The Letters of Horace Walpole, Volume 2
Part 16 out of 16
suppose they will be reconciled by agreeing to hang some
admiral, who will come too late to save Ireland, after it is
impossible to save it.
Dr. Young has published a new book,(1034) on purpose. he says
himself, to have an opportunity of telling a story that he has
known these forty years. Mr. Addison sent for the young Lord
Warwick, as he was dying, to show him in what peace a Christian
could die--unluckily he died of brandy-nothing makes a
Christian die in peace like being maudlin! but don't say this
in Gath, where you are. Adieu!
P. S. I forgot to tell you two good stories of the little
Prince Frederick. He was describing to Lady Charlotte Edwin
the eunuchs of the Opera; but not easily finding proper words,
he said, "I can't tell you, but I will show you how they make
them," and began to unbutton. T'other day as he was with the
Prince of Wales, Kitty Fisher passed by, and the child named
her; the Prince, to try him, asked who that was? "Why, a
Miss." "A Miss," said the Prince of Wales; "why, are not all
girls Misses?" "Oh! but a particular sort of Miss--a Miss that
sells oranges." "Is there any harm in selling oranges?" "Oh!
but they are not such oranges as you buy; I believe they are a
sort that my brother Edward buys."
(1033) Afterwards created Marquis of Bath. He married Lady
Elizabeth Cavendish Bentinck, daughter of William, third Duke
(1034) "Conjectures on Original Composition; in a letter to the
author of Sir Charles Grandison." The article on this work in
the Critical Review was written by Oliver Goldsmith. See the
recent edition of his Miscellaneous Works, vol. iv. p. 462.-E.
491 Letter 316
To Sir Horace Mann.
Strawberry Hill, June 1, 1759.
I have not announced to you in form the invasion from France,
of which all our newspapers have been so full, nor do I tell
you every time the clock strikes. An invasion frightens one
but once. I am grown to fear no invasions but those we make.
Yet I believe there are people really afraid of this--I mean
the new militia, who have received orders to march. The war in
general seems languishing: Prince Henry of Prussia is the only
one who keeps it up with any spirit. The Parliament goes into
the country to-morrow.
One of your last friends, Lord Northampton,(1035) is going to
marry Lady Anne Somerset, the Duke of Beaufort's sister. She
is rather handsome. He seems to have too much of the coldness
and dignity of the Comptons.
Have you had the comet in Italy? It has made more noise here
than it deserved, because Sir Isaac Newton foretold it, and it
came very near disappointing him. Indeed, I have a notion that
it is not the right, but a little one- that they put up as they
were hunting the true--in short, I suppose, like pine-apples
and gold pheasants, comets will grow so common as to be sold at
I am glad you approve the marriage of my charming niece--she is
now Lady Waldegrave in all the forms.
I envy you who can make out whole letters to me--I find it grow
every day more difficult, we are so far and have been so long
removed from little events in common that serve to fill up a
correspondence, that though my heart is willing, my hand is
slow. Europe is a dull magnificent subject to one who cares
little and thinks still les about Europe. Even the King of
Prussia, except on post-days don't
occupy a quarter of an inch in my memory. He must kill a
hundred thousand men once a fortnight to Put me in mind of him.
Heroes that do so much in a book, and seem so active to
posterity, lie fallow a vast while to their contemporaries--and
how it would humble a vast Prince who expects to occupy the
whole attention of an age, to hear an idle man in his easy
chair cry "Well! why don't the King of Prussia do something?"
If one means to make a lasting bustle, one should contrive to
be the hero of a village; I have known a country rake talked of
for a riot, whole years after the battle of Blenheim has grown
obsolete. Fame, like an essence, the farther it is diffused,
the sooner it vanishes. The million in London devour an event
and demand another to-morrow. Three or four families in a
hamlet twist and turn it, examine, discuss, mistake, repeat
their mistake, remember their mistake, and teach it to their
(1035) Charles Compton, seventh Earl of Northampton, married
Lady Anne Somerset, daughter of Charles, fourth Duke of
beaufort; by whom he had an only Child, Lady Elizabeth Compton,
married to Lord George Henry Cavendish, now Earl of Burlington.
Lord Northampton died in 1763.-D.
492 Letter 317
To George Montagu, Esq.
June 2, 1759.
Strawberry Hill is grown a perfect Paphos; it is the land of
beauties. On Wednesday the Duchesses of Hamilton and Richmond
and Lady Ailesbury dined there; the two latter stayed all
night. There never was so pretty a sight as to see them all
three sitting in the shell; a thousand years hence, when I
begin to grow old, if that can ever be, I shall talk of that
event, and tell young people how much handsomer the women of my
time were than they will be then: I shall say, "Women alter
now; I remember Lady Ailesbury looking handsomer than her
daughter, the pretty Duchess of Richmond, as they were sitting
in the shell on my terrace with the Duchess of Hamilton, one of
the famous Gunnings." Yesterday t'other more famous
Gunning(1036) dined there. She has made a friendship with my
charming niece, to disguise her jealousy of the new Countess's
beauty: there were they two, their lords, Lord Buckingham, and
Charlotte. You will think that I did not choose men for my
parties so well as women. I don't include Lord Waldegrave in
this bad election.
Loo is mounted to its zenith; the parties last till one and two
in the morning. We played at Lady Hertford's last week, the
last night of her lying-in, till deep into Sunday morning,
after she and her lord were retired. It Is now adjourned to
Mrs. Fitzroy's, whose child the town called "Pam--ela'. I
proposed, that instead of receiving cards for assemblies, one
should send in a morning to Dr. Hunter's, the man-midwife, to
know where there is loo that evening. I find poor Charles
Montagu is dead:(1037) is it true, as the papers say, that his
son comes into Parliament? The invasion is not half so much in
fashion as loo, and the King demanding the assistance of' the
militia does not add much dignity to it. The great Pam of
Parliament, who made the motion, entered into a wonderful
definition of the several sorts of fear; from fear that comes
from pusillanimity, up to fear from magnanimity. It put me in
mind of that wise Pythian, My Lady Londonderry, who, when her
sister, Lady DOnnegal was dying, pronounced, that if it were a
fever from a fever, she would live; but if it were a fever from
death, she would die.
Mr. Mason has published another drama, called Caractacus; there
are some incantations poetical enough, and odes so Greek as to
have very little meaning. But the whole is laboured,
uninteresting, and no more resembling the manners of Britons
than of Japanese. It is introduced by a piping elegy; for
Mason, in imitation of Gray, "will cry and roar all
night"(1038) without the least provocation.
Adieu! I shall be glad to hear that your Strawberry tide is
(1036) Lady Coventry.
(1037) Only son of the Hon. James Montagu, son of Henry Earl
(1038) An expression of Mr. Montagu's.
493 Letter 318
To Sir Horace Mann.
Arlington Street, June 8, 1759.
This is merely a letter about your commission, and I hope it
will get to you with wondrous haste. I have not lost a minute
in trying to execute what you desire, but it is impossible to
perform all that is required. A watch, perfect by Ellicot or
Gray, with all the accompaniments, cannot possibly be had for
near seventy-five pounds. Though the directions do not
expressly limit me to seventy-five, yet I know Italians enough
to be sure that when they name seventy-five, they would not
bear a codicil of fifty-five more. Ellicot (and Gray is rather
dearer) would have for watch and chain a hundred and
thirty-four guineas; the seals will cost sixteen more. Two
hundred and sixty-eight sequins are more than I dare lay out.
But I will tell you what I have done: Deard, one of the first
jewellers and toymen Here, has undertaken to make a watch and
chain, enamelled according to a pattern I have chosen of the
newest kind, for a hundred guineas; with two seals for sixteen
more; and he has engaged that, if this is not approved, he will
keep it himself; but to this I must have an immediate answer.
He will put his own name to it, as a warrant to the goodness of
the work; and then, except the nine of Ellicot or Gray, your
friend will have as good a watch as he can desire. I take for
granted, at farthest, that I can have an answer by the 15th of
July; and then there will be time, I trust, to convey it to
you; I suppose by sea, for unless a fortunate messenger should
be going `a point nomm`e, you may imagine that a traveller
would not arrive there in any time. My dear Sir, you know how
happy I am to do any thing you desire; and I shall pique myself
on your credit in this, but your friend has expected what,
altogether, it is almost impossible to perform--what can be
done, shall be.
There is not a syllable of news--if there was, I should not
confine myself solely to the commission. Some of our captains
in the East Indies have behaved very ill; if there is an
invasion, which I don't believe there will, I am glad they were
not here. Adieu!
494 Letter 319
To The Earl Of Strafford.
Strawberry Hill, June 12, 1759.
My dear lord,
After so kind a note as you left for me at your going Out Of
town, you cannot wonder that I was determined to thank you the
moment I knew you settled in Yorkshire. At least I am not
ungrateful, if I deserve your goodness by no other title. I
was willing to stay till I could amuse you, but I have not a
battle big enough even to send in a letter. A war that reaches
from Muscovy to Alsace, and from Madras to California, don't
produce an article half so long as Mr. Johnson's riding three
horses at Once. The King of Prussia's campaign is still. in
its papillotes; Prince Ferdinand is laid up like the rest of
the pensioners on Ireland; Guadaloupe has taken a sleeping-
draught, and our heroes in America seem to be planting suckers
of laurels that will not make any future these three years.
All the war that is in fashion lies between those two
ridiculous things, an invasion and the militia. - Prince Edward
is going to sea, to inquire after the invasion from France: and
the old potbellied country colonels are preparing to march and
make it drunk when it comes. I don't know, as it is an event
in Mr. Pitt's administration, whether the Jacobite
corporations, who are converted by his eloquence which they
never heard, do not propose to bestow their freedom on the
first corps of French that shall land.
Adieu, my lord and my lady! I hope you are all beauty and
verdure. We are drowned with obtaining ours.
495 Letter 320
To Sir Horace Mann.
Arlington Street, June 22, 1759.
