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bard of Greece, and pardon me that I do not now send you an epitaph for Fop. I am not sufficiently recollected to compose even a bagatelle at present; but in due time you shall receive it.
Hayley, who will some time or other I hope see you at Weston, is already prepared to love you both, and, being passionately fond of music, longs much to hear you.
TO SAMUEL ROSE, ESQ.
Eartham, August 14, 1792.
My dear Friend—Romney is here: it would add much to my happiness if you were of the party; I have prepared Hayley to think highly, that is justly, of you, and the time, I hope, will come when you will supersede all need of my recommendation.
Mrs. Unwin gathers strength. I have indeed great hopes, from the air and exercise which this fine season affords her opportunity to use, that ere
we return she will be herself again. W. C.
TO SAMUEL ROSE, ESQ.
Eartham, August 18, 1792.
Wishes in this world are generally vain, and in the next we shall make none. Every day I wish you were of the party, knowing how happy you
would be in a place where we have nothing to do but enjoy beautiful scenery and converse agreeably.
Mrs. Unwin's health continues to improve; and even I, who was well when I came, find myself still better.
TO MRS. COURTENAY
Eartham, August 25, 1792. Without waiting for an answer to my last, I send my dear Catharina the epitaph she desired, composed as well as I could compose it in a place where every object, being still new to me, distracts my attention, and makes me as awkward at verse as if I had never dealt in it. Here it is.
EPITAPH ON FOP;
A DOG, BELONGING TO LADY THROCKMORTON.
Though once a puppy, and though Fop by name,
· Yes!" the indignant shade of Fop replies,
I am here, as I told you in my last, delightfully situated, and in the enjoyment of all that the most friendly hospitality can impart; yet do I neither forget Weston, nor my friends at Weston: on the
contrary, I have at length, though much and kindly pressed to make a longer stay, determined on the day of our departure—on the seventeenth of September we shall leave Eartham; four days will be necessary to bring us home again, for I am under a promise to General Cowper to dine with him on the way, which cannot be done comfortably, either to him or to ourselves, unless we sleep that night at Kingston. The air of this place has been, I believe, beneficial to us both. I indeed was in tolerable health before I set out, but have acquired since I came, both a better appetite and a knack of sleeping almost as much in a single night as formerly in two. Whether double quantities of that article will be favourable to me as a poet, time must show. About myself, however, I care little, being made of materials so tough, as not to threaten me even now, at the end of so many lustrums, with any thing like a speedy dissolution. My chief concern has been about Mrs. Unwin, and my chief comfort at this moment is, that she likewise has received, I hope, considerable benefit by the journey. Tell my dear George that I begin to long to behold him again, and, did it not savour of ingratitude to the friend under whose roof I am so happy at present, should be impatient to find myself once more under yours. Adieu ! my dear Catharina. I have nothing to add in the way of news, except that Romney has drawn me in crayons, by the suffrage of all here, extremely like. W. C.
TO THE REV. MR. HURDIS.
Eartbam, August 26, 1792. My dear Sir — Your kind but very affecting letter found me not at Weston, to which place it was directed, but in a bower of
friend Hayley's garden at Eartham, where I was sitting with Mrs. Unwin. We both knew the moment we saw it from whom it came, and, observing a red seal, both comforted ourselves that all was well at Burwash : but we soon felt that we were not called to rejoice, but to mourn with you ;* we do indeed sincerely mourn with you, and, if it will afford you any consolation to know it, you may be assured that every eye here has testified what our hearts have suffered for you. Your loss is great, and your disposition I perceive such as exposes you to feel the whole weight of it: I will not add to your sorrow by a vain attempt to assuage it; your own good sense, and the piety of your principles, will, of course, suggest to you the most powerful motives of acquiescence in the will of God. You will be sure to recollect that the stroke, severe as it is, is not the stroke of an enemy, but of a father; and will find I trust, hereafter, that like a father he has done you good by it. Thousands have been able to say, and myself as loud as any of them, it has been good for me that I was afflicted; but time is necessary to work us to this persuasion, and in due time it shall be yours. Mr. Hayley, who tenderly sympathizes
* Mr. Hurdis lad just lost a favourite sister.
with you, has enjoined me to send you as pressing an invitation as I can frame, to join me at this place. I have every motive to wish your consent ; both your benefit and my own, which, I believe, would be abundantly answered by your coming, ought to make me eloquent in such a cause. Here you will find silence and retirement in perfection, when you would seek them; and here such company as I have no doubt would suit you, all cheerful, but not noisy; and all alike disposed to love you: you and I seem to have here a fair opportunity of meeting. It were a pity we should be in the same county and not come together. I am here till the seventeenth of September, an interval that will afford you time to make the necessary arrangements, and to gratify me at last with an interview, which I have long desired. Let me hear from you soon, that I may have double pleasure, the pleasure of expecting as well as that of seeing you.
Mrs. Unwin, I thank God, though still a sufferer by her last illness, is much better, and has received considerable benefit by the air of Eartham. She adds to mine her affectionate compliments, and joins me and Hayley in this invitation.
Mr. Romney is here, and a young man a cousin of mine. I tell you who we are, that you may not be afraid of us.
Adieu ! May the Comforter of all the afflicted, who seek him, be yours : God bless you!