Charles tries to persuade his brother William, Rector of St Giles’s Reading and St Luke’s Chelsea, to drop everything, and come and join him on a tour of Germany and the Rhine. William has his doubts – the expense, the language, and Jane Cadogan is not keen on losing her husband for three months. One of Charles’s earlier letters is clearly missing, but he runs through the itinerary again, like an Eighteenth Century Rough Guide. He sells his brother hard on the trip – not only is Continental travel easier and much cheaper than William imagines, but it will be ‘a fund of interesting conversation’ when he gets back.
Vienna February 20th 1788
Justum et tenacem Propositi Virum etc.*, and therefore tho you know how happy I should have been to have seen you here and made the tour I mentioned to you yet I can not help commending you for not coming. I’ll abate now in my demands, and still hope for the Pleasure of seeing you in June at Hanover. I shall be there about the Middle of that Month, and you may come over in the same manner you would have done this, and be perhaps 2, or at most between 2 and 3 Months absent from home, besides setting out in May and travelling during the fine Season of the Year. You’ll in this Case come strait from Calais and Hanover by (I think) Brussels, Dusseldorf, and the famous field of Minden. After viewing the Seat of our King as Elector, we’ll go to Frankfort together, where you may sell your Carriage, and come all the way down the Rhine (a most beautiful journey) to the Hague, where you may reimbark for England. Should this not take place, I shall give over all thoughts and hopes of seeing you till I return to England.
I shall be quite happy to see and be of use to your friend Mr Buckley, or any other. You know that you and Mrs Cadogan can not do me so great a favor as to command me on all occasions, even tho’ I might turn out of my way to serve you.
Pray tell Vatas how greatly he pounced me yesterday with his answer to my Letter, by which I find the same Deaths as you mention to me, and Simeon’s retiring from business, with the addition of poor Old Loveday being as well as one can be, who can neither see nor hear, and of Dr Loveday’s family increasing.
I shall stay here till the 1st of April; and therefore hope for a speedy answer to this, which I may receive here in the course of next Month. I’ll answer it as speedily, and give you my future Direction. D’ont forget Hanover, and with my kind Love to Mrs C, and best Compliments to all your Neighbours with many thanks to Vatas, and a hearty Good wish for the better State of health of the Lovedays, believe me your’s most Affectionately CH Cadogan
*Horace Odes 3.iii ‘The man of firm and noble soul, no fractious clamours can control…’ translated by Lord Byron.
Vienna March 29th 1788
Many thanks for your’s of the 7th, especially as it gives me great hopes of seeing you at Hanover, and as to your two latter Objections, they will quite vanish when I tell you that I shall pass the 10 last days of June at Hanover, and that you may conveniently get there in a month; so that if you set out the latter end of May, you’ll find me there so much for the Visitation. You can explain yourself in French and therefore the first honest Mare you meet with is a fit servant for you. So much for your second Objection.
As to my good friend Mrs Cadogan, pray represent to her what a fund of interesting Conversation a three Month’s tour (I promise you will be very agreeable) and a meeting with me after a five years absence will afford her and you; added to which, I have some little presents from Turkey, and elsewhere for you both which (tho’ not worth the Indies) I can not send home by so good an Opportunity as by you. I shall likewise myself be a still more interesting Object to You both when I come home, if this Interview takes place. Pray therefore let her set the good against the bad and I think Your first Objection will also vanish.
I need not enter into the Details of a former Letter concerning your journey, which is to be performed precisely in the same manner as if you had come here. Set out therefore with about £100, for about £20 or 25 whereof, you’ll buy a good second hand 4 wheeled Carriage at Dessein’s at Calais, where you’ll commodiously arrive at a small expence, by means of our good friends the Dover Stage and Pacquet. Go from Calais to Brussels, where you’ll naturally like to stay a few days, where Lord Torrington (if you get a letter from Lord Carteret) will be as civil to You as he was to me; and where you’ll get exact Information of the Remainder of your Route. The Post horses are all fixed, and you’ll easily with your light Carriage and Baggage travel for about 7d a mile, The distance from Calais to Hanover being about 400. The Impositions at the Inns you’ll find very inconsiderable, and will not make above 2 or 3£ one way or t’other, experto crede Roberto*. If therefore you travel as above, and set out with about the above Sum, setting your expences for self and Servant at ½ a Guinea a day, I hope to see you at Hanover before the 1st of July with a bon Sou de reste, and tho’ I have not Room to give you Notice of my intended Motions from Hanover yet I can assure you the Tour we’ll make for about a Month together will please you. I give you therefore a Month to come to me, one to be with me, and another to go back in with the utmost Convenience, the three Months being June July and August, which include the Pith and Marrow of the fine weather. If you go to Lord Carteret for a Letter to Lord Torrington pray tell him how sensible I am and ever shall remain of His Kindness to me and Cottrell’s Son, Direct to me à la Poste restante à Berlin where I shall be about the 10th of May, and for which Place I set out the day after tomorrow, taking Prague, Dresden and Leipzig on my way. Remember me most kindly to Mrs C. and all friends and believe me ever most affectionately, your’s CH Cadogan
*’Trust Robert, who’s tried it’, medieval Latin proverb, and a favourite of Cadogan’s
Berlin May 19th 1788
Upon my arrival here yesterday, I found yours of the 28th Ultimate, I am sorry I must give over all hopes of seeing you, the much more so as poor Mrs Cadogan’s health is the chief Reason of it. Pray make my Love to her, with my best wishes for her amendment, which I believe I need not tell you.
You may well ask me after five year’s absence, when I mean to come to England? My Answer is, when I have seen all I want, so as to feel no Itch to leave you and any other friends any more, but tuck myself up by my English fire side for the rest of my life. The rest of my German tour, a second Italian one, (especially after having seen Greece). The most interesting part of Spain, and the South of France, are still in the way of this desirable end. I leave you now to conclude about how long it will be, and you will of course hear of my Motions as they arrive.
I give you Notice that I shall be at Hanover about the 20th of next Month, and leave it by the 1st of July at farthest. If you should come to me, you’ll be off before this reaches you, but my hopes thereof are so faint, that I must beg you to address me an answer à la poste restante à Hanover, only take care and write so as for it to reach me there before the 1st of July. This you can easily do, as the Letters go to Hanover in less than a Fortnight, and I beg you’ll tell me particularly how Mrs Cadogan does. I keep your presents by me till I see you which I shall do as the apple of my Eye, I mean of the one I have left, or if you please the Left one. Never having been out of England, you figure to yourself difficulties in travelling on the Continent, of which there is not the least Shadow, and where the Posts are not only better regulated than in England, but for half the Money.
I hope to hear a better account of your wife from at Hanover, and then I’ll give you an account of my delightfull Journey from Vienna here, of the magnificent Reviews which begin tomorrow, and of the Journey (please God!) I shall have to Hanover by Brunswick. In the mean time remember me particularly to all friends, and believe me ever your’s most affectionately CH Cadogan
Parliamentary Archives CAD 4/15 – 17
Featured image, Portrait of William Bromley Cadogan, engraved by Charles Howard Hodges after T. Towne 1784 (c) National Portrait Gallery