Sir Robert Walpole
(1676-1745)

WHEN Sir Robert Walpole was dismissed from all his employments he retired to Houghton and walked into the Library; when, pulling down a book and holding it some minutes to his eyes, he suddenly and seeming sullenly exchanged it for another. He held that about half as long, and looking out a third returned it instantly to its shelf and burst into tears.

`I have led a life of business so long,' said he, `that I have lost my taste for reading, and now—what shall I do?'

From Thraliana, i. 142. The authority for this anecdote was `Harry Fox, who was present at the scene;

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