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you the substance of it, and of the letter of the ladies' lawyer, as follows:
Mr. Emanuel Perronet, Chief Justice at Chateau d'Oex, in the Canton of Berne, had an estate worth six or seven thousand pounds sterling. By will, he left it to his sou, and his son's children. His son had a son, the Rev. Mr. Theodore Perronet, who died at Geneva in 1770, without will, and without children. Now, Mr. Emanuel Perronet, his grandfather, had ordered in his will, that if his son, or his grandson, should die without issue, his estate was to go to his nephews and nieces; namely, to the then unborn children of his three brothers, Mr. James Louis Perronet, Mr. Christian Perronet, and Mr. David Perronet, and to Mr. Beat Rodolph Perronet, a nephew of his (then born) by another brother, who, I suppose, was then dead.
Without any attention to this entail, some rich gentlemen of Geneva, who were related to Mr. Theodore Perronet by his mother, have taken possession of the estate, as being his nearest relations. Now Mr. James Louis Perronet, Mr. Christian Perronet, Mr. David Perronet, and their children, are all dead, or supposed to be dead. (I hope, by the by, your Father is one of them.) The estate has been claimed by the ladies I have seen, who are grand-daughters of Mr. James Louis Perronet, the oldest brother of the Testator, and who consequently were only grandnieces of the Testator, and not his nieces. And. they have lost their suit on that account, because the will of Mr. Emanuel Perronet mentioned his brothers, and his nephews, and nieces, but made no mention of the sons and daughters of his nephews and nieces. Had the father of the ladies, (who was also a clergyman,) been alive eight years ago, the estate would have been his, and the entail would have taken place without difficulty. But his daughters being one degree farther off, the Judges on that account gave it against them at Geneva, where the case was tried.
Though the ladies have not succeeded, they should be glad, that your father did; and he undoubtedly will
if he can legally prove, that he is either Mr. Christian Perronet, or Mr. David Perronet, or the son of either of them. For then, as brother or nephew of the testator, and as being expressly mentioned in the will, he will recover the estate without any difficulty.
The ladies send their love to all your family, and desire to hear what account your father can give of his father, and what light can be thrown upon this affair. The Mr. Perronet, whose estate has been thus contended for, for want of one of the nephews mentioned in the will, is probably the same clergyman from whom I saw a letter at your house. His end had something tragical in it. He unfortunately fell into the Rhone at Geneva, and was drowned. This accident probably prevented his making a will. In what degree was your father related to him? If the estate be his, it is no charity to leave it to those who have laid their hands upon it; for they are very rich without it.
While I invite you to make your title clear to a precarious estate on earth, permit me to remind you, my dear Sir, of the heavenly inheritance entailed on believers. The will, the New Testament, by which we can recover it, is proved. The Court is just and equitable, the Judge gracious and loving. To enter into possession of a part of the estate here, and of the whole hereafter, we need only believe, and prove evangelically, that we are believers. Let us then set about it now, with earnestness, with perseverance, and with a full assurance, that (through-grace) we shall infallibly carry our point. Alas! what are estates and crowns, to grace and glory! The Lord grant that we, and all our friends, may choose the better part, which your brother, my dear friend, so happily chose! And may we firmly stand to the choice, as he did, to the last! My best respects wait upon your dear father, your sisters and nieces. God reward your kindness to me upon them all!
Remember me in grateful love to Dr. Turner. I have had a pull back since I wrote last. After I left Mr. Ireland at Macon, to shorten my journey, and en
joy new prospects, I ventured to cross the mountains, which separate France from this country. But on the third day of the journey, I found an unexpected trial: A large hill, the winding roads of which were so steep that, although we fed the horses with bread and wine, they could scarcely draw the empty chaise. This obliged me to walk in all the steepest places. The climbing lasted several hours, the sun was hot, I perspired violently, and the next day I spit blood again. I have chiefly kept to goat's milk ever since, and hope I shall get over this death also, because I find myself (blessed be God!) better again, and my cough is neither frequent nor violent.
