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Sandleford Friday y=e= 26=th= of june My Dear Sister
   I am now many miles nearer to Bath Easton than I was a week ago, but our stay at Sandleford will be so short that I shall not be able to come to you till [\y=e= end of/] august or beginning of september, & then please God to grant me health, I will not foil to make you a visit, unless it should be equally agreable to you to come to Sandleford. M=r= Montagu & I came hither this day sennight we have had the most delightfull weather imaginable, & my health is much mended by the country air. We design to return to Town on monday where I shall stay but a few days & then go to Tunbridge for six weeks or seven perhaps, & y=e= rest of y=e= summer I shall pass at Sandleford except my excursion to Bath Easton. M=rs= Carter is to come to Tunbridge to me as soon as I get thither, & I hope will stay y=e= while season with me. I was so fortunate as to enjoy her company much longer in Town this year than usual, but
that only makes me wish the more to have her again. She was not in y=e= house with me in Town, preferring y=e= quiet of a lodging to herself, & indeed it w=d= not be any delight to M=r= Montagu to have her in the house, tho he says she w=d= be a good sort of woman, (^if she was not so pious^) . My Lord Bath told me he was to go to Bath on ye wenesday ye day we dined with him, so on Tuesday I sent y=e= parcell, but behold his Lordship went on ye monday to his house near Maidenhead Bridge, & from thence to Bath on wenesday. I ask a thousand pardons for not having brought ye parcell hither, & I [\should/] have Sent it from hence but you shall have it (^carriage paid^) as soon as I get back, happy if so small a fine will attone for my offence in not sending it sooner. I went to Hungerford last night in hopes of getting some trout to send to you, but they were all so poor & little I did not think they deserved y=r= acceptance, but hope to get some better. We had a good deal of lightening the latter part of our airing, & the storm continued all night, this morning wears a doubtfull appearance
I wish for the sake of the farmers, & farmer Montagu in particular, that we may have good weather, should it be otherwise as quiet & leisure are as great novelties to a London Lady as roses & pinks, I shall not suffer any great loss. I applaud myself very much for having prevaild on M=r= Montagu to make this excursion, I have enjoy'd several days of rural pleasure in the utmost perfection, & certainly no artificial pleasures can come up to those nature offers to us! & the distress of M=rs= Boscawen, & poor Lady Frances Williams made me wish to get into quite a new scene. Thank God M=rs= Boscawen seems rather less depress'd, her children have been ill & I think in the whole it has been of use to her, taking her thoughts a little off the deceased to the living. Her eldest son & her daughters have behavd with the greatest attention & tenderness I ever saw, the girls have both been ill, & also her little boy, but are pretty well. M=rs= Southwell desired me to meet M=rs= Boscawen at Westhrope this week, but I could not do it. I shall have M=rs= Boscawen for my Neighbour at Tunbridge, she is to be at S=r= Sydney Smyther only three miles from the Wells. Lady F Williams
is in the deepest affliction for Lady Coningesbye. To shew the last respect to her, Lady Frances staid in the house with the dead body in spite of all her friends could do, she did not leave Lady Coningesbyes house till last saturday. She has been so singularly unfortunate that had she not the strongest piety & the strongest reason to support her, she must sink under the repeated strokes of affliction. I imagine the most faithfull friendship & affection subsisted between the sisters, their understandings were so very unequal, that I cannot imagine there could be so much delight in the commerce of conversation as between two sisters I remember at Horton, & tho good will & kind offices will do much, I imagine there must always be a chasm where there is a disparity of understanding. If M=rs= Carter was to hear me she would reprove me, the qualities of the heart she says are sufficient, indeed I am ashamed sometimes to find she is less impatient of the nonsense of fools than I am, I would rather she should teach me her humility than her greek, but I fear more sense is necessary to learn the first than the last. I suppose you have read D=r= Hawkesworths oriental tales, it is not written with
so much spirit as the [\oriental tales in the/] adventurers which were by him but there are some fine things in it, & it breathes the spirit of virtue, so does more honour to the Author, & service to the reader, than the finest compositions where religion & morals receive offense. I design to send you, if it is to be bought, which it was not when I left London, a sort of Epic poem translated from High dutch into french prose. Methinks I hear you cry dear Sister do you fancy I will read high dutch poetry humbled & mumbled into prose? I answer, yes Sister, you shall read, & will read it, & like it too & perhaps weep at it also, but for that I leave you at y=r= liberty, but I defy you not to like it. When I say a sort of Epic poem, you are not to think Eneids & Iliads, Gerusalemme liberata &c, it is a simple story from the Patriarchal ages, Good Father Adam, & Good Mother [\Eve/], Cain & Abel [\& their wives & children/] are ye (\Drammatis personæ\). My Author has not the sublimity of Miller, but he has y=e= purity of thought, the spirit of piety, & the tender benevolence of an angel. The title of y=e= Poem & its catastrophe is la mort d'Abel. [\WORDS INTO Perhaps I am to partial\]
[\of INTO to\] it, but it seems to me to have a greater [\WORD INTO vein\]
of poetry, more originality & simplicity than any
thing I have seen a great while. I will not say any more of it, for it will say better for itself. I have subscribed to the Epick Hegleland poem for you, of which I was shewn one entire canto, & great part of another, & think it may stand on y=e= shelf with y=e= great epick poems. I have heard my Lord Bath speak with great regard of you & Lady Bab Montagu. I believe we shall call on him on monday in our way to London, we were ask'd to dine or to lye there in our journey down & at our return. He has recoverd his health & spirits & is the most delightfull companion imaginable. & I think [\he/] has great & good qualities, & I do not perceive the least of that covetousness which was attributed to him while his wife lived, he lives nobly, entertains generously, & I know many acts of generosity he has done, & I have known them from the report & acknowledgments of y=e= Persons obliged, for by his behaviour to such of them as I have seen at his house, you would think he had received favours from them, which nobly enhances y=e= benefit. He seems to have the strongest sense of religion & on all
Occasions to shew it without [\y=e=/] ostentation of one who wants to be praised for piety, nor does he ever in the gayest of his conversation forget the respect due to religion, & the regards due to every moral duty. It would give one pain to discover any faults in one who has such extraordinary perfections & endownments, & I think his Lordship has outlives the errors into which the bustling of a mighty spirit may in youth have led him. As to his Consort, she was in Miltons phrase, (^a cleaving mischief in his way to virtue.^) I am [\TEAR\] [\...\] glad Lord Bath is to be at Tunbridge, M=rs= [\TEAR\] [\Carter is a\] great favourite with him, & I [\TEAR\] [{hope ...{]
[\TEAR\] [\have a good\] deal of his company. I shall [\TEAR\] [\...\]
hear Lady Bab makes a constant progress towards health, it was unlucky she got cold [\at/] returning to Bath Easton, but change of air often has that effect. I have [\just/] had a long letter from M=rs= William Robinson who writes very agreably. I had one not very long before from my Brother William. They are at Rome before this time.
   I am
   My Dear Sister
   Ever most affect=ly= yours
   E Montagu
   M=r= Montagu desires his love & respects I hope you got my promised letter.