Horace Walpole.

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able fupcrftitions.

The



t *°5 J

The W O R L D.

By Adam Fitz-Adam.

" Numb. XIV. Thurfday^ April 5, 1753.

I Do not doubt but it is already obferved that
I write fewer letters to myfelf than any of
my predeceflbrs. It is not from being lefs ac-
quainted with my own merit, but I really look
upon myfelf as fuperior to fuch little arts of
fame. Compliments, which I mould be obliged
to fhroud under the name of a third perfon,
have very little relifh for me. If I am not con-
fiderable enough to pronounce ex cathedra that
I Adam Fitz-Adam know how to rally the
follies and decide upon the cufloms of the world
with more wit, humour, learning and tafte
than any man living, I have in vain undertaken
the fcheme of this paper. Who would be re-
gulated by the judgment of a man who is not
P the



[ io6 ]

the moft felf-fufficient pcrfon alive? Why did
all the pretty women in England, in the reign
of queen Anne, fubmit the government of their
fans, hoods, hoops and patches to the Specta-
tor, but becaufe he pronounced himfelf the
beft critic in famions ? Why did half the nation
imbibe their politics from the Craftfman, but
becaufe Caleb d'Anvers affured them that he
undcrftood the maxims of government and
the conftitution of his country better than any
minifter or patriot of the time ? Throned as I
am in a perfect good opinion of my own abili-
ties, I fcorn to tafte the fatisfac"tion of praife

from my own pen and (to be humble for

©nee) I own, if there is any fpecies of writ-
ing of which I am not perfect m after, it is the
epiftolary. My deficience in this particular is
happily common to me with the greateft men :
I can even go farther, and declare that it is the
Fair part of the creation which excells m that
province. Eafe without affectation, the po-
liter! expreflion, the happieft art of telling news
or trifles, the moft engaging turns of fentiment
or paflion, are frequently found in letters from
women, who have lived in a fphere at all above

the



[ *°; 1

the vulgar; while on the other fide, orators
write arre&edly, minifters obfcurely, poets flo-
ridly, learned men pedantically, and foldiers
tolerably, when they can fpell. One would not
have one's daughter write like Eloifa, becaufe
one would not have one's daughter feel what
flie felt ; yet who ever wrote fb movingly, fc
to the heart ? The amiable madame de Sevigne
is the ftandard of eafy engaging writing : To
call her the pattern of eloquent writing will
not be thought an exaggeration, when I refer
my readers to her accounts of the death of mar-
fhal Turenne : Some little fragments of her
letters, in the appendix to Ramfay's life of that
iiero, give a ftronger picture of him than the
hiftorian was able to do in his voluminous work.
If this Fair One's epiftles are liable to any
cenfure, it is for a fault in which fhe is not
likely to be often imitated, the excefs of tender-
nefs for her daughter.

The Italians are as proud of a perfon of the
lame fex : * Lucretia Gonzaga was fo celebrated

* See her article in the general Diclionary.

P 2 for



[ io8 1

for the eloquence of her letters and the purity
of their ftyle, that her very notes to her fer-
vants were collected and publifhed. I have
never read the collection : One or two billets
that I have met with, have not entirely all the
delicacy of madame de Sevigne. In one to
her footman the fignora Gonzaga reprehends
him for not readily obeying dame Lucy her
houfekeeper ; and in another addreffed to the
fame Mrs. Lucy, fhe fays, " If Livia will not
" be obedient, turn up her coats and whip her
" till her flefh be black and blew, and the blood
*< run down to her heels." To be fure this
founds a little oddly to Englifh ears, but may
be very elegant, when modulated by the har-
mony of Italian liquids.