Well! they tell us in good earnest that we are to be invaded;
Mr. Pitt is as positive of it as of his own invasions. As the
French affect an air of grandeur in all they do, "Mr. Pitt sent
ten thousands, but they send fifty thousands." You will be
inquisitive after our force--I can't tell you the particulars;
I am only in town for to-day, but I hear of mighty
preparations. Of one thing I am sure; they missed the moment
when eight thousand men might have carried off England and set
it down in the gardens of Versailles. In the last war, when we
could not rake together four thousand men, and were all
divided, not a flat-bottomed boat lifted up its leg against us!
There is great spirit in Motion; my Lord Orford is gone with
his Norfolk militia to Portsmouth; every body is raising
regiments or themselves--my Lord Shaftsbury,(1039) . one of the
new colonels of militia, is to be a brigadier-general. I shall
not march my Twickenham militia for some private reasons; my
farmer has got an ague, my printer has run away, my footboy is
always drunk, and my gardener is a Scotchman, and I believe
would give intelligence to the enemy. France has notified the
Dutch that she intends to -surprise us; and this makes us still
more angry. In the mean time, we have got Guadaloupe to play
with. I did not send you any particulars, for this time the
Gazette piqued itself upon telling its own story from beginning
to end; I never knew it so full of chat. It is very
comfortable, that if we lose our own island, we shall at least
have all America to settle in. Quebec is to be conquered by
the 15th of July, and two more expeditions, I don't know
whither, are to be crowned with all imaginable success, I don't
know when; so you see our affairs, upon the whole, are in a
very prosperous train. Your friend, Colonel Clavering, is the
real hero of Guadaloupe; he is come home, covered "with more
laurels than a boar's head: indeed he has done exceedingly
well. A much older friend of yours is just dead, my Lady
Murray;(1040) she caught her death by too strict attendance on
her sister, Lady Binning, who has been ill. They were a family
of love, and break their hearts for her. She had a thousand
good qualities; but no mortal was ever so surprised as I when I
was first told that she was the nymph Arthur Gray would have
ravished. She had taken care to guard against any more such
danger by more wrinkles than ever twisted round a human face.
Adieu! If you have a mind to be fashionable, you must raise a
regiment of Florentine militia.
(1039) Anthony Ashley Cooper, fourth Earl of Shaftsbury. he
died in 1771.-D.
(1040) Daughter of George Bailie, Esq. See an epistle from
Arthur Gray, her footman, to her, in the poems of Lady Mary
Wortley Montagu. [Lady Murray of Stanhope. She was a woman of
merit and ability, and of excellent conduct. She was an
intimate friend of Lady Hervey, who, in her letters, thus
speaks of her;--"I have lost the first friend I had--the
kindest, best, and most valuable one I ever had, with whom I
have lived at her grandfather's, Lord Marchmont."-E.]
496 Letter 321
To George Montagu, Esq.
Strawberry Hill, June 23, 1759.
As you bid me fix a day about six weeks from the date of your
last, it will suit me extremely to see you here the 1st of
August. I don't mean to treat you with a rowing for a badge,
but it will fall in very commodely between my parties. You
tell me nothing of the old house you were to see near Blenheim:
I have some suspicion that Greatworth is coming into play
again. I made your speeches to Mr. Chute, and to Mr. M`untz,
and to myself; your snuff-box is bespoke, your pictures not
done, the print of Lady Waldegrave not begun.
news there are none, unless you have a mind for a panic about
the invasion. I was in town yesterday, and saw a thousand
people at Kensington with faces as long as if it was the last
accession of this family that they were ever to See. The
French are coming with fifty thousand men, and we shall meet
them with fifty addresses. Pray, if you know how, frighten
your neighbours, and give them courage at the same time.
My Lady Coventry and my niece Waldegrave have been mobbed in
the Park. I am sorry the people of England take all their
liberty out in insulting pretty women.
You will be diverted with what happened to Mr. Meynell lately.
He was engaged to dine at a formal old lady's, but stayed so
late hunting that he had not time to dress, but -went as he
was, with forty apologies. The matron very affected, and
meaning to say something very civil, cried, "Oh! Sir, I assure
you I can see the gentleman through a pair of buckskin breeches
as well as if he was in silk or satin."
I am sure I can't tell you any thing better, so good night!
P. s. I hope you have as gorgeous weather as we have; it is
even hot enough for Mr. Bentley. I live upon the water.
497 Letter 322
To Sir Horace Mann.
Strawberry Hill, July 8, 1759.
This will be the most indecisive of all letters: I don't write
to tell you that the French are not landed at Deal, as was
believed yesterday. An officer arrived post in the middle of
the night, who saw them disembark. The King was called; my
lord Ligonier buckled on his armour. Nothing else was talked
of in the streets; yet there was no panic.(1041) Before noon,
it was known that the invasion was a few Dutch hoys. The day
before, it was triumph. Rodney was known to be before Havre de
Grace; with two bomb-ketches he set the town on fire in
different places, and had brought up four more to act,
notwithstanding a very smart fire from the forts, which,
however, will probably force him to retire without burning the
flat-bottomed boats, which are believed out of his reach. The
express came from him on Wednesday morning. This is Sunday
noon, and I don't know that farther intelligence is arrived. I
am sorry for this sort of war, not only for the sufferers, but
I don't like the precedent, in case the French should land. I
think they will scarce venture; for besides the force on land,
we have a mighty chain of fleet and frigates along the coast.
There is great animosity to them, and few can expect to return.
Our part of the war in Germany seems at an end: Prince
Ferdinand is retiring, and has all the advantage of that part
of great generalship, a retreat. From America we expect the
greatest things; our force there by land and sea is vast. I
hope we shall not be to buy England back by restoring the North
Indies! I will gladly give them all the hundred thousand acres
that may fall to my share on the Olio for my twenty acres here.
Truly I don't like having them endangered for the limits of
I wait impatiently for your last orders for the watch; if the
worst comes to the worst, I can convey it to you by some French
The weather is sultry; this country never looked prettier. I
hope our enemies will not have the heart to spoil it! It would
be much disappointment to me, who am going to make great
additions to my castle; a gallery, a round tower, and a
cabinet, that is to have all the air of a Catholic chapel--bar
consecration. Adieu! I will tell you more soon, or I hope no
(1041) "Every body," says Gray, in a letter to Dr. Wharton, of
the 21st, "continues as quiet about the invasion as if a
Frenchman, as soon as he set his foot on our coast, would die,
like a toad in Ireland. Yet the King's tents and equipage are
ordered to be ready at an hour's warning." Works, vol. iii. p.
498 Letter 323
To Sir David Dalrymple.(1042)
Strawberry Hill, July 11, 1759.
You will repent, Sir, I fear, having drawn such a correspondent
upon yourself. An author flattered and encouraged is not
easily shaken- off again; but if the interests of my book did
not engage me to trouble you, while you are so good as to write
me the most entertaining letters in the world, it is very
natural for me to lay snares to inveigle more of them.
However, Sir, excuse me this once, and I will be more modest
for the future in trespassing on your kindness. Yet, before I
break out on my new wants, it will be but decent, Sir, to
answer some particulars of your letter.
I have lately read Mr. Goodall,S(1043) book. There is
certainly ingenuity in parts 'of his defence: but I believe one
seldom thinks a defence ingenious without meaning that it is
unsatisfactory. His work left me fully convinced of what he
endeavoured to disprove; and showed me, that the piece you
mention is not the only one that he has written against
I have lately got Lord Cromerty's Vindication of the legitimacy
of King Robert,(1044) and his Synopsis Apocalyptica, and thank
you much, Sir, for the notice of any of his pieces. But if you
expect that his works should lessen my esteem for the writers
of Scotland, you Will please to recollect, that the letter
which paints Lord Cromerty's pieces in so ridiculous a light,
is more than a counterbalance in favour of the writers of your
country: and of all men living, Sir, you are the last who will
destroy my partiality for Scotland.
There is another point, Sir, on which, with all your address,
you will persuade me as little. Can I think that we want
writers of history while Mr. Hume and Mr. Robertson are living?
It is a truth, and not a compliment, that I never heard
objections made to Mr. Hume's History without endeavouring to
convince the persons who found fault wit@ it, of its great
merit and beauty; and for what I saw of Mr. -Robertson's work,
it is one of the purest styles, and of the greatest
impartiality, that I ever read. It is impossible for me to
recommend a subject to him: because I cannot judge of what
materials he can obtain. His present performance will
undoubtedly make him so well known and esteemed, that he will
have credit to obtain many new lights for a future history; but
surely those relating to his own country will always lie most
open to him. This is much my way of thinking with regard to
myself. Though the Life of Christina is a pleasing and a most
uncommon subject, yet, totally unacquainted as I am with Sweden
and its language, how could I flatter myself with saying any
thing new of her? And when original letters and authentic
papers shall hereafter appear, may not they contradict half one
should relate on the authority of what is already published?
for though memoirs written nearest to the time are likely to be
the truest, those published nearest to it are generally the
But, indeed, Sir, I am now making you only civil excuses; the
real one is, I have no kind of intention of continuing to
write. I could not expect to succeed again with so much
luck,--indeed, I think it so,--as I have done; it Would mortify
me more now, after a little success, to be despised, than it
would have done before; and if I could please as much as I
should wish to do, I think one should dread being a voluminous
author. My own idleness, too, bids me desist. If I continued,
I should certainly take more pains than I did in my Catalogue;
the trouble would not only be more than I care to encounter,
but would probably destroy what I believe the only merit of my
last work, the ease. If I could incite you to tread in steps
which I perceive you don't condemn, and for which it is evident
you are so well qualified, from your knowledge, the grace,
facility, and humour of your expression and manner, I shall
have done a real service, where I expected at best to amuse.
(1042) Now first collected.
(1043) Walter Goodall, librarian of the Advocates' Library,
Edinburgh. He was warmly devoted to Mary Queen of Scots, and
in 1754, published an Examination of the letters said to be
written by Mary to the Earl of Bothwell, in which he
endeavoured to prove them to be forgeries.-E.
