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yet many others will illustrate and embellish these volumes. The steadiness and integrity of Mr. Hill's re gard for a person so much sequestered from his sight, gives him a particular title to be distinguished among those, whom Cowper has honoured by addressing to them his highly interesting and affectionate Letters, Many of these which I shall occasionally introduce in the parts of the narrative to which they belong, may tend to confirm a truth, not unpleasing to the majority of readers, that the temperate zone of moderate fortune, equally removed from high, and low life, is most favourable to the permanence of friendship.
TO JOSEPH HILL, Esqr.
Huntingdon, June 24, 1765. DEAR JOE.
The only recompence I can make you for your kind attention to my affairs, during my illness, is to tell you, that by the mercy of .
God I am restored to perfect health, both of mind and body. This, I believe, will give you pleasure, and I would gladly do any thing from which you could receive it.
I left St. Alban's on the seventeenth, and arrived that day at Cambridge, spent some time there with my brother, and came hither on the twenty-second. I have a lodging that puts me continually in mind of our summer excursions; we have had many worse, and except the size of it (which however is sufficient for a single man) but few better. I am not quite alone, having brought a servant with me from St. Alban’s, who is the very mirror of fidelity and affection for his master. And whereas the Turkish Spy says, he kept no servant because he would not have an enemy in his house, I hired mine, because I would have a friend. Men do not usually bestow these encomiums on their lackeys, nor do they usually deserve them, but I have had experience of mine, both in sickness and in health, and never saw his fellow.
The river Ouse, I forget how they spell it, is the most agreeable circumstance in this part of the world; at this town it is I believe as wide as the
Thames at Windsor; nor does the silver Thames better deserve that epithet, nor has it more flowers upon its banks, these being attributes which, in strict truth, belong to neither. Fluellin would say, they are as like as my fingers to my fingers, and there is salmon in both. It is a noble stream to bathe in, and I shall make that use of it three times a week, having introduced myself to it for the first time this morning. :
I beg you will remember me to all my friends, which is a task will cost you no great pains to execute--particularly remember me to those of your gwn house, and believe me . . . Your very affectionate
To Lady HESKETH.
Huntingdon, July 1, 1765. MY DEAR LADY HESKETH,
:: Since the visit you were so kind to pay me in the Temple, (the only time I ever saw you without pleasure) what have I not suffered? And since it has pleased God to restore me to the use
of my reason, what have I not enjoyed? You know, · by experience, how pleasant it is to feel the first ap
proaches of health after a fever; but, Oh the fever of the brain! To feel the quenching of that fire is indeed a blessing which I think it impossible to receive without the most consummate gratitude. Terrible as · this chastizement is, I acknowledge in it the hand of an infinite justice; nor is it at all more difficult for me to perceive in it the hand of an infinite mercy likewise : when I consider the effect it has had upon me, I am exceedingly thankful for it, and, without hypocrisy, esteem it the greatest blessing, next to life itself, I ever received from the divine bounty. I pray God that I may ever retain this sense of it, and then I am sure I shall continue to be, as I am at present, really happy.
I write thus to you, that you may not think me a forlorn and wretched creature; which you might be apt to do considering my very distant removal from every friend I have in the world--a circumstance, which before this event befel me, would undoubtedly have made me so; but my affliction has taught me a road to happiness, which without it I should never have found; and I know, and have experience of it every day, that the mercy of God, to him who be
lieves himself the object of it, is more than sufficient to compensate for the loss of every other blessing. . You may now inform all those whom you think really interested in my welfare, that they have no need to be apprehensive on the score of my happiness at present. And you yourself will believe that my happiness is no dream, because I have told you the foundation on which it is built. What I have written would appear like enthusiasm to many, for we are apt to give that name to every warm affection of the mind in others, which we have not experienced in ourselves; but to you, who have so much to be thankful for, and a temper inclined to gratitude, it will not appear so.
I beg you will give my love to Sir Thomas, and believe that I am obliged to you both for enquiring after me at St. Alban's.
To Lady HESKETH. . min . Huntingdon, July 4, 1765. :abs kissing
Being just emerged from the Ouse, I sit down to thank you, my dear Cousin, for your