Part 18 out of 18
pretty things in it; not indeed equal to his glorious ode on
religion and liberty, but with many of those absurdities which
are so blended with his parts. We were overturned coming
back, but, thank YOU, we were not it all hurt, and have been
to-day to see a large house and a pretty park, belonging to a
Mr. Williams; it is to be sold. You have seen in the papers
that Dr. Bloxholme is dead. He cut his throat. He always
was nervous and vapoured; and so good-natured, that he left
off his practice from not being able to bear seeing so many
melancholy objects. I remember him with as much wit as ever I
knew; there was a pretty correspondence of Latin odes that
passed between him and Hodges.
You will be diverted to hear that the Duchess of Newcastle was
received at Calais by Locheil's regiment under arms, who did
duty himself while she stayed. The Duke of Grafton is going
to Scarborough; don't you love that endless back-stairs
policy? and at his time of life! This fit of ill health is
arrived on the Prince's going to shoot for a fortnight at
Thetford, and his grace is afraid of not being civil enough or
Since I wrote my letter I have been fishing in Rapin for any
Particulars relating to the Veres, and have already found that
Robert de Vere,(1453) the great Duke of Ireland, and favourite
of Richard the Second, is buried at Earl's COlnE, and probably
under one of the tombs I saw there; I long to be certain that
the lady with the strange coiffure is Lancerona, the joiner's
daughter, that he married after divorcing a princess of the
blood for her. I have found, too, that King Stephen's Queen
died at Henningham, a castle belonging to Alberic de
Vere:,(1454) in short, I am just now Vere mad, and extremely
mortified to have Lancerona and lady Vere Beauclerk's,
Portuguese grandmother blended with this brave old blood.
Adieu! I go to town the day after to-morrow, and immediately
from thence to Strawberry Hill. Yours ever.
(1448) See Hume's History of England, vol. iii. p. 399. ["The
Earl of Oxford, his favourite general, having splendidly
entertained him at his castle of Henningham, was desirous of
making a parade of his magnificence at the departure of his
royal guest; and ordered all his retainers, with their
liveries and badges, to be drawn up in two lines, that their
appearance might be the more gallant and splendid. 'My lord,'
said the King, 'I have heard much of your hospitality; but the
truth far exceeds the report: these handsome gentlemen and
yeomen whom I see on both sides of me are no doubt your menial
servants.' The Earl smiled, and confessed that his fortune was
too narrow for such magnificence. 'They are most of them,'
subjoined he, 'my retainers, who are come to do service at
this time, when they know I am honoured with your Majesty's
presence.' The King started a little, and said, 'By my faith!
my lord, I thank you for your good cheer, but I must not allow
my laws to be broken in my sight: my attorney must speak with
you.' Oxford is said to have paid no less than fifteen
thousand marks, as a compensation for his offence.")
(1449) Daughter of the Earl of Granville.
(1450) Harriot, wife of Richard Elliot, Esq., father of the
first Lord St. Germains, and a daughter of Mr. Secretary
Craggs. For a copy of verses addressed by Mr. Pitt to this
lady, see the Chatham Correspondence, Vol. iv. j. 373.-E.
(1451)) Robert de Vere, Earl of Oxford, was the favourite of
Richard the Second; who created him Marquis of Dublin and Duke
of Ireland, and transferred to him by patent
the entire sovereignty of that island for life.
(1452) Alberic de Vere was an Earl in the reign of Edward the
(1453) Daughter of Thomas Chambers, Esq., and married to Lord
Vere Beauclerc, third son of the first Duke of St. Albans by
his wife Diana, daughter of Aubrey de Vere, Earl of Oxford.
558 Letter 258
To George Montagu, Esq.
Strawberry Hill, Aug. 11, 1748.
I am arrived at great knowledge in the annals of the house of
Vere but though I have twisted and twined their genealogy and
my own a thousand ways, I cannot discover, as I wished to do,
that I am descended from them any how but from one of their
Christian names the name of Horace having travelled from them
into Norfolk by the marriage of a daughter of Horace Lord Vere
of Tilbury with a Sir Roger Townshend, whose family baptised
some of us with it. But I have made a really curious
discovery! the lady with the strange dress at Earl's Colne,
which I mentioned to you, is certainly Lancerona, the
Portuguese-for I have found in Rapin, from one of the old
chronicles, that Anne of Bohemia, to whom she had been Maid of
Honour, introduced the fashion of piked horns, or high heads,
which is the very attire on this tomb, and ascertains it to
belong to Robert de Vere, the great Earl of Oxford, made Duke
of Ireland by Richard II., who, after the banishment of this
Minister, and his death at Louvain, occasioned by a boar at a
hunting match, caused the body to be brought over, would have
the coffin opened once more to see his favourite, and attended
it himself in high procession to its interment at Earl's
Colne. I don't know whether the "Craftsman" some years ago
would not have found out that we were descended from this
Vere, at least from his name and ministry: my comfort is, that
Lancerona was Earl Robert's second wife. But in this search I
have crossed upon another descent, which I am taking great
pains to verify (I don't mean a pun)., and that is a
probability of my being descended from Chaucer, whose
daughter, the Lady Alice, before her espousals with Thomas
Montagute,'Earl of Salisbury, and afterwards with William de
la Pole, the great Duke of Suffolk, (another famous
favourite), was married to a Sir John Philips, who I hope to
find was of Picton Castle, and had children by her; but I have
not yet brought these matters to a consistency. mr. Chute is
persuaded I shall, for he says any body with two or three
hundred years of pedigree may find themselves descended from
whom they please; and thank my stars and my good cousin, the
present Sir John] Philips,(1454) I have a sufficient pedigree
to work upon; for he drew us up one by which Ego et rex mems
are derived hand in hand from Cadwallader, and the English
baronetage says from the Emperor Maximus (by the Philips's,
who are Welsh, s'entend). These Veres have thrown me into a
deal of this old study: t'other night I was reading to Mrs.
Leneve and Mrs. Pigot,(1455) who has been here a few days, the
description in Hall's Chronicle of the meeting of Harry VIII.
and Francis I. which is so delightfully painted in your
Windsor. We came to a paragraph, which I must transcribe; for
though it means nothing in the world, it is so ridiculously
worded in the old English that it made us laugh for three
and the wer twoo kinges served with a banket and after mirthe,
had communication in the banket time, and there sheweth the
one the other their pleasure.
Would not one swear that old Hal showed all that is showed in
the Tower? I am now in the act of expecting the house of
Pritchard,(1456) Dame Clive,(1457) and Mrs. Metheglin to
dinner. I promise you the Clive, and I will not show one
another our pleasure during the banket time nor afterwards.
