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hiss, Harlequin all the while suspended in the air-at last they were suffered to finish the play, but nobody attended to the conclusion. Modesty and his lady all the while sat with the utmost indifference; I suppose lord Melcombe had fallen asleep before he came to this scene, and had never read it. The epilogue was about the king and new queen, and ended with a personal satire on Garrick : not very kind on his own stage. To add to the judgment of this conduct, Cumberland two days ago published a pamphlet to abuse him. It was given out for tonight with more claps than hisses, but I think will not do unless they reduce it to three acts. I am sorry you will not come to the coronation.
The place I offered, I am not sure I can get for any body else ; I cannot explain it to you, because I am engaged to secrecy; if I can get it for your brother John, I will, but don't tell him of it, because it is not sure. Adieu !
To The Hon. H. S. CONWAY.
Strawberry-hill. This is the 5th of August, and I just receive your letter of the 17th of last month by Fitzroy. I heard he had lost his pocket-book with all his dispatches, but had found it again. He was a long time finding the letter for me.
You do nothing but reproach me; I declare I will bear it no longer, though you should beat forty more marshals of France. I have already writ you two letters that would fully justify me if you receive them; if you do not, it is not I that am in fault for not writing, but the post-offices for reading my letters, content if they would forward them when they have done with them. They seem to think, like you, that I know more news than any body. What is to be known in the dead of summer, when all the world is dispersed ? Would you know who won the sweepstakes at Huntingdon? what parties are at Woburn? what officers upon guard in Betty's fruit-shop? whether the peeresses are to wear long or short tresses at the coro
i George Fitzroy, afterwards created lord Southampton. [Or.]
nation? how many jewels lady ***** borrows of actresses ? All this is your light summer wear for conversation; and, if my memory were as much stuffed with it as my ears, I might have sent you volumes last week. My nieces, lady Waldegrave and Mrs. Keppel, were here five days, and discussed the claim or disappointment of every miss in the kingdom for maid of honour. Unfortunately this new generation is not at all my affair. I cannot attend to what concerns them-Not that their trifles are less important than those of one's own time, but my mould has taken all its impressions, and can receive no more. I must grow old upon the stock I have. I, that was so impatient at all their chat, the moment they were gone, flew to my lady Suffolk, and heard her talk with great satisfaction of the late queen's coronationpetticoat. The preceding age always appears respectable to us (I mean as one advances in years), one's own age interesting, the coming age neither one nor t’other.
You may judge by this account that I have writ all my letters, or ought to have written them; and yet, for occasion to blame me, you draw a very pretty picture of my situation : all which tends to prove that I ought to write to you every day, whether I have any thing to say or not. I am writing, I am buildingboth works that will outlast the memory of battles and heroes ! Truly, I believe, the one will as much as t'other. My buildings are paper, like my writings, and both will be blown away in ten years after I am dead; if they had not the substantial use of amusing me while I live, they would be worth little indeed. I will give you one instance that will sum up the vanity of great men, learned men, and buildings altogether. I heard lately, that Dr. Pearce, a very learned personage, had consented to let the tomb of Aylmer de Valence, earl of Pembroke, a very great personage, be removed for Wolfe's monument; that at first he had objected, but was wrought upon by being told that hight Aylmer was a knight templar, a very wicked set of people, as his lordship had heard, though he knew nothing of them, as they are not mentioned by Longinus. I own I thought this a made story, and wrote to his lordship, expressing my concern that one
2 Dr. Zachary Pearce, dean of Westminster, afterwards bishop of Rochester; celebrated for his critical abilities and philological learning, which were displayed in his edition of Longinus, &c. Born in London, 1690; died 29th June, 1774. (Ed.]
of the finest and most ancient monuments in the abbey should be removed, and begging, if it was removed, that he would bestow it on me, who would erect and preserve it here. After a fortnight's deliberation, the bishop sent me an answer, civil indeed, and commending my zeal for antiquity! but avowing the story under his own hand. He said, that at first they had taken Pembroke's tomb for a knight templar's. Observe, that not only the man who shows the tombs names it every day, but that there is a draught of it at large in Dart's Westminster; that upon discovering whose it was, he had been very unwilling to consent to the removal, and at last had obliged Wilton to engage to set it up within ten feet of where it stands at present. His lordship concluded with congratulating me on publishing learned authors at my press. I don't wonder that a man who thinks Lucan a learned author, should mistake a tomb in his own cathedral. If I had a mind to be angry, I could complain with reason; as, having paid forty pounds for ground for my mother's tomb, that the chapter of Westminster sell their church over and over again ; the ancient monuments tumble upon one's head through their neglect, as one of them did, and killed a man at lady Elizabeth Percy's funeral ; and they erect new waxen dolls of queen Elizabeth, &c., to draw visits and money from the mob. I hope all this history is applicable to some part or other of my letter; but letters you will have, and so I send you one, very like your own stories that you tell your daughter: There was a king, and he had three daughters, and they all went to see the tombs; and the youngest, who was in love with Aylmer de Valence, &c.
