shall have dull dinners and triste evenings enough when I return
to England, all your kindness cannot persuade me to sacrifice my
pleasures here, too. Many of my opinions are fantastic ; perhaps
this is one, that nothing produces gout like doing anything one
dislikes. I believe the gout, like a near relation, always visits one
when one has some other plague. Your ladyship's dependence od
the waters of Sunning-hill is, I hope, better founded ; but in the
mean time my system is full as pleasant
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1766.J TO THB RIGHT HON. LADY HEfiVSY. i69
Madame d' Aiguillon^s goodness to me does not abate, nor Madame
Geofinn's. I have seen but little of Madame d'Egmont, who seems
very good, and is nniversally in esteem. She is now in great
affliction, having lost suddenly Monsieur Pignatelli, the minister at
Parma, whom she bred up, and whom she and her family had
generously destined for her grand-daughter, an inimense heiress.
It was very delicate and touching what Madame d'Egmont said to
her daughter-in-law on this occasion: â€” "Vous voyez, ma ch^re,
combien j'aime mes cnfans d'adoption ! " This daughter-in-law is
delightfully pretty, and civil, and gay, and conversable, though not
a regular beauty like Madame de Monaco.
The bitterness of the frost deters me, Madam, from all sights ;
I console myself with good company, and still more, with being
absent from bad. Negative as this satisfaction is, it is incredibly
great, to live in a town like this, and to be sure every day of not
meeting one face one hates ! I scarce know a positive pleasure
equal to it.
Your ladyship and Lord Holland shall laugh at me as much as
you please for my dread of being thought charming; yet I shall not
deny my panic, as surely nothing is so formidable as to have one's
limbs on crutches and one's understanding in leading-strings. The
Prince of Conti laughed at me t'other day on the same account. I
was complaining to the old blind charming Madame du Deffand,
that she preferred Mr. Crawford to me : " What," said the Prince,
" does not she love you P " " No, Sir," I replied, " she likes me
no better than if she had seen me."
Mr. Hume carries this letter and Rousseau to England. I wish
the former may not repent having engaged with the latter, who
contradicts and quarrels with all mankind, in order to obtain their
admiration. I think both his means and his end below such a
genius. If I had talents like his, I should despise any su&age
below my own standard, and should blush to owe any part of my
fame to singularities and affectations. But great parts seem like
high towers erected on high moimtains, the more exposed to every
wind, and readier to tumble. Charles Townshend is blown roimd
the compass ; Rousseau insists that the north and south blow at the
same time ; and Voltaire demolishes the Bible to erect fatalism
in its stead : â€” so compatible are the greatest abilities and greatest
Madame d'Aiguillon gave me the enclosed letter for your lady-
ship. I wish I had anything else to send you ; but there are no
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454 HORACE WALPOLE'S LBTTEBS. [1766.
new books, and the Theatres are shut up for the Dauphin's death :
who, I believe, is the greatest loss they have had since Harry lY.
1082. TO SIB HORACE MANN.
Parti, Jan, 5, 1766.
The post, my dear Sir, is as vexatious as possible, and denies me
favours that even a Ministry grants. I had set my heart on being
flie first to announce your Envoyship to you. Lord Cowper*s servant^
I find, used me as ill as if he were a post-master too, slipping through
Paris with Mr. Conway's letter, wifliout calling on me, and giving
me the chance of your opening mine first. Well ! all this is very
selfish, and I ought to be content with your having it, and knowing
it any how.
For the riband I know not what to say, as I have not heard a
syllable about it. Favours generally beget favours, for courts and
fortune love feces they are used to. I will not answer in your case.
It would be cheapest to me to persuade you not to care ; but I see
you make a sad pupil for a philosopher. I am at least so much of a
philosopher, that I could never solicit a plaything for you with the
same earnestness that I begged a reality. Partly you know my
reasons for not caring to ask at all. Out of friendship to you, my
dear Sir, I broke through all my resolutions ; but without entering
into them farther, ask yourself if it can be easy for me, in any lights
to sue for favours, when I have even left my country, my friends^
and a triumphant party, to break abruptly from all political connec-
tions P As you seemed to value the Red Riband, I did press for it
for you with more warmth than I thought such nonsense deserved.
Consider, I was behind the scenes when my fether revived that
pageant ; I knew it was a succedanexun to Bank bills, and I was
astonished when my brother * accepted it, even after it had fallen
much below par. If I have any credit remaining in the Bank, it
will operate in your favour ; that is, if any friend you have made
abroad, would renew the appUcation, the memory of my reque?^t
perhaps would second it. What think you of Tommy Pelham ! "
He used to profess much to you.
