Oldalképek
PDF
ePub

тн Е

LIFE OF COWPE R.

Let us return from a digression of sorrow, from the grave of Cowper's friend Rose, to Cowper himself in a state of chearfulness at Eartham, in the year 1792!—Pleased, and enlivened as he was, by the new scenery around him, he failed not to testify, with great tenderness, his frequent remembrance of the friends most deservedly endeared to him in his own village.

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

Without waiting for an answer to my last, I send my dear Catharina the epitaph she Vol. 4..

A

desired, composed as well as I could compose it in a place where every object being still new to me, distracts my attention, and makes me as awkward at verse as if I had never dealt in it. Here it is.

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

Though once a puppy, and though Fop by name,
Ilere moulders one, whose bones some honour claim;
No sycophant, although of spaniel race !
And though no hound, a martyr to the chace!
Ye squirrels, rabbits, leverets, rejoice!
Your haunts no longer echo to his voice.
This record of his fate exulting view,
He died worn out with vain pursuit of you!

“ Yes !" the indignant shade of Fop replies, " And worn with vain pursuit, man also dies !”

I am here, as I told you in my last, delightfully situated, and in the enjoyment of all that the most -friendly hospitality can impart; yet do I neither forget Weston, nor my friends at Weston: On the contrary, I have at length, though much and kindly

car

pressed to make a longer stay, determined on the day. of our departure—on the seventeenth of September we shall leave Eartham ; four days will be necesary to bring us home again, for I am under a promise to General Cowper to dine with him on the way, which cannot be done comfortably, either to him or to ourselves, unless we sleep that night at Kingston.

The air of this place has been, I believe, beneficial to us both. I indeed was in tolerable health before I set out, but have acquired since I came, both a better appetite, and a knack of sleeping almost as much in a single night as formerly in two. Whether double quantities of that article will be favourable to me as a poet, time must shew. About myself however I care little, being made of materials so tough, as not to threaten me now, at the end of so many lustrums, with any thing like a speedy dissolution. My chief concern has been about Mrs. Unwin, and my chief comfort at this moment is, that she likewise has received, I hope, considerable benefit by the journey.

· Tell my dear George that I begin to long to behold him again, and did it not savour of ingratitude to the friend, under whose roof I am so happy at present, should be impatient to find myself once more under yours.

Adieu! {my dear Catharina. I have nothing to add in the way of news, except that Romney has drawn me in crayons, by the suffrage of all here, extremely like.

W. C.

LETTER II.

To the Revd. Mr. HURDIS.

Eartham, August 26, 1792. MY DEAR SIR,

Your kind, but very affecting, Letter found me not at Weston, to which place it was directed, but in a bower of my friend Hayley's garden at Eartham, where I was sitting with Mrs. Unwin. We both knew the moment we saw it from whom it came, and observing a red seal, both comforted ourselves that all was well at Burwash: but we soon felt that we were called not to rejoice, but to mourn with you—we do indeed sincerely mourn with you, and if it will afford you any consolation to

know it, you may be assured that every eye here has testified what our hearts have suffered for you. Your loss is great, and your disposition I perceive such as exposes you to feel the whole weight of it; I will not add to your sorrow by a vain attempt to assuage it; your own good sense, and the piety of your princi-. ples, will, of course, suggest to you the most powerful motives of acquiescence in the will of God. You will be sure to recollect that the stroke, severe as it is, is not the stroke of an enemy, but of a father; and will find I trust hereafter, that like a father he has done you good by it. Thousands have been able to say, and myself as loud as any of them, it has been good for me that I was afflicted; but time is necessary to work us to this persuasion, and in due time it shall be yours. Mr. Hayley, who tenderly sympathises with you, has enjoined me to send you as pressing an invitation as I can frame, to join me at this place. I have every motive to wish your consent, both your benefit and my own, which, I believe, would be abundantly answered by your coming, ought to make me eloquent in such a cause. Here you will find silence and retirement in perfection, when you would seek them, and here such company as I have no doubt would suit you, all cheerful, but

« ElőzőTovább »