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many children my lady B**** is * * and how many races my nephew goes to. No, I will not; you do not want such proofs of my friendship.
The papers tell us you are retiring, and I was glad. You seem to expect an action-Can this give me spirits ? Can I write to you joyfully, and fear? Or is it fit prince Ferdinand should know you have a friend that is as great a coward about you as your wife? The only reason for my silence, that can not be true, is, that I forget you. When I am prudent or cau. tious, it is no symptom of my being indifferent, Indifference does not happen in friendships, as it does in passions; and if I was young enough or feeble enough to cease to love you, I would not for my own sake let it be known. Your virtues are my greatest pride; I have done myself so much honour by them, that I will not let it be known you have been peevish with me unreasonably. Pray God we may have peace, that I may scold you for it!
The king's marriage was kept the profoundest secret till last Wednesday, when the privy council was extraordinarily summoned, and it was notified to them. Since that, the new queen's mother is dead, and will delay it a few days; but lord Harcourt is to sail on the 27th, and the coronation will certainly be on the 22d of September. All that I know fixed, is, lord Harcourt master of the horse, the duke of Manchester chamberlain,” and Mr. Stone treasurer. Lists there are in abundance ; I don't know the authentic: those most talked of, are, lady Bute, groom of the stole, the duchesses of Hamilton and Ancaster, lady Northumberland, Bolingbroke, Weymouth, Scarborough, Aber: gavenny, Effingham, for ladies ;: you may choose any six of them you please; the four first are more probable. Misses, Henry Beauclerc, M. Howe, Meadows, Wrottesley, Bishop, &c. &c. &c. Choose your maids, too. * Bedchamber women, Mrs. Bloodworth, Robert Brudenel, Charlotte Dives, lady Erskine ;5 in short, I repeat a mere newspaper.
2 The duke of Manchester was appointed chamberlain, and lord viscount Cantalupe, son of the earl of Delawarr, vice-chamberlain. [Ed.]
3 The ladies of the bedchamber were, the duchess of Ancaster, mistress of the robes; duchess of Hamilton; countess of Effingham; countess of Northumberland; viscountess Weymouth, and viscountess Bolingbroke. (Ed.]
4 Misses Evelyn, Meadows, Bishop, Beauclerc, Wrottesley, and Keck received the appointments. [Ed.]
We expect the final answer of France this week. Bussy was in great pain on the fireworks for Quebec, lest he should be obliged to illuminate his house : you see I ransack my memory for something to tell you.
Adieu! I have more reason to be angry than you had ; but I am not so hasty; you are of a violent, impetuous, jealous temper-I, cool, sedate, reasonable. I believe I must subscribe my name, or you will not know me by this description.
* * *
To GEORGE MONTAGU, Esq.
Strawberry-hill, Friday night, July 16, 1761. I did not notify the king's marriage to you yesterday, because I knew you would learn as much by the evening post as I could tell you. The solemn manner of summoning the council was very extraordinary: people little imagined that the urgent and important business in the rescript was to acquaint them that his majesty was going to ******
All I can tell you of truth is, that lord Harcourt goes to fetch the princess, and comes back her master of the horse. She is to be here in August, and the coronation certainly on the 22d of September. Think of the joy the women feel; there is not a Scotch peer
in the Fleet that might not marry the greatest fortune in England between this and the 22d of September. However, the ceremony will lose its two brightest luminaries, my niece Waldegrave for beauty, and the duchess of Grafton for figure. The first will be lying-in, the latter at Geneva ; but I think she will come, if she walks to it as well as at it. I cannot recollect but lady Kildare and lady Pembroke of great beauties. Mrs. Bloodworth and Mrs. Robert Brudenel, bedchamber women, Miss Wrottesley and Miss Meadows, maids of honour, go to receive the princess at Helvoet ; what lady I do not hear. Your cou. sin's grace of Manchester, they say, is to be chamberlain, and Mr. Stone, treasurer ;' the duchess of Ancaster and lady Bolingbroke of her bedchamber : these I do not know are certain, but hitherto all seems well chosen. Miss Molly Howe, one of the pretty Bishops, and a daughter of lady Harry Beauclerc, are talked of for maids of honour. The great apartment at St. James's is enlarging, and to be furnished with the pictures from Kensington : this does not portend a new palace.
5 The bedchamber women were, Mrs. Dashwood, Mrs. Herbert, Mrs. Robert Brudenell, and Mrs. Ryan. [Ed.]
6 The abbé de Bussy, sent here with overtures of peace. Mr. Stanley was at the same time sent to Paris. [Or.]
In the midst of all this novelty and hurry, my mind is very differently employed. They expect every minute the news of a battle between Soubise and the hereditary prince. Mr. Conway, I believe, is in the latter army; judge if I can be thinking much of espousals and coronations! It is terrible to be forced to sit still, expecting such an event; in one's own room one is not obliged to be a hero ; consequently, I tremble for one that is really a hero.
Mr. * * *, your secretary, has been to see me to-day; I am quite ashamed not to have prevented him. I will go to-morrow with all the speeches I can muster.
