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To GEORGE MONTAGU, Esq.
Arlington-street, Dec. 11, 1760. I THANK you for the inquiries about the painted glass, and shall be glad if I prove to be in the right. There is not much of news to tell
you; and yet there is much dissatisfaction. The duke of Newcastle has threatened to resign on the appointment of lord Oxford and lord Bruce without his knowledge. His court rave about Tories, which you know comes with a singular grace from them, as the duke never preferred any. Murray, lord Gower, sir John Cotton, Jack Pitt, &c. &c. &c. were all firm Whigs. But it is unpardonable to put an end to all faction, when it is not for factious purposes. Lord Fitzmaurice, made aid-de-camp to the king, has disgusted the army. The duke of Richmond, whose brother has no more been put over others than the duke of Newcastle has preferred Tories, has presented a warm memorial in a warm manner, and has resigned the bed-chamber, not his regimentanother propriety.
Propriety is so much in fashion, that Miss Chudleigh has called for the council-books of the subscription concert, and has struck off the name of Mrs. Naylor. I have some thoughts of remonstrating, that general Waldegrave is too lean for to be a groom of the bed-chamber. Mr. Chute has sold his house to Miss Speed for three thousand pounds, and has taken one for a year iu Berkeley-square.
This is a very brief letter; I fear this reign will soon furnish longer. When the last king could be beloved, a young man with a good heart has little chance of being so. Moreover, I have a maxim, that the extinction of party is the origin of faction. Good night!
I The earl of Oxford and lord Bruce were appointed lords of the bedchamber. The latter, Thomas Bruce Brudenel, lord Bruce of Tottenham, was the youngest son of George third earl of Cardigan, by lady Elizabeth Bruce, daughter of Thomas, second earl of Ailesbury in the peerage of England, and third earl of Elgin, in Scotland, and succeeded to the title of lord Bruce on the death of Charles, earl of Ailesbury, 10th February, 1746-7, when the title of earl of Ailesbury became extinct. (Ed.]
2 William lord Viscount Fitzmaurice, afterwards the celebrated earl of Shelbourne, who was, on the death of the marquis of Rockingham, nominated prime minister, and on the 30th November 1784, created marquess of Lansdowne, was son of John first earl of Shelbourne, who was created a peer of England by the title of baron Wycombe, on the 20th May 1760, and died 10th May 1761. (Ed.]
3 Mrs. Naylor was a noted procuress of the day, and Miss Chudley, the mistress, and afterwards the wife of the duke of Kingston. (Ed.)
To GEORGE MONTAGU, Esq.
Arlington-street, Jan. 22, 1761. I am glad you are coming, and now the time is over, that you are coming so late, as I like to have you here in the spring. You will find no great novelty in the new reign. Lord Denbigh is made master of the harriers with two thousand a-year. Lord Temple asked it, and Newcastle and Hardwicke gave into it for fear of Denbigh’s brutality in the house of lords. Does this differ from the style of George the second.
The king designs to have a new motto ; he will not have a French one, so the pretender may enjoy Dieu et mon droit in quiet.
Princess Amelia is already sick of being familiar; she has been at Northumberland-house, but goes to nobody more. That party was larger, but still more formal than the rest, though the duke of York had invited himself and his commercetable. I played with madam ****, and we were mighty well together; so well, that two nights afterwards she commended me to Mr Conway and Mr. Fox; but calling me that Mr. Walpole, they did not guess who she meant. For my part, I thought it very well, that when I played with her, she did not call me that gentleman. As she went away, she thanked my lady Northumberland, like a parson's wife, for all her civilities.
I was excessively amused on Tuesday night; there was a play at Holland-house, acted by children; not all children, for lady Sarah Lenox? and lady Susan Strangways played the women: it was Jane Shore; Mr. Price, lord Barrington's nephew, was Gloster, and acted better than three parts of the comedians. Charles Fox, 4 Hastings; a little Nichols, who spoke well, Belmour ; lord Ofaly,5 lord Ashbroke, and other boys, did the rest : but the two girls were delightful, and acted with so much nature and simplicity, that they appeared the very things they represented. Lady Sarah was more beautiful than you can conceive, and her very awkwardness gave an air of truth to the shame of the part, and the antiquity of the time, which was kept up by her dress, taken out of Montfaucon. Lady Susan was dressed from Jane Seymour, and all the parts were clothed in ancient habits, and with the most minute propriety. I was infinitely more struck with the last scene between the two women, than ever I was when I have seen it on the stage. When lady Sarah was in white, with her hair about her ears and on the ground, no Magdalen by Corregio was half so lovely and expressive. You would have been charmed, too, with seeing Mr. Fox's 6 little boy of six years old, who is beautiful, and acted the bishop of Ely, drest in lawu sleeves and with a square cap; they had inserted two lines for him, which he could hardly speak plainly. Francis had given them a pretty prologue.
1 Basil Fielding, sixth earl of Denbigh, and fifth earl of Desmond. His lordship died in 1800, and having survived his son William Robert, viscount Fielding, who died 8th August 1799, was succeeded by his grandson, the present earl. (Ed.]
2 Lady Sarah Lenox, daughter of Charles second duke of Richmond, was afterwards married to sir Thomas Charles Bunbury, bart. (Ed.]
