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and Wedderburne will certainly oppose'; if these things are so, we may perhaps have some more convulsions in the state.'
Such letters are excellent correctives of history; but we are not writing history just now, and must turn to those which throw light on manners :
• Hinchinbroke, Thursday, (1770.) • MY DEAR GEORGE,--Our party at Wakefield went off very
well. We had hunting, racing, whist, and quinze. My borse won, as I expected, but the odds were upon him, so that I betted very little. . After hunting on Monday I went to Ossory's, where I lay in my
He came with me, and went back yesterday, I imagine he would have liked to have stayed if Lady Ossory had not been alone. They live but a dull life, and there must be a great deal of love on both sides not to tire. I almost promised to go back for Bedford races, but believe I shall not. I go''to Newmarket to-night, and to London tó
Sandwich's house is full of people, and all sorts of things going forward. Miss Ray does the honours perfectly well. While I am writing they are all upon the grass-plot at a foot-race.
To make this intelligible, we must go behind the scenes Wakefield Lodge was the seat of the minister Duke of Grafton Lady Ossory was his ci-devant duchess. She had divorced him on account of his intimacy with Nancy Parsons, described by Walpole as one of the commonest creatures in London : once
much liked, but out of date. He is certainly grown immensely 1. attached to her; so much so, that it has put an end to all his
decorum. The culpable excesses into which the Duke was hurried by his passion are stigmatized by Junius. It is not the
private indulgence, but the public insult, of which I complain. • The name of Miss Parsons would hardly have been known, if the First Lord of the Treasury had not led her in triumph through the Opera House, even in the presence of the Queen.' Hinchinbrooke, from which the letter is dated, was the seat of Lord Sandwich, anether Cabinet Minister. - Miss Ray, who did the honours so well, was his mistress-shot at Covent Garden in 1779. The story is told by Dr Warner in a paragraph :which may serve as a pattern of good condensation :
• The history of Hackman, Miss Ray's murderer, is this. He was recruiting at Huntingdon ; appeared at the ball; was asked by Lord
Sandwich to Hinchinbrooke; was introduced to Miss Ray; became .violently, enamoured of her; made proposals, and was sent into Ireland, where his regiment was. He sold out ; came back on purpose to be near the object of his affection; touk orders, but could not bend the inflexible, fair in a black coat more than in a red. He could not live without her. He meant 'only to kill bimself, and that in ber presence; but seeing her coquet it at the play with a young Irish templar, Maciamara, he determined suddenly to dispatch her too. He is to be tried on Friday, and hanged on Monday.'
The Morning Post for April 9, 1799, has this announcement:
When the news of the above misfortune was carried to the Admiralty, it was received by her noble admirer with the utmost 6 concern. He wept exceedingly, and lamented, with every other • token of grief, the interruption of a connexion which had lasted • for seventeen years, with great and uninterrupted felicity on both sides.'
The catching character of notorious insanity has often been remarked. While the Hackman affair was the popular topic, it seems that no woman, young or old, ugly or pretty, could venture forth without 'alarm. Lady Ossory writes :
· This Asiatic weather has certainly affected our cold constitutions. The Duchess of B- is afraid of being shot wherever she goes. A man has followed Miss Clavering on foot from the East Indies; is quite madl; and scenes are daily expected even in the drawing.room. Another man has sworn to shoot a Miss Something, n'importe, if she did not run away with him from the Opera.
• Sir Joshua Reynolds has a niece who is troubled with one of these passionate admirers, to whom she has refused her hand and her door. He came a few days since to Sir Joshua's, asked if she was at home, and, on being answered in the negative, he desired the footman to tell her to take care, for he was determined tờ ravish her (pardon the word) whenever he met ber. Keep our little friend (Mie Mie) at Paris whilst this mania lasts, for no age will be spared to be in fashion, and I am sure Mie Mie is quite as much in danger as the person I quoted in my first page.'
