Lady Mary Wortley Montagu

The Complete Letters of Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, Vol. 2: 1721–1751

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pg 51To Lady Mar [May 1725]

Dear Sister,

I take this Occasion of writeing to you, thô I have receiv'd no Answer to my last, but tis allways most agreable to me to write when I have the Conveniency of a private hand to convey my Letter, thô I have no dispositions to politiquer. But I have such a complication of things both in my Head and Heart that I do not very well know what I do; and if I can't settle my Brains, your next News of me will be that I am lock'd up by my Relations. In the mean time I lock my selfe up and keep my Distraction as private as possible. The most facetious part of the History is that my Distemper is of such a Nature, I know not whither to laugh or cry at it. I am glad and sorry, and smiling and sad—but this is too long an account of so whimsical a being. I give my selfe sometimes admirable advice but I am incapable of taking it.

Mr. Baily you know is dismiss'd the Treasury,1 and consol'd with a pension of equal value. Your acquaintance D[on] Rodrigue has had a small accident befalln him:2 Mr. Annesley found him in bed with his Wife, prosecuted, and brought a bill of Divorce into Parliament.3 Those Things grow more pg 52fashionable every day, and in a little while won't be at all Scandalous. The best Expedient for the public and to prevent the Expence of private familys would be a genneral Act of Divorceing all the people of England. You know, those that pleas'd might marry over again, and it would save the Reputations of several Ladys that are now in peril of being expos'd every day.

I saw Horace the other Day, who is a good creature. He returns soon to France,1 and I will engage him to take care of any pacquet that you design for me.

Text Bute MS

Address A Madme Madme de Mar

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Editor’s Note
1 George Baillie (1664–1738), Mrs. Murray's father, a Lord of the Treasury since 1717 (London Gazette, 9–12 April 1717). As early as July 1723 he felt that his post was in jeopardy (HMC Polwarth MSS, iii, 1931, p. 282); but according to Mrs. Murray he resigned against the entreaties of his friends and even of the King (Mem. of the Lives and Characters of George Baillie and of Lady Grisell Baillie, 1822, p. 25).
Editor’s Note
2 José Rodrigo y Villalpando (d. 1741), Chamberlain at the Court of Spain, had been in Paris in Nov. 1721 to arrange the engagement, later broken, between Louis XV and the Spanish Infanta (Saint-Simon, Mémoires, ed. A. de Boislisle, 1879–1930, xxxviii. 348–9 and n. 1). Whether he or a son was now in London is uncertain.
Editor’s Note
3 On 26 April Francis Annesley (d. 1740) brought into the House of Lords a bill to dissolve his marriage with Elizabeth Sutton for 'unlawful Familiarity and adulterous Conversation with one Don Roderigo.…'; on 4 May the bill was passed (Journals of the House of Lords, xxii. 520, 527, 530). A correspondent of the Earl of Oxford described the debate: 'The Bishop of Peterborough made the House good sport, he said it was incredible that a Christian woman should lie with a Jew, but being told that Roderigo was a Christian he said O! if it was so then what he had to object to this bill was that the petitioner's wife was an infamous woman before his marriage to her and he took her as such; he was answered by the Bishop of London' (HMC Portland MSS, vi, 1901, p. 2).
Editor’s Note
1 Horatio Walpole, in London since ii May (Daily Post, 14 May), was preparing to return to Paris on 1 June (Daily Journal), but apparently did not go until July (Daily Courant, 31 July, cited 1861, i. 487, n. 2).
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