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I am asked to produce some étrennes for dear Mrs. Lutwyche.
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 favorably 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.
To the Rev. Daniel Lysons.
4 o'clock in the morning of
Saturday 16, 1794. DEAR MR. LYSONS, Here are we returned home from a concert at one house, a card assembly at a second, a ball and supper at a third. The pain in my side, which has tormented me all evening, should not, however, have prevented my giving the girls their frolic, and enjoying your company myself; but servants and horses can't stand it if I can, and even Cecilia consents not to be waked in four hours after she lies down. Excuse us all, therefore, and believe me ever truly yours,
H. L. Piozzi.
To the Rev. Daniel Lysons.
Denbigh, N. W., Wednesday,
7th January, 1795. DEAR MR. LYSONS, I write to you, knowing that you are stationary, and you will tell your brother that we are coming back to Streatham Park, where our first pleasure will be to see and converse with our long absent friends, among which I hope long to reckon you both. Many strange events, but I think no good ones, have taken place since we parted; yet, although many accidents have happened, I see not that the fog clears or dissipates, so as to give us any good view of the end yet. Those who live nearer the centre may perhaps obtain better intelligence, and see further than we do ; and more light may break in still before the fourth or fifth of February, when we shall request your company, or his, or both for a day's comfortable chat. What do the Opposition say concerning their projects for peace with a nation that continues, or rather renews, predatory hostilities, while the armistice (themselves were contented to grant) remains in full force ?
Has no caricatura print been made yet of a Frenchman shaking Nic Frog by the hand in a sinister manner, at the same time that the other arm is employed in cutting his throat ? They are terrible fellows, to be sure; and if they take Pampeluna, the King and Queen of Spain will have to run away from Madrid, as the Stadhtholder and his lady from Holland, I suppose ; so you will do well to finish your Environs of London * quickly while that lasts.
How do your amiable neighbors, the Miss Pettiwards? You will have dear Siddons amongst you soon, I hear, for they have taken Mr. Cologon's pretty villa. . Write once more, do, before we meet, and say you will come to Streatham Park soon, and make a world of chat with my master, and Cecy, and, dear Sir, yours ever, very sincerely,
H. L. Piozzi. Pick me up some literary intelligence if any can be found. I * Mr. Lysons was engaged in a topographical work entitled “ The Environs of London."