The Letters of Horace Walpole, Volume 2
Horace Walpole

Part 6 out of 16

How the bookseller would be less a loser by being at more
expense, I can easily explain to you. He feared the price of
half a guinea would seem too high to most purchasers. If by
the expense of ten guineas more he could make the book appear
so much more rich and showy as to induce people to think it
cheap, the profits from selling many more copies would amply
recompense him for his additional disbursement.

The thought of having the head engraved was entirely Dodsley's
own, and against my opinion, as I concluded it would be against
yours; which made me determine to acquaint you with it before
its appearance.

When you reflect on what I have said now, you will see very
clearly, that I had and could have no other possible meaning in
what I wrote last. You might justly have accused me of
neglect, if I had deferred giving you all the satisfaction in
my powers, as soon as ever I knew your uneasiness.

The head I give up.(367) The title I think will be wrong, and
not answer your purpose; for, as the drawings are evidently
calculated for the poems, how will the improper disposition of
the word designs before poems make the edition less yours? I am
as little convinced that there is any affectation in leaving out
the Mr. before your names: it is a barbarous addition: the other
is simple and classic; a rank I cannot help thinking due to both
the poet and painter. Without ranging myself among classics, I
assure you, were I to print any thing with my name, it should
be plain Horace Walpole: Mr. is one of the Gothicisms I
abominate. The explanation(368) was certainly added for people
who have not eyes:--such are-almost all who have seen Mr.
Bentley's drawings, and think to compliment him by mistaking
them for prints. Alas! the generality want as much to have the
words "a man," "a cock," written under his drawings, as under
the most execrable hieroglyphics of Egypt, or of signpost

I will say no more now, but that you must not wonder if I am
partial to you and yours, when you can write as you do and yet
feel so little vanity. I have used freedom enough with your
writings to convince you I speak truth: I praise and scold Mr.
Bentley immoderately, as I think he draws well or ill: I never
think it worth my while to do either, especially to blame,
where there are not generally vast excellencies. Good night!
Don't suspect me when I have no fault but impatience to make
you easy.

(366) This was a print of Mr. Gray, after the portrait of him
by Eckardt. It was intended to have been prefixed to Dodsley's
quarto edition of the Odes with Mr. Bentley's designs but Mr.
Gray's extreme repugnance to the proposal obliged his friends
to drop it.

(367) In a letter to Walpole, written from Stoke, in January,
on receiving a proof of the head, Gray had said, "Sure you are
not out of your wits! This I know, if you suffer my head to be
printed, you will put me out of mine. I conjure you
immediately to put a stop to any such design. Who is at the
expense of engraving it, I know not; but if it be Dodsley, I
will make up the loss to him. The thing as it was, I know,
will make me ridiculous enough: but to appear in proper person,
at the head of my works, consisting Of half a dozen ballads in
thirty pages, would be worse than the pillory. I do assure
you, if I had received such a book, with such a frontispiece,
without any warning, I do believe it would have given me the
palsy." Works, vol. iii. p. 106.-E.

(368) Of Mr. Bentley's designs.

158 Letter 72
To Sir Horace Mann.
Strawberry Hill, March 4, 1753.

have you got any wind of our new histories? Is there any
account at Rome that Mr. Stone and the Solicitor-general are
still thought to be more attached to Egypt than Hanover? For
above this fortnight there have been strange mysteries and
reports! the cabinet council sat night after night till two
o'clock in the morning: we began to think that they were
empannelled to sit upon a new rebellion, or invasion at least;
or that the King of Prussia, had sent his mandate, that we must
receive the young Pretender in part payment of the Silesian
loan. At last it is come out that Lord Ravensworth,(369) on
the information of one Fawcett, a lawyer, has accused Stone,
Murray, and Dr. Johnson, the new Bishop of Gloucester, of
having had an odd custom of toasting the Chevalier and my Lord
Dunbar at one Vernon's, a merchant, about twenty years ago.
The Pretender's counterpart ordered the council to examine into
it: Lord Ravensworth stuck to his story: Fawcett was terrified
with the solemnity of the divan, and told his very different
Ways, and at last would not sign his deposition. On the other
hand, Stone and Murray took their Bible on their innocence, and
the latter made a fine speech into the bargain. Bishop Johnson
scrambled out of the scrape at the very beginning; and the
council have reported to the King that the accusation was false
and malicious.(370) This is an exact abridgement of the story;
the commentary would be too voluminous. The heats upon it are
great: the violent Whigs are not at all convinced of the Whiggism
of the culprits, by the defect of evidence: the opposite clan
affect as much conviction as if they wished them Whigs.

Mr. Chute and I are come hither for a day or two to inspect the
progress of a Gothic staircase, which is so pretty and so
small, that I am inclined to wrap it up and send it you in my
letter. As my castle is so diminutive, I give myself a
Burlington air, and say, that as Chiswick is a model of Grecian
architecture, Strawberry Hill is to be so of Gothic. I went
the other morning with Mr. Conway to buy some of the new
furniture-paper for you: if there was any money at Florence, I
should expect this manufacture would make its fortune there.

Liotard, the painter, is arrived, and has brought me Marivaux's
picture, which gives one a very different idea from what one
conceives of the author of Marianne, though it is reckoned
extremely like: the countenance is a mixture of buffoon and
villain. I told you what mishap I had with Cr`ebillon's
portrait: he has had the foolish dirtiness to keep it. Liotard
is a G`en`evois; but from having lived at Constantinopole, he
wears a Turkish habit, and a beard down to his girdle: this,
and his extravagant prices, which he has raised even beyond
what he asked at Paris, will probably get him as much money as
he covets, for he is avaricious beyond imagination. His
crayons and his water-colours are very fine; his enamel, hard:
in general, he is too Dutch, and admires nothing but excess of

We have nothing new but two or three new plays, and those not
worth sending to you. The answer to the Prussian memorial,
drawn chiefly by Murray, is short, full, very fine, and has
more spirit than I thought we had by us. The whole is rather
too good, as I believe our best policy would have been, to be
in the wrong, and make satisfaction for having been ill-used:
the author with whom we have to deal, is not a sort of man to
stop at being confuted. Adieu!

(369) Sir Henry Liddel, Baron of Ravensworth.

(370) "Upon the whole matter," says the Hon. Philip Yorke, in
his MS. Parliamentary Journal, "the lords came unanimously to
an opinion of reporting to the King, that there appeared to
them no foundation for any part of the charge; that Mr.
Fawcett, the only evidence, had grossly prevaricated in it:
that it was malicious and scandalous, and ought not to affect
the character of the Bishop, or either of the gentlemen who
were aspersed by it."-E.

159 Letter 73
To Sir Horace Mann.
Arlington Street, March 27, 1753.

Such an event as I mentioned to you in my last, has, you may
well believe, had some consequences; but only enough to show
what it would have had in less quiet times. Last week the Duke
of Bedford moved in the House of Commons to have all the papers
relating to Lord Ravensworth and Fawcett laid before them. As
he had given notice of his intention, the ministry, in a great
fright, had taken all kind of precaution to defeat the motion;
and succeeded--if it can be called success to have quashed the
demand, and thereby confirmed the suspicions. After several
councils, it was determined, that all the cabinet councillors
should severally declare the insufficience and prevarication of
Fawcett's evidence: they did, and the motion Was rejected by
122 to 5.(371) If one was prejudiced by classic notions of the
wisdom and integrity of a senate, that debate would have cured
them. The flattery to Stone was beyond belief: I will give you
but one instance. The Duke of Argyll said, "He had happened to
be at the secretary's office during the rebellion, when two
Scotchmen came to ask for a place, which one obtained, the
other lost, but went away best pleased, from Mr. Stone's
gracious manner of refusal!" It appeared in the most glaring
manner, that the Bishop of Gloucester had dictated to Fawcett a
letter of acquittal to himself; and not content with that, had
endeavoured to persuade him to make additions to it some days
after. It was as plain, that Fawcett had never prevaricated
till these private interviews(372) With the prelate-yet there
were 122 to 5!

I take for granted our politics adjourn here till next winter
unless there should be any Prussian episode. It is difficult
to believe that that King has gone so far, without intending to
go farther: if he is satisfied with the answer to his memorial,
though it is the fullest that ever was made, yet it will be the
first time that ever a monarch was convinced! For a King of the
Romans, it seems as likely that we should see a King of the

Your brother has got the paper for your room. He shall send
you with it a fine book which I have had printed of' Gray's
poems, with drawings by another friend of mine, which I am sure
will charm you, though none of them are quite well engraved,
and some sadly. Adieu! I am all brick and mortar: the castle
at Strawberry Hill grows so near a termination, that you must not
be angry if I wish to have you see it. Mr. Bentley is going to
make a drawing of the best view, which I propose to have
engraved, and then you shall at least have some idea of that
sweet little spot--little enough, but very sweet!

(371) "The debate was long and heavy; the Duke of Bedford's
performance moderate enough: he divided the House, but it was
not told, for there went below the bar with him the Earl of
Harcourt, Lord Townshend, the Bishop of Worcester, and Lord
Talbot only. Upon the whole, it was the worst judged, the
worst executed, and the worst supported point, that I ever saw
of so much expectations" Dodington, p. 202.-E.

(372) This insignificant, and indeed ridiculous accusation,
against Murray and Stone, is magnified by Walpole, both here
and in his Memoire,,,, into an important transaction, in
consequence of the hatred he bore to the persons accused,-D.
["The accusation was justly ridiculed by the wits of the day,
as a counterpart to the mountain in labour; and the Pelhams had
the satisfaction of seeing it terminate in the full exculpation
of their friends, the Solicitor-general and Mr. Stone." Coxe's
Pelham, vol. ii, p. 263.]

(373) On receiving a proof of the tail-piece, which Mr. Bentley
had designed for the Elegy in a Country Churchyard, and which
represents a village funeral, Gray wrote to Walpole: "I am
surprised at the print, which far surpasses my idea of London
graving: the drawing itself was so finished, that I suppose it
did not require all the art I imagined to copy it tolerably.
My aunts seeing me open your letter, took it to be a burying-
ticket, and asked whether any body had left me a ring; and so
they still conceive it to be, even with all their spectacles
on. Heaven forbid they should suspect it to belong to any
verses of mine! They would burn me for a poet." Works, vol.
iii. p. 105.-E.

161 Letter 74
To Sir Horace Mann.
Arlington Street, April 16, 1753.

Dear Sir,
I know I never give you more pleasure than in recommending such
an acquaintance as Mr. Stephens, a young gentleman now in
Italy, of whom I have heard from the best hands the greatest
and most amiable character. He is brother-in-law of Mr.
West,(374) Mr. Pelham's secretary, and (to you I may add,) as I
know it will be an additional motive to increase your
attentions to his relation, a particular friend of mine. I beg
you will do for my sake, what you always do from your own
goodness of heart, make Florence as agreeable to him as
possible: I have the strongest reasons to believe that you will
want no incitement the moment you begin to know Mr. Stephens.