In the evening, we go to a play at Kingston, where the places
are two pence a head. Our great company at Richmond and
Twickenham has been torn to pieces by civil dissensions, but
they continue acting. Mr. Lee, the ape of Garrick, not liking
his part, refused to play it, and had the confidence to go
into the pit as spectator. The actress, whose benefit was in
agitation, made her complaints to the audience, who obliged
him to mount the stage; but since that he has retired from the
company. I am sorry he was such a coxcomb, for he was the
best. . . .
You say, why won't I go to Lady Mary's?(1458) I say, why
won't you go to the Talbots? Mary is busied about many things,
is dancing the hays between three houses; but I will go with
you for a day or two to the Talbots if you like it. and you
shall come hither to fetch me. I have been to see Mr.
Hamilton's, near Cobham, where he has really made a fine place
out of a most cursed hill. Esher(1459) I have seen again
twice, and prefer it to all villas, even to Southcote's--Kent
is Kentissing there. I have been laughing too at Claremont
house; the gardens are improved since I saw them: do you know
that the pineapples are literally sent to Hanover by couriers!
I am serious. Since the Duke of Newcastle went, and upon the
news of the Duke of Somerset's illness, he has transmitted his
commands through the King, and by him through the Bedford to
the University of Cambridge to forbid their electing any body,
but the most ridiculous person they could elect, his grace of
Newcastle. The Prince hearing this, has written to them, that
having heard his Majesty's commands, he should by no means
oppose them. This is sensible: but how do the two secretaries
answer such a violent act of authority? Nolkojumskoi(1460)
has let down his dignity and his discipline, and invites
continually all officers that are members of parliament.
Doddington's sentence of expulsion is sealed: Lyttelton is to
have his place (the second time he has tripped up his heels);
Lord Barrington is to go to the treasury, and Dick Edgecumbe
into the admiralty.
Rigby is gone from hence to Sir William Stanhope's to the
Aylesbury races, where the Grenvilles and Peggy Banks design
to appear and avow their triumph. Gray has been here a few
days, and is transported with your story of Madame Bentley's
diving, and her white man, and in short with all your stories.
Room for cuckolds--here comes my company--
I had not time to finish my letter last night, for we did not
return from the dismal play, which was in a barn at Kingston,
till twelve o'clock at night. Our dinner passed off very
well; the Clive was very good company; you know how much she
admires Asheton's preaching. She says, she is always vastly
good for two or three days after his sermons;' but by the time
that Thursday comes, all their effect is worn out. I never
saw more proper decent behaviour than Mrs. Pritchard's, and I
assure you even Mr. Treasurer Pritchard was far better than I
expected. Yours ever, Chaucerides.
(1454) The grandmother of the Hon. Horace Walpole was daughter
of sir Erasmus Philips, of Picton Castle in Pembrokeshire.
(1455) Niece of Mrs. Leneve, and first wife of Admiral Hugh
(1456/1457) Two celebrated actresses.
(1458) lady Mary Churchill.
(1459) The favourite seat of the Right Honourable Henry
Pelham, which he embellished under the direction of Kent. It
is pleasingly mentioned by Pope, in his Epilogue to the
Imitations of the Satires of Horace:-
"Pleas'd let me own, in Esher's peaceful grove,
Where Kent and Nature vie for Pelham's love,
The scene, the master, opening to my view,
I sit and dream I see my Craggs anew."-E
(1460) A cant name for the Duke of Cumberland.
561 Letter 259
To The Hon. H. S. Conway.
Strawberry Hill, Aug. 29, 1748.
Whatever you may think, a campaign at Twickenham furnishes as
little matter for a letter as an abortive one in Flanders. I
can't say indeed that my generals wear black wigs, but they
have long full- bottomed hoods which cover as little
entertainment to the full.
There's General my Lady Castlecomer, and General my Lady
Dowager Ferrers! Why, do you think I can extract more out of
them than you can out of Hawley or Honeywood?(1461) Your old
women dress, go to the Duke's levee, see that the soldiers
cock their hats right, sleep after dinner, and soak with their
led-captains till bed-time, and tell a thousand lies of what
they never did in their youth. Change hats for head-clothes,
the rounds for visits, and led-captains for toad-eaters, and
the life is the very same. In short, these are the people I
live in the midst of, though not with; and it is for want of
more important histories that I have wrote to you seldom; not,
I give you my word, from the least negligence. My present and
sole occupation is planting, in which I have made great
progress, and talk very learnedly with the nurserymen, except
that now and then a lettuce run to seed overturns all my
botany, as I have more than once taken it for a curious
West-Indian flowering shrub. Then the deliberation with which
trees grow, is extremely inconvenient to my natural
impatience. I lament living in so barbarous an age, when we
are come to so little perfection in gardening. I am persuaded
that a hundred and fifty years hence it will be as common to
remove oaks a hundred and fifty years old, as it is now to
transplant tulip-roots. I have even begun a treatise or
panegyric on the great discoveries made by posterity in all
arts and sciences, wherein I shall particularly descant on the
great and cheap convenience of making trout-rivers-One Of the
improvements which Mrs. Kerwood wondered Mr. Hedges would not
make at his country-house, but which was not then quite so
common as it will be. I shall talk of a secret for roasting a
wild-boar and a whole pack of hounds alive, without hurting
them, so that the whole chase may be brought up to table; and
for this secret, the Duke of Newcastle's grandson, if he can
ever get a son, is to give a hundred thousand pounds. Then
the delightfulness of having whole groves of hummingbirds,
tame tigers taught to fetch and carry, pocket spying-glasses
to see all that is doing in China, with a thousand other toys,
which we now look upon as impracticable, and which pert
posterity would laugh in one's face for staring at, while they
are offering rewards for perfecting discoveries, of the
principles of which we have not the least conception! If ever
this book should come forth, I must expect to have all the
learned in arms against me, who measure all knowledge
backward: some of them have discovered symptoms of all arts in
Homer; and Pineda(1462) had so much faith in the
accomplishments of his ancestors, that he believed Adam
understood all sciences but politics. But as these great
champions for our forefathers are dead, and Boileau not alive
to hitch me into a verse with Perrault, I am determined to
admire the learning of posterity, especially being convinced
that half our present knowledge sprung from discovering the
errors of what had formerly been called so. I don't think I
shall ever make any great discoveries myself, and therefore
shall be content to propose them to my descendants, like my
Lord Bacon, who, as Dr. Shaw says very prettily in his preface
to Boyle, , had the art of inventing arts:" or rather like a
Marquis of Worcester, of whom I have seen a little book which
he calls A Century of Inventions where he has set down a
hundred machines to do impossibilities with, and not a single
direction how to make the machines themselves.(1463)
If I happen to be less punctual in my correspondence than I
intend to be, you must conclude I am writing my book, which
being designed for a panegyric, will cost me a great deal of
trouble. The dedication, with your leave, shall be addressed
to your son that is coming, or, with my Lady Ailesbury's
leave, to your ninth son, who Will be unborn nearer to the
time I 'am writing of; always provided that she does not bring
three at once, like my Lady Berkeley.
