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Literary Life of the Rev. William Harness
William Harness to A. G. K. L'Estrange, 18 February 1869

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,
“Feb. 18, 1869.
“My dear L’Estrange,

“I was very glad to get your letter, for I began to wonder what could have become of you. I was not quite sure but you might have been blown off the cliff.

“Ever since you left town, as the weather has been growing damper and damper, I have been growing deafer and deafer! Now, it is really very painful, this absence of the sense of hearing when I’m in company. It renders me a bore to my companions, and a burden to myself. I trust, however, that, as the days clear, and the ground dries, and the sun brightens, it may partly disappear.

“Yesterday, and I believe to-day, there is a pair
of artificial second-hand legs on exhibition at an auction-room in Bond Street. It is not said whether they are on sale or not. But the exhibition of them is very disgusting to my mind. They were the legs worn by
Sir Thomas Trowbridge, and more respect was due to them as having been worn by that excellent man and distinguished soldier.

“I’m reading a novel written by Mrs. Coventry’s grandmother, which I read (almost the first full-grown book I ever did read) in the year my sister was born, 1811. I have never seen it since. ‘The Beggar Girl;’ there are eight volumes of it. I have almost read the first volume, and seem to have a dream-like remembrance of what is to come. It’s different from novels of the present day, and contains some occasional bad English; but it’s very clever. She was a great beauty, as well as an authoress—a Mrs. Bennett—and also the mother of old Mrs. Scott Waring, who died last year at the age of 102, and whom, I dare say, you may remember to have seen at church.

“Believe me to be,
“Yours ever,
William Harness.”