Lady Mary Wortley Montague eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 370 pages of information about Lady Mary Wortley Montague.
with those they can obtain:  those hours are spent in the wisest manner, that can easiest shade the ills of life, and are lest productive of ill consequences.  I think my time better employed in reading the adventures of imaginary people, than the Duchess of Marlborough’s, who passed the latter years of her life in paddling with her will, and contriving schemes of plaguing some, and extracting praise from others, to no purpose; eternally disappointed, and eternally fretting.  The active scenes are over at my age.  I indulge, with all the art I can, my taste for reading.  If I would confine it to valuable books, they are almost as rare as valuable men.  I must be content with what I can find.  As I approach a second childhood, I endeavour to enter into the pleasures of it.  Your youngest son is, perhaps, at this very moment riding on a poker with great delight, not at all regretting that it is not a gold one, and much less wishing it an Arabian horse, which he would not know how to manage.  I am reading an idle tale, not expecting wit or truth in it, and am very glad it is not metaphysics to puzzle my judgment, or history to mislead my opinion.  He fortifies his health by exercise; I calm my cares by oblivion.  The methods may appear low to busy people; but, if he improves his strength, and I forget my infirmities, we attain very desirable ends.”


“Venice, November 8, 1758.

“...  Some few months before Lord W. Hamilton married, there appeared a foolish song, said to be wrote by a poetical great lady, who I really think was the character of Lady Arabella, in The Female Quixote (without the beauty):  you may imagine such a conduct, at court, made her superlatively ridiculous.  Lady Delawarr, a woman of great merit, with whom I lived in much intimacy, showed this fine performance to me:  we were very merry in supposing what answer Lord William would make to these passionate addresses; she begged me to say something for a poor man, who had nothing to say for himself.  I wrote, extempore, on the back of the song, some stanzas that went perfectly well to the tune.  She promised they should never appear as mine, and faithfully kept her word.  By what accident they have fallen into the hands of that thing Dodsley, I know not, but he has printed them as addressed, by me, to a very contemptible puppy, and my own words as his answer.  I do not believe either Job or Socrates ever had such a provocation.  You will tell me, it cannot hurt me with any acquaintance I ever had:  it is true; but it is an excellent piece of scandal for the same sort of people that propagate, with success, that your nurse left her estate, husband, and family, to go with me to England; and, then I turned her to starve, after defrauding her of God knows what.  I thank God witches are out of fashion, or I should expect to have it deposed, by several credible witnesses, that I had been seen flying through the air on a broomstick, &c.  I am really sick with vexation.”

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Lady Mary Wortley Montague from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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