Temple, Viscount Cobham, so created in 1717, with
remainder to the issue male of his sister, Hester
Grenville. He had served in Flanders under the Duke of
Marlborough, and was upon the overthrow of Sir Robert
Walpole's administration promoted to the military rank of
field marshal. He is now best remembered as the friend of pope
and the creator of the gardens at Stowe.-D.
(445) Sir John Hinde Cotton, Bart. of Landwade, in
Cambridgeshire; long a member of parliament, and one of the
leaders of the Jacobite party. He died in 1752, and Horace
Walpole, in his Memoires, in noticing this event, says, "Died Sir
John Cotton, the last Jacobite of any sensible
Lord Carteret and Mr. Pulteney had really betrayed their party,
and so injudiciously, that they lost their old friends and gained
no new ones.
(446) Sir Robert, at the persuasion of his brother, Mr.
Selwyn, and others, desisted from this grant. Three years
afterwards, when the clamour was at an end, and his affairs
extremely involved, he sued for it; which Mr. Pelham, his
friend and `el`eve, was brought with the worst grace in the world
to ask, and his old obliged master the King prevailed upon, with
as ill grace, to grant. ["February 6. Sir R.
Walpole was presented at Court as Earl of Orford. He was
persuaded to refuse a grant of four thousand pounds a-year during
the King's life and his own, but could not be dissuaded from
accepting a letter of honour from the King, to grant his natural
daughter Maria, precedence as an earl's daughter; who was also
presented this day. The same thing had been done for Scrope,
Earl of Sunderland, who left no lawful issue, and from one of
whom Lord Howe is descended."-Secker MS.]
(447) Mary, daughter of Edward Blount, Esq. and wife of
Edward, ninth Duke of Norfolk.-D.
(448) The Princess of Wales.-D.
(449)General Charles Churchill.-D.
(450) Philip Gibbons, Esq.-D.
(451) Sir John Rushout, the fourth baronet of the family, had
particularly distinguished himself as an opponent of Sir R.
Walpole's excise scheme. He was made treasurer of the navy in
1743, and died in 1775, at the advanced age of ninety-one. His
son was created Lord Northwick, in 1797.-D.
(452) George Treby, Esq.-D.
(453) Thomas Clutterbuck, Esq. He left the Treasury in
February 1742, and was made treasurer of the navy.-D.
(454) "February II. Lord Orford and Sir Charles Wager
resigned. Mr. Sandys kissed hands as chancellor of the
exchequer: Lord Wilmington declared first commissioner of the
Treasury: offers made to the Duke of Argyle, but refused: none to
Lord Chesterfield."-Secker MS.-E.
(455) Lady Sandys was daughter of Lady Tipping, niece of
Russel, Earl of Orford.
(456) Sir Thomas Wentworth, the great Earl of Strafford, took the
title of Raby from a castle of that name, which belonged to Sir
Henry Vane, who, from that time, became his mortal foe.
(457) Sir Charles Wager. [In the following December Sir
Charles was appointed treasurer of the navy, which office he held
till his death, in May 1743.)
(458) Mrs. Goldsworthy had been a companion of the Duchess of
(459) Posterity has not confirmed the eulogium here given to the
indecent trash of the younger Cr`ebillon: but in the age of
George II. coarseness passed for humour, and obscenity was
224 Letter 54
To Sir Horace Mann.
Feb. 18, 1741-2.
I write to you more tired, and with more headache, than any one
but you could conceive! I came home at five this morning from the
Duchess of Norfolk's masquerade, and was forced to rise before
eleven, for my father, who came from Richmond to take his seat in
the Lords, for the Houses met to-day. He is gone back to his
retirement. Things wear a better aspect: at the great meeting
(460) on Friday, at the Fountain, Lord
Carteret and Lord Winchilsea (461) refused to go, only saying,
that they never dined at a tavern. Pultney and the new
chancellor of the exchequer went, and were abused by his Grace of
Argyll. The former said he was content with what was
already done, and would not be active in any further
proceedings, though he would not desert the party. Sandys said
the King had done him the honour to offer him that place; why
should he not accept it? if he had not, another would: if nobody
would, the King would be obliged to employ his old
minister again, which he imagined the gentlemen present would not
wish to see; and protested against screening, with the same
conclusion as Pultney. The Duke of Bedford was very warm against
Sir William Yonge; Lord Talbot (462) was so in
During the recess, they have employed Fazakerley to draw up four
impeachments; against Sir Robert, my uncle, Mr. Keene, and
Colonel Bladen, who was only commissioner for the tariff at
Antwerp. One of the articles against Sir R. is, his having at
this conjuncture trusted Lord Waldegrave as ambassador, who is so
near a relation (464) of the Pretender-. but these
impeachments are likely to grow obsolete manuscripts. The minds
of the people grow more candid: at first, they made one of the
actors at Drury Lane repeat some applicable lines at the end of
Harry the Fourth; but last Monday, when his Royal Highness-, had
purposely bespoken "The Unhappy Favourite" (465) for Mrs.
Porter's benefit, they never once applied the most glaring
passages; as where they read the indictment against Robert Earl
of Essex, etc. The Tories declare against further prosecution-if
Tories there are, for now one hears of nothing but the Broad
Bottom: it is the reigning cant word, and means, the taking all
parties and people, indifferently into the
ministry. The Whigs are the dupes of this; And those in the
Opposition affirm that Tories no longer exist.
Notwithstanding this, they will not come into the new
ministry, unless what were always reckoned Tories are
admitted. The Treasury has gone a-begging: I mean one of the
lordships, which is at last filled up with Major Compton, a
relation of Lord Wilmington; but now we shall see a new scene.
On Tuesday night Mr. Pultney went to the Prince, and, without the
knowledge of Argyll, etc., prevailed on him to write to the King:
he was so long determining, that it was eleven at night before
the King received his letter. Yesterday morning the prince,
attended by two of his lords, two grooms of the Bedchamber, and
Lord Scarborough,(466) his treasurer went to the King's
levee.(467) The King said, "How does the Princess do? I hope she
is well." The Prince kissed his hand, and this was all! The
Prince returned to Carlton House, whither crowds went to him. He
spoke to the Duke of Newcastle and Mr. Pelham; but would not to
the three dukes, Richmond, Grafton, and Marlborough.(468) At
night the Royal Family were all at the Duchess of Norfolk'@' and
the streets were illuminated and bonfired. To-day, the Duke of
Bedford, Lord Halifax, and some others, were at St. James's: the
King spoke to all the Lords. In a day or two, I shall go with my
uncle and brothers to the Prince's levee.
Yesterday there was a meeting of all the Scotch of our side, who,
to a man, determined to defend Sir Robert
Lyttelton (469) is going to marry Miss Fortescue, Lord
When our earl went to the House of lords to-day, he
apprehended some incivilities from his Grace of Argyll, but he
was not there. Bedford, Halifax, Berkshire,(470) and some more,
were close by him, but would not bow to him. Lord
Chesterfield wished him joy. This is all I know for certain; for
I will not send you the thousand lies of every new day.
I must tell you how fine the masquerade of last night was. There
were five hundred persons, in the greatest variety of handsome
and rich dresses I ever saw, and all the jewels of London-and
London has some! There were dozens of ugly Queens of Scots, of
which I will only name to you the eldest Miss Shadwell! The
Princess of Wales was one, covered with
diamonds, but did not take off her mask: none of the Royalties
did, but every body else. Lady Conway (471) was a charming Mary
Stuart: Lord and Lady Euston, man and woman huzzars. But the two
finest and most charming masks were their Graces of
Richmond,(472) like Harry the Eighth and Jane Seymour:
excessively rich, and both so handsome @ Here is a nephew of the
King of Denmark, who was in armour, and his governor, a most
admirable Quixote. there were quantities of Vandykes, and all
kinds of old pictures walked out of the frames. It was an
assemblage of all ages and nations, and would look like the day
of judgment, if tradition did not persuade us that we are all to
meet naked, and if something else did not tell us that we shall
not meet with quite so much indifference, nor thinking quite so
much of the becoming. My dress was an
Aurungzebe: but of all extravagant figures commend me to our
friend the Countess!(473) She and my lord trudged in like
pilgrims with vast staffs in their hands; and she was so
heated, that you would have thought her pilgrimage had been, like
Pantagruel's voyage, to the Oracle of the Bottle! Lady Sophia was
in a Spanish dress-so was Lord Lincoln; not, to be sure, by
design, but so it happened. When the King came in, the Faussans
(474) were there, and danced an entr`ee. At the masquerade the
King sat by Mrs. Selwyn, and with tears told her, that "the Whigs
should find he loved them, as he had the poor man that was gone!"
He had sworn that he would not speak to the Prince at their
meeting, but was prevailed on.
I received your letter by Holland, and the paper about the
Spaniards. By this time you will conceive that I can speak of
nothing to any purpose, for Sir R. does not meddle in the
least with business.
As to the Sibyl, I have not mentioned it to him; I still am for
the other. Except that, he will not care, I believe, to buy more
pictures, having now so many more than he has room for at
Houghton; and he will have but a small house in town when we
leave this. But you must thank the dear Chutes for their new
offers; the obligations are too great, but I am most sensible to
their goodness, and, were I not so excessively tired now, would
write to them. I cannot add a word more, but to think of the
Princess:(475) "Comment! vous avez donc des enfans!" You see how
nature sometimes breaks out in spite of religion and prudery,
grandeur and pride, delicacy and
`epuisements! Good night!
(460) See an account of this meeting in Lord Egmonfs "Faction
Detected." [To this meeting at the Fountain tavern Sir Charles
Hanbury Williams alludes in his Ode against the Earl of Bath,
called the Statesman-
"Then enlarge on his cunning and wit:
Say, how he harangued at the Fountain;
Say, how the old patriots were bit,
And a mouse was produced by a mountain."]
(461) Daniel Finch, seventh Earl of Winchilsea and third Earl of
Nottingham. He was made first lord of the admiralty upon the
breaking up of Sir R. Walpole's government.-D.
(462) William, second Lord Talbot, eldest son of the lord
chancellor of that name and title.-D.
(463) The following is from the Secker MS.-"Feb. 12. Meeting at
the Fountain tavern of above two hundred commoners and
thirty-five Lords. Duke of Argyle spoke warmly for
prosecuting Lord Orford, with hints of reflection on those who
had accepted. Mr. Pulteney replied warmly. Lord Talbot drank to
cleansing the Augean stable of the dung and grooms. Mr. Sandys
and Mr. Gibbon there. Lord Carteret and Lord
Winchilsea not. Lord Chancellor, in the evening, in private
discourse to me, strong against taking in any Tories: owning no
more than that some of them, perhaps, were not for the
Pretender, or, at least, did not know they were for him;
though, when I gave him the account first of my discourse with
the Prince, he said, the main body of them were of the same
principles with the Tories."-E.
(464) His mother was natural daughter of King James II.
(James, first Earl Waldegrave, appointed ambassador to the court
of France in 1730: died in 1741.-D.)
