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of him who will yield to no mortal, in knowing how to value them.
You will think I forgot myself, and am not writing to you; but, let me tell you, 'tis you forget yourself in that thought, for you are almost the only woman to whom one can safely address the praises of another, Besides, can you imagine a man of my importance so stupid, as to say fine things to you before your husband? Let us see how far Lady M. herself dares do any thing like it, with all the wit and address she is mistress of. If Sir Robert can be so ignorant (now he is left to himself in the country) to imagine any such matter, let him know from me, that here in town every thing that lady says, is taken for satire. For my part, every body knows it is my constant practice to speak truth, and I never do it more than when I call myself Your, &c.
You have put me into so much gaiety of temper, that there will not be a serious word in this day's letter. No more, you will say, there would, if I told you the whole serious business of the town. All last night I continued with you, though your unreasonable regularity drove me out of your doors at three o'clock. I dreamed all over the evening's conversation, and saw the little bed in spite of you. In the morning I waked, very angry at your phantom for leaving me so abruptly. 1 know you delight in my mortification. I dined with an old Beauty; she appeared at the table like a Death's head enamelled. The Egyptians, you know, had such things at their entertainments; but do you think they painted and patched them? However, the last of these objections was soon removed ; for the lady had so violent an appetite for a salmon, that she quickly eat all the patches off her face. She divided the fish into three parts; not equal, God knows; for she helped Gay to the head, me to the middle, and making the rest much the largest part, took it herself, and cried very naively, I'll be content with my own tail.
My supper was as singular as my dinner. It was with a great Poet7 and Ode-maker (that is, a great poet 'out of his wits, or out of his way). He came to me very hungry; not for want of a dinner (for that I should make no jest of) but having forgot to dine. He fell most furiously on the broiled relics of a shoulder of mutton, commonly called a blade-bone: he professed he never tasted so exquisite a thing! begged me to tell him what joint it was; wondered he had never heard the name of this joint, or seen it at other tables; and desired to know how he might direct his butcher to cut out the same for the future. And yet this man, so ignorant in modern butchery, has cut up half an hundred heroes, and quartered five or six miserable lovers in every tragedy he has written. I have nothing more to tell you to-day.
7 It is said he meant Dr. Young; and that he laughed at his frequent absence of mind: to which, but not with affectation, he was subject.
You should have my day too, Sir, but indeed I slept it out, and so Fll give you all that was left, my last Night's entertainment. You know the company. I went in late, in order to be better received; but unluckily came in, as Deuce-ace was flinging (Lord H. would say I came in the Nick). The lady coloured, and the men took the name of the Lord in vain; nobody spoke to me, and I sat down disappointed: then affecting a careless air, gaped, and cried seven or eight times, If ye win or lose? I could safely say at that moment I had no temptation to any one of the seven lively sins; and, in the innocent way I was, happy had it been for me, if I had died! Moralizing sat I by the hazard-table ; I looked upon the uncertainty of riches, the decay of beauty, and the crash of worlds, with as much contempt as ever Plato did. But ah! the frailty of human nature! some ridiculous thought came into my head, wakened my passions, which burst forth into a violent laughter: I rose from my seat, and not considering the just resentments of the losing gamesters, hurled a ball of paper cross the table, which stopped the dice, and turned up seven instead of five. Cursed on all sides, and not knowing where to fly, I threw myself into a chair, which I demolished, and never spoke a word after. We went to supper, and a lady said, Miss G. looks prodigiously like a Tree. Every body agreed to it, and I had not curiosity to ask the meaning of that sprightly fancy: find it out, and let me know. Adieu, 'tis time to dress, and begin the business of the day.
IN THE STYLE OF A LADY.
Pray what is your opinion of Fate? For I must confess I am one of those that believe in Fate and Predestination.—No, I can't go so far as that, but I own I am of opinion one's stars may incline, though not compel one; and that is a sort of free-will; for we may be able to resist inclination, but not compulsion.
Don't you think they have got into the most preposterous fashion this winter that ever was, of flouncing the petticoat so very deep, that it looks like an entire coat of lutestring?
It is a little cool indeed for this time of year, but then, my dear, you will allow it has an extreme clean, pretty look.
Ay, so has my muslin apron; but I would not chuse to make it a winter suit of cloaths.
Well now I'll swear, child, you have put me in mind of a very pretty dress; let me die if I don't think a muslin flounce, made very full, would give one a very agreeable Flirtation-air.
Well, I swear it would be charming! and I should like it of all things—Do you think there are any such things as Spirits?
Do you believe there is any such place as the Elysian Fields; O Gad, that would be charming! I wish I were to go to the Elysian Fields when I die, and then I should not care if I were to leave the world to-morrow: but is one to meet there with what one has loved most in this world?
Now you must tell me this positively. To be sure you can, or what do I correspond with you for, if you will not tell me all? you know I abominate Reserve.
You are to understand, Madam, that my passion for your fair self and your sister, has been divided with the most wonderful regularity in the world. Even from my infancy I have been in love with one after the other of you, week by week, and my journey to Bath fell out in the three hundred seventy-sixth week of the reign of my sovereign Lady Sylvia. At the present writing hereof it is the three hundred eighty-ninth week of the reign of your most serene majesty, in whose service I was listed some weeks before I beheld your sister. This information will account for my writing to either of you hereafter, as either shall happen to be queen-regent at that time.
Pray tell your sister, all the good qualities and virtuous inclinations she has, never gave me so mueh