' Sir Edward, second son of Sir Robert Walpole, was made knight of the Bath after
his father^a death. Robert, the eldest, receired the red riband along with his fUkttt
at the restitution of the order in 1725. â€” Walpoli. See rol 1. p. cxIt. â€” CuHvnoBjji
* Thomas, afterwards created Lord Pelham.â€” Walpoli. Afterwards (ISOl) Sari ci
Chichester, died 1805. â€” CvMiriiraHAii.
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a766.] TO SIfi HORAClfi MANN. 4Â»
I called the Ministry triumphant: they are so beyond their
warmest expectation. In the House of Lords, which the Opposition
had chosen as the field of certain victory, the Ministers were four-
score to twenty-four. In the Commons the defeat was still more
disgraceful George Grenville, who on the first day opposed the
Address, was forced to retract, and it passed without a negative. On
the fourth and last of that brief session, though he had managed a
surprise, and though there was not a minister in the House, their
re-elections not being over, he was beaten by 70 to 35 ; a victory
without generals ! In short, no disgraced Ministers ever fell so low
and so totally as the present.
Venal and fedse as Parliaments are, and no Parliament ever ex-
ceeded the present in both respects, it would not account for this
total abandonment of the late Ministers, if universal odixmi did not
concur. Much good may it do the Parliament, which supported
them so roundly but last year ! The whole party is shrunk to the
Bedford faction, for Lord Temple, who has joined his brother George,
seems to have carried nothii^ with him but the contempt of the
nation. Mr. Pitt, as Milton sajrs of the moon, remains in clouded
mqjesty aloof; is said to favour the Ministry, and is certainly hostile
to the Opposition. This is the summary of English politics. When
the House meets on the 14th, I do not imagine the Ministers
will be less strong than before the holidays ; for the thinness of both
Houses indicates how many were waiting the event ; and they, good
folks, will hardly resort into a beaten camp. Teased no doubt the
Ministers will be, for Lord Temple cannot refirain from mischief, or
Sandwich from tricks ; and Grenville, rather than not talk, would
harangue, if there were not one man in the house on his side. To
silence him would require an Algerine ministry, who would begin
with cutting out his tongue.
The King's youngest brother, Prince Frederick, is dead, of a
dropsy and consumption : he was a pretty and promising boy. The
vacant garters are given to the Prince of Wales, the Hereditary
Prince, and Lord Albemarle. The nimibers of the Royal Family
and of foreign princes connected with them who have the garter, will
make it an extraordinary curiosity on an English breast. If you
obtain the Red, pray don't think of exchanging it for the Blue.
To be serious, let your new credentials arrive and be fixed Envoy.
Mitchell, I see, has got one Red Riband ; and Draper I suppose will
have the other. On a new vacancy you may get the Duke of York
to renew his application for you. As he will not probably obtain
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456 HORACE WALPOLE'S LETTEKS. [1706.
many favours, they may now and then be willing to hush him with
a Red Riband for a Mend, and he will like that you should owe it
to him rather than to a private person. When you are firm in your
seat of Envoy, what if you wrote to his Royal Highness, that yon
would not trouble him on the Envoy, but hoped to be indebted to his
protection for what he had so graciously engaged to imdertake. This
I should think would pique him, if he sees the Bath bestowed con-
trary to his solicitation. Consider this advice, and act as you find it
reasonable or not. You are a very boy, but I cannot help humour-
ing you a little. Good night
P.S. I guessed right ; the papers which are just come in, say ihat
Draper * has the Red Riband.
1088. TO JOHN CHUTE. ESQ.
ParU, Jan, 17W.
It is in vain, I know, my dear Sir, to scold you, though I have
such a mind to it â€” ^nay, I must Yes, you that will not lie a ni^t
at Strawberry in autumn for fear of the gout, to stay in the country
till this time, and till you caught it I I know you will tell me, it
did not come till you had been two dajrs in town. Do, and I shall
have no more pity for you than if I was your wife, and had wanted
to come to town two months ago.
