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good. I had heard of your having passed through London before I got your letter, and console myself for not having seen you by the hope that, on your way back, you will give me a few days of your society, that we may talk over old friends and old times, one of the few comforts (though it is a melancholy one) that age gives. I am glad that you are again soon to appear in print, and the subject delights me. It is one you will treat con amore, and that only you can treat as it deserves. I am so charmed with the Parable, that I dispatched it forthwith to the printer, and expect to have a proof very soon. It is just the very essence of the beauty of holiness.
"Gore House, Kensington Gore, March 10th, 1836. "I write to you from my new residence, in what I call the country, being a mile from London. I have not forgotten that your last letter announced the pleasing intelligence that you were to be in London in April, and I write to request that you will take up your residence at my house. I have a comfortable room to offer you, and, what is better still, a cordial welcome. Pray bear this in mind, and let me have the pleasure of having you under my roof. Have you heard of the death of poor Sir William Gell? He expired at Naples, on the 4th of February, literally exhausted by his bodily infirmity.
"Poor Gell! I regret him much; he was gentle, kind-hearted, and goodtempered, possessed a great fund of information, which was always at the service of any one requiring it, and, if free from passion (not always, in my opinion, a desirable thing), totally exempt from prejudice, which I hold to be most desirable. How much more frequently we think of a friend we have lost than when he lived! I have thought of poor Gell continually since I got Mr. Craven's melancholy letter announcing his demise, yet when he lived I have passed weeks without bestowing a thought on him. Is not this a curious fact in all our natures, that we only begin to know the value of friends when they are lost to us forever? It ought to teach us to turn with increased tenderness to those that remain, and I always feel that my affection for living friends is enlivened by the reflection that they too may pass away.
"If we were only half as lenient to the living as we are to the dead, how much happiness might we render them, and from how much vain and bitter remorse might we be spared, when the grave, the all-atoning grave,' has closed over them. I long to read your book; it will be to me like water in the desert to the parched pilgrim. Let me hear from you, and, above all, tell me that you will take up your abode with me, where quiet and friendship await you. "M. BLESSINGTON."
"Gore House, April 4th, 1836.
"I have to thank you for the very highest intellectual feast I have ever enjoyed. Yes, your Aspasia and Pericles' are delicious, and reflect everlasting honor on you. Never was there so beautiful a mirror of wisdom and tenderness; the book continually filled my eyes with tears, and my heart with
gentle and generous emotions. I am proud of and for you, and repeat frequently to myself, he is my friend. How delightful, yet how rare is it, when our friends make us feel proud of them! every one talks of your book, and every one is loud in its praises. I rejoice in this for two reasons; the first, that its author is my friend, and the second, that it gives me a better opinion of human nature, to find that even the worldlings of London can feel what is elevated, pure, and holy. Never was there such a triumph as you have achieved by this book! Mr. Fonblanque is impatient to shake you by the hand. He is worthy to be your friend, and is, in the true sense of the word, a noble-minded man. I shall be at Gore House the whole season, and charmed to see you; come and take possession of your room in it-why can you not come before May I have taken steps to get your MSS., &c., from Mr. Willis, and trust to be able soon to tell you that they are in my possession. How often, while reading your book, did I think of the delight it would have given your dear friend, my lost husband! He could well sympathize in such sentiments. M. BLESSINGTON."
"Gore House, June 8th, 1836. "It gave me great pleasure to hear from you. Of ingratitude or impoliteness I can never suspect you, because you know how sincerely I esteem you— too well to be wicked enough to be ungrateful, and you are, in my opinion, the most genuinely polite man I know. You must come and pay me another visit when you return from your relations; nowhere can you bestow your society where it can be more highly valued than at Gore House, and this ought to induce you to be more liberal of the gift. Your 'Epigrams' are excellent, and prove that genius can be as happy in trifles as in great things. I think of you very often, and miss you as often; it was happily said that friends, like lovers, should be very near or very distant; and this I feel, for one gets reconciled to the absence that a great distance causes, and impatient at that which a short one produces. When you were in Italy, I knew it was useless to hope to see you; but at Bristol, I reproach you for not giving me more of your society. M. BLESSINGTON."
