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Page 442 - I am at a loss how to describe the success of the work, without betraying the vanity of the writer. The first impression was exhausted in a few days; a second and third edition were scarcely adequate to the demand ; and the bookseller's property was twice invaded by the pirates of Dublin. My book was on every table, and almost on every toilette ; the historian was crowned by the taste or fashion of the day j nor was the general voice disturbed by the barking of any profane critic.
Page 199 - It is the fashion to underrate Horace Walpole ; firstly, because he was a nobleman, and secondly, because he was a gentleman ; but, to say nothing of the composition of his incomparable letters, and of the " Castle of Otranto," he is the " Ultimus Romanorum," the author of the " Mysterious Mother," a tragedy of the highest order, and not a puling love-play.
Page 5 - In the evening I sat down and began to write, without knowing, in the least, what I intended to say, or relate. The work grew on my hands, and I grew fond of it.
Page 124 - Versailles; gives suppers twice a week ; has everything new read to her ; makes new songs and epigrams, ay, admirably, and remembers every one that has been made these fourscore years. She corresponds with Voltaire, dictates charming letters to him, contradicts him, is no bigot to him or anybody, and laughs both at the clergy and the philosophers. In a dispute, into which she easily falls, she is very warm, and yet scarce ever in the wrong; her judgment on every subject is as just as possible; for...
Page 113 - Rousseau, Sir, is a very bad man. I would sooner sign a sentence for his transportation, than that of any felon who has gone from the Old Bailey these many years. Yes, I should like to have him work in the plantations.
Page 162 - Wesley is a lean elderly man, fresh-coloured, his hair smoothly combed, but with a soupcon of curl at the ends. Wondrous clean, but as evidently an actor as Garrick. He spoke his sermon, but so fast, and with so little accent, that I am sure he has often uttered it, for it was like a lesson. There were parts and eloquence in it; but towards the end he exalted his voice, and acted very ugly enthusiasm ; decried learning, and told stories, like Latimer, of the fool of his college, who said, " I thanks...
Page 161 - They have boys and girls with charming voices, that sing hymns, in parts, to Scotch ballad tunes; but indeed so long, that one would think they were already in eternity, and knew how much time they had before them.
Page 7 - I have long envied and coveted them. There may be such in poor cottages, in so neighbouring a county as Cheshire. I should not grudge any expense for purchase or carriage ; and should be glad even of a couple such for my cloister here. When you are copying inscriptions in a churchyard in any village, think of me, and step into the first cottage you see — but don't take further trouble than that.
Page 150 - ... poetry, so much originality, never met together before. Then the man has a better ear than Dryden or Handel. Apropos to Dryden, he has burlesqued his St. Cecilia, that you will never read it again without laughing. There is a description of a milliner's box in all the terms of landscape, painted...
Page 122 - Roman-catholic religion, because it is quite exploded ; but I am convinced they believe it in their hearts. They hate the Parliaments and the philosophers, and are rejoiced that they may still idolize royalty. At present, too, they are a little triumphant : the Court has shown a little spirit, and the Parliaments much less : but as the Due de Choiseul, who is very fluttering, unsettled, and inclined to the philosophers, has made a compromise with the Parliament of Bretagne, the Parliaments might...