I am perfectly well, though to be sure Lapland is the torrid zone
in comparison of Paris. We have had such a frost for this fort-
night, that I went nine miles to dine in the country to-day, in a villa
exactly like a green-house, except that there was no fire but in one
room. We were four in a coach, and all our chinks stopped with
fiirs, and yet all the glasses were frozen. We dined in a paved hall
painted in fresco, with a fountain at one end ; for in this country
they live in perpetual opera, and persist in being young when they
are old, and hot when they are frozen. At the end of the hall sat
shivering three glorious maccaws, a vast cockatoo, and two poor
parroquets, who squalled like the Children in the Wood after their
nursery-fire ! I am come home, and blowing my billets betwe^i
every paragraph, yet can scarce move my fingers. However, I
^ Sir William Draper, mach known by his conquest at Manilla ; by his oontroTeny
with the author of the Letters of Janios; and by his accusation of General Murray on
the second loss of Minorca in 1782. â€” Walpolb.
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1766.] TO MR. CHUTEL 457
must be dressed presently, and go to the Comtesse de la Marchc,
who has appointed nine at night for my audience. It seems a little
odd to us to be presented to a princess of the blood at that hour â€”
but I told you, tiiere is not a tittle in which our manners resemble
one another. I was presented to her father-in-law the Prince of
Gonti last Friday. In the middle of the lev^ entered a young
woman, too plain I thought to be anything but his near relation. I
was confirmed in my opinion, by seeing her, after he had talked t()
her, go round the circle and do tiie honours of it. I asked a gentie-
man near me if that was the Comtesse de la Marche P He burst
into a violent laughter, and then told me it was Mademoiselle
Auguste, a dancer ! â€” Now, who was in the wrong P
I give you these samples of many scenes that have amused me,
and which will be charming food at Strawberry. At the same time
that I see all their ridicules, there is a douceur in the society of the
women of fashion that captivates me. I like the way of life, though
not lively ; though the men are posts, and apt to be arrogant, and
though there are twenty ingredients wanting to make the style per-
fect I have totally washed my hands of their aamna and philoso-
phers, and do not even envy you Rousseau, who has all the charla*
tanerie of Coimt Si Germain * to make himself singular and talked
of. I suppose Mrs. Montagu, my Lord Lyttelton, and a certain
lady friend of mine [Lady Hervey], will be in raptures with him,
especially as conducted by Mr. Hume. But, however I admire his
parts, neither he nor any Genius I have known has had common
sense enough to balance the impertinence of their pretensions. They
hate priests, but love dearly to have an altar at their feet ; for which
reason it is much pleasanter to read them than to know them.
Adieu ! my dear Sir !
This has been writ this week, and waiting for a conveyance, and
as yet has got none. Favre tells me you are recovered, but you don't
^ La Comtesse de la Marche, a Princess of Modena, married to the only son of the
Prince de ContL Le Comte de la Marche was the only one of the French princes of
the blood who uniformly sided with the Conrt in the disputes with the Parliament of
Paris. â€” WaioHT.
* The Comte de St. Germain had acquired a considerable military reputation in
France by his conduct at Corbach in 1760 ; when he commanded the reserve, and
saved the army by supporting the rear-guard and allowing the whole body to retire
upon Cassel Considering himself ill-used by the Marshal de Broglio, his commander-
in-chief, be obtained leave to retire from the French service, and entered that of
Denmark, from which he retired into private life in 1774. From this retirement he
was summoned by Louis XYL upon the death of Comte de Mny, minister-at-war.â€”
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458 HORACE WALPOLB'S LETTBKS. p76d
tell me so yourself. I enclose a trifle that I wrote lately/ which got
about and has made enormous noise in a city where they run and
cackle after an event, like a parcel of hens after an accidental husk
of a grape. It has made me the fashion, and made Madame de
fioufflers and the Prince of Oonti very angry with me : the former
intending to be rapt to the Temple of Fame by clinging to Rousseau's
Armenian robe. I am peevish that with his parts he should be
such a mountebank : but what made me more peevish was, that after
receiving Wilkes with the greatest civilities, he paid court to Mr.
Hume by complaining of Wilkes's visit and intrusion.
Upon the whole, I would not but have come hither; for, since I
am doomed to live in England, it is some comfort to have seen that
the French are ten times more contemptible than we are. I am a
little ungrateful ; but I cannot help seeing with my eyes, though I
find other people make nothing of seeing without theirs. I have
endless histories to amuse you with when we meet, which shall be
at the end of March. It is much more tiresome to be fashionable
than unpopular ; I am used to the latter, and know how to behave
under it : but I cannot stand for member of parliament of Paris.
1084. TO GEORQE MONTAQU, ES;^
Paris, Jan. 5, 1766.
