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Literary Life of the Rev. William Harness
William Harness to A. G. K. L'Estrange, 9 October 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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“The New Inn, Maudesley, Norwich,
“Oct. 9, 1867.
“My dear L’Estrange,

“Your letter reached me, viâ London, yesterday morning; and I’m very sorry to hear so sad an account of your mother’s health. Nobody ought to be ill at Malvern, where everybody goes to be made well; and where, if report be true, everybody feels himself better. I’m glad to find that your account of Mrs. Simmonds (i.e. Harris), is not so bad as I had fancied. She is a good old soul, but I have always had a terror of the husband as a religious humbug.

“The story of the dog is not quite exactly the fact. The dog was mine—given me as a puppy by Henry Hope. It was a clever, cunning, fawning, unamiable dog; and, as Mrs. Harris liked it, when she married I let her have it. Its beauty, in its youth, was so great that Prince Albert wanted to purchase it, and the man who rode up to my servant to negotiate the transaction offered £50 for her. But the last glimpse I had at ‘Fairy’ was through a photographic representation of her from Guernsey, in which all the beauty and grace seemed gone, and she looked like a drowned dog that had swollen a week in the water.

“I am come to a dead stop with the letters;
there are only two or three dreadfully dull ones, for 1846 and ‘47. Some of the best, to
Miss Barrett, are not there—particularly one on the ill effects of scenery in dramatic representations, which is excellent, and almost original in its notions.

“Memo: I have not the originals of the letters which are copied; and (as I never look at the copies, from having been so worried by the mistakes in writing the names of people) those letters are virtually absent. So that I have really nothing to go on upon but Mrs Jenning’s MS. We must have all the letters to Miss Barrett which we can fairly print, and make our abridgments in the beginning of the book: we can cut out plenty there.

“I’m better, but I feel that my principal ailment is old age. My sister desires her kindest regards and best thanks to Mrs. L’Estrange.

“Yours ever,
W. Harness.”