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journey, the first of which is at no very great dis- will be every day growing more disagreeable, that tance from the last.
you may enjoy the comforts of the lodge. You I lived longer at Olney than any where. There well know that the best house has a desolate apindeed I lived till mouldering walls and a totter-pearance unfurnished. This house accordingly, ing house warned me to depart. I have accord- since it has been occupied by us and our meubles, ingly taken the hint, and two days since arrived, is as much superior to what it was when you saw or rather took up my abode at Weston. You it, as you can imagine. The parlour is even eleperhaps have never made the experiment, but I can gant When I say that the parlour is elegant, I assure you that the confusion which attends a do' not mean to insinuate that the study is not so. transmigration of this kind is infinite, and has a It is neat, warm, and silent, and a much better terrible effect in deranging the intellects. \have study than I deserve, if I do not produce in it an been obliged to renounce my Homer on the occa- incomparable translation of Homer. I think every sion, and though not for many days, I yet feel as day of those lines of Milton, and congratulate myif study and meditation, so long my confirmed self on having obtained, before I am quite superhabits, were on a sudden become impracticable, annuated, what he seems not to have hoped for and that I shall certainly find them so when I at- sooner. tempt them again. But in a scene so much quiet
"And may at length my weary age er and pleasanter than that which I have just
Find out the peaceful herinitage!" escaped from, in a house so much more commodious, and with furniture about me so much more For if it is not an hermitage, at least it is a much to my taste, I shall hope to recover my literary ten- better thing, and you must always understand, my dency again, when once the bustle of the occasion dear, that when poets talk of cottages, hermitages, shall have subsided.
and such like things, they mean a house with six Ilow glad I should be to receive you under a sashes in front, two comfortable parlours, a smart roof, where you would find me so much more com- staircase, and three bed chambers of convenient fortably accommodated than at Olney! I know diinensions; in short, exactly such a house as your warmth of heart towards me, and am sure this. that you would rejoice in my joy. At present in- The Throckmortons continue the most obliging deed I have not had time for much self-gratulation, neighbours in the world. · One morning last week, but have every reason to hope, nevertheless, that they both went with me to the cliffs-a scene, my in due time I shall derive considerable advantage dear, in which you would delight beyond measure, both in health and spirits, from the alteration made but which you can not visit except in the spring in my whereabout.
or autumn. The heat of summer and the clingI have now the the twelfth book of the Iliad in ing dirt of winter would destroy you. What is hand, having settled the eleven first books finally, called the cliff, is no cliff, nor at all like one, but a as I think, or nearly so. The winter is the time beautiful terrace, sloping gently down to the Ouse, when I make the greatest riddance.
and from the brow of which, though not lofty, Adieu my dear Walter. Let me hear from you, you have a view of such a valley as makes that and Believe me ever yours, W.C. which you see from the hills near Olney, and
which I have had the honour to celebrate, an affair
of no consideration. TO LADY HESKETH.
Wintry'as the weather is, do not suspect that it
confines me. I ramble daily, and every day change Weston Lodge, Nov. 26, 1786. my ramble. Wherever I go, I find short grass It is my birthday, my beloved cousin, and I-de- under my feet, and when I have travelled perhaps termine to employ a part of it, that it may not be five miles, come home with shoes not at all too destitute of festivity, in writing to you. The dark dirty for a drawing room. I was pacing yesterthick fog that has obscured it, would have been a day under the elms, that surrounds the field in burthen to me at Olney, but here I have hardly which stands the great alcove, when lifting my attended to it, the neatness and snugness of our eyes I saw two black genteel figures bolt through abode compensate all the dreariness of the season,'a hedge into the path where I was walking. You and whether the ways are wet or dry, our house guess already who they were, and that they could at least is always warm and commodious. O! for be nobody but our neighbours. They had seen you, my cousin, to partake these comforts with me from a hill at a distance, and had traversed a us! I will not begin already to tease you upon large turnip-field to get at me. You see therefore that subject, but Mrs. Unwin remembers to have my dear, that I am in some request. Alas! in heard from your own lips, that you hate London too much request with some people. The verses in the spring. Perhaps therefore by that time, of Cadwallader have found me at last. you may be glad to escape from a scene which I am charmed with your account of our little
LET. 238, 239.