Well! I have here set you the example of' writing nonsense
when one has nothing to say, and shall take it ill if you
don't keep up the correspondence on the same foot. Adieu!
(1461) General Honeywood, governor of Portsmouth.
(1462) Pineda was a Spanish Jesuit, and a professor of
theology. He died in 1637, after writing voluminous
commentaries upon several books of the Holy Scriptures,
besides an universal history of the church.
(1463) Walpole, in his "Royal and Noble Authors," designates
the Marquis as a "fantastic protector and fanatic," and
describes the " Century of Inventions" as "an amazing piece of
folly;" and Hume, who does not even know the title of the
book, boldly pronounces it "a ridiculous compound of lies,
chimeras, and impossibilities." In 18@5, however, an edition
of this curious and very amusing little work was published],
with historical and explanatory notes, by Mr. C. F.
Partington; who clearly proves, that the Marquis was the
person, either in this or any Other country, who gave the
first idea of the steam engine.-E.
563 Letter 260
To George Montagu, Esq.
Strawberry Hill, Saturday night, Sept, 3, 1748.
All my sins to Mrs. Talbot you are to expiate; I am here quite
alone, and want nothing but your fetching to go to her. I
have been in town for a day, just to see Lord Bury who is come
over with the Duke; they return next Thursday. The Duke is
fatter, and it is now not denied that he has entirely lost the
sight of one eye. This did not surprise me so much as a bon
mot of his. Gumley, who you know is grown Methodist, came to
tell him, that as he was on duty, a tree in Hyde Park, near
the powder magazine, had been set on fire; the Duke replied,
he hoped it was not by the new light. This nonsensical new
light is extremely in fashion, and I shall not be surprised if
we see a revival of all the folly and cant of the last age.
Whitfield preaches continually at my Lady Huntingdon's,(1464)
at Chelsea; my Lord Chesterfield, my Lord Bath, my Lady
Townshend, my Lady Thanet, and others, have been to hear
him.(1465) What will you lay that, next winter, he is not run
after, instead of Garrick?
I am just come from the play at Richmond, where I found the
Duchess of Argyle and Lady Betty Campbell, and their court.
We had a new actress, a Miss Clough; an extremely fine tall
figure, and very handsome: she spoke very justly, and with
spirit. Garrick is to produce her next winter; and a Miss
Charlotte Ramsey, a poetess and deplorable actress. Garrick,
Barry, and some more of the players, were there to see these
new comedians; it is to be their seminary.
Since I came home I have been disturbed with a strange,
foolish woman, that lives at the great corner house yonder;
she is an attorney's wife, and much given to the bottle. By
the time she- has finished that and daylight, she grows afraid
of thieves, and makes the servants fire minute guns out of the
garret windows. I remember persuading Mrs. Kerwood that there
was a great smell of thieves, and this drunken dame seems
literally to smell it. The divine Asheton, whom I suppose you
will have seen when you receive this, will give you an account
of the astonishment we were in last night at hearing guns; I
began to think that the Duke had brought some of his defeats
I am going to tell you a long story, but you will please to
remember that I don't intend to tell it well; therefore, if
you discover any beauties in the relation where I never
intended them, don't conclude, as you did in your last, that I
know they are there. If I had not a great command of my pen,
and could not force it to write whatever nonsense I had heard
last, you would be enough to pervert all one's letters, and
put one upon keeping up one's character; but as I write merely
to satisfy you, I shall take no care but not to write well: I
hate letters that are called good letters.
You must know then,-but did you not know a young fellow that
was called Handsome Tracy? he was walking in the Park with
some of his acquaintance, and overtook three girls; one was
very pretty: they followed them; but the girls ran away, and
the company grew tired of pursuing them, all but Tracy. (There
are now three more guns gone off; she must be very drunk.) He
followed to Whitehall gate, where he gave a porter a crown to
dog them: the porter hunted them-he the porter. The girls ran
all round Westminster, and back to the Haymarket, where the
porter came up with them. He told the pretty one she must go
with him, and kept her talking till Tracy arrived, quite out
of breath, and exceedingly in love. He insisted on knowing
where she lived, which she refused to tell him; and after much
disputing , went to the house of one of her companions, and
Tracy with them. He there made her discover her family, a
butterwoman in Craven Street, and engaged her to meet him the
next morning in the Park; but before night he wrote her four
love-letters, and in the last offered two hundred pounds
a-year to her, and a hundred a-year to Signora la Madre.
Griselda made a confidence to a staymaker's wife, who told her
that the swain was certainly in love enough to marry her, if
she could determine to be virtuous and refuse his offers.
"Ay," says she, "but if I should, and should lose him by it."
However, the measures of the cabinet council were decided for
virtue: and when she met Tracy the next morning in the park,
she was convoyed by her sister and brother-in-law, and stuck
close to the letter of her reputation. She would do nothing
she would go nowhere. At last, as an instance of prodigious
compliance, she told him, that if he would accept such a
dinner as a butterwoman's daughter could give him, he should
be welcome. Away they walked to Craven Street: the mother
borrowed some silver to buy a leg of mutton, and they kept the
eager lover drinking till twelve at night, when a chosen
committee waited on the faithful pair to the minister of
May-fair. The doctor was in bed, and swore he would not get
up to marry the King, but that he had a brother over the way
who perhaps would, and who did. The mother borrowed a pair of
sheets, and they consummated at her house; and the next day
they went to their own palace. In two or three days the scene
grew gloomy; and the husband coming home one night, swore he
could bear it no longer. "Bear! bear what?"--"Why, to be
teased by all my acquaintance for marrying a butterwoman's
daughter. I am determined to go to France, and will leave you
a handsome allowance."--"Leave me! why you don't fancy you
shall leave me? I will go with you."--"What, you love me
then?"--"No matter whether I love you or not, but you shan't
go without me." And they are gone! If you know any body that
proposes marrying and travelling, I think they cannot do it in
a more commodious method.
I agree with you most absolutely in your opinion about Gray;
he is the worst company in the world. From a melancholy turn.
living reclusely, and from a little too much dignity, he never
converses easily all his words are measured and chosen, and
formed into sentences his writings are admirable; he himself
is not agreeable.'(1466)
There are still two months to London; if you could discover
your own mind for any three or four days of that space, I will
either go with you to the Tigers or be glad to see you here;
but I positively will ask you neither one nor t'other any
more. I have raised seven-and-twenty bantams from the
patriarchs you sent me. Adieu!
(1464) Daughter of Washington, Earl Ferrers.
(1465) Lord Bolingbroke, in a letter to the Earl of Marchmont
of the 1st of November, says,
"I hope you heard from me by myself, as well of me by Mr.
Whitfield. This apostolical person preached some time ago at
Lady Huntingdon's, and I should have been curious to hear him.
