This page contains affiliate links. As Amazon Associates we earn from qualifying purchases.
Language:
Form:
Genre:
Published:
Tags:
Buy it on Amazon FREE Audible 30 days

(1246) Alluding to Mr. Pitt, who had lately been preferred to that post, from the fear the ministry had of his abusive eloquence.

(1247) Charles, fifth Lord Cornwallis. He was created an earl in 1753, and died in 1762.-D.

(1248) James, sixth Duke of Hamilton: died in 1758.-D.

(1249) “The Duke,” says Sir Walter Scott, ” was received with all the honours due to conquest; and all the incorporated bodies of the capital, from the guild brethren to the butchers, desired his acceptance of the freedom of their craft, or corporation.” Billy the Butcher was one of his by-names.-E.

(1250) Charles Stuart, fifth Earl of Traquair.-D.

494 Letter 212
To George Montagu, Esq.
Arlington Street, Aug. 2, 1746.

Dear George,
You have lost nothing by missing yesterday at the trials, but a little additional contempt for the High Steward; and even that is recoverable, as his long, paltry speech is to be printed; for which, and for thanks for it, Lord Lincoln moved the House of Lords. Somebody said to Sir Charles Windham, “Oh! you don’t think Lord Hardwicke’s speech good, because you have read Lord Cowper’s.”–“No,” replied he; “but I do think it tolerable, because I heard Serjeant Skinner’s.”(1251) Poor brave old Balmerino retracted his plea, asked pardon, and desired the Lords to intercede for mercy. As he returned to the Tower, he stopped the coach at Charing-cross to buy honey-blobs as the Scotch call gooseberries. He says he is extremely afraid Lord Kilmarnock will not behave well. The Duke said publicly at his levee, that the latter proposed murdering the English prisoners. His Highness was to have given Peggy Banks a ball last night; but was persuaded to defer it, as it would have rather looked like an insult on the prisoners, the very day their sentence was passed. George Selwyn says that he had begged Sir William Saunderson to get him the High Steward’s wand, after it was broke, as a curiosity; but that he behaved so like an attorney the first day, and so like a pettifogger the second, that he would not take it to light his fire with; I don’t believe my Lady Hardwicke is so high-minded.

Your cousin Sandwich(1252) is certainly going on an embassy to Holland. I don’t know whether it is to qualify him, by new dignity, for the head of the admiralty, or whether (which is more agreeable to present policy) to satisfy him instead of it. I know when Lord Malton,(1253) who was a young earl, asked for the garter, to stop his pretensions, they made him a marquis. When Lord Brooke, who is likely to have ten sons, though he has none yet, asked to have his barony settled on his daughters, they refused him with an earldom; and they professed making Pitt paymaster, in order to silence the avidity of his faction.

Dear George, I am afraid I shall not be in your neighbourhood, as I promised myself. Sir Charles Williams has let his house. I wish you would one day whisk over and look at Harley House. The inclosed advertisement makes it sound pretty, though I am afraid too large for me. Do look at it impartially: don’t be struck at first sight with any brave old windows; but be so good as to inquire the rent, and if I can have it for a year, and with any furniture. I have not had time to copy out the verses, but you shall have them soon. Adieu, with my compliments to your sisters.

(1251) Matthew Skinner, afterwards a Welsh judge.-E.

(1252) John, the fourth Earl of Sandwich; son of Edward Richard, Viscount Hichinbrooke. He signed the treaty of peace at Aix-la-Chapelle in 1748.

(1253) Thomas Watson Wentworth, Earl of Malton, created Marquis of Rockingham, in 1746. [He died In 1782, when his title became extinct.)

495 Letter 213
To George Montagu, Esq.
Arlington Street, Aug. 5, 1746.

Though I can’t this week accept your invitation, I can prove to you that I am most desirous of passing my time with you, and therefore en attendant Harley House, if you can find me out any clean, small house in Windsor, ready furnished, that is not -,absolutely in the middle of the town, but near you, I should be glad to take it for three or four months.(1254) I have been about Sir Robert Rich’s, but they will only sell it. I am as far from guessing why they send Sandwich in embassy, as you are; and, when I recollect of what various materials our late ambassadors have been composed, I can only say, “ex quovis ligno fit Mercurius.” Murray(1255) has certainly been discovering, and warrants are out; but I don’t yet know who are to be their prize. I begin to think that the ministry had really no intelligence till now. I before thought they had, but durst not use it. A-propos to not daring, I went t’other night to look at my poor favourite Chelsea,(1256) for the little Newcastle is gone to be dipped in the sea. In one of the rooms is a bed for her Duke, and a press-bed for his footman; for he never dares lie alone, and, till be was married, had always a servant to sit up with him. Lady Cromartie presented her petition to the King last Sunday. He was very civil to her, but would not at all give her any hopes. She swooned away as soon as he was gone.(1257) Lord Corn-wallis told me that her lord weeps every time any thing of his fate is mentioned to him. Old Balmerino keeps up his spirits to the same pitch of gaiety. In the cell at Westminster he showed Lord Kilmarnock how he must lay his head; bid him not wince, lest the stroke should cut his skull or his shoulders, and advised him to bite his lips. As they were to return, he begged they might have another bottle together, as they should never meet any more till—, and then pointed to his neck. At getting into the coach, he said to the gaoler, “Take care, or you will break my shins with this damned axe.”(1258)

I must tell you a bon-mot of George Selwyn’s at the trial. He saw Bethel’s(1259) sharp visage looking wistfully at the rebel lords; he said, What a shame it is to turn her face to the prisoners till they are condemned.” If you have a mind for a true foreign idea, one of the foreign ministers said at the trial to another, “Vraiment cela est auguste.” “Oui,” replied the other, “cela est vrai, mais cela n’est pas royale.” the I am assured that the old Countess of Errol made her son Lord Kilmarnock(1260) go into the rebellion on pain of disinheriting him. I don’t know whether I told you that the man at the tennis-court protests that he has known him dine at the man that sells pamphlets at Storey’s Gate; “and,” says he, “he would often have been glad if I would have taken him home to dinner.” He was certainly so poor, that in one of his wife’s intercepted letters she tells him she has plagued their steward for a fortnight for money, and can get but three shillings. Can any one help pitying such distress?(1261) I am vastly softened, too, about Balmerino’s relapse, for his pardon was only granted him to engage his brother’s vote in the election of Scotch peers.

My Lord Chancellor has got a thousand pounds in present for his high stewardship, and has @(it the reversion of clerk of the crown (twelve hundred a-year) for his second son. What a long time it will be before his posterity are drove into rebellion for want, like Lord Kilmarnock!

The Duke gave his ball last night to Peggy Banks at Vauxhall. It was to pique my Lady Rochford, in return for the Prince of Hesse. I saw the company get into their barges at Whitehall Stairs, as I was going myself, and just then passed by two city companies in their great barges, who had been a swan-hopping:. They laid by and played “God save our noble King,” and altogether it was a mighty pretty show. When they came to Vauxhall, there were assembled about five-and-twenty hundred people, besides crowds without. They huzzaed, and surrounded him so, that he was forced to retreat into the ball-room. He was very near being drowned t’other night going from Ranelagh to Vauxhall, and politeness of Lord Cathcart’s, who, stepping on the side of the boat to lend his arm, overset it, and both fell into the water up to their chins.

I have not yet got Sir Charles’s ode;(1262) when I have, you shall see it: here are my own lines. Good night!

(1260) The Earl of Kilmarnock was not the son of the Countess of Errol. His wife, the Lady Anne Livingstone, daughter of the Earl of Linlithgow, was her niece, and, eventually, her heiress.–E.

(1261) The Duke of Argyle, telling him how sorry he was to see him engaged in such a cause, ‘MY Lord,’ says be, ‘for the two Kings and their rights, I care not a farthing which prevailed; but I was starving, and by God, if Mahomet had set up his standard in the highlands, I had been a good Mussulman for bread, and stuck close to the party, for I must eat.'” Gray, vol. 5.-E.

(1262) On the Duchess of Manchester, entitled Isabella, or the Morning.-E.

497 Letter 214
To George Montagu, Esq.
Arlington Street, Aug. 11, 1746.

Dear George,
I have seen Mr. Jordan, and have taken his house at forty guineas a-year, but I am to pay taxes. Shall I now accept your offer of being at the trouble of giving orders for the airing of it? I have desired the landlord will order the key to be delivered to you, and Asheton will assist you. Furniture, I find, I have in abundance, which I shall send down immediately; but shall not be able to be at Windsor at the quivering dame’s before to-morrow se’nnight, as the rebel Lords are not to be executed till Monday. I shall stay till that is over, though I don’t believe I shall see it. Lord Cromartie is reprieved for a pardon. If wives and children become an argument for saving rebels, there will cease to be a reason against their going into rebellion. Lady Caroline Fitzroy’s execution is certainly to-night. I dare say she will follow Lord Balmerino’s advice to Lord Kilmarnock, and not winch.

Lord Sandwich has made Mr. Keith his secretary. I don’t believe the founder of your race, the great Quu,(1263) of Habiculeo, would have chosen his secretary from California.

I would willingly return the civilities you laid upon me at Windsor. Do command me; in what can I serve you? Shall I get you an earldom? Don’t think it will be any trouble; there is nothing easier or cheaper. Lord Hobart and Lord Fitzwilliam are both to be Earls to-morrow: the former, of Buckingham; the latter, by his already title. I suppose Lord Malton will be a Duke; he has had no new peerage this fortnight. Adieu! my compliments to the virtuous ladies, Arabella and Hounsibeloa Quus.

P. S. Here is an order for the key.

(1263) The Earl of Halifax.-E.

497 Letter 215
To sir Horace Mann.
Arlington Street, Aug. 12, 1746.

To begin with the Tesi; she is mad if she desires to come hither. I hate long histories, and so will only tell you in a few words, that Lord Middlesex(1264) took the opportunity of a rivalship between his own mistress, the Nardi, and the Violette,(1265) the finest and most admired dancer in the world, to involve the whole m`enage of the Opera in the quarrel, and has paid nobody; but, like a true Lord of the Treasury, has shut up his own exchequer. The principal man-dancer was arrested for debt; to the composer his Lordship gave a bad note, not payable in two years, besides amercing him entirely three hundred pounds, on pretence of his siding with the Violette. If the Tesi likes this account-venga! venga!

