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1765.] TO SIR DAVID DALRTMPLB. 347
AprU 20th, Saturday.
The Poor-bill is put off till Monday ; is then to be amended, and
then dropped : a confession of weakness, in a set of people not famou9
for being moderate ! I was assured, last night, ^at Ireland had
been twice offered to you, and that it hung on their insisting upon
giving you a secretary, either Wood or Bunbury. I replied very
truly that I knew nothing- of it, that you had never mentioned it to
me, and I believed not even to your brother. The answer was. Oh I
his particular Mends are always the last that know anjrthing about
him. Princess Amalie loves this topic, and is for ever teasing ua
about your mystery. I defend myself by pleading that I have
desired you never to tell me anything till it was in the Gazette.
They say there is to be a new alliance in the house of Montagu ;
that Lord Hinchinbrook' is to marry the sole remaining daughter of
Lord Halifax ; that her fortune is to be divided into three shares, of
which each father is to take one, and the third is to be the provision
for the victims. I don't think this the most unlikely part of the
story. Adieu ! my dear lord.
Â»78. TO SIB DAVID DALRTMPLB.
Sir: Strawberry ffiU, April %!, 17SB.
Except the mass of Conway papers, on which I have not yet had
time to enter seriously, I am sorry I have nothing at present that
would answer your purpose. Lately, indeed, I have had little leisure
to attend to literary pursuits. I have been much out of order with
a violent cold and cough for great part of the winter ; and the disr.
tractions of this country, which reach even those who mean the least
to profit by their country, have not left even me, who hate politics,
without some share in them. Yet as what one does not love, cannot
engross one entirely, I have amused myself a little with writing.
Our friend Lord Finlater will perhaps show you the fruit of that
trifling, though I had not the confidence to trouble you with such a
strange thing as a miraculous story, of which I fear the greatest
merit is the novelty.
I have lately perused with much pleasure a collection of old
1 Afterwards fifth Earl of Sandwich, [died 18141. The matdi with LadySlin
SaTile took place on the lat of March, 1766.â Cboku.
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848 HORACE WALPOLES LETTERS. [1765.
Ballads [Percy's], to which I sec, Sir, you have contributed with
your usual benevolence. Continue this kindness to the public, and
smile as I do, when the pains you take for them are misunderstood
or perverted. Authors must content themselves with hoping that
two or three intelligent persons in an age will understand the merit
of their writings, and those authors are bound in good breeding to
suppose that the public in general is enlightened. They who are in
the secret know how few of that public they have any reason to wish
should read their works. I beg pardon of my masters the public,
and am confident. Sir, you will not betray me ; but let me beg you
not to d^aud the few that deserve your informationy in compliment
to those who are not capable of receiving ii Do as I do about my
small house here. Everybody that comes to see it or me, are so
good as to wonder that I don't make this or that alteration. I never
haggle with them ; but always say I intend it. They are satisfied
with the attention and themselves, and I remain with the enjoyment
of my house as I like it. Adieu! dear Sir.
97y. TO THE EARL OP HERTPORD.
ArliitgUm Street, May 5, 1765.
The plot thickens ; at least, it does not clear up. I don't know
how to tell you in the compass of a letter, what is matter for a
history, and it is the more difficult, as we are but just in the middle.
During the recess, the King acquainted the Ministry that he
would have a Bill of Regency, and told them the particulars of
his intention. The town gives Lord Holland the honour of the
measure ; * certain it is, the Ministry, who are not the court, did not
taste some of the items : such as the Regent to be in petto, the
Princes ' to be omitted, and four secret nominations to which the
Princes might be applied. However, thinking it was better to lose
their share of future power than their present places, the ministers
gave a gulp and swallowed the whole potion ; still it lay so heavy
at their stomachs, that they brought up part of it again, and obtained
the Queen's name to be placed as one that might be R^ent
Mankind laughed, and proclaimed their Wisdoms bit Upon this,
^ It WM oeriainly the resalt of his Migetty's own good sense, directed to thf
subject bj his late serioas indisposition ; bat the details, and the mismanagement
of these details, were, no doabt, the acts of the ministers.â -Crokuu
* The King's nncle and brothers.â Wbiqht.