(465) banks's tragedy of "The Unhappy Favourite; or, the Earl of
Essex," was first acted in 1682. The prologue and epilogue were
written by Dryden. Speaking of this play, in the Tatler, Sir
Richard Steele says, "there is in it not one good line, and yet
it is a play which was never seen without drawing
tears from some part of the audience; a remarkable instance, that
the soul is not to be moved by words, but things; for the
incidents in the drama are laid together so happily that the
spectator makes the play for himself, by the force with which the
circumstance has upon his imagination."-E.
(466) Thomas Lumley, third Earl of Scarborough.-D.
(467) "February 17. Prince of Wales went to St. James's. The
agreement made at eleven the night before, and principally by Mr.
Pultney; as Lord Wilmington told me. The King received him in
the drawing-room: the Prince kissed his hand: he asked him how
the Princess did: showed no other mark of regard. All the
courtiers went the same day to Carlton House. The Bishop of
Gloucester (Dr. Benson) and I went thither. The Prince and
princess civil to us both." Secker MS.-E.
(468) Charles Spencer, second duke of Marlborough succeeded to
that title on the death of his aunt Henrietta, Duchess of
Marlborough, in 1733.-D.
(469) Sir George Lyttelton, afterwards created Lord Lyttelton.
Miss Fortescue was his first wife, and mother of Thomas,
called the wicked Lord Lyttelton. She died in childbed and Lord
Lyttelton honoured her Memory with the well-known Monody which
was so unfeelingly parodied by Smollett.-D. [ Under the title of
an "Ode on the Death of My Grandmother.")
(470 Henry Bowes Howard, fourth Earl of Berkshire. He
succeeded, in 1745, as eleventh Earl of Suffolk, on the death,
without issue, of henry, tenth earl. He died in 1757.-D.
(471) Lady Isabella Fitzroy, Youngest daughter of the Duke of
grafton, and wife of Francis Seymour, Lord Conway of Hertford.
(472) Charles Lennox, master of the horse, and Sarah Cadogan, his
duchess. He died in the year following.
(473) The Countess of Pomfret.
(474) Two celebrated comic dancers.
(475) Princess Craon, so often mentioned in these letters.-D.
227 Letter 55
To Sir Horace Mann.
London, Feb. 25, 1742.
I am impatient to hear that you have received my first account of
the change; as to be sure you are now for every post. This last
week has not produced many new events. The Prince of Wales has
got the measles,(476) so there has been but little incense
offered up to him: his brother of Saxe-Gotha has got them too.
When the Princess went to St. James's, she fell at the King's
feet and struggled to kiss his hand, and burst into tears. At
the Norfolk masquerade she was vastly bejewelled; Frankz had lent
her forty thousand pounds worth, and refused to be paid for the
hire, only desiring that she would tell whose they were. All
this is nothing, but to introduce one of Madame de Pomfret's
ingenuities, who. being dressed like a pilgrim, told the
Princess, that she had taken her for the Lady of Loreto.
But you will wish for politics now, more than for histories of
masquerades, though this last has taken up people's thoughts full
as much. The House met last Thursday and voted the army without
a division: Shippen (477 alone, unchanged, Opposed it. They have
since been busied on elections, turning out our
friends and voting in their own.. almost without opposition. The
chief affair has been the Denbighshire election, on the petition
of Sir Watkyn William . 'They have voted him into parliament and
the high-sheriff into Newgate. Murray (478) was most eloquent:
Lloyd,(479) the counsel on the other side, and no bad one, (for I
go constantly, though I do not stay long, but "leave the dead to
bury their dead," said that it was objected to the sheriff, that
he was related to the
sitting member; but, indeed, in that country (Wales) it would be
difficult not to be related. Yesterday we had another
hearing of the petition of the Merchants, when Sir Robert
Godschall shone brighter than even his usual. There was a copy
of a letter produced, the original having been lost: he asked
whether the copy had been taken before the original was lost, or
Next week they commence their prosecutions, which they will
introduce by voting a committee to inquire into all the
offices: Sir William Yonge is to be added to the impeachments,
but the chief whom they wish to punish is my uncle.(480) He is
the more to be pitied, because nobody will pity him. They are
not fond of a formal message which the States General have sent
to Sir Robert, "to compliment him on his new honour, and to
condole with him on being out of the ministry, which will be so
detrimental to Europe!
The third augmentation in Holland is confirmed, and that the
Prince of Hesse is chosen generallissimo, which makes it
believed that his Grace of Argyll will not go over, but that we
shall certainly have a war with France in the spring.
Argyll has got the Ordnance restored to him, and they wanted to
give him his regiment; to which Lord Hertford (481) was desired
to resign it, with the offer of his old troop again. He said he
had received the regiment from the King; if his Majesty pleased
to take it back, he might, but he did not know why he should
resign it. Since that, he wrote a letter to the King, and sent
it by his son, Lord Beauchamp, resigning his regiment, his
government, and his wife's pension, as lady of the bedchamber to
the late Queen.
No more changes are made yet. They have offered the Admiralty to
Sir Charles Wager again, but he refused it: he said, he heard
that he was an old woman, and that he did not know what good old
women could do any where.
A comet has appeared here for two nights, which, you know, is
lucky enough at this time and a pretty ingredient for making
These are all the news. I receive your letters regularly, and
hope you receive mine so: I never miss one week. Adieu! my
dearest child! I am perfectly well; tell me always that you are.
Are the good Chutes still at Florence? My best love to them, and
services to all.
Here are some new Lines much in vogue:(482)
Unhappy England, still in forty-one (483)
By Scotland art thou doom'd to be undone!
But Scotland now, to strike alone afraid,
Calls in her worthy sister Cornwall's (484) aid;
And these two common Strumpets, hand in hand,
Walk forth, and preach up virtue through the land;
Start at corruption, at a bribe turn pale,
Shudder at pensions, and at placemen rail.
