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Literary Review.

The Works of Horatio Walpole, Earl of Orford,

vois. Royal 4to. pp. 2808, with plates. 1ol. 1ol. Large

Robinsons. THIS voluminous and splendid work will afford am

paper, 211.

the man of genius with “the feast of reason and the flow of soul.” Indeed, no one acquainted with the character of its illustrious author can open these pages without feeling the most pleasing sensations. With a considerable degree of pleasure have we examined its contents, and we are eager to impart to our Readers a portion of that fatisfaction which we ourselves have experienced.

But it may be first necessary to let our Readers into the character of the late Earl of Orford. Some few re. marks may not be unacceptable. We mean not to enter into his memoirs, for that is at present foreign to our purpose. We shall only briefly state the general complexion of his character.

Lord Orford was more generally known by the name of Horace Walpole. He was a nobleman of celebrity, for his fine genius and his disinterested generosity. His connexion with literary men was very considerable for a long series of years, and hence his anecdotes respecting the Literati were numerous and entertaining. On this account his company was anxiously courted, and his conversation talents enlivened every company into which

His productions also were full of anecdote, and very illustrative of the fine arts. At Strawberry VOL. IV,



he came.

Hill, his favourite residence, he kept a press, whence issued several works written both by himlelf and by his friends. His known readiness to patronize genius made the unfortunate Chatterton apply to him ; but, owing to fome untoward circumstances, the application was in vain. For a time this conduct of Earl Orford towards the unhappy youth was much censured. But upon a fair examination, it appears that the Earl was not to blame, and in these volumes his conduet is amply vindicated. It is but juftice to mention this topic, and we are happy to speak of it in a maoner lo much in the Earl's favour. At the time, indeed, fome suspicions were entertained respecting the propriety or rather the manner by which Charterton attempted to introduce himself to this nobleman's patronage. Every circumstance has been since developed, and the failure of the attempt must be ascribed not to the want of generosity in the patron, but to the rathness and impetuosity of the applicant.

Earl Orford lived to an advanced age, happy in him. self, and imparting happiness to all around him. It was at a late period of life he received his title, but in him it excited no vanity or oftentation. In one of his letters he pleasantly remarks to a friend, who had congratulated him on his honours, that he did not like to be nicknamed in his old age. This shewed his superior genius, elated only by those acquirements which embellish and perfect the immortal mind. His sprightliness even to the last was remarkable, for he wrote fix weeks previous to his death a curious epistle to a female correspondent, which illustrates his character, and thall be here inserted :

« MY DEAR MADAM, “ You distress me infinitely by showing my idle notes, which I cannot conceive can amuse any body. My old fashioned breeding vimpels me every now and then to reply to the letters you honor me with writing, but in truth very un.. willingly, for I seldom can have any thing particular to say; I scarce go out of my own house, and then only to two or three

very private places, where I see nobody that really knows any thing, and what I learn comes from newspapers that collect intelligence from coffee-houses, consequently what I neither believe nor report. At home I see only a few charitable el. ders, except about fourscore pephews and nieces of various ages, who ale each brought to me once a year to ftare at me as the Methusalem of the family, and they can only speak of their own cotemporaries, which intereft me no more than if they talked of their dolls, or bats and balls. Must not the result of all this, adam, make me a very entertaining correspondent? And can such letters be worth the wing? Or can I have any spirit when so old and reduced to dictate? Oh! my good madam, dispense with me from such a task, and think how it must add to it to apprehend such letters being thewn. Pray send me no more such laurels, which I desire no more than their leaves, when decked with a scrap of tinsel and stuck on twelfth cakes that lie on the shop boards of pastıy-cooks at Christmas. I shall be quite content with a sprig of rosemary thrown after me, when the parson of the parish commits my dust to dust. Till then, pray madam, accept the resignation of

" Your ancient servant,

« OR FORD." This great man died in February 1797, after a short illness, borne down, or rather fairly worn out, by the infirmities of age.