(374) James West, member for St. Albans, secretary to Mr.
Pelham as chancellor of the exchequer, secretary to the
treasury, treasurer to the Royal Society, and member of the
Antiquarian Society, married the sister of this Mr. Stephens.

161 Letter 75
To Sir Horace Mann.
Strawberry Hill, April 27, 1753.

I have brought two of your letters hither to answer: in town
there are so many idle people besides oneself, that one has not
a minute's time; here I have whole evenings, after the labours
of the day are ceased. Labours they are, I assure you; I have
carpenters to direct, plasterers to hurry, papermen to scold,
and glaziers to help: this last is my greatest pleasure: I have
amassed such quantities of painted glass, that every window in
my castle will be illuminated with it: the adjusting and
disposing it is vast amusement. I thank you a thousand times
for thinking of procuring me some Gothic remains from Rome; but
I believe there is no such thing there: I scarce remember any
morsel in the true taste of it in Italy. indeed, my dear Sir,
kind as you are about it, I perceive you have no idea what
Gothic is; you have lived too long amidst true taste, to
understand venerable barbarism. You say, "You suppose my
garden is to be Gothic too." That can't be; Gothic is merely
architecture; and as one has a satisfaction in imprinting the
gloom of abbeys and cathedrals on one's house, so one's garden,
on the contrary, is to be nothing but riot, and the gaiety of
nature. I am greatly impatient for my altar, and so far from
mistrusting its goodness, I only fear it will be too good to
expose to the weather, as I intend it must be, in a recess in the
garden. I was going to tell you that my house is so monastic,
that I have a little hall decked with long saints in lean arched
windows, and with taper columns, which we call the Paraclete, in
memory of Eloisa's cloister.(375)

I am glad you have got rid of your duel, bloodguiltless:
Captain Lee had ill luck in lighting upon a Lorrain officer; he
might have boxed the ears of the whole Florentine nobility,
(con rispetto si dice,) and not have occasioned you half the
trouble you have had in accommodating this quarrel.

You need not distrust Mr. Conway and me for showing any
attentions to Prince San Severino,(376) that may convince him
of' our regard for you; I only hope he will not arrive till
towards winter, for Mr. Conway is gone to his regiment in
Ireland, and my chateau is so far from finished, that I am by
no means in a condition to harbour a princely ambassador. By
next spring I hope to have rusty armour, and arms with
quarterings enough to persuade him that I am qualified to be
Grand Master of Malta. If you could send me Viviani,(377 with
his invisible architects out of the Arabian tales, I might get
my house ready at a day's warning; especially as it will not be
quite so lofty as the triumphal arch at Florence.

What you say you have heard of strange conspiracies, fomented
by our nephew(378) is not entirely groundless. A Dr.
Cameron(379) has been seized in Scotland, who certainly came
over with commission to feel the ground. He is brought to
London; but nobody troubles their head about him, or any thing
else, but Newmarket, where the Duke is at present making a
campaign, with half the nobility and half the money of England
attending him: they really say, that not less than a hundred
thousand pounds have been carried thither for the hazard of this
single week. The palace has been furnished for him from the
great wardrobe, though the chief person(380) concerned flatters
himself that his son is at the expense of his own amusement

I must now tell you how I have been treated by an old friend of
yours--don't be frightened, and conclude that this will make
against your friend San Severino: he is only a private prince;
the rogue in Question is a monarch. Your brother has sent you
some weekly papers that are much in fashion, called "The
World;" three or four of them are by a friend of yours; one
particularly I wrote to promote a subscription for King
Theodore, who is in prison for debt. His Majesty's character
is so bad, that it only raised fifty pounds; and though that
was so much above his desert, it was so much below his
expectation, that he sent a solicitor to threaten the printer
with a prosecution for having taken so much liberty with his
name--take notice too, that he had accepted the money! Dodsley,
you may believe, laughed at the lawyer; but that does not
lessen the dirty knavery. It would indeed have made an
excellent suit! a printer prosecuted suppose for having
solicited and obtained charity for a man in prison, and that
man not mentioned by his right name, but by a mock title, and
the man himself not a native of the country!--but I have done
with countenancing kings!

Lord Bath has contributed a paper to the World, but seems to
have entirely lost all his wit and genius: it is a plain heavy
description of Newmarket, with scarce an effort towards
humour.(381) I had conceived the greatest expectations from a
production of his, especially in the way of the Spectator; but
I M now assured by Franklyn, the old printer of the Craftsman,
(who by a comical revolution of things, is a tenant of mine at
Twickenham,) that Lord Bath never wrote a Craftsman himself,
only gave hints for them--yet great part of his reputation was
built on those papers. Next week my Lord chesterfield appears
in the World(382)--I expect much less from him than I did from
Lord Bath, but it is very certain that his name will make it
applauded. Adieu!

P.S. Since I came to town, I hear that my Lord Granville has
cut another colt's tooth-in short, they say he is going to be
married again; it is to Lady Juliana Collier,(383) a very
pretty girl, daughter of Lord Portmore: there are not above two
or three and forty years difference in their ages, and not
above three bottles difference in @ their drinking in a day, so
it is a very suitable match! She will not make so good a Queen
as our friend Sophia, but will like better, I suppose, to make
a widow. If this should not turn out true,(384) I can't help

(375) "Where awful arches make a noonday night,
And the dim windows shade a solemn light."-Pope.-E.

(376) Ambassador from the King of Naples.

(377) Viviani, a Florentine nobleman, showing the triumphal
arch there to Prince San Severino, assured him, and insisted
upon it, that it was begun and finished in twenty-four hours!

(378) The King of Prussia.

(379) This is a strange story, and it is difficult to believe
that the King of Prussia was concerned in it. In his Memoires,
Walpole gives the following account of the taking of Dr.
Cameron:--"About this time was taken in Scotland, Dr. Archibald
Cameron, a man excepted by the act of indemnity. Intelligence
had been received some time before of his intended journey to
Britain, with a commission from Prussia to offer arms to the
disaffected Highlanders, at the same time that ships were
hiring in the north to transport men. The fairness of Dr.
Cameron's character, compared with the severity he met from a
government most laudably mild to its enemies, confirmed this
report. That Prussia, who opened its inhospitable arms to
every British rebel, should have tampered in such a business,
was by no means improbable. That King hated his uncle: but
could a Protestant potentate dip in designs for restoring a
popish government? Of what religion is policy? To what sect is
royal revenge bigoted? The Queen-dowager, though sister of our
King, was avowedly a Jacobite, by principle so-and it was
natural: what Prince, but the single one who profits by the
principle, can ever think it allowable to overturn sacred
hereditary right? It is the curse of sovereigns that their
crimes should be unpunishable."-D.

(380) The King.

(381) No. 17, giving an account of the races and manners at

(382) It forms the 18th number, and is entitled " A Country
Gentleman's Tour to Paris with his family."-E.

(383) Lady Juliana Collier, youngest daughter of Charles,
second Earl of Portmore, by Juliana hale, Duchess-dowager of
Leeds. She married, in 1759, James Dawkins, Esq. of
Standlinch, in Wiltshire.-D.

(384) It did not happen.

164 Letter 76
To The Hon. H. S. Conway.
Strawberry Hill, May 5, 1753.

Though my letter bears a country date, I am only a passenger
here, just come to overlook my workmen, and repose myself upon
some shavings, after the fatigues of the season. You know
balls and masquerades always abound as the weather be(,Ins to
be too hot for them, and this has been quite a spring-tide of
diversion. Not that I am so abandoned as to have partaken of
all; I neither made the Newmarket campaign under the Duke, nor
danced at any ball, nor looked well at any masquerade: I begin
to submit to my years, and amuse myself-only just as much as I
like. Indeed, when parties and politics are at an end, an
Englishman may be allowed not to b always grave and out of
humour. His Royal Highness has won as many hearts at Newmarket
as he lost in Scotland; he played deep and handsomely; received
every body at his table with the greatest good humour, and
permitted the familiarities of the place with ease and sense.

There have been balls at the Duchess of Norfolk's, at
Holland-house, and Lord Granville's, and a subscription
masquerade: the dresses were not very fine, not much invention,
nor any very absurd. I find I am telling you extreme trifles;
but you desired me to write; and there literally happens
nothing of greater moment. If I can fill out a sheet even in
this way, I will; for at Sligo(385) perhaps I may appear a
journalist of consequence.

There is a Madame de Mezi`eres arrived from Paris, who has said
a thousand impertinent things to my Lady Albemarle, on my
lord's not letting her come to Paris.(386) I should not repeat
this to you, only to introduce George Selwyn's account of this
woman who, he says, is mother to the Princess of Montauban,
grandmother to Madame de Brionne, sister to General Oglethorpe,
and was laundress to the Duchess of Portsmouth.

Sir Charles Williams, never very happy at panegyric, has made a
distich on the Queen of Hungary, which I send you for the
curiosity, not the merit of it:

"O regina orbis prima et pulcherrima, ridens
Es Venus, incedens Juno, Minerva loquens."

It is infinitely admired at Vienna, but Baron Munchausen has
received a translation of it into German in six verses, which
are still more applauded.

There is another volume published of Lord Bolinbroke's: it
contains his famous Letter to Sir William Windham, with an
admirable description of the Pretender and hi Court, and a very
poor justification of his own treachery to that party; a flimsy
unfinished State of the Nation, written at the end of his life,
and the commonplace tautology of an old politician, who lives out
of the world and writes from newspapers; and a superficial letter
to Mr. Pope, as an introduction to his Essays, which are printed,
but not yet published.

What shall I say to you more? You see how I am forced to tack
paragraphs together, without any connexion or consequence!
Shall I tell you one more idle story, and will you just
recollect that you once concerned yourself enough about the
heroine of it, to excuse my repeating such a piece of
tittle-tattle? This heroine is Lady Harrington, the hero is--
not entirely of royal blood; at least I have never heard that
Lodomie, the toothdrawer, was in any manner descended from the
house of Bourbon. Don't be alarmed: this plebeian operator is
not in the catalogue of your successors. How the lady was the
aggressor is not known; 'tis only conjectured that French
politeness and French interestedness could never have gone such
lengths without mighty provocation. The first instance of the
toothdrawer's un-gentle behaviour was on hearing it said that
Lady Harrington was to have her four girls drawn by Liotard;
which was wondered at, as his price is so great--"Oh!" said
Lodomie, "chacune paie pour la sienne." Soon after this
insult, there was some dispute about payments and toothpowder,
and divers messages passed. At last the lady wrote a card, to
say she did not understand such impertinent answers being given
to her chairman by an arracheur de dents. The angry little
gentleman, with as much intrepidity as if he had drawn out all
her teeth, tore the card in five slits, and returned it with
this astonishing sentence, "I return you your impertinent card,
and desire you will pay me what you owe me." All I know more
is, that the toothdrawer still lives; and so do many lords and
gentlemen, formerly thought the slaves of the offended fair
one's will and passions, and among others, to his great shame,
your sincere friend.

(385) Mr. Conway was then with his regiment quartered at Sligo
in Ireland.