Did I tell you that your friend Lord Sandwich was sent’ /ambassador to Holland? He is: and that Lady Charlotte Fermor(1266) was to be married to Mr. Finch,(1267) the Vice-chamberlain? She is. Mr. Finch is a comely black widower, without children, and heir to his brother Winchilsea, who has no sons. The Countess-mother has been in an embroil, (as we have often known her,) about carrying Miss Shelly, a bosom-friend, into the Peeresses’ place at the trials. Lord Granville, who is extremely fond of Lady Charlotte, has given her all her sister’s jewels, to the great discontent of his own daughters. She has five thousand pounds, and Mr. Finch Settles fifteen thousand pounds more upon her. Now we are upon the chapter of marriages, Lord Petersham(1268) was last night married to One Of our first beauties, Lady Caroline Fitzroy;(1269) and Lord Coke(1270) is to have the youngest of the late Duke of Argyl@s daughters,)1271) who is none of our beauties at all.

Princess Louisa has already reached the object of her wish ever since she could speak, and is Queen of Denmark, We have been a little lucky lately in the deaths of Kings, and promise ourselves great matters from the new monarch in Spain.(1272) Princess Mary is coming over from Hesse to drink the Bath waters; that is the pretence for leaving her brutal husband, and for visiting the Duke and Princess Caroline, who love her extremely. She is of the softest, mildest temper in the world.

We know nothing certainly of the young Pretender, but that he is concealed in Scotland, and devoured with distempers – I really wonder how an Italian constitution can have supported such rigours! He has said, that “he did not see what he had to be ashamed of; and that if he had lost one battle, he had gained two.” Old Lovat curses Cope and Hawley for the loss of those two, and says, if they had done their duty, he had never been in this scrape. Cope is actually going to be tried; but Hawley, who is fifty times more culpable, is saved by partiality: Cope miscarried by incapacity; Hawley, by insolence and carelessness.

Lord Cromartie is reprieved; the Prince asked his life, and his wife made great intercession. Duke Hamilton’s intercession for Lord Kilmarnock has rather hurried him to the block: he and Lord Balmerino are to die next Monday. Lord Kilmarnock, with the greatest nobleness of soul, desired to have Lord Cromartie preferred to himself for pardon, if there could be but one saved; and Lord Balmerino laments that himself and Lord Lovat were not taken at the same time; “For then,” says he, “we might have been sacrificed, and those other two brave men escaped.” Indeed Lord Cromartie does not much deserve the epithet; for he wept whenever his execution was mentioned. Balmerino is jolly with ‘his pretty Peggy. There is a remarkable story of him at the battle of Dunblain, where the Duke of Argyll, his colonel, answered for him, on his being suspected. He behaved well; but as soon as we had gained the victory, went off with his troop to the Pretender: protesting that he had never feared death but that day, as he had been fighting against his conscience. Popularity has changed sides since the year ’15, for now the city and the generality are very angry that so Many rebels have been pardoned. Some of those taken at Carlisle dispersed papers at their execution, saying they forgave ‘all men but three, the Elector of Hanover, the pretended Duke of Cumberland, and the Duke of Richmond, who signed the capitulation at Carlisle.(1273)

Wish Mr. Hobart joy of ])is new lordship; his father took his seat to-day as Earl of Buckingham -. Lord Fitzwilliam is made English earl with him, by his old title. Lord TankerVille(1274) goes governor to Jamaica: a cruel method of recruiting a prodigal nobleman’s broken fortune, by sending him to pillage a province! Adieu!

P. S. I have taken a pretty house at Windsor and am going thither for the remainder of the summer.

(1264) Charles Sackville, eldest son of Lionel, Duke of Dorset, a Lord of the Treasury.

(1265) She was born at Vienna, in February, 1724-5, and married to Garrick, the celebrated actor, in June, 1749. She died in October, 1822, in the ninety-eighth year of her age.-E.

(1266) Second daughter of Thomas, Earl of Pomfret, and sister of Lady Granville.

(1267) William Finch, brother of the Earl of Winchilsea, had been ambassador in Holland.

(1268) Son of the Earl of Harrington, Secretary of State.

(1269) Eldest daughter of Charles, Duke of Grafton, Lord Chamberlain.

(1270) Edward, only son of Thomas, Earl of Leicester.

(1271) Lady Mary Campbell. She survived her husband fifty-eight years; he having died in 1753, and she in 1811.-D.

(1272) Philip the Fifth, the mad and imbecile King of Spain, was just dead. He was succeeded by his son Ferdinand the Sixth, who died in 1759.–D.

(1273) A melancholy and romantic incident which took place amid the terrors of the executions is thus related by Sir Walter Scott:–“A young lady, of good family and handsome fortune, who had been contracted in marriage to James Dawson, one of the sufferers, had taken the desperate resolution of attending on the horrid ceremonial. She beheld her lover, after being suspended for a few minutes, but not till death (for such was the barbarous sentence), cut down, embowelled, and mangled by the knife of the executioner. All this she supported with apparent fortitude; but when she saw the last scene, finished, by throwing Dawson’s heart into the fire, she drew her head within the carriage, repeated his name, and expired on the spot.” This melancholy event was made, by Shenstone, the theme of a tragic ballad:–

“The dismal scene was o’er and past,
The lover’s mournful hearse retired; The maid drew back her languid head,
And, sighing forth his name, expired

“though justice ever must prevail,
The tear my Kitty shed is due;
For seldom shall she hear a tale
So sad, so tender, yet so true.”

James Dawson was one of the nine men who suffered at Kennington, on the 30th Of July.-E.

(1274) Charles Bennet, second Earl of TankerVille. The appointment did not take place. He died in 1753. His wife, Camilla, daughter of Edward Colville, of White-house, in the bishopric of Durham, Esq. survived till 1775, aged one hundred and five.–E.

500 Letter 216
To George Montagu, Esq,
Arlington Street, Aug. 16, 1746.

Dear George,
I shall be with you on Tuesday night, and since you are so good as to be my Rowland white, must beg my apartment at the quivering dame’s may be aired for me. My caravan sets out with all my household stuff on Monday; but I have heard nothing of your sister’s hamper, nor do I know how to send the bantams by it, but will leave them here till I am more settled under the shade of my own mulberry- tree.

I have been this morning at the Tower, and passed under the new heads at Temple Bar,(1275) where people make a trade of letting spying-glasses at a halfpenny a look. Old Lovat arrived last night. I saw Murray, Lord Derwentwater, Lord Traquair, Lord Cromartie and his son, and the Lord Provost, -,it their respective windows. The other two wretched Lords are in dismal towers, and they have stopped up one of old Balmerino’s windows because he talked to the populace; and now he has only one, which looks directly upon all the scaffolding. They brought in the death-warrant at his dinner. His wife fainted. He said, “Lieutenant, with your damned warrant you have spoiled my lady’s stomach.” He has written a sensible letter to the Duke to beg his intercession, and the Duke has given it to the King; but gave a much colder answer to Duke Hamilton, who went to beg it for Lord Kilmarnock: he told him the affair was in the King’s hands, and that he had nothing to do with it. Lord Kilmarnock, who has hitherto kept up his spirits, grows extremely terrified. It will be difficult to make you believe to what heights of affectation or extravagance my Lady Townshend carries her passion for my Lord Kilmarnock, whom she never saw but at the bar of his trial, and was smitten with his falling shoulders. She has been under his windows; sends messages to him; has got his dog and his snuff-box; has taken lodgings out of town for to-morrow and Monday night, and then goes to Greenwich; forswears conversing with the bloody English, and has taken a French master. She insisted on Lord Hervey’s promising her he would not sleep a whole night for my Lord Kilmarnock, “and in return,” says she, “never trust me more if I am not as yellow as a jonquil for him.”(1276) She said gravely t’other day, “Since I saw my Lord Kilmarnock, I really think no more of Sir Harry Nisbett than if there was no such man in the world.” But of all her flights, yesterday was the strongest. George Selwyn dined with her, and not thinking her affliction so serious as she pretends, talked rather jokingly of the execution. She burst into a flood of tears and rage, told him she now believed all his father and mother had said of him; and with a thousand other reproaches flung upstairs. George coolly took Mrs. Dorcas, her woman, and made her sit down to finish the bottle: “And pray, sir,” said Dorcas, “do you think my lady will be prevailed upon to let me go see the execution? I have a friend that has promised to take care of me, and I can lie in the Tower the night before.” My lady has quarrelled with Sir Charles Windham for calling the two Lords malefactors. The idea seems to be general; for ’tis said Lord Cromartie is to be transported, which diverts me for the dignity of the peerage. The ministry really gave it as a reason against their casting lots for pardon, that it was below their dignity. I did not know but that might proceed from Balmerino’S not being an earl; and therefore, now their hand is in, would have them make him one. You will see in the papers the second great victory at Placentia. There are papers pasted in several parts of the town, threatening your cousin Sandwich’s head if be makes a dishonourable peace. I will bring you down Sir Charles Williams’s new Ode on the Manchester.(1277) Adieu!

(1275) In the sixth volume of “London and its Environs described,” published in 1761, a work which furnishes a curious view of the state of the metropolis on the accession of George the Third, it is not only gravely stated of Temple Bar, that, “since the erection of this gate, it has been particularly distinguished by having the heads of such as have been executed for high treason placed upon it,” but the accompanying plate exhibits it as being at that time surmounted by three such disgusting proofs of the- then semi-barbarous state of our criminal code. The following anecdote, in reference to this exhibition, was related by Dr. Johnson in 1773:–“I remember once being with Goldsmith in Westminster Abbey: while we surveyed the Poet’s Corner, I said to him,

‘Forsitan et nostrum nomen miscebitur istis.’

When we got to Temple Bar, he stopped me, pointed to the heads upon it, and slily whispered me,

‘Forsitan et nostrum nomen miscebitur ISTIS.”‘ Life, vol. iii. p. 2@.-E

( 276) “This,” says the Quarterly Review, “is an odd illustration of the truth of the first line in the following couplet, which begins an epigram ascribed to Johnson:–

‘Pitied by gentle minds, Kilmarnock died: The brave, Balmerino, are on thy side.'”–E.

(1277) Isabel, Duchess of Manchester, married to Edward Hussey, Esq.-E.