Several worthy perfons have laid down rules
for the compofition of letters, but I fear it is
an art which only nature can teach. I remem-
ber in one of thofe books (it was written by a
German) there was a ftri£r. injunction not to
mention yourfelf before you had introduced the
perfon of your correfpondent ; that is, you
muft never ufe the monofyllable I before the
pronoun You. The Italians have dated expref-

fions



[ io 9 ]

fions to be ufed to different ranks of men, and
know exactly when to fubfcribe themfelves the
devoted or the moft devoted (lave of the illus-
trious or moil eminent perfon to whom they
have the honour to write. It is true, in that
country they have fo clogged correfpondence
with forms and civilities, that they feldom make
ufe of their own language, but generally write
to one another in French,

Among many inftances of beautiful letters
from ladies, and of the contrary from our
fex, I mail Select two, which are very Singular
in their kind. The comparifon, to be fure, is
not entirely fair ; but when I mention fome
particulars of the male author, one might ex-
pect: a little more elegance, a little better or-
thography, a little more decorum, and a good
deal lefs abfurdity, than fecm to have met ii>
one head, which had feen fo much of the world,
which pretended fo much to litterature, and
which had worn fo long one of the lirft crowns
in Europe. This perfonage was the emperor
Maximilian, grandfather of Charles the Fifth.
His reign was long, Sometimes mining, oSten

unproSperous,



[ no]

unprofperous, very often ignominious. His
ficklenefs, prodigality and indigence were no-
torious. The Italians called him Pochi-danari y
or the pennylefs ; a quality not more habitual to
him than his propenfity to repair his mattered
fortunes by the moft unbecoming means. He
ferved under our Henry the Eighth, as a com-
mon foldier, at the fiege of Terouenne for a
hundred crowns a day i He was bribed to the
attempt againft Pifa, and bribed to give it over.
In fhort, no potentate ever undertook to engage
him in a treaty, without firft offering him
money. Yet this vagabond monarch, as if the
annals of his reign were too glorious to be de-
fcribed by a plebeian pen, or as if they were
worthy to be defcribed at all, took the pains to
write his own life in Dutch verfe. There was
another book of his compofition in a different
wav, which does not reflecT: much more luflrc
upon his memory than his own Dutch epic ;
this was what he called his livre rouge y and was
a regifter of feventeen mortifications which he
had received from Louis the Twelfth of France,
and which he intended to revenge on the firft
opportunity. After a variety of fhifts, breach

of



[HI ]

of promifes, alliances, and treaties, he almoft
duped his vain cotemporary Henry the Eighth,
with a propofal of refigning the empire to him,
while himfelf was meditating, what he thought,
an acceflion of dignity even to the imperial
diadem : In fhort, in the latter part of his life
Maximilian took it into his head to canvas for
the papal Tiara. Several methods were agitated
to compafs this object of his ambition : One,
and not the leaft ridiculous, was to pretend that
the patriarchal dignity was included in the im-
perial ; and by virtue of that definition he really
aflumed the title of Pontifex Maximus, copying
the pagan lords of Rome on his way to the fove-
reignty of the chriftian church. Money he
knew was the fureft method, but the leaft at his
command : It was to procure a fupply of that
neceflary ingredient that he wrote the follow-
ing letter to his daughter Margaret*, duchefs

dowager

* This Prlncefs had been efpoufed In her non-age
to Charles the Eighth, but before confummation
was Jent back to her father. She was next contract-
ed to the Prince of Spain, but being in a great
jlorm at fea in her paffage to her bridegroom, She,
according to the cujlom of that age, tied her cheif

jewels



[ "* 3

dowager of Savoy, and governefs of the Ne-^
therlands.

ff 'X A Res chiere & tres amee fylle, je entendu
cc l'avis que vous m'avez donne par Guyl-

" lain Pingun notre garderobes, dont avons en-
cc core mieux pense. Et ne trouvons point pour
<c nulle refun bon que nous nous devons fran-
" chement marier, maes avons plus avant mys
" notre deliberation & volonte de jamcs plus
<c hanter faem nue. Et envoyons demain Monfr.
" de Gurce Evefque a Rome devers le pape pour
" trouver fachon que nous puyfluns accorder
€ * avec ly de nous prendre pour ung coadjuteur,
" afHn que apres la mort pouruns eftre afiure de
" avoer le papat, Sc devenir prefter, & apres
" eftre faint, & que yl vous fera de neceflite que

jewels to her arm, that her body, if found, might
be known ; and with great tranquillity compofed
and fajhned with them the following dijlich :

" Cy gift Margole, noble Demoifelle,
" Deuxfois mariee, £sf morte Puce lie.**

However, She efcaped, and lived to have Hvo real
hujbands, the Prince above-mentioned, and the
Duke of Savoy.

