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wise be most acceptable. I want to learn as much TO LADY HESKETH.
of the world as I can, but to acquire that learning
at a distance, and a book with such a title proThe Lodge, Feb. 16, 1788. mises fair to serve the purpose effectually. I have now three letters of yours, my dearest I recommend it to you, my dear, by all means cousin, before me, all written in the space of a to embrace the fair occasion, and to put yourself week, and must be indeed insensible of kindness, in the way of being squeezed and incommoded a did I not feel yours on this occasion. I can not few hours, for the sake of hearing and seeing what describe to you, neither could you comprehend it you will never have an opportunity to see and if I should, the manner in which my mind is some-hear hereafter, the trial of a man who has been times impressed with melancholy on particular greater, and more feared than the great Mogul subjects. Your late silence was such a subject. himself
. Whatever we are at home, we certainly I heard, saw, and felt, a thousand terrible things, have been tyrants in the East; and if these men which had no real existence, and was haunted by have, as they are charged, rioted in the miseries them night and day, till they at last extorted from of the innocent, and dealt death to the guiltless, me the doleful epistle, which I have since wished with an unsparing hand, may they receive a rehad been burned before I sent it. But the cloud tribution that shall in future make all governors was passed, and as far as you are concerned, my and judges of ours, in those distant regions, tremheart is once more at rest.
ble. While I speak thus, I equally wish them acBefore you gave me the hint, I had once or quitted. They were both my schoolfellows, and twice, as I lay on my bed, watching the break of for Hastings I had a particular value. Farewell. day, ruminated on the subject which, in your last
W.C. but one, you recommended to me.
Slavery, or a release from slavery, such as the poor negroes have endured, or perhaps both these
TO LADY HESKETH. topics together, appeared to me a theme so important at the present juncture, and at the same time
The Lodge, Feb. 22, 1788. so susceptible of poetical management, that I more I do not wonder that your ears and feelings than once perceived myself ready to start in that were hurt by Mr. Burke's severe invective. But career, could I have allowed myself to desert Ho- you are to know, my dear, or probably you know mer for so long a time as it would have cost me to it already, that the prosecution of public delindo them justice.
quents has always, and in all countries, been thus While I was pondering these things, the public conducted. The style of a criminal charge of this prints informed me that Miss More was on the kind has been an affair settled among orators from point of publication, having actually finished what the days of Tully to the present, and like all other I had not yet begun.
practices that have obtained for ages, this in The sight of her advertisement convinced me particular seems to have been founded originally that my best course would be that to which I felt in reason, and in the necessity of the case. myself most inclined, to persevere, without turn- He who accuses another to the state, must not ing aside to attend to any other call, however al- appear himself unmoved by the view of crimes luring, in the business I have in hand.
with which he charges him, lest he should be susIt occurred to me likewise, that I have already pected of fiction, or of precipitancy, or of a conborne my testimony in favour of my black brethren; sciousness that after all he shall not be able to and that I was one of the earliest, if not the first, prove his allegations. On the contrary, in order of those who have in the present day expressed to impress the minds of his hearers with a persuatheir detestation of the diabolical traffic in ques- sion that he himself at least is convinced of the tion.
criminality of the prisoner, he must be vehement, On all these accounts I judged it best to be si- energetic, rapid; must call him tyrant and traitor, lent, and especially because I can not doubt that and every thing else that is odious, and all this to some effectual measures will now be taken to alle- his face, because all this, bad as it is, is no more viate the miseries of their condition, the whole na- than he undertakes to prove in the sequel; and if tion being in possession of the case, and it being he can not prove it he must himself appear in a impossible also allege an argument in behalf of light little more desirable, and at the best to have man-merchandize, that can deserve a hearing. I trifled with the tribunal to which he has sum · shall be glad to see Hannah More's poem; she is moned him. a favourite writer with me, and has more nerve Thus Tully, in the very first instance of his and energy both in her thoughts and language oration against Catiline, calls him a monster; a than half the he-rhymers in the kingdom. The manner of address in which he persisted till said Thoughts on the Manners of the Great will like- monster, unable to support the fury of bis accu
ser's eloquence any longer, rose from his seat, el-y not have dishonoured the best hound in the world, bowed for himself a passage through the crowd, pursuing precisely the same track which the fox and at last burst from the senate house in an and the dogs had taken, though he had never had agony, as if the furies themselves had followed a glimpse of either after their first entrance through him.
