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Mr. William writes to the Slave-Trader (reformed)

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  • louise
    To the Rev. John Newton. March 29, 1784. MY DEAR FRIEND - .................... As, when the sea is uncommonly agitated, the water finds its way into creeks and
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 5, 2004
      To the Rev. John Newton.
      March 29, 1784.

      MY DEAR FRIEND -
      ....................
      As, when the sea is uncommonly agitated, the water finds its way
      into creeks and holes of rocks, which in its calmer state it never
      reaches, in like manner, the effect of these turbulent times is felt
      even at Orchardside, where in general we live as undisturbed by the
      political element, as shrimps or cockles that have been accidentally
      deposited in some hollow beyond the water-mark by the usual dashing
      of the waves. We were sitting yesterday after dinner - the two
      ladies and myself - very composedly, and without the least
      apprehension of any such intrusion, in our snug parlour, one lady
      knitting, the other netting, and the gentleman winding worsted,
      when, to our unspeakable surprise, a mob appeared before the window,
      a smart rap was heard at the door, the boys hallooed, and the maid
      announced Mr. Grenville. Puss [our poet's tame hare] was
      unfortunately let out of her box, so that the candidate, with all
      his good friends at his heels, was refused admittance at the grand
      entry, and referred to the back door, as the only possible way of
      approach.
      Candidates are creatures not very susceptible of affronts, and would
      rather, I suppose, climb in at a window than be absolutely
      excluded. In a minute the yard, the the kitchen, and the parlour
      were filled. Mr. Grenville, advancing towards me, shook me by the
      hand with a degree of cordiality that was extremely seducing. As
      soon as he and as many more as could find chairs were seated, he
      began to open the intent of his visit. I told him I had no vote,
      for which he readily gave me credit. I assured him I had no
      influence, which he was not equally inclined to believe, and the
      less, no doubt, because mr. Ashburner, the drapier, addressing
      himself to me at that moment, informed me that I had a great deal.
      Supposing that I could not be possessed of such a treasure without
      knowing it, I ventured to confirm my first assertion by saying that
      if I had any I was utterly at a loss to imagine where it could be,
      or wherein it consisted. Thus ended the conference. Mr. Grenville
      squeezed me by the hand again, kissed the ladies, and withdrew. He
      kissed likewise the maid in the kitchen, and seemed upon the whole a
      most loving, kissing, kind hearted gentleman. He is very young,
      genteel, and handsome. He has a pair of very good eyes in his head,
      which not being sufficient, as it should seem, for the many nice and
      difficult purposes of a senator, he has a third also, which he wore
      suspended by a riband from his button-hole. The boys halloed, the
      dogs barked, Puss scampered; the hero, with his long train of
      obsequious followers, withdrew. We made ourselves very merry with
      the adventure, and in a short time settled into our former
      tranquillity, never probably to be thus interrupted more.
      .................................
      W. Cowper


      Reproduced by Louise, with the help of computer.
      'Letters of William Cowper', ed. Rev W. Benham, MacMillan 1914.
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