court at Vienna, where resides the most august, most
virtuous, and most plump of empresses and queens--no,
I mistake—I should only have said, of empresses;
for her Majesty of Denmark, God bless her! is reported
to be full as virtuous, and three stone heavier.
Shall not you call at Copenhagen, Madam? If
you do, you are next door to the Czarina, who is the
quintessence of friendship, as the Princess Daskioff
says, whom, next to the late Czar, her Muscovite Majesty
loves above all the world. Asia, I suppose, would
not enter into your ladyship’s system Of conquest;
for, though it contains a sight of queens and sultanas,
the poor ladies are locked up in abominable places,
into which I am sure your ladyship’s amity would
never carry you—I think they call them
seraglios. Africa has nothing but empresses stark-naked;
and of complexions directly the reverse of your alabaster
They do not reign in their own right; and what is
worse, the emperors of those barbarous regions wear
no more robes than the sovereigns of their hearts.
And what are princes and princesses without velvet
and ermine? As I am not a jot a better geographer
than King Pyrrhus, I can at present recollect but
one lady more who reigns alone, and that is her Majesty
of Otaheite, lately discovered by Mr. Bankes and Dr.
Solander; and for whom, your ladyship’s compassionate
breast must feel the tenderest emotions,’ she
having been cruelly deprived of her faithful minister
and lover Tobiu, since dead at Batavia.
Well,’Madam, after you should have given me
the plan of your intended expeditions, and not left
a queen regent on the face of the globe unvisited,—
I would ask what we were to do next?- -Why then, dear
Abigail, you would have said, we will retire to Notting-hill,
we will plant shrubs all the morning, read Anderson’s
Royal Genealogies all the evening; and once or twice
a week I will go to Gunnersbury and drink a bottle
with Princess Amelia. Alas, dear lady! and cannot
you do all that without skuttling from one end of
the world to the other?—This was the, upshot
of all Cineas’s inquisitiveness: and this
is the pith of this tedious letter from, Madam, your
ladyship’s most faithful Aulic Counsellor and
(106) See the two preceding letters. It will
be recollected that Lady Mary Coke was sister-in-law
to The Earl of Strafford, and widow of Viscount Coke,
heir apparent of Thomas Earl of Leicester, who died
without issue by her, in his father’s lifetime.
Lady Mary died at a great age in 1811-E.