the rails, arrived where he found the slaughtered And now, my dear, though I have thus spoken, prey. He soon produced dead reynard, and reand have seemed to plead the cause of that spe-joined us in the grove with all his dogs about him. cies of quence which you, and every creature aving an opportunity to see a ceremony, which who has your sentiments must necessarily dislike, I was pretty sure would never fall in my way again, perhaps I am not altogether convinced of its pro- I determined to stay, and to notice all that passed priety. Perhaps, at the bottom, I am much more with the most minute attention. The huntsman of opinion that if the charge, unaccompanied by having, by the aid of a pitchfork, lodged reynard any inflammatory matter, and simply detailed, be on the arm of an elm, at the height of about nine ing once delivered into the court, and read aloud; feet from the ground, there left him for a considthe witnesses were immediately examined, and erable time. The gentlemen sat on their horses sentence pronounced according to the evidence; contemplating the fox, for which they had toiled so not only the process would be shortened, much hard; and the hounds assembled at the foot of the time and much expense saved, but justice would tree, with faces not less expressive of the most rahave at least as fair play as now she has. Preju- tional delight, contemplated the same object. The dice is of no use in weighing the question-guilty huntsman remounted; cut off a foot and threw it or not guilty—and the principal aim, end, and to the hounds-one of them swallowed it whole effect of such introductory harangues is to create like a bolus. He then once more alighted, and as much prejudice as possible. When you and I drawing down the fox by the hinder legs, desired therefore shall have the sole management of such the people, who were by this time rather numera business entrusted to us, we will order it other- ous, to open a lane for him to the right and left. wise.
He was instantly obeyed, when throwing the fox I was glad to learn from the papers that our to the distance of some yards, and screaming like cousin Henry shone as he did in reading the charge. a fiend, "tear him to pieces"—at least six times This must have given much pleasure to the Gen- repeatedly, he consigned him over absolutely to eral, Thy ever affectionate, W.C. the pack, who in a few minutes devoured him com
pletely. Thus, my dear, as Virgil says, what none
of the gods could have ventured to promise me, TO LADY HESKETH.
time itself, pursuing its accustomed course, has of
its own accord presented me with. I have been The Lodge, March 3, 1788. in at the death of a fox, and you now know as One day last week, Mrs. Unwin and I, having much of the matter as I, who am as well informed taken our morning walk, and returning homeward as any sportsman in England. through the wilderness, met the Throckmortons.
Yours, W. C. A minute after we had met them, we heard the cry of hounds at no great distance, and mounting the broad stump of an elm, which had been feled,
TO LADY HESKETH. and by the aid of which we were enabled to look over the wall, we saw them. They were all at
The Lodge, March 12, 1788. that time in our orchard; presently we heard a SLAVERY, and the Manners of the Great, I have terrier belonging to Mrs. Throckmorton, which read. The former I admired, as I do all that Miss you may remember by the name of Fury, yelping More writes, as well for energy of expression, as with much vehemence, and saw her running for the tendency of the design. I have never yet through the thickets within a few yards of us at seen any production of her pen, that has not reher utmost speed, as if in pursuit of something commended itself by both these qualifications, which we doubted not was the fox. Before we There is likewise much good sense in her manner could reach the other end of the wilderness, the of treating every subject, and no mere poetic cant hounds entered also; and when we arrived at the (which is the thing that I abhor,) in her manner gate which opens into the grove, there we found of treating any. And this I say, not because you. the whole weary cavalcade assembled. The hunts- now know and visit her, but it has long been my man dismounting begged leave to follow his hounds opinion of her works, which I have both spoken on foot, for he was sure, he said, that they had and written, as often as I have had occasion to killed him. A conclusion which I suppose he mention them. drew from their profound silence. He was ac- Mr. Wilberforce's little book (if he was the aucordingly admitted, and with a sagacity that would thor of it) has also charmed me. It must, I should
Ler. 270, 271.
