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stantly that the tide was turned. Numberless cards were left at the Royal Hotel, where we remained till a house in Hanover Square was fitted up to receive us, and on the 22d of May, we opened with a concert and supper, the more willingly, as Mr. Cator, in whose hands we placed our pecuniary affairs at starting, pronounced the mortgage paid off, and £ 1,500 in the bank to begin with.
This Mr. Cator had been one of our insulting enemies; was acting executor to Mr. Thrale and guardian to his daughters ; had said, that I should be soon deceased, but my death would be concealed by Mr. Piozzi, while he enjoyed my jointure, &c.; this man's approbation was indeed a triumph, and we now intended to be happy.
Cecilia had been left at Ray and Frey's school at Streatham, with friends I could depend on; but Lady Keith removed her thence and placed her at Stevenson's, Queen's Square, without my knowledge or consent. We kept our distance then, and so did they ; meeting only in public. I took my little mad-headed Cecilia home, and we had masters to her, &c. Nor do I know when the sisters and I should have met again, had not she grown so fast that at fourteen years old or six months more, Mr. Piozzi felt himself alarmed, and was advised by our friends, Lord Huntingdon, Sir Charles Hotham, and the Greatheads, with whom we lived familiarly, to put the young lady into Chancery, a measure he was most earnest to adopt. We were at Streatham Park, but I observed my husband unusually anxious, when an old Mr. Jones who had married Sir William Fowler's daughter, my mother's first cousin, told me that the Miss Thrales had made overtures of reconciliation through him (who lived much with us), and that he should make a breakfast party for us all at his house in Cavendish Square, with my permission. It was the middle of the French Revolution, so there was talk enough, and the day went on very well with an invitation to the ladies for Easter Tuesday, I remember; and Pisani, the Venetian ambassador, Lord and Lady Coventry, and 130 people, in short, witnessed our gayety and mutual good-humor. Three weeks more, however, had scarce elapsed before Miss Thrale, now Viscountess Keith, came down on horseback, and said she must speak to us on business. It was to beg Mr. Piozzi would not put Cecilia into Chancery. Their fortunes, they alleged, would be examined by lawyers, and dear Mr. Cator's accounts too would be hauled over, with which they were well contented; alluding, besides this, to some undisclosed dealings and connections of their father's, wholly new and very surprising to me, who had no notion of his affairs beyond the counting-house and brewhouse yard. In short, they frighted us into every compliance they could wish, then kept their distance as before, sending perpetually for Cecy.
Libels and odd ill-natured speeches appeared sometimes in the public prints, and one day of the ensuing winter, when I was airing my lap-dogs in a retired part of Hyde Park, Lord Fife came up to me, and after a moment's chat, said, “Would you like to know your friends from your enemies?” in a Scotch accent. “ Yes, very much, my lord,” was the reply. “Ay, but have you strength of mind enough to bear my intelligence ?” “ Make haste and tell me, dear my lord,” said I. “Why then the Burneys are your enemies, that so fostered and fondled ; more than that, Baretti has been making up a libel, .... and every magazine has refused it entrance except a new work carried on by the female Burneys.” “Never mind,” replied I, “nobody will read their work; I feel as I ought towards your lordship's friendship, which you cannot prove better than by not naming the subject ; it will die away, so will the authors; good morrow, and a thousand thanks.”
. . My own books came out one by one: they pleased, and I suffered not these tormentors much to vex me. We went on spending our money at and upon Streatham Park, till old Mr. Jones and the wise Marquis Trotti advised Piozzi to make the tour of North Wales, and see my country, my estate, &c. We had been all over Scotland, except the Highlands, where we were afraid of carrying Cecy because of her unsteady health. I staid with dear Mrs. Siddons, at Rose Hill, while our friends made their ramble, and came back as much delighted with Denbighshire and Flintshire as Mr. Thrale had been disgusted with them. This was charming. Piozzi had fixed upon a spot, and resolved to build an Italian villa on the banks of the Clwydd. Even Mr. Murphy applauded the project, and we drew in our expenses, preparing to engage in brick and mortar.
Gout now fastened on Mr. Piozzi, who built his pretty villa in North Wales, and, conforming to our religious opinions, kindly set our little church at Dymerchion in a state it never before enjoyed, spending sums of money on its decoration, and making a vault for my ancestors and for ourselves to repose in. I wrote verses for the opening of our tiny temple, and dear Piozzi set them most enchantingly to music; our clerk, he said, was a very good genius ; and I trust a more virtuous or pious pleasure could not be felt than ours when teaching those poor people to sing the lines you
will read over leaf.
With homely verse and artless lays,
Full oft these humble roofs shall ring;
Rough youths and village maidens sing.
Incarnate God! when He appeared,
And blessings all around him spread,
He chose the poor, the lowly shed.
And sure before He comes again
In awful state to judge the world ;
Temples and towers in ruin hurled ;
To unambitious efforts kind,
Pleased He permits our rustic lays;
Have leave to sing their Saviour's praise.
The house, our dwelling-house I mean, was built from a design of its elegant master's own hand, and he set poor Bachygraig up too; repaired and beautified it, and, to please his silly wife, gilt the Llewenny lion on its top. The scroll once held in his paw was broke and gone. Lombardy, where his (Mr. Piozzi's) relations lived, was torn by faction, and his father, a feeble old man of eighty-one years old, equal to one hundred in our island, was actually terrified into apoplexy, lethargy, and death. His son, who half entertained a tender thought that they might meet once more, grieved for his loss severely, the more so, as he himself said, because “Sarà quel che sarà, ma alla fin, il sangue non e acqua.' His brother, I am afraid, joined the Republicans, leaving a very deserving lady, born at Venice, whose friends were wholly ruined, though her uncle, the Abbate Zendrini, was afterwards in high favor, and even appointed confessor to Buonaparte. They had baptized one of their babies by name of John Salusbury in compliment to me, and Mr. Piozzi sent to bring him out of the confusion. He came an infant between three and four years
old. We educated him first at Mr. Davis's school at Streatham, where my own son had been placed so many years before, and then with Mr. Shephard, of Enborne, Berkshire, whence he commonly came to us at Streatham Park, or Bath, or Brynbella.
You know the rest. You know that dear Mr. Piozzi died of the gout at his pretty villa in North Wales. You know that he left me that, and everything else, never naming his nephew in the will, only leaving among his father's children £ 6,000 in the three per cents, being the whole of his savings during the twentyfive years he had shared and enjoyed my fortune. Unexampled generosity indeed! And true love! Could I do less than repay it to the child whose situation in life I now felt responsible for! I bred him with his friends at Oxford, yet he stood alone, insulated in a nation where he had no natural friend. Incapacitated to return where his religion would have rendered him miserable, and petted and spoiled till any profession would have been painful. What could I do? The boy had besides all this formed an attachment to his friend's sister. What could I do? You know what I did do. I gave them my estate ; and resolving that Mr. Thrale's daughters should suffer as little as possible by this arrangement, I repaired and new fronted their house at Streatham Park, and by the enormous expense incurred there, and the loss of my rents from Denbighshire and Flintshire, reduced myself to the very wretched state you found me in, and lavished upon me a friendship, which, at the sauciest hour of my life, would by my mind have been esteemed an honor, but in this sad, deserted stage of it the truest, very near the only cordial. Thus then, as Adam says to Raphael in Milton's “ Paradise Lost”: