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Nov=ber= ye 1=st= [\ADDED 1753\] My most honor'd Cousin
   Most truly hath the wise man said there is a time to rejoyce & a time to mourn, but we shortsighted mortals know not always the proper Seasons, thus was my excellent Cousin rejoycing in my recovery at the very time I was become ill again: but still his joy is not thrown away, & is a cordial of such virtue as to restablish my new returning health. Last saturday noon soon after my return from taking the air in the post chaise I was seized with a nervous tremor & great disorder, upon which I went to bed, in about two hours the agitation abated, & left no complaint but weakness & languor, & such a degree of fever as generally succeeds to these violent [\WORD INTO attacks\] . I have been very carefull of myself, have kept my person within the [\WORD INTO limits\] of [\my/] dressing room, my mind [\but\] have only Gently recreated in the fields of fancy. I order'd my apothecary to send from Newbury along with some Nervous medicines, Homers Odyssey, imagining my confinem=t=
And solitude would be well [\inliven'd INTO enliven'd BY WHOM?\] by the adventures of the Man who, wandering from clime to clime, observant stray Their manners noted & their states survey'd. I was the more desirous to read them as two poets for whom I have great [\honor\] prefer this tunefull bard as a teacher of morals to the severer philosophers, for whose precepts the mind enervated by sickness is too weak; and indeed this has answerd as all must do which is undertaken by so good direction, and I have passd my hours in no unpleasing indolence, lolling in my great chair with the [\oddyssey INTO odyssey BY WHOM?\] in my hand. [\but INTO But\] unfortunate is the mind that is too delicate to bear the voice of [\wise DELETED\] [\wisedom/] [\widedom ORIGINALLY?\] unless attempted by Apollo's Lyre & must have an example of virtue & patience beautified with all the coloring of fancy & soften'd with the [\skelf\] touch of art [\WORDS INTO to make it\] a fit object for their tender sight. Ulysses refuses to listen to the Syrens tho they promise him instruction, so wary is wisedom, when the voice is too soothing to the ear, but he had a soul that could not [\be/] immersed in the waves of affliction, mine not able to buffet the stream, must borrow even the [\bladder\] of vanity to bear it up. I have given you this notable
Account of my amusements to shew you [\first that/] I have not been not been very ill, secondly that there is no time nor occasion in which your friendship does not profit me, & thirdly & lastly, because I had nothing else to say & was not wise enough to take that hint to be silent. You are now a man of pleasure, visiting Ladies, feasting in princely bowers, & living (I was going to say being full of the odyssey) like Penelopes Suitors rioting at the expence of a widow'd dame, consuming the fruits of the earth, & soothing your cares with the music of her Ladyships harpsicord; but when you return to Wickham, to your usefull books & serious muse, I must grow more discreet, & not break in upon your sacred hours with letters of such intolerable length. I am very glad of the account you give of M=r= Pitt during his stay at Hagley, I hope the Bath waters will quite set him right either with or without the gout, as to the second part of your story it pleases me not so well, for I do not think we shall come to Town in november, certainly we shall not, unless there be something of more than ordinary business going forward in the house of commons, you will
Say perhaps I may be ill again! why if that should happen I must take more nervous medicine & read the Iliad I think. Shaw or his great Sire [\OEsculapius\] could do me no service; I have had the same disorder so often in my life I know how to manage it as well as the learned faculty; warmth & quiet are the best remedies, the [\WORD INTO woods\] offer both. I have quite left off my evening airings, & shall no more like [\WORD UNCLEAR\] drive my chariot thro the realms of night till sultry days recommend the evening hour. I am very glad you have got safe to Stoke, I was not without anxiety for you while at such a distance from home at this season of the year. I hope you will enjoy good health this winter after all [\the INTO your?\] exercise you have had, which must certainly be very beneficial. as soom as Xmass is over I promise myself the happiness of seeing you, till then, I can have no [\greater\] pleasure than hearing you are well. Your (\amour\) with a certain person goes on well? What to Fulham again? Smiles from reason flow, & are of love the food. but really you love as if every month were may
To quit your habitation [\at/] this time of the year to go to that damp cold place. I have been reading Ariosto, & I can find nothing [\in/] Orlando furioso, or (\non furioso\), that equals it. You are very good in thinking of poor M=r= Botham. how many would think themselves unhappy if they had not money to adorn their gardens & parks, to have collections or rare plants & fine aromatic shrubs. [\how INTO How BY WHOM?\] much more may he reasonably desire to have what is necessary for the education of his pretty Babes! to cultivate their [\UNCLEAR\], perdure their talents, & give them the noble virtues that are rarely found but in persons of liberal education & competent circumstances! when once the virtues have taken root they grow perhaps the faster fixd for being shaken by the storms of fortune, but while they are young & tender, the cold blast hinders their shoot, & kills the opening bud. My sweet little Harry is laying his careless head upon my lap at this instant, nothing sensible of your generous or my anxious care for his future wellbeing, happy season
When neither hopes nor fears dance before the mental eye [\diverting\] its alteration from present objects. I do not expect M=r= Botham here before tuesday, I will certainly tell him all the kind & friendly things you say, he is a truly [\pious\] & virtuous man, & we [\hope\] of the righteous shall not fail but when or where they shall be answerd we know not, it ought to satisfy us that we know the time will come. M=r= Montagu desires his best comp=ts= to you & M=rs= West my most affectionate respects attend
   I am
   My most esteem'd Cousins
   very faithfull & affection=te= Friend
   and Most Obliged H=ble= Serv=t=
   Eliza: Montagu.