imagine, engage the notice of those to whom it is tunity should occur, send them also. If this amuses
W.C. either answer it, or be set down by it. They will do neither. They will approve, commend, and forget it. Such has been the fate of all exhortations
TO THE REV. WALTER BAGOT. to reform, whether in verse or prose, and however closely pressed upon the conscience, in all ages. MY DEAR FRIEND,
March 19, 1788. Here and there a happy individual, to whom God The spring is come, but not I suppose that gives grace and wisdom to profit by the admonition, spring which our poets have celebrated. So I is the better for it. But the aggregate body (as judge at least by the extreme severity of the season, Gilbert Cooper used to call the multitude) remain, sunless skies, and freezing blasts, surpassing all though with a very good understanding of the that we experienced in the depth of winter. How matter, like horse and mule that have none.
do you dispose of yourself in this howling month We shall now soon lose our neighbours at the of March? As for me, I walk daily, be the weaHall. We shall truly miss them, and long for ther what it may, take bark, and write verses. their return. Mr. Throckmorton said to me last By the aid of such means as these, I combat the night, with sparkling eyes, and a face expressive north-east wind with some measure of success, and of the highest pleasure—“We compared you this look forward, with the hope of enjoying it, to the morning with Pope; we read your fourth Iliad, warmth of summer. and his, and I verily think we shall beat him. Have you seen a little volume lately published, He has many superfluous lines, and does not in- entitled The Manners of the Great? It is said to
When I read your translation, I am have been written by Mr. Wilberforce, but whedeeply affected. I see plaínly your advantage, and ther actually written by him or not, is undoubtedly am convinced that Pope spoiled all by attempting the work of some man intimately acquainted with the work in rhyme.” His brother George, who is the subject, a gentleman, and a man of letters. If my most active amanuensis, and who indeed first it makes the impression on those to whom it is introduced the subject, secunded all he said. More addressed, that may be in some degree expected would have passed, but Mrs. Throckmorton hav- from his arguments, and from his manner of pressing seated herself at the harpsichord, and for my ing them, it will be well. But you and I have lived amusement merely, my attention was of course long enough in the world to know that the hope turned to her. The new vicar of Olney is ar- of a general reformation in any class of men whatrived, and we have exchanged visits. He is a ever, or of women either, may easily be too sanplain, sensible man, and pleases me much. A guine. treasure for Olney, if Olney can understand his I have now given the last revisal to as much value.
W.C. of my translation as was ready for it, and do not
know, that I shall bestow another single stroke
of my pen on that part of it before I send it to the TO GENERAL COWPER.
press. My business at present is with the six
teenth book, in which I have made some progress, MY DEAR GENERAL,
but have not yet actually sent forth Patrocles to A LETTER is not pleasant which excites curiosi- the battle. My first translation lies always before ty, but does not gratify it. Such a letter was my me; line by line I examine it as I proceed, and line last, the defects of which I therefore take the first by line reject it. I do not however hold myself opportunity to supply. When the condition of our altogether indebted to my critics for the better negroes in the islands was first presented to me as judgment; that I seem to exercise in this matter a subject for songs, I felt myself not at all allured now than in the first instance. By long study to the undertaking: it seemed to offer only images of him, I am in fact become much more familiar of horror, which could by no means be accommo- with Homer than at any time heretofore, and dated to the style of that sort of composition. But have possessed myself of such a taste of his manhaving a desire to comply, if possible, with the re- ner, as is not to be attained by mere cursory readquest made to me, after turning the matter in my ing for amusement. But, alas! 'tis after all a mind as many ways as I could, I at last, as I told mortifying considération that the majority of my you, produced three, and that which appears to judges hereafter will be no judges of this. Græcum myself the best of those three, I have sent you. Of est, non potest legi, is a motto that would suit the other two, one is serious, in a strain of thought nine in ten of those who will give themselves airs perhaps rather too serious, and I could not help about it, and pretend to like or to dislike. No matit. The other, of which the slave-trader is himself the subject, is somewhat ludicrous. If I could
• The Morning Dream (see Poems) accompanied this Letthink them worth your seeing, I would, as oppor-'ter.
