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Sandleford ye 15=th= of Sept
Dear Sir
   You had so generously overpaid your reckoning in the pleasure your last letter gave me, I would have shewn a meritorious moderation in forbearing to trouble you so soon again, if I had [\not/] received a letter from the Dean of Exeter yesterday which tells me Lord Lyttelton is extreamly mortified that you did not go to Hagley when you left Malvern, & that he will be greatly disappointed if you forget the kind promise you made him of passing this season with him. [\8 LINES CROSSED OUT BY MM? I thought therefore it would not be amiss to intimate this to you, and the more cant think you are not sensible of the degree of mortification any one must feel that is deprived of your company perhaps you may be able to give some share of you time to Hagley which will make Lord Lyttelton very happy, & I hope you will pardon my giving you this hint as I find you were very earnestly wish'd for, & from what had pass'd in London I believe absolutely expected.\] The moderation I had profess'd at the beginning of my letter might induce me to leave off here, but having so much regard to my friends pleasure you will allow me to have some indulgence to my own amusement. I hoped before this time Sandleford would have had a better Secretary, for you must know Sir D=r= Monsey
is fallen desperately in love [\with me/] & I am most passionately in love with him, the darts on both sides have not been the porcupine's but the grey goose quill. We have said so many tender things to each other by the post that at last we thought it would be better to sigh in soft dialogue than by letter. [\we INTO We\] agreed to meet, & the rather, as all the Lovers we had read of (& being in love with each other only (\du coté de l'esprit\) you may suppose we woo by book) had always complaind of absence as the most dreadfull thing imaginable. He said, nay he swore, he would come to Sandleford, & twice had named the day, but each time his granddaughter fell sick, & I know not whether he will keep the third appointment which is for next Monday. these disappointments have made me resolve, & I really believe it [\won't DELETED BY EM?\] [\will not/] be difficult to keep the resolution, never again to fall in love with a Man who is a Grandfather. In all other respects the Doctor is a perfect Pastor Fido & I believe when we get to [\BLOT\] [{the{] Elysium all the Lovers who wander in the Myrtle Groves there will throw their garlands at our feet. Hero & Leander, Anthony & Cleopatra, & others who formerly made some figure in Loves Legends will appear but vulgar sweet hearts to us. I hear M=rs= Price is a little jealous of me, but I would advise her to make herself easy, for all young Men are (^ (\Volage\) ^) ; & she will have her revenge when I shall in my turn complain
   of slighted vows & cold disdain; but at present I think I reign absolute Sovereign over his affections
The Gods take care of Cato, Emin is still alive & well in spite of all the hardships he suffers. I am sorry to hear people talk of another engagment. I wish for fear of accidents my Peacock Throne was coming with the other treasure from Stadt. Since you have found out my enthusiasm I hope you will rank it with Peter the Greats love of polite arts, & Emins passion for liberty, for considering I am of the nation of Women who are disinherited [\both/] by nature & custom [\both DELETED\] of extraordinary talents, it is as generous in me to admire them, as it was for a Russian Bear to wish to polish his Country, or a Persian slave to desire his [\countrymen/] may be free; nay more so, for they could participate [\IN MARGIN\] [{of{] the advantages they would give, & I cannot, & yet, as you imagine, I should be happy enough if I could protect excellence where & in whatever it was found. I would not like the queen of Sweden fill my Court with Savants & Philosophers, for [\FOLD\] [{it is{] not the proper climate for them, but I would give them a good establishment in Academies, & the rays of favour should shine on them if they inhabited the farthest degree of the Poles. I have too much respect for Science to expose it to the seductions of a court. [\when INTO When NOT BY EM?\] the Chymist leaves his laboratory & instead of inquiring into the secrets of nature is prying into those of the cabinet council, & the mathematician studies the law of nations instead of the Laws of motion, they are ill employ_d & business is ill perform'd. It was [\as/] absurd in Christina to turn her Philosophers into privy Councellors as it would [\be/] to put M=r= Gray at the head of the Tapestry Manufacture because he has wove a web for Edwards line with the noblest images of Poetry.
   I am not quite satisfied with what the Malvern waters have done for your health, but I acquit them of having spoild your
Taste. I shall readily consent to revisit M=r= Morris's , I hardly wan[{t{] [\FOLD\] the temptation of your company to go thither. Experience is an infallible judge, & I believe you are very right in your choice of a situation for this climate, we have more occasion for Wood to burn than to keep us from being burnt. I have not been able to prevail on Tom & his Turtle to come to Sandleford tho a pair of Lovers in London seem to be improperly situated. I expect my second Brother, his wife, & two of my younger Brothers here next week, & M=rs= Boscawen is to give me the pleasure, I may say happiness of seeing her [\y=e= INTO the NOT BY EM?\] beginning of October, but all this does not make me less regret that I have no hopes of seeing M=r= Stillingfleet. I do not indeed hope to see him on the Persian throne, or giving Law to the East, but I know he sits on the summit of Human virtue & obeys the Laws of him who made that World the ambitious are contending for, and to such only my esteem pays homage, and as such I can with great truth assure him I am with the highest esteem His most faithfull
   affectionate & Obliged
   Humble Servant
   EMontagu [\CROSSED OUT BY MM? If this finds you at M=r= Prices I beg my most respectfull comp=ts= to him. If I knew how [\Statira\] should address [\Roxana\] I would [\make same\] to M=rs= Price.\]
[\ADDRESS\] To / Benjamin Stillingfleet Esq=r= / at Foaeley /
near / Hereford / Free Edw: Montagu