Nothing kept me from going, but an imagination that there was
to be a select auditory. That saint, our friend Chesterfield,
was there; and I hear from him an extreme good account of the
sermon." Marchmont Papers, vol. ii. p. 377.-E.
(1466) Dr. Beattie says, in a letter to Sir W. Forbes, "Gray's
letters very much resemble what his conversation was: he had
none of the airs of either a scholar or a poet; and though on
those and all other subjects he spoke to me with the utmost
freedom, and without any reserve, he was in general company
much more silent than one could have wished."-E.
565 Letter 261
To Sir Horace Mann.
Strawberry Hill, Sept. 18, 1748.
I have two letters of yours to account for, and nothing to
plead but my old insolvency. Oh! yes, I have to scold you,
which you find is an inexhaustible fund with me. You sent me
your d`em`el`e(1467) with the whole city of Florence, and
charged me to keep it secret-and the first person I saw was my
Lord Hobart, who was full of the account he had received from
you. You might as well have told a woman an improper secret,
and expected to have it kept! but you may be very easy, for
unless it reaches my Lady Pomfret or my Lady Orford, I dare
say it will never get back to Florence; and for those two
ladies, I don't think it likely that they should hear it, for
the first is in a manner retired from the world, and the world
is retired from the second. Now I have vented my anger, I am
seriously sorry for you, to be exposed to the impertinence of
those silly Florentine women: they deserve a worse term than
silly, since they pretend to any characters. How could you
act with so much temper? If they had treated me in this
manner, I should have avowed ten times more than they
pretended you had done; but you are an absolute minister!
I am much obliged to Prince Beauvau for remembering me, and
should be extremely pleased to show him all manner of
attentions here: you know I profess great attachment to that
family for their civilities to me. But how gracious the
Princess has been to you! I am quite jealous of her dining
with you: I remember what a rout there was to get her for half
of half a quarter of an hour to your assembly.
The Bishop of London is dead; having luckily for his family,
as it proves, refused the archbishopric.*1468) We owe him the
justice to say, that though he had broke with my father, he
always expressed himself most handsomely about him, and
without any resentment or ingratitude.
Your brothers are coming to dine with me; your brother Gal. is
extremely a favourite with me: I took to him for his
resemblance to you, but am grown to love him upon his own
The peace is still in a cloud: according to custom, we have
hurried on our complaisance before our new friends were at all
ready with theirs. There was a great Regency(1469) kept in
town, to take off the prohibition of commerce with Spain: when
they were met, somebody asked if Spain was ready to take off
theirs? "Oh, Lord! we never thought of that!" They sent for
Wall,(1470) and asked him if his court would take the same
step with us? He said, "he believed they might, but he had no
orders about it." However, we proceeded, and hitherto are
Adieu! by the first opportunity I shelf send you the two books
of Houghton, for yourself and Dr. Cocchi. My Lord Orford is
much mended: my uncle has no prospect of ever removing from
(1467) A Madame Ubaldini having raised a scandalous story of
two persons whom she saw together in Mr. Mann's garden at one
of his assemblies, and a scurrilous sonnet having been made
upon the occasion, the Florentine ladies for some time
pretended that it would hurt their characters to come any more
to his assembly.
(1468) Dr. Edmund Gibson had been very intimate with Sir
Robert Walpole, and was designed by him for archbishop after
the death of Wake; but setting himself at the head of the
clergy against the Quaker bill, he broke with Sir Robert and
lost the archbishoprick which was given to Potter; but on his
death, the succeeding ministry offered it to Dr. Gibson. [The
Doctor declined it, on account of his advanced age and
increasing infirmities. He died on the 6th of February,
(1469) This means a meeting of the persons composing the
Regency during the King's absence in Hanover.-D.
(1470) General Wall, the Spanish ambassador.
566 Letter 262
To George Montagu, Esq.
Strawberry Hill, Sept. 25, 1748.
I shall write you a very short letter, for I don't know what
business we have to be corresponding when we might be
together. I really wish to see you, for you know I am
convinced of what you say to me. It is few people I ask to
come hither, and if possible, still fewer that I wish to see
here. The disinterestedness of your friendship for me has
always appeared, and is the only sort that for the future I
will ever accept, and consequently I never expect any more
friends. As to trying to make any by obligations, I have had
such woful success, that, for fear of thinking still worse
than I do of the world, I will never try more. But you are
abominable to reproach me with not letting you go to Houghton:
have not I offered a thousand times to carry you there? I
mean, since it was my brother's: I did not expect to prevail
with you before; for you are so unaccountable, that you not
only will never do a dirty thing, but you won't even venture
the appearance of it. I have often applied to you in my own
mind a very pretty passage that I remember in a letter of
Chillingworth; "you would not do that for preferment that you
would not do but for preferment." You oblige me much in what
you say about my nephews, and make me happy in the character
you have heard of Lord Malpas;(1471) I am extremely inclined
to believe he deserves it. I am as sorry to hear what a
companion lord Walpole has got: there has been a good deal of
noise about him, but I had laughed at it, having traced the
worst reports to his gracious mother, who is now sacrificing
the character of her son to her aversion for her husband. If
we lived under the Jewish dispensation, how I should tremble
at my brother's leaving no children by her, and its coming to
my turn to raise him up issue!
Since I gave you the account of the Duchess of Ireland's piked
horns among the tombs of the Veres, I have found a long
account in Bayle of the friar, who, as I remember to have read
somewhere, preached so vehemently against that fashion: it was
called Hennin, and the monk's name was Thomas Conecte. He was
afterwards burnt at Rome for censuring the lives of the
clergy. As our histories say that Anne of Bohemia introduced
the fashion here, it is probable that the French learnt it
from us, and were either long before they caught it, Or long
in retaining the mode; for the Duke of Ireland died in 1389,
and Connect was burnt at Rome in 1434. There were, indeed,
several years between his preaching down Hennins and his
death, but probably not near five-and-forty years, and half
that term was a long duration for so outrageous a fashion.
But I have found a still more entertaining fashion in another
place in Bayle which was, the women wearing looking-glasses
upon their bellies': I don't conceive for what use. Adieu!
don't write any more, but come.
(1471) Eldest son of George, third Earl of Cholmondoley, and
grandson of Sir Robert Walpole.
567 Letter 263
To The Hon. H. S. Conway.
Strawberry Hill, Oct. 6, 1748.
