“I was very sorry that the ill weather did not permit me to see Herrenhausen in all its beauty; but, in spite of the snow, I thought the gardens very fine” (she wrote with enthusiasm to Lady Mar). “I was particularly surprised at the vast number of orange trees, much larger than I have ever seen in England, though this climate is certainly colder. But I had more reason to wonder that night at the King’s table. There was brought to him from a gentleman of this country, two large baskets full of ripe oranges and lemons of different sorts, many of which were quite new to me; and, what I thought worth all the rest, two ripe bananas, which, to my taste, are a fruit perfectly delicious. You know they are naturally the growth of Brazil, and I could not imagine how they could come there but by enchantment. Upon enquiry, I learnt that they have brought their stoves to such perfection, they lengthen the summer as long as they please, giving to every plant the degree of heat it would receive from the sun in its native soil. The effect is very near the same; I am surprised we do not practise in England so useful an invention.
“This reflection naturally leads me to consider our obstinacy in shaking with cold six months in the year, rather than make use of stoves, which are certainly one of the greatest conveniences of life; and so far from spoiling the form of a room, they add very much to the magnificence of it, when they are painted and gilt, as at Vienna, or at Dresden, where they are often in the shape of china jars, statues, or fine cabinets, so naturally represented, they are not to be distinguished. If ever I return, in defiance to the fashion, you shall certainly see one in the chamber of,
“Dear sister, &c.”
THE EMBASSY TO THE PORTE—II(1717-1718)
Adrianople—Turkish baths—Lady Mary wears Turkish dress—Her description of the costume—Her views on Turkish women—She becomes acquainted with the practice of inoculation—Her son engrafted—Her belief in the operation—She later introduces it into England—Dr. Richard Mead—Richard Steele supports her campaign—Constantinople—Lady Mary homesick—Exposes the British ignorance of Turkish life—Montagu recalled—Addison’s private letter to him—Lady Mary gives birth to a daughter—The return journey—The Montagus at Paris—Lady Mary sees her sister, Lady Mar.
The Montagus returned to Vienna for the new year (1717), but late in January went to Peterwaradin, thence to Belgrade, and arrived at Adrianople at the end of March. It was in Adrianople that Lady Mary made acquaintance with the Turkish Bath, which so impressed her that she sent home a long account of it. It was not until about 1860 that they became popular in England, a century and a half later.