Download as TXT
Download as XML
<Q A 1760? TC GL EMONTAGU>
<X ELIZABETH MONTAGU>
[}ELIZABETH MONTAGU TO LORD LYTTELTON. MO 1405. 1760}]
tuesday night Nov y=e= 11=th= My Lord
I had the favour of your Lordships most obliging & friendly letter the night before I left Newcastle but I was too much embarass'd with the ceremony of taking leave to have leisure to answer it. I am now set down to write after a journey of 48 miles through the roughest roads in the gloomiest day in the dreariest month of the year, your Lordship will not be surprized if I am a little dull but you will not be sorry for it when I tell you I enjoy that degree of ease & health which most dull people possess. My journey has done me service, & the pain in my face is surprizingly relieved since I set out. My Nerves are always a little flutter'd with a long journey, but I do not feel any weariness & if we have not any hasty & violent rains to swell the river at Newark I hope to be in Town the day after you receive this, viz on saturday y=e= 15=th=. I approve much of your Lordships prudence in not going to the Kings funeral, it is a ceremony for those who wish to catch a cold rather than for one who wants to get rid of one. I am sorry you begin the winter so ill, but
I hope change of air at Clewer may carry off your cough. I write this letter from Weatherby, the description of which tho far inferior to the place pleased you enough to make you determine to see it if you was ever in the Neighbourhood, but I beg that your Lordship will take care that your visit hither be in summer, for if you were to come to it in November I should be as much disgraced as a Beau of the last century would be, who from youthfull remembrance should recommend M=rs= [\Dunsk\] to his friends as a toast. The rocks which were adorn'd & soften'd by the trees & pendant branches, now look more horrid & forlorn from the dry stumps & naked arms of the trees; the crystal stream on which the sun beams play'd is now a muddy river reflecting a dark sky. the brisk & lively current seems increased to rage; & threatens the vale it chear'd; nor is there one amiable circumstance remaining of the whole but a larger stone bridge which well defends you from the dangers beneath. What do people mean who say they are so fond of the Country they love it in winter? would it not be just as reasonable to say one was so fond of beauty one loved M=rs= [\Dunsk\] in her old age
I never saw any winter scene which I could much admire but at Richmond in Yorkshire [\which DELETED\] in summer [\it/] is fine, but it wants softness, & its character leans to the terrible. I happen'd to be there once when it was in the highest perfection & it was truly sublime, mix'd as M=r= Burke desires, with horror. I stood in a high bank in M=r= Yorks garden opposite a great black Mountain while the swale roll'd down in vast billows, such as you see when the sea is in a storm, but there, they have room, here they were so confined that their agitation is not to be imagined, one billow still breaking over another; great branches of trees & other things which the torrent had swept in its rapid course, shew'd that its menaces were not [\always/] vain, & Richmond castle, tho made a ruin by the gentle hand of time, by the turn of the prospect look'd as if [\it/] had been the victim of this omnipotent torrent. the hurry of the people in the village to remove their cattle out of the course of the impetuous flood, the loud & hollow whistling of the wind & the rustling of hail & rain above ones head, join'd to the roaring torrent below, made such a
crash of elements as would have pleased the grim power who frown'd on paradise & man in bliss. I will own this was a fine spectacle, but such as only a Demon could delight to see often, so that I did not envy M=r= York his garden, tho he assured me [\with an air of triumph that/] they had many such storms in the course of the winter.
I am mortified not to be in Town to hear the solemn tollings of the bells & ye discharge of the cannon at the time of his Majesties funeral, indeed I should have wish'd to have seen the ceremony, for gravity heightens pomp, gay processions appear less noble. I am glad to find his empty coffers clear him of the imputation of avarice. I think S=r= Richard who is the successor of Dukes, & the Predecessor of Princes has reason to carry his head so high. I received all ye packets your Lordship mentions, & beg my best thanks & comp=ts= to his excellency the Governor.
I shall not be in Town on saturday till it is pretty late. I shall hope to hear a good account of your Lordships health, & that you will call on me on saturday evening as soon as suits your leisure.
I am with the greatest regard your Lordships
most Obliged & faithfull