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<Q A 1764? TC EV EMONTAGU>
<X ELIZABETH MONTAGU>
[}ELIZABETH MONTAGU TO ELIZABETH VESEY. 1764? JUN 5. HUNTINGTON LIBRARY}]
June ye 5=th=
In the coalmines in Northumberland! I scorn your words Madam, I am on a Hill in Berkshire star gazing. Do you think I want to be Lady of the Bedchamber to Queen Proserpine or left handed wife to grim Pluto? No, I am where Universal Pan
knits with the graces & the hours in dance leads on th' eternal spring. I chose to hurry over part of my history as there is a page in it of stupid ingratitude which tells, as how, I neglected to answer the most charming, most agreable letters in the world. We will throw that page to the bottom of [\ye/] Letheanlake if you please. You must [\know/] my dear Madam, on the sixth of may our good friends M=rs= Carter thought it time to go into the country to make may garlands, in which perhaps Apollo promised to mix a little bags. The Earl of Bath, call'd [\by/] the spirit stirring drum of the Shrewsbury Militia, went soon after to see that his Regiment were able to kill our enemies, if we had any. Lord Lyttelton did not quite leave Town, but he was making excursions from it M=rs= Boscawen retired into
Surry to enjoy her pretty place, & oh barbarous cruel desertion some blue stocking philosophers went to fish for polypes in ditches; others to cull simples in the fields; the Poets to gather new blown similies in the meadows & gardens: Prose writers to meditate & season in solitude. Now what could I do? Why truly I thought after a summers campaign in Germany; a quarter of year of plodding business in Northumberland: part of a winter & the whole spring in the turbulent joys of society, a little quiet & solitude would repair my health & spirits, (^which in the various bustle of resort were all too ruffled & somewhat impair'd^). M=r= Montagu I found w=d= not come to Town till ye middle of june, so about three weeks ago I came to this place without any company to drive away (\l'ennui\) . [\but INTO But\] (\l'ennui\) has been too proud & too generous to insult a poor defenceless Woman in her solitary garden, [\WORD INTO and\] chuses a nobler walk round the great room at Ranelagh, up & down Marybonne or Vauxhall gardens, or treads the polite circle of assemblies where [\old\] manage with great [\thrift/] certain number of square feet, people are desired to come without hoops, if agreable. The first week I came hither, the blooming May had all her charms and as all Lovers like a (\tete à tête\) The lone admirer of rural beauty must do so. I rose
pretty early to catch the morning song of the lark, then enjoy'd the full chorus of the advanc'd day which at the hot meridian hour gives place to the humm of the insect race, with these I retired to archéd roofs of twilight [\groves\]
and shadows brown, that sylvan loves. In the evening I went out in my post chaise, admired the prospects gilded by the setting sun in some places, darkend by the lengthen_d shadows in others, drove thro' the villages when the labourer was [\returnd INTO returning\] from his work, the children from school; the cows going from milking to their pasture, & the sheep retiring to the fold. From these the mind catches the lone of peace & a disposition to repose, & I used to return to my dressing [\room/] pass an hour [\or two\] reading till the night had (^hung forth her golden lamps^). & Philomel began to channt her love labourd song, then I took another walk in my garden, & it gave me a still more sublime pleasure than that in the morning. For as in the morning one joins the animal [\oration\] , & walks in their society, at night imagination leads one among the invisible & spiritual creatures, but the mystick pleasures of a reverie cannot be explain'd so here I will stop my fairy [\tale/] & least you should envy me, if you are at Dublin, I will confess, I am now sitting by the fireside. A northeast Wind has blasted all the rural scene, & the garlands
on the brow of may began to fade a week ago. I have nothing left to recommend my situation but its undisturbed [\quiet/] & who ever valued that blessing after a weeks enjoyment of it! so I shall go back to Hillstreet in a few days. With great provision of health & spirits acquired by much exercise & a wonderfull (\epargne\) of conversation, I have made & received but few visits, however last night I might have been at a Ball, for the Militia officers gave a very splendid one on his Majesties birth day, and the other day as I was walking in the garden, I had a ticket presented me with Col Vansitarts compliments. An invitation
to a Wake sent me in Hillstreet would not have supprized me more, than a ticket for a ball at Sandleford I am at present a butterfly in the Nymph state, & can neither shine nor flutter, & then what can one do at a ball? I sent an apology which I repeated to Col Varsitart on Sunday after Church, but even on that good day, & in that good place, he would not believe [\that\] [\I spoke truth when I assured him/] I staid at home merely for want of dress, but indeed I had brought down nothing but night gowns, as my stay was to be short.
