Page images

every man seizing to his own continued use such spots of ground as he found most agreeable to his own convenience, provided he found them unoccupied by any one else.

that respect which everybody means to show, in an easy, unembarrassed, and graceful manner. This is what observation and experience must teach you.

In mixed companies, whoever is admitted to make part of them is, for the time at least, supposed to be on a footing of equality with the rest; and, consequently, as there is no one principal object of awe and respect, people are apt to take a greater latitude in their behaviour, and to be less upon their guard; and so they may, provided it be within certain bounds, which are upon no occasion to be transgressed. But upon these occasions, though no one is entitled to distinguished marks of respect, every one claims, and very justly, every mark of civility and good breeding. Ease is allowed, but carelessness and negligence are strictly forbidden. If a man accosts you, and talks to you ever so dully or frivolously, it is worse than rudeness, it is brutality, to show him, by a manifest inattention to what he says, that you think him a fool or a blockhead, and not worth hearing. It is much more so with regard to women, who, of whatever rank they are, are entitled, in consideration of their sex, not only to an attentive, but an officious good breeding from men. Their little wants, likings, dislikes, preferences, antipathies, and fancies, must be officiously attended to, and, if possible, guessed at and anticipated, by a well-bred man. You must never usurp to yourself those conveniences and gratifications which are of common right, such as the best places, the best dishes, &c.; but on the contrary, always decline them yourself, and offer them to others, who, in their turns, will offer them to you; so that, upon the whole, you will in your turn enjoy your share of the common right. It would be endless for me to enumerate all the particular instances in which a well-bred man shows his good breeding in good company; and it would be injurious to you to suppose that your own good sense will not point them out to you; and then your own good nature will recommend, and your self-interest enforce the practice.

There is a third sort of good breeding, in which people are the most apt to fail, from a very mistaken notion that they cannot fail at all. I mean with regard to one's most familiar friends and acquaintances, or those who really are our inferiors; and there, undoubtedly, a greater degree of ease is not only allowed, but proper, and contributes much to the comforts of a private social life. But ease and freedom have their bounds, which must by no means be violated. A certain degree of negligence and carelessness becomes injurious and insulting, from the real or supposed inferiority of the persons; and that delightful liberty of conversation among a few friends is soon destroyed, as liberty often has been, by being carried to licentiousness. But example explains things best, and I will put a pretty strong case: Suppose you and me alone together; I believe you will allow that I have as good a right to unlimited freedom in your company, as either you or I can possibly have in any other; and I am apt to believe, too, that you would indulge me in that freedom as far as anybody would. But, notwithstanding this, do you imagine that I should think there was no bounds to that freedom? I assure you I should not think so; and I take myself to be as much tied down by a certain degree of good manners to you, as by other degrees of them to other people. The most familiar and intimate habitudes, connexions, and friendships, require a degree of good breeding both to preserve and cement them. The best of us have our bad sides, and it is as imprudent as it is ill-bred to exhibit them. I shall not use ceremony with you; it would be misplaced between us; but I shall certainly observe that degree of good breeding with you which is, in the first place, decent, and which, I am sure, is absolutely necessary to make us like one another's company long.


PHILIP DORMER STANHOPE, Earl of Chesterfield (1694-1773), was an elegant author, though his only popular compositions are his Letters to his Son, a work containing many excellent advices for the cultivation of the mind and improvement of the external worldly character, but greatly deficient in the higher points of morality. Lord Chesterfield was an able politician and diplomatist, and an eloquent parliamentary debater. The celebrated Letters to his Son' were not intended for publication, and did not appear till after his death. Their publication was much to be regretted by every friend of this accomplished, witty, and eloquent peer.

[Definition of Good Breeding.]

[From Chesterfield's Letters.]

