Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Lady Mary Awaits a Book

To Frances Hewet* October 1709

I suppose my dear Mrs. Huet has by this time resolv'd never to think more on so Insensible and ungrateful a Creature that could be so long returning thanks for such a Letter, and repented of past Favours--I cannot blame your Resentment, appearances are against me; and yet I am not so much to blame as you Imagine. You Expressed a desire of seeing the 2d part of the memoirs of the Atalantis. I had just then sent to London for it and did not question having it last Satterday. I hop'd a book you had a mind to see might attone the Nothingnesse of my Letter, and was resolv'd not to send one without tother; but like an unfortunate projector as I am, my designs are allwaies followd with Disapointments.--Satterday came and no book; God forgive me, I had certainly wished the Lady that was to send it me hang'd but for the hopes it was come by Nottingham Carrier and then I should have it Monday; but after waiting Monday and Tuesday I find it is not come at all. Now Madam I dont question your forgivenesse, and hope you'l ever beleive when I don't write to Mrs Huet there is some unadvoidable cause for my silence.

Your News and Your book very much diverted me; tis an old, but a very pleasant Spanish Novelle. When we leave this place I am not able to tell you. I have no reason to wish it, but (since I cannot see you) that it may be in my power to write you more entertaining Letters. I had some last post told me Lady Essex Saville is going to be marry'd to Lord Lonsdale. I won't swear to the truth of it, for people make no Conscience of what they write into the Country, and think any thing good enough for poor us . . . I am promis'd a Cargo of Lampoons from the Bath; if they come safe you shall share them with me--My dear dear Mrs Huet, could I contribute any way to your Diversion twould be the height of my Ambition.

[Lady Mary Wortley Montagu]

*Frances Bettenson, da. of Richard and Albinia Bettenson, m. (1689) Thomas Hewet of Shireoaks, near Worksop and Thoresby.

-from Lady Mary Wortley Montagu: Selected Letters edited with an introduction by Isobel Grundy (London: Penguin Books, 1997) p. 12-13.

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