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HER LAST VERSES.
TIME, DEATH, AND H. L. P.
Tell her, old Time of foot so fleet,
H. L. P.
I know it; but when next we meet, "Twill be to see you both destroyed.
THE two brothers to whom the first batch of the following letters are addressed, were members of a county family settled for more than two centuries at Hempsted in Gloucestershire. Both were eminently distinguished by the extent and variety of their antiquarian and literary acquirements, as well as highly esteemed for their social qualities. It is sufficient to mention their principal work, the "Magna Britannia," which they undertook in copartnership. The younger, Samuel, afterwards Keeper of the Records in the Tower and a V.P.R.S., was presented to Johnson and favourably received by him; but the acquaintance commenced only a few months before Johnson's death.
The present proprietor of Hempsted Court and rector of Rodmarton (the family living) amply sustains the hereditary reputation of his family, being the author of several works of learning, ingenuity and research.
A selection of letters from Mrs. Piozzi to the same gentlemen, of an earlier date, appeared in "Bentley's
Miscellany," in 1849, and I have made a few extracts from these.
"Milan, 26th Feb. 1785.
“Tell me something of home, do: how the people tear Mrs. Siddons in pieces, and why they tear her. How the executors and Mr. Boswell quarrel over the remains of poor Dr. Johnson! I saw something of it in an English newspaper one day; but it only served to whet, not gratify, curiosity; the particulars must come from you. The booksellers have written to me for materials or letters, but I told them truly enough that I had left most of my papers in England, and could do nothing till my return."
"Milan, 22nd March, 1785. "My book is getting forward, and will run well enough among the rest; the letters I have of Dr. Johnson's are two hundred at least, I dare say, and some of those from Skie are delightful - they will carry my little volume upon their back quite easily.
"Do you know who Dr. Taylor gives his anecdotes to? Dr. Johnson bid me once ask him for memoirs, if I was the survivor, and so I would, but I am afraid of a refusal, as I guess Sir John Hawkins is already in possession of all that Dr. Taylor has to bestow. There lives, however, at Birmingham a surgeon, Mr. Edward Hector, whom, likewise, Mr. Johnson referred me to: he once saw Mr. Thrale and me, and, perhaps, would be more kind, and more likely to relate such things as I wish to hear, could you go between us and coax him