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vagant excesses have been exhibited in the compass of five years by a monster, by a royal duke, who has actually surpassed all the guilt imputed to Richard the third, and who, devoid of Richard's courage, has acted his enormities openly, and will leave it impossible to any future writer, however disposed to candour, to entertain one historic doubt on the abominable actions of Philip duke of Orleans.
• After long plotting the death of his sovereign, a victim as holy as, and infinitely superior in sense and many virtues to, Henry VI. Orleans has dragged that sovereign to the block, and purchased his execution in public, as in public he voted for it.
• If to the assassination of a brother (like the supposed complicity of Gloucester to that of Clarence) Orleans has not yet concurred; still, when early in the revolution he was plotting the murder of the king, being warned by an associate that he would be detected, he said, “ No; for I will have my (natural) brother the abbé Şt. Far stabbed too, and then nobody will suspect me of being concerned in the murder of my own brother."-So ably can the assassins of an enlightened age refine on and surpass the atrocious deeds of Goths and Barbarians!
* Shade of Richard of Gloucester! if my wcak pen has been able to wash one bloody speck, one incredible charge from your character, can I but acknowledge that Philip of Orleans has sullied my varnish, and at least has weakened all the arguments that I drew from the improbability of your having waded so deeply into wickedness and impudence that recoiled on yourself, as to calumniate your own mother with adultery. If you did, it was to injure the children of your brother-still you had not the senseless, shameless effrontery to shake your own legitimacy.--Philip of Orleans mocks your pitiful selfpartiality-He in person, and not by proxy, has declared his own mother a strumpet, has bastardized himself, and for ever degraded his children as progeny descended from a coachman- For what glory, for what object, far be it from me to conjecture!-Who would have a mind congenial enough to that of such a monster, as to be able to guess at his motives?"
The next production of our author, which appears in this volume, is entitled Ænes WALFOLIANÆ ; or, a Description of the Collection of Pictures at Houghton Hall, in Norfolk, the seat of the Right Honorable Sir Robert Walpole, Earl of. Orford ; to whom it was dedicated when first printed in 1743. Every English lover of painting, or of his country, must lament the loss of so valuable an assemblage of pictures, equal if not superior to any private collection in Europe. It is but too well known that the debts of the first Earl of Orford, which were saddled on his estates by the second, obliged the third (George) to sell this admirable col, lection of pictures to the late Empress of Russia.
The introduction to the catalogue of these pictures, by the late Lord, is an elegant epitome of the history of painting, en. riched with a discriminating character of all the principal artists of the several schools of Italy, France, and the Netherlands,
We find many additions and new illustrations to this catalogue -since it first appeared. The description of these pictures forms 'a kind of catalogue raisonné, which, now that our country is bereaved of the several great works of which it consisted, affords an enthusiastic reader that kind of melancholy pleasure which is felt on visiting the tombs in Westminster Abbey; or would be experienced in perusing an enumeration of the books in the Alexandrian library.
This edition of the catalogue is embellished with splendid portraits of the first Lord and Lady Orford, and with views and ground-plans of Honghon Hall, which we do not remember to have before seen, when visiting the pictures with that catalogue · in hand. A strmon on painting, preached before the Earl of Or.
ford, at Houghton, 1742, has always been printed with this Description. It is, however, but a profane pičce of pleasantry, in a bad taste, · Nature will prevail, a moral entertainment in one act. The dialogue of this little piece is lively and comic: but it ends abruptly, and is too short for any public use.
There is much good sense in the author's Thoughts on Tragedri but his politeness to Mr. Jephson borders on flattery, as much as, in defending his Historic Doubts, his resentment approaches towards ruileness and scurrility.
• Thoughts on Comely' are ingenious and spirited. The author, like Fontenelle, had certainly more humour than feeling ; and therefore, in these discussions, he manifests more resources in speaking of Comedy than Tragedy.
• Detection of a forgery, called “ Testament politique du Chevalier Walpole;" or, “ Political Testament of Sir Robert Walpole."