305 akk de cousin* at Kensington. If the world does not that he lived the life, and died the death of a Chrisdige le spoil him hereafter, he will be a valuable man. tian. The consequence is, if possible, more unaGood night, and may God bless thee, W. C. voidable than the most mathematical conclusion,
that therefore he is happy. So farewell my friend
Unwin! The first man for whom I conceived a
friendship after my removal from St. Alban's, and TO LADY HESKETH.
for whom I can not but still continue to feel a friendThe Lodge, Dec. 4, 1786. ship, though I shall see thee with these eyes no I SENT you, my dear, a melancholy letter, and more.
W.C. oh bay I do not know that I shall now send you one very in te unlike it. Not that any thing occurs in consequence of our late loss more afflictive than was to
TO ROBERT SMITH, ESQ. sites be expected, but the mind does not perfectly re2 cover its tone after a shock like that which has been
Weston Underwood, near Olney, Fjod felt so lately. This I observe, that though my ex- My Dear Sir,
Dec. 9, 1786. perience has long since taught me, that this world
We have indeed suffered a great loss by the is a world of shadows, and that it is the more death of our friend Unwin; and the shock that prudent, as well as the more Christian course attended it was the more severe, as till within a
to possess the comforts that we find in it, as if we few hours of his decease there seemed to be no made possessed them not, it is no easy matter to reduce very alarming symptoms. All the account that mm this doctrine into practice. We forget that that we received from Mr. Henry Thornton, who act
God who gave them, may, when he pleases, take ed like a true friend on the occasion, and with a ta them away; and that perhaps it may please him tenderness toward all concerned, that does him
to take them at a time when we least expect, or great honour, encouraged our hopes of his recovee are least disposed to part from them. Thus it has ry; and Mrs. Unwin herself found him on her arme the happened in the present case. There never was rival at Winchester so cheerful, and in appearance
a moment in Unwin's life, when there seemed to so likely to live, that her letter also seemed to probe more urgent want of him than the moment in mise us all that we could wish on the subject. But which he died. He had attained to an age when, if an unexpected turn in his distemper, which sudthey are at any time useful, men become useful to denly seized his bowels, dashed all our hopes, and their families, their friends, and the world. His par-deprived us almost immediately of a man whom we ish began to feel, and to be sensible of the advantages must ever regret. His mind having been from his of his ministry. The clergy around him were infancy deeply tinctured with religious sentiments, many of them awed by his example. His chil- he was always impressed with a sense of the imdren were thriving under his own tuition and man- portance of the great change of all; and on foragement, and his eldest boy is likely to feel his loss mer occasions, when at any time he found himself severely, being by his years in some respect quali- indisposed, was consequently subject to distressing fied to understand the value of such a parent; by alarms and apprehensions. But in this last inhis literary proficiency too clever for a schoolboy, stance, his mind was from the first composed and and too young at the same time for the university. easy; his fears were taken away, and succeeded The removal of a man in the prime of life of such by such a resignation as warrants us in saying,
character, and with such connexions, seems to "that God made all his bed in his sickness." I
more patience than submission than I expected, for Lord Cowper.
I never knew her hurried by any affliction into the
loss of either, but in appearance, at least, and at|vinced that the little boy's destiny had no influence present, with less injury to her health than I ap- at all in hastening the death of his tutors elect, prehended. She observed to me, after reading that were it not impossible on more accounts than your kind letter, that though it was a proof of the one that I should be able to serve him in that cagreatness of her loss, it yet afforded her pleasure, pacity, I would without the least fear of dying a though a melancholy one, to see how much her moment the sooner, offer myself to that office; I son had been loved and valued by such a person would even do it, were I conscious of the same fitas yourself.
