The Letters of Horace Walpole, Volume 1
Part 8 out of 18
"My experience, Sir, is very small; I have never been
conversant in business and politics, and have sat a very short
time in this house -with so slight a fund, I must much
mistrust my power to serve him-especially as in the short time I
have sat here, I have seen that not his own knowledge,
innocence, and eloquence, have been able to protect him
against a powerful and determined party. I have seen, since his
retirement, that he has many great and noble friends, who have
been able to protect him from farther violence. But, Sir, when
no repulses can calm the clamour against him, no motives should
sway his friends from openly undertaking his defence. When the
King has conferred rewards on his services; when the Parliament
has refused its assent to any inquiries of complaint against him;
it is but maintaining the King's and our own honour, to reject
this motion-for the repeating which, however, I cannot think the
authors to blame, as I suppose now they have turned him out, they
are willing to inquire whether they had any reason to do so.
"I shall say no more, Sir, but leave the material part of this
defence to the impartiality, candour, and credit of men who are
no ways dependent on him. He has already found that
defence, Sir, and I hope he always will! It is to their
authority I trust-and to me, it is the strongest proof of
innocence, that for twenty years together, no crime could be
solemnly alleged against him; and since his dismission, he has
seen a majority rise up to defend his character in that very
House of Commons in which a majority had overturned his power.
As, therefore, Sir, I must think him innocent, I stand up to
protect him from injustice-had he been accused, I should not have
given the House this trouble: but I think, Sir, that the
precedent of what was done upon this question a few days ago, is
a sufficient reason, if I had no other, for me to give my
William Pitt, some time after, in the debate, said, how very
commendable it was in him to have made the above speech, which
must have made an impression upon the House; but if It was
becoming in him to remember that he was the child of the
accused, that the House ought to remember too that they are the
children of their country. It was a great compliment from him,
and very artful too.
I forgot to tell you in my last, that one of our men-of-war,
commanded by Lord Bamffe,(518) a Scotchman, has taken another
register ship, of immense value.
You will laugh at a comical thing that happened the other day to
Lord Lincoln. He sent the Duke of Richmond word that he would
dine with him in the country, and if he would give him leave,
would bring lord Bury with him. It happens that Lord Bury is
nothing less than the Duke of Richmond's nephew.(519) The Duke,
very properly, sent him word back, that Lord Bury might bring
him, if he pleased.
I have been plagued all this morning with that oaf of unlicked
antiquity, Prideaux,(520) and his deaf boy. He talked through
all Italy, and every thing in all Italy. Upon mentioning
Stosch, I asked if he had seen his collection. He replied, very
few of his things, for he did not like his company; that he never
heard so much heathenish talk in his days. I
inquired what it was, and found that Stosch had one day said
before him, "that the soul was only a little glue." I laughed so
much that he walked off; I suppose, thinking, that I
believed so too. By the way, tell Stosch that a gold Alectus
sold at Lord Oxford's sale for above threescore pounds. Good
night, my dear child! I am just going to the ridotto; one hates
those places, comes away out of humour, and yet one goes again!
How are you! I long for your next letter to answer me.
(512) The debate in the House of Commons on Lord Limerick's
motion for a Secret Committee to inquire into the conduct of the
Earl of Orford during the last ten years of his
(513) The motion was carried by a majority of seven, the
numbers being 252 against 245.-E.
(514) This was much mentioned in the pamphlets written against
the war, which was said to have been determined "by a
gentleman's fumbling in his pocket for a piece of paper at ten
o'clock at night," and the House's agreeing to the motion
without any consideration.
(515) The author of these letters.
(516) There is a fictitious speech printed for this in several
Magazines of that time, but which does not contain one
sentence of the true one.
(517) The following note of this debate is from the Bishop of
Oxford's diary.-,, March 23. Motion by Lord Limerick, and
seconded by Sir J. St. Aubin, on the 9th instant, for a Secret
Committee of twenty-one, to examine into the Earl of Orford's
conduct for the last ten years of his being chancellor of the
exchequer and lord of the treasury. Mr. Pultney said,
ministers should always remember the account they must make; that
he was against rancour in the inquiry, desired not to be named
for the committee, particularly because of a rash word he had
used, that he would pursue Sir Robert Walpole to his destruction;
that now the minister was destroyed, he had no ill-will to the
man; that from his own knowledge and
experience of many of the Tories, he believed them to be as
sincerely for the King and this family as himself; that he was
sensible of the disagreeable situation he was in, and would get
out of it as soon as he could. Mr. Sandys spoke for the motion,
and said, he desired his own conduct might always be strictly
inquired into. Lord Orford's son, and Mr. Ellis
spoke well against the motion. It was carried by 252 against
245. Three or four were shut out, who would have been against
it. Mr. William -Finch against it. The Prince's servants for it.
Then Mr. Pultney moved for an address of duty to the King &e.
which he begged might pass without opposition; and
accordingly it did so. But Mr. W. W. wynne and several
others, went out of the House; which was by some understood to be
disapprobation, by others accident or weariness," Secker MS.-E.
(518) alexander Ogilvy, sixth Lord Banff, commanded the
Hastings man-of war in 1742 and 1743, and captured, during that
time, a valuable outward-bound Spanish register-ship, a Spanish
privateer of twenty guns, a French polacca with a rich cargo, and
other vessels. He died at Lisbon in November 1746, at the early
age of twenty-eight.-D.
(519) George Lord Bury, afterwards third Earl of Albemarle. His
mother was Lady Anne Lennox, sister of the Duke of
Richmond.-D. His lordship served as aide-de-camp) to the Duke of
Cumberland at the battle of Fontenoy and at Culloden, and
commanded in chief at the reduction of the Havannah. He died in
(520 Grandson of Dean Prideaux; he was just returned out of
Italy, with his son.
241 Letter 60
To Sir Horace Mann.
Downing Street, April 1, 1742.
I received your letter of March 18th, and would be as
particular in the other dates which you have sent me in the end
of your letter, but our affairs having been in such
confusion, I have removed all my papers In general from hence,
and cannot now examine them. I have, I think, received all
yours: but lately I received them two days at least after
their arrival, and evidently opened; so we must be cautious now
what we write. Remember this, for of your last the seal had been
quite taken off and set on again.
Last Friday we balloted for the Secret Committee. Except the
vacancies, there were but thirty-one members absent: five
hundred and eighteen gave in lists. At six that evening they
named a committee of which Lord Hartington was chairman, (as
having moved for it,) to examine the lists. This lasted from
that time, all that night, till four in the afternoon of the next
day; twenty-two hours without remission. There were
sixteen people, of which were Lord Hartington and Coke, who sat
up the whole time, and one of theirs, Velters
Cornwall,(521) fainted with the fatigue and heat, for people of
all sorts were admitted into the room, to see the lists drawn; it
was in the Speaker's chambers. On the conclusion, they found the
majority was for a mixed list, but of which the Opposition had
the greater number. Here are the two lists, which were given out
by each side, but of which people altered several in their
THE COURT LIST.
Sir Charles Gilmour.
H. Arthur Herbert.(524)
Sir Henry Liddel.(525)
John Plumptree (526)
Sir John Ramsden.
THE OPPOSITION LIST.
Sir John Barnard.
Alexander Hume Campbell.(530)
Sir John Cotton.
George Bubb Doddington.(531)
Earl of Granird.
Sir Watkyn Williams Wynn.
Besides the following six which were in both lists-
These Six, On casting up the numbers, had those marked against
their names, and were consequently chosen. Those with this mark
(*) were reckoned of the Opposition.
*George Compton 515
*William Noell 512 (538)
*Lord Quarendon 512 (539)
*Sir John Rushout 516 (540)
*Samuel Sandys 516 (541)
Sir John St. Aubin 518
On casting up the numbers, the lists proved thus:-
*Sir John Barnard 268
*Nicholas Fazakerley 262 (542)
*Henry Furnese 282
*Earl of Granard 258
*Mr. Hooper 265
*William Pitt 259
*Mr. Prouse 259
*Edmund Waller 259
William Bowles 259
*Lord Cornbury 262
Cholmley Turnor 259
This made eighteen: Mr. Finch, Sir Harry Liddel, and Mr.
Talbot, had 258 each, and Hume Campbell 257, besides one in which
his name was mis-written, but allowed; out of these
four, two were to be chosen: it was agreed that the Speaker was
to choose them; he, with a resolution not supposed to be in him,
as he has been the most notorious affecter of
popularity, named Sir Harry Liddel and Mr. 'albot; so that, on
the whole, we have just five that we can call our own.(543)
These will not be sufficient to stop their proceedings, but by
being privy, may stop any iniquitous proceedings. They have
chosen Lord Limerick chairman. Lord Orford returns tomorrow from
Houghton to Chelsea, from whence my uncle went in great fright to
I was yesterday presented to the Prince and Princess; but had not
the honour of a word from either: he did vouchsafe to talk to
Lord Walpole the day before.
Yesterday the Lord Mayor brought in their favourite bill for
repealing the Septennial Act, but we rejected it by 284 to
You shall have particular accounts of the Secret Committee and
their proceedings: but It will be at least a month before they
can make any progress. You did not say any thing about
yourself in your last; never omit it, my dear child.
(521) Velters Cornwall, Esq., of Meccas Court, in
Herefordshire, and member for that county.-D.
(522) Son of the Earl of Clarendon.
(523) Afterwards vice-chamberlain.
(524) Afterwards Earl of Powis.
(525) Afterwards Lord Ravensworth.
(526) He had a place in the Ordnance.
(527) Son of the late lord chancellor, and afterwards a judge.
(528) Afterwards field.marshal.
(529) Afterwards secretary of the treasury.
(530) Afterwards solicitor to the Prince.
(531) Had been a lord of the treasury.
(532) Had a place on a change of the ministry. (He was a
Hampshire gentleman, and member for Christchurch.-D.)
(533) Afterwards King's remembrancer.
(534) Afterwards cofferer.
(535) Afterwards a lord of trade and baronet.
(536) Afterwards paymaster.
(537) Afterwards cofferer.
(538) Afterwards a judge.
(539) Afterwards Earl of Lichfield.