Thank you for your account of the battle ; thank prince Ferdinand for giving you a very honourable post, which, in spite of his teeth and yours, proved a very safe one; and above all, thank prince Soubise, whom I love better than all the German princes in the universe. Peace, I think, we must have at last, if you beat the French, or at least hinder them from beating you, and afterwards starve them. Bussy's last last courier is expected ; but as he may have a last last last courier, I trust no more to this than to all the others. He was complaining t’other day to Mr. Pitt of our haughtiness, and said it would drive the French to some desperate effort; “ Thirty thousand men,” continued he, “would embarrass you a little, I believe !" "Yes, truly,” re
plied Pitt, .“ for I am so embarrassed with those we have already, I don't know what to do with them.”
Adieu! Don't fancy that the more you scold, the more I will write: it has answered three times, but the next cross word you give me shall put an end to our correspondence. Sir Horace Mann's father used to say, “ Talk, Horace, you have been abroad:"-You cry, “Write, Horace, you are at home. No, sir, you can beat a hundred and twenty thousand French, but you cannot get the better of me. I will not write such foolish letters as this every day, when I have nothing to say.
Yours as you behave.
Strawberry-hill, Aug. 20, 1761. A Few lines before you go, your resolutions are good, and give me great pleasure; bring them back unbroken ; I have no mind to lose you; we have been acquainted these thirty years, and to give the devil his due, in all that time I never knew a bad, a false, a mean or ill-natured thing in the devil—but don't tell him I say so, especially as I cannot say the same of myself. I am now doing a dirty thing, flattering you to preface a commission. Dickey Bateman' has picked up a whole cloister-full of old chairs in Herefordshire. He bought them one by one, here and there in farm-houses, for three-and-sixpence, and a crown a-piece. They are of wood, the seats triangular, the backs, arms, and legs loaded with turnery. A thousand to one but there are plenty up and down Cheshire, too. If Mr. and Mrs. Wetenhall, as they ride or drive out, would now and then pick up such a chair, it would oblige me greatly. Take notice, no two need be of the same pattern.
Keep it as the secret of your life; but if your brother John addresses himself to me a day or two before the coronation, I can place him well to see the procession: when it is over, I will give you a particular reason why this must be such a mystery.
i Richard Bateman, brother of lord viscount Bateman. He figures in sir C. H. Williams' Poems as 'Constant Dicky.' (Ed.]
I was extremely diverted t’other day with my mother's and my old milliver; she said she had a petition to me" What is it, Mrs. Burton ?” “ It is in behalf of two poor orphans." I began to feel for my purse.
“What can I do for them, Mrs. Burton?” “ Only if your honour would be so compassionate as to get them tickets for the coronation.” I could not keep my countenance, and these distressed orphans are two and three and twenty: Did you ever hear a more melancholy case ? The
queen is expected on Monday. I go to town on Sunday. Would these shows and your Irish journey were over, and neither of us a day the poorer !
I am expecting Mr. Chute to hold a chapter on the cabinet. A barge-load of niches, window-frames, and ribs, is arrived. The cloister is paving, the privy garden making, painted glass adjusting to the windows on the back stairs: with so many irons in the fire, you may imagine I have not much time to write. I wish you a safe and pleasant voyage.
To The EARL OF STRAFFORD.
Arlington-street, Tuesday morning.
MY DEAR LORD,
Nothing was ever equal to the bustle and uncertainty of the town for these three days. The queen was seen off the coast of Sussex on Saturday last, and is not arrived yet-nay, last night at ten o'clock it was neither certain when she landed, nor when she would be in town. I forgive history for knowing nothing, when so public an event as the arrival of a new queen is a mystery even at the very moment in St. James's-street. The messenger that brought the letter yesterday morning, said she arrived at half an hour after four at Harwich. This was immediately translated into landing, and notified in those words to the ministers. Six hours afterwards, it proved no such thing, and that she was only in Harwich-road; and they recollected that half an hour after four happens twice in twenty-four hours,