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worth Howards any day of the week, and of ancienter blood; -so, if descent is all he wants, I advise him to take up with the pedigree as I have refitted it. However, I will cast a figure once more, and try if I can conjure up the dames Howard and Seymour that he wants.
My heraldry was much more offended at the coronation with the ladies that did walk, than with those that walked out of their place; yet I was not so perilously angry as my lady Cowper, who refused to set a foot with my lady M**** ; and, when she was at last obliged to associate with her, set out on a round trot, as if she designed to prove the antiquity of her family by marching as lustily as a maid of honour of queen Gwiniver. It was in truth a brave sight. The sea of heads in Palaceyard, the guards, horse and foot, the scaffolds, balconies, and procession, exceeded imagination. The hall, when once illuminated, was noble ; but they suffered the whole parade to return into it in the dark, that his majesty might be surprised with the quickness with which the sconces catched fire. The champion acted well; the other Paladins had neither the grace nor alertness of Rinaldo. Lord Effingham and the duke of Bedford were but untoward knights errant; and lord Talbot had not much more dignity than the figure of general Monk in the abbey. The habit of the peers is unbecoming to the last degree, but the peeresses made amends for all defects. Your daughter Richmond, lady Kildare, and lady Pembroke were as handsome as the Graces. Lady Rochford, lady Holderness, and lady Lyttelton looked exceedingly well in that their day ; and for those of the day before, the duchess of Queensbury, lady Westmoreland, and lady Albemarle were surprising. Lady Harrington was noble at a distance, and so covered with diamonds, that you would have thought she had bid somebody or other, like Falstaff, rob me the exchequer. Lady Northampton was very magnificent, too, and looked prettier than
Lady Cowper, the second wife of George Clavering Cowper, earl Cowper, was lady Georgiana Caroline, daughter of the right honorable John, earl of Granville, and widow of the right honorable John Spencer Charles, fourth earl of Sunderland, and second duke of Marlborough. She was the mother of John, created, in 176), baron and viscount Spencer of Althorpe, county Nottingham, and in 1765, viscount Althorpe and earl Spencer, the grandfather of the present earl. (Ed.)
I have seen her of late! Lady Spencer and lady Bolingbroke were not the worst figures there. The duchess of Ancaster marched alone after the queen with much majesty ; and there were two new Scotch peeresses that pleased every body, lady Sutherland” and lady Dunmore. Per contra, were lady P***, who had put a wig on, and old E***, who had scratched hers off ; lady S***, the dowager E***, and a lady S*** with her tresses coal black, and her hair coal white. Well ! it was all delightful, but not half so charming as its being over. The gabble one heard about it for six weeks before, and the fatigue of the day, could not well be compensated by a mere puppet-show; for puppet-show it was, though it cost a million. The queen is so gay that we shall not want sights ; she has been at the Opera, the Beggar's Opera and the Rehearsal, and two nights ago carried the king to Ranelagh. In short, I am so miserable with losing my duchess, and you and Mr. Conway, that I believe, if you should be another six weeks without writing to me, I should come to the Hague and scold you in person-for, alas! my dear lady, I have no hopes of seeing you here. Stanley is recalled, is expected every hour-Bussy goes to-morrow; and Mr. Pitt is so impatient to conquer Mexico, that I don't believe he will stay till my
lord Bristol can be ordered to leave Madrid. I tremble lest Mr. Conway should not get leave to come-nay, are wé sure he would like to ask it ? He was so impatient to get to the army, that I should not be surprised if he staid there till every suttler and woman that follows the camp was come away.
2 Mary, eldest daughter, and co-heir of William Maxwell of Prestoun, esq. married, 14th April 1761, William, eighteenth earl of Sutherland, who died at Bath, on the 16th June 1766, under circumstances peculiarly affecting. By his marriage he had two daughters. The lady Catherine, born in London 24th May 1764, who died at Dunrobin Castle, 3th January 1766; and the lady Elizabeth, the present duchess dowager of Sutherland, born 24th May 1765. On the death of their eldest child, they were so seriously affected by it as to be ordered to resort to Bath for change of scene; but they had scarcely arrived there when the earl was seized with a fever, and the countess nursed him with such unremitting attention, never retiring to bed for twenty-one days, that she fell a victim to fatigue on the 1st June 1766 ; and was survived by the earl but for a few days, viz. to the 16th of that month. [Ed.]
sThe duchess of Grafton, who was abroad. [Ed.]
You ask me if we are not in admiration of prince Ferdinand In truth, we have thought very little of him. He may outwit Broglio ten times, and not be half so much talked of as lord Talbot's backing his horse down Wesminster-hall. The generality are not struck with any thing under a complete victory. If you have a mind to be well with the mob of England, you must be knocked on the head like Wolfe, or bring home as many diamonds as Clive. We live in a country where so many follies or novelties start forth every day, that we have not time to try a general's capacity by the rules of Polybius.