(1044) Robert, the third King of Scotland, from the imputation
499 Letter 324
To George Montagu, Esq.
Strawberry Hill, July 19, 1759.
Well, I begin to expect you; you must not forget the first of
August. If we do but look as well as we do at present, you
will own Strawberry is still in its bloom. With English
verdure, we have had an Italian summer, and
Whatever sweets Sabaean springs disclose,
Our Indian jasmin, and the Persian rose.
I am forced to talk of Strawberry, lest I should weary you with
what every body wearies me, the French and the militia. They,
I mean the latter only, not the former, passed just by us
yesterday, and though it was my own clan, I had not the
curiosity to go and see them. The crowds in Hyde Park, when
the King reviewed them, were unimaginable. My Lord Orford,
their colonel, I hear, looked gloriously martial and genteel,
and I believe it;(1045) his person and air have a noble
wildness in them; the regiments, too, are very becoming,
scarlet faced with black, buff waistcoats, and gold buttons.
How knights of shires, who have never shot any thing but
woodcocks, like this warfare, I don't know; but the towns
through which they pass adore them; every where they are
treated and regaled. The Prince of Wales followed them to
Kingston, and gave fifty guineas among the private men.
I expect some anecdotes from you of the coronation at Oxford; I
hear my Lord Westmoreland's own retinue was all be-James'd with
true-blue ribands; and that because Sir William Calvert, who
was a fellow of a college, and happened to be Lord Mayor,
attended the Duke of Newcastle at his inthronization, they
dragged down the present Lord Mayor to Oxford, who is only a
I have your Butler's posthumous works.(1046) The poetry is
most uncouth and incorrect, but with infinite wit; especially
one thing on plagiaries is equal to any thirty in Hudibras.
Have you read my Lord Clarendon's? I am enchanted with it; 'tis
very incorrect, but I think more entertaining than his History.
It makes me quite out of humour with other memoirs. Adieu!
(1045) Mr. Pitt, in a letter of this day, to Lady Hester, 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.
(1046) "The Genuine Remains, in prose and verse, of Samuel
Butler; with notes by R. Thyer." A very pleasant review of
this work, by Oliver Goldsmith, will be found in the fourth
volume of Mr. Murray's enlarged edition of his Miscellaneous
500 Letter 325
To George Montagu, Esq.
Arlington Street, July 26, 1759.
I am dying in a hot street, with my eyes full of dust, and my
table full of letters to be answered--yet I must write you a
line. I am sorry your first of Augustness is disordered; I'll
tell you why. I go to Ragley on the twelfth. There is to be a
great party at loo for the Duchess of Grafton, and thence they
adjourn to the Warwick races. I have been engaged so long to
this, that I cannot put it off; besides, I am under
appointments at George Selwyn's, etc. afterwards. If you
cannot come before all this to let me have enough of your
company, I should wish you to postpone it to the first of
September, when I shall be at leisure for ten or twelve days,
and could go with you from Strawberry to the Vine; but I could
like to know certainly, for as I never make any of my visits
while Strawberry is in bloom, I am a little crowded with them
at the end of the season.
I came this morning in all this torrent of heat from Lord
Waldegrave's at Navestock. It is a dull place, though it does
not want prospect backwards. The garden is small, consisting
of two French all`ees of old limes, that are comfortable, two
groves that are not so, and a green canal; there is besides a
paddock. The house was built by his father, and ill finished,
but an air seigneurial in the furniture; French glasses in
quantities, handsome commodes, tables, screens, etc. goodish
pictures in rich frames, and a deal of noblesse `a la St.
Germain--James the Second, Charles the Second, the Duke of
Berwick, her Grace of Buckingham, the Queen Dowager in the
dress she visited Madame Maintenon, her daughter the Princess
Louisa, a Lady Gerard that died at Joppa, returning from a
pilgrimage to Jerusalem, and above all La Goqfrey, and not at
all ugly, Though she does not show her thighs. All this is
leavened with the late King, the present King, and Queen
Caroline. I shall take care to sprinkle a little unholy water
from our well.
I am very sorry you have been so ill; take care of yourself.
there are wicked sore-throats in vogue; poor Lady Essex and
Mrs. Charles Yorke died of them in an instant.
Do let me have a line, and do fix a day; for instead of keeping
me at home one by fixing it, you will keep me there five or six
days by not fixing it. Adieu!
501 letter 326
To Sir Horace Mann.
Strawberry Hill, August 1, 1759.
I have received your two letters about the watch, the first
came with surprising celerity. I wish, when the watch is
finished, I may be able to convey it to you with equal
Nothing is talked of here, as you may imagine, but the
invasion--yet I don't grow more credulous. Their ridiculous
lists of fifty thousand men don't contribute to frighten me--
nay, though they specify the numbers of apothecaries and
chaplains that are to attend. Fifty thousand men cannot easily
steal a march over the sea. Sir Edward Hawke will take care of
them till winter, and by that time we shall have a great force
at land. The very militia is considerable: the spirit, or at
least the fashion of it, catches every day. We are growing
such ancient Britons, that I don't know whether I must not
mount some popguns upon the battlements of my castle, lest I
should not be thought hero enough in these West-Saxon times.
Lord Pulteney has done handsomely, and what is more surprising,
so has his father. The former has offered to raise a regiment,
and to be only lieutenant-colonel, provided the command is
given to a Colonel Crawford, an old soldier, long postponed--
Lord Bath is at the expense, which will be five thousand
pounds. All the country squires are in regimentals --a
pedestal is making for little Lord Mountford, that he may be
placed at the head of the Cambridgeshire militia. In short, we
have two sorts of armies, and I hope neither will be
necessary--what the consequences of this militia may be
hereafter, I don't know. Indifferent I think it cannot be. A
great force upon an old plan, exploded since modern
improvements, must make some confusion. If they do not become
ridiculous, which the real officers are disposed to make them,
the crown or the disaffected will draw considerable
consequences, I think, from an establishment popular by being
constitutional, and of great weight from the property it will
If the French pursue their vivacity in Germany, they will send
us more defenders; our eight thousand men there seem of very
little use. Both sides seem in all parts weary of the war; at
least are grown so cautious, that a battle will be as great a
curiosity in a campaign as in the midst of peace. For the
Russians, they quite make one smile; they hover every summer
over the north of Germany, get cut to pieces by September,
disappear, have a general disgraced, and in winter out comes a
memorial of the Czarina's steadiness to her engagements, and of
the mighty things she will do in spring. The Swedes follow
them like Sancho Panza, and are rejoiced at not being bound by
the laws of chivalry to be thrashed too.
We have an evil that threatens us more nearly than the French.
The heat of the weather has produced a contagious sore-throat
in London. Mr. Yorke, the solicitor-general, has lost his
wife, his daughter, and a servant. The young Lady Essex(1047)
died of it in two days. Two servants are dead in
Newcastle-house, and the Duke has left it; any body else would
be pitied, but his terrors are sure of being a joke.(1048) My
niece, Lady Waldegrave, has done her part for repairing this
calamity, and is breeding.
Your Lord Northampton has not acted a much more gallant part by
his new mistress than by his fair one at Florence. When it was
all agreed, he refused to marry unless she had eighteen
thousand pounds. Eight were wanting. It looked as if he was
more attached to his old flame than to his new one; but her
uncle, Norborne Berkeley,(1049) has nobly made up the
I told Mr. Fox of the wine that is coming, and he told me what
I had totally forgot, that he has left off Florence, and
chooses to have no more. He will take this parcel, but you
need not trouble yourself again. Adieu! my dear Sir, don't let
Marshal Botta terrify you: when the French dare not stir out of
any port they have, it will be extraordinary if they venture to
come into the heart of us.
(1047) Frances, eldest daughter of Sir Charles Hanbury
Williams. See ant`e, p. 216, letter 108.-E.
(1048) "I have heard the Duke of Newcastle is much broke ever
since his sister Castlecorner died; not that he cared for her,
or saw her above once a year: but she was the last of the brood
that was left; and he now goes regularly to church, which he
never did before." Gray, Works, vol. iii. p. 218.-E.
(1049) Brother of the Duchess of Beaufort, mother of Lady Anne
Somerset, whom Lord Northampton did marry. (Norborne Berkeley
afterwards established his claim to the ancient barony of
502 Letter 327
To Sir Horace Mann.
Arlington Street, Aug. 8, 1759.
If any body admires expedition, they should address themselves
to you and me, who order watches, negotiate about them by
couriers, and have them finished, with as little trouble as if
we had nothing to do, but, like the men of business in the
Arabian tales, rub a dark lantern, a genie appears, one
bespeaks a bauble worth two or three Indies, and finds it upon
one's table the next morning at breakfast. The watch was
actually finished, and delivered to your brother yesterday. I
trust to our good luck for finding quick conveyance. I did
send to the White@horse cellar here in Piccadilly, whence all
the stage-coaches set out, but there was never a genie booted
and spurred, and going to Florence on a sunbeam. If you are
not charmed with the watch, never deal with us devils any more.
If any thing a quarter so pretty was found in Herculaneum, One
should admire Roman enamellers more than their Scipios and
Caesars. The device of the second seal I stole; it is old, but
uncommon; a Cupid standing on two joined hands over the sea; si
la foy manque, l'amour perira--I hope for the honour of the
device. it will arrive before half the honeymoon is over!--But,
alack! I forget the material point; Mr. Deard, who has forty
times more virtue than if he had been taken from the plough to
be colonel of the militia, instead of one hundred and sixteen
pounds to which I pinned him down, to avoid guineas, will
positively take but one hundred and ten pounds. I did all I
could to corrupt him with six more, but he is immaculate--and
when our posterity is abominably bad, as all posterity always
is till it grows one's ancestors, I hope Mr. Deard's integrity
will be quoted to them as an instance of the virtues that
adorned the simple and barbarous age of George the Second. Oh!