This will, which seems to have been known only when mentioned by our author, was too absurd and insignifi. cant to merit an answer. It seems, however, to have been piously seized by the son of that great minister, as a vehicle of panegyric on his father; and though it affords us 110 new and · perhaps no impartial information, it has furnished the detector with an opportunity of giving to the public an outline of the political life of his illustrious sire, and an account of the manner in which he spent his ex-ministerial leisure, during the last years of his existence; which, had they not been superseded by the more ample memoirs of his life and administration, lately* published, would have been gratifying to posterity.
« The life of the Rev. Mr. Thomas Baker, of St. John's College, Cambridge, written 1778. The exordium to this biographical essay is not very flattering to authors; and yet * See M. Rev. for June, Art. ii,
our noble scribe seemed always ambitious of being enrolled in their corps. After a very common observation on the few events in the life of a man of letters that can be worth recording, he adds :
• Nor are authors such benefactors to the world, tliat the trifling incidents of their lives deserve to be recorded. The most shining of the class have not been the most useful members of the community. If Newton unravelled some arcana of nature, and exalted our ideas of the Divinity br the investigation of his works; what benefactions bas Homer or Virgil conferred on mankind but a fund of harmonious arusement? Barren literati, who produce nothing, are innocent drones, whom the world has been so kind as to agree to respect for having entertained themselves gravely in the manner most agreeable to their taste. When they have devoured libraries, they are supposed to be prodigies of knowledge, though they are but walking or temporary dictionaries. Yet the repriblic of letters, confining its own honours to its own corporation, fondly decrees the distinction of biography to most of its active, and to some of its mute members.'
There is too much of party in this life of Mr. Baker;-wand there is too much egotism in the author's subsequent account of his own conduci,' to be amusing to our readers or his own. In his correspondence with ministers, however, a letter to the first Mr. Pitt is so spirited, yet so ingeniously civil, that we shall insert it here.
"To the Rt. Hon. William Pitt. SIR, « On my coming to town I did myself the honour of waiting on you and lady Hesther Pitt, and though I think myself extremely distinguished by your obliging note, I should be sorry for having given vou the trouble of writing it, if it did not lend me a very pardonable opportunity of saying what I much wished to express, but thought myself too private a person, and of too little consequence, to take the liberty to say. In short, Sir, I was eager to congratulate you on the lustre you have thrown on this country; I wished to thank you for the security you have fixed to me of enjoying the hap. piness I do enjoy. You have placed England in a situation in which it never saw itself a task the more difficult, as you had not to im. prove, but to recover. In a trifling book written two or three years ago, I said (speaking of the name in the world the most venerable to me), « Sixteen unfortunate and inglorious years since his removal have already written his eulogium *." It is but justice to you, Sir, to add, that that period ended when your administration began. Sir, don't take this for flattery; there is nothing in your power to give that I would accept--nay, there is nothing I could envy, but what I believe you would scarce offer me, your glory. This may sound yery vain and insolent, but consider, Sir, what a monarch is a man who wants nothing ; consider how he looks down on one who is only
•* Royal and noble authors, account of Sir Robert Walpole.'
ths the most illustrious man in Britain.-But, Sir, freedoms apart, in: significant as I am, probably it must be some satisfaction to a great mind like yours, to receive incense when you are sure there is no flattery blended with it: and what must any Englishman be that could give you a minute's satisfaction, and would hesitate!
Adieu, Sir, I am unambitious, I am disinterested--but I am vain. You have by your notice, uncanvassed, unexpected, and at the period when you certainly could have the least temptation to stoop down to me, flattered me in the most agreeable manner. If there could arrive the moment, when you could be nobody and I any. body, you cannot imagine how grateful I would be. In the mean time permit me to be, as I have been ever since I had the honour of knowing you, Sir,
Your most obedient humble servant, • Nov. 19, 1759.'