A friend of yours and mine has very justly defined good breeding to be, the result of much good sense, some good nature, and a little self-denial for the sake of others, and with a view to obtain the same indulgence from them.' Taking this for granted (as I think it cannot be disputed), it is astonishing to me that anybody, who has good sense and good nature, can essentially fail in good breeding. As to the modes of it, indeed, they vary according to persons, places, and circumstances, and are only to be acquired by observation and experience; but the substance of it is everywhere and eternally the same. Good manners are, to particular societies, what good morals are to society in general-their cement and their security. And as laws are enacted to enforce good morals, or at least to prevent the ill effects of bad ones, so there are certain rules of civility, universally implied and received, to enforce good manners and punish bad ones. And indeed there seems to me to be less difference both between the crimes and punishments, than at first one would imagine. The immoral man, who invades another's property, is justly hanged for it; and the ill-bred man, who by his ill manners invades and disturbs the quiet and comforts of private life, is by common consent as justly banished society. Mutual complaisances, attentions, and sacrifices of little conveniences, are as natural an implied compact between civilised people, as protection and obedience are between kings and subjects; whoever, in either case, violates that compact, justly forfeits all advantages arising from it. For my own part, I really think that, next to the consciousness of doing a good action, that of doing a civil one is the most pleasing; and the epithet which I should covet the most, next to that of Aristides, would be that of well-bred. Thus much for good breeding in general; I will now consider some of the various modes and degrees of it. Very few, scarcely any, are wanting in the respect which they should show to those whom they acknowledge to be infinitely their superiors, such as crowned heads, princes, and public persons of distinguished and eminent posts. It is the manner of showing that respect which is different. The man of fashion and of the world expresses it in its fullest extent, but naturally, easily, and without concern; whereas a man who is not used to keep good company expresses it awkwardly; one sees that he is not used to it, and that it costs him a great deal; but I never saw the worst-bred man living guilty of lolling, whistling, scratching his head, and such like indecencies, in company that he respected. In such companies, therefore, the only point to be attended to is, to show

[ocr errors]


SOAME JENYNS (1704-1787) was distinguished in early life as a gay and witty writer, both in poetry and prose; but afterwards applying himself to serious subjects, he produced, in 1757, A Free Inquiry into the Nature of Evil; in 1776, A View of the Internal Evidences of the Christian Religion; and in 1782, Disquisitions on Various Subjects; works containing much ingenious speculation, but which have lost most of their early popularity.

DR ADAM FERGUSON (1724-1816), son of the minister of Logierait, in Perthshire, was educated at St Andrews: removing to Edinburgh, he became an associate of Dr Robertson, Blair, Home, &c. In 1744 he entered the 42d regiment as chaplain, and continued in that situation till 1757, when he resigned it, and became tutor in the family of Lord Bute. He was afterwards professor of natural philosophy and of moral philosophy in the university of Edinburgh. In 1778 he went to America as secretary to the commissioners appointed to negotiate with the revolted colonies: on his return he resumed the duties of his professorship. His latter days were spent in ease and affluence at St Andrews, where he died at the patriarchal age of ninety-three. The works of Dr Ferguson are, The History of Civil Society, published in 1766; Institutes of Moral Philosophy, 1769; A Reply to Dr Price on Civil and Religious Liberty, 1776; The History of the Progress and Termination of the Roman Republic, 1783; and Principles of Moral and Political Science, 1792. Sir Walter Scott, who was personally acquainted with Ferguson, supplies some interesting information as to the latter years of this venerable professor, whom he considered the most striking example of the stoic philosopher which could be seen in modern days. He had a shock of paralysis in the sixtieth year of his life, from which period he became a strict Pythagorean in his diet, eating nothing but vegetables, and drinking only water or milk. The deep interest which he took in the French war had long seemed to be the main tie which connected him with passing existence; and the news of Waterloo acted on the aged patriot as a nune dimittis. From that hour the feeling that had almost alone given him energy decayed, and he avowedly relinquished all desire for prolonged life. Of Ferguson's History of Civil Society,' Gray the poet remarks-There are uncommon strains of eloquence in it; and I was surprised to find not one single idiom of his country (I think) in the whole work. His application to the heart is frequent, and often successful. His love of Montesquieu and Tacitus has led him into a manner of writing too short-winded and sententious, which those great men, had they lived in better times, and under a better government, would have avoided.' This remark is true of all Ferguson's writings; his style is too succinct and compressed. His Roman history, however, is a valuable compendium, illustrated by philosophical views and reflections.

