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the banks of the discoloured and reedy Neu, which we crossed. We find it neat, but less important than we expected. We have dined to-day with Mr. Mainwaring, and finding considerable difficulties in our plan of visiting Olney and Weston, intend proceeding directly to Cambridge, and have taken places in the coach for that purpose.
It is near twelve o'clock. So good night, my dear Jane. My eyes are dim and my hand falters. Love to all the sweet children, and kindest remembrances to Price and Georgina. Your ever faithful and fond husband,
H. F. CARY.
TO THE SAME.
Cambridge, October 17, 1804. MY DEAREST JANE, We arrived here at seven o'clock this evening. You cannot expect much account of the country we have passed through, as we have travelled in a coach, but indeed there has been little that seemed to require a more leisurely inspection.
Our route lay through Wellingborough, Thrapston, and Huntingdon, three small towns of stone, all neat, but each neater than the other according to the order I have mentioned them in. The last is famous for having been the birth-place of Oliver Cromwell, whose house we saw. It was also, as you may remember, the residence of Cowper and the Unwins. The country from Northampton here is rather deficient in wood, and grows gradually worse as it comes nearer Cambridge, except that it wears a pleasanter aspect about Huntingdon, where the Ouse (a river in character much like the Neu) winds in a broad stream through a spacious green meadow. I did not mention in my last that the Neu is navigable as high up as Northampton, as the Ouse is at least as high as Huntingdon. The road almost all the way from that town is extremely dreary, being very flat and almost entirely destitute of trees and hedges. The new inclosure will soon supply the latter deficiency.
As soon as we had drunk tea we were both disposed to wander about the town, under a very bright moonlight. It has shown us Trinity College and King's College Chapel to greater advantage probably than they will appear by day. The former is more splendid and palace-like, but not equal in sublime effect to Christ Church. As for the latter, where shall I find words to express my admiration and delight? As I stood almost close under it and looked up, it reminded me of a description in Milton,
" A rock
The other buildings seemed like toys after it. But more of this to-morrow or the following day. It is now ten o'clock, and we rose at six and have had little rest since.
October 18. We have this morning walked over
most of the Colleges. The buildings had a finer effect by moonlight. The Senate-house alone, which is a beautiful structure of the Corinthian order, is improved by the full view afforded of all its parts by the light of day. What is called the backs of the Colleges is extremely pleasing. It is a walk that passes behind several of the Colleges with the river Cam between (a narrow, deep, muddy stream either bordered with stone or stone-like brick piers, or with a very smooth green bank), and is shaded by avenues of large trees, lime, elm, and some willows, in different directions.
We have not entered the inside of any of the buildings except Pembroke, and that was accidental, as we were inquiring of an old servant which were Gray's rooms. He showed them to us, and then led us into the hall, out of which he helped to carry Gray, when he was suddenly seized with the fit that terminated his life. On further recollection, we also walked into the hall of Trinity College, which, though a fine room, is very inferior to that at Christ Church.
Mr. Charles Blick is coming to dine with us, and in the evening we are engaged to Mr. Boon, whom you may remember to have seen at our house the winter before last.
On the whole I am much more gratified by this place than I expected. The town particularly is far better than I supposed. The streets indeed are narrow, but they are well flagged and tolerably neat and clean, and both Wilkes and I think it appears larger than Oxford.
In my next letter I hope to be able to tell you when we shall leave Cambridge. There is much yet to be seen, and something I trust out of the University library, from which Mr Boon has very kindly promised to get me books. I write in great haste.
Believe me to be, dearest Jane, ever yours truly and faithfully,
H. F. CARY.
TO THE SAME.
Ely, October 20, 1804. MY DEAR JANE, We left Cambridge this morning at seven o'clock, and having seen the cathedral here, are about to set out for Peterborough. It is uncertain what route we shall take from that place, but I hope to reach either Coleshill or Kingsbury on Wednesday, or at farthest, on Thursday next. It will not, therefore, be likely that another letter will reach you. You will not get this perhaps till Tuesday. Not one from you have I seen since I left home, and now certainly shall not see one. We yesterday saw the inside of the libraries and public buildings best worth attention in Cambridge. The inside of the public library is very inferior to the Bodleian. That of Trinity is a noble room. I inquired there for a copy of my great grandfather's admission into that college and obtained it.
The road from Cambridge here, though entirely flat, is much less dreary than I expected, exhibiting at present very little appearance of fen, but in winter, I am told, it is covered with water.
The chaise is at the door; and I have no time to add more than that I long to see you once more. Love to all around you. Ever yours truly and affectionately,
H. F. CARY.
Wilkes is not ready. I may therefore tell you that this cathedral, though exhibiting a very grand specimen of Saxon architecture, is much injured by time and injudicious alterations. It is besides very dirty.
Since mention was last made of his children, his family had been increased by the addition of two sons; one born in June, 1802, another in February, 1804. About the latter date his father married a third wife, Mary, daughter of — Bunbury, Esq., of Bath, by whom he had one child, a daughter; and in the autumn of the same year the subject of this memoir had the gratification to see his sister Georgina united in marriage to his friend the Rev. Thomas Price.