« VorigeDoorgaan »
Windsor, Oct. 2, 1746.
know, that as well as I love you, I never found all those charms in you that he does ! I own this to you out of pure honesty, that you may love him as much as he deserves. I don't know how he will succeed here, but to me he has more wit than any body I know: he is altered, and I
* John Chute and Francis Whitehed had been several years in Italy, chiefly at Florence.
think, broken: Whitehed is grown leaner considerably, and is a very pretty gentleman. He did not reply to me, as the Turcotti* did bonnement to you, when you told her she was a little thinner: do you remember how she puffed and chuckled, and said, “ And indeed I think you are too.” Mr. Whitehed was not so sensible of the blessing of decrease, as to conclude that it would be acceptable news even to shadows : he thinks me plumped out. I would fain have enticed them down hither, and promised we would live just as if we were at the King's Arms in via di Santo Spirito:t but they were obliged to go chez eux, not pour se décrasser, but pour se cras
I shall introduce them a tutte le mie conoscenze, and shall try to make questo paese as agreeable to them as possible; except in one point, for I have sworn never to tell Mr. Chute a word of news, for then he will be writing it to you, and I shall have nothing to say. This is a lucky resolution for you, my dear child, for between two friends one generally hears nothing; the one concludes that the other has told all.
I have had two or three letters from you since I wrote. The young Pretender is generally believed to have got off the 16th of last month : if he were not, with the zeal of the Chutes, I believe they would go to Scotland to hunt him, and would be impatient to send a limb to Cardinal Acquaviva and and Monsignor Piccolomini. I quite gain a winter with them, having had no expectation of them till spring. Adieu !
Arlington-Street, Oct. 14, 1746. You will have been alarmed with the news of another battlef lost in Flanders, where we have no kings of Sardinia. We make light of it, do not allow it to be a battle, but call it the action near Liege. Then we have whittled down our loss
* A fine singer.
† Mr. Mann hired a large palace of the Mannetti family at Florence in via di Sancto Spirito : foreign Ministers in Italy affix large shields with the arms of their sovereign over their door.
| The battle of Rocoux.
extremely, and will not allow a man more than three hundred and fifty English slain out of the 4000. The whole of it, as it appears to me, is, that we gave up eight battalions to avoid fighting; as at Newmarket people pay their forfeit when they foresee they should lose the race; though if the whole army had fought, and we had lost the day, one might have hoped to have come off for eight battalions. Then they tell you, that the French had four-and-twenty-pounders, and that they must beat us by the superiority of their cannon: so that to me it is grown a paradox, to war with a nation who have a mathematical certainty of beating you; or else it is a still stranger paradox, why you cannot have as large cannon as the French. This loss was balanced by a pompous account of the triumphs of our invasion of Bretagne; which in plain terms, I think, is reduced to burning two or three villages and reimbarking: at least, two or three of the transports are returned with this history, and know not what is become of Lestock and the rest of the invasion. The young Pretender is landed in France with thirty Scotch, but in such a wretched condition, that his highland Highness had no breeches.
I have received your's of the 27th of last month, with the capitulation of Genoa, and the kind conduct of the Austrians to us their allies, so extremely like their behaviour whenever they are fortunate. Pray, by the way, has there been any talk of my cousin,* the Commodore, being blameable in letting slip some Spanish ships ?--don't mention it as from me, but there are whispers of court-martial on him. They are all the fashion now—if you miss a post to me, I will have you tried by a court-martial. Cope is come off most gloriously, his courage ascertained, and even his conduct, which every body had given up, justified. Folkes and Lascelles, two of his generals, are come off too, but not so happily in the opinion of the world. Oglethorpe's sentence is not yet public, but it is believed not to be favourable. He was always a bully, and is now tried for cowardice. Some little dash of the same
* George Townshend, eldest son of Charles Lord Viscount Townshend, by Dorothy, his second wife, sister of Sir Robert Walpole. (He was subsequently tried by a court-martial for his conduct upon this occasion, and honourably acquitted.-D.)
sort is likely to mingle with the judgment on il furibondo Matthews, though his party rises again a little, and Lestock's acquittal begins to pass for a party-affair. In short, we are a wretched people and have seen our best days!
I must have lost a letter, if you really told me of the sale* of the Duke of Modena's pictures, as you think you did ; for when Mr. Chute told it me, it struck me as quite new. They are out of town, good souls ! and I shall not see them this fortnight, for I am here only for two or three days, to inquire after the battle, in which not one of my friends were. Adieu !
Arlington-Street, Nov. 4, 1746. Mr. Chute and I agree to tell you of any new changes, till we could tell you more of them, that you might not be put into a taking as you was last winter with the revolution of three days: but I think the present has ended with a single fit. Lord Harrington, f quite on a sudden resigned the Seals : it is said, on some treatment not over gracious: but he is no such novice to be shocked with that, though I believe it has been rough, ever since his resigning last year, which he did more boisterously than he is accustomed to behave to majesty. Others talk of some quarrel with his brother Secretary, who, in complaisance, is all for drums and trumpets. Lord Chesterfield was immediately named his successor ; but the Duke of Newcastle has taken the northern province, as of more business, and consequently better suited to his experience and abilities! I flatter myself that this can no way affect you. Ireland is to be offered to Lord Harrington, or the Presidentship; and the Duke of Dorset, now President, is to have the other's refusal. The King has endured a great deal with your old complaint ; and I felt for him, recollecting all you underwent.
* To the King of Poland.