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Literary Life of the Rev. William Harness
William Harness to A. G. K. L'Estrange, 4 July 1867

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,
“July 4, 1867.
“My dear L’Estrange,

“I won’t tell you how often I complained of your silence! But your letter, when it appeared yesterday at dinner-time, appeased me; and I am at this moment writing, in my usual most complacent state of mind towards that intrepid seaman, the Rev. A. G. L’Estrange. I have done nothing about the book, except read and arrange letters. All my considerations by day, with the MSS. before me, and by night, as I think about them, have led me to this conclusion, that we must finish the book as fast as we can; read the first part over for condensation; and then publish the whole together.

“I am very well at present, and trust that I may remain so; but at seventy-eight (I was going to write eighty-seven) who, without infinite presumption, can depend on life or its faculties for a moment beyond the present? I shall, if Providence permit, leave town as early in the month as I can, after getting in my pew-rents and paying my house-rent and
taxes—the latter movement being contingent on the first.

“I have not done much since you removed from the metropolis, except dining out twice, giving a dinner on the anniversary of my niece’s wedding-day,* going twice to garden-parties at Holly Lodge, and seeing ‘Dora’ at the Olympic. This latter piece of dissipation took place on Monday last. I had heard the play so praised, that I was determined to see it; and so, taking two stall tickets, I asked Mr. Smith to be so good as to go with me and take care of me, which he most kindly did; and, after being bored with a preliminary farce, I poured out my fullest approbation in tears to ‘Dora,’ from the end of the first act till the green curtain dropped upon the last. I dine out to-day at the Dean of Armagh’s.

“When I leave town I shall go to Scottowe, and remain there till I return home. I wish I did not turn sea-sick at the thought of a yacht, or I would follow my letter, and take a sail with you.

“My sister’s kind regards.

“Yours affectionately,
W. Harness.”