ness for another and a better state, that I believe Mrs. Unwin wrote to her daughter-in-law, to them to have been both endowed with. In that invite her and the family hither, hoping that a case, I perhaps might die too, but if I should, it change of scene, and a situation so pleasant as would not be on account of that connexion. Neithis, may be of service to her, but we have not yet ther, my dear, had your interference in the business received her answer. I have good hope however any thing to do with the catastrophe. Your whole that, great as her affliction must be, she will yet conduct in it must have been acceptable in the sight be able to support it, for she well knows whither of God, as it was directed by principles of the purto resort for consolation.
est benevolence. The virtues and amiable qualities of our friends
I have not touched Homer to-day. Yesterday are the things for which we most wish to keep them, was one of my terrible seasons, and when I arose but they are on the other hand the very things, this morning I found that I had not sufficiently rethat in particular ought to reconcile us to their de- covered myself to engage in such an occupation. parture. We find ourselves sometimes connected Having letters to write, I the more willingly gare with, and engaged in affection too, to a person of myself a dispensation.-Good night. whose readiness and fitness for another life we can
Yours ever, W. C. not have the highest opinion. The death of such men has a bitterness in it, both to themselves and survivors, which, thank God! is not to be found in
TO JOSEPH HILL, ESQ. the death of Unwin.
I know, my dear sir, how much you valued him, MY DEAR FRIEND, Weston, Dec. 9, 1736. and I know also how much he valued you. With We had just begun to employ the pleasantness respect to him, all is well; and of you, if I should of our new situation, to find at least as much comsurvive you, which perhaps is not very probable, I fort in it as the season of the year would permit, shall say the same.
when affliction found us out in our retreat, and In the mean time, believe me with the warmest the news reached us of the death of Mr. Unwin. wishes for your health and happiness, and with He had taken a western tour with Mr. Henry Mrs. Unwin's affectionate respects,
Thornton, and in his return, at Winchester, was Yours, my dear sir,
seized with a putrid fever, which sent him to his Most faithfully, W. C. grave. He is gone to it, however, though young,
as fit for it as age itself could have made him. Re
gretted indeed, and always to be regretted by those TO LADY HESKETH.
who knew him, for he had every thing that makes
a man valuable both in his principles and in his Weston, Dec. 9, 1786. manners, but leaving still this consolation to his I am perfectly sure that you are mistaken, though surviving friends, that he was desirable in this I do not wonder at it, considering the singular na- world chiefly because he was so well prepared for ture of the event, in the judgment that you form a better. of poor Unwin's death, as it affects the interest of I find myself here situated exactly to my mind. his intended pupil. When a tutor was wanted for Weston is one of the prettiest villages in England, him, you sought out the wisest and best man for and the walks about it at all seasons of the year the office within the circle of your connexions. It delightful. I know that you will rejoice with me pleased God to take him home to himself. Men in the change that we have made, and for which I eminently wise and good are very apt to die, be- am altogether indebted to Lady Hesketh. It is a cause they are fit to do so. You found in Unwin change as great as (to compare metropolitan things a man worthy to succeed him; and He, in whose with rural) from St. Giles's to Grosvenor-square. hands are the issues of life and death, seeing no Our house is in all respects commodious, and in doubt that Unwin was ripe for a removal into a some degree elegant; and I can not give you a better state, removed him also. The matter view- better idea of that which we have left, than by telled in this light seems not so wonderful as to refuse ing you the present candidates for it are a publiall explanation, except such as in a melancholy can and a shoemaker. moment you have given to it. And I am so con
he would not escape universal censure, to the TO LADY HESKETH.
praise of a more enlightened age be it spoken. I
have waded through much blood, and through Weston, Dec. 21, 1786. much more I must wade before I shall have finishYour welcome letter, my beloved cousin, which ed. I determine in the mean time to account it ought by the date to have arrived on Sunday, all very sublime, and for two reasons. First, bebeing by some untoward accident delayed, came cause, all the learned think so, and secondly, benot till yesterday. It came, however, and has re- cause I am to translate it. But were 1 an indiflieved me from a thousand distressing apprehen- ferent by-stander, perhaps I should venture to sions on your account.