I can tell you the age of George the Second is likely to be
celebrated for more primitivity than the disinterestedness of
Mr. Deard-here is such a victory come over that--it can't get
over. Mr. Yorke has sent word that a Captain Ligonier is
coming from Prince Ferdinand to tell us that his Serene
Highness has beaten Monsieur Contades to such a degree, that
every house in London is illuminated, every street has two
bonfires, every bonfire has two hundred squibs, and the poor
charming moon yonder, that never looked so well in her life, is
not at all minded, but seems only staring out of a garret
window at the frantic doings all over the town.(1050) We don't
know a single particular, but we conclude that Prince Ferdinand
received all his directions from my Lord Granby, who is the
mob's hero. We are a little afraid, if we could fear any thing
to-night, that the defeat of the Russians by General Weidel was
a mistake for this victory of Prince Ferdinand. Pray Heaven!
neither of these glories be turned sour, by staying so long at
sea! You said in your last, what slaughter must be committed
by the end of August! Alas! my dear Sir, so there is by the
beginning of it; and we, wretched creatures, are forced to be
glad of it, because the greatest part falls on our enemies.
Fifteen hundred men have stolen from Dunkirk, and are said to
be sailed northward--some think, to Embden--too poor a pittance
surely where they thought themselves so superior, unless they
meaned to hinder our receiving our own troops from thence--as
paltry, too, if this is their invasion--but if to Scotland, not
quite a joke. However, Prince Ferdinand seems to have found
employment for the rest of their troops, and Monsieur de Botta
will not talk to you in so high a style.
D'Aubreu, the pert Spanish minister, said the other day at
court to poor Alt, the Hessian, "Monsieur, je vous f`elicite;
Munster est pris." Mr. Pitt, who overheard this cruel
apostrophe, called out, "Et moi, Monsieur Alt, Je vous
f`elicite; les Russes sont battus."
I am here in town almost every day; Mrs. Leneve, who has long
lived with my father, and with me, is at the point of death;
she is seventy-three, and has passed twenty-four of them in
continual ill health; so I can but wish her released. Her long
friendship with our family makes this attention a duty;
otherwise I should certainly not be in town this most gorgeous
of all summers! I should like to know in how many letters this
wonderful summer has been talked of.
It is above two years, I think, since you sent home any of my
letters--will you by any convenient opportunity?
Adieu! There is great impatience, as you may believe, to learn
the welfare of our young lords and heroes--there are the Duke
of Richmond, Lord Granby, Lord George Sackville, Lord Downe,
Fitzroy, General Waldegrave, and others of rank.
(1050) "I have the joy to tell you," writes Mr. Pitt, on the
6th, to Lady Hester, "that our happy victory ne fait que
croitre et embellir: by letters come this day, the hereditary
Prince, with his troops, had passed the Weser, and attacked,
with part of them, a body of six thousand French, defeated it,
took many prisoners, some trophies and
cannon: M. de Contades's baggage, coaches, mules, letters, and
correspondences have fallen into our hands. Words in letters
say, 'qu'on se lasse de prendre des prisoniers.'" Chatham
Correspondence, vol. ii. p. 8.-E.
504 Letter 328
To George Montagu, Esq.
Strawberry Hill, Aug. 9, 1759.
Unless your Colonel Johnson is a man of no note, he is well.
for we have not lost one officer of any note--now will you
conclude that we are beaten, and will be crying and roaring all
night for Hanover. Lord! where do you live? If you had any
ears, as I have none left with the noise, you would have heard
the racket that was made from morning till night yesterday on
the news of the victory(1051) gained by Prince Ferdinand over
the French. He has not left so many alive as there are at any
periwig-maker's in London. This is all we know, the
particulars are to come at their leisure, and with all the
gravity due to their importance. If the King's heart were not
entirely English, I believe he would be complimented with the
title of Germanicus from the name of the country where this
great event happened; for we don't at all know the precise
spot, nor has the battle yet been christened--all that is
certain is, that the poor Duke(1052) is neither father nor
I was sent for to town yesterday, as Mrs. Leneve was at the
point of death: but she has had a surprising change, and may
linger on still. I found the town distracted, and at night it
was beautiful beyond description. As the weather was so hot,
every window was open, and all the rails illuminated; every
street had one or two bonfires, the moon was in all its glory,
the very middle of the streets crowded with officers and people
of fashion talking of the news. Every squib in town got drunk,
and rioted about the streets till morning. Two of our
regiments are said to have suffered much, of which Napier's
most. Adieu! If you should be over-English with this, there is
a party of one thousand five hundred men stolen out of Dunkirk,
that some weeks hence may bring you to your senses again,
provided they are properly planted and watered in Scotland.
(1051) At the battle of Minden.
(1052) Duke of Cumberland.
505 Letter 329
To The Earl Of Strafford.
Strawberry Hill, Thursday, 3 o'clock, August 9, 1759.
My dear lord,
Lord Granby has entirely defeated the French!--The foreign
gazettes, I suppose, will give this victory to Prince
Ferdinand: but the mob of London, whom I have this minute left,
and who must know best, assure me that it is all their own
Marquis's doing. Mr. Yorke(1053) was the first to send this
news, "to be laid with himself and all humility at his
Majesty's feet",(1054) about eleven o'clock yesterday morning.
At five this morning came Captain Ligonier, who was despatched
in such a hurry that he had not time to pack up any particulars
in his portmanteau: those we are expecting with our own army,
who we conclude are now at Paris, and will be tomorrow night at
Amiens. All we know is, that not one Englishman is killed, nor
one Frenchman left alive. If you should chance to meet a
bloody wagon-load of heads, you will be sure that it is the
part of the spoils that came to Downe's share, and going to be
hung up in the great hall at Cowick.(1055)
We have a vast deal of other good news; but as not one word of
it is true, I thought you would be content with this victory.
His Majesty is in high spirits, and is to make -,a triumphal
entry into Hanover on Tuesday fortnight. I envy you the
illuminations and rejoicings that will be made at Worksop on
Four days ago we had a great victory over the Russians; but in
the hurry of this triumph it has somehow or other been mislaid,
and nobody can tell where to find it:--however, it is not given
over for lost.
Adieu, my dear lord! As I have been so circumstantial in the
account of this battle, I will not tire you with any thing
else. My compliments to the lady of the menagerie. I see your
new offices rise(1056) every day in a very respectable manner.
(1053) Afterwards Lord Dover,, then Minister at the Hague.
(1054) The words of his despatch.
(1055) Lord Downe's seat in Yorkshire.
(1056) At Lord Strafford's house at Twickenham.
506 Letter 330
To The Hon. H. S. Conway.(1057)
Arlington Street, Aug. 14, 1759.
I am here in the most unpleasant way in the world, attending
poor Mrs. Leneve's deathbed, a spectator of all the horrors of
tedious suffering and clear sense, and with no one soul to
speak to-but I will not tire you with a description of what has
quite worn me out.
Probably by this time you have seen the Duke of Richmond or
Fitzroy--but lest you should not, I will tell you all I can
learn, and a wonderful history it is. Admiral Byng was not
more unpopular than Lord George Sackville. I should scruple
repeating his story, if Betty(1058) and the waiters at Arthur's
did not talk of it publicly, and thrust Prince Ferdinand's
orders into one's hand.
You have heard, I suppose, of the violent animosities that have
reigned for the whole campaign between him and Lord Granby--in
which some other warm persons have been very warm too. In the
heat of the battle, the Prince, finding thirty-six squadrons of
French coming down upon our army, sent Ligonier to order our
thirty-two squadrons, under Lord George to advance. During
that transaction, the French appeared to waver; and Prince
Ferdinand, willing, as it is supposed, to give the honour to
the British horse of terminating the day, sent Fitzroy to bid
Lord George bring up only the British cavalry. Ligonier had
but just delivered his message, when Fitzroy came with his.-
-Lord George said, "This can't be so--would he have me break
the line? here is some mistake." Fitzroy replied, he had not
argued upon the orders, but those were the orders. "Well!" said
Lord George, "but I want a guide." Fitzroy said, he would be
his guide. Lord George, "Where is the Prince?" Fitzroy, "I
left him at the head of the left wing, I don't know where he is
now." Lord George said he would go seek him, and have this
explained. Smith then asked Fitzroy, to repeat the orders to
him; which being done, Smith went and whispered Lord George,
who says he then bid Smith carry up the cavalry: Smith is come,
and says he is ready to answer any body any question. Lord
George says, Prince Ferdinand's behaviour to him has been most
infamous, has asked leave to resign his command, and to come
over, which is granted., Prince Ferdinand's behaviour is summed
up in the enclosed extraordinary paper; which you will doubt as
I did, but which is certainly genuine. I doubted, because, in
the military, I thought direct disobedience of orders was
punished with an immediate -arrest, and because the last
paragraph seemed to me very foolish. The going Out Of the way
to compliment Lord Granby with what he would have done, seems
to take off a little from the compliments paid to those that
have done something; but, in short, Prince Ferdinand or Lord
George, one of them, is most outrageously in the wrong, and the
latter has much the least chance of being thought in the right.
The particulars I tell you, I collect from the most accurate,
authorities.--I make no comments on Lord George, it would look
like a little dirty court to you; and the best compliment I can
make you, is to think, as I do, that you will be the last man
to enjoy this revenge.
You will be sorry for poor M'Kinsey and Lady Betty, who have
lost their only child at Turin. Adieu!
(1057) Now first printed.
(1058) A celebrated fruit-shop in St. James's Street.
(1059) Mr. Pitt in a letter of the 15th to Lord Bute, says,
"The king has given leave to Lord George Sackville to return to
England; his lordship having in a letter to Lord Holderness,
requested to be recalled from his command. This mode of
returning, your lordship will perceive, is a very considerable
softening of his misfortune. The current in all parts bears
hard upon him. As I have already, so I shall continue to give
him, as a most unhappy man, all the offices of humanity which
our first, sacred duty, the public good, will allow." Chatham
Correspondence, vol. i. p. 417.-E.