501 Letter 217
To sir Horace Mann.
Windsor, Aug. 21, 1746.

You will perceive by my date that I am got into a new scene, and that I am retired hither like an old summer dowager; Only that I have no toad-eater to take the air with me in the back part of my lozenge-coach, and to be scolded. I have taken a small house here within the castle and propose spending the greatest part of every week here till the parliament meets; but my jaunts to town will prevent my news from being quite provincial and marvellous. Then, I promise you, I will go to no races nor assemblies, nor make comments upon couples that come in chaises to the White Hart.

I came from town (for take notice, I put this place upon myself for the country) the day after the execution of the rebel Lords: I was not at it, but had two persons come to me directly who were at the next house to the scaffold; and I saw another who was upon it, so that you may depend upon my accounts.

Just before they came out of the Tower, Lord Balmerino drank a bumper to King James’s health. As the clock struck ten they came forth on foot, Lord Kilmarnock all in black, his hair unpowdered in a bag: supported by Forster, the great Presbyterian, and by Mr. Home a young clergyman, his friend. Lord Balmerino followed], alone, in a blue coat turned up with red, his rebellious regimentals, a flannel waistcoat, and his shroud beneath; their hearses following They were conducted to a house near the scaffold; the room forwards had benches for spectators; in the second Lord Kilmarnock was put, and in the third backwards Lord Balmerino; all three chambers hung with black. Here they parted! Balmerino embraced the other, and said, “My lord, I wish I could suffer for both!” he had scarce left him, before he desired again to see him, and then asked him, “My Lord Kilmarnock, do you know any thing of the resolution taken in our army, the day before the battle of Culloden, to put the English prisoners to death?” He replied, “My lord, I was not present; but since I came hither, I have had all the reason in the world to believe that there was such order taken; and I hear the Duke has the pocket-book with the order.” Balmerino answered, “It was a lie raised to excuse their barbarity to us.”-Take notice, that the Duke’s charging this on Lord Kilmarnock (certainly on misinformation) decided this unhappy man’s fate! The most now pretended is, that it would have come to Lord Kilmarnock’s turn to have given the word for the slaughter, as lieutenant-general, with the patent for which he was immediately drawn into the rebellion, after having been staggered by his wife, her mother, his own poverty, and the defeat of Cope. He remained an hour and a half in the house, and shed tears. At last he came to the scaffold, certainly much terrified, but with a resolution that prevented his behaving in the least meanly or unlike a gentleman.(1278) He took no notice of the crowd, only to desire that the baize might be lifted up from the rails, that the mob might see the spectacle. He stood and prayed some time with Forster, who wept over him, exhorted and encouraged him. He delivered a long speech to the Sheriff, and with a noble manliness stuck to the recantation he had made at his trial; declaring he wished that all who embarked in the same cause might meet the same fate. he then took off his bag, coat and waistcoat with great composure, and after some trouble put on a napkin-cap, and then several times tried the block; the executioner, who was in white with a white apron, out of tenderness concealing the axe behind himself. At last the Earl knelt down, with a visible unwillingness to depart, and after five minutes dropped his handkerchief, the signal, and his head was cut off at once, only hanging by a bit of skin, and was received in a scarlet cloth by four of the undertaker’s men kneeling, who wrapped it up and put it into the coffin with the body; orders having been given not to expose the heads, as used to be the custom.

The scaffold was immediately new-strewed with saw-dust, the block new-covered, the executioner new-dressed, and a new axe brought. Then came old Balmerino, treading with the air of a general. As soon as he mounted the scaffold, he read the inscription on his coffin, as he did again afterwards: he then surveyed the spectators, who were in amazing numbers, even upon masts of ships in the river; and pulling out his spectacles, read a treasonable speech,(1279) which he delivered to the Sheriff, and said, the young Pretender was so sweet a Prince that flesh and blood could not resist following him; and lying down to try the block, he said, “If I had a thousand lives, I would lay them all down here in the same cause.” he said, “if he had not taken the sacrament the day before, he would have knocked down Williamson, the lieutenant of the Tower, for his ill usage of him. He took the axe and felt it, and asked the headsman how many blows he had given Lord Kilmarnock; and gave him three guineas. Two clergymen, who attended him, coming up, he said, “No, gentlemen, I believe you have already done me all the service you can.” Then he went to the corner of the scaffold, and called very loud for the warder, to give him his periwig, which he took off, and put on a nightcap of Scotch plaid, and then pulled off his coat and waistcoat and lay down; but being told he was on the wrong side, vaulted round, and immediately gave the sign by tossing up his arm, as if he were giving the signal for battle. He received three blows, but the first certainly took away all sensation. He was not a quarter of an hour on the scaffold; Lord Kilmarnock above half a one. Balmerino certainly died with the intrepidity of a hero, but with the insensibility of one too.(1280) As he walked from his prison to execution, seeing every window and top of house filled with spectators, he cried out, “Look, look, how they are all piled up like rotten oranges!”

My Lady Townshend, who fell in love -with Lord Kilmarnock at his trial, will go nowhere to dinner, for fear of meeting with a rebel- pie; she says, every body is so bloody-minded, that they eat rebels! The Prince of Wales, whose intercession saved Lord Cromartie, says he did it in return for old Sir William Gordon, Lady Cromartie’s father, coming down out of his deathbed to vote against my father in the Chippenham election.(1281) If his Royal Highness had not countenanced inveteracy like that of Sir Gordon he would have no occasion to exert his gratitude now in favour of rebels. His brother has plucked a very useful feather out of the cap of the ministry, by forbidding any application for posts in the army to be made to any body but himself: a resolution I dare say, he will keep as strictly and minutely as he does the discipline and dress of the army. Adieu!

P. S. I have just received yours of Aug. 9th. You had not then heard of the second great battle of Placentia, which has already occasioned new instructions, or, in effect, a recall, being sent after Lord Sandwich.

(1278) “When,” says Sir Walter Scott, in Tales of a Grandfather, “he beheld the fatal scaffold, covered with black cloth; the executioner with his axe and his assistants; the saw-dust which was soon to be drenched with his blood; the coffin prepared to receive the limbs which were yet warm with life; above all, the immense display of human countenances which surrounded the scaffold like a sea, all eyes being bent on the sad object of the preparation, his natural feelings broke forth in a whisper to the friend on whose arm he leaned, ‘Home, this is terrible!’ No sign of indecent timidity, however, affected his behaviour.”-E.

(1279) Ford, in his account, states that ” so far was this speech from being filled with passionate invective, that it mentioned his Majesty as a Prince of the greatest magnanimity and mercy, at the same time that, through erroneous ‘political principles, it denied him a right to the allegiance of his people.”-E.

(1280) He once more turned to his friends and took his last farewell, and looking on the crowd, said, ‘Perhaps some may think my behaviour too bold; but remember, Sir,’ said he to a gentleman who stood near him, ‘that I now declare it is the effect of confidence in God, and a good conscience, and I should dissemble if I should show any signs of fear.'” Ford.-E.

(1281) See ant`e, P. 215. (in Letter 51, which begins p. 212.)

504 Letter 218
To Sir Horace Mann.
Windsor, Sept. 15, 1746.

You have sent me Marquis Rinuncini with as much secrecy as if you had sent me a present. I was here; there came an exceedingly fair written and civil letter from you, dated last May: I comprehended by the formality of it, that it was written for the person who brought it, not for the person it was sent to. I have been to town on purpose to wait on him, and though you know he was not of my set, yet being of Florence and recommended by you, and recollecting how you used to cuddle over a bit of politics with the old Marquis,(1282) I set myself to be wondrous civil to Marquis Polco; pray, faites valoir ma politesse!(1283) You have no occasion to let people know exactly the situation of my villa; but talk of my standing in campagnaz and coming directly in sedia di posta, to far mio dovere al Signor Marchesino. I stayed literally an entire week with him, carried him to see palaces and Richmond gardens and park, and Chenevix’s shop, and talked a great deal to him alle conversationi. It is a wretched time for him; there is not a soul in town; no plays; and Ranelagh shut up. You may say I should have stayed longer with him. but I was obliged to return for fear of losing my vintage. I shall be in London again in a fortnight, and then I shall do more mille gentilezzes. Seriously, I was glad to see him-after I had got over being sorry to see him, (for with all the goodness of one’s Soquckin soqubut, as the Japanese call the heart, YOU must own it is a little troublesome to be showing the tombs,) I asked him a thousand questions, rubbed up my old tarnished Italian, and inquired about fifty people that I had entirely forgot till his arrival. He told me some passages, that I don’t forgive you for not mentioning; your Cicisbeatura, Sir, with the Antinora;(1284) and Manelli’s(1285) marriage and jealousy: who consoles my illustrious mistress?(1286) Rinuncini has announced the future arrival of the Abbate Niccolini, the elder Pandolfini, and the younger Panciatici; these two last, you know, were friends of mine; I shall be extremely glad to see them.

Your two last were of Aug. 23d and 30th. In the latter you talk of the execution of the rebel lords, but don’t tell me whether you received my long history of their trials. Your Florentines guessed very rightly about my Lady O.”s reasons for not returning amongst you: she has picked up a Mr. Shirley,(1287) no great genius–but with all her affectation of parts, you know she never was delicate about the capacity of her lovers. this swain has so little pretensions to any kind of genius, that two years ago being to act in the Duke of Bedford’s company,(1288) he kept back the play three weeks, because he could not get his part by heart, though it consisted but of seventeen lines and a half. With him she has retired to a villa near Newpark, and lets her house in town.

Your last letter only mentions the progress of the King of Sardinia towards Genoa; but there is an account actually arrived of his being master of it. It is very big new-,, and I hope will make us look a little haughty again: we are giving ourselves airs, and sending a secret expedition against France: we don’t indeed own that it is in favour of the Chevalier William Courtenay,(1289) who, you know, claims the crown of France, and whom King William threatened them to proclaim, when they proclaimed the Pretender; but I believe the Protestant Highlanders in the south of France are ready to join him the moment he lands. There is one Sir Watkin Williams, a great Baron in languedoc, and a Sir John Cotton, a Marquis of Dauphin`e,(1290) who have engaged to raise a great number of men, on the first debarkation that we make.

I think it begins to be believed that the Pretender’s son is got to France – pray, if he passes through Florence, make it as agreeable to him as you can, ,ind introduce him to all my acquaintance. I don’t indeed know him myself, but he is a particular friend of my cousin, Sir John Philipps,(1291) and of my sister-in-law Lady O., who will both take it extremely kindly–besides, do for your own sake you may make your peace with her this way; and if ever Lord Bath comes into power, she will secure your remaining at florence. Adieu!

