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A Letter from the Countess rf Pfarhfr#«, to the Countess of Hertford, afterwards Duchess of Somerset.

ing to the Gallery at Florence; from the jame.

THREE representations incoloured wax-«oik will for1 ever strike my memory with hdrrcr and admiration. One is the different progress of decay upon human bedies after deaths from the moment they are laid into their dismal receptacle, to th» tast abolition of the flesh, a skeleton. The second is a most melancholy representation of the state of persons either dead, or dying of the plague. These arc, both, in glass cabinets, preserved with the utmest nicety. They were executed during the reign of Ferdinand I. *, while the plague raged in Florence. The operator lived only to finish his work, and then fell a victim to the cruel pedilence, which he had represented f. The third (the first performance of the same author,) is an head. The fcin from the skull is turned down from one side of the face,' and the glands are plainly, too plainly, discovered. In viewing these pieces, each spectator endeavours to fly, but cannot.' He tries to turn away his eyes, but cannot. He stays against his will, and is chained against his inclination. "Now get you to my lady's "chamber, and tell her, let' hep "paint an inch thick, to this ta"vour (he must come."

Monts, Oct. >, 1738.

SINCE you have so kind a wish for me, dear madam, as thar of coming to my dressing-room, I will indulge the agreeable thought that it is ejected; and though J do not know how to believe you here, I will imagine I have placed you in my great chair, where, on vour left hand, is the fire, (no bad thing, this weather) and, on your right, a window, from which you fee the river, bordered on each side with meadows, vineyards, corn-fields, villages, and chateaux. I congratulate my own happiness in your arrival. I recount to you my journey, the things [ have seen, and the things I was forced to leave unseen, by the hurry we were in. And as, I believe, you may have heard less of St. Germain's than. Of some other palaces, I enlarge most upon that. I tell you it was built by that polite hero and gallant prince, Francis 1. J. In compliment to his mistress, wK6fe name was Diana, it is erected in form of a Gothic D, with five towers, and is six stories high; the three first are stone, the three highest brick, and there is an open gallery which runs round the middle on the outside with iron rails; within, is *

■ * He died in 1609.

■f These admirable pieces were the workmanship of Crrjctano Julio Zummo, a Sicilian ecclesiastic, whose" picture hangs near them. Ktysttr.

\ This prince (who died in 15+7) built many of the royal palaces in France, and adorneJ them all with pictures, staities, tapestry, and all kinds of choice smd costly furniture, ami is said never to have becu equalled in generosity, J'.vccuuia o£ temper, and magnificence.

«•■ • - coutt

court that coaches, to the degree of was at St. Germain's, lost her

a duke, have privilege of entering, youngest son, whose story has iome.

and the whole castle is encompassed thing so particular, that (as 1 can

with a large dry ditch,; over which answer both for the truth and know

are draw-bridges. The emblem of ledge of the persons who told it me)

this king was a salamander in believing it may entertain you, I

■flames, which is ptaced alternately will relate it.

.with a crowned F round the tur- He was born about the time of

rets, as also carried over the gate- the Revolution, and christened

way. The apaitments within are .Charles. As loon .as hi* mother

noble, and the conveniences for was able to travel, (as 1 said be

the servants very great. The gar- fore)' she followed her husband,

dens are not large, but there is, taking this boy along'With her;

perhaps, the finest terrace in the whose beauty, when he/grjtiw, up,

world on the side of the forest, two was only equalled by the wit,'po

thousand seven hundred yards long, litenefs, and a thousand other per

and fifty broad, from which you have a view ot the "Seine, and a most beautiful country. The sorest itself is of vast extent, and finely wooded, cut into walks and stars; and is by nature as much fitted for walking, as any garden in England is by art. In this paluce the fuc

fections that he possessed, and that made him the admirjatiou and delight of all his acquaintance. When he was old enough, he entered into the army, where his behaviour was answerable to all his other nierits. One winter that his regiment was quartered in NormanJy, he lodged

