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LXXVIII. From Bp. Horne.
Nayland, Aug. 21, 1793. A GENTLEMAN with whom the late Dr. Horne, Bishop of Norwich, kept up a literary correspondence for many years, has preserved a very large and valuable collection of his letters.' The following, which was written near thirty years ago, was the first we laid our hands upon by accident: but, being so remarkable in itself, and so suitable to the present times (for it is actually prophetical of the present state of France, we send it as a specimen of the style and manner of his private correspondence, and of the great subjects which were always uppermost in his mind. By giving it a place in your valuable Miscellany, you will probably gratify many of your friends, and oblige your constant reader.
“MY DEAR FRIEND, Coll. Mag. June 6, 1764. “ Have you heard yet from the Abbé Nolet? A friend saw, the other day, a letter from Sir James Macdonald, now at Paris with Lord Hertford, in which Sir James informed his correspondent, that the French philosophers liked Mr. Hume (secretary to the British ambassador) in the main very well; but disproved of certain religious prejudices not yet shaken off, which hindered him from aspiring to perfection. This at first seems an irony, and a pretty strong one. But Sir_James explains himself by adding, that the great men in France were, most of them, deep in Materialism, and had discarded the belief of God, which our worthy Scottish philosopher refused to do: “so that poor Hume,” says Sir James, “who on your side of the water was thought to bave too little religion, is here thought to have too much." Is not this a very amazing anecdote? Yet upon inquiry, I am apt to fear there is too much truth in the representation. D'Alembert, they tell me, is such a character. The Czarina sent for him to educate her children; but he would not go: he is a great favourite with the Prussian hero. Maupertuis was of the same sort. short, so far as I can find, infidelity and republicanism have crossed the straits of Dover, and are more likely to subdue France than any other of her enemies. A young gentleman wrote to his father from Paris, that a notion prevailed, of the government ere long intending to seize the religious houses, and send the monks after the Jesuits. And now we talk of Jesuits, an Englishman of that order, Thomas Phillips, has just published a quarto volume, being the first part of the Life of Cardinal Pole, printed here by Jackson. He is a writer of great learning and elegant taste. The character of his hero is a very amiable one; and he has introduced us to most of the celebrated Italian wits of that age, with whom Pole was intimate, as Sadolet, Bembo, Longolius, Contarini, &c. Sir Thomas Moore, and Bishop Fisher, appear with great lustre. K. Henry VIIL Vicar-general Cromwell, poor Nanny Boleyn, Luther, Calvin, and the reformers, cut very sorry figures indeed. Erasmus has justice as a scholar, but is pronounced an Arian, a scoffer, a blasphemer. The last section, and it is the longest in the book, contains the proceedings and decrees of the council of Trent, where for some time Pole presided as legate. That council, Mr. Phillips gives us to understand, was composed of the most learned and holy fathers, who exhibited to mankind the most perfect plan of Christian doctrine and discipline, without advancing any thing but what had been in the church from the beginning. It was, in his opinion, a council which bore the nearest possible resemblance to that which met at Jerusalem. I observe, he denies the Pope's deposing power, and pleads, as Pole himself ever did, against all sanguinary methods of propagating the Catholic religion. The book, I think, , must make a great noise in the world, and is, at this time of day, a pretty extraordinary performance to be published in England with the author's name.
“ l have just finished my comment on the 92d. Psalm; I am getting some of the work transcribed, to carry with me into Kent, by way of specimen. We must have much talk on the subject there, where I hope to find you comfortably settled in six weeks or two months, O! may the day come when we shall think no more of journeyings and removals, but sit down with the once-sojourning Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdoin of God! for whose blessing on you and yours, now and ever, most fervently prayeth,
P. S. To this letter give me leave to subjoin the following anecdote :--Two French noblemen were dining lately with a worthy baronet in this country; when one of them took the liberty of conversing loosely on some subjects of religion; the other reproved and said, “ Pray, Sir, forbear; this is the sort of conversation which has been our ruin.”
LXXIX. Col. Stedman to his Son,
MR. URBAN, THE following letter, which I met with by accident, was written by J. G. Stedman, a military gentleman, when dangerously ill, to be delivered after his death to his son. I have communicated it to you, knowing your readiness to insert in your valuable Repository whatever is useful. The author of it survived, contrary to all expectation, and is about to publish an expedition of five years to Surinam.
AN OLD CORRESPONDENT.
“ MY DEAR JOHN,
Jan. 14, 1787. “As the last good I can do for you in this world, I join, to the trifles I leave to you, these few directions, which I beg of you to read for my sake, who always loved Above all things, fear God, as the supreme author of all good; love him with all your heart, and be religious, but detest every tincture of hypocrisy. Regard your neighbour, that is, all mankind, of whatever nation, profession, or faith, while they are honest; and be ever so yourself; it is the best policy in the end, depend upon it. Guard against indolence, it is the root of every evil; to which bad company gives the finishing stroke. Love economy without avarice, and be ever thyself thy best friend. Fly from intemperance and debauchery, they will rot thy body while they will be a canker to thy mind: to keep both sound, allow thyself never to be behind-hand with thy correspondents,
with thy creditors, with thy daily occupation, and thy soul | shall
enjoy peace. By using moderate diet, exercise, and recreation, thy body shall possess health and vigour. Dear John, should Fortune frown, which, depend upon it, she sometimes will, do then look round on thousands more wretched than thyself, and who, perhaps, did less deserve to be so, and be content-contentment is better than gold. Wish not for death, because it is a sin ; but scorn to fear it:
be prepared for it each hour, since come it must; while the good mind smiles at its sting, and defies, through Christ, its point. Beware of passion and cruelty; the bravest men are always the most humane. Rejoice in good-nature, not only to man but to the meanest insect, yea, to the whole creation; scorn to hurt any living being but for thy food or thy defence. To be cruel is the portion of the coward ; while to be brave and humane goes hand-in-hand, and pleases God. Obey as your duty those who are set over you; since, without knowing how to be obedient, none ever knew how to command.
“Now, dear boy, love Mrs. Stedman and her little children from your heart, if ever you had a love for your dead father, who made this request. She has most tenderly proved a help in thy infant state; whilst thou art a brother to her helpless little ones, prove also a parent and guardian by your kindness and conduct. Let your good sense keep peace and harmony in my dear family; then shall the blessing of Almighty God overspread you and them, and we, together with your beloved mother, my dear Johanna, have a chance once more to meet; when, in the presence
of Heavenly Father and merciful benefactor, our joy and happiness shall be eternal and complete, which is the ardent wish, the sincere prayer, and only hope, of your once loving father, who, my dear child, when you read this, shall be no more, and rests, with an affectionate heart to eternity, yours,
J. G. STEDMAN.
“P.S. Let not your grief for my decease overcome you. Let your tears flow with moderation, and trust that I am happy.”
LXXX. Letters from Charles II. and Lord Lauderdale to the
Earl of Northesk, relative to the Marriage of Lord Northesk's Daughter.
Winchester, Jan. 20. I SEND you the copies of two original letters which I have Jately met with, and wbich the subject, the style, and the authors of them, will recommend, as matter of curiosity, to many of your readers. The foriner of these letters is in the hand-writing of Charles II. the latter, in that of his minister, Lord Lauderdale. They are both addressed to an ancestor of the present Earl of Northesk, at whose seat, in this county, called Rose-hill
, they are now preserved. It was with the permission of that noble personage that I procured the present copies to be made for your use; in which the orthography and abbreviations of the originals are strictly preserved. I have only to add, that the spirited lady who refused to take a husband at the royal recommendation, as soon as that was withdrawn, married him for his own merits; and it is believed that the present noble governor of Jersey is, in a direct line, the fruit of that union. Yours, &c.
J. M. LETTER I.
“Whitehall, Nov. 20. 1672. “My lord Noothesk, I am so much concerned in my lord Balcarress, that heareing he is in suite of one of your daughters, I must lett you know, you cannot bestow her upon a person of whose worth and fidelity I have a better esteeme; which moves me hastily to recommend to you, and your lady, your franck compliance with his designe, and as I do really intend to be very kinde to him, and so do him good as occasion offers, as well for his father's sake as his owne, so if you and your lady condescend to his
pretention, and use him kindly in it, I shall take it very kindly at your hands, and reckon it to be done
the accounte of, Your affectionate friende,
CHARLES R." LETTER II. “ MY LORD,
Whitehall, Jan. 18, 1672-3. “ YESTERDAY I received yo’rs of the 7th instant, and according to yo'r desire I acquainted the King with it. His Maj'ty commanded me to signify to you that he is satisfyed, for as he did recom'end that marriage, supposing that it was acceptable to both parties, so he did not intend to lay any constraint upon you; therfor he leaves you to dispose of yo'r daughter as you please. This is by his Maj’ties com’and signified to your lordship by, my lord, your lordship's most humble servant, 1794, Jan,