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two, and we had Joanna Southcote within these two or three years in England. She seems to have been one of those mentioned in the 26th verse of the same chapter, saying, “ Behold he is in the secret chambers,” but, says our Saviour, “Go not forth.” The same injunctions are repeated in St. Mark, the 13th chapter, 6th verse; and the 8th chapter of St. Luke gives a similar prohibition. This person, however, may be the great Antichrist, or Antechrist, though I do not believe it. The Protestants, you know, have attributed that character uniformly to the Papal Power; but Romanists, following the opinion of Father Malvenda, a Spanish Fryar, who flourished in 1600, and was an admirable Hebraist, believe that Antichrist is to be a Jew, of the tribe of Dan, that he will reign three years and a half, and shew many miracles. When Jacob pronounced his prophetic blessing on his sons, he says, “ Dan shall be a serpent in the way," and a dragon was always painted on their standard. Jeremiah says," the armies of Dan shall devour the earth ;” and when St. John, in his Apocalypse, saw the angel sealing the twelve tribes of Israel, 't is observable that Dan is omitted. Conjectures concerning Antichrist
are, however, quite innumerable. There is a folio volume in our Bodleian Library at Oxford, written to assert that Oliver Cromwell was the person, and Mr. Faber, you know, said it was Buonaparte, or gave us reason to believe he thought so. St. Paul's description of him in his 2d chapter of his 2d epistle to the Thessalonians as preceding the general judgment, does always appear to me as if designed to portray one single man, whoever he may be; but Bishop Newton and all cool expositors seem to think the Papacy was intended; and your brother, as an orthodox Protestant divine, is of that opinion.
Meanwhile it does strike all reflecting people that great changes are about to take place ; things advance with a velocity best compared to the rapidity of a wheel down hill, increasing at every step. I own myself convinced of the approach of
“ That great day for which all days were made;
Great day of dread, decision, and despair,
Whether this catastrophe is to happen forty or fifty years hence, is, however, of no consequence to me as an individual. My last day must come long before.
The nonsense verses for and against London were written when I was very sick of it, so the last were best of course. You must read Gray’s “ Connections between Sacred Writ and Classic Literature;” it is a very fine performance and much admired.
H. L. P.
To Sir James Fellowes.
30 September, 1816. . . In January, 1817, such will be my fortune; and who in their wits, circumstanced as I am, can wish for more? Your dear mother laughed when I told her I was buying plate, linen, &c., to begin the world with, like a boy just come of age.
But life is a strange thing, and has been often compared to a river. “ Labitur et labetur,” &c.
Leave the lofty glacier's side,
this silent rill,
Haste away! The lake is near.
Dr. Robert Gray, who wrote the new book that every one is reading, wrote the lines under our sun-dial at Brynbella :
“Umbra tegit lapsas, præsentique imminet horæ ;
“ Ere yet the threat’ning shade o'erspread the hour,
Hasten, bright Virtue, and assert thy power.” The well known George Henry Glasse * said there was a fault in the prosody, and wished to correct it, as thus:
“ Umbra tegit lapsam, præsentique imminet horæ
Hospes, disce ex me vivere, disce mori.”
“ Ere yet the unreturning shadows fly,
Go mortals; learn to live and learn to die.”
Tell me which you prefer; I like the English of the last best, myself; but the first, of course, remains round the little marble pillar set up by Mr. Piozzi, and very much admired for its elegance. O, what a beautiful house and place it is! Salusbury did make me the compliment of not cutting down a weepingwillow we planted, because I had made verses on it.
* The Rev. George Henry Glasse, author of several volumes of sermons, and some translations from the learned languages. Amongst Mrs. Piozzi's papers were found notes of the following anecdotes concerning him. On Miss Blaquieres bidding him write some verses for her, he said, “ he had nothing to write upon.” " Then,” replied the lady, “ write upon nothing," he immediately obeyed: —
“ And wilt thou, Nymph, compel my lays,
And force me sing thy rival's praise ?
That I love no thing more than thee.”
