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siderable. He always persisted, when artful and judicious: He has framed I enquired about his writings, that he the fragments, as a person said, so had nothing by him. I own I doubt, well, that they are fine drawings, if ed. I am grieved he was so very near not finished pictures. For my part I exact. Since given to the world for 12 am so interested in it, that I shall cere guineas! Gray valued them as no. tainly read it over and over. I do not thing,” and Mason would not publish find that this is likely to be the case even a scrap I speak of my own satis- with many yet. Never was a book faction. As to his genius, what he pub- which people pretended to expect with lished during his life will establish his so much impatience, less devouredfame as long as our language lasts, and at least in London, where quartos are there is a man of genius left. There not of quick digestion.
Faults are is a silly fellow, I do not know who, found, I hear, at Eton, with the Latin that has published a volume of letters poems for false quantities--no matter, on the English nation, with characters they are equal to the English. Can of our modern authors. He has talk.
one say more? ed such nonsense of Mr Gray, that I “ At Cambridge, I should think, have no patience with the compliments the book would offend much, and he has paid me. He must have an please, at least if they are sensible to excellent taste ! and gives me a woful humour, as to ill-humour. And there opinion of my own trifles, when he is orthodoxy enough to wash down a likes them, and cannot see the beau- camel. The Scotch, or the Reviewers ties of a poet that ought to be ranked will be still more angry, and the latter in the first line. I am more humbled have not a syllable to pacify them ; by any applause in the present age, so they who wait for their decisions, than by hosts of such critics as Dr will probably miss of reading one of Mills. Is not Garrick reckoned a to- the most entertaining books in the lerable author, though he has proved world—a punishment which they who how little sense is necessary to form a trust to such wretched judges deserve; great actor! His Cymon, his prologues for who are more contemptible than and epilogues, and forty such pieces of such judges, but they who give their trash, are below mediocrity, and yet faith to them?” delight the mob in the boxes, as well In a subsequent letter, Horace Walas in the footman's gallery. I do not pole adds on Gray : mention the things written in his I find more people like the grave praise, because he writes most of them letters than those of humour; and himself. But you know any one po- some think the latter a little affected, pular merit can confer all merit. Two which is as wrong judgment as they women talking of Wilkes, one said he could make ; for Gray never wrote any squinted; the other replied, “Well, thing easily, but things of humour.if he does, it is not more than a man Humour was his natural and original should squint.” For my part, I can turn, and though, from his childhood, see extremely well how Garrick acts, he was grave and reserved, his genius without thinking him six feet high. led him to see things ludicrously and It is said that Shakspeare was a bad satyrically, and though his health and actor. Why do not his divine plays dissatisfaction gave him low spirits, his make our wise judges conclude that melancholy turn was much more affecte he was a good one? They have not a ed than his pleasantry in writing. proof of the contrary as they have in You knew him enough to know I am Garrick's works--but what is it to you in the right; but the world, in geneor me what he is? We may see him ral, always wants to be told how to act with pleasure, and nothing obliges think, as well as what to think. us to read his writings. Adieu, dear “The print, I agree with you, though sir, yours most truly, H. W. like, is a very disagreeable likeness,
and the worst likeness of him. It gives the primness he had when under
constraint. It just serves to help the “ I am charmed with Gray's life, and reader to an image of the person, prefer it to all the biography I ever whose genius and integrity they must
The style is excellent, simple, admire, if they are so happy as to unaffected; the method admirable, have a taste for either.” H, W. Cole had observed of Gray's print, are simple, and do tell one a little more “ It gives him a sharpness, a snap- than late voyagers, by whose accounts pishness, a fierceness, that was not his one would think there was nothing in common feature, though it might oc- Spain but Muleteers and Fandangos. casionally be so. The print of him In truth, there does not seem to be by Mr Mason, and since copied by much worth seeing but prospects Henshaw, conveys a much stronger and those, unless I were a bird, I would idea of him.
never visit, when the accommodations
are so wretched. May 22, 1777.
