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allow him to put in an advertisement to clear himself from hers, though hers was all a lie. He appealed to me, and I gravely gave it against him.”
One letter from the Duchess of Hamilton to Swift appears in his correspondence, and one addressed to her by Pope is also published. We subjoin both. Pope's letter was written in that gay and splendid period of his life when the success of his Homer had secured a competency, and when the favours of the great were profusely lavished upon him.
Wednesday (about 1725).
"Dear Dean,-When we were together last, I remember we spoke of a certain stanza, which you suspected me parent of, by reason there were some things in it you were sure I should have said twelve years ago. If this be a rule, I am certain you are not Dean Swift, for twelve years ago your promised letter had not been so long in coming to me. All I can say is, I wish you had been twelve years ago what I wish you now, [a bishop?] and that you were now what you was twelve years ago to
"Your real friend and humble servant,
"London, October (between day and night). "Madam,-Mrs. Whitworth (who, as her epitaph on Twitnam highway assures us, had attained to as much perfection and purity as any since the Apostles) is now deposited, according to her own order, between a fig-tree and a vine, there to be found at the last resurrection.
"I am just come from seeing your Grace in much the like situation, between a honeysuckle and a rosebud; where you are to continue as long as canvas can last. I suppose the painter, by those emblems, intended to intimate, on the one hand, your Grace's sweet disposition to your friends: and, on the other, to show you are near enough related to the thistle of Scotland to deserve the same motto with regard to your enemies. Nemo me impune lacessit. (Lord William will conster this Latine if you send it to Thistleworth.)
"The two foregoing periods, methinks, are so mystical, learned, and perplexed, that if you have any statesmen or divines about you, they can't choose but be pleased with them. One divine you cannot be without as a good Christian; and a statesman you have lately had, for I hear my Lord Selkirk has been with you. But (that I may not be unintelligible quite to the bottom of this page) I must tell your Grace, in English, that I have made a painter bestow the aforesaid ornaments round about you (for upon you there needs none), and am, upon the whole, pleased with my picture beyond expression. I may now say of your picture, it is the thing in the world the likest you, except yourself; as a cautious person once said of an elephant, it was the biggest in the world, except itself.
"You see, Madam, it is not impossible for you to be compared to an elephant and you must give me leave to show you one may carry on the simile. An elephant never bends his knees-and I am told your Grace says no prayers. An elephant has a most remarkable command of his snout-and so has your Grace when you imitate my Lady O———y.1 An
elephant is a great lover of man-and so is your Grace for all I know; though, from your partiality to myself, I should rather think you loved little children.
Remember the text,
"I beg you not to be discouraged in this point. which I'll preach upon the first day I am a parson: 'Suffer little children to come to me.' And despise not one of these little ones.' No, Madam, despise great bears, such as Gay, who now goes by the dreadful name of The Beast of Blois, where Mr. Pulteney and he are settled, and where he shows tricks gratis, to all the beasts of his own country (for strangers do not yet understand the voice of the beast). I have heard from him but once, Lord Warwick twice, Mrs. Lapell thrice: if there be any that has heard from him four times, I suppose it is you.2
"I beg Mr. Blondel may know Dr. Logg has received ordination, and enters upon his functions this winter at Mrs. Blount's. They have chosen this innocent man for their confessor; and I believe most Roman Catholic ladies, that have any sins, will follow their example. This good priest will be of the order of Melchisedec for ever, and serve a family from generation to generation. He'll stand in a corner as quietly as a clock; and, being wound up once a week, strike up a loud alarum to sin on a Sunday morning. Nay, if the Christian religion should be abolished (as indeed there is great reason to expect it from the wisdom of the legislature) he might, at worts, make an excellent bonfire, which is all that, upon a change of religion, can be desired from a heretic. I do not hope your Grace should be converted, but, however, I wish you would call at Mrs. B.'s out of curiosity. To meet people one likes, is thought by some the best reason for going to church, and I dare promise you'll like one another. They are extremely your servants, or else I should not think them my friends.
"I ought to keep up the custom, and ask you to send me something. Therefore pray, Madam, send me yourself—that is, a letter; and pray make haste to bring up yourself—that is, all I value-to town.
