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possible. We are to go to Chatsworth, and to another friend of mine ini that neighbourhood, so that I doubt our being able to pay our annual visit to Crewe Hall. Mrs Crewe has been very ill all this winter with your old complaint, the rheumatism :-she is gone to Brightelmstone to wash it away in the sea. Do you ever see Mrs. Greville? I am glad to hear my two nephews are both in so thriving a way. Are your still a nurse? I should like to take a peep at your bantlings. Which is the handsomest? have you candour enough to think any thing equal to your own boy ? if you have, you have more merit than I can claim. Pray remember me kindly to Bess, Mr. L., etc. and don't forget to kiss the little squaller for

you have nothing better to do. God bless you.

me when

- Ever yours.”

“ The inclosed came to Dick in one of Charles's franks : he said he should write to you himself with it, but I think it safest not to trust him.”

72

In another letter, written in the same year, there are some touches both of sisterly and of conjugal feeling, which seem to bespeak a heart happy in all its affections. - My Dear Lissy,

Putney, August, 16. “ You will no doubt be surprised to find me still dating from this place, but various reasons have detained me here from day to day, to the great dissatisfaction of my dear Mary, who has been expecting me hourly for the last fortnight. I propose going to Hampton-Court tonight, if Dick returns in any decent time from town.

“I got your letter and a half the day before yesterday, and shall be very well pleased to have such blunders occur more frequently. You mistake, if you suppose I am a friend to your tarrers and featherers :it is such wretches that always ruin a good cause. There is no reason on earth why you should not have a new Parliament as well as us : -it might not, perhaps, be quite as convenient to our immaculate Minister, but I sincerely hope he will not find your Volunteers so accommodating as the present India troops in our House of Commons. What does the Secretary at War condescend to reside in any house but his own ?- Tis very odd he should turn himself out of doors in his situation. I never could perceive any economy in dragging furniture from one place to another; but, of course, he has more experience in these matters than I have.

“Mr. Forbes dined here the other day, and I had a great deal of conversation with him on various subjects relating to you all. He says, Charles's manner of talking of his wife, etc. is so ridiculous, that whenever he comes into company, they always cry out, -- Now, S-n, we allow

you half an hour to talk of the beauties of Mrs. S., half an hour to your child, and another half hour to your farm, and then we expect you will behave like a reasonable person.' " So Mrs.

- is not happy :-poor thing, I dare say, if the truth were known, he teażes her to death. Your very good husbands generally contrive to make you sensible of their merit some how or other. “From a letter Mr. Canning has just got from Dublin, I find you

have

Give my

been breaking the heads of some of our English heroes. I have no doubt in the world that they deserved it; and if half a score more that I know had shared the same fate, it might, perhaps, become less the fashion among our young men to be such contemptible coxcombs as they certainly are.

My sister desired me to say all sorts of affectionate things to you, in return for your kind remembrance of her in your last. I assure you, you lost a great deal by not seeing her in her maternal character :- it is the prettiest sight in the world to see her with her children :--they are both charming creatures,

but
my

little namesake is my delight :-'tis impossible to say how foolishly fond of her I am. Poor. Mary! she is in a way to have more, and what will become of them all is sometimes a consideration that gives me many a painful hour. But they are happy, with their little portion of the goods of this world :- then, what are riches good for? For my part, as you know, poor Dick and I have always been struggling against the stream, and shall probably continue to do so to the end of our lives,—yet we would not change sentiments or sensations with.,... for all his estates. By the bye, I was told t'other day he was going to receive eight thousand pounds as a compromise for his uncle's estate, which has been so long in litigation :-is it true?-I dare say it is though, or he would not be so discontented as you say he is. God bless you.

love to Bess, and return a kiss to my nephew for me. Remember me to Mr. L., and believe me

“ Truly yours.” The following letters appear to have been written in 1785, some months after the death of her sister, Miss Maria Linley. Her playful allusions to the fame of her own beauty might have been answered in the language of Paris to Helen :

Minor est tua gloria vero
Famaque de forma pcne maligna est."
“ Thy beauty far outruns even rumour's tongue,

And envious fame leaves half thy charms unsuvg."
« MY DEAR Lisse,

" Delapre Abbey, Dec. 27. “ Notwithstanding your incredulity, I assure you I wrote to you from Hampton-Court, very soon after Bess came to England. My letter was a dismal one; for my mind was at that time entirely occupied by the affecting circumstance of my poor sister's death. Perhaps you lost nothing by not receiving my letter, for it was not much calculated to amuse you.