Mr Cumberland has given the town “ The beauty of Kings College, Cam- a masque, called Calypso, which is a
Would you bebridge, now it is restored, penetrated prodigy of dulness.
lieve that such a sentimental writer me with a visionary longing to be a monk in it. Though my life has been would be so gross as to make Canthapassed in turbulent scenes, in plea
rides one of the ingredients of the sure, or rather pastimes, and in much love potion for enamouring Telemafashionable dissipation, still books,
chus ? If you think I exaggerate, here
are the lines, antiquity, and virtue, kept hold of a corner of my heart, and since neces- To these the hot Hispanian fly sity has forced me of late years to be Shall bid his languid pulse beat high. a man of business, my disposition Proteus and Antiope are Minerva's tends to be a recluse for what remains - but it will not be my lot. And
missioners for securing the prince's though there is some excuse for the virtue, and, in recompense, they are
married and crowned king and queen. young doing what they like, I doubt an old man should do nothing but fine design of a chimney piece, by
I have bought at Hudson's sale a what he ought; and I hope doing Holbein, for Henry sth. If I had a one's duty is the best preparation for
room left I would erect it.' It is cerdeath. Sitting with one's arms folded to think about it, is a very long way Holbein-room, but there is a great
tainly not so Gothic as that in my of preparing for it. If Charles V. had deal of taste for that bastard style. resolved to make some amends for his abominable ambition, by doing good
I do intend, under Mr Essex's in(his duty as a king), there would have spection, to begin my offices next been infinitely more merit, than going to return to brick and mortar, but I
spring. It is late in my day, I confess, to doze in a convent. One may avoid active guilt in a sequestered life, but shall be glad to perfect my plan, or the virtue of it is merely negative, tle to a Doric stable. There is a per
the next possessor will marry my casthough innocence is beautiful. “ Were my course to recommence, in the Alhambra, that might easily be
spective through two or three rooms and could one think in youth as one does at 65, I have a notion that I improved into Gothic, though there should have courage to appear as an
seems but small affinity between them, author. Do you know, too, that I
and they might be finished within look on fame now, as the idlest of all with Dutch tiles and painting, or visions ? but this theme would lead bits of ordinary marble, as there must me too far. I have always lived post, been their chief ornament, for walls,
Mosaic seems to have and shall now die before I can bait.
H. WALPOLE.” ceilings, and floors. Fancy must sport
in the furniture, and mottoes might be
gallant, and would be very Arabesque. Strawberry Hill, March 28, 1779. I would have a mixture of colours, I HAVE been much amused with new but with strict attention to harmony travels through Spain, by a Mr Swin- and taste ; and some one should preburne-at least with the account of dominate, as supposing it to be the fathe Alhambra, of the minor parts of vourite colour of the lady who was sowhich there are two beautiful prints. vereign of the knight's affections who The Moors were the most polished, built the house. Carpets are classicaland had most taste, of any people in ly Mahometan, and Fountains,—but the Gothic ages, and I hate the knave alas ! our climate, till last summer, Ferdinand and his bigotted queen for was never romantic! Were I not so destroying them. These new travels old, I would at least build-a Moorish VOL. IV.
novel-for you see my head runs on the first edition of the Biographia the Granada-and by taking the most pic- Vindicatio Britannica. But observe turesque parts of the Mahometan and how truth emerges at last ! In this new Catholic religions, and with the mix. volume, he confesses that the article ture of African and Spanish names, of Lord Arlington, which I had specione might make something very agreea fied as one of the most censurable, is able,-at least, I will not give the hint the one most deserving that censure, to Mr Cumberland. Adieu !
and that the character of Lord Arling
ton is palliated beyond all truth or Berkeley Square, Feb. 5, 1780.
Words stronger than mine. I HAVE been turning over the new Yet mine deserved to draw vengeance second volume of the Biographia, and on my father! So a presbyterian difind the additions very poor and lean vine invents divine judgment, and viperformances. The lives, entirely new,
sits the sins of the children on the paare partial and flattering, being con- rents! tributions of the friends of those whose Cardinal Beaton's character, softenlives are recorded. This publication, ed in the first edition, gentle Dr Kipmade at a time when I have lived pis pronounces extremely detestable. to see several of my contempora- Yet was I to blame for hinting at such ries deposited in this national temple defects in that work! and yet my of Fame, has made me smile, and words are quoted to shew that Lord made me reflect that many preceding Orrery's poetry was ridiculously bad. authors, who have been installed there in like manner, Mr, Dr Cumberland, with much respect, may have been as who assumes the whole honour of pubtrifling personages as those we have lishing his grandfather's Lucan, and known, and now behold consecrated to does not deign to mention its being memory. Three or four have struck published at Strawberry Hill, (though, me particularly, as Dr Birch, who by the way, I believe it will be oftener was a worthy good-natured soul, full purchased for having been printed there, of industry and activity, and running than for wearing MrCumberland's name about, like a young setting-dog, in to the dedication.) And yet he quotes quest of any thing new or old, and me for having praised his