LORD MONBODDO's Essay on the Origin and Progress of Language, published in 1771-3 and 6, is one of those singular works which at once provoke study and ridicule. The author was a man of real learning and talents, but a humorist in character and opinions. He was an enthusiast in Greek literature and antiquities, and a worshipper of Homer. So far did he carry this, that, finding carriages were not in use among the ancients, he never would enter one, but made all his journeys to London (which he visited once a year) and other places on horseback,

and continued the practice till he was upwards of eighty. He said it was a degradation of the genuine dignity of human nature to be dragged at the tail of a horse instead of mounting upon his back! The eccentric philosopher was less careful of the dignity of human nature in some of his opinions. He gravely maintains in his Essay that men were originally monkeys, in which condition they remained for ages destitute of speech, reason, and social affections. They gradually improved, according to Monboddo's theory, as geologists say the earth was changed by successive revolutions; but he contends that the ourang outangs are still of the human species, and that in the Bay of Bengal there exists a nation of human beings with tails like monkeys, which had been discovered a hundred and thirty years before by a Swedish skipper. When Sir Joseph Banks returned from Botany Bay, Monboddo inquired after the longtailed men, and, according to Dr Johnson, was not pleased that they had not been found in all his peregrinations. All the moral sentiments and domestic affections were, according to this whimsical philosopher, the result of art, contrivance, and experience, as much as writing, ship-building, or any other mechanical invention; and hence he places man, in his natural state, below beavers and sea-cats, which he terms social and political animals! The laughable absurdity of these doctrines must have protected their author from the fulminations of the clergy, who were then so eager to attack all the metaphysical opponents of revealed religion. In 1779 Monboddo published an elaborate work on ancient metaphysics, in three volumes quarto, which, like his former publication, is equally learned and equally whimsical. After a life of study and paradox, discharging his duties as a lord of session with uprightness and integrity, and much respected in private for his amiable dispositions, James Burnet, Lord Monboddo, died in Edinburgh May 26, 1799, at the advanced age of eighty-five.

HORACE WALPOLE, the author of the 'Castle of Otranto,' already noticed, would have held but an insignificant place in British literature, if it had not been for his Correspondence and Memoirs, those pictures of society and manners, compounded of wit and gaiety, shrewd observation, sarcasm, censoriousness, high life, and sparkling language. His situation and circumstances were exactly suited to his character and habits. He had in early life travelled with his friend Gray, the poet, and imbibed in Italy a taste for antiquity and the arts, fostered, no doubt, by the kindred genius of Gray, who delighted in ancient architecture and in classic pursuits. He next tried public life, and sat in parliament for twenty-six years. This added to his observation of men and manners, but without increasing his reputation, for Horace Walpole was no orator or statesman. His aristocratic habits prevented him from courting distinction as a general author, and he accordingly commenced collecting antiques, building a baronial castle, and chronicling in secret his opinions and impressions of his contemporaries. His income, from sinecure offices and private sources, was about £4000 per annum; and, as he was never married, his fortune enabled him, under good management and methodical arrangement, to gratify his tastes as a virtuoso. When thirty years old, he had purchased some land at Twickenham, near London, and here he commenced improving a small house, which by degrees swelled into a feudal castle, with turrets, towers, galleries, and corridors, windows of stained glass, armorial bearings, and all the other appropriate insignia of a Gothic baronial mansion. Who has not heard of Strawberry Hill-that little plaything house,' as Walpole styled it, in

which were gathered curiosities of all descriptions, works of art, rare editions, valuable letters, memorials of virtue and of vice, of genius, beauty, taste, and fashion, mouldered into dust! This valuable collection is now (1842) scattered to the winds dispersed at a public sale.

Enough to rouse the dead man into rage,
And warm with red resentment the wan cheek.

The delight with which Walpole contemplated this suburban retreat, is evinced in many of his letters. In one to General Conway (the only man he seems ever to have really loved or regarded), he runs on in this enthusiastic manner :- You perceive that I have got into a new camp, and have left my tub at Windsor. It is a little plaything house that I have got out of this Chevenix's shop [Strawberry Hill had been occupied by Mrs Chevenix, a toywoman!], and is the prettiest bauble you ever saw. It is set in enamelled meadows, with filigree hedges;

A small Euphrates through the piece is rolled, And little fishes wave their wings of gold.