(386) Lord Albemarle was then ambassador at Paris.

165 Letter 77
To George Montagu, Esq.
Strawberry Hill, May 22, 1753.

You may very possibly be set out for Greatworth, but what house
Greatworth is, or whose, or how you came to have it, is all a
profound secret to us: your transitions arc so Pindaric, that,
without notes, we do not understand them, especially as neither
Mr. Bentley nor I have seen any of the letters, which I suppose
you have written to your family in the intervals of your
journeyings from Sir Jonathan Cope's(387) to Roel, and from
Roel to Greatworth. Mr. Bentley was just ready to send you
down a packet of Gothic, and brick and mortar, and arched
windows, and taper columns to be erected at Roel--no such
matter, you have met with some brave chambers belonging to Sir
Jonathan somebody in Northamptonshire, and are unloading your
camels and caravan,.;, and pitching your tents among your own
tribe. I cannot be quite sorry, for I shall certainly visit
you at Greatworth, and it might have been some years before the
curtain had drawn up at Roel. We emerge very fast out of
shavings, and hammerings, and pastings; the painted glass is
full-blown in every window, and the gorgeous saints, that were
brought out for one day on the festival of Saint George
Montagu, are fixed for ever in the tabernacles they are to
inhabit.- The castle is not the only beauty: and to-day we had
a glimpse of the sun as he passed by, though I am convinced the
summer is over; for these two last years we have been forced to
compound for five hot days in the pound.

News there is none to tell you. We had two days in the House
of Commons, that had something of the air of Parliament; there
has been a Marriage-bill, invented by my Lord Bath, and cooked
up by the Chancellor, which was warmly opposed by the Duke of
Bedford in the Lords, and with us by Fox and Nugent: the latter
made an admirable speech last week against it, and Charles
Townshend,(388) another very good one yesterday, when we sat
till near ten o'clock, but were beat, we minority, by 165 to

I know nothing else but elopements: I have lost my man Henry,
who is run away for debt; and my Lord Bath his only son. who is
run away from thirty thousand pounds a-year, which in all
probability would have come to him in six months. There had
been some great fracas about his marriage; the stories are
various on the Why; some say his father told Miss Nichols that
his son was a very worthless young man; others, that the Earl
could not bring himself to make tolerable settlements; and a
third party say, that the Countess has blown up a quarrel in
order to have his son in her power, and at her mercy. Whatever
the cause was, this ingenious young man, who You know has made
my Lady Townshend his everlasting enemy, by repeating her
histories of Miss Chudleigh to that Miss, of all counsellors in
the world, picked out my Lady Townshend to consult on his
domestic grievances: she, with all the good-nature and charity
imaginable, immediately advised him to be disinherited. He
took her advice, left two dutiful letters for his parents, to
notify 'his disobedience, and went off last Friday night to
France. The Earl is so angry, that he could almost bring
himself to give Mr. Newport, and twenty other people, their
estates again. Good night--here is the Goth, Mr. Bentley,
wants to say a word to you.

"Dear Sir,
Wrote you a supernumerary letter on Saturday, but as I find you
have shifted your quarters since I heard from 'YOU, imagine it
may not have reached you yet. If you want to know what made me
so assiduous, it was to tell you Sir Danvers Osborn has kissed
hands for New York, that's all. I am sincerely yours.

"P.S. I wish you Would write to him mentioning me, that's

(387) At Brewern, in Oxfordshire.-E.

(388) Second son of the Marquis of Townshend.

167 Letter 78
To The Hon. H. S. Conway.
Strawberry Hill, May 24, 1753.

It is well you are married! How would my Lady Ailesbury have
liked to be asked in a parish church for three Sundays running?
I really believe she would have worn her weeds for ever, rather
than have passed through so impudent a ceremony! What do you
think? But you will want to know the interpretation of this
preamble. Why, there is a new bill, which, under the notion of
preventing clandestine marriages, has made such a general
rummage and reform in the office of matrimony that every
Strephon and Chloe, every dowager and her Hussey, will have as
many impediments and formalities to undergo as a treaty of
peace. Lord Bath invented this bill,(389) but had drawn it so
ill, that the Chancellor was forced to draw a new one, and then
grew so fond of his own creature, that he has crammed it down
the throats of both Houses-though they gave many a gulp before
they could swallow it. The Duke of Bedford attacked it first
with great spirit and mastery, but had little support, though
the Duke of Newcastle did not vote. The lawyers were all
ordered to purse it through our House: but except the poor
Attorney-general,(390) "Who is nurse indeed. to all intents and
purposes, and did amply gossip over it, not one of them said a
word. Nugent shone extremely in opposition to the bill, and,
though every now and then on the precipice of absurdity, kept
clear of it, with great humour and wit and argument, and was
unanswered-yet we were beat. Last Monday it came into the
committee: Charles Townshend acted a very good speech with
great cleverness, and drew a picture of his own story and his
father's tyranny, with at least as much parts as modesty. Mr.
Fox mumbled the Chancellor and his lawyers, and pinned the plan
of the bill upon a pamphlet he had found of Dr. Gally's,(391)
where the doctor, recommending the French scheme of matrimony,
says, "It was found that fathers were too apt to forgive." "The
Gospel, I thought," said Mr. Fox, "enjoined forgiveness; but
pious Dr. Gal] v thinks fathers are too apt to forgive." Mr.
Pelham, extremely in his opinion against the bill, and in his
inclination too, was forced to rivet it, and, without speaking
one word for it, taught the House how to vote for it; and it was
carried against the Chairman's leaving the chair by 165 to 84.
This Is all the news I know, or at least was all when I came out
of town; for I left the tinkering of the bill, and came hither
last Tuesday to my workmen. I flatter myself I shall get into
tolerable order to receive my Lady Ailesbury and you at your
return from Sligo, from whence I have received 'your letter, and
where I hope you have had my first. I say nothing of the exile
of the Parliament of Paris for I know no more than you will see
in the public papers; only, as we are going to choose a new
Parliament, we could not do better than choose the exiles: we
could scarce choose braver or honester men. I say as little of
Mademoiselle Murphy,(392) for I conclude you hear nothing but her
health drank in whiskey. Don't all the nailed Irish flatter
themselves with preferment, and claim relation with her? Miss
Chudleigh says, there is some sense in belonging to a king who
turns off an old mistress when he has got a new one.

Arlington Street, May 29.

I am Come to town for a day or two, and find that the
Marriage-bill has not only lasted till now-in the committee,
but has produced, or at least disclosed, extreme heats. Mr.
Fox and Mr. Pelham have had very high words on every clause,
and the former has renewed his attacks on the Chancellor under
the name of Dr. Gally. Yesterday on the nullity clause they
sat till half an hour after three in the morning, having just
then had a division On adjournment, which was rejected by the
ministry by above 80 to 70. The Speaker, who had spoken well
against the clause, was so misrepresented by the
Attorney-general, that there was danger of a skimmington
between the great wig and the coif, the former having given a
flat lie to the latter. Mr. Fox I am told, outdid himself for
spirit, and severity on the Chancellor and the lawyers. I say
I am told; for I was content with having been beat twice, and
did not attend. The heats between the two ministers were far
from cooling by the length of the debate. Adieu! You did
little expect in these times, and at this season, to have heard
such a parliamentary history! The bill is not near
finished;(393) Mr. Fox has declared he will dispute every inch
of ground. I hope he won't be banished to Pontoise.(394) I
shall write to you no more; so pray return. I hear most
favourable accounts of my Lady Ailesbury.

(389) The following is Tindal's account of the origin of this
bill: "The fatal consequences of clandestine marriages had been
long complained of in England, as rendering the succession to
all property insecure and doubtful. Every day produced
hearings of the most shocking kind in the court of Chancery,
and appeals in the House of Lords, concerning the validity of
such marriages; and sometimes the innocent offspring were cut
off from succession, though their parents had been married bona
fide, because of the irregularity of such marriage. On the
other hand, both women and men of the most infamous characters
had opportunities of ruining the sons and daughters of the
greatest families in England, by conveniences of marrying in
the Fleet, and other unlicensed places; and marrying was now
become as much a trade as any mechanical profession."-E.

(390 Sir Dudley Ryder.

(391) Dr. Henry Gally, one of the King's chaplains in ordinary.
Besides the pamphlet here spoken of, which was entitled "Some
Considerations upon Clandestine Marriages," he wrote a
"Dissertation on Pronouncing the Greek Language," and several
other works He died in 1769.-E.

(392) An Irishwoman who was, for a short time, mistress to
Louis XV.

(393) "The opposition to the bill was such that few clauses
remained unaltered; and Mr. Fox, holding it up in the House, as
Antony exposed the murdered body of Caesar, made a kind of a
parody of the speech in Shakespeare upon that occasion."

(394) The Parliament of Paris having espoused the clause of
religious liberty, and apprehended several priests who, by the
authority of the Archbishop of Paris and other prelates, had
refused the sacraments to those who would not subscribe to the
bull Unigunitus, were banished by Louis XV. to Pontoise.

169 Letter 79
To George Montagu, Esq.
Strawberry Hill, June 11, 1753.

You will think me very fickle, and that I have but a slight
regard to the castle I am building for my ancestors, when you
hear that I have been these last eight days in London amid dust
and stinks, instead of seringa, roses, battlements, and niches;
but you perhaps recollect that I have another Gothic passion,
which is for squabbles in the Wittenagemot.(395) I can't say
that the contests have run so high in either House as they have
sometimes done in former days, but this age has found out a new
method of parliamentary altercations. The Commons abuse the
Barons, and the Barons return it; in short, Mr. Fox attacked
the Chancellor violently on the Marriage-bill; and when it was
sent back to the Lords, the Chancellor made the most outrageous
invectives on Fox that ever was heard. But what offends still
more,--I don't mean offends Fox more,--was the Chancellor
describing the chief persons who had opposed his bill in the
Commons, and giving reason why he excused them. As the speaker
was in the number of the excused, the two maces are ready to
come to blows.(396) The town says Mr. Fox is to be dismissed,
but I can scarce think it will go so far.

My Lord Cornwallis is made an earl; Lord Bristol's sisters have
the rank of Earl's daughters; Damer is Lord Milton in Ireland,
and the new Lord Barnard is, I hear, to be Earl of Darlington.

Poor Lady Caroline Brand is dead of a rheumatic fever, and her
husband as miserable a man as ever he was a cheerful one: I
grieve much for her, and pity him; they were infinitely happy,
and lived in the most perfect friendship I ever saw.

You may be assured that I will pay you a visit some time this
summer, though not yet, as I cannot leave my workmen,
especially as we have a painter who paints the paper on the
staircase under Mr. Bentley's direction. The armoury bespeaks
the ancient chivalry of the lords of the castle; and I have
filled Mr. Bentley's Gothic lanthorn with painted glass, which
casts the most venerable gloom on the stairs that ever was seen
since the days of Abelard. The lanthorn itself, in which I
have stuck a coat of the Veres, is supposed to have come from
Castle Henningham. Lord and Lady Vere were here t'other day, and
called cousins with it, and would very readily have invited it to
Hanworth; but her Portuguese blood has so blackened the true
stream that I could not bring myself to offer so fair a gift to
their chapel.