Lady Beaclieu acts like herself, and so do you in being per-
suaded that nobody will feel any satisfaction that comes to you with
more transport than I do ; you deserve her friendship, because you
are more sensible to the grace of the action than to the thing itself;
of which, besides approving the sentiment, I am glad, for if my
Lady Cardigan * is as happy in drawing a straw, as in picking strawy
you will certainly miss your green coat. Yet methinks you would
make an excellent Robin Hood reforms^ with Utile John your brother.
How you would carol Mr. Percy's old ballads under the green- wood
tree ! I had rather have you in my merry Sherwood than at Great-
worth, and should delight in your picture drawn as a bold forester,
^ The fictltiooB letter firom the King of ProMia to Rooueaa, printed in ' Walpolej
Works/ Tol ir. p. 250, and post in Letter to Conway of Jannary 1^ 1766.â€”
' Lady Mary Montagu, third daughter and coheiress of John second Duke of
Montagu, and last of that creation ; married, 7th July 1780, Qeorge Montagu, fourth
Earl of Cardigan.-â€” Wkiqht.
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1769.] TO MR. MONTAOH. iB^
in a green frock, with your rosy hue, grey locks, and comely belly.
In short, the favour itself, and the manner are so agreeable, that I
shall be at least as much disappointed as you can be, if it fails. One
is not ashamed to wear a featiier from the hand of a friend. We
both scorn to ask or accept boons ; but it is pleasing to have life
painted with images by the pencil of friendship. Visions you know
have alwajTS been my pasture ; and so far from growing old enough
to quajrel with their emptiness, I ahnost think there is no wisdom
comparable to that of exchanging what is called the realities of life
for dreams. Old castles, old pictures, old histories, and the babble
of old people, make one live back into centuries, that cannot dis-
appoint one. One holds &st and surely what is past. The dead
have exhausted their power of deceiving ; one can trust Catherine of
Medicis now. In short, you have opened a new landscape to my
fancy ; and my Lady Beaulieu will oblige me as much as you, if she
puts the long bow into your hands. I donH know but the idea may
produce some other ' Castle of Otranto.'
The victorious arms of the present Ministry in Parliament will
make me protract my stay here, lest it should be thought I awaited
the decision of the event ; next to successftil enemies, I dread
trixmiphant friends. To be sure, Lord Temple and George Grenville
are very proper to be tied to a conqueror's car, and to " drag their
slow lengths along ; '** but it is too ridiculous to see Goody Newcastle
exulting like old Marius in a seventh consulship. Don't teU it, but
as far as I can calculate my own intention, I shall not set out before
the twenty-fifth of March. That will meet your abode in London ;
and I shall get a day or two out of you for some chat at Strawberry on
all I have seen and done here. For this reason I will anticipate
nothing now, but bid you good-morrow, after telling you a little
story. The canton of Berne ordered all the impressions of Hel-
vetius's ' Esprit ' and Voltaire's ' PuceUe ' to be seized. The officer
of justice employed by them came into the council and said, " Mag-
nifiques seigneurs, apris toutes les recherches possibles, on n'a p(k
trouver dans toute la ville que tr^ pen de I'Esprit, et pas une
Pucelle." Adieu ! Robin and John.
1 had not sent away my letter, being so disappointed of a mes-
senger, and now receive yours of December the thirtieth. My house
[in Arlington-street] is most heartily at your service, and I shall
' Pope. CUMSIMOHAX.
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iCO HORACB WALPOLB'S LBTTBBS. :i766.
write to Favre to have it ready for you. You will see by the former
part of this letter, that I do not think of being in England before
the end ol March. All I dislike in this contract is the fear, that if
I drive you out of my house, I shall drive you out of town ; and as
you will find, I have not a bed to offer you but my own, and Favre'^
in which your servant will lie, for I have stripped Arlington-street to
famish Strawberry. In the mean time you will be comfortable in
my bed, and need have no trouble about Favre, as he lodges at his
^e's while I am absent. Let them know in time to have the bed
I don't understand one syllable of your paragraph about Miss
Talbot, Admiral Cornish, and Mr. Hampden's son. I thought she
was married, and I forget to whom.
