BC_1753_EMONTAGU_FB

<Q A 1753? TC FB EMONTAGU>
<X ELIZABETH MONTAGU>
[}ELIZABETH MONTAGU TO FRANCES BOSCAWEN. 1753? AUG 21. TUNBRIDGE WELLS. MO 564}]
<P1>
[\ADDED? Tunbridge Wells. y=e= 21=st= of august
1753\]
I have a thousand times reproachd my self with the stupid idleness that has so long made me delay the pleasure of writing to Dear M=rs= Boscawen, & the much higher delight of hearing from her. You are so well acquainted with Tunbridge as to know the first of the morning is dedicated to [\the DELETED\] drinking [\the waters/] then come the butter_d rolls which sit heavy on the soul till dinner; the evening is a time of dissipation, fiddlers out of time & out of tune make a discord that they call a concert, or Misses & Masters fearfully & wonderfully made, throw themselves into astonishing postures & surprizing attitudes to entertain you with a minstrel, [\sufficient\] to the day is the pleasure there[\of ADDED?\], so much has modern wit rectified ancient custom. [\CROSSED OUT BY MM? But I hope my Dear friend will easily believe I should not have sufferd pleasures independent of the great scheme of health to have hinderd my
<P2>
Writing to her. I have been pursuing my health to its proper habitation the Mountains & hills,\] I am living in the very house my Dear M=rs= Boscawen inhabited three years ago; at the stone castle reside M=r= Pitt, M=r=, & M=rs=, & Miss West; instead of making parties at Whist or cribbidge, & living with & like the (\beau monde\) , we have been wandering about like a company of gipsies, we dined in barns drank tea among rocks, visited all the fine parks & seats in the [\neighboring INTO neighborhood\] , whatever peice of art time has consummated or decay'd we have viewed, new houses & ancient ruins all furnish amusement & pleasure to the curious & elegant spectator of forms. this vagrant life brought from the delicate constitution & pale complexion of a fine lady to the dusky hue & robustness of a gypsy. I have a good stomach, sleep well all night, laugh heartily all day, & am much improved as to all [\the/] ordinary uses of life since I came hither. I have now only boasted of the
<P3>
Grosser delights of my Tunbridge life, but when you recollect [\I live in society with/] M=r= Pitt & M=r= West you will imagine the feast of reason & the delicacies of wit have made the best part of my entertainment. When we had pitchd out tents in some beautifull wild scene, we seemd to be directed in the choice as M=r= Pope says the [\unpoliced INTO unpolished\] savages of the early ages were [\by these INTO because\] here the streams in purer rills descend, or there the boughs with [\rudier INTO ruddier\] burthens bend. but when the french horns were breathing music & our companions conversing with all the politeness of mind & manners [\remedious\] retirement or courtly life can give, you may imagine I felt how much we had the advantage of untaught nature & those times of meer simplicity which in poetic language is calld the golden age; however I will confess to you I like best this mixture of urbanity & rural life; our parties had an air of chearfull freedom that one can never find under the gilded dome
<P4>
The civility & delicacy of the drawing room was kept up, but the ceremony & formality of it was laid aside. Much [\it/] would have increased my pleasure if Dear M=rs= Boscawen had been of our parties, [\4 LINES CROSSED OUT BY MM? her good sense & wit, delicacy & gentleness of manners [\with\] her amiable freedom & polite ease of behavior would have well qualified [\her/] for this kind of Pastoral life.\] to tell you how often I have thought of you here would be to give you an account of every hour, [\17 LINES CROSSED OUT BY MM? & I have only endeavord to give you a short sketch of my manner of passing my time. I know so well how truly [\you/] partake of all the pleasures & pains of your friends, to speak of oneself to you, what one is doing, enjoying, or suffering, is not telling an uninteresting tale. You will see too that my time has been much taken up when you add the life of the gypsy to the engagements of a Tunbridge Lady for it is not possible to avoid entering a little into those things that are calld the diversions of the place; especially as there are a number
<P5>
of people who are angry that one presumes to be happy ones own way. If one strikes into a by path that leads one to pleasure & happiness it offends all who go on in the turnpike road of life.\] We have all been calld Muses, tho you know I asserted long ago that M=rs= West was neither a [\fourth grace\] nor a tenth muse, but a most excellent good woman. We have been obliged to [\see\] such dancing, & listen to such music, & jostle in such crouds as the place presented, so that really my engagments have been continual. M=r= Montagu is this day making his bows to those august (\personnages\) the Mayor & Aldermen of Huntingdon; he spent a week with me at my first coming hither, he has ever since been in the North, but I hope for the pleasure of seeing him here on saturday or monday next.
<P6>
D=r= Shaw who was here last week was so pleased with the alteration the waters had made in me that he orderd me to drink them as long as ever the season w=d= allow, but as it is not reasonable to detain M=r= Montagu from enjoying the comfortable retreat at Sandleford, tho he is so good as to say he is willing to stay with me here as long as I shall think it usefull to my health. I propose only to keep him here a week, & then to go with him to Sandleford. My agreable friends I shall leave behind me, for M=r= Pitt who is intirely recoverd by the waters prudently determines to drink them as long as the weather will allow: if I had no considerations but my health I should do so too, but I know the life one must lead here can never be agreable to M=r= Montagu, who loves his books & retired leisure, & the more freely ones friend offers to sacrifice their pleasures to ones advantage the
<P7>
More one is piqued in generosity, not to suffer it. If my silence was a fault this long letter must be a merit, if my letter is troublesome I am sure of some merit in having delay'd [\it/] so long, for one or other of these things pray give me thanks by the first post, for believe me I long to hear from you. think of you often with equal esteem & tenderness, & talk of you frequently with M=r= West who loves & honors you extreamly. M=r= Botham gave me the pleasure of hearing you was well, but awakend in me all the odious pains of envy when he told me he had spent some hours with you. Let me entreat, beseech, implore you not to punish my silence with the long delay of an answer to my letter. Let me have the pleasure of hearing how you amuse yourself, what are your amusem=ts= & occupations, [\SQUEEZED IN and\] (tho I know I shall again fall into the offence of envy) who has been of your society. Above all things
<P8>
Do me the honor & the justice to believe me with a regard not to be express'd in words, Dear M=rs= Boscawens most faithfull,
most affectionate Friend,
Obliged & Obed=t= H=ble= Serv=t=
E Montagu