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July 31. Continued the Electra of Euripides to line 956.
August 1. Finished the Electra of Euripides. This play, on the same subject as the Choëphoræ of Æschylus and the Electra of Sophocles, has many beautiful and striking parts; but as a drama, which should have a lively and unbroken interest throughout, it is no doubt inferior to the other two. Began the Eumenides of Æschylus, and read to line 142.
2. Continued the Eumenides to line 399. 3. Continued the Eumenides to line 839.
4. Finished the Eumenides. This tragedy is full of terror, sublimity, and interest.
Saw Raphael's picture of the Holy Family, at Okeover, with Birch. I was happy to find myself still more delighted than before; but perhaps the feelings of each of us were heightened by sympathy.
Read “St. Patrick's Day, or the Scheming Lieutenant," a farce by Sheridan. After this name, there is little occasion to add that the piece has genuine humour.
5. Saw Mr. Wright's pictures at Derby, with Birch.
7. Began an Apology for the Bible, addressed to Thomas Paine by Watson, bishop of Llandaff.
8. Finished Watson's Apology for the Bible; a tract likely to be of service to the cause.
Mr. Cary's studies were now interrupted by the most important event in life, his marriage. As early as the year 1794, if not earlier, he had formed a sincere and ardent attachment to the youngest daughter of his mother's friend, Mrs. Ormsby : his self-command, however, had been so great that he had kept the object of his affections in entire ignorance of his wishes, through a visit of several months for two successive years. In July of this year, 1796, he addressed to Mrs. Ormsby a proposal of marriage with her youngest daughter: her answer appears to me so replete with feeling and good sense, that, however private and domestic, I cannot deny myself the gratification of its insertion.
LETTER FROM MRS. ORMSBY.
August 1, 1796. Your last kind letter was indeed an interesting one, my dear friend, and requires a speedy answer. It gave me pain and pleasure in the highest degree of both. To give my child to so worthy a man, the son of my dearest friend, is a most singular blessing, at the same time to part with her for life, and to consider the small income that can be made out between you, occasioned a conflict in my mind which proved you had rather too implicit a confidence in my friendship. It got the better, however, and you have her father's and my free consent-we are both proud of her being distinguished by such a man. Mr. Ormsby will write to Mr. Cary and mention what fortune he can afford to give, if he and you approve of it. We shall be happy to see you again at Sandymount, to plead your own cause with the young lady. I showed her your letter and fairly told her the inconveniences attending such an union, as I saw she seemed very sensible of the merit that counterbalanced them. At the same time she told me, with her usual good sense, that, not having had the smallest idea that you honoured her by a preference, she never thought of you, but as a most worthy, sensible, agreeable man; and that she thought a more intimate knowledge was necessary, before she left all to follow you. If, then, you can manage matters so as to pay the long-wished for visit, you shall be most joyfully received by all parties, and I think there is little doubt but you may go home more heavily loaded than you go out. If it should happen otherwise, for you are as free to choose as she is, remember it is better to repent beforehand than after.
The step you are now going to take is to influence the happiness of your whole future life, and cannot be too well considered. She has a good natural understanding, health and good humour—no accomplishments except chattering a little French—is a very good work-woman and housekeeper. I pray God these moderate talents may content you.
have nothing else to wish, as I cannot doubt of her good fortune, and have only to regret our separation.
My heart is too full to write on any other subject, so adieu. After the proof we have now given of mutual regard, compliments are unnecessary.
The little obstacles arising from slenderness of means were soon surmounted, and on the 19th of September, in the same year, he married Jane, daughter of James Ormsby, Esq., of Sandymount, near Dublin,
1796-1797. Mr. Cary's Domestic Pursuits. - Letters to his Wife.— Literary
Journal continued.— Letter to Mr. Price.-Begins the Translation of Dante.-Ode to General Kosciusko.-Sonnet on the Birth of a Son.—Letter to Mr. Birch and Mr. Digby.--Literary Journal for 1797.—Letter to his Wife,
On his return to Abbots Bromley, my father's literary studies were resumed, and he had brought with him one fully competent to share in his favourite pursuits. From this time till the period when domestic afflictions interrupted the quiet tenor of his life, it is scarcely possible to conceive a more refined and happy condition than his must have been; one, however, which is doubtless often hid under the roof of many a retired country parsonage. While his wife was engaged in her domestic duties, his mornings were spent either in his parish or his study ; in the evenings he read aloud, and, as was his custom to a very late period of life, talked over what was worth noticing in his own private readings of the day.
What great delight this course of life afforded him, may be estimated from the following extract from a letter written by his friend Birch a few months after this period. The account to which it