Obrazy na stronie

actly what he desires; and he would have neither king, lords, nor commons unequally trusted, or in the smallest degree predominant. Such a Whig am I, apd such Whigs are the true friends of the constitution. Adieu ! my dear, I am dead with weariness.

W. C.



May 21, 1793.


You must either think me extremely idle, or extremely busy, that I have made your last very kind Letter wait so very long for an answer. The truth however is, that I am neither; but have had time enough to have scribbled to you, had I been able to scribble at all. To explain this riddle I must give you a short account of my proceedings.

I rise at six every morning, and fag till near eleven, when I breakfast. The consequence is, that I am so exhausted as not to be able to write, when the opportunity offers. You will say—“ breakfast before you work, and then your work will not fatigue you. I answer—" perhaps I might, and your counsel would probably prove beneficial; but I cannot spare a moment for eating in the early part of the morning, having no other time for study.” This uneasiness of which I complain, is a proof that I am somewhat stricken in years; and there is no other cause by which I can account for it, since I go early to bed, always between ten and eleven, and seldom fail to sleep well. Certain it is, ten years I could have done as much, and sixteen years ago did actually much more, without suffering fatigue, or any inconvenience from my labours. How insensibly old age steals on, and how often is it actually arrived before we suspect it! Accident alone; some occurrence that suggests a comparison of our former with our present selves, affords the discovery. Well! It is always good to be undeceived, especially on an article of such importance.

There has been a book lately published, enti tled, Man as he is. I have heard a high character of it, as admirably written, and am informed, that for




that reason, and because it inculcates Whig-principles, it is by many imputed to you. I contradict this report, assuring my informant, that had it been yours, I must have known it, for that you have bound yourself to make me your father-confessor on all such wicked occasions, and not to conceal from me even a murder, should you happen to commit one.

I will not trouble you, at present, to send me any more books with a view to my notes on Homer. I am not without hopes, that Sir John Throckmorton, who is expected here from Venice in a short time, may bring me Villoison's edition of the Odyssey. He certainly will, if he found it published, and that alone will be instar omnium.

Adieu, my dearest brother! Give my love to Tom, and thank him for his book, of which I believe I need not bave deprived him, intending, that my readers shall detect the occult instruction contained in Homer's stories for themselves.

W. C.



Weston, June 1, 1793.


You will not (you say) come to us now; and you tell us not when you will. These assignations sine die are such shadowy things, that I can neither grasp nor get any comfort from them. Know you not, that hope is the next best thing to enjoyment? Give us then a hope, and a determinate time for that hope to fix on; and we will endeavour to be satisfied.

Johnny is gone to Cambridge, called thither to take his degree, and is much missed by me. He is such an active little fellow in my service, thot he cannot be otherwise. In three weeks, however, I shall hope to have him again for a fortnight. I have had a Letter from him, containing an incident, which has given birth to the following.

[ocr errors]



On his arrival at Cambridge wet,


If Gideon's feece, which drench'd with dew he found,
While moisture none refreshed the herbs around,
Might fitly represent the Church, endow'd
With heavenly gifts, to Ileathens not allow'd;
In pledge, perhaps, of favours from on high,
Thy locks were wet, when other locks were dry:
Heav’n grant us half the omen! may we see,
Not drought on others, but much dew on thee!

These are spick and span. Johnny himself has not yet seen them, By the way, he has filled your book completely; and I will give thee a guinea if thou wilt search thy old book for a couple of songs, and two or three other pieces of which I know thou madest copies at the vicarage, and which I have lost. The songs I know are pretty good, and I would fain recover them.

W. C.

« PoprzedniaDalej »