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C H A P. XVI.

* THE PROJECT BECOMES POPULAR.

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HI'S was every thing accommo

dated, and Shenstone-Green went on more briskly than ever. In truth, every man appeared to do his utmost, and the progress of this united effort, became in a short time fo apparent, that my village affumed a regularity and splendour which attracted the curiosity of the adjacent counties. Sir Benjamin's new town was a popular subject, and the echo of his good intentions reverberated from shire to shire.

Amongst others who had particuJarly contributed to this popularity,

was

was the little Welch doctor, mentioned in the:laft chapter. This man was so struck with the novelty of the project, that he took care to blazon it forth through all the families into which his loquacity or his skill could gain him access; and a talkative creature of his character and profeffion, in a dull part of the world too, where a little run-about thing skips from mountain to mountain to pick up news, is always welcome in one sense or another.

By such means, therefore, I was at once celebrated and delighted, for I will not attempt to conceal the fatisfaction I received from this innocent flattery, and it so endeared to me, Mr. Elixir, (whom I looked upon as in a great measure the source of it that I cultivated his I 2

acquainacquaintance, and had him with me at the manfion-houfe almost every evening.

Now then it was that I began to think

my

scheme in fufficient forwardness to give the finer and more affectionate finishes. The houses being nearly completed, I imagined it time to think about getting them occupied ; and in the mean time I

gave directions for such embellishments in point of gardening as might leave nothing undone that could add elegance to convenience.

At an incredible charge I enriched a land, naturally unfruitful, till it was flowing with fragrance and breathing perfume. Roses, jessamines, pinks, honeysuckles, and lillies, embroidered every

part,

1

part, and, in the space of six months after the rubbish was removed, it would have been difficult to find in any part of Europe a spot more agreeably cultivated, or more adorned with beauties artificial and natural than Shenstone-Green.

This then was the period to bring down first my daughter, and then fuch of my friends as I thought would be most happy in such an afylum. Paradise is here regained, said I.

Matilda, in consequence of these resolutions, was with me in a few days, and the emotions of her surprize, on her first sight of ShenstoneGreen, does so much honour to human nature, of which she is an or

I 3

nament, « Green.

nament, and of her father, who doats upon her, that it would rob the reader of entertainment, not to give them in her own language, just as they were conveyed in a letter to a lady, who afterwards became, and indeed is to this hour, a pensioner.

To Miss Eliza Elliot.

WELL, dear Eliza, the last “ polishes are

now giving to The

I am just come from a “ first view, and from walking round “ the enchanting circuit. "The soul “ of Shenstone and of Sir Benjamin, “ shines through every part. I was “ in this very spot about two sum“ mers ago, and remember it was impassible by means of weeds and

nettles.

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