Peace, peace! ye wretched hypocrites; or rather
With Job, say to Corruption, " Thou'rt our Father."
But how will Walpole justify his fate?
He trusted Islay (485) till it was too late.
Where were those parts! where was that piercing mind!
That judgment, and that knowledge of mankind!
To trust a Traitor that he knew so well!
(Strange truth! I)ctray'd, but not deceived, he fell!)
He knew his heart was, like his aspect, vile;
Knew him the tool, and Brother of Argyll!
Yet to his hands his power and hopes gave up;
And though he saw 'twas poison, drank the cup!
Trusted to one he never could think true,
And perish'd by a villain that he knew.
(476) "February 21. Prince taken ill of the measles. The King
sent no message to him in his illnesses Secker MS.-E.
(477) William Shippen, a celebrated Jacobite. Sir R. Walpole
said that he was the Only man whose price he did not know. [See
ante, p. 194, Letter 45.]
(478) William Murray, Mr. Pope's friend,
afterwards Solicitor, and then Attorney-general.
(479) Sir Richard Lloyd, who succeeded Mr. Murray, in 1754, as
(480) Horace Walpole, brother of Sir Robert.
(481) Algernon Seymour, Earl of Hertford, eldest son of
Charles, called the proud Duke of Somerset, whom he succeeded in
that Title, and was the last Duke of Somerset of that
branch; his son, who is here mentioned, having died before
(482) These Lines were written by Sir Charles Hanbury
Williams. [And are published in the edition of his works, in
three volumes, 12 no.1.
(483) Alluding to the Grand Rebellion against Charles the
(484) The Parliament which overthrew Sir R. W. was carried
against him by his losing the majority of the Scotch and
Cornish boroughs; the latter managed by Lord Falmouth
and Thomas Pitt.
(485) Archibald Campbell, Earl of Islay, brother of John, Duke of
Argyll, in conjunction with whom (though then openly at variance)
he was supposed to have betrayed Sir R.
W. and to have let the Opposition
succeed in the Scotch elections, which were trusted to
his management. It must be
observed, that Sir R. W. would never allow that he believed
himself betrayed by Lord Islay.
229 Letter 56
To Sir Horace Mann.
London, March 3d, 1742.
I am Obliged to write to you to-day, for I am sure I shall not
have a moment to-morrow; they are to make their motion for a
secret committee to examine into the late administration. We are
to oppose it strongly, but to no purpose; for since the change,
they have beat us on no division under a majority of forty. This
last week has produced no new novelties; his
Royal Highness has been shut up with the measles, of which he was
near dying, by eating China oranges.
We are to send sixteen thousand men into Flanders in the
spring, under his Grace of Argyll; they talk of the Duke of
Marlborough and Lord Albemarle to command under him. Lord
Cadogan (486) is just dead, so there is another regiment
vacant: they design Lord Delawar's for Westmoreland;(487) so now
Sir Francis Dashwood (488) will grow as fond of the King again as
he used to be-or as he has hated him since.
We have at last finished the Merchants' petition, under the
conduct of the Lord Mayor and Mr. Leonidas;(489) the greatest
coxcomb and the greatest oaf that ever met in blank verse or
prose. I told you the former's question about the copy of a
letter taken after the original was lost. They have got a new
story of him; that hearing of a gentleman who had had the
small-pox twice and died of it, he asked, if he died the first
time or the second-if this is made for him, it is at least quite
in his style. After summing up the evidence (in doing which, Mr.
Glover literally drank several times to the Lord Mayor in a glass
of water that stood by him,) Sir John Barnard moved to vote, that
there had been great neglect in the
protection of the trade, to the great advantage of' the enemy,
and the dishonour of the nation. He said he did not mean to
charge the Admiralty particularly, for then particular persons
must have had particular days assigned to be heard in their own
defence, which would take up too much time, as we are now going
to make inquiries of a much higher nature. Mr. Pelham was for
leaving out the last words. Mr. Doddington rose, and in a set
speech declared that the motion was levelled at a particular
person, who had so usurped all authority, that all inferior
offices were obliged to submit to his will, and so either bend
and bow, or be broken: but that he hoped the steps we were now
going to take, would make the office of first
minister so dangerous a post, that nobody would care to accept it
for the future. Do but think of this fellow, who has so lost all
character, and made himself so odious to both King, and Prince,
by his alternate flatteries, changes, oppositions, and changes of
flatteries and oppositions, that he can never expect what he has
so much courted by all methods,-think of his talking of making it
dangerous for any one else to accept the first ministership!
Should such a period ever arrive, he would accept it with joy-the
only chance he can ever have for it! But sure, never was
impudence more put to shame! The whole debate turned upon him.
Lord Doneraile (490) (who, by the way, has produced blossoms of
Doddington like fruit, and
consequently is the fitter scourge for him) stood up and said, he
did not know what that gentleman meant; that he himself was as
willing to bring all offenders to justice as any man; but that he
did not intend to confine punishment to those who had been
employed only at the end of the last ministry, but
proposed to extend it to all who had been engaged in it, and
wished that that gentleman would speak with more lenity of an
administration, in which he himself had been concerned for so
many years. Winnington said, he did not know what Mr.
Doddington had meant, by either bending or being broken; that he
knew some who had been broken, though they had bowed an bended.
Waller defended Doddington, and said, if he was
gilty, at least Mr. Winnington was so too; on which Fox rose up,
and, laying his hand on his breast, said, he never wished to have
such a friend, as could only excuse him by bringing in another
for equal share of his guilt. Sir John Cotton
replied; he did not wonder that Mr. Fox (who had spoken with
great warmth) was angry at hearing his friend in place,
compared to one out of place. Do but figure how Doddington must
have looked and felt during such dialogues! In short, it ended
in Mr. Pultney's rising, and saying, he could not be against the
latter words, as he thought the former part of the motion had
been proved . and wished both parties would join in carrying on
the war vigorously, or in procuring a good peace, rather than in
ripping open old sores, and continuing the
heats and violences of parties. We came to no division-for we
should have lost it by too many.