(1282) Marquis Rinuncini, the elder, had been envoy in England, and prime minister to John Gaston, the last Great duke.

(1283) Grey, in a letter to Wharton of the 11th, says, “Mr. Walpole has taken a house in Windsor, and I see him usually once a week. He is at present gone to town, to perform the disagreeable task of presenting and introducing about a young Florentine, the Marquis Rinuncini, who comes recommended to him.” Works, vol. iii. @. 9.-E.

(1284) Sister of Madame Grifoni.

(1285) Signor Ottavio Manelli had been cicisbeo of Madame Grifoni.

(1286) Madame Grifoni.

(1287) Sewallis Shirley, uncle of Earl Ferrers. (He married Lady Orford, after her first husband’s death.-D)

(1288) The Duke of Bedford and his friends acted several plays at Woburn.

(1289) Sir William Courtenay, said to be the right heir of Louis le Gros. There is a notion that at the coronation of a new King of France, the Courtenays assert their pretensions, and that the King of France says to them, “Apres Nous, Vous.” [See Gibbon’s beautiful account of this family, in a digression to his History of the Decline and Fall, Vol. xi.]

(1290) Two Jacobite Knights of Wales and Cambridgeshire.

(1291) Sir J. Philipps, of Picton Castle in Pembrokeshire; a noted Jacobite. He was first cousin of Catherine Shorter, first wife of Sir Robert Walpole.

506 Letter 219
To sir Horace Mann.
Windsor, Oct. 2,1746.

By your own loss YOU may measure My joy at the receipt of the dear Chutes.(1292) I strolled to town one day last week, and there I found them! Poor creatures! there they were! wondering at every thing they saw, but with the difference from Englishmen that go abroad, O keeping their amazement to themselves. They will tell you of wild dukes in the playhouse, of streets dirtier than forests, and of women more uncouth than the streets. I found them extremely surprised at not finding any ready-furnished palace built round two courts. I do all I can to reconcile their country to them; though seriously they have no affectation, and have nothing particular in them, but that they have nothing particular: a fault, of which the climate and their neighbours will soon correct. You may imagine how we have talked you over, and how I have inquired after the state of your Wetbrownpaperhood. Mr. Chute adores you: do you know, that as well as I love you, I never found all those charms in you that he does! I own this to you out of pure honesty, that you may love him as much as he deserves. I don’t know how he will succeed here, but to me he has more wit than any body I know: he is altered, and I think, broken: Whitehed is grown leaner considerably, and is a very pretty gentleman.(1293) He did not reply to me as the Turcotti(1294) did bonnement to you when you told her she was a little thinner: do you remember how she puffed and chuckled, and said, “And indeed I think you are too.” Mr. Whitehed was not so sensible of the blessing of decrease, as to conclude that it would be acceptable news even to shadows: he thinks me plumped out. I would fain have enticed them down hither, and promised we would live just as if we were at the King’s Arms in via di Santo Spirito:(1295) but they were obliged to go chez eux, not pour se d`ecrasser, but pour se crasser. I shall introduce them a tutte le mie conoscenze, and shall try to make questo paese as agreeable to them as possible; except in one point, for I have sworn never to tell Mr. Chute a word of news, for then he will be writing it to you, and I shall have nothing to say. This is a lucky resolution for you, my dear child, for between two friends one generally hears nothing; the one concludes that the other has told all.

I have had two or three letters from you since I wrote. The young Pretender is generally believed to have got off the 18th of last month: if he were not, with the zeal of the Chutes, I believe they would be impatient to send a limb to Cardinal Acquaviva and Monsignor Piccolomini. I quite gain a winter with them, having had no expectation of them till spring’. Adieu!

(1292) John Chute and Francis Whitehed had been several years in Italy, chiefly at Florence.

(1293) Gray, in a letter to Mr. Chute, written at this time, thus describes Mr. Whithead:

“He is a fine young personage in a coat all over spangles, just come over from the tour in Europe to take possession and be married. I desire my hearty congratulations to him, and say I wish him more spangles, and more estates, and more wives.” Works, vol. iii. p. 20.-E.

(1294) A fine singer.

(1295) Mr. Mann hired a large palace of the Manetti family at Florence in via di Santo Spirito: foreign ministers in Italy affix large shields with the arms of their sovereign over their door.

507 Letter 220
To the Hon. H. S. Conway.
Windsor still, Oct. 3, 1746.

My dear Harry,
You ask me if I have really grown a philosopher. Really I believe not: for I shall refer you to my practice rather than to my doctrine, and have really acquired what they only pretended to seek, content. So far, indeed I was a philosopher even when I lived in town, for then I was content too; and all the difference I can conceive between those two opposite doctors was, that Aristippus loved London, and Diogenes Windsor; and if your master the Duke, whom I sincerely prefer to Alexander, and who certainly can intercept more sunshine, would but stand out of my way, which he is extremely in, while he lives in the park here,(1296) I should love my little tub of forty pounds a-year, more than my palace dans la rue des ministers, with all my pictures and bronzes, which you ridiculously imagine I have encumbered myself with in my solitude. Solitude it is, as to the tub itself, for no soul lives in it with me; though I could easily give you room at the butt end of it, and with -vast pleasure; but George Montagu, who perhaps is a philosopher too, though I am sure not of Pythagoras’s silent sect, lives but two barrels off; and Asheton, a Christian philosopher of our acquaintance, lives -,it the foot of that hill which you mention with a melancholy satisfaction that always attends the reflection. A- propos, here is an Ode on the very subject, which I desire you will please to like excessively:(1297)
****************

You will immediately conclude, out of good breeding, that it is mine, and that it is charming. I shall be much obliged to you for the first thought, but desire you will retain only the second; for it is Mr. Gray’s, and not your humble servant’s.

(1296) ” The Duke of Cumberland is here at his lodge with three women, and three aide-de-camps; and the country swarms with people. He goes to races and they make a ring about him as at a bear-baiting.” Gray to Wharton, Sept. 11. Works, vol. iii. p. 10.-E.

(1297) Here follows, in the original Mr. Gray’s Ode on a, distant prospect of Eton College. [This, which was the first English production of Gray which appeared in print, was published by Dodsley in the following year. Dr. Warton says, that ” little notice was taken of it, on its first publication.”-E.

508 Letter 221
To Sir Horace Mann.
Arlington Street, Oct. 14, 1746.

You will have been alarmed with the news of another battle(1298) lost in Flanders, where we have no Kings of Sardinia. We make light of it; do not allow it to be a battle, but call it “the action near Liege.” then, we have whittled down our loss extremely, and will not allow a man more than three hundred and fifty English slain out of the four thousand. The whole of’ it, as It appears to me, is, that we gave up eight battalions to avoid fighting; as at Newmarket people pay their forfeit when they foresee they should lose the race; though, if the whole army had fought, and we had lost the day, one might have hoped to have come off for eight battalions. Then they tell you that the French had four-and-twenty-pounders, and that they must beat us by the superiority of their cannon; so that to me it is grown a paradox, to war with a nation who have a mathematical certainty of beating you; or else it is a still stranger paradox, why you cannot have as large cannon as the French. This loss was balanced by a pompous account of the triumphs of our invasion of Bretagne; which, in plain terms, I think, is reduced to burning two or three villages and reimbarking: at least, two or three of the transports are returned with this history, and know not what is become of Lestock and the rest of the invasion. The young Pretender is landed in France, with thirty Scotch, but in such a wretched condition that his Highland Highness had no breeches.(1299)

I have received yours of the 27th of last month, with the capitulation of Genoa, and the kind conduct of the Austrians to us their allies, so extremely like their behaviour whenever they are fortunate. Pray, by the way, has there been any talk of my cousin,(1300) the Commodore, in letting slip some Spanish ships’!-don’t mention it as from me, but there are whispers of court-martial on him. They are all the fashion now; if you miss a post to me, I will have you tried by a court-martial. Cope is come off most gloriously, his courage ascertained, and even his conduct, which every body had given up, justified. Folkes and Lascelles, two of his generals, are come off too; but not so happily in the opinion of the world. Oglethorpe’s sentence is not yet public, but it is believed not to be favourable. He was always a bully, and is now tried for cowardice. Some little dash of the same sort is likely to mingle withe the judgment on il furibondo Matthews; though his party rises again a little, and Lestock’s acquittal begins to pass for a party affair. In short, we are a wretched people, and have seen our best days.

I must have lost a letter, if you really told me of the sale of the Duke of Modena’s pictures,(1301) as you think you did; for when Mr. Chute told it me, it struck me as quite new. They are out of town, good souls; and I shall not see them this fortnight; for I am here only for two or three days, to inquire after the battle, in which not one of my friends were. Adieu!

(1298) The battle of Rocoux; lost by the allies on the 11th of October.-E.

(1299) About the 18th of September, Prince Charles received intelligence that two French frigates had arrived at Lochnannagh, to carry him and other fugitives of his party to France: accordingly, after numerous wanderings in various disguises he embarked, on the 20th of September, attended by Lochiel, Colonel Roy Stuart, and about a hundred others of the relics of his party; and safely landed at the little port of Roscoff, near
Morlaix, in Brittany, on the 29th. ” During these wanderings,” says Sir Walter Scott, in Tales of a Grandfather, “the secret of the Adventurer’s concealment was intrusted to hundreds, of every sex, age, and condition; but no individual was found, in a high or low situation, or robbers even , who procured their food at the risk of their lives, who thought for an instant of obtaining opulence at the expense of treachery to the proscribed and miserable fugitive. Such disinterested conduct will reflect honour on the Highlands of Scotland while their mountains shall continue to exist.” Prose Works, vol. xxvi. p. 374.-E.

(1300) George Townshend, eldest son of Charles, Lord Viscount Townshend, by Dorothy, his second wife, sister of Sir Robert Walpole. (He was subsequently tried by a court-martial for his conduct upon this occasion, and honourably acquitted.-D.)

(1301) To the King of Poland.

