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Literary Life of the Rev. William Harness
William Harness to A. G. K. L'Estrange, 24 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 24, 1867.
“My dear L’Estrange,

“I have had a note from Bentley soliciting the publication of our book. I have told him that as soon as it is finished he shall hear of it, and be referred to; but that we can’t bind ourselves to publish with anybody till we know what terms may be offered us. I have been very much better these last few days, notwithstanding that I’ve been working like a horse. The letters of 1836 took me a long time, for several hours a day. Those for 1837 will be in Makeham’s* hands by the end of the week.

“So your little friend, Miss Orpen, (is not that the name of Lady Chatterton’s niece?) is married at last. She seems to be charmed with her condition, and I had a note from her, signed ‘R. D. Ferrers,’ which reached me the day after the announcement of the marriage appeared in the newspapers. She is living at Finchden, which is Lady Chatterton’s place, and which as she describes it (an old house of black and white timber, with seven antique and carved gables to it) must be in excellent keeping with its inhabitants. It seems that they are

* Mr. Harness’s amanuensis for five-and-twenty years.

all going to live together, aunt and niece with their respective husbands, at the black and white house with its seven gables.

Lady Chatterton has written a play—a tragedy—called ‘Oswald of Deria,’ which is to be bound in white in honour of Mrs. Ferrers’ marriage; and it is hoped that it will eventually be acted in the large drawing-room of Finchden, which has been re-constructed and enlarged by Lady Chatterton expressly for private theatricals. I am to have a copy of the play.

“We have had marvellous doings here with foreign visitors! Miss Coutts’s luncheon to the Belgians was magnificent! A beautiful thing to see the troops defiling before her and marching through the grounds to the banqueting tents—2,400 of them (men, not tents), and all finding their places and eating their dinners with the greatest goût, appetite, and decorum. They had a splendid repast, with grapes, pines, peaches, &c.; and one hundred and fifty-four dozens of champagne were dismissed before the dinner was over. The day—at least so much of it as was wanted for Holly Lodge—was just what one would wish. It was fair, with occasional gleams of bright sunshine, but never too hot. Archdale talked a good deal to the Belgians, and they all ex-
pressed themselves in terms of wondering delight at the entertainment they had received. The Sultan says that ‘in Paris he saw what civilization was—in England he saw what it was that produced it.’

“Good-bye! God bless you! I can’t write long together. It fatigues my eyes; and so, with Mary’s love, believe me to be, my dear L’Estrange,

“Yours ever,
W. Harness.”