Download as TXT Download as XML

Sandleford [\Oct\] [\IN PENCIL 1761\]
     My Dear M=rs= Veseys account of herself gave me great concern, & tho I rather disswaded her applying to M=r= Galin, yet, if the pain of the teeth continues so grievous & violent, I think it would better to have recourse to him. I had pleased myself very much with thinking you had seen the fine spectacle of the installment at Windsor. You give me a rich picture of what pass'd under your eye, so I have lost a great deal by your not being present at the whole ceremony. I should have been glad to have been at Windsor on the occasion. I have a great respect for all the institutions of chivalry, & a due reverence for the Gothick customs, as well as the Gothick buildings of our Ancestors. They were both adapted to the times. The Knights armor & the Castles battlements seem to us unnecessary and uncouth, Regular policy, just goverment, & the equal administration of justice & laws, have in our happier days made all private & particular defense [\useless\] , but in times of violence & injury, the Redresser of Wrongs was a respectable character. The qualifications of a perfect Knight were valour, liberality, Courtesy, & justice, & the result of them [\was/] to be (\sans peur & sans reproché\) .  A certain ferocity, or at least, inflexibility
might make these Knights appear better consider'd independantly than as Citizens & subjects, but we cannot wish for nobler virtues in any individuals, only that they [\ [\were\] /] more disciplined by the laws of the community. I wish as you do, that my friends fine Drama on the institution of the Garter had been performd in the occasion. It breathes the sentiments of the virtuous & noble Founder of the order, & our Queen would have had no bad lesson in the speech Edward makes to his Philippa. He sets forth by what qualities the heart of a great Monarch is to be captivated. Some of the Odes are the finest that can be imagined, & the sentiments & manners of the bards most happily represented. I am sure Edward the third would have made M=r= West his poet laureate for having infused so much of the virtuous Spirit of Chivalry into his poem His muse seems to walk with the Plantagenets into the Temple of fame. It gives me pain as well as pleasure to [\take\] on this subject. I cannot help grieving when I think of the friend, the companion, the guide I have lost. His fine talents, & his learning, made the least [\part/] of a character form'd not only on the [\latter\] but the spirit of christianity. In his own conduct he approach_d [\the/] perfection of virtue as near as a human creature can attain [\to/] it, but was gentle to the faults of others; he reproved to amend not to punish & loved to teach by example. He was chearfull in sickness & pain, resigned in affliction & humble with excellencies
of which any other man would have been proud. I am glad our Royal pair are so happy in their (\tête à tête\) ; but [\it/] is not amiss for a fond couple to have other people in their party, that if (\l'ennui\) should come, they may accuse some stranger of having brought it into the company. What a World of Sentiment may be exhausted in one winters evenings conversation! My Lord High Steward who has regulated all the other expences should take this prodigality of love into his consideration. I never knew the most sentimental lovers, who when they had been married a twelvemonth, were not reduced to play at backgammon, chess,  or even the game of Goose in a winters evening in the [\country\] I imagine his Majesty must have been a very fine figure in his Robes, there is a mixture of sweetness & dignity in his aspect which wins love & respect. I wish he might often [\appear\] to his subjects on such solemnities. The respect due to a King, & indeed all the virtues of loyalty are gone out of the World. Forms & ceremonies help_d to maintain them, Form has been laid aside by the great, but the flippancy & ribaldry of their inferiors will force them to take it up again: Any wretch who has learn'd to read & write in a charity school, & in spite of Minerva sets up to live by his witts, defames by the most impudent lies Persons of the highest rank & dignity, & attacks great characters with the [\language\]
of Billingsgate. Will not this cold weather send you to London? I think with great pleasure of our meeting round as good sea coal fire. The Country is now very cold, I have been very well for a month past, but the severe weather gives me cramps & rhumatisms, however we shall not go to Town till the meeting of the Parliament. My Lord Bath left us a fortnight ago, he was so good as to stay here ten days. He was in charming health & spirits. He has all in mirth that is not folly, & all in gayety that is not levity; when he left off, D=r= Monsey began, so we had much laughing as well as a great deal of that cheerfulness which is still better. The Doctor is in love in good earnest at last, He met a nymph at a juglers, at Tunbridge, & by some (\legere de main\) she stole his heart. Besides the wayward fancies of a man in love, the Doctor has the whims of a Splenatick valetudinarian. He writes a love letter, then he takes valerian bolus & a camphire julep; makes an encomium upon his mistress, then complains of a swimming in his head. Sick or well, in love or not in love, he is still the original Monsey entertaining & good humour'd. I had a letter from Lord Lyttelton about three weeks ago. he was very well & very happy at Hagley with his Son & daughter, & some very agreable ingenious young men his nephew M=r= Pitt was of the party. I rejoyce that Lady Herveys wishes are all accomplishd. I beg my best complim=ts= to Lady Primrose & M=rs= Hancock. I am Dear Madam ever y=rs=
     E Montagu