Robert Halsband (ed.), The Complete Letters of Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, Vol. 3: 1752–1762

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To Mme Chiara Michiel 11 Aug. [1758]

I cannot possibly express to you (my Beautiful Lady) to what extent I am touched by the account you give me of your Sufferings, but in the pg 305name of our Friendship, don't let your Courage droop. Fight against the reverses of fortune; it is worthy of your Spirit to vanquish these obstacles which poison your life. Believe me, you have an admirable temperament, capable of resisting anything; but you must help it by your reason. Laugh at the stupidities that you see, and do not let yourself be carried away by dark Thoughts that will grow stronger if you do not destroy them at their birth. I give you Lessons that I put into practice every day, and find effective.

Mr. Mackenzie has no doubt left London. I fear that he is taking the Swiss route, and we shall not see him in Venice.

I am very much obliged to you (my Dearest) for having undertaken my defence; if I guess the person with whom you disputed, she ought less than anyone to excuse Palazzi. He is a Liar, or she is—what one does not name.

It is true, dear friend, the world is a vile place; it is necessary, however, to accommodate oneself to it. We are here, and perhaps we shall find ourselves still worse off on leaving it. Let us banish useless regrets; let us seek ready pleasures and scorn those that Fortune has put beyond our reach. I will never consider myself unfortunate so long as I can flatter myself on having a place in a Heart as precious as yours; mine is entirely yours.

M.W.M.

Padua, 11 August

Text (p. 164 above)

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