(540) Afterwards treasurer of the navy.
(541) Afterwards chancellor of the exchequer, then cofferer, and
then a baron.
(542) Nicholas Fazakerley, Esq. Walpole calls him "a tiresome
Jacobite lawyer." He, however, appears to have been a speaker of
some weight in the House of Commons, and distinguished
himself by his opposition to Lord Hardwicke's mischievous
marriage bill in the year 1753.-D. (He died in 1767.)
(543) "March 26, 27. The House of commons balloted for their
committee, being called over, and each opening his list at the
table, and putting it into a vessel which stood there. This was
ended by five. Then a committee began to examine the
lists, and sat from that time till four the next afternoon: for,
though two lists were given out, many delivered in
consisted partly of one, and partly of the other; and many were
put in different order. Sir Thomas Drury, a friend of Lord
Orford's, put down four of the opposite side in his list. Lord
Orford's friends hoped it would bring moderate persons over to
them, if they put some on their list who were not
partial to him."-" March 29. The decision between Sir H.
Lyddel, Mr. J. Talbot. and Mr. W. Finch, was left to the
Speaker, who chose the two former." Secker MS.-E.
(544) This is not correct. It appears, by the Journals, that the
motion passed in the negative by 204 against 184. The debate is
thus noticed by the Bishop of Oxford:-"March 31. Sir Robert
Cotschall, Lord Mayor, moved for the repeal of the
Septennial Bill. Mr. Pultney said, he thought annual
parliaments would be best, but preferred septennial to
triennial and voted against the motion. In all, 204 against it,
and 184 for it." Secker MS.-E.
243 Letter 61
To Sir Horace Mann.
London, April 8, 1742.
You have no notion how astonished I was, at reading your
account of Sir Francis Dashwood!-that it should be possible for
private and personal pique so to sour any man's temper and
honour, and so utterly to change their principles! I own I am
for your mentioning him in your next despatch: they may at least
intercept his letters, and prevent his dirty
intelligence. As to Lady Walpole,(545) her schemes are so wild
and so ill-founded, that I don't think it worth while to take
notice of them. I possibly may mention this new one of changing
her name, to her husband, and of her coming-over
design, but I am sure he will only laugh at it.
The ill-situation of the King, which you say is so much talked of
at the Petraia,(546) Is not true; indeed he and the Prince are
not at all more reconciled for being reconciled; but I think his
resolution has borne him out. All the public
questions are easily carried, even with the concurrence of the
Tories. Mr. Pultney proposed to grant a large sum for
assisting the Queen of Hungary, and got Sir John Barnard to move
it. They have given the King five hundred thousand
pounds for that purpose.(547) The land-tax of four shillings in
the pound is continued. Lord Stair is gone to Holland, and
orders are given to the regiments and guards to have their camp
equipages ready. As to the Spanish war and Vernon, there is no
more talk of them; one would think they had both been taken by a
We talk of adjourning, soon for a month or six weeks, to give the
Secret Committee time to proceed, which yet they have not done.
Their object is returned from Houghton in great health and
greater spirits. They are extremely angry with him for laughing
at their power. The concourse to him is as great as ever; so is
the rage against him. All this week the mob has been carrying
about his effigies in procession, and to the Tower. The chiefs
of the Opposition have been so mean as to give these mobs money
for bonfires, particularly the Earls of Lichfield, Westmoreland,
Denbigh, (548) and Stanhope:(549) the servants of these last got
one of these figures, chalked out a place for the heart and shot
at it. You will laugh at me, who, the other day, meeting one of
these mobs, drove up to it to see what was the matter: the first
thing I beheld was a maulkin, in a chair, with three footmen, and
a label on the breast, inscribed "Lady mary." (550)
The Speaker, who has been much abused for naming two of our
friends to the Secret Committee, to show his
disinterestedness, has resigned his place of treasurer of the
navy. Mr. Clutterbuck,(551) one of the late treasury is to have
it; so there seems a stop put to any new persons from the
His Royal Highness is gone to Kew his drawing-rooms Will not be
so crowded at his return, as he has disobliged so many
considerable people, particularly the Dukes of Montagu (552) and
Richmond, Lord Albemarle,(553) etc. The Richmond went twice, and
yet was not spoken to; nor the others; nay, he has vented his
princely resentment even upon the women, for to Lady Hervey, not
This is all the news except that little Brook (554) is on the
point of matrimony with Miss Hamilton, Lady Archibald's
daughter. She is excessively pretty and sensible, but as
diminutive as he.
I forgot to tell you that the Place Bill has met with the same
fate from the Lords as the Pension Bill (555) and the
Triennial Act; so that, after all their clamour and changing of
measures, they have not been able to get one of their
popular bills passed, though the newspapers, for these three
months, have swarmed with instructions for these purposes, from
the constituents of all parts of Great Britain to their
We go into mourning on Sunday for the old Empress Amelia.(556)
Lord Chedworth, (557) one of three new Peers, is dead. We hear
the King of Sardinia is at Piacenza, to open the
campaign. I shall be in continual fears lest they disturb you at
Florence. All love to the Chutes, and my compliments to all my
old acquaintance. I don't think I have forgot one of Them.
Pataman is entirely yours, and entirely handsome. Good night!
(545) Margaret Rolle, a great Devonshire heiress, the wife of
Robert, Lord Walpole, afterwards second Earl of Orford, the
eldest son of the minister. She was separated from her
husband, and had quarrelled violently with his whole family. She
resided principally at Florence, where she died in 1781; having
married secondly, after the death of Lord Orford, the Hon.
Sewallis Shirley. She was a woman of bad character, as well as
Half mad: which last quality she to communicated to her
unfortunate son George, third Earl of Orford. She
succeeded, in her own right, to the baronies of Clinton and Say,
upon the death, in 1751, of Hugh, Earl and Baron
Clinton.-D. (This lady was married to Lord Walpole in 1724. In
a letter to the Countess of mar, written in that year, Lady Mary
Wortley Montagu says:- "I have so good an opinion of your taste,
to believe harlequin in person will not make you laugh so much as
the Earl of Stair's furious passion for Lady
Walpole, aged fourteen and some months. Mrs. Murray undertook to
bring the business to bear, and provided the opportunity, a great
ingredient You'll Say but the young lady proved
skittish. She did not only turn his heroic flame into present
ridicule, but exposed all his generous sentiments, to divert her
Husband and father-in-law." Works, vol. ii. p. 188.]
(546) A villa belonging to the Great Duke, where Prince Craon
resided in summer.
(547) "April 2. In the Commons, 500,000 pounds voted for the
Queen of Hungary; I believe nem. con. Sir John Barnard moved it;
which, Mr. Sandys told me, was that day making himself the
chancellor of the exchequer. He told me, also, the King was
unwilling to grant the Prince 50,000 pounds a-year; and I am told
from other hands, that he saith he never promised it. The Bishop
of Sarum (Sherlock) says, Sir Robert Walpole told him, the King
would give 30,000 pounds, but no more. Mr.
Sandys appeared determined against admitting Tories, and said it
was wonderful their union had held so long, and could not be
expected to hold longer; that he could not imagine why
every body spoke against Lord Carteret, but that he had better
abilities than any body; that as soon as foreign affairs could be
settled, they would endeavour to reduce the expenses of the crown
and interest of the debts." Secker MS.
(548) William Fielding, fifth Earl of Denbigh, died 1755.-D.
(549) Philip, second Earl Stanhope, eldest son of the general and
statesman, who founded this branch of the Stanhope family. Earl
Philip was a man of retired habits, and much devoted to
scientific pursuits. He died in 1786.-D.
(550) Lady Mary Walpole, daughter of Sir R. W.
(551) This Mr. Clutterbuck had been raised by Lord Carteret, when
Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, whom he betrayed to Sir R. Walpole;
the latter employed him, but never would trust him. He then
ingratiated himself with Mr. Pelham, under a pretence of candour
and integrity, and was continually infusing
scruples into him on political questions, to distress Sir R. On
the latter's quitting the ministry, he appointed a board of
treasury at his own house, in order to sign some grants; Mr.
Clutterbuck made a pretence to slip away, and never returned. He
was a friend, too, of the Speaker's: when Sir R. W. was told that
Mr. Onslow had resigned his place, and that Mr.
Clutterbuck was to succeed him, said, "I remember that the Duke
of Roxburgh, who was a great pretender to conscience, persuaded
the Duke of Montrose to resign the seals of'
Secretary of state, on some scruple, and begged them himself the
next day." Mr. Clutterbuck died very soon after this
transaction. [Mr. Clutterbuck was appointed treasurer of the navy
in May, and died in November following.]
(552) John, second and last Duke of Montagu, of the first
creation. He was a man of Some talent, and great eccentricity.
Sarah, Duchess of Marlborough, his mother-in-law, Used to say of
him, "My son-in-law Montagu is fifty, and he is still as mere a
boy as if he was only fifteen.".-D. On his death, in 1749),the
title became extinct.)
(553) William-Anne Keppel, second Earl of Albemarle. An
amiable prodigal who filled various great offices, through the
favour of Lady Yarmouth, who died insolvent.-D. [He married. in
1723, Lady Anne Lennox, daughter of Charles, first Duke of
Richmond, and, whilst ambassador to the French court, died
suddenly at Paris, in 1755.]
(554) Francis Greville, Lord Brooke, created an earl in 1746.
[And, in 1759, raised to the dignity of Earl of Warwick. He died
(555) "March 26. The Pension Bill read a second time in the
Lords. Duke of Devonshire said a few words against it. Lord
Sandwich pleaded for it, that some persons now in the ministry
had patronized it, and for their sakes it should be committed;
Lord Romney, that some objections against it had been obviated by
alterations. These three speeches lasted scarce half a quarter
of an hour. The question being put for committing, not-content,
76; content, 46. I was one of five bishops for it; Lord Carteret
and Lord Berkeley against it." Secker
(556) Widow of the Emperor Joseph. She was of the house of
(557) John Bowe, Esq. of Stowell, created a baron in May 1741.
246 Letter 62
To Sir Horace Mann.
April 15, 1742.
The great pleasure I receive from your letters is a little abated
by my continually finding that they have been opened. It is a
mortification as it must restrain the freedom of our
correspondence, and at a time when more than ever I must want to
talk to you. Your brother showed me a letter, which I
approve extremely, yet do not think this a proper time for it;
for there IS not only no present prospect of any further
alterations, but, if there were, none that will give that
person any interest. He really has lost himself so much, that it
will be long before he can recover credit enough to do any body
any service. His childish and troublesome behaviour,
particularly lately (,but I Will not mention instances,
because I would not have it known whom I mean), has set him in
the lowest light imaginable. I have desired your brother to keep
your letter, and when we see a necessary or convenient
opportunity, which I hope will not arrive, it shall be
delivered. However, if you are still of that opinion, say so,
and your brother shall carry it. At present, my dear child, I am
much more at repose about you, as I trust no more will
happen to endanger your situation. I shall not only give you the
first notice, but employ all the means in my power to
prevent your removal.
The Secret Committee, it seems, are almost aground, and, it is
thought, will soon finish. They are now reduced, as I hear, to
inquire into the last month, not having met with any
foundation for proceeding in the rest of the time. However, they
have this week given a strong instance of' their
arbitrariness and private resentments. They sent for
Paxton,(558) the solicitor of the treasury, and examined him
about five hundred pounds which he had given seven years ago at
Lord Limerick's election. The man, as it directly tended to
accuse himself, refused to answer. They complained to the House,
and after a long debate he was committed to the
sergeant-at-arms -, and to-day, I hear, for still refusing, will
be sent to Newgate.(559) We adjourn to-day for ten days, but the
committee has leave to continue sitting. . But, my dear child,
you may be quite at ease, for they themselves seem to despair of
being able to effect any thing.
The Duke (560) is of age to-day, and I hear by the guns, is just
gone with the King, to take his seat in the Lords.
I have this morning received the jar of cedrati safe, for
which I give you a million of thanks. I am impatient to hear of
the arrival of your secretary and the things at Florence; it is
time for you to have received them.
Here! Amorevoli has sent me another letter. Would you believe
that our wise directors for next year will not keep the
Visconti, and have sent for the Fumagalli? She will not be heard
to the first row of the pit.
I am growing miserable, for it is growing fine weather-that is,
every body is going out of town. I have but just begun to like
London, and to be settled in an agreeable set of' people, and now
they are going to wander all over the kingdom.
Because they have some chance of having a month of good
weather they will bury themselves three more in bad.
The Duchess of Cleveland (561) died last night of what they call
a miliary fever, which is much about: she had not been ill two
days. So the poor creature, her duke, is again to be let; she
paid dear for the hopes of being duchess dowager. Lady Catherine
Pelham,(562) has miscarried of twins; but they are so miserable
with the loss of their former two boys, that they seem glad now
of not having any more to tremble for.
There is a man who has by degrees bred himself up to walk upon
stilts so high, that he now stalks about and peeps into one pair
of stairs windows. If this practice should spread,
dining-rooms will be as innocent as chapels. Good night! I never
forget my best loves to the Chutes.
P. S. I this moment hear that Edgecombe (563) and Lord
Fitzwilliam are created English peers: I am sure the first is,
and I believe the second.
(558) Commemorated in a line of Pope-"'Tis all a libel,
Paxton, Sir, will say."-D.
(559) On a division of 180 against 128, Paxton was this day
committed to Newgate where he remained till the end of the
session, July 15. He died in April 1744.-E.
(560) The Duke of Cumberland, third Son of George the
(561) Lady Henrietta Finch, sister of the Earl of Winchilsea,
wife of William, Duke of Cleveland. [On whose death, in 1774, the
title became extinct.]
(562) Catherine, sister of John Manners, Duke of Rutland, and
wife of Henry Pelham. They lost their two sons by an epidemic
sore-throat, after which she would never go to Esher, or any
house where she had seen them.
(563) Richard Edgecombe, a great friend of Sir R. Walpole, was
Created a baron to prevent his being examined by the Secret
Committee concerning the management of the Cornish boroughs. (He
was created Lord Edgecumbe on the 20th of April, and in December
appointed chancellor of the duchy of Lancaster. He died in
247 Letter 63
To Sir Horace Mann.
London, April 22, 1742.
You perceive, by the size of my paper, how little I have to say.
The whole town is out of town for Easter, and nothing left but
dust, old women, and the Secret Committee. They go on warmly,
and have turned their whole thoughts to the
secret-service money, after which they are inquiring by all
methods. Sir John Rawdon (564) (you remember that genius in
Italy) voluntarily swore before them that, at the late
election at Wallingforrd, he spent two thousand pounds, and that
one Morley promised him fifteen hundred more, if he would lay it
out. "Whence was Morley to have it?"-"I don't know; I believe
from the first minister." This makes an evidence. It is thought
that they will ask leave to examine members, which was the reason
of Edgecumbe's going into the peerage, as they supposed he had
been the principal agent for the Cornish
boroughs. Sir John Cotton said, upon the occasion, "Between
Newgate (565 and the House of Lords the committee will not get
The troops for Flanders go on board Saturday se'nnight, the first
embarkation of five thousand men: the whole number is to be
sixteen thousand. It is not yet known what success Earl Stair
has had at the Hague. We are in great joy upon the news of the
King of Prussia's running away from the Austrians:
(566) though his cowardice is well established, it is yet
believed that the flight in question was determined by his head,
not his heart; in short, that it was treachery to his allies.
I forgot to tell you, that of the Secret Committee Sir John
Rushout and Cholmley TurnOr never go to it, nor, which is more
extraordinary, Sir John Barnard. He says he thought their views
were more general, but finding them so particular
against one man, he Will not engage with them.
I have been breakfasting this morning at Ranelagh-garden:
(567) they have built an immense amphitheatre, with balconies
full of little ale-houses; it is in rivalry to Vauxhall, and
costs above twelve thousand pounds. The building is not
finished, but, they get great sums by people going to see it and
breakfasting in the house: there were yesterday no less than
three hundred and eighty persons, at eighteen pence
a-piece. You see how poor we are, when, with a tax of four
shillings in the pound, we are laying out such sums for cakes and
We have a new opera, with your favourite song, se cerca, se dice:
(568) Monticelli sings it beyond what you can conceive. Your
last was of April 8th. I like the medal of the Caesars and
Nihils (569) extremely; but don't at all like the cracking of
your house, (570) except that it drives away your
Pettegola. (571) What I like much worse is your recovering your
strength so slowly; but I trust to the warm weather.
Miss Granville, daughter of the late Lord Lansdown, (572) is
named maid of honour, in the room of Miss Hamilton, who I told
you is to be Lady Brook-they are both so small! what little eggs
they will lay!
How does my Princess?(573) does not she deign to visit you too?
Is Sade (574) there still? Is Madame Suares quite gone into
devotion yet? Tell me any thing-I love any thing that you write
to me. Good night!
(564) He was afterwards made an Irish lord. (Lord Rawdon in 1750,
and Earl of Moira in 1761. His first two wives were the
daughters of the Earl of Egmont and Viscount Hillsborough. His
third wife, by whom he was the father of the late Lord Hastings,
was the daughter, and eventually the heiress, of Theophilus,
ninth Earl of Huntingdon.-D.)
(565) Alluding to Paxton, who was sent thither for refusing to
(566) this must allude to the King of Prussia's abandonment of
his design to penetrate through Austria to Vienna, which he gave
of) in consequence of the lukewarmness of his Saxon and the
absence of his French allies. It is curious now, when the mist
of contemporary prejudices has passed away, to hear
Frederick the Great accused of cowardice.-D.
(567) the once celebrated place of amusement was so called from
its site being that of a villa of' Viscount Ranelagh, near
Chelsea. The last entertainment given in it was the
installation ball of the Knights of the Bath, in 1802. It has
since been razed to the ground.-E.
(568) In the Olimpiade.
(569) A satirical medal: on one side was the head of Francis,
Duke of Lorrain (afterwards emperor) with this motto, aut
Caesar aut nihil: on the reverse, that of the Emperor Charles
Vii. Elector of Bavaria, who had been driven out of his
dominions, et Caesar et nihil.
(570) Sir H. Mann had mentioned, in one of his letters, the
appearance of several cracks in the walls of his house at
Florence. Mrs. Goldsworthy, the wife of the English consul,
had taken refuge in it when driven from Leghorn by
(571) Mrs. ('Goldsworthy.
(572) George Granville, Lord Lansdown, Pope's "Granville the
polite," one of Queen
Anne's twelve peers, and one of the minor
poets of that time. He died in 1734, without
male issue, and his honours
(573) Princess Craon.
(574) The Chevalier de Sade.
249 Letter 64
To Sir Horace Mann.
London, April 29, 1742.
By yours of April 17, N. S. and some of your last letters, I find
my Lady Walpole is more mad than ever-why, there never was so
wild a scheme as this, of setting up an interest
through Lord Chesterfield! one who has no power; and, if he had,
would think of, or serve her, one of the last persons upon earth.
What connexion has he with what interest could he have in
obliging her? and, but from views, what has he ever done, or will
he ever do? But is Richcourt (575) so shallow, and so ambitious,
as to put any trust in there projects? My dear child, believe
me, if I was to mention them here, they would sound so
chimerical, so womanish, that I should be
laughed at for repeating them. For yourself, be quite at
rest, and laugh, as I do, at feeble, visionary malice, and assure
yourself, whoever mentions such politics to you, that my Lady
Walpole must have very frippery intelligence from
hence, if she can raise no better views and on no better
foundations. For the poem you mention, I never read it: upon
inquiry, I find there was such a thing though now quite
obsolete: undoubtedly not Pope's, and only proves what I said
before, how low, how paltry, how uninformed her ladyship's
correspondents must be.
We are now all military! all preparations for Flanders! no
parties but reviews; no officers, but "hope" they are to go
abroad-at least, it is the fashion to say so. I am studying
lists of regiments and Dames of colonels-not that "I hope I am to
go abroad," but to talk of those who do. Three thousand men
embarked yesterday and the day before, and the thirteen thousand
others sail as soon as the transports can return. Messieurs
d'Allemagne (576) roll their red eyes, stroke up their great
beards, and look fierce-you know one loves a
review and a tattoo.
