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june ye 23 [\ADDED 1761\] Dear Madam
   I told you in my last that I was going to take a flight into Berkshire; & here I have been ever since Friday evening, leading a pastoral life in the finest weather I ever saw. Tho the most sage Horace says we change our climate without changing our disposition, I must be of another opinion, for by only [\by DELETED\] the difference of latitude & longitude between Hillstreet and Sandleford, I am become one of the most reasonable, quiet, good kind of Country Gentlewomen that ever was. In the days when misses employ'd their crimping & wimpling irons upon cheesecakes & tarts [\not on flounces & furbelows/] & Matrons used no rouge, but a little cochineal to give a fine colour to a dry'd neats tongue; they could not be further from the temper qualities & conditions of a fine Lady than your humble Servant at this present writing. My health is much improved by the country air, I saunter all day, & when Phœbus sets in the [\WORD DELETED\] material World he rises in the intellectual; then I sit down to read what he has inspired & I find
The amusements of the day here prepare me well for my evenings lecture. At this season the whole scenery of the Country is poetical, every Hill is Parnassus, for there the Muses sit; & every stream pours Helicon; to all indeed is not given the piety of the head, but certainly all feel it at the heart, & the pleasures of a fine summers day give a joy more sublime, more elegant, & more harmonious, than any thing else, other pleasures are plain, domestick, & prosaick; not so gently flowing, or so sweet. The mention of Poetry puts me in mind to tell you I am very well satisfied with ye share of praise you give to Cowley. He had a rich vein of thought, but being too ostentatious of it we are disgusted at the proud display of his treasures: as at the pomp of a rich man, when it goes beyond the bounds [\modesty &/] a sound judgment should set to it. I agree with you that his love verses are insufferable I think you & I who [\have/] never been in love, could describe it better, were we ask'd (^what is it like^) ? I think some of his translations from Anacreon very pretty & the verses by y=e= God of love in honour of Anacreon
are very pretty, tho' a little too long. I think you was too temperate in your commendations of (\la mort d'abel\). I was infinitely delighted with it as a work of genius. On your recommendation I lent it to my Lord Lyttelton, who sent it back with great approbation. [\but INTO But BY WHOM?\] to be sincere, in spite of you both, some silly prejudices against the Author, & ye language y=e= poem was originally written in, a little damped my expectation, & ye beginning in which he imitates Milton, with all ye faintness of reflected beams, made me advance very soberly. But what a feast is the patriarchal dinner? How sweetly innocent their manners! Eves horror at ye first storm, her surprise at Adams fastening up ye mouth of the cave, concern [\BLOT\] [{at{] the first sight of death, which is finely supposed to seize [\a dove,/] because in that animal [\only/] could ye grief of a surviving friend be shewn. with ten thousand other circumstances in hers & Adams narration [\BLOT\] [{are{] all so natural & yet so new that I must call M=r= Gesner a Poet. A poet should create, but he should not make Monsters, I think our author has not the sublime but his genius suits his subject. What
a noble piety [\EXCLAMATION MARK ADDED BY WHOM?\] what a purity of heart in Abel! & how finely is his [\characted INTO character\] contrasted with Cains. Abels are virtues of disposition & temper in a great degree, & so are Cains [\WORD DELETED\] vices, which is rightly imagined in a state of life where example and discipline could not have so much influence as in larger society [\. INTO &\] more mix'd life. Miltons & M=r= Gesners pastoral scenes are so enobled & refined by religion that the Shepherds & shepherdesses who worship the wanton Pan & drunken Silenus make a mean figure when compared to them. I agree with you in liking M=r= Gesners pastorals extreamly, but let him still keep to the more than y=e= golden age of ye poets. I w=d= fain propose to him to take ye story of joseph' next. He has a fine genius for Drama; the last three books of Abel [\WORD INTO make\] a noble tragedy. Did not you drop a tear at the lamentation of Cains children over Abels body? (\Il ne se reveillera plus! Il ne se reveillera plus!\) How simple! how natural! how affecting! What a witchcraft is there in words? repeat, (\il est mort\) , it is nothing, but the symplicity of y=e= children who had not
a name for death, & y=e= words at once signifying y=e= circumstance is very touching. I desire you w=d= permit Abel to stay with you for if [\WORD INTO you\] had been born at ye same time I should have taken you for twins. [\IN ANOTHER HAND I have taken a House at Tunbridge from the 3=d= of July & I hope my dear Friend will be ready to come to me\] [\CROSSED OVER BY MM? I wish I could give you a better account of Lady Frances Williams, but she is inconsolable. M=rs= Boscawen is now at M=rs= Southwells where I was ask'd to be, but I wish'd M=r= Montagu to take ye benefit of air & exercise here, & he is vastly the better for it, & much mended since you saw him. We have not fix'd our day for going to London but it will be on Saturday or Monday I believe. I have taken a House at Tunbridge from y=e= 3=d= of july. I hope my Dear friend will be ready to come to me. Pray write to D=r= Monsey, for if you are very feverish his pills may be too hot. I desire a particular account of y=r= health, & of your invalids, who I hope by virtue of fine weather no longer deserve to be call_d so I shall send y=e= post chaise to you as soon as I am at Tunbridge
    I am my dear Madam
    with most sincere & tender affection
    y=rs= E:Montagu please to direct to Hillsteet\]