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pont, and she was the eldest daughter of Evelyn, Duke of Kingston, and Lady Mary Fielding, daughter of William Earl of Denbigh. Having had the misfortune to lose her mother while yet only four years old, she was thrown at once among the other sex, and thus acquired from her earliest years those masculine tastes and habits which distinguished her during life, and infused into her writings that coarse, unfeminine energy, that cynical contempt of decorum, and bearded license, if I may so express myself, which constitute her literary characteristics, and render her compositions different from those of every other woman. It was not the mere study of Latin, which the virtuous and judicious Fenelon considered highly beneficial to women, and which at all events may be regarded as a circumstance perfectly indifferent, that produced this undesirable effect; but an improper or careless choice of authors, operating upon a temperament peculiarly inflammable and inclining to voluptuousness. She acquired, we are told, the elements of the Greek, Latin, and French languages under the same preceptors as Viscount Newark, her brother; but preceptors who might, perhaps, be safely intrusted with the direction of a boy's mind are not always adequate to the task of guiding that of a young woman through the perilous mazes of ancient literature. In fact, among her favourite classical authors Ovid seems to have been the chief at a very early period of her life; for among her poems there is one written in imitation of this author at twelve years of age, containing passages which it has not been thought decent to publish. At a later period her studies were directed by Bishop Burnet, who would seem to have recommended to her the Manual of the ungracious and austere Epictetus, a work which, although she laboured through a translation of it, now included among her works, could have possessed but few charms for her ardent, erratic fancy.


During this early part of her career she lived wholly in retirement at Thoresby or at Acton, near London, where she acquired what by a license of speech may be termed the friendship of Mrs. Anne Wortley, the mother of her future husband. With this lady she maintained an epistolary correspondence, from the published portions of which we discover that both the young lady and the matron were exceedingly addicted to flattery, and that at nineteen the former had already begun to entertain those unfavourable notions of her own sex which in a woman are so justly regarded as ominous of evil. “I have never,” says she, “had any great esteem for the generality of the fair sex; and my only consolation for being of that gender has been the assurance it gave me of never being married to any one among them.”

Her friendship with Mrs. Wortley paved the way to an acquaintance with that lady's son, which, after much negotiation and many quarrels, the causes of which are rather alluded to than explained in the published correspondence, ended in a private marriage, which took place August 12, 1712. Lady Mary now resided chiefly at Wharncliffe Lodge, near Shef. field, where her son Edward was born, while her husband was detained by his parliamentary duties and political connexions in London. It would appear from various circumstances that Mr. Wortley Montague was a quiet, unambitious man, endowed with very moderate abilities; but his philosophic indifference or timid mode of wooing honours by no means answered the views of his wife, who was haunted in an incredible manner by the desire of celebrity, and who, possessing a caustic wit, a vivacious style, and splendid personal attractions, was conscious, that if once fairly launched upon the tide of the great world she could not fail of effecting her purpose. In the letters which emanated from her solitude we discover, amid a world of-affected indifference, her extreme passion for exciting admiration.. Now literary projects engross her thoughts; and now she aims, by goading her husband up “the steep of fame," to open herself a wide field for the exhibition of her Circean powers.

In 1714 Mr. Montague was appointed one of the lords of the treasury; upon which Lady Mary quitted her retirement and appeared at court, where her beauty, her wit, and the ingenuous levity of her manners (a commendable quality in those days) commanded universal admiration. Her genius now moved in its proper sphere. Surrounded, flattered, caressed by the most distinguished characters of the age, she tasted of all those gratifications which the peculiarities of her temperament required; and being in the very flower of her age, looked forward with well-founded hopes to numerous years of the same kind of enjoyments. It was at this period that her intimacy with Pope, who was just two years older than herself, commenced; and as her latest biographer with à pardonable partiality observes, both he and Addison" contemplated her uncommon genius at that time without envy!” From which one might infer that it was literary jealousy, and not the rage of a neglected lover, that afterward rendered Pope the inveterate enemy of Lady Mary.

However this may be, upon Mr. Montague's being appointed ambassador to the Porte in 1716, our traveller, smitten with the desire of tasting the pleasures of other lands, resolved to desert all her admirers, and visit with her husband the shores of the Hellespont. They commenced their journey in August; and having crossed the channel, proceeded by Helvoetsluys and the Brill to Rotterdam, where she greatly admired the thronged streets, neat pavements, and extreme cleanliness of the place, which at present would scarcely strike a traveller arriving from London as any thing extraordinary. In travelling from Holland, the whole country appeared like a garden, while the roads were well paved, shaded on both sides with rows of trees, and bordered with canals, through which great numbers of boats were perpetually passing and repassing. The eye, moreover, was every minute alighting upon some villa ; while numerous towns and villages, all remarkable for their neatness, dotted the plains, and enlivened the mind of the traveller by exciting ideas of plenty and prosperity.

At Cologne, whither she had proceeded by way of the Hague and Nimeguen, she was greatly amused at the Jesuits' church by the free raillery of a young Jesuit, who, not knowing, or pretending not to know, her rank, allowed himself considerable liberties in his conversation. Our traveller herself fell in love with St. Ursula's pearl necklaces; and, as the saint was of silver, her profane wishes would fain have converted her into dressing-plate. These were the only relics of all that were shown her for which she had any veneration; but she very shortly afterward learned, that, at least as far as the pearls and other precious stones were concerned, the holy fathers had been very much of her opinion; for, judging that false jewels would satisfy a saint as well as true ones, they sold the real pearls, &c., and supplied their places with imitations. Our lady-traveller, though exceedingly aristocratical in her notions, and possessed of but small respect for mere untitled human beings, was compelled by her natural good sense to remark, what other observers have frequently repeated since her time, the extreme superiority of the free towns of Germany over those under the government of absolute princes. “I cannot help fancying one," she says, " under the figure of a clean Dutch citizen's wife, and the other like a poor town lady of pleasure, painted and ribanded out in her headdress, with tarnished silver-laced shoes, a ragged under-petticoat; a miserable mixture of vice and poverty.'

At Ratisbon the principal objects of curiosity were the envoys from various states, who constituted the whole nobility of the place; and having no taste for ordinary amusements, contrived to divert themselves and their wives by keeping up eternal contests respecting precedents and points of etiquette. Next to these the thing most worthy of notice, from its extreme impiety, was a group of the Trinity, in which the Father was represented as a decrepit old man, with a beard descending to his knees, with the Son upon the cross in his arms, while the Holy Ghost, in the form of a dove, hovered over his head.

From Ratisbon she descended the Danube to Vienna, delighted, as the vessel shot with incredible velocity down the stream, by the amazing variety and rapid changes in the scenery, where rich cultivated plains, vineyards, and populous cities alternated rapidly with landscapes of savage magnificence; woods, mountains, precipices, and rocky pinnacles, with castellated ruins perched upon their summits. In Vienna she was disappointed. Its grandeur by no means came up to the ideas which she had formed of it from the descriptions of others. Palaces crowded together in narrow lanes ; splendour on one hand, dirt and poverty on the other, and vice everywhere : such, in few words, is the sum of her account of the Austrian capital. The Faubourg, however, was truly magnificent, consisting almost wholly of stately palaces.

Here Pope's first letter written during her residence abroad reached her. It is marked by every effort which wit could imagine, being gay and amusing; but betrays the fact, which, indeed, he did not wish to conceal, that he was seriously in love, and deeply afflicted at her absence. Conscious, however, of the criminality of his passion, he labours to clothe it with an air of philosophical sentimentality, feigning, but awkwardly and ineffectually, to be merely enamoured of her soul. This circum

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