Lady Mary Wortley Montague eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 370 pages of information about Lady Mary Wortley Montague.
made by Lady Mary was to ask Lord Bute, through her daughter, to take care that Sir James Steuart’s name was not excluded in the Act of Indemnity.  It is, however, true that there is the following statement in the Diaries of the Right Hon. William Windham, under the date of November 25, 1772, which is given here for what it is worth.  “Mr. Montagu told me this evening about Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, that at her death, ’A note of his was found among her papers for one thousand guineas,’ which had been given her by a gentleman of Ireland as the premium for some honours to be received through her interest.  The honours stipulated for were not obtained before her death, and the gentleman upon representation of the story to the family recovered the note which she had deposited by agreement in a particular drawer shewn to him.  It may reasonably be supposed that this was not the first instance of her accepting money on those conditions, and that much of Lord Bute’s interest has been employed in her service.”

As Lady Mary advanced in the sixties of her life, she looked upon the world with the eyes of a vast experience, and found it more sad than she had thought it in youth or middle age. Vanitas vanitatum was the text of many a homily that she delivered, and a certain sadness replaced the sense of malice that had once possessed her.  Once more than aggressive, now she had had bestowed upon her in some degree that gift of understanding that engenders sympathy.  As she grew older she grew more wise, and was anxious to impart her wisdom, especially to her daughter, for her benefit or for that of her daughter’s children.

“How important is the charge of youth! and how useless all the advantages of nature and fortune without a well-turned mind!  I have lately heard of a very shining instance of this truth, from two gentlemen (very deserving ones they seem to be) who have had the curiosity to travel into Moscovy, and now return to England with Mr. Archer.  I inquired after my old acquaintance Sir Charles [Hanbury] Williams, who I hear is much broken, both in spirits and constitution.  How happy that man might have been, if there had been added to his natural and acquired endowments a dash of morality!  If he had known how to distinguish between false and true felicity; and, instead of seeking to increase an estate already too large, and hunting after pleasures that have made him rotten and ridiculous, he had bounded his desires of wealth, and follow the dictates of his conscience.  His servile ambition has gained him two yards of red ribbon, and an exile into a miserable country, where there is no society and so little taste, that I believe he suffers under a dearth of flatterers.  This is said for the use of your growing sons, whom I hope no golden temptations will induce to marry women they cannot love, or comply with measures they do not approve.  All the happiness this world can afford is more within reach than is generally supposed.  Whoever seeks pleasure will

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Lady Mary Wortley Montague from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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