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confidence in the candour of the reader. The incidents, and characteristic traits of this valuable work, grapple our attention perforce. How strongly our imagination is impressed when the massive Being is presented to it stalking, like a Greenland bear, over the barren Hebrides, roaming round the black rocks, and lonely coasts, in a small boat, on rough seas, and saluting Flora Macdonald in the Isle of Sky!
When shall I have the happiness to salute you and Mr Gat Lichfield ? You have allowed of an hope so agreeable, but the hour of realization is long delayed. Come, and persuade the gallant “ chief of the stormy seas,” to make your party a trio. We will see if we cannot teach him to associate with the adventurous spirit of ancient chivalry, that high value of female esteem, which, in purer and happier times, was its inseparable companion.
We shall soon, I trust, meet at Manchester, hear the vollies of the abbey drums, see Mara exhibit ballooning vocalities, and our friend do the noblest justice to the inspirations of Handel. Some spirit, friendly to the juster conceptions of the art, early in life whispered Saville,
« Ah friend! to dazzle let the vain design,
I am sure you
that the judicious admonition was not breathed in vain.
To MRS COTTON.
Lichfield, Oct. 27, 1785.
It is longer, I believe, than we both wish, since we heard from each other. I hope the summer has passed pleasantly with you as with myself. The graceful and eloquent Miss Weston being my guest, inspirited, by her society, its sultry days. We went together to a brilliant music-meeting at Manchester last month, where, amidst the collected musical strength of the kingdom, Mara and Saville had the leading parts, and filled them to the high delight of their auditors. Sophia and myself joined a very agreeable party from Derbyshire, Mr and Mrs Gpleasing young lady, her friend, and Mr G's brother, a sea-officer, of distinguished bravery and skill in his profession. My poor father has been very ill since our return, but is now recovered.
Mrs G- is a very singular, but very charming being. Her figure has uncommon elegance : but it is more the result of native grace than of fashion. Her complexion brunette, without bloom; nor are her features regular, but perfectly feminine, and very attractive. Nothing can be more beautiful than her black eyes. They are exactly those of Fatima, as described by Lady M. W. Montague in her letters ; have that length, horizontally, which always gives languishing sweet
Mrs GM's eyes speak a thousand soft affectionate meanings through the dark fringe which encircles them.
This lady was married quite a girl to Mr Gmore than old enough to have been her father. He is a gentleman of large fortune, light and alert in his figure, devoted to the sports of the field, without neglecting the treasures of his library ; friendly and hospitable, with a great deal of that dry sarcastic, and, as Sterne calls it, sub-acid humour, which forms a diverting contrast to the pensive, impassioned, perhaps romantic, enthusiasm of his lady's character.
I have been told it was his marriage stipulation that she should be content to live wholly in the country, without requesting to go to Bath or London. In all other respects, he is the most indulgent of husbands, animating her retirement with that liberal welcome, which their friends, of both sexes, always find to his house, and to his plenteous and epicurean table. Living thus totally among the shades, her mind has nurtured, beneath their umbrage, the high-strung propensities of a warm heart, and vivid imagination. She reads a great deal ; but I should suppose chiefly writings of fancy. Ingenuous, disposed to think the best of everybody, she shapes her favourites, of both sexes, into the resemblance of all she has read of refined, amiable, and exalted. Hence, where others would esteem, Mrs G-venerates; where others would admire, Mrs G-worships. Heroes have ever been her idols ; but the house of a country gentleman is not the place where heroes are often found. The gallantry of her brother-in-law, Captain G's conduct, the honourable mention made of it in the public prints, and in the world, had prepared the lovely devotee to glory, to deify him in her imagination, whom it had pictured a Cæsar, an Alexander.
But, from the native unvarnished plainness of his person, character, and manners, he neither desired nor understood what it was to be idolized by
young lady, on the score of that tried valour, which, whatever high reputation it had ohtained, his honest heart, a stranger to self-valuing presumption, considered not as constituting any claim to marked distinction. He was, in all likelihood, unaccustomed to receive it from the fair ones of our sex, in these anti-chivalry times, in which an elegant cold-hearted lounger of fashion excites attentions they would not dream of bestowing upon the brave veteran, who had not been accustomed to entwine the myrtle with his laurels.
Before I had ever seen this gentleman, Mrs G 's letters had in such sort mentioned him, as, in spite of my consciousness of the leaf-gold she is wont to spread over her favourite characters, taught me to expect attractions dangerous to the peace of a young woman married to her grandfather. Nor I
sorry to find the fair enthusiast complaining that her exalted brother, as she called him, repaid her revering affection with cold neglect.
You will conclude me not a little internally diverted, when I beheld in this fancied Alexander, a somewhat coarsely, large, and hard-featured man, looking older, though he was not older than his brother,
“ Full of odd oaths, and bearded like a pard.”
I was, however, comforted by the non-existence of that graceful dignity of form and address, which