I shall only tell you a bon-mot of Keith's, the
marriage-broker, and conclude. "G-d d-n the bishops!" said he,
(I beg Miss Montagu's pardon,) "so they will hinder my
marrying. Well, let 'em; but I'll be revenged! I'll buy two
or three acres of ground, and, by G-d! I'll underbury them
all!" Adieu!

(395) The name of the Saxon great council, the supposed origin
of parliaments.

(396) Among the Hardwicke papers there is a letter from Dr.
Birch to the Hon. Philip Yorke, giving an account of the
debate in the House of Lords. The following is an extract:--
"My Lord Chancellor expressed his surprise, that the bill
should have been styled out of doors an absurd, a cruel, a
scandalous, and a wicked one. With regard to his own share in
this torrent of abuse, as he was obliged to those who had so
honourably defended him, so,' said he, 'I despise the
invective, and I despise the retractation; I despise the
scurrility, and I reject the adulation.' Mr. Fox was not
present, but had soon an account of what had passed; for the
same evening, being at Vauxhall with some ladies, he broke from
them, and collecting a little circle of young members of
parliament and others, told them with great eagerness, that he
wished the session had continued a fortnight longer, for then
he would have made ample returns to the Lord Chancellor. The
Speaker talks of my Lord Chancellor's speech in the style of
Mr. Fox, as deserving of the notice of the Commons, if they had
not been prorogued."-E.

170 Letter 80
To Sir Horace Mann.
Strawberry Hill, June 12, 1753.

I could not rest any longer with the thought of your having no
idea of a place of which you hear so much, and therefore
desired Mr. Bentley to draw you as much idea of it as the post
would be persuaded to carry from Twickenham to Florence. The
enclosed enchanted little landscape, then, is Strawberry Hill;
and I will try to explain so much of it to you as will help to
let you know whereabouts we are when we are talking to you; for
it is uncomfortable in so intimate a correspondence as ours not
to be exactly master of every spot where one another is
writing, or reading, or sauntering. This view of the
castle(397) is what I have just finished, and is the only side
that will be at all regular. Directly before it is an open
grove, through which you see a field, which is bounded by a
serpentine wood of all kind of trees, and flowering shrubs, and
flowers! The lawn before the house is situated on the top of a
small hill, from whence to the left you see the town and church
of Twickenham encircling a turn of the river, that looks
exactly like a seaport in miniature. The opposite shore is a
most delicious meadow, bounded by Richmond Hill, which loses
itself in the noble woods of the park to the end of the
prospect on the right, where is another turn of the river, and
the suburbs of Kingston as luckily placed as Twickenham is on
the left; and a natural terrace on the brow of my hill, with
meadows of my own down to the river, commands both extremities.
Is not this a tolerable prospect? You must figure that all this
is perpetually enlivened by a navigation of boats and barges,
and by a road below my terrace, with coaches, post-chaises,
wagons, and horsemen constantly in motion, and the fields
speckled with cows, horses, and sheep. Now you shall walk into
the house. The bow-window below leads into a little parlour
hung with a stone-colour Gothic paper and Jackson's Venetian
prints, which I could never endure while they pretended,
infamous as they are, to be after Titian, etc., but when I gave
them this air of barbarous basreliefs, they succeeded to a
miracle: it is impossible at first sight not to conclude
that they contain the history of Attila or Tottila, done about
the very aera. From hence, under two gloomy arches, you come
to the hall and staircase, which it is impossible to describe
to you, as it is the most particular and chief beauty of the
castle. Imagine the walls covered with (I call it paper, but
it is really paper painted in perspective to represent) Gothic
fretwork: the lightest Gothic balustrade to the staircase,
adorned with antelopes (our supporters) bearing shields lean
windows fattened with rich saints in painted glass, and a
vestibule open with three arches on the landing-place, and
niches full of trophies of old coats of mail, Indian shields
made of rhinoceros's hides, broadswords, quivers, long bows,
arrows, and spears--all supposed to be taken by Mr Terry
Robsart(398) in the holy wars. But as none of' this regards
the enclosed drawing, I will pass to that. The room on the
ground-floor nearest to you is a bedchamber, hung with yellow
paper and prints, framed in a new manner, invented by Lord
Cardigan; that is, with black and white borders printed. Over
this is Mr. Chute's bedchamber, hung with red in the same
manner. The bow-window room one pair of stairs is not yet
finished; but in the tower beyond it is the charming closet
where I am now writing to you. It is hung with green paper and
water-colour pictures; has two windows; the one in the drawing
looks to the garden, the other to the beautiful prospect; and
the top of each glutted with the richest painted glass of the
arms of England, crimson roses, and twenty other pieces of
green, purple, and historic bits. I must tell you, by the way,
that the castle, when finished, will have two-and-thirty
windows enriched with painted glass. In this closet, which is
Mr. Chute's college of arms, are two presses with books of
heraldry and antiquities, Madame Sevign`e's Letters, and any
French books that relate to her and her acquaintance. Out of
this closet is the room where we always live, hung with a blue
and white paper in stripes adorned with festoons, and a
thousand plump chairs, couches, and luxurious settees covered
with linen of the same pattern, and with a bow-window
commanding the prospect, and gloomed with limes that shade half
each window, already darkened with painted glass in
chiaroscuro, set in deep blue glass. Under this room is a cool
little hall, where we generally dine, hung with paper to
imitate Dutch tiles.

I have described so much, that you will begin to think that all
the accounts I used to give you of the diminutiveness of our
habitation were fabulous; but it is really incredible how small
most of the rooms are. The Only two good chambers I shall have
are not yet built; they will be an eating-room and a library,
each twenty by thirty, and the latter fifteen feet high. For
the rest of the house, I could send it you in this letter as
easily as the drawing, only that I should have no where to live
till the return of the post. The Chinese summer-house which
you may distinguish in the distant landscape, belongs to my Lord
Radnor. We pique ourselves upon nothing but simplicity, and have
no carvings, gildings, paintings, inlayings, or tawdry

You will not be sorry, I believe,. by this time to have done
with Strawberry Hill, and to hear a little news. The end of a
very dreaming session has been extremely enlivened by an
accidental bill which has opened great quarrels, and those not
unlikely to be attended with interesting circumstances. A bill
to prevent clandestine marriages, so drawn by the Judges as to
clog all matrimony in general, was inadvertently espoused by
the Chancellor; and having been strongly attacked in the House
of Commons by Nugent, the Speaker, Mr. Fox, and others, the
last went very great lengths of severity on the whole body of
the law, and on its chieftain in particular-, which, however,
at the last reading, he softened and explained off extremely.
This did not ,appease; but on the return of the bill to the
House of Lords, where our amendments were to be read, the
Chancellor in the most personal terms harangued against Fox,
and concluded with saying that "he despised his scurrility as
much as his adulation and recantation." As Christian charity
is not one of the oaths taken by privy-counsellors, and as it
is not the most eminent virtue in either of the champions, this
quarrel is not likely to be soon reconciled. There are
natures(399) whose disposition it is to patch up political
breaches, but whether they will succeed, or try to succeed in
healing this, can I tell you?

The match for Lord Granville, which I announced to you, is not
concluded: his flames are cooled in that quarter as well as in

I begin a new sheet to you, which does not match with the
other, for I have no more of the same paper here. Dr. Cameron
is executed, and died with the greatest firmness. His parting
with his wife the night before was heroic and tender: he let
her stay till the last moment, when being aware that the gates
of the Tower would be locked, he told her so; she fell at his
feet in agonies: he said, "Madam, this was not what you
promised me," and embracing her, forced her to retire; then
with the same coolness, looked at the window till her coach was
out of sight, after which he turned about and wept. His only
concern seemed to be at the ignominy of Tyburn: he was not
disturbed at the dresser for his body, or at the fire to burn
his bowels.(400) The crowd was so great, that a friend who
attended him could not get away, but was forced to stay and
behold the execution: but what will you say to the minister or
priest who accompanied him? The wretch, after taking leave,
went into a landau, where, not content with seeing the Doctor
hanged, he let down the top of the landau for the better
convenience of seeing him embowelled! I cannot tell you
positively that what I hinted of this Cameron being commissioned
from Prussia was true, but so it is believed. Adieu! my dear
child; I think this is a very tolerable letter for summer!

(397) It was a view of the south side towards the northeast.

(398) An ancestor of Sir Robert Walpole, who was knight of the

(399) An allusion to Mr. Pelham.

(400) "The populace," says Smollet, though not very subject to
tender emotions, were moved to compassion, and even to tears,
by his behaviour at the place of execution; and many sincere
well-wishers to the present establishment thought that the
sacrifice of this victim, at such a juncture, could not redound
either to its honour or security."-E.

173 Letter 81
To George Montagu, Esq.
Strawberry Hill, July 17, 1753.

Dear sir,
You are so kind, that I am peevish with myself for not being
able to fix a positive day for being with you; as near as I can
guess, it will be some of the very first days of the next
month: I am engaged to go with Lady Ailesbury and Mr. Conway to
Stowe, the 28th of this month, if some little business which I
have here does not prevent me; and from thence I propose to
meet Mr. Chute at Greatworth. If this should at all interfere
with your schemes, tell me so; especially, I must beg that you
would not so far depend on me as to stay one minute from doing
any thing else you like, because it is quite impossible for me
to be sure that I can execute just at the time I propose such
agreeable projects. Meeting Mrs. Trevor will be a principal
part of my pleasure; but the summer shall certainly not pass
without my seeing you.

You will, I am sure, be concerned to hear that your favourite,
Miss Brown, the pretty Catholic, who lived with Madame
d'Acunha, is dead at Paris, by the ignorance of the physician.
Tom Harvey, who always obliges the town with a quarrel in a
dead season, has published a delightful letter to Sir William
Bunbury,(401) full of madness and wit. He had given the Doctor
a precedent for a clergyman's fighting a duel, and I furnished
him with another story of the same kind, that diverted him
extremely. A Dr. Suckling, who married a niece of my father,
quarrelled with a country squire, who said, "Doctor, your gown
is your protection." "Is it so?" replied the parson; "but, by
God! it shall not be yours;" pulled it off, and thrashed him--I
was going to say damnably, at least, divinely. Do but think,
my Lord Coke and Tom Harvey are both bound to the peace, and
are always going to fight together: how comfortable for their

My Lord Pomfret is dead; George Selwyn says, that my Lord
Ashburnham(402) is not more glad to get into the parks than
Lord Falkland is to get out of them. You know he was forced to
live in a privileged place.

Jack Hill(403) is dead too, and has dropped about a hundred
legacies; a thousand pound to the Dowager of Rockingham; as
much, with all his plate and china, to her sister Bel. I don't
find that my uncle has got so much as a case of knives and forks,
he always paid great court, but Mary Magdalen, my aunt, undid all
by scolding the man, and her spouse durst not take his part.