I have hardly left room for obligations-to your ladyship, for my commission at Amsterdam; to Mrs. Sally,* for her teapots, which are likely to stay so long at the Hague, that I fear they will have begot a whole set of china ; and to miss Conway and lady George, for thinking of me. Pray assure them of my re-thinking. Adieu, dear madam! Don't you think we had better write oftener and shorter ?
Yours most faithfully.
To GEORGE MONTAGU, Esq.
Arlington-street, Oct. 8, 1761. I CANNOT swear I wrote to you again to offer your brother the place for the coronation ; but I was confident I did, nay, I think so still: my proofs are, the place remained vacant; and I sent to old Richard to inquire if Mr. John was not arrived. He had no great loss, as the procession returned in the dark.
Your king will have heard that Mr. Pitt resigned last Monday.' Greater pains have been taken to recover him than were used to drive him out. He is inflexible, but mighty
4 Lady Ailesbury's woman. [Or.]
2 Mr. Pitt resigned on Monday, 5th October 1761, on being outnumbered in the council when he proposed an immediate declaration of war against Spain. On a division it appeared that Mr. Pitt and his brother-in-law were the only members in favour of that measure. [Ed.]
peaceable. Lord Egremont is to have the seals, to-morrow. It is a most unhappy event---France and Spain will soon let us know we ought to think so. For your part, you will be invaded ; a blacker rod than you will be sent to Ireland, Would you believe that the town is a desert? The wedding filled it, the coronation crammed it; Mr. Pitt's resignation has not brought six people to London. As they could not hire a window and crowd one another to death to see him give up the seals, it seems a matter of perfect indifference. If he will accuse a single man of checking our career of glory, all the world will come to see him hanged; but what signifies the ruin of a nation, if no particular man ruins it?
The duchess of Marlborough died the night before last. Thank you for your descriptions; pray continue them. Mrs. Delany I know a little, lord Charlemont's villa is in Chambers's book.
I have nothing new to tell you ; but the grain of mustard seed sown on Monday will soon produce as large a tree as you can find in any prophecy. Adieu.
P.S. Lady Mary Wortley is arrived.
To GEORGE MONTAGU, Esq.
Strawberry-hill, October 10, 1761. PRAY, sir, how does virtue sell in Ireland now? I think for a province they have now and then given large prices. Have you a mind to know what the biggest virtue in the world is worth? If Cicero had been a drawcansir instead of a coward, and had carried the glory of Rome to as lofty a height as he did their eloquence, for how much do you think he would have sold all that reputation? Oh! sold it! you will cry ; vanity was his predominant passion; he would have trampled on sesterces like dirt, and provided the tribes did but erect statues enough for him, he was content with a bit of Sabine mutton; he would have preferred his little Tusculan villa, or the flattery of Caius Atticus at Baiæ, to the wealth of Creesus, or to the luxurious banquets of Lucullus. Take care, there is not a Tory gentleman, if there is one left, who would not have laid the same wager twenty years ago on the disinterestedness of my lord Bath. Come, you tremble; you are so incorrupt yourself, you would give the world Mr. Pitt was so too. You adore him for what he has done for us; you bless him for placing England at the head of Europe, and you don't hate him for infusing as much spirit into us, as if a Montague, earl of Salisbury, was still at the head of our enemies. Nothing could be more just. We owe the recovery of our affairs to him, the splendour of our country, the conquest of Canada, Louisbourg, Guadeloupe, Africa, and the east. Nothing is too much for such services; accordingly, I hope you will not think the barony of Chatham, and three thousand pounds a year for three lives too much for my lady Esther. She has this pittance : good night.
3 Sir William Chambers' Treatise on Civil Architecture-according to Walpole, “the most sensible book and the most exempt from prejudices that was ever written on that science.” The first edition was published in 1759: the last was that edited by Gwilt in 1825. (Ed.]
Yours ever. P.S. I told you falsely in my last that lady Mary Wortley was arrived - I cannot help it if my lady Denbigh cannot read English in all these years, but mistakes Wrottesley for Wortley.
TO THE COUNTESS OF AILESBURY.
Strawberry-hill, October, 10, 1761. I don't know what business I had, madam, to be an economist : it was out of character. I wished for a thousand more drawings in that sale at Amsterdam, but concluded they would be very dear; and not having seen them, I thought it too rash to trouble your ladyship with a large commission.
I wish I could give you as good an account of your commission ; but it is absolutely impraticable. I employed one of the most sensible and experienced men in the custom-house; and all the result was, he could only recommend me to Mr. Amyand as the newest, and consequently the most polite of the commissioners—but the duchess of Richmond had tried him before to no purpose. There is no way of recovering any of your goods, but purchasing them again at the sale.