1085. TO THB RIGHT HON. LADY HBRVBT.
Paris, Saturday night, Jan. 11, 17^
I HAVB just now, Madam, received the scissors, by General
Vernon, from Mr. Conway's office. Unluckily, I had not recdived
your ladyship's notification of them sooner, for want of a conveyance,
and I wrote to my servant to inquire of yours how they had been
sent ; which I fear may have added a little trouble to all you had
been so good as to take, and for which I give you ten thousand
thanks : but your ladyship is so exact and friendly, that it almost
discourages rather than encourages me. I cannot bring myself to
think that ten thousand obligations are new letters of credit
I have seen Mrs. Y * * * *, and her husband may be as happy
as he will : I cannot help pitying him. She told me it is coulder
here than in England ; and in truth I believe so : I blow the fire
between every paragraph, and am quite cut off from all sights. The
agreeableness of the evenings makes me some amends. I am just
going to sup at Madame d'Aiguillon's with Madame d'Egmont, and
I hope Madame de Brionne, whom I have not yet seen ; but she jb
not very well, and it is doubtful. My last new passion, and I think
the strongest, is the Duchess de Choiseul. Her face is pretty, not
very pretty ; her person a little model. Cheerful, modest, fiill of
attentions, with the happiest propriety of expression, and greatest
quickness of reason and judgment, you would take her for the queen
of an allegory : one dreads its finishing, as much as a lover, if she
would admit one, would wish it should finish. In short, Madam,
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1766.} TO THB BIGHT HON. LADY HEEVET. 461
though you are the last person that will beUeve it, France is so agree-
able, and England so much the reverse, that I don't know when I
shall return. The civilities, the kindnesses, the honours I receive,
are so many and so great, that I am continually forced to put myself
in mind how little I am entitled to them, and how many of them I
owe to your ladyship. I shall talk you to death at my return. Shall
you bear to hear me tell you a thousand times over, that Madame
Geoffirin is the most rational woman in the world, and Madame
d'Aiguillon the most animated and most obliging? I think you
will. Your ladjrship can endure the panegyric of your friends. If
you should grow impatient to hear them commended, you have
nothing to do but to come over. The best air in the world is that
where one is pleased : Sunning waters are nothing to it. The frost
is so hard, it is impossible to have the gout ; and though the fountain
of youth is not here, the fountain of age is, which comes to just the
same thing. One is never old here, or never thought so. One makes
verses as if one was but seventeen â€” ^for example : â€”
Oh yikltkMM DB FOEOALQUIBR SPBAKUia EHaLISH.
Soft soands that steal from fidr Forcalqider*8 Upi,
Like bee that marmaring the Jasmin sips I
Are these my native accents 1 None so sweet,
So gradons, yet my rarish'd ears did meet
power of beaaty ! thy enchanting look
Can melodise eadi note in Nature's book.
The roughest wrath of Russians, when they swear,
Pronounced by thee, flows soft as Indian air;
And dulcet breath, attemper'd by thine eyes,
Gives British prose o*er Tuscan verse the prize.
You must not look. Madam, for much meaning in these lines ;
they were intended only to run smoothly, and to be easily oompre-
hended by the fair scholar who is learning our language. Still less
must you show them : they are not calculated for the meridian of
London, where you know I dread being represented as a shepherd.
Pray let them think that I am wrapped up in Canada Bills, and have
aU the pamphlets sent over about the Colonies and the Stamp- Act.
I am very sorry for the accounts your ladyship gives me of Lord
Holland.* He talks, I am told, of going to Naples : one would do a
great deal for health, but I question if I could buy it at that expense.
If Paris would answer his purpose, I should not wonder if he came
hither ; but to live with Italians must be wofnl, and would ipso facto
' Lord HoUand lived eight years longer, dying Joly 1, 1774.â€” OunmoBAM.
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463 HORACE WALPOLES LBTTERa [17f^
make me ill. It is true I am a bad judge : I never tasted iUness
lÂ»nt the gout, which, tormenting as it is, I prefer to all otiier dis-
tempers : one knows the fit will end, will leave one quite well, and
dispenses with the nonsense of physicians, and absurdity is more
painful than pain : at least the pain of the gout never takes away
my spirits, which the other does.
I have never heard from Mr. Chute this century, but am glad the
gout is rather his excuse than the cause, and that it lies only in his
pen. I am in too good himiour to quarrel with anybody, and conse-
quently cannot be in haste to see England, where at least one is sure
of being quarrelled with. If they vex me, I will come back hither
directly : and I shall have the satisfaction of knowing that your
ladyship will not blame me.
1036. TO THE HON. H. S. CONWAY.
Paris, Jan, 12, 17M.
I HAVE received your letter by General Vernon, and another, to
which I have writ an answer, but was disappointed of a conveyance
I expected. You shall have it with additions, by the first messenger