But you say
ter. I know I shall please you, because I know|haps his own of an embellishment which wanted what pleases you, and am sure that I have done only to be noticed. it. Adieu! my good friend,
If you hear ballads sung in the streets on the Ever affectionately yours, W. C. hardships of the negroes in the islands, they are
probably mine. It must be an honour to any man to have given a stroke to that chain, however feeble. I fear however that the attempt will fail. The
tidings which have lately reached me from LonTO SAMUEL ROSE, ESQ.
don concerning it, are not the most encouraging. MY DEAR FRIEND,
Weston, March 29, 1788. While the matter slept, or was but slightly adI REJOICE that you have so successfully perform- verted to, the English only had their share of ed so long a journey without the aid of hoofs or shame in common with other nations on account wheels. I do not know that a journey on foot of it. But since it has been canvassed and searchexposes a man to more disasters than a carriage ed to the bottom, since the public attention has or a horse; perhaps it may be the safer way of tra- been riveted to the horrible scheme, we can no veling, but the novelty of it impressed me with longer plead either that we did not know it, or some anxiety on your account.
did not think of it. Wo be to us if we refuse the It seems almost incredible to myself, that my poor captives the redress to which they had so company should be at all desirable to you, or to clear a right, and prove ourselves in the sight of any man. I know so little of the world as it goes God and men indifferent to all considerations but at present, and labour generally under such a de- those of gain!
Adieu. W. C. pression of spirits, especially at those times when I could wish to be most cheerful, that my own share in every conversation appears to me to be the most insipid thing imaginable.
TO LADY HESKETH. you found it otherwise, and I will not for my own sake doubt your sincerity, de gustibus non est
The Lodge, March 31, 1788. disputandum, and since such is yours, I shall MY DEAREST COUSIN, leave you in quiet possession of it, wishing indeed Mrs. THROCKMORTON has promised to write to both its continuance and increase. I shall not find me. I beg that as often as you shall see her you a properer place in which to say, accept of Mrs. will give her a smart pinch, and say, "Have you
a Unwin's acknowledgments, as well as mine, for written to my cousin ? I build all my hopes of her the kindness of your expressions on this subject, performance on this expedient, and for so doing and be assured of an undissembling welcome at these my letters, not patent, shall be your sufficient all times, when it shall suit you to give us your warrant. You are thus to give her the question company at Weston. As to her, she is one of the till she shall answer, “ Yes." I have written one sincerest of the human race, and if she receives more song, and sent it. It is called the Morning you with the appearance of pleasure, it is because Dream, and may be sung to the tune of Tweedshe feels it. Her behaviour on such occasions is side, or any other tune that will suit, for I am not with her an affair of conscience, and she dares no nice on that subject. I would have copied it for more look a falsehood than utter one.
you, had I not almost filled my sheet without it, It is almost time to tell you that I have received but now, my dear, you must stay till the sweet the books safe, they have not suffered the least syrens of London shall bring it to you, or if that detriment by the way, and I am much obliged to happy day should never arrive, I hereby acknowyou for them. If my translation should be a little ledge myself your debtor to that amount. I shall delayed in consequence of this favour of yours, now probably cease to sing of tortured negroes, a you must take the blame on yourself. It is impos- theme which never pleased me, but which in the sible not to read the notes of a commentator so hope of doing them some little service, I was not learned, so judicious, and of so fine a taste as Dr. unwilling to handle. Clarke, having him at one's elbow. Though he If any thing could have raised Miss More to a has been but a few hours under my roof, I have higher place in my opinion than she possessed already peeped at him, and find that he will be before, it could only be your information that, instar omnium to me. They are such notes ex- after all, she, and not Mr. Wilberforce, is author actly as I wanted. A translator of Homer should of that volume. How comes it to pass, that she, ever have somebody at hand to say, "that's a being a woman, writes with a force, and energy, beauty,” lest he should slumber where his author and a correctness hitherto arrogated by the men, does not; not only depreciating, by such inadver- and not very frequently displayed even by the tency, the work of his original, but depriving per- men themselves.
