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men, at one o'clock. Do me the favour to drop in as Mrs. Murley. I did the duty at St. Paul's; the organ and music were excellent.
I went to Court, and, horrible to relate! with strings to my shoes instead of buckles-not from Jacobinism, but ignorance. I saw two or three Tory lords looking at me with dismay, was informed by the Clerk of the Closet of my sin, and gathering my sacerdotal petticoats about me (like a lady conscious of thick ankles), I escaped further observation. My residence is in February, March, and July.
(To the Countess of Morley.) Noble countenance, expressing quite sufficient when at rest, too much when in activity. Middling voice, provincial accent, occasional bad taste; language often very happy, with flights of mere eloquence; not the vehicle of reasoning, or of profound remark. Very difficult, when the sermon was over, to know what it was about; and the whole effect rather fatiguing and tiresome.
READING IN AGE.
(To Lady Holland, Combe Florey, 1831.) Read Cicero's "Letters to Atticus," translated by the Abbé Mongon, with excellent notes. I sit in my beautiful study, looking upon a thousand flowers, and read agreeable books, in order to keep up arguments with Lord Holland and Allen. I thank God heartily for my comfortable situation in my old age-above my deserts, and beyond my former hopes.
TO EARL GREY IN OFFICE.
(1831.) Pray keep well, and do your best, with a gay and careWhat is it all, but the scratching of pismires upon a heap of earth? Rogues are careless and gay, why not honest men? Think of the Bill in the morning, and take your claret in
evening, totally forgetting the Bill. You have done admirably up to this time.
EPIGRAM ON PROFESSOR AIRY,
(To John Murray, Combe Florey, 1832.) We are living here with windows all open, and eating our own ripe grapes grown in the open air; but, in revenge, there is no man within twenty miles who knows anything of history, or angles, or of the mind. I send Mrs. Murray my epigram on Professor Airy,, of Cambridge, the great astronomer and mathematician, and his beautiful wife :
Airy alone has gained that double prize
Which forced musicians to divide the crown;
(To the Countess Grey, Combe Florey, 1832.) will have killed by the end of the year about one person in every thousand. Therefore it is a thousand to one (supposing the cholera to travel at the same rate) that any person does not die of the cholera in any one year. This calculation is for the mass; but if you are prudent, temperate, and rich, your chance is at least five times as good that you do not die of the cholera-in other words, five thousand to one that you do not die of cholera in a year; it is not far from two millions to one that you do not die any one day from cholera. It is only seven hundred and thirty thousand to one that your house is not burnt down any one day. Therefore it is nearly three times as likely that your house should be burnt down any one day, as that you should die of cholera; or, it is as probable that your house should be burnt down three times in any one year, as that you should die of cholera.
(To Dr. Holland, Combe Florey, June, 1835.) I am suffering from my old complaint, the hay-fever (as it is called). My fear is, perishing by deliquescence; I melt away in nasal and lachrymal profluvia. My remedies are warm pediluvium, cathartics, topical application of a watery solution of opium to eyes, ears, and the interior of the nostrils. The membrane is so irritable,
SYMPATHY AND FAHRENHEIT.
that light, dust, contradiction, an absurd remark, the sight of a Dissenter anything, sets me sneezing; and if I begin sneezing at twelve, I don't leave off till two o'clock, and am heard distinctly in - Taunton, when the wind sets that way-a distance of six miles. Turn your mind to this little curse. If consumption is too powerful for physicians, at least they should not suffer themselves to be outwitted by such little upstart disorders as the hay-fever.
OLD AGE TO BE PASSED IN THE CITY.
(To Mrs., Paris, 1835.) I suspect the fifth act of life should be in great cities; it is there, in the long death of old age, that a man most forgets himself and his infirmities; receives the greatest consolation from the attentions of friends, and the greatest diversion from external circumstances.
AFFECTION AND THE THERMOMETER.
(To Mrs. ——, July, 1836.) Very high and very low temperature extinguishes all human sympathy and relations. It is impossible to feel affection beyond 78°, or below 20° of Fahrenheit; human nature is too solid or too liquid beyond these limits. Man only lives to shiver or to perspire. God send that the glass may fall, and restore me to my regard for you, which in the temperate zone is invariable.
(To Lady Ashburton. With a Print.) Dear Lady Ashburton: Miss Mildmay told me yesterday that you had been looking about for a print of the Rev. Sydney Smith. Here he is-pray accept him. I said to the artist, "Whatever you do, preserve the orthodox look."
DIGESTION AND THE VIRTUES.
(To Arthur Kinglake, obliged by the present of
Combe Florey, 1837.) I am much your brother's book.*
brother's book.* I am convinced
digestion is the great secret of life; and that character, talents, virtues, and qualities, are powerfully affected by beef, mutton, pie-crust, and rich soups. I have often thought I could feed or starve men into many virtues and vices, and affect them more powerfully with my instruments of cookery than Timotheus could do formerly with his lyre.
TOWN AND COUNTRY.
(To Miss G. Harcourt, London, 1838.) The summer and the country, dear Georgiana, have no charms for me. I look forward anxiously to the return of bad weather, coal fires, and good society, in a crowded city. I have no relish for the country; it is a kind of healthy grave. I am afraid you are not exempt from the delusions of flowers, green turf, and birds; they all afford slight gratification, but not worth an hour of rational conversation: and rational conversation in sufficient quantities is only to be had from the congregation of a million of people in one spot. God bless you!
(To Lady Davy, London, 1840.)
Do you remember that
passage in the "Paradise Lost," which is considered so beautiful?
"As one who, long in populous cities pent,
I think this
simile very unjust to London, and I have amended the I read it over to Lady Charlotte Lindsay and the Miss Berrys. The question was, whom the gentleman should see first when he arrived in London; and after various proposals, it was at last unanimously agreed it must be you; so it stands thus:
"As one who, long in rural hamlets pent,
Or lamps each city sight, each city sound.
I tried the verses with names of other ladies, but the universal opinion was, in the conclave of your friends, that it must be you; and this told, now tell me, dear Lady Davy, how do you do? Shall we ever see you again? We are dying very fast here; come and take another look at us. Mrs. Sydney is in the country in rather bad health; I am (gout and asthma excepted) very well.
(To Mrs. Grote, London, 1839.) The "Great Western" turns out very well-grand, simple, cold, slow, wise, and good.
[When Mr. Webster, says Lady Holland (Mem. p. 252), was Secretary of Foreign Affairs for the United States, my father heard it reported from America that an accidental mistake he had made, in introducing Mr. Webster, on his coming to this country some time before (I believe to Lord Brougham), under the name of Mr. Clay, was intentional, and by way of joke. Annoyed that so much impertinence and bad taste should be imputed to him, he wrote a few lines of explanation to Mr. Webster, to which he received the following answer.]
"Washington, 1841. My Dear Sir: Though exceedingly delighted to hear from you, I am yet much pained by the contents of your note; not so much, however, as I should be, were I not able I a peremptory denial to the whole report. never mentioned the incident to which you refer, as a joke of from it; nor did I mention it as anything extraordinary.
'My dear, good friend, do not think me such a
as to quote
or refer to any incident falling out between you and me to your