We had a debate yesterday in the House on a proposal for
replacing four thousand men of some that are to be sent
abroad, that, in short, we might have fifteen thousand men to
guard the kingdom. This was strongly opposed by the Tories, but
we carried it in the committee, 214 against 123, and
to-day, in the House, 280 against 169. Sir John Barnard,
Pultney, the new ministry, all the Prince's people, except the
Cobham cousins,(577) the Lord Mayor, several of the
Opposition, voted with us; so you must interpret Tories in the
strongest sense of the word.
The Secret Committee has desired leave to-day to examine three
members, Burrel, Bristow, and Hanbury Williams: (578) the two
first are directors of the bank; and it is upon an agreement made
with them, and at which Williams was present, about
remitting some money to Jamaica, and in which they pretend Sir
Robert made a bad bargain, to oblige them as members of
Parliament. they all three stood up, and voluntarily offered to
be examined; so no vote passed upon it.
These are all the political news: there is little of any other
sort; so little gallantry is stirring, that I do not hear of so
much as one maid of honour who has declared herself with child by
any officer, to engage him not to go abroad. I told you once or
twice that Miss Hamilton is going to be married to Lord Brook:
somebody wished Lord Archibald joy. He replied, "Providence has
been very good to my family."
We had a great scuffle the other night at the Opera, which
interrupted it. Lord Lincoln was abused in the most shocking
manner by a drunken officer, upon which he kicked him, and was
drawing his sword, but was prevented. were they were put
under arrest, and the next morning, the man begged his pardon
before the Duke of Marlborough, Lord Albemarle, and other
officers, in the most submissive terms. I saw the quarrel from
the other side of the house, and rushing to get to Lord Lincoln,
could not for the crowd. I climbed into the front boxes, and
stepping over the shoulders of three ladies, before I knew where
I was, found I had lighted in Lord Rockingham's (579) lap. It
was ridiculous! Good night!
(575) Count Richcourt was a Lorrainer, and chief minister of
Florence; there was a great connexion between him and Lady
(576)The royal family.
(577) Pitts, Grenvilles, Lytteltons, all related by marriage, or
female descent, to Lord Cobham.-D.
(578) Sir Charles Hanbury Williams, a devoted follower of Sir
Robert Walpole. His various satirical poems against the
enemies and successors of that minister are well known, and must
ever be admired for their ease, their spirit, and the wit and
humour of their sarcasm. It was said at the time that Sir
Charles's poetry had done more in three months to lower and
discredit those it was written against, than the Craftsman and
other abusive papers had been able to effect against Sir
Robert in a long series of years.-D.
(579) Lewis Watson, second Earl of Rockingham. He married
Catharine, second daughter and coheir of George Sondes, Earl of
Feversham, and died in 1745.-D.
251 Letter 65
To Richard West, Esq.
London, May 4, 1742.
Your letter made me quite melancholy, till I came to the
postscript of fine weather. Your so suddenly finding the
benefit of it makes me trust you will entirely recover your
health and spirits with the warm season: nobody wishes it more
than I: nobody has more reason, as few have known you so long.
Don't be afraid of your letters being dull. I don't deserve to
be called your friend, if I were impatient at hearing your
complaints. I do not desire you to suppress them till the causes
cease; nor should I expect you to write cheerfully
while you are Ill. I never desire to write any man's life as a
stoic, and consequently should not desire him to furnish me with
opportunities of assuring posterity what pains he took not to
show any pain.
If you did amuse yourself with writing any thing in poetry, you
know how pleased I should be to see it; but for
encouraging you to it, d'ye see, 'tis an age most unpoetical!
'Tis even a test of wit to dislike poetry; and though Pope has
half a dozen old friends that he has preserved from the taste of
last century, yet, I assure you, the generality of readers are
more diverted with any paltry prose answer to old
Marlborough's secret history of Queen Mary's robes. I do not
think an author would be universally commended for any
production in verse, unless it were an ode to the Secret
Committee, with rhymes of liberty and property, nation and
Wit itself is monopolized by politics; no laugh would be
ridiculous if it were not on one side or t'other. Thus,
Sandys thinks he has spoken an epigram, when he crincles up his
nose and lays a smart accent on ways and means.
We may, indeed. hope a little better now to the declining
arts. The reconciliation between the royalties is finished, and
fifty thousand pounds a-year more added to the heir
apparent's revenue. He will have money now to tune up Glover,
and Thomson, and Dodsley again: Et spes
et ratio studiorum in Caesare tantUM.
Asheton is much yours. He has preached twice at Somerset
Chapel with the greatest applause. I do not mind his pleasing
the generality, for you know they ran as much after Whitfield as
they could after Tillotson; and I do not doubt but St. Jude
converted as many Honourable women as St. Paul. But I am sure
you would approve his compositions, and admire them still more
when you heard him deliver them. He will write to you himself
next post, but is not mad enough with his fame to write you a
sermon. Adieu, dear child! Write me the progress of your
recovery,(580) and believe it will give me a sincere pleasure;
for I am, yours ever.
(580) Mr. West died in less than a month from the date of this
letter, in the twenty-sixth year of his age. (see ant`e, p. 121,
Letter 1.) In his last letter to Grey, written a few days before
his death, he says, "I will take my leave of you for the present,
with a vale et vive paulisper cum vivis:" so little was he aware
of the short time that he himself would be
numbered among the living. But this is almost constantly the
case with those who die of that most flattering of all
diseases, a consumption. "Shall humanity," says Mason, "be
thankful or sorry that it is so? Thankful, surely! for as this
malady generally attacks the young and the innocent, it seems the
merciful intention of Heaven, that to these death should come
unperceived, and, as it were, by stealth; divested of one of its
sharpest stings, the lingering expectation of their
252 Letter 66
To Sir Horace Mann.
Downing Street, May 6, 1742.
I have received a long letter from you of the 22d of April. It
amazes me! that our friends of Florence should not prove our
friends.(581) Is it possible? I have always talked of their
cordiality, because I was convinced they could have no shadow of
interest in their professions:--of that, indeed, I am convinced
still-but how could they fancy they had? There is the wonder!
If they wanted common honesty, they seem to have wanted common
sense more. What hope of connexion could there ever be between
the British ministry and the Florentine nobility! The latter
have no views for being, or knowledge for being envoys, etc.
They are too poor and proud to think of trading with us; too
abject to hope for the restoration of their liberty from us-and,
indeed, however we may affection our own, we have showed no
regard for their liberty-they have had no reason ever to expect
that from us! In short, to me it is mystery! But how could you
not tell me some particulars? Have I so little interested myself
with Florence, that you should think I can be satisfied without
knowing the least particulars? I must know names. Who are these
wretches that I am to scratch out of my list? I shall give them
a black blot the moment I know who have behaved ill to you. Is
Casa Ferroni of the number? I suspect it:-that was of your first
attachments. Are the prince and princess dirty?-the Suares?-tell
me, tell me! Indeed, my dear Mr. Chute, I am not of your
opinion, that he should shut himself up and despise them; let him
go abroad and despise them. Must he mope because the Florentines
are like the rest of the world? But that is not true, for the
world in England have not declared themselves so suddenly. It
has not been the fashion to desert the earl and his friends: he
has had more concourse, more professions, and has still, than in
the height of his power. So your neighbours have been too hasty:
they are new style, at least, eleven days before us. Tell them,
tell Richcourt, tell his Cleopatra,(582) that all their hopes are
vanished, all their faith in Secret Committees-the reconciliation
is made, and whatever reports their secretships may produce,
there will be at least above a hundred votes added to our party.
Their triumph has been but in hope, and their hope has failed in
As to your embroil with Richcourt, I condemn you excessively: not
that you was originally in fault, but by seeming to own yourself
so. He is an impertinent fellow, and will be so if you'll let
him. My dear child, act with the spirit of your friends here;
show we have lost no credit by losing power, and that a little
Italian minister must not dare to insult you. Publish the
accounts I send you; which I give you my honour are authentic.
If they are not, let Cytheris, your Antony's travelling
concubine, contradict them.
You tell me the St. Quintin is arrived at Genoa: I see by the
prints of to-day that it is got to leghorn: I am extremely glad,
for I feared for it, for the poor boy, and for the things. Tell
me how you like your secretary. I shall be quite happy, if I
have placed one with you that you like.
I laughed much at the family of cats I am to receive. I believe
they will be extremely welcome to Lord Islay now: for he appears
little, lives more darkly and more like a wizard than ever.
These huge cats will figure prodigiously in his cell: he is of'
the mysterious, dingy nature of Stosch.
As words is what I have not rhetoric to
find out to thank you, for sending me this paragraph of Madame
Goldsworthy, I can only tell you that I have laughed for an hour
at it. This was one of my Lady Pomfret's correspondents.
There seems to be a little stop in our embarkations: since the
first, they have discovered that the horse must not go till all
the hay is provided. Three thousand men will make a fine figure
towards supporting the balance of power! Our whole number was to
be but sixteen; and if all these cannot be assembled before the
end of July, what will be said of it?
The Secret Committee go on very pitifully: they are now inquiring
about some customhouse officers that were turned out at Weymouth
for voting wrong at elections. Don't you think these articles
will prove to the world what they have been saying of Sir Robert
for these twenty years? The House still sits in observance to
them; which is pleasant to me, for it keeps people in town. We
have operas too; but they are almost over, and if it were not for
a daily east wind, they would give way to Vauxhall and Chelsea.
The new directors have agreed with the Fumagalli for next year,
but she is to be second woman: they keep the Visconti. Did I
never mention the Bettina, the first dancer. It seems she was
kept by a Neapolitan prince, who is extremely jealous of her
thither. About a fortnight ago, she fell ill, upon which her
Neapolitan footman made off immediately. She dances again, but
is very weak, and thinks herself poisoned.
Adieu! my dear child; tell me you are well, easy, and in
spirits: kiss the Chutes for me, and believe me, etc
(581) This alludes to an account given by Sir Horace Mann, in one
of his letters, of the change he had observed in the manner of
many of the Florentines towards himself since Sir Robert
Walpole's retirement from office, upon the supposition
entertained by them that he was intimately connected with the
(582) Lady Walpole.
