Cozens is here very happy, very solitary and almost as full of
Systems as the Universe Since I left London I have heard no
more of a certain beauteous personage whose incursion filled us mutually
with alarms. Continue to be firm and resolute but above all
things take a resolution of being at Fonthill the 28th of September
and celebrating with us the Vigil of the Goose day.
Fonthill Augt 15 1781.
Your Letter of the 6th March, my dear Louisa, found me absorbed in
Musick bent over my instrument and dissolved in Tears. I had
just received a few Lines from my dearest Friend, and was recalling
to my mind the tranquil hours we had passed together Shall
I ever be again so fortunate, must I bid an eternal farewell to those
enchanting moments! Will he lose that amiable childishness?
we doat upon? No I flatter myself he will not; his Letters
breathe its genuine spirit and are tinted with our own beloved melancholy
Adieu remember next Summer we shall be whafted to Hesperia
and enjoy its fables and Sunshine. Write me an answer immediately
 In a month we shall probably meet what consolation there
is in that idea Good night I will dwell upon it.
Paris Wednesday March 14th 1781 10 o Clock Eve.
Mr Cozens Fonthill 9 at Night De 24th 1779
Since the receipt of your last Letter I have not looked upon the Egyptian
Hall with the same pleasure as before or enjoyed the glow of the Central
Fire. What are the Indian Apartments to me now I am assured you cannot
view them. You would pity me could some Spirit transport you
to this solitary Chamber where I lie stretched on the Carpets
pining after my absent Wm.
The animated trivets & footstools that amble around me put me
out of all patience. Last Night, tired with their impertinencies I
stole from the Saloon & led by a glimpse of moonshine between
the Arches of the Egyptian Hall, went out at the Southern Portal.
The  dissolution of the Snows next the pavement had left round
it a cricle of verdure, beyond which all was whiteness & grey
mist that rising from the waters & spreading over the Lawn, seemed
to inclose the peaceful Palace on every side. Thro the medium
of these vapours the Moon cast a dim blueish light just sufficient
to discover the surrounding Woods changed into Groves of Coral. I
was so charmed with the novelty of the prospect that setting the cold
at deffiance I walked to & fro on the plat form for several minutes,
fancying the fictions of Romance realized & almost imagining myself
surrounded by some wondrous misty barrier no Frengui could penetrate.
How I wished for my dear W.m to share with me this imaginary; but
B.d Naples July 9th 1782
I wait for your Letters with trembling expectation The last from .....
thrilled every nerve in my frame. My state is if possible more abject
than ever. The Sea breezes blow in vain,  in vain the beautiful
prospects of the Bay present themselves, the transparent sky is spread
over my head to no purpose. I should droop in the Garden of Eden were
you & my lovely Angel banished from my sight.
Your Pictures are continually before me no words can describe the
fond delight with which I hang over them. You, if any Mortal is able,
may explain to the sensations which make my heart
ready to swell out of my bosom. I shall believe you another time Louisa.
You told me I should relabse again into all my weakness. Forgive my
presumption. I will never pretend to lift up my head. O that I could
feel my neck pressed by the little ivory feet of ...... Tell her all
my follies upon her account & let me know if she is glad I am
her Slave. Have you seen her since the 9th June? Has she talked to
you any more of her W.m I must cease writing, for the present. My
head swims. The Room whirls round, the Sea I am looking upon,
seems in my fascinated Eyes to assume a thousand fantastic colours.
Strange Islands  appear rising from the Waves. Pity me
Louisa. Sustain me for Gods sake. Send to ......
write to her, remind her of him who to lay one more night on her soft
bosom would cast himself on thorns of Iron.
Aug.st 26th 1783
My friend what can have prevented your writing to me. Do you imagine
that I am grown insensible to your regard & that I am dead to
our world of Ideas. You are quite mistaken. I am what I have ever
been. The woods, the mountains, the wild flowery hills have not ceased
to appear delightful in my eyes. I am not lost; but restored
to myself. The consciousness of a secure tranquil happiness
has recalled those sportive fancies which were wont to form our dearest
amusements. I can give myself up to dreams of India and antient times
without fearing to wake with a dreadful start to misery and agitation.
I shall return happy & contented with a Companion I love &
who loves every thing that amuses me. You, of all others, may 
reckon upon her affection, for she knows how long & how sincerely
you have been my Friend. Farewell convince me, by writing immediately
that you likewise are what you have been.
Padua Thursday June 13th 1782
It is from the Land of Senegal I believe that I send my Letter. The
Sun is fiercer than you can conceive and the Sky without a Cloud.