iceeding kings of prance generally in the house of au officer, who had

lived, till Lewis XIV. (who was an only daughter, young, pretty,

born here) built Versailles, much and ingenious. You will caliiy

more extensive, less noble, and re- guess, the event of this acqira;nt

figned this to King Jamet II. since ance was first a liking, and then a

the death of whose widow the royal love; and that so violent anil open

lodgings have been unfurnished, on his fide, that the father thought

and it is now of much the fame use fit to interpose, and tell him, with

;hat Somerset-hduse h in London, ail the respect due trom an inferior,

There are still some remains of that and all the warmth of an alarmed

.abdicated court: amongst others, parent, that " he knew his daugh

is Lady Middieton, sister to Lady "ter undeserving of the honour of

Westmoreland, and two years older than herself, in perfect possession of her health and senses. She followed her husband * out of England, was lady oi the bed-chamber to Queen Mary, and governess to the Princess Louisa, whose picture I saw, and, if I had not seen it there, should have taken it for oar Princess Caroline. This poor lady, while I

being his wife, but also thought her above being his mistress." On this he was obliged to quit the house, but could not quit his passion ; and.sinding equal return from the young lady, he, to assure her of his faith, and himself of hers, gave and received a contract. As this affair could not pass in silence, Lord Clare, (who was his colonel)

The Hail of Middieton, Secretary of State to King James II.
O 3

and

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and Others of his relations, sent word of it to Lady Middleton, who immediately ordered him to return home; where she made use of so man/arguments, threats, and persuasions, (amongst others, that he would ruin the young woman he Joved, as well as himself) that after contending with them for two or three years, ha yielded to write a letter, in which he said, that *' he believed it would be happier *' for her to think no more of a *' man, whose fnends were deter"mined never to receive her; and "that he might not be a hindrance "' to her fortune elsewhere, he re•' turned her promise, and desired "his." The lady sent it directly, assuring him she had never taken it with an intention to injure him, whose happiness she preferred to her own, and heartily wished it him in some more worthy choice; but did not long outlive her generosity, and his change, failing into a consumption, and dying within the year. The news of which made such an impression on Mr. Middleton, that from the most lively, he became the most melancholy of men; and, though he lived some years after, he never enjoyed life, for the last three months of which, he secluded himself from all company, and died of a fever that had no appearance of being mortal.

You see, dear Madam, by the length of my discourse, I do not mean to part soon with you, whenever you come, for I find myself on the last side of my paper, and have not asked you one of those many things 1 want to know. The actions, the words, the designs of

our acquaintances, mult be agreeable to hear of, if you relate them; for even the duke of Marlborough'i purchase, in Lady Hertford's letter, is worth the money. Write me word then, dear madam, what is doing where we do no more, but, safe in harbour, see the main covered with floating vessels, some sailing with auspicious gales, some struggling with adverse winds, some cruising, some finking. I am not out of humour with the world, though retired from it, and therefore should take as much pleasure in hearing how it goes, as in seeing a new play; where, though I am no actor, I am as attentive to the opening, progress, and catastrophe of the plot. I believe, you will more than once wish, (if you have the patience to read this out) that I had thoughtofconcluding sooner; but since I have gone so far, I must detain you so much longer, as to siy, I am, dear Madam,

Your Ladyship's most faithful,
and most obedient,

humble servant, Henrietta Louisa Pomsret.

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* This lady, as eminent for her virtues as her rank, the friend of Mrs. Rowe, died in x7J+. She was eldest daughter of the Hon. Henry Thynne,

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rather to increase than diminish; yet the disposition os mind with which you receive this painful dispensation, seems to convert your sufferings into a blessing: while

beloved child was snatched from us before we could hear of his illness: that fatal disease, the small-pox, seized him at Bologna, and carried him off the evening of his birth

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you resign to the will of God in so day f, on which he had completed patient a manner, this disease seems nineteen years. Two posts before, only the chastisement of a wise and I had a letter from him, written merciful Being, who chasteneth not with all the life and innocent for his own pleasure, but for our chearfulness inherent to his nature; prosit. Were 1 not convinced of the next but one came from his this great truth, I fear I must long afflicted governor J, to acquaint since have funk under the burden his unhappy father, that he had of sorrow, which God saw sit to lost the most dutiful and best cf

sons, the pride and hope of his declining age. He bore the stroke like a wile man and a Christian, but never forgot, nor"ceased to sigh for it, A long series of pain and

