Front Page Titles (by Subject) Bentham to George Wilson. * - The Works of Jeremy Bentham, vol. 10 (Memoirs Part I and Correspondence)
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Bentham to George Wilson. * - Jeremy Bentham, The Works of Jeremy Bentham, vol. 10 (Memoirs Part I and Correspondence) 
The Works of Jeremy Bentham, published under the Superintendence of his Executor, John Bowring (Edinburgh: William Tait, 1838-1843). 11 vols. Vol. 10.
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Bentham to George Wilson.*
“Sunday, 8 o’Clock, (1781.)
“It is true Lady S—is a sister of Lord Ossory’s; my Lord was mentioning it just now in a parenthesis; then Miss V—must have been a half-sister by another father; and so part, at least, of the mystery is cleared up. The Countess of Warwick is also a sister of Lady S—, whether half or whole I cannot pretend to say. What is it now you want of me? Table talk? Get Selden’s; there you have a whole volume of it. Politics? I know nothing about the matter. Does he come in? That I know nothing about, any more than you. He went some little time ago to town, for a couple of days only: that came out accidentally in conversation yesterday, when there was company. ‘People fancied that I was gone upon politics.’ I have been told at different times, in the way of parenthesis, that I should see Lord Camden here and Colonel Barré; at present, there is not a soul but Blankett. To-morrow, my Lord, and I, and Blankett, (I beg his pardon, Blankett and I,) go to Lord Pembroke’s to see Wilton; we are to stay there all night; it is about thirty miles off. On what account we go, I can’t pretend to say; it was proposed as if it were only on mine. On Thursday, we go to Calne, to a corporation dinner. Hamilton of Bath has been mentioned as another person whom I shall see, and that in a few days; ’tis he who was the creator of Payne’s Hill. He is the oracle for the gardening works that are carried on here, and has been employed in undoing what capability-Brown had done. To-day we had no company to dinner; yesterday we had a Mr Bayntun (a son of Sir Edward Bayntun, an old courtier, whose name you will find in your Bible) and his wife; and who should this wife be, but a Lady Maria, a daughter of Lord Conventry, by Miss Gunning, and who, notwithstanding her ancestry, is as dowdy as a country girl, and as ugly as a horse, and yet, they say, she had on her best looks. Her husband is a plain young country squire in dress, with something of Croft’s manner in his address, yet better spoken and without his affectation; he is cultivated pour cause de vicinage, being the nearest neighbour there is—and yet, three miles off, neighbours being eloigned by the extensiveness of the demesnes.
“All this while, I have said nothing of the manner of my coming here; I began in the middle like an epic poem. I travelled very snug in my coach as far as Marlborough, with a set of people not worth recounting. At Marlborough, where we dined, our coach joined issue with another: the company, Alexander Popham, and a certain female. He appeared to know who I was, and we made a sort of bande à part. I determined to pursue your plan with regard to the quitting the hackney vehicle at Marlborough, but, alas! what availeth human, nay, Scottish, nay, even Wilsonian, prudence! Heaven’s great amusement is to make mock of it. Necessity obliged me to make inquiries before these people which led them to conclude I was going to Lord Shelburne’s; ed io anch’io, ‘and I, too, said the chambermaid,’ (for some such personage was she,) ‘am going to Lord Shelburne’s.’ Thank your stars you were not in my shoes; if you had been, not all the hartshorn in Godfrey’s shop would have recovered you. Je tins bon, but the chambermaid’s back being turned, I unbosomed myself, Gallicé, in pathetic strains, to Alexander Popham. Qu’y faire de cette femme ci? Quoique ce soit une femme, il n’y a pas moyen de la mener avec moi, cependant c’est precisement à cette maison là que je vais; voilà ce qui j’appelle une rencontre. It was some consolation, however to me, that the turpitude of my situation was shared with Alexander, who, upon first meeting, took care to enlarge upon the preeminence of stage-coaches to post-chaises,—of the former being the more expeditious vehicle,—of his being urged to have recourse to it by a disinterested innkeeper at Newbery, and of being determined by so pure a motive as the hope of company; had it not been for this, I should rather have attributed it to the expenses of a lost election. At parting, ‘to let you into a secret,’ says he, ‘I ought not, by right, to go so near, without paying my respects at the house you are going to; and I would not wish you to mention your having seen me. But how long do you think of staying?’—‘Indeed, I can’t tell; a month or thereabouts, it is not impossible.’—‘Ah, then,’ says he, ‘I hope we shall meet.’—‘Well, but why not now? Come, get into the post-chaise with me.’ The fact was, I should not have been sorry to have had him, supposing him upon such a footing, as a sort of instrument to break the ice with. However, he would not go. When I arrived here, the family were not at home; they were gone, at least the gentlemen were, to dine with Sir James Long, the nephew and hœres designatus of Lord Tilney. When my lord came in, he ran up to me, and touched one of my cheeks with his, and then the other. I was even satisfied with it, since he meant it kindly, and since such, I suppose, is the fashion; but I should have been still better satisfied if he had made either of the ladies his proxy.”