I had written all the former part of my letter, only reserving
room to tell you, that they had carried the secret
committee-but it is put off till next Tuesday. To-day we had
nothing but the giving up the Heydon election, when Mr.
Ppultney had an opportunity (as Mr. Chute and Mr. Robinson would
not take the trouble to defend a cause which they could not
carry) to declaim upon corruption: had it come to a trial, there
were eighteen witnesses ready to swear positive bribery against
Mr. Pultney. I would write to Mr. Chute, and thank him for his
letter which you sent me, but I am so out of
humour at his brother's losing his seat, that I cannot speak
civilly even to him to-day.
It is said, that my Lord's Grace of Argyll has carried his great
point of the Broad Bottom-as I suppose you will hear by
rejoicings from Rome. The new Admiralty is named; at the head is
to be Lord Winchilsea, with Lord Granard,(491) Mr.
Cockburn, his Grace's friend, Dr. Lee, the chairman, Lord Vere
Beauclerc;(492) one of the old set, by the interest of the Duke
of Dorset, and the connexion of Lady Betty Germain, whose niece
Lord Vere married; and two Tories, Sir John Hind Cotton and Will.
Chetwynd,(493) an agent of Bolingbroke's-all this is not declared
yet, but is believed.
This great Duke has named his four aid-de-camps-Lord Charles Hay;
George Stanhope, brother of Earl Stanhope; Dick
Lyttelton, who Was page; and a Campbell. Lord Cadogan is not
dead, but has been given over.
We are rejoicing over the great success of the Queen of
Hungary's arms, and the number of blows and thwarts which the
French have received. It is a prosperous season for our new
popular generals to grow glorious!
But, to have done with politics. Old Marlborough has at last
published her Memoirs; they are digested by one Hooke, (494) who
wrote a Roman history; but from her materials which are so
womanish, that I am sure the man might sooner have made a gown
and petticoat with them. There are some choice letters from
Queen Anne, little inferior in the fulsome to those from King
James to the Duke of Buckingham.
Lord Oxford's (495) famous sale begins next Monday, where
there is as much rubbish of another kind as in her grace's
history. Feather bonnets presented by the Americans to Queen
Elizabeth; elks'-horns -cups; true copies converted into
candle of original pictures that never existed; presents to
himself from the Royal Society, etc. particularly forty
volumes of prints of illustrious English personages; which
collection is collected from frontispieces to godly books, bibles
and head-pieces and tail-pieces to Waller's works;
views of King Charles's sufferings; tops of ballads;
particularly earthly crowns for heavenly ones, and streams of
glory. There are few good pictures. for the miniatures are not
to be sold, nor the manuscripts , the books not till next year.
There are a few fine bronzes, and a very fine
collection of English coins.
We have got another opera,(496) which is liked. There was to
have been a vast elephant, but the just directors, designing to
give the audience the full weight of one for their money, made it
so heavy that at the prova it broke through the stage. It was to
have carried twenty soldiers, with Monticelli on a throne in the
middle. There is a new subscription begun for next year, thirty
subscribers at two hundred pounds each. Would you believe that I
am one? You need not believe it
quite, for I am but half an one; Mr. Conway and I take a share
between us. We keep Monticelli and Amorevoli, and to please Lord
Middlesex, that odious Muscovita; but shall discard Mr. Vaneschi.
We are to have the Barberina and the two Faussans; so, at least,
the singers and dancers will be equal to any thing in Europe.
Our earl is still at Richmond: I have not been there yet; I shall
go once or twice; for however little inclination I have to it, I
would not be thought to grow cool just now. You know I am above
such dirtiness, and you are sensible that my
coolness is of much longer standing. Your sister is with mine at
the Park; they came to town last Tuesday for the
opera, and returned next day. After supper, I prevailed on your
sister (497) to sing, and though I had heard her before, I
thought I never heard any thing beyond it; there is a
sweetness in her voice equal to Cuzzoni's, with a better
I was last week at the masquerade, dressed like an old woman, and
passed for a good mask. I took the English liberty of teasing
whomever I pleased, particularly old Churchill. I told him I was
quite ashamed. of being there till I met him, but was quite
comforted with finding one person in the room older than myself.
The Duke,(498) who had been told who I was, came up and said, "Je
connois cette poitrine." I took him for some Templar, and
replied, "Vous! vous ne connoissez que des poitrines qui sont
bien plus us`ees." It was unluckily pat. The next night, at the
drawing-room, he asked me, very good-humouredly, if I knew who
was the old woman that had
teased every body at the masquerade. We were laughing so much at
this, that the King crossed the room to Lady Hervey, who was with
us, and said, "What are those boys laughing at set" She told him,
and that I had said I was so awkward at
undressing myself, that I had stood for an hour in my stays and
under-petticoat before my footman. My thanks to Madame Grifoni.
I cannot write more now, as I must not make my
letter too big, when it appears at the secretary's office
nouc. As to my sister, I am sure Sir Robert would never have
accepted Prince Craon's offer, who now, I suppose, would not be
eager to repeat it.
(486) Charles, Lord Cadogan, of Oakley, to which title he
succeeded on the death of his elder brother, William, Earl
Cadogan, who was one of the most distinguished "of
Marlborough's captains." Charles, Lord Cadogan, did not die at
the period when this letter was written. On the contrary, he
lived, till the year 1776.-D.
