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Faisest of Country Cousins, I kiss your hands once more, “after long seeming dead, and adjure you to awake from your summer slumbers, more dumbery-sweet than ever, — like the Sleeping Beauty of your mamma's effete adorer, the ever gentle Skeffy, and listen once again to the voice oftheeharmed,—who, when absent from you, never feels that he is fulfilling “his being's end and aim,' but when he is wafting to you, on the satin wings of the general post, those tidings of his and ‘the world's' whereabout, which you condescend to acrept with such sweetly affected gratitude.

But do you Selina, that these lines are traced by my hand 2 Can you credit that I have contrived to live through the ‘working' of the Reform Bill, and the

really beileve,

Christmas festivities—which have teemed with nothing else—which have been, in fact, a sort of ofarciamento of those?—Yet so it is ; and I am installed here in my favourite solitude once more, after my return from-not, I rejoice to say, for —the horrid borough of —, where they treated I treated them. My father insisted upon my standing—and you *now I am the most dutiful of sons; but as he did not also insist upon my coming in (thinking that would follow of course)—and as I did not think fit to volunteer what he did not insist upon -namely, my making myself amiable in the eyes of the monsters on whose wills and pleasures my

me as unceremoniously as

Parliamentary existence hung-here I am, a free *Rent once more, with the firm determination *er to accept any seat harder or more incomodious than my favourite fauteuil, invented for *by Gillow, and never to make another speech' * I live, but those which are destined to be *red into your exquisite little left ear:—that, * You know, being my especial favourite—for

*ots best known to itself. But now that the Reform Bill is fairly done ** and the elections are unfairly over, and the *perate festivities of our despairing friends, the Tories, have come to an untimely end,--what need or can I tell you of all these matters, but * (like Troy) they have been 2 And as for London containing any other than country news, * is out of the question at this season. In * nothing is going forward there, but the - whom you know nothing;-nay—

193. 1833.

nothing is even going backward there, but the theatres—of which you know less. It is a city as eventless as that of the dead;—for to tell you that Pozzo di Borgo has just arrived in it, were to affront at once your delicate ear and your divine ignorance of diplomatic fame:—for what is Pozzo di Borgo to you, but a name without a deed—and a very uneuphonous one, too? And of what avail were it, to tell you that old Talleyrand is going to retire from his too easy task of mystifying and cajoling respectively our English Tories and Whigs; because, he says, it does not keep his wit alive. Stay: I have a thing to tell you. Itanelagh, cocaped the amateur perils of the trenches of Antwerp, has just arrived in Sackville street, as debonnair as ever, having met with no remarkable adventure during his absence, except that of being smiled at, at second-hand, in the perfumed pages of your favourite Court Journal,—some say by himself! — and of not being shot at by the Dutch He says that for the Dutch to have got a sight of his meat little tournure, and not to have taken it as a pcrsonal insult upon their whole nation, was a slight not to be endured: so he came away. The only other pieces of actual news that may claim your attention are, the appearance of Mrs Sullivan's ‘Recollections of a Chaperon'—the chaperon being chaperoned into the world by Lady Dacre; and the advent (from Slopperton Cottage) of a second number of “Evenings in Greece.” The first I will wait till I read, before I report to you on its demerits: for of its merits you must report to me. Of the second I will say nothing till I hear you sing them. For the rest, I have nothing to tell you, unless it be of two or three coming events' that just now cast their lights (not “shadows") before.” The most important of these is the promised evening at Hatfield House on the 16th, when a Bal costumé is to celebrate the return of Grimston for Hertfordshire. The place is capitally adapted for such a scene. The length and lugubrious splendor of the beautiful old oaken gallery will shew off the attire with great éclat : and the stately glories of the King's Drawingroom (which were renewed last year) will offer a noble contrast. Have you a notion whether your Fates will think fit to let you appear among the guests (say, either as Flizabeth, or as Amy Robsart—for you alone are capable of shining forth with an equally appropriate lustre as either);-as, in that case, I shall go : for I have received the needful missive to that effect. If not, pray let me know on the instant: for 1 would not “waste my sourmess on the desart air' of Hatfield at such a season as this, without a fitting bribe.

The only other affair in immediate prospect is the birth-day fote of the Duke, at Belvoir Castle, on Friday. It is to be very gay and gorgeous, they say; but I do not believe them, and it is too far to go and see:–gaiety and gorgeousness cannot go together. By the bye, have you heard how cruelly our friend ID e eclipsed the glories of Lady Gl l's soirée the other night, en revanche for her Ladyship's interference with his love projects on the heart (not to mention the settlement) of Miss M ? IIe interdicted all the men in town from attending it; and there were twenty beauties to every beau! “If I hold up my finger,' said the facetious Tom, “not a man will go.”— And he did hold up his finger.—After this, can we wonder at the fair of Hertford turning against him, and letting a rough sailor and a smooth litterateur usurp his seats: for they were both his, and he treated them as such. Poor Spalding, too ! he has lost the Lord (Chancellor) knows how much (at Newmarket) on the event of his coming in, which Tommy ensured to him : I have no more to tell you, fairest,-unless it be that my excellent friend Gully is returned to the new Parliament, and that the Opera and St Stephens open together, at the end of the month— when, and not before, I shall open my ears and eyes to the claims of external matters. Adieu, most placable!—in virtue of which character I shall address you a week hence,—even though I should have less to tell you than the nothing above propounded. Ever thy loving cousin,

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I cosress that I had great pains taken to teach me every kind of what is called useful knowledge, which, however, I determined from seven years old never to attend to. I voted it all an humbug of the governess's, for mamma never did, or theught about, anything of the kind. I confess also that I had from my youth a disregard for, and dislike at, religion, chiefly because I thought it unfashionable, and that it interfered with amusement. I caught hold, therefore, of the received axioms and aphorisms of the people I lived with—namely, that all expression of religious feeling was cant; all attendance on its institutions, all reverence for its professors, hypocrisy; and this in one sweeping clause, without any exception—that being the shortest way to silence conscience, and enjoy one's independence of action. I confess the being called a sensible person, when I made these assertions, tended very much to confirm me in them, and in the good opinion I entertained of myself.

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