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Sandleford July y=e= [\9\] 1777 Dear Madam
   Your account of my dear Neices perfect recovery gave me great pleasure. I think I see in her disposition all the elements of which a good Daughter, Wife, Mother, Sister, Wife, Mistress of a family, are composed, & from thence I prognosticate, that she will make others happy & be so herself. As she was not the worse for the Ball I am glad she partook of the pleasure of it; if she resembles certain Miss Robinson, who lived in the Neighbourhood some years ago, she will reckon a ball amongst the first enjoyments of human life. Considering her state of health I do not know whether if was very prudent in her Father to carry her there, but I am sure it was very amiable. the error should always be rather on the side of indulgence one should consider that tho there will be dancing as long as the World [\indures/] it is but a short time that an individual will dance. I have sometimes sufferd Montagu to fly his
Kite in a cold evening in Autumn when I have trembled for fear he should get an ague because the Kite season is short, & that if that time three years the weather should be ever so favourable the opportunity would not have been valued. [\Ye\] fits of peevishness or gloom or obstinacy I am very severe because they are always contrary to the happiness of the animal in all its stayes of existence. Bad habits are never to be indulged, as they lead to great & permanent but whoever can deny a child a harmless pleasure & to taste the joys peculiar to its season of life is more wicked than Macbeth, who (^murdered its innocent sleep^) their [\days\] dreams are quite as innocent & much more gay.
   The warmth of the weather prevented my seeing the School for scandal but every one agrees with you to commend it. Of all the vices of the human disposition a love of scandal & detraction is
the most contemptible. It is now gone from the Gossips tea table to the Press, & the Scriblers Weekly let fly their popguns at the Duchess of Devonshires feathers. Her Grace is innocent, good humoured, & beautifull, but these adders are blind & deaf & can not be charmed. However the scriblers are some of the[m?] & all of them hungry but the circulators of scandal who have neither hunger for their excuse, nor witt to give it a seasoning, are sad vermin, & I am glad M=r= Sheridan has so well exposed them.
   The uncertainty of human life is certainly a discouragement to every enterprize but to none less I think to building a House, if it is a good one there will be somebody to live in it & enjoy its comforts, if otherwise its inconveniences will not make one uneasy in the tomb. To undertake a trust which by not fulfilling may be detrimental to some Person to bring
into the World when it is too late in life to hope to see them educated & establish'd are things about which a prudent person may hesitate but even in this case we can never do wrong when we follow the general principles by which the Author of our nature has intended we should be directed. The shortness & uncertainty of life would discourage all great undertakes & as the human race is to continue Providence has order'd we should act here as if we to live forever [\SIC\].
   We have had a series of the worst weather since I came hither that I ever knew at this time of the year Sir William Temple says the three greatest blessings are health & peace & fine weather, the first two are most important & I have enjoy'd them in so perfect a degree that I have well endured the want of the third. D=r= Robertson[{s{] [\COVERED\] History of America has amused me by my fireside when wind & rain have combined against my amusements abroad. A long deprivation of the quiet joys of rural life gives me a great
relish for them if I had stayd in Town the great numbers of Foreigners lately arrived there, who have all brought letters of recommendation to me, or w=d= have been naturally introduced by my previous acquaintance with them abroad, must have taken up much of my time & attention. Lord Shelburne calld here the other day to invite me to Bowood to meet L'abbé Raynal, who I knew at Paris, & two french Countesses who brought letters to me from some of ye Beaux esprits there, so to them I shall have an Opportunity of expressing my regret at being out of Town, but there is a spanish Baron de Castille, & some others, who were also recommended to me, who I fear will depart with a bad opinion of my Hospitality, for twenty to one my english Porter in Hillstreet could not make them understand, when they deliverd their letters, that I was in the Country. At present my scheme is to go
to London for the melancholly pleasure of taking leave of My Lord Primate & My friend M=rs= Vesey; one is desirous to defer the separation from ones friends to the least moment. The farewell always comes too soon. When these Friends leave London, I believe, I shall set out from Mount Edgecumbe, having long promised Lady Edgecumbe a visit, & shall carry Montagu with me, who is school fellow of Mr Edgecumbe & is much invited. I shall call at Bowood in my way for a day or two. I shall return again to Sandleford having perhaps first made a visit to Lady Nuneham, which I have also promised.
   M=r= & M=rs= Vesey arrived here yesterday, but alas! leave me on friday. They are going from hence to M=r= Burkes at Beconsfield who has kindly askd me to be of the party, but as I shall be a good while absent from Sandleford I have many domestick matters to settle before I depart.
   I had a most polite entertaining
letter the other day from my Brother Robinson I wish we two honest farmers lived near together, with [\brother\] love, & rural sincerity, I flatter myself we sh=d= be very happy, but in this short life, how short a time does one enjoy the Friends one loves! I understand my Lord Primate & S=r= W=m= Robinson intend Horton the honour of a visit. I am very happy that my [\eldest/] Nephew is to have the advantage of appearing in Ireland under the Primates protection. I beg my love to your Consort & my Neices, & to my Nephew if at home, and when you see my Brother Robinson I shall be obliged to you if you will present my most affectionate respects to him.
   With great regard
   I am dear Madam
   Y=r= Most affect=te= Sister
   and Sincere friend
   Eliz Montagu
   I beg my love to the Recorder Mrs Charles Robinson & my Neice. comp=ts= to M=rs= C: Scott