“You may imagine how heartily I was tired with twenty-four hours’ post-travelling [to Dresden], without sleep or refreshment (for I can never sleep in a coach, however fatigued). We passed by moonshine the frightful precipices that divide Bohemia from Saxony, at the bottom of which runs the river Elbe; but I cannot say that I had reason to fear drowning in it, being perfectly convinced that, in case of a tumble, it was utterly impossible to come alive to the bottom. In many places the road is so narrow, that I could not discern an inch of space between the wheels and the precipice. Yet I was so good a wife not to wake Mr. Wortley, who was fast asleep by my side, to make him share in my fears, since the danger was unavoidable, till I perceived by the bright light of the moon, our postilions nodding on horseback, while the horses were on a full gallop, and I thought it very convenient to call out to desire them to look where they were going. My calling waked Mr. Wortley, and he was much more surprised than myself at the situation we were in, and assured me that he had passed the Alps five times in different places, without ever having gone a road so dangerous. I have been told since it is common to find the bodies of travellers in the Elbe; but, thank God, that was not our destiny; and we came safe to Dresden, so much tired with fear and fatigue, it was not possible for me to compose myself to write.”
From Dresden the travellers visited Leipzig, and then went to Brunswick, and afterwards to Hanover, where they paid their respects to George I. It was there that Lady Mary first made the acquaintance of the eldest son of the Prince of Wales, Frederick Louis, himself presently Prince of Wales and father of George III. He was then nine years of age.
“I am extremely pleased that I can tell you, without either flattery or partiality, that our young Prince has all the accomplishments that it is possible to have at his age, with an air of sprightliness and understanding, and something so very engaging and easy in his behaviour, that he needs not the advantage of his rank to appear charming. I had the honour of a long conversation with him last night, before the King came in. His governor retired on purpose (as he told me afterwards) that I might make some judgment of his genius, by hearing him speak without constraint; and I was surprised at the quickness and politeness that appeared in every thing he said; joined to a person perfectly agreeable, and the fine fair hair of the Princess.”
Amazed as Lady Mary was at the size of the Palace at Hanover which, she said, was capable of holding a greater court than that of St. James’s, and the opera-house which was larger than that at Vienna, what principally amazed her was the orangery at Herrenhausen and what principally delighted her was the use of stoves, then unknown in England.