Two delightful roads, that you would call dusty, supply me continually with coaches and chaises; and barges, as solemn as barons of the Exchequer, move under my window. Richmond Hill and Ham Walks bound my prospect; but, thank God! the Thames is between me and the Duchess of Queensberry. Dowagers, as plenty as flounders, inhabit all around; and Pope's ghost is just now skimming under my window by a most poetical moonlight.'

The literary performances with which Walpole varied his life at Strawberry Hill are all characteristic of the man. In 1758 appeared his Catalogue of Royal and Noble Authors; in 1761 his Anecdotes of Painting in England; in 1765 his Castle of Otranto; and in 1767 his Historic Doubts as to the character and person of Richard III. He left for publication Memoirs of the Court of George II., and a large collection of copies of his letters; and he printed at his private press (for among the collections at Strawberry Hill was a small printing establishment) his tragedy of the Mysterious Mother. A complete collection of his letters was printed in 1841, in six volumes. The writings of Walpole are all ingenious and entertaining, and though his judgments on men and books or passing events are often inaccurate, and never profound, it is impossible not to be amused by the liveliness of his style, his wit, his acuteness, and even his malevolence. Walpole's Letters,' says Mr Macaulay, are generally considered as his best performances, and, we think, with reason. His faults are far less offensive to us in his correspondence than in his books. His wild, absurd, and ever


changing opinions of men and things are easily pardoned in familiar letters. His bitter scoffing depreciating disposition does not show itself in so unmitigated a manner as in his Memoirs. A writer of letters must be civil and friendly to his correspondent at least, if to no other person.' The variety of topics introduced is no doubt one cause of the charm of these compositions, for every page and almost every sentence turns up something new, and the whim of the moment is ever with Walpole a subject of the greatest importance. The peculiarity of his information, his private scandal, his anecdotes of the great, and the constant exhibition of his own tastes and pursuits, furnish abundant amusement to the reader. Another Horace Walpole, like another Boswell, the world has not supplied, and probably never will,

[Politics and Evening Parties.]

When I receive your long letters I am ashamed: mine are notes in comparison. How do you contrive to roll out your patience into two sheets? You certainly don't love me better than I do you; and yet if our loves were to be sold by the quire, you would have by far the more magnificent stock to dispose of. I can only say that age has already an effect on the vigour of my pen; none on yours: it is not, I assure for all my acquaintance. My present shame arises you, for you alone, but my ink is at low water-mark from a letter of eight sides, of December 8th, which I received from you last post.

vote beforehand, especially in a money-matter; but I It is not being an upright senator to promise one's believe so many excellent patriots have just done the same thing, that I shall venture readily to engage my promise to you, to get you any sum for the defence of Tuscany-why, it is to defend you and my own country! my own palace in Via de Santo Spirito, my own princess épuisée, and all my family! I shall quite make interest for you: nay, I would speak to our new ally, and your old acquaintance, Lord Sandwich, to assist in it; but I could have no hope of getting at his ear, for he has put on such a first-rate tie-wig, on his admission to the admiralty-board, that nothing without the lungs of a boatswain can ever think to penetrate the thickness of the curls. I think, however, it does honour to the dignity of ministers: when he was but a patriot, his wig was not of half its present gravity. There are no more changes made: all is quiet yet; but next Thursday the parliament meets to decide the complexion of the session. My Lord Chesterfield goes next week to Holland, and then returns for Ireland.

The great present disturbance in politics is my Lady Granville's assembly; which I do assure you distresses the Pelhams infinitely more than a mysterious meeting of the States would, and far more than the abrupt breaking up of the Diet at Grodno. She had begun to keep Tuesdays before her lord resigned, which now she continues with greater zeal. Her house is very fine, she very handsome, her lord very agreeable and extraordinary; and yet the Duke of Newcastle wonders that people will go thither. He mentioned to my father my going there, who laughed at him; Cato's a proper person to trust with such a childish jealousy! Harry Fox says, 'Let the Duke of Newcastle open his own house, and see if all that come cards to the women, and to declare that all men are thither are his friends.' The fashion now is to send

that shocks the prudes of the last age. welcome without being asked. This is a piece of ease You can't imagine how my Lady Granville shines in doing honours; you know she is made for it. My lord has new furnished his mother's apartment for her, and has given her a magnificent set of dressing-plate: he is very fond of her, and she as fond of his being so.