« apres



[ "3 1

44 apres ma mort vous feres contraint de me
44 adorer, dont je me trovere bien glorioes. Je
44 envoy e fur ce ung pofte devers le roy d'Arogon
44 pour ly prier qu'y nous voulle ayder pour a ce
44 parvenir, dont il eft aufTy content, moynant
44 que je refigne l'empir a noftre comun fyls
M Charles, de fela aufly je me fuys contente.
44 Je commance aufly prac~tiker les Cardinaulx,
44 dont ii C. ou iii C. mylle ducats me ferunt
44 ung grand fervice, aveque la partialite qui eft
44 deja entre eos. Le roy d'Arogon a mande a
44 fon ambaxadeur que yl veulent favouryfer le
44 papat a nous. Je vous prie, tenes cette ma-
44 tere empu fecret, ofli bien en briefF jours je
44 creins que yl faut que tout le monde le fache,
44 car bien mal efti poftible de pratiker ung tel
44 fy grand matere fecretement, pour laquell yl
44 faut avoer de tant de gens & de argent, fuc-
44 curs & pratike, & a Diu, faet de la main de
44 votre bon pere Maximilianus futur pape, le
44 xviii jour de fetembre* Le papa a encor
44 les vyevers dubls, & ne peult longement
44 fyvre."

This curious piece, which it is impoflible to

tranflate (for what language can give an adequate

Q^ idea



[ "4 3

idea of very bad old German French ? ), is to
be found in the fourth volume of letters of
Louis the Twelfth, printed at Bruflels by Fr.
Foppens in 17 12. It will be fufficient to in-
form fuch of my readers as do not underftand
French, that his imperial majefty acquaints his
beloved daughter that he defigns never to fre-
quent naked women any more, but to ufe all
his endeavours to. procure the papacy, and then
to turn prieft, and at length become a faint,
that his dear daughter may be obliged to pray to
him, which he (hall reckon matter of exceed-
ing glory. He exprefles great want of two or
three hundred thoufand ducats to facilitate the
bufmefs, which he defires may be kept very
fecret, though he does not doubt but all the
world will know it in two or three days > and
concludes with figning himfelf future Pope.

As a contrail to this fcrap of imperial folly,
I (hall prefent my readers with the other letter
I mentioned. It was written by the lady Anne*
widow of the earls of Dorfet and Pembroke
(the life of the former of whom fhe wrote) »
and heirefs of the great houfe of Clifford-
Cumberland, from which, among many noble

reversions,



[ "5 ]

reverfions, fhe enjoyed the borough of Appleby,
Sir Jofeph Williamfon, fecretary of ftate to
Charles the Second, wrote to name a candi-
date to her for that borough : The brave Coun-
tefs, with all the fpirit of her anceftors, and
with all the eloquence of independent Greece,
returned this laconic anfwer.

" T Have been bullied by an Ufurper, I have
" been neglected by a Court, but I will not
" be dictated to by a Subject j your man fha'n't
" ftand.

ANNE DORSET,

PEMBROKE, and MONTGOMERY,"



The.



[ «6]

The W O R L D.

By Adam Fitz-Adam.

Numb. XXVIII. fhurfday, July 12, 1753.



Pauci dtgnofcere pojfunt

Vera bona^ at que i His mult urn diver/a . Juv.