He had, it seems, towards the close of life meditated an edition of his works, which he never lived to accomplish. He however committed them to the care of Robert Berry, Esq. who has now publithed them. The author's own advertisement is prefixed, and thall be here transcribed.

ADVERTISEMENT. " As I have been an author in various ways and in various forms, some body or other might think of collecting my works. To prevent this, and at the same time to avoid have ing pieces attributed to me which I never wrote, and to condemn, by suppressing as far as I can, fome which do not deferve publication, I have determined to leave this collection

The approbation beitowed on some part, authorizes me to think they are not unworthy of being preserved in this manner. The few pieces which have never appeared before, were either kept back from reasons which exist no longer, or were at the time in their own nature private. I mean, particularly, the letters addressed to minifters, or written on political occasions. They are not produced now from any merit in the compofition, but as evidences of my own conduct; and, as such, they give me greater satisfaction at this late period than any other part of my writings.

behind me.


contents of these five volumes are exceedingly miscellaneous. They are nevertheless very interesting. The curiosity of the Reader must be excited and shall be gratified, begging him at the same time to observe, that though many of the pieces were formerly published, yet the present additional matter constitutes more than two of these quarto volumes. The whole work is also einbellished with near two hundred portraits and plates. Contents of Vol. I. Fugitive Pieces, &c.

Vol. II. The Castle of Otranto, &c.
Vol. II]. Anecdotes of Painting.
Vol. IV. A Catalogue of Engravers, &c.

Vol. V. Letters, &c. An account of each of these several pieces in the respective volumes will not be expected.' We must refer to the work itself. But as its bulk prevents its falling into many hands, we shall select the most curious particulars, and enrich fome of our numbers with them. In the mean time we present our subscribers with a few extracts, which, while they afford a fair specimen of the publication, must be productive of instruction and entertainment.

We shall begin with the character of Queen Caroline, whose inclination to patronize learned men is well known. This redounds much to her honour. Every particular therefore respecting her is interesting, and from the pen of Lord Orford acquires a double value.


« CHARACTER OF QUEEN CAROLINE. “ Queen Caroline was said to have been very handsome at her marriage, soon after which she had the small-pox; but was little marked by it, and retained a moit pleasing coun. tenance : it was full of majesty or mildness as the pleased, and her penetrating eyes expressed whatever she had a mind they thould. Her voice too was captivating, and her hands beautifully small, plump, and graceful. Her understanding was uncommonly strong; and so was her resolution. Fiom their earliest connexion she had determined to govern the king, and deserved to do so; for her submission to his will was unbounded, her sense much superior, and his honour and interest always took place of her own : so that her love of power, that was predominant, was dearly bought, and rarely ill em. ployed. She was ambitious to of fame; but, shackled by her devotion to the king, the seldom could pursue that object. She wished to be a patroness of learned men; but George had no respect for them or their works; and her Majesty's own taste was not very exquisite, nor did he allow her time lo cultivate any studies. Her generosity would have displayed it. self, for she valued money but as the instrument of her good purposes : but he stinted her alike in almoft all her passions; and though she wished for nothing more than to be liberal, she bore the imputation of his avarice, as she did of others of bis faults. Often when she had made prudent and proper promises of preferment, and could not persuade the King to comply, she suffered the breach of word to fall on her, rather than refcct on him. Though his affection and confidence in her were implicit, he lived in dread of being supposed to be governed by her; and that hilly parade was extended even to the most private moments of business with my father: whenever he entered, the queen rose, curtfied and retired, or offered to retire. Sometimes the king condescended to bid her fay-on both occasions the and Sir Robert had previously settled the business to be discussed. Sometimes the King would quash the proposal in question; and yield after re-talking it over with her but then he boasted to Sir Robert that he himfelf bad better considered of it.

“ One of the Queen's delights was the improvement of the garden at Richmond; and the King believed the paid for all with her own money-nor would he ever look at her intended


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