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<Q A 1760? TC MB EMONTAGU>
<X ELIZABETH MONTAGU>
[}ELIZABETH MONTAGU TO THE DUCHESS OF PORTLAND. MO 433. 1760? LONDON}]
I have enclosed the Bishop of Londons letter, which I beg of your Grace to keep till you have a leisure hour in which I may receive it from your hands either here or at Whitehall; in the mean time be assured I am perfectly satisfied as to the letters being safe, & shall not wish to have it return'd till it is most convenient to your Grace to pay me for any pleasure it may have given you, by that I shall have in its procuring me an hour of your company. I think indeed the letter will afford you a good deal of pleasure, it must be a great comfort to every good mind to see how religion can impart not only patience but even chearfullness under the greatest bodily infirmities. I find it will be necessary to trouble your Grace with some explanation
of the Bishops letter. Before I went to Tunbridge I sent his Lordship the Highland poems by the Dean of York, & the day before I went to Tunbridge my Lord sent them back with a very obliging note to thank me for them, but express'd his opinion that they were not genuine. I was a little distress'd by this favour, as I had not an opportunity of waiting on the Bishop before my journey. I thought to write to him, & assume the air of being his correspondent would have too much appearance of presumption, & not to thank [\him/] for his note might look like neglect, so I waited till the season allow'd [\him INTO me\] to send him some wheatears, & to assure him I wrote only as his Poulterer, As it was natural to take notice of what his Lordship had said concerning the poems, I ventured with the utmost deference to give the reasons why I should have believed them to be genuine & original, & then return'd back to my character of Poulterer, & desir'd his Lordship to forgive my presumption and order my letter to be put on y=e= wheatears when roasting to preserve them from being burnt. I ask pardon for this long story, but it was necessary as a key to the
Bishops letter Your Grace will find some mistakes made by his secretary.
I was misinform'd the other night when I told your Grace M=r= W: Montagu was gone abroad, he is in England, but where, is a secret even to his lawyer, & those who are imploy'd in his affairs. I thought it right to let your Grace know this, as it appears to me very singular, as he is now under the protection of privilege. I know you will be so good as not to mention I told your Grace this unless it be to Lady Bute, who I should think had better know this circumstance. I beg my best respects to my Lord Duke & Lady Harriet Bentinck.
With the greatest [\CROSSED OUT BY MM gratitude & regard\] [\regard BY MM/]
I am Madam
[\CROSSED OUT BY MM Your Graces
Most Obliged Most Obed=t=
and faithfull hum=ble= Serv=t=\]