etical moonlight. I have about land enough to keep such a farm as Noah's, when he set up in the ark with a pair of each kind; but my cottage is rather cleaner than I believe his was after they had been cooped up together forty days. The Chevenixes had tricked it out for themselves; up two pair of stairs is what they call Mr. Chevenix's library, furnished with three maps, one shelf, a bust of Sir Isaac Newton, and a lame telescope without any glasses. .

I could tell you much election news, - none else; though not being thoroughly attentive to so important a subject as, to be sure, one ought to be, I might now and then mistake, and give you a candidate for Durham in place of one for Southampton, or name the returning officer instead of the candidate. In general, I believe, it is much as usual, – those sold in detail that afterwards will be sold in the representation, — the ministers bribing Jacobites to choose friends of their own, — the name of well-wishers to the present establishment, and patriots outbidding ministers that they may make the better market of their own patriotism. In short, all England, under some name or other, is just now to be bought and sold; though, whenever we become posterity and forefathers, we shall be in high repute for wisdom and virtue. My great-great-grandchildren will figure me with a white beard down to my girdle, and Mr. Pitt's will believe him unspotted enough to have walked over nine hundred hot ploughshares without hurting the sole of his foot. How merry my ghost will be, and shake its ears to hear itself quoted as a person of consummate prudence!


ARLINGTON STREET, May 17, 1749. The graver part of the world, who have not been quite so much given up to rockets and masquing, are amused with a book of Lord Bolingbroke's, just published, but written long ago. It is composed of three letters, the first to Lord Cornbury on the Spirit of Patriotism, and two others to Mr. Lyttelton (but with neither of their names) on the Idea of a Patriot King, and the State of Parties on the late King's accession. . But there is a Preface to this famous book, which makes much more noise than the work itself. It seems Lord Bolingbroke had originally trusted Pope with the copy, to have half a dozen

printed for particular friends. Pope, who loved money infinitely beyond any friend, got fifteen hundred copies printed privately, intending to outlive Bolingbroke and make great advantage of them; and not only did this, but altered the copy at his pleasure, and even made different alterations in different copies. Where Lord Bolingbroke had strongly flattered their common friend Lyttelton, Pope suppressed the panegyric; where, in compliment to Pope, he had softened the satire on Pope's great friend, Lord Oxford, Pope reinstated the abuse. The first part of this transaction is recorded in the Preface; the two latter facts are reported by Lord Chesterfield and Lyttelton, the latter of whom went to Bolingbroke to ask how he had forfeited his good opinion. In short, it is comfortable to us people of moderate virtue to hear these demigods, and patriots, and philosophers, inform the world of each other's villainies.

STRAWBERRY Hili, June 4, 1749. In my last I told you some curious anecdotes of another part of the band, of Pope and Bolingbroke. The friends of the former have published twenty pamphlets against the latter; I say against the latter, for, as there is no defending Pope, they are reduced to satirize Bolingbroke. One of them tells him how little he would be known himself from his own writings, if he were not immortalized in Pope's; and, still more justly, that if he destroys Pope's moral character, what will become of his own, which has been retrieved and sanctified by the embalming art of his friend? However, there are still new discoveries made every day of Pope's dirty selfishness. Not content with the great profits which he proposed to make of the work in question, he could not bear that the interest of his money should be lost till Bolingbroke's death, and therefore told him that it would cost very near as much to have the press set for half a dozen copies as it would for a complete edition, and by this means made Lord Bolingbroke pay very near the whole expense of the fifteen hundred. Another story I have been told on this occasion was of a gentleman who, making a visit to Bishop Atterbury in France, thought to make his court by commending Pope. The Bishop replied not; the gentleman doubled the dose; at last the Bishop shook his head, and said, “Mens curva in corpore curvo!The world will now think justly of these men; that

Pope was the greatest poet, but not the most disinterested man in the world, and that Bolingbroke had not all those virtues and not all those talents which the other so proclaimed; and that he did not even deserve the friendship which lent him so much merit; and for the mere loan of which he dissembled attachment to Pope, to whom in his heart he was as perfidious and as false as he has been to the rest of the world.

