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will wear off hereafter. It was my earnest request, before I left St. Alban's, that wherever it might please Providence to dispose of me, I might meet with such an acquaintance, as I find in Mrs. Unwin. How happy it is to believe with a steadfast assurance, that our petitions are heard, even while we are making them --and how delightful to meet with a proof of it in the effectual and actual grant of them! Surely it is a gracious finishing given to those means, which the Almighty has been pleased to make use of, for my conversion. After having been deservedly rendered unfit for any society, to be again qualified for it, and admitted at once into the fellowship of those, whom God regards as the excellent of the earth, and whom, in the emphatical language of Scripture, he preserves as the apple of his eye, is a blessing, which carries with it the stamp and visible superscription of divine bounty— a grace unlimited as undeserved ; and, like its glorious Author, free in its course, and blessed in its operation !
My dear Cousin ! Health and happiness, and above all, the favour of our great and gracious Lord attend you! While we seek it, in spirit and in truth, we are infinitely more secure of it, than of the next breath, we expect to draw. Heaven and earth have
their destined periods, ten thousand worlds will vanish at the consummation of all things, but the word of God standeth fast, and they, who trust in him, shall never be confounded.
My love to all who enquire after me,
To Major COWPER.
Huntingdon, Oct. 18, 1765.
MY DEAR MAJOR,
I have neither lost the use of my fingers nor my memory, though my unaccountable silence might incline you to suspect, that I had lost both. The history of those things, which have, from time to time, prevented my scribbling, would not only be insipid, but extremely voluminous, for which reasons they will not make their appearance at present, nor probably at any time hereafter. If my neglecting to write to you were a proof, that I had never thought of you, and that had been really the case, five shillings a piece would have been much too little to give for
the sight of such a monster! but I am no such monster, nor do I perceive in myself the least tendency to such a transformation. You may recollect that I had but very uncomfortable expectations of the accommodations, I should meet with at Huntingdon. How much better is it to take our lot, where it shall please Providence to cast it, without anxiety! Had I chosen for myself, it is impossible I could have fixt upon a place so agreeable to me in all respects. I so much dreaded the thought of having a new acquaintance to make, with no other recommendation than that of being a perfect stranger, that I heartily wished no creature here might take the least notice of me. Instead of which, in about two months after my arrival, I became known to all the visitable people here, and do verily think it the most agreeable neighbourhood, I ever saw.
Here are three families who have received me with the utmost civility, and two in particular have treated me with as much cordiality, as if their pedigree and mine had grown upon the same sheep-skin. Besides these, there are three or four single men, who suit my temper to a hair. The town is one of the neatest in England, the country is fine, for several miles about it, and the roads, which are allturn
pike, and strike out four or five different ways, are perfectly good all the year round. I mention this latter circumstance chiefly because my distance from Cambridge has made a horseman of me at last, or at least is likely to do so. My Brother and I meet every week, by an alternate reciprocation of intercourse, as Sam Johnson would express it; sometimes I get a lift in a neighbour's chaise, but generally ride. As to my own personal condition, I am much happier than the day is long, and sun-shine and candle-light alike see me perfectly contented. I get books in abundance, as much company as I chuse, a deal of comfortable leisure, and enjoy better health, I think, than for many years past. What is there wanting to make me happy? Nothing, if I can but be as thankful as I ought, and I trust, that He, who has bestowed so many blessings upon me, will give me gratitude to crown them all. I beg you will give my love to my dear Cousin Maria, and to every body at the Park. If Mrs Maitland is with you, as I suspect by a passage in Lady Hesketh's Letter to me, pray remember me to her very affectionately. And believe me, my dear friend, ever yours.
To JOSEPH HILL, Esqr.
October 25, 1765. DEAR JOE,
I am afraid the month of October has proved rather unfavourable to the belle assemblèe at Southampton, high winds and continual rains being bitter enemies to that agreeable lounge, which you and I are equally fond of. I have very cordially betaken myself to my books, and my fireside; and seldom leave them unless for exercise. I have added another family to the number of those I was acquainted with, when you were here. Their name is Unwin—the most agreeable people imaginable ; quite sociable, and as free from the ceremonious civility of country gentlefolks, as any I ever met with. They treat me more like a near relation than a stranger, and their house is always open to me. The old gentleman carries me to Cambridge in his chaise. He is a man of learning and good sense, and as simple as parson Adams. His wife has a very uncommon understanding, has read much, to excellent purpose, and is more polite than a dutchess. The son, who belongs to Cambridge, is a most amiable young