“Sunday, 12 o’Clock.
“Where shall I begin?—let me see—the first place, by common right, to the ladies. The ideas I brought with me respecting the female part of this family are turned quite topsy-turvy, and unfortunately they are not yet cleared up. I had expected to find in Lady Shelburne, a Lady Louisa Fitzpatrick, sister of an Earl of Ossory, whom I remember at school: instead of her, I find a lady who has for her sister a Miss Caroline V—: is not this the maid of honour, the sister to Lady G.? the lady who was fond of Lord C., and of whom he was fond? and whom he quitted for an heiress and a pair of horns? Be they who they may, the one is loveliest of matrons, the other of virgins: they have both of them more than I could wish of reserve; but it is a reserve of modesty rather than of pride. The quadrupeds, whom you know I love next, consist of a child of a year old, a tiger, a spaniel formerly attached to Lady Shelburne—at present to my Lord—besides four plebeian cats, who are taken no notice of, horses, &c., and a wild boar, who is sent off on a matrimonial expedition to the farm. The four first I have commenced a friendship with, especially the first of all, to whom I am body-coachman extraordinary en tire d’office: Henry (for that is his name,”—[the present Lord Lansdowne]—“for such an animal, has the most thinking countenance I ever saw; being very clean, I can keep him without disgust and even with pleasure, especially after having been rewarded, as I have just now, for my attention to him, by a pair of the sweetest smiles imaginable from his mamma and aunt. As Providence hath ordered it, they both play on the harpsichord, and at chess. I am flattered with the hopes of engaging with them, before long, either in war or harmony—not to-day—because, whether you know it or not, it is Sunday: I know it, having been paying my devotions—our church, the hall—our minister, a sleek young parson, the curate of the parish—our saints, a naked Mercury, an Apollo in the same dress, and a Venus de Medicis—our congregation, the two ladies, Captain Blankett, and your humble servant, upon the carpet by the minister—below, the domestics, superioris et inferioris ordinis. Among the former I was concerned to see poor Mathews the librarian, who, I could not help thinking, had as good a title to be upon the carpet as myself.
“Of Lord Fitzmaurice I know nothing, but from his bust and letters: the first bespeaks him a handsome youth, the latter an ingenious one. He is not sixteen, and already he writes better than his father. He is under the care of a Mr Jervis, a dissenting minister, who has had charge of him since he was six years old. He has never been at any public school of education. He has now for a considerable time been travelling about the kingdom, that he may know something of his own country before he goes to others, and be out of the way of adulation.
“I am interrupted—adieu! le reste à l’ordinaire prochain.”
“Friday Evening, August 25th, or thereabouts.
“On Monday we went to Wilton, as proposed—Lord S., Blankett, and I, in my Lord’s coach with hacks. It was not as I had at first apprehended. My Lord was almost as much a stranger at Wilton as myself: he had been there but once before, and then without acquaintance. Lord Pembroke’s defection from the court, had begun an intercourse in London, and this visit was the first fruit of it in the country. We set out at six: got there to breakfast, (it is about twenty-six or twenty-seven miles off,) and stayed to breakfast the next morning. It was seeing the place to some advantage, having the master and the mistress of the house for cicerones. A very pretty part of the gardens, planned and just finished by Lady P—, is not shown to strangers. At dinner, the only company besides ourselves were, an officer who was quartered at Salisbury, (a Major North of the 4th Dragoons,) and young Beckford of Fonthill, who, on the 28th of this month, comes of age, and gives a grand fête to all the world. The family consist only of Lord and Lady P—, Lord Herbert who is with his regiment, and Lady Charlotte, a little girl of nine or ten years old, who is at home. It is odd enough, that though he and she are by no means on good terms, they should neither of them have a creature with them. Lord P— is one of the best bred, most intelligent, pleasant fellows, I ever met with in my life; they say he is mad, but, if his madness never shows itself in any other shapes than it did then, I wish to God I could be mad too. He talked with infinite vivacity and légèreté, saying many good things and no foolish ones.