His life terminated strangely and lamentably. He had been to the city to raise a sum of money to pay his debts, or (some say) to enable him to escape from his creditors to the Continent. On his return in a hackney-coach, he left his pocket-kook containing the money in bank-notes on the seat, and on discovering his loss, committed suicide. The day following, the pocket-book with its contents was brought by the driver to the hotel at which he had stopped. Neptune Smith was more fortunate. He flung himself into the sea after casting up his betting book, from a conviction that the balance was against him; was fished out, found that he had cast up his book wrong, and lived many years to exult in his nickname.
To Sir James Fellowes.
Bath, Monday, 7 October, 1816. I HAVE got no new books to read; Mr. Whalley recommended me some verses, a long poem indeed, but to me very unintelligible. Modern writers resemble the cuttle-fish that hides himself from all pursuers in his own ink. That is not Doctor Gray's case, however: I think you will like his performance exceedingly. The weather is as gloomy as November, and the poor gleaners can get no corn out of the stubble; it rots and grows, and threatens ruin both to small and great. Miss Hudson says a famine will bring us to our senses ; I
say it will deprive us of the little wits we have left. The delirium proceeding from hunger will have fatal consequences, because vulgar minds will feel sure that 't is somebody's fault, and woe to the mortal they pitch upon.
Send a consoling word, dear Sir, for my fancy sees very bad visions. The world always does see most to endure, when most blind, says old Fuller; perhaps that is now the case with yours faithfully and gratefully,
H. L. P.
To Sir James Fellowes.
Bath, 11 October, 1816. In adversity, in prosperity, ever dear and kind friend, my Wraxall opens well. What signifies knowledge locked up, either in man or book ? I think if Lady Keith has a fault besides her disregard of poor H. L. P., that is hers.
O, here is a new book come out, that I know not how she will like, or how the public will like. Do you remember my telling you, that in the year 1813, when I was in London upon Salusbury's, business, before his marriage some months, a Mr. White sent to tell me, through Doctor Myddleton, that he possessed a manuscript of Johnson's, and wished me to ascertain that the handwriting was his own. I invited both gentlemen to dinner,
we were at Blake's Hotel, — and Dr. Gray, afterwards Bishop of Bristol, met them, and I saw that the MSS. was genuine. It
a diary of the little journey that Mr. Thrale, and Mr. Johnson (such he was then), and Miss Thrale, and myself made into North Wales, in the year 1774. There was nothing in it of consequence, that I saw, except a pretty parallel * between Hawkestone, the country seat of Sir Richard Hill, and Ilam, the country seat of Mr. Port, in Derbyshire. But the gentleman who possessed it, seemed shy of letting me read the whole, and did not, as it appeared, like being asked how it came into his hands, but repeatedly observed he would print it, only it was not sufficiently bulky for publication. He said he could swell it out, &c.
We parted, however, and met no more; but when I came first into New King Street, here, Nov. 1814, a poor widow woman, a Mrs. Parker, offering me seventeen genuine letters of Doctor Johnson, which I could by no means think of purchasing for myself, in my then present circumstances; I recommended her to apply to Mr. White, and she came again in three weeks' time better dressed, and thanked me for the twenty-five guineas he had given her; from which hour I saw her no more, nor ever heard of or from Mr. White again.
Since you and I parted at Streatham Park, however, a Mr. Duppa has written me many Yetters, chiefly inquiring after my family; what relationship I have to Lord Combermere, to Sir Lynch Salusbury Cotton, &c., and comically enough asking who my aunt was, and if she was such a fool as Doctor Johnson described her. I replied she was my aunt on ly by marriage, though related to my mother's brother, who she did marry; that she was a Miss Cotton, heiress of Etwall and Belle Sport, in Derbyshire. Her youngest sister was Countess of Ferrers, and none of them particularly bright, I believe, but as I express
ted it, Johnson was a good despiser. So now here is Johnson's Diary, printed and
Sublished with a facsimile of his handwriting. If Mr. Duppa does not send me one, he is as shabby as it seems our Doctor thought me, whets" I gave
but a crown to the old clerk. The poor clerk had probably never seen a crown in his possession before. Things were very distant A. D. 1774, from what they are 1816.
* This “ pretty parallel” is what I had in my mind when speaking of Johnson's notice of Lord Kilmorey's place, ante, p. 52.