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<Q A 1769? TC GL EMONTAGU>
<X ELIZABETH MONTAGU>
[}ELIZABETH MONTAGU TO LORD LYTTELTON. DEC 23. 1769? LONDON. ADD. MS 42087 F. 112}]
Hillstreet ye 23=d= Dec [\ADDED 1769?\] My Lord
I received a letter from your Lordship yesterday, & half a Buck to day. I hope you do so much justice to my taste, as to believe it greatly prefers the first bounty. I desired your Lordships Porter to carry the hanch of Venison to poor Miss Talbot in your name. She is in a state of weakness rather than suffering. The happy prospect of a better World makes her amends for all she is quitting here. If the destinies would cut the thread of her poor Mothers life I imagine hers would be loosed at once;
the thought of rendering the comfortless season of old age unhappy to the Parent who offered every assistance to her helpless infancy must be grievous, & her gratefull Soul seems to exert all its efforts to continue in a Tenement hardly habitable. I felt unspeakable concern for the loss of M=rs= Grenville. I could never bear to think of what poor M=r= Grenville & the Children must feel upon such a seperation. Nature, birth, & every thing seem'd to conspire to make [\her/] the first Woman of this Country, & as added to that she was the best too, when can regret & sorrow cease to [\WORD\] . There seems always to me a disproportion between Persons of great excellence & the duration of human life: Fifty years is enough for ordinary characters, they may have finishd their petite peice by that time, & it is fit they should quit the Stage to a New Harlequin & a new Soubrette. A short space is enough for
those who are to do or to enjoy silly things. The part of wisedom & virtue must always seem too short to those whom it is perform'd, & the felicity arising from it to the Performer allows not of ennui or satiety. I am rejoyced to hear Miss Stapylton will shew her friendship to her lost friend, not by unavailing tears, merely, but by tender care of the Children. Miss Stapylton character makes rejoyce in this, it will take off a great deal of anxiety from M=r= Grenville, & tho it cannot cure his sorrow it will soften it. Miss Grenville promises to resemble her Mother, may she have a longer life! I wish she w=d= early accustom herself to taking rhubarb if she has any disorder in her stomach, it is the best antidote to her Mothers complaint. However to speak of things more chearfull. When will your Leonidas appear? I believe your Lordship & I shall have many a battle upon the subject
You will come like the Persian Monarch. You will appear in all the Pomp of Learning with a vast Muster of eloquence & abundance of art, & you will dazzle by the brightness of your arms, & terrify with the number of your Troops, all the Epick Poets but Homer [\& Ossian/] perhaps on your side. I shall be a poor Spartan [\unassisted/] uneloquent, unadorned, but if your Poem cannot enter the (^Straits of the Heart^) I shall be invincible. If your Poem touches neither the Passions nor the imagination why – it may be very respectable to be sure, & I shall own to be a very fine funeral Oration. I am very angry at what you say of Paoli. Good my Lord are there are not dead Heroes & Patriots [\enough\] ? the rarity is to be a living one. I should not have taken the least notice of the Man if I had met him in the Elysian fields. Epaminandos w=d= have stood before
him, Timoleon would have overtoppd him, Dion would have been more conspicuous, but oh! when he stood [\in the drawing room/] by the D- of - & the Earl of - & Lord – he look'd more than human! I know my Patriot is not likely to be made an Alderman as modern Patriots are, but I like him the better. I like not like the plum, nor the sugar plumb Patriot. He shall dye to please his vanity [\another\] time, when Corsica can spare him better. (\Il est plus difficile d'etre
[\FOLD\] [\saint\] que martire\) says a wise man. if my Patriot continues pure & holy in a Court I shall honour him more than if he had dyed in [\WORD\] of virtue.
As Lady Anglesey has drunk up her candle I wish your Lordship w=d= come to Town. It is a dull Town I must confess, but that fault your Lordship will mend, & render it agreable to your Friends. I am sorry to tell you that a friend of yours is no longer a conceal'd scribbler. I had better have employd the Town Cryer to have
proclaimed me an Author, but being whisperd it has circulated with incredible swiftness. I hear M=r= Andrew Stone is very indulgent to my performance which flatters my vanity. M=r= Melmoth at Bath puffs me, but I am most flatterd that a Brother Author says ye book w=d= be very well if [\it/] had not too much witt. I thought there had been no witt at all in it, & am as pleased as Mr Jourdain was when his Preceptor told him he spoke prose. [\FOLD: UNCLEAR\] hurts any body or any thing it is chance medley, no premeditated malice, neither art nor part has my will therein. I dont love witt, it is a poor paltry thing & fit only for a Merry Andrew. I look very innocent when I am attack'd about the Essay, & say I dont [\know/] what they mean. I shall set about a new Edition as soon as your Lordship comes to Town for ye first 1000 is in great part sold tho the Booksellers have done me all ye prejudice in their power.
I was so provoked at M=r= Black for disappointing you again I gave him a good lecture by y=e= post. If y=e= fences of your Woods ar not well kept up they will be ruined, indeed good fences are of great consequence to all ground but most particularly for woods. M=r= Black will certainly be of use to your Lordship. My best respects attend Lord & Lady Anglesey, & affection=te= wishes ye little Lord. Of all my scrowls this [\SEAL\] worst, but by orders of ye Doctors I write [\SEAL\] of candle, but I cannot write [\SEAL/] of paper. M=r= Montagu desires his best comp=ts he was very desirous M=r= Black should attend your Lordship having found himself should good consequences from his care.
I am my Lord
most Obliged Obed=t=
M=r= Montagu came to Town to day he left my Bard very well at Sandleford
[\ADDRESS\] To / The Right Hon=ble= Lord Lyttelton / at Hagley
park / By Birmingham bag / Worcestershire