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Thoughts.” I was glad my trial turned out so well, and did not undeceive him. I mention this occurrence only in confirmation of the letter-writer's opinion ; but, at the same time, I do assure you, on the faith of an honest man, that I never in my life designed an imitation of Young, or of any other writer ; for mimicry is my abhorrence, at least in poetry.
Assure yourself, my dearest cousin, that both for your sake, since you make a point of it, and for my own, I will be as philosophically careful as possible that these fine nerves of mine shall not be beyond measure agitated when you arrive. In truth, there is much greater probability that they will be benefited, and greatly too. Joy of heart, from whatever occasion it may arise, is the best of all nervous medicines, and I should not wonder if such a turn given to my spirits, should have even a lasting effect, of the most advantageous kind, upon them. You must not imagine, neither, that I am, on the whole, in any great degree, subject to nervous affections; occasionally I am, and have been these many years much liable to dejection. But at intervals, and sometimes for an interval of weeks, no creature would suspect it. For I have not that which commonly is a symptom of such a case belonging to me: I mean extraordinary elevation in the absence of Mr. Blue-Devil. When I am in my best health, my tide of animal sprightliness flows with great equality, so that I am never, at any time, exalted in proportion as I am sometimes depressed. My depres. sion has a cause, and if that cause were to cease, I should be as cheerful thenceforth, and perhaps for ever, as any man need be. But as I have often said, Mrs. Unwin shall be my expositor.
Adieu, my beloved cousin. God grant that our friendship, which, while we could see each other, ne
ver suffered a moment's interruption, and which so long a separation has not in the least abated, may glow in us to our last hour, and be renewed in a better world, there to be perpetuated for ever. For you must know that I should not love you half so well, if I did not believe you would be my friend to eternity. There is not room enough for friendship to unfold itself in full bloom, in such a nook of life as this. Therefore I am, and must, and will be, yours for ever.
Olney, May 29, 1786.
Thou dear, comfortable cousin, whose letters, among all that I receive, have this property peculiarly their own, that I expect them without trembling, and never find any thing in them that does not give me pleasure! for which, therefore, I would take nothing in exchange that the world can give me, save and except that for which I must exchange them soon, (and happy shall I be to do so) your own company. That, indeed, is delayed a little too long, to my impatience, at least, it seems so, who find the spring, backward as it is, too forward, because many of its beauties will have faded before you will have an oppor. tunity to see them. We took our customary walk yes. terday in the wilderness at Weston, and saw, with regret, the laburnums, syringas, and guelder-roses, some of them blown, and others just upon the point of blow. ing, and could not help cbserving—all these will be gone before Lady Hesketh comes. Still, however, there will be roses, and jessamine, and honey-suckle,
and shady walks, and you will partake them with us. But e I want you to have a share of every thing that is de
lightful here, and cannot bear that the advance of the 1 season should steal away a single pleasure before you si can come to enjoy it.
Every day I think of you, and almost all the day 1 long; I will venture to say that even you were never
so expected in your life. I called last week at the Quaker's to see the furniture of your bed, the fame of which had reached me. It is, I assure you, superb, of printed cotton, and the subject classical Every morning you will open your eyes on Phæton kneeling to Apollo, and imploring his father to grant him the conduct of his chariot for a day. May your sleep be as sound as your bed will be sumptuous, and your nights, at least, will be provided well for.
I shall send up the sixth and seventh books of the Iliad shortly, and shall address them to you. You will forward them to the General. I long to show you my workshop, and to see you sitting on the opposite side of
my table. We shall be as close packed as two wax fi! gures in an old-fashioned picture-frame. I am wri.
ting in it now. It is the place in which I fabricate all my verse in summer time. I rose an hour sooner than usual this morning, that I might finish my sheet before
breakfast, for I must write this day to the General. en The grass under my windows is all bespangled with
dew-drops, and the birds are singing in the apple-trees
among the blossoms. Never poet had a more commo-j dious oratory in which to invoke his muse.
I have made your heart ache too often, my poor dear y cousin with talking about my fits of dejection. Some.
thing has happened that has led me to the subject, or 1 I would have mentioned them more sparingly. Do not
suppose or suspect that I treat you with reserve; there
is nothing in which I am concerned that you shall not be made acquainted with. But the tale is too long for a letter. I will only add for your present satisfaction, that the cause is not exterior, that it is not within the reach of human aid, and that yet I have a hope myself, and Mrs. Unwin a strong persuasion, of its removal. I am indeed even now, and have been for a consider. able time, sensible of a change for the better, and expect, with good reason, a comfortable lift from you. Guess, then, my beloved cousin, with what wishes I look forward to the time of your arrival, from whose coming I promise myself not only pleasure, but peace of mind, at least an additional share of it. At present it is an uncertain and transient guest with me, but the joy with which I shall see and converse with you at Olney may, perhaps, make it an abiding one.
O Olney, June 4 & 5, 1786,
Ah! my cousin, you begin already to fear and quake. What a hero am I, compared with you! I have no fears of you : on the contrary, am as bold as a lion. I wish that your carriage were even now at the door : you should soon see with how much courage I would face you. But what cause have you for fear ? Am I not your cousin, with whom you have wandered in the fields of Freemantle, and at Bevis's Mount? Who used to read to you, to laugh with you, till our sides have ached,, at any thing, or nothing? And am I, in these respects, at all altered ? You will not find me so, but just as ready to laugh and te
wander as you ever knew me. A cloud, perhaps, may come over me now and then for a few hours, but from clouds I was never exempted. And are not you the identical cousin with whom I have performed all these feats? The very Harriet whom I saw, for the first time, at De Grey's, in Norfolk-street? (it was on a Sunday, when you came with my uncle and aunt to drink tea there, and I had dined there, and was just going back to Westminster.) If these things are so, and I am sure that you cannot gainsay a syllable of them all, then this consequence follows; that I do not promise myself more pleasure from your coinpany than I shall be sure to find. Then you are my cousin, in whom I always delighted, and in whom I doubt not that I shall delight, even to my latest hour. But this wicked coach-maker has sunk my spirits. What a miserable thing it is to depend, in any degree, for the accomplishment of a wish, and that wish so fervent, on the punctuality of a creature who, I suppose, was never punctual in his life! Do tell him, my dear, in order to Quicken him, that if he performs his promise he shall make my coach when I want one, and that if he performs it not, I will most assuredly employ some other man.
The Throckmortons sent a note to invite us to dinner-we went, and a very agreeable day we had. They made no fuss with us, which I was heartily glad to see, for where I give trouble Iam sure that I cannot be welcome. Themselves, and their chaplain, and we, were all the party. After dinner we had much cheerful and pleasant talk, the particulars of which might not, perhaps, be so entertaining upon paper; therefore, all but one I will omit, and that I will mention only be. cause it will of itself be sufficient to give you an insight into their opinion on a very important subject-their own religion. I happened to say, that in all professions and trades mankind affected an air of mystery.