254 Letter 67
To Sir Horace Mann.
London, May 13, 1742.
As I am obliged to put my letter into the secretary's office by
nine o'clock, and it now don't want a quarter of it, I can say
but three words, and must defer till next post answering Your
long letter by the courier. I am this moment come from the
House, where we have had the first part of the Report from the
Secret Committee. It is pretty long; but, unfortunately for them,
there is not once to be found in it the name of the Earl of
Orford: there is a good deal about Mr. Paxton and the borough of
Wendover; and it appears that in eleven years Mr. Paxton has
received ninety-four thousand pounds unaccounted for: now, if
Lady Richcourt can make any thing of all this, you have freely my
leave to communicate it to her. Pursuant to this report, and Mr.
Paxton's contumacy, they moved for leave to bring in a bill to
indemnify all persons who should accuse themselves of any crime,
provided they do but accuse Lord Orford, and they have carried it
by 251 to 228! but it is so absurd a bill, that there is not the
least likelihood of its passing the Lords. By this bill, whoever
are guilty of murder, treason, forgery, etc. have nothing to do
but to add perjury, and swear Lord Orford knew of it, and they
may plead their pardon. Tell Lady Richcourt this. Lord Orford
knew of her gallantries: she may plead her pardon. Good night! I
have not a moment to lose.
254 Letter 68
To Sir Horace Mann.
May 20, 1742.
I sent you a sketch last post of the division on the Indemnity
Bill. As they carried the question for its being brought in,
they brought it in on Saturday; but were prevailed on to defer
the second reading till Tuesday. Then we had a long debate till
eight at night, when they carried it, 228 against 217, only
eleven majority: before, they had had twenty-three. They
immediately went into the committee on it,-and reported it that
night. Yesterday it came to the last reading; but the House,
having sat so late the night before, was not so full, and they
carried it, 216 to 184. But to-day it comes into the
Lords,-where they do not in the least expect to succeed; yet, to
show their spirit, they have appointed a great dinner at the
Fountain to-morrow to consider on methods for supporting the
honour of the Commons, as they call it, against the Lords, So now
all prospect of quiet seems to vanish! The noise this bill makes
is incredible; it is so unprecedented, so violent a step! Every
thing is inflamed by Pultney, who governs both parties only, I
think, to exasperate both more. Three of our own people of the
committee, the Solicitor,(582) Talbot, and Bowles, vote against
us in the Indemnity Bill, the two latter have even spoke against
us. Sir Robert said, at the
beginning, when he was congratulated on having some of his own
friends in the committee, "The moment they are appointed, they
will grow so jealous of the honour of their committee, that they
will prefer that to every other consideration."(583)
Our foreign news are as bad as our domestic: there seem little
hopes of the Dutch coming into our measures; there are even
letters, that mention strongly their resolution of not
stirring-so we have Quixoted away sixteen thousand men! On
Saturday we had accounts of the Austrians having cut off two
thousand Prussians, in a retreat; but on Sunday came news of the
great victory,(584) which the latter have gained, killing six,
and taking two thousand Austrians prisoners, and that Prince
Charles is retired to Vienna wounded. This will but too much
confirm the Dutch in their apprehensions of Prussia.
As to the long letter you wrote me, in answer to a very
particular one of mine, I cannot explain myself, till I find a
safer conveyance than the post, by which, I perceive all our
letters are opened. I can only tell you, that in most things you
guessed right; and that as to myself (585) all is quiet.
I am in great concern, for you seem not satisfied with the boy we
sent you. Your brother entirely agreed with me that he was what
you seem to describe; and as to his being on the foot of a
servant, I give you my honour I repeated it over and over to his
mother. I suppose her folly was afraid of shocking him. As to
Italian, she assured me he had been learning it some time. If he
does not answer your purpose, let me know if you can dispose of
him any other way, and I will try to
accommodate you better. Your brother has this moment been here,
but there was no letter for me; at least, none that they will
I know not in the least how to advise Mr. Jackson.(586) I do not
think Mr. Pelham the proper person to apply to; for the Duke of
Newcastle is as jealous of him as of any body.(587) Don't say
this to him. For Lord Hervey, though Mr. Jackson has interest
there, I would not advise him to try it, for both hate him. The
application to the Duke of Newcastle by the Most direct means, I
should think the best, or by any one that can be serviceable to
You will laugh at an odd accident that happened the other day to
my uncle:(588) they put him into the papers for Earl of
Sheffield. There have been little disputes between the two
Houses about coming into each other's House; when a lord comes
into the Commons, they call out, withdraw: that day, the
moment my uncle came in, they all roared out, Withdraw!
The great Mr. Nugent has been unfortunate, too, in parliament;
besides being very ill heard, from being a very indifferent
speaker, the other day on the Place Bill, (which, by the way, we
have new modelled and softened, and to which the Lords have
submitted to agree to humour Pultney,) he rose, and said, "He
would not vote, as he was not determined in his opinion; but he
would offer his sentiments; which were, particularly, that the
bishops had been the cause of this bill being thrown out before."
Winnington called him to order, desiring he would be tender of
the Church of England. You know he was a papist. In answer to
the beginning of his speech, Velters Cornwall, who is of the same
side, said, "He wondered that when that gentleman could not
convince himself by his eloquence, he
should expect to convince the majority."
Did I tell you that Lord Rochford,(589) has at last married Miss
Young?(590) I say, at last, for they don't pretend to have been
married this twelvemonth; but they were publicly married last
(582) John Strange, Esq. made Solicitor-general in 1736, and
Master of the Rolls in 1750, he died in 1754.-E.
(583) Voltaire has since made the same kind of observation in his
"Life of Louis XlV." Art of Calvinism;-"Les hommes se
piquent toujours de remplir un devoir qui les distingue."
(584) The battle of Chotusitz, or Czaslau, gained by the King of
Prussia over the very superior forces of the Austrians. This
victory occasioned the peace between the contending
powers, and the cession of Silesia to the Prussian monarchy.- D.
(585) This relates to some differences between Mr. Walpole and
his father, to which the former had alluded in one of his
letters. They never suited one another either in habits,
tastes, or opinions; in addition to which, Sir Robert appears to
have been rather a harsh father to his youngest son. If such was
the case, the latter nobly revenged himself, by his earnest
solicitude through life for the Honour of his parent's memory.-D.
p. 207, Letter 50.)
(586) He had been consul at Genoa.
(587) Sir Robert Walpole used to say of the Duke of Newcastle,
"He has a foolish head and a perfidious heart. His name is
(588) Horace Walpole the elder@D.
(589) William Henry Zulestein Nassau, fourth Earl of Rochford.
He filled many diplomatic situations, and was also at
different times, groom of the stole and secretary of state.
He died in 1781.-D.
(590) Daughter of Edward Young, Esq. She had been maid of honour
to the Princess of Wales.
256 Letter 69
To Sir Horace Mann
Downing Street, May 26, 1742.
To-day calls itself May the 26th, as you perceive by the date;
but I am writing to you by the fireside, instead of going to
Vauxhall. if we have one warm day in seven, "we bless our stars,
and think it luxury." And yet we have as much
waterworks and fresco diversions, as if we lay ten degrees nearer
warmth. Two nights ago Ranelagh-gardens were opened at Chelsea;
the Prince, Princess, Duke, much nobility, and much mob besides,
were there. There is a vast amphitheatre, finely gilt, painted,
and illuminated, into which every body that loves eating,
drinking, staring, or crowding, is admitted for twelvepence. The
building and disposition of the gardens cost sixteen thousand
pounds. Twice a-week there are to be
ridottos, at guinea tickets, for which you are to have a
supper and music. I was there last night, but did not find the
joy of it. Vauxhall is a little better; for the garden is
pleasanter, and one goes by water. Our operas are almost
over; there were but three-and-forty people last night in the pit
and boxes. There is a little simple farce at Drury Lane, called
"Miss Lucy in Town,"(591) in which Mrs. Clive (592) mimes the
Muscovita admirably, and Beard, Amorevoli tolerably. But all the
run is now after Garrick, a wine-merchant, who is turned player,
at Goodman's-fields. He plays all parts, and is a very good
mimic. His acting I have seen, and may say to you, who will not
tell it again here, I see nothing wonderful in it.(593) but it
is heresy to say so: the Duke of Argyll says, he is superior to
Betterton. Now I talk of players, tell Mr. Chute that his friend
Bracegirdle breakfasted with me this morning. As she went out,
and wanted her clogs, she
turned to me, and said, "I remember at the playhouse, they used
to call Mrs. Oldfield's chair! Mrs. Barry's clogs! and Mrs.
I did, indeed, design the letter of this post for Mr. Chute; but
I have received two such charming long ones from you of the 15th
and 20th of May (N. S.), that I must answer them, and beg him to
excuse me till another post; so must the
Prince,(594) Princess, the Grifona, and Countess Galli. For the
Princess's letter, I am not sure I shall answer it so
soon, for hitherto I have not been able to read above every third
word; however, you may thank her as much as if I
understood it all. I am very happy that mes bagatelles (for I
still insist they were so) pleased. You, my dear child, are very
good to be pleased with the snuff-box.. I am much obliged to the
superior lumi`eres of old Sarasin (595) about the
Indian ink: if' she meant the black, I am sorry to say I had it
into the bargain with the rest of the Japan: for the
coloured, it is only a curiosity, because it has seldom been
brought over. I remember Sir Hans Sloane was the first who ever
had any of it, and would on no account give my mother the least
morsel of it. since that, She afterwards got a good deal of it
from China; and more has come over; but it is even less valuable
than the other, for we never could tell how to use it; however,
let it make its figure.
I am sure you blame me all this time, for chatting about so many
trifles, and telling you no politics. I own to you, I am so
wearied, so worn with them, that I scarce know how to turn my
hand to them; but you shall know all I know. I told you of the
meeting at the Fountain tavern: Pultney had promised to be there,
but was-not; nor Carteret. As the Lords had put off the debate
on the Indemnity Bill, nothing material passed; but the meeting
was very Jacobite. Yesterday the bill came on, and Lord Carteret
took the lead against it, and about seven in the evening it was
flung out by almost two to one, 92 to 47, and 17 proxies to 10.
