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Wales. The day was fine; and the prospect extensive and beautiful, taking in a large reach of the Thames, which was covered with vessels of various sizes and descriptions. We saw a good deal of the young Princess. She is a most captivating and engaging child, and, considering the high station she may hereafter fill, a most interesting and important one. She repeated to me several of her hymns with great correctness and propriety; and on being told, that, when she went to South-End in Essex, as she afterwards did for the benefit of sea-bathing, she would then be in my Diocese, she fell down on her knees and begged by blessing. I gave it her with all my heart, and with my earnest secret prayers to God, that she might adorn her illustrious station with every Christian grace; and that, if ever M she she became the Queen of this truly great and glorious country, she might be the means of diffusing virtue, piety, and happiness through every part of her dominions!"
Soon after this incident occurred, the Bishop went, as usual to his little cottage at Sundridge. It has been already stated, that on his accession to the See of London, he was obliged very reluctantly to relinquish Hunton. From that time he lived principally during the summer at Fulham Palace, which, by the successive improvements it had undergone, and particularly by some very judicious alterations of his own, adding much both to its beauty and convenience, was in all respects a truly venerable and most desirable residence, So indeed he always considered it: but still, from its proximity to the Metropolis, and its being
close close to a poor and populous village, it had not that tranquillity and retirement about it, which he so much coveted: and therefore, soon after entering upon his new bishoprick, he determined to obtain some small habitation in his favourite county of Kent, where he might spend a month or two every Autumn; and one of that description being vacant at Sundridge, he immediately secured the lease of it. The situation was a most delightful one, about the middle of the beautiful valley, which runs between Westerham and Sevenoaks, in a country remarkable for its rich, picturesque and varied scenery, abounding in the best society, and possessing, in short, all the attractions which could recommend it to his choice. Here then he always passed a part of the year in a manner most agreeable to his wishes; enjoying that M 2. rural rural quiet, which carried to his mind so many charms; mixing cheerfully and frequently with the excellent neighbourhood by which he was surrounded; inquiring into and relieving the wants of the poor people who needed his assistance, and benefiting them in every way by his care, his counsel, his instruction and his example. Amongst other instances of attention to them, he contributed liberally, at the time I am speaking of, towards repairing and embellishing their parochial church*; and I shall soon have occasion to record an act of still greater
munificence, munificence, which, if any thing could have added to the respect and veneration in which he was before held, will immortalize his name as the benefactor of that parish.
* The chancel was at the same time much improved at the expense of the present worthy Rector ofSundridge, Dr. Vyse; and Lord Frederick Campbell, who resides at a most beautiful place in the parish, called Coomb Bank, and of whose benevolence on all occasions, where it can be usefully exerted, it is impossible to speak too highly, undertook to make an excellent road to the church, instead of a very narrow and bad one, which before led to it from the village.
In the months of April and May in the following year 1802, he undertook for the fourth, time the visitation of his Diocese; This at his advanced age was an arduous and laborious undertaking; more particularly, as from its increasing population he thought it necessary to extend his confirmations to the more distant parts of the county of Essex, where they had never been held before. On this occasion I had the honour of attending him, as his chaplain; and I can never forget the admirable and striking manner in which he executed all the duties of his high station; the attention, the respect, the kindness which he shewed to his M 3 Clergy >