Lady Anne Paulett's daughter is eloped with a country
clergyman. The Duchess of Argyle Harangues against the
Marriage-bill not taking place immediately, and is persuaded
that all the girls will go off before next lady-day.

Before I finish, I must describe to you the manner in which I
overtook Monsieur le Duc de Mirepoix t'other day, who lives at
Lord Dunkeron's house at Turnham-green. It was seven o'clock
in the evening of one of the hottest and most dusty days of
this summer. He was walking slowly in the beau milieu of
Brentford town, without any company, but with a brown lap-dog
with long ears, two pointers, two pages, three footmen, and a
vis-a-vis following him. By the best accounts I can get, he
must have been to survey the ground of the battle of Brentford,
which I hear he has much studied, and harangues upon.

Adieu! I enclose a World' to you, which, by a story I shall
tell you, I find is called mine. I met Mrs. Clive two nights
ago, and told her I had been in the meadows, but would walk no
more there, for there was all the world. "Well," says she, "and
don't you like the World!(404) I hear it was very clever last
Thursday." All I know is, that you will meet with some of your
acquaintance there. Good night, with my compliments to Miss

(401) The Rev. Sir William Bunbury, father of Sir Charles, and
of Henry, the celebrated caricaturist.-E.

(402) Lord Ashburnham succeeded Lord Pomfret as ranger of St.
James's and Hyde Parks.

(403) Member for Higham Ferrers.

(404) No. 28, entitled " Old women most proper objects for
love." Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, in a letter to her daughter,
says, "Send me no translations, no periodical papers; though I
confess some of The World' entertained me very much,
particularly Lord Chesterfield and Horry Walpole; but whenever
I met Dodsley, I wished him out of the World with all my heart.
The title was a very lucky one, being, as you see, productive
of puns world without end; which is all the species of wit some
people can either practise or understand."-E.

174 Letter 82
To Sir Horace Mann.
Strawberry Hill, July 21, 1753.

Though I have long had a letter of yours unanswered, yet I
verily think it would have remained so a little longer, if the
pretty altar-tomb which you have sent me had not roused my
Gratitude. It arrived here--I mean the tomb, not my
gratitude--yesterday, and this morning churchyarded itself in
the corner of my wood, where I hope it will remain till some
future virtuoso shall dig it up, and publish 'it in " A
Collection of Roman Antiquities in Britain. It is the very
thing I wanted: how could you, my dear Sir, take such exact
measure of my idea? By the way, you have never told me the
price; don't neglect it, that I nay pay your brother.

I told you how ill disposed I was to write to you, and you must
know without my telling you that the only reason of that could
be my not knowing a tittle worth mentioning; nay, not a tittle,
worth or not. All England is gone over all England
electioneering: the spirit is as great now they are all on one
side, as when parties ran the highest. You judge how little I
trouble myself about all this; especially when the question is
not who shall be in the ministry, only who shall be in the

I am almost inclined not to say a word to your last letter,
because if I begin to answer it, it must be by scolding you for
making SO serious an affair of leaving off snuff; one would
think you was to quit a vice, not a trick. Consider, child,
you are in Italy, not in England: here you would be very
fashionable by having so many nerves, and you might have
doctors and waters for every One Of them, from Dr. Mead to Dr.
Thompson, and from Bath to the iron pear-tree water. I should
sooner have expected to hear that good Dr. Cocchi(405) was in
the Inquisition than in prescribing to a
snuff-twitter-nerve-fever! You say people tell you that
leaving off snuff all at once may be attended with bad
consequences--I can't conceive what bad consequences, but to
the snuff-shop, who, I conclude by your lamentations, must have
sold you tolerable quantities; and I know what effects any
diversion of money has upon the tobacco-trade in Tuscany. I
forget how much it was that the duty sank at Florence in a
fortnight after the erection of the first lottery, by the poor
people abridging themselves of snuff to buy tickets; but I
think I have said enough, considering I don't intend to scold.

Thank you for your civilities to Mr. Stephens; not at all for
those to Mr. Perry,(406) who has availed himself of the
partiality which he found you had for me, and passed Upon you
for my friend. I never spoke one word to him in my life, but
when he went out of his own dressing-room at Penshurst that Mr.
Chute and I might see it, and then I said, "Sir, I hope we
don't disturb you;" he grunted something, and walked away--la
belle amiti`e!--yet, my dear child, I thank you, who receive
bad money when it is called My coin. I Wish YOU had liked my
Lady Rochford's beauty more: I intended it should return well
preserved: I grow old enough to be piqued for the charms of my

Lord Pomfret(407) is dead, not a thousand pound in debt. The
Countess has two thousand a-year rent-charge for jointure, five
hundred as lady of the bedchamber to the late Queen, and
fourteen thousand pounds in money, in her own power, just
recovered by a lawsuit-what a fund for follies! The new Earl
has about two thousand four hundred pounds a-year in present
but deep debts and post-obits. He has not put on mourning, but
robes; that is, in the middle of this very hot summer, he has
produced himself in a suit of crimson velvet, that he may be
sure of not being mistaken for being in weepers. There are
rents worth ten thousand pounds left to little Lady Sophia
Carteret,(408) and the whole personal estate between the two
unmarried daughters;(409) so the seat(410) must be stripped.
There are a few fine small pictures, and one(411) very curious
One of Henry VII. and his Queen, with Cardinal Morton, and, I
think, the Abbot of Westminster. Strawberry casts a Gothic eye
upon this, but I fear it will pass our revenues. The
statues,(412) which were part of the Arundel collection, are
famous, but few good. The Cicero is fine and celebrated: the
Marius I think still finer. The rest are Scipios,
Cincinnatus's and the Lord knows who, which have lost more of
their little value than of their false pretensions by living
out of doors; and there is a green-house full of colossal
fragments. Adieu! Have you received the description and
portrait of my castle?

(405) he was a very free thinker, and suspected by the

(406) He married one of the coheiresses of the Sidneys, Earls
of Leicester.

(407) Thomas Fermor, first Earl of Pomfret, so created in 1721.
He had ben master of the horse to Queen Caroline, and ranger of
St. James's Park-D.

(408) Daughter of John, Earl of Granville, by his second wife,
eldest daughter of Thomas Fermor, Earl of Pomfret. (Afterwards
married to William Petty, Earl of Shelburne and Marquis of

(409) Lady Louisa and Lady Anne; the latter was afterwards
married to Mr. Dawson.

(410) Easton Neston, in Northamptonshire.

(411) It is the marriage of Henry VII. and Elizabeth of York.
The two other figures are probably St. Thomas and the Bishop of
linola, the Pope's nuncio, who pronounced the nuptial
benediction. This curious picture was purchased by Lady
Pomfret for two hundred pounds. The Earl of Oxford offered her
five hundred pounds for it: Mr. Walpole bought it at Lord
Pomfret's sale for eighty-four guineas, and it is now at
Strawberry Hill.

(412) Lady Pomfret bought the statues, after her lord's death,
and presented them to the University of Oxford.

176 Letter 83
To John Chute, Esq.
Stowe, Aug. 4, 1753

My dear Sir,
You would deserve to be scolded, if you had not lost almost as
much pleasure as you have disappointed me of.(413) Whether
George Montagu will be so content With your commuting
punishments, I don't know: I should think not; he "cried and
roared all night"(414) when I delivered your excuse. He is
extremely well-housed, after having roamed like a Tartar about
the country with his whole personal estate at his heels. .
There is an extensive view, which is called pretty: but
Northamptonshire is no county to please me. What entertained
me was, that he who in London -,vas grown an absolute recluse,
is over head and ears in neighbours, and as popular as if he
intended to stand for the county, instead of having given up
the town. The very first morning after my arrival, as we were
getting into the chaise to go to Wroxton, they notified a Sir
Harry Danvers, a young squire, booted and spurred, and
buckskin-breeche'd. "Will you drink any chocolate?" "No; a
little wine and water, if you please."--I suspected nothing but
that he had rode till he was dry. "Nicol`o, some wine and
water." He desired the water might be warm--I began to stare;
Montagu understood the dialect, and ordered a negus. I had
great difficulty to keep my countenance, and still more when I
saw the baronet finish a very large jug indeed. To be sure, he
wondered as much at me e who did not finish a jug; and I could
not help reflecting, that living always in the world makes one
as unfit for living out of it, as always living out of it does
for living in it. Knightley, the knight of the shire, has been
entertaining all the parishes round with a turtle-feast, which,
so far from succeeding, has almost made him suspected for a
Jeu,, as the country parsons have not yet learned to wade into
green fat.

The roads are very bad to Greatworth; and such numbers of
gates, that if one loved punning one should call it the
Gate-house. - The proprietor had a wonderful invention: the
chimneys, which are of stone, have niches and benches in them,
where the man used to sit and smoke. I had twenty disasters,
according to custom; lost my way, and had my French boy almost
killed by a fall with his horse: but I have been much pleased.
When I was at Park-place I went to see Sir H.
Englefield's,(415) which Mr. Churchill and Lady Mary prefer,
but I think very undeservedly, to Mr. Southcote's. It is not
above a quarter as extensive, and wants the river. There is a
pretty view of Reading seen under a rude arch, and the water is
well disposed. The buildings are very insignificant, and the
house far from good. The town of Henley has been extremely
disturbed with an engagement between the ghosts of Miss Blandy
and her father, which continued so violent, that some bold
persons, to prevent farther blood-shed, broke in, and found it
was two jackasses which had got into the kitchen.

I felt strangely tempted to stay at Oxford and survey it at my
leisure; but as I was alone, I had not courage. I passed by
Sir James Dashwood'S,(416) a vast new house, situated so high
that it seems to stand for the county as well as himself. I
did look over Lord Jersey's(417) which was built for a
hunting-box, and is still little better. But now I am going to
tell you how delightful a day I passed at Wroxton. Lord
Guildford has made George Montagu so absolutely viceroy over
it, that we saw it more agreeable than you can conceive; roamed
over the whole house, found every door open, saw not a
creature, had an extreme good dinner, wine, fruit, coffee and
tea in the library, were served by fairies, tumbled over the
books, said one or two talismanic words, and the cascade
played, and went home loaded with pine-apples and flowers.--You
will take me for Monsieur de CoulangeS,(418) I describe
eatables so feelingly; but the manner in which we were served
made the whole delicious. The house was built by a Lord Downe
in the reign of James the First; and though there is a fine
hall and a vast dining-room below, and as large a drawing-room
above, it is neither good nor agreeable; one end of the front
was never finished, and might have a good apartment. The
library is added by this Lord, and is a pleasant chamber.
Except loads of portraits, there is no tolerable furniture. A
whole-length of the first Earl of Downe is in the Bath-robes,
and has a coif under the hat and feather. There is a charming
picture of Prince Henry about twelve years old, drawing his
sword to kill a stag, with a Lord Harrington; a good portrait
of Sir Owen Hopton,(419) 1390; your pious grandmother, my Lady
Dacre, which I think like you; some good Cornelius Johnsons; a
Lord North, by Riley, good; and an extreme fine portrait by him
of the Lord Keeper: I have never seen but few of the hand, but
most of them have been equal to Lely and the best of Sir
Godfrey. There is too a curious portrait of Sir Thomas Pope,
the founder of Trinity College, Oxford, said to be by Holbein.
The chapel is new, but in a pretty Gothic taste, with a very
long window of painted glass, very tolerable. The frieze is
pendent, just in the manner I propose for the eating-room at
Strawberry Hill. Except one scene, which is indeed noble, I
cannot much commend the without-doors. This scene consists of
a beautiful lake entirely shut in with wood: the head falls
into a fine cascade, and that into a serpentine river, over
which is a little Gothic seat like a round temple, lifted up by
a shaggy mount. On an eminence in the park is an obelisk
erected to the honour and at the expense of "optimus" and 1,
munificentissimus" the late Prince of Wales, "in loci
amoenitatem et memoriam advent`us ejus." There are several
paltry Chinese buildings and bridges, which have the merit or
demerit of being the progenitors of a very numerous race all
over the kingdom: at least they were of the very first. In the
church is a beautiful tomb of an Earl and Countess of Downe,
and the tower is in a good plain Gothic style, ind was once,
they tell you, still more beautiful; but Mr. Miller, who
designed it, unluckily once in his life happened to think
rather of beauty than of the water-tables, and so it fell down
the first winter.

