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the wonders of this neighbourhood this evening. Our dinner has been eaten with a good appetite, though your brother objected to the cooking, and decidedly gave the preference to his own country in that arduous and respectable science. He is now sitting over his jug of ale (there I believe he will give the palm to us), with Voltaire's Zadig, which he has just purchased, in his hand. My pot of porter in the meantime gets a little respite. I must strive to regain my looks before I return to you, for the landlady here (an old friend of mine, who gave me credit for tarts and gingerbread at school) cried out, that she was sorry to see me so poorly. I can only hope that it is an exclamation which her compassionate heart prompts her to utter to all who are travelling the road to Buxton. rate, the sight of my beloved Jane will revive me. I always like to end with a fine speech; so adieu till to-morrow. Yours, most truly and affectionately,
H. F. CARY.
1798-1800. Death of his Father's Second Wife.—Letter to his Wife.--Sermons.
- Letters to his Wife and Mr. Price.—Literary Journal for
1798, 1799.—Letters to Mr. Price and his Sister. Early in the following year, 1798, the illness and consequent death of his father's second wife, whom he loved with the most tender filial affection, interrupted his studies for several months. We consequently find his Journal broken off in the month of January, and not resumed till the October following. The intended visit to his wife's relations in Ireland, owing to the political disturbances with which that unhappy country was then torn, was postponed to
the next year.
During a brief absence on this melancholy occasion he wrote the following letter
TO HIS WIFE.
Cannock, Monday Night, 1798. DEAREST JANE, I thank you very heartily for taking every opportunity of writing to me. Your two letters to-day have cheered me very much. You are perhaps right respecting my staying here until Wednesday,
But as you
for which morning the sad ceremony is fixed; though it will be very painful to me to undergo the sound and preparation for that scene. I purposed going to Lichfield to-morrow evening with Muckleston, and coming to you on Wednesday. seem to think
father's manner indicated a wish for my staying here, or else conjecture that he would wish it (for I do not perfectly understand which you mean), I shall make up my mind to staying here. Another reason for my thinking of spending Tuesday night at Lichfield instead of here was, that my father might not know which was the day. Tell me your opinion about all this. Urge Georgina on the subject of my note to her. I am happy tu hear such comfortable reports of my father, Georgina, and the three children. Tell my father all has gone on well in the farm since I have been here, not that I impute any merit to myself. I shall be glad when our meeting is over; but I must pluck up spirits, and be more brave than I have been yet. The prospect of seeing my darling Jane, or rather, the real sight of you must inspirit me. With my best love to all, I am, with still better than the best,
Your faithful husband,
H. F. CARY.
In 1799 he was able to prosecute his favourite studies with his usual ardour, the materials for which
were chiefly supplied from the library of the Grammar School at Birmingham. In the midst of his general reading, extensive as it was, he found time to study the writings of the early fathers : of these he has made but little mention in his Journal, but his note-book bears testimony to their having met with no less attention than the works of others more congenial to his taste. In his Sermons, however, he made more use of the high-toned and almost Christian ethics of Plato, than he did of the dogmatic and frequently inflamed eloquence of Gregory Nazianzen and Chrysostom.
An old school and college friend, the Rev. Thomas Pye Waters, of whose amiable eccentricities future letters will give a sufficient account, was driven by his necessities to publish a volume of Sermons by subscription, but not having energy to write them himself, called on others, and amongst them on Mr. Cary, to contribute from their own original stores. The volume made its appearance in print early in the year 1800; three of the discourses were from my father's pen; viz., one on Industry, another on the Sabbath Day, and a third on the Works of Nature.
Connected with the first of the three, I remember an amusing incident that occurred many years afterwards, about 1813. The writer of the Sermons was then Reader at Berkeley Chapel, in London, the pulpit of which was, according to the custom in proprietary chapels, filled on alternate Sundays by two
popular preachers. On our return home one Sunday after morning service, the sermon, as often happens, proved the subject of conversation.
Mrs. Cary expressed her admiration of the discourse; but her remarks were only answered by a smile, that subrisus which Mr. Digby has remarked as so very expressive in his friend's countenance. At length, when pressed for his opinion and the reason of his smiling, he said, “I was thinking of the clerk's estimate of the different degrees of importance belonging to the Preacher and Reader respectively.” He then told us an anecdote, of two strange clergymen being expected at a Londen. chapel: when the first arrived, the clerk, who woulu proportion the quantum of respect to the dignity Ji the person whom he addressed, inquired, “Pray, Sir, are you the gentleman that preaches or the man that reads prayers ?”
On reaching home, the above volume of Waters's was produced from its resting-place, and the admired sermon of the morning proved to be the one on Industry above mentioned; and an admirable sermon it is, only too didactic, too moral for these times.
The only other events that I have to record during the year 1799, are the birth of a daughter in the month of February, and the accomplishment of his projected visit to Wales and Dublin. In the intervening period he had accompanied his father on a visit to London; and during his absence wrote the following: