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Arlington-Street, Christmas-day, 1746. We are in great expectation of farther news from Genoa, which the last accounts left in the greatest confusion, and I think absolutely in the hands of the Genoese ;* a circumstance that may
chance to unravel all the fine schemes in Provence! Marshal Bathiani, at the Hague, treated this revolt as a trifle ; but all the letters by last post make it a re-conquest. The Dutch do all the Duke asks: we talk of an army of 140,000 men in Flanders next campaign. I don't know how the Prince of Orange relishes his brother-in-law's dignities and success.
Old Lovat has been brought to the bar of the House of Lords : he is far from having those abilities for which he has been so cried up. He saw Mr. Pelham at a distance and called to him, and asked him if it were worth while to make all this fuss to take off a grey head fourscore years old ? In his defence he complained of his estate being seized and kept from him. Lord Granville took up this complaint very strongly, and insisted on having it inquired into. Lord Bath went farther, and as some people think, intended the Duke; but I believe he only aimed at the Duke of Newcastle, who was so alarmed with this motion, that he kept the House above a quarter of an hour in suspense, till he could send for Stone, and consult what he should do. They made a rule to order the old creature the profits of his estate till his conviction. He is to put in his answer the 13th of January.
Lord Lincoln is Cofferer at last, in the room of Waller, I who is dismissed. Sir Charles Williams has kissed hands,
* This circumstance is thus alluded to in a letter of Sir Horace Mann's, dated Dec. 20th, 1746. “ The affairs of Genoa are in such a horrid situation, that one is frightened out of one's senses. The accounts of them are so confused, that one does not know what to make of them; but it is certain that the mob is quite master of the town, and of every thing in it. They have sacked several houses, particularly that of the Doge, and five or six others, belonging to those who were the principal authors of the alliance which the Republic made with France and Spain.”—D.
† Andrew Stone, Secretary to the Duke of Newcastle, and afterwards Subgovernor to George Prince of Wales.
| Edmund Waller, of Beaconsfield.
and sets out for Dresden in a month : he has hopes of Turin, but I think Villettes is firm. Don't mention this.
Did I ever talk to you of a Mr. Davis, a Norfolk gentleman, who has taken to painting? He has copied the Dominichin, the third picture he ever copied in his life ; how well, you may judge ; for Mr. Chute, who, I believe you think, understands pictures if any body does, happened to come in, just as Mr. Davis brought his copy hither. “Here,” said I, “ Mr. Chute, here is your Dominichin come to town to be copied.” He literally did not know it; which made me very happy for Mr. Davis, who has given me this charming picture. Do but figure to yourself a man of fifty years old, who was scarce ever out of the county of Norfolk, but when his hounds led him; who never saw a tolerable picture till those at Houghton four years ago : who plays and composes as well as he paints, and who has no more of the Norfolk dialect than a Florentine ! He is the most decent, sensible man you ever saw.
Rinuncini is gone: Niccolini sups continually with the Prince of Wales, and learns the Constitution! Pandolfini is put to-bed, like children, to be out of the way. Adieu.
P.S. My Lady 0. who has entirely settled her affairs with my brother, talks of going abroad again, not being able to live here on fifteen hundred pounds a-year-many an old lady, and uglier too, lives very comfortably upon less. After I had writ this, your brother brought me another letter with a confirmation of all we had heard about Genoa. You may be easy about the change of provinces, * which has not been made as was designed. Ecco Monsù Chute,
FROM MR. CHUTE.
MR. WALPOLE gives me a side, and I catch hold of it to tell you that I parted this minute with your charming brother,
* Meaning a change in the Secretaries of State. There were at this time two, one of whom was called the Secretary of State for the Northern Province, and the other the Secretary of State for the Southern Province.-D,
who has been in council with me about your grand affair ;* it is determined now to be presented to the King by way of memorial; and to-morrow we meet again to draw it Mr. Stone has graciously signified that this is a very proper opportunity : one should think he must know.