3 Lady Susannah Sarah Strangeways, daughter of Stephen Fox, first earl of Ilchester, born 12th February 1743, died 9th August 1827, having married, 7th April 1764, William O'Brien, esq. [Ed.]
You give me no account from Mr. Whistler of the painted glass; do press him for an answer. Adieu !
T. GEORGE MONTAGU, Esq.
Arlington-street, Feb. 7, 1761. I have not written to you lately, expecting your arrival. As you are not come yet, you need not come these ten days, if you please, for I go next week into Norfolk, that my subjects of Lynn
4 Charles James Fox, third son of the first lord Holland, the celebrated leader of the Whig party, who died 13th September 1806; he was then just twelve years
age. [Ed.] 5 George lord Offaley, eldest son of James Fitzgerald, marquis of Kildare, and viscount Leinster, created in 1766 duke of Leinster, by the lady Mary Lennox, daughter of Charles second duke of Richmond, born 15th January 1748, died 26th September 1765. [Ed.]
6 The Hon. General Henry Edward Fox, born 4th March 1755, died 18th July 1811, having married 14th November 1786, Marian, second daughter of William Clayton, esq. [Ed.]
may at least once in their lives see me. 'Tis a horrible thing to dine with a mayor! I shall profane king John's cup, and taste nothing but water out of it, as if it were St. John Baptist's.
Prepare yourself for crowds, multitudes. In this reign all the world lives in one room. The capital is as vulgar as a country town in the season of horse-races. There were no fewer than four of these throngs on Tuesday last, at the duke of Cumberland's, princess Emily's, the opera, and lady Northumberland's; for even operas, Tuesday's operas, are crowded now. There is nothing else new. Last week there was a magnificent ball at Carleton-house: the two royal dukes and princess Emily were there. He of York danced; the other and his sister had each their table at loo. I played at her's, and am grown a favourite; nay, have been at her private party, and was asked again last Wednesday, but took the liberty to excuse myself, and yet am again summoned for Tuesday. It is triste enough: nobody sits till the game begins, and then she and the company are all on stools. At Norfolk-house, were two arm-chairs placed for her and the duke of Cumberland, the duke of York being supposed a dancer, but they would not use them. Lord Huntingdon arrived in a frock, pretending he was just come out of the country ; unluckily, he had been at court, full dressed, in the morning. No foreigners were there but the son and daughterin-law of Monsieur de Fuentes: the duchess told the duchess of Bedford that she had not invited the ambassadress, because her rank is disputed here. You remember the Bedford took place of Madame de Mirepoix; but Madame de Mora danced first, the duchess of Norfolk saying she supposed that was of no consequence.
Have you heard what immense riches old Wortley has left? One million three hundred and fifty thousand pounds. It is all to centre in my lady Bute; her husband is one of fortune's prodigies. They talk of a print, in which her mistress is reprimanding Miss Chudleigh, the latter curtsies and replies, “ Madame, chacun a son but."
1 The Hon. Edward Wortley Montagu, uncle to the earl of Sandwich, husband of the celebrated Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, by whom he had two children, a son Edward, who was disinherited, and died without issue in 1776, and a daughter Mary, married to John third earl of Bute, and created baroness Mount-Stuart, with remainder to her issue male by the earl. (Ed.]
you seen a scandalous letter in print, from Miss F * * * *2 to lord Jersey, with the history of a boar's head? George Selwyn calls him Meleager. Adieu! this is positively my last.
To The Hon. H. S. CONWAY.
Monday, five o'clock, February, 1761. I am a little peevish with you—I told you on Thursday night that I had a mind to go to Strawberry on Friday without staying for the qualification-bill. You said it did not signifyNo! What if you intended to speak on it? Am I indifferent to hearing you?–More-Am I indifferent about acting with you ? Would not I follow you in any thing in the world?- This is saying no profligate thing. Is there any thing I might not follow you in? You even did not tell me yesterday that you had spoken. Yet I will tell you all I have heard ; though if there was a point in the world in which I could not wish
you wish yourself, perhaps it would be in having you employed. I cannot be cool about your danger; yet I cannot know any thing that concerns you, and keep it from you. Charles Townshend called here just after I came to town to-day. Among other
? Miss Ford, the writer of the letter in question, appears to have been the object of an illicit, but unsuccessful attachment on the part of Lord Jersey, whose advances if not sanctioned by the lady, appear to have been sanctioned by her father, who told her she might have acccepted the settlement his lordship offered her, and yet not have complied with his terms. The following strange extracts from the letter will explain the history alluded to by Walpole.
“However I must do your lordship the justice to say, that as you conceived this meeting (one with a noble personage which Lord Jersey bad desired her not to make) would have been most pleasing to me, and perhaps of some advantage, your lordship did in consideration of so great a disappointment) send me, a few days after, a present of a boar's head, which I had often had the honour to meet at your lordship’s table before. It was rather an odd first, and only present from a lord to his beloved mistress; but its coming from your lordship gave it an additional value, which it had not in itself; and I received it with the regard I thought due to every thing coming from your lordship, and would have eat it, had it been entable. ham impatient to acquit your lordship and myself, by showing that as your lordship’s eight hundred pounds a year did not purchase my person, the boar's head did not purchase my silence." (Ed.]
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