(487) John, seventh Earl of Westmoreland. He built the
Palladian Villa of Mereworth, in Kent, which is a nearly exact
copy of the celebrated Villa Capra, near Vicenza. He died in
1762. Sir Francis Dashwood succeeded, on his decease, to the
barony in fee of Le Despencer.-D.
(488) Sir Francis Dashwood, nephew to the Earl of
Westmoreland, had gone violently into Opposition, on that
lord's losing his regiment.
(489) Mr. Glover. (Walpole always depreciates Glover; but his
conduct, upon the occasion referred to in the text, displayed
considerable ability.-D.) [His speech upon this occasion was
afterwards published in a pamphlet, entitled, ,A short Account of
the late Application to Parliament, made by the Merchants of
London, upon the Neglect of their Trade; with the Substance
thereof, as summed up by Mr. Glover.,,]
(490) Arthur Mohun St. Leger, third Viscount Doneraile, in
Ireland, of the first creation.
He was at this time member for Winchilsea, was
appointed a lord of the bedchamber to Frederick Prince of Wales
in 1747, and died at Lisbon in 1749.-D.
(491) George Forbes, third Earl of Granard in Ireland; an
admiral, and a member of the House of Commons.-D.
(492) Third son of the first Duke of St. Albans, created in 1750
Lord Vere of Hanworth in Middlesex. He was the direct ancestor
of the present line of the St. Albans family. His wife was Mary,
daughter and heiress of Thomas Chambers, Esq. of Hanworth, by
Lady Mary Berkeley, the sister of lady Betty Germain.-D.
(493) William Richard Chetwynd 'second brother of the first
viscount of that name; member of parliament successively for
Stafford and Plymouth. He had been envoy at Genoa, and a lord of
the Admiralty; and he finally succeeded his two elder
brothers as third Viscount Chetwynd, in 1767.-D. [He was
familiarly called "Black Will," and sometimes "Oroonoka
Chetwynd," from his dark complexion. He died in 1770.]
(494) Nathaniel Hooke, a laborious compiler, but a very bad
writer. It is said, that the Duchess of Marlborough gave him
5000 pounds for the services he rendered her, in the
composition and publication of her apology. She, however,
afterwards quarrelled with him, because she said he tried to
convert her to Popery. Hooke was himself of that religion, and
was also a Quietist, and an enthusiastic follower of
Fenelon. It was Hooke who brought a Catholic priest to attend
the deathbed of Pope; a proceeding which excited such bitter
inclination in the infidel Bolingbroke. Hooke died July 19,
1763. [When Hooke asked Pope, "whether he should not send for a
priest, the dying poet replied, "I do not suppose that is
essential, but it will look right."-Spence, p. 322.)
(495) Edward second Earl of Oxford and Earl Mortimer, only son of
the minister, he was a great and liberal patron of
literature and learned men, and completed the valuable
collection of manuscripts commenced by his father, which is now
in the British Museum. He married the great Cavendish
heiress, Lady Henrietta Cavendish Holles, daughter of Holles,
Duke of Newcastle, and died June 16, 1741.-D.
(496) By Buranello, and called "Scipione in Cartagine."-E.
(497) Mary Mann, afterwards married to Mr. Foote.
(498) Of Cumberland. [William Augustus, third son of George II.)
234 Letter 57
To Sir Horace Mann.
March 10, 1742.
I will not work you up into a fright only to have the pleasure of
putting you out of it, but will tell you at once that we have
gained the greatest victory! I don't mean in the person of
Admiral Vernon, nor of Admiral Haddock; no. nor in that of his
Grace of Argyll. By we, I don't mean we; England, but we,
literally we; not you and I, but we, the House of Orford. The
certainty that the Opposition (or rather the Coalition, for that
is the new name they have taken) had of carrying every point they
wished, made them, in the pride of their hearts, declare that
they would move for the Secret Committee
yesterday (Tuesday), and next Friday would name the list, by
which day they should have Mr. Sandys from his reelection. It
was, however, expected to be put off, as Mr. Pultney could not
attend the House, his only daughter was dying-they say she is
dead.(499) But an affair of consequence to them, and indeed to
the nation in general, roused all their rage, and drove them to
determine on the last violences. I told you in my last, that the
new Admiralty was named, with a mixture of Tories; that is, it
was named by my Lord of Argyll; but the King
flatly put his negative on Sir John Cotton. They said he was no
Tory now, (and, in truth, he yesterday in the House
professed himself a Whig,) and that there were no Tories left in
the nation. The King replied, "that might be; but he was
determined to stand by those who had set him and his family upon
the throne." This refusal enraged them so much, that they
declared they would force him, not only to turn out all the old
ministry, but the new too, if he wished to save Sir R. and others
of his friends; and that, as they supposed he designed to get the
great bills passed, and then prorogue the
Parliament, they were determined to keep back some of the
chief bills, and sit all the summer, examining into the late
administration. Accordingly, yesterday, in a most full house,
Lord Limerick (500) (who, last year, seconded the famous
motion )501)) moved for a committee to examine into the
conduct of the last twenty years, and was seconded by Sir John
St. Aubin.(502) In short, (for I have not time to tell you the
debate at length,) we divided, between eight and nine, when there
was not a man of our party that did not expect to lose it by at
least fifteen or twenty, but, to our great
amazement, and their as great confusion, we threw out the
motion, by a majority of 244 against 242.(503) Was there ever a
more surprising event! a disgraced minister, by his personal
interest, to have a majority to defend him even from inquiry!
What was ridiculous, the very man who seconded the motion
happened to be shut out at the division; but there was one on our
side shut out too.