"Gore House, Jan. 25th, 1837.
"I have furnished your note to Mr. Hall, the husband of Mrs. Hall, the authoress. Indeed you are wrong if you imagine that all good judges do not rate you as you deserve to be rated. Unfortunately, they are not so numerous as the enviers, who try to depreciate what they can never hope to equal. You send me some alterations for a poem I have not in my possession-your Clytemnestra. Mr. Forster told me that you had sent him some portions of it from Heidelberg, and probably you have fancied it was to me. As all you write is too precious to be mislaid, tell me, without delay, how the affair rests. Have you seen poor Augustus Hare's sermons?
"I got them a few days ago, with a pencil note written on his death-bed.
"Poor Augustus! He was a fine creature, full of affection and generosity. "Mr. Southey is, I hear, in town. I should like much to have made his acquaintance, for I admire his genius and esteem his character. What are you doing? I hope a great deal. I wish you would write a History.
"April 19th, 1837.
"I have been, indeed, very unwell of late, but am now, thank God, considerably better. The truth is, the numerous family of father, mother, sister, brother, and his six children, that I have to provide for, compels me to write, when my health would demand a total repose from literary exertion; and this throws me back.
"Mais quoi faire? A thousand thanks for your most kind offer of literary assistance, and for the charming scene from Orestes, which is full of power. How glad I shall be to see you again at Gore House.
"Do pray pay me a visit, whenever you can make up your mind to move, for be assured no one can more truly enjoy or value your society than I do. I ordered my publishers to send you one of the first copies of my new novel, which I hope has reached you.
"The story is only a vehicle to convey a severe censure on the ultra-fashionables of London, and the book has been very indulgently received. I saw your friend Mr. Cholmondeley a few days ago, and he inquired for you most kindly. He is a very sensible and amiable young man. Mrs. Fairlie and her family are still with me, and Bella improves daily in intelligence and beauty. We often speak of you, and wish you were with us. M. BLESSINGTON."
"Gore House, Nov. 20th, 1837. Book of Beauty,' which has all its contents resemble
"I send you by the coach your copy of the just come out, and which I trust you will like. your contribution, I should have no doubt of the success of the book; but though they are far, far removed from such excellence, I nevertheless hope that a book containing such a gem must leave behind it every other annual. Since I wrote to you I have been extremely ill. I tried change of air, and spent some days on the sea-coast, from which I derived but little benefit. I am now, thank God, considerably better, which I attribute to the skillful treatment of my medical adviser. M. BLESSINGTON."
"Gore House, Dec. 20th, 1837.
"There is no person in whose erudition I place so much confidence as in yours, and no one in whose disposition to communicate it I have such faith. Will you inform me if you know any thing about an ancient monument at Frejus, erected to or by a Julia Alpina, or some similar sounding name, remarkable for her strong devotion to her father? I have read a most interesting note relative to her, but can not remember where.
"I shall long for the spring more than ever, now that you have promised to come to me in April. M. BLESSINGTON."
"Gore House, Jan. 17th, 1838.
"I will not let you continue in the error of believing that Mr. Forster is in a minority in thinking most highly of your works. Be assured that every person possessed of taste, feeling, or erudition, admires them as much as he does; but they, unfortunately, are not the great mass of readers. I never heard a difference of opinion relative to your books; all who have intellects capable of comprehending them were unanimous in appreciating them as they deserve; and among the number, no one spoke more highly than Mr. Fonblanque. His health has lately been very bad, and, though better, he is still an invalid. Your friend Alfred D'Orsay has discovered the passage about which I wrote to you, for his reading is so desultory that he constantly reproaches my memory. The Julia, whose name I could not remember, was Julia Alpinula, the daughter of Julius Alpinus, who was condemned to death by Albanus Cecina. His daughter could not survive him, and his friends erected a monument, with an inscription, of which the following are the two first lines: 'Julia Alpinula Hic Jacet, Infelicis Patris Infelix Proles.