507 Letter 331
To Sir Horace Mann.
Strawberry Hill, August 29, 1759.
Truly I don't know whether one is to be rejoicing or lamenting!
Every good heart is a bonfire for Prince Ferdinand's success,
and a funeral pile for the King of Prussia's defeat.(1060) Mr.
Yorke, who every week," "lays himself most humbly at the King's
feet" with some false piece of news, has almost ruined us in
illuminations for defeated victories--we were singing Te Deums
for the King of Prussia, when he was actually reduced to be
King of Custrin, for he has not only lost his neighbour's
capital, but his own too. Mr. Bentley has long said, that we
should see him at Somerset House next winter; and really I
begin to be afraid that he will not live to write the history
of the war himself-I shall be content, if he is forced to do it
even by subscription. Oh, that Daun! how he sits silent on his
drum, and shoves the King a little and a little farther out of
the world! The most provoking part of all is, (for I am mighty
soon comforted when a hero tumbles from the top of Fame's
steeple and breaks his neck,) that that tawdry toad,
Bruhl(1061) Will make a triumphant entry into the ruins of
Dresden, and rebuild all his palaces with what little money
remains in the country!
The mob, to comfort themselves under these mishaps, and for the
disappointment of a complete victory, that might have been more
compleater, are new grinding their teeth and nails, to tear
Lord George(1062) to pieces the instant he lands. If he finds
more powerful friends than poor Admiral Byng, assure yourself
he has ten thousand times the number of personal enemies; I was
going to say real, but Mr. Byng's were real enough, with no
reason to be personal. I don't talk of the event itself', for
I suppose all Europe knows just as much as we know here. I
suspend my opinion till Lord George speaks himself--but I pity
his father, who has been so unhappy in his sons, who loved this
so much, and who had such fair prospects for him. Lord
George's fall is prodigious; nobody stood higher, nobody has
more ambition or more sense.
You, I suppose, are taking leave of your new King of
Spain,(1064)--what a bloody war is saved by this death, by its
happening in the midst of one that cannot be more bloody! I
detest a correspondence now; it lives like a vampire upon dead
bodies! Adieu! I have nothing to write about.
P. S. I forgot to ask you if you are not shocked with
Bellisle's letter to Contades? The French ought to behave with
more spirit than they do, before they give out such sanguinary
orders--@,iii(I if they did, I should think they would not give
such orders. And did not YOU laugh at the enormous folly of
Bellisle's conclusion? It is so foolish, that I think he might
fairly disavow it. It puts me in mind of a ridiculous passage
in Racine's Bajazet,
----"et s'il faut que je meure,
Mourons, moi, cher Osmin, comme un Visir; et toi
Comme le favori d'un homme tel que moi."
(1060) Prince Ferdinand's victory was the celebrated battle of
Minden, won from the French on the 1st of August; the King of
Prussia's defeat was that of Kunersdorf, lost to the Russians
on the 12th of August.-D.
(1061) Count Bruhl, favourite and prime minister of Augustus
the Third, King of Poland and Elector of Saxony.
(1063) Lord George Sackville, disgraced at the battle of
(1064) Charles the Third, King of Naples, who had just become
King of Spain, by the death of his elder brother.-D.
508 Letter 332
To Sir Horace Mann.
Arlington Street, Sept. 13, 1759.
With your unathletic constitution I think you will have a
greater weight of glory to represent than you can bear. You
will be as `epuis`e as Princess Craon with all the triumphs
over Niagara, Ticonderoga, Crown Point, and such a parcel of
long names. You will ruin yourself in French horns, to exceed
those of Marshal Botta, who has certainly found a pleasant way
of announcing victories. Besides, all the West Indies, which we
have taken by a panic, there is Admiral Boscawen has demolished
the Toulon squadron, and has made you Viceroy of the
Mediterranean. I really believe the French will Come hither
now, for they can be safe nowhere else. If the King of Prussia
should be totally undone in Germany, we can afford to give him
an appanage, as a younger son of England, of some hundred
thousand miles on the Ohio. Sure universal monarchy was never
so put to shame as that of France! What a figure do they make!
they seem to have no ministers, no generals, no soldiers! If
any thing could be more ridiculous than their behaviour in the
field, it would be in the cabinet! Their invasion appears not
to have been designed against us, but against their own people,
who, they fear, will mutiny, and to quiet whom they disperse
expresses, with accounts of the progress of their arms in
England. They actually have established posts to whom the
people are directed to send their letters for their friends in
England. If, therefore, you hear that the French have
established themselves at Exeter or Norwich, don't be alarmed,
nor undeceive the poor women who are writing to their husbands
for English baubles.
We have lost another Princess, Lady Elizabeth.(1065) She died
of an inflammation in her bowels in two days. Her figure was
so very unfortunate, that it would have been difficult for her
to be happy, but her parts and application -were extraordinary.
I saw her act in "Cato" at eight years old, (when she could not
stand alone, but was forced to lean against the side-scene,)
better than any of her brothers and sisters. She had been so
unhealthy, that at that age she had not been taught to read,
but had learned the part of Lucia by hearing the others study
their parts. She went to her father and mother, and begged she
might act. They put her off as gently as they could--she
desired leave to repeat her part, and when she did, it was with
so much sense, that there was no denying her.
I receive yours of August 25. To all your alarms for the King
of Prussia I subscribe. With little Brandenburgh he could not
exhaust all the forces of Bohemia, Hungary, Austria, Muscovy,
Siberia, Tartary, Sweden, etc. etc. etc.--but not to
politicize too much, I believe the world will come to be fought
for somewhere between the North of Germany and the back of
Canada, between Count Daun and Sir William Johnson.(1066)
You guessed right about the King of Spain; he is dead, and the
Queen Dowager may once more have an opportunity of embroiling
the little of Europe that remains unembroiled.
Thank you, my dear Sir, for the Herculaneum and Caserta that
you are sending me. I wish the watch may arrive safe, to show
you that I am not insensible to all your attentions for me, but
endeavour, at a great distance, to imitate you in the execution
I would keep this letter back for a post, that I might have but
one trouble of sending you Quebec too; but when one has taken
so many places, it is not worth while to wait for one more.
Lord George Sackville, the hero of all conversation, if one can
be so for not being a hero, is arrived. He immediately applied
for a court-martial, but was told it was impossible now, as the
officers necessary are in Germany. This was in writing from
Lord Holderness--but Lord Ligonier in words was more squab--"If
he wanted a court-martial, he might go seek it in Germany." All
that could be taken from him is his regiment, above two
thousand pounds a-year: commander in Germany at ten pounds
a-day, between three and four thousand pounds:
lieutenant-general of the ordnance, one thousand five hundred
pounds: a fort, three hundred pounds. He remains with a patent
place in Ireland, of one thousand two hundred pounds, and about
two thousand pounds a-year of his own and wife's. With his
parts and ambition, it cannot end here; he calls himself
ruined, but when the Parliament meets, he will probably attempt
some sort of revenge.
They attribute, I don't know with what grounds, a sensible kind
of plan to the French; that De la Clue was to have pushed for
Ireland, Thurot for Scotland, and the Brest fleet for England--
but before they lay such great plans, they should take care of
proper persons to execute them.
I cannot help shifting at the great objects of our letters. We
never converse on a less topic than a kingdom. We are a kind
of citizens of the world, and battles and revolutions are the
common incidents of our neighbourhood. But that is and must be
the case of distant correspondences: Kings and Empresses that
we never saw are the only persons we can be acquainted with in
common. We can have no more familiarity than the Daily
Advertiser would have if it wrote to the Florentine Gazette.
Adieu! My compliments to any monarch that lives within five
hundred miles of you.
(1065) Second daughter of Frederick Prince of Wales.
(1066) The American general.
510 Letter 333
To The Earl Of Strafford.
Arlington Street, Sept. 13, 1759.
My dear lord,
You are very good to say you would accept of my letters, though
I should have no particular news to tell you; but at present it
would be treating heroes and conquerors with great
superciliousness, if I made use of your indulgence and said
nothing of them. We have taken more places and ships in a week
than would have set up such pedant nations as Greece and Rome
to all futurity. If we did but call Sir William Johnson
"Gulielmus Johnsonus Niagaricus," and Amherst "Galfridus
Amhersta Ticonderogicus," we should be quoted a thousand years
hence as the patterns of valour, virtue, and disinterestedness;
for posterity always ascribes all manner of modesty and
self-denial to those that take the most pains to perpetuate
their own glory. Then Admiral Boscawen has, in a very Roman
style, made free with the coast of Portugal, and used it to
make a bonfire of the French fleet. When Mr. Pitt was told of
this infraction of a neutral territory, he replied, "It is very
true, but they are burned." In short, we want but a little
more insolence and a worse cause to make us a very classic
My Lady Townshend, who has not learning enough to copy a
Spartan mother, has lost her youngest son.(1067) I saw her
this morning --her affectation is on t'other side she affects
grief--but not so much for the son she has lost, as for t'other
that she may lose.
Lord George is come, has asked for a court-martial, was put
off; and is turned out of every thing. Waldegrave has his
regiment, for what he did; and Lord Granby the ordnance--for
what he would have done.
Lord Northampton is to be married(1068) to-night in full
Comptonhood. I am indeed happy that Mr. Campbell(1069) is a
general; but how will his father like being the dowager-general
You are very kind, my lord (but that is not new,) in
interesting Yourself about Strawberry Hill. I have just
finished a Holbein-chamber, that I flatter myself you will not
dislike; and I have begun to build a new printing-house, that
the old one may make room for the gallery and round tower.
This noble summer is not yet over us--it seems to have cut a
colt's week-. I never write without talking of it, and should
be glad to know in how many letters this summer has been
I have lately been at Wilton, and was astonished at the heaps
of rubbish. The house is grand, and the place glorious; but I
should shovel three parts of the marbles and pictures into the
river. Adieu, my lord and lady!