You will have heard of Marshal Belleisle's being made a prisoner at Hanover: the world will believe it first thought was to confine him to the Tower, but that was not by accident. He is sent for over hither: the is contrary to the politesse of modern war: they talk of sending him to Nottingham, where Tallard was. I am sure, if he is prisoner at large anywhere, we could not have a worse inmate ! so ambitious and intriguing a man, who was author of this whole war, will be no bad general to be ready to head the Jacobites on any insurrection.2

1 The street in Florence where Mr Mann lived.

2 Belleisle and his brother, who had been sent by the king of France on a mission to the king of Prussia, were detained, while changing horses, at Elbengerode, and from thence con

[ocr errors]

I can say nothing more about young Gardiner, but that I don't think my father at all inclined now to have any letter written for him. Adieu!

[The Scottish Rebellion.]
[To the same-Nov. 15, 1745.]

I told you in my last what disturbance there had been about the new regiments; the affair of rank was again disputed on the report till ten at night, and carried by a majority of twenty-three. The king had been persuaded to appear for it, though Lord Granville made it a party point against Mr Pelham. Winnington did not speak. I was not there, for I could not vote for it, and yielded not to give any hindrance to a public measure (or at least what was called so) just now. The prince acted openly, and influenced his people against it; but it only served to let Mr Pelham see what, like everything else, he did not know-how strong he is. The king will scarce speak to him, and he cannot yet get Pitt into place. The rebels are come into England: for two days we believed them near Lancaster, but the ministry now own that they don't know if they have passed Carlisle. Some think they will besiege that town, which has an old wall, and all the militia in it of Cumberland and Westmoreland; but, as they can pass by it, I don't see why they should take it, for they are not strong enough to leave garrisons. Several desert them as they advance south; and altogether, good men and bad, nobody believes them ten thousand. By their marching westward to avoid Wade, it is evident that they are not strong enough to fight him. They may yet retire back into their mountains, but if once they get to Lancaster, their retreat is cut off;

for Wade will not stir from Newcastle till he has embarked them deep into England, and then he will be behind them. He has sent General Handasyde from Berwick with two regiments to take possession of Edinburgh. The rebels are certainly in a very desperate situation: they dared not meet Wade; and if they had waited for him, their troops would have deserted. Unless they meet with great risings in their favour in Lancashire, I don't see what they can hope, except from a continuation of our neglect. That, indeed, has nobly exerted itself for them. They were suffered to march the whole length of Scotland, and take possession of the capital, without a man appearing against them. Then two thousand men sailed to them, to run from them. Till the flight of Cope's army, Wade was not sent. Two roads still lay into England, and till they had chosen that which Wade had not taken, no army was thought of being sent to secure the other. Now Ligonier, with seven old regiments, and six of the new, is ordered to Lancashire; before this first division of the army could get to Coventry, they are forced to order it to halt, for fear the enemy should be up with it before it was all assembled. It is uncertain if the rebels will march to the north of Wales, to Bristol, or towards London. If to the latter, Ligonier must fight them; if to either of the other, which I hope, the two armies may join and drive them into a corner, where they must all perish. They cannot subsist in Wales, but by being supplied by the Papists in Ireland. The best is, that we are in no fear from France; there is no preparation for invasions in any of their ports. Lord Clancarty, a Scotchman of great parts, but mad and drunken, and whose family forfeited £90,000 a-year for King James, is made vice-admiral at Brest. The

veyed to England; where, refusing to give their parole in the mode it was required, they were confined in Windsor castle.

Donagh Maccarty, Earl of Clancarty, was an Irishman, and not a Scotchman.

Duke of Bedford goes in his little round person with his regiment; he now takes to the land, and says he is tired of being a pen-and-ink man. Lord Gower insisted, too, upon going with his regiment, but is laid up with the gout.