509 Letter 222
To The Hon. H. S. Conway.
Windsor, Oct. 24, 1746.

Well, Harry, Scotland is the last place on earth I should have thought of for turning any body poet: but I begin to forgive it half its treasons in favour of your verses, for I suppose you don’t think I am the dupe of the highland story that you tell me: the only use I shall make of it is to commend the lines to you, as if they really were a Scotchman’s. There is a melancholy harmony in them that is charming, and a delicacy in the thoughts that no Scotchman is capable of, though a Scotchwoman(1302 might inspire it. I beg, both for Cynthia’s sake and my own, that you would continue your De Tristibus till I have an opportunity of seeing your muse, and she of rewarding her: Reprens ta musette, berger amoureux! If Cynthia has ever travelled ten miles in fairy-land, she must be wondrous content with the person and qualifications of her knight, who in future story will be read of thus: Elmedorus was tall and perfectly well made, his face oval, and features regularly handsome, but not effeminate; his complexion sentimentally brown, with not much colour; his teeth fine, and forehead agreeably low, round which his black hair curled naturally and beautifully. His eyes were black too, but had nothing of fierce or insolent; on the contrary, a certain melancholy swimmingness, that described hopeless love rather than a natural amorous languish. His exploits in war, where he always fought by the side of the renowned Paladine William of England, have endeared his memory to all admirers of true chivalry, as the mournful elegies which he poured out among the desert rocks of Caledonia,(1303) in honour of the peerless lady and his
heart’s idol, the incomparable Cynthia, will for ever preserve his name in the flowery annals of poesy.

What a pity it is I was not born in the golden age of Louis the Fourteenth, when it was not only the fashion to write folios, but to read them too! or rather , it is a pity the same fashion don’t subsist NOW, when one need not be at the trouble of invention, nor of turning the whole Roman history into romance for want of proper heroes. Your campaign in Scotland, rolled out and well be-epitheted, would make a pompous work, and make one’s fortune; at sixpence a number, one should have all the damsels within the liberties for subscribers: whereas now, if one has a mind to be read, one must write metaphysical poems in blank verse, which, though I own to be still easier, have not half the imagination of romances, and are dull without any agreeable absurdity. Only think of the gravity of this wise age, that have exploded “Cleopatra and Pharamond,” and approve “The Pleasures of the Imagination,” “The Art of Preserving Health,” and “Leonidas!” I beg the age’s pardon: it has done approving these poems, and has forgot them.

Adieu! dear Harry. Thank you seriously for the poem. I am going to town for the birthday, and shall return hither till the Parliament meets; I suppose there is no doubt of our meeting then. Yours ever.

P.S. Now you are at Stirling, if you should meet with Drummond’s history of the five King Jameses, pray look it over.(1304) I have read it, and like it much. It is wrote in imitation of Livy; the style is masculine, and the whole very sensible; only he ascribes the misfortunes of one reign to the then king’s loving architecture and

“In trim gardens taking pleasure.”

(1302) Caroline Campbell, Countess of Ailesbury.-E.

(1303) Mr. Conway was now in Scotland.

(1304) Drummond of Hawthorne’s History of Scotland, from 1423 to 1542, did not appear until after his death. This work, in which the doctrine of unlimited authority and passive obedience is advocated to an extravagant extent, is generally considered to have added little to his reputation. He died in December 1649, in his sixty-fourth year. Ben Jonson is said to have so much admired the genius of this “Scotian Petrarch,” as to travel on foot to Scotland, out of love and respect for him.-E.

510 Letter 523
To George Montagu, Esq.
Arlington Street, Nov. 3, 1746.

Dear George,
Do not imagine I have already broken through all my wholesome resolutions and country schemes, and that I am given up body and soul to London for the winter. I shall be with you by the end of the week; but just now I am under the maiden palpitation of an author. My epilogue will, I believe, be spoken to-morrow night;(1305) and I flatter myself I shall have no faults to answer for but what are in it, for I have kept secret whose it is. It is now gone to be licensed; but as the Lord Chamberlain is mentioned,(1306)’ though rather to his honour, it is possible it may be refused.

Don’t expect news, for I know no more than a newspaper. Asheton would have written it if there were any thing to tell you. Is it news that my Lord Rochford is an oaf? He has got a set of plate buttons for the birthday clothes, with the Duke’s head in every one. Sure my good lady carries her art too far to make him so great a dupe. How do all the comets? Has Miss Harriet found out any more ways at solitaire? Has Cloe left off evening prayer on account of the damp evenings? How is Miss Rice’s cold and coachman? Is Miss Granville better? Has Mrs. Masham made a brave hand of this bad season, and lived upon carcases like any vampire? Adieu! I am just going to see Mrs. Muscovy,(1307) and will be sure not to laugh if my old lady should talk of Mr. Draper’s white skin, and tickle his bosom like Queen Bess.

(1305) Rowe’s tragedy of Tamerlane was written in compliment to William the Third, whose character the author intended to display under that of Tamerlane, as he meant to be understood to draw that of Louis the Fourteenth in Bajazet. Tamerlane was always acted on the 4th and 5th of November, the anniversaries of King William’s birth and landing; and this year Mr. Walpole had written an epilogue for it, on the suppression of the rebellion.-E.

(1306) The Duke of Grafton.

(1307) Mrs. Boscawen, wife of the Hon. George Boscawen, fifth son of Viscount Falmouth.-E.

511 Letter 224
To Sir Horace Mann.
Arlington Street, Nov. 4, 1746.

Mr. Chute and I a,,reed not to tell you of any new changes till we could tell you more of them, that you might not be “put into a taking,” as you was last winter with the revolution of three days; but I think the present has ended with a single fit. Lord Harrington,(1308) quite on a sudden, resigned the seals; it is said, on some treatment not over- gracious; but he is no such novice to be shocked with that, though I believe it has been rough ever since his resigning last year, which he did more boisterously than he is accustomed to behave to Majesty. Others talk of some quarrel with his brother secretary, who, in complaisance, is all for drums and trumpets. Lord Chesterfield was immediately named his successor; but the Duke of Newcastle has taken the northern provinces, as of more business, and consequently better suited to his experience and abilities! I flatter myself that this can no way affect you. Ireland is to be offered to Lord Harrington, or the Presidentship; and the Duke of Dorset, now President, is to have the other’s refusal. The King has endured a great deal with your old complaint; and I felt for him, recollecting all you underwent.

You will have seen in the papers all the histories of our glorious expeditions(1309) and invasions of France, which have put Cressy and Agincourt out of all countenance. On the first view, indeed, one should think that our fleet had been to victual; for our chief prizes were cows and geese and turkeys. But I rather think that the whole was fitted out by the Royal Society, for they came back quite satisfied with having discovered a fine bay! Would one believe, that in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and forty-six, we should boast of discovering something on the coast of France, as if we had found out the Northeast passage, or penetrated into some remote part of America? The Guards are come back too, who never went: in one Single day they received four several different orders!

Matthews is broke at last. Nobody disputes the justice of the sentence; but the legality of it is not quite so authenticated. Besides some great errors in the forms, whenever the Admiralty perceived any of the court-martial inclined to favour him, they were constantly changed. Then, the expense has been enormous; two hundred thousand pounds! chiefly by employing young captains, instead of old half-pay officers; and by these means, double commissions. Then there has been a great fracas between the court-martial and Willes.(1310) He, as Chief Justice, sent a summons in the ordinary form of law, to Mayerne, to appear as an evidence in a trial where a captain had prosecuted Sir Chaloner Ogle for horrid tyranny: the ingenious court-martial sat down and drew up articles of impeachment, like any House of Commons, against the Chief Justice for stopping their proceedings! and the Admiralty, still more ingenious, had a mind to complain of him to the house! He was charmed to catch them at such absurdities–but I believe at last it is all compromised.

I have not heard from you for some time, but I don’t pretend to complain: you have real occupation; my idleness is for its own sake. The Abb`e Niccolini and Pandolfini are arrived; but I have not yet seen them. Rinuncini cannot bear England–and if the Chutes speak their mind, I believe they are not captivated yet with any thing they have found: I am more and more with them: Mr. Whithed is infinitely improved: and Mr. Chute has absolutely more Wit, knowledge, and good-nature, than, to their great surprise, ever met together in one man.(1311) he has a bigotry to you, that even astonishes me, who used to think that I was pretty well in for loving you; but he is very often ready to quarrel with me for not thinking you all pure gold. Adieu!

(1308) William Stanhope, Earl of Harrington, secretary of state.

(1309) The expedition to Quiberon; the troops under General St. Clair, the fleet under Admiral Lestock. The object was to surprise Port l’Orient, and destroy the stores and ships of the French East India Company, but the result attained was only the plunder and burning of a few helpless villages. The fleet and troops returned, however, with little loss. “The truth is,” says Tindal, “Lestock was too old and infirm for enterprise, and, as is alleged, was under the shameful direction of a woman he carried along with him; and neither the soldiers nor the sailors seem to have been under any kind of discipline.”-E.

(1310) John Willes, Lord Chief Justice of the Common Pleas(1311) Grey, in a letter to Mr. Chute of the 12th of October says, “Mr. Walpole is full, I assure you, of your panegyric. Never any man had half so much wit as Mr. Chute, (which is saying every thing with him, you know,) and Mr. Whitehead is the finest young man that was ever imported.” Works, vol. iii. p. 22.-E.

513 Letter 225
To Sir Horace Mann.
Windsor, Nov. 12, 1746.

Here I AM come hither, per saldare; but though the country is excellently convenient, from the idleness of it, for beginning a letter, yet it is not at all commode for finishing one: the same ingredients that fill a basket by the carrier, will not fill half a sheet of paper; I could send you a cheese, or a hare; but I have not a morsel of news. Mr. Chute threatened me to tell you the distress I was in last week, when I starved Niccolini and Pandolfini on a fast-day, when I had thought to banquet them sumptuously. I had luckily given a guinea for two pine-apples, which I knew they had never seen in Italy, and upon which they revenged themselves for all the meat that they dared not touch. Rinuncini could not come. How you mistook me, my dear’ child! I meant simply that you had not mentioned his coming; very far from reproving you for giving him a letter. Don’t I give letters for you every day to cubs, ten times cubber than Rinuncini! and don’t you treat them as though all their names were Walpole? If you was to send me all the uncouth productions of Italy, do you think any of them would be so brutal as Sir William Maynard? I am exactly like you; I have no greater pleasure than to make them value your recommendation, by showing how much I value it. Besides, I love the Florentines for their own sakes and to indemnify them, poor creatures! a little for the Richcourts, the Lorraines, and the Austrians. I have received per mezzo di Pucci,(1312) a letter from Marquis Riccardi, with orders to consign to the bearer all his treasure in my hands, which I shall do immediately with great satisfaction. There are four rings that I should be glad he would sell me; but they are such trifles, and he will set such a value on them the moment he knows I like them, that it is scarce worth while to make the proposal, because I would give but a little for them. However, you may hint what plague I have had with his roba, and that it will be a gentillezza to sell me these four dabs. One is a man’s head, small, on cornelian, and intaglio; a fly, ditto; an Isis, cameo; and an inscription in Christian Latin: the last is literally not worth two sequins.

