Dear Sir, As our wedding will not be so soon as I expected, and as I should be unwilling You Should take a journey in bad weather, I wish it may be convenient to you and Mr. Essex to come hither on the 25th day of this present month. If one can depend on any season, it is on the chill suns of October, which, like an elderly beauty, are less capricious than spring or summer. Our old-fashioned October, you know, reached eleven days into modern November, and I still depend on that reckoning, when I have a mind to protract the year.
Lord Ossory is charmed with Mr. Essex’s cross(66) and wishes much to consult him on the proportions. Lord Ossory has taken a small house very near mine; is now, and will be here again, after Newmarket. He is determined to erect it at Ampthill, and I have written the following lines to record the reason:
In days of old here Ampthill’s towers were seen;
The mournful refuge of an injured queen.
Here flowed her pure, but unavailing tears;
Here blinded zeal sustain’d her sinking years.
Yet Freedom hence-her radiant banners waved,
And love avenged a realm by priests enslaved.
From Catherine’s wrongs a nation’s bliss was spread,
And Luther’s light from Henry’s lawless bed,
I hope the satire on Henry viii. will make you excuse the compliment to Luther, Which, like most poetic compliments, does not come from my heart. I only like him better than Henry, Calvin, and the Church of Rome, who were bloody persecutors. Calvin was an execrable villain, and the worst of all; for he copied those whom he pretended to correct. Luther was as jovial as Wilkes, and served the cause of liberty without canting. Yours most sincerely.
(66) Mr. Cole applied to Mr. Essex, who furnished a design for the cross, which was followed.
I am sorry, dear Sir, that I cannot say your answer is as agreeable and entertaining as you flatter me my letter was; but consider, you are prevented coming to me, and have flying pains of rheumatism—either were sufficient to spoil your letter.
I am sure of being here till to-morrow se’nnight, the last of this month; consequently I may hope to see Mr. Essex here on Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday next. After that I cannot answer for myself, on account of our wedding, which depends on the return of a courier from Ireland. If I can command any days certain in November, I will give you notice: and yet I shall have a scruple of dragging you so far from home at such a season. I will leave it to your option, only begging you to be assured that I shall always be most happy to see you.