Download as TXT Download as XML

Hillstreet y=e= 23.=d= Apr. 1756
   One of the most vexatious circumstances attending my late indisposition was being unable to return thanks for the favor of your obliging letter. I had fully proposed writing to you the day after Miss West left me, & to inform you that she was gone to the Bath, but I was taken very ill, & had so violent a cough that I could not bear the posture of writing. I am now pretty well again, two days of sunshine are very beneficial to an invalid, my cough has left me & I hope to recover a better state of health than I have enjoy'd for some time. The death of poor M=r= West shock'd me very much: many amiable qualities, a heart uncorrupted by the World, the piety & virtue that were stamp'd on all his actions & conversation, and as uncommon sincerity of character, made him very valuable to his friends, a Life of retirement & sequestration from the business & bustle of the World gave him the innocence of a hermit, to which was join'd the politeness & delicacy of a gentleman, & the acquired endowments of a scholar with a great share of natural wit & vivacity. One feels the loss of so good, & at the same time so singular a person, the more, as one knows [\on\] shall never look upon his like again. Few people [\quit/] the World but
From imbecillity or moroseness. the course of his fortunes had thrown him [\onto\] retirement, a philosophick disposition made him happy in it. The time I used to pass at Wickham after being tired of the [\vanities\] of this magnificent Citty, & of the train of conversation where dissimulation or habit make all appear of the same sentiments, was very agreable, so that I lament the loss of the friend & the companion. Poor Miss Wests share of the misfortune added to my concern the tenderness & fortitude with which she went through the last sad scene with her Brother added to my former high esteem of her. I have just received a letter from my sister at Bath expressing herself much pleased with the conversation of Miss West, & I hope my Sister will do every thing in her power to amuse her. I hope I need not say that I am mortified the first [\Mitre\] is not destined to the head that would best deserve it. I mention'd as my own observation how much it was the D- of N-s personal interest that you should be on the Bench rather than any one that had different connections, y=r= Brother said it was very true, & that his Grace was so sensible of it as to wish it for his own sake, but the urgency of present considerations might at present over balance it. The Archbishop of Canterbury is declining very fast, & the Bishop of London is much weaker
Than he was a few months ago. I think there has not pass'd any thing remarkable in the House of Commons of late, except a very fierce contention about the new Road, the Dukes of Bedford & Grafton are in violent opposition to each other, the bill for the Road w=d= probably have been carried if there had not been an interposition on the part of the Bishop of London who is interested in it & had not been consulted. The King is in perfect health, & the apprehensions of an invasion seem to be over. M=r= Boscawen is going to Portsmouth to take a command in the channel; he is so full of a laudable ambition to signalize himself & [\of/] a patriot animosity towards the french, supported by an undaunted resolution, that I imagine if it be possible to construe the letter of instructing into a permission to attack he will seek an opportunity to engage with our Enemies. M=rs= Boscawen you may imagine is not [\at/] her ease, but behaves like the wife of an English Admiral. Miss Pitt was not averse to change the primrose paths of Wickham for the still more gay paths of pleasure in this Town, she is now with M=rs= Nedham in Germanstreet. M=r= Pitt is to settle at Heys very soon. Lord Feversham keeps to his grief & his black chariot as if he were to live to the term of an Antediluvian. The Papists are very active in their spleen against M=r= Bower, but people seem tired of attending to them
M=rs= Pococke has thrown away her stick & her staff, & leans wholly on the Episcopal Crosier. I am assured that she is restored to perfect youth since the Doctor is made a Bishop. S=r= George Lyttelton & Miss Lyttelton went yesterday to Deal Castle to make a visit to Admiral Smyth, who I dare say is as happy as Neptune himself now he has got such good friends with him. I cannot include my letter without chiding you for an expression so improper I cannot imagine how it could slip from one who is usually so happy in the choice of their terms, after having mentiond your situation as to the vacant Bishoprick you say you sh=d= apologise for dwelling so long on your [\private\] affairs. Pray Sir how comes the [\Deans\] of Exeters interest to be a private affair? surely in this instance it is a Publick concern! nor can any thing that relates to your happiness ever be so far private that many, & particularly the Madonna, will not be intirely interested in it. To convince me you are corrected by my reprimand, I hope you will always let me know if there be any thing to be said which y=r= delicacy might chuse not to mention yourself. I shall have great pleasure in obeying any hint of yours, & be glad of any thing that will give occasion to having the pleasure of a letter from you. I did not mention to any one but Miss West that I had had a letter from you. Whenever you are at leisure I shall be glad to hear you are well. I am Sir with great regard Your Obliged & Obed=t=
   H=ble= Serv=t= E Montagu