T T is a common obfervation, that though
-*• happinefs is every man's aim, and though
it is generally purfued by a gratification of the
predominant paflion, yet few have acutenefs
enough to difcover the points which would effec-
tually procure the long-fought end. One can-
not but wonder that fuch inteiife application as
moft of us beftow on the cultivation of our fa-
vorite defires, fhould yet leave us ignorant of
the moft effential objects of our ftudy. For my
part, I was fo early convinced of the truth of
what I have aflertcd, that inftead of fearching

for



[ "7 1

for what would contribute moft to my own
happinefs, I have fpent great part of my life in
the frudy of what may extend the enjoyment of
others. That knowledge I flatter myfelf I have
difcovered, and fhall now difclofe to the world.
I beg to be attended to : I beg mankind will
believe that I know better than any of them
what will afcertain the felicity of their lives.
I am not going to impart fo great (though fo
often revealed) a fecret, as that it is religion
or virtue : Few would believe me ; fewer would
try the recipe. In fpite of the philofophy of
the age, in fpite of the gravity of my character,
and of the decency which I hope I have hitherto
moft fanctimonioufly obferved, I muft avow my
perfuafion, that the fenfual pleafure of love
is the great cordial of life, and the only fpecific
for removing the anxieties of our own paflions,
or for fupporting the injuries and iniquities which
we fuffer from thofe of other men.

" Well ! (fhall I be told) and is this your
" admirable difcovery ? Is this the arcanum
" that has efcaped the penetration of all inqui-
" rers in all ages ? What other doctrine has

« been



t "8 ]

U been taught by the moft fenfible philofophers ?
" Was not this the text of the fermons of Epi-
H cur us ? Was not this the theory, and prac-
" tice too, of the experienced Alcibiades ?
" What other were the tenets of the fage lord
4 < Rochester, or of the miilionary Saint-

" Evremont ? " It is very true; and a

thoufand other founders of fe&s, nay of reli-
gious orders, have taught or at leaft prac-

tifed, the fame doctrines. But I pretend to in-
troduce fuch refinements into the fyftem of
fenfuality, as mall vindicate the difcovery to
myfelf, and throw at a diftance the minute
philofophers, who (if they were my forerunners)
only ferved to lead the world aftray.

Hear then in one word the myfterious pre-
cept ! " Young women are not the proper ob-
" je& of fenfual love : It is the matron, the
<c hoary fair who can give, communicate,
" infure happinefs." I might enumerate a thou-
fand rcafons to inforce my doctrine, as the
ficklenefs of youth, the caprices of beauty and
it's tranfient ftate, the jealoufy from rivals, the
diftra&ibn from having children, the important

avocations



t "9 3

avocations of drefs, and the infinite occupa-
tions of a pretty woman, which endanger or
divide her fentiments from being always fixed on
the faithful lover ; and none of which combat
the affe&ions of the grateful, tender, attentive
matron. But as one example is worth a
thoufand reafons, I mail recommend my plan
by pointing out the extreme happinefs which
has attended fuch difcreet heroes as are com-
memorated in the annals of love for having of-
fered up their hearts at ancient fhrines ; and I
fhall clearly demonftrate by precedents, that
feveral ladies in the bloom of their wrinkles have
infpired more lafting and more fervent palllons,
than the greateft beauties who had fcarce loft
fight of their teens. The fair young creatures
of the prefent hour will forgive a preference
which is the refult of deep meditation, great
reading, and ftri& impartiality, when they re-
flect, that they can fcarce contrive to be young
above a dozen years, and may be old for fifty
or fixty ; and they may believe me, that after
forty they will value one lover more, than they
do twenty now; a fenfation of happinefs,
which they will find increafe as they advance

id



[ 120 ]

in years. I cannot but obferve with pleafure
that * the legiflature itfelf feems to coincide
with my way of thinking, and has very pru-
dently enacted that young ladies (hall not enter
fo early into the bonds of love, when they arc
incapable of reflection, and of all the ferious
duties which belong to an union of hearts. A
fentiment, which indeed our laws feem always
to have had in view ; for unlefs there was im-
planted in our natures a ftrong temptation to-
wards the love of elderly women, why
fhould the very firft prohibition in the table of
confanguinity forbid a man to marry his grand-
mother?

