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to have been much to blame in that particular. My conduct was not such as ought to have been shewn to any one; much less to a domestic of yours, who called, at your request, to make friendly inquiries respecting my welfare. I sincerely beg your pardon, and also the pardon of the young woman, for that impropriety. In justice to myself, I must tell you how I was situated. When your servant called, I was engaged in secret prayer; the door made fast. My servant-girl made a violent clamour at the door: I kept silence, intending her to understand that it was my wish not to be interrupted at that time. She continued, however, to knock at the door, as though she was determined to break it down. At length, I was under the necessity, fearing some accident, to open it; and being much irritated at the unwelcome interruption, and at the rude carriage of my servant, when I came to understand the errand on which the young woman came, I could not surmount my agitation sufficiently to give her the reception I ought. I was visibly pettish and chagrined. Such is the true state of the case; and I may observe, as some apology for me, that sometimes the incessant interruptions I meet with, by people calling from a distance, is such, especially in summer, as to leave no time at all, sometimes not half an hour a day, that I can call my
This operating upon a mind fond of retirement to an excess, sometimes almost drives me to distraction. The irritation and agitation it sometimes produces is inconceivable. I do most devoutly wish my friends would never give any commission to strangers to call upon me. The sight of strangers, especially when I cannot leave them when I please, is frequently distressing to me in a very [high] degree. But, though I mention these circumstances as an apology, I am far from meaning to justify myself. I am aware of the extreme impropriety of indulging that irritability of temper, and am truly concerned at the instance of it to which I have adverted. Let me indulge the hope, my dear friend, that this disagreeable circumstance will not put a period to that friendship which I have always so highly esteemed, and which has formed no inconsiderable part of the solace of my life. I have loved you ever since I knew you; and my attachment has increased exactly in proportion to my opportunities of acquainting myself with your character. I hope you will forget and overlook this unpleasant business, and permit me again to class you amongst my dearest friends.
TO DR. GREGORY.
ON THE DEATH OF MR. BOSWELL BRANDON BEDDOME.
My very dear Friend, Leicester, Nov. 2, 1816.
I have just received your letter, and cannot lose a moment in expressing the deep sympathy I take in the affliction arising from the melancholy tidings it announces. Alas! my dear friend Boswell Beddome! My eyes will see thee no more! The place which once knew thee shall know thee no more! How many delightful hours have I spent in thy society-hours never more to return ! That countenance, beaming with benevolence and friendship, will be beheld no more until the resurrection morn, when it will rise to shine radiant with immortal brightness and beauty. How thick and solemn the vicissitudes of death and calamity in that amiable and respectable family, the Beddomes! What awful reverses and catastrophes ! Surely their heavenly Father must have destined them to some distinguished station in the eternal edifice, with whom he has taken such pains in hewing, cutting, and polishing. The dealings of God towards our dear Boswell have been at once severe and tender; and never, perhaps, were the preparations of mercy to be traced more distinctly, than in the events which have recently befallen him: the faculties extinguished for a while, to be restored ; an antedated resurrection; as though God had determined to recast his whole nature into a crucible, previous to its being poured into the mould of eternity. I have been delighted to hear, from various quarters, and particularly from Mr. Alexander, of the sweet, tranquil, and devotional state of his mind, subsequent to his first attack; and had flattered myself with the hope of life being protracted to a distant period. But God's ways are not as our ways; nor his thoughts as our thoughts. After purifying our dear friend in the furnace of affliction, he judged it fit to cut short his work in righteousness. Be assured, my dear Sir, I deeply sympathize with you, and dear Mrs. G., both in your sorrow and your joy, on the present occasion. You have to sing of mercy and of judgement. The loss of such a parent must be long and deeply regretted; but there is so much to console and to elevate in this event, taken in all its bearings, that the tears you shed partake of a tender triumph. Our dear friend has reached the goal, and gained the prize, which we are still doomed to pursue with anxiety and toil. May we, my dear friend, be quickened in our progress, by this most impressive event, and learn, more effectually than ever, to secure the one thing needful.
Your company at Leicester, and that of Mrs. G., would afford me the most exquisite pleasure: pray let me have it the first opportunity. My health, through mercy, and that of my family, are, at present, good; though I have, during the past year, met with awful mementos of my latter end.
I beg to be most affectionately remembered to Mrs. Gregory, and every branch of the Beddome family, in which Mrs. Hall joins me; and remain, invariably,
Yours most affectionately,
TO THE REV. THOMAS LANGDON, LEEDS.
My dear Friend,
Leicester, March 12, 1817. I am extremely concerned to hear of the ill state of your health, which, I fear, from what I have occasionally heard, has been declining for some time: it is my earnest prayer and hope the Lord may restore it, and spare you many years, for the good of your family and of the church. It is a great mortification to me that I am situated at such a distance as renders it impracticable for me to see you often; but I retain, and ever shall retain, the strongest sentiments of friendship and esteem, and the remembrance of innumerable acts of kindness and attention from you in my early days. Those days are fled, and we are both now far nearer to eternity than then; both, I hope, nearer to consummate blessedness. For yourself, I feel a full persuasion that your removal (may it be at a distant period!) will be unspeakable gain.
To come to the business of your letter, I believe I am expected this year at Hull, and that it is wished to collect for the mission. As far as I can judge, it will probably be about the time you mention, in August; but this remains to be settled with Mr. Birt, from whom I have not yet heard. When I hear from him, and the time is fixed, I will let you know; and I hope I shall be able to comply with your wishes, by taking Leeds in my