· HOR. WALPOLE.' Lord Orford seems to have been on good terms with the first Lord Chatham's successor, Lord Bute; not as a politician, but as a man of letters, and a judge and patron of the fine arts. Ex. gr.
"To the Earl of BUTE. O MY LORD,
HAVING heard that his Majesty was curious about his pictures, I recollected some catalogues of the royal collections which I had a little share in publishing a few years ago. I dare not presume to osser them to his Majesty myself; but I take the liberty of send. ing them to your Lordship, that, if you should think they may contribute to his Majesty's information or amusement, they may come to his hand more properly from your Lordship than they could do from me. I have added some notes that illustrate a few particulars. .
Having dabbled a good deal in this kind of things, if there is any point in which I could be of use to your Lordship for his Majesty's satisfaction, I should be very ready and happy to employ my little knowledge or pains. And permit me to say, my Lord, your Lordship cannot command any body who will execute your orders more cheerfully or more disinterestedly, or that will trouble you less with any solicitations : an explanation which even esteem and sincerity are forced to make to one in your Lordship's situation. The mere love of the arts, and the joy of seeing on the throne a Prince of taste, are my only inducements for offering my slender services. I know myself too well to think I can ever be of any use but as a virtuoso and antiquarian ; a character I should formerly have called very insignificant; though now my pride, since his Majesty vouchsafes to patronize the arts, and your Lordship has the honour to countenance genius, a rank of which at most I can be but an admirer.
• I have the honour to be, &c.
To Mr. WALPOLE. SIR, · I have presented the book sent me to his Majesty, and men. tioned the very polite and respectful manner you expressed yourself
in with regard to him. The catalogue camé very opportunely, for the King had just given orders to the duke of Devonshire to make out exact lists of all the pictures in the royal palaces. His majesty's great fondness for the arts will, I hope, soon have a striking effect in this country. I with gratitude acknowledge the assistance they have been of to me during many years of absolute solitude: other matters much less agreeable now demand my whole attention ; depend upon it, therefore, I shall presume on your generosity, and use the free. dom you give me, without remorse or hesitation; fully satisfied, that whatever you shall please to undertake, will be executed in a much superior manner to any attempts of mine, even in the days of liberty and quiet. I am sorry before I finish this scrawl to be forced to enter my protest against an expression in yours. Men of your character and ability are by no means confined to any one study : quick parts and superior talents become useful in every occupation they are applied to ; with these, according to marshal Saxe, little things amaze, and great ones do not surprise. I am, Sir,
• Your obedient humble servant, • Dec. 17, 1760.
"BUTE. • To Mr. WALPOLE. • LORD Bute presents his compliments to Mr. Walpole, and re. turns him a thousand thanks for the very agreeable present he has made him. In looking over it, Lord Bute observes Mr. Walpole has mixed several curious remarks on the customs, &c. of the times he treats of; a thing much wanted, and that has never yet been executed, except in parts by Peck, &c. Such a general work would be not only very agreeable, but instructive :--the French have ats tempted it; the Russians are about it ; and Lord Bute has been in. formed, Mr. Walpole is well furnished with materials for such a noble work. • Saturday.'
"To the Earl of Bute. "MY LORD, • I Am sensible how little time your Lordship can have to throw away on reading idle letters or letters of compliment ; yet as it would be too great want of respect to your Lordship not to make some sort of reply to the note you have done me the honour to send me, I thought I could couch what I have to say in fewer words by writing, than in troubling you with a visit, which might come unseasonably, and a letter you may read at any moment when you are most idle. I have already, my Lord, detained you too long by sending you a book, which I could not flatter myself you would turn over in such a season of business : by the manner in which you have considered it, you bave shown me that your very minutes of amusement you try to turn to the advantage of your country. It was this pleasing prospect of patronage to the arts that tempted me to offer you my pebble to. wards the new structure. I am flattered that you have taken notice of the only ambition I have : I should be more flattered if I could contribute to the smallest of your Lordship's designs for illustrating Britain.