1757 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Sir Charles Hanbury Williams

Lady Mary Wortley Montagu to the Countess of Bute, 7 July 1757; Letters, ed. W. Moy Thomas (1861) 2:308-09.



I enquired after my old acquaintance Sir Charles Williams, who I hear is much broken, both in his spirits and constitution. How happy might that man have been, if there had been added to his natural and acquired endowments a dash of morality: If he had known how to distinguish between false and true felicity; and, instead of seeking to increase an estate already too large, and hunting after pleasures that have made him rotten and ridiculous, he had bounded his desires of wealth, and followed the dictates of conscience. His servile ambition has gained him two yards of red ribbon, and an exile into a miserable country, where there is no society and so little taste that I believe he suffers under a dearth of flatters. This is said for the use of your growing sons, whom I hope no golden temptations will induce to marry women they can not love, or comply with measures they do not approve.