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I do not forsake the flowery paths of poesy, for that is my chief delight: I read the best poets. Mr. Coldham has got Johnson's complete set, with their lives; these of course I read.
With a little drudgery, I read Italian-Have gotsome good Italian works, as Pastor Fido, &c. &c. I taught myself, and have got a grammar.
I must now beg leave to return you my sincere thanks for your kind present.
present. I like · La Bruyere the Less' very much; I have read the original La Bruyere: I think him like Rouchefoucault. Madame de Genlis is a very able woman.
But I must now attempt to excuse my neglect in not writing to you. First, I have been very busy with these essays and poems for the Monthly Preceptor. Second, I was rather
last letter. I can bear any thing but a sneer, and it was one continued grin from beginning to end, as were all the notices you made of
mother's letters, and I could not, nor can I now, brook it. I could say much more, but it is very late, and must beg leave to wish you good night. I am, dear brother, Your affectionate friend,
H. K. WHITE. P.S. You may expect a regular correspondence from me in future, but no sneers; and shall be very obliged by a long letter.
TO HIS BROTHER NEVILLE.
Nottingham, 25th June, 1800.
You are inclined to flatterme when you compare my application with yours; in truth, I am not half so as. siduous as you, and I am conscious I waste a deal of time unwittingly. But, in reading, I am upon the continual search for improvement; I thirst after knowledge, and though my disposition is naturally idle, I conquer it when reading a useful book. The plan which I pursued, in order to subdue my disinclination to dry books, was this, to begin attentively to peruse it, and continue this one hour every day; the book insensibly, by this means, becomes pleasing to you; and even when reading Blackstone's Commentaries, which are very dry, I lay down the book with regret.
With regard to the Monthly Preceptor, I certainly shall be agreeable to your taking it in, as my only objection was the extreme impatience which I feel to see whether my essays have been successful; but this may be obviated by your speedy perusal, and not neglecting to forward it. But you must have the goodness not to begin till August, as my bookseller cannot stop it this month.
I had a ticket given me to the boxes, on Monday night, for the benefit of Campbell, from Drury-Lane, and there was a such a riot as never was experienced here before. He is a democrat, and the soldiers planned a riot in conjunction with the mob. We heard the shouting of the rabble in the street before the play was over ; the moment the curtain dropt, an officer went into the
front box, and gave the word of command; immediately about sixty troopers started up, and six trumpeters in the pit played God save the king.' The noise was astonishing. The officers in the boxes then drew their swords; and at another signal the privates in the pit drew their bludgeons, which they had hitherto concealed, and attacked all indiscriminately, that had not a uniform: the officers did the same with their swords, and the house was one continued scene of confusion; one pistol was fired, and the ladies were fainting in the lobby. The outer doors were shut to keep out the mob, and the people jumped on the stage as a last resource. One of these noble officers, seeing one man stand in the pit with his hat on, jumped over the division, and cut him with his sword, which the man instantly wrenched from him and broke, whilst the officer sneaked back in disgrace. They then formed a troop, and having emptied the playhouse, they scoured the streets with their swords, and returned home victorious. The players are, in consequence, dismissed, and we have informations in our office against the officers.
TO HIS BROTHER NEVILLE.
DEAR NEVILLE, Nottingham, Michaelmas-day, 1800. I CANNOT divine what, in an epistolary correspondence, can have such charms (with people who write only common-place occurrences) as to detach a man from his usual affairs, and make him waste time and paper on what cannot be of the least real benefit to his correspondent. Amongst relatives, certainly, there is always an incitement; we always feel an anxiety for their welfare. But I have no friend so dear to me, as
to cause me to take the trouble of reading his letters, if they only contained an account of his health, and the mere nothings of the day; indeed, such a one would be unworthy of friendship. What then is requisite to make one's correspondence valuable? I answer, sound sense. Nothing more is requisite; as to the style, one may very readily excuse its faults, if repaid by the sentiments. You have better natural abilities than many youth, but it is with regret I see that you will not give yourself the trouble of writing a good letter. There is hardly any species of composition (in my opinion) easier than the epistolary; but, my friend, you never found any art, however trivial, that did not require some application at first. For if an artist, instead of endeavouring to surmount the difficulties which presented themselves, were to rest contented with mediocrity, how could he possibly ever arrive at excellence? Thus 'tis with you; instead of that indefatigable perseverance which, in other cases, is a leading trait in your character, I hear you say, ' Ah, my poor brains were never formed for letter-writing—I shall never write a good letter,'or some such phrases ; and thus, by despairing of ever arriving at excellence, you render yourself hardly tolerable. You may, perhaps, think this art beneath your notice, or unworthy of your pains; if so, you are assuredly mistaken, for there is hardly any thing which would contribute more to the advancement of a young man, or which is more engaging. :! You read, I believe, a good deal; nothing could be more acceptable to me, or more improving to you, than making a part of your letters to consist of your sentiments, and opinion of the books you peruse: you have no idea how beneficial this would be to yourself; and that you are able to do it I am certain. One of the greatest
impediments to good writing, is the thinking too much before you note down. This, I think, you are not entirely free from. I hope that by always writing the first idea that presents itself, you will soon conquer it; my letters are always the rough first draught, of course there are many alterations; these you will excuse.
I have written most of my letters to you in so negligent a manner, that if you will have the goodness to return all you have preserved, sealed, I will peruse them, and all sentences worth preserving I will extract, and return. You observe, in your last, that
letters are read with contempt.-Do you speak as you think?
You had better write again to Mr.- - Between friends, the common forms of the world in writing letter for letter, need not be observed; but never write three without receiving one in return, because in that case they must be thought unworthy of answer.
We have been so busy lately, I could not answer yours sooner.-Once a month suppose we write to each other. If you ever find that my correspondence is not worth the trouble of carrying on, inform me of it, and it shall cease.
P. S. If any expression in this be too harsh, excuse it.-I am not in an ill humour, recollect.
TO HIS BROTHER NEVILLE. DEAR NEVILLE, Nottingham, 11th April, 1801. On opening yours, I was highly pleased to find two and a half sheets of paper, and nothing could exceed my joy at so apparently a long letter, but, upon finding it consisted of sides filled after the rate of five words in a line, and nine lines in a page, I could not conceal my chagrin; and I am sure I may very modestly say, that