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had I more room perhaps I might fill it all with croaking, and make an heart-ache at Eartham, which I wish to be always cheerful. Adieu. My poor sympathising Mary is of course sad, but always mindful of you.
To WILLIAM HAYLEY, Esqr.
Oct. 18, 1793.
MY DEAR BROTHER,
I have not at present much that is necessary to say here, because I shall have the happiness of seeing you so soon; my time, according to custom, is a mere scrap, for which reason such must be my Letter also.
You will find here more than I have hitherto
you reason to expect, but none who will not be happy to see you. These however stay with us but a short time, and will leave us in full possesion of Weston on Wednesday next. . I look forward with joy to your coming, hear
tily wishing you a pleasant journey, in which my poor Mary joins me. Give our best love to Tom; without whom, after having been taught to look for him, we should feel our pleasure in the interview, much diminished.
Læti expectamus te puerumque tuum
To the Revd. J. JEKYLL RYE,
Weston, Nov. 3, 1793. MY DEAR SIR,'
Sensible as I am of your kindness in taking such a journey, at no very pleasant season, merely to serve a friend of mine, I cannot allow my thanks to sleep till I may have the pleasure of seeing you. I hope never to show myself unmindful of so great a favour. Two lines which I received yesterday from Mr. Hurdis, written hastily on the day of decision, informed me that it was made in his favour, and by a majority of twenty. I have great satisfaction in the event, and consequently hold myself
indebted to all who at my instance have contributed to it.
You may depend on me for due attention to the honest clerk's request. When he called, it was not possible that I should answer your obliging Letter, for he arrived here very early, and if I suffered any thing to interfere with my morning studies I should never accomplish my labours. Your hint concerning the subject for this year's copy, is a very good one, and shall not be neglected.
My second visit to Weston (a scene that I cannot mention without feeling it endeared to me by the pleasures, and by the pains, of joyous, and of mournful remembrance) took place very soon after the date of the last Letter: I found Cowper af parently well, and enlivened by the society of his young kinsman from Norfolk, and another of his favourite friends,
Mr. Rose. The latter came recently from the seat of Lord Spencer, in Northamptonshire, and commissioned by that accomplished nobleman to invite Cowper, and his guests, to Althorpe, where my friend Gibbon was to make a visit of considerable continuance.
All the guests of Cowper now recommended it to him, very strongly, to venture on this little excursion, to a house whose master he most cordially respected, and whose library alone might be regarded as a magnet of very powerful attraction to every elegant scholar.
I wished to see Cowper and Gibbon personally acquainted, because I perfectly knew, the real benevolence of both; for widely as they might differ on one important article, they were both able and worthy to appreciate, and enjoy, the extraordinary mental powers, and the rare colloquial excellence of each other. But the constitutional shyness of the poet conspired with the present infirm state of Mrs. Unwin to prevent their meeting. He sent Mr; Rose and me to make his apology for declining so honourable an invitation. After a visit to Althorpe, where we had nothing to regret but the absence of Cowper, I returned to devote myself to him, when
his younger guests were departed. Our social employment at this season he has very cheerfully described in the following Letter to Mrs. Courtenay.
To Mrs. COURTENAY.
Weston, Nov. 4, 1793.
I seldom rejoice in a day of soaking rain like this, but in this, my dearest Catharina, I do rejoice sincerely, because it affords me an opportunity of writing to you, which if fair weather had invited us into the orchard walk at the usual hour, I should not easily have found. I am a most busy man, busy to a degree, that sometimes half distracts me; but if complete distraction be occasioned by having the thoughts too much and too long attached to a single point, I am in no danger of it, with such a perpetual whirl are mine whisked about from one subject to another. When two poets meet there