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BOMBARDING THE ASIATICS.
(To the Countess Grey, Oct. 1841.) The news from China gives me the greatest pleasure. I am for bombarding all the exclusive Asiatics, who shut up the earth, and will not let me walk civilly and quietly through it, doing no harm, and paying for all I want.
(To Lady Ashburton, 1841.) You have very naturally, my dear Lady Ashburton, referred to me for some information respecting St. Anthony. The principal anecdotes related of him are, that he was rather careless of his diet; and that, instead of confining himself to boiled mutton and a little wine and water, he ate of side-dishes, and drank two glasses of sherry, and refused to lead a life of great care and circumspection, such as his constitution required. The consequence was, that his friends were often alarmed at his health; and the medical men of Jerusalem and Jericho were in constant requisition, taking exorbitant fees, and doing him little good.
(To Mrs. Crowe,* Combe Florey, Jan. 31, 1841.)
Dear Mrs. Crowe: I quite agree with you as to the horrors of correspondCorrespondences are like small-clothes before the invention
of suspenders; it is impossible to keep them up.
That episode of Julia [in Susan Hopley] is much too long. Your incidents are remarkable for their improbability. A boy goes on board a frigate in the middle of the night, and penetrates to the captain's cabin without being seen or challenged. Susan climbs into a two-pair-of-stairs window to rescue two grenadiers. A gentleman about to be murdered is saved by rescuing a woman about to be drowned, and so on. The language is easy, the dialogue natural. There is a great deal of humour; the plot is too complicated. The best part of the book is Mr. and Mrs. Ayton; but
*Mrs. Catherine Crowe, author of the Adventures of Susan Hopley, Lilly Dawson, The Night-Side of Nature, and other works.
the highest and most important praise of the novel is that you are carried on eagerly, and that it excites and sustains a great interest in the event, and therefore I think it a very good novel and will recommend it.
It is in vain that I study the subject of the Scotch Church. I have heard it ten times over from Murray, and twenty times from Jeffrey, and I have not the smallest conception what it is about. I know it has something to do with oat-meal, but beyond that I am in utter darkness. Everybody here is turning Puseyite. Having worn out my black gown, I preach in my surplice; this is all the change I have made, or mean to make.
There seems to be in your letter a deep-rooted love of the amusements of the world. Instead of the ever-gay Murray and the never-silent Jeffrey, why do you not cultivate the Scotch clergy and the elders and professors? I should then have some hopes of you.
(To Lady Ashburton, 1841.) Still I can preach a little; and I wish you had witnessed, the other day at St. Paul's, my incredible boldness in attacking the Puseyites. I told them that they made the Christian religion a religion of postures and ceremonies, of circumflexions and genuflexions, of garments and vestures, of ostentation and parade; that they took up tithe of mint and cummin, and neglected the weightier matters of the lawjustice, mercy, and the duties of life, and so forth.
(To Lady Davy, 1842.) I have not yet discovered of what I am to die, but I rather believe I shall be burnt alive by the Puseyites. Nothing so remarkable in England as the progress of these foolish people. I have no conception what they mean, if it be not to revive every absurd ceremony, and every antiquated folly, which the common sense of mankind has set to sleep. You will find at your return a fanatical Church of England, but pray do not let it prevent your return. We can always gather together, in Park Street and Green Street, a chosen few who have never bowed the knee to Rimmon.
Green Street, Grosvenor Square, March 5, 1841.) My dear Mrs. At the sight of —, away y gayety, ease, carelessness, happiness. Effusions are checked. faces are puckered up; coldness, formality, and reserve, are diffused over the room, and the social temperature falls down to zero. I could not stand it. I know you will forgive me, but my cu stitution is shattered, and I have not nerves for such an occur
AVERSIONS AND ARGUMENTS.
March 6, 1841.) My dear Mrs.
: Did you never hear of persons who have an aversion to cheese? to
cats? to roast hare?
Can you reason them out of it? Can you
write them out of it? Would it be of any use to mention the names of mongers who have lived in the midst of cheese? Would it advance your cause to insist upon the story of Whittington and his Cat?
