When the first Lord Holland was on his death-bed he was told that Selwyn,
who had lived on terms of the closest intimacy with him, had called to
inquire after his health. "The next time Mr Selwyn calls," he
"show him up; if I am alive I shall be delighted to see him, and
if I am dead he will be glad to see me." When some ladies
bantered him on his want of feeling in attending to see the
terrible Lord Lovat's head cut off--"Why," he said, "I
amends by going to the undertaker's to see it sewed on again."
And yet this was the same individual who delighted in the first
words and in the sunny looks of childhood; whose friendship
seems to have partaken of all the softness of female affection;
and whose heart was never hardened against the wretched and
depressed. Such was the "original" George Selwyn.'
This celebrated conversational wit was a devoted frequenter of
the gaming table. Writing to Selwyn, in 1765, Lord Holland
said:--`All that I can collect from what you say on the subject
of money is, that fortune has been a little favourable lately; or
may be, the last night only. Till you leave off play entirely
you must be--in earnest, and without irony--_en verite le
serviteur tres-humble des evenements_, "in truth, the
very humble servant of events." '