… it is well more dangerous to write about history than about poetry, for if one writes about history of old past times, it is difficult to obtain the documents needed to make a good impression; and if one writes about contemporary history it’s difficult to please everyone and not to say too much or too little on a matter that is so delicate because it concerns living people … Prince Eugene of Savoy in a letter to the poet Jean-Baptiste Rousseau, quoted in C. Paoletti, Il principe Eugenio di Savoia, my translation.
We have lost poor Lord Downe, one of the most amiable men in the world. Frank, generous, spirited, and odd, with a large independent fortune, he had conceived a rage for the army. He received twelve wounds in the affair of Campen; and though one of them was in his knee, he was forced to walk five miles. This last wound was neglected and closed too soon, with a splinter in it, not being thought of consequence; and proved mortal. He bid the surgeons put him to as much pain as they pleased, so they did but make him fit for the next campaign. He languished ten weeks; and not a mouth is opened but in praise or regret of him. Horace Walpole to Sir Horace Mann, 2 January 1761. The battle mentioned took place on October 10, 1760 at Clostercamp; Lord Downe was lieutenant-colonel of the 25th Foot regiment, which he had commanded at the battle of Minden the previous year.
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