I am sorry our wishes clash so much. Besides that I have no
natural inclination for the Parliament, it will particularly
disturb me now in the middle of all my planting; for which
reason I have never inquired when it will meet, and cannot
help you to guess--but I should think not hastily-for I
believe the peace, at least the evacuations, are not in so
prosperous a way as to be ready to make any figure in the
King's speech. But I speak from a distance; it may all be
very toward: our ministers enjoy the consciousness of their
wisdom, as the good do of their virtue, and take no pains to
make it shine before men. In the mean time, we have several
collateral emoluments from the pacification: all our
milliners, tailors, tavern keepers, and young gentlemen are
tiding to France for our improvement in luxury; and as I
foresee we shall be told on their return that we have lived in
a total state of blindness for these six years. and gone
absolutely retrograde to all true taste in every particular, I
have already begun to practise walking on my head, and doing
every thing the wrong way. Then Charles Frederick has turned
all his virt`u into fireworks, and, by his influence at the
ordnance, has prepared such a spectacle for the proclamation
of the peace as is to surpass all its predecessors of bouncing
memory. It is to open with a concert of fifteen hundred
hands, and conclude with so many hundred thousand crackers all
set to music, that all the men killed in the war are to be
wakened with the crash, as if it was the day of judgment, and
fall a dancing, like the troops in the Rehearsal. I wish you
could see him making squibs of his papillotes, and bronzed
over with a patina of gunpowder, and talking himself still
hoarser on the superiority that his firework will have over
the Roman naumachia.
I am going to dinner with Lady Sophia Thomas(1472) at Hampton
Court, where I was to meet the Cardigans; but I this minute
receive a message that the Duchess of Montagu(1473) is
extremely ill, which I am much concerned for on Lady
Cardigan's(1474) account, whom I grow every day more in love
with; you may imagine, not her person, which is far from
improved lately; but, since I have been here, I have lived
much with them, and, as George Montagu says, in all my
practice I never met a better understanding, nor more really
estimable qualities: such a dignity in her way of thinking; so
little idea of any thing mean or ridiculous, and such proper
contempt for both! Adieu! I must go dress for dinner, and you
perceive that I wish I had, but have nothing to tell you.
(1472) Daughter of the first Earl of Albemarle, and wife of
(1473) She was mother to Lady Cardigan, and daughter to the
great Duke of Marlborough.
(1474) Lady Mary Montagu, third daughter of John, Duke of
Montagu, and wife of George Brudenell, Earl of Cardigan,
afterwards created Duke of Montagu.
568 Letter 264
To George Montagu, Esq.
Strawberry Hill, Oct. 20, 1748.
You are very formal to send me a ceremonious letter of thanks;
you see I am less punctilious, for having nothing to tell you,
I did not answer your letter. I have been in the empty town
for a day: Mrs.
Muscovy and I cannot devise where you have planted Jasmine; I
am all plantation, and sprout away like any chaste nymph in
They say the old Monarch at Hanover has got a new mistress; I
fear he ought to have got * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Now I talk of getting, Mr. Fox has got the ten thousand pound
prize; and the Violette, as it is said, Coventry for a
husband. It is certain that at the fine masquerade he was
following her, as she was under the Countess's arm, who,
pulling off her glove, moved her wedding-ring up and down her
finger, which it seems was to signify that no other terms
would be accepted. It is the year for contraband marriages,
though I do not find Fanny Murray's is certain. I liked her
spirit in an instance I heard t'other night: she was
complaining of want of money; Sir Robert Atkins immediately
gave her a twenty pound note; she said, "D-n your twenty
pound! what does it signify?" clapped it between two pieces of
bread and butter, and ate it. Adieu! nothing should make me
leave off so shortly but that my gardener waits for me, and
you must allow that he is to be preferred to all the world.
569 Letter 265
To Sir Horace Mann.
Strawberry Hill, October 24, 1748.
I have laughed heartily at your adventure of Milord Richard
Onslow;(1475) it is an admirable adventure! I am not sure
that Riccardi's absurdity was not the best part of it. Here
were the Rinuncinis, the Panciaticis, and Pandolfinis? were
they as ignorant too? What a brave topic it would have been
for Niccolini, if he had been returned, to display all his
knowledge of England!
Your brothers are just returned from Houghton, where they
found my brother extremely recovered: my uncle too, I hear, is
better; but I think that an impossible recovery.(1476) Lord
Walpole is setting out on his travels; I shall be impatient to
have him in Florence; I flatter myself you will like him: I,
who am not troubled with partiality to my family, admire him
much. Your brother has got the two books of Houghton, and
will send them by the first Opportunity: I am by no means
satisfied with then; they are full of' faults, and the two
portraits wretchedly unlike.
The peace is signed between us, France, and Holland, but does
not give the least joy; the stocks do not rise, and the
merchants are unsatisfied; they say France will sacrifice us
to Spain, which has not yet signed: in short, there has not
been the least symptom of public rejoicing; but the government
is to give a magnificent firework.
I believe there are no news, but I am here all alone,
planting. The Parliament does not meet till the 29th of next
month: I shall go to town but two or three days before that.
The Bishop of Salisbury,(1477) who refused Canterbury, accepts
London, upon a near prospect of some fat fines. Old Tom
Walker(1478) is dead, and has left vast wealth and good
places; but have not heard where either are to go. Adieu! I
am very paragraphical, and you see have nothing to say.
(1475) One Daniel Bets, a Dutchman or Fleming, who called
himself my Lord Richard Onslow, and pretended to be the
Speaker's son, having forged letters of credit Ind drawn money
from several bankers, came to Florence, and was received as an
Englishman of quality by Marquis Riccardi, who could not be
convinced by Mr. Mann of the imposture till the adventurer ran
away on foot to Rome in the night.
(1476) Yet he did in great measure recover by the use of soap
(1477) Dr. Sherlock.
(1478) He was surveyor of the roads; had been a kind of
toad-eater to Sir Robert Walpole and Lord Godolphin; was a
great frequenter of Newmarket, and a notorious usurer. His
reputed wealth is stated, in the Gentleman's Magazine, at
three hundred thousand pounds.]
570 Letter 266
To Sir Horace Mann.
Arlington Street, Dec. 2, 1748.
Our King is returned and our parliament met: we expected
nothing but harmony and tranquillity, and love of the peace;
but the very first day opened with a black cloud, that
threatens a stormy session. To the great surprise of the
ministry, the Tories appear in intimate league with the
Prince's party, and both agreed in warm and passionate
expressions on the treaty: we shall not have the discussion
till after Christmas. My uncle, who is extremely mended by
soap, and the hopes of a peerage is come up, and the very
first day broke out in a volley of treaties: though he is
altered, you would be astonished at his spirits.
We talk much of the Chancellor's(1479) resigning the seals,
from weariness of the fatigue, and being made president of the
council, with other consequent changes, which I will write you
if they happen; but as this has already been a discourse of
six months, I don't give it you for certain.
Mr. Chute, to whom alone I communicated Niccolini's
banishment, though it is now talked of from the Duke of
Bedford's office, says "he is sorry the Abb`e is banished for
the only thing which he ever saw to commend in him,-his
abusing the Tuscan ministry." I must tell you another
admirable bon mot of Mr. Chute, now I am mentioning him.
