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To GEORGE MONTAGU, Esq.
Arlington-street, May 6, 1760. Tụe extraordinary history of lord Ferrers is closed : he was executed yesterday. Madness, that in other countries is a disorder, is here a systematic character: it does not hinder people from forming a plan of conduct, and from even dying agreeably to it. You remember how the last Ratcliffe died with the utmost propriety; so did this horrid lunatic, coolly and sensibly. His own and his wife's relations had asserted that he would tremble at last. No such thing; he shamed heroes. He bore the solemnity of a pompous and tedious procession of above two hours from the Tower to Tyburn, with as much tranquillity as if he was only going to his own burial, not to his own execution. He even talked on indifferent subjects in the passage; and if the sheriff and the chaplains had not thought that they had parts to act, too, and had not consequently engaged him in most particular conversation, he did not seem to think it necessary to talk on the occasion; he went in his wedding-clothes, marking the only remaining impression on his mind. The ceremony he was in a hurry to have over: he was stopped at the gallows by the vast crowd, but got out of his coach as soon as he could, and was but seven minutes on the scaffold, which was hung with black, and prepared by the undertaker of his family at their expense. There was a new contrivance for sinking the stage under him, which did not play well; and he suffered a little by the delay, but was dead in four minutes. The mob was decent, and admired him, and almost pitied him ; so they would lord George, whose execution they are so angry at missing. I suppose every highwayman will now preserve the blue handkerchief he has about his neck when he is married,' that he may die like a lord! With all his
'Lord Ferrers, on the morning of his execution, dressed himself in the suit of light coloured clothes embroidered with silver, in which he had been married. The following verses are said to have been found in his apartment in the Tower:
“In doubt I lived, in doubt I die,
Yet stand prepared the vast abyss to try,
madness he was not mad enough to be struck with his aunt Huntingdon's sermons.
The methodists have nothing to brag of his conversion, though Whitfield prayed for him, and preached about him. Even Tyburn has been above their reach. I have not heard that lady Fanny dabbled with his soul; but I believe she is prudent enough to confine her missionary zeal to subjects where the body may be her perquisite.
When am I likely to see you? The delightful rain is come —we look and smell charmingly. Adieu.
To The EARL OF STRAFFORD.
Strawberry-hill, June 7, 1760. MY DEAR LORD,
When at my time of day one can think a ball worth going to London for on purpose, you will not wonder that I am childish enough to write an account of it. I could give a better reason, your bidding me send you any news ;
but I scorn a good reason when I am idle enough to do any thing for a bad
You had heard, before you left London, of miss Chudleigh's intended loyalty on the prince's birthday. Poor thing, I fear she has thrown away above a quarter's salary! It was magnificent and well-understood-no crowd-and though a sultry night, one was not a moment incommoded. The court was illuminated on the whole summit of the wall with a battlement of lamps; smaller ones on every step, and a figure of lanthorns on the outside of the house. The virgin-mistress began the ball with the duke of York, who was dressed in a pale blue watered tabby, which, as I told him, if he danced much, would soon be tabby all over, like the man's advertisement ;? but nobody did dance much. There was a new miss Bishop from sir Cecil's endless hoard of beauty daughters, who is still prettier than her sisters. The new Spanish embassy was there-alas ! Sir Cecil
1 A stay-maker of the time, who advertised in the newspapers making stays at such a price; “ tabby all over." [Or.]
Bishop has never been in Spain! Monsieur de Fuentes? is a halfpenny print of my lord H ****. His wife homely, but seems good-humoured and civil. The son does not degenerate from such high-born ugliness—the daughter-in-law was sick, and they say is not ugly, and has as good a set of teeth as one can have, when one has but two and those black. They seem to have no curiosity, sit where they are placed, and ask no questions about so strange a country. Indeed the ambassadress could see nothing ; for Doddington 3 stood before her the whole time, sweating Spanish at her, of which it was evident, by her civil nods without answers, she did not understand a word. She speaks bad French, danced a bad minuet, and went awaythough there was a miraculous draught of fishes for their supper, as it was a fast—but being the octave of their Fête-Dieu, they dared not even fast plentifully. Miss Chudleigh desired the gamblers would go up into the garrets—“Nay, they are not garrets—it is only the roof of the house hollowed for upper servants—but I have no upper servants.” Every body ran up: there is a low gallery with bookcases, and four chambers practised under the pent of the roof, each hung with the finest Indian pictures on different colours, and with Chinese chairs of the same colours. Vases of flowers in each for nosegays, and in one retired nook a most critical couch!
