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<Q A 1766 TC EC EMONTAGU>
<X ELIZABETH MONTAGU>
[}ELIZABETH MONTAGU TO ELIZABETH CARTER. 1766 MAY 31. NORTHUMBERLAND. MO 3171}]
Denton y=e= 31=st= of May
My dear friend
I am glad to find my dear friend feels a sympathizing regret at the distance at which I am now from those I love. I assure you there is something desolate & melancholly in these remote regions, but I hope after many rolls of Phoebus's car & my post chaise, to be restored to the persons & places I grieved to abandon.
The love of (^things^) , of which you accuse [\me,/] seems here to meet with condign punishment, as I am in this situation condemn'd to ugly things, & disagreable things, & troublesome things, & tiresome things, [\& INTO but\] the reasonableness & fitness of things, which urges a Coal owner to be near the coal mines, gives me spirit to go through all the (\desagrémens\) I meet with, of which the
living in the noise of workmen, & the litter & inconveniences of a House not half ready for my Servants is not the least. I have yet only once been able to get out to take ye air, for we have been involved in continual mist & rain; whether this weather has been general or confined to this Country I do not know. I am well situated for airing, being on the edge of a turnpike road, & the said road commands as good a prospect as any in this part of the Country, but the amenity of our Southern Counties is not to be found here. The people here are little better than Savages, they are dirty, their dwellings are sordid, & their countenances bear the marks of hard labour & total ignorance. Our Pittmen are litterally as black as a coal, they earn much more than labourers, their children get a shilling a day at 9 or 10 years old, but they are so barbarous & uncultivated
they know no use of money but to buy much meat & liquor with it. They eat as well as the substantial tradesmen in great Towns, but they are ragged & dirty, & their Wives are idle & drunken, so that while they live on plenty they present to your view an air of misery, poverty, & oppression. These Pitmen marry & multiply in order to be rich, for their children add to their prosperity. They are usefull persons to the general common wealth, but considerd separately a strange set of barbarians as the Children are so early sent into ye mines I am afraid it will be impossible ever to civilize them, but if I lived here I should attempt it by establishing some little school amongst them. M=r= Wright went yesterday to Scotland to a Colliery of ye D=ss= of Douglas's for which he is imploy_d, & he does not return till Sunday night, so in ye mean time
I have not any business but looking after ye workmen in the House. I was rejoyced at the good account you gave me of my Sister, as others think themselves sick when they are not quite well, she thinks herself well when she is not quite sick, so kindly does Providence contrive that habit sh=d= lessen the sense of evils.
I hope the dissipation in which you are obliged to live at [\Lambeth? DELETED\] will have a good effect on y=r= health, & it will make you doubly relish the quiet retirement of Deal. Pray tell M=rs= Underdown that I have pityed her for y=r= absence ever since I left London. She cannot from human virtue expect more. While I was in Town I thought it highly [\reason INTO reasonable\] that she sh=d= part with you sometimes [\now\] I am sensible she must grow uneasy at y=r= long absence. Say every thing that is affectionate & respectfull for me at Lambeth & pray visit my Sister as often as you can. I am glad y=r= heart does not talk y=e= Greek of Epictetus. I am ever y=rs EM.