Select Letters of Horace Walpole

Oh, the wit of Walpole!! I find myself reading his letters with a perpetual smile on my face.

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To Richard West, Esq.,

“About two days ago, about four o’clock in the afternoon, and about an hour after dinner, —from all which you may conclude we dine at two

o’clock,—as we were picking our teeth round a littered table and in a crumby room, Gray in an undress, Mr. Conway in a morning grey coat, and I in a trim white night-gown and slippers, very much out of order with a very little cold, a message decomposed us all of a sudden, with a service to Mr. Walpole from Mr. More, and that, if he pleased, he would wait on him. We scuttle upstairs in great confusion, but with no other damage than the flinging down two or three glasses and the dropping a slipper by the way.” -Horace Walpole, 1739

Still another… To John Chute, Esq., “I have an aunt here, a family piece of goods, an old remnant of inquisitive hospitality and economy, who, to all intents and purpose, is as beefy as her neighbors. She wore me so down yesterday with interrogatories, that I dreamt all night she was at my ear with

‘who’s’ and ‘why’s’ and ‘when’s’ and ‘where’s’, till at last in my very sleep I cried out, “For God in heaven’s sake, Madam, ask me no more questions.” -Horace Walpole, 1743

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