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In Whig Society 1775-1818
Duchess of Devonshire? to Lady Melbourne, 20 February 1802

Chapter I.
Chapter II.
Chapter III.
Chapter IV.
Chapter V.
Chapter VI.
Chapter VII.
Chapter VIII.
Chapter IX.
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Hardwick, Feby. 20th, 1802.

Yesterday when the Post arriv’d, your letter was given to me, & Mr. Robinson said, another letter from Lady Melbourne! well how often she writes to you! Yes, I said, she is the best correspondent possible, & the best natur’d, for if there is anything to tell one she always writes directly, & this will give us an account of C. Fox’s speach. Open it, said Mr. R., & tell me what she says. I open it. Well well, I said, nothing—not a word of Mr. Fox. Nor of any news? said R. No, I said, not a word—two pages & a half of very natural tho’ very groundless anxiety about the D[uche]ss who is as you see very well, & the rest wondering why I don’t make them leave Hardwick. No, no, replied very naturally Mr. R. it can’t be—& nothing else?—Nothing else—said I—& of course I am in a great passion—Now as to your letter Mrs. Lady Them[ire]—where it deserves an answer. The D[uche]ss really scarcely coughs—she eats well (generally) & is in good spirits and tho’ very nervous at times, yet on the whole she is well, & tho’ her cold hung upon her a great while, I think that to all of us who have been used to breast complaints, it is evident her cold was not of that kind,—& her vessels in general appear’d full—for you know when she is well
she is apt to forget all caution & eats & drinks a good deal, & yet don’t take exercise enough—but I really think her well now, or nearly so,—& tho’ Denman is odious, yet the Surgeon Carrington who attended us all so much last year is very clever & has manag’d her well. So much for that subject—now as to the next—our staying in the country. I did not say that whilst
Mr. Hare staid, we must stay too, but that whilst he staid, we, (the D[uche]ss & myself) lik’d being here, & that it was very comfortable, for as to staying, the Duke came here with a determination to stay some time, as there is a Spring he thinks particularly agrees with him, & this being his Plan, we did not like to counteract it, but felt that for him & us, Mr. H[are] being with us was everything—& when D[uke of] Devonshire] went yesterday to invite the Huns to Hardwick & that they fix’d on yesterday D. D. forbid its being said in the House, for fear it sd. make Mr. H. determine on going as he had been naming one day after another for his going. However he did go—the Huns did come, & we are not likely to go soon—nor can I press it, even though I have long been anxious that D. D. should be near Farquhar.1 Voyez malicieuses [sic] Miladi si mes raisons ne sont pas valables. Above all don’t go out of town as soon as we arrive, tho’ I suppose it will have by that time have lost of its merits.

I hope all is settled and right about Mr. Tierney & black—I wish that odious Mr. Tierney had not such influence with black as he has. I think Mr. Fitzpatrick’s answer about T. so good. Mr.

1 Sir Walter Farquhar, born 1738, died 1819. The fashionable physician of the day.

Robison [sic] is still with us and I shall be very sorry when he goes—he was rather indignant at your message about the Play: how very odd the circumstance you tell me of that scene: I won’t tell it but it is an odd thing for a Woman of education & birth to act what even a publick audience is expected to disapprove: As to
D[uke of] Richmond] I am quite certain that he now both feels & I believe laments the line of conduct he adopted. I answered some of his questions fairly & told him where I thought he had acted ill by me, & what alter’d my conduct to him. He said he sd. answer me (which he never has) & that he was a helpless wretched Man. Lady C[harlotte] L[ennox] is an odious being & I sd. like to be certain of never seeing her again. I wish her to believe & know what you say you think she does about you & me. I am glad D. R. can hunt, it is the best thing he can do. Adieu, adieu—is not the Prince pleas’d with Mr. Fox’s speech—& has he not now a good chance of recovering these arrears & being set quite free? God Bless you.