I am still a recluse, you see, but I am preparing to launch for the winter in a few days. Dick was detained in town by a bad fever :

:-you may suppose I was kept in ignorance of his situation, or I should not have remained so quietly here. He came last week, and the fatigue of the journey very nearly occasioned a relapse :- but by the help of a jewel of a doctor that lives in this neighbourhood we are both quite stout,

and well again (for I took it into my head to fall sick again, too, without rhyme or reason).

purpose going to town to-morrow or next day. Our own house

6. We

has been painting and papering, and the weather has been so unfavourable to the business, that it is probable it will not be fit for us to go into this month; we have, therefore, accepted a most pressing invitation of General Burgoyne to take up our abode with him, till our house is ready ;your next must be directed to Bruton-Street, under cover to Dick, unless Charles will frank it again. I don't believe what you say of Charles's not being glad to have seen me in Dublin. You are very flattering in the reasons you give, but I rather think his vanity would have been more gratified by showing every body how much prettier and younger his wife was than the Mrs. Sheridan in whose favour they have been prejudiced by your good-natured partiality. If I could have persuaded myself to trust the treacherous ocean, the pleasure of seeing you and your nursery would have compensated for all the fame I should have lost by a comparison. But my guardian sylph, vainer of my beauty, perhaps, than'myself, would not suffer me to destroy the flattering illusion you have so often displayed to your Irish friends. No.--I shall stay till I am past all pretensions, and then you may excuse your want of taste by saying, “Oh, if you had seen her when she was young!”

“ I am very glad that Bess is satisfied with my attention to her. The unpleasant situation I was in prevented my seeing her as often as I could wish. For her sake I assure you I shall be glad to have Dick and your father on good terms, without entering into any arguments on the subject; -but I fear, where one of the parties, at least, has a tincture of what they call in Latin damnatus obstinatus mulio, the attempt will be difficult, and the success uncertain. God bless you ; and believe me

“ Truly yours." Mrs. Lefanu, Great Cuff Street, Dublin,

The next letter I shall give refers to the illness with which old Mr. Sheridan was attacked in the beginning of the year 1788, and of which he died in the month of August following. It is unnecessary to direct the reader's attention to the passages in which she speaks of her lost sister, Mrs. Tickell, and her children :they have too much of the heart's best feelings in them to be passed over slightly. « MY DEAR Lisse,

London, April 5. “ Your last letter I hope was written when you were low spirited, and consequently inclined to forbode misfortune. I would not show it to Sheridan :-he has lately been much harassed by biusiness, and I could not. bear to give him the pain I know your letter would have occasioned. Partial as your father has always been to Charles, I am confident he never has, nor ever will feel half the duty and affections that Dick has always exprest. I know how deeply he will be afflicted, if you confirm the melancholy account of his declining health ;--but I trust your next will remove my apprehensions, and make it unnecessary for me to wound bis affec. tionate heart by the intelligence. I flatter myself likewise, that you have been without reason alarmed about poor Bess. Her life, to be sure, must be dreadful; --but I should hope the good nature and kindness of her disposition will support her, and enable her to continue the painful duty so necessary, probably, to the comfort of your poor father. If Charles has not or does not do every thing in his power to contribute to the happiness of the few years which nature can allow him, he will have more to answer to his conscience than I trust any of those dear to me will have. Mrs. Crewe told us, the other day, she had heard from Mr. Greville, that every thing was settled much to your father's satisfaction. I will hope, therefore, as I have said before, you were in a gloomy fit when you! wrote, and in the mean time I will congratulate you on the recovery of your own health and that of your children.