Passing by the door of Mrs. Edwards, who died of drams, be saw
the motto which the undertakers had placed to her escutcheon,
Mors janua vitae, he said "it ought to have been Mors aqua
The burlettas are begun; I think, not decisively liked or
condemned yet: their success is certainly not rapid, though
Pertici is excessively admired. Garrick says he is the best
comedian he ever saw: but the women are execrable, not a
pleasing note amongst them. Lord Middlesex has stood a trial
with Monticelli for arrears of salary, in Westminster-hall,
and even let his own handwriting be proved against him! You
may imagine he was cast. Hume Campbell, lord Marchmont's
brother, a favourite advocate, and whom the ministry have
pensioned out of the Opposition into silence, was his council,
and protested, striking his breast, that he had never set his
foot but once into an opera-house in his life. This
affectation 'of British patriotism is excellently ridiculous
in a man so known: I have often heard my father say, that of
all the men he ever ](new, Lord Marchmont and Hume Campbell
were the most abandoned in their professions to him on their
coming into the world: he was hindered from accepting their
services by the present Duke of Argyll, of whose faction they
were not. They then flung themselves into the Opposition,
where they both have made great figures, till the elder was
shut out of Parliament by his father's death, and the younger
being very foolishly dismissed from being solicitor to the
Prince, in favour of Mr. Bathurst, accepted a pension from the
court, and seldom comes into the House, and has lately taken
to live on roots and study astronomy.(1480) Lord Marchmont,
you know, was one of Pope's heroes, had a place in Scotland on
Lord Chesterfield's coming into the ministry, though he had
not power to bring him into the sixteen: and was very near
losing his place last winter, on being Supposed the author of
the famous apology for Lord Chesterfield's resignation. This
is the history of these Scotch brothers, which I have told you
for want of news.
Two Oxford scholars are condemned to two years' imprisonment
for treason;(1481) and their vice-chancellor, for winking at
it, is soon to be tried. What do you say to the young
Pretender's persisting to stay in France? It will not be easy
to persuade me that it is without the approbation of that
(1479) Lord Hardwicke.-D.
(1480) In the preceding March, Lord Marchmont had married a
second wife.@, Miss Crampton. The circumstances attending
this marriage are thus related by David Hume, in a letter to
Mr. Oswald, dated January 29, 1748:-" Lord Marchmont has had
the most extraordinary adventure in the world. About three
weeks ago he was at the play, when he espied in one of the
boxes a fair virgin, whose looks, airs, and manners had such a
wonderful effect upon him, as was visible by every bystander.
His raptures were so undisguised, his looks so expressive of
passion, his inquiries so earnest, that every person took
notice of it. He soon was told that her name was Crampton, a
linendraper's daughter, who had been bankrupt last year. He
wrote next morning to her father, desiring to visit his
daughter on honourable terms, and in a few days she will be
the Countess of Marchmont. Could you ever suspect the
ambitious, the severe, the bustling, the impetuous, the
violent Marchmont of becoming so tender and gentle a swain-an
(1481) In drinking the Pretender's health, and using seditious
expressions against the King. They were also sentenced "to
walk round Westminster-hall with a label affixed to Their
foreheads, denoting their crime and sentence, and to ask
pardon of the several courts;" which they accordingly
571 Letter 267
To Sir Horace Mann.
Arlington Street, Dec. 15, 1748.
I conclude your Italy talks of nothing but the young
Pretender's imprisonment at Vincennes. I don't know whether he
be a Stuart, but I am sure, by his extravagance he has proved
himself' of English extraction! What a mercy that we had not
him here! with a temper so, impetuous and obstinate, as to
provoke a French government when in their power, what would he
have done with an English Government in his power?(1482) An
account came yesterday that he, with his Sheridan and a Mr.
Stafford (who was a creature of my Lord Bath,) are transmitted
to Pont de Beauvoisin, under a solemn promise never to return
into France (I suppose unless they send for him). It is said
that a Mr. Dun, who married Alderman Parsons's eldest
daughter, is in the Bastile for having struck the officer when
the young man was arrested.
Old Somerset(1483) is at last dead, and the Duke of Newcastle
Chancellor of Bainbridge, to his heart's content. Somerset
tendered his pride even beyond his hate; for he has left the
present Duke all the furniture of his palaces, and forbore to
charge the estate, according to a power he had, with
five-and-thirty thousand pounds. To his Duchess,(1484) who
has endured such a long slavery with him, he has left nothing
but one thousand pounds and a small farm, besides her
jointure; giving the whole of his unsettled estate, which is
about six thousand pounds a-year, equally between his two
daughters, and leaving it absolutely in their own powers now,
though neither are of age; and to Lady Frances, the eldest, he
has additionally given the fine house built by Inigo Jones, in
Lincoln's-inn-fields, (which he had bought of the Duke of
Ancaster for the Duchess,) hoping that his daughter will let
her mother live with her. To Sir Thomas Bootle he has given
half a borough, and a whole one,(1485) to his grandson Sir
Charles Windham,(1486) with an estate that cost him fourteen
thousand pounds. To Mr. Obrien,(1487) Sir Charles Windham's
brother, a single thousand; and to Miss Windham an hundred
a-year, which he gave her annually at Christmas, and is just
Such a legacy as you would give to a housekeeper to prevent
her from going to service again. She is to be married
immediately to the second Grenville;(1488) they have waited
for a larger legacy. The famous settlement(1489) is found,
which gives Sir Charles Windham about twelve thousand pounds
a-year of the Percy estate after the present Duke's death; the
other five, with the barony of Percy, must go to Lady Betty
Smithson.(1490) I don't know whether you ever heard that, in
Lord Grenville's administration, he had prevailed with the
King to grant the earldom of Northumberland to Sir Charles;
Lord Hertford represented against it; at last the King said he
would give it to whoever they would make it appear was to have
the Percy estate; but old Somerset refused to let any body see
his writings, and so the affair dropped, every body believing
that there was no such settlement.
John Stanhope of the admiralty is dead, and Lord Chesterfield
gets thirty thousand pounds for life: I hear Mr. Villiers is
most likely to succeed to that board. You know all the
Stanhopes are a family aux bon-mots: I must tell you one of
this John. He was sitting by an old Mr. Curzon, a nasty
wretch, and very covetous: his nose wanted blowing, and
continued to want it: at last Mr. Stanhope, with the greatest
good-breeding, said, "Indeed, Sir, if you don't wipe your
nose, you will lose that drop."
I am extremely pleased with Monsieur de Mirepoix's(1491) being
named for this embassy; and I beg you will desire Princess
Craon to recommend me to Madame, for I would be particularly
acquainted with her as she is their daughter. Hogarth has run
a great risk since the peace; he went to France, and was so
imprudent as to be taking a sketch of the drawbridge at
Calais. He was seized and carried to the governor, where he
was forced to prove his vocation by producing several
caricatures of the French; particularly a scene(1492) of the
shore, with an immense piece of beef landing for the
lion-d'argent, the English inn at Calais, and several hungry
friars following it.(1493) They were much diverted with his
drawings, and dismissed him.
