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than either Mrs. Lally's or Mrs. Coulthurst's, who dined here the other day, and expects to undergo the same humiliation again on Monday next, when we are to meet them at Dosthill. I comfort her as well as I can, and have promised to ask you what is the longest train you have seen at Cheltenham, measuring from the heel.
We have lately been much amused by Lady Mary Wortley Montague's letters, newly published with many additions, particularly her letter from Italy to her daughter, Lady Bute, in the latter part of her life, which are far more interesting than any of the rest, and give a much more pleasing impression of her character. I almost envy you the good circulating library you have at Cheltenham, where you may get this or any other new book. It is true I can do almost as much at Sutton. But I am obliged to get a number at once, and then can't help devouring them all as fast as I can swallow, by which means I am forced to keep fast for a month or two afterwards. I never feel this want so strongly as during the foggy weather we have had for these last four or five days. How do you contrive to keep it off with your coals 50s. a ton ? I am inclined to attribute the high price that coals have lately risen to, to the thin garments that you ladies now wear, which makes you consume so much more fuel to keep yourselves warm, though you may now pay Paul without robbing Peter. Pray ask Caroline and Mary if they know what I allude to.
I have not heard from William for some time, nor seen any of the pheasants he offered to send to any of my friends, but which I more discreetly asked for myself. Have you had any of them ? Jane desires her love. She and the children are all very hearty, and do not forget their aunts, whose affectionate brother I am always,
H. F. CARY.
It was in the month of July or August of this year that an incident occurred, which in after life he was frequently used to relate with affectionate gratitude. On his return from London to Kingsbury he was taken suddenly ill at the Mitre Inn, Oxford ; Dr. Bourne, to whom he was personally unknown, was called in. The patient was not provided with means to bear the expenses of a long illness at a distance from home, and as his bodily health returned Dr. Bourne perceived that something which weighed on his mind retarded his recovery, and, rightly judging the cause, at once stated his own conviction, and insisted on my father's accepting a loan of money from his purse.
Still, although disabled from prosecuting a continuous course of study, he must have had intervals of improved health ; for during this period he must have translated a considerable portion of the Inferno of Dante. As his Journal has informed us, he began translating that portion of the Divina Commedia on the 23d of May, 1800, and in the autumn of 1804
his work was sufficiently advanced to warrant his offering it for publication.
In October of the same year he made an excursion to Cambridge, in company with his friend Wilkes, of which the following letters give some account.
TO HIS WIFE.
Daventry, October 15, 1804. MY DEAREST JANE, Kingsbury, from whence my friend Wilkes and myself set out this morning, is a very pleasantly situated village on the river Tame. We particularly admired the neat little vicarage close to the church on the brow of an eminence and commanding a delightful view of the valley, and heard that the present vicar is a most respectable man with a charming wife and family. How much it is to be regretted that such men are not promoted to situations in which their talents and virtues may be of more use to society. But not to dwell on such melancholy reflections, we proceeded to Coventry through a wellwooded and cultivated country. In that city having a slight acquaintance with Mr. Waters, whom you must have heard of as one of the first divines of the age, but who is also suffered to remain unprovided for, we presumed to call with the intention of paying our respects to him, but found that the good man had walked out to one of his curacies (for he is a pluralist in that way) to baptize a child. Reconciling
ourselves as well as possible to such a disappointment, we drove on through Dunchurch to this place, and as I believe you travelled this road last summer, it is superfluous to give you any account of it. Suffice it to say that we arrived here safe, and intend taking up our abode here for the night.
We have just walked out after eating our dinner, with the intention of visiting Burrow hill, a Roman encampment at the distance of about three quarters of a mile. But finding it rain we were contented with looking at it from the skirts of the town, and walked back to the inn through the churchyard and main street, the former of which incloses a large church of stone not of very elegant architecture; the latter has also many stone houses, and, as well as I could discern by moonlight, has an air of neatness and is well flagged.
Tuesday, Northampton. This morning I walked out before breakfast to survey the remains of the priory at Daventry, which we had overlooked last night. They are close to the church. What is left of that building appears to be the refectory and a wall of the church. It stands close to the present church. Leaving Daventry we passed, with Burrow hill to our right, and the village of Weldon on high woody ground to our left, about two miles, and at that distance from Daventry reached Norton, a village of stone cottages thatched, into which we entered through a shady lane, and continued through a lane of the same description till we crossed Watling
Street, and soon reached the village of Whitton, resembling Norton, but less neat. Hence the country became more bold and open, and we saw Holmeby House at some distance to our left, where Charles the First was confined. At about six miles from Daventry we reached Great Brington, where is a fine old church of Saxon-Norman structure in a pretty church-yard well darkened with trees. Lord Spencer's grounds join it; and I walked down an avenue of respectable oaks for about a quarter of a mile. Entering the porter's lodge we were struck with the appearance of Althorpe Park, abounding in oaks that surround the house almost on every part, and are neither too formally disposed nor scattered about with affected negligence, and more than one old avenue is still suffered to remain. The house agrees well with the grounds, being plain and handsome. It is stored with pictures, and books yet more valuable. Of the former, which are very numerous, we were most pleased with a Holy Family by Raphael, a Virgin and Child, painter unknown, Witches by Salvator Rosa, a miniature of Holbein by himself, a young man's head by Rembrandt, family pictures by Sir Joshua Reynolds, a full length of Lord Spencer by Copley, Algernon Sydney by Vandyke, but on the whole the collection is not very choice. We were, however, extremely satisfied with what we had seen.
From Althorpe is six miles of better road than the last, which traversed a cross country. Nothing remarkable occurred till we reached this town, on