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I do not at all lament lord Granby’s 5 leaving the army, and your immediate succession. There are persons in the world who would gladly ease you of this burden. As you are only to take the vice-royalty of a coop, and that for a few weeks, I shall but smile if you are terribly distressed. Don't let lady Ailesbury proceed to Brunswick: you might have had a wife who would not have thought it so terrible to fall into the hands [arms] of hussars; but as I don't take that to be your countess's turn, leave her with the Dutch, who are not so boisterous as Cossacks or chancellors of the exchequer.
My love, my duty, my jealousy, to lady M ***, if she is not sailed before you receive this—if she is, I shall deliver them myself. Good night! I write immediately on the receipt of your letter ; but you see I have nothing yet new to tell you.
To GEORGE MONTAGU, Esq.
Arlington-street, April 16, 1761. You are a very mule; one offers you a handsome stall and manger in Berkeley-square, and you will not accept it. I have chosen your coat, a claret colour, to suit the complexion of the country you are going to visit ; but I have fixed nothing about the lace. Barrett had none of gauze, but what were as broad as the Irish Channel. Your tailor found a very reputable one at another place, but I would not determine rashly ; it will be two or three and twenty shillings the yard ; you might have a very substantial real lace, which would wear like your buffet, for twenty. The second order of gauzes are frippery, none above twelve shillings, and those tarnished, for the species is out of fashion, You will have time to sit in judgment upon these important points; for Hamilton, your secretary, told me at the opera two nights ago, that he had taken a house near Bushy, and hoped to be in my neighbourhood for four months,
I was last night at your plump countess's, who is so shrunk, hat she does not seem to be composed of above a dozen hassocs.
5 The marquis of Granby was sworn in a member of the Privy Council as Lieutenant-General of the Ordnance, 1st May, 1761. [Ed.]
Lord Guilford rejoiced mightily over your preferment. The duchess of Argyle was playing there, not knowing that the great Pam was just dead, to wit, her brother-in-law. He was abroad in the morning, was seized with a palpitation after dinner, and was dead before the surgeon could arrive. There's the crown of Scotland, too, fallen upon my lord Bute's head! Poor lord Edgecumbe' is still alive, and may be so for some days; the physicians, who no longer ago than Friday se’nnight persisted that he had no dropsy, in order to prevent his having Ward,' on Monday last proposed that Ward should be called in, and at length they owned they thought the mortification begun. It is not clear it is yet; at times he is in his senses, and entirely so, composed, clear, and most rational; talks of his death, and but yesterday, after such a conversation with his brother, asked for a pencil to amuse himself with drawing. What parts, genius, and agreeableness thrown away at a hazard table, and not permitted the chance of being saved by the villany of physicians !
You will be pleased with the Anacreontic, written by lord Middlesex upon sir Harry Bellendine : I have not seen any thing so antique for ages; it has all the fire, poetry, and simplicity of Horace.
Ye sons of Bacchus, come and join
Pour the rich juice of Bourdeaux's wine,
· Richard Edgecumbe, second lord, died 10th May, 1761, and was succeeded by his brother George, who on the 6th August in the same year, married Emma, only child of Dr. John Gilbert, archbishop of York. His lordship was created in 1781, Viscount Mount Edgecumbe and Valletort, county Devon, and in 1789, Earl of Mount Edgecumbe. (Ed.]
2 Dr. Joshua Ward, a celebrated empiric of the day, and the inventor of • Ward's Drops,' first introduced by sir Thomas Robinson, in 1732, on which occasion sir C. H. Williams addressed to him his poem, commencing,
“Say knight, for learning most renowned,
What is this wondrous drop.”
Your brows let ivy chaplets twine,
Of honest Harry Bellendine. He died in his vocation, of a high fever, after the celebration of some orgies. Though but six hours in his senses, he gave a proof of his usual good-humour, making it his last request to the sister Tuftons to be reconciled, which they are. His pretty villa, in my neighbourhood, I fancy he has left to the new lord Lorn. I must tell you an admirable bon-mot of George Selwyn, though not a new one ; when there was a malicious report that the eldest Tufton was to marry Dr. Duncan, Selwyn said, “How often will she repeat that line of Shakspeare,
Wake, Duncan, with this knocking-would thou couldst!! I enclose the receipt from your lawyer. Adieu !
To GEORGE MONTAGU, Esq.
Arlington-street, April 28, 1761. I am glad you will relish June for Strawberry; by that time I hope the weather will have recovered its temper. At present it is horridly cross and uncomfortable ; I fear we shall have a cold season; we cannot eat our summer and have our summer.
