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"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 "Mrs. Lefanu, Great Cuff-Street, Dublin.

"Truly yours."

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.


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 business, 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 his affectionate 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 Mrs. 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.


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 can 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 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 an 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

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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:


"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.

"If you 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,

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 equalled even among women, to the soothing and lightening of her last painful moFrom the letters written by this lady at the time,


some extracts have lately been given by Miss Lefanu* in her interesting Memoirs of her grandmother, Mrs. Frances Sheridan. But their whole contents are so important to the characters of the persons concerned, and so delicately draw aside the veil from a scene of which sorrow and affection were the only witnesses, that I feel myself justified not only in repeating what has already been quoted, but in adding a few more valuable particulars, which, by the kindness of the writer and her correspondent, I am enabled to give from the same authentic source. The letters are addressed to Mrs. H. Lefanu, the second sister of Mr. Sheridan.

"Bristol, June 1, 1792.

"I am happy to have it in my power to give you any information on a subject so interesting to you, and to all that have the happiness of knowing dear Mrs. Sheridan; though I am sorry to add, it cannot be such as will relieve your anxiety, or abate your fears. The truth is, our poor friend is in a most precarious state of health, and quite given over by the faculty. Her physician here, who is esteemed very skilful in consumptive cases, assured me from the first that it was a lost case; but as your brother seemed unwilling to know the truth, he was not so explicit with him, and only represented her as being in a very critical situation. Poor man! he cannot bear to think her in danger himself, or that any one else should; though he is as attentive and watchful as if he expected every moment to be her last. It is impossible for any man to behave with greater tenderness, or to feel more on such an occasion, than he does.

"At times the dear creature suffers a great deal from weakness, and want of rest. She is very patient under her sufferings, and perfectly resigned. She is well aware of her danger and talks of dying with the great

The talents of this young lady are another proof of the sort of gavel-kind of genius allotted to the whole race of Sheridan. I find her very earliest poetical work, "The Sylphid Queen," thus spoken of in a letter from the second Mrs. Sheridan to her mother, Mrs. Lefanu:-"I should have acknowledged your very welcome present immediately, had not Mr. Sheridan, on my telling him what it was, run off with it, and I have been in vain endeavouring to get it from him ever since. What little I did read of it, I admired particularly; but it will be much more gratifying to you and your daughter to hear that he read it with the greatest attention, and thought it showed a great deal of imagination.”

est composure. I am sure it will give you and Mr. Lefanu pleasure to know that her mind is well prepared for any change that may happen, and that she derives every comfort from religion that a sincere Christian can look for."

On the 28th of the same month Mrs. Sheridan died; and a letter from this lady, dated July 19th, thus touchingly describes her last moments. As a companion-picture to the close of Sheridan's own life, it completes a lesson of the transitoriness of this world, which might sadden the hearts of the beautiful and gifted, even in their most brilliant and triumphant hours. Far happier, however, in her death than he was, she had not only his affectionate voice to soothe her to the last, but she had one devoted friend, out of the many whom she had charmed and fascinated, to watch consolingly over her last struggle, and satisfy her as to the fate of the beloved objects which she left behind.

"July 19, 1792.

"Our dear departed friend kept her bed only two days, and seemed to suffer less during that interval than for some time before. She was perfectly in her senses to the last moment, and talked with the greatest composure of her approaching dissolution; assuring us all that she had the most perfect confidence in the mercies of an all-powerful and merciful Being, from whom alone she could have derived the inward comfort and support she felt at that awful moment! She said, she had no fear of death, and that all her concern arose from the thoughts of leaving so many dear and tender ties, and of what they would suffer from her loss. Her own family were at Bath, and had spent one day with her, when she was tolerably well. Your poor brother now thought it proper to send for them, and to flatter them no longer. They immediately came;-it was the morning before she died. They were introduced one at a time at her bed-side, and were prepared as much as possible for this sad scene. The women bore it very well, but all our feelings were awakened for her poor father. The interview between him and the dear angel was afflicting and heartbreaking to the greatest degree imaginable. I was afraid she would have sunk under the cruel agitation:-she said it was indeed too much for her. She gave some kind injunction to each of them, and said every thing she could to comfort them under this severe trial. They then parted, in the hope of seeing her again in the evening, but they never saw her more! Mr. Sheridan and I sat up all that night with her;-indeed he had done so for several nights before, and never left her one moment that could be avoided. About four o'clock in the morning we perceived an alarming change,

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