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is consoling, inasmuch as by it I learn she is free from pain, and prepared, with resignation, for the envied transition from this to a better state. I am also consoled to find, that you arm yourself for the awful event: in doing so you manifest a true religious feeling, and such as will be acceptable where the thought and heart are


I am glad my dear mother has relieved me from being witness to an affecting scene, and where I could not possibly add to her relief: indeed, I cannot but think it would be injurious. Discretion is duty, and the mere blaze of affection an ill-timed varnish, only to be admired while the gloss remains : the root of affection, when it encircles the heart, is more durable. You must believe me “ to have that within which passeth show.'

George and myself have canvassed the propriety of going down, and have anticipated your exoneration from so painful a task.

Your letter I have sent to him; and his feelings, in the perusal of it, will be in unison with mine. I shall leave it to you to say every thing that is tender and kind to my dear parent, to assure her of my attachment and love.

I cannot, without sensations of delight, pass over your mention of this day (October 22): where can be found a parallel to it? Sixty-three years out of eightyeight, and each revolving year adding fresh ties of regard and esteem to the unsullied happiness of the best of fathers and mothers. But now, I confess, I turn from delight to pain, when I see approximating that hour that is to dissolve the immeasurable concord of hearts so united : but it is the divine will; and in that thought I again begin to feel delight. It is but

a short separation to the commencement of an immortal union, where unfading bliss will reign for ever.

Let me hear from you as often as possible, and

Believe me to be, dear Father,
Ever and always yours,

B. 0.




Tavistock Place, February 28, 1813. I HAVE repeatedly written to you, and tried every channel by which I fancied there was a chance of getting my letters conveyed to you. I have also been very active in procuring a form for your exchange, and which has been sent to Paris, by the Transport Board, some time since. My hopes of success are a little revived by a report, that a negociation is now going on between the two governments for a general exchange of prisoners. God grant that my wishes may be realized !

In my last I mentioned to you the death of my uncle, Mr. Toldervy, who has generously willed all his property to my family at the death of my aunt, who is very decrepit, and who, in all probability, cannot live many months. I have now to acquaint you, that your aunt, Mrs. Adams, is dead : the old lady had a very short illness, and died most happily.

I have little domestic news to tell you. I seldom go out : indeed, my highest gratifications and amusement are at home. At this moment I am busily employed in getting up Othello for my private theatre. I am to perform the Moor to Miss Booth's Desdemona. The characters are all cast, and are expected to appear on the 12th of March. My previous letter to this, should it have reached you, will give you some account of the success of Measure for Measure, played five times last year. Miss Booth was the Isabella to my Duke. I took considerable pains in adapting these plays for private representation ; and being stripped of the gross and exceptionable parts, they went off with the most flattering eclat.

Benjamin makes great progress in the classics : I hope in two years from this time he will be able to unite his destinies with mine. He is my best friend and companion, and his only wish and inclination is constantly to be at my side.

Your sister, the children, and myself, pray for your liberation.

B. 0.



Royal Exchange, Angust 25, 1813. Hannah, myself, and three of our children, passed an agreeable evening with Rebecca and your charming daughters, last night, in Bond Street.

Your second interview with the good old lady at Weobly, I can easily conceive to have been pathetically interesting. It certainly must be a sublime and awful sight to witness the approach to immortality. But contemplating, as you have properly done, that it is only an exchange for endless happiness and glory, it is an event“ devoutly to be wished.” You have rightly said,

that our mother is charitable and devout, an excellent Christian; and permit me to add

“ She is - but words are wanting to express what –

Think what a wife should be, and she is that."

I would advise you, now you are at Cheltenham, to stay at least a fortnight, and submit yourself to the order of the day at that delightful place; and should you so determine, it is not unlikely but you may see me there before the expiration of that time.

Ever yours,

B. 0.

To Mr. H. DUNNICLIFFE, Depôt, Woolwich.


Royal Exchange, September 3, 1813.

I SEND you a draft for the sum you ask : you must understand, that this is the last I shall remit you. As a guardian to you, at the express desire of your poor mother, I do not feel myself justified to contribute to expenses your folly may have occasioned. When you are of age, and you bring me a certificate of it from the parish register where you were christened, I will take your receipt, and pay the balance I have, either to yourself or to any person you may appoint. Perhaps your uncle George may be disposed to take the trouble and management of it on your account: if you can prevail on him to do it, you will be much favoured.

I remain,
Your best wisher, but no longer your adviser,


MY DEAR FATHER, Tavistock Place, September 11, 1813.

I have just heard the melancholy news of my dear mother's death, and can easily conceive what must be your sensations by what I feel myself. Her virtues are now to be remunerated by substantial and unfading happiness. Let us be satisfied in that hope, and rather thank the Almighty, than repine at what has happened. Endeavour, my dear father, to arm yourself against the effect of a too poignant grief: let not your spirits be borne down by this sad event, which you must have long since anticipated; but bear it with a calm, religious, and philosophic mind.

I am so unfortunately occupied at this moment with business, (made more important in consequence of the active operation of the war), that I am riveted to my office, and cannot stir. I trust that some of my brothers will be able to attend, and assist you in the last duties of attachment to the much loved remains of that bright pattern of female excellence,

God bless you, my dear Father; and may the Almighty Ruler of hearts inspire you with reverential awe, and fit you to imitate her example, Your loving and affectionate Son,

B. 0.



Tavistock Place, September 12, 1813. The news of the dissolution of my dear mother reached me on Saturday morning.

It was

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