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1766.] TO THE EARL OP HERTFORD. 849
iheir Wisdoms beat up for opponents, and set fire to the old stubble
of the Princess and Lord Bute. Everybody took the alarm ; and
such uneasiness was raised, that after the King had notified the bill
to both Houses, a new message was sent, and instead of four secret
nominations, the five Princes were named, with power to the crown
of supplying their places if they died oflF.
Last Tuesday the bill was read a second time in the Lords. Lord
Lyttelton opposed an imknown Eegent, Lord Temple the whole bill,
seconded by Lord Shelbume. The first division came on the com-
mitment of the whole bill. The Duke of Newcastle and ahnost all
the Opposition were with the majority, for his grace could not
decently oppose so great a likeness of his own child, the former
bill, and so they were one hundred and twenty. Lord Temple,
Lord Shelbume, the Duke of Grafton, and six more, composed the
minority ; the slendemess of which so enraged Lord Temple, though
he had declared himself of no party, and connected with no party,
that he and the Duke of Bolton came no more to the House. Next
day Lord Lyttelton moved an address to the King, to name the
person he would recommend for Regent. In the midst of this
debate, the Duke of Richmond started two questions ; whether the
Queen was naturalised, and if not, whether capable of being Regent :
and he added a third much more puzzling; who are the Royal
Family P Lord Denbigh answered flippantly, all who are prayed
for : the Duke of Bedford, more significanUy, those only who are
in the order of succession â a direct exclusion of the Princess ; for the
Queen is named in the bill. The Duke of Richmond moved to con-
sult the judges ; Lord Mansfield fought this off, declared he had his
opinion, but would not tell it â and stayed away next day ! They
then proceeded on Lord Lyttelton's motion, which was rejected by
eighty-nine to thirty-one; after which, the Duke of Newcastle
came no more ; and Ghrafton, Rockingham, and many others, went
to Newmarket ; for that rage is so strong, that I cease to wonder
at the gentleman who was going out to hunt as the battle of
The third day was a scene of foUy and confusion^ for when Lord
Mansfield is absent,
Lost is the nation's sense, nor can be foond.
The Duke of Richmond moved an amendment, that the persons
capable of the Regency should be the Queen, the Princess Dowager,
and all the descendants of the late Â£ing usually resident in England.
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350 HORACE WALPOLFS LETTERS. [1765.
Lord Halifax endeavoured to jockey this, by a previous amendment
of now for umaUy, The Duke persisted with great firmness and
cleverness ; Lord Halifax, with as much peevishness and absurdity ;
in truth, he made a woM figtire. The Duke of Bedford supported
t'other Duke against the Secretary, but would not yield to name the
Princess, though the Chancellor declared her of the Boyal Family.
This droU personage is exactly what Woodward would be, if there
was such a isnce as Trappolin Chancellor. You will want a key to
all this, but who has a key to chaos P After puzzling on for two
hours how to adjust these motions, while the spectators stood
laughing around, Lord Folkestone rose, and said, why not say
now and usually ? They adopted this amendment at once, and then
rejected the Duke of Richmond's motion, but ordered the judges to
attend next day on the question of naturalisation.
Now comes the marvellous transaction, and I defy Mr. Hume, all
historian as he is, to parallel it. The judges had decided for the
Queen's capability, when Lord Halifax rose, by the King's per-
mission, desired to have the bill recommitted, and then moved the
Duke of Richmond's own words, with the single omission of the
Princess Dowager's name, and thus she alone is rendered incapable
of the Regency â and stigmatised by Act of Parliament! The
astonishment of the world is not to be described. Lord Bute's
firiends are thunderstruck. The Duke of Bedford almost danced
about the House for joy. Comments there are, various ; and some
palliate it, by saying it was done at the Princess's desire ; but the
most inquisitive say, the King was taken by surprise, that Lord
Halifax proposed the amendment to him, and hurried with it to the
House of Lords, before it could be recalled ; and they even surmise
that he did not observe to the King the omission of his mother's
name. Be that as it may, open war seems to be declared between
the court and the administration, and men are gazing to see which
side will be victorious.
To-morrow the bill comes to us, and Mr. Pitt, too, violent against
the whole bill, unless this wonderful event has altered his tone.
For my part I shall not be surprised, if he affects to be in astonish-
ment at missing " a great and most respectable name !"^ This is
the sum total â ^but what a sum total ! It is the worst of * North
Britons ' published by act of parliament !
