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Wesley at Windsor Park

Friday, 29.--We viewed the improvements of that active and useful man, the late Duke of Cumberland. The most remarkable work is the triangular tower which he built on the edge of Windsor Park. It is surrounded with shrubberies and woods, having some straight, some serpentine, walks in them, and commands a beautiful prospect all three ways: a very extensive one to the southwest. In the lower part is an alcove which must be extremely pleasant in a summer evening. There is a little circular projection at each corner, one of which is filled by a geometrical staircase; the other two contain little apartments, one of which is a study. I was agreeably surprised to find many of the books not only religious, but admirably well chosen. Perhaps the great man spent many hours here, with only Him that seeth in secret; and who can say how deep that change went, which was so discernible in the latter part of his life?

Hence we went to Mr. Bateman's house, the oddest I ever saw with my eyes. Everything breathes antiquity; scarcely a bedstead is to be seen that is not a hundred and fifty years old; and everything is quite out of the common way: he scorns to have anything like his neighbors. For six hours, I suppose, these elegant oddities would much delight a curious man; but after six months they would probably give him no more pleasure than a collection of feathers.

Monday, December 16.--I rode to Dorking, where were many a people; but none were cut to the heart. Tuesday, 17. I went on to Ryegate-place. In King Henry the Fourth's time, this was an eminent monastery. At the dissolution of monasteries, it fell into the hands of the great spoiler, Henry the Eighth. Queen Elizabeth, pleased with the situation, chose it for one of her palaces. The gentleman who possesses it now has entirely changed the form of it, pulling down whole piles of ancient building and greatly altering what remains. Yet, after all that is taken away, it still looks more like a palace than a private house. The staircase is of the same model with that at Hampton Court; one would scarcely know which is the original. The chimney-piece in the hall is probably one of the most curious pieces of woodwork now in the kingdom. But how long? How many of its once bustling inhabitants are already under the earth! And how little a time will it be before the house itself, yea the earth shall be burned up!

Saturday, 21.--I met an old friend, James Hutton, whom I had not seen for five-and-twenty years. I felt this made no difference; my heart was quite open; his seemed to be the same; and we conversed just as we did in 1738, when we met in Fetter Lane.

Monday, 23, and so all the following days when I was not particularly engaged, I spent an hour in the morning with our preachers, as I used to do with my pupils at Oxford. Wednesday, 25. I preached early at the Foundry; morning and afternoon, at the chapel. In returning thence at night, a coach ran full against my chaise, and broke one of the shafts and the traces in pieces. I was thankful that this was all; that neither man nor beast received the least hurt.

Monday, 30.--At my brother's request, I sat again for my picture. This melancholy employment always reminds me of that natural reflection—


Behold, what frailty we in man may see

His shadow is less given to change than he.


1772.--Tuesday, January 14.--l spent an agreeable hour with Dr. S--, the oldest acquaintance I now have. He is the greatest genius in little things that ever fell under my notice. Almost everything about him is of his own invention, either in whole or in part. Even his firescreen, his lamps of various sorts, his inkhorn, his very save-all. I really believe, were he seriously to set about it, he could invent the best mousetrap that ever was in the world.

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