I don't know what violent step they will take next; it must be by
surprise, for when they could not carry this, it will be
impossible for them to carry any thing more personal. We
trust that the danger is now past, though they had a great
meeting to-day at Doddington 'S,(504) and threaten still. He was
to have made the motion, but was deterred by the treatment he met
last week. Sir John Norris was not present; he has resigned all
his employments, in a pique for not being named of the new
Admiralty. His old Grace of Somerset (505) is
reconciled to his son, Lord Hertford, on his late affair of
having the regiment taken from him: he sent for him, and told him
he had behaved like his son.
My dearest child, I have this moment received a most
unexpected and most melancholy letter from you, with an
account of your fever and new operation. I did not in the least
dream of your having any more trouble from that
disorder! are YOU never to be delivered from it? Your letter has
shocked me extremely; and then I am terrified at the
Spaniards passing so near Florence. If they should, as I fear
they will, stay there, how inconvenient and terrible it would be
for you, now you are ill! You tell me, and my good Mr.
Chute tells me, that you are out of all danger, and much
better; but to what can I trust, when you have these continual
relapses? The vast time that passes between your writing and my
receiving your letters, makes me flatter myself, that by now you
are out of all pain: but I am miserable, with finding that you
may be still subject to new torture! not all your courage, which
is amazing can give me any about you. But how can you write to
me? I will not suffer it-and now, good Mr. Chute will write for
you. I am so angry at your writing
immediately after that dreadful operation, though I see your
goodness in it, that I will not say a word more to you. All the
rest is to Mr. Chute.
What shall I say to you, my dearest Sir, for all your
tenderness to poor Mr. Mann and me? as you have so much
friendship for him, you may conceive how much I am obliged to
you. How much do I regret not having had more opportunities of
showing you my esteem and love, before this new attention, to Mr.
Mann. You do flatter me, and tell me he is
recovering--nay I trust you? and don't you say it, only to
comfort me?-Say a great deal for me to Mr. Whithed; he is
excessively good to me; I don't know how to thank him. I am
happy that you are so well yourself, and so constant to your
fasting. To reward your virtues, I will tell you the news I
know; not much, but very extraordinary. What would be the most
extraordinary event that you think could happen? Would not-next
to his becoming a real patriot-the Duke of Argyll's resigning be
the most unexpected? would any thing be more surprising than his
immediately resigning power at having felt the want of them? Be
that as it will, he literally, actually, resigned all his new
commissions yesterday, because the King refused to employ the
Tories.(506) What part he will act next is yet to come. Mrs.
Boothby said, upon the occasion, "that in one month's time he had
contrived to please the whole
nation-the Tories, by going to court; the Whigs, by leaving it."
They talk much of impeaching my father, since they could not
committee him; but as they could not, I think they will scarce be
able to carry a more violent step. However, to show how little
Tory resentments are feared, the King has named a new Admiralty;
Lord Winchilsea, Admiral Cavendish, Mr. Cockburn, Dr. Lee, Lord
Baltimore, young Trevor,(507) (which is much disliked, for he is
of no consequence for estate, and less for parts, but is a
relation of the Pelhams,) and Lord Archibald Hamilton,(508)-to
please his Royal Highness. Some of his
people (not the Lytteltons and Pitts) stayed away the other night
upon the Secret Committee, and they think he will at last rather
take his father's part, than Argyll's.
Poor Mr. PUltney has lost his girl: she was an only daughter, and
sensible and handsome. He has only a son left, and, they say, is
afflicted to the greatest degree.
I will say nothing about old Sarah's Memoirs; for, with some
spirit they are nothing but remnants of old women's frippery.
Good night! I recommend my poor Mr. Mann to you, and am
yours, most faithfully.
P. S. My dearest child, how unhappy I shall be, till I hear you
are quite recovered
(499) The young lady died on the preceding evening. She was in
her fourteenth year.-E.
(500) William Hamilton, Lord Viscount Limerick. (According to the
peerages, Lord Limerick's Christian name was James, and not
(501) For removing Sir Robert Walpole.
(502) Sir John St. Aubyn, of Clowance in Cornwall, third
baronet of that family.-D. [He died in 1744.
(503) March 9. Motion in the House of Commons for a secret
committee to inquire into our affairs for twenty or twenty-one
years. The Speaker said Ayes had it: one that was for it
divided the House. The Noes carried it by 244 against 242. Mr.
Sandys at Worcester, Mr. Pulteny at home-his daughter
dying. The Prince at New. Several of his servants, and
several Scotch members, not at the House; nor Lord
Winchelsea's brothers. Gibbon, Rushout, Barnard voted for the
committee, but did not speak. It is said that the Prince had
before this written to Lord Carteret, to desire that Lord
Archibald Hamilton and Lord Baltimore might be lords of the
Admiralty, and that this had been promised."-Secker, MS.-E.
(504) "Never was there," writes Mr. Orlebar to the Rev. Mr.
Elough, "a greater disappointment. Those who proved the
minority, were so sure of being the majority, that the great Mr.
Dodington harangued in the lobby those who went out at the
division to desire them not to go away, because there were
several other motions to be made in consequence of that: and
likewise to bespeak their attendance at the Fountain, in order to
settle the committee. Upon which Sir George Oxenden, after they
found it was lost, whispered -@t friend thus: I Suppose we were
to desire Mr. D. to print the speeches he has just now made in
(505) Charles, commonly called "the proud Duke of Somerset." An
absurd, vain, pompous man, who appears to have been also most
harsh and unfeeling to those who depended on him.-D.
(506) March 10. Duke of argyle resigned his places to the
King. He gave for a reason, that a proposal had been made to him
for going ambassador to Holland, which he understood to be
sending him out of the way." Secker MS.-E.
