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<Q A 1786 FN SS EMONTAGU>
<X ELIZABETH MONTAGU>
[}ELIZABETH MONTAGU TO SARAH SCOTT. 1786 JANUARY 4. LONDON. MO 6124}]
Jan=y= y=e= 4=th= 1786 My very very dear Sister
Yesterday morning brought me the elegant entertainment of your letter; the evening the substantial food for a Feast your noble Turkey; of the first I deem'd as Duncomb of y=e= Manor of Hemsley, it was [\too good/] to give to any one, but of the latter many of my Friends shall partake. Our dear young Friends calld on me yesterday morning to invite me to dine with them, & to go to the Play, for what they had just procured a box; a matter of no small difficulty when M=rs= Jordan is to act, as Heraclitus & Democritus had each their [\SEAL\] different Parties of Witts & Philosopher, so have M=rs= Siddons [\& M=rs= Jordan/] amongst the fine Gentlemen, & fine Ladies, all indeed are agreed that it is charming to laugh, or weep, but some greatly prefer the first others y=e= latter. As I think Comedy as well constituted to purge ones mind of scorn & contempt, as Tragedy of pity & terror, I was very desirous to see M=rs= Jordan in her facetious modes, & had told my young folks I w=d= be of their party, or they sh=d= be of mine, when we c=d= get a box. I made 2 or 3 unsuccessfull attempts during ye mild weather, but I have now determined not to
put my face out of doors till y=e= frost is gone, least S=r= Anthony should seize it, so I excused myself as to ye play, & prevailed on them to dine with me, & attend M=rs= Jordan in y=e= afternoon. L=d= Sandwich & all who have much frequented y=e= Theatre; speak of M=rs= Jordan as y=e= best Actress in parts of humour that ever was seen on any stage. The Romp & Country Girl are her characters, & I sh=d= be glad to see any where, in [\these\] our days, a Miss Hoyden who has no boarding school airs & grimaces. Our Young Gentleman is not gone to Bath, & I hear does not intend going. He never calls now on his Brother or on me, so we learn this from others. I am vex'd beyond measure at it as I know our good & noble Friends kind intentions towards him, & to be treated with any neglect at this time might occasion mortification to both parties; but it would only produce mischief perhaps should one prevail on him to do any thing contrary to his inclination, & it is ever dangerous to give counsel to ye [\perverse\] , & in vain to offer advise to y=e= obstinate. I wish he would apprehend this certain truth, that the Man who endeavours to please himself only, leads an [\unpleasant\] life. In social life all must pay a Commutation tax. M=r=
Jerningham by illness was prevented going into Norfolk. I did not know any thing of his indisposition till y=e= other day. he calld at my Gate, & told my Porter, & added he w=d= contrive to send your parcel to Lady Jerningham who would convey it to you. The Wind is now howling, & y=e= snow driving at a terrible rate, I expect S=r= Joseph & Lady Bankes, a (\Mons=r=\) de [\ [\Saledan\] INTO Saladin\] , a swiss Gentleman, recommended to me by M=r=Lock [OR Loch], & (\Mad=me=\) du Boccage, at dinner, as also my Young folks, & some other friends so I can say.
blow, blow, thou winters wind; but I pity the Squires [\SEAL who\] are gone into y=e= Country for the rural sports, & their Wives, who in the Country can find no sport at all. I beg of you not to leave ye good City of Norwich during this Weather. A Walled Town is a better defence against the cutting air than a Hedge when, (^thorough y=e= Hawthorn blows^) [\y=e= cold wind/] I shudder at the thought of your going into a cold Villa. I am told our Brother William has taken a House at Reading. There is always to be found Cards & tittle tattle in a Country Town, so they will be more amused there in Winter than at Denton; in Summer it will [\be/] less pleasant. I suppose they will pass this whole Winter at Bath.
[\IN UPPER MARGIN\] I desire my best respects to M=r= & M=rs= Freeman & love to dear Miss Arnold. The Dowager Duchess of Beaufort has been extreamly ill but is quite recoverd. The Goddess Lucina will be in full employ Lady Salisbury & Lady Fitzwilliams are [\IN LOWER MARGIN\] both breeding, but the Infants looks will be y=e= colour of their Husbands so they will hardly be so fair as Master Bamfields Poor Vesey is ye shadow of a Ghost, or ye Ghost of a Shadow, & she is indeed in a declining state. Let me again entreat beg beseech you to keep y=r= self close at y=e= fireside this horrible weather. We are all in deep mourning in Town. With every good [\wish\] . I am y=r= sincerely affect=te=Sist
& obliged EM
[\ADDRESS\] M=rs= Scott / At The Rev=d= M=r= Freemans / Norwich