The firft heroine we read of, whofe charms
were proof againft the injuries of time, was
the accomplifhed Sarah : I think the moft
moderate computations make her to be ninety
when that wanton monarch Abimelech would
have undermined her virtue. But as doubtlefs
the obfervance of that virtue had been the great

* This alludes to the marriage-aft pajfed at the
conclujion of the preceding fejjion.

foundation



[ 121 ]

foundation of the continuance of her beauts,
and as the rigidnefs of it rather exempts her
from, than expofes her as an objecl: of my doc-
trine, I mail fay no more of that lady : Efpe-
cially, as her being obliged to wear a fack to
hide a big-belly at a very unfeafonable age*
clafhes with one of my {landing arguments for
the love of elderly women.

Helen, the beautiful Helen, if there is any
trusting to claflic parifh-regifters, was fourfcore
when Paris ftole her; and though the war
lafted ten years after that on her account, mon-
fieur Homer, who wrote their romance, does
not give any hint of the gallant young prince
having mewed the leaft decay of paffion or fymp-
tom of inconftancy : A fidelity, which in all
probability was at leait as much owing to the
experience of the dame, and to her knowledge
in the refinements of pleafure, as to her bright
eyes, unfaded complexion, or the everlafting
lillies and rofes of her cheeks.

I am not clear that length of years, efpe-

cially in heroic minds, does not increafe rather

than abate the fentimental flame. The great

R Eliza-



[ 122 ]

Elizabeth, whofe paffion for the unfortu-
nate earl of Essex is juftly a favorite topic with
all who delight in romantic hiftory, was full
fixty-eight when fhe condemned her lover to
death for flighting her endearments. And, if
I might inftance in our own fex, the charming,
the meritorious Antony was not far from
feventy before he had fo much tafte as to facri-
fice the meaner pafiion of ambition, nay the
world itfelf, to love.

But it is in France, that kingdom fo ex-
quifitely judicious in the affairs of love, from
whence we may copy the arts of happinefs, as
well as their other difcoveries in pleafure. The
monarchs of that nation have more than once
taught the world by their example, that a fine
woman, though paft her grand climacteric,
may be but juft touching the meridian of her
charms. Henry the Second, and Louis the
Fourteenth will be for ever memorable for
the paflions they fo long felt for the duchefs
of Valentinois, and madame de Main-
tenon. The former, in the heat of youth
and profpecl: of empire, became a flave to the
refpedable attra<aion$ of Diana de Poitiers,

man/



[ ™3 1

many years after his * injudicious father had
quitted the poffeflion of her on the filly appre-
henfion that fhe was growing old : And to the
laft moment of his life and reign, Henry was
a conftant, jealous adorer of her ftill ripening
charms. When the age was over-run with
aftrology, fuperftition, bigotry and notions of
necromancy, king Henry ftill idolized a wo-
man, who had not only married her f grand-
daughter, then a celebrated beauty, but who,
if any other prince had reigned, was ancient
enough to have come within the defcription
of forcery : So little do the vulgar diftinguifh
between the ideas of an old witch and a fine
woman. The paflion of the other monarch
was no lefs remarkable. That hero, who had
gained io many battles by proxy, had prefided
in perfon at fo many tournaments, had raife4
iuch water-works, and flied fuch ftreams of

* Francis the Firjl : It is /aid that the Father
of Diana de Poitiers being condemned to deaths
his daughter obtained not only his pardon^ but the
ajfeclion^ of that prince. However x be quitted
her for the Duchejfe d' EJiampes.

f Madamoifelle de la Mark.