Mr. Chute lives at the herald's office in your service, and
yesterday got particularly acquainted with your
great-great-grandmother. I says, by her character, she would
be extremely shocked at your wet-brown-paperness, and that she
was particularly famous for breaking her own pads. Adieu!
(1482) At the peace of Aix-la-Chapelle the French court
proposed to establish Prince Charles at Fribourg in
Switzerland, with the title of Prince of Wales, a company of
guards, and a sufficient pension; but he placed a romantic
point of Honour in 'braving 'the orders from Hanover,' as he
called them, and positively refused to depart from Paris.
Threats, entreaties, arguments, were tried on him in vain. He
withstood even a letter obtained from his father at Rome, and
commanding his departure. He still nourished some secret
expectation, that King Louis would not venture to use force
against a kinsman; but he found himself deceived. As he went
to the Opera on the evening of the 11th of December, his coach
was stopped by a party of French guards, himself seized, bound
hand and foot, and conveyed, with a single attendant, to the
state-prison of Vincennes, where he was thrust into a dungeon
seven feet wide and eight feet long. After this public
insult, he was carried to Pont de Beauvoisin, on the frontier
of Savoy, and there restored to his wandering and desolate
freedom." lord Mahon, vol .iii. p. 552.-E.
(1483) The proud Duke of Somerset.-D.
(1484) Charlotte Finch, sister of the Earl of Winchilsea and
Nottingham, second wife of Charles Seymour, Duke of Somerset;
by whom she had two daughters, Lady Frances, married to the
Marquis of Granby, and lady Charlotte to Lord Guernsey, eldest
son of the Earl of Aylesford.
(1485) Midhurst, in Sussex.-D.
(1486) Afterwards Earl of Egremont.-D.
(1487) Afterwards created Earl of Thomond in Ireland.-D.
(1488) George Grenville. issue of that marriage were the late
Marquis of Buckingham, the Right Honourable Thomas Grenville,
and Lord Grenville; besides several daughters.-D.
(1489) The Duke's first wife was the heiress of the house of
Northumberland - she made a settlement of her estate, in case
her sons died without heirs male, on the children of her
daughters. Her eldest daughter, Catherine, married Sir
William Windham, whose son, Sir Charles, by the death of Lord
Beauchamp, only son of Algernon, Earl of Hertford, and
afterwards Duke of Somerset, succeeded to the greatest part of
the Percy estate, preferably to Elizabeth, daughter of the
same Algernon, who was married to Sir Hugh Smithson.
(1490) Elizabeth daughter of Algernon, last Duke of Somerset
of the younger branch. She was married to Sir Hugh Smithson,
Bart. who became successively Earl and Duke of
(1491) The Marquis de Mirepoix, marshal of France, and
ambassador to England. His wife was a woman of ability, and
was long in great favour with Louis the Fifteenth and his
(1492) He engraved and published it on his return.
(1493) Hogarth's well known print, entitled
"The Roast Beef of Old England." The original picture is in
the possession of the Earl of Charlemont, in Dublin.-D.
574 Letter 268
To Sir Horace Mann.
Strawberry Hill, Dec. 26, 1748.
Did you ever know a more absolute country-gentleman? Here am
I come down to what you call keep my Christmas! indeed it is
not in all the forms; I have stuck no laurel and holly in my
windows, I eat no turkey and chine, I have no tenants to
invite, I have not brought a single soul With me. The weather
is excessively stormy, but has been so warm, and so entirely
free from frost the whole winter, that not only several of' my
honeysuckles are come out, but I have literally a blossom upon
a nectarine-tree, which I believe was never seen in this
climate before on the 26th of December. I am extremely busy
here planting; I have got four more acres, which makes my
territory prodigious in a situation where land is so scarce,
and villas as abundant as formerly at Tivoli and Baiae. I
have now about fourteen acres, and am making a terrace the
whole breadth of my garden on the brow of a natural hill, With
meadows at the foot, and commanding the river, the village,
Richmond-hill, and the park, and part of Kingston-but I hope
never to show it you. What you hint at in your last, increase
of character, I should be extremely against your stirring in
now: the whole system of embassies is in confusion, and more
candidates than employments. I would have yours pass, as it
is, for settled. If you were to be talked especially for a
higher character at Florence, one don't know whom the
-,additional dignity might tempt. Hereafter, perhaps, it
might be practicable for you, but I would by no means advise
your soliciting it at present. Sir Charles Williams is the
great obstacle to all arrangement: Mr. Fox makes a point of
his going to Turin; the ministry, Who do not love him, are not
for his going any where. Mr. Villiers is talked of for
Vienna, though just made a lord of the admiralty. There were
so many competitors, that at last Mr. Pelham said he would
carry in two names to the King, and he should choose (a great
indulgence!) Sir Peter Warren and Villiers were carried in;
the King chose the latter. I believe there is a little of
Lord Granville in this, and in a Mr. Hooper, who was turned
out with the last ministry, and is now made a commissioner of
the customs: the pretence is, to vacate a seat in Parliament
for Sir Thomas Robinson, who is made a lord of trade; a scurvy
reward after making the peace. Mr. Villiers, you know, has
been much gazetted, and had his letters to the King of Prussia
printed; but he is a very silly fellow. I met him the other
day at Lord Granville's, where, on the subject of a new play,
he began to give the Earl an account of CoriolanUS, with
reflections on his history. Lord Granville at last grew
impatient, and said, "Well! well! it is an old story; it may
not be true." As we went out together, I said, "I like the
approach to this house."'(1494) "Yes,"said Villiers, "and I
love to be in it; for I never come here but I hear something I
did not know before." Last year, I asked him to attend a
controverted election in which I was interested; he told me he
would with all his heart, but that he had resolved not to vote
in elections for the first session, for that he owned he could
not understand them--not understand them!
Lord St. John(1495) is dead; he had a place in the
custom-house of 1200 pounds a year, which his father had
bought of the Duchess of Kendal for two lives, for 4000
pounds. Mr. Pelham has got it for Lord Lincoln and his child.
I told you in my last a great deal about old Somerset's will:
they have since found 150,000 which goes, too, between the two
daughters. It had been feared that he would leave nothing to
the youngest; two or three years ago, he waked after dinner
and found himself upon the floor; she used to watch him, had
left him, and he had fallen from his couch. He forbade every
body to speak to her, but yet to treat her with respect as his
daughter. She went about the house for a year, without any
body daring openly to utter a syllable to her; and it was
never known that he had forgiven her. His whole stupid life
was a series of pride and tyranny.