Vixit Annos xxiii.'
"The fate of this young creature would furnish a subject worthy your pen. "M. BLESSINGTON."
"Gore House, Oct. 23d, 1838.
"I lament as much as you do Lord Durham's throwing up his appointment; but I have little hope that any representation of mine could influence him to change his determination. He has been shamefully used by ministers, whatever their advocates may say to the contrary; and though I regret, I can not wonder at his resolution of returning. I am very sorry to hear of your accident, but hope you will soon get over its effect. I was moved to tears the other day, on reading in 'The Examiner' your lines to A. If he read them, how can he resist flying to you? Alas! half our pains through life arise from being misunderstood, and men of genius, above all others, are the most subject to this misfortune, for a misfortune, and a serious one, I call it, when those near and dear to us mistake us, and erect between their hearts and ours barriers that even love can not break down, though pride humbles itself to assist the endeavor. M. BLESSINGTON."
"Gore House, April 16th, 1839.
Saturday's post brought me yours of Friday, written perhaps when, with Mr. Forster, we were reading your Giovanna' and 'Andrea.' Your friend (and you have not a more sincere one) Count D'Orsay and I had the doors closed against all visitors, that we might enjoy the luxury of these two pieces uninterrupted.
"Never were high anticipations more perfectly realized. They breathe the very soul of poesy and tenderness-nature and truth combine to render them matchless. There was but one drawback to the pleasure we felt, and that proceeded from a knowledge (the ground for which we found in your dedication) that we, who love poetry almost as well as we love you, who are one of its chosen high-priests, were not deemed worthy to hear a single scene from yourself, although some portions of it were written in Gore House!!!
"As a woman, I thank you for having redeemed the character of Giovanna from the imputation cast upon it—an imputation that has always pained me; for, after the description given of her by Petrarch, I never could believe that she was guilty of even a knowledge of the death of Andrea.
"How interesting you have rendered the character of Andrea too! You are, in truth, a very wizard, at the touch of whose wand the prejudices of centuries fall away, and the real character stands revealed.
"Gore House, Nov. 14th, 1839. few would wish to do aught sent me, which shall certainly
"If all could see or write visions like you, else. I am charmed with the one you have find a place in the Book of Beauty for 1841. Pray tell me, have you read my rish dream? I had a letter from Mr. Trelawney, who has taken to lead the life of a recluse in a villa near Putney, never going to see a single acquaintance or friend, and scarcely ever visiting London. He charged me with his kindest regards to you.
"Did I ever tell you that Count Alfred de Vigny, author of Cinque Mars, and some other admirable works, told me that he had rarely in his life enjoyed so high a treat as the perusal of your works afforded him? He knew several passages by heart, and entered into their beauty with a zest that confirmed my good opinion of his taste. What are you doing-providing feasts for posterity? M. BLESSINGTON."
"Gore House, Sept. 28th, 1840.
"It gave me great pleasure to see your writing again, and to be assured you were well, of which pleasing fact I had the most satisfactory proof, in a poem so full of fancy and grace, that it could only have emanated from a healthy mind and body. The tuneful bird inspired of old by the Persian rose warbled not more harmoniously its praise than do you that of the English rose, which posterity will know through your beautiful verses.
"Happy are they who can thus inspire great bards, and happy ought the bards to be who can thus confer immortality on beauty. So Mrs. D
I like that name better than Jones) has again married!
"What a compliment to your sex, to enter the state of wedlock twice! I am just returned from Cheveley Park, and am happy to tell you that Mrs. Fairlie has got another little one, a boy, who with his mother, is doing well.