Page images
PDF
EPUB

to whom it was addressed; and I can assure you, they feel a lively disposition to do all in their power towards strengthening and promoting your very laudable and humane object.

Yours very assuredly,

B. 0.

To Mrs. PARROTT, Tooting.

MY DEAR ADRIANA,

Tavistock Place, February 6, 1818. I HAVE, for some days past, been travelling over the rugged mountains of Abyssinia, and was upon the top of Tarenta, (supposed to be one of the highest in the universe,) when your agreeable letter reached me; and although I was particularly interested for the fate of Mr. Bruce and his companions, and sympathizing for the hardships and perils they had to encounter, I could not avoid leaving them to their fate, to read, with that eagerness which I always do, a letter when it arrives from my dear Adriana. Lest you should be perplexed with what I have written, I must inform you that I am now in the fourth volume of Mr. Bruce's Travels to discover the source of the Nile; and when I again repeat that I can abstract myself from so interesting a narrative to devour your letter, I need not say more to convince you how much I prefer your truly affectionate narrative to his, when I find in it so much of kind solicitude for my health, and affording, at the same time, the satisfaction to me, that you are well and happy.

I have, since I saw you, been extremely indisposed : a cold, the most inveterate I ever had, has hung upon me, and exceedingly depressed my spirits; yet I think myself better to-day than I have felt for the last fortnight, and hope my cough is about to subside. My lower extremities are so feeble, that, with the usual exertions of the day, I return home wearied, and with my companions, the blue devils, have not resolution to stir out. Fortunately, I have resources of amusement at home; those of a domesticated cast you are not a stranger to; and you well know also, that I have generally comfort about me, when surrounded by my books and the animated canvass which adorns my library.

If your mamma and sisters terrified you by their appearance last Saturday, put it to my account; I sent them : and the next time they intrude so rudely and suddenly upon you, make them dine with you, even if they should have no appetite — that will be punishment sufficient for them. I am agreeably pleased to find your old friends attached to you: this visit from good Mrs. Horsley, I am sure, must have been accept

Mrs. Griffith and Miss Halliday called here yesterday, and intend going to Tooting to scold Mr. Parrott, for not sending to them a piece of your wedding cake. So I find “ you are in that situation in which women wish to be who love their lords.” May the fruit ripen, and bless you both; and may it afford you the same comfort which the parent stock of a dutiful daughter has given to her affectionate father,

B. 0. My gruel is brought in; it is nearly eleven o'clock, and I have not seen your mamma and sisters for three hours. Good night! and when the fog subsides, and the days grow warmer and longer, expect to see me; but not before.

All this while I have not said one word about Parrott; but you may tell him I love him, and that will be sufficient. Tell Mrs. Thomas, when you see her, that I believe she has lost all regard for me: she does not like, I suppose, to visit the distressed; but, as she visits you, I forgive her.

able to you.

To MASTER R. R. OAKLEY.

MY DEAR RICHARD,

Royal Exchange, February 20, 1818.

My continued indisposition has prevented my going down to see you; and as I know you can have no objection to come and see me, I will indulge you with a day (provided Mr. Potticary will permit it,) at home : you will therefore request permission of Mr. Potticary to allow a stage to call for you to-morrow, at twelve or one o'clock, which will bring you to Gracechurch Street, from whence you may come to my office, and accompany me to Tavistock Place.

Pray give my respectful compliments to Mr. Potticary, and to his family; and assure him, that you shall return to him again, on Monday, by the same conveyance.

Your loving Father,

B. 0.

To ROBERT BLAKE, Esq. Essex Street.

MY DEAR SIR,

Tavistock Place, February 20, 1818. Well knowing, as I do, the reciprocal attachment which existed between yourself and my dear lost friend and brother, Captain Butcher, I cannot but flatter myself, that whatever calls to your recollection the remembrance of his worth, will not be unpleasing to you: therefore, identifying myself in the spirit of the departed, “ I give to my good fellow Blake my social pipe: he is a man after my own heart; he will value it because it was mine; and in his possession I am sure it will remain, until our kindred spirits meet again.”

To

say more is unnecessary-to have said less would have been unkind.

Yours sincerely,

B. 0.

To Miss CHRISTIANA OAKLEY, Tooting.

MY DEAR CHRISTIANA,

Royal Exchange, March 4, 1818. I wish I could satisfy your anxious inquiries, by saying, I am better than when you left town: but I cannot. The little instrument I am now using, is almost too heavy for the weak hand which guides it. I think the gout is spreading all over me; legs, arms, and wrists : in fact, I have it hip and thigh, and am, in appearance, when I walk, about ten years older than when you saw me.

I had intended to have set off for Bath this week; but I am not able to go: first, on account that I am not well enough to go alone, and, unfortunately, owing to a fluctuation in the funds, my friends will not give me leave.

This is your mamma's birthday; I hope you know it, and know how to respect it.

Monday, your mamma, Elizabeth, and myself, dined with Mr. Capel. Hannah and Mary went last night to a quadrille party at Mr. Andrews'.

I have sent you a brace of lobsters; and perhaps it will not be unacceptable with them, some cakes and collared eel. Give them to Adriana, with my kind love, and divide between yourself and Mr. Parrott my sincere regard.

To RICHARD NIXON, Esq. BASINGHALL STREET.

MY DEAR NIXON,

Brighton, March 22, 1818. The day before I left town, I heard of the death of your poor brother, and should have personally offered my condolence to you upon the occasion, if indisposition had not forced me here.

His death has been long expected ; and although it is common to say the event was to be wished, still the separation, to feelings such as yours, can be but imperfectly judged of. I pity you most sincerely, I sympathize with you most heartily, and thank you most affectionately for those amiable attentions shown to your brother, , my friend : for which I cannot offer you any thing better in return, than to arouse your recollection to those kind endearments, those tender watchings, and that exemplary duty, you so generously paid, in endeavouring to alleviate the sufferings of my dear departed companion. This, my dear Dick, is the best consolation I can offer you, and be assured it is the best you can receive: take it then to your heart, for it is a cordial of the most soothing description.

I cannot speak in terms too high in commendation of my departed friend. His dear memory will ever live; for it is rooted in the hearts of all who knew him. He was warm in friendship, strong in attachment, social and generous to a degree. If anger ruffled him, it only served to show with what mildness it could be calmed: it may be said of him, that “ he was gentle as the zephyr blowing beneath the violet, not wagging its sweet head.” But peace to his remains !— “ Poor Jack! I could have better spared a better man."

« PreviousContinue »