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of his manners, the splendour of the poet is almost forgotten in attachment to the man.
“ If any further motive were wanting on my part, my Agnes, for a more than common admiration of the genius and character of Shakspeare, it would be from the consideration of the happy influence of both over the spirits of my poor father, whose domestic sorrows, you well know, have been such as greatly, and, I fear, permanently, to injure his health. I have not for years seen him so cheerful and abstracted from care, notwithstanding the pain arising from his accident, as since he has been a resident at New-Place; and deeply, indeed, shall I feel indebted to the bard, if, by the goodness of Providence, he should prove instrumental towards the restoration of my father's peace of mind; for I should have told you, my love, that vivacious and full of humour as is the general cast of Shakspeare's temper, and much as we have heard of the frolic achievements of his younger days, and much as he must necessarily have mixed with the gayest spirits of the ' age, he is yet, I am-well assured, by those who know him best, as remarkable for the piety as
for the cheerfulness of his disposition, a feature in his character which, connected, as it is, with great and acknowledged splendour of talent cannot fail to give him an almost irresistible influence over the perturbations of sorrow, or the conscience-stricken feelings of remorse. .65 Under these powerful incentives to the love and veneration of our host, you will not, I am persuaded, be surprised at the importance which I attach to every thing connected with himself or his friends; nor that I threaten to resume in my next letter the very minute sketch which I have attempted to begin in this, of the poet's house and family. I feel, indeed, and I pray you to pardon the presumption of such an idea, as if he were, somehow or other, associated with the destiny of our house; a belief which has originated, I have no doubt, in the very beneficial effect which his society appears to have produced on the thoughts and prospects of my father.
“ I will only add, that nothing has transpired since we left the Hall, with regard to poor . Hubert Grey, on whose account, as you well know, I have suffered, and still suffer, so many unhappy moments. Farewell, my beloved Agnes, I pray to God to have you in his good keeping: soon shall you hear again from
Avon, thy rural views, thy pastures wild,
It was not long before Helen Montchensey fulfilled the promise which she had made to her friend, and resumed the description of NewPlace so circumstantially commenced in her former letter.
" You will recollect, my sweet Agnes,” she continues, “ that I left you in my last on the threshold of the poet's house; and I shall now open my picture of the interior, by recalling to your remembrance my father's account of his interview with Shakspeare in his library, as it was the first day on which, owing to his indisposition, and my close attendance upon him in his chamber, that we had an opportunity of dining with the family below.
6 I was ushered, on reaching the vestibule, into a handsome room, situated on the left of the porch as you enter the house; it was hung with rich tapestry, representing the Defeat of the Spanish Armada, and the floor was strewed with some of the finest rushes I have ever seen ; whilst in the chimney and bay window were placed, in profusion, a variety of sweet smelling herbs and flowers. Immediately opposite the door stands a large cypress chest of great beauty, elevated on lofty feet, and curiously embossed on the top and sides with scroll-work, and emblematical devices. The chairs are cane-backed with Turkey cushions of the newest fashion, and over the chimney-piece, in frame work richly carved, is a portrait, by Van Somer, of his present Majesty, from whom, it is said, the poet has had