On Wednesday morning we went to see a sweet little chapel at
Steane, built in 1620 by Sir Thomas Crewe, Speaker in the time
of the first James and Charles. Here are remains of the
mansion-house, but quite in ruins: the chapel is kept up by my
Lord Arran, the last of the race. There are seven or eight
monuments. On one is this epitaph, which I thought pretty

"Conjux, casta parens felix, matrona pudica;
Sara viro, mundo Martha, Maria Deo."

On another is the most affected inscription I ever saw, written
by two brothers on their sister: they say, "This agreeable
mortal translated her into immortality such a day:" but I could
not help laughing at one quaint expression, to which time has
given a droll sense: "She was a constant lover of the best."

I have been here these two days, extremely amused and charmed
indeed. Wherever you stand you see an Albano landscape. Half
as many buildings I believe would be too many, but such a
profusion gives inexpressible richness. You may imagine I have
some private reflections entertaining enough, not very
communicable to the company: the Temple of Friendship, in
which, among twenty memorandums of quarrels, is the bust of Mr.
Pitt: Mr. James Grenville is now in the house, whom his uncle
disinherited for his attachment to that very Pylades, Mr. Pitt.
He broke with Mr. Pope, who is deified in the Elysian fields,
before the inscription for his head was finished. That of Sir
John Barnard, which was bespoke by the name of a bust of my
Lord Mayor, was by a mistake of the sculptor done for Alderman
Perry. The statue of the King, and that "honori, laudi,
virtuti divae Carolinae," make one smile, when one sees the
ceiling where Britannia rejects and hides the reign of King * *
* * But I have no patience at building and planting a satire!
Such is the temple of modern virtue in ruins! The Grecian
temple is glorious: this I openly worship: in the heretical
corner of my heart I adore the Gothic building, which by some
unusual inspiration Gibbs had made pure and beautiful and
venerable. The style has a propensity to the Venetian or
mosque Gothic, and the great column near it makes the whole put
one in mind of the Place of St. Mark. The windows are
throughout consecrated with painted glass; most of it from the
priory at Warwick, a present from that foolish Greathead, who
quarrelled with me (because his father was a gardener) for
asking him if Lord Brook had planted much--Apropos to painted
glass. I forgot to tell you of a sweet house which Mr. Montagu
carried me to see, belonging to a Mr. Holman, a Catholic, and
called Warkworth. The situation is pretty, the front charming,
composed of two round and two square towers. The court within
is incomplete on one side; but above stairs is a vast gallery
with four bow-windows and twelve other large ones, all filled
with the arms of the old peers of England, with all their
quarterings entire. You don't deserve, after deserting me,
that I should tempt you to such a sight; but this alone is
worth while to carry you to Greatworth.

Adieu, my dear Sir! I return to Strawberry to-morrow, and
forgive you enough not to deprive myself of the satisfaction of
seeing you there whenever you have nothing else to do.

(413) In not accompanying Mr. Walpole on a visit to Mr. George
Montagu at Greatworth.

(414) A phrase of Mr. Montagu's.

(415) Whiteknights.

(416) At High Wycombe.

(417) Middleton.

(418) The cousin and friend of Madame de S`evign`e, and
frequently mentioned in her letters.-E.

(419) Lieutenant of the Tower. His daughter was the wife of
the first Earl of Downe.-E.

179 Letter 84
To George Montagu, Esq.
Strawberry Hill, Aug. 16, 1753.

Don't you suspect, that I have not only forgot the pleasure I
had at Greatworth and Wroxton,(420) but the commissions you
gave me too? It looks a little ungrateful not to have vented a
word of thanks; but I stayed to write till I could send you the
things, and when I had them, I stayed to send them by Mr.
Chute, who tells you by to-night's post when he will bring
them. The butter-plate is not exactly what You ordered, but I
flatter myself you will like it as well. There are a few
seeds; more shall follow at the end of the autumn. Besides Tom
Harvey's letter, I have sent you maps of Oxfordshire and
Northamptonshire, having felt the want of them when I was with
you. I found the road to Stowe above twelve miles, very bad,
and it took me up two hours and a half: but the formidable idea
I conceived of the breakfast and way of life there by no means
answered. You was a prophet; it was very agreeable. I am
ashamed to tell you that I laughed half an hour yesterday at
the sudden death of your new friend Sir Harry Danvers,(421)
"after a morning's airing," the news call it; I suspect it was
after a negus. I found my garden brown and bare, but these
rains have recovered the green. You may get your pond ready as
soon as you please; the gold fish swarm: Mr. Bentley carried a
dozen to town t'other day in a decanter. You would be
entertained with our fishing; instead of nets, and rods and
lines, and worms, we use nothing but a pail and a basin and a
tea-strainer, which I persuade my neighbours is the Chinese
method. Adieu! My best compliments to Miss Montagu.

P. S. Since writing my letter, I have received your twin
dispatches. I am extremely sensible of the honour my Lord
Guildford does me, and beg you to transmit my gratitude to him:
if he is ever at Wroxton when I visit Greatworth, I shall
certainly wait upon him, and think myself happy in seeing that
charming place again. As soon as I go to town, I shall send
for Moreland, and barbour your wardrobe with great pleasure. I
find I must beg your pardon for laughing in the former part of
my letter about your baronet's death; but his "wine and water a
little warm" had left such a ridiculous effect upon me, that
even his death could not efface it. Good night! Mr. Miller
told me at Stowe, that the chimney-piece (I think from Steane)
was he believed at Banbury, but he did not know exactly. If it
lies in your way to inquire, on so vague a direction, will you?
Mr. Chute may bring me a sketch of it.

(420) The seat of Lord Guilford.

(421) Of Culworth, in Oxfordshire. He died at the age of

180 Letter 85
To Richard Bentley, Esq.
Arlington Street, September, 1753.

My dear Sir,
I am going to send you another volume of my travels; I don't
know whether I shall not, at last, write a new Camden's
Britannia; but lest you should be afraid of my itinerary, I
will at least promise you that it shall not be quite so dry as
most surveys, which contain nothing but lists of impropriations
and glebes, and carucates, and transcripts out of Domesday, and
tell one nothing that is entertaining, describe no houses nor
parks, mention no curious pictures, but are fully satisfied if
they inform you that they believe that some nameless old tomb
belonged to a knight-templar, or one of the crusado, because he
lies cross-legged. Another promise I will make you is, that my
love of abbeys shall not make me hate the Reformation till that
makes me grow a Jacobite, like the rest of my antiquarian
predecessors; of whom, Dart in particular wrote Billingsgate
against Cromwell and the regicides: and Sir Robert Atkins
concludes his summary of the Stuarts with saying, "that it is
no reason, because they have been so, that this family should
always continue unfortunate."

I have made my visit at Hagley,(422) as I intended. On my way
I dined at Park-place, and lay at Oxford. As I was quite
alone, I did not care to see any thing; but as soon as it was
dark I ventured out, and the moon rose as I was wandering among
the colleges, and gave me a charming venerable Gothic scene,
which was not lessened by the monkish appearance of the old
fellows stealing to their pleasures. Birmingham is large, and
swarms with people and trade, but did not answer my expectation
from any beauty in it: yet, new as it is, I perceived how far I
was got back from the London hegira; for every alehouse is here
written mug-house, a name one has not heard of since the riots
in the late King's time.

As I got into Worcestershire, I opened upon a landscape of
country which I prefer even to Kent, which I had reckoned the
most beautiful county in England: but this, with all the
richness of Kent, is bounded with mountains. Sir George
Lyttelton's house is immeasurably bad and old; one room at the
top of the house, which was reckoned a conceit in those days,
projects a vast way into the air. There are two or three
curious pictures, and some of them extremely agreeable to me
for their relation to Grammont: there is le s`erieux
Lyttelton,(423) but too old for the date of that book;
Mademoiselle Stuart,(424) Lord Brounker, and Lady
Southesk;(425) besides, a portrait of Lord Clifford the
treasurer(426) with his staff, but drawn in armour (though no
soldier) out of flattery to Charles the Second, as he said the
most glorious part of his life was attending the King at the
battle of Worcester. He might have said, that it was as
glorious as any part of his Majesty's life. You might draw,
but I can't describe, the enchanting scenes of the park: it is
a hill of three miles, but broke into all manner of beauty;
such lawns, such wood, rills, cascades, and a thickness of
verdure quite to the summit of the hill, and commanding such a
vale of towns, and meadows, and woods extending quite to the
Black Mountain in Wales, that I quite forgot my favourite
Thames! Indeed, I prefer nothing to Hagley but Mount Edgecombe.
There is extreme taste in the park - the seats are not the
best, but there is not one absurdity. There is a ruined
castle, built by Miller, that would get him his freedom even of
Strawberry: it has the true rust of the barons' wars. Then
there is a scene of a small lake, with cascades falling down
such a Parnassus 1 with a circular temple on the distant
eminence; and there is such a fairy dale, with more cascades
gushing out of rocks! and there- is a hermitage, so exactly
like those in Sadeler's prints, on the brow of a shady
mountain, stealing peeps into the glorious world below; and
there is such a pretty well under a wood, like the Samaritan
woman's in a picture of Nicol`o Poussin! and there is such a
wood without the park, enjoying such a prospect! and there is
such a mountain on t'other side of the park commanding all
prospects, that I wore out my eyes with gazing, my feet with
climbing, and my tongue and my vocabulary with commending! The
best notion I can give you of the satisfaction I showed, was,
that Sir George proposed to carry me to dine with my Lord
Foley; and when I showed reluctance, he said, "Why, I thought
you did not mind any strangers, if you were to see any thing!"
Think of my not minding strangers! I mind them so much, that I
missed seeing Hartlebury Castle, and the Bishop of Worcester's
chapel of painted glass there, because it was his public day
when I passed by his park.-Miller has built a Gothic house in
the village at Hagley for a relation of Sir George: but there
he is not more than Miller; in his castle he is almost Bentley.
There is a genteel tomb in the church to Sir George's first
wife,(427) with a Cupid and a pretty urn in the Roman style.