Before quoting those letters of Lord March which refer to topics of a strictly personal character, we will mention the few authentic particulars that have been recorded of him.
He was born in 1725, succeeded his father in the earldom of March in 1731, his mother in the earldom of Ruglen in 1748, and his cousin in the dukedom of Queensberry in 1778, being then in his fifty-third year. Few men of his day acquired greater notoriety, or were more an object of enquiry and speculation; yet he took little part in political events, except so far as his own interests were affected by them, and it would have been better for his reputation bad he taken none. When the King's malady grew serious in 1788, he gave in his allegiance to Fox, and on the recovery of his royal master, was unceremoniously dismissed from his situation of lord of the bedchamber, which he had held for twenty-eight years, notwithstanding the known profligacy of his life. Wraxall says he took a journey to Windsor to learn the exact condition of the King, but was misled by Dr Warren. The mistake mattered little. His business was pleasure, his passions were women and the turf; and he contrived to gratify both, without impairing either his fortune or his constitution. As regards the turf, he was thoroughly versed in all its mysteries, and seldom indulged in any sort of gaming unconnected with it, or relating to matters where any undue advantage could be taken of him. On the contrary, he was generally on the look-out for opportunities of turning his own shrewdness and coolness to account. A curious instance is related in Edgeworth's memoirs.
Lord March had noticed a coachmaker's journeyman running with a wheel, and on minuting him by a stop watch, found that he actually ran a considerable distance faster with it than most men could run unencumbered. A waiter in Betty's fruit.shop was famous for speed. Lord March adroitly introduced the topic, and maintaining what appeared a paradox, easily got bets to a large amount, that the waiter would run faster for a mile than any one could run with the bind-wheel of his lordship’s carriage, then standing at the door. But he committed a trifling oversight. The wheel was lower than the wheel the man was used to run with; and the biter would have been bit, had not Sir Francis Blake Delaval suggested an expedient. The night before the match, planks were obtained from the Board of Works, and a raised groove, for the wheel to run in, was constructed across the course, The journeyman won, and the Jockey Club decided in Lord March's favour. Another of his bets came before the court of King's Bench. He had laid a wager of five hundred guineas with young Mr Pigot, that old Mr Pigot (the father) would die before Sir William Codrington. Old Mr Pigot died the same morning before the making of the wager, but neither of the parties was acquainted with the fact. The Court held that the dutiful and hopeful heir must pay. A startling example of this style of bet is mentioned by Walpole. . • I, t’other night at .: White's, found a very remarkable entry in our very remarkable wager-book. Lord bets Sir
twenty guineas, that • Nash outlives Cibber. How odd that these two old creatures
should live to see both their wagerers put an end to their own * lives!' Lord March's rate of betting was never very high. The largest sum he appears to have won or lost at any race or meeting, during the period over which this correspondence extends, was L.4100, and this is mentioned as a rare occurrence.
He also managed his intercourse with the fair sex in such a manner, as to prevent them from interfering with his peace or even his caprices;, and few things are more amusing than his mode of keeping his occasional liaisons from clashing with his permanent ones-for we are obliged to speak of both classes in the plural number. His parting with one of his favourites is peculiarly touching :
= I am just preparing to conduct the poor little Tonding to Dover. My heart is so full that I can neither think, speak, nor write. How I shall be able to part with her, or bear, come back to this house, I do not know. The sound of her voice fills my eyes with fresh tears. My dear George, J'ai le caur si serré que je ne suis bon å present qu'à pleurer. Take all the care you can of her. Je la recommende à vous, my best and only real friend.'
In return for the care Selwyn was to take of the Tondino, Lord March, it seems, was to keep an eye to Raton.
• I wrote to you last night, but I quite forgot Raton. I have not bad him to see me to-day, having been the whole morning in the city with Lady H., but I have sent to your maid, and she says that her little king is perfectly well, and in great spirits.'
