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<Q A 1769 FN MR EMONTAGU>
<X ELIZABETH MONTAGU>
[}ELIZABETH MONTAGU TO MATTHEW ROBINSON. 21 AUG? 1769. MO 4766}]
Sunning Wells ye 21=st= 1769 Dear Sir
You had the goodness to intimate a wish to hear how these waters agree with me, & I think I can now pronounce that they have had a very good effect upon my constitution. I am one of those unfortunate persons continualy sick without a distemper. Neither the language, nor even the jargon [\of physick,/] can ever find a name for my disorders. I had been for a long time, according to the scotch phrase, (^very unwell^) . I am now in as good health as I ever remember to have been. My appetite is much improved, & I sleep better than I did before I drank these waters. I pass my time in a chearful pleasant kind of idleness. The waters affect the head so much, that
any kind of application is improper, therefore one stands in need of some society; & I am very fortunately situated in that respect, as some of my most intimate acquaintance are in this Neighborhood, so that I have continual invitations to dine with some of them. In the morning the small party of waterdrinkers meet at the Well, when we are tired of walking there is a Room where we rest, it is rarely that more than half a dozen are ever assembled together, but notwithstanding all the Foreigners say of the English taciturnity,
a very few people will keep up a sort of chitt chatt, which is sufficient to fill the half hours interval between the glasses of water. Every monday there is a publick breakfast & a Ball, & on wensday evenings a card assembly. Being a middleaged Woman, I can neither partake of [\y=e=/] dancing which is one of the joys of youth, nor assist at ye card playing which [\is/] among the chief comforts of
age, so I pass these hours in taking my airings if I am not engaged at the Houses of my Friends; for there is an air of pride or ill nature in appearing to chuse not to mix in the diversions which are going forward if one is in the way of them. I am but 35 miles from Sandleford, & on wensday last, after drinking the waters, I got into my post chaise to make a visit to M=r= Montagu, & staid with him till saturday. I had the pleasure of finding him very well, & he promises to return my visit on thursday & to bring little Matt with him. M=r= Montagu will spend only a few days here, but I hope he will receive some amusement from taking airings to Windsor & in the Forrest. I am to carry M=rs= Carter to Windsor Castle tomorrow in our way to Lady Frances Coningesbyes where we are to dine. I had the pleasure of attending my Sister to the Castle, but tho I have visited it so often I always see it with pleasure.
It is a noble Monument of the wealth & greatness of our Antient Kings, it has not indeed the elegance of Grecian Architecture but the vastness, strength, & solidity of the Building render it respectable: I am surprized our Sovereigns have so long neglected this Castle which seems the noblest residence for the Chief Magistrate of a great & free Country. It is sufficiently superior to our other Edifices to command reverence & respect, & seems design_d rather as an hospitable retreat & safe asylum to those who would resort to their Sovereign, than like other Castles, to wear an air of hostile defiance to terrify [\or INTO &\] [\WORD\] in timerous subjection the Country around it. The prospect in view offers the most smiling aspect of Peace & liberty, & tho the Thames, in this part, neither carrys out the thunder of War, nor assists in distant Commerce, but is imployed in fertilizing the Vallies through which he glides however
even here we consider him as more noble than any other River. We behold him, like a great Statesman & Warrior in [\his/] rural retirement. We respect him for the naval Victories he has assisted in obtaining for his Country, & the Commerce with which he has enriched it. I always think Windsor, Eton, & their environs, are the best panegyricks on our Plantagenets, as the wide waste of Heath & Forrest in this part of the World is the severest censure on the Tyranny of William Rufus. In those rude ages, in this unpolishd Land, Kings had not learn'd that Men in Walled Citties may be made as much their prey as Beasts in the Forrest, & may be taken in the toils of political institutions as easily as the Wolves & Bears in the Hunters net. If Rufus had had a Machiavel for his Minister he w=d= have encouraged building Towns instead of destroying them, & [\for/] by the allurements of
pleasure, & baits thrown out to avarice or luxury Men are ever to be caught, if they have been soften'd & civilized by Society.
I took the liberty to send you a trout the other day, it had been taken but a few hours before it was sent away, but it travelld in so hot a day I am much afraid it might not be so fresh as I wishd. I hope you have had uninterrupted health since I left you. I flatter myself that you will take a trip to Bath by which means I shall get some hours of y=r= company at Newbury & at Sandleford.
Mrs Carter desires her comp=ts=. With perfect respect
I am Dear Sir
Your most affectionate
And Dutifull Daughter