Excerpt from A Later Pepys, Vol. 2 of 2: The Correspondence of Sir William Weller Pepys, Bart;, Master in Chancery 1758-1825, With Mrs. Chapone, Mrs. Hartley, Mrs. Montagu, Hannah More, William Franks, Sir James Macdonald, Major Rennell, Sir Nathaniel Wraxall, and Others In the summer of 1777 Wraxall made some stay at the Hague, from whence, as from various other foreign Courts, he wrote Sir William Pepys a series of letters, which he said were well worth keeping, as they would be interesting in time to come. He hoped that though Pepys was married, their long friendship might not be diverted by absence and clearer ties. He reminded him that they used to dine together every day, and spoke of their expeditions to Richmond, Sion, and Roehampton. Wraxall hoped, notwithstanding his roving disposition, that when he had visited Hungary, Turkey, and Poland, his turn would come, and thought it would be a charming employ ment to travel slowly in Italy with a woman to whom he was attached, and to improve, adorn, and delight her mind at every step! He showed himself, however, a less accurate observer of human nature than of the customs of foreign countries by an ill-timed reminder that he had the honour to be known to Mrs. Pepys before Pepys had been himself, and had contributed to the event by often recommending her as a woman calculated above all others to make his friend happy. Such kindly intervention receives no acknowledgment in this world (if the marriage prove a happy one), and the suggested guidance of any power under heaven is always deeply resented. Wraxall wrote, I used to be minute in describing palaces, cities, and churches, but I have learnt that they are in reality very inferior objects of attention, and that men constitute the true, the highest, and most curious matter of observa tion. Kings, Princes, Ministers, and favourites, as they play the first parts in the theatre of human life, claim an extraordinary degree of study, and remark, on their lives, conduct, and character, by the extensive influence they have on mankind.
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