Besides the Tondino, Selwyn had the principal care of the Rena, a beautiful Italian, who stood in nearly the same relation to Lord March as Madame de Pompadour to Louis the Fifteenth. That sagacious favourite, it will be remembered, troubled herself very little about the Parc aux Cerfs so long as she retained the chief place in his Majesty's confidence. Queen Caroline is said to have preserved her influence over George the Second by the same policy. The Rena's prudence was put to a severe trial by the arrival of Signora Zamperini, a noted dancer and singer, in 1766. His lordship writes to Selwyn in Paris
• I wish I bad set out immediately after Newmarket, which I believe I should have done, if I had not taken a violent fancy for one of the opera girls. This passion is a little abated, and I hope it will be quite so before you and the Rena come over, else I fear it will interrupt our society. But whatever is the case, as I have a real friendship and affection for the Rena, I shall show her every mark of regard and consideration, and be vastly. happy to see her. I consider her as a friend, and certainly as one that I love very much ; and as such, I hope she will have some indulgence for my follies.
A few days afterwards.
• The Rena must be mad if she takes any thing of this sort in a serions way. If she does, there is an end of our society. If she does not, we shall go on as we did. I am sure I bave all the regard in the world for her, for I love her vastly, and I shall certainly contrive to make her as easy and as happy as I can. I like this little girl, but how long this liking will last, I cannot tell ; it may increase, or be quite at an end, before you arrive:
His lordship had not attained to equal proficiency with Madame de Girardin's hero : • Albert ne viendra pas il est amoureux pour
une quinzaine ; il me l'a dit, et il est toujours à la minute dans ces choses-là. In a subsequent letter, we find all three (the Tondino, the Rena, and the Zamperini) mixed up together.'
* You see what a situation I am in with my little Buffa. She is the prettiest creature that ever was seen; in short, I like her vastly, and she likes me, because I give her money.
• I have had a letter from the Tondino to-day. She tells me that she never passed her time so well at Paris as she does now : “ Monsieur du Barri est un homme charmante, et nous donne des bals avec des Princesses.” Pray, my dear George, find out something that will be agreeable to the little Teresina. Consult the Reną about it.
• I shall write two or three words to the Rena by this post. I'told her, in my last letter, that I was supposed to be very much in love with the Zamperini, which certainly would not prevent me from being very happy to see her. I have been too long accustomed to live with her not to like her, or to be able to forget her, and there is nothing that would give me'more pain than not to be able to live with her upon a footing of great intimacy and friendship; but I am always afraid of every event where women are concerned—they are all so exceedingly wrongheaded:
It might be deemed useless, if not impertinent, to keep on repeating that obviously wrong things are wrong; but in connexion with the next extract, the reader should bear in mind that, at the time in question and for twelve years afterwards, the writer was a lord of the bedchamber in the decorous court of George the Third and Queen Charlotte
• I was prevented from writing to you last Friday, by being at Newmarket with my little girl. I had the whole family and Cocchi. The beauty went with me in my chaise, and the rest in the old landau.
The family consisted of father, mother, and sister.' • March finds a difficulty (says Williams) in separating her from that rascally garlic tribe, whose very existence depends on her beauty, I do not think he means to make her what our friend the countess (the Rena) was.' In another place -- March 'goes on but heavily with his poor child, (she was only fifteen.) • He looks miserable, and yet he takes her off in her opera-dress every night in his chariot:
Numerous allusions, in these volumes, show that Lord March was not devoid of taste for female society of a better order. He is repeatedly spoken of as about to marry this or that young lady of quality; and Wraxall says that lie cherished an ardent passion for Miss Pelham, the daughter of the minister, who persevered in refusing his consent to their union, on account of the dissipated habits of the peer. He died unmarried, and continued his libertine habits till his death. During the first ten years of the present century, he might constantly be seen in the bow-window of his house in Piccadilly, (now divided into the two houses occupied by Lord Cadogan and Lora Rosebery,) ex