(1067) The Hon. Roger Townshend, third son of Viscount
Townshend, killed at Ticonderoga on the 25th of July.-E.
(1068) To Lady Anne Somerset.
(1069) Afterwards Duke of Argyle.
511 Letter 334
To The Hon. H. S. Conway.(1070)
Arlington Street, Sept. 13, 1759.
I intended to send you the brief chronicle of Lord George
Sackville but your brother says he has writ to you this
morning. If you want to know minute particulars, which neither
he nor I should care to detail in a letter, I will tell you
them if you will call for a minute at Strawberry on Sunday or
Monday, as you go to your camp. I ask this boldly, though I
have not been with you; but it was impossible; George Montagu
and his brother returned to Strawberry with me from the Vine,
and I am expecting Mr. Churchill and Lady Mary, who sent me
word they would come to me as soon as I came back, and I think
you will find them with me.
Lady Mary Coke is stripping off all the plumes that she has
been wearing for Niagara, etc., and is composing herself into
religious melancholy against to-morrow night, when she goes to
Princess Elizabeth's burial. I passed this whole morning most
deliciously at my Lady Townshend's. Poor Roger, for whom she
is not concerned, has given her a hint that her hero George may
be mortal too; she scarce spoke, unless to improve on some
bitter thing that Charles said, who was admirable. He made me
all the speeches that Mr. Pitt will certainly make next winter,
in every one of which Charles says, and I believe, he will talk
of this great campaign, "memorable to all posterity with all
its imperfections-a campaign which, though obstructed, cramped,
maimed--but I will say no more."
The campaign in Ireland, I hear, will be very warm; the Primate
is again to be the object; Ponsonby, commander against him.
Lord George's situation will not help the Primate's. Adieu!
(1070) Now first printed.
512 Letter 335
To George Montagu, Esq.
Strawberry Hill, Saturday, October 11, 1759.
I don't desire any such conviction of your being ill as seeing
you nor can you wonder that I wish to persuade myself that what
I should be very sorry for, never happens. Poor Fred.
Montagu's gout seems more serious: I am concerned that he has
so much of a judge in him already.
You are very good in thinking of me about the sofas; but you
know the Holbein chamber is complete, and old matters arc not
flung away upon you yourself Had not you rather have your sofa
than Lord Northampton's running footman? Two hundred years
hence one might be amused with reading of so fantastic a dress,
but they are horrid in one's own time. Mr. Bentley and I go
to-morrow to Chaffont for two or three days. Mr. Chute is at
the Vine already, but, I believe, will be in town this week.
I don't know whether it proceeds from the menaced invasion or
the last comet, but we are all dying of heat. Every body has
put out their fires, and, if it lasts, I suppose will next week
make summer clothes. The mornings are too hot for walking:
last night I heard of strawberries. I impute it to the hot
weather that my head has been turned enough to contend with the
bards of the newspapers. You have seen the French epigram on
Madame Pompadour, and fifty vile translations of it. Here IS
O yes! here are flat-bottom boats to be sold,
And soldiers to let-rather hungry than bold:
Here are ministers richly deserving to swing,
And commanders whose recompense should be a string.
O France! still your fate you may lay at Pitt's door;
You were saved by a Maid, and undone by a * * *
People again believe the invasion; and I don't wonder,
considering how great a militia we have, with such a boy as you
mention. I own, before I begin to be afraid, I have a little
curiosity to see the militia tried. I think one shall at least
laugh before one cries. Adieu! what time have you fixed for
P. S. Your pictures you may have when you please; I think you
had better stay and take them with you, than risk the rubbing
them by the wagon. Mr. M`untz has not been lately in town--
that is, Hannah has drawn no bill on him lately--so he knows
nothing of your snuff-box. This it is to trust to my vivacity,
when it is past Its bloom. Lord! I am a mere antiquarian, a
mere painstaking mortal. Mr. Bentley says, that if all
antiquarians were like me, there would be no such thing as an
antiquarian, for I set down every thing, SO circumstantially
that I leave them nothing to find out.
513 Letter 336
To The Hon. H. S. Conway.(1071)
Strawberry Hill, October 14th, 1759.
If Strawberry Hill was not so barren of events as Chatham, I
would have writ to you again; nay, if it did not produce the
very same events. Your own Light Horse are here, and commit
the only vivacities of the place--two or three of them are in
the cage every day for some mischief or other. Indeed, they
seem to have been taken from school too soon, and, as Rigby
said of some others of these new troops, the moment their
exercise is over, they all go a bird's-nesting. If the French
load their flat-bottom boats with rods instead of muskets, I
fear all our young heroes will run away. The invasion seems
again come into fashion: I wish it would come, that one might
hear no more of it--nay, I wish it for two or three reasons.
If they don't come, we shall still be fatigued with the
militia, who will never go to plough again till they see an
enemy: if there is a peace before the militia runs away, one
shall be robbed every day by a constitutional force. I want
the French too, to have come, that you may be released; but
that will not be soon enough for me, who am going to
Park-place. I came from Chaffont to-day, and I cannot let the
winter appear without making my Lady Ailesbury a visit.
Hitherto my impediments may have looked like excuses, though
they were nothing less. Lady Lyttelton goes on Wednesday: I
propose to follow her on Monday; but I won't announce myself,
that I may not be disappointed, and be a little more welcome by
the surprise; though I should be very ungrateful, if I affected
to think that I wanted that.
I cannot say I have read the second letter on Lord George: but
I have done what will satisfy the booksellers more; I have
bought nine or ten pamphlets: my library shall be au fait about
him, but I have an aversion to paper wars, and I must be a
little more interested than I am about him, before I can attend
to them: my head is to be filled with more sacred trash.
The Speaker was here t'other day, and told me of the intimacy
between his son and you and the militia. He says the lawyers
are examining whether Lord George can be tried or not. I am
sorry Lord Stormont is marriediski;(1072) he will pass his life
under the north pole, and whip over to Scotland by way of
Greenland without coming to London.
I dined t'other day at Sion with the Holdernesses; Lady Mary
Coke was there, and in this great dearth of candidates she
permits Haslang to die for her. They were talking in the
bow-window, when a sudden alarm being given that dinner was on
the table, he expressed great joy and appetite. You can't
imagine how she was offended. Adieu!
(1071) Now first printed.
(1072) Lord Stormont had recently married Henrietta Frederica,
daughter of count Bunau, of Saxony.-E.
514 Letter 337
To Sir Horace Mann.
Arlington Street, Oct. 16, 1759.
I love to prepare your countenance for every event that may
happen, for an ambassador, who is nothing but an actor, should
be that greatest of actors, a philosopher; and with the leave
of wise men (that is, hypocrites), philosophy I hold to be
little more than presence of mind now undoubtedly preparation
is a prodigious help to presence of mind. In short, you must
not be surprised that we have failed at Quebec, as we certainly
shall. You may say, if you please, in the style of modern
politics that your court never supposed it could be taken; the
attempt was only made to draw off the Russians from the King of
Prussia, and leave him at liberty to attack Daun. Two days ago
came letters from Wolfe, despairing, as much as heroes can
despair The town is well victualled, Amherst is not arrived,
and fifteen thousand men encamped defend it. We have lost many
men by the enemy, and some by our friends-that is, we now call
our nine thousand only seven thousand. How this little army
will get away from a much larger, and in this season in that
country, I don't guess--yes, I do.
You may be making up a little philosophy too against the
invasion, which is again come into fashion, and with a few
trifling incidents in its favour, such as our fleet dispersed
and driven from their coasts by a great storm. Before that,
they were actually embarking, but with so ill a grace that an
entire regiment mutinied, and they say is broke. We now expect
them in Ireland, unless this dispersion of our fleet tempts
them hither. If they do not come in a day or two, I shall give
You will see in our gazettes that we make a great figure in the
East Indies. In short, Mr. Pitt and this little island appear
of some consequence even in the map of the world. He is a new
sort of Fabius,
----Qui verbis restituit rem.
Have you yet received the -watch? I see your poor Neapolitan
Prince(1073) is at last set aside--I should honour Dr. Serrao's
integrity, if I did not think it was more humane to subscribe
to the poor boy's folly, than hazard his being poisoned by
making it doubtful.
My charming niece is breeding--you see I did not make my lord
Waldegrave an useless present. Adieu! my dear Sir.
(1073) The King's second son, Don Philip, set aside for being
in a state of incurable idiotcy.-E.
514 Letter 338
To The Hon. H. S. Conway.
Strawberry Hill, Oct. 18, 1759.
I intended my visit to Park-place to show my lady Ailesbury
that when I come hither it is not solely on your account, and
yet I will not quarrel with my journey thither if I should find
you there; but seriously I cannot help begging you to think
whether you will go thither or not, just now. My first thought
about you has ever been what was proper for you to do; and
though you are the man in the world that think of that the most
yourself, yet you know I have twenty scruples, which even you
sometimes laugh at. I will tell them to You, and then you will
judge, as you can best. Sir Edward Hawke and his fleet is
dispersed, at least driven back to Plymouth: the French, if one
may believe that they have broken a regiment for mutinying
against embarking, were actually embarked at that instant. The
most sensible people I know, always thought they would postpone
their invasion, if ever they intended it, till our great ships
could not keep the sea, or were eaten up by the scurvy. Their
ports are now free; their situation is desperate: the new
account of our taking Quebec leaves them in the most deplorable
condition; they will be less able than ever to raise money, we
have got ours for next year; and this event
would facilitate it, if we had not: they must try for a
peace, they have nothing to go to market with but
Minorca. In short, if they cannot strike some desperate blow
in this island or Ireland, they are undone: the loss of twenty
thousand men to do us some mischief, would
be cheap. I should even think Madame Pompadour in danger of
being torn to pieces, if they did not make some attempt.