“I got a most exquisite lesson in the art of small talk from the breakfast conversation of Lord S. and Lady P., (Lord P. being absent for near an hour.) They had been old cronies twenty or twenty-five years ago, and had never come across one another since: you may imagine what stories they had to ohop and notes to compare. In those days Lord S. used to frequent Marlborough House. You know the genealogy. Lady P. and Lady Di. Beauclerk, sisters to the present Duke of Marlborough. It was pleasing enough to contemplate, at leisure, the remains of a beauty which was one of the first that I remember to have heard celebrated, au sortir de l’enfance. Lady P. and Lady Egremont—whom also I shall probably have the opportunity of being acquainted with—were the two heroines of a copy of verses, which I remember made some noise at Tunbridge, when I was there with my father about twenty years ago.* She is grown fat, and, by that means, a little out of shape; but she has still a fine face, and very fine light brown hair, which she wears neatly done up without powder, to serve as evidence of youth. To apologize for the attention with which I surveyed her, and to make up for the little I could have to say upon such topics, I threw into my looks as well as I could, an air of respect mixed up with a small dash of tenderness. She is at that time of life at which a woman thinks herself obliged to any man who will give her to understand that he thinks her still desirable. It was by this manœuvre, I suppose, that I escaped contempt: for it did not appear to me, that I was looked upon as others who had so much more to say for themselves. They (I mean Lord and Lady P.) are to be here in the course of the summer, but separately; it being so contrived, thinking it would be the more agreeable to them.
“The Duchess of Bedford is also to be here; she is, you know, related (I don’t know yet precisely in what manner) to Lady Shelburne; so also, I believe, is a personage of a nature very disparate to the former—I mean Dunning; I mean that he is expected here. You have in the newspapers of a day or two ago, a mighty pretty paragraph, about the duchess being all summer long in town; the fact is, she is at Woburn. Yesterday, we had at breakfast old Sir Edward Bayntum; to-morrow, we have at dinner Sir James Long, nephew and hæres designatus to Lord Tilney. This morning, went away honest Jo. Townsend, a parson, brother to the alderman;* we found him here on our return from Wilton, on Tuesday. He seems a very worthy creature, has been a good deal abroad, and has a great deal of knowledge; his studies have lain a great deal in the same track with mine; he is a utilitarian, a naturalist, a chemist, a physician; was once what I had liked to have been, a methodist, and what I should have been still had I not been what I am; as Alexander, if he had not been Alexander, (I am wrong in the story, but never mind,) would have been Diogenes. In short, we have become great friends, and he has given me the carte du pays. There is a mixture of simplicity, candour, and a composed earnestness, tempered with good breeding, that has won upon me mightily; and upon the terms of my indulging him in his patriotism, and antipathy to your countrymen,† (some of whom, however, he has a great respect for,) I am apt to think we shall be fast friends. He is to come here again ere long, that I may cast an eye over a work of his, part of which is printed; and he, in return, is to assist me in the revisal of mine, which he enters into the spirit of most perfectly. He has made me promise to go over and see him at his living, which is about fourteen miles from hence. Lord S. and Barré, when he comes, are to go and dine there: I shall then go with them, and stay behind them for a few days. Blankett is to go on Monday. I am glad of it; he seems to be an honest sort of man enough, but has one of the most confused heads I ever met with, and he embroils every topic that is started.
“The master of the house, to judge from everything I have seen yet, is one of the pleasantest men to live with that ever God put breath into: his whole study seems to be to make everybody about him happy—servants not excepted; and in their countenances one may read the effects of his endeavours. In his presence they are as cheerful as they are respectful and attentive; and when they are alone, you may see them merry, but, at all times, as quiet as so many mice. I have no need to rue the rencontre mentioned in a former sheet; for, to such a poor devil as I, they are as respectful and attentive as if I were a lord. The mistress has more reserve and less conversation, but as much mildness as the master. The only instances of fire I have seen him exhibit, have been when he has been declaiming about politics; yet, though I frequently oppose him, and scarce ever join with him, he takes it all in the best part imaginable. I will tell you how the matter stands between the P— of W— and Perdita. The common story is that she has got letters of his, in which he speaks disrespectfully of the king; and that she is making use of them to extort money from him. This is not the case; but the fact is, that she has a direct promissory letter for £20,000, written, I think it was, before possession. This is what Lord P— told us on Monday. Before he left town, he called on Lord Southampton to pump him about it. Lord S. could not immediately see him. Meantime came in Lord Malden, who was come as plenipo for the lady, for the express purpose of negotiating the matter with Lord S. Lord P— descried his errand, as he says, and, by pretending to know more than he did, picked the story out of him.
