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and seized jewels and other effects; that he accused them; that they were taken out of their beds at two o'clock in the morning; kept in different prisons, without fire or candle, for six-andthirty hours ; have since been released on excessive bail ; are still to be tried ; may be sent to the galleys or dismissed home, where they will be reduced to keep the best company; for I suppose nobody else will converse with them. Their separate anecdotes are curious: Wortley, you know, has been a perfect Gil Blas."
Horace Walpole writes the same year to Sir Horace Mann,-“ Our greatest miracle is Lady Mary Wortley's son, whose adventures have made so much noise. His parts are not proportionate, but his expense is incredible. His father scarce allows him anything, yet he plays, dresses, diamonds himself, and has more snuff-boxes than would suffice a Chinese idol with a hundred noses. But the most curious part of his dress, which he has brought from Paris, is an iron wig: you literally would not know it from hair: I believe it is on this account, that the Royal Society have just chosen him of their body.” At a later period, Mr. Montagu fixed his abode in Egypt, where he resided several years. While in that country he adopted the dress and habits, and, apparently, the religion of the Turks; taking especial care to avail himself of the advantage of the plurality of wives, which is permitted by the Mahomedan code.
On the death of his father in 1761, Mr. Mon
tagu could scarcely be astonished at finding himself disinherited. The family estate, which should properly have descended to him, was bequeathed to the children of his sister, Lady Bute, with the especial proviso, however, that should he leave an heir born in marriage, the estate should return to that child. For fifteen years Mr. Montagu appears to have quietly succumbed to the will of the departed. A short time, however, before his own decease, being then resident at Venice, he caused (through the medium, it is said, of his friend Romney, the painter) the following extraordinary advertisement to be inserted in the “ Public Advertiser” of the 16th of April, 1776 :- •
“ A gentleman who has filled two successive seats in Parliament; is nearly sixty years of age; lives in great splendour and hospitality; and from whom a considerable estate must pass if he dies without issue; hath no objection to marry a widow or single lady, provided the party be of genteel birth, polite manners, and is five or six months gone in her pregnancy. Letters directed to -- Brecknock, Esq. at Will's Coffee-house, will be honoured with due attention, secrecy, and every mark of respect.”
In London, as in all great cities, money will purchase anything, and a rich man has only to make known his wishes, to have them gratified. Lord Wharncliffe, Mr. Montagu's great-nephew, informs us," It has always been believed in the family that this advertisement was successful, and that a woman, having the qualifications required VOL. II.
by it, was actually sent to Paris, to meet Mr. E. Wortley, who got so far as Lyons, on his way thithêr : there, however, while eating a beccafico for supper, a bone stuck in his throat, and occasioned his death.” Before closing our notices of Mr. Edward Wortley Montagu, it may be remarked that he united the character of an author to his other eccentricities. In addition to some “Observations on the Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire,” in which his tutor was thought to have had the principal share, he was unquestionably the writer of some “ Observations on Earthquakes,” as well as an account of the “ Written Mountains in Arabia,” which were published in the Philosophical Transactions.
Of Lady Mary Wortley Montagu but little remains to be said. After an absence from her native country of twenty-two years, she returned to England, on the death of her husband, * and had the satisfaction to find that her literary repu
* Horace Walpole writes to George Montagu on the 7th of February, 1761,4“ Have you heard what immense riches old Wortley has left? One million three hundred and fifty-thousand pounds! It is all to centre in my Lady Bute; her husband is one of Fortune's prodigies.” Walpole's Letters, vol. iv. p. 140. Gray also writes about the same period," You see old Wortley Montagu is dead at last, at eighty-three. It was not mere avarice, and its companion abstinence, that kept him alive so long. He every day drank, I think it was, half a pint of tokay, which he imported himself from Hungary in greater quantity than he could use, and sold the overplus for any price he chose to set upon it. He has left better than half a million of money.” Gray's Works, vol. iii, p. 272.
tation had not faded, and that she was still an object of curiosity to the world. Horace Walpole writes to George Montagu, on the 2nd of February, 1762,-“ Lady Mary Wortley is arrived ; I have seen her: I think her avarice, her dirt, and her vivacity, are all increased. Her dress, like her languages, is a galimatias of several countries; the ground-work rags, and the embroidery, nastiness. She needs no cap, no handkerchief, no gown, no petticoat, no shoes. An old black-laced hood represents the first; the fur of a horseman's coat, which replaces the third, serves for the second; a dimity petticoat is deputy, and officiates for the fourth; and slippers act the part of the last.”* Her family inform us that she had acquired foreign tastes and foreign habits, and consequently the exchange from the gloomy magnificence of an Italian palace, to a small, three-storied house, in the neighbourhood of Hanover-square, appears to have been almost as striking as it was inconvenient, “I am most handsomely lodged," she said, “ for I have two very decent closets, and a cupboard on each floor."
Lady Mary survived her return to England only ten months. She had for some time been afflicted with a cancer in the breast, the ravages of which terminated her life on the 21st of August, 1762, in the seventy-third year of her age.
* Walpole's Letters, vol. iv. p. 203.
Daughter of the second Lord Bellenden.--At an early age ap
pointed Maid of Honour to the Princess of Wales.—Her great vivacity and wit.-Horace Walpole's description of her. -Extract from Gay’s “Welcome to Pope.”—George the Second's admiration of her.—Anecdotes.—Her private marriage in 1720 to Colonel Campbell, afterwards Duke of Argyle.—Specimen of her epistolary style from the Suffolk Correspondence.—Period of her death.—Enumeration of her family.
This lively and beautiful woman was a daughter of John, second Lord Bellenden, by Mary, daughter of Henry Moore, first Earl of Drogheda, and widow of William Ramsay, third Earl of Dalhousie. At an early age she was appointed a Maid of Honour to Queen Caroline, then Princess of Wales, at whose Court, with the single exception of her beautiful friend, Mary Lepel, there was no one who rivalled her in wit, and few who approached her in loveliness. The names of the two friends are frequently associated together. Gay says, in his ballad of “Damon and Cupid :"
“So well I'm known at Court,
None ask where Cupid dwells ;
To Bellenden's or Lepel's."