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STRAWBERRY HILL, April 4, 1760. At present nothing is talked of, nothing admired, but what I cannot help calling a very insipid and tedious performance. It is a kind of novel, called The Life and Opinions of

Tristram Shandy, the great humor of which consists in the whole - narration always going backwards. I can conceive a man saying

that it would be droll to write a book in that manner, but have no notion of his persevering in executing it. It makes one smile two or three times at the beginning, but in recompense makes one yawn for two hours. The characters are tolerably kept up, but the humor is forever attempted and missed. The best thing in it is a sermon, oddly coupled with a good deal of bawdy, and both the composition of a clergyman. The man's head, indeed, was a little turned before, now topsy-turvy with his success and fame. Dodsley has given him 650 pounds for the second edition and two more volumes (which I suppose will reach backwards to his great-great-grandfather); Lord Fauconberg, a donative of 160 pounds a year; and Bishop Warburton gave him a purse of gold and this compliment (which happened to be a contradiction), “ that it was quite an original composition, and in the true Cervantic vein,” – the only copy that ever was an original, except in painting, where they all pretend to be so. Warburton, however, not content with this, recommended the book to the bench of Bishops, and told them Mr.Sterne, the author, was the English Rabelais. They had never heard of such a writer.


ARLINGTON STREET, November 13, 1760. ... Do you know, I had the curiosity to go to the burying! t'other night; I had never seen a royal funeral. Nay, I walked

i of George II.

as a rag of quality, which I found would be — and so it was — the easiest way of seeing it. It is absolutely a noble sight. The Prince's chamber, hung with purple and a quantity of silver lamps, the coffin under a canopy of purple velvet, and six vast chandeliers of silver on high stands, had a very good effect. The Ambassador from Tripoli and his son were carried to see that chamber. The procession, through a line of foot-guards, every seventh man bearing a torch, the horseguards lining the outside, their officers with drawn sabres and crape sashes on horseback, the drums muffled, the fifes, bells tolling, and minute guns, all this was very solemn. But the charm was the entrance of the Abbey, where we were received by the Dean and Chapter in rich robes, the choir and almsmen bearing torches; the whole Abbey so illuminated, that one saw it to greater advantage than by day; the tombs, long aisles, and fretted roof, all appearing distinctly, and with the happiest chiaro scuro. There wanted nothing but incense, and little chapels here and there, with priests saying mass for the repose of the defunct; yet one could not complain of its not being Catholic enough. . . . When we came to the chapel of Henry the Seventh, all solemnity and decorum ceased. No order was observed, people sat or stood where they could or would; the yeomen of the guard were crying out for help, oppressed by the immense weight of the coffin. The Bishop read sadly, and blundered in the prayers; the fine chapter, "Man that is born of woman," was chanted, not read, and the anthem, besides being immeasurably tedious, would have served as well for a nuptial. The real serious part was the figure of the Duke of Cumberland, heightened by a thousand melancholy circumstances. He had a dark brown adonis, and a cloak of black cloth, with a train of five yards. Attending the funeral of a father could not be pleasant; his leg extremely bad, yet forced to stand upon it near two hours; his face bloated and distorted with his late paralytic stroke, which has affected, too, one of his eyes; and placed over the mouth of the vault, into which, in all probability, he must himself so soon descend;think how unpleasant a situation! He bore it all with a firm and unaffected countenance. This grave scene was fully contrasted by the burlesque Duke of Newcastle. He fell into a fit of crying the moment he came into the chapel, and flung himself back in a stall, the Archbishop hovering over him with a

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smelling-bottle. But in two minutes his curiosity got the better of his hypocrisy, and he ran about the chapel with his glass to spy who was or was not there, spying with one hand, and mopping his eyes with the other. Then returned the fear of catching cold; and the Duke of Cumberland, who was sinking with heat, felt himself weighed down, and, turning round, found it was the Duke of Newcastle standing upon his train, to avoid the chill of the marble...


STRAWBERRY HILL, March 9, 1765. I had time to write but a short note with the Castle of Otranto, as your messenger called on me at four o'clock, as I was going to dine abroad. Your partiality to me and Strawberry have, I hope, inclined you to excuse the wildness of the story. You will even have found some traits to put you in mind of this place. When you read of the picture quitting its panel, did not you recollect the portrait of Lord Falkland, all in white, in my gallery? Shall I even confess to you what was the origin of this romance? I waked one morning, in the beginning of last June, from a dream, of which all I could recover was that I had thought myself in an ancient castle (a very natural dream for a head filled, like mine, with Gothic story), and that on the uppermost bannister of a great staircase I saw a gigantic hand in armor. In the evening I sat down, and began to write, without knowing in the least what I intended to say or relate. The work grew on my hands, and I grew fond of it; - add that I was very glad to think of anything rather than politics. In short, I was so engrossed with my tale, which I completed in less than two months, that one evening I wrote from the time I had drunk my tea, about six o'clock, till half an hour after one in the morning, when my hand and fingers were so weary that I could not hold the pen to finish the sentence, but left Matilda and Isabella talking, in the middle of a paragraph. You will laugh at my earnestness; but if I have amused you by retracing with any fidelity the manners of ancient days, I am content, and give you leave to think me as idle as you please.

1 See page 479, below.

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