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prince Edward at my lady Rochford's, and we stayed till half an hour past three. My favour with that highness continues, or rather increases. He makes every body make suppers for him to meet me, for I still hold out against going to court. In short, if he were twenty years older, or I could make myself twenty years younger, I might carry him to Camden-house, and be as impertinent as ever my lady Churchill was; but, as I dread being ridiculous, I shall give my lord Bute no uneasiness. My lady Maynard, who divides the favour of this tiny court with me, supped with us. Did you know she sings French ballads very prettily? Lord Rochford played on the guitar, and the prince sung ; there were my two nieces, and lord Waldegrave, lord Huntingdon, and Mr. Morrison the groom, and the evening was pleasant; but I had a much more agreeable supper last night at Mrs. Clive's, with Miss West, my niece Cholmondeley, and Murphy the writing actor, who is very good company, and two or three more. Mrs. Cholmondeley is very lively; you know how entertaining the Clive is, and Miss West is an absolute original.
There is nothing new, but a very dull pamphlet, written by lord Bath, and his chaplain Douglas, called a letter to two great
It is a plan for the peace, and much adopted by the city, and much admired by all who are too humble to judge for themselves.
I was much diverted the other morning with another volume on birds, by Edwards, who has published four or five. The poor man, who is grown very old and devout, begs God to take from him the love of natural philosophy; and having observed some heterodox proceedings among bantam cocks, he proposes that all schools of girls and boys should be promiscuous, lest, if separated, they should learn wayward passions. But what struck me most were his dedications; the last was to God; this is to lord Bute, as if he was determined to make his fortune in one world or the other.
Pray read Fontaine's fable of the lion grown old; don't it put you in mind of any thing? No! not when his shaggy majesty has borne the insults of the tiger and the horse, &c., and the ass comes last, kicks out his only remaining fang, and asks for a blue bridle? à propos, I will tell you the turn Charles Townshend gave to this fable. "My lord,” said he, “has
quite mistaken the thing; he soars too high at first : people often miscarry by not proceeding by degrees; he went, and at once asked for my lord Carlisle's garter-if he would have been contented to ask first for my lady C****'s garter, I don't doubt but he would have obtained it." Adieu !
To GEORGE MONTAGU, Esq.
Arlington street, Jan. 28, 1760. I SHALL almost frighten you from coming to London, for whether you have the constitution of a horse or a man, you will be equally in danger. All the horses in town are laid up
with sore throats and colds, and are so hoarse, you cannot hear them speak. I, with all my immortality, have been half killed ; that violent bitter weather was too much for me; I have had a nervous fever these six or seren weeks, every night, and have taken bark enough to have made a rind for Daphne ; nay, have even staid at home two days; but I think my eternity begins to bud again. I am quite of Dr. Garth's mind, who, when any body commended a hard frost to him, used to reply, “yes, sir, 'fore Gad, very fine weather, sir ; very wholesome weather, sir; kills trees, sir ; very good for a man, sir.” There has been cruel havoc among the ladies ; my lady Granby is dead; and the famous Polly, duchess of Bolton, and my lady Besborough. I have no great reason to lament the last, and yet the circumstances of her death, and the horror of it to her family, make one shudder. It was the same gore throat and fever that carried off four of their
| Eldest daugbter of Charles, duke of Somerset. (Or.]
. Formerly Miss Fenton, the original Polly of the Beggar's Opera. Charles, duke of Bolton, took her off the stage, and, after having children by her, married her. According to Walpole, “after a life of merit, she relapsed into Pollyhood.” Two years before her death, she picked up an Irish surgeon at Tunbridge, who, when she was dying, sent for a lawyer to make her will; but he, finding who was to be her heir instead of her children, refused to draw it. Another less serupulous was found, and she left her three sons a thousand pounds a-piece, the surgeon about nine thousand. [Ed.
3 Caroline, eldest daughter of William, third duke of Devonshire, and wife of William Ponsonby, earl of Besborough. [Ed.]
children a few years ago. My lord now fell ill of it, very ill, and the eldest daughter slightly: my lady caught it, attending her husband, and concealed it as long as she could. When at last the physician insisted on her keeping her bed, she said, as she went into her room, " Then, Lord have mercy on me! I shall never come out of it again,” and died in three days. Lord Besborough grew outrageously impatient at not seeing her, and would have forced into her room, when she had been dead about four days. They were obliged to tell him the truth; never was an answer that expressed so much horror ! he said: “And how many children have I left ?” not knowing how far this calamity might have reached. Poor lady Coventry is near completing this black list.
You have heard, I suppose, a horrid story of another kind, of lord Ferrers murdering his steward in the most barbarous and deliberate manner.