(To the Countess of Morley. No date.) Dear Lady Morley: Pray understand me rightly: I do not give the Bluecoat theory as an established fact, but as a highly probable conjecture; look st the circumstances. At a very early age young Quakers disappear. at a very early age the Coat-boys are seen; at the age of seventeen or eighteen young Quakers are again seen; at the same age, the Coat-boys disappear: who has ever heard of a Coat-man? The things is utterly unknown in natural history. Upon what other evidence does the migration of the grub into the aurelia rest? After a certain number of days the grub is no more seen. and the aurelia flutters over his relics. That such a prominent fact should have escaped our naturalists is truly astonishing: I had long suspected it, but was afraid to come out with a speculation so bold, and now mention it as protected and sanctioned by you.
Dissection would throw great light upon the question; and if
would receive two boys into his house about the time of their changing their coats, great service would be rendered to the cause.
Our friend Lord Grey, not remarkable for his attention to natural history, was a good deal struck with the novelty and ingenuity of the hypothesis. I have ascertained that the young Blue-coat infants are fed with drab-coloured pap, which looks very suspicious. More hereafter on this interesting subject. Where real science is to be promoted, I will make no apology to your Ladyship for this intrusion.
(From the Countess of Morley. No date.) Had I received your letter two days since, I should have said your arguments and theory were perfectly convincing, and that the most obstinate skeptic must have yielded to them; but I have come across a person in that interval who gives me information which puts us all at sea again. That the Bluecoat boy should be the larva of the Quaker in Great Britain is possible, and even probable, but we must take a wider view of the question; and here, I confess, I am bewildered by doubts and difficulties. The Bluecoat is an indigenous animal -not so the Quaker; and now be so good as to give your whole mind to the facts I have to communicate. I have seen and talked much with Sir R. Kerr Porter on this interesting subject. He has travelled over the whole habitable globe, and has penetrated with a scientific and scrutinizing eye into regions hitherto unexplored by civilized man; and yet he has never seen a Quaker baby. He has lived for years in Philadelphia (the national nest of Quakers); he has roamed up and down Broadways and lengthways in every nook and corner of Pennsylvania; and yet he never saw a Quaker baby; and what is new and most striking, never did he see a Quaker lady in a situation which gave hope that a Quaker baby might be seen hereafter. This is a stunning fact, and involving the question in such impenetrable mystery as will, I fear, defy even your sagacity, acuteness, and industry, to elucidate. But let us not be checked and cast down; truth is the end and object of our research. Let us not bate one jot of heart and hope, but still bear up and steer our course right onward. F. MORLEY.
Yours most truly,
ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF GAME.
(To the Rev. R. H. Barham, London, about 1842.) Many thanks, my dear Sir, for your kind present of game. If there is a pure and elevated pleasure in this world, it is that of roast pheasant and bread sauce ;-barn-door fowls for dissenters, but for the real churchman, the thirty-nine times articled clerk — the pheasant, the pheasant!*
(To Lady Holland, Combe Florey, Sept. 13, 1842.) I am sorry to hear Allen is not well; but the reduction of his legs is a pure and unmixed good; they are enormous they are clerical! He has the creed of a philosopher and the legs of a clergyman; I never saw such legs-at least, belonging to a layman.
It is a bore, I admit, to be past seventy, for you are left for execution, and are daily expecting the death-warrant; but, as you say, it is not anything very capital we quit. We are, at the close of life, only hurried away from stomach-aches, pains in the joints, from sleepless nights and unamusing days, from weakness, ugliness, and nervous tremors; but we shall all meet again in another planet, cured of all our defects. will be less irritable;
will assent; Jeffrey will speak slower; Bobus will be just as he is; I shall be more respectful to the upper clergy; but I shall have as lively a sense as I now have of all your kindness and affection for me.
(To Lady Holland, November 6, 1842.) My dear Lady Holland: I have not the heart, when an amiable lady says, "Come to 'Semiramis' in my box," to decline; but I get bolder at a distance. "Semiramis" would be to me pure misery. I love music very little-I hate acting; I have the worst opinion of Semiramis herself, and the whole thing (I can not help it) seems so childish and so foolish that I can not abide it. Moreover, it would be rather out of etiquette for a Canon of St. Paul's to go to an opera; and
*Memoir of Barham.