You will be diverted with my distresses at Worcester. I set
out boldly to walk down the high-street to the cathedral: I
found it much more peopled than I intended, and, when I was
quite embarked, discovered myself up to the ears in a contested
election. A new candidate had arrived the night before, and
turned all their heads. Nothing comforted me, but that the
opposition is to Mr. Trevis; and I purchased my passage very
willingly with crying "No Trevis! No Jews!" However, the inn
where I lay was Jerusalem itself, the very head-quarters where
Trevis the Pharisee was expected; and I had scarce got into my
room, before the victorious mob of his enemy, who had routed
his advanced guard, broke open the gates of our inn, and almost
murdered the ostler-and then carried him off to prison for
being murdered. The cathedral is pretty, and has several
tombs, and clusters of light pillars of Derbyshire marble,
lately cleaned. Gothicism and the restoration of that
architecture, and not of the bastard breed, spreads extremely
in this part of the world. Prince Arthur's tomb, from whence
we took the paper for the hall and staircase, to my great
surprise. is on a less scale than the paper, and is not of
brass but stone, and that wretchedly whitewashed. The niches
are very small, and the long slips in the middle are divided
every now and then with the trefoil. There is a fine tomb for
Bishop Hough, in the Westminster Abbey style; but the obelisk
at the back is not loaded with a globe and a human figure, like
Mr. Kent's design for Sir Isatc Newton; an absurdity which
nothing but himself could surpass, when he placed three busts
at the foot of an altar-and, not content with that, placed them
at the very angles--where they have as little to do as they
have with Shakspeare.

>From Worcester I went to see Malvern Abbey. It is situated
half way up an immense mountain of that name: the mountain is
very long, in shape like the prints of a whale's back: towards
the larger end lies the town. Nothing remains but a beautiful
gateway and a church, which is very large: every window has
been glutted with painted glass, of which much remains, but it
did not answer; blue and red there is in abundance, and good
faces; but the portraits are so high, I could not distinguish
them. Besides, the woman who showed me the church would pester
me with Christ and King David, when I was hunting for John of
Gaunt and King Edward. The greatest curiosity, at least what I
had never seen before, was, the whole floor and far up the
sides of the church has been, if I may call it so, wainscoted
with red and yellow tiles, extremely polished, and diversified
with coats of arms, and inscriptions, and mosaic. I have since
found the same at Gloucester, and have even been so fortunate
as to purchase from the sexton about a dozen, which think what
an acquisition for Strawberry! They are made of the natural
earth of the country, which is a rich red clay, that produces
every thing. All the lanes are full of all kind of trees, and
enriched with large old apple-trees, that hang over from one
hedge to another. Worcester city is large and pretty.
Gloucester city is still better situated, but worse built, and
not near so large. About a mile from Worcester you break upon
a sweet view of the Severn. A little farther on the banks is
Mr. Lechmere's house; but he has given strict charge to a troop
of willows never to let him see the river: to his right hand
extends the fairest meadow covered with cattle that ever you
saw - at the end of it is the town of Upton, with a church half
ruined and a bridge of six arches, which I believe with little
trouble he might see from his garden.

The vale increases in riches to Gloucester. I stayed two days
at George Selwyn's house called Matson, which lies on Robin
Hood's Hill: it is lofty enough for an Alp, yet is a mountain
of turf to the very top, has wood scattered all over it,
springs that long to be cascades in twenty places of it: and
from the summit it beats even Sir George Lyttelton's views, by
having the city of Gloucester at its foot, and the Severn
widening to the horizon. His house is small, but neat. King
Charles lay here at the siege; and the Duke of York, with
typical fury, hacked and hewed the window-shutters of his
chamber, as a memorandum of his being there. Here is a good
picture, of Dudley Earl of Leicester in his latter age, which
he gave to Sir Francis Walsingham, at whose house in Kent it
remained till removed hither; and what makes it very curious,
is, his age marked on it, fifty-four in 1572. I had never been
able to discover before in what year he was born. And here is
the very flower-pot and counterfeit association, for which
Bishop Sprat was taken up, and the Duke of Marlborough sent to
the tower. The reservoirs on the hill supply the city. The
late Mr. Selwyn governed the borough by them-and I believe by
some wine too. The Bishop's house is pretty, and restored to
the Gothic by the late Bishop. Price has painted a large
chapel-window for him, which is scarce inferior for colours,
and is a much better picture than any of the old glass. The
eating-room is handsome. As I am a Protestant Goth, I was glad
to worship Bishop Hooper's room, from whence he was led to the
stake: but I could almost have been a Hun, and set fire to the
front of the house, which is a small pert portico, like the
conveniences at the end of a London garden. The outside of the
cathedral is beautifully light; the pillars in the nave
outrageously plump and heavy. There is a tomb of one Abraham
Blackleach, a great curiosity; for, though the figures of him
and his wife are cumbent, they are very graceful, designed by
Vandyck, and well executed. Kent designed the screen; but knew
no more there than he did any where else how to enter into the
true Gothic taste. Sir Christopher Wren, who built the tower
of the great gateway at Christ Church, has catched the graces
of it as happily as you could do: there is particularly a niche
between two compartments of' a window, that is a masterpiece.

But here is a modernity, which beats all antiquities for
curiosity: just by the high altar is a small pew hung with
green damask, with curtains of the same; a small corner
cupboard, painted, carved, and gilt, for books, in one corner,
and two troughs of a bird-cage, with seeds and water. If any
mayoress on earth was small enough to enclose herself in this
tabernacle, or abstemious enough to feed on rape and canary, I
should have sworn that it was the shrine of the queen of the
aldermen. It belongs to a Mrs. Cotton, who, having lost a
favourite daughter, is convinced her soul is transmigrated into
a robin-redbreast; for which reason she passes her life in
making an aviary of the cathedral of Gloucester. The chapter
indulge this whim, as she contributes abundantly to glaze,
whitewash, and ornament the church.

King Edward the Second's tomb is very light and in good repair.
The old wooden figure of Robert, the Conqueror's unfortunate
eldest son, is extremely genteel, and, though it may not be so
ancient as his death, is in a taste very superior to any thing
of much later ages. Our Lady's Chapel has a bold kind of
portal, and several ceilings of chapels, and tribunes in a
beautiful taste: but of all delight, is what they call the
abbot's cloister. It is the very thing that you would build,
when you had extracted all the quintessence of trefoils,
arches, and lightness. In the church is a star-window of eight
points, that is prettier than our rose-windows.

A little way from the town are the ruins of Lantony Priory:
there remains a pretty old gateway, which G. Selwyn has begged,
to erect on the top of his mountain, and it will have a
charming effect.

At Burford I saw the house of Mr. Lenthal the descendant of the
Speaker. The front is good and a chapel connected by two or
three arches, which let the garden appear through, has a pretty
effect; but the inside of the mansion is bad and ill-furnished.
Except a famous picture of Sir Thomas More's family, the
portraits are rubbish, though celebrated. I am told that the
Speaker, who really had a fine collection, made his peace by
presenting them to Cornbury, where they were well known, till
the Duke of Marlborough bought that seat.

I can't go and describe so known a place as Oxford, which I saw
pretty well on my return. The whole air of the town charms me;
and what remains of the true Gothic un-Gibbs'd, and the
profusion of painted glass, were entertainment enough to me.
In the picture-gallery are quantities of portraits; but in
general they are not only not so much as copies, but proxies-so
totally unlike they arc to the persons they pretend to
represent. All I will tell you more of Oxford is, that Fashion
has so far prevailed over her collegiate sister, Custom, that
they have altered the hour of dinner from twelve to one. Does
not it put one in mind of reformations in religion? One don't
abolish Mahommedism; one only brings it back to where the
impostor himself left it. I think it is at the
South-Sea-house, where they have been forced to alter the hour
of payment, instead of from ten to twelve, to from twelve to
two; so much do even moneyed citizens sail with the current of

Was not I talking of religious sects? Methodism is quite
decayed in Oxford, its cradle. In its stead, there prevails a
delightful fantastic system, called the sect of the
Hutchinsonians,(429) of whom one seldom hears any thing in
town. After much inquiry, all I can discover is, that their
religion consists in driving Hebrew to its fountain-head, till
they find some word or other in every text of the Old
Testament, which may seem figurative of something in the New,
or at least of something, that may happen God knows when, in
consequence of the New. As their doctrine is novel, and
requires much study, or at least much invention, one should
think that they could not have settled half the canon of what
they are to believe-and yet they go on zealously, trying to
make and succeeding in making converts.(429) I could not help
smiling at the thoughts of etymological salvation; and I am
sure you will smile when I tell you, that according to their
gravest doctors, "Soap Is an excellent type of Jesus Christ,
and the York-buildings waterworks of the Trinity."--I don't
know whether this is not as entertaining as the passion of the
Moravians for the "little side-hole!" Adieu, my dear sir!

(422) The seat of Sir George, afterwards Lord Lyttelton.-E.

(423) Sir Charles Lyttelton, distinguished in the M`emoires de
Grammont as "le s`erieux Lyttelton." He died in 1716, at the
age of eighty-six.-E.

(424) The beautiful Frances Stuart, who married Esme, Duke of
Richmond; which greatly displeased Charles the Second, who was
in love with her.

(425) Anne, daughter of William, second Duke of Hamilton, and
wife of Robert, third Earl of Southesk.-E.

(426) Sir Thomas Clifford, created Lord Clifford of Chudleigh.
He was one of "The Cabal."-E.

(427) Lucy, daughter of Hugh Fortescue, Esq. of Filleigh; upon
whose death, in 1746-7, Lord Lyttelton wrote his Celebrated

(428) John Hutchinson, the founder of this sect, was born in
1674, and died in 1737, leaving a number of works on the Hebrew
language, which were collected in 1748, in twelve volumes
octavo. He imagined all knowledge to be contained in the
Hebrew Scriptures, and, rejecting the points, he gave a
fanciful meaning to every one of the Hebrew letters. He
possessed great mechanical skill, and invented a chronometer
for the discovery of the longitude, which was much approved by
Sir Isaac Newton.-E.

(429) Among his followers were the amiable Dr. Horne, Bishop of
Norwich, who published
an "Abstract" of his writings, and Parkhurst, the author of the
Hebrew Lexicon.-E.

186 Letter 86
To Sir Horace Mann.
Strawberry Hill, Oct. 6, 1753.

I fear the letter of July 21st, which you tell me you have
received, was the last I wrote. I will make no more excuses
for my silence; I think they take up half my letters. The time
of year must be full excuse; and this autumn is so dead a time,
that people even don't die.