I am, with the truest respect, the least ceremony, and the most zeal, Madam Your Grace's most obedient, faithful, and most humble servant,
"Mr. Hamilton, I am yours. There is a short letter for you!"
HENRIETTA, DUCHESS OF MARLBOROUGH.
Ver. 69. See Sin in state.] This character is said to have been designed for the young Duchess of Marlborough, Henrietta, eldest daughter of the great Duke, and married to Lord Godolphin. She was Duchess in her own
1 [Evidently Lady Orkney, a relation of the Duchess of Hamilton's, and often men tioned by Swift, who considered her the wisest woman he ever knew. Lady Mary Wortley Montagu gives a ludicrous description of her appearance at the coronation of George II. in 1727, mentioning her great size, the inimitable roll of her eyes, and her grey hairs, which, by good fortune, stood directly upright.]
2 [Pulteney took Gay with him in a trip to France in 1717, which fixes the date o this letter.]
right. This vain and fantastic lady is celebrated for her romantic attachment to Congreve, the poet, who left her the greatest part of his fortune, about £10,000,-£7,000 of which she laid out in a diamond necklace. Most of the remainder must have been spent on the magnificent funeral and monument with which she honoured Congreve's remains. The corpse lay in state in the Jerusalem Chamber, and was interred in the south transept of Westminster Abbey, with great pomp. The pall-bearers were, the Duke of Bridgewater, Lord Cobham, the Earl of Wilmington, the Hon. George Berkeley, and General Churchill. The Duchess next erected a monument to her poet, which bears the following inscription, written by herself:-" Mr. William Congreve, died Jan. the 19th, 1728, aged fifty-six, and was buried near this place; to whose most valuable memory this monument is set up by Henrietta, Duchess of Marlborough, as a mark how deeply she remembers the happiness and honour she enjoyed in the sincere friendship of so worthy and honest a man, whose virtue, candour, and wit, gained him the love and esteem of the present age, and whose writings will be the admiration of the future." It is said that the Duchess had a figure of Congreve made in wax-something like the "effigies" of the nobility which used to be placed in glass-cases in Westminster Abbey, to which she addressed her conversation, placed it at table with her, and treated in all respects as if it had been the veritable "Old Bachelor." The absurdity of the Duchess, and the vanity of Congrevewho had parties having strong claims on his fortune -are well worthy of each other; but whether Henrietta deserved the coarse imputations conveyed in the sketch of Philomedé does not appear. She died childless in 1738.
SARAH, DUCHESS OF MARLBOROUGH,
Ver. 115. But what are these to great Atossa's mind?] There was no mistaking this portrait of Sarah, the old and famous Duchess of Marlborough. Her violent and imperious temper had alienated from her the affection of Queen Anne (though the lady of the bedchamber and the Queen had corresponded for years under the assumed names of Mrs. Morley and Mrs. Freeman, and the former had in reality wielded the powers of sovereignty), and her whole life afterwards, to the age of eighty-four, was a scene of restlessness, turbulence, and intrigue. With nearly all her family she was at open war, and her insolence, her irreligion, and avarice, seemed to increase with her age. Some gleams of talent, an indomitable spirit, and the remains of exquisite beauty, with occasional fits of generosity and affection, relieve this gloomy picture of old age, "joyless and unendeared," and attach a degree of interest to the name and history of the clever termagant Duchess. Pope was personally acquainted with Sarah; he visited her, and corresponded with her. "She makes great court to me," he said to Swift in 1739; and four years afterwards he writes to Lord Marchmont, that there were many hours he would be glad to talk to, or rather to hear, the Duchess of Marlborough. "I would listen to her with the same veneration and belief in all her doctrines as the disciples of Socrates gave to the words of their master,
or he himself to his demon (for I think she too has a devil, whom in civility we will call a genius). I will judge of nothing till I see her." The doctrines of Sarah were startling enough, and she was anxious to retain Pope and Lord Marchmont among her friends, the list of which had been wofully thinned by her own caprice and violence. She evidently stood in awe of Pope's satirical genius, and in some respects his seemingly arrogant boast was realized:
"Yes, I am proud; I must be proud to see
Men not afraid of God, afraid of me."