The lord of the festival 4 was there, and seemed neither ashamed nor vain of the expense of his pleasures. At supper, she offered him Tokay, and told him she believed he would find it good. The supper was in two rooms and very fine, and on all the sideboards, and even on the chairs, were pyramids and troughs of strawberries and cherries; you would have thought she was kept by Vertumnus. Last night, my lady Northumberland lighted up her garden for the Spaniards: I was not there, having excused myself for a head-ache, which I had not, but ought to have caught the night before. Mr. Doddington enter
% The ambassador from Spain, landed at Dover 230 May 1760. [Ed.]
The well-known George Bubb Doddington, created baron Melcombe, of Melcombe Regis, whose diary, which has been pronounced 'an admirable picture of himself and an instructive lesson to future statesmen,' was originally published at Salisbury in 1784, 8vo., and has since been frequently reprinted. [Ed.]
The duke of Kingston. [Or.]
tained these Fuentes's at Hammersmith; and to the shame of our nation, while they were drinking tea in the summer-house, some gentlemen, ay, my lord, gentlemen, went into the river and showed the ambassadress and her daughter more than ever they expected to see of England.
I dare say you are sorry for poor lady Anson. She was exceedingly good-humoured, and did a thousand good-natured and generous actions. I tell you nothing of the rupture of lord Halifax's match, of which you must have heard so much; but you will like a bon-mot upon it—They say, the hundreds of Drury have got the better of the thousands of Drury.
The pretty countess ' is still alive, was thought actually dying on Tuesday night, and I think will go off very soon.
I think there will soon be a peace: my only reason is, that every body seems so backward at making war. Adieu, my dear lord !
I am your most affectionate servant.
To The Hon. H. S. CONWAY.
Strawberry-bill, June 28, 1760. The devil is in people for fidgeting about! They can neither be quiet in their own houses, nor let others be at peace in theirs ! Have not they enough of one another in winter, but they must cuddle in summer, too? For your part, you are a very priest : the moment one repents, you are for turning it to account. I wish you was in camp-never will I pity you again. How did you complain when you was in Scotland, Ireland, Flanders, and I don't know where, that you could never enjoy Park-place! Now you have a whole summer to yourself, and you are as junkettaceous as my lady Northumberland. Pray, what horse-race do you go to next? For my part, I can't afford
5 Lady Elizabeth, daughter of Philip Yorke earl of Hardwicke, and wife of George, first lord Anson the celebrated circumnavigator, died June 1st, 1760. [Ed.]
6 Lord Halifax kept an actress belonging to Drury-lane theatre. And the marriage broken off was with a daughter of sir Thomas Drury, an heiress. [Or.]
7 Of Coventry. [Or.]
to lead such a life: I have Conway-papers to sort; I have lives of the painters to write; I have my prints to paste, my house to build, and every thing in the world to tell posterity.--How am I to find time for all this? I am past forty, and may not have above as many more years to live; and here I am to go here and to go there- -Well, I will meet you at Chaffont on Thursday; but I positively will stay but one night. I have settled with
brother that we will be at Oxford on the 13th of July, as lord Beauchamp is only loose from the 12th to the 20th. I will be at Park-place on the 12th, and we will go together the next day. If this is too early for you, we may put it off to the 15th : determine by Thursday, and one of us will write to lord Hertford.
Well ! Quebec is come to life again. Last night I went to see the Holdernesses, who by the way are in raptures with Park—in Sion-lane: as Cibber says of the Revolution, I met the Raising of the Siege ; that is, I met my lady in a triumphal car, drawn by a Manks horse thirteen little fingers high, with lady Emily,
et sibi Countess Ne placeat, ma'amzelle curru portatur eodemMr. M **** was walking in ovation by himself after the car ; and they were going to see the bonfire at the alehouse at the
The whole procession returned with me; and from the countess's dressing-room we saw a battery fired before the house, the mob crying, “God bless the good news!”—These are all the particulars I know of the siege: my lord would have shewed me the journal ; but we amused ourselves much better in going to eat peaches from the new Dutch stoves.
The rain is come indeed, and my grass is as green as grass ; but all my hay has been cut and soaking this week, and I am too much in the fashion not to have given up gardening for farming, as next I suppose we shall farming, and turn graziers and hogdrivers.
8 Quebec, which had been taken from the French by Wolfe in 1759, was besieged by them in the spring of the following year with an army of 15,000 men, under the command of the Chevalier de Levis, assisted by a naval force. They were, however, repulsed by general Murray, who was supported by lord Colville and the fleet under his command ; and on the night of the 16th May raised the siege very precipitately, leaving their cannon, small arms, stores, &c. behind them. [Ed.]