Page images
PDF
EPUB

LETTER III.

To Lady HESKETH.

Eartham, August 26, 1792.

I know not how it is, my dearest Coz. but in a new scene, and surrounded by strange objects, I find my powers of thinking dissipated to a degree, that makes it difficult to me even to write a letter, and even a letter to you; but such a letter as I can, I will, and have the fairest chance to succeed this morning, Hayley, Romney, Hayley's Son, and Beau, being all gone together to the sea for bathing. The sea, you must know, is nine miles off, so that unless stupidity prevent, I shall have opportunity to write not only to you, but to poor Hurdis also, who is broken-hearted for the loss of his favorite Sister, lately dead; and whose letter, giving an account of it, which I received yesterday, drew tears from the eyes of all our party. My only comfort respecting even yourself is, that you write in good spirits, and assure me that you are in a state of recovery, otherwise I should mourn not only for Hurdis, but for myself, lest a certain event should reduce me, and in a short time too, to a situation as distressing as his; for though nature designed you only for my Cousin, you have had a Sister's place in my affections ever since I knew you. The reason is, I suppose, that having no Sister, the Daughter of my own Mother, I thought it proper to have one, the Daughter of yours. Certain it is, that I can by no means afford to lose you, and that unless you will be upon honour with me, to give me always a true account of yourself, at least when we are not together, I shall always be unhappy, because always suspicious that you deceive

me.

Now for ourselves.' I am, without the least dissimulation, in good health; my spirits are about as good as you have ever seen them; and if encrease of appetite, and a double portion of sleep, be advantageous, such are the advantages that I have received from this migration. As to that gloominess of mind, which I have had these twenty years, it cleaves to me even here, and could I be translated to Paradise, unless I left my body behind me, would cleave to me even there also. It is my companion for life, and nothing will ever divorce us. So much for myself. Mrs. Unwin is evidently better for her. jaunt, though by no means as she was before this last attack; still wanting help when she would rise from her seat, and a support in walking; but she is able to use more exercise than she could at home, and moves with ra. ther a less tottering step. God knows what he designs for me, but when I see those who are dearer to me than myself, distempered and enfeebled, and myself as strong as in the days of my youth, I tremble for the solitude in which a few years may place me. I wish her and you to die before me, but not till I

am more likely to follow immediately. Enough of this !

Romney has drawn me in crayons, and in the opinion of all here, with his best hand, and with the most exact resemblance possible.

The seventeenth of September is the day on which I intend to leave Eartham. We shall then have been six weeks resident here; a holiday time long enough for a man who has much to do. And farewell !

W. C.

And now

P. S. Hayley, whose love for me seems to be truly that of a brother, has given me his picture, drawn by Romney about fifteen years ago: an admirable likeness.

LETTER IV.

To Lady HESKETH.

Eartham, Sept. 9, 1792.

MY DEAREST COUSIN,

I determine, if possible, to send

you one more letter, or at least, if possible, once more to send you something like one, before we leave Eartham. But I am in truth so unaccountably local in the use of my pen, that, like the man in the fable, who could leap well no where but at Rhodes, I seem incapable of writing at all, except at Weston. This is, as I have already told you, a delightfvl place; more beautiful scenery I have never beheld nor expect to behold; but the charms of it, uncommon as they are, have not in the least alienated my affections from Weston. The genius of that place suits me better, it has an air of snug concealment, in which a disposition like mine feels peculiarly gratified; whereas here I see from every window, woods like forests, and hills like mountains, a wildness, in short, that rather increases my natural melancholy, and which were it not for the agreeables I find within, would soon convince me that mere

change of place can avail me little. Accordingly, I have not looked out for a house in Sussex, nop shall.

The intended day of our departure continues to be the seventeenth. I hope to re-conduct Mrs. Unwin to the Lodge with her health considerably mended: but it is in the article of speech chiefly, and in her powers of walking, that she is sensible of much improvement. Her sight, and her hand still fail her, so that she can neither read nor work ; morțifying circumstances both to her, who is never wil.

lingly idle.

On the eighteenth I purpose to dine with the General, and to rest that night at Kingston, but the pleasure I shall have in the interview will hardly be greater than the pain I shall feel at the end of it, for we shall part, probably to meet no more.

Johnny, I know, has told you that Mr. Hurdis is here. Distressed by the loss of his Sister, he has ronounced the place where she died for ever, and is about to enter on a new course of life at Oxford. You would admire him much: He is gentle in his manners, and delicate in his person, resembling our poor friend Unwin, both in face and figure, more than

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »