Download as TXT
Download as XML
<Q A 1776 TC EV EMONTAGU>
<X ELIZABETH MONTAGU>
[}ELIZABETH MONTAGU TO ELIZABETH VESEY. MAY 12 1776. MO 6477}]
Sunday y=e= 12=th= May / 1776
And so my dear Friend while I was grieving you had forgotten & complaining you neglected me, your sweet & kind epistle was travelling to & from Abingdon. L=d= [\Soreham\] had not added to my name & Sandleford (^near Newbury^) & I & Sandleford being obscure & unknown, & Abingdon having the honour to send Representatives to Parliament, it was deem_d of all y=e= Towns in Berks y=e= most worthy of M=rs= Veseys letter, from thence it was returnd again to London, & I received only yesterday in ye evening. I am mightily charmed with ye Chart of your Voyages & Travels, but as my Friend a very few years will [\make/] me an old Witch, I will defer such a Tour till I can make it most commodiously & speedily on a broomstick by that means I shall avoid being very sea sick in the tedious passage between Brighthelmstone
and Dieppe, or being overturnd in my Carriage in passing over Mont Jura, & ten thousand inconveniences & discomforts which w=d= attend a long journey through barbarous places. I honour the Swiss Cantons (\infiniment\) , but a little of ye gay conversation of Paris, with y=e= (\Opera Comique, & la Comedie Italienne\) , will be rather more agreable to my taste at present. I have seen all ye august beauties & terrible Graces of a Mountainous Country having travell'd through y=e= wildest parts of Scotland. However if I had the prospect of 40 or 50 years of life before me, I sh=d= embrace such a scheme very eagerly, but I have at my age but a short period to expect, & must fill it up with more interesting objects. If I ever climb a mountain it will not be to see a Swiss Town. Imperial Rome, y=e= Queen of Citties, shall never receive such an affront from me, The Fasces of the Consuls, the Diadem of y=e= Emperors, y=e= Tiara of y=e= Popes deserve more respect. Long journeys fatigue me extreamly, as I never sleep in an Inn
and the number of Servants & Carriages which I must have to attend me, & those I carry with me, w=d= be very embarassing. From Calais to Paris is not a longer journey than from London to my House in Northumberland. I may make short excursions from Paris, & if all circumstances concurred I might be induced to pass y=e= alps in order to pass a Winter at Rome, but I had rather be metamorphosed into a Coach Wheel than spend 3 months in continual travelling. However I w=d= climb Mont Jura to see you, if we c=d= not as well meet in Richmond or Hampstead Hill. As to ye Swiss Doctor, I thank God I have no occasion for him for I was never in better health in my life. I have no more occasion for this Conjuror of a Doctor to tell me how to be well, than for a Fortune Teller to tell me where to find a purse of money. The quiet & fresh air of ye Country has done me infinite service. I am charmd with ye delightfull picture you have drawn of Switzerland. but after all do not the Inhabitants of those fine
Mountains gladly quit them to get a red Coat & six pence a day in any Army that will pay them? & do not those happy Inhabitants of those Vallies leave their Arcadian plains for any dirty City where they can get bread. The liberty which a Man sells so cheap, & ye [\WORD DELETED\] [\rural felicity/] & simplicity he forsakes so readily, are not like the liberty & Ease of English subjects. Paris, Rome, & Vienna, are ye places I wish to see. I expect little pleasure from Society but in the Capital of a great Empire, & when the spirit of adventure decays fatigue & dangers affright one. I hope you will come to Paris in July, & there consider your plan & settle y=r= route. I think M=r= le Taxier seems entirely cleard of all that was laid to his charge, indeed there appeard so much of malice in ye accusation it never made any impression on me.
After all I have said against climbing Mountains & descending precipices I might submit to the labour & the hazard as means to something I desired, but when they make y=e= sum of ye undertaking I decline the pleasures that accompany them. It is not in the hurry of a journey
and amidst the babble of fellow travellers, the cracks of Postillions Whips, & ye attendance of a number of Servants that I c=d= taste the solemn silence of the Forrest, y=e= awfull brow of a Mountain, or the echo repeating the hoarse murmur of a Torrent. If you & I could sit together under the shade of the Mountain Pine we should enjoy the luxurious melancholly of the solemn scene, but unless we could rise on ye pinions of y=e= Eagle we sh=d= be teized with our attendants & encumberd with baggage, & our metaphysicals [\SIC\] enjoyments w=d= be spoild by vulgar attentions.
Pray make my most affect=te= / comp=ts= to M=rs= Hancock. I am my Dear Madam with most perfect & entire affection
E Montagu M=r= Addison says a Woman never discloses her mind but in a postscript but I protest y=e= postscript to y=r= last explains little. I find in it these [\words/] 46 [\acres\] 36 [\acres\]