Henry Craik, ed. English Prose. 1916. Vol. IV. Eighteenth Century
The War: Burke
By Horace Walpole (17171797)
STRAWBERRY HILL, 22nd July 1761.
TO GEORGE MONTAGU, ESQ. For my part, I believe Mademoiselle Scuderi drew the plan of this year. It is all royal marriages, coronations, and victories; they come tumbling so over one another from distant parts of the globe, that it looks just like the handywork of a lady romance writer, whom it costs nothing but a little false geography to make the great Mogul in love with a Princess of Mecklenburg and defeat two marshals of France as he rides post on an elephant to his nuptials. I dont know where I am. I had scarce found Mecklenburg Strelitz with a magnifying-glass before I am whisked to Pondicherry.Well, I take it, and raze it. I begin to grow acquainted with Colonel Coote, and to figure him packing up chests of diamonds, and sending them to his wife against the Kings weddingthunder go the Tower guns, and behold, Broglio and Soubise are totally defeated; if the mob have not much stronger heads and quicker conceptions than I have, they will conclude my Lord Granby is nabob. How the deuce in two days can one digest all this? Why is not Pondicherry in Westphalia? I dont know how the Romans did, but I cannot support two victories every week. Well, but you will want to know the particulars. Broglio and Soubise united, attacked our army on the 15th, but were repulsed; the next day, the Prince Mahomet Alli Cawnno, no, I mean Prince Ferdinand, returned the attack and the French threw down their arms and fled, run over my Lord Harcourt, who was going to fetch the new Queen; in short I dont know how it was, but Mr. Conway is safe, and I am as happy as Mr. Pitt himself. We have only lost a Lieutenant-Colonel Keith; Colonel Marlay and Harry Townshend are wounded.
I could beat myself for not having a flag ready to display on my round tower, and guns mounted on all my battlements. Instead of that, I have been foolishly trying on my new pictures upon my gallery. However, the oratory of our Lady of Strawberry shall be dedicated next year on the anniversary of Mr. Conways safety. Think with his intrepidity, and delicacy of honour wounded, what I had to apprehend; you shall absolutely be here on the sixteenth of next July. Mr. Hamilton tells me your King does not set out for his new dominions till the day after the Coronation; if you will come to it, I can give you a very good place for the procession; where, is a profound secret, because, if known, I should be teased to death and none but my first friends shall be admitted. I dined with your secretary yesterday; there were Garrick and a young Mr. Burke, who wrote a book in the style of Lord Bolingbroke, that was much admired. He is a sensible man, but has not worn off his authorism yet, and thinks there is nothing so charming as writers, and to be one. He will know better one of these days. I like Hamiltons little Marly; we walked in the great allée and drank tea in the arbour of treillage: they talked of Shakespeare and Booth, of Swift and my Lord Bath, and I was thinking of Madam Sévigné. Good nightI have a dozen other letters to write; I must tell my friends how happy I amnot as an Englishman, but as a cousin.