With the rebels in England, you may imagine we have no private news, nor think of foreign. From this account you may judge that our case is far from desperate, though disagreeable. The prince, while the princess lies-in, has taken to give dinners, to which he asks two of the ladies of the bed-chamber, two of the maids of honour, &c. by turns, and five or six others. He sits at the head of the table, drinks and harangues to all this medley till nine at night; and the other day, after the affair of the regiments, drank Mr Fox's health in a bumper, with three huzzas, for opposing Mr Pelham

Si quà fata aspera rumpas, Tu Marcellus eris !'

You put me in pain for my eagle, and in more for the Chutes, whose zeal is very heroic, but very illplaced. I long to hear that all my Chutes and eagles Suares's joy of all their espousals. Does the princess are safe out of the Pope's hands! Pray, wish the pray abundantly for her friend the Pretender? Is she extremely abbatue with her devotion and does she fast till she has got a violent appetite for supper? And then, does she eat so long, that old Sarrasin is quite impatient to go to cards again? Good night! intend you shall still be resident from King George. P.S.-I forgot to tell you, that the other day I concluded the ministry knew the danger was all over; for the Duke of Newcastle ventured to have the Pretender's declaration burnt at the Royal Exchange.


Nov. 22, 1745. For these two days we have been expecting news of a battle. Wade marched last Saturday from Newcastle, and must have got up with the rebels if they stayed for him, though the roads are exceedingly bad, and great quantities of snow have fallen. But last night there was some notice of a body of rebels being advanced to Penrith. We were put into great spirits by a heroic letter from the mayor of Carlisle, who had fired on the rebels and made them retire; he concluded with saying, 'And so I think the town of Carlisle has done his majesty more service than the great city of Edinburgh, or than all Scotland together.' But this hero, who was grown the whole fashion for four-and-twenty hours, had chosen to stop all other letters. The king spoke of him at his levée with great encomiums; Lord Stair said, 'Yes, sir, Mr Patterson has behaved very bravely.' The Duke of Bedford interrupted him; My lord, his name is not Patterson; that is a Scotch name; his name is Pattinson.' But, alack! the next day the rebels returned, having placed the women and children of the country in wagons in front of their army, and forcing the peasants to fix the scaling-ladders. The great Mr Pattinson, or Patterson (for now his name may be which one pleases), instantly surrendered the town, and agreed to pay two thousand pounds to save it from pillage.

[London Earthquakes and London Gossip.] [To the same-March 11, 1750.]

Portents and prodigies are grown so frequent, That they have lost their name.-Dryden.

My text is not literally true; but as far as earth. quakes go towards lowering the price of wonderful commodities, to be sure we are overstocked. We

1 Ferdinand of Wales.

have had a second, much more violent than the first; and you must not be surprised if, by next post, you hear of a burning mountain sprung up in Smithfield. In the night between Wednesday and Thursday last (exactly a month since the first shock), the earth had a shivering fit between one and two, but so slight, that, if no more had followed, I don't believe it would have been noticed. I had been awake, and had scarce dozed again-on a sudden I felt my bolster lift up my head; I thought somebody was getting from under my bed, but soon found it was a strong earthquake that lasted near half a minute, with a violent vibration and great roaring. I rang my bell; my servant came in, frightened out of his senses: in an instant we heard all the windows in the neighbourhood fung up. I got up and found people running into the streets, but saw no mischief done: there has been some; two old houses flung down, several chimneys, and much china-ware. The bells rung in several houses. Admiral Knowles, who has lived long in Jamaica, and felt seven there, says this was more violent than any of them: Francesco prefers it to the dreadful one at Leghorn. The wise say, that if we have not rain soon, we shall certainly have more. Several people are going out of town, for it has nowhere reached above ten miles from London they say they are not frightened, but that it is such fine weather, 'Lord! one can't help going into the country!' The only visible effect it has had was on the Ridotto, at which, being the following night, there were but four hundred people. A parson who came into White's the morning of earthquake the first, and heard bets laid on whether it was an earthquake or the blowing up of powder mills, went away exceedingly scandalised, and said, 'I protest they are such an impious set of people, that I believe if the last trumpet was to sound they would bet puppet-show against Judgment.' If we get any nearer still to the torrid zone, I shall pique myself on sending you a present of cedrati and orange-flower water; I am already planning a terreno for Strawberry Hill.

