Lady Mary Wortley Montague eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 308 pages of information about Lady Mary Wortley Montague.
made of wood.’  I was not at all vexed by said schoolboy, not because he was (in more senses than one) the highest of the company, but knowing he did not mean to offend me.  I confess (to my shame be it spoken) I was grieved at the triumph that appeared in the eyes of the king and queen of the company, the court being tolerably full.  His majesty walked off early with the air befitting his dignity, followed by his train of courtiers, who, like courtiers, were laughing amongst themselves as they followed him:  and I was left with the two queens, one of whom was making ruffles for the man she loved, and the other slopping tea for the good of her country.  They renewed their generous endeavours to set me right, and I (graceless beast that I am) take up the smoked card which lay before me, and with the corner of another wrote—­

  If ever I one thought bestow
    On what such fools advise,
  May I be dull enough to grow
    Most miserably wise.

And flung down the card on the table, and myself out of the room, in the most indecent fury.  A few minutes on the cold water convinced me of my folly, and I went home as much mortified as my Lord E. when he has lost his last stake at hazard.  Pray don’t think (if you can help it) this is an affectation of mine to enhance the value of a talent I would be thought to despise; as celebrated beauties often talk of the charms of good sense, having some reason to fear their mental qualities are not quite so conspicuous as their outside lovely form.—­A propos of beauties: 

  I know not why, but Heaven has sent this way
  A nymph, fair, kind, poetical, and gay;
  And what is more (tho’ I express it dully),
  A noble, wise, right honourable cully: 
  A soldier worthy of the name he bears,
  As brave and senseless as the sword he wears.

“You will not doubt I am talking of a puppet-show; and indeed so I am; but the figures (some of them) bigger than the life, and not stuffed with straw like those commonly shown at fairs.  I will allow you to think me madder than Don Quixote when I confess I am governed by the que-dira-t-on of these things, though I remember whereof they are made, and know they are but dust.  Nothing vexes me so much as that they are below satire. (Between you and me) I think there are but two pleasures permitted to mortal man, love and vengeance; both which are, in a peculiar manner, forbidden to us wretches who are condemned to petticoats.  Even vanity itself, of which you daily accuse us, is the sin against the Holy Ghost not to be forgiven in this world or the next.

  Our sex’s weakness you expose and blame,
  Of every prating fop the common theme;
  Yet from this weakness you suppose is due
  Sublimer virtue than your Cato knew. 
  From whence is this unjust distinction shown? 
  Are we not formed with passions like your own? 
  Nature with equal fire our souls endued: 
  Our minds as lofty, and as warm our blood. 
  O’er the wide world your wishes you pursue,
  The change is justified by something new,
  But we must sigh in silence and be true.

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Lady Mary Wortley Montague from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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