The footing part of my dance with my shocking partner the gout is almost over. I had little pain there this last night, and got, at twice, about three hours’ sleep; but, whenever I waked, found my head very bad, which Mr. Graham thinks gouty too. The fever is still very high: but the same sage is of opinion, with my Lady LOndonderry, that if it was a fever from death, I should die; but as it is only a fever from the gout, I shall live. I think so too, and hope that, like the Duke and Duchess of Marlborough., they are so inseparable, that when one goes t’other will.
Tell Lady Ailesbury, I fear it will be long before I shall be able to compass all your terraces again. The weather is very hot, and I have the (comfort of a window open all day. I have got a bushel of roses too, and a new scarlet nightingale, which does not sing Nancy Dawson from morning to night. Perhaps you think all these poor pleasures; but you are ignorant what a provocative the gout is, and what charms it can bestow on a moment’s amusement! Oh! it beats all the refinements of a Roman sensualist. It has made even my watch a darling plaything; I strike it as often as a child does. Then the disorder of my sleep diverts me when I am awake. I dreamt that I went to see Madame de Bentheim at Paris, and that she had the prettiest palace in the world, built like a pavilion, of yellow laced with blue; that I made love to her daughter, whom I called Mademoiselle Bleue et Jaune, and thought it very clever.
My next reverie was very serious, and lasted half an hour after I was awake; which you will perhaps think a little light-headed, and so do I. I thought Mr. Pitt had had a conference with Madame de Bentheim, and granted all her demands. I rung for Louis at six in the morning, and wanted to get up and inform myself of what had been kept so secret from me. You must know, that all these visions of Madame de Bentheim flowed from George Selwyn telling me last night, that she had carried most of her points, and was returning. What stuff I tell you! But alas! I have nothing better to do, sitting on my bed, and wishing to forget how brightly the sun shines, when I cannot be at Strawberry. Yours ever.
Your ladyship’s goodness to me on all occasions makes me flatter myself that I am not doing an impertinence in telling you I am alive; though, after what I have suffered, you may be sure there cannot be much of me left. The gout has been a little in my stomach, much more in my head, but luckily never out of my right foot, and for twelve, thirteen, and seventeen hours together, insisting upon having its way as absolutely as ever my Lady Blandford(847) did. The extremity of pain seems to be over, though I sometimes think my tyrant puts in his claim to t’other foot; and surely he is, like most tyrants, mean as well as