ancestor in with no parts, taste, or judgment. one of my publications. These little Then there is Dr Blackwell, the most instances of pride and spleen divert me, impertinent literary coxcomb upon and then make me sadly reflect on hus earth. But the editor has been so just, man weaknesses. I am very apt myas to insert a very merited satire on self to like what flatters my opinions his Court of Augustus. The third is or passions, and to reject scornfully Dr Browne, that mountebank, who what thwarts them, even in the same for a little time made as much noise persons. The longer one lives, the by his Estimate, as ever quack did by more one discovers one's own uglinessa nostrum. I do not know whether I es in the features of others. - Yours ever told you how much I was struck ever,
H. WALPOLE. the only time I ever saw him. You know one object of the anathemas of P. S.-I remember two other inhis Estimate, was the Italian opera. stances where my impartiality, or at Yet did I find him, one evening in least my sincerity, have exposed me Passion week, accompanying some of to double censure. Many, perhaps the Italian singers at a concert at La- you, condemned my severity on Charles dy Carlisle’s. A clergyman, no doubt, 1. Yet the late Mr Hollis wrote ais not obliged to be on his knees the gainst me in the newspapers, for conwhole week before Easter, and music demning the republicans for their deand a concert are harmless amuse- struction of ancient monuments. Some ments; but when Cato or Calvin are blamed me for undervaluing the Fleout of character, reformation becomes mish and Dutch painters in my preridiculous. But poor Dr Browne was face to the Ædes Walpoliane. Barry, mad, and therefore might be in ear- the painter, because I laughed at his nest, whether he played the fool or extravagancies, says, in his rejection of the reformer.
" But I leave them to be You recollect, perhaps, the threat admired by the Hon. H. W. and such of Dr Kippis to me, which is to be ex- judges." Would not one think I had ecuted on my father, for my calling been their champion ?
Cole observes, Mr W.is manifestly distinguishable? How often does it hurt by the threats on his father, and happen that the lumps of earth are so the slights on himself; he sees not imperfect, that it is never clear whee with the same eyes that I do the vile ther they are Roman, Druidic, Danish, design of the book throughout, nor or Saxon fragments-the moment it indeed cares for it-I mean the steady is uncertain, it is plain, they furnish purpose
of the editors to defame the no specific idea of art or history, and Church of England, and to propagate then I neither desire to see or read of the doctrine of independence and so- them. cinianism, a plan never out of sight; I have been directed, too, to anand the additions to the old articles of other work, in which I am personally any orthodox clergyman of the Church
of the Church a little concerned. Yesterday was of England are all on this principle. published an octavo, pretending to
contain the correspondence of HackStrawberry Hill, March 13, 1980. man and Miss Wray, that he murderYou compliment me, my good friend, ed. I doubt whether the letters are on a sagacity that is surely very com- genuine, and yet, if fictitious, they are
How frequently do we see por- executed well, and enter into his chartraits that have catched the features, acter ;-her's appear less natural, and and missed the countenance or char- yet the editors were certainly more acter, which is far more difficult to hit. likely to be in possession of her's than Nor is it unfrequent to hear that re- of his. It is not probable that Lord mark made.
Sandwich should have sent what he I have confessed to you that I am
found in her apartment to the press. fond of local histories. It is the gene- No account is pretended to be given ral execution of them that I condemn, of how they came to light. and that I call the worst kind of read- You will wonder how I should be ing. I cannot comprehend but they concerned in that correspondence, who might be performed with taste. Í never saw either of the lovers in my did mention this winter the new e- days. In fact, my being dragged in, dition of Atkyn's Gloucestershire, as is a reason for my doubting the aua having additional descriptions of situa- thenticity ; nor can I believe that the tions, that I thought had merit. I long letter, in which I am frequently have just got another, a view of mentioned, could be written by the Northumberland, in two volumes wretched lunatic. It pretends that quarto, with cuts ; but I do not de- Miss Wray desired him to give her a: vour it fast, for the author's predilec- particular account of Chatterton. He tion is to Roman antiquities, which, does give a most ample one ; but is such as are found in this island, are there a glimpse of probability that a very indifferent, and inspire me with being so frantic should have gone to little curiosity. A barbarous country Bristol, and sifted Chatterton's sister so remote from the seat of empire, and and others, with as much cool curiosia occupied by a few legions, that very ty as Mr Lort could do? and at such rarely decided any great events, is not a moment? Besides, he murdered Miss very interesting, though one's own Wray, I think, in March; my printcountry—nor do I care a straw for a ed defence was not at all dispersed bea stone that preserves the name of a fore the preceding January or Februstandard-bearer of a cohort, or of a ary, nor do I conceive that Hackman Colonel's daughter. Then, I have no could ever see it. There are notes, patience to read the tiresome disputes indeed, of the editor, who has certain of antiquaries, to settle forgotten names