“I have been confined now near two months :- I caught cold almost immediately on coming to town, which brought on all those dreadful complaints with which I was afflicted at Crewe-Hall.By constant attention and strict regimen I am once more got about again; but I never go out of my house after the sun is down, and on those terms only can I enjoy tolerable health. I never knew Dick better. My dear boy is now with me for his holydays, and a charming creature he is, I assure you, in

every respect. My sweet little charge, too, promises to reward me for all my care and anxiety. The little ones come to me every day, though they do not at present live with me. We think of taking a house in the country this summer, as necessary for my health and convenient to S., who must be often in town. I shall then have all the children with me, as they now constitute a very great part of my happiness. The scenes of sorrow and sickness I have lately gone through have depressed my spirits, and made me incapable of finding pleasure in the amusements which used to occupy me perhaps too much. My greatest delight is in the reflection that I am acting according to the wishes of my ever dear and lamented sister, and that by fulfilling the sacred trust bequeathed me in her last moments, I insure my own felicity in the grateful affection of the sweet creatures, ---whom, though I love for their own sakes, I idolise when I consider them as the dearest part of her who was the first and nearest friend of my heart!-God bless you, my dear Liss :—this is a subject that always carries me away. I will therefore bid you adieu,-only entreating you as soon as you can to send me a more comfortable letter. My kind love to Bess, and Mr. L.

“ Yours, ever affectionately." I shall give but one more letter ; which is perhaps only interesting as showing how little her heart went along with the gaieties, into which her husband's connexion with the world of fashion and politics led her. My dear Lissy,

May 23. “I have only time at present to write a few lines at the request of Mrs. Crewe, who is made very unhappy by an account of Mrs. Greville's illness, as she thinks it possible Mrs. G. has not confessed the whole of her situation. She earnestly wishes you would find out from Dr. Quin what the nature of her complaint is, with every

other particular

you gather on the subject, and give me a line as soon as possible.

I am very glad to find your father is better. As there has been a

can

recess lately from the Trial, I thought it best to acquaint Sheridan with his illness. I hope now, however, there is but little reason to be alarmed about him. Mr. Tickell has just received an account from Holland, that poor Mrs. Berkeley (whom you know best as Betty Tickell) was at the point of death in a consumption.

“I hope in a very short time now to get into the country. The Duke of Norfolk has lent us a house within twenty miles of London; and I am impatient to be once more out of this noisy, dissipated town, where I do nothing that I really like, and am forced to appear pleased with every thing odious to me. God bless you. I write in the hurry of dressing for a great ball given by the Duke of York to-night, which I had determined not to go to till late last night, when I was persuaded that it would be very improper to refuse a Royal invitation, if I was not absolutely confined by illness. Adieu. Believe me truly yours.

You must pay for this letter, for Dick has got your last with the direction;

and any thing in his hands is irrecoverable! The health of Mrs. Sheridan, as we see by some of her letters , had been for some time delicate; but it appears that her last fatal illness originated in a cold which she had caught in the summer of the preceding year. Though she continued from that time to grow gradually worse, her friends were flattered with the hope that as soon as her confinement should take place, she would be relieved from all that appeared most dangerous in her complaint. That event, however, produced but a temporary intermission of the malady, which returned after a few days with such increased violence, that it became necessary for her, as a last hope, to try the waters of Bristol.

The following affectionate letter of Tickell must have been written at this period :

" MY DEAR SHERIDAN, “I was but too well prepared for the melancholy. intelligence contained in your last letter, in answer to which, as Richardson will give you this, I leave it to his kindness to do me justice in every sincere and affectionate expression of my grief for your situation, and my entire readiness to obey and further your wishes by every possible exertion.

have any possible opportunity, let me entreat you to remember

me to the dearest, tenderest friend and sister of my heart. Sustain yourself, my dear Sheridan,

<< And believe me yours,
“Most affectionately and faithfully,

“R. TICKELL.”

" If you

The circumstances of her death cannot better be told than in the language of a lady whose name it would be an honour to mention , who, giving up all other cares and duties, accompanied her dying friend to Bristol, and devoted herself, with a tenderness rarely

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