wish, that Homer had applied his wonderful The dew of your intelligence has refreshed my powers to a less disgusting subject. He has in poetical laurels. A little praise now and then is the Odyssey, and I long to get at it." very good for your hard-working poet, who is apt I have not the good fortune to meet with any to grow languid, and perhaps careless without it. of these fine things, that you say are printed in Praise I find affects us as money does. The my praise. But I learn from certain advertisemore a man gets of it, with the more vigilance he ments in the Morning Herald, that I make a conwatches over and preserves it. Such at least is spicuous figure in the entertainments of Frecits effect on me, and you may assure yourself that Mason's Hall. I learn also that my volumes are I will never lose a mite of it for want of care. out of print, and that a third edition is soon to be
I have already invited the good Padre in gene-published. But if I am not gratified with the ral terms, and he shall positively dine here next sight of odes composed to my honour and glory, I week, whether he will or not. I do not at all have at least been tickled with some douceurs of a suspect that his kindness to Protestants has any very flattering nature by the post. A lady unthing insidious in it, any more than I suspect that known addresses the best of men-an unknown he transcribes Ilomer for me with a view for my gentleman has read my inimitable poems, and inconversion. He would find me a tough piece of vites me to his seat in Hampshire-another incogbusiness I can tell him; for when I had no reli- nito gives me hopes of a memorial in his garden, gion at all, I had yet a terrible dread of the Pope, and a Welsh attorney sends me his verses to reHow much more now!
vise, and obligingly asks, . I should have sent you a longer letter, but was
“Say, shall my little bark attendant sail, obliged to devote my last evening to the melan
Pursue the triumph, and partake the gale ?! choly employment of composing a Latin inscription for the tomb-stone of poor William, two co- If you find me a little vain hereafter, my friend, pies of which I wrote out and enclosed, one to you must excuse it, in consideration of these powHenry Thornton, and one to Mr. Newton. Ho-erful incentives, especially the latter; for surely mer stands by me biting his thumbs, and swears the poet who can charm an attorney, especially a that if I do not leave off directly, he will choak Welsh one, must be at least an Orpheus, if not me with bristly Greek, that shall stick in my something greater. throat for ever.
W. C. Mrs. Unwin is as much delighted as myself
with our present situation. But it is a sort of
April weather life that we lead in this world. A TO THE REV. WALTER BAGOT. little sunshine is generally the prelude to a storin.
Hardly had we begun to enjoy the change, when MY DEAR FRIEND, Weston, Jan. 3, 1787. the death of her son cast a gloom upon every
You wish to hear from me at any calm inter-thing. He was a most exe nplary man; of your val of epic frenzy. An interval presents itself, order; learned, polite, and amiable. The father but whether calın or not, is perhaps doubtful. Is of lovely children, and the husband of a wife (very it possible for a man to be calm, who for three much like dear Mrs. Bagot) who adored him. weeks past has been perpetually occupied in Adieu, my friend! Your affectionate W.C. slaughter; letting out one man's bowels, smiting another through the gullet, transfixing the liver of another, and lodging an arrow in the buttock
TO LADY HESKETH. of a fourth? Read the thirteenth book of the lliad, and you will find such amusing incidents as these
The Lodge, Jan. 8, 1787. the subject of it, the sole subject. In order to in- I have had a little nervous fever lately, my terest myself in it, and to catch the spirit of it, dear, that had somewhat abridged my sleep; and I had need discard all humanity. It is woful though I find myself better to-day than I have work; and were the best poet in the world to give been since it seized me, yet I feel my head lightish, us at this day such a list of killed and wounded, and not in the best order for writing. You will find me therefore perhaps not only less alert in sleepless. The consequence has been, that exmy manner than I usually am when my spirits cept the translation of about thirty lines at the are good, but rather shorter. I will however pro- conclusion of the thirteenth book, I have been ceed to scribble till I find that it fatigues me, and forced to abandon Homer entirely. This was a then will do as I know you would bid me do were sensible mortification to me, as you may suppose, you here, shut up my desk, and take a walk. and felt the more because, my spirits of course