There have been great contests in the Privy Council about the
trial of the Vice-Chancellor of Oxford: the Duke of' Bedford
and Lord Gower pressed it extremely. The latter asked the
Attorney-General(1496) his opinion, who told him the evidence
did not appear strong enough: Lord Gower said, "Mr. Attorney,
you Seem to be very lukewarm for your party." He replied, "My
lord, I never was lukewarm for my party, nor ever was but Of
one party." There is a scheme for vesting in the King the
nomination of' the Chancellor of that University,(1497) who
has much power--and much noise it would make! The Lord
Chancellor is to be High Steward of Cambridge, in succession
to the Duke of Newcastle.
The families of Devonshire and Chesterfield have received a
great blow at Derby, where, on the death of John Stanhope,
they set up another of the name. One Mr. Rivett, the Duke's
chief friend and manager. stood himself, and carried it by a
majority of seventy-one. Lord Chesterfield had sent down
credit for ten thousand pounds. The Cavendish's. however, are
very happy, for Lady Hartington(1498) has produced a
I asked a very intelligent person if there could be any
foundation for the story of Niccolini's banishment taking its
rise from complaints of our court: he answered very sensibly,
that even if our court had complained, -which was most
unlikely, it was not at all probable that the court of Vienna
would have paid any regard to it. There is another paragraph
in your same letter in which I must set you right: you talk Of
the sudden change of my opinion about Lord Walpole:(1500) I
never had but one opinion about him, and that was always most
favourable: nor can I imagine what occasioned your mistake,
unless my calling him a wild boy, where I talked of the
consequences of his father's death. I meant nothing in the
world by wild, but the thoughtlessness of a boy of nineteen,
who comes to the possession of a peerage and an estate. My
partiality, I am sure, could never let me say any thing else
Mr. Chute's sister is dead. When I came from town Mr. Whithed
had heard nothing of her will - she had about four thousand
pounds. The brother is so capricious a monster, that we
almost hope she has not given the whole to our friend.
You will be diverted with a story I am going to tell You; it
is very long, and so is my letter already; but you perceive I
am in the country and have nothing to hurry me. There is
about town a Sir William Burdett,*1501) a man of a very good
family, but most infamous character. He formerly was at Paris
with a Mrs. Penn, a Quaker's wife, whom he there bequeathed to
the public, and was afterwards a sharper at Brussels, and
lately came to England to discover a plot for poisoning the
Prince of Orange, in which I believe he was poisoner, poison,
and informer all himself. In short, to give you his character
at once, there is a wager entered in the bet-book at White's
(a MS. of which I may one day or other give you an account),
that the first baronet that will be hanged is this Sir William
Burdett. About two months ago he met at St. James's, a Lord
Castledurrow,(1502) a young Irishman, and no genius as you
will find, and entered into conversation with him: the Lord,
seeing a gentleman, fine, polite, and acquainted with every
body, invited him to dinner for next day, and a Captain
Rodney,(1503) a young seaman, who has made a fortune by very
gallant behaviour during the war. At dinner it came out, that
neither the Lord nor the Captain had ever been at any
Pelham-levees. "Good God!" said Sir William, "that must not
be so any longer; I beg I may carry you to both the Duke and
Mr. Pelham: I flatter myself I am very well with both." The
appointment was made for the next Wednesday and Friday; in the
mean time, he invited the two young men to dine with him the
next day. When they came, he presented them to a lady,
dressed foreign, as a princess of the house of' Brandenburg:
she had a toadeater, and there was another man, who gave
himself for a count. After dinner Sir William looked at his
watch, and said, "J-s! it is not so late as I thought by an
hour; Princess, will your Highness say how we shall divert
ourselves till it is time to go to the play!" "Oh!" said she,
"for my part you know I abominate every thing but pharaoh." "I
am very sorry, Madam," replied he, very gravely, "but I don't
know whom your Highness will get to tally to you; you know I
am ruined by dealing'." "Oh!" says she, "the Count will deal
to us." "I would with all my soul." said the Count, "but I
protest I have no money about me." She insisted: at last the
Count said, "Since your Highness commands us peremptorily, I
believe Sir William has four or five hundred pounds of mine,
that I am to pay away in the city to-morrow: if he will be so
good as to step to his bureau for that Sum, I will make a bank
of it." Mr. Rodney owns he was a little astonished at seeing
the Count shuffle with the faces of the cards upwards; but
concluding that Sir 'William Burdett, at whose house he was,
was a relation or particular friend of Lord Castledurrow, he
was unwilling to affront my lord. In short, my lord and he
lost about a hundred and fifty apiece, and it was settled that
they should meet for payment the next morning at breakfast at
Ranelagh, In the mean time Lord C. had the curiosity to
inquire a little int the character of his new friend the
Baronet; and being au fait, he went up to him at Ranelagh and
apostrophized him; "Sir William, here is the sum I think I
lost last night; since that I have heard that you are a
professed pickpocket, and therefore desire to have no further
acquaintance with you." Sir William bowed, took the money and
no notice; but as they were going away, he followed Lord
Castledurrow and said, "Good God, my lord, my equipage is not
come; will you be so good as to set me down at
Buckingham-gate?" and without staying for an answer, whipped
into the chariot and came to town with him. If you don't
admire the coolness of this impudence, I shall wonder. Adieu!
I have written till I can scarce write my name.(1504)
(1494) Lord Granville's house in Arlington Street was the
lowest in the street on the side of the Green-park-D.
(1495) John, second Viscount St. John, the only surviving son
of Henry, first Viscount St. John, by his second wife,
Angelica Magdalene, daughter of George Pillesary,
treasurer-general of the marines in France, He was half-
brother of the celebrated Henry, Viscount Bolingbroke, who was
the only son of the said Henry, first Viscount St. John, by
his first wife Mary, second daughter of Robert Rich, Earl of
Warwick. John, second Viscount St. John, was the direct
ancestor of the present Viscount Bolingbroke and St. John.-D.
(1496) Sir Dudley Ryder.
(1497) In consequence of the University's always electing
Jacobites to that office.-D.
(1498) Lady Charlotte Boyle, second daughter of Richard, Earl
of Burlington and Cork, and wife of William, Marquis of
(1499) William Cavendish, afterwards fifth Duke of Devonshire,
and Knight of the Garter. He died in 1811.-D.
(1500) George, third Earl of Orford.
(1501) Sir William Vigors Burdett, of Dunmore, in the county
(1502) Henry Flower, Lord Castledurrow, and afterwards created
(1503) George Brydges Rodney. He had distinguished himself in
Lord Hawke's victory, In 1761 he took the French island of
Martinique. In 1779 he met and defeated the Spanish fleet
commanded by Don Juan de Langara, and relieved the garrison of
gibraltar, which was closely besieged; and in 1789, he
obtained his celebrated victory over the French fleet
commanded by Count de Grasse. For this latter service he was
created a peer, by the title of Baron Rodney, of Rodney Stoke
in the county of Somerset. He died May 24, 1792.
The letter which immediately followed this miscarried.