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Dr. Beattie to Sir William Forbes-Life at an English Country Parsonage.

del's, Jackson's, and other songs, as well as I can; and my audience is very willing to be pleased. The bishop and Mrs. Porteus are both fond of music. These musical parties are often honored with the company of the accomplished and amiable Lady Twisden, of whom I gave you some account in my last. Observe, that there are in this part of Kent no fewer than three ladies of that name; but the one I speak of is Lady Twisden of Jennings, in the parish of Hunton; who, in the course of one year, was a maid, a wife, a widow, and a mother; whose husband, Sir Roger, died about five years ago; and who, though possessed of beauty and a large fortune, and not more than twenty-five years of age, has ever since lived in this retirement, employing herself partly in study, but chiefly in acts of piety and beneficence, and in the education of her little daughter, who is indeed a very fine child. I have just now before me Miss Hannah More's Sacred Dramas, which I borrowed from Lady Twisden, and in which I observe that she has marked her favorite passages with a nicety of selection that does great honor to her heart, as well as to her judgment. By the by, Miss More is an author of very considerable merit. My curiosity to see her works were excited by Johnson, who told me, with great solemnity, that she was "the most powerful versificatrix" in the English language.

So much for our week-days. On Sundays, at eleven, we repair to church. It is a small, but neat building, with a pretty good ring of six bells. The congregation are a stout, well-featured set of people, clean and neat in their dress, and most exemplary in the decorum with which they perform the several parts of public worship. As we walk up the area to the bishop's pew, they all make, on each side, a profound obeisance, and the same

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Dr. Beattie to Sir William Forbes-Life at an English Country Parsonage.

as we return.

The prayers are very well read by Mr. Hill, the curate, and the bishop preaches. I need not tell you now, because I think I told you before, that Bishop Porteus is, in my opinion, the best preacher, in respect both of composition and delivery, I have ever heard. In this capacity, indeed, he is universally admired, and many of the gentry come to hear him from the neighboring parishes. After evening service, during the summer months, his lordship generally delivers from his pew a catachetical lecture, addressed to the children, who, for this purpose, are drawn up in a line before him along the area of the church. In these lectures he explains to them, in the simplest and clearest manner, yet with his usual elegance, the fundamental and essential principles of religion and morality; and concludes with an address to the more advanced in years. This institution of the bishop's I greatly admire. When children see themselves so much attended to, and so much pains taken in instructing them, they cannot fail to look upon religion as a matter of importance; and if they do so, it is not possible for them, considering the advantages they enjoy, to be ignorant of it. The catachetical examinations in the church of Scotland, such of them at least as I have seen, are extremely ill calculated for doing good; being encumbered with metaphysical distinctions, and expressed in a technical language, which to children are utterly unintelligible, and but little understood even by the most sagacious of the common people. The bishop told me that he chose to deliver this lecture from his pew, and without putting on lawn sleeves, that it might make the stronger impression upon the children; having observed, he said, that what is delivered from the pulpit, and with the usual formalities, is too apt to be considered, both by the young and the old, as a thing of course. On

Mrs. Adams to Lucy Cranch-At Dr. Franklin's with Madame Helvetius.

Sunday evening, he sometimes reads to his servants a brief and plain abstract of the Scripture history, somewhat similar to that which was lately published by Mrs. Trimmer, and formerly by Lady Newhaven.

In no other district of Great Britain that I have seen, is there so little the appearance of poverty, and such indications of competence and satisfaction in the countenance and dress of the common people, as in this part of Kent. In this parish there is only one alehouse, the profits whereof are inconsiderable. The people are fond of cricket-matches, at which there is a great concourse of men, women, and children, with good store of ale and beer, cakes, gingerbread, etc. One of these was solemnized a few nights ago in a field adjacent to the parish church. It broke up about sunset, with much merriment, but without drunkenness or riot. The contest was between the men of Hunton and the men of Peckham; and the latter were victorious.

XXXV.--AT DR. FRANKLIN'S WITH MADAME HELVETIUS.

Mrs. Adams to Lucy Cranch.

me.

AUTEUIL, Sept. 5th, 1784. MY DEAR LUCY: I promised to write to you from the Hague, but your uncle's unexpected arrival at London prevented Your uncle purchased an excellent travelling coach in London, and hired a post chaise for our servants. In this manner we travelled from London to Dover, accommodated through England with the best of horses, postilions, and good carriages, clean, neat apartments, genteel entertainment, and prompt attendance. But no sooner do you cross from Dover to Calais

Mrs. Adams to Lucy Cranch-At Dr. Franklin's with Madame Helvetius.

than every thing is reversed, and yet the distance is very small between them.

The cultivation is by no means equal to that of England; the villages look poor and mean, the houses all thatched, and rarely a glass window in them; their horses, instead of being handsomely harnessed, as those in England are, have the appearance of so many old cart horses. Along you go, with seven horses tied up with ropes and chains, rattling like two trucks; two ragged postilions, mounted with enormous jack boots, add to the comic scene. And this is the style in which a duke or a count travels through this kingdom. You inquire of me how I like Paris. Why they tell me I am no judge, for that I have not seen it yet. One thing I know, and that is that I have smelt it. I was agreeably disappointed in London; I am as much disappointed in Paris. It is the very dirtiest place I ever saw. There are some buildings and some squares which are tolerable, but in general the streets are narrow, the shops, the houses inelegant and dirty, the streets full of lumber and stone with which they build. Boston cannot boast so many elegant public buildings; but in every other respect it is as much superior in my eyes to Paris, as London is to Boston. To have had Paris tolerable to me, I should not have gone to London. As to the people here, they are more given to hospitality than in England, it is said. I have been in company with but one French lady since I arrived; for strangers here make the first visit, and nobody will know you until you have waited upon them in form.

This lady (the widow of the philosopher Helvetius) I dined with at Dr. Franklin's. She entered the room with a careless, jaunty air; upon seeing ladies who were strangers to her, she

Mrs. Adams to Lucy Cranch-At Dr. Franklin's with Madame Helvetius.

bawled out: "Ah! mon Dien, where is Franklin? Why did you not tell me there were ladies here?" You must suppose her speaking all this in French. "How I look!" said she, taking hold of a chemise made of tiffany, which she had on over a blue lute-string, and which looked as much upon the decay as her beauty, for she was once a handsome woman, her hair was frizzled, over it she had a small straw hat, with a dirty gauze half-handkerchief round it, and a bit of dirtier gauze than ever my maid wore was bowed on behind. She had a black gauze scarf thrown over her shoulders. She ran out of the room; when she returned, the doctor entered at one door, she at the other; upon which she ran forward to him, caught him by the hand,"Helas! Franklin," then gave him a double kiss, one upon each cheek and one upon his forehead. When we went into the room to dine, she was placed between the doctor and Mr. Adams. She carried on the chief of the conversation at dinner, frequently locking her hand into the doctor's, and sometimes spreading her arms upon the backs of both the gentlemen's chairs, then throwing her arm carelessly upon the doctor's neck.

I should have been greatly astonished at this conduct if the good doctor had not told me that in this lady I should see a genuine Frenchwoman, wholly free from affectation or stiffness. of behavior, and one of the best women in the world. For this I must take the doctor's word; but I should have set her down for a very bad one, although sixty years of age and a widow. I own I was highly disgusted, and never wish for an acquaintance with any ladies of this cast. After dinner she threw herself on a settee, where she showed more than her feet. She had a little lap dog, who was, next to the doctor, her favorite. This she kissed, and when he wet the floor she wiped it

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