I am sorry neither you nor your brother are quite well, but shall be content if my Pythagorean sermons have any weight
You go to Ireland to make the rest of your life happy ; don't go to fling the rest of it away. Good night!
Yours most faithfully. Mr. Chute is gone to his Chutehood.
TO THE COUNTESS OF AILESBURY.
Strawberry-hill, July 20, 1761. I BLUSH, dear madam, on observing that half my letters to your ladyship are prefaced with thanks for presents :-don't mistake; I am not ashamed of thanking you, but of having so many occasions for it. Monsieur Hop has sent me the piece of china: I admire it as much as possible, and intend to like him as much as ever I but hitherto I have not seen him, not having been in town since he arrived.
Could I have believed that the Hague would so easily compensate for England ? nay, for Park-place ! Adieu, all our agree1 Andrew Stone, esq. was appointed treasurer of the queen's household. (Ed.]
able suppers ! Instead of lady Cecilia's' French songs, we shall have madame Welderen? quavering a confusion of d's and t's, b's and p's—Bourquoi sçais du blaire ?3_Worse than that, I expect to meet all my relations at your house, and sir Samson Gideon4 instead of Charles Townshend. You will laugh like Mrs. Tipkin when a Dutch Jew tells you that he bought at two and a half per cent., and sold at four. Come back, if you have any taste left: you had better be here talking robes, ermine and tissue, jewels and tresses, as all the world does, than own you are so corrupted. Did you receive my notification of the new queen ? Her mother is dead, and she will not be here before the end of August.
My mind is much more at peace about Mr. Conway than it was. Nobody thinks there will be a battle, as the French did not attack them when both armies shifted camps ; and since that, Soubise has entrenched himself up to the whiskers :-whiskers I think he has, I have been so afraid of him! Yet our hopes of meeting are still very distant: the peace does not advance ; and if Europe has a stiver left in its pockets, the war will continue ; though happily all parties have been so scratched, that they only sit and look anger at one another, like a dog and cat that don't care to begin again.
We are in danger of losing our sociable box at the opera. The new queen is very musical, and, if Mr. deputy Hodges and the city don't exert their veto, will probably go to the Haymarket. * * * * * G *** P * * *, in imitation of the Adonises in Tanzai's retinue, has asked to be her majesty's grand harper. Dieu sçait quelle raclerie il y aura ! All the guitars are untuned ; and if miss Conway has a mind to be in fashion at her return, she must take some David or other to teach her the new twing twang, twing twing twang. As I am still desirous of
1 Lady Cecilia West, daughter of John earl of Delawar, afterwards married to general James Johnston. [Or.)
2 The wife of the Count de Welderen, one of the lords of the states of Holland. [Ed.]
3 The first words of a favourite French air, with madame Welderen's confusion of p’s, t's, &c. [Or.]
4 Sir Sampson Gideon, father of Sampson lord Eardley. On his death in 1762, he left the whole of his vast estates, in the case of his race failing, to
Duke of Devonshire. (Ed.) ; A character in the Tender Husband, or the Accomplished Fools. (Or.]
being in fashion with your ladyship, and am, over and above, very grateful, I keep no company but my lady Denbigh 6 and lady Blandford, and learn every evening, for two hours, to mash my English. Already, I am tolerably fluent in saying she for he.?
Good night, madam ! I have no news to send you: one cannot announce a royal wedding and a coronation every post.
Your most faithful and obliged servant. P.S. Pray, madam, do the gnats bite your legs? Mine are swelled as big as one, which is saying a deal for me.
I HAD writ this, and was not time enough for the mail, when I receive your charming note, and this magnificent victory !8 Oh! my dear madam, how I thank you, how I congratulate you, how I feel for you, how I have felt for you and for myself ! --But I bought it by two terrible hours to-day—I heard of the battle two hours before I could learn a word of Mr. ConwayI sent all round the world, and went half round it myself. I have cried and laughed, trembled and danced, as you bid me. If you had sent me as much old china as king Augustus gave two regiments for, I should not be half so much obliged to you as for your note. How could you think of me, when you had so much reason to think of nothing but yourself ?-And then they say virtue is not rewarded in this world. I will preach at Paul's Cross, and quote you and Mr. Conway; no two persons were ever so good and so happy. In short, I am serious in the height of all my joy. God is very good to you, my dear madam; I thank him for you ; I thank him for myself: it is very unalloyed pleasure we taste at this moment!—Good night! My heart is so
6 Isabella, dowager countess of Denbigh, widow of William fifth earl; was daughter of Peter de Songe of Utrecht in Holland, and sister of Maria Catherine, widow of William marquis of Blandford, who died without issue, 24th August 1731. (Ed.]
7 A mistake which these ladies, who were both Dutch women, constantly made. [Or.]
8 Of Kirckdenckirck. [Or.] On the 15th and 16th July, the allied army under Prince Ferdinand gained a great victory over the French under Prince Soubise, in which the latter were computed to have lost in killed, wounded, and prisoners, about 5,000 men. [Ed.]