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EARL OF ORFORD,
SIR HORACE MANN,
HIS BRITANNIC MAJESTY'S RESIDENT AT THE COURT
OF FLORENCE, FROM 1760 TO 1785.
NOW FIRST PUBLISHED FROM THE ORIGINAL MSS.
IN TWO VOLUMES.
In a late number of the Quarterly Review, in an article entitled “Horace Walpole,” the Reviewer, in the course of an estimate which he makes of the character and talents of Walpole, takes the opportunity of indulging in some strictures on what he calls “his scandalous attempts at increasing his already enormous sinecure income;" observing, “so completely had this man, so shrewd and sharp-sighted in detecting the follies of others, blinded himself, or fancied he had blinded the world to his real motives, that we find that during the long life in which he enjoyed five sinecure offices, pruducing him at least six thousand three hundred pounds a year, he was not ashamed to inveigh bitterly against the abuses of Ministerial patronage, and to profess with astonishing effrontery, that the one virtue which he possessed in a singular degree, was disinterestedness and contempt of money.” How far this censure was merited, both as regards the number of places held and the amount of public money received by Horace Walpole (for the whole of which he was solely indebted to his father Sir Robert,) and especially as regards the spirit in which he viewed the matter himself, will be seen by the detailed account of his income given in the Fourth Volume of this series of letters. As Walpole may fairly be presumed to be the best judge of the extent of his own ways and means, his statement, plain and straightforward as it is, will, we take for granted, be considered quite sufficient refutation. With regard to the assertion that "Mr. Pelham and the Duke of Newcastle forfeited his favour by refusing to do a very profligate pecuniary job for him,” it will be found that in the Memoir to which we have just been alluding, mention is made of this “job ;” and certainly, as Walpole states it, we can discover nothing “profligate” in the character of the transaction.
But inaccuracy of statement is not the only defect to be found in the Reviewer's article. Speaking of the peculiarities of Horace