(507) The Hun. John Trevor, second son of Thomas, first Lord
Trevor. He succeeded his elder brother Thomas, as third Lord
Trevor, in 1744.-D.
(508) Lord Archibald Hamilton was the seventh and youngest son of
Anne, Duchess of Hamilton, in her own right, and of
William, Earl of Selkirk, her husband, created by Charles II.
Duke of Hamilton, for life b. Lord Archibald married Lady Jane
Hamilton, daughter of James, Earl of Abercorn, and by her had
three sons; of whom the youngest was Sir William
Hamilton, so long the British envoy at the court of Naples.-D.
237 Letter 58
To Sir Horace Mann.
Monday, March 22, 1742.
[Great part of this letter is lost.]
*** I have at last received a letter from you in answer to the
first I wrote you upon the change in the ministry. I hope you
have received mine regularly since, that you may know all the
consequent steps. I like the Pasquinades you sent me, and think
the Emperor's(509) letter as mean as you do. I hope his state
will grow more abject every day. It is amazing, the progress and
success of the Queen of Hungary's arms! It is said to-day, that
she has defeated a great body of the
Prussians in Moravia. We are going to extend a helping hand to
her at last. Lord Stair (510) has accepted what my Lord Argyll
resigned, and sets out ambassador to Holland in two days; and
afterwards will have the command of' the troops that are to be
sent into Flanders. I am sorry I must send away this to-night,
without being able to tell you the event of to-morrow; but I will
let you know it on Thursday, if I write but two lines. You have
no notion how I laughed at Mrs.
Goldsworthy's "talking from hand to mouth."(511) How happy I am
that you have Mr. Chute still with you; you would have been
distracted else with that simple woman; for fools prey upon one
when one has no companion to laugh Them off.
I shall say every thing that is proper for you to the earl, and
shall take care about expressing you to him, as I know you have
your gratitude far more at heart, than what I am thinking of for
you, I mean your stay at Florence. I have spoken very warmly to
Lord Lincoln about you, who, I am sure, will serve you to his
power. Indeed, as all changes are at a stop, I am convinced
there will be no thought of removing you. However, till I see
the situation of next winter, I cannot be easy on your account.
I have made a few purchases at Lord Oxford's sale; a small
Vandyke, in imitation of Teniers; an old picture of the
Duchess of Suffolk, mother of Lady Jane Grey, and her young
husband; a sweet bronze vase by Flamingo, and two or three other
trifles. The things sold dear; the antiquities and
pictures for about five thousand pounds, which yet, no doubt,
cost him much more, for he gave the most extravagant prices. His
coins and medals are now selling, and go still dearer. Good
night! How I wish for every letter to hear how you mend!
(509) Charles VII. the Emperor of the Bavarian family.-D.
(510) John Dalrymple, second Earl of Stair, a man much
distinguished both as a general and a diplomatist. [He served
with credit at Dettingen; but, after that battle, resigned his
military rank, indignant at the King's unjust partiality to the
Hanoverians. However, on the rebellion of 1745, he was made
commander-in-chief, and materially assisted the Duke of
Cumberland in the campaign which ended at Culloden. He died in
(511) An expression of Mr. Chute.
238 Letter 59
To sir Horace Mann.
March 24, 1742.
I promised you in my last letter to send you the event of
yesterday.(512) It was not such as you would wish, for on the
division, at nine o'clock at night, we lost it by 242 against
245. We had three people shut out, so that a majority of
three (513) is so small that it is scarce doubted, but that, on
Friday, when we ballot for the twenty-one to form the
committee, we shall carry a list composed of our people, so that
then it will be better that we lost it yesterday, as they never
can trouble my Lord Orford more, when the Secret
Committee consists of his own friends. The motion was made and
seconded by the same people as before: Mr. Pultney had been
desired, but refused, yet spoke very warmly for it. He declared,
"that if they found any proofs against the earl, he would not
engage in the prosecution;" and especially protested against
resumptions of grants to his family, of which. he
said, "there had been much talk, but they were what he would
never come into, as being very illegal and unjust." The motion
was quite personal against lord Orford, singly and by name, for
his last ten years-the former question had been for twenty years,
but as the rules of Parliament do not allow of
repeating any individual motion in the same session of its
rejection, and as 'every' evasion is allowed in this country,
half the term was voted by the same House of Commons that had
refused an inquiry into the whole; a sort of proof that every
omne majus does not continere in se minus-but Houses of
Commons can find out evasions to logical axioms, as well as to
their own orders. If they carry their list, my lord will be
obliged to return from Houghton.
After the division. Mr. Pultney(514) moved for an address to the
King; to declare their resolution of standing by him,
especially in assisting the Queen of Hungary-but I believe, after
the loss of the question, he will not be in very good humour with
I am now going to tell you what you, will not have
expected-that a particular friend of yours opposed the motion,
and it was the first time he ever spoke. To keep you not in
suspense, though you must have guessed, it was 220.(515) As the
speech was very favourably heard, and has done him
service, I prevailed with him to give me a copy-here it is:-
Mr. Speaker,(516)-I have always thought, Sir, that incapacity and
inexperience must prejudice the cause they undertake to defend;
and it has been diffidence of myself, not distrust of the cause,
that has hitherto made me so silent upon a point on which I ought
to have appeared so zealous.
"While the attempts for this inquiry were made in general
terms, I should have thought it presumption in me to stand up and
defend measures in which so many abler men have been
engaged, and which, consequently, they could so much better
support; but when the attack grows more personal, it grows my
duty to oppose it more particularly, lest I be suspected of an
ingratitude which my heart disdains. But I think, Sir, I
cannot be suspected of that, unless my not having abilities to
defend my father can be construed into a desire not to defend
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