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you do not mean to go abroad. I wish I could do
SO; for I feel and heartily wish I could change this afflicting climate. Well may I call it so, for it afflicts every bone in my skin with damp and cold, and my
whole mind with gloom. What is worse, it tears my wife to pieces with cough, which always fills me with alarm from miserable recollections. I believe, however, most of the mischief arises from our present locality; for such has been the progress of my plantations, some of them sixty feet high, and they in such close contact with the house, that though the sun may shine occasionally we are always dripping wet, and ought to be like frogs to enjoy it. Unless, therefore, some Numen should procure for us a metamorphose, I believe we shall not stay out half our time. Indeed we contemplate Brighton as early as next month, and so will end our foreign scheme. Not so, I hope, (if I live till) next spring. We have not long returned from our very interesting trip into Staffordshire, where your friend Vaughan did the honours of a pleasant cottage at Okeover admirably. The hall is at present let, so we only went to reconnoitre, but were so satisfied with its beauty, convenience, and respectability, that we decided to inhabit it without hesitation. It is the absolute beau idéal of an old English country gentleman's mansion for many generations, and we are really quite bit with it. Much perhaps was owing to the visible joy of two whole parishes (the whole of both of which belongs to the estate), that some of the family were coming to live there. The interest and thousand questions about Charles made me doubt a little my uncomfortable creed, that all the fond ties that used to be cherished between landlord and tenant in this country are over. We cannot get possession till Lady-day, and it will then take a pretty large sum to furnish it: however I hope, and dare say, we shall manage it. It makes me more and more indifferent to Gilston.
R. Plumer Ward, Esq., to B. Austen, Esq.
“ Hyde House, August 16. 1838.
“My dear Austen,
“We count upon coming up for two days this day weck, previous to setting off for 0. We take the house furnished exactly as it is (that is, most comfortably), which will cost 1000l. by appraisement. Do not think me mad: though, from sending my whole library (at least seven tons of books) it is thought I mean never to appear again in the world. Well! I have been long enough in it. Tempus est abire. Yet I am remarkably well, and very much yours,
66 R. P. W."
R. Plumer Ward, Esq., to B. Austen, Esq.
6 Okeover Hall, Oct. 28. 1838. “My dear Austen,
" Welcome back to John Bull from Louis Baboon. I have been indulging in Swift lately; so Mrs. A. must forgive allusions, though she may be fond of the said Louis. By the way, how did France show in comparison with Germany ? I trow you had more lessons in landscape in the one, and of human nature in the other. Both good of their kind.
“I feel more comfortably off in this delightful as well as respectable old abode, than ever I was in my life, and far happier than at Gilston. One thing quite surprises me, as well as pleases. There is really a corner in England left in which the old-fashioned feeling of attachment from well-used tenants to an old landlord's family is preserved. I never saw it so exemplified as among all the tenants of this beautiful estate, upon our arrival, and indeed ever since. Had our boy been a prince of the blood, they could not have shown more regard than for Okeover of Okeover. As his mother, my wife comes in for her share; and as her husband, I myself come in for mine. The family is far more ancient than I thought, the pedigree deriving them from Ormus, one of William's soldiers, who being endowed with this place, his descendants styled themselves De Okeover, and have continued the male representatives of it ever since. There are tombs in the church with Saxon inscriptions, which I don't understand; but they are of the character of the
oldest Henries, and have the Okeover arms upon them. We are so pleased with the place that we do not come to town so soon as we intended, till the beginning of April, when I hope we shall meet, and that you will find me in as superlative health as I am at this time of writing,
" Believe me, as usual,
“ R. P. W."
PUBLICATION OF “ DE CLIFFORD." MR. WARD'S REMARKS ON THE
REVOLUTION OF 1688. — LETTER OF THE RIGHT HONOURABLE C. W. W. WYNN. CONTINUATION OF CORRESPONDENCE WITH MR. AND MRS. AUSTEN. -INCREASING INFIRMITY OF HEALTH. REMOVAL TO THE LIEUT.-GOVERNOR'S HOUSE AT CHELSEA HOSPITAL. HIS DEATH. HIS MISCELLANEOUS UNPUBLISHED WORKS.
year 1841 presented to the public a novel from the
pen of Mr. Ward, which, even without making allowances for the afflictions and infirm health, of which the foregoing letters afford such clear witness, would be a remarkable production from the pen of a man of seventy-six, who had led the active life that had been ever his fate.
It was received with much favour by the public, to whose indulgence occasional allusions will be found in the letters that follow. I should first, however, notice, that the same year too produced from his prolific and varied genius a work of an entirely different character, on the Revolution of 1688. Instead of introducing any criticism of my own, I cannot do what will be more welcome to my readers than present that which was addressed to the author by the Right Hon. Charles Wynn (to whom it had been dedicated), so long a high authority on constitutional questions.