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Some of us have written down several of her sayings, or what the French call Bon Mots, wherein the excelled almost beyond belief. She never mistook the understanding of others; nor ever faid a severe word, but where a much severer was deferved.
Her servants loved and almost adored her at the same time, She would, upon occasions, treat them with freedom, yet her demeanour was so awful, that they durft not fail in the least point of respect. She chid them feldom, but it was with severity, which had an effect upon them for a long time after.
January 29th, My head achs, and I can write no more. •
January 3óth, Tuesday. “This is the night of the funeral, which my sickness will not suffer me to attend. It is now nine at night, and I am removed into another apartment, that I may not see the light in the church, which is just over against the window of my bedchamber.
"With all the softness of temper that became a lady, she had the personal courage of a hero. She and her friend having removed their lodgings to a new house, which stood folitary, a parcel of rogues, armed, attempted the house, where there was only one boy: She was then about four and twenty: and, having been warned to apprehend fome such attempt, she learned the management of a pistol; and the other women and fervants being half-dead with fear, she stole foftly to her diningroom window, put on a black hood, to prevent being feen, primed the pistol fresh, gently lifted up the fath ; and, taking her aim with the utmost presence of mind, discharged the pistol loaden with the bullets, into the body of one villain, who stood the fairelt mark. The fellow, mortally wounded, was carried off by the rest, and died the next morning, but his companions could not be found. The Duke of Ormond hath ofien drank her health to me upon that account, and had always an high esteem of her. She was indeed under some apprehensions of going in a boat, after some danger she had narrowly escaped by water, but the was reasoned thoroughly out of it. She was never known to cry out, or discover any fear, in a coach or on horseback, or any uneasiness by those sudden accidents with which most of her sex, either by weakness or affectation, appear so much disordered.
- She never had the least absence of mind in conversation, nor given to interruption, or appeared eager to put in her word by waiting impatiently until another had done. She spoke in a molt agreeable voice, in the plainest words, never hesitating, except out of modesty before new faces, where she was somewhat reserved ; nor, among her nearest friends, ever spoke much
at a time. She was but little versed in the common topics of female cbat; scandal, censure, and detraction, never came out of her mouth : yet, among a few friends, in private conversation, the made little cereinony in discovering her contempt of a coxcomb, and describing all bis follies to the life ; but the follies of her own sex she was rather inclined to extenuate or to pity.
i When she was once convinced by open facts of any breach of truth or honour, in a person of high station, especially in the church, she could not conceal her indignation, nor hear them nar.ed without Thewing her displeasure in her countenance ; particularly one or two of the lacter sort, whom she had known and esteemed, but detested above all mankind, when it was manifest that they had sacrificed those two precious virtues to their ambition, and would much sooner have forgiven them the common immoralities of the laity.
"Her frequent fits of sickness, in most parts of her life, had prevented her from making that progress in reading which the would otherwise have done. She was well versed in the Greek and Roman story, and was not unskilled in that of France and England. She spoke French perfectly, but forgot much of it by neglect and sickness. She had read carefully all the beft books of travels, which serve to open and enlarge the mind. She understood the Platonic and Epicurean philosophy, and judged very well of the defects of the latter. She made very judicious abstracts of the best books she had read. She understood the nature of government, and could point out all the errors of Hobbes, both in that and religicn. She had a good insight into phyfic, and krew somewhat of anatomy; in both which she was instructed in her younger days by an eminent physician, who had her long under bis care, and bore the highest esteem for her perfon and understanding. She had a true taste of wit and good sensc, both in poetry and prose, and was a perfect good critic of style: neither was it easy to find a more proper or impartial juuge, whole advice an author might better rely on, if he intended to send a thing into the world, provided it was on a Jubject that came within the compass of her knowlege. Yet, perhaps, she was sometimes too severe, which is a safe and pardonable error. She preserved her wit, judgment, and vivacity to the last, but often used to complain of her memory, . .. Her fortune, with fome accesfion; could not, as I have heard say, amount to much more than two thousand pounds, whereof a great part fell with her life, having been placed upon annuities in England, and one in Ireland. In a person so extraordinary, perhaps it may be pardonable to mention some particulars, although of little moment, further than to set forth
ithin the the wore he bec erop
nalome nonthending the would them with 100!e two
her character. Some presents of goldpieces being often made to her while she was a girl, by her mother and other friends, on promise to keep them, she grew in:0 such a spirit of thrift, that, in about three years, they amounted to above two hundred pounds. She used to shew them with boasting; but her mother, apprehending The would be cheated of them, prevailed in some months, and with great importunities, to have them put out to interest : when the girl lost the pleasure of seeing and . counting her gold, which the never failed of doing many times in a day, and despaired of heaping up such another treasure, her humour took the quite contrary turn : she grew careless and squandering of every new acquisition, and so continued till about two and twenty ; when, by advice of some friends, and the fright of paying large bills of tradesmen, who enticed her into their debt, he began to reflect upon her own folly, and was never at reit until she had discharged all her hop-bills, and refunded herself a considerable fum the bad run out. After which, by the addition of a few years and a superior understand-, ing, she became, and continued all her life a most prudent oeconomift ; yet ftill with a strong bent to the liberal side, wherein the gratified herself by avoiding all expence in cloaths, (which she ever despised) beyond what was merely decent. And, although her frequent returns of sickness were very chargeable, excepe fees to physicians, of which she met with several so generous that she could force nothing on them, (and indeed The muft otherwise have been undone ;) yet the never was without a considerable sum of ready money. Infomuch that, upon her death, when her neareft friends thought her very bare, her executors found in her strong box about a hundred and fifty pounds in gold. She lamented the narrowness of her fortune in nothing so much, as that it did not enable her to entertain her friends so often, and in to hospitable a manner as the desired. Yet they were always welcome; and, while the was in health to direct, were treated with neatness and elegance : so that the revenues of her and her companion, passed for much more considerable than they really were. They lived always in lodgings, their domestics confifting of two maids and one man.' She kept an account of all the fimiiy-expences, from her arrival in Ireland to foine months before her death; and she would often repine, when looking back upon the annals of her houfhold bills, that every thing necessary for life was double the price, while interest of money was sunk almost to one half; so that the addition made to her fortune' was indeed grown absolutely necessary.