I took the liberty, in my last, of telling you what I heard about
^ This was Mr. Pitt's expression on not finding Lord Anson's nam 3 in the list of
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1765.] TO THE EARL OP HERTFORD. 861
your going to Ireland. It was fix)m one you know very well, and
one I thought well infonned, or I should not have mentioned it
Positive as the infonnation was, I find nothing to confirm it. On
the contrary, Lord Harcourt seems the most probable, if anything
is probable at this strange juncture. You will scarce believe me
when I tell you, what I know is true, that the Bedfords pressed
strongly for Lord Weymouth â Yes, for Lord Weymouth. Is
anything extraordinary in them P
Will it be presuming too much upon your friendship and indul-
gence, if I hint another point to you, which, I own, seems to me
right to mention to youP You know how eagerly the Ministry
have laboured to deprive Mr. Thomas Walpole of the French com-
merce -of tobacco. His correspondent sends him word, that you
was so persuaded it was taken away, that you had recommended
another person. You know enough, my dear lord, of the little
connection I have with that part of my family, though we do visit
again ; and therefore will, I hope, be convinced, that it is for your
sake that I principally mention it. If Mr. Walpole loses this vast
branch of trade, he and Sir Joshua Yanneck must shut up shop.
Judge the noise that would make in the city I Mr. Walpole's *
alliance with the Cavendishes (for I will say nothing of our feimily)
would interest them deeply in his cause, and I think you would be
sorry to have them think you instrumental to his ruin. Your
broilier knows of my writing to you and giving you this information,
and we are both solicitous that your name should not appear in this
transaction. This letter goes to you by a private hand, or I would
not have spoken so plainly throughout. Whenever you please to
recal your positive order, that I should always tell you whatever
I hear that relates to you, I shall willingly forbear, for I am sensible
this is not the most agreeable province of friendship ; yet, as it is
certainly due when demanded, I don't consider myself, but sacrifice
the more agreeable task of pleasing you, to that of serving you, that
I may show myself
Yours most sincerely, H. W.
the Ministry formed in 1757. Mr. Walpole disliked Lord Anson, and on more than
one occasion amnses himself with allasions to this phrase. â Ceokbb.
* Mr. Thomas Walpole's elder brother (second Lord Walpole, and first Lord
Orford of his branch) married the youngest daughter of the third Duke of DeTonshire.
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852 HORACE WALPOLE'S LETTERS. Cl76Â«.
980. TO SIR HORACE MANN.
Arlington Street, May 11, 1765.
Mr. Stanley, one of the Lords of the Admiralty, has done me
the honour of desiring a letter of recommendation to you, as he is
going to pass the summer in Italy. His character and abilities
must be too well known to you to make my interest in your
friendship necessary, even if he should wish for greater share in
your acquaintance than your constant attention and good nature
direct you to offer to your countrymen in general: yet it is so
flattering to me to seem to contribute to your connection, that when
I beg you to exceed your common civilities on his account, I am
determined to please myself with thinking that you do it on mine.
981. TO THE EARL OP HERTFORD.
Arlington Street^ Sunday, May 12, 1765.
The douds and mists that I raised by my last letter will not be
dispersed by this ; nor will the Bill of Eegency, as long as it has
a day's breath left (and it has but one to come), cease, I suppose,
to produce extraordinary events. For agreeable events, it has not
produced one to any set or side, except in gratifying malice ; every
other passion has received, or probably will receive, a box on the ear.
In my last I left the Princess Dowager in the mire. The next
incident was of a negative kind. Mr. Pitt, who, if he had been
wise, would have come to help her out, chose to wait to see if she
was to be left there, and gave himself a terrible fit of the gout. As
nobody was ready to read his part to the audience (though, I assure
you, we do not want a genius or two who think themselves bom to
dictate), the first day in our House did not last two minutes. The
next, which was Tuesday, we rallied oiu: understandings (mine,
indeed, did not go beyond being quiet, when the administration
had done for us what we could not do for ourselves), and combated
the bill till nine at night. Barr^, who will very soon be our first
orator, especially as some ' are a little afraid to dispute with him,
attacked it admirably, and your brother ridiculed the House of
^ It seemB, from the next letter, that this alladee t-o Chariee Townahend. â Cboksi.
