Lady Mary Wortley Montagu


People are never so near playing the fool as when they think themselves wise.

Let this great maxim be my virtue’s guide,–
In part she is to blame that has been tried:
He comes too near that comes to be denied.

And we meet, with champagne and a chicken, at last.

The Lover

Be plain in dress, and sober in your diet;
In short, my deary, kiss me, and be quiet.

A Summary of Lord Lyttelton's Advice

Satire should, like a polished razor keen,
Would with a touch that ‘s scarcely felt or seen.

But the fruit that can fall without shaking
Indeed is too mellow for me.

The Answer

Let me assure you, dear, the Viennese let neither grey hair nor stooped shoulders get in the way of making new conquests. Every day I see handsome young men helping their much older lovers into their coaches. In this worldly capital, women under thirty-five are regarded as immature. A woman can’t even hope to make a lasting impression on people until she’s over forty.