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Jan y=e= 1=st=
   I was much rejoyced to receive a testimony of my dear Sisters not being absolutely frozen by the severity of this Season, it is realy quite horrid. I have not stirr'd from the fireside for near a fortnight, but have nevertheless been visited by a most severe cold. It is now better but my jaws & teeth were very painful in y=e= night, so I shall be obliged to shorten my letter. I think I c=d= contrive to send our Gardener over to Hitcham for a few days in y=e= months of feb & march. I will write to D=r= Gregory for a soots Laddie, & if possible he shall play in ye pipe to make our hearts fu' o' glee. I am sorry poor Fielding has but a small chance to have her sun set so pleasantly as it w=d= do at Hitcham. I imagine she w=d= be vastly happy there [\sitting/] between you & M=rs= Cutts without a wish that w=d= stray beyond ye chairs you sat
upon. I could not enjoy Hitcham if it was to cost that good Woman all her happiness, & whatever deprived her of you w=d= do so; therefore she must not be left out. You may depend on my making ye affair quite easy, so if you please draw y=e= scheme & then as you know her income subtract what is above it & I will lay [\down/] the stake. My friend Fielding is too much of a (\Bel esprit\) to know a little of y=e= ordinary affairs of life so you need not fear she sh=d= detect you. Witts as well as Physicians rank eating & drinking among ye non naturals, so we can cheat her as to knowledge of ye expense & let her imagine her present income equal to it. I had much rather she did not know she was assisted in it. For my part in matters of giving I have no affectation of secrecy, where it is an honour to ye Person to receive a mark of ones kindness I sh=d= never take y=e= least thought [\of INTO ab=t=\] concealing it, but it can never be pleasant
to one as ill provided with money as Fielding to think about it, & to feel a dependance upon another for what humanly speaking, she ought to have of her own, it is better she sh=d= not be made sensible of it, & indeed it is better for me because whatever draw back it w=d= be upon ye money [\expended? DELETED\] so much I sh=d= lose, as it w=d= not procure her ye happiness for which I expended it. I am afraid some rumour of this scheme [\of Hitcham/] sh=d= reach her ear & kill her, so I speak in case you see danger of her knowing of it, if there is not you can then wait till you [\have\] better Hopes of her recovery. I sent y=r= letters directly, nothing is more easy than to convey a letter, so at any time you may enclose. I think you hit y=e= point right in regard to her G: of Beaufort if possible save her money, if not save her pride, if it is to be done at a moderate expence. Poor Old Atkinson is fallen very ill but not in immediate danger. It is a great
comfort to me that I made him quite happy when I was at Sandleford by allowing him 30=L= a year, he boarded at a farm House. As soon
 as I heard he was sick I orderd him a nurse & desired Woodhouse to send him wine & what ever he wanted & I was very glad to hear last post that M=r= Montagu had orderd a nurse & that he sh=d= not want for any thing I think M=r= Montagu is often harsh more by doctrine than disposition, as I removed this poor old Creature out of his place for which he was unfit yet had I vexd & grieved [\him/] I sh=d= have thought I had shortend his days but since I went to Sandleford he has been quite happy. M=r= Withers thinks he cannot recover any good state of health. Papa is vastly good humoured & is grown very fond of little Matt. He goes often to dine in Chancery Lane tho ye weather is so severe. I am to dine at M=r= [\Noods\] to day at Lady Herveys to morrow on sunday tuesday & wensday I am to have company
At dinner, & on monday I am to dine with M=r= & M=rs= Pulteney. All this is very bustling of late I have been very quiet, but the weather has been so severe my pen has often dropped out of my fingers. I am very proud of D=r= Monseys approbation & very desirious to keep it, but cannot imagine how I came by it. I have no title to it but great respect for him & love for his pretty [\Jen\] who I sent to invite to dinner an age ago but he was engaged. I shall make another attempt soon to get him hither. (\Adieu\) my Dear Sister be carefull of y=r= self till y=e= weather returns to some moderation I long for spring that we may meet at our Bower of bliss sweet Hitcham. I hope it may be possible to avoid my campaign to Northumberland this Summer. I wish you a happy new year, & very many: your short chin & my long chin, y=r= short nose & my long nose meeting over y=e= fire, [\to\] which [\junction\] tho y=r= elder Sister you see I shall go more than half way. I am ever most affectly y=rs=