He sent away
all his servants but one, and, like that heroic murderess queen Christina, carried the poor man through a gallery and several rooms, locking them after him, and then bid the man kneel down, for he was determined to kill him. The poor creature flung himself at his feet, but in vain, was shot, and lived twelve hours. Mad as this action was from the consequences, there was no frenzy in his behaviour ; he got drunk, and, at intervals, talked of it coolly; but did not attempt to escape,
till the colliers beset his house, and were determined to take him alive or dead. He is now in the jail at Leicester, and will soon be removed to the Tower, then to Westminsterhall, and I suppose to Tower-hill; unless, as Lord Talbot prophesied in the house of Lords, “ Not being thought mad enough to be shut up, till he had killed somebody, he will then be thought too mad to be executed ;" but Lord Talbot was no more honoured in his vocation, than other prophets are in their own country.
As you seem amused with my entertainments, I will tell you how I passed yesterday. A party was made to go to the Magdalen house. We met at Northumberland-house at five, and set out in four coaches. Prince Edward, colonel Brudenel, his groom, lady Northumberland, lady Mary Coke, lady Carlisle, Miss
4 The Magdalen Hospital was originally opened August 1758, in Goodman's Fields ; the inmates were afterwards removed to the present institution, built in 1772, in the Blackfriars' Road. (Ed.]
Pelham, lady Hertford, lord Beauchamp, lord Huntingdon, old
Catholic alive. We were received by oh! first, a vast mob, for princes are not so common at that end of the town as at this. Lord Hertford, at the head of the governors with their white staves, met us at the door, and led the prince directly into the chapel, where, before the altar was an arm-chair for him, with a blue damask cushion, a prieDieu, and a footstool of black cloth with gold nails. We sat on forms near him. There were lord and lady Dartmouth in the odour of devotion, and many city ladies. The chapel is small and low, but neat, hung with Gothic paper, and tablets of benefactions. At the west end were enclosed the sisterhood, above an hundred and thirty, all in greyish brown stuffs, broad handkerchiefs, and flat straw hats, with a blue riband, pulled quite over their faces. As soon as we entered the chapel, the organ played, and the Magdalens sung a hymn in parts; you cannot imagine how well. The chapel was dressed with orange and myrtle, and there wanted nothing but a little incense to drive away the devil-or to invite him. Prayers then began, psalms and a sermon: the latter by a young clergyman, one Dodd,5 who contributed to the Popish idea one had imbibed, by haranguing entirely in the French style, and very eloquently and touchingly. He apostrophized the lost sheep, who sobbed and cried from their souls; so did my lady Hertford and Fanny Pelham, till I believe the city dames took them both for Jane Shores. The confessor then turned to the audience, and addressed himself to his royal highness, whom he called most illustrious prince, beseeching his protection. In short, it was a very pleasing performance, and I got the most illustrious to desire it might be printed. We had another hymn, and then were conducted to the parloir, where the governors kissed the prince's hand, and then the lady abbess, or matron, brought us tea. From thence we went to the refectory, where all the nuns, with
5 The well known Dr. Dodd (he took his degree of LL.D. in 1776), author of a valuable ‘Commentary on the Bible,' in 3 vols, folio, 1770, and of the ten times reprinted “Thoughts in Prison, and many other works. He suffered death at Tyburn, 27th June 1777, for forging a bond for £4,200, purporting to be executed by his pupil, Lord Chesterfield, and obtaining money on the same. (Ed.]
out their hats, were ranged at long tables, ready for supper. A few were handsome, many who seemed to have no title to their profession, and two or three of twelve years old: but all recovered, and looking healthy. I was struck and pleased with the modesty of two of them, who swooned away with the confusion of being stared at. We were then shewn their work, which is making linen, and bead-work; they earn ten pounds a-week. One circumstance diverted me, but amidst all this decorum, I kept it to myself. The wands of the governors are white, but twisted at top with black and white, which put me in mind of Jacob's rods, that he placed before the cattle to make them breed. My lord Hertford would never have forgiven me, if I had joked on this ; so I kept my countenance very demurely, nor even inquired, whether among the pensioners, there were any novices from Mrs. Naylor's.
The court-martial on lord George Sackville is appointed : general Onslow is to be speaker of it. Adieu! till I see you ; I am glad it will be so soon.
To GEORGE MONTAGU, Esq.
Arlington-street, March 27, 1760. I SHOULD have thought that you might have learnt by this time, that when a tradesman promises any thing on Monday or Saturday or any particular day of the week, he means any Monday or any Saturday of any week, as nurses quiet children and their own consciences by the refined salvo of to-morrou? is a new day. When Mr. Smith's Saturday and the frame do arrive, I will pay the one, and send you the other. .
Lord George's trial is not near being finished. By its draggling beyoud the term of the old mutiny-bill, they were forced to make out a new warrant: this lost two days, as all the depositions were forced to be read over again to, and re-sworn by, the witnesses; then there will be a contest, whether Sloper' shall re-establish his own credit by pawning it farther. Lord Ferrers 'comes on the stage on the sixteenth of next month.
1 Lieutenant-colonel Sloper (of Bland's dragoons), the principal evidence against lord George Sackville, and whose testimony went to accuse his lordship of having disobeyed the orders of his commander through fear. (Ed.]