“As to myself, I have hitherto been completely idle, and that partly from inclination, partly upon principle. Strangers are lodged in a part of the house quite separate from that which is inhabited by the family. Adjoining to my bed-chamber I have a dressing-room, and should have a servant’s room if I had one to put into it. They are plain but neat, spacious, and convenient. The dressing-room I make my study. People here do just what they please—eat their meals either with the family or in their own apartments. The only gêne I feel is, that which conscience imposes of dressing twice a-day—that, you know, eats time.
“We learnt at Wilton that Lord Porchester comes off with little loss; the witnesses against him discredited themselves.”
“Lord Bristol is here—a most excellent companion—pleasant, intelligent, well read, and well bred—liberal-minded to the last degree. He has been everywhere, and knows everything. Sir J. Long is a little stiff-rumped fellow, and knows nothing—except persons, and so forth, in the Q. S. Pian style. Lord B. has with him one of his sons—a fine boy of twelve years old—who is just going to sea.”
“Bowood, Saturday, 26th August, 1781.
“The revenue of the Bishoprick of Derry is, at present, £7,200, and, in a few years, will be £9,000; the patronage, £14,300; none of the livings less than £250; some £8, £10, £12, up to £1500. Of all the advowsons in his diocese, he has forty; some lay-lord, five; and another, I forget who, two or three. This, from the honest bishop, who, at the same time, declares it to be a wonder and a shame that the clergy should be suffered to remain in possession of so much wealth. Of the above parsons, scarce one resides. They pay a curate £50 a-year, which, he observes, according to their own estimation, is what the service that is done is worth.
“Lord B. says, he is well assured and persuaded that Necker acted corruptly—that, as minister, he borrowed of his own house at seven per cent., when the farmers would have lent at five per cent. Necker and Turgot (who, you know, died about eight months ago) were bitter enemies—this makes it the more generous for N. to speak of T. in the handsome way he has done in his pamphlet. What turned out Turgot, was a jealousy of Maurepas. When the Prince of Condé, who found himself affected by some of Turgot’s arrangements, raised the insurrection at Paris, Turgot went to the king, and got an order upon the Marechal de Biron, governor of Paris, for as many men as he chose to have: purposely, or through inadvertence, he failed to communicate this to Maurepas. M.’s jealousy took fire; and in two days Turgot was dismissed. Madame Blondel, who was closely liée with Turgot, took upon herself the blame; but all would not save him. Necker owed his dismission to the Parliaments—whose assumed negative in legislation his project of provincial assemblies went to supersede.
“The K. of F., who is timidity itself, is apprehensive of a quarrel with the men of the long robe. Caron de Beaumarchais, one of the busiest and most successful of intriguants, has realized (Lord S. says) to the tune of £30,000 or £40,000 a-year. He was sent over to get (I forget what) papers of consequence from De Morande; but that story you remember. He was even employed once in making up a quarrel between the K. and Q. of France, which had gone to such a length, that the empress queen was impliquée in it. At present, his interest is equal to almost anything. He is at the head of the project for publishing three magnificent editions of Voltaire’s works, at fifteen (twenty-five, I think it is) and forty guineas, with Baskerville’s types. He has sent Lord S. a number of proposals. Lord B. said, he had met with French officers, and seen letters from others, (Fayette was one who was mentioned on the occasion,) who all joined in giving the Americans the worst of characters: they had all the vices of the Athenians, said somebody, without any of their virtues. Franklin, it was agreed by both their lordships, had his situation to the last degree uncomfortable, despised and neglected by the French Ministry, thwarted and persecuted by Arthur Lee’s party, of whom he has been heard to say, ‘he could not have thought there had been so much malevolence in human nature.’