other language—and secondly, that inkle-weavers TO LADY HESKETH.
contract intimacies with each other sooner than
other people on account of their juxtaposition in The Lodge, May 6, 1788. weaving of inkle. Hence it is that Mr. Gregson MY DEAREST COUSIN,
and I emulate those happy weavers in the closeYou ask me how I like Smollett's Don Quix-ness of our connexion. We live near to each ote? I answer, well, perhaps better than any other, and while the Hall is empty are each body's. But having no skill in the original, some others' only extraforaneous comfort. diffidence becomes me. That is to say, I do not
Most truly thine, W. C. know whether I ought to prefer it or not. Yet there is so little deviation from other versions of it which I have seen, that I do not much hesitate.
TO JOSEPH HILL, ESQ. It has made me laugh I know immoderately, and in such a case ca suffit.
Weston, May 8, 1788. A thousand thanks, my dear, for the new con- Alas! my library!-I must now give it up for venience in the way of stowage which you are so a lost thing for ever. The only consolation bekind as to intend me. There is nothing in which longing to the circumstance is, or seems to be, I am so deficient as repositories for letters, papers, that no such loss did ever befall any other man, or and litter of all sorts. Your last present has help- can ever befall me again. As far as books are ed me somewhat; but not with respect to such concerned I am things as require lock and key, which are nume
Totus teres atque rotundus, rous. A box therefore so secured will be to me and may set fortune at defiance. The books an invaluable acquisition. And since you leave which had been my father's had most of them his me to my option, what shall be the size thereof, I
arms on the inside cover, but the rest no mark, of course prefer a folio. On the back of the book- neither his name nor mine. I could mourn for seeming box some artist, expert in those matters, them like Sancho for his Dapple, but it would may inscribe these words,
avail me nothing. Collectanea curiosa,
You will oblige me much by sending me Crazy The English of which is, a collection of curiosi- Kate. A gentleman last winter promised me ties. A title which I prefer to all others, because both her and the Lace-maker, but he went to if I live, I shall take care that the box shall merit London, that place in which, as in the grave, it, and because it will operate as an incentive to“ all things are forgotten,” and I have never seen open that, which being locked can not be opened. either of them. For in these cases the greater the balk, the more I begin to find some prospect of a conclusion, wit is discovered by the ingenious contriver of it, of the Iliad at least, now opening upon me, hav. viz. myself.
ing reached the eighteenth book. Your letter The General I understand by his last letter is found me yesterday in the very fact of dispersing in town. In my last to him, I told him news; the whole host of Troy by the voice only of Achilpossibly it will give you pleasure, and ought for les. There is nothing extravagant in the idea, for that reason to be made known to you as soon as you have witnessed a similar effect attending even possible. My friend Rowley, who I told you has such a voice as mine at midnight, from a garret after twenty-five years' silence renewed his cor- window, on the dogs of a whole parish, whom I respondence with me, and who now lives in Ire- have put to flight in a moment. W.C. land, where he has many and considerable connexions, has sent to me for thirty subscription papers. Rowley is one of the most benevolent
TO LADY HESKETH. and friendly creatures in the world, and will, I dare say, do all in his power to serve me.
The Lodge, May 12, 1788. I am just recovered from a violent cold, attend- It is probable, my dearest coz, that I shall not ed by a cough, which split my head while it last- be able to write much, but as much as I can I ed I escaped these tortures all the winter, but will. The time between rising and breakfast is whose constitution, or what skin, can possibly be all that I can at present find, and this morning I proof against our vernal breezes in England ? lay longer than usual. Mine never were, nor will be.
In the style of the lady's note to you I can easiWhen people are intimate, we say they are as ly perceive a snatch of her character. Neither great as two inkle-weavers, on which expression men nor women write with such neatness of exI have to remark in the first place, that the word pression, who have not given a good deal of atgreat is here used in a sense which the corres-tention to language, and qualified themselves by ponding term has not, so far as I know, in any study. At the same time it gave me much more