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<Q A 1738? TC MB EMONTAGU>
<X ELIZABETH MONTAGU>
[}ELIZABETH ROBINSON TO THE DUCHESS OF PORTLAND. 1738? HATCH. MO 275. PAGE BREAKS AND LINE BREAKS NOT INDICATED}]
Hatch 11=th= 1738.
Your Grace's very entertaining letter was sent me to Sir Wyndham Knatchbulls, where I have been about three weeks, & propose returning to Mount Morris in a few days. I am as angry as I dare be with your Grace, that you did not send me any account of those charming fireworks, which I fancy were the prettiest things that ever were seen, but you never tell me any thing you do at Bullstrode.
I very much approve your love of variety in triffles, & constancy in things of greater moment, I think you have great reason to think exchange robbery, tho the common saying is to the contrary, for my part who never saw one Man yet that I loved, I scarce imagine I could be fond of a dozen, & come to that degree of unreasonableness so ridiculously set forth in Hyppolito in the Tempest; at present I seldom like above six or eight at a time; I fancy in Matrimony one finds variety in one, in the charming vicissitudes of sometimes my plague, sometimes my darling; Kissing to day, to morrow snarling, then the surprising and sudden Transformation of the obsequiousness and obedience of the Lover to the gracefull haughtyness & imperiousness of the commanding husband must be so agreable a metamorphosis as is not be equall'd in all Ovids Collection, where I don't remember a Lambs being transformed into a Bear, then the pleasing variety of matrimonial conversation, from the caconick sulleness to the long winded remonstrances, the easy freedom of behaviour, & becoming negligence of dress, are the happiness's which attend no State of life in that force & beauty as the Matrimonial one; your Grace is much to be pittied who has never known the varieties I mention, & has found none of this advantagious [\totange?\] between the Husband & the Lover, but has found all the sincerity of friendship, and complacency of a Lover in the same Person; and I am sure my Lord Duke is a most miserable Man who has found one Person who has taken away that passion for change which is the boast & happiness of so many people. Pray tell my Lord Dupplin when you see him that I give my service to him, but that I never heard of a Viscount that was a prophet in my life: I must say if his Lordship says no more than he knows, he must be a Man of the most extensive knowledge of any in England; I assure you I am not going to tye the fast knot you mention, whenever I have any thoughts of that sort you may be sure I shall acquaint your Grace with it, provided my joy is not in expressible, and I will send you a description of The Gentleman with his good qualities & faults in full length, And you who know what a good husband is, may give me your opinion, at present I will tell you what sort of a Man I desire which is above ten times as good as I deserve, for Gratitude is a great virtue, & I would therefore have cause to be thankfull, I would have him have a great deal of sense & prudence to direct & instruct me, much wit to divert me, beauty to please me, good humour to indulge in the right, and reprove me gently when I am in the wrong; money enough to afford me me [\SIC\] more than I can want, and as much as I can wish, & constancy to like me as long as other people do, that is till my face is wrinkled by age, or scar'd with the small Pox, & after that, as I shall not be the Woman he took me for, I expect only civility in the room of love, for as Mrs Clive sings, all I hope of mortal Man, is to love me whilst he can. When I can meet with all these things in a Man above the trivial consideration of Money, & thinks of nothing but the gentle generous passion, source of all sublime delights, you may expect to hear I am going to change the easy prospect of happiness, for I am already like Pygmalion in love with a picture of my own drawing, but I never saw an original like it in my life, I hope when I do, I shall as some poet (I forget who) says of Pygmalion, find the Statue warm. Pray if you know of any such do me the Favour to tell this miracle you know of a Person who will accept him with a gratefull heart, & a Chearfull countenance. I believe Sr Francis Dashwood is gone abroad, he was with Lord Westmorland at Maidstone Races, he was so drunk he could not go to the Assembly, I wish he had been at our Races for I have long held a curious desire to see him, I am not near Lady Austin, nor have heard any account of their Wedding, if either of them are motionless I fancy it is Sir Robert, who is really very unfit for motion by reason of his great carcass.
I have heard something of Mrs Clark since I had the account from your Grace she has been very ill and kept her room & has not yet recover'd her spirits enough to talk: there is a Gentleman here who was to wait upon them, he said every thing was very hansome upon the Wedding, they had french Horns playing all dinner time, & every body very gay, but the silent Bride, who mourn'd in secret or rejoyced in silence no one knew which. I think it is pitty Madame should return, for now people will begin to be tired of talking of her & let the Lovers enjoy a little quiet, I must say I think the Nation has made a great deal of noise about a very little matter, I believe it has been the prerogative of M-chs and the liberty of Subjects to keep Mistress's since the institution of Monarchy, & as it is a thing allow'd of in all civil Governments it is very hard to deny that to a K-g, which the meanest of his Subject enjoy in peace and plenty, I had a good diverting thing sent me upon the subject last post which may divert you & I think as it only a jest it cannot offend, I have likewise sent you some verses wrote by Lady Mary Wortly under Colonel Churchills Picture at Vanloes, I heard he swore they were true as soon as he saw them; I suppose you have seen them but I will send you them at a venture, I had a very pretty Rebus sent me from London abt a Month ago, it begins Beauteous as the Rising Sun, &c I would write it with the others but that I know you may see all & they say a great deal more in the looking glass any day you please. Lord Romney was not at our Races, nor Lord Rockingham [\TEAR\] Mr Noel, Mr Watson, Lord Sherrar[\TEAR\] Manners came upon the Down [\TEAR\] day; & in manifest contempt of [\TEAR\] Assembly & Ladies went that night [\TEAR\] Leeds Court. I have some suspicion Lady Rockingham is with child, for they did design coming to the Races & then they alter'd their resolution & are now gone to London; they made but a short stay at Paris. Lady Winchelsea is going to Bath, I suppose in order to have an heir, a Gentleman asked him last winter if her Ladyship was breeding, & his answer was, no no we are grave people, we are grave people, but I believe his gravity wou'd in sober sadness be very glad of an heir Lady Winchelsea has been drinking asses milk & Arringo roots ever since she was married, I think if she was to give half her morning draughts to my Lord it might turn better to account. The loquacious Miss Lucy, & the Facetious Miss Patty Masters, were at Canterbury Races. I think they have faces fitted for them, for Lucys countenance is a peice of illnature & censoriousness & Pattys phizies a very good jest, she was drest in a Jack & look'd to me just like a Monkey in a cloak riding thro' a Town with every body staring & pug affecting a most ridiculous significancy; the eyes of the place were turn'd upon her, & she imagin'd it was to admire her easy (\je ne scay quoi\) air, & immediately threw herself into such grimaces & postures as made her very frightfully diverting. My paper is so near an end that I have not room for an apology for the badness of my writing but I was resolved with [\a UNCLEAR\] pen I could get [\UNCLEAR\] to tell you how much I am your Graces Hble Servant ERobinson