R 2 heretic



[ I2 4 ]

heretic blood, and, which was ftill more glo-
rious, had enjoyed fo many of the fineft women
in Europe, was at laft captivated by an old
governante, and fighed away whole years at
the feet of his venerable miftrefs as fhe worked
at her tent with fpe&acles. If Louis le
grand was not a judge of pleafure, who can
pretend to be ? If he was, in favour of what
age did he give the golden apple ?

I fhall clofe my catalogue of ancient miftrefTes
with the renowned Ninon L'enclos, a lady
whofe life alone is fufficient to inculcate my
doctrine in its utmoft force. I (hall fay nothing
of her numerous conquefts for the firft half of
her life : She had wit, youth and beauty, three
ingredients which will always attract filly ad-
mirers. It was not till her fifty fixth year that
her fuperior merit diftinguifhed itfelf; and from
that to her ninetieth (he went on improving in
the real arts and charms of love. How un-
fortunate am I, that fhe did not live a few years
longer, that I might have had the opportunity

of wearing her chains ! It was in her fifty

fixth year that the chevalier de Villiers, a
natural fon whom (he had had by the comte

de



[ **5 ]
dc Gerze , arrived at Paris from the provinces,
where he had been educated without any know-
ledge of his real parents. He faw his mother ;
he fell in love with her. The increafe, the
vehemence of his paflion gave the greateft dif-
quiets to the affectionate matron. At laft,
when nothing but a difcovery of the truth could
put a flop, as (he thought, to the impetuofity
of his attempts, me carried him into her bed-
chamber Here my readers will eafily con-
ceive the tranfports of a young lover, juft on
the brink of happinefs with a charming miftrefs
of near threefcore ! As the adventurous youth*
would have pufhed his enterprizes, (he checked
him, and pointing to a clock, faid, c4 Rafh
u boy, look there ! at that hour, two and
<4 twenty years ago, I was delivered of You
" in this very bed ! " It is a certain faft, that
the unfortunate, abafhed young man flew into
the garden and fell upon his fword. This cataf-
trophe had like to have deprived the age of the
moft accomplifhed miftrefs that ever adorned
the Cytherean annals. It was above twenty
years before the afflicted mother would liften to
any addrefTes of a tender nature. At length

the



[ "6 ]

the polite Abbe de Gedoyn prefled and obtained
an aflignation. He came and found the en-
chanting Ninon lying on a couch, like the
grandmother of the Loves, in the moft gallant
difhabille ; and what was ftill more delightful,
difpofed to indulge his utmoft wifhes. After

the moft charming endearments, he afked her

but with the greateft refpecl:, Why me had fo
long deferred the completion of his happinefs ?
H Why," replied (he, " I muft confefs it pro-
" ceeded from a remain of vanity : I did pique
<c myfelf upon having a lover at paft four-
" score, and it was but yefterday that I was
" eighty compleat."



The



[127 3

The W O R L D.

By Adam Fitz-Adam.
Numb. CIII. Tburfday, December 19, 1754,



I AM never better pleafed than when I can
vindicate the honour of my native country :
At the fame time, I would not endeavour to
defend it prepofteroufly, nor to contradict the
eyes, the fenfes of mankind, out of ftark good
patriotifm. The fluctuating condition of the
things of this world neceflarily produces a
change in manners and morals, as well as in
the face of countries and cities. Climates can-
not operate fo powerfully on conftitutions, as
to preferve the fame character perpetually to the
fame nations. I do not doubt but in fome age
of the world the Boeotians will be a very lively
whimfical people, and famous for their repartees \
and that our neighbour iflanders will be remark-
able



[ 128 ]

able for the truth of their ideas, and for the
precifion with which they will deliver their con-
ceptions. Some men are fo bigotted to anti-
quated notions, that if they were, even in this
age, to write a panegyric on old England, they
would cram their compofition with encomiums
on our good-nature, our bravery, and our hof-
pitality. This indeed might be a panegyric on
old England, but would have very little re-
femblance to the modern charafteriftics of the


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