Page images
PDF
EPUB

say further, that to you, I doubt not, it would be as good as it was great, and the more you fear an, swering for yourself, the less I fear answering for you, that you will be equally disposed, with your worthy husband, 'to put it in bags that wax not old,' and 'use it, as not abusing it. You had be fore learnt to be careful for nothing,' butto-cast all your care upon him, who careth for you,' and you have in no wise lost your reward. I could wish it might please. God to give you health to enjoy all the blessings around you: but we are all beggars, and beggars must not be choosers. If every thing went on smoothly, and there were no rubs in the way, we should be apt to forget the decease we have to accomplish,' and be tempted to say, it is good for us to be here;' which would justly subject us to the censure of 'not knowing what we said.' -

.“ It is a pity I should have damped your genius, and prevented the display of it in illustrating your newly acquired curiosities, by my stupidity. Who knows but it might have inspired me with a taste for the fine arts, and given me a relish for antiqui. ties? If it could be done, it might be expected from the winning, bewitching way you have of communicating your ideas, and making every subject you handle intelligible and entertaining. The library, with the addition of Mr. Wi's valuable collection, in such admirable condition, will be splendid indeed, and much in Peter's favour, who, instead of being thrust into a dark hole, as he is at present, will come forth into open day, and have the best room in the house for his study, which you know the master of the house, as he is, should have. The building of a new chancel, and the improvements to be made in that quarter, are worthy of Peter, who loves to have every thing done de, cently and in order.' Thus what he does will be every way handsome, within and without, there can be no question : he will not :offer, unto God

treet on the best

the

of that which costs him nothing. Whether I shall come to see how you are going on is very uncertain, but if I do not, I cannot believe that you will think it is, because I am not interested at all about you. Remember there is a time when the strong men will bow themselves, when fears shall be in the way, when the grasshopper shall be a burden, and desire shall fail: remember these things, and you will not wonder if you do not see me. Hoe is.

6 And so your brother is full of learning Hebrew, and translating some part of Bull's works. There are some ladies now in Gay-street with whom he might have agreeable conversation on the subject of Hebrew roots; Mrs. and Miss Altham, the daugh ter and grand-daughter of Mr. Parkhurst: they lodge in the same house with Miss Horsley, the sister of the Bishop of Rochester. With what view is your brother translating Bishop Bull, and what part of his works? I suppose he knows that some of them have been already translated. I am glad to hear he and his wife are both well and happy. , . .."I am not surprised to hear the Principal is very indifferent; he is some years older than I am; he has threatened to leave us every now and then, and at last, most likely he will: but as old Latimer said to Ridley, who looked behind him, when they were going to the stake. Here I am, Master Ridley, after you as fast as I can: so I may say to the Principal, coming after you as fast as I can. : It is comfortable the old lady keeps so well, as probably she has some exercise for her strength and patience, or strength of patience, read it which way you will. ..“ So poorly as you have been, I am afraid you have not been able to turn over the good Bishop's two last volumes. They are well spoken of, and I believe there will be a call soon for another edition.

“ Being got to the length of my letter, I must conclude with best respects to all friends, not ha

bingur as om and theam, het

ving room to particularize, and best wishes for the re-establishment of your health and spirits. ·

. : Ever your's, &c." 6 Dear Madam;. " London, Juty 4, 1794.

“ After the pitiable account given of you by our reverend and worthy dignitary, the sight of a superscription in your fair hand was refreshing beyond measure, and I read with peculiar pleasure that you found yourself better than for many months past: for though John Norris somewhere observes, with his usual smartness, the danger is in being well, not in being ill, I fear your being dangerously ill, and shall always rejoice to hear you are well, having no apprehension, from your manner of spending the time of health, of your ever being dangerously well.. Good Mrs. Quick! with what heartfelt delight does she receive you in the morning, and minister to your amusement through the day! Placid Peter! with what complacency does he hail your return in the evening! May the wa ters and the exercise restore you to comfortable health, and may you live to see your children's children, and peace upon Israel!. .

" From the rapid progress made in the repairing, enlarging and beautifying of the church, I perceive my worthy friend intends to furnish an exception to Sir Roger de. Coverly's observation, that churchwork is slow, and I see, likewise, that he is commendably determined, after the example of Solomon, to finish the house of God, before he finishes his own house ; though some, perhaps, may be disposed to dub him, for his pains, a second Solomon, in the less favourable acceptation of the word. And the good man has not only the satisfaction to find the great work carried on with zeal and alacrity, none weakening the hands of the people, or troubling them, as in the re-building of the temple ; but he has the pleasure to reflect, that when the work

much ard in wow sest plansible , Methis

is finished, none of those who knew the church in its former state, will have reason, on recollection, to weep and lament, but all may shout aloud for joy..

"And so you say, knowing what a poor, dull, stupid creature I am, you almost despair of my having curiosity enough to come and view the al. terations taking place at Farnborough. To be sure it is a pity you should not be indulged the oppor. tunity of displaying your genius, and showing how cleverly you have managed matters. Methinks I hear you relating with inexpressible glee, and the happiest fluency, how you planned this, and you contrived that, you suggested the other improve ment; how Peter would have had this so and só, and how awkward it would have been, you know, and how much better it is, how much more convenient, and more elegant, for being agreeable to your direction. And what a mortification would it be, when I ought to be all wonder and surprise to hear me come out with a cold phlegmatic no, or yes ! Indeed you might console yourself with pitying my want of taste and spirit : but would that be a sufficient gratification? Upon the whole, perhaps, it may be advisable not to hazard the disappointment, but leave the hum-drum mortal to himself, absorbed in his own vanity.

56 Whether you will admit my application of the text alluded to in my last, or not, I never made a more apposite one, and I feel the force of it. Grey hairs are found upon him, it is said, and he know'eth it not. That person, I suppose, had but a few. Mine are too many, and too visible, even to escape my notice, disposed as I may be to wink at them. While others go far and wide to see ruins, I have only to look in the glass; a ruin presents itself, and the business is done. You want me, after having beheld my natural face in a glass, to go my way, and straightway forget what manner of 'man I was : but treacherous as my memory is, that can not be, the lines are too strong and deep, the im pression is not so easily, effaced....

" You urge me to come to hear all, and as a fur: ther inducement, you observe, that: besides what you have to say, Peter has a deal to tell me, which every one allows is much more to the purpose. The hearing of what Peter has to offer on any subject would certainly be an additional motive for wishing myself at Farnborough, and its being more to the purpose than what you have to say, you evidently shew to be your stated opinion, no less than that of others, by the silence you regularly observe whenever he is about to speak, and your never failing to let him take the lead in all conversation; but, what you have to say yourself is always so much to the purpose, that to hear it I would cheerfully submit to all the bumps I should receive in the ride from home to the happy spot, which, on a moderate computation, at the rate of one thousand per mile, the quantity observed by a friend of mine to be. uniformly received in that space, would amount to the sum of one hundred

and fifteen thousand and upwards. So you see it · is not for the want of inducement or inclination;

the fault is in the old materials. But after all, notwithstanding I have no other attendant than my old man William *, I should think crowded as you are with real curiosities, you would not wish aný

* * By his man William, this worthy man meant himself, for he never had any other attendant. Without the least particle of parsimony, he never would have a servant, for two reasons: 1st, Because he disliked the trouble of it; and next, because he was desirous of reducing his per. sonal expences within as narrow a compass as possible, that he might have the more to give away. He had many jokes about his man William, using to say, he had no more faults than himself; .. iouis ves. . ..

« PreviousContinue »