In her eighty-second year (1742) she writes to Lord Marchmont :—
"I am not arrived at so much philosophy as not to think torturing pain an evil; that is the only thing I now dread, for death is unavoidable; and I cannot find that anybody has yet demonstrated whether it is a good thing or a bad one. Pray do not think me wicked in saying this, and if you talk to Mr. Pope of me, endeavour to keep him my friend: for I do firmly believe the immortality of the soul as much as he does, though I am not learned enough to have found out what it is."
About a fortnight afterwards she writes again to Lord Marchmont, acknowledging with evident pleasure the receipt of a letter from his Lordship, with another from Pope, and stating, that if she could in the country receive letters from them, she would never wish to come to town. "In that way of conversing, I should have all the pleasure that I can possibly propose, without the disappointment when Mr. Pope falls asleep, or the dread of your taking leave because you were weary." Again—“I shall always be pleased to see your Lordship and Mr. Pope, when you will be so bountiful as to give me any part of your time." In the same rambling epistle (which she acknowledges to be as long as a Chancery bill) she expatiates on her peculiar doctrines, and her dear friends the philosophers," in whose belief of the transmigration of souls she is disposed to concur, adding sarcastically, "I have a great mind to believe that kings' and first ministers' souls when they die go into chimneysweeps." This original idea of the chimney-sweeps was suggested by an incident in her house, which at that time was undergoing the cleaning process:
One of the chimney-sweepers was a little boy, a most miserable creature, without shoes, stockings, breeches, or shirt. When it was over, I sent a servant of mine to Windsor with him, to equip this poor creature with what he wanted, which cost very little, not being so well dressed as the late Privy Seal [Lord Hervey]. And as I could not be sure the souls of these chimneysweepers had come from great men, I could not repent of their being so much overpaid as they were."
On the score of over-payment, Sarah should not have been eager to throw the first stone. "Exclusive of Blenheim, of parliamentary grants, of gifts, of marriage portions from the Queen to their daughters, it appears that the fixed yearly income of the Duke, at the height of his favour, was no less than £54,825, and that the Duchess had, in offices and pensions, an additional sum of £9,500."-Lord Mahon's History, vol. 1. In her old age Sarah was the richest commoner in England. Vanbrugh, with whom she waged a bitte
war about Blenheim, writes:-"He (the Duke of Marlborough) has given his widow-may a Scotch ensign get her!-£10,000 a-year to spoil Blenheim her own way, and £12,000 a-year to keep herself clean, and go to law." To some "great men," patriots after her own heart, Sarah could be liberal. Chesterfield got £20,000 from her estate, Pitt, Lord Chatham, £10,000, Marchmont, £2000, &c. She is said to have given Hooke, the historian, £5000 for writing for her the "Apology," or explanation of her public conduct, though the good Nathaniel afterwards lost favour by endeavouring to make her a Roman Catholic! Fear prompted the £1000 given to Pope, if there were no other condition implied in the gift: Mrs. Ridley, her waiting-woman, had about £70,000. Walpole was highly amused with one provision in her will that no part of the Life of the Duke of Marlborough, intrusted to Glover and Mallet, and for which £1000 was left, should be written in verse. Glover, it is well known, threw up his half of the legacy, while Mallet took the whole, and never wrote a line of the Life.
Out of the record of Sarah's feuds and ebullitions of temper, some amusing incidents arise With her grandson, Charles, second son of the Earl of Sunderland, she had a Chancery suit, and appeared in the Court to plead her own cause. Amongst the property in dispute was a famous diamond-hilted sword, given to the great Duke by the Emperor. "That sword," said she, emphatically, to the Court, "that sword, my lord would have carried to the gates of Paris. Am I to live to see the diamonds picked off one by one, and lodged at the pawnbroker's?" Yet Sarah herself, if we are to believe Swift and Walpole, on receiving from the Queen a picture in enamel, set with diamonds, took off the diamonds, and gave the picture to a Mrs. Higgins, to be sold. The