I have not ventured on preaching in this country. It is delightful. If you come to see it, and claim the estate, bring all the papers, anecdotes, and memorials your father can collect, and come to share a delightful apartment, and one of the finest prospects in the world, in the house where I was born. The weather is not (hitherto) too hot for me, and I design to try this fine air some months longer. We have a fine shady wood near the lake, where I can ride in the cool all the day, and enjoy the singing of a multitude of birds, which (though sweet) does not come up to the singing of my dear friends in England. There I meet them in Give my love and
spirit several hours in the day. thanks to those you know, and particularly to dear Messrs. Wesley, Mr. and Mrs. Greenwood, Miss Thornton, Mr. Atlay, aud all the Foundery family. Do not forget my god-daughter, her mother, and brothers. God bless you, my dear friend! And believe me, dear Sir,
Your obedient, obliged Servant,
To the Same.
NYON, in Switzerland, May 15, 1778.
MY VERY DEAR FRIEND,
I HAVE received your kind letter, aud the directions and prescriptions which it contains; for which I return you, and Dr. Turner, my sincerest thanks. I have laid aside upon it, my pills of soap and aloes, and shall use no physic, but in case of absolute necessity. The climate and prospect, the fine roads and pure air, which I enjoy here, had contributed to strengthen me a little, when an accident, (I think,) has pulled me back.
About a month ago, something I chewed got into my windpipe, and caused a fit of coughing, with the greatest efforts of the lungs, for half an hour. I began to spit blood again; and ever since I have had a bad cough, which has sometimes held me violently for an hour after my first sleep. My cough has been better these two days again, and I hope it will go off, if I can spit. My friends here, (through a national prejudice,) have opposed my taking the Senna. This delay hurt me; and for peace' sake I have taken, now and theu, a glass of a diet drink, made of Manna dissolved in water, which answers the end of the Senna and Prunes. I have bought a quiet horse, whose easy pace I can bear; and I ride much. Upon the whole, if my cough leaves me, I may yet recover my strength; but if it fixes, it will probably be my last. The will of the Lord be done!
I have not ventured upon preaching since I came here. It would be impossible for me now to go through If the weather should grow hot, I may go to the
foot of the hills, which is but 5 or 6 miles off. I drink goat's milk, and have left off meat since the cough, but design eating a little again at dinner.
I passed last Monday through a town called Morges, 15 miles off, where I was told there was a gentlewoman of your name. I waited upon her; she is an elderly person, about 45; lives with her sister, who is a widow lady. They received me kindly. I gave them an account of their friends in England, and the dear Shoreham family. They were very glad to hear of them. Their father was a Clergyman, nephew, or first cousin to your venerable father. The Clergyman, with whom your family corresponded, was another, who died at Geneva. They seemed well inclined, but, (like the people of this country,) not deep in internal religion. The husband of the lady, (who is a widow,) was one of Lady Guyon's correspondents; at least, I remember to have seen among her printed letters, one directed to him at Morges. They invited me to call again, which I design to do, if I can, and shall let you know more of the matter. They told me, they had two relations of your name; one a merchant at Marseilles, and another a great man at Paris, worth much money, being general inspector of all the roads and bridges in the kingdom. I told them they had some relations greater still, as being possessed of the pearl of great price, the new name, and the new and living way to glory.' I would have stopped longer with them, but my company did not permit it. I exhorted them to pray for your branch of the family, as I was sure yours had done, and would do for them; and I rejoiced at being with your relations, telling them how much I was indebted to you, and at meeting the dear Shoreham family in their distant friends. My best respects to them all, as well as to Dr. Turner, whose kindness, in conjunction with yours, draws the deepest prayers and thanks from, My very dear friends,
Your much indebted and obliged Servant,
By Favour of Miss Thornton.