To-day we had a motion by the new Lord
Hillsborough,(596) (for the father is Just dead,) and seconded by
Lord Barrington,(597) to examine the Lords' votes, to see what
has become of the bill: this is the form. The chancellor of the
exchequer, and all the new ministry, were with us
against it; but they carried it, 164 to 159. It is to be
reported to-morrow, and as we have notice, we may possibly throw
it out; else they will hurry on to a breach with the Lords.
Pultney was not in the House: he was riding the other day, and
met the King's coach; endeavouring to turn out of the way, his
horse started, flung him, and fell upon him: he is much bruised
but not at all dangerously. On this occasion, there was an
epigram fixed to a list, which I will explain to you afterwards
it is not known who wrote it, but it was
addressed to him:
"Thy horse does things by halves, like thee:
Thou, with irresolution,
Hurt'st friend and foe, thyself and me,
The King and Constitution."
The list I meant: you must know, some time ago, before the
change, they had moved for a committee to examine, and state the
public accounts: It was passed. Finding how little
success they had with their Secret Committee, they have set this
on foot, and we were to ballot for seven commissioners, who are
to have a thousand a-year; We balloted yesterday: on our lists
were Sir Richard Corbet,(598) Charles Hamilton (599) Lady
Archibald's brother,) Sir William Middleton,(600) Mr. West, Mr.
Fonnereau, Mr. Thompson, and Mr. Ellis.(601) On theirs
Mr. Bance, George Grenville, Mr. Hooper, Sir Charles
Mordaunt,(602) Mr, Phillips, Mr. Pitt, and Mr. Stuart. On
casting up the numbers, the four first on ours, and the three
first on their list, appeared to have the majority,: so no great
harm will come from this, should it pass the Lords;
which it is not likely to do. I have now told you, I think, all
the political news, except that the troops continue going to
Flanders, though we hear no good news yet from Holland.
If we can prevent any dispute between the two Houses, it is
believed and much hoped by the Court, that the Secret
Committee will desire to be dissolved: if it does, there is an
end of all this tempest!
I must tell you an ingenuity of Lord Raymond,(603) an epitaph on
the Indemnifying Bill-I believe you would guess the
"Interr'd beneath this marble stone doth lie
The Bill of Indemnity;
To show the good for which it was designed,
It died itself to save mankind."
My Lady Townshend made me laugh the other night about your old
acquaintance, Miss Edwin; who, by the way, is grown almost a
Methodist. My lady says she was forced to have an issue made on
one side of her head, for her eyes, and that Kent(604)
advised her to have another on the other side for symmetry.
There has lately been published one of the most impudent
things that ever was printed; it is called "The Irish
Recister," and is a list of all the unmarried women of any
fashion in England, ranked in order, duchesses-dowager,
ladies, widows, misses, etc. with their names at length, for the
benefit of Irish fortune-hunters, or as it is said, for the
incorporating and manufacturing of British commodities. Miss
Edwards(605) is the only one printed with a dash, because they
have placed her among the widows. I will send you this, "Miss
Lucy in Town," and the magazines, by the first
opportunity, as I should the other things, but your brother tells
me you have had then) by another hand. I received the cedarati,
for which I have already thanked you: but I have been so much
thanked by several people to whom I gave some, that I can very
well afford to thank you again.
As to Stosch expecting any present from me, he was so
extremely well paid for all I had of' him, that I do not think
myself at all in his debt: however, you was very good to offer to
As to my Lady Walpole, I shall say nothing now, as I have not
seen either of the two persons since I received your letter to
whom I design to mention her; only that I am extremely sorry to
find you still disturbed at any of the little nonsense of' that
cibal. I hoped that the accounts which I have sent you, and
which, except in my last letter, must have been very
satisfactory, would have served you as an antidote to their
legends; and I think the great victory in the House of Lords, and
which, I assure you, is here reckoned prodigious, Will raise your
spirits against them. I am happy you have taken that step about
Sir Francis Dashwood; the credit it must have given you with the
King will more than counterbalance any
little hurt you might apprehend from the cabal.
I am in no hurry for any of my things; as we shall be moving from
hence as soon as Sir Robert has taken another house, I shall not
want them till I am more settled.
Adieu! I hope to tell you soon that we are all at peace, and then
I trust you will be so. A thousand loves to the Chutes. How I
long to see you all!
P. S. I unseal my letter to tell you what a vast and,
probably, final victory we have gained to-day. They moved, that
the lords flinging out the Bill of Indemnity was an
obstruction of justice, and might prove fatal to the liberties
of' this country. We have sat till this moment, seven
o'clock, and have rejected this motion by 245 to 193. The call
of the House, which they have kept off from fortnight to
fortnight, to keep people in town, was appointed for to-day. The
moment the division was over, Sir John Cotton rose and said, "As
I think the inquiry is at an end, you may do what you will with
the call." We have put it off for two months. There's a noble
(591) This farce, the production of Fielding, was acted
several nights with success; but it being hinted, that one of the
characters was written in ridicule of a man of quality, the Lord
Chamberlain sent an order to forbid its being
performed any more.-E.
(592) catherine Clive, an excellent actress in low comedy.
Churchill says of her, in the Rosciad,
In spite of outward blemishes she shone,
For humour famed, and humour all her own.
Easy, as if at home, the stage she trod,
Nor sought the critic's praise, nor fear'd his rod
Original in spirit and in ease,
She pleased by hiding all attempts to please.
No comic actress ever yet could raise
On humour's base, more merit or more praise."
In after life she lived at Twickenham, in the house now called
Little Strawberry Hill, and
became an intimate friend of Horace Walpole@D.
(593) Garrick made his first appearance, October 19, 1741, in the
character of Richard the Third. Walpole does not appear to have
been singular in the opinion here given. Gray in a letter to
Chute, says, "Did I tell you about Mr. Garrick, that the town are
horn-mad after: there are a dozen dukes of a
night at Goodman-fields sometimes; and vet I am stiff in the
(594) prince Craon.
(595) Madame Sarasin, a Lorrain lady, companion to Princess
(596) Wills Hill, the second Lord Hillsborough, afterwards
created an Irish earl and made cofferer of the household. (In the
reign of George III. he was created Earl of Hillsborough, in
England, and finally Marquis of Downshire, in Ireland; and held
the office of secretary of state for the colonies.-D.)
(597) William Wildman, Viscount Barrington, made a lord of the
admiralty on the coalition, and master of the great wardrobe, in
1754. He afterwards held the offices of chancellor of the
exchequer, secretary at war, and treasurer of the navy, and died
February 1st, 1793.-D.)
(598) Sir Richard Corbett, of Leighton, in Montgomeryshire, the
fourth baronet of that family. He was member for
Shrewsbury, and died in 1774.-D.
(599) The Hon. Charles Hamilton, sixth son of James, sixth Earl
of Abercorn. Member for Truro, comptroller of the green cloth to
the Prince of Wales, and subsequently receiver-general of the
Island of Minorca. He died in 1787.-D.
(600) Sir William Middleton, Bart. of Belsay Castle,
Northumberland, the third baronet of the family. He was
member for Northumberland, and died in 1767.-D.''
(601) Welbore Ellis, member of parliament for above half a
century; during which period he held the different offices of a
lord of the admiralty, secretary at war, treasurer of the navy,
vice-treasurer of Ireland, and secretary of state. He was created
Lord Mendip in 1794, with remainder to his nephew, Viscount
Clifden, and died February 2, 1802, at the age of
(602) Sir Charles Mordaunt, of Massingham, in Norfolk, the sixth
baronet of the family. He was member for the county of Warwick,
and died in 1778.-D.
(603) Robert, the second Lord Raymond, son of the lord chief
justice. [On whose death, in 1753, without issue, the title
(604) William Kent, of whom Walpole himself drew the following
just character:-"He was a painter, an architect, and the
father of modern gardening. In the first character he was below
mediocrity; in the second, he was a restorer of the
science; in the last, an original, and the inventor of an art
that realizes painting and improves nature. Mahomet imagined an
elysium, Kent created many."-The misfortune of Kent was, that his
fame and popularity in his own age were so great, that he was
employed to give designs for all things, even for those which he
could know nothing about-such as ladies'
birthday dresses, which he decorated with the five orders of
architecture. These absurdities drew upon him the satire of
Hogarth.-D. [Walpole further states of Kent, that Pope
undoubtedly contributed to form his taste.]
(605) Miss Edwards, an unmarried lady of great fortune, who
openly kept Lord Anne Hamilton.
260 Letter 70
To Sir Horace Mann.
London, June 3, 1742.
I have sent Mr. Chute all the news; I shall only say to you that
I have read your last letter about Lady W. to Sir R. He was not
at all surprised at her thoughts of England, but told me that
last week my Lord Carteret had sent him a letter which she had
written to him, to demand his protection. This you may tell
publicly; it will show her ladyship's credit.
Here is an epigram, which I believe will divert you: it is on
Lord Islay's garden upon Hounslow Heath.
"Old Islay, to show his fine delicate taste,(606)
In improving his gardens purloined from the waste,
Bade his gard'ner one day to open his views,
By cutting a couple of grand avenues:
No particular prospect his lordship intended,
But left it to chance how his walks should be ended.
With transport and joy he beheld his first view end
In a favourite prospects church that was ruin'd-
But alas! what a sight did the next cut exhibit!
At the end of the walk hung a rogue on a gibbet!
He beheld it and wept, for it caused him to muse on
Full many a Campbell that died with his shoes on.
All amazed and aghast at the ominous scene,
He order'd it quick to be closed up again
With a clump of Scotch firs that served for a Screen."
Sir Robert asked me yesterday about the Dominichini, but I did
not know what to answer: I said I would write to you about it.
Have you bought it? or did you quite put it off? I had forgot to
mention it again to you. If you have not, I am still of opinion
that you should buy it for him. Adieu!
(606) These lines were written by Bramston, author of
"The Art of Politics," and "The Man of Taste." [The Reverend
James Bramston, vicar of Starling, Sussex. Pope took the line in
the Dunciad, "Shine in the dignity of F. R. S." from his Man of
Taste;-"A satire," says Warton, "in which the author has been
guilty of the absurdity of making his hero laugh at himself and
his own follies." He died in 1744.]
261 Letter 71
To Sir Horace Mann.
June 10, the Pretender's birthday, which, by the way, I believe
he did not expect to keep at Rome this year, 1742.
Since I wrote you my last letter, I have received two from you of
the 27th May and 3d of June, N. S. I hope you will get my two
packets; that is, one of them was addressed to Mr. Chute, and in
them was all my fagot of compliments.
Is not poor SCUlly (607) vastly disappointed that we are not
arrived? But really, will that mad woman never have done! does
she still find credit for her extravagant histories. I
carried her son with me to Vauxhall last night: he is a most
charming boy,(608) but grows excessively like her in the face.
I don't at all foresee how I shall make out this letter: every
body is gone out of town during the Whitsuntide, and many will
not return, at least not these six weeks; for so long they say it
will be before the Secret Committee make their Report, with which
they intend to finish. We are, however, entertained with
pageants every day-reviews to gladden the heart of
David,(609) (609) and triumphs to Absalom! He,(610) and his wife
went in great parade yesterday through the city and the dust to
dine at Greenwich; they took water at the Tower, and trumpeting
away to Grace Tosier's,
"Like Cimon, triumph'd over land and wave"
I don't know whether it was my Lord of Bristol (611) or some of
the SaddlerS,((612) Company who had told him that this was the
way "to steal the hearts of the people." He is in a
quarrel with Lord Falmouth.(613) There is just dead one
Hammond,(614) a disciple of Lord Chesterfield,
and equerry to his royal highness: he had parts, and was Just
come into parliament, strong of the Cobham faction, or
nepotism, as Sir Robert calls it. The White Prince desired Lord
Falmouth to choose Dr. Lee, who, you know, has disobliged the
party by accepting a lordship of the admiralty. Lord
Falmouth has absolutely refused, and insists upon choosing one of
his own brothers: his highness talks loudly of opposing him. The
borough is a Cornish one.
There is arrived a courier from Lord Stair, with news of
Prince Lobkowitz having cut off five thousand French. We are
hurrying away the rest of our troops to Flanders, and say that we
are in great spirits, and intend to be in greater when we have
defeated the French too.
For my own particular, I cannot say I am well; I am afraid I have
a little fever upon my spirits, or at least have nerves, which,
you know, every body has in England. I begin the
cold-bath to-morrow, and talk of going to Tunbridge, if the
parliament rises soon.
Sir R. who begins to talk seriously of Houghton, has desired me
to go -with him thither;' but that is not all settled. Now I
mention Houghton, you was in the right to miss a gallery there;
but there is one actually fitting up, where the
green-house was, and to be furnished with the spoils of
I am quite sorry you have [)ad so much trouble with those
odious cats of Malta: dear child, fling them into the Arno, if
there is water enough at this season to drown them; or, I'll tell
you, give them to Stosch, to pay the postage he talked of. I
have no ambition to make my court with them to the old wizard.
I think I have not said any thing lately to you from Patapan; he
is handsomer than ever, and crows fat: his eyes are
charming; they have that agreeable lustre which the vulgar
moderns call sore eyes, but the judicious ancients golden
eyes, ocellos Patapanicos.
The process is begun against her Grace of Beaufort,(615) and
articles exhibited in Doctors' Commons. Lady Townshend has had
them copied, and lent them to me. There is every thing proved to
your heart's content, to the birth of the child, and much
Adieu! my dear child; you see I have eked out a letter: I hate
missing a post, and yet at this dead time I have almost been
tempted to invent a murder or a robbery. But you are good, and
will be persuaded that I have used my eyes and ears for your
service; when, if it were not for you, I should let them lie by
in a drawer from week's end to week's end. Good night!
(607) An Irish tailor at Florence, who let out ready-furnished
apartments to travelling English. Lady W. had reported that Lord
Orford was flying from England and would come thither.
(608) George Walpole, afterwards the third Earl of Orford. He
succeeded to the earldom in 1751, and was appointed
lord-lieutenant and custos rotulorum of the county of Norfolk Mr,
Pitt, in a letter, written in 1759, says, "Nothing could make a
better appearance than the two Norfolk battalions: Lord Orford,
with the port of Mars himself, and really the
genteelest figure under arms I ever saw, was the theme of
every tongue." Chatham Correspondence, vol. ii. p. 4.-E.
(609) George the Second.
(610) Frederic, Prince of Wales.
(611) Dr. Secker, afterwards Bishop of Oxford. (And eventually
Archbishop of Canterbury. According to Walpole, he was bred a
man-midwife.-D.) [Secker had committed in Walpole's eyes, the
unpardonable offence of having "procured a marriage between the
heiress of the Duke of Kent and the chancellor's
(Hardwicke's) son;" he, therefore, readily propagated the
charges of his being "a Presbyterian, a man-midwife, and
president of a very freethinking club," (Memoires, i. p. 56,)
when the fact is, the parents of Secker were Dissenters, and he
for a time pursued the study, though not the practice of medicine
and surgery. The third charge is a mere falsehood. See also
Quarterly Review, xxv'i. p. 187.]
(612) The Prince was a member of the Saddlers' company.
(613) Hugh Boscawen, second Viscount Falmouth, a great dealer in
boroughs. It is of him that Lord Dodington tells the
story, that he went to the minister to ask a favour, which the
minister seemed unwilling to grant; upon which Lord Falmouth
said, "Remember, Sir, we are seven."-D.
(614) Author of Love Elegies. [See ant`e, p. 210.)
(615) Frances, daughter and heir of the last Lord Scudamore, wife
of Henry Somerset, Duke of Beaufort; from whom she was divorced
for adultery with Lord Talbot. She was afterwards married to
Colonel Fitzroy, natural son of the Duke of
Grafton. [The duke Having clearly proved the incontinence of his
wife, obtained a divorce in March 1743-4.)
263 Letter 72
To Sir Horace Mann.
Downing Street, June 14, 1742.
We were surprised last Tuesday with the great good news of the
peace between the Queen and the King of Prussia. it was so
unexpected and so welcome, that I believe he might get an act of
parliament to forbid any one thinking that he ever made a slip in
integrity. Then, the reported accounts of the
successes of Prince Charles and Lobkowitz over the French have
put us into the greatest spirits. Prince charles is extremely
commended for courage and conduct, and makes up a little for
other flaws in the family.
it is at last settled that Lords gower,(616) Cobham, and
Bathurst (617) are to come in. The first is to be privy-seal,
and was to have kissed hands last Friday, but Lord Hervey had
carried the seal with him to Ickworth; but he must bring it back.
Lord Cobham is to be field-marshal, and to command all the forces
in England. Bathurst was to have the
Gentleman-pensioners, but Lord Essex,(618) who is now the
Captain, and was to have had the Beef-eaters, will not change.
Bathurst is to have the Beef-eaters; the Duke of Bolton (619) who
has them, is to have the Isle of Wight, and Lord
lymington,(620) who has that, is to have--nothing!
The Secret Committee are in great perplexities about
Scrope:(621) he would not take the oath, but threatened the
Middlesex justices who tendered it to him "Gentlemen," said he,
"have you any complaint against Me? if you have not,
don't you fear that I will prosecute you for enforcing oaths?"
However, one of them began to read the oath--"I, John
Scrope,"--"I John Scrope:"said he; "I did not say any such thing;
but come, however, let's hear the oath;"--"do promise that I will
faithfully and truly answer all such questions as shall be asked
me by the Committee of Secrecy, and--" they were going on, but
Scrope cried out, "Hold, hold! there is more than I can digest
already." He then went before the
committee, and desired time to consider. Pitt asked him
abruptly, if he wanted a quarter of an hour: he replied, "he did
not want to inform either his head or his heart, for both were
satisfied what to do; but that he would ask the King's leave."
He wants to fight Pitt. He is a most testy little old gentleman,
and about eight years ago would have fought Alderman Perry. It
was in the House, at the time of the
excise: he said we should carry it: Perry said he hoped to see
him hanged first. "You see me hanged, you dog, you!" said
Scrope, and pulled him by the nose. The committee have tried all
ways to soften him, and have offered to let him swear to only
what part he pleased, or only with regard to money given to
members of parliament. Pultney himself has tried to work on him;
but the old gentleman is inflexible, and answered, "that he was
fourscore years old, and did not care whether he spent the few
months he had to live (622) in the Tower or not; that the last
thing he would do should be to betray the King and next to him
the Earl of Orford." It remains in suspense.
The troops continue going to Flanders, but slowly enough. Lady
Vane has taken a trip thither after a cousin (623) of Lord
Berkeley, who is as simple about her as her own husband is, and
has written to Mr. Knight at Paris to furnish her with what money
she wants. He says she is vastly to blame; for he was trying to
get her a divorce from Lord Vane, and then would have married her
himself. Her adventures(624 arc worthy to be bound up with those
of my good sister-in-law,
as the German Princess, and Moll Flanders.
Whom should I meet in the Park last night but Ceretesi! He told
me he was at a Bagne. I will find out his bagnio; for though I
was not much acquainted with him, yet the obligations I had to
Florence make me eager to show any Florentine all the civilities
in my power; though I do not love them near so
well, since what you have told me of their late behaviour;
notwithstanding your letter of June 20th, which I have just
received. I perceive that simple-hearted, good, unmeaning
Ituccilai is of the number of the false, though you do not
directly say so.
I was excessively diverted with your pompous account of the siege
of Lucca by a single Englishman. I do believe that you and the
Chutes might put a certain city into as great a panic. Adieu!
(616) John Leveson Gower, second Lord Gower; in 1746 created an
earl. He died in 1754.-E.
(617) Allan, first Lord Bathurst, one of the twelve Tory peers
created by Queen Anne, in 1711. He was the friend of Pope,
Congreve, Swift, Prior, and other men of letters. He lived to
see his eldest son chancellor of England, and died at the
advanced age of ninety, in 1775; having been created an earl in
(618) William Capel, third Earl of Essex; ambassador at the court
of Turin. he died in January 1743. The Beef-eaters are otherwise
called the Yeomen of the Guard.-D.