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1765.1 TO THE EARL OF HEBTFORD. S6S
Lords deUghtfully, who, lie said, had deliberated without concluding^
and concluded without deliberating. However, we broke up without a
Can you devise what happened nextP A buzz spread itself,
that the Tories would move to reinstate the Princess. You will
perhaps be so absurd as to think with me, that when the admi-
nistration had excluded her, it was our business to pay her a
compliment. Alas ! that was my opinion, but I was soon given
to understand, that Patriots must be men of virtue, must be
Pharisees, and not countenance naughty women: and that when
the Duchess of Bedford had thrown the first stone, we had nothing
to do but continue pelting. Unluckily I was not convinced; I
could neither see the morality nor prudence of branding the King's
mother upon no other authority than public fame : yet, willing to
get something when I could not get all, I endeavoured to obtain that
we should stay away. Even this was warmly contested with me,
and, though I persuaded several, particularly the two oldest Caven-
dishes,' the Townshends,* and your nephew Fitzroy,' whom I trust
you will thank me for saving, I could not convince Lord John
[Cavendish], who, I am sorry to say, is the most obstinate, con-
ceited young man I oversaw; George Onslow, and that old simpleton
the Duke of Newcastle, who had the impudence to talk to me of
character, and that we should be ruined with the public, if we did
not divide against the Princess. You will be impatient, and wonder
I do not name your brother. You know how much he respects
virtue and honour, even in their names ; Lord John, who, I really
believe, respects them too, has got cunning enough to see their
empire over your brother, and had fascinated him to agree to this
outrageous, provoking, and most unjustifiable of all acts. Still
Mr. Conway was so good as to yield to my earnest and vehement
entreaties, and it was at last agreed to propose the name of the
Queen ; and when we did not carry it, as we did not expect to do,
to retire before the question came on the Princess. But even this
measure was not strictly observed. We divided 67 for the nomi-
nation of the Queen, against 157. Then Morton^ moved to reinstate
' Lord George and Lord Frederick. â Crokbr.
' Probably Messrs. Thomas Townshend, senior and janior, and Charles Townshend,
a cousin of the great Charles Townshend's, who sat with Sir Edward Walpole for
North Yarmouth. â Cbouul
' Colonel Charles Fitsroy, afterwards Lord Sonthampton. â W&ioht.
* John Morton, Esq., member for Abingdon, and chief-justice of Chester.â
VOL. IV, A A
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dU HORACE WALPOLB'S LBTTERS. [1766.
the Piincess. Martin, her treasurer, made a most indiscreet and
oJFensive speecli in her hehalf ; said she had been stigmatised by
the House of Lords, and had lived long enough in this country
to know the hearts and falsehood of those who had professed the
most to her. Qrenville vows publicly he will never forgive this,
and was not more discreet, declaring, though he agreed to the
restoration of her name, that he thought the omission would liave
been universally acceptable. George Onslow and all the Cavendishes,
gained over by Lord John, and the most attached of the Newcastle
band, opposed the motion ; but your brother. Sir William Meredith,
and I, and others, came away, which reduced the numbers so much,
that there was no division/ But now to imfold all this black scene ;'
it comes out as I had guessed, and very plainly told them, that
the Bedfords had stirred up our fools to do what they did not dare
to do themselves. Old Newcastle had even told me, that unless
we opposed the Princess, the Duke of Bedford would not. It was
sedulously given out, that Forrester,* the latter Duke's lawyer,
would speak against her; and after the question had passed, he
told our people, that we had given up the game when it was in our
hands, for there had been many more noes than ayes. It was very
true, many did not wish well enough to the Princess to roar for her ;
and many will say no when the question is put, who will vote ap
if it comes to a division, and of this I do not doubt but the Bedfords
' The following ia Lord Temple's account of this debate, in a letter of the 10th, to
his sister, Lady Chatham . â " Inability and meanness are the characteristics of Uiis
whole proceeding. I shall pass over the very uninteresting parts of this matter, and
relate only the phenomenon of Morton's motion yesterday, seconded by Eynastoo,
without a speech, and thirded by the illustrious Sam Martin. The speech of the fint
was dull, and of the latter, yery ii^'udicious ; saying that the House of Lords had
passed a stigma on the Princess of Wales ; disclaiming all knowledge of her wishes,
but concluding with a strong affirmatiye. George Onslow opposed the motion, with
yery bad reasons ; Lord Palmerston, with much better. George Grenyille seemed to
conyey, that the alteration made in the Lords was not without the King's knowledge ;
but that, to be sure, in his opinion, such a testimony of zeal and affection which now
manifested itself in the House of Commons in &your of his royal mother, could not
but prove agreeable to his Migesty, and that therefore he should concur in it The
Cocoa-tree have thus capacitated her Royal Highness to be regent : it is well they
have not given us a king, if they have not ; for many think Lord Bute is king. No
division : many noes.'* ChcUham Correspondence, vol. ii. p. 309. â Wrioht.
