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injurious to the high poetic claims of the present age, and to his who first taught that perfection in poems written in rhyme, which refines all the dross from the golden language of genius.
I passed some hours last Tuesday in conversing with Lady Gresley of Bath, whom I have not seen during a period of near twenty years. I find her now what I thought her then, very sweet and interesting. She spoke of you, and of the dear
-s with great regard, but shook her head over the superb furniture of their house, and of routs that assembled three hundred people. I said I fancied not much of the furniture was new. She said, all seemed new, and magnificent in a degree very inconsistent with less than a very opulent forAlas! what infatuation! what are they doing but dazzling and exciting the envy of fools, and the censure of the wise.
Adieu! my dear Sophia.
Sept. 25, 1789.
I WISHED to have answered dear Mrs Hayley's letter sooner, but my correspondence has been sluiced off into such a variety of channels, as to load me with the imputation of a thousand seeming neglects, which my heart regrets in vain.
The death of Mrs French gave me more concern than we usually feel for the departure of those whom we do not personally know. Her character had interested me, and I looked forward with pleasure to the expectation of becoming acquainted with her. I was sorry also on your account. The loss of such a friend must make a chasm in your comforts and pleasures, which the limited intercourses of a provincial town do not readily or soon supply, but the vitality of friendship drops off, branch after branch, as we stay upon the earth.
One day last week, I was honoured by a visit from two young ambassadors of the court of Portugal -one to Denmark, the other to the Hague. They
brought letters of introduction. It surprised me to find them so well masters of our language, and so familiar with the characteristic graces of our deceased poets-but the envy of contemporaries -the desire, stupid as unjust, which all ages have shewn, to persuade themselves that genius is, during their day, in a state of degeneracy, prevents the growth and expansion of an author's reputation, till his eyes are eternally closed upon its lustre. I could not, however, help feeling indignant surprise, that Mr Hayley's works had not, by our soul-less countrymen, been mentioned to these ingenious foreigners, whose evident taste for the English classics, and acquaintance with their beauties, disgraces the comparative ignorance of our own men of fashion, and the unpatriotic pedantry of our scholars. The latter are generally owls and bats to genius, which is not presented to them through the medium of a dead language, or at least a foreign. This stupid silence to these gentlemen, upon what ought to be our boast, is the more strange, because of that warm, generous, and beautiful eulogium, in Mr Hayley's poem on Epic Composition, which twines the wreath of preeminence over all the Spanish bards, around the brows of the epic poet Camoens, of whom Portugal is so justly proud. I read the passage to the ambassadors, and the tears of delight rushed
into their eyes. They requested its reiterationtold me they should carry Mr Hayley's works back with them to Portugal, and spread the fame and generosity of their author along the shores of the Tagus.
Ah! you read Mr aright: he is very brilliant, very engaging, but much too fine to pay any attention to the communication of little plans which have no interest in common with his pleaHe did indeed say he had seen you, but made no mention of what you desired him to inform me, that kindly purposed visit of Mrs French and yourself, which the death of that lady so cruelly prevented.
Our races were very brilliant; rank, youth, and distinguished beauty, with all the advantages of jewels, and picturesque ornaments, swarmed over the ball-room. I designed accompanying my friends and guests, Lady Blakiston, Colonel and Miss Cane, into the gay crowd, and made up a dress for the purpose; but a perilous attack of my father's, the preceding Saturday, incapacitated me for cheerful endurance of the frizzeur's operations, and other uninteresting attentions of the toilette. As it happened, Lady B. was too much irritated to go into public, by a sudden influx and reflux of affectionate pleasure. It was occasioned by the not so early expected appearance of a be
loved sister, whom she had not seen for nine years; and that of a scarce less beloved nephew, just returned from a sixteen years residence in the East Indies. They staid only a few hours the first raceday, and left my friend to grieve for their departure, ere the kiss of welcome was grown cold upon her lip.
Tempted by the golden afternoon, I have taken a long walk. It has fatigued me too much to prolong my letter. Adieu, therefore, dear Mrs Hayley, and believe me always-Yours.
To the EDITOR of the GENERAL EVENING POST.
Oct. 11, 1789.
SIR,-There is a little misinformation in your account of the late Mr Day of Anningsly. His estate, after paying his mother's jointure, which he had generously augmented, was twelve hundred per annum. He married the ingenious and amiable Miss Mills of Yorkshire, whose fortune was twenty-three thousand pounds.