Madame Maintenon, not half so unpopular, mentions in one of her
letters her unwillingness to trust her niece Mademoiselle
Aumale on the road, for fear of some such
accident. You will smile perhaps at all this reasoning and
pedantry; but it tends to this--if desperation should send the
French somewhere, and the wind should force them to your coast,
which I do not suppose their object, and you should be out of
the way, you know what your enemies would say; and strange as
it is, even you have been proved to have enemies.
My dear Sir, think of this! Wolfe, as I am convinced, has
fallen a sacrifice to his rash blame of
you. If I understand any thing in the
world, his letter that came on Sunday said this: "Qu`ebec
is impregnable; it is flinging away the lives of brave men to
attempt it. I am in the situation of Conway at
Rochefort; but having blamed him, I must do what I now see he
was in the right to see was wrong and yet what he would have
done; and as I am commander-, which he was not, I have the
melancholy power of doing what he was prevented doing."(1074)
Poor man! his life has paid the price of his injustice; and as
his death has purchased such benefit to his country, I lament
him, as I am sure you, who have twenty times more courage and
good-nature than I have, do too. In short, I, who never did
any thing right or prudent myself, (not, I am afraid, for want
of knowing what was so,) am content with your being perfect,
and with suggesting any thing to you that may tend to keep you
so;--and (what is not much to the present purpose) if such a
pen as mine can effect it, the world hereafter shall know that
you was so. In short, I have pulled down my Lord Falkland, and
desire you will take care that I may speak the truth when I
erect you in his place; for remember, I love truth even better
than I love you. I always confess my own faults, and I will
not palliate yours. But, laughing apart, if you think there is
no weight in what I say, I shall gladly meet you at Park-place,
whither I shall go on Monday, and stay as long as I can, unless
I hear from you to the contrary. If you should think I have
hinted any thing to you of consequence, would not it be
handsome, if, after receiving leave you should write to my Lord
Llegonier, that though you had been at home but one week in the
whole summer, yet there might be occasion for your presence in
the camp, you should decline the permission he had given you?-
-See what it is to have a wise relation, who preaches a
thousand fine things to you which he would be the last man in
the world to practise himself. Adieu!
(1074) General Wolfe's letter, written four days before his
death, which will be found in the Chatham Correspondence, does
not contain a single sentence which can be tortured into the
construction here given to it. "The extreme heat of the weather
in August," he says, "and a good deal of fatigue, threw me into
a fever; but that the business might go on, I begged the
generals to consider amongst themselves what was fittest to be
done. Their sentiments were unanimous, that (as the easterly
winds begin to blow, and ships can pass the town in the night
with provisions, Artillery, etc.) we "should endeavour, by
conveying a considerable corps into the upper river, to draw
them from their inaccessible situation and bring them to an
action. I agreed to the proposal; and we are now here, with
about three thousand six Hundred men, waiting an opportunity to
attack them, when and wherever they can best be got at. The
weather has been extremely unfavourable for a day or two, so
that we have been inactive. I am so far recovered as to do
business; but my constitution is entirely ruined, without the
consolation of having done any considerable service to the
state, or without any prospect of it." Walpole, however, in
his animated description of the capture of Quebec, in his
Memoires, does ample justice to the character of Wolfe. "His
fall," he says, "was noble indeed. He received a wound in the
head, but covered it from his soldiers with his handkerchief.
A second ball struck him in the belly: that too he dissembled.
A third hitting him on the breast, he sunk under the anguish,
and was carried behind the ranks. Yet, fast as life ebbed out,
his whole anxiety centred on the fortune of the day. He begged
to be borne nearer to the action; but his sight being dimmed by
the approach of death, he entreated to know what they who
supported him saw; he was answered, that the enemy gave ground;
he eagerly repeated the question; heard the enemy was totally
routed; cried, 'I am satisfied!' and expired."-E.
516 Letter 339
To Sir Horace Mann.
Strawberry Hill, Oct. 19, 1759.
I had no occasion to be in such a hurry to prepare your
ambassadorial countenance; if I had stayed but one day more, I
might have left its muscles to behave as they pleased. The
notification of a probable disappointment at Quebec came only
to heighten the pleasure of the conquest. You may now give
yourself what airs you please, you are master of East and West
Indies. An ambassador is the only man in the world whom
bullying becomes: I beg your pardon, but you are spies, if you
are not bragadochios. All precedents are on your side:
Persians, Greeks, Romans, always insulted their neighbours when
they conquered Quebec. Think how pert the French would have
been on such an occasion, and remember that they are Austrians
to whom you are to be saucy. You see, I write as if my name
was Belleisle and yours Contades.
It was a very singular affair, the generals on both sides
slain, and on both sides the second in command wounded; in
short, very near what battles should be, in which only the
principals ought to suffer. If their army has not ammunition
and spirit enough to fall again upon ours before Amherst comes
up, all North America is ours!
Poetic justice could not have been executed with more rigour
than it has been on the perjury, treachery, and usurpations of
the French. I hope Mr.-Pitt will not leave them at the next
treaty an opportunity of committing so many national crimes
again. How they or we can make a peace, I don't see; can we
give all back, or they give all up? No, they must come hither;
they have nothing left for @it but to conquer us.
Don't think it is from forgetting to tell you particulars, that
I tell you none; I am here, and don't know one but what you
will see in the Gazette, and by which it appears that the
victory was owing to the impracticability, as the French
thought, and to desperate resolution on our side. What a
scene! an army in the night dragging itself up a precipice by
stumps of trees to assault a town and attack an army strongly
entrenched and double in numbers!
Adieu ! I think I shall not write to you again this
twelvemonth; for, like Alexander, we have no more worlds left
P. S. Monsieur Thurot is said to be sailed with his tiny
squadron --but can the lords of America be afraid of half a
dozen canoes ? Mr. Chute is sitting by me, and says, nobody is
more obliged to Mr. Pitt than you are: he has raised you from a
very comfortable situation to hold your head above the Capitol.
517 Letter 340
To George Montagu, Esq.
Strawberry Hill, Oct. 21, 1759.
Your pictures shall be sent as soon as any of us go to London,
but I think that will not be till the Parliament meets. Can we
easily leave the remains of such a year as this? It is still
all gold. I have not dined or gone to bed by a fire till the
day before yesterday. Instead of the glorious and
ever-memorable year 1759, as the newspapers call it, I call it
this ever-warm and victorious year. We have not had more
conquest than fine weather: one would think we had plundered
East and West Indies of sunshine. Our bells are worn
threadbare with ringing for victories. I believe it will
require ten votes of the House of Commons before the people
will believe it is the Duke of Newcastle that has done this,
and not Mr. Pitt. One thing is very fatiguing--all the world
is made knights or generals. Adieu I don't know a word of news
less than the conquest of America. Adieu! yours ever.
P ' S. You shall hear from me again if we take Mexico or China
P. S. I had sealed my letter, but break it open again,
having forgot to tell you that Mr. Cowslade has the pictures of
Lord and Lady Cutts, and is willing to sell them.
518 Letter 341
To The Earl Of Strafford.
Strawberry Hill, October 30th, 1759.
My dear lord,
It would be very extraordinary indeed if I was not glad to see
one Whose friendship does me so much honour as your lordship's,
and who always expresses so much kindness to me. I have an
additional reason for thanking you now, when you are creating a
building after the design of the Strawberry committee. It will
look, I fear, very selfish if I pay it a visit next year; and
yet it answers so many selfish purposes that I certainly shall.
My ignorance of all the circumstances relating to Quebec is
prodigious; I have contented myself with the rays of' glory
that reached hither, without going to London to bask in them.
I have not even seen the conqueror's mother(1075) though I hear
she has covered herself with more laurel-leaves than were
heaped on the children of the wood.
Seriously it is very great; and as I am too inconsiderable to
envy Mr. Pitt, I give him all the honour he deserves.
I passed all the last week at Park-place, where one of the
bravest men in the world, who is not permitted to contribute to
our conquests, was indulged in being the happiest by being with
one of the most deserving women--for Campbell-goodness no more
wears out than Campbell-beauty--all their good qualities are
huckaback.(1076) YOU See the Duchess(1077) has imbibed so much
of' their durableness, that she is good-humoured enough to dine
at a tavern at seventy-six.
Sir William Stanhope wrote to Mrs. Ellis,(1078) that he had
pleased himself, having seen much of Mr. Nugent and Lady
Berkeley this summer, and having been so charmed with the
felicity of their menage, that he could not resist marrying
again. His daughter replied, that it had always been her
opinion, that people should please themselves, and that she was
glad he had; but as to taking the precedent of Lady Berkeley,
she hoped it would answer in nothing but in my Lady Stanhope
having three children the first year. You see, my lord, Mrs.
Ellis has bottled up her words(1079) till they sparkle at last!
I long to have your approbation of my Holbein-chamber; it has a
comely sobriety that I think answers very well to the tone it
should have. My new printing-house is finished, in order to
pull down the old one, and lay the foundations next summer of
my round tower. Then follows the gallery and chapel-cabinet.
I hear your lordship has tapped your magnificent front too.
Well, when all your magnificences and minimificences are
finished, then, we--won't sit down and drink, as Pyrrhus
said,--no, I trust we shall never conclude our plans so
filthily: then--I fear we shall begin others. Indeed, I don't
know what the Countess may do: if she imitates her mother, she
will go to a tavern at fourscore, and then she and Pyrrhus may
take a bottle together---I hope she will live to try at least
whether she likes it. -Adieu, both!
(1075) Lady Townshend. On the death of General Wolfe, Colonel
Townshend received the surrender.
(1076) Lady Ailesbury and Lady Strafford, both preserved their
beauty so long, that Mr. Walpole called them huck(iback
beauties, that never wear out.
(1077) The Duchess of Argyle, widow of John Campbell, Duke of
Argyle, and mother to Lady Strafford.
(1078) His daughter.
(1079) She was very silent.
519 Letter 342
To The Right Hon. Lady Hervey.
Saturday, Nov. 3d, 1759.