wean my foolish heart from this vain world, and show me how little all the grandeur and riches of it avail to happiness. He gave me a son •, who promised all that the

fondest wishes of the fondest parents infirmity, which was daily gaining

could hope; an honour to his family, an ornament to his country; with a heart curly attached to all the duties of religion and society, with the advantage of strong and uninterrupted health, joined to a form, which, when he came into Italy, made him more generally known by the mm; os the " Eng~ "lish angel," than by that of his family. I know, this account may look like a mother's fondness; perhaps it was too much lo once: hut alas! it now 6nly serves to show the uncertainty and frailty of all human dependence. This justly

ground, shewed me the sword which appeared suspended over my bead by an almost cobweb thread, long before ic dropped §. As to my bodily pains, I blels God, they are by no means insupportable at present: I rather suffer a languid state of weakness, which wastes my flesh and consumes my spirits by a gentle decay, than any frightful suffering, and am spending those remains of nature which were almost exhausted in continued care aad anxiety for the sufferings of-a person dearer to me than myself. My daughter J], who is very good

{only sen of Thomas Lord Viscount Weymouth) and mother of the present Dutches* of Northumberland.

* George Lord Viscount Beauchamp, who died at Bologna in Italy, September j i, 1744..

♦ September 11, 1744.

j Mr. (afterwards Pr.) Dalton was tutor to Lord Beauchamp j but the •* Supplement to the Biographical Dictionary,' (published in 1767) fays, " a •• bad state of hfalth prevented him from attending h:s pupil on his travels *« abioad, and laved him the mollification of being an eye-witness of his '« death."

§ Algernon Duke of S"merset died Fe!>. 7, 174.9-50.

JJ TheCcninlels (now Dutchels) of Northumberland.

O 4 to * Now Loid Ake'r.on Percy.

to me, has sent me her youngest son *, just turned of four years old, to amuse rue in my solitude, because he is a great favourite of mine, and thews a great deal of his uncle's disposition, and some faint likeness of his person. It is high time to release you from so long a letter, but there are some subjects on which my tears and pen know not how to stop, when they begin to flow,

I am, dear Madam,

Your sincerely affectionate friend,

1

F.Somerset.

An Account of two Jcurniu into Wales.

Bishop Herring f to Mr. DunCombe.

Rochester \, Nov. 3, 1737. Dear Sir,

I Thank you most affectionately for your obliging enquiry after me, and I bless God, have the satisfaction to inform you that I am very well, after the most agreeable journey I ever 1 ad in my life. We travelled slowly and commodioufly, and found Wales a country altogether as entertaining as it was new. The face of it is grand, and be

speaks the magnificence of.Nature; and so.enlarged my mind, in the fame manner as the stupendoufnef* of the ocean does, that it was some time before I could be reconciled again to the level countries: their beauties were al! in the little tafie; and J am afraid if I had seen Stow in my way home, I should have thrown out some very unmannerly reflections upon it. I should have smiled at the little niceties of art, and beheld with contempt an artificial ruin, after I had.been agreeably terrified with something like the rubbish of a creation. Not but that Wales has its little beauties too, in delightful streams and fine valleys; but the things which en. tertained me were the vast ocean, and ranges of rocks, whose foundations are hid, and whose tons reach the clouds. 1 know something of your cast of mind, I believe, ar,d I will therefore take the liberty to give you an account of an airing one fine evening, which I stiall never forget. 1 went out in the cool of the day, and rode near four miles upon the smooth store, with an extended view of the ocean, whose waves broke at our feet in gentle murmurs: frorrt thence we turned into a little village, with a neat church and houses, which stood just at the entrance of a deep valley: the rocks rose high, and near, at each hand of us, but were,

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j- Afterwards successively Archbishop of York and Canterbury. "This «' amiable prelate," (as lie is justly characterised by the late Dr. Jorrin) «' had «' piely without superstition, and moderation without meanness, ::n open and "a liberal way of thinking, and a constant attachment to the cause of sober "and rational liberty, civil and religious. Thus be lived and died, and few •' great men pasted through this malevolent world better beloved, and less "censured, than he." Life of Erasnnu, vol. i. p. 41, note.

His Grace died March rj, 175?, aged 64.

J His Lordship held this deanery in co.imiendam with his bistioprick.

or.

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