Oh! I must tell you: I was here last night, and saw my Lord Walpolet for the first time, but such a youth! I declare
I was quite astonished at his sense and cleverness, it is impossible to describe it; it was just what would have made you as happy to observe as it did me: he is not yet seventeen, and is to continue a year longer at Eton, upon his own desire. Alas! how few have I seen of my countrymen half so formed even at their return from their travels! I hope you will have him at Florence one day or other, he will pay you amply for the Pigwiggins, and
Mr. Walpole is quite right in all he tells you of the miracle worked by St. Davis, which certainly merits the credit of deceiving far better judges of painting than I, who am no judge of anything but you, whom I pretend to understand better than anybody living, and am, therefore,
My dear Sir,
Arlington-Street, Jan. 27, 1747. The Prince has formally declared a new Opposition, which is never to subside till he is King, (s'entend, that he does not carry his point sooner.) He began it pretty handsomely the other day with 143 to 184, which has frightened the ministry like a bomb. This new party wants nothing but heads; though not having any, to be sure the struggle is the fairer. Lord Baltimores takes the lead; he is the best and honestest man
* Or Mr. Mann's arrears.
| George, only son of Robert second Earl of Orford, whom he succeeded in the title.
| Charles Calvert Lord Baltimore had been a Lord of the Admiralty, on the change of the ministry in 1742. He died soon after the Prince in 1751,
in the world, with a good deal of jumbled knowledge ; but not capable of conducting a party. However, the next day, the Prince, to reward him, and to punish Lord Archibald Hamilton, who voted with the ministry, told Lord Baltimore that he would not give him the trouble of waiting any more as Lord of the Bedchamber, but would make him Cofferer. Lord B. thanked him, but desired that it might not be done in a way disagreeable to Lord Archibald, who was then Cofferer. The Prince sent for Lord Archibald, and told him he would either make him Comptroller, or give him a pension of twelve hundred pounds a-year; the latter of which the old soul accepted, and went away content; but returned in an hour with a letter from his wife,* to say, that as his Royal Highness was angry with her husband, it was not proper for either of them to take their pensions. It is excellent! When she was dismissed herself, she accepted the twelve hundred pounds, and now will not let her husband, though he had accepted. It must mortify the Prince wondrously to have four-and-twenty hundred pounds a-year thrown back into an Exchequer, that never yet overflowed!
I am a little piqued at Marquis Riccardi's refusing me such a trifle as the four rings, after all the trouble I have had with his trumpery. However, I think I cannot help telling him, that Lord Carlisle and Lord Duncannon, who heard of his collection from Niccolini, have seen it, and are willing, at a reasonable price, to take it between them : if you let me know the lowest, and in money that I understand, not his equivocal pistoles, I will allow so much to Florence-civilities, as still to help him off with his goods, though he does not deserve it; as selling me four trifles could not have affected the general purchase. I pity your Princess Strozzi,t but cannot possibly hunt after her chattels : Riccardi has cured me of Italian mera chandise, by forcing it upon me.
* Jane, sister of the Earl of Abercorn, and wife of Lord Archibald Hamilton, great uncle of Duke Hamilton ; she had been Mistress of the Robes, &c. to the Princess of Wales, and the supposed mistress of the Prince, She died at Paris, in December 1752.
† She had been robbed of some of the most valuable gems of the famous Strozzi collection.
Your account of your former friend's neglect of you does not at all surprise me: there is an inveteracy, a darkness, a design and cunning in his character that stamp him for a very unamiable young man: it is uncommon for a heart to be so tainted so early. My cousin's* affairis entirely owing to him ;f nor can I account for the pursuit of such unprovoked revenge.
I never heard of the advertisement that you mention to have received from Sir James Grey,I nor believe it was ever in the House of Commons; I must have heard of it. I hear as little of Lady O., who never appears; nor do I know if she sees Niccolini ; he lives much with Lady Pomfret (who has married her third daughter) and a good deal with the Prince.
Adieu! I think I have answered your letter, and have nothing more to put into mine.
Arlington-Street, Feb. 23, 1747. Why, you do nothing but get fevers! I believe you try to dry your Wet-brown-paperness till you scorch it. Or do you play off fevers against the Princess's coliques ? Remember, hers are only for the support of her dignity, and that is what I never allowed you to have; you must|| have twenty unlawful children, and then be twenty years in devotion, and have twenty unchristian appetites and passions all the while, before you may think of getting into a cradle with épuisements, and
* The Hon. George Townshend. See what is said of him in letter CLXVI, and note.-D.
| It appeared afterwards that the person here mentioned, after having behaved very bravely, gave so perplexed an account of his own conduct, that the Admiralty thought it necessary to have it examined; but the inquiry proved much to his honour.
| “Sir James Gray has sent me the copy of an advertisement, the publisher of which, he says, had been examined before the House of Commons, Lost or mislaid an ivory table book, containing various queries vastly strong.” Letter of Sir H. Mann of Jan. 10th, 1747. It probably related to the trial of the Rebel Lords.-D.
§ Lady Henrietta Fermor, second wife of Mr. Conyers. || All the following paragraph alludes to Princess Craon.