As to Mr. Townshend, I now know all ‘the particulars, and that Lord SandWich(1313) was at the bottom of it. What an excellent heart his lordship will have by the time he is threescore, if he sets out thus! The persecution(1314) is on account of the poor boy’s relation to my father; of whom the world may judge pretty clearly already, from the abilities and disinterestedness of such of his enemies as have succeeded; and from their virtue in taking any opportunity to persecute any Of his relations; in which even the public interest of their country can weigh nothing, when clashing with their malice. The King of Sar dinia has written the strongest letter imaginable to complain of the grievous prejudice the Admiralty has don@his affairs by this step.

Don’t scold me for not sending you those Lines to Eckardt:(1315) I never wrote any thing that I esteemcd less, or that was seen so incorrect ; nor can I at all account for their having been so much liked,
especially as the thoughts were so old and so common. I was hurt at their getting into print. I enclose you an epilogue(1316) that I hae vwritten since, merely for a specimen of something more correct. You know, or have known, that Tamerlane is always acted on King William’s birthday, with an occasional prologue ; this was the epilogue to it, and succeeded to flatter me. Adieu!

(1312) Minister from the Great Duke.

(1313) John Montagu, Earl of Sandwich, First Lord of the Admiralty.

1314) See letter 221 of the 14th October.

((1315) The Beauties, an Epistle to Eckardt, the painter; reprinted in Dodsley’s Miscellanieg in Walpole’s Works, vol. i. p. 19.]

(1316) On the suppression of the rebellion. [See Works, vol. i. p. 25.]

514 Letter 226
To Sir Horace Mann.
Arlington Street, Dec. 5, 1746.

We are in such a newsless situation, that I have been some time without writing to you; but I now answer one I received from you yesterday. You will excuse me, if I am not quite so transported as Mr. Chute is, at the extremity of Aquaviva.(1317) I can’t afford to hate people so much at such a distance: my aversions find employment within their own atmosphere.

Rinuncini returns to you this week, not at all contented with England: Niccolini is extremely, and turns his little talent to great account; there is nobody of his own standard but thinks him a great genius. The Chutes and I deal extremely together; but they abuse me, and tell me I am grown so English! lack-a-day! so I am; as folks that have been in the Inquisition, and did not choose to broil, come out excellent Catholics.

I have been unfortunate in my own family; my nephew, Captain Cholmondeley,(1318) has married a player’s sister; and I fear Lord Malpas(1319) is on the brink of matrimony with another girl of no fortune. Here is a ruined family! their father totally undone, and all be has seized for debt!

The Duke is gone to Holland to settle the operations of the campaign, but returns before the opening of it. A great reformation has been made this week in the army; the horse are broke, and to be turned into dragoons, by which sixty thousand pounds a-year will be saved. Whatever we do in Flanders, I think you need not fear any commotions here, where Jacobitism seems to have gasped its last. Mr. Radcliffe, the last Derwentwater’s brother, is actually named to the gallows for Monday; but the imprudence of Lord Morton,(1320) who has drawn himself into the Bastile, makes it doubtful whether the execution will be so quick. The famous orator Henley is taken up for treasonable flippancies.(1321)

You know Lord Sandwich is minister at the Hague. Sir Charles Williams, who has resigned the paymastership of the marines, is talked of for going to Berlin, but it is not yet done. The Parliament has been most serene, but there is a storm in the air: the Prince waits for an opportunity of erecting his standard, and a disputed election between him and the Grenvilles is likely very soon to furnish the occasion. We are to have another contest about Lord Bath’s borough,(1322) which Mr. Chute’s brother formerly lost, and which his colleague, Lu@e Robinson, has carried by a majority of three, though his competitor is returned. Lord Bath wrote to a man for a list of all that would be against him: the man placed his own and his brother’s names at the head of the list.

We have operas, but no company at them; the Prince and Lord Middlesex Impresarii. Plays only are in fashion: at one house the best company that perhaps ever were together, quin, Garrick, Mrs. Pritchard, and Mrs. Cibber: at the other, Barry, a favourite young actor, and the Violette, whose dancing our friends don’t like; I scold them, but all the answer is, “Lord! you are so English!” If I do clap sometimes when they don’t, I can fairly say with Oedipus,

“My hands are guilty, but my heart is free.” ‘

Adieu!

(1317) Cardinal Acquaviva, Protector of Spain, and a great promoter of the interests of the Pretender

(1318) Robert, second son of George, Earl of Cholmondeley, married Mary, sister of Mrs. Margaret Woffington, the actress. He afterwards quitted the army and took orders. [Besides two church livings, he enjoyed the office of auditor of the King’s revenues in America. He died in 1804.]

(1319) George, eldest son of Lord Cholmondeley, married, in January 1747, Miss Edwards. (She was the, daughter and heiress of Sir Francis Edwards, Bart. of Grete, in Shropshire.-D.)

(1320) James Douglas, ninth Earl of Morton.-D.

(1321) He was, a few days after, admitted to bail.-E.

(1322) Heydon.

515 Letter 227
To Sir Horace Mann.
Arlington Street, Christmas-day, 1746.

We are in great expectation of farther news from Genoa, which the last accounts left in the greatest confusion, and I think in the hands of the Genoese;,(1323) a circumstance that may chance to unravel all the fine schemes in Provence! Marshal Bathiani, at the Hague, treated this revolt as a trifle; but all the letters by last post make it a reconquest. The Dutch do all the Duke asks: we talk of an army of 140,000 men in Flanders next campaign. I don’t know how the Prince of Orange relishes his brother-in-law’s dignities and success.

Old Lovat has been brought to the bar of the House of Lords: he is far from having those abilities for which he has been so cried up. He saw Mr. Pelham at a distance and called to him, and asked him if it were worth while to make all this fuss to take off a gray head fourscore years old? In his defence he complained of his estate being seized and kept from him. Lord Granville took up this complaint very strongly, and insisted on having it inquired into. Lord Bath went farther, and, as some people think, intended the Duke; but I believe he only aimed at the Duke of Newcastle, who was so alarmed with this motion, that he kept the House above a quarter of an hour in suspense, till he could send for Stone,(1324) and consult what he should do. They made a rule to order the old creature the profits of his estate till his conviction. He is to put in his answer the 13th of January.

Lord Lincoln is cofferer at last, in the room of Waller,(1325) who is dismissed. Sir Charles Williams has kissed hands, and sets out for Dresden in a month: he has hopes of Turin, but I think Villettes is firm. Don’t mention this.

Did I ever talk to you of a Mr. Davis, a Norfolk gentleman, who has taken to painting? He has copied the Dominichin, the third picture he ever copied in his life: how well, you may judge; for Mr. Chute, who, I believe you think, understands pictures if any body does, happened to come in, just as Mr. Davis brought his copy hither. “Here,” said I, “Mr. Chute, here is your Dominichin come to town to be copied.” He literally did not know it; which made me very happy for Mr. Davis, who has given me this charming picture. Do but figure to yourself a man of fifty years old, who was scarce ever out of the county of Norfolk, but when his hounds led him; who never saw a tolerable picture till those at Houghton four years ago who plays and composes as well as he paints, and who has no more of the Norfolk dialect than a Florentine! He is the most decent, sensible man you ever saw.

Rinuncini is gone: Niccolini sups continually with the Prince of Wales, and learns the Constitution! Pandolfini is put to-bed, like children, to be out of the way. Adieu!

P. S. My Lady O. who has entirely settled her affairs with my brother, talks of going abroad again, not being able to live here on fifteen hundred pounds a-year–many an old ‘lady, and uglier too, lives very comfortably upon less. After I had writ this, your brother brought me another letter with a confirmation of all we had heard about Genoa. You may be easy about the change of provinces,(1326) which has not been made as was designed. Echo Mons`u Chute

>From Mr. Chute.

Mr. Walpole gives me a side, and I catch hold of it to tell you that I parted this minute with your charming brother, who has been in the council with me about your grand affair:(1327) it is determined now to be presented to the King by way of memorial; and to-morrow we meet again to draw it up: Mr. Stone has graciously signified that this is a very proper opportunity – one should think he must know.

Oh! I must tell you: I was here last night, and saw my Lord Walpole,(1328) for the first time, but such a youth! I declare to you, I was quite astonished at his sense and cleverness; it is impossible to describe it; it was just what would have made you as happy to observe as it did me: he is not yet seventeen, and is to continue a year longer at Eton, upon his own desire. Alas! how few have I seen of my countrymen half so formed even at their return from their travels! I hope you will have him at Florence One day or other; he will pay you amply for the Pigwiggins, and——

Mr. Walpole is quite right in all he tells you of the miracle worked by St. Davis, which certainly merits the credit of deceiving far better judges of painting than I; who am no judge of any thing but you, whom I pretend to understand better than any body living and am, therefore, my dear sir, etc. etc. etc. J. C.

(1323) This circumstance is thus alluded to in a letter of Sir Horace Mann’s, dated Dec. 20th, 1746. “The affairs of Genoa are in such a horrid situation, that one is frightened out of one’s senses. The accounts of them are so confused, that one does not know what to make of them; but it is certain that the mob is quite master of the town and of every thing in it. They have sacked several houses, particularly that of the Doge, and five or six others, belonging to those who were the principal authors of the alliance which the Republic made with France and Spain.”-D.

(1324) Andrew Stone, secretary to the Duke of Newcastle, and afterwards sub-governor to George, Prince of Wales.

(1325) Edmund Waller, of Beaconsfield.

(1326) Meaning a change in the secretaries of state. There were at this time two, one of whom was called the Secretary of State for the Northern Province, and the other the Secretary of State for the Southern Province.-D.

(1327) Of Mr. Mann’s arrears.

(1328) George, only son of Robert, second Earl of Orford, whom he succeeded in the title.

