Skip main navigation

Horace Walpole to Thomas Gray, 25 December 1755

Back to Letters page

ADVICE OF Dr OLIVER TO Sr JOHN COPE ON HIS GETTING ST ANTONY'S FIRE BY DRINKING THE BATH WATERS OUT OF MISS MOLLY'S HAND.

BY LORD BATH.

See gentle Cope with gout and love opprest,
Alternate torments raging in his breast,
Tries at his cure, but tampers still in vain;
What lessens one, augments the other pain.
The charming Nymph, who strives to give relief,
Instead of comfort, heightens all his grief:
For health he drinks, then sighs for love, & cries,
Health's in her hand, destruction in her eyes.
She gives us water, but each touch alas!
The wanton Girl electrifies the glass.
To cure the gout, we drink large draughts of Love,
And then, like Ætna, burst in flames above.

The Advice
Sip not, dear Knight, the Daughter's liquid fire,
But take the healing bev'rage from the Sire:
Twill ease thy gout – for Love no cure is known;
The God of physic coud not cure his own.

ON LD DARL —'s BEING MADE JOINT PAYMASTER.

Wonders, Newcastle, mark thy ev'ry hour;
But this last Act's a plenitude of pow'r:
Nought but the force of an almighty reign
Coud make a Paymaster of Harry V—.

ON SPLITTING THE PAY OFFICE.

Holles, not past his childhood yet, retains
The maxims of his Nurse or Tutor's pains:
Thence did the mighty Babe this truth derive,
Two negatives make one affirmative:
But ah! Two Dunces never made a Wit,
Nor can two Darlingtons compose a Pitt.

To draw poetry from you, I send you these mediocre verses, the only ones in fashion. the first lines indeed are pretty, when one considers they were writ by a Man of seventy, Lord Bath. the first Epigram was a thought of George Selwyn, rhimed; the last is scarce a thought at all.

Ministers, Patriots, Wits, poets, paymasters, all are dispersed & gone out of town. The Changes are made, & all preferments given away: you will be glad to hear that our Colonel Montagu has got a regiment. Lord Waldgrave last night hearing them talk over these histories, said with a melancholy tone, alas! they talk so much of giving places for life, I wish they dont give me mine for life!

Adieu! I expect prodigious interest for my pômes.
Yrs ever
HW.
[Use arrow keys to navigate]
Letter ID: letters.0242 (Source: TEI/XML)

Correspondents

Writer: Walpole, Horace, 1717-1797
Writer's age: 38
Addressee: Gray, Thomas, 1716-1771
Addressee's age: 39

Dates

Date of composition: 25 December 1755
Date (on letter): Christmas day 1755
Calendar: Gregorian

Places

Place of composition: London, United Kingdom
Address (on letter): Arlington Street

Content

Language: English
Incipit: To draw poetry from you, I send you these mediocre verses, the only ones...
Mentioned: Walpole, Horace

Holding Institution

Location:
(confirmed)
HW MSS, Manuscript Collections, The Lewis Walpole Library, Yale University Library , New Haven, CT (Beinecke)/Farmington, CT (Lewis Walpole), USA <http://www.library.yale.edu/>
Availability: The original letter is extant and usually available for academic research purposes

Print Versions

  • The Correspondence of Gray, Walpole, West and Ashton (1734-1771), 2 vols. Chronologically arranged and edited with introduction, notes, and index by Paget Toynbee. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1915, letter no. 195, vol. ii, 155-157
  • The Yale Edition of Horace Walpole's Correspondence. Ed. by W. S. Lewis. New Haven, Conn.: Yale UP; London: Oxford UP, 1937-83, vols. 13/14: Horace Walpole's Correspondence with Thomas Gray, Richard West and Thomas Ashton i, 1734-42, Horace Walpole's Correspondence with Thomas Gray ii, 1745-71, ed. by W. S. Lewis, George L. Lam and Charles H. Bennett, 1948, vol. ii, 86-89
  • Correspondence of Thomas Gray, 3 vols. Ed. by the late Paget Toynbee and Leonard Whibley, with corrections and additions by H. W. Starr. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1971 [1st ed. 1935], letter no. 211, vol. i, 448-449