Poor Robins' Almanack. Thick fogs, and some wet. Go not out of
town. Gouts and rheumatisms are abroad. Warm clothes, good
fires, and a room full of pictures, glasses, and scarlet damask
are the best physic.
In short, for fear your ladyship should think of Strawberry on
Saturday, I can't help telling you that I am to breakfast at
Petersham that day with Mr. Fox and Lady Caroline, Lord and
Lady Waldegrave. How did you like the farce? George Selwyn
says he wants to see High Life below Stairs (1080) as he is
weary of low life above stairs.
(1080) This popular' farce was written by the Rev. James
Townley, high master of Merchant Tailors' School . Dr, Johnson
said of it, "Here is a farce which is really very diverting
when you see it acted, and yet one may read it and not know
that one has been reading any thing at all;" and of the actors,
Goldsmith tells us, that "Mr. Palmer and Mr. King were entirely
what they desired to represent; and Mrs. Clive (but what need I
talk of her, since without exaggeration she has more true
humour than any actor or actress, upon the English or any other
stage, I have seen), she, I say, did the part all the justice
it was capable of." In England it was very successful; but in
Edinburgh the gentlemen of the party-coloured livery raised
violent riots in the theatre whenever it was performed.-E.
519 Letter 343
To George Montagu, Esq.
Arlington Street, Nov. 8, 1759.
Your pictures will set out on Saturday; I give you notice that
you may inquire for them. I did not intend to be here these
three days, but my Lord Bath taking the trouble to send a man
and horse to ask me to dinner yesterday, I did not know how to
refuse; and, besides, as Mr. Bentley said to me, "you know he
was an old friend of your father."
The town is empty, but is coming to dress itself for Saturday.
My Lady Coventry showed George Selwyn her clothes; they are
blue, with spots of silver, of the size of a shilling, and a
silver trimming, and cost--my lord will know what. She asked
George how he liked them; he replied, "Why, you will be change
for a guinea."
I find nothing talked of but the French bankruptcy;(1081) Sir
Robert Brown, I hear--and am glad to hear--will be a great
sufferer. They put gravely into the article of bankrupts in
the newspapers, "Louis le Petit, of the city of Paris,
peace-breaker, dealer, and chapman;" it would have been still
better if they had said, "Louis Bourbon of petty France." We
don't know what is become of their Monsieur Thurot,(1082) of
whom we had still a little mind to be afraid. I should think
he would do like Sir Thomas Hanmer, make a faint effort, beg
pardon of the Scotch for their disappointment, and retire.
Here are some pretty verses just arrived.
Pourquoi le baton `a Soubise,
Puisque Chevert est le vainqueur?
C'est de la cour une m`eprise,
Ou bien le but de la faveur.
Je ne vois rien l`a qui m'`etonne,
Repond aussitot un railleur;
C'est `a l'aveugle qu'on le donne,
Et non pas au COnducteur.
Lady Meadows has left nine thousand pounds in reversion after
her husband to Lord Sandwich's daughter. Apropos to my Lady
Meadow's maiden name,(1083) a name I believe you have sometimes
heard: I was diverted t'other day with a story of a lady of
that name,(1084) and a lord, whose initial is no farther from
hers than he himself is sometimes supposed to be. Her
postillion, a lad of sixteen, said, "I am not such a child but
I can guess something: whenever my Lord Lyttelton comes to my
lady, she orders the porter to let in nobody else, and then
they call for a pen and ink, and say they are going to Write
history." Is not this finesse so like him? 'Do you know that I
am persuaded, now he is parted, that he will forget- he is
married, and propose himself in form to some woman or other.
When do you come? if it is not soon, you will find a new town.
I stared to-day at Piccadilly like a country squire; there are
twenty new stone houses; at first I concluded that all the
grooms, that used to live there, had got estates to build
palaces. One young gentleman, who was getting an estate, but
was so indiscreet as to step out of his way to rob a comrade,
is convicted, and to be transported; in short, one of the
waiters at Arthur's. George Selwyn says, "What a horrid idea
he will give of us to the people
I was still more surprised t'other day, than at seeing
Piccadilly, by receiving a letter from the north of Ireland
from a clergyman, with violent encomiums on my Catalogue of
Noble Authors--and this when I thought it quite forgot. It put
me in mind of the queen that sunk at Charing-cross and rose at
Mr. Chute has got his commission to inquire about your Cutts,
but he thinks the lady is not your grandmother. You are very
ungenerous to hoard tales from me of your ancestry: what
relation have I spared? If your grandfathers were knaves, will
your bottling up their bad blood amend it? Do you only take a
cup of it now and then by yourself, and then come down to your
parson, and boast of it, as if it was pure old metheglin? I
sat last night with the Mater Gracchorum--oh! 'tis a mater
Jagorum; if her descendants taste any of her black blood, they
surely will make as wry faces at it as the servant in Don John
does when the ghost decants a corpse. Good night! I am just
returning to Strawberry, to husband my two last days and to
avoid all the pomp of the birthday. Oh! I had forgot, there is
a Miss Wynne coming forth, that is to be handsomer than my Lady
Coventry; but I have known one threatened with such every
summer for these seven years, and they are always addled by
(1081) The public credit in France, had, at this time, suffered
a very severe blow, the court having stopped the payment of
several of the public bills and funds to a vast amount.-E.
(1082) The captain of a privateer, who had commanded the French
squadron off Dunkirk, destined for an attack on Scotland.-E.
(1084) Elizabeth, daughter of Matthew Robinson, Esq. of the
Rokeby family, widow of Edward Montagu, grandson of the first
Earl of Sandwich, and founder of the Blue-stocking Club. She
wrote "Three Dialogues of the Dead," printed with those of Lord
Lyttelton; and in 1769 published her "Essay on the Genius and
Writings of Shakspeare." She died in 1800.-E.
521 Letter 344
To Sir Horace Mann.
Arlington Street, Nov. 16, 1759.
Now the Parliament is met, you will expect some new news; you
will be disappointed: no battles are fought in Parliament now--
the House of Commons is a mere war-office, and only sits for
the despatch of military business. As I am one of the few men
in England who am neither in the army nor militia, I never go
thither. By the King's speech, and Mr. Pitt's t'other speech,
it looks as if we intended to finish the conquest of the world
the next campaign. The King did not go to the House; his last
eye is so bad that he could scarce read his answer to the
address, though the letters were as long and as black as Ned
Finch. He complains that every body's face seems to have a
crape over it. A person much more expected and much more
missed, was not at the House neither; Lord George Sackville.
He came to town the night before the opening, but did not
appear--it looks as if he gave every thing up. Did you hear
that M. de Contades saluted Prince Ferdinand on his
installation with twenty-one cannons? The French could
distinguish the outside of the ceremony, and the Prince sent
word to the marshal, that if he observed any bustle that day,
he must not expect to be attacked-it would only be a chapter of
A very extraordinary event happened the day after the meeting:
Lord Temple resigned the privy-seal. The account he gives
himself is, that he continued to be so ill used by the King,
that it was notorious to all the world; that in hopes of taking
off that reproach, he had asked for the Garter.(1085) Being
refused, he had determined to resign, at the same time
beseeching Mr. Pitt not to resent any thing for him, and
insisting with his two brothers that they should keep their
places, and act as warm as ever with the administration, That
in an audience of twenty-five minutes he hoped he had removed
his Majesty's prejudices, and should now go out of town as well
satisfied as any man in England. The town says, that it was
concerted that he should not quit till Mr. Pitt made his speech
on the first day, declaring that nothing should make him break
union with the rest of the ministers, no, not for the nearest
friend he had. All this is mighty fine; but the affair is,
nevertheless, very impertinent. If Lord Temple hoped to
involve Mr. Pitt in his quarrel, it was very wicked at such a
crisis as this--and if he could, I am apt to believe he would--
if he could not, it was very silly. To the garter nobody can
have slenderer pretensions; his family is scarce older than his
earldom, which is of the youngest. His person is ridiculously,
awkward; and if chivalry were in vogue, he has given proofs of
having no passion for tilt and tournament. Here end@ the
history of King George the Second, and Earl Temple the First.
We are still advised to believe in the invasion, though it
seems as slow in coming as the millennium. M. Thurot and his
pigmy navy have scrambled to Gottenburg, where it is thought
they will freight themselves with half a dozen pounds of
Swedes. We continue to militiate, and to raise light troops,
and when we have armed every apprentice in England, I suppose
we shall translate our fears to Germany. In the mean time the
King is overwhelmed with addresses on our victories he will
have enough to paper his palace. ITe told the City of London,
that all was owing to unanimity, but I think he should have
said, to unmanimity, for it were shameful to ascribe our
brilliancy to any thing but Mr. Pitt. The new King of Spain
seems to think that our fleet is the best judge of the
incapacity of his eldest son, and of the fitness of his
disposition of Naples, for he has expressed the highest
confidence of Wall, and the strongest assurances of neutrality.
I am a little sorry that Richcourt is not in Florence; it would
be pleasant to dress yourself up in mural crowns and American
plumes in his face. Adieu!
(1085) By the following passage of a letter from Lord Temple
himself to Mr. Pitt, of the 13th of October, in the Chatham
Correspondence, it will be seen that it was not his lordship
who solicited the garter, but Mr. Pitt:--"You have been so good
as to ask of his Majesty the garter for me, as a reward to
yourself, and the only one you desire for all the great and
eminent services you have done to, the King, to the nation, and
to the electorate; to which request you have, it seems,
hitherto met with a refusal. At the same time that I thank
you, and am proud to receive any testimony of your kind regard,
permit me to add, that I am not so mean-spirited as to
condescend to receive, in my own person, the reward of another
man's services, however dear to me you so deservedly are on
every account. Let the King continue to enjoy in peace the
pleasure and Honour of this refusal; for if he should happen to
be disposed, for other reasons than those of gratitude to you,
which will have no weight with him, to give me that mark of
distinction, I will not accept it on such terms." Vol. i. p.
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