^ It was, indeed, a black and scandalous intrigue, by which the character of the
Sovereign's mother, and the peace and comfort of the Royal Family, were thus made
the counters with which contending factions pUyed their game; and if we may
believe Mr. Walpole himself, the motives whidi actuated those who attacked, and
those who seemed to defend the Princess Dowager, were equally selfish and unworthy.
' Probably Brooke Forrester, Esq., of Lincoln's Inn, member for Great Wenlod^
a barrister-at-law. â Cboeib. Compare Bedford Oorrespondenee, voL iii p. 54. â
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1765.] TO THE EABL OF HERTFORD. 855
had taken care â well ! duped by these gross arts, the Cavendishes
and Felhams determined to divide the next day on the report. I
did not learn this mad resolution till four o'clock, when it was too
late, and your brother in the House, and the report actually made ;
so I turned back and came away, learning afterwards, to my great
mortification, that he had voted with them. If anything could
comfort me, it would be, that even so early as last night, and only
this happened on Friday night, it was generally allowed how much
I had been in the right, and foretold exactly aU that had happened.
They had vaunted to me how strong they should be. I had replied,
" When you were but 76 on the most inoffensive question, do you
think you will be half that number on the most personal and inde-
cent that can be devised P " Accordingly, they were but 37 to 167;
and to show how much the Bedfords were at the bottom of all,
Rigby, Forrester, and Lord Charles Spencer, went up into the
Speaker's chamber, and would not vote for the Princess ! At first
I was not quite so well treated. Sir William Meredith, who, by
the way, voted in the second question against his opinion, told me
Onslow had said that he. Sir William, your brother, and Lord
Townshend, had stayed away from conscience, but all the others
from interest. I replied, " Then I am included in the latter pre-
dicament :* but you may tell Mr. Onslow that he will take a place
before I shall, and that I had rather be suspected of being mer-
cenary, than stand up in my place and call God to witness that I
meant nothing personal, when I was doing the most personal thing
in the world." â I beg your pardon, my dear lord, for talking so
much about myself, but the detail was necessary and important to
you ; who I wish should see that I can act with a little common
sense, and will not be governed by all the frenzy of party.
The rest of the Bill was contested inch by inch, and by division
on division, till eleven at night, after our wise leaders had whittled
down the minority to twenty-four.* Charles Townshend, they say,
surpassed all he had ever done, in a wrangle with Onslow, and was
' It certainly does seem, from the foregoing account of his own motives, that
conscience had little to do with Mr. Walpole's conduct on this affair : as to his pledgei,
that Mr. Onslow would take a place before him, we must observe, that it is not quite
so generous as it may seem ; for Mr. Walpole was already, by the provident care of
his father, supplied with three sinecure places, and two rent-charges on two others,
producing him altogether about 6800/. per annum. See ' Quarterly Review,' yoL
xxviL p. 198.â Croker.
- On the question for the third reading of the bill, the numbers were 150 and 24.
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856 HORACE WALPOLES LETTERS. [17Â«5.
SO lucky as to have Barr^ absent, who has long lain in wait for
him. When they told me how well Charles had spoken on himself,
I replied, " That is conformable to what I always thought of his
parts, that he speaks best on what he understands the least."
We have done with the Bill, and to-morrow our correction goes
to the Lords. It will be a day of wonderful expectation, to see in
what manner they will swallow their vomit. The Duke of Bedford,
it is conjectured, will stay away : â ^but what will that scape-goose,
Lord Halifax, do, who is already convicted of having told the King
a most notorious lie, that if the Princess was not given up by the
Lords, she would be unanimously excluded by the Commons ? The
Duke of Bedford, who had broke the ground, is little less blameable;
but Sandwich, who was present, has, with his usual address, contrived
not to be talked of, since the first hour.
When the Bill shall be passed, the eyes of mankind will turn to