The good General tells me that in the eight failing with my strength, I seemed to have pecufirst books which I ave sent him, he still finds liar need of my old amusement. It seemed hard alterations and amendments necessary, of which therefore to be forced to resign it just when I I myself am equally persuaded; and he asks my wanted it most. But Homer's battles can not be leave to lay them before an intimate friend of his, fought by a man who does not sleep well, and of whom he gives a character that bespeaks him who has not some little degree of animation in the highly deserving such a trust. To this I have no day time. Last night, however, quite contrary to objection, desiring only to make the translation as my expectations, the fever left me entirely, and I perfect as I can make it. If God grant me life slept quietly, soundly, and long. If it please God and health, I would spare no labour to secure that that it' return not, I shall soon find myself in a point. The general's letter is extremely kind, condition to proceed. I walk constantly, that is and both for manner and matter like all the rest to say, Mrs. Unwin and I together; for at these of his dealings with his cousin the poet. times I keep her continually employed, and never
I had a letter also yesterday from Mr. Smith, suffer her to be absent from me many minutes. member for Nottingham. Though we never saw She gives me all her time, and all her attention, each other, he writes to me in the most friendly and forgets that there is another object in the terms, and interests himself much in my Homer, world. and in the success of my subscription. Speaking Mrs. Carter thinks on the subject of dreams as on this latter subject, he says that my poems are every body else does, that is to say, according to read by hundreds, who know nothing of my pro- her own experience. She has had no extraordinapogals, and makes no doubt that they would sub- ry ones, and therefore accounts them only the orscribe, if they did. I have myself always thought dinary operations of the fancy. Mine are of a them imperfectly, or rather inefficiently an- texture that will not suffer me to ascribe them to nounced.
so inadequate a cause, or to any cause but the I could pity the poor woman, who has been operation of an exterior agency. I have a mind, weak enough to claim my song. Such pilferings my dear, (and to you I will*venture to boast of it) are sure to be detected. I wrote it, I know not as free from superstition as any man living, neither how long, but I suppose four years ago. The do I give heed to dreams in general as predictive, rose in question was a rose given to Lady Austen though particular dreams I believe to be so. Some by Mrs. Unwin, and the incident that suggested very sensible persons, and I suppose Mrs. Carter the subject occurred in the room in which you among them, will acknowledge that in old times slept at the vicarage, which Lady Austen made God spoke by dreams, but affirm with much boldher dining room. Some time since, Mr. Bull ness that he has since ceased to do so. If you ask going to London, I gave him a copy of it, which them why? They answer, because he has now he undertook to convey to Nichols, the printer of revealed his will in the Scripture, and there is no the Gentleman's Magazine. He showed it to longer any need that he should instruct or admonish Mrs. C-, who begged to copy it, and pro- us by dreams. I grant that with respect to docmised to send it to the printer's by her servant. trines and precepts he has left us in want of noThree or four months afterwards, and when I thing; but has he thereby precluded himself in had concluded it was lost, I saw it in the Gentle- any of the operations of his Providence? Surely man's Magazine, with my signature, W. C. not. It is perfectly a different consideration; and Poor simpleton! She will find now perhaps that the same need that there ever was of his interthe rose had a thorn, and that she has pricked her ference in this way, there is still, and ever must fingers with it. Adieu! my beloved cousin. be, while man continues blind and fallible, and a
W. C. creature beset with dangers which he can neither
foresee nor obviate. His operations however of
this kind are, I allow, very rare; and as to the TO LADY HESKETH.
generality of dreams, they are made of such stuff,
and are in themselves so insignificant, that though The Lodge, Jan. 18, 1787. I believe them all to be the manufacture of others, I have been so much indisposed with the fever not our own, I account it not a farthing-matter that I told you had seized me, my nights during who manufactures them. So much for dreams! the whole week may be said to have been almost My fever is not yet gone, but sometimes seems