I wish Lady Fitzwilliam may not hear the same bad news as I expect, in the midst of her royal visitors: her sister, the Duchess of St. Albans, is dying, in the same way as Lady, Dysart; and for some days has not been in her senses. How charming you are to leave those festivities for your good parents; who I do not wonder are impatient for you. I, who am old enough to be your great-grandmother, know one needs not be your near relation to long for your return. Of all your tour, next to your duteous visits, I most approve the jaunt to the sea — I believe in its salutary air more than in the whole college and all its works.
You must not expect any news from me, French or homebred. I am not in the way of hearing any: your morning gazetteer rarely calls on me, as I am not likely to pay him in kind. About royal progresses, paternal or filial, I never inquire; nor do you, I believe, care more than I do. The small wares in which the societies at Richmond and Hampton-court deal, are still less to our taste. My poor niece and her sisters take up most of my time and thoughts: but I will not attrist you to indulge myself, but will break off here, and finish my letter when I have seen your new landlord. Good night!
Well! I have seen him, and nobody was ever so accommodating! He is as courteous as a candidate for a county. You may stay in his house till Christmas if you please, and shall pay but twenty pounds; and if more furniture is wanting, it shall be supplied.
(668) The Countess of Dysart.-M.B.
(669) Lady Mary Bruce, daughter of the Earl of Ailesbury by Caroline Campbell, daughter of General John Campbell, afterwards Duke of Argyle.-M.B.
(670) Mrs. Damer, only child of the Dowager Countess of Ailesbury, by Marshal Henry Seymour Conway, her second husband. She was thus half-sister to the Duchess of Richmond.-M.B.
You ask whether I will call you wise or stupid for leaving, York races in the middle-neither; had you chosen to stay, you would have done rightly. The more young persons see, where there is nothing blamable, the better; as increasing the stock of ideas early will be a resource for age. To resign pleasure to please tender relations is amiable, and superior to wisdom; for wisdom, however laudable, is but a selfish virtue. But I do decide peremptorily, that it was very prudent to decline the invitation to Wentworth House,(671) which was obligingly given; but, as I am very proud for you, I should have disliked your being included in a mobbish kind of colhue. You two are not to go where any other two misses would have been equally pri`ees, and where people would have been thinking of the princes more than of the Berrys. Besides, princes are so rife now, that, besides my sweet nephew(672) in the Park, we