Another series of letters, written at this time, has The collection is far inferior since been published.

in value, but its author was one of the greatest men of his age-perhaps the first of English orators and statesmen. We allude to a volume of letters written by the Earl of Chatham to his nephew, Thomas Pitt, Lord Camelford. This work contains much excellent advice as to life and conduct, a sincere admiration of classical learning, and great kindliness of domestic feeling and affection. Another collection of the correspondence of Lord Chatham was made and published in 1841, in four volumes. Some light is thrown on contemporary history and public events The Middlesex election is carried against the court: by this correspondence; but its principal value is of the Prince in a green frock (and I won't swear, but in a reflex nature, derived from our interest in all that a Scotch plaid waistcoat) sat under the park-wall in relates to the lofty and commanding intellect which his chair, and hallooed the voters on to Brentford. shaped the destinies of Europe. WILLIAM PITT was The Jacobites are so transported, that they are opening born on the 15th of November 1708. He was edusubscriptions for all boroughs that shall be vacant-cated at Eton, whence he removed to Trinity college, this is wise! They will spend their money to carry a Oxford. He was afterwards a cornet in the Blues! few more seats in a Parliament where they will never His military career, however, was of short duration; have the majority, and so have none to carry the for, before he was quite twenty-one, he had a seat in general elections. The omen, however, is bad for parliament. His talents for debate were soon conWestminster; the high-bailiff went to vote for the spicuous; and on the occasion of a bill for registeropposition. ing seamen in 1740, he made his memorable reply to Mr Walpole, who had taunted him on account of his youth. This burst of youthful ardour has been immortalised by Dr Johnson, who then reported the parliamentary debates for the Gentleman's Magazine. Johnson was no laborious or diligent notetaker; he often had merely verbal communications of the sentiments of the speakers, which he imbued with his own energy, and coloured with his peculiar

I now jump to another topic; I find all this letter will be detached scraps; I can't at all contrive to hide the seams. But I don't care. I began my letter merely to tell you of the earthquake, and I don't pique myself upon doing any more than telling you what you would be glad to have told you. I told you, too, how pleased I was with the triumphs of another old beauty, our friend the princess.Î Do you know, I have found a history that has great re-style and diction. Pitt's reply to Walpole mar semblance to hers; that is, that will be very like therefore be considered the composition of Johnson, hers, if hers is but like it. I will tell it you in as founded on some note or statement of the actual few words as I can. Madame la Marechale de l'Hô- speech; yet we are tempted to transcribe it, on pital was the daughter of a sempstress ; a young account of its celebrity and its eloquence:—



gentleman fell in love with her, and was going to be married to her, but the match was broken off. An old fermier-general, who had retired into the provinc where this happened, hearing the story, had a curiosity to see the victim; he liked her, married her, died, and left her enough not to care for her inconstant. She came to Paris, where the Marechal de l'Hôpital married her for her riches. After the Marechal's death, Casimir, the abdicated king of Poland, who was retired into France, fell in love with the Marechale, and privately married her. If the event ever happens, I shall certainly travel to Nancy, to hear her talk of ma belle fille la Reine de France. What pains my Lady Pomfret would take to provel that an abdicated king's wife did not take place of an English countess; and how the princess herself would grow still fonder of the Pretender for the similitude of his fortune with that of le Roi mon mari! Her daughter, Mirepoix, was frightened the other night with Mrs Nugent's calling out, un voleur! un voleur! The ambassadress had heard so much of robbing, that she did not doubt but dans ce pais cy, they robbed in the middle of an assembly. It turned out to be a thief in the candle! Good night!

1 The Princess Craon, who, it had been reported, was to marry Stanislaus Leczinsky, Duke of Lorraine and ex-king of Poland, whose daughter, Maria Leczinsky, was married to Louis XV., king of France.

This is the story of a woman named Mary Mignot. She was near marrying a young man of the name of La Gardie, who afterwards entered the Swedish service, and became a field-marshal in that country. Her first husband was, if I mistake not, a procureur of Grenoble; her second was the


[blocks in formation]
« PreviousContinue »