517 Letter 228
To Sir Horace Mann.
Arlington Street, Jan. 27, 1747.

The Prince has formally declared a new Opposition which is never to subside till he is King (s’entendent that he does not carry his point sooner.) He began it pretty handsomely the other day with 143 to 184, which has frightened the ministry like a bomb. This new party wants nothing but heads; though not having any, to be sure the struggle is the fairer. Lord Baltimore(1329) takes the lead; he is the best and honestest man in the world, with a good deal of jumbled knowledge; but not capable of conducting a party. However, the next day, the Prince, to reward him, and to punish Lord Archibald Himllton, who voted with the ministry, told Lord Baltimore that he would not give him the trouble of waiting any more as Lord of the Bedchamber. but would make him Cofferer. Lord B. thanked him, but desired that it might not be done in a way disagreeable to Lord Archibald, who was then Cofferer. The Prince sent for Lord Archibald, and told him he would either make him Comptroller, or give him a pension of twelve hundred pounds a-year; the latter of’ which the old soul accepted, and went away content; but returned in an hour with a letter from his wife,(1330) to say, that as his Royal Highness was angry with her husband, it was not proper for either of them to take their pensions. It is excellent! When she was dismissed herself, she accepted the twelve hundred pounds, and now will not let her husband, though he had accepted. It must mortify the Prince wondrously to have four-and-twenty hundred pounds a-year thrown back into an exchequer that never yet overflowed!

I am a little piqued at Marquis Riccardi’s refusing me such a, trifle as the four rings, after all the trouble I have had with his trumpery! I think I cannot help telling him, that Lord Carlisle and Lord Duncannon, Who heard of his collection from Niccolini, have seen it; and are willing, at a reasonable price, to take it between them: if you let me know the lowest, and in money that I understand, not his equivocal pistoles, I will allow so much to Florence civilities, as still to help him off with his goods, though he does not deserve it; as selling me four rings could not have affected the general purchase. I pity your Princess Strozzi(1331) but cannot possibly hunt after her chattels: Riccardi has cured me of Italian merchandise, by forcing it upon me.’

Your account of your former friend’s neglect of you does not at all surprise me: there is an inveteracy, a darkness, a design and cunning in his character that stamp him for a very unamiable young man: it is uncommon for a heart to be so tainted so early My cousin’s(1332) affair is entirely owing to him;(1333) nor can I account for the pursuit of such unprovoked revenge.

I never heard of the advertisement that you mention to have received from Sir James Grey,(1334) nor believe it was ever in the House of Commons; I must have heard of it. I hear as little of Lady O. who never appears; nor do I know if she sees Niccolini: he lives much with Lady Pomfret (who has married her third daughter),(1335) and a good deal with the Prince.

Adieu! I have answered your letter, and have nothing more to put into mine.

(1329) Charles Calvert, Lord Baltimore, had been a Lord of the Admiralty, on the change of the ministry in 1742. He died soon after the Prince, in 1751.

(1330) Jane, sister of the Earl of Abercorn, and wife of Lord Archibald Hamilton, great-uncle of Duke Hamilton: she had been mistress of the robes, etc. to the Princess of Wales, and the supposed mistress of the Prince. She died at Paris, in December 1752.

(1331) She had been robbed of some of the most valuable gems of the famous Strozzi collection.

(1332) The Hon. George Townshend. See what is said of him in a letter (221) of Oct. 14, 1746, and note 1300.-D.

(1333) It appeared afterwards that the person here mentioned, after having behaved very bravely, gave so perplexed an account of his own conduct, that the Admiralty thought it necessary to have it examined; but the inquiry proved much to his honour.

(1334) “Sir James Gray has sent me the copy of an advertisement, the publisher of which, he says, had been examined before the House of Commons, Lost or mislaid an ivory table-book, containing various queries vastly strong.” Letter of Sir H. Mann, of Jan. 10th, 1747. It probably related to the trial of the rebel Lords.-D.

(1335) Lady Henrietta Fermor, second wife of Mr. Conyers.

519 Letter 229
To Sir Horace Mann.
Arlington Street, Feb. 23, 1747.

Why, you do nothing but get fevers! I believe you try to dry your Wet-brown-paperness, till you scorch it. Or do you play off fevers against the Princess’s coliques? Remember, hers are only for the support of her dignity, and that is what I never allowed you to have: you must(1336) have twenty unlawful children, and then be twenty years in devotion, and have twenty unchristian appetites and passions all the while, before you may think of getting into a cradle with `epuisements and have a Monsieur Forzoni(1337) to burn the wings of boisterous gnats-pray be more robust-do you hear!

One would think you had been describing our Opera, not your own; we have just set out with one in what they call, the French manner, but about as like it, as my Lady Pomfret’s hash of plural persons and singular verbs or infinitive moods was to Italian. They sing to jigs, and dance to church music -. Phaeton is run away with by horses that go a foot’s-pace, like the Electress’s(1338) coach, with such long traces, that the postilion was in one street and the coachman in another;–then comes Jupiter with a farthing-candle to light a squib and a half, and that they call fire-works. Reginello, the first man, is so old and so tall, that he seems to have been growing ever since the invention of operas. The first woman has had her mouth let out to show a fine set of teeth, but it lets out too much bad voice at the same time.(1339) Lord Middlesex, for his great prudence in having provided such very tractable steeds to Prince Phaeton’s car, is going to be Master of the Horse to the Prince of Wales; and for his excellent economy in never paying the performers, is likely to continue in the treasury. The two courts grow again: and the old question of settling the 50,000 pounds a-year talked of. The Tories don’t list kindly under this new Opposition; though last week we had a warm day on a motion for inquiring into useless places and quarterings. Mr. Pitt was so well advised as to acquit my father pretty amply, in speaking Of the Secret Committee. My uncle Horace thanked him in a speech, and my brother Ned has been to visit him-Tant d’empressement, I think, rather shows an eagerness to catch any opportunity of paying court to him; for I do not see the so vast merit in owning now for his interest, what for his honour he should have owned five years ago. This motion was spirited up by Lord Bath, who is raving again, upon losing the borough of Heydon: from which last week we threw his brother-in-law Gumley, and instated Luke Robinson, the old sufferer for my father, and the colleague of Mr. Chute’s brother; an incident that will not heighten your indifference, any more than it did mine.

Lord Kildare is married to the charming Lady Emily Lennox, who went the very next day to see her sister Lady Caroline Fox, to the great mortification of the haughty Duchess-mother. They have not given her a shilling, but the King endows her, by making Lord Kildare a Viscount Sterling:(1340) and they talk of giving him a Pinchbeck-dukedom too, to keep him always first peer of Ireland.(1341) Sir Everard Falkener is married to Miss Churchill, and my sister is brought to bed of a son.

Panciatici is arrived, extremely darkened in his person and enlivened in his manner. He was much in fashion at the Hague, but I don’t know if he will succeed so well here: for in such great cities as this, you know people affect not to think themselves honoured by foreigners; and though we don’t quite barbarize them as the French do, they are toujours des etrangers. Mr. Chute thinks we have to the full all the politeness that can make a nation brutes to the rest of the world. He had an excellent adventure the other day with Lord Holderness, whom he met at a party it Lady Betty Germains; but who could not possibly fatigue himself to recollect that they had ever met before in their lives. Towards the end of dinner Lady Betty mentioned remembering a grandmother of Mr. Chute who was a peeress: immediately the Earl grew as fond of him as if they had walked together at a coronation. He told me another good story last night of Lord Hervey,(1342) who was going with them from the Opera, and was so familiar as to beg they would not call him my Lord and your Lordship. The freedom proceeded; when on a sudden, he turned to Mr. Whithed, and with a distressed friendly voice, said, “Now have you no peerage that can come to you by any woman?”

Adieu! my dear Sir; I have no news to tell you. Here is another letter of Niccolini that has lain in my standish this fortnight.

(1336) All the succeeding paragraph alludes to Princess Craon.

(1337) Her gentleman usher.

(1338) The Electress Palatine Dowager, the last of the house of Medici; she lived at Florence.

(1339) The drama of Fetonte was written by Vaneschi. “The best apologies for the absurdities of an Italian opera, in a country where the language is little understood, are,” says Dr. Burney, “good music and exquisite singing: unluckily, neither the composition nor performance of Phaeton had the siren power of enchanting men so much, as to stimulate attention at the expense of reason.” Hist. of Music, Vol. iv. p. 456.-E.

(1340) Meaning an English viscount. He was created Viscount Leinster, of Taplow, in Bucks, Feb. 21st, 1747.-D.

(1341) In 1761 his lordship was advanced to the Marquisate of Kildare, and in 1766 created Duke of Leinster. By Lady Emily Lennox the Duke had seventeen children.-E.

(1342) George, eldest son of John, Lord Hervey, and afterwards Earl of Bristol, and minister at Turin and Madrid.