There has been a terrible fire in the little traverse street, at the upper end of Sackville-street. Last Friday night, between eleven and twelve, I was sitting with lord Digby in the coffeeroom at Arthur's; they told us there was a great fire somewhere about Burlington-gardens. I, who am as constant at a fire as George Selwyn at an execution, proposed to lord Digby to go and see where it was. We found it within two doors of that pretty house of Fairfax, now general Waldegrave's. I sent for the latter, who was at Arthur's, and for the guard, from St. James's. Four houses were in flames before they could find a drop of water; eight were burnt. I went to my lady Suffolk, in Saville-row, and passed the whole night, till three in the morning, between her little hot bed-chamber and the spot, up to my ancles in water, without catching cold. As the wind, which had sat towards Swallow-street, changed in the middle of the conflagration, I concluded the greatest part of Saville-row would be consumed. I persuaded her to prepare to transport her more valuable effects--portantur avari Pygmalionis opes misere. She behaved with great composure, and observed to me herself how much worse her deafness grew with the alarm. Half the people of fashion in town were in the streets all night, as it happened in such a quarter of distinction. In the crowd, looking on with great tranquillity, I saw a Mr. Jackson, an Irish gentleman, with whom I had dined this winter at lord Hertford's. He seemed rather grave; I said, “ Sir, I hope you do not live hereabouts."_“Yes, sir," said he, “I lodged in that house that is just burnt.”
Last night there was a mighty ball at Bedford-house; the royal dukes and princess Emily were there ; your lord-lieutenant, the great lawyer, lords, and old Newcastle, whose teeth are tumbled out, and his mouth tumbled in ; hazard very deep; loo, beauties, and the Wilton-bridge in sugar, almost as big as the life. I am glad all these joys are near going out of town. The Graftons go abroad for the duchess's health; another climate may mend that I will not answer for more.
To GEORGE MONTAGU, Esq.
Arlington-street, May 5, 176). We have lost a young genius, sir William Williams'; an express from Belleisle arrived this morning, brings nothing but his death. He was shot, very unnecessarily riding too near a battery ;
in sum, he is a sacrifice to his own rashness, and to ours. For what are we taking Belleisle? I rejoiced at the little loss we had on landing, for the glory, I leave it to the common council. I am very willing to leave London to them too, and do pass half the week at Strawberry, where my two passions, lilacs, and nightingales, are in full bloom. I spent Sunday as if it were Apollo's birth-day; Gray and Mason were with me, and we listened to the nightingales till one o'clock in the morning.
i Sir William Pere Williams, bart., M. P. for Shoreham, and a captain in Burgoyne's dragoons, was killed in reconnoitering before Belleisle. Two hundred and fifty pounds which were found in his pockets, together with his body, were given up to the English by the French authorities. [Ed.]
Gray has translated two noble incantations from the lord knows who, a Danish Gray, who lived the lord kuows when. They are to be enchased in a history of English bards, which Mason and he are writing, but of which the former has not written a word yet, and of which the latter, if he rides Pegasus at bis usual foot pace, will finish the first page two years hence.
But the true frantic Estus resides at present with Mr. Hogarth; I went t'other morning to see a portrait he is painting of Mr. Fox. Hogarth told nie he had promised, if Mr. Fox would sit as he liked, to make as good a picture as Vandyke or Rubens could. I was silent—“Why now," said he, “ you think this very vain, but why should not one speak truth?” This truth was uttered in the face of bis own Sigismonda, which is exactly a maudlin w- tearing off the trinkets that her keeper had given her, to fling at his head. She has her father's picture in a bracelet on her arm, and her fingers are bloody with the heart, as if she had just bought a sheep's-pluck in St. James's market. As I was going, Hogarth put on a very grave face, and said, “ Mr. Walpole, I want to speak to you." I sat down, and said, I was ready to receive his commands. For shortness, I will mark this wonderful dialogue by initial letters.
H. I am told you are going to entertain the town with something in our way. W. Not very soon, Mr. Hogarth. H. I wish you would let me have it, to correct; I should be very sorry to have you expose yourself to censure ; we painters must know more of those things than other people. W. Do you think nobody understands painting but painters? H. Oh! so far from it, there's Reynolds, who certainly has genius ; why, but t'other day he offered a hundred pounds for a picture, that I would not hang in
my cellar; and indeed, to say truth, I have generally found, that persons who had studied painting least were the best judges of it ; but what I particularly wished to say to you was about sir James Thornhill (you know he married sir James's daughter): I would not have you say any thing against him ; there was a book published some time ago, abusing him, and it gave great offence. He was the first that attempted history in England, and, I assure you, some Germans have said that he was a very great painter. W. My work will go no lower than the year one thousand seven hundred, and I really have not considered whether sir J. Thornhill will come within my plan or not; if he does, I fear you and I shall not agree upon