In March of 1786, Horace Walpole indulged himself in a bit of social gossip, in a letter to Sir Horace Mann. ‘Lord and Lady Spencer are arrived’, reports Walpole,

and now I suppose the adventures of a certain Lady and her cousin Vernon, which I have kept profoundly secret, will be public. I have lately received a letter from the Lady from Petersburg – luckily, she gave me no direction to her, no more than from Venice; so, if necessary, I shall plead that I did not know whether I must direct next to Grand Cairo, or Constantinople. Petersburg I think a very congenial asylum; the Sovereign has already fostered the Ducal Countess of Bristol – for in the family of Hervey, double dignities couple with facility. Formerly our outlaws used to concentrate at Boulogne, they are now spread over the face of the earth. Mr Vernon’s cousin tells me she has been also at Warsaw; that she showed the King [Stanislas II] a letter of mine, who put it into his pocket, translated it into French (though returning the original) and would send it to his sister the Princess Czartoriski at Vienna – so I may see it in the Utrecht Gazettee! – I know not what it contained – however, I comfort myself that I have never dealt with my heroine but in compliments or good advice – but this comes of corresponding with strolling Roxanas.3