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how he listens to the advice of interested men in the Alley, who, to answer speculations of their own, amuse him with schemes fallacious as they are mischievous, and wicked as they are avaricious.
I am, Sir, &c.
To RICHARD MASSEY, Esq.
Royal Exchange, January 27, 1817. I am glad to find that my friend Massey. is not only in the land of the living, but in the land of happiness also; and he may rest assured, that it will always afford his friend great satisfaction to learn, “ that his time has not been mis-spent.” Indeed, how can that time be mis-spent which is directed with affectionate solicitude to the object of his happiness, and meets in an affectionate wife a full remuneration for that solicitude shown to her? I wish you both happy from
You may congratulate me, not on the marriage of my daughter, but on her escape from marriage.
I have seen some recent etchings by Cuett: take care of me, and let me have good impressions.
Pray shake Mrs. Massey's hand for me —“O that I were a glove upon that hand,” then I might have a shake likewise.
Dear Massey, your Friend,
To MR. JOHN JONES, BRIGHTON.
January 28, 1817.
I Am much obliged to my old and faithful servant, for his present of game, which I am proud to accept as a mark of his gratitude. It is also very pleasing to me, and very satisfactory to my feelings, that I should live in the remembrance of one who so honestly served me; and it is no less satisfactory that my attentions are held in remembrance.
I do not approve of written characters, but always prefer a personal inquiry; yet should I ever be so circumstanced as to seek for that which you so creditably filled while in my service, I shall make use of the character you have given, in the letter you sent me accompanying your first present.
I fear you must have put yourself into obligation on my account; and should it be of a pecuniary nature, you must let me discharge it, and I shall still think myself your debtor.
Your faithful Friend,
To J. W. HORSLEY, ESQ. CHISWICK.
MY DEAR HORSLEY,
Royal Exchange, January 28, 1817. If you have determined (and not actually carried it into effect) to erase my name from the list of
hand. I have, whenever I have met your brother, asked after you; and but for my sluggish disposition, and a natural clinging I have to my own fire-side, I should have been at yours before this. Be assured, that you
live, as you ever did, in my esteem ; and you may say to dear Mrs. Horsley, that I have an equal portion for her; and that I shall love her and yourself more, if you would put on “ the dauntless resolution” of coming to Tavistock Place, and pass with Mrs. Oakley, the children, and myself, a few days.
Are you better? What is the matter with you? Why do not you write to me? Have I offended you?
To MR. GEORGE OAKLEY.
Tavistock Place, February 3, 1817. BEFORE this reaches you my fears forebode an awful change! My dear little cherub, my suffering little Fanny, is struggling with the fell monster, Death! With anxious solicitude I have attended her till within these few hours: I have taken my leave of her. All that medical skill can do has been done. I await the dreadful moment: I rouse myself into all the action I can command to meet it. For three days my injunctions have been obeyed : none of her sisters have seen her; and now an imperious command prevents them even reaching the approach to the bed-room floor. My family are seeking repose in the drawing room — myself alone in the dining parlour! What a situation! what a suspense!
- my children -O! I cannot describe it!
Wednesday Morning. I could not write last night, I was too exhausted with fatigue : on the other side you will see what I
intended ; but I could not send the letter. Yesterday morning I sent the girls and Richard into lodgings. Last night, at the suggestion of Dr. Powell, I went to St. Bartholomew's Hospital, and succeeded in bringing a sister with me, for the purpose of attending my little Fanny. The previous nurse, and my own servants, are too tender.
“ We must be cruel, to be kind !”. We are going on better. The child has been held up for three days with brandy only: she is now asleep. Until this moment I have not changed my clothes since Monday. Hannah and myself sleep in the drawing-room. I am going to see the children then into the city. I have not seen the little sufferer for three days : none but those in attendance on her go upstairs.
B. 0. Adriana will forward this to you.
To the Misses OAKLEY, IN LODGINGS AT MR. Collins',
MY DEAR GIRLS,
Tavistock Place, February 4, 1817. Fanny is not worse. The doctor insisted upon my having another nurse. I have succeeded, and Mrs. Lloyd is discharged. I expect the Doctor and Mr. Mathias sometime this evening; their zeal is unbounded : God send they may be successful. I will not despair, although I confess I have scarcely any hopes. I am worn out. Good night.
Your loving Father,
To the Misses OAKLEY.
MY DEAR GIRLS,
Tavistock Place, February 10, 1817. I am just come home to the house of mourning. Your dear little sister is gone to the region of bliss; and by this time is in the society of your dear departed brother. Could I administer consolation to you, I would; but I must attend to your distressed mother. Think that pretty Fanny is released from a world of misery! think that she is happy; and think likewise that it is our duty to submit to the decrees of Providence. Think also that we have done our duty; and that if assiduity, attention, and watchful care could have preserved to us the spirit which has fled, that spirit would still have enlivened our domestic circle : but Heaven has ordained it otherwise.
“ Heaven sends misfortunes, why should we repine ?”
“ Our condition may be soon like hers!” Think of this : and let us be prepared for the awful moment when the Almighty wills it.
Your suffering Father,
To MR. RICHARD OAKLEY, WEOBLY.
MY DEAR FATHER,
Tavistock Place, February 10, 1817. This afternoon has added to the catalogue of death another of my family! My dear little Fanny, my youngest daughter, has fallen a victim to a typhus fever. This very cruel disease fastened upon her three weeks since; and although she was given over by the