“Elliot has brought down a strange story of the Chancellor [Thurlow]—that he had promised a man a living—that afterwards he came to learn that the man (who was a Yorkshireman) had concurred in some of the opposition measures of that county, and that, therefore, he had revoked his promise. By way of contrast, the care was mentioned that Lord Northington took to make an equal distribution of church preferments to all parties. A strange circumstance in the story is, that Lord Loughborough went to the Chancellor, and forced him into it. The reality of the promise is mentioned as being so clear, that it was to have been confirmed by I know not what overt acts.
“Lord S. pretends to have heard from very high authority at New York, that Lord Cornwallis, being sick of his situation, had begged of Clinton to come in person, and gather the laurels that were ready for him; but that Cl. begged to be excused. Reported of Lord Mulgrave, when in Opposition, being introduced to the Queen of Sardinia: ‘On dit,’ said her majesty, ‘que Milord n’est pas bien à la cour.’ ‘Madame c’est la cour qui n’est pas bien chez moi.’ This was by Lord Bristol, who is uncle to Lord M.
“Lord B. assumed to me, (unless I much mistook him,) a principal share in the merit of carrying the Toleration Act through the Irish House of Lords. He was, in his own mind at least, for going further, and admitting them to all offices, that of Member of Parliament not excepted. Of a little more than three millions—of which, he says, the population of Ireland consists—upwards of two millions are Catholics, about 600,000 Presbyterians, and only about 400,000 Church-of-England men. He has made an exact enumeration of all the people in his diocese, distinguishing them according to their religions, occupations, sex, ages, and the like.
“Elliot says that Admiral Parker is loud in his complaints against Lord Sandwich for not giving him force enough. The royal visit was a contrivance of Lord S.’s to stop his mouth; but that it won’t.
“Elliot and Lord S. agreed that Lord Chesterfield is broken up, and gone to live altogether in the country. He says of himself that he is much obliged to the P. of W.; that he had not thought of his owing above £30,000 or £40,000; but that, in consequence of that affair, he had the advantage of knowing that it amounted to £90,000; that the notion of his being a short life, had brought all his creditors about him; that now he knows how his affairs stood; and seven or eight years, spent in the country, would set them right again; otherwise, going on in the notion of owing but £30,000 or £40,000, he should have ruined himself past redemption. Lord S. says that, on the breaking out of that affair, the king was exasperated to the highest degree, with Lord Ch.; that he had appointed a day for visiting him; but that upon that he broke the appointment, without sending any word.
“Lord B. told me that Lord Shannon used to send twenty-two or twenty-three Members to the Irish Parliament; but that, since the act, that influence was diminished.
“I write you everything higgledy-piggledy, just as it happens to come in my head. There is no end of the anecdotes, of all kinds, I hear about the politics, as well of France as of this country: about one in fifty I shall remember; the others will be lost to me.
“I wish I could get your great carcass, and squeeze it through a keyhole, like a fairy’s, that you might get by heart the things I hear, and give them back to me as I wanted them.
“Lord S. says that Lord Chatham, who governed everybody else with a high hand, was himself governed, in a manner, by the King of Prussia; who gave him information, and suggested ideas to him, even for his maritime operations. This appears from a suite of letters from the king to Lord C., of which Lord S. has either the originals or copies, and which I, I believe, may see.
“I mistook. Lord Porchester, upon Lord Pembroke’s account, lost about £3,500. Supposing that he should be ruined, he sent over an agent to the continent to look out for a retreat.”
“Monday, 27th August, 8 in the Evening.
“Last night came in, Elliot of Port-Elliot, St Paul’s friend. This morning, Lord Bristol and Blankett went away: Lord Bristol, I believe, to Oxford; Blankett to London, taking Hackwood (the Duke of Bolton’s) in his way. One of the most wrong-headed blockheads I think I ever met with; putting in his oar on every occasion, talking à tort and à travers, and spoiling every discussion that is started. Yet he is connected with many of the first people in Opposition, and, in particular, has the ear of the mâitre de la maison, to a degree I am sorry to observe. His great merit is the having been a lieutenant to Keppel, whose âme damnée he is, and has written paragraphs and pamphlets on his side. Before he went, he took me into confidence, and consulted me about a nonsensical project of his for discovering polished and commercial nations where Cook has been, and found none: the most absurd idea, supported by the most absurd arguments, in the most confused method, and in the most slovenly and awkward style. He it is who brought home the Rippon from the East Indies. He is personally acquainted with Rumbold and defends him without argument and without shame. Sed de hoc plus satis.
“Talking with Lord B. yesterday (nobody else in the room) about the riots, he took notice, that in the Scotch Assembly (National Ecclesiastical Assembly—what d’ye call it?) there were but two voices against the toleration. O yes, says I. I understood it was not with the clergy that it originated, but with a parcel of low-lived fellows of laymen in the neighbourhood of Glasgow. No, no, says he—not with them. With whom, then? With people here. These last words were pronounced with an air of mystery, and with a push of the voice. Who he meant, I cannot pretend to say. It cannot be the Ministry; for besides that, nothing could be more against their interests. If he had meant them, he would have spoken out. It could not, I think, be the Rockinghamites; it could not have been Lord G. G., for nobody could have thought of making a mystery of his name. I leave you to form your own conclusions.
Lord S. says that when he was in town, (about a week ago,) a Mr Oswald, who is a strong royalist, and much connected with Lord Mansfield, told him that it was a certain fact that the French had at last seen the necessity of supplying the Americans with money; that they had accordingly sent £600,000, and that if it reached them, there must be an end of all our hopes.”
“Tuesday, 28th August, 8 o’Clock in the Evening.
“ ‘An Historical Account of the Settlement and Possession of Bombay, and of the Rise and Progress of the War with the Mahratta Nation. Printed for Robson, New Bond Street, 1781.’ It is not yet published. Lord S. says it is by Master Pechell. It contains information which there is no other means of coming at: in that respect, it is valuable; but, for composition, it is, I think, the vilest stuff I ever met with. I have just read it. This is one of the pleasant incidents attendant upon great houses—meeting with unedited books, or books of the day, before they are to be had elsewhere.
“This morning came a packet to Lord S., from France. It contained two newspapers—the one a journal of the operations of De Grasse, from his sailing from France, to the day of the troops abandoning St Lucie; the other, a letter of Count Dillon, from that period to the taking of Tobago. The first man says:—‘The fort of St Lucie is so strong (what do they call it? Morne Fortune?) that it might bid defiance to 20,000 men; that it has cisterns, and I do not know how many other things, bomb-proof, and that part of it is undermined; but then he adds some other circumstances that are plain lies, viz. that there were 2,500 regulars in it, and as many sailors. It appears plainly, if not wholly, as a feint to draw our attention from Tobago. At this latter place, it looks as if we had made but a scurvy figure. The island was surrendered, without so much as firing a gun; though we had one post, Dillon says, extremely strong, and a defence of twenty-four hours might, as they had reason to expect, have given time to the fleet to arrive to their relief. On the other hand, their fleet appears, from the first paper, to have cut as scurvy a figure in the engagement with Admiral Hood. It talks of a fatalité, and then, again, of another fatalité; and so, I believe, to the tune of three fatalities, that prevented them from gaining the advantages they might have done; and yet this was written by an apologist of De Grasse.
“I believe I shall pack this off to-night. To-morrow, Elliot leaves this place—a modest, civil, good kind of man; sensible enough; but without those pretensions which one would expect to find in a man whose station in his country is so commanding, and political influence so great. He is modest enough in his conversation about politics, but desponding. He says he scarce ever looks into a paper, nor dares he, for fear of ill news.
“I have just been playing at billiards with Lady S. Miss V. looked on, but would not play, saying she never had played before. There is an event for you. By and by I shall come to telling you every time I buckle my shoe. I almost despair of getting them to the harpsichord. To-morrow, however, the house, I hope, will be clear; and then, perhaps, I may have some chance. The chess and the billiards were her own proposal; the harpsichord I must beg and pray for.
“The sheet is not filled, and you will grumble if I leave any of it blank. There seems no want of money here: grounds laying out, and plantations making, upon a large scale—a gate going to be made, with a pyramid on each side of it, for an approach to the house at six miles distance:—the pyramids to be at least 100 feet high. At this place, a road, which is to be made from the house, is to join the road from London to Devizes. This new road will leave Calne (through which the present road runs) on the right, and save a mile or two. I call it Egypt.
“In the way, you have deep valleys, with meadows and a water-mill at the bottom of them; and, on the sides, craggy rocks, with water gushing out of them, just for all the world as if Moses had been there.”
[* ] Some notice of George Wilson will be found in next Chapter, p. 133.
[* ] The Rev. Joseph Townsend, Rector of Pewsey. The work referred to is probably his “Thoughts on Despotic and Free Governments,” published in 1781.
[† ] The letter is to George Wilson, a Scotchman.