Have you heard what immense riches old Wortley has left? One million three hundred and fifty thousand pounds.(127) It is all to centre in my Lady Bute; her husband is one of Fortune’s prodigies. They talk of a print, in which her mistress is reprimanding Miss Chudleigh; the latter curtsies, and replies, “Madame, chacun a son but.”
Have you seen a scandalous letter in print, from Miss Ford,(128) to lord Jersey, with the history of a boar’s head? George Selwyn calls him Meleager. Adieu! this is positively my last.
(127) “You see old Wortley Montagu is dead at last, at eighty-three. It was not mere avarice and its companion abstinence, that kept him alive so long. He every day drank, I think it was, half-a-pint of tokay, which he imported himself from Hungary in greater quantity than he could use, and sold the overplus for any price he chose to set upon it. He has left better than half a million of money.” Gray, Works, vol. iii. p. 272.-E.
(128) Miss Ford was the object of an illicit, but unsuccessful attachment, on the part of Lord Jersey, whose advances, if not sanctioned by the lady, appear to have been sanctioned by her father, who told her “she might have accepted the settlement his lordship offered her, and yet not have complied” with his terms. The following extract from the letter will explain the history above alluded to:—“However, I must do your lordship the justice to say, that as you conceived this meeting [one with a noble personage which Lord Jersey had desired her not to make] would have been most pleasing to me, and perhaps of some ,advantage, your lordship did (in consideration of so great a disappointment) send me, a few days after, a present of a boar’s head, which I had often had the honour to meet at your lordship’s table before. It was rather an odd first and only present from a lord to his beloved mistress; but as coming from your lordship gave it an additional value, which it had not in itself; and I received it with the regard I thought due to every thing coming from your lordship, and would have eat it, had it been eatable. I am’’ impatient to acquit your lordship and myself, by showing that as your lordship’s eight hundred pounds a-year did not purchase my person, the boar’s head did not purchase my silence."-E.