Reference > Fiction > Nonfiction > Warner, et al., eds. > The Library

C.D. Warner, et al., comp.  The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes.  1917.
Letter from Bowood to George Wilson (1781)
By Jeremy Bentham (1748–1832)
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 honor, 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, etc., 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 titre 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.  2
  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 traveling 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.  3
  I am interrupted—adieu! le reste à l’ordinaire prochain.  4

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