All Padua are celebrating the festival of their blessed S.t Anthony,
whose vast Church indeed is the only place that can cool a parched
up Traveller. I have been sitting in a solemn Aile the whole morning,
listening to the Choir & viewing the distant Crowd prostrate before
the high Altar round which a multitude of tapers kept continually
moving. Not seeing the Priests who bore them, they seemed like floating
exhalations. Affected by the plaintif tones of the Voices & Instruments
I grew very devout and melancholy, sometimes lifting up my Eyes to
the Shrine; but oftener fixing  them on the pavement. St Anthony
reposes under a beautiful Arcade of the richest marble crowded with
sculptures that would not have disgraced an Athenian temple &
gleaming with polished friezes & bas reliefs of gold.
From the Arches of this holy place depend several hundred silver lamps
whose flames are never suffered to decay. The confusion of Lights,
of votive tablets, of Steps, of Candelabrum and pillars form altogether
an appearance not unlike those wildly magnificent fabrics I sometimes
visit in my dreams.
I have just received a pacquet from England but no Letters from you.
Has the Hill fallen upon your head, or has Hamilton scratched your
eyes out? I long to be told how we go on ........ I am far advanced
in a strange Letter for the conclusion, nay it would have been finished
had not the remainder of my Arabian M.S. arrived from old Lamir
Tomorrow I proceed to Rome, in deffiance of the Sun & the Sirrocco
in a fortnight I hope to expatiate on the cool shores of Parthenope
and be sirenized every evening. Let me hear from you very often &
dont forget yr siny aff
Mr Lettice at Highwood Hill Fonthill Augst 31st 1781
I begin to despair of ever seeing you again at Fonthill & shall
think soon you are as rooted to your Hill as its Lawrels. We have
a nightly bustle here & a beastly confusion of workmen, from which
the Lord deliver me; but I have got a trick of going to Witham &
exploring its deep glades and branching oaks, with Mrs Beckford. I
am extremely impatient to look over my Italian Journey and will do
my best to make it worth looking at. Unless there is a good solid
trunk that cuts fair and sound in the grain I would not givea farthing
for Leaves and flowers, so I propose being wise and solemn in the
Letter of reflections & not luxuriant and sentimental.
Yesterday arrived a fine Epistle from Count B. so full of quaint Compliments
and high flown speeches that I was quite bewildered. Madame de R.s
imagination is inexhaustible; but I think the Counts golden vein begins
to be mixed with baser metals.
You know I have set my heart upon the success of my book & shall
not at all relish its being only praised as a lively, picturesque
excursion. A great painter who plays upon the Violin had much
rather be complimented upon his Musical talent than for his excellence
in his profession. &c &c ........
B. Paris Feby 10 1781
I cannot help confessing my weakness to you.  negligence
distracts me. Why did the little Fool miss the opportunity of safely
conveying her Letter when you offered to take care of it. This
want of sensibility on her part makes me more miserable than I can
express. I wander about this gay glittering Town plunged in my melancholy
reflections and lost to the splendid tumult in which I live. In the
midst of a great Ball or at a pompous Supper where every face is brightened
by conscious beauty or magnificence my heart fails me, my countenance
changes dark clouds of thought come over me & I seem sinking to
the ground. You can divine & pity the cause of this melancholy
6 May 1783
I am in a strange room wainscotted with cedar and lumbered up with
Chairs that gleam with brass. Yews and Spruce firs wave before the
windows and between their dark boughs I discover the tops of heathy
hills, where shiver a few miserable Sheep, for the Sky totally forgetful
of May sends down snow & hail and a sort of rain which partakes
of both and is worse than either. Those gloomy circumstances serve
only to set off the sweet smiles of Lady M.s countenance. She looks
happy and that sight gives me more joy than Sunshine ever imparted.
I wish you had been walking with us yesterday evening on the 
terrace of this solitary Mansion. The lights we saw twinkling amongst
distant woods and in shady hollows would have awakened a series of
romantic conjectures. Perhaps the ruddy tint which lingered in the
West long after the Suns going down might have revived too strongly
in our minds the recollections of a certain journey to Fonthill. &c.
march 18 1784
After dozing and dreaming strangely for four hours I landed in a black
melancholy twilight at Dover. Monday we hope to reach London. I am
very impatient to see you once more, my dear Friend and to assure
you I am as Indian as ever. With respect to W.m I have been
for this fortnight past in total darkness. How I long for the light
of his lovely countenance! Secheron June 8 1783
My Friend, I have been fifty times on the point of writing to you
& as often have I been interrupted. I lead a quiet uniform stupid
sort of a Life on the banks of the Lake, but never angle like the
rest of my neighbours. Not a Soul except old Huber has the least idea
why I should be discontented in the midst of smirking faces and spruce
habitations Every now and then the recollection of past times and
happy moments for ever gone rouses me from