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places the still uniform sombre hue of the pine and larch was admirably relieved by the silvered verdure of the lightly-branching ground-ash and witch-hazel.

Highly gratified with this delightful sce, hery, we returned by another track through tangled shrubberies, open groves, and waving lawiis, to the mansion. This edifice is constructed of free-stone, and has had two handsome wings lately added to it by Colonel Wood, the present proprietor of the estate. Although not very extensive, it has never, theless an elegant external appearance; and, as we were informed, is fitted up internally with a taste and splendour little inferior to any of our first-rate houses in England *. .: Remounting our horses at the village of St. Arvans, a steep ascent led over some outgrounds of Piercefield to the summit of Wyndeliff, -where a prodigious extent of prospect burst úpon us; comprehending at one view, not only the different scenes in the neighbourhood of Chepstow, which appeared sunk into the țines of a map, but a wonderful range over nine counties.

* Col, Wood is about to dispose of this estatc,

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Thg The charms of Piercefield were created by Valentine Morris, Esq. about fifty years since; to say unfolded, may be more correct; for the masterly hand of nature modelled every feature ; the taste of Mr. Morris discovered them in an unnoticed forest, and disclosed them to the world : he engrafted the blandishments of art upon the majestic wildness of the scene without distorting its original character.

Philanthropic, hospitable, and magnifitent, his house was promiscuously open to the numerous visitors whom curiosity led to his improvements; but alas ! by his splendid liberality, his unbounded benevolence, and unforeseen contingencies, his fortune became involved; he was obliged to part with his estate, and take refuge in the West Indies. Before he left his country, he took a farewel view of Piercefield, and with "manly resignation parted with that idol of his fancy, The industrious poor around, whose happiness he had promoted by his exertions and bounty, crowded towards him, and on their knees implored the interposition of Providence for the preservation of their benefactor : tears and prayers were all they had to offer; nor 1


could they be suspected of insincerity ; for: in lamenting their protector's misfortunes they but mourned their own. In this trial he saw unmoved (at least in appearance) the widows', and orphans' anguish, though he was wont to melt at the bare mention of their sorrow's. His firmness did not forsake him in quitting this affecting group, as his chaise drove off towards London; but having crossed Chepstow-bridge, the bells, muffled, as is usual on occasions of great public calamity, rang a mournful peal. Unprepared for this mark of affection and respect, he could no longer control his feelings, and burst into tears.

In leaving England he did not shake off his evil destiny. Being appointed governor of St. Vincent's, he expended the residue of his fortune in advancing the cultivation of the colony, and raising works for its defence, when the island fell into the hands of the French. Government failing to reimburse his expences during his life, upon his return to England he was thrown into the King'sbench prison by his creditors. Here he experienced all the rigour of penury and imprisonment for seven years, merous sharers of his prosperity, only his

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amiable wife * and a single friend devoted themselves to participate his misery and alleviate his distress. Even the clothes and trinkets of his lady were sold to purchase bread; and, that nothing might be wanting


of bitterness, the faithful partner of his cares, unable to bear up against continued and accumulating misery, became insane.

At length he recovered his liberty ; and fortune, tired of this long persecution, seemed to abate somewhat of her rigour; when death put an end to his chequered career at the house of his brother-in-law, Mr. Wilmot, in Bloomsbury-square, in 1789.-The neighbourhood still sounds the praises of this worthy gentleman.' Old men, in recounting his good actions and unmerited misfortunes, seem warmed with the enthusiasm of youth; and little children sigh while they lisp the suf, ferings of Good Mr. Morris.

* She was a niece of Lord Peterborough,

C H A P.

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