seen it; but I rather imagine that of vanished towns, and to prove that the editor, whoever he is, composed such a village was called something the whole volume. I am acquitted as else in Antoninus's Itinerary. I do being accessary to the lad's death, not say that the Gothic antiquities which is gracious, but much blamed that I like are of more importance; for speaking of his bad character, and but, at least, they exist. The scite of for being too hard on his forgeries, a Roman camp, of which nothing re- though I took so much pains to specia mains but a bank, gives me not the fy the innocence of them; and for his smallest pleasure. One knows they character, I only quoted the very had square camps-has one a clearer words of his own editor and panegyidea from the spot, which is barely rist. I did not repeat what Dr Gold
smith told me at the royal academy, destruction as much as the ministers. where I first heard of his death, that The rails torn from Sir George's house he went by the appellation of the were the chief weapons and instruYoung Villain ; but it is not new to ments of the mob. For the honour me, as you know, to be blamed by two of the nation, I should be glad to have opposite parties. The editor has in it proved that the French were the one place confounded me and my un- engineers. You and I have lived too cle, who, he says, as is true, checked long for our comfort,-shall we close Lord Chatham for being too forward our eyes in peace? You and I, that a young man in 1740. In that year can amuse ourselves with our books I was not even come into parliament, and papers, feel as much indignation and must have been absurd indeed, if I at the turbulent as they have scorn had taunted Lord Chatham with youth, for us. It is hard, at least, that they who was at least six or seven years who disturb nobody, can have no a younger than he was; and how could sylum in which to pursue their innohe reply by reproaching me with old cent indolence. Who is secure against age, who was then not twenty-three? Jack Straw and a whirlwind? How I I shall make no answer to these ab- abominate Mr Banks and Dr Solander, surdities, nor to any part of the work. who routed the poor Otaheitans out of Blunder I see people will, and talk of the centre of the ocean, and carried what they do not understand ; and our abominable passions among them! what care I? There is another trifling Not even that poor little speck could mistake of still less consequence. The escape European restlessness. Och! editor supposes that it was Macpher. I have seen many tempestuous scenes, son who communicated Ossian to me. and outlived them! The present prosIt was Sir David Dalrymple who sent pect is too thick to see through—it is me the first specimens. Macpherson well hope never forsakes us. Adieu. did once come to me, but my credulin Yours, most sincerely, H. W. ty was then a little shaken.
We have no time to add a few notes Strawberry Hill, June 15, 1780. to these letters, to counteract a little You may like to know one is alive, the caustic pleasantry of Walpole on dear sir, after a massacre and the con- some authors. But Cole's character, flagration of a capital. I was in it and that of his collections, have been both on the Friday and on the black given by Mr D’Israeli, from whom we Wednesday, the most horrible night I beg leave to borrow them for the preever beheld, and which, for six hours
“ Cole was the college together, I expected to end in half the friend of Walpole, Mason, and Gray ; town being reduced to ashes.
a striking proof how dissimilar habits, I can give you little account of the and opposite tastes and feelings, can origin of this shocking affair. Negli- associate in literary friendship; for gence was certainly its nurse, and re- Cole; indeed, the public had informed ligion only its god-mother. The os- him that his friends were poets and tensible author is in the tower. Twelve men of wit, and for them Cole's paor fourteen thousand men have quash- tient and curious turn was useful, and ed all tumults; and as no bad account by its extravagant trifling must have is come from the country, except for a been very useful. He had a gossip's moment at Bath, and as eight days ear, and a tatler's pen ; and, among have passed, nay more, since the com- better things, wrote down every grain mencement, -I flatter myself, the of literary scandal his insatiable and whole nation is shocked at the scene, minute curiosity could lick up ;-as and that, if plan there was, it was laid patient and voracious as an ant-eater, only in and for the metropolis. The he stretched out his tongue till it was lowest and most villanous of the peo- covered by the tiny creatures, and drew ple, and to no great amount, were al- them all in at one digestion. All these most the sole actors.
tales were registered, with the utmost I hope your electioneering rioting simplicity, as the reporter received has not, nor will mix in these tumults. them; yet, still anxious after truth, It would be most absurd ; for Lord and usually telling lies, it is very aRockingham, the Duke of Richmond, musing to observe, that, as he proSir George Saville, and Mr Burke, the ceeds, he very laudably contradicts, patrons of toleration, were devoted to or explains away in subsequent me