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FROM THE MOST EMINENT

TA

PROSE WRITERS.

[graphic]

PART XII.

LETTERS.

PARROT

My old friend and hand maid Betty, perceiving me in motion, got her bip under

the strong-box.

P. 302.

Chiswick : PRINTED BY AND FOR C. WHITTINGHAM,

COLLEGE HOUSE.

1

ELEGANT EXTRACTS.

PART XII.

Letters,

OF THE EIGHTEENTH AND NINETEENTH CENTURIES.

THE HON. HORACE WALPOLE TO GEORGE

MONTAGU, ESQ.
DEAR GEORGE,

Arlington Street, June 25, 1745. I HAVE been near three weeks in Essex at Mr. Rigby's, and had left your direction behind me, and could not write to you. 'Tis the charmingest place by nature, and the most trumpery by art that ever I saw. The house stands on a high hill, on an arm of the sea, which winds itself before two sides of the house. On the right and left, at the very foot of this hill lie two towns; the one of market quality, and the other with a wharf where ships come up. This last was to have a church, but by a lucky want of religion in the inhabitants, who would not contribute to building a steeple, it remains an absolute antique temple, with a portico on the very strand. 'Cross this

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arm of the sea you see six churches, and charming woody hills in Suffolk. All this parent nature did for this place; but its godfathers and godmothers, I believe, promised it should renounce all the pomps and vanities of this world, for they have patched up a square house, full of windows, low rooms, and thin walls; piled up walls wherever there was a glimpse of prospect; planted avenues that go no where, and dug fish ponds where there should be avenues. We had very bad weather the whole time I was there, but however I rode about and sailed, not having the same apprehensions of catching cold that Mrs. Nerwood had once at Chelsea, when I persuaded her not to go home by water, because it would be damp after rain.

The town is not quite empty yet. My lady Fitzwalter, lady Betty Germain, lady Granville, and the dowager Strafford have their at-homes, and amass company. Lady B- -n has done with her Sundays, for she is changing her house into Upper Brook Street. In the meantime she goes to Knightsbridge, and Sir Robert to the woman he keeps at Scarborough. Winnington, goes on with the Frasi, so my lady T-is obliged only to lie of people. You have heard of the disgrace of the Archibald; and that in future scandal she must only be ranked with the lady Elizabeth L- -y and madam Lucy W- -rs, instead of being historically noble among the Clevelands, Portsmouths, and Yarmouths. 'Tis said Miss Granville has the reversion of her coronet; others say, she won't accept the patent.

Your friend Jemmy Ly, I beg pardon, I mean your kin, is not! I am sure he is not your friend ;-well, he has had an assembly, and he would write all the cards himself, and every one of them was to desire he's company and she's company, with other curious pieces of orthography. Adieu, dear George; I wish you a merry farm, as the children say at Vauxhall. My compliments to your sisters. Yours ever.

THE HON. HORACE WALPOLE TO GEORGE

MONTAGU, ESQ.
DEAR GEORGE,

Arlington Street, July 13, 1745. We are all Cabob'd and Caeofogoed, as my Lord Dh says. We who formerly, you know, could any one of us beat three Frenchmen, are now so degenerated that three Frenchmen can evidently beat one Englishman. Our army is running away, all that is left to run, for half of it is picked up by three or four hundred at a time. In short, we must step out of the high pantoufles that were made by those cunning shoemakers at Poitiers and Ramillies, and go clumping about, perhaps, in wooden ones. My lady Hervey, who you know dotes upon every thing French, is charmed with the hope of these new shoes, and has already bespoke herself a pair of pigeon wood. How did the tapestry at Blenheim look? Did it glow with victory, or did all our glories look overcast ?

I remember a very admired sentence in one of my lord Chesterfield's speeches, when he was

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