521 Letter 230
To Sir Horace Mann.
Arlington Street, March 20, 1747.

I have been living at old Lovat’s trial, and was willing to have it over before I talked to you of it. It lasted seven days: the evidence was as strong as possible; and after all he had denounced, he made no defence. The
Solicitor-General,(1343) who was one of the managers for the House of Commons, shone extremely; the Attorney-General ,(1344) who is a much greater lawyer, is cold and tedious. The old creature’s behaviour has been foolish, and at last, indecent. I see little of parts in him, nor attribute much to that cunning for which he is so famous: it might catch wild Highlanders; but the art of dissimulation and flattery is so refined and improved, that it is of little use where it is not very delicate. His character seems a mixture of tyranny and pride in his villainy. I must make you a little acquainted with him. In his own domain he governed despotically, either burning or plundering the lands and houses of his open enemies, or taking off his secret ones by the assistance of his cook, who was his poisoner in chief. He had two servants who married without his consent; he said, “You shall have enough of each other,” and stowed them in a dungeon, that had been a well for three weeks. When he came to the Tower, he told them, that if he were not so old and infirm, they would find it difficult to keep him there. They told him they had kept much younger: “Yes,” said he, “but they were inexperienced: they had not broke so many gaols as I have.” At his own house he used to say, that for thirty years of his life he never saw a gallows but it made his neck ache. His last act was to shift his treason upon his eldest son, whom he forced into the rebellion. He told Williamson, the Lieutenant of the Tower, “We will hang my eldest son, and then my second shall marry your niece.” He has a sort of ready humour at repartee, not very well adapted to his situation. One day that Williamson complained that he could not sleep, he was so haunted with rats, he replied, “What do you say, that you are so haunted with Reitc yeq?” The first day, as he was brought to his trial, a woman looked into the coach, and said, “You ugly old dog, don’t you think that you will have that frightful head cut off?” He replied, You ugly old -, I believe I shall.” At his trial he affected great weakness and infirmities, but often broke into passions; particularly at the first witness, who was his vassal: he asked him how he dared to come thither! The man replied, to satisfy his conscience. Murray, the Pretender’s secretary, was the chief evidence, who, in the course of his information, mentioned Lord Traquair’s having conversed with Lord Barrymore, Sir Watkin Williams, and Sir John Cotton, on the Pretender’s affairs, but that they were shy. He was proceeding to name others, but was stopped by Lord Talbot, and the court acquiesced–I think very indecently. It is imagined the Duchess of Norfolk would have come next upon the stage. The two Knights were present, as was Macleod, against whom a bitter letter from Lovat was read, accusing him of breach of faith; and afterwards Lovat summoned him to answer some questions he had to ask; but did not. it is much expected that Lord Traquair, who is a great coward, will give ample information of the whole plot. When Sir Everard Falkener had been examined(1345) against Lovat, the Lord High Steward asked the latter if he had any thing to say to Sir Everard? he replied, “No; but that he was his humble servant, and wished him joy of his young wife.” The two last days he behaved ridiculously, joking, and making every body laugh even at the sentence. He said to Lord Ilchester, who sat near the bar, “Je meUrs pour ma patrie, et ne m’en soucie gueres.” When he withdrew, he said, “Adieu! my lords, we shall never meet again in the same place.”(1346) He says he will be hanged; for that his neck is so short and bended, that he should be struck in the shoulders. I did not think it possible to feel so little as I did at so melancholy a spectacle, but tyranny and villainy wound up by buffoonery took off all edge of concern-. The foreigners were much struck; Niccolini seemed a great deal shocked, but he comforts himself with the knowledge he thinks he has gained of the English constitution.

Don’t thank Riccardi for me: I don’t feel obliged for his immoderate demand, but expect very soon to return him his goods; for I have no notion that the two Lords, who are to see them next week, will rise near his price. We have nothing like news: all the world has been entirely taken up with the trial. -Here is a letter from Mr. Whithed to Lord Hobart. Mr. Chute would have written to-Day, if I had not; but will next post. Adieu!

(1343) William Murray.

(1344) Sir Dudley Ryder; afterwards Lord Chief Justice.

(1345) He was secretary to the Duke, whom he had attended into Scotland during the rebellion.

(1346) Lord Byron has put nearly the same words into the mouth of Israel Bertuccio, in his tragedy of Marino Falicro.-E.

522 Letter 131
To Sir Horace Mann.
Arlington Street, April 10, 1747.

I deferred writing to you as long as they deferred the execution of old Lovat, because I had a mind to send you some account of his death, as I had of his trial. He was beheaded yesterday, and died extremely well, without passion, affectation, buffoonery, or timidity: his behaviour was natural and intrepid. He professed himself a Jansenist; made no speech, but sat down a little while in a chair on the scaffold, and talked to the people round him. He said, “he was glad to suffer for his country, dulce est pro patria mori; that he did not know how, but he had always loved it, nescio qua natale solum, etc.; that he had never swerved from his principles; that this was the character of his family, who had been gentlemen for five hundred years.” He lay down quietly, gave the sign soon, and was despatched at a blow. I believe it will strike some terror into the Highlands, when they hear there is any power great enough to bring so potent a tyrant to the block. A scaffold fell down, and killed several persons; one, a man that had rid post from Salisbury the day before to see the ceremony; and a woman was taken up dead with a live child in her arms. The body(1347) is sent into Scotland: the day was cold, and before It set out, the coachman drove the hearse about the court, before my Lord Traquair’s dungeon, which could be no agreeable sight: it might to Lord Cromartie, who is above the chair.(1348) Mr. Chute was at the execution with the Italians, who were more entertained than shocked: Panciatici told me, “It was a triste spectacle, mais qu’il ne laissoit d’`etre beau.” Niccolini has treasured it up among his insights into the English constitution. We have some chance of a Peer’s trial that has nothing to do with the rebellion. A servant of a college has been killed at Oxford, and a verdict of wilful murder by persons unknown, brought in by the coroner’s inquest. These persons unknown are supposed to be Lord Abergavenny,(1349) Lord Charles Scot,(1350) and two more, who had played tricks with the poor fellow that night, while he was drunk, and the next morning he was found with his skull fractured, at the foot of the first Lord’s staircase. One pities the poor boys, who undoubtedly did not foresee the melancholy event of their sport.

I shall not be able till the next letter to tell you about Riccardi’s gems: Lord Duncannon has been in the country; but he and Lord Carlisle are to come to me next Sunday, and determine.

Mr. Chute gave you some account of the Independents:(1351) the committee have made a foolish affair of it, and cannot furnish a report. Had it extended to three years ago, Lord Sandwich and Grenville(1352) of the admiralty would have made an admirable figure as dictators of some of the most Jacobite healths that ever were invented. Lord Doneraile, who is made comptroller to the Prince, went to the committee, (whither all members have a right to go, though not to vote, as it is select, not secret,) and plagued Lyttelton to death, with pressing him to inquire into the healths of the year ’43. The ministry are now trembling at home, with fear of losing the Scotch bills for humbling the Highland chiefs: they have whittled them down almost to nothing, in complaisance to the Duke of Argyll: and at last he deserts them. Abroad they are in panics for Holland, where the French have at once besieged two towns, that must fall into their hands, though we have plumed ourselves so much on the Duke’s being at the head of a hundred and fifteen thousand men.

There has been an excellent civil war in the house of Finch: our friend, Lady Charlotte,(1353( presented a daughter of John Finch, (him who was stabbed by Sally Salisbury,(1354)) his offspring by Mrs. Younger,(1355) whom he since married. The King, Prince, and Princess received her: her aunt, Lady Bel,(1356) forbad Lady Charlotte to present her to Princess Emily, whether, however, she carried her in defiance. Lady Bel called it publishing a bastard at court, and would not present her–think on the poor girl! Lady Charlotte, with spirit, presented her herself. Mr. W. Finch stepped up to his other sister, the Marchioness of Rockingham,(1357) and whispered her with his composed civility, that he knew it was a plot of her and Lady Bel to make Lady Charlotte miscarry. The sable dame (who, it is said, is the blackest of the family, because she swept the chimney) replied, “This is not a place to be indecent, and therefore I shall only tell you that you are a rascal and a villain, and that if ever you dare to put your head into my house, I will kick you down stairs myself.” Politesse Anglaise! lord Winchilsea (who, with his brother Edward, is embroiled with both sides) came in, and informed every body of any circumstances that tended to make both parties in the wrong. I am impatient to hear how this operates between my Lady Pomfret and her friend, Lady Bel. Don’t you remember how the Countess used to lug a half-length picture of the latter behind her post-chaise all over Italy, and have a new frame made for it in every town where she stopped? and have you forgot their correspondence, that poor lady Charlotte was daily and hourly employed to transcribe into a great book, with the proper names in red ink? I have but just room to tell you that the King is perfectly well, and that the Pretender’s son was sent from Spain as soon as he arrived there. Thank you for the news of Mr. Townshend. Adieu!

(1347) It was countermanded, and buried in the Tower.

(1348) Lord Cromartie had been pardoned.-D.

(1349) George Neville, fifteenth Lord and first Earl of Abergavenny. Died 1785.-D.

(1350) Lord Charles Scott, second son of Francis, Duke of Buccleuch
. He died at Oxford during the year 1747.-D.

(1351) An innkeeper in Piccadilly, who had been beaten by them, gave information against them for treasonable practices, and a committee of the House of Commons, headed by Sir W. Yonge and Lord Coke, was appointed to inquire into the matter. [The informant’s name was Williams, keeper of the White Horse in Piccadilly. Being observed, at the anniversary dinner of the independent electors of Westminster, to make memorandums with a pencil, he was severely cuffed, and kicked out of the company. The alleged treasonable practices consisted in certain Offensive toasts. On the King’s health being drunk, every man held a glass of water in his left hand, and waved a glass of wine over it with the right.]

(1352) George Grenville, afterwards prime minister.-D.

(1353) Lady Charlotte Fermor, second daughter of Thomas, Earl of Pomfret, and second wife of William Finch, vice-chamberlain to the King; formerly ambassador in Holland, and brother of Daniel, Earl of Winchilsea.

(1354) Sally Salisbury, alias Pridden, a woman of the town, stabbed the Hon. John Finch, in a bagnio, in the neighbourhood of Covent-garden; but he did not die of the wound.-D.

(1355) Elizabeth Younger. Her daughter, by the Hon. John Finch, married John Mason, Esq. of Greenwich.-D.

(1356) Lady Isabella Finch, lady of the bedchamber to the Princesses Emily and Caroline.

(1357) Lady mary Finch, fifth daughter of Daniel, sixth Earl of Winchilsea; married in 1716 to the Hon. Thomas Wentworth, afterwards created Marquis of Rockingham.-E.

525 Letter 232
To The Hon. H. S. Conway.
Arlington Street, April 16, 1747.

Dear Harry,
We are all skyrockets and bonfires tonight for your last year’s victory;(1359) but if you have a mind to perpetuate yourselves in the calendar, you must take care to refresh your conquests. I was yesterday out of town, and the very signs as I passed through the villages made me make very quaint reflections on the mortality of fame and popularity. I observed how the Duke’s head had succeeded almost universally to Admiral Vernon’s, as his had left but few traces of the Duke of Ormond’s. I pondered these things in my heart, and said unto myself, Surely all glory is but as a sign!

You have heard that old lovat’s tragedy is over: it has been succeeded by a little farce, containing the humours of the Duke of Newcastle and his man Stone. The first event was a squabble between his grace and the Sheriff about holding up the head on the scaffold–a custom that has been disused, and which the Sheriff would not comply with, as he received no order in writing. Since that, the Duke has burst ten yards of breeches strings(1360) about the body, which was to be sent into Scotland; but it seems it is customary for vast numbers to rise to attend the most trivial burial. The Duke, who is always at least as much frightened at doing right as at doing wrong, was three days before he got courage enough to order the burying in the Tower. I must tell you an excessive good story of George Selwyn -. Some women were scolding him for going to see the execution, and asked him, how he could be