Page images
PDF
EPUB

instance of bravery on the part of the French, just before the grape-shot came; eight or ten Frenchmen were standing on the battery, No. 32, one of our regiments fired and killed one or two of them, but the rest stood like statues; they kept on firing till there were but two left, when, one of them being shot, the other jumped down. The town is about the size of Northampton; all the houses near the breach were completely battered down, and most of the others damaged. In the morning I returned to the camp, and by day-light retraced my steps of the night before. In every place I passed a great many wounded; I saw eight or ten shot through the face, and their heads a mass of clotted blood, many with limbs shattered, many shot through the body, and groaning most piteously I found the body of my brother officer on the hill, his pantaloons, sword, epaulet, and hat, taken away: the dead lay stretched out in every form, some had been dashed to pieces by bombs, many had been stripped naked, and others had been rolled in the dust, with blood and dirt sticking all over them " When I came to the spot where the grape-shot first struck us, the bodies lay very thick but even there they bore no comparison to the heaps in the breach, where they lay one upon another two or three deep, and many in the ditch were half out and half in the water | I shall now give you my feelings through the whole affair, and I have no doubt when you read this you will feel similarly. I marched towards the town in good spirits; and, when the balls began to come thick about me, I expected every one would strike me: as they increased, I regarded them less; at the bottom of the hill I was quite inured to danger, and could have marched to the cannon's mouth. When the grape-shot came, I suffered more for those who fell than for myself; and, when I first trod upon the dead heaps, it was horrible ! In the next twenty or thirty steps I trod upon many more dead, but each impression became less terrible! # * # # # # * # # #

You see then that I have literally been within a few inches of death, upon the very verge of eternity! With you, when two , or three of your acquaintance die, you say, “These are awful times, death has been very busy s” Here he was busy indeed!! Of three officers, with whom I dined that day, one was killed and another severely wounded, yet not a hair of my head has

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors][merged small]

A GENTLEMAN having kindly favoured us with a copy of this lady's will, we lay such parts of it before our readers as we conceive may be interesting; but, in publishing these extracts, we cannot avoid saying, that perhaps more of the real character of the writer will appear than in any of her works ; for what is

... written under the awful expectation of death, may easily be con

ceived to be most unfeigned, delivered upon the strength of present feelings, fearless of incurring other censure than that of the Deity. “I, Anne, or as I have generally written myself Anna Seward, daughter of the late Rev. Thomas Seward, Canon Residentiary of the cathedral church of Litchfield, do make and publish my last will and testament, in manner following. I desire to have a frugal and private funeral, without any other needless expense than that .# a lead coffin, to protect my breathless body. If the dean and chapter shall not object to our family vault in the choir being once more opened, I desire to be laid at the feet of my late dear father; but, if they should object to disturbing the choir pavement, I then request to be laid by the side of him who was imy faithful excellent friend, through the course of 37 years, the late Mr. John Saville, in the vault which I made for the protection of his remains, in the burial ground on the south side of the Litchfield cathedral: I will that my hereafter executors, or trustees, commission one of the most approved sculptors to prepare a monument for my late father and his family, of the value of 500l. ; that with consent of the dean and the chapter, they take care the same be placed in a proper part of Litchfield cathedral: to every servant living in my family at the time of my decease, who shall have properly conducted him, or her self, during my lastillness, I bequeath proper mourning, and ten pounds each in money, above what quarterly wages may then be due to them; it being my custom to pay their wages every quarter. To the maid servant who shall live with me at my death, I leave all the apparel which I have worn, my best laces excepted; which best laces, whether they be on gowns, or handkerchiefs, or lie unmade up in my drawers, I bequeath to my friend Mrs. Elizabeth Smith, now of the close, Litchfield, together with all such contents of the bureaus, which I have always kept locked up, as she may thoose to accept. To my beloved and honoured friend Lady Eleanor Butler, and Miss Ponsonby, of Llangolenvale, Denbighshire, I leave each a ring, value five guineas, or any other more acceptable memorial of my attachment to them, to the said amount, as they may choose. To my highly-esteemed Miss Cornwallis, daughter of the present Bishop of Litchfield, I also leave a mourning ring of the value of five guineas; also to my long dear friend Mrs. Mary Powys, now of Clifton, near Bristol, I leave the same small memorial of our 30 years' friendship and correspondence. Also, I leave to Mr. Wm. Feary, of Litchfield, the sum of five guineas, either for a mourning ring, or any other more acceptable token of my esteem and respect for his virtues; and the same to my friend Thomas Lister, Esq. of Armitage. To my esteemed friend and correspondent, Dr. William Hussey, I leave a mourning ring of the same value, viz. five guineas. To my kind friends, Mr. and Mrs. Hussey Wyrley, I bequeath a mourning ring, of the value of two guineas; and to my cousins, Mrs. Thomas White, Mrs. Susannah Burrows, Mrs. Hinckley, of Litchfield, and Mrs. Martin, now of Winterbourn, I leave a mourning ring, of two guineas value; and the same also to Mrs. Charles Simpson, wife of my executor; and the same to Mr. Ironmonger, now of Litchfield. “My curious fan, of ancient date, but exquisite workmanship, and with a fresh mount of red leather, I bequeath to Mrs. White, wife of my executor, Mr. Thomas White, together with my best diamond ring, and the miniature picture of myself, by the late celebrated Miers. The miniature picture of my late dear father, by Richmond, I leave to my cousin, Mrs. Susannah Burrows. “To my cousin, the Rev. Henry White, I leave the fine portrait of my late father, by the late Mr. Wright, of Derby; also all the beautiful drawings in my possession, by the Rev. William Bree, now of Coleshill, Warwickshire. “The valuable Italian portrait, now in my green parlour, is the property of the said Henry White, a loan, not a gift to me. I desire it may be restored to him at my death. My own picture, by the late Mr. Romney, I bequeath to my friend and executor, Charles Simpson, provided he be living; if not, I bequeath the said picture of myself, to my other executor, Mr. Thomas White : and to the said Mr. Thomas White, I also leave the mezzotinto print of the dying St. Stephen, by West; also the exquisite engraving Instruction Paternelle : each of them were presented to me by my late dear friend Mr. Saville, for whose sake, as well as for mine, I know he will value them. The beautiful portrait of my father's mother, by the famous Sir Peter Lely, is the property of my cousin Mrs. Susannah Burrows ; a loan, not a gift, to me; and as such, to be restored to her at my death. The miniature picture of my late dear friend Mr. Saville, drawn in the year 1770, by the late celebrated artist Smart, and

