Letter 383 To The Miss Berrys.
Strawberry Hill, June 14, 1791.(page 508)
I pity you! what a dozen or fifteen uninteresting letters are you going to receive! for here I am, unlikely to have any thing to tell you worth sending. You had better come back incontinently-but pray do not prophesy any more; you have been the death of our summer, and we are in close mourning for it in coals and ashes. It froze hard last night: I went out for a moment to look at my haymakers, and was starved. The contents of an English June are, hay and ice, orange-flowers and rheumatisms! I am now cowering over the fire. Mrs. Hobart had announced a rural breakfast at Sans-Souci last Saturday; nothing being so pastoral as a fat grandmother in a row of houses on Ham Common. It rained early in the morning: she despatched postboys, for want of Cupids and zephyrs, to stop the nymphs and shepherds who tend their flocks in Pall-Mall and St. James’s- street; but half of them missed the couriers and arrived. Mrs. Montagu was more splendid yesterday morning, and breakfasted seven hundred persons on opening her great room, and the room with the hangings of feathers. The King and Queen had been with her last week. I should like to have heard the orations she had prepared on the occasion. I was neither City-mouse nor country-mouse. I did dine at Fulham on Saturday with the Bishop of London: Mrs. Boscawen, Mrs. Garrick, and Hannah More were there; and Dr. Beattie, whom I had never seen. He is quiet, simple, and cheerful, and pleased me. There ends my tale, this instant, Tuesday! How shall I fill a couple of pages more by Friday morning! Oh! ye ladies on the Common, and ye uncommon ladies in London, have pity on a poor gazetteer, and supply me with eclogues or royal panegyrics Moreover—or rather more under—I have had no letter from you these ten days, though the east wind has been as constant as Lord Derby. I say not this in reproach, as you are so kindly punctual; but as it stints me from having a single paragraph to answer. I do not admire specific responses to every article; but they are great resources on a dearth.