Last post brought me a letter from M=rs= Carter in which she complain'd of your long silence. This post will carry
yours to her. I long to imitate the post office & read it first, but as I could not pretend to peep into it to prevent treason & conspiracy I was forced to forbear.
Lord Lyttelton has been at M=r= Stanleys but I believe returns to Town for the Birthday, he has happily [\miss'd/] his spring fever & I hope the season is now so far advanced he will keep well. Lord Bath still profits by (\l'eau de jouvenance\) he drank at Spa, for last week I had the drollest & wittiest letter from him I ever saw, written the day after the Review of his Regiment, when he said he had [\UNCLEAR\] [\He\] saluted by six hundred men in the morning & had saluted two hundred Ladies in the evening. He was in his coach upon the field from eight in the morning till two, then did the honours of a great ball & all this in the most sultry day we have had this year. He has been keeping open House three weeks at Shrewsbury Floods have been drain'd, Forrests depopulated, Hecatombs of Oxen slain for the substantial part of his dinners, & the mills of many dairies whipt into [\WORD INTO syllabub\] or consolidated into custard for the desserts, all this may be done without exhausting his purse, but how his spirits, or indeed how any one can go through so much fatigue I cannot imagine. Yesterday sennight not only all the Shropshire Squires were to dine with him but
all the noble race of Shinkin, & all the descendants of King Cadwallader from every mountain & valley in Wales. I wish the great Talliessin could have come with his harp to have sung the praise of the noble Lord of the feast.
I have hear'd great praise of a letter of L=d= Palmerston's from some Town in Italy the Genius of S=r= William Temple seems to bloom out again in this descendant. You may imagine that I am very ignorant of the state of the political World at present. I suppose even the War battle fire will go out till rekindled [\from some spark struck/] by the collision of parties in Parliament next winter. M=r= Pitt is in very good health, able to go to plow this summer, & will be as fit for the Dictatorship in Winter.
The tragedy you mention is a Dreadfull one. The Lotharios are a sad race, [\BLOT\] [\UNCLEAR\] a fain Penitent in a Castle has time to [\weep\] over her guilt & misfortunes, but in gay society they endeavor too often to forget the first inconstant & the first crime, by a second Lover & a second transgression I have often thought it happy for us Women we are not call'd Cuckolds if our Husbands are naughty, one half the misfortune lies in an ugly name. If the fine Gentleman who has occasion'd all this misfortune
has any feeling he must be more wretched than the man he has injured can possibly be, for Providence has taken care innocence can never feel the scorpion sting of remorse.
I have watch'd the press for you but it has of late been very much engaged in politicks, & the Muses who hate party, are retired to some more peaceable Country. Worcestershire is certainly the land of Poets, & there is a good collection of verses publish'd by a journey Man cobler in that Country. He is far [\above\] [\Stephen Duck\]. I got a good deal of money for ye poor man, & have sent him books with advice not to quit good S=t= Crispin [\patriarchy\] for the Pagan Muses.
I beg my compliments to M=rs= Hancock, M=r= Vesey, & M=r= Burke. When do you all return to us? The echoes of Sandleford repeat, Return to us. I can say nothing more from my heart than again answer to y=e= echo, Return to us, so when [\ever\] you think of me be assured Echo & I are calling out, return to us!
Ever Dear Madam
Most affect=ly= y=rs=
I beg of you to send ye enclosed to M=rs= Delany