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Literary Life of the Rev. William Harness
William Harness to A. G. K. L'Estrange, 14 June 1866

Chapter I.
Chapter II.
Chapter III.
Chapter IV.
Chapter V.
Chapter VI.
Chapter VII.
Chapter VIII.
Chapter IX.
Chapter X.
Chapter XI.
Chapter XII.
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“Privy Council Office,
“June 14, 1866.
“My dear L’Estrange,

“I was so glad to receive your kind note, and to be assured by your autograph that you had not quite forgotten the exertions I had to undergo last Sunday. Considering that I’m not well, and have not preached these three months, and that the weather was very hot, I got through my work more easily
than I expected. I was called at seven, breakfasted at eight, started for the cathedral at a quarter before nine, and arrived at its door at half-past nine. So that my primary fear of not being in time was happily dissipated. The cathedral felt very cold, which was a good thing for me, as I had not the lassitude of heat, as well as the weakness of indisposition and the infirmities of old age, to fight against. So that, althogether, I did much better than I expected to do. Sultry as the day was, St. Paul’s was so much the reverse, that on coming out I was quite glad to find myself in the blaze of the sun again. I was too tired afterwards to go up to Holly Lodge, as
Miss Coutts wished me to do; but went quietly home, as soon as I had paid a little visit to the Deanery to look at Milman’s picture by Watts. It is very good indeed, like the work of an old master, and bearing a strong resemblance to the Dean, with the exception that the drooping of his left eye is strikingly exaggerated.

“I am not well; I am weak from my illness; and in spite of the iron which Bence Jones is giving me, I don’t feel stronger. I mean to see him again tomorrow. But the season is against me. I had a dinner at home last Friday, which I could not put off; and, though I have excused myself from dining out ever since, I have Charles Dickens and some other people to dinner to-day, who have been invited
since the first of the month, and whom I must enjoy—as I shall—the pleasure of receiving; though I fearfully anticipate the fatigue of it. I have a notion of going to Margate on Monday for a day or two. There is a fine jetty to walk on into the midst of the sea. The air is excellent. It is the haunt of cockneys, of whom I don’t know one; so that I may fairly hope to enjoy there a very comfortable and salubrious retirement with my
Shakespeare as sole companion: unless you would join me there on Monday evening!

“Believe me to be yours,
“Ever affectionately,
W. Harness.”