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Sandleford May 2=d= 1776 My dear Madam
   How dare you say that you were at home on Sunday evening, & had the Provost of Eton & so many of my agreable friends, but I was not of the Party? I scorn your words! I never am absent from my dear Sylph & such an assembly. I was not with you in flesh & blood, in a gross vulgar manner, but my spirit was hovering about y=e= blue room. At such an assembly y=e= more spiritual one is y=e= more worthy, so a City Feast indeed one must assist with all ye [\grossieres\] of matter; the bodily organs [\WORD DELETED\] are perfectly necessary to digest venison, or even the more delicate dainties Callipash & Callipee; but learning, witt, & sentiment make ye [\WORD DELETED\] [\entertainment/] of y=e= mind; the Aldermans paunch is not required to receive metaphysical aliment. It is true, that some times crudities will arise from y=e= feast of Reason [\and the flow of soul,/] & ye unworthy Guest rises from it rather puffed up than nourish'd. Perhaps even
the witt, & sense, & learning, of ye B'p of Peterborough, & the Provost may have turn_d to mere flatulencies in me, but as neither they nor I can help it, we will say no more of that.
   I am angry with ye Brutes who could think of insulting ye poor Lady. It is very rude to make a Lady receive a kiss from a Man because she does not like him, more uncivil still because she is suspected to like him, & if she neither liked nor disliked [\him/] still kissing is improper in itself. In good Queen Besses romping days, & in the Court of James's Nan: of Denmark such things were permitted. But the Lady who ever she is, sh=d= have shewn a sullen contempt of ye affront rather than anger, & never again have ventured into such rude society. Really ye maccaronies w=d= be more troublesome than fleas & flies in a hot climate if they were allow'd to [\fix\] upon a Ladys lips whenever they pleased. I suppose there is not
one Maccaroni in a hundred that could muster up might for a smack.
   If you could see my little man on your little horse, you w=d= say y=e= Centaur not fabulous was a very pretty Creature. You say I did not tell you of ye new Edition of my Essay, indeed my dear Sylph I did not think it a matter of importance enough to mention it. As it has pass'd through four editions I might by this time have made it more correct but I think it always betrays a Authors partiality to his Work if he is [\in\] dressing & pranking it out. so it appears just as you saw it, only my 3 Dialogues, before publish_d with L=d= Lyttelton, are put into y=e= Volume. They will appear better there than when compared with those of greater merit. Give my love to M=rs= Carter, no, do not take ye trouble, for she has had it all long ago, & ye Creature is so faultless one never can get a bit of it back again. Miss Gregory on all occasions & M=r= Matthew ever but especially on
horse back are y=r= most devoted. We have health, liberty, tranquillity, & fine weather here but as the Sylph is not here, much is wanting. I have not yet fixed any time for my return to London but propose certainly not to leave Sandleford next week. I am always w=th= tenderest
   affection y=rs=
   Eliz Montagu
   Best respects to M=rs= Hancock
   You will be glad to hear I am in perfect health.
[\ADDRESS\] M=rs= Vesey / Bolton Row