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Aug: y=e= 15 / 1771 Dear Madam
   Your letter which I have just received would have given me a great deal of pleasure, if it had not a little alarm'd me on account of my dear Neices health. I do not apprehend the case to be at all dangerous, but a feverish disorder diminishes the strength & spirits, & consequently, for a time, will rob you of the delight her health & vivacity used to give you. I shall be impartial to hear she is quite recoverd. I was very sorry that your Races happen'd so untowardly that I could not edge in my visit without being implicated in them. I remember the time, when the said Races would have a
very different effect than deterring me from the Neighbourhood, but we change to every thing, & every thing changes to us. I cannot say, that as one grows older one grows so much wiser as to despise foolish amusements but one likes new kind of follies. I mean we always like some of those things severe & frowning wisdom calls follies. I had the pleasure of finding M=r= Montagu in extream good health, which gave me the higher satisfaction, as I had been alarmed about him some time before. I went a few miles out of my road to Sandleford to fulfil my [\old/] promise to M=r= Burke at Beconsfield I was sorry that I could not continue there longer than one whole day, as I was then not so assured that M=r= Montagu was in perfect health. When the talents of a man of genius, the acuteness
of a Politician, the alert vivacity of the man of business are all employd to make conversation agreable, & society pleasant, one passes ones time very delightfully in such company. At Beconsfield M=r= Burke is an industrious Farmer, a polite Husband a kind Master, a charitable Neighbour, & a most excellent companion. The Demons of Ambition & Party who hover about Westminster, do not extend their influence so far as the Villa. I know [\not/] why it is, but there busy spirits seem more tranquil & placid in their days of retreat than the honest dull justice of the quorum, who never [\snatchd\] forth his hand to snatch the Scepter of Power, or raised his Voice in publick to fill the trumpet of fame. A little mind is [\far\] even in a tracessarie because it is moved by little things. I have always found that nothing is so gentle as the chief out of War,
nor so serene & simple as the Statesman out of place. If it were fit to name names, & [\certify\] places, I could bring many examples to justify my assertion. I so much delight in these Working Master spirits in their holyday humour, that I had rather play at [\COVERED\] [\Fee Fofum\] or cross & pile with Julius Caesar than with Sardanapalus, the first w=d= have ye easy & difference which belongs to play, the other ye serious [\ness/] & anxiety which belongs to business. I am now preparing for a little excursion in which I shall see some of the busy folks of the great World, so I expect [\to pass/] my time in the more joyous tranquillity. On friday I am to go to Stowe. Lord & Lady Temple having given me repeated invitations there. I am much afraid the weather will not favour my excursion, however as I shall stay four days at Stowe, I hope to see those suberbe gardens while I am there in favourable gleams of sunshine. I have not seen Stowe
since I first married. Lord Temple I hear has much improved them. I shall have the pleasure of making a visit at another fine place which I never yet saw, which is Lord Nunehams in
   I have not seen M=r= & M=rs= Griffith since I came to Sandleford, but hear they are well. M=r= Herbert has given us a very agreable Neighbour in Lady Elizabeth. She has been very well educated, & I dare say will always behave with great propriety. M=r= Herbert is a young man of uncommon understanding & merit. He is come early, & not too early, into ye possession of an ample fortune.
   I am sorry my Brother is not quite so well as he was at Aix. My health is perfectly good I am much pleased to hear my Neice is so tractable & good, a disposition to oblige her Parents & to do what those who love her advise her to will make her much happier
than wilfulness & obstinacy. As to my Nephew he is too young to listen to reason if medicine be necessary I should think it might be conveyd down his throat by holding his nose & laying him flat on his back. I find he is much afraid of uttering idle words, the same apprehension w=d= be unnatural & a girl [\SIC\], so I rejoyce that Miss Mary prates away. My Nephew Morris & Matt are just arrived they are fine boys Morris grows very handsome, & he has a very good character amongst his school fellows. These little Men will be a great amusement to M=r= Montagu in my absence. I pass'd my time very well at Tunbridge having so agreable a companion at home as my Sister, so I depended on the great World for nothing more than vagrant amusement at idle hours; & this is all one can reasonably expect of the great World, one sh=d= have ones solid comforts at home. One makes a good meal, the other a pleasant dessart.
Having a letter of business to send to the Recorder I beg of you to do it at some convenient opportunity, for it w=d= be unconscionable to cost him postage for my business, & I have not yet a frank for him M=r= Montagu desires his comp=ts= to you & My Brother, to whom I beg mine, with love & good wishes to the little ones particularly the dear little Invalide. I regret that poor M=r= Gray is now no more than Pindar, one fatal moment sets two or three [\thousand/] years aside & brings the account equal. I realy believe our Brittish Pindar not unequal [\in merit/] to the Bard of Thebes. I hope M=r= Gray has left some works yet unpublish'd.
   I am Dear Madam
   Your most affect=te= Sister
   And very sincere friend
   & H=ble= Serv=t=
   Eliz: Montagu