which at the time it was taken, and during many successive years, was an exact resemblance of the original, I bequeath to his daughter Mrs. Elizabeth Smith, who I know will value and preserve it as a jewel above all prize; and in case of her previous demise, I bequeath the said precious miniature to her daughter Mrs. Honora Jager, exhorting the said Honora jager, and her heirs, into whose hands 'soever it may fall, to guard it with sacred care from the sun and from damp, as I have guarded it, that so the posterity of my valued friend may know what, in his prime, was the Jorm of him whose mind through life, by the acknowledgment of all who knew him, and could discern the superior powers of talent and virtue, was the seat of liberal endowment, warm piety, and energetic benevolence. The mezzotinto engraving from a picture of Romney, which is thus inscribed on a tablet at top, “Such was Honora Sneyd,”* I bequeath to her brother Edward Sneyd, Esq. if he survives me; if not, I bequeath it to his amiable daughter, Miss Emma Sneyd, entreating her to value and preserve it as the perfect, though accidental, resemblance of her aunt, and my ever dear friend, when she was surrounded by all her virgin glories—beauty and grace, sensibility and goodness, superior intelligence, and unswerving truth. To my before mentioned friend, Mrs. Mary Powys, in consideration of the true and unextinguishable love which she bore to the original, I bequeath the miniature picture of the said Honora Sneyd, drawn at Buxton, in the year 1776, by her gallant, faithful, and unfortunate lover, Major Andre, in his 18th year. That was his first attempt to delineate the human face, consequently it is an unfavourable, and most imperfect, resemblance of a most distinguished beauty. “If I should die before I have committed for publication such of my writings in verse and prose as I mean shall constitute a miscellaneous edition of my works, as hereafter mentioned, I pive and bequeath them to my friend and correspondent Walter Scott, Esq. of Edinburgh, author of the Lay of the Last Minstrel, &c. The said compositions of mine will be found in a blue hair trunk, tied up together, with a coloured silk braid, to which trunk my maid will direct my executors. This bequest to Mr. Scott consists of all my writings in verse, which have passed the press, together with those which yet remaim unpublished; also a collection of my juvenile letters from the year 1762 to June 1768; also four sermons, and a critical dissertation. The verse consists of two half-bound quarto volumes of manuscript compo

* For a copy of this interesting portrait, with a biographical memoir, see Lady’s Museum for October, 1811.

+ Vide Museum for October, 1811.

sitions; also at this time of six manuscript-books, in quarto sheets, and only sewed together. With these I desire may be blended—my poems which already have been regularly and separately published; printed copies of which will be found with the manuscript verses ; and from those printed copies I desire the press for this collective edition may be struck; some slight alterations, inserted in my own hand writing, will be found in those printed copies, and I hope attended to. With the aforesaid poetry will be found, and with which I desire may be published, the three first books of an epic poem, entitled Telemachus. It is raised on the basis of Fenelon's work, so entitled, but my poem is a widely excursive paraphrase. Its completion was long my wish, but I could never find leisure for the task. With the above mentioned verse will be found a small collection of my late beloved father's poetry, which I desire may be admitted into the said miscellany, and succeed to my own. To these metrical compositions from his pen and from mine, I desire my Juvenile Letters may in succession be added. The critical dissertation of defending Pope's Odyssey against the absurd criticisms of Spence, I refer to Mr. Scott's judgment to publish or suppress, as he may think best. If its publication be his choice, I could wish that tract might follow the Juvenile Letters in the course of the edition ; last the four sermons, unless Mr. Scott should conclude it better to publish them separately from the edition, and perhaps at a different period: at all events, I would have the letters succeed the poetry, as in Warburton’s edition of Pope's works. It appears to me that it would be eligible to print the said edition of my works in pocket volumes octavo, with an engraving prefixed, taken by one of our best London artists, from Romney's picture of me,” bequeathed to my friend and hereafter named executor, Charles Simpson, which I know he will have the goodness to lend for that purpose. In the before mentioned blue hair trunk will be found twelve half-bound quarto volumes; they contain such letters, or parts of letters, to numerous correspondents, from the year 1784 to the present day, as appeared to me worth the future attention of the public. Voluminous as is the collection, it does not include a twentieth part of my epistolary writing from the period at which those twelve books commenced. I give and bequeath these twelve volumes to Mr. A. Constable, bookseller, in Edinburgh, the gentleman who publishes Mr. Walter Scott's poetic compositions. I bequeath them to him rather than to Mr. Walter Scott, since the abhorrence in which, both in a moral and religious point of view, from the close of the campaign

* Why then have they chosen one which she confesses was not like, and drawn at the age of seventeen.

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »