Imagens das páginas
PDF
ePub

common source, for a Frenchman was 'not very likely to light upon an English poet of that age; they knew about as much of us then, as we did fifty years ago of the Germans. It is surprising how little invention there is in the world; no very good story was ever invented. It is perhaps originally some fact a little enlarged; then, by some other hand, embellished with circumstances; then, by somebody else, a century after, refined, drawn to a point, and furnished with a moral.

When shall we see the moral of the world's great story, which astonishes by its events, interests by the numerous agents it puts in motion, but of which we cannot understand the bearings, or predict the catastrophe? It is a tangled web, of which we have not the clue. I do not know how to rejoice at this victory, splendid as it is, over Buonaparte, when I consider the horrible waste of life, the mass of misery, which such gigantic combats must occasion. I will think no more of it; let me rather contemplate your family: there the different threads all wind evenly, smoothly, and brightly.

Stoke Newington, Dec. 8th, 1818. I WILL write now my dear friend is better, is recovering, is, I hope, in a fair way to be soon quite well, and all herself again; and she will ac

cept, and so will Mr. T. and Mrs. R. my warmest congratulations. To tell you how anxious we have been, would, I trust, be superfluous, or how much joy we have felt in being relieved from that anxiety. It is pleasant to have some one to share pleasure with ; and though I could have had that satisfaction in a degree with every one who knows you, it is more particularly agreeable to me at this time to have your dear Sarah to sympathize with and talk to about you. Among other things we say, that you must not let mind wear out body, which I suspect you are a little inclined to do. Mind is often very hard upon his humble yokefellow, sometimes speaking contemptuously of her, as being of a low, mean family, in comparison with himself; often abridging her food or natural rest for his whims. Many a headache has he given her when, but for him, she would be quietly resting in her bed. Sometimes he fancies that she hangs as a dead weight upon him, and impedes all his motions; yet it is well known, that though he gives himself such airs of superiority, he can in fact do nothing without her; and since, however they came together, they are united for better for worse, it is for his interest as well as hers, that she should be nursed and cherished, and taken care of. And so ends my

sermon.

LETTER TO MISS TAYLOR,

NOW

MRS. REEVE.

Tunbridge Wells, August 11, 1804.

are, I

I
MAY call

you dear Susan, may not I? for I can love

you, if not better, yet more familiarly and at my ease under that appellation than under the more formal one of Miss Taylor, though you

have now a train to your gown,

and

suppose, at Norwich invested with all the rights of womanhood. I have many things to thank you for:in the first place for a charming letter, which has both amused and delighted us. In the next place, I have to thank you for a very elegant veil, which is very

beautiful in itself, and receives great additional value from being the work of your ingenious fingers. I have brought it here to parade with upon the Pantiles, being by much the smartest part of my dress.

dress. O that you were here, Susan, to exhibit upon a donkyI cannot tell whether my orthography is right, but a donky is the monture in high fashion here ; and I assure you, when

[blocks in formation]

covered with blue housings, and sleek, it makes no bad figure :- I mean a lady, if an elegant woman, makes no bad figure upon it, with a little boy or girl behind, who carries a switch, meant to admonish the animal from time to time that he is hired to walk on, and not to stand still. The ass is much better adapted than the horse to show off a lady; for this reason, which perhaps may not have occurred to you, that her beauty is not so likely to be eclipsed : for you must know that many philosophers, amongst whom is -, are decidedly of opinion that a fine horse is a much handsomer animal than a fine woman; but I have not yet heard such a preference asserted in favour of the ass,-not our English asses at least,--a fine Spanish one, or a zebra, perhaps ........

It is the way to subscribe for every thing here; -to the library, &c. : and among other things we were asked on the Pantiles to subscribe for eating fruit as we pass backwards and forwards. "How much?

"_“Half-a-crown.” “But for how long a time?”—“As long as you please.” “But I should soon eat half-a-crown's-worth of fruit.”—“O, you are upon honour!”

There are pleasant walks on the hills here, and picturesque views of the town, which, like Bath, is seen to advantage by lying in a hollow. It bears the marks of having been long a place of resort, from the number of good and rather old

built houses,—all let for lodgings; and shady walks, and groves of old growth. The sides of many of the houses are covered with tiles; but the Pantiles, which you may suppose

I saw with some interest, are now paved with freestone.

We were interested in your account of Cambridge, and glad you saw not only buildings but

With a mind prepared as yours is, how much pleasure have you to enjoy from seeing ! That all your improvements may produce you pleasure, and all your pleasures tend to improvement, is the wish of

men.

Your ever affectionate.

« AnteriorContinuar »