You have puzzled me extremely by a paragraph in yours about one
Wilton, a sculptor, who, you say, is mentioned with encomiums
one of the Worlds:(430) I recollected no such thing. The first
parcel your brother sends you shall convey the other numbers of
that paper, and I will mark all the names I know of the
authors: there are several, and of our first writers;(431) but
in general you will not find that the paper answers the idea
you have entertained of it.

I grieve for my Florentine friends, and for the doubling of
their yoke: the Count has shown great art. I am totally
ignorant, not to say indifferent, about the Modenese
treaty;(432) indeed, I have none of that spirit which was
formerly so much objected to some of my family, the love of
negotiations during a settled peace. Treaties within treaties
are very dull businesses: contracts of marriage between
baby-princes and miss-princesses give me no curiosity. If I
had not seen it in the papers, I should never have known that
Master Tommy the Archduke was playing at marrying Miss Modena.
I am as sick of the hide-and-seek at which all Europe has been
playing about a King of the Romans! Forgive me, my dear child,
you who are a minister, for holding your important affairs so
cheap. I amuse myself with Gothic and painted glass, and am as
grave about my own trifles as I could be at Ratisbon. I shall
tell you one or two events within my own very small sphere, and
you must call them a letter. I believe I mentioned having made
a kind of armoury: my upper servant, who is full as dull as his
predecessor, whom you knew, Tom Barney, has had his head so
filled with arms, that the other day, when a man brought home
an old chimney-back, which I had bought for having belonged to
Harry VII, he came running in, and said, "Sir, Sir! here is a
man has brought some more armour!"

Last week, when I was in town, I went to pay a bill to the
glazier who fixed up the painted glass: I said, "Mr. Palmer,
you charge me seven shillings a-day for your man's work: I know
you give him but two shillings; and I am told that it is
impossible for him to earn seven shillings a-day."--"Why no,
Sir," replied be, "it is not that; but one must pay house-rent,
and one must eat, and one must wear." I looked at him, and he
had on a blue silk waistcoat with an extremely broad gold lace.
I could not help smiling. I turned round, and saw his own
portrait, and his wife's, and his son's. "And I see," said I,
"one must sit for one's picture; I am very sorry that I am to
contribute for all you must do!" Adieu! I gave you warning
that I had nothing to say.

(430) Mr. Mann mistook; I think it was in a paper called "The

(431) Lord Chesterfield, Lord Bath, Mr. W. Whithed, Sir Charles
Williams, Mr. Soame Jennings, Mr. Cambridge, Mr. Coventry, etc.

(432) It was between the Empress-Queen and the Duke of Modena,
for settling the duchy of Milan on one of the little Archdukes,
on his marrying the Duke's granddaughter, and in the mean time
the Duke was made administrator of Milan.

187 Letter 87
To Sir Horace Mann.
Arlington Street, Dec 6, 1753.

In a very long, and consequently a very agreeable letter, which
I received from you yesterday, you set me an example which I
despair of following, keeping up a correspondence with spirit
when the world furnishes no events. I should not say no
events, for France is big with matter, but to talk of the
parliamentary wars of another country would be only
transcribing gazettes: and as to Prince Heracilus,(433) the
other phenomenon of the age, it is difficult to say much about
a person of whom one knows nothing at all. The only scene,
that promises to Interest one, lies in Ireland, from whence we
are told that the Speaker's party has carried a question
against the Lord Lieutenant's; but no particulars are yet
arrived. Foundations have formerly been laid in Ireland of
troubles that have spread hither: I have read somewhere this
old saw,

"He that would England win,
Must with Ireland-first begin."

The only novelty I know, and which is quite private history,
is, that there is a man(434) in the world, who has so much
obligingness and attention in his friendships, that in the
middle of public business, and teased to death with all kind of
commissions, and overrun with cubs and cubaccioni's of every
kind, he can for twelve years together remember any single
picture, or bust, or morsel of virtu, that a friend of his ever
liked; and what is forty times more extraordinary than this
circumstantial kindness, he remembers it just at the time when
others, who might be afflicted with as good a memory, would
take pains to forget it, that is, when it is to be
obtained:-exactly then this person goes and purchases the thing
in question, whips it on board a ship, and sends it to his
friend, in the manner in the world to make it most agreeable,
except that he makes it impossible to thank him, because you
must allow that one ought to be possessed of the same manner of
obliging, before one is worthy of thanking such a person. I
don't know whether you will think this person so extraordinary
as I do; but I have one favour to beg; if you should ever hear
his name, which, for certain reasons, I can't tell you, let me
entreat you never to disclose it, for the world in general is
so much the reverse of him, that they would do nothing but
commend to him every thing they saw, in order to employ his
memory and generosity. For this reason you will allow that the
prettiest action that ever was committed, ought not to be
published to all the world.

You, who love your friends, will not be sorry to hear a little
circumstance that concerns, in a tolerable manner, at least two
of them. The last of my mother's surviving brothers(435) is
dead, and dead without a will, and dead rich. Mr. Conway and I
shall share about six thousand pounds apiece in common with his
brother and sister and my brother. I only tell you this for a
momentary pleasure, for you are not a sort of person to
remember any thing relative to your friends beyond the present

After writing me two sheets of paper, not to mention the
episode of Bianca Capello, I know not how to have the
confidence to put an end to my letter already; and yet I must,
and you will admit the excuse: I have but just time to send my
brother an account of his succession: you who think largely
enough to forgive any man's deferring such notice to you, would
be the last man to defer giving it to any body else; and
therefore, to spare you any more of the compliments and thanks,
which surely I owe you, you shall let me go make my brother
happy. Adieu!

(433) One of the pretenders to the throne of Persia, who gained
many victories about this time.

(434) When Mr. Walpole was at Florence he saw a fine picture by
Vasari of the Great duchess Bianca Capello, in the palace of
the Marchese Vitelli, whose family falling to decay, and their
effects being sold twelve years afterwards, Mr. Mann
recollected-Mr. Walpole's having admired that picture, bought
and sent it to him.

(435) Erasmus Shorter, brother of Catherine Lady Walpole, and
of Charlotte Lady Conway, whose surviving children, Edward and
Horace Walpole, Francis Earl of Hertford, Henry and Anne
Conway, became his heirs.

188 Letter 88
To George Montagu, Esq.
Arlington Street, Dec. 6, 1753.

I have at last found a moment to answer your letter; a
possession of which, I think, I have not been master these ten
days. You must know I have an uncle dead; a sort of event that
could not possibly have been disagreeable to me, let his name
have been what it would; and to make it still less unpleasant,
here am I one of the heirs-at-law to a man worth thirty
thousand pounds. One of the heirs, you must construe, one of
five. In short, my uncle Erasmus is dead, and think at last we
may depend on his having made no will. If a will should
appear, we are but where we were; if it does not, it is not
uncomfortable to have a little sum of money drop out of the
clouds, to which one has as much right as any body, for which
one has no obligation, and paid no flattery. This death and
the circumstances have made extreme noise, but they are of an
extent impossible to tell you within the compass of any letter,
and I will not raise your curiosity when I cannot satisfy it
but by a narration, which I must reserve till I see you.

The only event I know besides within this atmosphere, is the
death of Lord Burlington, who, I have just heard, has left
every thing in his power to his relict. I tell you nothing of
Jew bills and Jew motions, for I dare to say you have long been
as weary of the words as I am. The only point that keeps up
any attention, is expectation of a mail from Ireland, from
whence we have heard, by a side wind, that the court have lost
a question by six; you may imagine one wants to know more of

The opera is indifferent; the first man has a finer voice than
Monticelli, but knows not what to do with it. Ancient Visconti
does so much with hers that it is intolerable. There is a new
play of Glover's, in which Boadicea the heroine rants as much
as Visconti screams; but happily you hear no more of her after
the end of the third act, till in the last scene somebody
brings a card with her compliments, and she is very sorry she
cannot wait upon you, but she is dead. Then there is a scene
between Lord Sussex and Lord Cathcart, two captives, which is
most incredibly absurd; but yet the parts are so well acted,
the dresses so fine, and two or three scenes pleasing enough,
that it is worth seeing.(436)

There are new young lords, fresh and fresh: two of them are
much in vogue; Lord Huntingdon and Lord Stormont.(437) I
supped with them t'other night at Lady Caroline Petersham's;
the latter is most cried up; but he is more reserved, seems sly
and to have sense, but I should not think extreme: yet it is
not fair to judge on a silent man at first. The other is very
lively and very agreeable. This is the state of the town you
inquire after, and which you do inquire after as one does after
Mr. Somebody that one used to see at Mr. Such-a-one's formerly:
do you never intend to know more of us? or do you intend to
leave me to wither upon the hands of the town, like Charles
Stanhope and Mrs. Dunch? My contemporaries seem to be all
retiring to their proprerties. If I must too, positively I
will go no farther than Strawberry Hill! You are very good to
lament our gold fish - their whole history consists in their
being stolen a deux reprises, the very week after I came to

Mr. Bentley is where he was, and well, and now and then makes
me as happy as I can be, having lost him, with a charming
drawing. We don't talk of his abode; for the Hecate his wife
endeavours to discover it. Adieu! my best compliments to Miss

(436) Glover's tragedy of "Boadicea" was acted nine or ten
nights at Drury Lane with some success; but was generally
considered better adapted to the closet than the stage.
Archbishop Herring, in a letter to Mr. Duncombe, gives the
following opinion of this play: "The first page of the play
Shocked me, and the sudden and heated answer of the Queen to
the Roman ambassador's gentle address is arrant madness. It is
another objection, in my opinion, that Boadicea is really not
the object of crime and punishment, so much as pity; and,
notwithstanding the strong painting of her savageness, I cannot
help wishing she had got the better. However, I admire the
play in many passages, and think the two last acts admirable,
In the fifth, particularly, I hardly ever found myself so
strongly touched."-E.

(437) David, Viscount Stormont, He was afterwards ambassador at
Vienna and Paris in 1779, one of the secretaries of state; and
in 1783, president of the council. Upon the death of his
uncle, Lord Chief Justice Mansfield, in 1793, he succeeded to
the earldom. He died in 1796.-E.

190 Letter 89
To Richard Bentley, Esq.
Arlington Street, Dec. 19, 1753.

I little thought when I parted with you, my dear Sir, that your
absence(438) could indemnify me so well for itself; I still
less expected that I should find you improving daily: but your
letters grow more and more entertaining, your drawings more and
more picturesque; you write with more wit, and paint with more
melancholy, than ever any body did: your woody mountains hang
down "somewhat so poetical," as Mr. Ashe(439) said, that your
own poet Gray will scarce keep tune with you. All this refers
to your cascade scene and your letter. For the library it
cannot have the Strawberry imprimatur: the double arches and
double pinnacles are most ungraceful; and the doors below the
book-cases in Mr. Chute's design had a conventual look, which
yours totally wants. For this time, we shall put your genius
in commission, and, like some other regents, execute our own
plan without minding our sovereign. For the chimney, I do not
wonder you missed our instructions: we could not contrive to


Back to Full Books