"sl since writ as I found time.) . But her charity to the poor was a duty not to be divinished, and therefore became a tax upon those tradesmen woo surnith
rie's of other as plaine no lacer dinary,
the fopperies of other ladies. She bought cloaths as seldom as possible, and those as plain and cheap as consisted with the lituation fhe was in ; and wore no lace for many years. Either her judgment or fortune was extraordinary, in the choice of those on whom she bestowed her charity; for it went further in doing good ihan double the sum from any other hand. And I have heard her say, she always met with gratitude from the pɔor: wbich must be owing to her skill in distinguishing proper objecis, 95 well as her gracious manner in relieving tbem.
• But she had another quality that much delighted her, although it may be thought a kind of check upon her bounty; however it was a pleasure she could not resist: I mean that of making agreeable presents, wherein I never knew her equal, although it be an affair of as delicate a nature as most in the course of life. She used to define a present, That it was a gift to a friend of something he wanted or was fond of, and which could not be easily gotten for money. I am confident, during my acquaintance with her, she hath, in these and some other kinds of liberality, disposed of to the value of several hundred pounds. As to presents made to herself, she received them with great unwillingness, but especially from those to whom she had ever given any; being on all occasions the most disinterested mortal I ever knew or heard of.
. From her own disposition, at least as much as from the frequent want of health, she seldom made any visits ; but her own lodgings, from before twenty years old, were frequented by many persons of ihe graver fort, who all respected her highly, upon her good sense, good manners, and conversation. Among these were the late Primnaie Lindsay, Bishop Loyd, Bishop Afhe,Bishop Brown, Bishop Stern, Bishop Pulleyn, with some others of later date ; and indeed the greatest number of her acquaintance was among the clergy. Honour, truth, liberality, good-nature, and modesty, were the virtues she chiefly possessed, and most va'ued in her acquaintance; and where the found them, would be ready to allow for some defects, nor valued them less, altho' they did not shine in learning or in wit ; but would never give the least allowance for any failures in the former, even to those who made the greaieft figure in cither of the two latter. She had no use of any person's liberality, yet her detestation of covetous people made her uneasy if such a one was in her coinpany; upon which occasion she would say many things very entertaining and humourous.
• She never interrupted any person who spoke; the laught at no mistakes they made, but helped them out with modefty; and if a good thing were spoken, but neglected, she would not let it fall, but let it in the best light to those who were present. She
hus to the ry well, har en te ho wanteous not
listened to all that was said, and had never the least distraction, or absence of thought,
" It was not safe nor prudent, in her presence, to offend in the least word against modefty; for she then gave full employa ment to her wit, her contempt, and resentment, under which even stupidity and brutality were forced to fink into confufion ; and the guilty person, by her future avoiding him like a bear or a satyr, was never in a way to transgress a second time.
It happened one single coxcomb, of the pert kind, was in her company, among several other ladies ; and, in his flippant way, began to deliver fome double meanings: the rest fapt their fans, and used the other common expedients practised in such cases, of appearing not to mind or comprehend what was faid. Her behaviour was very different, and perhaps may be censured. She said thus to the man : “ Sir, all these ladies and I understand your meaning very well, having, in spite of our care, too often met with those of your sex who wanted mang ners and good sense. But, believe me, neither virtuous nor even vicious women love such kind of conversation. However, I will leave you, and report your behaviour: and, whatever visit I make, I lhall first enquire at the door whether you are in the house, that I may be sure to avoid you.”. I know not whes ther a majority of ladies would approve of such a proceeding; but I believe the practice of it would foon put an end to that corrupt conversation, the worst effect of dulness, ignorance, impudence, and vulgarity, and the highest affront to the mos defty and understanding of the female sex.
By returning very few visits, she had not much company of her own sex, except those whom she most loved for their easiness, or esteemed for their good sense; and those, not insisting on ceremony, came often to her. But she rather chore men for her companions, the usual topics of ladies discourse being such, as she had little knowlege of, and less relish. Yet no man was upon the rack to entertain her, for she easily descended to any thing that was innocent and diverting. News, politics, cenfure, family-management, or town-talk, she always diverted to something else; but these indeed seldom happened, for the chose her company better: and therefore many, who mistook her and themselves, having solicited her acquaintance, and finding themselves disappointed after a few vifits, dropt off ; and The was never known to enquire into the reason, or ask what was become of them.
She was never positive in arguing, and the usually treated those who were so, in a manner which well enough gratified that unhappy disposition ; yet in such a sort as made it very contemptible, and at the same time did some hurt to the owners. Whether this proceeded from her easiness in general, or from her
but I belicority of ladies lure to avoid yooor whether yowhate