MONTAGU, Elizabeth, letters, autographs, documents, manuscripts

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MONTAGU, Elizabeth (1718-1800). Author and literary hostess.
Fine Autograph Letter Signed to William Pulteney, Earl of Bath ('My Lord'), 3 pages 4to without address, no place (but on Continental paper), no date. Apologising for not having immediately replied to his letter, and arranging to convey a gift from himself to [Elizabeth] Carter.
'... I was really fast asleep when it arrived, & till I received it, thought I had lost nothing by so long a nap, but some hours meditation on the misery & wickedness of the World, but I found I had been deprived of the pleasure of thinking of the merit of one friend, & the good fortune of another, by my indolence. ...
 'Your Lordships present to Mrs Carter is so noble, that I am very desirous it should go to her as it is. If it had been of a fourth part the value I should have wished to have done it as you first suggested, & the witt & politeness of your Lordships letter would have added such a grace to the present as must have given her great pleasure ...
 'I must tell your Lordship that I cannot possibly send the bank bills to Mrs Carter without letting her know from whence they come, for she would probably image they came from me, and I should rather rob your Lordship upon Hounslow Heath the next time you go to Iver place, for in that case I should only take your gold, but here I should steal from you the grace of an action, & the proof a mind above all gold. ...'
Accompanied by a note from the collector and writer on autographs A.M. Broadley, explaining how it came into his possession:
'... This most interesting letter was addresssed to E.M. to Pulteney, Earl of Bath (1682 [sic, for 1684] -1764). It was probably written before 1763, when Mrs Montagu made a tour in Holland accompanied by Lord & Lady Bath & their mutual friend Mrs Elizabeth Carter. The letter does much to discredit the accusation of sordid meanness & selfish so often brought against Lord Bath. The letter was given me by Mrs Climenson of Shiplake, a descendant of the writer & heir of much of her talent. AWB / March 12th 1903.'
Together with a good Autograph Letter Signed of Matthew Montagu, nephew of Elizabeth Montague, presumably to his wife, 4 pages 4to, Cambridge, 18 June 1790.Provenance: from a collection formed by A.M. Broadley in 1903.
[No: 24689]

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