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minds as yours in the mass of human beings, has not destined them to a state of repose. The most precious of its gifts cannot lie dormant. The sympathy that springs from generosity and affection must hope and fear, must joy and grieve; must sometimes shed the tears of happiness, and sometimes of sorrow. Yet do its blessings far overbalance its pains. If there be aught of value in mortal life, it arises from this gift of Heaven ; and if there be happiness in a future world, from this it will spring, and in this it will centre. Such at least are my frequent reflections.
Dr. C. is here. I sat up with him on Monday night till after twelve, disputing about metaphysics. He is a very ingenious man, but appears to me full of prejudices; the most troublesome of which is, a never-failing suspicion of the heart of every fellow-creature the moment it comes in contact with power.
We are all up in arms here about Sir William Dolben's motion, which pretends to say, that we shall only put one slave on board our ships to every two tons; whereas we have been used to put two men and a half to every single ton. We contend that this attempt is a most daring infringement of our privileges ; that, as we may stow rum
sugar as close as we can, so likewise ought we to be at liberty to stow human life, which is equally a commodity with the others, though somewhat more perishable. To be serious. — I am very sorry that this motion is made, because it will tend to divert into different channels that stream of virtuous enthusiasm, whose undivided strength might have swept the whole fabric of this villanous traffic from the surface of the earth.
I hope Miss Kennedy will answer this, and tell me how you are. As to yourself, I will not have any letters from you at present: I want no proofs of your friendship, and am not one of those beings whose regard feeds upon modes and forms. Yours most affectionately,
To Francis Trench, Esquire, Woodlawn, County
Liverpool, September 1. 1789.
MY DEAR TRENCH, Your letter of the 19th was most welcome. I thank you for the particulars it contained, as
well of your feelings as of your journey. The sensations
you describe on your return to “ the hills of your native streams," I perfectly understand, having myself frequently experienced the like. There may be something unphilosophical in local attachments, but they are perfectly natural; and I cannot but think that the kindest hearts often feel them most strongly. Our affections, especially our early affections, are too warm to be governed by modes or forms: they extend from persons to things, from animate to inanimate objects; from the men with whom we live, to the ground on which we tread. With the review of the scenes of our infancy come a thousand recollections, some of them gay, more perhaps mournful or tender, but all “ pleasing to the soul.”
The wish you kindly express, that I should join you at Woodlawn, is no less mine than yours. That I should enjoy such a visit I am certain; first, because I should feel myself happy in the society of your father's family ; secondly, because I should see green Erin, which I long to see; thirdly, because I should taste the pleasures of the country, of which I was always enamoured; and, fourthly, because I should, for the time, escape the busy hum of men, and get away from this pound-shilling-and pence society, of which I am at times heartily sick. But what signify wishes ?
left us I have seen several remarkable people, who would have pleased you much. First came Mr. Lymburner, agent and ambassador from the province of Canada, deputed to the court and nation of England to obtain an English constitution. I asked him how the expression ran? He said he had formerly come to petition, and that he had gone back without his errand; that he was come to obtain this constitution, if possible, but at any rate to demand it. Lymburner is a quiet, still, modest, unaffected man, herculean in his make, and melancholy in his complexion. He gave me a very interesting account of the internal politics of Canada; of the increasing exertions of the spirit of liberty among the British inhabitants; of its contagious influence on the French ; and of the present determined temper of the province. I listened to him the greater part of the night with high satisfaction, and could not help doing homage in my
mind to a man, whose purposes were so great, and whose public character was so honourable. I saw plainly enough that I had at my table one of those calm but determined minds, that are sent to
burst the bonds of tyranny asunder, and to unite and direct the spirit of nations.
Next came Dr. Kippis, whom, perhaps, you may have heard of as many years director of the Monthly Review, editor of the Biographia Britannica, author of the Life of Cook just published, and at the head of the new college in the neighbourhood of London. Besides these recommendations, he had a farther one to me, from his being the person who first noticed, patronised, and pointed out the genius of Miss Williams. I found him an amiable, candid, and worthy man. He sat with me two evenings, and gave me a great deal of literary and political history that was highly entertaining. Kippis is particularly acquainted with authors, and with the mysteries of authorship; has been forty years employed in writing, judging, and reviewing; thinks himself well qualified to estimate talents, even from very small specimens; and mentions several instances, in which he has early given opinions which time has confirmed. From him I learned some singular traits of Lord Thurlow, with whom he was acquainted in the early part of his progress; - a man, I find, of some natural affections, but with a mind prejudiced and contracted, - surly, but without honourable pride; and though often growling and rebelling,