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WILLIAM COWPER, ESQR.
BY WILLIAM HAYLEY, Esqr.
“ Observatur oculis ille vir, quo neminem ætas nostra graviorem, sanctiorem,
Plinii Epist. Lib. 4, Ep. 170
PRINTED BY J. SEAGRAVE,
LIFE OF COWPE R.
THE visit of Lady Hesketh, to Olney, led to a very favourable change in the residence of Cowper. He had now passed nineteen years in a scene, that was far from suiting him. The house, he inhabited, looked on a market-place; and once, in a season of illness, he was so apprehensive of being incommoded by the bustle of a fair, that he requested to lodge, for a single night, under the roof of his friend Mr. Newton; and he was tempted by the more comfortable situation of the vicarage, to remain fourteen months in the house of his benevolent neighbour. His intimacy with this venerable divine was so great, that Mr. Newton has described it in the following remarkable Vol. 3.
terms, in memoirs of the poet, which affection in-
Mr. Newton records, with a becoming satisfaction, the evangelical charity of his friend: “ He loved the poor,” says his devout memorialist : “ He often “ visited them in their cottages, conversed with them “ in the most condescending manner, sympathized. “ with them, counselled and comforted them in their “ distresses; and those, who were seriously disposed, “ were often cheered, and animated, by his prayers!” After the removal of Mr. Newton, to London, and the departure of Lady Austen, Olney had no particular attractions for Cowper; and Lady Hesketh was happy in promoting the project, which had occurred to him, of removing, with Mrs. Unwin, to the near and pleasant village of Weston. A scene highly favourable to his health and amusement! For, with a