(619) Charles Powlett, third Duke of Bolton. His second wife was
Miss Lavinia Fenton, otherwise Mrs. Beswick, the actress; who
became celebrated in the character of Polly Peacham in the
Beggar's Opera. By her the duke had three sons, born before
marriage. With his first wife, the daughter and sole heiress of
John Vaughan, Earl of Carberry in Ireland, he never
cohabited. He died in 1754.-D.
(620) John Wallop, first Viscount Lymington; in the following
April created Earl of Portsmouth. He died in 1762.-E.
(621) John Scrope, secretary of the treasury. He had been in
Monmouth's rebellion, when very young, and carried
intelligence to Holland in woman's clothes.
(622) He did not die till 1753. Tindal states that, upon
giving this answer he was no further pressed.-E.
(623) Henry Berkeley; killed the next year at the battle of
(624) Lady Vane's Memoirs, dictated by herself, were actually
published afterward,,; in a book, called "The Adventures of
Peregrine Pickle;" and she makes mention of Lady Orford. [See
ant`e, p. 189, Letter 42. Sir Walter Scott says, that "she not
only furnished Smollett with the materials for recording her own
infamy, but rewarded him handsomely for the insertion of her
265 Letter 73
To sir Horace Mann.
Midsummer Day, 1742.
One begins every letter with an Io Paean! indeed our hymns are
not so tumultuous as they were some time ago, to the tune of
Admiral Vernon. They say there came an express last night, of
the taking of Prague and the destruction of some thousand
French. It is really amazing the fortune of the Queen! We expect
every day the news of the king of Poland having made his peace;
for it is affirmed that the Prussians left him but sixteen days
to think of it. There is nothing could stop the King of Prussia,
if he should march to Dresden: how long his being at peace with
that king will stop him I look upon as very uncertain.
They say we expect the Report from the Secret Committee next
Tuesday, and then finish. I preface all my news with "they say;"
for I am not at all in the secret, and I had rather that "they
say" should tell you a lie than myself. They have sunk the
affair of Scrope: the Chancellor (625) and Sir John
Rushout spoke in the committee against persecuting him, for he is
secretary to the treasury. I don't think there is so easy a
language as the ministerial in the world-one learns it in a week!
There are few members in town, and most of them no
friends to the committee; so that there is not the least
apprehension of any violence following the Report. I dare say
there is not; for my uncle, who is my political weather-glass,
and whose quicksilver rises and falls with the least variation of
parliamentary weather, is in great spirits, and has spoken three
times in the House within this week; he had not opened his lips
before since the change. Mr. Pultney has his warrant in his
pocket for Earl of Bath, and kisses hands as soon as the
parliament rises. The promotions I mentioned to you are not yet
come to pass; but a
fortnight will settle things wonderfully.
The Italian, (626) who I told you is here, has let me into a
piece of secret history, which you never mentioned: perhaps it is
not true; but he says the mighty mystery of the
Count's (627) elopement from Florence, was occasioned by a letter
from Wachtendonck,(628) which was so impertinent as to talk of
satisfaction for some affront. The great Count very wisely never
answered it-his life, to be sure, is of too great consequence to
be trusted at the end of a rash German's sword! however, the
General wrote again, and hinted at coming himself for an answer.
So it happened that when he arrived, the Count was gone to the
baths of Lucca-those waters
were reckoned better for his health, than steel in the
abstract-How oddly it happened! He Just returned to Florence as
the General was dead! Now was not this heroic lover worth
running after? I wonder, as the Count must have known my
lady's courage and genius for adventures, that he never
thought of putting her in men's clothes, and sending her to
answer the challenge. How pretty it would have been to have
fought for one's lover! and how great the obligation,
when he durst not fight for himself!
I heard the other day, that the Primate of Lorrain was dead of
the smallpox. Will you make my compliments of condolence?
though I dare say they are little afflicted: he -was a 'most
worthless creature, and all his wit and parts, I believe little
comforted them for his brutality and other vices.
The fine Mr. Pit (629) is arrived: I dine with him
to-day at Lord Lincoln's, with the Pomfrets. So now the old
partie quarr`ee is complete again. The earl is not quite
cured,(630) and a partner in sentiments may help to open the
wound again. My Lady Townshend dines with us too. She flung the
broadest Wortley-eye (631) on Mr. Pitt, the other night, in the
Adieu! my dear child; are you quite well? I trust the summer will
perfectly re-establish you.
(625) Mr. Sandys, chancellor of the exchequer.
(627) Count Richcourt.
(628) General Wachtendonck, commander of the Queen
of Hungary's troops at Leghorn.
(629) George Pitt, of Strathfieldsea: he had
been in love with Lady Charlotte Fermor, second daughter of Lord
Pomfret, who was afterwards married to William Finch,
vice-chamberlain. (Mr. Pitt was created Lord Rivers in 1776.
In 1761 he was British envoy at Turin in 1770, ambassador
extraordinary to Spain. He died in 1803.-D.)
(630) Of his love for lady Sophia Fermor.-D.
(631) Mr. Pitt was very handsome, and Lady Mary
Wortley Montagu had liked him extremely, when he was in Italy.
267 Letter 74
To Sir Horace Mann.
Downing Street, June 30, 1742.
It is about six o'clock, and I am come from the House, where, at
last, we have had another Report from the
Secret Committee. They have been disputing this week among
themselves, whether this should be final or not. The new
ministry, thanked them! were for finishing; but their arguments
were not so persuasive as dutiful, and we are to have yet
another. This lasted two hours and a half in reading, though
confined to the affair of Burrel and Bristow, the Weymouth
election, and secret-service money. They moved to print it; but
though they had fetched most of their members from Ale and the
country, they were not strong enough to divide. Velters
Cornwall, whom I have mentioned to you, I believe, for odd
humour, said, "ie believed the somethingness of this report would
make amends for the nothingness of the last, and that he was for
printing it, if it was only from believing that the King would
not see it, unless it is printed." Perhaps it may be printed at
the conclusion; at least it will without authority-and so you
will see it.
I received yours of June 24, N. S. with
one from Mr. Chute, this morning, and I will now go answer it and
Your last. You seem still to be uneasy about my letters, and
their being retarded. I have not observed, lately, the same
signs of yours being opened; and for my own, I think it may very
often depend upon the packet-boat and winds.
You ask me if Pultney has lately received any new
disgusts.-How can one answer for a temper so hasty,
so unsettled!-not that I know, unless that he finds, what he has
been twenty years undoing, is not yet undone.
I must interrupt the thread of my answer, to tell you that I hear
news came last night that the States of Holland have voted
forty@seven thousand men for the Assistance of the Queen,(632)
and that it was not doubted but the
States--General would imitate this resolution. This seems to be
the consequence of the King of Prussia's proceedings-but how can
they trust him so easily?
I am amazed that your leghorn ministry are so wavering; they are
very old style, above eleven days out of fashion, if they any
longer fear the French: my only apprehension is, lest
these successes should make Richcourt more impertinent.
You have no notion how I laughed at the man that "takes
nothing but Madeira."(633) I told it to my Lady
Pomfret, concluding it would divert her too; and forgetting that
she repines when she should laugh, and reasons when she should be
diverted. She asked gravely what language that was That Madeira
being subject to an European prince, to be sure they talk some
European dialect!" The grave personage! It was a piece with her
saying, "that Swift would have written better, if he had never
I met a friend of yours the other day at an auction, and
though I knew him not the least, yet being your friend,
and so like you (for, do you know, he is excessively,) I had a
great need to speak to him-and did. He says, "he has left off
writing to you, for he never could get an answer." I said, you
had never received 'but one from him in all the time I was with
you, and that I was witness to your having Answered it. He was
with his mother, Lady Abercorn,(634) a most frightful
gentlewoman: Mr. Winnington
says, he one day overheard her and the Duchess of Devonshire
(635) talking of "hideous ugly women!" By the way, I find I have
never told you that it was Lord Paisley;(636) but that you will
Amorevoli is gone to Dresden for the
summer; our directors are in great fear that he will serve them
like Farinelli, and not return for the winter.
I am writing to you in one of the charming rooms towards the
park: it is a delightful evening, and I am willing to enjoy this
sweet corner while I may, for we are soon to quit it. Mrs.
Sandys came yesterday to give us warning; Lord Wilmington has
lent it to them. Sir Robert might have had it for his own at
first, but would only take it as first lord of the
treasury.(637) He goes into a small house of his own in
Arlington Street, opposite to where we formerly lived.
Whither I shall travel is yet uncertain: he is for my
living with him; but then I shall be cooped-and besides, I never
found that people loved one another the less for living asunder.
The drowsy Lord Mayor (638) is dead-so the
newspapers say. I think he is not dead, but sleepeth. Lord
Gower is laid up with the gout: this, they say, is the reason of
his not having the privy seal yet. The town has talked of
nothing lately but a plot: I will tell you the circumstances.
last week the Scotch hero (639) sent his brother (640) two
papers, which he said had been left at his house by an Unknown
hand; that he believed it was by Colonel Cecil, agent for the
Pretender--though how could that be, for he had had no
conversation with Colonel Cecil for these two years! He
desired Lord Islay to lay them before the ministry. One of the
papers seemed a letter, though with no address or
subscription, written in true genuine Stuart characters. It was
to thank Mr. Burnus (D. of A.) for his services, and that he
hoped he would answer the assurances given of him. The other was
to command the Jacobites, and to exhort the patriots to continue
what they had mutually so well begun, and to say how pleased he
was with their having removed mr. Tench. Lord Islay showed these
letters to Lord Orford, and then to the King, and told him he had
showed them to my father. "You did well."-Lord Islay, "Lord
Orford says one is of the Pretender's hand."-King, "He
(641) knows it: whenever any thing of this sort comes to your
hand, carry it to Walpole." This private conversation you must
not repeat. A few days afterwards, the Duke wrote to his
brother, "That upon recollection he thought it right to say, that
he had received those letters from Lord Barrimore"(642) who is as
well known for General to the Chevalier, as Montemar is to the
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